MATT: Hello everyone! Close. Welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons, rolling dice and shit. So welcome! Always awkward. Anyway, before we get into the game, we’re going to do some quick announcements for the evening. First off, we had our recent 100th episode, and I think we have some merch in there. Laura, any updates?
LAURA: Oh my gosh, all that crazy merch that we have! We have those posters, you guys, those amazing David Mack posters that look so pretty. The signed versions are going to be in the store for one more week, and the non-signed version is going to be in the store for two more weeks! And that’s it, and then they’re gone forever. So tell your friends, tell your buddies, tell everyone you know.
TRAVIS: Hide your neighbors, hide your wife.
LAURA: That’s right. And we also have our Scanlan concert tees and our Slayer’s Cake aprons. Our hats are out of stock, but everything else should be in there if you guys want to go check it out.
LAURA: In the shop at Geekandsundry.com.
MATT: Thank you, Laura.
LAURA: Hey, you’re welcome.
MATT: That’s so sweet. All right, that is that. Let’s see, here else. Just a reminder, the Tal'Dorei campaign guide pre-orders go on sale mid-July. You can go to the Green Ronin website for info on that, and it will be released physically bound at Gen Con first, and then it will be coming out weeks after that on the interwebs. Check out Green Ronin’s site for all that information! And we’re excited about Gen Con insanity, so see you guys there. Let’s see. Wednesday Club? Mr. Taliesin Jaffe?
TALIESIN: Yeah, we’ve got something special planned, but I don’t know if it’s official yet, but I think that we are going to be celebrating Pride Month, and we may have a special guest. I can’t say for sure, but we’re going to be talking.
SAM: It’s Stan Lee.
TALIESIN: It’s Stan Lee. He’s coming out on our show.
LIAM: You heard it here first.
TALIESIN: He and his pansexual adventures throughout comicdom. Excelsior. It’s going to be fun. It’ll be a thing.
MATT: Go watch it, true believers!
TALIESIN: Possible special guest.
MATT: I love it. Check it out, special guest for Wednesday Club next week. Awesome. Thank you, Taliesin.
LIAM: Why limit myself to just one?
SAM: That’s Gilbert Gottfried?
MATT: All right. Also, we have Talks Machina Tuesdays at seven PM Pacific time here, on Twitch and Alpha, to discuss what you’ll watch tonight on this episode.
TRAVIS: Getting turnt.
MATT: Yes, that. Thank you, Sam. That’s okay. Well done.
TALIESIN: It’s really pleasing in the hand, isn’t it?
MARISHA: That’s what she said.
MATT: And I think that’s it. Quick announcements this evening. Nice and quick. I like it. That means we get to dive back into the story here, guys!
TALIESIN: Should we mention that we had to reprint some character sheets, or are we not mentioning that? I’ve now said it online.
MATT: Yeah! A few characters levelled. We have a few folks at 18 now, so that’s fun.
TALIESIN: Old enough to get in trouble for drinking.
LAURA: Do you want to make a special announcement?
ASHLEY: So, special announcement about my hair. No. There’s a time jump in Blindspot, so I’m here.
ASHLEY: Oh, shit.
MARISHA: Do they just assume your character doesn’t go to the salon and cut your hair? Is that not a thing?
LAURA: But they’re so pretty!
ASHLEY: I love them. So much hair!
LIAM: Did your character in the time jump go to the Feywild, or go sailing on the sea?
MATT: I’m pretty sure she makes her own bakery cake store. It’s going to be great. It’s called the Slayer’s Bake. Anyway, guys, I think that’s it, and that being the case, let’s go ahead and hop into tonight’s episode of Critical Role.
MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome back. So last we left off–
LAURA: Wait, do I put that on my saving throws, too?
TRAVIS: Are you serious?
LIAM: We need to share it with the world. Laura just leveled up, and her attack bonus went down.
LAURA: Because I was doing it wrong this whole time. Yep.
MATT: Oh boy. Anyway. Last we left off, Vox Machina had discovered the existence of a second ziggurat-like structure on the continent of Marquet, and apparently a cult of the Whispered One there gathering magical artifacts to toss into a second darkened black orb, similar to the one beneath Whitestone, all this time. You ran into Scanlan once more, and leading you guys to where this cavern was found in the mountains of Smouldercrown on the continent of Marquet, you did battle with the cultists there, and seemed to reveal one of the leaders in that group was none other than the not-dead Delilah Briarwood. She fended you off, completed their ritual, and some of their surviving cultists fled into the orb apparently to the other side. You then gathered yourselves, gathered some supplies, your information, and then proceeded to travel through the orb in Whitestone into the Shadowfell, the shadow plane, dark mirror to the Prime Material, where you stumbled upon a partially ruined city that had undergone some sort of ancient siege, and much of it still lies in ruins and disrepair, where you discovered what seemed to be two other siphon orbs existing around the outskirts of this forgotten city, leaving threads of magical energy being siphoned and transferred to a singular black obsidian tower, for whatever purpose the Whispered One, the Undying King, has for this energy. You began to make your way deeper into the city, masquerading as some undead. In the process you killed a few cultists wandering the street, and intimidated one– Or, I should say, you didn’t intimidate. You killed him, and then asked his corpse. I guess that’s a form of intimidation. Probably one of the most extreme forms of intimidation, really. Discovering that this city is under the title Thar Amphala. Thar Amphala, you don’t know too much about it, other than it seems to be where an ancient battle took place. Much ofthe undead that wanders this realm carries armaments, weapons, and symbols that seem to be of Pelor, the Dawn Father. You also discovered that there’s this tower in the center titled Entropis, where all the magic is being funneled at the moment. Thus, having found this information, gathered your resolve, you continue your trek deeper and deeper into the city surrounding the tower Entropis, to discover what your purpose is here in Thar Amphala. So, Vox Machina, what do you do?
LIAM: Figuring it all out.
SAM: Taking five.
LAURA: Time out, time out, time out.
ASHLEY: Just hanging out.
SAM: So we found out that there’s a ritual happening soon.
LAURA: Yeah, like super stat.
SAM: And there’s no day or night here, so who cares, right?
LAURA: Right? It’s all just night, all the time.
MATT: It’s kind of a sunless gray sky. There’s some low light, like a very heavy– Like a very dark, thunderous Seattle.
ASHLEY: (singing) Hello Seattle! It’s a song.
TRAVIS: What song?
ASHLEY: I think it is.
MATT: It is now. So.
SAM: We have to make our way to the big tower, right? Super fast, and invisibly. Oh, we’re also vampire creatures!
LAURA: Oh, we look like the gloom stalkers! No, those are the flying ones.
SAM: We look like miscellaneous vampirey things, right?
LIAM: Yeah, shambling zombies.
LAURA: Scary ghouly creatures.
TALIESIN: Extras from a bad zombie video.
TRAVIS: Is Pass Without a Trace still kicking?
TRAVIS: Pass Without a Trace.
MATT: I would say probably because you haven’t cast a spell yet that would’ve interrupted it, it would be…
LAURA: I cast it when we landed here.
MATT: But I don’t think you’ve done anything that altered that concentration yet.
LAURA: I don’t think so. So it’s still going?
MATT: I think so. For maybe another 30 minutes or so.
LAURA: Yeah, I didn’t Hunter’s Mark either of the guys that I attacked.
TRAVIS: And we’ve got the smoking thing, right? What’s it called, the censer?
LAURA: Yeah, that thing.
TRAVIS: What is it?
LAURA: The smoky thing.
SAM: The censer.
TRAVIS: Is it called a censer?
TRAVIS: First try!
LIAM: And we learned that it does something, too.
SAM: It protects you from ghouley deads.
LIAM: From ghouley deads, specifically.
ASHLEY: Will it protect all of us?
TALIESIN: I think it’s got a range.
LAURA: If we stay in this… tight.
ASHLEY: If we stay tight?
TALIESIN: Stay tight.
SAM: So why don’t we just walk through the center of town, in the middle of the road, with the censer, and walk into the tower? No? Maybe?
LAURA: No. I see nothing wrong with this plan.
SAM: Fly up to the top of the tower?
TRAVIS: Oh, no.
TALIESIN: Stay on the ground.
SAM: Teleport somewhere?
LAURA: Do you have that ability?
SAM: She does.
LAURA: There’s no trees on the top of the tower.
SAM: Or we can be smoky mist.
LAURA: Then it’ll take us a minute to not be mist anymore, and by then they’ll realize we’re there on the top of the tower.
TRAVIS: Should we take off the robes that they had and pop it on some of us?
LAURA: Sure, why not? I mean, we’re undead. We look like we’re undead.
TALIESIN: I think they probably know we’re here. I think they probably know we’re coming. I think let’s just trepidatiously make our way a little closer, see what else is in this town, see if maybe there’s anything useful.
LIAM: And stay low-key. We don’t need to go marching.
LAURA: Blend in.
TALIESIN: Let’s not blow anything up yet.
SAM: But we’re making our way to the tower.
TALIESIN: Making our way towards the tower, in a towerly direction.
LAURA: Are we at full health?
TALIESIN: No. I’m not.
LAURA: I’m not either.
ASHLEY: I can help with that.
LAURA: Should we take a 30-minute rest and roll some hit points?
MARISHA: Did we fight? Oh, no, that’s right, we went down going through.
MATT: Yeah, going through the actual portal, the spinning ball of death caused some damage.
LAURA: I don’t know if there’s actually time for that, though, to take.
TALIESIN: I’m all right with mine. I’m 20 points down. I don’t mind being 20 points down.
SAM: Let’s be all full, though. We can be full.
LAURA: We’re going to fucking potentially fight Delilah Briarwood.
SAM: Yeah, let’s be full.
MARISHA: I’m assuming it’s going to take us some time just to even get there, though, right?
LAURA: Is it considered healing as we walk there, though?
MATT: No, you have to take a rest.
TALIESIN: Let’s get a little closer, then, and survey the situation, and then take a break. I feel like we’re a bit far.
LAURA: I just don’t know if there’s time. If she’s already started a ritual.
TALIESIN: If we run into something on the way there, though, I don’t want to be at peak performance yet.
LAURA: Yeah. All right.
TRAVIS: Let’s move.
SAM: Oh, God.
TALIESIN: This is going to be fun.
MARISHA: Do we still have Pass Without a Trace?
MATT: You do. For the next 30 minutes or so.
TALIESIN: So let’s take advantage of this.
MARISHA: Yeah, let’s at least move for 30 more minutes.
TRAVIS: Who’s got the censer in the front? Because we’ve got to stay together.
SAM: Someone in a robe.
LAURA: Oh. Who’s in a robe? We’re all undead.
MARISHA: Are me and you in robes?
TALIESIN: We can do robes. I’m all right with robes.
TRAVIS: There’s only three of them.
TALIESIN: I’ll take a robe.
LAURA: I’ll take a robe.
MARISHA: You lead with the censer.
TALIESIN: I’ll take a robe with the censer.
MATT: Okay, Percy and Vex?
MATT: Okay. You both throw robes on over your Seeming-altered undead bodies. Percy, you’re carrying the censer?
TALIESIN: Yes, I’m carrying the censer.
MATT: And you’re all slowly clustered behind them?
TALIESIN: Thank you.
MATT: All right. So you guys continue moving, what’s very plainly towards the center of the city as the tower stands as this giant beacon of shadow in the center of the horizon. The streets are scattered and broken. You can see there was, what may have seemed almost like a hint of cobblestone at one point, really just looks like largely broken and shattered badlands and dried stone that seems to have been pummeled by impacts of some kind, cracked into small pieces. This is a city by function and function alone. There was very little considered in the beauty of its construction, at least this far out. As you continue to press towards the center of the city–
LAURA: I want to keep an eye out, just to see if anybody’s noticing. If it seems like people are paying attention to us in a way that they shouldn’t be.
MATT: Okay. Well, as you’re keeping an eye out, I would like all of you guys to make a deception roll, with advantage.
MARISHA: With advantage?
TRAVIS: Come on, Gil.
TALIESIN: That’s not bad.
LIAM: Too big.
TRAVIS: I’m sorry.
MATT: As you guys make your way further down one of the, not major thoroughfares, but one of the general streets that snakes around towards the central area of the city, some of you gently moaning and gurgling as you walk, behind you, you have Grog Frankensteining his way down the street.
TRAVIS: Oh man.
MATT: The sound of your rendition, that song. As you’re walking, a shadow seems to cross, a large hulking shadow crosses past one of the roads and turns and begins walking your direction. And you see ahead what looks to be about a ten foot tall, thick, burly figure of brownish red flesh, torn, and chains and hooks hanging from it. It looks to be almost like an amalgam of large hobgoblin body parts that have been sewn and stitched together with spikes and iron plates, jutting through, keeping it together at the seams. Where there would be a face, you see instead a giant metal mass that looks like a cage of some kind, and behind it these two glowing beads of yellow eyes poking through, and you watch as it just walks in a straight line (impacts).
LAURA: Coming right for us?
MATT: Walking in your direction. Its arms are curled in front of it like a gorilla, its fingers dragging in the dust below it.
LIAM: Does it look like it’s just happening in our direction, or is it coming toward us?
MATT: It’s hard to tell. It’s about 60 feet up.
LAURA: Is there a road we can turn directions?
TALIESIN: Is there a nonchalant way of maintaining direction but getting out of its way?
MATT: There would be enough space to give about a ten foot berth to it as you put your back against the side of one of the nearest buildings and let it pass.
MARISHA: Like parting for the queen at the Ren Faire?
MATT: A little bit, yeah.
LIAM: Or Taliesin Jaffe.
MARISHA: Or Taliesin Jaffe at any party.
ASHLEY: I move to the side and put my head down.
SAM: What’s our ploy if this thing tries to kill us?
LAURA: Kill it.
TRAVIS: Same old same old.
MATT: (heavy footsteps) You guys all make your way to the side and you watch. It’s autonomous, it’s not being brought along with anybody. It’s running a path down the road. You all move off to the side, and as you maneuver to the side of it, it gets close to the censer you’re carrying, and it (groaning) puts its fingers out of the way, actually crushing some of the stonework on one of the nearby buildings to pull itself aside, trying to avoid the billowing of the smoke from the censer. It gives a dull, deep resonant (huff) in your direction as it passes, and then eventually passes by the cluster of you that have all moved to the side, after its head shifts and scans back in the path that it’s walking and it moves past you, following the direction you just came from.
TALIESIN: Way to be Fonzies.
LAURA: Nice. Very nice. So cool.
SAM: Wow. This thing works.
TALIESIN: Lot of Fonzies. Smells terrible.
MATT: You continue further into the city. You still hear the distant, low shrieks of the gloom stalkers (shriek) overhead, swooping past in clusters, circling around. Occasionally you watch one or two swoop down and land on a distant rooftop, and you hear the crunching of heavy stone and whatever materials were still remaining on the roof of that structure as it lands and surveys a bit, and then (whoosh) takes off and joins the rest of its kin.
TALIESIN: Do any of the buildings look remarkable or interesting? I’m trying to keep an eye out for any building that may have anything inside it of vague importance. Either the building itself is slightly more interesting, or it looks like maybe someone has boarded something up to try and maintain some kind of vigil against the darkness? I’m not entirely sure. Out of the ordinary.
MATT: Okay. Make an investigation check.
TALIESIN: I knew you were going to say that. I’m not good at this. Nope. Nope, nope. That’s a four. That’s a natural one.
MATT: A lot of these buildings are hard to tell apart when they’re all just in this state of disrepair and destruction.
TALIESIN: Some of them have doors.
MATT: Some of them do. Some of them have windows, kind of.
TALIESIN: Holes where windows might be.
MATT: Possibly. Some, you can’t tell if it’s a hole, or a window. Or a door? As you press forward.
TALIESIN: I felt Orthax take over again.
LIAM: So this is Osgiliath, right? It’s wrecked ruin, no complete buildings, or are any of them?
MATT: You see some further in. The exterior appears to have been the most heavily sacked. There’s been little intent to reconstruct from this point. Like I said, you’re still probably a good mile and a half out from the center of the city, and as you walk further in, you can see more clusters of skeletons traveling in groups of 12 to 15, somewhat erratically. You’ve seen some creatures that seem to walk with an intent pattern, like they have some sort of a sentinel path that they follow to keep watch on the perimeter or the roads of the city. The skeletons that wander, the undead that you see clattering about across the dusty, cracked grounds between the buildings, are erratic, uncontrolled. Mostly it seems to be less intentionally created undead, and more just risen by the nature of the plane you walk, and haven’t bothered anyone yet, or at least those who live here. As you begin walking forward, you watch as a cluster of them spills into this T intersection a little ways up, a few of them falling and tumbling and getting back up (cracking). As they cluster together, some of them bang into each other. You hear the clattering of metal from the bits of armor that still cling to their long-rotted forms. Broken bones, some of them are missing arms, or sections of a skull is exposed and cracked open on the side, where you can see what looks to be some sort of long-dried and rotted away gray matter was left to slowly collapse like a flan in a cupboard. As you begin to approach that area, they separate a bit and scatter to fill, almost diffusing in the center of this intersection, and then they contract, almost like there’s a strange hive mind magic that seems to draw them back together. They’re just moving in these autonomous clusters of chaos. You see on them still, similar to the ones you noticed earlier, some of the armor that they’re wearing appears to be reminiscent to the armor that the black guard that you battled at the ziggurat earlier had, or similar dark metal, and others have long-destroyed, ruined, scraped and scarred bits of silver and gold armor that are emblazoned with long-ruined and defaced symbols of the Dawn Father, Pelor.
LAURA: Does it seem like both of those factions are still– are they clustered in the same groups?
MATT: They are. And you get the sense that whatever battle took place here long ago was probably between these two factions, and those that were lost in that fray have been risen over time and wander aimlessly through the streets.
TALIESIN: Free range undead.
LIAM: We’ve seen long-dead people. This is fucking creepy in the upside-down.
SAM: What’s going on?
MATT: I called the airport to try and coordinate this time with you guys. Cost me 17,000 dollars for that one five-second bit, so enjoy it, guys.
LIAM: Worth it.
MATT: Totally worth it.
LIAM: These bodies, compared to the ex-champion of the Raven Queen, do these bodies seem even older? More decayed? Do we have any sense for how old these fuckers are?
MATT: You would have to get up close and that would be a medicine check. Would you want to try and make your way close enough to one of these bodies to inspect it enough?
LIAM: How far off are they?
MATT: If you guys continue moving forward, you’ll be at that intersection in about 30 seconds.
LIAM: I’m not going to go. I’ll wait.
ASHLEY: I could go up close with somebody and do a medicine check.
LAURA: Keep up near the thing. Everybody get close to the censer.
TALIESIN: I’ll guide us towards something.
LIAM: Yeah, no one poking out ahead for this.
LAURA: Hopefully they’ll be affected by the censer.
TRAVIS: Let’s just stop by.
MATT: So who’s moving forward?
LAURA: The whole group. So we can all be with the wispy smoke.
MATT: Okay. So you guys make your way towards this intersection.
LAURA: We’re normal people in robes.
MATT: You also watch as you begin to walk further in that elements of the ground are growing more jagged and craggy. You can see bits of stone and earth are jutting out in large stone spikes, either through some upheaval or elements of the tumultuous landscape long ago that just caused elements of rock to spike outward up five, ten feet in sections. You watch as you grow close to this intersection, about half of the group all at once (groan) turns and looks in your direction and begin to (footsteps).
LAURA: Can I just waft some of the smoke towards them?
MATT: Shamble in your direction. The rest of the group noticing– You begin blowing the censer smoke that way. You watch as three of the closest skeletons make their way into the fume and seem to vaguely lose interest for a brief moment.
ASHLEY: Since we’re close, can I do a medicine check? Are we close enough to?
MATT: Yes, but with disadvantage because of the smoke.
ASHLEY: Oh, shit. Okay.
LAURA: You got this, Pike.
TALIESIN: Roll like it’s a stealth roll.
MATT: With the brief glances you have, it’s hard to really tell. Plus, you’re not too familiar with the overall weather of the Shadowfell. You don’t know if there’s enough weather to manifest as general decay, or if they’ve been beaten by the ravages of time, if it rains here or not. It’s hard to tell. You gather it probably doesn’t rain often. They’re definitely hundreds of years old. That’s the most you can really tell. They aren’t fresh dead. These are long dead.
LIAM: I’m feeling Foresighty. Can I creep up behind and do the same?
MATT: I will say you can do that, however you still have disadvantage, because she’s already taken the roll and you’re supplementing her roll in a very short period of time.
LIAM: Would that be an even roll, then, since I have advantage on everything?
MATT: You have advantage on everything. I’m giving you a chance to do this when normally you would have none, so the Foresight’s allowing you to have a roll with disadvantage. Go for it.
LIAM: Oh, that’s going to fail. Ooh! 18.
MATT: Or not. Getting a glance at the one nearest to you, the bodies seem to be fairly well preserved for as long as they’ve been here, so you get the sense that there isn’t a lot of heavy weather here at all. And given that fact, the decay that’s there, it is reminiscent, maybe not quite as old as the corpse of Purvon when you discovered the tomb originally, but comparatively ancient. At least over 500 years.
TRAVIS: Old Purvon.
MATT: Good old Purvon.
LAURA: These skeletons are almost as old as you, Scanlan.
SAM: Good one.
MATT: As you continue to walk forward, and the skeletons part around the cloud of the censer, you push deeper into the city, and they coalesce behind you and follow. They’re keeping a perimeter cluster now. They’re still being held at bay by the wafting of this thick blackish-green smoke that’s billowing off of it, but they’re staying just outside of it and slowly shambling at your speed, waiting for an opening.
LAURA: I have an idea. What if, right when we get close to the tower, all of these trailing skeletons that we have on us, you just Turn Undead? And then you control them all?
SAM: You can do that?
MATT: Destroy them, yeah.
LAURA: Oh, you can’t control them? I thought you could.
ASHLEY: I could turn them.
MATT: Turn them means they just run away screaming.
ASHLEY: I can make them run away.
MATT: You’re at a level where you can just make them explode if they roll low. Up to you.
TRAVIS: We’ve got a little nuke in our pocket.
ASHLEY: I want us to be quiet. I don’t want to make a big spectacle. Because I can make them go boom boom, but let’s just wait.
LAURA: She can make them poop.
TALIESIN: And they don’t even have bowels.
TRAVIS: Is anything stalking us from above while we’re moving?
MATT: How astute of you, I was just about to get to that.
TRAVIS: Did you hear that? Astute.
SAM: You put the ass in astute.
LAURA: Hey, did you guys know that Travis is the smartest guy at the table?
MARISHA: I could tell by his Cheers shirt.
MATT: So. In the billowing smoke that’s coming around, Grog, because you brought it up, as well as the twins who have relatively high passive perceptions, and Keyleth as well, actually, you glance up and notice that the erratic patterns that a lot of the gloom stalkers take in the sky, there’s two that seem to be circling, and circling.
ASHLEY: I don’t like it, I don’t like it.
MATT: One of them (shrieks), and you watch as it goes into a dive in your direction.
SAM: Oh, God! In our direction?
LAURA: Is there a building we can duck into?
MATT: Make a quick perception check.
SAM: But quick!
MATT: Okay. Both of you, really quick, you see in two different directions, past the intersection on the right, and on the left, you see two buildings that are mostly still intact. They’ve sustained some level of damage, but they still have two solid floors, maybe a partial roof missing, but they appear to be structurally sound enough to at least jump into. They both have doors that are partially ajar and a darkened interior.
LAURA: And a roof.
MATT: And a roof.
LAURA: (grunting) Why am I? I can talk. Go in that building.
TRAVIS: Yeah, we go in there.
LAURA: That way they can’t dive bomb us, at least.
TALIESIN: I go in last. Censer.
MATT: All right. So you guys all rush into the building on the right or the left?
LAURA: The right.
MATT: All right, so the one that Vex found. You guys all rush into that building with Percival the last one in there. As you–
LAURA: Weapons drawn in case there’s something in there.
SAM: But also moving like zombies.
MATT: Okay. Perfect. So as you guys all rush into the building, weapons ready, who’s first in the building?
LAURA: Me, maybe, because we saw it.
MATT: The two of you guys. Both of you roll perception as you enter the interior of the building. The undead that are clustering behind you are beginning to gather in a semicircle as soon as you hit the inside of the building, and they’re clustering at the door as you close it behind you.
