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Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hi, everyone! Welcome to Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. Good job, Sam. Thank you for your patience. Sorry we were off last week. I'm doing much better, for those who are worried about it. Happy to be back. Missed you guys, and happy to be back at this table. So yeah! It's been a couple of weeks. Let's go ahead and get into some announcements real fast. First off, tonight we have our fantastic sponsor Shadow of War!

TRAVIS: Shadow of War! Oh shit!

LAURA: Are we allowed to say what we did in it?

MATT: Yeah, a number of us actually worked in the game. It comes out October 10th, actually.

SAM: And the full name of the game is Middle Earth: Shadow of War, for all of those who are looking for it alphabetically.

TRAVIS: The sequel to Middle Earth: Shadow of *Mordor.*

SAM: Yes, and many of us were in the game yelling our asses off. I played a little character known as Orc 4. It was so much! I did 20 recording sessions.

TRAVIS: I remember talking to you! I was Commanding Orc 1.

SAM: Oh, nice.

MATT: I was Professional Orc 1, as well as the Witch King of Angmar, the head of the Nazgul. I'm pretty excited about that.

LAURA: Oh, nice!

LIAM: I was Troy Baker's fluffer. It's prestigious.

SAM: You were in it, right? No?

LIAM: I'm in the first one.

SAM: Oh, what did you do in the first one?

LIAM: The thing I killed two weeks ago? That was me.

SAM: Laura, were you in it?

LAURA: I am in it. I play the Blade of Galadriel.

LIAM: You play a sword?!

LAURA: I know! Get this, so I'm an assassin elf, right? She's really cool. The DLC is going to be about my character.

SAM: Do you have a number after your character?

LAURA: No, it's the only one. It's the coolest thing! I don't think I ever told you this. When I saw the character design? She's a combo of Vex and Vax.

MATT: That's pretty great.

LAURA: No, seriously, though, she's an elf chick. So she's an assassin. She's got dual-wielding, and she wears feathery armor. It's so freaking cool! So basically, it's like if Vax was a girl, which is Vex.

TRAVIS: But with the sex appeal of Grog.

LAURA: Of course, baby.

MATT: I will never forget being at the Shadow of War panel at Comic Con, and you mentioning the DLC and then going, "Has that even been announced yet?" And there was five seconds where I watched Laura wither away into a shell of a human before I went, "Oh, yeah, it's announced." And you reverted.

LAURA: Even at this very moment, as I said it, aftershocks. "Was I supposed to say that?"

LIAM: They scare you so bad that, even when it's official, I'm like "I'm in the--"

TRAVIS: It's such a dope game. The Nemesis system has been improved on from last time. We can testify.

SAM: We're supposed to mention that on the 18th of this month, Shadow of War will be debuting a brand new live-action trailer that will take you near the game? No! Right *into* the game. Soon we'll need to choose whether to save or slay. During the break tonight, they're going to be showing off some awesome videos from the game. It drops October 10th. Go buy it and try to pick out our voices in the game as you slay us.

TRAVIS: And make us rise to the higher echelons of the orc order.

MATT: By the way, if you haven't played the previous game, the Nemesis system is one of the coolest things I've played in many games in a long time. I'm going to challenge you guys to try and pick out not only who you voice orc-wise, but then to try and make sure our orcs rise to the very top. So you have nothing but generals from Critical Role. I challenge you for this. Because that would be pretty cool.

LIAM: I hope you like hearing the word ranger.

LIAM, TRAVIS, and LAURA: Ranger!

MATT: It's going to be fun. All right, thank you, Shadow of War for being our sponsor tonight. We're excited about the game, and hope you are, too.

Also, there's been a lot of insane weather tragedies that have been in the news recently. I want to make sure that everyone knows that if you want to help support relief for both of the hurricanes that have come and torn through the U.S., we have a link to the Red Cross to donate and be part of that. It'll be available in the chat and throughout the rest of the game tonight, so if you have the opportunity to help out, I highly recommend it. Come help these people that have lost a lot in the past couple weeks or so. Give what you can. I've given, and we really appreciate that support.

TRAVIS: They'll let you delineate between Harvey and Irma, too, in case you want to pick one over the other. Harvey had a lot of support from J.J. Watt's $30+ million dollars. Irma, the damage is still accruing.

MATT: I grew up in Florida. I know the area well, and I have family out there that endured it. It's very close to me. So if you can, greatly appreciate it. Let's see here. Merch! Laura.

LAURA: This feels so weird to say after you mentioned that.

TRAVIS: Nah, but we make happy stuff.

LAURA: Happy stuff! Which, by the way, you're wearing your Dalen's Closet shirt, Matt, and it matches your eyeballs so beautifully.

TRAVIS: Ooh!

MATT: I'll show it to you, and my back brace, to make it really better.

SAM: Are we selling those in the store?

MATT: The back brace?

TRAVIS: Critical Role back brace! Do you DM 20 hours a week? We've got something for you!

LIAM: We missed an opportunity to put Backblaze on that back brace.

(groaning)

LAURA: Next time.

MATT: Next time.

LIAM: No next time!

LAURA: There are Dalen's Closet shirts in the store. Go check them out. There's tank tops. They're really cool; they're cheaper because they are sleeveless. That's less material. Dagger, Dagger, Dagger; it's been re-released. We have the Scanlan tee; we have all the tees. And it's getting cooler now, so the hoodie is still in the store; the softest hoodie ever is there. Go check it out. We have hats and we have key chains and necklaces and pencils and aprons and tarot cards, and other stuff. And more stuff coming! So keep your eyes peeled.

MATT: Thank you, Laura. Also reminding you guys, we have up to episode 40 of Critical Role now released on iTunes, Google, and geekandsundry.com has all the information for it. So if you want to listen to the podcast, or your friends have been like, "I don't want to watch it, but I just want to hear it."

LAURA: I want to watch it, but I don't want to *watch* it.

MATT: It's good for commutes.

MARISHA: Also, clarification, speaking of saying things prematurely before I should have. I've gotten a lot of questions being like, "What happened to that plan of rolling out one a day once a week?" Yeah, that plan didn't turn out to be feasible. And I might have said that-- I said it, and then I looked down at the announcement sheet and it said in parenthesis afterward, "But do not announce this part." Which, why was it even on our announcement sheet? Still my fault.

MATT: To be fair, I remember looking down at the sheet as you were announcing it.

MARISHA: Oh shit. Anyway, it's never going to happen because they're easier to do in batch. So ten at a time. That's what you get.

TALIESIN: It's like one cookie at a time. You can't bake one cookie at a time.

MARISHA: It's just better to do them in a block.

MATT: Thank you for the heads-up on that. We announced a while back the Critical Role six-issue mini-series comic book. We announced last week that it's going through Dark Horse, which I'm super excited about.

TRAVIS: DM is very excited.

MATT: Oh, yeah. Dark Horse was my introduction. I was probably in fourth grade when I got into the Alien comics through Dark Horse. I didn't realize there was more to explore. Dude, I've been a fan of them ever since. Being able to take this into their realm is brilliant. I'm so excited. First issue drops on the 20th, guys.

MARISHA: The digital issue. The first issue releases digitally this coming Wednesday.

SAM: Is it good? I haven't read it.

LAURA: It's so good!

SAM: Why have you all read it and I haven't?

MARISHA: Because you don't read your emails.

SAM: Yeah, that's fair.

LIAM: You show up ten minutes after we start, you leave an hour before we end the game every week.

SAM: That's true.

MATT: So that's coming up. It will be on Comixology, iBooks, Dark Horse Digital, Kindle, Nook, Google Play, etc. It's written by our good friend, Matt Colville. It's drawn beautifully by our good friend, Olivia Samson from the Critter community, and the coloring and lettering by Chris Northrop. Super stoked, hope you guys enjoy it. So look out for that next week.

LIAM: Looks fucking *awesome*! The writing is *awesome*! The art is *awesome*!

MATT: What he said.

LAURA: Did you already say about the physical copies, too? When those will be released?

MATT: We’ll have a trade available in spring 2018.

LIAM: It's coming out with the DLC for Middle Earth.

MATT: Yeah, to tie in with it. Of course, we have Talks Machina coming up this Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific, here with our fantastic host, Brian. We'll be talking about our episode tonight. So look for that next week. All the Critical Role episodes are now available on Alpha. They've gone back and added the bells and whistles, the information, the stats, everything, for all the episodes before Alpha even launched. So if you ever watched it there, it's all updated.

SAM: I really should check my email!

TALIESIN: We would miss this sense of wonder that we get to share with the community. It's really nice.

MARISHA: They get your unbridled reaction.

TALIESIN: It's like watching Home Alone next to Macaulay Culkin. It's great. I'm getting so much out of it.

MATT: All righty. Last few things. One: this is Sub-tember, guys, by the way, for Twitch. Sub-tember means for the next few weeks, Twitch has a special promotion where subscriptions are half off for new subs for every Twitch channel, including this one. So if you've been watching and you've always wanted to subscribe, but you never really felt like you can give the full $5, it's half off this month. So if you want to subscribe to our Twitch, now's the month to do it. Just giving the heads-up. It's pretty rad, and thank you, Sub-tember. Last but not least, Laura and Travis, you are going to be at an event soon, aren't you?

TRAVIS: Yeah! End of this month, we're going to be at Anime Weekend Atlanta. The last week of September. Hotlanta, Georgia. We're going to be there with other people like Jennifer Hale and people like that. But we're going to be there. Come out, say hi, smack our hands, not our faces.

LAURA: Give a high-five.

MARISHA: I love Atlanta.

TRAVIS: It's pretty dope. I want to get in that aquarium with those whale sharks. That's what I want to do. We're not going to have time for that. And then, also, in the middle of November, we're going to be going to Australia. Laura and I are going for two weeks. We're going to be in Adelaide, Brisbane. So for all the Aussies-- what?

LAURA: I've got to get my passport.

TRAVIS: Oh shit!

LIAM: Expedite!

TRAVIS: So barring Laura's passport showing up--

MATT: You can hear the $400 burn away instantly. That's how much it costs to expedite.

LAURA: Oh my god. I'm doing that tomorrow! I'm going to write a note in my calendar.

TRAVIS: (sighs) Adelaide, Brisbane. If you're there, you want to see us, come see maybe just me.

(laughter)

SAM: Everybody tweet Laura tomorrow at noon, saying--

LAURA: No, but seriously! If you want to, feel free.

TRAVIS: Will Friedle will be there, too. He's going to be my convention wife. Me and Friedle.

LAURA: I'm writing an email to myself.

MARISHA: Australia? Is that when we got caught with having to have those weird travel visas, as well?

MATT: Yeah. Make sure you get your travel visas.

MARISHA: Yeah, we didn't know until we got to the airport. And then they're like, "You have to have one." And then we're like, "Oh, okay." Luckily, you can do it online.

TRAVIS: Oh, I totally have that covered.

MATT: All right. Well, cool, guys! Thank you so much. Thank you for dealing with our long announcements. It's been a few weeks. However, I think, with that, it's time to dive into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[dramatic music]

Part IEdit

MATT: Welcome back. I'll remember this. Why's everything targeting Scanlan in this battle? Welcome back, everyone. So last we left off, Vox Machina, preparing themselves for a final fray with the recently ascended god, Vecna, the Undying King, discovered that he had brought the city of Thar Amphala about 300 miles northwest, of Vasselheim on the continent of Issylra. Upon gathering allies to assail this region, you discovered that it was shifting, moving. And apparently the corpse of the long dead primordial earth titan had been risen and began marching its way towards Vasselheim with Thar Amphala embedded at the top of its torso, protected by some sort of magical barrier.

With an advance army of wyvern riders at your back and J'mon Sa Ord giving you a ride between their wings, you made your way southward. Quickly depositing yourselves within a waterfall, expelling opening towards the hip of this large titan undead beast, you began to fight your way to the interior. Dealing with corrupted earth elemental shards, you began to make your way through the catacombs, the long ruined and abandoned dwarven city of Thomara, where you encountered the tomb of the dwarven king. Where you also managed to raid the tomb, found a magical item, and dealt with some fun traps in the process. Then, continuing to follow where this route led you upward, hopefully towards the underbelly of the city of Thar Amphala, you uncovered a mostly cleaned out vault and did battle with some undead trolls that immediately rushed in and attacked you. You managed to destroy them, and make your way out through a small cavern that had just momentarily collapsed, clearing out of the way. You all began to squeeze through the opening to find the next length of your journey.

And that's where we left off. As you guys all crawl through this recently cleared opening, you come into a partially collapsed cavern about 20 or so feet wide in places with elements of the ceiling fallen in. You can see the rocks that are scattered amongst the ground rumbling with each impact of the feet of the titan you're currently riding within. It seems to be going at a steady incline beginning baseline and then about 20 feet ahead, begin to rise upward to about a 30 to 45-degree angle with the next 25, 30 or so feet.

SAM: How do you play Dungeons and Dragons?

MATT: Two weeks, Sam? It's too much for you?

SAM: I've forgotten entirely what we're supposed to do now. Insight check! I got nothing.

LIAM: I'm going to do my due diligence and scoot a little ahead of everybody and start looking for traps or anything hinky.

TRAVIS: Wait, Vax. You should consult that little scrawny NPC fellow that was supposed-- oh, wait. Oh, he's dead.

LIAM: Did anybody see that guy?

TRAVIS: Nope.

LAURA: Yeah, we did. We saw him.

MATT: Well, you saw the corpse after it was there, yeah.

LIAM: Nobody asked me about him.

LAURA: No, because you did a good job of killing that.

LIAM: That clearly undead cannibal dwarf eating flesh, as I saw it, so problem solved. We're on a time table, yeah?

LAURA: We should keep moving upwards, I'm assuming?

SAM: Did we get any items recently?

TRAVIS: No, I picked up that hammer that was hitting me in the face.

LAURA: Well, yeah. But Percy, the belt?

SAM: Yeah, what does it do?

TALIESIN: Stuff, things. I'm using it right now.

MARISHA: Do we need to do a switchery-poo of our items?

LAURA: I think we maybe should do that, actually.

SAM: We all have potions, right? Did we pass out potions?

TRAVIS: We all have at least the one superior from the brass dragon.

LIAM: Are we going to take a little 20-minute breather here?

SAM: This is just for us to remember what we're doing. I don't know. Should we stop? I think we're on a timetable. We should keep moving, right? Does anyone need to heal?

MARISHA: We just stopped, right?

MATT: You'd taken a brief rest after the battle with the trolls where you guys began to look about the inside of the vault. And that's where the part of the exit collapsed.

TRAVIS: I didn't roll any hit dice. Should we roll some hit dice?

MARISHA: You dug things out?

LAURA: But he was doing something? He was reading, or something.

SAM: Yeah, you were trying to read Dwarvish, or something. And it took an hour.

TRAVIS: I clearly do not remember this. That's right, I remember. I don't remember what I read, but I remember.

SAM: It just said, "Do not enter."

TRAVIS: Yep. There were things.

LIAM: We're doing the Vox Machina thing and standing around like a bunch of dumb fucks trying to figure out what to do. I'm going to attune the Deathwalker's Ward to necrotic damage.

MATT: All righty. Necrotic it is.

TRAVIS: We also need to be on the lookout for that sword, remember? In the story?

SAM: The sword of Kas?

TRAVIS: Just saying. Keep your eyes peeled, high-perception people.

LAURA: All right.

TALIESIN: I literally can't see anything.

LAURA: Wait, we have light.

MARISHA: (whoosh)

LAURA: Yeah, see?

MATT: Between her hand, his dagger, and Pike's mace, you have a few light sources that you guys maintain.

LAURA: Pike's mace is lit up. We said that last time.

MATT: But do keep in mind that light sources also do make you a bright beacon in dark places.

LAURA: Probably your hands are less noticeable than Pike's mace.

LIAM: Oh, I don't know.

TALIESIN: I think they would be less intimidated by a glowing mace than by glowing hands, at this point.

MATT: Glowing hands is like a small torch firelight. The Mace of Disruption--

LIAM: Is like a headlamp.

LAURA: So maybe we'll not have the mace on.

LIAM: "Yeah, okay. I'll put this away."

LAURA: That sounded just like her.

SAM: She's turning more and more Canadian as you go.

LIAM: She's kind of Canadian already. Come on.

MATT: So if I could have a marching order, please?

LIAM: Yo. Up front, looking for traps.

LAURA: Did you want this acid-resistant armor? You'd at least be resistant to acid.

TRAVIS: And Vex is probably with her brother. I'll be right behind the twins. It's the twins and then me. Who wants to be behind?

TALIESIN: I'll be behind you.

MATT: Okay. Do you have Trinket out, Vex?

LAURA: Yeah, Trinket is out.

MATT: Percy's after Grog.

MARISHA: Me.

MATT: Keyleth, and then we have Pike and Scanlan holding up the rear. All righty, there you go. Have that marked down. How far ahead are you tracking?

LIAM: 20 feet.

MATT: So 20 feet ahead, you begin to make your way up the incline, and it is loose rock in this tunnel. As you step, there are elements that skid and fall beneath the pressure of your feet, and you have to be careful as you progress up the incline based on how much it continues upward to keep your footing.

LAURA: Brother.

LIAM: Yeah?

LAURA: Make sure you stay within 60 feet of me.

LIAM: I turn around and look at her and go: all right.

LAURA: You said you're 20 fucking feet in front of me, I'm using my fucking earring to whisper to you.

LIAM: You're stage-whispering and that's very easy to hear.

LAURA: Stay within fucking 60 feet of me, all right?

LIAM: I love you. Perception check. Investigation for traps? Yeah. That is a 25.

MATT: Okay. No traps catch your attention. As you progress forward, you begin to notice the tunnel seems to be pincering a bit the further you go. The sides of the walls begin to close in and eventually, about 30 feet ahead, comes from the 15, 20-foot width that the initial entrance way into this carved tunnel was, pinches to about three feet wide.

SAM: How tall?

MATT: About five and half, six feet tall?

TALIESIN: Is this pressure by design, or is this what's been done to the structure by the transformation?

MATT: You'll probably have to get closer to see. Where you are currently, it looks like part of the tunnel was carved outward and then shaken, and elements of it collapsed and loosened the earth that at one point was packed at the sides.

LAURA: And the tunnel's rising steadily upwards?

MATT: Yeah. It's coming at an incline.

TRAVIS: How's it look?

LIAM: It's dark up there. I can only see about 60 feet up. Does it keep going beyond that?

MATT: The incline isn't increasing. It gets to about a 45-degree incline and then maintains that up until the outside of your visual range.

LIAM: Okay. I'm a punching bag for this shit. Why don't you all wait here a minute. Wait.

ALL: Wait.

LAURA: Do you want me to fly up there?

LIAM: Well, will you go with me?

LAURA: Of course. Can you not use your wings?

LIAM: They're gone.

LAURA: Well, then hop on.

LIAM: This could be the last time we do this. Come on.

SAM: Oh god.

LIAM: Well, there's only four games left, Sam.

LAURA: You don't know that!

LIAM: It's scripted!

(laughter)

MARISHA: That's going to be a Reddit thread later.

LAURA: Do we have Pass Without a Trace on?

LIAM: Yeah, I think that probably faded by now.

MATT: Not if you haven't recast it because after the short rest it would've been gone.

LAURA: Should I cast that on us?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: No, wait! I shouldn't because I got a proficiency ,so we're both stealthy stealth. We're fine. So we're just going to go. I'm not casting it. But here's the thing. Everybody stay right at the bottom. We're going to fly up, but we're not going to fly up more than 60 feet away from them.

LIAM: Right. We'll go 60 feet up, see what we can see.

LAURA: And then come back down.

LIAM: Sure. Or you could stay there and I could go even further up 60 feet--

LAURA: All right. As long as everybody's within 60 feet of me. Because we're getting really close and I don't want Vecna to see us. I've got this ring.

TALIESIN: That's right. I forgot about the ring.

LIAM: All right. Let's do that.

MATT: So as you guys glide up on the broom, stealthily, I want you guys both to roll a stealth check, please.

TRAVIS: Pick from your fucking 300 dice.

LAURA: Ooh, that's good.

TRAVIS: Almost poked my eye out. You almost made me Vecna.

LAURA: 30.

LIAM: 29.

LAURA: 30.

MATT: All right. That's impressive. So as you both quietly coast your way past this entrance way, squeezing into this two and a half, three-foot-wide location, you get just within the 60 foot range and look up and Vax, you step off the broom and make your way quietly up to the other side of the range. You get about 30 feet beyond the broom before your vision meets where this tunnel seems to end and it looks like there is a solid, rocky blockage.

LAURA: What do you see?

LIAM: It's corked up. It's all right. Yeah, it's blocked up with stone. I guess I'd have to get a closer look to see if we could get through.

LAURA: Well, get a fucking closer look.

TALIESIN: If we have to, we can just have Grog beat it down.

LAURA: Yes, but quiet is the key word.

TALIESIN: Is it? We can try and time it to a step.

LIAM: Hand on the sides to get my way up closer to it. Looking for any traps.

MATT: Go ahead and make an athletics check as you're climbing up to maintain the strength, as the incline is now towards the end getting more and more steep.

LIAM: Get ready to catch me.

LAURA: I'm going to hover.

LIAM: Yes! My athletics is a two, but I rolled a 19, so 21.

MATT: Deftly, you manage to find the proper handholds and pull your strength up as the final bit becomes a little bit of a upper body weight carrying situation, and you come to the edge of the rock and you see it. It does appear to be a rocky cave-in or larger boulder that has fallen or been placed to close. It looks to be one solid rock, yeah. At this point, the entrance is about four foot by two foot. And it's all blocked by one solid piece of rock.

LIAM: Yeah. We're not getting through this. Hey. I'm not getting through this, you're not. Maybe Kiki can.

LAURA: Do we see any other openings?

MATT: This would be a perception check.

SAM: Matt, my friends just told me to start paying attention to the cadence of the steps to see if they change in any discernible way.

MARISHA: That's what we're doing. While they do that, we're timing the steps out.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: 20.

MATT: 20? Okay.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Ugh.

SAM: 15.

MARISHA: 15.

TALIESIN: 12.

MATT: It's not that difficult to discern the pattern of the steps. The entirety of this titan shifts and quakes with each footfall, so it's pretty easy to find the pattern. It rarely changes, and you imagine any slight shift that you feel as they're going about this is because it’s stepping on or through terrain that is not flat. But it is a pretty discernible pattern.

TALIESIN: We could go have Grog smash it down in tempo with the steps so that the sound will be covered.

TRAVIS: Like Shawshank Redemption and the poop pipe.

TALIESIN: I was thinking of the Tainted Love Levi's commercial.

