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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors get together and play Dungeons & Dragons. Tonight, apologies for the slight technical issues, but we're back and we're going to be playing through tonight's adventure. Before that gets started, let's go ahead and get through a couple of quick announcements. First and foremost, it's our third week of our Loot Crate sponsorship. Thank you very much.

(cheering)

MATT: Thank you for your interest in our show and our audience, so for those of you who are interested, Loot Crate is a really cool service where once a month they bring you themed boxes that have mystery contents within that are part of that theme. All generally pop culture and geek-centric.

LAURA: Taliesin, you're so loud!

MATT: Taliesin, quiet!

SAM: Shut up, Taliesin. Jesus.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Stop masturbating during the announcements.

LAURA: It's so loud. What are you doing?

TALIESIN: I think I hit my microphone.

SAM: Don't worry. You're not an audio professional.

MATT: That's okay. At least it wasn't during a very climactic and important emotional moment in the game.

TRAVIS: (laughing) Yeah, that's right.

ASHLEY: You're welcome!

MATT: (laughs) Anyway, yeah. Loot Crate's awesome. We've gone with it for years. They send mystery items that are all geek and pop culture-related. They're a lot of fun, and if you go to their website at www.LootCrate.com/criticalrole and check it out. If you like it and you get a subscription, you can use criticalrole– one word– as a promo code to get $3 off a subscription.

SAM: I'm wearing some of the stuff from the crate right now.

TRAVIS: And they've got a power crate coming out.

LAURA: David Bowie! Labyrinth!

TRAVIS: They have an Infinity Gauntlet oven mitt.

MARISHA: That's pretty dope.

LAURA: Is that giving something away? I feel like we gave spoilers.

LIAM: It was already Periscoped.

LAURA: Oh, that's true. Never mind.

MATT: That would be nice in the box. We're good? We didn't waste it?

LIAM: What's in the box?

ASHLEY: (singing) A dick in a box.

MATT: I hope there is no dick in a box as part of this service. Or perhaps I guess you do, depending on– that's a whole different box service.

MARISHA: If there is, you should call your local post office.

(laughter)

MATT: That's a love box membership. Anyway, so! Also, once again, I want to remind everyone, we are happily carrying along the torch of 826LA, a fantastic charity that's been with us from the very beginning. 826 is a wonderful charity that promotes creative writing skills and literacy in mostly underprivileged kids at a young age, at which they normally don't have access to tutoring and people to help them on that direction, so if you can and have the opportunity and you're feeling like giving to some awesome people out there, 826LA, and 826 in general in your area, is a great charity to take a look at, so please. You guys have been a tremendous help in the past and you may continue to be so, if you wish.

TRAVIS: Absolutely.

MATT: Good times. Let's see. Taliesin is joining us from Hawaii. Where are you at, Taliesin?

TALIESIN: Where am I right now? I'm in my hotel room. Somewhere– which island are we on? Oahu. We're on Oahu. For Amazing Comic-Con.

MATT: If you're on Oahu and you're watching this, you should go say hi to him. Not right now, but tomorrow and Sunday. And the rest of the great folks that are out there with you. All good people. Big old Street Fighter troupe. Also, we have Travis and his nose goblin and Laura, you guys are attending Puerto Rico Comic-Con?

LAURA: Yeah! We leave early tomorrow morning.

LIAM: Ah, you can sleep on the plane.

LAURA: Good times.

TRAVIS: Yeah! If you're in Puerto Rico, come see us. We'll be there, totally sleep-deprived and bushy-tailed.

LIAM: It's a good one, though.

TRAVIS: It's a good one?

LIAM: Yeah, I went to that one.

TRAVIS: We're excited to go. San Juan, baby. San Juan!

MATT: That's pretty slick, actually.

MARISHA: That's awesome.

MATT: Does anybody else– you said you wanted to mention something?

LIAM: Yeah, Sam Riegel and I are both in Fallout: Far Harbor, which is the first big DLC story dump. “Fah Hahbah.” Fallout is my favorite way to escape reality second to this, so I hope you come join me. I play a human guy, but there's also a synth. Look for the synth.

SAM: I think I play a synth. And there you go.

LIAM: There you go. That's it.

SAM: Good plug.

MARISHA: You can also build a Taliesin robot, which I did, and named it the Taliesin 2000.

LAURA: Aw, that's awesome!

MATT: So you could take either a custom-build Taliesin or me as your companion to Far Harbor and talk to these shmucks. And have a full Critical Role after-the-apocalypse experience. That's awesome. Okay, we're actually going to be downloading that soon. Anyone else have anything they want to mention before we jump into the game tonight?

TRAVIS: Let's do this.

MARISHA: I don't want to die.

MATT: Let's go ahead and get this started, as we dive into tonight's episode of Critical Role!

SAM: Nothing's happening.

MATT: No intro.

SAM: Nothing's happening.

(laughter)

SAM: Wait! Let's act it out.

MATT: Act out the intro?

MARISHA: Okay!

(imitating music)

TRAVIS: (growls)

MARISHA: (swishing sound effects)

SAM: Taliesin, do something!

LIAM: Shoot from your screen!

LAURA: Shoot, you're shooting your gun! Be Percy!

LIAM: Then you got hit by a wang!

LAURA: Oh, you fall over!

MATT: Well done Taliesin, that was great. Ashley picks him up.

LAURA: She's healing him.

ASHLEY: I'll hold your hand! Eyes closed, holding my holy symbol!

MATT: And it got weird.

ASHLEY: Had to add it.

MATT: And now it swings–

LIAM: Oh, Laura Bailey standing in for an orc! (stabbing sound) Ugh, gah! Now be yourself oh!

LAURA: Pew pew!

LIAM: And I'll go oh!

LAURA: And then I'll go oh! Then I wink at you.

TRAVIS: This was not the plan, for the love of god help us!

LAURA: And then I shoot another one at you!

[actual intro plays]

Part I[]

MATT: Welcome back to this majestic clusterfuck that is tonight.

(laughter)

MATT: As open beta leaves its red and raw path, we rebuild! We stand up against the swaggering might of the new programming, and we stand tall for tonight's episode of Critical Role. Previously, Vox Machina, the band of adventurers walking through Tal'Dorei post-attack of the Chroma Conclave, an evil troupe of chromatic dragons that are currently holding power in this region and beyond, after tearing through many of the bastions of society in this countryside. They have gone on a quest to search for artifacts known as the Vestiges of Divergence, from ancient wars and heroes of old and yore, to use against the leader of the Chroma Conclave, Thordak the Cinder King. Now as part of this confrontation, they made their way to the city of Westruun, which was partially destroyed by the black dragon, Umbrasyl. While it was off and away with the rest of the Conclave, was then conquered by the wandering Herd of Storms that Grog once belonged to. After finding it occupied by these rather brutal barbaric individuals, Vox Machina set into the city, destroyed and tore down their leader Kevdak, to much fanfare from Grog's past. And through Kevdak's son and Grog's majestic might they decided to take the remainder of the Herd of Storms and take out Umbrasyl, the great black dragon. Half the Herd didn't like that and has decided to leave to their own devices, where the rest of the party possibly prepares to plot and plan a way to kill an ancient black dragon.

TRAVIS: I don't like the way he said that. Why'd you have to say it like that? It's just a black dragon!

MATT: What else am I going to say?

LIAM: Why the dramatic pauses?

MATT: Because it's fun.

TRAVIS: You used the word 'somehow'.

MATT: I like it. You guys, having just finished this stroke of a conversation with Zanror in the Margrave's homestead, the dawn light is now beginning to pour over the mountain range in the distance. The day has officially begun. Zanror has stepped out and has begun to speak with a few of his trusted Herd members to stand down for the day, letting people know that the battle has been postponed for the time being while a plan is to be enacted, prepared for, and then sprung the following day. The rest of you guys have this day to prepare however you see fit. So I ask you: what would you like to do?

SAM: We have so many things that we need to do!

MATT: Where do we begin?

SAM: We need supplies. We need to parlay with our allies. We need lots of chains.

LAURA: We need to trap the dragon obviously on the ground.

SAM: For that we'll need some bindings of some sort: chains, hooks, spikes.

TALIESIN: I have a thought, I have a thought in that direction. When we're ready, I was thinking of basically building what is essentially a giant pressurized mousetrap.

LAURA: Is there, how would you do that?

LIAM: How much time do you need, Perce?

TALIESIN: Do I have access to some people to help build it, and some perhaps broken homes and chunks of wood and chain?

MATT: You do have access to broken homes, chain, and scraps at your disposal. As far as individuals that can aid you, you have individuals that can help hold things for you. The Herd of Storms is not known for its ingenious use of tinkering tools, but–

LAURA: What about blacksmiths in town? Are there any blacksmiths left?

MATT: You can check around.

TALIESIN: This would be a blacksmith just to make a couple springs. This is not a complicated– This is literally something you could make in the woods. It's a slightly more complex version of something you could make in the woods to catch birds. I'm just building a really big version. It's a whole bunch of systems like this that will have chains and weights on them that when you disrupt the weight at the center the whole thing goes clunk, throws a whole bunch of– it's basically a netting system. It's an entanglement and will be an entanglement.

MATT: Okay. I'll tell you what. Go ahead and roll an investigation check, Percy, if you don't mind.

LAURA: Can we help him at all?

MATT: Yeah, I'll say if you want to go ahead and aid to that, take advantage on that, Percy.

TALIESIN: Thank god. Yeah, no, not very good.

MATT: What'd you roll?

TALIESIN: I rolled a six.

LAURA and MATT: With advantage?

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: So! After taking the better part of about three hours scouring the town, most of the remaining villagers–

LAURA: He took three hours doing that?!

MATT: Three hours, so, from what he's doing with the aid of people that aided him, which would be Vex asking about, the few folks that have any experience with any sort of blacksmithy are the folks that make horseshoes, and that's the extent of the complication they can create. So they can attempt to, with your aid, craft some springs. They have the materials to do very basic metalwork and ironwork, but the people you encounter, two folks in particular, they're both a little confused by your overall design and are waiting for you to lead them in a specific direction.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm just going to take them and I'm going to start building one and see if they can follow suit then. Three springs will be more than enough for this design.

MATT: How big a spring?

TALIESIN: I would say, how tall is this dragon?

MATT: Roughly 30 to 40 feet, depending.

TALIESIN: About a two-to-three-foot spring, then. Three two-to-three-foot springs made of solid iron. Just enough to lift the system and toss. And it's just, you make them like chainmail. It's a process that exists. I'm not going nuts.

MATT: I'm not saying you're going nuts. You are a little stretched for supplies and manpower based on the circumstances in Westruun for a complicated task, but it's fairly possible, but it will pretty much take the entirety of your day and most of your night to prepare this. You'll be able to squeeze by with this, with the construction of the device, and have maybe just enough room for– I'll let you squeeze in a long rest.

TALIESIN: That'll be perfect.

MATT: But that's success or fail.

TALIESIN: That'll do.

MATT: Okay. What are the rest of you guys planning?

LIAM: Three hours ago, back when we were still together, I pulled Scanlan aside. Listen, I want to talk to you. I have an idea.

SAM: Is this about Kaylie? Because I'm still worried about her. But I don't think that we should discuss her right now. We have other things! Why are you harping on this? She's my daughter.

(laughter)

SAM: Just give it a rest.

LIAM: You're right, I should have never dragged you down into the sewers, and I apologize. It won't happen again. But listen to me. I have an idea. It's a dangerous idea, and I don't want to lead with it. I don't want to fight this dragon, to be honest, but I think the group is going that direction. If we do– Percival's run off to try something, maybe we're just going to run out. I have an idea that only you can do.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: We have a rod.

SAM: Yes.

LIAM: Not the cube. A rod that cannot be moved.

SAM: We could use it in some way.

LIAM: You can teleport, and I'm almost too afraid to even suggest it, but if shit goes south, how would you feel about teleporting inside of Umbrasyl's stomach? With that rod.

SAM: Well, what has he eaten? Because it could be nasty in there!

LIAM: I assume it will. I don't know anatomy. I haven't talked to my sister about this. She might be able to give us input, and I don't want to lead with this. I don't want you to do it because I feel like you could melt in there.

SAM: Of course I could melt in there! I'm a little man and he's got acid on him!

LIAM: I know. I'm looking for a way through this fucking clusterfuck and if there's nothing else to do, you could go in there and click that rod and give him the worst suppository ever invented!

SAM: Listen. If there's a man invented who can go to where shit is made and make some really good shit, that's me. So let's pursue this. As a plan B.

LIAM: As a plan B. And I take him by the shoulders. You remember that little talk we had about a week ago, when you told–

SAM: Is this about Kaylie again?

LIAM: No, we can talk about Kaylie in a couple of days, all right?

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: When you told me how things were better now? Okay, you remember that?

SAM: Yes.

LIAM: That was fucking insane. They are not better. Everything is terrible! Our lives are terrible. They are way worse than they were six months ago, way worse. I was with all of you assholes a year ago, and two years ago, they're way worse.

SAM: You're saying that, a sullen loner who is confiding in one of his closest friends while holding him on the shoulders. This you never had before.

LIAM: I slap him on the cheek a little bit and say: you are a fucking madman, but I am glad you're here.

SAM: I'm glad to be with you.

LIAM: And I love you. And I give him a playful slap across the face.

SAM: Six points of damage.

(laughter)

MATT: Unexpected, sneak attack. 7d6 points of damage.

SAM: All right, so I'm going to go talk to Vex. An expert in dragons I hope?

LAURA: I'm an expert on dragons.

SAM: And ask her how dragons work, how their bodies work.

LAURA: What do you mean?

SAM: Where they're vulnerable, where they make the acid, where they have lungs, where they have stomachs, how many stomachs? Are they like a cow with eight stomachs or something?

MATT: Go ahead and make an intelligence check with advantage.

TRAVIS: Cows have eight stomachs?

MARISHA: They've got like two or three.

LAURA: Shut up! 17.

MATT: 17. Yeah, dragons have the pieces you imagine they would have in the right vicinity. Their stomach is quite acidic, as it has been known to dissolve some of the hardiest of creatures, let alone break down some basic minerals and materials. So it's not a happy place to be, but it's not like instantaneous dissolution. It will hurt. Also know that the breath weapon, the acid that a black dragon, which uses acid as a breath weapon in a stream in front of it, much like your lightning bolt, does not come from its stomach. That acid is much more toxic, concentrated, and comes from a separate part of its body, a gland, a breathing mechanism that projects it outward.

LAURA: Where's the gland located? Would I know that, like, in his throat?

MATT: It's somewhere in this vicinity, you're not entirely certain.

SAM: So if I miss, end up in that gland, that would be not good.

MATT: That would be really bad.

LIAM: Don't roll a one!

ASHLEY: But that would probably be really hard to just get right into that spot.

LIAM: But you know, you wouldn't suffer.

LAURA: It would be instantaneous, at least.

SAM: Also. Vex. Vex'ahlia.

LAURA: Oh. Getting fancy now, Scanlan Shorthalt.

SAM: Thank you. Your brother tells me that you have some sort of acid-resistant something.

LAURA: The armor? That I took from him?

LIAM: Yes, my armor. She has it.

LAURA: Well– are you here? Are you next– are you next to me now?

LIAM: No, I'm about five feet behind you rolling my eyes and doing this the whole time you're talking about dragons.

LAURA: It's the armor that I won fair and square from him! Yes, I am wearing it right now.

SAM: Is that your primary armor?

LAURA: It is.

SAM: How would you feel about me asking you to take it off? Doing a little unbuckling and giving it to me instead?

LAURA: Scanlan, that's going to cost you a lot of money.

SAM: We could swap armor.

LAURA: You think your little armor will fit me.

SAM: I have a pretty broad chest. These are pecs.

LAURA: What kind of armor do you have?

SAM: I have cold snap leather armor.

LAURA: Which is cold resistant?

SAM: Cold resistant. Maybe the dragon will throw snowballs at you.

LAURA: I doubt that. What is it, is it plus two?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Plus two on top of the armor, so it's four.

MATT: So it's armor plus two.

LIAM: It's better overall.

LAURA: Okay. Well sweet, then yeah, sure, give it to me.

SAM: Can we do that?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Strip on down there, Scanlan.

SAM: Well, ladies first!

LAURA: No, you first, I want to see the cube and then I'll give you my armor.

SAM: Shall we make it interesting and play a little poker?

LAURA: There's no time for that.

SAM: All right. I very slowly and sultrily unbuckle my armor, let one strap fall, let the other strap fall, just do a little shimmy and let it fall to the ground, sort of like The Crying Game. Just sort of, camera pans up a little bit and it's just, there's nothing underneath, it's just me and the cube. And I cry a little.

(laughter)

LIAM: During which I pick up Scanlan's shawm and start playing it terribly. No idea what I'm doing. Do you blow into this, are there strings? I don't know.

LAURA: I try really hard not to start laughing.

SAM: Go with what your body tells you to do. How are you going to take off your armor?

LAURA: That's a good question. Do you want to walk away for this?

LIAM: Yeah, I leave the room.

LAURA: I completely ungracefully take it off and throw it at you. Give me that armor. How is this going to fit me? I'm just naked trying to squirm into these extra-skinny jeans.

MATT: Actually, as you pull the armor pieces up, they shift and formfit to your size as part of their enchantment.

LAURA: What color is it? Is it beautiful?

MATT: The cold snap armor is I believe dark browns with traces of white and silver along the edges as a cold winter motif as part of the enchantment.

LAURA: Does it match my storm bow?

MATT: Yeah, I guess you could say that.

LAURA: You might not be getting this back, Scanlan.

SAM: Oh, really? Well. What does mine look like?

MATT: For a moment, it looks pretty haphazard and hanging off of you.

SAM: Oh, these are like C-cups up here.

(laughter)

MATT: As the armor slowly retracts and finds itself to your form.

SAM: Oh! They went down.

MATT: In that moment, Scanlan learned a lot about himself.

SAM: All right. I feel good about this. Now we'll continue our dragon lesson I suppose.

LAURA: Wait, why did you need to change– are you going to be up close and personal with him?

SAM: Well, I think we all are, you know. He breathes acid.

LAURA: Well yes, but.

SAM: Yeah, so we could get hit! Now I'm more protected than you are!

LAURA: This was a really stupid– why did I give that up?

SAM: I'm very charming.

LAURA: Now you're not here?

LIAM: You told me to leave! You took off your clothes. I'm Liam, I'm not Vax, what're you talking about?

LAURA: Are you planning on doing something?

SAM: We're all planning on doing something, and I don't think that my part of the plan is any stupider than yours will be. So. Good luck to you. I'll keep your armor safe. Hopefully we can trade back. And if not, you can peel it off my dead body.

LAURA: As long as you're not melted from all the acid.

ASHLEY: I'd like to attune to my frostbrand sword.

MATT: Okay, so you'll be putting aside the mace of disruption and taking on the frostband instead. Okay. Cool.

LIAM: Oh, shit, I go running after Percival. I'm going to go find Percival.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah. Well. Does that take an hour, or do I catch up with him pretty quick?

MATT: You would know the direction he went, and thankfully in the awkward still-quiet that is the center of the town now that it's missing most of its populace, and those that are there are acknowledging the tension of what might be coming, and many of them are now packing up and leaving and getting out of the town, evacuating when they've been notified of the possible coming battle. The sound of metal clangs in the distance, and the gathering of materials from some of the rubble is not too difficult to discern over time. Takes you about half an hour or so to locate him.

LIAM: Oh, there's that white hair. Percival!

TALIESIN: Yes? Hello. Bit busy. What?

LIAM: Yeah, I'm sorry, I don't want to take up a lot of your time. I reckon you're going to be busy with this all day, yeah?

TALIESIN: Oh yes. This is quite a project.

LIAM: Ah, and also tomorrow. You're probably going to be taking potshots at that thing, yeah?

TALIESIN: Ah, that's my hope is to be, honestly, as far away from this as humanly possible.

LIAM: That's probably not my plan. Can I have use of your blade?

TALIESIN: Oh! The dragonslayer longsword, yes, of course, of course. I pull it off my belt and hand it off. Could help. I'm a little terrified that you're getting that close to it, but here it is.

LIAM: It's just in case.

TALIESIN: It's quite a piece.

LIAM: Good luck today.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LIAM: Good luck tomorrow.

TALIESIN: I am down to my normal sword now.

LAURA: Can I be talking to Zanror?

MARISHA: I'll join you in that. That was my next plan.

MATT: The two of you eventually find Zanror. Zanror and Warra are in the process of piling weapons and armor with the rest of the Herd into the center of the town where the battle outside of the Margrave's house happened. Most of the warriors there are in the process of steeling themselves, some of them are gathering their materials, some are in the process of doing some minor ritualistic scarring in preparation for the battle. There is very little conversation happening. It seems like there is this quiet understanding that this, for many, might be their last day. They're making peace with the coming glory of battle. You'd expect this sense of tense fear, this very Battle of Helm's Deep-type acceptance of doom, but this is a different personality amongst the Herd here. There is almost a brimming excitement with the idea of possible glory or at least a glorious end. And it very much befits the story that you've heard of Grog's past history, and very easy to see where he once came from.

LAURA: I bring Zanror a big tankard of ale and sit down in front of him.

MATT: “Oh, good to see you.”

MARISHA: I stand behind Vex'ahlia.

MATT: “This for me?”

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Looks to Worra.

MARISHA: Don't worry, we wouldn't try to poison you the night before a dragon-fight.

MATT: (laughs) “That would be rather stupid, wouldn't it?”

MARISHA: It would.

MATT: And he just downs it all in one big chug. “Thanks.”

LAURA: Zanror? Did I hear you correctly before, that you have been the one speaking with the beast in the past?

MATT: “I have, aye.”

LAURA: So when it comes and gathers its treasure, it stops and talks, or does it just come and take it and leave?

MATT: “It has at times. More at the beginning. If it had questions and seemed curious. That wore off after the first few times. Now it just seems to come and take and find its way out.”

LAURA: So if the treasure looked different this time, it might stop and talk about it?

MATT: He stops for a second. “Maybe.”

LAURA: I'm curious because I know you said you are lacking in gold and treasure. What will entice the beast?

MATT: “Hm. Beyond that, I don't really know. That's what is forcing our hand right now.”

LAURA: What if we had a way of providing some gold? And maybe you provide an offering of a different kind? What if you say that your father Kevdak had been plotting against the dragon and you found out about it. Would you be able to offer his body and the body of his allies as tribute to the dragon?

MATT: “Huh.”

LAURA: Dragons are vain.

MATT: And you do know specifically white dragons, or sorry, black dragons, they're very cruel by nature. They actually enjoy messing with creatures they see below them, especially intended prey, torturing for extended periods of time before killing. They aren't comparatively as vain as other dragons per se, but all chromatics fall in some way shape or form on that same scale of self-love to the point of being a near-disease to many of them. Zanror thinks to himself for a second and goes, “We can certainly try. I mean, I've got no more use for it, though it's going to be hard to convince it without a head. I'm pretty sure Grog took that with him.”

LAURA: Well, we may be able to get that back. How are you planning on hiding your fellow warriors from the dragon so as not to attract its attention? Because we may have some ideas.

MATT: “We'll have to share ideas. Ours was to go ahead and plod up Gatshadow. Usually it's about noon when it comes down for the offering. We leave it what little we have left, possibly lose two men in the process of delivering it, and then when it returned to its place we'd be there waiting to ambush it once it returned, use that time when it was gone to go ahead and hole up inside its home.”

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: “That was our intent.”

MARISHA: We might be able to do one better.

LAURA: A dragon's lair is not–

MARISHA: Especially a black dragon's lair.

LAURA: We wouldn't do much damage to it there, in fact, it's probably laid several traps against us already.

MATT: “Well, there's not much we can really do when we're all fighting with our fucking axes and swords, can we? In the lair at least it's stuck on the ground.”

LAURA: What if we could trap it onto the ground here?

MATT: “How do you intend to do that?”

LAURA: We have a wonderful tinkerer. Quite talented. And he's creating something to trap the dragon.

MATT: “Really.”

