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Critical Role Wiki

List of Transcripts


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


MATT: Now from our own studio!

TALIESIN: It's so weird!

MATT: I know, not a whole lot has changed at the moment. A few things, a few little bells and whistles here. But yeah, we're at our own place, which is crazy.

TALIESIN: This is a crazy thing above us.

MATT: I know.

LIAM: We're surrounded with people in white robes. I don't know why.

SAM: Just keep saying Fidelio.

TALIESIN: Fidelio.

MATT: Perfect. So welcome, glad you guys can join us. Guys, still with the clap thing too much. Before we jump into tonight's game, let's get through our announcements. First and foremost, our fantastic sponsor for this evening, and has been for quite some time, our friends at D&D Beyond!

SAM: D&D Beyond!

MATT: Sam, if you want to take that away.

SAM: Yes, D&D Beyond wanted to announce that their 826LA donation campaign has officially come to an end, and they've raised $11,400 for 826LA based on 114 natural ones rolled through the end of June. We are terrible, but our bad luck is the kids' good fortune. The main thing that people have been wondering and talking about on The Facebooks and stuff is the new baby. Travis and Laura aren't here, you guys might have noticed, and everyone's like, "How was the birth? How did it all go down two Thursdays ago?" So I have taken a little license, but I have scripted a bit of a radio play that we're all going to participate in to show our viewers how it all went down two Thursdays ago, and how the birth came to be. Taliesin will be narrating, I will be playing the role of Travis, Marisha will be playing the role of Laura.

MARISHA: Sorry, Laura.

SAM: Liam will be the doctor.

LIAM: A real job, Dad!

SAM: And Matt will be a couple of different roles, including Matt Mercer.

MATT: Oh, I can probably do that.

SAM: We're going to see what happens, this is a first performance of its kind. Take it away, Taliesin.

TALIESIN: Exactly two weeks ago, at the Willingham house.

SAM: Babe, can you bring me some onion rings and Miller Ice with lime? The Cowboys game starts in six weeks and I want to be ready.

MARISHA: Darling, something magical is happening. Our boy, the magical light that will illuminate the universe, will join us soon.

SAM: Huh, what?! Right now?! But the Cowboys!

MARISHA: Travis, dear, your stallion is galloping to earth, humanity must welcome him with loving arms.

SAM: Ugh, I'll get the stupid hospital bag.

TALIESIN: Later, in the hospital waiting room.

SAM: Hey, Matt, heads up, Laura's having that stupid baby.

MATT: Oh yeah, no problem, I'll just throw out the next three weeks of story I planned out and totally rework everything to accommodate this. I don't need to sleep. Ever.

SAM: Cool, bro. Hey, can you also tape the Dallas Cowboys game for me?

TALIESIN: Meanwhile, inside the delivery room.

LIAM: Okay, Mrs. Willingham.

MARISHA: It's Bailey.

LIAM: Oh right, sorry. Anyway, I have checked your charts and you should be in a lot of pain right now.

MARISHA: I feel nothing but the sweet nectar of Mother Nature coursing through me. My love radiates like luminescent rainbows that will create a new life this day.

LIAM: Really? Well, you should get ready for a long labor, this one could take up to 36 hours--

MATT: (infant crying)

MARISHA: It is done.


MARISHA: The mortal world has received its divine cherub.

LIAM: What?! That's medically impossible! You didn't even push!

MARISHA: Does one need *push* for the summer to shine down its radiance upon us? No, we merely bask in its glory. Lo, my baby is perfection.

MATT: “Yes, I am perfection. Mother, I bring news from the womb. The newly revamped digital character sheet from D&D Beyond has released! What's been added: improved desktop and tablet views, better at a glance information, additional ad hoc customization, custom themes, shareable links, and an updated PDF export. To celebrate, D&D Beyond is giving away a complete legendary bundle to a random viewer. To enter to win, go to ('n', not '&'), and reply to the pinned tweet with a shareable link for one of your D&D Beyond characters. The giveaway ends this Sunday at midnight PM.”

MARISHA: You are a miracle baby. I love you.

MATT: “I love you, Mama Willingham.”

MARISHA: It's Bailey.

TALIESIN: And scene.

SAM: Thank you guys, this was great. That was theater!

MATT: And strangely accurate.

MARISHA: That was handed to us two minutes ago.

SAM: You were fantastic as Laura Bailey.

LIAM: It was like Travis was here!

SAM: Yeah, my Travis is pretty good. Also from D&D Beyond, next Wednesday, July 18 at 1:00 PM Pacific, & BEYOND, a new weekly stream hosted by Adam Bradford and Todd Kenreck, kicks off with super-special guest Matthew Mercer.

MATT: Yay!

SAM: Did you know that? Okay, cool. Each week, the show will cover not only D&D, but also the guest's other passions outside of D&D, like D&D.

MATT: Maybe they shouldn't have started with me.

SAM: Shenanigans will ensue, so don't miss it. Be sure to check it out at to watch. That's our sponsor shoutout.

MATT: Boom! Well done, Sam. Laura and Travis, direct all that fury at Sam, please.

LIAM: Send your emails.

MATT: Thank you, Sam. A couple of quick notes here: we are headed to San Diego Comic-Con next week for our Critical Role panel and, as we announced today, we're also going to New York Comic-Con later this year. For details on either of those events, go to for all the information. It's there for you. The "Nott the Best Detective Agency" shirt is up in the store right now. Once again, head to to check it out. Our fantastic, terrible detectives.

SAM: We'll see. Tonight.

MATT: We'll see. Yeah. Starting this week, the Wyrmwood giveaways are back for Critical Role intermission. The giveaways will be hosted on the Critical Role Twitch channel, however, and moving forward, so when we're coming to the break, if you want to jump over to the Critical Role Twitch, it's There, you can enter the Wyrmwood giveaways. Keep an eye out for that and we'll remind you before we jump to the break as well. You can watch our hosted stream and our sweepstakes there, at that location. As a reminder, Talks Machina, our after-discussion show about whatever transpires here at this table, is every Tuesday evening. The next episode will be next Tuesday at 7:00 PM Pacific time, hosted by our fantastic Brian W. Foster, if he can get away from Lancaster long enough. He'll be giving out prizes for Gif of the Week, for Fanart of the Week, and all that fun stuff, so check it out on Tuesday. Other than that, let's go ahead and jump in to tonight's episode of Critical Role.

SAM: (baby-like wailing)

[click, TV static] [groovy Critical Role theme]

Part One[]

MATT: And welcome back.

SAM: Come in, Harry, come in. Take off your robes.

MATT: So. Welcome back. Last we left off, The Mighty Nein were making their way north after making a deal with the Gentleman in Zadash. They had completed the first of two tasks for him, the second one requiring them to make their way to the northern city of Shadycreek Run, outside of the Empire, to meet with a business operative of his, who had been busy with some other elements and needed some help to reconnect about what their business together was. Along this journey, you had made a stop in the gnomish city of Hupperdook, where you discovered the work-hard-play-hard gnomish society, got all your money taken from you, got it returned to you as you found out the thieves were the young children of a family, the parents of which had been arrested and had been imprisoned for a while. You went to the prison, helped destroy one of their long-haywire guardians, and paid off the rest of the fine for those parents, to set them free, returning them to their children, and decided to leave your temporary companion for a while, Kiri, with them, as a safer means of continuing her journey, now with her new family. With that, you gathered your things, found yourself a better crossbow, and began heading back on the trail along the Crispvale Road and making your way northward. There, you had set up camp for the evening about a day's travel outside of Hupperdook, and during the night, while Yasha and Fjord were taking their watch, wakening Jester with their conversation, and the three of them deciding to step away from the camp as not to wake the rest of you, they were... Well, they went missing.

SAM: We don't know.

MATT: We begin today's story as morning slowly creeps over the distant mountains. The cold, frosted dew on the tops of the nearby grasses glistening like tiny crystals, the bits of sunlight begin to just break past the ridge. The sky, previously clear the night before showing the stars above, now is matted with cloud cover and small breaks that show the blue sky above. The cold weather is definitely shaking you awake as you all begin to come to, rubbing your eyes. Glancing about the cold atmosphere, you come to the hard, dirt ground patch that you had cleared out for your evening's rest, your packs and tents ready to be reassembled... But it's just the four of you.

SAM: Jester, I need some pocket bacon for breakfast. Jester? Jester-- oh, she's probably taking a dump in the woods.

MARISHA: I think I have some pocket bacon still.

SAM: Oh, can I have some?

MARISHA: Yeah. It's a little moldy.

SAM: Oh, that's even better. (eating noises)


TALIESIN: Fjord never came back after watch last night.

LIAM: I stand up and scan the area.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: What is that? That's a six plus something. Nine.

MATT: Looking about, there is a faint mist that is still burning off that clouds your vision far enough to the point where you can't quite see some elements of the mountain range you had just come from, but glancing about around you, there's no sign of your three companions. There's no visuals that guide you to where they might be.

MARISHA: Where's Yasha? She's gone too.

SAM: She does that sometimes. I'm sure it's nothing.

MARISHA: Yeah, but--



TALIESIN: The Traveler's bullshit!

SAM: That's playing--

TALIESIN: That really would've worked.

SAM: That's playing with fire.

TALIESIN: I'm going to check the tents. I'm going to check the tents to see if their stuff is still there.

MATT: As you go about to their sleeping arrangement spaces, everything except for whatever they had on them as they took their watch is still there. The haversack is left behind, the rest of their goods lying on the ground where they were left.

SAM: Their personal belongings and stuff?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Falchion?

MATT: The falchion's always with him.

MARISHA: Right, but his holster thingy. Right? Didn't he have a holster thing, or did I just imagine that because he's Texblade?

MATT: He would have a belt with pouches and such, but no, that was on him at the time.

SAM: His spats and spurs?

MATT: Those are not there, unfortunately.

SAM: Oh, wow.

MATT: Essentially, everything but the equipment they had on them-- in fact, if you look, you can see Jester's shield is there, currently untouched.

MARISHA: It's not right.

TALIESIN: Yasha's stuff is still here?

MATT: Yasha doesn't have much on her. Whatever she does have, she generally keeps on her, so she hasn't left anything behind.

TALIESIN: So there's nothing behind?

LIAM: Are their weapons here?

MATT: You don't see any weapons. Yasha keeps her weapon on her at all times; Fjord, from what you understand, weirdly never seems to have need. But Jester's weapon is left next to the shield as well as you begin to rummage through.

SAM: I'll take a swig to calm my morning nerves and start searching around to see if there's any notes or any signs of anything around.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: Okay. That's terrible.

TALIESIN: That's unbelievably bad.

SAM: That's an eight.

MATT: All right then. As you begin to rummage around in the nearby grasses, tossing over the remains of their left behind materials, even pushing through the fire just in case some of them may have fallen in, no sign.

TALIESIN: I'm going to check the road for fresh tracks, see if anything looks like it was disturbed.

MATT: You'd make an investigation check then.

MARISHA: Are there trees nearby?

MATT: Not within the next mile or so.

TALIESIN: Oh, for fuck's sake. Same roll. Two.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I am going to sit down and bring Frumpkin out, and pull out my book and begin to do what's needed to cast it again-- Find Familiar-- but I'm going to turn Frumpkin into, uh... a peregrine falcon.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Whoa.

MARISHA: That was very specific for an "uh" to come before it.

MATT: (laughs) So, as you are both losing yourselves amongst the nearby grasses, and trying to look for any sign of where they may have been, you are focusing on your spell. What are you doing, Beauregard?

MARISHA: Can I see if I see any grass that's been laid down, like a direction that there might be people who have walked through?

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

MARISHA: That's a natural one.

SAM: Oh my god, we're not even going to know they're gone.


TALIESIN: They're literally scarecrows in the background.

LIAM: They're probably skinny dipping somewhere!

MATT: This is amazing.

SAM: We got a two, a two, a one. What was your first roll?

LIAM: I rolled a six, which turned into a nine.

SAM: Okay, so six is our top roll so far.

MATT: Knocking it out of the park, y'all.

TALIESIN: We are children lost at a Ross Dress for Less. We're never going to see our parents again. It's all over.

MARISHA: First roll in the new studio, it's a one!

MATT: We'll get them out now! In the time that you guys have begun to shout, you're continuing to shout their names out, and forge through the nearby grasses. Caleb, you complete your spell, and Frumpkin's form suddenly, slowly shifts, then, with a puff of steam and smoke, turns into the falcon. Lands on your shoulder. (caws)

LIAM: I know, I am sorry. I will change you back as fast as I can. I need you to look for the three that you do not see here. The green one, the blue one, and the goth one. Go!

MATT: You watch as Frumpkin takes off into the sky and does a few loops. Go ahead and make a perception check from a bird's eye view, which makes it a little easier.

TALIESIN: (cawing)

LIAM: Natural 20.

TALIESIN: Hey! Thank God.

MATT: There you go! When humanity fails, bring in the hawks.

MARISHA: We know nature is better at everything.

MATT: With a quick, singular pass overhead, you watch as Frumpkin sends you an immediate bit of information. You focus through the eyes, and glancing down, you see a clearing where a large portion of grass, maybe about 60 or so feet from where you guys are, has been pushed down. And you see tracks and drag marks and grooves in the dirt.

LIAM: Oh shit. There was a-- This way! I come out of it so I don't trip on rocks. There's a struggle this way. And I lead the group back to this.

MATT: All right. You guys rush over, and there you can see on the ground this patch of disturbed grass that has been pushed down, along with the dirt that has been jammed and shoved up into small side piles and trenches that were dug in. There's definitely signs of a struggle here. At a quick glance, looking around, footprints and signs, there looks to be somewhere between five to eight sets of footprints you can see from all different angles. And you can see three grooves being dragged through the dirt into the grass, towards the road a little bit northward.

SAM: Can we follow those grooves?

MATT: Yeah. You guys go ahead and follow these the best you can, eventually making your way to the outer side of the Crispvale Road, the path that you were on already, but a little ways north of where you were. And there you can see the grooves end, and a number of sets of heavy wagon wheels begin, or at least have previously pulled off the trail and then pushed themselves back onto the road.

MARISHA: So it's impossible to tell if it's the same one?

SAM: Can we see which direction those wagon tracks went in?

MATT: It's hard to tell which direction wagon tracks go in, necessarily. Make a Survival check.

SAM: Survival. Nine.

MATT: (laughs) Could be going north. Could be going south. You're not entirely sure.

SAM: That narrows it down! It's not east or west, guys!

MATT: Northeast or southwest.

SAM: God damn it!

MARISHA: Well, that's more narrow. When it was going on the road, was it going towards the direction we were going, or were we following it?

MATT: You're not entirely certain. The tracks seem to be traveling either in the northeast direction that the road goes that you were traveling, or heading back towards Hupperdook. What you do notice, though, and what keys you in that this has something to do with this, is the tracks grind off the road by about five or ten feet, and that's where the grooves of these dragged individuals or sacks stop. And then it pushes back onto the road.

LIAM: Here is what I am wondering: why we are still here. Yasha and Jester and Fjord, they didn't know each other before a month ago.

SAM: Who was on watch? It was Fjord and Yasha, right?


SAM: So they would have been awake. But what about Jester? She was asleep, right?

MARISHA: She also has a big old crushie on Fjord.

LIAM: If they were taken, that means they came to our camp and took her, possibly. And even if they did not, it's not like we were hiding.

MARISHA: Why couldn't we hear anything?

SAM: Maybe they weren't targeting anyone specific, just coming to grab folks, and those were the ones that were awake, or closest to the road, or--

LIAM: You'd take the three beefiest of a group of strangers?

SAM: Well, they took the three ugliest ones. I mean, they left us.

TALIESIN: First, thank you. Second, they may have just taken the ones that were furthest away from the light. They just picked them off, maybe? You walk away from camp, that's what happens. I mean, it's not the biggest or strongest. It's the--

SAM: Wait. I'm going to examine the tracks for blood.

MATT: Make another investigation check.

SAM: Mmm. That's an 11.

MATT: It's better. In looking through near where these cart tracks begin, there's no signs of blood. Going back and following the grooves through the dirt, you find a few small traces.

SAM: Anything weird about the blood? Is it green blood, purple blood, blue blood?

MATT: No, just standard dark, dusted-over blood at this point.

MARISHA: Censored video game blood.

SAM: That means that they weren't bleeding when they were dragged, which means that either they were killed by vampires and all their blood was sucked out of them first, or they were still alive.

MARISHA: And that blood was far away from our camp. Maybe they were just triggered by a sound that they heard, and they went to go investigate it.

TALIESIN: I'm going to freak out. Is there any trash or anything on the road? I'm just going to look for any--

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: That's better. 14.

MATT: 14? As you look off, looking for any sign of change, there's the fog at the far peripheral of where you're watching. Nothing on the road, except for a couple of tufts of scrub brush, catch your eyes, until you see a dark shape on the road to the south.


MATT: Moving. It looks to be a shadowed outline of a person.

TALIESIN: I'm going to draw both swords and head towards it.

SAM: Seeing that, I will draw my new crossbow. Turn it on. I imagine it's battery-powered. (powering-up noise)


MARISHA: Four D batteries. It's very obnoxious.

MATT: They run out in half an hour. It's like a Game Gear.

LIAM: Do you want my not-cat to go look first?

TALIESIN: I may have already moved. I didn't think of that.

MATT: I think Molly's already off.

MARISHA: I'm following Molly. As I follow Molly, I turn to Nott and Caleb, and I say, just stay back for a second. Back us up if we need it.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: So you've nocked your bolt into your crossbow for the first time. As it winds back, you crank it, and it slips into place. You hear this faint spring tension.

SAM: Ooh!

MATT: As you're preparing for this, Molly and Beau start rushing up.

TALIESIN: Yeah. I'm just going to be obvious.

MARISHA: I flank.

MATT: Okay, so you head off into the brush?

MARISHA: Stealth.

MATT: Make a stealth check.

LIAM: I send Frumpkin to do a lazy circle.

MARISHA: Man. This feels like last game. 12.

MATT: 12, okay. Good to know. Molly, as you get closer, the shape takes more form. As the mist fades and your proximity grows closer, you see a squat figure. Wide and muscular, armored, with a sack over the shoulder. Ashly, if you want to enter?

SAM: What?! Whoa!

TALIESIN: That was fast.

LIAM: This is Your Life!

MATT: Ashly Burch joins us at the table.

LIAM: Hey, Ashly. Welcome.

MATT: So Ashly, if you'd like to describe what Molly sees as he approaches?

ASHLY: What Molly sees is a dwarven woman with a five o'clock shadow, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, extremely battered, bloodied, rusted armor, full armor, and short, greasy hair. And she has a big ol' axe in one hand, and a big ol' hammer in the other. Does she see these folk now?

MATT: Roll a perception check for me.

ASHLY: I don't have dice.

MATT: Oh! We should get that for you.

SAM: How? This is terrible, here.

LIAM: The Laura Bailey bladder was right here. Where'd it go?

MARISHA: Yeah, do you want--? Pick a dice bag.

MATT: We got plenty.

TALIESIN: And here, have a thing.

ASHLY: Oh, hey, thanks guys! It's like I'm part of the crew. Okay. So I'm rolling perception?

MATT: Yes. So roll a d20, add your perception modifier.

ASHLY: Okay.

SAM: So much better than us.

ASHLY: It's 18.

MATT: So you see one figure coming towards you, difficult to make out gender, of lavender skin, curled horns filled with jewelry, big long coat of multi-colors, maroon, but then it goes into a rainbow pattern almost, with two glowing scimitars to each side, staring you down. Behind that, you see two figures a little bit beyond your sight to make out all the details, but one seems to be a tall humanoid, the other seems to be much shorter and smaller, probably halfling, gnome. And then off in the bushes, not hiding very well, you see another figure, keeping low to your left.

ASHLY: Ah, son of a dick. All right, let's get this over with. And then she holds up her battleaxe and her warhammer.

SAM: Oh, she's challenging us.

MARISHA: As I make eye-contact, I'm like, Aw, shit. Was it the blue? Was I too tall?

ASHLY: I mean, you guys have your weapons drawn. I'm assuming-- Are we going to do this or what?

MARISHA: I would just like a little bit of feedback so I know how to perfect it later.

ASHLY: Are you asking about your hiding?


ASHLY: It's shit, man. You gotta choose a new--

MARISHA: Fuck. All right.

ASHLY: I saw you. I thought you *weren't* trying to hide.

MARISHA: You've got great eyesight.

ASHLY: Not really.

MARISHA: I'm complimenting you.

TALIESIN: What the fuck is going on?

MARISHA: What's your name?

LIAM: Through the wire I whisper--

ASHLY: What's your fucking name? You guys got weapons out. What's going on?

MARISHA: What's *your* fucking name?!

ASHLY: What's your fucking name?!

LIAM: I put the wire away.


SAM: What's going on up there?!

TALIESIN: We don't know!

SAM: Should I kill something?

TALIESIN: Probably!

ASHLY: I got a place to be, so if we could move this along. Are we fighting or not?

MARISHA: Molly, ask her. We're at an impasse.

TALIESIN: I haven't really thought this through. Where did you come from? What are you doing in the bloody bushes by our campsite?

ASHLY: I was walking up the road, man. I didn't expect to see a bunch of poorly hidden weirdos with fucking weapons drawn.

LIAM: (shouts) Just make conversation.

MARISHA: How's your day?


ASHLY: Weird now!

MARISHA: Sorry. Happens sometimes.

ASHLY: Wait, where are you guys from? Are you from the Run?

MARISHA: What's the Run? No, really, what's the Run? That sounds fascinating.

ASHLY: So you're not from the Run.

SAM: (shouts) I think she means Shady Creek Run.

ASHLY: Yeah, that.

MARISHA: Oh, shit. We should have thought about that. I don't know your street lingo.

ASHLY: It's just a shortened version of the name.

MARISHA: Yeah, you're right again.

TALIESIN: I'm putting down one of the swords. We're having a very weird day.

SAM: Just one?

TALIESIN: Just one. There's still one glowing sword.

ASHLY: Here, I'll put away the hammer.


MATT: The de-escalation has begun.

TALIESIN: We more or less got robbed last night and you're the first living human being that we've seen-- or, not human being.

ASHLY: Dwarf.

MARISHA: And by "robbed," he means half of our party got abducted. "Robbed"? That's such a light way of putting it.

ASHLY: Whoa! Your party got abducted? When?

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Last night.

ASHLY: Son of a bitch. Yeah, okay.

MARISHA: We were actually headed to the Run. It does sound pretty cool.

ASHLY: All right.

SAM: I'm going to walk up next to Molly.

MARISHA: (shouts) Yeah, hey, Caleb! Nott!

MATT: This tiny figure, hooded, with wrappings, and a creepy porcelain doll face that covers--

ASHLY: All right, I pull my hammer back out.

SAM: Should I kill her?

TALIESIN: Not yet. But keep it drawn.

ASHLY: So all you guys are trying to do right now is to try to get these people back that got got? Is that right?

LIAM: (shouts) They have great sentimental value!

SAM: You can come up now, Caleb.

LIAM: (shouts) No, I'm good!

TALIESIN: We're having a very bad morning. I apologize if we came off a little terse. All right, fine.

MARISHA: We're a little on edge, considering family-- I mean, party members-- were abducted.

ASHLY: All right, I got a question. Does anyone have booze?

SAM: (smug giggling)


SAM: Why?

ASHLY: Because I'm more partial to talking... I'm out. My flask is done.

SAM: Oh, your flask runs *out?*

ASHLY: Yes, weird creepy doll girl!

SAM: (smug giggling)

ASHLY: Can anyone explain this shit to me? The fuck is happening right now?

SAM: Sorry.

LIAM: (calling) It's complicated!

ASHLY: Can you come out of the bush?! Please?!

SAM: He's very weak.


LIAM: Frumpkin lands on Nott's shoulder.

MATT: A giant falcon (caw) lands.


SAM: Don't worry. It's a cat, usually.

ASHLY: What?!

TALIESIN: I have an idea. We've all had a bit of a morning. Let's sit down. Have a drink. We can get you liquor. We can talk about anything you've seen traveling on the road in the last day or two.

ASHLY: What's your name? I like you.

TALIESIN: I'm Molly.

ASHLY: Pleasure.

TALIESIN: Is your name Pleasure, then?


TALIESIN: Oh, okay. That would've been very inconvenient parenting.

ASHLY: I'm trying this thing where I'm trying to be more polite, and people say shit like that I guess.

TALIESIN: There's weird parents that do things.

ASHLY: My name's Keg.

SAM: Ooh!

ASHLY: As in powder or booze.

TALIESIN: Never mind. They're very weird parents.

SAM: I like you already. Here, do you have a cup or something I could pour into?

ASHLY: Yeah, I got a flask.

TALIESIN: Let's sit.

SAM: All right, I'm going to take out my flask and pour a good, healthy, half quantity. You have to drink it fast. It will disappear soon.

ASHLY: What?

TALIESIN: Is that true?

SAM: Yes.

ASHLY: What the fuck is with you people? All right, Keg knocks it back.

MATT: It's harsh but functional.

ASHLY: Okay. I know who took your friends.

SAM: What? I am the greatest detective of all times! I poured one drink, and I solved the case!


ASHLY: I know who took your friends. They're not nice people, as you may have gathered. Good thing you were heading to Shady Creek Run because that's where they operate out of.

SAM: How do you know? Who are they?

ASHLY: I know. Okay? I know. I'm looking for them too.

SAM: Did you lose someone?

ASHLY: (quietly) Yeah.

MARISHA: Wait, I thought you were *coming* from Shady Creek Run.

ASHLY: No. I ain't been there in a while.

MARISHA: Ah. But you've been there.

ASHLY: Yeah, I've been there. I know it pretty well. It ain't a nice place. It's probably the least nice place that you could all possibly go to, so--

MARISHA: It's named Shady.

ASHLY: Shady. Aptly named.

TALIESIN: Well we're not necessarily nice people, so that'll work out fine.

LIAM: We are well traveled.

ASHLY: Okay. Are you tough? Because you don't look it.

SAM: (weak growl)

TALIESIN: We're not.

ASHLY: Was I supposed to be scared?

SAM: Oh, I should take off the mask. It's more scary that way. (growl)

ASHLY: Ah! Okay, yeah, that works.

MARISHA: Molly doesn't speak for me. I feel like I can hold my own pretty well.

LIAM: Yeah, she's all right.

MARISHA: I might actually be the only tough one here. Shit.

ASHLY: That's not great to hear. Okay. How much do these people mean to you?

MARISHA: Well, they're the only people I've had in my life since my father, so. Parents.

TALIESIN: We don't leave people behind, and that's the deal.

ASHLY: All right. What are your names?

MARISHA: Plus, we had to go up there anyway.

ASHLY: So it's Molly--

TALIESIN: Molly, pleasure.

ASHLY: What's the creepy little one?

SAM: (stuttering) Jeff.


ASHLY: Thank you, Molly.

SAM: It's Nott.

ASHLY: You're going to be a fucking piece of work. What's your name?


ASHLY: Beau. And Bush Man?

LIAM: Ah, I like that.

ASHLY: All right, Bush Man. Okay.

LIAM: My name is Caleb, but you could still call me Bush Man.

ASHLY: Do you prefer Bush Man?

LIAM: Well, let's think about it.

SAM: *Herr* Bush. Why don't you come back to our camp?

ASHLY: Ain't I at your camp?

TALIESIN: We are at the camp right now.

SAM: No, aren't we in the road? Oh, did we come back?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Walked over as you poured the drink.

SAM: Oh, okay. Cool.

TALIESIN: I'm going to nervously pack while this is going on.

LIAM: Yeah, I'm scooping up the haversack.

ASHLY: So here's the deal. Shady Creek Run is full of a bunch of shitty lowlifes. They're all murderers. They're all pieces of shit. The people that took your friends are the biggest pieces of shit in the entire place.

MARISHA: That's nice.

SAM: Who are they?

ASHLY: They're called the Iron Shepherds. Slavers. Murderers. Basic pieces of shit. They're very good at what they do. They are the scariest, most powerful people that I've probably ever met, and I've met a lot of people. I grew up in Shady Creek Run.

LIAM: When you say powerful, are you talking about ability, or connections, or both?

