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Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. I know it's November 1st and Halloween was last night, but that's bullshit because we would have missed Halloween, so we're doing it anyway.

TRAVIS: Yeah! Halloween's when you want it to be!

MATT: Apparently I have a type when it comes to Halloween costumes, but after having enough people send me pictures of new Dante, going, "He looks like you!" I was like, "Fuck it. I'm going to embrace it." So yes, I guess we'll go around and introduce our costumes, because it sounds like fun right now. I'm Dante from Devil May Cry 5. The best I could do in one week's time, most of which was spent in London. What about you?

TALIESIN: I'm Sherlock Holmes, because that's the best I could do in two hours time, after figuring out that I was supposed to do this while working on another project.

SAM: I am ketchup.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Wasn’t there face paint that could help complete the look?

SAM: Nope, this is it. Nine dollars.

MATT: Liam.

LIAM: (as Mickey Mouse) Ha ha. I'm Kylo Ren. Ha ha.

MATT: Perfect!

LIAM: (as Mickey Mouse) Ooh! Sorry, dad.

MARISHA: I'm Lisa Frank Castle.

TALIESIN: By far the most put-together costume at this table.

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: And Travis.

TRAVIS: I'm the bargain bin. I had a cowboy hat.

SAM: I gave you some gloves.

TRAVIS: I think these belong to an M&M character?

SAM: Yeah, or Pac-man. I'm not sure.

TRAVIS: Ey!

(laughter)

MARISHA: You look like you're trying to sell baked beans.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I was a panda last night. I didn't have a fucking costume. I wasn't wearing that again. That shit was hot.

MATT: Perfect. Sadly, we're missing Laura Bailey tonight. She is off doing rehearsals for BlizzCon tomorrow. I will be there as well both days, so those who are watching or are on the virtual ticket, check it out, because there's some fun stuff going on. Before we get into the rest of our announcements, first we have two fantastic sponsors tonight. The first of which is the fantastic Tor Books. Liam!

LIAM: (air hissing) (as Kylo Ren) I have come from a galaxy very far away to talk to you about Tor Books. Tor Books is America's largest--

(laughter)

LIAM: This is serious. Largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy. From Tor Books comes Oathbringer, book three of The Stormlight Archives. Humanity faces a new desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, Matthew. A foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance. Find Oathbringer out now in paperback wherever books are sold. For more of the latest science fiction and fantasy releases, follow @torbooks. That's T-O-R Books. I'm going to resume doing unspeakable things. (air hissing) Tor Books.

MATT: Kylo Walken?

SAM: I think that was Jackie Mason.

LIAM: Listen to him again, he has a very subtle Brooklyn accent always.

MATT: You actually directed him, so you would know.

LIAM: I did one time, yes.

MATT: Anyway.

(laughter)

LIAM: He was great! It was a great project! I love Star Wars! I'm dressed as him!

MATT: Thank you, Liam. Our fantastic returning second sponsor for tonight are our friends at D&D Beyond. Sam.

SAM: If you have somehow still not checked out D&D Beyond, it is the official digital toolset for Dungeons & Dragons. Everything is there at your fingertips: the source books, the digital character sheets, the homebrew content creation! Go to dndbeyond.com now to check out how easy they make playing D&D. Now, you guys all know that first and foremost, I am a filmmaker, and I am proud to announce that tonight I have teamed with D&D Beyond to create my first ever foray into stop-motion animation. I don't want to say it's better than The Nightmare Before Christmas, but I'll let you guys say that. Wait until you see it for yourself. Let's roll my film.

MATT: Oh my god, what have you done?!

SAM (VO): (triumphant humming)

(laughter)

SAM: Thank you. Any film like this is a collaborative process. I have so many people I want to thank. I'll try to keep it quick. Our cinematographer Giuseppe Fister, wonderful work, powerful work. Our gaffer Blumpkin Styles, the most daring in the biz. Our sound mixer Randy Cockburn, didn't think you could pull it off like that. Best boy Mike Litoris, I can't believe I found you. Our producer Willy Stroker, you've got a finger on the pulse, sir. Casting director Ima Dumas, and of course my agents at CAA, Amanda Hump, Keifer Comings, Dickson Beavers, Harry Sacks, Otto Beemakraken, Wilma Fingerdo, Irma Wanker, Drew P. Winer-- oh, I'm sorry, Drew P. Wiener, thank you all for believing in this project. Also, my inspiration, my mentor, Hugh Janus, Mr. Janus, wherever he is. I think Hugh Janus is smiling down on all of us tonight. And of course, D&D Beyond, we did it guys! It took three years, but we did it. Thank you.

MATT: Well done. Thank you, Sam, and thank you, our friends at D&D Beyond, for making this happen on a weekly basis.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we were at a Halloween party yesterday. How did you have time for that?

MARISHA: I know. We were in London two days ago.

TRAVIS: Three years it's been in the works.

SAM: Yeah, it's been in post for months.

MATT: I'm so glad that Dreamworks was willing to work with you based on how much Disney you do.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Also, I forgot I just announced I'm going to be at Loscon November 23rd through 25th. So if you're in LA and want to check out the convention, I'll be hanging out there and talking about D&D and voiceover and all sorts of things like that. Loscon: L-O-S-C-O-N. That's what I've got.

MATT: Find Taliesin there. Our final episode of this batch of Between the Sheets aired this past Monday and is now available on YouTube, where our fantastic host Brian W. Foster talks to me. It's a bit of an emotional one, but I hope you enjoy it. Check it out on youtube.com/criticalrole and I think that ends this batch. We'll be back very soon with the next batch of new guests and new stories with our fantastic host.

SAM: It was really good, Matt. You did a great job. I watched it on the cab ride home from the airport.

MATT: Oh shit, thank you.

SAM: It was so good. Amazing.

MATT: Thank you. I didn't expect it to get as deep as it did but here we are. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. The next episode of All Work, No Play will debut this Friday at twitch.tv/criticalrole at 7 PM Pacific Time. This week, Liam and Sam learn how to fire spin with our fantastic, our own, my wife, Marisha Ray.

SAM: Yay!

TRAVIS: You survived, clearly. Somehow.

LIAM: Oh, the burn.

SAM: You were great, Marisha.

MARISHA: It was fun. I was honored.

MATT: I'm excited to see it. I've only seen bits and pieces, and it's pretty absurd.

SAM: Your wife shines.

LIAM: But only from the fire burns.

MARISHA: I was going to say, it was from the flames.

MATT: Yeah, failure to ignite. Check it out this Friday at 7 PM Pacific. Travis, you have something to talk about?

TRAVIS: Yes! Through the month of November, we are raising money for my favorite charity: Operation Supply Drop! They are amazing. OSD has helped over 750,000 members of the military community with supply drops. They have initiatives, they have job training, they have skill workshops for people that are going from active military work through their transition into civilian life, and they just touched so many people. I love this organization. I've been following them for years. If we hit our 25,000 dollar goal, we're going to host a special first-person shooter stream with me! Yeah. I used to be good. I'm not so much anymore since baby days, but I'm going to try. I'm going to have a montage.

LIAM: Deep down that rabbit hole for years. Oh my god. I liked playing with you. Never won, but I enjoyed the process.

TRAVIS: Thank you! Right? It's all about the commentary that happens, right? If we hit that goal we will do that. Details and to donate, you can see everything at critrole.com/osd.

LIAM: Amazing.

MATT: Thanks, Travis. Daylight savings time hits the US this week, so make sure for those that are outside of the US, as far as times you can check out the shows and the rest of our content, go to wheniscriticalrole.com for updated air times in your timezone. Keep an eye out on that.

LIAM: We're going to time change again here?

MATT: Yes. We gain an hour.

TRAVIS: You fall back.

MARISHA: We sleep longer.

MATT: We gain an hour. They're archaic, unnecessary means of changing our times each year.

TALIESIN: We're getting two daylight savings times, because we had one in London too. So we get two hours. We should travel the world.

MATT: I don't think that works that way.

TALIESIN: I'm pretty sure it does.

MATT: You might be right.

TALIESIN: I want a judgement call on that.

MATT: Fair enough.

LIAM: Jet lag absolutely destroyed any gain we got.

TALIESIN: I know. I'm well aware.

MATT: Last but not least, I want to thank all of our fantastic European critters and beyond who came out to MCM London this past weekend. Our first European convention and it was magnificent. The turnout was insane. You guys broke MCM London, confusing all sorts of other guests about what the hell this thing is. I loved the fact that Kit Buss, our official artist from the first campaign, had a far longer line than Frank Miller the entire weekend. It was pretty fantastic.

TRAVIS: All the love in the world to Frank Miller.

MARISHA: The legendary Frank Miller.

TRAVIS: That is crazy.

LIAM: Also lots of love to Kit Buss who's a good friend of the show, and a good friend of ours, and it was so cool meeting you guys from all over the fucking planet, man. Amazing.

MATT: Got to meet a bunch of people from the CR Translate team, bunch of fantastic artists and writers and general amazing community members. Thank you for coming out.

MARISHA: And of course, Arsequeef.

MATT: Of course, Arsequeef. Legitimately fantastic gentleman. This definitely will not be our last time to Europe. Don't worry, because that was amazing.

TRAVIS: Laura and I will get our travel situation fixed. We didn't know raw plutonium was not allowed in the UK. We travel with it always. It is a fantastic gem. Put it under the moonlight and it radiates.

MATT: What's great is the longer you keep it next to Ronan, he doesn't actually have to feed.

TRAVIS: Oh, jesus.

(laughter)

LIAM: (deep voice) Hey, how you doing?

MATT: I believe that's the extent of our announcements, and as such that brings us in to tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[TV static, click]

[groovy Critical Role theme]

(laughter)

Part IEdit

MATT: Points to Travis on that one. It's the ellipses at the end. Like a little squeak. Last we left off, The Mighty Nein, in pursuing a thread of a mysterious orb that seemed to connect in some way to the entity in which Fjord has somehow connect himself to, and as such been granted these strange eldritch powers, led you southward from the Menagerie Coast after commandeering a ship called The Mist, turned into The Mistake. Followed it through some dangerous reefs to a pirate ship called the Squalleater, and there on the captain, Avantika. You made a pact with her, where the choice was to either die or to help aid her and a companion she hired for this to help navigate this island. This strange, seemingly dangerous or cursed island, to which you made your way through the jungle of this Urukaxl. Managed to avoid lizardmen. Managed to barely sneak through a ancient city of yuan-ti. Making your way to the top of this temple and through the interior. A series of battles later, an encounter with a strange lightless internal orchard in which two of the fruit within had been eaten by two members of your team and have been tripping balls ever since.

SAM: That's right. Oh god.

MATT: You made your way to the bottom, subterranean, guardian chamber, where you met a yuan-ti abomination that was laying guard to the true guardian: a large hydra. The hydra had turned around and laid waste to much of your party, but you managed to, through a series of clever choices, uses of fire magic, and some rapid assaults, managed to cleave all the heads from its body and kill it just in time. Its corpse now lying fresh on the ground, Captain Avantika seeming pleased and impressed by the display of the strange, new compatriots that have now come to work under her. You now sit in the stillness of this chamber, able to now finally take a moment to look about and see what secrets or mysteries it holds. So Mighty Nein, what would you like to do?

SAM: Was any of that real?

TRAVIS: Oh no. You're still...

LIAM: We just need to wait this out. We killed all the creatures. How many eyes do I have right now? Because it feels like I have three of them.

SAM: You do. You have three eyes.

LIAM: That's good.

MARISHA: What's Avantika doing?

MATT: Avantika is sitting down for a second and getting her breath. The rest of you who are still up in the hallway, which is Jester, Caduceus, and Jamedi and Caleb, all begin to slowly descend the stairs.

LIAM: Whoa.

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's been a fucking thing in here. What's so funny? Hey, zip it. The hydra, did it (sliding) back in the hole, or is it still out?

MATT: No, it's currently slung over the side of the staircase that curves down into the subterranean chamber.

MARISHA: How do they make you sound differently? It feels like you sound different because of the gloves. I think it's just in my head.

TRAVIS: It's just in your head. I got stung by some wasps out by the barn.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Ah! Y’all have Benadryl?

MATT: Two healing potions and an EpiPen. Hold on.

TRAVIS: That was a thing. Caduceus?

TALIESIN: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Is Jamedi up there?

TALIESIN: In theory.

MATT: Jamedi’s currently standing at the top, glancing around the side.

TALIESIN: I assure you, it's safe now.

LIAM: Oh yeah. Hey, you guy! How come you did not do anything?

MATT: He glances around and steps down another step. "I was not paid to do anything of this sort. I was a guide. I was to delve. I am not skilled in the ways you are. I'm not stupid to throw myself in front of a beast so large."

SAM: Worried you could maybe die?

LIAM: It was pretty touch-and-go. Do you want to sit back and stay safe and then get eaten? I am really not myself right now.

MARISHA: Yeah. You're being super aggro. It's intense.

TALIESIN: Is Jamedi wearing any weapons?

MATT: Actually, make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Actually, I'm going to use this new d20 and see how that goes.

SAM: Oh, where'd you get this?

TALIESIN: The con. Ah! That's good. That's a good start. 27.

MATT: Looking at his person, he has a short bow and a dagger, and that is it. He’s not armed for any sort of main assault. In fact, most of his equipment and materials, in the way he's armored and dressed, is for expediency, lack of sound, and meant to blend into his surroundings fairly easy. A lot of browns, grays, and dull greens. He’s definitely more of a scout and a tracker, based on his skill set from what you've seen, than any sort of frontline fighter.

MARISHA: I want to go over to Avantika.

MATT: As you approach, she gets up and rummages off the side and pulls off a small lantern she keeps notched on the side of her belt.

MARISHA: Do I see anything else tucked up under there while she is doing that that looks of interest or of importance?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Okay, okay. 19.

MATT: Nothing in particular beyond what she previously had, that you can tell at the moment, no. It's a small lantern, maybe that big, and she pulls a piece of cloth out that was meant to keep it from clattering or making any noise on the inside. She pulls out the cloth, tucks it in her pocket, ignites the end of an oil wick. The lantern glows a bit and gives off some light. She begins walking along the walls of the inside of the chamber.

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast Detect Magic.

MARISHA: On the lantern?

TALIESIN: On everything. Including our friends and everything in the room.

TRAVIS: I'll mirror Avantika's movement on the other side of the room.

MATT: As you cast Detect Magic, a few things. All of your friends give off a faint aura. Everything but Jamedi gives off a magical aura. You also sense the columns themselves have a fairly powerful, deep magical aura to them. That's the most you can see at the moment.

TALIESIN: Nothing Jamedi is wearing at all is giving off a--?

MATT: Nothing. Fjord, as you begin to walk along what would be considered the southern walls around this side of the chamber, you and Avantika, looking across, the walls appear to be made of the same eldest stone that this temple is made from. The newer materials that have been plastered and set against what once was this original temple did not make its way this far into the basement. It seems that there is no intent to cover, or at least, hasn't gotten to the point of covering what originally lined the walls of this chamber, and as such, the original carvings remain. What you see are three massive carved murals on that wall, that wall, and this far side, mirroring the placement of the three pillars. These murals stand probably 15 feet tall and about 20 or so feet wide. You can see them depicting these giant, faintly detailed and gently colored scenes, though a lot of the coloration seems to have faded with dust and time. Some of the stone has been stained or painted to show some variation in color. You can make out the simple shapes to fill out this much larger tapestry on the stone before you. The one on that far wall, as you come across it, you see a crowd of people. Simple design, but definitive heads and shoulders and legs. You can see the humanoid form, and there are many, many clustered around the base of this mural. Above them, you can see three larger humanoid figures that are haloed by a light or an aura that elevates them beyond this crowd. Three figures. Then over the top of that, taking up probably 60 percent or more of this mural, you see a humongous bird of dark purple flame that is wreathing the sky above this crowd. You see its wings curved upward and then bent down, and where the wings end, fire curls and burns, and the feathers on the edges of these wings definitively come up into a purple and dark gray flame with bits and specks of deep red. At the top where its head looks down, the beak long and pointed, there are three eyes across its face, and in each of these eyes you see set a rather large onyx stone.

SAM: It's a bird?

MATT: A large, flaming bird.

MARISHA: Like a phoenix?

MATT: Like a phoenix, but dark purples and grays and deep reds in color.

LIAM: Three eyes, each one is an onyx stone?

MATT: Each one of those eyes is an onyx stone. Probably about that big.

TALIESIN: Mr. Fjord, I feel like I should mention I'm keeping a lookout for anything and I'm getting a bit of a magical aura from the three columns. I don't know if it's related to this.

LIAM: Are you reading anything off of all of the eyes that I am seeing, those stones?

MATT: You don't see any magical essence on the carving or the stones, just from those pillars. Glancing at the pillars, too, there's faint carved designs and shapes, like swirling, almost serpentine circles and curves that chain into each other and swirl off. Imagine a column made of chains, if you will, but the patterns are erratic in places and don't seem to follow.

TALIESIN: The three columns are very similar, there's nothing unique, the pattern within them doesn't deviate too much?

