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Part IEdit

MATT: Hey, everyone. Sorry about that little issue there. But thank you for your patience. I appreciate that. Going back over what had transpired previously. So the party was hired to go into Kraghammer seeking Lady Kima of Vord, who is a renowned folk hero, a halfling paladin of much renown, following Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon of justice and good, who went on a vision quest, apparently seeing some sort of evil brewing beneath Kraghammer, and went on her own to seek it and destroy it. Hasn’t been seen for many weeks– months, even – since. And so the party has then gone into Kraghammer to attempt to locate her. After some conversing, some brawling, some interesting circumstances, they found information that she disappeared into the Mithril mines just underneath the lower circle of Kraghammer. They’ve since battled a few creatures, apparently these strange monstrosities are coming out of the mines recently. And they’ve had dwarven miners being taken and disappearing. They charged into the mines, found one of the series of tunnels that had broken into the mines from some other source, encountered a few umber hulks, were ambushed by some duergar, which are subterranean, dark, ashen grey–

TRAVIS: Dickholes.

MATT: – messed-up dwarves and an intellect devourer, which proceeded to blast Grog, reduce his intelligence to zero, and leave him catatonic and brain-dead.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: And that’s where we left off. But we’ll pick up that in a second. Let’s go ahead and continue our introductions. We had Taliesin, now we have Marisha–

MARISHA: Yes! Hello, I am Marisha Ray, and I am Keyleth of the Air Ashari tribe. And I am the Circle of the Moon druid. Level nine.

MATT: Mm-hm.

TRAVIS: Wow.

MATT: Orion?

ORION: Hi! I am Orion Acaba. And I play Tiberius Stormwind, the dragonborn sorcerer. Level nine. Super badass.

TRAVIS: Scaly.

SAM: Oh hi, I am Sam Riegel. I play Scanlan Shorthalt, the level nine bard gnome, who is the handsomest and most charming of the group.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Scanlan Shorthalt.

SAM: Scanlan Shorthalt.

MATT: Yeah. Esquire.

LAURA: The third.

MATT: Yes, the third.

LAURA: Hi! Oh, my brother is extra, extra stealth right now.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: But I play Vex'ahlia, who is a half-elf ranger, and I have an amazing–

SAM: Ranger!

LAURA: – companion bear named Trinket, who is basically the coolest ever. And he’s good at everything he does. I’m okay. But he’s excellent.

MATT: He’s really, really good. Yeah.

TRAVIS: I’m Grog Strongjaw. I’m a goliath barbarian, level nine.

LAURA: Oh, I didn’t say that. Level nine.

TRAVIS: I have an intelligence of six normally, but now it’s negative two.

LAURA: Oh!

TRAVIS: And my brain is made of applesauce.

LAURA: Poor Grog!

MATT: Liam, who is not here yet, but will be here shortly but–

TRAVIS: He’s peeing.

MATT: He is peeing, and what’s–

ORION: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: On a tree.

MATT: And when he returns we’ll get to his introduction as well.

TRAVIS: Stealthily.

MATT: And Ashley Johnson, who has missed the last couple of games because she’s been filming, when she returns will be playing Pike.

LAURA: Hey!

TALIESIN: Hey!

MATT: Who is a cleric. Our gnome cleric. Liam’s arrived! Huzzah!

LAURA: We’re just introducing ourselves, that’s all.

MATT: Exactly! It’s okay, we’ve had technical difficulties, so.

ORION: Oh, hey, he made the introductions, folks.

LAURA: Oh, hi, Mark, welcome to the game.

LIAM: Oh, hi.

MATT: Before we start too, just a couple quick announcements. A couple cool games that have come out recently that some of us have been involved with. Today was the launch of Pillars of Eternity, a completely awesome kind of successor to Baldur’s Gate. Both me and Liam are part of that as well. Those who are playing through, I voice Aloth and Adair. Liam, if you remember any characters you voiced in it.

LIAM: The guy.

MATT: The guy.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: He voices the guy. We’re scattered throughout the game so just– If you can’t get enough of us here, you’ll be really hating our voices by playing through that. And then also, Orion–

ORION: Oh, yeah. On a more radder note, Final Fantasy Type-0–you should play– is out also. I play Nine. In that.

MATT: Yeah.

