MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.
TRAVIS and ASHLEY: We play Dungeons & Dragons!
MATT: That was a thinner one this week.
TRAVIS: People bailed on me.
MATT: Yeah, your friends abandoned you on that.
ASHLEY: I was with you.
TRAVIS: Thank you.
TALIESIN: In spirit.
MATT: So before we get into tonight's session, we have some announcements to get through, beginning with two sponsors for the evening. First up, we have a new sponsor for the show, specifically Knights of Pen & Paper II. Sam!
SAM: Raise rise up, for it is I, Drak'ar Noir, from the Fantasy Ranch. You may have seen me on Travis Willingham's Yee-Haw Game Ranch, where I survived the cabbage stench of that ill-bred, yeasty canker sore Brian Foster!
TRAVIS: Oh boy.
SAM: But tonight, I shall raise rise up for our sponsor, the critically acclaimed, turn-based pixel art adventure game, Knights of Pen & Paper II. (cheering) In Fantasy Ranch, we are addicted to this retro-style game, which simulates the classic pen-and-paper, role-playing experience with satire and humor and feels like you're sitting at the table with friends. And now I will sing its praises, literally, with a song our finest bards composed for the occasion.
TRAVIS: Oh no!
LAURA: Oh-- (laughs)
(solemn guitar music)
SAM: A little bit of an intro (coughs). (flute music) ♪ Knights of Pen & Paper is its name ♪ ♪ An exciting, majestic RPG game ♪ ♪ Test your skills and test your luck ♪ ♪ And remember that Brian Foster sucks ♪ ♪ It's free to play, and it's not a dream ♪ ♪ Available on iOS, Android, and Steam ♪ ♪ Follow the link and start your download ♪ ♪ And remember Brian Foster's a chode ♪ (laughter) ♪ Fi, di, dee ♪ ♪ Bo, doh, bo, dopple, dup ♪ ♪ Fi, fiddle, dee, dop, fi, di, dee ♪ ♪ Fi, di, dee, bo, do, bo, dopple, dup ♪ ♪ Fi, fiddle, dee, dop, ah, di ♪
Yes, Knights of Pen & Paper II, Matt and Marisha played the game on Everything is Content a while ago, and you can check it out on our YouTube channel. Otherwise, learn more at KnightsCR. Raise rise up and download it today! Ah, ah!
MARISHA: I love you, Drak'ar Noir!
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
LAURA: I love him.
LIAM: Oh my god.
MATT: I think it's the best facet of Sam we could ever enjoy.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
MATT: Thank you, Sam, and thank you, Knights of Pen & Paper II.
ASHLEY: That was amazing.
MATT: Our second sponsor tonight are our returning sponsor for Campaign 2, since the beginning, our dear friends at D&D Beyond.
TRAVIS: ♪ D&D Beyond ♪
MATT: For those of you who haven't heard us sing their praises before, D&D Beyond is a fantastic online digital tool for keeping track of your characters, your campaigns and all facets of D&D. It's great stuff. If you haven't yet, I recommend you check it out, because it's super helpful. All right, we have some other announcements, or if you guys haven't checked it out, dndbeyond.link/criticalrole for more specific detail. I'm going to be thorough in my announcement there.
LAURA: Not Thoreau, though.
ASHLEY: Oh, way to pull in the game.
MATT: Not yet, we're not in it yet! Bring it down. Yeah, thank you, guys at D&D Beyond, for continuing to support the show. We have a couple of announcements. Oh, earlier this week, if you guys haven't seen it, we announced our live show in Chicago.
TRAVIS: ♪ In Chicago, Chicago ♪
ASHLEY: Yay, Chi-Town!
MATT: Leading into our appearance at C2E2 at the end of next month, the Thursday, February 27th, at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. We're going to have a live, in-canon episode for anyone who's in the region and wants to come see. Tickets are on sale, VIP tickets will go on sale Wednesday, and February 5th at 10 a.m. Central, the regular tickets will be on sale. Oh, sorry, let me get that back. This sentence was-- VIP tickets will be on sale Wednesday, February 5th, at 10 a.m Central, there we go, and regular tickets will be on sale Thursday, February 6th, at 10 a.m. Central, so day after day. I should read the right order in the sentences there. But if you can't attend our show, that's totally fine. Our broadcast on the 27th will start an hour earlier, because we'll be doing it live from there. So it'll be at 6 p.m. as opposed to 7 p.m. Pacific, that Thursday. So be ready for that. Put it in your calendar for those who want to be there for it live. For all additional details, go ahead and check out critrole.com/events.
TRAVIS: It's a really pretty theater, you guys.
LAURA: Yeah, it's a really pretty theater.
ASHLEY: The Stork?
ASHLEY: I was like, what a strange name for a theater!
TRAVIS: It's their mascot
LIAM: The stork.
MARISHA: Go to a show, in nine months you have a baby.
ASHLEY: I'll leave.
MATT: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
TALIESIN: A lot of nooks and crannies at the Stork, a lot of dark corners.
MARISHA: [Inaudible] and drink.
MATT: All righty. In case you also missed the news earlier today, we have a non-fiction book coming out now, announced.
TRAVIS: We do! Woo!
MATT: Our friends at Penguin Ran-don House, Penguin Random-- I can't talk today! Our friends at Penguin Random House. I have a problem with Penguin apparently, just like Benedict Cumberbatch.
TRAVIS: Just say perpetual advantage, perpetual advantage.
MATT: Perpetual advantage.
TRAVIS: Yes, got it! Does that count?
MARISHA: Nailed it! Hell yeah!
TRAVIS: (grunts) All game.
MATT: I'm not the DM yet. I'm doing announcements. But yes, we have a non-fiction book called World of Critical Role. They've been working on for a while now with us, that just goes over, as opposed to in-canon stories and art books and such, this is a deep narrative about how all this happened. It's a bunch of, like, really personal interviews about us, from point to point, the entire weird reality that has led us here and beyond. It's already looking really cool. I believe it's coming out September in bookstores, local bookstores all over, but it is available for pre-order now, if you're interested. For those of you in the US, Penguin Random House is also offering a chance to get your name printed in the book, apparently, which is kind of cool. So for all the details, head to Critrole.com to check out more about it. Marisha, you have an announcement.
MARISHA: Oh man, this Tuesday,
MARISHA: All Work No Play, it's coming back. Get in here, Riegel.
SAM: It's really coming back.
MARISHA: It's really coming back.
MARISHA: At 4 p.m. on our Twitch channel, the first episode. The boys dive into some chainsaw art.
SAM: Oh, is that what we start with?
MARISHA: You're starting with chainsaw art with Julie Nathanson.
SAM: We have all our digits still, spoiler.
LIAM: Is this a set up to a bit, or is it really coming back?
MARISHA: No, it's really coming back.
MARISHA: I know.
LIAM: I'll believe it when I see it.
ASHLEY: What is chainsaw art, like with ice?
MARISHA: You'll have to find out. This Tuesday!
LAURA: They legitimately play with chainsaws.
SAM: Do you know what penis art is?
SAM: It's kind of the same thing.
ASHLEY: Have you never been to my house?
TALIESIN: A lot of bedazzling.
ASHLEY: A lot of bedazzling.
MARISHA: If you miss the live broadcast, as always, VOD's immediately on our Twitch, and then All Work No Play will be up on YouTube on Thursdays.
LIAM: Coming at ya.
TRAVIS: I'm so excited.
SAM: I am too.
TRAVIS: Number-one fan in the house.
SAM: That's right, you are.
TRAVIS: I got a new hat and shirt and everything.
LAURA: It's fun.
TRAVIS: I made a sign.
LAURA: It's fun. (laughter)
TRAVIS: Studio audience for this show?
LAURA: He literally wears it at home.
TALIESIN: You're just going to stand on the corner, aren't you, with a sign, be very excited.
MARISHA: There's a thing in the break, right, Kyle?
MARISHA: Yeah, there's a thing in the break.
TRAVIS: A thing in the break.
MARISHA: A teaser, so, yes.
ASHLEY: Your runes actually say "all work, no play."
TRAVIS: Back to the shiz-ow.
LIAM: By the way, my favorite puppet penis I saw at Ashley's is the Medusa, not to be missed.
ASHLEY: Yeah, it's great. You bedazzled it.
TALIESIN: I did. That was a fun afternoon into an evening.
ASHLEY: That was a fun afternoon.
MATT: Yeah, no, that really carries the whole scale effect to a whole different level.
TALIESIN: It wasn't hard.
MATT: Well, not originally.
MATT: So, so (laughs)!
LIAM: It's really like an optical illusion, right, when you take a pencil and you go like this.
TALIESIN: It follows you around the room, no matter where you go.
MATT: All right!
MATT: All right!
TALIESIN: Oh no.
ASHLEY: Oh boy.
MATT: Let's go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role.
(yelling) (water bubbling) (thunder cracks) (explosion) ♪ Role, Critical Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical Critical ♪ ♪ Mighty Nein, Mighty Nein ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ The adventure begins ♪ ♪ They were always beside you ♪ ♪ Your nerdy best friends and the DM to guide you ♪ ♪ And they rise from the flames for the battles ahead ♪ ♪ Villains beware 'cause you're 'bout to be dead ♪ (dramatic music) ♪ They got magic and flair ♪ ♪ They got falchions and cunning ♪ ♪ They don't see over there ♪ ♪ There's a monster incoming ♪ ♪ Inspiration is waiting ♪ ♪ Rise up, don't think twice ♪ ♪ Put your fate in your hands ♪ ♪ Take a chance, roll the dice (roll the dice) ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role, Critical♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Can you answer the call? ♪ ♪ Dig in deep in your soul ♪ ♪ As the legend unfolds ♪ ♪ Now it's your turn (your turn, your turn) ♪ ♪ to roll ♪ (flames whooshing) (dragon roaring)
MATT: Welcome back. So last we left off: The Mighty Nein, upon watching and aiding Caleb finally finish his design, completing what Halas once had attempted to complete, designing a spell in which you could transmogrify another person into a different body of their choosing, the ritual attempted but failing at the realization that a curse still remained on Nott that prevented any sort of shift or change. Trailing the source back, it seems, to the individual responsible for cursing her with the goblin body in the first place, you returned to Zadash to research this possible individual, coming to find it might be this Isharnai the Prism Sage, an individual that lives north of Kamordah, in the Bromkiln Hills, within the Cyrios Mountains, near Mount Mentiri. After this moment, you realized you had to travel west from Zadash to Kamordah, and wanting to clarify the possible link of this sage that had originally done this terrible deed to Nott at the request of the goblins that had killed her, you met the Lionett family. A tense reunion, long held back, ensued, at which point, it was confirmed that it seems this same sage that helped bring her family's fortune and had put a black cloud over her name and life since she was born may indeed be the same one that's responsible for Nott's predicament. This tense reunion complete, you all stepped outside, into the evening rain and gave Beau a hug of support after the emotional, exhausting interaction. And that's where we left off. As you all pull away, outside of the Lionett estate, the darkened sky above, the cold rain pattering around you in the muddy streets, the smell of sulfur and minerals still strong in the air, what would you like to do?
SAM: We just left the Lionett house?
LAURA: Are we finding somewhere to stay here, or are we heading straight out?
MARISHA: What time is it?
MATT: At this point, I'd say it's close to eight o'clock. It's not terribly late.
LAURA: But it's around dinnertime.
SAM: 8 p.m.
LIAM: It's an estate, right? It's not a town, was it?
LAURA: It is a town.
LIAM: It is a town?
TALIESIN: It was a town at the bottom of a hill.
LIAM: All right.
SAM: But up here, it's just a vineyard, and then a few miles over, another vineyard, or do we have neighbors?
MARISHA: There's a tavern not too (coughs) far, sorry.
SAM: Choked up from that meeting?
MARISHA: A little phlegm still from that. Lot of snot. Yeah, there's a dive bar with a few beds, not far. Right?
LAURA: Let's do that.
MATT: Yeah, you can go in there.
LAURA: (laughs) Yeah.
TRAVIS: Wait, are we going to run into your old crew there? Are we going to see, like, a bunch of old high school dropouts or anything? Are there going to be fights before we go to the real fight? Is your name going to be written on the bathroom wall by six different hands?
MARISHA: That, maybe, yeah. Yeah.
TRAVIS: We have to go.
MARISHA: We'll see.
SAM: Beauregard, I stole this from your dad's house.
MARISHA: What, what?
SAM: It's just a little statue of a rabbit made of jade.
SAM: Do you want it?
MARISHA: No, you keep it.
SAM: I just thought, I don't know, fuck that guy, right?
MARISHA: (sighs) I'm, yeah, I'm-- I'm working it out.
LIAM: How 'bout a drink?
MARISHA: That sounds fucking fantastic.
LAURA: Did you steal anything else?
SAM: I mean, just the hearts of America, but--
SAM: Sorry, I blacked out for a second.
ASHLEY: I haven't been there. But I haven't been a lot of places.
TRAVIS: Oh, it's a place. Look, we would totally lead the way, but this is your fucking stomping grounds, so you know.
MARISHA: Yeah, follow me. What is the name of that bar? I feel like I read some--
MATT: Gemmed Hearth Inn. And it's called an inn loosely.
MATT: As you recall, it has three rooms that are repurposed storage chambers, and mostly, people that crash there do so because they've had too much to drink and just need a place to crash or are too drunk to ask for a place to crash and they're placed there anyway and charged the following morning. But it's been a while since you traveled to this space.
ALL: ♪ It's been a while ♪
MATT: Yeah, I was waiting for it as soon as I said it.
TALIESIN: Have we finally found the D&D equivalent of a hostel? Have we finally found a hostel?
MATT: Kinda, yeah.
TALIESIN: All right.
TRAVIS: Oh shit, are the beds in the open spaces?
MARISHA: No, there's walls. There's walls.
MARISHA: Yeah, let's go.
TRAVIS: Two walls, apparently, separating three spaces, what a thrill.
LIAM: Walls are the defining features.
MATT: (laughs) All righty. So gathering your things, you still have your horses with you. They were hitched outside of the estate. So you go ahead and take their leads and walk them through the not quite as busied streets, now that the sun is down. There are lanterns that have been placed out since the sun set, these large poles with hooks on them where, at night, these lanterns are placed for people that are heading back from work and individuals that are trying to find their way through the darkened evening roads, eventually finding your way to the exterior of the Gemmed Hearth Inn. You look at it. From the outside, you wouldn't be able to tell it's an inn. It looks like a warehouse. It looks like a storage facility. It's very simple, bland woods. The mud across the ground has been spattered and dried and spattered and dried to the point where it's just repeatedly caked across the baseboards of the exterior, about a foot and a half to two feet up, where it looks like it's slowly being pulled into the earth. It might be, who knows? But the door is partially ajar, and as you step up to the interior, the wood creaks beneath your weight with each step, and the warm interior greets you along with the combined smell, it seems, of burned meat, strong, spilled, soured alcohol, possibly a bit of bile, who knows? It's a delightful interior. There's five tables, of which only one of them has a patron, at the moment. You see a very, very, very old, folded face of a man. He is missing all of his teeth, and his jaw scoops forward and overlaps the front, a bit. He's holding a really heavy tankard in front with both hands, and he's just looking into it. It looks like he's in the process of either falling asleep or having the deepest thought you could possibly imagine. Across the table, in the back, you see a well-polished bar. It doesn't match the rest of it, and in fact, you get the sense maybe it had acquired this curved bar recently and just has nothing else to update the interior. It stands out with how well polished it is. Whether he saved up and bought it, or another place closed, and he got it in an auction, who knows? But behind it, you see the rather rotund, heavyset figure of a gruff man with strong stubble across his heavy, square jaw. His hair is receding in the back, a Friar Tuck type bald spot, where he has a bit of a bowl cut around the sides. He has a series of scars across one side of his face, minor scars, and one discolored eye on that side, on his right side. But he glances up for a bit. You see him finish polishing the countertop, more than it needs to be polished. He looks up. "Hello, can I help you?"
LIAM: Yeah, hello. It has been a shit of a day, and we could all use a drink. And Caleb places a gold on the countertop. This should cover a round, yeah?
MATT: "Yeah, yeah, it'll cover a round, no worries."
LIAM: Is it all wine here because of the proximity to the estate, or do you have--?
MATT: "Oh, if you want wine, that's a whole different ballgame."
LIAM: Good, I don't.
MATT: "Whatever a ballgame is."
LIAM: Whisky, please.
MATT: Goatball, you know, you've seen it around. It's a big, popular thing with the goliaths.
TRAVIS: Goatball! (laughs)
MATT: Well, it is, from Campaign 1.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
MARISHA: That's right.
MATT: "I just assumed you were looking for ale, maybe, but if you want wine, that's pricey."
LAURA: No, no, no.
LIAM: Nothing in between? You don't have anything stronger than ale? Perhaps--
TRAVIS: Whisky, Scotch?
MATT: "Oh, liquor?"
MATT: "Yeah. How much you want? Like just a shot each or, like, full thing?"
MARISHA: Just give us a bottle. Maybe two.
MATT: "You're going to need to put a few more gold on."
LIAM: I turn and I add a platinum.
LAURA: We also want rooms and stuff.
LIAM: Keep it coming.
MARISHA: Yeah, can we have all the rooms? Do you have any more rooms?
MATT: "I got three rooms."
SAM: Maybe ask how many rooms there are first.
MATT: "If you don't mind sharing. I can get you a bottle and get you rooms for the night."
MARISHA: We'll take all the rooms. It's three rooms.
MATT: He reaches over and scoots the coin across and happily tucks it into a pocket, buttons it shut, heads off to the back and, for a moment, leaves you alone, just your troupe and that one old guy who's been awfully quiet in a darkened chamber.
TRAVIS: What's up, Grandad? How are things?
MATT: No response. He doesn't acknowledge.
TRAVIS: (louder) What's up, Granddad!
TALIESIN: I cast Speak with Dead. I'm just kidding. (laughter)
SAM: Maybe he's just sleeping. Maybe he's hard-of-hearing.
ASHLEY: Maybe he wants to be left alone.
TALIESIN: Maybe he's not a grandfather.
LAURA: Maybe he's had a really bad day, too.
TRAVIS: (grumbling) I walk over to him. (laughter) I do, like, the slow lean-in, field of vision.
MARISHA: Oh, that explains it.
TRAVIS: (loudly) How are you?
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MATT: "No, please don't do anything!"
TRAVIS: Okay, no, it's not like that. Enjoy your, enjoy your beverage.
MATT: "I am!"
LAURA: You are really intimidating, Fjord.
SAM: He could hear you.
TRAVIS: I'm a little confused by that exchange.
SAM: He just chose not to listen.
LIAM: He read your lips.
SAM: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, maybe he's a lipreader.
LIAM: Do you, do you read lips?
LIAM: That's a mystery solved there.
ASHLEY: You just went up and scared the poor man.
TRAVIS: Yeah. I have that effect, Yasha. I don't know if you know.
ASHLEY: Ah, yes, you're very, very scary and intimidating.
LIAM: (loudly) What is the news here in town?
SAM: Oh boy.
LIAM: (louder) The news!
MATT: "The noose?"
LIAM and LAURA: Ja.
MATT: "Well, there hasn't been a hanging in about four years!"
TALIESIN: Saw that coming.
LAURA: Yeah. I don't think he would have heard it anyway.
SAM: The noose.
LAURA: The noose.
ASHLEY: Do you come here often?
ASHLEY: I'm going to not talk to him, because I think we'll leave it to you guys.
TRAVIS: I think you scared him. Yeah. Ask him his name.
ASHLEY: What's your name?
ASHLEY: (louder) Your name?
LAURA and ASHLEY: Darmin!
MATT: "What's your name?"
ASHLEY: My name is Yasha.
MATT: "Okay." He goes back to drinking.
TRAVIS: That was great. You really got through to him quickly.
ASHLEY: I did, and he gave me his name. Usually people don't offer that until the next morning.
ASHLEY: Just kidding.
TRAVIS: Yasha be fucking.
MARISHA: Yasha, she fucks.
MATT: Eventually, a large glass bottle, dark brown in color, no label--
LIAM: Put it here.
MATT: Just hands it over. "All right, there you are. (sighs) Here's your keys. Welcome to the, uh, welcome to the Gemmed Hearth. You look familiar."
MATT: "All right," turns right around and goes back to the bar.
LIAM: Did he bring a glass with that bottle, or is it just the bottle?
MATT: No, just the bottle.
LIAM: Just the bottle?
SAM: Well, if that's a friend of yours, you should find out what the scuttlebutt is around here.
MARISHA: I don't have friends, dude.
SAM: Well, I would assume if anyone was your friend, it was the purveyor of whiskies.
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, I mean, yeah, it's the same old guy who's been here for, like, the past 10 years.
TRAVIS: 10 years, right, so he's known you since you were little bitty?
MARISHA: Well, ever since I started sneaking in here, yeah.
TRAVIS: You snuck in here, underage, to grab a drink?
MARISHA: Have you seen this place? What am I supposed to do?
TRAVIS: Yeah, it's true. It's true.
LAURA: Draw. You could draw or play piano.
TRAVIS: Did you ever steal or get arrested here? Have you been kicked out of this establishment before?
MARISHA: Actually, it was back behind this place, where I was doing the deal that I got busted, when I was doing the handoff of my family's wine.
TRAVIS: Oh shit. We are on hallowed ground.
TALIESIN: Is there any art on the wall, anything interesting, photo, pictures, I mean, not photographs, obviously, but, like, any carvings, any--
MATT: No carvings. The walls are surprisingly bare, except for one piece of, like, a knitted tapestry that's slightly off-center, probably someone's first attempt at knitting. The lines are imperfect. You look at it, and you find your head tilting to the side to try and make a balance to it, and it's just, no, it's just poorly made.