LAURA: Plus we can provide several chains. Once it's on the ground, maybe your very strong goliaths could try to snare it, grappling-hook it, throw some chains up and over?

MARISHA: This pile of weapons you have here, I see a decent amount of javelins. A rudimentary harpoon, in the hands of some of your strongest, could help wrangle him down.

MATT: He stops for a second and goes, “I just want to be clear we don't underestimate the sheer size, strength, and ferocity of this beast. With all 20 men, we might be able to hold it down, I don't know how long. I hope that contraption your friend is making is strong enough to aid us that last little bit, because I get the feeling that if our might is put to just keeping it on the ground– well, that's a lot less of our strengths that we could be tending to. A lot less blades we could put into its hide.”

LAURA: Well, hopefully it would only be needed for a small amount of time before our magic users have their way with it.

MARISHA: About that time I light up my hands.

MATT: “That's impressive. You know what else is impressive? Watching four of my friends melt in a matter of seconds.”

MARISHA: That is very impressive. You're not wrong.

MATT: “I just want to instill with you an understanding not to be brash, not to go ahead and run into this unless you're absolutely certain. Now. I've got chains, you've got chains. We've got strong men. If we put ourselves intent on just holding this beast down, I have the feeling, even with our weight behind it, it's going to be a difficult attempt. Do we have any other way of anchoring it down, something else we can put the chains to?”

MARISHA: About that time I walk over to the– is there a stone wall in here?

MATT: I mean, there are pieces of stone building in the vicinity.

MARISHA: I put my hand against the stone and I cast Transmute Rock and I push my hand into the stone as it turns to mud.

LAURA: And now turn it back, Keyleth.

MARISHA: I take a spear that's on the floor, stick it in, and then turn it back.

MATT: All right. Let me look this up real fast.

MARISHA: See? Magic.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Put my hand underneath the spear. Put my hand over the spear.

LAURA: Ah? Ah? No strings!

MARISHA: Where is it, where is it?

MATT: Yeah, mud to rock, yeah. Lasts for– it's instantaneous. So when he looks at that, he goes, “So. What you're saying is if we can find a few places in which the rock is close to the surface, you could lock these chains in?”

MARISHA: I think I could lock the whole dragon in.

LAURA: Once it's on the ground, if we can pull it down enough, she may be able to lock its legs into the stone.

MARISHA: Beyond that, if that fails– And then I cast, for right now I'll just do Wall of Stone, I'm just burning through all my spells as a demonstration. And I bring up two pillows. Two pillows?

ASHLEY: And then we all lay down and go to sleep!

SAM: Pillow fight!

(laughter)

LIAM: Billy Mays here for the Ashari Tribe!

MATT: “Goose down. Unexpected tactic.”

LAURA: I like how we're walking through all of these ideas and none of it's going to work when we get there.

MARISHA: I blast up two pillars, right next to Kevdak.

MATT: Not next to Kevdak. You mean Zanror?

MARISHA: Sorry, sorry. Sorry, the other big goliath leader.

SAM: Whatever your name is.

MATT: That one, ohmygod.

MARISHA: And trap him in.

MATT: Okay, you (rumbles). Warra's pushed to the side as the stone shoots up.

MARISHA: (whispers) Sorry, Warra, sorry. So– I know! Did not mean to lay a hand.

MATT: “All right, your point is made. We've got two others who can do similar magic as you, maybe not the same level, but–”

MARISHA: Fantastic.

MATT: “Want us to put them at your aid?”

MARISHA: That would be wonderful. Beyond that, in prep, I can dig a trench, hidden underground around our trap, so that whenever we're ready, your army can bust out of the ground.

LAURA: Surprise.

MARISHA: Without being seen.

MATT: “Without being seen, what, are we going to bury my men?”

LAURA: Very lightly.

MARISHA: Pretty much. To be fair, I actually did it on a trap to kill like eight of your men on the way in and it worked phenomenally. So you should trust me.

LAURA: It was pretty great.

MARISHA: It worked well.

MATT: “I think we'll take our chances above ground, please.”

LAURA: The only thing I'm worried about, Zanror, is that if this ugly beast flies in and sees, oh, how many of your men do you have?

MATT: “Currently we're sitting at 25 total, including myself.”

LAURA: 25 men standing around. Don't you think it's going to be a little curious as to why all of the sudden– all of a sudden? There's a large number of people around, that's never been there before?

MATT: “You're asking me this, our plan was to go inside while it was out. But if you want us there, let's figure out a way to hide, then. I don't think my men are going to like to be underground.”

MARISHA: It'll be very spacious. It'll be a nice big tunnel, it's not going to feel like you're buried alive.

MATT: “And what, they just leap out one by one through an opening?”

LAURA: It'll be super shallow. Just enough that they can come on up and out.

MARISHA: It'll be awesome, it will look like they're coming out of the grave. They'll look like badasses!

MATT: “I don't think that's going to really get a dragon shaking in its claws, y'know?” (sighs)

LAURA: Not a lot is going to get a dragon shaking in its claws.

MATT: “Let me talk to my men. We'll see what we can do, we can muster as far as these chains go.”

LAURA: A surprise attack is going to be one of our best shots at grounding this thing.

MATT: “So, am I to tell my men we're going to bury them in the ground?”

MARISHA: Not bury them, that sounds so dramatic when you say it like that, I mean I'm going to make a tunnel, there'll be stairs, they'll be able to walk freely, they'll have air holes, it'll be just like when you moved through the sewers to not be seen.

MATT: “I'll talk to them. I certainly hope your magic stone-shaping is as strong as it is. At the very first moment that dragon looks like it's going to go ahead and break free, we're weapons out. You do understand that.”

MARISHA: We would appreciate that, actually.

MATT: “Okay.”

LAURA: We want it to land, then we strike. We just want it to hit the fucking ground.

MATT: “Okay. And what's our bait? You say you have some gold to give?”

LAURA: Some gold to give.

MATT: “Try for Kevdak's corpse– I hope that's enough. I'll see what else we've got left in our coffers.” He turns around and him and Warra walk away, a couple of the men join them and they–

MARISHA: Oh, I actually– I go over to Warra real quick before she walks away? Just to her side, and say, you look well. Have the Seers told you if it's going to be a boy or a girl yet?

MATT: “Not yet. But if we survive this, I have a feeling I'll know. The strength and glory of this fight will confirm.”

MARISHA: If you survive this fight, I'm pretty sure you'll bear the strongest child anyone has ever known.

LAURA: The stallion that mounts the world, for sure.

LIAM: There it is, there it is. It's in all our heads.

MATT: Nothing ever goes wrong when that title comes up.

(laughter)

MATT: What could possibly go wrong? She looks over her shoulder at Zanror as he's walking away and goes, “Could be.” And she just turns and starts walking with him.

LAURA: So we really need to dig a trench.

MARISHA: Yeah. I'm going to start digging a trench.

LAURA: Around the area that the treasure is going to be.

MARISHA: How far is it?

MATT: You guys scope it out, it's northwest of the town, you saw it on the way in, and it's very easy to make out at this point because there have been large claw-marks in the ground, there are broken pieces of wood, there's a shattered cart, there's some barrels that are partially destroyed to the side, there's a little bit of leftover ends and pieces that fell out of whatever it picked up as it took off as well as a smattering of copper, silver, and gold pieces that you rummaged through before when you first came to the town. But there's a definitive place that you recognize where this drop point is, it's out in the open in the field, there's going to be a couple of nearby rocks, a handful of trees, but they're all very sparse and spread apart. Other than that, it's just open field, so.

MARISHA: How far away is the nearest tree cluster?

MATT: To that, it's about– tree cluster? I mean, most of the trees that are here are singular, there's two trees that are within ten feet of each other and that's maybe 80 feet away from it.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: When you dig the trench, can I use my perception and my ranger ability to camouflage things and make sure that from above the ground, from the height that the dragon will be looking at it, that it's not seeable at all? I don't want this trap to be seen– I guess I should wait until we find out if Percy finishes his trap and gets it in place to do all of this.

MATT: You can do that if you'd like to. Yeah, as far as the camouflage ability–

LAURA: I know Hide in Plain Sight is for myself, but I feel like as a ranger I'd be able to hide tracks and stuff.

MATT: I'll say we can certainly give you–

LAURA: We can use a little Dust of Tracelessness or something?

MATT: We can make something function a little bit there, you know, illusion magic is also helpful. If you have anything illusion-based that could even just help tidy up before. You do know that dragons are very perceptive creatures and are very– are not very trusting either. They're paranoid. That is part of their narcissism, so anything you can use, whether it be illusion, camouflage, anything to hide any sort of possible chance of it not trusting this scenario you're going to want to do, otherwise this thing might fly overhead and notice one thing and be like ah, peace! So. Be warned. Miss Dragon Specialist.

LIAM: That was all knowledge in your head.

LAURA: I know all of these things! All of a sudden!

MARISHA: Did he just say dragons have really high perception so don't fuck with anything and make it look weird?

LAURA: No, he said if we're going to do it, make sure it is hidden.

MARISHA: Right. Make it look real good. Right.

TRAVIS: Can I go up to some of the guards outside and say, oi. Where do you keep your prisoners, hostages, meat shields?

MATT: I mean, there are no real guards of Westruun anymore, most of the guards that–

TRAVIS: I meant like the goliath, the Herd guards.

MATT: Yeah, the Herd guards. They're a little sparse right now, there aren't any towards the outside of town, most of them are gathering towards the center as the rest of the folks are leaving the town, finding their way out south of Westruun to be away from the battle. But you do find in the Margrave center, similar area to where they were talking to Zanror, there are gathering warriors that are getting their weapons ready, some of them armoring up to just see how easily they can get it on, some of them might even sleep in their armaments, it's not a huge thing. But as you approach and ask this question, one of them turns to you and goes, “Well, there's– the Iron Stocks is where we generally keep our prisoners. The ones who were before and the few we did keep, well, those we chained up or executed, but there were a few that were thrown in there.”

TRAVIS: Are there any still in there? Or are they all clear?

MATT: “Oh, there's plenty of prisoners still in there, we didn't touch the prison, mostly.”

TRAVIS: Hm. All right, thank you. (whispers) What was Reginald's daughter's name?

LAURA: I don't know if I wrote it down.

SAM: I wrote it down.

TRAVIS: I'd like to make my way over to the Iron Stocks.

MATT: Okay. And you've been here before, you know the Iron Stocks, although you weren't sure if it was being used as still a prison. And seemed loosely, just throwing a handful of people in for use later on that never quite came to fruition.

MARISHA: I don't know her name either. We might not have known a name.

TRAVIS: I thought we knew her name. Reginald's daughter's name?

MATT: Do you remember her name?

TRAVIS: Are you asking me?

MARISHA: What Sam wrote, he just wrote down 'Reginald's daughter'.

SAM: Maybe he never told us her name.

MATT: (laughs) All right, you make your way to the Iron Stocks. And it is currently unguarded, there is nobody there, the Herd has lost interest in it, the door's partially ajar, and as you walk inside you can already smell the place just reeks of refuse and decay. It looks like everything left in the middle of a workday. There are still ledgers open on the front desk, you can see what looks to be a small group of– a barracks-type scenario to the left of the entrance that is just completely abandoned and looks like some cases are left open, scattering various keepsakes and bottles that are shattered on the ground, a lot of people left either to go into battle to defend against the dragon, to lose their life in it, or just to get the hell out of Dodge.

TRAVIS: Can I walk up to the ledger and pretend to read it?

MATT: Yeah. You pick it up and leaf through for a few pages, lotta great squiggles.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: Some pretty handwriting, you can tell–

TRAVIS: Any squiggles that look familiar?

MATT: Um, no. No, none that– I mean, some look familiar, some are more rounded–

TRAVIS: Oh, this poor bastard right here, yep, I remember him, good chap. Hello? Is anyone in here?

MATT: There's a slight pause. Then you hear a voice echo from the right side of the room, down a hall just through the stone, you can barely make it out because the distance it's at, because you're hearing the echo protrude from quite a distance, but a voice just says, “Hey! Hey! In here! Need food please!”

TRAVIS: Oh, shit. So I go in that direction. Open the door and try and make my way that way.

MATT: You charge down the hallway and there are a number of cells that are immediately here. Some of them are open and abandoned entirely, there are a few that you look off to the side, looks like a few individuals just passed away inside the cell. You come to a set of stairs that leads down into the next subterranean region and you hear the voice again, much closer, be like, “Hey! Hey! I hear your footsteps!” And you see a hand reaching out from behind some of the bars.

TRAVIS: Put your hand back inside.

MATT: The hand retracts as you look over.

TRAVIS: That's a good lad. What's your name? Before I approach. Still far enough away.

MATT: “Ah. Orn. Orn Finch at your service. Been in here far too long and very thirsty. I will be happily at your service, fair muscled man, should you see fit to relinquish me from these binds.” And you look at him, he looks like a lowly beggar, longish tattered hair, wearing just general tattered and soiled clothing, no shoes, feet look blistered and black.

TRAVIS: Ugh. I'm going to call you Orn Blackfoot.

MATT: “Blackfoot it is, Orn Blackfoot at your service, if you could just–”

TRAVIS: My name is Lord Grog.

MATT: “Lord. It is my pleasure.” And he reaches through and grasps your hand, his fingers are bony and thin, and he takes it and shakes it with what little strength he has.

TRAVIS: Man, you are looking a little rispy– Pour out a little ale into a goblet, and I give him a goblet of ale.

MATT: He snatches it from you and slurps into it, extremely thirsty.

TRAVIS: Ah-ah, not too fast, not too fast, don't want to get the bubbles. And I reach into the Bag of Holding and I have a dry food ration. I have three left. Now I have two. And I give him some dried food ration.

MATT: He takes it and eagerly starts jamming it into his mouth. As he's eating, he's not even talking at you, this is just sheer hunger, the need to survive has taken over and he's just cramming it in there, choking a couple of times, keeping himself okay.

TRAVIS: Pace yourself, lad. Tell me, why are you in here, Orn Blackfoot?

MATT: “Ah, well, this is– everyone just started yelling and they abandoned us all here. It's been terrible hearing the moans and screams going silent. I thought they abandoned us all.”

TRAVIS: No, they did, to be clear. They totally abandoned you. You are really the only person I know of that's in here. All the other mates around you, they're either sleeping or, you know.

MATT: “I appreciate the food and drink, you've certainly done–” At which point a voice comes from about two cells over behind you that goes– “Did I hear food and drink?”

TRAVIS: Fuck.

MATT: “Food– food and drink, please. Please.”

TRAVIS: Orn, did you kill all those dried food rations just now, did you just–

MATT: You see him very discreetly pocket some in his robe. “Oh, everything you gave me is gone, I'm sorry, friend.”

TRAVIS: Man, what an appetite. Do you mind regurgitating a little like a momma bird into my hand?

MATT: “What?”

TRAVIS: Never mind. Orn, don't, heh, don't move. And I walk over to see where the other voice is coming from.

MATT: Okay. As you turn around the way, there is the next set of bars, you see behind there a man in his forties, also extremely thin and gaunt, reddish long thin beard, long unkempt brownish red hair that is just crimped up around the base of it, like it's just gone almost into dreadlock territory from how long he's been in there and mistreated. You can see dried blood at the corner of his mouth. He looks up at you. “Sir, if you would be s– Grog?” And the moment of recognition hits you, this is Abjurist Noja, whom you previously–

(yelling)

TRAVIS: Abjurist is a very powerful– he has knowledge of the arcane and stuff, right, he was–

LAURA: He was the guy who saved us! He saved us when the white dragon came to Westruun.

LIAM: I was frozen in ice. That guy!

TRAVIS: I found us Boba Fett, sweet!

MATT: He looks pretty wrecked right now.

LAURA: Oh shit, give him food, Grog!

TRAVIS: Abjurist Nosebleed, hold on real quick, look. And I take the other, the second to last dry food ration, I give him that, and I give him a thing of ale, I'm like, I'm sorry, it's really dry.

MATT: “Thank you, friend, thank you very much.”

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, you're very welcome! Hold on. Is there anybody else in this hallway before I give away my last bit of food?

MATT: You hear two voices simultaneously down the end of the hallway come in, one of which is a very weak female voice, the other is a very loud kind of– “Hey, bring me food this way, please!” The other one is like, “Please, I ask of you, I'm starving.” And you see these two hands come out of the two cells in the distance.

TRAVIS: Right, I'm going to pick a number between one and ten. Ready? Go.

MATT: There's an awkward pause. “Three?” “Seven! Definitely seven!”

TRAVIS: I lean over to Abjurist Noja, I say, I actually don't know any numbers, so. Y'know what, we're going to deliberate and we'll be with you in just a moment. (whispers) Abjurist, how old y–, why are you in here, who put you in here?

MATT: “I've only been in here for about a week. Got in an altercation in my store when these brutes started walking in. Threw me in here, didn't even let me take my spellbook.”

TRAVIS: Oh, that is a crime. I love b– I can't even say it. Hold on, stay right there, I'll get you out– And I walk back to Orn Blackfoot, I go, look, hey, so I gave you food, can you do anything, like, special?

MATT: “What?”

TRAVIS: Like, can you make your hands turn to flame, can you disappear, are you really good with a bow and arrow?

MATT: “No! No.” And he reaches out and grabbing at your clothes though and starts pulling you–

TRAVIS: Hey! Orn, chill!

MATT: “But I have friends in many places, though. I can, I can get you things. I can make connections–”

TRAVIS: Yeah, but most of the people in here are dead, right, like they're probably not–

MATT: “Not even here, Emon! I can get you anything you need from Emon. I can get you from Stillben. And Lansway, just name it and get me out of here and I can–”

TRAVIS: How long has it been since you've been to Emon?

MATT: “Few months?”

TRAVIS: You got any loved ones there?

MATT: “Why?”

TRAVIS: I don't know, just asking, like, do you want me to take a note from you to them or something, you know.

MATT: “No, if you can release me, I'd be more than happy to take it myself if you don't mind.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, I'm still deliberating, sorry. Enjoy the food that you snuck in your jacket pocket. And I go back towards the front desk area. And I try and find any– is there a lever on the wall to release the cells or can I look for keys?

MATT: You– make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Fuck me.

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Your fate is in excellent hands. Oh shit, you're not dead!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Minus two for a 17!

MATT: Ah! All righty. So. After spending the good part of an hour or so clamoring through, just throwing bookshelves over and (crashing) taking the desk and actually throwing it onto its back and pulling drawers out, this is Grog's method of investigation here, you're just–

TRAVIS: Yeah, just trying some splinters of wood in the locks just in case.

MATT: Yeah, yeah. You break off a few forks in some locks.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Forks, yeah.

MATT: In practice, yeah, whatever looks small enough and should fit, though it doesn't, but you make it fit. And it doesn't help. You do eventually find in one of the cells, closed and locked as you look by, there is one person in guard armor, in Westruun guard armor, that is in the cell. Not moving.

TRAVIS: Hey. Hey, you. I kick him in the back a bit.

MATT: No movement.

TRAVIS: I kick him harder.

MATT: No movement.

TRAVIS: I look down the hallway. I back up a few steps. And I really run up and kick him really hard.

MATT: He just lurches over onto the side. Not moving.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you're dead. Can I pat him down?

MATT: Yeah, you reach in and you can smell the decay starting to set in. And as you get close you can reach through the bars and see him, the actual area is closed and the door appears to be locked, and inspecting the body very quickly you can see that he was stabbed multiple times from behind and probably left in here to bleed out.

TRAVIS: Low perception.

MATT: But you do find on him what appears to be a ring of keys. Not directly on his body, but underneath the corpse, like he was– you gather best you can, someone probably grabbed it, got their way out, used that moment to stab him and escape.

TRAVIS: Nice! I take the keys and I jauntily run by Orn Blackfoot and I go to Abjurist– Hey, do you know who those other two voices are at the end of the hallway? Like, did you have anyone with you when you got put in here?

MATT: “No, no one with me. Although– been plenty of angry discussion from that dwarven fellow down the way.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, he's got a really rough accent.

MATT: “I can hear you!”

TRAVIS: Shit. My voice carries. Are you all right here for one minute? I have to go perform an interview real fast.

MATT: “I'm all right.” And he just finishes eating the little bit of the ration that you gave him, like dried meats and bread.

TRAVIS: All right, sit tight. All right, you two, put both your hands outside the cell where I can see them.

MATT: They both put their hands out. The dwarven man you can see puts his hand out, the skin is very wrinkled and you can see the varicose veins on it, the arm hair that you see on the dwarven arm is white, like bright white. The female hand comes out is thin, but the skin looks a little softer and younger.

TRAVIS: Female elven, or is this female–

LIAM: The daughter.

TRAVIS: Who said three?

MATT: At this point, the dwarf voice goes, (incoherent semi-cursing).

TRAVIS: I know, look, it's always lucky number three, right? That's what they say. Who says that?

MATT: “Racist little– peh!” And the arms just withdraw, and the woman, “That's me, that's me.”

TRAVIS: Oh good. Hi. You look nice.

MATT: Look down, you see a young woman, maybe in her late teens, early twenties, long brown hair, tangled, covering one half of her face. You can see the edges of her lips are cracked from just dryness and lack of moisture. She's wearing, both of them actually are wearing just these long, simple cloth drape-over robes that are just, y'know, for any prisoners in here that need to not be wearing their normal clothing.

TRAVIS: I've got three other goblets left, can I both give them a goblet and some ale, just to wet their lips and get a drink in?

MATT: They eagerly take it and begin scarfing it down, the dwarf's like, “Oh! That's nothing!” You can look at the dwarf now, he's elderly, crotchety, half-blind, one clouded eye, but for being a man who's been stuck in prison and slowly dying, he's got this wry grin on him at all times.

TRAVIS: You're turning away good ale. Looks like you've seen many a moon.

MATT: “You're telling me that. But no, seriously, that's like half full. Come on, don't be stingy!”

TRAVIS: I like your gall. And I pour more ale in.

MATT: “That's the ticket!” It's like spilling on the sides and getting stuck in his bright, bushy white beard, and each bit that dribbles down, he goes– catches it and then pushes it back in, not wasting a single drop.

TRAVIS: Beautiful. If you don't mind, ladies first, love, what is your name? Why are you in here?

MATT: “It's Amelia. I was taken because they were– the beasts were dealing with an uprising from some of us farm folk and, well, they took me as leverage in the argument. Stopped their– stopped their arguing.”

TRAVIS: You're– you're farm folk?

MATT: “Yeah.”

TRAVIS: Do you have any family?

MATT: “I do.”

TRAVIS: What are their names?

MATT: “There's my father Reginald.”

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: Sorry, I had a bit of split pea soup that's just disagreeing with me, it's all right. Yep.

MATT: “Are they okay, have you seen them? Have you seen any of the people out there?”

TRAVIS: No, I– we should get you out of here, there's really bad stuff going on outside, we're trying to get everyone out of the town.

MATT: And you hear a voice down the way say, “Everyone out of the town? That sounds like a great plan.” And the dwarf behind you is like, “Well then, get us out! I'm sick of this cell!”

TRAVIS: Yeah, just a minute, hold on. And so like. Hold on. Can I try the keys on Amelia's cell?

MATT: Mm-hmm. You go through the keyring, which probably has a good 40 or so different keys on it.

TRAVIS: Shit.

MATT: And so you go through one, two, three, four, yeah.

LIAM: Six, six, six.

MATT: (laughs) And what would be the late teens, and for what to you seems like forever, one key does (squeaking) in the lock and it opens. She, who's been like sitting down the whole time, stands up weakly and grabs the bars and pulls herself up and waits for you to let her through if she does, just being patient.

TRAVIS: Amelia, if you would, please stay with me. Funny, I believe I heard of a man named Reginald. Very brave. Not sure where he is, but we're going to get you out of the city, just stay put for a moment.

MATT: “Okay.”

TRAVIS: All right, you, you salty bastard, what's your name?

MATT: “Old Davin. What's your name?”

TRAVIS: Lord Grog. Emphasis on the Lord.

MATT: “Lord Grog.”

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: “Lord of?”

TRAVIS: The Vales of Strongjaw.

