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List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.

SAM: Dirty ass voice actors?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Is that what you said?

MATT: That is what I said.

LIAM: That's accurate.

MATT: Yeah. Before we go into tonight's game, we have a couple of quick announcements to go through, one of which is kind of awesome. First and foremost, we have our fantastic friends and sponsors of this campaign thus far and going on to infinity, D&D Beyond. Sam, if you want to talk a little bit about that, please.

SAM: Hey everybody, D&D Beyond wanted you guys to know that Mordenk*a*inen's *Tome* of Foes is out. Big news here guys, it's not Mordenka*i*nen's, and it's not a Tomb of Foes, as I've been saying it. It's Mordenkainen's Tomb-- Tome of Foes. Fuck!

(laughter)

SAM: You can purchase it right now at D&D Beyond on their website. Also, if a player in your campaign has a master level subscription, any player, not just the DM, that owns Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes can share content with everyone in the party. But the real announcement tonight is that D&D Beyond has gone beyond. They've made a thing that I made, but then they took it and they made it, but it's even better than I made it. We're going to play it for you tonight, and you might enjoy it. Have you guys seen it yet?

LIAM: We're about to!

SAM: It's so good! Okay, roll that tape.

[drum intro]

♪ You got the perfect warlock, ♪ ♪ her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'cause you're so disorganized! ♪ ♪ You click open the web page ♪ ♪ you heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ in that mineshaft full of gnolls! ♪ ♪ It's D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats, you got your sword ♪ ♪ and you've got your invisible wand! ♪ ♪ It's D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond! ♪

(cheering)

SAM: That's amazing.

TRAVIS: Holy shit!

SAM: Yeah, they did it.

LAURA: It was so wonderful! We're an 80s cartoon, guys!

SAM: It's so good.

MATT: It's weirdly emotional.

SAM: It's all of our characters, animated! We have to give some shout outs to Kamille and Kevin Areopagita for working on this. Those were the animators. Go visit at twitter @Karekareo. We'll put it up on the thing. You can visit their Patreon, Patreon.com/kiframe. It's really cool, and it's really fast, so we thought we might play it again.

ALL: (chanting) Again! One more time!

[drum intro]

♪ You got the perfect warlock, ♪ ♪ her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'cause you're so disorganized! ♪ ♪ You click open the web page ♪ ♪ you heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ in that mineshaft full of gnolls! ♪ ♪ It's D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats, you got your sword ♪ ♪ and you've got your invisible wand! ♪ ♪ It's D&D! (D&D) ♪ ♪ D&D! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond! ♪ (cheering)

TALIESIN: Thank you, Sam!

SAM: It's not me, it's them! It's the D&D!

TRAVIS: Those fucking vocals, son. That shit.

MATT: How layered was that harmony at the end?

SAM: I did like seven or 12 tracks of harmony. There's all kinds of stuff going on.

TRAVIS: The synth gives me 80s life in the best way.

SAM: The drum fill at the end: there's a real drum fill, but it's also me going: Do do, do do, do do.

(laughter)

MATT: Seriously, Kamille, Kevin Areopagita, you guys are amazing. Such an incredible job on that. I want to plug their Patreon again because they deserve it. That’s patreon.com/kiframe. Go check out their work. They’re fantastic.

ASHLEY: Unreal.

TRAVIS: I will be watching that on repeat until 3:00am.

MATT: Yeah. Yeah, I know.

LIAM: Can we all cry if we can get the whole game tonight?

MATT: It wouldn’t be Critical Role if we didn’t at some point. Thank you, D&D Beyond, for being fantastic partners in this and for making that shit happen! (voice cracking) Okay, moving on. Oh man.

LIAM: (voice cracking) Emotional cry!

MATT: I know! Vox Machina: Origins, the hardcover, the physical copy went on sale today! It is available for purchase now through our friends at Dark Horse. You can find all the details at critrole.com. It includes the collection of the six issue, Vox Machina: Origins comic arc, previously digital release only, as well as a bunch of extras in the back. The art process and the designing of the characters, a whole map of Stilben, and a bunch of information about some of the characters, creatures, and items that you see throughout the story, for possible use in your home game. But anyway, check it out. I hope you enjoy it. We’re real proud of it. Stream of Many Eyes starts tomorrow. Ashley and me are going to be playing on a game tomorrow night for Force Grey and then a bunch of us are going to be there on Sunday throughout the day doing various games. You can check out dnd.wizards.com/SoME for all the information for this weekend. If you can’t be there in person, they are streaming it so at least you can check it all out there. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Cool reveals, and crazy stuff.

LAURA and TALIESIN: So crazy.

MATT: It’s so crazy. Talks Machina is every Tuesday evening at 7:00pm Pacific where our fantastic, recently-escaped-from-the-Far-Realm Brian W. Foster will be hosting. This is discussed next week on the things that happened in this week’s episode you’re about to see. So check it out. It should be fun. I will be at A-Kon, June 8th to the 10th. So in a couple weeks, I’ll be out there at Dallas/Fort Worth for panels, signings and going to talk and hang out with people as much as I can. So if you’re in that area, come say hello! I believe--

LAURA: Wait, I’ve got one thing.

MATT: Oh, what you got? What you got, Laura?

LAURA: Oh well, I was just perusing our store recently because sometimes I do that.

SAM: Full of good stuff!

LAURA: It is full of good stuff, but something I noticed that we haven’t announced is that the rings that we had forever ago.

TRAVIS: The d20 ring?

LAURA: The d20 spinner rings? Those things are in the store right now. I don’t know if we found a stockpile of them that we had missed, but there are some in the store right now. Just so you know.

TRAVIS: Where the 20 is the CR logo, too?

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

LAURA: I know, we just found some, I guess, because they’re there! There’s a bunch of other stuff, too, t-shirts and stuff, but the spinner ring is there for maybe five more seconds. Maybe. I don’t know.

MATT: I do like the idea that we have mystery caches of old items showing up. It’s a perpetual surprise! You’ll never know what you’ll see!

LIAM: And new items. New items on sale right now.

TRAVIS: It’s so pretty!

LIAM: Look at this. Also, hi, Dread Singles, feel better! Look at that! Look at it on paper! Look at the color! We can hold it and taste it and smell it!

MATT: Olivia Samson, our fantastic Critter artist, did such a great job on this series. If you haven’t had a chance to look at her work, please do. She’s amazing. And on that note, let us all jump in to tonight’s episode of Critical Role.

TRAVIS: (drum beat)

[click, TV static] [groovy Critical Role theme]

Part IEdit

MATT: And welcome back. That was pretty creative. Well done.

LIAM: He would totally do that.

MATT: Hmm, that’s a 6th-level spell. Anyway, welcome back. To catch up on what previously occurred. The Mighty Nein had decided to leave Zadash in the wake of the now declared war between the Dwendalian Empire and the Xhorhasian hordes to the east. You decided to side with The Gentleman, a purveyor of various darker and underhanded deeds throughout this side of the Empire who offered you two possible contracted options. You chose both and proceeded onto your first leg of this journey to the northeast to the Labenda Swamp and to the city of Berleben where you were tasked to discover what had happened to a safe house of which various smuggled goods would be stored and then transported through, that had gone dark for a number of weeks. You packed up, made your way in that direction, traversed through the outskirts of the swamp, managed to save a tiny bird friend from being consumed by a few large crocodiles and scoured the swamp city of Berleben in search of some means of information to find the individual that The Gentleman says would be able to help you in this journey, Febron. Febron was found, drunk and disorderly, in the Keystone Pub.

LAURA: That's so sexy.

MATT: Oh, so sexy. He's a right nice one. But no. You managed to interrogate him, made him an offer he couldn't refuse and he agreed to lead you onto where the safe house exists within the swamp. You rented out the rooms in the subterranean chambers of the old and almost collapsed pub. You separated yourselves for the evening, completed your rest and we pick up as morning comes to greet you. Lightless, as there are no windows and you just eventually come to on what you assume is an evening's full rest. You all independently come to shake your heads and get yourselves prepared for what the next day's journey arises, you gather your things and you glare at the rather awkward Febron across the way, who, as you wake up, is just sitting there watching you sleep.

MARISHA and LAURA: Ew.

ASHLEY: You're so creepy. I'm going to pull the bed out from the door. Are you ready to get up?

MATT: Well, I mean, I'm ready to do whatever you want. Lead the way.

ASHLEY: Great. (retches) Okay. Open the door, we'll head upstairs.

MATT: You guys begin to--

LAURA: We wake up all cuddled in a pile in our room.

MARISHA: Yeah. Just floofy with Kiri in between.

MATT: (chirping)

LAURA: A little cuddle pile.

MATT: (like Jester) "It's sharp!"

LAURA: You don't sleep with the daggers, Kiri. You want to remove them.

MATT: (chirping)

LAURA: We should have taught her that last night.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's pretty-- I'm glad we're alive.

MATT: You guys all begin to gather and make your way up the ladder, through the hatch in the floor of the Keystone Pub, which is not bustling by any means. There are maybe three patrons in the process of having their morning ale. You glance over the side and you can see Dent Bonswallow who's in the process of cleaning off a number of the glasses from the night before. He looks over in your direction and goes, "Oh, right. Bright morning to you all. Rise up! Would you like breakfast of some kind, hey?"

TRAVIS: That's a lot of fucking energy this early in the morning. God. (clears throat)

LAURA: I would like so much of whatever you have, please, thank you.

MATT: "Right. Coming right up! Go an find a place to sit, be with you in about an hour."

ALL: An hour?!

MATT: "Well, I've got to make your food!"

(grumbling)

TRAVIS: Do you have to go and kill it first?

MATT: He's counting. "About an hour."

LAURA: Ugh. That's a long time.

TRAVIS: Yeah. What are we going to do until then?

SAM: It's like an Easy-Bake Oven.

TRAVIS: I mean, should we explore the street that we're on? I mean, we've got a long wait time.

SAM: Should we see if the-- oh, no. The horses were taken.

TRAVIS: They took the cart.

LAURA: To the stables.

MATT: Yeah, that's all situated there. There is, in the far corner of the chamber, the back wall opposite to the right of where the stage is being constructed-- though right now, it looks like there's no current construction going on at the moment-- a hooded figure is slowly walking towards the table where you guys are deciding or not whether to sit.

LAURA: We run for it and we get the table first.

MATT: Okay. You manage to sit on one of the small benches on the side. Scrapes the ground as you push into the side and the--

MARISHA: I take my staff and I lay it long ways over the entire bench on the other side.

TRAVIS: The old movie theater grab?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: The cloaked figure stops and takes in this physical display, and then continues to approach.

LIAM: Frumpkin walks to the edge of the table and shows his butthole by lifting his tail up.

MATT: Mark, if you want to step in.

MARISHA: We're always so mean to the guests!

MATT: Mark Hulmes, long-time friend, dungeon master of High Rollers.

LIAM: I just can't believe he got here.

MARK: You tried.

MATT: The first thing you see: the individuals you have been waiting throughout the evening to show up begin to step through, groggily complain about the space and then claim a table as you begin to approach, which you are greeted with stares and a cat butthole.

LAURA: This table is taken by The Mighty Nein, but if you need anything, there's other tables.

MARK: Oh yeah. Hi, actually, I kind of-- You see this feminine-looking figure. Long black hair that covers almost the entire side of her left face, wearing a hood up, dark green cloak, black and green clothes, you can occasionally see green ribbons in her long hair. She is like: I'm really sorry to bother you guys, just-- I couldn't help but overhear some conversation you had last-- I'm sorry to be really forward. Are you heading into the swamp today?

MARISHA: You were listening in to our conversations?

MARK: Not on purpose. I'm really desperate to find a way into the swamp and you were talking really loudly.

MARISHA: That's accurate, probably.

LAURA: I like your ribbons.

MARK: Thank you. Oh my-- you're blue! And she (gasps) And she looks up at you.

LAURA: You're not.

MARK: No. I mean, you're so cute! And looks around.

TRAVIS: If you don't mind us asking, why are you heading into the swamp yourself?

MARK: Oh. Well, it's kind of a long story just--

LIAM: Oh, well we have an hour.

MARK: It's also a bit of, well, I mean. You guys haven't been hired by any creepy people in dragon masks, have you? You don't know anyone like that?

MARISHA: I mean, not for several years for a different reason.

TALIESIN: Definitely a long time since I've dealt with anyone in a dragon mask.

LAURA: I've never seen anyone in a dragon mask before.

SAM: We've been hired by creepy people, but not by-- Oh, so I'm wearing a mask, but that is a different kind of mask. It's not a dragon mask.

MARISHA: Same kind of creepy, though.

LAURA: And this is a bird.

MATT: (chirping)

MARK: What is that?

LAURA and TALIESIN: A bird.

MARK: Like, it walks around?

MATT: (like Jester) "A bird."

LAURA: She. She walks around.

MATT: (like Jester) "She walks around."

TRAVIS: Repeats stuff, yeah.

MARK: Oh my god.

LAURA: She's kind of the best.

MARK: She's adorable! Hello?

MATT: (like Cali) "Hello?"

SAM: She's doing you.

MATT: (whistles)

MARK: (stuttering) Oh my god.

LIAM: Edubation.

MATT: She pulls a dagger out.

LAURA: No! Probably not so much like that.

MARK: Wow. I've never seen a bird like that before that can talk. Is that your daughter?

TRAVIS: Yes. Yep. Mm-hmm.

SAM: Yes, he's my dad.

MARK: I can tell by the ears.

LAURA: And the green.

MARK: Yeah, that's what I thought. Green ears and then like the-- anyway. Sorry, I'm getting distracted from what you asked me. That happens sometimes. Just give me a nudge and I'll get back on track. There's something out in the swamp. There's somewhere, like a smuggler's hold out or like a storehouse, I think maybe.

LAURA: Mm. Weird. That's crazy.

TALIESIN: That's a weird thing to put in the middle of a swamp.

LAURA: Yeah, well, anyway. What it is that you need with that, though?

MARK: Well, somebody was transporting an item I'm looking for and I think it's there and I need get it before some other people get it. But I'm not stealing it. Well, I kind of am stealing it, but I'm taking it back for a good reason.

LAURA: Is it the people in the dragon masks that want it?

MARK: Yeah, it is. You look trustworthy.

TRAVIS: Are you getting paid for this item retrieval?

MARK: Me?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARK: No. It's more of a personal thing. I want to make sure it doesn't get into the wrong hands.

LAURA: Is it your underwear?

MARK: What?

SAM: Yeah. What's the item? I mean. I'm sure my father would want to know what's the item.

MATT: (like Jester) "Your underwear?"

MARK: Well it's a bowl? I know that sounds weird. I think it's part of a ritual and I need to get it.

SAM: Like a bowl or a *bowl*?

MARK: I've never seen a bowl like that. You couldn't get a lot of soup in a bowl like that big. I mean a big bowl.

LAURA: It's a soup bowl then?

TRAVIS: What have you been doing after school? Honey?

SAM: After school activities.

MARK: You have a really comfortable relationship. It's really nice to see, to be honest.

TRAVIS: Very open, yeah. We're like best friends.

SAM: I tell him everything.

MARK: That's good. You need to have that trust between family.

LIAM: You want to have a big bowl.

TRAVIS: So you're searching for a bowl.

MARK: Yeah. That's right.

TRAVIS: And used in rituals?

MARK: I think so, yes. I need to make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, that's all.

TRAVIS: Our business might be headed out that way a little later today. Does she have any weapons on her that are visible?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Not me!

MARISHA: You're not Grog anymore, it's okay.

TRAVIS: Yes. That's okay. 17.

MATT: Hey. Glancing about--

MARK: There's no obvious weapons that you can see on her, but she has this long green cloak that's really covering her left side and you would probably see that there's black scales all over her left side and she's deliberately holding her arm completely hidden. Her arm's invisible underneath the cloak.

LIAM: Also, I'm wondering if she seems straightforward. Is the nervousness an act?

MATT: Make an insight check.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MATT: Welcome to playing with Caleb.

LAURA: Insight check. Insight check!

MARK: I know. I've seen this show.

LIAM: It's a 15.

MATT: 15? Okay. It seems to be rather forthright. Yeah. Seems to be on the level.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Which is not a good answer.

MATT: Yeah. She seems nervous.

LIAM: Could go either way on that.

MATT: You know, based on what you're asking. As far as the features, if I recall, they're was it half-elven?

MARK: Yeah. The human half looks half-elven, ever so slightly elven features. Slightly pointed ear, but the left side covered.

MARISHA: All right. So you're looking for a bowl. A dangerous bowl.

LAURA: A soup bowl used in rituals.

MARK: Yeah.

MARISHA: You don't want to get it in the wrong hands because--

TALIESIN: Of people in dragon masks.

TRAVIS: Do you think they're sending people to get it there before you?

MARK: I love your jewelry by the way. It's really nice.

TALIESIN: Thank you. I've picked everything out myself. This is all put together.

LAURA: (tinkling)

LIAM: Also, why do these people want the bowl that you're talking about?

MARK: They're-- Do any of them have holy symbols or religious symbols anywhere on their person?

TALIESIN: I'm literally covered in them.

MARK: Of who?

TALIESIN: Everybody. Literally, the coat is made up of seven different options.

MATT: Everybody who is legal within the Empire.

TALIESIN: Yes. But there's also-- yeah.

MARK: Is the Platinum Dragon one of those?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I'm wearing a Platinum Dragon necklace.

MARK: Okay. She notices the Platinum Dragon. Are you a worshipper of the Platinum Dragon by any chance?

TALIESIN: Sure.

MARK: Okay, yeah. Well, if you're traveling with somebody who's a worshipper of the Platinum Dragon, I guess I can trust you.

TRAVIS: Oh, good for us.

LAURA: He's incredibly trustworthy and he worships like crazy.

TALIESIN: That's what everybody says.

MARK: Oh, by the gods, that's--

TALIESIN: Remind me to show you my tapestries.

MARK: Okay.

TRAVIS: Is that code for something?

TALIESIN: No, it's literally my tapestries.

MARISHA: Just don't touch them.

LAURA: Because he's had them wrapped around his weenie.

MARK: Like. Oh my good-- uh, well, um.

TALIESIN: She's high on sugar. Don't listen to her. Anyway.

MARK: Yeah. Have you ever heard of the Scaled Tyrant?

TRAVIS and SAM: No.

MARK: Well, it's probably a good thing. They're not a very nice goddess and the worshippers of her are after this bowl and I need to stop them getting it. They're not good people.

TRAVIS: And you have a reason to believe that they were expeditiously heading towards this bowl as well?

MARK: They bought it and I think they're after it now, yes.

LIAM: This is a very tactless question, but you are talking about the Scaled Tyrant and you also are sporting some scales. Is that a coincidence or are they related?

MARK: I'm sorry, a lot of people get really nervous when they see them. I'm not diseased or cursed or anything just-- yeah, I've--

LIAM: We're pretty cool.

MARK: She brushes the hair to her side and she adjusts the cloak and you can see the whole left side is black dragon scales and her hand is a draconic claw.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Whoa!

MARK: A black dragon tail sweeps out from under the cloak. I'm like a tenth dragon and some people get freaked out by that.

MARISHA: You're sure you're just a tenth?

MARK: Yeah, I think so. All I know is that a great ancestor of mine was a black dragon and I've inherited some of that.

LAURA: Like a full dragon?

MARK: Yeah, that's what I've been told.

MATT: "I think it's pretty sexy to be honest." You see Febron there, is this creepier old man, balding, little liver spotted, missing most of his teeth, one eye wandering a bit.

MARK: Is he with you?

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: Well, he's going to take us where we need to go.

MARK: Oh, so--

LIAM: He's work for hire.

MARK: Okay. All right. I'm just going to stand next to Caleb, away from this guy.

MARISHA: I've had shorter conversations with family members. What's your name?

MARK: Oh, sorry. I'm Calianna, you can call me Cali.

MARISHA: Kelly?

MARK: Cali.

MARISHA: Cali. Calianna, that's cool.

MARK: Hi! Nice to meet you all. What are your names?

MATT: (like Nott) "Welcome to the Mighty Nein!" The little bird creature begins to chirp in your direction.

MARK: That's a really long name.

LAURA: She's Kiri.

MARK: Oh, Kiri. Hello Kiri. I am Cali.

MATT: (like Cali) “Hello Kiri. I'm Cali.”

MARK: No you're Kiri.

MATT: (like Cali) “You're Kiri.”

MARK: No, I'm Cali.

MATT: (chirping)

SAM: Only 56 more minutes until breakfast is ready!

MATT: For the sake of expediency, you share what information you choose to in that space of time, but food does come to you piecemeal as your fine Dent Bonswallow friend decides to deliver plate by plate as it arrives. It's passable, most of it’s a little overcooked breakfast meats, bit of rubbery egg and that's about it. A good swamp breakfast.

LAURA: They need more sugar here.

TRAVIS: Listen, we are kind of heading in that direction.

MARK: I won't be a burden or anything, but if you don't mind me coming, I could use the help. The swamp, I've tried to go out in it by myself, and there's something out there.

LAURA: Gators. Giant ones.

MARK: I've seen some of those, I avoided those. But there's also something else. I haven't quite seen it yet.

MATT: (growling) You hear this deep, horrible growling sound that echoes around you.

MARK: That's it, I heard that noise.

MATT: You see Kiri's feathers fluffing up as she does it. (growling)

SAM: Can you do that again, Kiri?

MATT: (growling)

SAM: Have we ever heard this sound before?

MATT: It's the sound of the crocodiles from the battle before.

LIAM: Frumpkin travels over to Kiri and starts going (purring) as he nestles against Kiri.

MATT: Kiri starts fluffing and loosely purring back.

MARK: Is that cat with you?

LIAM: The cat is with *me*.

MARK: Oh, cats don't like me. They tend to really freak out.

TRAVIS: Yes! I understand that completely. You and I, we're going to be real close, I can feel.

MARK: I think they can smell the dragon blood.

TRAVIS: I know, they can tell.

MARK: Are you a dragon as well?!

TRAVIS: No. I'm allergic.

LIAM: I take a step and a half away from Cali.

LAURA: Cali, did you hear any howling in the swamp, because we heard there were howling monsters?

MATT: Nothing that was howling-esque, necessarily, but you didn't travel too far into the swamp.

MARK: No, I didn't really go that far deep in, with the gators and some shadows moving around. I know a little magic, but I've never fought before, so.

SAM: You've never fought?

MARK: No, I had a bit of a reclused upbringing. I learned magic, I know a few spells, and I learned how to control it a bit. Draconic blood gives me some magic, but I've never been in a *real* fight before.

SAM: Caleb can teach you all about magic, he knows all the spells and he's very wise.

MARK: Really?

SAM: Yes!

MARK: Oh wow!

TRAVIS: Although I don't think we're going to have time for that. If you're going to join us, you're going to have to work for your food, you understand?

MARK: I do!

TRAVIS: My name's Fjord, by the way.

MARK: Nice to meet you Fjord.

MARISHA: Beau.

MARK: Beau?

LIAM: Caleb. Yeah.

SAM: Bren.

MARK: Bren?

LAURA: Jester Fancypants.

MARK: That's a brilliant name.

TALIESIN: Molly.

ASHLEY: Yasha.

MARK: I haven't spoken to you. You're very big.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I mean, that's just me.

MARK: I like your black and white hair, that's cool.

ASHLEY: Thanks.

MARISHA: You're very excitable.

MATT: (like Jester) "This is Kiri."

MARK: Cali.

ASHLEY: So can you shoot out fire out your nose, and all that?

MARK: Well, kind of.

LAURA: Just the one, one nostril?

MARK: I could try, yeah. It’s mainly if I breathe, it's more acid. But I can control some fire as well.

MARISHA: Do you have one little wing back there, too?

MARK: No wings, just the tail and the claw.

MARISHA: That would have been cool, though.

MARK: The claw's kind of sharp, I learned to fight with it a little bit.

ASHLEY: Can I see it?

MARK: Yeah, I'm just-- Is there anybody else around in the tavern?

MATT: There's at this point, two other patrons, but they're not really paying attention.

MARK: I'll put my back to them, and then I'll move up to Yasha. She takes her cloak off and brings out this scaled--

MATT: "Jesus Christ! That's your arm?"

MARK: Is that the--?

MATT: Yeah, that's Febron.

MARK: Yeah it is.

MATT: "Don't get me wrong, I still think it’s pretty foxy."

TALIESIN: That's somehow even creepier.

LAURA: You know what, I appreciate that you're so accepting of everything, Febron.

MARK: It is quite nice.

MATT: "Been around as long as I have, you live a life of beggars can't be choosers."

TALIESIN: And right back in the pit. Anyway.

MARK: But yeah, I'm happy to help, and work, and do what you need me to do. I just really need to get this item. I need to make sure it--

TRAVIS: I understand. Unfortunately, my daughter is very particular about shiny and expensive things, so if this bowl has any worth, I'm afraid we might need to be compensated for our troubles. Did you happen to bring any coin with you?

MARK: Only a little. I could maybe trade you something for it, but I'd like to keep it on me for now, if you don't mind. It's a small trinket. It's got a little bit of magic, but it’s just that-- you can see on her human arm, it's a silver bracelet with a charm token hanging off it with a green emerald.

SAM: I love trinkets.

MARK: It's an arcane focus, I'm told, but it has a little magic to it.

LAURA: Trinkets are pretty great.

SAM: They are. They always have been.

TRAVIS: We normally have a no stranger policy, but we'll keep a close eye on you. If you get up to any tricksy business--

MARK: I promise, no tricksy business from me.

TRAVIS: I hear you talking still. Yeah, Yasha and Molly, they'll remove your head for you. You understand?

TALIESIN: Very gently and politely, but yeah.

ASHLEY: You know what? I really like your scales. I would probably fashion a cool cover for my arm.

LAURA: Yasha!

ASHLEY: I'm not going to do it, I'm just saying it’s really cool. Full transparency.

MARK: I'll be good. I promise.

MARISHA: We're not responsible for any injury or death that you may sustain while traveling with us. Even if it is from a member of The Mighty Nein.

TRAVIS: Should we have him sign something? I mean, should we have a release form?

LAURA: I'll write up a release form really fast.

SAM: Oh! Illustrated?

LAURA: Yes!

SAM: Illustrate all the things that could happen.

LAURA: Arms being chopped off. An axe to the face. I will illustrate being burned by fire.

SAM: Castration.

LAURA: Pulled apart by gators. Probably something creepy and howling eating you as well.

LIAM: This is probably stating the obvious, but if you have not picked up on it yourself, we are kind of a pack of assholes.

LAURA: I'm going to use the colored ink from my mom to make it really gory.

MARK: You're not trying to burn me. You're not threatening to kill me because I'm cursed. Yeah, you all seem lovely, really. You're much better than most people I have to deal with, to be honest.

LAURA: Here you go. You can sign this.

MARK: Okay! Sorry.

(laughter)

LAURA: All right, we have a deal.

TRAVIS: Good, you're in.

LAURA: Welcome to The Mighty Nein!

MATT: (like Jester) "Welcome to The Mighty Nein!"

MARK: The bird is adorable!

MARISHA: Oh shit there's not-- no, we're not ironic any more!

TRAVIS: Well, we'll see how we are at the end of the day. Bet that’ll fix itself.

MARISHA: Oh, that's true.

LIAM: Yeah, we are. Because when we write the name down, it's actually the Zemnian word for no. So even if there's nine people, then--

TRAVIS: You're overthinking it Caleb.

MARISHA: It’s a double entendre.

LAURA and TALIESIN: Lets go!

ASHLEY: Wait, we haven't eaten-- oh yes, we have. Sorry.

LAURA: Lots of pocket bacon.

TALIESIN: We ordered coffee? We're still waiting on coffee? Is there going to be a dessert? Was there a dessert menu? Can I get a container? Eggs never keep, anyway.