TALIESIN: If I unfocus my eyes, do I get a 3-D picture?
MATT: You get a 3-D something. It hurts you to try and contemplate and make sense of the shape.
TRAVIS: Jester, I want to consult the history stacks of this place. You take the ladies' room, I'll take the men's room.
LAURA: You got it.
TRAVIS: All right. We go and we look in the restrooms for anything--
TALIESIN: There's one bathroom.
MATT: There is a singular restroom that is just a hole in a plank of wood in an attached outhouse.
TRAVIS: This is unexpected.
LIAM: Is Beauregard's name still in there?
LAURA: This is much smaller than I expected it to be.
TRAVIS: The smell is incredible.
LAURA: Also, yes, it's very stinky.
TRAVIS: Is there writing on the wall?
MATT: Make a perception check.
SAM: Are you guys in there, together, alone?
LAURA: Are you trying to get me alone, Fjord? because if you are, this is probably not the best place to do it.
TRAVIS: (fart sound) 11.
MATT: You don't see any major carvings. There are some gashes in the wood, like a fight probably went down in here, at some point.
MATT: And that's about all you can find.
MATT: Yeah. There's no, like, "come here for a good time"-type messages left, unfortunately.
TRAVIS: We could shut the door.
LAURA: You could what?
TRAVIS: We should shut the door.
LAURA: Shut the door?!
LAURA: Oh, like, get out and shut the door?
TRAVIS: Well, you said-- (laughs). Yes!
LAURA: Okay, do it.
TRAVIS: All right.
SAM: Hey, guys, back so soon? How was it, being alone together in whatever room you were in?
TRAVIS: We were in the privy.
LAURA: It was stinky.
TRAVIS: Single occupant.
LAURA: And really dark.
SAM: (gasps) Ooh!
LAURA: I know.
SAM: I'll let my imagination run wild.
LIAM: You're going to christen that bottle or what?
MARISHA: Oh yeah, here, cheers.
LIAM: There's no glasses.
LIAM: Just the bottle.
TRAVIS: Yeah, pass it around.
MARISHA: Pass it around.
LIAM: Rough day, Beauregard Lionett?
MARISHA: A day.
MATT: It is strong and it gets the job done. You get the sense that liquor's not their specialty here. This particular abode doesn't have a wide selection.
MARISHA: Wait, what was that?
TRAVIS: Why are you drinking?
SAM: Just wiped off the top.
LAURA: I'm going to pour some in a little potion bottle.
TRAVIS: Are you going to feed that to Sprinkle later?
LAURA: No, I think it'll make a good paint thinner.
TALIESIN: That's a clever idea.
ASHLEY: Yeah, that's a bit rough.
MARISHA: (clears throat)
TRAVIS: Woof, yeah.
MARISHA: I actually used to remove nail polish with the liquor that I got here.
TRAVIS: Makes sense.
LAURA: That's what I'm talking about.
MARISHA: It was great. It's very multipurpose.
TRAVIS: I can feel the temperature rising.
LAURA: I'm going to go peek behind that tapestry on the wall.
SAM: Secret tunnels?
MATT: There's a portion of the wall that appears darker in color.
TRAVIS: Black mold.
MATT: You get the sense that sometimes moisture has been held in this tapestry--
MATT: -- that has affected the wall behind it, and the dust from the interior of the room has lightened the wood around it. But beyond that, there's no apparent hidden doorway. It's just old shitty tapestry.
LAURA: I'm going to carve a dick.
MATT: Hmm, you're going to carve a dick? There's only one person to stop you, and he is old and looking at his cup still.
LIAM: I'm sure Matt has got--
TALIESIN: Has the barkeep not come back yet?
MATT: Oh no, he's just sitting down.
LIAM: -- so much planned, and we're like, "I'm going to sniff the shitter," and "I'm going to yell at an old man."
TRAVIS: You're right. We've got a long trip ahead of us. We should rest.
TALIESIN: I'm going to go up to the bar. Hey, friend, I'm sorry. What was your name again?
MATT: "Oh, uh--"
LIAM: (whispering) You shut your green mouth.
TALIESIN: I don't know if we actually asked.
MATT: I don't think you guys actually asked that yet, hold on there.
TRAVIS: It's not easy being green.
TALIESIN: Can I get something? Do you have anything, like, just some juice or something without alcohol in it?
MATT: "Let me look."
TALIESIN: All right.
LAURA: Get some for me, Caduceus!
TALIESIN: Get two of whatever you find.
MATT: "Okay, I'll be right back." He goes and leaves for a second, and he comes back a moment later with a glass. It looks like a large mason jar with a little bottleneck at the top, filled with a milk-like substance.
SAM: "Milk-like substance"?
MATT: "I got some goat milk."
LAURA: Oh, yum.
MATT: "If that works for ya?"
TALIESIN: That'll do it.
MATT: "Okay." Goes ahead and pours it out for ya.
TALIESIN: How long have you been here for, working in this town?
LAURA: How long has this milk been here for?
TALIESIN: Hey, that's funny.
MATT: "Where, in Kamordah?"
MATT: "I grew up here."
MATT: "Yeah. You're not from around here. I can recognize that already."
TALIESIN: No, first time, we, we--
LAURA: Oui, oui.
TALIESIN: We were looking to--
TALIESIN: Just doing a little digging around. What do you know about the Lionett family, out of curiosity?
MATT: "Oh they're-- (chuckles) They're one of them rich types, living up here, on the mountainside, the cliffside, there. Bunch of stuck-up pricks, if you ask me, but, you know, that's par for the course for any of the folks living in that area."
TALIESIN: Well, just had my first meeting with them, and yeah, it was a bit rough.
MATT: "Looking for work, are ya?"
TALIESIN: I was looking for a little work, sure.
MATT: All right, what skillsets ya got?
TALIESIN: Well, we do a lot of things, to be honest. We're kind of on a job, right now, but in general--
MATT: "You good with a shovel?"
TALIESIN: Actually, yes, I am.
MATT: "All right, I got a brother who owns a livery out there. He needs someone to shovel the horseshit, and it's been hard to fill the space. He's got a lot of horses."
TALIESIN: Huh, I mean, there's a lot you can do with that. Has he ever thought about the resale value of clean manure, especially if you're trying to grow crops? Not to throw that off to the side, but anyway--
MATT: "Growing crops here can be a problem if you're not one of the particular enclosed farming arrangements, in Kamordah, and they already have their endpoint, but we've asked, but they seem to be pretty taken care of in that department."
TALIESIN: Ah, that's a shame.
LAURA: Why is everything in this bar about poop?
MARISHA: Everything in Kamordah is about poop.
TALIESIN: Yeah, sadly, I don't think it worked out, but we'll be moving on pretty soon. I was just sort of curious, after we had a bit of a weird conversation with him.
MATT: "Yeah, I mean, they're not going to hire anyone, then their loss, really. Bunch of right uptight pricks. Hmmph."
TALIESIN: Bit superstitious, too, I think. That's my goat's milk, come on.
MARISHA: Oh. Oh, this is, oh.
TALIESIN: That's just going to curdle with what you're drinking.
ASHLEY: It's very weird with the whisky. I wouldn't suggest putting the two together.
MARISHA: Why did they put them in the same jug?
TALIESIN: You're going to have cheese dream because of that.
ASHLEY: What's a cheese dream?
TALIESIN: It's the dreams you have when you have cheese. Didn't anybody know about this?
ASHLEY: I don't know if I want to know.
LAURA: We should go to sleep.
LIAM: This is almost as good as penis puppets.
TRAVIS: Cheese dreams!
ASHLEY: I've heard of these.
TALIESIN: It's true.
MATT: You already learned the dangers of whisky milk, so.
SAM: Are you okay, Beauregard?
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.
MARISHA: Surprisingly, better than I thought, actually.
SAM: Will you share a room, tonight?
MARISHA: Oh yeah, we're going to have to. These are, like, four by eights. They're horrible. Yeah.
LAURA: There's three rooms, right? Yeah, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm! Hmm?
LAURA: All right.
TALIESIN: I just keep coming up with seven. I don't know how that helps.
LAURA: All right, we're going to go to sleep then.
SAM: Good night.
MATT: Okay, you head to your respective chambers. They are disappointing.
MATT: Each contains two cots that would roughly assemble, if put next to each other, to a standard inn bed.
MATT: The cushions that are placed upon them, upon sitting down, are stuffed with possibly cotton, possibly elements of hay. Depending on how you prepare it, there are lumpy and hard bits in the inside. It's a little bit of a rough space here. No windows, so very enclosed, but functional, and the locks do work, which I think is the important thing.
LIAM: After finally putting the thread all the way around the room, Caleb just grabs some of the hay and throws it on the ground and lies down to bed down on the floor, saying: Just like the old days.
SAM: Yeah, I'll do the same.
MARISHA: I'm not going to lie, kind of miss this. It's nice being back in this. Had some good times in these shit-boxes. (laughs)
LAURA: (groans) I'm going to... What do you--
ASHLEY: I can sleep on the floor. I'm used to it anyway.
MARISHA: Honestly it's probably safer than the mattresses.
ASHLEY: I feel like, for me, it's weird sleeping on something that, you know--
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense.
ASHLEY: I'm too tall for that bed.
MARISHA: I'm immune to poison and disease, so I'll take the mattresses (laughs).
MATT: Good call.
TALIESIN: Caduceus is sleeping on the floor.
TRAVIS: That's why you're so promiscuous.
LAURA: I lean up against the wall in the corner and try to fall asleep, sitting up.
LIAM: Best reason to be a monk.
TRAVIS: Get that ass.
MATT: All of you find sleep, though at different intervals, due to levels of comfort, in the rooms that you've rented for the night. But nevertheless, sleep does come. You take your long rest, and in the morning, begin to awaken, as the heat, the trapped heat from the interior of these rooms, begins to get a little musky.
TALIESIN: There's no windows. I bet it's so rank in these rooms.
LAURA: Ew, people probably peed in the corner, too.
TALIESIN: It's like a giant gym sock.
LAURA: When they're drunk.
MATT: It's not great.
MATT: You get the sense they're somewhat cleaned between people who stay there, but being there for a night, you can immediately pick up the gentle history.
LIAM: When Caleb arises, he cantrips a little bit of flame in his hand and just sort of burns away the--
LIAM: -- the scent.
MARISHA: Caduceus, does he have any shage? Shage?
LIAM: (like Sean Connery) You got any shage, Caduceus?
MATT: (like Sean Connery) Going to cleanse the room of spirits!
MARISHA: Shage for the shnea shnake.
TALIESIN: I got stuff that smells nice in here that you can burn, yeah.
LAURA: Why don't we just get out? Why don't we just walk right out of the stinky room?
LAURA: Let's go.
MATT: All right.
SAM: Are we going to the lady's place?
LAURA: Yeah, yeah.
SAM: The witch's house or whatever she is?
TRAVIS: Old Masqier.
LAURA: We're going to go fuck up a witch.
MARISHA: Yeah, my dad said pretty much directly north of here, and then when we start seeing the bramble, thorny patches, that we're getting close.
TALIESIN: Very much have a conversation, at the very least.
LAURA: No, we need to kill her.
TALIESIN: We could do that, too. That might not help, but we could do that, too.
LAURA: Oh. We have to, like, hold her down and make her break the curse, or can we just kill her and make it break the curse?
SAM: Maybe as we walk-- or ride? Ride, we're riding as far as we can-- maybe we should come up with a plan. Like, are we trying to kill her, or is the thing to try to convince her to remove the curse, first?
TRAVIS: I think diplomacy is always smart, but I also think our setting will determine our strategy, right?
LIAM: Yes, we are running into unknown territory. We don't know the lay of the land around her home, so she knows we're coming.
LAURA: That's true.
TRAVIS: I mean, didn't your father say he made a deal?
MARISHA: Mm-hmm, she more or less takes appointments. She'll bargain with people.
TRAVIS: Talking is certainly an option.
LAURA: Oh, that's true. Maybe we can bargain with her to make her drop the curse.
SAM: Okay, what do we have to offer?
LAURA: Oh, like so many things.
LAURA: Maybe she wants a performance? She hasn't got entertainment for a long time, I bet, so like a little performance from The Orphan Makers.
ASHLEY: Yeah, I have a feeling she... doesn't want money. You know?
MARISHA: Yasha's right.
TALIESIN: You live up in the woods like that, you got everything you want like that.
TRAVIS: What do you mean? If not money, what?
MARISHA: My father always claimed that he gambled a part of his fortune away.
MARISHA: No, like--
LAURA: Like luck?
MARISHA: His soul, yeah.
LAURA: Oh (gasps), maybe that's why he's slightly soulless!
LAURA: Maybe he was normal and cool and stuff, before that, and then he became a dick.
MARISHA: I always wondered what my dad was like before that.
SAM: Or maybe she hasn't collected yet.
LAURA: Or that.
MARISHA: I don't know.
SAM: Well, we'll find out.
LAURA: Are we talking about all the stuff on the horses?
SAM: Yeah, we're moving.
TRAVIS: We are moving at a quickened pace.
MARISHA: For the longest time, I thought it was just your everyday, run-of-the-mill scam artist, another fortune-teller just trying to manipulate someone into giving them a glimpse into their future.
LIAM: They are far more common than the genuine article. Hmm.
MARISHA: Plus, I mean, like, everything my dad did was so interpretive. It's ridiculous.
SAM: Maybe I shouldn't be the one who talks to this person, because I don't know that I could just bargain with her. I mean, she's awful. I might just want to, you know. (clicks) (imitates crossbow firing)
TRAVIS: Yeah, but, I mean, if this is the same woman that made you like that, we at least need to see if she recognizes you.
TRAVIS: Well, I don't know, if we just kill her, then we're obviously limiting our options, almost right away.
LIAM: We could shackle her with these. They're the mystical shackles that we've had for a long time. This is a large cucumber.
MARISHA: It's been a while.
MATT: ♪ It's been a while ♪
LIAM: This is a Shake Weight.
MATT: The darkest of vestiges.
LIAM: How do you think I got these 10s right here?
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
LIAM: Yeah, we could go in. She knows that we are coming. We could try to weaken her a bit, and once she looks like she has been bled some, if that can happen, one of our speedier types can get up close and (clinking).
LIAM: Then we can ques-chenger, ques-- Al Swearengen her as much as we want.
MARISHA: Man, we're all just nailing it.
TRAVIS: We have a carbon monoxide detector in the studio, right?
MATT: I certainly hope we do.
LIAM: We are rehearsed to a T.
MATT: Good news is if it goes real bad, we have a lot of people who can call and send the paramedics.
LAURA: That's true.
MARISHA: No, they're dead, too.
MATT: No, I mean them.
MARISHA: Oh fuck!
SAM: If we just start passing out, one at a time, on the stream, how long would it take the audience to figure out?
TRAVIS: 25 minutes.
LIAM: As long as we're complete fuckheads, by the way, your shirt is total madness.
MATT: (laughs) Yep!
LIAM: I can't look at it.
TRAVIS: How many layers?
LIAM: It is giving me Big Bear vibes.
MATT: No, like--
TRAVIS: I think it's more than that.
MATT: Some faces, when they twist, you look kind of funny. This is, legitimately, the most nightmare fuel I've seen in a while.
TRAVIS: Yeah, your eyeballs look real--
LIAM: And this one!
LIAM: This one is bad! (laughter)
MATT: Oh god.
MATT: All right. As you guys continue leaving Kamordah and begin following into the side-winding trails that head up the cliff side, at the base of the Cyrios Mountains, heading northward, the rain still falling around you, not as heavy as yesterday, but still cold, and soaking through what you are wearing, you continue (hooves clopping) going up the somewhat slick and sometimes steep walkways until eventually you crest past the first ridge. As you hit the top and look toward the next element, it continues down into one of the many valleys that lie ahead. You can see miles and miles of deep forest that coats the mountainsides and completely fills the interior bowl and valley before you. You can see more mountains rising up all around you as the Cyrios Mountain range just continues to climb. You can see a little bit to the northwest of where you are, one mountain that rises above the rest with a deep red-orange color that you know to be Mount Mentiri, that is largely believed to be the mountain where the source of a lot of the geothermal activity comes from. As you all continue the path downward, who is leading this? Who's at the front of the pack? Who is the one who is watching the paths and guiding you, hopefully, in finding the way to your quarry?
TRAVIS: We're not burning that 6th-level spell, are we?
LAURA: Well, how long of a travel is it to get there?
MARISHA: About a day or two? A day?
MATT: Depending on your means of locomotion. Your father went by foot, and it took him, I'm guessing, about a day and a half, two days.
LAURA: Um, horses?
TRAVIS: As far as we can go on, anyway.
LAURA: I can try it, and then I just won't have a big spell.
MARISHA: Let's wait for a minute, I think.
LAURA: Okay. I can-- you know what I can do, if we want to take 10 minutes?
LAURA: I can try to ask the Traveler if he can point us in the right direction.
SAM: Well, isn't he busy getting ready for TC? T-Con?
LAURA: Yeah, but I can try.
SAM: TravCo? Okay, yeah.
LIAM: You have such an intimate relationship with him.
LAURA: Well, maybe he's seen this witch.
LAURA: I haven't asked him. Have I?
MATT: I don't believe you have.
LAURA: I haven't asked him.
SAM: Go ahead.
LAURA: All right.
(hooves clopping) (laughter)
LAURA: I hop down off of the horse.
LAURA: I set up all my statues that I've made of him.
MATT: Build a little makeshift altar, right there on the side of the pathway. There's a little alcove on the side of the rock where you can easily set them up, and it looks like it was intentional and probably has been there for a while.
LAURA: This is nice. All right, cool, cool, cool. I'm going to try to Commune.
MATT: All right, you're casting Commune, got it, okay.
LAURA: I get three questions?
MATT: You do.
MATT: As you finish arranging them in the circle, you sit down, finish part of the spell set-up is you, even arranging them in a way that is both ascending in size and geometrically placed that is pleasing to the eye. But as you finish the final bits of your incantation, you feel your smile grow, and you close your eyes and think very, very hard, in the way that you do prayer loudly, and all of you guys hear what she thinks might be her inside voice, but she speaks loudly around you.
LAURA: Traveler, okay, so, um, we're here, and I need to talk to you, and I miss you. Can you come, that was it. Will it be a question if I ask if you could come talk to me? Just come talk to me, please. Okay, that's not a question. We're communing now.
MATT: As the rain continues to fall around you, the vicinity that you're sitting has been getting slightly drier, or at least the vicinity around this little ritual you've set up seems to have no longer fallen under the rainfall, and there's a moment. It's a momentary reprieve from it. As you open your eyes and look up, you can see a green cloak blocking the rain from touching you. You see the dark hood shaded over you. Are you all watching her do this ritual?
TRAVIS and ASHLEY: Yeah.
TALIESIN, MARISHA, and LIAM: Mm-hmm.
MATT: You see emerge from the stone--
MATT: -- a figure in a green cloak step from outside of the mountain and protect her from the rain. Looking down towards you, you can see just a faint bit of the chin from what bit of light is coming through, from bouncing off the ground. And you see a smile. "It seems you called me, my dear."
LAURA: Yeah, I hope that's okay. I tried to talk to you before, and you didn't come, so I thought maybe what would be better is if I actually really set it up.
MATT: "Well, I've been very busy setting up for our coming event."
LAURA: I know, I'm so excited about it.
MATT: "I'm going to need your help here, soon enough."
LAURA: I bought so much fabric. We can make cloaks and outfits for everybody.
TRAVIS: Divine Sense.
SAM: Divine Sense? Ooh!
MATT: Okay, Divine Sense.
LIAM: Oh shit.
TRAVIS: On the giant green cloak that just came out of the rock!
ASHLEY: Oh shit.
TRAVIS: (reading) "As an action, you can detect good and evil until the end of your next turn. You can sense anything affected by the Hallow spell or know the location of each celestial, fiend, undead within 60 feet that is not behind total cover."
MARISHA: I've seen this, right? Beau saw him when we were in Asarius.
MATT: You do not sense anything.
SAM: Do not sense anything?
MATT: Do not sense anything.
TRAVIS: So not a celestial, fiend, undead.
LAURA: That's good.
SAM: Not good or evil?
TRAVIS: "Or affected by the Hallow spell." It's just Divine Sense.
MATT: Let me check the Hallow spell, real fast, just double-check. I don't remember the specifics of it, so I want to make sure.
SAM: Wait, you can sense good or evil?
TRAVIS: No, it's just--
TALIESIN: Specific types of things.
TRAVIS: You detect good and evil.
LIAM: The closest maybe would be a celestial, but really, if he is a deity, this is Liam talking, he's something other than--
MATT: Wait, it says anything that--
TRAVIS: It says, "You can sense anything affected by the Hallow spell." I don't know what that is.
MATT: Okay, you do sense something.
SAM: What does that mean? What does that even mean?
LAURA: What does it mean?
SAM: What's a Hallow spell?
MARISHA: What was that, what was that?
LAURA: Huh, what was that?
SAM: What's a Hallow spell?
MATT: You sense a presence that clicks into your attention. "What's your question?"
LAURA: Okay, so we're on our way up north to go see this, like, witch lady who's, like, super, super creepy, and she put a curse on Nott.
MATT: "That's terrible."
LAURA: I know! She also fucked with Beau's dad. So basically we want to know if you know the best way to, like, get rid of that curse. Should we talk to her? Should we attack her?
MATT: "As is the nature of such mysteries, I need you to ask me the right kind of question."
LAURA: (groans) This is getting so specific.
MATT: "I'm bound by incantations."
LAURA: Oh, really?
LAURA: Oh, this is not the way I should talk to you then, because I don't like you being bound.