MATT: Okay. As you enter the inside, you look around and you can see what appears to be the remnants of a few tables, very simple tables, that have been shattered and destroyed, broken into ruin around the area. You see what appear to be blades, two left in the wall, one broken off, in the center, that have long rusted over time. You see what appear to be the signs of bodies, blood, dark, dark dried blood circles on the ground, but no corpses, no bodies.
TALIESIN: I’m going to use the broken tables and swords to barricade the front windows or holes, I’m not sure which they are, but I’m going to barricade them. And the door, use the sword to jam the door shut.
LAURA: Are there dark corners that anybody could be hiding in, or another room?
MATT: The room itself is pretty damn dark. The little bit of light that comes in through the distant, broken elements of the wall, there’s enough light where you can kind of– it’s very dim light for you, Percy. Everyone else with Darkvision is all right to make out the interior.
LIAM: Cursory trap check, even though it seems unlikely.
MATT: Make an investigation check.
MATT: No traps from what you can gather at this juncture. But you do hear, as you close the door and begin barricading it with Percival, you hear the multitudes of bony claws, hands, and bits of armor slamming and brushing up against the outer wall that you just came through. The doors (bang) as the undead have now clustered and are trying to push their way in. They seem to have a scent.
LAURA: We’ll keep the censer near the door.
MARISHA: Yeah, I do a little Gust cantrip and put a little of the censer smoke under the door. I’m like an oscillating fan.
MATT: Druids get pretty cool at 18, guys. Just saying. Timeless body, oscillating fan. Best wild shape ability ever.
LIAM: Wait till you see the sprinkler system.
MATT: So as you’re blowing the smoke from the censer beneath the doorway, it lessens the impacts, but the undead, more than a dozen or so of these, probably about 15 or 16 of them, have spread out, and they’re all clustered at that side. The little bit of the fumes that you can push beneath the doorway are only reaching a handful, and it’s keeping them from the main door at the moment.
SAM: Can we see outside at all? Is there a peephole or anything?
MATT: There are no windows at the front of this building. You see a sliver where it looks like a portion of the wall suffered some sort of an axe or hatchet impact a long time ago and someone tried to pull their way through. It’s maybe about that wide, and that’s where the one source of light is coming through.
SAM: I’m going to go over there.
SAM: Oh. Don’t do anything?
LAURA: I was going to say, what if we turned ourselves into something else and snuck out, and they would think that we’re still in this building? Anything that was tracking us.
SAM: I was going to try to make a little diversion to draw them away from the door.
MATT: (boom) You guys hear a heavy impact on the roof above.
SAM: I’ll do that. I’ll do my thing.
MATT: You hear (boom) what sounds like really heavy footfalls along the roof of the building.
SAM: I’m going to look through the little sliver and I’m going to cast–
TALIESIN: Do you want to see what they’re burning in the censer?
MARISHA: Yes, I do. That’s exactly what I was going to do.
TALIESIN: I’m going to open up the censer.
MATT: Hold on, just a second.
SAM: I’m going to cast Major Image and make a small little human girl in the middle of the street, crying, bleeding from the arm. She looks disoriented and she’s walking towards the other building that we spotted, very sad and (whimpering).
MATT: Okay. As you glance through and create this image, this image appears of this tiny, saucer-eyed French poppet of a girl with a little dress. Her curls are mussed up.
TRAVIS: Dragging her dolly by one arm.
MATT: It’s missing one button eye.
LIAM: You summoned Cosette.
MATT: Yes, basically. And she goes running off, screaming and crying. You guys immediately hear the shift of the undead beyond the door (rumbling) and begin getting fainter and fainter. As that happens, you also hear (whoosh). Scanlan, you glance out and you watch the shadow of one of the gloom stalkers flying overhead swoop down and attack for the little girl.
SAM: Okay, she’s going to run. She’s going to book it into that other building to try to get away as fast as she can. And she can move super fast since she’s not real.
MATT: This is true. This is actually very true.
SAM: She’s like the fucking Flash.
LIAM: (singing) There is a lady all in white…
SAM: 120 feet is all I can move her.
LAURA: She’s sweeping as she’s running towards the door.
MATT: Yeah. You can make her move with an action 120 feet. So the little girl goes from (whimper) to (fast running) and goes into a full sprint in a really creepy, Ring-style way. That was for you, Travis. Across the way, and you watch as the gloom stalker swoops up and (impact) slams into the side of the stone building, causing part of it to crush inward and break. The roof partially (rumbling) has to settle and it falls into itself as the creature rights itself (shriek). You now have a much closer look at this entity, and it is billowing black shadow like smoke off of it. You can see glimpses of some sort of physical form in there, but it’s so blurry, it’s almost like it’s phasing between physical matter and dream. You’re not sure what it’s made from, but you can see what looks to be an elongated neck, some sort of snapping jaw at the end, and two bright, greenish-yellow glowing beacons like eyes at the front of its face. Its wings don’t have skin or flesh, it’s just dark smoke, and as it flaps, it leaves these trails, these curling bits like black, black, black smoke.
LIAM: Are we talking dragon size?
MATT: It’s wyvern sized. It’s maybe 20 feet from wingtip to wingtip.
MARISHA: Is it anything like we’ve ever heard about?
MATT: No, you have not encountered a creature like this before. But you watch as it glances, and at this proximity, Scanlan, you’re the one who’s getting the view of this, you watch wherever it looks, its eyes seem to emanate these tiny cones of light, like little flashlights, and as it scans past, the little girl, where the beam goes past, her body is nothing there.
LAURA: Is there another door in this building?
MATT: There is on the back side, yes. It’s partially covered by what looks to be debris, and it looks like somebody else barricaded the other side, but did not seem to cover both ends before they fell within this building.
SAM: Let’s get out of here.
LAURA: We should go out the other door as fast as possible.
TRAVIS: I’ll take care of that barricade.
LAURA: But quietly. We don’t want them to know that we’re getting out the other side.
TRAVIS: I don’t know if I can guarantee that.
MATT: What are you doing, Grog?
TRAVIS: Moving shit out of the way of the door, in a…
TALIESIN: Medium pace?
TRAVIS: Let’s call it a medium well.
MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make an athletics check.
LIAM: You are a terrible stage mom, by the way.
SAM: Well, she died.
MATT: She’s still there.
SAM: She got her equity card.
MATT: And that’s what matters. She’s still there, and you watch, the creature seems confused. The eye beams move past it, and the little girl’s still there crying and still darting around the area, and the creature’s like (snarling), lands on the ground, and comes up and swipes and bites at her, and it goes through her form. You get the sense these creatures aren’t super intelligent, but they are effective at seeing through certain glamors.
LAURA: They’re going to know that we’re not. They know we’re not zombies.
LIAM: Is it still after her, or has it given up on that ghost?
MATT: It’s in the process of giving up on that ghost right now.
LIAM: Still a cat and a flashlight.
LAURA: We’ve got to go.
MATT: At this point, you watch as Grog goes over with his giant mitts and single-handedly shifts the entire pile over with one shove, exposing the door there before you.
LAURA: Out the door, out the door.
MATT: You open the doorway.
SAM: Can we leave anything behind, like a dead body or something for them to eat?
LAURA: What dead body?
SAM: He’s got a ton of them in there.
LAURA: Actually, yes. Throw a dead body in the room.
TRAVIS: Who’s laughing now, bitches? Dead body!
MATT: And like the world’s most macabre flower girl, you produce one of the…
TRAVIS: I birth from the Bag of Holding a dead body.
LAURA: And use Dust of Tracelessness as we run out the door, so they don’t follow us.
TRAVIS: Who’s giving the orders around here?
LAURA: Me. Please?
MATT: So as you throw the body behind you, the door’s now being slammed a bit. It seems some of the undead wandered towards that illusion, some are still on the other side, and now that you’ve pulled the censer back from it, the other door’s kind of (bangs) coming pushed in. You can see light peeking through. You guys rush out, still with your Seeming illusion on, and you hear, very loudly, almost omnipresent, the screech, the (shriek) of the gloom stalker, right around the corner from you, as it begins to take off just on the other side of the building.
LAURA: Should we look for another building we can duck into? To lose their– So they can’t find us?
LIAM: Yeah, we can just go hopping from building to building.
MATT: I want everyone to roll a stealth check, please.
MARISHA: Do we still have…
MATT: You do. You’re getting close to the tail end of it. You have about five minutes left.
LAURA: Natural 20.
SAM: Me too.
TALIESIN: Thank God we still have a thing.
MATT: So natural 20.
LAURA: Did you add ten?
TALIESIN: 22, I mean.
LAURA: Natural 20.
TALIESIN: We did not roll well. But we’re fine.
MATT: So you all got above a 20. That’s good.
SAM: We needed above a 40.
MATT: So you guys rush past and, quick glance around, you find one of the nearby buildings. It’s a little more dilapidated, but it seems to have at least enough cover where you can all dive into the shadows and seemingly vanish. You all stand there for a second, and you’re super quiet, all breathing heavily (panting), the censer still billowing this awful, awful fume. It’s filling your nose, your eyes are watering instinctually from the presence. It stings just to get into your sinuses, but you’re all enduring it and trying to be as quiet as possible.
LAURA: Is there another door in this building that we can exit out?
MATT: Make a perception check.
TALIESIN: I’m showing Keyleth what’s inside the censer.
MATT: Okay, we’ll get to that.
MATT: 19. It’s hard to tell. It looks like where there may have been a door, a portion of the roof in here that has also collapsed, it looks like a giant siege stone, about that big, from a catapult was launched and tore through the roof and shattered that side of the building. The only way out is the same way you came in.
MATT: Unless you climb up and out. But as you open the censer and look inside, it looks like there is this ember, this cluster of burning, dried herbs. You’re not quite sure what it is or where it came from, but it’s currently glowing red in places.
TALIESIN: I’m going to give some of the herbs to Keyleth to examine. It’s like on a charcoal?
MATT: It has what looks to be charcoal stones in the bottom clustered around, and these herbs are placed over it, and it’s burning and smoldering over time.
MARISHA: Sure. Can I tell what the herbs are?
MATT: Make a medicine check. No, this would be a nature check, sorry.
MARISHA: Thank you. Is this something that I would get advantage on for my herb book?
MATT: Yes, you would.
MATT: Okay. I get to look this up.
SAM: Oh, look it up. It’s a real thing. Wow.
MATT: It’s called Wild’s Guide. It’s a tobacco-like leaf that was used… It was briefly used for recreational smoking and treatment of small wounds, but it tended to have a very quick diseased, sickening sense to it. Those that smoked a lot tended to get sick very quickly, and it went into disuse from there. It’s largely considered to be a relatively useless plant. There isn’t a lot of medicinal quality to it. It’s just something that exists in herbalism books, as things to avoid.
TALIESIN: Comes in green and red, available in the Resident Evil universe.
MATT: You get the sense that them using it for the censer is probably not a widely known use for this type of plant.
LAURA: You found a new use!
MARISHA: I did! I write it down and I press a flower, or I save some of it. And then can I Druidcraft some more, now that I know what it is?
MATT: From that cluster, I’d say yeah, you can create a little bit more, but very little bit.
MARISHA: Okay, I’ll go ahead and make as much as I can.
MATT: Okay, so you spend some time there to focus on it, and from the remnants there you can make about twice the amount than what was in the censer, so you have probably a good, solid softball-sized cluster.
TALIESIN: The resin’s the best part.
MARISHA: Okay. I take half, put half back in the censer, and give half to Percy. Does anybody else want some? Actually, should we dab ourselves with it? No, is that weird?
LAURA: Maybe just give it to Percy.
MATT: Really? After all that, no dab joke? Anyway.
SAM: Too classy for us.
MATT: I guess so.
TALIESIN: Whatever the opposite of standards are, I know we have them.
MARISHA: Give some to Percy, anybody else want some?
LAURA: Yeah, yeah. I don’t have any way to make fire, but I’ll take it. Definitely in my shirt now.
MATT: As you guys are doing this, you hear the (snarling), and you hear the (flapping wings). It’s hunting from building to building. (impacts) Closer. (flapping wings) (snarling) A little further away. (flapping wings)
LAURA: It’s gone? Did it fly away?
MATT: Sounds like it, at least.
LAURA: Should we leave, and go to another building?
SAM: Let’s keep going.
LIAM: Building to building toward the tower?
LAURA: I feel like it’s not really gone.
LIAM: Well, we’ll find out. Let’s make a break for it.
MATT: Okay, who’s going first? Okay. Vax, as you dart along the side, glancing up in the air, you can still see. And it looks like there is some communication, because where once there was maybe two, you can now see a lot of them have clustered closer in your direction. There seems to be some sort of an overhead hunt.
LAURA: Should I cast Pass Without a Trace on us again? Are we running out of time on it?
MATT: You’re getting pretty close, yeah.
LAURA: I’m going to cast it again, just so we don’t.
MATT: Okay, so you cast Pass Without a Trace again.
LIAM: And are we, Without a Trace and Dust of Tracelessness? That’s just a one time…
LAURA: Dust of Tracelessness is just so they can’t track us.
MATT: So the second thing you’ve gathered, these creatures are not very intelligent, but they do have some sort of communication between them, and there apparently is a rush on their end to search for whatever was recently spotted. So as you guys make your way, following Vax’s lead, down some of the alleyways, and begin slithering through the back ways and the small side streets, avoiding your first attempt to walk straight through the center of the town.
LAURA: It’s crazy how that didn’t work, though. I mean, because it was a really smart plan.
MATT: It worked for a bit. Not every plan is going to hold you to the very end. There was some cleverness to it. So you begin to move through these buildings before– It would be Keyleth, Vex and Vax. You guys come around one small alley and it opens up into another main road, and this road’s hard to avoid. It seems to be almost a circular central road that marks the outer and inner rings of Thar Amphala. But you see there, marking right across this road, a 15 foot tall wall that seems to lock in the inner cloister of the town.
MARISHA: How thick does it appear to be?
MATT: Make a perception check.
LAURA: Maybe we can go under it.
MARISHA: Or through it. 17.
MATT: It’s hard to tell from this perspective. You have to get a better glance. You have to find if there was a break in the wall anywhere. You do see what looks to be some variation in texture a little ways to the right. It could be a gate, it could be a door, it could be an opening, or it could be some change in its rather solid, not very varied exterior.
MARISHA: Go to the gate?
LIAM: Why don’t the half-elves go real quick, just to stay small and quiet. No clanking, no crushing. You take a look at the wall, and then we just call everybody up. Just two seconds if it’s the way to go.
LAURA: Is it far away? It’s like 15 feet from us you said? Is it farther than that?
MATT: Probably about 60 feet down to the right of you guys.
LIAM: So the change in the wall’s about 60 feet, but the wall from our hiding spot is how far away from us?
MATT: Across the way it’s about 30 feet from you. it’s only about 15 feet tall, it’s not crazy big.
MARISHA: I’ll see if I can discern something here a little bit better. You go. Go check it out.
MATT: So the two of you dart off to the side, following Keyleth’s impression of where she saw this shift, and as you make your way along the edge, you glance over and you see two things. One, there does indeed appear to be a small, cut doorway in the wall, maybe about six feet up, three feet wide, that’s designed for a single file passage of any creature that wishes to move through. It’s open. There’s no closed door there. Above it, just above it, about eight feet up, you see what appears to be a deep cerulean blue gemstone, about two feet across, that’s embedded within the wall.
LIAM: I think it’s fine.
SAM: Just go through the hole.
LIAM: We’re good. We found it.
MATT: It’s a big blue stone, about that big around. It’s embedded into the wall above the door.
MARISHA: I ask them, how thick does the wall appear to be around that side?
LIAM: Looking through the door, can we tell how deep?
MATT: Yeah, actually, you can. It’s about three feet wide, four feet wide.
LAURA: The depth of the wall?
MATT: The depth of the wall, yeah. It’s a big, heavy wall.
TRAVIS: Vex, I bet if you go real fast, you can totally make it.
LAURA: Good idea, Grog. I’ll definitely try it.
MARISHA: I can try and Stone Shape through it.
MATT: You two… recognize, at least, there’s something very familiar about that stone embedded in the wall.
TRAVIS: It’s blue.
MATT: It’s definitely blue. It’s very similar in size, installation, and functional placement as the threshold crests that adorn the exterior of Syngorn.
LAURA: Which are definitely used… Wait. To teleport things?
MATT: The ones that are used to transport Syngorn to the Feywild and back.
MARISHA: Oh, weird. Oh no.
LAURA: Oh my god, if the ritual finishes, they can teleport this whole fucking city. Shit. We have to stop this.
MARISHA: What if we dismantle the gems?
TALIESIN: We would probably have to dismantle a bunch of them.
TRAVIS: We’re out in the open. Dismantling that’s pretty tough.
TALIESIN: I feel like it would be easier to wreck the operator than try to break the machine.
LAURA: I don’t know.
SAM: I mean, we’ve got a guy who crushes rocks all the time.
LAURA: Yeah, but I don’t think it’s safe to touch those things.
LIAM: And the moment he makes a ruckus, the air squad is coming down on our location immediately.
MARISHA: Didn’t we take some of that crystal? Didn’t we take some of that?
TALIESIN: Which crystal?
MARISHA: Didn’t we take shards of it from the thresholds in Syngorn?
LAURA: I don’t remember. I don’t have any in my bag.
MARISHA: One of them shattered, and I feel like we took some.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I did.
LAURA: You did?
TRAVIS: Yeah, shards of blue crystal.
LAURA: Matt’s like, uh…
MARISHA: I don’t know, maybe it’s useful in this case?
TRAVIS: It’s not pretty, it’s all broken.
LIAM: One question is, if these stones are used to pull this tower into the main realms, is there another purpose to them here, or is that doorway safe, is what I’m wondering?
LAURA: No, that doorway is in no way safe.
MARISHA: Where was the gem embedded in the doorway?
MATT: About eight feet up. About two feet above the doorway.
LIAM: I feel like we should go through the wall or over it, just on principle.
TALIESIN: We can go over it. We do have a magic carpet.
LAURA: Yeah, and all the flying creatures are going to see us immediately. We either go under the wall… How far from the wall to the tower is it? Does it seem?
LAURA: Can we see the tower through the doorway?
MATT: You can see across, and it’s not a straight shot, but you can get low and you can see where it breaks. Since you have a good sense of direction, being the ranger, I’d say you know it’s at least under a mile.
LAURA: A mile to the tower? So it’s probably two miles wide, this whole…?
MATT: Probably less. It’s hard to pinpoint directly from what little you can see, but it’s definitely within a mile to a half mile of that door, that wall.
LIAM: Kiki, would you be able to Great Escape us underneath this wall?
LAURA: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. What if we go under the ground all the way to the tower?
MARISHA: Is it unworked stone? What’s the ground like?
MATT: The ground is unworked stone. It is broken dirt and earth and stone. From what you gather, at the very least. A heavy layer of dust.
MARISHA: I could attempt to tunnel us there. Percy, I’m sure you would know more than anyone. What’s the likelihood that we might encounter, that I might bust through a dungeon or something, though, over there?
TALIESIN: That would be the question. It’s A, where do we come up? B, how do we tunnel without collapsing a building on us? And C, what if there’s buried dead that haven’t been able to break?
MARISHA: I can get us under the wall for sure. I can do both,
it’s just figuring out what we want to do.
TALIESIN: If we can tunnel under the wall and then come up in a building.
LIAM: I think so. We’re not trying to get all the way there, just past this.
MARISHA: Okay. Can I Stone Shape–
LAURA: From within a building.
MARISHA: – a crawlspace through the wall?
MATT: Yeah, you can probably do that. Let me look at the Stone Shape spell here real fast.
MARISHA: Big enough for at least Grog to marine belly through?
TRAVIS: We’re all undead, so I’m a little smaller right now, actually.
MATT: Well, you look smaller.
TALIESIN: You look smaller than you are.
MATT: You’re still your same height.
TALIESIN: You would be a little zombie, floating, stuck.
LAURA: Can we be zombie cows?
MATT: Stone Shape is instantaneous, and it’s a section no more than five feet in any dimension, so Stone Shape would be just a one-hit boom. You could not create a long tunnel.
MARISHA: But I can’t carve a shape through the wall to just crawl through, five feet?
MATT: Oh, through the actual wall itself?
MARISHA: Yeah, through the wall, not under the ground. I want to bust a crawl space through the bottom of the wall.
LAURA: Don’t you think the flying guys will notice that?
MATT: Yeah, that could work. So do you want to do that?
MARISHA: It’s not a dynamite blast, it’s like a (rumble).
SAM: Yeah, it’s just a hole in the wall.
TALIESIN: It’s like butter.
MARISHA: Yeah, it’s like butter. So…
MATT: Okay. So you dart across the open road to the other side, where the wall is.
MARISHA: Cover for me.
TRAVIS: How would we do that?
TALIESIN: We are stealthed.
LAURA: Can I– Shit, well, you already rolled. Can I have been keeping an eye on the sky and give her a go ahead when it looks like they’re not going to see her?
MATT: You begin to do so as she runs across the road.
LAURA: Just go. Just fucking go.
MATT: You hear the distant shrieks, communication between the various gloom stalkers that (snarling) echoing in the sky. You make it all the way across to the wall, and get low, focus, close your eyes, press your hand against the cold, dark wall, and feel it (whoosh) as immediately, you carve a circular tunnel through that goes completely to the other side. Seemingly to no negative effect.
MARISHA: Seemingly to no negative effect, I’ve made a tunnel.
SAM: You sound different. Why are you using weird words?
MARISHA: I’m whispering! I’m just trying to be more pragmatic.
SAM: Let’s go.
LAURA: Hey, guys, we didn’t eat a Heroes’ Feast yet, either.
SAM: We didn’t heal ourselves.
MARISHA: No, we didn’t.
TALIESIN: We’ve got to get through the wall.
SAM: Let’s get through the wall, and then we’ll heal.
TRAVIS: He is looking at each one of us and rolling.
TALIESIN: He’s making eye contact and rolling a die, like it means something.
LAURA: I’m not going to look at him.
MARISHA: Keeping track. Why is he keeping track?
LIAM: If I don’t look, he can’t kill me.
ASHLEY: If you don’t make eye contact.
LAURA: It’s like in school, if you don’t make eye contact, maybe they won’t call on you.
MATT: Yeah, it’s the old Warner Brothers rule. So as you guys all, one by one, dart across and leap beneath the tunnel that Keyleth had created, Keyleth, have you gone through the tunnel, or are you seeing everyone else through?
MARISHA: I’ll wait and see everyone else through, just in case.
TRAVIS: Oh, how generous of you.
LAURA: We all are dead.
MATT: You all begin darting through, one after another.
MARISHA: I’m going to try and keep a lookout.
MATT: Keyleth, you glance up as, at the very tail end of it, you have Scanlan and Pike at the very end, ready to rush through the tunnel.
SAM: We’re slow.
MATT: Because of the gnomish feet. They both get there as you glance up and watch as one of the gloom stalkers (shriek) and goes into a full screeching dive towards you outside of the wall. What are you guys doing?
ASHLEY: Jumping through as fast as our little gnome feet can take us.
MATT: Okay, so Pike, you dart through, Scanlan, you dart through. With the size of the tunnel, it’s easy enough for the both of you to just run through while crouching as opposed to having to get on your hands and knees, so you guys start making your way through to the side. Pike, you make it out the other side. Scanlan, you’re halfway through. Keyleth, you’re still there, ready to go in after as it’s about to bear down on you.
MARISHA: It’s not coming up?
MATT: Oh, no, it’s going for a straight dive. It’s going right for you.
MARISHA: Oh, god, am I trying to do anything but get through?
LIAM: You’re running! Come on!
LAURA: She has to duck down.
MARISHA: I don’t know, I’ve got to crawl through!
LAURA: Yeah. So do you have protection? Do you have something you could turn into?
MARISHA: Yeah! Thank you! Thank you! I’m going to see it and immediately Beast Shape into a little mouse and (crawling sounds) through.
MATT: I want you to roll an initiative roll to see whether or not it gets to you in time.
SAM: Am I rolling, too, since I’m half-out?
MATT: You’re halfway in the tunnel. It couldn’t fit in the tunnel if it wanted to.
SAM: But, I mean, am I watching this?
MATT: You’re watching this.
SAM: I’m going to roll. Okay.
