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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: (laughing) Hello everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical– fuck you, Liam! Fuck you! Tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons.

LIAM: Victory!

LAURA: You did it.

MATT: Oh, that's gonna come back to haunt you. Welcome to tonight's episode. We have quite an episode tonight. We'll have that to get to in just a moment. First, we'll get through our announcements for the evening. First and foremost, our wonderful sponsor tonight, returning to sponsor the show, Lootcrate!

ALL: Lootcrate!

MATT: To open that up, Sam, who could not be here tonight unfortunately, Sam Riegel is not able to make the episode. He did make a video, however, to help get us in the spirit of Lootcrate's awesomeness.

LAURA: Oh, wow.

MATT: If you want to go ahead and show that for us.

SAM: Hi everyone, it's me, pro alpine skier Sam Riegel, a.k.a. Scanlan Shorthalt from Critical Role. You know, when I'm not rolling dice, I'm rolling the dice on the hot, hot slopes of Park City, Utah. (worried noise) Anyway. I just did a lot of downhill skiing today, and it was pretty cool, but not as cool as the stuff you can get inside Lootcrate. Sign up now and you'll save so much money, you can come on an exciting vacation to Park City, Utah, buy skis, and gloves, and go skiing. With me! Sam Riegel, a.k.a Scanlan Shorthalt from TV's– well. The internet's Critical Role! Anyway, I'm about to go do my last run. Hope I don't break my leg. (worried noise) If I do, I won't see you on Thursday, but if I don't, let's roll high. Bye-bye.

MATT: Thank you very much, Sam. We look forward to having you back next week in one form or another.

ALL: Ohhh.

LAURA: Mercer!

MATT: What? What?

LAURA: Oh no!

ASHLEY: That's cold!

LAURA: Ice-cold.

TALIESIN: That's not nice.

MATT: But to finish up the details of our wonderful Lootcrate sponsorship, we have Ashley Johnson joining us thankfully from New York.

ALL: (cheering)

MATT: The monster herself.

ASHLEY: Tonight's episode of Critical Role is brought to you by Lootcrate. The theme for this month is 'build' and the brands that are in it include Power Rangers, Batman, Leego, Lego, and Tetris. All things you can build. The promo link is lootcrate.com/criticalrole. And the promo code is 'criticalrole', one word, for 10% off your first month. What?

TRAVIS: Oh man, I mean, just–

ASHLEY: Critical Role!

ALL: (applauding)

MATT: Thank you, Ashley.

LAURA: Good job, Ashley.

MARISHA: That was so good. That was–

LIAM: You have to get a plane back to New York now, right?

ASHLEY: Okay, bye!

MATT: All right, so, next up we have merch announcements. Laura, do you want to go ahead?

LAURA: Oh gosh, yeah! Okay, you guys. I know we've been teasing it for a while, but guess what we have back in stock?

MARISHA: Are those the Critical Role dice sets?

LAURA: Why, they are!

MARISHA: Oh my goodness!

LAURA: Don't get too excited right now, 'cause they're not in the store at this very moment, okay? We're putting them up for sale tomorrow at noon our time, Pacific Standard Time, so that, you know, all you lovely folks that don't get to watch at 7PM on Thursdays can maybe snag 'em tomorrow afternoon, too. So, 12PM. Go to the store tomorrow. That's Friday, and you will get one of these cool things.

MATT: Yay!

TRAVIS: They've all been anointed with our individual musks.

LAURA: That's right. We've licked very bag.

MARISHA: It's true.

ASHLEY: Every dice. Every die.

TRAVIS: Yeah, DNA all over.

LAURA: I literally just licked it.

MARISHA: I put a bunch in my bra, walked around for a day.

TALIESIN: Swished it right to left. Right to left.

LAURA: Nice, nice.

ASHLEY: Armpits.

LAURA: Armpits. Lots of armpits.

MARISHA: Boob sweat.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Wet.

MATT: So, you get to enjoy that. Thank you, Laura. Also a reminder, we have Anime Milwaukee coming up, February 17th through the 19th. We have me and Marisha and Laura and Travis will be in attendance with some cool folks.

(all cheer)

MATT: So come check us out. I think that's it.

LAURA: Noon.

MATT: Anyone else have anything they wanna talk about?

TRAVIS: Nope.

TALIESIN: Uh, yeah, no. (laughs)

MATT: All right, then. Then, let's bring it down just a little bit–

LIAM: What do you mean?

MATT: –as we step into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

(nervous sounds) (opening credits)

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back. So, to get you caught up on the current events of Critical Role. The party, Vox Machina, has been combating the horrible, terrible influence of the Chroma Conclave, a group of chromatic dragons that have been terrorizing the countryside of Tal'Dorei, occupying the city of Emon, Westruun, and places beyond. They've managed to kill off all the members of the Conclave, leading up to Raishan, the orchestrator behind the scenes of most of the chaos that they've seen in recent months. Raishan managed to nearly destroy Vox Machina before absconding with the corpse of Thordak, apparently into the next portion of her plot. The party, upon running into an old friend, Kerrek from Westruun, who had helped in the attack on Emon, joined forces to give chase, in hopes through your decision to head her off at the pass and prevent Raishan from seeing to fruition whatever plan she had after this leg. Through a series of very well-placed scrys, you discovered that she had absconded to the island of Viscond, an old lair of Thordak's and before that, an older lair of Opash, an ancient necromancer who was banished and made that his lair. As you made your way to the island, hopefully prepared for this, you've fought through various traps and difficult challenges throughout the necromancer's sanctum, eventually coming into battle with Raishan herself. A long hard-fought battle left Percy and Scanlan both lifeless to the ground. Percy was risen quickly. Scanlan, unfortunately, was not. And the final blow delivered a combination of both Keyleth tearing the intellect from Raishan through a well-placed Feeblemind spell and Kerrek with a well-placed warhammer blow to the head of the green dragon.

MARISHA: High five.

MATT: (laughs) High five from the screen.

TRAVIS: You're just hitting him in the face.

TALIESIN: So awkward.

MARISHA: Deuces.

MATT: There you go.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Deuces.

MATT: The dragon destroyed. However, their friend, Scanlan, still lifeless and still, growing colder as the minutes passed. Picked up his body and you fled the cavern to the outside of the island after discovering the teleportation or, at least, the magic of transport had some sort of an alteration or a funkiness to it, if you will. You watched as two of your allies, Kima and Allura, were, instead of teleporting away through a circle, sent deep out into the ocean. You managed to find them (laughs) through a very lucky perception roll.

MARISHA: (laughs nervously)

MATT: And at least was able– you were able to connect your Transport via Plants through one of the outside trees by the beach to get you all to Whitestone. There you took Scanlan's body to the recently constructed temple to the Raven Queen and in preparing for this ritual the Gatestone was taken by Vex, who with the help of the Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien, transported to Kymal, made your way through the riff-raff to one of the darkened taverns there, to find Kaylie, Scanlan's daughter, long-estranged and rambunctious daughter but daughter nonetheless. Handed her the Gatestone and she vanished in a puff of arcane smoke, leaving you and– Eskil more confused than you, within the tavern. And that… is where we jump back in for the evening.

TRAVIS: (gagging noise)

MATT: So, as you guys are waiting carefully, figuring out what to do in these moments. Pike, as you're cleaning the area, cleaning the body and doing the best you can to begin preparing for a ritual that you are hoping will be in the favor of you and your friends. Percy, as you hold the other end of the Gatestone, you feel it begin to glow and warm in your hand and you instinctively take a step back as within a bright flash (fizzle sound) you watch as Kaylie, the gnomish, short-haired, rambunctious bard stands there now, near the entranceway to the Raven Queen's temple holding the other Gatestone. She's clutching it, her face still stoic and confused by the sudden transference. She takes it and drops it to the ground.

TALIESIN: I'll take that.

MARISHA: She found you.

MATT: Right. Good to see all of you. So… Is it true?

TALIESIN: Yes (clears throat) He's inside.

MATT: “Let me see the bastard.“ And she pushes past and muscles through you who've just previously begun to walk into the temple slowly kind of taking in the gravity of the situation and whether or not you want to even step up the plate on this, in that quiet, tense, slow but perpetual thought process that is Grog. You feel a small hand grab the side of your hip and shove, though to no effect, you just feel a little tug as Kaylie pushes past you. “Pardon me big man” And you watch as she darts up to where Pike is currently preparing the body for the ritual.

ASHLEY: (quick sigh)

MATT: You watch as Kaylie steps up to the edge and gets up onto the top of the central altar and stands over quietly looking down over Scanlan's cold body. She crosses her arms. “He made me a promise.”

ASHLEY: I know

MATT: “You made me a promise!” And she leans forward, kneels down and slaps him across the face (cracking sound) “You made me a promise.” And she gets up and (sniffle) wipes her nose a bit and hops off and just storms

ASHLEY: I run after her.

MATT: Okay, she just keeps charging, not stopping not slowing.

ASHLEY: Wait!

MATT: You eventually get outside. You guys watch as Kaylie pushes past, and then Pike shortly thereafter. She spins around, looking at you. You can see her fists are clenched at her sides, face still dry but you can see the water just slightly, barely keeping back in her eyes. She goes, “What?”

ASHLEY: Listen, I know how angry you are–

MATT: (sarcastically laughs)

ASHLEY: –but we need you here today. So he can at least have more of a chance to be the father that you've always wanted him to be.

MATT: “Those days have passed I'm afraid.”

ASHLEY: You have no idea how much he loves you.

MATT: (laughs) “Oh, he's- he's loved a lot of girls in his days. That I'm certain.”

ASHLEY: That may be true, but not as much as you

MATT: (sighs) “Well, get on with it then. I figure at the very least we can go about our business when this is over. Clear conscience and all that. How much time do you need?”

ASHLEY: As long as it takes.

MATT: “Well, have we time for a drink?”

ASHLEY: Uh, yes

MATT: “I'm going to get a drink.” And she just walks back into Whitestone.

TRAVIS: Am I still in there?

MATT: You're still in there, right now by yourself, as Pike just pushed past you, and you have Scanlan alone, on the altar.

TRAVIS: Can I go over to him? Does he look the same?

MATT: He looks the same, just…paler. He's been cleaned, so, the rest of you are a mess still, but he's clean, his hair is pulled back and brushed a bit by Pike as part of the preparation for the ritual, his clothes still tattered and worn from previous battles but–

TRAVIS: Can I reach out and put my hand on his chest? Do I feel anything?

MATT: Nothing. It's cold to the touch. He's been gone for a while now and there's very little difference between the touch of the stone he's on and the chest other than the fleshy texture.

TRAVIS: This is not over. It can't be. (laughs). We've done so much and we have so much more to do, right? This is, this is not over. All right, don't, don't you move. Go ahead and get your shut eye and we'll be back. You rest here. Try not to have too much fun without us. And I leave.

MATT: Okay. Pike, you go in and finish the preparations for the ritual. And the ritual itself is an hour long once the spell is engaged. You're just cleansing the temple, some of the leaves that have blown in. What's everybody else doing in the meantime?

LIAM: I'm just an assistant.

MARISHA: Same

TALIESIN: I'm organizing, getting any materials that we need.

MATT: Okay. Kerrek?

PATRICK: I'm keeping my distance but watching what it is that they're getting ready to do here. I'm half way between disbelief and wanting to see how somebody else runs their priestly– this is sort of like a professional interest, what is this guy doing to appease the Raven Queen this way?

MATT: Alrighty. You finish preparations. Kaylie hasn't returned at that moment. About ten minutes more pass and you hear small footsteps begin to make their way to the outside of the temple. There, stepping through, a little wobbly, but a stoic, stone faced Kaylie, her hair kind of damp and slicked back with her fingers as she comes through. (sniffs) “All right, let's get it over with.” And you can smell the alcohol. She stumbles up to the temple and puts her hands on the altar. “So, do your thing.”

TRAVIS: Hold on. Look at me.

MATT: She turns around and looks up at you as she is, practically, just past your thigh.

TRAVIS: It's so funny. I never realized it before. You look so much like him.

MATT: Well be careful, I'm at the right height to be juggling your– (laughs half-heartedly)

TRAVIS: I'd expect no less (laughter)

MATT: She lingers on your eye contact for a second, gives a nod. She gives you a tap and turns back around, and puts her hands on the altar.

TRAVIS: (groans) Right.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Okay. I guess we'll go ahead and get started. (sighs shakily)

MATT: All right, so as Pike takes her holy symbol out and begins preparing and burning the incense, you, conscious that while you are a follower of Sarenrae, you are in the space of the Raven Queen, take heed to make sure that the symbols you prepare as part of the ritual are a union of the symbols of redemption, which call to your divine nature, and the cycle of life, that are indicative of the Raven Queen's spheres of both fate and passing. You orchestrate them in a way that is synergistic, so that there is a definitive intent to not let this life-line sever. As you finish the completion of these various symbols and glyphs, spreading the salts across with each line that is drawn, you then begin to gather everyone around the altar itself, closing the doors behind you. You pull out the diamond component of this resurrection ritual. If you want to mark it off within your gear, either if you have a diamond worth 1,000 gold or just mark 1,000 gold off.

LAURA: There's a diamond.

MATT: At which point you take the diamond and place it over Scanlan's chest, and you begin uttering the incantation. What begins as a small whisper begins to echo, and you hear the source of the voice from Pike, but within a minute, it's almost like the voice is sourceless. It begins to fill the room. It seeps from every corner. We hear Pike from all sides, and the more she begins to chant, the more you hear this very faint chorus begin to join in, a harmonizing voice. A secondary harmonizing voice. And you are familiar with this. This is the initiation of the ritual. This is the reaching out to the soul, the bond, the thread that maintains the connection of the spirit to the prime material plane. Now, who would like to make a contribution to the ritual?

TRAVIS: I'll go. I step up, and I take my Titanstone Knuckles off. I take the Belt of Dwarvenkind off and I wrap it around the knuckles, and I lay it next to Scanlan, and I say, You've been with me through so much. I pride myself on my strength, but as we fought Earthbreaker Groon, you were there by my side as I learned that my true strength comes from my friends, which means that these trinkets, no matter how strong they are, mean nothing. You knew me before then, and I would hope you would know me after. While my best buddy Pike taught me to love, you taught me to laugh, and I don't want to know what life is like without that. And the last thing I'd say is, you spent so many times inspiring me, I'd like to take a page from your book. And to the tune of the Washington Redskins fight song– (laughter around the table) I sing (singing):

Hail to Scanlan Shorthalt,
Hail to victory!
No one can make me laugh faster.
Please bring him back to me.

MATT: Go ahead and make a persuasion check with advantage.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: Okay. As Grog steps away, you watch as a portion of the circular glyph pattern of the ritual around you lights up, the first contribution being presented. Who wishes to take the next presentation?

ASHLEY: I have a couple things to say but I know I'm already–

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I reach in my pocket and I pull out a little doll, and– Scanlan, I don't know if you remember this, but you gave this to me, and it's a little doll of you Which is very appropriate. But when I died, this saved my life because you gave it to me, and I didn't know that you had put Healing Words in it. It saved me, and I hope that today I can return the favor. I place that next to him. I prepared a poem. I don't have it memorized, so hold on.

Here lies Scanlan the bard,
A gnome who sang soft but died hard.
To anyone who hears us, both far and wide,
Bring us back our dirty friend at least one more time.

He may not be tall, or brute, or rough
He may be little, but his heart is buff.
We are a party, and every party needs a clown,
Without our friend to reign us in we'll burn down your whole fucking town.

(all laugh)

You see, I love this gnome very much.
He's small like me, but he's touched.
He's raided and slain,
He's pooped while he sang,
But if he's gone forever I won't be the same.

Now that he's learned he's a dad,
The journey that all of us had
Cannot be in vain
Will not be in waste.
Please, Scanlan, open your eyes and see your daughter's face.

MATT: I'd say go ahead and make– make a performance check with advantage.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay, that's good, that's good. I just rolled a natural 20.

(Matt laughs)

ASHLEY: Oh man. Okay, okay.

MATT: All right. As you finish the poem you had wrote and step back, the second of the three portions of the circle comes aglow, and you realize, as she was speaking this poem, the chanting that she had begun has just continued without her, like as the ritual continues the chanting seems to have been taken and echoed by the actual essence of the spell. As she stepped out of the incantation it continued on its own; it continues to swell, stronger and stronger. At this point as you step back, there's a flash of movement at the edge of the altar, and with a double clack of her shoes, you watch Kaylie land her flip onto the top of the altar, stand up straight, wobble for a second, and catch her– she pulls out her fiddle.

LIAM: Wait, wait, wait– I just take her wrist. It's no small thing to have a father who loves you. And I cast Lay on Hands and clear her mind of the alcohol.

MATT: Her instinct is to pull away as you grasp her wrist, as it is instinctive for any man who tries to lay a hand on her. In a moment she fights the instinct, and as the healing energy flows through her arm she closes her eyes, and for the first time since she arrived, you watch as the tears that she had kept at bay blink down her cheek, finally. She reaches over and taps your hand twice with her bow, and still not making eye contact with you, just nods, and begins to play a beautiful, soft, sad violin piece that begins to swell faster and faster and faster and transition from a mournful piece of remembrance into a lively, jovial fiddle piece. The music begins to pick up, and she begins to dance, her feet clacking across the top of the altar. The juxtaposition of the energy and the emotion of the room towards this strange rush of energy and liveliness is awkward at first, and then welcome, and you can't help but, in spite of yourselves, smile. The sound fills the room as she goes faster and faster and faster, her feet clacking, faster and faster, across the stone work on the top. She brings it to a giant crescendo, finishes with a flourish, the bow (makes a whooshing noise) outside. She puts her head up, and you see the tears streak down her face, no smile, just a stone expression, and she gives a bow. That's a performance check on that. The third, and final, portion of the ritual begins to swell. As the magic crescendos, we take into account the final roll. I'm going to post this right now. And I assure you guys, this is what got rolled.