MATT: "(sighs) Just ask me a proper question, please."
LAURA: What should I ask him? How should I ask this?
TALIESIN: I'm not there.
SAM: Do we hear him speaking, or is it just her?
MATT: You guys don't hear any conversation, just her side of it.
LAURA: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. To break the curse, do we need to kill her?
SAM: Which curse? She has several curses.
LAURA: He knows what curse I'm talking about.
SAM: I don't know what curse you're talking about.
LAURA: The you curse!
MATT: "That is a method."
MATT: "Best I can ascertain, but I haven't met the woman."
LAURA: Okay, I'm glad you told me that, because that was going to be one of my questions.
MATT: "But such curses, there can be many ways."
MATT: "Depends on the curse."
LAURA: Don't answer that.
TRAVIS: You're taking it all up saying, (incomplete words).
LAURA: "What is the shortest route to get to her?"
MATT: The hood curls up a bit, and you see like, he puts a finger up in a direction and looking in all, across the path, to all of you, and gives a nod to the group as the attention passes over you and points and goes, "I think that might be the path you want to take," and points, from where you're standing, you can see it switchbacks a bit and does split at some point, halfway down the mountain, as the trees begin to grow more and more dense. In the direction he's pointing, it ends up going a little further northwest.
LAURA: Okay. Is there anything we can do to help prepare ourselves to meet her?
MATT: "It's been wonderful."
LAURA: Oh come on! (laughter)
MATT: He pinches the edge of your chin.
MATT: "Now, I've got to get back to my work."
MATT: (wind whipping) He vanishes, and you guys watch as the cloak swirls, and then this dull flash of greenish blue light is gone.
LIAM: Caleb, Keen Mind, memorizes the exact path in relation to the direction north.
MATT: Fair enough.
TRAVIS: Jester, we saw everything!
SAM: That he's real.
LAURA: I know he's real.
TRAVIS: But we heard him also. That's not--
LAURA: No, you didn't.
LIAM: No, we didn't.
TRAVIS: Did we not? We heard nothing, but we saw so much!
SAM: It felt like we heard him.
LAURA: Did you see his mouth moving?
MARISHA: Did Beau see something in Asarius? I'm trying to remember. Is Beau the only one who's also actually seen Traveler stuff?
MATT: I think so, yeah.
TRAVIS and MARISHA: In the room.
MARISHA: That's right. Remember, when we saw that acolyte guy.
LAURA: Oh yeah.
MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
LAURA: That's right.
SAM: I will say this. He's very handsome.
MARISHA: He was floating cloak.
LAURA: You also can't see his face very much.
LIAM: Yeah, all I saw was a cloak.
LAURA: You can tell from, like, his posture.
SAM: I could tell from his posture!
LAURA: And did you see the bottom of his chin? I saw his chin that time.
SAM: He held himself with confidence, the way he sort of pointed and gestured, like a ballerina.
LAURA: I know, he was very graceful. There's this one point where he went like this.
TRAVIS: He's not that handsome. You're just attracted to mystery or something. I mean, you barely saw his face.
SAM: Who isn't attracted to mystery? I mean, yes, of course I am.
TRAVIS: I'm not, no. I like very upfront delivery of goods.
LAURA: Delivery of goods?
TRAVIS: No, no, no shady biz.
SAM: I'll say this about you.
SAM: You were a lot more handsome and attractive before we knew everything about you. (laughter) When you were a mysterious orphan with mysterious ties to a strange water god, that was sexy. Now you're just some creeper who--
MARISHA: What? Nott!
LIAM: I think it was more the accent, really.
SAM: That, too.
SAM: This accent is so plain.
TRAVIS: This might be the worst thing anyone's ever said to me, ever.
LAURA: That's not plain!
MARISHA: It's insanely harsh.
TRAVIS: And I grew up in an orphanage, yeah.
LAURA: I think your accent now is wonderful.
LIAM: So do I, but I just have never heard it.
LAURA: I had heard that other accent plenty, Fjord, and I like this one more.
LIAM: Maybe it's the Menagerie Coast.
ASHLEY: Have you ever seen a face?
SAM: I see Fjord all the time, but it still doesn't change the fact that he's not that attractive.
LAURA: Fjord, you're very handsome. He's very handsome.
MARISHA: Not everyone can be a centaur or whatever, okay?
LAURA: It was not a centaur. It was a minotaur.
SAM: Yeah, I got what she meant.
LAURA: I saw his face when I was younger, but that was when he looked like, you know, younger. Then as he started to get older, like he stopped showing his face as much, so I only know what he looked like as a kid.
ASHLEY: He was a kid when you met him?
LAURA: Well, yeah.
LAURA: He was, like, a couple of years older than me.
SAM: Well, you said that he sort of was whatever you needed at the time, right, like his appearance changes?
ASHLEY: Oh, that's right.
SAM: Is that what you said?
LIAM: Old stories are filled with tales of the gods taking on whatever form they want, so.
SAM: I thought you said something like that, or maybe I just thought that when you were telling us about him.
LAURA: Maybe that's what it is. I don't know.
SAM: Either way, super cool and mysterious.
LIAM: We know you got a direction.
LIAM: That way. Anything else?
LAURA: You know, he's tricky. He told me that killing her would definitely take care of the curse.
SAM: (crossbow loading)
LAURA: He also made it seem like maybe there were other ways to take care of the curse.
SAM: (crossbow unloading)
LAURA: But killing her (snaps), solid.
SAM: (crossbow loading)
LAURA: Then I tried to ask another question, and he just fucked me over, but that's okay.
SAM: So wait, is he so tricky and trickster-y that, like, if he said she's that way, he was tricking you?
LAURA: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
SAM: Okay, okay.
LIAM: He pulled one over on you, you are saying?
LAURA: (sighs) You know, that's the first time that, like, I mean, I've tried that spell before, but that's the first time he really, like, stuck to it. (groans) Maybe he's becoming more powerful, and he doesn't have time for little spells.
SAM: Well, let's proceed on.
SAM: Gather your--
LAURA: (gasps) Oh! I leave one on the rock, so anybody else that comes along can pray to him as well.
MATT: All right.
LAURA: I can make so many more. I have a lot of paint.
ASHLEY: Hiya! (laughter)
MATT: Getting back on your horse, you make your way down the pathway, over the next few hours, until eventually, you see where the path splits, and the trees grow more and more dense and taller. Taking the path that you were guided to, in a northwest direction, by the Traveler, you begin to make your way underneath the darkened canopy of the forest that claims this valley.
LIAM: We're moving slower now, right, because we're--
MATT: You have to, yeah.
LIAM: We're on the roots, okay.
MATT: You're moving faster than a walking pace, but not at a full horseback riding pace, because the pathway moves, and there are trees in the way.
LIAM: I'm going to send Frumpkin the raven up into the treetops to go from branch to branch, occasionally look down at myself to make sure I'm not going to fall off, but stay ahead and try to peer ahead, a little bit.
MATT: Who is at the front of this? Who is guiding essentially the party through the dangers of the woods?
SAM: Is it survival or perception?
MATT: Generally, I would say either-or. The DC is easier for survival.
LIAM: And Frumpkin will assist whoever's--
MARISHA: My survival's okay.
LAURA: It's okay, mine's okay.
SAM: I'm drinking.
MARISHA: Oh, okay.
MATT: I would say Frumpkin would be its own separate roll, because it is not actually with them, looking ahead.
TALIESIN: I'll assist then.
MARISHA: Okay, I'll guide. I feel vaguely responsible.
MATT: Okay, you going perception or survival?
MATT: Okay. So we're essentially beginning what is a traveling skill challenge. So you're taking survival as the first part of the skill challenge.
TALIESIN: You have advantage, though.
MATT: As part of this journey, you require four victories.
SAM: Four victories out of how many tries? We don't know.
MATT: As many tries as you want.
MATT: But four victories to complete your journey. For every failure, I roll here, to see what you encounter.
TRAVIS: Oh, yes!
LIAM: I don't want to complicate this. Frumpkin comes to my shoulder.
TRAVIS: Here, roll bad!
MARISHA: I know! Roll bad!
LIAM: Don't fuck this up for us, Marisha!
LAURA: Guidance, Guidance!
LIAM: Goddamn you!
MARISHA: I rolled a natural 20. I'm so sorry.
LAURA: Add a d4, add a d4.
MARISHA: Oh, plus four.
LIAM: She had a 20.
MARISHA: Oh wait, plus my d4.
SAM: Wait, she got a 20.
MARISHA: I got a natural 20.
SAM and LAURA: Oh!
TRAVIS: Yeah, but we got to see what she rolled.
MARISHA: 25, total.
LAURA: Natural 20 isn't bad.
LIAM: Because we want low, so we can fight a monster.
TRAVIS: I want that astral dreadnought to come out and be like, "You're inside me!"
MATT: All righty, so as you continue forward--
TRAVIS: Beautiful death.
MATT: Dark wizard music here, sound. Pushing forward for the first leg of this journey, deep into the overgrowth and dense forest that claim the middle of this valley, Beauregard keeps a keen eye, with Caduceus holding up the rear. Both eyes ahead, you watch as the path curls and turns, and there is one element where the path seems to become a bit difficult to follow. The overgrowth has claimed a lot of it. But your keen eyes combine and manages to find the remnants of it. After about another hour of travel, keeping a very close eye on where you're going, the trail picks up once more, and you prevent yourselves from being lost.
LAURA: Oh shit.
MATT: Who would like to take the next leg?
TALIESIN: I'll take the next leg.
MATT: With whatever skill you think would be appropriate to apply to this journey.
TALIESIN: Oh, so you would say change off from survival to something else?
MATT: You could do survival again, but the DC will be higher, this time. You can keep doing the same skill, but it gets higher.
TALIESIN: I'll take the perception, just since we're just seeing if we're going to hit everything. I'll do a... Or actually, you know what? I'll do animal handling. I'm going to talk to my horse and let them know: Hey, trail's getting a little rough, so I need you to keep a very, very, very close eye on things. Things might get a little rough.
MATT: All right, so leaning into the horse's instincts to guide you in the proper path away from danger, you go ahead and speak to it, pat it gently and hope that it knows the way. Go ahead.
TALIESIN: Is anyone assisting, or am I just blind?
TRAVIS: With fucking animal handling?
LAURA: I'm going to assist. I'll pat my horse too, and go: Hey, you hear--
TALIESIN: I don't know if it mattered.
LAURA: Do you hear how Caduceus is talking to--
TALIESIN: Okay, I mean. I'm giving myself Guidance, because what the heck?
SAM: I'll tell my horse: Go the right way!
TALIESIN: That's not too good. That's good. Actually, okay, it's--
LAURA: It's not bad. That is not bad.
TALIESIN: 19, 19!
LAURA: 19's good.
MATT: 19, okay.
TRAVIS: It's not terrible.
MATT: This deep into the valley, the horse confidently begins to pick up a trot (hooves clopping).
TALIESIN: Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.
MATT: You guys keep up behind it (laughs).
MATT: The density of the forest grows darker and darker. You can feel your horse getting nervous. It begins to give exclamation of (snorts) and start getting a little strange, and so it begins to dart off the path a little bit towards a clearing, where it feels more comfortable. As you guys follow suit, you come into an open clearing here, in the middle of the day, the still-clouded sky above, but it's a welcome opening to this space, and as you step out into it (hooves clopping).
MARISHA: Caduceus, is this right?
LAURA: This is pretty.
TALIESIN: We all right?
SAM: Caduceus knows the forest.
MATT: You slow for a second, a bit, and look around. The whole clearing is empty of any sort of woodland creatures.
LAURA: Do we hear any bugs?
LIAM: Hear anything?
MATT: Make a perception check.
LIAM: I'm going, too.
LAURA: Nope, don't hear shit.
MATT: 14. You pick up one quick sound (whooshes). Just in the last minute, you glance up and you can see a branch in a tree not far from you bow slightly. At the end of the branch, you see what looks to be a bird perched, mostly a bird, kind of a bird. You see bird legs grabbing on to it. You see wings that have folded. You see the feathers are black and matted, like they have oil through them. They have this shine to them, like they had pulled themselves out of a tar pit. You can see elements dripping (slurps) off the wings as they fold and shake and go back into place, but where the torso is, you see a gray-skinned female humanoid figure with long, tattered, red, wild hair that goes down to about the mid-back, this mane that pulls to the side, and you can see these yellow eyes, peering down as it grins. It's about 15 feet above you, and it just stays there and looks at you.
LAURA: Didn't harpies kill our horses?
LIAM: 15 feet above us right now?
MARISHA: Harpies ate our horses when we were Vox Machina.
MATT: About 15 feet above you.
LAURA: (laughs) Oh no!
MATT: As you glance up and make eye contact, it goes (screeches), "You lost, flesh? I ask your purpose (snarls). Despair makes flesh tasty."
LAURA: Well, it's good that we're so happy then.
SAM: We are very content, yes.
MATT: "(hisses) Where you go (snarls)?"
SAM: Uh, we're looking for mushrooms in the woods for our papa.
LAURA: For dinner, for supper, he sent us looking for mushrooms in the woods.
MATT: "(laughs)" And it starts laughing. You hear laughter "(laughs)" in the trees around you, and you glance up and notice now there are numerous of these creatures that were perched in the trees that were just waiting, resting, hunting, who knows? But they're there now.
TRAVIS: We have a meeting with the witch Isharnai. Do you know her?
MATT: "(snarls) We know of her. Mean witch."
TRAVIS: Mean witch.
LAURA: Mean witch.
SAM: Witch, she's a witch.
TRAVIS: Mean, mean.
TALIESIN: Why is she mean?
MATT: "You'll find out. Or maybe not," as she says that, her jaw hangs open a little longer than it should, and you see the tongue (slurps) loll out, and as it does, this darkened spittle (slurps) flings outward and (splats) spatters into the ground, about three feet from you. The horse backs up a bit.
LAURA: This horse led us here!
SAM: I'm going to turn invisible.
LIAM: You wouldn't mind if we had a grievance with her? Perhaps there is something we could trade to come through.
MATT: "Trade maybe. What you have to trade?"
LIAM: Many things.
TRAVIS: Hey, Nott, offer yourself up.
SAM: (through clenched teeth) I'm invisible.
MATT: Nott's horse's saddle is empty.
MARISHA: Hang on, I pull my horse back. Nott, get on my horse.
SAM: Oh, okay. I will stealthily switch horses.
MATT: "What trade?"
LIAM: Caleb holds up a big glass jar full of boba and says: Perhaps you are hungry for something sweet?
MARISHA: I trot up with the horse and add the horse to the offering.
LIAM: The horse is the sweet part, and this is for nutritional value.
MATT: "What is in?"
LIAM: This is enough to fill your belly for a day, and you needn't savage anything.
MATT: (squawking) You see all the other harpies in the trees flap down a few branches. They're still above, but they're much closer and circling in a bit as the one that you're talking to, who you can plainly see is larger than the others and seems to hold a position of power or leadership within this cluster, (whooshes) and fly down in your direction, right towards you (whooshes).
MARISHA: So yays, yays or nays? No, sorry, keep going, keep going, sorry.
MATT: Then (whooshes), lands (crackles) on the ground in front of you. (clicking) Walks up, right up to the front and like--
LIAM: Uncorks it.
MATT: The smell is terrible. You've dealt with seafaring harpies. These are larger and more grotesque, both in their hygiene and (sighs), these are terrifying harpies. The teeth are much sharper and jagged, reminiscent of some of the worst goblin jaws you've seen. It seems that their sweat is a thick oil that both protects and seeps into their feathers. That's why they have that glistening shine to them. The sweat has a dark-brown coloration to it, where it looks like they had just been doused in oil or blood of some kind, and it just stayed. "(snarling)"
LIAM: Caleb is going to lean down and place the jar into one of the saddlebags of the free horse and gives it a little nudge on the tuckus.
MATT: She goes ahead and heads up to, you leave it open?
LIAM: That's, like, nine days worth.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
MARISHA: Come on, Caleb.
LIAM: I kind of want to fail it. I kind of want to fight.
MARISHA: (chuckles) Natural 20.
LIAM: It's a one.
TRAVIS: Oh, is it really?
LAURA: No, no? Why would you say that? Because you're rolling.
LIAM: Got what I wanted.
MATT: (coughing) And just spits them out, and they (splatting) onto the ground and spatter. (whooshing)
TALIESIN: We were saving that.
MATT: "(screeches)" Everyone needs to roll initiative.
SAM: Guys, this much needed combat is powered by Dwarven Forge, everything you need to know, everything you need to know in life is at dwarvenforge.com. Oh boy, here come the maps.
ASHLEY: Oh, we have a map!
SAM: ♪ Get out the map ♪ ♪ Get out the map ♪
MATT: Let's see if I have enough--
SAM: Vintage Indigo Girls.
MATT: Horses at the table here.
LIAM: ♪ Here come the runts ♪
SAM: Turn down the horses!
ASHLEY: ♪ Turn down for what ♪
MATT: All righty.
MARISHA: Are har-harpies going to get-- are your horses going to--
LIAM: Are you're har harpies?
SAM: Har, har harpies.
TALIESIN: They're going to get harpies.
ASHLEY: Let's try to save them. First try to save them.
MARISHA: Are they going to get harpied again?
MATT: Totally didn't have quite as many horses here, but I got a couple of wolves that we'll just consider to be--
TALIESIN: Technically, Nott has a pony.
ASHLEY: Look at the little babies.
MATT: So these will be--
LAURA: Look at that.
MATT: There as well.
LAURA: We've got lots of horses.
TALIESIN: Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.
LAURA and ASHLEY: Dead, dead, dead, dead.
MATT: Beauregard, you're there, Nott at the back of that one.
ASHLEY: Their hair's moving because they're running.
LIAM: Caleb is right at the front. This is the one that was offered.
MATT: Where are the rest of you guys? Which horses are yours?
LAURA: I'll be on that black one in the middle.
MATT: All righty.
ASHLEY: I'll be the one on the end.
TALIESIN: Yeah, go ahead.
ASHLEY: I'm going to be that one on the left here. Your right.
TRAVIS: ♪ White horses ♪
SAM and MARISHA: ♪ Couldn't take me away ♪
TALIESIN: I'll be by the one in the back there.
MATT: Over here?
MATT: All right, step forward, that will put you there. You got it, all right.
TALIESIN: Oh boy.
MATT: The matron is backed up here and has actually, at this point now, flown up to that point in the sky.
TRAVIS: Let's get going, get going.
MATT: I'm getting some proper battle music into here.
ASHLEY: ♪ Boop a doop, a doop, bum, bum, bum ♪
TALIESIN: ♪ Bum, bum, bow, bum, bow, bow, bum, bum ♪
SAM: ♪ Hi, di, diddle, dor, dubble dee ♪
MATT: We then have, up in here, these are some of the other--
TALIESIN: That looks like something out of the Return of Oz movie.
LAURA: Oh, we were just talking about that.
TRAVIS: Oh shit, we be surrounded by some eagle flamingos.
LIAM: We're going to Florida.
ASHLEY: ♪ Di, dah, dah, doo ♪
MARISHA: Spring break!
ASHLEY: Oh boy.
MATT: Let me get this one over.
TALIESIN: I hate all of it.
MATT: We'll set a couple here with that. That one will be up here.
LAURA: How many are there? ♪ One, two, three, four, five ♪ ♪ Six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 ♪
LIAM: ♪ Dah, dah, dah-dah, dah-dah, dah, dah, dah ♪
MATT: And we'll say over here. All right.
LAURA: Cool, cool, cool.
MATT: I'm sure it's fine, guys. All right, move it up here.
TRAVIS: Oh shit.
SAM: Oh boy, here we go, here we go, here we go.
MATT: So initiative here.
ASHLEY: (sighs) We haven't done this in a minute.
TALIESIN: Yep, been a while.
MARISHA: ♪ It's been a while ♪
MATT: Oh, okay. 25 to 20?
LAURA: Oh, I didn't even roll, sorry, sorry.
SAM: Uh, 2-- nope (laughs).
MATT: 21, all right.
SAM: Yeah! That's that Ashley roll.
LAURA: What, what!
TRAVIS: Yasha, Jester, Beau, right?
MARISHA: Beau, Yasha, Jester.
MATT: 20 to 15?
MARISHA: I rolled a 23. What did you say?
MATT: 15 to 10?
MATT: 14 for-- let's see here.
TRAVIS: I can't. Already checked out.
MARISHA: What were you?
MATT: Then Fjord, a--?
MATT: 12, got it, all right. So the beginning of the round, Beau, you are up first with Yasha on deck. You can see them now all ready to leap off the trees and swarm in.
MARISHA: So none in range?
MATT: At the moment, no. All you hear is the chorus of screeches all around you. (screeching)
MARISHA: I slap Water Closet and I say: Be free! and give him a slap on the ass.
MATT: All right, taking Nott with it.
MARISHA: No, no. Nott was on mine.
MATT: Oh, you're slapping the one in front.
MARISHA: The free one that I was offering.
MATT: Oh, I see, I see. All right, in which you are invisible, so I'll put that little marker there.
MARISHA: Yeah, not that one.
MATT: Okay, sorry. Okay, it'll be your action to do that, just as a heads up.
MATT: To reach forward, because you're on horseback, to reach forward and slap it enough to send it off, that'll be your action.
MARISHA: Bonus action, Patient Defense. That's what I was going to do.
MATT: Okay, got it. I'll say as part of that, the horse runs off.
MARISHA: Hopefully, he's a distraction. I don't know.
MATT: We'll say at the top, so it just swoops and can then use galloping away at the moment.
LAURA: One horse makes it.
MATT: Patient Defense with that bonus action. Yasha, you're up first. Jester, you're on deck.