ORION: And Matthew Mercer plays Trey in it as well.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: I thought seven ate nine.

LAURA: We’re all pimping our shizz.

ORION: Seven does maybe eat nine. Who knows?

MATT: Oh.

LIAM: I’m a dad.

MARISHA: (laughs) I’m a dad.

ORION: Who knows, but it’s definitely a different take on any Final Fantasy you’ve ever played. And as a fan, I’m excited, so check it out, too.

MATT: Yeah, it’s legit awesome. So a lot of cool, exciting things.

LIAM: Also, this one’s in Tales from the Borderlands being awesome.

LAURA: Oh, yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Episode two just came out.

MATT: That’s right! Congrats!

LAURA: Yes.

SAM: And I’ll be playing at the Laugh Barn in St. Louis.

(all laugh)

ORION: Every Tuesday.

SAM: Three. Three nights. Three nights sold out.

ORION: Three nights.

SAM: Opening for Carrot Top.

ORION: Check it out.

MATT: All right. Well, guys, let’s go get down to brass tacks. So, last we left off, in a subterranean cavern with a deep underground river flowing through it. Pitch darkness. You managed to survive a conflict with two umber hulks, thanks to Polymorph and some good tactics. However, Grog then charged headlong towards a light source– turned out to be a campfire across the way– where he walked into an ambush by a few duergar which began shooting him with crossbow bolts. And an intellect devourer made him brain-dead. You guys–

LAURA: He’s got nobody to blame but himself.

MATT: Kind of, that’s okay. Grog owns it– as you can see by his glasses. So.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: I love those.

MATT: So. We’re beginning now as Grog has collapsed, face down on the ground, drooling.

LIAM: The future’s so bright.

MATT: The last of the duergar have been blown off the cliff or destroyed. You all rush in, and find Grog not moving, not responding, not anything.

TRAVIS: Somebody pretty give me CPR.

LAURA: Don’t talk.

TRAVIS: Okay.

SAM: Grog! Grog, can you hear us?

LAURA: I rush down–

SAM: Can you feel us near you?

LAURA: – and slap him on the face a few times.

MATT: You slap him.

SAM: Nothing.

MATT: You slap him.

SAM: Nothing.

MATT: You slap him. No response.

SAM: Someone, quick! Draw a dick on his face!

MARISHA: I also bend down and slap him a few times.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: And then I say, I knew it wouldn’t work. I just– Dammit, Grog!

TALIESIN: I’m going to actually try a crude medical examination to see if I can–

SAM: Ooh, investigation check?

TRAVIS: So here’s your numbers.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: And yes! This is nice. 19.

MATT: A 19 on the medicine?

TALIESIN: On the medicine, yeah.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: You leave my prostate alone.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: After I palpate the region.

MATT: A thorough goliath cavity search later–

MARISHA: Ohh.

MATT: You find some stray gold pieces.

LIAM: There’s where that pony went!

TALIESIN: That’s a very deep belly button you have there, my god!

MATT: The goliath physicality’s a little difficult.

LIAM: Found the troll dick!

LAURA: Ohh.

MATT: Looking over him, and there’s very little physical damage to him. He shrugs it off pretty easily. There’s no notable sign or anything other than the fact that his eyes aren’t reacting to anything. It looks like he is catatonic.

TALIESIN: No bleeding from the ear? No bleeding from the nose?

MATT: Nope.

TALIESIN: I’m going to go take a look at the remnants of the brain creature.

MATT: All right. What bits of the currently thawing chunks of it– blasted apart by Tiberius’ Glacial Blast– It appears to be tougher than normal, but very similar to gray matter in appearance and texture. Other than these strange, kind of reddish-brown bestial legs that were once attached to its mid-section are now blown apart and cast to the ground. The whole texture seems very slimy and rubbery.

LAURA: Ew.

MATT: And it’s much larger than any natural brain should be. It’s probably– When it was all in one piece, it would have been roughly about the size of a small dog.

LAURA: Do any of us know anything about magic that could heal him? Like any spells.

MATT: Do you?

LAURA: I mean–

MARISHA: I think I might–

ORION: It’s clear that when that brain thing hit Grog with his zapper thing, that it rendered him unconscious. I would assume that it is a magical creature, just based on the attack alone.

LAURA: Thank you, Tiberius.