MATT: As the divine energies of the ritual swell, you watch as the energy shoots across, stepping into the diamond that's still on his chest. You watch as the divine powers– The diamond swells with bright energy before (explosion sound effect) shattering into a diamond dust across his chest, across the altar, clattering to the ground like a glittering handful of sand just tossed across his body. The glyphs fade and grow cold, the light of the room descends into the same low-lit candlelight that you presented to the ritual, Pike. A moment passes. Another moment passes. Another moment passes, and eyes still closed, you watch as a small smile curls across Scanlan's face. And his chest rises, and falls, and rises, and falls. As the relief spreads throughout the room, Kaylie walks up, “Wipe that smile off your face. We're gonna have a talk.” and slaps his face the other way, jumps off the altar, slams out the two doors to the front, and staggers out of the temple into the outside. Scanlan still lays unconscious but breathing. I rolled a natural fucking 20, by the way guys, on that final roll.

TRAVIS: Did you really?

ASHLEY: No way.

MATT: It's right there. I haven't touched it since it landed.

MARISHA: That was two natural 20s.

ASHLEY: Two!

MATT: Two natural 20s. It was 14 for Kaylie's performance roll, and then a 20.

LAURA: You know,

ASHLEY: Holy moly.

LAURA: The fates just wanted Scanlan to come back.

MARISHA: It's true. And he was all poo-pooing on the dice.

LAURA: I know.

MATT: There was– I mean with the DC increase, because he was at a 12. I mis-said 13 last week, it was a 12, and we had two successes and one failure. That brought it from a 13, ten, to a seven. So we had a one through six and he would have been good.

LAURA: Oh, good.

ASHLEY: That responsibility is so scary.

MATT: Yeah. Anyway. As you all take in the moment, it appears that Scanlan's spirit has returned to the body.

TRAVIS: Anybody wanna wake him up?

TALIESIN: No. I don't think so, not yet.

MARISHA: Keyleth goes up and does a simple medicine check, just to see what's up with him.

MATT: Go for it. Go ahead and roll it.

MARISHA: 18.

MATT: Okay. He is alive, and he's breathing. His body has been ravaged by the experience and trauma of death. His body has been ravaged by the trauma of the resurrection. He is borderline comatose right now.

LAURA: Oh, God.

MATT: You've seen trauma have this impact on bodies before. It could be minutes, hours, days, who knows? But with the right treatment, usually people recover. It's not like a heavy skull trauma induced coma, it's just the physical exhaustion of the experience. So there may or may not be something you could do at the moment to rouse him from his slumber, but Scanlan lives.

MARISHA: I think he needs his rest. Percy, can we station some of the best sages and doctors to watch over him?

TALIESIN: We take him to the castle, I suppose, at this point.

MARISHA: Yes.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: He'll be taken care of.

TRAVIS: Do you mind if I carry him?

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Of course.

TRAVIS: I pick him up.

MATT: Okay. He's warmer now.

TRAVIS: That's better.

MATT: He's also drooling a little bit, and may have wet himself a second time.

TRAVIS: That's more like it. Yeah, that's appropriate.

(all laugh)

MATT: But he's warmer.

TRAVIS: Everyone, he may have pissed himself. (all laugh) Just remind him later.

ASHLEY: It happens.

LIAM: The more things change…

(all laugh)

MATT: All right, as you guys begin to step outside– Kerrek, you're there at the door after Kaylie charged out. Kima and Allura, who are just waiting outside, respectfully, are kind of engaged, but you watch as Kima immediately pushes up “Is he–?”

TALIESIN: He'll be fine.

MATT: “(sighs and then scoffs) And you were worried. So dumb.” (laughs all around) Allura steps up behind her and puts her hands on Kima's shoulders and goes, “Well, that's good news. Take care of him. We'll probably return to Emon and help helm the remainder of the cleaning, and situation, of Emon: gather the dead, see who we still have alive, and come back soon with an idea of what we have to rebuild.”

MARISHA: Can I do an insight check?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: She seems worried. Is something wrong?

MARISHA: 26.

MATT: 26.

ASHLEY: So, lootcrate.

(everyone laughs)

LAURA: So building, huh?

ASHLEY: It's such a cool thing, what they have this month.

LAURA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: You know, if you love power rangers and leegos. I love leegos.

TRAVIS: You know, man, these lootcrates are great.

ASHLEY: Can't do it like Sam.

MATT: Who can, though?

TRAVIS: If you haven't got one, you should.

LIAM: Hey everybody. Scanlan's still in the game.

(all cheer)

LIAM: (badly plays a flute)

(all laugh)

MARISHA: Do you have to leave immediately? You seem tired. We've all been through a lot. You should rest a day.

MATT: I mean, I have to rest before I can find our way back to Emon quicker, but the sooner the better. We did kind of leave the city in a vacuum of leadership, depending on who survived the conflict there, and I want to make sure that we have whatever remains of the council there to put the pieces back together and count the dead; make sure we don't leave a vacuum of power so that another Thordak-like entity can sweep in and lead us back on a dark path.

MARISHA: Let us know if you need our assistance

MATT: “ I shall. (sighs) I, for one, need to get clean.” She taps Kima's shoulders, and Kima says, “Me too,” and they both walk up towards the castle. What do you guys want to do?

TALIESIN: I am going to go back the castle, sit down, take this off, and I think sleep for a long while.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah. What time of day is it?

MATT: At this time, the arrival here… It's pushing past sunset, I'm pretty sure. Or if not, it's probably early night at this time with the hour for the ritual, so–

TRAVIS: Where are we dropping off the urine smelling one?

TALIESIN: We'll take him to his room. I'll make sure someone cleans him up, dresses him, puts his things away.

TRAVIS: All right.

TALIESIN: You're welcome to take him to his room.

TRAVIS: I do that.

ASHLEY: I'll go with Grog and Scanlan.

MATT: Okay. Kerrek?

PATRICK: I probably just drift along in everyone's wake at this point.

MATT: Okay. Staggering behind a bit, just ruminating on the current events. Vex, you are still back at Kymal with Eskil Ryndarien, who has come back with drinks and says, “So…what business have you here, to drag me this far out to town?”

LAURA: I thought you were grabbing a room, Eskil. Aren't you tired? Just so tired.

(laughter)

MATT: “Well, I suppose–”

LAURA: We probably need our sleep right so that we can recharge those spells of yours as soon as possible.

MATT: I just want you to know that I'm not interested.

(laughter)

LAURA: (dryly) Oh, are you sure, darling? You're so attractive to me.

MATT: I understand that, and I've had my heyday, but those years are long past me now.

LAURA: Well, you better get to bed before I jump on you.

(all laugh)

MATT: And he seems legitimately really disturbed and walks away.

LAURA: I sit down next to Doctor Dranzel.

MATT: Okay, he's sitting. He's actually half passed out now, in the back corner. He wasn't there for the whole exchange with Kaylie. His hat's pushed over his eyes, and he has an empty tankard there in his one hand. You don't see where his other hand is. And you sit down?

LAURA: I look to see where his other hand is.

MATT: All right. You glance under the table and you come right face to face with a crossbow that is under the table pointed in your direction, and without moving, you hear him grin under his chin. “(laughs) Nice try, Vex'ahlia.”

LAURA: (laughs) Just seeing what it was, dear. Didn't want to sit on it.

MATT: "So do you know my coin is mine?"

LAURA: As is mine.

MATT: (chuckles) He puts the hat up a bit over his eyes now, and you can see him. He gives you a sort of brow push.

LAURA: Did you hear what I said to Kaylie?

MATT: "As much as I could from a distance, yeah. Seems our old pal finally had his adventures catch up to him."

LAURA: How do you feel about that?

MATT: "I've had friends come and go through the years. It's part of the job."

LAURA: That can't be true. That cold…

MATT: "Well, no. Each one hurts, but– Look, doll, I've lived in some of the harshest landscapes Tal'dorei and beyond has to see. I've watched people torn asunder in the streets before me. I have–"

LAURA: I hold onto my purse the entire time talking to him.

MATT: Okay.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: That was so subtle.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: There's a lot in there.

LAURA: Motherfuck.

TRAVIS: You know your own kind.

LAURA: 22.

MATT: 22. You catch the crossbow still placed there, but his other hand has slipped underneath and has been slowly reaching toward your-

LAURA: Trying to cop a feel, darling?

MATT: (laughs) "Always."

TRAVIS: (laughing) He wiped his nose on his cheek.

MARISHA: So caszh.

MATT: "But, yeah. Not cold, just pragmatic. When you lose enough people you learn to just move on."

LAURA: Yeah, but Scanlan's special.

MATT: "He's a special pain in my ass. Nah, he's great. He'll be missed."

LAURA: He will be. To Scanlan

MATT: "To Scanlan Shorthalt and our brief but very lucrative career together. By the way, if you're curious, we're looking to sell off some of this really nice silverware that we–"

LAURA: You motherfucker.

TRAVIS: (laughs) That's right, it's ours. Shit.

MATT: He just smiles at you, his big bright toothy grin.

LAURA: You're lucky that our keep was under attack and everything else got ransacked. Otherwise, I'd come after you.

MATT: "I'm always lucky. That's why I'm still alive."

LAURA: Well, give some of your luck to Scanlan. I'm going to bed.

MATT: "All right. I've got a few more of these to put down. Stay safe, Vex'ahlia."

LAURA: Yeah. Don't come to my room. I'm serious, don't.

MATT: He looks legitimately– like the wink afterward– his face has a mixed signals expression.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Question mark.

ASHLEY: Don't come to my room.

MATT: I'm not sure if you're serious…

LAURA: But seriously, don't.

MATT: "Right, right, no. Gotcha. Psh, yes, fine. Besides, you seem like you're already shacking up with a… curious gentleman."

LAURA: (sarcastically) Isn't he dreamy? And I head upstairs.

MATT: “Strange bedfellows.” (all laugh) He goes and orders another round. You go ahead and find yourself up there with two separate rooms purchased by Eskil, all the way across the hall. He rapidly hands you the key, and says without making eye contact, “Your room is at the end, please, yes,” and finds his way. You hear the door (clicking sound) and lock behind him.

LAURA: I stay up for a really long time waiting to hear any kind of word from Allura, from anybody… Something.

MATT: Well, nobody told Allura to contact you.

LAURA: Nope, they didn't.

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit!

LAURA: So I'll eventually go to sleep, wondering if Scanlan's alive.

MARISHA: We weren't done on our side.

ASHLEY: We can't– that's– the earrings–

TALIESIN: Technically, chronologically, it wouldn't have happened yet, yeah?

MATT: Yeah. So, as she is going throughout the room and napping through the day– It's taken you guys hours to prepare the ritual, bring Kaylie there, the whole circumstance, so yeah, she's been up for a few hours, waiting. The rest of you guys back at the castle, anything else you want to prep for the evening?

LIAM: In the meantime I wander over to Kerrek, just for a minute, and I say Kerr, I'm really terrible about lending my stuff. I forget who I've given what, and sometimes it doesn't come back.

(all laugh)

LIAM: Could I, I'm so sorry, could I trouble you for that ring back, please?

PATRICK: Oh, oh, oh. No, he just takes it off. He hands it back.

TRAVIS: Aww, damn it.

LAURA: That was awesome!

LIAM: Thank you, thank you. Oh, that is beautiful. Right back where it belongs.

MARISHA: Keyleth taps Vax and says, Smooth. Nice one.

LIAM: That's me.

MARISHA: And I turn to Kerrek and just give him a massive hug. Thank you so much for following us into the fray. Literally, into the pit of the beast– So, thank you. There's not a lot of people who would blindly follow us there.

PATRICK: It was a pleasure, and it was a double pleasure to actually come out again.

MARISHA: I don't know if would say risking your life is a pleasure, but I appreciate your positive attitude on the whole thing. (chuckles)

PATRICK: It was nice to have something to do again. Something worthwhile to do again.

MARISHA: I'd say you definitely spent your time wisely. What do you plan to do next?

PATRICK: If you folk are heading back to the city tomorrow, I should meet up with my people. They don't need me to shepherd them, exactly, but I should head back with them.

MARISHA: Okay. Well, thank you for everything. Sincerely. I give him another hug and say goodnight and go in the castle.

MATT: Okay

ASHLEY: I'm going to stay with Scanlan for a bit. Just for the night.

MATT: Okay, so you take him back to his chamber. You stay next to him as he's sleeping, making sure he's okay. All right. Everyone else, just–

TRAVIS: I'm just staying outside his room.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I then go, I was going to go find Allura and actually ask her if she had a message spell or a sending spell, and I was totally gonna do that before (all laugh) everyone started making the jokes about us being shitty and forgetting. Because that would be awful–

TALIESIN: I was really looking forward to it, to be honest.

MARISHA: –to wait for 12 hours to figure out if your friend is alive or dead. (all singing) Somewhere out there–

MATT: Yeah, as you go find her, she's already in her night clothes and has brought her hair down and is like, “Yes, actually, I can. Thank you for reminding me.”

MARISHA: She must be insane right now, or half drunk, or both.

MATT: Probably both.

MARISHA: Yeah, I would be.

MATT: I will make sure she knows.

MARISHA: Okay, thank you.

MATT: Of course, of course. Sleep well. You've done– you've done good.

MARISHA: You, too. Thank you.

MATT: You've all finished what I started.

MARISHA: I think we'll head back with you tomorrow to Emon so we can check in on our keep, once Vex'ahlia comes back, of course.

MATT: “Very well. I can bring most of you with me. Should not be an issue. All right, rest well. Have a good night.” She goes back inside.

PATRICK: Kerrek will probably track down a bottle of some kind of really strong liquor and look for Grog.

MATT: Okay, it doesn't take you long to find it. You've seen where they keep most of it and since you're already an esteemed guest of the keepers here of Whitestone, they have given you a bottle, already open, but promised to have been fine quality and it doesn't take you long to hear the various bodily functions of Grog Strongjaw in the hallway, watching Scanlan's room. As it's now the middle of the night, close to midnight or so, you come across Grog alone leaning up against the wall, arms crossed, just waiting outside of Scanlan's room.

PATRICK: And I just kind of pass the bottle over and say, Well, this is a better sort of vigil than what I've seen in the past.

TRAVIS: Why, that is true, that could have been much– what is this?

PATRICK: They seemed really impressed that they were giving it to me.

TRAVIS: They gave it to you. You didn't–

PATRICK: That's the extent of my knowledge. It looks brownish.

TRAVIS: You didn't pay for it, no coin. You don't know if it's, like, cheap or expensive.

PATRICK: Yeah, I'm guessing it's top shelf, not that I would know.

TRAVIS: Hold on, let an expert take a taste. And I take a sip.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Do I detect any notes of stuff?

MATT: Roll an intelligence check.

TRAVIS: Come on, Gil. That's a three… No, that's a one.

MATT: You detect notes of alcohol. Very strong alcohol.

LAURA: And liquid.

TRAVIS: Yes, this is clearly the finest reserve alcohol of the… area. We shall enjoy this to great lengths. May I commend you on the acquisition of a great– I think I just stroked out on that word. Here.

PATRICK: And so I just kind of share some space. We chat a bit, and then I kind of bring up that whole resurrection ritual, slowly like, So that sort of thing has happened before with you folks?

TRAVIS: Yeah, it has, unfortunately. A bit too often. But I have to say, before this group, I didn't even know people could do that, 'cause you know me. I can't do anything like that. Have you ever done one of those?

PATRICK: I… No, no. I… (sighs) I've looked into things like that, but I've never known anyone who's actually come back.

TRAVIS: Really?

PATRICK: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Wait, so are you saying, someone coming back is rare?

PATRICK: I've, I mean, I've heard stories, and I know, but I've never seen it myself and I've never… I don't know how much. I never knew how practical any of the stories were before.

TRAVIS: I don't really know how pra– pracsti– they are either, but I guess I hadn't really thought about it much. It just seems like the others in the group are responsible for it. This one was hard, though. I felt like it might not work, you know?

PATRICK: So it always works?

TRAVIS: Well, yeah. I mean, of the ones I've seen.

PATRICK: And has it always been–? How– do you need a body?

TRAVIS: Uh… for what? To stay warm at night or for a resurrection?

(all laugh)

PATRICK: No no, for a– have you ever brought someone back when you didn't have the body?

TRAVIS: No?

PATRICK: I expected that couldn't happen.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay. Cause that would be– what would you use? Like, you can't bring along, like, a tea cosy and then be like bam! You're back! How would that even work? What are you talking about?

PATRICK: Exactly, how would any of that work? And that is about as subtle as Kerrek can be at this point. Awake for three days and two wars and a dragon. That's why he's desperately trying to pump Grog for information about how the hell someone can come back–

TRAVIS: You picked the wrong source.

(all laugh)

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: You know, if you have questions, the wall behind me also knows probably as much as I do.

(all laugh)

PATRICK: And that's like, this is especially the only person I could trust to not realize that I was trying to get information out of him on this subject.

MATT: Yeah. (laughs)

PATRICK: And then when it does not– when it dead ends, I just drink as much of that bottle as I can, moving it back and forth between the two of us for the rest of the night.

TRAVIS: I'm good with that.

ASHLEY: Do I hear them at all on the other side of the door?

MATT: You hear them muttering from across the wall, but do you wanna listen in?

TALIESIN: I was actually hoping to be around the corner for a chunk of this, 'cause I was heading to Scanlan's room as well.

MATT: Both of you guys make perception checks.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: Awesome.

TRAVIS: So you, like, you take a big shiny thing, and then someone starts like “ay-ay-ah”.

TALIESIN: 14.

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: You're around the way. You catch the tail end of the conversation, just the questioning back and forth. You pick up bits and pieces of it, and you're able to make out the gist of the conversation.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm gonna peek my head out the door.

MATT: Okay, as you guys are finishing passing the bottle back and forth, Scanlan's door opens and Pike just barely pushes her head out from the crack.

ASHLEY: Hey.

TRAVIS: Aaah! Oh my god!

ASHLEY: What are you drinking? And why didn't you bring some to me?

TRAVIS: Shit. Really good point. We might be in trouble, Kerr.

PATRICK: I… have made a terrible mistake. But it is one that I can fix. And I know this is why the gods gave us two hands. I will bring back two bottles.

TRAVIS: Is this why the gods gave us two hands?

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: They gave us two hands for two bott– Pike, I am so wise right now.

ASHLEY: You are–that must be like an intelligence serum.