ASHLEY and LAURA: Okay.
ASHLEY: I would like to rage.
MATT: You got it.
LIAM: That's like a dot-com.
ASHLEY: ♪ Dot-Com ♪ Okay, so could I jump off my horse? I mean, will that be considered an action, if I jump off the horse?
MATT: No, jumping off would be half your movement.
ASHLEY: All right, I'm going to jump off the horse and start running towards this bitch over here.
MATT: Two, three. You can get right underneath it.
MATT: It's not within range, though.
ASHLEY: Not within range?
MATT: It's about 10 feet up.
ASHLEY: Fuck! Okay, so I will just-- I'll just rage and--
MATT: You can hold your action if you want to.
ASHLEY: I'll tell it to come down, when it's in range.
MATT: Okay, so when it comes within range, you'll make an attack?
MATT: You got it. All right, that finishes your go. Jester, you're up.
LAURA: I'm going to... cast... Spiritual Guardians!
MATT: Spiritual Guardians, okay.
LAURA: At 5th-level.
MATT: Oh, damn, what's the radius on that, again?
LAURA: That is 15 feet around me.
MATT: 15 feet around you, all right. We'll go ahead and put it--
LAURA: So a array of really buff-looking, pink, flying unicorns. They're really muscly, because they're 5th-level.
LAURA: Some of them have, like, two horns.
MATT: Nice, nice.
LAURA: Yeah. And, like, razor claws for their hooves.
MATT: Okay, so with that situated in place.
SAM: Protect everyone or just you?
LAURA: Anything that enters within the 15-foot radius of me gets, that I don't designate, anybody that's a friend doesn't get attacked.
LAURA: They'll take 5d8.
MATT: By that rule, you guys would be dead a long time ago.
MATT: All right, so you have that situated. Are you going to stay in place, or are you going to try and kick your horse to move somewhere?
LAURA: I'm going to try to stay within range of everybody around me, to try to give them protection, since I'm in the middle here. So I'm going to stay in the middle as much as I can. I need to move forward a little bit.
MATT: Move forward a little bit, probably would be the best way to handle that, so you move forward, to there, on horseback.
MATT: All right. Then we'll say you'll put pretty much everybody within the radius, with you on top of the horse.
MATT: Got it. That finish your turn, Jester?
LAURA: Yeah, because my bonus is, I don't think I have much of anything.
MATT: All righty, it is now the gorefeather harpies' turn.
MARISHA: Gorefeather harpy.
SAM: Gorefeather! The gorefeather harpy invented the internet.
MARISHA: (laughs) That was good.
MATT: This one swoops down here. This one swoops down here to pincer attack Fjord, just outside of the radius of the unicorns.
LAURA: Sorry, Fjord.
TRAVIS: It's okay.
MATT: This one here's going to swoop down to attack you, Caduceus. This one is going to go swoop down towards you, Yasha. This one is going to head in towards Beau. Let's say right there.
MARISHA: What do the guardians do?
MATT: The one that's going after Beau, I think will just touch the radius.
MATT: Most likely. So is it a wisdom save?
LAURA: Let me see, wisdom save, yes.
MATT: That is going to be a 10.
LAURA: Woo, failed! So that is 5d8 radiant damage.
MATT: Roll damage on that.
MARISHA: Oh fuck!
LAURA: Yeah! ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ ♪ Huh, huh, huh ♪ 11, 12, 13, 14. 14, 21, 25, 26, 32.
MATT: Woo! As it swoops in, its claws up in the air, going in towards Beauregard, it immediately gets slammed with four of these muscular, screaming unicorns, that just rush into it, stabbing with its horns, and you see it (screeching) pull back a bit, its blood everywhere, mixed in with whatever its oil is. It's hurt pretty bad.
LAURA: I rolled 8d8 instead of 5d8.
LAURA: So I'll take the 14, which was the first four numbers, then I'm just going to roll the second one again, if that's cool.
MATT: Okay, go for it.
LAURA: Okay, so that's 18 damage.
MATT: Still hurt, but not as bad as you thought (laughs).
MARISHA: I just look over my shoulder at Jester. Huh.
MATT: All right, the one that's going towards Caduceus, it lands and it gives out a horrifying screech (screeches) that echoes out, and all of you feel it piercing your ears. I need everybody to make a wisdom-saving throw, if you please.
SAM: Oh no, oh nos! Oh noes!
TRAVIS: 23, natural 20.
LIAM: Natural 20.
SAM: Natural one.
LAURA: Natural one.
MATT: Nott, you are frightened.
MARISHA: The universe demands balance, man.
MATT: You are frightened of the one over here, by Caduceus. One? You are also frightened. Caduceus?
MATT: 16, all right. The rest of you manage to resist the effect. Those two immediately become filled with fear, as its screech tends to pierce your mind and your sense of confidence. Knowing it's there and you're being surrounded, you can feel the adrenaline pumping in your system and the urge to just run. It's that one. There are two against you, Fjord, that both have you flanked. They're going to get advantage on their attacks.
MATT: The first one, (laughs) okay, that's a 13.
TRAVIS: That misses.
MATT: Yeah, even with advantage, it was a one and a seven.
TRAVIS: Oh (laughs).
MATT: The other one, on the opposite end, that's a little better. That'll be a 24 to hit.
TRAVIS: That hits.
MATT: That one deals-- oof, that is 10 points of slashing damage to you.
MATT: Then the one attacking you, Beauregard, has disadvantage on the strike, because you did Patient Defense. That is going to be another 13 to hit.
MATT: Misses (whooshes), you duck out of the way on that one.
MARISHA: Preternatural Counter. Preternatural Counter?
TRAVIS: Preternatur-- preternatural?
TALIESIN: Preter, preter neutral.
TRAVIS: Not prenatal.
MATT: Preternatural Counter.
MATT: I think the effect takes place after you've marked something or analyzed it.
LIAM: It means you have to pee on it.
MARISHA: You might be right.
TRAVIS: Pee on stuff more.
MATT: But next time you do that, you can totally do that.
MARISHA: Goddamn it.
MATT: I know. Then there's the one attacking you, Yasha. Natural one. They are rolling terrible.
MATT: All right, that's their turn. Nott, you're up. Caduceus, you're on deck.
SAM: Because I'm frightened, I have disadvantage on attack rolls?
MATT: Correct, and you cannot move closer.
LAURA: Against everything, or just against that one creature?
MATT: While you're within sight of it or you can see it, you have disadvantage on attack rolls.
SAM: So that negates sneak attack?
MATT: Yes, unless their adjacent to somebody.
MATT: And you cannot move closer to that one. That is the source of your fear.
SAM: Then I will yelp and run away from it, towards the mother harpy.
MARISHA: Two stars.
MATT: All righty.
MATT: How much you want to move to? One, two, three.
SAM: Right under the mother harpy.
MATT: Gotcha, yeah, because you're invisible, it doesn't get an attack of opportunity, doesn't even know you're there.
SAM: Okay, I can still attack things, just not that one?
TALIESIN: Technically, Yasha also would've gotten an attack, since she was within--
MATT: That's right.
ASHLEY: Oh, oh, yes.
MATT: Go ahead and roll your attack on that guy.
TRAVIS: ♪ Enjoy raging ♪
MATT: 15 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.
ASHLEY: Yes, okay. Let me get all my pieces. Ooh, okay, 11, 12, 13. 23 points of damage.
MATT: 23 points of damage? Ooh! You take a hearty chunk out of that harpy. Just as it swoops down and strikes towards you, you duck out of the way and spin around with the momentum and just slam your blade into the side of it's back. (pained screech) It stumbles to the ground and limps forward a few steps, before (whooshes) it starts getting back up. It's hurt. Finishing your turn, Nott.
SAM: I will take out my crossbow and aim it, but I find I'm shaking so much I can't get a true aim, so I will spend my action and bonus action consuming alcohol.
MATT: (laughs) Okay, fair enough. So action and bonus action, six seconds of straight chugging, that'll make you drunk.
MATT: So you shrug off the fear, but you're also now drunk.
TRAVIS: Is that because you were afraid, or it does something to add to your fighting?
MATT: It's a character choice, Travis.
SAM: I am now immune to fright.
MATT: All right, Caduceus, you're up. Caleb, you're on deck.
TALIESIN: Just the one thing you can do. Are you immune to fear? No, okay.
LAURA: Caduceus, it's your turn.
TALIESIN: Oh, it's my-- oh, I'm up, okay.
MATT: Best way to describe these, except for the one that Yasha hit, I think most of these are technically still partially in the air. That's how they're striking from up and adjacent, except for that one that Yasha was fighting. It's off the ground.
TALIESIN: Okay, I like what you did, Jester. That was cool, so I'm also going to cast Spirit Guardians at level four.
MATT: Damn, all righty. People be liking them guardians.
TRAVIS: People be liking them guardians.
TALIESIN: That's true.
LAURA: What do yours look like?
TALIESIN: Oh, mine are little iridescent beetles and little flying insects. It's just that look, and little dragonflies.
SAM: Are they a complementary color to Jester's?
LAURA: Well, yeah.
TALIESIN: Oh yeah, it's all that nice iridescent oil slick look.
LAURA: Blues and purples and greens and stuff.
MATT: So they are also swirling around.
LAURA: I imagine there's at least one red dragonfly, though.
TALIESIN: Oh, I would hope so.
LAURA: Okay, good.
TALIESIN: My god.
MATT: (sighs) Two clerics in the party. Now I need two 15-foot ones.
MATT: Let's see if I got something here.
SAM and LAURA: (singing along to background music)
MATT: Here, since you said iridescent--
TALIESIN: Oh yeah!
MATT: I'll go ahead and use this rainbow circle to mark that one.
MATT: There we go.
TALIESIN: That's everything I've ever wanted.
LAURA: That's perfect!
MATT: There you go.
TALIESIN: All right.
LAURA: Oh good.
TALIESIN: So I'm going to I guess use my bonus action to tell all the horses to stay in the circle. All of you stay in the circle; it should be okay.
MATT: All the horses head look (snorts). look back at you, acknowledging.
TALIESIN: We're working on it. Yeah, since that's my action and my bonus action, yeah, I don't want to step out with that one that's next to me, so.
TALIESIN: Yeah, I've got good coverage right now, so.
MATT: You got it. All right, finishing Caduceus' turn--
TALIESIN: The two that are in there take damage immediately, right?
MATT: Does it say they take it immediately
LAURA: They take it on the top of their turn, when they enter the circle.
TALIESIN: Affected creature speed is halved in this area, by the way.
TALIESIN: Yeah, enters the first time or starts its turn there.
MATT: Right, so next time, in their turn, they'll take it. All right, Caleb, you're up.
LIAM: Caleb is rummaging through his pockets as he backs up, away from the main harpy, into the horses, bumps into Jester and says: Oh, are you okay?
LIAM: Instantly turns around and slaps bat shit and sulfur together and a Fireball flies up, out of the air, and explodes up and behind the main harpy there, level four.
MATT: Right there? All right.
MATT: It explodes.
LAURA: He used the thingy.
MATT: The entire vicinity of this open glade brightly lights up as fire bursts in the air, engulfing this harpy matron you see (whooshes) now fall about 10 feet before having to catch herself back up in the space she was. That is going to be, ooh, that's a bad roll. (groans) That is a nine on the dex save.
LIAM: Total of 26.
MATT: 26 damage, woo! Still holding herself in the air, a bit burned and charred, smoke come emerging, and some of the feathers have curled back, edges of them glowing orange, like cinders from the Fireball, but still standing there, angrily, now staring in your direction.
LIAM: I will crouch six inches lower, amongst the horses. And that'll be my turn.
MATT: Fair enough. It is now the harpy matron's turn.
LAURA: Oh no.
MATT: Angrily, it's going to (whooshes) swoop in and keep that same height against you. We'll say for the purposes of this--
LAURA: Does that take 5d8?
MATT: It does. It makes its wisdom save as it comes into the range. That is going to be 14.
MATT: Does not succeed.
LAURA: Ooh, that's good.
LAURA: (counting) 29.
LAURA: That was a much better roll.
TALIESIN: Oh yeah.
MATT: Swoops in and gets assaulted by the barrage of super, super, super-buff, tiny unicorns.
MATT: Piercing and screaming past, it takes the damage but continues to push through, eyes on the prize, towards Mr. Caleb there. It's going to make two attacks with its claws. First strike. It's going to be a 17 to hit.
MATT: Shield, all righty. (hums) Shield goes up and deflects the first volley of claws. The second attack is a natural 20.
MATT: Because you can do that with your reaction, yup.
MATT: So you suffer nine points of slashing damage, Caleb.
LIAM: Yeah, okay.
TRAVIS: That should've been so much worse.
SAM: (sings "Duel of the Fates")
MATT: You now see all the unicorns swirling and battering, and it's right above Caleb, taking the hits, but wanting to look intent to try and grab and yank out of that space. That brings us to Fjord's turn. Fjord, what are you doing?
TRAVIS: I am going to cast Armor of Agathys on myself.
MATT: Okay, there you go. Looking around, the harpies to each side of you, scraping and clawing at you, and you're trying to shrug them off and use the blade to deflect it. You put your hand up, touch the front of your chest and watch as this heavy set of jagged, spiked ice, (whooshes) encases the front of his torso. You can see freezing mist drifting off of his upper torso as the spell takes effect.
MATT: Yeah, 5th-level, so you have 25 temporary hit points.
TRAVIS: Yes, and that is it.
MATT: All right, finishing your turn. Top of the round, Beau, you're up. Yasha, you're on deck.
MARISHA: All right, I'm going to go after the one that's right in front of me. I'm going to grab it by its beaky face, and pop, pop!
MATT: Go for it. Take your strikes!
ASHLEY: Bob Bob!
MARISHA: Bob Bob!
TALIESIN: Bob Bob!
MARISHA: Bob one and Bob two, ooh! Oh, oh my god, those are both 18s, natural 18s, so 28 for both of them.
MATT: Both of them hit.
LAURA: Bob packs a punch.
ASHLEY: Bob packs a punch.
MARISHA: Oh, wait, wait, wait wait, wait, wait.
LIAM: Ba-Barbara Ann? Yeah.
MARISHA: ♪ Ba ba Bob, ba Barbara Ann ♪
ASHLEY: ♪ Ba ba ba ♪
MARISHA: The first one is 12, total. The second one is 14, total.
MATT: So the first two hits. (thuds) You see it (screeches) pulls back. First, it hits in the torso. The second one actually strikes in the jaw, and some of the jagged, spiked teeth go flying off in the side. It withdraws for a moment, and then you see it going back in, angrily, about to retort. You still have your bonus action.
MARISHA: This one was getting close, after the death unicorns, right?
MATT: This one didn't quite make it into the death unicorns. It was the one against Caduceus did. This one is just out of the range from where it should be standing.
MARISHA: Are the death unicorns still going?
MATT: They're still going.
MARISHA: Can I grab it by its neck and thrust it into the--
MATT: That would've been your action to attempt that.
MARISHA: Ah, fuck, titties, ass.
MATT: Bonus action, you still got, but yeah, that would've been a full action to try and do that.
ALL: ♪ Titties, ass, ass and titties ♪
MATT: Ah, DJ Assault.
MATT: Thinking of you.
MARISHA: Okay, question, if I Extract Aspects on one of these harpies--
LIAM: ♪ Extract that ass ♪
MARISHA: ♪ Extract those aspects ♪
MATT: Does it affect them all? Yes.
MARISHA: Does it affect them all? And then I can Preternatural Counter any of them?
MATT: Yup, and any future ones you encounter.
MARISHA: He makes the names.
TRAVIS: I know. Just say (mumbles).
SAM: (slurring) Preternatural Counter.
TRAVIS: I feel like you need to apologize to a few countries.
MARISHA: Looking at him--
LIAM: What does pasteurization have to do with this?
MARISHA: Flurry of Beaus!
MATT: Go for it. Flurry of Beaus. (laughs) That never gets old.
MARISHA: That one's cocked. Oh, both were bad. 16 and 13.
MATT: 16, both hit.
MATT: Not a super high AC on these basic-- these general gorefeather harpies, not a high AC.
TRAVIS: These basic bishes?
MATT: Yes, if you will, if you will.
MARISHA: 12 for the first one, nope.
TALIESIN: I'm glad that we both went to Spiritual Guardians.
LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MARISHA: No, sorry, 10 for the first one.
MATT: All righty.
MARISHA: And 13, five, six, yeah, 13 for the second one.
MATT: Okay, so.
MARISHA: Extract those aspects.
MATT: So after the two first hits, you pull back as one of its claws goes by your face. You grab the back of its leg, and with your fist, slam it into its back and hold on to its spine, and you let your ki pass into it for a second, and as you do, you immediately understand a lot of its physical weaknesses and where the interior of it is. They are resistant to necrotic damage.
MATT: With that, you pull your hand back and also realize, "Oh man, that spine's pretty brittle." You punch a second time in there, and (cracks) you feel it snap and it (groans) just goes limp in your grasp and falls to the ground.
MARISHA: As I'm holding the dead turkey, can I turn to the group and say: Don't use death magic!
MATT: You got it.
TRAVIS: Put the pencil down.
LAURA: That's a PSA.
TRAVIS: Put the pencil down.
MATT: (laughs) Does that finish your turn, Beau?
MATT: Yasha, you're up. Jester, you're on deck.
ASHLEY: I'm going to keep attacking the one that's right next to me.
TRAVIS: Fuck it up!
ASHLEY: That's cocked. Ooh, okay, 22.
MATT: 22 hits.
TRAVIS: Get it!
TALIESIN: (dramatic humming)
ASHLEY: The first hit--
ASHLEY: 22 for the first attack.
MATT: 22 points of damage, all righty.
ASHLEY: Second attack, oh, that might not hit. Oh no, 14.
MATT: 14 hits.
MATT: Roll damage a second time.
ASHLEY: Okay. You know what, I'm going to try this other thing that I have. Where did it go? Savage Attacker, where you can--
MATT: Re-roll the damage die?
ASHLEY: Once per turn, where you can re-roll the damage, but you can use either total.
ASHLEY: So let me see if I can roll better than that. Yes, that was much better.
TALIESIN: It certainly couldn't be worse.
ASHLEY: 20 total!
MATT: 20 total, all right, so after it struck down towards you, and you dodged it and then sliced it once, last round, and it fell to the ground, it begins (whooshes) getting itself back up. As that happens, you take the blade, spin it around and jam it into its abdomen. (gags) It's still there, holding it. Both of its wings folding on it from the impact. You take your foot, press down its own foot on the ground, and then arc the blade up and carve it right in half, from the belly up, and it splays down the middle and flops onto the ground.
TRAVIS: I need lessons. Give me lessons.
ASHLEY: Two down!
TRAVIS: Did you say tuna?
ASHLEY: Two down!
LAURA: Two down!
TRAVIS: Oh! (laughter)
TRAVIS and ASHLEY: Tuna!
LIAM: What is wrong with us?
TRAVIS: It's a dope battle cry.
TALIESIN: That's her new battle cry.
MATT: She's taken a lot of hits.
MATT: She's still reeling from that pit fight. All right, so there are two right there that are beginning their turn in the circle of Caduceus'. One, actually, one that's in both of your guys' radius and one that's just in Caduceus'. Go ahead and roll your damage, Jester.
MARISHA: You got lucky!
LAURA: (counting) Ooh! 26.
MATT: 26, it did roll a natural 19.
LAURA: Okay, so half that.
MATT: So half that, so it's 13 damage to it. Then, Caduceus, how much damage did your roll?
TALIESIN: (counting) 22.
MATT: Okay, both of them failed their saves. The one that's been assaulting you gets pummeled with a bunch of unicorns, stabbing at its side and neighing. As they rush into its side, it rears around and tries to scrape them away with its claws as this swirling mass of beetles (hums) curls over its body and begins--
TALIESIN: It's like the '90s Mummy movie, yeah.
MATT: Yeah, it completely obfuscates its torso. You hear it screeching within, and as the bugs pull away, there's just bones where the torso once was. And it collapses to the ground.
MARISHA: Yeah, hey, hey!
ASHLEY: I got way too excited about that reference.
TALIESIN: Yeah, it's the best.
MATT: The two now focusing on you.
TALIESIN: Yeah, the other one took the damage.
MATT: They did, yeah. Both with advantage. The first one is taking two strikes. Ooh, holy shit! Two natural 20s. No joke.
LAURA: They get to go before me? They do get to go before me?
MATT: Oh, it was your turn. That's right, I messed up on that.
LAURA: That's okay, because I--
SAM: You keep those 20s.
MATT: I'm going to keep them, depends on if they can. Sorry.
LAURA: So I wanted to move that direction towards the ones attacking Fjord, to get them within my 15 feet.
MATT: Okay, okay, I'll allow that.
LAURA: Cool, cool, cool.
MATT: And you still have your action.
LAURA: Am I still frightened?
TALIESIN: That one's dead.
MATT: That one's dead, so you are no longer frightened.
LAURA: Oh wait, would it have been after my turn that he died?
MATT: It would have, yeah.
LAURA: So I am still frightened.
MATT: So you are still frightened. So you have to move adjacent to go there.
LAURA: Cool, cool, cool, so I'll go that direction and then spell attacks, I would still get disadvantage on a spell attack?
LAURA: Okay, so instead of doing a spell, I'm going to do a Sacred Flame at the matron.
MATT: Okay. That is a wisdom--?
LAURA: That's a dexterity save.
MATT: Oh, it's a dexterity. Oh, that's a 17.
LAURA: 17 is what she needed.
MATT: Yeah, so she (whooshes) darts out of the way. All right, so now we go to the harpies' turn.
MATT: Your fear is gone now, because it has died. Those two that are there, both get to roll to see if they get hit by your element.