MATT: You gather your things, finish off the remainder of your lackluster breakfast. At this point now, the morning air is chilled, though there is still humidity that permeates the swamp vicinity. You hear the bugs beginning to grow louder with the distant cicada/cricket sounds in the distance echoing through the swamp. There is a low fog that is fairly prominent this early in the morning. You can see about 15 or 20 feet beyond the barrier of the outer swamp before the moisture begins to pick up. You see just the shaded trunks of trees beyond that for another 60 or so feet before it becomes completely obscured by fog.

LAURA: Whoa, it’s creepy!

TALIESIN: Does it always do that?

MATT: “This time of year it does. It's just getting close to winter.”

MARISHA: Do we have basically zero visibility?

MATT: Not zero visibility. You have traveling about 30 feet of general visibility, and then it begins to get a little bit beyond that. At this point Febron chimes in. "Don't worry, it burns off a bit as the day go on."

TRAVIS: Febron, any suggestions whether to move through the muck fine land or through the trees?

MATT: "I mean, we're going to go through all of it, really, but we're going to head for the outside of the Ounterloch."

TRAVIS: The where?

MATT: "The Ounterloch."

MARISHA: Ounterloch.

LIAM: Under the lake?

MATT: "We're heading towards the lake. We're going to try and make our way around the outskirts of it, but we're going to have to coast through the swamp to get there. That way we're not trudging through the main central area too much."

SAM: Are we taking the cart? Or just going on foot?

MATT: "Oh I wouldn't recommend taking that with us, no."

TRAVIS: We'll leave it, it'll be fine, daughter.

SAM: Sure, Papa. May I have my allowance now?

TRAVIS: No. You've been naughty. No.

ASHLEY: Nott-y.

MARK: He's a very stern dad.

SAM: He is, but fair.

MATT: As you guys are plotting a means out there, Kiri has the dagger out and is practicing little swings excitedly.

LAURA: Yeah! Kill all of it. Kill the fog, Kiri.

MATT: Then she goes charging towards the fog.

TRAVIS: And gets eaten.

MARISHA: Aww. Damn it!

MATT: It's The Mist.

TRAVIS: Jester's regret.

LAURA: I have to live with this for the rest of my life.

MATT: Kiri has run past the barrier of The Puddles on the north side of the city and is now swinging wildly into the fog.

LAURA: Oh shit! Kiri, come back, Kiri.

MATT, MARISHA, and ASHLEY: (singing) Kiri come back!

MATT: Runs back, feet leaving a trail behind as she's stepping through two to three inches of swamp water across this district. (chirping)

LAURA: You have to be careful. There's lots of creatures around that could hurt you, you know.

MATT: "There's lots of creatures around that could hurt you."

LIAM: You always want to stick together. You never want to split the party.

ASHLEY: Yeah, stay close. Stay close to us.

MATT: She gets right behind Yasha and sticks right to her back with the dagger on the opposite side going--

LAURA: We should really give her like a sheath or something to put that knife away, Fjord.

TRAVIS: I think you tell kids to run with scissors, she'll be fine. Can we check to make sure nobody’s following us as we're heading out?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Plus four, 16.

MATT: You take a moment to scout the vicinity. At this point in the morning, it's maybe about 9 o'clock or so judging by where you can see the source of sunlight in the somewhat clouded sky. Glancing around the city, not a lot of folks are moving. It seems like the nature of the swamp town is a little bit of a slower pace of living by the nature of the location. The few folks that are wandering around the streets are slowly getting to their daily chores and business. No one seems to be particularly interested. A few folks look over because you are a gathered motley crew on the edge of town, but there's no one who seems to be very focused in what's going on.

MARISHA: We're the best looking people in this town, and that's saying something.

LIAM: This group is very inclined-- we're very skilled in arcane things. What is your specialty?

MARK: Oh, well. You know how some people learn magic from books and some people get magic from gods and stuff, right?

LIAM: Gods and stuff, *ja*, okay.

MARK: My magic comes from just me? The draconic blood, I'm told, has magical essences to it.

LIAM: Yes. Cool. What can you do with it?

MARK: Well, I don't know if I should-- It's a lot of fire and acid, mainly. That seems to be related to the type of dragon I'm from.

LIAM: *Ja*, effective.

MARK: I can conjure fire. I can make a lot of fire. Varying of degrees of fire, really, and acid.

LIAM: Do you have maybe one B-side besides the fire?

MARK: Besides fire and acid, a little bit of poi-- I can drain life force and invigorate myself a little bit.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Say "fire" one more time.

MARK: Fire.

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: "Fire. Fire. Fire. Fire." (chirping)

MARK: What kind of magic do you specialize in, Mr. Caleb?

MATT: "Wrapped around his weenie."

TRAVIS: Good pull!

MARK: You have magic with that? Is that like an implement or something?

TRAVIS: Deep pull already! That was like 40 minutes ago!

MARK: You said the crows are really smart, so I'm guessing she knows-- what?

LIAM: There’s so much quicksand in this swamp. I’m feeling trapped. I feel like we have a little bit of overlap, you know. I’m able to--

LAURA: He has lots of fire.

MARK: Really? You don't have any dragon blood in you, do you?

LIAM: *Nein*.

MARK: Oh, that's good.

TALIESIN and SAM: Nine dragons.

MARK: You meant the Zemnian "nein." Not the number.

LIAM: Step off, Tiamat.

TALIESIN: Well done. That's a good joke.

MATT: "So we good to go? Ready to move? The longer we take the more risk we run of getting there about nighttime, and I would feel a bit nervous about that to be honest."

TRAVIS: No please, lead on. We're quite anxious to get there.

MATT: "Okay, so, who's leading?"

LAURA and MARISHA: You are.

MATT: "I'm pointing the direction, no, but I'm not standing at the front.

MARISHA: For 100 gold, I think you will.

MATT: "100 gold, I'm pointing the direction, but look at me, I'm not going to defend you well."

ASHLEY: Yeah, but we'll be right behind you.

MATT: "Yeah, but if I die first, you're going to be lost in this swamp!"

SAM: He's only got one eye he can't possibly see what's going on.

TRAVIS: Fine, I'll take the lead, who wants to join me?

MARISHA: I'll join you.

LAURA: I will.

TRAVIS: Thank you both, don't fight.

MARISHA: If you want to like--

LAURA: It's fine, Beau.

MARISHA: Look, I'm trying to wingman you here right now.

TRAVIS: What are you talking about?

ASHLEY: I'll take the back.

TALIESIN: I'll also go in the back.

MARK: Yeah, I can shoot things at range or close up if need be.

LIAM: If need be, but you know. Wait for the need to be.

MARK: Yeah.

MATT: Nott, where are you?

SAM: I'm going to use my ring of water walking, and I'm going to be the same level as Beau except 30 feet to the right. Just as a flanking--

LAURA: I'm going to carry Kiri on my shoulders.

MATT: Kiri on your shoulders?

LAURA: Yeah, so that she doesn't have to walk through the muck.

MATT: There's Kiri. She's up there with the two feathered arms flopped over and (chirping) looking around.

ASHLEY: Holding onto your head like a kid.

TALIESIN: Just feathers in your face.

LIAM: I like where we are positioned, what do you think?

MARK: I'll go wherever you need me to. Mr. Fjord said that I’m to do whatever so I'll go wherever.

LAURA: How does she know there's a J in your name really?

TRAVIS: I honestly don't have an answer for that.

MARK: I was pretty sure you said "Fjord," but okay.

SAM: We're all pretty sure about that.

TRAVIS: You said it right, it's "Ford."

MARK: Thanks, "Mr. Ford."

SAM: It's "Mee-ster Ford."

MARK: "Mee-ster Ford." All right, sure.

MATT: (like Cali) "Mee-ister Ford."

TRAVIS: Oh, Jesus, Kiri. All right, let's go.

MATT: At this point Febron's like, "All right so looking out this direction, this time of day-- that way! Lead on, big boy."

TRAVIS: All right. You're actually going to be scouting, right?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: As you guys begin to step past the outskirts of The Puddles, your feet begin to sink thicker and thicker into the swamp floor as you further and further step away from this little bastion of civilization. With each progressive footstep you can see the waves ripple past and then hit patches of thick elevated vegetation that's growing and rotting in small clusters simultaneously. The tree trunks that are faded shadows begin to come into view and you begin to see these twisted, gnarled trees covered in vines that dangle down from these high boughs that barely cluster out sections of sunlight, and you pass out underneath those areas where bits of cloud begin to break through.

LIAM: It was a joke.

MATT: Ah, gotcha

LIAM: I said, “Hi, Beaus."

MATT: Ah, boughs.

LIAM: I know. But I said "Hi, Beaus."

TRAVIS: Three out of five.

MATT: Yeah, it's fine. In pushing this forward and guiding the path, I'm going to have Febron and whoever is keeping watch on the exterior to both make survival checks.

MARISHA: What do you mean on the exterior?

SAM: I'm keeping watch on the right.

MARISHA: I'm keeping watch up front.

ASHLEY: I'm looking on the back.

LIAM: The gators come from the left.

MATT: Right. Well this isn't a perception check, this is to make their way through the swamp to keep track of what's ahead, so I'm having Febron and one of you take point on that.

TRAVIS: Beau.

MARISHA: What kind of a check is this?

LIAM: Survival.

MATT: This is a survival check.

MARISHA: Okay. Oh, I thought it was actually higher when I first looked at it. 17.

MATT: Actually, you both rolled pretty high. Over the next two hours or so, you guys manage to keep for the most part above any of the deeper recesses of marsh water. Leaping from cluster of tree base and sections of ground that are mostly above the water line, it manages to go through without much of an issue. The fog does slowly begin to burn off as the hours progress, but it's still present. You gather probably about the time you arrived at the end of day yesterday to the exterior of the Labenda Swamp, there was just a faint bit of fog at the ground. It will be a number of hours before you even reach that point, but it is progressing towards a more visible space. These two hours you guys continue forward, being mindful and watching around. Those who are keeping watch, I need both of you to make perception checks or one of you make it with advantage, your choice.

MARISHA: It's me and who?

MATT: Whoever else is keeping a watch. You want to make it, Nott?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Do you want to make it with advantage or separate?

SAM: Nah. One.

MARISHA: It's not great for me either. Six.

LAURA: Oh, jeez louise.

SAM: Clear on the right!

MARISHA: Clear on the front!

TRAVIS: Right, front--

MARISHA: (shouting) Clear on the left? Man, which way am I looking?

SAM: I don't know.

TRAVIS: It's really reassuring when there's a question mark on the end of your statement.

LIAM: This is generally how it goes.

MATT: Febron at this point's still looking. He says, "Wait, hold on a second." He starts doing a little circle in the area, checking out some of the recent trees, looking at the sun in the sky and he's like, "Yeah. I feel like we're going the right way."

TALIESIN: Wait, just to be clear: Your job-- your *only* job was to walk to a building and back for god knows how many years and you *think* we're going the right way?

MATT: "Yeah, we don't usually leave this early in the morning."

TRAVIS: Are you still drunk?

MATT: (noncommittal grunt)

TALIESIN: Do you need to be drunk?

MATT: "Yeah."

LIAM and ASHLEY: Nott.

SAM: What?

LIAM: Not a problem. Bren, would you help our friend out?

SAM: Oh. Yes, it's me, Bren. Yeah, I'll be right over.

MARK: She's oblivious, completely lost. She's looking around like--

SAM: Febron, do you have any cups? I don't want you to--

MATT: He pulls out a half-filled wineskin, opens it up, pours the water out.

SAM: Have some booze. I'll fill it to the brim.

MATT: He looks curiously at the flask and the amount of liquid you poured in there.

SAM: Cheers.

MATT: "Cheers indeed. Tiny girl." He watches as you drink the alcohol and is confused. Gets a closer look at you at this point and he goes--

TALIESIN: Now is not the time to start making judgments, sir.

MATT: "Right."

TALIESIN: Does that clear your memory?

MATT: "Aye. It's this way." Make another survival check.

MARK: Mr. Fjord, you're very liberal with your parenting.

MARISHA: Don't fuck me, Sunny.

LAURA: It's just milk.

MARK: Oh. That makes sense.

MARISHA: Man, that's really frustrating. Seven.

TALIESIN: Did you both roll?

MARISHA: Huh?

MATT: Well, it was Febron and Beau.

MARISHA: Seven. Not good. I keep getting so close.

TALIESIN: Do we not get advantage?

MATT: Well, this one they're doing it individually, because you have somebody outside of-- Along the path as you guys are progressing for the next hour or so, Febron and Beau are keeping pace on this. Keeping watch, moving forward, you step through some of the soggier areas of the swamp and your foot gets stuck a bit and it's starting to get a little more difficult to traverse. Febron's like, "It's just a few more hours and we'll make our way to the outskirts of the lake. It'll be a lot easier then, trust me. It'll be fine."

MARISHA: Sorry.

MARK: Sounds great.

MATT: At this point, Fjord, as you are stepping near the front you come around the corner and without notice there's this strange sound. This (airy puff) and there's a cloud of pollen-like spores in the air right where you are. I need you to make a wisdom saving throw, please.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Oh no.

SAM: He's very wise, he'll be fine.

TRAVIS: Oh jeez.

MARK: That's always a good sign.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: You manage to pull back, coughing a bit, and your head goes dazed for a moment, but you manage to shrug it off. You guys look ahead and beyond the area that Fjord was pushing, around one of the trees you can see this large, 30-foot wide cloud of yellowish pollen that went (airy puff) and slowly settles into the swamp area.

MARK: Blimey.

TRAVIS: Can we see a source where it came from? A plant or a--

MATT: There's a whole mess of twisted vines and plant matter in the center of the space. Where it seemed to emit from, the center, though, you do see one large fern-type plant that's left open and three or four large leaves that are spread outward.

TRAVIS: I think that doesn't look very hospitable.

MARISHA: Febron.

LAURA: We should avoid those, huh?

MARISHA: Yeah. Is this a thing that happens, I'm assuming?

MATT: "I haven't actually seen this close to one of them. I usually avoid them. So let's avoid it, eh?"

MARK: Hello, Mr. Fjord?

TRAVIS: Yeah?

MARK: I don't know if this is-- do you want me to burn it all away?

TRAVIS: Cali, that is a very good idea.

MARK: Like that area, right? Is that where it came from?

TRAVIS: I mean, hoping the pollen's not flammable, but sure try it.

MARK: Is it flammable, Mr. Creepy Pervert?

MATT: "First off, I resent that."

MARK: Do you?

MATT: "No."

TALIESIN: I think that was pretty respectable, all things considered.

MATT: "I'll take that. I mean, I figure it's probably in the way, burn it if you can. I don't trust it."

MARK: How wide radius is this area?

MATT: This vicinity is about 30 feet around this particular plant in the center that's lying open, face to the sky.

MARK: 20-foot radius would--

MATT: It would encompass the plant, definitely.

MARK: Fireball. The dragon claw comes out, and this green, flame magic coalesces. She flicks out this green orb that fires down, and when it hits it detonates.

LAURA: Wow!

MATT: It emits this large blast of orangish-red fire that burns in the area. Go ahead and roll damage.

MARK: Can I have a d6 from somebody? I need six more.

MARISHA: There's three.

TALIESIN: Feel free to dive through the bag for anything you need.

LAURA: Dang it, I'm trying to get to my bag to help you, but--

MATT: She's filled with a baby.

LIAM: Baby's in the way. Get used to it.

LAURA: It happens. Whoa.

MARK: I'm taking that, it's a six.

LAURA: Yes.

SAM: He's a high roller.

MATT and MARISHA: Ooh.

MARK: That's very good. That's going to be 28 points.

MATT: 28 points of fire damage. This explosion immediately evaporates the fog in the area, and a large part of the ground now is dried off. You see this mist or steam (hiss) out of where the detonation happened. The plant in the center, which is now more visible, you can see snap shut. This giant, three, four part maw closes in the space with these plant-like teeth. It’s still there, writhing in pain from the explosion. It laxes open a bit and begins to shift in your direction. It looks hurt, but still alive.

TRAVIS: Caleb.

MARISHA: It moves.

LAURA: Sacred Flame.

LIAM: Fire Bolt.

MATT: All right, Fire Bolt, Sacred Flame, that's cocked. That's a 15.

LAURA: Dex save.

MATT: 15, yeah, so no Sacred Flame but--

LIAM: 17 for Fire Bolt.

MATT: 17 hits, roll damage.

LIAM: Okay. That is not that much, actually.

LAURA: That was a dex check, yes?

MATT: Yes. Or no-- yeah. For Sacred Flame, yeah.

LIAM: That is a 12.

MATT: 12?

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: 12 points of damage. As you slam it with the Fire Bolt, it (shrieks) and keeps moving forward, but it's hurt.

LAURA: Toll the Dead!

MATT: Rolled another 15.

LAURA: Damn it.

LIAM: If you give me six second increments, I'm just going to go (releasing spells).

MARK: When it's within 60 feet, I can Acid Splash it as well.

TALIESIN: Just for fun, (infernal) stay down.

SAM: Jesus.

MATT: 16. Sorry.

TALIESIN: Some days you can't get rid of a bomb.

TRAVIS: I'll give it a whirl. I'll reach up near my eye, and you see this little arc of energy pop out from my eye towards my hand. I'll throw it forward and cast Witch Bolt.

SAM: Witch Bolt.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Ooh.

LIAM: Which bolt do you cast?

MATT: You guys are all preparing your various cantrips and spells against it. It begins lurching forward. You can see the charred edges of this large, vegetable plant. Then Fjord steps forward sending this arc of darker, gray-green energy that strikes into it. Roll damage-- roll to hit first.

TRAVIS: Oh, thank you, yeah. Ten plus six, 16.

MATT: 16 hits.

TRAVIS: Okay, great. This is overkill, it's 3d12.

SAM: Oh shit.

TRAVIS: That's nine--

MARISHA: Wow!

LIAM: Good rolls!

TRAVIS: 27 points of damage.

MATT: As it strikes this large, trap-like plant, it hits the center of it. It bubbles up for a second, the green and red matter of the interior swells and then pops. Like a horrible flesh-filled water balloon spatters across various areas. You guys have to take a step back and it glides against your knees and thighs a bit.

MARK: Can I use Shape Water to keep it out of my way? My cantrip just (disgusted groan).

MATT: It just manages to avoid you. But it lies now, decimated and sinking slowly into the swamp water.

MARK: Oh, sorry. I thought I'd kill it the first time. I'm sorry you had to do that.

TRAVIS: No, it was a really encouraging display. I was not expecting it to be so durable.

MARK: Yeah, me neither. I thought it was just a plant.

LAURA: We should really avoid those in the future, huh?

LIAM: Well that's one in an entire swamp of vegetation. So we should be good now.

SAM: How's it going over there, guys?

MARK: No, there's going to be loads of plants, Mr. Caleb.

TALIESIN: Anything on the right?

LIAM: That is correct.

SAM: Nope, all clear!

MARISHA: Anything on the left?

TALIESIN: Right.

MARISHA: No, I'm asking for anything on the left.

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Thank you.

TALIESIN: Is there somebody on the left?

TRAVIS: Not anymore with these rolls.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: Who else wants to make a perception check?

LAURA: I would.

MARISHA: I roll obnoxiously bad.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Whoa.

LAURA: Woo-hoo, 13!

MATT: 13? Okay. A brief breeze blows through the swamp as you guys move on from this positioning. You hear a very faint hiss through the distant branches of the trees, singing in unison. As bits of leaves and vines clatter against themselves from the shift. But you manage to catch a sound upon wind that is unfamiliar to the rest of the natural breeze. It's like a chime. Like a wooden chime (dull thunks).

LAURA: (whispering) I hear something.

MARK: (whispering) What do you hear?

LAURA: I hear a chime.

TALIESIN: (gong)

LAURA: No, like little wind chimes. Like what we had at home.

MARK: Oh, that sounds nice.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARK: It can't be anything bad.

LAURA: We used to hang them in our balconies.

MATT: You can listen up and can hear it for a moment too as the breeze blows through a second time. Kiri makes the same sound (dull thunks).

LAURA: It sounded like that!

TALIESIN: Well done.

MARISHA: Oh yeah. The little bamboo ones. Those are great.

MATT: Looks like it's a little bit northward of where you're headed. A little north--

LAURA: Febron, is that where the thing is, that we're going?

MATT: "I mean, it could be."

LIAM: North is that way.

MATT: "It's loosely on the way. If you trust it. I mean we could avoid it, though."

LAURA: Oh, so it's not the safe house, it's another building, for sure?

MATT: "I don't know what the hell that is. I haven't heard that out here before."

LAURA: We should find out what it is.

TRAVIS: I actually tend to agree. I don't want to leave things undiscovered.

MATT: "Are you sure about that?"

MARISHA: What did we pay you for?

MATT: "I'm helping you."

TRAVIS: Are you?

MARISHA: It's questionable. It's honestly debatable.

MARK: He seems to be doing his best.

MATT: "Thank you."

MARK: Don't thank me, you're weird.

LIAM: Frumpkin. I'm going to sit on a relatively dry spot if I can find one. I'm going to go blind and deaf and send Frumpkin in the direction, with Jester's help, towards the sound that she heard.

MARK: I make it drier for Caleb, using Shape Water, dry out some of the area.

MATT: Sure. You cause some of the swamp mass to pull back a bit.

LAURA: That's cool.

TRAVIS: Surf pro.

MATT: Frumpkin takes a little bit, because this terrain is not very conducive to prowling cats of Frumpkin's size. But Frumpkin heads on for a bit, coming across the source of this sound. You see about a 100 or so feet ahead in the direction where you heard the sound, hanging from one of the branches, there is indeed a cluster of carved chimes that are dangling from a piece of twine there. They’re banging into each other every now and then when the breeze slowly comes through.

LAURA: Just in a tree.

MATT: On a branch, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, that's creepy.

LIAM: I will give the group a basic narration as I see these things.

MATT: You can give a perception check for Frumpkin.

LIAM: My basic perception check is not too bad. It is a 16.

MATT: 16, okay. From Frumpkin's view underneath, you can get a close look at it, and the material of the chimes isn't wood. It appears to be yellowed, old, dried, hollowed bone. The twine itself is not twine. It appears to have been tanned or dried sinew.

TRAVIS: (disgusted) Oh, yeah.

LIAM: What was that word?

MATT: Sinew.

TRAVIS: Super inviting. Just all the tendons.

LAURA: Our wind chimes were made of wood.

LIAM: How much of it are Frumpkin and I looking at? It's one little ditty or are we talking True Detective here?

MATT: Currently it's just the one chime.

LAURA: Does Frumpkin see anything around, like any living things?

LIAM: I don't hear shit.

MARISHA: True.

TALIESIN: Does this sound like some sort of ward against the undead?

MATT: It doesn't catch your mind as anything that is a defensive mechanism to undead that you would recognize.

LIAM: It's hanging from a tree?

MATT: It is, about seven feet above Frumpkin.

LIAM: I am going to see Frumpkin up the tree.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I am going to send Frumpkin toward the branch.

MATT: Frumpkin manages to climb the tree using the outside of the somewhat twisted bark, getting to the top. From that viewing point, as Frumpkin gets out there you can-- (laughs)

LAURA: Do you want to hold my hand? I try to hold Caleb's hand?

TRAVIS: (cat growling)

SAM: It's clammy.

MATT: You do see from the top of the branch, beyond the edge of the fog, there looks to be a thick tree that has broken and fallen over about ten feet from the base. The heavy roots rise up into this trunk that still stands about nine or ten feet from the base of the swamp floor. It appears like there is a hollow carved into it, circular, and a curtain that is currently pressed, bolted, or nailed into it that is partially blocking an opening into the tree.

LIAM: Like sealed or nailed in so it's hanging down.

MATT: It's hanging down and every now and then a faint breeze comes through and you see it shift ever so slightly. But it's a heavy material.

LIAM: Okay, what I would like to attempt to do is send Frumpkin up to and stick his head inside, and as soon as I get a little peaky-poo, snap my fingers and bamf him out into the Fey.

MATT: Okay. As Frumpkin-- make a stealth check.

ASHLEY: Come on Caleb.

MARISHA: Come on Frumpy.

LAURA: Lumpy Frumpy.

LIAM: A big 13.

MATT: Okay. Good to know.

LAURA: It's really good.

MATT: It is better than 12.

MARISHA: A baker's dozen.

LIAM: Remember when I used to get a 45.

MATT: Frumpkin stalks up through, avoiding the sleight depressed elements of the floor that fill with the thicker bog water. Coming upon the outskirts you can see the curtain that hangs is not cloth. It appears to be a scaled leather-like material. Actually pretty similar to what you had carved from the crocodile the day before. But long weathered and it's dry towards the top, but the base of it seems to have been progressively moistened by the swamp around it. As such, it's slightly decomposing, and it has a bit of moss and algae that's grown on it, giving it a lighter green at the tip. Looking inside, there is a layer of bones that are all broken, and chipped to the point where it's given a texture base to the floor. From this view, you're not able to make out what the bone source is or what they're from. But there is a gentle layer of bones of varying degrees of age to them. Within there you also see-- there is natural rot on the inside of this trunk, that's let it easily be carved away. There appears to be a matted pile of something in the corner. Other than that, in the brief instant that Frumpkin's paying attention, it appears to be empty.

LAURA: That pile was definitely something sleeping.

MATT: Frumpkin returns to his realm.

LIAM: Oh yeah, like I was saying to you, there is a tree out there and there is something sleeping in it.

TRAVIS: Did you hear anything, snoring?

LIAM: No, but there are a lot of bones there. They looked like--

LAURA: What kind of bones?

LIAM: They are not chicken bones.

LAURA: Like gator bones, maybe though?

LIAM: Well they were probably smaller than that, yeah?

MATT: You didn't get a good, long look at them. You literally got in quickly and went (poof).

TRAVIS: Jester, bones normally aren't a very good sign.

MARK: That doesn't seem very good.

LIAM: There was something in the corner. Something that was not bones, but it wasn't moving.

LAURA: I bet it was a friendly person.

LIAM: It's definitely wasn't the thing we're looking for.

TRAVIS: You didn't happen to see a bowl, did you?

LIAM: I did not see a bowl. I made a perception check.

MATT: In the brief instant you looked in there, you got a few details in the interior before pulling way.

LIAM: Yes, not bowls, just bones.

LAURA: I'll tell you what, let's go to the safe house and then we'll come back if we are not completely almost dead, and see what we see there.

LIAM: Save it for a rainy day.

TRAVIS: Very wise.

LAURA: Especially if there is no bowl in the safe house. Then we know some other place to look for it.

LIAM: This one's a gimme, a bonus, only if we feel up to it.

MARK: You're all so brave.

TRAVIS: Do you think we'll be able to find our way back here? Should we mark a tree or something like that?

LAURA: Let's mark a tree.

TALIESIN: I’ve got that.

MARISHA: Cause Fabron doesn't seem to know which way his ass is, so.

MATT: "That's not true at all."

TRAVIS: Which way's your ass?

MATT: "It's right here."

LIAM: North is--

MATT: "It's that way."

LIAM: North is-- no it is that way.

MATT: "That's what I said."

LIAM: You're pointing over there, I'm pointing over here. North is that way.

MATT: "Yeah."

TALIESIN: I'm going to pull out sword, and I'm going to carve into the side of the tree a big sign that says “Here Lies Salty Pete” with an arrow down, straight below.

MARK: Who's Salty Pete?

TALIESIN: I don't know, but it sounds like something awful happened to him, doesn't it?

MARK: Aw, that's really sad.

TALIESIN: Do you have a way of magically marking this as well so we can have a bit of a compass?

LIAM: A compass?

TALIESIN: Yeah like a point-- can you do a thing where you can put a pin in this tree?

MARK: Can you do that, Mr. Caleb?

LIAM: Well a couple things, one, this is a compass.

TALIESIN: That's true! Never mind.

LAURA: Oh, we'll find our way back.