TRAVIS: Serum. Did they teach you that in your Sarenrae temple classes, because if not, maybe you have a thing or two to teach them now.

ASHLEY: Probably not, Grog, but thank you.

TALIESIN: All right, now I am coming around the corner. I've waited long enough.

MATT: So, Percival, you hear just enough to hear the talk about needing a body and then alcohol.

TRAVIS: Percy, the gods gave you two hands for bottles for each of them!

TALIESIN: Four if you can learn to use your feet.

TRAVIS: That's too much. My brain will explode.

ASHLEY: Can I insight check him, since I knew, since I could hear what was going on?

MATT: Uh, sure. Make it with disadvantage, because it was through a wall.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: It's hard to pick up nuances without seeing expressions and stuff.

LIAM: It's just bass.

MATT: Yeah, bass, practically.

ASHLEY: 18.

MATT: 18? It's too hard to pick up without the nuances. From through a wall, I mean, the fact that you could pick up any of the words is one thing, but most of insight is based around facial expressions, physical activity. You have no idea.

TRAVIS: Probably some intermittent farting.

MATT: That, too, yeah. So, you wander in. Kerr wandered away.

TALIESIN: I am going to wander into the room, with a nod and just sit for a moment.

TRAVIS: Wait. Prove that you're you.

TALIESIN: No.

TRAVIS: It's you.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: I love you so much.

MATT: All right, so you sit for a bit, Kerr eventually returns with a second bottle of matching alcohol, unopened though, the same–

PATRICK: Two, two hands.

MATT: Oh, so you go for a third bottle as well.

PATRICK: Yes.

MATT: Two unopened bottles of the same brackish liquor.

PATRICK: And I'll pass one to both of the people, that I was not drinking with before. I'll pass them off.

MATT: Okay, so Pike and Percival, you have a fresh bottle jammed into your hand.

ASHLEY: One for me.

TALIESIN: I'll be passing this around a bit.

ASHLEY: Should we all sit on the bed around Scanlan, like a slumber party?

TRAVIS: Is that creepy?

TALIESIN: Honestly I am thinking about going through his things, so no, I don't think it is.

TRAVIS: Well, okay.

(fart noise)

MATT: Scanlan is definitely alive.

ASHLEY: Oh my god. What were you guys talking about out there? If I can be so rude to ask.

TRAVIS: Oh, us?

PATRICK: Uh, the liquor, it has fabulous brackish notes.

TRAVIS: Yep. Notes of brack.

ASHLEY: Great, great.

TALIESIN: Thank you. We make it here.

TRAVIS: I was also talking about what a great job you do. Apparently, you're really rare.

ASHLEY: What do you mean?

TRAVIS: Like, like, apparently, you and your resurrections, like, they don't always work. Which is amazing.

ASHLEY: They don't always work.

TRAVIS: I didn't know that.

ASHLEY: They don't. We've been very fortunate. We've been very fortunate. What, did you– why do you ask, Kerr?

PATRICK: I've never actually seen anything like that before. It was quite an experience. Am I still wearing my armor? I might actually ask that out loud.

(all laugh)

MATT: And he is. He is still wearing his armor, unwashed. A few of you have gotten washed, a few of you are still kind of, you know, going over the events of today. Grog is not washed.

LAURA: Grog never washes.

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Perfume de Grog.

MATT: So yes, he is still wearing his armor.

PATRICK: You get the marvelous spectacle of a slightly older, slightly portly man shrugging out of a full suit of chainmail. It's entertaining. And then just like dumps it on the floor, and then like the padding underneath. (groans)

TRAVIS: That's a lot of shit you're wearing, man.

PATRICK: You know what I forgot over all these years, like the sweat gathers in your ass.

ASHLEY: Swamp ass.

MARISHA: Swamp ass. Swamp crack, yeah.

ASHLEY: It's a thing.

PATRICK: You'd think that I would remember but no, I had forgotten that.

TALIESIN: I forget, and then suddenly I remember that I met you all in a prison cell.

ASHLEY: I remember very well.

TALIESIN: It's not fair, is it?

TRAVIS: What?

TALIESIN: It's just, one day you lose so many people and then just one day you stop. And at one point in your life you decide that suddenly for no reason, there's just– you're just not allowed to die yet. Your life just isn't your own anymore, and suddenly you've done what you were supposed to do and now you're back. And it's just not yours anymore, is it? And what of everybody else? It's not fair, any of it. I don't know.

TRAVIS: You don't think your life is your own?

TALIESIN: I know my life isn't my own. My life is all of yours. My life is my sister's. My life is this castle's. My life ended.

ASHLEY: Do you feel–

TALIESIN: I'm very glad to be here. (laughs) I just miss an awful lot of people, that's all. And I don't understand how we get to choose.

TRAVIS: Oh.

ASHLEY: I understand.

TALIESIN: I know.

TRAVIS: (whispers) I just got it too.

ASHLEY: (whispers) Yeah.

TALIESIN: I know you don't, Grog. I'm so grateful that you don't. To the unyielding unfairness of the universe.

TRAVIS: Yep, raising drinks.

LIAM: I'm not even here, and I'll drink to that one.

MARISHA: I know.

LIAM: Fucking A.

PATRICK: I'll drink.

TALIESIN: And that it decided that we get to keep this bastard. Hardly fair.

TRAVIS: What do we tell him when he wakes up?

TALIESIN: That's why I was thinking about going through all of his things. We could just leave him in a gutter somewhere.

LAURA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Make him think he's reincarnated a hundred years in the future. I don't know. I keep thinking of terrible things to do to him now.

MARISHA: That's pretty funny.

TALIESIN: I know.

TRAVIS: I have not explored any of that, and it is amazing.

TALIESIN: I– well, we were all troubled. I feel like once Vax is awake, we'll really have an expert at this sort of thing available.

LIAM: Now's your chance to throw something in the acid.

(All laugh.)

TALIESIN: I wish I could hear that!

LIAM: Riegel's not even here.

LAURA: Oh my god.

LIAM: You could run roughshod over that motherfucker.

TALIESIN: You're not in the room. You're not in the room, asshole!

LIAM: This is Liam talking to Taliesin.

TALIESIN: I know. I don't know if Percy is that– has that much of a lack of propriety. He's really debating though. How much have we had to drink?

MATT: Well, it's up to you. Other members in this room have gotten quite drunk.

MARISHA: Well, the math is always how much you've had to drink versus distance it takes to travel to your goal, 'cause they kinda balance each other out.

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: That's true.

MARISHA: The longer you have to go–

TRAVIS: If you're stationary, that's one thing.

MARISHA: Yeah, but, oh, I gotta go a mile? Ehh. Half of it's down stairs? I don't know.

ASHLEY: We could play a prank on him.

TALIESIN: I think that's a great idea. I think I need somebody with a better mind for this.

TRAVIS: I walk out of the room.

MATT: Grog leaves. Is there any other business you guys want to conduct before the evening's done?

ASHLEY: Did you want to go through his things?

TALIESIN: A bit. That would be cruel. Well, you're a decent person. Should we?

ASHLEY: Well, I mean–

PATRICK: Well, what if he happens to have something on him that requires attention?

ASHLEY: I actually would agree, 'cause what if there's something, you know, that he needs our help with but feels weird about asking?

PATRICK: Right. Or if he has– if there's– well, I was thinking like a plant that needs watering–

ASHLEY: Of course.

PATRICK: Except something you would have in your pocket, which is not a plant.

MATT: Kerr, by the way, is pretty trashed at this point.

LIAM: Thanks for clarifying.

TALIESIN: I've got an idea.

ASHLEY: Okay, what's your idea?

TALIESIN: We're gonna need one of your nightgowns and some of the pudding from downstairs kitchen.

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: Oh okay.

LIAM: Wow.

ASHLEY: Okay. Can I go grab one of my– I'm gonna go grab one of my nightgowns.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm gonna send for some desserts from downstairs.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I had nights like this in college you guys. This is not cool.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Oh, I'm well aware.

MARISHA: This is not cool when you wake up like this.

MATT: All right, nightgown retrieved, pudding, a little stale but retrieved.

TALIESIN: That's fine, stale is better.

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Is my nightgown a little big on him?

(all laugh)

MATT: Actually yeah. You're a little thicker than Scanlan. Got some–

ASHLEY and LAURA: Ayyy!

TRAVIS: She's a monstah.

ASHLEY: (singing) More to love.

MATT: Ain't nothing wrong with that. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

(all laughing)

ASHLEY: That's right, I got all the games.

LIAM: He's like a gnome Steve Buscemi.

(laughing continues)

MATT: Essentially, yes.

TRAVIS: Those pythons, yo.

MATT: You're the monster. All right, so you have the nightgown and you have the pudding, what's the plan?

ASHLEY: What are you thinking?

TALIESIN: Well, first we're going to have to strip him.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: We're gonna put him in your nightgown.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: We're gonna just, sort of leave him hanging off the bed and decorate the entire room with all the desserts we've brought up and just smear them in interesting patterns and–

ASHLEY: (gasps)

TALIESIN: Maybe some Latin everywhere. Just wonder what happened. Let's just leave him a tableau.

ASHLEY: We'll have an art party.

TALIESIN: I think it's a fabulous idea.

ASHLEY: All right, so I'll start undressing him.

MATT: All right so Kerr, you watch as Percival and Pike begin undressing Scanlan's comatose body–

TRAVIS: In a coma.

MATT: –and re-dressing it in a nightgown–

LAURA: Terrible.

MATT: –and then stage by stage, taking handfuls of room temperature, probably day-old pudding–

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: –and desserts and smearing them across the room–

LAURA, TALIESIN, and MARISHA: Eww.

MATT: –and Scanlan himself.

TALIESIN: We're gonna braid his hair as well.

LAURA: It could be like a week before he wakes up all moldy and nasty.

TALIESIN: I'm gonna smear in some of it on his forehead so he can read it in the mirror backwards and it's just gonna say, 'no, never.'

(all laugh)

LIAM: With a quill? (laughing) it's a lot of letters.

TALIESIN: Gently, gently with your– you can fit that.

MATT: It's a small forehead.

LIAM: Yeah, sharpies don't exist.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's true, it is a small head. Let's do two lines.

MARISHA: I feel like I want to do “You've got the nightgown and you've got the pudding. Now what are you gonna do?" in cross stitch on my wall.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: All righty. So, you complete your art project.

MATT: Take it however you feel, witnessing the event Kerrek–

PATRICK: Actually, Kerr, at some point, is probably like, If you got some ribbons, get his hands.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: I'm shocked.

PATRICK: On the bedpost.

TRAVIS: I'm shocked.

TALIESIN: You, sir, are a man of the world. What a great idea.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: A man of the world.

TALIESIN: I'm going to retrieve two of my scarves from my room.

(all laugh)

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Yes, yes.

TALIESIN: With two of– of the– uh, yeah.

MATT: (laughs) That's perfect.

TALIESIN: Couple of neck scarves.

MATT: Great, okay.

PATRICK: Not too tight.

TALIESIN: Not too tight.

PATRICK: Not too tight.

TALIESIN: Gentle. (laughs)

PATRICK: No, no that's not that sort of knot.

MATT: (laughs)

PATRICK: You have to wrap it around and then through.

MATT: You unintentionally learn more about Kerrek's history than you expected to.

TALIESIN: I really I feel like I'm getting so many more chapters.

LIAM: So very Vox Machina.

MATT: All right, and with the presentation complete, your diorama con Scanlan, the evening draws late. It is now probably a good 2:30, three o'clock in the morning upon completion.

MARISHA: Oh, oh shit.

TALIESIN: It is time for sleep.

LAURA: Did I ever get a message?

MATT: Yeah, we're gonna get to that right now. You did get a message from Allura that tells you that the ritual is successful. Scanlan is alive.

LAURA: (excited noise)

MATT: Yes?

LAURA: I wake Trinket up. He's alive!

MATT: (confused bear noises)

LAURA: He's alive! And I go running out of the room. He's alive! to the entire bar down below.

MATT: Trinket rushes out after you. "(aggressive bear noises)"

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LAURA: It worked! It worked! Who's awake!? Anyone? Is anyone awake?

MATT: You– (laughs) you look down and there's maybe three people in the open expanse of the tavern floor, two of which are passed out on tables, one of them in their own vomit and there is– the door to the tavern is still open and the one barkeep is somebody else has taken on the night shift, who's currently just sitting back and reading a book. Just kinda looks up at you, "Shhhhh.”

LAURA: You!

MATT: What?

LAURA: I'm buying you a drink!

(all laugh)

LAURA: I come running downstairs and keep drinking.

MATT: Okay, you approach the gentleman, who– you know, receding hairline, short, kind of salt and pepper hair, bit of a double chin going on. A portly fella in his probably late forties or so, kinda square spectacles at the tip of his nose with his book he sits down to the side. He's wearing just a simple tunic with a little bit of an apron on. “Um, uh (sputtering) sure, I uh, I suppose.”

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Alright, um, I'll pour my drink.

LAURA: What's the best thing you've got? That's, you know, within reason?

(all laugh)

MATT: “That'll be the Supple Wake, um–” And he pulls this dark red, terracotta jug from underneath and it has a wax seal on the top of it that's kind of currently closed off and he, “This'll run you about uh, 20 gold for the bottle. It's the best we have.”

LAURA: I'm in! Let's do it! and then pour a bowl of ale for my bear here.

MATT: He looks over and he just sees like, lumbering across the room– He didn't notice at the time, just kinda transfixed by your sudden strangeness.

LAURA: Cause he was in my necklace earlier when I came in.

MATT: Yeah. Suddenly there's a giant bear (crashing noises) and he goes, “Um… okay. (nervous laughter)” (sound of the bottle being popped open) And just goes ahead and fills three small glasses–

LIAM: He's on a different layer.

MATT: –passes them over–

LIAM: A whole new sound effect.

MATT: –and puts over into a bowl and kinda sets it onto the edge and Trinket kinda pulls and grabs the edge of the bowl with a big claw and it tips over and kinda splashes–

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: –and as Trinket's face is (licking noises).

LAURA: Drink up, buddy. That's some expensive shit.

MATT: Gets up on the top. Gets both arms up on the actual bar and is kinda like crushing the wood a little bit and knocked the bowl over and it's spilled out and he's like (slurping) and the guy's just sitting back leaning further and further away, grabs his glass…

LAURA: Cheers!

LAURA: What a great night! Ha! (drinking sound)

MATT: –to the night shift”

(all laugh)

MATT: All right–

LIAM: We've been playing this game three years. You wait three years to pull out that brand new sound effect of a cork (popping sound) coming out of a bottle.

LAURA: I know, right!?

MATT: I don't know! I spent a lot of time alone as a kid. (laughs)

LIAM: Wow, wow.

MARISHA: We've been playing this game for like five years.

LAURA: Yeah, god, five years!

ASHLEY: Five years.

MARISHA: This is like two and then– two and a half, four and a half, I think.

LIAM: Yeah, we started back in nineteen aught five, right?

TRAVIS and LAURA: (old-timey voices) Nineteen aught five!

MARISHA: It was spring break, Cancun.

MATT: (dudebro voice) Spring break!

(all laugh)

MATT: So, evening comes full circle, rest comes about, the next day, presents you with rest, comfort. You're healful, you've restored your hit points, you get back half of your hit dice. Also, bright and early, as you all begin to kinda rouse from your slumber and wake up, Scanlan still asleep, still covered in the mess that you left him in. And shortly into the morning there is a series of quick (pounding sounds) footsteps up from the lower regions of the castle as Vex'ahlia arrives, freshly transported by Eskil Ryndarien to Whitestone.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: So as you rush in, you can see everybody kind of slightly groggily having their breakfast in the main eating hall of Whitestone castle.

LAURA: (gasp) Where is he? Where is he?

TRAVIS: Oh no, he's still asleep.

TALIESIN: He's still sleeping it off.

LAURA: Oh.

TALIESIN: I don't think he's actually like woken up yet.

LAURA: Oh, oh! It takes a lot out of you.

TALIESIN: It does, yes.

LAURA: How's everyone? Are you good? How'd it go?

ASHLEY: Good, good good good good.

TALIESIN: Good.

LAURA: (relieved sigh) I was so worried.

ASHLEY: I'm so glad you're back.

LAURA: I'm so glad to be here.

MARISHA: How was your night? Where are– did you– how was it? How was that town?

LAURA: The town.

MARISHA: Yeah?

LAURA: You know, I didn't see much of it.

MARISHA: No?

LAURA: Outside of a bar.

MARISHA: Oh, sure, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, me and Eskil had some times though, I can tell you.

MARISHA: Really!? I never pegged him for like–

LAURA: That guy is a partier.

MARISHA: No way! What!?

LAURA: Oh yeah.

TALIESIN: Fascinating to know.

MARISHA: Shut up.

LAURA: He put some moves on me, Percy. You should be aware.

TALIESIN: Really? Really?

MARISHA: (shocked gasp)

MATT: At which point, you turn around in the room and you see Eskil entering with his little walking stick like (back cracking noises) (old man groan).

MARISHA: Eskil, you devil. You little pit fiend, you! Look at you!

TALIESIN: Such impropriety.

MATT: I'll take my meal in my room.

LAURA: Thanks again darling! It was wonderful.

MARISHA: (whispering) Oh, he's having a hangover meal.

TRAVIS: You gave him back problems?

MATT: “… good day.”

(all laugh)

MATT: He slowly turns around. “Where is my manservant?” and he wanders off into the castle.

LAURA: So what are we doing today?

MARISHA: (sigh) Well, I guess, I mean we– I know Allura's going back to Emon to check in on things since we kind of left in a hurry but, I guess we should wait for Scanlan to wake up.

TALIESIN: Well… there are things to do I suppose. There's still a list of things that need to be taken care of.

TRAVIS: Yeah. And I suppose we really shouldn't rush Scanlan, I mean, we might be able to do some of those.

ASHLEY: Sleep is the best medicine!

TRAVIS: It is?

ASHLEY: Some people say that.

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: Although real medicine is a little better but just really for rejuvenation and… What are we doing?

(all laugh)

MATT: Pike, holistic cleric.

TRAVIS: Pretty much anything is good.