LIAM: I’m going to say that I didn’t leave the other side of the wall when I realized that she wasn’t coming through. So, waiting right in front of Scanlan.
SAM: Two for me.
MATT: Okay. Natural 19 plus three. So, as you shift down into the tiny mouse-like form, its claws immediately slam into and sink into the mouse body. Yeah, that’s a 23 to hit.
MARISHA: Yeah. Immediately poof.
MATT: How much hit points does your mouse form have? Like one?
MARISHA: I’m assuming no more than a kitten’s worth.
MATT: Right, so yeah. So, we’ll say for the purposes, one. So that would be 16 points of piercing damage, so your form immediately reverts, its claws now fill with your regular Keyleth form. You take 15 points of piercing damage, Keyleth, and you are grappled.
MARISHA: Cool. Cool. Cool. Cool story. Cool.
MATT: As soon as it grabs you, it begins to pull you out of the tunnel and lift with you in its claws.
ASHLEY: Can I grab her arms?
MATT: You’re on the other side of the wall. Scanlan’s on the other side right now.
LIAM: I’m three feet away from you.
LAURA: Yeah, but he’s in front of you.
MATT: Everyone else on the other side of the wall, Scanlan in the middle, Keyleth in the front. You saw it shriek and dive down, you don’t know what happened from that point. You can glance down and you watch as Keyleth is being pulled up. You see that happening. Scanlan, what are you doing?
SAM: I’ll yell to the rest: it’s got Keyleth. I’ll cast Dominate Monster on it, I guess.
MATT: Okay. So, what’s the spell DC on that?
SAM: Well, I was probably not fast enough to pull up my horn, so 20.
MATT: That’s a natural four plus three. So, as you say that and turn around, you bring your hand up and begin muttering the incantation and finish it with a flourish!
SAM: I could have just done that this whole time?!
MATT: As you finish the incantation, you watch as a small ring of glowing purple-pink glyphs appear like a crown around the outside, floating about three inches from the gloom stalker’s “head.” Its shriek goes (intense to calm croaking) and it’s just there, hovering in the air, about ten feet up, clutching Keyleth.
SAM: All right. Please deposit her on the other side. Over the wall.
MATT: You guys watch as the gloom stalker (wings flapping) over the wall. Lands on the ground, slamming Keyleth. It slams you into the ground as it lands. You take five points of bludgeoning damage.
MARISHA: (wheezing) You could have told it gently!
SAM: I don’t speak Gloom!
MARISHA: Five points?
MATT: Yes. You (wham) and almost knocks the wind out of you, and you slam into the hard ground, but the claws unfurl and leave you.
MARISHA: (wheezing) I made it, guys! I’m glad you made it!
SAM: Only 59 more minutes.
ASHLEY: Maybe he can tell the others to leave us alone!
MARISHA: Yeah, call them off!
TALIESIN: Or maybe there are birds on the other side of the wall.
SAM: Does he keep rerolling for breaking, or is that it?
MARISHA: Tell them it’s handled, we’re dead.
TALIESIN: And then we can ride him!
LAURA: Ask him if he has any money, and ask him if he can make a good dinner because I’m hungry.
MARISHA: Where’s the nearest 7-11?
MATT: Each time the target takes damage. It has to take damage to get the save. So, it’s under your control for an hour or until it takes damage.
SAM: All right. First things first, please go tell your fellow gloomy friends that the hunt is off. No more flesh down here. And come back!
MATT: (croaking) You can see that it’s landed, its giant wings have folded under into these folded knuckle-like claws that hit the ground as it (croaks) and he gets really close and snarls at you. As it gets close, the air gets colder in its presence, it’s almost like it brings this drop. It’s already pretty cold here in the Shadowfell, but it becomes pretty much freezing as soon as it gets within five feet of you. It seems to suck heat out of the air. As it’s glaring at you, (wings flapping) begins to take up. You can see three other gloom stalkers who saw it dive earlier are all arriving towards your location. As it rides up towards them, you hear (gloom stalker speech) and the other ones (gloom stalker speech) snap at it, circle it and they all have what looks like an argument, if there was. And then, eventually, they break and they begin shouting off (gloom stalker speech). You watch as the heavy clusters that had been swarming this area of the town begin to respond in kind. You hear the echoes, the cacophony of various screeches and screams and they all begin to slowly dissipate and diffuse amongst the entire city of Thar Amphala.
TALIESIN: Well, that went well.
LAURA: Good job, Scanlan.
LIAM: Welcome back, Scanlan Shorthalt.
MARISHA: Thanks, Scanlan!
SAM: It’s good to be back. Okay, we’ll need a name for him, obviously.
SAM: So, anybody got any ideas?
LAURA: Benjamin is what I’m thinking.
SAM: Benjamin is great.
MARISHA: Mr. Mistoffelees!
SAM: That’s way better.
TALIESIN: Can we ride him to the tower?
SAM: Well, some of us can, right? By looking at him, how much can he carry? Or she!
MATT: You’re not certain, based on its size, it could maybe carry three medium to small people.
MARISHA: (whispered) What’s around us right now? (regular volume) Sorry, what’s around us right now?
MATT: So, as you glance around the other side of the wall, the city is denser within this inner cloister, and the buildings all seem to be newer. Or repaired. It seems like this inner sanctum of Thar Amphala has garnished most of the attention of those that currently reside within its space. As you are glancing up, too, you see the flicker, the faint flicker of the conjoining strands of magical energy that are rising up to the pinnacle of the tower of Entropis where you see these three heavy claw-like fingers that jut out of the top of the tower all curve inward. The flash is in the center of it, it’s just glowing brighter and brighter. That pulsing is (pulsing). It’s almost like seeing this heartbeat of pure energy that’s swelling and swelling.
LAURA: I don’t think we have time to stop.
SAM: Well, so no more healing. But we could fly right up there and break that thing.
MARISHA: Do we really not want to do any other healing?
LAURA: Pike can heal us, but we can’t rest. There’s no time for a rest. No time for a Heroes’ Feast. I bought those fucking chalices.
TALIESIN: Next time.
MARISHA: Might still be useful.
ASHLEY: How long does Heroes’ Feast take?
SAM: Like an hour or something.
TALIESIN: It will hardly matter.
ASHLEY: We can’t just take an hour?
LAURA: I think that thing is like, going to go.
MATT: It’s up to you guys. It’s a gradual. It’s not like all of a sudden, right now, you watched it pulse. As you’ve been getting towards, you’ve been watching it slowly swell. So, who knows.
SAM: Some of us could get on Mr. Mistoffelees and fly around the tower and see if there’s a window that we could bust in or something.
LAURA: I wonder if Delilah’s on the top of the tower.
SAM: Yeah, but we’ll be on a thing, so maybe we won’t be very conspicuous.
TALIESIN: Actually, maybe if we ask Mr. Mistoffelees– I’m going to never get tired of saying that!– to go up to the tower, greet whoever’s up there, and throw them off.
SAM: It’s just a pulsing orb of doom, isn’t it?
TALIESIN: Just go up there and cause havoc.
SAM: One of us needs to see what’s up there.
TALIESIN: No, we can just send him up there, and then we can head in through the tower. He can just be a problem.
SAM: He’s dumb! What if comes back and he’s like ‘I don’t know!’?
TALIESIN: Just say, go up there and if there’s anything living up there, throw it off.
SAM: Can’t one of us go up there with him to scout it out? Yeah, if someone’s invisible. Can’t you all be invisible?
TALIESIN: Yes, all of us.
SAM: Just me.
TALIESIN: Yes, it’s just you.
LAURA: Can’t you make all of us invisible?
SAM: Not while I’m concentrating on Mr. Mistoffelees!
TALIESIN: I say we head in closer on foot. If you want to ride Mr. Mistoffelees up to the top of the tower, that’s one thing. But I think just sending him up there, or sending him to be an agent of chaos.
LIAM: I could probably ride him, and if shit goes south, I could get away.
TALIESIN: You could always get swallowed.
LIAM: By Mr. Mistoffelees?
LAURA: By anything.
TALIESIN: I get the distinct impression we’re going to have options before this day is over.
MARISHA: I feel like we’re going to have to do a lot of things to stop this.
SAM: We need to get into the tower! We don’t even know how to do that!
LIAM: We don’t know what we’re talking about, which is why I think the idea to go scope it out is a good one.
LAURA: Does it look like there’s any windows on the tower, or is just a big old Rapunzel tower?
MATT: Make a perception check.
LAURA: Well, hold on. 19.
MATT: 19, still pretty good. Not a single window. It’s a solid tower.
ASHLEY: Are there any doors? No windows?
MATT: You can’t tell from your perspective right now. The base is currently obscured by the very, very dense buildings.
LAURA: Ultimate challenge for Vox Machina.
TRAVIS: Should we check one of the buildings, and then we can figure out who wants to go check it out, so we can get out of the open?
LAURA: Yeah, let’s get in a building and hide!
TRAVIS: Because he’s a cleaner!
LIAM: The tower, is it obscured by all this shit happening on top of it? Vex can see there’s no windows; can we see if there’s a rooftop to it at all?
MATT: There is a top to the tower.
LIAM: Is it this, is it this, or can we not see?
MATT: The tower gently tapers and then comes to an end. There is a top. You see there’s three giant, curled finger-like black spires that curl inward on the outside, inward. And then there’s the platform where the tower stops, where it seems like there would be somewhere to stand.
LAURA: The thing that’s glowing is off of the ground of the tower?
MATT: It’s filling up the entirety of that space between the fingers on the actual roof of the tower.
MARISHA: What if it has to keep expanding all the way to the crystals?
TRAVIS: What’s the nearest building? Is there one building that’s closest to where we came through the tunnel?
MATT: Yeah, you guys are about ten feet from the nearest building.
TRAVIS: Can I walk over? Are there any windows?
MATT: This building does not have any windows.
TRAVIS: Does it have a door?
MATT: It does.
TRAVIS: Can I knock?
MATT: (knocking) You watch as an older gentleman with a very thin gray goatee, looks a little sallow, missing his left eye, he currently has a small sack over his shoulder, he opens the door. “Can I–”
TRAVIS: Hey, come here! And I grab his face.
MATT: (muffled yelling)
LAURA: Inside! Inside!
TRAVIS: We just go in. Push in.
TALIESIN: Well, we’re going in now, aren’t we?
LIAM: And we’re walking, and we’re walking.
SAM: I’ll tell Mr. Mistoffelees to do a 90-second loop and come back down and check in on us because he can’t fit in the door, right?
SAM: Fly around 90 seconds and swoop back down.
MATT: He does a small circle as you guys all rush into the building. You enter the inside. You see what looks to be a lot of building materials. It looks like some of the outer buildings here were used as the storage facilities for what a lot of the city was rebuilt as. There’s nobody else inside right now. This gentleman looks like he was on his way out of the building as you interrupted him. As now most of his head is just clasped by your giant goliath Titanstone Knuckle-adorned hand, you see a little bit of his eye peeking over Grog’s, and he’s like (muffled yelling).
MATT: You see he’s got the heavy male pattern– looks like the old D&D Dungeon Master from the cartoon. He’s bald on top, has long gray hair that goes past his shoulders. Very thin, missing the left eye, and he’s just limp. He’s not even going to fight it.
LAURA: Oh hey! We were sent here by Delilah Briarwood. You may know her.
MATT: (muffled yelling)
LAURA: Right. The ritual that’s happening on top of the tower. How long until that thing’s done?
MATT: (muffled noises)
LAURA: Blink once for 15 minutes. Blink twice for an hour or more.
LIAM: Three times for a bunch of days.
SAM: Maybe he doesn’t know.
LAURA: Yeah, do you know? Blink once for yes, blink twice for no.
MATT: (muffling noises)
SAM: 15 minutes! No, that was once for 15 minutes!
LAURA: No, that was an hour, at least!
MARISHA: I thought he blinked before. Are we at an hour and 15 minutes?
TALIESIN: I don’t think you can call it a blink if you’ve got one eye. I think it’s just a wink.
MARISHA: A wink? Man, semantics!
MATT: You get the sense that, as you say that, it does hurt him a little. His demeanor, while already pretty shattered, just even further (sad noise).
TRAVIS: Does he have any pouches on him, or anything in his hands?
MATT: He had a small sack over his shoulder that he was leaving with. He’s just adorned in regular–
TRAVIS: Is the sack on the ground now or is it still over his shoulder?
MATT: No, it’s currently on the ground. He dropped it as soon as you rushed and pushed him.
TRAVIS: I take the satchel, and I give it to Pike and say: look in here.
MATT: You glance inside. As soon as you grab it, you hear the clanging of metal. You look inside and you can see what appear to be a handful of dark metal shortswords, daggers, simple dried rations, and, in fact, as you glance inside the room now, you can see a lot of the supplies here, aside from construction supplies, you see a handful of weapons that are well-made recent-made, not seen battle yet.
SAM: They’re about to invade.
LAURA: What if we burn the fucking city down?
SAM: I mean, sure! What?
LAURA: I mean, if they’re planning on transporting this whole fucking city, and setting an army loose on our world, why don’t we just burn the whole fucking city down? Destroy their rations. Destroy their weapons!
TALIESIN: I am excited by this plan.
SAM: Wait, what? No! That’s terrible!
LIAM: Let’s burn down Manhattan. How do you do that?!
TRAVIS: Shall we ask this gentleman some questions? All right. I’m going to remove my hand. Obviously, you’re like really cool with the purpose– perspective of dying, and I’ll quicken that if you make a loud noise. Right, like, if you’ve ever seen, like, Jello mixed with, like apple pudding. That’s what I’ll do to your head.
MATT: Make an intimidation check.
LAURA: You did your hand signal for Arnold Palmer.
TRAVIS: I did!
LAURA: Arnold Palmer?
MATT: 22. He doesn’t make a sound, more than the gentle trickle out of his pant leg does. (laughs)
TALIESIN: I think that’s a yes.
TRAVIS: Grab the scruff of his collar.
MATT: Okay, as you release, he (gasps). His teeth are broken and yellow, his one gaping socket is twitching a little bit from the recovery of the sudden, rapid series of events that he was not expecting today. As he gathers his breath, and scratches the side of his leg, “So. What do you wish to do to me?”
SAM: Nothing! We’ve got to hurry!
LAURA: No, really, do you know anything about the ritual?
MATT: “I mean, not the specifics.”
LAURA: Do you know if it’s going to be over soon?
MATT: “I know that some of the acolytes were rushing through, expediting things recently.”
MATT: “I don’t know!”
SAM: Did they tell you to gather weapons?
MATT: “They just told us to be ready.”
LIAM: For what? What’s the plan here, man? You’re really far away from anything fucking nice.
MATT: You watch him close off as you start saying that. He catches himself saying too much information. His demeanor goes cold.
LAURA: Please, we know you’re going to transport to another plane.
MARISHA: You’re trying to bail, aren’t you? Were you trying to run?
SAM: No, he’s joining the fight.
LAURA: Oh my god, he was going to leave.
TRAVIS: Well, he’s clearly clamming up. I put my hand back over the front of his face, I take the other one, put it on the back of his face, and I start making my fingers touch.
MATT: (muffled groaning) He reaches up and grabs the small symbol, familiar loop with the fork above it. He clasps it in his hand and doesn’t resist.
TRAVIS: Do you want it?
ASHLEY: Yeah! Put him a little lower, Grog. I rip off the necklace.
MATT: He’s like clasping it in his hand. Make a strength check.
TALIESIN: Drop it! Drop it!
ASHLEY: Oh my god, we’re so terrible!
TRAVIS: Are we?
ASHLEY: Natural 20!
MATT: He’s clasping it, and you can see his one eye rolls back to hold onto it and he’s muttering a prayer beneath your fingers and he’s (muffled muttering) and you tear it from his grasp.
ASHLEY: We’ll give it back! You’ve got to answer some questions for us.
TRAVIS: No, he won’t. Look away if you want to preserve anything, and I just squish his head.
MATT: As you’re saying that, you watch as one eye opens and his hands go limp and then (face exploding) and it just (splattering).
MATT: Spray on Pike.
TRAVIS: I thought you were me giving the signal like, end it!
ASHLEY: No! I was going to– whatever.
TRAVIS: All right. We’ll work on it.
ASHLEY: We’ll find another one. It’s okay.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m really sorry. Sorry.
LIAM: Pike got Dragon Aged.
MARISHA: Is there a water bucket around?
MATT: Make an investigation check.
LAURA: So, but, set fire to the house, right? Burn the whole city down?
TALIESIN: The city is mostly stone; I don’t know if we can burn it down.
MATT: As you’re having this conversation, you do find a small basin that’s filled up with water. The people that live in this city still need to live. It looks like there are the means of feeding and drinking, though you get the sense that they may or may not– most of the supplies do come from outside the Shadowfell.
LAURA: Let’s poison the water supply!
MARISHA: I take a little bit of the water and control it and let Pike wash off a little bit.
ASHLEY: I think I got a little in my mouth (gagging).
LIAM: Wait, there’s a little bit of skull right there. All right.
TALIESIN: That’s the little chunk where the joint is. It’s just this little bit, it just breaks naturally if you put pressure on that side.
MATT: There’s this slumped pile of dark cloth, thin body, and Riki-Oh mess on the ground.
TALIESIN: (laughs) Wow! Way to bring that back!
MATT: So, what’s the plan, guys?
TALIESIN: We’ve got a little shadow creature coming back around in a moment.
SAM: Want to jump on and do a scouting pass?
TALIESIN: You guys do the scout, we’ll heal?
ASHLEY: You guys, are we not going to do a Heroes’ Feast?
LAURA: It’s an hour. It takes an hour, right?
SAM: We can’t risk it.
LIAM: What do you think’s going to happen in an hour? Everything’s going to kick off in an hour?
SAM: Wouldn’t you hate to miss it by 15 minutes?
LAURA: The pulse has gotten stronger since we’ve been here. I don’t know if that pulse means it’s about to go, or if the pulse means that it’s five minutes in.
SAM: This guy was about to leave his house to go walk over there for the final part of the ritual.
MARISHA: Or he was trying to bail before the final part of the ritual.
LIAM: Where’s your pet? Let’s go find some shit out.
MARISHA: He had rations! No one takes rations!
LAURA: He was handing out weapons.
TALIESIN: It was like Carpentry of the Damned sort of thing.
MARISHA: What if the giant orb has to reach the crystals?
TALIESIN: It might, but it might just do the (buzzing, exploding).
LAURA: Technical terms.
MARISHA: Yeah, the (buzzing, exploding).
TALIESIN: It’s magic, it’s the best I’ve got.
TRAVIS: Who’s going up?
SAM: Me and Vax.
TRAVIS: Just you two, okay.
ASHLEY: How’s everybody doing right now?
TALIESIN and MARISHA: I’m a little rough.
TALIESIN: I could use 20 points.
LAURA: Yeah, I could use 20 points.
ASHLEY: Let’s do a little Mass Cure Wounds situation.
TRAVIS: Do it!
SAM: But do it with a flair!
ASHLEY: Oh, fudge.
LAURA: What? Oh that’s a one, not seven, isn’t it?
LAURA: That’s fine, that’s fine!
TALIESIN: We’re taking a short rest; I can add my–
MATT: Are you guys taking a short rest?
LAURA: Well, while they fly up, is it enough time for the people staying in the house to heal a bit?
MATT: You guys could take a short rest during that time, if you want to do a full scoping. By the time you come back, that spell’s about to fade.
SAM: I mean, yeah, we’re going to go as fast as we can.
MATT: So those that are traveling can’t take a short rest.
TRAVIS: And if that fades, he’s fully aware that he was dominated, right?
MATT: Well. You don’t know.
TRAVIS: Okay. Especially me.
MATT: Yeah, you especially don’t know.
LIAM: Time’s a-wasting, Scanlan, let’s go.
SAM: Let’s go. Mr. Mistoffelees!
MATT: As you open the door, there, just landing (landing) (gloom stalker croaking). You guys climb onto its back?
SAM: Yes, we do!
MATT: You climb onto its back. Touching this creature is like touching the inside of a freezer. Even with gauntleted hands, you have to wrap some of your cloth around to not give yourself frostbite over a period of time. Even resting on it, especially with your leather armors, it chills you to the bone. As you take up, and even just ten, 15 minutes into (wings flapping) up into the air, gathering as to whether you’ll be noticed or spotted by this, you can feel it beginning to chill you, your teeth are beginning to chatter from being in that proximity of the freezing cold creature. It’s strange, as you touch it, it feels less like fur and flesh and more like you’re grabbing onto a very, very thick sackcloth. Like, it tugs and pulls and it feels almost like the scruff of a cat or dog’s neck, but it has a clothy texture, and as you grab it, you can feel the cold wisps of shadow and darkness obscure your hands. You feel like you’re plunging your arms into it, but you find purchase within that shadow and hold on.
SAM: We’ll need to spoon for warmth.
LIAM: I nestle in behind Scanlan.
SAM: I gladly accept.
LIAM: Let’s ride.
TRAVIS: Let’s ride?!
MATT: All right, so, as you guys take up into the sky, and you guys are taking your short rest, we’re going to take a quick break on our end as well. Use the restroom, get a snack.
MARISHA: We’re taking a break?
MATT: We’re taking a break here because it is 8:30. We are going to do another giveaway at the break here, a Wyrmwood giveaway. A fantastic flamebox elder hero vault, which is some of the prettiest wood that they make.
LIAM: Maybe the prettiest Wyrmwood box ever.
LAURA: How come we didn’t ever see those before; is that a new wood?
MATT: I don’t know. But it’s cool!
LAURA: I want it!
MATT: Hero vault for whoever the lucky winner is. To be a part of that drawing, rush over to Twitch chat. Tonight’s password is ‘secrets,’ plural. S-E-C-R-E-T-S. So, when you’re prompted, enter the word ‘secrets’ in Twitch chat to be part of this giveaway and we’ll come back and announce who it is after the break. We’ll see you guys here in a few minutes.
MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Critical Role.
ASHLEY: My timing is bad.
MATT: We missed you, too, guys.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
ASHLEY: I forget, and then I remember to do it, and then we’re already on the air.
MATT: Indeed, we are. Welcome back, everybody. First off, our winner of the hero case from our friends at Wyrmwood is Rory1177. Rory1177, you are the winner for tonight. Congratulations. Denobo will contact you and get your information and have that shipped off to you asap, so congratulations. All right, so as the rest of you are taking a short rest, the two of you are making your way, as stealthily as you can, on the back of a gloom stalker as it encircles the exterior of the Castle Entropis. First off, I would like you both to make a stealth check.
LIAM: I squeeze the gnome tighter.
LAURA: Oh god. I think you’re out of range, so you don’t get the plus ten anymore.
LIAM: That’s okayish.
TALIESIN: You have advantage, though, on everything.
SAM: He’s fine.
LIAM: 34. A low 34.
MATT: Okay, so you guys begin to circle the exterior of the tower, making a wide spiral along its exterior. You make your way up. It’s hard to gauge the full height of this tower, but it’s at least six or seven stories tall, if not taller. I want you both to make perception checks, please.
LIAM: Now that we’re closer, I’m looking for windows that she might not have been close enough to see. Doors, holes, anything.
MATT: Perception check.
LIAM: Yes, sir.
SAM: Natural one! I’m under his body.
MATT: He’s curled up within Vax.
MATT: Not even a top or bottom circumstance. You’re just within.
LIAM: It really just depends on the day. 26.
MATT: 26. Okay. No windows. It is a solid tower, completely around as you cycle around. As you get towards the top of it, you notice the three curved fingerlike spires that curl up at the top and the pulsing of the energy. You watch as these very faint tendrils of magical energy that you’ve tuned in to be able to see better, now that you know what to look for, are all–- from this height, you can see the long strands are undulating and shifting, almost like the very winds of the land are causing them to rotate. You can see the variations in their form, but they’re all still merging and entwining at the very top of Entropis. You see nothing. You can see what appear to be a cluster of about 30 or so figures all gathered along the top of this. You can see what appear to be three glowing spheres in a triangular pattern around this that are accepting the tether of the magical energy, and then suffusing what appears to be a small altar of some kind in the very center of the top of this tower.
LIAM: Mother bitch.