LIAM: That's not an issue. But if you want to know if something's happening here with Salty Pete, we can also do that if you give me ten minutes. But it doesn't seem like that's what you're--

TALIESIN: No, that's not fair. As long as we can make our way back here again one way or the other, and I suppose that's true.

LIAM: I do not know where the safe house is, but anywhere we have been we can get to again.

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

LAURA: (singing) Let's go to the safe house then.

MATT: You continue moving on?

TRAVIS: Lead on.

MATT: Febron goes, "All right. That way," and he points in the direction and ushers you forward.

TRAVIS: You did a good job the first time, let's take it up again.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: What pace are you moving at? Normal pace, slow pace, fast pace?

SAM: We always move at a medium pace.

MATT: Okay, medium pace it is.

LAURA: Wait, hold on, let me look at what I have. I could cast Pass Without a Trace on anyone within 30 feet of me.

MATT: You could. You have to move at a slow pace to move stealthily, though.

TRAVIS: I think our speed is halved in the conditions, right?

MATT: For the most of it, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, so it would be *super* slow.

TRAVIS: Doing the slo-mo game.

LAURA: Well, maybe not then. Maybe when we go back to the creepy tree, we can do that.

MATT: As you continue on, Febron and-- Beau, are you the other one with Febron doing the survival checks?

MARISHA: I think so.

MATT: Make one more.

MARISHA: Don't fuck me, Gil. Natural 20! Gil!

MATT: As you guys begin to watch the tree line slowly thin, Febron's like, "Oh, it's a good sign. We're getting very close to getting out of this fucking swamp and getting next to the Ounterloch that'll lead us there. No issue, no more of this." Right as he's saying that, you watch him about to step into another one of those open plants that begins to quake, and you watch as it's about to release this burst of pollen, Beau.

MARISHA: I go: Oh, you're about to-- watch it!

MATT: You don't stop him, you just point it out. It goes (puffing).

SAM: Nice, he's dead.

MATT: He goes, "What? (coughing)" and starts walking straight towards it.

MARISHA: Oh, I grab him. Can I reach out and grab him? Trying to cover my mouth.

MATT: Make an athletics check for you to try and grapple him.

MARISHA: Either that or we lose our shithole guide.

TRAVIS: Which is really not losing much at this point.

MARISHA: No. Okay, we lose our 100 gold investment. Athletics, right?

MATT: Acrobatics. Sorry, athletics for you to grapple him.

MARISHA: Okay. Ooh! Nope, it's worse than I thought. It's real bad. It's an eight.

MATT: You reach and grab him, but he shrugs off your arm and starts walking.

MARK: As he's about to step, can I cast Levitate on him and lift him up into the air? He doesn't step on it, with the claw, the green magic comes out and (whoosh) up into the air.

MATT: He continues to walk towards it, and then glides up in the air and is floating. He's reaching towards it, and the plant (slurping) and is trying to reach for him.

MARISHA: I take my staff and bat him away like a helium balloon. Just start batting him back over away from it.

MATT: He's now floating and slowly rotating in the air, like (grunting).

MARK: I'll be raising him up and down, shaking him in the air, like, "Come on, shake out of it, come on!"

TRAVIS: Maybe we try to outmaneuver this one now.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I think we've already had our fun with the one.

LAURA: I open my journal and start drawing him as a balloon.

SAM: Hold on. We're not done.

TALIESIN: No, there's a lot happening over there.

MATT: It takes you the better part of a minute to finally shake him out of it, before he goes, "Oh, is it-- what? Shit! (yelling) Shit, what's going on?!"

LAURA: (shushing)

MATT: The plant's still below him, going like (slurping).

MARK: Ms. Beau, could you nudge him off to the side? I'm getting tired of this.

MATT: You poke him and he begins to glide over--

MARK: Then I'll lower him down--

MATT: The plant is now turning towards him, slowly shifting in his direction, and he's like "Backing away, there's a fucking--"

MARISHA: Can I now grab him by the collar and try and drag him away?

MATT: Yeah, you move around the side and you pull him away.

MARISHA: Come on.

MATT: You guys begin to pick up your pace. This plant is not very fast-moving, and you, even moving at your slower pace, it can't keep up with you and it eventually gives up and disappears into the fog behind you.

TALIESIN: The loneliest plant.

MATT: I love that you roll a 20 to see it before him and and went, "Sure."

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: I love it, it's great.

MARISHA: Watch your step, man! Ah.

MATT: Yeah. All righty.

LIAM: Febron. You’ve been through this swamp once or many times?

MATT: "I've been through it a few times, but usually it's with a group of other smugglers, and they take care of me and protect me, like you are. Thank you."

LIAM: It's a bit late in the game, but are you being completely forthright with us? Is he?

MARK: You're welcome.

MATT: Make an insight check.

LIAM: That is a natural one.

MATT: It's hard to read.

LIAM: Can I make a suggestion, Febron? And I cast Suggestion on Febron.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I feel you should be completely honest with us from this point on, because you know, honesty, it's the easiest thing to remember.

MATT: "You know, I appreciate that. I don't appreciate you casting spells to fuck with all my mind and shit. But I've been honest! I'm going to make some honest coin, and I'm doing my fucking best, all right? Now come on, it's this way."

LIAM: It's that way.

MATT: "(stuttering) Not north, where we're going!" At this point, you guys can see the very edge of the water is now starting to show through the fog and you can see where bits of the lake hitting the shoreline, and you have reached the Ounterloch in the middle of Labenda Swamp.

LAURA: Hey, there's a lake!

TALIESIN: With that, life delivers a pleasant surprise.

LAURA: Febron.

MATT: "Yeah?"

LAURA: Are there monsters in this lake?

MATT: "I don't know, I don't go into it. I recommend not getting too close, just in case. We usually stay right on the coastal side of it, you know?"

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Perfect."

LAURA: (splashing)

MATT: "No, what're you doing?! No, shit!"

LAURA: Then I go back out. I just wanted to see.

MATT: The whole time you're doing that, Kiri's like (chirping). Who's keeping watch on this?

SAM: Keeping watch?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: What do you mean?

MATT: I need you and probably Beau, since you were with Febron before, make a perception check, please.

TRAVIS: Ooh, 17 plus one. 18.

MARISHA: Ten.

MATT: Okay. As you guys are charging along on the bank of this lake, heading northward, Fjord, out of the corner of your eye you see a shadow shift in the trees to the left of you. You glance back and you see something disappear behind a tree, about 40, 50 feet off.

TRAVIS: Hold. I saw movement. Off to our side, 40 to 50 feet into the trees.

SAM: Which side?

MATT: To the left side.

SAM: There's nothing over here on my side.

MARK: Should we pretend like we haven't seen it, we should just carry on as normal?

MARISHA: No, that's not-- just no one move.

MARK: Okay.

LAURA: We just freeze?

TRAVIS: Fan out a little bit.

LIAM: If we don't move, that's also a little weird.

TRAVIS: Yeah, fan out. Who wants to move towards it with me?

ASHLEY: I will move towards it with you.

MARK: I'll come.

ASHLEY: I'll take out my blade.

MARK: I'll come with you.

LIAM: I walk in the opposite direction.

TALIESIN: Fighters move forward, magic peoples hang back.

LAURA: Maybe I shouldn't move forward.

MATT: So you guys are heading towards the shadow you saw?

TRAVIS: Yasha, Molly, Cali, and Fjord. We'll look towards it.

LAURA: I stay right where I am.

TRAVIS: But fan out, not together. Maybe ten, 15 feet in between us. Like a fire line.

LIAM: Let's go. I say as I walk backwards.

MATT: Fjord, Molly, and Yasha like that?

MARK: I'm going as well.

MATT: And Beau?

MARK: And Cali, right?

LIAM: That mini.

TRAVIS: But fanned fire line.

LIAM: Oh, the tail's there!

MARISHA: Look at you!

ALL: Ooh!

MARK: That was a real rush job that I had to order a day before I flew out.

MARISHA: You're smexy.

LIAM: Just pull it over here for a second.

MATT: You begin to turn and approach and you guys form your line moving forward. You watch as something lumbering moves. It's still on the edge of the fog, and it shifts from the tree where it was to a tree further back and then ducks behind another tree. It's not very stealthy, though it thinks it might be.

TRAVIS: Is it moving fast-- easily in this terrain?

MATT: It seems to be moving fairly easily in the terrain.

LAURA: What is it?

LIAM: (as Gollum) What is it?

MARK: (as Gollum) What did you say?

MARISHA: All right, I'm going to stealthily do some monk (footsteps) up to it a little bit.

LAURA: Maybe it's something nice!

MARISHA: See if I can get a better look.

MATT: Okay, make a stealth check.

MATT: Make a stealth check.

MARISHA: Oh my god, 14.

LAURA: What's happening?

MATT: Okay. As you tiptoe through the edges, leaping from cluster of root, cluster of root, being as quiet as you can, you come around the first tree where this figure had vanished, look around to where it's currently waiting and you see two trees that grew together and a large rock that's wedged at the base of it. Crouched below, behind the rock, you see this bulbous humanoid creature, with a deep green-blue skin tone with little pustules and boils on it, at the edges of the shoulder and arm. You see long stringy black hair that goes past the front of the chest. The torso appears to be swollen, this belly protruding beyond it. You can see hanging around the neck other pieces of hollowed bone, very similar to that chime that you saw being described by Caleb.

MARISHA: Is it a troll?

MATT: It appears to be trollish in nature. The pustules and part of its body, there’s this thick green liquid that's oozing out in places. It's sitting there clinging to the rock with its long fingers, clutching it, looking over in the direction of where you were, breathing heavy.

MARISHA: Does he see The Mighty Nein?

MATT: It seems to be looking in the direction where you were.

MARISHA: But he doesn't see me.

MATT: He doesn't see you at the moment, no.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Do not see me!

MARISHA: How far away am I from him?

MATT: You're about 35 feet from it.

MARISHA: Could I theoretically throw something behind him?

MATT: You could certainly try.

MARISHA: Yeah, sure. I'm going to take out a handful of ball bearings and try to toss them.

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check to do so without making a very visible toss.

LAURA: Yeah, right? No sound at all.

MARISHA: 24-- 22.

MATT: You take the handful and lob them quietly, as far as you can. You hear very faint impacts of them about 25, 30 feet off. The trollish creature goes (snarling) and pushes off the rock a bit, looking that direction. Looks over the rock, looks back in that direction. It’s now looking like he's paranoid and keeping tabs on both sides.

MARISHA: I'm going to stealth back.

MATT: Make another stealth check.

MARISHA: 19.

MATT: You manage pull back to the rest of the group as you guys are holding your line, waiting for Beau to return.

MARISHA: It's a troll. Like a--

TRAVIS: Toucan? With a belly?

ASHLEY: He's got a beak?

MARISHA: No. He's like a troll.

LAURA: (loudly) What are you saying, Beau?

TRAVIS: Shh, Jester!

MARISHA: I think he knows we're here. But he's a slimy undead troll-like guy.

MARK: That sounds really bad. Let's not go near it.

MARISHA: I also think he might be who lives in that hut.

SAM: How do you know that?

MARISHA: Because he looked bony.

MARK: That's a reasonable deduction.

LAURA: (loudly) Maybe there's lots of them around too.

SAM: Shut up, Jester.

TALIESIN: Theater whisper.

MARISHA: I don't think we want to deal with them, though.

TRAVIS: We'll keep moving around the edge of the lake. Who wants to keep an eye on his area as we're moving?

MARISHA: I think he's stalking us.

LAURA: I will.

TRAVIS: Jester and Molly, you keep an eye as we keep moving forward. We'll come back to where the casters are.

SAM: Are you going to stay behind?

TRAVIS: No, they're going to stay with us in a tight group. But they're going to keep their eyes as we move.

MARK: It's all right, little Bren, they'll look after us.

SAM: Who? Oh me, yes! Thank you.

TRAVIS: Mind your slice of the pie, all right, you guys? You're a fan of pie, so.

LAURA: Got it.

MATT: (like Fjord) "You're a fan of pie." (chirping)

LAURA: I am a fan of pie, Kiri!

MATT: Do you guys continue onward?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: Stealthy, though.

LAURA: We are keeping an eye on the troll.

MATT: You are out in the open, at the edge of where the lake is, beyond the treeline. Being stealthy here means being quiet, but you're still very much out in the open.

LIAM: So you're saying there's a chance.

MATT: I'm saying if an entity knows you're there, if you're not trying to obscure your visual, you're going to have a hard time avoiding it.

SAM: Should we create a distraction for it first?

TALIESIN: Let's just pay attention, and if it starts getting close then we'll deal with it. We're just not going to let it escape. We're just going to keep an eye out for it.

MARISHA: It might be better if we move quicker through here as well, instead of stealthily.

MARK: I'm sure if you pray to the Platinum Dragon, we'll be all right.

LIAM: (inaudible chanting)

MATT: As you guys push on, Febron's looking extremely nervous now that you've mentioned this creature. "Wait, are you saying you saw this troll thing? Over there?"

TRAVIS: Heard of something like that around here?

MATT: "Only heard rumors and we talk about various things that live out there, trolls is definitely one of them."

MARISHA: How long have you lived here?

MATT: "Through the ages, there have been all sorts of stories. There’s uglier trolls here. Swamp trolls, mountain trolls, all types, and this one, it wouldn't surprise me. I haven't seen one, but I stay perfectly quiet. Quieter than you usually do as a group. I'm just going to stay here," and clings behind you, Fjord, like as a shield.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I don't know if that's going to work for me. All right, let's get moving. Try and ignore this.

MATT: You guys move on, taking care to be quiet, but not out of sight. If you want to be stealthy in that regard, make a stealth check.

TRAVIS: We'll give him a chance whether he engages or not

MARISHA: We need to move faster.

MATT: So then no stealth?

TRAVIS: No stealth.

MATT: So you guys continue pushing forward at your regular pace.

TRAVIS: Maybe a little faster than our regular, too.

MARK: That was really brave, by the way, you sneaking off like that and finding it out.

MARISHA: Thank you. You're so complimentary. It makes me a little nauseous.

MARK: I was raised and people were really nice to me, they used to tell me I was special and how important I was and it made me feel nice, so I try and do that for everyone else.

MARISHA: Man, that's so sweet. Ugh. Where are you from?

MARK: Thank you! Technically I was born in Port Damali, but I didn't spend a lot of time there. I lived on the streets on my own and then I was taken in by some people.

MARISHA: Really?

TRAVIS: Some people?

MARK: Yeah, I guess-- You guys have been nice to me, I can tell. You know I mentioned those folks in the dragon masks, the cult? They were the ones that raised me.

LIAM: That's the first time you're introducing the word "cult" into conversation.

MARK: Oh, sorry, yeah.

SAM: You're a cultist?

MARK: No. I was raised by them--

MARISHA: You're an ex-cultist.

LIAM: Cult adjacent.

MARK: I guess. I mean--

SAM: Cult-ish?

MARIK: Cult-ish, maybe.

MATT: (like Nott) "You're a cultist? You're a cultist?"

MARK: All right, stop, bird! Stop saying that word! I don't like it.

TALIESIN: Did you have your own mask or do they just wear masks, out of curiosity?

MARK: I didn't get a mask because I wasn't allowed out. They kept me in the temple. It's because they were bad, all right? I'm glad that I'm not with them anymore. They're bad people.

LIAM: So they did this to you?

MARK: No, I've always been like this.

MARISHA: They worshiped you?

MARK: Yeah, they told me I was special. I was important to them somehow.

MATT: Yasha and Fjord, as they're having this conversation, you're watching at the flanks and you can see the shape of that troll creature is still moving from tree to tree, keeping pace with your movement.

ASHLEY: Fjord.

TRAVIS: I saw it. What do you want to do?

ASHLEY: There's one of him and however the fuck many of us.

LIAM: How far back is he?

TRAVIS: Not too far.

MATT: It's not approaching you, but it's keeping pace.

MARISHA: We're on rough terrain right now?

MATT: You're not in the center of the swamp where it's a lot of shifting topography and roots and vines and patches of deep water you have to come across. You're along the coast of this lake, so it's mainly soggy dirt and sand, so it's not rough terrain where you are.

MARISHA: But where he is, it would be considered rough terrain?

MATT: Yes. But you also have no protection. You're literally out in the open.

MARISHA: We can try to send someone ahead as bait, lure him out, fight him on steady ground?

TRAVIS: Or we could just keep letting him match.

LAURA: The thing is, what if something bad comes in front of us and then they trap us? Because he's just following us.

MARK: Why isn't he attacking us?

LAURA: Maybe he has friends ahead that he's waiting on.

TALIESIN: I tend to find things that live in trees filled bones tend to not have necessarily many friends. I'm just putting it out there. I have nothing else to base that off of, but it didn't look like a very social creature.

LIAM: So if we feel like we want to get into a scrap, I or probably our new friend here could kick it off from a ways away.

TRAVIS: We could, or Jester, you're pretty friendly. You want to see if--?

LAURA: It's a friend?

LIAM: The troll.

MARISHA: He had green pus-y ooze pouring out of holes in his face. Just want to throw that out there.

SAM: You could heal him and curry favor with him.

LAURA: I could if I made myself look like a little teeny troll. And they would want to be friends with me.

MARISHA: I got undead vibes from this guy?

LIAM: Also, you are very charming, but every book that I have ever read about trolls-- They do not make friends. They are bitter, nasty things.

ASHLEY: They eat you if you're little, you know.

MARISHA: He definitely had like a collarbone just hanging out.

TALIESIN: Can I see him from here?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Seven.

MATT: You do not.

TALIESIN: Do I technically have advantage because it's trying to perceive an undead creature?

MATT: No, because you don't know if this creature's undead or not.

SAM: What if we set a trap or an ambush for him or her?

MARISHA: That's what I literally just said.

SAM: We could do a little circley-poo and put Cali in the middle as bait, and then when it comes to attack, we spring the trap!

TRAVIS: What's the trap made of?

SAM: I don't know, I've been drinking a lot.

LAURA: What if we ran rope between a couple trees and then we tripped it?

LIAM: It's watching us right now, isn't it?

MARISHA: He probably is hearing everything we're talking about.

LIAM: Debatable whether it can understand us, but perhaps it can.

LAURA: Man, trolls are so cool!

TRAVIS: Okay, how about this: Yasha, I'm sure you'll agree, we can make one move to see if it's interested in non-violence and then we have the advantage here now.

ASHLEY: I like that idea a lot. Yeah, I would agree.

TRAVIS: I don't like being tailed in particular.

SAM: Someone walks up to it while the others flank around?

LAURA: Do you want me to do it, Fjord?

TRAVIS: Don't you?

LAURA: Here, you hold Kiri then, because I don't want her to get too close to it.

MATT: (chirping)

LAURA: What are you doing? Why are you holding--?

SAM and LAURA: No! Put her down!

MARK: You wouldn't hold your own daughter that way!

MATT: (like Nott) "It's me, Bren!" (chirping) Pulls the dagger out.

SAM: I'll take Kiri, give me Kiri. Come here, little Kiri. My father won't hurt you anymore.

MARK: I'm going to stand closer to Bren. I'm disappointed in you, Mr. Fjord!

TRAVIS: That means literally nothing to me.

MARISHA: She's so formal in her admonishment. Man, it kind of makes me feel bad. Anyway, let's go. I'll flank to the north.

LAURA: Is the troll just watching all of you go away?

MATT: If you're doing this stealthily, then I need anyone who's trying to not be seen to make a stealth check.

LAURA: Should I try to Pass Without a Trace, you guys?

TRAVIS: I don't think we should stealth.

SAM: It's not an ambush if they can see where we are.

TRAVIS: Fuck the ambush. There's nine of us. One of him.

SAM: That you know of.

LIAM: I would, in fact, like to try to walk behind a tree so I'm obscured.

MARISHA: I'm going to stealth to the north.

TALIESIN: I'll join you in the non-stealthing.

MATT: Beau's stealthing to the north, which will be here. Fjord, you guys are heading inward.

TRAVIS: Molly, Yasha, and I will not be stealthing and heading inward, and we'll be just behind Jester's diplomatic envoy.

LIAM: I don't know if it can see me or not, but I would like to hold Magic Missile in case it attacks my friends.

ASHLEY: I want to be close enough to Jester in case anything happens.

MATT: Jester, where are you standing?

LAURA: I guess I will be falling back because I'm going to talk to him.

TALIESIN: You'll be going in front of us. Because you're going to talk to him.

LAURA: I thought the thing was behind us.

MATT: You guys are heading northward this way. You guys have to go this way because the lake's all this direction.

MARK: I stood next to Nott, with Kiri.

MATT: Nott and Kiri are back here, and that would be-- Go off to that side. Febron is like, "I'm going to stay back here with the people in the back-back, because I want to stay in the back."

TRAVIS: (sarcastically) Oh no, I was enjoying our closeness.

MATT: You guys begin to trudge in, deeper into the swamp.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to pull the last of my pastries, which I'm sure are really fucking gross by now.

MATT: Yeah, they're pretty stale. You're fine. As you begin to move into the swamp, you do see the shape and it's about maybe 60 or so feet from where you are. You watch it shift, and then shift to another tree a little further away.

MARISHA: He's moving away from us?

MATT: He’s moving away from you.

TRAVIS: Are we sure it's the same one?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: You see one shape move, it's similar to the one you saw before. You can ascertain that it probably is the same creature, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay, we do not want to follow this bunny rabbit down the hole.

LAURA: I'm going to Invoke Duplicity and I'm going to send my duplicate towards the troll. It's skipping.

LIAM: (singing Peter’s Theme from Peter and the Wolf)

TRAVIS: Yes, perfect.

MATT: Make a deception check. No, you don't need to after that, we'll see if he can see through the illusion. It skips ahead. Just keeps walking in that direction?

LAURA: Towards the trees, looking like she's picking some vegetation. I doubt there's flowers.

TRAVIS: Mushrooms.

LAURA: But whatever. Yeah. Whatever she can do.

MATT: 50 feet, 60 feet, gets relatively close to where you saw the shape vanish.

LAURA: I'm going to have her turn her back to the troll and act like she's digging around in the mud.

MATT: From behind the tree, one of the claws-- The long, stringy hair dangling, somewhat stuck to its neck, shifting with the light breeze that blows through as it looks back and watches the illusion turn and shift. Is it relatively close to the tree, the illusion?

LAURA: Pretty close.

MATT: It sits there and waits, shifts.

LAURA: I'm going to have her take a couple of steps away from the tree.

MATT: It shifts back in its space a little bit.

LAURA: She's going to step back towards the tree.

MATT: As soon as it gets within about five or so feet, the illusion, the troll creature reaches out and swings out to grab the illusion, passes through, and the claws (slash) into the tree. It goes (frantic grunting) and then vanishes behind the tree. You watch it dart, the shadow of it vanish behind another tree, and it's moving further away from where you are.

LAURA: Don't think it was friendly.

TRAVIS: Question answered. Did it move away?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Do you want to chase it?

LAURA: I think we should stick to the safe house, what do you guys think?

TRAVIS: I think that's a good call.

TALIESIN: For now.

TRAVIS: We'll stagger back towards the back line of our group.

MARISHA: Yeah, continue on.

LAURA: I'll keep the invoke duplicity, the second me, skipping through the swamp at a distance.

MATT: How long does that last? Lasts for a minute?

LAURA: Invoke Duplicity lasts I think a minute, yeah.

MATT: You guys cluster together outside of the swamp alongside the curvature of the lake, keeping an eye on the side, you continue to travel forward. The lake slowly begins to, as you guys are heading northward, along its side it begins to curve to a northeastern direction, and Febron's like, "All right, so this is good. We're getting closer to the northern side of the lake, which means we're getting close to where we follow the pearl blades to the safe house. Good, okay." At this point, you look over to the side. Who's keeping a watch on this? Okay, both of you guys roll a perception check, please.

MARISHA: Motherfucker, my perception is balls.

TRAVIS: 15.

MARISHA: Nine.

LAURA: Beau needs to stop looking out for things.

MATT: 15, you said? You do see the shape now keeping pace with you again, same distance out there. It's stalking you, but it's definitely-- you get the sense, based on the interaction you had earlier and the distance it's keeping-- it's not interested in fighting nine of you. It's waiting to pick one of you off and take it wherever it's going to take it. It's smart enough to know that it's not going to jump into a fray in the open space, but it's definitely waiting to see what weaker one stays to the back.

ASHLEY: Can we put some of the little ones-- Nott. Bren, get in the middle. Kiri.

SAM: Yep, on my way.

ASHLEY: I'm going to get in the back.

MATT: You guys continue heading in a northeastern direction until eventually you watch the lake come to a northern peak and begin to curve back into a southern area. It looks like the top of the lake bends to a point northward and begins to head southward and level out. At this point, Febron goes, "All right, good. From here, we head northward into the swamp. We're looking for daggers with pearl hilts in the trees. Those are the markers; there's six of them that lead us there." He's going to make a perception check. He looks a bit lost; someone want to help him out with this?

LAURA: Yeah, I'll look.

MATT: Make a perception check as well.

LAURA: 12, I think. Yeah.

MATT: It takes you a moment, but you manage to catch-- the third or fourth tree into the treeline, and you see a gleaming pearl-hilted dagger that is jammed about five feet off the ground into one of the thicker pieces of tree bark on the exterior of one of these trees. It's this little mark that looks like someone jammed a whittling knife into it and left it there, and he goes, "That's one, good. Okay, that means we're going the right way."

LIAM: Do you see it? Show me.

LAURA: It's right here; it's at eye level with me.

LIAM: Good.

MATT: Moving up, looking for the next one. Go ahead and roll.

LAURA: Ooh, that's better. That's a 23.

MATT: Both of you go, "There!" at the same time.

MATT and LAURA: Ah! (chuckling)

MATT: “All right, second one.” Moving on, looking for the third.

LAURA: That was a one for me, I don't see it.

MATT: This one takes a little longer to find. All right.

LAURA: But I don't wander too far from everyone else because there's a troll out there, you guys!

MATT: Yeah. You find the third, Febron finds the fourth.

LAURA: I find that last one.

MATT: Fifth one because he did not find it, but you locate it.

LAURA: 23!

MATT: Yeah. With that point, he goes, "Okay. I'm pretty sure we're almost there." He points ahead, and you can see where there's a cluster of trees. A new sight catches your attention. The first thing that hits you is this faint scent of rotting flesh. It hits your nose a bit and your eyes sting, water for the moment. As your vision focuses on the first corpse, a human man propped up on a spear going up through the side of his torso and out his left pectoral. His stomach is bloated and his skin is dull gray and glistening. His jaw hangs open, his expression this horrible, ghastly grimace. A few feet from him stuck to one of the trees, you see a halfling woman with two blades jammed through her shoulders, pinning her up, legs dangling, but one leg is partially torn off. Her head is mounted down, hair in her face so you can't make out any features, and they're both placed up there right against this opening to a small clearing ahead, and this is where Febron goes, "And that's what I'm talking about. That's the warning. Whoever did this is trying to keep us out."

LAURA: You haven't gone past these--

MATT: “Fuck no!”

LAURA: Shh! (quietly) They could be around! Hey you guys, I could try this thing that I've been wanting to do for a while, which is where I can talk to somebody that is not alive anymore.

SAM: You can do that?

LAURA: Yeah, the Traveler's teaching me all about it and I think I can do it.

MARK: Is the Traveler another wizard?

LAURA: He kind of is, but he's really powerful, and he's super cool.

LIAM: Settle in.

LAURA: He wears this really cool cloak, and he's got an amazing voice. Actually, hold on! I pull out one of my pamphlets. Here, if you want to learn more, you just let me know.

TRAVIS: Maybe we can get back to talking to the dead people?

LAURA: Yeah, do you want me to try it?

SAM: That sounds like a great idea.

TALIESIN: Nott, why don't we check for traps, too?

SAM: Oh, that's my job!

MARISHA: How long does it take you to talk to dead people?

