MATT: Hello, and good evening, everyone! Welcome to Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons! Or yell curse words at me as we intro. So yes! Welcome to the show tonight! Sam Riegel is on his way, our Scanlan will be here shortly. Such is the nature of these things. But, anyway, welcome to our show, friends new and old. Tonight, we’re continuing a rather intense beginning of the next arc of Critical Role, as Laura prepares her dice via bulk-rolling. I like the juju aspect of it. It’s nice. It gets the energy going. Just burn all those twenties out first.
LAURA: Oh, I’ve already rolled two.
MATT: See? There you go.
LIAM: Those are two you cannot use.
LAURA: I know!
MATT: So, yeah! So, tonight we have a special guest that will be coming into the show a little later on, as part of the story arc, and after tonight, we will be having Critmas for this month. It won’t be all of us, some folks have a really early morning tomorrow and unfortunately have to run off due to needing to exist tomorrow professionally, but we will be doing that this evening. Let’s see, as far as announcements go–
MARISHA: We’re winging it today. Sorry.
MATT: Yeah. It’s all good. So, I guess first and foremost, reminder for those of us who are interested in going to Portland for Wizard World Portland in a few weeks, we’ll be there for that. I know, except for Liam.
TRAVIS: February 19th to the 21st. Come say hi! Yeah.
MARISHA: It’s so hard to get all of us in one place at the same time.
TRAVIS: If you’re even in a neighboring state, come see us, because we might not make it all that way again.
LAURA: And bring your dice, and we’ll all roll together!
MARISHA: Yeah, we’ll bless them. Or he will.
TALIESIN: I’ll bless them, Laura will curse them, it’ll be great!
MATT: Also, me and Marisha will be at Colorado Anime Fest, the weekend before that– actually next weekend.
MARISHA: Valentine’s– next weekend!
MATT: Next weekend! We’ll be in Denver for that convention.
MARISHA: Come spend Valentine’s Day with us.
TALIESIN: And I will be at Amazing Arizona Comic Con that weekend. The Amazing Arizona Comic Con, Saturday and Sunday.
LIAM: Sam’s here– can someone let Sam in?
LAURA: We have a gnome!
MATT: Let Sam in!
TRAVIS: (yelling) I got him!
MATT: Travis has this. I like this very much. Let’s see, other announcements. Oh, the next episode of the GM/DM Tips goes up tomorrow on the Geek & Sundry website. Check that out. Not sure what topic it is. I don’t know what order they’re putting them out on, so it’ll be a surprise for both of us! But hopefully you guys will find it helpful. I hope the previous ones have as well. If these turn out well, and people like them, and go click on them and share them around, they’ll be more apt to do more, in which case I can do more in-depth, advanced videos. So, let’s hope that works out well.
MARISHA: Even if you’re not a DM, you should go look at them. So you can keep making more!
MATT: Exactly. Yes!
MARISHA: Be a kind clicker.
(Last of Us clicker noises)
MATT: Yeah, that’s a whole different clicker. And then, first weekend of March, me and Marisha will be in Cork, in Ireland, for Kaizoku Con. So, that’ll be a lot of fun, you guys can come out there. And yes, I know that Ireland is not in the UK, that was meant to be a joke, but the internet did not take it as such, and felt the need to correct me for a week. And you know what, I deserve that–
LIAM: There are no jokes here!
TALIESIN: That’s crazy, the internet has the best sense of humor about everything!
MARISHA: The internet always understands sarcasm!
MATT: But as a person of some Irish lineage, I may have accidentally also offended my ancestors, so I apologize to everyone!
MATT: We have a gnome!
MARISHA: Hey scarf man!
SAM: I got to go get ice!
MATT: Go get ice? He’ll be back!
LIAM: Is he cosplaying as Matthew Mercer? What’s going on?
MARISHA: Thanks to the Critter who sent us bacon jerky.
LAURA: Travis will be smelling like bacon jerky for the rest of his life.
TRAVIS: Prepare yourself! That smells extra like dog farts!
LAURA: Oh! It really does!
TRAVIS: Just have a piece! One little piece!
LAURA: I’m sure it’s delicious!
TRAVIS: I’ll give you the ear.
TALIESIN: Thank you!
MATT: Aww, that’s– whoever sent those, thank you.
MARISHA: That was amazing!
TALIESIN: That’s very aerodynamic jerky.
MATT: Let’s see, other announcements. Liam, do you want to mention that one thing?
LIAM: Yeah, we’ll do our weekly shout-out to Wyrmwood gaming. If you go over to Wyrmwood Gaming and put in the code “CRITROLE”, you’ll get free shipping, and also, over at Wyrmwood Gaming, they’re doing a Valentine’s Day Lottery, where you’re getting a mystery box for a lower rate? I dunno, look at the rules, I don’t want to mess it up. But your dork dollars will go farther if you go over there this week. Happy Valentine’s Day!
TRAVIS: Dork dollars, that’s like bitcoin, right?
MATT: Yeah, kind of! Let’s see, other things– for those who didn’t see it, Lootcrate put up a cool video about their most recent package that’s going out this month, themed “Dead,” in which they shot a ten-minute short film in the zombie apocalypse, starring me!
LAURA: I saw!
MATT: Did you see it? It was fun. I got really dirty. And Marisha has a cameo in it as my deceased girlfriend. Sorry.
LIAM: So sad.
TRAVIS: You didn’t save her?
MATT: Look! You think I can save anyone in the apocalypse?
TRAVIS: I would hope so.
MARISHA: Honestly, it’s impressive that you were the one that lived.
TRAVIS: Would you straight-up run, or would you throw people in front of you so that they would be trampled?
MATT: Neither! I’d try and work things out, and then get sniped in the head. We’ve had this conversation.
MARISHA: Yeah, are you kidding me? He’d be the first one that would be like, “Oh, rivalling–”
LAURA: “Let’s save everyone!”
SAM: Phone’s ringing, sorry.
MATT: Oh. You need to get that.
SAM: You know what, I’ll send it to voicemail.
MATT: Oh, thank you, Sam! So conscientious. (laughs) All righty, anything else anyone needs to mention? Or announce?
TRAVIS: Bacon jerky’s fucking good!
LAURA: It actually is really good. Yeah, once you’ve tasted it, you don’t smell the stank.
TALIESIN: It’s like garlic. As long as everybody’s had the garlic, everything’s cool.
LAURA: You wanna try it?
LIAM: No, I can smell it on you now!
LAURA: Right? It’s disgusting!
TRAVIS: You want some? You want to join the fold?
MARISHA: It is adding to, like, the tavern-ish feel of this place.
MATT: All righty! Announcements are over– let’s go ahead and get into the game proper.
LAURA: Oh no!
MATT: So, to get us up to speed. Vox Machina, the intrepid band of adventurers, who have been enjoying being honorary members of the council of Tal'Dorei, returning from a harsh adventure in Whitestone, having the Winter’s Crest festival, and then going in and re-inspecting the death place of a blue dragon they once fought over a year ago, returned just in time for a series of chromatic dragons, white, black, red, and green, all attacking Emon at once. This union of extremely powerful dragons tore through the city, with the red staying behind, named Thordak, the Cinder King, basically housing himself in Emon and claiming himself essentially ruler of that area. The party fled to their keep, attempted to help a bunch of refugees inside and then were immediately attacked by Vorugal, the white dragon. A heavy battle commenced that was ill in favor of your victory until Thordak himself knocked Vorugal out of the sky, claiming that there were better things to be done. So three of the four of this Chroma Conclave have now gone east, while Thordak sits in the middle of his new nesting place. You guys decided to try and help those who were in the keep at the time, those who survived that encounter on the outside of Greyskull. However, Percy and Grog had a conversation about this magical skull artifact they had acquired: this whispering in exchange for a wish if it got freed. This led to a rather intense bit of conflict–
MATT: Yes. (laughs) Which, thanks to the luck of the die, seemed to avoid a unique circumstance, whatever that might have been.
MATT: (laughs) However, the party in this tense scenario were then visited by a dwarven elementalist named Drake, along with your old-time friend and guide Allura Vysoren, who had sensed the connection to her teleportation circles here in Emon severed immediately. There was discussion about how this came about, who’s to blame, and it appears that this dragon has a history, 15 years before, of having conflict with Allura and her then-party of adventurers, many of whom lost their life in the final battle. When they realized they were unable to actually defeat Thordak, hatched a plan to seal him within the elemental plane of fire, and had managed to keep him there for 15 years until recently. We left off with Allura suddenly sensing her connection to the Westruun sigil severed as well.
LAURA: God, I forgot about that!
TRAVIS: Nothing like genocide to put you in the mood!
MATT: Yeah! That is where we’ll pick up. So, at this point, after Allura senses this, her eyes go wide for a moment and she– you, being there in front of her still, Keyleth, after your guys’ scrying ritual, grabs your shoulder, and looks around the room. “Who is left? Where is the council? Which allies can we draw to us, in hopes of planning our next move?”
MARISHA: We don’t know.
TRAVIS: We are scattered.
LAURA: For all we know, the council is lost.
MARISHA: We could be all that’s left.
MATT: (sighs) “Well, we have to try and gather what information we can about who remains. If anyone out there survives, any of our allies, we need to make sure that they’re brought away from the center of this chaos. And hopefully we can reconvene and figure out a path of hoping to free our city, our entire land, of this scourge.”
LAURA: How do we even make contact with them? Thordak is in the center of town.
MATT: “Perhaps skirting the center and hoping others have found their way towards the outskirts of it. I don’t know. This is as far as I’ve gotten to the city, is your guys’ keep. You have the better position on this. Where would anyone in the town go? Are there places to hide, are there–”
LIAM: I think that they would leave the center of the city, at least to the edges, if not try to get out, though that might be foolish.
TALIESIN: Check the harbor, maybe?
LAURA: We know that Riskel made secret passageways in different places.
TRAVIS: Security tunnels!
LAURA: Yeah. Did we ever find out if he put one in ours? Did we have one? That leads into the town?
TALIESIN: We don’t know.
SAM: Oh, didn’t we have a tunnel made that goes under the wall?
MATT: You did, actually.
MARISHA: But does it lead out into the city?
MATT: You haven’t actually utilized it yet.
LIAM: We’ve never used it, but they described it to us when they brought us here the first day.
LAURA: Maybe we can sneak in!
SAM: To the city.
LAURA: Well, yeah!
LIAM: We need to see if Uriel is still alive.
SAM: By the way, hi guys.
LAURA: Hi, how’s it going?
TRAVIS: Wait, who was with Gilmore?
LAURA: Gilmore disappeared. I didn’t see where he went.
LIAM: He was alone before it all happened.
TALIESIN: Well, that’s another place to check.
MARISHA: What, where? Gilmore’s?
TALIESIN: I’m thinking of where I would go if I didn’t know what to do–
LIAM: That’s smart.
LAURA: What places are left that have a teleportation circle?
SAM: What about the thieves’ guild tunnels? Would anyone go there?
MARISHA: It depends on who knows! It’s a way out of the city once again.
LAURA: The smuggler’s coves, all of them.
TALIESIN: That’s not a bad idea, either.
MARISHA: That was all through the–
SAM: That bar.
MARISHA: Through the bar, in the–
SAM: Place. With the thing.
LAURA: That one!
MATT: “The connections I had to this town were within my tower, your keep, and the Lyceum, the Alabaster Lyceum. The Lyceum has also been severed, and though I know not of what may remain there, that is also a place of great power, hence why it was probably a very operative target for their attack.”
MARISHA: How far does your arcane connection reach? Can you feel when you lose connection to other cities?
MATT: “If I have a connection to the sigil, yes. I don’t have much beyond the boundaries of Tal'Dorei. Vasselheim does not allow sigils for transportation, it’s against their philosophy against embedded arcane intrusion. If Westruun is under attack as well, I will make my way there in hopes of salvaging any lives that I can.”
MARISHA: You’re leaving?
LAURA: If Westruun is under attack, now, and we know Thordak is here, does that mean–?
TRAVIS: His forces are divided.
MARISHA: This is a takeover. For some reason Thordak doesn’t want to leave this city. Why?
SAM: This is the seat of power, right?
LAURA: We could potentially attack one of his subordinates, though. One of the other dragons in Westruun, by themselves!
SAM: But then he could just come and kill us!
LAURA: Well, then we teleport right back out.
LAURA: Bad idea? Bad idea?
SAM: How fast is he?
MARISHA: Well, they just made it to Westruun, several hundred miles away, in all of 40 minutes?
TALIESIN: There’s a lot of assumptions here.
MATT: “They move rather fast, and to be honest, I hate to inform you, but my single teleportation ability has been utilized for the day in getting here.”
MARISHA: I’m tapped out, too.
TRAVIS: Me too.
LIAM: Lady Allura, what do you know of Marquet?
LIAM: You said that they successfully repulsed him.
MATT: “400 years ago, yes, when he was younger. He was a much smaller dragon then.”
TRAVIS: 400 years ago?
LAURA: Yeah, he is ancient, Grog! He is ancient!
TRAVIS: Yeah, slightly.
MATT: “The only thing I can think of: there are two bastions of knowledge that hold inklings as to what could be the undoing of dragonkind, of powerful entities. There were battles of many such powerful entities, long, long ago, back before the Penance, before the historical wiping of civilization. Some of these books remain in Vasselheim, being the only city to have survived those times. A few have found their way in the Cobalt Reserve, the library of Westruun. If I could go and hope that this library still stands, stay out of sight, help who I can along the way, and gather what bits of research I can and bring them back here, perhaps we could reconvene as long as you go and find who you can of our allies that survive within Emon.”
LAURA: We can do that!
TRAVIS: Within Emon.
SAM: Going to let you go on your own?
LIAM: Well, she has Drake with her.
MATT: Which Drake next to her says, “Damn right, she does! And I don’t mean any offence, but the two of us is about the same as you lot!”
TRAVIS: Say what?
MATT: “Trust me,” and he gives you this dwarven grin as both of his eyes spark for a second with electricity.
TRAVIS: (quietly) Well, fuck.
MATT: She pushes him aside and goes, “It’s all right, Drake. For our mission, it’s going to require more– success is guided on being subtle. Some of you excel at that, maybe not all. And speed. I believe we can handle this. You’re better suited in combing large bits of territory and seeking the allies that may survive.”
LAURA: Will you be leaving in the morning, then? Can you go tonight?
MATT: “I should leave now.”
MARISHA: You’re going to go on foot?
MATT: “We have other means of transportation.”
MARISHA: Allura, if you’re going to Westruun, and what you say is true, that we have two potential options for finding out how to defeat these dragons, should we be heading to Vasselheim? Maybe that’s best where we’re needed right now.
MATT: “If Vasselheim still stands, I– knowing its history, that is one of the most fortified cities, the most fortified city in our civilization. It’s endured two great wars, and has been the starting point of each cycle. I doubt even with the might that these dragons hold, they would have the gall, the foolish intent, to attack such a place. Especially the center of an entity such as Bahamut, who stands against such creatures. I think Vasselheim is going to definitely claim a key role in this attempt to save ourselves.”
LAURA: Bahamut is a good guy?
MARISHA: Yeah, for the most– yeah, yeah.
MARISHA: It’s the city that was closest to Pyrah.
MARISHA: My people, my tribe. We could pull double duty, we could go and I can–
TRAVIS: Heh. Doody.
MARISHA: Grog! Now is not the time!
TALIESIN: What of Whitestone? Was there any mention, any–?
MATT: “I have no connection to Whitestone. I did not have time arriving there to install a sigil.”
TALIESIN: Did you learn anything of the anomaly beneath the castle that might be useful?
MATT: She shakes herself in her current mindset and goes, “Well, me and Drake here, we spent the better part of two days studying the structure underneath the city. It itself appears to be at least 600 years old, predating Whitestone’s construction. Unfortunately, both of our magics are thwarted in the proximity of this structure and any rituals that we attempted, or would have been able to attempt, to discern its nature, in the classic means, would not be functional due to its anti-magical properties. However, we’ve taken a few things of note, and we’re taking our observations to reach for two research facilities around the world, one of which I intended to be the Cobalt Reserve before this happened.”
TALIESIN: Interesting, thank you.
LAURA: So there was no– you didn’t move it, you didn’t do anything with it, it’s still just sitting there.
MARISHA: It’s a hazard zone right now?
MATT: “Essentially. We have locked it off and it’s under intense guard. We spent a little bit of time experimenting with its properties, and any object of firm matter that was introduced to this object was then torn from our grasp, sundered into many pieces, and then vanished.”
LAURA: Maybe we can get Thordak near the little orb!
SAM: Yeah, yeah! Yeah!
LAURA: I like it.
TALIESIN: That was definitely what I was thinking.
SAM: How do we do that?
TALIESIN: Well, it’s part of a plan.
TRAVIS: Hey, big dragon, there’s a snack over here. Take a bite!
SAM: We could leave a trail of gold that leads to it, Goldilocks-style.
MARISHA: That thing was also several hundred feet below ground. How are we going to get that dragon down there?
LIAM: Does Thordak have any offspring?
MATT: “Not that I know of.”
LAURA: Not anymore.
TALIESIN: The thought would be to actually remove it from the chamber, maybe.
LAURA: That could be really, really terrible.
TRAVIS: Do dragons have families? Do they have, like, wives and loved ones?
LAURA: They have children.
MATT “Chromatics especially, from what I understand in my research, they do mate, but there is no family structure, there is no love between brethren, other than the continued existence of that bloodline. If a child of a dragon is slaughtered and one does find out, depending on if it’s their only brethren, it could incite a sense of vengeance, depending on the color. But I know of no immediate children to Thordak. I have no knowledge of the other dragons which have attacked this day.”
TRAVIS: We should ask him.
LAURA: (laughs) We need to do as much research as we can.
MATT “I have not seen Thordak myself in 15 years, and I know not the state of which he is in, or what power he has now gained. Whatever information you can gather safely, right now, is going to guide us down the rest of this path in attempting to take this terrible creature down.”
SAM: If we go back into the city to try to find council members, and we succeed, what does that get us? A bunch of people who also don’t know how to defeat the dragon.
LAURA: Right, but they’re powerful people! They could help us.
TALIESIN: Both, actually.
LAURA: Experience and warrior-wise.
TRAVIS: What about a spy? Dragons want servitude, right?