MATT: You’ve been circling here for about 15 to 20 minutes or so, and the energy (explosion noise) untethers and unfurls. There’s a shockwave of warmth that cascades outward from the top of the tower. Both of you feel it pass through you, and that freezing cold that you’ve been trying desperately to hold at bay as you’re clutching onto the back of this gloom stalker, this heat wave moves past. The gloom stalker (squawks) instinctually pulls back, and you can see for a second it drops, and you feel your stomach bottom out as it loses about 20 feet of elevation before catching itself again. And you watch as any of the others that are currently cycling around the stratosphere over the city of Thar Amphala also are taken off guard by the sudden burst of energy. As you glance over, you can see the tethers that connect have all fallen and faded. (music changes)
SAM: (quietly) How does he do that? How did you do that?
MATT: You also watch as about 25 or so of these figures at the top all collapse at once.
LIAM: But some are left.
MATT: There are some left. You watch and very faintly, you can see on that altar in the center, there is a small bead of pure, vibrant, bright white light. You watch as a robed figure that previously was held in the shadows emerge. You’re too far away to make any more details than that.
LIAM: A lot of motherfuckers just died on the top of that tower. You felt that?
SAM: What do we do? Is that the end of the ritual?
LIAM: How much time left on that hour, buddy?
SAM: Enough to get back to our friends, probably.
LIAM: We’ve got to go.
SAM: Should we attack now? Just the two of us?
LIAM: No, we should not do that.
SAM: We could.
LIAM: We could.
SAM: Between you and me, we’re the most powerful ones in the group.
LIAM: I just don’t feel like freeballing it right now, and I’d really like the group.
SAM: I know, but will you at least confirm that yes, we are the most powerful?
LIAM: Clearly. We are the most, as the kids say, OP. Let’s get back to the group.
SAM: All right. Hold me tight. Mr. Mistoffeles, back down.
MATT: It goes into a rapid dive, making its way back towards where you left the rest of your party. The rest of you, you can go ahead and regain your short rest. You get your Wild Shape back. You can spend any hit dice to heal up if you’d like. If you haven’t already.
LAURA: I already did it.
MATT: Okay, good. I also need all of you to roll a wisdom saving throw, please.
MATT: Everybody who was on a short rest.
LAURA: If we had had a Feast, we’d have advantage on this.
MARISHA: We would.
MATT: All right, so.
ASHLEY: Just to make sure: I used Gnome Cunning, because I get advantage on wisdom.
MATT: It’s not a “magical” effect.
ASHLEY: Okay. So then I’ll take my first roll, which was two. And then I will add my wisdom saving throw number, which is ten, so I have 12.
SAM: I want you to explain every roll.
MATT: In the rest you take, the Shadowfell does not seem to have any adverse effect on your presence.
MATT: There’s no “however.” You complete your rest fine. You guys all gather your stuff, you take a breath and prepare for the next leg of your venture as the door to your building slams open, Scanlan and Vax arriving, just leaping off the back of the gloom stalker that they had under their control. Who is also about to lose its…
TALIESIN: How much longer do they have?
SAM: Fly away!
TALIESIN: Attack the tower. Tell it to attack the tower.
SAM: Really? It’s going to forget halfway there.
TALIESIN: Maybe we can mess one person up.
SAM: Fly away! Just fly away!
ASHLEY: On the rest, could I have worked a little bit more on enchanting the silver bullets?
MATT: You can spend a little more time on it. It’ll take a few days of getting that to happen.
ASHLEY: I just keep working on it.
LAURA: Did we feel that (whoosh) within the building?
MATT: You didn’t. You may have heard something strange, but it didn’t really catch your attention. You guys spent your time resting on the inside of the building.
LAURA: What’d you see?
LIAM: Saw a lot of fucking people just die on the top of that tower. I can’t guarantee it, but I think it’s a safe bet that your girl Delilah is up there.
LAURA: That’s where I figured she’d be.
SAM: It seems they’ve completed at least some part of the ritual.
LIAM: Yeah, there was some sort of massive pulse of energy, 20-something hooded figures just dropped dead on the spot. A wave of some shit blasted through us.
LAURA: Can I run out and look at the tower and see if the orb looks different?
MARISHA: I join Vex.
MATT: You guys rush out and peek outside of the doorway towards the top of Entropis. You see that the glowing pulse is gone. The energy tethers from the siphons are gone.
MARISHA: I look around. Are we still in the Shadowfell?
MATT: Perception check.
MARISHA: That’s not great. 18.
MATT: That’s enough. Yeah, you’re still in the Shadowfell.
(sounds of relief)
TRAVIS: Motherfucking Mercer. That intonation.
TALIESIN: If you rolled low enough, he’d be like, “You don’t know.” Seattle! You’ve taken us to Seattle!
LAURA: Well, we should fucking get up there, then, huh?
SAM: Should we go straight up the tower?
LIAM: What else are we doing here?
SAM: Yeah, all right.
TALIESIN: Let’s head to the base.
SAM: But we’re going to fight an aerial battle against super-magical things.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
LIAM: We’re weighing risk here. What do we think would happen if we spent an hour having that Feast right now?
TRAVIS: Actually, that’s true. Nothing’s going to change at this point.
MARISHA: I mean, maybe we should return to something like sabotaging the machine, or… burning the city. Oh god, Vex is rubbing off on me.
LAURA: Did you see Delilah up there?
LIAM: No. There was a ringleader, but we were too far out.
LAURA: And the ringleader was still standing?
ASHLEY: How many people were still standing?
MATT: That would have been three that you noticed.
LIAM: Precisely three.
ASHLEY: Lots of them died in the blast?
SAM: Yeah, so it’s not even going to be a tough fight. We’ll just take down three people and be done, right?
LAURA: So easy.
TALIESIN: The less people we’re fighting, the worse it is.
ASHLEY: It won’t just be three.
TALIESIN: It might be four.
SAM: It’ll be… less than three?
LAURA: Even one with that fucking wall she had last time, we’re fucked.
MARISHA: How far did the blast go that you saw?
LIAM: We were 100 yards out or something?
MATT: Yeah, you were probably about 300 feet out.
LAURA: We didn’t do any research on that wall, did we? That spell? Did anybody do any research on that spell that we saw her do? Down in the ziggurat?
TALIESIN: We kind of figured out what it was. It was a modified version of a spell we’ve seen before.
MATT: Kind of, yeah. It seemed to be prismatic. You’ve seen Prismatic Spray. It’s a prismatic spell in nature but you didn’t really research any means of defeating it or bypassing it.
TRAVIS: Do you still have that Earthquake spell?
MARISHA: I believe me and Pike both do, yes.
TRAVIS: We couldn’t, like, earthquake the tower to the ground. Could we?
MARISHA: Between me, you, and Pike? We can take this tower down.
SAM: Is that true?
TRAVIS: I just don’t know about us going to the top, if we could maybe bring it–
TALIESIN: Oh, if we could maybe bring the top down here?
SAM: That’s a good idea, if you can really do it.
TRAVIS: I just don’t know how big around it is. It might be fucking huge.
TALIESIN: How big around is the tower?
MATT: At the very base–
TALIESIN: He’s looking at the tower.
MATT: – it’s about 170, 180 feet in diameter.
MARISHA: Hang on, 180 feet in diameter? Hang on. Pike and I check our spellbooks real quick.
TALIESIN: Can I do a little engineering? If I were going to punch at it…
LIAM: Also, the idea that we’re going to sneak into that tower is farfetched.
SAM: No, we either have to fly up to the top or bring it down to us, right?
LAURA: I like the idea of bringing it down.
LIAM: Even if it fails, the fight will still come to– Either we bring the fight to them, or we rip down the tower and bring the fight to us.
MARISHA: For up to a minute and a hundred foot radius, centered at a point…
MATT: It deals 50 bludgeoning damage to any structure in contact with the ground in the area when you cast the spell. If it drops to zero hit points, it collapses and potentially damages nearby creatures. So the question is, do you think that’ll be enough to drop a solid obsidian tower?
LAURA: It’s a tough call. Twice in a row?
MARISHA: But, I mean, two Earthquake spells and Grog.
LAURA: I have a siege arrow.
MARISHA: I will point out this will be burning mine and Pike’s 8th-level spell, but it might be worth it.
SAM: It feels like it’s a 3.2 earthquake, we need a 6.2 earthquake.
TRAVIS: That’s true, we do. Let’s be honest. We really do need a massive shake.
LAURA: What if we weaken the outside and then hit with the earthquake?
MARISHA: I can tunnel out underneath it.
TALIESIN: I think whatever was going on up there is gone. I think it’s happened.
LAURA: Well, Delilah’s still up there, so if she falls at least she takes some damage.
TALIESIN: That’s fair.
LIAM: I’m just going to throw my vote in the ring here, that I think we should take the time for the Feast. You know, we’re not killing piles of rats in the sewers, here. This is serious.
SAM: When last time we fought Delilah, were any of us scared of her?
TALIESIN: She’s not what I’m afraid of.
LAURA: Wisdom saving throws are major. She could take control of us.
TRAVIS: I’m not against that, but I think one person should stay out of the Feast and keep an eye in case they leave in the hour that we’re feasting.
SAM: Well, if someone’s going to stay out of the Feast, it should be the guy who already has advantage on everything.
TRAVIS: Oh, that too, yeah. I just can’t get afraid, that’s all I was going to say.
LAURA: Yeah, but you can be taken control of with your brain, Grog.
TRAVIS: That’s assuming a lot.
TALIESIN: Damn it.
TRAVIS: Or we just go get it. We just go after it and go get it.
SAM: I’m against the Feast. I think we should just run in.
LAURA: I just don’t feel like there’s time, honestly.
SAM: Also, I’m vegan, I don’t know if I could eat everything at the feast.
LIAM: It is largely GoFiBePo?
SAM: GoFiBePo? Why didn’t you just name it a Poobah Platter?
LAURA: Oh, that would have been way easier.
MARISHA: How far are we from the tower in this little house?
MATT: In this house, you’re a little over a half mile away from it.
TALIESIN: It’s a ten-minute walk.
MATT: So this house is just outside of the perimeter wall of the inner cloister.
MARISHA: You guys could do the Feast and some of us can help tunnel out the ground during that hour.
TALIESIN: I don’t know. I don’t think we’re going to bring it down.
GROG: I don’t know if we’re going to bring it down. It was a cool idea, but I don’t know if we’re going to do it. We’re no white ancient dragon.
ASHLEY: What’s it made of? Obsidian?
MATT: You haven’t been close enough to really tell, but it looks to be made of a very thick, dark obsidian or onyx-like material.
LIAM: It’s also unsettling as fuck, right?
LAURA: Oh, it’s probably magically protected.
TALIESIN: It may just hover there if we knock this.
LAURA: That is very true.
TALIESIN: It may be keeping the ground up as opposed to being sitting on the ground at that point.
MARISHA: So we’re going to try to fly up?
TALIESIN: Or walk up through the inside.
GROG: Raise your hand if you want a Heroes’ Feast.
LIAM: For you all, yes.
SAM: Is that a raise or not?
TRAVIS: Are you scratching your ear or are you raising your hand?
TALIESIN: Yes, damn it.
SAM: Wait, so, are we four?
ASHLEY: I’m just nervous. I know we don’t have time, but what if this is one of those decisions where later we’re like “We should have fucking done a Heroes’ Feast”?
TRAVIS: Well, let’s do it.
ASHLEY: I don’t know, though, I don’t know if we have the time. This is hard.
TRAVIS: Well, the transaction upstairs has already happened, whether they get away or not.
MARISHA: I have a feeling we’re going to be down here a while.
LAURA: Maybe we can prepare the Feast, keep an eye out. If we have to ditch out on the Feast early, then we do.
MARISHA: Keyleth looks out the window again. Are people panicked, are people running around? Is there a rabble in the street?
MATT: There’s no technical window in this building. There’s the door.
TRAVIS: She just pushes her head against the wall.
MATT: So you look out the door and glance through. You do notice, there’s no panic, but you do see a number of–- and this is interesting–- you glance out, and you don’t see any undead wandering the streets of the inner cloister. At least, not like the outer area was. You do see– make a perception check, actually.
MARISHA: Oh, that’s good! 30!
MATT: You see, throughout the street, which, the street from here gets about halfway to the tower before it hits a building and curves around. You see maybe 35 or 40 total people in matching or close cultist robes or similar colors, all making their way towards the tower.
TALIESIN: They’re dressed for an occasion. Fuck it. Just go.
LAURA: We got to go. 35 to 40 people? Let’s kill 'em all on the way up.
MARISHA: Man, you’re frosty today. You’re just–
LAURA: They’re trying to come over into our territory. I don’t like it. They’re all assholes.
TRAVIS: Shall we go in?
MARISHA: Well, how are we going to go in, though? Just flying up?
TALIESIN: We have one broom, we don’t have two brooms anymore. We got a carpet, and we got wings.
LAURA: And a couple people with wings. Oh god, the creepy music is starting. We gotta go, y'all.
LIAM: Beeline to the tower.
MARISHA: And then what? And then what, though? Once we get there? Play it by ear?
TALIESIN: Throw everything off the top. Break everything. Smash everything.
LAURA: It’s Delilah. She’s going to destroy us. Do we have any way to neutralize her magic?
TRAVIS: Well, you could turn into a… no.
MARISHA: I can’t. I gave Vax Foresight. I cannot turn into a beholder today.
SAM: I can.
TALIESIN: You can?
MARISHA: Do you have Shapechange?
SAM: Something like it.
TALIESIN: All right, this is almost a plan. Let’s do this.
TRAVIS: It’s more than we normally have.
TALIESIN: It’s far more.
LAURA: Are there a lot of gloom stalkers around?
MATT: You can tell with the loss of magical energy that they’ve been tossed askew a bit. Their patterns of circling and being intent, they’re a little more scattered a bit, but there are still maybe a few dozen that look over the inner cloister.
TALIESIN: Let’s make our way to the tower and maybe head up through the tower. We don’t have to necessarily fly up to the top.
LAURA: Wait a minute. Did the orb at the top turn the same way that the orbs in the ziggurat turn?
MATT: There were faint orbs that were taking the energy and focusing it towards that center altar, and when everything faded after the shock wave, what you saw looked like the tiniest star. It was just a speck of extremely bright light that to look directly at it hurt.
TRAVIS: I don’t know! I don’t! Just go get it.
MARISHA: I’m honestly still kind of into the earthquake idea. Bringing down the tower. I’m not going to lie.
SAM: That’s not going to work!
MARISHA: How do you know?
SAM: You said 50 points of damage?
TALIESIN: I can take 50 points of damage. I can take two earthquakes, personally.
SAM: I mean, just from a metagaming scenario, that’s not even– that can’t even hurt–
MARISHA: No, no, no. The tremor deals 50 bludgeoning damage to any structure in contact with the ground in your area when you cast the spell, and at the start of each of your turns until the spell ends, and the spell lasts a minute.
SAM: So you get ten 50s.
MARISHA: Ten of those. Ten 50s.
LAURA: Oh, and then times two.
MARISHA: With Pike and I.
SAM: So that’s 1000 points. Over a minute. That’s better than I thought.
LIAM: Is it concentration?
MARISHA: It’s concentration for up to a minute, and it has a 500-foot range, and a 100-foot radius. So Pike and I could split, half and half of the tower.
TRAVIS: It’s pretty fucking Hollywood. I kind of like it.
TALIESIN: All right! All right, let’s do it.
MARISHA: I feel like if we go right up to the top of the tower, it’s like walking into the danger.
TALIESIN: Let’s bring the tower down to us.
MARISHA: This is insane!
LIAM: And you can still fuck shit up while you got that earthquake going, right?
MARISHA: Well, how do you mean?
LAURA: Oh, yeah, if you have that spell going, you can do other things in case things attack us?
LIAM: Are you just doing Earthquake the whole time, or are you just standing there staring at the ground?
MARISHA: It’s my concentration, so I can keep it going and do an instant reaction spell.
MATT: Do other things, you can’t do another concentration spell.
LIAM: But you’re not lightning anybody’s ass, not doing anything like that. You’re focusing on the tower.
MARISHA: I mean, I can throw a Fireball and keep it going, yeah.
LIAM: That’s really big. All right.
TALIESIN: I say the movers and shakers get the cloaks. Let’s head out.
LAURA: Get up as close as we can to support Pike and Keyleth.
TALIESIN: And we keep them safe. We are playing defense.
MARISHA: God, I hope this works.
TALIESIN: God, I hope this works, too.
MARISHA: I don’t know if this is going to work!
LAURA: This is stupid as fuck!
TALIESIN: We’re distance. Anybody gets near them, we take them out.
MARISHA: Grog, can you at the right moment just do a big– see if you can topple it over?
TRAVIS: I can try and do whatever you want. I can run around and punch a bunch of holes in it, whatever.
TALIESIN: We’re going to focus everything on one side of the tower, we’re going to try and bring it down in a direction. Here we go.
LAURA: Yes, focus it on one side of the tower. Both on the same side.
TALIESIN: Like a tree. Let’s do this. This is a terrible plan. All right.
LAURA Just trying to gauge Matt.
MARISHA: I know! Matt’s stone cold!
TALIESIN: Matt’s thinking about all the other people he could be playing D&D with right now.
TALIESIN: He’s imagining a whole other set of faces here.
LIAM: All right, let’s teleport inside that dragon. Come on.
MATT: Yeah, what’s the plan, guys?
LIAM: That’s the plan.
LAURA: We’re going to get close enough so that they can do their 500 feet distance. But keep a distance to the tower.
MARISHA: And if we can be hidden while we’re doing this, instead of being open. We have a 500-foot range here. We’ve got a dope-ass range.
TALIESIN: Keyleth’s got a cloak. Pike’s got a cloak.
TRAVIS: I’m huge.
TALIESIN: He’s huge.
LAURA: We’re going to try to get in a building that’s closer to the tower.
MATT: Okay. Seeming lasts for eight hours, so you’re still under the guise of that illusion.
SAM: Although we don’t–-
LAURA: --need that anymore.
TALIESIN: Well, we can look like cultists.
SAM: Keyleth, you said that there’s no other undead around here, right? Maybe we shouldn’t look like undead, then.
TALIESIN: Can you shift what we look like without changing it?
SAM: I don’t think I can shift it. No, you can’t. That’s a one-time thing.
LAURA: Maybe just drop it and we’ll be cultists.
MARISHA: How many robes did we swipe?
SAM: We’ve got the one from the guy whose head we just crushed.
MATT: You would have four cloaks, because there’s two you got from the outside at the ritual, and there’s the one from the guy you killed when you got here. Well, technically, there was the two that you killed when you got there, but you didn’t say you grabbed those. Oh, you did, you grabbed them off. So that’s two, five, six. You have six cloaks.
LAURA: Yeah, and then the one, the guy that we just killed in front of the--
MATT: That was included.
SAM: Me and Pike, she could be on my shoulders and we could share one cloak.
LAURA: Yeah! That’s good!
TRAVIS: I have that Cloak of Smashing that Percy gave me.
MARISHA: Totally 'Little Rascals’ it! Oh, I love it!
LAURA: Yeah, we’ll just robe it up.
MATT: You guys all throw on the–
ASHLEY: I almost feel like it should be the other way around.
SAM: Oh, it absolutely should.
MATT: Six cloaks, seven players. You guys are straight-up doing-- I am so proud of everything that has just happened.
SAM: To make it look like our arms can reach the ends of the cloak– are they sleeved cloaks?
MATT: Yes, they are.
SAM: I’m going to hold a flute and my sword.
LIAM: Mythcarver! You used Mythcarver to pull a Little Rascals!
MATT: “There will be no survivors!”
TALIESIN: “The dread Pirate Roberts is here for your souls!”
LIAM: Hey guys, it’s the third time Scanlan has used Mythcarver!
MARISHA: That’s a vestige right there!
TALIESIN: It’s gone from exalted to shamed.
MATT: It retracts into a dagger now.
TALIESIN: Never happens. This never happens.
MATT: All right. In a hip montage, you pull out the various cloaks, assemble your materials, getting ready.
TALIESIN: We are a bunch of assholes.
MATT: Scanlan hops on top of Pike, the cloak is placed over you. You get your sleeves ready, and you all walk out into the cold air of the Shadowfell, making your way towards the center of the city.
MARISHA: Be cool. Be cool.
LIAM: I’m also going to say, some time in the last several hours, I don’t remember what the armor is set to, to necrotic.
MATT: I think you may have said that before you went in, just in case. I assumed that was the case.
LAURA: I think that was already there, yeah.
TALIESIN: And remember, if anyone looks at you, close one eye. Just be winking. Always be winking. Left eye.
LAURA: Does everybody have their arms, that we’ve run into so far? Or are they missing an arm, too? An eye and an arm or just an eye?
MATT: It varies. Not everyone seems to be missing a hand, but most of them are missing an eye.
LIAM: You all look like my sister.
MARISHA: You need to get your eyes checked, then. Your depth perception may be off.
SAM: All right, we go!
MATT: All right. You guys make your way up the street, following behind the few stragglers that you see trying to catch up with the rest of the groups of people that have filtered out of the buildings and made their way towards the center. You make your way through some of the side roads, following around, and you can see now that the closer you get to the city, the more the structures, the buildings here, are built in a spiral. The roads don’t intersect at spokes, they all gradually curve in to the tower. If you’re looking at it overhead, it looks like this large spiral into the tower, like a pinwheel. You follow the curvature of the road, which prevents you from seeing the end point, and as you begin to get close to some of the clusters of people that are walking with a brisk walk, but still walking towards the tower, you fall back a little bit to not draw any attention. As you’re making your way there, you watch as two individuals hurry up that were a little bit behind you, and rush up to the side and are walking in pace. They glance over.
MARISHA: Hoods forward.
MATT: One of them, who appears to be a younger man, probably 18, 19 or so, who’s got this little patch of reddish brown chin fuzz and looks a little malnourished. He still has both eyes. He rushes up real fast, his hood pulling back a little bit, and he’s looking around, excited but also with trepidation. “So it’s happening, huh? It’s really happening!”
LAURA: I guess so.
LIAM: It’s fucking wild.
LAURA: So exciting.
SAM: I’m so excited to be here!
LAURA: Oh, don’t.
MATT: Make a deception check.
TRAVIS: Keep your mouth shut! Just keep your mouth shut!
MARISHA: Just nod and smile.
MATT: He looks at you and goes, “Oh! I didn’t know the Whispered One takes the special ones, too!”
TRAVIS: Yep! Sure does!
TALIESIN: What are you going to do after?
MATT: “I don’t know.”
TALIESIN: Surely you’ve thought.
MATT: “I’m pretty low on the totem pole here. I’m just excited to be on the right side of history.”
LIAM: Fuck the normies.
MATT: “All right.” And he rushes up past you guys to try and catch up.
SAM: So awkward.
LAURA: I think he bought it. I think we played it really cool there, guys.
MARISHA: I’m really bad at holding my eye shut for this long.
TALIESIN: So are we close enough now that we can start this?
MATT: Not yet. You’re about maybe 1,000 feet or so away.
TALIESIN: I’m going to see if there’s any structures that are within distance so that once they set up and start, I can get to them. Maybe we can perch.
MARISHA: We only need to be so far out.
TALIESIN: We can cover you from a roof.
MATT: Perception check, Percival.
LIAM: Also wondering how we’re doing in the gloom stalker department?
MATT: No one’s seen you, currently. It seems that whatever piercing vision they have, it does not seem to pierce robes.
LAURA: I want to keep an eye out for buildings, too.
MATT: Okay. Then you as well make a perception check.
MATT: 23. Okay. You glance about, and there are a lot of buildings here with vantage points. They’re all similar heights. There are a few that are outliers, but most of them are one and a half to two stories, like a one story with an attic or an attic space, like a half-story. Or two stories. You do check a few that are third-story, and a lot of them are almost in steeple-like spires at the top. You start to notice there is a theme. A lot of the buildings closer to the tower are built in a similar theme as the tower itself. You begin to see the edges of the roofs curve up into their own spikes, and the further in you go, the more dangerous and unwelcoming the deeper inner cloister of Thar Amphala is to witness. You can see now certain people are climbing onto the roofs. They’re getting up there, almost like they’re preparing for some sort of a festival or a fireworks show.
MARISHA: Like the Fourth of fucking July.
LAURA: The aliens are coming and we’re welcoming them.
TRAVIS: Well, they’re not wrong.
MATT: You notice, Vex… There’s been no change in daylight or nightlight here. It’s been this constant deep, dark gray gloom that hangs over the Shadowfell, unchanging, unshifting. There’s a creeping brightness on the horizon that you feel rising.