MATT: From what you can tell, no.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: That's the far wall. If you continue curving around to the one closest to me, you meet up with Avantika at that point. She holds her lantern up, and you can see a very similar layout, a very familiar showing of a crowd. Much like the previous one, though some of their shapes have different shoulders. It looks almost like their clothing or whatever their accoutrements are are different. It seems to insinuate a different people. Above them, three more figures stand, shown larger and emanating some sort of radiance or aura. Above that, you see this giant, coiled serpent of scale, fin, and eyes made of amber. Each of these eyes is a separate amber piece about that big around, the size of a large gold piece, all along the coil of its body. At the very top, where it's rearing up, this very long, thin, pointed, almost lizard-like maw opens up, and behind it, this giant tidal wave is curling and frozen in place, looking like it's about to bear down on and either destroy or sweep away the crowd below it.

LIAM: Question: do the eyes in this picture bear any resemblance to the tattoos I spied through the window when I eavesdropped through Frumpkin on Fjord and Avantika's conversation?

MATT: Very much so.

LIAM: Very much so, okay.

SAM: Two eyes on this one?

MATT: On this one, the head of it has three eyes as well, but the body itself has eyes evenly spaced around the entire length of its coiled body.

LIAM: *Und* amber for the three eyes on the head, or every single time?

MATT: Every single eye on it is a piece of amber, matching size.

TRAVIS: The eyes, they're there, right? It's part of the mural, they're not missing or recessed or anything?

MATT: They all appear to be present.

LIAM: You described the first group looked humanoid, no strange features, just arms, legs, head, but for the second one with the serpent they're a little weird?

MATT: More detail has been put into them. More care has been placed into their carving.

TRAVIS: Onyx eyes for the first creature...

MARISHA: Amber eyes for the second. What about the third? I'll go over and look at the far mural.

MATT: Avantika continues curving around with a big, wide-eyed smile on her face. As she passes by it, she goes, "This is incredible."

TRAVIS: Yes, it's very stimulating. Have you ever seen imagery like this before?

MATT: "I can only assume this is carved by the Ki'Nau."

TRAVIS: Yeah, yep, the Ki'Nau.

MARISHA: The quinoa?

TRAVIS: Nope, the Ki'Nau. They're the followers of Uk'otoa, right?

MATT: "That is correct."

SAM: The Ki'Nau?

TRAVIS: Ki'Nau.

MATT: She continues curving around. Beau and Caduceus, as you walk to the other wall, that side of the chamber, there you see a curling, thick worm of some kind. Its folded skin and tooth-like scales burrowing up to produce mountains over the crowd, cliff faces made of stone and rock breaking and about to plummet into the crowd below. There beneath it you see three figures once more elevated, the same wreath around them of some sort of radiance or light. The people below don't seem scared. There's no sign of fleeing or fear, just a gathering. Within this large, terrifying, worm-like creature, its form bulbous with these strange protrusions, these spine-like scales that you can imagine would pull it through the broken earth, you see this ring of teeth that accentuates where its mouth is, and on the inside, where a tongue would be, there instead are three eyes across the inside of its mouth. These appear to be made of some kind of ivory, some polished, white material.

SAM: Wow. That is vivid.

LIAM: Also the three figures on each wall, are they standard humanoid form?

MATT: The three figures all appear to be humanoid. They're not detailed enough to the point where you can see features to differentiate between elven, human, halfling.

SAM: Do they seem to be the same three on each, or is it just silhouettes?

MATT: It's just silhouettes of three figures.

TRAVIS: Fuck, fuck, fuck.

MATT: You hear Avantika's voice echo from across the way. She goes, "These are the Chosen." She brings light over towards the one of Uk'otoa on the wall and goes, "I guess that makes this one me?" She takes her finger and takes a little blood from the corner of her mouth from the fight and draws a little smiley face on one of the three. "And this one is you," and goes and draws another face on the middle one.

TRAVIS: I can see the resemblance. The question is, if that's you, and that's me, who's our third friend?

MATT: "That is a very good question."

TRAVIS: You said you had met only one other Chosen before.

MATT: "Only one, yes."

TRAVIS: And what happened to them?

MATT: "They were a very informative partner. They are the one that introduced me to the great possibility of power under Uk'otoa. We traveled this ocean for quite a number of years together, but they proved to be a coward. They took something important to our mission and vanished, and I have spent many years trying to recover what they stole. With no luck. I figured it was more worth my time to pillage enough coin to pay other people to find them for me. And so far, based on the fact that it brought you to me, a much more successful endeavor, eh?"

TRAVIS: Indeed. This person that seemed to have shown you the light, did you try to track them down? Do you know anything about them or where they might be? They would seem to be very useful in our current situation.

MATT: "This is very true. Well, it seems I may have some information. Let's get back to the ship, eh? Let's finish our business here and let's talk over a glass of wine."

TRAVIS: Well, we're obviously not in a huge rush. We have not explored all of this.

MATT: "This is true." She begins to make her way towards the well at the center of the chamber.

TALIESIN: I was heading that way myself.

LIAM: Is there any writing of any kind?

MATT: Glancing about at the pillars, you two can see within the shapes glowing runes that trace from ceiling to floor, then across the ground and all meet at the well.

LIAM: Am I able to read it with the Comprehend Languages that should still be cooking, because it's an hour-long spell?

MATT: It's not technically a language. These are runes. These are glyphs of some kind. Make an arcana check.

LIAM: Come on, dice. Be good to me. No. That is a 17.

MATT: There are different epochs in historical time in which there have been advances and developments of arcane runes and sigils. There is the early basis of magical runes, which is a deviation of Draconic as a language, and then there are ways that they've been altered and made more efficient. These are very old, base, early Draconic runes. As such, they hold a lot more very primal magical power, and usually are reserved for larger rituals and magics that are meant to last for very long periods of time. The nature of the magic on these runes, from what you can tell, it's a little hard to get the direct essence, but there is some sort of an abjuration-based magic.

SAM: I'm going to go investigate-- not the hydra, the creature that I killed.

MATT: You head on over to the other yuan-ti, and as you approach, the body lies there, tongue lolling out and drool and blood, a mixture of thick saliva mingling with the dark black-purple blood out of the corner of its mouth, its eyes wide open and rolled back. Its dark, thick green scales of its snake-like head and thick, muscular scaled torso all lie limp across the stone where it was slain. Its blade has clattered to the ground a few feet from its grasp and its polished marble and silver shield scattered a few feet from its form. The rest of its tail coils and is limp off to the side from there.

SAM: I'll rifle around looking for any keys or objects.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: 25.

MATT: Nice. You find on its body 26 pieces of gold. Only gold, no other pieces of coin on its body. The blade is a very, very large blade. It looks like it's well made, both for ceremonial purposes and for actual combat. It is both beautiful and very well made, and the shield itself is also exquisitely crafted and shows no signs of wear.

SAM: I'll take the shield and hang on to it until I can give it someone who wants it.

MATT: Okay. At this point, Avantika's walked to the edge of the well and looks down into the space below.

MARISHA: I walk up behind her and I go, huh!

MATT: Do you really?

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Like, pushing her?

MARISHA: Yeah, I don't actually push her in but I just want to freak her out.

TRAVIS: She's going to do that.

MATT: She whips around as you do that and both her hand grabs your wrist to deflect it and you wrench your wrist free as a natural instinct and you both have this moment of--

MATT and MARISHA: Eh!

TRAVIS: You know, I do have a solution I think for this. Jamedi! You worthless sack of shit, you haven't done a damn thing since we got in this temple. You like to scout ahead, go forward? Get your ass down that well.

MATT: He's still at the top of the stairs. He goes, "Well, for one thing, I was paid to go to the temple, and no further. The fact that I have even come this far is because I need to claim my pay.

TRAVIS: What do you want, a cookie? Get down the fucking well, let's go.

MATT: Avantika goes, "Actually, I think ladies first."

TRAVIS: Well, I would insist to join you, if that is the case.

MATT: "May the best one win." She dives in.

TRAVIS: Shit balls.

LIAM: Wait, Fjord! Can I talk to you for a second before you go down there?

TRAVIS: Real quick.

LIAM: There is-- the pillars are covered when I do the shield-- when I cover myself and put the shield-- the columns have that in them.

TRAVIS: The pillars are magic?

LIAM: Yeah, but it's protection. It's holding something in or holding something back. We know what that thing is with the yellow eyes but what is the tapeworm?

TRAVIS: I don't know. I don't want her to get too far ahead.

SAM: I have a few things that I'd like to talk about.

TRAVIS: Okay, go.

MATT: Okay, you jump in. First off, Caleb's distraction has given her quite a lead. She's a fairly accomplished swimmer and is making her way down. This well continues on for a good 70, 80 or so feet below. The water is cold. It is salt water.

TRAVIS: Oh!

MARISHA: Salt water?

TRAVIS: Salt water, not brackish but salt water?

MATT: Right. You are swimming after her?

TRAVIS: Mhm.

MATT: Make an athletics check. You have advantage because the water is-- because of your armor, it's not giving you as much resistance heading south.

TRAVIS: Athletics? 19.

MATT: You begin to close the gap slowly, but she's eagerly swimming down with almost a fervor. As you get deeper into this column, this basin below, the walls begin to grow thick with algae and grime like a thick-- It could be a plant matter that's just accrued over the walls, or it could be waste matter from the hydra in its home that has slowly congealed to cover the walls. The stone begins to give way to this dark, slick material. Once you hit about the 70, 80 foot point, the tunnel begins to open like a giant bulb or internal, spherical chamber. Role another athletics check.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: She's still keeping her distance from you. Heading deeper in, the saltiness of the water, the brininess, the flavor in your mouth gets more intense. What was once a semblance of sea water is definitively sea water, but also very strongly briny sea water. Make another athletics check.

TRAVIS: The bulb-- we've entered that chamber, right?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: What's our visibility like? 40, 60?

MATT: For you, because you have dark vision, you can see within 30 feet of you, essentially. As far as you look the chamber is--

TRAVIS: There's not a lot of natural light, right?

MATT: No. Not at all. It's pitch black down here. That being the case, you don't see the bottom of the chamber, you just see it open--

TRAVIS: And just her.

MATT: And just her, but she's gaining.

TRAVIS: James Cameron going down to find the Titanic.

MATT: Just delving straight down into the darkness. Make another athletics check.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: 20, okay. She did not role that well that time. She's beginning to tire, it seems, or at least you're starting to pick up speed. As you continue to follow, you get probably 40 or so feet from her, but she's still ahead of you. Role again.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: Natural 20, nice! She rolled okay. You see, now, the bottom begin to approach. In the peripheral of your dark vision, the floor greets to meet you and you pick up enough speed to where you both impact the bottom of this chamber at the same time. You both hit. She looks up at you, and your eyes meet. A few bubbles escape from her mouth and you see her big, wide, toothy grin and she begins scraping grime off the floor.

TRAVIS: I do the same.

MATT: All right. Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: I don't know what I'm looking for. 23.

MATT: 23!

TRAVIS: Plus five.

MATT: As the two of you are currently scraping bits of grime and algae off the ground, there are bits of plants that are growing up like lightless kelp that seems to have made some sort of a living down here in this subterranean, water-filled chamber. As you're pushing through and scraping around, your hand scoops this large bit of grime from in front of you and you can see a stone relief at the very base of the bottom, a concave, spherical shape about the size of a fist.

TRAVIS: Uh huh.

MATT: She notices it, looks at it, looks at you. What are you doing?

TRAVIS: Could I try and stick my hand in my chest?

MATT: You can.

TRAVIS: Does it go anywhere?

MATT: You go and jam your hand and its hitting your armor. You have a full-on leather plate right there.

TRAVIS: I don't know what to do. Like the size of a fist? It's a sphere, right?

MATT: It's about that big, and you can see it is concave. It's about the size of the stone that you'd found.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's in my *body*.

SAM: Poop it out.

TRAVIS: I don't know how! I don't have an eject button! Can I summon the falchion?

MATT: You can. The falchion appears in your hand, and as you do this bright, yellow light is now emanating from the center of its hilt where the eye itself is glowing with its own lantern-like source. At which point Avantika is now rushing towards that thing.

TRAVIS: Something's about to happen and I just jam the eye into the--

MATT: Make an initiative roll. Because you gave her enough time to get up right next to you and now we're going to see who gets to it first.

TRAVIS: Six.

MATT: Her hand-- she has now pulled the glove from her right hand. As you go to thrust the hilt of the falchion down towards it, you see her hand reach out and just manage to cover the little space first. As it does, you can see her body tense for a second, and where her hand is this bright, familiar yellow glow seems to now spread from between her fingers sending beams off in multiple directions. Her face looks aghast in shock for a second, and a large bubble escapes from her mouth. She looks over to you with this dazed look and pulls her hand back. There, in the palm, there's this large open wound where blood's beginning to cloud the dark water below. There, in the center of this hole, you can see one of the cloven stones there. At which point, a bunch of these runes begin to glow in three different directions from around the base, up the sides, up the chamber. The rest of you, looking around, suddenly see this dull blue glow begin to get brighter from within this well. You watch as these runes, that you guys didn't notice except for the two of you before, begin to suddenly glow up the sides. The three pillars suddenly begin to spiral and glow as all these runes come to life. Avantika pulls back and looks back at her hand, she looks back at you, her eyes blink for a second, and she just smiles and you hear this earth-shuddering, soulful crack sound rocks the entirety of the temple. Bubbles suddenly, this one burst of air that had been trapped in the ground below, is all immediately released as one and rises the water above. You can look around and see the interior of this; there is a heavy black crack in the stone of this chamber as you guys all hear this earth-shattering bam! Dust falls off the ceiling of this chamber from the inside. The pillars themselves still stand, but there are multiple places in this chamber now where these large black cracks now seem to have snaked their way in one instant burst across parts of the wall.

LIAM: They are picking the lock on this safe.

MATT: The glowing runes blink out.

TALIESIN: I think the lock's picked.

LIAM: Maybe. They might need three. There's two of three. I'm eyeing Jamedi as I say that. Presumably just two of three. As long as it's just one, maybe Fjord is thinking better of it.

TRAVIS: I immediately start searching on the ground for another opening.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: Maybe it's not all here. Maybe it's in another location. Maybe there are two other temples.

TRAVIS: 12.

MATT: You start pulling through the weeds and the kelp and the grime and-- nothing. It's all smooth stone except for this one little alcove that you found first. Avantika is now swimming frantically up towards the surface.

TRAVIS: Frantically?

MATT: Just trying to kick. She lost quite a bit of air.

TRAVIS: I'll go grab her.

MATT: You go grab her? Okay. Make a grapple check-- make an athletics check.

SAM: Stone cold.

TRAVIS: Seven.

MATT: No, she kicks right out of your grasp. She looks back with an expression of surprise.

TRAVIS: I'm pointing at the ground.

MATT: Make a deception check.

TRAVIS: I'm okay at those.

SAM: Travis, you have your fate, too.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: She looks confused and continues swimming upward, not reading too much into it. She continues to clamber up to the surface. The rest of you, as you're looking about, the surface of the water begins to spill over the sides of the well.

TALIESIN: I'm going to start heading towards the stairs. I'm going to recommend everybody else, let's go.

SAM: That sounds good, yes.

MATT: He goes, "Yeah, okay, of course." Jester's like, "This is not very good. Where's Fjord?" She's looking over very nervously towards the pool, which now the chamber's rapidly filling. You're already at knee height.

SAM: He likes water. He'll be fine. Come on! Let's get out of here.

MARISHA: I stand with Jester at the edge of the pool, looking down.

MATT: Okay, you guys, glancing down. Jamedi's back in the chamber, his eyes wide, goes, "We should go. Bring her back, she owes me money!"

LIAM: I'm grabbing Nott by the scruff and dragging her up the stairs.

SAM: You don't have to drag me, I'm going!

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: As you guys all begin to climb up the stairs, the chamber is filling very quickly with the water. It's now reaching the base of the stairs, at which point, as you guys-- Beau, you and Jester, there's just enough water now where your buoyancy carries you off your feet and you're now actually treading water in the chamber. At which point Avantika makes it to the surface with a large gasp of air, and but a few moments later Fjord also breaks the surface.

SAM: Come on, Fjord, let's get out of here!

TRAVIS: Wait, what's happening?

SAM: The water! Bad water! All water's bad, but this is even worse.

MARISHA: What the hell happened?

MATT: It's continuing to fill. The stairway that's leading upward, the water has now reached the base of the doorway, and you have a few moments, maybe six seconds or so before the doorway itself is completely filled with water.

MARISHA: All right, let's go.

MATT: You're all going into a full swim here, double move, half speed for all of you guys, so it's going to take you a little bit.

SAM: I'm walking up.

MATT: Except for you. You guys are already up there. As you all get to the stairway and make your way up to the top, the water continues to pour up, following behind you. You get to the stairs, and you're having to trudge through. You get up to the next, the secondary floor, and there you stand, with the walls that are partially relieved and covered, and there is the stone slab that is lifted up, and there's orchard before you. What do you do?

SAM: Oh, the orchard, that's right.

TRAVIS: Were there-- There were stairs up the sides, right?

LIAM: Weren't there spiral stairways?

MATT: Yeah, there is the fountain, but it has been-- It rose back up to the top when this chamber door was opened.

SAM: Oh, so there's no stairs?

MATT: Currently, no. It's raised up and closed off, the front, when you opened the doorway to get deeper into the basement.

LIAM: Can we see to the ceiling of this chamber?

MATT: Make a perception check. With you, disadvantage because you are human.

LIAM: Eyes up. Make a perception, you said?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: 15.

MATT: You can see the pillar that holds the fountain at the top, and there are the stairs, still part of it, and you can see where it's up there, but whatever mechanism, rocks--

LIAM: Yeah, it's stuck up there, *ja*?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Let's climb!