MATT: That would be--
LAURA: Oh wait, I won't roll again.
MATT: 17 and a 15.
LAURA: The 17 saves.
MATT: Okay. The 15 fails.
LAURA: Yes. And that was what I rolled before, I'm assuming. Do you want to just use the damage that I did the first time.
MATT: Oh, that's right. We'll keep the 26, right?
LAURA: That was a 28.
LAURA: 26, yes.
TALIESIN: We are alive and caffeinated.
LAURA: This all makes perfect sense.
MATT: They're both really hurt. Then there's the one that attacked you twice. Dual critical, they're still on my tray if you want to see them.
TALIESIN: I still don't have my reaction back, so there's nothing I can do.
MATT: Now you've already taken damage, correct?
MATT: Okay, so their Smell of Blood ability kicks in, so they do an additional bit of damage for each strike. So the first one is going to be 25 points of slashing damage, for the first strike.
TRAVIS: Okay, he takes 25 points of cold damage off of that strike.
MATT: As the ice bursts, it entirely freezes the harpy. As it strikes you, you go (impacts, shrieks) falls back and (splats).
MATT: Shatters into the ground, T-1000 style.
LAURA: All the unicorns around him go, "Yay!"
MARISHA: (laughs) Me, me, me!
MATT: Actually, it wouldn't gotten its second attack.
TRAVIS: Because it took away the second attack?
MATT: There's two attacks each, for this one.
MARISHA: Have you seen Happy?
MATT: So the second actually doesn't happen. The other one attacks--
SAM: The Pharrell Williams music video?
TALIESIN: No, the happy unicorn.
MATT: 23 and 19.
TRAVIS: They both hit.
MATT: Okay. First one does eight points of slashing damage. It takes--
TRAVIS: 25 points.
MATT: (laughs) It also dies.
SAM: Oh snap!
MARISHA: Oh my god, it's so cool.
TRAVIS: But that is the end of the Armor of Agathys.
MATT: Okay, so both of them, as they both strike you, at approximately the same time, you feel the impact, and as soon as that hits, the spell ricochets back as all the ice off your body sprays, (explosion), shooting hundreds of shards of icicle-like blades of ice into both of them, and they fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces.
MATT: That finishes their go. Nott, you're up. The only standing one right now is the matron that's been harrying.
LAURA: And you're invisible.
SAM: I will attack her with my crossbow.
MATT: All righty.
SAM: Not the greatest attack. Shit. Only a 16.
SAM: Oh! I assume sneak attack?
SAM: Ah, yeah.
ASHLEY: (laughs) Yeah.
SAM: 24 plus six is 30, plus I'll do Fury of the Small, 41.
MATT: How do you want to do this?
MARISHA: Ass and titties.
ASHLEY: Ass and titties.
SAM: In my drunken state, I will stumble, fall down, and it'll accidentally shoot.
MATT: Perfect! As you do so, the Invisibility fades, right as you're mid-fall.
MATT: As you do (twangs), takes off. The gorefeather harpy matron, who's currently in the process of about to sink its claws into the eyes of Caleb, who's rushing and looking behind, just as it swoops down (snarls), large, heaping claws are ready to just carve into its face, hears the "oh!" It glances over the shoulder, and from the perspective of the bolt, (screams) and goes right in under the jaw and emerges most of the way through the other side of the head.
SAM: It's a unicorn!
MATT: This eye gets pushed a little out of the socket, from the pressure behind the bolt.
TRAVIS: Mission: Impossible III.
MATT: It (whooshes) instinctually tries to fly, gets about five feet before it arcs and (thuds).
LIAM: Now it's sad.
MATT: Tumbles onto the ground.
TALIESIN: Like an off-balance kite with the string. No, no, no!
LIAM: And stay down!
SAM: Did I hit it?
TALIESIN: I mean--
MARISHA: Like a fail video from Texas. Whoa!
LIAM: (ricochet pinging)
LAURA: (stuttering) That went pretty well, right?
TALIESIN: Yeah, come back, come back, WC, everything's okay. I think it's all done. We're good.
LAURA: Does the horse stop?
MATT: The horse eventually does stop.
LAURA: (laughs) It takes a moment--
MARISHA: We got him back!
MATT: A moment to find the horse. But you do manage to retrieve him.
LAURA: All right, all right. How many successes did we get before, just two? No, that was a failure.
MATT: One success and one failure.
LAURA: Oh, fuck.
SAM: Oh god, it's a long road ahead.
MATT: So your horses regathered and pushing forward into the next length of this journey, you're now in the middle of the first valley and making your way up the next path in the northwestern direction, over the next mountain ridge. Who is helming this next leg of the journey?
LAURA: I'll do it.
MATT: Okay, how would you like to help and aid the travel, at this portion?
LAURA: I'm assuming Sleight of Hand and... Medicine don't really help much.
MATT: If you can come up with a very creative way, you can attempt with a very high DC.
LAURA: Nope, I'm just going to use Perception.
TALIESIN: Oh, you don't need me. You can do your own.
LAURA: No, yeah, I'm going to guide myself, but does anyone want to help me keep an eye out? Anyone?
ASHLEY: I'll help.
MATT: All right.
LAURA: All right.
LIAM: Gentle giant.
SAM: Oh, oh, good, good.
ASHLEY: (low voice) Okay.
TRAVIS: ♪ Ho, ho, ho ♪
ASHLEY: ♪ Green Giant ♪
LAURA: Where's the four? Thank you. 21 plus four, 25.
MATT: 25, all right, this is the second success.
MATT: Aiding yourself up through this portion of the forest, you eventually, with Jester's guidance, find your way up to the next mountain crest. This one getting slowly closer towards Mount Mentiri. As you hit the edge, you can see the bright-red mountain a little ways ahead. This next valley below that you'll have to traverse, that is the safest route you can take, is much wider than the one you just went through and will eventually lead towards the base of Mount Mentiri. The forest here is spotted from this distance, you can see, from the daylight. You're about mid-afternoon, at this point. You can see there are elements where the canopies break, and it's hard to see what's below them. The tree colors and the various elements of the foliage seems to transition. You also notice that a heavy fog is settled over elements of the mountains, the further down you head into it, and the very, very tops of some of the trees, at the base of the valley, are mostly obscured by this fog. You're able to just make out the distant dark shadows of where the treetops are. So you continue down, slowly making your way through the next element of the dense forest. Who's helming this next leg of the journey?
LIAM: I'll do it.
LIAM: I will send Frumpkin into the air to fly low, out a good quarter of a mile ahead of us to see if there is anything dangerous.
MATT: Okay, so Frumpkin is utilizing Perception?
MATT: Okay, so as you guys are following Frumpkin's lead, heading down this trail and path deep into the forest, go ahead and roll perception for me.
LAURA: I can't Guidance you on the Frumpkin roll?
MATT: Unfortunately, no.
LIAM: Please be a good roll, for once. No, that's a two. It's a three.
ASHLEY: Wait, don't you need assistance?
LAURA: Not with Frumpkin.
LIAM: Frumpkin's way far away.
ASHLEY: Frumpkin is your assistant. Okay.
MATT: You guys contin--
LIAM: It's foggy.
MATT: It is foggy. As you head into the next leg of this dense forest, the fog begins to make it difficult to see more than 20 or so feet ahead of you, beyond just the shapes of trees slowly emerging from the mist. Following Frumpkin's lead and the communication you guys have whenever Frumpkin circle back over on your path, you continue pushing forward. The smell begins to change, as that that really strong, earthy dirt-scent that mingles with that familiar sulfurous smell that a lot of Kamordah's atmosphere holds, and it lingers. It's on your clothes, and you can smell it since you left the town. It just sticks to you clothes. But now it's all around you, once more. As you're watching Frumpkin fly overhead, you hear a-- (popping) And you look down, and there is an open spring or a jet of a hot spring--
MATT: --right next to you guys. That (hisses) sprays a massive geyser of scalding hot mineral water all over the entirety of your party. I need everybody to go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw for me, please.
MARISHA: Oh boy!
LIAM: Caleb was blind and deaf when that happened.
SAM: So probably not a good save.
LIAM: Oh, I succeeded.
MATT: Okay, so for a 10, the mineral water splashes on you, and it's not mineral water. Not only is it hot, it begins to eat away at your skin. You take 15 points of acid damage. Beauregard, you take six points of acid damage, or seven points of acids of damage.
LIAM: I rolled an eight, but the Ring of Evasion saves my bacon.
MATT: Okay, so you're--
LIAM: Using a slot for it, yeah.
MARISHA: Oh, can I evade? If I succeed, can I evade?
MATT: For half damage? Remind me of the wording on that.
MARISHA: Success, no damage. If you fail, it's half damage.
MARISHA: Am I allowed to evade here?
MATT: Yeah, so you would take none.
MATT: You would.
MATT: So, Caleb, you go ahead and take seven points of acid damage. Nott, what'd you get?
SAM: And I will also evade.
MATT: But evade, you fail, so you take half damage.
MATT: So you take seven points of acid damage.
LAURA: I rolled an 18.
MATT: 18, you take seven points of acid damage.
MATT: You take 15 points of acid damage.
MATT: 23, you take seven points of acid damage.
MATT: Let me roll for the horses.
LAURA: Oh no!
SAM: Oh no, the horses!
TALIESIN: Not cool.
TRAVIS: Like a western, I lean over the side and shield the horse with my body.
MATT: With the sprays... three of the horses fall.
MATT: Claimed by the horrible liquid that spewed forth from this jet.
SAM: Oh shit.
LAURA: Poor horses!
MATT: So you have four horses remaining. It is getting denser as you travel forward.
LAURA: We should probably not have the horses anymore. But I don't want to send them back. What if there's more harpies? Caleb, can you do a spell, and we can just send them to, like, one of the libraries?
TRAVIS: Whoa, whoa, that's a big whoa.
LIAM: I actually do not have that prepared, right now.
TRAVIS: Jester, if we just leave them here, by the time we come back, they'll disappear anyway.
LAURA: That's awful.
LIAM: Yes, go, look that way. I will totally magic them away.
TRAVIS: We can send them to the farm, to the horse farm.
TALIESIN: We can try and leave them somewhere safe and--
LAURA: No, there's definitely going to be creatures in this forest that will come eat them.
SAM: Listen, they knew this was a one-way ticket.
TRAVIS: We did notice those long embraces before they left. This will be it.
LAURA: All right, hey, Caleb-- Caduceus, can you talk to them--
TALIESIN: We'll have to double up.
LAURA: And tell them to, like, go back safely?
TALIESIN: I can.
LAURA: It's getting harder for them to travel, anyway.
TRAVIS: Tell them to get back recklessly.
TALIESIN: It's going to be rough going from here, kids. Why don't we pack it in? Do you all remember the way back?
MATT: They all loosely look in the direction of where you traveled from.
TALIESIN: I think, we'll take what's packed, and we'll let you all head back then, if that's all right.
MATT: They look at each other like, "...All right." (snorts)
TALIESIN: We could also just have them stay here and--
LIAM: Caleb waves his hands in the air for a moment and suddenly all the horses look like moorbounders.
LAURA: Ooh! They look like moorbounders?
LIAM and SAM: Yeah.
LAURA: That's cool.
TRAVIS: Less likely to be attacked.
SAM: Just go, all right!
LIAM: But they walk really funny.
SAM: We didn't like you anyway! Just go!
LAURA: (laughs) Moorbounders, walking all prancy.
TALIESIN: Please, please, I know what you're rolling.
MATT: One of the horses looks extremely spooked by suddenly being surrounded by other moorbounders. But the other ones acknowledge that this was an illusory shift, but that one is still (gasps).
TALIESIN: No, this is, it's not real, it's not real. It's just a thing.
LAURA: You have to look at yourself, look at yourself!
TALIESIN: You're fine.
MATT: Make an animal handling check.
LIAM: Falls into a pool of acid.
MARISHA: And he's dead.
TALIESIN: Oh, thank god, 10.
MATT: You just manage to slowly calm it down.
TALIESIN: This is just to keep other things away. It's all just to keep you safe.
MATT: You manage to calm it, and the four of them, with their new illusory presence, begin to make their way back in the direction from where you guys came.
LIAM: Eight hours.
TRAVIS: Nice job, you guys.
SAM: Critical Role does not have the ASPCA logo.
MATT: No, no. You guys have been responsible, over the years, for many a mount death.
TALIESIN: That will be the final boss, will just be the reanimated corpse of every pet and workhorse.
LAURA: Oh, Sprinkle's the leader.
TRAVIS: So much acid.
LAURA: The Whispered Weasel.
MARISHA: He's a constellation now, yeah.
MATT: All righty, so horseless, you guys begin to press on further into the next leg of your journey. As the hard ground of this element at the swamp begins to slowly soften, and with footfalls around you, you begin to hear this familiar slush of wet mud beneath your feet. (slurping) This slight sucking sensation of having to pull your boots from the muck, you're beginning to helm into mild marshland. Who's helming this next leg of the journey?
LAURA: Oh god.
MARISHA: You're use to marsh.
ASHLEY: I'm used to it. I'm used to this terrain. I'll take the lead.
MATT: Okay. What skill would you like to present for this one?
SAM: A little soft-shoe.
ASHLEY: ♪ Dah, dah, dah, dah-dah, rah, dah, dah-dah ♪
MATT: Real soft-shoe the swamp (slurps).
MARISHA: ♪ I'm singing in the swamp ♪
ASHLEY: Let's do, can I do athletics, because I'm moving through it, just so smoothly?
MATT: Because you guys are on foot, you can attempt to use your athletics to help find routes outside of the swamp and through boughs and trees, leaping from branch and finding this out. It's going to be a high DC, but it's possible.
LAURA: Oh, I'm going to give you Guidance.
ASHLEY: Okay. Oh, that's cocked. Oh boy. Oh, okay, good, a natural 20.
ASHLEY: I rolled a one and a natural 20. So that would be 28.
MATT: Well, Guidance is not advantage.
ASHLEY: Ah, never mind.
MATT: So you rolled a natural one.
ASHLEY: So I rolled a one.
MATT: Guidance adds a d4.
MATT: Then add your athletic skill.
SAM: And that's 26.
LAURA: And we go.
TRAVIS: Mercer giveth and Mercer taketh away.
ASHLEY: Can I borrow a d4? I'm sorry.
LAURA: Yasha doesn't use--
ASHLEY: Cool. Okay, that's a one.
TRAVIS: Oh, good.
ASHLEY: Okay, 10.
MATT: 10, okay.
MATT: Yasha, you're used to--
ASHLEY: Sorry, I thought you said, sorry, my bad, sorry.
MATT: It's all good. You're used to the swamplands of Xhorhas, where you've traveled through and grew near the Sorrowseep and the Moorlands, where you spent a lot of your life. These are different kind of swamp, and the trees are not as strong as you would have thought. Some of them appear to be petrified, and some have died a long time ago. As you begin to leap from branch to finding the right trees in the various places where the ground is higher than the heavy water that tends to sit in a lot of the spaces, a lot of them are soft and bend or break, and that's a fail.
MATT: Nothing terrible happens, but the physical action of you guys following this path, the heavy mist that's around you and the just physical exertion that has come to all of you, I need you all to make constitution-saving throws for me, please.
ASHLEY: Oh boy.
TRAVIS: What the fuck? Natural one.
LAURA: Oh my god.
MATT: Natural one. You take a point of exhaustion.
MATT: Point of exhaustion. Caleb?
LIAM: Un momento. 15.
MATT: 15, you manage to pull through.
MATT: 13, you have a point of exhaustion.
SAM: So is that two points of exhaustion? I'm drunk as well, which you sort of said is like disadvantage on ability checks.
MATT: Correct, it's not two points of exhaustion. It's just double--
SAM: Double disadvantage?
MATT: You just have disadvantage. It's just your disadvantage with that, but as opposed to where that was just dexterity ability checks--
SAM: No, that's everything.
MATT: Then the exhaustion is everything, yeah.
SAM: No, I mean, I was already disadvantaged on every ability check. So now do I have more disadvantage?
MATT: No, it's just--
SAM: Okay, cool.
LAURA: You're still okay.
SAM: I'll take it.
MARISHA: Does that stay?
MATT: 19, you're fine. Caduceus?
MATT: Nine, point of exhaustion.
MATT: 17, you're fine.
TRAVIS: What is it disadvantage on that?
MATT: Disadvantage on ability checks, just in general.
LAURA: Just a disadvantage in life.
MATT: But you've made yourself part way into the swamp, and you're getting close to the very base center of this valley. The water, in places, is creeping up the knee to the thigh, and some of them, you have to push through waist-high, keeping your equipment in bags above you, as you slowly (slurps)--
LAURA: We still have to get two successes?
MATT: Push through the swamp. Yeah.
SAM: We got this. We got this. We're all at disadvantage now.
MARISHA: Two and two, right? We're two for two.
MATT: You have two victories. You need two more successes.
LAURA: Two more victories. We got a lot more failures than victories.
LIAM: Caleb is going to pause for a moment and pull out a piece of obsidian and hold it to his chest and start casting in front of him, and a dark mirror image of Caleb (whooshes) comes into existence, casting Resonant Echo.
LIAM: So there is now a darker, shadier Caleb walking with Caleb.
MATT: Okay, it's made mostly of, like, it looks immaterial shadow or black smoke in a form that is very reminiscent of Caleb in almost every way, other than the fact that you can kind of see through it.
LIAM: He looks at one and goes, and the other one goes, and they start walking.
SAM: Fjord, take note. Super mysterious. No idea what he's doing. He looks a little gothic and cool. Just a note.
LAURA: Is that how cool I look when I Invoke Duplicity.
SAM: Well, I mean, that thing is dark and brooding. The thing that you make is just so sweet. I mean, it looks cool.
SAM: It just doesn't look, like, dark.
LAURA: All right.
MARISHA: I think Jester's very mysterious.
SAM: Jester's the best.
LAURA: Thank you.
SAM: Just not very dark. I will helm this next leg of the journey!
MATT: All righty. How would you like to aid your party in traveling through the swamp?
SAM: I will investigate--
SAM: (laughs) The areas of the swamp, trying to glean from markings and things which direction animals have gone to circumvent dangers. Hmm?
LAURA: That's good, that's good.
MATT: Go ahead and make a check.
LAURA: The Traveler believes in you.
SAM: Oh wait, disadvantage. Hmm.
TALIESIN: Plus a d4.
LAURA: Plus four.
SAM: Ah, okay. Oh!
SAM: This is investigation?
ASHLEY: Wow, jeez.
MATT: That'll be your third success (laughs). You do, actually, keeping track of watching the various birds that travel through, markings for woodland creatures and sometimes larger than woodland creatures, you can see different patterns across the bark of the trees and elements of the stone and exposed earth outside of the water that show you the often-traveled paths of the denizens of this swamp, which, one, helps you stay in the safer route from any sort of natural hazards around you, two, helps you avoid crossing paths with where some of the more predatory denizens might be. So with that, you push through a majority of the swamp, exiting where the deepest parts of the waters are and begin to make your way up the incline towards the base of Mount Mentiri. You grow close to the end of this journey, towards where, at least you assume, the home of this sage might be. Who wants to handle this next leg of the journey?
LAURA: Should we sleep?
SAM: What time is it?
TRAVIS: Should we take a short rest?
SAM: It's been a half hour.
MATT: At this point, you've been traveling since very early in the day, when you guys left. You gather you're probably about two hours out from dusk.
MARISHA: I feel like if we can just get a little bit further, we'll be better off.
LAURA: What if we get a little bit further, and the hut's, like, right there. Then the witch, like, knows of everything that's within, like, range of her, and then she comes and she attacks us in the night, and then we all die, because we're exhausted?
TRAVIS: I could use a short rest.
SAM: A short rest? But I mean, if you short rest, then it's going to be nighttime. I say we press on until we get closer.
TRAVIS: I could helm this last bit.
TALIESIN: There's nowhere to--
LAURA: Do it, Fjord!
TALIESIN: This is not a good stopping point, I assume. It doesn't seem to be a--
TRAVIS: Yeah, it's not a happy, fun place.
MATT: Ah, you can camp in the middle of a swamp, sure.
MARISHA: Yeah, let's just get to high ground.
TRAVIS: I will use Mask of Many Faces to make myself look like an undead harpy, that we just killed, and I will try and deceive my way through the swamp, acting like I know where I'm going, on my way.
SAM: You're going to bullshit your way there there?
LIAM: So you're just going to make squawking sounds?
TALIESIN: We're going to let Fjord go about 20 feet in front of us.
TRAVIS: Sure, sure.
MATT: That's a good call.
SAM: He's method acting his way there.
LAURA: I'm going to Guidance him in some way. Fjord, I believe in you.
LIAM: What inspires harpies?
SAM: How do they move?
MATT: All right, if you're going to inspire on this, I will say that will put you adjacent to the undead harpy, because you only have six seconds for Guidance to last.
TRAVIS: You don't have to.
ASHLEY: Can I assist?
TRAVIS: Guidance is fun.
MATT: If you want to walk ahead with him?
ASHLEY: I'll walk ahead with him.
MATT: Okay, so you have one undead harpy and a Yasha, both hobbling through the last elements of the swamp. Roll.
TRAVIS: At disadvantage, right, or is it a straight roll?
MATT: Well, it's disadvantage if you have a point of exhaustion.
TRAVIS: I do.
MATT: So it's just a single roll.
MATT: And it's a real high DC.
MARISHA: It's the last anyone'll ever see.
LIAM: A roc scoops him up in one bite.
LAURA: Natural 20.
TRAVIS: Did you give me Guidance?
LAURA: No, I didn't.
TRAVIS: Oh, well, that would've helped, 16.