ASHLY: Both.

LIAM: Shit.

ASHLY: Everybody knows them there.

MARISHA: You said slavers?

ASHLY: Yeah. Sorry to break it you, but your pals just got taken into slavery.

SAM: Why are they operating this far from "the Run?" Also what kind of slavers-- These are powerful people that they just kidnapped.

ASHLY: Yeah. That's what they want.

LIAM: This is why maybe they took the beefy ones.

ASHLY: They're not trying to find weaklings on the side of the road. Which is why it seems like most of you people got spared--

SAM: Okay, okay. You don't know us.

ASHLY: Hey, you bared your teeth at me five times, little man!

SAM: I gave you a little bourbon! I'm a lady. I gave you some booze. The least you could do is afford us the benefit of the doubt.

ASHLY: Sorry.

TALIESIN: She does have a fair point, though. We are a little squishy.

ASHLY: I'm not really good at the people thing.

TALIESIN: You're in good company right now.

SAM: Beau is terrible with relationships and social interactions!

MARISHA: That's why we clearly got off to a great start. Sorry.

LIAM: I'm not very good at it either, and you are an exile.

MARISHA: I'm also trying to work on the manners thing.

ASHLY: Cool, all right.

MARISHA: The guy who actually got taken from us was helping me.

TALIESIN: We lost the charm.

SAM: Do you know any of their names, the Shepherds?

ASHLY: Yeah, I know all of them.

SAM: Who are they?

ASHLY: Okay. Before that, here's the deal. I have some beef, as you may have gathered, with this crew. I'm not interested in just getting your friends and getting out. I want to fucking kill every single last one of them. If you want any more information from me, I'm going to need a little bit of buy-in.

TALIESIN: I just toss 20 gold and I'm like, throw me a cigarette please.

SAM: 20 gold is expensive. Wait, so if you could rescue your friends, or friend, or whatever--

ASHLY: There ain't nobody left to rescue, man.

SAM: Are you sure?

ASHLY: Yeah, pretty fucking sure.

SAM: So it's revenge, then.

ASHLY: Yeah.

MARISHA: If Shady Creek Run is full of a bunch of criminals, and you said you lived there for a while, what were you doing there?

ASHLY: It's not important.

MARISHA: Well that's pretty clear.

ASHLY: No one there did anything nice. Okay? So fucking imagine something shitty, and I probably did it, okay? I'm not proud of it! I'm trying to turn a new leaf, as it were.

SAM: I just imagined some crazy shit.


MARISHA: It's like a horror film. The more you leave it up to your imagination, the worse it is.

TALIESIN: I'm not one to interrogate someone's past. Information's information. We could use some help.

ASHLY: If you want my aid, I know that place like the back of my hand. I need some kind of assurance that when we find these motherfuckers you're not just going to grab your friends and run. Because I'm going to need some backup if I'm going to take them out.

MARISHA: How about equal assurance that you don't fuck us over?

TALIESIN: You could also hire us.

ASHLY: Hire you?

TALIESIN: 20 gold.

ASHLY: You just gave me 20 gold.

TALIESIN: Yes, that's how I know you can afford us.


ASHLY: 20 gold, all told?

TALIESIN: And we split whatever we find.

MARISHA: And you don't fuck us, and we don't fuck you. Unless, like... *you know*...

TALIESIN: You pay at the end of the deal.

LIAM: (whispers) Half-track mind...

MARISHA: It's been awhile.

ASHLY: All right, deal.

MARISHA: It's been a while.

SAM: You're confident that you can lead us to these Shepherds.

ASHLY: I've been tracking them for a while.

LIAM: You know, we are, some of us, a self-deprecating lot. We have some skill between the four of us, but it would help a lot to know what kind of people-- not just assholes; we are assholes-- what kind of assholes we are talking about.

ASHLY: Sorcerers. Barbarians. There's a little shit that's a rogue.

SAM: How many of them are there?

ASHLY: There's five.

SAM: Hey, we're five!

ASHLY: Yeah, kind of. We're probably a good three and a half, if we're being honest.

SAM: Don't put yourself down like that. I'm sure you can hold your own.

ASHLY: I'm talking about you mostly, sweet cheeks. There's five.

LIAM: Are they part of a larger organization, or are they off themselves? It's just them?

ASHLY: They work for someone, a family in Shady Creek Run. They're powerful.

MARISHA: They're mobsters! Weird question: have I heard about this group, considering my background?

MATT: Make a history check.

MARISHA: History. My history changed here recently. That's my second natural one in a row. I'm going to get rid of this one. Where's Laura with her dice jail when you need it? That's an 18 that I just rolled now.

MATT: You have not heard of the Iron Shepherds before. You have some base knowledge of some families that might do business in the outside, but the information you've been given so far, the Iron Shepherds don't ring a bell.


SAM: You know, when we were in Zadash, we heard the town crier talking about kidnappings in Nogvurot. That's close to Shady Creek Run. Could that be the same people, do you think?

ASHLY: I mean, possibly. There's a lot of folks doing the same kind of work. These folk happen to be the best at it.

MARISHA: Do you know all of the members of this Iron Brigade-- what's it called?

ASHLY: Close enough.

MARISHA: Iron Shepherds.

SAM: Iron Chef.

MARISHA: Iron Shep.

ASHLY: That's my favorite travelling cuisine entertainment.

LIAM: I prefer Iron Fem Shepard.

MARISHA: For sure.


ASHLY: This is my favorite D&D game on the Citadel.

MATT: There it was. I was waiting for it. If someone else wasn't going to get there, I was going to do it. So thank you for taking it.

MARISHA: One of them wouldn't happen to be named Ophelia Mardoon, were they? No? Okay. That's the woman we have to find for The Gentleman. That's part of the reason we're going.

TALIESIN: I try not to learn their names. I don't want to get attached.


MATT: There is an aspect of that name that does ring a bell: the last name.

ASHLY: Oh shit, say that again?

MARISHA: Mardoon.

SAM: Here, let me pour you some more booze.

ASHLY: Thank you.

SAM: Does that help?

ASHLY: Yes, I suddenly remember that name. I know the family. They've got connections there. In fact, the folks that the Iron Shepherds work for happen to hate that family.

SAM: This is all connected!

MARISHA: Rival mob gangs!

SAM: It's like a conspiracy, and we're in the middle of it!

ASHLY: You being a detective, you hear other people say information and then you remark upon it, and then that's you saying you're a great detective?


SAM: In large part. The subject was confused as to what a detective is. I'm not writing. I don't have a quill. It's something that me and one of our lost friends talked about a lot. Sorry.

ASHLY: Sorry. Again, I'm not great with people.

LIAM: Do we have an arrangement here? A deal?

SAM: We'll kill these folks, or try to anyway.

ASHLY: I don't like that last part.

SAM: What if one gets away? We're going to hunt them down over our lifetime? I don't know, what if they go far away? Are we indebted to you forever now, or can we put a 30 day cap on this?

LIAM: These three are of great value to us and they are our friends, and we are better off with them, and it is worth the trouble. We cannot accomplish what we've come out here to do in the first place without them. What?

SAM: Nothing. You sure sound like our new leader.

MARISHA: Wait, what about me?

TALIESIN: Don't panic about it, it's going to be fine.

SAM: Oh yeah, no.

MARISHA: Aw, cool. Real cool, Nott.

SAM: I mean, he's got the intelligence.

LIAM: You be the leader. But do we have a deal?

ASHLY: Yeah, we have a deal.

TALIESIN: I'm all in for this.

ASHLY: All right. Well, let's get going, then.

SAM: Are you just walking? Do you have any means of transportation?

ASHLY: Do I look like I have-- no!

TALIESIN: We have spare horses now.

SAM: We do.

MATT: At which point, you look over past the camp where they are, and there's a cart and there are a number of horses that are currently hitched to it at the moment. For a brief moment, you're like, Oh, the thought of not having to travel on foot sounds fantastic.

ASHLY: Let's do that. Let's please, god, do that.

TALIESIN: We're half packed already.

MATT: As you guys pack up your goods, get the rest of your material packed up, couple things to keep in mind. Looking at the map, if you want to pull it out and get an idea of the direction you're traveling.

SAM: Oh, we have a map of some sort? Should we lay it out on the table and see if--

MATT: As long you guys can see it is more the job here. You can travel with your horses--

SAM: Weights?

MARISHA: Sam take one side.

MATT: With your horse and cart--

MARISHA: Sponsored by Wyrmwood.

MATT: Look at that! Timing.

TALIESIN: That's how it's done.

SAM: Thank you.

TALIESIN: There you go.

MATT: You guys are currently right... here. So you just left Hupperdook, you're on the Crispvale Roadway making your way to the Crispvale Thicket which is the large forest at the crossroads. You can travel about 24 miles per an eight hour day at a normal pace with the horses and cart, you can go 30 miles at a fast pace, and you can force a march to go for another hour, or two, or three afterward but you start making constitution saving throws or take exhaustion points at that point. But you can get quite a good distance depending on how fast you're going. The cart keeps you at a slower pace. If you were to leave the cart behind as an option, you could go faster.

SAM: But we'd have to ditch some gear, or do we have enough horses to carry everything including shields?

TALIESIN: We would have to ditch some.

LIAM: Yeah, I think we ditch the cart. They've got hours on us, we need to make time.

MARISHA: I agree.

TALIESIN: How much can we carry?

SAM: Can we carry all of our friends' stuff on a horse? We have six horses, I think.

MATT: You have six horses between five of you, as long as one of you takes the horse head you can have a pack horse, essentially. It's going to be hard to direct it, unless someone keeps it hitched on the side. Having an additional horse right now, how are you going to get that to come with you at a fast pace... without a rider?

LIAM: And we can't carry their stuff without.

MATT: You can probably carry a few things. You still have horses to help carry things, most of your gear you can still put on yourself. Are there any large things? You're not carrying a manticore head anymore.

LIAM: We leave the shield. It's not a magical shield, it's not special.

SAM: It's not?

MARISHA: Jester's?

LIAM: It's run of the mill.

MARISHA: Well, hang on.

SAM: It's not special to her in any way?

MARISHA: I open the haversack.

LIAM: Life is more special.

MARISHA: And start trying to shove as much as I can in the haversack.

LIAM: Ow, what are you doing?

MARISHA: I'm trying to-- Just wait, don't move.

MATT: The main pack, I'd say you can-- I'm going to say the shield's not going to fully fit in it unfortunately. It's a fairly wide shield and won't quite fit.

MARISHA: What about a tent? Can I shove a tent in here?

MATT: A tent you can probably mangle and push in there and you manage to get the tent in. But the shield someone will have to wear on their back or strap to a horse.

MARISHA: Yeah, let's strap it to a horse.

TALIESIN: Are we going to try and pack horse this? Is that how we're--?

MARISHA: No I think we can...

LIAM: Go faster without a spare horse.

MARISHA: I think the shield and--

SAM: The big things we're leaving?

MARISHA: We put a tent in there and if we want to attach another tent to the back.

LIAM: DM, you said we could put the shield on the side of a horse?

MATT: You can put the shield-- strap it to a horse, it's fine because it's just an additional thing you're strapping on to it. It's up to you.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: It's just the additional horse is going to be a problem if you're going to travel at a fast pace.

LIAM: Well then, we shouldn't do that, we should go as fast as we can right now.

SAM: All right.

MARISHA: So we're leaving behind a horse and a cart.

TALIESIN: Or we take the horse and cart at reasonable speed.

SAM: No, we should leave them.

MARISHA: Is there a town coming up? Or some place where we can quickly sell the horse and cart?

TALIESIN: Or stow it.

MATT: No, there is the Crispvale Thicket ahead which has the crossroads, but there's no town there-- Hupperdook behind you, or, honestly, Nogvurot or Shady Creek Run.

MARISHA: We lead the horse to water, we force it to drink, we give it some food, hope it lives.

LIAM: We set it free.

MARISHA: Maybe come back and find it.

LIAM: Or it's free or somebody gets a new horse.

MARISHA: We hang a sign on it. "Free horse."

SAM: Why don't we kill it and take some meat? All right, let's just leave it.

ASHLY: I mean, not to put a damper on it, but if you leave a horse around here, it's probably going to get killed. There's a lot of shady folks around here.

SAM: I mean, the horses are all named after--


SAM: Poop. So we can probaby--

MATT: So which one do you leave behind then?

SAM: I believe we're going to take WC, Loo, John, Crapper, and Toilet, but we're going to leave Loaf.


TALIESIN: So we're going to drop a Loaf.

SAM: We're going to drop a quick Loaf, then go. It's always better to drop a Loaf before you go.

TALIESIN: Let's leave a marker.

ASHLY: I'm starting to rethink my agreement to work with you guys.

MATT: Welcome to the Mighty Nein.

TALIESIN: If he's going to die, we have to leave a marker so we can come back and find where he's been interred.

SAM: Sure.

TALIESIN: Poop joke.

SAM: Skidmark.

MATT: As you say goodbyes to Loaf...

LIAM: Pinch him off.


TALIESIN: We squeezed about as much as we can out of that one.

MATT: You strap your materials to the horses you are taking with you.

TALIESIN: It's been a while.

MATT: So you're going at a fast pace. That's 30 miles.


MATT: You travel in day. Which will get you well within the Crispvale Thicket. As you guys are riding, who's guiding this trip? Who's keeping an eye on the road ahead of you as you go?

SAM: Is one of us steering the journey, and can another one of us be looking for clues or things along the way?

MATT: You can do that. Sure.

TALIESIN: I was going to say--

MARISHA: Keg should lead.

TALIESIN: Keg's been on this road before.

ASHLY: Yeah, can someone do me a favor? Does anyone have a piece of cloth or something they're not using?

TALIESIN: I have a giant dragon tapestry.

ASHLY: Could I borrow that maybe?

SAM: Are you cold?

MATT: This is the one thing you see strapped, laying over the back of his horse. This giant, rolled up, thick, blue and silver tapestry.

ASHLY: Okay, I wrap my head around it-- with it, I should say. So you can't really see my face.

TALIESIN: You now have a cape, it's huge.

ASHLY: Okay.

MATT: As you take the full tapestry or just a piece of it.

TALIESIN: I think the full tapestry.

MATT: All right, so yeah-- it's you are just--

SAM: Swimming in it.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Why are you hiding your face?

ASHLY: I didn't leave with a lot of friends last time I was here. So I'm trying to keep a low profile.

TALIESIN: You're well disguised as a stoner's bedroom at the moment. A dragon on a sheet.

ASHLY: Perfect, I'll fit right in.

MATT: There you go.

ASHLY: I guess I can lead, since I know where I'm going.

MATT: Okay. You've traveled this path before, so it's well known. Who's keeping watch?

MARISHA: I'll keep watch.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make a perception check for me, Beau.

MARISHA: Hopefully there are no more ones hiding in there.

SAM: Do you want to look at the thing, the orb?


SAM: Okay, you're good.

TALIESIN: Yeah, the orb, we haven't--

SAM: We have to look at the orb at some point too or hexagon. Dexa--

MATT and TALIESIN: Dodecahedron.

SAM: Thank you.

MATT: All right, as you're heading down into the center part of the northern side of the Marrow Valley. Keeping a look ahead, you can see just as you crest over this one little embankment, the Crispvale Thicket ahead of you. This beautiful cluster of dark-green trees. The clouds have completely taken the sky back and it's this low, gloomy gray as the air gets chilly, as the day progresses onward getting closer and closer to dusk. You manage to get to the outskirts of the thicket itself. You see the trees growing thicker and the actual canopy of dark green pine trees starting to gather. You now have the opportunity, if you want to, you can travel into the crossroads and head north, or you can skirt around the forest off the path. Those are your-- because you haven't-- you're basically having to go to the center and then back north, but you're on the road the whole time. Or if you wanted to skip past it, you'll travel a little slower-- basically a similar pace.

SAM: But we won't encounter as many foes.

MATT: Well you don't know.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: It just depends on your--

SAM: Are we trying to avoid people or--

TALIESIN: I'm more than happy to kill something at this point. I've got some anger and aggression to work out.

MARISHA: What's the faster route?

MATT: Make a survival check.


MATT: Looking about, you gather the faster route would probably be to skirt around the outside of the forest. Because you don't have to switch back even though the terrain isn't quite as well tread. However, you've left the cart behind which means the one factor that would've really come into that, is no longer an issue.

MARISHA: We're on horses, let's just cut through.

ASHLY: Do we get a sense of where they're headed? Do we see any sign of--

MATT: At this point, in the main road, there are a number of tracks. Whether it be horse, foot, and cart and wheels of all different sizes. You're not able to really tell what's the freshest from a glance. If you want to get off your horse and inspect you can try.

ASHLY: I'll try. Would that be--

MATT: That would be survival.

ASHLY: How good is my survival? Eh, it's okay. A natty one.

TALIESIN: Welcome to the team.

ASHLY: I don't even know what horses are anymore.

MARISHA: This is a donkey.

MATT: You glance down-- From atop your horse you look down and see these smattering of patterns, and as you get down closer it just becomes dirt, and you have no idea how to discern what came when.

ASHLY: I'm drunk. That was pointless, let's keep going.

TALIESIN: (vomit sound)

MATT: So, which path do you guys wish to choose?

SAM: Caleb, you're in charge. Which way are we going?

TALIESIN: Oh, for gods' sakes.

SAM: Well he's so--

LIAM: Which way are we going?

MARISHA: I say we go through the woods, but you're the leader.

LIAM: I said you were the leader.

SAM: Caleb.

LIAM: I'm not a leader.

TALIESIN: Oh, for gods' sakes, I'm going to start going through the woods.

MATT: So you're going through the thicket or around the outside of it?

MARISHA: Sorry, around. The shortcut.

MATT: Okay. So you're skirting the outside of the thicket.


MATT: Okay. As you start cresting around the side of the forest, within the first mile or so, you see an abandoned homestead. Maybe 200 feet or so away from the forest on the northern side. It may have been at one time a small farmhouse, but part of the roof is caved in. There once was a window that had pane glass that has since been shattered, and you can see jagged edges along the bottom side of its sill.

TALIESIN: What time is it?

MATT: Right now? I'd say it's probably close to four or five in the afternoon. You have a couple hours before dusk really starts hitting.

TALIESIN: Do we want to head a couple hours or have this unbelievably safe place. What looks like a very safe place, although-- never mind. We're going to-- terrible things are just going to happen. I'm accepting it, this is going to be a cursed trip. Do we want to stay in the haunted house?

MARISHA: Do you want to send in Frumpkin, bird Frumpkin, see what he finds?

LIAM: Does it look like Frumpkin could make it through that window?

MATT: Frumpkin could, yeah. And it's a one story farmhouse. It's a modest home. Single story, maybe from first glance, three to four rooms, and the partially collapsed roof on one side shows you that's it's been in disuse for some time. Who knows how weathered it may be on the interior.

LIAM: And what hour is it?

MATT: About four or five in the afternoon.

LIAM: In the afternoon. I don't see anything in there. I mean, you want to raid an old house or keep going?

MARISHA: Sleep in it, is what we're thinking.

LIAM: You want to cut for the day?

SAM: We want to keep going, don't we? As fast as we can.

TALIESIN: Well here's the question: do we just go until we have to stop and then we camp wherever we're going to camp, or do we find something like this, which is possibly a little safer and then just wake up very early and run and go further?

ASHLY: If you ask me, keep going. No place in this area is going to be safer than any other.

MARISHA: All right, let's keep going.

LIAM: She's the local.

TALIESIN: Trust the local.

MATT: So you guys continue.

MARISHA: As we go by it-- we're headed that way, right?

SAM: Was there anyone in that house.

MATT: You didn't get close enough to inspect.

SAM: Oh.

MARISHA: Should we check it out and see if there's anything good?

TALIESIN: Throw a falcon through the window.

LIAM: Well that's what I was asking. You described a window that was jagged glass, *ja?*

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: But if my smallish falcon went in there, is he going to get cut up?

MATT: You can certainly try.

TALIESIN: Chimney.

LIAM: Going to get cut.

MATT: Yeah, Frumpkin's wingspan in this form is pretty wide, wider than the window. So Frumpkin would have to land on the window and then probably gingerly step in.

TALIESIN: Or you could go through the chimney or the collapsed roof.

ASHLY: Or I can just go in.

TALIESIN: We have--

ASHLY: Keg just goes to the door and kicks it open.

MATT: You guys watch as the horse rides off to the edge. Keg leaps off the horse.

TALIESIN: I like her.

MATT: Stomps up and just kicks the door open. The door is already partially ajar so it (creaks) and it falls off the top end and leans against the back inside of the farmhouse. There's a brief moment where you feel a couple things settle, a slight creak and the fall of dust, and as you step inside you can see the furniture is in disarray. There is a layer of dust everywhere. There is a smell of old rot and mildew. And glancing inside, you can see there's another window on the opposite side that's also been busted out. This place is pretty thrashed.

ASHLY: There's nothing in here!

LIAM: Are there any books?

TALIESIN: I'm going to hop in there as well.

SAM: I'll go take a look.

LIAM: Books!

SAM: I'll look for you.

TALIESIN: We always know to look.

ASHLY: I'm not going to look for boo-- Oh god.

MATT: Are you looking for--

ASHLY: Keg sits down on one of the pieces of furniture.

TALIESIN: I also want to see if there's-- does it look like people have been in here recently?

MATT: Well you make an investigation check on that. And you make an investigation check to look for things. And if you want--

ASHLY: Can I look for booze?

SAM: 18.

MATT: Yeah, go for it.

TALIESIN: Nothing of value.

ASHLY: Three.

MATT: Oh. Sadly no booze.

ASHLY: Damn it.

MATT: What did you roll?


MATT: Hard to tell in this space.

TALIESIN: That's not fair.

MATT: A lot of the furniture looks damaged, some of it looks burned weirdly. As you, looking around on the inside, you're rummaging around for any possible books or anything that can be useful. You don't find any books, you do manage to find a bundle of unused torches, five. You have a handaxe that's a little old and rusted, but it's still functional. It's well made. That was left under one of the shelves that had fallen over. And you find a mostly filled oil lantern. While the glass of the actual lantern is broken, it still is pretty filled with oil. So if you wanted to-- if you had a container, you could fill it and have a flask of oil.

SAM: I have an extra flask.

MATT: Then you can go ahead and fill it with oil.

SAM: I will fill that with oil.

MATT: Now you have a flask of oil at your disposal.

SAM: Nice.

TALIESIN: Is there a crest on the fireplace or anything like that? Any markings of who might have lived here at one point?

MATT: No crests. You glance and you do see a small, iron symbol that looks like a star or sun. You recognize it to be the symbol of Pelor. It probably was a mantle of worship here, but it's, looking on it, the metal looks scarred, strangely. It's almost like elements of-- as you pick it up and glance at it, the pockmark scarring on it is strange. And the mantle around it, you can see, a lot of the wood and stonework seems to have been smoothed over in its damage.

TALIESIN: Can I remove the piece?

MATT: Yeah. It snaps off.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take it. Well this obviously brought luck to whoever was here. (quietly) I have a symbol of Pelor.

SAM: I'll just go around and ask: does anyone need any torches? I found a bunch.

MARISHA: I'll take a couple torches.

TALIESIN: I'll take a torch.

SAM: You can each have one.

ASHLY: Sure, I'll take a torch.

MATT: You get a torch, and you get a torch.

SAM: And how about a handaxe, anyone?

LIAM: *Nein.*

MARISHA: Nah, I'm good.

TALIESIN: Caleb, you want to do a little scan while we're here? See if anything tingles your fancy.

LIAM: (sighs) We're killing time but yes I do. I take the ten minutes to take the book out of the holster, and set it on the ground and while everyone just sits there in the dust, I cast Detect Magic.

MATT: Okay. So how long does it take for that?

LIAM: Ten minutes.

MATT: Ten minutes, okay.

LIAM: Wait. Wait.


MATT: Wait.

MATT: As a ritual I believe it's ten minutes, correct?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so Caleb-- you're having this moment where you're waiting as he's just poring over this tome and drawing a circle on the ground and inscribing strange symbols in the air. It doesn't make any sense. You're like, "Ah, magic stuff."

ASHLY: Right.

SAM: Want another drink?


SAM: (pouring noise)

ASHLY: Thank you.

TALIESIN: Bless you.

MATT: Everybody else roll a perception check, if you don't mind.

SAM: Okay.


SAM: 13.


ASHLY: 17.

MATT: 17, what did you get?


ASHLY: (counting) 19 actually.


MATT: Beau and Keg, you guys hear some noises out back. The horses are getting a little restless and nervous. They're like (anxious chuffing) and you see two of them are starting to clomp back a bit away from the house. Starting to pull at the reins that have been hitched off to the side of the home.

ASHLY: Hey, you might want to finish your fairy shit. There's something going on outside.

MATT: At that point, trying to take in what is sending these horses into a weird tizzy, and you feel this faint vibration in the ground, this very subtle quaking.

MARISHA: I'm still outside on my horse. So I'm going to ride around to the back of the house, and see if I see anything.

ASHLY: I'm going to run outside, and see if I see anything.

MATT: Okay, still utilizing the same perception checks you have, looking in both directions, nothing. There is-- you're maybe a little over a hundred feet or so from the tree line. Which is what you were staying close to, to not be out in the middle of the open field. But you don't see anything coming or going.

TALIESIN: I'll pull a single sword and guard Caleb.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm going to jump off my horse and get on the ground and feel the ground. Do I feel any vibrations?

MATT: You do. There's this faint (soft rumbling), and it seems to be moving in shifts or in pulses of intensity, getting more intense and some of them longer and some of them shorter.

MARISHA: I-- were you going to keep going?

MATT: No, that's what you're sensing.

MARISHA: I say: get off the ground!

TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: And I run, and I'm going to try and parkour up onto the roof of this thing.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and push Caleb awake and go for a tree.

LIAM: Oh yeah, I hear everything.


LIAM: Okay, what--

TALIESIN: Let's go! let's go! And we're going to head for a tree.

MATT: Okay, you guys are headed for the trees?

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah.

LIAM: Dispel the spell.

MATT: Spell's lost, Molly and Caleb start running out of the home to the tree line. And you're just going up on the roof?

MARISHA: Is there a roof to be got upon?

MATT: You're still on horseback, you can jump off your horse.

MARISHA: No, I jumped off my horse to feel the ground.

MATT: Right, right. So you're leaving your horse there and if-- you can try and look up on the roof. Part of it's collapsed. You don't know the state it's in, but you can try.

MARISHA: I'll get on my horse and head for the tree line with everyone else.

MATT: Okay (galloping). You start heading back to the tree line. What are you guys doing?

ASHLY: So we can't tell if this is a creature or a-- we just can feel the ground rumbling.

MATT: You can't, you haven't sensed anything. Everyone has just started getting nervous and rushing for the tree line. You can hear the faint rumbling, and it is getting louder.

MARISHA: I'm going to take-- as I get closer to the tree line-- how far away am I?

MATT: You're about 20 or so feet from the tree line.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to take my horse and I'm going to whip it around the opposite way, going away from us, and I'm going to give it a good kick and jump off of it. And head towards the tree line with everybody else. I'm going to head it away from us.

MATT: Okay. Your horse begins to head in a southward direction.

ASHLY: I'm staying where I am, and I'm taking out my battleaxe and my warhammer. I'm going, "Come out, you piece of shit!"

MATT: So you're staying by the house?

ASHLY: Yeah.

SAM: I'm staying in the house, and I'm going to cover myself up with some detritus of different chairs and things, near the window. I'm hiding.

MATT: Make a stealth check.

LIAM: What are we running from?

SAM: 13.

MATT: Caleb and Molly, you guys are riding towards the treeline.

TALIESIN: We're getting some distance from whatever.

MATT: First thing you notice is a splash of dirt to the south. You see a small detonation out of the earth in the direction of where your horse had been traveling off. You see something emerge from the ground and your horse ride up and hoof down and begin to run back in your direction away from it. It seemed to cut it off at the south. As it is running towards you--

MARISHA: Come on, WC, come on!

MATT: You see something spray or splash in its direction as it turns, and it whinnies in horrible pain before it collapses onto the ground, spinning.

MARISHA: Water Closet!