MATT: “I'll take it, that's fine. Get me out, please?”

TRAVIS: Right. Oh, keys. Can I take the keyring and can I pry the metal keyring– is it like one solid piece or is it the kind that I could maybe bend it open?

MATT: I mean, it is one solid piece that has been looped twice, but it has been– the iron itself has been bent around itself to make it nice and tight, form-fit on one end. Go ahead and make a strength check.

TRAVIS: 26.

MATT: Ping. (laughs) Like, you were preparing yourself for a full pull, and with but a minor twitch of your muscles it just bends open.

TRAVIS: Can I take half the keys and give them to Amelia and say, love, would you go and let out the kind gentleman with the reddish beard and the little blood on his mouth named Abjurist, would you try these keys and see if his cell will open? Not yet for Mr. Blackfoot across the way.

MATT: “Right. I will, I will.” She rushes off and starts fumbling through the keys, and you hear in the distance her making her way through the keys as–

TRAVIS: I take the other half and start trying to get Da– what was his name?

MATT: Old Davin.

TRAVIS: Old, I like old.

LAURA: Have we met Old Davin?

MATT: You have not met Old Davin, no.

TRAVIS: Okay. Davin, what did you get put in here for?

MATT: “Right if I know! Got real drunk and woke up in here, everyone started screaming and running away, and I'm like ahh, run away you pansies, and they did, ran away, they never came back. Some packed fire, but not a problem now.” And yes, the one snowblind eye doesn't move at all, the other one glances around, that one's completely stuck in a forward position.

TRAVIS: Is that magic?

MATT: “I mean, certainly gets the ladies.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, it does.

MATT: “But no, it's a reminder to not, well, to not mess with your people.”

TRAVIS: Oh. Well, I'm sorry to hear that. But they do make you look very young.

MATT: “Much worse, say I.”

TRAVIS: Now if we let you out of here, right, which we're actually in the process of doing, what is your weapon of choice?

MATT: “Oh, oh.” And he thinks to himself for a moment. “I would have to say my weapon of choice would be Bloodvine ale. Aye.”

TRAVIS: Bloodvine ale?

MATT: “Aye, if we're picking poison, that's my favorite.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, my– He's a dwarf, right?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Obviously we are brothers of the beard. Like, to fight with, right?

MATT: “Oh, that kills, eh?”

TRAVIS: Yeah, stab, poke, enchant, whatever.

MATT: “Once upon a time I was quite a duelist, so if you got something pointy and prickling I can spear 'em with the best of them.”

TRAVIS: I do have a Greatsword of Frenzy, but it's a two-handed weapon.

MATT: “Ah, that's not my preference.”

TRAVIS: I do also have one regular, just a regular longsword. About the best I have.

MATT: “Yeah, that'll do, certainly, I'll take a longsword.”

TRAVIS: All right, so. Have I got the door open yet?

MATT: Not yet. But at this time there's an awkward pause and now you're like, don't have any more conversation. But you still have to finish the– about a minute later, he's sitting there going, “Come on, come on, come on.” Eventually– tink!– it opens up. “Yes!” And he pushes it open as you pull it open.

TRAVIS: Before I give you this sword–

MATT: “Aye?”

TRAVIS: –are you up for the fight of your life?

MATT: “Yes?”

TRAVIS: Can I insight check him?

MATT: Yes, you may.

TRAVIS: This is going to go really well. Eight! Nine!

LIAM: Go Tarv, go Tarv.

MATT: He seems a little–

SAM: Scottish.

(laughter)

MATT: He seems a little malnourished, and a little confused.

TRAVIS: Right.

MATT: But nothing sets you off as untrustworthy.

TRAVIS: Look, your expression says a lot. What if I put an excellent meal in your belly, sharpened that sword some more, would you like to fight for some glory come the morrow?

MATT: “Sure. Why not?”

TRAVIS: That's what I thought. If you would go join Amelia, I have to get my good friend Abjurist Noja out of his cell and then we're going to go have a meeting, because there's going to be a big feast tonight, it's going to be delicious.

MATT: “Oh, great, I'll be there for that, aye. Where's it happening?”

TRAVIS: You know, it's very secret, yep. Secret location, TBD.

MATT: “Right, right. I'll wait for you.” And he walks out, taking the keys from you as he runs off toward Amelia.

TRAVIS: Now, has she gotten Abjurist out?

MATT: At this point, yeah, Noja has stepped out of the cell and is putting an arm on her, you see he's actually having a hard time standing and she's helping support him, even though she's having a hard time standing.

(Skype noise)

MATT: There goes Taliesin.

TRAVIS: Man, I know a lot of people that are going to be really, really happy to see you.

MATT: “Ah. Really? Well, I'm very happy to see these people, anybody really, that're not the inside of this blasted prison.” (coughs)

(Skype rings)

LIAM: Oh, get him, get him!

LAURA: Quick, answer it!

LIAM: Stupid tinkerer.

SAM: I'm trying, I'm trying!

LIAM: Percival and his technology.

MATT: There we go. Welcome back.

LAURA: Hi Percy.

TALIESIN: Hi.

TRAVIS: Could I ask you a question? So I have this new axe, right, it's really nice. I got it off the leader of goliaths, real prick. It's really strong and I've known about it for years, there's nothing, like, funny about– Actually, if I give this to you, would you just tell me if you, like, hear anything?

MATT: “Ah, they took my spellbook when they threw me in here.”

TRAVIS: Oh.

MATT: “If we could find that, maybe I can help you.”

TRAVIS: That makes sense.

MATT: “Otherwise, I'm out of tricks, friend, sorry.”

TRAVIS: All right. I turn around to Orn Blackfoot and I'm like, “All right, mate. Last chance. Why should I let you out?”

MATT: “Because I can be a good friend and help you out. I can get you money and women and travel anywhere you wish.”

TRAVIS: I've done all three of those things more than most men do in three lifetimes.

MATT: “And you can have a fourth! Please, just let me out of here.”

TRAVIS: I'm thinking of a number between one and three.

SAM: He's not.

MATT: “Two.”

TRAVIS: Shit.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: That's like only one of a couple that I know. All right. You get to come out.

MATT: “Ah, wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And I'm a man of my word, don't you worry.”

TRAVIS: Can I insight check if he's a man of his word?

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: Roll better. Shit fuck balls ass. Three.

MATT: Three. Seems legit.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: You have a face that is truly trustworthy. And I start looking for the key to his cell.

MATT: Okay. At this point, you've run through the ring enough, you can go ahead and take it from Old Davin. Over time you eventually get him free, and as soon as you do, he stretches, cracks his back a bit. “All right. Thank you kindly. So. Let's be off.” And he charges up next to Noja and then breezes past them and you guys all exit the outside of the Iron Stocks.

LAURA: Look for Noja's book, look for Noja's book.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, well. Noja, Noja, is there a location where your spellbook was last? (belches)

MATT: “They took it from me when they arrested me. I don't know where they would have put it.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, well, goliaths are awfully fond of books. Let's go find out, shall we? And we go back towards where I guess everybody last was.

MATT: Okay. On the way there, Noja's like, “I do have one of my older spellbooks, wouldn't have all of my materials, but that would be back at my shop if we ever have a chance to stop by.”

TRAVIS: Well, we could go there now if you'd like.

MATT: “Certainly.”

TRAVIS: How far is it from here? I forget, it's been a few years.

MATT: “Oh, it's about– just due east of where the temples are, about 25, 30 minutes up that way.”

TRAVIS: Hold that thought. I grab my earring and I say, can anybody hear me?

SAM: Can we?

MATT: At this point, yeah, the Stocks aren't too far. Whoever's–

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: What's up, Grog?

TRAVIS: Right, so. What if I told you I found somebody's name that rhymes with Daburish Koja?

LIAM: You found Dabney Coleman?

LAURA: Dabdrist Cojo?

TRAVIS: It's Abjurist Noja.

ALL: Oh!

MARISHA: Man, I didn't realize 'til now how many people we actually know whose name rhymes with that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we're like really important.

MARISHA: Yeah, we know a lot of people.

TRAVIS: So I'm going to take him to find his spellbook, because I feel like he could be a great–

TALIESIN: I don't recall this person.

TRAVIS: You don't?

MARISHA: Weren't you with us, Percy?

MATT: Yeah, Percy met him.

TALIESIN: Was I?

MARISHA: Yeah, remember the guy who saved us at the first Winter's Crest festival?

TALIESIN: Oh yes, no, he was quite lovely.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's very nice.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I found him. I'm going to get him a spellbook. Does anybody want to come with, or are you all good?

MARISHA: I'm about to dig a trench, so I'll pass.

LIAM: Keyleth, where are you right now?

MARISHA: Heading northeast towards, northwest, northwest. Sorry. It's noon, it's hard to tell in the sky right now. Northwest.

LAURA: Are you with us, Pike?

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Pike's with us.

ASHLEY: I'm done attuning?

MATT: Yeah, the attunement takes about an hour or so, half an hour to an hour.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I just found you guys, just hanging out.

LAURA: Hey, what's up. You want to help us clear some stuff?

ASHLEY: You need some help? Yeah, let me help you, I'm so strong.

SAM: Um, Grog, I can come with you, Grog, if you need some help.

TRAVIS: Yes. The cube is always welcome.

LIAM: My. Goodness. Gracious.

TRAVIS: Please. It's more like a Coke can. Okay. Um.

LIAM: A what?

TRAVIS: What? So, Scanlan, if you want to come meet us, we're over by the Iron thing. How would I tell him where we are?

MATT: Iron Stocks, you can describe it to him and eventually he'll find his way there.

TRAVIS: I'm over by this thing balalalala.

SAM: Excellent description, I'm on my way.

MATT: (laughs) And you've been to the town before, you guys have spent some time in Westruun, so you know the basics around. So you manage to meet up with these fellas and you make your way northward into the outskirts of Noja's shop. Noja's shop is untouched by the battle, it seems, still stands.

MARISHA: Oh, shit. Really?

MATT: He walks up and the door's open and looks inside and just sighs heavily, as the interior of this place has been picked clean.

MARISHA: Ah, son of a fucking– looters!

SAM: Noja, were there any hidden compartments or secret safes where you kept the good stuff?

MATT: “Well. Follow me.” And he heads towards the back of the shop, heads into a room in the side which contains his bed and his personal setup. That door's kicked in, there was a lock on it, the lock's still hanging as part of the cdoor ontraption as the actual door was just kicked inward and the wood splintered and left open. He steps inside, feels above the doorway. There's a panel of wood that he pulls aside and brings out. There is a singular book, where he pulls it out and sighs, blows dust off it. “Ah, this is a bit rudimentary for what I require, but it's something, it's better than nothing.” Puts it aside, manages to find some pieces of his clothing that have been tossed onto the floor as a heap or, you know, raiding the room and gets out of his prison robes and puts them over that to just go ahead and not be as tattered as he looked. He does pull what looks like a small jug from it and sets that aside, and he looks around his room, (sighs) “I guess let's see if there's anything in the shop that still remains.” Steps around the way. Oof. All right. Yeah, most everything of worth appears to have been taken or broken.

LAURA: Search around, help him search!

TRAVIS: Yeah, is there anything we can help you find that you're looking for?

MATT: “Anything intact, really.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, can we help him look for any vials, or–

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Better. 17.

SAM: 16.

MATT: 16, okay. Looking around, most everything is ruined, destroyed, or missing, however you do find what looks to be two unspoiled, undestroyed vials that were part of a display set that has been tossed over the side. Most of the fluid contained in these vials, like corks have been left open, glass and crystal have been shattered, and the contents had just stained the floor and dried over time into little sticky pools of different colors. You do find two, one of which is a yellowish fluid that's streaked with black swirls, and there is one that it's like a clear liquid that has a– the liquid itself fills the vial and then shrinks down to a tiny bead and then expands again to fill the vial, like a very, very slow heartbeat. Those are the two that you find.

TRAVIS: What?

MARISHA: Yellow with black swirls, and then a clear potion that–

SAM: Oh, he'll just tell us, I assume. Sir, we're about to embark on a deadly adventure to try to clear this town so that you can once again live here safely. Might we trouble you to borrow these potions if they can be in some way helpful to us?

MATT: “You've done me great service by getting me out of that hellhole. You are welcome to take these with you for now. I guess I have to start from scratch…”

SAM: Do you know what they are?

MATT: “Oh, yes, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.” And he takes the vials and looks at them. “Ah, this is a Potion of Diminution. It shrinks you to a smaller size.”

SAM: Oh, I could be small! Oh, wait.

MATT: “It only lasts for a few hours, depending, the magic isn't perfect, but it does make you smaller. This other one, this vial contains a liquid that will make you quite speedier. It will increase your metabolism for a short time, the world around you seems to slow, it's quite effective.”

SAM: Thank you so, so much.

TRAVIS: Yeah actually, have you ever seen this shrinking potion work, like, how small does something get?

MATT: “Pretty small. Like, if on your size–” And he makes a shape of about that big.

SAM: So teeny-tiny.

MATT: “For you, yes. For you, you'd be about his size.”

TRAVIS: That would be the best thing ever. Now that you've found– I'm sorry, go ahead.

SAM: No no no. This is most helpful. Do you know anywhere also around here where we might pick up some chains, hooks, spears, javelins?

MATT: “Ah, those are not my forte, my apologies.”

SAM: All right.

MARISHA: Should've took those from the prison.

MATT: “I mean, check a general goods store, perhaps?”

SAM: Oh no, this is so helpful, thank you, let me go get those.

MATT: So here are your potions.

TRAVIS: That book that you got, it's not your favorite, right, the one that was hidden above the door?

MATT: “No, no, but it'll do, at least. Do you wish me to inspect that weapon for you?”

TRAVIS: Yeah, would you mind? I've never done that before, but the last one I had talked to me.

MATT: “That's… unsettling. That's very unsettling.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, among other things.

MATT: The dwarf and the woman are still waiting at the door, they've picked through things and they're finding bits of broken glass and over time they can't find anything else. He takes the hour to rest and regains, after some quick preparation, the use of at least his Identify spell. Takes the axe, holds it for a moment, chants some incantation that you don't understand. There's a brief glow on the weapon, and around the outskirts of his fingers, a brief glow around his temples. As it fades, he goes, “Hm. Well, if what you worry about is the presence of some sort of sentience, I can assure you, you need not worry. This is merely a tool, and a powerful one at that.” And he begins to tell you what it does, which is exactly what you already know after attunement.

TRAVIS: No long card coming? (laughs)

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: Son of a bitch. Thank you, Abjurist, you are as wise as you are. Old.

MARISHA: Old? (laughs)

MATT: “I'm only 48, but thank you.”

TRAVIS: That's lost on me. Do you need anything else?

SAM: Oh, oi, oi, I was just– I'm enthralled by these potions, they're fantastic, and I'm enthralled and so happy that we met you again and all that. I totally remembered who you were.

(laughter)

MATT: “It's good to see that you're all doing fine, considering the circumstances. Stay safe. I'll pick up what pieces I can.”

SAM: Should you get– should we tell him to get out of the city or fight with us?

TRAVIS: Well, I was going to ask, you do know what is beset upon this city, right? The horrible calamity that's coming?

MATT: “I saw the dragon tear through, yes.”

SAM: We aim to finish the dragon, maybe even tomorrow, and make Westruun free once again. Would you have any interest in aiding us in this fight, or are you past the point of putting up a brave battle?

MATT: And you see him standing there, even just standing here this time, his knees are wobbling a bit, and he goes, “I'm afraid I wouldn't be of much aid at this moment without my proper spellbook. I have a few child's treats at my disposal.” And he sifts through a few pages and he seems to– the book looks like it's pretty old, like probably his training manual when he first began to study as a practitioner of the magical arts. “I don't know how much use I'd be, unfortunately.”

TRAVIS: The day's still young. What say we give, like, a solid effort to finding your bigger books, and then if you can't find it and you can lend no aid to us, we'll make sure you find yourself safely on your way?

MATT: “All right. All right, fair enough. Well come, let us look. Perhaps we should give another once-over of the rather seemingly destroyed interior of that prison.”

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Looks like Amelia and Old Davin have nothing else better to do, they begin to aid you for a bit, although Amelia is eager, and mentions the possibility of going and checking in on the farmsteads on the outside of town.

MARISHA: Yeah. About that.

MATT: Orn? Orn Blackfoot? Gone.

MARISHA: Yeah, figured that much.

MATT: He has peaced.

TRAVIS: He left.

MATT: Yeah. You guys take a moment, and when you start deciding what to do, and you look around and he's just gone.

SAM: I thought you had him.

TRAVIS: I thought you had him. I clearly said when you came up, watch the guy with the black feet. What'd you do?

SAM: I was watching you, you have disgusting black feet. You walk around barefoot, you're disgusting.

TRAVIS: I really can't argue with that.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Well. Whatever. I saved a life, go me. I'll take it later. Yeah, so can we go back to the prison, not to take away from everything else, and maybe look for chains, like some hooks, maybe some broken bars?

MATT: Yeah. The two of you guys, make one more investigation check, this'll signify the next few hours of looking for the things you want.

LAURA: Oh god, roll really good.

SAM: 22.

TRAVIS: 19.

MATT: Between the two of you, working into and past dusk, you manage to acquire quite a number of chains. It's funny, a prison seems to have a lot at their disposal. They have a queue of chains that are used of various lengths, some of them may have to be put together to make the length of which you're looking for, but between ramshackle manacles to just lengths of chain that are used to opening gates and used to seal elements of the subterranean portion of this prison, you manage to acquire quite a bit. You do, towards the end of the evening, manage to find partially destroyed remnants of Noja's spellbook. He seems a little disappointed as soon as he sees the state it's in, a lot of the pages have been burnt and torn out of these–

TRAVIS: I am sorry.

MATT: “Ah, it's all right, there are some here that are of use to me. And if I can be of any assistance tomorrow in this fray, hopefully at a distance– How big is this dragon, you said?”

TRAVIS: Oh, it's like seven feet.

MATT: “Oh, well then I can definitely be of help there, not a worry, all right. I'll prepare myself best I can.”

TRAVIS: Yeah. We'll make sure, we'll keep you on the outsides with those that are not, you know, can't take a good walloping.

SAM: Do you have any healing potions or anything, or I mean, I'm sorry, healing spells?

MATT: “That's not my specialty, I fear, and the potions I had are now soaking in the floorboards of my humble shop.”

TRAVIS: Not that I would understand, but could you tell us what your specialty is?

MATT: “Abjuration, of course. That's the school of magic of which my–” (laughs)

SAM: I'm familiar with that.

TRAVIS: Abjur–yeah. Mm-hmm. No idea what that means.

LIAM: Like Claymation.

TRAVIS: Oh, like puppets. I'm a big fan of puppets.

SAM: All right, well, we'll get some rest, try to put the pieces of your place back together.

MATT: “I will. Come to me when the time is ready to face this fiend, this foul creature, and I'm happy to help.”

SAM: Good night.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, we should probably make him a part of the feast.

SAM: Oh. All right.

TRAVIS: We'll come get you later tonight.

MATT: “All right.”

LIAM: I'm going to track down the women after talking to them over the earring.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Straight from Percival, once I catch sight of them, can I talk to you for a minute?

MARISHA: Sure.

LIAM: Just a minute, I know you're busy. Um.

LAURA: She's super busy, brother!

LIAM: Yeah, two minutes. Two minutes. Um.

LAURA: So busy.

LIAM: Thanks, Stubbs. You're way more powerful than I am, and I don't know what I'm going to–

(Skype noise)

SAM: God dammit.

LIAM: What's that sound?

MARISHA: So many noises happening.

LIAM: You're going to be doing a lot more damage than I am tomorrow, it's not like I'm going to run up and stab the thing in the back. I feel like you're probably going to be too busy to be using Fassbender–

MARISHA: Yeah, do you want Fassbender? I was actually going to offer him to you, 'cause I feel like you might–

LIAM: I think I want to be of use, so yeah.

MARISHA: I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about that.

LAURA: (gagging)

LIAM: So it just goes on the head, then how does it work, what do you, what do I talk to it or do I think it or what do I do?

MARISHA: So you give it a command, it takes your full concentration to give it a command, and then once you do that it will enact that plan until it's complete or until you tell it otherwise.

LIAM: All right.

MARISHA: And if you wanted to cast a Slow spell, just, you have to focus and tell it to do that.

LIAM: Okay. Do I say like, slow?

MARISHA: You know, I don't know. Just wing it. I kept talking to him like it was a person and I don't think that's necessarily the way to go.

LIAM: Maybe I'll prac– where did you park him?

MARISHA: It's still in Scanlan's mansion.

LIAM: Oh.

LAURA: Is that still there?

SAM: Yes?

MATT: Well, based on the time that spell was cast, the 24-hour duration has expired. All things in the mansion have been jettisoned from the doorway.

LAURA: Including your grandad!

MARISHA: So he's in Wilhand's house, with Wilhand.

LIAM: Great, well, I'll take that.

MARISHA: Yeah. Hopefully Wilhand's watching over him right now, actually.

SAM: It might have destroyed the house.

MARISHA: It might've destroyed Wilhand's house. Yeah.

LIAM: Kiki.

MARISHA: Yes?

(Skype noises)

LIAM: What is that?

MARISHA: This is the weirdest field.

(Taliesin makes noises on Skype)

(laughter)

LIAM: Percy. Tinker quietly, please.

(Taliesin makes louder noises on Skype)

(laughter)

LIAM: I think he's eating popcorn, or maybe opening a butterscotch candy in the theater.

TALIESIN: I can't even see you guys, are you like?

LAURA: Oh, he went away! Aw, this is just not–

LIAM: Okay, really quickly.

LAURA: Okay. Well, at least he started.

MARISHA: Yes? This seems to happen all the time, every time we try to talk to each other. I don't think I've really, continue, continue. It's hard to have a conversa–

TALIESIN: Hi.

MATT: Continue, please.

LIAM: Hello, yeah, Percival, I'll talk to you in a minute, all right?

MARISHA: Shut up, Percy. Thank you.

LIAM: Ah. I've been confused. I am confused. But.

And I take her by the hand.

LIAM: It wasn't fair, last week. It wasn't fair to you. And I'm sorry.

MARISHA: What are you talking about?

LIAM: In your room, in your room. Me leaving wasn't–

MARISHA: When you left me, right–

LIAM: –wasn't fair.

MARISHA: Yeah, no, that I remember. Yeah, that. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah.

LIAM: That's it. I'm sorry.

MARISHA: I'm sorry if I dropped that on you, and put any more undue stress, that's not what I want–

LIAM: This is awful, all of it is awful.

MARISHA: This is awful. Yeah, no, this is pretty bad. You know, I've actually been wanting to talk to you. I wasn't entirely planning on now. I know you've been struggling. I know you feel like you're drowning, and I'm sorry that the Raven Queen chose you, but she did choose you. You know, as druids, I was raised to have an interesting perspective on the gods. We are taught that nature is the one true powerful force. I have yet to see a god control the sunrise and the sunset, so therefore it's hard for me to sometimes have the same faith in these gods. Personally, I believe that just because you're immortal doesn't make you infallible. These gods can be great ambassadors of their virtues and what they represent, or they can be horrible disgraces to their domains. And just because some self-proclaimed person or deity decides that they want control? Doesn't mean that they have to have control over me. Now, this does not mean that I do not respect the gods and the power that they wield, but, I mean, for the love of Sarenrae, we have seen Pike do many a powerful thing. So, therefore, I do not respect the gods any more than I respect the living people who are standing beside me at this moment. So I've also been coming to terms with the fact that it seems that, whether we like it or not, we are going to have to employ their services. Looks like we're going to have to be working with them in some way or another, myself included, if we are going to overcome this. So maybe you should start rethinking the way you look at your relationship to the Raven Queen. Maybe this can be a fine partnership. A fine endeavor to do with her, and then once we save the world and we retire and some other young prodigies come forward to save the world again, then we can thank her for her services and move on. I don't think we'll always need her. I don't think you will always need her. And, keep in mind, the one true thing that gives these gods their power are their worshipers. So I guess I'll let you choose what you want to be. And I walk off to catch up with the ladies.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Did you guys make out? Was it really fun? Lots of making out there?