MATT: “They, especially the reds, see themselves as superior to all beings, and will bend, and have in the past bent, small townships and civilizations to their whims and worship, yes. Which is, based on what you’re telling me, is part of what Thordak is attempting with this city now.”
TRAVIS: So, what if we send a shady piece of shit to go bend the knee and walk on the inside?
SAM: Listen, Jarett is good, but I don’t want to sacrifice him like that!
LAURA: What about you, Scanlan? You’re so good at lying, and–
MARISHA: Being shady!
LAURA: And sucking up, and grovelling–
SAM: What about Trinket?
LAURA: Trinket can’t talk!
SAM: Oh, that’s right!
MARISHA: That’s not a bad idea.
LIAM: And I do have this– pulling the brooch off– this would mask your true nature, somewhat.
TRAVIS: It’s true! (gasps)
SAM: (stuttering) I am not going to go–
TRAVIS: Ancient, giant, red, fuck-off dragon!
SAM: They have mind control powers! They have influence! They have charisma! Beyond even mine!
TRAVIS: You’ll be his bitch! You’ll trim his toenails, you’ll get real buddy-buddy–
SAM: I’m the size of his toenails!
LAURA: Slave Leia outfit, with a chain around your neck!
LIAM: No, he’s the little guy next to Jabba! (cackling laughter)
MARISHA: You might be surprised. You might like it!
TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean like what, dragons have to eat right? Dragons eat?
LAURA: Dragons eat.
TRAVIS: Yeah! So you poison a cow, and then you’re like, Oh Lord Thioredoxin, here you go! Poison cow, you’re dead, hero of the city!
SAM: Something tells me I would end up his gimp.
TRAVIS: (stuttering) You Dimension Door! You’re super quick! It’s a no brainer!
SAM: All right, that’s the best plan ever.
LAURA: Let’s just think about it, all right, Scanlan?
LIAM: We need to find Uriel. We need to go in– all these are the next step– we need to see– we have sacrificed a lot to save Uriel before, we’re not just going to leave him in the city! We need to find the tunnel under this keep, go in there, see who’s left, and get them out!
MARISHA: You know, speaking of spies, does anyone else feel like this is fairly convenient timing? Someone in that council had to have known this was happening. Wouldn’t you? All of the Cloudtop District was in one place!
LIAM: That’s not a bad point.
MARISHA: Someone knew! It was the perfect opportunity to strike! They took out the entire upper echelon of the city in one strike! They waited for them all to be in one place.
LAURA: General Krieg was here for a while, before we discovered him. He had friends.
TALIESIN: But he wouldn’t have known this was coming, though.
LAURA: No, but he was one of them.
LIAM: It’s possible they might not have been working in conjunction with each other. They could have been on their own, all of them, or all together, I don’t know.
TALIESIN: It does open the door to some definite possibilities.
MARISHA: The timing was perfect. That’s all I’m saying.
TALIESIN: The timing was perfect.
TRAVIS: You know the best way to flush out something like that? If someone was a spy.
SAM: All right, I’ll do it, I’ll go and–
MARISHA: What if we go and find a shady individual, like he was saying. What if we don’t send in Scanlan. What if we find someone?
SAM: That person will surely die.
MARISHA: You’re probably right.
TRAVIS: Will surely die. Which I’m all right with.
TALIESIN: Let’s go find this tunnel that we paid for.
LAURA: We need to see– get in the city and find some people. Allura, you be safe–
MATT: “I will.”
LAURA: – and silent and swift, and you get back here as quickly as possible.
TALIESIN: What time is it? When was the last time we actually took a nap?
MATT: Oh, it’s been quite a while, you guys have been running since before the meeting in the Cloudtop District.
MARISHA: Which happened at nighttime, remember.
MATT: It happened at dusk.
LAURA: It’s already morning the next day?
MATT: No, no, it’s evening now for you guys.
MARISHA: What time approximately? After midnight?
MATT: I’d say it’s after midnight, 1AM.
LAURA: Ah, fudge.
TRAVIS: Hot fudge?
MARISHA: I Druidcraft a little tulip and hand it to Allura.
MATT: She takes it, nods, places it in one of the–
MARISHA: In case we need to be in contact.
LIAM: Well, if we go now, we have the benefit of darkness in the city.
SAM: Hang on, we’re going to go now, without resting?
LIAM: I’m not saying that, I’m weighing our options. If we go now, we can go under the cover of night, but we’re going to be exhausted.
TALIESIN: And dragons don’t care about night. They can see perfectly fine.
MARISHA: Yes, we’ve learned that much.
LIAM: Well, let’s lie down and take a nap.
LAURA: Take a nap.
MARISHA: What time– Wait, hang on.
LAURA: Sleep as little as possible that will actually get us rested.
MATT: A short rest or a long rest?
LAURA: Long rest.
MATT: Long rest is eight hours.
LAURA: Should we sleep and get up in the morning and hit it?
TALIESIN: It’ll at least give everybody time to go to ground.
LAURA: That’s true. I mean, can I sense Thordak and figure out, I mean, is he just settling in that one spot? Is there anything else around or is it just him in the center, being a dick, and no other movement of other things?
MATT: You took a while earlier to concentrate and you focus on that point again. Thordak is this giant oppressive force of dragon kin in the center of the city, seemingly not moving.
LIAM: And last week, you said that Vex couldn’t sense the other three.
LAURA: They went to hit the other cities, obviously.
MARISHA: I still have one 5th-level spell left. I can Commune with Nature and try and find out if a few people are still left in the city before we go to sleep.
LIAM: Might as well.
MARISHA: If we’re not going out.
MARISHA: I can Commune with Nature and try to find certain people.
LAURA: Should we? Yeah.
MARISHA: All right. I go out to Pike and the Sarenrae temple.
MATT: Okay, so as you go the temple, you can see the surviving 25 people that are all lumped in. They’re calmer right now, but you can see a lot of them are still consoling each other and talking and as soon as you walk in they’re like– a couple of them step up immediately like, “What’s going on, is everything all right?” “I’m sorry. Mom, I’m sorry” They start crying and, “Shh! It’s okay, it’s okay. Is everything all right? Are we safe here? Is this okay?”
MARISHA: You will be all right. Everyone calm down. We’ve had a rough day and it’s been hard on everyone but you should be safe here for the evening. Hopefully. Everyone–
TRAVIS: Do better.
MARISHA: Look, I’m not– I’m trying on this whole leadership thing, okay?
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
TALIESIN: Ouch, I didn’t know it went that low. I’m sorry.
MATT: Surprisingly, I rolled a one. First roll of the night.
MARISHA: Any little bit of hope works.
MATT: Yeah, apparently. So the one man who stood up, and the younger child to him, looks around and he tells her, “Shh! Go lay down. Very well, thank you again. We’re sorry for–” Everyone else in the room nods in agreement and you see they’re dirt- and tear-stained and all just happy to not be on fire right now or frozen.
TRAVIS: Are there any injuries in the room that we haven’t attended to?
MATT: There have been a few injuries. However, Pike has already taken time with Keyleth to see to them, when they first arrived.
LAURA: Hey Matt, I was helping, too, mother–
MATT: You were helping until you were pulled away for the five minutes.
TRAVIS: Good job, Pike. And you too, Vex.
ASHLEY: Yeah, you know, got to help the group.
MATT: All right, so, as you guys are having this conversation, Allura and Drake walk their way out to the courtyard and she looks back at the rest of you and goes, “Stay safe, and if anything happens, find a way to let me know. I will return as soon as I can with what I can find. Possibly who I can find.”
TRAVIS: Don’t forget to visit Gilmore’s Glorious Goods.
SAM: That’s not a real place, Travis, it doesn’t exist.
TRAVIS: Who’s Travis? I can’t just hop in and out of character.
SAM: Grog, who are you talking to?
TRAVIS: My sword.
MARISHA: Your sword. You’re promoting Gilmore’s to your sword.
MATT: So go ahead and roll for me.
LAURA: Whoa! 24.
MATT: Okay. All right. So as you and Allura embrace, she steps back and gives a nod and looks out to everybody.
MARISHA: I reach out and I grab her hand and say, thank you, truly, for everything.
MATT: “Don’t thank me yet. Most of all of this lies on my shoulders.” And you can see she’s holding it together the best she can, but there is a crippling guilt in her visual presence, based on everything that’s happening here. You know that there’s a mutual understanding that, while no one knows the true reason why all this is happening, everyone seems to have a stake as to why it happened and possibly may have been somewhat at fault. And as she nods, she looks at Drake and Drake gives her a nod and begins casting a spell. As his fingers twirl in the air, these blue sparks trail his fingertips as it draws this large spiral of electrical energy that holds itself in place. It bursts out and encompasses both their bodies and their forms all of a sudden shrink down and shutter into these two sparks of energy that then arc off, and you can see these two bolts of electricity now coasting through the sky, bouncing off roads, bouncing off rock, bouncing off a tree. They both are traveling via spark across the countryside.
LAURA: How the fuck do we get that ability?
MARISHA: I don’t know, but I want it.
LAURA: She’s so fucking cool. Do you think that was her or do you think that was Drake?
MATT: Drake cast it.
LAURA: Oh man, that’s so cool!
SAM: Should we go to sleep?
MARISHA: Well, I’m doing my Commune with Nature spell. I drop down and mediate.
MATT: All righty.
SAM: If only I had taken a dump in the middle of town, I could see what’s going on right now.
TRAVIS: Hindsight is ten–
SAM: Other number.
MATT: Okay, three facts of your choice. As you sit in the temple quietly and connect yourself with the land and the foliage of the surrounding area of Emon, what are your questions?
MARISHA: Do I sense Gilmore’s presence?
MATT: What’s the radius on this, three miles?
MARISHA: A few miles.
MATT: You do sense a presence.
MARISHA: A presence.
MATT: A very weak presence.
LAURA: (gasp) Oh, no!
SAM: That could mean he’s far away or that he’s dead.
MARISHA: Can I focus in even harder and find where that presence is coming from more directly?
MATT: The direction that best you can ascertain is it’s in the direction of Abdar’s Promenade.
MARISHA: His shop?
MATT: That’s where his shop is, yes.
SAM: Good to know.
MARISHA: Okay. Last question, do I sense Uriel?
MATT: Within your three-mile range, you do not.
LAURA: Maybe he–
TRAVIS: He got to moving.
SAM: Or he’s dead.
LAURA: Okay, when you are sensing things, does that mean you would sense if they were alive or you wouldn’t sense them at all if they were dead?
MATT: The questions were: are they in the city? Which direction are they? Those are essentially the answers that you get through the connection of nature.
LAURA: Okay, so they could be dead in the city and you’d still sense them?
MATT: That’s possible.
MARISHA: I don’t know. It’s hard to say.
LIAM: He could have gone to the harbor. He could have fled through the tunnels we don’t even know about.
LAURA: He could have a teleportation circle.
MARISHA: We should check his shop first.
TRAVIS: Yeah. If Uriel’s farther away, it’s–
MARISHA: Uriel, I don’t know. Maybe he’s dead, maybe he’s gone, I don’t know, I don’t know.
TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s a moot point.
MARISHA: How about this, let’s find Gilmore, if he’s alive or dead then that will answer a lot of questions, how’s that?
LIAM: I agree.
LIAM: And if he did not make it, we still go to his shop.
SAM: Take everything.
LIAM: Use whatever’s left. It’s what Gilmore would want.
SAM: It’s true.
TRAVIS: I agree.
LAURA: We go then, if it hasn’t been ransacked already.
TRAVIS: Let’s go find that magic fucker.
MARISHA: So we’re going now? Tonight?
TALIESIN: Sleep and then go.
MARISHA: I don’t know, maybe we should go.
LAURA: Should we stealth in and see what we can see? I don’t know, I feel like we need to rest, y'all.
MARISHA: How bad are we?
LIAM: (laughing) I should probably rest.
ASHLEY: I’m at 25.
TRAVIS: Oh, shit.
LAURA: I’m pretty low and I’m almost out of dice.
TRAVIS: I can stay guard with the rest of everybody else, because I’m okay.
LIAM: They’re expecting– Thordak is expecting to sit on us like a bunch of eggs in a basket. We’re fine for the night, we go tomorrow.
MATT: All right, you guys take a long rest?
TALIESIN: Quick question, where is the skull?
TRAVIS: You fucking– that was my question.
LAURA: I don’t know, what are you talking about?
MATT: Who had the skull last?
TRAVIS: You expect me to remember those sort of things?
MARISHA: I remember.
TALIESIN: Either you have it or I have it. I don’t remember.
MATT: The last person to hold it was Vex.
TALIESIN: Was Vex. Okay, excellent. I have a perfectly reasonable hiding place or, if you like, you can take it.
TRAVIS: Yeah, your ass.
LAURA: Yes, I think it’s reasonably well-hidden at this moment.
SAM: Where is it?
LAURA: I don’t know.
TALIESIN: That will do.
MATT: All right. You guys find yourselves, as best as you can, resting for the evening. It is an evening of tossing and turning for a lot of you. Flashes of memories. Scanlan, you are plagued by the thought of your newly discovered daughter being not far outside the city when all this went down. Percy, you have flashes of the idea of Whitestone, recently saved and brought to freedom, being torn asunder by dragons not two weeks afterwards. You are plagued by visions of the Pyrah, the moment that Thordak must have torn through and the havoc that was wreaked afterward. Both of you can’t help but think back to when you first returned to Byroden and seeing the smoldering ruin that you now know to be the work of the Cinder King 15 years before, and those words about wondering if that was the last thing your mother saw. Grog, you want that skull.
MATT: Pike, your thoughts go back to Vasselheim and the people there that you, out of necessity and need for friendship and to protect them, left behind, knowing that they would be safe, and now the uncertainty as to whether or not Vasselheim still stands and whether or not you left them to a fate you could have protected them. That guilt rides on you as well. You guys complete your long rest, you restore full hit points and you get back half of your max hit dice. You can only get back half, so if you spent more than half of your hit dice, you’re still at– just so you guys are aware of that.
MARISHA: Wait, what? We only restore half each night?
TALIESIN: Not half of what’s missing, but–
MARISHA: Just half.
MATT: Yeah. So if you used eight of your hit dice, you are only going to get back, at level 12, six hit dice.
MARISHA: Good to know. I don’t think I used any.
MATT: So, it is a gradual declining resource. Hasn’t come up too much beforehand, but I want to make sure you guys were aware of that. Anyway, as you come to in the morning, you can smell– you’re used to Laina cooking a very nice breakfast. You smell food being cooked, but it’s much more basic for the masses. As you eventually groggily find your way downstairs, pardon the pun, you can see there is essentially a gruel pot and there is a soup line and food is being served best to their capabilities to the people that have taken refuge in Greyskull Keep. You are welcome to do as you please.
LAURA: We should head out.
TALIESIN: I’m ready.
SAM: We’re just going to march into the city?
LAURA: We’re going to march under the city.
TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re going to check out that tunnel first.
SAM: The tunnel just goes to the other side of the wall.
LIAM: We don’t even know where the tunnel is. We need to find an entrance to said tunnel.
MATT: The tunnel, actually–
TRAVIS: And then– sorry, I was going to say and then when we get to the the city, then we figure out what we do.
SAM: Grog, good thinking. (laughs)
TRAVIS: Leave it to me.
MATT: So, the tunnel has been installed to the back of the kitchen. There is a large pantry there and the tunnel is a trap door that is currently set by the very, very back of the pantry. Actually, not too dissimilar from the entrance to the Clasp in the Diamond Nest Inn. However, it’s much smaller and is a small single-person tunnel. You have to go single-file and it’s not very tall. Grog, you are going to have to almost crawl through at your height and everyone else would have to hunch down, except for you and Pike are fine. You guys are tiny enough. It’s about a gnome-sized tunnel.
MATT: And as you guys go into the pantry, Laina is like, “Oh, don’t– I’m trying– where’s everyone going?” and sees you all clown-car into the pantry.
LAURA: Before we left, I wanted to find Jarett really fast.
MATT: Okay, Jarett is currently outside of the keep in the main courtyard area, crossbow at the ready, keeping his eyes to the sky, mostly looking off in the direction of Emon.
LAURA: I walk up and I hand him a bag of 300 gold and I say, this is, far and away, so much more than we asked you to do when we hired you. And I appreciate everything you’re doing. Take care of the keep. Use this money to take care of the people here.
MATT: He takes it and throws it in the air and catches it. “I appreciate that. I take great pride in my work and I assure you, I would sooner die than let this place fall.”
LAURA: Then I give him additional 100 gold.
SAM: What is going on?
MATT: As you pass him the 100 gold, he puts his hand up and actually pushes your hand away and says, “I appreciate the sentiment, but you’ve already done too much. You hired me for a reason. I’m doing my job, but your generosity is noted.”
SAM: Ah, he’s so honorable!
TRAVIS: Is his hair blowing in the wind as he rejects that amount?
MATT: His hair is really short.
LAURA: I resist the urge to mug down with him and I walk away.
LIAM: What are you waiting for?
MATT: All right.
TRAVIS: Yeah, you might die. He might die.
LIAM: Yeah. Look at that big pouty bottom lip. Go get that.
MATT: Some of that Marquet–
MARISHA: Sexy, sexy exotic accent.
MATT: – and that Ank'Harel caramel skin. Jarett’s a hottie.
LIAM: I just saw 100 pictures drawn in a instant.
TALIESIN: With a flair.
MARISHA: Wait, you hear that? It’s pens hitting the paper. It’s fanfiction right now.
MATT: So, as you guys make your way through the tunnel, and it’s a long, very simple tunnel. The construction is solid. You don’t feel as you walk through that any of it is in worry of collapse. There has been no sufficient seismic activity or impact above ground to warrant that directly above the tunnel. And you continue to trudge ahead and it’s pitch black. Those of you with darkvision probably take the forefront.
TRAVIS: Is there a light vision? I’m on it.
MARISHA: I go ahead and light up a hand.
MATT: So, you guys, all of you have low-light, darkvision. You’re fine and Percy is the only one who needs the aid in this. But as you continue forward for a good 25, 30 minutes or so, the tunnel comes to a small stop and there’s a very simple rope ladder that leads upward.
LAURA: I put my hood up.
MATT: Who’s going up first?
TRAVIS: Is there anything past that?
MATT: The ladder goes up and goes into a small wooden slat. It’s not even a door. It’s almost like a wood pallet.
LAURA: Get up there. See what you see.
TRAVIS: You sneaky dick.