SAM: Aw.

MATT: It lies there on the ground, making this horrible (squealing) sound. As you're watching, from what you can see in the distance, its flesh burning.

ASHLY: Is it dying?

MATT: It looks in a really bad place. At this point in time, Molly and Caleb, you hear the vibration as the ground bursts to the right and left of you. Let me get the map, since that's where we're going now.

SAM: Oh! Should we move this map?

MATT: Yeah, we're going to move this map out of the way.

SAM: Oh boy.



SAM: Oh gosh!

ASHLY: Ah jeez!

SAM: Ashly, welcome to the show.

ASHLY: Hey, thanks for having me, guys.

SAM: It's been a while.

ASHLY: I know. It's been a minute. Since your one-shot, right?

SAM: Yes, but that doesn't count. Weren't you on the show-show at some point?

ASHLY: Mm-mm. This is my first time on the show-show.

MARISHA: Yeah, she did that goblins thing with us.

ASHLY: I've done three one-shots, but no show-show.

SAM: (gasps) That's terrible.

ASHLY: (laughs) I'm here now.

SAM: I mean, we're rectifying it right now.

ASHLY: Goblins, The Screw Job, and then the Ass Sailor? What was it called?

SAM: The romantic cruise thing.

ASHLY: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: The Ass Sailor?

SAM: Yeah, The Ass Sailor was the name of the-- Oh! You were in the bar! The bar was, yes, The Ass Sailor.

LIAM: I keep looking over at you and thinking I'm on the Jerry Lewis telethon.

SAM: I thought we were all going to dress up tonight.

MATT: There is Caleb. There's Molly, just on the outskirts of the forest, this way. Bursting to each side of you, you see these large insectoid creatures that burst out of the dirt and ground. Beau, you are right over on this side, as you left your horse on a southern direction there. Both Nott and Keg are about 100 feet that direction.

MATT: Your horses are currently--

ASHLY: Oh, so they went after them?

MATT: Yeah.


MATT: While you guys are over by the house, you watch as this is going on, and there doesn't appear to be any action immediately near you, so you're quite a distance away.

ASHLY: Can I rush forward now?

MATT: You can. If your horse is still right by the-- No, your horses rushed off towards the--

TALIESIN: Her horse is still there.

ASHLY: I think my horse is still there.

MATT: Your horse is still there, that's right. You still have your horse there. You can jump on your horse and head that direction, if you want to.

ASHLY: Okay, I'm going to do that.

MATT: All right, so you rush onto that. I need everybody to roll initiative, please, because we are now in combat.

ASHLY: God! I think I spent all of my 20 juice on all these one-shots.

SAM: You got that.

ASHLY: I know, but it's still a one!

MATT: 25 to 20?


MATT: Beau's up first. 20 to 15?


MATT: Molly's up next. 15 to ten?

SAM: Ten.

TALIESIN: It's the anti-snitch.

SAM: Nega-snitch.

MATT: Caleb, what did you get?

LIAM: *Drei.*

MATT: All right. And? Ooh.

ASHLY: Yeah. It makes sense. I'm riding in late.

MARISHA: You're also three?

ASHLY: I'm three, yes.

MATT: Not so great for Keg. That's all right. Top of the round, Beau.

MARISHA: Okay. So I have this one in front of me. Oh, man. Oh my god.

MATT: There's a third one down that way that's maybe about 30 feet away from you that is heading your direction. It's up to you if you want to pursue that or come help out your friends.

MARISHA: No, I'm going to go for this one here. I should have enough speed to clear it, 40 feet.

MATT: Yeah, you should. Yeah, you can easily get there.

MARISHA: Pop, pop. Okay, so first attack. 15?

MATT: 15 hits.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to spend a ki point to stun this thing, and hopefully it doesn't save again.

MATT: That is a six, a five plus one. It does not save.

MARISHA: It's stunned! Finally!

MATT: As you rush up to the side, you look for what-- and what you see now, at a close look, is this massive almost eight to nine feet tall to its head, insect-like, large cockroach-type creature. Its chitinous armored body is segmented in places. There's large antennae and these massive pincers come out of its mouth, with its strange insectoid eyes, this gooey saliva that's dripping out of the center of its mouth. As it spins around towards you, you see a moment where, between its plates and its body, seems to be a soft, muscle-like underbelly. You jam your fist in there and attack, and it seems to lock up its body for a moment. Roll damage.

MARISHA: Oh, right. Oh god, I rolled a one in damage. So that's plus four, five damage. I'm so nervous.

MATT: All right, so that's your first strike?

MARISHA: Yeah. Then second strike. That's a natural 14, so I'm pretty sure that hits, plus seven, so 21. Ooh, that's an eight; it's the total other end of the spectrum. I keep getting there. Sorry, my brain is all over the place. 12 damage.

MATT: Nice. The first strike ends up as just enough to cut past its defenses to stun it. As it's reeling from the impact, your other blow, crack! with your staff to the side, hits it, and part of its armor cracks inward, exposing more of its tender underbelly.

MARISHA: Okay, and then I am going to spend another ki point and do extract aspects.

MATT: Okay, you want to learn three things from it. What do you want to learn?

MARISHA: Three things, okay. What is its dexterity modifier, or its dexterity saving throw?

MATT: Dexterity saving throw is zero. Plus zero.

MARISHA: Okay. Sorry. Dex zero. What is its constitution saving throw?

MATT: Plus one.

MARISHA: Does it have any vulnerabilities?

MATT: No vulnerabilities.

MARISHA: Okay. I still have a bonus attack, right?

MATT: Still have a bonus attack.

LIAM: Oh, wow. The suspense.


MATT: 13. Technically, your attacks have advantage while it's stunned, so you get to roll again.

MARISHA: Oh, that's right That's even worse.

MATT: Does not hit. Even while stunned, you swing back with your fist, and your knuckles glide off of part of the armor that is still hardened, and it hurts your knuckles and you pull back a second, but it's not immediately able to do anything back at you. That's your turn, I believe?

MARISHA: Yeah. I yell to everybody and be like: These guys don't seem very quick and shifty!

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Not too dex-y or anything. They seem clumsy as fuck.

MATT: All right, that ends your turn?

MARISHA: It has shitty dexterity.

MATT: Molly, you're up next.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try something fancy. I'm going to tap my new fancy sword, and I'm going to, like a Pepper's ghost effect, fade out and disappear, and move right into what would be-- get some advantage on the one that Beau's been hitting.

MATT: (counting) 30, so you're just out of range of it, but you can use your movement to move up to it.

TALIESIN: I'll use my movement to get right where I need to be.

MATT: There you go.

TALIESIN: So I have advantage now?

MATT: You do. You watch as Molly fades out of existence and then appears, Nightcrawler teleport-style right behind Caleb.

SAM: They killed Molly!

TALIESIN: I'll take two attacks.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: All right. First one, a natural one and an 18, yeah, so one hits.

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: Ooh! That's ten damage plus three.

MATT: So 13 damage?

TALIESIN: Yeah, 13, ten plus three. Next attack. That's a 19.

MATT: 19 hits.

TALIESIN: That's nine plus two, so that's 11.

MATT: 11 points of damage. All right, that'll do it. With that, you teleport next to it and carve it asunder. It screams as you slice through it all three times, and you bisect it in the center of where its thorax begins. Falls to the ground and crumples into pieces, its greenish blood spilling into the dirt and floor of the forest underbrush.

MARISHA: Clink! Take her staff and clink weapons.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we have a little clink, and turn and face the other one.

MATT: All right, ends Molly's turn. Nott, you're up.

TALIESIN: Actually, do I have any movement left?

MATT: You do. You have 25 feet of movement.

TALIESIN: I'm going to pull back, and I'm going to get ten feet in front of Caleb, right between Caleb and the insect. No, the other side of that. Right there, to make a wall there.

MATT: Perfect. There you go. Finishing your go. Nott, you are way off that way.

SAM: Yeah, I'm looking through the window of the house, the homestead, and I'm 100 feet away?

MATT: You're about 100 feet away, yeah.

SAM: There's nothing I can do. I'll start walking towards the fight.

MATT: That's 30 feet. You could dash as a bonus action, if you wanted to.

SAM: Yeah, that'll take me 60 feet.

MATT: It does seem to lose your stealth, unfortunately.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: You could be low in the brush, but you're not moving quiet, carefully.

SAM: I'm going fast.

MATT: We'll say at that point, that'll get you about to the edge of the board there.

TALIESIN: Hey, you might be able to-- oh, you burned your move, though.

SAM: Where is Keg? Did I just run past Keg on my way?

ASHLY: I'm on a horse.

MATT: Keg is going to be catching up to you at this point.

SAM: Can I hold my action until Keg gets in range? You're on a horse?

ASHLY: Yeah, I jumped on a horse. Before we rolled initiative, real fast-like.

SAM: I'll hold my action until someone gets within melee range of the thing, and then I will fire a crossbow.

MATT: Okay. Got you. That ends Nott's turn. It's now their turn. As one of them that previously killed Beau's horse--

MARISHA: Rest in peace, Water Closet.

MATT: To that side there. Another one bursts from the ground--

SAM: Aw, come on! This is not fair.

MATT: --On this side, and skitters over this direction. This one's going to move up to there. If your horse is there, it can't quite move to that space, which is frustrating it. That's fine. It'll pull back a bit, then, and stay there. Actually, no, because you killed the fourth one, so it's not present. As they all turn around and, watching its one friend get cut down, they begin to line up, all three of them pull back and its pincers open as it releases this splashing stream of deep green-like liquid that sprays out in front of it, for 30 feet, five foot wide.

TALIESIN: This is not anything I can try and give them disadvantage on?

MATT: Nope, this is a saving throw scenario. I need Molly and Caleb to make dexterity-- actually, for this one, it's just Molly and the horse, because it doesn't quite get to Caleb on that one.

TALIESIN: Dexterity saving throw?

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: Yay! That's a 22!

MATT: Okay, so you take half damage. There you go. You take seven points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: I can live with that.

MATT: As it streaks across your body. Your horse does not make the saving throw. Your horse gets sprayed on the side and makes a horrible, pained neighing sound as it falls to the ground, its body now acidically burning away.


MATT: It's not surviving this.

TALIESIN: That's the end of Loo.

SAM: Now we're down to John, Crapper, and Toilet.

MATT: This one right here is going to spray you as well, Molly. Another dexterity saving throw, please.

ASHLY: I really hope Toilet makes it.


MATT: 11 does not succeed. You suffer 14 points of acid damage as another stream blasts into your back and shoulder, burning through your flesh, and the side of your face begins to pull away and smoke. Back here, this one is going to shoot in a stream that hits Beau, Caleb, and the horse. I need you to--

LIAM: Can I use my natural 20 now?

MARISHA: Dex saves?

MATT: Dex save, yes.

LIAM: That time it's a three.

MARISHA: That's a natural one.

MATT: Your horse made it, though.

MARISHA: Hey, Crapper!

MATT: That is 14 points of acid damage to both of you. The horse takes seven. It's hurt, still surviving. That's going to end their go. It's now the horses' turn.

SAM: The horses' turn?

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLY: I got worse initiative than the horse?

MATT: This one's running. Yep. And it's going to run off the battlefield there.

SAM: Run, Crapper, run!

MATT: He's dead.

SAM: Run like the wind!

MATT: All righty. That's going to end their go. Caleb and Keg, you guys are up.

LIAM: Oh, guests first.

ASHLY: Oh, thank you. So how far can I go on this horse?

MATT: On horseback?


MATT: That's a fairly good distance speed of 60 feet.

SAM: Wow.

MATT: That'll get you up to... uh, we'll say up to there. Pretty much right to the edge of where that is there. Um...

ASHLY: So I can't get up on any of these boys?

MATT: I'll say because a horse doesn't get any attack on-- and it would normally get an action, I'll let the horse dash.


SAM: That's nice.

MATT: So that'll get you right up next to this one.

ASHLY: Okay. So can I leap off the horse and come down with the axe?


MATT: Yeah. Just for the hell of it, make an acrobatics check for me.

ASHLY: Okay! Why not?

MATT: What could possibly go wrong?

ASHLY: Natural 20.


SAM: That's like Cirque du Soleil shit.

MATT: So as the horse is galloping, you watch--

ASHLY: She goes like this.

MATT: You watch as Keg gets up on top, holding the reins. (hoofbeats) Pulls the warhammer out and then at the right moment just leaps off while pulling the battleaxe out, doing a flip in the air, landing and coming down with both weapons. Go ahead and make your attacks on the opposite side of it.

ASHLY: 17?

MATT: 17 hits.

ASHLY: And then the other attack is an 18 naturally.

MATT: Yeah, that hits. So go ahead and roll both those damage.

ASHLY: So that's six... and then help me do math, 12.

MATT: Six and 12?

ASHLY: Yeah.

MATT: Nice. Still have your bonus action.

ASHLY: So I get to attack again, right?

MATT: Yeah, because you're dual wielding. So you attack, attack, and then attack.

ASHLY: Eight plus seven. Does that hit?

MATT: 15. Still hits.


MATT: Yep. Armor class of...

ASHLY: Nine.

MATT: Nine points of damage. Oof! So as you come down, both weapons (whack) clanging onto it, you hear the armor crack from underneath and you watch as its light green blood begin to seep through the wounds you left. As it turns around, this weird clicking, sucking sound out of its face, you laugh--

ASHLY: Shut up!

MATT: --and slam it in the side of the face with your war hammer. (screech) It pulls back and it's now bleeding out of its jaw as it looks pretty hurt.

ASHLY: Nice.

SAM: I will release my bolt. At disadvantage because more than 30 feet away.

MATT: It is, yes.

SAM: (inhale through teeth) Ooh, that's only a 12.

MATT: 12 misses, unfortunately. (ping) The bolt streaks off-- actually, it hits the side of Keg's armor--


MATT: Shearing off.

SAM: Sorry, sorry! That's-- that's on me.

ASHLY: Who are you aiming for?

SAM: I did not--

ASHLY: It's nine feet tall!

SAM: I'm sorry! I'm just drunk. I'm drunk, I'm day drunk.

TALIESIN: This is your perfect opportunity for "New crossbow, who dis?"


SAM: Oh yeah, I got a new crossbow.

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

LIAM: Yeah. I go rummaging through my pack really quick and I pull out a licorice root and stick it into my mouth and bite onto and I start muttering to myself and I say, "Pick up the pace," and I cast Haste on Beauregard.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Aw, I hate licorice. (groaning) Why is that taste in my mouth? That's weird.

LIAM: And then I will move as far as I can towards Nott.

MATT: All right. So you are Hasted there. You're going to move as far as you can to Nott.

LIAM: Towards Nott, *ja.*

MATT: There you go.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: That finishes your turn. Top of the round, Beau you're up and hasted.

MARISHA: (panting) I'm going to turn to this guy and I'm going to lay into him.

MATT: You step around the trunk of the tree.

MARISHA: So that means, do I get three attacks? Base attacks?

MATT: You get three base attacks, correct.


MATT: (singing) Haste. (hits)

MARISHA: (hits) First one!

LIAM: Advantage on dex saves too.

MARISHA: And advantage on dex saves. 15.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: It will come in handy with these--

LIAM: Yes.

MARISHA: That is... nine damage. Nine! Second one. Ooh. Yeah, yeah. that's 16.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: And that is... 11 damage.

MATT: Nice. Third strike.

MARISHA: That's a natural 14.

MATT: Yep, that'll hit.


MARISHA: Okay. Seven damage.

MATT: Seven points of damage on that, fantastic. And you still have your bonus.

MARISHA: Yep and I'm going to spend a ki point again to do flurry of blows and get two more attacks.

MATT: Two more attacks.


MATT: Hasted monks. (blows) Just full on Wang Chung over here.

MARISHA: Mm. One's a natural 19, the other's a two.

MATT: So you do get one more hit. So roll damage for that.

LIAM: Get it.

MARISHA: Aw, yeah! 11 damage.

MATT: 11 damage.

MARISHA: No, ten damage. Sorry.

MATT: That's okay.

LIAM: Right in the ball sack.

MARISHA: Is he dead?

MATT: That'll do it.

MARISHA: Is he dead?


ASHLY: Oh my god!

MATT: You just spin around, the adrenaline pumping through your veins from Caleb's spell instilling you with unnatural speed. You rush forward and just (hits) and just do the fastest full on combo. You watch as she basically pummels this giant nine foot insect creature into submission.

MARISHA: (hits)

MATT: It falls to the ground as you're just pummelling its face until it eventually collapses and sputters out the remaining breath before it stops moving.

LIAM: Street Fighter combo.

TALIESIN: Epic combo.

MATT: Fantastic. You still have...

MARISHA: Oh, movement!

MATT: 75 feet of movement.

SAM: Oh wow.

ASHLY: Holy cow.

SAM: Because you're fast.

MATT: Because you're hasted.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: It's a fresh one.

MARISHA: I am going to make my way behind this guy... if I can.

MATT: Oh, yeah.

SAM: (car zoom)


LIAM: Wow.

MATT: You go around the tree and then tap it on the shoulder.

TALIESIN: Circle the tree a couple times, holding onto it.


MATT: Just to be a dick.

MARISHA: (singing) Singing in the rain.

MATT: All right. That finishes your turn, Beau?


MATT: All right. Molly, you're up next.

TALIESIN: I'm going to run and get into flanking position with this one over here.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: Thumpety, thumpety.

MATT: So move over and push into this space--


MATT: Because it's an ally, I'll let you move into the horses space there so.

TALIESIN: And now we're going to take a slice at this one. And that's... that'll do it. (counting) 25 to hit.

MATT: That'll hit.

TALIESIN: So.(counting) ten plus four 14.

MATT: 14 points of damage, nice.

TALIESIN: And again. 19 and a one.

MATT: That'll hit.

TALIESIN: Why I love advantage.

MATT: Advantage is nice.

TALIESIN: And that's... 14 points of damage.

SAM: Wow.

ASHLY and MATT: Ooh.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: It's got to be dead by now, right?

MATT: No, it's still alive.


TALIESIN: How is that-- the one that... really?

MATT: That one hadn't taken any damage.


MATT: Oh wait, no! Oh sorry. I was writing that down under the wrong one.

TALIESIN: (explosions, screeching)

MATT: My apologies. Yes, it is dead.

ASHLY: (laughter)

MATT: I was writing it under the wrong one. So as you dart off behind, the first two strikes you unleash carve it into two pieces. You watch as the creature, as it's turning around to hiss and rear back, its pincers about to carve into your face, you watch as the head just rolls off of its body and there behind you see Molly standing there with the blades out.

ASHLY: Whoa.

TALIESIN: I needed this. And I'm going to hide behind the tree trunk from the other one.

MATT: Okay, you're going to-- right there?

TALIESIN: Last of my movement. Yeah.

MATT: Okay. That finishes your go, Molly. Nott, you're up.

SAM: I'll move within range, crossbow bolt range. You know what?

MATT: The inner range is what?

SAM: 30.

MATT: It's just out of your 30 range.

SAM: No, you know what? I'll stay put and I will cast... I will cast Silent Image in a flanking position to Beau. And I will create a second Beau just standing there in front of the creature and try to help Beau.

MATT: So mysteriously...

MARISHA: It's a different color palette? Color palette swaps.

TALIESIN: It's Street Fighter-style.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Beau and Ken.


MATT: Perfect. All right, so. As the image of Beau appears before, just standing there quietly shifting, holding its space.

SAM: And I'll bonus action hide, just behind that little--

MATT: You can use your movement to go behind and then hide if you want to.

SAM: Sure, great.

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll a stealth check.

SAM: Natural 20.


TALIESIN: Oh! This is cool.

MATT: You teleport through campaigns. You're somehow in campaign one.

SAM: Great. Ooh.

MATT: All right. That finishes Nott's turn.

SAM: It's not as emotionally deep as this one.

TALIESIN: Give it time, give it time.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Nice patronus, by the way.

LIAM: Time travel too far.

SAM: Yep.

MATT: So it's now that guy's turn. Currently surrounded by Beaus--

TALIESIN: Too many Beaus.

MATT: Too many Beaus. It's going to go ahead and see if it can gather which one is the real threat. Rolls a natural 19. So even with its low intelligence, it can discern the nature of which--

TALIESIN: That palette swap's terrible.


MATT: Really? Puce? It's going to go ahead and make a bite attack towards you, Beau.


MATT: That is going to be a 12 to hit?


MATT: Yeah. It just reaches out with its pincers. You manage to go ahead and duck out of the side and slam your bo into it, causing it to just completely miss you. It rears back. It does not regain its acid spray and that's its turn.

SAM: Wow. That's great.

MATT: Both horses just go running off the board into the fray. Or away from the fray.

TALIESIN: We have oats, they'll come back.

SAM: Maybe.

MATT: All right, that brings us to Keg.

ASHLY: Can I get there with the 25 feet speed?

MATT: You can.

ASHLY: Delightful. I'm going to smack him.

SAM: Nope.

ASHLY: I won't smack him. I'll try again to smack him.

SAM: Ooh.

ASHLY: I will smack him. And then I'm going to do nine damage to that boy.

MATT: Nine damage to that one.

ASHLY: As a bonus action, I'll smack him again. I will smack him, and then I'll smack him one more time, and that's going to be seven damage.

MATT: Seven points of damage. The first one swings wide, no impact. The second one slams as a backhand into its armor, causing it to crack. Using that opening, you pull back with your battleaxe and jam it into the wound, carving in deeper. It's looking pretty hurt, but it's still standing. Anything else you wanted to do in your turn?

ASHLY: No, I'm going to hang.

MATT: You're going to hang back?

SAM: You're going to keg stand there?

ASHLY: I'm going to keg stand there. I'm proud of you, Sam.

MATT: That's what happens when you get Emmy award winners at the table. You get that.

ASHLY: That's the height that we can accomplish though.

MATT: Yeah, that's about it. You've peaked at this point, we're done after this. It's all downhill.

SAM: There's horses around, there might be a pony keg at some point, I don't know. We're going to work on it.

MATT: We'll work on it. That ends your go, Keg. Caleb, you're up.

LIAM: I feel the wind and then shoot three Magic Missiles out of my hand at the thing.

MATT: As you finish your attacks, you glance over your shoulder as you hear this sound. You look in the distance; you see Caleb-- who at this point has been this dirty hobo in the background-- all of a sudden, fire these three mystical arcane missiles that glow and arc off anime-missile style, through the woods, avoiding trees, and all three slamming into the sides of this creature. Go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: That's a four and also (counting) six-- I've got to change this dice, that is a ten total.

MATT: Ten total. (multiple impacts) It sits there for a second after the impact, leaving these large craters in the side of its chitinous armor where it's cracked and bits of liquid are spilling out of it. It looks heavily wounded, but it's still alive.

LIAM: *Was ist los?*

MATT: You're going to stay where you're put?

LIAM: I will go crouch by Nott.

MATT: Revealing her position.

SAM: Hey! Get away from me! No!

LIAM: I didn't make any noise. I just sit down.

MATT: That's all good. That finishes Caleb's go. Beau, you're up.

MARISHA: First attack. 14.

MATT: That just hits.

MARISHA: Wait, no, 13. Sorry, my math is wonky today. That doesn't hit, does it?

MATT: 13 does not hit.

SAM: There's no advantage because my Silent Image is there?

MATT: Unfortunately, no. Nothing is actually flanking it.

MARISHA: Second attack. That hits, that's 18.

MATT: 18 hits.

MARISHA: That is-- what did I roll on that one? I forgot. I don't know what it was. Sorry, 15 damage for the first one.

MATT: 15 points of damage on the first hit?


MATT: Beau, how do you want to do this? As you and Keg are both there clamoring on two sides of it, the image of yourself on the opposite end, what do you want to do?

MARISHA: As I see Keg bash it in a little bit of its insect armor, I take my staff and I get up under its exoskeleton and I start prying it off and I punch it to death.

MATT: As you crowbar off a large part of its exterior insectoid armor skeleton, it exposes this horrible yellowish, sinewy muscle interior as all the striations are pulling off of the armor. As it's exposed, it tries to go in to protect itself, but you're too quick, and you zero in and plunge your fist into its body as it falls to the ground with a horrible sucking, guttural, slimy death and pull it out.

TALIESIN: If you squeeze and twist, you can make it stand up again and you can make the arms move.

MATT: Technically--

LIAM: (singing) Hello my baby!

ASHLY: You guys nasty, I like it.

MARISHA: Does anybody have a wet nap?

TALIESIN: Use the ground.

SAM: I'm going to take off running after the horses to see if I can catch up with them.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Please check on Water Closet!

TALIESIN: This is a dead horse or can it be revived?

MATT: You can go ahead and make a medicine check.

TALIESIN: I'm going to make a medicine check for my horse.

LIAM: Does it have Jester's shield on it?

SAM: Didn't we leave the shield?

MATT: No, the shield was strapped onto one of the horses.

TALIESIN: My medicine check is nine.

MATT: You're not sure but it looks dire.

ASHLY: Can I check?

MATT: Sure, if you want to go ahead and step up to the horse. Make a medicine check.

ASHLY: 13?

MATT: Unless this horse gets some serious treatment, it's done.

LIAM: It's suffering, put it down.

ASHLY: I take my axe and I slam it down on its neck.

MATT: Instantly mercy killed.


MATT: Nott, you do manage to catch up to the other horses. They didn't go full sprint into infinity. They slowed down and once they got a safe distance from the action-- you manage to recover two of them. There's still your horse by the house; you still have three horses.

MARISHA: Check Water Closet.

SAM: John, Crapper, and Toilet. Water Closet's dead.

MARISHA: Oh, he's very dead.

MATT: You can go check.

TALIESIN: Water Closet is possibly new pocket jerky at this point.

SAM: We can go check Water Closet I guess?

MATT: Go ahead and make a medicine check as you approach.

SAM: That would be a three.

MATT: Water Closet looks not long for this world.

SAM: I'm going to try to cut out the tongue. Maybe that's something I can eat later.

MATT: Okay. Water Closet is still technically holding onto life.

SAM: Ugh. I don't know that.

MATT: No. Water Closet's final horrible moment is its riders cutting its tongue out.

SAM: (sobbing)

ASHLY: Why do you hang out with this guy-- lady.

MARISHA: He came up with this one; they were a package deal.

ASHLY: Why do you hang out with it?

LIAM: She is extremely useful.

ASHLY: At cutting out horse tongues?

SAM: (eating noises)

LIAM: Among other things, yeah.

ASHLY: That's the most fucked-up shit I've ever seen, and I grew up in Shady Creek Run.

MARISHA: We have three horses, and there's five of us.

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: Can we double up?

MATT: It's possible.

MARISHA: Nott doubles up with Caleb.

SAM: Maybe the two smalls should--

ASHLY: I'm not going on a horse with her.

SAM: What? I've bonded with its essence now.

ASHLY: I'm not going on a horse with her!

TALIESIN: Keg can ride with me, this is not a problem. If you want.

ASHLY: Yeah, that's fine.

SAM: I've got the booze.

ASHLY: You know, for the first time in my life, I'm willing to sacrifice booze--

LIAM: Scared straight.

ASHLY: Scared straight. You can take that shit on the road.

TALIESIN: You're already taking a good hard look at your decisions. This is good.

MATT: As you guys begin to try and work out your arrangements and the horses, unfortunately, due to the heavy nature of your armor and the broad form and heavy body of Keg, it looks like you won't be able to fit Keg and one other individual on a horse. But there are other combinations that might work.

MARISHA: Nott, team up with Caleb.

TALIESIN: I'll ride with you then.

SAM: Would that work?

TALIESIN: You get your own horse.


MARISHA: Can me and Molly team up?

MATT: You and Molly can do it, yeah.


TALIESIN: I have their armor.

SAM: Wait, we have three-- yeah, okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that'll do it.

MATT: Keg's about as dense as two of you.

TALIESIN: That's fair.


SAM: I noticed back there that you were using your hands and weapon stuff and things. You're not a healer or anything?

ASHLY: You cracked the case, my man.

TALIESIN: Truly nothing escapes your astute observation.

SAM: You don't have any potions of healing or anything that could maybe heal someone if anyone needing healing would--

ASHLY: Who needs healing?