MARISHA: Anything we should know?

SAM: Excellent assessment, Tiberius.

LAURA: Thank you.

ORION: Quite right.

TALIESIN: He got zapped and now he’s unconscious.

SAM: A shorter way of saying the same thing.

LAURA: Maybe we should try– Does anybody have any healing? I know Pike isn’t here, but–

MARISHA: I–

ORION: You have something, don’t you?

MARISHA: I think I have a spell. That might be able to help. I don’t know it right now though. We’d have to take a break. I’d have to pull out my books and relearn it. It takes some time.

LIAM: How much time do you need?

MARISHA: Need to sleep on it.

LAURA: How– Can we–

TRAVIS: As they talk, Grog slowly flatulates.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: (fart sound)

SAM: It happens, it’s natural.

MATT: It’s terrible.

LAURA: Oh! It’s another– What is it? An ass cloud? Is that what it was?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Poo. Poo cloud.

LAURA: Lovely.

LIAM: Everybody make a constitution saving throw.

LAURA: Yeah, a constitution saving–

ORION: How many entrances– How many ways or edges where we are? Because it’s like at the center, anyway–

MATT: Yeah, you’re currently basically on the precipice of a large cavern that has multiple layers as the river kind of cascades off into multiple waterfalls. As far as you can see– which isn’t far good because there’s no other light source beyond you guys– the cavern just continues indefinitely for a good 60 feet and then just vanishes into darkness.

LAURA: Well, maybe we should sleep. Try to camp

for the time–

SAM: Well, we’ll need to form a perimeter and someone will have to stand guard–

MATT: Well, currently you’re holding a barely alive duergar hostage.

LAURA: (gasps) Oh! Right! I forgot about that!

SAM: Oh, we gotta interrogate.

LAURA: We gotta interrogate him! Her.

LAURA and SAM: It.

MATT: It’s a female.

LIAM: Female.

LAURA: And I can speak its language.

MATT: You do.

LIAM: Hers.

MATT: You speak Undercommon.

LAURA: Hers.

MATT: First thing you note, too: it is female, and it takes a moment to register that because she is also bald on top.

LIAM: It. Terrible.

LAURA: Sorry.

MATT: Nasty, pale, kind of sunken face. Eyes are completely clouded over and white, no pupils. Teeth are kind of yellow and gnarled and sharp.

SAM: How close to death’s door is she?

LIAM: What’s this?

LAURA: What?

LIAM: Thank you, sir.

MARISHA: Oh my gosh.

LAURA: Oh, thank you, wonderful people!

CREW: There’s more coming, this is the vegan pizza.

ORION: Whoa!

LAURA: What?

ORION: Where’s it coming?

LAURA: Thank you, chat room!

TRAVIS: Thank you, chat room.

ORION: Chat room!

SAM: Chat room? Chat room bought us a pizza?

MARISHA: Thanks, guys!

MATT: You guys are awesome! Thank you so much!

LIAM: You knew I liked jalapenos.

LAURA: Vegan pizza? Are you kidding me?

MARISHA: And donuts!

MATT: Oh yeah.

TALIESIN: Pizza made it.

LAURA: Look at those chocolate cakes! Oh.

ORION: (laughs) Oh.

SAM: All right, all right. This creature is very injured. I think we need to heal her just enough–

LAURA: Heal her?

SAM: Just enough.

LIAM: Not so fast, not so fast.

LAURA: We’ll heal her after she talks.

LIAM: Is she unconscious?

SAM: Why don’t you make that bargain then–

LIAM: I’ve got dagger to her throat and I’m hold–She’s bald?

MATT: Bald, yes.

LIAM: All right, so I’ve got an arm around the top of her forehead in–

MATT: (hisses)

LAURA: Don’t kill her. I need her.

LIAM: She’s not unconscious, right?

MATT: No.

LAURA: I got up–

MATT: She’s got a huge shoulder wound.

LIAM: All right, I call my sister over. I’ll hold her, you talk.

LAURA: What did you do to our friend?

MATT: “I didn’t do anything. That was the brain’s work.” (chuckles)

LAURA: What did the brain work do to our friend?

MARISHA: Brain twerk?

MATT: “Took care of your friend. He’s gone now. He’s all dead inside. Kaputski.”