LAURA: Do I see any other--

MATT: Not really. It mostly looks like loose rock and the more you glance about with each impacting footfall, you see two or three errant rocks go. You guys watch as more rocks tumble down the incline.

LAURA: Maybe we need to do this quickly. This doesn't seem like the most stable sort of tunnel. Hop on the broom, darling.

TALIESIN: I like the idea of you punching this at the appropriate moment.

MARISHA: It also saves me a 6th-level spell.

TRAVIS: Well, that's what's most important. Are the Knuckles still doing that vibrating hum thing?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Can I go into a rage?

MATT: You may.

TRAVIS: And I would like to try and bash the shit out of this--

TALIESIN and LAURA: In tempo.

MATT: This is a tight tunnel for you. You have to crouch down, round your shoulders as you're doing it.

TRAVIS: I’m going to do the one-inch punch.

MATT: Make an athletics check. With advantage, because you are raging.

TRAVIS: Yeah, because I'm an angry monster. 21.

MATT: Okay. Here's the scenario: Vex and Vax, as you guys are on the broom in the tunnel, you look down and you know in Labyrinth, when the cleaner comes through the tunnel that fills the entirety of the space? You watch as this angry goliath starts up the tunnel towards you, and there does not appear to be much of any space you could squeeze through.

LIAM: Is there a bubble at the top, maybe?

LAURA: Grog?

TRAVIS: What? (angry panting)

LAURA: Can we pass under his legs or something?

LIAM: Dive, dive!

LAURA: Rage quietly.

MATT: You can both attempt to. Make an acrobatics check to attempt to squeeze between his legs.

LAURA: At the same time? Acrobatics. 22.

LIAM: 30-something.

MATT: It's not comfortable, but you both (popping) out the back, between his monstrous goliath thighs. From a backward perspective, those of you who are still waiting a little further down the tunnel from Vex: it's a unique sight, as the back end of your goliath friend suddenly gives birth to two half-elves. It's very Ace Ventura 2. However, you eventually climb your way angrily up to the very edge and there is the boulder, there, and you're about to go right towards it, but then stop and remember what your friends had said, and you wait patiently for the pattern of the next footfall. (boom)

TRAVIS: (punch impact)

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack.

TRAVIS: Can I make it reckless-- oh, I didn't say it.

LAURA: But you do extra damage because you're--

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, siege. Oh, it's fine. 30.

MATT: Yeah, all right, so roll 1d4 damage.

TRAVIS: Okay, 1d4. Four!

MATT: Plus your strength modifier and your rage damage.

TRAVIS: Eight. 27.

MATT: Whoa, wait, did you double it already?

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: Wait, so it's four plus eight, 12.

TRAVIS: And my rage damage is 15. Well, that's with the axe.

MATT: That's with the axe, yeah. No, that's your overall. So your rage damage at this level is four, because you just went up a level. So it's 12 plus four, so it's 16. So you do 32 points of bludgeoning damage with a single punch to this rock. With one hit, the entire boulder shifts and cracks, and you watch as part of it breaks away, and you see a brief glimmer of a dull light from the opposite side, as it rests back into place, heavily damaged.

TALIESIN: (singing) Wait for it to go again and bump, bump, bump.

MATT: You wait for the next footfall of the titan (impact). You feel the impact and the shake. Do you want to go for another punch?

TRAVIS: Do I hit it now?

SAM, TALIESIN, and LAURA: Yes!

MATT: Roll another attack.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's even better. 33.

MATT: Easily enough. Go ahead and roll another d4.

TRAVIS: Two plus eight. Ten plus--

MATT: Four for rage damage.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: All right, and so with that, your fist slams into the boulder a second time. It explodes and shatters into hundreds of crumbled pieces of rock and stone goes firing across the distance of this tunnel, now revealing a little bit of flickering firelight. As you're sitting there seething with anger and your muscles and veins bulging with each breath--

TRAVIS: I'm so swole right now.

MATT: Yeah. You can see above you, this entranceway opens up into a five-foot wide, ten-foot tall hallway that goes to the right and left. As you emerge, it goes a little bit to the right and front, and then to the back and behind you that direction.

TRAVIS: Hey guys, it's a Z.

LAURA: What do you see?

TRAVIS: Let me find out. So I wiggle up a little more.

MARISHA: So you know the first and last letter of the alphabet? Don't worry about it.

MATT: So you squeeze out of the small entrance way and step up into it. You can see now a well-constructed hallway. You can see there are stone slabs that are carved. The patterns and the angular architecture of this hall as it comes up into a trapezoid position. The hall comes in a bit, and the hallway rooftop is a flat, even surface. This is apparently a hall of dwarven make and seems to be a continuation of some sort of structure or pathway of Thomara.

TALIESIN: Let the twins take a look. I think it would be safe.

TRAVIS: It's a well-constructed hallway of dwarvish make. (groans)

LAURA: We sneak under his legs again to like see what's going on.

MATT: You guys all eventually make your way up into this hallway. Now, it is still a five -foot-wide hallway, so you're still here in single-file progression one way or the other.

LIAM: Twins are already at the top looking for problems.

MATT: Right, so you guys would be able to because it's a ten-foot-tall tunnel. You guys would be able to occupy a space above another party member if you were both on the broom.

LAURA: Oh, should we be on the broom? No, you should be off the broom because you might check for traps. I'll check for traps along the wall and ceiling. And he's going to check for traps--

LIAM: I'll take the lower half. That's called advantage.

MATT: So go ahead and make and investigation check.

LAURA: Both of us or just him with advantage?

MATT: Both of you separately because you're investigating different elements of the hallway.

LIAM: 18 for me.

LAURA: Investigation? Natural fucking 20!

MATT: As you guys glance up and focus on the surrounding location. The hallway behind you goes for about 30 or so feet before it looks like cave in. It looks like a mass of fully collapsed, broken stone. You can see bits of the hallway slabs that originally held up that part are collapsed inward and broken, left scattered across the ground. The other direction you go continues on and opens into a dark chamber about 60 feet ahead of you.

LAURA: We should go toward the cave in, don't you think?

MATT: There are small built-in sconces that are magically, perpetually burning firelight.

LAURA: Does this seem like there's any traps that could be set off as we walk towards the--?

MATT: You do not notice anything, as you were investigating specifically for that.

TALIESIN: Check the sconces, see if they trigger something.

LAURA: I'll look at the sconces.

LIAM: *I* will look at the sconces.

LAURA: I'll look at them better.

MATT: I included that as your perception for traps above. You did not notice anything that would be considered a trap.

LAURA: You guys, there's no traps. We should head towards this darkened room.

MARISHA: Save a life, check a sconce.

LIAM: I'm going to creep about 40 feet down the hall and continue that search.

MATT: About 20 feet before this darkened chamber is there before you. As you get to the edge, you can see a little bit the very inside of this chamber. You can see a darkened brazier. It's your mind playing tricks on you. You thought you heard a raven.

LIAM: Every day when I'm on the crapper, Matt. Everywhere.

MATT: A cold metallic brazier in the middle of the room. And that's as far as you can see into the chamber, before the edge of your visual range goes dark.

TALIESIN: People don't install those unless there's something awful that needs to be done.

MARISHA: Do we have any idea how far we've climbed?

MATT: You can make nature check.

LIAM: And do I need to make a extra roll to look for traps around this brazier?

MATT: If you want to enter the chamber, you can. You're too far away.

MARISHA: Hey! Natural 20! That's a Gil 20!

MATT: As you take a moment, and think back to how far you've traveled path-wise and inclines and where you entered this titan and to where the city of Thar Amphala is placed upon its torso, you gather you're close to halfway through its torso, if not a little beyond it.

MARSHIA: If not a little beyond?

SAM: He's big.

MARISHA: Okay, all right. Nipple level?

MATT: Sternum.

MARISHA: The heartburn region? A little acid reflux?

LIAM: We are the acid reflux.

MARISHA: He has acid resistance against reflux.

LIAM: Jesus Christ. Whoever that is.

MATT: You scoot up to the edge.

LIAM: I don't want to go further than roughly 60 feet away from my sister.

MATT: Right. Which will put you right at the entryway to this chamber.

LIAM: Yeah. So I will peep in from here.

LAURA: I follow up and stand next to him. Did you want to go in?

LIAM: I did.

LAURA: Feel free.

MATT: So the marching order is the same? We got the twins up the front.

TALIESIN: Yeah. I like this marching order.

LIAM: Let this shit blow up in my face, so everybody hang back for a second. And I'm going to pitter patter in and look around the sconce, the room.

LAURA: I think I was more stealthy than you a moment ago, so are you sure you want to be in front of me?

LIAM: I love you anyway. Here I go.

TALIESIN: He's better at blowing up than you are, dear.

TRAVIS: Yeah. His heart beats once a century, so let him go.

LIAM: Slower than this titan's footfalls.

MATT: All right. So as you enter the chamber, it's a small, about 20-foot radius square-shaped dark iron chamber with rounded corners. So it's about 40 feet wide from side to side, 20 feet from the center where the brazier is and the corners are slightly curved. It doesn't come to a straight, hard corner. There is no exit door currently visible; the chamber comes to an end. The room looks mostly bare, aside from an eight-foot-tall, five-foot-wide mirror coated in dust, framed in intricate gold and brass that sits across the chamber on the opposite side of where you entered.

LIAM: Mirror in brass. So it's an iron room, right?

MATT: Iron room with a brass edge around this eight-foot tall, five-foot wide mirror. You can tell it's a mirror from this side. What little bit of light there is behind you, you can see your silhouette waving mirrored in the mirror.

LIAM: So doorway, brazier, mirror.

MATT: Mirror. And then the rest of the chamber seems fairly empty.

LAURA: And the brazier is complete dark?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: It's cold.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LAURA: This is not good.

LIAM: Look at his fake innocent face.

SAM: I think it's just a vanity.

LIAM: Going to check for traps from right here to start. All right. That's totally fine. That's a jellyfish. That is a 17.

MATT: You begin to glance around the chamber, best you can, to take in the scenery. You notice small gold piece-sized buttons or pressure knobs set in the rounded corners of the chamber on the mirror side. One's embedded within the upper left and right corners and within the lower left and right corners.

SAM: Pressure knobs?

MATT: They're like little buttons that are gold piece-sized that are embedded in the upper right and left corners and the lower left and right corners.

TRAVIS: Push them!

LIAM: Stubby, come up here. I have a real bad history with pushing buttons.

MATT: You also notice very thin light piles of black residue or ash scattered in places across the floor.

MARISHA: Called it. This is a fucking incinerator. I knew it! This feels like an incinerator. No? What? He's looking at me-- (nervous laughter)

LIAM: (sighs) So we've got buttons.

MARISHA: Or lasers.

TRAVIS: Incinerator or lasers.

MARISHA: Laser incinerator! Duh!

TRAVIS: That was a great jump for me and my character.

LIAM: If something stupid is going to happen here, I don't want it to be on me alone for once. So we've got an unlit brazier, there's mirror over there, and buttons, yeah.

LAURA: Maybe the mirror is a door.

LIAM: I thought that, as well.

LAURA: Should we try to walk through it?

TALIESIN: Maybe a second interrogation room and there's another room behind it, maybe?

LIAM: Can we get your hub up here, please?

TALIESIN: I am up here. I'm right here.

LIAM: Jesus!

LAURA: Hi, darling. I don't know why he didn't hear you. You used to be so good at that. Is the mirror leaning or is it on the wall?

MATT: It's on the wall.

MARISHA: Is it curved? No. The whole room isn't curved. It's a square room.

MATT: It's a square room but the corners curve ever so slightly so there's no direct corner and in those curved corners on the side that the mirror's on, so the far side from you, there's these little buttons in the upper right and left corner and the lower left and right.

LAURA: Can I reach down and touch the iron on the ground? The floor? Does it feel warm?

MATT: Mm. It's cold.

LIAM: I catch her wrist. Just a second. You two do the thinking, all right? And I take a step into the room.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: What do I do?

LAURA: Go see if you can walk through the mirror.

TALIESIN: Tap the mirror.

TRAVIS: Light the brazier!

LAURA: We've done that before and we all exploded.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but it's Vax.

MARISHA: Wait. Before we do that, can I reach some of the ashy stuff?

MATT: If you enter the chamber to, yeah.

MARISHA: Hand me some ash. I'll test it.

LIAM: I scoop some ash. Lady of the Grey Hunt, here. I scoop up some ash and I pour it into her hands.

MARISHA: Okay. I do a nature check. What does this ash feel like it's made out of?

SAM: Human bones.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's what I'm wondering. (groans)

TALIESIN: Wow.

LAURA: No. What is it? (groans)

TRAVIS: Is it for real? You are lying!

LIAM: Look at that face! You are not lying!

MARISHA: Oh man. That's a one. Thanks, Gil. I blame Gil for his natural 20 in the balance of the universe.

MATT: It's light ash. You're not sure what the basis of what may have burned here. You see more of it gathered near where the brazier is.

TALIESIN: Is it in piles that would be about human-amount of ash?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: All right. I'll Gil this one. Yeah, natural 20. That'll do.

SAM: Only ones and 20s tonight.

LIAM: That's it, yeah. Just quarters. Heads up, heads down.

MATT: More of it seems to be around the base of the brazier, but you do see there are thicker traces at different places throughout the chamber.

TALIESIN: It's organic ash?

MATT: You've dealt with different types of ash. The carbon appears to have been organic-based at some point.

LIAM: I pull off my belt and say: Hello, Simon. Wake him up.

MATT: Okay. (slithering)

LIAM: Hi. Gosh, it's been a while.

LAURA: Simon, go through the mirror.

LIAM: That's right. Go check out the mirror, Simon, all right? Off you go.

TRAVIS: Are we still in the room?

LAURA: No, nobody's in the room. He's the only one in the room.

MATT: (slithering) Scoots over and heads up to the mirror and presses up against it.

LIAM: I dart back one step out of the room as it happens.

MATT: The snake trying to push up against the wall but half of its body sliding against the mirror before it eventually scoots off and lands. It tries again, pushing against the mirror and then eventually (sliding).

TALIESIN: I hate to say this, but tap the button?

LIAM: That's on the list. Simon, buddy. Crawl up the brazier. Wrap around it. Go up to the top.

MATT: The snake slithers around and makes its way. It's a cross-metal cage. There are inch wide metal bars that all curl up like a basket and then there are bars that cross around it to hold the shape. It looks like there are some long-burned, blackened pieces of wood that have been left for a long time. So Simon curls up into the brazier and curls up around the metal, comes around the top of the outer rim of it, rests there.

LIAM: There's two buttons low down. Oh man. The nostalgia here. All right, buddy. I take two steps back away from the door. Buddy buds. Will you go push those low buttons in the room?

MATT: Which one?

LIAM: There's two, right?

MATT: There's four on the opposite side.

LIAM: There's two high up. And I don't think he can reach the high, because he doesn't stick to walls. Get the one over here on the left first.

LAURA: What if we all have to push every button at the same time?

LIAM: That's true. That could be.

MATT: Simon (slithering) moves over.

LIAM: I lean over to Percy, I say: science!

MATT: Hits the button. (click) Right on the entrance of where you are in the chamber, slams closed. Iron metal now closes off that entranceway.

TALIESIN: I'm going to touch the door.

SAM: And say goodbye.

TALIESIN: Simon, we barely knew him. Is it warm?

MATT: It is beginning to get warm.

TALIESIN: It's an oven. I'm looking for some sort of cancel mechanism somewhere on the outside of the door.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: Is Vax in the room?

LIAM: No, I took two steps back from the door.

LAURA: No, nobody's in the room.

TALIESIN: Let's say that investigation was somewhere around a seven?

(laughter)

MATT: It's pretty solid at this point. The walls that lean in towards the ceiling there-- it is a perfect solid iron slab that has closed off at the entrance.

TRAVIS: No problem. I'll get it down.

LAURA: No!

LIAM: Wait. Simon is technically a magical item, so I don't think he would be harmed by anything going on in there, so why don't we give it five minutes?

MARISHA: And maybe it'll open again.

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Is there anything going on in the tunnel, on the outside of this door, where we are?

LAURA: Coming up from behind us?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Temperature check, anything like that? Natural 20.

TALIESIN: We have been gone so long!

MATT: Gone for two weeks and you guys can't find middle math. It's only extremes.

LIAM: Yeah, we've had blue balls for two weeks, and it's all coming out now.

MATT: So as you guys glance back in the shadow of the tunnel behind you, nothing seems to be catching your eye. It's still dark. About two minutes in, what was once dark metal is now giving a slight orangish hue. You can feel the heat emanating from it.

TRAVIS: There's no ash on the floor in the hallway that we are in right now, right?

MATT: I'd say, because of your perception check, as you glance around, there does not appear to be any ash.

TRAVIS: I don't want that door to fucking open all of a sudden.

MATT: About five minutes go by as you guys are waiting. Eventually, the iron wall begins to descend. The dull orangish glow of it is still there. As it opens, a wave of heated air emerges from the chamber. You all have to immediately close your eyes. Some of you instinctually begin to step further back into the hallway. On the inside of the room, you can see the black iron interior of the chamber is also that same orangish glow. The mirror is unscathed. You all step back and watch and a few minutes pass as it slowly begins to cool off, the metal slowly darkening. You're too far away to look. You make a perception check to try and glance in?

LAURA: Can't you call to him?

LIAM: Simon? Come here, buddy.

MATT: There's no response.

LIAM: (gasps) He's a magical item! Oh, but he could have turned back into a belt.

TALIESIN: What's he going to say if you call to him? Was he going to say something?

LIAM: He would come to me, Percy! Jeepers creepers! Perception check? 29!

MATT: You glance past where the button was that it hit. You see a limp belt left on the ground.

LIAM: Okay, I'll get that in a minute.

LAURA: When you go pick him up and put him back on your fucking waist.

MATT: Technically, since Simon's taken enough damage to revert to the belt form, Simon cannot turn back into a snake for the day.

LAURA: How about that unseen servant?

LIAM: I'm thinking, having no knowledge of magic, that we either want to somehow push all four of these buttons at once, as my sister said, or light this brazier, or both.

LAURA: What about the brazier? Is it cold? Does it look like it's hot?

SAM: The brazier's the source of the furnace, I assume.

TRAVIS: Are there still charred wooden pieces in the middle of it?

MATT: The pieces are still there, but it's black carbon. There's nothing in there that could burn. Whatever's been in there has been heated so much to the point--

TRAVIS: It's not the source of the flame. Not for that much heat.

MARISHA: If I was the person who designed this, why would I put a failsafe in here?

LIAM: A way to get through that only the creator would know how to use?

MARISHA: I feel like there's got to be another entrance because we can see another room, right?

LAURA: There's no other room, it's a mirror. Oh, Keyleth, that's our reflection.

MARISHA: No, I know that, but a lot of things have reflections.

LIAM: Listen, all of you, or I, are going to be dead very soon. Are you sure you want to be that sarcastic right now?

MARISHA: I go up to the mirror and check it out. It's cooled off enough, right?

MATT: Well, no. If you guys want to take a few minutes, you can wait until it cools off, if you want to.

TALIESIN: Why don't we try pushing all four buttons at once?

SAM: Wait, before we do that, I'm going to enter the room and look around at the walls and the ceiling.

MATT: Okay, I take it you wait until it cools off. It takes about ten minutes or so for it to fully cool off, to the point where it's comfortable.

SAM: I'm looking for markings, indications of instructions, arrows, any hidden words--

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Look for Dwarvish. I'm aces with that.

SAM: Ooh, a lot. 29.

TALIESIN: He's coming up with some bullshit.

MATT: Okay. Because the room is not fully cooled off, it's still warm in there, somewhat. You glance through. The ceiling and the walls all appear to be solid iron, and there's a layer of dust across a lot of it, a bit of ash from whatever previously may have been incinerated in here, long ago. As you look from the opposite side of the room into the reflection of the mirror, you see a very faint orangish glow in the reflection. It looks like, in the upper corner and the lower corner of the opposite side of the mirror as you're glancing off across to the other side. As you look over to the wall, of the room you're in, there's no glow.

SAM: Wait, so the wall that we came in through?

MATT: Let's say you enter the chamber and you move to the corner immediately to your right. You look in the mirror at an angle. You're now seeing the reflection of the corner opposite to you, right? Looking in that reflection, you can see this very faint orange glow in the upper and lower corner, but you glance over to the physical corner across from you, and it's not there.

LAURA: What do your gnomish eyes see, Scanlan?

SAM: I think there's magical buttons in here and we need to find them? So I'm going to look in the mirror. I go to the opposite corner and do the same thing.

MATT: As you have this conversation and look back, those two glowing sigils are gone.

SAM: Even in the mirror?

MATT: Even in the mirror. What you saw earlier is now gone.

TRAVIS: But they're revealed by heat.

MARISHA: Where were they?

SAM: They were upper and lower corner, yeah.

MARISHA: I walk over and I heat them with my heat hands.

MATT: Okay, so you take your hands and you put them up near there. As you put your hands on the wall, nothing seems to happen. As you glance through the reflection where she has her hands, that symbol seems to be appearing again.

LAURA: What is the symbol of?

SAM: It's so far., I don't know. Can I see it?

MATT: It looks to be a simple triangular symbol, marked in a circle. Make an arcana check.

SAM: Oh yeah. 14 plus six, that's 20.

MATT: It's the most basic of arcane marks. It's a variation on a spell that basically is a mark that a certain enchanter or somebody places to mark as their own. However, this is meant to be a basic marker, a visual draw. There's no language behind it. It's just an indicator.

SAM: Keyleth, do that same thing to the lower one. Same marking?

MATT: As you head down there, the one above begins to slowly fade. As her hands go there, the symbol appears below.

SAM: Same symbol? Let's do that to the other walls and see if we can find other ones.

MATT: As you guys reverse, opposite sides, you go to the other corners, the ones that were immediately toward the entrance of where you walked in. Sure enough, two more symbols, mirroring where the buttons are on the far side corners.

SAM: So we push those? But there's a hidden button in there.

TRAVIS: When you're a big fire, the walking thing--

MARISHA: A fire elemental.

TRAVIS: Sure. Do you take damage from fire? So you should be in here.

LAURA: You should go in there, see if you can disengage the trap.

LIAM: So you are impervious to being set on fire or burned?

MARISHA: Well, when I'm a fire elemental.

LAURA: Can you do that?

MARISHA: Can I do it right now? Yeah. I just took a short rest, so yes, I can do that.

TRAVIS: We also have an unseen servant.

SAM: So we're going to need four people.

MARISHA: So what's the end goal? What am I doing?

LIAM: Press all four buttons at once, although we've got at least three sharpshooters--

SAM: Not the buttons that we can see. What are these symbols here? I think they're buttons, as well.

TRAVIS: It might be a depression on the wall or something.