LAURA: It's instantaneous, but I can talk to them for about ten minutes or so.

SAM: Anyone who's dead, or just one dead person?

LAURA: Just one dead person that I cast it on.

SAM: Which body is fresher, Matthew?

MATT: From what you're looking at, they're both about as fresh as the other.

TRAVIS: Which one's got the better mouth?

LAURA: It doesn't have to be fresh, it could be really old.

MATT: They both have their jaws intact. From what you can tell, the female halfling, you can't make out the features of the face because the hair is in the way and dangling. The other one's is open.

LAURA: Which one looks friendlier?

MATT: They both look pretty dead!

SAM: Let me check for traps on the smaller one.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: Oh, a lot. 25.

MATT: No traps, nothing like that. You do notice there are wounds across the body. Beyond the leg missing, there are a number of wounds. You can make a medicine check to try and ascertain what they are.

SAM: Ten.

MATT: Okay. They seem to be a combination of bite and claw marks. Not super deep slashing, but definitely a gash across the shoulder, the neck. There is one large puncture wound about that wide that's right around where the sternum is. But whatever punctured it, one of the edges is torn out, like something hooked was placed in and then pulled through, dragging the flesh with it.

SAM: Does her face look like--

MATT: Intact.

SAM: Yeah, we don't know this person, right?

MATT: No, you do not recognize this person, lifeless. You do see some rough elements of tattoos along the neck similar to the banded neck tattoos of members of The Gentleman's crew that you had seen before. Not as thick and dense, but you can see that there is a pattern to the acquisition of some of these tattoos for the ones who run the smuggling line. You're starting to ascertain and put that together, but intact.

SAM: Would you like to talk to this one?

LAURA: Sure.

SAM: Well, let me introduce you.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: This is my friend, Jester.

LAURA: Hi.

SAM: Jester, this is a dead body.

LAURA: I'm nervous; I've never done this before.

TALIESIN: This should be good.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to hold my symbol of the Traveler.

MARISHA: I'm going to keep a lookout while she does this.

LAURA: I'm going to be like, okay, I'm going to do this thing.

SAM: Just be confident.

MATT: Kiri pulls a blade and gets behind Cali and is like, (like Jester) "I've never done this before."

LAURA: Kiri, be careful.

MATT: (like Jester) "Be careful."

LAURA: Hey, you dead person, hey. I would like if you would come to life again a little bit and tell us some things that we want to know. (tongue waggling)

(screaming)

MATT: A tiny dagger goes into the tree next to it and Kiri’s around Cali's going--

TRAVIS: Easy, Kiri, easy. Settle, settle.

MATT: (cawing, whimpering)

MARK: Yeah, Kiri settle.

MATT: As the chest breathes in, some of the air escapes some of the wounds, and there's bits of matter--

MARK: (retching)

MATT: The head settles down and looks right--

MARISHA: Yasha and her gag reflex.

ASHLEY: Oh no, it's happening again. It feels like it's coming up.

MATT: Febron leaps back, he's like, "Shit!", and backs up a little bit. He looks really uncomfortable with this whole thing. You don't think he was prepared for any sort of dead-raising circumstance. "Is this fucking necromancy?!"

LAURA: Well, kind of!

MATT: He keeps backing away. Now the corpse's face of this halfling woman turns towards you. (inhaling)

LAURA: (tongue waggling) We have to ask it some questions. What did this to you?

SAM: I don't think you have to talk like you're dead.

LAURA: Really, are you sure though? Have you ever talked to a dead person?

SAM: I've never done it, you know more about this than me.

MATT: "Swamp fishmen from under the ground."

LAURA: Beau, are you writing this down?

MARISHA: Swamp fishman from underground.

MARK: That is incredibly specific and really useful.

(laughter)

LAURA: How many swamp fishmen?

MATT: "Many."

LAURA: Many, there're lots of them. There're lots of them that attacked.

SAM: Where? When?

LAURA: How long ago did this happen to you?

SAM: How many questions do you get?

LAURA: I get five of them.

MATT: "Weeks. Two, maybe three."

LAURA: Wow. Two or three weeks ago. Oh! Did anything that you did to the fishmen seem to hurt them more than other things?

SAM: (spookily) Ooh.

MATT: "We cut when we could. They bleed, but too many."

LAURA: They bleed, but there's too many bleeds.

MARK: If it bleeds, we can kill them.

MARISHA: So when you cut it, it bleeds. Got it.

SAM: One more question.

LAURA: I get one more question, what should I ask?

MATT: Kiri comes up and grabs the dagger, wedges it out of the tree and turns to Cali and goes, (like Cali) "If it bleeds, we can kill it." Points it back to the corpse.

LAURA: Don't kill it again, okay Kiri? It's okay. We have another question.

SAM: Either where this happened or where they were hiding?

TALIESIN: Where did it happen, inside? Or where did they come from?

TRAVIS: Underground.

TALIESIN: But did they come from the house, or from outside the safe house, or inside?

MARK: Could you word it in a way where you ask all of those in one question, like, "Did you come from this, this, or this?" maybe, and then we'll know where?

SAM: Or, we could ask if there's a secret entrance to the safe house.

TALIESIN: What if there isn't?

SAM: Then we've wasted a question.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

MARK: But we know there's not a secret entrance.

TRAVIS: Did any of it precede the attack?

LAURA: Or we could ask it what its childhood was like.

SAM: That would be an interesting story. I'm going to check behind us and see how far back Fermaw, what's his name, Febron?

MATT: Febron?

SAM: How far back has Febron gone?

MATT: He's 20 feet behind you. He's keeping a little back from the whole undead thing.

SAM: Hey, Febron! Don't go too far. There's a troll back there.

MATT: At which point, from behind one of the trees (growling), the troll reaches out and grabs him by the torso, pulls him back, and you hear him scream as the troll grabs him, tucks him under his arm, (snarling) and begins leaping away from you.

LIAM: Magic Missile!

MATT: Okay, go for it. Make an attack.

ASHLEY: I go running.

MATT: You go running.

SAM: I miss. I got a nine.

MARISHA: Almost made a bet if Febron was going to make it.

MARK: Acid Splash. Cali's going to spit a glob of acid.

MATT: (splashes) All righty.

TALIESIN: Oh no. Wait. Come back.

LIAM: I'm going to cast at 2nd-level.

MARISHA: Yeah. Oh no, man, oh no.

MATT: Let me get the--

ASHLEY: Wait, did we already give him the 100 gold?

SAM: Yes.

ASHLEY: We're going to give him at the end, right?

SAM: No, we gave it to him already.

ASHLEY: We gave him half?

TALIESIN: We're going to loot the corpse anyway. We know where that money's going.

MARISHA: He did his job, though. He got us here.

TALIESIN: We're going to go find it in the tree later. It'll be fine.

ASHLEY: If he dies, we can get the money back.

LAURA: Don't waste all your spells, you've got to fight fish men!

TALIESIN: It's practically going to be in a safety deposit box.

MARISHA: Hold this for us.

TRAVIS: He's fucking huge!

MATT: That is the troll.

TRAVIS: I thought he was humanoid-sized!

LAURA: Oh, he's huge!

MARISHA: Look, he tucked Febron under his arm.

TRAVIS: Why did you go try to be friends with that? What are you thinking?

ASHLEY: I didn't know he was that big!

MATT: This is the opening of the clearing here, where you guys were talking to the halfling that was stapled to the tree right there.

LAURA: Just stapled to the tree.

MATT: Essentially, yeah. You guys all spin and watch this happening. Kiri's over by the edge of the tree with you, and Caleb, where were you?

LIAM: Towards the back of the group, never near the front.

MATT: You would have probably been over here, near Nott.

TRAVIS: This is north, towards me?

MATT: Technically, this would be north.

LAURA: Technically!

MATT: Yes, that area's north.

SAM: I fired a shot that missed.

MATT: Yes. What did you roll?

SAM: A nine.

MATT: That did miss.

LIAM: Magic Missile, level two, four darts, total of 16 force damage.

MATT: Nice.

MARK: Reflex save-- Dexterity. Dexterity saving throw for the Acid Splash.

MATT: The troll spins and goes running with Febron going (screaming) in its grasp, it starts lumbering, leaping from tree to tree. Its legs, while it has this bulbous, swollen midsection, these thin frog-like legs are giving these fairly decent leaps from section to section, its other arm grasping onto the trees as it runs. You can see this is definitely its home terrain. As these magic missiles swarm out and slam into its body, with each impact, that green ichor sprays across Febron, and it starts to burn into his skin. He's (screaming).

TRAVIS: Xenomorph blood.

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: Is he unconscious? Is he done? Is that it?

MATT: Febron goes limp--

(cheering and groaning)

MATT: I rolled 2d8. I rolled eight on each of them. That was the reaction there.

MARK: Dexterity saving throw for the Acid Splash as well, if you don't mind.

MATT: Correct. That's a four.

MARK: Seven.

MATT: Seven points of acid, got it. As it slams, it begins to burn the back of the skin. You watch a bit of steam rise off of its shoulder. It definitely is wounding the creature. This large, swollen troll is still making a break. I need everyone to roll initiative now.

LIAM: Don't fuck me, Matt Mercer.

MARISHA: That's a natural one.

MATT: 25 to 20?

LAURA: 23.

MARK: 20.

MARISHA: Actually, I'm going to blow my d8. Ooh, that's an eight.

TRAVIS: Jester and Cali?

MATT: 20 to 15?

SAM: 18.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Nott and Molly. 15 to ten?

MARISHA: 14.

TRAVIS: 14 as well.

LIAM: Did you speak up yet?

ASHLEY: Nope.

LIAM: Of course you didn't.

TRAVIS: Oh my god!

MATT: Ten to five?

ASHLEY: Six. Every time!

MATT: Eight?

TALIESIN: It's magic.

MATT: Ashley, it's incredible.

ASHLEY: It really is. I have a plus two in this campaign, also. Good grief.

MATT: Is that everybody? I think so, yeah. Top of the round, as it's bounding behind with an unconscious guide under its arm, Jester, you're up first.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to Toll the Dead because he's been injured.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: I'm going to turn around and be like (splat).

MATT: What type of damage is it?

LAURA: It is necrotic damage, but he has to roll a wisdom saving throw.

MATT: Which he does not make, he rolled a 12.

LAURA: So 2d12! I can help search for those in a second--

SAM: No, I got them.

LAURA: Six whole points!

MATT: Six points of damage. As the energy coalesces and the bell, (impact) in the range of this creature, it impacts it and it staggers for a second, and the pustules on its body emit more of that poison.

LAURA: He has a loud ringing in his ears, damn it.

MATT: That finishes your go. Cali, you're up.

MARK: Okay, so, seeing everything go on, and the combat erupt, you see her twitch a little bit, and she snarls a little. I'm going to rush up 30 feet, move up as much as I can. Get back here, now! I'm going to Quickened Spell, False Life on myself-- actually, no, I'll just do it as a normal action, I won't Quickened Spell it. I'll do False Life on myself and gain some vigor, as a 1st-level spell.

SAM: All words I've never heard before.

ASHLEY: Same!

MARK: I gain seven temporary hit points, and then I'm going to-- well, that's it. Yeah.

MATT: Cool. This strange barrier of arcane energy forms around Cali's body, giving this little essence of vigor, and the body swells a bit. That finishes your turn. Nott, you're up.

SAM: I'll get within 30 feet. Fire a crossbow shot towards its foot.

MATT: Within 30 feet, you can stop about there.

SAM: That's good.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: It hits, probably. 24?

MATT: Yeah, that hits.

SAM: Sneak attack? No.

MATT: Technically, no, because he's aware that you were there, and is not currently flanked by an ally.

LAURA: Not flanked by Febron.

SAM: Oh, terrible. Five points.

MATT: Five points of piercing damage. It strikes and sticks into the back, and more of that green stuff begins to spray out of the wound where it hit in the vicinity. It's creating bursts of this toxic sludge that's oozing from its body around it each time you're hitting it.

SAM: I'll shoot again, with bonus action. Ooh, that's not as good. 13?

MATT: 13? That does not hit. It manages to hit the tree that's near it and sticking into that one, there.

SAM: I'll use the rest of my movement to duck behind a tree or something while I scream.

LAURA: I wonder if Febron is going to get covered in that pus that's coming out of him.

MATT: There's quite a bit of it on Febron, actually.

LIAM: Are we in difficult terrain here?

MATT: Yes, you are.

MARISHA: Green stuff should sponsor us.

MATT: I'd say in this clearing you're not in terribly difficult terrain. You're moving around okay, it's not too bad. The further you get into it this way, it starts getting a little more-- like in the cluster of trees in here, it starts getting a harder to move in.

LIAM: Although, you've got your shoes on, yeah?

LAURA: The ring.

MATT: That ends Nott's turn. Molly, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and cast Enthrall.

MATT: Okay. That is a 14. What is it, wisdom?

TALIESIN: I don't know. Yes, I believe it's a wisdom--

MATT: 13. Your DC on that is? It's charisma-based, right? This is your racial?

TALIESIN: Yeah, it is racial.

MATT: It succeeds, it's a ten. Unfortunately! That would have stopped it in its tracks.

TALIESIN: (groaning mumbles)

MARISHA: That was Molly?

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: Is that your turn? Do you want to move closer?

TALIESIN: I'll move up to that tree.

MATT: Okay, so you move up to there.

TALIESIN: As a bonus, I'll-- no, I'll hold off.

MATT: Okay, that finishes Molly's go. Beau and Fjord, you guys are up.

MARISHA: I think I'm 40 feet within him. If you do it--

LAURA: You're 40 feet *within* him?

MATT: (counting) You do, you get right up into its body.

MARISHA: Hey, so deep! Okay, I'm going to pop pop. My two strikes-- oh, wait, that's a die damage. First two strikes! First one is a 21, second one is a 16?

MATT: They both hit.

MARISHA: Okay! Damn it, I rolled a one, this sucks. 12 damage for the first one, seven damage for the second one.

MATT: Great.

MARISHA: Yeah?

MATT: What else are you doing?

MARISHA: I'm going to use a ki point to do stunning strike.

MATT: Oh, nice.

MARISHA: Stunning strike!

MATT: All right. 21.

MARISHA: Fuck.

MATT: That is a plus five on its constitution saving throw. Trolls, man. It resists the stunning strike.

MARISHA: That's good to know.

MATT: You still have your bonus, though.

MARISHA: I still have my bonus. I'll just punch him in the face.

LAURA: Please don't waste all your stuff on this guy, because, you know--

MARISHA: Because we might still fight all those things. Nine damage. No, sorry, ten damage.

MATT: Ten damage. Third strike?

MARISHA: That was it.

MATT: Okay, cool. You rush forward, slamming into it with your staff and your fists, striking into its body. With each impact, it takes you a moment to realize what's happening, but that spray is covering your face, and as it does, the venom is pushing into your flesh and burning upon contact.

MARISHA: You guys, it makes your throat a little numb!

MATT: You take nine points of poison damage. You take another nine points of poison damage. You take 15 points of poison damage. A total of-- sorry, 15, nine and nine, so that's 34? 34 points of poison damage.

TRAVIS: 33.

MATT: 33, sorry.

LAURA: Y'all, don't get close to this guy, because I don't want to waste all my--

MATT: Febron, by the way? Fucking dead. You see now he's coated in this toxin. The eyes are open and now pouring out of his mouth is foam at the edge with his tongue lolling out. Yeah, as it was fleeing, all the impacts covered him with the same toxic stuff and sent him straight to his grave.

MARISHA: Guys, our money's getting away!

LAURA: I think it's okay because I'm going to have to use all my fucking spells healing you, Beau!

MARISHA: I'm okay!

LAURA: Why don't you get back here?

MATT: That ends Beau's turn. Fjord, what are you doing?

TRAVIS: Can I move 15 feet towards the troll? I'll see the gore and poison splattering all over Beau and little sizzles coming up and shit, and I'm like: Eh, Eldritch Blast!

MARISHA: I turn around to you and I go (gasping and groaning).

TRAVIS: (screams, blasts)

MATT: All right. Two attacks on it.

TRAVIS: Okay. Oh, that's 26 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: And 25 to hit.

MATT: Both hit.

TRAVIS: Those were monsters, jeez. 1d10 plus four, that's eight points on the first one, and that's 14 points on the second one.

MATT: Woo, nice! Both parts of its back where they impact, the flesh tears open, revealing the muscle beneath, and as it does, more of it sprays. Beau--

TRAVIS: Oh, shit, right!

MATT: You take five points of poison damage.

MARISHA: Hang on, let me make sure I'm doing my math right, too. It was 33 points of damage is what you did before, right?

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: 34.

TRAVIS: 33.

MATT: It was 15 plus 18, so it's 33.

MARISHA: Okay, and then--

MATT: You just took another 20 points of poison damage.

MARISHA: I am unconscious.

SAM: What?! Way to go, Mee-ster Fjord.

TRAVIS: Yeah, don't anybody else hit it.

LAURA: Oh god, please don't pick up Beau.

MATT: Beau falls onto the ground, arms limp, covered in this toxic substance. That ends your turn, Fjord?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I cast Regret.

MARK: I cast Major Regret at 5th-level.

MATT: Okay, so it is now the troll's turn. The troll does not regenerate because you did acid damage to it with your last attack, which prevents it from regaining any hit points.

MARK: That was not me meta-gaming, chat.

MATT: However, it's still currently clutching the body of Febron under its arm. It's going for a straight bolt, it looks down and sees Beau unconscious, uses its action to pick Beau up under the other arm--

LAURA: No! Goddamn it.

MARK: It doesn't have to move to do it, does it?

MATT: Nope. Now it's going to use its full movement. That's 30, it is right where the marker is right there.

LAURA: --without killing Beau, because we can't attack it?

SAM: We have to stop it with magic, or nets.

MARISHA: Anyone have a Hold Monster situation?

MATT: Yeah, this is a pickle, guys.

TRAVIS: You didn't really like that character that much, did you?

MARISHA: You know!

MATT: That ends the troll's turn. Caleb, you're up.

MARISHA: Haven’t even gotten her backstory yet.

LIAM: I will use my movement first. I want to get as close as I can, which is 15 feet-- or, no, you said the closer we get?

MATT: Right there is when you start getting to rough terrain, so that's as far as you get-- which the troll is not affected by, you've noticed that it's in its home turf.

LIAM: Yeah, you know, I went through a whole range of emotions because first I was going to try to hold it, but then the guy was dead, so I was like fuck it, I'll switch to a Fire Bolt, but then he grabbed Beau, so I am going to use the Glove of Blasting and cast Scorching Ray on it, because I can't reach for anything better.

LAURA: No, but what if it makes it pus its thing and then it hits Beau and she dies?!

MARK: Every time it gets hit, even by spells.

LAURA: Don't damage it!

LIAM: Yeah?

TRAVIS: That's what happened to Febron.

MARISHA: We need like a hold thing--

LIAM: I don't have that.

TRAVIS: I don't either. I mean, I got something that holds, but it damages, too.

MATT: What are you doing, Caleb?

LIAM: I'm going to cast Magic Missile on its head.

MATT: Magic Missile on its head?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll for the damage on that.

SAM: Beau dies.

LIAM: No, I’m going to cast-- Fuck sticks. I'm going to cast Haste on Nott. That's what I do.

MATT: Okay. You are now holding concentration on Haste. Nott, you feel suddenly the world slows ever so slightly and you feel this burst of adrenaline in your body.

LAURA: Do you have a healing potion?

SAM: No.

MATT: That's your turn.

MARISHA: I do.

MATT: Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay. How close can I get?

MARISHA: Man, I was hoping to stun it, guys, I'm sorry.

TALIESIN: It was a good plan.

ASHLEY: Fuck, that's not going to work.

SAM: Caleb?

LIAM: Yeah. Your AC is up, an extra action.

ASHLEY: All right, well, I would like to rage. I'm going to scream out, in a super intimidating voice.

MATT: Don't forget, if you rage and don't attack or are attacked by the end of your next turn, you lose your rage.

ASHLEY: Oh shit.

MATT: So if you're not planning to attack it, or if there's not going to be something attacking you, you're losing a rage for the day, so keep that in mind.

MARK: You just need to take damage, like get hit by something.

MATT: It's either attack or be attacked, you don't have to take damage necessarily.

TALIESIN: The acid will do full damage.

SAM: Pus flew out of it.

MARISHA: I’m sweating.

ASHLEY: Oh my god, you’re amazing.

MARISHA: Sorry, audience.

MATT: So it's taking damage. So it's you attacking or taking damage.

ASHLEY: Okay, fuck. Shit. Okay. Well, I'm not going to take it back.

LAURA: Can you just grapple it?

ASHLEY: That's as far as I can go.

MATT: Yeah. Unfortunately, you're starting to get through some sludge.

TALIESIN: You can dash and burn your action.

MATT: You can, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I'll do that.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: You guys know where he's taking me.

LAURA: Potentially.

MATT: That's as close as you can get right there.

ASHLEY: Am I within ten feet of it?

MATT: You are.

ASHLEY: Okay. Can I use necrotic shroud, then, if I use that as the action to run?

MATT: You don't have an action to use it anymore, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Okay. Can I just yell at it?

MATT: Yeah. What do you yell? I give you two bonus actions.

ASHLEY: Super intimidating. Oh, but then I’ve got to fucking attack something. All right, I'm going to be super intimidating and say: Drop it!

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

TRAVIS: No!

MARK: No! I said no!

MARISHA: Roll a 20.

LAURA: 20! Oh, so close!

ASHLEY: Okay, that's intimidation. Intimidation is minus two.

TRAVIS: How?

ASHLEY: I look so mean because my charisma’s so low.

MATT: Well, it's charisma-based, but depending on the intimidation, you can use your strength modifier instead.

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: Okay, with your strength modifier?

TALIESIN: No, without the strength modifier.

TRAVIS: You can use your str--

ASHLEY: Oh I can use my strength!

MATT: It makes sense, and it's how we did it in the last campaign, too. It's one of the rules that they say you can use for your campaign. Charisma or strength for your intimidation because it makes sense for you.

ASHLEY: Oh yes, okay! Okay, okay, okay!

MATT: My favorite Pike line, by the way, in Pillars Of Eternity.

MARISHA: I was just thinking that as well!

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay.

ASHLEY: Okay! 22!

MATT: 22, all right.

MARISHA: I died when I heard that.

MATT: Okay, it turns around and glances at you and it looks shaken. I'll say, for the purposes of this, it's frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: It's going to keep running away from you.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: It’s all happening like this.

MATT: Does that finish your turn, Yasha?

ASHLEY: Can I like slap myself?

MATT: Unfortunately--

ASHLEY: Does that not work? Shit. Wasted a rage.

MATT: It's now Kiri's turn. Kiri holding a dagger--

MARISHA: Kiri be my savior!

SAM: Aw Kiri.

MATT: She just holds the dagger. That's Kiri's turn.

MARISHA: Yeah, Kiri.

MATT: And shouts, (like Jester) "Fuck!" Jester, it's your turn.

LAURA: Can I get within 60 feet of it?

MATT: Yeah, you're in 60 feet.

LAURA: Awesome! I'm going to cast Healing Word on Beau.

MATT: Oh shit. Okay.

LAURA: As my bonus action. Healing Word, so you regain 1d4 plus four hit points.

LIAM: Wow.

LAURA: Seven points!

MATT: So you are conscious.

MARISHA: Oh! I'm conscious!

MARK: Being grappled by a troll, one thing at a time.

MARISHA: Seven hit points, right?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Modern literature!

LIAM: Lie down, play dead.

TRAVIS: We don't know what that is..

MARISHA: I'm going to wake up, see my situation and go (gasps) and play dead.

MATT: Okay, so when we come to your turn, you’ll can do that. You come to consciousness, and you're like (panting) and your body hurts, there's all this stinging from the toxin burning your skin and flesh. You're chucked under and you can feel the claws digging into part of your thigh and side as you’re being run along by this giant troll creature. It smells awful; this like heavy scent of rotting citrus and fungus that’s permeating from its body. That finishes your turn, Jester?

LAURA: That was my bonus.

MATT: That was your bonus, you still have your action.

LAURA: But I don't think I can do anything. I guess I'll hold an attack, I'll hold--

MATT: Sacred Flame?

LAURA: Yeah, I'll hold Sacred Flame until Beau is dropped and far enough away.

MATT: You got it. Holding there, Cali, you're up.

MARK: How close can I get to it with the difficult terrain? Can I get next to Yasha?

MATT: You can get that close right now with the speed of 30 feet, yeah.

MARK: No, it's fine. I will get there and she twitches a little bit. Come on! Quickened Levitate on Beau. I'm going to try and lift Beau up. If there’s a tree line above, I'm going to try and fling her up to the tree line.

MATT: Interesting! For the purposes of this, make an arcana check and this is going to be your attempt to break the grapple of the troll.

MARISHA: Come on, Cali!

MATT: Ten. Not very good at arcana.

LAURA: Maybe?

TRAVIS: What?!

MATT: Two! Fucking! You're a lucky son of a bitch! It has a plus four in its strength roll.

MARK: So (whoop).

MARISHA: Calianna!

MATT: Ripping from the grip of the troll, Beau gets lifted into the air, and is now hovering there.

LAURA: Is she far enough away?

MARK: Is there a tree line where I can send her to so she can grab on?

MATT: Yeah. You can do that.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MARK: Grab on!

TALIESIN: It's like in Willow with the stick. Woo!

LAURA: When she is far enough away, I cast Sacred Flame.

MARK: For my action, I'm going to do another Acid Splash because that was a bonus because of quickened.

MATT: Beau is now lifted up into the tree. You're just within reach of branches when it comes to your turn.

SAM: Okay, everything's fine now.

LIAM: I mean she's half melted, but...

MATT: I'm going to be honest, you almost killed her, man. Scorching Ray if those all had hit, Beau's dead. I was like, oh fuck.

LIAM: We got to cut that dead weight, man.

MATT: I got real nervous. Magic Missile would have done the same, too, because it's a splash per missile.

MARISHA: I have blackmail material on you, motherfucker.

MATT: Go for it. Dex save for you. Natural 20, and then for you dex save as well. That is an eight.

LAURA: Okay, so you get hit with 2d8.

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Nine points!

MATT: Splashes out. No one is close enough to be affected by the effect.

TRAVIS: How’s Febron?

MATT: Febron’s dead. Febron's like--

TRAVIS: A soggy KFC drumstick.

MATT: Kind of! His arms and legs are dangling behind as it's dragging him through. It's pretty rough.

TALIESIN: Does the radiant damage seem to have a particular effect?

MATT: Not beyond anything else.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: We should just let it go, huh?

TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARK: Get out of here!

MATT: Ending Cali's turn; Nott, you're up.

SAM: I'm up? Okay, is there anything in melee range with it? No.

MATT: Currently no.

SAM: I'll move within 30 feet.

MATT: That's as close as you can get right there. That's not quite within 30 feet.

SAM: That's as close as I can get?

LIAM: Nott is double speed and has a ring on for water walking.

MATT: For water walking, right. I'll say, for that purpose, it does give you the extra movement there. So now you're just within 30 feet.

SAM: I don't know that we're letting it go, so I'm going to cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter on it. Throw out a little piece of pastry and I'll yell to it: What's a swamp frog’s favorite drug? Croak-aine!

(groaning)

SAM: They're not winners, guys.

MATT: Wisdom save is a 13. What's your DC?

SAM: It's a 14.

MATT: 14, it fails! It immediately falls prone, laughing with the corpse of Febron being flailed about in the air as it's spinning. The legs and arms--

SAM: I'll use my extra action to attack.

MATT: Well technically, you can only do the bonus action to attack if you use the attack action.

SAM: This is an extra attack action.

MATT: Oh! Because you're hasted! That's right! Sorry, I was thinking of the bonus action, you’re correct.

SAM: I rolled a 16 plus seven, 23.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: Because it's prone do I get advantage or anything?