MARISHA: Vax. Vex. Vex.

LAURA: I understand you have him on your mind. You can't get our names straight.

MARISHA: You know, I was talking to him, so– Hey. I love you a whole lot.

LAURA: Do you still think you're talking to my brother?

MARISHA: I know who I'm talking to.

LIAM: Really similar.

SAM: She's the ranger.

ASHLEY: Did you ask him if he's going to help us?

MARISHA: Who? Vax? Oh.

ASHLEY: Vax. Is he going to help dig the trench?

LAURA: I turn around and see him. Is he just standing there?

MATT: Just standing there lost in thought, yeah.

LAURA: Um, hey.

LIAM: What?

LAURA: Hey, what are you doing? Are you coming to help us, or are you just standing in the middle–

LIAM: Yeah, we gotta kill a dragon tomorrow. We gotta kill a dragon. What do you need?

LAURA: Do you want to help build, I don't know, a trench? Set a trap?

LIAM: I mean, I'm really weak, but I think I can use a shovel.

LAURA: What time is it? We haven't even started digging the trench yet? What fucking time is it?

MARISHA: It'll take me like an hour. It's fine. What time is it?

MATT: For you guys, at this point, it'd probably be mid-afternoon, late afternoon. Percy. I need you to go ahead and make three tinkering checks for me, if you don't mind.

SAM: Oh, shit.

MATT: The first one is using your intelligence modifier.

TALIESIN: That's intelligence modifier plus proficiency bonus plus tinkering?

MATT: Well, proficiency bonus is what you get with tinkering.

TALIESIN: Yeah. 24.

(cheering)

MATT: All right, so, initial designs and describing with your lackeys, for lack of a better term, that are helping you develop these springs, you manage to explain, lay out, and develop the proper materials, the process, and they seem to acknowledge and understand what you're trying to do, and you guys begin the work. Second check is going to be with your dexterity modifier.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, baby.

SAM: No one can help him on these things?

LAURA: We're not there.

TALIESIN: 22.

MATT: You spend the better part of the day helping them take the metal, strengthen it, bind it, pulling it into the springs that are required. You complete one, you get partway through the second one. Make a final check if you don't mind.

TRAVIS: With dex?

MATT: This is also with dex, yeah.

LAURA: Come on.

TALIESIN: That's 23.

MATT: 23?

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's the dexterity, right?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: So yeah, that's right, 23.

MATT: 23. As the evening comes into about ten or 11 o'clock at night, after hours of aching work, sweat beads dripping down the foreheads of the three of you, forcing the furnace to work overtime. The room's heat and darkness eventually almost puts you to a point of exhaustion and passing out. However, you do manage to complete the springs. They seem to be functional, the structure of your trap is set. We shall see on the morrow if it is as functional as you hope it is. You do take a point of exhaustion through the work that will consist throughout the next day.

TALIESIN: Okay. What does a point of exhaustion do?

MATT: Disadvantage on ability checks. So, essentially, any skill checks or ability checks you make– not attacks or saves, but ability checks you make for the next 24 hours will be at disadvantage.

LAURA: Did he work all the way through the night?

MATT: No, this is just the physical activity involved in getting it done in that short period of time.

TALIESIN: Just double-checking, because I have no brain currently, dice roll, dex modifier, proficiency bonus?

MATT: What?

TALIESIN: Just because I have no brain, dex modifier, proficiency bonus, dice roll?

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Okay, good.

MATT: You're good, you got it. As you guys find yourselves resting for tomorrow's trap incursion and hopeful defeat of Umbrasyl, we will take a break for the rest of you and come back here.

LAURA: Oh, god! There's more we have to do!

SAM: It's okay, we'll do it during the break.

MATT: We'll come back in. We need a pee break. Quick one, guys.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: And welcome back. So, as you're preparing for this, what else do you guys need to do before the morrow?

MARISHA: I dig a trench.

MATT: All right, so you dig the trench.

MARISHA: I want it to be far away to where there's a tunnel and then make a circle around it.

LAURA: We need to get Fassbender into the middle where the treasure's going to be.

LIAM: I walk Fassbender out and I lay him down on his back, face-up.

MARISHA: We have to do some stage-setting here. We have to set the scene.

MATT: Okay, as a note, when you return to Willhand's house, Fassbender and Willhand were both ejected from the doorway. Fassbender doesn't fit in that large room and wrecked part of the staircase from underneath but is fine. As soon as you acknowledge Fassbender to start moving, Fassbender, who has been inert this entire time, since left there for the evening before, takes a step and the area where the crack that you sealed earlier reopens. It looks like there is a minimal magical effect that was more of a cosmetic effect in the healing, but being a construct, it does not actually heal damage from it.

MARISHA: Okay. Can I go ahead and take this time to do–

SAM: You're not there.

MARISHA: Oh, I'm not there yet? Oh no, I'm building a tunnel. You're getting Fassbender. Never mind.

LIAM: Yeah, I'm walking Fassbender out to where Keyleth is.

MATT: Okay. (stomping) Fassbender follows you out to that area of the town. As night has come now, the sun has gone, you guys are working in darkness. What are you guys doing?

ASHLEY: Vex, can I have one of your arrows? I want to make it real special.

LAURA: You're speaking my language.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I grab one of her arrows and I cast Glyph of Warding on one of her arrows.

LAURA: How many arrows can you do that do?

ASHLEY: I think just one.

SAM: Matt's checking his e-mail.

MATT: Within an object that can be closed, such as a book, scroll, or treasure chest. So yeah, it would have to be on something that, like a doorway or–

MARISHA: Like a treasure chest? If– can you cast it in like a barrel that he's going to break open?

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Thanks. I really enjoyed the idea of that.

ASHLEY: I thought it was going to work. It was going to be real cool.

MATT: So, you decide what triggers the glyph when you cast the spell. For glyphs inscribed in a surface, the most typical triggers include touching or standing on the glyph, removing another object covering the glyph, approaching within a certain distance of the glyph, so you could place this in theory on the ground near where the treasure's being left and give it the specific trigger for it to go off.

LAURA: It can be maybe in a chest above Fassbender, 'cause he's going to be buried, and then it can be triggered maybe when the dragon lifts it up.

MARISHA: What exactly does it do, the Glyph of Warding?

MATT: You can choose explosive runes–

ASHLEY: An explosive rune.

MARISHA: Oh, so it, (explosion). That's cool.

MATT: 5d8 acid damage, cold damage, fire, or lightning or thunder damage. Your choice. Everything within a 20-foot-sphere radius around it.

LAURA: 20 feet is really big. Oh my god! You know what you could do? You could make a trigger if he gets a certain height off the ground, and that way if he's over 20 feet above the ground, then it triggers and he's the only thing that would get affected.

MATT: Well, it triggers as a glyph, so whatever's near the glyph would be affected.

ASHLEY: So can we hide it in the loot?

MATT: You can, you can definitely choose some sort of a small chest or the ground underneath the loot if you want to.

ASHLEY: Okay. I'll find something in the loot, some little chest or something that I can put it in.

MATT: Okay, and what's your trigger?

ASHLEY: When he gets– if he starts to fly away.

MATT: Okay. So if a creature– the trigger would be, if a creature–

LIAM: Pulls the glyph up?

MATT: That's up to you. What would you like the trigger to be?

SAM: Specific.

ASHLEY: If he removes something on top of it. But also if he grabbed it.

LAURA: What if it gets above a certain feet in the air? Can it trigger then?

MATT: You can say if a creature flies above it at a certain height it can trigger. I'll give you that, yeah.

ASHLEY: Okay. So if it flies–

MATT: If it flies 20 feet above it?

LAURA: I thought it meant if the glyph lifted in the air.

MATT: We'll make that one of the triggers if you want it to be lifted. So, if the glyph is lifted by a creature–

ASHLEY: So it can't be if he just touches it?

MATT: You could do that, yeah.

LAURA: But it might be better if he lands and then we spring the trap. It could be a thing, if he tries to leave it explodes.

ASHLEY: If he tries to leave.

MATT: Okay. So, if the object is lifted off the ground, it triggers.

ASHLEY: Yeah. Even like this much? If it's just moved.

MATT: Okay, and you're doing explosive rune. What type of damage?

ASHLEY: I want to do cold damage.

LAURA: Would I know, is a black dragon– does it have any weaknesses?

MATT: You would know, with your knowledge and specialization, it does not have any weaknesses.

LAURA: It has no weaknesses.

MATT: It is immune to acid damage, of course. But that is the only real information you have.

TRAVIS: Make it acid damage.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I'm going to go cold damage.

MATT: Cold damage. All righty.

LAURA: What about Fassbender? Is he immune to any damage?

MARISHA: I'm pretty sure he's immune to most kinds of damage.

LIAM: No, it's hitting and slicing. I'll check.

ASHLEY: I'm going to cast it at fifth level.

MATT: Fifth level? All right. That brings it to 7d8 cold damage. And what's your spell DC?

ASHLEY: 17.

MARISHA: If we lose Fassbender–

LIAM: He's expendable. Hopefully he survives. If not, good cause.

LAURA: Can we fuse some chains into Fassbender so that he can be attached to the ground?

MARISHA: I can. Can I do that? Right now?

MATT: Using what?

MARISHA: I want to take and cast a Stone Shape spell, and then I want to open and almost make him a chain harness that's embedded into his waist? And then while I'm at it, can I patch him up?

MATT: Stone Shape is instantaneous. So whatever you want to do, it happens immediately. So, essentially, you could, with one casting of Stone Shape, seal the wound. With another casting of it you could then go ahead and have the chains–

LAURA: Ready to go (squishing).

MATT: Yeah, just embed them in and have it seal. How many chains are you embedding in it?

LAURA: Two big ones?

MATT: Two big chains? Okay. So you get two of the heaviest chains that you can find, which you probably got from the prison.

MARISHA: All right, well, how about this? Vax, Vex, grab a chain.

LAURA: All right. These are heavy.

MARISHA: Okay, ready? On my go.

LAURA: Wait, where are we putting it?

MARISHA: I'm going to shove them in his abdomen. Okay? I'm going to make a spot and just–

LAURA: You take left. I'll take right.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Ready?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. As she does that, suddenly the chest wound opens up into these two big cavities. You take the chain edges and put them inside as they seal around them. There's now these two giant, heavy, door-holding chains that are now dangling for about 70 feet on each end from his abdomen.

LAURA: Where do we attach these chains to? The ground?

LIAM: One to the ground. Put the other one in a goliath's hands with a harpoon or a hook on the other end. Snag our prey, and then we have a Fassbender hanging from the bottom of a dragon.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: You can find some metallic hooks just through general construction materials in the town if you want to.

LIAM: I think we should do ten or 15 feet to the ground of chain and ten or 15 feet to the dragon, so that it's, thunk, and he's caught on the ground.

LAURA: Just ten.

LIAM: Yeah?

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah, we'll sever the chains with Grog's muscles. We need to get 'em the right distance.

MATT: About how long?

LIAM: Ten feet into the ground, which we can–

MARISHA: Do it right now. Ready? I'm going to do another Stone Shape spell into the ground.

MATT: You have to go around and find an area, because a lot of it's dirt. You have to find an area that has actual stonework in the ground. Otherwise, it's just earth that's pulling it. Go ahead and roll a survival check.

MARISHA: Not bad. What's my survival? 24.

MATT: 24, okay. You take some time. It's about 60 feet out from where the drop point is, is the nearest piece of near-surface stone. It's about 15 feet beneath the surface, but it is viable.

MARISHA: Negative. I will cast–

LAURA: Why can't it be 15 feet below the surface?

LIAM: But he's going to go up like a kite now because it's going 60 feet all the way over there, where stone is.

MARISHA: I'm going to burn– I did that earlier, but I'm going to burn my last 5th-level spell to do Transmute Rock again?

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: So you said there was dirt? All right, let's dig a little bit of a hole real quick. So we dig a hole ten feet down.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Put the chain in there. Cover it back up. Transmute. Turn it into rock.

MATT: Okay, and with that, the earth– Okay, what is the radius of that one there? Let me see.

SAM: We have to cover this up.

LIAM: With dirt?

MARISHA: And treasure.

MATT: Transmute Rock– 40-foot cube. You turn that into a solid fucking subterranean block of stone. All righty. Now you have Fassbender just there, stuck to the ground with the chain at its side.

LIAM: Fassbender, lie down. Lie down?

MARISHA: Can I take my last little bit of Stone Shape residual energy and take that mustache Vax drew on–

MATT: Stone Shape does not–

MARISHA: And make the mustache permanent that he drew on with charcoal?

MATT: Sure, I'll let that slide. With the remnants of the spell magic fading, the now-lying-down Fassbender staring up with his vacant sunken blue-glowing eyes towards the night sky and the stars above, your hand reaches across the face, and with that suddenly the–

MARISHA: I like this, I want to keep it, there we go.

MATT: –the once-charcoaled curly mustache recedes into the face, carved permanently to his face.

MARISHA: You look much better now, Fassbender. High-five.

LIAM: Give Keyleth a very soft high-five, please.

MARISHA: Yeah! Isn't that cool?

MATT: That'll probably bruise tomorrow.

MARISHA: It's okay. It's cool.

LIAM: I quickly take that same charcoal out and I write in Common on his chest: Conclave or bust.

(laughter)

SAM: I'm going to go to Keyleth and ask if I can borrow the rod of immovable rodness. How big is it?

MATT: It's like that long. It's like the rung of a ladder.

SAM: Got it.

MATT: It's got a little button on the side.

SAM: Button on the side? Cool.

TALIESIN: Like a Tron lightbike.

SAM: I love it.

LAURA: When are we going to set the trap that Percy made?

LIAM: As soon as he finishes it.

MARISHA: Yeah, we should set the stage.

TALIESIN: In theory, it has to be laid down underneath all the treasure so that it just is nothing, and then we put everything on top, and then basically it's set, and then pins get pulled so that it's set. And you don't disturb shit again.

MARISHA: Hey Percy, we're ready to fly in the trap whenever you are.

TALIESIN: Yes, let's do that, gentlemen. Let's move it. Good work, ladies and gentlemen.

MARISHA: While you guys set the trap, I'm going to turn into a raven. My job is done here. I'm going to just go and circle while they're setting the trap and setting the stage and do patrol and make sure we're not being watched.

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

LAURA: Why this creepy music?

SAM: It's random, guys.

ASHLEY: Why is he doing his eyebrows up and down?

LAURA: Because the fucking dragon's going to see us right now.

MARISHA: 16.

MATT: 16?

MARISHA: No, sorry. 15.

MATT: 15. You circle for a while and keep watch. So far, nothing seems to have caught your attention that's out of the ordinary. About half an hour passes before you see a group of civilians, along with Percy, wheeling on carts this large ramshackle construction made of support beams from houses, metal joints that were used as basic construction elements, as well as these large metallic springs on multiple sides with hooks and elements of a chain-based net that has been piecemealed together. Eventually you guys bring it over. You clear out the area.

LAURA: Fassbender will lay on top of the trap.

MATT: Fassbender will lay on top of the trap?

LAURA: Right? He can't lay under the trap.

SAM: Well if it's like a mousetrap, can't he lie in between it? Taliesin, how does it work?

MARISHA: Let's just keep him right off to the side because if that trap triggers–

TALIESIN: In theory, he should be able to fit right at the sides of it, because it's got an armature spring system. As long as you're not in the way of the armatures, you should be fine.

MATT: So you set it up and away, laying the sides down, precariously putting the pins in, holding it in an open position. You begin to take dirt, dust, and gathering up the area, trying to hide it to the best of your ability. Who is in charge of camouflaging this piece?

MARISHA: Go ranger, go ranger, go!

MATT: Make a survival check.

TRAVIS: “Which dice will I use? There's no way to choose.”

SAM: Can I aid her in this bit of camouflage?

LAURA: You want to sing me some inspiration?

SAM: Can I inspire her?

MATT: Sure, what do you want to sing?

SAM: (singing) R-r-ranger, turn and face the strange! R-r-ranger, looks like you're going to have to hide this shit! Time may save me, but I hope you– also do–

(laughter)

LAURA: 31.

MATT: 31. You guys take a good portion of the next hour or so, under her guidance and tutelage, hiding this entire trap, getting dirt, the top layer of sand to cover it so it looks like it hasn't been recently disturbed–

LAURA: Little Dust of Tracelessness.

MATT: Little Dust of Tracelessness to fill in and smooth out any of the ripples of any possible passage that has come through. Fassbender has been–

(crash)

MATT: Killed. Buried beneath the surface, just to the point where he's pretty much flush with the ground of where it is. Contraption set, the objects placed back inside with some of the barrels and some of the leftover pieces of wood, the one overturned cart. You go ahead and take the chest and you place the glyph onto it. It takes a while to cast that spell, about an hour, but you complete it without an issue.

LAURA: Make it look like there's treasure on it. I take some of the gold that we have and–

MATT: Place it onto it?

LAURA: A thin layer, where it looks like a lot of gold but it's really just a thin layer of gold over top of rocks.

ASHLEY: If it's a chest, can we put some coins sticking out of it? So it looks like it's full?

MATT: You can do that. It does cost you about 200 gold worth of components to do this glyph, so mark off that from your personal gold supply.

LAURA: Grog.

TRAVIS: Yeah?

LAURA: Question. We sort of thought maybe we could use Kevdak as a tribute, like we sacrificed him to the great shitty Umbrasyl. Is that his name?

MATT: Umbrasyl, yes.

LAURA: But it doesn't quite have the same effect without his head. Do you still have that head? In fact, I think I might have the head. Did I put it in my bag of cold?

MATT: You did, I believe. You gave it to her to put in there?

LAURA: Would that be all right with you, Grog?

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: Don't you want to kill this dragon, Grog?

TRAVIS: I want that head.

LAURA: I don't have the head. I only have the gross bear tattoo off Kevdak.

TRAVIS: That's right, I put the flayed skin. I don't have the head.

LAURA: Grog, I can tell when you're lying.

TRAVIS: I don't have the head.

LAURA: You're lying. Grog, can we maybe– you'll be able to get it back, because we're going to kill this dragon and then you can just go and pick up the head and keep it again in your Bag of Holding.

TRAVIS: What's the head for?

LAURA: So we can make it seem like we sacrificed Kevdak to the dragon.

TRAVIS: What if you sacrifice me?

LAURA: Well, what?

TRAVIS: Yeah, use me as bait!

SAM: We'd have to chop off your head.

MARISHA: No, we could just tie him to a chair or something.

TRAVIS: Or I could just put my hands behind my back.

MARISHA: Make it look– wrap some rope to make it look like it's loosely tied.

SAM: What if he bites and kills you?

TRAVIS: Well, I don't know, but it's better live bait than dead, right? At least when you fish.

SAM: Nope.

TRAVIS: Pretty sure that's true.

SAM: Nope.

LAURA: Do you want to be bait, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Does that sound fun to you, or–

LAURA: There's exploding things around here. Are you sure you want to be in this area?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ASHLEY: No, you don't.

TRAVIS: (laughs) No, I don't. I will give you the head of Kevdak.

MARISHA: Oh my gosh, it took a look from Pike!

SAM: Wow, that's a powerful look.

TRAVIS: I want it back.

ASHLEY: You'll get it back.

TRAVIS: You better promise.

LAURA: I promise.

TRAVIS: All right. You can have it.

ASHLEY: With a bow on it. You'll get it back.

TRAVIS: I don't want a bow on it! He didn't ever wear a bow!

ASHLEY: No, I'm just saying you'll get it back.

TRAVIS: I take the skull and roll it to her feet. It's still got flesh on it, right?

MATT: Yeah, it's a little soft, but it works. So you have the head of Kevdak at your disposal. Trap is set. Percy, who's pulling the pins, what's the trigger mechanism?

TALIESIN: The trigger mechanism is any weight shift. It's the same as a mousetrap. It's like you put pressure on it, you take pressure off of it, doesn't matter. As long as there's immediate weight shift in the platform, where the booty is, it just goes snap.

MATT: Okay. So very carefully and very precariously, you all have set this trap as the final element, aside from the camouflage. Is there anything else you would like to add with this very sensitive large situation being finished?

SAM: Where are we hiding?

LAURA: We're going to hide in the trenches, yes?

MARISHA: It depends on where you want to hide, I guess. (caws)

TALIESIN: As long as I'm within range for my guns, I'm going to hide way off in the treeline.

MARISHA: Yeah, there were two trees that were 80 feet? Or 60?

MATT: Which, Ryan, can I get the box of tree materials? Thank you.

SAM: You know, that box of trees that you have.

ASHLEY: Are we near any structures or any houses?

MATT: No, this is outside of town. It's an open field other than a handful of trees. Just to give you guys perspective right here, this is the setup right now. This is the central area where most things have been dropped. There are pieces here. If you want to put it into perspective here, the glyph lies over in this area. Most of the treasure's been placed in that area. The trap we'll say is set about in that area, with the central piece being the triggering mechanism.

LAURA: And the trench is all around that?

MATT: The trenches are down in this area. Oh, now you say the trenches, are you saying they're covered or not?

LAURA: They are covered.

MATT: So they're tunnels. They're not trenches. Where is the opening for the tunnel? Where would you like it to be?

MARISHA: Far away.

LAURA: There, on the other side?

MATT: This side over here?

TRAVIS: Make it 50 feet at the most.

MARISHA: I want it to be more than that, I'd like it to be 100 feet away.

TRAVIS: You want them to get there in one turn, right?

LAURA: You want to be able to get there right away on surprise attack, spring right out of the ground as soon as that trap triggers.

MARISHA: No.

TALIESIN: In theory, if the trap is sprung it'll make enough ruckus that anyone in those trenches should hear it.

MATT: Right, but it's more about the proximity of the exit to the trenches.

MARISHA: Yeah, what I'm thinking is I've got a circle that I've carved around it. And then there's like a tunnel that shoots off this way and there's an entrance that they can walk in and get into their places.

MATT: You want them to just burst out, then?

MARISHA: I've made it really thin like I did before, carved it nice and thin–

MATT: Okay. So the entrance is back here, then.

MARISHA: I don't know what that means.

TRAVIS: I thought we were all filing out of one hole.

MATT: That's what I was getting at beforehand. The intent is for them to push up and out?

MARISHA: Unless you guys think it would be better?

LAURA: No, I feel like they've gotta burst out, yeah.

TRAVIS: I was confused.

MARISHA: It's going to be cool, like night of the living dead-style! Orcs coming out of the ground! In my mind, it's really awesome.

SAM: In your mind, so many things–

MARISHA: So many things.

MATT: There we go. All right. We have entrenched areas in this vicinity with you around it. What's the last things you need to prepare before the evening is done?

LAURA: We need to have a feast.

SAM: Heroes' Feast.

LIAM: I have a couple of questions. One, so I asked this outside but I just want to make sure. It says in the rogue section that longsword is something that I'm proficient in, but there's a rule somewhere that I can't find that says I can't use that for sneak attack? On page 95, it says I'm proficient in longswords.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: But somewhere else that I'm unaware of– no surprise, motherfucker?

MATT: The attack must use a finesse or ranged weapon.

LIAM: So it's not a finesse weapon.

MATT: A longsword, I believe, is strength.

TALIESIN: No, wait! This longsword was being used as a finesse weapon.

MARISHA: It has been used?

TALIESIN: We had this discussion at one point. We decided that this longsword was a finesse weapon. Or it could be used as a finesse weapon.

SAM: Aloha.

TALIESIN: Aloha!

LIAM: In Hawaii, the longsword is a finesse weapon.

TALIESIN: There's a beautiful view out this window.

LIAM: Just want to know in advance.

MATT: I would say– stretching it thin. We had agreed it was a finesse weapon for use, meaning as a dex-based modifier for you to use in combat specifically. When did this discussion happen, I'm trying to recall?

TALIESIN: This happened when we were doing sword tricks. We were discussing whether or not I could actually use a sword. And what that would be like. Because we were having the conversation about whether you should take strength with the sword. I've obviously been using it as a dex-based sword, but– I don't remember if that was specifically for me, or–

SAM: This is a tough decision. But you know, it's not a tough decision to subscribe to Loot Crate.