LIAM: Okay, at the bottom of the ladder, because she’s right behind me. You know, you never cease to impress me.
MATT: Okay, you go up. Roll a stealth check.
MATT: All right, good to know. So, as you get up to the top, you feel the wooden slats on top and as you push, there’s not any weight to them. They give way immediately, and as you push it aside, you can see you’re inside a small wooden structure. It is enclosed and a little bit of the morning light is peeking through the space between the slats of wood. Looking about the general size and height, it appears to almost be an outhouse structure, but there is no actual outhouse here or, at least where there once was, has recently been converted to the exit of your tunnel.
LIAM: Smells like jerky.
TALIESIN: Right there with you.
MATT: There is a door that leads out.
LIAM: Okay, I will crack it an inch and look through.
MATT: Okay. There is a chain on the outside of the door that keeps it shut with a big, thick lock at the bottom.
LIAM: Is there enough room to get my hand through to the other side?
MATT: I’d say, yes, with your experience and your lithe form, you manage to just eke it through and you can get your wrist past, but anything beyond–
LIAM: I’m double-jointed, Matt.
MATT: And with that double joint you get that close. So, yeah, you can reach it.
LIAM: All right, so, I can feel a lock there?
LIAM: All right, I’m going to one-hand pick this lock.
MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll. This is a difficult maneuver, even with your experience. Given that you can’t actually see the front of the lock, you’re having to literally feel your way through it.
TRAVIS: Roll high, you pointy-eared bastard.
LAURA: Natural 20.
MARISHA: It’s like unclasping a bra.
TALIESIN: How do you do that?
LIAM: That’s 30.
MATT: (laughs) 30? With a single moment, you, actually feeling with one thumb, you’re feeling the vibration of each tumbler on the inside of the lock and as each one progressively clicks, you eventually get to the fourth one before (tink) and it hangs open loosely, within a matter of 40 seconds. You wish other people would have seen that happen because that was pretty, pretty cool maneuver. But you know, at least.
LIAM: Come on up. It wasn’t even locked.
MATT: He’s so modest. Oh no, we lost Ashley! We lost an Ashley.
LIAM: I’ve got it. I’ve got it.
MARISHA: Cleric down.
MATT: As you all climb back up–
LAURA: Stealth, stealth, stealth, everybody. I cast Pass Without a Trace.
MARISHA: Oh. She’s going to call back. She said we turned into robots. She disconnected.
MATT: Okay, gotcha.
LAURA: I cast Pass Without a Trace on us.
MATT: Okay, good. So–
LAURA: Wait, wait! How’s Trinket going to climb up this rope, y'all? Polymorph?
MARISHA: I do have Polymorph.
SAM: Oh no.
MARISHA: We need to make him tinier, anyway. What do you want him to be?
SAM: We should leave him.
LAURA: Shut up!
MATT: Which, for the record, Trinket going through this tunnel looks like the cleaner in Labyrinth. It fills the entire tunnel. He’s like (bear noises) having to pull his way through.
LAURA: Okay, what if we polymorph him into a very small raccoon? But he’s got hands, you know, so he can hold things?
LIAM: What about a wolverine or a badger?
MARISHA: I have a question.
SAM: Honey badger doesn’t care.
LAURA: Honey badger don’t give a shit. It just takes what it wants.
MARISHA: If I polymorph Trinket, can I then use Beast Sense to be able to see through him? Would that be able to work?
MATT: What does Beast Sense do?
MARISHA: Beast Sense lets me see through the eyes of a beast.
MATT: You can do that with Trinket regardless.
MARISHA: But does it stack with Polymorph? And if he is like polymorphed into– I mean, I guess he’s still a beast.
MATT: If beast sense is a concentration, then no. You will lose one to do the other.
MARISHA: All right.
MATT: Yeah, and Beast Sense is concentration.
LAURA: Is Polymorph a concentration?
MATT: Yes, it is. So one or the other.
MARISHA: It’s fine. But if I turned him into a bird, I can make him an aerial scout, is what I was thinking, like the wargs in Game of Thrones.
MATT: Or you can become one yourself. What are you doing?
MARISHA: I will make him a cute little sewer rat or like–
LAURA: No! He can hang on to me.
TRAVIS: Oh my god, make him something!
LAURA: Will he still get his armor?
MARISHA: Can I make him a lemur? (laughs)
MATT: You can.
LAURA: But lemurs are slow, dude. Raccoons are cool.
MARISHA: How about a red panda?
LAURA: Red panda!
MARISHA: I’m going to make him a red panda!
TALIESIN: Red panda. That’s cool.
SAM: Wait, wait, wait, can a red panda climb a rope ladder any better than–
MATT: As the rest of the party climbs their way up, during Vex and Keyleth’s bickering over what form Trinket should take, Trinket, if you’ve ever seen a bear roll its eyes before, this is the moment. As it fills the entire tunnel it goes (bear noises), with a kill-me-now expression. Eventually, you decide on a red panda.
MARISHA: Yeah, it’s a good breed.
MATT: The mystical red panda from Wildemount. You extend your hand and Trinket’s form shrinks into this small, temporarily elevated red panda, and falls to the ground.
LAURA: Aww, I love you! He’s so cute! I pick him up and I tell him to hang on to me.
MATT: He does and wraps around your neck like the foxtail you already have there. You guys climb up and as you emerge, you see now, you’re at the very, very back of an alleyway that is buttressed against the inside of the outer wall. So you’re inside the city. You’re in this small, very, very well-out-of-the-way alleyway, this back alley that ends at your outhouse, as well as a secondary one next to you that appears to be functional, based on the smell. And there is trash and junk back here. It’s definitely one of the forgotten corners of Emon.
TALIESIN: You have your map.
SAM: Yeah, we’re right here. Where’s Gilmore’s again?
MATT: Abdar’s Promenade, to the northeastern–
LAURA: Stealth. Can we all stealth?
SAM: That’s up here. Wow, we have to cross the entire city.
MARISHA: And we’ve got Pass Without a Trace.
SAM: But we could go along the wall.
LAURA: Let’s do it.
SAM: All the way along the outside wall.
MARISHA: Do we want to go through the city or along the outside of the city? Are we going to take the long way or the direct path?
LIAM: The long way, the slow way, the careful way.
SAM: Take the beltway?
MATT: All right. Everyone roll stealth, please.
LAURA: You add ten because–
SAM: We add ten?
MATT: Ashley, stealth for you as well with disadvantage, but you add ten. Still there, Ashley?
LAURA: Oh, no!
LIAM: I’m hanging up on you. I still love you, but I’m going to hang up.
MATT: All right, so, call back, and you guys, stealth checks?
MATT: All right.
LAURA: You added ten?
LAURA: Add ten to it. Pass Without a Trace.
LIAM: 35, then, motherfuckers.
TALIESIN: Wait, 29, sorry.
MATT: Okay, there we go, and 19 with the plus ten?
MARISHA: Yeah, I rolled shitty.
MATT: Okay, all right. There we go. Hi, Ashley.
MARISHA: Sorry, Ashley.
LAURA: Can she hear?
LIAM: (robot voice) Hello, I am Pike. I am happy to be here.
TALIESIN: I forgot you can do that.
LIAM: Ashley rolled a four. She texted me.
LAURA: So 14.
MATT: Okay, so you guys step out of this alleyway and the first thing that catches you is the visual.
LAURA: Chained back up the outhouse.
MATT: Okay, so you chained it back and put the lock back on. As you step back out into the center of the first road you come across, the crossroads to this alleyway, you look up and can see there are, even through the night, a good two dozen streams of smoke billowing out from different parts of the city, where, throughout the entire evening, there has been buildings burning, crumbling, or fires of indeterminate origin throughout the city that are still spreading. There’s the perpetual smell of smoke and dust in the air, and you can see every now and then, the wind will blow a bit and a little bit of ash will be thrown up in the air and come to rest. Much of what you see around you is intact, the buildings directly around you on this side, everything seems intact, though there’s very little signs of life on this immediate corner. It looks like either everyone is inside or this part of the city has been abandoned or people are keeping out of the streets at this point. So, what do you guys want to do?
LAURA: Go along the wall to the other side to get to Gilmore’s?
MATT: All right. You guys coast along the wall, to the very southward side, trudging up across the main gate, which as you can see now– there’s normally a very heavy guard presence on the south gate to Emon. The gate is currently partially opened and you can see a bunch of the guards as well as a number of individuals in the city currently frozen in place in the midst of a sudden bit of chaos. You can see the guards with shields and pikes at the ready, screaming and looking up into the sky, their final moment trapped now in that frozen horrifying visage. You see people running, trying to make their way out of the gate, and couldn’t quite get past in time and the gate itself has a large sheet of ice that is frozen against it that’s slowly thawing. You can see the ground around them is turning muddy with all the moisture that’s slowly melting away as the day progresses.
LAURA: And they’re like the people in our keep? They’re past the point of healing?
MATT: You can certainly check and inquire.
LIAM: They’ve been here for eight hours at least. They’re gone.
TRAVIS: Yeah, leave it.
LAURA: I want to see if Cure Wounds is– I’m going to just try?
MARISHA: I assist.
MATT: Okay. So you go up and reach out and cast Cure Wounds on one of the frozen bodies, and your hands touch it and you can feel the ice because it’s still very cold to the touch, though it’s damp and the moisture is gathering and dripping down off certain elbows and portions of the body that are the lowest. You complete the spell and feel the warmth of the cure spell extend past your fingers with no sign of reaction or life within the body. This poor woman, apron on, looking over her shoulder running, holding what little belongings she had, is there, her final moment captured as she stares off in the direction of where you assume Vorugal swooped towards the south gate, before making their way towards Greyskull Keep the night before.
TRAVIS: Let’s go before we’re discovered, quickly.
MATT: As you guys tread across the main thoroughfare, and it’s the one point where you are inescapably out in the open, and as you’re taking a moment touching the corpse of this woman frozen in place, Vex, you catch out the corner of your eye what appears to be a figure stepping towards you in the center of the street.
SAM: Wait, you see someone?
MATT: As you notify the rest of the group, you guys look over and you can see now, stepping from one of the alleyways, there is a humanoid figure walking through the road, cloak draped behind in the back, hood up, wide shoulders, and is not seemingly making any attempt to be unseen or really hiding their presence. This is someone who is beelining for your group in this moment.
MARISHA: He’s heading towards us?
MARISHA: Yeah, does he see us?
MATT: Heading right towards you.
LAURA: I take out a arrow and say, stop!
MARISHA: I do flame hands.
MATT: Okay. The figure stops for a moment and pulls the hood back, and you can see now, revealed, a– looking humanoid but the features are more intense and thick. A very square jaw. The skin has a slight grayish-green tint to it. What looks like one tooth underneath, and this is a half-orc individual. Wearing a black cloak and very simple studded leather armor. If our guest would like to step on to the stage.
LIAM: Yeah! Mixing it up!
MATT: So, just to let you guys know, we have a guest joining us this evening. The illustrious and talented Jason Charles Miller, who is an–
SAM: Where is he going?
MATT: Between you guys right there. Yeah, there you go.
MARISHA: Come squeeze.
MATT: Jason is going to join us for this evening of gameplay.
JASON: My first action will require me to get up, so.
MATT: Okay, well, get low for a moment, so I can introduce you. So you can say hey! This is Jason. Jason is a voice actor, actually the voice of Drizzt Do'Urden right now, if you know who–
MARISHA: Oh, shut the fuck up! I didn’t know that!
MATT: Yeah, so that’s pretty awesome. As well as the writer of our theme song, our Critical Role theme song, which we are working on a new intro right now. And in the near future we will have that for you guys.
MARISHA: You can download it on iTunes.
MATT: Yes, you can. We will have that coming out soon but yes, so Jason, thanks for joining us tonight.
JASON: Sure, thanks for having me.
MARISHA: Hi, Jason.
MATT: We’ll give you the full, whole– at end the show, but nonetheless the half-orc approaches, lowers his hood.
JASON: Okay, so I actually start speaking in Thieves’ Cant to Vex here, so I’ve got to whisper something.
MATT: Okay, go for it. So as the orc lowers his hood, he begins to–
MARISHA: Why don’t you make him come over here?
LAURA: Who are you talking about?
JASON: Vax, sorry, the– The person that can speak Thieves’ Cant.
LAURA: I can speak Thieves’ Cant, too.
JASON: But I’m talking to him.
TALIESIN: Thieves can’t speak. Ooh.
MATT: And whispers to the two of them.
MARISHA: These are tiny tables.
MATT: So suddenly the orc begins to utter a series of strange sounds like double talk and gibberish.
LAURA: I’m reading his damn lips as he’s doing it.
MATT: All right, and you, knowing Thieves’ Cant, pick up the details. So you can let her know as well. The rest of you see this orc speaking nonsense and a very brief reaction from the twins.
MARISHA: Look, he’s been under a lot of stress, all right?
LIAM: He’s trying to get us to join scientology, that’s all.
MARISHA: Our thetan levels are off the charts right now.
TALIESIN: My thetan level’s at 16 right now.
LAURA: You’re a member of the Clasp, then?
JASON: You’re the first faces I recognize. I’ve been hiding here since the attack.
MARISHA: You recognized us, why? How?
JASON: I’m a member of the Clasp.
LIAM: Did you all make it?
MARISHA: We were there recently.
LIAM: What’s left?
JASON: I don’t know. I was on a mission up above ground when the attack happened. I’m trying desperately to get back to see who is left. My name is Garthok.
SAM: We are Vox Machina. I am the de facto leader. My name is Scanlan Shorthalt.
JASON: I know who you are, and you are the first people I’ve made myself visible to. You’re the first people that I recognize or even know that I can trust.
MARISHA: Have you been through the city? How much is left?
JASON: It is not– it’s indescribable. There is incredible destruction.
MARISHA: Have you encountered any more survivors?
MATT: Which you have. As you walked through the city, you have noticed there are many survivors of the town. A lot of them have kept inside, but there are a number that are actually running through and looting the town.
LIAM: What was your name again?
LIAM: Garthok. What of the Spirelings? What of the leaders of the Clasp?
JASON: All I know is what I knew before the attack.
LIAM: We’ve come here looking for survivors. We don’t intend to stay long. You are welcome to come with us.
LAURA: Are you one of the people looting? You said you saw other people doing the same.
JASON: I’m not a looter. I was on a classified mission above ground, and now that’s all gone to shit basically, so I’m trying to get back to our headquarters.
SAM: Garthok, are you familiar with tunnels or secret passageways around the city at all?
JASON: You could say yes. Absolutely.
SAM: Are we near any?
LAURA: We need to get across town and not be seen.
MARISHA: We are trying to get to the Abdar’s Promenade.
LIAM: Wait, show me your brand.
MATT: He reveals the back of the cloak and you do indeed see the brand of the Clasp. The same one you carry between the shoulder blades.
MARISHA: Do you know each other?
LIAM: It’s a pretty big organization.
MATT: There are certain tunnels that traverse underneath Emon, specifically amongst the Clasp. However, two of the locations to the south of the city, one in the Graveyard District and one in the Temple District, which you guys are adjacent to right now, those are the two that immediately come to mind. The Temple one that you are nearby seeking has been completely demolished and is unusable. There’s one to the Graveyard District. There’s one north of Abdar’s Promenade that could possibly be of use to you. Those are the only ones that come to mind that are nearby.
TALIESIN: Well, if we’re heading that way anyway. We stop by Gilmore’s and we do need to check in with the Clasp, anyway.
TALIESIN: They’re going to be helpful.
TRAVIS: Are we out in the open right now?
MATT: You are out in the open right now.
TRAVIS: Can we fucking get inside, please?
LIAM: We need to get to Gilmore’s Glorious Goods. Do you know where that is?
JASON: Yes, I can lead you there.
JASON: I could, if the temple entrance wasn’t destroyed.
MARISHA: I might be able to clear it out.
TRAVIS: You want to walk towards the temple?
SAM: We’re near the Temple District now.
MARISHA: We can take the tunnels under–
SAM: But if the entrance to the tunnel was destroyed, it’s best not to risk it. Let’s keep going.
LAURA: And we’ll make a lot of noise clearing it out.
TALIESIN: That’s true.
LAURA: Best to skirt.
LIAM: Building to building.
SAM: Are you okay with stealth?
MARISHA: I might be able to tunnel us to the closest tunnel system, from right here.
LAURA: Do it then.
MATT: How do you intend to do this?
MARISHA: Move Earth. Sixth level.
LAURA: Whoa, you’re using a 6th-level spell right now?
MARISHA: Do we want to do it now?
SAM: We’re not near the entrance to the tunnel right now.
LAURA: No, let’s just stealth it. Yeah, save that.
TALIESIN: We can save that for an emergency.
MARISHA: I’ll save it.
MATT: Okay. It will take you, at the rate at which it moves earth, it will take you probably a good hour to two hours to–
MARISHA: To get to the tunnels?
MATT: To get to any sort of system that he may be referring to.
MARISHA: All right, let’s just walk. We’ll walk faster.
MATT: All right, so, Garthok, I’m going to have you roll a stealth check to move alongside the rest of the group.
JASON: Great. 25.
MARISHA: Does he benefit from Pass Without a Trace?
MATT: No, he arrived after the spell was cast, but as you guys move forward, he also dives into the shadows in a very similar way that you’ve seen Vax do before. This orc definitely understands the resources of light and the absence of it.
TALIESIN: He’s played some Assassin’s Creed.
MATT: (laughs) He’s hitting you all up in the shoulders for change. All right, so–
LIAM: Is that a dice game?
TALIESIN: It’s a band, they’re very good.