LAURA: No, you get disadvantage.

SAM: Oh, natural 20, so it still hits, 23. But do I get sneak attack? No. Because it's prone, no.

MATT: No, because you do not have advantage on the attack, unfortunately.

SAM: Oh, look. it's a ten to hit.

MATT: Nice.

SAM: I mean ten points of damage.

MATT: It sinks into it.

SAM: I don't get a bonus action off of that attack?

MATT: You do because it's an attack action.

SAM: Okay, I'll fire again. Natural 20 and a 20, just a straight 20.

MATT: Okay, that hits. To two? Oh man, that sucks.

SAM: Another seven points of damage.

MATT: Seven points of damage. That finishes your turn, Nott, well done. On the ground you’re firing both of those. They’re sticking inside, these sprays of poison toxin out of his body as it's laughing on the ground. For Tasha’s Hideous laughter, does it get the chance to break?

SAM: Let me see, at the end of each of its turns or each time it takes damage, a target can make a wisdom saving throw.

MATT: Nope, that was a two.

SAM: Target has advantage on that save that's triggered by that damage.

MATT: The second roll was a 16, so it succeeds. It fell prone, gave you disadvantage on the attacks, and then got out of your spell. Lesson learned.

SAM: Nice. Right, good to know.

MATT: But it is prone. That finishes your turn, Nott. Molly.

TALIESIN: Where is the little bird?

MATT: Right here.

TALIESIN: There's really not much I can do here, so I'm going to--

TRAVIS: Send it packing, Molly.

TALIESIN: I got nothing I can do.

LAURA: Then get the fuck out go here.

SAM: (demonic) Get the fuck out of here.

TALIESIN: Well, I can do that, I'm going to do one more attempt to do a Devil's Tongue.

TRAVIS: What does it sound like?

TALIESIN: (demonic) Scoot, scoot! Scoot!

MATT: It rolled a three minus one, so it succeeds. It takes what type of psychic damage?

TALIESIN: Oh, wow, Holy cow. I'm not used to it working. 5th-level, so hey, look at that, it actually has gone up. 2d4 psychic damage. That's four points of damage and it has disadvantage on its next attack roll.

MATT: Interesting, okay, so psychic damage strikes it and it does not spray the venomous toxin upon receiving the psychic damage. But it is grabbing its head now the laughter has subsided.

TALIESIN: Brain freeze.

MATT: It's trying to get back to its feet. That finishes your turn, Molly?

TALIESIN: That's all I got.

MATT: Beau, you're up in the trees. Fjord, you're on the ground.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: You're levitating.

MARISHA: I am levitating.

LAURA: Can you try and hold on to the branch?

MARISHA: Yeah, can I scooch and perch up on the branch?

MATT: Sure, you still have the levitation spell on you, so if you were to leap, you'd just glide.

LIAM: Marry Poppins!

MARISHA: I grip the tree branch with my thighs, I'm going to force grip it.

MATT: Okay, so you're on the branch there.

MARISHA: Yeah, side saddle and then I'm going to-- I don't know why I'm acting like I'm drawing a bow like a bow user because I've never been a bow user, but my name is Beau. I'm going to take two shurikens and do that.

TRAVIS: Hadouken!

MARISHA: First attack, don't fuck me Gil, 15.

MATT: 15 just hits.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: When it is prone you have disadvantage, so roll again to attack. It’s a ranged attack.

MARISHA: Oh wow, that's 14.

MATT: 14 just misses. It sinks into the swamp mud next to it.

MARISHA: Bummer, second one, natural 20.

MATT: One more time because this has disadvantage.

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: Okay, so that does hit, roll damage on the second one.

MARISHA: Which is a d4 we've said, correct?

MATT: That is correct.

LIAM: Oh, cocked. Super cocked. More!

MARISHA: Sure, I'll take that. That's a ten.

MATT: Ten?

MARISHA: Yeah, damage.

MATT: Four plus--

MARISHA: Four plus six, my attack bonus, right?

MATT: Damage bonus.

MARISHA: My damage bonus. Oh I'm sorry, eight.

MATT: Eight, that's what I thought. Eight points of damage. The shuriken sinks into its chest; another spray of toxin. Nothing in the vicinity to take the damage, that finish your turn?

MARISHA: I have a bonus, right?

MATT: You do.

MARISHA: But I can't do a range.

MATT: No, it's only unarmed. I think that's your turn.

TALIESIN: Glug glug.

TRAVIS: Glug glug?

MARISHA: I don't have a healing potion.

TRAVIS: She doesn't have a glug glug.

MATT: Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'll move five feet closer towards el troll, and I'll say: Get the fuck out of here! And I'll Eldritch Blast twice.

MATT: Go for it. Disadvantage on each strike.

TRAVIS: That's going to miss anyway, and the second one. They both miss.

MATT: They both go passing right over its body as it’s trying to get up. It slips for a second, and what would've hit, it ducks out of the way just in time and both of them arc off, hitting nothing.

TRAVIS: You get your ass out of this forest!

MATT: That finishes your turn. It's now the troll's turn. It gets up, half its movement, and it's going to run 15 feet this way and then a full action run for another 30 feet, and it's darting off with the corpse of Febron under its arm. It has its prize and it's running off into the swamp. It's hurting, but you're watching its flesh stitch together a little more and starting to heal up from some of the wounds.

TRAVIS: Yeah, get the fuck on out! Nobody wants you here, anyway!

MATT: Is anybody pursuing?

LIAM: Yes, in my range I will walk 15 feet forward and cast Fire Bolt from here. It's a 120-foot range.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll for that.

LIAM: Oh that's not the d20, hold on. That's a natural one.

MATT: Nope. The Fire Bolt vanishes beyond its space there. Anybody else with a ranged attack that wants to try and make it?

SAM: Sure, I'll take a shot.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: At disadvantage?

MATT: At this range it is.

SAM: 12.

MATT: 12 misses. It's starting to hit the mist and its form starting to become a little harder to see and it's running with such an intense speed.

SAM: I've got one more hasted action.

MATT: You do. And a bonus action attack if you want to.

SAM: Terrible. 14?

MATT: 14? No, just misses.

SAM: Okay, and a bonus attack action. 16.

MATT: Roll damage. It does strike.

SAM: Hey, that's one!

MARISHA: Kill it!

SAM: Eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage. It manages to catch it. It's still running. Fjord, you're the only one with a proper ranged attack here if you want to try.

TRAVIS: Sure, I'll do it. I'll take two more Eldritch Blasts at it. That's disadvantage, right? That's a natural one. My bad. 19. 18! That'll hit, that's 25.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: 1d10. That's nine plus four. 13 points of Eldritch Blast.

MARISHA: He's got our gold!

MATT: It gets blasted. Still going.

TRAVIS: You fucking piece of shit!

MARISHA: How far away is he right now?

MATT: Well, now it takes its next turn to do a full 60 foot run.

MARISHA: I couldn't jump one more and try to get him a little--

LAURA: I don't think he's going down with him.

MATT: At this point, the fact that you guys are having a hard time hitting it and the rate that it's healing, you're starting to think--

MARISHA: Oh, he's healing?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Don't you dare tell us what we're starting to think!

MATT: I'm just saying, you can continue to pursue if you want to.

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: But we'd be idiots.

MARK: But the implication is: You really don’t.

SAM: We know where he lives!

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's right. We know where its hollow is. So lesson learned.

LAURA: Oh, there's a dead person I'm talking to!

SAM: We have one more question!

LAURA: I turn around and run back to the dead person.

TRAVIS: Beau is just: You fucking--!

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm doggy-paddling through the air.

SAM: Will you let our friend down?

MARK: Oh yeah, sorry Ms. Beau!

MARISHA: I slow fall.

TRAVIS: Still one more question.

LIAM: Matt, we're still in the middle of nowhere at this point, or we're--?

MATT: You guys are right at the edge of where these bodies have been propped up as a warning, which, from what Febron told you, were placed up to prevent people from coming towards the safe house.

LIAM: We don't have our guide anymore. Ask this one which way to go.

LAURA: Oh, this isn't the safe house?

SAM: This is the gate of the safe house.

MATT: You're starting to get close to it, as far as you know.

LIAM: As far as we know.

MARISHA: If these are the warnings.

SAM: Specific directions.

LAURA: All right. I guess that's what I'll ask, then, because that's all I can ask.

MATT: As you approach the head is tracking you the whole time.

LAURA: Sorry, we got distracted, there was a troll that came and stole our guide. I think you might have known him. Anyway, which way is the actual safe house that we're trying to get to?

MATT: The head curves off to the right between the tree that it's stapled to and the other body that's propped up. "100 feet that way."

LAURA: Oh shit. We totally could have seen it!

SAM: I can see, it's right there!

MATT: You don't see any safe house. You don't see anything like that. At that point the head (sighs) continues back.

LAURA: Well, at least we know it's 100 feet, so we can search for it.

TALIESIN: Are there actual knives stuck in--

MATT: Looks to be two shortswords have been jammed into it.

TALIESIN: Shortswords or daggers?

MATT: Shortswords.

LAURA: Do they have anything in their pockets?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we're looting these bodies right now. That's nice.

LAURA: Investigation, you say? 14?

MATT: Okay. Rummaging through the pockets and the various baubles you can find, you find four pieces of gold, a handful of about 12 silver-- this is on the Halfling-- a charm, looks like it's made from a dried animal foot of some kind, like a dog or a coyote.

TALIESIN: (hiccups)

MATT: (imitates a hiccup)

LIAM: It’s cursed hiccups.

MATT: And a note that's keeping track of locations, but it's mostly soaked now and the ink is all run, and you make out bits of words here and there, but it makes no sense to you.

LAURA: I'm taking it.

SAM: Give me the charm.

LAURA: Are you going to check if it's magic?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: I don't check if it's magic.

LAURA: I'm going to use Mending on the note. Oh wait, it doesn't make the words come back. Remember, we already figured this part out.

MATT: Yeah, the paper is now dry and a full piece of paper, but the ink is still as smeared and lost as it was before.

SAM: Can I look at the words?

MATT: The few words you make out involve a time. One of them says two hours past the noon sun, that's the most you make out of one sentence. Part of it’s smeared. It's like Steve Martin in The Jerk trying to read the love letter. (gibberish) The other things you can make out are four men required, and then another one saying something about Shady-- and that's all you make out.

LAURA: Shady grove. I bet the Shady grove.

SAM: Shadycreek.

LIAM: I'll say while Jester was doing all that, Caleb sat down and took out his spellbook and started ritual casting Detect Magic.

TRAVIS: Yeah, in fact, could we could take a short rest while Caleb's doing that since that was a little gnarlier than we anticipated?

LIAM: Well, maybe after I do that because I'm tapped.

MARISHA: My body hurts.

LAURA: I'm going to heal you.

MATT: Okay, we'll take a short rest here and while we're doing that we'll also take a break. Restroom here. We'll be back here in just a few minutes. Thank you for kicking with us. We have our Wyrmwood giveaway today. We have a fantastic lacewood deck box. Lacewood, it's got a really cool texture. It looks like a chainmail. It's one of the cooler looking woods, in my opinion. This is going to be a giveaway for one of you lucky winners in the chat in the US or Canada, excluding Quebec. Head on over to the Twitch chat to enter the phrase tonight. Enter only once or you will be disqualified. However, for tonight, the word is "bird." Bird is the word.

MATT, TRAVIS, MARISHA, MARK, TALIESIN, ASHLEY: (singing) Bird, bird, bird. Bird is the word. B-b-b-bird, bird, bird.

MATT: We'll be back in a few minutes, guys. We'll see you then. Enjoy the break time, enjoy the rewatch of our awesome D&D Beyond video. Back here in a minute.

BreakEdit

[break]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome back! I just dropped my note. I'll pick it up in a second. So before we get into it, we're going to announce the winner of our giveaway! The winner of our fantastic Wyrmwood giveaway is the_bowmeister. (surfer voice) The_bowmeister, enjoy your Wyrmwood! (normal voice) So congratulations, we'll get that sent out to you ASAP

LIAM: That's very Wildemount, the_bowmeister.

MATT: The_bowmeister? *Ja*, possibly would be. Back into the game we go.

MARISHA: Oh, now you got it on Mark!

MATT: Ugh! (blood spraying)

TALIESIN: Roll a d4.

SAM: Just real quick, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to my brother-in-law, Peter Habib of Mr. Fantastic Music. They did the track for the animated thing.

TRAVIS: So good!

ASHLEY: So good! I love it.

SAM: I love it!

MATT: Indeed. Bringing us back into the game. You guys have taken your short rest, healed up a bit, and recovered from the chaos of the swamp you managed to trudge through. You've lost your guide, but you've survived thus far. The rest of you, at least. What would you like to do? Oh, you were casting--

LIAM: Scorching Ray on Beau.

MATT: Yes.

MARK: Finish her off.

TRAVIS: Finish her.

MARISHA: I trusted you, motherfucker.

LIAM: I told you everything, you have to die!

MATT: Utilizing Detect Magic, you were saying--

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: On?

LIAM: Well, it's like blacklight, so on everything on what they were looking at.

MATT: Nothing magical within what was found on the bodies, no.

LIAM: Is Nott glowing in any kind of way that I am not used to?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: How far does that extend?

LIAM: 30 feet, I believe.

TRAVIS: It occurred to me from what your friend said that this location might not be entirely above ground any longer.

LAURA: Mm-hmm. My dead friend? Yeah, I think it might be hidden or something.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Two hours past, what was it, noon?

MARISHA: Two past noon.

TRAVIS: Maybe it only becomes visible at a certain time?

MARISHA: Four men required.

LIAM: You, my good friend, would you walk with me in the direction that the dead person said that this entrance is in? Before my magic runs out.

MARISHA: Why do you feel the need to call me a good friend?

LIAM: You're right. Person that I work with, would you walk over before my spell runs out so that I can use it to help the group?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Why don't we all head in that direction, maybe? In a large, well knit group.

TRAVIS: Since there are things that'll be snagging bitches when we get separated.

MARK: Is it dark, or is it--?

MATT: No, at this point it's later afternoon, maybe. It's like two or three o'clock.

MARISHA: Maybe like, two past noon?

MATT: Maybe.

LIAM: Caleb knows exactly what time it is. Liam likes to burn his friends.

SAM: Caleb also likes to burn his friends.

LAURA: Aw.

TALIESIN: (singing) One thing, we've got it coming.

MATT: You left early enough in the day where you aren't threatened for dusk for another few hours. You guys continue on past the tree?

LIAM: Towards the 100-foot mark that the--

SAM: Should we scan for traps?

LAURA: Probably.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARK: Caleb's Detect Magic would probably pick up traces on my bracelet.

MATT: That's true.

LIAM: So it glows.

MATT: Outside of the space around you or the trinkets found within the corpses, nothing. But you do see the mild glow from the bracelet on Cali's arm.

LAURA: Hey Cali, can I ask you a question?

SAM: 19.

MARK: Sure, Jester!

LAURA: On check traps, sorry.

SAM: No, go ahead.

LAURA: This bowl that we're looking for.

MARK: Yep.

LAURA: You said it was used in rituals.

MARK: I think it is, yeah. It's more that I know that it's part of a set that I know this cult were looking for and I want to stop them getting it.

SAM: Like a tea set?

LAURA: Were you ever used in rituals with these bowls?

MARK: Kind of. Not ones involving this bowl. But other rituals. God, this sounds really horrible to say. They weren't nice people. They kill people and I kind of helped them because I didn't know any better. You got to remember, Serissa, the priestess who raised me, she told me all this stuff about the Tyrant, about the Queen, and I thought that that was just what the world was like, you know, I thought that that was good, and she told me that these other people were bad, and thieves, and that they were being killed for righteous purpose.

LAURA: Who were the bad people?

SAM: What queen?

MARK: The Scaled Tyrant. They call her the Queen. She's the Queen of Dragons. Five draconic heads represent her, and that kind of thing.

SAM: So not a real queen?

MARK: Maybe she's a real queen, I don't know. I just always heard to her referred to as the Queen.

ASHLEY: She has five heads?

MARK: That's what the stories say. One for each color of dragon.

LIAM: Would I know about this?

MATT: Make a religion check.

LAURA: Oh, I know about re-- No. I don't know anything about religion.

MATT: You can make a religion check if you want to try and recall information.

LIAM: 13.

MATT: 13. You've heard of the Scaled Tyrant. You don't know a whole lot of information. But you know, through your research, that one of the entities that partook in elements of the Calamity.

LIAM: Obviously not part of the okayed deities of the Empire.

MATT: No. Not at all. Is definitely considered one of the betrayer gods in the Calamity, though very selfish and is considered by many to be the patron-- whether it be the mother of, or the patron of, chromatic dragons.

MARK: Serissa, the priestess who found me, she was nice to me, but she would torture and kill people in her name.

LAURA: What kind of people?

MARK: Merchants, people who had things the cult wanted and they wanted to take, and they said it was rightfully theirs. But I've learned that it's not anymore. And yeah, I helped them do that. That's why I want to stop these bowls. I want to stop them doing this to other people.

LAURA: They are super evil bowls?

MARK: I don't think so. I think they're like magically minor, like a little bit magic, but as long as they're not used by the wrong people they should be fine.

ASHLEY: What do you plan to do with the bowl once you get it?

MARK: Destroy it if I can. Take it and hide it somewhere that they can't find it. They raised me, and I learned a lot, and I know what they're capable of and I feel responsible for the things I helped them do. So I feel like it's my responsibility to stop them.

ASHLEY: How was the bowl used in the ritual?

MARK: It's not one I was familiar with, but I just know that it's part of a set. There's six of them, I think. Different things that they all use.

MARISHA: Are you trying to look for all six of them?

MARK: If I can, but they're hard to find. The cult works in shadows, they keep themselves really secretive. I wasn't allowed outside of our temple where I was raised. They gave me everything I wanted, but I wasn't allowed outside, so I guess I can be a bit naive about a few things.

LAURA: I don't think being stuck inside makes you naive. I mean, I know some people that we stuck inside that know lots of things.

MARK: Really? I hope that I can meet them. I feel like I need to learn a lot more, you know? So many people treat me-- I ask if I can trust them, they say yes, and then they trick me. Or they use me to do bad things.

LAURA: That's not okay.

MARK: I know, right!

LIAM: She's talking about herself.

TRAVIS: Cali, do you plan to go back to Port Damali after this if you're successful?

MARK: Maybe, yeah. I'll try and get away, I guess. I've got a friend there, a legionnaire. He rescued me, he's a dwarf called Grim. I'm sure he'd help me find a secure place for the artifact. I don't know. Yeah. I guess I'll try and find somewhere to hide them and keep on trying to stop these guys.

TRAVIS: Absolutely. Well, let's try our luck.

LIAM: It seems like a very large task for one person.

MATT: At this point, Nott has completed quite a thorough sweep of the vicinity as you move forward. No traps. You do notice, as you head into this next open clearing, there's thick patches of vines and roots that descend into a circular space that is awash with swamp water and general bog rot that is floating over the surface, like a moat has formed naturally around this giant banyan tree about 30 or 40 feet across from side to side. It is gargantuan. The roots rise up, and merge at different places where the tree itself begins to expand about ten feet up before it reaches out and curves and carves into the earth before disappearing beneath the water, the still, awful swamp water that surrounds it. You also see, across the front of its trunk in the vicinity, at least the bits where the sunlight comes through from the rather choked boughs above that are shading the area quite heavily, six more bodies tied to branches and roots with rope and vine. Their bodies covered with similar wounds as the ones you inspected before. Some are slumped against the base of the roots. Some are held up and vines wrapped around them and they are stapled at an angle onto the sides of the tree. They're all currently placed as a warning to either notify or fend off anyone who would wander too close.

LAURA: I don't think the fish people like the safe house being here.

MARISHA: Maybe they want the safe house for themselves?

LAURA: Maybe this tree is sacred and it was being used as a safe house and that's not okay.

TRAVIS: Certainly not welcome.

TALIESIN: Would have been used as a safe house for awhile I imagine, though.

LIAM: The tree is not giving off anything, no?

MATT: Nope.

LAURA: Cali, can you make this water around the tree go away?

MARK: Yeah, actually, I think I should be able to do something about that. I’ll Shape Water and I can push it around in a five foot cube, so I can part it a little bit. Or I can turn it clear as well.

MATT: You can part areas of it, but it's about 15 feet across, as far as the width of it and it changes in width depending on which place on the tree you head. It is, essentially, a waist-deep area of water. So you could move with it and--

MARK: Can I shallow it and disperse it, so it still has water, but it shrink it down five feet so it's not as deep to walk though?

MATT: You can bring it to just past knee hight within a very localized area to you.

MARK: That's about the best I can do Jester, I'm sorry.

LAURA: Oh, no, that's really impressive.

SAM: I feel like Caleb could have done it.

LAURA: Caleb, can you do that, too?

LIAM: No. I do not know how to do it.

LAURA: He can’t do it, Nott.

SAM: He's being modest. He could do it.

LIAM: Nott, I have limitations. I can do many things like you--

SAM: Bren!

LAURA: Should we try to go towards the tree? Towards all the dead bodies?

TRAVIS: Is the water around the tree in a circle, like it pans out from around the side?

MATT: Kind of. There's a big clearing around this tree. It's natural for the most part, but it looks like this area is centered around the tree.

MARISHA: Do I see anything like landmarks or anything out of place surrounding the tree?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: Is the water up to our waist now?

MATT: Well no, you haven't submerged in the water yet. But it looks about waist high as you lower the water level.

MARISHA: It’s all right. 14.

MATT: You do glance up and see a band of teal fabric tied around one of the branches or the edges of the roots at the top part about ten feet up that has been weathered and dirtied from just being there for a long time. A lot of the color has faded. But you just barely pick out its location.

MARISHA: It's just one little ribbon?

MATT: It looks like it might have been a bandana that was wrapped and tied around a root above.

MARISHA: I'm going to see if I can climb the tree and get to it.

MATT: Okay. So you wade through the water.

TRAVIS: I'll go with her, just to accompany.

TALIESIN: Nott, do you want to walk on top of the water for a bit and keep an eye for anything underneath the surface?

SAM: Well, what if something grabs me from under the surface?

TALIESIN: Well, what if something grabs you from the shore? Like a troll.

TRAVIS: Or when, if someone grabs you from the shore.

SAM: All right, I'll walk around.

MARK: Is Nott a nickname for Bren?

TALIESIN: Yes.

MARK: That makes a lot more sense because you keep calling her Nott and I just didn't get it.

MARISHA: Sometimes we call her Nott Bren. Yeah.

MARK: Okay. I mean, sure.

TALIESIN: We were drunk at the time, it just sort of happened.

LIAM: She's as small as a tree knot, you know, so-- cute.

MARK: Oh, well Nott, if I'm allowed to call you that--

SAM: Sure.

MARK: I can make the water clear so that you can see if there's anything that could grab you.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: What was that thing you said about honesty earlier? I can't remember.

LIAM: You don't know any of the fact that I almost killed you, Marisha Ray.

MARISHA: I'm talking about before you almost killed me when you had that great quote about honesty earlier.

MATT: Beau, make an athletics check to try and climb the tree.

LIAM: Yeah, what I was trying to do for us?

TRAVIS: Easiest to remember.

LIAM and LAURA: Yeah.

MARK: My wisdom is eight so I can't pick up on any of this.

MATT: Athletics. To climb the tree.

LAURA: Huh? Damn.

MARISHA: Eight.

MATT: It takes a while to even get close, but the general moisture in the air makes it slick and you keep slipping down the side.

SAM: What's up there?

MARISHA: Can I have Fjord give me a boost?

SAM: What's up there?

MATT: You can try. Roll--

TRAVIS: There's a teal piece of fabric that's tied up on a branch.

MATT: A tiny piece of teal fabric tied--

SAM: How far up?

MATT: Eight to ten feet up.

SAM: I'll just reach it with my Mage Hand.

MATT: (popping noise) Do you untie it?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. You pull it and you bring it down. It's an old, starched, weathered bandana.

TALIESIN: Why don't you try pulling on the branch that it was tied to?

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: How deep is the water without the water being dispersed? Near the base of the tree.

MATT: About three feet.

TALIESIN: The water is now crystal clear, by the way.

MATT: Oh yeah, so now the water's clear and you can see below there's thick sediment, muck, a few bones of some wayward creature that long has been left to rot beneath the water but there's nothing living in there aside from toads, tadpoles, other small slithering natural creatures that call the swamp home.

MARK: I will lower it, now that I've seen it's clear, and I'll say: Well, I'm happy to step in first. You guys were kind enough to bring me, I'm happy to step through and make sure it's okay. I'll start.

MATT: Okay, so you make your way through, catching up to Beau and Fjord who are at the base of the tree. You get up to the base of the tree now. The rest of you guys follow suit?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: You all cross past the water path. You're now at the base of the tree. You, Nott, have the strange teal faded scarf now in your grasp.

SAM: It's just a scarf?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Nothing else has happened?

SAM: You want me to pull on the branch?

TALIESIN: Pull on the branch that it was tied to.

ASHLEY: Yeah, maybe it'll open something.

SAM: I'll pull on that branch.

TRAVIS: Oh jeez.

SAM: Vigorously pull on it!

LIAM: Maybe there's two branches.

MATT: The gif machine.

SAM: Huh?

MATT: The gif machine, Sam Riegel.

SAM: (strained yelling)

MATT: Oh god. The branch itself is pretty sturdy. The portions of the tree here do not bend very much and it doesn't seem to react. The strength of the Mage Hand isn't very strong.

LAURA: Are there any knots on the tree? Like underneath where the ribbon was?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: What? Where did that even go?

LAURA: It's right here.

TALIESIN: Oh.

LAURA: 12.

MATT: 12? Yeah. You glance around and as you were placing your hands against part of it some of it shifts, it wobbles. Now getting a glance, there's a piece of weathered driftwood or separate wood that has been pressed up and tucked behind some of the roots to look like it's part of the tree. But it's a little bit of a different texture, a different type of wood and as you press on it, it wiggles. You shift it--

TALIESIN: Traps!

LAURA: Check for traps, Nott.

SAM: All right.

MARK: Truly blessed with such wisdom.

SAM: I will check for traps.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: 16? 16.

MATT: 16. It does not appear to be trapped.

LAURA: I'm going to move it then.

SAM: Great.

MATT: You wiggle it out, pull it free and now you can see about a four-foot carved hollow in the tree that leads to a dark, lightless interior.

SAM: You did it!

LAURA: Well, you and Beau and me did it.

SAM: But you did it.

LAURA: Aww.

SAM: With my help.

LAURA: Right.

TRAVIS: Nicely done. Who's first?

MARISHA: I almost died today, motherfuckers, I almost *died*.

TALIESIN: Do you want to throw some light in here?

SAM: That was Caleb's fault.

MARISHA: That was Caleb's fault, exactly, and I can't remember the thing he said about honesty and remembering.

LIAM: This is all meta conversation. You guys have no idea that *Liam* almost used the wrong spell. Caleb was on point.

MARK: I can go first and summon some light.

LAURA: You can do light?

MARK: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah, Caleb can do light too, it's not the greatest.

TRAVIS: Wait, let's just hold on. I'll go in with darkvision without setting off any lights that might herald them.

LAURA: What if there's traps on the inside, though?

TRAVIS: Then I'll get hurt.

MARK: Matt, I'll cast Light still behind these guys, but it comes out of her draconic eye. She brushes her hair to the side and she has a yellow draconic eye on her left side.

MATT: All right. It glows like a torchlight in the vicinity.

LAURA: Cali, you're so cool.

MARK: Thanks, Jester! You're so cute. I love it.

LAURA: Thank you! I love *you*.

MARK: Aww!