MARISHA: But what if the buttons are correlated with the symbols?

TALIESIN: Let's try pushing all four buttons.

TRAVIS: The regular buttons or the magic ones?

LIAM: Please stand by.

LAURA: I want to go look at where the symbol is and see if it's a fucking button.

MARISHA: Yeah, if I touch the symbol, there's nothing there, right?

SAM: Was there anything there?

MATT: You put your hand on there. Nothing. The wall doesn't move.

MARISHA: It's just a wall.

TRAVIS: No depression, no toggle?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: I've got this, you guys. Oh! Minus two. 17!

MATT: 17. Grog, as you step up and glare down at the place where Keyleth had placed her palm, you get frustrated and (sighs heavily). As you exhale, it looks like a bit of soot and ash that had been slowly drifting in and filling this space flutters away. You can see two lines, parallel to each other, about an inch tall.

TRAVIS: Fifth Element, anyone? Oh look! Breath of Grog reveals all! Look, behold! Two. Lines.

LAURA: What did you do?

TRAVIS: I breathed on the wall.

SAM: What do they do? What do these lines do?

MARISHA: I do a quick Gust cantrip.

MATT: Across the parallel lines? All right. As the wind blows across it, a lot more of the soot and the ash blows around the area. It creates an open space where it pushes out to the edges and darkens areas of the floor and the vicinity around Keyleth. That edge of that corner, where you blew the Gust cantrip that Grog had unfurled, is now clear, the iron revealed. Nothing beyond the two.

LAURA: I fly up on my broom and do it to the symbol up on the corner and go (blowing).

MATT: Okay. So up there. You blow on that one and it looks like--

MARISHA: Hang on, I've got a paper ready.

LIAM: How many people at home do you think have figured this out already?

LAURA: We already figured it out!

SAM: Wait, you guys are blowing on the arcane symbols?

LAURA: Yeah, to clear them out!

TRAVIS: If you're looking at the door we came in, Grog blew on the lower right?

SAM: And that's two lines. Boom.

MATT: That would be lower right.

TRAVIS: Two vertical lines.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: I'm in the corner above Grog.

MATT: That would be upper right.

TALIESIN: I'm going to do bottom left.

MATT: All right, you blow, and you watch as the dust reveals. It's two more lines.

LAURA: Two lines? Shit. I thought it was going to be another--

TALIESIN: Bottom left. Getting out a hanky and (blows).

LIAM: Did you use your ascot?

TALIESIN: Yes, of course. That's what it's there for. The back of it.

LAURA: The one clean spot left on it.

MATT: That one has four parallel lines.

LAURA: Ooh! I'll go into the corner above Percy. There was a reflection there, too, right?

SAM: Blow! Laura, blow!

LAURA: (blows) I looked straight at the camera as I did it. It was really awkward.

MATT: All right, that one has a single line.

SAM: Wait, so we've got one, two, two, four?

LAURA: Is there one with three lines, or are there any more areas we saw a reflection?

TRAVIS: What about above the door? It is opposite of the mirror, right? If one's a door, and the other one's a door?

LAURA: Okay, I'll blow above the door.

LIAM: And I'm going to start blowing around the mirror.

LAURA: We all walk around going (raspberries).

TRAVIS: Constitution check to see who passes out first?

MATT: What was that?

TALIESIN: Does the mirror have a fancy frame?

MATT: It's not extremely intricate, but it looks like there's a brass or bronze frame around it.

TALIESIN: Are any of these symbols mirrored in the frame itself? Is there a mirror of any of these symbols in the frame?

MATT: As you look in the actual frame itself, you don't see anything that matches the symbols.

LAURA: What if these are numbers and the order you have to push the buttons?

SAM: Except we have two twos, and no three?

LAURA: I know. One, two, four!

TALIESIN: No, because you have to hit one, and then you have to hit the two together--

SAM: And then why not three? Okay, all right. Can we do a sweep for more?

TRAVIS: Can I clear off the door area that we walked through?

MATT: So Grog, you go through, (rapid blowing). Blowing around. Okay. Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: I take my mantle and start doing a--

MATT: You clear that archway very well, around the door. You do reveal Dwarven runes on the upper right corner, upper left corner, lower right, and lower left corner of the doorframe.

TRAVIS: I only know Dwarven writing. I don't know runes.

MATT: Well, the runes are part of the Dwarven language.

TRAVIS: The runes are part of the Dwarven language, so I know them.

LAURA: Pike goes over and she helps you.

TRAVIS: Help me, Pike! Yeah, I would like to decipher what these symbols mean.

LAURA: “If you lift me up, I could see the ones above the door!”

LIAM: “Yeah, the last time I wanted you to do it on your own, but I think we're pressed for time.”

TRAVIS: I hold her up to the upper left corner of the doorway.

MATT: Okay, so turning around, upper left corner. Okay. That one is the Dwarven rune that represents the number three.

TRAVIS: Three. All right. Now, to the upper right-hand corner.

MATT: That is the number one.

TRAVIS: Okay. I put her on the ground and I say, okay, look at the lower right-hand corner.

MATT: So lower right-hand corner would be a two.

TRAVIS: And now the lower left-hand corner.

MATT: A four.

LAURA: Oh, yeah! We know! That's the amount of times you have to push the button!

TALIESIN: So one-one, two-two-two-two, three, four-four.

SAM: Possibly.

LAURA: Wait, I think we reversed it.

LIAM: How long does your unseen servant last?

SAM: Not too long.

LIAM: How long? An hour? Ten minutes?

SAM: I'll look in my memory. One hour, but I have to be close to it. How big is this room?

MATT: It's a 20-foot radius from the center of the brazier, so it's 40 feet on each side.

TALIESIN: Is our physicality of this map correct? If we show you this?

LIAM: Well, I have this jar. It's an oil of etherealness. You could potentially be standing in here, but not be in here. Lasts an hour, though. Same time gap as your friend. You could stand in here and not be in here.

SAM: From the doorway to the mirror, is it less than 60 feet?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Oh, then I can be out of the door. That's better. Am I right with what I wrote down there?

MATT: All right, so this is the, facing from the inside--

SAM: Yeah, from the brazier-- Frasier Crane. Looking at the door that we came in. Right?

MATT: I'm going to have to draw you one. I think you guys got confused on that one.

LAURA: I think me and Travis got it right.

SAM: I think, Matt, you're wrong.

TRAVIS: I have the same thing as Laura.

LIAM: I'm pretty sure it's up up down down left right left right A B A B.

LAURA: I hope we passed the test.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Did we get it right?

MATT: There, that's what you get! Sorry, I'm limited in my reach right now.

MARISHA: I love that we all did something similar but all wrote something different. We're like, numbers, somewhere!

MATT: Yep, almost. Almost.

MARISHA: Did you help us, or are you just saying "almost?”

MATT: I'm saying, looking back and seeing where the numbers lie and the runes in there, you have the correct configuration.

LAURA: (victorious laughter)

MARISHA: I think this is right. I think you have this. I think I have the right part of this and you have the right part of this.

LAURA: We'll copy it and you can see what the fuck is correct.

TRAVIS: Yes.

LAURA: No, this is wrong. I'm just going to draw it. (counting)

SAM: Guys, Shadows of War! It's a great game by-- I don't know, who makes it? Warner Brothers!

LAURA: Okay, so now we know the order to push the buttons and the amount of times to push the buttons.

SAM: Yes, so now we've just got to do it.

TRAVIS: Should we check around the mirror frame to see if there's anything to dust off? The mirror frame?

TALIESIN: I gave it a little bit of a rub.

MARISHA: I'm going to go up and go tap-tap-tap on the mirror.

MATT: Okay. It taps.

TRAVIS: Can I wipe off the edges around the frame and see if there's anything around the frame of the mirror, since I seem to be so good at this?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Three.

MATT: Three. You smear a bit of ash, but eventually get some semblance of shine through. Nothing catches your eye.

TRAVIS: It's clear. We found everything there is to find.

MARISHA: Grog draws boobs on himself in the reflection out of the ash.

SAM: All right, should we leave the room and have Mr. Invisible start tapping buttons? All right, we'll do that.

LAURA: We step just outside the door again and let his invisible servant push buttons.

LIAM: (singing) Scanlan Man, Scanlan Man. Does whatever a Scanlan can. Makes a guy, pushes buttons, Scanlan Man-- I'm out.

TALIESIN: Look out!

LIAM, MARISHA, and TALIESIN: (singing) Here comes the Scanlan Man.

SAM: Would a person who cannot fly be able to touch the top buttons?

MATT: Nope.

SAM: Shit.

TRAVIS: Well, there's no saying that it will activate if we do it correctly.

LIAM: Also, what about shooting the button or firing an arrow at a button.

LAURA: Yeah but the buttons are on this side.

TALIESIN: How high up are the buttons?

MATT: The buttons? The top are about ten feet up.

TALIESIN: So if he had something that was-- if he had a mop, basically, he could probably tap it.

LAURA: The buttons are on the side of the mirror, so we could shoot arrows at them.

TALIESIN: But only if we're in there and then we don't need an unseen servant to do it.

SAM: Want to give him a pole or something?

TALIESIN: Let's give him a stick.

SAM: Do we have a stick in the bag?

TRAVIS: I have a lance.

TALIESIN: Yeah, he has a lance.

TRAVIS: It's almost broken.

TALIESIN: My god, it will finally be useful one last time.

LIAM: We do have three trammels.

TALIESIN: No! We are not disengaging a smoke alarm with a fucking trammel. There is a limit!

TRAVIS: You have a slightly splintered lance.

LAURA: Okay. Let's hit buttons. Let's do it! Let's get through this room.

TALIESIN: Explain to the unseen servant what he is supposed to do.

SAM: Matt, can he hold a lance, or is that violating some-- he's not allowed to hold weapons.

MATT: He can hold them. He can't attack,; he cannot be a combatant. It can hold things for you.

LIAM: He's like a Kids in the Hall character.

MATT: Kind of, yeah. You're not wrong.

SAM: I conjure an unseen servant, whom I will name Simon Two.

TALIESIN: Electric Boogaloo.

LIAM: Not cool, man, not cool.

MATT: All right. There's this brief shimmer, and you watch as a bit of ash displaces on the ground where two foot falls (landing noises).

SAM: All right, Simon Two, take this lance. We're going to go tell you what buttons to press over there, good speed-- good speed?

(laughter)

SAM: Godspell. You'll be fine. Hope you don't like burning a lot. So you tell me what to tell him, because I don't have the paper. Upper left? Upper right? What do we start with?

MARISHA: It's this. Tell him to do this.

LAURA: The reflection of that.

SAM: Okay, so two upper right. Two pokes. Oh, wait.

LAURA: So the upper left corner from where we're looking.

SAM: Yes, we're going to go mirror image of this, so project that across the room.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Oh, that was the mistake.

MATT: Okay, so pressing the upper left twice.

SAM: Yes, mirror image of this, so upper left. Let's try that.

MATT: Heads over, holding the lance. You watch the lance wobble, and it misses a couple times, (clicking) hits the button, and it clicks inward. The lance is pulled back and the button presses back out outward into its position.

SAM: Any door?

MATT: No door.

LAURA: We'll know if we push it again then we did it the wrong order.

MATT: Second time, (clicking) pulls off, the button depresses.

TALIESIN: All right, keep going.

SAM: So below it, two presses.

LAURA: In the corner, bottom corner.

SAM: Just like your name Simon: two.

MATT: (clicking)

SAM: Okay, opposite corner, up. One press.

LAURA: Upper right hand corner.

MATT: (clicking)

SAM: And then below that, bottom corner. Four presses.

MATT: (clicking)

(laughter)

MATT: The fourth one hits. There's a moment of pause, and the mirror shimmers faintly. You watch as, almost like a stone thrown into the middle of a still pond, begins to ripple from center, and as it ripples, each ripple seems to fade, until eventually the five-foot-wide mirror is now an oval portal that leads to darkness behind it.

LAURA: Let's go in!

MARISHA: I told you there was a room behind the mirror.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's go. Hurry! We don't know how long it will stay open for.

SAM: Simon Two is coming with us.

MATT: Okay. You hear the faint footfalls of sound behind, and Trinket takes a moment to try and squeeze through this small entranceway. Trinket had a hard enough time getting through the incline. (moans) Into the necklace. You make your way through the opposite side, and as you all step through, the portal remains open for at least a moment.

LAURA: Hey, we did it, guys.

SAM and TRAVIS: We beat a door.

MARISHA: Guys, it took 111 episodes, but we bested a door.

LIAM: The last episode of the third campaign will be a door that we do not open.

MATT: So the darkness you step through leads into a ten-foot-wide hallway of similar dwarven stone. Same slightly angled hallways about ten feet tall or so, about five or six foot wide. You get a few steps in and about 20 or 30 seconds after you guys make your way in, the mirror portal behind closes up.

LIAM: Can we see?

MARISHA: Can you see through it?

MATT: Through the mirror?

LIAM: I meant where we are. Are we in pitch black?

MATT: You're in pitch black, but you guys with dark vision can see there is a staircase not too far, maybe ten feet from where you stand into this next hallway.

TRAVIS: Iron stairs? Stone stairs?

MATT: Stone stairs.

LIAM: I've got a dagger out.

MATT: All right, lights up briefly and you get a little bit of a vision beyond that, and it's gradual stone steps. They're not too wide; they're made for dwarven gait, so there are many steps that are relatively shallow.

TRAVIS: These are dwarven steps that are relatively shallow.

SAM: We can see it, Grog.

LIAM: Pike says, "That's actually right".

LAURA: Is there any traps?

MATT: You're welcome to search for traps.

LIAM: And I'm going to scoot 40 feet up the stairs and look as I go for traps. One. I'm taking it, but I'm still going and looking for traps.

MATT: You do have reliable talent, don't forget.

LIAM: Does that oversee ones? Because I've been counting ones as ones for a *long* time.

MATT: The reliable talent as a rogue specifically says any roll lower than a ten you take as a ten.

SAM: Any roll?

MATT: Well, not any roll. Any ability check he has to make.

LIAM: Okay, well, we wrongly assumed that ones and 20s were king, but no.

LAURA: So he rolled way better than me because I rolled a ten.

LIAM: That's an 18. My one is an 18 now.

MATT: Yeah, because that's one of the cool things about rogues. You guys make your way up about 45, 50 or so feet up the stairway, you keeping an eye out, no traps, nothing catches your eye as iffy or strange, and the stairs now switch back into another set. It's a small landing and then it continues upward.

LIAM: Okay, but I'm only going to go 40 feet in advance. That's like ten fucked rolls of mine from the past 30 games! Anyway, I love it.

MARISHA: So it's a big 180, going right up?

MATT: Yeah, it's a switchback. The staircase ascends, then there's a landing, and it continues upward and around.

LAURA: Do we hear anything?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: I'll join in that perception.

MATT: So you're joining them up the staircase?

TALIESIN: I'm behind. You know, the standard--

MATT: All right, so you guys are keeping up.

MARISHA: Did you fuck the roll, too? Oh, what the fuck!

TALIESIN: I got a 25.

MATT: Seriously, welcome back after two weeks and people just cannot-- wow.

LIAM: But do you remember when we were at home and we'd go six weeks without playing and we'd spend 45 minutes trying to remember what we did, how the rules worked, what our names were, who you were.

TALIESIN: Vex is right.

TRAVIS: 25, you said?

TALIESIN: 25.

MATT: 25. Okay. It's hard to discern what shifting in the distance is not the rumbling from the ever-occasional titan footfalls, but nothing seems to catch your attention. Occasionally, you hear dislodged rocks and stones clacking across the stone floor and the steps, and every now and then you catch a stone or two fall past and eventually come to rest either near or below you. You continue up the switchback stairs and lead into a third switchback that continues upward.

LIAM: 40 feet in advance.

MARISHA: We are following behind.

LAURA: Are you looking for traps as you, brother?

LIAM: I am. That is an 18, anyway.

MARISHA: I still have my hands guiding Percy, our blind human.

MATT: Leading the old man forward.

TALIESIN: (old man voice) Where's Steven?

MARISHA: (laughs) Where's Steven?

MATT: You do not find any other traps. There's no other issues that worry you upon this climb. You do eventually come to the top of the third switchback stairway and it leads you into a slight curved cavern. The stairs stop and it leads into a continuation of the dwarf-like hallway structure that you had below, but it is curving around now, in sections. I would say, as opposed to a gradual curve, the design in the structure here has a very rigid, geometric shape, so the curvature is in sections.

LIAM: Yeah, I appreciate it as I go, and I look for traps.

MATT: All right, go for it.

LIAM: Love it. That's an 18.

MATT: Okay. Coming around the edge: no traps, no plates. Nothing catches your attention. However, this tunnel comes to an end, and it opens up into a larger crevasse than the one that you previously saw that held a number of city buildings of the remains of Thomara. It looks to be about 100 to 120 feet tall, you assume, from the bits of the stalactites that you can see, barely reaching the edge of your visual range. Very faint bit of light here, bioluminescent fungus in a dull orangish color that dots the edges of this interior chamber.

LIAM: And is it like where I killed that motherfucker? They were built into the cliff face, right?

MATT: Yes. This one is larger than the one you were in before, and you can see just beyond your visual range, a number of these buildings, partially crumbled in some places, some still standing obstinately against the ever-shifting interior of the titan's form, the chamber curling upward as the ceiling crawls higher and higher just beyond your visual range, and you can faintly see the images of dozens of thin bridges that weave over themselves across different levels, up into the higher portion.

LIAM: I want to confirm an intuition and use my last Divine Sense and feel undead.

MATT: Okay, what's the range on that one?

LIAM: 60 feet.

MATT: 60 feet? You do not sense any undead within the 60 foot range.

MARISHA: I think we're in the lungs. I think we're in its chest cavity.

LIAM: Speaking into the earrings; they're all behind me. I think we're in a more populous place with the undead cannibals, know what I mean? There's a very large cavern in here and a lot of room.

TALIESIN: I'd be grateful if anyone got a sample of that bioluminescent fungus.

MARISHA: I can get that. I'm interested.

LAURA: Do you want me to fly up and get some?

LIAM: We're on a schedule here.

MARISHA: Well, if it's on the way. We have to go that way.

LAURA: We have to go up, right? Does it look like there's openings in the ceiling?

MATT: Well currently you're the only one who's stepped into this entrance to look up, the rest of you are now exiting into the chamber.

LIAM: I'll wait, obviously. Nothing's going to explode on my friends, so they catch up with me.

MATT: Okay, so they're all behind you now where this entrance is, and as you look past it, this hallway that you're entering, it looks like there was a doorway here. There was some sort of hinge on the edge that held a door that had since been broken or toppled forward. You can see pieces of the door that once held this entrance way, and a number of the buildings immediately to the right and left. That's where you stand, what do you want to do?

LAURA: Does it look like there's any footprints coming in and out of the doorway that we came from?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Can I look for a doorknob or a keyhole?

LIAM: Everything we were told is that this place is full of undead cannibals.

LAURA: 23.

MATT: Not in a long time.

TRAVIS: Is there shattered remnants of the door?

MATT: Yeah, you see a couple of shards here and there.--

TRAVIS: Any doorknob or a keyhole that's on the ground or anything?

MATT: Make an investigation check. Lot of investigation checks today.

TRAVIS: Two.

MATT: You scramble about and find a couple of pieces that might be, but no, it's just more stone.

MARISHA: Can I see any stairs carved in the side, in the walls, trying to head up to this-- is that what you just checked?

LAURA: No, that's what I was about to look for, too.

LIAM: Is there any movement, because there's bioluminescent shit on the walls in here, so there's a little bit of light, right? Yeah. 26.

MATT: 26. As you glance about-- once again, your vision, because there is very little light in here and the very, very faint bits of fungus in the distance that give you a sense of the shape of this entire chamber. There isn't enough light for you to make out any shape beyond the exterior of your visual range, so you can't really tell.

LIAM: A second thing I want to look for is what other exits from this gigantic cavern. Ways through, up. Yeah, you looked, but I didn't look.

MATT: Let me finish what I was saying first.

TRAVIS: Roll! Roll again.

MATT: But based on the size of this chamber and the bits of what small elements of structures that you can see of the architecture within, this definitely appears to be more of the heart of the city of Thomara when it was once at its ancient height. You can see at the very edge of your visual range a cracked central fountain that is empty and dry, and you see, just beyond your range, the exterior of a large temple-like building that rises out of the ability to see any more of its height and structure.

TALIESIN: Temple.

MATT: But like I said, you guys are still standing at the entrance to this cavern.

MARISHA: What about the temple? Why?

SAM: Want to fly through here? Can we fly?

LIAM: I don't think we want to stay here--

SAM: I know, that's why we just fly through.

LIAM: Find another exit, yeah, but where?

TRAVIS: I'd like to see the temple, if I can.

SAM: What are you talking about?

TRAVIS: Well look, all right, my gloves--

LAURA: Keep your voice down.

TRAVIS: (whispering) My gloves come from the heart of a ruined primordial titan. So if maybe they harvested pieces of my gloves, and it's in a temple, I don't know, you smart people could do something with that.

LIAM: Right, what's your plan? You expect us to come up with a plan to explain why your gloves are connected to that temple, and you're going to get what? Mighty Morphin Power Ranger bonus for doing so?

TRAVIS: Yes.

MARISHA: Are your Titanstone Knuckles exalted yet?

TRAVIS: Yep. They're just buzzing.

LIAM: Yeah, are they still dildoing on your fingers?

MARISHA: Are they buzzing more?

TRAVIS: Are they humming more?

MATT: Doesn't appear to have changed.

TRAVIS: Nope, just humming.

MARISHA: Step two steps closer.

TRAVIS: Two steps closer to the temple.

MARISHA: Do they appear to be buzzing more?

TRAVIS: Are they appearing buzzing more?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Ooh! 19.

MATT: Not bad. Nope.

TALIESIN: Is the temple on the way? Does it make sense to cross through the city, or does it make sense to fly up?

LIAM: We're moving towards Vasselheim now. I'm negative on our chances of dealing with this before Vasselheim, but that's the goal, right?

TALIESIN: We've got some time, and I feel like this city is an opportunity to find some more advantages.

TRAVIS: We are also looking for the Sword of Kas. What's if it's in the temple?

SAM: Why would Vecna keep the thing that could kill Vecna near Vecna?

LIAM: I'm pulling Percy aside. I hear you, but this is a city that has existed here for a long time,. Vecna didn't create this city. Vecna doesn't own these people. This is a fucking mountain that existed and now they're going for a ride. What do these people have to do with Vecna?

TALIESIN: It's not a city that just existed.

LIAM: No?

TALIESIN: This is a giant primordial beast that people inhabited. God only knows what existed in here.