MATT: So, as you guys push forward, staying towards the outskirts of the city, you do come across, on the outer area of the Temple District, a humble neighborhood that has been completely reduced to cinders and ash. There is probably a good eight to ten buildings that are piles of black, still burning wood, dust, and broken stone. You can see on the outskirts of some of these piles of rubble, bodies lying in the street, the skin charred black and cracked as the face and arms are curled up in the final moments of agony. You avert your gaze and continue pressing onward and you can see now, many of these large temples in the center of the city, you can see folks gathered to them and clustered on the inside, you can hear people shouting and folks trying to deal with this current circumstance befalling the town. You continue to move out of the sight of those clusters of survivors that are going to their various deities for aid and comfort. You push further towards the center of the Temple District. You do catch out of the left the sound of breaking glass, specifically to you, Vex, in the distance. As you glance over and look, you can see four individuals climb out of a window with sacks over their shoulders. They all gesture to each other and go running off northward, deeper into the city, carrying whatever goods they managed to acquire from the interior. And as you progress, you do notice a lot of windows have been broken. You don’t know if from the inside or outside. Some may have been from the impact of the attack, some may have been from individuals that have been moving from building to building. It’s hard to say at this point, there’s such disarray around you. As you skirt along the very far end of the Temple District, you see a portion of the neighborhood now is in itself encased in ice, like the individuals you saw at the south gate. This is another area where Vorugal made its way through, and you can see another array of icy coffins of other individuals who were trying to escape but were locked in place. You can see a small group of living Emon residents that are currently gathering the dead and trying to take them out of the open and possibly give them a proper burial, whether it be people they know or not, but there is a look on each of their faces of desolate acceptance of what is happening and trying to process this–
TRAVIS: Can I slink back to Vax? And I say: you still think that what was inside that skull is worse than all of this?
LIAM: I think it is probably equal to this. We’ve been burned before, Grog. This was going to happen whether we wanted it to or not.
TRAVIS: Yeah, but we could have done something about it. I walk on.
LIAM: Big if, big man.
MATT: The clouds are beginning to gather up over the sky as you continue forward and the little bit of sunshine that came through this morning is now covered in coming rain clouds. Which may be a boon to those buildings that still burn and possibly an annoyance to a giant, fire-based red dragon in the center of the city but, nevertheless, the weather is quickly shifting. As you begin pushing into Abdar’s Promenade, you can see the central bazaar before you, the memory of it, this sprawling landscape of multicolored tents and carts and what was this bustling marketplace is all closed down and a portion of it appears to have been torn through. You can see broken bits of wood and wagon wheels tossed asunder like, apparently, one of these dragons may have smashed into the center and let loose its fury. You can see spatters of blood across elements of the ground, but no sign of a body, as there are a few groups going around, trying to gather what they can, but the place is also picked clean. You notice a lot of these tents and carts are empty of any real valuables. You are uncertain whether or not the proprietors took it themselves or they have been picked clean by looters.
MATT: You begin to approach, with a very, very nervous heart, the corner of the bazaar that leads to Gilmore’s place. As you approach, the nervousness is met with the visual of a large stack of black smoke that rises from that direction. As you push through with increased haste towards that area of the bazaar, you see Gilmore’s Glorious Goods, as well as two other adjacent buildings, completely destroyed. Piles of rubble and what looks to be a group of about ten individuals that are currently picking through the rubble and gathering what they can, moving over wood and brick.
LIAM: I stop stealthing and walk right into it and start shouting, (shouting) get the fuck out of here! Get out!
MATT: As you do that, all of them turn over, looks and one says, “Hey, get your own shit, all right?”
LIAM: Move on now! Now! Now!
MATT: He stops and looks about the other one. The other guys looking over their shoulders and, “Look, we’re all just trying to stay alive here, okay?”
TALIESIN: I pull out my gun. You heard the man.
TRAVIS: Yeah, big sword comes out, too.
MARISHA: Fire hands.
LAURA: Don’t test us.
MARISHA: We’ve had a really shitty day.
MATT: “You’ve had a shitty day?”
MARISHA: We’ve all had a shitty day
MATT: “Well, let’s make it all sorts more shitty.” And he pulls a shortsword from his side and all the rest of them pull their blades out and they say, “Look, we saw this first. We’re going to bring it to him and save ourselves.”
LIAM: I’ll fucking gut you like a fish–
LIAM: –and take your innards–
LIAM: – out your mouth. I will not!
LAURA: Stop. You will take it to him?
MARISHA: Who’s him?
MATT: They all, with their weapons out, tense their shoulders and say, “There’s only one way we are going to survive this.”
LAURA: Listen. There’s so much more available to you, buildings up that way. Not worth your time right here.
MATT: (laughs) “Honey, we’ve already picked plenty clean from this pile. This is our third time back.”
TRAVIS: It’ll be your last time back if you’re not careful.
LAURA: Is it worth your death? Bringing this to him, is it worth your death? Because you will die here.
MATT: “You know what, I think I stand a better chance against the lot of you than with that thing.”
MARISHA: You just thought wrong.
LAURA: Step on and go find loot somewhere else. At least then you can present it to him and not die here. Don’t be stupid.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
TRAVIS: Vex, please let me off the chain.
LAURA: Ugh, I rolled so poorly. Anybody want to assist me?
MATT: It’s a little late for that.
LAURA: (sings) How about ten?
MATT: Okay. You can see as he’s holding his shortsword to the side, goes, “You know, you may be stupid, but there are other stupid things in this town, like walking in the middle of an ambush, dear.” At which point, a dagger comes past–
LAURA: I’ve got passive perception!
MATT: I know.
MATT: You instinctually move your head out the way as it (whoosh) past you as you see another individual that was keeping low to the rubble flung a dagger at you, and the rest of them pull their weapons ready and are about to enter a fray. I need everyone to roll initiative.
MARISHA: Fuck these assholes!
TALIESIN: This is everything I wanted.
LAURA: Natural fucking 20.
MARISHA: Therapeutic ass-kicking. That’s pretty good.
SAM: They may win.
MARISHA: Nah. Fuck that. We’re way more pissed off–
SAM: They work for a dragon.
LAURA: Do they? They’re just looters.
TALIESIN: This is going to feel really good.
SAM: But they’re innocent.
MARISHA: Yeah, we’re not going to kill them. We’ll just beat their faces in.
LAURA: Garthok, did you lead us here? Did you know about this?
SAM: I believe him.
MARISHA: Insight check. Can I insight check him?
TALIESIN: We literally just walked to where we were going. He lead us precisely where we wanted to go. There’s nothing clever about that trap.
MATT: All right, so, placement, guys. Where would you like to be on this one?
TALIESIN: I suppose we’d be hanging back a bit. Well, you got up in their face, so you’re–
MARISHA: The three of us got up in their face.
TRAVIS: I was walking with Vax.
TALIESIN: I was hanging back a bit.
MARISHA: I think Scanlan and Pike were towards the back. I’m next to Percy.
MATT: And Vex, you’re up here?
LAURA: Sure, why not.
MATT: You were up in their face right here.
LAURA: In his face and I have Trinket on my back.
SAM: Which one is Jason Charles Miller?
MATT: Jason is–
TALIESIN: Garthok, Garthok, I’m close. I’m getting it, Garthok.
MATT: Garthok, where do you want to be?
JASON: I’m ready to tangle.
MATT: All right, we’ll put you over here, in the middle of the group being watched. The rest of these thugs are all currently sitting over in this rubble.
MARISHA: What do you think, Garthok? I don’t know, what do you think, Waynethok?
JASON: (laughs) Party on, Garthok. Party on, Waynethok.
MATT: All right. So, I would like–
SAM: Should we be at all concerned about drawing attention to ourselves?
LAURA: Too late for that.
SAM: No, I mean, like, giant Fireballs or anything?
LAURA: Probably stay away from huge magical effects.
LIAM: Fireball straight into the sky!
MATT: Yeah, there you go, that’d be perfect. All right, so, initiatives 25 to 20 or higher?
LAURA: 27. Natural 20.
SAM: Natural 27.
MATT: Percy. 20 to 15?
MATT: Keyleth. All right, 15 to ten? What do we got?
MATT: All right, so we got–
TRAVIS: Two 12s and two 14s.
MATT: And then 12 and 12. All righty. And is Pike not able to–
LIAM: I’ll try!
LAURA: Pike lost completely all connection.
SAM: Pike fell down in some rubble.
MATT: I’ll roll for her. (laughs) Pike’s going last. I figure she probably would have rolled last anyways, so Pike is last.
LAURA: Yeah, I think she said she was probably going to have to leave until the break until we can figure out the tech.
MATT: Gotcha! Okay, no worries. Top of the round. Vex, since you are the one who got the first attack and immediately reacting to it. You’re up. What are you doing?
LAURA: Okay, I’m going to cast Hunter’s Mark on that motherfucker in front of me. And then I’m going to cast Conjure Barrage at all of them in front of me, like a big cone effect.
MATT: Okay. Okay, so, Conjure Barrage is your action, so that’s your full thing. So, at which direction are you doing it?
LAURA: Just towards all the guys in front of me. I want to get as many in the cone as I can.
MATT: Okay, you probably need to move this way or else you’re going to hit your brother as well.
LAURA: Oh, that’s my brother.
MATT: That’s your brother right there.
LAURA: I can see what’s happening now. Yeah, I move over then I–
MATT: That’s a 60 foot?
LAURA: It’s a 60-foot cone.
MATT: Yeah, right there. So all four of them are affected. Great.
LAURA: Great. So, Trinket is still on my back. He’s a red panda.
MATT: Yeah. Until she breaks concentration.
LAURA: I fire it and I shoot forward and that’s it, huh? I don’t have to, like–
MATT: Conjure Barrage, you roll damage and they get to save.
LAURA: Okay, cool. So I’m going to cast that at– oh, it’s already at third level, okay.
LAURA: Whoa. 15? And then I add my type anything? Or it’s just 15.
MATT: It’s just 15, and then you add 1d6 for the one dude for Hunter’s Mark.
LAURA: For my Hunter’s Mark. Do I add my Bracers of Archery, though, on that?
MATT: Technically– You know what, sure. Because it is technically a ranged attack. I’ll let it happen, sure.
LAURA: 17 and an additional six on–
MATT: On that guy? Okay, what’s your DC of your spells?
LAURA: Do I add my spell attack bonus?
MATT: You don’t have to roll to attack. This just happens and they have to try and save to get out of the way.
LAURA: I understand.
MATT: Cool. All right so, that’s 17 damage to– those two take half there.
LAURA: I don’t understand.
LIAM: It will sink in in a few episodes. It’s fine.
MATT: All right. Cool. All right so, as you release this spraying torrent of arrows down the way. It fires outward. All of them all of a sudden have to put their arms up to instinctually defend themselves with arrows piercing bits of their armor and ricochet off. It’s not horribly damaging, but enough to sweep into all of them and they all immediately look up angrily at each other, weapons at the ready to go ahead and get vengeance.
LAURA: I take the rest of my moment to back up against a wall.
MATT: Okay. Right there. All righty, Percy, you’re up next.
TALIESIN: All right, I’m going to Hex the one that she Hunter’s Marked.
MATT: Oh man.
LAURA: Fuck that guy.
MATT: All righty.
MARISHA: (laughs) Fuck that one guy in particular.
TALIESIN: And I’m going to– Where am I? Oh, there I am. I’m going to run towards that other wall to the left.
MATT: This way?
TALIESIN: Yep, all the while taking a few shots at that bastard who I just hexed.
MATT: As you are moving you’re like (gunshots). Okay. Go for it.
TALIESIN: Oh, and Sharpshooter shots, because that’s funnier. So that’s, ugh–
MARISHA: But you’re Percy.
TALIESIN: Yeah, so that’s not– That’s 14 to hit.
MATT: 14 hits.
TALIESIN: Should I just roll all three shots?
MATT: Yeah, roll three shots.
TALIESIN: That’s 20. That hits.
MATT: That hits.
TALIESIN: And 18. That hits.
MATT: Yeah, so go ahead and roll damage for all three shots, and an additional 1d6 to each shot.
TALIESIN: Oh yeah. That’s ten, 26, 27 points. 26 points plus one necrotic. That’s on the other end of things.
MARISHA: The opposite! (laughs) The exact opposite.
TALIESIN: Irony. 17 points plus six necrotic.
MATT: All righty.
TALIESIN: And for my final roll. 17, 18, 19, 20, 25 points plus six necrotic.
MARISHA: That guy is dead, right?
MATT: All right so, as you go running by (gunshots) each shot as it impacts, the guy who’s already dealing with the array of arrows in his chest, each shot that blows across his shoulders is followed by a plume of black-purple smoke that blasts off each impact until it leaves a hole off this shoulder. This actually blows this arm off from the impact. And the third one just destroys the upper part of his head and he slinks back onto the rubble.
TALIESIN: I move my Hex to the next guy and point at him as I’m running.
LAURA: I move my Hunter’s Mark to the next guy because the other one went to zero.
TRAVIS: That’s some Hateful Eight shit right there.
MATT: (laughs) All right, you have to use a bonus action to mark a new creature. Both you guys do.
MATT: So those will be– Those move over when– (gunshot impact) He is blown off the map essentially.
LAURA: It said when it went down to zero, I could move it to the next person.
MATT: If the target drops to zero hit points, you can use a bonus action on subsequent turns of yours to mark a new creature.
LAURA: I understand.
MATT: I know.
LIAM: There’s so many rules, guys!
MATT: All right, it’s their turn now. So, out the side, after that final shot, you hear a little guttural grunt off to your left as you see this dwarf with a giant hammer come rushing up. “You! "How dare you!” And comes swinging off towards your direction there, off to the side. These guys here are going to move in. Both of these are going to run up to Grog, being the larger there.
TRAVIS: Just signed your death certificate.
MATT: That guy comes up to Keyleth. These two come rushing around.
LAURA: Oh shit, there’s two more?
LAURA: I didn’t see those guys.
MATT: No, you didn’t.
LAURA: I saw one of them, but I didn’t see all of them.
MATT: That guy can only get that far, so he’s going to go ahead and throw. All right, so–
LAURA: They’re going to get sneak attacks on me.
MATT: Indeed. All right, so, first and foremost, the dwarf comes up against you, Percy. That’s going to be an 18 to hit.
TALIESIN: My armor class is 18.
MATT: So it hits, yeah. And it’s going to hit you again this time. That’s going to be 15, so only–
TALIESIN: I was about to say, can I take that first 18 and make it– nah, you know what, I’ll take the hit, never mind.
MATT: Okay. You take eight points of bludgeoning damage from the smack of the mace.
MATT: All right.
LIAM: Slap-a the mace.
MATT: Two guys against Grog now, their maces out as well. Because they have pack tactics, they both have advantage on attacks against you. So with that, that’s a 19.
MATT: Hits. And the other one, with advantage, is a natural 20.
MATT: You’re not raging yet, so you take full damage. All right, ten points of bludgeoning damage on the first hit. And the second one, that’s going to be 15 points of bludgeoning damage. So a total of 25 points of bludgeoning damage as both of them whack you with maces from each side, with the first round of attacks. Now the second round of attacks, because they attack twice.
MATT: With advantage. That’s a 21, which hits.
MATT: And a 15.
MATT: So you then take seven points of bludgeoning damage after that.
MATT: Cool. So that’s two. There’s one against you, Vax. He doesn’t get advantage against you. He rolls a 17.
LIAM: I’m going to use Uncanny Dodge– No! It doesn’t hit because I’ve got both daggers out.
MATT: Oh yeah, because you get bonus AC.
LIAM: I have three armor classes depending on if my boots are on or my daggers are in my hands.
MATT: Right. Okay, cool. Good to know. All right, so then leading up to that, there’s one against you, Keyleth.
MATT: That’s going to be a 14 and a natural 20. That is going to be 15 points of bludgeoning damage against you.
MARISHA: All right.
MATT: Whack! As the mace swings past and catches you right across the chin, the impact causes your head to snap for a second. A very minor moment of whiplash, as you look back and feel the blood trickling down.
MATT: Yeah, and then there’s two against you, Vex. Which both get advantage because of pack tactics. 13, even with advantage. The second attack is 23, and the other one does two attacks, 22 and 17. 17 doesn’t hit? Okay, so that’s three attacks on you that hit.
LAURA: No, two attacks hit.
MATT: Oh, two attacks. You take nine points of bludgeoning damage and six points of bludgeoning damage.
MATT: And the one that’s over here, there’s nobody immediately around for it pull its mace out. Instead, he pulls out his heavy crossbow, lines up, and aims at you, Scanlan.
SAM: Oh, what? Who, me?
SAM: But I’m– Oh.
MATT: And that is 21 to hit.
SAM: That hits.
MATT: You then suffer ten points of piercing damage as the heavy crossbow bolt sinks itself into your shoulder and the armor takes the brunt of it but you can still feel the pain of it piercing just about an inch through.
SAM: Damn it.
MATT: That ends their go. Next up, we have Keyleth.
MARISHA: All right, I’m really pissed off at this guy who just decked me in the face. So I’m going to cast Call Lightning.
MATT: All righty.
MARISHA: And can I reach out and, the guy who hit me, can I reach out and grab him and call it right into him?
TRAVIS: Like conductor-style.
MARISHA: Yeah. Just grab his face after he just punched me.
MATT: Okay. So, the minute you do that, the Polymorph fades and Trinket turns into a full bear.
MARISHA: Dope! Even cooler! Totally meant to do that.
MATT: You can, but know wherever the bolt hits, it’s everything in a five-foot area. So you can hit the bolt behind him–
MARISHA: Nah, I want to–
MATT: You want to take it?
MARISHA: I want to take it.
MATT: All right.
MARISHA: I’m pissed the fuck off.
MATT: So, as you put your hands up, the clouds that are already forming from the storm–
MARISHA: I was going to say, I get extra damage, right?
MATT: Yeah. They begin to grow darker and directly above you and as you bring your hands up, your flames slowly drifting off your fingertips, you bring your hand down, and as you do, a bolt of lightning comes streaking out of the sky, blasting right into the guy in front of you. Go ahead and roll damage.
MARISHA: Is it four? Do I get an extra d10? Is that what I get, or–
MATT: You get an additional d10, yes. 4d10 lightning damage.
MARISHA: Do I get anything extra because I’m holding on to him? Because I’m channeling it?
MATT: I’ll say no, that’s more–
TALIESIN: Fire damage?
MATT: No, that would be a different attack, unfortunately. You’re holding him and the flames are licking up into his face. So it’s a scary visual.
MARISHA: 25 points.
MATT: 25 points of damage. He did not make the save, I believe. Rolled a 15. What’s your DC on that spell?
MATT: Yeah. So the bolt comes down and I need you to go ahead and make a save against your own spell.
MARISHA: Yep. Failed.
MATT: Okay, so you also take that damage.
MATT: But it was cool.
MARISHA: I use my bonus action to go Minxie.
LAURA: Whoa, I like it! We ain’t seen Minxie in a while.
MARISHA: Yeah, it’s been a while.
MATT: As the guy’s looking, reeling from the impact of the blast, he pulls away, smoke coming off his chest. He gets his mace ready as he looks up and sees you change into this giant white sabretooth tiger with these claws–
MARISHA: I get a little bit of foam going, you know.