MATT: I would say because it is part of the intent of the weapon that the longsword, while it may be circumstantially used as a dex-based weapon for that purpose, it is out of your realm of expertise when it comes to using the sneak attack ability. It would not be able to sneak attack.

LIAM: Lovely. I'm going to take off my Boots of Haste and my cloak. See if anyone else wants it, and I'm going to start attuning– Can you use this?

LAURA: What is it?

LIAM: Circlet. Would you be able to control Fassbender?

LAURA: Instead of shooting arrows?

LIAM: No, Keyleth said you just say “zap,” and he just does it until you tell him to stop.

MARISHA: Yeah, it takes your concentration, so it takes–

MATT: Well, it takes an action to–

MARISHA: I'm trying to speak in character, all right?

TALIESIN: What do your Boots of Haste do and what does your cloak do, out of curiosity?

LIAM: I want to see how much I'm giving up here. Haste will let you double your speed, you'll be able to do one more thing when you're doing things. Scanlan showed me some sort of potion.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm assuming that was a Potion of Haste.

SAM: I gave the Potion of Haste to Grog. We both found these two potions. Grog has the Potion of Haste if anyone else desperately needs it, and I certainly don't need to be any smaller, so I've given the potion of reduction? Reducement?

MATT: Diminution.

SAM: Diminution? To good old Vax here.

LIAM: It's funny, because part of my idea was to go in with you. But I know that you have to do it to folk of your own size, but if I were little Vax, I could go with you.

LAURA: Why can't you keep your boots on for that?

MARISHA: Honestly, spellcasters, it's not as beneficial for us to have Haste.

LIAM: That's true, but I'm wondering if anyone wants Fassbender. If I'm going in, I'm not going to be able to concentrate on that.

MARISHA: Well, depends on when you're going in.

SAM: You don't know. Give it to Vex.

MARISHA: If you focus on Fassbender and tell him to just attack or to cast Slow, he will do that until that dragon is dead. He will just continue without you having to focus on him.

LIAM: I know. I just don't want to miss a shot to go into the belly of the beast with my little buddy here.

MARISHA: That's so trite.

SAM: We were born to do this!

LAURA: Does it have to be attuned?

MATT: Yes. So if you already have three objects attuned, you'd have to take one off.

LAURA: No, I can't wear the circlet, dude.

LIAM: All right, I'll wear it.

TALIESIN: I could, definitely. If you could take the Haste Potion then I might take the boots, because speed would not be a terrible thing for me to have because then I get to shoot more.

LIAM: I'm going to take this sword and I'm going to leave the Deathwalker's Ward on, that can't come off anymore, and the circlet, so the boots are up for borrowing and the Displacer Cloak is up for borrowing. Displacer Cloak makes you very hard to hit.

LAURA: That's good.

LIAM: And the haste will Haste you.

TALIESIN: What does the cloak do, again?

MATT: Disadvantage on physical attacks against you. Until you get hit, and then once you get hit, it fails to work for a turn.

TRAVIS: I might take that.

MARISHA: The cloak?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Oh my god, I'm going to take the belt off.

SAM: You're going to lose your beard!

TRAVIS: You don't know that! This shit's in there tight. I take the Belt of Dwarvenkind, and I put it in the Bag of Holding. I put the Displacer Cloak on.

MATT: You will be losing 26 hit points to your maximum hit points.

TRAVIS: What? Wait! Really?

MATT: Your constitution– or no, it's plus two, so you'd be losing 13 hit points on your max hit points.

TRAVIS: Never mind, no. Nope.

MATT: Because your constitution will go down without it.

LAURA: I can take off my Bracers of Archery, too, and put something on–

MARISHA: What do those do?

LAURA: They just give me a plus two to damage rolls.

LIAM: You're wearing a cloak, so if you wear the boots, you can click them and you've got more movement.

LAURA: All right. Give me the boots. I'm putting the boots on.

MATT: Boots of Haste?

MARISHA: Then I'll take the cloak, I guess. I'm going to take off my spell slot ring. And I put my goodie but my oldie circlet on.

SAM: Let's have a feast! Let's have a feast!

MATT: You guys prepare for the evening. You make your way back to town. Where are you having your feast?

SAM: Isn't there a central place that we killed Kevdak at?

MARISHA: The mayor's? The big mansion.

SAM: Whatever that place is called.

MARISHA: The Margrave's house.

MATT: All right. So you find your way to the Margrave's town square there, you can see a number of the remaining Herd of Storms are sitting around small fires in the center of the cobblestone. They're all war-painted up, you can see there's smears of various dark charcoal and/or crimson liquid smeared across them in patterns. There is a brimming tension of coming battle. You may do your Heroes' Feast if you wish. You can feast up to 12 creatures as part of it.

MARISHA: I can also do a feast if I cast it at seventh level. But, fuck it, I'm going to sleep, so it doesn't matter.

SAM: You're going to do two feasts?

MARISHA: Pike and I are both going to cast Heroes' Feast, so that way we can feast 24 people total.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: So tell Kevdak. Sorry, fuck! Tell Zanror his finest warriors, his druids–

LAURA: And Abjurist Noja.

TRAVIS: And Old Davin.

LIAM: And his wife.

MARISHA: So make sure we have Zanror, his wife, his druids that he mentioned; there were like two to three druids?

ASHLEY: Are there any magic-users in the room?

TRAVIS: Magic-users or clerics.

MARISHA: Magic-users or clerics.

TRAVIS: Abjurist and Old Davin included.

MATT: So. That being the case. You guys have your meals in the center of town, summoned forth a grand Heroes' Feast, two side by side. The chosen soldiers step up and you all begin to feast upon your meal. The taste is great but you're all distracted as the energies of the divine enchantment of these food items fill your body and steel you against the coming fear, there is still the concentration in your eye as you all look off listlessly in the distance as you finish your food. It's now just pushing past midnight.

LAURA: We need to sleep.

MATT: Everyone seems to go and find themselves to rest, a tense sleep before them. Anything else you wish to do before you go to bed?

MARISHA: Rise at sunrise? Rise at dawn?

TRAVIS: Wait, before we do that, didn't you do something that gave us an extra amount of hit points before Kevdak?

ASHLEY: I have Shield of Faith that I can put on somebody.

LAURA: Will that last for 24 hours?

ASHLEY: It's up to ten minutes. I can do it tomorrow.

MATT: What you're thinking of is Aid, and that lasts for eight hours. That's the one that gives the additional hit points he just mentioned.

SAM: Does the Heroes' Feast give us additional hit points?

MARISHA: 2d10, and you're immune to poison, fear–

MATT: As temporary hit points, should mention that too. It's a separate pool. So 2d10 additional hit points. You want to roll, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Oh jeez. Don't let me fuck this up. Oh, that's not bad. 14.

TRAVIS: 14? That's not bad.

MARISHA: 14 from me.

ASHLEY: 12.

MATT: Okay, we'll say the 14 goes to your group, the 12 goes to the rest of them for the purposes of this. So that's a separate pool, the 14 hit points come off first before anything else.

TRAVIS: If it's midnight, I would take Aid, just in case he comes in the morning, and if he doesn't, no harm done, you rest up anyway, right?

ASHLEY: Say it one more time.

TRAVIS: I wouldn't mind taking Aid in case he comes in the morning. If eight hours pass I lose it anyway, but you rest up again.

ASHLEY: Do you want to have it for the night?

TRAVIS: Yeah, just in case he comes in the morning.

ASHLEY: Sure.

MARISHA: Well, when do we want to be at the trap? Dawn?

SAM: At dawn!

LIAM: Just before.

TRAVIS: Yeah, before first light.

LAURA: He comes normally around noon, he said.

MARISHA: So we need to be in our places by 5AM.

ASHLEY: So each target's hit point maximum and current hit points increase by five for the duration.

MATT: For each level of the spell, so if you cast it at higher levels, it's more.

TRAVIS: How high do you want to cast it?

ASHLEY: Cast it at– fifth is the highest that I have now.

TRAVIS: Rock out. Go for it.

ASHLEY: Yeah, let's do it.

TRAVIS: Five times five?

ASHLEY: That's, yeah.

SAM: You'll lose it when we wake up.

ASHLEY: Yeah, do you want it for tonight?

TRAVIS: It'll hold for eight hours, right, or, but I lose it–

MATT: Eight hours, yes, but a long rest is eight hours, so.

ASHLEY: Yeah, it'll go away. Let's wait.

MARISHA: What time of year is it?

MATT: It's winter cresting into spring–

MARISHA: Okay, so we have long nights right now.

LAURA: We need to go the fuck to sleep.

MARISHA: So let's sleep for a good six hours?

MATT: Six to eight hours.

LAURA: Set our alarm clocks.

MATT: You run on a pretty consistent schedule, being a ranger.

LIAM: I wait until everyone falls still, and then I scrabble over to you. Are you awake? Yeah, you're awake.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm staring at you.

LIAM: I don't know if it's the food you made or the fact that we're going to die tomorrow, but I want to kiss you. And I kiss her. For a while. Good night.

LAURA: Did you use your tongues?

TRAVIS: You're asleep.

MARISHA: How does she see everything?

LIAM: She's a witch.

MARISHA: She's a witch?

LIAM: She's a witch! Did you see the broom?

MATT: The evening's rest comes to fruition. You guys wake up as the very distant, dull blues of first morning light begins to crawl across the distant mountain ranges. Dead silent is the morning as the rest of the Herd begins to rouse and armor up. You hear the gentle clank of metal against metal as armor and weapons are gathered. Food is being prepared, cooked, and eaten without a word being spoken between them.

SAM: I just want to make sure that we're going around, passing out all the chains, attaching little hooks and jabby things and grappling hooks.

LAURA: They know the plan. As soon as he lands on the ground, everybody springs up and–

MATT: Everyone springs up and hooks him.

SAM: If the trigger for that, they're going to be underground–

LAURA: The trap should go (snapping).

SAM: If they hear a big clank, that's go.

LAURA: Get up and out. Yeah, regardless.

SAM: Will they know that that's a big clank?

LAURA: I'm sure it'll be pretty loud. There might also be an explosion.

MATT: All right. With that, Zanror, after having this discussion at the Margrave's makeshift war room in the front foyer, agrees. “Not to worry. I'll make sure the men have known. We'll sharpen the hooks sharp enough to dig into dragonhide, hopefully. We'll hold taut, and the moment that creature breaks free, weapons are to fall on it. Very well.” He puts on the rest of his armor. Everyone's feasted for the morning. We've lost Taliesin.

SAM: Don't worry. His work is done. He made his trap good.

MATT: It's like he's on the internet in Hawaii or somewhere.

SAM: Let's do this.

ASHLEY: Right when I wake up, I am going to try Divine Intervention.

MATT: Right now?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Hold on just a second.

TRAVIS: Yeah man, it's as good a time as any.

SAM: Does it last for a while?

ASHLEY: I don't know.

LAURA: You used it before.

ASHLEY: No, it's never worked.

LAURA: Yeah, the guy showed up.

ASHLEY: That's something else.

LAURA: Oh really?

ASHLEY: That wasn't intervention.

LAURA: I thought that was Divine Intervention that made the guy show up.

ASHLEY: It's never worked.

MATT: So Divine Intervention, there are elements of it that could be preparatory. By the nature of it, it's more of a sudden prayer of desperation. It's one of those things where the effects can range. It can be something that's immediate; it can be something that's more long. Understanding that, acknowledge when would be the good time to use it, whether it be now or later. Depends on what you're requesting, what you're praying for.

ASHLEY: To come help us kill a dragon. So that.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll a percentile dice, then.

ASHLEY: What do I have–

MATT: Roll 2d10. You may have a die that has multiple numbers on it.

ASHLEY: I do. Is this the percentile?

MATT: Yes. Roll that first. What'd you roll?

ASHLEY: What do I need to roll?

MATT: I believe you need to roll under your level. What did you roll?

ASHLEY: I rolled an 80.

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: It never works!

MATT: So, as you call to Sarenrae, the boundaries and barriers that keep the gods from directly interfering with this realm are particularly strong this morning. While you feel her glow upon you, her warmth and protection guiding you to victory, there is not more within her strength or sphere of influence she can grant you at this time.

ASHLEY: Dammit. I don't feel her warmth, though.

MATT: What else would you like to do?

ASHLEY: Just go eat.

MATT: All right, so the sun has come up, the hour hits to eight, nine in the morning, you're looking at about three hours until the dragon's–

MARISHA: Wait, what time is it?

SAM: It's nine.

MARISHA: Son of a bitch, we overslept.

SAM: No, we've been up since dawn.

MARISHA: I thought we were trying to get in places before dawn.

SAM: Well, we're moving now. It'll be fine.

MARISHA: I hate it when I oversleep.

MATT: All right. The rest of you and the rest of the Herd make your way north. The few people that have stayed behind in the town, the few stalwart, stand outside as you all march by, and they all acknowledge, bow their heads, some get down on their knees and pray for you as you pass. As you quietly make your way outside of Westruun into the plains between the dotted treed landscape towards the drop point. The Herd makes its way under the tunnel beneath the ground.

LAURA: I cast Pass Without a Trace on all of us.

MATT: All right. So they are now beneath the area. They are situated. There is the entrance tunnel off to the side that is currently visible and open from that portion. Do you wish to close or hide that tunnel?

MARISHA: Sure.

TRAVIS: I'm going in that tunnel, too.

LIAM: Scanlan. Where do you want to go?

MATT: Grog, you have hidden–

SAM: I don't want to go underground.

LIAM: Are we going in a tree?

SAM: We're going to go up in a tree. Let's go 200 feet away.

ASHLEY: I'm going to run up to Scanlan and I'm going to cast Death Ward on him.

SAM: What's that do?

TRAVIS: If you drop below zero, you come back to one.

MATT: Once.

SAM: I don't need it. I'm okay. I know that you're very worried about me because of our love, but–

MATT: So Scanlan, you have Death Ward on you. You are now up in this tree here.

SAM: I don't need it. It jinxes me.

ASHLEY: I'm going to cast Protection from Energy, acid, onto Vax.

MATT: Vax actually already has resistance to acid because of his armor.

ASHLEY: I'm going to cast it onto Vex.

LAURA: Thanks.

MATT: Okay. So Vex. Currently you have resistance to acid as long as concentration remains.

MARISHA: I also cast Protection from Energy, resistance to acid, on Grog.

MATT: Grog, you also have resistance to acid.

MARISHA: I'm going to stay in this cluster of trees with Scanlan.

MATT: Scanlan over here, okay.

LAURA: I'm going to be up in a tree.

MATT: You're going to be up in the tree.

SAM: Different tree?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: I don't think we should all be in the same tree, guys.

LAURA: No, I'm going to be in a different tree. Can I use my perception to see how hidden everything is?

MATT: We'll say up in this tree. You want to be up in this one over here instead?

LAURA: Yeah, something far.

MATT: There we go. You'll be in this one.

LAURA: I think Percy wanted to be in a tree, too, at a distance.

MATT: All right. We'll say Percy is over at this one here, watching his trap hopefully spring.

LIAM: Vax is with Scanlan. Stuck like glue.

MATT: Is Trinket in your necklace?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: All right. Where do you want to be? Did you want to cast your Aid spell on anybody before this happens?

ASHLEY: Oh, yeah. Yes.

SAM: Matt, we're more than 150 feet away, yes?

LAURA and MATT: Some people.

LAURA: Like the trees are 80 feet away from the stuff.

MATT: This here?

SAM: I would like to be more than 150–

MATT: About 70-ish feet away is right here where these trees are.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You're about 50-ish feet.

ASHLEY: I'm going to cast Aid on Keyleth.

MATT: At what level?

ASHLEY: Fourth.

MATT: That's 15 additional hit points to Keyleth.

MARISHA: Additional or temporary?

MATT: Not temporary, additional. Keyleth, who else?

ASHLEY: Scanlan, again.

MATT: Scanlan, and–?

SAM: Why don't you do it on yourself?

ASHLEY: Okay, I have low hit points. I'll do it on myself. 15?

MATT: Yep, 15.

SAM: Keyleth, can you help me?

MATT: Do you cast it again, or are you just happy with those people? You can cast it multiple times if you have the spell levels for it.

ASHLEY: I'm going to save my spells.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'm going to need help. I know a little bit about dragons. I don't know a ton. Can you help my knowledge of animals in any way, shape, or form? For some sort of a check, I don't know. I just want to make sure that I know everything I can know in the moment when checked.

LIAM: Can bards inspire themselves?

MATT: No. At higher levels, he can.

MARISHA: Theoretically, I could enhance your ability, but it's a concentration spell and I've already protected from acid against Grog.

SAM: Never mind. I'm fine.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: What does your cloak do? That I put on?

LIAM: Disadvantage on attacking you.

MARISHA: Like, melee?

LIAM: Until you get hit, and then it's gone for the round but resets for the next round.

MARISHA: Only melee, not spells, yeah?

LIAM: That's right.

MATT: So, at this point in time, Kevdak approaches.

SAM: Zanror.

MATT: I did it again. Zanror and two of his goliaths stay there waiting, with the offering placed at its designated spot.

MARISHA: Shit. I can't believe we're doing this.

MATT: Any last-minute preparations?

ASHLEY: I'm going to– wait, Grog, where are you?

TRAVIS: I'm down in the tunnel.

ASHLEY: Is that where I am?

MATT: Well, wherever you want to be.

ASHLEY: I want to be in the trenches.

MATT: In the trenches? All right, so you make your way into the trenches, pushing past all the rest of the Herd members.

LAURA: I hide the hole.

MATT: All right. We'll say for the purposes of this spread so everyone knows where they're all hidden currently–

LAURA: Everyone knows they need to not move at all and be completely–

MARISHA: Quiet.

TRAVIS: I'm down over here.

SAM: Pike, you're in the middle of it? Oh, shit.

ASHLEY: I'm just going to hide. I'm not going to be a hero.

TRAVIS: I'll throw her out of there if something goes wrong.

LIAM: She doesn't clank if she doesn't move.

ASHLEY: They'll see me shining with my shiny armor.

LAURA: You're right. We need to be stealthy up in the trees.

MARISHA: I come over the earpiece in the calm of battle and I say: if things go terribly wrong, rush to this cluster of trees. I have ways that can get us out. I feel like I should say something inspiring, but I don't have anything, so–

TRAVIS: How about fuck shit up?

MARISHA: Fuck shit up, as Grog once said. About two days ago.

MATT: Hiding off in this tree beneath you is Noja, invisibility spell and vanishes behind. Beneath the ground here, off to the side is your good golem friend hidden in the dirt. Quiet sets in, gentle distant wind as the midday sun begins to stroll through. It's quiet and quieter still. You can hear the gentle bristling of high grasses against themselves. The tension causes the muscles in the back of your shoulders and neck to knot up. Watching the sun slowly crawl to its zenith. (wingbeat noises) You look up, those of you who are able, and you see a dark shape, a shadow dart off from the top of Gatshadow. Circles around, past you towards the city. Comes back. Growing larger and larger as it does. As it comes within the vicinity, it drifts up with one large beat of its wings. And (impact sound) lands into the center of this vicinity. As it hits the ground, there is a tink! (creaking sound, impact) As giant claws made of wood, metal, and rotten, angry hooks slam up out of the dirt, sending a giant cluster of dust just filling the vicinity. It woosh– wraps around, you hear the smashing of metal and wood and low, guttural roaring. Dust has filled the area, and, for a brief moment, you have no visual on what's happened. As soon as that hits, everyone around you in the tunnels bursts through the floor, smashing through as the tunnels begin to collapse inward. Also, I need everybody to go ahead and roll initiative.

ASHLEY: Did he move the treasure?

LAURA: Not yet.

LIAM: Come on meteorite die, don't dick me.

MARISHA: Green, lucky jade. That's okay.

LIAM: Matt Colville, this is on you.

SAM: It's not you, Liam, it's me.

MARISHA: Fucking shit.

SAM: Not good. Liam, yours doesn't matter. Mine does.

MARISHA: Is yours not good?

SAM: No.

LAURA: What did you roll?

SAM: It's okay, we got this. Pike's going to win the fight for us.

LIAM: Hey, can I use Luck for initiative?

MATT: What does it say for the ability?

SAM: It doesn't matter, Liam.

MATT: I'll find out here. It counts as an ability check. I don't see why it wouldn't.

LIAM: It's up to you. You're the boss. I love you. You're the all-seeing eye.

SAM: The feast gives us advantage on all initiative checks, right?

MATT: Ability check or saving throw– technically, you get plus two to ability checks, correct? I'd say, sure, you can reroll initiative if you want.

LIAM: (laughs) It was the exact same number!

MATT: You use the Luck point, and your initiative is what it is. Starting at this point in time, everybody–

SAM: It's a fight.

MATT: We have 25 to 20.

LAURA: 22.

TRAVIS: 20.

MATT: All right, 22. Vex. The Herd actually rolled really well.

SAM: Good, we need that.

MATT: Grog. All right, 20 to 15.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: 19 for Percy. Is that it? So we have– Noja. 15 to ten?

LIAM: Big ten, which if you think about it rounded is like 100.

MARISHA: Also big ten, which if you round it twice is like a thousand.

ASHLEY: 13.

MATT: All right. Ten to five.

SAM: Big five.

MATT: Big five, right there. Scanlan holding up the rear, there we go.

LIAM: Gosh, plan B indeed.

MATT: At the top of this surprise round, I need Vex to go first.

LAURA: Am I first?

MARISHA: You've got, no, he has Fassbender.

LAURA: He has Fassbender. I guess I'm just going to shoot it. I mean, what else can I do right now?

LIAM: You do you!

LAURA: All right. My Boots of Haste have been clicked.

MATT: All right, so you are now hasted. You may now have an additional attack action per turn.

LAURA: Badass. I'm going to Hunter's Mark him.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Wait. Yeah, because I'm still hidden in the tree, right?

MATT: Correct, currently. As far as you know. Hunter's Mark on Umbrasyl.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to Hunter's Mark him. I'm going to shoot him with my Longbow of the Sky Sentinel. So I'm going to roll.

MATT: Go for it. Now, he is surprised, so you actually have–

LAURA: Advantage.

MATT: Well, you have advantage because he doesn't see you, so yeah.

LAURA: Okay, so the first one is 12 plus 15 is 23.

MATT: 23?

LAURA: 27.

MATT: 27 hits.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25 hits.

LAURA: And 23.

MATT: 23 hits.

LAURA: So. Okay, those are regular attack plus lightning arrow attack, right? I all of a sudden forget how it works. Plus 1d6 per arrow. 1d6 for the Hunter's Mark. And then 1d6 on the first one for the sneak attack. Okay. Plus the regular.

MATT: Herd's up next, and then Grog.

LAURA: 31 on the first arrow.

MATT: 31 damage?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Nice!

LIAM: Seven plus five is 12.

LAURA: 12. Plus nine.

MATT: 21. You're not getting additional sneak attack for the other two hits, by the way.

LAURA: Right, I know. I lost my– 18, I think. 18 was the last one.

MATT: All right. So that was your Sky Sentinel attack.

LAURA: That was my first attack.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: For my second attack, I'm going to shoot him with one of my dragon arrows. Should I waste it on him?

SAM: Of course, he's a dragon! This is it!

LAURA: I have two of them. I've been saving one, but I'm going to use one on him.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: This is still advantage because it's still surprise round, right?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: Okay. 24.

MATT: 24 hits.

LAURA: Okay. That's still my Hunter's Mark, and then– I have a Jelly Belly in my thing– And then that's 10d6 additional damage for the dragon arrow.

MATT: Okay, surprise round doesn't give you advantage, but you were hidden from the top of the round, so you have advantage.

LAURA: Oh, okay. So an additional 10d6 damage for the dragon arrow.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage on that.

LAURA: No. 6d10. Sorry, my mistake.

MATT: There you go.

SAM: She's going to one-shot the dragon.

LAURA: 6d10. (counting)

SAM: Matt, can I turn around and see Keyleth and Vax making out in the tree behind me?