TALIESIN: I'm going to-- Is everybody outside?

SAM: Oh, shit!

TALIESIN: Is everybody in the chamber right now?

TRAVIS: Fucking hourglass, damn it.

MATT: The central chamber is now-- The water has now reached the base of orchard and is now filling.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hit the button to re-close the-- to close the--

MATT: You don't know the button, you never found it.

TALIESIN: Oh, who did?

MATT: I don't know, who did?

TRAVIS: It was Nott.

TALIESIN: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay, do you mind hitting the button to close this thing again?

SAM: Oh, yes! Sure! It was one of these holes. I'm going to just pick one. I go to the north one.

MATT: Okay, you go to the--

TRAVIS: Oh, god, which one was it?

SAM: I don't know. I don't remember. I'm just going to go into one of-- Aren't these-- there's little holes, right?

MATT: There are. As you can see now, the water that has begun to fill up the chamber is taking-- It's a little slower in here, because it's a much wider space now, but you can see eggs starting to flow, float out from the other chambers. The other two rooms were the two hatchery areas where you saw the larger eggs were set.

MARISHA: Right. Hang on.

SAM: Do I remember which one was the--

MARISHA: I do.

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

SAM: Nine. Oh, plus six? No, this is not a saving throw.

MATT: No, it's just straight bonus.

SAM: Plus three? So, 12.

MATT: You recall it was in the chamber where you're standing, and it's not too far from the stairs where you guys descended below.

SAM: Okay. Do I see a little door, a little hole near where I'm standing?

MATT: You look over to the side. Make a quick investigation check.

SAM: Natural 20.

MATT: You reach over, and you find it, and you hit it.

TRAVIS: Come on!

MATT: The door slams shut and locks you in the room.

SAM: Locks me--

MARISHA: What?

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck!

MATT: You hear a grinding on the other side of the chamber of the fountain lowering.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

SAM: Fountain lowering?

TRAVIS: Right.

LIAM: So the fountain lowered, but Nott is trapped inside--

MATT: Nott, and everybody else who hasn't left that chamber, is inside. The only people that said they were leaving that room, I believe, were Caduceus, who was going up.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I was going because I was-- oh, god.

MATT: So all of you are now locked in the chamber with Nott.

MARISHA: Oh, wait, can you open it?

LIAM: Wait, we're in the chamber? We're all inside there?

MATT: You're all in the chamber with Nott, yeah.

TRAVIS: That chamber goes downstairs, right?

SAM: I will open it up again.

MATT: The fountain raises up, the chamber opens up again.

TALIESIN: Mage Hand! Come on!

TRAVIS: Come on out!

SAM: Everybody out! I cast Mage Hand!

MATT: Okay. You move around, you cast Mage Hand. The door slams shut, the two other doors slam shut. The chamber now is about waist high in water, and you watch as the pillar begins to slowly lower. It is a slow drag down.

MARISHA: Okay, let's go. Come on.

SAM: Yeah, I'm going to climb up.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. The stairway itself, if you recall, ends a little bit ways up, and there's a bit of a drop down to get to it. It slowly comes down and does meet the floor. There's a bit of a lip to get up there now, so if you ascend to the top of the staircase, there is about a ten foot or so jump where it is smooth walls before you can actually get to the top floor.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Cool.

TALIESIN: We'll get up there and drop a rope.

MARISHA: Yeah, I can do that.

TRAVIS: Let's try that.

MARISHA: Let's go.

SAM: Like to make the jump? Do you want to jump off of Yasha or anything?

MARISHA: Sure.

TALIESIN: Can Yasha fly?

MARISHA: Give me a boost, the cheerleader hoist?

MATT: Yasha goes over and gives you a boost. That gives you advantage on your acrobatics check to try and parkour up the stairs and leap off the sides.

MARISHA: Jesus Christ!

LIAM: I'm going to cast Dancing Lights and send four globules up around the roof so that everyone can see everything perfectly.

MARISHA: 12 on my acrobatics.

MATT: You leap, slide off the side and manage to fall down into the water next to it. You come out of the surface. The chamber is now halfway full, and it's almost starting to reach to the top.

MARISHA: It's really slippy.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and-- Oh, god.

SAM: Give me a boost!

TRAVIS: Yeah, you're tall.

TALIESIN: All right. I'm actually weak, somebody stronger is probably good.

SAM: I'm going to scurry up Mr. Clay and jump.

LIAM: Wait, I cast Enlarge on Caduceus so he's twice his size!

TRAVIS: Ooh!

MATT: Mighty Caduceus.

TALIESIN: I'm tall now.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: I'm very tall. I might be taller than the hole.

TRAVIS: 15 feet tall.

MATT: You're tall enough to the point where I'd say, because it's double the size, right?

LIAM: Double the size, *ja*.

MATT: So you're 14 feet. You're not tall enough for the whole chamber, but you're tall enough to push people through.

TALIESIN: Right, yeah. I'm pushing people through.

MATT: Alley oop-ing one after the other, you grab each person and lift them up. Like a little booster into the chamber. One by one, you guys all get up into the top now, and Caduceus, you're too big to get up--

LIAM: Yeah, Caduceus, hold Fjord's hand. Fjord, hold his hand, you got it?

TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Yep.

LIAM: I cast Reduce, and now he is half his size.

TALIESIN: Oh!

TRAVIS: I pull him up top.

MATT: You pull Caduceus up. You guys are now in the chamber, standing there, there's the stairs that lead up. At which point you hear footfalls, and you see coming around the corner down-- It seems that the sound of the resounding crack in this temple has drawn the attention of three yuan-ti. They turn the corner, you see one of them, two snake arms a familiar sight as one of the malisons comes down and two broodguard are there. What are you doing? The water is now spilling up past out of the hole, and now the top room is now starting to fill with water.

TRAVIS: So are we in the top level now?

MATT: You are.

TRAVIS: We are. Yep-eb-eb. I'm tapped spell-wise.

SAM: I'm just going to just go (screaming) and start shooting at the first one.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: That's not great, it's a 14.

MATT: At this point the water seems to have accelerated and has now filled the chamber. As you fire--

SAM: 16 to hit.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I'm casting Spirit Guardians and rushing them.

MATT: Okay. You're now underwater. You take your last breath, and you've all completely been submerged in this chamber. The other yuan-ti you can see in the darkness below here, the only bit of light that you have are the globes still from you. Although, are those concentration?

TALIESIN: I've got a light on my stick anyway.

LIAM: Oh, they're gone then because Enlarge, Reduce.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: I would have cast Light on my stick, then.

MATT: So you're casting Light on your stick.

TALIESIN: Anybody I don't like within 15 feet is currently getting ransacked by tiny fairies.

MATT: Okay.

(laughter)

MATT: I love it. What's the save on that? Wisdom, I believe.

TALIESIN: Wisdom 16.

MATT: Okay, the malison succeeds, the two broodguard fail. Roll damage on that.

TALIESIN: That's-- Freaking out a little bit. 3d8 radiant damage?

MATT: That is correct.

TALIESIN: That's 11 (counting) 12 points of radiant damage.

MATT: 12 point of radiant damage, nice.

LIAM: None of that was like a melee attack or anything?

TALIESIN: No.

LIAM: Because your damage is reduced since you’re teeny.

TALIESIN: It doesn't-- They're fairies.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I'm heading straight towards the exit.

MATT: What was the roll you had to hit?

SAM: 16 to hit.

MATT: 16. That will hit the malison. You do not get sneak attack, however.

SAM: That's fine. It causes nine hit points of damage.

MATT: Nice. That finishes your go there.

SAM: I would probably bonus action-- if I had a bonus action I would shoot again.

MATT: I'd allow it. Because we'll say you're like-- You were standing on the water so as you're leaning over the surface you're like squeezing it out.

SAM: 16 to hit again.

MATT: Nice.

SAM: Another 11 points of damage.

MATT: 11 points of damage, good. So, I now need everyone to roll initiative.

SAM: If I'm on top of the water, how much space do I have?

MATT: Well, now you don't anymore. The water surface begins to crush underneath you and then you have to delve underneath as it meets it. It's filled up and it's now making its way up the stairs, towards the top of the temple. So, 25 to 20, anyone?

MARISHA: 20.

MATT: All right.

SAM: I'll roll for Jester. Terrible.

MATT: And roll for Yasha.

TRAVIS: I did.

MATT: 20 to 15.

TRAVIS: Nobody.

MATT: 15 to ten?

TRAVIS: Yasha got 13. Wow.

MATT: Guys.

(laugher)

MATT: All right. Ten to five.

TALIESIN: Seven and seven. Both seven.

LIAM: Seven over here as well.

SAM: Nine over here.

TRAVIS: Nott, Caduceus, Caleb.

MATT: Nott and then Cad--

TRAVIS: I rolled a natural one.

MATT: Caleb and Jester?

SAM: Jester had a seven.

MARISHA: Jester--

MATT: Then Fjord at the bottom.

LIAM: I'm sorry, Dante, could you please describe the-- Where everyone is physically, the enemies and us? Just so I can see it in my head a bit better.

MATT: Awesome. That was my Dante.

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Want the hourglass gone. They freak me out.

MATT: That's okay, it just means you guys are now in the process of slowly drowning.

TRAVIS: Mercer, don't say that! (groaning)

SAM: D&D Beyond. And Tor Books everybody. Tor Books, Tor Books, Tor Books.

LIAM and TRAVIS: Tor Books, Tor Books, Tor Books.

SAM: Nope.

TRAVIS: Tor Books, Tor Books, Tor Books.

SAM: Tor Books, Tor Books, Tor Books.

MARISHA: Good times.

TRAVIS: Aw, shit. We're back here again? Drowning.

SAM: Except now it's filled with water.

MATT: It is--

SAM: Ooh! How did you do that?

(exclamations)

MARISHA: Everyone hates the underwater levels.

TALIESIN: They're also drowning too, right?

MATT: Well, since they're not officially in this-- Now that we are in combat--

TRAVIS: (water breathing)

MATT: There is the nature--

TRAVIS: Fuck.

MARISHA: Didn't we have some water breathing potions? Somewhere?

MATT: Caduceus just made his way up there. There's Beau, and there's Jamedi.

TALIESIN: Someone might have a water breathing potion.

MATT: Top of the initiative order. Beau, you're up first. While you're in water, movement is considered difficult terrain. If I recall, attacks are made at disadvantage while in water.

MARISHA: Okay. Yeah, we're definitely underwater. Do we see the entrance or exit ahead of us?

MATT: Those are the stairs that lead upward, yes.

MARISHA: So, if we just book it, we'll go--

MATT: Yeah, that's an option.

MARISHA: We're just going to have these guys--

MATT: That is entirely an option you can do.

MARISHA: Well, I'm a human with no magical abilities, so I'm going to run.

LIAM: Also, the trapdoor--

TRAVIS: (laughter) Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: I can't do a whole lot.

SAM: You have throwing stars.

MARISHA: (pitiful noise of a throwing star flying uselessly through water)

TRAVIS: We haven’t given her the key to the trapdoor.

LIAM: Ah, *ja*, son of Sparta, the trapdoor into this place was like a metal grate, wasn't it? Not fully-- like, there were holes? Was it a metal grate, or was it solid?

MATT: There were holes above, but they were in the ceiling, and they were part of the stonework. Up top, there was an actual trapdoor that you had locked behind you.

LIAM: Yeah, but not like metal with holes for the water to go through?

MATT: No.

LIAM: No.

MATT: That you know of. There are holes above, which is where the sacrificial blood would drip through into the fountain. So, what are you doing, guys? Are you running first?

MARISHA: Uh huh.

MATT: You're swimming?

MARISHA: I'm swimming up.

MATT: (counting)

MARISHA: I'm going to spend a ki point to do Step of the Wind.

MATT: Beau is also--

TALIESIN: I'm also--

TRAVIS: You've made it up the top.

SAM: Is she hitting the trapdoor?

MATT: No, she's not out of the temple. She's heading up the stairs. She's out of the battle for the moment.

SAM: Got it.

MATT: So that finishes Beau's turn. It is now their turn. They both rolled really high initiative, and you guys rolled really terribly. The malisons closest are going to--

TALIESIN: Is he getting within 15 feet of me?

MATT: He is.

TALIESIN: Okay, then. As he enters that space, he has to--

MATT: Well, he's still within 15 feet of you. So at the top of his turn, he takes the save?

TALIESIN: Your speed is halved while you're within 15 feet of me, and the creature enters the area for the first time or starts its turn there.

MATT: All right. Natural 20 on its save, so it takes half damage. It still takes damage.

TALIESIN: So, the 3d8, that's 19. So, half of 19.

MATT: So nine. This burst of radiant energy inside-- (growling) There's bubbles that escape from its mouth. It's going to come forward and take two swipes at you, Fjord, with both of its serpent hands.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: All right. That is a 16 to hit.

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: And a natural 20, but it has disadvantage because it's in water. That is still a 19 to hit.

TRAVIS: That hits.

MATT: You do manage to take-- from one serpent, you just manage to glide out of the way in the middle of the water. The second one, that is four plus three, seven piercing damage, including ten points of poison damage.

TRAVIS: Fuck, ten poison?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Is it diluted by the water?

MATT: Unfortunately, no, because it's straight from the fangs in your bloodstream. It surges pain in your chest. You also lose a bit of air instinctively from the pain. So, consider now, your air supply is halved.

TRAVIS: Okay. Is that half my Constitution modifier?

MATT: Essentially, the DC is going higher when we start getting to that, depending on how long we're down here.

TRAVIS: Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!

MATT: That ends his go. Now it's the two broodguards.

SAM: Root guards?

MATT: Broodguards.

TALIESIN: Okay, so he gets into my realm-- one of them is within--

MATT: They're both already within the radius, so they both have to make wisdom saves.

TALIESIN: I don't have to reroll, it's the same for all three, right?

MATT: At the top of the turn. It's a different turn, so roll again.

TALIESIN: The roll I just used, or a new roll?

MATT: No, it's the top of their turn, it happens.

TALIESIN: All right. That's--

MATT: Sorry, Spirit Guardians happens at the top of the turn, it doesn't happen immediately.

TALIESIN: Yeah, top of their turn.

MATT: Yeah, at the top of their turn. So the damage they would've taken this turn, they've already taken. So, we'll let that happen. Marking that down. Good to remember. They both move forward. One broodguard is going to attack you, Nott.

SAM: Ah!

MATT: It's going to do two claw attacks and a bite attack.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: Disadvantage on each, though. The first one is a 15?

SAM: Miss.

MATT: One claw attack just goes wide. The other one, 16.

SAM: Hit.

MATT: One claw. You manage to duck under one. The other one slams into the side of your body, pushing you through the water and down into the stonework, causing your hip to hit the side. That's going to do four points of slashing damage. This giant, serpentine mouth out of its weird, lizard-like body is going to strike out and bite you. Oh, two tens. That's 14 to hit.

SAM: Miss.

MATT: You manage to push up and jam your hand up into its jaw and keep it from biting you, and push it away. The other one's going up towards Yasha. Yasha was not raging. So the first one with disadvantage is 15 to hit?

TRAVIS: That hits.

MATT: 15 hits. It's going to be a claw attack. Ooh, eight points of slashing damage.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Next attack with a claw with disadvantage, natural one. That is a complete miss. Yasha takes one claw and (grunting) barely affects it. The other one, she grabs its hand in the middle of the grasp and pushes it back. She grabs her sword, ready now. As she is going to get her blade ready, it's going to bite towards the front of her jaw and chest. That is 17.

TRAVIS: That hit.

MATT: She takes six points of piercing damage.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: That ends the broodguards' turn. Yasha's up next.

TRAVIS: Yasha's up next. Cool. 14 points of damage.

MATT: Yasha's also lost quite a bit of air on that turn. Those two hits that hit her? Mark down two hits of oxygen loss on her.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Keeping tabs on this. This will come into play in a bit, depending on what happens.

TRAVIS: Where is she on the map?

MATT: She's right there.

TRAVIS: Uh huh. She's in melee with someone?

MATT: She's in melee with the broodguard, yes.

TRAVIS: (laughter) Okay, she has to fight because she's going to get hit again, and that would be bad for her right now. With her bonus action, she would like to rage. She will take two attacks at the one that she's in melee with.

MATT: She's in a rage? She has the reckless.

TRAVIS: Already got the reckless.

MATT: Okay, so that just makes it a straight attack because she has disadvantage underwater.

TRAVIS: Oh, balls and ass. Okay.

SAM: Balls and ass. Ass, ass and balls.

TRAVIS: 19.

MATT: Definitely hits.

TRAVIS: 3d6-- (counting) 13 points of damage for the first one. The second one is a straight roll, the same thing, 19.

MATT: Yeah, hits. That's just 2d6.

TRAVIS: 2d6-- again, 13 points of damage.

MATT: That one's looking really bad. After the blasts that it took from the Spirit Guardians, and the two strikes from Yasha, you can see now there's a cloud of dark crimson in the water around it. It's thrashing about in pain. You can see it looking a bit woozy in the dark water. That finishes Yasha? You going to move at all?

TRAVIS: She will not move at all.

MATT: She can move around it. As long as she stays in melee, she can still move around.

TRAVIS: We'll come in melee, just more-- closer to the stairs.

MATT: I got you. That's what I figured. That finishes Yasha's turn. Nott's up next.

SAM: Who had I shot before?