LAURA: I like that right before it he saw a giant bear appear.
MATT: Yeah, it just got somehow weirder.
MARISHA: This means I can finally use my gift from Mary!
MATT: All right. That ends Keyleh’s turn. Garthok, you’re up.
JASON: Great, I move over and take that one on–
MATT: Over here?
JASON: Keep going straight. No, no, the other way. No. Okay now. Sorry. Yes. No, wait, okay, I was going to go to–
MATT: You have laser pointers at the table.
SAM: Someone give him a laser pointer.
MARISHA: Sorry, I had it and I was distracted.
MATT: Oh, right here? Got you, okay. So you rush up to there.
JASON: And I flank. Since they’re engaged, can I use my sneak attack?
MATT: Yeah, if you hit, you hit with the sneak attack. So as you rush out very quickly, you see he pulls out a spear, like a short spear, but it’s curved kris-like at the blade and it’s smaller than most short spears you’ve seen. It’s a custom piece of work. And he slides up and attempts to jam it into the thug in front of you.
LIAM and LAURA: Get it!
MATT: 15 hits. Go ahead and roll damage and sneak attack damage.
JASON: Hell yeah. So, let’s see, I need some more d6s. Do you want me to do the sneak attack damage first or the weapon damage first, or add it all at the end?
MATT: Just add it all together and then add your modifier at the end.
MARISHA: Grr. I’m so excited.
MATT: Grog, you’re on deck, so be ready.
MARISHA: This is what life is about, you guys.
MATT: This was the night Marisha took somebody’s eyes out.
MARISHA: (laughs) I know, I know.
MATT: 28 points of damage. Nice! All righty. So, as the spear easily pierces past armor and you can see the haggard-looking woman then looks over and the spear itself is stuck in her midsection. As you withdraw it, you can see a gout of blood pour out afterward of the wound itself, leaving behind a pretty nasty–
JASON: My eyes widen in battle-lust.
MATT: Orc jaw quivers, the teeth exposed. Okay, is that your turn?
MATT: Okay, you still have a bonus action if you wanted to disengage.
JASON: Oh, yeah. So I can disengage without attack of opportunity?
MATT: If you use disengage and then move past. You moved three spaces. You can disengage and move back four more spaces if you want to, with your speed. Your call. Or you can stay there and lock him in place.
JASON: You know what? I’m going to stay.
MATT: Okay, cool. Grog, you’re up.
TRAVIS: After taking a few hits from the sacrificial lamb that stands between Vax and I, I unsheathe Craven Edge, feeling the goosebumps rush up my skin, and I look down at him and say, please run. And I draw the blade across my hand and I go into a frenzied rage.
MATT: All righty. At which point, the blood touching the blade, it curves down the obsidian and then sinks into the actual weapon. It doesn’t even have a moment to drip before the blade seems to absorb the blood that you put on it.
TRAVIS: We’re bonded. It’s a match made in heaven. I would also like to use reckless attack as I take my three attacks at this piece of shit.
MATT: Well, it’s a bonus action to rage, so you get two attacks this turn.
TRAVIS: Two attacks this turn.
MATT: Yeah. Reckless attack it up, man.
TRAVIS: That is a 19.
MATT: That hits. These are Great Weapon Master?
TRAVIS: Yes. And that is– not great, that’s 11.
MATT: 11 still hits. These guys aren’t very well-armored.
LAURA: Loser! Loser with your 11 AC!
TRAVIS: That’s a 22 for the first one.
TRAVIS: 19 on the second one.
TRAVIS: And they both have to make the DC saving throw.
MATT: Both against the same individual?
TRAVIS: Yeah, same guy.
MATT: Makes the first save with a 19. Fails the second one. So the first strike streaks across. You can see it cuts a huge gash across the upper body as the burly-looking looter glances back at you (heavy breathing). Brings up a shortsword and is about to go in for the pierce, at which point you kick her away from you about a foot and draw the blade around, and this time you run the blade right into her torso, piercing her through. As she looks up at you, you can see her skin go pale as her strength is drawn into the blade. You get to add a point to your strength.
LAURA: What! How long does that last?
MATT: That lasts until your next short rest.
LAURA: Don’t rest ever!
MATT: So yeah, your strength’s now 18, so add plus one to your attack damage going forward.
TRAVIS: Plus one to damage?
MATT: Yeah. To hit and damage with your attacks. But you pull the blade out and she crumples to the ground.
LAURA: So for every person you hit, it makes it better and better and better!
TRAVIS: Can I look over my shoulder to the guy on the left and like, you’re next!
MATT: You very much can. You can see the visual of this presentation seems to have shaken their resolve, though not enough to the point where they’re backing down yet. The desperation kicks in. All right, that ends your turn, Grog? You’re staying there?
TRAVIS: I’ll stay there.
MATT: All right. Scanlan, you’re up.
SAM: Okay, so the guy next to Percy is the dwarf?
SAM: Okay. I will hand-cone it up and I will cast Dominate Person on him.
MATT: (laughs) Okay!
SAM: And I will try to bend him to my will.
MATT: That is a failed save and a half.
SAM: Okay, good.
MATT: We’ll say for the purposes of that, we’ll use the blue one. So, yeah. As a bonus action each turn, you can basically tell him what to do.
SAM: Okay. I will tell him to walk over to me and start emptying his pockets of anything he’s looted. Straight-up.
MATT: The dwarf’s face goes limp and drops the mace on the ground and looks over towards you, the eyes glazed over, and goes, “Certainly, Master. It would be my pleasure.” And begins to rifle through the pockets. Okay. You want to move anywhere or you staying where you are?
SAM: No, I’ll stay there to accept my treasure.
MATT: All right. Vax, you’re up.
LIAM: Okay, so, I’m going to take the Dagger of Life-Stealing and I’m going to stab the person closer to you, yeah? So that’s a 23.
LIAM: So we’ll do that first. That is 11. No, that’s ten. Ten. And then I’m going to use disengage as my bonus action and I’m going to pivot, roll around Grog along the south side of him, and spin around and stick the Keen Dagger into the neck of the guy behind him. I’m going to use Luck. That’s better. And that is 24.
MATT: All righty. That hits.
LIAM: That’s sneak attack. 11 plus this.
MATT: So wait, this is with your– did you click your Boots of Haste on this?
LIAM: No. So two attacks?
MATT: You get two attacks, but you used your bonus action to disengage, which would’ve been your second attack, so you wouldn’t get–
LIAM: Oh, then I’m out. All right, I’m out.
MATT: Okay. So you move over there?
LIAM: Yeah, I’ll use disengage and I’m going to back up against Grog.
MATT: Okay, right there? All right. You’re still in combat with that person.
LIAM: Back-to-back with the big man.
MATT: Great, so you guys are like back-to-back right now, looking around.
LAURA: Awesome. Look at you buddies!
LIAM: Uh, not really.
MATT: Pike, your turn!
ASHLEY: Okay, does anybody need healing?
LAURA: Not yet!
TRAVIS: Fuck somebody up.
ASHLEY: Time for attack!
ASHLEY: Am I close to the guy with the crossbow?
MATT: To which one? Crossbow, uh. You’re about 20, 30 feet from him.
ASHLEY: Okay, I’d like to move up a little bit, because I’m going to Guiding Bolt him.
MATT: All right.
ASHLEY: And I’m going to do it at second level.
MATT: 2nd-level Guiding Bolt.
ASHLEY: But first I will roll for–
MATT: All righty. So what’d you roll to hit? With your spell attack modifier?
ASHLEY: I rolled a 14.
MATT: 14 hits. That hits, so go ahead and roll 5d6 radiant damage on him.
LAURA: Fuck. Guiding Bolt’s pretty sick.
ASHLEY: Nice. Cool. 21.
MATT: 21, nice! So as you rush forward, keeping your mace to the side, you put the shield down and the holy symbol itself drifts off you for a moment and you focus for a second and without having to put your hands on it, a beam of divine energy bursts forward, slamming into the crossbow-wielding individual and seems to surround their torso, causing them to glow like a giant beacon that says hit me! They look down at this tiny armored gnome that knocked half their life out of their body with a bit of confusion, worry, and respect in a weird way. Well done, gnome.
MATT: Okay, does that end your turn?
ASHLEY: Can I try to intimidate him, to tell him to drop his bow?
MATT: Uh. As a bonus action, I’ll let you do that, sure.
ASHLEY: All right. Drop your bow!
MATT: All right, go ahead and roll an intimidate check.
ASHLEY: Which I don’t think I have any of that, let’s see. Oh, this is going to be hilarious. 11!
MATT: 11. As you shout, the individual gives you a keen look and almost chuckles to himself, going, (laughs) “Silly gnome.”
ASHLEY: It was a joke! It was a joke.
MATT: Puts the crossbow up, aiming it right towards between the eyes.
ASHLEY: Oh no!
MATT: All right, that ends your turn. Vex, you’re up.
LAURA: Awesome. As my bonus action I’m going to cast Hail of Thorns, so my next attack that hits turns into a poof.
MATT: Burst, yes.
LAURA: Okay. So I’m going to do that and then I’m going to cast– I’m going to shoot– oh shit. Can I shoot through the guy in front of me or to the guy with the bolt? Or is that too hard?
MATT: You can, you could, I’d say. You’re at disadvantage already because you’re in melee with two individuals, so all your attacks are at disadvantage right now.
MATT: You can try and move away.
LAURA: But they would hit me?
MATT: They would attack you.
LAURA: I’m going to move back five feet.
MATT: Okay, so you jump back that way.
MATT: All right, that’s two of them get swings at you. That’s a natural two, so no. That is a natural eight, so 13, so misses you.
LAURA: Fuck both of you, as I back up. And then I shoot the arrow at the guy in the middle of the two.
MATT: Right there? All right, go for it.
LAURA: Okay. That is 22 to hit.
MATT: That hits.
LAURA: Okay, so. That means– I’m casting that at third level, so that’s 3d10 of damage.
LAURA: Right. And that’s just my first attack.
MATT: All right.
LAURA: Where’s my other dice?
MATT: And it’s 3d10 against the first one.
LAURA: Come on! That’s seven, eight, nine.
MATT: Nine? All righty.
LAURA: Then, do I do that for each person or that’s it?
MATT: No, you then roll a d10 and they have to make a dex saving throw to try and not get damage, so roll a d10.
LAURA: That’s a ten.
MATT: They all fail, so did more damage to the guys around him than the actual–
LAURA: Nice. And then I’m going to move Trinket around. No, he’s going to move up and attack the guy in front of him.
MATT: You’ve done a bonus and an action.
LAURA: Yeah, so I get to cast–
MATT: Oh, I see, so your attack second, third, and you get your one attack as part of the attack action.
LAURA: Right. So I wanted Trinket to do his Bestial Fury.
MATT: Okay, so move up now and do it to that–
LAURA: Yeah, he’s doing Bestial Fury and claw that motherfucker.
MATT: Okay, this guy right there? Or that?
LAURA: That. No, the other one.
MATT: This one? All right. Go for it. So, as the bear that just appeared now rears back, you fire an arrow that explodes into a burst of sharpened wooden bits. As they all reel from the impact, the bear (roars) and Trinket rushes forward on his giant paws, releasing a torrent of claw strikes against one of the unsuspecting thugs.
LAURA: That’s 14.
MATT: 14 hits.
LAURA: And then 2d4 plus seven.
MATT: Correct. You get two attacks with Trinket, by the way.
LAURA: Oh, sweet.
MATT: Because Trinket attacks twice when he does Bestial–
LAURA: That’s 11 on the first.
MATT: 11 damage.
LAURA: And 13 on the second.
MATT: Okay. So Trinket runs forward and one claw tears the face off, jaw unhinged. The friend at the side looks horrified as Trinket then bears down with the secondary claw and takes the remainder of the head off the shoulders.
LAURA: Very nice, very nice.
SAM: Go Trinket.
MATT: Power in those claws. All right. That ends your turn?
MATT: Percy, you’re up.
TALIESIN: Is that crossbow asshole still standing?
MATT: The crossbow?
TALIESIN: The guy who just laughed at our little gnome?
TALIESIN: Okay. I’ve just noticed that my guy was going to hit me and then started acting weird, so taking a second to look around, I’m going to see that little laugh with the crossbow coming up and Indiana Jones that shit.
MATT: Okay. Are you putting your Hex on him?
TALIESIN: I’m putting my Hex on him first.
MATT: Okay, bonus action to do that.
TALIESIN: Sharpshooter shot to that guy.
MATT: Go for it.
SAM: Don’t hit Pike, don’t hit Pike.
TALIESIN: I’m not going to hit Pike.
SAM: She’s right in the middle!
LIAM: Only if it’s a one.
ASHLEY: It’s okay, it’s okay.
TALIESIN: Out of curiosity, I’m trying to remember, what’s my fuck-up number, my misfire number for that gun?
MATT: The pistol?
TALIESIN: It’s higher than one, I thought.
MATT: No, the pistol’s the most basic one. It’s one. But you rebuilt it, though.
TALIESIN: I did.
MATT: To not be that terrible. So now it’s fine, it’s normal.
TALIESIN: Oh, okay.
MATT: Yeah. Before you reconstructed it to try and fix the mistake and remove that additional attachment, it would have been one.
TALIESIN: Thank you, I was just checking, because I could’ve just rolled really poorly. Ten.
MATT: Ten misses, unfortunately.
TALIESIN: All right, I’m taking another–
MATT: Oh, there’s the Guiding Bolt, right? It’s all right. Yeah, missed the Guiding Bolt, so you have advantage on that attack, I’m pretty sure.
TALIESIN: Oh, so I’m going to roll it again.
LIAM: Thank you, Pike.
ASHLEY: You’re welcome!
MARISHA: Same fucking roll.
TALIESIN: I don’t know what happened. Okay. Ten. So that–
MATT: So that one fires and now you’re out of bullets.
TALIESIN: I know, so now I’m going to reload and fire again.
MATT: Okay, so your second and third attack. Go for it.
MARISHA: Oh my god!
TALIESIN: I have advantage though, right?
MATT: You have advantage. I think you do, hold on, let me see.
MARISHA: There we go, that’s better.
MATT: Hold on, hold on. Next attack, no, it does not have advantage. So that misses as well, probably.
ASHLEY: War God’s Blessing!
MATT: So! War God’s Blessing?
ASHLEY: Yeah, it adds ten to his roll. Attack roll.
MATT: Okay, so it now becomes a 20.
SAM: What is War God’s Blessing?
MATT: So War God’s Blessing is one of her cleric abilities, since she chose the war domain after going to sea for a while. The specifics of it, just so you guys are aware of it, and why it’s so useful–
ASHLEY: It’s something I forget about a lot.
TALIESIN: Oh, yay!
MATT: She can basically, as a reaction, grant plus ten to an attack roll.
TALIESIN: Yeah, that hit, then. That hits.
MATT: So go ahead and roll damage now. So, as you’re about to aim, Pike looks over and sees you about to take the shot and concentrates for a moment and the front of your barrel begins to glow with divine light as you fire. The bullet itself actually is white-hot as it leaves the barrel.
TALIESIN: This is such a confused gun.
MATT: I know.
TALIESIN: Okay. That’s not bad. That’s 20 plus five necrotic.
MATT: Okay. The impact of the divine enchanted bullet hits the current dark-energy-hexed individual and in the blast of light versus dark the upper torso of the thug is incinerated. It is ash. The waist below visible as it slumps over, no longer visible.
MARISHA: That was awesome!
TALIESIN: And I’m going to start walking my way towards Keyleth’s special friend. Yeah, about there.
MATT: There? Okay.
TALIESIN: I’m not running. I’m walking.
MATT: All right. It’s now their turn. The dwarf now moves over, goes, “Of course.” And begins taking all of its weapons and throws its mace down and puts its crossbow at your feet, spends its entire turn emptying its pouch and handing you what gold and gems and things it gathered.
LAURA: This is the best thing ever!
MATT: And giving you everything with a big dwarvish smile underneath its crusty beard.
SAM: Thank you. You’re doing a good service.
TALIESIN: Make him shave.
LAURA: That is mean.
TALIESIN: I know!
MATT: This one’s going to attack Keyleth. So, the one attacking Keyleth. This is the one attacking you, Keyleth.
MARISHA: Oh, yeah.
MATT: It saw you transform into Minxie. That’s going to be, what’s your AC?
MARISHA: As a tiger? Or no, I keep my AC, right? Or no, I take the tiger’s AC.
MATT: It should be in your ability, your Wild Shape ability. I’m pretty sure you take it as the creature.
MARISHA: Then 11.
MATT: 11, that hits. Just making sure that’s the case right now, real fast as we go over to this point.
MARISHA: I know I keep all of my brain stats, but I lose all my physical stats.
MATT: Correct. Yeah, you gain the AC of the creature as well.
MARISHA: Okay, so 11.
MATT: All right, so.
MARISHA: Oh no, wait, wait, wait, wait. 12.
MATT: 12 is the AC? First one misses, second one hits.
MARISHA: Oh, cool! Okay, cool.
MATT: It rolled 11 on the first attack. So, you do take 11 points of bludgeoning damage as the mace swings out and smacks into the side of your shoulder. You feel the impact, but it’s nothing too harsh. There are two of them now that are trying to go against Grog, being the angry one that just bisected their ally. They have advantage on you because they are both pack tactics. The first attack is a 23.
TRAVIS: That hits.
MATT: Second one is a natural 20. Third attack, with advantage, is 15.
MATT: Misses. And the fourth and final one is a 17.
MATT: So a hit and a natural 20. Okay, so that is nine reduced to five against you. And then 12 reduced to six, so you take 11 points of bludgeoning damage between the two of them trying to beat on this furious angry goliath individual. And then there’s one over here that’s attacking Trinket now that’s right in front.
LAURA: He just saw Trinket rip somebody else’s face off.
MATT: Yeah, and in doing so swings out with a 13. I’m pretty sure misses Trinket’s AC.
LAURA: Oh, yeah it does. He’s got a better armor class than me.
MATT: He swings out, shaken by what it just saw happen to its friend and then takes that anger and turns around, rolling a 23, which I’m pretty sure hits. The mace slams into the side of Trinket’s armor with a resounding (loud impact), the actual echo of the metal impact audible in the immediate vicinity, dealing a total of seven points of bludgeoning damage to Trinket.