LAURA: What are you here for?

MATT: “Just creating a mess.”

LAURA: What should I fucking ask her? I say that in our language, not–

(all laugh)

LAURA: What should I ask?

TALIESIN: How do we fix it?

LAURA: How do we– (lowers voice) How do we fix it?

TALIESIN: There you go.

MATT: “Bury your dead weight.”

LIAM: I press the blade a little tighter.

MATT: “Ugh! Gah!”

LIAM: Dig in. Maybe one hit point worth of–

LAURA: No, no! She’s only got one hit point left.

LIAM: She’s only got one?

MATT: She’s got one hit point.

LIAM: All right.

LAURA: Don’t do that!

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Is she bleeding?

MATT: Profusely. From the shoulder.

TALIESIN: Oh! In that case, I’m going to cauterize the wounds. There’s more than one way to make someone talk!

LAURA: Ugh.

TALIESIN: I’m going to shoot my gun off– get it nice and hot right at the tip and start cauterizing the wounds.

MATT: Okay so (gunshot). And the flash goes off. The sound of blast echoes throughout the entirety of the cavern. You can hear (echoing gunshot) cascade off.

MARISHA: A little warning next time!

MATT: He takes the barrel, slams it into the shoulder and the sizzling sound as she reaches back in pain. Make an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: I’m intimidated.

LAURA: What should we ask her?

TALIESIN: Aha ha! 21!

MATT: 21? All right. She’s now, like, breathing heavy.

ORION: I’m using my Mage Hand to poke her in the face.

MATT: She’s trying to move her face out of the way but she can’t seem to avoid the mystical arcane finger pokes.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Look, we haven’t got all day. How do we fix it–

LAURA: Who do you work for?

TALIESIN: And who do you work for?

MATT: “You fell, surface-slime. You’ve already fallen, and the Master’s gathered the sheep. You shall all be harvested for K'varn!”

ORION: Ah, is he a farmer?

SAM: You can’t understand her. Only she can.

LAURA: You can’t understand!

ORION: Oh.

LAURA: Who is K'varn? Does anybody know?

SAM: No, is that a thing? Is that a person?

LAURA: I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got–

TALIESIN: Can I roll history on that or is

that–?

LAURA: Who is K'varn?

ORION: The Carvers!

MATT: You can roll history, if you like.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: Argh, who is K'varn?

MATT: “K'varn is the one that rules these caverns. The one who guides us to take the surface back!”

LAURA: To take the surface back?

TALIESIN: A 14 in history wouldn’t do anything?

MATT: No.

LAURA: Is K'varn the one making creepy zombie monsters?

MATT: “K'varn likes to tinker with the fleshlings, yes.”

LAURA: Where is K'varn located? Point the direction.

MATT: Looks over her shoulder back towards the darker part of the cavern where you guys haven’t traversed. “Deep. Deep.”

SAM: What is K'varn?

LAURA: What. Is. K'varn?

MATT: “You’ll see.”

LAURA: No, you’ll tell me now.

TRAVIS: Good question.

LAURA: I slap her across the face.

MATT: Argh!

LAURA: Lightly! Not enough to make her lose a hit point.

ORION: I poke her more!

(all laugh)

MARISHA: It’s like a Three Stooges act.

MATT: “My life is already forfeit.”

MARISHA: Oh!

MATT: “I’m just relishing your faces, for they will be gnarled and twisted soon enough!”

LAURA: Break her legs. Leave her here.

MATT: You break her–

LAURA: Heal her. Maybe we should heal her–

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: And let her lay there. Is that evil? That’s pretty evil.

TRAVIS: What’s your alignment? I mean–

LAURA: My alignment. I’m good.

TALIESIN: She did just help–

MARISHA: Wait! Ask her if she’s seen Nostoc. Or if they’ve seen–

LAURA: Oh yes!

MARISHA: Or, yeah, if they’ve seen our paladin friend. Our little–

TALIESIN: Lady Kima.

MARISHA: Lady Kima!

LAURA: Before we end your life, tell us, have you seen a small halfling?

MATT: You see a moment of recognition in the female duergar’s face, and it’s– “There was a halfling, aye. She was foolish enough to come down here alone. She’s dead now.”

SAM: (gasps)

MATT: “We’ve taken her life and it was delicious.”