MATT: You had shot this one.

SAM: Can I do something unconventional here, Matt, and undo my last shot? So, give him back 11 points of damage. Because I'm holding a keg of gunpowder and there's no way I can reload a crossbow while holding a keg of gunpowder.

MATT: You can drop it for the moment, fire it, and pick it back up.

SAM: All right.

MATT: I'll let that happen.

TRAVIS: Good job, Ketchup.

SAM: All right.

MATT: Because there is water, and it's already soaking. It's like-- (splashing, crossbow firing)

SAM: All right.

MATT: I'll say, narratively, it makes sense.

LIAM: It's slowly starting to sink

SAM: To the one who's on me, all up in my grill, I'm going to touch them and cast Shocking Grasp. Which is a--

MATT: Melee spell attack.

SAM: Melee spell attack, so I roll at disadvantage.

MATT: With disadvantage, yes.

SAM: Nine plus six, 15.

MATT: 15 hits.

SAM: Okay, great.

MATT: AC is 14.

SAM: I've never done this before. Let's see here. I'm at 5th level, so it's 2d8. What's a d8?

TALIESIN: It's like a little-- there you go.

SAM: Hey, eight points of damage!

MATT: Eight points of damage to it. As you reach out and grab it-- (electric shock) You watch as its tongue retracts into its head and its eyes go wide. (pained noise) It loses some air, and it eventually shakes and pushes off your hand.

LIAM: It's a verbal spell.

SAM: A what?

LIAM: Verbal. You have to speak.

SAM: Does that work?

MATT: You can do it, but you lose a bunch of air to do it.

SAM: Oh, boy! I hate water. I'm going to swim away, as fast as I can. I still have to disengage, right?

MATT: Yes, you do.

SAM: I will bonus action disengage and swim around past Fjord. Yeah, around this way.

MATT: This is as far as you can get.

SAM: Going towards the exits.

MATT: Swimming over--

SAM: With one hand.

MATT: That is your go, Nott. It is now Caduceus, Caleb, and Jester. You guys can decide amongst yourselves the order.

TALIESIN: I'll go last.

LIAM: I'll go first because I'm scared. I'm going to use my air to cast Expeditious Retreat on myself. So I, too, am going to spit out some air and do this in the water. That doubles my speed, which I can use a bonus action for dashing, plus my movement. I will swim up five feet and then towards the stairs.

MATT: (counting) That gets you about there.

LIAM: That's everything.

MATT: You're right about there on the steps.

LIAM: I'm dead.

MATT: Swimming through the air. Okay, that finishes Caleb's go. What's Jester doing?

SAM: Jester would like to probably--

TALIESIN: She's going to lose a little air, but yeah. Is she engaged with anybody?

MATT: She’s engaged with this broodguard right there.

TALIESIN: Okay, then she will Toll the Dead.

SAM: She will cast Toll the Dead.

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: That's a saving throw for him. What's the save?

SAM: 15 wisdom.

MATT: That is a 13. That does not do it.

TALIESIN: That’s 2d8.

MATT: 2d12, I think.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah. 2d12.

MATT: He's already taken damage.

TALIESIN: Where are my 12s?

LIAM: Oh, question: Matt, did you move me two groups of movement? Because it would be for the bonus action, action, and movement. So it’d be one more third.

MATT: Casting the spell's a bonus action.

LIAM: When you cast it, you get that extra juice, and then bonus action on every following round?

MATT: Right, so yeah, you'd be up there.

LIAM: Thank you.

MATT: There you go. Thank you for the heads up on that.

TALIESIN: Ten points.

MATT: Ten points? Oof. Yeah, he's not looking good either. They’re both looking pretty rough.

TALIESIN: She's going to try to get the most advantageous point towards the door as well.

MATT: She is currently-- Both of you, since you cast spells, mark five points of lost air.

SAM: Five points of lost air.

LIAM : I’m just going to remember that.

MARISHA: You have five? Total?

MATT: For the purposes of this challenge, to keep it interesting, five points before you're now starting to make-- is now considered how long you can hold your breath going forward.

TRAVIS: Oh fuck!

MATT: Each hit's a minute off the-- I'll have to look at how I worked it out here. Essentially, at this point now, Jester and Nott are going to have to start making constitution saving throws each round.

SAM: Awesome.

TRAVIS: (panicked breathing) I was not prepared for this so fast!

MATT: That finishes Jester's go. She moves around over there, behind the side. Caduceus, what're you doing?

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a blight staff swing at that one that's right next to Yasha.

MATT: Blight staff swing?

TALIESIN: Right there.

SAM: You are a tiny man.

MATT: Disadvantage on the attack.

TALIESIN: Oh, actually, that's true. Actually, never mind. I'm not going to do that, I'm so sorry. I'm going to get them into the most advantageous position to make sure that everybody I want to hit is within 15 feet of me.

MATT: Okay, so you're going to swim up on top of the fountain.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to hold my breath and maintain my calm.

MATT: Is that all you're doing?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, ends Caduceus' go. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Wait, can I fire one Eldritch Blast and make a melee attack?

MATT: No. It's two Eldritch Blasts or two strikes.

TRAVIS: Great. I'm going to fire an Eldritch Blast at the dick that's with Yasha.

MATT: Go for it. Roll for attack with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Nope, that’s fine. 16.

MATT: 16 hits. Roll damage on him.

TRAVIS: 1d10 for nine points of damage.

MATT: Nine points of damage, all righty.

TRAVIS: Is he still up?

MATT: Still up. Hurt, but still up.

TRAVIS: I will send the other one that way as well.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: I can't let Ash's character die. Awesome, 16.

MATT: 16 hits again. Roll damage.

TRAVIS: For 11 points of damage.

MATT: 11 points of damage. That'll do it. You hear the dull impact of the Eldritch Blast, and the second (impact) under the water. In that flash of light, that second sickly, green glow flash in the water, one of the broodguards begins to float up limply towards the ceiling, no longer alive.

SAM: Check his body for gold!

TRAVIS: I'm going to move away. I'm going to use my 30 feet and take an attack of opportunity as I do.

MATT: That will get you right about there on the stairs. There you go, that'll do. You'll swim right there; that's perfect. It does get to swipe at you with disadvantage. That’s going to be nine plus five, that's 14.

TRAVIS: So it misses?

MATT: It does! It scrapes across your shield as you swim away quickly, just barely making it! That finishes your turn, Fjord. Beau, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay, what do I see? Where am I? Quick look around!

MATT: You're going up the staircase, but you're part way up.

MARISHA: The water's still filling?

MATT: Yeah, still filling, and it's still above you, like you can maybe catch up to the top if you want to. If you use your full movement, you'll get up to the top where the door is.

MARISHA: I'm going to keep moving upwards, and while I'm doing that, I want to take out the 50-foot rope we have. Then I want to grab something heavy that I have. I’ve got to have something stupid and heavy that I don't care about, and I want to tie it to the other end. A crowbar! I take the crowbar and then tie it, and I drop it down the well with the rope.

MATT: Downstairs, you mean?

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

MATT: You tie, take the crowbar and throw it behind so it's like (bouncing) and rolls partway down the stairs.

MARISHA: I want to take the rope and double-grab it around me and keep hauling ass up the stairs.

MATT: Okay, with that, you'll make it all the way to the top. You get to the small inner chamber, which is now halfway to stomach-filled. Making it to the top, you look up and you can see there is-- it's a little bit crouch-down, there is the latch, and there is the lock mechanism beneath it.

MARISHA: Fuck! It's locked?

MATT: Yeah. You locked it behind you when you guys entered the temple.

TRAVIS: Who has the fucking key? One of us has the key; who has the key?

MARISHA: Is there a key? Where's the key?

TRAVIS: Who found the key?

MATT: Somebody found the key. It was on one of the guys from the first encounter of this chamber.

SAM: Snake temple key! It says it right here on the equipment list. Jester has it!

MARISHA: Jester has the key!

MATT: Well, it's their turn now. The malison going to make its saving throw. That’s going to be a 14. What's the DC?

TALIESIN: I believe that's full damage. Let's see. Spirit Guardians? 16!

MATT: 16? So roll full damage on that. 3d8.

TALIESIN: Not bad. 16 points.

MATT: 16 points of damage. Ooh, he's looking really bad.

TALIESIN: Are the other two not doing anything, by the way?

MATT: When it comes to their turn. One of them's dead now.

TALIESIN: No, I mean our other two friends.

MATT: The other two, their turn’s next. We'll get to that when he finishes his turn, but one of them is dead, so there's only one other guy.

TALIESIN: Okay, that's fair.

MATT: The malison, in a burst of angry pixies swarming around his body, is looking really hurt. As he moves around, the trail of blood stays in the water behind the head as it shifts around. Both of the serpent arms look up towards Caduceus, the source of these angry spirits, and is going to make two strikes against him.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Because you're the one right there. That is 13 to hit?

TALIESIN: Nope!

MATT: Second strike, that's a 12!

TALIESIN: Nope!

MATT: It's like 18, six; 16, eight. Bad rolls! Both serpent strikes from its arms reach out towards you, and Caduceus, you're tiny enough right now. Although, are you still holding the tiny spell on Caduceus?

LIAM: I have not released it yet, no.

MATT: Is Expeditious Retreat concentration?

LIAM: Oh, is it? ‘Tis, so it's dropped, so he's regular size.

MATT: Okay, so you’re regular form, and you bear down with the shield, and deflect both.

TALIESIN: Just letting the fairies do the work.

MATT: Bits of green and pinkish lichen torn off and float away in the water away from the strikes. That finishes its go. The other broodguard has to make another save, that is a seven plus-- no, that does not make it, so full damage on the other broodguard.

TRAVIS: Are we getting the impression that they're totally comfortable underwater?

MATT: No, actually.

TALIESIN: 15 points of damage.

MATT: 15 points of damage, that'll do it.

TRAVIS: Ooh, it does?

MATT: This guy also sparks and dies in the water.

MARISHA: Go Jester, go Jester, go!

MATT: That's Caduceus’ spell. That finishes their go. Yasha's up.

TRAVIS: Yasha will fucking hi-ho silver out that bitch! She has 40 feet, so 20--

TALIESIN: Oh no. She out, I thought. She's out!

MATT: Okay. Got you. (counting) Then moving the rest way up, that will get her halfway up the steps. Put her there.

TALIESIN: Yeah, get her out of there.

MATT: Okay. Finishing Yasha's turn, Nott, you're up.

SAM: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: I would appreciate it, but up to you.

SAM: Man, I really don't like this water.

TALIESIN: No. No one does.

SAM: Oh boy, all right.

MATT: Shades of the kraken battle returning.

TRAVIS: Are Avantika and Jamedi doing anything?

SAM: I will doggy paddle towards the snake-hand man and hit him with another zap.

MATT: Jamedi has essentially just swam around this whole thing--

TALIESIN: Asshole!

MATT: We'll say for the purposes of this, Avantika has, at this point, swept up and taken her turn that she should have taken before and is going to take three strikes against the malison. That's my own fault, but we'll see. With disadvantage. That's cocked. That still hits because its armor class is only 12. Ten points of damage. Second strike with the rapier, disadvantage. That does not hit! The dagger strike-- no. Misses again! Swinging out, piercing through the water with the rapier and the dagger and just to scrape across the side of its body but most of the strikes go wide and she's swimming around this way.

TALIESIN: Is he going to take an attack of opportunity on her?

MATT: No, she's still staying in combat. She moved around him but is staying engaged but is currently looking to make another opening and then dive off back towards the stairs. Nott, sorry, your turn now.

SAM: Okay, my turn. Do I need to first make a constitution save?

MATT: At the end of your turn.

SAM: At the end of my turn, okay. I'll swim up and poke the thing with my shortsword.

MATT: You swim up a bit there. Go for it. Disadvantage on the attack.

SAM: Oh boy. Okay. What does this thing do? 15!

MATT: 15 hits, and engaged with allies. You do get sneak attack damage.

SAM: Oh? I do?!

MATT: Yeah. It's engaged with Caduceus and Avantika.

SAM: Oh wow. Okay. That's 21 points of damage.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

SAM: Because it can't see me, I'll go up and-- I don't use shortsword a lot, so I'll let it float for a second and grab it from behind and then rake it across the back of its neck.

MATT: As you do, you pierce past all the humanoid muscles across the neck and its shoulders. Immediately, the water before you fills with crimson. You can see it thrash for a minute, its serpent arms trying to reach behind to strike at you. You swim away as they go limp, and it begins to float up. So that's that. You still have a little movement left.

SAM: I'm going to go towards the door as much as I can.

MATT: That is about as far as you can get. With dash, you can get up there so you're with Fjord. Make a constitution saving throw, please.

SAM: Not great. 12.

MATT: You are not drowning yet, but you’re on the cusp.

SAM: That's my favorite condition: is not drowning yet.

MATT: That ends your go, Nott. Caduceus, Caleb, and Jester, you're up.

TALIESIN: Full speed.

TRAVIS: Yeah, the same with Jester. All the way up to the dome.

SAM: She's going to cast Mending.

MATT: She's up with Fjord, and I need you to make a constitution saving throw for Jester.

SAM: Seven plus-- nine.

TRAVIS: 16!

SAM: No. Seven plus two equals nine.

TRAVIS: Shit!

MATT: Caduceus, I need you to make one too. because you did cast a spell, Spirit Guardians, while underwater.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah. That's fair, I did.

SAM: She rolled a nine.

MATT: She rolled nine total. Jester's drowning. You see her swimming. She's (choking) and begins kicking in the water before starting to--

TALIESIN: I rolled an eight.

MATT: You rolled an eight? Caduceus as well. They both swim towards the staircase and you see them both beginning to clutch at their throats.

TALIESIN: Can I cast-- I got a crazy idea.

MATT: You used your full movement to get there.

TALIESIN: Next turn trying something?

SAM: Next turn, you'll be dead.

MATT: Next turn, you're going to be unconscious. Ending your go, Caleb, what are you doing?

LIAM: So I have three ways to move. First way is the bonus action. Do I reach oxygen doing that?

MATT: You can get up to the front there.

LIAM: Does that get me to air?

MATT: It gets you to the last bit of air as it's about to hit the surface. At the end of this combat round, basically after Fjord, the chamber that Beau is in is now full. The water has filled the entirety of the temple.

LIAM: So all the way to the tippy-top?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Oh, balls. I'll use bonus action and movement to go as high as I can. Do I reach the trap door?

MATT: You do reach the door.

LIAM: I will pull out the wire from my spell components and try to jimmy to lock. Oh god, I don't know what to do! I'm underwater, yeah? So I still have action, so I'm going to try to open the lock.

MATT: Okay. Make a lock picking attempt.

SAM: This will be no problem, right?

LIAM: Straight roll?

MATT: No, disadvantage because you're underwater.

LIAM: Oh, it's so good. Natural 20 and a three. That's a four.

MATT: No, that's a failure. You're sticking, trying to get through it. No effect. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Okay. Looking around, still having plenty of air in my lungs, I turn around and see Jester starting to panic and I know that she has the key, so I will reach out and grab her face and bring her into a kiss, and I will blow all of my air into her lungs.

SAM: Are you upside down right now?

TRAVIS: Shape of Water!

SAM: Oh, yes!

MATT: She is no longer drowning, but you have to make a con save at the end of your turn.

TRAVIS: Okay. Fair enough.

MATT: That's your action to do that. You breathe some of your air into her. You still have movement.

MARISHA: He selfishly wants the door unlocked--

TRAVIS: I'll try and swim up towards the top.

MATT: You make it halfway up. Actually, no, because you have full move, don't you?

TRAVIS: Full movement.

MATT: You get almost to the top. Not fully, but almost to the top. Constitution saving throw, please.

TRAVIS: Nine.

MATT: You, sir, are considered drowning.

LIAM: I lost five of those hoo-has for casting a spell, you said, so do I need to make a constitution throw?

MATT: Yes, you do.

LIAM: Okay, let's all die together. 13.

MATT: You're fine. That brings around to the top there. Beau, the water fills the gap.

MARISHA: Take one last deep breath. Going to drop down and going to use that-- nope, the rope is attached to me. Going to drop down and see if I can go for Jester.

MATT: Okay. So you're going to pull Jester up? She's conscious, so you're going to get her closer?

MARISHA: Yeah, can I take her and yank her up with me?

MATT: Sure. You go down. Takes you I'll say two movements to get down there and you pull her part way up. Are you using your ki point for step of the wind?

MARISHA: Sure. My last ki point.

MATT: Last ki point will do that. That will get her halfway up the stairs because I'm saying pulling her, the dragging motion, is half movement. So that will get you down to her. Yeah, you'll get her part way up the stairs, about halfway up toward where the top chamber is.

MARISHA: That helps. Whatever I can do, I guess.

LIAM: If there was air where Beau was, wouldn't there be air where Caleb was?

MARISHA: No, you were below me, I think.

LIAM: I'm hasted almost, and I just blasted up to the top of the temple.

MATT: It did. Okay, no. I would say that there was enough air.

LIAM: Then I would have (inhaling). Then I failed the lock picking.

MATT: Thank you. So you're fine. Ends Beau's turn. That brings us to Yasha. Avantika has also swam up and Jamedi is now gathering as well. Jamedi and Avantika both grab Caduceus' body, who is drowning, and begin pulling him up the stairs behind them.

MARISHA: That's good. That's nice of them.

TRAVIS: Yasha will head towards the door and wait for it to open. She's going to use her movement to go up.