LAURA: He’s resistant to bludgeoning damage because of his armor.
MATT: Yep, so that would make it four. All right, that ends their turn. Keyleth, you’re up.
MARISHA: Okay. Really pissed off at this guy still. I’m going to concentrate and bring down a bolt of lightning in front of him, or behind–
MATT: Right there?
SAM: Dragons can see bolts of lightning.
MARISHA: It’s also a cloudy day.
SAM: All right, all right, that makes sense.
MATT: Second bolt of lightning strikes the ground behind the guy in front of you. He rolled a 20, so he did make his save I’m pretty sure against you. Roll 4d10. He takes half-damage.
MARISHA: So, okay. Six, ten, 21 points, so ten?
MATT: Ten points of damage.
MARISHA: And then I’m going to do an attack on him. Grr.
MATT: Uh, you have to use your action to pull the bolt down, though?
MARISHA: I thought it was bonus.
MATT: It should say on the spell. I’ll double-check.
MARISHA: I thought you could do that with Call Lightning.
MATT: Call Lightning, uh. On each of your turns, you can use your action to call it down, so yeah. A bolt is what you got.
MARISHA: Okay, that’s fine.
MATT: Okay. However, the individual now is twice hit by lightning and is looking extremely rough and barely standing on his two feet. Is that your turn?
MARISHA: I can’t do anything else, can I?
MATT: Okay, Garthok, you’re up.
JASON: Garthok attacks the one attacking Trinket.
JASON: And I can sneak attack, right?
MATT: Yeah, he’s currently distracted between you and Trinket.
SAM: What are you going to do, what are you going to do?
MATT: Roll to hit first.
JASON: Oh yeah. I was so excited.
SAM: What if you miss?
LAURA: He won’t miss.
MATT: 13 does hit.
TRAVIS: Skewer that piece of shit.
MARISHA: Nice! That’s hot.
TRAVIS: Let the dice hit the floor.
MATT: 20 points. All right. So you take the spear and jam it into the abdomen of this looter here who, the sheer force of it from the strength as your muscles push in lifts him and slams him against the wall, you’ve partially pinned him against the stonework there. He reaches over and slams down on your hand repeatedly until eventually you withdraw and leave him back on his feet. He’s looking rough, but he’s definitely still holding his own. Is that–?
JASON: Can I use my cunning action with my hand crossbow or–?
MATT: Well, you can use a bonus action to fire with your hand crossbow at him if you want to.
MATT: All right. It’s at disadvantage because you are in melee with him, so go ahead and roll twice and take the lower of the two.
LAURA: This will be sick, though, if he hit it.
SAM: Those are stinky dice.
JASON: 11. 11.
MATT: 11 just hits.
MATT: That’s his AC. All right, so go ahead and roll damage with the hand crossbow. 1d6 plus whatever.
LAURA: Right in the face!
MATT: Six points of damage. As you pull the spear out, you reach to your side and over-the-arm pull the hand crossbow out and fire. It goes right into his left eye socket.
MATT: With that, you set the spear to the side and lock in the next bolt for your hand crossbow. Are you staying there?
MATT: All right, that ends your turn. Grog, you’re up.
TRAVIS: The poor bastard that’s closest to you to my upper right, yeah, that little fuck’s going to get Great Weapon Master relentless attacks.
MATT: (laughs) Okay, all three?
TRAVIS: All three.
MATT: Go for it.
TRAVIS: That is better. 14?
TRAVIS: Yeah. I’ll take that one.
LAURA: You could’ve been a 20, though, your next one could be a 20.
MATT: Yeah, roll again. You never know.
LAURA: It was a 20!
MARISHA: Shut up!
MATT: Which, as a note, at your level when you crit you do two additional dice on top of it. So you roll, double it, and then do two additional dice as one of your barbarian–
TRAVIS: I had one additional damage dice.
MATT: For this last level 13, you get two now.
TRAVIS: Oh, jesus.
SAM: This guy’s going to be a puddle–
LAURA: Another natural 20!
SAM: Wait, does he get two more?
TRAVIS: On crits or kills, it’s an extra hit.
MATT: Extra attack, okay. (laughs) Okay, so first, hold on, first roll damage for the first attack against this one.
TRAVIS: Me and the sword are vibing, man.
MATT: Right. Roll damage on the first one.
TRAVIS: Okay, yeah.
LIAM: You’re playing jazz, man.
TRAVIS: 18, 28.
MATT: 28, which fails save, you get another plus one to your strength.
LAURA: Oh my god.
TRAVIS: Just the strength, right?
MATT: Exactly. Second attack, which is the critical. So, roll the dice, double that, add your modifier, and then add 2d12 to that.
TRAVIS: That’s a lot of math. Roll another dice. That’s a six–
TRAVIS: 29, 40, 44?
MATT: And failed the save again. That’s another plus one to your strength.
TRAVIS: That goes up two.
MARISHA: That keeps happening?
MATT: So as you, the first two attacks, whoosh, cut off the right arm of that individual, and using that momentum, you bring it around and bisect him in the midsection. As that happens, you can see the blood turns from red to black as the blade drinks it up and you feel your muscles pulse with energy.
MATT: Just falls back on the ground.
LAURA: So now you can take the other guy, because you killed him.
TRAVIS: I critted on the third one.
MATT: The third one, I’ll say because you killed him the third crit goes to the next guy, so go ahead and roll damage on that.
TRAVIS: 22, 32.
LIAM: He’s gone.
MATT: Okay. And now you get your additional attack because of the Great Weapon Master.
LAURA: Oh my lord.
MATT: With advantage, because barbarians, man.
MATT: Hits. When barbarians crit, man, things die. This is why relentless attack is so good with them. They take the penalty to their AC.
TRAVIS: 24 points.
MATT: 24 points of damage.
TRAVIS: Oh no, 34 points of damage because it’s Great Weapon Master.
MATT: Failed save. All right. It made the last one, all right.
TRAVIS: Oh, plus two, 36 points.
MATT: So there you go. So you get another plus one to your strength. However, this time you take the blade and the first attack you jam it into their abdomen like this. As they’re looking at you, grasping at your shoulders, your eyes completely covered in bloodlust, the foam at the corner of your mouth, you then put all of your strength at the bottom of it and completely cut upward, the body splitting in half as it falls to the ground.
LAURA: Oh my gosh.
TRAVIS: I’ve never been more happy in my life.
ASHLEY: Oh man, I’m coming back as a barbarian if I die.
MATT: All right, Scanlan, you’re up.
SAM: Oh, there’s more people?
MATT: There’s one guy over here by Keyleth who currently hasn’t even noticed what’s going on because he got hit with lightning twice and is being attacked by a giant tiger.
SAM: All right. I guess I’ll try to intimidate him to stop, and I’ll say, I’ll turn to him and say, you there! Idiot! (stutters) You’re not going to win! You should not fight anymore! Because you’re going to die. And that’s it, that’s all I got.
MATT: Okay, roll intimidation check.
LAURA: Worst intimidation ever.
MATT: And yet the conviction behind the words– the heart behind each stuttered moment of that sentence–
SAM: You know what, I’ll sing to him to intimidate him, would that help?
MATT: If you want to, go for it.
SAM: Sure. I will sing, (singing) Some people call me a gnome cowboy. Some people call me the gangster of love.
TALIESIN: Nobody calls him the gangster of love.
SAM: (singing) Some people call me Maurice because I’m a hitter, I’m a winner, I’m a bedroom shitter.
SAM: (singing) Playing my music on my shawm, oooh.
MATT: Which, right where the guitar would go (high-pitched guitar), you hear the clanging of weapons to the ground as the other remaining thug looks around and sees the mess that you’ve made of all of his various compadres and immediately drops to the ground, hand over his head, going: “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
LAURA: We shouldn’t have taken him hostage. I wanted to just kill him.
TRAVIS: Oh, don’t worry.
JASON: We can still kill him.
SAM: And as my bonus action, I tell the dwarf to start collecting all the stuff from all the other people as well.
MATT: “Certainly. Right away.” See if he makes his save. He does not. So he then walks over and starts looting the corpses of his friends for you. (laughs)
TALIESIN: That’s dark. That’s dark.
MATT: All right, so there’s the one guy who’s on the ground now, hands over his head.
TRAVIS: Is he the only one left?
MATT: He’s the only one left.
LAURA: And the dwarf who is looting things now.
MARISHA: I stay in Minxie form and stay on him, growling at him.
LAURA: I, actually, you know what? Instead of looting, I’m going to–
MATT: Slowly the rain begins to hit as the storm finally starts coming down, elevated by the druid spells that brought the moisture to gather over this section. You walk over to him.
LAURA: I’m actually going to start using perception to look for any sign of Gilmore in the rubble or–
SAM: Gilmore? Use your dragon perception, lady.
MATT: This would be more of an investigation check. As you begin to pore over the rubble yourself to gather it–
LAURA: Okay. I leave him to you all.
TRAVIS: Where’s the meat?
LIAM: It was my turn in initiative, so I want to walk over to him.
LAURA: Natural 20 on investigation.
MARISHA: Oh, that’s going to be good. That’s good.
MATT: All righty. So you walk over, so as she’s investigating it, you go ahead and you walk over to him.
LIAM: You’re coming with me. I lift him up and I’m leading him off around the corner of a building.
MARISHA: I pace along as Minxie.
MATT: Okay. Garthok, you doing anything?
JASON: I go with them.
MATT: Okay, so the half-orc saunters up next to the tiger and you guys disappear around the corner of one of the nearby buildings.
JASON: I just start cleaning my spear in front of him.
MARISHA: I pace around.
MATT: All right, you lead him and you slam him up against the wall.
MATT: “Look, look, what do you want?”
SAM: Oh, you knocking him out?
MATT: Whack, you take him off the side of the head and he crumples into a pile there in the alley.
LIAM: Pick up some shit from the ground and prop it up against him, a couple of pieces, not bury him, just hide him a bit.
LIAM: And then I walk back to the group and I start picking shit up around where my sister is.
MARISHA: I go back, I guess. I was useful.
JASON: I thought we were going to interrogate him.
MARISHA: Me, too. (laughs) I came along as intimidation.
MARISHA: But he was bringing stuff back and forth to–
LAURA: Well, he’s still there. And we do have a dwarf that’s mind-controlled right now. That is probably the best.
MATT: Who is currently looting the bodies.
LAURA: Don’t touch anything. I’m investigating.
MATT: As you are going through the rubble, you can see a lot of the rubble has been moved over, and you see remnants of shattered glass cases and shelves and a lot of the things that you had previously seen within Gilmore’s Glorious Goods, largely picked over and left behind. Many books lie tattered and burned and destroyed as part of the attack. You get the sense here that most anything that was of use or worth has been taken already and what the people here were gathering, they mentioned this was their third time back, they were basically picking up what remnants they could, which were pieces of broken objects, elements of gold that were left behind, but most of the contents of the store have been ransacked and taken.
SAM: Can I specifically look for the beaded curtain he emerges from?
MATT: Yes, actually. And as you guys go toward the beaded curtain, it’s torn apart and under a big piece of rock. You push aside and, with the help of Grog and a few other individuals, you guys move some of the rocks out of the way to where the bedroom is, and it’s completely destroyed. There’s no sign of Gilmore or anybody else here, and as the rain’s starting to come down a little heavier, you all get that sense of horror washing over you. Vex, you notice, looking underneath where the shattered remains of the foot of his bed are, there is a smooth piece of stone with a handle.
SAM: And a barrel of lube.
LAURA: I rush over to it.
LAURA: Can I detect traps now?
MATT: I mean, you could technically detect traps whenever you wanted to try.
MATT: You have to have sight for it. If you want to, go ahead and make a perception check.
MATT: 26. You take a moment to inspect it. You follow the edge, and yes, it is indeed a false door made of this stone tile that comprises the floor of the room, and it is a hatch. It is not trapped.
LAURA: I start pushing on the bed and call for Grog and say, help me with this!
TRAVIS: What? Oh! Run over. I help.
LAURA: There’s a door.
LIAM: I hear her yelling and wander up as well.
MARISHA: Still in Minxie, pace over.
MATT: The dwarf comes running up with you guys as well, still–
LAURA: Did he get everything? I mean, did he loot everything, are we–?
MATT: He comes up with all the various coin purses which, interestingly enough, are mostly empty other than a few copper. It seems like whatever they’ve stolen is not on them currently.
SAM: They gave it to the dragon.
TRAVIS: They gave it to him.
LAURA: The dragon.
SAM: Him. Whatever that is.
TRAVIS: Did we ask?
LIAM: You’ve got a happy dwarf standing–
SAM: Oi, dwarf.
SAM: Who have you been collecting swag for?
MATT: “The dragon.”
MATT: “As long as we give him what’s important and what’s worth, he’ll keep us alive. Even protect us.”
SAM: He told you this?
ASHLEY: Where are you taking it to?
MATT: “To the center of town. Which I’ve never been before, the Cloudtop itself. What stands is very pretty.”
SAM: The gates to it are open?
SAM: And the dragon sits there in the open, collecting his bounty?
MATT: “There’s lines, folks lined up bringing all they have to him.”
JASON: So if this is your third trip back, the first two, you already took it to him or did you take it somewhere else to store?
MATT: “Well, we’ve put it all in a place so that then we can take it to him.”
JASON: Take us to that place.
MATT: “All right.” And he turns around and starts walking away.
SAM: No, that’s fine.
MARISHA: Wait, wait, wait, not yet!
LAURA: But wait, tell us where it is, how about that? How about you tell us where it is. Right now.
MATT: And he explains about a 15-minute walk from here there is a well that is in between four buildings in an alley cross-section. All of it’s been actually put into the well, which has been hollowed out, or all the water’s been repressed with dirt, and it’s been filled with everything they’ve gathered.
LAURA: He’s going to save eventually. He’s going to break your mind control. Maybe we should knock him out right now.
TRAVIS: Knock him out, or–?
MATT: At which point, he turns around going, “Ugh.”
LAURA: Knock him out!
MATT: You know what, go ahead and roll an attack. It’s going to be surprise because he currently is not aware of the situation, so it’s auto-crit.
LIAM: Oh, advantage, all right. Well, that’s better. 22.
MATT: Yeah, that hits. Go ahead and roll.
LIAM: Okay. Yeah. Okay. Okay. That’s a 13, 16, that’s still spinning, (counting), 26. 26 total.
MATT: Did you double that from the surprise? Because he wasn’t even prepared.
LIAM: No, so, uh, okay, so–
MATT: It’s enough, if you double it. As long as you’re over 40, he’s down.
LIAM: Yeah, it would be 40-something.
MATT: Yeah, so. He goes out. A little dwarven pile. He’s out.
LAURA: Tie him up. I don’t want him waking up and running back to the dragon.
TRAVIS: You know how you solve that?
LAURA: I understand that, Grog. Maybe we should just tie him up.
SAM: Tie him up.
LAURA: Tie him up and tie him up to a big stone so he can’t get up and run even if he–
MATT: Okay, so you guys take a moment to go ahead and–
TALIESIN: Bow. Tie him in a little bow.
MATT: Little bow, little dwarven bow? Okay. You find a large piece of broken stone that was part of the building’s base floor structure and you tie it around in multiple ways where he’s going to have a hard time getting out, especially in his current mindspace when he comes to consciousness. The rain’s still pouring down. He’s soaked.
MATT: All right. You guys gather around the hidden hatch in the floor of Gilmore’s room, and we’re going to go ahead and take a quick bathroom break.
MATT: (laughs) A quick one. We’ll take a few minutes, get right back into this because we do have Critmas tonight. We want to make sure we get as much done before we have to leave. So let’s do this. See you guys in a minute.
MATT: Welcome back everyone! So, as Liam here brings up our wondrous Pike, we’ll go ahead and hop back into the game in just a minute, but I did want to say two things. One, we have this evening’s winner for our giveaway, so a big congratulations to one of my favorite recent chatroom names: congrats to JarFullOfFarts.
MATT: You are our giveaway winner. I love you, Internet, for allowing me to say these sentences. It’s a wonderful experience.
TRAVIS: Jar full of farts!
MATT: Also, I want to give a shout-out to a friend of the show who’s been helping stream on their end as well, hosting us on their channel, and we’ve had a good back-and-forth. “Rated E with Elspeth” has been a really awesome supporter of the show. Go check her out, give her a follow if you have the opportunity. Thank you very much, by the way, for helping support us. So, yay! All right, so! Getting back in here. As the rain now continues to pour down from above the open, clouded sky of Emon, you reach down and pull open the false latch on top of this open, hidden compartment beneath the remnants of Gilmore’s room. You look down into a dark, low-lit interior, and what appears to be a figure who rushes up very, very quickly and stops. And you hear a voice from within the darkness, just out of view from your position, that says, “Whoever you are, leave! Run away or I swear I’ll kill you!”
MATT: You look down and it doesn’t appear to be Sherri. It’s a woman, frazzled hair. You can’t make out the details of her expression, but she’s holding this blade in front.
LAURA: Don’t attack!
SAM: Sherri, it’s us!
LAURA: Did you work here? We’re looking for Gilmore.
MATT: Looks past her shoulder. “Sherri?”
MATT: And you see Sherri now approaches, her hair frazzled. She looks like she’s covered in soot, and actually has suffered some minor burns on part of her arm and the side of her face a little bit, and she steps into the little bit of light at the bottom of the shaft and looks up and goes, “My god. Come in, quick. Please.” And she ushers you down into this area.
MARISHA: I drop Minxie form.
MATT: Okay. As you guys all head down inside, this is a relatively small chamber, maybe 20 feet by 20 feet. There’s a couple of small chairs, and there are a few metal rods that are bolted into the stonework leading down as a ladder that you can climb down. This is obviously a hidden compartment that Gilmore uses to go up and down. You get a better view now. It is Sherri there. Trinket, unfortunately, at this moment, cannot make his way down into this, so looks at you (bear grunts). Looks around–
LAURA: Stay and guard the unconscious fucks.
MATT: (bear grunts) and sets into a defensive position now looking out at the rest.
LAURA: If they start to wake up, sit on them! Or kill them, if necessary.
MATT: Gives a nod, and stands there in the pouring rain, soaking through Trinket. The armor ting-ting-ting-ting-ting, ting-ing off the armor. Staying there, keeping guard. As you all climb down, you notice next to Sherri a very frazzled and harrowed-looking– the woman who was holding the dagger in front. Her clothing is very, very nice, though currently torn, and filthy. This is Empress Salda Tal'Dorei.