LIAM: I drag her to her feet. Walk her over to the edge of the cliff where the water is, and hold her. Knife still at her neck. Tell this one: Now’s her last chance to give us anything useful to lead to her boss, I guess.

LAURA: All right. It’s your last chance. Give us something useful? And we’ll end this painlessly. Don’t, and we’ll make you suffer.

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

LAURA: All right. Ooh, my new dice! Ooh! C'mon, baby!

LIAM: I’m going to assist her by taking my other dagger and letting it drip poison down the blade.

MATT: (laughs)

LIAM: Advantage? Advantage?

LAURA: Intimidation of 14?

LIAM: Assist?

MATT: Go ahead and roll dice.

LIAM: Me?

MATT: You, yes.

LAURA: (squeaky voice) To assist me?

LIAM: 19.

MATT: 19. Okay, go ahead and roll again.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: Drip drip drip drip drip.

MATT: I’m giving you the advantage on the roll because he has a blade to her now.

LAURA: Oh, okay. Okay, still 14.

MATT: Still 14.

LAURA: I should’ve rolled my other one. To see. Just to see.

MATT: She laughs and says: “Your friend’s dead! All is lost! You came for nothing!”

SAM: Can I tell if she’s lying? Is it–

MATT: Make an insight check.

SAM: Insight check? Oop. No. (laughs)

LAURA: Okay, can I see if she’s lying?

MATT: You can also make an insight check as well.

LAURA: All right, cool.

LIAM: I can’t understand what the– What the hell’s she saying?

LAURA: Okay, that’s way better! 24!

MATT: 24. She is definitively lying through her teeth.

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: Just to hurt you.

LAURA: Yes! We know you’re lying!

(all laugh)

MATT: “What?”

LAURA: Yes! I don’t know what else to ask her, guys. I don’t know what else to ask her.

TRAVIS: What are goblins afraid of?

MATT: She looks at you for a second, goes, “Regardless, we have her. She’s down below. And, soon enough, “you’ll see. You’ll see what shall become of this halfling.”

LAURA: We’ll rescue her! And we’re going to kill your god!

(all laugh)

LIAM: I did it, I did it.

MATT: An ichor spray comes across.

SAM: Ugh!

LAURA: That was the worst thing.

TALIESIN: The most awkward throat-slitting I’ve ever heard of.

SAM: That was very fast.

MARISHA: We’re going to kill your god. Wait.

TALIESIN: Wait.

MARISHA: Fuck it, just go with it!

(all laugh)

MARISHA: Commit!

MATT: As the body goes limp in your hands, you kinda let it tumble over the waterfall.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Good times. Good times, guys.

MATT: Um, now you guys are standing over Grog in this kind of makeshift–

LIAM: It’s a little sticky, slimy?

MATT: – camp site. The embers of the fire kinda going low.

LIAM: I’m starved.

TALIESIN: Well, she’s researching–

LAURA: Oh!

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: Should we keep– I’m going to keep watch.

LIAM: Absolutely.

LAURA: With Trinket.

SAM: We need to–

MARISHA: Do we have any idea what time it is?

MATT: At this point? It’s at some point in the evening.

MARISHA: All right.

SAM: Let’s rest. Let’s set up a perimeter and take turns standing guard. I’m going to go to the next cavern over to where we killed those umber hulks?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Take one of the umber hulk heads and put it on a stick.

LAURA: Ooh.

SAM: Right out front of where we’re– Of where we’re camping as sort of a warning to others.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: I want to check out–

LAURA: How about this?

ORION: How many cavern entrances are there from where we’re camping?

MATT: From where you are?

(creepy music sound effect)

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: There are where you came in through–

ORION: Right.

MATT: Strange things afoot echo in the silence. There’s the entrance you came in. Across the way, there appears to be another cavern that you can kinda see the entrance to. Those are the only proper openings into this giant chamber. Otherwise there’s just the giant, over-arching cave that you guys are just getting into. Just pushing through, so–

MARISHA: I’m gonna take the first watch–

LAURA: Oh, you are! Okay.

MARISHA: I still have a lot of reading to do, and I can go ahead– I’m gonna go ahead and cast– Make sure everybody’s in! Everybody’s in.