MATT: 16. The mists around you don't seem to bear any sort of emotional connection to an undead harpy or a wandering aasimar barbarian. The shadows in these mists are different from the ones you've passed through naturally. As your proximity grows closer to Mount Mentiri and perhaps some of the things that call its base and mountainsides home, something sinister curls from the surrounding fog. It enwraps you to the point where you find yourself coughing and out of breath for a moment, as do you, as do all of you. I need everyone to make a constitution saving throw, please.
TALIESIN: Constitution-saving throw, add a--
ASHLEY: This thing is cocked, all the time.
LAURA: Yeah, it's that dice.
MATT: You manage to resist it.
SAM: No, it's a save.
MATT: Nine, I rolled shitty, so you take three points of necrotic damage, and your max HP is reduced by three.
MATT: 24, you're fine.
MATT: 11, you take three points of necrotic damage, and your max HP is reduced by three.
MATT: 20, you are fine. Caduceus?
MATT: 10, take three points of necrotic damage, and your max HP is reduced by three.
MATT: 11, you as well.
TRAVIS: Is that a poison that we're inhaling?
MATT: There is something within the mist that has a dark, ghostly energy. Then once it seems to have feasted on your life essence, it vanishes off into the fog, satiated and hard to trace.
TRAVIS: I'll drop the undead harpy.
MATT: Okay. You're growing close still, and you can see heavy brambles ahead. In fact, there is a series of tangled, heavy bramble vines that will very soon, probably, begin to prevent you from traversing, unless anyone's particularly clever. You can see these heavy, root-like twists and knots that are covered in these varying sized, natural points and pikes that emerge from the wood, like rose thorns the size of short swords and daggers.
SAM: Yasha, cut through them with your strength!
ASHLEY: I can try. What are you going to do?
TALIESIN: I'll wait till we have 10 minutes to stop, and then, because it takes 10 minutes of--
TRAVIS: What does?
LAURA: We could take 10 minutes.
TRAVIS: Just to give everybody a little--
LAURA: Prayer of Healing.
TALIESIN: Prayer of Healing.
LAURA: I think we should take 10 minutes.
TRAVIS: Yeah, take 10 minutes.
TALIESIN: Take 10 minutes.
MATT: Okay. You've emerged from the swamp waters and make your way towards the cusp of this bramble wall around the forest, you stop for 10 minutes and go ahead and cast Prayer of Healing, and that heals everyone for?
TALIESIN: That heals, actually, not quite everybody.
MATT: Six targets?
TALIESIN: Six targets, so--
MARISHA: I'm good.
TALIESIN: One, two, three, four, five, everyone but Beau, so four.
LAURA: Does Beau not need it at all?
MARISHA: I'm down by my max healing, so I'm good. I can't heal past that anyway. I'm good.
TALIESIN: So everyone gets... I did it at 2nd-level, so yeah, oh, I did it 3rd-level, so it's 3d8.
SAM: That's a lot.
TALIESIN: 17 points.
MATT: All righty. So everyone else heals 17 hit points, and you finish the rest of your walk up towards the edge of this heavy bramble wall.
SAM: Well, I could sort of--
LAURA: Use, like, Sleight of Hand?
SAM: I could get through it with my sort of stealthy skills, or you could flip your way through the briar patch.
TRAVIS: You could just fireball that wall.
SAM: Or Yasha could cut her way through.
LIAM: Is there a canopy of trees still here, or are we more in--
MATT: There is.
SAM: Rage through it.
LAURA: We can try Sacred Flame on the brambles and see.
LAURA: I'm going to try Sacred Flame on the brambles and see if I can set some of it on fire, to try to clear it out.
MATT: Okay. You cast Sacred Flame and the radiant energy surrounds and focuses one area. You can see elements of the bramble blacken. They are very moist, and the fire doesn't catch. The Sacred Flame is not a super-heated flame as much as it is a radiant blast, so it doesn't seem to have a strong effect on the brambles.
LIAM: As long as we've gone that far, Caleb will follow up and hit the same spot with literal fire, just a Fire Bolt.
MATT: Just a Fire Bolt?
MATT: It hits, and you see the brambles darken. There's a little bit of a glow. It's burnable, but it would take a vast amount of fire.
LAURA: I wonder they make it more brittle, though.
ASHLEY: I'll try to cut through it.
LAURA: In that same spot?
SAM: You're going to rage through it?
MATT: You're going to attempt to carve through the brambles?
MATT: As the check here?
MATT: Okay. So go ahead and make a strength ability check,
TALIESIN: Let me give you a d4, going into that.
ASHLEY: Goddamn it. Natural 20.
TALIESIN: Never mind, yeah.
MATT: Do you have a point of exhaustion, or did you resist that?
ASHLEY: I resisted it.
MATT: Correct. And you have an advantage on your strength check? Are you raging in advance of it?
LAURA: Oh, no. It was just cocked when she rolled the first time.
MATT: Oh, got you, okay.
ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah.
MATT: So natural 20.
ASHLEY: Natural 20.
MATT: So that little part of the bramble twists there, that you guys have slightly damaged a bit, Yasha wielding-- which blade of your choice?
MATT: Skingorger, this really terrifying-looking, dual-handed, front-edged blade of rust and jagged edge, just carves through, and the bramble collapses inward, and a second strike and a third strike, and one after another, you begin to carve your way through this bramble forest. It's slow-going, and it continues on for another 60 or so feet.
MATT: But with the size of the blade and the sheer immensity of your strength, with a natural 20, you begin to carve a path through that is safe enough for you to travel single-file, without taking any damage.
LIAM: Caleb turns to his double and goes: After you. And the shadow walks in, and he follows.
MATT: All right. You guys follow Yasha's lead until eventually, you get to that final element of the bramble, and you cut through, and as you slice that last bit, and it falls away, you can see now that large bramble wall begins to fall away, and you can see the brush and the hill rise up, and you can see more of the trees ahead, some of them still petrified, though the gray coloration of their branches growing more and more present, as you get closer to Mount Mentiri. You can smell that sulfurous scent, but something else hits your nose as well, a heavy, asphalt smell. As you begin to look ahead, you can see small patches in the ground, where a black tar-like substance seems to be pushing through the floor, little black puddles, thick, and reaches. Continuing forward, you can see the stone and the earth of the area beginning to turn more deep red, at the mountain. Some areas are almost yellow, like a dust has gathered on them. There are a couple of small, little steam vents that are releasing this lazy trail of heated moisture that dissipates and joins the rest of the mist around you. The fog is not as strong and as intense as it was deep in the swamp, but there is a low-lying fog that coasts about a foot and a half off the ground, universally, over this space. As you push forward, the trees thin a bit, and you can see there are a few little elements of the ground where the elevation shifts a bit, and ahead, there is one mild hill, where, through the fog and mist, you can see a frame. You can see almost a porch of a home, no more than maybe 15, 20 foot, end to end, a heavy-thatched top to it that is green, brightly green with moss and mold and other sorts of natural growth that has taken root. It's like a cabin put together from numerous thin, tall trees. You see hanging from the outside of it, from elements of chain and rope, look to be hooks, whether it would be for lanterns or tools or implements, who knows? There is a wooden rack, off to the side of the porch, that contains a handful of leathers that are stretched out.
MARISHA: What kind of leathers?
MATT: You can't really tell from this distance.
MARISHA: Oh shit.
MATT: There is a door that is partially ajar, and there is a warm light from the inside. And that's where we're going to take a break.
SAM: You bastard.
MATT: Mm. We'll return here in a few minutes to see what this house is.
MARISHA: What is this house?
SAM: It could just be somebody's house.
MATT: Probably. In the interim, we do have our Wyrmwood giveaway, at the break. We have the black poisonwood dice vault here. Boop, it opens up. It's nice. It smells nice. What we do is we smell Wyrmwood. It has mild hallucinogenic properties. That's not true, do not quote me on that. But one lucky winner will have this, when we come back from the break. Tonight's chat keyword is superstition.
TRAVIS: ♪ Superstitious ♪
MATT: ♪ Writing on the wall ♪ Put the word once into chat. Any more than once, you'll be disqualified, and once again, people in the US and Canada, only, excluding Quebec, because of stupid laws. We'll be back here in a few minutes, with the winner and the next leg of our journey. We'll see you guys in a minute.
(upbeat music) ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open the web page ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ in that mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D, D&D ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D, D&D ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats ♪ ♪ You've got your swords ♪ ♪ And you got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D, D&D ♪ ♪ D&D, D&D, D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ (triumphant digital music) VO: Knights of Pen & Paper II, the game where you simulate a game master, the game players in a rousing world of bizarre pop culture adventuring, for free! Amass a hideously unreasonable horde of ill-gotten loot, without sacrificing any of your own. Enjoy all of the randomly generated dungeons, customizable monster battles and dicey dilemmas of Paperos with your own party of simulated friends. Never argue with anyone about who has to play the healer ever again! Travel the land on a horse whose run cycle utterly screams, sweet mercy, this game must be free! Knights of Pen & Paper II, the game where you pretend to be adults pretending to be wizards, like nature intended, hmm. (dramatic rock music) LIAM: Look at me, I'm Leatherface! SAM: (laughs) JULIE (V.O.): All Work No Play. SAM: (laughs) (dramatic folk music) BRIAN (V.O.): Last time, on Talks Machina. BRIAN: It has been 69-- LAURA: Yay! BRIAN: Nice, episodes, 69 episodes, six levels, and 212 Exandrian days since the Nein last saw the reformed bandits. LAURA: (burps) Oh god, it's, like, stuck. MARISHA: That was a little bit better. LAURA: It's stuck! BRIAN: No, let it out, man. LAURA: I can't. DANI: You have to pound on your stomach or something. LAURA: God. DANI: Right on your diaphragm. BRIAN: That's what this hour is for. LAURA: This hour's just going to be slowly getting burps out. I'm sorry. MARISHA: There is a kraken-- LAURA: Because I swallowed that first one. MARISHA: -- in your chest. BRIAN: I'm not one to comment on a woman's appearance, but you look like, uh, (laughs)-- DANI: Oh god. LAURA: (laughing) BRIAN: You kind of look like Ripley, if she unwillingly got, like, a E! Makeover. (laughter) Then you go, "Well, I guess it's actually kind of cool." MARISHA: Oh wow. BRIAN: Wow. LAURA: (snickers) MARISHA: I think that was (laughs). BRIAN: What? That was sincere. MARISHA: No, there's-- BRIAN: Are you still making noise? MARISHA: I am having an audio experience over here. BRIAN: Jiminy Christmas. MARISHA: It's like a Burning Man art installation, and you have to be within a certain radius. BRIAN: You're no longer America's sweetheart. MARISHA: (laughs) DANI: Lies. BRIAN: You're America's sweet-fart. MARISHA and LAURA: Oh! LAURA: #AmericasSweetFart. MARISHA: That's good. DANI: No, don't make that a hashtag. LAURA: (laughs) BRIAN: Zack, get something drawn up for this week. DANI and LAURA: No! BRIAN: All right. LAURA: Don't do it, Zack! I'm serious. I'm serious, I'm serious. BRIAN: Nope, he has been ordered not to listen to you. "Marisha, after telling him about the plan "to find the fortune teller, "does Beau believe her father genuinely cares for her safety? "Or does she think he's just putting on an act "for the group of people watching?" MARISHA: I think he cares to the extent that anyone cares about anyone's general safety. LAURA: (laughs) BRIAN: Right. DANI: Oof. MARISHA: Does that make sense? BRIAN: Sure, like if you saw Laura about to trip into the street as a car was coming, you grab her shirt, but if you saw some rando, you'd be like, "He's kind of far away, "I don't think I'm going to make it in time. "I'll be one of those people that calls the police after." Is that what you mean? DANI: Wow. BRIAN: Is that what you mean? MARISHA: I mean-- BRIAN: Just to use a real-life example to ground it for the folks at home. MARISHA: It's hard to say yes to that, but kind of, I guess. I don't know. Yeah, I think he is concerned about himself first. BRIAN: Yeah. "How much of the Mighty Nein's worry "for Jester about the cultness "of the Traveler gets through to her? "Does she think any of their worries have a foundation, "or does she think they're just well meaning but paranoid?" LAURA: Like, she knows he's godly. She knows how powerful he is. MARISHA: I can't wait for Traveler Con! LAURA: I know. There is a little bit of like, "Oh, that's weird," like seeing how other gods interact with their constituents, whatever you call it. BRIAN: Constituents, wow. Hello, my constituent, I have heard your plea for help. I am here to assist you. MARISHA: The Traveler is a local, small-town politician. The other gods are all part of the United Nations, and they're like, "Oh, you won with 30 votes? "That's adorable." BRIAN: "How does it feel to have a fictional family "that only acknowledges your accomplishments "while they undercut the true personhood behind it. "How does Beau differ now from the young woman in that house?" MARISHA: I think Beau's shown a lot of growth, like we're talking about. I hope so. The Mighty Nein has helped Beau trust in other people around her and come out of her shell and learn how to control her outbursts and her blaming other people and her anger. LAURA: And say thank you. MARISHA: And say thank you and sorry. LAURA: Yeah, that's a big one. MARISHA: (laughs) Good job. BRIAN: Thanks, life coach. LAURA: You earned it. MARISHA: Still practicing. LAURA: (laughs) MARISHA: But yeah, like, what you were saying. It was immediately all those like bad thoughts were coming back. So it felt like Beau was on the verge of reverting, that the whole end of that game and just, like, fighting it-- LAURA: Nothing makes you fucking regress to you childhood, like, mannerisms and behaviors, faster than going home. MARISHA: Absolutely. BRIAN: Yeah. MARISHA: Absolutely. BRIAN: When Marisha gets off the phone with her mom, I can barely understand what the fuck she's saying. It sounds like some backwoods Irish accent, but it's like-- MARISHA: It's so bad. BRIAN: She's speaking Mountain Dew. LAURA: No! BRIAN: "Jester seems okay and supportive of her mother's job, "which involves sleeping with numerous clients." LAURA: Sure. BRIAN: So does mine. "But she has shown strong distaste for her father sleeping "with anyone since the parental discovery. Why?" LAURA: No, no, no, no, that's inaccurate. BRIAN: Okay. LAURA: I'm totally okay. If he wants to go get his kicks, whatever. He can go sleep with people. Also, she's okay with people paying to sleep with her mom, no big deal. However, what you didn't see is, all growing up, Jester fucking with everybody that her mom slept with, getting in trouble for it. She consistently gave her clients shit. Also, the only time she was unsupportive of it is when she saw the woman in the room, and then she was like, "Get the fuck out," right? So yeah, whatever, you can sleep with people. Don't form a fucking relationship with them, though. DANI: You can't stay for breakfast. LAURA: Exactly. MARISHA: (laughs) BRIAN: Rickolas-- nobody's named Rickolas. (laughter) Your name is either Rick or Nicholas. It's not Rickolas. That's ridickolas. (laughter) Rickolas Weishaupt wants to know (clicks), somebody should say that backwards. Maybe not. After-- LAURA: Swoo-- BRIAN: One more time. LAURA: Putah, Putahsew Salackir. BRIAN: That's right. DANI: Whoa. MARISHA: (laughs) John is dead. BRIAN: Yeah, I was going to say, somewhere, someone just fell over dead. (laughter) Somewhere, Taliesin just shot up and went, "Hmm, a fresh one!" (laughter) (upbeat rock music) (crowd cheers) SAM: Woo-hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo! Yeah, we did it, yeah! DANI: Sam Riegel, you just won the Superbowl. What are you going to do now? SAM: I'm subscribing to Critical Role, yeah! DANI: Wonderful, and that's-- SAM: It's about perseverance, like, remember to resubscribe with Twitch Prime, every month, yeah! Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo! DANI: Yes. Well, could you-- SAM: Have done it without my teammates? Come on, no way! And they couldn't have done it without the Twitch subscriptions that I gave them. Right, guys? Yeah! DANI: Okay, Sam, but what about the-- SAM: Oh, what about, what about inspires me, you mean? Well, Yee-Haw Game Ranch really does. I mean, watching that dehydrated piece of string cheese Brian Foster, every couple of weeks, really gets me pumped for the big game! SAM: (laughs) DANI: Sam, hold on. We have to-- (horn wails) SAM: You can't believe it? You can't believe it, is that what you said? Well, it's true, because every Yee-Haw VOD is instantly available, as soon as you subscribe. It's amazing! DANI: Sam! SAM: We did it, guys. DANI: Sam! SAM: Yeah, yeah! DANI: Sam! SAM: Yeah, what, sorry. DANI: Just say, "I'm going to Disneyland." You're doing a commercial for Disneyland. SAM: Oh, uh... What's a Disneyland? (dramatic music) (whistle shrills) I don't know. I got to be honest with you. DANI: Oh! SAM: I got hit in the head pretty hard out there. DANI: Oh my god. SAM: Woo, uh, I'm not good at sports. (thudding) (crowd gasps) (crowd cheers) (dramatic orchestral music)
MATT: Hello, everyone, welcome back. Before we jump into the next half of our session, we do have one winner of our Wyrmwood giveaway. The winner is SRVfan32688.
SAM: Woo, I love me some SRV!
MATT: Congratulations, SRVfan32688. We'll get that sent to you ASAP.
LIAM: (through cupped hands) Move along.
MATT: All righty. So as you guys have trekked your way up towards the base of the mountain, looking through the mist, you can see the rickety cabin-like abode that rests before you, amongst the rocky and forest-covered hill. What would you like to do?
MARISHA: Should we rest now? This is dumb. It's dumb to rest right here, right?
LIAM: In view of her shack?
LAURA: Like, an actual rest?
SAM: Like, go to sleep in front of her house?
MARISHA: There's no way.
LAURA: No way. She's going to come up in the middle of the night and kill us all.
LIAM: How many feet, roughly, are we from this home?
MATT: You're about 60 or so feet.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
MATT: About 100 feet.
LIAM: I start putting up the wire.
MATT: We'll say about 100 and so feet before the mist reveals the shape, and you begin to see what's ahead of you.
TRAVIS: How about we split into two parties, and we wrap around the house and meet on the backside?
MARISHA: Do a scout?
TRAVIS: To see what's around the house.
MARISHA: Yeah, get the perimeters, man.
LAURA: Why don't we just send Frumpkin over there and see?
SAM: He can't see anything.
TRAVIS: That, too. Let's try that first.
LAURA: Well, I just don't want to separate, just because this lady's really powerful, and I have a feeling she'd--
LIAM: I think you have the right idea. I mean, we're not sending him to solve a mystery. We just want to see the other side of the home, yeah?
LIAM: (whooshes, flutters) Frumpkin goes up and just starts to circle above the home.
MATT: Okay, perception check from Frumpkin.
LIAM: Come on, you dumb, fucking cat-bird.
TRAVIS: Make it above a five.
LIAM: That's cocked, right?
MARISHA: That is hella cocked.
MATT: It is cocked, yeah.
LIAM: Super cocked, super cocked. That's good for Frumpkin.
MARISHA: Oh good job, Frumpy.
LIAM: And that's a 15.
LIAM: Best ever, yay.
MATT: As Frumpkin does a pass of the area, you can see a number of the treetops around. There are trees in this area that aren't as closely knitted as a lot of the previous forest you've traversed, on your way here. You do see the little hut. You can see the remnants of a stone chimney. Frumpkin looks around and doesn't see anything moving on the outside, and from the back. There's a small barrel on one side of a cluster of small boxes, on the other. Beyond that (burps), pardon me, no signs of movement.
LIAM: No movement of any kind.
TRAVIS: Did it look like there was a backdoor?
MATT: No backdoor.
LIAM: No backdoor.
MATT: Just the front entrance.
TRAVIS: What the fuck are you doing?
SAM: We're listening to Matt.
TRAVIS: We're about to die by hag.
MARISHA: They're like the third row in the minivan, hella far back.
LIAM: Caleb can't hear anything, but he's muttering to Beauregard the things that he sees. Yeah, those boxes, I don't know what's in them. I don't see a door. This cat is good for something.
MARISHA: This cat is a fucking shitbag.
LAURA: That cat is a bird.
MARISHA: The cat sucks.
LAURA: Can he hear us? Can he hear us? I can't remember.
SAM: No, he can't.
MARISHA: He's only there.
SAM: He can feel if you tug.
SAM: I, I--
LIAM: I'm not as stoic as Caleb.
MARISHA: We're way safe.
LIAM: (whooshes) Yeah, okay.
MARISHA: Your cat's great.
LIAM: This is the best cat.
LIAM: I wish he would come back.
SAM: Did you find anything?
LIAM: Yeah, there's a back area and a bunch of shit piled up outside the door. There is no door, I'm sorry, piled up in the back. Was it walled in, in any way, when I looked back there, or was does it just keep stretching on into wilderness, behind it?
MATT: It just continues on, into wilderness.
LIAM: Okay. So one entrance that we know of.
SAM: Just the front door.
LAURA: What about windows? Were there windows?
LIAM: Were there windows?
MATT: No windows, just the front entrance.
SAM: That's a creepy house. Who would design a house without any windows or natural light?
LAURA: Probably a witch.
ASHLEY: We could just go knock.
MARISHA: I'm kind of into that.
TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Yeah.
SAM: Should we leave some people as a reserve, outside or something?
LAURA: No. If we all go in, we all go in. What?
MARISHA: Yeah, Jester already said don't split the party?
TALIESIN: I think any attempt at deceit would end poorly.
LAURA: This lady saw me scrying on her. She's, like, super observant.
MARISHA: She's been watching our every move coming here, right?
LAURA: I'm assuming so.
LIAM: She could watching us, right now.
TRAVIS: Are you just calling out, 60 feet away?
TRAVIS: It's 60 feet. How loud can you go?
TALIESIN: 100 feet.