MATT: Yasha gets up there to the top. Yasha’s now in there, waiting there in the chamber. There's the gate below getting ready, looking around, trying to get people to move upward. That finishes her go. Nott.

SAM: I will grab Jester's horns and pull and go up as fast as I can.

MATT: You use half your movement to catch up to Jester, where Beau is, and then you grab her with the little bit of movement. You move her an additional five feet before your movement is done. You can attempt to bonus action dash.

SAM: Bonus action dash. Sure, yeah.

MATT: You get another 15 feet. You get her near the top of the staircase on the top floor. That ends your turn, Nott. Now it is Jester’s, Caleb’s, and Caduceus' turn. Caduceus. You are unconscious.

TALIESIN: I am unconscious. Ah, man!

MATT: I need you to make a death save at the top of your turn. I need to keep reminding myself that death saves are at the top of the turn, not in the--

TALIESIN: I know, I was just sitting on a spell that apparently I didn't know that I was going to lose the spell so I'm throwing away my plans. I had an emergency exit and now I can't use it. It's all right. Fuck it. 14.

MATT: Success on the save. That finishes Caduceus' turn. Caleb and Jester.

LIAM: I'm taking a breath of air. Caleb would have just rebounded back down and swam. I use bonus action if that gets me to them, good. If not, I will use bonus action plus movement to get to them which I would assume it would get me there. Then I help Nott. I will continue to drag Jester up towards the surface.

MATT: Between all of you guys, Jester and you all manage to make your way up the top and Jester's turn-- Jester fumbles through her sack, pulls up the key and gets it. So--

SAM: So it works.

MATT: This is how the ending of the first Poseidon movie *should* have happened.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: First Poseidon movie, yeah!

MATT: Because all of this water pressure just built up at the top of this temple suddenly released as the latch and this geyser of water thrusts all of you rapidly out the top.

SAM: Money shot!

MARISHA: (groaning) Oh god!

MATT: You all get shot about a good 15, 20 feet up.

TRAVIS: Oh, no.

MATT: You have a look down at the temple, which you can now see these large cracks that have set in the sides where bits of water are pouring out through small cracks. Now this large geyser in the air and you all began to plummet and fall.

LIAM: I cast Feather Fall on myself, on Nott, on Jester, on Beauregard, and on Fjord.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: It's my last spell slot.

MARISHA: Take Cad, take Cad! I'm good!

LIAM: I already did it, it doesn't matter. It's what I did. It's who I know, not what hit points exist.


SAM: I cast Feather Fall on everyone else.

(cheering)

TALIESIN: Thank god. That would have been the end of me.

TRAVIS: That would have been it.

TALIESIN: That would have been number two, done. Right there, instant T.K.O.

SAM: I throw a wet feather.

(laughter)

MATT: Perfect.

TALIESIN: Fuck, man.

MATT: As you all begin to drift down, the geyser slows, the pressure releases, but now water is just pouring out of the sides of the temple and it's completely flooding the city. You watch as yuan-ti that are rushing up the side of the temple are washed down into the basin that is now the center of the city streets. You can see now that the city is being thrust up the side. Some have moved to the top of buildings and are glancing up and seeing you guys as you begin to descend. Now you're about to hit the top of this, and there is now a perpetual flow of water coming out of the top of this temple. What are you going to do?

SAM: We're about to hit the top of the temple, or all the sides of it?

MATT: On the sides of it. You guys are just slowly drifting down towards what's essentially a raging--

TRAVIS: Water slide?

MATT: Rapid water slide on all ends.

MARISHA: It ends with the mob of angry people who want to kill us, probably?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: I can see that.

TALIESIN: Jester at the very least is going to cast Spare the Dying-- is going to grab me in the Feather Fall and cast Spare the Dying.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Thank you!

TRAVIS: I'm unconscious, I think.

TALIESIN: I don't think you made it to unconsciousness because we burst before your turn.

TRAVIS: Okay, okay.

SAM: No, you're unconscious.

TRAVIS: I started drowning.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: But I don't know if you're making death saves. Is he stable?

MATT: No, because we haven't gone to his turn yet. You've begun drowning and you guys got thrust out, so you managed just catch your breath because it didn't come back to your turn yet. That very next turn, before Jester got it opened, you've would have been down.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: So you just caught your breath--

TRAVIS: I did? Okay, okay.

MATT: The very last minute. Basically, as the darkness began to take your vision, you are thrust out and your eyes go wide again as you see this sunlight above you as your air rushes back into your lungs and then suddenly begin to drift slowly down looking below-- you can see the city and the entire landscape of this strange village below you.

MARISHA: How the fuck do we get out of this?

MATT: So what are you guys doing?

LIAM: They are on all sides, the people down below, or are down on one side of them?

MATT: They are on all sides. Like the entire city surrounds the temple. You guys only came up on one side. The water is pouring down on all sides.

TRAVIS: Let's us just get down and out of here.

TALIESIN: Yeah, and I don't think that Spirit Guardians doesn't go down when I go unconscious.

MATT: Any spells that's concentration is lost.

TALIESIN: It's not concentration-- Oh it is concentration, isn't it? Where is it?

SAM: It says it right there.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it is concentration. Fuck. God damn it.

MATT: Yeah, so Spirit Guardians is lost.

TRAVIS: Let's just get back on the ship.

LIAM: I'm paddling through the air towards the direction we came from.

MARISHA: Haul ass.

SAM: As we're in the air, I'm going to take the shield that I stole off my back, and slide it under Caduceus' butt like a--

(laughter)

SAM: A sled. Like a toboggan and hold it there so when he lands he'll just slide.

MATT: Okay. So as you all begin to slowly drift and try paddling your way through the air, I'm going to say for the purpose of this, we'll make this a group skill check. Everyone, make a dexterity check to try and comb your way through the air enough. Using your body to try and guide your plummeting.

TALIESIN: Dex check?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: 12.

MATT: 12.

MARISHA: 24.

LIAM: *Drei*.

SAM: It doesn't matter, you're out.

MATT: Two successes, failure.

TALIESIN: No I'm not, I'm unconscious.

MARISHA: Three?

SAM: You're stable.

LIAM: Three.

TALIESIN: I'm stable! That's right, I'm unconscious! Never mind.

MATT: You're fine.

SAM: Natural 20.

LIAM: Yeah!

MATT: Success. Three successes, one failure. Jester--

SAM: 18 plus.

MATT: Success on Jester. For Yasha?

TRAVIS: 18.

MATT: Success, all right! So only one fail. As a group, that is a group success. So you all manage to just-- Yep, and both Jamedi and Avantika are fine. So, you all manage to just barely push your way in a certain direction, you all begin to drift down--

SAM: Like a skydiving team?

MATT: Yeah, slowly making your way through, until eventually the surface of the water, the rushing sound gets louder and louder as you all strike it! As you do, it carries you down in this rapid Goonies-style waterslide, you're all coasting down the side of the stones, and elements of the stone just barely scraping and clipping the back of your butt and your back and you're like "Oh god!", it's not enough to damage you but you're going to be bruised as shit in the morning, but you're coasting down, you can see as the city is coming towards you, the water is now pouring through and snaking through the city-- no pun intended-- there are groups of yuan-ti that have clamored up onto the buildings and are currently trying to pull themselves out of the water and help others get up out of the middle of this strange flood that has taken over the center of their civilization.

SAM: The water's still coming, right?

MATT: It's still pouring out of the temple it seems.

SAM: Oh my god, the island is sinking.

TRAVIS: Potentially, if this an island.

SAM: It's a turtle's back!

MARISHA: Turtle! It's only a turtle!

SAM: It's the Cajun turtle!

MATT: Orly's vengeance!

TRAVIS: You fools!

MATT: You guys coast down, you hit the bottom, and you can see now where the water hits and it snakes through, it curves back to the right and the left, which path are you going to try to guide towards?

TRAVIS: Right!

MATT: You have an unconscious, sledding furbolg.

TALIESIN: You're sliding me, basically?

SAM: I feel like I'm behind you because I've got water walking on, so I'm like--

MATT: You do it's like (brrrrrrrrr).

LIAM: I have keen mind, I would call out exactly the right way to go.

MATT: It's almost like curling!

TALIESIN: Thank you for that.

LIAM: I have keen mind, I would know the way that would lead us towards the way we came.

MATT: Yes you would, so you're guiding and shouting directions?

LIAM: *Ja!* That way! Go that way!

MATT: Caleb's guiding you guys, you guys move around the side, riding the water. At this point the flood of water begins to subside a bit. It's still guiding you through, but you can see now the initial burst and rushing of the rapids is not a continuous thing, there is some sort of a tapering to it. You guys just managed to have been there for the initial burst. At this point you guys coast around one side, come round and you're now going down to the center of the street where you previously hid and basically like muscled two of them into a doorway after stabbing and killing them rapidly. You're now gliding through the street along with the flow of the water, trying to keep above the surface. Caduceus being pushed along by little Nott, going (thudding). At this point, from one of the nearby building tops, you see two of these centurion yuan-ti see you guys pass beneath, begin giving out a call, and then shouting over in their direction pointing towards you. Your presence is now aware to at least a handful of nearby yuan-ti. Their weapons were either lost in the stream or not wielded of course, but they're beginning to pull out their things. You guys continue to ride this forward, you're leading the path, the way you can go. I need everybody to make a general acrobatics check to try and guide their body through the water in the direction that Caleb is shouting. This is a group check.

MARISHA: Natural 20!

TRAVIS: Natural 20! Yasha rolled a five.

MATT: Those count as double successes.

TALIESIN: Oh my god!

LIAM: Unnatural 20.

MATT: Still good.

SAM: 23, and Jester rolled a 23.

MATT: You guys got this shit, like I don't even-- yeah, you're just out.

SAM: Jester's been trying to make her way towards him, if possible. Towards him, I don't know if she can get there.

MATT: I think-- what did she roll?

SAM: She rolled a 23. I mean she rolled a 19 plus four.

MATT: I'll say with that higher roll, she's been able to make her way over towards the side of you guys, coasting along--

TALIESIN: She doesn't actually have anything that can wake me up right now.

SAM: She does, she's trying to touch you so she can cast Cure Wounds on you.

TALIESIN: Oh my god, she has one left, doesn't she? Holy shit, I forgot about that!

MATT: All righty, so Jester just manages to just make it over to the edge of you as the water, which was about maybe, with the flash flood about three and a half, four feet deep, is now descending to about two foot. So some of you, your feet manage to catch the floor beneath, but the water is still rushing rather fast, you can continue to just go with the flow of it, or try and gather your footing, but it's up to you. You can cast Cure Wounds on Caduceus.

SAM: (as Jester) I'm going to cast Cure Wounds on little man.

MATT: A d4 plus--

TALIESIN: I'm not even little anymore.

SAM: (as Jester) You're always little to me.

TALIESIN: Oh! I'm up, I'm up, oh!

MATT: So go to roll d4 plus your wisdom modifier. Sorry, d8 for Cure Wounds.

SAM: You're right. One point plus four is five.

MATT: You're at five hit points, you come into consciousness, on a sled over water.

TALIESIN: Did I lose all my hit points when I went unconscious?

MATT: Yes, when you're drowning it brings you to zero hit points.

TALIESIN: Okay, I had zero then. Well, fuck.

MATT: Riding the water eventually you guys manage to keep it going. Are you going with the water, or are you fighting it?

MARISHA: Might as well go with the flow.

SAM: Is the water going the way we want to go?

MATT: Mostly, yeah.

LIAM: Yeah, I would be calling out this whole time which ways we want to go to get out, *ja.*

MATT: So you just continue with the flow of it, the flow eventually comes to a stop on the outside of the city, maybe about 15 or 20 feet from the treeline where you first entered.

TRAVIS: Got to go.

MARISHA: Keep moving.

TRAVIS: Caduceus in the front, everyone behind him.

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast-- really quickly since I have nothing else left, I'm going to cast Disguise Self and look like one of the lizard people.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yasha will be actually up front, just in front of you.

SAM: We need Caleb up front too, to guide us.

MATT: As a note, all the makeup has been washed off.

TALIESIN: Oh, no!

MATT: Sorry. As you guys are rushing towards the treeline, you hear the shouting in the distance. You glance over, now that the water level has stopped you can look behind, and you can see probably two dozen or so yuan-ti have now begun to give chase. They're about a hundred feet behind you, but they saw you exit and they're on their way giving chase. Now we're turning this into a skill challenge chase as you guys are making your way through. As you guys are now charging into the jungle, you're not doing stealth, so your speed isn't as slow, which took you a day and a half or so to traverse this jungle to the center, unless you want to keep stealthy, if it's charging through--

TRAVIS: Nope.

MARISHA: Run.

TRAVIS: Loudest thing you ever heard.

LIAM: Raiders of the Lost Ark, we're just cutting through the jungle.

MATT: Full speed, great. We have six rounds of this challenge.

MARISHA: Six rounds?

MATT: Correct, success and failure do different things. Who wants to offer something to help in this skill challenge? Much like the resurrection challenge in this game, think of a creative way that you can help your progression.

TRAVIS: Is it going to be dexterity checks?

MATT: It depends on what you want to do.

LIAM: Question, are we under 10 minutes since we shot out the top of that pimple?

MATT: You're still under 10 minutes, yes.

LIAM: So I'm still sped up, and I'm going to run at the front and just shout out directions and call out holes, things in the ground to look out for. I'm going to lead the charge.

MATT: Okay, I will say for that, make a survival check with advantage.

LIAM: Okay. Natural 20.

MATT: That's one-- that's two successes on that one! We'll add to that. So keeping a close eye, Caleb is darting ahead, into the jungle, shouting out various issues. Jamedi is trying to keep up with you but behind is also helping you keep an eye and shouting out traps that he had helped you bypass before and making sure you guys don't fall off the path that you had made your way through that he had set on his map beforehand that had avoided the bigger dangers in the jungle. Between the two of you, you manage to get a fair bit in there, and the sound of the chasing yuan-ti does not seem to be getting louder, which is good. That's one, who does the next offer?

TRAVIS: I was going to say Yasha can take out the Magician's Judge and start cleaving machete-style through the brush, making it far easier for us to move.

MATT: Okay, Yasha going to push at the front, which, with a higher speed than you, she can definitely do, and begin to carve through swarths of the jungle to make it an easier passage. For her, make an athletics check, please.

TRAVIS: Advantage or straight up?

MATT: Straight up, unless she's raging.

TRAVIS: Oh, she's rage-clearing!

MATT: Okay, I'll allow that for this.

TRAVIS: 21-- 22.

MATT: That's a success. Yasha's now ahead of the group, she's carving through, you can see there are bits when you come up to the front, where there is just dense clusters of tangled vines where the path you are taking-- Caleb stops you at the front, because you deviated a little from the path where you were because you were running too fast. At this point, you're not used to this level of acceleration for an extended period of time. Right at the end of your Expeditious Retreat, right as the spell is about to fade, you come to that group of vines. At that point you're about to spin and warn everybody, and all you see is this blur of Yasha carve through them. They all fall to the ground, the path before you is open, she goes "Go!" All of you just keep running in that direction. Yasha's continuing that, who's taking the next bit?

TALIESIN: I'll use Thaumaturgy to create the sound of a rushing group of us, but throw it-- happening, I'm going to move us off into the jungle in the other direction. “You can create instantaneous sound that originates from a point of your choice within range--” This is a rumble, within 30 feet, a rumble of thunder--

MATT: Yeah, rumble of thunder you can do, it has limitations to the sound you can make, but you can make a rumble of thunder.

TALIESIN: I can't make it the cry of a raven-- “such as” is what it says.

MATT: Oh, “such as--” I misunderstood what you're saying. Yeah, there are certain sounds you can make, the sound of a whole group--

TALIESIN: I'm making the sound of people rummaging through--

MATT: Okay, so rustling in the bushes, it makes sense.

TALIESIN: Yes, I'm pushing it away from us and moving us in that direction.

MATT: Make a deception check.

TALIESIN: Come on, man, not some sucky stuff. Ah! Not bad, 15.

MATT: 15? That's just barely a success.

TALIESIN: I'll take just barely today.

MATT: All right, so with that, you hear the chanting sounds, the war cry of yuan-ti behind you, and it begins to divert slightly, getting them off track just a little bit. All right, who's taking the next bit? Who hasn't offered one?

TRAVIS: Oh there's six of these. I thought there was three.

MATT: There's six stages of this.

SAM: Everyone has to have an offer?

MARISHA: Is there anyone tracking us pretty closely yet?

MATT: From what you can tell, not at the moment, but if you wanted to use your turn to do something to see if somebody is. What do you want to do? Your crit earlier gave a lower DC for the next check so that helped out tremendously.

MARISHA: I'm going to take the rest of my ball bearings and dump them out as we run.

MATT: Okay. As a note, you're in a lush jungle-- Probably not going to do much on this, that's a hard, smooth floor type scenario. I mean, you can if you want to.

MARISHA: Nott, do you have anything you want to offer?

SAM: I have one thing, but--

MARISHA: I don't know if any of my ideas are good.

SAM: We don't have eyes on the yuan-ti, do we?

MATT: No, not at the moment.

SAM: I would wait until they get closer before I do my thing. Maybe Jester can--

TRAVIS: There's two dozen of them. I don't want to get that close.

SAM: Well, I don't either, but if they do, I'd be ready for something.