LAURA: We’re getting ready to teleport.
MATT: And you watch as that creeping brightness forms a dome over your space, and then comes to a close over the top of the tower, and where once there was this gloomy skyscape, you now see what appears to be a brighter, clouded sky. The temperature grows a little colder, and you begin to see snowfall. Gentle snow begins to fall, and you watch as some of the cultists surrounding start reaching up and catching it in their hands.
TALIESIN: Now, now!
SAM: We’ve still got to attack.
MARISHA: It’s totally taken us to Whitestone.
SAM: It’s okay, we can still kill everybody.
MATT: Make a nature check.
LAURA: We’re in the north. There’s a lot of places that snow. It could be Draconia. There’s a lot of places that snow.
LIAM: But it’s Delilah Briarwood.
MATT: You have no direct idea of where you are, but based on the weather that you left Whitestone in not too long ago, this isn’t Whitestone or near Whitestone. The weather patterns are a little more classic snow.
LAURA: Is it winter in Wildemount right now?
MATT: It’s the tail end of winter in a few places.
LIAM: Tower still needs to come down.
SAM: Let’s go. Let’s move. Let’s attack. Are we within 500 feet?
MATT: You guys are about now within 500 feet.
LAURA: Fucking get into the building that we can, and then start it.
MARISHA: Pike and I huddle together and try and join forces.
ASHLEY: Let’s do it.
MARISHA: Let’s do it.
MATT: As you guys are holding hands, a voice begins to ring out. Omnipresent. Directionless, like it’s being positioned directly into the minds of each of you from wherever it stands. It’s an unfamiliar voice. The words creep and curl in, like they’ve always been resting, and now is the moment is for them to reveal themselves. “I would ask you to listen before you make a fool of yourselves. I’ve watched you since you stepped into my domain, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been entertaining. I admire your gumption. It reminds me of others who have tried what you are trying. But they’re dead now, so I leave the choice to you. You can either walk away, or you can join me, or you will die, and join me anyway.”
LAURA: Eff that shit. Just do it.
LIAM: No one walks away.
MARISHA: People don’t tell us to stop if they’re not afraid of what we’re doing.
TALIESIN: To the end.
LAURA: To the end.
SAM: To the end.
TALIESIN: Yeah, let’s just pretend that’s not really happening.
LAURA: Do it.
MARISHA: I love you all. We do it, above the screaming, howling Horror Nights sound effects.
TALIESIN: I pull Silence.
MATT: All right. As you guys clasp hands, and begin the intricate incantation for the Earthquake spell, you can hear the cheers of people on the rooftops. They’re standing up now, and they’re all shouting, “Yes! Yes, I hear you!” You get the sense that perhaps you weren’t the only ones that have been spoken to, although the conversations may differ from individual to individual. As you guys complete your incantation, you watch as the dust begins to rise around the base. You see Entropis begin to quiver back and forth, and you watch as everyone begins to rush to the edge of the rooftops, then rush into the streets to look up, their hands raised to the sky, not sure what this means, but basking in whatever glory this next sign or omen is to be. You watch as a loud, shattering crack sound hits, and you watch as one large, snaking, carving line begins to work its way up one side of the tower. Up another. And the collective gasp of hundreds of voices across the city seem to echo, (gasps). You watch as one side buckles, and the tower begins to slowly (rumble) to the ground.
SAM: Is it falling towards us?
MATT: It’s falling not towards you.
ASHLEY: We thought of that.
MATT: But not the entire tower.
MATT: You glance up and watch as the very apex, the three-clawed top of the tower, is just there, in the sky, held aloft, unmoving, as the rest of the tower seems to have (rumble) broken away, and as it falls, this slow, terrifying collapse, you hear the rumbling of broken stone slamming into earth as clouds of smoke, dust, and dead earth are kicked up from the impact of this falling tower, completely enswirling the center of the city with debris and darkness. You watch as cultists go running now, their faces filled with fear and confusion at what this suddenly means, what’s happening. As the dust washes past you, it gives this haze over the sky, and slowly comes to fade. You all, taking in what’s happening, watch as that one apex of the spire slowly makes its way down to the surface of wherever you are on top of the rubble that once stood as Entropis.
MARISHA: It kind of worked.
SAM: I mean, it wasn’t bad.
MARISHA: It brought it down. Did anyone of significance die in the process?
MATT: You can only assume.
LAURA: Can we see who it is?
MATT: You’re too far away. You’re 500 feet away from this.
SAM: Let’s go.
LAURA: Let’s go.
TRAVIS: We’re going up to it or waiting till it comes down all the way?
SAM: Oh, I mean, it’s landing, right?
MATT: It’s landed. It settled itself. It’s kind of cocked to one side. For it to land in the rubble, it’s not a perfect platform, it (rumble) and comes to rest at a very faint angle among the ruined, broken, jagged obsidian pile. It’s a thousand million flecked arrowheads all jumbled in this broken glass-like landscape of destroyed tower, and there, the very zenith of this once-grand structure sits resting, waiting.
TALIESIN: Let’s do this.
SAM: Do we have an escape plan?
TRAVIS: Kill everything.
MARISHA: I can Plane Shift us if things get really bad, but I kind of think we’re already on our plane.
LAURA: This sounds like we’re all going to die!
SAM: Sure does.
ASHLEY: All right, guys, we’re going to do this. We’re going to do this.
LIAM: Start walking.
TALIESIN: The minute I grab onto your broom, you can’t hear anything, so I’m just going to ride it down to the ground and then let go.
TRAVIS: Well, I’m done playing, so I’m going to take the Titan Stone Knuckles and smash them together and cast Enlarge on myself.
MATT: Your cloak tears around your body, Incredible Hulk style as your form ruins what remains of the black, sheared fabric that once, even by the stretch of the imagination, pseudo-hid you, now…
TRAVIS: A bib remains.
MATT: Exactly. It’s almost like one of those Chippendale neckpieces. What you see is a number of cultists that were running away from the tower stop and see this, and then, almost instinctually, go to defend. Make an intimidation check.
TRAVIS: Should’ve raged. That’s not terrible. 24.
MATT: And go scattering in other directions. You see some are rushing towards the tower to see what happened, to see if anyone’s okay. There are a lot of cultists that were crushed, you imagine, on that side of the city, especially since they were clustering at the base for whatever this was. But many more are still out in the streets as you guys walk (footsteps), making your way towards the central tower.
LAURA: I take off the robes. Get ready. Slow motion walk towards the tower.
MATT: You make your way down the ruined city streets of Thar Amphala. Amongst the snowfall that’s now beginning to gather on the tops of your heads and your shoulders and your wings, and along the sides of the street that hadn’t seen snowfall, probably ever. You make your way past the final boundary buildings, the cultists just letting you pass, looks of fear, looks of excitement, looks of knowing, looks of understanding that you probably walk to your deaths and I want to watch this happen. You begin to step over the rubble, your footfalls finding the grinding, high-pitched cracks of broken glass-like obsidian beneath your feet. There you look up, and can see about 25 or 30 feet of the tower top is resting at an angle. You can’t see what’s up on top of it. No windows. How do you wish to proceed?
LIAM: We’re not sneaking up on shit.
LAURA: Well, no. They know we’re here.
TRAVIS: Circle? Flank? All together? Which one?
TALIESIN: Powerhouses together. Distance fighters keep their distance. I’ll take the carpet if it’s available.
LAURA: Surround the tower, climb up each side?
TRAVIS: I would.
TALIESIN: I’m going to grab the carpet. Anybody who wants a lift up, feel free.
TRAVIS: I will take that ride.
LAURA: I’ll broom it.
ASHLEY: I’ll hop up on the carpet.
TALIESIN: Carpet’s full.
MATT: As you guys are getting yourselves prepared, that voice returns to you, echoing through your minds once again. “I am genuinely impressed. I’m excited. And I would like for you to remain to watch my ascension, but far be it for me to rob anyone of a fine death, so come. Come, and be the next sacrifice for the new age.”
LAURA: You’re a dipshit!
TRAVIS: Eloquence personified.
MATT: So, via broom…
SAM: We have to fly to get up to it?
LAURA: It’s 35 feet up, so.
MARISHA: To the top of the tower?
TRAVIS: Platform, whatever you want to call it.
LIAM: I’m going to shoot up and past by quite a bit.
MARISHA: Can I hop on a carpet or broom?
LAURA: You can hop on my broom.
TALIESIN: I was about to say, carpet’s a bit full.
MARISHA: I’ll hop on the broom with Vex.
SAM: I need a ride as well.
TALIESIN: Once I’m up, I’m going to scatter.
SAM: Do you want me to be a beholder? Or a dragon?
MARISHA: Beholder has the anti-magic cone eye situation. Just wait and see.
SAM: Wait and see? Figured I should do it now.
TALIESIN: How long can you maintain a beholder?
MARISHA: How long does it last to cast?
SAM: It’s instantaneous.
TALIESIN: Oh, then wait until the moment that it’s necessary.
SAM: But he could Counterspell it unless I do it now.
LAURA: I don’t know if he’s actually here yet.
MATT: Help me put this down right… There.
ASHLEY: That’s awesome.
LAURA: I feel like whenever we come across a map, I feel like we walked into his hand, exactly where he wanted us.
TRAVIS: Let’s also talk about the fact that it’s been years since we’ve been this close to a map.
MATT: This is also true.
TALIESIN: That is true.
MATT: Please. Indulge me where you’re coming in from. And these resemble the three curved spires.
TRAVIS: Those ideally go like that above it, right?
MATT: Yeah, they curve upward and stop about there.
TALIESIN: So they’re not platform-y.
MATT: No. They come to a point.
TALIESIN: I’m hiding behind this glowing spire. I’m going to take some cover behind.
MATT: You rush. We’re looking for landing placement, here. This’ll come into play, here. Grog, where are you going?
TRAVIS: I’ll go right there.
MATT: Right there.
LAURA: Me and Keyleth– do you want to land over here?
MARISHA: That’s fine. Yeah, I follow your lead.
LAURA: As soon as I land, I bamf Trinket out.
LIAM: I’m going to say that I’m about 80 feet in the air, just off-center. Towards Vex and Keyleth, but just off-center.
LAURA: Keep a distance, don’t be in a line with us.
LIAM: I’m going to say I’m there, straight up.
MATT: There you are, Vax, right there.
TRAVIS: The minis look so cool!
TALIESIN: I haven’t seen them in so long.
TRAVIS: I know, we’ve been so far away!
TALIESIN: Who’s left? Pike?
MATT: Pike and Scanlan. Because you took the carpet, you’re going to have to be near Grog for where you guys land. Going to be the circumstance there. Percy, you just run up the side to get there?
TALIESIN: No, I was on the carpet and hopped and left them because they had to go pick up.
MATT: If that’s the case, then I’ll say that you’re landing.
TALIESIN: No, they had to go get Scanlan–-
MATT: Oh, you had to go get Scanlan?
TALIESIN: It’s 35 feet.
MATT: If you guys had leave Scanlan behind, that’s a whole different thing.
SAM: No, I think I’m going to just go ahead and be a beholder and fly in there myself.
TALIESIN: Okay, that’ll work.
TRAVIS: Wow! Okay! All right! YOLO, why the fuck not?
TALIESIN: If you’d be so kind, throw me here, then.
LIAM: Someday, we could have a game with two beholders on our side.
MARISHA: It’s true! But not today.
MATT: That’s Scanlan.
TALIESIN: I like that you found a goofy-looking beholder. (goofy voice) Hi!
ASHLEY and MARISHA: Hey, you guys!
MATT: As you guys arrive, the floor is just surrounded in bodies. Cultists of very ornate robes. Mostly you’ve seen peon-based: black splatters of sackcloth, what was available.
LAURA: They’ve been peed on?!
MATT: No. these are well-adorned and appear to have been very well-regarded within the Remnants. You also see, on this side, what appears to be–- sorry, on this side would be Delilah Briarwood.
LAURA: Bitchface Briarwood.
MARISHA: Bitchface Briarwood!
MATT: On this side, you see what appears to be a black, armored, massive, not quite goliath-sized, but a thick, dark black knight of jagged dark metal armor, what appears to be a longsword that emanates this dark energy, and floating above–
TALIESIN: Oh, balls.
LAURA: Oh no, what’s flying?
ASHLEY: Put it away.
LAURA: No, I don’t need it!
LIAM: Those are my platforms, I can take them back anytime I want!
LAURA: Oh no! What is that?
MATT: You see a man, though the flesh is pulled tight against a skeletal frame. You see long, red and purple and black robes that are tattered and drift below the breeze and cold gently blowing by. You see a field of crackling energy just bursting around the outskirts of his form. You see one hand is out, in a welcoming position, while the empty wrist that once contained a hand is now open on the other side. You see the bald, hairless head, which is covered in spots and tugged open, bits of flesh that have curled away from rotten decay. You see the cheeks sunken in where the skeletal teeth are now emblazoned in a terrible grin. You see the right eye, and the gaping hole where a bright green, bursting, flaming vacuous void where an eye once was now drifts off a trail behind it. You see there, reborn before you, the Whispered One, the Undying King. Vecna himself.
TRAVIS: Oh god, we’re in it!
TALIESIN: I don’t like it being this close.
SAM: We’ll probably all die.
MATT: I would like you all to roll initiative.
SAM: Matthew Mercer, may I borrow your Monster Manual so I know what I am?
MATT: Marisha actually has a page for it, if you want that.
MARISHA: I do have a page. Do you want my beholder page?
TALIESIN: That’s terrible.
MARISHA: That’s terrible for me, too.
LAURA: My teeth hurt.
MATT: My teeth hurt?!
TALIESIN: That’s terrible. I’m not okay with that roll.
MARISHA: Oh, give me that back page. Sorry.
TALIESIN: Back page.
SAM: It doesn’t say what his initiative is.
TALIESIN: You have to roll. It’s a dex modifier plus a d20 if you don’t have initiative?
MATT: What’s that?
TALIESIN: Your initiative is normal.
MATT: Your initiative is whatever the creature’s initiative is, which is its dex modifier.
SAM: Okay. All right.
TALIESIN: Plus a d20.
LIAM: When was the last time we went to bed?
LAURA: I mean, it’s a normal amount of time.
LIAM: No, I mean, like, right before coming? I can’t remember the last time we had a full rest.
MATT: A full rest would have been maybe four or five hours ago.
LIAM: Okay. I think I have all my Lucks. That’s why I’m asking.
TALIESIN: I don’t think you’ve burned since we’ve come through.
LIAM: Not 100% sure.
MARISHA: I also gave you advantage on everything.
LIAM: I know it! Girl!
MARISHA: I think you didn’t use anything.
MATT: Initiative order. 25 to 20?
TRAVIS: 20. Shit.
MATT: Fuck, guys. Guys.
TRAVIS: Me?! Okay.
LAURA: I have no plan!
ASHLEY: We’re fully Leeroy Jenkins-ing.
LAURA: Fully. Leeroy Jenkins!
MATT: Grog, what’s your dex?
TRAVIS: My dexterity? 15.
MATT: Okay. Technically, you rolled the same initiative as the death knight, so he’ll go right after you.
TRAVIS: Okay. The death knight, by the way, is what Colonel Arnold Fuck is.
MATT: 20 to 15.
LAURA: Ooh, nice!
MATT: You had 18, 17.
LIAM: 16. Sylas, broomstick-up-his-ass, death knight Briarwood.
LAURA: This first round is definitely a surprise attack on them, right?
MATT: Oh yeah! Totally!
TALIESIN: They did not see this shit coming. At all.
MATT: All righty. So.
MARISHA: I had so much hope when we took down their tower. It went away very quickly.
TALIESIN: It did, but I think that probably made a lot of cultists go away.
LIAM: Guys, we’ve got to start the new campaign sometime.
MATT: Okay. Beginning of the round.
MARISHA: We all die.
TALIESIN: I cast Game Over. 20th-level spell.
MATT: So many options.
TALIESIN: Fuck you.
LIAM: We’re going to die. Yep!
TRAVIS: Obviously, we’re not at the top of the round.
MATT: Okay, so. Vecna, as he stands there, seeing the beholder arrive over the edge, seeing the paladin in the sky, seeing the rest of these individuals cluster in, goes, “Very well. I wanted to talk more. Please, sit.” I need Scanlan, Vax, Grog, Keyleth, and Vex to all make wisdom saving throws, please.
MARISHA: Ugh, should have done that fucking Feast!
LAURA: We knew we were going to say it.
SAM: Shit, I’m gonna lose my fucking 9th-level spell.
ASHLEY: Not necessarily!
TRAVIS: Oh fuck, yeah. A natural 19.
LAURA: I have a feeling I have to roll really high against fucking Vecna!
TALIESIN: Do you have a Luck?
LAURA: Oh yeah, Tary had Luck, not Scanlan.
SAM: Neither have Luck. I’m a beholder.
TALIESIN: No, you have all of your other stuff.
SAM: Are you sure about that?
MARISHA: Is it like Shapechange?
SAM: This is True Polymorph. I am this creature.
MARISHA: Oh, it’s True Polymorph.
MATT: He is that creature.
LIAM: That’s hot.
SAM: Except it’s not, because I’m about to not be anymore.
LAURA: Because he’s going to cancel it.
LIAM: God damn it.
TRAVIS: Oh, Jesus.
MATT: You resist.
LAURA: Oh god, you have to roll so high in order to resist.
SAM: Even with advantage? Oh, fuck.
MARISHA: They roll disadvantage against you, too.
TALIESIN: Oh, you didn’t say me.
LAURA: You skipped me. And I rolled a 20.
MARISHA: You rolled a 20?
MATT: You feel the force of his magical prowess coalesce like a cold vise on your brain, and your body seizes, holding taut. And you’re all held. You fall straight down 80 feet.
MARISHA: Oh, no.
TRAVIS: (nervous laughter) Oh, fuck! Oh man!
MARISHA: None of us can do anything to help him?
LAURA: We slow-motion walked into our own death.
TRAVIS: Oh, shit!
SAM: Is Pike out?
MATT: Take 32 points of bludgeoning damage, Vax. And you are– Oh god!
LAURA: Walls brought down.
MATT: Prone, there.
MARISHA: Fucking shit.
MATT: The rest of you are also held.
TRAVIS: Is this charmed or frightened?
TRAVIS: Okay, it’s not.
LAURA: What does being held mean?
LIAM: It’s paralysis.
TALIESIN: Until we save, or until his concentration is broken, I assume.
TRAVIS: And rage would have no effect on this?
TRAVIS: Fucking shit.
MATT: And he’s going to go ahead and shift up about 20 more feet and kind of glance over the battlefield a bit.
SAM: He’s a god! He’s a golden god!
TRAVIS: He actually is one. And he won’t jump off a 1000-foot cliff.
MATT: (chuckles) Apparently. All right.
LAURA: T minus ten minutes until he turns into a goldfish.
MARISHA: We can only be so hopeful.
LAURA: That’s plenty of time for us to die.
MATT: That ends his turn. Delilah’s now going to go.
TRAVIS and LAURA: Oh, good!
TRAVIS: Wow, what a way to lead off the round!
SAM: My anti-magic cone is not in effect, I assume?
TALIESIN: Actually, isn’t it just naturally wherever they’re looking?
MATT: It’s wherever you’re facing, but he hasn’t had a turn to go yet, he basically just arrived.
TALIESIN: Oh, okay.
MATT: So it would be kind of in this path here, wherever you would have come in in this regard. So it would be this direction.
LIAM: It’s a big fuckin’ headlamp.
SAM: (laughs) Just frozen there. I really want to swallow and I can’t close–-
TALIESIN: I was under the impression that the eyeball was passive.
MATT: I’m checking right now, actually.
SAM: Well, you have to choose. At the start of each turn–
MATT: At the start of its turn, which way the cone faces and whether the cone is active.
SAM: I haven’t had a turn.
MARISHA: And if it’s active?
TALIESIN: You’re holding your action for being able to move.
TRAVIS: Hey, so… (laughs)
SAM: We got this, guys. How many of us are still able to move?
MATT: Three of you.
SAM: Hey! Okay!
TRAVIS: Looking up! Things are looking up. He has 12 hit points, by the way.
MARISHA: Being held. What’s the deal with that?
MATT: You’re paralyzed. Which means you are incapacitated, you automatically fail strength and dexterity saving throws, attack rolls against you have advantage, and any creature that hits you within five feet, it’s a critical hit.
TRAVIS: Basically worst scenario possible. That’s all you had to say: worst scenario possible.
TALIESIN: It could be worse, but it would take math. This is bad.
SAM: Pike’s going to solve everything.
ASHLEY: Oh, yeah.
SAM: Yeah, she can get us out of this.
LIAM: Flipping those pages.
TRAVIS: Remember this look, boys and girls. On Matt’s face. As the chef carefully picks the menu of our-– Yes.
LAURA: Of our destruction? Of our doom?
TALIESIN: He has been grooming us and fattening us up for two years.
MATT: Delilah is going to move.
SAM: Oh no, lair action, she explodes.
MATT: And is going to step over Vax’s body on the ground.
MARISHA: Oh, bitch! You better back off, bitch!
LAURA: Hope you’re wearing underwear, bitch, because he just looked up your skirt!
MATT: And looks at you.
LAURA: (small voice) Me?
MATT: It’s been a while, my dear.
LAURA: No! Why would you do this?! How you do dis Matt?!
MATT: Yep, so make a constitution saving throw.
MATT: You’re held, but you still make a constitution roll.
MARISHA: Come on…
ASHLEY: Matt, how do you do this?!
TRAVIS: Come on.
MARISHA: Not again.
LAURA: Natural 20!
MATT: No way!
LIAM: And I said, biiiiitch.
MATT: So you take half as much damage, which is good.
MARISHA: Oh my god.
LAURA: Oh, I’m really glad we healed.
LIAM: Vax on the ground just starts going (unintelligible yells).
MATT: All right, so instead of 61 points of necrotic damage, you take 30 points of necrotic damage.
LIAM: I’m shaking, guys.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
LIAM: Got to squeeze my spiky dice to wake up.
LAURA: Ow, ow.
MATT: You okay?
LAURA: (whimpering) I’m good.
TRAVIS: Blood pressure’s a thing right now.
MATT: That’ll end her turn. Grog.
LIAM: Holy shit, Grog.
MATT: Your turn happens at the same time the lair action happens.
TRAVIS: And the Death Knight, right?
MATT: And the Death Knight. He’s going to go directly after you. You guys going on the same turn, I gave you a little bit.
TALIESIN: Oh man, I am not– This does not feel good.
TRAVIS: Oh, shit! Oh!
MATT: You watch as the bodies on the ground quiver (sound of bones cracking) And begin to rise up around you.
SAM: No, forget them! Fix us! Forget them, they’re nothing. Fix us.
LAURA: They could just attack us until we die.
SAM: Fix. Us. They’re tiny.
TALIESIN: I have a plan. I have a plan.
SAM: Fix us.
TRAVIS: What, you’re going to pledge your fealty to the fucking–
SAM: Some sort of– I don’t know, can you restore… Restoration?
LAURA: Do you have mass Restoration?
MARISHA: That’s not a spell, you guys!
ASHLEY: I’m useless!
MARISHA: I don’t know if Pike can fix this!
LAURA: I don’t think she can fix it.
ASHLEY: Let’s use it! Let’s just make it, Matt, you can put that in your new campaign book. Mass Restoration.
LAURA: Mass Anti-hold.
MATT: And this will be there. So they all rise up out of the ground, these basic skeletons, and they all get one attack. So against Percy, this one moves in. Rolls a natural one, misses entirely. One of them’s going to strike at the beholder that’s up in the air; that’s going to be a 15, what’s your armor class?
MATT: 18. Just ricochets off the armor. There’s one here that’s going to go toward Pike. And you’re not held, right? You resisted it. So it’s going to go ahead and make a strike on you; that’s another 15. Just hits your armor and scrapes off, no effect. This one’s going to rush forward, two against Vax on the ground. It has advantage. That’s a 19.
LIAM: To do what?
MATT: To attack you.
LIAM: All right, so I’m at disadvantage, but I have advantage, so it would be one straight roll?
MATT: No, it has advantage against you because you’re paralyzed, so yeah, it would be one straight roll. The first roll was 19.
LIAM: Oh, so no.
MATT: No. Your armor class is 21 naturally?