MATT: As you step inside, Fjord, you notice a fairly well-cleared interior that smells of marsh water and lamp oil. Glancing about, there are two hooks on the wall that have been jammed in that carry the top part of some sort of oil lantern that has been shattered against the wall. The glass itself is broken. The metal is bent and you now can see there's some soaked lamp oil that has fallen from those impacts that has hit the ground on the wall nearby and is offering that additional smell to the room. The floor is somewhat soggy with moss and bits of sand and gravel as well as the occasional heavy root that breaks through the surface of that soft floor. There are some pieces of broken wood slats, but besides that, the chamber appears to be empty.

TRAVIS: I don't see anything inside here. Looks like there was a broken lamp, so careful with fire.

MARK: There's got to be more here, right? This can't be it.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I'll push in a little bit more.

MATT: Okay. You're now stepping into the chamber. The chamber's about 30 feet wide. It's just round.

TRAVIS: Looking up?

MATT: You look up. The ceiling's about 12 feet tall and there's some hanging roots that are dangling from the top. It looks like it's been carved away maybe.

MARISHA: Does it feel like it's bigger on the inside?

MATT: No. It matches the size. It's probably about two feet to three feet of thickness of the actual tree trunk and the interior's hollow.

TRAVIS: Do I notice any furniture, articles, clothing?

MATT: No. Make an investigation check if you want to.

LAURA: Are there any trap doors on the floor?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: Okay. A couple things. Though you don't have a sense of color-- are you the only one in the chamber right now?

TRAVIS: I believe Cali.

ASHLEY: I was behind.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we're in there as well.

MATT: You went in there as well?

MARK: Yeah, to give them light.

MATT: Right. The rest of you guys step into the chamber and the light comes in. What you failed to see because it was a change of color becomes immediately apparent. There are scattered splashes of blood across areas of the walls inside. They're dried, but dried enough to the point where they haven't gone completely black and then disintegrated. So this is relatively recent, weeks maybe. As you guys are inspecting the space, there are certain gashes against-- it looks like there was definitely a fight and scuffle. The soft ground here has signs of turbulent movement as well as a number of smeared grooves in the ground that snake and spiral about.

LIAM: Are there any immediate threats in there, Fjord?

TRAVIS: Not that I can see.

MATT: Fjord, as you're glancing about answering this question, you look down on the far north corner of it and where some of the roots have gathered and come down, there's one space where you don't see the wall of the tree behind it. As you move the root out of the way, there is an actual hole about two and a half feet wide that descends below the tree.

TRAVIS: Not any danger in the chamber, but it looks like there's more to this room.

MARK: Does it look like they were dragging bodies down there? The blood streaks and stuff.

TRAVIS: Could've been.

MARK: Do they lead there?

MARISHA: Yeah, do the tracks lead to the hole?

MATT: There are some spatters of blood and there are some things that give the sign of being pulled on as well as pieces and shards of wood, including bits of porcelain, some object that had shattered and broken. Looks like whatever may have been within this chamber at some point, a lot of it's been brought down there.

TRAVIS: Nott Bren, you're up.

SAM: I've got to go down there?

TRAVIS: Yep. By yourself.

LAURA: That's where the fish people live! Are there fish scales on the ground?

MARK: Do you need light?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: That would help.

TALIESIN: I'll help with this one. Smelling the air for fishy. Oh, doesn't matter anyway.

LAURA: 17.

MATT: You do manage to pull through. You do see a small piece of thick scaled hide that was carved off, probably as part of a scuffle.

LAURA: Fish skin!

MATT: It's pretty tough.

LAURA: It's tough.

MATT: It's salty.

LAURA: It's kind of salty.

MARISHA: Tuna? Salmon?

LAURA: Smells like fish.

TRAVIS: Brackish flesh?

LAURA: I'm going to put it in my bag.

TRAVIS: Gross.

MARISHA: Before we go down or as these guys go down, can I take a lap and look at the bodies on the outside and see if I recognize any of them?

MATT: Recognize any of the bodies?

MARISHA: The six bodies.

LIAM: Outside.

MATT: Okay. Glancing past and taking a look; there's nobody that you’ve seen before that is amongst this crew. They all appear to be darkly dressed, generally to keep out of sight. You do see two of the members there that have an accumulation of neck tattoos. You've seen the ones back in Zadash that were almost full bands of designs. These individuals have only sections of it. You start getting the idea that the more they've worked with whatever organization that work this is, the more completion they've had of certain jobs depending on what the job is, a certain type of individual acquires tattoos as a sign of how long they've been there and how successful they've been.

MARISHA: That's cool. Okay. So they all seem like smugglers?

MATT: At one point possibly.

MARISHA: Can I do a quick round of their pockets?

MATT: Investigation check.

MARISHA: Okay. Just real quick!

MATT: With disadvantage, because it's quick.

LIAM: --and puts light up in the tree out there with her.

MATT: What's that?

LIAM: I'm outside with her and I'm casting Dancing Lights into the trees so that she can see better.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: 13.

MATT: 13. You manage to scrape away about 17 gold pieces and five silver pieces.

MARISHA: I'll take that.

MATT: Before, as you pull off of it, you watch as the lower half of the body sloughs off the torso and you back away.

MARISHA: Sorry.

MATT: The smell is awful, as a lot of the interior gas of the bloated corpse escapes into this terrible sulfurous stench.

SAM: Gross.

MARISHA: Oh god.

LIAM: Please, we have been around death plenty of times. Caleb throws up quietly into the water.

TALIESIN: Do you go back and forth?

TRAVIS: Well, only one place to go and that's down.

SAM: Wait! I'm just going to take a quick minute to stare into the eternal abyss of the dodecahedron.

TRAVIS: Yeah, sure.

LAURA: I just open up the bag so you can see it.

SAM: Oh my god what is in there?!

LAURA: We don't let Cali see it. Sorry, Cali.

MATT: Okay. You take a moment to focus and place your hand on this lightly thrumming device. Your vision is pulled into this universal space of stars and gas and distant existences you've never contemplated and there you see before you the pulsing light of possibility. You reach out a hand and grasp it and feel it enter your body and you've acquired your fragment of possibility.

MARK: It doesn't take much to distract Cali. You just point over there and she's like--

SAM: I'll take a swig and go down the hole.

MATT: The hole has chunks of rock and dirt as well as a very interwoven network of roots coming down from the tree, so it's fairly easy to climb down. There is a little bit of that damp water and moisture that seeped into the chamber previously from just being near the swamp. It wasn't a thick layer of water, maybe half an inch or so in the actual portions of the chamber and some of it is now heading down. As you're climbing down carefully through this hole, you can feel it running down your back and it's this cold swamp water. I need you to make an athletics check as you make your way down this chamber.

SAM: Not great. Just a check?

MATT: Yep. Just add your athletics.

SAM: Seven.

MATT: Seven. Okay. You begin to-- (grunts) and you lose your grip and begin slide down like a slide.

SAM: (whispers) Yes. (screams)

MATT: (impact) You get about maybe 15 or so feet before the back of the slide leaves you. You have darkvision, so you see the interior of some sort of chamber in the ground rocketing towards you--

SAM: I will throw out a feather and cast Feather Fall.

MATT: Okay. And you gingerly land on your feet. No damage taken. And no noise made either.

SAM: (breathing heavily)

MATT: Looking around you, you see the inside of a natural rock chamber. You can hear in the distance a rummaging sound, some shifting over from around the corner. It seems like from where you're landing the back is around you and then it curves to the left. You see a faint puddle before you lose vision and beyond that, you don't see anything but you hear (shifting).

SAM: Coming towards me or just moving?

MATT: Just echoing around the side.

SAM: Cool.

MATT: You hear a (monster hissing).

SAM: Oh god.

MATT: Something clatter to the ground. What are the rest of you guys doing?

TALIESIN: Do we hear the slip and the whoosh?

MATT: I don't think you heard anything, no.

LAURA: We should send a message to Nott and see what she sees.

MARK: What, Bren?

MARISHA: Nott Bren, yeah.

LIAM: Yeah, I can do that.

MARK: Bren, are you down there? Hello?

SAM: Are you sending a message?

LIAM: Yeah, I am. I have just joined the group. How are you doing down there, what do you see?

SAM: I will reply to that message.

LIAM: With you and me, it goes back and forth.

SAM: There's a creature down here. I don't want to make any noise. If you're going to come down to join me, use a rope.

LIAM: All right, we can do that. Just stay put, don't go rushing in without us. Is it one or more than one?

SAM: I don't know. I'll go rushing in and find out.

LIAM: That's the opposite of what I said!

SAM: I'm going to gingerly creep around the corner.

MATT: Make a stealth check for me, please.

LIAM: It's hard to resist sneaking in.

LAURA: Let's climb down.

SAM: 15.

MATT: You slowly make your way around the side. This chamber appears to be kidney shaped. It curves around the bend, and as you make your way around the chamber, at the outskirts of your darkvision, you begin to make out three shapes. Humanoid torsos with long fins that extend from where the elbows are, patchwork leather and bronze armor pieces, as well as hints of shell jewelry and bone. You can see one face as you peek around the edge, and you can see this large, toothy underbite, with this square jaw where these four tendrils kind of dangle from the tip of its chin. A single fin curves over the top of its head. No nose, but two gleaming eyes that refract. What little bit of light coming into the chamber from something out of the visual range is giving off a faint glow. The lower half of its body is a long fish tail. It looks like that a nightmare-ish merman would look like. It sits there clutching some sort of long harpoon-like pike with a hook on the end of it.

SAM: Are they waiting, are they talking, what are they doing?

MATT: They're talking amongst themselves, and you hear some sort of tearing sound, you peek around a little further, and you can see a creature has been dragged down here. A familiar one. A thick, leathery-scaled body of a crocodile of some kind. Not a large one, but a regular sized crocodile has been dragged down here, and all three of them are in the process of feasting on its body. They're tearing into its flesh, and talking amongst themselves in a language you don't understand. Around the base of them, you see broken crates and a few odds and ends are resting on the ground, loosely discarded.

SAM: Any other entrances or exits?

MATT: From what you can see? You're kind of peeking around the corner, you cannot see the opposite end of where this curvature is without possibly revealing yourself.

LIAM: It has been a while, what would you like us to do?

SAM: Anywhere else to hide, or something to hide behind?

MATT: Around that way? Not terribly. There are a few outcropping walls, and at this point I would say I could probably give you a visual.

LIAM: Already?

TRAVIS: I like what I'm hearing! Shark fins and shit?! I'm a happy camper.

SAM: While you're setting the stage, I'll message back up to them.

MARISHA: Oh, what is that, what are they riding? They're riding like watery penises.

MATT: Nott, you're right there, curving around the side.

SAM: Did I come down right where I am?

MATT: You landed right here and then made your way around. This is where it drops you into the middle of the chamber.

SAM: Got it. I'll radio back up to the top and say: There are three mermen down here with dangerous weapons. I am very outnumbered. Please come quickly, you can reply to this message.

LIAM: Yeah, we've established that. Stay put, don't move.

SAM: I'll cast Mage Hand and take a ball bearing across the way, but not dropping it, just holding it in place, just in case.

MATT: Okay. So who's going down?

LIAM: I drop Frumpkin down the shoot.

SAM: Oh Jesus, he's going to die!

LIAM: No, he's not.

LAURA: That's not a long fall for a cat.

TRAVIS: We're going to find out how far.

MARISHA: Not within like 50 feet.

LIAM: Yes, they can.

MATT: Yeah they can, most of them. Make an acrobatics check for me.

LAURA: Can we start tying a rope off upstairs and drop it down?

MATT: Sure.

LIAM: My acrobatics or the cat's?

MATT: The cat's acrobatics.

LIAM: Oh great, hold on, I've got that pulled up right here, hold on.

MARISHA: Are you going to land on *your* feet for the cat?

LIAM: 16.

MATT: Frumpkin lands.

LAURA: We've tied our ropes together and we're going to go down.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Double knot.

MATT: Double knot? All right.

MARISHA: I can go down first and make sure it’s secure on the other end.

SAM: Sailors' knot.

MATT: All right. You make your way down the rope. Eventually you get to the bottom. It does dangle and the edge of the rope does, basically, end about a foot or two above where the ground is. So you just manage to catch the bottom. So put how many ropes together? Two 50 feet ropes? Oh, so no. It's actually coiled at the bottom. Total, it's about a 60-foot way down. You manage to make you way down without an issue.

MARISHA: Yeah, I help anyone else down.

MATT: Okay. So with the rope and everything, aiding you down here, it's easy enough for you all to make your way into this area.

SAM: Oh boy, they have all of us all crammed up in this little space.

LAURA: What else are we going to do?

TALIESIN: I'm going to point out, we can't retreat.

LAURA: Why?

MATT: Kiri’s coming down with you?

SAM: No, wait. We’re not bringing Kiri down, are we? Are you guys bringing Kiri down?

LIAM: I don’t know.

SAM: Oh my god.

LAURA: We can't leave Kiri up there. Who knows what’s up there?

MATT: Are you guys having this conversation?

TALIESIN: No.

LAURA: We had it upstairs. Kiri!

MATT: (chirping)

LAURA: (shushing) Sit in this corner.

MATT: (like Cali) “I killed people.”

LAURA: (shushing) No. Sit in the corner, Kiri, right here.

MATT: (chirping)

LAURA: Don't move unless something chases you.

MATT: (like Jester) “Don't move unless something chases you.”

LAURA: Right.

MATT: (like Jester) “Right.”

ASHLEY: What if she dies?

MATT: Holds the dagger in front of her.

TALIESIN: She's upstairs.

LAURA: She’s down here with us.

ASHLEY: She’s down here with us, in the corner?

LAURA: Right.

MATT: Yeah, so Kiri is going to go ahead and duck into this corner, here.

ASHLEY: She's better not die.

LIAM: Oh, wait. Kiri is down here with us in the corner?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Kiri’s going to duck into this corner.

ASHLEY: She better not die!

LIAM: Wait, Kiri’s down here with us? Oh!

MATT: All right, what are you guys doing?

LAURA: Let's kill the fish people.

MARISHA: Okay, we're going to go. We're doing this.

MARK: Do you want me to start this explosively?

LAURA: Yeah!

MARISHA: I mean.

MARK: I mean, I'm asking.

TRAVIS: It is kind of enclosed.

LIAM: Well, I think that's a great idea, but we should also send Bren with you, and if you guys could go simultaneous, like. Maybe if Bren hit one of them, and then you follow right away.

MARK: Ooh! It might manage the goods that Bren told us about that are around the corner. Like all the crates and stuff. I mean, my bowls should be okay, but are you here for something?

LIAM: Sometimes I'm able to focus just shy of what I’m trying to target.

MARK: Oh, it's a pretty tight space around there, I'm not sure! I could try.

MARISHA: If your bowls are magical, though, they should survive, right?

MARK: Yeah, I know. They should be fine, but I mean for you guys, what do you want?

LAURA: What if we all jump out at the same time and scream and attack at the same time.

TRAVIS: I like that idea.

MARISHA: Yeah, let's ambush.

LAURA: Like three, two, one.

MARISHA: (quiet yell) Yeah.

LIAM: I still think that these two would be good to lead that charge.

MARISHA: Give the explosive things--

LAURA: We shouldn’t do explosive because--

MATT: Nott, you’re watching.

SAM: Uh-oh. Something’s happening.

MATT: You hear the splashing of water and out from the side, another one emerges from this side pool. It (speaking in Aquan). The other one (speaking in Aquan). It turns around and splashes back into this little pool and vanishes below the surface.

SAM: Is there anyway to freeze the water or get rid of the water?

MARISHA: Yeah, dry up the water!

LIAM: Are they still talking?

MATT: Briefly chatting, but in the process of eating, more than anything.

MARK: I think I could freeze about five-foot, that’s the amount I can do.

SAM: There’s a pool in the back there. That’s where they entered and exited from.

MATT: It’s about ten square feet.

MARK: I can freeze half of it. It’s oddly specific how much I can freeze.

LIAM: Does anyone want to try to talk to these things, or are we just (cutting)?

MARK: They look like murderous fish men.

TRAVIS: We’re good to fuck them up, I think.

MARK: We could try!

TRAVIS: No, I don’t think that's a good idea.

LIAM: I like how that sounds. (like Cali) Murderous fish men.

MARK: Murderous fish men!

LIAM: I love it.

MARK: Have any of you seen Thor: Ragnarok?

MARISHA: Yeah! I was going to say, you sound like them, I love it!

TRAVIS: I could blind them.

SAM: Don’t you speak fish?

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: You’re half fish!

MARK: You’re half fish?

TRAVIS: I’m not half fish, I’m half-orc!

SAM: He was born underwater!

TRAVIS: That is actually not true at all. Nott, not at all.

SAM: What is the other half?

ASHLEY: You’re half-orc, but what’s the other half?

TRAVIS: Half-human, I’d assume.

MARISHA and ASHLEY: You assume.

LIAM: We’re glossing over it, but we’ve seen you vomit sea water twice.

TRAVIS: Once.

LAURA: I this really the moment to talk about this?

MARK: Jester’s really smart!

ASHLEY: Right now’s the moment.

TRAVIS: Right now?

SAM: Quick, tell us your backstory!

MARISHA: You know how under pressure, you can discover hidden talent? Maybe if you do this, you’ll be like: Oh, I never knew this fishman side of me!

MATT: Everyone make a stealth check.

LAURA: Oh, jeez. We’re losing our ambush, y’all.

SAM: Someone create a distraction! We’ll pop out and kill it.

ASHLEY: I rolled a six.

MATT: What was the number you rolled?

ASHLEY: It was a four.

MATT: Okay, so that’s six.

TALIESIN: 15.

LAURA: Ten.

SAM: 15.

MARK: 14.

LIAM: Drei.

MARISHA: 18.

TRAVIS: 13.

SAM: Okay, average, average.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: As they’re all eating, and Nott, you’re paying attention, one goes, (inquisitive growl, garbled speech)

SAM: Three, two, one, go!

(yelling)

SAM: I’m going to Mage Hand throw the ball bearing first, just as a signal to go. On the three-two-one.

LAURA: And then we jump out.

MATT: All right. So you throw the ball bearings, and then everyone rolls initiative. You lost the surprise round, unfortunately. You were spending too much time talking.

ASHLEY: We’re trying to get backstory!

SAM: Half-carp, half-orc. Orcarp. Carporc? Corpor.

MATT: 25 to 20, anybody?

MARISHA: I’m-- wait, 25 to 20? No.

LAURA: Nobody? Nobody, huh?

MATT: 20 to 15.

TRAVIS: 18.

MARISHA: 19.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Okay, so we have Beau, Fjord-- what did you get? 18. And then Molly at 16. 15 to ten?

LIAM: Zehn.

SAM: Ten.

ASHLEY: 13.

SAM: Wow, Ashley!

LIAM: Yasha, and then Nott and Caleb are equal.

MATT: And then, what was it, Caleb and Nott?

LIAM: Caleb and Nott got ten, ten.

MATT: All right. Ten to five?

LAURA: Six.

MARK: Six. Six twins.

MATT: Jester and Cali.

ASHLEY: Wait, does Kiri get a turn?

MATT: No, Kiri’s staying in the back. All right, that’s everybody. Top of the round, as all three of them have spun around, apparently aware that something is lurking in this area of it.

SAM: It still doesn’t see us, right?

LIAM: For six seconds.

MATT: No, but it’s not an ambush round. So. Top of the round is Beau, you’re up.

MARISHA: Can I hold my turn until Fjord goes?

MATT: You can’t hold your turn. You can hold an action.

TRAVIS: Do what you’re going to do.

MATT: All the bad stealth checks were--

LIAM: Big three.

ASHLEY: Big six.

LAURA: I got ten.

MATT: Ten, right. Okay, got it.

ASHLEY: We die first.

LIAM: Scheisse.

MARISHA: Can I move into place and then hold my action until Fjord goes?

MATT: Depending on what your action trigger is, yeah.

MARISHA: I want to attack after he attacks, after he casts a spell. Can I move in this corner as far as I can--

MATT: Over here, next to Nott?

MARISHA: Yeah, I’m going to stealth-- yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you can do that.

MARISHA: Stealthing as fuck.

MATT: Okay. And you’re holding your action in case Fjord attacks something.

MARISHA: I’m going to hold my shurikens.

MATT: Okay. So as you’re pulling back with that, Fjord?

TRAVIS: I’m going to run around the corner. Give me that right over here. Yeah, so I can see all three of them, at least.

MATT: All right. Well, you’re going to be out in the open. Just so you’re aware. All right. So you move over here. You can now see all three right there.

TRAVIS: ‘Sup, fish-fucks!

(laughter)

MATT: Yeah, that’s as far as you can move there. They all turn, (growls). You see some of them holding what looks to be these large harpoon-trident things that are hooked on the end and they have some sort of thick cabling of some kind attached to the end of it.

TRAVIS: Aren’t y’all pretty? I look. In the space in between them, I see this ripple start to form, and I reach out with my hand, and I’ll grasp at the space and tear a rip in reality, and I’ll cast Hunger of Hadar, ripping this 20-foot dome on the ground.

MATT: 20-foot radius? Where do you want to place it?

TRAVIS: I’ll put it right here, so it’s-- Actually? No, I’ll stick it right here. Yeah, because it halves it, makes it difficult terrain, so let’s put it right there. Ish.

MATT: You got it. So you watch suddenly as the back end of that chamber-- well, for those who can see, which Caleb currently-- it’s mostly dark except for that faint, faint glow around the corner that you don’t see the source. There’s no light in here. That light goes out. You are blind at the moment, because what little bit of light there is has been consumed by this sphere of darkness that Fjord has summoned on the opposite side of the chamber. You watch as reality tears open in that space, and you see these strange, black-purple otherworldly tentacles whip out from the outside of it, and you hear this horrible slithering sound within the center of that chamber, with this faint underlying of whispers and chanting.

LAURA: Oh, shit.

MATT: Does that do immediate damage, or only on their turn?

TRAVIS: Only if they start in it, or if they end their turn in it. Two different types of damage.

MATT: Cool, all right. So that ends your turn, there. Molly, you’re up.

MARISHA: No, it’s me. I get to go first. Can I pop around the corner?

MATT: Let me see here, real fast, about the Hunger of Hadar spell.

MARISHA: I have my goggles on, by the by.

MATT: All right. So you cannot see anything. You have your goggles on--

MARISHA: --but I still can’t see?

TRAVIS: Well, actually, it says the void is filled with a cacophony of soft whispers. No light, magical, or otherwise, can illuminate the area of the 20-foot sphere--

MATT: Correct. But you have Darkvision.

TRAVIS: It’s just within the sphere they’re blind.

MATT: Correct. So I’ll say you can see where they are, but it’s a little obscured, so.

MARISHA: Okay, I’m going to pop out. Can I pop out? Am I able to do that?

MATT: You are. Well no, I’m sorry, you cannot move. You did your move, so you have to have an action, so you can only attack that one that you can see there.

MARISHA: Okay, I will throw two.

MATT: Okay. They’re at disadvantage, because it’s beyond your 20-foot initial range.

MARISHA: First one? Man. I’ll take that 12, though, for an 18 to hit?

MATT: That does hit, yeah.

MARISHA: And that’s-- sorry. Seven damage on that one. And then second one... ooh, those are double fours, which I don’t believe hit.

MATT: Nope. Disappears into the darkness.

MARISHA: And then I’m going to take a ki point and cast-- I almost called it Uncanny Dodge.

MATT: You had to do that on your turn. You’ve only got an action you were holding. Sorry.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: How high’s the ceiling here?

MATT: It’s about ten, 11 feet. It’s not very high.

MARISHA: I would have had to have said it earlier, which I didn’t know.

MATT: All right, that ends Fjord and Beau’s turn. Molly?

TALIESIN: Where am I? Let’s see. I’m over there? I’m going to run as far as I can go towards Fjord, and then I’m going to spend the rest of my action running across and get into that little alcove.

MATT: This one over here?

TALIESIN: No, the other side of it, I’m so sorry.

LAURA: No, like behind that little--

MATT: Oh, I see. There we go.

TALIESIN: So positioning and ready for things to come.

MATT: You still have a bonus, if you want to.

TALIESIN: I’ve got nothing for my bonus.

MATT: All right. Did you activate one of your scimitars?

TALIESIN: One is activated, the other is not.

MATT: Got it, cool. That ends your turn? It is now their turn. So, top of the round, they’re both in the space, so they take how much damage?

TRAVIS: They take 2d6--

MATT: 2d6 cold damage.

TRAVIS: Each of them. Do I roll that?

MATT: You do. So roll all at once.

TRAVIS: Five, four. Nine points of damage each. Cold. (impacts) Tentacle beating!

MATT: (laughs) You hear this strange slamming and slithering sound and hissing noises on the inside. All righty, so this one’s going to go ahead and move just to the edge there.

LAURA: He’s dead, he’s dead! Too late.

LIAM: That’s how it works.

MATT: This guy gets to about there, actually, before he can move into the water. Right now, because they don’t have a huge movement on land.

TRAVIS: And they’re in difficult terrain, so it’s halved.

MATT: Exactly. So those guys are clustered there. That guy does manage to move--

LAURA: Sweet, then they end their turn!

TRAVIS: Yeah, you just send whatever you’ve got in the sphere. Trying to keep them in one spot.

MATT: He’s going to continue slithering the rest of the way. (counting) I’ll say it gets him to about there.

TRAVIS: At the end of their turns, they must succeed on a dexterity saving throw--

MATT: Well, it’s not the end of their turn yet.

TRAVIS: Oh, sorry. My fault.

MATT: The two, while still blinded, saw you emerge. The one over on this end is going to go ahead and attempt to throw one of its harpoons in your direction. It’s blinded, so it has disadvantage on the attack.

MARISHA: Do it!

MATT: With disadvantage, that's a 16. What's your armor class?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: Aw, slick! It shoots through and you deflect it with the shield and watch it spark off. The one behind it is going to throw as well. Natural one, yeah. It chucks the harpoon. Both of them land on the ground, and you hear them scrape as they're pulled back to where they are. The one that is right there in front of you is going to throw another harpoon. It's going to throw a harpoon at you. Still at disadvantage. That is a 20 to hit?

TRAVIS: That hits.

MATT: You suffer, as it jams and pierces into your abdomen, right past the armor, sticking a couple inches into your chest. You take 11 points of piercing damage and I need you to make a strength check.

MARISHA: Don't get dragged!

TRAVIS: I have to make a constitution saving throw to keep the spell. Okay, strength save. Nine.

MATT: Natural 20. You get dragged right up into its space right there. Make a constitution saving throw to see if you can maintain concentration on your spell.

TRAVIS: What do I have to make? I forget.

MATT: Make a constitution saving throw.

MARISHA: You have to roll under the spell damage.

TRAVIS: 23.

MATT: So you succeed that one. Now it's pulled you in. It's going to go ahead and make a bite attack against you, as it pulls you in. Its jaw opens up to strike you. That is an 18 to hit.

TRAVIS: That hits.

MATT: Because you have 17 armor. You take seven points of piercing damage as it digs its jaws right into the front of your chest and shoulder area, biting down. Make another constitution saving throw.

LAURA: Oh god!

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: You maintain concentration of the spell. Now, all three of them have to make a dexterity saving throw or receive the damage again. That is a fail, a fail, and a fail! Two, ten, and a three!

TRAVIS: That is a six and a one, so seven points of acid damage.

MATT: Nice! That ends their turn. That brings us to Yasha.

ASHLEY: All right! How close can I get to this guy?

MATT: 40. You can't quite get up into his space. You're ten feet away.

ASHLEY: Shit.

MATT: You can use an action to dash if you want to make the rest of the movement, but you won't have an action on your turn.

ASHLEY: I won't have an action.

TALIESIN: Have anything good on a bonus?

ASHLEY: I can do the rage, but then it can go away.

MATT: If you don't take damage by the end of your next turn, then yeah.

ASHLEY: Which is possible.

MATT: Unless you move into the tentacle range.

MARISHA: Tentacle range?

LAURA: That's what his spell is.

MARISHA: Oh boy. Oh you?