MATT: Kerrek now wanders in very hungover

TALIESIN: Good morning.

PATRICK: Yeah, very… yeah.

(all laugh)

I look every bit as old as I am.

TRAVIS: Yeaaah, swamp ass!

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: Aaaaay! I remember, I remember it.

LAURA: Swamp ass?

TALIESIN: I don't remember, what?

ASHLEY: He was talking about his butt getting sweaty.

TALIESIN: Oh… Ah, the night got weird.

ASHLEY: We all agreed it happens!

LIAM: (clicks tongue) Uh, I'm actually not here. I never left the temple.

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: Stayed there overnight?

LIAM: Ah, yes I did. And we'll have a flashback now.

MATT: Okay!

LIAM: Super quick! Super quick.

LAURA and ASHLEY: (make “flashback” sounds)

MATT: (with a “narrator” voice) Where is Vax?

(whooshing sounds)

LIAM: Fucking exhausted. Set down everything that I own on the altar, and took ten minutes to take off all the armor and lay that out on the altar and just, uh–

LAURA: (unwrapping a candy loudly)

LIAM: Get your candies unwrapped, grandmas. (laughs) And I just stare at it. For a long time wondering, What happens now? That's it. And then I stay there for the whole night.

MATT: Okay. So, as you guys continue breakfast–

LAURA and LIAM: (“flashback” whooshing sounds)

MATT: (laughs) Yeah. And you arrive and catch up with everybody and your brother's not there.

LAURA: (with her mouth full of candy) Where's Vax?!

TRAVIS: Your brother's not here

LAURA: Where is he?

ASHLEY: He stayed in the Raven Queen's temple? I know that.

LAURA: He stayed in the temple?!

ASHLEY: I think he did. I– I don't know, I was up in the room that I–

TRAVIS: That's where we saw him last.

ASHLEY: He stayed there when we left, so he could still be there? I'm not sure.

MARISHA: He didn't come back last night, so… I'm assuming he stayed there.

LAURA: Well, I'm, gonna go find him! I give Percy a kiss on the head as I walk by. It's good to see you again.

TALIESIN: It's good to see you too. Welcome home!

LAURA: Glad you're alive.

TALIESIN: (laughs) Very glad to be alive.

LAURA: Where's my brother?

(all laugh)

MARISHA: She's in a really good mood.

TALIESIN: Yes, she is.

TRAVIS: Maybe you should hit up Eskil for some tricks.

MARISHA: I know!

TALIESIN: I think that might be fun!

(all laugh)

MARISHA: I didn't know you guys had that kind of relationship.

TALIESIN: The girth of things you do not know could fill such a cavern.

MARISHA: (laughs) You said “girth”.

TALIESIN: I did. Ah, I love you. I'm so proud of you.

MATT: The bad influence of Vox Machina.

MARISHA: Vex taught me that was funny!

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Wow, thank you, I didn't need that.

MATT: Vax. After a long night of meditation on your place between the mortal realm and divine, the ramifications or meaning behind the choices in allowance that destiny still lays unfulfilled, to have not felt intervention against the return of the spirits of those you've lost weighs a bit on you. The idea that to not allow a thread to be severed means there's still a plan. And that worries you. Because that means, in what little scope you have, you don't see that there's still more work to be done, at least as far as she's concerned. As tonight you've had nothing but silence within the temple. And then (slams) the door slams open, the bright light of the morning just (swooshes) across you as you're on the altar, and there you see, silhouetted in the light, the outline of your sister.

LAURA: What are you doing!? Trinket, stay outside, it's holy in here.

LIAM: Don't come in here, Trinket, I'm naked!

MATT: (Trinket groans)

LAURA: Oh. Well. I walk in blindly, one hand in front of me. Are you really naked or are you just saying that? Where are you?

LIAM: I stand up and let my dinglies dangle.

LAURA: No!

(all laugh)

LAURA: Hey!

LIAM: Yeah?

LAURA: I heard he's alive!

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: That's pretty great, right? I turn my back to him so I can open my damn eyes.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: What are you doing sleeping in here?!

LIAM: I give her a naked hug from behind.

LAURA: Ahh, creepy! Get off! Fucking gross!

LIAM: (laughs) Oh, we used to take baths together.

(all laugh)

LIAM: What? What's that funny?

LAURA: Nothing! Nothing!

LIAM: Ah, he is, he is. And I back off. He's good.

LAURA: (still laughing) Yeah…

LIAM: You missed quite a performance, actually.

LAURA: Oh, really? By whom?

LIAM: The younger Shorthalt.

LAURA: So she did contribute.

LIAM: Oh, yes.

LAURA: Thank God that trip wasn't for nothing.

LIAM: I start to put on my sort of Mormon unibody underwear thing. Uh. So that's done, then.

LAURA: What's done? What?

LIAM: Dragons!

LAURA: I mean… Can I turn around?

LIAM: Uh… Yeah, I've covered.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: The glory.

(both laugh)

LAURA: I mean, I think so? Right?

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: I don't know what she was up to, but– What were you doing here! Why are you sleeping in this cold, creepy temple when everyone else is celebrating?

LIAM: You encouraged me to embrace all this when I was complaining about–

LAURA: Oh, well, yes, of course. Not to the detriment of your happiness.

LIAM: (laughs) I'm happy. Ish.

LAURA: Ish?

LIAM: What happens now?

LAURA: Now that dragons are defeated and all of Tal'Dorei can live in peace and harmony and Vox Machina, the heroes that everyone was searching for…

LIAM: (laughs) You're staying here?

LAURA: Staying where? Here? Here in this temple? Here in Whitestone? I know what you're talking about. I mean, I do have a keep here. Right, a castle? A home.

LIAM: A husk.

LAURA: I also have money.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: I can build. What're you gonna do? Would you stay?

LIAM: Here?

LAURA: You have a temple!

LIAM: I know. I like it! I slept in it.

(both laugh)

LAURA: You know, I can get some lush pillows put in here as well. This is on my property after all! (laughs)

LIAM: No, I was thinking… I mean, I don't know what any of us are doing, but I was thinking that I might go back with Keyleth. For a while.

LAURA: Right! Well, of course!

LIAM: I mean, you're set, you're– This is your home, now

LAURA: I mean, one of–

LIAM: I don't mean the place, or the building… You know what I mean.

LAURA: I mean, it's– Hasn't been very long, dear, who knows what's gonna happen?

LIAM: Sure.

LAURA: Sure?

LIAM: Sure.

LAURA: Would you like me to travel with you and Keyleth?

LIAM: I would never turn you away. But I think that you have activities to explore here… But no, I mean, you're my heart, you're me, you're my other half, you're welcome with me always.

LAURA: (distressed) Why are we talking about this!? Don't talk about this now! This is a time of happiness, don't talk about sad things! Please… Please?

LIAM: I am happy.

LAURA: Good!

LIAM: Happiest I've been in a long time. Long time.

LAURA: Good. Come.

LIAM: Yeah!

LAURA: All right!

LIAM: Well, you know, I'm in my undies, so…

LAURA: Well! Put your armor on–

LIAM: Why don't you go and I'll catch up– That takes like 22 minutes, though!

LAURA: Well, what if I help you!

LIAM: All right.

LAURA: Done it before.

LIAM: Yeah

LAURA: Ten minutes, then, right? Go get some breakfast, after all.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Dress sequence!

TALIESIN: And that's how you put on armor.

(all laugh)

MATT: Alright. As you guys head back, you all gather at this point in time. Allura and Kima have woken and met up with you, begin to make arrangements and telling you to gather your things if you're going to journey with them to Emon to find your way there. You guys have everything you need?

TRAVIS: Uh, yes.

LAURA: I mean we're all healed, everything's great?

MATT: Yeah, you all had a night's rest.

LAURA: What are we gonna do, we're bringing Scanlan with us?

LIAM: No.

TRAVIS: No, no, no.

LAURA: Scanlan's gonna stay here?

TRAVIS: Yes!

LAURA: Alone?

TRAVIS: Yes!

TALIESIN: He's got nurses.

MATT: Well, not alone, we can have Keeper Yennen watch over him, we have a number of guard here, and soon as any word comes to his rousing we will make sure that it's sent to us.

LIAM: Pike, how's he looking?

PATRICK: Someone should probably roll him over and change his knots (snickers).

LAURA: Oh that's true. I mean I wasn't there, I don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

(all laugh)

LAURA: What knots?

TALIESIN: The nurses were given some instructions.

PATRICK: Actually he's just nodding, just laughing to himself, he just can't talk about anything.

MATT: As his laughter begins to build, a second set of laughter gets to join in, as you see coming around the corner, laughing a still drunk, not slept, Kaylie…

MARISHA: Oh shit.

MATT: –comes with circles in her eyes, just goes, “Heh, well, that there's some fancy work, whoever did that”.

TRAVIS: Oh shit, she saw the room.

MATT: That's choice! (laughs)

TALIESIN: You're welcome, dear. Seemed the least we could do.

ASHLEY: Figured it was appropriate when he woke up, that he would–

LAURA: What did you do?

ASHLEY: Not anything–

MATT: Knot, exactly! Knot! A few knots.

PATRICK: I think we should, those arms will be asleep, there's gonna be a problem up there if we don't–

(all laugh)

MATT: You know what, I'll stay here, I'll watch over him, I'll make sure the knots are changed in time. I kinda wanna be here to see his face.

LIAM: Did he break a leg or something?

ASHLEY: No, he just– we wanted to make sure he stayed– that he didn't–

MATT: Comfortable!

ASHLEY: –didn't roll off the bed.

MATT: Make sure he stays comfortable.

ASHLEY: Keep him there.

LIAM: All right.

LAURA: All right.

LIAM: (whispers) I feel like we're missing something.

TALIESIN: Keeping him in the manner in which he is comfortable. (laughs)

ASHLEY: Yes.

LAURA: How are you doing, Kaylie?

MATT: I'm fine.

LAURA: You look great.

MATT: “I'm sure I do.” Her hair is kind of all clustered to one side now, and you can see the stains on her shirt, but she still looks like she could probably take somebody in a bar-fight. You can definitely see in this moment more than anything, she is of Shorthalt stock. “Well, go on! Do your thing.”

TRAVIS: You're sure? You'll be all right here? I'm sure Percy can let you have whatever you want, right, Percy? Just anything she wants.

TALIESIN: No. But if you do need a room–

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: –and some drink, we definitely have that available. And the appropriate authorities have already been– why are you all looking at me like that?

TRAVIS: Do I need to remind you of the title you gave me? Surely I hold some power in–

TALIESIN: It does.

MARISHA: Ooh, yeah, ooh, I wrote that title down.

LIAM: Yes, of all of this and that? The Doinka Doink?

MARISHA: Grand Poobah?

TRAVIS: It doesn't really matter, I'm just saying, if she needs something while we're gone–

MARISHA: This is very important–

TALIESIN: Don't hesitate to ask if you do need anything.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh. I have decreed it.

MATT: Well, I shall certainly ask. And I will need everything.

TALIESIN: I am powerfully aware.

MATT: Kind of rushes past you and sits down and starts eating the leftovers of whatever dish was not finished.

MARISHA: Grand Poobah de Boink is the title.

LIAM: Of all this and that.

MARISHA: I wrote it down.

LAURA: Of all this and that.

MARISHA: Of all, yes, “In Charge of All Of This And That”.

TRAVIS: That was the proper title.

(all laugh)

MATT: I need to add that to the Campaign Guide. I need to do that.

ASHLEY: Grand, what is it? Grand Poobah..?

TALIESIN: Poobah!

MARISHA: de Boink.

TALIESIN: de Boink.

MATT: de Boink.

MARISHA: Like Des Moines, but de Boink.

LIAM: Of the Vermont de Boinks?

MARISHA: Of the Vermont de Boinks.

TALIESIN: Steady are the winds caused by the farts of kings.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ASHLEY: That is adorable.

TALIESIN: Indeed.

MATT: “All right.” She finishes eating. Allura is watching this whole thing in the distance with her arms crossed. “Whenever you're ready, shall we?”

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: Ready.

TALIESIN: (whispers) We'll be back.

MATT: “Now, please, hands together.” And there's a rush of cold wind (whooshing sound) which takes up suddenly the familiar sensation of teleportation as you're all thrust back into the outside of the Cloudtop District, exterior of the gates. You can see there's still smoke rising up, but as opposed to the clouds of billowing cinders and flame, it appears that most buildings in the immediate vicinity, while black and darkened and broken, no longer rage of burning fire. The smoke has gone from pitch-black to bits of dark grey and plumes of white. You can see already there is a bustle throughout the city as a number of bodies are laid out across the ground with bits of gathered cloth placed over them, those who had fallen in the battle and are being gathered, being prepared to be brought back to their families.

MARISHA: I immediately look to the sky. Do I see any sign of the Ashari, and what do the clouds look like?

MATT: The sky is a clear cloudless crystalline blue.

MARISHA: Really?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Okay. No sign of Ashari?

MATT: No, it's been, it's been a day and a half or so since the battle happened. There is no current clouds or storm in the sky. But as you do appear, you see there are a number of soldiers in patchwork armor, some that appeared to be in similar outfits as the Fort Daxio soldiers that you met there during the pre-battle circumstance. There are few that you recognize as Syngornian armor, and a few that are just people gathered what they could and have been part of the fray and the recovery process. You can see, in all the turmoil and darkness and the destruction you've seen in this city, it's strangely beautiful and welcoming to see that there is life thriving again as people are returning, doors are being pushed back upon the frames, people are searching for survivors behind the rubble and the various homes, and finding them. And you're seeing families that are stepping out and being reunited as you begin to walk through the street. You can see, essentially, the hidden heartbeat of the city is re-emerging once more to take back what it's lost. All of you are caught speechless for a few moments and you take in this vision, and begin to walk as Allura kind of leads you, looking around and walks on and talks to a few guards. She glances back to you and kind of smiles. “Well, you've done it.” And you hear a voice behind her, a kind of echoing shout. “Kerrek!” And you watch a familiar female face come rushing up in clanking armor (clanking noises), and she rushes up and just socks you across the face. Whack!

PATRICK: This is Samantha?

MATT: This is Samantha.

(all laugh)

PATRICK: Okay.

MATT: Where'd you go?

PATRICK: What?

MATT: What'd you do?

PATRICK: What did I do?

LAURA: That man's a hero.

MARISHA: He slayed a dragon.

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: A giant one.

MARISHA: The big green one.

MATT: You've been gone for two days.

LAURA: Killing a dragon.

PATRICK: I told you I might be gone for a while. Is everything okay?

MATT: Everything's fine, we're ready to go!

PATRICK: Good. Good. Good.

TRAVIS: You're leaving? Where are you going?

PATRICK: Back where we came from. I've got a town to continue looking after. And now I know that any work I put into it would probably have time to become something worthwhile.

TRAVIS: Yeah, plus you got all that money you took from down in the dragon's lair, so that helps.

LAURA: Shh, Grog.

PATRICK: A lot of money.

LIAM: Hey, make sure your people know. That man played the final note in the song of the Conclave of Dragons.

MARISHA: It's true.

TALIESIN: So I'm told.

MATT: Kerr?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LIAM: That's right.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: He's a badass.

TRAVIS: His hammer glows.

LAURA: Well it did until it was destroyed by the dragon.

MATT: She looks down at her fist. “I just punched a badass.”

PATRICK: I'm like, my lip is split, blood out of my nose, I'm like “Yeah, that's– what you got there is now a holy relic.”

(all laugh)

MATT: She pats you in the arm (clanging noise), then a clang in her armor against yours. “Well, good. Glad to see you back in action. Glad to see you fighting, kicking ass, killing dragons.”

PATRICK: Yeah, uh, are folks ready to troop out?

MATT: And you see her now, her expression goes from kind of joyous excitement to see him return to a somber tone. “Yes, um, we have the bodies on carts and the rest of us are ready to make the trek back to Westruun.”

PATRICK: Okay. Thanks. I'll be along straight away. I should say my goodbyes.

MATT: All right, well, about three blocks down that way, turn to the right, second square.

PATRICK: Okay.

MATT: She turns around and makes her way off and, looking over her shoulder, kind of grinning a little bit. Looks at her fist again, looks back, shakes her head, and just keeps walking.

TRAVIS: (mournfully) Bye, Sam.

PATRICK: I can't thank you all enough. And I need you to look after each other. Because I will not be here to do it.

LAURA: You're a good man, Kerr.

PATRICK: Uh, we do our best. He just stands there awkwardly for a moment and then turns around and walks away.

LAURA: Awww.

ASHLEY: Awww.

MARISHA: Kerr!

PATRICK: Turns around.

MARISHA: Vox Machina was better to have you.

PATRICK: Well, you know where I am.

MARISHA: And you know where to find us.

PATRICK: I'll let you know if we need ya. And really, really keep an eye on the knots. It's– no more than four hours.

(all laugh)

PATRICK: And then I walk off into the sunset.

LAURA: Ahhhh.

MATT: As you watch Kerr slowly walk down the street, looking back, making his way to this current chapter of his re-adventuring, to gather those he brought up here willing to die for the battle that you finished, we're going to take a break. We'll be back here in a minute. Patrick Rothfuss, thank you so much for joining us.

TRAVIS: Patrick!

LAURA: Patrick!

(applause)

PATRICK: Guys, thank you, thank you so much. It was such a treat. I did not plan on being up in your business for so long, but I'm so, so happy to be a part of this, for this piece of the story. I'm so flattered that you had me.

LIAM: Oh man, mutual, mutual.

MATT: Definitely.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: There's a green dragon waiting for you.

PATRICK: Woo hoo!

LAURA: In your bedroom.

MARISHA: He's in my house and you have to fight me to get it, so…

MATT: (laughs)

PATRICK: Okay, that's a deal.

MARISHA: But it's technically yours whenever you come for it.

LIAM: Three weeks from now, the door opens.

(explosion sound)

MARISHA: Oh, shit! That's fair.

MATT: Thank you so much, Patrick. Guys, we'll take a break. We have a giveaway, actually, 'cause we didn't get a break last week. We have a big Wormwood giveaway to do here at the end of the break, with a big old cluster. So, pay attention to the chat room. They'll have all the information for you on how to get and be a part of that. And we'll see you here in a few minutes.