MATT: They are not.

LIAM: We're not making out! There's a slow trickle of wizz going down my leg right now, man.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm hyperventilating.

LAURA: Sorry. 24 plus ten is 34 plus Hunter's Mark is another four. 38 on that attack.

MATT: 38 points of damage on the dragon-slaying arrow.

LAURA: And then my third attack, I'm going to use the Blazing Bowstring.

MATT: Just so you guys are aware, this is over 100 points of damage in one round.

LIAM: Enjoy those boots.

LAURA: Do I still get advantage, because I'm still hidden?

MATT: No. At this point in time, I'll say you've definitely made yourself known.

LAURA: 20?

MATT: Technically you shouldn't have had advantage on the other ones, but–

LAURA: 20?

MATT: Pssh, arrow splinters across the hide, no effect.

LAURA: Okay. Wow.

MATT: All right. Staying there?

LAURA: I'm going to sink down into the leaves, yes, and try to hide better.

MATT: You have no actions to hide, but you're in a tree.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right. Finishing your turn, the Herd now is going to go. Shot from here, he's going to stay back. All move in, he's going to stay back here and aim. They can't even get in; there's so many of them.

LAURA: I'm trying to duck behind some branches so he doesn't have direct line of sights on me, okay?

MATT: That's fine.

SAM: Man, what if this was all a trick and they actually work for him? Oh god, we're all going to die. It was all a trick! They work for him. They're going to kill us all!

TRAVIS: If I were near you, I would slap you. Get a hold of yourself, man!

MATT: Throwing chains up, some of them leap up and jab the actual hook into the side and try to pull back. Having a hard time piercing hide. It's real strong.

LAURA: Some of them can try to like swing the grapplings around the ankles–

SAM: Shh, don't distract him, he's adding.

MATT: I got this, don't worry.

LIAM: Don't piss him off.

MATT: All right. We'll say about eight of them manage to actually get it into the hide. The rest either bounce off or can't find purchase into its hide and it just scrapes down, but the rest of them are trying to hold it down. “We got him! We got him!” And they're holding back. The archers all take aim. Misses, misses, misses, misses, hits.

LIAM: Question. Did we give the chain attached to Fassbender to one of the goliaths?

SAM: No, it's buried in the stone.

LIAM: To the stone, but one has to go on the dragon.

SAM: If that's what we planned, sure.

LIAM: I don't know.

MATT: You didn't tell Fassbender to use it.

LIAM: Oh, no. Okay. Cool.

MATT: That's two hits for all the arrows. All the rest of them are just smashing against the hide of Umbrasyl. No effect. That is seven points of damage and eight points of damage. They actually make it through. That's their round. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: I go into a rage, and I would like to run up behind him with my Bloodaxe and make two reckless attacks against him.

LIAM: He's got it. He's got a whole strategy. He's street-smart, this guy.

SAM: Intelligence of three.

TRAVIS: 26.

MATT: 26 hits.

TRAVIS: That's really good. 28.

MATT: 28 hits.

TRAVIS: So, that's 23 with three points of necrotic damage.

MATT: 23, three points of necrotic damage added in or on top of that?

TRAVIS: Oh, that's part of it, yeah.

MATT: 23. All right.

TRAVIS: And then the second one– 22 with one point of necrotic damage.

MATT: Gotcha. Whack! Whack! It's a tough hide to cut into, but you're making small hacks into it. You can start seeing that damage is possible, though it's a lot to cut through. This is a very hefty, very old beast. All right.

TRAVIS: With my bonus action, could I drink the potion of fast nuts? Potion of speed.

MATT: Well, isn't it a bonus action to go into a rage?

TRAVIS: I believe you're right. Never mind.

MATT: Pretty sure it is. Let me double-check real fast.

TRAVIS: I think you're right.

MATT: It's fine, yeah. Bonus action. So that's your turn? Percy, you're up. You're way behind the dragon, hiding by the treeside.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to cast Hex on the dragon.

MATT: All right, Hex on the dragon.

TALIESIN: With a disadvantage to all strength checks.

MATT: Strength ability checks, okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hold my turn until the dragon's turn.

MATT: Okay. You're just going to hold until it does something?

TALIESIN: I'm going to hold until it does something, and if it does nothing, I'm taking my attacks, and if it gets away I'm taking my attacks. I'm just taking my attacks after him.

MATT: Okay. It is now Noja's turn. Noja is going to step out from here and is going to attempt to Lightning Bolt. From the side, he just reaches out, hand forward. Arcs upward in its direction. It fails its saving throw because it is held in there. It is currently considered grappled. It doesn't have disadvantage or anything, but I'll say from this standpoint it can't really move around a lot. It's going to take the damage.

SAM: (laughs) What was that face?

MATT: Terrible roll. 21 points of lightning damage.

SAM: That's 8d6.

MATT: At the end of his turn, it's going to use one of its legendary actions to make a tail attack against you. We'll say that'll be 27 to hit.

TRAVIS: That'll hit.

SAM: Can I use Cutting Words on the attack or to reduce the attack?

MATT: If you want to.

SAM: I would like to.

MATT: Okay, so 27 to hit. You take, from the slam of its tail behind you–

SAM: No, I mean to, I'm sorry, I can't reduce the–

MATT: Oh, I thought, to reduce the attack not the damage.

SAM: The attack.

MATT: Okay. Go for it. Roll your d10.

SAM: Okay. (slide-whistle) A d10 is this one. Ten.

MATT: Ten. 17. What's your AC?

TRAVIS: It's a 20.

MATT: 20. With that, the tail– whack!– slams into the ground. You manage to push out of the way just in time as Scanlan shouts up to the dragon.

SAM: Oi! You're so ugly you entered an ugly contest and they said no professionals!

(laughter)

MATT: Just enough of a distraction in the settling dirt for the dragon to turn its head over and its tail swings just a little wide of you, Grog, as you sidestep, no effect. We'll say for this, it's less of a surprise round. I use surprise round liberally. Surprise was it grappling and everyone getting out of it and preparing for the actual assault.

LIAM: It's more of a surprising round.

MATT: Correct. Umbrasyl does get a turn. Umbrasyl, very frustrated and angry at the circumstance, is going to attempt to break free. With disadvantage on the athletics check to try and break out of the grapple because of the Hex. All right. That is–

SAM: Is that a save?

MATT: No, it's not a save. It's an ability check. However, the strength– (struggling sounds) cannot seem to break free from the grapple of the communal might of all the goliaths there. So that is unhappy.

SAM: Meaning Matt is unhappy.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: And three more dragons.

MARISHA: Why the book?

LAURA: Oh no, what are we looking up?

TRAVIS: What's in the book?

MATT: Nothing's in the book, guys.

LAURA: We're literally going to finish off this bag of Jelly Bellies.

LIAM: If an ancient black dragon takes one hit point of damage, it cowers and dies.

ASHLEY: I'm looking for the popcorn ones.

MARISHA: Thanks to whomever sent these Jelly Bellies, by the way.

MATT: That'll end Umbrasyl's turn. That brings us to Pike, you're up.

TALIESIN: Oh no, that's my turn now.

MATT: Percy's up, then.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take just a standard shot with Bad News.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Ooh. 28 to hit.

MATT: 28 hits.

TALIESIN: 18 points of damage, with four necrotic. 18 points of damage.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: And I'll take another shot with Bad News.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: 20 to hit.

MATT: 20 does not hit.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Second shot just goes wide, firing off into the distance over the city of Westruun.

TALIESIN: All right. Turn's up.

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

ASHLEY: Okay. I'm going to Guiding Bolt.

SAM: Be beautiful! Be good!

LAURA: At what level?

ASHLEY: I'm going to– at third. Let me see this.

LIAM: Is this an attack range thing, or does it automatically–?

MATT: Spell attack roll, so you roll–

ASHLEY: And then I add that? That would be a 29.

MATT: 29. Damn, what did you roll?

ASHLEY: I rolled a 19.

MATT: That's nice. That'll hit.

ASHLEY: Okay, so now I do–

LAURA: 4d6 plus two more d6.

ASHLEY: 26.

MATT: 26 points of damage.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: All right. And the next attack against it has advantage. So Pike, you're staying. You popped out of the trench and you're up on the ground. You hit it with the Guiding Bolt. You can see the blast of divine energy streaks up and slams into Umbrasyl's side. The darkened black scales now have this shining beacon across the torso. Anything else you want to do with your turn, or is that it? You want to move?

ASHLEY: Yeah. I'm going to stay.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: But I'm also going to put a Spiritual Weapon, just a sword again. Can't think of anything right now because I'm nervous.

MATT: We'll say right here in this area around Umbrasyl. The magical light sword of Sarenrae once again forges itself underneath Umbrasyl, swings up towards– Let's see, you did Guiding Bolt at what level?

ASHLEY: Three.

MATT: Third level. And Spiritual Weapon is second level. So that works. Lasts for a minute. Make a spell attack. Roll again.

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: 19 total? The blade swings up and as it strikes against the dragon's armor, sparks of divine energy versus the scales streak, but no damage is done. The blade is unable to strike through the hide. Does that end your turn, Pike? Are you staying where you are?

SAM: Did you add your spell attack bonus?

LAURA: Yeah, she did.

MATT: All right. You going to move, stay where you are?

ASHLEY: I'll stay where I am.

MATT: Ending Pike's turn, Vax, you're up.

LIAM: I'm going to hold my turn until Scanlan, no. Yeah, I'm going to– Fassbender, slow the fucking dragon down now!

MATT: Okay, at which point suddenly dust streaks upward as Fassbender steps up out of the hiding place there. Fassbender focuses his arms out as the slow magic effect seems to take on towards it. What's the DC on it?

LIAM: Oh, dear god. That's a good question.

SAM: Who has the Fassbender stats?

LIAM: I've got it. Slow– 17.

MATT: 17. And that's a wisdom?

LIAM: It is wisdom. And Fassbender, just slow until the end of tomorrow, just keep going.

MATT: It rolled a ten plus nine, succeeds in the save.

SAM: Wisdom disadvantage save. I have Cutting Words-ed him.

MATT: That's true. Rolled even higher.

LIAM: Question: he'll just keep doing that until I tell him to stop, right?

MATT: Yeah, but it has to recharge. If it doesn't, he might just start hitting it.

MARISHA: He's got to roll to see if it recharges. It'll recharge on a five or a six.

LIAM: Okay. With my bonus action, I drink that potion (high-pitched) and I'm a tiny Vax.

MATT: Okay! With that, you have shrunk down to a small-sized creature.

LIAM: (high-pitched) Do it, Scanlan, do it!

SAM: I think this is the first time I've ever been taller than you.

LIAM: (high-pitched) Hey, buddy! I love ya. Let's go in that dragon's gut.

SAM: I don't particularly like small people.

LIAM: (high-pitched) Do you think Keyleth will think less of me?

SAM: Yes, I do.

MATT: Is that the end of your turn?

LIAM: Yeah, action, bonus action. Done

MATT: So Vax is actually like a few inches shorter than you. You're now towering over him.

SAM: I tousle his hair.

LIAM: I'm like eight inches tall, if that's true! He's so small!

MATT: (laughs) You're like two feet. He's about two and a half.

LIAM: (high-pitched) These are still sharp.

SAM: You're so cute!

LIAM: (high-pitched) Heeheehee.

SAM: My turn?

MATT: So, it's your turn, Scanlan. Oh no, Pike, Vax, Keyleth, then it's you. Keyleth, what are you doing?

MARISHA: Oh dear god. Okay. I'm going to transmute the earth underneath him. Right? That's what I'm doing? That's part of the plan? So if I can do right underneath Umbrasyl, that would be fabulous.

MATT: Transmute Rock–

MARISHA: It's a 120-foot range.

MATT: Yes, and a 40-foot cube in the range. So what are you doing?

MARISHA: I want to do the area just directly under Umbrasyl, if I can, so that I'm not sinking the Herd around him.

MATT: Turning what into what?

MARISHA: I want to turn the ground directly underneath Umbrasyl into mud.

MATT: Okay. The only piece of rock is the piece of rock that you put beneath where the chains were there. The area right beneath Umbrasyl is dirt, it's earth.

MARISHA: Okay, I thought it had spread, because it's 40-foot, so I thought it was under Umbrasyl, but I could do something else–

MATT: A 40-foot cube, part of it would be under Umbrasyl, possibly, but for the placement of where you put that, it's going to be hard for you to do it without it pulling everybody else into it.

MARISHA: Okay. Plan B.

MATT: You can do it still, but it'll probably take some of the Herd with it.

MARISHA: Should I go with pillars? Yeah. I'll go with–

SAM: No.

MARISHA: No?

LIAM: Just do what you're going to do. Ignore the gnome. Go.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to cast Bones of the Earth, which I think I can pop up six pillars around Umbrasyl.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: So, Grog, you want a boost? You want to stand on a rock?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Pike, you want a boost? Do you want a boost?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MARISHA: Okay. Here's what I'm going to do. I want a pillar here, Grog. When you're ready.

MATT: All right, so you're putting Grog on a pillar.

MARISHA: Grog on a big stone pillar, bam! And then, where's the button? Pike on a pillar over here, bam. Let's go ahead, I'm trying to trap him in here. I want to pin him as these go up, so let's do one here. Can I get whoever that is up on a–

MATT: Which one?

MARISHA: Right up here.

MATT: All right. If I'd known you were going to use this spell, I would've brought the pillars.

MARISHA: Oh. Surprise! We were trying not to tell anyone our plan.

MATT: I know, it's good. Now I know.

LIAM: We wanted to keep you off-balance, Matt.

MATT: That's good. All right.

MARISHA: Let's do another one over here. Bam. Pinning him in. One, two, what is that, three, four. One on the opposite side, over here. Umbrasyl's a big fatty so I can't get my laser pointer over there.

MATT: Where do you want it? Right there?

MARISHA: Over here-ish. On the other side of this one. Can I raise a pillar through his wing?

MATT: Not through his wing, no.

MARISHA: So flanking this pillar on the other side over there, if that makes– flanking this pillar. So wait, move that one that you just placed over a bit.

MATT: This is like a summoning spell.

MARISHA: You know, it's fine. You get the idea.

MATT: That one there.

MARISHA: Let's do one up here.

MATT: You have one more.

MARISHA: Knock him in the chin.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Hopefully that contains him a bit.

MATT: All righty. That finish your turn?

MARISHA: Yeah, guess so.

MATT: All right. That brings us to Scanlan.

SAM: Okay. Here we go.

LIAM: Here we go.

SAM: I turn to my little buddy and I say: are you ready for a ride, little man?

LIAM: (high-pitched) Come on, big guy!

SAM: Before we go, I yell as loud as I can to Pike to inspire her with my bonus action first.

MATT: The range? Pike is quite far away.

SAM: Can't hear me, or it won't work?

MATT: What's the range, I think it's 60 feet, so yeah. She's too far away.

MARISHA: I'm behind you.

SAM: Well then, am I within 60 feet of her?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Oh. Then I will sing her some inspiration and I'll sing. (singing) Westruun town a dead-end world, east-end boys and Westruun girls, Westruun girls.

(laughter)

MATT: Take your d10.

MARISHA: Fuck yeah, d10.

SAM: And then I sort of link arms with good old Vax. Actually, I hug him tight because we've gotta be tight together to do this, and I hold up my hand cone and I cast Dimension Door and I'm going to aim right for the belly of the beast.

LIAM: And I say: This is so fuuuu–

MATT: Scanlan. You are not fully familiar with the physiology of a dragon.

SAM: No, I am not.

LAURA: I gave him as much information as I could.

MATT: And you did. I would like for you to make an intelligence check.

SAM: Just an intelligence check.

MATT: This is your ability to ascertain based on what you've seen, your knowledge of the dragon, where possibly in its body its stomach may be.

SAM: Okay. Why not?

LAURA: Is it advantage because I told him where it would be?

SAM: Nope. 12?

LIAM: Can I give him my Luck?

MATT: (laughs) No.

SAM: It's just intelligence, right, there's no other–

MATT: Right, you add your intelligence modifier to it.

SAM: Yeah, it's two.

MATT: You would add two to that because of your bardic ability. Plus two to any skill check.

SAM: Okay, 14, then.

ASHLEY: Is there anything extra from heroes' feast? No?

MATT: No. So. Both of you grab hands and vanish. The darkness that hits your eyes upon vanishing doesn't go away as darkness still hits you. All of a sudden, you are plunged into a thick, wet, crushing interior. You have finished your Dimension Door spell. You are in darkness. You are being crushed between what feels like two layers of musculature. Both of you.

SAM: Hi, dude.

MATT: You don't know where each other are. You don't see the other person. There's no sight. You can't hear anything.

SAM: Are we touching at all?

MATT: Nope. The trajectory of the spell and the unfortunate circumstance put you guys on two different sides of a membrane, and you don't know where you are.

SAM: It's going great.

MATT: All right. Does that end your turn?

SAM: Yeah, that's all– I'll use my movement to go–

MATT: You are both considered restrained, so your speed becomes zero, attack rolls against you have advantage, you have disadvantage on dexterity saving throws. Also, you suffer eight points of acid damage, reduced to four.

SAM: Awesome.

LIAM: Who's got the other gatestone? I have one.

ASHLEY: Oh, I have one.

LIAM: 60 seconds.

MATT: You also both currently have no air. At the top of this round, Umbrasyl goes (disgruntled noises).

LIAM: Suck it, bitch!

MATT: “I will eat all of you!”

LIAM: I'm a two-foot-tall rogue, you motherfucker.

LAURA: I'm up?

MATT: You're up first, top of the round.

LAURA: Oh my god. Okay, I'm going to cast Conjure Animals and I'm going to conjure two giant eagles right in front of his face.

MATT: I'm really hoping we can put more things on the battlefield, guys. I think that would be a cool idea.

LAURA: (laughs) Sorry, Matt.

MATT: It's not like I don't have enough to concentrate on up there.

LAURA: I'm sorry.

MATT: It's fine. I don't have two giant eagle miniatures, so we'll say, for the time being, this air elemental is a giant eagle.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: I'll say, with no facetiousness, this is all I ever wanted in my life.

SAM: To be trapped in the spleen of a dragon with me?

MATT: We'll say these are up in the air.

LAURA: Okay, right in front of–

MATT: Because I've used all the height things for–

LAURA: And Conjure Animals is an action, or a–

MATT: It's an action.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to tell them to attack his eyes.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: They get their own–

MATT: Own initiative, which I just rolled. What's their dexterity bonus?

LAURA: You sent me a thing– let's go with that. Hold up. Giant eagle, dexterity is 17, plus three.

MATT: So it would be plus three, that puts them at 11, so they are just above Keyleth and Vax. All right.

LAURA: And then for my bonus action, I'm going to– I can't cast two spells, even if one's a bonus action?

MATT: As long as it's a level two or lower.

LAURA: Oh, okay. For my bonus action, I'm going to hide a lot? I'm going to hide.

MATT: You didn't start the round hidden, so you can't do that.

LAURA: I wasn't still hidden?

MATT: No, you have to spend a bonus action to attempt to hide at the end of your turn.

LAURA: Can I attempt to hide?

MATT: You'd have to be a level two rogue to do that as a bonus action on your turn.

LAURA: But on my boots of haste I can use it to dash, disengage, or hide.

MATT: Oh, you're using your bonus action– so your extra action, not your bonus action.

LAURA: Okay, my extra action.

MATT: You can do that, yes. Go ahead and roll a stealth check.

LAURA: Natural 20.

MATT: You vanish into the foliage.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: All right. Great. Finishing your turn, the Herd now goes. They're going to attempt to put the rest of the chains up to increase the DC of the grapple. There we go. So four more chains get latched on so they're holding. Each chain increases the DC of the grapple. All right. So as they're all holding it down, the five in the back that are going to take attacks on it are going to do so. That's a hit, miss, miss, hit, miss, miss, miss, miss, miss, hit. Three hits. So four damage, five damage, and eight damage.

LAURA: Wow, these guys hit real hard. How come they were hitting us so hard?

MATT: They're rolling really terrible. They get two attacks each. All right. And with that, the tribal druid is going to cast Blight on the creature. However, it does make its saving throw, so for the purposes of speed on this I'm going to use my dice-rolling app. That's a lot of dice to roll. That comes to 18 points of necrotic damage. That brings us to the end of that round. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Could I go into a frenzied rage?

MATT: You may.

TRAVIS: Excellent. I'm on top of a pillar, and I'm not within striking distance, right?

MATT: You can hit it.

TRAVIS: From up there?

MATT: Yeah, it's pretty tall.

TRAVIS: (laughs) I would like to use all three of my attacks against his backside, reckless.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: All righty.

TRAVIS: 26.

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: These are just regular. They're not great weapon master. 23.

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: Sweet. So the first one was the crit.

MATT: The crit. So go ahead and roll damage on that plus two additional d12s.

TRAVIS: Right. That's a d12. 21 and two additional d12s?

MATT: Yep, 21 plus?

TRAVIS: Ten, 31.

MATT: 31.

TRAVIS: Seven, so 38.

MATT: 38 points of damage on the first strike. Next two strikes, roll for it.

TRAVIS: That was awful. 13.

MATT: 13, all right. Last one.

TRAVIS: That was also pretty crap. That's 16.

MATT: 16, okay. At the end of its turn it's going to use a legendary action to attempt to wing attack you. It's going to cost its last–

TRAVIS: Oh, I did not add the necrotic.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: On all three of them. Three, six, eight.

MATT: Total of eight?

TRAVIS: Total of eight.

MATT: All right. Expending two of its actions to use a wing attack, it's going to go ahead and start beating its wings as hard as it can, even with the chains amongst it. Each creature within 50 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 23 dexterity saving throw. Make a dex save.

TRAVIS: (singing) I believe I can fly–

MATT: The only one of the party within– what did you roll?

TRAVIS: A nine.

MATT: Nine. All right. You take 15 points of bludgeoning damage.

TRAVIS: Reduced to…

MATT: Reduced to eight. Go ahead and make one more dexterity saving throw, just for my own sake.

TRAVIS: 16.

MATT: 16. You are thrust off the pillar, pushed, falling, and hitting the ground, prone on the ground, the pillar remains there. You take an additional eight points of bludgeoning damage, reduced to four, from the impact. But you are knocked prone. The rest of the Herd here, we'll say for the sake of that, they do not save. Oh, man. They are all knocked prone, knocking much of the chains free from their hands as they're thrown onto their backs. Then it is still technically grappled, so it cannot fly half its speed, unfortunately. It does seem to have knocked a majority of the chains off its back. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: Holding my action until its action.

MATT: Okay. That brings us to Noja. Noja's going to attempt another Lightning Bolt. It's the best thing he has at the moment. Oh, a natural 20 on the saving throw. Nope. Not bad. 15 points of lightning damage to Umbrasyl. Noja's then going to dart back behind the tree. Ending Noja's turn, it is now Umbrasyl's turn. Umbrasyl is going to go ahead and attempt to break free of the final chains that are there.

TALIESIN: With disadvantage.

MATT: Correct, with disadvantage. But even so comes out to a 22. (crash) The rest of the chains that were holding Umbrasyl down break free.

LAURA: What about the trap? Is he out of the trap then, too?

MATT: Well, the trap that's currently holding it in place is part of the whole setup. The trap is what's keeping it there, starting the grapple, and the chains are just there to increase the DC. So with that, the actual metal structure of the trap that held it in place is shattered. You can see pieces of iron go flying, wood splintering in this cloud of dust that is kicked up from the movement of the wings. Currently right now there are still hooks and chains dangling from Umbrasyl, but some of them have broken and most of them are unmanned at the moment. The dragon is going to (wings flapping) go ahead and–

TALIESIN: Can I take my action?

MATT: You can, yes.

TALIESIN: I'm taking a shot at him at the joint at his wing and I'm going to attempt to ground him.

MATT: Attempt to ground him? Okay, go for it. Roll for the attack.

TALIESIN: Natural fucking 20.

(cheering)

TALIESIN: Oh no, oh my god, right now.

MARISHA: He's taking a photo?