LIAM: It is 21 when the daggers are out, and my daggers are in my hands. I mean, I don’t know, this is kinda loosey-goosey. All right, then I’m at 20.
MATT: Yeah, so it still misses you. The other one, no, misses. Both of them just miss you. The effect of the 9th-level spell is just enough of a vibration that the attacks are being–- You’re moving just, (grunts) ever so faintly out of the way.
MATT: One attacking Keyleth. That is a 24.
MATT: So you suffer eight points of slashing damage. And then Vex, that is a 12 to hit? And a 20 to hit. Neither hit? So as they’re striking you, they’re hitting the armor, it’s just not cutting through. They can’t seem to get through it. So that worked out okay in your favor.
LAURA: Thanks, dragon armor!
MATT: Grog? You’re paralyzed.
MATT: I believe you make another saving throw at the end of your turn to try and shrug off the effect.
TRAVIS: Can I go into a paralyzed rage?
MATT: Nope. But make a wisdom saving throw.
LAURA: God, we’ve got to roll like a 27 in order to break it!
MATT: Nope. You’re still locked in place, unable to move.
SAM: I will never be able to break it.
LAURA: A 20 didn’t break it, so yeah.
SAM: Yeah, there’s no way.
MATT: A natural 20 would break it.
LAURA: A natural 20.
MARISHA: A natural 20 would break it, that’s the only thing?
TRAVIS: I have a modifier of zero, so.
LIAM: Gotta fucking attack that bitch.
TRAVIS: Holy shit.
MATT: Actually, you know what? No. He’s gonna stay back there and move this way to get out of the way.
LIAM: Fuck you, Sylas.
MATT: As the Death Knight kinda steps over to the side, you watch as this small sphere of darkness begins to (crackling sound) into his hand, and then throws it with an arc, in a 20-foot radius centered on a point that it chooses.
SAM: That’s rough stuff.
TRAVIS: You’re a beholder, do you get legendary actions and resistances and shit?
SAM: I don’t think– I don’t know.
MATT: It’s legendary resistances, not actions.
SAM: What’s a legendary resistance?
MATT: You get to reroll– Unless it doesn’t have it.
SAM: This doesn’t.
MATT: No, the beholder does not. It’s not that powerful. All right, I need Pike, Grog–it’s a dexterity saving throw. So Grog and Scanlan automatically fail. Percival and Pike, I need you both to make dexterity saving throws, please.
ASHLEY: Okay. Oh, fuck.
TALIESIN: Yeah. 20.
ASHLEY: (brightly) Six!
LAURA: Wait! Oh, I thought that was ten.
TALIESIN: I have advantage also, against–
MATT: Right. You take a total of 35 points of fire and necrotic damage. You take 35 points of necrotic damage, and because you’re resistant to fire, you only take 17 points of fire damage. 35 points.
ASHLEY: Did you say 17, Matt?
MATT: 17, yes.
MATT: Scanlan? And Grog. You both take–- Actually no, since you have resistance to fire-– Which actually, your form is, I should give you the large form.
SAM: I added wrong. Wait, wait! Stop everything.
MATT: Yes? What’re you stoppin’?
SAM: I added wrong. My saving throw was a 23.
MATT: Was a 23?
LAURA: On being held?
MATT: On being held? Still fails.
TRAVIS: Yeah, you did a 24, right?
MARISHA: I rolled like a 27.
LAURA: She rolled a 27.
TRAVIS: 27, yeah. We gotta go!
LAURA: There’s nowhere– We’re gonna die.
SAM: So what did I just get hit with? 70 points or something?
MATT: You took 70 points of fire and necrotic damage.
TALIESIN: Do you have resistance to any of that?
MATT: Not as a beholder, no. Okay, that ends the Death Knight’s turn.
TRAVIS: I mean, he’s just dunking on us.
TALIESIN: Well, they’re top-loading. They’re top-loading.
MATT: Vex. Go ahead and make a wisdom saving throw.
TRAVIS: Crotch in face.
MATT: That’s cocked, roll again.
MATT: Nope, still locked in place.
TRAVIS: Oh, for the wisdom save?
ASHLEY: Okay. All right, I’m going to touch Grog and cast Lesser Restoration.
MATT: Okay, which cures…?
MATT: Then, yeah.
ASHLEY: Okay. So I’ve just got to run around.
MATT: Grog, you are cured of paralysis.
SAM: Do that a lot.
MATT: You feel your form freed of the effect of the spell. Do you want to move?
ASHLEY: How many undead are there?
MATT: There are one, two, three, four, five over there.
MATT: You already used your action to cast a spell, so.
ASHLEY: Yeah. So, as my bonus action, I’m going to cast Shield of Faith on Percy.
ASHLEY: Which will just add two to your AC.
TALIESIN: Oh, thank you!
MATT: What level is Shield of Faith?
ASHLEY: First level.
MATT: Okay, yeah. So there you go. Just mark that for yourself.
TALIESIN: Oh, it’s on!
MATT: All righty. Do you want to move, or are you going to stay where you are, Pike?
TALIESIN: You’ve got a Death Knight, if you’re feeling frisky.
TRAVIS: Do you want to move or stay where you are?
ASHLEY: Okay. Sorry. I’m going to hide behind the beholder.
MATT: Okay, so you move around Grog and get right about there. That ends your turn, Pike. Vax, make a wisdom saving throw.
LIAM: I’m going to attempt to roll a natural 20.
MARISHA: You have advantage on everything.
LIAM: I know.
MARISHA: That’s good. That’s okay.
LIAM: It’s not a natural 20, though, which is what it’s going to take. I’m going to use Luck.
MARISHA: Oh my god, you rolled a 19.
LIAM: 18 and a 19.
SAM: Plus anything?
LIAM: Plus two. Gets me to 21. I need a natural 20. Luck. No. Okay.
MATT: That ends your turn, Vax. Percival.
TALIESIN: I’m going to scoot against the wall towards myself as far as a reasonable amount of movement will take me because I don’t like clumping. I’m going to take aim at the asshole in the sky, and let’s do a couple of things. I’m going to take Bad News out, and just to keep everything reasonable, I’m going to burn a point for dead-eye, and I’m going to take a sharpshooter shot on him.
MATT: Okay, so minus five to the attack roll.
TALIESIN: Minus five to the attack. That’s a crit! That’s a crit.
MATT: You rolled a 19, yeah, which you have now at level 18.
TALIESIN: At level 18, that’s a crit.
MATT: This is with which gun?
TALIESIN: This is with Bad News, so that’s going to be 2d12. That’s going to be 4d12 plus six.
MATT: This is Bad News, you said?
TALIESIN: Bad News. I don’t know if this also doubles-– I don’t think it does–- but I’m pouring all of Cabal’s Ruin into this shit, too.
MATT: Go ahead and roll the Cabal’s Ruin damage. The actual hit from Bad News does nothing.
TALIESIN: Oh, really?
MATT: The non-enchanted attack from Bad News hits and dissipates across his form. It’s not half damage. Nothing. This is Vecna. Cabal’s Ruin is considered magical damage, so that will go through.
MARISHA: Was that the one you critted on?
TALIESIN: Yeah, I burned a crit.
MATT: You gained the grit back, though.
TALIESIN: The grit’s not burned, so that’s nice. These don’t double, do they?
MATT: No. Wait, technically, they would. Technically, they do, because it is a crit. All dice double, yeah.
ASHLEY: Get him!
TALIESIN: Does my other rule also apply to this? Does this add to bleed damage now? Maybe not.
MATT: I don’t think so, because it’s an outside effect.
TALIESIN: It’s an outside factor. That’s fine. I’m with you.
MATT: No, you know what? It would because just like any other critical effect, yes, it would.
MATT: It would.
TALIESIN: (counting) 32. That’s 32.
MARISHA: Did you count that one?
TALIESIN: 36 points of damage, times two.
TALIESIN: 72 points of electrical damage, and then he’s also going to get a bleed of 31. No, he’s going to get a bleed of 15.
MATT: He will get 15 because he’s resistant to lightning, so he takes half of that next time.
TALIESIN: But he still has to roll concentration.
MATT: Yeah, for 36.
TALIESIN: I’ll take it, and goodbye, Cabal. I’ll gain more when he hits me with some magic shit.
SAM: Oh boy.
LAURA: It’s such an anti-climactic fight because none of us can do anything.
MATT: That would be 18 as half that. DC is 18 to maintain concentration. Yeah, he saves.
TALIESIN: God fucking damn it!
MATT: Barely. By one.
TRAVIS: By one?
MATT: By one.
LAURA: On concentration?
TALIESIN: Damn it. I was debating whether or not to hit him with Hex, and now I’m so sad I didn’t. Oh, well. That’s okay. I’m reloading, and I’m going to take another Bad News shot at Delilah. Where is she?
MATT: She’s over here.
TALIESIN: What is she doing?
MATT: She just stepped over Vax’s paralyzed body and threw a Finger of Death at Vex.
TALIESIN: Okay. Let’s burn that little bit of Animus again and burn that grit point again for advantage. Let’s hit her with Bad News. Actually, I’ll cast… Hex on her, as well, just for fun.
TALIESIN: And give her constitution disadvantage. Actually, let’s give her, just in case she gets grappled–- let’s make it constitution disadvantage. Fuck it.
TALIESIN: And then I’ve got bonus, and I’m doing sharpshooter again. Thank god I did because that was a terrible shot. That’s 14.
MATT: 14 does not hit, unfortunately. As you go to fire–
ASHLEY: Do we know what would hit?
TALIESIN: We don’t.
ASHLEY: War God’s Blessing to add ten?
MATT: Gives a plus ten?
TALIESIN: Oh, that would definitely hit, I’d imagine.
MATT: You use War God’s Blessing as a reaction onto Percy. As you go to fire, you feel the presence of Sarenrae coalesce around the blade, and you hear a little whisper over your shoulder say, “There.” And all of a sudden, clarity comes into frame and (gunshot) you fire Bad News towards Delilah. Go ahead and roll damage on that. She’s not even going to spend a Shield on that. It’s way over her AC.
TALIESIN: Not bad. That’s (counting) 20 points of piercing damage and five points of necrotic damage.
MATT: (gunshot) It blasts, and you see the robe tear open on one side. She’s like (cries out, breathes heavily).
TALIESIN: That’s my roll.
MATT: You glance over with the scope and see as she turns and looks at you. You can see, what you didn’t see earlier, is one normal eye she has and one yellowish-green eye with a cat-slit pupil.
LAURA: What does that even mean?
TALIESIN: Vecna’s been busy. Okay. This is going to get interesting.
MATT: All right, that ends your turn, Percy.
TALIESIN: That’s all I can do.
MATT: Scanlan, go ahead and make a wisdom saving throw.
SAM: I can’t move my eyes or anything or turn on my anti-magic?
MATT: As far as the ray that you have, the eye perspective, you’re hitting right there, so you’re just out of range to get rid of the paralysis from Vex and off Vax. If you manage to break from this somehow and you rotate, the spell would have no effect while it’s on them.
MARISHA: They’re broken from it by being in his gaze? Am I in his gaze?
MATT: No, you are not.
MARISHA: So I can still cast spells. But if I move into his gaze, I cannot.
MATT: Correct. Or if you shoot something through the cone, it will dissipate.
MARISHA: If I shoot up at Vecna, will it go through the cone?
MATT: Yeah, probably. You’re just outside of it.
MARISHA: I will not go through the cone?
MATT: Probably. You can angle it that way, yeah. Keyleth, what are you doing?
MARISHA: It is now my turn.
MATT: Also, I need you to make a concentration check.
SAM: Oh, my spell.
MATT: Yeah, transformation.
SAM: I get advantage as a gnome.
MATT: You do. How much damage did you take on that one, total, from the blast? From the blast that you took on that.
SAM: 70 points.
MATT: You have to beat a 35.
SAM: Okay. As a wisdom?
MATT: That would have been concentration. Constitution saving throw.
SAM: Constitution saving throw.
MATT: In theory, Scanlan, before it came to your turn, you dropped your beholder form.
SAM: Oh! I’m no longer paralyzed.
MATT: The spell maintains itself.
SAM: No! But I’m a different guy!
MATT: It’s your mind it affects.
MATT: Any spell still carries over the effects on you. You can’t wild shape and–
MARISHA: He lost concentration?
MATT: He lost concentration on his big spell, yeah.
SAM: Hey, guys.
LAURA: Hey, Scanlan!
MATT: I’ll let you remake that saving throw with your constitution. Sorry, your wisdom. With Scanlan’s wisdom.
SAM: Okay, do I get advantage because of magic?
MATT: Yes, because it is magic.
SAM: And can I inspire myself?
MATT: Yes, you can.
SAM: All right. I will inspire myself. 24.
MATT: 24 is just enough.
MATT: You shrug off the paralysis at the end of your turn. You’re now free to move.
SAM: Just move. I can’t act, right?
MATT: No, that’s the end of your turn. Keyleth, what are you doing?
MARISHA: Is he 60 feet away from me? Is he within range?
MARISHA: Should I handle Delilah, or should I handle him?
TRAVIS: What’re you doing? Which one do you want?
SAM: I can move now, or just in general?
MATT: No, next turn you’ll be able to move.
MARISHA: Is he within 60 feet of me? Vecna.
MATT: You’re not sure. You’d have to eyeball it.
MARISHA: (counting) He’s exactly 60 feet in the air. I have to get directly under his butthole. Can I get directly under his butthole?
MATT: You can move through Trinket. You’ll get two attacks of opportunity from two skeletons.
MARISHA: Jesus, balls.
LIAM: Jesus balls.
MATT: You’d have to leapfrog over Trinket to get there, but you can do it.
MARISHA: What about Delilah. Where is she?
MATT: Delilah’s over here. She and two skeletons right now are lording over the paralyzed Vax on the ground.
MARISHA: If I move at all, I’m going to take opportunity from skeletons.
MATT: Yep. They don’t do a whole lot of damage, but damage adds up.
MARISHA: Jesus. Okay, I am going to head to Delilah. I can move up to her, correct?
MATT: You’re going to move straight up to her?
MARISHA: Can I?
MATT: You can, yeah. Both skeletons get attacks of opportunity on you. That’s a nine and a 12. They both hit you, but the mantle writhes out in front of you. You watch as various leaves unfurl almost like a cat’s fur on the back of its neck, and it deflects the blows from the skeletons as you rush past.
MARISHA: I can give her disadvantage on constitution checks, and whenever she takes damage, she’s stunned, or should I do the confusion thing?
TALIESIN: Either one. They’re both good. Go for the first one. Pick one.
MARISHA: I’m turning into Ashley Johnson. Okay.
MARISHA: I’m going to go up to Delilah. (pants) Cotton mouth. Oh boy. Yeah. Okay, I’m going to go up to her and be like, experience what you’ve been putting all of us through. And I’m going to touch her and I’m going to try and cast Contagion on her with Mind Fire?
LAURA: Mind Fire!
LIAM: Sounds good.
TALIESIN: Hit her with a mind bullet.
TRAVIS: Mind bullets!
TALIESIN and MARISHA: That’s telekinesis, Kyle!
TRAVIS, TALIESIN, and MARISHA: (singing) How about the power to move you?
MATT: Make a melee spell attack.
MARISHA: I have a bonus to my spell attacks.
LAURA: You’ve got this!
MARISHA: It’s cocked. That’s even worse. Not great. 18?
MATT: 18 is exactly what you needed. That’s her armor class.
LIAM: (singing) We’ll fucking lead as two kings!
TRAVIS: (laughing) Tenacious D for the rest of this fight, please.
MATT: She now is affected by Mind Fire.
MARISHA: Her mind becomes feverish, and she has disadvantage on intelligence checks and intelligence saving throws, and she becomes confused.
SAM: What does that mean? What does confused mean?
MARISHA: For seven days.
LIAM: It sounds like she can’t cast spells too well.
MATT: She’s now considered confused. She’s under the effects of the Confusion spell for as long as it lasts.
TALIESIN: That’s me under the effects of being confused about the Confusion spell.
MATT: Does that end your turn, Keyleth?
TALIESIN: What do you have for a bonus?
MARISHA: I don’t have a lot for a bonus. I can go into an elemental form.
TRAVIS: If we attack her, is that going to drop the confusion?
TALIESIN: Yeah, can we attack her?
MARISHA: No, it just lasts for seven days.
MATT: It lasts for seven days if she fails the saves. She has three saves in a row, and if she succeeds, it goes away. If she fails, it lasts for seven days.
MARISHA: Okay. She has to make constitution saving throws. But she’s under the effects right now, correct? We’ve been through this before, haven’t we?
LAURA: Oh, yeah. This is one of the ones we tried a long time ago.
MARISHA: It says after failing three of these saving throws, the disease effects last for the duration, so that would make me assume that she has it at least for three rounds.
MATT: We had this discussion before, because in the ability, it has Slimy Doom, which whenever it takes damage, it becomes stunned, which is the most broken–
MARISHA: I almost did that.
MATT: I know, but I think the DND ruling, technically, they have to fail three saves before it affects them.
MARISHA: But it’s a 5th-level fucking spell. That’s a lot!
MATT: I know.
MARISHA: That’s lame. Three rounds for a 5th-level spell?
MATT: Look. I’ll say this. I’ll let Mind Fire work on her for now.
MARISHA: Oh, he doesn’t look happy. I feel like I just pissed off the DM.
MATT: No, you didn’t piss off the DM. This spell has a lot of contention in the community, but the official DND ruling was it doesn’t affect until they fail all three rolls, but as it’s written, it doesn’t say that. It says they’re afflicted on being hit, so I’m letting it go through because you didn’t choose the cheesy-ass stun-lock broken spell.
MARISHA: It does say that after succeeding on three of these, the creature recovers from the disease, so they were already affected.
MATT: Which is what I’m saying. This is between what’s written in the spell and the arguments that people have made with DND on Twitter, and they clarified that’s not how it works. It’s a mis-type. It wasn’t clear. I’m letting it work. Be happy with the book.
LAURA: Stop making eye contact. Look down!
MATT: At the end of your turn, Vecna’s going to use some legendary actions to cast a spell.
TRAVIS: How about you just say he did, and don’t?
ASHLEY: Yeah. Let’s not and say we did.
LIAM: He could just evil monologue a little bit, tell us his plan?
LAURA: He’s really good at evil monologuing.
TALIESIN: We were talking about how much you wanted a monologue. I really feel like this is the moment.
MATT: He’s going to cast a 7th-level Fireball right there.
TRAVIS: 7th-level Fireball?
TALIESIN: That’s the end of Vax.
TRAVIS: We’ve got to go.
MATT: I need Keyleth, Vax-– you don’t auto-save, yeah.
LIAM: Good night.
TRAVIS: Maybe the Raven Queen will use you or something.
LIAM: I can’t. It’s an automatic fail because I’m paralyzed.
SAM: That’s actually good. He’ll lose the paralysis because he’ll be in a coma. We’ll just wake you back up and you’ll be fine. It’s actually kind of good.
MATT: Keyleth, I need you to make a dexterity saving throw, please. The skeletons are obliterated.
MARISHA: That’s a natural one.
TRAVIS: Are you serious?! Are you serious?
TALIESIN: I’m looking at it.
MATT: That’s a surprisingly shitty roll. 38 points of fire damage to Vax. 38.
TRAVIS: On a 7th-level Fireball?
MATT: I know. I rolled really shitty.
MATT: 38 to you, as well. 38 to Vex. And 38 to Trinket.
TALIESIN: That’s a small–- that’s a dire armadillo. That’s okay.
LAURA: 38 to Trinket?
TRAVIS: Did Delilah take all that damage, too?
MATT: Delilah? Yeah, she did. She can’t save against his shit. She takes it and (grunts).
LIAM: She probably kind of likes it.
LAURA: She’s like, ooh.
TALIESIN: Burn. Sick burn.
MATT: It made sense for the circumstance. She’s up for the sacrifice. All righty, that ends Keyleth’s turn. Top of the round. Now it’s Vecna’s go.
TRAVIS: I thought that was Vecna’s go.
LAURA: That was his legendary.
TRAVIS: Oh god.
LAURA: I like that you have an enlarged figure Grog. That’s cool.
TRAVIS: I thought you were complimenting the DM. I was like, yeah, keep it up.
LAURA: I like that you made an enlarged figure for Grog.
SAM: I’ll kill you last.
LAURA: Oh my god, this map is so pretty.
SAM: What is that thing in the middle of the field?
MATT: This is the altar.
LAURA: Whatever it is, it’s really cool.
ASHLEY: Can we see what’s in it?
MATT: You’d have to go check it out, if there was anything.
MARISHA: Is he moving towards the altar?
MATT: He’s shifting in the center and looking down for a bit. He goes, “Well, sleep.”
TALIESIN: Can he do that with concentration?
MATT: This is not a concentration spell.
LAURA: Magic can’t put me to sleep.
MATT: He casts Power Word Kill.
SAM: Oh. Well, that’s different.
LIAM: Where did Sleep go?
MATT: That’s just what he said.
SAM: He meant metaphorical. He meant death.
MATT: You utter a word of power that can compel one creature you see within range to die instantly. If the creature you chose has 100 hit points or fewer, it dies. How many hit points do you have?
LAURA: I’m dead. Insta-full death?
MATT: Insta-full death.
MARISHA: No saving from it?
ASHLEY: Wait, what?
MATT: No death saving throws. You watch as the life suddenly fades from Vex’s eyes, and she falls to the ground.
LIAM: Vax is watching, frozen.
TRAVIS: Oh my god.
LAURA: Hey, don’t compliment the map, you guys. Matt really doesn’t like it.
MATT: I’m sorry. It’s now Delilah’s turn.
TALIESIN: This is not going well.
SAM: Maybe we should leave.
TRAVIS: Plane Shift?
MATT: She turns and looks at you, Keyleth, and goes–
SAM: Is this Delilah?
MATT: This is Delilah. “You took him from me. Now I’m going to take him from you.” She points down.
SAM: I thought she was confused.
MATT: I have to check what she does now. This may make the change.
LIAM: Well, we weren’t technically dating when we killed her, so I’m not really sure if she’d know.
MATT: I get to roll a d10.
MARISHA: Let’s hope he doesn’t roll a nine or a ten, y'all.
MATT: A ten.
MARISHA: You are fucking lying to me! (groans)
MATT: It’s right there.
TRAVIS: Yeah, I see it.
TALIESIN: Oh shit. Wow, you really went down.
MATT: I’m sorry. I’m rolling really well. I’m sorry, guys.
LIAM: Yeah, but that Fireball was super low.
MATT: All right, so do I have to roll for an attack on this? Creature has to make a dexterity saving throw. Hold on.
TALIESIN: I don’t know what to do.
MATT: That’s 76 points of damage from the Disintegrate spell.
LIAM: Halved from the Deathwalker’s Ward. It’s set to necromantic.
MATT: It’s force damage. Disintegrate’s force damage.
LIAM: Oh. Well, then I’m down.
MARISHA: No, that means he’s disintegrated.
MATT: You watch as Vax’s form (fluttering noise) turns to dust.
SAM: Wait, what?
MATT: Leaving the armor of the Raven Queen empty on the ground, the daggers (clattering).
LAURA: No body left?
MARISHA: There’s no recovering from that, dude.
LAURA: Bro. We’re gone.
MATT: Grog, it’s your turn.
SAM: What’s happening?
LAURA: I thought this campaign was going to last longer than this.
LIAM: I said this was the last episode, and I meant it.
TALIESIN: You are a terrible person. Oh no.
SAM: With Foresight? Oh, because you’re paralyzed. Oh fuck.
MARISHA: She doesn’t have to roll against that?
MATT: It’s a dexterity saving throw, but he’s still paralyzed.
MARISHA: He doesn’t get advantage?
MATT: You automatically fail dex saving throws when you’re paralyzed.
TALIESIN: You can’t dex out of something if you can’t move.
TRAVIS: If I throw you over to her, can you Revivify?
SAM: I’m too far to do anything, right?
MATT: At the moment?
SAM: It has to be within 60 feet.
MATT: From Delilah? She’s within 40 feet of you.
SAM: Can I retroactively Counterspell? (laughs)
MATT: Yeah. I’ll let you do it. You have your ability back, so I’ll let you try for it.
MARISHA: Wait, with the Disintegrate? Go, Scanlan, go!
TRAVIS: Do you have to roll for this?