MARISHA: Yeah, but as we've already seen from the other tomb, it's already been heavily, heavily plundered.

LIAM: And Vecna's just a user. This place was just sitting there. He lifted it up and took it away. These assholes don't have anything to do with--

TRAVIS: Why did he choose this?

MARISHA: How far away is the temple? Do we know? Can we football range guess it?

MATT: I'd say, because you guys have darkvision of 60 feet?

TALIESIN: If gods really understood how this world worked, this would not be happening right now.

MATT: It's at about the 50, 55 foot areas where the wall begins, then it vanishes beyond that.

LIAM: Percy, this shitbird has appeared like three times wherever we were.

LAURA: Well, he's not going to be able to do that right now because I've got a fucking ring.

TALIESIN: He doesn't necessarily know this place as well as--

MARISHA: Hang on. How long have we been in here, versus how far have we been from Vasselheim? Because we are on a time crunch.

TRAVIS: 200 miles away once we entered is how far away we are from Vasselheim. 200 miles. With steps of?

TALIESIN: What was the average land speed of a laden undead?

MATT: You've been within the titan for, I'd say, roughly three and a half hours, maybe.

LIAM: Yeah, he's 110 miles out from Vasselheim, at this point.

TRAVIS: We have time to check the temple.

SAM: All right, let's swoop in and swoop out.

MARISHA: Super fucking fast!

TALIESIN: I'm not even saying look in it, let's take a look at what it--

LAURA: Did I see any stairs?

MATT: You do not see any staircases within a 60-foot radius of where you're standing.

TALIESIN: We might be harder to spot if we stay on the ground for now, anyway.

MARISHA: I just want to say, we gave you guys the other temple, in which you found your stupid waistband, but we got really fucked up from it! Everything has a consequence and a price and shit. Nothing is free.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Pass Without a fucking Trace. It's my last Pass Without a Trace, but I'm afraid--

TRAVIS: No, don't do it.

LAURA: What if we bring out an entire fucking city of undead dwarves upon us?

MARISHA: Let me do it. I have Pass Without a Trace and one more 2nd-level spell left. I'll do it. Save yours.

LIAM: I'm also going to put something on the table here: we're trying to save Vasselheim, but we're also trying to save the world. We might not be able to do this without recharging before Vasselheim.

TALIESIN: I'm aware.

SAM: You want to go to sleep in this undead city?!

LIAM: No, but we're trying to save the world, not just a city.

SAM: So sacrificing Vasselheim so that we can feel better about a fight?

LIAM: What if we lose the fight Scanlan? Then who fucking cares? Vasselheim is gone. Westruun is gone. Kaylie is gone. Everything's fucking gone if we fuck this up!

SAM: Well, let's stay on the path and see how long it takes.

MARISHA: How about this? Hold. Wait! We still don't know how to get up there, right?

SAM: Is that purple eyeliner?

MARISHA: Yeah, do you like it? Thank you. It's a little metallic. Thank you, I bought it while I was waiting for--

TRAVIS and LAURA: Oh my god!

MARISHA: Okay. I hate to say split the party, but what if we split the party? What if a few of you check out your fucking temple, and then the rest of us try to figure out a way to get up.

TRAVIS: I'm cool. I'll vote for a temple party.

MARISHA: Temple party. Who else is on temple party?

SAM: They need somebody who can help them in there.

LIAM: I hate the idea, but I'm the stealthiest motherfucker in this room.

TALIESIN: And then you three on the carpet, you on the broom.

TRAVIS: I need the carpet.

MARISHA: So wait, just the two of you are going to go check out the carpet?

LAURA: Vax is going in with you.

SAM: I feel like one person with magic should go with them. I'll go with them.

TALIESIN: We're all ear-pieced.

MARISHA: Okay, so Grog--

LIAM: Everybody but Keyleth.

SAM: No, it's Keyleth, Vex, and Pike are going searching. The boys are going in the temple, and the girls are going searching.

MARISHA: Okay, cool, I'm on board.

TALIESIN:L This is in no way, by the way, an amazing mirror of that one time underneath Kraghammer. They're just going to find another Clarota.

LIAM: The boys all die. The girls go to glory.

LAURA: I want to kiss Percy before he goes. Don't die in this stupid temple.

TALIESIN: I will not die in this stupid temple.

SAM: I'm going, too.

TALIESIN: I slap him in the face.

LAURA: Right on, Scanlan. Sorry, Percy.

MATT: Who's traveling in what group?

LAURA: Girls are going to look for stairs, the boys are going in the stupid temple.

LIAM: I yank the druid in for a kiss.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Oh wait, shit. Your fucking ring.

LAURA: Fuck! My fucking ring! We can't split the party.

TALIESIN: Okay, can't split the party. We all go looking for the stairs. Oh, you asshole, stop it!

(laughter)

LAURA: He was really excited about it!

MATT: I was waiting on that.

LAURA: Oh my god, he was so excited about it.

SAM: All right, into the temple. Come on, let's just fucking go to the fucking temple.

MATT: I was like, you guys literally had this conversation an hour ago, but okay.

TALIESIN: Whatever we do, we can't split the party (fast-forward noise). Okay, we're going to split the party.

TRAVIS: Sam saved our asses.

TALIESIN: That was Cabin in the Woods shit.

LIAM: 40 feet in advance, Vax walks ahead of the group, hating himself. Here we go.

MATT: Go for it. What are you doing, you're checking for traps?

LIAM: I'm checking for enemies hiding.

MATT: So as you push forward--

LAURA: We're stealthed, we're Pass Without a Traced.

MATT: Okay, then roll some stealth, guys.

LAURA: She Pass Without a Traced us.

MATT: Right, then roll some stealth.

SAM: Oh, we're all rolling stealth?

LIAM: 34.

SAM: 25.

TALIESIN: 26.

MARISHA: 26.

LAURA: 39.

TRAVIS: Natural one.

MARISHA: Are you serious?

SAM: He's so excited about that temple.

LAURA: Natural 20 for Pike! Oh wait, she gets disadvantage.

MATT: She has the boots that make it not at disadvantage.

TALIESIN: First time ever.

LIAM: But that's a lot of good.

LAURA: So much good for one shitty--

MATT: You begin to push forward past the cracked fountain, heading ahead of everyone, keeping an eye out for what's ahead of you. The high walls of the temple-like structure begin to reveal themselves, standing ominous over the debris-strewn streets with shattered carts and bone fragments. The bone fragments faintly quaking beneath every footfall of the walking mountain that you currently are walking through. You see long-decomposed dwarvish bodies brutalized beyond reanimation lying scattered across the broken street paths ahead of you, deep grooves marking the splintered bone. A tangled network of partially ruined catwalks begin to reveal themselves above you, carved from the mountain, contains a ghostly image of a multi-level metropolis long fallen. You, make a perception check.

LIAM: 29.

MATT: 29. You can see, as soon as you get to where the fountain is, the center of the street ahead of you. Dozens of slow shifting creatures moving throughout the streets and rubble of crumbling structures. You can see now, many of the undead citizens of the catacombs are now wandering, shaken awake by the lumbering titan that now carries them within. You also see a very faint blue pulsing glow emanating from one of the windows of the temple.

LIAM: Can we put the goliath on the carpet so he doesn't kick something or be himself?

LAURA: We don't know that he rolled shittily.

LIAM: I know that, but he's a big, blundering mother fucking asshole when he wants to be--

TRAVIS: On the chain. Literally on the text chain.

MATT: Which, as you’re saying this, you hear a (clattering), and you glance over real fast and watch as Grog is walking by and the edge of his-- which weapon do you have attuned right now? You have the Blood Axe? The Blood Axe hits the edge of a large dwarven statue that had fallen off at a corner angle and is currently being held by a small barrel, and as the axe hits it, it shifts (crashing) and rolls and comes to a rest for a second with this clattering, grinding sound. Parts of it chip and break, but most of it remains strong and sturdy upon impact. At which point, you see at the edge of your visual range, about seven of the wandering creatures go (raspy groan) and begin slowly slinking their way in the direction of the noise.

SAM: So a rock just fell?

TRAVIS: A big statue just fell.

SAM: And is in pieces?

MATT: Parts of it are broken. It's still pretty sturdy.

TALIESIN: Let's try and serpentine around and see if we can trace back.

LIAM: And they're to the right or the left or ahead of us?

MATT: They're ahead of you.

LAURA: Do they look like they saw us?

LIAM: Go left. Jenga, jenga, jenga. Can we put Grog on the carpet now?

TALIESIN: Yep.

MARISHA: We're trying to go up, right?

SAM: No, we're trying to go towards the temple.

LAURA: Towards that pulsing light.

LIAM: We've got a little bit of business, a little bit of activity ahead of us, so we want to curve to the left.

TRAVIS: All right, we move accordingly.

MATT: All right. So you guys move along the left and curve around the side. As you begin to move along the edge, you watch as about eight of these mostly-skeletal dwarvish corpses begin to shamble in the direction of where the noise came from. You can see elements of their long-mummified skin pulled tight against elements of the rib cage and the skull. Bits of chipped teeth, now broken against whatever things it's attempted to chew on its long un-life. As they move past, two of them glance over in the direction of Grog, and then all of them shift over in the direction and begin rushing forward in your path.

LIAM: What's the distance?

MATT: At this point, they're probably about 50 or so feet from where you are.

LIAM: Oh shit!

LAURA: We don't want to make too much noise. I'm going to shoot a couple.

TRAVIS: We could just go straight up.

LAURA: There's only eight of them. We can take eight undead.

LIAM: Pickle walks forward and takes a knee and waits with her holy symbol of Sarenrae, waiting for them.

LAURA: I take two of them by surprise. That's auto-crit.

LIAM: Vax does the same, watching his badass sister, and Pike waits to turn whatever's left of them.

LAURA: Yeah, they're super-silent arrows.

LIAM: So what happens first?

MATT: All right. She's preparing for it, right?

LIAM: Yeah. She's waiting until she sees them.

MATT: Oh, well she also has darkvision of 60 feet.

LIAM: So she's waiting until they're within range of her holy abilities.

MATT: What's the radius on that one?

LIAM: That's a good question, because I'm a rogue paladin. (sighs) Goddamn it.

MATT: That's all right.

LIAM: What if I look in the sorceror rules?

MATT: Nope. 30 feet.

LIAM: 30 feet. So she's waiting for the twins to do their work ,and anything that's left over she's going to scatter.

MATT: Okay. All right. So as she holds position--

LAURA: So it's auto-crit?

MATT: They know you're there. It's not a surprise. There's as threat, and they're rushing. But you do have advantage on the hits because they don't see you.

LAURA: Well great, that's great. 20?

MATT: That definitely hits.

LAURA: Okay. Oh, the other one super-duper hits. It's a 19 plus 14.

LIAM: 25, 31, natural 20.

MATT: Okay. All right. So go ahead and roll damage on those. Are you shooting two different skeletons or one each?

LIAM: I'm after my sister. She talked before I did.

LAURA: I'll see how the first arrow hits?

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: 14. Oh, I didn't Hunter's Mark. Whatever. 14, 15, 16. Two lightning damage. Do I add anything? Sneak attack!

TALIESIN: Been a while.

LAURA: How do we D&ND? Plus ten sneak attack.

MATT: Okay. So the first skeleton, the arrow hits it and the torso explodes behind with ribs shattering and scattering across the stonework, its body falling and collapsing to the ground.

LAURA: I hit another one.

MATT: Yes, you do.

LIAM: Oh, and we go first, so it's advantage.

LAURA: 14 plus four lightning damage. And that is plus eight.

TRAVIS: 26.

MATT: 26. This one right behind it, its jaw unhinged slightly. Its tongue made of this slick rotting material that dangles through the hole in the bottom of the jaw. Comes around the corner, and you watch as part of its head explodes off one side from the secondary arrow, taking out what remains of the center of its skull, and the body crumples to the ground. Two skeletons down.

LIAM: Sneak attack hits the first time we connect, right?

MATT: Yeah. You don't have to roll damage for that one.

LAURA: Oh. Sorry, I did sneak attack on the second arrow.

MATT: Well, you can do sneak attack once per round.

LAURA: Okay. I did eight damage too much.

MATT: It was still enough.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You don't have to roll damage for sneak attack.

LIAM: So then that one's gone?

MATT: A third skeleton now is ruined. You hit it with the arrow in the middle of the spinal column, and it folds on itself.

LIAM: Okay. So paladin action-action and my bonus action. So that's the first of three. The last one's the one that was a critical hit so the second one goes onto the next whole skeleton. It’s just an eight.

MATT: Okay. This one the arrow slides into the side of the skull, and it keeps coming forward towards Grog.

LIAM: Okay. And then the last critical hit, which is Whisper again, because it bamfed back, is two plus eight is ten. Two and three. It's not that much. It's 15 total.

MATT: Okay. And that one does finish it. So that's three skeletons down. Grog, I want to to individually roll an initiative check for me.

TRAVIS: Natural 20. With Gil's dice.

MATT: So as you guys are watching this happen, the other five rush in, close the gap, but you are at the ready, and you get to strike before they do.

TRAVIS: Nice. Am I hitting them? Yeah, Okay. Reckless, great weapon master. 31 for the first one.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: Okay, cool.

MATT: Your minimum damage will kill them. So as the first one comes up towards you, you swing up. As you slam into it, you watch as its bony body blows up against the side of the nearby stone building and then scrapes to the ground.

TRAVIS: Can I use the other strike on another?

MATT: Yes, you can.

TRAVIS: Reckless great weapon. That'll hit. That's like 30.

TALIESIN: If there's anything left on Grog by the end of this, I'll try to swipe them off with my sword.

TRAVIS: 32.

MATT: All righty. So two more detonate on this point. So there's three left. They're closing in on Grog. Does Pike want to take her turn?

TRAVIS: We might want to save that Turnt Undead.

LAURA: No, I think we should save.

LIAM: I've already said it, but she's whispering to me to hold. She's half of Pike right now. You're half of Pike right now.

TALIESIN: I'd like to pop in and see if I could take a couple--

MATT: Make an initiative roll.

LAURA: Don't shoot, Percy.

TALIESIN: I'm not; I'm going to use my sword.

LIAM: Pike holds, breathing hard, looking at them coming on.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Yeah, that beats them by one. So yeah, as the three remaining ones start charging in towards Grog--

TALIESIN: I'm going to run in, draw the silvered sword, and take some swipes.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Let's take three swipes right out of here.

LAURA: Pike can use her mace on anything left in that area.

TALIESIN: That's one natural 20, one natural 19. Do I crit on a 19 with the sword?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Okay, never mind. And a two. But that might be enough, because I have a really high, that's a 15 as my lowest to hit. Does a 15 hit?

MATT: 15 does hit. Yes.

TALIESIN: So the 15 is-- That's 14 piercing damage to the first one with a silvered sword.

MATT: Okay. You rush up and you carve through the first skeleton, and it breaks on the ground in front of you.

TALIESIN: Number two is 13 points of damage to the second one.

MATT: Okay. The second one, you bring the blade down into the skull and cleave it in half. You watch as part of its skull breaks off to the side and the jaw falls to the ground and the rest crumbles in place.

TALIESIN: I twirl around and take my third wonderful pirouette attack, which is 20 points of damage.

MATT: Okay, and as the final one lunges forward, in a fervent-- strangely faster than you expect for a skeletal undead, it begins to accelerate towards Grog. And with that, you take the blade and take the head right off at the neck, and it falls off and crumples to the ground.

MARISHA: So it's like 28 Days Later zombies?

TRAVIS: 28 Days Later, they run.

MARISHA: He said that they were fast.

MATT: Well, the last one was flavor.

MARISHA: Just wanted to make sure they weren't special.

MATT: Okay. As you finish the fray and hold yourself, you wait and wait. You do not hear or notice any more advancing undead from that direction.

TRAVIS: Okay, how about I don't move? Somebody with flying ability go to check out that blue glowy window?

TALIESIN: We have to stick together.

LAURA: Is the glowy window within 60 feet?

TALIESIN: No, it's far.

TRAVIS: When we were at the opening, we were 50 to 60 feet away.

MATT: The temple where you guys were at, at the time was 50 feet away from you, but you went across to the other side of the hall. So now it's about 100 feet away from you. At this distance, you can see it's a round, almost cylindrical building, Coliseum-esque. And there's a small square window about every 25 to 30 feet. And it's big. It's large, but you can see that faint glow between multiple windows from this distance.

TRAVIS: So should we fly up to that window?

TALIESIN: I think it'd be safer to stay on the ground level and sneak. Because if we're the air, they are going to see us.

TRAVIS: Let's do it.

MARISHA: And we still have Pass Without a Trace, so let's go.

LAURA: Yes, we do. She cast it.

MATT: All right, now that this brief combat has finished, those who took place in it, which would be you, Vax, Grog, and Percy have to remake your stealth checks.

LAURA: You're like, "Gladly!"

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: What about Pike? Because she just knelt down. She didn't really fight.

MATT: She stepped out of her stealth. She was making herself visible.

LAURA: My magical 20 for Pike, wasted!

TALIESIN: 23. We still have Pass Without a Trace?

MARISHA: Yes. I didn't do anything.

TRAVIS: 26

MARISHA: Keeping that concentration.

TALIESIN AND MARISHA: (singing) Concentration. Concentration.

LIAM: You're the doctor! Keep your patients on the run!

LAURA: 30 for Pike. 29 for me.

MATT: All right. You guys begin to slowly make your way along the left wall of this large cavern.

LIAM: 37, by the way.

MATT: Good to know. As you slowly move through the shadows, dodging through open doorways and through windows, trying the best you can to stay out from the center thoroughfare of this opening. You see more and more of these undead. Dozens, maybe even a hundred have crossed your path at the perimeter of your visual range and you can see in the catwalks above too, with the faint bit of the orange glow, occasionally shapes breaking across the orange.

LAURA: (whispering) Do we still have the thing?

SAM: Oh, the filter? The censer?

LAURA: Do we have it in the Bag of Holding?

TALIESIN: We also have the herbs.

LAURA: What if we use it? What if we use it and it just repels them.

TALIESIN: When it's time. We don't have a lot of it.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's a very small amount.

LIAM: Is it ready to go, though?

TALIESIN: Let's prepare it, and when it's time--

LIAM: Is it ready to go, though?

MARISHA: Yeah it's dried. I spent that time. I spent time during the break.

TALIESIN: It's just burning the herbs, though. We don't need the censer. Just hold it in your hands.

LIAM: Do we have any sense of where we started in this giant cavern? Or are we totally fucking turned around?

MATT: No. I mean you have a decent sense. You are maybe 100 to 150 feet from where you began. Because you've been moving slowly. Staying stealthily, you're moving very carefully and very slowly and judging by the shape of the cavern and where you are currently, you're about halfway through it, or close to halfway.

TALIESIN: It's good that we didn't go on the catwalk.

MATT: The temple's on the opposite side of the chamber.

LIAM: Oh! All the way on the other side. I thought it was central.

MATT: I'm sorry. When you entered the entrance, the temple was to the front and to the right of you. You guys curved around the left, on the other side of it, keeping a view on it so you could see it from across the way. Are you making your way across to the temple?

LIAM: So it's pressed against the opposite wall of this big place?

SAM: Are the undead all around the temple?

MATT: Further in. Nothing directly around the outside of the temple. So you guys curve around the entrance where you came and slowly make your way towards where the temple emerges from the rock wall. About a third or so of its exterior wall is actually built into the side of this cavern, and the large cylindrical-like colosseum temple structure curves outward. You can see as you get closer to it, there's maybe the three floors to it but edges of the top wall have crumbled inward and you can see areas where it looks like it's sustained some physical damage or eroded over time. You eventually make you way around the outside wall of the temple to one of the first doorways, and it is an archway, maybe six feet tall and about four feet wide. Very simple. This is an old temple.

LIAM: Is that light you talked about coming from one specific source, or all over the place? Every window.

TRAVIS: Is there a story?

MATT: It looks to be coming from the base.

LIAM: From down below.

LAURA: Can we see in one of the windows?

MATT: You can. Make a perception check.

SAM: Are there any bone laying around?

MATT: Plenty.

SAM: I am going to pick up two bones, give them to Simon Two, and tell him to go across the street, 50 feet away from us, and wait there in some building. Hold these bones.

MATT: You watch as two bone shards slowly glide over, then stand there.

LAURA: 34.

MATT: Okay. As you pull up to the window and glance down, you immediately look inside the temple, and you see about 30 or so silhouettes of shambling dwarven corpses all standing inside the base floor of this temple. You see the silhouettes and shapes because they are all faintly outlined from the source of this blue light. You see a small, baseball-sized, bluish crystal that is resting, not in the perfect center of the temple but somewhere in the open middle floor area, and looks like these 30 undead are surrounding it, and standing.

SAM: Smash and grab. You can go in there and get that thing, be out before they even saw you in there.

TALIESIN: Also, have your unseen servant make a bunch of noise and have them all--

MARISHA: Be a distraction?

LAURA: Yeah, but making any kind of noise would draw large crowds.

TALIESIN: We can have the unseen servant pick it up.

MARISHA: How far away can he be, though?

SAM: He's 50 feet away, right now, and he's waiting to make noise.

TALIESIN: What if he were to go in and get it himself?

SAM: He could.

TRAVIS: He is invisible, isn't he?

SAM: He could go and pick it up and come right back with it.

LAURA: But first don't tell him to come right out, tell him to like walk a little bit to see if they follow the light.

LIAM: But what are our options if that doesn't work?

SAM: If he picks the crystal and it doesn't work, or it doesn't move?

LIAM: I want to do that. If that doesn't work, I can click the boots, and I can be there in a heartbeat and run, but what do we do next?

SAM: We need an escape plan, right? How many can fit on the carpet?

LIAM: This goes back to my conversation with you, which is: are we going to find a pocket and rest?

TALIESIN: Yes, but not here.

LIAM: Agreed, but we're talking about Vasselheim, and damage to Vasselheim is a sacrifice needed to be to be ready to do what's necessary.

TRAVIS: If he destroys Vasselheim, he does his miracle, his display of power, and he will be even stronger. This is not an option.

TALIESIN: If we were to be clever, if we're at the edge of Vasselheim, the Vasselheim forces will be distracting his forces, so we'll have less to deal with, so we want this fight to happen at the edge.

LIAM: So we're talking about no rest. I'm not talking about a short rest.

TALIESIN: There will not be a long rest, I don't think.

LAURA: There might be.

LIAM: Not without it spilling into Vasselheim.

MARISHA: I've been very conservative with what I've been doing for a reason.

TRAVIS: I don't think a long rest is in the cards.

TALIESIN: I've only burned one thing that requires a long rest.

MARISHA: I agree with Grog. We can't sacrifice having him gain all of those followers, because then the only option would be murder a lot of his followers, which I'm not really comfortable with.