TRAVIS: He's taking a photo.

TALIESIN: Photo taken. Ha! Natural 20. It still doesn't necessarily mean he's grounded. It means he has to make a strength saving throw or he's prone.

MATT: Correct. So roll the damage first.

TALIESIN: Roll damage. Oh yeah. That's double dice, so that's– 23 points doubled is 46 plus–

MATT: Plus the modifier. So 46 is–

TALIESIN: 46, yeah, plus the modifier now is 52 points of damage total.

LIAM: That bullet came from the center of the Pacific Ocean!

MATT: Strength saving throw.

TALIESIN: I rolled really well.

MATT: That's amazing. All right, so. Strength saving throw to try and resist the effect. That is a failure. It's going to use one of its legendary actions to automatically succeed, one of its legendary resistances. So succeeds. Rising up from the ground, because of all the guys that are knocked prone–

TALIESIN: Wait!

MATT: What was that?

TALIESIN: I was going to pop off a couple more shots.

MATT: You held your action, okay. So you fired, loaded, fired last round.

TALIESIN: I was going to blow an action surge.

MATT: Oh. It's weird to do– Out of turn action, it is a little strange to do that.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: He held his action. That's something you do on your turn as a burst. I'll say, probably have to wait on your actual turn to do that full bit.

TALIESIN: No, it's okay. Go ahead.

MATT: Umbrasyl does rise up about 40 feet.

LIAM: Here we go, Scanlan.

MATT: It's actually going to move back this way.

ASHLEY: Did he never land on the glyph?

MATT: He landed in the trap immediately and the trap set off, but he never grabbed the stuff.

ASHLEY: It was if he landed on it.

MATT: You said it was to–

LIAM: Pull it off.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we said to lift it off.

MATT: All right. Flying back at that point (flapping wings) just growling, absolute anger. Squeezed in its insides, you guys both feel this heavy contraction within its body as you guys watch this flow of greenish bile spittle begins to fill up and spray out in a line from its mouth.

LIAM: Look at all those people.

LAURA: Are they all going to die?

MATT: Everything there– Okay.

LAURA: The birds were up in the air, though.

MATT: Right, but the stream sprays down, it's not just a single bolt. It vomits it out and it lands over everything. That's how it works.

SAM: Pike, are you in there?

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: All right, that comes to 15d8 acid damage.

LAURA: 15d8?

SAM: I think a lot of those people will be fine.

MATT: So that's 81 points of damage to all those guys. They all just dissolve in horrible agony.

LAURA: Oh my god, you guys, we're going to die.

SAM: No, just me and Liam.

MATT: Both of the eagles just screech in pain as they're entirely ruined.

LAURA: Good job, you fucking wastes of space. They didn't even get to fucking go.

MATT: Sorry. That's going to end Umbrasyl the Hope-Devourer's turn.

MARISHA: The Hope-Devourer?

MATT: That is the full name.

SAM: So his middle name is The Hope? And his last name is Devourer?

MATT: Devourer. Married into it.

SAM: It's hyphenated?

MATT: Hyphenated, yeah.

TRAVIS: Marriage fucked everything up.

MARISHA: Yep, Umbrasyl the Hope and then marriage fucked everything up.

MATT: You guys have both entirely vanished, you both are inside the entity. All right, so. Keyleth, the line just stops right before you. It smacks into the ground five feet from your feet and you watch as the earth and grass beneath you just immediately turns black and seems to almost coalesce into this death-sludge in this long line. It just barely misses you. All right, that's going to end Umbrasyl's turn. Pike, you're up.

ASHLEY: All right. So. I'm going to Guiding Bolt him again.

MATT: All right. You're now up on a pillar facing this giant flying dragon. Standing above the rest of the battlefield, your shield up and your Frostbrand to the side, you reach up and grab your holy symbol and go ahead and roll for your Guiding Bolt attack.

TRAVIS: How high is he?

MATT: 30 feet. He went back.

ASHLEY: 28?

MATT: 28 hits.

TRAVIS: Fuck him up, Pike.

MARISHA: Come on, Pike. Can you bring him down any?

ASHLEY: I'm rolling what again? Sorry.

LAURA: What level are you casting it at?

ASHLEY: Four again.

MATT: How many 4th-level spells do you have left now? Because you cast–

ASHLEY: I have two more.

MATT: Two more? Because you cast Death Ward, which is 4th-level, I believe, right? On Scanlan?

LIAM: Well, what did you do? You did Death Ward. And is that it?

ASHLEY: The last Guiding Bolt.

LAURA: Yeah, so that's only two you used.

MATT: Right. So you have how many more left at 4th-level?

ASHLEY: Two. Because the ring gives me one extra.

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll that. That is going to be 4d– how much do you get Guiding Bolt damage on that then?

LAURA: 4d6 plus an additional two or three?

ASHLEY: At fourth level, that would be seven, then.

MATT: That would be 7d6 radiant damage.

ASHLEY: 22.

MATT: 22 points of damage.

ASHLEY: But I'll also– never mind. We're good, 22.

MATT: You're good. Okay.

ASHLEY: And then I'm going to move my Spiritual Weapon.

MATT: Okay, Spiritual Weapon, which is technically on the ground over here.

ASHLEY: And I'm going to move it to the back of his neck.

MATT: Let's see. Spiritual Weapon, can move it 20 feet and repeat the attack. It is more than 20 feet away.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: It's down there, so it can begin to shift upward in that direction. So we'll say that it's partway floating in midair.

ASHLEY: Can it get his feet?

MATT: No, it can't. It's too far away, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: All right, well, it'll start working its way up there.

MATT: Okay. That ends your turn, Pike. All right. It would be the eagles' turn, but they got dissolved.

LAURA: Thanks, Matt. Thank you for pointing that back out.

MATT: Oh, I like to. I also want to point out that you guys held my dragon to the ground for two rounds and hit it like a goddamn pincushion.

LIAM: You'll feel better once Scanlan and I have dissolved.

MATT: I will. All right. End of Pike's turn. Vax, you're up first. At the top of your round–

LIAM: I'm just going to take the dragon blade and I'm going to as best as I can drag it in front of me.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I'm going to cut the insides of this–

MATT: First, you take eight points of bludgeoning damage as it is crushing you, muscles tensing on the inside are just– You're in between musculature right now and just being crushed.

LIAM: Yes. Probably its sphincter. Now what?

MATT: You are restrained, so go ahead and make your attack at disadvantage.

LIAM: At disadvantage.

LAURA: But it can't very well avoid it.

MATT: It's about him being able to actually move and get it.

LIAM: Well, I'm using the dragon longsword, which I've never used before. It's a plus one sword, so I get what?

MATT: Plus one to hit.

LIAM: With strength?

MATT: It would be strength, but we've agreed that it can work as finesse for the purposes of a dex bonus, you just can't sneak attack.

LIAM: I just can't sneak attack. All right. So.

MATT: Be grateful I'm being–

LIAM: Whatever you want to do, you are the deity here. So this is a 17 to hit.

MATT: 17, you pull the blade and it's just unable to cut through this tense muscle and tendon.

LIAM: Use Luck.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Nothing.

ASHLEY: Wait, what is this? Is this an attack?

MATT: He's trying from the inside.

ASHLEY: Can I cast War God's Blessing?

MATT: Does War God's Blessing require you to see the creature?

ASHLEY: Probably not.

MATT: We'll find out.

SAM: Yeah, probably.

TRAVIS: Probably not.

MATT: When a creature within 30 feet makes an attack roll– So, using the Guiding Bolt, you can see shifting somewhere in the body of Umbrasyl– (laughs) You see this form moving in there. You know, based on what you guys have discussed before– I hope you discussed this plan before.

LIAM: We discussed it so much.

MATT: That's a plus ten bonus, is that what it is?

ASHLEY: Plus ten.

MATT: That hits, go ahead and roll damage with the longsword.

MARISHA: Is this sneak attack?

MATT: No, he doesn't get sneak attack with a long blade.

TRAVIS: But against dragons it does specific damage.

LIAM: Yeah, it does plus 3d6, if I remember.

MATT: Let me look it up here just to be safe.

LIAM: 15 from the inside.

MATT: 15 damage from the inside.

LIAM: Hopefully that cuts me a little breathing room. And a question that only you know, Matthew–

MATT: The extra is 3d6, you are correct.

LIAM: Am I within five feet of Scanlan?

TALIESIN: An extra 3d6, not just 3d6.

LIAM: I got 15 damage. Am I within, I'd like to use my bonus action to sneak attack if I can, if I'm within five feet. If Scanlan is within five feet of the creature, that's up to you. I don't know. It's crazy circumstance.

MATT: The reason that you would get sneak attack for having another creature within five feet is because it is harrying and the opponent is distracted–

LIAM: The heartburn is not distracting it?

MATT: Not enough.

LIAM: Not enough. Okay.

MATT: There's not a lot of threat to Umbrasyl.

LAURA: You get a d8 plus your d6.

LIAM: Yes, I know. I did it.

LAURA: Then you did the additional 3d6?

LIAM: I did, darling.

LAURA: And you only got 15?

LIAM: I only got 15. I would like to use the dagger to cut into him as well.

MATT: All right, go for it. Disadvantage on that attack.

LIAM: Disadvantage?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Oh, that's no good. That's, nah, it's 12.

MATT: You can't even get your dagger out of the sheath. It's too tight in there. You are cutting through muscle, and you feel the body and the muscle just tense based on the reaction of the interior pain. You watch the dragon, but it's still keeping up in the air.

LIAM: I'm okay. Okay.

MATT: You are beginning to suffocate.

LIAM: All right.

SAM: Oh, jesus.

MATT: I mean, you can hold your breath for a little while here, but just letting you know, there is no airflow. You're not suffocating yet, but you know there is no air to breathe currently.

LIAM: I understand, Matthew. I'm fucked. It's fine.

MATT: All right. That's your turn. That brings us to Keyleth.

MARISHA: I'm so scared. Okay, hang on. What the hell is the range on that? I'm going to just take a few steps forward, here-ish. Matt.

MATT: Right there?

MARISHA: There-ish, move up a little bit. Just so I can– Yeah, just ahead of the tree. And I'm going to attempt to cast Earthbind on him. He has to make a strength saving throw.

MATT: Strength saving throw. That is a failure. It's going to use its second legendary resistance, succeeds.

MARISHA: Fuck, I knew it. Well, we've burned off two of his legendary resistances.

LIAM: Also, I have no idea what the initiative order is, but Fassbender keeps doing Slow until I tell him to do something else, right?

MATT: If it recharges. Go ahead and roll a d6.

LIAM: A d6.

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Two.

MATT: Two. It does not recharge Slow. Fassbender is too low. Fassbender is just standing there now.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to take the remaining of my turn. Oh shit, I actually didn't want to move. It's okay. I'm going to turn into an earth elemental.

MATT: Okay. All right.

MARISHA: And I'm going to take the remaining of my movement to move up–

MATT: Up?

MARISHA: Well, he has 60 feet of movement, but I moved, what, like ten feet earlier, so.

MATT: 60 feet of movement? His speed is 60?

MARISHA: No, I'm sorry. His Earthglide is– Yes, 30, so he moves up 20 feet.

MATT: 20 feet, all right. That finishes your turn, Keyleth. Scanlan, you're up. Actually, at the end of Keyleth's turn, it's going to use a legendary action to use a tail attack against you, Pike, because you are within 20 feet of it. As it's in the air, its tail whips out toward you. That is a 32 to hit.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Yeah. Nope. No. Doesn't hit.

MATT: You take 22 points of bludgeoning damage.

ASHLEY: And I'm staying up there?

MATT: You're barely holding on up there, but yes. You take the brunt of it with your shield, and it almost knocks you off the side. You manage to take your sword and dig in to the opposite side and catch yourself on the edge of the pillar. It does not knock you off. Scanlan, it is now your turn. At the top of your turn, you take six points of acid damage, reduced to three, as you've found your way into the stomach. He did not.

SAM: Is it big in there?

MATT: It's fairly spacious, but it's all squeezed together right now. It's not a giant, empty void, it's not a giant pocket of air in your stomach, it is a–

LIAM: Click, motherfucker, click.

MATT: You're also holding your breath. You are also submerged in liquid that is dissolving you.

SAM: I can move my arms, though.

MATT: You can. You're still pressed in but you can move your hands, yeah.

SAM: Okay, that's good. I'm going to get that rod out and click it.

MATT: (laughs) Okay. Pulling out– This is going to be weird. All right. So you take out the immovable rod and click it and as you release it, it stays there aloft in the center. You have darkvision as a gnome, correct?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Right, so there in this space amongst the murky liquid you can just barely see its shape there and it is held aloft, yes.

SAM: Okay. That's good, that's positive, guys. We're getting somewhere. Is that my movement? Is that my bonus? What is that?

MATT: No, that's your action to pull it out and click it. Because it's not easy to do in your current circumstance.

SAM: Sure. Okay. Well, I guess that's my action and I guess as a bonus action I can't really do anything. (laughs) I can't inspire anyone because I don't think I can hear– oh! I'm going to use the earring. Shit. Fuck. I'm going to just start screaming and say: can you hear me, Vax?

MATT: You guys hear through the earring, (incoherent high-pitched babbling). The air has now escaped your lungs.

SAM: Fuck!

MATT: You're not drowning yet. That ends your turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Do I get advantage on attacking it because of Guiding Bolt?

MATT: You do. The next attack, yes.

SAM: Did Vax reply?

MATT: Yeah, the Guiding Bolt, because the Guiding Bolt's technically the next attack, it did not give you advantage on the attack, because you're on the inside and you don't actually see the Guiding Bolt. It would go over to the next one.

LIAM: I don't know what the fuck's going on, Matt, it's fine.

LAURA: I've got to see, because I just want to know. How far does Grasping Vine go? Do you know, Keyleth?

MARISHA: 60 feet? I can tell you super fast. No, 30 feet.

LAURA: How high in the air is–

MATT: He is 30 feet up right now.

MARISHA: You technically have a pillar that's 30 feet high adjacent to him that you can anchor it into a pillar.

LAURA: I'm going to– can it go from the bottom of the pillar up towards him?

MATT: If you want to. Down here, you mean?

LAURA: Yeah, I want to try to grasp onto one of his legs and yank him back down towards the ground. Ooh, which would really hurt with the immovable rod inside of him.

MATT: Okay. All right. So using your bonus action, you conjure the vine as your one 4th-level spell.

LAURA: I have two because I have a pearl of power.

MATT: Oh. So you would've had to have prepared that in advance. But yes, we'll say you do.

LAURA: Okay. Oh, I didn't tell you. I should have.

MATT: You should have told me. But we'll say as part of the preparation you did that, okay. So Grasping Vine appears, lashes out from this pillar up at Umbrasyl.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right. The creature has to succeed on a dexterity saving throw or be pulled– what's the DC on your spell?

LAURA: Um, 16.

MATT: 16. That is a nine plus nine, that is 18. So the vine whips out and Umbrasyl backs up and pulls the leg up and it just hits the air beneath. Kicks away the vine.

LAURA: That was my bonus.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Okay, then I'm going to attack him three times with my hasting.

MATT: Go for it. Yeah, three attacks.

LAURA: All right.

MATT: First one has advantage.

LAURA: Okay. 24?

MATT: 24 hits.

LAURA: Okay. And that's sneak attack, because he's got somebody close to him. Inside of him.

MATT: It's technically not sneak attack. It's not so much about– there's somebody close, but a person that is not threatening him from his current physical space, it is a bit of heartburn for him right now. You don't sneak attack somebody from eating bad pasta.

LAURA: Cool. Then just seven–

SAM: Did he move?

MATT: Not yet, no. So how much damage is that?

LAURA: Ten.

MATT: Ten points of damage for the first attack.

LAURA: For the first attack.

MATT: Second attack? This does not have advantage, only the first one did. What was your first roll?

LAURA: Then it doesn't hit. Then 26 for the last one.

MATT: 26 hits, so the first one hits, sticks part in the front of its armor, doesn't seem to phase it, the second one it actually hits the wing and the wing just shatters it and knocks it out of the air as it's keeping itself up. The third one, however, does strike and hit and it'll actually go between the scales of the neck. Roll for damage.

LAURA: Nine.

MATT: Nine points of damage. Both arrows sticking out of the hardened exterior of the ancient black dragon.

LAURA: The Grasping Vine just still hangs out there?

MATT: Yeah, it's just chilling on the side there. As long as you maintain concentration, it'll stay.

TRAVIS: Is it grabbing him or not?

MATT: It failed with the grab. All right. End of your turn? Is that what you're doing?

LAURA: Am I hiding still?

MATT: You have to use a bonus action to try and hide if you began the turn hiding. Or you can use your extra action from the haste to do it, but you already used it to attack, so you're not hidden.

LAURA: Ugh! Fine.

MATT: (laughs) End of your turn, it's going to use another legendary action to do another tail attack against you, Pike.

TRAVIS: Is that the third one?

MATT: That is a natural one. Umbrasyl goes to swing and suddenly there's a pulse in the stomach as you see Vax moving once again on the inside and doing so distracts it and the tail just swings overhead and you duck below it as it just barely misses your head by inches. One of your braids actually comes loose from the amount of wind that blows by. That brings us to–

TRAVIS: What's left of the Herd.

MATT: Herd's turn.

TRAVIS: Come on, goliaths and Herd, please roll better.

MATT: He is going to rush up around here. Grab the chains that they can. The chains have broken, so they're going to go ahead as part of their plan to begin to just unleash weaponry, so they just run through–

MARISHA: Have they all broken? Maybe some just came loose.

MATT: This was their plan. The plan they agreed to. They're all taking out javelins now. They had them at their side. They're all leaping up towards it.

LAURA: Are they just the stupidest goliaths, that they're all clumping together again?

LIAM: That's redundant.

LAURA: These guys are dumb.

MATT: You've met…

TRAVIS: Scholars, the lot. You're going to pay for that later, by the way.

MATT: All right, so they're all going to take javelin shots at– miss. Miss. Two– miss. Hit. Hit. Three hits. And so they're all just (effort sounds) chucking these javelins upward. Four, eight, that's 12, plus seven– 19 points of damage from the javelins as some stick in then fall out, the wounds are now becoming visible. Umbrasyl's– there's visible wounding but doesn't appear to be in dire straits or anything. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Yes, I have two questions. One of the things I picked up from Kevdak were four enchanted javelins. What do those do?

MATT: They're thrown, ranged attacks.

TRAVIS: And they're just enchanted?

MATT: They're plus one to hit and damage.

TRAVIS: Just that.

MATT: That's it, yeah. It's a relatively simple enchantment.

TRAVIS: What is my climbing speed? If my natural speed is 50 and I wanted to climb that column, what's the climbing speed?

MATT: Climbing speed? I mean, if you roll a decent climb check– here. That would be– I'd say that would be an athletics check to see if you can climb it, and I'd put it at about half speed. But you're also prone, so getting up from that's half your speed.

TRAVIS: On my back, can I use my bonus action to drink the potion of speed, which makes me hasted?

MATT: Yes you can. You now have technically four attacks per round.

TRAVIS: I do. And it doubles my speed, right?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Okay, so I have 100 feet, so can I stand up?

MATT: Yep. 50 feet.

TRAVIS: Can I try and climb that column towards Umbrasyl's feet?

MATT: Athletics check.

TRAVIS: That's not awesome. 18.

MATT: 18. You just manage to get to the top with the last bit of your movement. So you are up about ten feet from Umbrasyl right now, pushing on 15 at an angle.

TRAVIS: So I have four attacks?

MATT: Yes. You're not in melee, though.

TRAVIS: Yeah, so I'll use three of the enchanted javelins and the javelin of lightning.

MATT: Okay. All right, so you (effort sounds) finally with the javelin of lightning. So go ahead and make the first three strikes.

TRAVIS: Reckless, all of them.

MATT: Okay, so with advantage on each of these. The range on the javelin strikes, I'm just going to pull it up real fast, since this is the first time you've used this.

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's 120 feet for the javelin of lightning.

MATT: Yeah, within 30-foot range, so it's fine. Go ahead and roll. First one is?

TRAVIS: It's an 11 plus– just my natural like–

MATT: It's 11 plus one for being enchanted.

TRAVIS: Right.

MATT: Plus your strength modifier and your proficiency modifier.

TRAVIS: Oh no, my proficiency–

MATT: Which is plus seven, I believe. Plus– so yeah, that hits.

TRAVIS: Okay. Where's my proficiency– oh five, I got it.

MATT: Yeah, you're looking at plus 13 with these attacks. The first one hits.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Second one.

TRAVIS: Is 28.

MATT: Hits. Third one.

TRAVIS: Is 19.

MATT: Misses. The lightning javelin you just throw and I think it hits.

TRAVIS: And the second one, the last one is a 30.

MATT: The last one, I don't think you actually roll to hit with the javelin, it just becomes a bolt of lightning.

TRAVIS: That's right.

MATT: So roll 1d6 plus eight for damage on two of those javelins.

TRAVIS: So that's 12.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: All righty. And now with the javelin of lightning. Makes its save. That is a 21 with the save. What's the DC?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17, so it takes the half damage.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: What's the damage on it total?

TRAVIS: 4d6.

MATT: Go ahead and roll that and he takes half damage.

TRAVIS: 13.

MATT: 13, all righty. So 13, and then halved.

TRAVIS: Six–

MATT: Six points of lightning damage. Okay. The last hit, the javelin turns into a bolt of lightning, and streaks through, hits and impacts and then just falls to the ground, the energy expended. Jamming itself into the dirt not far from the ground. End of your turn, Grog. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: Okay, my first shot, taking a wing shot.

MATT: All right, go for it.

TALIESIN: That's 20, that does not hit.

MATT: 20. It just ricochets off the armor.

TALIESIN: All right, that's one grit. Taking another shot.

MATT: Okay, reload, and then shot again.

TALIESIN: That hits. 30.

MATT: 30 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: 15 points of damage. And he has to make a strength saving throw.

MATT: Strength saving throw. That is a 19.

TALIESIN: DC is 19.

MATT: Okay, so it succeeds.

TALIESIN: It succeeds on the 19?

MATT: Yeah, you have to meet or exceed.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to burn an action surge to take a third shot.

MATT: All right. So reload, shot, reload. Go for it.

TALIESIN: 21 does not hit?

MATT: 21 does not hit. It just steers wide, shooting past the beating wings.

TALIESIN: Yeah, and then I'm going to just hide behind that tree and wait for my next round.

MATT: Okay. All right. Ending your turn, Percy. Noja is going to use the third and final Lightning Bolt, now arcing up to the entity. Makes its save with a 27. All right, bringing us to– 8d6. 13 points of lightning damage against Umbrasyl from Noja, and Noja steps back behind, looking exasperated and spent on some of the upper-echelon spells at his disposal. Now it comes to– actually, at the end of Noja's turn, Umbrasyl's going to use its last legendary action to make one more tail swipe at you, Grog.

TRAVIS: Yup.

MATT: That is going to be a 29 to hit.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: All righty. You take– that's really bad. That's 11 points of bludgeoning damage reduced to five.

TRAVIS: I stay up?

MATT: Yeah, you stay up.

(loud clanging sound from Skype)

MATT: What's happening over there?

LIAM: Taliesin!

MATT: All right. Top of Umbrasyl's turn. See if this recharges. Umbrasyl is going to attempt to move to the left.

LIAM: Yeah, try it, buddy. Internal damage.

SAM: The rod supports 8,000 pounds of pressure.

MATT: Correct. If the creature pushes against it, it must make a DC 30 strength check to move the rod up to ten feet in a single round. So. Nope.

LIAM: That thing's fixed in space.

MATT: It goes to move and (grunts) and is feeling something tear through on the inside of its area so it stops with this sharp pain. Takes one point of damage, but the warning is there. It does not move. However, (laughs) the acid breath did recharge on a five. It's going to go ahead and go right there. Angrily lay down right there.

LAURA: No!

ASHLEY: No!

LIAM: But you're resistant.

TALIESIN: Isn't he having plummeting issues if he's not moving?