TRAVIS: Louder. What the fuck?
LAURA: She can probably hear.
MARISHA: She knows, right?
TALIESIN: That's true. Let's just walk.
MARISHA: You know? Do I hear anything? Do I feel anything? Do I feel special?
MATT: Make a perception check.
TRAVIS: Do I feel special?
LIAM: Well, you're a D&D character, so yeah.
MATT: You feel very special.
MARISHA: I feel very special?
MATT: But you don't hear anything.
MARISHA: (sighs) You're right.
TRAVIS: Yasha, shall we?
ASHLEY: Let's go.
TRAVIS: All right. Yasha and I start walking up to the door.
TALIESIN: I follow.
MARISHA: I follow. Jester!
MARISHA: Come on!
LIAM: Caleb's double branches away from the group and goes to the corner of the house, to the side, and then just sort of stays at the front, peeking around the front--
MARISHA: (whispers) Nott!
LIAM: --as the group goes up.
MATT: All right.
MARISHA: Come on.
LAURA: We're all going. Are you going or no?
SAM: I'm going to go invisible. I'm going invisible.
MARISHA: But she--
LAURA: It's fine. She'll still be able to see you, but if you feel more comfortable, whatever.
SAM: She can't do everything.
LAURA: She can see things like that.
SAM: You don't know anything about her.
LAURA: I know!
LIAM: And Frumpkin is just circling.
SAM: I'm doing this, but I'm invisible.
TALIESIN: We know.
MATT: So who's doing what then? You've...
LIAM: Smoothy McGee over here.
MARISHA: They were firsties.
TRAVIS: Yasha and I are at the door.
MATT: So you guys approach. It is a bit of a climb. There's a bit of a a rocky incline that you head up to the front of this small abode. In the base of it, you see heavy roots emerging from it, like the house is rooted into the ground.
TALIESIN: Literally going to discuss you. I don't know how invisibility is... Your name is going to instantly come up.
SAM: Ooh, the wind.
MATT: The two of you make your way up to the pouch-- the pouch-- the porch. Looking upon the porch in front of you, you can see the fronts lift about waist high, with these dividers. There's the opening on the inside, onto the porch. Then there is the partially ajar door and the warmly-lit interior of the hut.
LAURA: This is so stupid.
TRAVIS: Open door.
ASHLEY: Knock or just open the door?
LAURA: We should knock.
TRAVIS: Can you see in through the doorway?
TRAVIS: It's open.
ASHLEY: But I feel like we shouldn't--
LAURA: Oh, there's no door?
MATT: The door is there, but it's partially open.
LAURA: Oh, ooh.
TRAVIS: Yeah, we'll go up and... (knuckles rapping)
LAURA: Oh, you know what I should've done?
MATT: You knock on the partially ajar door, and it (squeaks) opens, ever so slightly more, and you can see a little bit, in the inside. The house appears to be empty, or at the very least, there's nobody inside of it. Within, you can see the inside's both warm and muggy. The smell intensely reminiscent of strong mildew and herbs, almost. It's not too terribly large. Now that you've gotten close to it, you can see it's about 18 or so feet, end to end, maybe 20 or so feet, and about 15 feet wide or deep. From what you can see, there's a table in the middle of the room that has a lantern, a single lantern on it, that's glowing, and it's where the light source is emanating from. There are a smattering of all sort of strange collectibles and piles in the corner, just shoved inside, chaotically organized, intently placed, but in a somewhat messy way. Kind of glancing along the ceiling on the inside, between where the wooden boards hold up the thatch, you can see hanging from chains and rope and twine, cages of different sizes, all dangling. The largest, they're about that big. Some are smaller, and they're carried at different heights.
LAURA: She's going to shrink us down and put us in cages. I can tell.
TRAVIS: She's a trapper. I'll cast See Invisibility.
MATT: Cast See Invisibility?
MARISHA: Oh, good call, yes!
MATT: Okay. You cast See Invisibility, and you look inside the home. You don't see anything.
TRAVIS: She doesn't appear to be home. We certainly don't want to be in her house when she comes home. Does someone want to come in and investigate quicker, while the rest of us wait out front?
SAM: Oh fuck, okay.
MARISHA: I'll do a quick scan. Nott, you take left. I'll take right.
TRAVIS: We will all step out, except for Nott and Beau.
LAURA: But we'll stand in front of the door.
TRAVIS: On the ground, yeah, and off the porch.
MARISHA: I do a quick like--
MATT: Okay, so you guys are all stepping off the porch and staying away, while they're going inside? Okay, so Beau and Nott--
SAM: Shouldn't we check for traps or anything, first?
ASHLEY: That makes me nervous.
MARISHA: I don't know if we have time.
ASHLEY: I'm going to stand between, in the threshold.
MATT: Okay, so you stand in the threshold of the room.
TALIESIN: I'm going to stick my head in really quick and cast Detect Magic.
MATT: Okay, well, let's handle this one at a time here. So you guys enter the room and start investigating. You cast Detect Magic. You sense a number of faint magical auras.
MATT: Kind of up in the roof region. I think a handful of things and what you can see on a shelf. As you go through the door and look on the opposite side of the door, as you guys investigate as well, there are two shelves that are just lined with all manner of jars, all different sizes. Some of them have bits of rope tied to the top with some sort of rubber-like substance capping the top. Some are sealed shut. Some, there's leather wrapped around it, and they are different colors and colorations. Some are just different colored glass. Some are stained from the inside of whatever they're containing. But there are dozens and dozens of this strange collection of all sorts of things. So that's what you detect in the vicinity.
MATT: Bits and pieces of it.
TALIESIN: All right, back out.
MATT: The rest of you guys are outside?
MATT: Okay, what are you guys investigating?
SAM: You said those jars are on the left or the right or both?
MATT: They're both on the left-hand side, against the wall, in the back.
SAM: That's my side. Shit (laughs).
MARISHA: I can't help you.
SAM: I'm going to go for those jars and investigate them.
MATT: Roll an investigation check.
SAM: I will use my Reliable Talent. Oh wait, this is a disadvantage roll. Yes, I will still use my Reliable Talent to get a 21.
MATT: Yeah, okay. There's nothing hidden on this side of the room. It's just a bit cluttered, but you have all of these jars and small glass objects that contain all manner of things, as well as the cages, as you look around. Within the jars, there are all sorts of herbs and materials. You, as an alchemist, would recognize a few of them, without even having to roll. There's mugwort. There's wormwood. There's blackroot. There's a little bit of powdered silver in a small pouch. You can see there's hindergale and gallowrind mushroom and a collection of snake venom in one. There's a gnarled hand in one jar that's gray and withered, and it's kept in a liquid, that just shakes. You can see, up in the cages above, there are creatures that you hear shift in one of the cages, and you glance up, and you can see a bat of some kind. It's hanging in one cage, upside down. You can see another one there. There's a hint of a blue tail of a lizard that's poking out. So there are creatures up in those cages, but you don't have quite the full vantage point. You just noticed a few of them in there.
SAM: I'll just whisper over to Beauregard, some animals and some magic components. That's it. What you got?
MARISHA: I'm looking with disadvantage, right?
SAM: Hot damn.
MATT: 24, okay, you guys are good. Glancing on the opposite end, looking at the table, you can see the table has been recently cleared, other than the lantern that's set there in the middle that's lighting the room. There are stains across the front of the table itself where various brackish liquids have been spilled and left to sit in and as such stained the wood on top. There are grooves and scratches across it, all different sizes and lengths--
MARISHA: It was 23. I feel so compelled to be honest. It was 23. Sorry, keep going.
MATT: Okay, no worries.
MARISHA: Keep going.
MATT: It's not going to be a huge difference, it's fine. But you do notice that it looks like things were moved from here recently. You can see areas where dust had gathered, and things were placed in areas of that corner of the room, where there are circles in different shapes, on the ground and on another shelf, that the dust is not there. So some things have been moved. You also see all manner of small wooden platforms that emerge from parts of the wood that have melted wax, just dripping down the sides, like candles over time that have been replaced, replaced and replaced. Looking around the side, there's dozens and dozens of these long, slowly building on themselves, frozen waterfalls of wax that drip down the walls, probably about 14 or so of these throughout the room, at different heights and locations. You were too focused on the jars to notice them originally, but you both see it's surrounding the entire interior chamber.
ASHLEY: Is there anything on the ground in there? Dirt of any sort?
SAM: Normal stuff, I mean, yeah, take a look.
MARISHA: Anything on the ground? Can we assist each other as we both crawl to the middle?
MATT: Yeah, you looked underneath the table. It's pretty clear beneath the table. Yes, and it looks like some things have been removed from and placed in--
MARISHA: She just grabbed stuff recently.
TRAVIS: While they're doing that, can we check the treelines outside?
LAURA: Yeah, keeping an eye out.
LIAM: Frumpkin's circling.
MATT: So it's getting dark now. Dusk is hitting. There's a bit of a sunset. While you still have a cloudy sky, you can see the coloration shifting a little more to a purple, and it is getting visibly darker. So you probably have another (sighs) 20 or so minutes, before you start really losing light. As you guys walk out past the porch and head down the pathway and look over the treeline, Fjord, as you glance back towards the house, you see, on the roof, crouched and looming over the front of it, arms trailing, cloak and hood up, perched, a massive female humanoid form that has just knees up beneath the robe, weird, unnaturally long arms curled over the edge, just sitting and smiling and watching.
TRAVIS: Right. (coughs) Isharnai!
MATT: The creature's arms unfurl a bit and grab. Make a perception check.
LAURA: (groans) Oh no.
MATT: 11. As the arms move back and grasp the front edges of the roof, there's something very unnatural in the way the arms-- like each arm has two elbows, where it seems to bend and then unbend, as it grabs.
LAURA: Do I see her yet?
MATT: Nope, none of you see her.
LAURA: Well, I was with Fjord.
MATT: You see Fjord say this--
TRAVIS: To something in the air.
LAURA: She's invisible.
MATT: As soon as you said that name, the head looks right to you. You can see from the tattered lengths of black, oily hair that spill from underneath the hood and the long, pointed jaw where the jowls hang a bit, at the back, but the high cheekbones pull in an almost mockery of elvish features. The deep-set green eyes almost glowing from within the shaded hood, piercing right towards you.
LAURA: Mm, mm-mm.
TRAVIS: We come seeking a conversation.
LAURA: Would you say that she looks like the Ring girl, only old?
MATT: (laughs) Old, swollen and six-foot-five, hunched.
MATT: (as Isharnai) "Interesting."
TALIESIN: Oh boy.
MATT: You all hear this now. While she speaks, it's almost vibrating around you, sourcelessly. Even within the house, it feels like it's coming from the walls, but you all turn, and you can sense the source a bit, coming from the house, but you cannot see anything. "Which of you visited me from afar, these past days? I would like to see the face that held the prying eye."
LAURA: Are you guys actually going to look at me like that? Are you looking at me? Gulp.
MATT: What you guys see is suddenly there is a cracking shift of wood and thatch, and you see dust and moss fall from the roof, as you watch her (whoosh) leap into the air. You feel on the ground next to you, as dust (poof) dissipates out, you sense a presence, immediately to your left. You watch her leap 15 feet in the air, and with an impact, slam into the ground next to Jester and then come back to her full hunched height, looming over her.
TRAVIS: What's her posture like?
MATT: From the robes that you can tell, and there are a number of, from what you can see close-up, the gray-brown coloring of the stained cloak that goes over the darker beneath robes, there's ratty gold twine that's wrapped around parts of the arms, and the wrists holding it and clutching it in places, to the body, and crossing around the chest, like it's holding the billowing robe close to the form for movement. The body is curved backward in an S-formation, where the front of the torso pulls back like a serpent, and then the shoulders slouch forward, and the head emerges from the shoulders in the center in a very heavy hunch, and even in that form, stands about 6 1/2 feet tall. You imagine if she were able to stand straight would be pushing probably 7 1/2 feet.
TRAVIS: I'll say her name again and look very directly in her direction and say, Isharnai, we've done much to seek an audience with you. We hope we might be able to converse peacefully.
MATT: (sniffs) You can hear the loud sniffing sound and the warmth of breath on your cheek, Jester.
LAURA: She's right beside me.
MATT: Then takes a step back and another step back, towards the house a bit, getting between you and the house, but still back towards the trees. There's nobody behind her. As the invisibility fades, and the rest of you begin to now see the physical form of Isharnai there in the fading light of the late afternoon. "It is rare to have so many visitors (snarls), let alone all at once, at my home. You come here, survive the trial of the trek, and I assume it's because you're driven by the need for strong answers, yes? What is it that drives you then? Come, come, we can talk, one at a time."
LAURA: One at a time?
TRAVIS: That's some stupid horseshit.
MATT: Those of you who are inside the house, as you're glancing through and seeing the head (clicks) darts in an unnatural speed in your direction, and the arm emerges and goes.
MARISHA: I just grab Nott by the hand.
LAURA: Is Nott still invisible?
SAM: I am.
MATT: Do you leave the house?
MARISHA: I guess so.
TRAVIS: Do I see any shit running down Nott's legs?
MATT: Does he?
SAM: Invisible shit.
MARISHA: Just a little.
MATT: Ah, invisible shit (laughs).
TRAVIS: I can see it.
SAM: Oh, he's still seeing invisibility.
SAM: Little, little bit, little trickle.
LIAM: The rest of us just see rabbit pellets appear.
MATT: (popping) Yasha, do you walk with them? Because you're at the threshold.
MATT: Okay. You watch as she makes these long lumbering strides towards the house, the arms swaying unnaturally from side to side. As she reaches the base of the rock, there's a pause, and then she skitters up the side like a spider, before getting to the top.
ASHLEY: I don't like it, I don't like it.
LIAM: That's bad, you're bad.
MATT: She steps inside the house, leaving the door open. You see her spin from the inside and rest, sitting on what looks like a stool, but you see her pull a large box, one of the crates that was empty on the side, as a chair, scoots it up and sits on the opposite side of the table and (squeaks) arranges it in front of her, takes the lantern, sets it on a hook.
MATT: "Who wishes to talk?"
SAM: Ugh, gross.
TRAVIS: Well, two of you are here for a reason, and all of us can get our palms read. Would you prefer if someone else went first?
MARISHA: Yes. Yes, I don't know what to expect, yes. Someone with lower stakes.
ASHLEY: By all means.
TRAVIS: Sure, I'll go. Well, I mean, if somebody has to go. I'll talk.
MATT: So you enter the house?
LIAM: Speed dating.
SAM: All by yourself?
MATT: You step into the room, and it's tight quarters with the two of you in there. You're about five feet from her, comfortably. As you step into the chamber, the door (whooshes) closes behind you, on its own. You guys lose all sight of Fjord. The chamber is just closed, and the interior light is not visible.
ASHLEY: We can't even look through the windows.
MATT: There are no windows.
LAURA: We can't even hear anything?
MATT: And no door-- no, there is a door.
ASHLEY: I thought there were windows in the front.
MATT: The lantern marked ahead lights the room, but the shadows still cast across the upper half of the face, and you can see the piercing and a faint glow of green eyes, from underneath, looking right at you. The arms spread out akimbo and grasping the sides of her knees, as she stares towards you. "So?"
TRAVIS: Oh, you're waiting for me to speak.
MATT: "I assume you came with a reason."
TRAVIS: I did. Forgive me, the words fall a bit short when you're in the room of something as revered and mysterious as yourself. We've actually done quite a bit of research.
MATT: "(laughs) Flattery, I like it."
TRAVIS: Happy to please. I suppose my question would start with, it seems one of our party was affected by something that you might have done with her. It is of great interest to us if we might be able to discuss a way to lift your... effect.
MATT: "I take it you mean the goblin among you."
SAM: I'm invisible. She can't see me.
TRAVIS: There is not much that escapes your view.
MATT: "Well, that was quite the favor I had repaid that day."
TRAVIS: Favor? Repaid?
MATT: "I am a woman of my word. It takes a lot to ask me to break of my promises. I have a reputation to maintain."
TRAVIS: You've done a beautiful job. Might I ask, you said a favor was repaid. I can't imagine someone of your ilk is in need of services very often.
MATT: "Not often, no. Circumstances can sometimes be... strange."
TRAVIS: I understand. We happen to be a group of individuals that often find ourselves in strange circumstances. Perhaps we could be of use to you.
MATT: "Hmm." Make a persuasion check.
MARISHA: Oh my god, he asked her.
TRAVIS: With disadvantage, right?
TRAVIS: That was a 22, and that's a 10.
MARISHA: Oh, it was so good.
MATT: A 10?
LIAM: Dang it, Fjordy.
MATT: "No favors. I thrive on my connections. One could trade, perhaps."
TRAVIS: You seem to know all.
TRAVIS: Is there anything that you have a particular interest in?
MATT: "I've seen many lifetimes. And I (cracks)," and you hear this heavy crack as the neck snaps in an unnatural way.
MATT: "I enjoy being tethered to misery. It feeds me. And your friend has been a delicious drip."
TRAVIS: Hmm. I'm sure you can understand I don't want to speak for any of the other members of our group, but there may be more misery amongst us.
MATT: "Existing misery is paltry. New misery--"
MATT: "That is lasting."
TRAVIS: I care very much for these people. If I am not one to offer you what you would seek, I'm sure there is someone in our group that may be able to satisfy, but is there anything, as you see through me, that interests you?
MATT: "For this transaction, perhaps not. But if you seek other enlightenment, shifting one's fortunes, a change in the backhand of fate, if you will, I could turn that around a bit.
TRAVIS: You paint an alluring picture, but no. I thank you for your time. And I turn, and I leave.
MATT: The door's already open for you.
TRAVIS: That was very good.
MATT: "(sniffing)" No response beyond that.
TRAVIS: I walk out.
SAM: What happened? Are you okay?
TRAVIS: (like Gollum) I'm afraid.
SAM: Oh shit!
LAURA: Oh no, no, no, Fjord!
TRAVIS: (coughing) Fuck, the humidity change is so dramatic. She's a deal-maker. She's attracted by misery. Not existing, but perhaps new. It seems we'll have to give something in order to have your curse lifted.
MARISHA: I walk in.
LAURA: Oh, come on! Caleb, as soon as she comes out, Fire Bolt the hut.
MATT: You step in, and the door closes behind you.
LIAM: Why wait?
SAM: Oh, misery.
MARISHA: What's this about new misery? What now?
MARISHA: Yeah, okay.
MATT: "You have a familiar scent on you. I can sense we are already tethered in some way."
MARISHA: Tell me.
MATT: "A familiar taste."
MARISHA: Familiar? So not new.
MATT: "Not new. But I can take new."
MARISHA: What more could you take from me that you haven't already?
MATT: "(laughs) You have an imagination, don't you? Quite a lot."
MATT: "What would you give me?"
MARISHA: Why don't you start by telling me what you've taken?
MATT: "From you?"
MARISHA: From me and mine.
MATT: "I have given. I have granted what was asked of me."
MATT: "And yet you smell of misery. You ask a question you already know the answer to."
MARISHA: Nothing's given freely, ever.
MARISHA: So, if I already smell of misery, not new misery, what more could you want?
MATT: (sighs) She shifts her demeanor towards you, thinking. "It's not about specifically taking. What I want is to be given something that you know you would not want to lose."
MARISHA: And then what do I get?
MATT: "I release your friend. But the scales have to weigh evenly."
MARISHA: That I don't want to lose. I'll walk away from all of it, everything that I've worked really hard to get, this fam-uly, fam, fam, family?
LIAM: It's in the air. It's not your fault. It's all of us.
MARISHA: This family, my old family, my new brother, my position.
MATT: She leans forward, interested, and listening intently.
MARISHA: I've achieved more than I thought I ever would, richer than I ever thought I would, more skilled than I ever thought I would. I don't know what's left, past this, anyway. Maybe I've peaked, you know.
MATT: "Chosen exile." You see her eyes seeming to look beyond the walls of this chamber towards the individuals that await you outside. "From this? That is new misery."
MARISHA: Where would I be exiled to? My choice, yeah, but where would I be?
MATT: "The inspiration will find you. Do you accept this transaction?"
MARISHA: And what of my family, my blood family? What of my father and his current deal?
MATT: "His deal continues until it comes to its fruition. This is a new deal for a new misery. Think about it if you're uncertain. But you've come this far, have you not? Be a shame to walk away empty-handed."
MARISHA: I leave.
MATT: Beauregard exits.
SAM: What'd you say, what'd you do? What happened?
LAURA: What just happened?
MARISHA: Go talk to her.
LAURA: Beau, what did you do?
TRAVIS: She knows you're here, Nott.
SAM: I'm invisible.
LAURA: What did you do?
MARISHA: I didn't do anything.
TRAVIS: No, she knows.
MARISHA: Not yet.
SAM: All right, I'll go in.
MATT: Okay. You muster the courage.
SAM: I take a little more sip.
MATT: Okay. It's been quite a while since you drank. So you're not drunk anymore. You're on the cusp of a mild headache.
TRAVIS: Damn tolerance.
MATT: But you enter the chamber, and it closes behind you. The woman is currently looming over the table, looking towards you and is just filling most of your vision, at that point, before she sits into a resting position. Leans in on the table, looking down at you, arms crossing, and you see, once again, like the dual joints bending before folding. "It's been some time, halfling girl."
SAM: So you remember me?
MATT: I remember everything.
SAM: Have you done this to other people?
MATT: "Not quite this way, but you're not the first punishment I've been asked to enforce."
SAM: Might I ask why? You said a debt, but what debt?
MATT: "Let's just say those goblins once did me quite the favor with something I couldn't achieve myself."
SAM: And they did this favor for you in exchange for a repayment?