LAURA: Wait, wait! I want to check the bodies of the other guys before the–

SAM: What are you casting? What are you about to cast?

MATT: Duergar?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Anti-Life Shell?

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigative check.

MARISHA: A shell that keeps in anything from coming in.

SAM: Oh. Great. Well, before you do that, hold on.

LAURA: A 20?

MATT: Okay. Glancing about, you pull roughly 125 gold pieces between the three corpses of the duergar. Well, two corpses because one of them is gone. It washed downstream.

LAURA: Right.

LIAM: She had all the good things.

LAURA: She had a lot of good stuff on her.

MATT: Yeah. You do, however, find on one of them a gnarled implement of some kind, whether it be scavenged or not. It’s of a strange, like almost bleached bone ivory that comes to a point at one end.

ORION: Ooh.

SAM: Let’s look at it. (laughs)

MATT: It is pretty.

LAURA: Ooh, let me see, let me see.

ORION: An artifact we can bring back to–

SAM: Can I take a look at it and–

LIAM: Give it to Tiberius. He’ll try anything.

MARISHA: (laughs) He’ll try anything.

SAM: History or– or arcane?

ORION: I like trying things.

MATT: Go ahead and roll arcana.

SAM: Arcana. No! (laughs)

MARISHA: (laughs) Oh, Scanlan.

MATT: Scanlan, it is a very pretty something.

ORION: 24.

MATT: 24. Want to hand it over to him?

ORION: Yes, I–

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: What is it?

SAM: Nothing.

ORION: Wonderful, this is. Wonderful. Magic Missiles, of course.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: It sends out magic missiles!

LAURA: What!

ORION: This one has seven charges. While holding it, you, you can use an action to expend one or more of its charges to cast the Magic Missile spell from it. For one charge, you cast the first-level version of the spell. You can increase the spell slot by one for each level by each additional charge you expend. The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a one, the wand crumples into ashes and then–

LIAM: This all seems very technical.

LAURA: Yes, that’s awesome–

SAM: Basically it shoots out six missiles and then it–

LAURA: Awesome!

TRAVIS: Isn’t that a famous, like–

MARISHA: It goes pew pew!

LAURA: I’m glad we killed them before they used that on us.

LIAM: Yes, it’s pretty standard.

TALIESIN: It’s a pew pew stick.

LIAM: Pretty standard.

MARISHA: It’s a pew pew stick!

LIAM: Yes.

MARISHA: Cool!

ORION: Would anybody like to tinker? I mean, I learned this when I was 12.

(all laugh)

LAURA: No, you’re unconscious.

ORION: Oh, I’ll hold onto it–

LAURA: Well, yeah. Yeah.

LIAM: I think Grog may have soiled himself a little. We should probably get Keyleth on the books.

LAURA: Take a nap so that, maybe–

TALIESIN: Yes.

MARISHA: Make sure everyone’s in and close by, and get done with everything.

LAURA: Okay, she’s gonna–

LIAM: Keyleth, you need to study, so we’ll take first watch.

MARISHA: I’m gonna take you guys–

LAURA: Oh, that’s true, you should study while we watch.

LIAM: You can’t study and watch.

MARISHA: I’m gonna cast Anti-Life Shell. That way everyone at least gets one good hour of sleep.

LAURA: Oh, good! I like it!

LIAM: All right, let’s take a nap.

LAURA: All right.

MATT: You go ahead and you eventually find one of the corpses of the umber hulk. It takes you a good 25 minutes to eventually carve through its relatively thick hide, chitinous exterior. You put the head on a makeshift spike, and it is now there on display.

SAM: Yes, as a warning to others.

MATT: You feel accomplished.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: You head back. Keyleth–

TALIESIN: Terrible taxidermy attempt.

MATT: – as you are taking first watch, you notice that the campsite that the duergar were using, where you guys are currently resting for the evening, it’s been there for a while and it looks like the duergar have repurposed it. The fire– the stones that were set up around the actual fire pit have probably been there for quite some time, and were set up very uniformly and very well placed. Right above you, on one of the stone walls, you see what appears to be a strange, very well carved symbol. Hard to recognize it. Go ahead and make a religion check.

LAURA: Oh, man.

MARISHA: Ugh, wish Pike were here.

LIAM: Yes, we wish Pike was here.