TALIESIN: I have something else, but I'd be curious if somebody else has something.

MARISHA: I've got an oil flask. I could drop down some fire but don't think it would work well either.

SAM: Well sure, so I'll just yell to Beau: Beau! Repeat after me, Fluffernutter! I'm going to throw the keg of gunpowder behind us.

MARISHA: I go: Fluffernutter! and take my ninja star and go (floof)!

SAM: Wait, is it on fire? It has to be on fire!

LIAM: I see it and use the Glove of Blasting to fire three Scorching Rays.

MARISHA: I don't have fire! I use my fists!

LIAM: Three Scorching Rays.

MATT: You have a second level spell to use?

LIAM: No, the glove, I haven't used.

MATT: The glove? Yeah you do! That's right, okay.

MARISHA: I could have used the bottle rockets.

MATT: Okay, this is a combined maneuver here. I'd say for the success of this, this is going to be a combination of your-- make a roll with your ranged spell attack--

LIAM: Yeah, there's three rays.

MATT: Yeah, you can go ahead and make a general strength roll.

SAM: General strength? That was my nickname in high school. 15.

MATT: Nice roll! Okay, you manage to lob it behind with a fair amount of strength so it goes about ten, 15 feet behind you.

SAM: Then if I can, I would push it with a little Mage Hand, with a little extra top spin on it.

MATT: Okay, it does a little whirl. It (whoof) through the air and bounds a bit into the jungle behind you.

LIAM: How do I handle this? Is this a skill check?

MATT: Are you detonating it just 15, 20 feet behind you? Or are you waiting for something else to come out?

LIAM: No, I'm just waiting for Nott to throwing it back at them, yeah?

MATT: Correct, but they're not visible yet though, you don't know where you are.

LIAM: Well I reacted to Fluffernutter being shouted and seeing it--

SAM: So blow it up! We'll make a wall of fire!

LIAM: So I will track it and then hit it as it struck the ground.

MATT: Okay, what did you roll?

LIAM: Well, I rolled three times, because there's three rays. Do I use the spell modifier for this, or not?

MATT: You do.

LIAM: Okay, so the highest roll was a 20, and then the second highest was a 12, so probably of the three rays, probably only one--

MATT: What was the second one? Sorry, 20 and 12 were the two highest?

LIAM: I rolled a 20, a 7 and a 12.

MATT: Got you, okay. So the two hit, so roll damage. The damage is going to be important here, because it is a waterlogged container of black powder and may not be enough to truly ignite or cause an explosion here, or burn through the barrel. We'll see.

SAM: But the barrel you said was mostly intact?

MATT: It's intact yeah, but it's wet.

SAM: Yeah, but what about inside?

MATT: It's soaked through a little bit.

SAM: Barrels are waterproof, you keep beer in them.

MATT: This isn't a beer barrel.

LIAM: Total of 12.

MATT: That'll be enough. All right, so as it darts behind, you watch the vision of Caleb spinning behind and releasing the glove in front with these three arcs of flame. One of them hits a nearby bush and sets it aflame. The other two, one of them hits the barrel and sends it arcing once more, and the second one hits; it detonates and you guys feel this blast of hot wind behind you as your hair gets blown before your face. The entire jungle around you lights for a moment with bright, yellow-white light, and there in that space now is a couple of trees that have now set aflame, and a section of darkened crater on the ground where the barrel was. The loud blast echoes across the jungle of the island around you.

SAM: I just turn Beau around like, (shouting) That was amazing! How did you do that with a throwing star?

MARISHA: (shouting) I think these are magic throwing stars! I think I bought magic throwing stars!

MATT: I'll consider that a success. You guys keep rushing. You assume, wherever the yuan-ti were, they're a little unsettled by this large explosion in the direction of where they're travelling, and it slows them down a bit as they try and coast around the area where the damage is. However, there seems to be a lizardmen hunting party now, that is in the jungle a little ways ahead of you.

MARISHA: What? Oh jeez.

SAM: This thing won't stop!

MATT: You guys have been running for the better part of two hours now; it's a ways through this jungle to get back to the shore. So first and foremost, I need everyone here to go ahead and make a constitution saving throw, please.

TALIESIN: My favorite saving throw.

TRAVIS: 23 for Fjord, 20 for Yasha.

MATT: Good.

MARISHA: 11.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: One.

MATT: You take a point of exhaustion there, Caleb.

SAM: Ten.

MATT: Just barely succeeded.

SAM: Jester rolled an eight.

MATT: One point of exhaustion.

SAM: Okay, conditions.

TALIESIN: 18.

MATT: All right, you're fine.

TRAVIS: Jamedi?

MATT: Avantika takes a point of exhaustion.

TRAVIS: Oh shit!

MATT: All right. You guys continue onward, since you're just running through this jungle best you can, full sprint, it manages to keep ahead but there is a threat of exhaustion as you continue to move. So, you now begin to hear the sound, this familiar clacking (guttural noises) sound of the lizardmen that you saw in the jungle before. Who's doing what?

TRAVIS: (laughing) That's amazing.

SAM: We're still doing this?

MATT: You're still doing it. You had four total successes in the round, you had one critical success which improved--

SAM: We hear a hunting party? We see a hunting party?

MATT: You don't see them there, but you hear them in the direction you are. Apparently the noise and the explosion caught the attention of a nearby lizardmen hunting party.

MARISHA: I have these bottle rockets, if you can Mage Hand them away and distract them away from us with another popping sound.

SAM: And set them off at the same--

MARISHA: Well, I can light them, you throw, and you take it further.

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Sure? Yes!

MARISHA: We'll call it--

SAM: Let's do it!

TALIESIN: Certainly not the weirdest.

MATT: So you're doing the exact same thing with a different item. It's going to have a higher DC but you can do it. It's your call.

MARISHA: Well gee, when you put it like that.

MATT: I'm just saying, it's something you can do. You want to do it?

MARISHA: I don't know, I feel deeply shamed by my suggestion now.

MATT: No no, it's a great suggestion! I'm just letting you know, progressively doing the same thing over and over again, it's going to continue to raise the DC.

SAM: You know, Jester hasn't done anything yet, she still has a Thaumaturgy she could do. "You can cause harmless tremors in the ground," but it doesn't say where. Oh, "within 30 feet," yeah. That's no good.

MATT: It's a cantrip. Cantrips don't have all that power there.

SAM: Yeah, they don't. Never mind, she uses it to alter the appearance of her eyes for one minute.

(laughter)

SAM: She makes them black.

MATT: There you go. Anybody else?

TRAVIS: I can try to assume the form of one of the lizard people in case they make eyes on us.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I've already done that as well.

MATT: Two lizardfolk in the group now, all right.

TRAVIS: I have no spell left to help.

MATT: Doesn't have to be abilities, it can be just whatever you think you would do in the area to help.

MARISHA: I know, you just don't have a lot, you've used all those things.

SAM: I'm going to put up the cloak and just sneak. We hear them?

MATT: You heard the hunting call of them.

SAM: In a direction that we can identify?

MATT: Yes, somewhere in the front and to the right of where you were as you guys were running through the jungle.

SAM: Okay, I'll just say, stay here, and I'm going to put up the hood and I'm going to dodge off in that direction stealthily.

MATT: Okay, are you guys stopping for Nott, then?

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Do I have to roll for stealth, I assume?

MATT: Yes you do, with advantage because of your cloak.

SAM: Okay, so that's 22.

MATT: Okay, so you are successfully stealthed, this is not technically a success because this isn't actually helping the endeavor, but you do manage to move ahead, and at your speed you come upon the hunting party. You can see now, there are about six lizardmen with nets, shields, and spears that are currently making their way in the direction of near where your party is currently waiting for you. The more time that passes, the closer the yuan-ti get to your party.

SAM: I'm going to cast Mage Hand. They're holding nets and what else?

MATT: Four of them have shields and spears, and two of them have spears with nets, and the other ones have nets apparently tucked behind their back. They're out here to catch and drag things back.

SAM: Okay, Jesus, I got nothing, man. I'm just going to try to Mage Hand and trip the guy in the back with his own net. Just pull it down a little.

MATT: Okay, make an arcana check.

SAM: Arcana check?

MATT: Yes. This is to see if you can influence the magical nature of your cantrip strong enough to try and trip up one of them.

SAM: Okay, arcana check is a 20.

MATT: Okay, that's barely a success because that's not a very effective plan, necessarily.

SAM: Sure. Didn't know what else to do, but okay.

MATT: One of them gets tripped up in the net and the other ones look back at it and start clacking at it and they're complaining about the one guy that fell behind like an asshole and is slowing down their trajectory. Not a lot of distraction. You can return, you figure you bought a little bit of time for your party but not much.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I guess that's all I'll do. I don't know what else to do! I-- You know what, I'm going to-- Fuck it! I'm going to cast Message and tell Caleb, go! I'm going to go, hey fucktards, over here! and I'm going to just draw their attention.

TRAVIS: Oh no.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I tell the group, she's doing something stupid. She's distracting them, I have an idea but I don't want to leave her, let's go. I start trudging through the jungle towards the direction I think is the right one.

MATT: You all continue following Caleb. They are now seemingly turning on you. (snarling)

SAM: I'm going to bolt, double dash, fast as I can go away.

MATT: All right. You're darting through the jungle

SAM: Not back towards my friends but like--

MATT: Kind of in the adjacent direction.

SAM: Perpendicular.

MATT: Okay, no worries. They're giving chase, they're following behind you, they know this jungle very well and can traverse it very easily. However, you're quick, and you're small. For that, we'll say two of them throw ranged spears at you. That's a 15 to hit?

SAM: Nope.

MATT: And a 12, nope. Both spears (impact) to the nearby trees and you keep running trying to make it through. Eventually, you hear the sound of--

SAM: Drink run. Drink and run.

MATT: Yeah, (gulping) as you're going. You hear the footfalls breaking through of nearby brush and glance over, afraid to see yuan-ti and you can see the shapes of your group, maybe 25 or 30 or so feet to your left.

LIAM: Are we able to tell the direction-- where the lizardmen are, in relation to Nott, or just yuan-ti on us?

MATT: Not at the moment, you guys are just running. I mean, the lizardmen you knew were off to the front and right, and you guys darted at an angle, and you're guiding them still in the direction toward the--

LIAM: I'm saying, we all hear the yuan-ti or *Nott* hears the yuan-ti coming?

MATT: No.

SAM: I saw you guys through the woods, but they're behind me.

MATT: Yeah, you haven't seen any of the yuan-ti, you've gotten enough gain on them, but they've gotten a bit closer, but they haven't appeared yet.

LIAM: Okay, but I can tell the direction Nott is running? Or moving?

MATT: No, you're just--

LIAM: You've seen us, we haven't seen you.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Never mind.

MATT: You guys continue to run, continue to run, continue to run-- Everyone, make another constitution saving throw please.

TALIESIN: (groaning)

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay, okay.

TRAVIS: 12 for Fjord, nine for Yasha.

MATT: Yasha takes a point of exhaustion, Fjord barely succeeds. DC goes up by two every time we do this.

TALIESIN: Oh fuck, really?

MARISHA: 20, total?

MATT: 20? Success. Secondary point of exhaustion, your speed is now halved.

SAM: (whisper) Oh my god.

MATT: Caleb is now winded, and now starting to drag the group back a bit.

SAM: One point of exhaustion, Jester succeeded, I rolled a 14.

TALIESIN: 16, she was 16. Ten.

MATT: Ten, point of exhaustion, Caduceus.

TALIESIN: I, yeah.

MATT: Anyone who has one point of exhaustion, your ability checks are at disadvantage right now.

SAM: Damn.

MATT: Two points, your speed is halved.

TRAVIS: I remember that well.

TALIESIN: I have the ability to carry a large amount because of my size, can I piggyback and not get too much of a roll if I throw Caleb on my back?

MATT: I will make this one of your checks.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: Make an athletics check.

TALIESIN: Oh man.

MATT: You have disadvantage because--

TRAVIS: Or you could have Yasha do it.

TALIESIN: I'll have Ya-- yeah, no, that's a better idea, because I was-- five hit points, maybe not.

MATT: Okay, so you share the idea with Yasha, Yasha's going to attempt to--

TRAVIS: Athletics?

MATT: Does Yasha have a point of exhaustion?

TRAVIS: She does.

MATT: So disadvantage on her athletics check.

MARISHA: I want to--

TRAVIS: It's her biggest modifier.

MATT: One second please, because this is going to attribute to her--

TRAVIS: Oh, a natural 20 and a 12, so that's 19.

MATT: 19! That's a success.

TALIESIN: (sigh of relief)

MATT: That puts us at six total successes--

TALIESIN: Oh my god--

MARISHA: We're all clear?

MATT: --across the checks here. Yasha throws Caleb fireman-carry over the shoulder and you guys begin running and running and running. For this next additional hour now, as you guys are charging through, following the path, we'll say you've gone three or four hours of straight sprint through the forest. Sprint, stop, run. You're breathing heavy, you’re sweating profusely, your body is aching, your mouth is just filled with the worst cottonmouth, you're dehydrated. You can hear the yelping of approaching lizardmen and yuan-ti as you see the light begin to slowly break ahead of you, through the trees as the treeline begins to thin, and the faintest bit of blue is visible. Within a few more moments, you break through the treeline and you've found yourself back to the white sand beaches of Urukaxl. There, as you come out to the sand, the hot reflection of the sun against the light. You can see now the sun is close to setting at this point, the sky itself has gotten slowly darker as you've moved past. The white beaches have now come to a faint dull yellow and orange with the coming sunset light. Nott emerges from the nearby brush.

SAM: (panting)

MATT: She's catching up with the rest of you guys.

SAM: (panting) I'm exhausted.

TRAVIS: On the ship! On the ship!

SAM: They're right behind me!

MATT: You guys look and there are the two rowboats that are still right where you left them.

LIAM: Yasha's moving towards the beach, Caleb's going to just start firing Firebolt after Firebolt at the treeline, I've a 120 foot range, and is going to set the jungle on fire behind us.

MATT: Okay-- I will say, roll an arcana check for me.

LIAM: Natural one.

MATT: Unfortunately, as a cantrip, the perpetual fiery quality of it, it can do bursts of damage and plops of flame but unfortunately, the treeline here is too humid, the air here is too wet and none of the trees are catching. However, you manage to get over, Yasha throws you onto one of the two rowboats, you guys get on, too. At this point, you can now see, breaching one side of the treeline, the yuan-ti, the other side, a group of lizardmen. They come to a head and look at each other and look at you. Half of each group charges at each other--

SAM: Oh yes!

MATT: --while the other half begins to charge towards the rowboats.

TRAVIS: (groaning) Oh fuck.

MARISHA: At the rowboat?

SAM: Start the motor, start the motor!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: That's the plan!

SAM: (ripcord noises)

MARISHA: How close are they?

MATT: They're about 40 feet away, it's a 40 foot rush.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

MATT: They're going to catch up-- You guys push off and you're rowing out, you're about ten now, 15 or 20 feet off the edge, they catch up, they start getting their shortbows ready. At this point, you hear (cannon fire)

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

TALIESIN: Oh thank god--

TRAVIS: Volley that shit.

MATT: (cannon fire) Bursts of sand, columns of sand go flying into the air, and you watch as one lizardman (scream), a yuan-ti bursts off to the side. You look over, you can see the flashes of light on the sides of the Squalleater--

TRAVIS: Oh, so sick!

MATT: --as volley after volley of cannon fire is blown towards the edge of the shoreline. A couple close calls, as it's not a perfect aiming implement. You see as-- you dodge out of the way as (splashing) big burst of water. Some of the yuan-ti dive into the water and are now swimming through, trying to come back-- you can see their serpentine bodies making their way in your direction.

TRAVIS: Caleb and I are picking them off, Eldritch Blast and--

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Hitting in the water as you do.

MARISHA: I'm on the edge, doing polearm duty, like croc hunting.

TRAVIS: No! No!

MARISHA: (grunting)

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm just--

MATT: Eventually, you guys get far enough away from the edge, it becomes less advantageous for them to focus on you and than to focus each other. Through the cacophony of explosions and the rest are wrestling the much larger force of both the lizardpeople that live on this island and the yuan-ti that have given chase are now focused on each other and this conflict is now spilling back into the jungle and away from the beach. As you all, very sore, make your way towards the Squalleater, and now you can see, offshore, The Mist, or The Mistake, has also been pulled off the shore, seemingly repaired enough to be at least semi-serviceable, though it's only been a day or so and the repairs probably aren't long-haul permanent, but for the first time, in a very, very long time this day, you all take a deep breath, some of you taking a short nap, as you row yourself to the sunset over the distant far shores of the ocean, towards the ships that mean safety-- and that's where we're going to take a break.

(groaning)

SAM: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Oh my god! Why did we not take a short rest right when we started! (laughter)

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: You're the one who-- it's your thing!

TRAVIS: I know, I know!

MARISHA: (laughter)

TRAVIS: I didn't think about it, damn it!

MARISHA: Yeah. Not feeling that whole time.

TRAVIS: That was gnarly!

SAM: Rough.

TRAVIS: Dude, you're good, you're good, you're good. Water is your friend, you're good.

TALIESIN: This is, yeah. That was a lot.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay then, *damn*!

MARISHA: I've never felt more *useless*.

TRAVIS: Oh fuck me.

SAM: Magical prime time.

TRAVIS: That was a teacher.

MARISHA: Curse you!

TRAVIS: That was a teacher.