SAM: No one now, but in the future-- it's a frequent occurrence for us.

TALIESIN: Going to go back to that cabin and take a short rest for a minute.

SAM: Do any of us have any potions?

MARISHA: I have a potion.

LIAM: I have a potion. I start to look to see what Jester's got inside the haversack other than the dodecahedron and our tent.

MATT: Unless I am mistaken--

SAM: She had a Greater Healing potion, however, I don't know if she had that on her or kept it in the sack.

TALIESIN: It would have been in the sack.

LIAM: She had a Heroes' Feast in there, I think.

MATT: I'm going to go ahead and check one element of this because it will--

SAM: I think we have her notebook in the locker.

TALIESIN: Do you want me to go look at the locker?

MARISHA: Yeah, her notebook might even be--

SAM: No, I felt around in there.

MARISHA: Oh, it might be in the locker then.

ASHLY: What time is it now, after all the bug-battling?

MATT: The battle was pretty quick. You still have probably another hour and a half, two hours, before sundown.

ASHLY: Of daylight? Is there anything to harvest from those bugs?

MATT: If you want to go ahead and take a shot at trying--

SAM: Did the light just change in here?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: It was in battle mode, did you notice?

ASHLY: Ooh, fancy!

TALIESIN: Look at the fancy.

SAM: The light is moving.

MATT: New toys.


MATT: I've wanted to have a setup like that since high school. And now I can.


MATT: You've never encountered these creatures; you don't have much of an understanding of their anatomy beyond the experience you had extracting the aspects from them, which actually would give you a little better idea of their physicality in some places. Because you looked at their constitution and dexterity, I'll say that you know that the tendons and some of the muscle sinew that they use in the inside of their body is very strong and very tight and can be used as cording. It can be used for anything that would involve a very strong piece of cord or rope.

MARISHA: What about their acidic venom situation, their venom sacs?

LIAM: Caleb comes up behind.

MATT: That could possibly be harvested. It's a dangerous process, you can certainly try.

MARISHA: Like I might die trying?

MATT: I don't know, you can certainly try. It's trying to carefully remove a giant sac of natural acid from a creature's body. You want to roll the dice?

TALIESIN: Are you feeling lucky, punk?

LIAM: Hold on. Here, there's the dodecahedron.


MATT: All right. Well, you have to pull it out. You have to remove it.


SAM: Just stare back.

MATT: You watch as they pull this pack out and Beau, reaching in, pulls out this strange, 12-sided construction. It looks like it's some sort of an opaque crystal, almost like a marble type of color. It's grayish and it's undulating with some slight pulsing light, like a faint heartbeat, with these golden handles affixed to it. As she pulls it out and begins to focus on it, there's this moment of distant meditation before she comes back with a breath and places it back in. It's a strange sight.

ASHLY: You're all into some freaky shit.

LIAM: Made by gnomes.


MATT: Do you have a blade to harvest?

LIAM: I have a dagger. Here, use mine.

MARISHA: I do have a dagger.

LIAM: I shoot out the globules of light to float around the corpse.

MARISHA: And I put my goggles on. Safety first.

LIAM: It's very bright. Super bright.

MATT: Super bright right now.

MARISHA: Pull up the hood and I buckle myself up. I take my scarf from around my waist and tie it around me for a facemask.

LIAM: You can do this, and I walk twenty feet back.

MATT: I will say, because of your understanding of its body from extracting the aspects of it, do you wish to utilize nature or medicine for this roll? Giving you the choice.

MARISHA: Medicine, it's higher.

MATT: Go ahead and make your check.

MARISHA: Just a straight check?

MATT: Just a straight check. Skill check with medicine bonus, whatever that may be.

MARISHA: Natural 20!


TALIESIN: Finally!

MARISHA: I'm back!

MATT: You've seen Beau be pretty precise in combat and pinpointing the weak elements of an opponent's body. This is almost poetry. The surgical precision in which Beauregard takes the dagger and cuts, pulls, rips, pulls and lifts. Tucks, finds, cuts, removes, and within a matter of about a minute, a minute and a half, there is a sac about the size of a basketball-- the ends have been tied off and feels like a water balloon.

ASHLY: Keg is aroused.

MARISHA: Got the sac, now what? Do you have any more flasks or anything to put it in?

SAM: I have a couple of empty vials, but they're small. I've worked with chemicals before, I could try to put this acid in the vials and stopper them.

MARISHA: If we poke-- if you have a little tube or something that is straw, a little bamboo straw, put it in there, and go down?

SAM: Sure. Would three vials of acid be useful to us?

MARISHA: I think it would be useful to you for sure.

SAM: Sure, all right. I'll try to make a little needle prick in the bladder and try to pour them into these vials that I got from the Gentleman.

MARISHA: Can I help with my natural 20?

MATT: Make a dexterity check, just a straight dexterity check.

SAM: Okay. That's 16.

MATT: That's good. You do not just puncture a balloon while looking directly at it. You manage to find one of the areas that taper within this organ, whatever it is that was removed, and manage to siphon it off in a way where you can fill the rest of your vials, however many empty vials you have.

SAM: I have three from The Gentleman.

MATT: Yeah. You have three vials of acid now.

SAM: Okay. Great. Would you like one? You did this.

MARISHA: I think they're better to be used on your bolts and things like that.

SAM: I don't know how I would put it on there.

MARISHA: Can't he--?

MATT: It's more of a tossed weapon or used to dissolve things.

SAM: Why don't you take one?

MARISHA: All right, I'll take one.

SAM: Molly, do you want some acid? Do you want to drop some acid?

TALIESIN: I feel like if you give it to me, I'm going to end up dropping it and it's not really going to be that useful.

SAM: Caleb, do you want--?

LIAM: You're far more dexterous than I.

SAM: How about I'll give you two, and I'll keep one since I already have one that I made.

ASHLY: You didn't ask me if I wanted some acid.

LIAM: Are you dexterous?

ASHLY: Yeah?

LIAM: Show us.

ASHLY: 15. I do a back flip, I don't know.


ASHLY: It's acrobatics, but fuck it.

LIAM: I'd say she earned one, yeah?

SAM: All right. Here you go.

ASHLY: Thank you.

SAM: Are we friends again?

ASHLY: Were we ever?

TALIESIN: I'm very happy.

MATT: You guys have taken a short time-- it's taken about half an hour or so for you to go through this process of extracting that and carefully filling these vials and discussing amongst yourselves who would get what. You have about an hour until dusk hits.

TALIESIN: I say we just camp at the house, at this point. I need rest and we have... Not going to get much further.

MARISHA: It's fine with me. You guys fine with that?

LIAM: Short rest, you said? Sorry, was reading my book.

TALIESIN: I say we wake up early. It's going to be dusk in less than an hour.

ASHLY: The house feels a little exposed to me.


ASHLY: Plus all the weird buggy guys were around there. If there are more, they would come back.

LIAM: I'm sorry, did we get any horses? Just enough to fit us all on, condensed, right.

SAM: What time is it? Sorry.

MATT: About an hour until dusk.

SAM: Oh, well, we can make some more headway on the road and then go at full dark. We could camp at full dark.

TALIESIN: Wherever we happen to find ourselves.

ASHLY: Are we within range of the forests?

MATT: Yes, about here is where the forest begins, and that is where you began your confrontation. You're right on the edge of the forest.

LIAM: I think we should continue to make time as well.

MARISHA: Okay. Can I climb a tree and do I see anything on the horizon in where we're going, like another tree clearing that looks like it might be up ahead?

MATT: Make an athletics check.

MARISHA: Athletics?

MATT: Yes.


SAM: Jesus.

MARISHA: Rolled an 18.

MATT: Like a monkey that was raised in the jungle, you watch Beauregard leap from branch to bough, effortlessly diving through this forest.

ASHLY: Keg is aroused.

MARISHA: Whatever you cast on me, Caleb, is like... I feel so good!

MATT and LIAM: It's gone.

MARISHA: But the lingering effects, you know, I'm in the afterglow!

MATT: The afterglow of Haste.

TALIESIN: It was just tea. We just gave you tea to smoke, it wasn't really...


TALIESIN: Herbal tea, man. Just chamomile tea.

MARISHA: So relaxed.

MATT: You make it up into the canopy. Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Okay. 17.

MATT: Even at the tallest tree, most around you, all you can see are other trees of varying heights. Looking in the northeast direction, beyond where you just came from, you can see the house, you can see bits of natural rock that maybe had either been left by some long-ago volcanic detonation in the distance, or pushed up through the ground by tectonic movement, you're not sure. You see elements of stone that have broken through bits of the grass and open fields, part of the natural fields here. You haven't actually traveled this far north, so it's unfamiliar topography to you-- you've only heard about it-- but it's interesting to see that the further north you get, the more rocky the terrain seems to get in the direction you're traveling. You do see, far in the distance, what could possibly be the road that you're getting to, but it's a ways off to get to that direction.

MARISHA: I climb back down. I say we gather some branches, some scrap wood for firewood, in case this might be the only forest we come across in a while. See as far as we can get, maybe we can hide under a rock for shelter or something.

TALIESIN: I've still got my tent, so, sure.

MARISHA: I shoved one in the haversack too.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: You guys continue for the next hour or so, skirting along the forest.

MARISHA: I gathered some stuff.

LIAM: As they leave, Caleb scooches Frumpkin on the head and says: You know, she always forgets about you, but I do not.

MARISHA: It's such a quiet bird. I'm used to very loud birds.

MATT: You guys gather some kindling, get back to your three horses and your comparatively uncomfortable riding arrangement, and continue on for another hour on the outside of the forest before the sun does eventually vanish. The graying sky is getting darker and darker, the faint bits of orange that poke through-- it's not a beautiful sunset, you only catch the faint hues that manage to push through the gloom, but the sky grows dark enough to the point where you think you should set up camp. Are you setting up camp at the edge of the forest, on the inside of the forest, on the outside of the forest, what's your preference?

LIAM: Off inside, I think.

ASHLY: Yeah, I think inside as well.

MATT: Okay. You guys set up camp. Who's keeping first watch?

LIAM: I will.

TALIESIN: I'll also do first watch.

LIAM: I will begin it by putting out the silver thread around the group.

MATT: You guys want to both individually roll perception or one aid the other? With the help action.

SAM: Help action!

LIAM: Individual.

TALIESIN: Individual.

LIAM: Because I can't decide.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

LIAM: Better than my 16.

MATT: Plus?

TALIESIN: Oh. Plus... three. 23.

MATT: All righty. As everyone's settling in, begins to find their initial portions of rest, you guys have your small fire there on the edge. Molly, you glance off deeper into the forest... and your eyes, even at this distance, catch a faint glimmer of matching flame. You see a faint bit of firelight sparkling about 200 feet deeper into the forest.

TALIESIN: There's another... there's another campfire.

LIAM: How far away?

TALIESIN: 200 feet, give or take.

LIAM: Uh...

TALIESIN: Do you want to send a bird, maybe?

LIAM: I would send one of two things. One is our little friend here, or--

TALIESIN: She's sleeping.

LIAM: Or I... lose the peregrine and go back to something else a little less noticeable.

TALIESIN: I'd say go ahead. I figure if they were meaning us any harm they wouldn't set a fire.

LIAM: And it's dark out now, yeah?

MATT: It is dark, yeah. It's probably pushing 10:00, 10:30.

LIAM: (sighs) I would know if an owl-- Owls can see in the dark?

MATT: Owls are nocturnal yes. You would know that.

LIAM: Yeah, okay. Okay. I'm going to change Frumpkin again, out of peregrine into an owl. I will mark that off on my supplies. I've got one more after this that I can do.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: We get a long rest.

LIAM: And uh-- No, I mean I need incense but anyway--

MATT: You don't have your long rests yet, so don't mark that yet.


LIAM: Yeah. I send Frumpkin tree to tree in that direction. Maybe, 20 feet and wait a moment and then another 20 feet.

MATT: Okay. So as Frumpkin begins to crawl through the forest in the direction of the fire, we're going to go ahead and take a break.

SAM: Oh. Wait, no. What? Huh? Oh.


MATT: Yeah. It's almost nine o'clock so we're going to take a break.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: So we'll be back here in a few minutes. Thank you for coming along with us for this bit so far. We'll be back to continue from where we left off there. We do have our first giveaway at our first break in the new studio.


MATT: There are some changes and such so reminding you guys that moving forward we'll be doing the Wyrmwood giveaway at the Critical Role Twitch chat. So you need to head to for the break to enter. If you're watching on Alpha or Geek & Sundry just switch over and you can head on back over when you're done. Right now, the offer, once again, only stands for people in the US and Canada excluding Quebec because of weird giveaway rules and laws. However, tonight's prize is a Wyrmwood cherry dice tower with this fantastic cartography burned in of maps designed by our fantastic Deven Rue, who you may recognize, who's done the map of the Dwendalian Empire that we have here as well as other amazing bits and also designed the compass rose on our map. She's amazing. Her work's amazing and while this isn't available with Wyrmwood yet, keep an eye out because cool stuff like this might be showing up more often. So this will be given away to some lucky person in the break. Need to go into the Critical Role Twitch chat and enter only one time. Enter the key phrase "Kegstand." So enter it once. Magnets, it's magic. So enter it once; more than once, you'll be disqualified and we'll announce the winner here at the end of the break so we'll see you here in a few minutes.

ASHLY: That's cute.

SAM: Wait, which chat?

MATT: Critical Role.

SAM: Okay, cool. You've said that. You said that, right?

MATT: I did. Like twice. All righty. Break time guys, let's go.


Part Two[]

MATT: Welcome back, everybody. We have our winner of our giveaway for this fantastic Deven Rue map-etched dice tower by Wyrmwood. It is GottaBeKD18. Congratulations, GottaBeKD18, you are the winner! Danoba will get your contact information and we'll get this sent out to you ASAP. Well done! You've won the first giveaway in the new studio. I am excited for you to try it out; it's quite delightful. All righty. Bringing us back into where we left off. Frumpkin wanders off through the darkened forest.

SAM: (hooting)

MARISHA: Oh yeah, he's an owl now. He's so cute.

SAM: One, two, three.

MARISHA: Mr. Owl was a dick. It was a dick move.

ASHLY: Yeah, it really was.

MATT: One, two, three, fuck you. As Frumpkin begins--

[owl hooting]

SAM: What the fuck was that, Matt?! There was an owl that just hooted on the soundtrack.

MATT: Yeah. We're in a forest at night, guys. Frumpkin makes his way through the dark tree bottoms, eventually coming upon-- actually, this would be a more creepy setting for this, I think. That's better. Frumpkin slowly comes upon the warmth of this distant fire, closer and closer until coming around the corner, seeing a small fire heating a cauldron of some kind, some metal bowl. A bit of steam is rising off of whatever liquid is in the interior. You see an elderly woman in darker, tattered clothing that drapes off of the body, hunched but tall, very tall, like six and a half feet tall at a hunch. Make a perception check for Frumpkin, please, at this distance with disadvantage.

LIAM: With disadvantage?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Okay. Perception, you said? 14.

MATT: The skin of this woman is a faint gray color, almost a gray-blue tint. The hair is this matted mess of tangled white and gray that is pulled back and tied behind the head where it cascades over the shoulders. The ears are long and pointed, out to the sides a bit. The nose is wide and pressed up into the face. She is going back and forth from this little hovel that's on the opposite side, that's built between two trees: a large thick one and another that seems to have fallen and come to rest at an angle next to it. In that small cranny between the two trees, you can see this little hut built of thatch and sticks and rope to construct this little home. It's almost like an arch that's holding it up. Near the ground of this cauldron, you see a child of some kind that is sitting on the ground, holding knees to its chest. It looks to be a boy.

LIAM: Knees to chest?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Okay. She is paying him no mind at the moment?

MATT: At the moment, no. It looks like she is going to and from this little homestead and putting things into this cauldron.

LIAM: I whisper in fragments what I saw through Frumpkin's eyes the whole time, but I'm still looking and I can't hear anybody.

MARISHA: Do you have any awake?

TALIESIN: Just us.

LIAM: Oh, right, I would be holding onto Molly. This is reminding me of stories that my mother told me when I was very young. Not good ones, things to scare me into following the rules. I come out of it.

TALIESIN: A child?

LIAM: And a woman, or not.

TALIESIN: That does have a vibration, doesn't it? I'm not at my best right now. If they're human, even if they're friendly, I'm not the first face you'd want to see.

LIAM: Quickly. Have to think here, because everyone else is sleeping and that didn't look good for that little boy, but then it doesn't really help us with what we are doing, but then the child. What to do?

TALIESIN: You have a friendly owl.

LIAM: I go back into Frumpkin to see what's going on.

MATT: Okay. You watch now as the woman takes a small clay cup and dips it into this cauldron and pulls out this steaming mass of liquid that she's contained within it, turns to the child, walks over and kneels down beside. Places the long fingers along the shoulder and hands the cup to the child. The child takes it, looking at her, and slowly sips from it. Burns the mouth a little bit.

LIAM: I swat at Molly and say: Wake the others.

TALIESIN: Fine. I start quietly waking.

MARISHA, SAM, and ASHLY: What? What?

TALIESIN: I somehow woke everyone at the exact same time. It's one of my many powers.

SAM: We were all spooning.

TALIESIN: Left hand, right hand, tail. I got it all working at once. We've got a bit of a situation outside.

SAM: Where?

TALIESIN: It's going to require some delicacy.

SAM: Is Caleb gone?

TALIESIN: Caleb's dead. It's all over.

SAM: No!

MARISHA: You're looking at him.

SAM: Okay. I didn't know if he was a phantom or something.

ASHLY: What's going on?

TALIESIN: There's a boy, there's an old woman.

LIAM: I'm not sure, but I think there is a young child that's in danger there. We seemed to care about the bird child, maybe we care about this one. I don't know.

SAM: Of course.

ASHLY: Why do we give a shit?

SAM: It's a baby.

ASHLY: Ah, fuck.

LIAM: We got to act right now.

ASHLY: What does the woman look like?

MARISHA: I'm going to groggily stumble over, put on my googles as I start stumbling towards the light.

LIAM: She looked dead. She did not look natural.

TALIESIN: I'm going to stay 30 feet behind and try and stealth.

MATT: Beauregard, you're leading up?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to walk and I'm like: It's bright enough, and I got to pee anyway. I'll be right back.

MATT: So not stealthing?

SAM: Maybe you should not go first.

MARISHA: Okay, no, I'll stealth a little bit.

MATT: Roll a stealth check, Beau.

MARISHA: Okay. That was almost good. 11.

MATT: Who else is following Beau?

SAM: I'm going to not follow, but go off to the side and try to go around the other way.

MATT: Stealth check from you.

TALIESIN: We have not had a short rest yet, have we?

MATT: Nope.

TALIESIN: Okay, just checking.

LIAM: A short rest? I thought we did, back at the house.

MATT: A short rest-- You didn't call it out.

MARISHA: But he was on first watch.

LIAM: I happily went, “I get to use arcane recovery” in my head because of the conversation that was happening.

MATT: I will allow a short rest before you guys went to bed. It's fine, I'll allow it.

SAM: 16.

LIAM: Thank you, Matt.

MATT: The two of you have branched off and are stealthing, you think. What are you doing, Caleb?

LIAM: I wanted to go with Nott, about 20 feet behind, and cast Mage Armor as I go.

MATT: Okay, and what's your stealth check?

LIAM: It is a big ten.

MATT: Okay. What are you doing, Keg?

ASHLY: I pick up my battleaxe and there's a little medallion hanging from the bottom of it and I look at it and I go: Goddamn it, and I try to stealth after them. Natural 20.

MATT: You have disadvantage, however, in your armor.

ASHLY: Natural 20.

ALL: Whoa!

TALIESIN: That die never does that for me.

LIAM: You did this last time. You're not human!

MATT: The anti-Wheaton has been found.

LIAM: You can't come back!

MATT: You can never touch Wil Wheaton, or you guys will cancel each other out like the bad guy in Time Cop. Oh my god. Strangely, the stealthiest of all of you is the dwarf in plate armor.

MARISHA: Amazing. It's lubricated with all the blood of her enemies.

MATT: Exactly. All right, Molly, you're staying 30 feet back?

TALIESIN: I'm staying 30 feet back and attempting a stealth check. That's cocked. That's better. That's (counting) 12.

MATT: You all slowly begin to approach this fire, seeing the shapes and the figures described by Caleb previously. Beau, you step forward and your foot catches an under root and stumble for a moment. You hear the scrambling of her arms across the bottom of the forest floor, the moving and shifting of leaves and branches. The old woman looks up in that direction and looks back at you, immediately making eye contact with you about 30 feet away. Her arms immediately jump up in your direction as she begins to shout, "You! You will not take any more of us! I will sooner die!"

MARISHA: I reach back out to her and I go: Yes, right?! We are so going to die. I'm with you.

MATT: Make a wisdom saving throw.

MARISHA: Saving throw?

MATT: Yes.


MATT: You feel some sort of magical force suddenly penetrate your mind, and this sparkle of colors begin to spray in front of your face that completely distract you and obscure your vision momentarily, but you blink out of it and find the effect drift off of your brain. The old woman goes “(panting),” and reaches down and puts herself in front of the boy, between you and the child.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm not bad. I'm not one of the bad guys... That you were definitely talking about. That I'm aware of, right? What bad guys are you talking about?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.


LIAM: Ooh, that's craziness.

MARISHA: That's in the middle of nowhere. Okay, 18.

MATT: Her immediate tension drops slightly. She's still maintaining a very defensive position in front of the child. One hand is still up, but it seems that she's pulled back a bit from the aggressive stance she was previously in. As she lifts her face a bit, you can see a bit more of her expression in the light as the hair pulls away as she lifts her chin. You can see that the face is humanoid, but with a wider nose. The skin is grayish, almost a blue tint, with bits of a soft fur. It takes you a second to recognize where you've seen these features before. This appears to be the same type of race that Pumat Sol is.

MARISHA: Firbolg?

MATT: It is a firbolg.

MARISHA: Amazing!

MATT: You can see there is a series of necklaces that looks to be bones and rocks and stones that have been polished that dangle around her neck as adornments and trinkets. A few bird skulls hanging on it, as well. The child, also you see, is a young firbolg, as well. Knees tucked against his chest. You can see that the child looks scraped up and bruised, and appears to have been injured.

MARISHA: I say, Bad guys kidnapping kids, right? That's scary stuff. Trying to protect your son?

MATT: "Not my son, but we have lost a few, yes."


MATT: Looks past you, for a second, to Molly, who is not being stealthy, either. "How many are you?"

TALIESIN: One, two, three, four, five--

MARISHA: Currently five--


MARISHA: But just call us the Nein. The Mighty Nein.

MATT: “Very well.”

MARISHA: Here, M. Nein? (whistles)

TALIESIN: I'm just walking out at this point.

SAM: I'll slowly emerge from the shadows.

ASHLY: I'm staying in the forest.

LIAM: Same.

MATT: Okay. "I apologize, I've been on edge for a number of days. You seem to know these people or have heard of them at least?"

TALIESIN: We've lost a few recently.

MATT: "I'm sorry. I am Jamba. I'm a healer in my aged years for the Guiatao Clan. We are small in number and, now, yet smaller still.”

MARISHA: The Guitaya Clan?

MATT: Guiatao.



MARISHA: Guiatao Clan.

MATT: "This little one is Umbo. He is awake now, which is good fortune. I've been trying to bring him back to health for a couple of days."

MARISHA: You say he's not your son, but part of your clan?

MATT: "Yes, he is under my care now."

MARISHA: Is the whole clan wiped out? Who's left?

MATT: The woman, Jamba, looks around for second and takes a deep breath. "Three days back, the clan was in celebration for the coming of age for young Duhma. Roasted boar was prepared, and the twenty of us were dancing around the fire when the murderers came. Slew Tofa and Woolia with their arrows as they danced together. Others fought. Thenis died protecting me, and I managed to grab Umbo here as he had been beaten within an inch of his life to unconsciousness. We fled. But I watched as they grabbed others in nets, pulling them away as they screamed and yet made no noise." You know exactly who and what she's talking about. The methods are very familiar. "When they left, I returned to nurse those I could back to health. Nila, by some luck, was off when the attack happened. She returned to find her love and child taken.

MATT: "Nila went off to find them alone. I begged her to stay, else she join their fate, but it's impossible to stop a mother when the child is in danger. So I fear for her life but I understand her drive. So here I am, here he is, and a few survivors care to what remains of our village a ways back that direction." She points deeper into the forest. "So, you know my story, what's yours?"

MARISHA: Other half of our party members were taken from us in the middle of the night, just last night. Seems very similar ways, considering neither of the rest of us heard anything.

TALIESIN: Just woke up and they were gone.

MATT: "They were lucky."

TALIESIN: We'll see.

MATT: "Had you been awake, you might have had the urge or instinct to defend them."

TALIESIN: Well, we're making our way to see if something can be done.


MATT: "Well, you're as brave as Nila."

MARISHA: Nila? She's the one going after them?

MATT: "She was. I don't know where she is or if she has fared well-- if they've found her. I think she overestimates her capability."

MARISHA: What was her son's name?

MATT: "Her son was Dua."

ASHLY: Can I do an insight check just to make sure that she's telling the truth?

MATT: You may.

ASHLY: 15.

MATT: 15?


SAM: Guys, D&D Beyond is a wonderful platform, in which you can organize your statistics and your equipment and they've just recently done a revamp of their layout. Liam, how do you like it?

LIAM: I like it. It feels like I am looking at the paper.

SAM: And it's customizable!

LIAM: It's customizable. I haven't customized mine yet.

ASHLY: We're talking about D&D Beyond?

LIAM: Always.

SAM: Nice.

LIAM: Yes, Keg, we are.

ASHLY: I heard it's a wonderful service.

MATT: "Well, if we indeed have an enemy in common, you are welcome to stay with us." And she glances across you. "I can perhaps maybe tend to some of your wounds. We have tea that's ready that may help you in your journey ahead."

TALIESIN: I genuinely don't know how to say no to tea.

MARISHA: You couldn't bring a horse back from the dead, could you? Just didn't know how far your abilities stretch.

MATT: "I'm afraid that is beyond my capability."

TALIESIN: You can't heal a dead horse.

MARISHA: Water Closet's gone forever--

SAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: Downtrodden.

MARISHA: He saved our lives a lot. (laughing) Downtrodden.

SAM: Stop! (whispering) Bastard.

ASHLY: Keg comes out from the forest.

SAM: Ah! I forgot you were with us!

ASHLY: Thanks a lot, Nott! What are we doing here?

SAM: Well these people have suffered the same fate that our frie--

ASHLY: We going to help every single person we see along this road?

SAM: We're mutually-- We're going after the same people that have affected them.

LIAM: (yelling) We were going to camp back there, but instead we are going to camp over there!

MARISHA: That's Caleb. He always stands about 20 feet back

LIAM: (yelling) At least!

MATT: "Well, if there are more of you, they are welcome as well. I do not know if I have enough tea for everyone if there is more, but--"

TALIESIN: I'm feeling all right, but--

LIAM: It's just the five Neins.

ASHLY: So you're just offering us a place to stay? You don't want anything out of this?

MATT: “No.”

ASHLY: All right.

SAM: Some people are just good.

TALIESIN: Some people make tea. I'm going to head in.

MARISHA: Can you do anything about this acid burn? And I sit down next to her.

MATT: "I see that you have encountered some of the ankheg variety."

MARISHA: Oh! They are called ankhegs, you guys!

SAM: Related to you?

ASHLY: No, Nott. Keep trying, you little detective. You'll get it one day.

SAM: The subject seems to be exhibiting signs of distress, or at least annoyance.

ASHLY: Annoyance!

MATT: You gather over to their space. It's a nice, lived-in space. You get the sense this is the home for this medicine woman, who doesn't live directly with the rest of the village. She inspects your wounds, has some balms and natural remedies to help prevent infection. The tea, while it is not necessarily delicious by any means-- it is very herbal and medicinal-- it does fill you with a sense of rest and relief, and what restlessness you may have been struggling with through a night's rest is absolved.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Chamomile.

MATT: As you guys manage to say here for the evening, you get the benefits of a long rest. You come to consciousness. Now in the morning day, which is a little more peaceful.