TRAVIS: And he may be too strong at that point.

SAM: We don't need to discuss this now. We need to get the crystal and get the fuck out of here!

TALIESIN: If we can pull this off without burning anything important, then it doesn't matter.

MARISHA: I want to go on record and say I think this is stupid. Okay, let's go.

LAURA: That crystal looks really appetizing, and I want it.

TRAVIS: How about we get ready to leave? I'll get on the carpet.

LAURA: It looks really super magical.

TRAVIS: Who's on the broom with Vex?

LAURA: Me.

TRAVIS: No, who is on the broom with you?

TALIESIN: I'll be on the broom with her.

TRAVIS: Do you want to get on the carpet with me?

SAM: Yeah, of course.

MARISHA: I have to come with you because I have the Pass Without a Trace spell.

TALIESIN: We all have to be together. We can't separate.

TRAVIS: And he can fly.

SAM: No, he can't. He's done with his wings.

LIAM: Yeah, that's right.

SAM: We have too many people for the carpet and the broom.

LIAM: My wings are gone. There's no wings for Vecna unless we rest.

TRAVIS: Well, kick Trinket out of the necklace, and I'll get in there.

TALIESIN: I can also climb up the wall, if need be.

SAM: We can leave Trinket.

LIAM: It's fine, I still have the boots. Just the wings. It was death or wings. I chose wings.

TRAVIS: All right, so how do we fly? How do we do that?

SAM: I can burn a spell and be a giant eagle or something.

TALIESIN: Just for shits and giggles, I'm going to take one last look around to see if there's any infrastructure for getting up. There must be infrastructure for getting up here. There wasn't layers of a city on top of each other.

SAM: We could just run.

LIAM: But wait, where are we going though if we get this thing?

SAM: Up away.

LIAM: We have no verification of an exit or a hole or anything!

TRAVIS: Yeah, sometimes you just got to leap, okay?

LIAM: That's my entire life, but this is the last moment.

SAM: Every organ in a body has has an entrance and an exit, right? Wait, no, lungs don't; they just have the one.

MARISHA: Wait up, we argued more this game more than anything else. Okay, we know we still have to fly upwards, including on flying up to the blue crystally thing right?

LAURA: No, the blue crystal is right here.

MARISHA: Well, then what the fuck?

LAURA: I don't know!

LIAM: We have a plan for getting the crystal, just not how to get the fuck out.

MARISHA: We fucking fly!

TRAVIS: Who burns a spell to become an animal?

MARISHA: I can burn a spell.

TRAVIS: You do that.

MARISHA: We're probably going to take another short rest, right?

TRAVIS: Probably.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: I can recall Simon Two. I can send him across the room, make a bunch of noise, draw a bunch of people over there. You run, grab the crystal, and then we hustle out of there.

TRAVIS: What if only half the room leaves, though?

LAURA: No, you go get Simon Two to go get the crystal.

SAM: And there's going to be a floating crystal that marches across?

TRAVIS: They don't give a shit. Do it. I'm on the carpet. We're ready to go.

MARISHA: You're on me? And you're on carpet, and you're on broom?

TRAVIS: Percy and Vex are on the broom.

MATT: Gnomes on the carpet with Grog. You and Percy on the broom. You're transforming into what creature?

MARISHA: Giant eagle.

MATT: Giant eagle.

MARISHA: Not yet, though.

LAURA: And then we all, within 60 feet of each other, fly up.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Okay, who's doing what?

LAURA: Simon Two.

SAM: Simon Two is going to go get the thing. Let's say they all start watching the thing come towards us. Grog, are you here? Are you with us?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I have to be.

SAM: Can you throw something across the room to make a noise?

TRAVIS: Yep. I can absolutely do that.

LAURA: I'll prime an arrow.

TRAVIS: I have a hooded lantern that has fuel in it. It will even burn when it lands. It's been sitting in there for four years.

SAM: This is a terrible plan.

TALIESIN: This is why we hoarded it in the first place.

SAM: Guys, I'm going to say this one more time before we do this: he's way faster than Simon Two. Simon Two could create a distraction. He could (snatching noise).

LIAM: Scanlan, only with the boots.

TRAVIS: If they chase the jewel, fuck the jewel, and we'll leave.

TALIESIN: If they chase the jewel, we can grab it and run, anyway.

SAM: All right, Simon Two. Come back with your bones!

MATT: The bones shift over towards you ever-so-slowly.

LIAM: (singing) Don't worry, be happy now.

SAM: All right. Simon Two, go to the middle of the room. Throw the bones away, far, then grab the crystal. You don't have pockets. Run back to us! Away, yeah. Should he cover it with a blanket or something? Do you have a hood?

MATT: The bones begin to drift.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm not saying no.

LAURA: A handkerchief to go over the light.

SAM: So it blocks the light? All right, so go put this handkerchief on the thing, pick it up, and bring it back to us. Go, Simon Two. You're our only hope.

MATT: Is Simon holding bones or a blanket?

SAM: He's holding a blanket.

TALIESIN and LAURA: He's holding a hanky.

TRAVIS: Put the bones down gently.

SAM: Give me the bones. I put the bones down. Here's a handkerchief. You'll put it over the crystal, pick up the crystal, and bring it back to us.

MATT: Simon begins to slowly walk, the handkerchief floating by.

TALIESIN: This is like that little handkerchief ghost you would make in kindergarten.

MATT: As you glance inside and watch as it happens, you can see all the undead that are in there are standing, unmoving, swaying a little bit in place. Simon's about 30 feet out from them. About 20 feet out. They don't notice his presence. You notice that all the undead are facing the crystal, by the way.

LAURA and MARISHA: Why didn't you tell us that before?

MARISHA: (laughing) That's crucial information.

SAM: Right before he picks it up, hock a rock as far as you can.

TRAVIS: Not the lantern?

TALIESIN: Not the rock, the lantern. Light the lantern and throw it.

MARISHA: By the way, they're all staring right at you. They're 100 percent aware of what's going on.

MATT: They're not staring at you. They're staring at the crystal.

LAURA: They will be staring at us. What if we destroy the crystal? I wonder if all the undead would die. Let's keep going.

MATT: The handkerchief makes its way forward. Simon walks between the undead, and they don't even notice.

SAM: That's a good guy, that Simon Two.

MARISHA: What happens?

MATT: The handkerchief moves over onto the crystal, and all the undead look over to the crystal, and the crystal lifts, and they all begin to (groans).

TRAVIS: I take the hooded lantern and I (laughs) I throw the fucking piss out of it.

MATT: Make an attack roll. Roll and add your strength modifier.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's good! 19.

MATT: You're adding your strength modifier to that? Yeah. You're aiming at the opposite end?

TRAVIS: If the entrance is here, I'm throwing it in the opposite direction of where we are.

MATT: With your strength? Easy enough. You lob it. It arcs over (flame noises) and explodes. The oil spreads across the ground. Flames ignite, and the bright light that emanates from it and the flames burst, and all the undead turn over (grunting) and begin to retract away. Two of them are following Simon. Only two of the undead are following Simon, currently. The others are distracted by the detonation of flame. They look confused.

LIAM: How close are the pursuers?

MATT: They're making their way slowly. No, they're much faster than Simon.

LIAM: I'm throwing.

LAURA: I'm going to get down and shoot.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Just the ones following Simon!

MATT: Both of you guys roll an attack.

TRAVIS: Are they far away from the other ones that aren't leaving yet?

TALIESIN: It doesn't matter; they're not paying attention.

LAURA: 25. No, 33.

LIAM: 29.

MATT: Roll damage.

TALIESIN: They drop out of nowhere. They faint. It's going to be good.

MARISHA: So we hope.

TALIESIN: I thought you were made of sterner stuff, Travis. Come on. Now is not the time to get squeamish.

LAURA: 24.

TALIESIN: We made a solemn oath.

SAM: They were innocent.

TALIESIN: We agreed, weeks ago.

LIAM: I rolled a 77 for mine.

SAM: 77?!

MATT: These two skeletons almost atomize. As they're walking, they're both gaining on Simon, and as they both start reaching towards where the dull bluish glow, mostly muted by the handkerchief, is floating in the air, they (growl) towards it. You watch as both their heads and torsos scatter across the ground, like a heavy wave of force blasted them across the stonework. The scraping sound hits as the detonation hits. The flames are dying down, and... no, no other undead see it. Slowly, the stone floats past, out of the doorway, and makes its way back to you.

TALIESIN: Drop it in the Bag of Holding.

MATT: At this point, Simon's getting real close to the end of his hour-long casting time.

SAM: You've served us well.

TRAVIS: Bag of Holding. It doesn't hurt my hand, or anything, does it?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: Cool! We've got that.

MATT: Whatever it is.

LAURA: I guess we have it.

MARISHA: Nothing happened to them when we put it in the Bag of Holding? They were like, (groaning) and kept going? All the undead?

MATT: All the undead inside that were distracted by the explosion of the lantern are riled up now, and they're starting to wander around, and some of them are starting to make their way towards the entrance to the temple. Some are making their way toward the staircase to head upward.

MARISHA: Are we flying?

TRAVIS: Yes, we fly up.

MATT: All right. You go into eagle form, grab Vax, and all of you guys make your way up into the cavern entrance.

LAURA: Bubble. Tight bubble.

MATT: Currently, I believe the eagle form has darkvision. Right now, you have no light source.

LIAM: I do. I can say things to her. I can see.

MATT: Right, so you guys are able to maneuver. So as you guys head up into the center part of the cavern, above the catwalks, you can see as you push through, about a third of them are still standing. A lot of them have collapsed in the center, and there's edges of bridges that come to a halt where they've collapsed and tumbled down into the cavern below. You can see straggling undead wandering the catwalks and these pathways along the edges of the cavern. As you pass forward through them-- I imagine you guys are cruising through as fast as you can?

TALIESIN: Trying to avoid them.

LAURA: We'll try to avoid the clusters.

MATT: A few of them seem to glance up and see you as you pass and reach, but they have nowhere to go. As you begin to cruise through the center of this cavern, following it to the opposite side, it widens further, and now as you look down, faintly, you can see bits of the orange bioluminescent fungus that are growing within this city below. You can see elements of these beautiful statues that are partially crumbled. You can see small homes that litter the center of this chamber.

You can see some of the catwalks that meet in the center of this actually meet in a suspended platform that contains another dome-like structure that is partially caved in. With another shake and impact of the titan's footfall, you watch as one of its suspension pillars cracks, and the entire center finally gives way and falls and slams down, collapsing into the center of the chamber, it being there for the final moment of its tensile strength. As it slams down, you watch as it crushes about 40 or so various skeletons below, and from that blast, you can see something on the interior of it was apparently explosive or flammable, and it explodes, giving a brief flash of light into the center of this cavern. Where you had the brief outside in your visual range, you now look around and see the entirety of these dozens of catwalks and the city below you. Hundreds and hundreds of roving skeletons and mostly-decomposed, mummified dwarven corpses that all glance towards this explosion. Some have been blasted away from it by the impact of the detonation. Others are making their way towards what the strange sound was, drawn towards it, but you're keeping this central safe space between, where none of them can grasp or assail you.

LAURA: Were there other buildings like that, ready to fall from the ceiling?

MATT: Currently, what you see is just the one.

LIAM: I'm looking for gaps or holes or anything in the ceiling of this cavern or anywhere to get out.

MATT; You see entrances to homes that have been built into the sides.

SAM: What about a tunnel or anything?

MATT: Make a perception check. Anyone who has darkvision can make a perception check.

MARISHA: I have keen sight. Does that count?

MATT: You have advantage on your perception.

MARISHA: Oh, shitty and shittier.

LIAM: 27.

TRAVIS: 18.

LAURA: 18.

SAM: I didn't do one.

MARISHA: 28.

SAM: I'm weeping over Simon Two.

MATT: Oh. Your keen eagle vision-- wait, you said you rolled shitty and shittier and still got 28?

MARISHA: I have a plus 13, plus advantage.

MATT: Right. All right, cool. So glancing through your eagle vision, you can see the top of the chamber almost seems to come to a conical shape, and as you look up to the top of it, it emerges into a completely vertical chamber that rises up and out of the central opening of the city of Thomara.

SAM: Let's go.

MARISHA: I take the lead, I guess. (caws)

LAURA: (shushes) Caw quietly.

LIAM: Vax is trying to appreciate his last ride.

TRAVIS: Debbie Downer.

LIAM: No way! I'm not going to stop. Fuck you all. Every game until the end, motherfuckers!

MATT: As the group of you make your way up into this vertical cavern, we're going to take a break. I need to take a break, myself.

TRAVIS: Remember, we have the--

SAM: Sponsored announcement.

MATT: That's right. We have Shadow of War video coming up at this break to give you a glance at this game coming up that we're all part of. If you haven't seen it, or if you have seen it, check it out, anyway. It's pretty awesome. Also, for this week's giveaway, Wyrmwood, we've got a little video for you here to show you what's up and what you can do to try to win it at the break, so pay attention, stick around, and we'll see you guys here in a few minutes.

LIAM: This is what's up!

TRAVIS: Yeah!

BreakEdit

[break]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. All right, so last we left off, you guys were all traveling upward through various means of flight, through a peak in the central cavern chamber in the center of Thomara, the long-dead dwarven city.

As you begin to climb upward through this 15-foot-wide or so upward hallway, this cylindrical cavern, you continue upward for about 50 or so feet since passing through the ceiling of this chamber, and then it opens up into a domed room. Immediately, as you fly up, you see a ceiling come up, and you have to coast off to the side. You catch yourself, hovering there as the rest of you guys make your way in there. This domed, mushroom-shaped chamber with a very thin, circular floor around the outside and the hole that you entered at the bottom. Whoever would stand on the edge there would have the opportunity to either leap into or toss something down into this hole that would then then drop them right into the center of the city.

TALIESIN: Weird question: if I were holding the blue gem and had dropped it down this hole, what would be the likelihood that it ended vaguely where it ended up?

MATT: Not at all. It was a ways off.

TALIESIN: Just checking.

LAURA: Are there any undead around us right now?

MATT: Currently? Glancing around, you do not see any undead.

MARISHA: You said things or people? Is this a body-sized hole?

MATT: No, it's about 15 feet wide. The full chamber is maybe 50 or so feet across. About 20-foot walkway, circular, before the hole in the center.

LIAM: Did you say the hole is a natural gap in the cave, or does it look made?

MATT: If you glance down and look about the interior of this chamber, it is not natural. It is all carved.

LAURA: Can we look at the gem for a second, since there's no undead around?

MATT: If you want to. Grog has it.

TRAVIS: Do you want me to pull it out?

LAURA: Yeah. Can you do an arcana check on it?

SAM: Sure. I can look at it.

LAURA: How big is it? Is it baseball-sized?

MATT: It's about that big.

TRAVIS: No undead, right? No creatures, nothing that's going to (whoop) to the shiny blue light?

LAURA: We can't see anything around us?

MATT: Not at the moment, no.

SAM: I remove the handkerchief. I look at it. I inspect it like a jeweler inspecting a jewel. 18 arcana check.

MATT: Okay. It's definitely magical. The blue light from it grows stronger, then weaker. Stronger, then weaker. It has this rhythmic flash to it, like a heart or something that has a pulse to it.

MARISHA: How is it lining up towards the steps of the giant?

MATT: Not at all. It's much quicker.

MARISHA: Much quicker.

MATT: It's cold to the touch.

TALIESIN: Does it do anything to the Titanstone Knuckles?

LIAM: Is it faster than my heartbeat?

MATT: It's slower.

LIAM: Slower.

TRAVIS: That's slow.

MARISHA: So it's very slow, but not as slow as the rate he's walking.

TRAVIS: Is it a cut jewel, or is it rough?

MATT: It's rough. No jeweler's hand has touched it. There are some edges that have flat surfaces; it looks like there have been things that have chipped off the stone.

TALIESIN: Does it have the vibe of something petrified?

MATT: No, it has almost a quartz-like look to it. Elements of it appear to be cloudier or imperfect, and some areas appear to be clearer, and light shines through a little brighter.

LIAM: It's like a hunk at the natural history museum of minerals.

MATT: Yeah, but there is an enchantment.

SAM: What about Pikey-pants? Can she detect if it's evil or good or something? Does she do that?

LAURA: You should do that.

LIAM: I'm going to do that.

MATT: Okay. You don't get a sense of any evil from the stone.

SAM: You said no sense of evil?

MATT: No evil coming from the stone.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to gaze into it super hard.

MATT: You look really hard into the stone as you hold it to your face, and your eyes almost cross as you glance into the very core source of this pulsating arcane energy. It's bright.

LAURA: So bright, y'all.

MATT: It hurts a little bit, and you wince after a while.

LAURA: I saw so many things.

LIAM: She looked at the eclipse, too.

TRAVIS: We don't have Identify or anything like that, do we?

MARISHA and SAM: No.

LAURA: You know who had that?

SAM: No, who?

LAURA: Our good friend, Tary. He was wonderful.

SAM: Who is it? Oh, the fancy fellow? He's probably dead somewhere.

TRAVIS: I think we should try and smash it.

SAM: Don't you think that about everyone and everything?

MARISHA: I'm not against this idea.

TRAVIS: What else are we going to do to it before we face El Vecna?

TALIESIN: My only other thought of how it could be useful, at this point, with what we know about it--

SAM: Is "El Vecna" Spanish for Vecna?

TRAVIS: Sí.

TALIESIN: It seemed like the undead were crowding towards it, which means that if we do get attacked by a group of undead, we might be able to shiny-object them, unless, of course, it's dangerous in their hands.

TRAVIS: We spike it down the hole, and it causes a hydrogen bomb, and we shatter this titan in half.

TALIESIN: That literally made the dungeon master laugh, so I don't know if that's necessarily--

TRAVIS: It's blue, right? That is the color of hydrogen.

TALIESIN: That's the color of Dr. Manhattan. I don't necessarily know if it's the same thing.

TRAVIS: It is known.

SAM: Why don't we hang onto it for now. In a moment of peril, we can throw it or smash it.

TALIESIN: Not crazy, trying to crack it.

LIAM: What if it stops this thing where it stands? We're all thinking that this thing could be its heart.

SAM: Its heart?

TRAVIS: It's palm-sized, right?

TALIESIN: It could be a chunk of heart.

LAURA: Is it the same color as his Knuckles?

TRAVIS: No, these are stone-gray. This is blue crystal.

MATT: There's nothing about it that gives you this sense, based on what you've seen both outside and within the titan, that it is of similar essence to the titan, from what you understand.

TRAVIS: It could be a soul or something.

SAM: Soul glow?

TRAVIS: Does Pike have anything that detects a soul?

LIAM: It's not evil. It's not good. It could be the thing that's keeping these undead moving.

TRAVIS: Well, then I don't know what else to do. I think we keep moving.

LIAM: I like the spiking idea.

LAURA: I'm okay squishing it with the hammer.

LIAM: I think that you should let me squish it, because if that blows up--

LAURA: I think it's funny that we spent so much time keeping it, and then we're going to destroy it.

LIAM: We spent ten minutes getting this thing.

TRAVIS: We'll think about smashing it when we take our rest. Maybe a cause will reveal itself.

TALIESIN: Hold onto it for now. It could come in handy.

MARISHA: It's like that dress you bought four years ago you still haven't worn. It might find a purpose.

SAM: All right, focus!

LAURA: Let's get out of this dome.

TRAVIS: Is there any writing or engraving or runes on the edge of the circle that's been engineered?

MATT: On the edge of the circle? No. It's smooth stone, intently designed to be a drop or opening of some kind.

TALIESIN: Are there exits?

MATT: Make an investigation check. You don't see any doorways or passageways.

MARISHA: Wait, there's not a hole that we can go up?

MATT: There's a hole that you came through to come into this chamber. Imagine a dome. You're in the chamber.

TALIESIN: I literally rolled a one. I'm aware that there's a hole.

MATT: You get vertigo as you stand in the chamber.

LAURA: Is this investigation or perception?

MATT: You look about, and you don't see any exit. Investigation to see if there's any hidden or not-immediately-noticeable exits or entryways.

LAURA: 23.

MATT: 23. As you do a pass around, looking closely around the wall, you see two small domed doors that have metal rods jammed through, almost like a small barricade that's been placed down on one side of the doorway. However, they are closed from this side.

LAURA: So you could open them up?

MATT: You could.

LAURA: Are they trapped? I'll look to see if they're trapped.

LIAM: On it.

TRAVIS: Also fair to assume that whatever's on the other side of that door--

LIAM: 27.

MATT: 27?

LAURA: I rolled an 18.

MATT: You're both looking at the same one?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Neither of you notice any traps.

LAURA: All right, then I'm going to try to jimmy open that lock.

TRAVIS: Whoa.

LAURA: I already said it.

MATT: Make a strength check.

LIAM: Not locked.

LAURA: Two! Wait. Yeah, that's straight-up strength, not a saving throw? Two!

SAM: Two?

LAURA: I'm really fucking weak. You'd think I'd be stronger pulling the bowstring, but no.

TRAVIS: Use your legs. Really, use your legs.

LAURA: Okay. I put my legs up on the wall and (grunts).

MATT: It is not budging.

LIAM: Can I use my finger skills to see if it's locked? Just my finger skills. I made a perception check to see if it's trapped. Wouldn't I know if it's locked?

MATT: The lock is the barricading mechanism on it. There is no handle.

LIAM: I'm going to try to sidestep this lock with my lock-picking skills.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: It's a barricade.

LIAM: There's nothing to do?

MARISHA: It's like steel rebar in front of the door.

TRAVIS: Is there any decorating or writing or scratching around the door frame or wall around the door? Anything other than a portal to go through?

MATT: Not from what you can see, no. The room's pretty simple. The construction of it may be older than most of the things that you've seen in the city below and previous chambers. It seems to be built almost for function than ceremony.

LAURA: It's a trash chute.

MARISHA: That's what I was going to say. Is it a water chute? Drainage? Is this a drain pipe?

LAURA: We could fill the city with water. Drown all the zombies.

MATT: One thing you do notice, which is interesting as you're glancing around at the side, looking down at the ground at the bottom of it, there's a very faint groove in the ground that leads toward the central hole at the base of each of these doorways.

MARISHA: Does there appear to be any other type of chutes coming into this room?

MATT: No, just the two doors on the opposite sides.

TRAVIS: How far apart are the doors?

MATT: Opposite sides of the chamber, yeah.

TALIESIN: So there's a bar. The door is barred, then?

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: So break it. Let's get out of the way and pop the bar. See if we can pop the bar right off the door.

TRAVIS: Do we want to have Keyleth there in case 900 undead zombies start pouring through, and she can Wall of Stone the door?