MATT: No, if your speed is zero you plummet is how it works.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: No, they all fail. All right. They are all right over here. Wrecked. Wrecked. Wrecked. Wrecked.

LAURA: Where's Zanror?

MATT: Zanror's right there at the bottom.

LAURA: Where's his wife?

MATT: His wife is over here. And when I say wrecked, they're on the ground, their flesh dissolving and screaming in pain. The Herd has been heavily culled in but a few rounds. There's a little bit of horror to it. I need both Grog and Keyleth as an earth elemental to make a dexterity saving throw.

TRAVIS: 16.

MARISHA: I rolled a two with a minus one, so one. Not a natural one. Rolled a two.

MATT: You both suffer 82 points of acid damage.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Resistance, so I halve that?

MATT: Yeah, you take 41 points of acid damage.

MARISHA: I'm in tank mode, so I'm good. I'm an earth elemental.

MATT: Unable to move, that is the end of Umbrasyl's turn. That's messed up.

(laughter)

MATT: Pike, you're up.

ASHLEY: I am going to cast Blindness on him.

MATT: What's the DC on the check? What is it, is it wisdom?

ASHLEY: I think it's constitution. Constitution saving throw.

MATT: All right, constitution saving throw. That is 18 plus 14. 32. I think that succeeds.

LIAM: You don't know. She might've rolled a 78.

ASHLEY: You don't know! That's fine. I'm going to move my Spiritual Weapon.

MATT: All right. So it now shifts up into space as a bonus action, and you can make a ranged spell attack against it as the sword arcs upward towards Umbrasyl. Go ahead and roll, add your spell attack modifier.

ASHLEY: 29.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage. 1d8 plus five, correct? Pretty sure.

ASHLEY: 1d8 for every two slot levels–

MATT: You did second level for that one, because it was a bonus action. 1d8 plus five.

ASHLEY: Nine.

MATT: Nine points of damage against Umbrasyl. Blade just streaks across and more sparks fly, but this time you can see it left a carve of glowing red mark across the scales where the blade managed to do some damage to it. That ends your turn, Pike. Vax, you're up. You immediately take eight points of bludgeoning damage as it begins to crush you from the inside.

LIAM: Okay. I'm going to use my bonus action to– can I sneak attack this thing from inside? I'm inside him! That's very surprising!

MATT: It's different! It's not like a soft gooey center. All of its body is still very dense, sinewy muscle in the vicinity. You don't know where you are in its body, so you don't know where the actual weak points are. So, given those circumstances, your ability to barely move– Probably not.

LIAM: Probably not? All right. Well. I'm going to use my bonus action first to hit it. It's at disadvantage?

MATT: Yes. All attacks because you're still restrained.

LIAM: Okay, so that is 19, which fucks up.

MATT: That unfortunately is not cutting through.

LIAM: And now I'm going to use the dragon sword. Okay. That's a 21?

MATT: 21, just barely not able to cut through the dense hide, the blade is caught on what feels like a ligament or something, it can't quite carve through with your body all crushed up inside.

LIAM: Well. I will, for my turn, suffocate and also Fassbender should still be trying to recharge.

MATT: Correct. So go ahead and roll a d6.

LIAM: d6. Four.

MATT: Four. Fassbender's still standing there. On a five or six, it recharges. That ends Vax's turn. Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay. As an earth elemental I want to drop into the earth and Earthglide.

MATT: All right. How many feet are you going?

MARISHA: With my 60 feet– question, can I get across and to the top of this pillar here? Maybe?

MATT: Oh, right there?

MARISHA: That one.

MATT: You can get up to there. You're wider than the pillar, though. You like–

MARISHA: Earthglide to the top, so it's 30 feet tall. (nervous laughter) And I'm going to use my momentum to see if I can rocket myself out and see if I can jump and grab onto his leg.

MATT: Okay, so you're making this a jump action, then?

MARISHA: Yeah, I want to shoot out of the pillar.

MATT: Using the momentum of the Earthglide?

MARISHA: And shoot out with a waterslide trajectory, woo! Yeah? Maybe?

MATT: Okay. I'll say that– It's pretty fast– Also pretty heavy as an earth elemental.

MARISHA: I'm thinking about it real hard.

MATT: Go ahead and make an athletics check.

MARISHA: So is that strength as a–

MATT: That would be strength as an earth elemental if you do not have a specific skill for it.

MARISHA: I'm going to use Scanlan's inspiration. Ooh, that's good. 18 plus five, so, 23.

MATT: 23. You manage to leap and catch the bottom of its foot.

(cheering)

MATT: You're not halting or doing anything to Umbrasyl other than the fact that you're holding on to–

MARISHA: But I've got his foot. And I'm heavy as fuck. Well, if Fassbender weighs, what was it, like 1,200 pounds? 2,800 pounds?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: So I'm at least as heavy if not heavier than Fassbender.

MARISHA: A ton is 1,000 pounds. Right?

MATT: 2,000.

MARISHA: 2,000 pounds.

LAURA: I thought a ton was 3,000 pounds.

MARISHA: None of us fucking know. Why didn't we go metric?

MATT: The European watchers are like–

MARISHA: Yeah, what are they talking about? Okay. I'm holding on for dear life.

MATT: All right. That ends your turn. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: I know from my experience going to the pubs with Grog–

MATT: Take eight points of acid damage, by the way, as you're slowly dissolving. Reduced to four.

SAM: I'm fine. How's my lungs?

MATT: Oh Keyleth, by the way, I need you to make a concentration check before I forget.

MARISHA: Okay. Yeah. No, that's. Wait, do I add anything?

MATT: Well the DC is half the damage you took from the breath weapon, so 40. So who did you cast the resist acid on? You're no longer resistant to acid, Grog.

TRAVIS: Copy that.

MARISHA: Sorry.

TRAVIS: No, it came in handy for the one.

MARISHA: It did.

SAM: How's my lungs? Am I dying here?

MATT: Your air is out, you're still holding your breath, per se, but you have one more round before you actually probably start–

LIAM: I would like to say that Liam O'Brien, who's a total wuss-puss, can hold his breath for like 50 seconds.

SAM: While you're screaming?

LIAM: So Vax and Scanlan should be–

MATT: You're doing okay. He screamed and released all the air out of his lungs. So he's now completely collapsed lungs, no air to subsist on.

SAM: I'm almost out. I'm going to see if I can last one more round in here.

MATT: Okay, what are you doing? (laughs)

SAM: Well, as I was saying, I know from my time drinking with Grog that any sort of blow to the stomach will really make you barf pretty easily, so I'm going to set off a Thunderwave at level six and hope that he spits me up.

ASHLEY: Spits you both up, maybe.

LIAM: I'm still in its anus.

TRAVIS: We don't even know where you are, really.

SAM: You're done, friend, sorry.

MATT: All right, so at a sixth level we're looking at 7d8 thunder damage.

SAM: Yes. Thunder damage.

MATT: Go ahead and roll that.

MARISHA: Do you need more d8s?

LIAM: All part of the plan.

SAM: Yeah, this is totally thought-out.

LIAM: The hastily smushed-together plan.

SAM: 7d8?

MATT: That is a DC, it rolled a nine plus 14, so it succeeds.

SAM: So it'll be halved.

MATT: Half damage.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Eat some shit, Umbrasyl.

SAM: 25.

MATT: 25.

SAM: Only 12 points.

MATT: 12 points. I need you to make a constitution saving throw, because you are on the other side of the membrane from Scanlan and suddenly there's a giant impactful forceful blow as the outside of the stomach crushes–

LIAM: Natural 20!

(cheering)

MATT: You take 12 points of damage as well.

LIAM: (laughs) Okay, I'll take it.

MATT: Constitution saving throw on Umbrasyl's part for– Rolled a natural 20, so Umbrasyl's not vomiting.

SAM: Not vomiting.

MATT: Nope, rolled a natural 20 to see if it could hold it down. There's a boof from the inside of the dragon–

SAM: Does a little come up and he swallows it back down?

MATT: Basically. A little, almost.

ASHLEY: Maybe you got a little air though. For you.

SAM: I don't know, did that make a little air?

ASHLEY: Probably give you enough time to (inhales).

MATT: From the source of the force that probably pushed it away for a second, air is pulled through the esophagus instinctually as when the space opens it has to suck through, there's this (gasp) sound, so yes, there is a moment of air that is pushed back out. You can see upwards a brief little glimpse of light at the top of the esophagus as the mouth is forced open as the air is pulled in and the blast streaks out angrily. Scanlan, is that your turn?

SAM: I can't do much else. Do I have any movement?

MATT: You are restrained so your movement is zero.

SAM: Even in the water? I'm in a womb-like state.

MATT: You're not like floating in a giant pool of water. You're crushed against membranes with acid. Remember the scene in Akira when Tetsuo gets too big and the girl gets crushed briefly? You're in that middle period right there, you're between two folds of stomach lining and there is just acid all around. It's awesome.

SAM: All right. Then I can't really do much. Oh! Shit. No, I would've had to call it earlier. Never mind.

ASHLEY: What?

LIAM: I just want to remind everyone, I am really small. I fit between muscles, bones, ligaments, anything.

SAM: I could have done Cutting Words after I cast my spell, but I didn't, so forget it. Shit.

MATT: At the end of your turn, it's going to use a legendary action to do a wing attack, actually two actions cost. Begins beating its wings rapidly in this vicinity. I need both Grog and Pike to make dexterity saving throws.

LIAM: Scanlan, we're safe from all this shit.

SAM: I know! This is the best place to be. We're only going to suffocate and be crushed.

TRAVIS: 18.

ASHLEY: 18.

MATT: Both of you take 15 points of bludgeoning damage and are thrust towards the edge of the stone, I need you both to make strength checks to resist the force to the blow.

MARISHA: Hold on! Nice.

TRAVIS: 21.

ASHLEY: Ten.

TRAVIS: Is 15 halved for me for the bludgeoning, or is that already halved?

MATT: No, it's halved for you after that. However, you both are, from the sheer force of the wind, blown off the top–

TRAVIS: A 21?

MARISHA: What did you have to beat?

MATT: 23. Ancient dragon. You both fall and take an additional eight points of bludgeoning damage.

ASHLEY: I'm going to use my celestial shield and cast Featherfall.

MATT: Okay. So you take no damage from the additional seven. You catch yourself on the ground.

TRAVIS: My eight is halved.

MATT: Yeah, you're both prone at the bottom of the pillars. All right. That was the end of Scanlan's turn. Back to the top, Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to try Conjure fucking Animals again. By the way, I was wrong. My pearl of power only works up to level three, so I don't have two level fours, I already used the one. So. Conjure Animals, again, two more giant eagles out of the ether. This time I want to conjure them like ten feet above his head.

MATT: Okay. Actually, because I didn't see you I need you to go ahead and make a save as well, because you were on it as it's beating its wings, too.

MARISHA: Even though I'm holding on to his leg?

MATT: Yep. Go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw.

MARISHA: That's not good. Four.

MATT: Four. You also take 15 points of bludgeoning damage.

MARISHA: Halved because I'm an elemental.

MATT: And I need you to go ahead and make a strength saving throw.

MARISHA: Strength? 19.

MATT: 19. You are blown off of the dragon's body.

MARISHA: That sucks.

MATT: Like a rock slamming into the ground.

LAURA: Oh, she knocked out a pillar on the way down.

MATT: You take 12 points of bludgeoning damage from the impact with the ground, leaving a small crater. However, there are two giant eagles that are now floating in the vicinity around the dragon. The eagles are summoned. Their initiative is not bad. They're going to be after Grog.

LAURA: Okay. So they're above his head now, so if he shoots acid down, they'll be here. And their command is, attack his eyeballs. Okay. I'm going to use my boots of haste. For my perception, would I be able to see any weird little bumps on the dragon? Because my brother's been in there a while. Can I see anything going on?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: I'm behind his left nipple. It's pretty good already. It's pretty good.

SAM: Our earrings should work.

LAURA: I'm sorry.

SAM: We don't need to talk.

LAURA: 28. No, 29 perception.

MATT: 29? All right. You notice, on the outskirts of like the central row of scales, there is a small lump that is constantly struggling not far from the surface and is just darting around like a cartoon flea.

LAURA: I'm going to aim right by there. But not quite at it. I want to make an opening around it.

MATT: All right. Roll for it.

LIAM: Man, remember when we used to do hopscotch? That was the best. And then also we used to take baths together when we were really little, but that was when we were really little–

LAURA: 20. Doesn't hit.

MATT: 20, it hits and shatters–

ASHLEY: Can I use War God's Blessing again? I use it every turn. Every round.

MATT: I think it's a Channel Divinity, in which case I don't think you can. War God's Blessing, Channel Divinity– Which currently– You can use it a second time between rests. Yeah. So you can.

ASHLEY: Let's do it.

MATT: So that does hit.

LAURA: Oh, it hits?

MATT: Plus ten to the attack, so it hits.

LAURA: Oh my goodness!

TRAVIS: Pike!

LIAM: Vex'ahlia–

LAURA: Ten damage.

MATT: Let's see here, what's the range on that one?

MARISHA: He's consulting the book again.

MATT: Just checking to see the range on that last because it does have a range–

LAURA: He's getting my hopes up and then he's going to dash them down to the ground.

MATT: It's what I do. Creature within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, so you could not, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: What was that, say again?

MATT: Has to be within 30 feet of you. She's too far away. So that one does miss, shatters across the armor of the dragon. You have one more attack and then your extra if you want to.

LAURA: That one doesn't work either. (mock-crying) Okay, that's good. 23!

MATT: 23 hits.

LAURA: Okay. 11.

MATT: 11 points of damage.

SAM: Yeah, he's dead!

LAURA: How do I want to do this?

(laughter)

MATT: You can't summon it yourself.

LAURA: Dammit!

MATT: Sticks into and pierces through. You feel a (impact sound) nearby. And what little bit of vision you have in the squeezed area, dark as it is using your elven darkvision, you can see what looks to be a part of an arrow point that has stuck through the armor.

LIAM: I wrap my fingers around it.

MATT: Okay. Ends Vex's turn.

SAM: You don't know if it's Vex's. It could be anybody's!

LIAM: Shut the fuck up, gnome!

MATT: At this point, Zanror looks over to Worra and says, “We have to go. Save our child.” And Worra looks and sees all the dead around her. “Only if you come with me.” Looks back and says, “No. I don't run from this. I'm going to kill this with my cousin.” She turns and goes into a full dash this way, escaping. This guy's going to go ahead and begin to climb up. And gets partway up. Not all the way. Take a step back and make four arrow shots at it. That's a hit, a miss, a miss, and a miss. Takes an additional ten points of damage from the arrow. That guy over there is going to move around and he's going to grab one of the dropped chains on the ground and throw it up to see if it can wrap around Umbrasyl. Seven does not hit. It just arcs below and falls to the ground. That's going to end the Herd's turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Still hasted. Can I stand up?

MATT: Okay, so 50 feet.

TRAVIS: And with the Titanstone Knuckles, can I smash them together and cast Enlarge on myself?

(cheering)

TRAVIS: How tall am I?

MATT: You are twice your size, so you're pushing about 12 feet.

LAURA: He's only six feet tall?

MARISHA: He's gotta be taller than six feet.

MATT: It's roughly half your height, not perfect–

LIAM: You're 15 feet tall now, Grog.

LAURA: Yeah, 20 feet, you're probably 20 feet.

MARISHA: 15 sounds nicer. Rounds up.

MATT: Don't argue with the DM.

MARISHA: I'm not arguing, we're rounding up.

LIAM: You're like two feet tall now and it's really impressive.

TRAVIS: Being that I'm hasted, can I move directly behind Umbrasyl, like underneath him and behind? And can I attach the chain of returning to the Bloodaxe–

MATT: I assume it was attached before the battle.

TRAVIS: Yes. And can I throw it at Umbrasyl?

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: Do I have four? No, I just have one throw.

MATT: You have one throw. It hits and then you can pull it back.

TRAVIS: If I want to.

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Reckless.

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: That's even better. 29.

MATT: 29 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: 21. With one point of necrotic damage.

MATT: 21 points of damage onto Umbrasyl. All righty. It is embedded in there. Do you want to pull back?

TRAVIS: I don't want to pull it loose. I just want to weigh on it.

MATT: Okay, you weigh. All right. At the end of your turn, it's going to go ahead and make a tail attack against one of the eagles. That is going to be a 21 to hit.

LAURA: I bet that hits.

MATT: The giant eagle takes 20 points of bludgeoning damage.

LAURA: I'm sure that probably kills him.

MARISHA: He has 26 hit points.

LAURA: He's got six points left.

MATT: Okay, so the eagle right there has six hit points left.

TRAVIS: Does enlarging do anything to my damage? Sorry.

MATT: You do an additional 1d4 damage with any melee attacks.

TRAVIS: I didn't do that. Can I do that?

MATT: Melee attacks. Although the weapon does grow large. I'll say go ahead and do another 1d4.

TRAVIS: Hey, four!

MATT: There you go. So that's an additional four damage. Great. So that's the eagles' turn. What do you got, Laura?

LAURA: They're going to fly and attack his eyeballs! Fuck him up.

ASHLEY: Get him!

MATT: Roll attack, they have two attacks each, so roll four attacks.

LAURA: Roll four attacks?

MATT: Yes. Plus five to each.

LIAM: That one hits.

LAURA: That's good. That hits. That one doesn't.

MATT: 23 hits.

LAURA: Ooh! Then one other attack hits.

MATT: So two hits. All right. So that is–

LAURA: So those would be, like, one beak and one talon maybe?

MATT: It would be one beak and one talon, yeah. Go for it. So 1d6 plus three and then 2d6 plus three.

LAURA: Nine for one on the eyeballs.

MATT: Nice.

LAURA: And eight on the talons.

MATT: Not bad. Both streaking out and clawing heavily at the dragon. It's bothered by it very remotely. It's more distracted with the sharp pain in its stomach.

LAURA: Eyeballs.

MATT: Well yeah, I mean, they're striking at it, they don't go straight for the eyeballs, the dragon goes here, hit. They're getting near it and scraping it, the scales around it, it's moving its horns around and batting them away. If you wanted to make called shots for its eyes specifically, none of those would've hit. Outside of a natural 20, none of them would've hit. And even a dragon's eyes have pretty decent armor.

LAURA: That's cool, okay, good to know.

MATT: So Percy, you're up. Oh, we've lost audio on Percy.

LAURA: Oh no!

SAM: Text us your move.

TALIESIN: No, I'm good.

MATT: What are you doing?

TALIESIN: All right. I'm taking two shots. That's all I got left.

MATT: All right. Go for it.

TALIESIN: Here we go. 23?

MATT: 23 hits.

TALIESIN: Ah! Hm. Ah. Okay. That's, eee, (broken audio).

TRAVIS: Say that again, Perce.

TALIESIN: 20, 24 points of damage.

MATT: Nice.

TALIESIN: Six of which are necrotic. I'm taking my second shot.

MATT: All right. Reload, second shot.

TALIESIN: Reload, fire. Fuck my life. That's m–(audio glitches)

MATT: Misfire? Oh no. Bad News just (muffled explosion).

TALIESIN: Putting it away, pulling out the other gun.

MATT: All right, so that's the end of your turn?

TALIESIN: That's the end of my turn.

MATT: All right. Noja actually is getting scared, yeah. Noja is actually hiding behind the tree and is shaking now, his body, malnourishment that whole time and this dragon taking all of these blows and is still standing has gotten to his head. Umbrasyl is going to look around in the vicinity, you know, starting to show some wear and tear and some serious damage to it now. And it's going to go into a dive. As it does so, you watch as the rod hits the edge of the body and tears through the stomach.

LIAM: Damage.

MATT: And tears through the abdomen and out the side of it. The immovable rod now shoots out the side of its body.

MARISHA: That's going to be a lot of damage, right?

LIAM: That's a fuckin' missile.

MATT: That is 37 points of piercing damage as it ejects from the side. He is going to–

TRAVIS: I'm still attached to him, too.

MATT: Correct. As you are pulled up, let's see here.

TRAVIS: I'm going for a ride.

MARISHA: We burned through all of his legendary saves.

SAM: One more.

LIAM: You're attached to him? By a chain?

TRAVIS: Yup.

MATT: You, Grog, are now being lifted up. Make a strength check.

TRAVIS: Advantage on this. 24.

MATT: 24, yeah. Umbrasyl lifts up and goes full flying speed of 80 feet this way, carrying you dangling beneath and is going to go into a dash and continue to fly up towards Gatshadow.

SAM: (terrified laughter)

LIAM: He's scared.

MATT: With Scanlan and Vax inside him still.

LIAM: Work that broom, girl!

MATT: Grog dangling from beneath. And that's where we're going to pick up the next one.

(yelling)

MATT: It's midnight!

TRAVIS: Three of us are not here next week.

MATT: Three of you are not here– That's right. Do you guys want to keep going then?

LIAM: Yes!

TRAVIS: It's either that or–

MATT: Or you're going to have to wait two weeks.

TRAVIS: We're not here.

LAURA: What do you guys think? Would you rather wait two weeks?

LIAM: I want to go.

LAURA: I mean, this is you guys, too. You guys have to stay.

SAM: You want to go, keep going?

LIAM: Keep going.

SAM: It could be a long night.

ASHLEY: Who's not here next week?

TRAVIS: Laura, Travis, and Sam.

MATT: Yeah, we're probably going to take off next week because we're missing half the party.

SAM: Oh, so we'll just skip next week and come back in two weeks.

LIAM: No, it's on us, because we have jobs and getting up in the morning.

MATT: Yeah, we have work tomorrow.

SAM: Why don't we skip next week and come back in two weeks to finish?

LAURA: I feel like that's smarter.

MATT: All right, let's do that.

LIAM: You're leaving me in this thing's anus for two weeks?

TRAVIS: That 30 minutes fucked us.

MATT: Picking up in two weeks from now.

(yelling)

MARISHA: This is awful.

SAM: The worst cliffhanger ever.

MATT: We have the remnants of the Herd and most of Vox Machina left behind as Umbrasyl flies off to the peaks of Gatshadow, dragging a large chain-held Grog beneath and a miniaturized Vax and Scanlan inside of its body.

LIAM: Yeah, but I'm holding an arrow that's half in and out of the dragon. So I've got a little tunnel out.

MARISHA: Make a little breathing hole?

SAM: I see a hole that goes to the outside now.

TRAVIS: It's the shaft of an arrow.

TALIESIN: This is chaos. I will see you guys later. I can't hear anything.

MARISHA: Bye, Taliesin! We love you!

MATT: Oh man, this is going to get real interesting.

SAM: How are we going to survive two weeks thinking about this? I know what we'll do! We'll subscribe to Loot Crate and we'll find all sorts of things to keep us– We'll be able to play with new toys and drink from–

(laughing)

TRAVIS: Made me drop my fucking jelly bean.

LAURA: That went south. That went seriously south.

SAM: We're not doing well.

TRAVIS: We're doing great.

MATT: You guys did pretty good. Dragon's taken some damage.

LIAM: Is it two Thursdays from now yet?

MATT: No, but it will be soon. All right, guys. We'll figure out what we're doing next Thursday. It might be another Q&A hangout session for those of us who are still in town.

LIAM: Son of a b.

ASHLEY: Why are you guys going?

MARISHA: Are you still going to be in Puerto Rico that long? No?

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: They got birthday events and travel to do. It's all good. We'll be back here in two weeks, back here next week for probably a Q&A hangout session, two weeks from now with the dramatic conclusion of the showdown with Umbrasyl the Hope Devourer, member of the Chroma Conclave.

LIAM: Matt, if you were wondering what to get me for my birthday, it's to kill my character in two weeks.

LAURA: No! That is so terrible. Don't say that.

MATT: (laughs) That's awful.

MARISHA: Such a death wish.

LIAM: Kill me.

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: Hope Devourer. Maiden name Hope. Maiden name Hope.

LIAM: The dragon's name is Hope.

MATT: We'll see you in a few weeks? Well, some of us will see you next week. Rest well, dream of flying dragons digesting smaller people. (laughs) See you guys soon. Is it Thursday yet? Good night.

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