MATT: "For a favor to them. Then one day they came and called that debt in. I felt it was maybe a bit small-minded, but I respect those in the throes of anger and vengeful fury. That's a powerful thing."
SAM: Just hypothetically, if they didn't exist anymore, would that debt need be honored?
MATT: "Oh (laughs), my word is my bind. Whether or not they're around, I cannot just discard my promises. Reputation and all that."
SAM: And to undo it, you would need some sort of payment from me?
MATT: "Or a equal misery in turn."
SAM: What if-- does the misery have to affect me or my friends? Can it be anyone?
MATT: "It can be a misery offered, but it has to be given freely. It's hard to take something like that. The willingness is what makes it so ripe!"
SAM: The willingness. So another life, another body, something like that? What about... We've got two options here. How about the life of a weasel? (laughter) Not big enough, right?
MATT: "You're amusing, little one."
SAM: I've been drinking a lot, today. I'm not promising anything, but what if two warring nations were about to form a lasting peace, and that peace just sort of went away?
LIAM: Sick, fucking sick.
SAM: That would cause misery for thousands, tens of thousands of people.
MATT: "Ah, but I am not tethered to that misery, unless you tether it for me." The eyes are growing brighter.
SAM: How does that work?
MATT: Without looking, the hand reaches over and extends all the way to the shelf from her sitting position on the opposite end of the room, and between the fingers, you can see grasping four different jars and vials and pulling them over. "I have ways, tinctures that can bear the connection."
SAM: That I would have to take, swallow, apply?
MATT: "Apply, have them swallow themselves of me."
SAM: Swallow. I won't be able to do it today, obviously.
MATT: "But if you do this, then I will remove, happily, this hex I hold on your soul."
SAM: And I'll go back to being the way I was?
MATT: "With the right magic, yes. I could help with that, though the process is a bit, uh (laughs), painful, if familiar."
SAM: Yes. Oh, what does that do? It just connects you to that person's soul?
MATT: "It's difficult to explain, but sure, close enough."
SAM: Do I have to leave a deposit or something, or can I just take one?
MATT: "Well, do you agree to my transaction?"
SAM: I don't know if it's possible even. Ah. Oh boy. I better go talk to my friends.
MATT: (clinks) The glasses clink together as she places them not back on the shelf but to the floor, beside, in a holding position. The other hand gives a gesture as the door (whooshes) opens behind you.
SAM: I'll just sort of back out of the room. Just one more question, before I go.
SAM: Did you enjoy doing this to me?
MATT: "Didn't enjoy doing it to you. I've enjoyed everything since."
SAM: All right, I'll leave. Not much happened in there. I kind of want to kill her, but I feel like that's going to be super hard.
TRAVIS: I actually agree with you, only because I can't imagine any of us would be able to give anything that wouldn't shift our lives or the lives of those around us without getting what we want.
MARISHA: What did she tell you?
SAM: She told me that she could help.
LAURA: How? Why? What did you offer?
SAM: Things that don't really affect us, though.
ASHLEY: Like what?
SAM: Just other people.
LAURA: Other people? You offered to torture other people?
SAM: I didn't offer to torture anyone. I just, I would make sure that none of us were harmed or sacrificed in any way.
LAURA: That's sounds dark, Nott. I don't know what you're talking about.
SAM: Well, I mean, there's a lot of evil people out there, these people who have been waging war against each other, and they're not innocent. They've been doing this to each other now for years, and they could've stopped at any time.
LIAM: And you singled out specific people?
SAM: No, I mean--
LIAM: Are we talking about the Assembly or--
MARISHA: What did you offer?
SAM: I didn't, I mean, I didn't make any deals. I just said that--
MARISHA: I already had a conversation with her.
LIAM and SAM: What did you offer?
MARISHA: I just know whatever she wants, it's got to be substantial. So what did you offer?
SAM: To, to, to maybe, maybe tether her to one of the souls of (sighs), you know, Emperor Dwendal, maybe.
SAM: You have to take a, take a pill? I mean, he's--
LAURA: That doesn't sound very doable.
SAM: Well, I mean, we can do a lot of things.
LAURA: Like kill this lady?
SAM: I think it's easier to get Dwendal to swallow a pill than it is to kill this lady.
LIAM: Dwendal is surrounded by hundreds of loyal subjects.
SAM: Yes, but we'll be right next to him.
LAURA: No, we won't.
LIAM: We're right next to her.
TRAVIS: Plus, it's most certainly not as cut-and-dry as that. There's always ripples.
ASHLEY: Wait, so she wants a sacrifice? I don't understand.
TRAVIS: She said she wanted the scales to be even, so for the gesture, for lifting the curse from Nott, whatever the exchange is has to be equally monumental, devastating, with misery attached to it.
TALIESIN: What was it worth to turn you into this? What did they pay?
SAM: For her?
SAM: It's a favor. It's a debt to these goblins, to my old clan.
TRAVIS: I offered to make our services available, and she declined.
SAM: I offered to kill the goblins, and she said that wouldn't be enough. What did you offer, Beau?
MARISHA: She wants new misery, right?
LAURA: What if I just go in and, like, offered to, like, cut off my hand or something? You think that's enough?
LAURA: But I really like my hand.
LAURA: Both my hands?
TALIESIN: And probably several other people's.
LIAM: You have to no longer be able to paint.
SAM: What did you offer, Beau? I offered war.
MARISHA: I think TJ, my little brother, and Luc could be best friends.
LAURA: Did you offer to kill them?
MARISHA: (laughs) No.
SAM: What do you mean?
MARISHA: I'm going to be a loner. I'm used to it. I'm comfortable there.
SAM: What does that mean? You'd be isolated or something?
MARISHA: The things we've done together, I'm never going to top that. And you're right. We have to fix you, because you have a son. You have a little boy to raise. And all of us are eventually going to find our own way. It's not going to last forever. And, you know, maybe, maybe this was what it was all leading to, Molly's lessons, that you taught me, and this weird connection between me and you and this fucking hag and--
LAURA: What are you talking about? Are you saying you're going to kill yourself? Are you saying, what are you saying?
MARISHA: No, no.
ASHLEY: She's saying she'll leave all this.
LAURA: You're going to leave us?
MARISHA: Y'all are the greatest family I could ever ask for. I can't, I can't top this, you know.
LAURA: Then don't offer that, don't offer that at all.
MARISHA: But, but (laughs), think about it.
SAM: No, she's right, I mean--
ASHLEY: I walk in.
SAM: It's, its, oh!
MATT: Okay, the door closes behind you.
TALIESIN: Damn it.
ASHLEY: You were saying you want misery, and I have it in spades. What are you looking for?
MATT: "You walk with heavy scars already. I don't know if you could offer me a fair trade. It's hard to feed from those who already wallow at the bottom. But I can turn that around for you, if you'd like."
MATT: "Well, what is it you dream of? What is it that eludes your grasp? What is something that you wish for on the night's cloudy sky?"
ASHLEY: I don't know if you could give me what I want.
MATT: "Perhaps I can't. I can do many things, but I have even my limitations."
ASHLEY: Can you bring people back from the dead?
MATT: "Hmm. It is difficult, but not impossible."
ASHLEY: So if you did it, if you could bring this person back...
ASHLEY: (sighs) No, I... We're here for one thing. I don't need anything from you. But I could give you something that would cause me a lot of misery to give you.
ASHLEY: I take out my book from Molly. I have been collecting things for someone to bring to them. These were for my wife. And I pull out a flower from Molly. I don't want to give these things away, but I can.
MATT: Roll a persuasion check with disadvantage.
ASHLEY: My persuasion's already pretty low. That's cocked. Okay.
ASHLEY: I rolled a one.
SAM: It's a nice book.
MATT: "A good thought, but (hisses) not equal. Not all journeys come to a resolution."
ASHLEY: I know one resolution. But I don't think it would end very well for you.
MATT: You watch as the shoulders pull back a bit, and you swear, you swear for an instant, her body seems to swell and grow as the shadows grow across the walls behind her, as she sits a little higher in the seat. "Do tell."
ASHLEY: Oh, I just meant I would kill you.
ASHLEY: Then maybe all of this would be resolved.
MATT: You guys can hear the laughter emitting from the inside of the house.
LAURA: Oh no.
TALIESIN: I don't like that.
ASHLEY: But I feel like, um, I don't know, maybe you should hear what everyone else has to offer, before we get to that place.
MATT: "Smart of you, child of the wastes. (hisses)" The door (whooshes) opens up.
ASHLEY: She's all yours, whoever wants to go in there.
LAURA: I go in.
MATT: (laughs) One by one, okay!
SAM: Oh Jester!
TRAVIS: Let's just fuck it up.
MATT: "Hmm. You're the one that found me."
LAURA: I did, I did. I'm really sorry about it. You know, we just really needed to see, like, who you were going to come to see, and I didn't know it would bother you. You know, I didn't even think about the fact that it's like, you know, in the future, if you ever want to scry on us, I wouldn't blame you, you know, because I did it to you before.
TRAVIS: Can that witch die from anti-misery?
LAURA: You come, take some.
MATT: "What is it you seek?"
LAURA: Oh, I'm just looking for a way to break that curse that, you know, you gave to my friend. I don't want her to be a goblin anymore, because she doesn't want to be a goblin, so--
MATT: "Well, have you an offering for trade?"
LAURA: Oh, something that would make me so miserable. Right, that's what you want?
LAURA: Let's see. I'm a pretty happy person.
MATT: "I can see that."
LAURA: And I said I could offer, like, to give you a hand, like literally, if I cut my hand off or something.
MATT: "Or something."
MATT: "Those are artistic hands."
LAURA: Yeah, I paint, I draw.
MATT: The mouth curls into a wide grin.
LAURA: I also play piano. Do you want me to play something for you?
MATT: "I'm fine, but thank you."
LAURA: You know, I bet you don't get a lot of entertainment out here, right? What if, in exchange, we, like, play you a concert? I could paint your portrait. You don't have any mirrors, you know. I could show you what you look like.
MATT: "Back to what you said before. Are you offering your artistic expression?"
LAURA: Um, like, my, like, ability to draw?
MATT: "It is something I see brings you much joy."
LAURA: Um, it does, it does, it really does.
MATT: You see saliva gathering at the edges of her mouth, one single string (slurps) on the table. "If you give me your hands--"
LAURA: Like, literally, like, my hands. Like, how will I eat, you know? Like, what if it's just, you know, my ability to draw?
MATT: "You have friends who can feed you, right?"
LAURA: Oh man, that's going to suck real bad, to not have any hands at all. Does it negate it if I go and I grow them back or something?
MATT: "(laughs) I think you know how... intense and lasting these bargains can be."
LAURA: Oh, right, I wouldn't be able to grow them back. (blows raspberry) Both of my hands (laughs), that just seems so stupid, oh. (laughs)
MATT: She flicks a finger, and you see one of the empty cages in the wall (squeaks), about the right size for two hands.
LAURA: (laughs) That's going to make things so difficult! No hands?
SAM: You're the one who offered it.
MATT: "Individuals make do all the time."
LAURA: Wait, wait, what about when I cast spells, like with my fingers? Is it like Doctor Strange, where, like, I can still do it?
MATT: "That would be a conversation between you and whatever entity--"
LAURA: His name's the Traveler. He's a really powerful god. I bet he's here, right now, looking over me. Are you here?
MATT: "Right. Have we a deal?" As she leans forward, seeming to consume the interior of the chamber, looming over and down upon you, the one lengthy hand reaching out, like this.
LAURA: Well, hold on, maybe before we make the deal, I can eat one last cupcake, you know, since I won't be able to do it. Okay (sobs). I'm going to pull out my last blueberry cupcake that I got.
TALIESIN: How long has this been now?
LAURA: And, I'm going to--
LIAM: Everybody's been long.
MATT: It's been this long.
LIAM: Everybody's been long. Beau took forever.
MARISHA: I'm going to walk up and just--
SAM: You're not in there.
MARISHA: I'm walking up to the front door.
LAURA: I'm in the middle of talking!
SAM: Let her do her thing.
LAURA: Please split this cupcake with me? Have you ever had a blueberry cupcake?
MATT: "Hmm, I don't believe I have."
LAURA: See, I'm using my fingers to break it in half.
ASHLEY: Oh my god.
MATT: Make a persuasion check.
LAURA: (laughs) (sighs) 24.
MATT: She reaches out and grabs the other half of the cupcake. It's so small in her long, curly fingers. (groaning) Kind of (sniffs). (wet chewing)
LAURA: That was sprinkled with the Dust of Deliciousness.
MATT: (laughs) Okay. Remind me what that is again.
LAURA: That is a dust that makes food taste much better.
LAURA: And it also gives you a disadvantage on wisdom checks and wisdom saving throws.
LAURA: And I'm going to cast... Modify Memory.
TALIESIN: Oh my god.
TRAVIS: Swing and hit, swing and hit.
MATT: Hold on, hold on.
TRAVIS: My soul hurts so much.
ASHLEY: Oh my god.
TALIESIN: Oh no.
SAM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
LAURA: And I'm going--
SAM: Higher level.
LAURA: Well, I'm going to see if it works.
ASHLEY: Come on, come on, come on.
MATT: (laughs) Okay, hold on.
LAURA: I mean, it doesn't matter.
SAM: It does.
LAURA: No, it doesn't. It just affects how long ago I could do it. This is within the last 24 hours. So 5th-level is what I need to cast it at.
MATT: It is here. Okay, there we go.
TALIESIN: Oh my god, what?
LAURA: Did I succeed?
LAURA: I'm going to make her believe--
LAURA: That she enjoyed my company so very much that she agreed to end Nott's curse, because she liked hanging out so much. (laughter) And she hasn't had good company in a very long time.
ASHLEY: Laura. Fucking. Bailey.
MATT: Just going through the details of the spell here.
MARISHA: I'm having a heart attack.
TRAVIS: The jury deliberates.
LIAM: Out of the box.
MATT: Okay, so as you complete your incantation, the minute of describing this shift in time, you--
LAURA: I get done with telling her that, and I just start going: (laughs) Oh my god, you are so funny!
LAURA and MATT: (laugh)
MATT: (sighs) "It has been quite a while since I've taken just a moment to relax, I suppose."
LAURA: I know, right? Everybody needs that.
MATT: (sighs) "Hmm."
LAURA: Thank you.
MATT: "Strange day."
LAURA: I know, but thank you so much. It means a lot.
MATT: "You caught me in a good mood. Well, should you come across any more of those cupcakes--"
LAURA: I will send them your way.
MATT: "Do not be afraid to come visit again."
LAURA: I will definitely do that. You know, they make some that are called black moss cupcakes. I will let you know, because, yeah. (laughter)
MATT: "Well, the night grows late."
LAURA: Yeah, it does, it is. It's getting dark outside.
MATT: "Is there anything else I can help you with, something that you have always wanted?"
LAURA: Just your company, you know, thank you. Should I send my friend Nott in, or is it just, does it, do you need to see her?
MATT: "Oh, it's fine," and you see the hand wave past, and the shadows of the room grow extremely dark. The lantern fights to maintain a flame. And then it slowly expands back out. "A deal is a deal."
LAURA: This has been fun.
LAURA: Well, it's a long journey back. I guess we should head out, huh?
LAURA: Thank you so much.
LAURA: See you later.
MATT: "See you sometime."
MATT: "(laughs) Huh."
LAURA: Does the door do the thing?
MATT: "Right." (laughter) She seems very distracted and is trying to piece together incongruent events, but waves a hand and the door closes behind (thuds).
LAURA: Ooh! We got to go. You're good. Let's go.
LAURA: Let's go! Come on, let's go. Let's go.
TRAVIS: What do you mean?
LAURA: Let's get the fuck out of here.
TRAVIS: We're walking.
SAM: I need to get the tincture.
LAURA: No, you don't. Your curse is broken. A deal has been made. Everything's fine.
SAM: What did you give her?
TRAVIS: What do you mean it's been broken?
LAURA: I gave her something very precious. Let's get the fuck out of here.
SAM: Your hands are still there.
LAURA: I know. You know what?
SAM: What did you give her?
LAURA: She ended up being a really nice lady.
TRAVIS: Jester, Jester, are you sure?
LAURA: Everything's fine.
TRAVIS: Then let's go. Let's walk.
LAURA: I am so serious. Let's go.
TALIESIN: Oh, go, okay.
LAURA: Yes. Yes.
LIAM: All right, well, we're leaving.
TRAVIS: Does Nott look the same?
MATT: Yeah, Nott looks the same.
LAURA: Yeah, it's just the curse is lifted, and we can try that spell again, let's go. Let's go, let's keep going, let's go.
MATT: You gather your things and rapidly follow the very insistent Jester back into now the night shadows of the swamp ahead of you.
SAM: Oh god.
MATT: Still exhausted, still recovering from the initial journey, you briskly vanish into the shadows of night.
LIAM: 200 feet behind them, my shadow Caleb's going boop, boop, boop, boop.
ASHLEY: Hey, hey, hey, wait, wait, wait!
MATT: As you make your way into the deep mists, we're going to end tonight's session there.
SAM: What the fuck just happened?
TALIESIN: You fucking beast! You fucking beast!
ASHLEY: That was amazing!
TALIESIN: Oh my god, what a troll!
TRAVIS: I can't even begin to digest, the Dust of Deliciousness on the cupcake?
LAURA: Well, I've been holding on the fucking Dust of Deliciousness.
MATT: I had forgotten about that fucking item.
LAURA: And it's still good for five more servings.
LIAM: So obviously, in the moment, a legendary moment of this campaign.
MATT: Fun point of order, fun point of order, the first roll I rolled was a two. Then I was like, "Oh, she's disadvantage. Well no, but she has advantage on magic resistance, so it's just a roll," and still a fail.
LAURA: It was a two!
TRAVIS: That's what your face journey was. It was a complicated one.
MATT: It was like, "Ooh fuck, wait, no, disadvantage, fuck!"
TALIESIN: You completely fucking Gretel-ed his Hansel, like it was just--
TALIESIN: Oh my god, you fed a witch a baked good, how?
TRAVIS: For every Inflict Wounds that has failed, that your dice have failed you on-- That was payback.
ASHLEY: That was the greatest.
LIAM: That was a major moment.
SAM: I would've started a war again.
LAURA: I know!
TRAVIS: Beau was about to just walk away from everything.
SAM: I would've sacrificed thousands of lives.
MARISHA: No, made up my mind, so still processing.
TALIESIN: You sacrificed a cupcake!
LAURA: And it was probably pretty moldy. It was an old-ass cupcake.
LIAM: World War III or a Hostess cupcake (laughs).
MARISHA: Is Modify Memory permanent?
LIAM: Unless somebody gets it out of them.
ASHLEY: It's permanent?
LAURA: Yep, it's permanent. She will forever--
MATT: It's permanent until Greater Restoration or Remove Curse is cast.
LAURA: And if they don't know that anything happened, then why would they ever ask for that?
TALIESIN: Yeah, it will only undo if something--
MATT: She just seemed to be dealing with the incongruent elements of her day's events.
TRAVIS: Yeah, there's a fair chance we've rakshasa-ed this shit.
MATT: A very long-living, very intelligent and conniving individual that has made their living feeding off the misery of other people that she's tricked them into--
LAURA: Oh my god.
MATT: But we'll pick this up, next Thursday!
TALIESIN: Oh, oh!
TRAVIS: I just cannot believe it.
TALIESIN: Holy shit.
ASHLEY: I am so proud of you, Laura Bailey.
TALIESIN: That was so clutch.
TRAVIS: That was some goddamned walk-off, ninth inning grand slam World Series shit.
MATT: As a dungeon master, that was one of the more frustrating moments, like as a person that's built to an intense encounter like this, and one of the most proud I've been of a player outsmarting me.
SAM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
LIAM: It was cool, though, because we could see your, like, vague disappointment of like, "No, this is my big-- no, I'm leaning into this."
TRAVIS: There is a hidden map over there, behind us, special curtain, that we're never going to see.
LAURA: We're never going to see.
LAURA: Well, maybe.
MATT: Well, we'll see.
LAURA: You don't know. She might come after us.
SAM: We could walk into the swamp and hear a scream.
LAURA: Yep, that's true. (Ashley screeches)
MATT: But nevertheless, that's the end of our session tonight. We'll be back with this next Thursday.
TALIESIN: Fudge, wow.
LAURA: Oh man, I want to throw up.
ASHLEY: I'm so happy.
MATT: I'm going to have to just chew on that one tonight. Holy fuck, Laura.
TRAVIS: We're, like, creepy as fuck in each one of those, what do we call them? Interviews? What a session!
SAM: What are these long-fingered creatures that we've encountered?
TRAVIS: Double elbows?
MATT: Well, like, Keona the Keen just happened to be a character you went to. This one's been planned for a long time.
LAURA: Oh my god.
ASHLEY: I thought you were going to go, like, give her a tarot card reading or something.
LAURA: Something equally stupid.
ASHLEY: I was like, "she's going to do something weird."
MATT: I had cards ready.
ASHLEY: But I had no idea.
LAURA: Oh, see? I've been waiting.
TALIESIN: I know. I've got, like, two more in there. Yeah, got, like, three more now.
ASHLEY: That was so cool.
TALIESIN: Oh, now I can turn on my phone again.
MATT: My Tactics Ogre.
LAURA: Oh my god.
MATT: Cards there, just in case somebody wanted to go ahead and get a reading based on them wanting something and making an exchange like Thoreau did.
TALIESIN: Oh yeah.
MATT: Oh, man, all righty, well, nevertheless--
MATT: Thank you, guys, so much for joining us. We'll pick it up next Thursday. We love you very much. And is it Thursday yet? Good night.
TRAVIS: Not for another week!
MATT: I know.
TRAVIS: What the fuck?
(dramatic orchestral music)