MARISHA: I'll be with you. Yeah. I'm right behind you, man.

TRAVIS: I will try and remove one of the doors. I don't know how to delineate between them.

TALIESIN: The left one.

TRAVIS: Sure. Yeah. It's a circle. That one. 25.

MATT: 25. It immediately comes off to the side, and when you lift it, you realize that it's bolted to the wall to the side, and it curves upward and holds it in place. This is meant to stay in place.

LAURA: Wow. Really? It was meant to move? I think I loosened it for you, Grog.

TRAVIS: I didn't get that sense at all.

MATT: As you lift it up, the door is now unbarred.

TRAVIS: Shall I?

LAURA: Yeah, open the door!

TRAVIS: Are the hinges on this side so it looks like it opens towards me?

MATT: It looks like it opens towards you, yes.

TRAVIS: I'll pull open the door.

MARISHA: I'm at the ready for whatever.

MATT: Okay. We'll say as you entered and landed, the door on the left. Okay, so as you pull that one open, immediately preparing yourself, a couple of rocks tumble out, and it reveals a packed-tight mass of earth and stone.

LAURA: Shit! Let's try the other one.

TRAVIS: Should I punch the rubble?

LAURA: No, let's try the other door first.

TRAVIS: I make my way around.

TALIESIN: We set ourselves up.

TRAVIS: 20 on the dot.

MATT: 20. (metal creaking) It lifts over without an issue. Pull the door open. You lift it open, and a few rocks tumble past, but a slick rockslide incline continues upward, dry, no water. Nothing.

TRAVIS: A rockslide continues onward. Slick, dry.

LAURA: How big is the tunnel?

MATT: It's about four feet wide or so.

LAURA: So we can fit in?

MATT: Yeah, you can fit in.

TALIESIN: We have some Immovable Rods.

MATT: When I say slide, I mean smooth stone, like an actual slide. You get the sense that there was some sort of aqueduct scenario.

LAURA: We brace ourselves on the wall to make sure we don't slide down.

TALIESIN: Whoever's in the back should have the Immovable Rods, so if there's a sudden rush of water, we can create a grate for ourselves.

MATT: You envision that at one point, long ago, this would have been a beautiful waterfall in the center of Thomara's chamber that has now dried.

TRAVIS: Dope. That's awesome. I'm getting creepy as fuck now. I've got the Immovable Rod; I'll be the caboose.

MARISHA: I've got the other one, so I'll be second.

MATT: So Grog is the caboose.

MARISHA: Keyleth in front of Grog.

MATT: Keyleth in front of Grog? All right. Who's in front of them?

SAM: Me.

MATT: Scanlan.

LAURA: Pike.

MATT: Then Pike. All righty.

TALIESIN: Myself and the twins, I suppose.

LAURA: Yeah. I want to be in the front.

TRAVIS: I'll go ahead and take the Immovable Rod out and have it in my hand.

MARISHA: Samesies.

MATT: So you've got both of those. Oh, I totally forgot there was a winner for this. I'm sorry. I should do that, huh? RyanBoo, you're the winner. Danoba will contact you and get you your cherry deck box soon. Now that's taken care of.

You make your way up the slide, and it's relatively gradual; it's not too heavy of a scenario. You make your way upward, upward, and about 30 or so feet up, the walls of it separate out and appear to break into two smaller chambers, like this was a breaking point where a person could enter from either side to check on the flow or do maintenance on whatever the ducting was. The slide continues upward. Vax and Vex, you get to that portion and lift yourselves up, looking right to left. It ends on one side, and it looks like there's some dry-rotted wooden crates, and to the left, a staircase.

MARISHA: So it looks like a landing?

MATT: It's a brief landing for somebody who needed to come in and do repairs, maintenance, or checking on the flow of water.

LAURA: Keep going up the slide or take the stairs?

LIAM: Quick glance in the crates?

MARISHA: No, if you're going to take a quick glance, then we have to bust them open like a proper RPG.

TRAVIS: They're dry-rotted. They'll break easy.

MATT: They will. What do you do?

LIAM: Check them out. I eat some edamame.

MATT: So you lift the crates. There are only two of them, and they're relatively small: two feet by two feet. The first one, you open up and look inside, and there are rusted tools. Long iron bars; some appear wrench-like. It looks like whatever mechanism was used as the early aqueduct system for this, this box contained materials, though you're uncertain as to what their application was into this system.

TALIESIN: I'll take a glance at these things to memorize their general shape.

TRAVIS: After you're done with them, I'll actually take them.

MATT: You go and grab a few. There's five rods of varying widths. Some appear to have ratchet elements, where they fit around different metal caps. There's one that looks like a wide crowbar that's used to hold or wedge elements separately. Very basic; nothing too intricate.

TALIESIN: This is some basic shit that you're picking up right now.

LIAM: That was the first crate. What's the next crate? Is it whoopee cushions?

MATT: No, the next crate you open up and it looks mostly empty, but it looks like there are a couple of rows of small glass vials, half of which appear to be broken or shattered, but there are three remaining, with a faint bluish liquid on the inside.

LAURA: Does that sound familiar to us at all?

LIAM: Healing potions are blue.

MATT: These don't resemble healing potions, actually.

TALIESIN: Do these resemble underwater breathing?

MATT: They do. You've seen these before.

LIAM: For toilet diving.

TALIESIN: Emergency, yeah. Let's take those.

TRAVIS: Okay. I got them.

LIAM: I give one of them to Percy for being so sharp. I give one to my sister. You don't need it. I keep one. No, I don't. I'm barely alive. I give one to Scanlan.

SAM: I give it to Grog.

TRAVIS: I've got one. I've got two, actually.

SAM: All right, then I'll keep one.

TALIESIN: Just in case.

TRAVIS: I've got two vials of underwater breathing.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: Why is there no water running?

TRAVIS: Any other boxes to smash?

MATT: No.

MARISHA: I'd imagine because he's vertical now instead of horizontal.

TRAVIS: And undead.

SAM: Let's keep going up the stairs.

MATT: All right. Heading up the stairs in the same order?

LIAM: 30 to 40 feet in advance.

MATT: All righty. 30 to 40 feet in advance? Okay. You make your way up the staircase. Roll stealth.

TRAVIS: Immovable Rod's out.

LIAM: 28 for stealth.

MATT: Okay. Are you stealthing, as well? Are you going along with him, or are you letting him go ahead?

LIAM: She's coming.

LAURA: Natural 20.

MATT: All right, so the two of you very quietly make your way ahead, the rest of you keeping within, I assume, the range of the ring. The staircase doesn't go too far; it goes maybe 30 or so feet, and then it opens into a hallway. You're stepping up through the floor, and there's about ten feet behind and to the sides of you. There's a slight element of a cave-in to the left of you, where part of the stone seems to have collapsed, and a bit of the earth has filtered in. It's a smooth stone floor that's tiled in places. The walls continue on, a somewhat trapezoid-like angle. There are other portions of the wall that have caved in on certain elements, and there are two large pillars that mark the center of this hallway, either used as support beams or decorative, but they go from ceiling to floor.

You glance over to the side, and you see a distant staircase on the far end of this hallway, maybe 80 to 90 feet from where you are, if not further, with larger stairs. You've seen some of the dwarven-based ones. These seem to be a little more grandiose as they lift up higher and higher. Part of that hallway is completely collapsed; it's a wall of fallen earth. But there's a hole carved out of it. There's a tunnel that has been pushed through. You hear a very faint buzzing sound. Very faint. This (low humming). A very faint vibration. You also see a figure stepping from a side wall crevasse, an opening of a similar shape to the circular opening in the wall.

LIAM: I hide.

LAURA: We were stealthed.

MATT: You guys were stealthed. You re-hide, while stealthed.

LIAM: That's what I do.

MATT: You hear some muttering across the way in the shadow. There's a faint source of light that looks like a glowing orb that's floating in the air above and giving this faint greenish-white light; a bauble that's giving a light source to whatever this cloaked figure is. You hear the muttering, and two more walk down the staircase to join them. You recognize, from the faint bit of light, a glimmer of metal around the neck of one of them that is the symbol, the hole with the metallic fork. You see Remnants of Vecna.

SAM: Remnants?

MATT: You don't see any faces. You see a glimmer or shine on the metal from the light cast from the bauble.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: What?

TALIESIN: This can't be happening right now.

LIAM: We don't recognize faces? We don't see faces?

MATT: You see hooded figures that are walking in. There are three of them.

MARISHA: Oh, so they're cultists.

MATT: Okay. So which ones are you aiming at? There's three of them.

LAURA: I'm aiming at the first one I saw.

MATT: Okay, the first one you saw just stepped out of the center of the hall there, and then the two others walked down the hallway. You're aiming at the one that came out of the side of the wall?

LAURA: Has he seen the two coming down the stairway yet?

MATT: There's been discussion over the shoulder. They seem to be aware of each other's presence, but they haven't come together to engage as three in the same area yet.

LIAM: I will follow my sister's lead. If she attacks one, I send one to another one and two to the third.

LAURA: I'll attack the first so he can take the second.

LIAM: One. Two, three.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: These are auto-crits, though, because we are surprising them.

MATT: This is true.

LAURA: Can I Hunter's Mark him?

MATT: Yes, you can Hunter's Mark him.

LAURA: Oh, so we don't have to roll for attack? It's an auto-crit.

MATT: Well, no you still have to roll to see if you aim. You have advantage on the attack.

LAURA: 27.

LIAM: 27 on my first.

MATT: Okay, both hit.

LAURA: Second attack. Oh my god, 20. 20 on the second attack.

MATT: Okay, that hits.

LAURA: I got a one on both. Thank god they were both at advantage.

LIAM: 27. 19, 25.

MATT: Okay, all three hit.

LAURA: And they're all critical?

MATT: No, the first one crits.

LIAM: Oh, really? Okay. The first is sneak attack.

MATT: They're not all crit. Once you hit the person they are no longer surprised.

LAURA: Okay, so the first one is a crit. Solid! That's okay.

MAIRSHA: Yeah, I feel so bad for you.

LIAM: You are the most powerful person at this table.

LAURA: 14, plus six lightning damage. Oh wait, you know what? Should I single out the lightning damage or say what all the damage is?

MATT: Well, it's an auto-crit, so all your damage is doubled, as well.

LAURA: So it's 12 lightning damage.

MATT: Right, plus whatever your sneak attack damage is.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's happening.

TRAVIS: You already did 40 point of damage without doubling.

LAURA: Don't do that.

SAM: Travis, shut up! These two and their gigantic damage rolls.

TALIESIN: Huge, mammoth.

SAM: Huge, bulbous.

TALIESIN: Turgid.

LAURA: I had already rolled that, but it was a six again, so 40, plus 12 lightning damage. On the first.

MATT: 52 points of damage.

LIAM: I got 48 on my first, but that's it. 48, done.

LAURA: I didn't do Hunter's Mark damage on that first guy.

MATT: This is on the other guy; the second guy.

LAURA: Add ten because of Hunter's Mark on the first one.

MARISHA: Little bit of that reach around.

SAM: The dice smell a little bit.

LIAM: 48. 20, ten.

MATT: So 48 on your critical.

LIAM: That's the critical. That's the dice damage. I rolled really low.

MATT: 20, ten. Okay, then. All righty. Are you shooting the same guy, Laura?

LAURA: Yes, I was all on one, unless he went down. Would I notice?

MATT: No, he did not go down.

LAURA: Okay, then the second one. 21 one the second one.

MATT: That does it.

TRAVIS: How much damage? Total.

MATT: Total on that round from you would have been 110 with the first hit between the two of you on the first guy and the second hit. So the one that was off to the side, who is leaning forward, hunched over, and looking over his shoulder. The first arrow goes into the throat and he reaches for it, and as he does, the dagger (impact) into the face, into the socket where there is no eye, which then looks up with a groan. Finger goes out as soon as the second arrow takes the other eye out, and then falls back down to the ground, dead. Pointing your direction like (gasping). As soon as the two other daggers go into the other two, they both see the one crumple to the ground, the two left there, the guy who is standing at the stairs--

LIAM: May I also dump some poison?

MATT: Sure, into which one?

LIAM: Into the first one. I did one into my first target and two into the second; the poison would have gone into the second person. It's a DC of 15.

MATT: All righty. DC of 15? Yeah, that succeeds. 16.

LIAM: So nothing, right?

MATT: Nothing, yeah.

LIAM: Balls!

MATT: As soon as the one crumples to the ground and the two other daggers into the other two that are there, they (grunt). They see the one fall. The one in the center of the chamber glances over his shoulder and says, "It seems I'm the lucky one. Odell, run back and tell that Viskorad found sneaky prey." The one immediately to the left begins to run up the stairs.

LAURA: Can I shoot him again before he runs away?

MATT: Nope because you took your turn. This is their reaction.

SAM: Oh shit. You need help, Matt?

LIAM: Initiative!

MATT: We're about to roll initiative, motherfuckers.

LAURA: Sorry, guys. We did it.

MARISHA: Viskon? We've heard the name Viskon before.

SAM: We've also heard the name Odell.

LIAM: Yeah, Odell.

MARISHA: Odell comma tell Viskon we have visitors. Wait, when did we hear Odell before?

LIAM: I just know we've heard it.

SAM: There's been three Jamison's in our campaign, as well. Matt isn't an infinite fount of names.

MATT: Everyone else is still down the stairs right there.

LAURA: I wonder if we should have let them talk for a second. Oh, well.

LIAM: That's not our way.

MATT: Apparently not, as recent events have shown. So now, I need everyone to roll initiative.

TRAVIS: Don't fuck me, Gil.

LAURA: No, it's okay. I've got advantage.

MARISHA: Don't let them leave. I agree with that.

TALIESIN: Leave one of them alive, but don't let them leave.

LIAM: Not good for Pike.

MARISHA: Did everyone roll shittily?

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: 25 to 20?

LAURA: 23.

TRAVIS: 21.

LIAM: Get that long range. Get that runner.

MATT: 20 to 15?

SAM: 18.

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: What's up, bro?

LIAM: I'm not fast.

TALIESIN: 13.

LIAM: 13.

TRAVIS: That's weird for you.

TALIESIN: It's almost as low as I can go.

MATT: 13 for Pike? No, that's Vax. What's Pike?

LIAM: Pike clocked in at four.

MATT: Pike is clocking in as Pike.

LIAM: Yeah. Where's the remix of this song?

TALIESIN: I know. (beatboxes)

MATT: All righty, so beginning of the round. Vex, you're up first.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to cast Grasping Vine around here, so he can lash up and try to catch that wizard, the cloaked guy that's running away.

MATT: What's he have to roll for that?

LAURA: He has to roll a dexterity save above 15.

MARISHA: Get it! Get it, son!

MATT: That's an eight. He is running up the stairs.

LAURA: So it snatches his ankle.

MATT: And then drags him.

LAURA: Backwards. Then I'm going to shoot him twice.

MATT: All right. Go for it.

TALIESIN: Not that one. That one looks like he knows too much.

LAURA: What is that? 32.

MATT: 32, that hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

LAURA: 14, plus four lightning damage. I don't get sneak attack on this guy, though?

MATT: No.

LAURA: Okay. 14, plus four lightning damage, and then I'm going to hit him again. That is also a 32. No, that's-- well, it's very high. 27? 28

MATT: 28. All right, that hits. Roll damage. Grog, you're up next. You're in the back of the marching order.

TRAVIS: We're not up at the top, are we?

MATT: No. So you've got at least 25, 30 feet before you can get to the top there.

LAURA: 12, plus six lightning damage.

MATT: Nice. All right, 36 points of damage in one round. The arrows (impact) as he is pulled through the rock and rubble by the Grasping Vines that is currently wrapped around him.

LAURA: I am going to use my movement to stand behind this little pillar right here.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: As I hear the sweet melodical Miami Vice tunes of warfare being played, can I double dash up past me mates and into the fray?

MATT: Sure, so at 30 feet, it'll get you right at the edge of the stairs. Still have 20 more feet you can go.

TRAVIS: Yeah, straight towards them.

MATT: All right, so that's there.

TRAVIS: Then can I use dash to go the rest of the way?

MATT: To close the gap there? Sure.

TRAVIS: Now, I only have my bonus action left, so can I go into a rage?

Matt: You may, yeah. All righty, so at that point you go into a rage.

TRAVIS: That's my turn.

MATT: All righty, so now it is his turn.

MARISHA: You have that guy? But this guy was the runner, I thought.

TALIESIN: Yeah, but he's vined.

MARISHA: Okay. He's currently grasped.

MATT: Okay, as soon as you rush up into his face, you hear the individual, the hood pulled back at this point. You see shaved entirely bald, older late fifties to early sixties, missing one eye, but in that socket you can see a faint spark of arcane energy. Shouting out amongst the space, "Glory and reward is mine! Wraiths, go forth and devour, while I bring oblivion to them." As you rush up, is going to cast Wall of Force right in the space between there.

MARISHA: Between him and Grog?

LAURA: (singing) The space between.

SAM: (singing) Your wicked lies.

MATT: It pushes you back five feet, and now there is a Wall of Force that is blocking that side of the hallway from where he is.

MARISHA: Him and the other guy? Or just between him? How big is it?

MATT: Sorry, the entirety of this chamber is the Wall of Force.

MARISHA: Fucking fuckface.

TRAVIS: What does Wall of Force do? Can I walk through that shit?

MARISHA: Yeah, it just might hurt.

TRAVIS: Will it?

MATT: As soon as the wall appears there, you see a slight short barrier that forces you back about five feet. You catch your back foot, and now as the barrier finishes shimmering, it's invisible. Looks like there is nothing there. He's grinning from there. He glances over to the right into the hole in the wall where his friend was earlier.

TRAVIS: Which was that way, right?

MATT: As he glances over, he goes, "Odell, bring me the sphere." You hear the humming noise, the faint humming vibrational noise, now louder. That ends his turn. Actually, he is going to take a step back up onto the stairs there. Scanlan, you're up.

SAM: I'm up? What can I do?

MATT: You're 20 feet down from the staircase.

SAM: My speed is 25.

MATT: That'll get you right up to about there, with five-foot steps.

MARISHA: Don't let them leave!

SAM: Oh god, this looks like a crazy thing.

TRAVIS: (counting) 60 is how far away he is.

SAM: Wow. There's a Wall of Force. Do I see a Wall of Force?

MATT: You don't. You actually rush up, and it looks like an open hallway right now.

SAM: Okay. I see Grog in attack mode, right? I see these two bad guys. I will send a Lightning Bolt at somebody.

MATT: Which one?

SAM: Looks like I can't see this guy because there is a pillar in between, so the other guy.

MATT: That's true, so it'll be that guy. All right. You'll have to move off to the side, or else you're going to hit Grog with the Lightning Bolt. It's going to be hard. He's up a few steps, though. You could probably aim it above and hit him without Grog. I'll let you do that. As you get to the top, you release your bolt of lightning. (crackling noise) It arcs forward, and as it gets right above Grog, it hits something solid and splinters. No effect.

LIAM: So this Wall of Force visually is floor to ceiling?

MATT: You don't know; you don't see it. He saw a faint shimmer because something pushed him out of his space, but right now you've got no visual perspective. That's going to end Scanlan's turn, I believe. All right. The other guy, who is currently held by the vine that falls limp off of his body--

LAURA: It falls limp off of his body?

MATT: Well, it doesn't wrap around or keep him held. Every turn, it can pull something towards it. He's going to glance over towards the side, listening to what the other, Viskorad, said. Okay. At which point, the humming gets louder and louder.

TALIESIN: He had the map. If he built the map, there is a way out.

MATT: You watch as a two-foot-wide black sphere of void-like nothing comes carving through the stone wall immediately to the left of you, Grog, leaving a completely disintegrated form roughly the shape of its sphere. It's coasting in towards and into your space.

TRAVIS: It's a Sphere of Annihilation.

LIAM: Yes, it is.

TALIESIN: Oh shit, son!

LAURA: Oh god!

SAM: Is someone controlling it?

MATT: So Grog, I need you to go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw.

LAURA: Oh my god, roll so well! Do you get advantage?

TRAVIS: I do. I have Danger Sense. It fucks you up. Yeah, it hurts real bad.

SAM: I see this happening, right?

TRAVIS: 16.

MATT: 16, okay. You manage to duck out of the way as it enters the space, and you can feel this weird energy. Your beard is almost being pulled toward it, and the loud vibrating (vibration) hum before you. It's like staring into an absolute nothingness.

TRAVIS: Take my life, but not my beard.

MARISHA: Who looks like he's controlling it? Odell?

MATT: The guy who is being pulled by her is concentrating and moving it over, at that point.

LAURA: Oh, the guy in red? The guy in red is controlling it!

MATT: All right. That's going to end his turn. Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: (screams)

MATT: I've got to rest for a second. Controlling enemies hurt. It's okay.

SAM: We can get dudes behind you to hold you up.

MATT: We'll see how I can do it. Keyleth, your turn.

MARISHA: Oh my god. So much has changed from what I thought I was going to do.

MATT: You're about 25 feet down the staircase.

MARISHA: Yeah. So I come up from the staircase.

MATT: Okay. That gets you up to the edge there, where the staircase stops.

TRAVIS: Does the Sphere of Annihilation get an attack of opportunity if I run away?

TALIESIN: Probably not.

SAM: Is it a thing? Is it a weapon?

MATT: It's a black sphere of void. One of the guys is looking focused, concentrating on it, and it moved under his willpower in the direction of Grog.

TRAVIS: It's real bad.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to come up. I'm trying to think of what I have in range, and I'm terrified. And I'm going to stick with my original instinct and do Wall of Stone and try and wall these guys in so they can't run. I think they can still carve through it with their big black death orb now.

TRAVIS: They can, but at least they'll be here.

TALIESIN: They'll have to move the orb to do that.

MARISHA: Okay. I can do ten ten-foot by ten-foot panels, so I want to be a semicircle block off, bring up a whole wall of stone behind them.

MATT: Okay. Hold on a second.

TRAVIS: Who can get to the other side? You have Dimension Door. But that's it, right? That's the only person that has that kind of a thing.

MATT: As you attempt to concentrate and create a Wall of Stone, you are unable to pick a point or an area beyond the barrier.

TRAVIS: The Wall of Force? No!

LAURA: Say it again?

TRAVIS: And you need to focus, or is it a random?

MATT: It doesn't fizzle the spell. You have no area to release it on. The barrier, while invisible, is preventing targeting a specific area to create.

TALIESIN: We need to dispel this shit.

MARISHA: I do have Dispel Magic.

MATT: You've used your action to attempt it. You didn't lose the spell slot, but you spent your action attempting it.

TRAVIS: Hey, man. Always try.

MARISHA: Can't cast through it.