(all cheer)

Break[]

[BREAK]

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back to Critical Role.

(everyone laughs)

MATT: Apparently, we had a penguin explode in the background.

LAURA: That sounded like Dolores Umbridge.

TRAVIS: Did Foster just shart?

TALIESIN: It was like a goose.

TRAVIS: What was it? Who sneezed?

LAURA: Eddie! (laughs)

LIAM: –specifically thinking, let me give Matt a little break here. I'll give him a little time. And then (makes loud sound).

MATT: There's no break. I get an instinctual nervousness now right before we go live because of you assholes now. Like this kind of Pavlovian, kind of (nervously) okay.

TRAVIS: It's like somebody sniped a parakeet. That was crazy.

(loud high tooting sound)

MATT: There it was.

LAURA: There it is.

MATT: Second time.

TRAVIS: Is that a sneeze or is he fucking with us?

MATT: I don't know.

LIAM: (mobster voice) It would be a shame if something should happen to your peace of mind before a D&D game.

MATT: Yeah, I know. Just keep rolling your dice.

LIAM: (dying noise)

MATT: All right, anyway. Welcome back, guys. So the winner of the contest in the chat room is kalagrace. K-A-L-A-G-R-A-C-E. Congratulations!

(all cheer)

MATT: You're going to win a bunch of stuff.

MARISHA: You got stuff!

MATT: They haven't told me. From Wyrmwood.

LAURA: What stuff, though?

MATT: Cool stuff, apparently.

TRAVIS: Pantomime it.

MATT: There's stuff here in a big stack this big.

LAURA: This kind of stuff?

MATT: That kind of stuff.

MARISHA: I imagine it's wood, and it's box-shaped.

MATT: But you won it, and it's going to be really cool, so congratulations kalagrace.

LAURA: You just wait.

MATT: Boom!

TALIESIN: You just wait.

MATT: (laughs) All right, so back into the game. After you watched Kerrek walk away, the city itself is getting its bearings. People are returning to the recovery process, post-Conclave. Emon's rebuilding and restructuring. What do you guys want to do?

LAURA: (sighs)

MATT: Did you retrieve your items, by the way, from the ritual?

TRAVIS: Yes, I did want to grab them from the temple.

MATT: Okay, yeah. I assumed post-ritual you weren't going to just leave your favorite artifacts on the altar.

TRAVIS: No! I got them.

TALIESIN: And I flipped the Dragonslayer Longsword for the Gloves of Missile Snaring. That was the last thing I did.

MATT: Traded it out? Okay. Cool. What else would you guys like to do? What's your plan?

TRAVIS: We do have a grocery list of things that we could pick from, right?

LAURA: We have a lot of stuff we need to do.

MARISHA: A ton of stuff we need to do.

TRAVIS: Do we want to make good on that promise real fast, or what?

MARISHA: Which one? The eighth one we have?

TRAVIS: The thing under the tree?

LAURA: That's in Vasselheim. We also have a hand to deliver to Marquet.

MARISHA: And a rakshasa to kill.

TRAVIS: Hey, let's hold off on that one, I think.

MARISHA: Maybe we should start with checking in with home? Seeing how the keep is? We haven't been home in a long time.

TRAVIS: Oh, Greyskull?

LAURA: We were just there.

MARISHA: I guess we were just there in passing.

TRAVIS: We're all sore, right? We could knock the dust off a little bit if we just did a little delivery, like some final remains into a tree, or a hand, or whatever.

LIAM: We just ended a threat to civilization. I don't feel like diving into the Nine Hells, at the moment.

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: Yeah, not so much.

TALIESIN: No, not really.

MARISHA: I'm tired.

TRAVIS: Where is the hand going, again?

LAURA AND MARISHA: Marquet.

TRAVIS: Why?

LAURA: Because we told them we would give them a hand.

TRAVIS: Who did we promise that to?

LAURA: You know, the thieves' guild thing. The group of assassins.

TRAVIS: That's boring. Let's go to Vasselheim.

MARISHA: Right now?

LAURA: Shouldn't we help with making sure the Council is in place? Is everything solid here?

MATT: You've been gone for a couple of days, and it's been moving. You could ask around if you want to try and get some information about the current circumstance.

TRAVIS: I guess we could do that.

LAURA: Just to make sure.

MARISHA: Maybe we should also check in with some of our other keep members, and see who's alive and who's dead?

MATT: The people of your keep you brought to Whitestone with you. They've been there.

MARISHA: Oh, that's right. I totally–

MATT: It's been a while. It's been a year.

MARISHA: That's right.

LAURA: How is Jarett? Was he fine when we got back to Whitestone?

MATT: Jarett is recovering.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Did he come back with us, or is he still in Whitestone?

MATT: Jarett's still in Whitestone.

LAURA: He's like, “Fuck you!”

MATT: Jarett's proud and excited about the things you've accomplished, but Jarett needs a vacation.

LIAM: He's got to find some drugs, too.

MATT: Yeah. He's not happy about that.

TRAVIS: Modify Memory.

MATT: (laughs) If you want to roll an investigation check, Vex.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: N-n-n-n-nineteen.

MATT: Spending the next hour or so asking around from various people, you don't come across any notable allies that you recognize, but the word is that the remaining bulk of the standing army of Emon and Fort Daxio, combined with the remnants of Syngorn's army– half went back to Syngorn, just in case, and the other half remained to help with the relief effort here– as well as The Clasp. The Clasp is now bringing people they'd been keeping underground and hidden back to their homes, back to their locations. It seems that the structure, for now, is focused on the relief effort and the returning of the city to its people. As far as the actual Council structure, you don't hear anything yet, on that point.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: To be fair, half of the Council was at Whitestone, and you haven't heard from any of the people that you knew on the Council who came as part of the battle yet. What do you guys want to do?

TRAVIS: We don't need to check in with The Clasp, do we, or anything?

TALIESIN: (groans)

LAURA: No. They kind of have their shit that they're doing.

MARISHA: We're fine, right?

LAURA: We're solid.

LIAM: I'm just going to throw this out: if we leave things as they are, The Clasp are going to completely ruin the city. At some point soon, we might want to get some of the Council back here faster.

LAURA: Well, Allura's here.

LIAM: That's one, yeah.

TRAVIS: Do we know where everyone else is?

LIAM: Whitestone.

LAURA: Well, the problem is, Uriel was killed when the dragons attacked. Nothing else was ever set in place after that.

MARISHA: That's true. Who was acting as–

LAURA: Thordak.

MATT: "Well, when Sovereign was slain, part of his instruction was to hand power entirely over to the Council. So we are still the power structure of the city. It's more of a localized republic. We need to enforce that structure. While you take to what business you need, I'm going to try the best I can to amass the remaining members of that Council and install some sort of political structure here, now. Partly for the reason you mentioned, and partly because we don't want the military suddenly running the show, either."

MARISHA: So as a quick recap, he stepped down and gave this whole speech that he sees the flaws in one ruler, and wants to hand it over to a council rule–

MATT: "Yeah. He didn't want to be a tyrant with advisors. He wanted to have a council that best represented the people's interests in power."

MARISHA: Right. He essentially switched it from a monarchy to a republic.

MATT: Essentially, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: And we have the rest of the royal family in Whitestone.

MATT: "Yes. Salda and the children are currently there. We've kept them safe, and Salda will most likely be placed on the Council, as she has quite a bit of knowledge and experience, and to keep the memory. If we can recover his body or some semblance of it, I will also see that there is a monument built to the memory of the Sovereign."

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: And you think you've got a handle on getting a foothold here?

MATT: "I think if I can find one or two of my friends, definitely."

MARISHA: Do you need help in finding your friends?

MATT: "Your strengths are best tended to elsewhere."

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: "Don't worry. I know Mikhail is around, and me and him have a good rapport, and he has the military at his back, so if anything goes south or wrong, I know how to let you know. So much as you stay on this realm. Don't go vanishing to other planes without letting me know, please."

LAURA: No Feywild?

MATT: "Please. No."

TALIESIN: Not for a bit.

LAURA: Not for a bit. Allura, before we leave.

MATT: "Yes?"

LAURA: Will you take a look? I hand her the box of ashes that Senokir gave us. Do you sense any kind of aura coming off of this, or do you think it is what he said: just a box of his wife's ashes?

MATT: She takes the dark box, and it has small chained edges on each end. She inspects it for a moment. “The box does have a very faint magical essence to it, but it appears to be purely protective. I'm not entirely certain of anything beyond that. It's very faint.”

LAURA: Okay. Thank you.

MARISHA: Kima's with us, right?

MATT: Kima's in the process of going around and gathering information and checking in.

MARISHA: I grab Vax and Vex really quick, and I say, Hey. You guys are really good at asking people back for the stuff that we lent them. I feel a little rude doing that, but you guys are good at that. So–

LAURA: Oh! Kima?

MARISHA: The boots.

LAURA: Hey, those boots?

MARISHA: See? You guys are good at it.

MATT: What?

LIAM: Hey, you know those boots you hate wearing?

MATT: Oh, they're fantastic. I love them.

LIAM: Oh, shit.

(all laugh)

LAURA: It's unfortunate that they look a little iffy with your armor, though. Just kind of– can we have them back, please?

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: We might be sneaking around, you know, in life or death situations, and you're going to be here with the Council.

MARISHA: Pike is very clanky. No offense, Pike.

ASHLEY: No, none taken.

LIAM: You look like a badass gladiator in Yuletide socks.

MATT: She holds her Holy Avenger out in front of her and checks its blade.

LAURA: We did give you that.

MARISHA: You can keep it.

MATT: (metal scraping noise) “Fine!” She bends down, and kind of… (grunt of effort).

LIAM, LAURA, and ASHLEY: Eyyy.

TRAVIS: Kima!

LAURA: Those are for you, man!

ASHLEY: Those are mine?

MATT: She's now barefoot in full armor. Kind of wiggles her toes and goes–

ASHLEY: I can give her the shoes that I was wearing!

LAURA: No, cause you have the Sprinter's Boots on.

ASHLEY: What are they?

LAURA: You got the Sprinter's Boots on.

ASHLEY: What's she giving me?

LAURA: She's giving you the Elven Boots.

MARISHA: They're like stealthy boots.

LAURA: They're stealth boots! They make you silent!

ASHLEY: Oh, shit!

MARISHA: They're silent! And you don't have to attune to them!

ASHLEY: Thanks for giving those back.

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: We need 'em.

TRAVIS: She's staring at you.

ASHLEY: I– You're great.

(all laugh)

MATT: She actually laughs back at you and says, “I know.”

LAURA: Kima, seriously though. You are great.

MATT: And you know, she's been kind of a ball of intensity in all of this and she's had frustrating moment in combat and she's had earnest fear and she's had her own journey with you guys from the beginning when crossing your paths. She walks up, and–

MARISHA: Look, we smoothed it over. We're cool now.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: In between salsa and chips there. Killer.

MATT: Kima walks up and places her hand on Pike's shoulder, a little bit shorter than her, and looks at the rest of you, “You've done more than anyone ever asked you to do. Done a lot of good things. For me, for Allie. For everyone. I know I can be a pain in the ass sometimes. I know I get a little hot-headed.”

LAURA: Lies! Lies.

MATT: "But I just– thank you for letting me come along."

TRAVIS: Yeah. Thanks for kicking ass with us.

MATT: "We're not done yet!"

LAURA: We're not?

MATT: (laughs) "'course not! What, you think one of these Clasp bastards won't start wandering the town?"

TRAVIS: Whew! Thank goodness.

MATT: "Now, if you guys end up actually going back to Vasselheim, and Mr. Vord starts coming around, asking questions… tell him you haven't seen me."

LAURA: (laughs) You got it.

TRAVIS: Lie?

MATT: "No, no! Just tell him you haven't seen me."

TRAVIS: Well, I have seen you.

MATT: "Tell him you haven't."

(all laugh)

MARISHA: You are the cutest thing sometimes!

LIAM: He's like the chihuahua with the bulging eyes!

MATT: Kima just goes– Kima walks past Pike and goes up and pats you on the chest. “It's okay, Big Man. Forget I said anything.” Then turns back you guys and goes, "I'm sorry! I didn't know!”

ASHLEY: We'll say the words.

LIAM: Oh my gosh.

MATT: “All right, all right. Well, stay safe. And if you need someone's skull cracked in, you know where to find me.” She turns back and runs after Allura, who's currently walking off to go ahead and find the rest of her connections in the city. What do you guys want to do?

LIAM: It was like he polymorphed into something!

TRAVIS: (silly noise)

ASHLEY: That face will be burned into my brain.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Don't talk to me. Sorry.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Shit!

TRAVIS: What easy thing can we accomplish?

TALIESIN: I say we go to Vasselheim.

MARISHA: Well, wait, aren't we going to check in with our keep?

LAURA: Yeah! Let's walk to our keep and bamf out there.

TALIESIN: We'll walk to our keep–

MARISHA: If anything, that means we came to Emon for nothing–

LAURA: Yeah, pretty much.

MARISHA: –except to go to our Keep.

TALIESIN: We made a double-check.

LAURA: Yeah! We had to make sure everything was alright here.

TALIESIN: It was a free ride.

MARISHA: That's true.

TRAVIS: Cool! To the keep.

MARISHA: And as I'm walking through, I keep an eye out to see if there are any Ashari lingering around but I'm sure they've all bounced at this point.

MATT: Okay. Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Alright. I'm gonna use my druid die. Oh, okay. Just straight perception?

MATT: Yup.

MARISHA: 26.

MATT: Okay. As you guys continue your way through the city, and you keep an eye out, you don't see anybody with an Ashari dress. You do see a handful of occasional bodies in Ashari dress.

MARISHA: Sure.

MATT: And you very carefully go and inspect, and while you recognise a handful, you didn't know them extremely well.

MARISHA: Yeah, I've been gone awhile.

MATT: Older folks you didn't connect with. But thankfully not Korren.

MARISHA: Okay

MATT: But yeah there is no walking presence here of the Ashari. You ask around a bit and one of the guards is like, “Supposed to be coming back here in a few days to gather the dead but they went ahead and chased the rest of them wyvern riders up to the mountains. Think they're still at the Storm Crest.”

MARISHA: So the Storm Crest.

MATT: Probably.

MARISHA: Still fighting?

MATT: Well at least picking off what they can.

MARISHA: All right, thank you. If you see any of them, just let them know that Vox Machina passed through here and that we're all still alive.

MATT: “Will do.” And keeps on walking

MARISHA: Any bodies that I pass by that are Ashari, I druidcraft little flowers and do my own little rituals as I walk by.

MATT: Okay. You guys make your way through Emon, eventually the southern walls to the outside of Greyskull Keep there standing still proud, undamaged in the fray, still holding the fresh stonework crafted by your planar ally that you summoned quite some time ago.

LAURA: You got a– remember a servant of Sarenrae came down and helped us rebuild

MATT: Yeah after the Vorugal fight that destroyed–

ASHLEY: Oh, that's right.

MATT: – the temple. But yeah, the keep is, currently the front gates are open. As you walk in it looks like since you were last there, there have been a few people that have come through and looked for things. Doesn't look like it were raided by thieves by any means, but it looks like anything that was left in the kitchen has been ransacked. Looks like tables and chairs and some bedrooms have been moved, whether they briefly held up refugees from the city who have then gone back in, or people that just moseyed through and left, but the place is still currently empty.

LAURA: Eventually we do have to hire some people again.

MARISHA: Yeah, get this place lively again.

TRAVIS: I think it looks nice. I mean, it's kind of like a lived-in look.

ASHLEY: Rustic?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Minimalistic now.

MARISHA: Hire people.

LIAM: We can start to look for new hands yeah.

MARISHA: I go through and use my Gust cantrip and dust off some shelves and straighten some paintings.

MATT: (fwoosh) There's a lot of dust.

LAURA: I wonder if we should offer this up to the city to the council to house some refugees that haven't found homes again, after they've been destroyed.

MARISHA: I'm fine with that.

TALIESIN: Not a terrible idea at all.

MARISHA: It's not like we're gonna be using it any time soon.

LAURA: Right.

ASHLEY: It's a great idea.

TRAVIS: We do tend to wander.

TALIESIN: We'll need to install the teleportation circle at some point, perhaps.

LAURA: Should I run back and tell Allura that before we head out?

MARISHA: Yeah, let me check on the garden, too. Pike, do you want to join me?

ASHLEY: Yes.

LAURA: I'll head off on the broom and try to find Allura.

MATT: Yup. It'll take you couple hours to get there and hunt her down but you do so and let her know.

ASHLEY: Go look at the garden and temple.

MARISHA: How's it looking?

MATT: The blessings placed upon it and the position of sunlight, a little overgrown, but flourishing.

MARISHA: Wow, overgrown's better than dead.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: All right cool.

ASHLEY: I like it a little overgrown.

MARISHA: It's nice, it's kinda rustic.

MATT: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Seems to be the word of the day.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Can I go down to Percy's room?

MATT: Mm-hm, the workshop?

TRAVIS: Yeah, the workshop. Is the door closed?

MATT: It is partially ajar.

TRAVIS: (gasps)

MATT: It is dark inside there–

TRAVIS: Fucking sweet. I go in.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Is there any light inside?

MATT: There are a couple of small oil lamps that are hanging from the walls. They are not currently lit, and the forge is dark, cold there– most of the tools have already been stolen or taken, anything that can be grabbed by hand is gone.

TRAVIS: Are there any of those dangerous buckets of water around?

MATT: There are a couple, and it smells of stale hard water.

TRAVIS: Treacherous.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Don't really know what I'm looking for. Are there any like powders? Like sacks of powder–

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: –crates of powder, or– Oh, that's not terrible! 14.

MATT: You do find what looks to be a small brown wooden barrel-type container. It has a lid on it, but it's easy to pull off. And on the inside it has a familiar smell that you catch whenever you see Percy fiddling with his weapons, sort of a dark powder substance.

TRAVIS: Can I pour a little out?

MATT: Yup. Looks like soot or charcoal dust, grainy like sand.

LIAM: Can I have snuck down and be watching this?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: That's pretty high, that is a 30.