TALIESIN: I have cards. We could have played cards.

MATT: You awaken. Over by the fire the little boy, Umbo is sitting there, currently with these two small wooden pikes that are jammed into the side and some squirrel-like critters that are hanging on them that are put towards the fire, cooking. As you awaken, Ombo turns and smiles. Doesn't say anything, but looks over and inspects them and then brings them back and hands them out to you.

SAM: It's breakfast.

TALIESIN: I will definitely take some.

SAM: I'll take one. Yes, thank you.

LIAM: Do you understand what I am saying? Do you speak? Is his ward awake?

MATT: You don't see her at the moment, but you do hear a bit of rustling in the actual little hovel in the tree archway.

ASHLY: Can I make a perception check around to make sure everything is copacetic?

MATT: You can.

ASHLY: 16.

MATT: You notice that the horses have actually been brought closer. They've been hitched together to one of the local stumps, to the circle here. It seems that in your rest, your very deep rest through the evening, a lot of things have been tended to and taken care of in your presence.

TALIESIN: They've got turn-down service here.

MATT: As part of your long rest, and the tea which you took in the evening, you do have advantage on perception checks for the next eight hours.

LIAM: I bring Frumpkin-- without saying a word, telepathically, I have Frumpkin come down in front of the child, and do a little owl nonsensical shimmy dance on the ground, just for ten seconds, to catch his attention, then have Frumpkin flutter up and land on his head and gently find purchase and sit.

MATT: Okay. He freezes on the arrival.

LIAM: I smile.

MATT: He seems to smile again, looking up at you, looking up at Frumpkin. Stays frozen in place. At which point, the doorway opens from the hut and Jumna emerges with a small pouch of some kind. Steps up to the rest of you. "I see you have awoken. I know you'll be on your way shortly, but maybe this can help." She pulls back the top of the leather pack and reaches in, and pulls out a cluster of moss that has been dried, and holds it out to whoever's closest or wishes to take it.

LIAM: Mollymauk will take that.


SAM: What does it do?

MATT: "Should you find yourself in a wounded state, this should help you with some rapid recovery of the wounds." It acts as a greater healing potion, but it takes a minute to administer, so it's a non-combat scenario.

SAM: Do you smoke it?

MATT: "No, it is crumbled and then ingested. You can also put some in the actual wounds, if you like, but it is meant for ingestion."

SAM: See? People are just nice sometimes.

ASHLY: Never in my experience.

LIAM: Only sometimes.

TALIESIN: Do you know which way this friend of yours was heading to find them? It was north on the path, I suppose.

MATT: "Just north is what I know. North, northeast?"

TALIESIN: We'll see what we can do.

MATT: "If you find her and whatever state you find her... if it's not a good state, will you promise me to at least bring her back so we can give her a proper burial?"

ASHLY: This ain't part of my deal.

TALIESIN: If it's possible we'll see what we can do.

MATT: "That's all I can ask."

TALIESIN: All things being equal.

MATT: "Anyway. I thank you. Umbo thanks you. And--"

TALIESIN: I look at the kid. Is he freaked out by the way I look? Is he--?

MATT: No, not at all.

TALIESIN: I'm going to go down and try something.

MATT: He does have a giant owl on his shoulder and is currently preoccupied with the owl.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try this. I haven't tried this yet. I'm going to hold up the moon card, and I'm going to try and do a sleight of hand trick and flip it to one of my little moon trinkets, moon baubles.

MATT: Ooh. Make a sleight of hand check.

TALIESIN: It would be the most hilarious natural one-- eight.

MATT: Eight? Okay. It {noise?} happens but--

TALIESIN: It's not beautiful yet--

MATT: The trick is very visible, what you did, the kid still seems amused.

TALIESIN: I give him the bauble.

MATT: Smiles. Frumpkin ruffles his feathers, looks a bit spooked.

TALIESIN: I give him a little scratch. The horses?

SAM: Yes, we should keep going to find their friends.

LIAM: Thank you both.

MATT: "Thank you for hopefully doing some good in a very dark world."

LIAM: Well. Dark business at hand.

SAM: Do you know someone named Pumat Sol?

MATT: "Uh... that does not ring a bell?"

SAM: How about one of his friends Pumat Sol or Pumat Sol or Pumat Sol?

MATT: "I apologize, I do not."

SAM: I just thought maybe they knew each other.

LIAM: They all know each other.

SAM: I don't know how many of these there are!

SAM: Me? I'm--

LIAM: Do you know a goblin named Furgle Burgle?

SAM: No! I don't know every goblin! There's lots of goblins! I never-- All right, all right, point taken, point taken.


MATT: As you guys gather your things, get the horses ready, Umbo approaches and gives a little wave. You watch as Jumma approaches from behind and rests her hand on his shoulder. Looks up to you and says, "Please, be safe."

MARISHA: We'll try. Thank you. Man, normally Fjord is here to do this part.

SAM: No, that was really good!

TALIESIN: You did very well.

LIAM: That is the best you ever did.

MARISHA: Thank you. that does feel good. I did something today.

TALIESIN: You were nearly charming.

MATT: Charming adjacent?

MARISHA: All right. We leave.

LIAM: As we leave, Frumpkin's head does that crazy owl thing that goes 180 and flips around and just looks as--

MATT: As you vanish into the treeline, Umbo the child seems transfixed by the owl's behavior before disappearing behind the trees, and you guys find your way back to the open fields of the northern Marrow Valley. So. Now back on horseback, what pace are you traveling at? Are you still going at a fast pace?

LIAM: We are well-rested.

MARISHA: We've already lost two of our horses, why not lose a few more?

TALIESIN: We're the Three Amigos is really--

LIAM: Now all of us know-- ooh I went Vax. All of us know, what you already knew, which is-- yes, still hurts-- that these people are terrible. And deserve no mercy.

SAM: Not the firbolgs we just met, right? You were talking about the people who kidnapped our friends.

LIAM: What do you think?

SAM: I think-- we're still talking about the people who kidnapped our friends.

TALIESIN: Everybody's doing so much better suddenly. It's as if the vacuum means other people have to start pulling some slack. It's nice.


TALIESIN: Well suddenly you're being kind of charismatic. Nott's making moralistic judgments that are in the direction of reasonable.

SAM: Sure, sure.

ASHLY: I will say that I don't want to get hung up trying to help those people while we're in Shady Run.

LIAM: Oh, you know. If we can. We're not altruistic by nature, either.

ASHLY: All right.

MARISHA: You know, if we stumble upon one of them maybe be like, “Hey. Met your grandma.”

TALIESIN: Some days it's not hard to do a good turn.

LIAM: But let's be clear, we're going to eliminate the problem.


LIAM: Save our friends. And if we can do something extra, we do something extra. When we can.

SAM: And maybe even complete our mission.

TALIESIN: I'd forgotten about that.

MARISHA: I know that's a big deal, that whole mission completing thing.

TALIESIN: Been a little distracted.


LIAM: All right, let's run these bastards down, *ja?*

MATT: All right. Are you going at a normal pace, or a fast pace?

MARISHA: Fast pace.

SAM: At a fast pace Matthew-- I'm on horseback with Caleb right? Could I be on the back, maybe just flipping through Jester's sketchbook?

MATT: Sure.

SAM: Okay, I'm going to look through the whole thing.

MATT: All right. It is absurd. There are sketches across the spectrum of silly-faced interpretations and caricatures of the people you've met, of each of you. There are little notes to The Traveler throughout. You see people that you've liked in the past looking beautiful, with tiny bodies, you see people who you've hated in the past getting stepped on by a poop monster. It's childish in all the delightful ways that you'd expect from Jester's capability.

SAM: Is it all drawings? Are there any notes, or letters, or clues to her past?

MATT: There are notes. (pause) I will say, Laura is not here to specify necessarily, that there are passages in common to The Traveler. What languages do you know?

SAM: Common, Goblin, Halfling.

MATT: And there are a number of passages in a language you don't understand. Meatier passages. Longer ones.

TALIESIN: If only there were a Tiefling here, who possibly spoke and read the same language.

LIAM: Or a wizard who can read anything.

LIAM and TALIESIN: Keep it to yourself.

SAM: Keep it to myself. [yelling] Keep steering Caleb, I'm looking at nudie pictures!

MATT: So you carry on at a pretty good pace, and you're traveling rather swiftly. Though traveling at this speed, it's harder to perceive things at a distance. Thankfully, this renewed vigor from the tea that you had for the evening may help you in that endeavor as well. So, who is keeping watch on the roads ahead of you?

LIAM: I am.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and make a perception check with advantage, and minus five to whatever you--

LIAM: So advantage minus five on both?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Okay that's not good; that's a one. Okay, that means I got a seven.

MATT: Okay then.


LIAM: At advantage minus five on both the rolls I rolled a nine, and a one. So hey.

MATT: For the next eight hours or so, you guys continue on the trek on the outskirts of the Crispvale Thicket. Eventually coming to meet up with the Glory Run Road that heads northward to the direction of Nogvurot. You can see there's a road sign that specifically points up to Nogvurot, southward to the crossroads. Following the map and the path you've charted out, in your experience as well, you travel for quite a ways along Glory Run and then just head straight north towards the Quannah Breach, so you'll be going off into just grassland and scrubland at a certain point.

TALIESIN: Off-roading.

MATT: Essentially. About then eight hours hit, you have another hour or so before the sun begins to go down. You can continue to push for another hour if you'd like to, and all take constitution saving throws, it's up to you.

LIAM: If we do the one more hour it's constitution checks?

MATT: You can do the one more hour, or you can stop and set an early camp and get another evenings rest. But, you do not spot anything along the way. It's a beautiful open field.

LIAM: I'm sharp. I should always do this.

SAM: Are we getting close to where you think their headquarters are?

ASHLY: How far do we have to Shady Creek?

MATT: You probably have maybe two days more travel before you get there.

ASHLY: I'm down to push the other hour, but my constitution is (clicks tongue).

MARISHA: I'm down as well, but--

TALIESIN: Let's do it.

LIAM: Same.

MARISHA: And in that hour we can look for a place to rest? It's like pushing for the next rest stop.

LIAM: Yes, one more. We push it one more hour.

TALIESIN: Do we want to go at a steady pace for this last hour, or do we want to push for a fast pace?

LIAM: Fast equals a constitution check, right?

MATT: No, you travel for another hour of additional movement, which will get you probably another six miles ahead, then we'll see if you get a point of exhaustion.

SAM: Let's do it.

MATT: You push for the ninth hour. I need you all to make constitution saving throws, please.

MARISHA: Can we look for a good camping spot?

ASHLY: Natural 20.

MARISHA: Oh shit!

LIAM: Natural 20? I don't want to hear it!

TALIESIN: Natural 19. 21.

SAM: 13 total.


LIAM: Eight.

ASHLY: Oh no!

MATT: Caleb, you take a point of exhaustion. The rest of you do not.

LIAM: Sweet, this is my first. What happens to me? Do I die on the spot?

MARISHA: Disadvantage on your checks.

MATT: On ability checks, that's all.

TALIESIN: And you're hangry.

LIAM: That's my secret, Taliesin. I'm always hangry.

MATT: As the sky grows dark, the still gray clouds that have taken the sky overhead, the temperature is dropping significantly. It looks like it's going to be a particularly cold night. Do you wish to continue pushing on?

MARISHA: Along the way, do we see anything that looks like a good alcove or somewhere that would be nice?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Which we have advantage on, right?

LIAM: Eight hours, and you said the eight hours was--?

MATT: You've push now past hour nine, so you cannot have advantage.

MARISHA: A six and-- oh, no advantage? I'll take that six with my add perception of three, so nine.

MATT: Nine.

MARISHA: *Nein.*

MATT: Best you can find looking around, there are a few small boulders or pieces of natural rock formations that have pushed up out of the local hills, as you are moving through this more hilly area of the northern valley, but there's no alcoves or caves that you're catching a vision of that would give you safe and out of the public eye.

TALIESIN: Does it look like if we push a little bit further, there's any change in terrain?

MATT: There's only one way to find out.

TALIESIN: Even in far distance?

MATT: You can travel for another hour.

LIAM: Yeah, there's a way to do that.

TALIESIN: Want to do one more hour and call it?

ASHLY: Or Owl Boy.

MARISHA: He's hangry.

LIAM: We could push it, too. I'm good.

TALIESIN: Let's send the owl.

LIAM: Okay. Five minute little fly-ahead?

MATT: Okay. Make a perception check.

LIAM: I hold on to my horse and stop hearing everybody. Disadvantage?

MATT: It's the owl, technically, not him.

LIAM: It's terrible. It's perception, was that what I was doing? Five.

MATT: At this distance, it looks like it's straight, moving, rolling hills and bursts of stone.

LIAM: It's getting dark out here, and I'm tired.

TALIESIN: If we can find a stone for cover, maybe.

ASHLY: I'll take watch.

TALIESIN: We'll set up a proper camp.

SAM: I'll take watch with Keg.

ASHLY: Great.

LIAM: Before I go to sleep, I do the silver thread.

MATT: First watch is you two. Do you wish to combine your perception checks for this watch, or take them individually?


MATT: Roll individually.

SAM: 13.


MATT: First watch manages to go by. You both keep a very sharp eye out in the distance. Nothing seems to catch your attention, though the night is getting quite cold. Towards the end of your watch, snowfall begins to slowly descend upon the northern valley.

SAM: Chilly. Sure glad I have all this booze to drink to keep me warm. Wouldn't you like some?

ASHLY: I have 200 pounds of pure muscle. I never get cold.

SAM: Well, it tastes good, though. So there's that, too.

ASHLY: Why you trying to cozy up to me?

SAM: I'm not trying to cozy up to you! I think we got off on the wrong small feet.

ASHLY: You mean when you bared your teeth at me four times?

SAM: I have to bare my teeth at everyone! Look at these things, they're huge!

ASHLY: You have no choice?

SAM: No, I have very thin lips, very long teeth, some would call them fangs. It's not my fault. When I smile, it looks like I'm trying to bite your throat off.

ASHLY: Show me?

SAM: (snarls)


SAM: And I like tongue. I was eating some tongue when you saw me.

ASHLY: Oh, I forgot about that. I thought you were coming on to me.

SAM: No! Oh god, no.

ASHLY: Well, you don't have to be *that* disgusted.

SAM: You're a handsome woman, but-- you're a woman, right?


SAM: Okay, good. Just making sure.

ASHLY: Just because I have a five o'clock shadow, doesn't mean I'm not a woman.

SAM: I don't know! I don't want to presume anything.

ASHLY: All right, I'll have some booze.

SAM: All right, here you go. You know, it never runs out.

ASHLY: It doesn't?

SAM: No.


SAM: Special trick. So, uh, who got took? Who are you missing?

ASHLY: Oh, that's where this conversation stops, friend.

SAM: No! What? I thought we were getting to know each other.

ASHLY: That's a big gun to pull out right after you gave me a little bit of libation.

SAM: All right, did you go to school?

ASHLY: Fucking guess, detective. Do you think I went to school?

SAM: Hmm, I would say no.

ASHLY: Yeah. Accurate.

SAM: Did you have a happy home life growing up?

ASHLY: I grew up in Shady Creek Run. Everyone's favorite pastime there is stabbing people. No. I didn't have a nice… growing up.

SAM: Hmm. I'm trying to think of a topic that's less charged. Do you have a favorite sports team you like?


ASHLY: We could talk about Iron Chef.

SAM: Iron Chef? I love Iron Chef. Never mind.

ASHLY: Sorry.

SAM: I just thought, well--

ASHLY: Yeah, I know. You're trying to be nice.

SAM: No, I just thought if we knew more about your situation, it would maybe lead to clues that would help us track down, or know the weaknesses of these Shepherds who stole or killed your friends. If we knew the circumstances around their untimely demise.

ASHLY: I know the Shepherds well.

SAM: Were you one of them?

ASHLY: No. I wasn't. I just know them well.

SAM: Did you go to high school-- no, you didn't go to school-- Hmm, everyone else is snoring.

ASHLY: They're well known. Everyone there knows them. There's no way to not know them.

SAM: All right.

ASHLY: So you're not trying to chat me up so much as you're trying to siphon information.

SAM: I'm doing what any good detective does, which is just lay the groundwork for the case--

ASHLY: Under who?! Who considers you the greatest detective?

SAM: Jester. Jester's one of the folks that got stolen. Together we were a dynamic duo of mystery solving. We could solve any mystery. Find any criminal mastermind, no matter how nefarious. We had all the tools, all the insights, all the instincts! It was amazing. We were a well oiled machine and then… she was taken. And now it's just me.

ASHLY: I'm guessing she had most of the brains of this duo.

SAM: I resent that.

ASHLY: I'm sorry. I'm sorry your friend got taken. I'm going to try to help get her back.

SAM: All right. Well, I'll try to help you get revenge on your vague past.


ASHLY: You don't have to say it like that, I'm just not much of a sharer!

SAM: Sure, sure. How about you tell me one fact about you and I'll tell you one about me?

SAM: Something you haven't told anyone. It'll be like a game! And we'll each take a shot.

ASHLY: Shot first.

SAM: Here you go. (pouring noise)

ASHLY: Uh... My friend was a slave. Was enslaved by them... By the Shepherds. So?

SAM: I'm a pretty good dancer!

ASHLY: I thought we were doing like some deep dive shit!

SAM: I didn't know!

ASHLY: You were asking me some deep dive questions! You're going to fucking give me the dancer shit?

SAM: I didn't know! I thought we were going to start small and then build!

ASHLY: No, because you set the precedent of asking a serious question and then you gave me the shot--

SAM: You gave me the heaviest shit first though!

ASHLY: That's what you wanted, I thought!

SAM: Of course!

TALIESIN: We're trying to sleep for gods' sakes!

LIAM: (hoot owl call)

SAM: Well, this has been fun.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm up too. Molly, you want to take next watch?

TALIESIN: Let's take the next one.

MARISHA: All right.

ASHLY: Yeah, I'm going to fucking bed.

MATT: All right. So, Molly and Beau taking the second watch, would you mind deciding who's making perception checks, please?

Taliesin: Want to both go for it?

Marisha: Yeah.

MATT: All right, both roll.



MATT: Okay. As you guys go to bed, the both of you keep an eye out for the rest of the evening. For the rest of your watch, at least; and seemingly uneventful.

TALIESIN: Want to gamble?

MARISHA: I'm not much of a gambler, you're thinking of Jester.

TALIESIN: No, I'm not.


TALIESIN: This is a game we used to play.


TALIESIN: Take my cards, set the deck down. Put a question on the deck, whoever draws the highest card has to answer it.

MARISHA: Wait are these like playing cards or tarot cards?

TALIESIN: Tarot cards but they have numbers.

MARISHA: You know I fucking hate those things.


MARISHA: I don't want anything to do with them.

TALIESIN: I'll throw one out there for you. What's the best lie you've ever told?

MARISHA: The best lie I've ever told?

TALIESIN: I'll give you mine if you give me yours. Whoever gets the highest has to tell.


TALIESIN: Or whoever gets the lowest has to tell.

MARISHA: All right, deal.

TALIESIN: Let's roll d20's, see whose number is lower.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Let me flip to my backstory.


MARISHA: Just in case here.

TALIESIN: You can be a little vague with it. You don't have to be... I rolled very high.

MARISHA: Natural twenty.

TALIESIN: Seventeen, shit.

ALL: Ooh.

LIAM: You played yourself.


MARISHA: This one has a pretty big number on it.

TALIESIN: Shite. Best lie I've ever told... I pretended to be royalty for three weeks. For a scam.

MARISHA: That's fascinating, what kind of scam?

TALIESIN: I was-- Just a little while after I had gotten my consciousness sort of sorted out, and we got into a town and figured out that we could actually get some nice digs and they were seeing if I could maybe bullshit my way through it, and it was kind of my test. So I pretended to be a reincarnated royalty from across the sea.


TALIESIN: Yeah. (laughing)

MARISHA: That's pretty fascinating.

TALIESIN: That was a lot of fun.

MARISHA: Do you not like knowing your past, that way you can have multiple backstories? Be multiple people at once?

TALIESIN: I like knowing that because it's not there that it doesn't matter? And it helps knowing I don't think it matters for anybody. I don't care where anybody's from, it's nice. I certainly don't care where I'm from.

MARISHA: I'll tell you one of my best lies, the one I was most proud of.

TALIESIN: I pour-- I pass the drink.

MARISHA: Just because it was a pretty good one.

TALIESIN: That's usually how this rolls.

MARISHA: Yeah. There was a politician in the town where I grew up that I didn't like very much.

TALIESIN: Politician?

MARISHA: Didn't like his wife, either. Wanted to find some dirt on them. Pretended to be a house hand for them, a little handyman. Found some dirt, found out they were cheating on each other and destroyed their relationships and their lives. Maybe I shouldn't be proud of that actually.

TALIESIN: No, no I'm very impressed, actually, that's-- you are a good friend to have and a terrible enemy to make.

MARISHA: Yeah... anyway.

TALIESIN: To not quite being the worst people. Cheers.

MARISHA: Cheers.


MARISHA: Just maybe don't have a job that relies on relationships, either.

TALIESIN: That's very fair.

MARISHA: Public opinion--

TALIESIN: They really had it coming.


MATT: The rest of your watch goes uneventful, leaving to Caleb the final watch.

LIAM: I'll take this myself.

MATT: All right. Make a perception check. Actually you and Frumpkin can both make separate ones, I'll let you do that.

LIAM: Good. Frumpkin got-- I'm going to use my cat stats, because I don't have owl stats handy.

MATT: I can pull those up pretty quick.

LIAM: Oh okay, good.

SAM AND TALIESIN: Cat stats. (musical riff) Cat stats!

ALL: (laughing)

MATT: All right, so that would be a plus one.

LIAM: Eleven.

MATT: That rely on hearing or sight, so you have advantage on it though. because the owl does have keen hearing and sight.

LIAM: Thirteen.

MATT: Thirteen, okay. Looks like this watch is uneventful as well. You guys had a clean night.

LIAM: Okay, so, sitting in the silence, are any of these people awake, that I can tell?

MATT: They all seem pretty asleep.

LIAM: Look at the lot of you. Look at these people. I should go right now. I don't know you at all. Look at this one. He's like a walking rainbow, what is this? Why are you with him? It makes no sense. He's a circus performer, he's not going to help you. This one you told everything to, to try to get into a library. You learned *nothing.* On your gamble, you failed. You're stupid. Smart as you are, you're stupid with this. She could cave in everything. This three that have been stolen: yeah, they're nice. Two of them. One's weird. One of them tried to kill you. The other one, she's adorable, but-- Stupid. This one here. What do you expect to do with her? How is she going to help you do what you want to do? She can watch your back--

MATT: (hooting)

LIAM: I know. Don't worry, you're fine. She's as much a liability as anything else. You know you're fucking mad when you're gesticulating this much. You should just go. You have told too much. I am going to go. It's time to go. He sits there for a solid five minutes. Then two hours. Wait for everyone to wake up.

MATT: Your watch comes to a close just as the morning light begins to crest into the sky. There's a mild break in the clouds on the eastern horizon over the Ashkeeper and the Dunrock Mountains. You're still getting a mostly cloudy sky, but there are occasional bits of morning light, faint light blues and yellows, and soft white. The snowfall that has come throughout the evening and packed up the very chilly cold night is beginning to faintly thaw, but it is still a very cold morning. As you all begin to come to consciousness and gather your things, the clouds close once more, and you look off towards the northeast side of the valley and you can see another darkened cloud coming with more snow and a less forgiving turn of weather. Although it's a ways off, you can see it this far away. You pick up your things, horses at the ready, do you continue your journey? Anything you want to do before you head off?

MARISHA: I do my morning push-up and pull-up routine.


MARISHA: And then I'm ready to go.

MATT: Okay. You have to set two horses side by side and use your staff there to give you pull ups. There's not any trees here, but you manage to pull it together.

MARISHA: Dope as fuck, yes I do.

LIAM: She can do it on the road.

MARISHA: Holy shit you guys I just figured out how we can save 30 minutes.

MATT: On the road while you're-- You're just Chuck Norris-ing it between the two horses. (galloping noises)

ASHLY: It goes without saying that Keg is aroused.

LIAM: You should do that Arnold monologue from that documentary, (Schwarzenegger voice) "You know when I am with my-- I am coming And then when I'm working out I am coming always.”

MARISHA: (Schwarzenegger voice) I feel like I'm always coming.

MATT: (Schwarzenegger voice) Always pulling up. Always.

TALIESIN: That's a deep callback, wow.

MATT: Pushing on at what pace? I imagine continuing at your hurried pace?


MATT: Pushing on for the remainder of this day, who is keeping watch?

TALIESIN: I'll take a round.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: Go ahead and roll perception for me, please.

TALIESIN: Minus five?

MATT: Yes, minus five because you're travelling at fast pace.

TALIESIN: Natural 20. 23, minus five is--

MATT: Still an 18. That's good. About three or so hours into your journey, Molly, you look up ahead and you can see a cluster of horses and a couple of carts heading your direction, heading southward. You're not quite there yet, but you're getting close to where the direction you should continue on breaks off of Glory Run, but you're still on the road. You do see a small caravan making their way southward in your direction.

TALIESIN: Once they get a little closer, let's slow down and walk to the side of the road and take a look at this.

MATT: Okay. You guys move off to the side.

ASHLY: Can I tell from looking at the cart that there's anything off about it?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: It's got five wheels.

ASHLY: 17.

MATT: Glancing off, as you approach, you begin to make out details. You do not recognize this troupe, and the cart seems like there are tarps and cloths laid over large bundles. They are obscured from view specifically so the contents cannot be seen, which is not what you're looking for.

ASHLY: Okay.

MATT: They don't want anyone to see what's under the tarp, which is not the usual operation that you've seen. The folks that travel southward, they're dressed like normal traveling merchants: not of a wealthy regard, but those who probably bring common supplies, things from the northern side, bringing them southward. It looks like they have supplied up for a trade run and they're heading southward. As they ride past you guys to the right side, they give a nod.

SAM: Caleb, should I go check them out?

MATT: The last rider gives a nod.

ASHLY: They're not who we're looking for.

SAM: Oh, okay.

ASHLY: You can if you want to.

SAM: Are they suspicious?

ASHLY: Not from what I can see.

TALIESIN: What kind of traders do they look like? What are they trading in?

MATT: With the perception roll you made, it's hard to see because they've covered it specifically. You can see underneath edges and pieces that are pushing out, and the shape in places. It looks like they're bringing farming supplies. It looks like they're bringing possibly grains and foods. It looks like things that would be easy pickings without the kind of people that can defend it, so it's maintain mystery and keep pushing.

SAM: All right. We can go.

MATT: Okay. You continue on. On this next leg of your journey, we're riding on your perception roll off the road, your natural 20. I'll let that stand for a bit. The pace that you've been keeping on this without being kept by your cart has gained you quite a bit of ground and about another two hours or so into this afternoon, your eyes catch another cluster of carts facing the same direction you are.

ASHLY: Can I make a perception check on this one?

MATT: You may.

ASHLY: 15.

MATT: It takes you a moment of getting close and you're about, I'd say, a quarter mile back from this troupe. You can see the familiar two larger carts, one smaller. It stinks of familiarity to you.

ASHLY: This might be them.

MARISHA and SAM: What?

MARISHA: Did we catch up to them?

ASHLY: We may have.

SAM: Caleb, look at this picture of you in Jester's book. It's really funny.

ASHLY: It's not the time, Nott!

SAM: Oh, no?

MARISHA: We shouldn't clue them off that we're here.

TALIESIN: No, let's slow our pace.

MARISHA: Okay. Maybe a couple of us could flank around? What's the terrain?

SAM: They're moving, right?

MATT: They're moving, yeah.

ASHLY: Can your owl see if there's a big human man, fighter-looking guy?

LIAM: Bigger than average-sized man, you mean?

ASHLY: Yeah. He's pretty surly, intimidating looking. He might have a half-elf with him.

LIAM: Well, we're about to get into it, yeah?

TALIESIN: I think we should wait until they start to set up camp. They've got to stop at some point.

SAM: We don't even know who they are yet, though.

MARISHA: What time is it?