TRAVIS: Oh shit.
SAM: Wait, what, who?
MATT: Empress Salda Tal'Dorei, the wife of Uriel.
LAURA: Empress! Is Uriel down here? Did you make it out? The children!
MATT: She puts her blade away. She looks over her shoulder. “The children–” She puts her hand to the side and you can see in the back room, which, now you can see, there is a teleportation circle that is slowly lit on the bottom of the floor within this room.
MARISHA: What was her first name again? Empress what?
MARISHA: Esalda? With an E?
MATT: Salda. S-A-L-D-A. She looks over and you can see her three kids, Odessa, Illya, and Gren, two daughters and son, are all sitting in the corner, talking to each other. They look like how children deal in these type of situations. They’re talking and playing games and trying to distract themselves. But as soon as you guys all walk in, they look over, quietly, and their faces brighten up at the arrival of somebody new, and they recognize you as you begin to step into the low light of the chamber. Salda then puts her hand down and says, “I don’t believe my husband made it. But we’re alive.”
LIAM: Did you see him fall?
MATT: “No.” And she looks over into the far corner. You can see, amongst the pile of rags and stuff, there is one long pile of dark, crushed velvet blue in the corner, with a small puddle of crimson under it. “He saved us.” And, glancing over in the corner, you can now see the shape of Gilmore, slumped in the corner, arm draped over his midsection, head down to the side, in the center of that pool.
LIAM: I run over, I run over. Is he awake? Is he alive? I’ve got my hand under his chin. Is he alive?
MATT: You reach over and touch Gilmore’s face, and it is cold with sweat, but it’s feverish sweat. There is a very, very strong fever in his body, and there’s beads of sweat down the face, and as you look down you can see where the arm is holding there is blood soaked into the robe. You can see parts of the robe right now are currently– elements of it are burned and charred. You can see parts of it scraped away. Gilmore’s looking pretty rough.
LIAM: I pull him in. Pike, Pike, Pike! Keyleth! Come over here!
MATT: Pike, what are you doing?
ASHLEY: Okay, I’m going to Cure Wounds.
LIAM: It’s going to be all right. Pike is here, it’s going to be all right, it’s going to be all right. Gil? Is there any consciousness?
MARISHA: I mean, I can try and assist you, Pike, with Cure Wounds. That’s all I have right now.
ASHLEY: Okay. Yeah, is he conscious?
MATT: No, unconscious. Unconscious, and looking–
MARISHA: Fading fast?
LAURA: Can you, like, Greater Restoration? I mean, what’s the best cure you can do, Pike?
ASHLEY: Okay okay okay.
MATT: You guys can both make medicine checks to try and put him in a position where he would be more susceptible to healing.
ASHLEY: I can use a sixth level, and Heal.
MATT: Use the spell Heal?
MARISHA: And I did a 16 on my Medicine check, with her 22.
MATT: Okay. So you guys take a moment, you dress the wounds best you can, and put him in a position where Pike, as you bring forward, you grab your holy symbol, and clutching it between both your hands very tightly, you kneel down in front of the slowly fading body of Gilmore. You can see the shiver occasionally, instinctually in his unconsciousness, and you reach out and touch him, and as you do, the warm light of Sarenrae fills your torso, travels through your arms, and into the body of Gilmore. His arms fall to his side, limp, as the warmth swells up into the torso, and for a second, as the outside of the robe that you saw torn open opens up, you can see now the hideous gash that has currently torn through his abdomen. As the warmth spreads through the body, and the light visually shows the horrible, jagged nature of this wound, the wound stitches itself up and you can see it close, leaving but the tiniest of scar across. The blood itself all still caked into the material, but the wound is now closed. As you pull your hands back, you can see Gilmore’s body, which has, from the sheer power of the Heal spell, has actually been elevated a few inches off the ground, and then clatters to the ground as the spell finishes, and you can see he shivers for a second, he curls over. (pained grunt)
LIAM: I pull him into my lap, and hold onto him.
MATT: At this point, Sherri instinctively goes, “Is he all right? Is he all right?” She pulls out her glasses, puts them on.
LIAM: I think so, I think so.
MATT: “Who’s this one? What is he doing here?”
SAM: He’s a friend, he fought with us. He’s not corrupted by the dragon’s influence.
MATT: “I’d like to know your name, orcish sir.”
SAM: It’s really cool.
JASON: I’m Garthok. I bow. I bow.
MATT: She gives you a sideways glance. “Keep your distance. I don’t trust you yet.” And she turns back around towards Gilmore. As you’re holding him there, the children at this point are very quiet and sitting at his foot as you all gather around this corner. A minute passes in silence. Another minute passes.
LIAM: Smoothing his hair out. Hey. Hey.
MATT: His body is– the stillness is maintained, but you can still feel the heartbeat, and you can feel the pulse of blood through the body from holding the shoulders. And then, from that silence, you hear, (weak coughing). And the mouth opens, and the eyes begin to loll open, and the irises begin to try and find some point of focus, and Gilmore slowly lolls the head back up and looks into your face and smiles, instinctually, little blood at the corner of his mouth, and he looks up at you. “Well. That’s always what I assumed I’d see in my last moments.” (chuckles)
LIAM: Bad day, huh?
MATT: “Ah… strangely enough, I’m pretty sure I’ve had worse.”
LAURA: No offense, darling, but you look like shit.
MATT: (laughs) “We can’t have that, can we?” (coughs) Lifts his hand and begins to try and cast a spell. You can see a bit of arcane Prestidigitation begin to try and muster, and he coughs, and the magic sputters and fades.
LIAM: Give it time.
MATT: “So, either we’re all dead or we’re all alive. I’d like an answer.”
MATT: “Good, I was hoping you’d say that. (relieved chuckle) I was so worried about you all. I went back for you.”
MARISHA: What? We were so worried about you!
TALIESIN: We’re glad you came here.
MATT: “I’m sorry. When they attacked, my instinct was to grab the children. I got who I could, but Uriel pushed me away. He was trying to get others out of the fray.”
LAURA: Did you see him fall?
MATT: “I didn’t see him fall, but I went back, and I found him fallen.”
SAM: His body?
MATT: “What was left of it. I brought back Salda and the children. I brought back Asum, and that abrasive dragon girl. I don’t know where they are right now.” And Salda chimes in and goes, “They both actually, they left. They went topsoil to try and find other survivors. I told them not to, I told them to stay, but they’re assumedly off in the city somewhere, trying to make sense of all this.”
TALIESIN: We’re trying to collect people at our keep.
MARISHA: We’ve turned it into a safe haven.
MATT: “Well. That’s kind of you. That’s good of you. That’s probably one of the only safe places in the city right now.” (coughs)
LIAM: Can you do anything?
LAURA: I mean, I can cast Cure Wounds on him to try to help out at all. Will it help? I mean, you know, more than I would.
MATT: “Whatever your fine angel of Sarenrae did I think will hold me fine for now.” And he smiles and gives a very, very half-hearted wink towards Pike. “Thank you.”
MATT: “Thank you dearly.”
LIAM: You’ve certainly earned your name today.
MATT: “I could have saved more. I couldn’t find you, I couldn’t– I looked.”
MARISHA: We’re so sorry.
MATT: “Oh, no, I, you– ”
TALIESIN: We were hard to find.
MATT: “I figured you would be taking care of yourself. I went– (chuckles) I went to the dragon then, just in case you had decided to be your usual foolish selves and run into hell itself.”
LAURA: Perhaps sent a spy and try to trick him? (chuckles) That would have been stupid, huh?
SAM: Yes. Very.
LAURA: Gilmore, we called for you. I’m sorry we didn’t wait.
MATT: “No. I’m glad you didn’t. You may not be here.”
LIAM: Did you see any others from the Council? Anyone else?
MATT: “Well.” And he leans forward, and sits up out of your lap for a second to look at the rest of you. “There are quite a few dead, unfortunately. Brom Goldhand didn’t make it. Most of the guards are gone. Half, if not more, of the Cloudtop District. Killed by the poisonous fume that took the entire area so suddenly.”
LAURA: Poisonous fume?
MATT: “From the initial dragon attack. We’ve been staying here for safety’s sake. I don’t know how long I’ve been out. Could we perhaps make our way towards your place as well?”
LAURA: It would be smart.
SAM: Is there any point to searching for more Council members or allies before we go?
LAURA: Anyone that was alive that you saw?
MATT: “I mean, there were many that were alive by the time I returned. They were all kneeling before the beast. It’s very interesting that when given the face of death before you how quickly folks are willing to stay alive at whatever cost of morality and sense of society. I don’t blame them. I mean, what other alternative is there, but to stay alive and hope that others come and save them from this burden?” (coughs) And he coughs up a little blood and wipes it from his chin.
LAURA: Does the Cinder King have mind control abilities, or is he just super impressive?
MATT: “I think it’s more that he’s very persuasive with his threat of how many did not fare this attack. I did get a good look at him, before he– well.”
LIAM: He’s ripped the heart out of this city. Let’s go.
MARISHA: Everything’s gone.
SAM: When you saw him, did you see anything important?
MATT: “I did notice in his chest, where the scales of a dragon usually are uniform, there was an obfuscation of sorts, there was something different about his armor. It was hard to make out the details in how fast we had a duel. I’ve never dueled a dragon before! I’ve dueled a dragon now.”
LAURA: And fared quite well!
MATT: “No, I did not! I survived longer than I hoped, and got out when I could.”
JASON: A weak spot.
SAM: Yeah, did it look like scarring? From a previous fight?
MATT: “I didn’t get a very good look, but it looked like there was a different material, something smooth and jagged. Something that pulsed with power.”
LIAM: Doesn’t sound like a weak spot.
LAURA: That doesn’t sound super good.
MATT: “I didn’t get a terribly good look, nor do I understand the nature of whatever it was, but–”
TALIESIN: It’s the beginning of something. Something to start thinking about.
MARISHA: What do you mean?
MATT: “Does anyone have any water? I’m a bit parched.”
TRAVIS: We got better than that, we got a potion. And honestly, if we’re going to be moving about on the streets, I’d like you to not fall open like a can of baked beans, if you don’t mind.
MATT: (chuckles) “I’m not going to lie, I’m quite touched by your concern, Grog. It’s flattering.” (grunts) And he starts trying to stand up, and as he does, Sherri rushes forward and grabs him.
LIAM: I’m under, too, I’m helping him up.
MATT: You get him up, and he’s propping himself up. What little strength he has, he’s keeping himself up, and keeping a smile through it all. Even in this weakened state, still trying to present the best of himself that he can. “All right.”
SAM: Gilmore, before we go, one more crazy question: you’re not a dragon, are you?
MATT: (laughs) “Oh, I wish I was. That would have made this whole endeavor a little easier on my part.”
SAM: All right.
MATT: “But if you find a way for me to become a dragon, that would be sexy.”
ASHLEY: Oh, Gilmore.
SAM: Should we teleport, or is there tunnels, or how do we go?
LAURA: Could I have just a little bit of time? Before we–
SAM: Oh, with Garthok? Or with Gilmore?
LAURA: Oh, up top. You know, I’ll be right back.
SAM: You’re going to go up there?
LAURA: Just for a second.
TRAVIS: All by yourself?
LAURA: I mean, if you guys want to join, if anybody wants to come with me, but I’m going to stealth like a motherfucker.
MARISHA: I mean, it seemed like we were heading out? Are we heading out?
TALIESIN: I propose a plan. Let’s get them back to the secret passage. I think we should–
TALIESIN: One of the reasons why a government allows something like the Clasp to exist in a city like this is because it is a shadow infrastructure that will survive an attack like this. It is an infrastructure designed– Grog, it’s a bunch of people who are really good at making money when everything’s working, and when everything stops working, they get very angry and want to make everything work again.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I understand that.
TALIESIN: So we have a group of people who are well-organized, with everything to gain by this dragon leaving. They’re ready, they’re prepared, they’re probably more prepared than anybody else would be. And they might be willing to help us. They have tunnels, they have men, they have spies, they have everything we need. Please tell me if I’m wrong here.
JASON: You couldn’t be more right.
TALIESIN: They might be the friends that we need at this moment.
MATT: “I take it you’re one of these underlings?”
JASON: I can’t speak for the group, but I am a member, yes.
LAURA: Would they listen to you?
JASON: I’m sure they would.
LAURA: They don’t like us very much.
JASON: A lot of us didn’t like Mordeth either, so more people like you than you may know.
LAURA: All right.
TRAVIS: Where do you want to go?
LAURA: I want to go get that fucking well full of fucking loot. Magical items, gold, who knows what could be in there that could help us?
MARISHA: Wait, wait, wait, you want to go steal from Thordak?
LAURA: No no no! They never gave it to him. They gathered a bunch of shit and they hid it in a well.
SAM: Because he told them to.
LAURA: No, they were going to get it all together and give it to him, but they never gave it to him.
TRAVIS: They were keeping it. They were hiding it away in one place.
TALIESIN: So, a small group goes and gets the gold and the rest of us get Gilmore and the family to the secret passage.
SAM: Last time we took a dragon’s gold, five of them showed up.
LAURA: The dragon doesn’t know about the gold.
SAM: Don’t you think the dragon knows everything that’s going on right now? I’m the spy here.
LAURA: If you’re scared, then go with Gilmore. I’m going to go get the gold.
TALIESIN: I would agree with getting the gold.
TRAVIS: I’ll go with the family.
LAURA: Gimme the Bag of Holding, then. Where am I going to put all the gold?
TALIESIN: She’s got a point.
MARISHA: Do you all remember the last time I told you something was a terrible idea?
LAURA: I’ve got the Bag of Holding.
MARISHA: It was a few days ago–
SAM: It was every time.
TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s all the time, really.
MARISHA: Right, right. This is probably another one of those times.
LAURA: I cast Pass Without a Trace on myself and anybody else joining me?
SAM: I’m coming too.
TALIESIN: I’ll come– wait, no, I should probably go.
LIAM: I don’t want to go, but I’m not leaving you. And I hoist Gilmore onto Keyleth.
TALIESIN: We’ve got you.
MATT: “Hello.” (chuckles)
LIAM: I’m not happy.
LAURA: Well, then, don’t be pissy about it.
LIAM: I’m not leaving you.
LAURA: We’ll be right back. I mean, it’s magic shit! Gilmore, I’m going to get your shit back for you.
MARISHA: Remember the last time we went somewhere to go get a big pile of shit?
MATT: “Good thing, because, well. I’m going to need it to renovate this place a little.” (laughs, coughs)
TRAVIS: He’s a fan of it.
LAURA: Pass Without a Trace on the three of us. Stealth like a motherfucker.
SAM: Who’s three? Us three?
LAURA: Yeah. Us three. Stealth out. It’s like a 15-minute walk.
MARISHA: We were flanked here at Gilmore’s Goods. What makes you think that they’re not going to have a ton of people sitting there watching that well?
LAURA: I’m going to look out for that shit this time.
MARISHA: Yeah, that, right. That’s worked well in the past.
JASON: The area where they’re going, where the well is. Is that closer to one of the entrances to the Clasp?
MATT: The one you’re going towards? In the direction. It’s a little bit past where you’re going so you’d have to double back to the entrance, but it is totally a way to do it.
LAURA: Look, see?
SAM: Then we’re all going to the same place.
LAURA: See? Look at this. I’m going to stay separate from the group so I can stealth a little bit better.
TRAVIS: Twins out in front.
LAURA: I’m stealthing. Pass Without a Trace on all of us, then.
MATT: Stealth checks from all those that are heading towards the well.
LAURA: Are we all heading towards the well to jump down to the Clasp, or is anybody going back towards the Keep right now?
JASON: The well’s farther or the Clasp entrance is farther?
MATT: The Clasp entrance is closer, the well is further, so you actually go past it.
MARISHA: Hang on, hang on. Hang on. We’re all going to the Clasp entrance?
MATT: That’s up to you guys.
MARISHA: Which is in the same direction as our keep? Because we have a crippled guy on our shoulder.
TALIESIN: Yeah, we wanted to get the family and Gilmore back to the keep first.
LAURA: And the kids. Get them back to the keep.
SAM: Can’t you tree-shoot us, tree-shoot them there?
MARISHA: I don’t want to use that in case we need to tree-shoot us to Vasselheim. Or somewhere.
TALIESIN: Let’s hold that off.
TRAVIS: We’re going to the Clasp entrance, right, to go to the tunnels and all the network of shit that we don’t understand because they’ll be allies and the people that are going to stealth ahead are going to go to the well?
LAURA: I don’t think we should bring three children into the Clasp.
TALIESIN: This was my thought, is we take everybody who’s down here, we get them back to the castle. In the meantime–
SAM: Which castle? The keep?
TALIESIN: Keep. In the meantime, you get the treasure. Once the treasure is gotten and they’re back in the keep, we get together and find the Clasp.
LAURA: Perfect plan! Let’s go.
MARISHA: I grab Vax’s hand and pull him back as they pace away.
MATT: Okay. So, as you guys all find your way outside of the remnants of Gilmore’s facility, the three children and Salda staying very close. She keeps the children like right at her sides with her arms around them, protectively. Sherri’s at her side as well with her blade out just in case, and they’re forming this circle around the remnants of the Tal'Dorei family. As those of you continue to push forward, before you disappear, Keyleth grabs and pulls you.
LIAM: Splitting off?
LIAM: I have to go.
MARISHA: What? Don’t, wait! Vax, Vax, listen to me.
LIAM: I pull away and go.
MARISHA: No, Vax! God fuckin’, you–
MATT: As Vax quite literally disappears from your sight after a few steps, vanishing into the shadow of the rubble.
MARISHA: I go through to my earring. Vax, talk her out of it. This is not the time to be looting for treasure. That’s only ever brought us grief. Talk her out of it.
LAURA: 29, 39 on stealth for me.
MATT: (laughs) Okay.
LAURA: Plus ten?
MARISHA: Who’s taking the kids home?
LAURA: Trinket’s going with you guys, by the way.
MARISHA: You’re coming with us?
TRAVIS: I’m going, yeah, with the kids.
MARISHA: With the kids? I’ll cast Pass Without a Trace on us. On team back-to-the-keep.