SAM: I think I have to roll for this.
MATT: You roll and add your charisma modifier.
SAM: No. Charisma modifier? It’s just an 11.
MATT: Plus two, because you get plus two bonus, so 13.
SAM: I can’t add anything else.
LAURA, TALIESIN, and MARISHA: Can you inspire yourself?
SAM: Not on a reaction, I don’t think.
MARISHA: But you’re a war bard, right?
MATT: He’s not a war bard. He’s a lore bard.
MARISHA: War caster.
TALIESIN: Oh man, this does not feel good.
SAM: Doesn’t feel good.
TALIESIN: It does not feel good.
MATT: Peerless skill. When you make an ability check. It’s an ability check, technically.
SAM: What’s that mean?
MATT: That means you can spend another bardic inspiration to it because you’re at a 13.
SAM: (nervous laughter) It’s cocked. It would have been 11. Four.
MATT: It’s a 17? The spell is a 6th-level spell. The DC is 16.
TALIESIN: Oh god!
LAURA: You’re not disintegrated?
TRAVIS: Are you serious?
SAM: Matt is a gentle god.
MATT: In this flash of vision, Keyleth, you see this happen, and then the bit of inspiration from the Raven Queen that’s been trying to push through whatever is keeping her vision at bay here. Your vision flashes back, and then you see Vax on the ground, the extended finger of Delilah as the green energy begins to spiral up from her finger, and Scanlan in the back just says?
SAM: Oh. Hey, you know what the problem is with your face? I can see it!
MATT: Delilah goes, “What?” and the spell (fluttering noise) dissipates. (sighs)
MARISHA: That was a 6th-level spell?
MARISHA: Does she have any more of those?
LAURA: We don’t know.
MARISHA: Because I only have two.
MATT: That being the case, Delilah is going to go ahead and go. You do get an attack of opportunity on her, Keyleth.
MARISHA: Just straight melee?
MATT: Straight melee.
TALIESIN: Hit her with a stick.
MARISHA: My dice suck.
LAURA: You’ve rolled shit on that dice every time tonight.
MARISHA: It’s not good. 13.
MATT: 13? No, that misses, unfortunately.
MARISHA: Fuck it.
MATT: Okay. Grog, it’s your turn now.
TRAVIS: Sure. Can I use my–- are we doing this?
TRAVIS: Can I use my action to pick up my buddy Pike, and I’m going to try and throw her as far as I can towards where Vex’s body is laying.
MATT: Okay, so you’re going to pick her up and move?
TRAVIS: There’s no difference, right?
MATT: You can pick her up and move and then throw her to give her the most distance, but you can only move half your speed as you’re carrying her. It’s essentially an agreed-upon grapple. You’d be able to move 25 feet with her.
TRAVIS: Versus picking her up and throwing her for an athletics check, or something?
MATT: You can, but I don’t know how far you’ll throw her that way. It’s up to you. You can stay where you are, if you’d like to.
ASHLEY: I’ll make it.
TRAVIS: You think so?
ASHLEY: Yeah. I can make it to her.
LIAM: The initiative is Grog, Pike, Vax right now.
TRAVIS: I should just go unload?
ASHLEY: Yeah, do your thing.
TRAVIS: I would like to rage.
MATT: You are raging.
TRAVIS: Can I use my full speed to head towards Delilah?
MATT: (counting) That’s as far as you can get right there.
TRAVIS: With my bonus action, can I use my Boots of Feral Leaping to leap horizontally 20 feet? I want to get within melee.
MATT: Okay, make an athletics check.
TRAVIS: That’s a million. 25.
MATT: (impact) You land right in front of her. She watches you as you (footsteps) run around the side, leap, (impact) right in front of her, this giant, hulking form of muscle.
TRAVIS: Yeah. Reckless, great weapon master.
TALIESIN: Turn her to fucking paste.
MATT: You have two attacks.
TRAVIS: Yeah, two attacks.
MARISHA: Why am I light-headed?
TRAVIS: Everything’s going wrong.
TALIESIN: Well, that, and those drinks were really inappropriate.
MATT: 28? Yeah, that hits.
TRAVIS: 19. 29. 35, and four because I’m enlarged. 35, total on the first one. And the second one, 19. Should have taken that other thing. That would have been a crit. Minus five. 27?
MATT: 27 does hit, yes.
TRAVIS: Boy, she’s got a high AC, doesn’t she? 10, 24, 34, three points of necrotic for 37. That’s a d8. That’s the wrong one. 36 points of damage.
MATT: As you rush forward and cleave into her with hit after hit on the axe, you watch as her imposing form is battered around and slashed apart, and as you finish and withdraw the axe from the two strikes, you see her already clutching her stomach. (panting)
TRAVIS: An action surge is a bonus action, right?
MATT: No. Just an action surge.
TALIESIN: You can just do it.
TRAVIS: Should we empty the tank?
TRAVIS: I’ll use the action surge.
MATT: Okay. Go for it.
TALIESIN: Is that three more attacks?
MATT: Two more.
TRAVIS: Reckless, great weapon, all the shit. Goddamn, that was two 19s in a row. If I’d picked that other thing, they would have been criticals. 28.
MATT: 28 hits, definitely.
TRAVIS: 17, 27, 29. That’s a fucking d8 again. 31.
TRAVIS: 31 points of damage.
MATT: All righty. Second attack?
MATT: Jesus. Yes, that hits.
TRAVIS: I’m a monstrous thing. That’s a 12, 26, 36, 38, 40, including the enlarged and the necrotic.
MATT: You slam her with the two extra attacks, knocking her back. As the two additional axe blows slice across the front of her chest, one gets her on the side of her chin. You can see, you’ve carved the cheek open and broken teeth, and now when she looks back to you, you can see all of her back molars and teeth now, this horrible Joker grin on one side of her face as the blood leaks out. You can see the one gleaming greenish-yellow glowing eye flares open at you. She (spits).
TRAVIS: Don’t stop smiling on my account.
MATT: That ends your turn, Grog… All right, so ghostly claws begin to spring up from the ground in a 20-foot radius.
TRAVIS: Did you say claws?
MATT: Claws, yes.
SAM: Ghostly claws.
MATT: Right there. I need-– Vax fails. I need Keyleth and Grog and Trinket to all make dexterity saving throws. Sorry, strength saving throws.
LAURA: He can’t do anything.
MARISHA: Don’t fuck me, Gil!
TALIESIN: Trinket can.
LAURA: Trinket can’t still attack if I’m not alive.
MATT: I’ll let you. I’ll let you, in the purposes of you being dead, Trinket is going to act on his own to defend you.
LAURA: He rolled a seven.
TALIESIN: He’s about to be in a pocket dimension really quick.
LAURA: Yeah, he might go into the pocket dimension.
MATT: 22. You take five points of necrotic damage, and are not grappled. You take ten points of necrotic damage, reduced to half, five, because of your armor, and you are grappled and paralyzed. Keyleth?
MATT: 22. You take five points of necrotic damage.
LAURA: And Trinket takes how much necrotic damage?
MATT: Ten, and is grappled. Trinket’s speed is zero. All right. Welcome to the God Wars, guys.
TALIESIN: Not cool.
MARISHA: Why didn’t we Heroes’ Feast?
LAURA: It wouldn’t have mattered.
LIAM: Let’s get a god in here. Light or dark meat. I don’t care. One or the other. Get one of those ladies in here!
MATT: (heavy footfalls) With these heavy, armored footfalls as it walks, with its fingers forward, it begins carving this sigil in the air. Grabs it and turns it, and as it turns, you watch the same sigil runes appear around Grog and begin to spiral around you. Make a charisma saving throw, please.
TRAVIS: Fuck, balls. Hey, y'all, plus one. Don’t worry. Four.
MATT: Grog, you vanish.
MATT: Banished from this realm of existence.
MATT: You appear on the ground in the Shadowfell, in the gaping crater where Thar Amphala once stood. You look around, up to the familiar cloudy, dark sky, and are alone.
TRAVIS: Wait. Y'all aren’t in the Shadowfell anymore?
TRAVIS: Oh, right. Snow’s falling.
LAURA: Wildemount, or some shit.
TRAVIS: Without a perception check, is anybody around, or is it just me?
MATT: Nobody’s around you, although you do look up and see maybe a dozen or so of the gloom stalkers, swirling up ahead. They haven’t noticed you yet.
TALIESIN: God fucking damn it.
SAM: You’ve been banished to another dimension. You can punch your way out of it.
TRAVIS: You know what? I only have one thought.
MARISHA: Oh no. He’s going to turn to the cards, y'all. He’s going to turn to those cards.
TRAVIS: We’ve got this.
MATT: Keyleth, perception check.
MATT: Perception check.
MARISHA: Ugh! Okay. That’s good. 14 plus 13, so 27.
MATT: You do notice, the armored death knight still has a hand out after Grog’s banishing.
TALIESIN: Okay, that’s good!
MATT: This doesn’t appear to be Plane Shift.
MARISHA: So if I kill him, he’ll come back? Or if I kill him, Grog won’t ever come back? What does that mean?!
TALIESIN: We’ll find out. We’ll just lay waste to shit until it stops happening. We’re going to keep doing terrible shit until terrible shit stops happening.
LIAM: Pickle time.
TRAVIS: This is the worst grin you’ve ever given us. It’s so great.
MATT: We are at the end of the death knight’s turn. Vecna’s going to use two legendary actions to cast another spell.
ASHLEY: This feels like when we played in Liam’s one-shot when we got on the beach.
LIAM: I was just about to say, this is revenge for Demogorgon!
TALIESIN: This is very much the beach, isn’t it?
MATT: Vecna’s going to shift further back on the field to there.
MARISHA: Is he always going to fucking fly?
MATT: Why wouldn’t he?
TALIESIN: Feet are passe.
MATT: As he glides over, he looks down and sees the mess that Delilah’s currently in. Looks around and sees the options and says, “Well, I hate to see work unfinished.”
MATT: Disintegrate again.
SAM: This is the same round, right?
MATT: This is the next round.
SAM: Can I try–
MATT: He moved out of your range.
MATT: Now you see as a green ray fires down from the Whispered One above, and within an instant–-
MARISHA: Wait, can I bonus action him? Can I use my bonus action?
MATT: Not on your turn.
TALIESIN: I’ve got nothing.
MATT: You turn to dust within the armor. Where once Vax stood, the vision you saw flash you thought might have been a warning, instead it was an omen. You look down and see the raven wings turn to ash, and now there is the empty armor of the Raven Queen, the daggers clattering to the stone.
TRAVIS: Oh man. What the fuck?
MATT: Pike, it’s your turn.
ASHLEY: I can’t do what I was going to do. Fuck.
ASHLEY: Okay. Sorry. Hold on.
SAM: She can’t reach you?
SAM: I can bring you to her.
MATT: You could hold your action and he could bamf you over.
ASHLEY: When are you up?
SAM: I don’t know.
LAURA: Do whatever you want.
SAM: You have to touch her?
MATT: If you wanted to do something like that, you’d have to begin casting it and hold your action for him to take his turn, and then you could take her there.
ASHLEY: Wait, who’s up?
MATT: It’s you, Percy, then Scanlan.
ASHLEY: Okay, so Percy’s next, and then it’s Scanlan.
SAM: If we don’t die in those two turns, yes.
ASHLEY: Okay. Oh my god, I’m shaking so bad. I will start casting Revivify, and I will hold my turn until Scanlan bamfs us.
SAM: I’m going to be a total dick and not do that.
ASHLEY: There’s no one in between us?
SAM: No, we’re next to each other.
ASHELY: I mean, no one in between us, like the bad guys.
SAM: Well, they can go whenever they want.
MATT: Delilah already took her turn. Scanlan?
SAM: Oh, it’s my turn. Where’s Percy?
MATT: Sorry. Percy, you’re up next.
TALIESIN: I’m going to unload a few rounds of Animus into Delilah, since she’s still standing. She’s still standing?
MATT: She’s still standing.
TALIESIN: All right. Let’s drop a point of grit, and let’s get some advantage on this for Animus shot number one. Come on, crit. Not a crit, but still pretty decent. That’s a 28 to hit?
MATT: 28 to hit? That will hit.
TALIESIN: That’s not the full damage. Let’s do this, plus let’s do that. That’s 12 points of piercing damage, five points of psychic damage, and four points of necrotic damage.
MATT: Okay. Necrotic damage doesn’t do anything, unfortunately.
TALIESIN: I know. I’ll keep that off, then, for now.
MATT: Okay. She’s looking really hurt.
TALIESIN: All right, let’s take another shot. Same thing, burning a grit because fuck it. And let’s make this one– these are not the right dice to roll. I’m really nervous. Let’s make this one a sharpshooter to see if we can pour a little more pain. Natural 20. That’s a crit. Let’s get that grit back.
MARISHA: Kill her!
TALIESIN: I’ve got to use my pen! Don’t shake me! I shake so much on my own! That’s 2d10 plus 2d6 psychic, so that’s four points of psychic damage. That was a terrible roll. And 24 points of damage.
MARISHA: Is that doubled?
TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s doubled. It was terrible.
MATT: How do you want to do this on Delilah?
TALIESIN: (sighs) I take my second shot. I call, Delilah? Even if we die, it’s fucking worth it. And I take it right in her good eye. I want me to be the last thing she sees.
MATT: As she turns around, you watch that side of her face explode, and she falls back, the force of it knocking her off her feet. She (impact noise) scatters across the stonework. You glance over, and you can see her looking face-up, and the little green eye in the socket turns and looks towards you.
SAM: Wait, it’s still working?
MATT: The eye turned and looked at you from within the socket.
TALIESIN: But it’s down.
SAM: There’s a creature inside of her.
TALIESIN: Off. (sighs) For my third shot, Mr. Armor. And I get another grit back because she’s dead. Armor. I’m taking– what’s he holding?
MATT: He currently has a longsword in one hand. That’s all he’s currently holding.
TALIESIN: He’s holding a longsword? Let’s get rid of that longsword. I’m going to hit him and make him drop that longsword.
TALIESIN: I’m burning a grit to make him drop it. I know, this is a lot. I’m taking my third shot with Animus, and this is going to be a sharpshooter shot, and that’s not a crit, but that’s pretty good. That’s 29 to hit?
MATT: That hits.
TALIESIN: All right, so this is 1d10 plus 1d6. That’s terrible. That’s 20 points of damage, two points of psychic damage, and he has to make a strength saving throw or he drops his sword. DC 20.
MATT: He gets a 20 exactly. 15 plus five. But he did take the damage, so he has to make a concentration, which he makes. DC 11, because it’s half the damage.
TALIESIN: Concentration? Oh, for that. That’s fine. Just because we’re at that point where I’m panicking, let’s burn an action surge. Boom. Three more shots on the asshole.
MARISHA: Are you shooting at Vecna?
TALIESIN: No, Vecna I’m not shooting because he’s laughing off my bullets.
MATT: Most of the impact deflects off the plate.
MARISHA: You’re shooting at the death knight?
TALIESIN: I’m shooting at the death knight, so now I’m going to do a grit shot. I’m going to burn for dead-eye sharpshooter. That’s 27?
MATT: 27? Okay, that hits.
TALIESIN: And that’s–- oh my fucking god! 20 points of damage, plus one point of psychic damage.
SAM: You’re fine. You’re good.
TALIESIN: Burning another–-
SAM: It’s the last thing.
TALIESIN: I’ve got more. I’ve got three more. I keep killing things. That’s 17 to hit?
MATT: 17. You watch as he’s concentrating on that one spell, and as the one shot hits him, the second one, he puts his arm up and seems to deflect it with his hand.
TALIESIN: Did he make a constitution save against the last one?
MATT: Yes, he did.
TALIESIN: Okay. This is my last shot. I’m burning another grit, and natural 20. Okay, so that’s going to be–- come on. That’s better!
MATT: I forgot to mention. Vecna took extra damage from your crit earlier.
TALIESIN: Yes, he did. He took 15 points of extra damage, halved. 18, 21, 22, 23, 30 points of damage, plus five psychic damage, and he’s going to take 15 points of damage, plus three psychic damage next round.
MATT: That was a 16 and a one, so with his constitution bonus, he saves. He maintains concentration.
TALIESIN: Oh my fucking god!
MATT: It’s hard to break. He was designed for that.
TALIESIN: I’m going to use my bonus action to reload, and that’s my fucking turn.
SAM: That was a long turn.
TALIESIN: I know.
SAM: You did good.
MATT: All right. End of Percy’s turn. Scanlan.
MATT: Percy, do you want to move on your turn?
TALIESIN: No. There’s nowhere. I’m as far away from everybody as I can currently be. There’s nowhere else.
MATT: I’m letting you know, as it currently stands. Delilah’s down.
TALIESIN: Delilah’s down.
MATT: And two figures that look pretty much untouched. Scanlan?
MARISHA: What are you trying to say?
MATT: I’m saying, be mindful of your choices.
TALIESIN: You know what? I’m going to start making a beeline straight for Keyleth. Fuck it. I’m going to see if I can get some cover behind–-
MARISHA: Are we going to bail? What do we do?
TALIESIN: I’m fucking bailing.
MATT: That’s up to you. You do have one of them down, and you have two–-
TRAVIS: If you can bail–-
MARISHA: But Grog.
TALIESIN: We can get Grog back. We’ve just got to get everybody up.
TRAVIS: You don’t even know where I am.
LIAM: You can find him.
MARISHA: What about you?
LIAM: I’m gone. There’s no finding me. I’m gone.
TALIESIN: We’re picking up armor.
SAM: I grab Pikey-poo and Dimension Door straight to Vex’s beautiful dead body.
TRAVIS: Like a dead Juliet.
SAM: I will inspire Pike. I don’t know if that helps whatever ritual you’re about to do, but maybe.
TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Revivify.
ASHLEY: What do you get if you’re inspired?
MATT: You get a d12 that you can spend on something. Which, as you release Revivify, you reach down and grab the cold, lifeless hand of Vex. I need you to roll a wisdom check.
SAM: With inspiration.
MATT: Should she need it.
ASHLEY: And don’t I get gnome cunning, so I have advantage on it?
MATT: No. It’s not a saving throw. It’s just a check. Roll a d20 and add your wisdom modifier.
TALIESIN: We will grab everything we fucking can.
MATT: 18? Yeah. Your breath comes in.
LAURA: Pike. Are they dead?
MATT: You look over to your side, and you see Delilah on the ground, her head scattered and exploded on the ground, the one yellowish-green eye still moving around and taking in the scenery. You glance up, and you see Vecna still lording over, a big smile on his face. You see the other armored knight walking around, the plated black helmet guarding any expression except for these glowing red dots, the eyes that peer through.
SAM: I’m using any movement I have to pick up the dust of my fallen friend, if there is any dust.
MATT: There’s the dust and his equipment. Those are the two things that are left.
SAM: Pick up whatever I can.
MARISHA: Scoop him into a little vial.
LIAM: (vacuuming noises)
SAM: (fake sneeze) Oh no!
TALIESIN: This is no time for allergies. Fuck!
MATT: All right, so you get your hands up in the armor and some dust and you gather it in your hand. There’s Scanlan. There’s you. There’s Vex, Pike.
MARISHA: So we’re all together?
MATT: Well, Percy’s there and Grog is somewhere.
TALIESIN: I got as far as I could.
SAM: I’m done. That’s all I can do.
ASHLEY: So bonus action.
SAM: I don’t know if you can do a bonus action.
ASHLEY: Can I do a bonus action?
TALIESIN: You need healing like a mother. Don’t shrug at me.
SAM: She’s fine.
ASHLEY: I’m going to cast Healing Word on Vex.
MATT: Level two?
ASHLEY: Level four.
MATT: Because you’ve already cast Revivify.
ASHLEY: Level two.
MATT: So 2d4 plus your wisdom modifier, I think.
SAM: I’m already rolling Vax.
LAURA: You’re mixing him with your suude?
ASHLEY: Ten hit points.
SAM: Tuck it behind my ear for later.
TALIESIN: It doesn’t matter anymore.
LAURA: I haven’t seen Vax yet. I haven’t seen what happened.
ASHLEY: Can I move?
MATT: No, because you already took your turn.
ASHLEY: Oh my god.
MATT: So that ends your turn? Scanlan, you moved up there and you grabbed the stuff. That’s your turn. Keyleth?
MARISHA: Oh god. Okay. Are we trying to get to me so I can get us all out?
SAM: Yeah, but it’s going to take another turn.
LAURA: For Percy to get there.
MARISHA: But everyone’s coming this way, right? Everyone’s coming this way? Then I’m going to–- fucking hell. How does Fire Storm work? I know it’s ten ten-foot cubes. Does it have to be on the ground, or can I hit him up there? Can I rain–- “justice rains from above!” Can I do that?
TALIESIN: I haven’t touched that game in so long.
MATT: You can arrange as you wish. Each cube must have at least one face adjacent to the face of another cube. Yeah, you can. Choose a location you see within range, so I don’t see why you couldn’t. You can create a lava fall, essentially.
TALIESIN: You’d have to pick one of the two of them to hit.
MATT: You pick one, and then you create a bunch of cubes that chain off it.
TALIESIN: You can hit them both.
MARISHA: But I’m not going to be able to hit the death knight and Vecna?
MATT: Probably not. Not without hitting Scanlan or yourself in the process.
MARISHA: What if I got out of the way. Could I?
MATT: We can try it.
MARISHA: I’m going to do a bonus action and I’m going to go air elemental. Full-on, wrath of my people and my hometown, and I’m going to levitate in a cool tornado-y thing.
MATT: Are there any material components for Fire Storm? No, there is not. You can cast that in your form. You levitate up. We’ll say right there.
TALIESIN: There’s a lot of dead bodies on the ground, man.
MATT: I know. This is rough, man. We’ll say there.
MARISHA: That’s high, but that’s okay.
MATT: How high did you want it?
MARISHA: In between, but don’t worry about it. I’m going to right onto Vecna and try and swarm it down towards the death knight.
MATT: How many cubes is it?
MARISHA: Ten ten-foot cubes.
MATT: That’s ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Just barely get him. Just barely.
TALIESIN: That will do.
MATT: Hold on.
MARISHA: What do you mean, hold on?
TRAVIS: There are some legendary things that I think might be happening.
TALIESIN: I get that vibe.
MATT: Not legendary. As you swarm up and begin to formulate the spell, Vecna looks at at you, and you can see with the vacant space where the hand is, there’s almost an arcane flash of a hand that goes, (clicks tongue). He’s going to attempt to Counterspell you.
TALIESIN: Roll a one!
MARISHA: What does he have to roll? Under my DC?
MATT: It has to beat your DC. No, sorry. The level of the spell, which would be 17. Which succeeds. He rolled a 14 plus ten, so 24. As you formulate the spell, you watch as the flames sputter out.
LAURA: Can you come back down to the ground?
MARISHA: Yeah, I’ll try and levitate down a bit.
MATT: You were about there, and with your flying speed, you can land back down on the ground if you want. Sorry. Is that your turn, Keyleth?
MARISHA: I guess so.
LAURA: What does it look like when you’re looking out at all of us and we’re so sad?
MATT: It feels awful.
TRAVIS: I love it!
TALIESIN: You’re a liar. You’re a lying liar.
MATT: It legitimately feels awful, but we were building to this for a long time. I’ve got to play it.
TRAVIS: There’s a god floating in the air.
MATT: Not a god yet.
TRAVIS: Not a god yet.
MATT: That you know of.
LAURA: He’ll be a god in our next damn campaign when we’re all dead.
MATT: He’s going to use his last legendary action at the end of Keyleth’s turn to cast a cantrip at you, Vex, as you just got back to consciousness. He’s going to reach out with a Flame Bolt.
LAURA: It’s because I called him a dipshit when he was talking earlier.
TRAVIS: You did blurt that out.
MATT: You did. You did taunt him.
LAURA: He is a dipshit. Before he does his cantrip, I’m going to go, you can go ahead and live forever, but you’ll still be fucking ugly the whole damn time!
MATT: Disadvantage because you’re prone on the ground and it’s a ranged attack. That is a two plus 16. That is an 18.
LAURA: To my armor class? He doesn’t hit.
MATT: I rolled a natural 20 and a two, by the way, so if you weren’t prone?
TALIESIN: He would have–
LAURA: Destroyed me.
TRAVIS: You would be dust.