SAM: Do we really only have mutterfingers--

TALIESIN: It's only a teacher if we actually learn from these mistakes--

SAM: --blob boffers, and words?

TALIESIN: otherwise it's just--

(laughter)

TRAVIS: No, there's also smudge and--

TALIESIN: I have a giant pile of stuff in the other room

TRAVIS: There we go, we've got--

SAM: I want Meese's Meanutmutter Mubs!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: It's all they had at Smogschmeade!

SAM: I don't even know what that means.

MATT: I don't either. Anyway! Friends, we're going to go to our break here in just a moment, we'll return but in the meantime, we have another Wyrmwood giveaway. This fantastic, delightful padauk dice vault, which is magnetized, opens up to keep all your dice, possibly even a couple miniatures in there, well-kept, beautiful orange color for the Halloween season that we're still celebrating today, damn it!

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: So, to enter this, you need to jump over to the Critical Role Twitch chat, that's twitch.tv/criticalrole, and enter the keyword once. The keyword is, hydra. H-Y-D-R-A. We'll come back at the break for a winner, once again, only people in the United States and Canada, excluding Quebec, can enter, we're working on it. But. We'll come back with a winner here in just a moment so sit tight, be right back.

BreakEdit

(cheering and groaning)

Part IIEdit

MATT: And welcome back everybody--

(singing)

MATT: (laughter) So. We have a winner of the fantastic padauk dice vault, I believe that's how it's pronounced, or not. I might be messing it up. But. Regardless, the winner is fmiller8. fmiller8, congratulations--

TRAVIS: fmiller8, yeah, man!

MATT: We'll get this vault sent out to you ASAP.

(cheering)

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Can we ever not look?

TRAVIS: Can we just automatically get a short rest, just because that was the most--

MARISHA: Yeah, do we just collapse--

TRAVIS: heinous, strenuous--

MARISHA: of exhaustion as soon as we hit the deck?

MATT: Nope.

MARISHA: Oh, cool.

MATT: Because you're rowing to the ship and there's still the occasional (cannon fire) of the final shots sent off to deflect any interest in following or pursuing you towards the boats. As you guys are trying to make some distance here, you look over at Avantika, who has her one ungloved hand, you can see the gap where the open wound, there's just a little bit of blood trickling down her forearm where the eye once was. She looks at it, closes her fist, closes her eyes, and you feel the rowboat suddenly pick up speed, and you watch as the water and the waves now give an additional thrust like the ocean itself is rising and pushing the boat forward and you watch Avantika open her eyes and smile and looks over at Fjord and goes, "Well, better luck next time, huh?" The boat is now speedboating across the surface of the water, the other rowboat left behind in its wake.

LIAM: One die roll, man. One die roll.

MATT: One die roll.

LIAM: (high-pitched) I said bi--

MATT: (laughter) As you approach the outskirts of the Squalleater. The rope ladders are thrown over the edge, down into the water. With that, you all eventually climb up onto the top as some of the crew goes over to retrieve and rash it up and bring the rowboats back onto the ship. Now you all clamber onto the deck of the large ship and take a moment of respite and breathe as your-- the crew of the Squalleater there awaits. You can see there Bouldergut, large ogre chief stands there, arms crossed, with the stretched leather tunic now strapped on each of her torso. Avantika rises and Vera waits, her right-hand, soothsayer-like assistant, or for this, would be considered the deckhand and spiritual leader of this ship.

SAM: Can I pause you for one second, Matt?

MATT: Yes, you may.

SAM: Did you all fucking take off your costumes?

MARISHA: Yeah…

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: No, we're still wearing ours. Are--

LIAM: Is that super-glued on or something?

SAM: No!

MATT: I took mine off.

SAM: That I saw.

(laughter)

MARISHA: It got uncomfortable--

SAM: Yeah, yeah!

TRAVIS: It was bad luck.

MARISHA: You have clothes underneath your-- fiber!

SAM: Do I?

MATT: (laughter) That's true, if there was any of us I would not be able to truly--

TRAVIS: Uh huh.

MATT: be certain--

TRAVIS: There are imprints being left on that chair.

MATT: Yeah.

(laughter)

SAM: Sticky butt. Peel off, peel off.

MARISHA: Little hearts!

SAM: Sorry, Matt.

MATT: It's okay. So, as you all bring yourselves onto the ship here, Vera approaches Avantika and helps her to her feet and says like "So, how did it go? Tell us." Avantika shows her hand, "Twas a resounding success. I would say that our new compatriots have proven their worth with flying colors." She goes and gives a (clapping) ow, ow, ow, ow, ow--

(laughter)

MATT: "And I do believe," You see Jamedi sitting on the ground, and goes, "Yes?" "You have earned what our contract assured you. Please, Vera, if you could retrieve the payment." Vera leaves and in a moment, comes back with a small chest and hands it over to Jamedi, who sets it into his pouch and satchel. He stands up for a second, nods his head, "I hope you understand, that with all due respect, this is our *last* time working together." The Captain says, "Aye, I understand, but it is your loss. There is always more work for you. Where would you like to be dropped off?"

SAM: In a graveyard.

MATT: At this point Vera says, "Captain, at this moment, it appears that we have maybe 11 days of supplies, given that our crew has now swelled. As such, we could probably make it back to Darktow to also complete the repairs on The Mist, as it is seaworthy, but I do not know how long. So that would be my recommendation. Maybe making a stop or two along the way, whatever's close by." The captain considers. "Very well, I guess we’ll make our way westward onto Darktow to get repairs done, to supply up, and should you wish to stay, make our way to the next leg of our journey. Who knows? It seems that you are up for your own rewards to be reaped, eh?"

TRAVIS: Indeed. Such a mighty display on the way back, I feel like I would be left wanting if I didn't try and pursue the same sort of glory.

MATT: "Of course. Well, these gifts are paltry. Once Uk'otoa is truly free, then the true blessing can be given."

TRAVIS: Captain, may I ask, you knew of this location already. Do you have a lead on another?

MATT: "I have a lead on someone that should be in Darktow that would be able to-- with the right amount of coin-- give us the information we seek. Hopefully. If not, we'll be sitting here with our thumbs up our asses, but I've paid well enough, and this person has come through before, so fingers crossed, eh?"

TRAVIS: Indeed.

MATT: "Regardless, I think we could all use a bit of rest, eh?" Looks over to Caduceus.

TALIESIN: I would be amenable at this point.

MATT: "Understood. Get Jeremiah to get food cooking immediately. I think a fine meal and a full night's rest is in order. Friends, I'm impressed, and I'm thankful that you’ve not only upheld your side of the bargain, you proved yourselves as quite formidable mercenaries. I mean no disrespect to some of my crew, but when we get back to Darktow--" She looks at some of the crew. "Turn around." Some of them-- "Maybe we'll deal with some trade off, eh? Send some of them over to The Mist and maybe you'll stay with me for a while."

TRAVIS: We would certainly entertain that very notion. It's hard to think past any sort of a rest.

MARISHA: Sorry, I thought that was hypothetical and that we were-- talk about that later, which we should do.

MATT: "Very well. Then we will get some sleep and on the morrow we will discuss how much money we can make together. We'll probably make a stop or two along the way, if you're interested. Bring up the map and see what you want to do. When we've had a bit of rest, maybe a glass of wine."

TRAVIS: Of course.

MATT: "All right. Go, rest, sleep. I shall do the same." She walks back into her quarters, Vera staying there on the deck. Jamedi makes his way down to his quarters. What would you like to do?

SAM: Go to our quarters, I guess?

TRAVIS: Could we have a conversation near the bow of the ship, perhaps? Away from ears? Is it empty towards the bow?

MATT: You can find a bit that seems a little more remote, but there are deckhands; there are folks that are always keeping watch.

MARISHA: I'll be right back. You guys find a spot, I'll meet you there. I go back and I go, "Jeremiah! Give me that." I take bread or whatever he has prepared.

MATT: You come to Jeremiah. You eventually start shouting until you find Jeremiah. Jeremiah is this mid-40s halfling fellow. Pale, but well-dressed in colorful silks and vibrant makeup. From some of the theater productions you've seen, he seems almost made up for the stage, but just a cook. Big smile, big curled, waxed mustache, hair parted and curled on the sides, light brown, auburn hair. Portly halfling fellow, and as you're shouting his name, he goes, "Hello? Are you looking for me?"

MARISHA: Yep, Jeremiah.

MATT: "I'm Jeremiah. What's your name?”

MARISHA: Hi. Beau.

MATT: "Beau, yes. You're one of the new kids. I am making food. Would you--?"

MARISHA: What do you have right now? Something ready? I want to chew on something while we talk.

MATT: "Fine, here you go." He hands over a somewhat stale loaf.

MARISHA: Thank you. You have sausage to go with that?

MATT: "No, they are being prepared, and I wish not to serve something that is unfinished."

MARISHA: Water. Wine.

MATT: (sighs) Grabs a thing of wine, a small jar, and says, "You can fetch your own water."

MARISHA: Thank you, sorry, I'm just hungry as fuck. I go back to the group.

MATT: All right. You guys patiently wait for Beau to return with a stale--

MARISHA: I got appetizers. There you go.

SAM: Okay, that's good. (gnawing)

TRAVIS: I should start by thanking all of you for putting yourselves in harm's way again. I did not expect that to go the way that it did, but that seems a repetitive notion at this point.

MARISHA: What the fuck actually happened down there? We haven't really gotten a clear description, and we're all confused.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I knew when she showed that exuberance at diving down that it was a matter of urgency, and I just couldn't catch her. We made our way down this well into this open, spherical room. At the bottom underneath some algae, there was a recession. It looked like it had space for an orb, like the eye that's in my sword. In my dullardly moment of trying to figure how the fuck I would get it in there, she reached out, and she has the same sort of thing in her hand. She put it in before I could put the sword in. It ripped the eye straight out of her hand. Pulled her hand back and blood was coming out of it; I thought it had done something to her. That's when I saw these arcane-like symbols light up and they shoot across the floor and straight up toward you guys right above the water.

MARISHA: Yeah, we saw them.

TRAVIS: You saw them come out? What happened?

MARISHA: It connected to the pillars and then that's when everything started flooding. Then it was just running for our lives at that point. I don't know. I didn't see much else.

LIAM: It was in a hurry, but the type of runes that were in that chamber were one of protection, some sort of ward that I don't understand. It's old. It shook the entire room we were in. I thought maybe there were three locks down there, but you only saw one. Presumably, there are two more places in the ocean or in the world for you.

TRAVIS: That seems like a lot.

TALIESIN: There's more than one. There was more than one creature.

MARISHA: There's also the temple where we found this thing that had the snake, the naga.

TRAVIS: But no recession. I can't remember, when we found the actual cat's eye, the sphere, it wasn't in a recession. Was it just resting at the bottom of the well?

MATT: It was just sitting in a pool of water, and you found that amongst other piles. It seemed to be less of a temple and more of a scavenged artifact amongst a merrow den that was expanding beneath the swamp.

TALIESIN: We need three onyx eyes, three ivory eyes, three amber eyes.

TRAVIS: From three different creatures.

MARISHA: What was the one that was inside of you? Is it the onyx one?

TRAVIS: No, it was the amber one.

MARISHA: It was the amber one. Oh shit!

TRAVIS: Yeah. That big serpent with all the eyes like in her captain's--

SAM: What was Avantika's?

TRAVIS: Amber, yeah.

MARISHA: Is it the same color?

TRAVIS: Yeah. I mean, they're yellowish-amber. Yellowish-orange. Just depends on the way the light hits it.

MARISHA: So in the amber, it was the giant serpent with the tidal wave.

TRAVIS: Yeah, the same that she had decorated around her office. That's Uk'otoa. You saw when we were in the boat, she closed her hands and you felt that surge in the water?

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I think because she got there first and offered her orb, she was rewarded with some sort of oceanic control or power over water.

SAM: She controlled the water?

TRAVIS: I think so.

SAM: She's the one who made the flood?

TRAVIS: No, back when we were in the rowboats.

SAM: Oh, when we took off. I was curled up in the bottom of the well of the rowboat, cowering, so I didn't see any of that. She got something for giving up her--?

TRAVIS: I think so, yeah. I don't know why the water surged out of the temple like that.

SAM: We also heard a large cracking sound as if a lock had been broken or a wall had been broken.

TRAVIS: You said they were protective in nature?

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: So three murals. Three creatures-- beings. Three chosen ones. And three different eyes in each.

TALIESIN: A creature of the sea, a creature of the air with fire--

MARISHA and TALIESIN: And a creature of the earth.

MARISHA: Do I remember anything from hitting the books in school of some gods?

MATT: Roll a history check.

MARISHA: It would be history and not religion?

MATT: This would be history, technically. Actually, history or religion.

MARISHA: Well, they're the same for me. Same modifier. 17. Her-story!

MATT: You recall tales-- I mean, there are many powerful creatures that have existed throughout history, entities that are either elemental in nature or are primal forces of power. There are some that are guardians of the world, some that are guardians of the elements within their own planes. There are many types of horrors and protectors throughout history. Thinking back to some of your studies, both historically and in cracking the tome of the occasional religious thing against your better will in your classes, there are some entities that were left in the wake of the Divergence: avatar-like entities, or at least creations that were meant to be an extension of the power of the gods. Some of them are guardians in the world, some of them still remain true to the religions or the gods that created them. Some, over time, have found their own interests. Some have grown obsessed with their own power without their creator and master to chastise or watch over them, and see themselves as a new god, even. Thinking back, you don't have all the information, but you do know that-- thinking back to the murals and things you've heard about Uk'otoa being said, Uk'otoa was worshipped by the Ki'Nau, which were the indigenous people of the Menagerie Coast and the Swavain Islands in the vicinity. Uk'otoa was one of these avatar entities that was created by Zehir, the Cloaked Serpent, to be one of its many ambassadors of power and one of its greatest warriors in the conflict of the Calamity.

MARISHA: Big kaijus-kind of thing?

MATT: Essentially. When Zehir and the rest of the betrayer gods were banished along with the other prime deities, they were now the most powerful beings on the surface of Exandria As such, new religions began to spring up around them. The Ki'Nau of this area took to worshipping Uk'otoa, and Uk'otoa began to preside like the next best god there was. You get the sense that these other two entities might be similar relics of this time: powerful beings created before or during the Calamity and then left with their gods now sealed away to become forces of power of their own. You don't know if they've been sealed in the same fate that Uk'otoa was. But based on what you saw in that temple, they seem to be connected or at least, have similar structure of worship.

TRAVIS: This is some heavy shit.

MARISHA: I say all of that. I read this one paragraph once and then the filigree, there was a monk with a trumpet up his ass, and that's why I remembered this section so well. In fact, still remember the book. Bet if we go back to the library, we could still find it and we could figure out more about this.

MATT: If you were to find a place of deep research, you could probably find more information about these entities, yes.

TRAVIS: That would be a choice.

MARISHA: Speaking of choice, what's yours?

LIAM: Yeah, she said for all of us to hear that the real reward comes from releasing the serpent. Is that your intentions? Is that what you desire?

TRAVIS: No!

MARISHA: It feels like she has bigger plans.

TRAVIS: I'm not a crazy person, all right? A giant serpent from the Calamity?

MARISHA: The Divergence, yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's some medieval shit. That is bigger than anything I've ever heard of.

LIAM: So what are we doing?

SAM: Are we pirates now? Is that the thing? Because I don't like the water at all. I don't want to be on a boat anymore.

TRAVIS: I know, and Caduceus, I know your experiences with water have been less than thrilling.

MARISHA: I've actually had a good time. I've died a few times, but I'm great.

TALIESIN: I think the question really is what we're going to have to do about this. I mean, this is the direction that we're heading. This is what's being put in front of us. I don't know if running headlong into the next temple is the best option. I think maybe if you didn't find the answers you were looking for down in the water, maybe it's time to look somewhere else.

SAM: If I might, Fjord. I don't know much about how this magic works, but if there's three of these things, right, at least three of these eyes that need to be placed to unlock three temples of whatever and release the crazy thing under the ocean. One has been activated, one is inside you, there's one-- maybe we should try to find *that* one. With that one, we could then safely get the one out of you because we would have the third one and we could go break it somewhere and then we'd know that no one could unlock it ever.

TRAVIS: I'm all for trying to get knowledge out of the captain. She seemed to act like she knew who the third person was, or had been.

MARISHA: She also seems very interested in you. And don't get me wrong, she's hot and all, but I question her motives. Feels like she's-- I don't know.

LIAM: She looks at him like a skeleton key; she needs him for what she wants.

MARISHA: I agree with that, and I think she's understood that her sexuality can be wielded as a weapon.

TRAVIS: I see that, as well. Thank you for the lookout. Frankly, between us, I actually tried to keep her underwater, after. She got away real fast.

MARISHA: Oh, that's fucking brutal.

TRAVIS: Yeah, and then I had to act like, "No, look at the ground.” It was terrible, fucking failed.

TALIESIN: All things considered, I think it would be best if we left on good terms.

TRAVIS: I agree. I'd like to find out what she knows about the third, and then maybe ask for a bit of respite before we continue. I actually do not feel very comfortable--

TALIESIN: Let's get to port and restock, and that's when we'll figure out--

LIAM: I doubt she would allow us to leave on any terms.

TALIESIN: I don't know.

LIAM: She needs what's in him.

SAM: What if we surprise her, tie her up, then Jester can do her Zone of Truth thing. We can find out everything she knows, slit her throat, and sink her ship.