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's a sphere of darkness with stars with milky tentacles whipping around. That's what it says.

ASHLEY: Can I hold my action?

MATT: You can. You're going to hold for what?

ASHLEY: If he tries to fight or attack Fjord again, I could-- that's not going to work. Oh god.

LAURA: Just within range? Until he's in range?

ASHLEY: Yeah. Until he gets in range.

MATT: Okay. Holding your attack just in case it comes in range. That ends your turn, Yasha. Nott and Caleb, you're up with Jester and Cali on deck.

LIAM: You want me to go? Yeah, sure. I'm going to move forward until I can see-- no, Frumpkin’s going to go first. I'm going to pull a Shakäste and use Frumpkin to help me see in here.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I have to ask you, as a DM, can my cat see in the dark?

MATT: Does your cat have darkvision?

LIAM: I don't know, it doesn't say.

LAURA: No, remember? You looked at this before.

LIAM: I don't remember, but I know that my cats could see in the dark growing up.

LAURA: But in the book it doesn't have darkvision. We did this last--

MATT: No, it does not.

LIAM: I'm going to stumble forward in the dark. I'm going to say: Beau!

MARISHA: Huh?

LIAM: I cast Enlarge on Beauregard so that she's ten and a half feet tall.

MARK: Has it been an hour by the way? My Light spell still would be going so Caleb might be able to see the first area.

MATT: The first area, but nothing beyond that space.

LIAM: If that's the case, then I wouldn't go that far forward. I would stay as far away from danger as I can that as soon as I see Beauregard, cast Enlarge.

MATT: You got it. Beau has swollen to an enlarged state.

MARISHA: I'm so swole!

LIAM: There's Amazon women singing right now.

MATT: Beau takes up this entire space now.

LAURA: Damn, Beau’s big.

MATT: At a ten-foot ceiling Beau, you suddenly crouch. You're now hunched forward with the top of it grinding against the top of your head and shoulders.

LIAM: You got to pull a Vega position.

SAM: I'll fire at the one near good old Fjord. Mr. Fjord. Aw fuck. 12.

TALIESIN: Does that get advantage?

SAM: Why would I have advantage?

TALIESIN: Aren't they in combo-- wouldn't that be sneak attack?

MATT: If he hits, it's sneak attack. He doesn't get advantage, so it misses, unfortunately.

SAM: I'll shoot again. Slightly better. 14?

MATT: 14 does hit.

SAM: Does this one get sneak attack?

MATT: It does, yes.

SAM: Terrible. Nine. 13 plus I'll take Fury of the Small, so that's 18.

MATT: 18 points of damage. All righty. That ends your turn?

SAM: Then, can I get all the way to Mollymauk on my movement?

MATT: Yeah, you can. Right over there.

TALIESIN: Hi!

SAM: Hi! Want some booze?

TALIESIN: After!

MATT: Jester and Cali.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to run over behind Frumpkin, in that little alcove. Actually, that's a lie. I’m going to go next to Caleb.

MATT: There?

LAURA: Yeah, back a little bit.

MATT: There you go.

LAURA: Even more. Then I am going to cast Invoke Duplicity. I'm going to Invoke Duplicity! She's going to run forward and stand next to Fjord!

MATT: There you go. All righty. That's your turn, Jester?

LAURA: Yeah, because that's my action.

MARK: How far can Cali get into, full movement, close to--

MATT: About 30, about there.

MARK: About there. So I'll move there. You watch as the draconic eye-- she brushes the hair out of the way. She focuses on the one fighting Fjord, and a sickly green beam will shoot out of the eye, and I'm going to cast Ray of Sickness.

MATT: All righty.

MARK: This is an attack roll, a spell attack roll. 15?

SAM: (singing) Sicker than a ray of light!

MATT: 15 hits.

MARISHA: Madonna, Ray of Light? Circa 2002? Jesus!

MATT: Six?

MARK: That's a failure, so it takes nine poison damage and it's poisoned until the end of my turn.

MATT: Great. It's poisoned until the end of your next turn. As the bolt hits it, the veins all of a sudden go dark on its torso where it impacts.

MARK: Then as she starts as the combat’s going, she’s going to be like: Come on, let's kill these things. You start seeing a little bit of-- becomes a bit more draconic.

MATT: Ending Cali’s turn. Beau, you're up.

MARISHA: Oh wait, after Jester?

MATT: Jester went. She Invoked Duplicity.

MARISHA: Oh, I'm sorry. So me.

MATT: Enlarged Beau is crouching down.

MARISHA: Can I get to the doucher?

MATT: You can.

MARISHA: (deep voice) Sorry, my voice is even deeper now! Sorry.

MATT: This giant foot right next to you, Nott, as Beau’s large form almost stomps on you.

MARISHA: ‘Sup, Nott Bran? First attack. Okay. 16?

MATT: 16, that hits.

MARISHA: Second attack. Not good. 11?

MATT: That misses.

MARISHA: Okay. First attack. All right, ten damage.

MATT: Ten damage with your staff. As you rush up, crouching low, you take the staff and jam it down into it. It looks back at you. It sees you looming by. As it pulls up its harpoon to try and defend, you jam the staff into its chest, shove it to the ground, under the water, and hear a crunch as you collapse its ribcage with the impact.

MARISHA: Oh, is it dead?!

MATT: It's taken the brunt of your damage.

TRAVIS: What happens to the harpoon and the cord sticking out of me?

MATT: The harpoon fell out of the wound. It's loose on the ground. There's a pretty nice puncture wound through your armor and your body right there.

TRAVIS: I appreciate it (pained sounds).

MARISHA: You good? Okay. Good. Could I take the staff, and I pick it up with the fish still on it, and I'm like: It's fish kebabs!

SAM: That’s not a thing.

MARISHA: It is today. That's what's on the menu.

SAM: Mrs. Paul!

LIAM: 20 feet behind, you hear: This is all I wanted!

MARISHA: Too many one-liners! Can I do something creative and take my staff with my fish on it, and fling it, and try and throw the fish cadaver at the other fish dudes?

SAM: You're casting? With bait?

MATT: You sure can. So you take it, and you fling it into the darkness, and it (flopping).

MARISHA: Oh come on, man. I can't try to aim to attack--

MATT: You've already used your action to do your attack.

MARISHA: But I have a bonus action!

MATT: Bonus action’s an unarmed strike, so this is a flavor, as you throw it into the darkness that they can't see. You hear its body--

MARISHA: You said I could use flavor for unarmed shit.

MATT: You were, but there was nothing to hit that's unarmed in your face. You do fling it in there, and you hear this horrible slurping sound as whatever--

MARISHA: He told me to be flavorful!

MATT: And you were. And whatever tear in reality that was opened by Fjord's patron devours the corpse. It's plucked out of the air and sucked through whatever small rip in reality had opened.

LAURA: Still pretty cool, Beau, still pretty cool.

MARISHA: So can I take my actual bonus action to do Patient Defense?

MATT: Sure. All right, that ends your turn. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'm going to hug this wall if I can, back up a little bit, and I'm going to hold Eldritch Blast if I see them emerge from the darkness.

MATT: Okay, that ends your turn.

MARISHA: Did I have any more movement, by the by?

MATT: You did have a little bit more, yeah.

MARISHA: Could I have scooched up a bit?

MATT: You could have, yeah.

MARISHA: Just a scooch.

TRAVIS: I'm scooching!

MARISHA: Excuse me!

MATT: You can scoot all the way up to here, if you want.

MARISHA: I've got very long legs right now.

MATT: You're squat-moving your way through the cavern.

MARK: A core stance is very good for your abs.

MATT: Molly, what do you got?

TALIESIN: There ain't nothing for me to hit, so I'm going to slightly peek out around the corner, so that I can keep an eye on things, and I'm going to hold my attack for anything that comes within range.

MATT: You got it. It's now their turn. Top of the turn, they take 2d6 damage, so go ahead and roll that.

TRAVIS: Two, three. Five points of cold damage.

MATT: Got it. You hear (snarling) and (slurping) sound on the inside of this darkened sphere. This manages to get into the water and poke his way through, but just barely get his vision out. This guy's going to come out as well and counter Beau in that element. They're both still inside.

LAURA: They're still inside the tentacle?

TALIESIN: Yeah, the circle should be a little further forward, so yeah they're just--

MATT: They're still inside. And another one arrives here, and can only move there.

ASHLEY: We don't know that.

TALIESIN: Since he's going to end his turn there.

MATT: He will, yes. This one here is technically right in range of Fjord, and is going to unleash two strikes on you. Its claws and its melee bite. Actually, I could melee with a harpoon, so it's going to attempt to harpoon you and bite you. Natural 20 on the harpoon, and then for the bite attack, that's going to be a 23.

TRAVIS: Yeah they both.

MATT: The harpoon is going to be 24 points of piercing damage as it jams right into your chest, pushing you against the wall. Go ahead and make a concentration check, if you don’t mind. You have to beat 12.

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: It’s going to attempt to bite you in the face-- The bite, it actually hit. That’s going to be a d8. That’s eight points of piercing damage.

LAURA: What are you at, Fjord?

TRAVIS: I don’t know, I can’t add this fast, my app’s breaking.

MATT: Where did my dice go? There it is. No, the Snitch fell away, I need to keep it.

LAURA: It touched the ground, that means it’s cursed now.

MARISHA: It tried to run.

MATT: It did.

MARISHA: It did want to come home.

MARK: Some treasures abandon their masters.

(laughter)

MATT: All righty, so make a second concentration check.

TRAVIS: 13.

MATT: 13’s fine, you maintain concentration. The other one that’s right next to Beau is going to attempt to also throw its harpoon at you, since it saw that you were the source of this. They’re trying to break the spell.

TALIESIN: I’m going to go ahead and cast some bullshit on that.

MATT: You were holding an attack. You’ll have to say that—

TALIESIN: This is a reaction. I’m doing a Blood Maledict. The next two attacks are disadvantage.

MATT: You’re amplifying it?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, go for it. So roll the damage, that’s disadvantage on that.

TALIESIN: One point of damage.

MATT: That’s a 17 to hit. What’s your armor class?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. It still hits the first strike. The harpoon (crashing) into you. That’s going to be 12 points of piercing damage.

TRAVIS: I go unconscious. I use my Relentless Endurance to pop back up to one.

MARISHA: Upon seeing Fjord get super daze-y, can I use my Sentinel feat to crack this guy who just tried to attack?

MATT: You can. While this is happening, roll a concentration check.

TRAVIS: 19 plus all that.

MATT: And make a strength check for me, please.

TRAVIS: I’m super strong. Where the fuck is it?

MATT: 19 on its side.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: You get dragged 20 feet through the water into range with it. Beau, you make your Sentinel Strike with it?

MARISHA: Oh!

MATT: Natural 20, nice. Go ahead and--

MARISHA: That was awesome. Doubling the dice, that’s eight plus four, which is 12, plus another dice, that’s two.

MATT: The dice of the enlarged is also doubled, too.

MARISHA: That’s right. That’s two plus another four. Sorry, that’s two doubled which is four, so that’s 16 damage.

MATT: 16 points of damage. Crack!

MARISHA: As he grabs the chain, big Beau steps on the chain and cracks him right in the face.

MATT: As it gets cracked, you watch as one of the teeth goes flying from the impact, and your giant elbow hammer into its jaw. Using that momentum, it looks back, its eyes go clenched down on Fjord, now prostrate, Fjord holding onto the harpoon, and goes for the face. This is with disadvantage, though. That’ll save you. It was a 17 and a two. It goes to bite you, and you manage to pull up your sword in the way and block it. Its jaws open and this terrible fishing breath smell cascades over your face.

TRAVIS: It's like a dog on a Tuesday morning.

MARISHA: What happens on Monday nights?

MATT: The one on the other end is blind, it hears all this noise happening, it's going to make a wide shot with its harpoon in the direction of where it's hearing all this conflict.

LAURA: Hit one of its brothers!

MATT: Disadvantage. 16 and 18, that still hits. Sorry, Fjord. You take--

TRAVIS: At disadvantage? 16 doesn't hit.

MATT: No, those are the dice rolls that I was making. It was a 16 and a 19. So that's nine points of piercing damage.

TRAVIS: He's throwing in the dark in the direction where two guys, and he's threading them and hitting me?

MATT: Yeah. You guys have done it before.

TRAVIS: Fair enough. Unconscious I go.

MARISHA: Fuck!

MATT: And with that, Fjord goes down, and the spell fades. It closes off. They now have visual.

MARISHA: But that's all of their turns, right?

MATT: This guy's going to move.

MARISHA: Except for that motherfucker.

TALIESIN: Wait, didn't he burn his whole turn just getting to where he was?

MATT: No, that was his movement. That's right, so he wouldn't move. He went top of the round. Thank you for the reminder of that. But he used his action to throw that. So that's all he has. That ends their go. Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm going to move to the guy who's been attacking my boy, Fjord.

MATT: This one here? All right. In the water or on the side?

ASHLEY: On the side.

MATT: You got it.

ASHLEY: I would like to rage.

MATT: Going the Yasha, angry.

ASHLEY: Divine Fury, all the bits.

MATT: Nott and Caleb, you're up next.

ASHLEY: Reckless. Okay, that hits. 19.

MATT: 19 hits.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So the first strike with the Divine, 3d6 plus seven.

ASHLEY: Ooh. 20.

MATT: 20 points of damage in the first strike as you carve across its torso, it hisses back, still standing, though.

ASHLEY: Another--

MATT: That's 2d6 plus five.

ASHLEY: All right, ten. 2d6 plus five?

TALIESIN: What did you roll?

ASHLEY: Wait, six plus what?

MATT: Five.

ASHLEY: 11.

MATT: 11 points of damage? As the first blade strike carves down its body, it pulls back hissing, Fjord's unconscious, sinking underwater with the harpoon still sticking out of his chest, as it's leaning back at an angle as he vanishes into the dark liquid. As it pulls back, it yanks the harpoon from his body, and you see his body slightly lurch up out of the water before sinking again. It pulls it back to strike at you with it, and when you pull the blade back, you thrust it right into its chest, and the light goes out in its eyes.

TALIESIN: Are you close enough to the bonus action-- Can someone grab Fjord or is that not happening?

ASHLEY: Can I as a bonus action--

LIAM: That's an action.

TRAVIS: Don't worry if I sink.

LAURA: I'll be able to fix him in a second.

TRAVIS: I have that armor.

MATT: That's true, you have the armor on. He starts to sink, and the body buoys itself back to the top.

MARISHA: Is it like a life vest?

TRAVIS: It's a life preserver, guys.

MATT: It's the Mariner's armor that he had the enchantment put over.

LAURA: That's great.

TRAVIS: Throw me a Bud Light.

MATT: All righty, that ends Yasha's turn. Nott and Caleb, you guys are up.

LIAM: Caleb is going to walk behind Cali so he's got a good view of merman over Fjord. I'm going to use the glove of blasting. First one is a natural one, so that does not hit. The second one is a natural 20.

MATT: Against which one?

LIAM: Against the one right over Fjord. So that is, *Scheisse.*

SAM: Hey, Marisha.

MARISHA: Yeah?

SAM: Are you in melee with that thing?

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Ah, okay.

LIAM: 12 total, since it was a crit. Is it still up?

MATT: It is still up. As it bursts into it, the flames burn across its system, but its body is damp and slick anyway, so you see the dark black scorch marks, but nothing more than that.

LIAM: And the third ray is not good, just a ten.

MATT: Ten misses, unfortunately. Hits the ground behind it, or hits the wall, burns across, and vanishes across the rock. That finishes your go. Nott, you're up.

SAM: I will lean out, and is someone engaged with this one, where I would get sneak attack?

MATT: Beau is.

SAM: I will attack with a crossbow bolt. 24.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: Okay. Ooh, that's all terrible.

LAURA: Well, not all terrible.

SAM: 15.

MATT: All righty. As you fire this one, it manages to pierce right under its throat, and it turns back towards you and it grabs the harpoon off the ground. As it pulls it back, the blood's gouting out of a major vein or artery in its throat. It tries to get the strength, and as it does, it pulls back and gets woozy, throws it, and it lands maybe two feet from where grabs it, and with a horrible gurgle falls to the ground. It begins to slip and sink into the water.

SAM: Shit. Can I use my bonus action to fire the other one? Why not.

MATT: Disadvantage on this one, though.

SAM: 15.

MATT: 15 hits.

SAM: That's six points of damage.

MATT: Nice! That ends Nott's turn. Are you going to move?

SAM: No, I will stay there and huddle closer to Mollymauk. Did you step out?

TALIESIN: I did step out.

SAM: No, I'm huddling away from Mollymauk.

MATT: All right, Cali and Jester.

LAURA: I'm going to send Duplicity me towards Fjord, and she's in her illusion going to hug him and cast Cure Wounds. I will call from a distance going, "Don't worry, Fjord, you'll be okay!" I'll cast it at level two.

SAM: Aw, because Oskar?

LAURA: So 11 points.

MATT: You are conscious. (gasping) You look up and see the faintly illusory image of Jester holding you.

TRAVIS: Thanks, Jester.

MARISHA: And then big me over top of her.

TRAVIS: Oh god!

MARISHA: Hi, Fjord! Good to see you alive.

TRAVIS: What's wrong with Beau?!

LAURA: Then I'm going to use my bonus action to cast Spiritual Weapon right over top of the other fish man in the back there.

ASHLEY: (singing) Lollipop, lollipop.

MATT and ASHLEY: (singing) Oh lolly, lolly, lolly, lollipop.

MATT: Pop! (singing) Roll that attack roll.

LAURA: 14 plus something, so I think that hits.

MATT: That hits. Its armor class is 13.

LAURA: So that is 1d8 plus four. Force damage, so eight force damage.

MATT: All righty. That ends Jester's go. Cali.

MARK: Cali is going to run up past Yasha and you see she's like (growls) and shoves Yasha out of the way. I want to get as close as I possibly can. Am I within 15 feet there?

MATT: You are.

MARK: Okay. She stops for a moment and you see this green magic flow around. I'm going to cast Dragon's Breath at 3rd-level on myself. Then she inhales. Acid breath, 15-foot cone over the creature.

MATT: Yeah, 15-foot cone.

MARISHA: I don't know what you just did, but I am so into it.

MATT: The acid sprays out towards it, it covers the area.

MARK: Dex saving throw.

MATT: Dex saving throw for the merrow as it tries to avoid it. That is a natural three plus zero. That's a failure.

MARK: So that's 4d6 damage. Oh, I was going to reroll some of this, but I'm not now. So that's going to be 19 acid damage.

MATT: Nice! As you finish spraying it down and all the flesh on the outside of its body is beginning to melt away and burn and bubble, it (growls). It's pretty scarred from that immediate spray across the front part of its torso.

MARK: (deep voice) Come on! Come and get me!

MATT: You see the eye gleaming still with the Light spell. All right, that finishes your turn. Beau, top of the round, you.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to stride forward (large footsteps)

LIAM: Careful of your head.

TRAVIS: (thuds) Ugh!

MARISHA: Ah, fuck! This is what Travis deals with all the time. Ow! Through Cali's acid mist, I'm going to split the air and cut down and do a big slap right on its face.

MATT: Okay. All right. As you go for the big sweep, your staff goes (scraping) (thud)

MARISHA: I get a little bit of--

MATT: Bits of rock and shale is being ground and falling all around you.

MARISHA: It probably gets stuck a little bit, but then it gives me a nice little snap.

MATT: Exactly, a little snap at the end. Roll for the attack.

MARISHA: Okay, I'll take that. That's enough. 19.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage.

MARISHA: 20. 19. I don't know. It's enough.

LIAM: 19. Add that d4, motherfucker!

MARISHA: Okay, that's nine plus--

LIAM: Cocked.

MARISHA: Ooh, 13.

MATT: 13 points of damage. That's the first strike.

MARISHA: The second one, knowing I'm going to get stuck on the ceiling, I'm going to paddle back and come up and crack with the other end.

MATT: Okay. As you spin it this way, it wedges itself from the floor to the ceiling and you have to like-- boom!

MARISHA: Damn it!

TRAVIS: Mike Myers.

MARISHA: Okay. 15?

MATT: 15 hits.

MARISHA: Plus seven plus-- ten total.

MATT: Ten points of damage. Whack! You crack into it and it hits into its torso. It looks like it's bleeding out of its mouth onto its stomach. It looks really painfully hurt and its eyes are dashing around each way. It looks like it's starting to turn its head towards the area where it emerged.

MARISHA: I'm going to do flurry of blows.

MATT: Okay, using a ki point.

MARISHA: Flurry of Beaus.

ASHLEY: Flurry of blows.

TRAVIS: Flurry of Beaus.

MARISHA: That's not great. 12.

MATT: 12 misses.

MARISHA: Second one is even fucking worse. It's a two.

MATT: This time, as you try to punch, it manages to dodge the first one, and the second time you go to swing, one of the pieces of stone that had dislodged slightly from when you had impacted it falls and catches your fist in the middle of the air. It shatters and causes this cloud of dust to cross the creature but your hand fucking hurts!

LIAM: Haha, good show!

LAURA: Do you get one more hit?

MATT: That's it. End of Beau's turn. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I'll use half my speed to stand upright.

MATT: Back to there, yeah.

TRAVIS: And I'll unleash two Eldritch Blasts at that--

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: That's a 26.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: And that's cocked. Reach for the sky! And an 18.

MATT: Yeah, roll damage.

TRAVIS: Six points of damage on the first one, and 14 points of damage on the second one.

MATT: How do you want to do this? It's turning around and slithering away. It's about to dive back into the water and probably disappear into a subterranean tunnel that's filled.

TRAVIS: I stand up. I get to my feet. I touch the wound area and I fire it across the way.

MATT: As you release your hand, both bolts arc outward and slam into it from the back. From the front perspective, it would look like Guyver, how he tears the chest and the beams come out, but instead it's its internal organs being shoved out into the wall and there's two open holes, Tombstone-style, before it hits the water and slithers and sinks down into the small tunnel.

LIAM: (twangy singing) I got friends in eldritch places.

LAURA: Wait, did you say it fell into the hole?

MATT: The impact hit it and began (sucking).

LAURA: Don't let it go into the hole!

MARK: We're out of initiative? Or are we--

MATT: We're out of initiative at this point.

MARK: Okay. I run up and with the claw hand, she dives into try and grab this thing out of the pool.

MATT: Sure. Make a dexterity saving throw to see if you can react quick enough.

MARISHA: Can I assist for advantage?

MATT: Sure. It's less of a skill check. It's more of a reactionary thing, so you wouldn't be able to help with it.

MARK: Five.

MATT: Five? Okay, you're trying to reach it, but it sunk too low.

MARISHA: I'm going to take my staff and try the same thing.

MATT: You're hitting stone and then nothing, just water below.

MARK: So when Beau's doing that, she turns around and snaps at Beau. (rough voice) Get away from my stuff! That's my kill! (normal voice) Sorry. I didn't mean to yell. Sorry about that.

TALIESIN: Hey, we're all friends here.

MARK: Yeah, I know. We are.

TALIESIN: I cast Friends.

MARK: Yeah, of course we are. Sorry. Sometimes, I just get really aggressive sometimes. I'm sorry.

TALIESIN: I know. That was intense. There's a lot in that. Are you going to be all right?

MARK: Yeah, I just get really possessive about certain things sometimes. Dragon blood and all. Thank you for looking out for me.

TALIESIN: You're all right. You're going to feel a little weird in a few minutes. I apologize for that. It's a thing. Let's clear this water and let's take a breather. Let's sit down.

LAURA: Let's get this guy out of the tunnel in case somebody comes through the tunnel. I don't want anyone to see him right away.

MATT: Do you clear the water?

MARK: Yeah.

MATT: You do and you see that the tunnel curves below and evens out. It sunk, hit the bottom sediment, and dragged a little bit and came to rest about maybe 15 feet below the surface. You take a moment to dive under, grab it, and whether through a chain of hands or whatever, because it's pretty heavy. It's a large body, probably weighs close to 800 pounds. So you guys have to all together pull it up, and it takes a few moments to do so. But Jester's pretty beefy.

LAURA: Me and Yasha basically got it out.

MATT: Between the two of you, you eventually get it up back into the chamber.

LIAM: Roughly a minute later, I say: So you have been somewhat charmed by a circus carnie. It's going to be okay.

MATT: At which point the Friends spell ends, and you can feel an influence that was previously there over your personality.

LIAM: You seemed a little angry. He didn't mean anything by it.

MARK: It's fine. It's fine. (deep breath)

LIAM: Just trying to keep everything copacetic and in order.

MARK: I know. Thank you, Mr. Caleb. Thank you. No, it's fine. I do understand why. It's fine. Thank you.

TALIESIN: Thought you needed a minute of clarity.

MARK: It's fine. People normally react really worse when I go like that, so it's fine. You guys didn't beat me up. You didn't try and kill me. It's great. You guys are nice. Thank you.

LIAM: I mean, you have a lot of scales on your face, but look at this one. Look at this one. Look at this one.

TALIESIN: This one less so.

TRAVIS: We can deal with tempers.

LIAM: That one as well.

MARK: You all look fantastic. She's so cute as well. You're really lucky.

LAURA and SAM: Kiri?

MARISHA: Is she all right?

TALIESIN: I am keeping an eye on these pools, looking for any movement, by the way.

MATT: Kiri comes around the corner with the dagger, sees you all standing there (chirping).

LAURA: You did it. You killed them.

MATT: Runs up to the body there and goes (dagger slice). (like Cali) "I killed people!"

MARK: It's like Chappie. Chappie be good.

MATT: Stabs the body a few more times.

SAM: That's enough.

TRAVIS: Somebody help me check these crates.

MARK: Yeah, I'm going to start looking through as well.

MATT: Okay, who's helming the investigation? Okay, an individual has to helm it.

LIAM: I'm going to investigate.

MATT: Okay. Caleb, you're being aided, so make it with advantage.

LIAM: Yeah, I've got a high stat in it.

MARISHA: Hey, Cali.

LIAM: Cocked.

MARK: Yes, Ms. Beau?

MATT: That wasn't cocked, technically.

LIAM: Well it was on a magnet, so it was stuck to a magnet.

MATT: Oh, did it? Okay. Metal dice.

LIAM: At advantage? We'll call the first one, which was a three on a magnet, and the second roll was a 17 plus my eight is a 25.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: It's a light die. It's not like a heavy one that wouldn't be affected by the magnet.

MARISHA: Oh, it does magnet. It does actually magnet.

LIAM: I can do this for the future.

TALIESIN: Have you not played with your Gil die yet?

ASHLEY: Yeah, it totally sticks to it.

LIAM: So 25.

MATT: As you guys are rummaging through with Caleb helming this section, you're going through a bunch of empty crates, partially destroyed crates. Pushing aside the mostly torn apart corpse of this crocodile and ignoring that. You manage to find a number of gold and silver pieces that have been scattered and lost and fallen into the sand. Digging through the natural gravel and sand floor of this chamber, you find that a lot of it has just been buried. They weren't interested in gold pieces. They weren't interested in money. A lot of that has been left behind and scattered and has been covered. You take a moment to pull through and you manage to acquire 185 gold, 210 silver pieces, and 65 copper pieces.

LAURA: 210 silver, you said?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Distribute that equally, however you would do that.

LAURA: Okay. We'll do some math.

MATT: You find a bunch of jewelry, necklaces, and rings that are thrown about and lost.

LAURA: Do you see any diamonds? Do you see 300 gold worth of diamonds?

LIAM: I put a bunch of jewelry into Jester's hands.

MATT: Okay. All the jewelry together would come to about, just for purposes of resale, 250 gold worth of jewelry. There are no diamonds in there worth 300 gold, sorry. There are four sets of manacles.

ALL: Manacles?

MARISHA: People are going to suspect things of us. Trading in manacles all the time. These didn't work!

TALIESIN: The official currency of it. Nice manacles.

MATT: The manacles are empty, though they are bloody.