MATT: As he points down with his still-missing hand, releases this bolt and you see this flare up in the air and rush towards you, and you roll out of the way and it (impact noise) slams into the stone below you. You hear it crack and break the area where your head once was. Now it’s Vecna’s turn.
TRAVIS: Now. (laughs) Now?
ASHLEY: That wasn’t his turn?
MATT: That was a legendary action.
ASHLEY: That was a legendary action? That’s right. I don’t want any of it!
TALIESIN: None of us want this.
TRAVIS: I don’t want it! I don’t like it!
ASHLEY: I don’t even want to play.
TRAVIS: Taryon’s back in Whitestone having a fucking ball.
TALIESIN: Taryon’s sitting with a cup of tea.
SAM: No, Taryon’s on the floor, weeping, holding his necklace.
ASHLEY: He doesn’t know who it is.
TALIESIN: We’ve got one way down. We are all having the thumpa-thumpa right now.
LAURA: It’s red. All flashing red.
ASHLEY: Why did you say okay that way?
SAM: Liam can be Taryon now! (laughs)
TALIESIN: You’re terrible.
SAM: No! It’s an established character we already have artwork for. Why let it go to waste? He’s done prissy boys before.
TRAVIS: Look at Matt’s face.
MATT: Vecna’s going to lean down, seeing that you just brought life back to Vex–
TRAVIS: Don’t you do it!
LAURA: Matthew, don’t do it!
MATT: “Join your friend.”
SAM: I will 6th-level Counterspell.
TRAVIS: We will not go quietly into the night!
SAM: I will sing at him, (singing) Counterspell, baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me no more. Counterspell!
MATT: Okay. Roll a d20.
MATT: It’s a 7th-level Finger of Death.
LAURA: Is that a natural 20?
MARISHA: Scanlan! No!
TRAVIS: What is this up and down cardiac arrest game?
MATT: Natural one?
TALIESIN: Stop rolling that die.
LAURA: And you’re below 100?
TRAVIS: It really is a one?
TALIESIN: It really was a one.
SAM: I can add things to it, right?
TALIESIN: No, you can’t.
MATT: 7d8. I need you to make a constitution saving throw.
ASHLEY: I make a constitution saving throw? Okay.
SAM: You’re still inspired.
LAURA: You’re inspired!
ASHLEY: “You’re spired!”
LAURA: Inspired. Use it!
TRAVIS: It’s a d10, right?
SAM: d12 on top of that.
MATT: What did you roll?
LIAM: Plus the inspiration.
ASHLEY: No, just the 13. Plus– 19?
MATT: No. You take 67 points of necrotic damage.
LAURA: It wasn’t Power Word Kill, it was Finger of Death?
MATT: No, he’d already used his Power Word Kill. Remember, he’s not a god yet.
LAURA: Just the one. Just the one Power Word Kill.
TRAVIS: The fact that he’s not a god gives me diarrhea feelings.
MATT: All right, and he’s going to move back a bit, frustrated at the–
SAM: At everything.
MATT: At your attempts to Counterspell. Actually, no. He laughed at that. “Nice try.”
SAM: It wasn’t my best performance.
MATT: All right, that’s going to end his turn. Delilah’s out. Grog.
MATT: Make a stealth check.
TRAVIS: Cool. Right. Pass Without a Trace is still going, right?
TRAVIS: That’s a one.
MATT: As you’re there, Grog, you hear (screeching). A cloud of screeches, as about nine of these gloom stalkers all start (whoosh) going into a dive towards you.
SAM: Maybe one of them is our friend Mr. Mistoffelees.
MARISHA: Mr. Mistoffelees, come back!
TRAVIS: Am I going to do anything? How far away is the nearest structure?
MATT: Nothing. It’s a crater. You’re where the city used to be. You have at least a mile to each side of nothing but crater.
ASHLEY: He’s all by his lonesome!
TALIESIN: One more round.
SAM: He doesn’t know.
MARISHA: He could be stuck there forever!
TALIESIN: There’s nothing we can do right now.
TRAVIS: I’m going to go into a frenzied rage, and I’m going to use my second wind to heal 1d10 plus my fighter level. Three, six. Six points, yay.
TALIESIN: How close to you do we have to be?
MARISHA: We have to be touching.
SAM: And you have to not be wind.
MARISHA: I can be wind now.
TRAVIS: I don’t have any fighter things, so that’s my turn.
MATT: That’s your turn. Okay. Ending your turn. Dark energy suffuses the landscape in the area. Actually, no. I’m not going to use that one because nobody has necrotic resistance right now. More undead are going to pop up. Let’s see how many. That’s actually a shitty roll. Four undead pop up.
TALIESIN: They’re bullshit. We don’t care.
MATT: All righty. That’s going to be an attack on you. It has advantage because you’re prone and it’s in melee. That’s a 17. Still doesn’t hit. High armor. You’re ducking out of the way. The skeleton is (tink) hitting the ground. It’s also attacking at you, Pike. That’s cocked. Natural one. It goes to strike you, and it doesn’t even hit you. The holy symbol of Sarenrae flares, and it (raspy cry) pulls away from the blast of vibrant, radiant energy. There’s going to be one attacking you, Scanlan. That is a 20 to hit?
SAM: Oh yeah.
MATT: All right. You take eight points of slashing damage. And attacking you, Percival, that’s another 20.
TALIESIN: That is my armor class.
MATT: It hits you. You take 11 points of slashing damage as it cuts through you.
TALIESIN: I don’t even acknowledge its existence. I am definitely not amused.
MARISHA: What was the name of that one city, you guys?
TALIESIN: Where is your dad from?
MARISHA: Syngorn. Is Syngorn still in the Feywild?
TALIESIN: Damn it.
MARISHA: Where did we go? What city in the Feywild did we go to?
LAURA: We can go to the pond.
TRAVIS: The death knight.
MATT: Steps forward, seeing Scanlan attempt to shrug off all these spells, comes rushing forward, and you watch as its blade begins to empower this dark, black shadow, similar to the gloom stalkers you’ve seen before. As he brings the sword and arcs it down with tremendous might, you hear the crack of thunder as this Staggering Smite slams into you, or tries to, at least.
SAM: That sounds bad.
TALIESIN: That’s bad. Do you have a reaction?
SAM: I used it already.
MATT: Shitty roll. 16 to hit?
SAM: Oh yeah, that hits.
SAM: I think I’m not attuned–- yeah.
MATT: You take ten points of slashing damage, plus 17 points of necrotic damage.
MATT: And as part of the Staggering Smite, you also take 14 points of psychic damage, and make a wisdom saving throw.
SAM: Against magic? That’s better. 17.
MATT: 17? His spell DC is 18, unfortunately. On a failed save, you have a disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks, and you can’t take reactions until the end of your next turn, so you can’t Counterspell.
TALIESIN: Scanlan’s getting whaled on.
SAM: Disadvantage on all attack rolls?
MATT: Oh, but that’s a concentration spell, so he’s not going to maintain the concentration. You take the damage, and he lets it go. You don’t have a disadvantage. Otherwise, he would lose other bits of concentration.
LAURA: Other bits of concentration.
MATT: All right, so that brings us to Vex. Your turn.
LAURA: (laughing) I get to go?
MATT: Yeah. Sorry!
SAM: You’re alive.
MATT: Sorry, guys. You walked into the lion’s den.
LAURA: Oh yeah, we did.
LIAM: I never did a single thing in this fight.
LAURA: I know. This is the first thing I’ve done. I stand up.
TALIESIN: If we’re smart–-
MARISHA: I can bring you back.
TALIESIN: I’m heading towards where you are. I’m heading towards the deceased body of Delilah.
LAURA: I’m going to, as a bonus action, down my biggest healing potion, which is one greater healing potion.
MATT: Go for it.
LIAM: There’s also a superior healing potion lying on the ground amongst all my shit.
LAURA: No. It’s in your armor.
MATT: Greater is 4d4 plus four.
SAM: Okay, it’s something.
LAURA: 13 plus four is 17 healing points, and I’m going to move closer to Keyleth.
TALIESIN: She can move to us. Never mind.
MARISHA: We have to all be holding hands, y'all.
LAURA: Can I put myself in between Percy and Keyleth so I can reach my hand out?
TALIESIN: I’m going to be making a beeline for everybody else. Everybody’s in that big clump.
LAURA: We’re all in a clump, so we can still touch? I don’t need to move anywhere in order to be able to touch her?
TALIESIN: You’ll be able to move before you cast Plane Shift, right?
TALIESIN: So as long as we’re all touching, she can get to us. We just need to clump, and I move last, so I’m fine. Is that right? Yeah, I move last.
MATT: Keyleth moves last. Keyleth and Scanlan.
LAURA: Okay, I’m going to shoot at the death knight.
MATT: Go for it.
LAURA: With my 21?
MATT: 21 actually hits.
LAURA: With my Blazing Bowstring, and I want to make it a bramble shot.
TRAVIS: Hit him hard.
LAURA: Is anybody standing next to him?
MATT: Scanlan and Keyleth.
MARISHA: Feel free to hit me. I don’t care. I can’t be grappled.
TALIESIN: Doesn’t matter. She just gets extra points–-
MARISHA: Oh, he’s flanked.
LAURA: 23 plus eight is 31, right? 33 plus 1d6 lightning damage. 39, and then 3d6 sneak attack. 11 additional, so that’s–-
LAURA: Oh, and the Blazing Bowstring. Six additional from that.
MATT: 56 points of damage from one shot. That is a 23 on his strength save, so as the arrow hits, you see the burst of flame. It pierces the armor, and you see the brambles extend and tear around him. He looks up at you and you watch as flames (fire noises) burn out of the armor. The arrow burns away, and the brambles ignite and fall to ash around him.
LAURA: Not surprising. What about his concentration?
TALIESIN: Come on.
MATT: That’s going to be… half of 56? Oh man, he’s going to have to roll really high.
TALIESIN and MARISHA: No!
MATT: Hold on. Half of 56 is–
MATT: 28. No, he rolled a 19 plus five.
MATT: As the flames ignite and burn around, the impact still causes him to lose the spell, and you watch as a vacuum fills, and Grog, just as you see this barrage of gloom stalkers, ready to grab and tear you apart, you (poof) out and then (whoosh) appear in that space where you once were.
ASHLEY: Grog! You’re back!
MARISHA: Grog, we’ve got to get out!
MATT: All right, that ends your turn, Vex?
LAURA: No, I get to attack him again.
MATT: Go for it.
TALIESIN: We’re in a nice little clump, aren’t we?
LAURA: That one definitely hits. This is way less damage. 20 damage on the second one.
MATT: All righty. You can sense there’s shadow and smoke pouring out from under the armor as the frustration of lost concentration is there. The second arrow hits the shoulder. Staring straight at you, angrily.
LAURA: Keyleth, get us out of here?
MARISHA: Hold hands.
TALIESIN: I think we’re all in physical contact, at this point, except for me.
MATT: That ends Vex’s turn?
LAURA: Where’s Vax?
MARISHA: We’ll talk later!
TALIESIN: Working on it. Do you have all of his stuff?
SAM: As much as I can carry.
MATT: Armor, daggers. Roll an investigation check.
LIAM: Boots, his voice says from beyond the grave.
MATT: You rustled through the dust when you went through and spent the turn grabbing what you can. You get most of his important magical items.
MARISHA: And dust.
MATT: And a little bit of dust.
SAM: Those boots are gone!
TALIESIN: Next time we fight Vecna, he’s going to be wearing some very nice boots.
TALIESIN: I’m kidding.
LIAM: He’ll be Finger of Deathing me double-time.
ASHLEY: Are we trying to get out of here? What are we doing?
TALIESIN: We are trying to get out of here.
ASHLEY: But then what?! We still have to fight him!
LAURA: Yeah, but then we’ll be able to recover a little bit and figure out what we’re doing.
TALIESIN: We’re going to die here.
ASHLEY: Okay, I’ll run to–- sorry, I’m stuttering. Keyleth’s doing it?
TALIESIN: As long as we’re all touching, it doesn’t matter where Keyleth is, but Turn Undead would help, maybe?
LAURA: Or heal us.
TALIESIN: Healing or Turn Undead.
ASHLEY: When’s your turn up?
TALIESIN: I’m coming up, right?
LAURA: And you’re holding your action, Keyleth?
MATT: Yes, after Pike’s turn.
ASHLEY: Okay. I’m going to do Mass Cure Wounds at 6th level. Let’s see.
TALIESIN: I’m going to use the ring of counting. This is actually proving to be invaluable.
MARISHA: It’s very handy.
LAURA: What? What did you just think of?
TALIESIN: Later. We need a bigger boat.
ASHLEY: Fuck, this is a bad roll.
SAM: Is this a new round since my last Counterspell?
MATT: What was the last one you countered and failed? That was on Vecna’s turn, so when it comes back to your turn, it will be.
TALIESIN: Not yet.
ASHLEY: 26 points. I rolled so badly.
LAURA: 26 is great.
ASHLEY: And then… am I able to also, at this point, see if I can channel divinity?
MATT: It’s an action to do that.
ASHLEY: It’s not like she’s going to show up. Okay. Sorry. I’m so hot.
SAM: That’s what I say to myself every morning.
LIAM: Your extensions look good, but I feel like that is…
ASHLEY: Okay. I’m just hanging out.
MATT: Okay. That’s Pike’s turn.
MARISHA: Are we all holding hands? Are we all in position?
SAM: Wait, did you just cure our wounds?
TALIESIN: Yeah, we just got 26 points back.
ASHLEY: Wait. Can I do a Mass Healing Word as my bonus action?
MATT: What level? No, because you already did a higher-level. You can’t do that, unfortunately.
SAM: You can do it to one person.
ASHLEY: I’ll do one person. Who’s closest to me?
TALIESIN: She’s probably at the bottom.
ASHLEY: Where are you at? Oh yeah, you’re nothing. Let me do the Healing Word.
LAURA: You’re nothing! You’re nobody!
TRAVIS: You’ll never mean nothing in this world!
MATT: At the end of your turn, Pike, Vecna’s going to go ahead and cast– you hear the voice enter your mind once more, Pike. “Don’t worry. If you love her that much, I’ll send her to you.” Make a dexterity saving throw.
SAM: Oh no, dexterity.
MATT: Let me see if it’s dexterity or constitution. Let me check real fast.
LAURA: What’s he doing?
SAM: He’s trying to hurt our Pikey.
MATT: That is a dexterity. Make a dexterity saving throw.
ASHLEY: I knew it was too low.
MATT: All right. You take 78 points of force damage.
ASHLEY: How much?
ASHLEY: 78. Okay. That is okay. I’m unconscious–
MATT: However, if it brings you to zero, it turns you to dust.
LAURA: But her armor!
MATT: But the armor.
SAM: It never got her to zero.
MATT: As soon as you hit zero, the armor flickers in, and the divine–
MARISHA: Oh my god.
TALIESIN: Which also means that all the fucking skeletons take damage!
MATT: Yep. As the ray hits you and you feel your flesh begin to dissipate, the blessing of Pelor and the guidance of Sarenrae flicker into you, and you watch as light and flames (explosion noise) burst out of her like a Doctor regenerating. As the fire consumes the area, roll your damage for your armor. Thank you for reminding me of that.
TRAVIS: Plate of the Dawnmartyr, you guys.
TALIESIN: I was about to say, I know the stats of the Dawnmartyr really well right now, for reasons.
TRAVIS: They take 6d6 fire damage.
LAURA: 6d6 fire damage!
TRAVIS: The ones within melee.
MATT: To all hostile creatures, correct?
MATT: Not all creatures?
LAURA: All hostile.
MATT: That’s a very important distinction.
LAURA: That was terrible!
ASHLEY: 14. You know what? It’s fine. I’m alive.
MATT: Okay, so as the flames burn out, you watch as the skeletons that catch flame, their bone burning to black, but they’re still standing. Okay. That brings us to Percy.
ASHLEY: Nothing is going well!
TALIESIN: Are we a reasonable chain?
LAURA: Yeah, we’re just waiting on you to make the touch.
TALIESIN: There’s nobody breaking the chain? I’m going to move six points in the direction of Delilah because I’m going to bring her with me because I don’t want that dead body there. Do I make it in six moves? And while I’m running, just for fucking fun, I’m going to take three shots at that armor, and I’m going to push him the fuck back, if that’s okay. I’m going to push that knight back. I’m going to try and do a force push.
LAURA: And you’re saving your action until we’re all touching?
TALIESIN: Yeah. It’s about to be. We’re all touching. Let’s get rid of that fucker.
MARISHA: We are getting out of here, right?
TALIESIN: We’re getting the fuck out of here.
LAURA: Oh, I thought you were saving your action.
MARISHA: I rolled a really fucking shitty initiative.
TALIESIN: That’s a 27 to hit? The knight.
MATT: That hits, yes.
TALIESIN: Okay, and that’s a torso push. I’m only going to take the one shot. I don’t even care anymore; I’m just pushing him away.
MATT: He’s pushed ten feet?
TALIESIN: He’s pushed ten feet back from my position.
MATT: Does he make a save for that?
TALIESIN: There’s no save for that, and then he takes a disturbingly sad nine points of damage, plus six points psychic damage. But he’s ten feet back. We’re all touching. I’m going to save the rest of my attack for anybody who tries to get in the way of this shit. If anybody interrupts us, I’ve got two more shots ready to go. Also burning a heal for fun, as well.
MATT: Scanlan, you’re up.
SAM: I will Lightning Bolt at level four the armor knight guy.
TALIESIN: I’m also holding onto Delilah.
SAM: He’s behind me, so I’ll do it from my ass.
LIAM: I love you so much.
SAM: I’ll lift up my leg a little bit. Squeeze it out.
LIAM: Like a dog at a fire hydrant.
SAM: It’s 8d6, but at level four it’s 9d6, I think?
MATT: Level four, it’s 9d6, yeah. He did not make his save. He rolled a nine plus six. 15.
TALIESIN: Yay! I’m not quite at full.
MATT: He has advantage on his saves against magical effects and spells. He rolled worse.
MATT: 35 points of damage. The bolt (lightning noise) through him at the same time he’s blasted back by Percy’s hit and skids. You see the smoke rise up. Like the Terminator, he keeps moving forward.
SAM: I’ll use my movement to gather whatever bits of Vax I can still see.
TALIESIN: Put your hands in it.
SAM: And get into “posish.”
TALIESIN: We’re ready to burn.
SAM: I will bonus action Healing Word Pikey-poo, which is for me-– what is Healing Word? It’s 2d4 plus six?
MATT: At the end of Scanlan’s turn–
TALIESIN: Fuck no!
TRAVIS: Let’s just have a conversation about this. We’re adults.
LAURA: What is this game, Matthew? Don’t do it!
MATT: He is going to take a shot at Pike with a Firebolt cantrip.
TALIESIN: You have a reaction.
SAM: I do, but I want to save it.
ASHLEY: Bob and weave. I can bob and weave.
TALIESIN: There’s no save. This is it.
SAM: Do people have to be alive to get out of here?
MATT: That is a 21. What’s your armor class?
TRAVIS: It doesn’t even hit!
LIAM: Eat a dick!
ASHLEY: Eat a bag of dicks!
TRAVIS: At level five?
MATT: I rolled a five. It’s a cantrip. It fires the bolt towards you; you’re barely holding on. As you turn around, the flame hits you, but your armor absorbs it. No impact. Okay.
LAURA: I need Taco Bell right now in my life!
ASHLEY: I know. I want Taco Bell so bad. We might have cheats tonight.
MATT: That’s the end of Scanlan’s turn. Keyleth?
MARISHA: Are we all here?
TALIESIN: We’re all here.
MARISHA: We’re all sure about this? We’re out? 100%?
TALIESIN: We’re dying.
TRAVIS: No, let’s stay and fight.
MARISHA: We’re on this plane, right?
TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re on the material plane.
MARISHA: Then we’re going to the Feywild! And we all hold hands–
MATT: Are you turning back to your form, then?
MARISHA: Yes, I drop form and I pull out my tuning fork and my flowers, and I think deep about the Gilded Run and the Shademirk Bog and the beautiful pond that we appeared around, that we know there’s a portal right near it. That’s what I think about strongly, and I say, everyone think about the pretty ponds!
LIAM: Feywild Spring Break, motherfuckers!
MARISHA: Spring Break 2017, Feywild!
TALIESIN: Roll. You’re a good man.
MATT: Vecna’s going to attempt to Counterspell.
SAM: Yep. 7th-level Counterspell against him.
TRAVIS: I knew that’s what you were waiting for!
MATT: That was some old-school Magic: The Gathering shit, right there.
LIAM: Do it, Scanlan. Do it.
ASHLEY: You just pulled out the wild Uno card.
TALIESIN: We’re not happy yet.
MATT: So 7th-level Counterspell. Yeah, you don’t have to roll.
MATT: Yeah. Let me check real fast. I need to confirm this real fast.
LAURA: Scanlan’s back.
LIAM: Shorthalt’s back.
TRAVIS: “I’d rather not use it.”
MATT: Yeah, no. The only spell he even had left to Counterspell was 7th level. Yeah, (poof).
SAM: Let’s go.
MATT: As the glyph of shattering begins to coalesce around his fingers in one hand and the wrist on the other, you strike up a Counterspell of your own.
SAM: Sure. I will say to him, this time–- I’ve got nothing left. I will sing to him, (singing) I’m beautiful. I’m beautiful, it’s true. You saw my face in a crowded place, and you didn’t know what to do because I just took a shit on you.
ASHLEY: Oh my god.
MATT: The last thing you hear as the spell begins to take effect is the whispered voice of Vecna throughout all of your heads say, “What?”
MATT: Before (spell noise) you are all yanked through a familiar tunnel of darkness and then thrust out into the center of a clustered, dense forest in the Feywild.
SAM: Oh god. Have I been there? Wait, was that me? Yes. Okay.
MARISHA: I’m sorry. I would have taken us home, but we were already there, and I had to go somewhere else.
LAURA: Where’s Vax?
MATT: And that’s where we’re going to end.
LIAM: (fake crying) You sadistic motherfucker! You cut it right there?! I was okay until right then!
TALIESIN: That’s not nice.
MATT: I’m so sorry.
TALIESIN: Nothing feels good.
LIAM: I was okay until right then!
ASHLEY: Let’s do one more hour.
TRAVIS: That was amazing. That was brutal. We didn’t have a fucking chance.
TALIESIN: No, there was not a fucking prayer.
LIAM: What else were we going to do? Set up an Orange Julius stand by that tower? Of course we were going to go into that tower.
TRAVIS: Of course! But we didn’t know how fucked we were until we got up there. We had to go.
MARISHA: I thought that we were pretty badass when we took the tower down, and we were not.
MARISHA: I can get you back, man. I can get you fucking back!
SAM: Can you? Without a body?
MATT: We’re going to have some discussions.
SAM: Without a body?
MARISHA: But True Resurrection says I can.
MATT: Marisha. We’ll have some discussions. Anyway. Thank you guys so much for watching. Thanks for kicking in for a taste of the final arc. Holy shit.
TALIESIN: You know what, I’m grateful that we’re not–-
MATT: Oh man. There was part of me, where either they were going to end up waiting-– if that didn’t break concentration, they were either going to wait for you and probably lose a lot more, possibly Keyleth once she realized what was going on. Or left without you. You would have come back.
LAURA: And we would have been gone.
TRAVIS: And I would have to have won the game all by myself.
SAM: Which you’ve already done.
TRAVIS: Or I would have taken the Deck and been like-–
LIAM: Number one lesson. The one takeaway tonight. The one takeaway is just how OP Vax'ildan is.
MATT: This is true.
LAURA: If he can’t move, he’s fucked.
TRAVIS: Boots no longer.
MARISHA: I can’t believe I fucking dumped my 9th-level spell in you, and then you got tied down. It made zero fucking difference.
LIAM: You did great.
MARISHA: We both wasted our fucking 9th-level spells.
SAM: They’re hard to use. We’ve got to learn to use them better.
LIAM: You’ve got one chance to do something fucking amazing.
LAURA: Vecna is out and ready to fucking destroy.
MATT: We’ll pick up on this next week.
SAM: Wow. I’m shaking.
MATT: Me, too. All right, guys. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful night. We’ll see you soon, and is it Thursday yet?
TRAVIS: Nope! It’s Thursday right now!
LIAM: Last Thursday.
MATT: Good night, guys.