MATT: It's mid-afternoon at this time. You've been traveling since shortly after daybreak, so it's three o'clock in the afternoon. You have another hour or so before you hit your eight hour mark and your horses start tiring and you start tiring.

MARISHA: We're nowhere near Shadycreek?

MATT: You're a couple days' travel or so from it at this pace.

TALIESIN: They're going to have to camp.

LIAM: I'll tell you what I do is, I dab my thumb into my belt for a bit of sweet oil and I rub it on my bottom lip and mutter an arcane word or two and say: I suggest you tell us any details you've been holding back about these people so that we are fully prepared. That is a Suggestion spell.

MATT: Yes, it is. I'm going to have to ask you, Keg, to make a wisdom saving throw, please.

ASHLY: Nine.


MATT: That is not a success. You feel, strangely, though it is out of character for your intent, magically compelled to offer up a fair amount of information that would seem useful in the coming scenario about these individuals.

SAM: We love our guests. We love them.

ASHLY: There should be five of them. The leader's name's Lorenzo. He's a human. This is weird. Ruzza the half-elf sorcerer. Prado, shitty little halfling rogue. Dwelma is a half-orc druid woman. How much more do I have to tell?

MATT: As much as would seem useful for this.

LIAM: It was details that would help us in the situation.

ASHLY: I have to say everything?

LIAM: You're compelled to say anything that's useful in what we're about to do with these people.

MATT: Yes. Interpret that as you feel necessary.

LIAM: Any other details that you've been holding back that would help us in this situation.

MARISHA: Lorenzo is a fighter type?


MATT: You do know that he walks with this nasty-looking glaive. It's a polearm with a larger hooked blade at the end of it that he uses as both a symbol of station and a very dangerous weapon, if need be. Gives him reach, gives him range.

ASHLY: I tell you about that, and Juam. She's a human barbarian. She's not as bad as the rest of them. That's all know.

LIAM: No magic?

ASHLY: There's a sorcerer.

TALIESIN: And a druid.

MATT: You're pretty sure there's a sorcerer, you're pretty sure there's a druid. You don't know a lot about magic stuff, but you know one of them seems to be more nature-based and the other seems to throw spells, but is cock-sure and charismatic.

TALIESIN: Do you know anything about the cages they keep their prisoners in? Are they magically enchanted or are they just cages?

ASHLY: They'll look like normal trade from the outside. They'll look like they'll be shuttling around food, innocuous items, but there's a magical obfuscation over them.

LIAM: The ones with the arcane ability look like?

ASHLY: A half-elf and the half-orc are the ones that are magical.

LIAM: What color is the half-elf's hair?

ASHLY: I don't remember.

MATT: The half-elf is a very short, pointed pixie cut that is ashy blonde.

MARISHA: What was the name of the rogue again?

ASHLY: The rogue is Prado.


ASHLY: And I lied, Nott. I used to work with them.

LIAM: That is a pretty big matzo ball.

ASHLY: Yeah. I'm not proud.

TALIESIN: I sort of figured. I figured everyone else figured at this point, really?

SAM: I definitely deduced that from our conversation. It's not surprising to me in the least.

LIAM: I take people at their word.

TALIESIN: I do, too. But, you know, people say things.

SAM: I lied too. I'm an average dancer.


ASHLY: So we're even Steven.

TALIESIN: How bad are the terms that you're on with these people?

ASHLY: Pretty bad!

SAM: Want some more booze?

ASHLY: Yeah. Shot, shot, shot. Yeah, not great.

MATT: The spell comes to a close now because you have fulfilled the suggestion.

ASHLY: Ah, you guys are assholes.

SAM: We told you that.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

SAM: We said that multiple times.

ASHLY: Can we see if it's them?

SAM: Yeah, how? Can you go owl it out?

LIAM: Yeah, lay low.

TALIESIN: We're starting to get a plan.

LIAM: I plant my hand on Nott's head and go into Frumpkin's eyesight and send him up there.

MATT: Okay. Frumpkin takes off and begins to coast at a fair enough distance to keep eye down. Make a perception check for Frumpkin with advantage.

LIAM: Advantage you say?

MATT: Yeah, he's an owl still. Owl has keen sight and hearing.

LIAM: Yeah! Owl rolls, yeah! 20.

MATT: Frumpkin, getting a nice view from this distance, makes out that there are three carts. There is a figure at each cart. The two larger ones have two horses at each front, the third one has one horse. There is a rider on each of the horses, or at least there is a rider on the smaller horse and there are two that are sitting at the front of the carts that are currently holding onto the reins of the other two. You do see, sitting next to the individual at the reigns at the front, a very thick, muscular man, bald with tattoos across the back of his head--

MARISHA: This is our fucking guy!

MATT: With the glaive resting at the side, staring ahead. Everyone else seems to have hoods up and are trying to keep their image obfuscated.

LIAM: All but Lorenzo?

MATT: Lorenzo, he has a cloak on and stuff, but right now he has the hood back. You really don't see anybody catching their attention. He seems to be enjoying the air across his hairless head.

LIAM: It's good. It's true, shaved head. The wind, it's good.

MATT: You see seven figures.

MARISHA: Wait, in the cages?

TALIESIN: There's no cages, they're magically--

ASHLY: I assume you communicated all of this to us?

SAM: Yeah, he usually narrates as he sees.

ASHLY: Okay.

TALIESIN: With his very dulcet tones.

LIAM: Sure, this time he does.

SAM: Sometimes you do.

LIAM: Sometimes I do, lately.

ASHLY: We can't attack them like this.

SAM: Why not? There's five of us and--

ASHLY: There's seven of them!

SAM: We have an owl.

TALIESIN: I have a plan. It's a bit of a crazy plan. They're carrying the means of their own undoing. If we can free whoever is in those cages, we get a lot of allies.

ASHLY: We don't know if it's your friends.

TALIESIN: Anybody in there I'm sure is going to have feeling towards these people.

ASHLY: Look.

MARISHA: So we wait until they camp?

TALIESIN: I like waiting until they camp and coming in at night.

MARISHA: What were you going to say, Keg?

ASHLY: When they take people, they break them. So if you're counting on whoever's in those cages to help, they're not going to be able to. It's going to be five versus seven, even if we attack at night.

MARISHA: Like mentally break them?

ASHLY: Both.


MATT: As far as you know, most of that process happens once they take them back because usually it's a grab and run type scenario. But they do usually have them manacled, hogtied manacle style and gagged.

TALIESIN: If we can just get into that cage and untie them without them noticing.

SAM: At night, maybe after they've camped.

LIAM: This is our best chance because we don't want them to get to their destination because then they are surrounded by many friends.

SAM: Or a fortress or something.

LIAM: Yeah. Now is the time.

SAM: Should we just continue to follow them for now or attack right now in the broad daylight?

ASHLY: How far are they from Shadycreek? You said two days?

MATT: About two days, yeah.

ASHLY: Okay.

MATT: Two days at your pace, probably three days at theirs.

ASHLY: Okay.

TALIESIN: Wait until the sun sets right before they go to sleep.

SAM: Oh! We know where they're going. We know where they are. Why don't we ride ahead of them--

MARISHA: And set up an ambush?

SAM: Yes!

MARISHA: That's a damn good idea.

ASHLY: I like that.

TALIESIN: I can be into that.

LIAM: That is wicked.

MARISHA: I wonder if we could do a little bit of both. Free the people in the cage and then ambush later? Nah, that seems distracting.

TALIESIN: Ambush. Free people. All one big thing. I'm sure they're not used to being attacked by people who actually know what they have.

ASHLY: You actually had a good idea for once.

SAM: Thank you, I better get drunk, then.

TALIESIN: Let's full-speed blow past them, just nod and keep moving.

SAM: On the same road we're not even going to go around?

LIAM: No, wait until they sleep. We're going to follow at a distance and then when they bed down for the night, we leave and then skirt around.

TALIESIN: All right.

LIAM: I like this.

TALIESIN: This is a good plan

LIAM: Well done Nott, well done.

MATT: All right.


MATT: So keeping your distance behind them pulling your pace back to just the normal, even slow pace, it's up to you. Probably normal to keep in pace with them.

MARISHA: At a medium pace.

MATT: It was going to happen eventually.

SAM: You're gross, Marisha.

MARISHA: I'm the worst.

MATT: About a few more hours, sundown hits, we'll say for the purposes of the narrative here. They pull off to the side of the road and begin to set up camp. Keeping an eye on this in the distance you watch them. Keeping far enough away making sure you're not in eye shot of them, as part of that I will say two of you helm a stealth check to see whether or not they see you on the road behind them.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it'll be the two of you.

MARISHA: Helming a stealth check?

SAM: Why don't you look at that dodec?

MARISHA: Well I already have it, I just haven't used it yet.

MATT: Well it lasts for a day.

MARISHA: Do I still have it? I don't have it. Oh, but I can look at it again!

LIAM: Of course you can. This is why I say you shouldn't just hand it over. Just save it for the moment.

MARISHA: I thought I might have needed it on the thing, but I rolled a natural 20 on my sac check.

MATT: All right, you take your fragment of possibility. So… go ahead and roll.

MARISHA: Do I have to call that I'm going to use advantage on it before or I can roll and then choose?

MATT: It's afterward. You can roll it and then choose to. It's like a luck point.

MARISHA: Don't fuck me, Gil. Yeah, it's 20 total.

SAM: Wow, mine's 19.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: (whispers) Should I do it again?

MATT: You guys stay back and watch as they pull off and make camp. With that, as the cover of ever-encroaching night becomes your ally, you begin to arc around on the opposite end of the road going behind one of the larger hill grades which manages to hide your horses as you speed up and take off ahead. To do this it's going to cost you an hour of pushing past, so everyone make your constitution saving throws please.

SAM: 12?

ASHLY: 15?

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh that was almost a natural 20, but instead it's five.

TALIESIN: You still have your mote, you can use it now.

MARISHA: Are we going to rest on the other side? It lasts a day. Are we going to sleep on the other side?

SAM: Maybe.

MARISHA: Yeah? I'm going to save it. Five.

TALIESIN: All right, 18.

SAM: This one's aroused, who knows what's going to happen.


LIAM: Six.

MATT: All right, so Beau and Caleb you both take a point of exhaustion. So you're going to have disadvantage on ability checks.

LIAM: Better constitution than Vax though.

SAM: Oh, interesting.

MATT: All righty. So pushing forward on this you come to a point-- how far ahead of the road of them do you want to set up your ambush?

SAM: Well we would want them to get going in the morning, right? But not immediately get ambushed, like settle into a little bit of a pace for an hour or two.

MARISHA: It's got to be just long enough to where they're zoning out.

LIAM: One hour in. 90 minutes.

SAM: Yeah, somewhere around there. A couple miles.

TALIESIN: We'll stop when we see somewhere that seems advantageous.

SAM: Yeah, that's the key.

TALIESIN: If we see something--

SAM: Oh, it's dark now, right?

TALIESIN: --yeah, but we've got night vision.

MATT: 60-foot. Maybe.

TALIESIN: Anything that we were going to do would be near the road anyway.

MATT: Right. So who's taking a look for a good ambushing point?

MARISHA: Not me, I'm tired.

ASHLY: I will.

SAM: Ooh!

MATT: So roll for disadvantage because it is night, even though you have night vision it's only a short distance.

ASHLY: Perception?

MATT: Correct.

ASHLY: Seven?

MATT: All right, you find a place--


MATT: --I mean it's a road. So you guys have an evening to-- what do you want to do for your ambush?

SAM: We need to plan the ambush.

MATT: We need to plan.

SAM: We don't have a cart to block the road with.

MARISHA: We don't have a cleric who can Hold Person.

SAM: What do we have?

ASHLY: Just someone with a lot of sordid history with these motherfuckers. Skeletons in the closet.

SAM: You can stand in the middle of the road and distract them.


MARISHA: That's actually not a bad plan, just in case.

LIAM: I would recommend-- they will probably be traveling pretty close together and I could slow them down. Magically speaking. If you were to bait them a bit and talk to them.

LIAM: Then if we pick a trigger point I could cast Slow… most of them, some of them would make it through unscathed, but--

MARISHA: Would they kill you on sight if they saw you?

SAM: What if we did like a--

ASHLY: I don't know.

SAM: --like a Red Dawn thing? (laughing) We dug a hole, and then we got in the hole--

ASHLY: You had one good idea.

SAM: --and they came over us and we popped out of the hole and we grabbed onto the cart and we rode under it and then we like chopped a hole in the bottom of the cart.

LIAM: What does that have to do with the dawn?

SAM: It would be really cool!

TALIESIN: First: do we have any dynamite?

SAM: Oh! (pause) No.

MARISHA: We used it on the troll and it did nothing.

SAM: Let's figure out what we do have though.

LIAM: We have acid.

TALIESIN: We have acid.

SAM: We have four vials of acid.

TALIESIN: Do we have enough Dispel Magic that we can reveal the cart so we can see it?

LIAM: Dispel Magic?

TALIESIN: Yeah, like can you make magic go away?

LIAM: How would that… what?

TALIESIN: Magic. Have you never seen anybody do this before? Just make magic go away?

LIAM: Yes I can, but what does that have to do with the cart?

TALIESIN: They're cloaking the cages. You could maybe free the people inside the cages with your magic hand thing that you do. And if their horses die those carts aren't going anywhere.

SAM: Oh! We could just kill all the horses.

TALIESIN: And then they're stuck.

LIAM: We may have a split second to-- you want to try and get these people out immediately, that's what you're saying?

TALIESIN: They're out, they're helping us.

MARISHA: Horses aren't a big threat, I would rather focus on the people.

TALIESIN: But if we kill the horses then the carts can't leave.

MARISHA: Yeah but if we don't kill the people then they could kill us.

TALIESIN: That's fair, too, but they could try and run.

MARISHA: These seem like people who are confident in themselves--

ASHLY: They don't run.

LIAM: It was two carts, you said?

MATT: Three carts, two larger ones and one smaller.

SAM: We could just ambush the last one.

LIAM: I couldn't tell from the aerial view, which one-- they're all hidden, right?

MATT: All you saw was just goods in the back.

TALIESIN: They don't drug their prisoners?

ASHLY: They tie them up and then gag them.

TALIESIN: They don't drug them?

SAM: Do you have anything we can use?

ASHLY: I have an axe and a hammer. And three javelins!

TALIESIN: One last question. How secure are these carts, or do they just trust that nobody's going to get out of the hog tie?

ASHLY: They're in cages.

TALIESIN: It's cage, cage, cage? It's not wooden bottom, wooden top? It's with bars? There's no weak point?

MATT: You haven't inspected them for weak points, you're not the brightest bulb in the shed necessarily when it comes to these things. They're cages, they're made mostly of metal and they seem to hold. They got locks.

TALIESIN: As long as we can pick some locks, untie some ropes.

ASHLY: I think the main-- (heavy sigh) --The main person to worry about-- so first of all, Prado is the lookout. Disabling him, maybe, if you guys are trying to be stealthy, would be helpful because he's got--

SAM: --we guys.

ASHLY: "We guys?"

SAM: You're part of the team now too.

ASHLY: We guys. Dwelma is the creepiest and the craziest, she's the half-orc.

SAM: Druid.

ASHLY: Yeah, she's pretty gnarly. I mean they're all pretty awful to be honest.

SAM: What's our primary goal? Just to stop them and prevent them from fleeing?

ASHLY: If we're doing this now we have to kill them.

SAM: Yes so we have to stop the path, right? We have to block them from escape. How do we do that? Do we fell a tree? Can we fell a tree?

LIAM: That is a good giveaway though.

TALIESIN: Honestly, once the combat starts, especially if you've got Fireballs we can just make sure those horses are toast.

MATT: Keeping an eye on the area as you're having this conversation, you glance around and there's an area not too far ahead that you can just see a little bit of the moonlight breaking through the clouds. The snow has not quite arrived yet. But you can see there are these two small hills that flank the sides of the road not far ahead where you can see there are some boulders that protrude. it looks like there is a tree stunk-- stunk?-- tree stump and an old rotted tree that's sitting on another one.

SAM: We could fell the tree right on them as they come by.


MATT: It's not a very big tree, if it were to fall it would just hit the side of the hill and be on the side of the road.

MARISHA: How rocky are those hills in between? Could we trigger a rock slide?

MATT: No they're not very high, they're maybe seven, ten feet tall at the highest? And it looks like there's been some erosion on the sides where they've just slipped on certain edges.

MARISHA: Maybe using Keg as a distraction up front--

ASHLY: They probably wouldn't kill me on sight. Lorenzo likes to make examples of people. So what would you guys do if I bought you time?

SAM: Kill all the horses first so they can't get away?

MARISHA: Couple Fireballs.

TALIESIN: I could teleport into one of the cages and start untying people.

SAM: Ooh, that's pretty good. I could also Mage Hand and start unlocking cages.

ASHLY: Is there a way that we can split them up somehow?

SAM: Okay. How do you propose?

ASHLY: Not split them up necessarily but have each of them occupied.

MARISHA: Have just certain targets between some of us?

LIAM: The best thing that I could do in that department is Slow, hopefully, all of them down. All of them, if they are closely grouped. If not, I could hold one person.

SAM: If we're trying to split them up you could just slow the last carriage further down the road and they drift apart a bit, I don't know.

LIAM: We could, but the way I would do that would be with a giant, earthen cat paw which would seem out of the ordinary.

SAM: I see.

TALIESIN: With you at the top of one hill if we get you some cover, you at the other hill if we give you some cover giving you both some distance, the three of us getting into the middle of it, coming at them at all sides.

MARISHA: I could stun somebody depending on how close I get. Maybe Lorenzo, try and square off against him. Of course all the spell-slingers are good to take out early as well.

ASHLY: I will say the half-orc has a weird liking for Lorenzo, so just be prepared if he goes down first that she's probably going to go insane.

MARISHA: Maybe we focus on the druid and the sorcerer?

TALIESIN: Always take out the magic users first. And if we can get a few friends in whoever is in those cages, for all we know that's where they've got our people.

MARISHA: I feel like if you can hold the barbarian, keep the barbarian away… I can maybe stun Lorenzo and focus on the rogue and the druid.

SAM: Do we have any other weapons or any other special things?

TALIESIN: Is there a way to embed a spell into the ground?

MARISHA: I have ball bearings.


LIAM: On a muddy road, probably not very useful.

TALIESIN: If they try and climb the hills towards either of you, you can have some ball bearings to help slip them back down.

SAM: I have a gun!


SAM: I stole a gun in the last town we were in. I stole a gun, I have a gun!

TALIESIN: I'm going to take the gun.

SAM: No you're not going to take the gun!

TALIESIN: I'm taking the gun.

SAM: No you're not!

TALIESIN: I'm taking the gun.

MATT: Okay...?


MATT: Both of you make a dexterity check. Well this would technically be a grapple so it would be athletics for you--


MATT: -- and then it would be athletics or acrobatics for you.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah I'm screwed.

SAM: I'll take acrobatics. It's only 11.

TALIESIN: It's fine, I'm seven.

MATT: Completely pulled out of your grasp.

TALIESIN: Does it even have anything in it?

SAM: I don't know.

ASHLY: I'm just going to go out and say we're probably going to die guys.

TALIESIN: We know.

MARISHA: I have rope. Can we set some sort of tripwire trap?

SAM: Sure, sure.

MARISHA: Is that something you can do? You're good at finding traps. Are you good at setting traps?

SAM: First of all, I'm not good at finding traps but I've found a few and the ones I've found have been rope based.

MARISHA: With that big swinging log thing!

SAM: I could do a tripwire… for the horses?

TALIESIN: There's part of me that's wondering if we hid you in the downed tree if you could sneak in and start working on the cages before they even know there's a problem.

SAM: Okay, so we fell a tree in front of the road. They stop to move it. I'm in there, unlocking things.

MARISHA: We send Keg to distract. You go in--

SAM: We've already stopped though.

MARISHA: --right, but if they try to go around it or something it's just a tree.

SAM: Sure, sure.

TALIESIN: Between two hills.

MARISHA: That's the name of this next chapter of our journey you guys.

SAM: Keg goes in to distract, Caleb kills the horses.

MARISHA: No, you go in and try and get the people out of the cage.

SAM: Yes, of course.

MARISHA: But wait, you can't see the cages? They're magically cloaked?

MATT: They can't see them from what you know. From what Keg told you they're magically cloaked until you get there.

MARISHA: Until you get there. Maybe you have to be close enough. You go in, try and get them out. You come out, send a signal through Caleb that you're out and then Caleb does a big Slow thing, slows them down. We go in, punk their asses. We win. We're victorious.

SAM: (laughing) This is a great plan. The winning part especially. Amazing.


TALIESIN: If we can pick the locks and untie everybody.

LIAM: I am not going to destroy three horses in one shot.

MARISHA: No, with Slow. Slow.

LIAM: I thought we talked about horses as well.

TALIESIN: We don't need to slow the horses. We have a tree. If we want, we have a--

MARISHA: No, we slow the people. Hang on, let me go through this again. We fell the tree. We send in Keg. Keg distracts. We send in Nott. Nott tries to pick the locks to the cages. Get the people out. Nott runs. Nott sends the message to Caleb. Caleb does the Slow spell on the party. We go in, we kick ass, we win, we're victorious. I just said that 30 seconds ago. Did you guys get it this time?

LIAM: They come upon a tree and somebody--

SAM: Are you aroused?


LIAM: They come upon a tree in the road and a woman that they despise now, and that is not suspicious because?

TALIESIN: We could put her under the tree.

MARISHA: No, it is suspicious, but it's distracting.

SAM: Ah, help, I'm under a tree! Also, you hate me.

TALIESIN: If you find somebody bleeding under a tree, that's not ridiculous. Tree fell, you happened to get hit. Good luck.

MARISHA: That's dumb. Maybe she's standing on the tree and she's like, "I'm a badass with an axe and a hammer and took down this tree and now I'm going to take down you."

TALIESIN: We could put you on top of the tree if you feel like you want to have some words with this people.

LIAM: I am not demanding anything, but my counter proposal is that I walk 500 yards back along the road, put the silver thread across the road so we know they are coming, spend a few hours hiding ourselves at the tops of these hills, waiting. Nobody is in the road.

TALIESIN: I'm all right with that.

LIAM: We wait until they are just below us. I cast slow on them, and then we murder them.

MARISHA: Then we win, we're victorious. Same plan.

SAM and MARISHA: Same plan.

TALIESIN: You guys work on people--I still think opening the cages is going to be a good call. We'll see what happens.

LIAM: Well, unless we hear a feasible plan, for doing that first--

MARISHA: Okay, okay. Plan A--

LIAM: I say we kick them in the goolies as hard as we can from the beginning.

MARISHA: Plan A, you do that. We try to slow them. If that fails, you're our distraction.

ASHLY: All right.

SAM: I'm going to dig a hole just in case. This Red Dawn thing.

TALIESIN: I'm all right for this plan.

LIAM: Actually, I mean that is a good idea. Could we spend an-- I'm going to go set my thread across the road. Could you make hiding places for all of us, Nott?

SAM: Sure. On the tops of the hills, and then one for me right in the middle of the road under the earth.

ASHLY: Do I have a sense of what they would do, were they to reach Shady Creek Run? If they would disband at any point, if they would stick together, where they would take--?

MATT: No, from what your experience would be, they would probably go to the hideout, to their little homestead deeper into the Savalirwood. They would drop off their payload and celebrate, probably, for an evening of revelry, and then come back the next day to begin the process of preparing them for delivery, which involves breaking them.

ASHLY: Presumably, there are people in Shady Creek Run who would love to see them dead.

MATT: Presumably. There are also people that would--

ASHLY: Would help them?

MATT: --would help them. They have allies.

ASHLY: Okay.

MATT: I mean, they're working for one of the tribe families, so yeah.

ASHLY: Okay.

SAM: All right.

LIAM: I have seen both of you vanish, so if you put in a little bit of time and elbow grease, you can either find places on these two hills that are conducive to us hiding or create those situations with grass or something, I don't know how to do it.

SAM: Yes, absolutely. Let's do it.

MARISHA: Let's do it.

SAM: Crafting party.

LIAM: I'm going to tell Frumpkin to go in the sky and watch and head up the road a ways to set that alarm.

MATT: To set the alarm. Okay. I'm going to pull out the map of the location so you guys can plan out positioning.

MARISHA: Oh, snap.

SAM: But you can't know the map because we just came up with this ambush plan tonight. There's no way that you would have foreseen something like this happening.

MATT: Well, the location of hills if you were to use that one. I have multiple--

LIAM: If he were human, Sam.

MATT: I have multiple maps prepared depending on where things happen.

MARISHA: He's a witch, Sam. You know this. He sees the future.

MATT: I have multiple maps with different scenarios.

SAM: Can he float?

TALIESIN: He did move four or five maps into this building today under cover of tarp.

SAM: Day?

MARISHA: It wasn't that undercover. It was Max going, "No cast is allowed in here for ten minutes!" It wasn't that stealthy. You weren't here for that.

SAM: I wasn't.

TALIESIN: I walked in the green room at one point, and it was literally the, "No, Mom! Private time!"

SAM: We have a green room?

ASHLY: I was going to say.

TALIESIN: It's that weird room with the weird hair salon stuff.

SAM: Oh, the makeup room.

MARISHA: We should get a mapmaking sock for him.

SAM: Are we going to do a studio tour at some point?

MARISHA: We are. We wanted to film it this week, but we got super distracted with building studio.

ASHLY: (laughs)

SAM: You know, one of the things about the makeup room is it has those hair salon sinks--

TALIESIN: It does.

SAM: --where you can get a haircut in it--

MARISHA: It does.

SAM: --or get your hair washed in the sink.

MARISHA: TALIESIN wants to get rid of it.

ASHLY: It's really sturdy.

TALIESIN: I will--

SAM: Can I get my hair washed in one of those?

MARISHA: I want to so bad.

TALIESIN: Anybody who wants me to shave their head, I'll do it.

SAM and ASHLY: Ooh.

MATT: This is the scenario that you've found.


MATT: This is the path heading in a north direction. These are the two hills. This is the tree. How would you like to set this up? Ho do you want to do this?

TALIESIN: (indecisive sound)

MARISHA: Nott and I look for--

TALIESIN: It's less of a tree than I was hoping for.

MARISHA: --the best elements of cover.

SAM: Can we move some of those bushes up? Up on top of the hill? Can we snap some twigs and make the bushes bigger?

MATT: I can see you probably do something like that, sure. You have a little bit of time.

SAM: Yeah, fluff the bushes a little bit.

MATT: So where are you going to fluff the bushes up here?

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: Like what are you doing? Point it out to me.

SAM: Yeah, let's do that.

TALIESIN: Here's your paintbrush. Sculpt.

SAM: Oh my god. We're Minecrafting.

MATT: (laughs)

SAM: About there.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: I'm so proud you know what that is.

SAM: And we're going to do that over here a little bit.

MARISHA: That's good. That's good.

SAM: This thing can't move, right?

ASHLY: We're strong. I'm a beefy boy.

MATT: You can try. You can certainly try.

ASHLY: Should I roll something?

MATT: Make a strength check. This would be athletics, actually. So make it athletics, because this is you, not just lifting it, but also bringing it along.

SAM: Holy shit.

ASHLY: 19.

MARISHA: Oh, she's fine.

MATT: You begin to drag it actually. You watch as this burly dwarf woman with a five-o-clock shadow that is now coming into actual faint stubble--

ASHLY: (laughs)

MATT: --grabs it and--

SAM: It's like Rocky IV.

MATT: --begins just dragging through this big groove in the ground as you pull it over. Where do you want to put it?

SAM: Are we going to put it in--

ASHLY: Is anybody else around?

SAM: --the middle, or should we-- I'm around.

ASHLY: Great.

SAM: Sam Riegel is.

MARISHA: You beat me to it.

ASHLY: (laughs)

MARISHA: I'm around.

SAM: Should we put it here, to narrow the passage?

ASHLY: Yeah, that's a good idea.

SAM: Okay.

ASHLY: I like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like that.

TALIESIN: You can also dig a hole right underneath it too so you can hide--

ASHLY: And the shrubberies?

MATT: And you have this tree here.