MATT: Yeah, you totally saw Grog just stomp down into the lower area so you can go ahead and…

LIAM: Thanks.

TRAVIS: Hm, no fire, dangerous water, no weapons?

(all laugh)

MATT: Does not appear to be any weapons in the room. There are the racks where tools are usually hung on that you remember but they're all gone.

TRAVIS: Shit.

MATT: There's just nubs out of the wall.

TRAVIS: All right, I turn around and I leave.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: Hi!

LIAM: Hey!

TRAVIS: Oh!

LIAM: There you are.

TRAVIS: Yes.

TRAVIS: Chased off a, uh, yup.

LIAM: What were you doing in there?

TRAVIS: Securing the castle.

LIAM: In the dark room with nobody in it?

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, there was a guy, right? And I like, “Hey you, stop!” and he was covered in this black powder and he just he gave me the slip.

LIAM: He ran out?

TRAVIS: Yup.

LIAM: That's who that was.

TRAVIS: You saw him!

LIAM: I did.

TRAVIS: Why'd you let him go?

LIAM: He's fast.

(all laugh)

LIAM: I don't like to get in between you and a kill, Big Man.

TRAVIS: I should go after him, then.

LIAM: You know, I just was looking for you.

TRAVIS: Oh. I have a moment.

LIAM: Yeah. yeah. Ah, I just wanted to thank you for working your magic yesterday again.

TRAVIS: Me?

LIAM: Yeah. You saved him. You saved him. You did good, Grog. I'm proud of you. And, don't hurt me, I love you. Thank you. I slap him as hard as I can.

MATT: (Echoing slap)

LIAM: And I use Disengage and I fucking run like balls!

(all laugh)

MATT: He's gone. The sting fades.

TRAVIS: Huh. Okay.

(all awww)

MARISHA: So adorable.

MATT: All right, so you guys have checked the keep, secured it, everything seems in the right place given the circumstances, what do you want to do?

MARISHA: What time is it?

MATT: At this point it's maybe early afternoon.

MARISHA: Oh, man.

LAURA: Should probably head out. Then I'm back, right?

MATT: You've returned by the time that they've gone through and checked the whole keep, you made it to Allura and back. It's been a couple hours in the Keep.

LAURA: Sweet.

MARISHA: So… we're just going to go bury ashes in Vasselheim?

LAURA: Check one off the list.

TALIESIN: One a day.

MARISHA: No fighting?

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: In Vasselheim?

MARISHA: Yeah, we're not gonna get into any fights, right?

LIAM: Not if we can help it.

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: That's the hope.

MARISHA: Grog, why are you making that face, Grog?

TRAVIS: I'm holding my breath.

LAURA and MARISHA: Why are you holding your breath?

TRAVIS: Hiccups? No fights at all? Like, what if we run into bad people?

MARISHA: If we run into bad people, we can fight them.

TALIESIN: Can I roll a perception check on his hands?

MATT: You know what, what's your passive perception?

TALIESIN: 18.

TRAVIS: Don't make him roll– make him roll for it.

(all laugh)

MATT: He was not actively looking, he normally does not check for your hands, Grog, but he's a perceptive guy and there is indeed a very dark familiar residual–

MARISHA: Powder?

MATT: –on the hands, forearms, and a little bit on the top of the cheek.

TALIESIN: Good to know.

LIAM: (laughs) It's like an eight-year-old with chocolate across his face.

(all laugh)

MATT: Kinda.

ASHLEY: I didn't get into it.

MARISHA: I didn't eat any.

TRAVIS: No unnecessary fights.

MARISHA: No unnecessary fights.

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yup.

MARISHA: All right.

LIAM: I mean, the crucible is there.

MARISHA: Well, that's not unnecessary.

ASHLEY: Wait, he said we can't open the box, right? Or did he say?

LAURA: He didn't say not to.

TALIESIN: Seems a bit disrespectful.

LAURA: He said it was his wife's ashes after all.

ASHLEY: I know, Okay.

TRAVIS: Why would you want to– do you not like–

LAURA: Do you not trust it?

ASHLEY: No, I just wanna know for sure

MARISHA: Didn't we kinda look before? We thought the same thing and it's–

LAURA: Did we look, though? Did we look–

MATT: I don't recall you looking in–

MARISHA: But didn't we do an insight check and–

LAURA: And, I mean, I had Allura look at the box.

MARISHA: Right.

LAURA: She said it had a faint magical aura of protection.

MARISHA: But it was protection.

LIAM: Could you shake it like a yuletide present?

LAURA: No.

LIAM: No.

ASHLEY: Maybe it's actually somebody requesting that we do something that is nice then, which I feel like never happens.

(all laughs)

MARISHA: From what I remember from my– I can look, right?

ASHLEY: I don't trust anybody anymore.

MARISHA: From Senokir, cause didn't I do an insight check?

MATT: Yup.

TALIESIN: I would love the notion that the one time that we actually follow through with this very simple and basic thing that we aim to do and just everything goes to shit.

MARISHA: We plant a seed of a demon spawn.

TALIESIN: Really lovely, very us. This time everybody goes to shit because it's the one purely altruistic thing that we do.

MARISHA: Okay, hang on, hang on.

TALIESIN: My god, your notes.

MARISHA: Give me a second.

TALIESIN: No, these are amazing.

MARISHA: His wifes name was Zofin?

LAURA: Playing with those dice, are you?

MATT: I'm just turning dice over and over again in my dice pile.

MARISHA: Senokir's wife was Zofin?

MATT: Zaafin.

MARISHA: Zaafin?

ASHLEY: Zofah.

LIAM: So fine.

TRAVIS: Why don't you check it?

LAURA: So fiiine.

MARISHA: Nope, that's all I got.

LAURA: If you want to do it, just do it.

MARISHA: I feel like I remember–

TRAVIS: It's your say, go for it.

TALIESIN: I think we should make a tree and head in that direction.

MARISHA: Well, we already have a tree, but yeah.

TALIESIN: All in favor of jumping through that tree–

MARISHA: Make like a leaf and wait– Make like a tree and leave. (Laughs)

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I don't know, ask him.

ASHLEY: Was the box already checked for traps?

MATT: You don't know.

ASHLEY: Can I check it for traps?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Do what you want, man.

LAURA: Should we scoot this forward a little bit?

MATT: As you guys are walking up, heading your way up into the temple area with the singular tree used for transportation before, Pike is just holding and inspecting the box as you walk.

ASHLEY: I got an eight.

LAURA: What're you doing, Pike?

MATT: Eight? It's hard to tell, looks pretty safe.

LAURA: Do you not trust it?

ASHLEY: I just don't trust anybody anymore.

TRAVIS: Man, I know what that's like.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm not good at– Okay, let's go.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Let's go.

LIAM: What's on your mind?

ASHLEY: I just feel like this is something fishy about it, it just seems too easy, you know?

LAURA: Too simple for us?

ASHLEY: Too simple. To just take a box and go bury it? Why couldn't he do it? I know we already talked about this.

MARISHA: Well wasn't he kind of stuck in the Fire Plane–

TRAVIS: Yeah, he's not allowed.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: All right.

LAURA: He's not? He's not allowed? I don't remember him saying that.

TRAVIS: I might have made that up.

(all laugh)

MATT: He said he had been intending to make a trip to Vasselheim to bury it himself but he hasn't had the time or the ability to do so.

LAURA: Seems odd, right? I mean, it is his wife's ashes.

MARISHA: Oh man, you guys, I thought this was something sweet and we weren't gonna question it and now we're making it complicated.

TRAVIS: You're right, yeah. You're right. We're thinking too much.

LIAM: Are we saying there's no one in the world who's truthful? At all?

MARISHA: I don't know anymore. We're all too scarred and damaged.

LAURA: Some people are truthful, but I mean Senokir did wanna make us his slaves–

MARISHA: We were all on board for this until 20 seconds ago when we started questioning it!

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: I'm sorry! I just– (sighs)

LAURA: Pike could be saving our lives right now.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Or I could be killing all of us.

LIAM: Well, the bottom line is, he's probably never gonna know if we take a peek.

ASHLEY: What if I just take a peek?

MARISHA: Vax!

TRAVIS: Oh wait, that's a good idea.

ASHLEY: Or like open it to a mirror.

LAURA: Ooh.

MARISHA: Are we taking a peek? Or never doing it.

TRAVIS: I mean, she is quite holy right? Like, if anyone was gonna look on those sacred remains least it would be old stinker here.

LAURA: I mean, it does have a magical aura of protection so it might be–

ASHLEY: It might hurt me.

MARISHA: It might backfire.

LIAM: I'm not gonna open it, can I look at it? Can I look for locks or traps? I'm not opening it.

MATT: Look for traps.

LIAM: Yeah? Oooh. That is a 22.

MATT: 22. It is not trapped.

LIAM: And I don't know if it's locked.

MATT: Well, go ahead and make a roll to see if it's locked.

LIAM: Ooh.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: That's even better, that's a 30.

MATT: 30. It is locked, there are four individual locks in each side–

LIAM: Four locks?

MATT: And it appears that there is some sort of a– usually when something like that has a little bit of give against the chain, the box has none. That usually either means it's adhered or it's sealed magically.

LIAM: Pickle, I will help you if you want, but my gut is telling me that this is just his wife's ashes.

ASHLEY: Shake it. Listen.

TRAVIS: I second that.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: I put my hands up and walk a little bit away.

LIAM: 30 again!

MATT: You hear what sounds like the very gentle sifting of some very, very light particles inside of a box.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, I think he's telling us the truth.

MARISHA: Vax, the Raven Queen is like your girl.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Can you maybe, like, there is remains in here–

LAURA: Can you both just ask, you know?

TRAVIS: Yeah, like, yo, is this the dead or–

MARISHA: Pike, you're a cleric, if you're that concerned. Man, this is so extravagant, you guys.

TALIESIN: How paranoid has everybody gotten?

LIAM: I'm gonna use my paladin powers. There's nothing undead in there, is there?

ASHLEY: Divine Intervention?

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: Okay, so you're using your–

LIAM: Divine Sense, yeah.

MATT: Divine Sense. You do not get a fiendish or undead aura from the box.

LIAM: Yeah, man, this is just the guy's wife.

ASHLEY: What if we bury it and it turns into something crazy?

TRAVIS: What have you been reading?

ASHLEY: I don't know.

MARISHA: When he told us it was his wife, we all went, awww, when that happened. And now we're questioning it.

ASHLEY: But that's what a shyster does! You know?

LIAM: You're so hardened by the war.

ASHLEY: They tell you things to make you feel bad! To buy their magazines!

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: You know?

TALIESIN: This is getting weirdly personal.

MARISHA: Who is trying to sell you magazine subscriptions? Who?

ASHLEY: Just… everyone!

TALIESIN: What high schooler hurt you?

LAURA: We just fought Raishan, I don't blame this.

LIAM: Pickle, Pickle, Pickle–

ASHLEY: Everyone in Whitestone. You guys haven't been there long enough.

LIAM: Pickle, Pickle.

ASHLEY: Yes.

LIAM: There is a fucking tiger-faced demon who wants both you and I dead. We have bigger problems than this man's wife's ashes.

MARISHA: Pike, we have to sail the ocean!

TALIESIN: People haven't sold you a subscription to Highlights.

ASHLEY: I know. All right, let's go bury the, you know.

LIAM: But you carry it.

ASHLEY: I'll carry it.

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: I pop it under my arm. Let's go.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I just wanna let you know, I feel you.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: But I'm trying to make this our first step into being a more positive Vox Machina.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: What's wrong with your face?

MARISHA: This is me forcing a smile.

TRAVIS: Oh.

MARISHA: There's pain under here. That's why it looks like that.

TRAVIS: Right.

LAURA: You're not supposed to say all those things.

MARISHA: Sorry. Oh, right, I'm supposed to hide behind and bottle those emotions.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Right. No, things are great.

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

MARISHA: Yeah, that's how normal people talk, right? Things are great.

TRAVIS: We just bury it in the tree, that's it. In the tree.

ASHLEY: No, we got her name, right?

MARISHA: Yes.

ASHLEY: So we'll make her a little tombstone, we'll do a whole thing, then.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: We'll do a whole thing, we'll bury the ashes–

ASHLEY: We're gonna make it nice.

TALIESIN: I am genuinely worried about everybody.

ASHLEY: Put Grasping Vines all over it.

TRAVIS: Bada-bing, bada-bam.

MATT: The Conclave arc has taken its toll on Vox Machina.

(All laugh.)

MARISHA: We're all huddled around a box, just like, freaking out right now.

LIAM: Vex just draws on that box.

TRAVIS: One little fucking box. Reveal your secrets!

MATT: So, Keyleth.

MARISHA: All right, let's go.

ASHLEY: Let's go.

MATT: Okay, so what are you connecting to?

MARISHA: Huh? What?

TALIESIN: The other side of the tree.

MATT: The other side of the tree. Where are you sending? You have many options at your disposal. You have the outskirts of the city, there's the lush forest, the Vesper Timberland.

MARISHA: He told us where to bury her, right?

MATT: He said the Abundant Terrace, which you have passed by.

MARISHA: I have passed by?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: We should stick to the outside of the city, right? Because of the magical laws there–

MATT: Well, the Abundant Terrace is a very heavily wooded area.

MARISHA: On the outskirts.

MATT: And the magical laws are more about rampant arcane casting. Divination and divine magics generally fall more into the territory of respect as long as they're relatively controlled and not a grand display of power.

LAURA: Solid.

MARISHA: So the Abundant Terrace is a forest on the outskirts of the town?

MATT: The Abundant Terrace is Melora's section of the city.

LAURA: Melora!

MARISHA: Oh, right, right, right.

MATT: It's where– it's a district that has maintained magical fertility for growing crops and plants and it's basically where a lot of the food for Vasselheim is grown.

MARISHA: Oh, perfect. Farming district. Okay. Is there a tree there?

MATT: There are a number of trees, actually. A number of the homes are actually built in–

MARISHA: In trees? That's cool.

LIAM: Sick!

MARISHA: I want a tree house! Okay. And you said it's safe, this isn't arcane, it's natural, since Melora, I'll probably be okay? People aren't gonna look at us weird when we come out of a tree on the other end?

MATT: I mean, when you come out of a tree people probably look at you weird anyway.

MARISHA: Sure.

ASHLEY: Do people bury their dead here?

MATT: You don't know. Roll a history check.

LAURA: But didn't he say that she was from this area?

TALIESIN: I'll join in this history check, this is bothering me.

MARISHA: Sofine? Sofin?

MATT: Zaafin.

LAURA and MARISHA: Zaafin.

LAURA: Zaafin was from this area?

MATT: Apparently, yes, this was where she came from.

ASHLEY: We both did a history check. 15.

TALIESIN: 26.

ASHLEY: Well, there you go.

MATT: Okay. I mean, usually the dead are interred in specific graveyards. Some people do prefer to have their ashes spread in places that were important to them, it's just a general request, but the Birth Heart or the Abundant Terrace are not areas that are designated for interring the dead. So it is a special request.

LAURA: Okay, I have a thought.

TRAVIS: Oh no.

LAURA: What if we do bury this where he's asked, but we put it inside of something that deters magic?

TRAVIS and LIAM: Like what?

LAURA: I don't know. Like a fine container or something. It was just a thought. Isn't there things like that? Like a chest or something that dispels magic so that if he is trying to do something nefarious, then we keep him from doing that.

LIAM: You want to go find an arcane shop–

ASHLEY: Like a container store.

LIAM: – find a very expensive container…

TRAVIS: This seems really out of the way for what is a simple burial.

TALIESIN: How about we just ask a few questions to see if anyone remembers his wife?

LAURA: Good call.

TRAVIS: Hey! Yes.

LAURA: I like it.

TALIESIN: Maybe she left some sort of connection to this place.

LAURA: Could you cast Speak with the Dead on ashes?

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Yes, but they just say shkshkshkshk.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: That's probably true.

TRAVIS: Like baby powder.

LIAM: We saved the world, but we are still a bunch of assholes.

MATT: A corpse still requires a mouth to speak.

TRAVIS: Let's get over there.

MARISHA: (laughs) We saved the world, but we're still a bunch of assholes.

MATT: It doesn't work. All right, so. Keyleth, what–

TRAVIS: The wondrous sand doesn't come up?

MARISHA: What am I doing?

MATT: Are you going to come popping out within the city? Abundant Terrace?

LAURA: Abundant Terrace.

ASHLEY: Yeah, Abundant Terrace.

MARISHA: Abundant Terrace, ho!

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: We'll decide when we get there.

MATT: The tree– (laughs)

MARISHA: We'll have six seconds to think about it.

LAURA: Be an idiot!

MATT: The tree shreds open into the familiar oval or diamond-shaped entryway. On the opposite side, you see the cold landscape, or at least the cold sky of Vasselheim, though surrounding you it is just verdant green. You can see moss and bushes and grass, and a number of tree trunks around you. You can see a very clear-cut path that walks through like an intentional park walkway. As you all emerge, you find yourself looking up into the relatively grey, heavily cloud-covered sky, and it is very cold. You watch as very, very faint snow drifts to the ground, but it doesn't touch, it immediately evaporates before it hits the ground. It seems either the warmth of the area or an enchantment of some kind is resistant to the weather of this northern continent.

MARISHA: Can I do a quick nature check to see if this is a mystical realm or if they've done something naturey to make it–

MATT: Nature check.

MARISHA: 22.

MATT: 22. The snow would usually touch the ground, and then slowly turn to water and melt, if it was just a difference between the ground. However, the snow never reaches within a foot, it just kind of drifts and then (poof). So it does appear to be an enchantment or some sort of magical essence to the Abundant Terrace itself. But you are surrounded by a forest that has very beautifully kept walkways in a grid-type pattern. You do see some people that are walking through, a couple hand-in-hand, almost like they're just on a stroll, bunched furs around their shoulders. You can see a little ways down, the trees stop, and it opens up into what looks to be an expanse of farmland, rows and rows and rows of various crops that are perpetually being planted, pulled up, and harvested. There is no harvest season in Vasselheim because of the enchantment of the Abundant Terrace. It is perpetually fertile and bearing–

TRAVIS: That's awesome.