LAURA: Good to know. But the orb went through it?

MATT: No, the orb is on the other side.

MARISHA: Even though it's a nature thing, going up underneath there, I can't get around it? No?

MATT: You're targeting on the other side of the wall. It has to be in visual range for you to create it to happen.

MARISHA: (singing) I'll see you on the other side of the wall.

(laughter)

MATT: All right. That's Keyleth's turn. No, sorry. At the end of Keyleth's turn, you hear this (breathy noise) sound as these two shadowy figures emerge from the nearby walls.

LIAM: Ghosts! Shadows!

TRAVIS: No. What? Ghosts or wraiths?

MARISHA: Wraiths.

LIAM: There's ten different kinds of things like that.

MARISHA: Hey, was wraiths what fucked me and you up when we were evil Vax and Keyleth?

TALIESIN: Oh shit, and look what they're doing!

MATT: This one hovers over and lands behind Keyleth. And it's going to attempt, as it seems to shift through the pillar--

MARISHA: I look over my shoulder and go: Oh no!

MATT: This one here stays within the pillar, and it reaches out, as it's incorporeal, and strikes at you. That is 24 against you, Vex.

LAURA: That hits.

MATT: All right. You suffer 21 points of necrotic damage, and I need you to succeed on a constitution saving throw.

LIAM: Fuck! Come on.

TRAVIS: My fucking god!

SAM: It's a 20?

(screaming)

MATT: All right. Well, you suffer the 21 points of necrotic damage, and your maximum hit points are reduced by 21.

LAURA: Forever?

MATT: Until you finish a long rest. The other one's striking at you, Keyleth. That is a 16.

MARISHA: Misses!

MATT: That's right, because your AC is 17 with the ring.

MARISHA: That's right! I leveled up, motherfuckers!

MATT: All right. Cool. Technically, leveling up didn't affect your AC; however, calculating the magic item did.

MARISHA: But I feated, so I'm good!

MATT: I know. So as it swings toward you, it shrieks out and has no effect. And then they both vanish. You want to take an attack of opportunity? You can if you'd like to.

MARISHA: War Caster?

MATT: War Caster. You can attempt to cast a spell on it as a reaction, if you'd like. This one's going to back away into the wall, as well. Vex, you also get an attack of opportunity if you'd like, with a melee weapon.

MARISHA: Does it have to be a bonus action?

MATT: No, it can be an action. That's part of the War Caster feat.

LAURA: I have a dagger, but I don't even have it drawn.

MATT: Then yeah, you're fine.

LIAM: They're both out of visual range, right?

MATT: They both are now backing up.

LIAM: One's in a pillar, and one went through a wall. Are they moaning and shit, in the wall?

MATT: You can't hear them.

LIAM: I can't hear them. Can't see them, can't hear them. All right. Thanks.

MATT: No worries.

LAURA: I have resistance to necrotic damage, by the way.

MATT: You do! Then you take ten points of necrotic damage, and your hit points are only reduced by ten.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Sorry, I'm trying to figure out what would be a good idea right now.

TALIESIN: I have no ideas for anything.

MARISHA: I have never done this before, but I have it learned. I will Ice Knife it in its face. Ice Knife! Level one, you create a shard of ice, fling it at-- oh, it's a flingy-thingy. But it's 1d10 piercing damage, and then it explodes?

MATT: Okay. It's right next to you. She has the feat where she can cast the spell as a reaction when something comes at her. Just know that whatever you're hitting is right next to you. So if it explodes, does any radial damage, it might come back and hit you.

MARISHA: No, hit or miss, the shard then explodes, the target and each creature within five feet of the point where the ice explodes. Oh. I'm fine. I'm doing it anyway.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll to hit.

TRAVIS: And Scanlan's in five feet of her?

LAURA: No, he's behind her.

TALIESIN: Oh, for fuck sake.

MARISHA: What's wrong with us?

LAURA: Wasted all of our 20s on goods.

MATT: Tonight is ridiculous.

MARISHA: One.

MATT: All right, so as you release the Ice Knife, it slams into the wall. No effect. However, it does still explode, right?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So it does what damage?

MARISHA: 2d6.

MATT: 2d6 damage. So go ahead and roll 2d6. To both you and the creature?

TALIESIN: Yeah, all creatures within range.

MARISHA: Technically, reroll ones. Three, four, five, six, seven. Yeah, each creature. Hit or miss, the shard then explodes.

MATT: All right, so you take seven points of ice damage, and it hits the wraith. However, the cold damage doesn't seem to have as much as an effect as you would expect.

LAURA: It's a fucking wraith!

MATT: That ends their turn. Percival, you're up.

TALIESIN: I hear a whole bunch of commotion, so I'm going to pop my head up out of the hole and see what the fuck is going on.

MATT: All right. You glance up and get just beyond where Keyleth is, pushing past. You have five more feet you can move if you want.

TALIESIN: Well, I'm coming up the hole. I take a look. Oh sweet god. I'm going to take a shot at the guy I see up on the table there.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

TALIESIN: That's better.

MATT: Which guy?

TALIESIN: Yeah, the gray. And that's 28?

MATT: Okay. (gunshot) You fire a shot and watch as it detonates against some sort of invisible wall that you didn't see was there before, scattering helplessly against the space in the air.

MARISHA: I hate this force field shit.

TRAVIS: It explodes near my head, and I'm like: Stop shooting into this thing!

TALIESIN: I'm going to drop back down the hole.

MATT: All right, you get right back down to right there. That ends your turn, Percy? Vax, you're up.

LIAM: Here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to dance through to here, where I can see Grog and these guys, and I can see all my friends here, and I'm going to hold my action to attack anyone who comes right up to one of my friends within striking range.

MATT: Okay, good to know. Perfect. Ending Vax's turn, Pike's up.

LAURA: Pike comes running up the stairs.

MATT: She can get right up to here, and that's how much she can move. She can still cast a spell if she wants to. She's going to cast Beacon of Hope for all of the allies within range, which is 30 feet.

MATT: All right, so that is everybody but Grog.

LAURA: Sorry, Grog.

TRAVIS: It's my fault.

LAURA: That gives everybody advantage on wisdom saving throws and death saving throws, and any time you're healed, you regain the maximum number of hit points.

SAM: Even if we move out of the radius?

MATT: It affects everybody at that moment, and then you carry it with you.

LAURA: Wisdom and death saving throws.

LIAM: You got glitter-bombed with holy goodness.

MARISHA: Wisdom and death plus what?

LAURA: And full hit points when you get healed.

LIAM: You don't roll; you get the max.

MARISHA: Beautiful.

MATT: Okay. So ending Pike's turn brings us to the top. Vex, your turn.

LAURA: Oh, great. Well, I've seen all the things explode. Fucking hell. I'm going to pull out my Vecna symbol, that necklace that we still had, and put it around my neck, because that fucking sphere is out and I don't know if it matters.

MATT: Okay, so you quickly throw it around your neck.

LAURA: Do I still have control of the vine?

MATT: Currently, yeah.

LAURA: Okay. And it's on the other side of the force?

MATT: This is true.

LAURA: So I'm going to use it and I'm going to try to grab a hold of the guy-- the guy in gray is holding the force wall, right? But it probably is a concentration. The guy in the red is holding the sphere.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: The guy in red is holding the sphere. I'm going to try to knock him down and see if I can break his hold on the sphere, maybe? Is that stupid?

MATT: He does not make his save. He isn't moved. It wraps around him and pulls tight against the area where it is again, but it's barely shifted him, so he gets moved a few inches, but doesn't seem to affect him at all.

LAURA: That's a bonus action. I still get an action.

MATT: Yep, and movement.

LAURA: And movement. Oh god. I'm going to spread out. I'm going to come over here, maybe? Or here. Oh jeez. I don't know. I can't hit anybody! I'm going to wait. I'm going to hold my action until I see something getting through that fucking force wall.

TALIESIN: Until there's something to hit.

LAURA: So that I can attack him.

MATT: Sounds good. All right, Vex, that's the end of your turn. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'm going to try and run through the Wall of Force. It's only five feet of my movement, and we'll see what happens.

MATT: All right, you slam face-first into a stone wall. Immediately, the anger fills through you, the familiar smell and taste of iron-like blood as you seem to have busted some element of your nose in the impact.

TRAVIS: Probably some eyelids? Do I go anywhere? Not even an inch?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: What if I channel all the rage from my life, and I draw on the undead? Okay, cool. I'm going to turn around and run the other way.

MARISHA: You didn't get through?

TRAVIS: No, it didn't even give, apparently. (counting) 50, right there.

MATT: Okay. That ends your turn, Grog?

TRAVIS: Yeah, that ends my turn.

MATT: This guy turns around and begins to make his way up the stairs and move double dash, and disappears up the stairs.

MARISHA: (screams in frustration)

TRAVIS: We can't do anything. Nobody knows Disintegrate or anything?

MARISHA: Whose turn is it?

MATT: That finishes that guy's turn. It is now Scanlan's turn.

SAM: I'm going to take a few steps forward. I will inspire Grog, I guess.

TRAVIS: Or yourself.

SAM: I'm okay.

TRAVIS: Really? Okay.

SAM: I'll sing to him. (singing) Don't mess with that big black ball, it can really fuck you up. I really hate that big black ball, all it better do is miss you, make it miss you.

MATT: Oh my god, that was not my intent in creating this encounter. Take your d12 inspiration die.

TRAVIS: Thank you.

SAM: And I guess I'll Dimension Door, try to go through the Wall of Force. We've tried this before, Matt. Who knows how this shit works.

TRAVIS: And the previous ruling was it worked.

SAM: Yeah, but that could have been a gentle nod.

MATT: The wording is important on this.

LIAM: I think the cultist shits his pants and his brain explodes. I think that's in the book.

MATT: I've had to look this up very carefully. With elements like this wall, it's a targeting thing. You cannot target something that is in full cover, total cover, which being behind a wall is. Teleportation, however, you're the target and Dimension Door and Teleport is unaffected by that.

SAM: Matt fucking hates this.

MARISHA: Get the runner!

SAM: I don't know where the runner went.

MARISHA: He went that way.

SAM: I don't see him, right?

MATT: You saw him run away, you just don't know where he is at the moment.

SAM: Can I gauge roughly how far he went down that hall? Do I see down the hall?

MATT: Not from where you were over there.

SAM: So I'm going next to the red guy.

LIAM: Also, if you go out of range of Vex, Vecna knows all.

LAURA: Oh yeah. Stay within 60 feet.

MATT: All right, so you Dimension Door there. That's your action.

SAM: That's my everything.

MARISHA: We've got to take out these guys' eyeballs.

MATT: That's the end of your turn. At which point, Odell, who's standing there currently, is physically sweating, concentrating on this sphere right now. Looks over and sees you appear and goes, "Viskorad, the little one made it through!"

SAM: Who are you calling little?

MATT: At which point, you glance over your shoulder and you can see that the darting, cloaked one stops and spins and faces towards you.

SAM: That's not good for me, guys.

MARISHA: It's not good for you, but it's good for us. Fuck them up!

TRAVIS: Oh god.

MATT: That's as far as they can get. However, it completely disintegrates the central pillar. It is obliterated, like it lays with a top part and a bottom part, but wherever the sphere passes through, about a good six inches around it is turned to dust and is gone.

LAURA: Oh my god, what if we fails these rolls?

MATT: He's then going to go back around--

TALIESIN and LIAM: No, he's grappled.

MATT: No, it doesn't grapple. It just moves things toward it.

MARISHA: You're confusing Entanglement with Grasping Vine. Two totally different things.

MATT: He's backing up, and he's looking over at the sphere, concentrating on it. You can see the beads of sweat pouring down his face, and he's glancing over nervously at you, but smiling at the idea that his friend is returning. That's going to end his turn. Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: Okay. Seeing Grog slam into that. Ugh, fuck. This is a pretty beefy spell, yeah? Force Wall? Should I do 5th or 6th level to dispel this? Okay. 5th or 6th level? 6th level. I'm going to Dispel Magic this wall.

MATT: Okay. As you focus and concentrate, you release the essence of the Dispel Magic, the burst of arcane energy casts forth, and falls harmlessly against the exterior.

LAURA and LIAM: It's a higher level.

MARISHA: Higher than 6th level? The spell.

MATT: Doesn't appear to have an effect on the wall.

TRAVIS: Come on, maybe it needed to be something else.

LIAM: No. He did what Scanlan does with Counterspell. He beefed it up.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: You can move.

MARISHA: It's higher than 7th level? Did you have to roll?

MATT: No effect on it.

TALIESIN: Okay, it's going to be okay. Everything's okay.

LIAM: So about that long rest...

MARISHA: I don't know now, you guys.

LAURA: We're fucked.

MARISHA: I move forward. I guess. I don't want to move that far forward. No, i don't move that far forward!

(laughter)

MARISHA: I don't want to die!

MATT: That finishes your turn, Keyleth?

LIAM: (singing) I want you to be alive.

LIAM and MARISHA: (singing) I want you to be alive.

LAURA and TALIESIN: Oh no, here they come.

MATT: They take minor damage being inside this wall, but that's fine with them.

LIAM: I attack! I attack the one near Keyleth.

MATT: Emerge. All right, so the one near Keyleth. Go for it.

LAURA: What was I holding for? I was holding until I could attack something, or until I could get through the wall? I think it was through the wall.

MATT: The wall.

LIAM: All right, 27 on that guy.

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: Okay. So that is three, plus three is six, so ten. (counting)

TALIESIN: We can hit them; they're probably squishy.

MATT: You took out one of three between just two of your surprise attacks.

LIAM: 34 for the first hit, and I have the second paladin attack, so if it's not dead, I will attack again.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: That is eight for the second.

MATT: As it emerges from the wall, its blackened shadow form giving off small tendrils of dark black ether and abyssal energy, it reaches out to strike at Keyleth, and you immediately release two daggers in its direction. Both hit its form. It gives this pained sucking sound as you watch these beady, burning red eyes seem to blink in the pain, and it angrily lashes out at Keyleth, its form somewhat more disparate and unable to maintain a corporeal form.

LIAM: When is Pike? Is it her turn? No? Okay.

MATT: No, she cast Beacon of Hope. So attacking against Pike. That is 21. What's her AC?

LAURA: 23!

MATT: 23. It tries to strike at her, and she manages to take the shield and bash it away. The light from her mace arcing around causes it to flinch, and it actually strikes a little too wide. The one that's arcing towards you, Keyleth, that is fucking 16 again! Yeah, because it's plus six to hit. Okay. You dodge out of the way a second time. It's then going to move back into the wall over here. He's going to move back into the wall, as well. Both of you get reactions.

LAURA: Pike definitely takes it. With her Mace of Disruption, she gets an extra 2d6 radiant damage.

MATT: All right so roll an attack on that one.

LAURA: That's a 21 to hit.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: I am wickedly out of my element. I'm running from an 8-ball.

TALIESIN: We have to get everyone away from that thing.

LAURA: 27 for Pike.

MATT: 27 points of damage?

LAURA: Is it a fiend or an undead? So it has to have a wisdom save of 15.

MATT: If it has 25 hit points or fewer after taking the damage, which it does not. That one hasn't taken a whole bunch of damage. However, it did take a relatively decent hit, and you watch as she swings the mace out. As it pulls back, where the mace impacts, it seems to almost evaporate part of the shadowed form, and it shrieks as it disappears into the wall.

LIAM: For clarification, that is the one I hit, as well, right?

MATT: No, the one that you hit is where she was.

LIAM: Oh, Pike hit the other one.

MATT: Correct. Keyleth, are you going to do anything as a reaction?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to pull out my staff and do a Burning Hands on him. Dexterity saving throw.

MATT: Natural 20, so it takes half damage.

MARISHA: Half damage.

LAURA: Oh, that's good. You did the six and the four.

TALIESIN: And then there was a third one.

MARISHA: And then there's a third one that is a six? Was that right? Six and six is 12, so 16.

MATT: 16 points of fire damage reduced by half which is eight, and even that impact seems to be lessened by the wraith-like being seemingly absorbing some of the heat from the impact.

LAURA: Radiant damage is the bomb!

TALIESIN: Radiant damage is what we need in here.

MATT: All righty, that ends their turn. Percy, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm going to stay in my little cubby hole. I've got some good visual on a couple of these guys down here. I'm going to yell at everybody to get the fuck away from the ball. I'm going to hold my attack until something happens that's going to give me something to shoot at.

MATT: Okay, so as soon as an enemy reveals itself that you can shoot. Okay, that ends Percy's turn. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: Fucking hell I'm going to do the same thing except I'm going to move to here and wait for something to attack one of my friends.

TALIESIN: That's awfully close to the ball.

LIAM: I know it is. That's what I do. I'm waiting until one of them attacks one of my friends. One of the undead. I can't do anything about that. That's what I'm doing. That's my turn.

MATT: All right, Pike's turn.

LIAM: Stupid, I know. That's what Vax does.

LAURA: I can only do this as a bonus action so that she can have that up, right? Okay, she's going to cast Spiritual Weapon. Should she do it at a 2nd-level? Okay, she's going to cast Spiritual Weapon up near the wall as a giant sword that looks like it's on fire.

MATT: Where about? On the wall here?

LAURA: No, near the wall, yeah. Up close to the wall so that she can attack as soon as that thing is down. And then she's going to hold her physical action until there's something that she can attack.

MATT: Okay, she's holding her physical attack?

LAURA: Yeah, her mace.

MATT: Okay, that ends Pikes turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: Oh, that's me!

MATT: Yeah, that's you, actually.

LIAM: You're Vex.

LAURA: I'm Vex. I'm going to dart away from this ball as fast as I can, and I'm going to come up here.

SAM: Oh no, you broke through!

LAURA: I broke through the wall. I can't reach. I'm too fucking-- It's fine; I got it.

SAM: Make Matt stand up, Laura.

MATT: Please do. I appreciate it.

LAURA: And I'm going to hold my fucking attack until something comes out that I can attack.

MATT: Okay. All righty.

MARISHA: I can't believe I couldn't fucking dispel that wall.

MATT: Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I am, aren't I? Okay. Cool.

LAURA: Wait, I have bonus actions still.

MATT: You do.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to use that Grasping Vine that I still have up, and I'm going to re-grab onto that stupid guy's fucking neck and yank him towards the wall he's right in front of.

MATT: That's a 15. What's your DC on that?

LAURA: 15.

MATT: He succeeds, unfortunately. It slaps out towards him and this time-- I forget the adage, but never mind. He dodges it.

(laughter)

LIAM: It took 425 hours, but we did it. We broke his brain.

MATT: Blame it on the painkillers. The vine whooshes out and tries to wrap around him. He dodges out of the way, and it slaps harmlessly against the stone and withdraws back into the small crack of stone where it's based. That ends your turn. All right, Grog.

TRAVIS: I'm going to put my faith in Scanlan that some sort of impossible miracle happens. (counting) 30. Right up against the wall. Can I look to the left down that hallway? Can I see down there at all? Is it blocking the hallway off from vision? Is that a moveable space?

MATT: Looking off, it looks like the orb was being used to carve a path.

TRAVIS: It hadn't finished doing it?

MATT: No. It was maybe 25 or so feet down and was hitting solid rock.

LAURA: My spell DC may be higher. I don't know if I have increased that in a while.

LIAM: It's eight, plus proficiency bonus, plus her spell bonus.

LAURA: So my spell DC is 17.

MATT: You need to keep up on that, girl.

MARISHA: That was how I lost to Grog in our battle.

LAURA: I wanted it around his neck, just to make him annoyed.

MATT: It hits him against the wall. He's still glancing over his shoulder.

TALIESIN: He's lost visual range of the ball?

MATT: No, he can still look over the rubble there.

TRAVIS: Not enough to make a concentration check?

MATT: If that's what it does.

TRAVIS: I'm there. I can't get into that hole anymore, can I?

MATT: Not with the way the Wall of Force is placed, no.

TRAVIS: Fair enough. I will hold my action until someone comes within melee distance.

MATT: Okay, ending Grog's turn. At the top of the staircase--

LAURA: Oh no! He's coming back for Scanlan!

MATT: This guy here, we'll say he got out that far from the stairs and continues that way.

MARISHA: Sanctuary!

TALIESIN: Like he's parting the Red Sea.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: You shall not pass!

LAURA: Oh my god, we're going against Gandalf right now, you guys.

TALIESIN: That's not Gandalf. That's a cosplayer.

TRAVIS: Do you know many hobbits I have under my cloak?

TALIESIN: Five hobbits in a cloak. That's all it is. It's not a wizard.

MATT: He glances down to the staircase where you are, and as he begins to smile, the flash in the eye begins to glow briefly, a pale comparison to Vecna, but there is an essence of energy lent to him from his worship of the newly-risen deity. He begins to speak in a language you don't understand. And as he speaks one alien word-- how many hit points do you have?

SAM: A lot. 167.

MATT: Fuck, okay. I miscalculated. No effect.

SAM: Power Word?

MATT: Power Word: Stun. He assumed the smaller stature of the gnome was not as hearty.

TRAVIS: He's upset that he miscalculated. The DM wants blood!

LIAM: That's what he gets for profiling.

MATT: He's going to continue moving upward, 30 feet back up into the staircase as he keeps focusing on you. That's going to end his turn. You're up, Scanlan.

SAM: Hold on. I need to look up the range of a fucking spell. How far is he from me?

MATT: It's hard to tell at this point. You'd say somewhere between 50, 60, 70 feet.

LIAM: I bet your spell is 120 feet, Sam.

SAM: I'm looking. That one's not.

LIAM: Is it Thaumaturgy? Because that's right where your eyes are.

SAM: You said how far? Oh shit.

MATT: Between 50 and 70 feet from you.

LAURA and LIAM: You can move.

SAM: Yeah, I'm going to move 25 feet towards him.

MATT: Okay, so that puts you up here.

SAM: And with my darkvision, do I get a sense for how far he is from me now?

MATT: Yeah, you'd say he's about 40 feet from you.

SAM: Fuck no, it's not. Shit, I need 30.

LAURA: You can move five more feet. You've got more movement.

SAM: No. That's my movement. I have tiny little nubs.

TRAVIS: Tiny little nubs?

SAM: Yeah.

LIAM: What about long-range shit, man?

SAM: That's okay. Yeah, I've got longer-range shit, but it's not as bad news.

MARISHA: Keep them from running away.

TRAVIS: Damn it, Matt. Why'd you have to back up?

MATT: Because that tactically made sense.

LIAM: Bigby's Hand him? Grab him?

SAM: I'm thinking. I'm trying to decide between two things.

TRAVIS: Yeah, do it. Take your time, baby. Take your time. Taliesin, give him a backrub. Come on, let's focus up here. There you go. Support. Feel the love.