TALIESIN: --with some over covering them too.

SAM: Is this thing hollow at all?

MATT: That tree is actually somewhat hollow. Not completely all the way through, but there is an alcove in it where some of it has rotted out.

SAM: That's where I'll hide. Tomorrow.

MATT: All right. So Nott, I'll go ahead and mark you as-- this will be where you're hiding, just as a note there.

SAM: Caleb, any other terraforming we want to do over here?

TALIESIN: We want to push the tree over, don't we want to give it a good shove?

SAM: Are we--

LIAM: As Caleb comes back from setting the Alarm spell, tell me what you have worked out so far. I set the Alarm spell and I took a wee over that way.

ASHLY: (laughs)

SAM: We added some bush up here and up here-- to hide in, so then one person can hide here, one person can maybe hide here.

MATT: I'm excited. We've been gone for two weeks. I'm like, let's do this.

ASHLY: (laughs)

SAM: We moved this over and it's got a little nook in it, so Nott can stay in there.

LIAM: That's great.

SAM: But we have this tree here. Do we want to knock over that tree and block the path?

MARISHA: You have an awesome axe, right?

ASHLY: I do.

TALIESIN: We also have a-- no, we left the axe. Nevermind.

LIAM: I think that we don't want to gild the lily. That log is good--

MARISHA: I enjoy gilding lilies.

LIAM: --and it makes--

SAM: How tall is this tree, Matt?

MATT: That tree is maybe 15 feet, 20 feet?

SAM: So it only--

MATT: Actually, that would be 20 feet tall.

LIAM: If you come to a road and there's trees along it, your dander goes up. You're on guard.

MARISHA: You would think, there was a tornado that came through here.

SAM: How about this? If I may. This log that we've set on this side, what if we set it on this side over here--


SAM: --and then we weaken the tree in case we need to tip it over--

LIAM: Yeah. I'm in favor of that.

SAM: --and block the other half.

ASHLY: Should I lift again? Or am I just going to-- okay great.

MATT: That you can do.

SAM: So now we can weaken this tree, maybe, with some chops and then--

TALIESIN: Yeah, you can do that angle--

SAM: --it can block the other half.

TALIESIN: --you can do that angle so that you can just hit it and know which side it will fall to--

SAM: Sure.

ASHLY: Do I have to roll anything--

LIAM: You can stick a branch in there--

ASHLY: --to smack it with my axe?

SAM: To controlled--

ASHLY: To controlled smack it with my axe? I'm so powerful.

MATT: You can certainly try.

ASHLY: What do I roll?

MATT: Go ahead and roll an athletics check for this one.

LIAM: Involves trap making skills for help?

MATT: Just--

ASHLY: 15.

MATT: 15, okay. So you're able to carve into it, and use to your knowledge of where to hit properly and where the strength should be applied, you manage to cut a few wedges into it. It begins to move slightly, and you're like, now's the time to stop.

ASHLY: Nice.

TALIESIN: Um, just for-- no, that would be too much. I was about to say, I could make a bullshit trip wire, that when the tree went down, it would tighten a rope. It would pop it.


SAM: Interesting.

TALIESIN: It would be rope on the ground. I don't know if it would hide in that.

ASHLY: Yeah, it might be too obvious.

TALIESIN: It might be too obvious.

MARISHA: I think the best trap we have is Keg standing behind the tree.

TALIESIN: Let's, just for fun, I'm going to have some of our hemp rope, already tied around this rock, with just a big mess of it ready to go, so if we need it, we've already got one anchor point.

SAM: Do we want to do any digging? Any mudding? Anything else? Is this our ambush?

MARISHA: Where are you going to hide?

SAM: Me?


SAM: I'm going to be in the log, someone's going to be up here in bush one, someone's going to be in bush two.

MARISHA: I'll be in bush two.

SAM: Someone will be behind the tree.

ASHLY: I'll be behind the tree.

SAM: Caleb, where are you going to be?

LIAM: I am going to be way ahead, behind these bushes, because what I'm going to contribute I can do from far away and I can be knocked down like that, so.

MARISHA: Molly, are you taking bush one?

TALIESIN: I'll take bush one.

MATT: Okay, so Molly, you're going here?

SAM: Wait, I thought Caleb was the Bush Man.


TALIESIN: Caleb's going to be all the way back there.

MATT: Beau?

MARISHA: I'm bush two.

MATT: Bush two here?


MATT: All right. Beau's going to be here.

MARISHA: These are great codenames.

MATT: And you're going to be behind the tree?

ASHLY: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Do we have a signal as to when we go? You're going to do the Slow spell, and then we fuck shit up.

LIAM: I'm going to have to improvise. If they can all be clumped together for the best, but I'm going to wait and I'm going to call it in the moment, if there's two together and not three, I will go for two. If all three are together, great.

SAM: Just dry run it here, dry run it.

MARISHA: Dry running it.

SAM: Okay. The cart's coming, it gets slowed. "Oh, what the fuck's going on?"

TALIESIN: It gets slowed when it reaches a log.

LIAM: Oh, I thought they were coming from the other direction.

MARISHA: No, this way.

MATT: That's the north side.

TALIESIN: I was going to say, either that or you lit up a rock.

MARISHA: Do you want to tradesies with Molly?

TALIESIN: Once the first caravan passes the log.

SAM: Then Slow it? But it doesn't stop, it just slows.

TALIESIN: Does it just slow, not stop?

MARISHA: Yeah, well, it's called Slow, not Stop. If it was a Stop spell, it would be called a Stop spell.

LIAM: The horses will slow, the people will slow.

SAM: So right here, it slows. They're like, "What the fuck's going on?"

ASHLY: We saw that Lorenzo was in the leading cart, right?

MATT: The leading cart, yeah.

MARISHA: How far is your distance?

TALIESIN: I think we want to be a little further.

MARISHA: Okay, so, further.


MARISHA: I think we want to try and get the Slow spell off after it's passed the log, right?

SAM: They're already past us, then. We'll stop them.

MARISHA: No! Because I'm here, I'm here, Caleb's here, you're there. Because this will make them funnel, which will gather them for Caleb's spell.

LIAM: And a row of carts, though, not a group.


LIAM: It will make for a train, which will not get them all within what I need. Maybe two of them.

MARISHA: Why don't you tradesies with me, then?

LIAM: They're still on a road, they're still probably going to go, well. The risk of a straight line of them.

ASHLY: How big were they? Would two, three of them fit in that space?

MATT: The carts are about that wide.

ASHLY: Okay.

MARISHA: How wide is your spell?

MATT: They'd be going through one at a time.

MARISHA: Okay. It's a 40-foot radius?

ASHLY: Do we want them to go through one at a time?

LIAM: It is a 40-foot cube.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: A cube? I mean, it's a 40-foot cube.

TALIESIN: They'll always be in a line.

LIAM: Maybe. It's dicey. It's right on the cusp, probably, for two or three. Two is better than none, slowed down.

TALIESIN: If the front one is slowed down then they're all going to be slowed through there.

SAM: Or we do this, we slow them or whatever, and then --

TALIESIN: And now they're ready for a fight.

SAM: Then they get here, "Oh, crack!" Or maybe we stop them first, crash, stop, everything stops, then we hit them with Slow.

LIAM: That's great, but they're still in a line.

MARISHA: Why would they be in a line? You're just assuming they're going to be in a line instead clumped together.

LIAM: That's awesome, excuse me, that is fucking *wunderbar.* That is *wunderbar* if they were all clumped together, but I'm going to give it a 50/50 chance of them being in a line.

TALIESIN: If you slow the first cart, then the other two behind it are not going to be able to go any faster, either.

(metal clanging)

SAM: Oh, fuck!

ASHLY: Then we should probably wait until they're deeper in, and we can attack them, right?

LIAM: That is true. If they're in a train, we wait for cart number two to be in that bottleneck, and then I try to get the first two. The third one's not going to go anywhere. What we're losing is-- the more of these assholes whom you used to be a part of are, it's not just the carts, it's them. They can do less to us if I hit them. But you know, it's not perfect. There's no perfect situation.

SAM: So should we let one cart go first, and then?

LIAM: Yeah.

ASHLY: I think so. The second cart in the bottleneck is when we should go.

TALIESIN: And then we can push the tree on the first cart. That'll be fun.

LIAM: Oh, that is a lot of fun.

SAM: On the first cart?

LIAM: *Ja,* on the first one.

MARISHA: On the first one, you Slow the second one. We attack, we win. Still winning is part of this plan. I just want to make sure that that's clear.

LIAM: Thank you, Mr. Sheen.


SAM: So the first thing that happens is the trunk, the tree.

LIAM: Correct.


SAM: The second thing that happens is Slow. The third thing that happens is I pop out of the tree trunk--

MARISHA: Look for our friends.

SAM: Which cart are they going to be on?

ASHLY: Would I know that?

MATT: You have no idea.

SAM: Which should I start with? The small one or a big one?

TALIESIN: The first one, since it's damaged.

ASHLY: Yeah, there's no way to know. If you go on the third, then you might be less likely to be seen.

TALIESIN: Or the first one would be more engaged with us.

ASHLY: Or that.

SAM: Did I give you a scroll of Invisibility?

MARISHA: Oh yeah, who has that shit? Yeah, you do, don't you?

TALIESIN: If you're invisible, you could maybe help get everybody out.

SAM: Could you use it on me? Or would that ruin your books?

LIAM: No, it won't ruin my books, it's just. I'll only be able to use it this one time, then it's gone.

MARISHA: Because you haven't transcribed it?

LIAM: Do you have any paper? Yeah. It would be gone either way.

TALIESIN: You wouldn't be able to commit it to memory and then rewrite it later?

MARISHA: You're out of paper?

LIAM: (sighs) No, I mean I do have a very near-perfect memory.

TALIESIN: But it's near-perfect.

LIAM: Near-perfect.

MARISHA: But you're out of paper?

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: How long does Invisibility last?

SAM: An hour?

MATT: I think it lasts for an hour, or until--

LIAM: But there's no Slow if there's Invisibility. Oh, but it's a scroll.

MATT: Yeah, it ends for a target that attacks or casts a spell. But it'll last for an hour concentration, yes.

LIAM: I'm popping out of my German accent. If I cast a concentration spell and then I use a scroll, does it drop the concentration check on--

MATT: Yes it does. It's still you concentrating on the spell.

LIAM: I think Slow is more beneficial than Invisibility.

TALIESIN: Sure, but if you use the scroll once you hear the bells, then we've got an hour. Your trap goes off, your little alarm goes off, Invisibility, then you wouldn't drop Invisibility, that's not concentration.

MATT: They both are.

TALIESIN: Oh, then fine.

MATT: You can only have one or the other.

ASHLY: What is the trap going off? What does the alarm bell look like?

LIAM: When they cross the finish line. I set a silver thread across the road and they move through that. Anyone but us who walks through that line will set it off and I will hear.

ASHLY: But they won't hear?

LIAM: No, no, no. It's in here.

MARISHA: And how many feet ahead did you set that?

LIAM: I wanted to do--

MATT: It's like 500--

LIAM: No, I wanted to do more than that. Let's say 200 yards.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Meters.

TALIESIN: I like this plan. It's ridiculous.

MARISHA: So are we doing Invisibility or no?


MATT: Are you guys happy to pull the trigger on this?

LIAM: No, I am in favor of Slow over Invisibility. I want to kill them.

MATT: Okay then.

LIAM: Sorry.

MATT: You have your placements. You've set the scene. The evening requires some rest, if you're to prepare for this by the morrow.

MARISHA: Yeah, I need to rest, I'm exhausted.

MATT: So, you set up a small camp here, without light? Without fire?

LIAM: To confirm, step one is tree goes down on cart one, if it's that way, right? Slow happens, you can get a sneak attack in if it's an ambush.

SAM: I'm not going to attack, I'm just going to jump on a cart in the fracas and try to find a cage or two.

LIAM: And everyone else is going to start wailing.

SAM: On people. On magic users.

LIAM: And that was a blonde pixie cut and a half-orc? A bald half-orc?

MARISHA: The sorcerer is the half-elf.

SAM: Can you?

TALIESIN: There we are.

SAM: That's my voice, Ashly.

ASHLY: It's so beautiful.

SAM: Up there, in bush land, are you going to be able to do anything?

MARISHA: Yeah, I can move 40 feet, my speed. I'm pretty quick.

SAM: But that would get you on the cart with the bad guys. You can't just rain down terror from above?

ASHLY: That's true, are any of us doing ranged attacks?

TALIESIN: We're not ranged people.

SAM: I'm ranged.

MARISHA: I've got some pretty dope mobility.

TALIESIN: And you can do stuff once Slow's cast, you can also do other things once it's rolling.

LIAM: Sure, I can dispel any magical stuff going on in the cages shortly after, or improvise and switch to long range destruction.

TALIESIN: If things look like they're trouble, you'll just go with it.

LIAM: *Ja,* the plan will fuck up I'm sure, but we will scrap through, or die. Rather than choose who we're going to attack in the moment, I saw through my owl the half-orc with his hood down is a bald man. I would say let's look for that one first.

ASHLY: That's the leader, that's Lorenzo.

LIAM: That's Liam, not Caleb. Everyone else was hooded, so we don't know.

MARISHA: I think Lorenzo is going to be a problem, because he has reach, and he's a leader.

LIAM: I would say then that whichever one reveals them first, either half-orc or the woman with a pixie cut, whoever reveals themselves first, we'll say that is the one that we all target at the same time. We focus our attention to one and kill them, and they are out of the picture, instead of splitting between two.

MARISHA: If we find that half-orc, druids can have healing abilities.

LIAM: *Ja*, but if they don't reveal themselves first--

MARISHA: I'm just saying, if they reveal themselves at the same time.

TALIESIN: Go for the druid first?

LIAM: Correct. That's wise.

TALIESIN: All right. That'll do. We've got a plan.

MATT: You're setting up camp without fire for the evening? Or are you lighting a fire for warmth?

ASHLY: I feel like we shouldn't.

MARISHA: I feel like we shouldn't, either.

SAM: We'll huddle together.

MARISHA: We share body warmth by all spooning in a chain.

TALIESIN: We do set up the tent.

MATT: You set up the tent behind the hill. You spoon for warmth.

ASHLY: I hate it.

SAM: Who's Lucky Pierre? Who's in the middle?

TALIESIN: Aren't we all?

LIAM: Probably Mollymauk.

TALIESIN: I'm very cold, but yeah, that'll work.

MATT: You muster through an evening of uncomfortable but necessary closeness, which, it's a very cold night. A faint bit of snowfall greets you in the morning. Not enough to coat the place in white yet. It's these soft little flakes making their way down. A ways up on the road a few miles out, there is a front of gray heading your way. It looks to be a wall of snowfall that probably is going to be coming about mid-day or so in your direction. There's some mist in the distance. You come to; you shake it off. You're a bit stiff from a night of not necessarily comfortable rest, but a long rest is had. You lose your exhaustion points. As you take a moment, Caleb, the bells go off.

SAM: They're already here.

LIAM: Up, up!

MARISHA: Do I still have the dodecahedron?

MATT: You do, if you want. You would have to redo it again. Whoever wants to do it has to do it now.

MARISHA: I toss it to Nott.

SAM: I look in.

MATT: Okay. You guys aren't treating it like a--

LIAM: It's totally whippets.

MATT: Whippets from Xhorhas. This is great.

LIAM: No, every time it's magical and very special.

TALIESIN: I imagine it's a whippet that looks like the Matrix of Leadership from Transformers. (singing) "You got the touch!"

LIAM: Any time Caleb does it, he sees all timelines, but in the interest of brevity--

MATT: As you guys are in your places, the first cart comes up.

TALIESIN: Are we really doing this now?

SAM: Before we go, I'm going to whisper to Caleb: Caleb, if anything goes shitty, I'm going to throw my flask of oil on the first cart. Light it on fire.

LIAM: Understood.

MATT: All right. As this one comes through, you notice the person who's guiding it is your friend, Prodo.

SAM: Clarota?

ASHLY: Prodo.

TALIESIN: Wrong timeline.

MATT: Continues to push it along, and they separate as they see the coming pinch of the road. Behind that, you see the central one. This has the one figure that you don't recognize who's driving the cart, and walking alongside it is Lorenzo. This one begins to continue forward, and this pushes forward as well.

SAM: Oh shit! I'm so scared.

MARISHA: Me too. I'm so scared.

SAM: Hold me, Ashly!

MATT: On the sides of this, there is the half-orc druid. That's Dwelma, and Ruzza, who's the half-elf.

MARISHA: That's the sorcerer. These are the two magic users.

MATT: In the back is the small singular cart that's being ridden by one figure, and there, helming the end, is Juama, the human rage-filled warrior, the one that you've had the better experience with.

MARISHA: The barbarian is a human?

MATT: Correct. Pushing forward until about there.

SAM: Come on, Keg.

ASHLY: Okay. Am I doing this?

MATT: Are you doing this?

ASHLY: I'm felling the tree? Okay. Is this a strength check?

MARISHA and SAM: (chanting) Keg, Keg, Keg!

MATT: Roll a strength check.

ASHLY: That is an 18.

MATT: The tree immediately falls forward off the side, snapping at where it was left.

SAM: How did you have that?


MATT: Actually, all of these tree pieces were sent by our friends at Steamforge as gifts. I was like, "I get to use these at some point," and you guys are using them tonight. Falling and snapping right at the front half of the cart, breaking through. I'm going to give Prodo an attempt to try and dodge out of the way. He succeeds with a dexterity saving throw, because he's quite dexterous. He jumps back into the front of the cart, and you watch his lower half vanish as he stops there.

ASHLY: Am I revealed, or am I hidden by the stump?

MATT: You don't know. Actually, that's a valid point. I'm going to have you guys all roll stealth checks.

TALIESIN: With advantage, because we had time?

LIAM: In advance, you mean?

MATT: Yeah, I'll say in advance.

ASHLY: Am I at disadvantage? I'm not moving, though.

LIAM: Yes, Vax die, yes!

ASHLY: 12.

LIAM: 19.


SAM: 18.


MATT: All of you are pretty stealthy, except for you. As the tree falls onto the ground, all the horses suddenly rear up, and you've actually broken where the horses are attached to that cart. The axle snaps.

LIAM: That was my trigger.

MATT: At which point, the carts back up at this point. There's a shout in the back and you hear Prodo go like, "Boss, what is--" At which point, you're doing what?

LIAM: Slow, and I will target these four assholes right here, I think I can get in one go, probably. 40-foot cube.

MATT: First, for the sake of order here, because we are engaging in a series of aggressive actions, let's all roll initiative, please.

SAM: Ah! Is that cocked? I can't tell if that's cocked. I need a ruling from-- oh, it fell.

LIAM: Roll again.

MARISHA: Add my boots.

TALIESIN: Pretty good.

LIAM: Miss the Percy mega-initiative?

TALIESIN: Yes. I didn't even really understand how good I had it. I was so used to being okay no matter what, even if I rolled a one.

MATT: First order of business here for initiative. I'm going to sit down for this one real fast, write it down. 25 to 20, anybody?

SAM: 21.


TALIESIN: I'm so glad you're first. That's great.

MATT: Beau and Nott up first. 20 to 15?


LIAM: 14.

MATT: 14, you said, Caleb?

LIAM: *Ja, vierzehn.*

MARISHA: A lot of bad guys there.

MATT: That brings us to--

LIAM: Evil party, evil party.

MATT: What'd you get?

ASHLY: Eight. I'm rolling poop on initiative.

SAM: Hey, don't leave! We might be ending now!

MATT: As the tree snaps and hits, he shouts back. Immediately the group looks out at all sides, taking this as a means of assault, Lorenzo glancing over and directly locking eyes with you, Keg. There's a look of taken aback and surprised. Before any reaction happens, though, you do get your action. You are casting Slow, you said?

LIAM: Indeed I am. Molasses goes across my hand and I draw my hand down through the air, and I focus on these four, if I can. It's a 40-foot cube, putting this one in a corner.

MATT: How many can you target with this?

LIAM: Up to six in a 40-foot cube.

MATT: Up to six? That'll be quite a lot. You can get all of these guys, if you want to.

LIAM: All of them?

MATT: Well, let's see, because it's (counting) 40, yeah. This whole section here.

LIAM: Well, you know, fuck it. Let's also get this horse.

MATT: There's six people there.

LIAM: Oh, there's six of them? Oh, wow, yes!

MATT: There's the one who's helming this horse, the one who's helming these horses, the back of the cart, and then those four.

LIAM: Yes, never mind. I didn't think we were getting all of those people. Good. All of the humanoids.

MATT: For the two thugs that are on the horses, two and a three. Natural two and a three. They are both slowed.

TALIESIN: What does Slow mean, by the way?

LIAM: Half speed, minus two to armor class, no reactions, and they can either do an action or a bonus action; they can't do both.

TALIESIN: Oh my god, that's amazing.

LIAM: They can attempt to cast a spell, but--

TALIESIN: That means you can attack and then disengage for free. That's amazing!

MATT: Ruzza does not succeed. Ruzza is slowed.

MARISHA: Ruzza, the sorcerer! Did the druid save?

MATT: The druid does save. The barbarian-- the barbarian does not save.

MARISHA: The druid saved, Dwelma.

MATT: And Lorenzo-- that is a 17. Saves.

MARISHA: That's pretty dope, though.

MATT: This all happens. Combat has begun. Starting at the top of the combat order: Beau, you're up first.

MARISHA: No, Nott is. Nott rolled a 21 and I rolled a 20.

MATT: Oh! Got you. I put them in the wrong order.

SAM: We're starting this? I don't know how I'm getting on this fucking cart! How am I going to get on this cart? I'm not invisible!

LIAM: Your charisma, Sam! Your charisma.

SAM: All right. I'll run past Lorenzo. As I run, I will dump all my oil on him.

MATT: Okay, that's your action.

SAM: Yep, that's my action.

MATT: (splashing) He looks at it, sees you dart by.

SAM: Bonus action disengage.

MATT: Okay. He can't make an attack of opportunity on you.

SAM: And jump into the cart and start doing this.

MATT: This big one there?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: You dart in, and as soon as your vision comes through, you come face-to-face with a metal cage.

SAM: Oh, shit!

MATT: Right there in front of you. For you who can watch, the back half of Nott is still visible. The entire cart is filled with cages. Front to back.

SAM: They're invisible cages?

MATT: The cages are blanketed by some sort of illusion.

SAM: The part of me that hit the cage is now invisible also?

MATT: Correct, but just the front half. It looks like Nott vanishes partway through, like you've stepped through part of a doorway. On the inside, you see a very sweaty human man who is gagged and leaned up against the cage like, (whines). He looks up towards you.

SAM: That's all I've got.

MATT: That's all you've got.

TALIESIN: Can you get a little bit more around the-- or is that all your movement?

SAM: I'm sure I pushed as far as I could.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm probably more than 40 feet away from the druid?

MATT: You can just get to the druid at 40 feet. (counting) You do have to get down there.

MARISHA: Sweet jump.

MATT: Make an acrobatics check.

SAM: Come on, this is what you live for!

MARISHA: It is what I live for! Ten!

MATT: You manage to land without losing your footing. You get right up to the druid there.

MARISHA: Oh, fuck. Okay. Two attacks. First attack, okay! That's a natural 16, plus seven is 21. Right? 16 plus seven?


MARISHA: 21, and that's eight damage.

MATT: That is.

MARISHA: I'm going to spend a ki point to do Stunning Strike.

MATT: That is a natural 15 plus three is 18.

MARISHA: That really sucks.

SAM: You've got ball bearings!

MARISHA: I do have ball bearings. Take my second hit.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: That's 20 total.

MATT: 20 total? Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah. Another eight damage. I'm going to spend another ki point to try stunning strike again.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: What was that, plus three?

MATT: 15. What's the DC?


LIAM: Nope.

SAM: It's a perfect plan.

MARISHA: I'm burning through so many ki points.

SAM: It's now or never.

MARISHA: I'm going to spend one more ki point to do patient defense because I'm probably going to need it now.

MATT: Okay, going into defensive mode. That finishes Beau's go.

MARISHA: Three ki points! Burning them out.

SAM: Ki questions.

MATT: All right. It's now Ruzza's turn, who is slowed.

LIAM: If you attempt to cast a spell with a casting time of one action--

MATT: It doesn't go off until the next turn.

LIAM: Right.

SAM: Wow, Slow is the best!

MATT: Ruzza's going to step back, looking towards Lorenzo and goes, "Boss, this is so weird." It's weird because it's this slowed down, deeper voice coming out of this female half-elf, but nevertheless, here we are. As she steps away and begins-- She does give a bit of bardic inspiration to Lorenzo because she's technically not a sorcerer.

SAM: Not a sorcerer?! You got it wrong!

MATT: Something else, that's as much as you know.

TALIESIN: Is that a bonus action, though? You have to do an action or a bonus action, you can't do both.

MATT: Oh, that's right! So they're not doing that.

LIAM: Read the cards, people! Read the cards!

TALIESIN: No dubstep today. No wub wub.

MATT: Still saying that phrase, but not in an inspirational way. Is going to cast, glancing over in your direction as the source of it.

LIAM: Knew where I was? My stealth was that shitty?

MATT: Once you cast the spell you reveal yourself, buddy. That's how it works, unfortunately.

SAM: The cover of bush?

ASHLY: He's bushman!

SAM: Yeah, we had him all bushed.

LIAM: I'm going to die. It's fine.

MATT: This is going to be-- Yeah, let's do some Hypnotic Pattern. Why not?

SAM: He'll resist it.

MATT: He begins (slow incantation) and slowly backs to here, getting up on the hill, climbing to get some better visual perspective over the battlefield. That's going to end Ruzza's turn, Molly, you're up.

TALIESIN: I look at Keg and: You got that one?

ASHLY: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Right. I'm going to start my movement. I've got 30 feet of movement. I can get almost to the edge of this mountain, right?

MATT: You can get right there.

TALIESIN: That's 30 feet?

MATT: That's 30 feet there.

TALIESIN: Then I can teleport how far?

MATT: 30 feet.

TALIESIN: Can I get to flanking?

MATT: Flanking? To there, you mean?


MATT: Yeah, you can do that.

TALIESIN: Is that way more than-- I have a 30 foot teleport, right?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Is it possible to do it halfway through my movement so I still have two steps that I can take? No, nevermind. Eff it, I'm good. I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to take two attacks.

SAM: Yes!

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: I have advantage.

MATT: You do.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: I assume you had your rites prepared.

TALIESIN: Both are up.

SAM: Come on, motherfucker!

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's 19. Yeah, that hits. The first one is awful: seven points of damage.

MATT: Seven points of damage? All righty.

TALIESIN: Second one is 16, 17, yeah, that's 16 plus seven.

MATT: That hits, roll damage.

TALIESIN: That's better. 12 points of damage.

MATT: 12 points of damage! You're carving through. She's not slowed by the impact of the spell and taking these wounds, hurting her quite a bit. She's not horribly maimed, but is starting to show some wear from the strikes that she's suffered. That ends your turn. That brings us to Lorenzo. Hmm.

SAM: Wow, we stumped him.

MARISHA: I know, so quiet!

SAM: The only good plan that we've ever made is without Travis and Laura here. Let's make that clear.

MARISHA: I'm still stoked on our-- was it Umbrasyl? The frost dragon?

TALIESIN: That was pretty solid.

SAM: Are you doing a throwback right now?

MARISHA: Yes, I am.

LIAM: Vorugal was the frost. Umbrasyl was black acid.

MARISHA: When Vorugal fought Yenk.

MATT: Lorenzo, watching you and your friends, shouts out in your direction and goes--

LIAM: Slowed.

MATT: Well, he's not slowed.

LIAM: Oh, he saved.

MATT: "Keg! I don't know what you're trying here, but I think the line's been drawn." He's going to step over here, pushing through the horses, leaping over in the direction of where Nott is there and is going to shout out, "Hey! Move aside!" and holds his hand out in front of him. That's going to end his turn.

SAM: Oh no.

LIAM: He's casting!

SAM: He can cast?! I thought you said he was a fighter! Your information is the worst!

ASHLY: I'm not very smart!