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: You haven't done a full pass of this area, but it's not densely populated. What people come here either are working the land, keeping the land, or are enjoying the change in scenery from the rest of what can be sometimes a more, I guess you would say, grey and expressionless landscape that some parts of the city tend to hold. But here you are at the Abundant Terrace. What do you want to do?

MARISHA: I remember he said he wanted us to plant the box under a tree.

MATT: He said to bury it beneath the Birth Heart in the Abundant Terrace.

MARISHA: The Birth Heart.

LIAM: That is not a random tree.

LAURA: Is that couple pretty close?

MATT: Yeah, they kinda walk by and look over. They both appear to be human, the woman with darker hair, it's braided and pulled around to one side. The man's a little older, dark beard that kinda goes to grey around the mustache and the chin, dark hair that's slicked back and it's kinda long in the back. Both have their furs around their shoulders, and she has her arm around his arm and they just walk past, and glance back at you with a, huh, they just walked out of a tree.

ASHLEY: Hello.

MARISHA: Hi.

MATT: Hello.

ASHLEY: Do you– do you guys live here, or are you just passing through, or checking out the town?

MATT: We live in the Quad Roads, we're just out here for a walk.

ASHLEY: Beautiful place. Do you– do you happen to know, or knew of someone named, uh, Zaafin.

MATT: “Zaafin?” He turns to his companion, she looks up. “No, I don't recall anyone named Zaafin, I'm sorry.” “I do not either, my apologies. Good day.” They awkwardly continue walking.

MARISHA: Ask them where the Birth Heart tree is!

ASHLEY: Do you know where the Birth Heart tree is, actually?

MATT: She stops and turns back. “The Birth Heart is two paths up and to the right. It's hard to miss.”

ASHLEY: How long have you guys lived here?

MATT: They kinda look at each other, back at you, awkwardly. “My entire life. She lived up north in Crossin but moved here ten years ago.”

ASHLEY: And you've never heard of a Zaafin?

MATT: No.

ASHLEY: Insight check?

MATT: Yes, make an insight check.

ASHLEY: 24.

MATT: 24.

ASHLEY: I get a whisper?

MARISHA: Whispers!

TALIESIN: If you wanna help build tension, Lootcrate will help you build a lot of things today. Oh, stop it.

MARISHA: With their next theme.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Build.

TALIESIN: Build suspense. Build character.

MARISHA: Build tension. Build stress.

LAURA: Do you feel powerful when you go– yeah?

MARISHA: Yes, build anxiety disorders.

LAURA: Did you just hijack her Twitter?

LIAM: No.

TALIESIN: (laughs) Sorry. Shit.

MATT: Well done.

ASHLEY: Thank you. Thank you very much for stopping and talking with us.

MATT: “Of course.” And they continue their path, quicken their pace a bit, hoping to avoid any future questions.

ASHLEY: They have no idea who she is. They just wanted to be on their way.

TRAVIS: Why is it called the Birth Heart tree?

MARISHA: I guess we'll find out. They said we couldn't miss it.

TRAVIS: All right, let's go find it.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: All right, you follow their instructions, which involves you guys now following them about 40 feet back and they notice you.

MARISHA: We're trying to do that thing where it's not like you're walking to your car after you've already said goodbye.

MATT: Okay, so you hold back a bit.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: They eventually turn the opposite direction. Following instructions, you go up two paths and to the right, and you can see now– amongst what is a fair number of, I'd say 20-foot-tall trees that you've come across in this area, there is a large domed cluster of trees, almost like a redwood forest dome of 100-foot-tall trees. This one, it looks like Lothlorien in the distance. You have regular forest and this giant bump in the canopy. And you get the sense that's probably the Birth Heart.

LAURA: Does it kind of remind us of Sondur's tree?

MATT: Sondur was a singular tree. This, from what you can tell, appears to be a cluster of many trees.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Do we proceed towards it?

MARISHA: Yeah, we do.

LIAM: Yes, yes.

MATT: All right. You guys push on, and as you approach–

TRAVIS: Can we keep an eye out for guards? Anybody that might be watching us?

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Me?

MATT: Yes, you. He who asks.

TRAVIS: He who asks rolls a ten.

MATT: Okay. As you walk, you see a handful of guards that just occasionally wander through. The Bastions wear patchwork armor, there isn't a standard Bastion armor set, per se, but they do have elements of colors and cloths that symbolize their station as well as some pins or badges that mark the symbol there. So you do pick up on a few of them, and they're just kind of doing the rounds, and there are a couple that are curiously keeping their distance and keeping an eye. But not following you, just, hm.

TRAVIS: Bidet.

MATT: Bidet?

LAURA: Can I keep an eye out for any kind of tombstones or anything in the area that looks like anybody else might have done similar things?

MATT: Sure. Perception check.

LAURA: Oh, is it at advantage because we're in a forest?

MATT: (defeated) Technically, yes.

TALIESIN: That was the saddest advantage I've ever seen.

LAURA: Perception, you said?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: That's a 20.

MATT: Okay. As you walk towards the Birth Heart, and you get towards the outside of this large cluster of towering trees, you do not see anything that would be a tombstone per se. Occasionally you do see a cluster of stones.

LAURA: Can I check 'em out and see if it looks like–

MATT: Yeah, make an investigation check.

LAURA: What?

TRAVIS: Why's your binder closed?

LAURA: Well, I'm trying to take up less space 'cause we, you know? What was the first one?

LIAM: Eight. They were both dogshit.

LAURA: 15.

MATT: 15, okay.

LAURA: Shut up.

MATT: Looking at the rocks that are here, there are not a lot of errant stones here. Some occasional natural stones, but there is a thick kind of naturally composting pine and leaves that fall on this area that regenerate the cycle of fertility here as part of the enchantment. These stones are deliberately placed and are placed in a circular pattern with a pile in the center. It does appear to be a marking of some kind.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: What's that?

LAURA: I don't know. It looks like it could be a marker, a tombstone, memorial, something like that.

TRAVIS: Do we have to make one that looks like that?

LAURA: We could.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: Is it in the exact center of this big area of the trees?

MATT: You're unable to see from this perspective, you don't have an aerial view.

LIAM: Oh, all right. But I mean, is it deep in or is it just as we come in?

MATT: It's not terribly deep. If you guys have reached the outside of the Birth Heart, you've been walking for maybe ten minutes, it's not, you're not entirely certain how far you are from the outskirts of the Abundant Terrace. You haven't really walked through it before, you've seen it from a distance. Keyleth did one pass on it when you first came to Vasselheim for the second time. You really have no idea where you are within the city.

LIAM: Do I get a vibe off of it, like it's a place where others have been buried before?

MATT: Make a wisdom check.

LIAM: I'll use Luck.

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

LIAM: Sure.

MATT: Nope.

LIAM: All right. It was a tiny bit. Eight.

MATT: If you can read the number, it's not.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: What does it say?

MATT: Yeah, you get the sense, I mean, it's awe-inspiring to be in this giant canopy of trees. It's hard to tell from this distance, but it's probably hundreds of feet across from end to end, and it's beautiful. There is, once again you can see trees up on the mountain that Vasselheim is built on the base of, and you can see distant clusters of pine that are all covered in snow. There should be snowfall on these trees to a certain extent, ice gathering at some point in the boughs, and it is just verdant green, untouched by frost or snow.

MARISHA: Does there seem to be one central tree in the center of all this, or just a massive–

MATT: It's hard to tell from this outside. You'd have to walk into the Birth Heart to see.

LAURA: Let's do it.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I thought we already were doing that.

MATT: As you enter the Birth Heart, it's an archway of branches and trees that knit into each other and wrap around as you step in. You can see what looks like a heavy cluster of forest is really just an outside row of trees that are all intertwined. The inside is open with the occasional stalk of tree that blossoms up into the higher portion. There is one large central tree in the center of the area that marks–

MARISHA: The Birth Heart.

MATT: This is the center of the Birth Heart. And within there are a number of lanterns that are hung from the branches all throughout–

LAURA: It's beautiful!

MATT: – that all have their own yellowish fairy glow within each point. They're all through the inside at different levels.

MARISHA: Shut up, don't judge us!

MATT: It's just hundreds and hundreds of these yellow glowing lights that are hooked up into the boughs ahead. There are a number of people walking off the path, just through the soft mulch wood and dying pine soft floor of the canopy, all wearing similar robes of greens and yellows, golds and whites. You recognize these as similar signs of followers, priests–

MARISHA: Of Melora?

MATT: – and people who are worshipers of Melora.

MARISHA: Oh shit, all right.

MATT: The central tree does have a number of staircases that spiral up. At certain points there look to be windows and holes throughout. The inside gives a warm glow from the interior and you can already see dozens of people gathered around the outside at tables talking.

TRAVIS: (whispering) It's a cafe.

MATT: (laughs) There's no cafe, necessarily.

(all laugh)

LIAM: But there is a gift shop!

MARISHA: There's a Starbucks!

MATT: But there is a surprisingly– I won't say vibrant social atmosphere, but there are places where people are congregating here to have soft conversations.

LAURA: Are they all holy or is this like–

MATT: Some of them are, some of them aren't.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: It's a smattering of individuals.

LAURA: This is beautiful!

MARISHA: I know! This is so romantical!

TRAVIS: (mimics throwing up)

MARISHA: I go up to one of the worshipers of Melora.

MATT: Okay. There is an older woman, her hair starts red and goes to grey. Best you can tell, her heritage is human, but she is a little thicker and more muscular than most women of her age that you've come across. Her skin is weathered from sunlight and harsh seasons, but she smiles as you approach and her eyes, one looks to be a little cataract-ridden but the other one is a beautiful clear blue color, and both of them meet with yours as you approach and she smiles. “Ah, can I help you?”

MARISHA: Oh hello, I am Keyleth of the Air Ashari. What's your name?

MATT: "Lamor. It's nice to meet you."

MARISHA: Lamor, pleasure to meet you. I was just curious– Lamor?

MATT: "Yes, Lamor."

MARISHA: I want to write this down before I forget.

MATT: L a m o r.

MARISHA: Uh what?

MATT: L a m o r.

MARISHA: L a m o r. Okay. I was just curious. We are here to pay our respects and to do a favor for a friend and bury his fallen wife. Is there a specific place where we can do that and spread the ashes in a respectful manner. Below the Birth Heart tree? I just don't want disturb the grounds.

MATT: "I mean, to return to the earth is a sacred offering. From what you were given life is to give life once more. You would need a witness. I could witness for you, if you'd prefer?"

MARISHA: Really?

MATT: "Just to make sure that there's no funny business, of course."

MARISHA: Of course. I have no problems with that.

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: No problems with that?

TALIESIN: I think it's a great idea.

LAURA: Solid.

MATT: "Um, find a place of your choosing. I will come as well."

MARISHA: Thank you. Do you have any suggestions? Kind of new to this.

LAURA: Anything with orange flowers around? I feel like Senokir would like orange flowers.

MATT: "Not much in the way of blooming flowers of color in the Birth Heart."

ASHLEY: Is it better to open a box and put the ashes out or is it–

MATT: "That depends on the interred. I mean, whatever the wishes are of the one you've lost, but that's–"

TRAVIS: Should we ask if maybe she knows her, the name?

LAURA: Oh, yeah. Did you happen to know a woman named Zaa… Zaafin–

(laughter)

LAURA: I literally was thinking “so fine” in my head and I was trying to remember.

MATT: "I'm afraid I don't know that name, I'm sorry."

LAURA: She was a big fan of this place.

MARISHA: One of her favorite locations.

MATT: "That's very sweet."

MARISHA: Yeah. Okay, well, I think we would just like to bury the box without disturbing the box, right guys?

LAURA: Probably.

TRAVIS: Yeah, just put the box in there.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Probably.

MATT: (laughs) She's looking a little awkward from all this conversation.

LAURA: We've never buried ashes before.

TALIESIN: We've had a very long week.

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: "You do look a bit worse for wear."

LIAM: A couple of months, actually.

MATT: "Well, decide on a location of your choosing. We will have to keep vigil over it for a short time."

LAURA: Great, that's wonderful!

MARISHA: That's great yes.

TALIESIN: Excellent.

MATT: "If there is anything found that is not approved within the Birth Heart, it will be excised and removed from the premises."

MARISHA: Great!

MATT: "No disrespect meant."

LAURA: (clicks her tongue) None taken.

TRAVIS: Question. What sort of thing would represent an unwelcome burial?

MATT: "Anything that's not the remains of an individual like you've promised they are?"

TRAVIS: Oh, right, yeah. Like foreign seeds or something?

MATT: "Very much so."

TRAVIS: Agriculture control, very important.

LAURA: Bad, bad, very bad.

LIAM: There are flowers here, aren't there?

MATT: I mean, simple wildflowers, yes.

LIAM: Lead the way, please. Whatever is closest.

MATT: "All right."

LIAM: Thank you.

MATT: “All right. Follow me.” She turns around, and she looks not mistrusting, but definitely a little confused. She brings you to the edge of this pathway and you can see there is a nice, smooth-packed dirt walk that's well kept, and you can see occasionally a few of the priests come through with these very fine rake-like brooms that they pull through like a very fine zen garden, and it rakes the earth as they go through and it helps then pack it as they walk.

LIAM: As we walked over here, I turned around to the group and went–

(all laugh)

MATT: She brings you to the edge where the dirt ends, and you can see the underbrush and greenery continues. She steps into it and you watch as each foot comes down, as you would when you walk through a densely wooded area, with each crush of a plant or a brush or a stick or twig as it breaks, it mends itself immediately after she steps past it. She leads you maybe 70 feet off the path, past a couple of the central trees that are dappled throughout this area. In one spot, you can see these faint whitish-grey flowers that are gathering in clusters around the base of a tree here.

LAURA: That's nice.

LIAM: This looks perfect.

MATT: "Well, it is yours to do."

LAURA: Does the Birth Heart have healing properties?

MATT: "The Birth Heart has many properties. The guiding and blessings of Melora are strongest here than anywhere on Exandria, and here her presence is felt even beyond the divine gate."

LIAM: Pike, this feels right.

LAURA: Right?

ASHLEY: It does?

LIAM: Yes, it does.

LAURA: Does it?

MARISHA: Okay, look, I feel like this is an exercise in simplicity for us, and trust, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Right?

TRAVIS: Sorry for all the questions. It's very lovely here.

MATT: "Thank you."

MARISHA: It's not you, it's us.

LAURA: We're so weird.

MARISHA: (sighs) We really are.

MATT: "I wasn't going to say it, but I'm glad you brought it up."

LIAM: Pike, would you bring the box over here, please? Would you pray with me, please?

ASHLEY: Well, I– Matt, can I ask you a question?

(all laugh)

MATT: Yeah, yes you may, Ashley.

TRAVIS: Holy shit!

LAURA: That got serious!

TRAVIS: Oh, legit!

ASHLEY: Is it respectful to–

LIAM: Spike the box!

ASHLEY: – when you're at a place of another god's worship to– I know we did at the resurrection ritual, but to bring another god into it?

MATT: Roll a religion check.

ASHLEY: Oh, fuck it. Do I get advantage?

MATT: No. You have no idea.

ASHLEY: I have no idea.

MATT: You've spent some time in Vasselheim, but it's always been focused around your temple and the reconstruction of Sarenrae's temple. You have spent very little time studying the other religions around you and what that sort of situation would entail, so you have no clue.

MARISHA: Wait, did you say something about a resurrection? You didn't say that, did you?

ASHLEY: I was just saying 'cause–

TRAVIS: The resurrection was both the Raven Queen and–

ASHLEY: –was in the Raven Queen, but we were using Sarenrae as well.

MATT: Yeah, so the crossing over of the deities' influence in the space is what she was inquiring about.

MARISHA: Right.

LAURA: Some deities might like each other more than other deities though.

TALIESIN: That's very true, actually.

LIAM: Ours are cool though.

MARISHA: Yeah, totally.

LIAM: Ours are–

LAURA: –like besties.

LIAM: Ours are besties.

ASHLEY: I feel like Melora and Sarenrae–

MARISHA: They might be chummy!

TALIESIN: Or so similar that it might be a problem?

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Well…

TRAVIS: This is kind of her spot–

LIAM: Makes sense on the surface–

TALIESIN: It's just, there's a lot of clash.

MARISHA: Well, Melora's more neutral. She's more, nature is–

TRAVIS: Earth tone?

MARISHA: Earth tones, you know. Fall colors.

LIAM: I know that we're all really fucking worn out, but I would like to not cheapen this moment any more than we maybe already have.

MARISHA: Guys, when we set out to do this, we promised we were going to make this easy and simple and we can't even do that, we are torturing ourselves, we are–

TRAVIS: You're– you're getting a little–

MARISHA: – making this far more complicated–

LAURA: Whoa, let's stop. Let's stop. Let's just–

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: – bury these ashes.

ASHLEY: Percy?

TALIESIN: I'm keeping my mouth so shut.

MARISHA: Okay, look. All right. Pike. If you want, before we do this, I could do a Commune with Nature? And maybe study the lands and see if I could maybe connect with Melora? Maybe through my Spire? If you want.

TRAVIS: Put the box in the ground.

MARISHA: Okay, or we could just put the box in the ground, Jesus.

ASHLEY: All right, well, are we going to dig a hole or we just–

LAURA: Is it all right if we dig a hole?

MATT: "I imagine so, yes."

LAURA: All right.

MATT: “All right.” So, you get down to dig a hole?

LAURA: Sure!

MATT: It's soft. The ground is pretty malleable, actually. Not like clay, but the dirt isn't densely packed in this portion.

LAURA: As I'm doing it, I'm like, Melora, you were clutch in the fight against Raishan and we appreciate it greatly. Thank you for everything you've done for us. Your trees are beautiful.

MATT: (laughs)

ASHLEY: So, we don't know what we're planting here, so if it's something bad it's not our fault–

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: Side note.

LAURA: Are you talking to the dirt?

ASHLEY: I'm talking to Melora through the dirt.

MARISHA: You just put, like, a “we are not responsible for any damages” clause into the contract.

LIAM: Um, I am smirking, but trying to pray to the Raven Queen.

MATT: Okay. You place the box in?