MARISHA: This is all on you, man. This is all on you.

TRAVIS: Do your thing. Listen, Shadow of War comes out October 10th. A lot of us are in it.

SAM: It's going to have a lot of wisdom. All right. I will Bigby's Hand. I assume he's got a lot of wisdom, so I will Bigby's Hand him. At level-7. And I will punch the shit out of him.

LAURA: Punch him back toward us. Bigby's Hand on the opposite side of him and punch him back toward us.

MARISHA: That's a good call.

MATT: All right, so that is 8d8 force damage if you hit. Roll a melee spell attack.

LAURA and TALIESIN: Inspire yourself!

SAM: I didn't. I forgot. I rolled an 18.

MATT: 18 hits. He's a caster; he doesn't have a lot of armor.

MARISHA: Kill him!

MATT: All right, so roll 8d8 force damage.

TALIESIN: I have three.

SAM: And I've got one.

LIAM: That's just some dude from Sea Org in a bathrobe. Punch him!

TALIESIN: Wow, that was a deep cut.

SAM: Wait. Shit. What did I just roll? 16 plus four. That's 20. And then this is another 40.

MATT: 40 points of force damage.

SAM: 40 points of force damage.

MATT: All right, that's a 20 DC concentration check.

SAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Come on.

MATT: 16. No.

ALL: Wall down!

LAURA: Did we notice? Did we notice that the wall went down?

MATT: No, you don't see it.

SAM: I don't know. Right?

MATT: But Grog would feel it. Grog is sitting there waiting for something, and Bigby's Hand full-on sucker punches him in the body, and he slams against the steps and has to shake his head as he glances at the giant fist and down at you.

SAM: As a bonus action, can I do anything?

MATT: If you want to do a bonus action, you can't do Bigby's Hand again.

SAM: No, but can I throw something to see if goes through the wall?

MATT: Sure. I'll let you do that. Roll an attack roll, just to aim it.

SAM: Sure. 17, plus I don't know.

MATT: What are you throwing?

SAM: Scanlan found these two really crappy daggers in the desk in the casino.

MATT: He pulls one of these jeweled daggers that he wore and throws it behind, and Grog, you watch as this dagger passes through.

TALIESIN: I see that, and I take three shots at this fucker right here immediately. How far away is he?

MATT: Which guy? The who Bigby's Hand just punched? Okay, he is about 120 feet.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use Bad News, then, because that is within range for my fucking sniper rifle. He's going to take that.

LAURA: I'm going to shoot at the guy in red in front of me.

TALIESIN: I can't use a bonus action, and I have to reload once, so I can only take two shots with my action I can't take three. So two shots with Bad News. Here we go. That's a 25 and 27 to hit.

MATT: Both hit.

TALIESIN: First shot is 22 points of damage. Second shot is not as good. 14 points of damage.

MATT: So as you fire those two shots, the echoing noises of Bad News's explosions echoes through the hallway and stairway above. Vex.

LAURA: I'm going to sharpshooter him, the guy right in front of me.

TALIESIN: There's a lot of noises going on in this place for it to be okay.

MARISHA: Oh, it's fine. There are tunnels collapsing and shit. It's fine. I'm not concerned about the noise at the moment.

LAURA: 22 to hit?

MATT: 22 does hit.

LAURA: 21 damage on the first. And then 19 on the second. That's also Sharpshooter.

MATT: Nice.

LAURA: No, that's 19 to hit.

MATT: Gotcha. That hits.

LAURA: 27 on the second.

MATT: All right, nice. The guy who's controlling the sphere, after the first arrow strikes him right in the chest, he looks and starts to run up the stairway, and as it does, you take aim with your second arrow and release it, and it hits the base of the skull. You watch him go down one of the stairs.

TALIESIN: So the sphere is still there?

MATT: The sphere is still there.

LAURA: But he doesn't have control over it anymore. This guy in red is down, so all that's left is the guy and the wraiths?

TALIESIN: Was there a third guy?

LAURA: We killed him. That was the first guy we killed.

MATT: That finishes Scanlan's turn, right?

LAURA: Yeah, that was your turn.

SAM: Yeah, I'm done.

MATT: Keyleth's turn.

MARISHA: Okay. I run up as far as I can, 30 feet. Do I see this motherfucker?

MATT: Yeah, you see him. You have a 60-foot range of darkvision?

MARISHA: Or I see the glimmering of Bigby's Hand?

MATT: Yeah, I'd say you could probably see him okay. A little bit. It's very dark, but barely.

MARISHA: Fireball!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: That's an answer.

MATT: As you rush up, from the edge of the staff, a bead of red light engulfs the hallway above in flames. You see a split second of him and Bigby's Hand's outlines before fire engulfs the space. Go ahead and roll damage on that. That's a natural 20 on a save, so he gets half damage.

MARISHA: What the fuckballs?

MATT: I didn't even roll with advantage on that one.

SAM: You said Fireball on this guy? Bigby's Hand takes damage.

MARISHA: Does he? Magical?

SAM: Yeah, he has hit points.

TALIESIN: He could roll a save, though.

SAM: He could!

MATT: Let's check. Yep, it has no bonus, so you roll a d20 and see what you get.

SAM: 11.

MARISHA: 29 points of damage.

SAM: It's fine. Bigby's Hand has 167 hit points.

MATT: Yeah, it has your hit points.

LAURA: That's amazing!

SAM: Yeah, it's me.

MATT: That ends Keyleth's turn. He's still alive. This one's going to move through the hallway here.

MARISHA: He's still going after my ass?

MATT: This one's going after Pike.

LIAM: I get to attack. I've been holding.

LAURA: Pike gets to attack. Pike has been holding her action to attack as soon as she could, too.

MATT: So Pike gets her attack, and so do you.

LAURA: So 20 to hit on Pike.

MATT: 20 to hit? That hits.

LAURA: Where is my other d8? Here it is. (counting)

LIAM: When you hold, does bonus action carry over?

MATT: Nope, just the action.

LAURA: So it's 22.

MATT: 22. All right. And what's the saving throw?

LAURA: Saving throw is 15.

MATT: 15. Four, no. As it comes out of the wall reaching for Pike, she swings wide with the mace. As it slams into it, there's a flash of divine energy. Her eyes seem to pulse with a matching burst of radiant power, and as it hits, the creature squeals and squeaks as the light from the mace actually dashes it from this existence or any other. That is scattered into nothing from the shadows.

LIAM: I rolled an 18 and a one.

MATT: 18 hits. One misses.

LIAM: Okay, so sneak attack. One.

SAM: One misses?


LAURA: I know, right?


LIAM: 39 for the second attack.

MATT: 39 for the second attack. All righty. And with that, as this one reaches out towards Keyleth, your dagger strikes the back of its body, and as it impacts, you watch as its shadowed form turns into nothing but a splash of dark, half-existing ether, which then fades as your dagger clatters to the ground motionless.

LIAM: Back to the belt.

MATT: All right. Percival, you're up.

LAURA: Kill him!

TALIESIN: Reload. Going to take another shot.

MATT: All righty.


TALIESIN: Going to take a shot. Yeah, let's take another shot. Probably got a low AC. Let's make this a sharpshooter, just for fun. Yeah. That's a sharpshooter shot, so that's a 24 to hit?

MATT: 24 hits.

TALIESIN: All right. So let's do (counting) 26 points of damage.

MATT: 26 points of damage. (gunshot) The echo of the impact as you watch part of the lower jaw and throat of the cultist in the robe gets blown apart. He stumbles back onto the steps that he had barely started to get up off to and you watch and you hear the horrible coughing sound as his last moments of life are robbed of it as it tries to get back up and then stumbles right back and bleeds out against the steps.

TALIESIN: We can still interrogate him. He doesn't have to be alive for that. Any other problems?

LIAM: How's the ball doing?

MATT: It's hovering there in the center of the hall.

LAURA: We can't do anything about that bowling ball. Cover it with a handkerchief.

MARISHA: You beat me to it, man.

TALIESIN: Let's rifle through these guys' stuff. Which one do we want to interrogate?

MARISHA: Keyleth goes up to the red robe.

TALIESIN: Let's throw gray robe into the annihilation ball. Let's get rid of him.

TRAVIS: Vax. Why don't you go down the hallway and see if anyone else is coming? Keep watch.

LAURA: But stay within 60 feet. Everybody gather up around me again.

LIAM: Sis, come up to where Scanlan is so I can go a little further ahead.

MATT: Everyone is barely still within 60 feet.

TALIESIN: Everyone gather up. We're going to get our stuff.

LAURA: Avoid the ball.

MARISHA: Vax, can I borrow a dagger?

LIAM: Yeah. I give her Whisper.

MARISHA: I take it and I stab it in his other eye. Red robe guy.

MATT: Okay. (splat) Other eye is destroyed.

SAM: I'm going to use Bigby's Hand to grab the sphere.

MATT: Do you? Okay. Bigby's Hand reaches over and grabs towards the sphere, and as Bigby's form attempts to grasp the chaotic point of destructive energy, Bigby's Hand suffers 26 points of force damage and is forced to pull back.

SAM: That's not so bad.

MATT: But cannot grasp it. Cannot move it. (electrical shock)

LAURA: I'm going to rifle through the robes of red robe.

TALIESIN: I'm going to get Odell.

MATT: That's the one she's rifling through.

TALIESIN: Oh, okay. There was a third guy, right, that they killed early on?

MATT: Oh, the first guy. Yeah. Okay, gotcha.

TALIESIN: Assume we're going through every body and taking their shit.

LIAM: I'm standing as far from Vex as I can, but I can't go much farther because obviously-- yeah.

MATT: Okay. Interestingly enough, based on the current scenario and what preparation has been, no money on them. They have no worldly possessions that are what you consider of use. They each carry a gnarled wooden wand that they've been using as a focus for their spellcasting.

Beyond that, they have nothing on them except for the one that you shot have, you notice that the left hand is withered and gray, the skin is pulled taut against the bone. But beyond that, there is no other possessions on them, beyond the symbol of Vecna they wear around their throat.

MARISHA: How many of those symbols do we still have, and how many robes do we still have?

LAURA: Well, we can grab their robes, I don't know how many of those we have, but I think we also have a necklace.

SAM: Also, we can have Pickle talk to one of these arseholes.

TALIESIN: I think that's a good idea.

MARISHA: The guy that I'm standing over, red robe, I'm going to rip his necklace off.

MATT: Okay. You tear it off.

LAURA: I'm going to take his robes.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, we're taking all this shit.

MATT: So you take every set of robes. And these robes are different from the robes that you had seen in Thar Amphala before. These appear to be a little more ornate. They seem to have a little higher station, which is why it's interesting that beyond the robes and some basic undergarments and the wand, they have nothing on them. They are a sheer conduit of their own power.

TALIESIN: Were they drilling? I want to take a little bit of an inspection. Were they drilling with this thing? Is that why they had it?

MATT: Looking around the pathway, you can see that a lot of the staircase probably was more caved in, but has been cleared out by the movement of this orb. It's being used as a form of excavation tool as they push deeper into the catacombs here.

MARISHA: So they were holding on to that orb the whole time.

LAURA: Yeah, the guy in the red was controlling it.

MARISHA: Yeah. He didn't cast it, though. We didn't see him cast that.

LAURA: It came out of the wall.

MATT: Yeah, it came out of that little gap on the side there.

SAM: I'm going to go over to the sphere and say to it: I command thee to respect my authority and obey me as your new master.

MATT: Are you trying to exert your will on the sphere?

SAM: I'm intimidating the sphere.

MATT: Make an intelligence arcana check.

SAM: Intelligence arcana check?

MATT: Just an arcana check.

SAM: Oh! 19.

MATT: 19? And you're standing right next to the sphere to push your will into it?

SAM: Yeah, I came closer to it.

MATT: Okay. As you stand there, you focus on the orb, and you can feel your will push past the event horizon of the sphere. However, the force is too strong inside, and as you pull out of it instinctually, it moves towards you.

(screaming)

TALIESIN: Why did you have to tamper with the fundamental forces of nature?

MATT: Yeah. Ten feet. Which is right where you are, so I need you to make a dexterity saving throw.

LIAM: Matthew McConaughey is going to reach out of it for you.

SAM: That's not good. 11.

MATT: 11?

SAM: Bigby, save me!

MATT: The orb pulls back and slams into the edge of his gnomish face and chest, and you watch as his flesh is pulled towards and disintegrated at the exterior of the sphere.

LAURA: Can we reach down and grab him away from it?

MARISHA: Yeah, Grasping Vine!

MATT: You take 30 points of force damage, and it's currently now right in your square, right up against you.

LAURA: I use my Grasping Vine and I yank him away from it.

MARISHA: Yeah, move away!

MATT: Okay. So you all push him out of the way and the vine pulls him.

TRAVIS: Two-Face!

MATT: Yeah, you look a little rough.

LAURA: Scanlan, you're hideous now.

SAM: Don't look at me! I'm fine.

TRAVIS: Some other voice starts coming out of him.

SAM: I think I can take this thing.

LIAM: "So do you want me to talk to one of these guys?"

MATT: You got the sense that there is a way to exert your will over it the way these guys did, but in that moment, your will faltered, and you didn't quite understand the nature of the sphere.

SAM: I need to try again harder.

MARISHA: Wait!

LAURA: You got to roll higher than a 19. Can you give yourself inspiration?

SAM: This is an ability check, right?

MATT: This is an ability check, yes.

TALIESIN: Wait, was that a wisdom saving throw?

MATT: No. It was an arcana check.

TRAVIS: It might be high, dude. You might have to roll a 30.

TALIESIN: Let's leave it. Tend to the sick and leave the well alone.

TRAVIS: Indiana? Let it go.

LAURA: Or Dominate that shit.

SAM: I'll try one more time.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: All right. Let's all back up.

LAURA: I get ready with the vine to yank him away in case it starts moving toward him.

MATT: Okay. And everyone else backs up a little.

MARISHA: Keyleth stares with a vague familiarity.

SAM: I'm going to inspire myself.

MATT: Okay. So make your roll first, as you begin to focus and exert your will towards it. You add it on to it.

SAM: Pretty good.

LAURA: Now inspire!

SAM: And inspire?

MATT: Up to you.

SAM: Okay. Plus my what? Arcana?!

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Ooh, that's a lot. 30.

MATT: Okay. As you this time begin to push your will towards the sphere, you push past the event horizon, your consciousness connects with some--

SAM: (garbled) Listen to me, damn it! Respect my authority!

MATT: Some ancient space of the void within this blackened circle. As it connects-- What's your intelligence modifier?

SAM: Plus three.

MATT: Okay. What are you trying to will it to do?

SAM: I'm trying to will it to-- Shit, it's just a big black ball. Slam straight into the ceiling!

MATT: It moves up ten feet and then it hits, devours the stone above it to create this small tunnel right directly above.

LAURA: Oh my god! You did it.

SAM: We can use it!

TALIESIN: Finally.

SAM: Have you guys seen The Explorers?

TALIESIN: I'm *in* The Explorers, motherfucker. I'm *in* The Explorers.

SAM: You are?! That's one of my favorite movies of all time! Can I get your autograph?

TALIESIN: No.

LIAM: Were you kidding? Are you really in The Explorers?

TALIESIN: Yes! I'm really in The Explorers.

LIAM: Stop the game!

TALIESIN: I'm one of River's little brothers. I'm Ludwig.

SAM: Oh, wow!

MARISHA: Yeah, he knew River through that.

LAURA: What if we use the orb and go straight up? We don't even keep tunneling, we juat go straight up to the city.

SAM: It only listens to me.

LAURA: Yeah. Do you need us to heal you or anything?

SAM: No, this is a cool thing.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but it only makes a hole its size. It's two feet across.

TALIESIN: I think he's not ready to pop a wheelie on this thing yet.

TRAVIS: Plus, remember the guy was concentrating super hard, so it's the only thing Scanlan will probably be able to do.

MARISHA: But if he cores out a tunnel for us, we can carry Scanlan like on a palanquin? Like We Are The Champions?

SAM: Guys, I think we can make it. No, we can't! We'll never make it! Yes, we can!

LIAM: All I'm thinking is I could come up and do Lay on Hands and heals, but I'm like, you made your bed, lie in it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, no. I'm okay with this.

LAURA: What do you think? Do you want to go up?

SAM: We're still investigating these guys and stuff.

MARISHA: Fuck these guys! We got all their shit. Let's go!

SAM: I'm going to call this ball Simon Three.

TRAVIS: Do we know how far the sphere can move in a single movement?

MATT: You watched him push it, and it went about 15 feet.

TRAVIS: The sphere can only move 15 feet.

SAM: It will slow us down.

MATT: It's a very slow-moving ball of destruction.

TALIESIN: Bring the sphere back down so that we can throw their bodies into the sphere so that they don't turn into undead fuckwads.

LIAM: Wait a second, though! God, I don't know what this will do. I have a spell called Zone of Truth.

LAURA: So it forces them to speak the truth? Does it work on undead?

LIAM: A creature that enters the spell's area for the first time. If it fails.

LAURA: So you could cast it, and then Pike could cast Speak with Dead, and it would come up into the Zone of Truth.

LIAM: That's right.

TRAVIS: No, they have to tell the truth when you do Speak with Dead.

LIAM: No, they don't.

MATT: They don't have to.

MARISHA: They can lie.

TALIESIN: Here's a weird question: what saving throw do they have to make to speak the truth?

LIAM: An affected creature is aware of the spell and can thus avoid answering questions to which it would normally respond with a lie. So it could avoid the questions.

LAURA: But they have to answer the questions.

LIAM: But they *have* to answer the questions because of the other spell.

LAURA: Right?

SAM: Double mumbo-jumbo?

MATT: It can't tell a lie, as you're discussing this. Technically, a creature would be unable to lie in the area.

LIAM: Unable to lie, and with Pike's spell--

LAURA and LIAM: They have to answer the question.

MATT: Let me double-check for you.

TALIESIN: And what's the save?

LIAM: Charisma saving throw against *my* spell saving DC, which is not huge.

MARISHA: What is it?

LIAM: 16.

MATT: I mean, it does have to answer.

LIAM: I like it.

TALIESIN: Are we going to try this crazy shit?

LAURA: Let's do it!

MARISHA: Might as well. Okay, hang on, though! What are we going to get from this guy?

LAURA: Find out how close we are to Vasselheim.

TALIESIN: Yeah, what's the plan? What are they trying to do?

LIAM: What has Vecna got cooking?

TALIESIN: What's Vecna planning? How many of them are there?

MARISHA: I'm going to go pee, you guys.

LIAM: He might not know everything. How long does it take for Keyleth to pee?

LAURA: No, but how close we are to Vasselheim? What's the plan of attack in Vasselheim? How big is his army? We get five questions, I think, with Speak with Dead.

TALIESIN: Five?

SAM: How close are we? What's his plan? Where is he?

LAURA: Where is Vecna within the city?

SAM: Who's with him?


LAURA: Who's the death knight?

TALIESIN: He might not know that. But what are they excavating for? What are they looking for?

TRAVIS: I think I know that.

TALIESIN: I think I know, too, but I want to hear him say it. It'd make me feel better.

LAURA: Let's do it! Cast your Zone, yo!

TALIESIN: Get in the zone.

LAURA: (singing) Autozone!

MATT: (chuckling) Autozone of Truth?

LIAM: Shit. So can anyone drag him down on his roll to save, or boost me?

TALIESIN: No. Not me.

LAURA: I don't think so.

LIAM: Does anyone have a cantrip? Okay. All right. Let's do it.

MATT: All right. So which one?

LIAM: Well, first Zone of Truth, then Pike.

MATT: Okay. So you create the Zone of Truth, you create the area, the radial space where the divine energy kicks in and the compulsion to not lie remains within. And then Pike--

LAURA: Casts Speak with Dead.

MATT: On which corpse? There are three corpses.

LIAM: Red robe seemed more fancy.


SAM: Who seemed more senior?

LIAM: Red robe did.

MATT: There are three, technically.

SAM: There was the guy they killed right when they burst on the scene.

TALIESIN: We'll take the fanciest cloak.

MATT: Okay. It's relative, but the guy who was controlling the sphere seemed to be at least different.

LAURA: He had a different color. Yeah, red robe.

MATT: All right. So as Pike takes the time to focus and recite the incantation, she grabs her holy symbol and focuses and speaks aloud the words in Celestial of the blessing of Sarenrae. And as she completes the ritual, she suddenly screams out in pain and grabs at her head and falls to her knees. No effect. And she suffers--

LAURA: Oh no! What did he do to Pike?

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

MATT: On 6d6, I rolled four sixes and a five. That's 31 points of psychic damage to Pike.

LIAM: She tried to cast Speak with Dead Dumbfuck.

MATT: She's shaking and grabbing her face and rubbing her eyes, and it takes her a moment to come back to you and she looks around, and you can see a faint bit of blood slightly dripping out of the corner of her eyes. She's like, "All I heard was laughter."

SAM: Laughter?

LAURA: And you said it was minus 36 damage?

MATT: 31.

LIAM: Vecna is in these motherfuckers' brains.

MARISHA: Everyone looks upset.

LAURA: Pike got psychic damage from that dude.

MARISHA: How much? A lot?

LAURA: 31 points of psychic damage.

MARISHA: Oh, that's a lot, yeah.

TALIESIN: Burn the bodies. Fuck it.

MARISHA: Throw them down the well.

TALIESIN: Throw them into the sphere.

MARISHA: Oh yeah!

SAM: Sphere! Do your worst.

MATT: One by one, you grab and take the corpses and thrust them towards the sphere, as they immediately crumple, fold and get pulled in, turned to nothingness, disappearing into the black void. There are elements of the way the sphere acts and manipulates things that remind you of the siphons, though differently. It's more violent in some ways, and it is its own contained magical entity. With each body, it vanishes in the sphere, and you all sit there for a moment taking a breath and deciding the next order of business in traversing the insides of this titan.


And that's where we'll end tonight's game, because it's 11:30.

MARISHA: I feel like I always come back from the bathroom right as we're ending games.

SAM: First of all, it's so great to be back!

TALIESIN: It's so nice to be back.

SAM: Matt, thank god you're totally 100 percent healed and all better again.

MATT: No longer real bad. It's great. Sorry. But yeah, missed you guys. We'll be back next week, pick up from here, see as the final charge gets closer and closer. What will you guys do next time? In the meantime, rest well, don't forget, if you can, to give to the Red Cross to help support the victims of recent hurricane battering in the US.

LAURA: Look for Shadow of War.

MATT: Shadow of War coming out on October tenth.

MARISHA: Our comic on Wednesday.

MATT: Yep, look for that. And we'll see you guys soon. Have a wonderful week, we love you, and: Is it Thursday yet? Good night.

[music]

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