TRAVIS: See, I would be all for that, given the circumstances of what Beau just outlined. Big consequences looming that are age-old, timeless things. But if she can control water now, I would be concerned that that effort might fall short, and then we'd be super fucked. I don't know what her abilities are.

TALIESIN: Perhaps some sign of agreement to share information with the understanding that you're both working towards the same goals, and maybe it would be better to have two groups doing this instead of one.

TRAVIS: Yes. I need more info, Caleb. I need more data, more knowledge. You read books on this stuff. There has to be someone out there that knows more about this before we just charge in.

TALIESIN: She's already said that she's sent people out to do this work. It wouldn't be that much different, I suppose.

TRAVIS: If we have what she needs, she'll have to play nice.

SAM: What if we just leave her? She could go off and do god knows what.

TALIESIN: As opposed to what?

SAM: He can stay with her, we can stop it before she does it.

TRAVIS: I think she's only interested in the one creature, so she's only interested in this type of eye. I don't even want to start to think about the onyx eyes or the ivory eyes.

LIAM: If we want to leave, we are not going to walk away; we're going to sneak away. She's not going to let go of you. You are a key that she needs. She said herself that greater things come when the serpent is released. The giant, god-like serpent. I would ask you-- we're all here. We like you, and if you are being completely forthright with us, we're good, but if we get the slightest whiff that you are after what this woman is after-- Well, I can't speak for them; I'm not interested in being here anymore.

MATT: Yasha puts her hand on your shoulder and says, "Faith is a funny thing. Be careful where you place it. It can give strength, or it can lead to terrible things."

TRAVIS: Thank you, Yasha. I understand your concern, Caleb, I do. I have a small curiosity from the things that I've seen. I have no interest in dealing with matters that predate time as we know it. I'm pretty simple. These days I've spent with you are the most exciting of my entire life. I'm not looking to end them, or the world, by frivolously giving up something that I barely understand. I'd like to try to ask if we can go separate ways and if she says no, I would play that we would join her and her voyages in the morning and then sneak away. I'd like to try and do it amicably, if we can.

MARISHA: I don't think there's anything wrong with maybe asking for The Mist. I think maybe Caduceus has a good point, if we can convince her that we're still part of her crew by doing our own recon.

TALIESIN: To be honest, it would be worth actually following through with it anyway. She knows things that we don't. We get to find out.

MARISHA: We took all that time to learn how to sail the damn thing.

LIAM: Also, that boat is fucked and they could shoot us to bloody hell if they wanted to, so it won't be that big of a stretch if we wanted private sleeping quarters.

TRAVIS: For sure. I think either way we have to make it to Darktow. And we need a second ship. Third, if she doesn't have a specific location, two ships find that thing faster than one.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: That's true.

TRAVIS: What do you say? We'll have to play along until we get to Darktow, and it is not somewhere that you normally want to go if you're not of the pirate variety.

LIAM: None of us have any chance, any other option but to play along.

TALIESIN: Is this some sort of pirate town?

TRAVIS: I think it's a pirate island. It's a hideaway. You don't go there unless you're looking for trouble, or unless you are the trouble.

MARISHA: Hee! That's awesome. Speaking of trouble, are you going to take her up on that glass of wine?

TRAVIS: Shit.

MARISHA: That she has mentioned three times.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: What's Jester doing right now?

MATT: Fuming.

SAM: She's just touching her lips.

TALIESIN: Jester's carving something into the bow of the boat and we don't know what. She's got the axe and she's moving it in a direction without looking.

TRAVIS: I suppose I should, to keep relations up.

LIAM: Yeah, well, you do what you have to.

TRAVIS: Yes. All right, I'll see you all underneath.

SAM: Wait. Take this vial of acid, just in case. I don't know. Maybe she'll try something and you just splash it in her face. I don't know.

TRAVIS: In her face?

SAM: I don't know!

TRAVIS: I think it just burns.

SAM: Sure, whatever.

TRAVIS: Is it magic acid?

SAM: Nope, just acid.

TRAVIS: Okay. Did you make this?

SAM: I did.

TRAVIS: Thank you!

TALIESIN: Are we now going to go and sleep and properly sleep?

SAM: No not until he comes back from his rendezvous.

TALIESIN: I think I'm going to go to sleep. I don't know about the rest of you. I'm going to pat him on the shoulder and, just for fun, cast Protection from Poison.

TRAVIS: Ooh!

TALIESIN: You've got an hour.

TRAVIS: Okay. All right. Thank you, Caduceus. I'm going to make you a fan of water before your life is done, I swear.

TALIESIN: I don't mind it. I think I just have an issue with the things that are in it and being under and I'm going to go to sleep and probably, yeah, throw up a little.

SAM: I don't like it at all.

TRAVIS: You're going to be my strongest acolyte. You're going to preach the words of the water.

SAM: It's terrible.

TRAVIS: It's really not. I mean, look how good you're doing, right? Thriving. Surviving.

SAM: This was the worst day of my life.

TALIESIN: I can’t leave yet.

TRAVIS: Your whole life?

SAM: I mean, as far as I can remember. This was a really bad day, and water had a lot to do with it.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Yeah, okay. I'll get back to you on that.

SAM: Sure.

TRAVIS: I'll make my way towards the captain's quarters.

TALIESIN: We're going to figure out a way for you to breath underwater. It's going to be okay.

SAM: Oh, I don't care about being underwater. I just don't like looking at it.

TALIESIN: Come on.

MATT: So you guys all go to rest?

LIAM: Yeah, I'm exhausted.

MATT: All right. You guys go to rest.

TALIESIN: A long rest.

MATT: You head your way to the captain's quarters?

TRAVIS: I do.

MATT: All right. You head to the door. It's closed. (knocking) For a moment, you hear this sound of rushing water.

LIAM: She's cleaning up.

TRAVIS: I'll try the door.

MATT: Okay, it opens up. It's the normal office den set up, but there's the balcony out back that opens up, and there on the balcony, Avantika is standing on the balcony and there’s this column of water that is rising up out of the ocean. She's nude. It's washing her. She's in the process, in the throws of manipulating this water. She's learning whatever this new gifted power that she has. Her hair is twirling up into the stream and it's this beautiful almost-dance between her and this elemental force that she now has. She looks back over her shoulder at you, knowing that you'd been there for at least a couple minutes. "I'll be just a moment."

TRAVIS: Don't rush on my account.

MATT: Eventually the water splashes down and off the side. She walks back out of the night air and pulls her hair up and ties it off.

LIAM: I've seen this film.

MATT: She takes a little silk robe and places it over her and sits down. There are already two glasses places on the table. She uncorks it and pours two glasses.

TRAVIS: To your success.

MATT: "To *our* success in time, eh?"

TRAVIS: One can hope. It's only fair; you've been on this journey far longer than I have.

MATT: "This is true." Not the best wine you've had, but it's serviceable.

TRAVIS: Not aerated.

MATT: "I am excited for you to experience this."

TRAVIS: I am as well. Is it everything you thought it would be?

MATT: "I've only but scratched the surface, and I've never felt a connection like this with the sea that has been my life. It's incredible. I can only do it in bursts, but I can cause it to swell and move and part and flood and shift. It's-- (sighs). Soon." She reaches out and touches the top of your hand. "Soon. I promise. Now, we were talking before and I think it's only fair." She takes another big sip. "Your blade is very interesting. I knew one other who had a blade very similar. Referred to it as the Sword of Fathoms."

TRAVIS: Sword of Fathoms?

MATT: "The previous chosen."

TRAVIS: Can you tell me more about this person who wielded it?

MATT: "His name was Vandren."

MARISHA: (whispering) Fuck!

MATT: "A fine sailor and a foolish coward he ended up to be, but he was the one that opened my eyes to the destiny of Uk'otoa. We traveled together for a number of years before he just abandoned and absconded with something important. I've been trying to find out where he went, but he is very slippery. Wherever he is, either what you have in your sword is what he took away or wherever he is he has the third with him."

TRAVIS: This Vandren, you say he told you about the Sword of Fathoms or he *had* a Sword of Fathoms?

MATT: "He carried the same blade."

TRAVIS: The same one. Was there an area, a destination, a direction that you last knew that he was going? Is it in our interest to try and find him?

MATT: "It is very much in our interests. We were going to go and visit this very island some time ago when he was the only one to have one of these orbs."

TRAVIS: How did you find, if you don't mind me asking, yours?

MATT: "Well-- I had to kill a number of men. It was being auctioned off in Port Damali, and there was a collector. Word had gotten to us that this artifact was sold off to this individual. Well, needless to say, he put up a bit of a struggle."

TRAVIS: I'm sure he did.

MATT: "Thankfully this collector enjoyed nights long at sea and that happens to be our specialty. His corpse now adorns one of the many beautiful islands and now I have this beautiful reminder." The hand, you can see, it's now mostly healed over, but there is a scar where this orb once resided in her palm.

TRAVIS: I'll stand and just pace around the quarters, looking at the various iconography of the serpent.

MATT: As you're pacing, she talks towards you. "It's very interesting that you carry the same blade as Vandren did and come to me with what could very well be the same orb. Do you know this one? This Vandren?"

TRAVIS: I don't. We should find him.

MATT: Make a deception check.

TRAVIS: (nervous laughter) 23.

SAM: Contested!

MATT: "Hmm."

TRAVIS: This sword came to me in a very unusual way. I've been a sailor for many years myself and was lost at sea during a storm. When I woke up, I found myself on the shore, and there in the waves next to me was this sword. I don't know how I got there, but as soon as I grasped it, it changed *everything*. The sword, however, did not have the eye. The eye we found later, my companions and me.

MATT: "Who else was on this ship with you?"

TRAVIS: Various other sailors. Our captain.

MATT: "Who was your captain?"

TRAVIS: Captain Twitchwood. Do you know him?

MATT: She smiles. "I appreciate that you are a very accomplished liar. But so am I. The only reason why I still sit here before you with the dozen or so scars I carry is because I have been very keen at seeing through the same skill."

TRAVIS: A 23 level skill? Okay.

LIAM: His name is Captain Wiggledick.

TRAVIS: Then I'm sure you can understand the need for secrecy for a small circle.

MATT: "You know Vandren, don't you?"

TRAVIS: I do.

MATT: "And he was on this ship that you shipwrecked on, eh? Do you remember where this storm was?"

TRAVIS: I remember where we found the stone.

MATT: "Do you remember where the storm was?"

TRAVIS: The storm.

MATT: "That sunk the ship you were on?"

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: "This was the last time you saw Vandren?"

TRAVIS: I feel like you know the rest of this story, and I am at a disadvantage.

MATT: "I don't necessarily-- I have not seen Vandren since he absconded with this-- many things. But he will not travel with both that sword you carry and the orb he stole from us. So wherever that ship has sunken, there's a very good chance that it has the third missing orb. Do you remember where the ship sunk?"

TRAVIS: (sighing)

MATT: She reaches out and pulls out a map and rolls it out on the table in before you. Put your map up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah--

SAM: Just splash acid all over it!

(laughter)

SAM: You've got this!

TRAVIS: (as Travis) Now, between you and I--

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: There was a storm-- do I remember?

MATT: You do recall, actually. It was somewhere coming back along this trade route and somewhere in this space the storm had blown through. This is where it sank and you washed up--

TRAVIS: Darktow's over here, right?

MATT: Darktow's over here. You washed up on this island, here.

TRAVIS: We're over here.

MATT: You guys are over there at Urukaxl. You washed up over here, so the storm was in this vicinity.

TRAVIS: Okay, okay, okay. Yep. Fuck it. (as Fjord) Yes, I do remember where the ship sank.

MATT: "Then, my friend, I think we are going to do even more amazing things together."

TRAVIS: I agree. I believe that will have to wait until we find ourselves on Darktow, though.

MATT: "I have been patient this long. I can be patient a bit further. Very well." She leans forward with the wine glass, very close, and goes, "It's been a very long day. I think rest is in order?"

TRAVIS: (laughter) I would agree.

MATT: She takes a big, long drink of wine, sets it down. "Well, there are ways to complete a hopeful future pact together. Many different ways."

(laughter)

SAM: (whispering) Yes! Yes! Yes!

LIAM: Fade to tentacles.

TRAVIS: (stuttering) Yeah, I'm going to go for it. I'm going for it. I will-- (noises of distress). Oh god, okay. Yep, yep, yep. I will keep Avantika's hand and walk around the desk, and I will try the old lean-in and see what the reaction is.

MATT: Man, all right.

SAM: Oh man, I'm getting some Twitchwood right now.

(laughter)

MATT: Quickly, her hand grabs the back of your head and pulls you in.

TALIESIN: I'm very mixed about this whole thing.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: She's a very powerful woman, and you find yourself very quickly overpowered. You are allowed to--

(laughter)

MATT: For the sake of brevity... Not the most restful evening you've had, but an evening is had.

LIAM: How many points of exhaustion?

MARISHA: Make a constitution check.

MATT: No, I'm never going to do that in a game. Sure, go for it, then. That's your own--

TRAVIS: 16.

MARISHA: Eyy!

MATT: No... No...

LIAM: You succeed the check, but you disappoint your dungeon master.

MATT: I wouldn't call it a romantic evening, but a very--

TRAVIS: An adrenaline--

MATT: Union of two business partners of a similar goal.

SAM: The sound of fish slapping against each other.

(laughter)

SAM: They're both of the sea.

LIAM: Right in the blowhole.

MATT: And we fade to black.

TRAVIS: Do I make my way back to quarters before sun-up? I don't know if I want to stay the entire evening there.

MATT: You do fall asleep together.

TRAVIS: Oh! Okay.

MATT: Unless you choose to not wish to.

TRAVIS: No, I'm not going to stay. You don't walk out of the captain's quarters at sun-up. Plus, I'm super tired. I will leave and try to stealth back to the quarters of everyone else.

TALIESIN: I have a passive perception of 18.

MATT: I know.

TRAVIS: Hopefully you're super asleep.

MATT: Roll a stealth check.

TRAVIS: Come on, copper dice gods. 18.

MATT: All right. You carefully and quietly tiptoe your way through the hallway to your assigned quarters, of which you are sharing with whom?

TRAVIS and MATT: Caduceus.

MATT: One eye slowly opens as you are keen to be somewhat aware-- living alone, out in the dangerous wood-- to any sort of aberrant noise in the vicinity. You hear the faint creak of very gentle footsteps as Fjord makes his way into your chambers.

TALIESIN: Can I figure out what happened just by looking at him?

MATT: You? Yeah.

(giggling)

TALIESIN: Sleep well with your bad decisions.

MATT: As you all rest, a long rest at sea, as the Squalleater and The Mistake make their way towards Darktow to the far west, we'll end tonight's game there and pick up there next week.

MARISHA: Aw, no, what?!

MATT: Also, everyone levels up. Everyone's level seven now.

(exclamations)

MARISHA: Cheers!

LIAM: Aw, that's a great ending. That's a good finish.

MATT: To that degree, while I have you guys here, let's roll some hit points for those who are present.

SAM: Do we recover our exhaustion?

MATT: Over the next couple of days you will because this is a multi-day travel to get to Darktow, so your points of exhaustion will be gone by the time it matters.

TRAVIS: I'll let Yasha roll for hers.

SAM: I should probably roll for Laura. What do you think? You think she'll appreciate that?

MATT: It's your head, man.

TRAVIS: d8 for me, right? Five.

MARISHA: d8 for me as well.

LIAM: Pitiful.

MARISHA: It's a d8 plus your constitution, yeah? Wow, that's a one. Do we still reroll ones?

MATT: We reroll ones for hit points.

MARISHA: That's a two!

SAM: Nice!

MATT: It's better.

MARISHA: Thanks.

SAM: One. Eight!

MATT: There you go, Nott.

SAM: So I reroll a one?

MATT: I reroll ones for hit points, because rolling a one for hit points at a level up is the fucking worst.

TALIESIN: Rolling a d8, right?

MATT: What'd you get, Caleb?

LIAM: I rolled a two, so a con bonus gets me to four points up.

MATT: Four more hit points.

TALIESIN: Six.

MATT: Six points to you. To be fair, you guys have been rolling fucking great for hit points for many levels. It's time for there to be some balance.

SAM: I feel like I should reroll this again.

MATT: No! Take a good one, dude!

SAM: (sighing)

TALIESIN: Stop fighting a success!

MARISHA: I rolled a two--

MATT: (growling) I rolled good at hit points. This is bullshit! You're so weird, Sam!

SAM: It just feels cheap.

MATT: How does it feel cheap?!

SAM: Because I rolled a one first!

MATT: But I reroll ones because--! I already said it. As a player, it's the worst feeling. Two sucks still, but it doesn't suck as much as a one. That's how I do it.

TALIESIN: What do I get at level seven?

MATT: All right, guys. We're not going to sit here and subject you guys to us leveling up at the table-- although I'm sure there are a few that would love to see it. We got the important part out for you guys. We'll pick up here next week to see what's in store for the company of the Squalleater, of which the Mighty Nein have joined. The union of partnership of Captain Avantika and Fjord and the imminent Darktow in your future.

LIAM: Seamen, seamen, everywhere.

SAM and TALIESIN: And not a drop to drink.

MATT: You may have broken me. I think it finally happened. I think you finally broke me. I'm broken now. I'm a broken man. On that note, have a wonderful night. We love you guys, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

(cheering)

[music]

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