ASHLEY: Augh. Yes.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: You rest– you rest the box down–

ASHLEY: My precious–

(all laugh)

ASHLEY: It doesn't feel right!

TRAVIS: (like Gollum) Why should I?

MATT: – into the hole freshly dug by Vex.

LAURA: I'm gonna cover it. It's getting covered.

MATT: Vex covers it. Takes the dirt, pats it. (pats down) There, the flowers arranged naturally across the tree trunk and the growth surrounding it. The woman clasps her hands together. “Very well. Now, if you please–”

MARISHA: Would it be okay if I just picked a couple flowers to press and take with me for remembrance?

MATT: She reaches over and (click noises). “There you are, child.”

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: Now, um. Business is done.

LAURA: Could we leave a marker of some sort? So we know exactly where we left her.

MATT: What would you wish to leave?

LAURA: I saw earlier circles of stones. Is that traditional?

MATT: Depends on your background, of course, if that's what you prefer. We wish nothing with names or engravings. The memory is kept by Melora and the presence of nature in its own. So, a marker or–

LAURA: Can you think of anything Senokir would've appreciated?

TALIESIN: I think knowing his work is underground may be enough.

MARISHA: I could Stone Shape something simple.

LAURA: Maybe a ring? He's a jeweler.

MARISHA: That's true.

LAURA: It was his wife.

MARISHA: That's true. I out of the ground Stone Shape what looks like a simplistic fire branded wedding band.

MATT: You watch as the earth off to the side of where you buried the box shakes and a single stone, roughly that big, (shaking ground sounds) finds its way to the surface, like a localized earthquake. And as it hits the top, it (cracks) splits and shapes into a circular band, and then falls on the side and rests there for a moment on top of the dirt pile.

LAURA: That's perfect.

LIAM: That's cool.

MARISHA: Okay. (lets out a deep breath)

TRAVIS: Thank you for, um, this.

MATT: "I will remain vigil over this. You may take your walk up the Birth Heart or the rest of Vasselheim."

LAURA: Oh, thank you.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: Can we go in? Can we go up and look, or? Is it like–

MATT: "Well, you would have to speak with the priests. It's not necessarily an open–"

TRAVIS: It's not the Swiss Family Robinson tree house.

LAURA: It's just beautiful, I don't think I've ever seen–

MARISHA: Who are the priests?

MATT: "Any of the individuals in similar garb, but they have a series of golden rings around their neck, at the base of the tree."

MARISHA: I was just curious because, you see, I have this staff that has Melora's marking on it.

MATT: She takes a moment, reaches for it. (gasps)

MARISHA: Wow, that's–

LAURA: We should've led with that.

MARISHA: You know, that's quite a reaction. I wasn't expecting that.

MATT: "This– where did you– how? Where did you come across such an artifact?"

MARISHA: I found it through a series of very hard and troubling events and circumstances.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

MATT: "I can only understand that. What you hold in your hand is one of the great relics of Melora."

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: "I must remain as I've chosen my vigil already, but if you would do the honor of the Birth Heart of having that returned to the priestesses of Melora that would be of a great aid to our people."

MARISHA: (inhales sharply)

(all laugh)

LIAM: He just did that.

MARISHA: (laughing) Fuck you, Travis.

TALIESIN: Woooow.

LAURA: (through her bottle) That's why you keep things hidden.

MATT: “It's–” And she reaches out and runs her finger along the side and is like–

MARISHA: Yeah, okay, you know, that's enough. That's enough touching.

MATT: "A magic, a force as potent in that. You're blessed to have found it."

LAURA: She's aided us greatly.

MATT: "As she does us all."

MARISHA: What if her aid– (clears throat) What if her aid was best used–

LAURA: Protecting the world–

MARISHA: – in the world. And not maybe in a museum.

MATT: "That is your choice, not mine."

TALIESIN: I think perhaps there will come a time, but that it is not yet time to put the staff to rest.

MARISHA: Look– (sighs painfully)

TRAVIS: Wow. Just walk away. Walk away.

MARISHA: You know, I don't want to hold on to anything if it doesn't rightfully belong to me, but this has also been lost for a long time. So who does it rightfully belong to? And I'm trying to do good with it.

MATT: (shushes) She reaches out and touches your forehead.

MARISHA: Okay. I just– I don't wanna–

MATT: "It's all right. We mean not to take it from you."

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

MATT: "If it still has purpose in your hands, keep it. Keep it safe. Do not lose it as you say it was once lost. And when you find the need for such power no longer necessary, then return it."

MARISHA: I promise you I will. And I'm very grateful, and I do feel very blessed that I found it and that I have this power.

MATT: "Then use it to spread her love. Use it to spread her comfort and protection."

LAURA: Champion of Melora! I see it now.

MARISHA: You know– (sighs)

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

MARISHA: Is there a way? 'Cause you see, I'm not great with the gods, but I've never really spoken to Melora. I have a lot of friends who are very much supporters of her. Is there something I could do to show my thanks?

MATT: "I think that the fact that you still hold that to this day means that her favor smiles on you. If you walk the path she rides, maybe you'll find a way to talk with her yourself. But there is no key, there is no trick, there is no secret. She speaks through the growing buds of the flowers below, she speaks through the rain that comes and brings water to them to grow. I'm sure she's spoken to you most of your life. Maybe now your ears are open to listen."

MARISHA: Thank you, Lamor.

MATT: "You're welcome."

MARISHA: I will not forget your words.

MATT: "I hope not. There is great wisdom in that staff, as there is great wisdom in you."

MARISHA: (exhales) Okay.

MATT: "You doubt yourself too much, child."

MARISHA: People keep telling me that. Okay. All right. Thank you. Thank you.

MATT: She takes your hand and cups it into both of hers and holds it for a second.

MARISHA: (whispers) I'm so conflicted. Thank you. Okay, bye.

MATT: "Aren't we all."

TRAVIS: Do we get to leave the arboretum now?

(everyone laughs)

LAURA: It was beautiful, though, while it lasted.

ASHLEY: It's so beautiful.

TRAVIS: I stepped on this toadstool and I'm afraid to tell someone.

(everyone laughs)

LAURA: I think it'll grow back, Grog.

ASHLEY: Yeah, take your foot off and watch.

TRAVIS: I can't. I'm scared, they're looking really close.

LIAM: Let's get her out of here before they change their mind, alright? Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

TALIESIN: I could watch your moral panic all day, it's so delightful.

MARISHA: Shut up, Percy!

MATT: As you guys make your way out of the Birth Heart, into the Abundant Terrace, what do you wish to do?

TRAVIS: See, that was not such a big deal. All that fuss for a box in the dirt.

LAURA: Do we need to stock up on supplies?

TRAVIS: Ooh, yeah. We haven't been to a right proper store in a long time, right?

LAURA: Yeah. Do you need to check in on the temple?

ASHLEY: Maybe, I don't know.

TRAVIS: What's wrong with you?

ASHLEY: I dunno, I just still feel weird about it.

LIAM: You know, this might be a bit of a wild hare, but watching you back there, I had a thought. Grog.

TRAVIS: Yeah?

LIAM: I mean, we've just had a really hard time for weeks, months. It was fuckin' awful. You seem a bit punchy. You wanna take her–

TRAVIS: (gasps) Say it.

LIAM: – to the Crucible?

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

LIAM: To let off a little bit of steam?

ASHLEY: What's the Crucible?

LAURA: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Are you sure you weren't here? Were you not?

LIAM: Think she was off.

MARISHA: I think she had just left.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's right. The Crucible is a pit fighting arena next to the temple of Kord, right? Around that area?

MATT: In the Trial Forge, yeah.

TRAVIS: In the Trial Forge. Yeah. One on one.

LIAM: We know you are an angel, but we know that you also have a little bit of piss and vinegar in you.

TRAVIS: No weapons.

ASHLEY: Yeah– No weapons?

TRAVIS: Nope.

LAURA: Just a fist fight.

ASHLEY: No armor? Nothing?

TRAVIS: No, you can have–

LAURA: Yeah, armor?

TRAVIS: It's like a bare-knuckle fight.

MATT: Yeah, it's pretty much fisticuffs in the Crucible.

LIAM: They got gnome fights there?

LAURA: They got gnome fights?

ASHLEY: They got gnome fights?

MATT: (laughs)

ASHLEY: That sounds like a blast.

TALIESIN: I wanna see if I can find two small stones while we're walking through the path. I wanna find two pretty reasonable fire-starting stones.

MATT: Flints, you mean?

TALIESIN: Yeah, just a flint.

MATT: Okay. Make a perception check– well, this would be investigation, 'cause you're–

TALIESIN: Man. Nine

MATT: You find one.

TALIESIN: Damn it. I'm gonna keep looking.

LAURA: What're you doing with a rock?

TALIESIN: (sighs)

LAURA: Doesn't seem like something you normally look for.

TALIESIN: No, it's not.

LAURA: It's more Grog's speed there.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I was just thinking that he needs a gift.

TRAVIS: I mean does anybody– You got a gift for me?

TALIESIN: Not yet.

TRAVIS: Oh. I mean, I dunno about anybody else, but besides the store, I would like to go by the temple of Kord again. Just pop in. I don't want to bore anybody.

MARISHA: No.

TALIESIN: I'm all right with that.

LAURA: We can go there.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

MARISHA: I'm sure we bored you several times with our god mumbo-jumbo.

TRAVIS: No, yeah, you have. Been keeping track.

(everyone laughs)

MARISHA: Tell me how you really feel, Grog. Yeah.

TRAVIS: I resent you.

MARISHA: You know what? Never mind. I take all of it back.

TRAVIS: Well, I thought you– all right.

LIAM: Tangentially, not today, not for a while. I need to go back to–

MARISHA: The temple of the Raven Queen?

LIAM: Yeah, not today. Eventually.

MARISHA: Do you even want to today?

LIAM: No, I don't want to today.

MARISHA: You know, you never came back last night. Thought you were gonna come back.

LIAM: (softly) I'll come back.

MARISHA: Carry on!

(laughter)

MATT: So as you guys are walking, where are you headed? Are you headed to the Birth–

TRAVIS: The Birth?

MATT: Uh, what's it called? Sorry.

TRAVIS: The Trial Forge?

MATT: Oh, the Trial Forge is–

TRAVIS: The temple of Kord?

MATT: – is the temple. Yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I mean, I would like to go to the temple of Kord. Pike, do you want to see–

MATT: The Braving Grounds.

TRAVIS: Yeah, the Braving Grounds.

LAURA: The Braving Grounds.

LIAM: Oh, man.

LAURA: By the Obleiz.

LIAM: The Oubliette?

LAURA: Obliette.

ASHLEY: Oubliette.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: (aside to Taliesin) What do you want for me to cantrip?

TALIESIN: (aside to Marisha) Well, I just want, like, another one. Two.

LIAM: Does that exist somewhere in this city, the Oubliette?

LAURA: It does!

MARISHA: Two plinths? Yeah, I think I can Druidcraft that.

LIAM: Is it likely that we have–

MATT: It is in– let me check my notes real fast. It's in the Duskmeadows. The Amaranthine Oubliette.

LAURA: Oh, that's what it was.

LIAM: Right. Oh, out of character, Ashley, I wish you were here next week.

ASHLEY: (groans)

LIAM: We're gonna get into a fuckin' fist fight!

LAURA: Oh, man!

LIAM: Down in the Crucible!

TRAVIS: She's looking at her schedule.

LAURA: Are you looking at your schedule?

TRAVIS: Can we make our way towards the Temple of Kord?

MATT: Yes, so you guys make your way to the Birth Heart. It's easy to follow. Out of all the areas in here that are more clean– the Birth Heart, sorry, the Braving Grounds.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: The Braving Grounds is where all the ironwork, metalwork, smithy, and refining of various burnable fuels are maintained. So you see the plumes of coal smoke coming out of the various forges. You head that direction, following that as a very definitive visual reference point. It takes you the better part of an hour or so, making your way through the crowds, the Bastions, and it seems like not a whole lot has changed since last time you were in Vasselheim. For all the chaos and destruction you have seen in Tal'Dorei, it appears that Issylra is none the wiser, and life goes on.

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: You make your way through the Braving Grounds to the Trial Forge. And there you see before you the large Temple of Kord, the dark deep red rusted iron color of the temple, with the statue on top. The front doors, the tall, thin doors are open just enough for about two shoulders-width of people to walk through. The interior appears to be brightly lit.

TRAVIS: Do you want to go inside? Only the strong may enter.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I'll go with you.

TRAVIS: All right. I would like to go inside.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Should we wait out here for you?

TRAVIS: Meh. You can come in if you want.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. You guys walk into the temple. There are no sentries. There are no worshipers of Kord that you remember greeting you the first time you came to the temple. The hallway's just this straight shot to the central cross section.

TRAVIS: That's strange. There's usually people here. (clears throat) Hello?

MATT: You keep walking, making your way down the smooth, dark, granite-like floors. You can see the tall archway just continues and the repeated pattern of the pillars that mark the strength portions of the archway, meeting in the center, just over and over again, like this oversized spinal column, almost, in the way that it's segmented, eventually coming to where the center points cross, where the sand pit, you recall, the center of the Trial Forge was. As you approach, you see a singular figure standing in the center of the pit, facing away from you.

TRAVIS: (blows out a slow breath)

MATT: You see the same dark, deep ruddy color and weather-texture of the shoulder muscles and arms resting at the side. The same grayish-white hair pulling down the back of the bald-on-top head. The reds and golds of the billowing pants there before you. And as you approach quietly towards the edge of the sand pit, the voice shouts out, “I have had visions in my rest of your path to war, Strongjaw. You took my words and you found your strength. What have you learned?”

TRAVIS: That without my friends, and love, my strength would be nothing.

MATT: Then show me what you have learned.

LAURA: Oh, shit.

MATT: “Show me what you possess. Show me your worth under the watch of Kord, half-giant. Show me.” And he turns around. (smashing sound) And he–

LAURA: Fight!

MATT: – slams his fists into the side and the sand that's around him (exploding sound), dusts out in this small arc and then rests in the ground and he looks up.

TRAVIS: I'm having a DBZ orgasm right now.

LAURA: (sings the Dragon Ball Z theme song)

MATT: And that's where we're gonna finish the episode.

(everyone yells)

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: Show me what you've GOOOOT!

TALIESIN: –what you've GOOOOT!

TALIESIN: Show me what you've GOOOOT!

MARISHA: Show me what you've GOOOOT!

TALIESIN: Show me what you've got!

(everyone laughs)

LAURA: How long have you waited– how long have you–

TRAVIS: Since last time.

LAURA: Oh, shit!

MARISHA: Yes!

LAURA: Oh, man.

MATT: Since, like, whenever you got back to the Trial Forge–

TRAVIS: (cries out)

MATT: – that's been sitting there.

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: You never went back.

TALIESIN: What? What?

MATT: We'll pick up on, pick up on that next week.

LIAM: Round two. Fight!

MARISHA: Fight!

(Taliesin and Marisha sing the Mortal Kombat

Theme)

TRAVIS: He's a bad dude.

LAURA: Yeah, but in the best way.

TRAVIS: It was Scanlan, Vax, and me against him–

LIAM: Don't pick me again.

TRAVIS: – and we were giving him everything we had with Craven Edge, and he was just shrugging it off, like–

ASHLEY: Nothing.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we were slashing through at his forearms and then he would, like, go (grunting sound) and all the wounds would heal.

ASHLEY: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Who did he one-hit punch? The one punch?

LIAM: Me.

TRAVIS: Yeah, and he could have killed Vax.

ASHLEY: One punch!

TRAVIS: With one punch. But he held it.

MARISHA: With quivering–

TALIESIN: Quivering Palm.

MATT: He held back specifically. He was just teaching Grog a lesson.

LAURA: It's serious.

TRAVIS: He just held him one hit, like boom! And Vex went waaaaah!

LAURA: Vax.

TRAVIS: Sorry.

LIAM: Vix.

TALIESIN: The potion of broken heart.

TRAVIS: He's a bad, bad dude.

ASHLEY: Oh, my god.

LAURA: But in a good way. He's, like, super, super smart.

MARISHA: He's awesome.

ASHLEY: You're gonna have your–

TRAVIS: Well, the last time he was like, “Where does your strength come from?” And I'm like, “My rage!”

LAURA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: And he's like, “Not good enough.”

TRAVIS: And he kept kicking our asses, like, “Where does your strength come from!” I'm like, “My friends!”

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: And he let us live.

MATT: It'll be fun.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So, we'll see where this picks up next week.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, my.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: Well, awesome, guys. Good game this week. You saved your friend.

TALIESIN: (whimpers)

LAURA: Yay, Scanlan!

TRAVIS: Come back soon, Sam!

ASHLEY: Come back!

MARISHA: Scanlan!

MATT: And Happy Birthday to Quyen.

MARISHA: Happy birthday!

LAURA: Happy birthday!

TRAVIS: Happy birthday, Q! Happy birthday!

LIAM: We love you!

LAURA: And don't forget, tomorrow at noon, these dice go on sale!

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Yay, Crit Role dice!

TRAVIS: There's not an infinite amount, but they're there.

LAURA: No there's more than there were last time.

MARISHA: But there's more. Much more.

ASHLEY: And Lootcrate!

MATT: Yeah, thank you so much, Lootcrate, for being our awesome sponsors again. You guys have been awesome, being with us for this long.

MARISHA: And, as always, be sure to check in on Talks Machina on Tuesday at seven.

MATT: 7PM Pacific, on Twitch and Alpha.

MARISHA: Yeah, with the wonderful Brian Foster as the host.

(everyone cheers)

LIAM: Foster!

TRAVIS: I think you should call him Breen Wiser Fester.

LAURA: Brain Fester.

MARISHA: Oh, Brain Fester! That was– yeah, the Brain Fester.

TRAVIS: Brain Fester is better.

LAURA: Brain Fester!

MATT: I take the high road.

TRAVIS: You didn't.

LAURA: Brain Fester!

MARISHA: Your play, man.

MATT: (laughs) Anyway, guys, we're gonna go get some rest. You should as well. Thank you so much for joining us in our crazy adventures. We'll pick it up next week. Uh, is it Thursday yet?

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