MATT: Prado is currently like freaking out by this, sees this all happening, narrowingly missed the tree slamming into him goes and pulls out his bow and knocks an arrow into it and is going to take a shot. Let's see, the one he saw dart that way-- so that's Molly. He's going to fire at Molly.

TALIESIN: He's going to have a hard time doing that. Disadvantage.

MATT: What's the range on it?

TALIESIN: Of my Blood Maledict?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Let's see. I'm not looking at the right thing. Where is it?

MATT: Is it a 30 or 60 foot range?

TALIESIN: Blood Maledict!

MATT: For your Blood Curse of the Eyeless?

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's 60 feet!

MATT: 60 feet? Yeah, that'll do it!

TALIESIN: Amplified.

MATT: Amplified, so disadvantage on-- He gets two strikes.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I take a lot of damage for that. Five points of damage.

MATT: First one with disadvantage is going to be 16 to hit? What's your armor class?

TALIESIN: For fuck's sake! 15.

MATT: 15, so that hits. Because you're adjacent to an ally of his, so he gets sneak attack bonus on that.

TALIESIN: God fucking damn it!

SAM: Those are the worst.

MATT: That's going to put him--

LIAM: Slash the best!

MATT: To be fair, it's a shitty sneak attack roll. That's a total of 14 points of piercing damage from the first arrow into your shoulder.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: The other one is going to be--

TALIESIN: Did he get disadvantage on the other attack as well?

MATT: He did, yeah.


MATT: 16, on this one.

SAM: Oh!


MATT: Because 11 and ten he rolled and it's plus six on his attacks.

TALIESIN: Okay, so they both hit.

MATT: Okay, the other one just deals six points of piercing damage.

SAM: Oh, that wasn't damage. I thought that was damage, okay.

MATT: He's going to jump off and move over here, up onto the top to get a good view since he's a ranged guy with his arrows. He's keeping down and getting ready for that.

MARISHA: No, I ran over there. I'm fighting the druid!

SAM: Oh, you ditched. That's fine.

MATT: That's going to go ahead and-- that was his action surge and everything, so he's done. Next up. Bear with me, guys. There is a lot going on right here.

SAM: Yeah, there's 12 players.

MATT: Caleb, your turn.

LIAM: We're back to me?

MATT: Yeah, you had the ambush round technically because it was the trigger, Slow, and then everything happened at once. The tree triggered the ambush seeing you, so the only one who got a round off was you from the spell.

LIAM: I cast Dispel Magic on the cages or I could attack the person about to attack me.

MARISHA: Who's going to attack you?

LIAM: That's what I will do. I will use the glove of blasting to fire on the person attacking me.

SAM: Which one?

TALIESIN: The one on the hill.

LIAM: The one on the hill.

MARISHA: The sorcerer.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Roll for attacks on that.

LIAM: Yeah, three of those.

MATT: Minus two to their armor class.

LIAM: First one does not hit, that is a 12.

MATT: Goes wide.

LIAM: Second is-- Sorry. 17?

MATT: 17 hits.

LIAM: Oh, it was 16 on the last one! Does that hit?

MATT: That would hit!

LIAM: Thank you! The third one definitely misses. That's a two plus eight, that's ten.

MATT: Okay, so two hits. Its 4d6.

LIAM: 4d6.

MATT: Not a bad opening round.

LIAM: Not that great, Ten damage, fire damage. They have to make a constitution save?

MATT: Yes. To maintain?

LIAM: Oh, they were casting an attack. Well, I don't know what they were casting.

MATT: They still have to make a concentration check to see if they can finish with their casting, yeah. That is a 13 plus two. That is a 15. So yeah, they're fine.

LIAM: Yeah, they're fine.

MATT: Is that the end of your turn, Caleb? Staying where you are?

LIAM: I will lie down flat on my back.

MATT: Okay! You go prone? Caleb goes prone. Okay, now it's the thugs' turn. They are slowed, so they can't move too far. This one is going to move back. That's as far as he can move, and he's going to pull out his crossbow and he gets one shot, because of the Slow spell. He's going to take it towards you, Caleb, with disadvantage because you're so far away.

TALIESIN: And prone.

MATT: Yeah, you're still within the minimum distance, so with disadvantage regardless. That is, with disadvantage, a 13. What's your armor class?

LIAM: Shield. It doesn't hit.

MATT: The bolt goes wide. This guy here is also slowed. He's going to attempt to back away.

SAM: Do the horses get an attack of opportunity?

MATT: They do not. He's going to attempt to use the edge of the tree for some cover as he takes a shot at Beau.

MARISHA: Disadvantage.

MATT: Yep. And that is going to be a 13 again!

MARISHA: Miss, yeah.

SAM: We're still alive!

MATT: Now it is Juama's turn, who is slowed, and right here, next to Caleb, is going to take a strike at you. Not technically-- only gets one attack, so the first one would've been 12.

TALIESIN: Yeah, nope.

MATT: Spends 15 feet of movement backing away there, as the boss said. You do get an attack of opportunity if you'd like to take it.

TALIESIN: I used my reaction.

MATT: Oh, you did! That's right, you do not.

TALIESIN: Do I still have a second Blood Maledict, by the way, this round? I can spend another round doing it. I know we changed the rules slightly. At fifth level, do I get two uses or just two options?

MATT: I'll have to double check.

TALIESIN: All right. When we get there.

MATT: That's the two thugs' turns. That's Juama's turn. Keg, you're up.

SAM: All right, Keg! Kill them all in one turn! From 45 feet away.

ASHLY: I feel like narratively, Keg is actually pretty freaked right now. Is it weird to ever give yourself disadvantage on things narratively?

MATT: No, it makes sense! We've all done it to some degree.

LIAM: It's Sam's *raison d'être.*

ASHLY: Okay, so I'm going to give myself disadvantage on everything I'm going to try to do this turn, because seeing Lorenzo again I think has really freaked Keg out.

SAM: He is covered in oil, which makes him kind of sexy.

ASHLY: I'm aroused *and* scared?

MATT: Which, the armor that Lorenzo is wearing-- you've seen it before. It's studded leather, but it's straps and hooks. The theme of it resembles very much elements of his profession, or at least reminding you what he does. So the oil weirdly does make it strangely erotic. It's your turn, you have 25 feet of movement, so that'll only get you about five squares of movement.

ASHLY: Okay, I'm going to run. I'm going to run--

SAM: Away?

ASHLY: Away.

SAM: Jesus. Ugh, you're the worst!

ASHLY: I'm roleplaying!

MATT: Are you running towards the action or away from it?

ASHLY: I'll run towards this-- no, I'm going to run towards those horses. I'm going to run that way.

MATT: Make an acrobatics check to leap down.

ASHLY: Terrible. Awful. Five.

MATT: Okay, so you lose the last five feet of movement. That's your movement there.

ASHLY: My javelin can't go very far, right?

MATT: Your javelin has a pretty decent range. Does it have the ranges next to it in the app? That's okay, I have it here. The javelin-- it's 30 and 120 feet. So it can go 30 feet without disadvantage and 120 feet with disadvantage.

LIAM: But you said everything's at disadvantage?

MATT: So you might as well.

ASHLY: Might as well, yeah. So is Prado within 120 feet?

MATT: Prado is. Right up there on the hill, getting his arrows nocked.

ASHLY: Okay. I hate him definitively, so I'm going to throw at Prado. With disadvantage. Five.

MATT: Completely passes over.

ASHLY: I can use my bonus action to move again? Or no, I can't.

MATT: No, you can't. That's where you are. You can take another javelin attack, because you have three javelins.

ASHLY: I'll try again.

MATT: You get one more swing at him.

ASHLY: No. Doesn't work. That's terrible. I won't even bother.

MATT: Both javelins miss. You're shaken by this experience.

TALIESIN: You did throw two javelins at an irritating creature, so that's good.

LIAM: Get the nerves out. Get the nervousness out.

MATT: It's now Dwelma's turn. Dwelma is going to cast Dispel Magic.

MARISHA: Does that mean I get to take an attack on her?

MATT: Not unless you have the War Caster--

MARISHA: Mage Slayer?

MATT: Mage Slayer, I mean.

MARISHA: I almost took that. Took Sentinel instead.

TALIESIN: It's going to take two turns though, right?

MATT: She wasn't affected by Slow.

TALIESIN: Ah, really?

MARISHA: Yeah. She was one of the ones that saved. That's why I was trying to stun her.

SAM: What do you cast Dispel Magic on?

MATT: The magical effect, which is the Slow effect.

SAM: And it will do over all of the--?

MATT: If it's any spell third level or lower, the target ends, so Slow fades.

SAM: Oh no.

MARISHA: Fuck! That's why I was trying to stun her! I think she still could have done it, though.

MATT: Not from being stunned, she couldn't.

MARISHA: Oh, well, cool. Feels really good about failing it twice now.

MATT: Sorry! She's going to move to this side. Actually, and is going to run. So you both get attacks of opportunity on her.

TALIESIN: You get an attack of opportunity.

MARISHA: That's not very good at all. 12.

MATT: 12 is not going to hit! Not with Barkskin, sorry. Actually, no! She doesn't have Barkskin because of the ambush. She hasn't had time to cast it, so it's an AC of 11. You do hit!

MARISHA: What? She doesn't move anywhere!

MATT: She is stuck there.

TALIESIN: Well actually, no. Can you freeze her?

MARISHA: She's not moving. She can't move and she takes five damage.

TALIESIN: She's still between the two of us. She couldn't have circled.

MATT: No, she circled around. It's when she leaves the range, so she gets stuck there. That ends her turn. Now Lorenzo's turn's going to trigger.

SAM: What the fuck is that?! He's a dragon-man?! What is this?

ASHLY: What is happening?

LIAM: That is huge.

SAM: Jesus! What the fuck is that?!

LIAM: I don't know. That's your call.

MATT: I think it just misses you. It's right there.

LIAM: That's why I go far away.

ASHLY: What the fuck?!

MATT: As a Cone of Cold bursts forth from-- (whooshing) Lorenzo smiles as his friends have come out of the way, and this burst of freezing cold arcane energy swirls in front of him, flash-freezing everything in front, including the cart, actually.

ASHLY: So Nott gets frozen too?

MATT: Nott has to make a reflex save. Beau and Molly have to make-- sorry, dexterity save. Oh, that's a relic!

MARISHA: Natural 20.

MATT: Nice!

SAM: You know what? I'll use my luck.


MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Yeah, don't get frozen.

SAM: Terrible!


ASHLY: Oh no, what was it?

SAM: 11.

MATT: Oh, buddy. All right. Okay. What did you roll?


MATT: 19, okay. Nott, you take 41 points of cold damage.

SAM: I'll halve that.

MATT: Okay, so you use your reaction to halve that.

ASHLY: Did you say, I'm sorry, 41? Four-one? Okay.

MATT: Molly, you take-- that would be 20 points of cold damage.

TALIESIN: Jesus Christ.

MATT: Beau, you take 20 points of cold damage.


TALIESIN: 20 points?

MATT: Yep. As it triggers and the frost finishes off in the space there, Lorenzo, grinning, looks over his shoulder back at Keg and goes like, “Am I going to have to make a lesson here?”

SAM: Oh no, he's winning!

MATT: That brings us to the top of the round. Nott, you are up.

SAM: All right, I think I have to use an action to unlock this cage. To pick the lock.

MATT: Go for it. Make your lockpick check.

SAM: Fuck you! Five plus, I don't know. What is it usually, seven?

MATT: Dex and proficiency, so it would be seven, yeah.

SAM: 12?

MATT: It's not enough. You spend a moment and the lock is not going. These are pretty intense cages, and you look over there, and Lorenzo's standing there with the glaive.

SAM: I'm going to move around the cages or between them, so that I turn completely invisible.

MARISHA: That's a good call.

MATT: You move through a very small gap, they're pushed up against each other. Make a strength check to see if you can push through; you might not be able to.

SAM: Nope! That's a three.

MATT: You can't push through it; the cages are too close. The small gap there, you try to muscle it, but there are two to three people in each cage, and you can't push though.

SAM: Can I use my bonus action to-- Jesus, what can I do for my bonus action? I can't hide. Can I hide?

MATT: You can try, you're partially obscured.

SAM: I got nothing else to do on a bonus action. So yeah, I will try to hide.

ASHLY: Lorenzo's eyeing him right now, you said?

SAM: I'll go on the side of the cart and--

MATT: Lorenzo's eyeing that direction.

SAM: I'll hide off the side of the cart.

MATT: Okay, make a stealth check.

SAM: Oh, that's wonderful. It's 29!

MATT: You appear, within your mind, to have vanished from the current sight.

SAM: Of at least Lorenzo.

MATT: All righty. That brings us to, finishing Nott, Beau, your turn.

MARISHA: Oh God! Damn, this fucking druid. I'm just going to lay into the druid.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Okay, first attack. Natural 20!

MATT: Oh, snap!

MARISHA: Thank you, Gil! That's doubling dice damage. Big money, come on! Six plus four: ten.

MATT: Ten damage. Oof, Dwelma's looking rough.

MARISHA: Really?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Second attack. 14 plus seven, so 21.

MATT: Although technically when the Slow spell finished, a Hypnotic Pattern may have gone off. Yeah, that would have gone off. So make your wisdom saving throw, if you don't mind.

LIAM: No, I don't mind at all.

SAM: May I ask a weird question, Matt?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: The guy that I was trying to break out of the cage: is he alive?

MATT: Glancing around the area, it looks like the people that were right on the outer edge of the cages are frozen.

SAM: Would I have seen that before I tried to unlock the cage?

MATT: The guy who's near you, he's fine. They blocked the impact there. It was your latter half that was sticking out that got blasted.

SAM: Okay, cool.

LIAM: I rolled a 22.

MATT: 22, all right, so the Hypnotic Pattern does not affect you. Well done.

MARISHA: I did 11 damage on my second attack on her.

MATT: She goes down.

MARISHA: Fuck yes!

SAM: Down like dead?

MATT: Like unconscious and bleeding out.

TALIESIN: Do you have any more attacks left?

MARISHA: I have my bonus. Can I move and then attack again?

MATT: Yeah, if you want to.

TALIESIN: Or you could hit them while they're down and help them bleed out.

MARISHA: I thought about that, but I have enough movement that I can make it to the barbarian, right?

MATT: You could.

MARISHA: Are you going to handle Lorenzo? Who's going to handle Lorenzo? (shouting) Who's going to handle Lorenzo? Fuck! I'm going to jump over the horses' asses and get to Lorenzo.

MATT: You are.

TALIESIN: Oh dear.

MATT: Okay. Make an acrobatics check.


MATT: You get over the horses. Where are you going to stand, on the cart? There's not a lot of room here to stand to fight and you'd have to get over--

MARISHA: I have 40 feet of movement, so wherever I can go.

MATT: I'll say you can get back right here.

SAM: Yes, land on the horse's back!

MARISHA: Can I land on the horse's back?

MATT: Sure, why not.

LIAM: Now you're mounted!

MATT: So you're on the horse.

MARISHA: I'm on a horse. Am I within range of him?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: He's right there.

MARISHA: I'm in combat range of him.

MATT: Yes you are.

MARISHA: I'm going to spend another ki point to do Patient Defense. I don't trust this motherfucker. Hopefully that's useful.

MATT: That ends your turn?


MATT: That brings us to Ruzza. Ruzza, who watched the druid go down, sees you over there being really defensive and looks around. He's going to attempt to cast Hold Person at level three. I need Mollymauk and Beau to make wisdom saving throws please.

TALIESIN: Motherfucker.

SAM: You got this, guys. You got this. Big rolls!



MATT: Completely resists it. Shit.

LIAM: Burned it! Burn that shit!

MATT: Back up around the tree trunk there. That ends her turn. Molly, you're up.

TALIESIN: There's no way to get through--

MATT: Thank you for sticking with us. I know this is going late, but I want to see how this turns out. We've been gone for two weeks. Consider it a bonus episode.

TALIESIN: There's no way I can make it to Lorenzo from here, is there?

MATT: It's possible.

TALIESIN: Not anymore.

MATT: You can climb over the cart if you want to.

TALIESIN: I'm going to get my ass kicked if I get there. I'm going to try and engage the barbarian before raging happens.

MATT: It's up to you.

TALIESIN: God damn it. Fuck it, if you're in with Lorenzo, I'm going for Lorenzo.

MATT: Okay, make an acrobatics check to try and get over the cart without issue.


MATT: Ten? You lose some movement, but you still have enough to get right there. That's as close as you get. Lorenzo's technically supposed to be in that space.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take three attacks. I do not have advantage, obviously.

MATT: No, you do not.

TALIESIN: First attack. Is that cocked or is that okay?

SAM: Is it your big dice? It's cocked.

TALIESIN: Damn it! It was a 20. Now it's a 22.

ALL: Whoa!

MATT: Take your damage.

TALIESIN: That's (counting) 18 points of damage.

MATT: Nice!

TALIESIN: Not happy. Swipe number two. That's a ten.

MATT: Ten does not hit.

TALIESIN: Then the other one is a three. That does not hit either.

MATT: That first strike carves past. You see blood spatter across the edge of the hillside. Lorenzo's like, "All right, I see what you're doing. One for one." Slams the glaive onto the ground. That ends your turn, Molly. It is Lorenzo's turn. Lorenzo's going to go ahead and make two glaive attacks against you.

TALIESIN: I think I have a second Blood Maledict usage now.

MATT: You're still level five.

TALIESIN: I know. I was looking, because I know you changed things, and it says “Blood Maledict: You can invoke a blood curse a number of times per short rest based on your levels. 2nd one, 5th two, 9th three.” I'm taking-- hoping this die rolls worse, come on. For fuck's sake! My Blood Maledict literally kills me. Actually, no, fuck, was I going to do it advanced? I was going to do it advanced. My own Blood Maledict knocks me unconscious.

MARISHA: You get knocked unconscious?

TALIESIN: I was at four hit points. What was I going to do?

MARISHA: Not that!

SAM: Oh god, is he still going to attack you?

MATT: First hit. You guys watch as Molly falls back unconscious, Lorenzo looks confused. His vision still obscured, the blindness.

MARISHA: Am I flanking Molly?

MATT: Yeah. Actually, you're not flanking, because you're at an angle. You're on the horse. So no. The first strike slams down into Molly's chest, the blade actually sinking about seven inches into the chest. Blood spatters out of your mouth. You can use your reaction to make an attack.

MARISHA: I can, as Sentinel.

MATT: As Sentinel you can, yes.

TALIESIN: Thank you.


MATT: 14 does not hit, so it misses there.


MATT: Lorenzo looks back over towards Keg. Looks up at you, Beau, and says, "An example it is." Molly, in the brief moments of consciousness, what do you want to be your last words?

SAM: Oh no!

ASHLY: Can I say: wait!


ASHLY: He's in it? It's done?

MATT: This is done.

SAM: Do you get a reaction? Do you have anything?

ASHLY: Maybe I could talk to him?

MATT: Molly, you have a brief moment. As the consciousness and life leaves you, what are your last words?

TALIESIN: (spitting) With blood.

SAM: Oh, god.

MATT: As it slams into his face, "Respect," and then twists the blade. The life leaves Molly.

TALIESIN: Eyes never shut.

MATT: It's now Prodo's turn. Prodo is going to take a single shot, because he used his action surge. Now that he's gotten two javelin tossed, he's going to fire at you, seeing that you're in the proximity. That's a natural two, misses, off your armor. You're not even paying attention. You're looking over at this and you feel it deflect. No impact. Caleb, your turn.

LIAM: I'm going to hold my turn, and cast a Scorching Ray at the sorcerer the moment they do anything. First, I will get up off of prone, into a crouch.

MATT: Okay. The thugs take their turn. Both of them are going to--

TALIESIN: I might need to leave the table for a while.


MATT: They're both going to back up and take two crossbow shots at Beau. You have your Patient Defense on?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I can't watch this.

SAM: Oh, god.

MATT: That is still a 16 and a 17 they rolled.

MARISHA: 16 misses, 17 hits.

MATT: That's right! First one, you deflect out of the air.

SAM: Catch it.

MATT: No, she already used her reaction. And the other one is--

MARISHA: I can still use Deflect Missiles, right, to lower it?

MATT: You use your reaction to do it. But it rolled a 15 to hit. You, watching this happen, hear it deflected off. The other one you catch and drop, still looking down at Molly's not-moving body. As Lorenzo now grins back at you and says, "Is it time for another, or have you learned your lesson?"

MARISHA: You should know: I have no respect for authority.

MATT: "Then another life it is." All right, that ends thugs' turn.

SAM: I'm invisible!

MATT: He does not see you.

ASHLY: As a quick reminder!

MATT: (counting) You're the closest there. The barbarian goes pulling in, is going to use an action to move up into melee with you, but that's their turn. It's not looking good, guys. Which brings us to Keg. Keg, you've seen these situations before. What are you going to do?

ASHLY: Can I reach them with my speed?

MATT: Can you reach who?

ASHLY: Lorenzo and Beau.


ASHLY: How close can I get?

MATT: With the tree there, about there is as close as you can get. You can use your action to move, but you wouldn't be able to do anything else.

ASHLY: But I can talk to him?

MATT: You can. You move up over the log, and it gets you there.

ASHLY: I say: Stop! Stop! Make me the example. Stop. Just stop attacking them.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

ASHLY: 11.

MATT: Okay, that's your turn. Dwelma's bleeding out. Nott, your turn.

SAM: What do I do? Lorenzo hasn't been hit yet, has he?

ASHLY and MATT: He got hit once.

SAM: Once, but he's not going to go down.

MARISHA: He's covered in shit.

MATT: You hear Keg shouting and mid-battle parleying.

MARISHA: There's the barbarian on Caleb, which is not good.

SAM: I will first try to use a bonus action to use item and pour acid on one of the locks. See if that opens it.

MATT: Okay. You pour acid on the lock. It's going to take a moment. Acid isn't an immediate thing, if you're not going to splash it on somebody. It has to eat through metal.

SAM: Well, shit. Then I won't do that.

MATT: You would know that as an alchemist.

SAM: I will-- Shit, what do I do? I can't kill anything here. I'm going to try the lock. I'm going to try the lock. there's nothing else I can do.

MATT: All right.

SAM: It's a natural one.

MATT: I think the signs are pointing in a direction. What are you doing, Nott?

SAM: Yes, so movement and bonus, I will run towards Caleb, but not directly at the barbarian.

MARISHA: That's a lot of time.

MATT: Beau, it's your turn. You see Nott run.

SAM: Let's see, movement is 30. How far could I have gotten with just movement?

MATT: With just your movement?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Right there.

SAM: Ah, okay. Yeah, so that's fine.

MATT: Beau, you see Keg rushing to parley. What do you do?

MARISHA: I say: Hey Keg-- no wait, that's your name-- Hey Lorenzo, this one's for Beau-- no, fuck! I'm getting all my names fucked up because I'm so stressed out! This one's for Molly and Yasha, because we failed on this before. I'm going to get it right this time. I'm going to take my tinderbox and light it, and I'm going to-- right onto him, light him on fire.

MATT: Okay, he's going to make a dexterity saving throw.

MARISHA: I mean, I'm touching him with it.

MATT: I know. He fails.


MATT: (flames erupting) Roll a d6 damage. He is on fire.

MARISHA: d6 plus what?

MATT: Just d6 fire damage.


MATT: Four points of fire damage. There's now flames curling off of his body. He's taking it.

MARISHA: I take my staff and pure brute anger, right across his face.

MATT: Roll for it.


SAM: Get out of there!

MATT: (whoosh) He's not even looking at you. He's looking at Keg.

SAM: Run!

MATT: She has his attention.


MATT: 18 does hit.

MARISHA: Six damage.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Run!

MARISHA: I take my movement and go towards Caleb and Nott. Fuck.

MATT: There's a reflex for him to go ahead and take an attack of opportunity on you with his glaive, and then he flickers and looks back to Keg, seeming more interested in what she has to say. That ends your turn?


MATT: All right. Ruza's going to walk up.

MARISHA: Didn't you have a thing held for the sorceress?

LIAM: The moment she *does* anything. That depends on how you want to interpret that.

MATT: The moment she does anything, what were you going to cast?

LIAM: Well, I meant do anything-- I guess do anything to hurt us.

MATT: Okay. As you're watching her very carefully-- She's going to do it. She's going to step up and cast Cure Wounds.

SAM: (whispering) Oh, it's a slave. They get a slave.

MARISHA: They're going to try and capture Molly?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Molly's dead. Cure Wounds isn't going to affect him. She reaches out and touches Lorenzo, and he heals up a bit. She starts to try and pat the flames out a little bit and he shoos her off. Now it is Lorenzo's turn, because Molly doesn't have a turn. Lorenzo's looking at you and says, "Looks like we have an eye-for-an-eye scenario." Points off at Dwelma, who at this point has bled out.

MARISHA: She's dead?

MATT: We'll say yes, she's bled out at this point. "You say you want to be an example, huh?"

ASHLY: Will you let them go?

MATT: "Sure." Puts his hand up, flames still curling up and burning his body, which, roll another d6.

MARISHA: Another four damage.

SAM: Use your teleport spell!

ASHLY: I don't have one!

MATT: Puts his hand up with the glaive in the air, and you watch as all the other thugs looking off pull back their crossbows to the side. The barbarian in front of you, Caleb, this woman whose face is twisted in absolute rage, (panting, snarling), puts the hammer down. Lorenzo says, "We're going to make an example of our old friend. Round up what you can. You walk with me, Keg," and leads you back over to where the rest of you are. As the warrior steps back, still burning, takes and leads you here. They begin to move forward and push the carts, begin to push the log off of this to the side, and the warrior woman grabs the front of the cart where the horses were and begins to drag it forward. As it begins to pull away--

LIAM: Isn't one of them encased in ice?

MATT: It's a flash freeze, and then it goes away. It's not like it keeps it there. As this one pulls forward, one of the thugs grabs the body of their druid and throws it over the top of the cart where she seems to vanish, except for a leg dangling off the side of the illusion. They go forward. Grabs your shoulder and pushes you down onto your knees. Do you do anything?


MATT: Looks at the three of you. "The Iron Shepherds have a reputation, and I expect you to tell everyone you come across what happened here today, and what a mistake it is to turn against us." Pulls the glaive back slowly and leans into your ear and says, “That's a bit too quick. I want you to live with the memory of what you did today," and kicks you in the back and knocks you onto your face. Turns around, finally pats out the flames. "We're moving on! If I see any of your faces again-- (chuckles) Well, at least you'll be able to see your friend on the other side."

MARISHA: Fuck you, Lorenzo.

MATT: "Fuck me, indeed," and he turns and joins the rest of the caravan as it begins to pull back on the path, leaving the four of you beaten, bruised, and glancing off at the lifeless, bloodied body of Mollymauk Tealeaf. And that's where we're going to leave tonight's episode. (exhales)

ASHLY: Fun guest star.

SAM: Wow, Ash.

MATT: Uh, sorry!

SAM: Good job, Ashly. Welcome to the game.

LIAM: You have destroyed the show.

ASHLY: Go ahead and see my way out!

MATT: No, this is part of the game.

SAM: No, it wasn't all your fault, just mostly.

MATT: That was a terrible convergence of events.

LIAM: Yeah, bad shit happens.

MATT: It does.

LIAM: Bad shit happens to mediocre people.

MATT: Wow. I'm going to sit down.

SAM: Oh, boy.

MATT: Well, thank you guys for sticking with us for this long. I know it's been a late night. Our return after a week off, and the drama has certainly kicked in. We'll pick this up next week. Let's use this week to love each other.

MARISHA: Yeah, don't ream us for all the things we probably did wrong.

MATT: No, please don't. Everyone here is playing the game as best they can in the moment, and honestly, a lot of it was dice swings and a lot of it was circumstantial, and this is how the game works. It's going to make for a great story, and will continue to, because you guys have one fucking villain now in your campaign. Oh, this is going to be delicious. Be kind to each other. We love you all very much. Let's take a week to remember Mollymauk.

MARISHA: There's nothing we can do to bring him back, is there? There's nothing we got.

LIAM: Not with what we got.

MATT: Not with what you got.

SAM: I've got another vial of acid.

MATT: On that note, once again, we love you guys. Have a wonderful week, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.