MATT: Okay. I’ll have you guys roll a stealth check as well. Okay. And you’re heading with them to the–
JASON: So, well. In what direction is the keep, because–
MATT: The keep is southward. It’s away from the entrance to the Clasp.
JASON: Garthok’s dilemma is his first priority is trying to–
SAM: Garthok’s Dilemma is a great book.
LAURA: Do what you got to do, Garthok.
JASON: Garthok’s dilemma is his–
TRAVIS: Don’t tell us, just do it!
JASON: He’s got to go towards the Clasp because he’s trying to make sure they’re still alive.
MATT: As you guys divide, Garthok still stands there for a second looking back and forth, conflicted by this. Vex, you pick up on this as you’re walking away.
LAURA: What’re you doing?
JASON: I have to go, I have to find the Clasp. It’s my number one priority. It’s why I sought you guys out in the first place.
MARISHA: We understand. We’ve got the kids.
JASON: I’ll meet you at the Clasp entrance.
LAURA: Where do you want us to meet you?
SAM: Can you tell us where the entrance is? Do we know where the entrance is?
LAURA: Which entrance?
JASON: The entrance that I know exists is in the same direction as the treasure, so I will travel with you until we get to the entrance, which hopefully is there and not destroyed.
LAURA: Better fucking stealth like a motherfucker.
JASON: Ready. 14.
MATT: Plus ten. 24 for stealth.
MARISHA: Are we all rolling stealth?
MATT: Yeah. Everyone is. Plus ten.
ASHLEY: Yup. I rolled a 16.
LAURA: Yeah, 26 stealth, Pike!
ASHLEY: That was at disadvantage, too.
MATT: Nice. Well-played.
MATT: All right. So as you guys split off in the rain, occasionally you hear the slam of something heavy echoing in the distance from the Cloudtop and a guttural yell of frustration.
LAURA: I’m keeping my eye out for any kind of anything in front of us.
MATT: Right. You’re not sure what or why anything’s happening, but twice during your journey northward for this, you hear a low growl or roar and there’s a flash of fire from over the wall. You don’t know what happened. As you guys push, darting through the alleys, for the team that’s going for the entrance to the Clasp, you lead them into–
JASON: A trap! Booyah!
LAURA: You motherfucker!
MATT: That would’ve been amazing.
JASON: I’ve been waiting to trap you for three hours!
MATT: You lead them into a wine cellar that is locked over with a series of chains. You go forward and you know where there are two triggers for two traps that are part of that entrance. You go ahead and deftly disable both traps through hidden mechanisms. You go ahead and pull on one of the chains and it extends magically as you pull on it, almost infinite, or at least for a period of time. You find the right link, you activate it, keeping this all hidden to yourself, because this is what you’re trained to do, and the chain disables itself or breaks into three different pieces. You then open up the two parts of this cellar, lead them down into a regular wine cellar. It’s very dark. There’s almost no light down there other than what’s pouring in through this entrance. It looks like most of the wine bottles here have been taken out. It’s empty other than a few small bottles that are set up in this vast criss-cross of wooden racks, and you go ahead and walk over to one of the barrels and lift up the top of a heavy, heavy whiskey barrel. Pulling off the top of the barrel, the barrel itself does not move as he’s wrestling with it. As he does, he climbs into and stops for a second, looks around, and shows you guys that this barrel itself is actually a chute ladder that leads downward into a subterranean base.
LAURA: Got it. Now is all that shit up top going to be open for us when we come back?
JASON: I could wait for you here or maybe come with you and get some of that treasure.
LAURA: It’s going to be a while, you know. We’ve got to get the treasure and go back to the Keep and come back–
SAM: You can come with us. You can come with us.
LAURA: I mean, it’s up to you. I know you need to talk to the Clasp, so if you need to talk to them and let them know we’re on our way–
SAM: Enough treasure to go around.
JASON: I could definitely let them know.
LAURA: It’s up to you.
JASON: I’m relieved that it’s there and not destroyed, so.
MATT: Okay. So, you guys, now knowing where the entrance is, you make your way back out. You close the cellar and make your way towards where this dwarf’s general description of the well is. I want you to make an investigation check.
SAM: All of us?
MATT: All of you.
TRAVIS: Natural 20.
LAURA: You’re not with us.
TRAVIS: Oh, I thought he said everybody.
MATT: Sorry, everybody in that group. But congratulations!
MARISHA: Oh no!
TRAVIS: I escort the kids expertly. I’m a champ at babysitting.
MATT: You’ve had a Percy game today. You’ve had a lot of twenties.
MATT: 11. So you guys take about 20 minutes, wandering the area unable to find really which destination this is, partially because a lot of the sections here are partially destroyed or at least are unfamiliar to you. You’ve not spent a lot of time in this northern area of Emon. Scanlan, you dart off for a second, seeing a similar crossroads between alleys, and you find a well that very much appears to be, and you know it’s yours because there’s a number of copper and gold coins that are scattered around the base of the well.
SAM: This is it. Traps?
LAURA: I look around. Can I perceive anything or any people around, anything?
MATT: Make a perception check.
LAURA: Natural 20.
MATT: All right. You– damn, guys. You glance about and nobody is here. Other than the sound of the rain that is still smashing down from outside, there doesn’t appear to be any individual within visual range right now.
SAM: Vex, can you scan for dragons, please?
LIAM: I rolled a 22 for traps.
MATT: Okay. No traps from what you can tell. As you look over the edge of the well, you can see where the dirt has been packed in and given a false, or a somewhat muddy bottom to the well, which once held water. And around the edges you can see where there are a couple of discarded shovels thrown to the side, and chunks of the earth that have been shoved in there to give it some sort of bottom. You also see there’s maybe about 20, 30 or so haphazard coins in the bottom. Empty.
SAM: He got it already.
LAURA: Dicks! Dicks.
SAM: Talking about dragons?
LAURA: No, whoever the fuck came and took all the fucking gold.
SAM: The dragons came and got it.
MARISHA: Yeah, that’s what I think.
LAURA: Can I take one of the shovels and move some of the dirt to see if maybe it’s deeper than it looks?
MATT: Okay. You go ahead and move some of the dirt, and you find a couple more coins, a total of 35 gold it would be, really, that you get from it.
LAURA: What a waste.
SAM: Can we see, can I see any signs of dragon claws or dragon slobber or anything?
MATT: (laughs) There are none around you, and you gather from the sheer immensity that is the Cinder King that if he were to come down here and retrieve this gold himself, most of the adjacent buildings and the well would be ruined.
SAM: So people put a bunch of gold there then someone else came and took it?
JASON: Well, allegedly a bunch of gold. Maybe that’s all they found.
SAM: It’s your fucking people from the Clasp, isn’t it?
LAURA: Can I use tracking to see if it looks like anybody’s been here?
MATT: Sure. Make a wisdom survival check.
MATT: 19. There are a number of footprints, actually. Relatively recent, that all–
LAURA: Is that 17 or 11? That’s 11. Okay, yeah.
MATT: Yeah, okay. So looking about, you see the tracks pushing northward. There’s about four fresh sets of prints, fresher than the others you see around it. The trail of coins that follow that for about ten, 15 feet, you can tell that they were taken in haste. You gather by the way it’s set up that perhaps somebody else had found this cache before you did.
LAURA: I never thought, when we came back up out of the fucking trap door, were the people still unconscious?
MATT: Yeah, they were still unconscious.
LAURA: Oh, okay.
SAM: Let’s follow the tracks. They’re fresh.
LIAM: Are we really going to scrabble about in the mud for coin today?
SAM: Well, we’ve come this far.
SAM: I’m very easily swayed.
JASON: What a great leader.
LIAM: We should go back to the Keep.
SAM: You’re right, you’re right.
LIAM: This is a waste of our time.
SAM: But if Vex could somehow convince us–
SAM: I’d be open to it.
LAURA: Look, the reason I wanted to come get all of this gold is because I thought there could be a lot of Gilmore’s magical items that were probably put in here. People don’t realize what they have. I thought it could help us a lot.
LIAM: I understand, and it was not a bad idea, but this place has been cleared out, let’s–
LAURA: But what if it’s just one or two people that came and stole everything and we could totally take them.
SAM: And they’re like 100 yards away.
LAURA: And they’re like right up the alley. Like right there. Can I stealth ahead a little bit and see?
MATT: Okay. You stealth ahead, and at this point, you follow the tracks that go to the road, and they’re following the alleys as well, you can see from the way they’re–
LIAM: Wait wait wait. I’m sorry, one second. You know, you’re very charming, but you’re a fucking weirdo. And I climb up after my sister stealthily and follow.
MATT: Okay. All right.
SAM: I just shrug. I think he was talking to you.
MATT: Okay, and what do you two do?
JASON: I’m going back to my trap door.
MATT: Okay. So Garthok, you step away from the group and head back to the Clasp.
JASON: Thank you for–
SAM: It’s been a great day killing with you. I hope our paths cross again, perhaps in the catacombs.
JASON: I will let the Clasp know that you’re coming.
SAM: Tell them whenever they see Scanlan Shorthalt to open the door. They stealthed, so I don’t know where they went, do I?
MATT: Roll a perception check.
LIAM: I got a natural 20 on my stealth.
SAM: Got a nine on perception.
MATT: You have no clue.
SAM: Can I look at the tracks? I can’t read tracks.
MATT: Go ahead and make a wisdom survival check, just for the hell of it.
MATT: Three? Okay. You begin following a set of tracks that you think is pretty close to theirs. Pike, you’re with everyone else bringing the rest of them back to the keep. You’re with the other half of the group.
TRAVIS: You’re with me, Pike.
MARISHA: We’re babysitting.
MATT: You guys are babysitting the family and Gilmore, getting him back to the keep.
ASHLEY: Oh. Wait, why did I stealth check?
MATT: To stealth with them to get out of the city, and we’ll get to you guys in just a minute.
ASHLEY: Oh, I thought I was going with them.
SAM: Do I even know how to get home from here?
MATT: Based on that check? You get really discombobulated in the center of the rainy midday of Emon.
LAURA: I said I was going to be right back, Scanlan!
LIAM: A hand shoots out of the darkness and grabs Scanlan by the nose and tugs him off.
MATT: Okay. All right. You guys continue on, and following the tracks a little bit, they lead westward and curve down a few more alleys, heading towards the north entrance to the Cloudtop.
LAURA: Ah, shit. Fuck it. They’re taking it to the fucking dragon. Dicks.
MATT: Do you continue to follow or do you head back?
LAURA: No, we’ll fucking go back.
SAM: Will you tell me how to get back?
LIAM: Could you say that again with your nose pinched?
SAM: Will you tell me how to get back?
LAURA: We’ll get back. What happened to– where’s Gorthok?
LAURA: Garthok. Where is he?
SAM: Garthok told me he was going back to his Clasp entrance. Our paths will cross again. He also said that you were kind of weird.
LAURA: Oh, well. I am. I start walking back to the keep.
MATT: Okay, you guys make your way back. The rest of you make your way further south, retracing the path you took here since you already know what’s there. You do reach a certain point where as you push down one of the alleys, a few individuals come out, blades at the ready and, “Hey! Drop your stuff. Give us what you’ve go–” And then, at which–
MATT: (laughs) At which point, Keyleth socks one in the jaw as Sherri pulls out a wand and blasts one of the nearby pieces of stone off the wall with a bolt of lightning.
MARISHA: Not today.
MATT: Gilmore, who steps onto his feet and carries his weight for a second raises his hands up, and as he does you can see arcane bolts whipping around him in this almost molecule-like electron pattern as he goes, “Do you gentlemen seriously wish to start this ruckus?”
MATT: They all go, “No.” And they slowly back away and then dart around the corner as fast as they can. You hear their feet spattering against the mud.
MARISHA: Keyleth goes, yeah, you better run!
TRAVIS: Way to tell them, Kiki.
MATT: As Gilmore lowers his hands, he begins to fall forward.
TALIESIN: And we grab him.
MATT: Grab him, catch him, and he’s like, (breathing hard). “That’s, that’s the last of me. That’s all I’ve got. Take me home. Please.”
MARISHA: We’re almost home. Almost home.
MATT: Pinches your cheek, Grog.
TRAVIS: Oh, shit.
MATT: You guys continue to the path. As you make your way through the groups of the dead that you passed before, a lot of them have since been taken off the street and you can see now graves are being dug right outside of the gate as you find the south gate. Do you want to walk through the fields or do you want to use the same path you took into the secret path into the Keep?
TRAVIS: I think the fields would be my vote.
MATT: You’re not there.
TALIESIN: No one’s noticing us at this point. There’s too much going on.
TRAVIS: Oh. Out of the city is I think the safest way.
MARISHA: Why wouldn’t we take the secret passage? It’s here, right? No?
MATT: As soon as you say secret passage, Gren, the little boy, is like, “Did you say secret passage?”
MARISHA: I did! I did!
MATT: Comes up and like, “I’ve never seen a secret passage before.”
MARISHA: Do you want to go see it?
MATT: “Can we see the secret passage?” The kids seem really excited and you can see Salda, for the first time since you’ve seen her, smiles a little bit.
MARISHA: We can’t disappoint the children.
TRAVIS: (sighs) Fine. Secret passage it is.
LAURA: Trinket’s with you guys, don’t forget.
MATT: Trinket’s been keeping guard through the mud behind you.
TALIESIN: Let the kids ride Trinket.
MATT: As a relatively stealthy bear would try. As you make your way through the secret passage, successfully finding your way back to Greyskull Keep, you climb up back into the kitchen and there you can see Laina and Erwen who are both sweaty, their stains are soaking through their outfits. They’ve been working around the clock to make sure that everyone who’s currently held within the keep is being cared for and fed, and their faces immediately light up as you all start pouring out of the pantry. “I’m so glad to see all of you. I wasn’t sure if you’d come back.”
SAM: Are we there now?
MATT: They’re getting there first, before the rest of you. And she runs up and embraces each of you, wipes her brow. “I’ll have food soon.”
MARISHA: It’s okay, it’s okay.
MATT: And she goes over and sees. “And the children, you got children with you?”
TALIESIN: We don’t know whose they are.
MATT: The kids get really shy, seem quiet and hide behind Salda. She goes, “It’s all right. We’ll take them– where should we take them? Where should we go? Lead on, I’ve never been here before.”
ASHLEY: You can put them in my room.
TRAVIS: Yeah, or mine.
TALIESIN: Yeah, we’ll put them up. I can sleep in my workshop.
MARISHA: I think we’ve pulled a lot of our beds down–
MATT: Yeah, most of the beds, most of your rooms are–
MARISHA: We’ll find a place for you. Just get comfortable for right now. It’s a little cramped, I’m sorry. It’s not Castletop.
MATT: “You saw where we were. We’ll take anything at this point.” Gilmore comes in and looks around. “You know, I’m not going to lie, I always wanted to see the place. Perhaps a tour is in order. Tomorrow.” He hangs his head. You make your way into the rest of–
MARISHA: I find a bed. Where’s the nearest bed?
MATT: The nearest bed would be one of the beds that you guys moved into Sarenrae’s temple.
MARISHA: Is there someone on it?
MATT: There’s someone sitting on it, but as soon as you bring someone who looks as wrecked as he is–
MARISHA: I say, hey, beat it.
MATT: Yeah. They get up and leave and you lay Gilmore down.
LIAM: “But my elbow really hurts!”
MATT: After a short time of getting them established with Greyskull Keep, the rest of Vox Machina arrives, the rain now pouring heavily outside. Looking back, you can see some of the smoke has lessened. It’s helping put out some of the fires in the remaining piles of burning wood that were once buildings of Emon.
MARISHA: Keyleth runs up to Vax and gives him a hug. You’re okay, you’re okay? You did it? You talked her out of it?
LAURA: Yeah. Yeah, Keyleth. He talked me out of it. I walk past.
MARISHA: Thank you. And I walk away.
MATT: Okay. As you guys get everyone situated in the Keep, your mind begins to turn to what the next step is in preparing for whatever the next step you want to be. And we’ll go ahead and finish tonight’s game at that point. Pick this up again next week, so we can go ahead and take a moment here to prepare for Critmas. I know some of you guys have got to run, so if you’ve got to run, say goodbye to the folks–
LAURA: Oh, you guys are all so wonderful and we love you.
MATT: We’ll stay, we’ll open the gifts for them. And get those to them, so we will be surprised for them.
LAURA: Yes, please.
MATT: And also, guys, once again I want to give a big thank you to Jason Charles Miller.
LAURA: Yay, Garthok!
MARISHA: Yeah, Garthok! Party on, Garthok!
JASON: So, also, tomorrow night, on this very channel at 7PM Pacific, 10PM Eastern, I am playing an acoustic concert. Right here, same channel, just one click away.
TRAVIS: In character or as Jason?
JASON: As Jason. Maybe I’ll try to write a Garthok song before tomorrow.
MATT: That’s awesome. Yeah, great! Yeah, guys, come back tomorrow, 7PM on this channel and go and watch Jason’s awesome acoustic concert. He’s a phenomenal musician. If you haven’t seen his stuff, look it up beforehand just so you can get yourself prepped.
TALIESIN: You can watch a bunch of music videos, too, and maybe see some of us.
JASON: I think most of the people here have had cameos in my videos.
MATT: Yeah, that’s true, actually. So, there’s that. And, actually, Mark Holmes, who’s the dungeon master for the Yogscast RPG show that just started who are friends of ours, he makes a small cameo in one of the videos as well when he was in America briefly, so it all ties together. Yeah, he was there for that shoot. He’s in the background with me in one of the shots. Yeah, just look for his nerdy British self. It’s great. Love you, Mark. But yeah, Jason, thank you again for playing. Check out Jason tomorrow. Check him out in the Dungeons and Dragons– what’s the game title?
JASON: Oh, I’m in Neverwinter. As Drizzt Do'urden–
MATT: As Drizzt Do'urden! Maybe you know the name if you’ve heard of any of the Forgotten Realms. He’s the character that everybody between 1986 and 1995 tried to make.
MARISHA: You’re also one of the dudes in Avatar, when they–
MATT: He’s been in Avatar a few times.
JASON: Avatar: The Last Airbender, World of Warcraft, a guy in Super Street Fighter–
MATT: Yeah, check out his array of characters he’s voiced. He’s awesome. Well, guys, thank you so much. We’ll be back here in just a few minutes. We’re going to prep for Critmas, so yeah. See you soon.
LAURA: Thank you, thank you.
MARISHA: Bye, guys.
[end of transcript]