LAURA: You said four sets of manacles?

MATT: Yes, four sets of bloody manacles.

TRAVIS: Do they have any rune-ish markings on them or anything like that?

MATT: No, these do not. These are plain manacles.

TALIESIN: Are they humanoid sized?

MATT: Roughly, yeah. There are a number of broken vials of some thick purple liquid, but two of them are not broken. You rolled really high on your investigation. So two vials of a thick purple liquid, roughly about that big. It's a thick, oily substance.

LIAM: I'd like to take these for a moment. Or maybe ten moments.

MATT: Nott, you see one thing helping Caleb out and you pull it out. It looks to be a well-crafted marble bowl of gold inlay of a curious design. The edges of the bowl shift into five multiple dragon heads, equally separated and in each dragon, the eyes are tiny gemstones. One set’s rubies, one set's emeralds, one set's sapphires, one set's diamond.

SAM: I am going to conceal this from Cali.

MATT: All righty, make a sleight of hand check. Cali, make a perception check.

SAM: I will use my luck point.

(gasping)

MARISHA: You have luck? Oh, it was the--

SAM: 28.

MARK: Eight.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: We treat guests so well!

MARK: That's what Nott would do. Absolutely what Nott would do.

MARISHA: You're so mean.

MARK: She's just looking through the crates.

MATT: Looking through frantically, you don't see anything there.

MARK: I'm sure it was here.

LAURA: Really, people don't like it when you do these things, Sam.

SAM: I just have to confer with Caleb.

MARISHA: So, Cali. I started a conversation earlier.

MARK: Hey, Ms. Beau.

MARISHA: Which might be why you got so distracted. You seem to have such an affinity for cute things. Is there a reason why you like cute things? I'm not saying that not all of us like cute things. We all love cute things, but you seem to really like cute things.

MARK: I guess it's just one of those things where-- and she's doing this as she's going through the crates-- I was a kid and I used to ask for dolls and pets and stuff when I was growing up and the cult would give them to me. Serissa used to give them to me. I don't know. There's a lot of bad stuff in the world and it's nice to appreciate nice things sometimes. I like having and finding cute stuff. Do you not like that?

MARISHA: I just might appreciate some other things.

MARK: Your outfit's cute though.

MARISHA: Man, thank you.

MARK: That's all right. You're welcome. I'm sure it was here. I traced it. I followed them. I knew that it was coming through this-- Maybe I missed it. Maybe I’ve messed up.

TALIESIN: How deep is that pool?

MATT: It gets about five or six feet deep.

TALIESIN: I'm going to search the bottom of it.

MATT: Make an investigation check with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Are there any weapons that the merrow dropped? The hook or the spears? Or were they tridents or anything?

MATT: There's one of them that was a three-pronged trident and two that were just long harpoons. They're all hooked at the tips and they had this thick rope cable on the edge that they were using to pull back on.

TRAVIS: I pick up one of the tridents. Does it seem like an average--

MATT: Just a trident.

LIAM: I would propose-- I just rolled a 17 on perception to see if Caleb noticed Nott even do that.

SAM: I'm going to come tell you anyways.

LIAM: Well, but you rolled a 28, so it would be super hard to anyone at the table to have seen it.

MATT: Yeah, no one noticed. Nobody noticed.

ASHLEY: I'm still keeping watch. I'm watching the hole.

LAURA: I wanted to look in the pools too.

TALIESIN: Can she give me advantage on that?

MATT: Sure. Usually you got to tell me before you roll.

TALIESIN: I know. We didn't want to interrupt the thing.

MATT: That's fine.

TALIESIN: It doesn't matter anyway, it's eight.

MATT: It's brackish and thick and you don't find much of interest.

TALIESIN: Check that other one too in a moment.

MATT: You do find some bones.

MARK: I can clear the water as well.

MATT: Looking through, you find a number of discarded humanoid skeletons. Four of them, to be exact.

TALIESIN: The other one, then.

MARISHA: It was in the next room. There's still another room.

SAM: There is?

LAURA: They were coming from somewhere. Who knows, there could be 20 of them on the other side of this.

MARISHA: It's true. Could be a whole network of caverns.

SAM: Should we fill in the hole?

TALIESIN: I think we're going to have to.

MARISHA: Until we find--

SAM: Ooh! We have thunder sticks!

MARISHA: We do have boom boom sticks.

LIAM: Is this the end of our task here?

MATT: Fjord.

LAURA: We're supposed to secure the safehouse.

MATT: As they're having this conversation, you feel this strange crawling sensation in the back of your head as you're looking past this pool down into the darkness below. Even though it's clear, you can see the ripples, and there's something gently tugging you in that direction, and a familiar voice creeps in, sourceless, within your brain, that says, "Learn."

LAURA: So anyway.

SAM: We just killed Fjord's family.

LAURA: I feel like we should check and see if there's 20 of them on the other side of this thing.

MARISHA: Or like he said, we just destroy the entrance to where they can't come through.

TALIESIN: Don't we have a cat that can become a fish?

MARISHA: It takes time, and equipment.

TRAVIS: Plus, some of us can swim. We could pop down real quick and see what's down there.

LIAM: I'm taking those two purple vials and walking around the corner over this way to set them down and start doing my thing, and I'm going to start pulling out my book.

SAM: I will join him.

TRAVIS: Anyone else feel like going for a swim?

LAURA and TALIESIN: Yes.

MARISHA: I could probably join you for a swim.

MARK: I need to check and make sure it's not here, and if there is a room back there I need to make sure it's not here.

TALIESIN: We don't know if there's going to be air on the other side of that, though, so we need people that can--

LAURA: Yeah, one person that can breathe really well. Fjord, you are familiar with the sea. Can you hold your breath for a long time?

TRAVIS: Yeah, pretty decent.

LAURA: All right. How about you go--

SAM: Like, forever?

TRAVIS: No.

TALIESIN: As long as you don't mind dying, sure.

SAM: Do you have gills?

ASHLEY: What if we tie a rope to you?

TRAVIS: Sure, we have an extra 50 feet, we didn't really need the rest.

LAURA: Should we take a short rest again? Oh, it's another hour.

TALIESIN: We're going to do this.

LAURA: Oh, you can only do it once a day.

MATT: What, the--

ALL: Short rest.

MATT: No, short rest you can do as many times as you want, yeah.

MARK: It's the long rest you can only do once every day.

LAURA: You're low on health still, aren't you?

TRAVIS: Yeah, but I mean, we're fine. Let's do it.

MARISHA: If you want to just swim and back. You're going to swim and come back?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm going to go down, and if I start running short on air, I'll come back up.

TALIESIN: We'll have a rope tied.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Cure Wounds on you, if we're not going to take short rest, *if we're not going to take a short rest*--

TRAVIS: No, you don't need to do that. There's no need, Jester. We'll take a short rest afterwards. Just a quick little recon.

ASHLEY: Here. Tie it around.

TRAVIS: I drop the rope and jump in.

SAM: As they're doing this, I'm going to come up to Caleb and tap him on the shoulder and say: Caleb, look what I found! I think this is the bowl that Cali was talking about.

LIAM: I instantly cast Identify-- it takes one minute-- on the two vials and the bowl.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: I'm over here.

LAURA: On the other side.

MATT: You went all the way around the other side?

MARK: I have a minus one, it's a 13. She's pretty oblivious.

MATT: No, there's no way.

TALIESIN: We are the worst people.

MARK: As if I didn't know that coming in.

LIAM: We might be the third from the worst people.

MARISHA: "As if I didn't know that coming here." That's the worst thing anyone has said about us.

MARK: I know how The Mighty Nein works.

MATT: The bowl is magical. It is used as a communion device. When granted with enough blood and given the proper ritual, it's used to acquire auguries, various bits of divination, and communication across the Divine Gate with whatever this Scaled Tyrant may be.

LIAM: But it needs a lot of blood?

MATT: It needs enough to fill the bowl.

LAIM: I can tell from my Identify spell that its purpose is to speak with this thing on the other side, this deity?

MATT: Some sort of communion, that's all you can make out from it.

LIAM: What about the vials?

MATT: The vials are not magically enchanted.

LIAM: That sucks. Nothing to be told, okay. I don't want this.

MATT: Hold on, Identify should--

SAM: You don't want the bowl?

LIAM: No.

SAM: Okay. Do you think it's bad to give it to her?

ASHLEY: I'm not there, but--

SAM: Do you think it's bad to give it to her?

LIAM: I don't know. It is not of any use to us, I don't think.

SAM: Okay. Then let's give it to her.

LIAM: I stick it into my satchel for the time being.

MATT: Okay. What are you guys doing? You're underwater. Fjord, you're swimming down, going through the darkness, kicking your way there. It goes under for about 30 feet, 40 feet. You're pulling your way across the ceiling as it levels out, curves a bit, straightens. Lungs start to hurt a little bit, but you're still holding your breath okay, pulling your way through this darkness.

LAURA: This makes me feel so uncomfortable.

TALIESIN: I'm not okay with this.

TRAVIS: This is college all over again.

MATT: You pull under, and you're uncertain as to where it'll end, and that brief little piquing fear in the back of your mind, flashes and memories of being under the ocean, of the shipwreck, of looking up and not knowing which direction was up.That gives you this brief surge of vertigo. You stop for a second, and a couple bubbles escape. Go ahead and make a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: 21. You push through, continue, swim across, swim.. "Learn." You come up, and all of a sudden you can see now, it begins to rise up once more, and you begin to swim up, pull across the front, and then suddenly your fingers break water, but you do so carefully. Take a breath slowly as your head emerges from the dark water in what is a large, darkened chamber. Make a perception check with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Six.

MATT: You see where this 15, 20-foot pool that you've emerged from opens up into this chamber that is filled with low water and a number of divots and pools within. The bars of land are limited and thin. You see from the peripheral of your vision, before it ends at that point, roughly five or six more of these creatures. You see a very faint glow in the distance, a number of objects that are piled and shoved into a central place. You see elements, old pieces of stone structures that have fallen in. This chamber inside here had a built or constructed purpose long ago, and since has crumbled as the earth has shifted. That's as much as you can make out.

TRAVIS: I'll take a big breath, blow it all the way out. (Inhales deeply) Go back under, push back.

MATT: Okay, cool. Making your way through, now you know the path is there, the confidence because you know there is air eventually helps you push through. You make it halfway through--

TRAVIS: What's the depth like as I'm going through?

MATT: It's about 15, 20 feet.

TRAVIS: So I can see the bottom?

MATT: You can see the bottom, yeah.

TRAVIS: That's not so bad.

MATT: You do manage to come out the other side, emerge, and take your breath. Now that you've been through it once, and managed to go through it a little more confidently, you didn't have to worry about holding your breath.

LAURA: Oh my god, are you okay?

TRAVIS: Yeah. There's another room. There's five more of them, if I remember.

MARK: Those things?

TRAVIS: Yeah, there's a whole other cavern. There's ruins and objects and all sorts of stuff. We're not done with this by a damn sight.

MARISHA: Our job was to secure the safehouse. We can collapse this and say job done.

TRAVIS: There were so many things. There were crates and objects.

MARISHA: That changes things.

LAURA: What if the safehouse is that other tunnel? What if this whole thing is the safehouse?

TRAVIS: Could be underneath it.

LIAM: What if it's beyond even what Fjord has just seen? We do not know what we are talking about yet.

TRAVIS: We could guard this entrance and rest up for a bit, get ourselves together and Kiri through. It's not that far. I think everybody could make it. I certainly could help somebody if they're not a very good swimmer, but--

MARISHA: Maybe run a line. Have the rope in case.

LIAM: You know, we could rest up here on the back corner of this chamber. I could cast my silver thread across this pool here on the other side. If anything comes through, it wakes us up. We'll be ready. We get ready for going further and--

TALIESIN: We could even cast the thread and sleep upstairs.

TRAVIS: We could. I know there are five, but I think we use this funnel point as a fatal funnel, right? We make them come through one at a time. We send some bait, bring them back through, but only when we're ready. What do you think?

LAURA: I'm okay with that.

TALIESIN: Sure.

TRAVIS: Cali?

MARK: I want to help you guys, I really do, but if what I'm looking for is not here, I've got to try and find it. I've got to stop these people getting it. The longer I spend here, if it's not here, the better chance they have of finding it, and I can't let that happen.

LIAM: What if you spend one more night with us, here?

MARK: I really want to, Mr. Caleb. Like, you all seem so nice and you're the first people I could even say that I've made friends with, but this is too important.

LAURA: I just can't believe we didn't find that bowl for you.

MARK: Maybe I messed up. Like I said, I'm not very good in the outside world, and I thought that I found it here, but-- It's fine.

LIAM: Tell us again. What do you need it for? What are your intentions with it? Honestly, look me in the eye. What do you mean to do with this thing when you find it?

MARK: Mr. Caleb, I want to destroy it.

LIAM: How will you destroy it?

MARK: To be honest with you, I don't know. I know I'll find a way if I have to, but-- I just-- The biggest thing I'm afraid of is that the cult and Serissa, they'll find somebody like me. They'll find somebody descended from an ancient dragon like I was. Then they can do this all again. I got away once. I can't let that happen to someone else.

LIAM: Yasha, will you come here, please?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LIAM: I need your help. Mollymauk, will you come here, please?

TALIESIN: Yeah, sure.

LIAM: Beauregard, Fjord, will you come here, please?

MARISHA: What?

TRAVIS: Sure.

LIAM: I start to move away from Cali.

LAURA: Why don't you want me to come here, please?

LIAM: Would you come back with me, Jester, please?

LAURA: Whatever.

MARK: (softly) What's going on?

LIAM: Once there is a defensive wall between me and Cali, I pull the bowl out of my bag.

MARK: Where did you find that?

LAURA: (gasps) Caleb, you found the bowl! I'm so proud of you.

LIAM: No.

MATT: (Jester voice) "I'm so proud of you."

LAURA: Yeah, Kiri's proud of you, too.

LIAM: No, Kiri. Bren found the bowl. Cali, I would like to help you, but this thing is... powerful.

MARK: Yes.

LIAM: And I met you ten hours ago?

MARK: Mr. Caleb, all I can tell you is that the whole reason I came here is to find that, so-- Let me put it this way. You care about these people? You care about this group?

LIAM: Yeah, I do.

MARK: Then don't keep that thing. The cult will find you. I know more about them than you. I can hide. I can stay away from them.

LIAM: Well, I have a wonderful compromise. You know, we can all camp down here as I suggested, you included. In the morning, my good friend Jester can get to the bottom of your intentions for good. For real.

MARISHA: Caleb's still holding the bowl?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Can I snatch it out of his hand real quick?

MATT: Go ahead. Make a dexterity check, opposed.

MARISHA: Just a straight dex check?

LIAM: What do I do, dex as well? Oh, it's gonna be so good.

MATT: Disadvantage for you because you weren't expecting it.

MARISHA: It's not great.

LIAM: That's a two, so I think this story is over. Aw, the second one was an 18. Aw. Three.

MARISHA: Ten.

MATT: The bowl leaves your hand. Now Beau's holding it.

MARISHA: I'm playing a game of keep-away.

TRAVIS: Are you natural Beau or big-ass Beau?

MATT: No, it's faded.

MARISHA: (sing-songy) Caleb.

LIAM: Why would you not want to wait 12 hours to see if this woman's intentions are true or not?

LAURA: What difference does it make?

LIAM: What difference does it make?! This bowl--

LAURA: You don't have it in your hand anymore, Caleb.

LIAM: This bowl that I am talking about can be used to speak to one of the most evil entities in the history of creation, so I think it warrants another 12 hours of waiting to get to the bottom of things.

LAURA: I don't think you should stop someone from talking to a god if they want to talk to a god

MARK: I don't want to talk to her. I want to make that clear.

ASHLEY: If you want to destroy it, why don't we just destroy it right here?

TALIESIN: I don't think it can be.

MARK: I always thought you'd need something more impressive to do that, but if we can destroy it here, then so be it.

LIAM: I think it is going to be a little bit beyond your capabilities to destroy this bowl, Yasha.

ASHLEY: No, I don't mean me.

MARISHA: Caleb, I respect you and all of your intentions, but your caution does not get to control other people's destinies.

LIAM: That bowl is used for communicating with (nervous laugh) the mother of dragons.

MARK: Are you going to rest now? Are we doing anything else? Are you resting now, or do you wish to take this time now?

MARISHA: You had no intentions of wanting this bowl, or needing this bowl, or caring about this bowl until Cali came around.

LIAM: Beauregard. You keep the bowl all night so that Jester can use the spell she used in the past for truth, and then we ask Cali, and I would love to hear that Cali's intentions are true and good. If they're not, we'll find out.

LAURA: I know you, Cali. I don't think I need to cast it on you.

MARK: But you need to trust each other.

TALIESIN: Actually, here's an insane thing that occurred to me. Technically speaking, Charm Person lasts a really long time. I cast Friends.

LIAM: Friends. One minute.

LAURA: Oh! Well, I can cast Charm Person.

MARK: You tried to cast something on your friend, the guide, right? To make him tell the truth. Do that on me. I won't resist it. I promise.

TALIESIN: That's fair. I'm into that.

LIAM: Yeah, okay. I suggest you tell us the absolute truth of your intentions with this bowl.

MARK: I don't want to resist it, so: I intend to either destroy it, or find somewhere secure that the Cult of the Caustic Heart, servants of the Scaled Tyrant, can't find it, because they knew my power. They knew that I'm descended from an ancient black dragon from far away. If they find another one like me, they could do terrible things. I promise you, Mr. Caleb, I promise you that all I want is to right some of the wrongs that I once did as part of that group. I helped kill people; I helped torture people. I've got to make this right, and that's the only way I can do this. I don't know much, but I know that the only person that can take that thing and make sure it's not used for ill is me.

TALIESIN: Mr. Caleb.

SAM: (snickers) You have the helm.

TALIESIN: There's only so many burdens we're expected to bear before we're asking for failure.

MARK: I don't want you to have to bear this one.

LIAM: I'm glad for you to take it. I'm a little surprised at the rest of you for me being cautious, but I'm glad for you to take it.

MARK: Thank you.

TALIESIN: Oh, no. I'm with you.

MARISHA: I grab Caleb, drag him aside, hand Cali the bowl, drag Caleb over to a private corner, and I say, look. We all have our fucking trauma. You understand that? We all have our fucking garbage, and our dirt, and our shit. But you don't get to use your skeletons in your closet, your PTSD, to be shitty and control other people and what they want. It does not make you the authority on what's right and what's wrong. Just because you think that you're a shitty person, guess what? We're all fucking shitty people.

LAURA: Not all of us are shitty.

LIAM: Are we separate or are we not separate?

MATT: She's not being subtle.

MARISHA: I get feeling like shitty people. I don't speak for the rest of these guys, but I get feeling shitty. But it doesn't mean that you get to impress that on other people and make them feel like shitheads just because you are.

LIAM: Beauregard, what if she had been lying to us?

MARISHA: Then she fucking lied to us. We take that, and we learn that as a lesson for later on.

MARK: Ms. Beauregard, if I can.

MARISHA: Yes, Cali?

MARK: I think out of everyone here, from what I've seen, Mr. Caleb is the only one who really understands how powerful this thing is. Even I didn't know as much. I appreciate everything that you've just said and it's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me. Please don't blame him. He was doing the right thing.

MARISHA: I'm not blaming him. It's just that this isn't the first occurrence of something like this with him, either.

MARK: I think he's trying to do the right thing.

MARISHA: I think he is, too.

MARK: Okay.

TALIESIN: (yelling) You were right, Caleb! You're just a shitty communicator!

MARISHA: It's kind of what Molly said.

TALIESIN: (yelling) Yep!

LIAM: I told you exactly what I wanted to do, and why.

MARISHA: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

LIAM: I don't know what you're talking about. And I walk away from her without saying another word.

MARISHA: That's fair.

MARK: I'm going to look at everybody. I really wish I could help you with the rest of this, but I've got to get this thing away from you, you know? People will be after this, as soon as I can.

LAURA: Cali, be careful. There's trolls out there, and gators.

MARK: I'll be careful.

TRAVIS: Cali, I'm just curious. You don't want to try and smash it on the ground real fast? Just for shits and giggles.

MARK: I can try.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean, while we're all here.

TALIESIN: I've never played with a magical item before.

MATT: You throw it on the ground. It rolls off, untouched.

MARK: I'll try Acid Splash as well.

MATT: All the acid runs off of it, unscathed.

TRAVIS: Yasha, chuck that shit to the side of the wall, will you?

ASHLEY: Wait, is it magical?

LAURA: Super-duper.

LIAM: Highly.

ASHLEY: I'm going to try to take out my Magician's Judge sword. Because I can try to Dispel Magic. I'll try to do it. Might not work.

MATT: Okay. You're going to strike it as you're dispelling it? Is that what you're doing?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. You hold your Magician's Judge up, you lift it over your head, and swing it down with all your might. Go ahead and make the check for the Dispel Magic on the sword.

ASHLEY: What's that?

MATT: It's under the description of the sword on your app. It's a d20 plus-- Not the attack roll; it's under the ability.

ASHLEY: --cast as a 3rd-level and the ability check bonus for the spell is plus three.

MATT: Yeah, so roll and add three.

ASHLEY: 13?

MATT: 13. As you strike downward, there's a brief moment where you see a flash of energy as if the field is temporarily dissipating whatever magical connection this object holds. In that brief, ever-so-subtle instance of time in which this marble bowl is left in a brief blip in history, it is exposed to the elements. The blade carves through and shatters. The glow, (explosion)! For that instance, there is a brief burst of bright green, blue, red, white, black energy that emanates and this low growling rumble. And, with that, the bowl and whatever enchantment it held is gone.

MARK: You did it.

ASHLEY: Sorry.

MARK: No! Yasha, you destroyed it! That's exactly what I wanted to do! I didn't think it'd be possible!

ASHLEY: I really didn't either. I just--

TALIESIN: I owe you the biggest drink. Oh my god!

MARK: Ms. Yasha, though, you need to be careful. I mean, that thing was connected to the Scaled Tyrant and the cult. If they find out what you've done, they'll come after you. But I want you to know I'll do whatever I can to stop them.

ASHLEY: Well, hey, (stutters) I just-- I didn't think this was going to happen so fast, to be honest.

MARK: I don't think any of us did.

MATT: It's interesting. As it shattered and while you're having this conversation, there's this static electricity around Yasha. Occasionally, as she bring her hand closer, you watch as these little bolts of energy are arcing through here. As it slowly fades, you can see there's a slight faint glow of the symbol she holds at her belt that eventually goes mundane as well.

MARK: Can I rush over and hug Yasha for what she's done? I throw my arms around you, draconic claw piercing in a little bit.

ASHLEY: I keep my arms down, but I give her a pat.

MARK: Thank you so much. You don't understand what this means.

ASHLEY: You're welcome. I'm glad it was me and not you so you don't get in trouble or you're not marked or anything.

MARK: I'm sure that the Scaled Tyrant is looking for me in other ways, but thank you. You guys, I've never had people look after me and help me like this before. You guys are probably the first friends I've ever had. Where do you guys normally stay, if I need to come and find you?

TRAVIS: We're actually traveling all around. I was going to ask: Where do you go now, since you've achieved your objective?

MARK: I'll head back to Port Damali. There's other artifacts I need to find and destroy, but now I know that they can be. That's what I'm going to focus on.

TRAVIS: We might find our way down to the Menagerie Coast at some point, and if we do, we'll give you a look.

MARK: I'd really like that, please.

MARK: Can I write to you if I leave letters? Can we be pen pals, Jester?

LAURA: Oh my god, I will send all the letters, Cali!

MARK: Oh, yes, absolutely!

LAURA: That would make me so happy!

MARK: I'm going to write you letters all the time!

LAURA: I'm going to write you letters back all the time, okay?

MARK: Hugs.

LAURA: Hugs, hugs, hugs.

ASHLEY: I do have a question. The jewels in the bowl: are they still there?

LAURA: What jewels?

ASHLEY: In the eyeballs.

MATT: Make an investigation check to search for where the shards all landed.

MARK: I'm going to start putting some of my stuff together to get ready to leave, but I'm going to head over to Nott, because Caleb's walked off.

ASHLEY: Six.

MARK: Nott-- Bren?

SAM: You can just go with Nott.

MARK: Okay. You seem to know Mr. Caleb really well.

SAM: I do.

MARK: Can you give him something for me?

SAM: Sure.

MARK: I'm going to give Nott the Scroll of Invisibility that I never used. This is for your help, for Mr. Caleb's help, and all of you. It's not much, but it's something.

SAM: This is very nice of you.

MARK: You don't know what you've done for me, so this is the least I can do. I really do understand what he did.

SAM: He has-- yes.

MARK: Thank you.

SAM: You're welcome? Thank you. It was lovely to meet you-- and he really does have the best of intentions.

MARK: I know he does, and I'm sure he's going to be a really powerful wizard one day.

SAM: I know he will be.

MARK: I know he will.

SAM: Yes, he will! Why are you saying it like that? Because he will.

MARK: Because you are!

SAM: Okay!

(laughter)

MARK: I'll say my goodbyes and come up and shake Fjord's hand.

TRAVIS: Strong grip.

MARK: I won't use the dragon one. Go up to Mollymauk, shake hands.

TALIESIN: Oh, the dragon one.

ASHLEY: The dragon one.

MARK: Thank you?

ASHLEY: I wouldn't have skinned you, that was just a joke in the beginning.

MARK: Oh, good. Don't do that, please.

ASHLEY: I won't-- (quietly) I would have, but I just--

MARK: Good luck with clearing this out, but I've got to go.

LAURA: Be careful, okay?

MARK: I will, I promise. We'll write letters.

LAURA: Yes, of course!

TRAVIS: Remember, follow the daggers on the way out, they mark your way.

MARK: I will do. Yeah, I've got a keep out for that troll, right?

SAM: We were supposed to get some sort of bracelet.

MARISHA: Troll, and also really big alligators.

MARK: Well, you got my scroll.

SAM: Over shit!

MARK: I'll make my way out.

MATT: Okay. Cali climbs the rope, with the brief glimmer of her feet vanishing into the tunnel above. You all settle in to rest and decide what you're going to do with the rest of this chamber, if anything. And that's where we'll end tonight's game.

LIAM: Drama!

MATT: Good drama! It's fun.

MARISHA: I love you.

TRAVIS: Dram-o-mine!

MATT: Oh man. Good game. Mark, thank you for coming on!

MARK: No, thank you guys all so much! I've said this to Matt, but I've been hearing stories of Vox Machina since before you guys started streaming from Matt, and I've watched the whole show, so this was super awesome to get to be here and play with you guys.

MARISHA: Tell them where to find you on High Rollers!

MARK: Yeah, so if you'd like to see me GM, I do a show called High Rollers every Sunday at 5:00pm UK-time. I think it's like 9:00am PST? That's on twitch.tv/Yogscast. We just finished our first two-and-a-half-year campaign, but on July 1st, we're starting our brand new campaign.

ALL: Wow!

MARK: That'll be our brand-new thing, so please come and watch that.

LIAM: God, I can't believe that's already been that long.

MARK: Well, when you guys started, we were inspired by Crit Role, and we started our show, and we've gotten to the next part of our adventures.

MARISHA: Yogscast is great, you guys are great, the cast is great--

MARK: High Rollers is great, I'm not going to talk about the rest of Yogscast.

MATT: Yeah, High Rollers is great!

MARK: Yeah, you can also see me on the Stream of Many Eyes. I'm going to be DMing a game for Ashley, Taliesin, and Sam on Sunday, along with some other people as well.

ASHLEY: I can't wait.

MARK: Thank you guys all so much, that was awesome.

MATT: Thank you for coming.

MARISHA: Yeah, Cali!

MATT: Thank you guys for hanging on! Thank you D&D Beyond for being amazing. We love you guys so much. We'll see you soon, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

[music]

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