LAURA: Pike’s missing everything! (sobs)

TALIESIN: Very much.

ORION: Yes. We miss you!

MARISHA: Eight?

LIAM: Come back, little gnome!

MATT: It’s just a really interesting carving on the wall just right above where you guys are currently residing–

TALIESIN: Ampersand.

MARISHA: So pretty!

MATT: Not quite catching your attention, but it seems to have some significance. And it’s fresh, it’s not like an ancient symbol that’s been there, it maybe could have been there for more than a week or two.

MARISHA: I go ahead and I take a piece of paper from my spellbook, and I take a piece of charcoal, and I just scroll over top of it.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: To get an imprint of it.

MATT: Okay, it’s very big. It’s like four feet by three feet.

MARISHA: I take a few pieces of paper, and I kind of glue them together-

(all laugh)

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: – and then I get a really big one, and then I roll it up.

MATT: All right. All right, you guys begin to set up for the next watch. After the first hour–

MARISHA: And I have my Anti-Life Shell up.

MATT: Yep, Anti-Life Shell eventually fades, first hour without any impact or issue.

MARISHA: Who is taking the next watch?

LAURA: Oh, we are.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. The next few hours go by without incident.

LAURA: That’s nice. Can I look around and see– I mean, no! In our area! I’m not gonna wander off, but just to see if I see any kind of anything interesting. I mean, if this is a really old area that I’ve noticed, it’s old, can I see anything cool and old around us?

MATT: Well, there’s a lot of mineral deposits. This place in particular, it’s definitely, because of the heavy river flow for a long time, a lot of the area near the river itself, very smooth stone. A lot of kind of accumulated deposits of various

elements. You also catch the strange carved symbol right atop your guys’ camp.

LAURA: Okay. So I tap my brother and go, look at this. Do you know anything about religion?

LIAM: (sighs) Well, let me see.

LAURA: Let me see.

(all laugh)

LIAM: Well, I seem to know fuck-all about it. Ten.

LAURA: Oh, me too! I know shit about it.

MATT: It’s a very fancy symbol.

LAURA: It’s a really pretty symbol.

MATT: You guys finish your watch–

LIAM: I really wish Pike was here.

MARISHA: Just, the party is taking turns being like, so pretty!

LAURA: I know!

SAM: Where was that symbol?

LAURA: On a rock.

MARISHA: It’s above our–

MATT: It’s on one of the large cave surfaces near where you guys are camping.

LAURA: I don’t see any cool sparkly things in the mineral deposits? None of that?

MATT: Nothing catches your attention–

LAURA: Damn it!

MATT: — at the moment, no, unfortunately.

LIAM: All about the bling.

LAURA: I am about the bling.

MARISHA: How’s it going over there, Grog?

MATT: You finish your watch without issue.

MARISHA: It’s good.

MATT: Next up watch, this is the last, third, and final watch you guys are now going through.

ORION: Oh, all right.

SAM: I’ll come with Tiberius as well.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we’ll all go.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Okay. The three of you guys keep watch. After they’re napping. Occasionally you have to adjust Grog, ‘cause you’re not sure if he’s still breathing.

ORION: I’ll roll for the–

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: Not sure if he’s still breathing?

ORION: I’m gonna do an intelligence, right?

MATT: To make sure he’s still–

LAURA: What?

MARISHA: Religion. Religion.

MATT: Religion.

ORION: 20.

LAURA: Oh my god, what if you could die while we’re sleeping?

MATT: Right now, you just rolled?

ORION: Well, 18 plus two.

MATT: Oh, okay.

ORION: What’s that?

MATT: You are familiar with this symbol specifically because of your background. That is the symbol of Bahamut. It is the symbol of the Platinum Dragon.

LAURA: Ooh!

MATT: And you ascertain it was probably–

ORION: Oh, it looks like this!

MATT: Yes.

ORION: Oh, interesting.

MATT: And it was probably used as part of some sort of a protection ritual.

LAURA: What was the name of the bad guy that she said?

MATT: K'varn.

ORION: I tell everybody that. Well, that I’m with.

LAURA: Thank you.

MATT: Using the thing you wrote.

LAURA: K'varn.

MATT: K'varn.

LAURA: I’m gonna guess that’s how you spell it.

ORION: It seems it’s a protective symbol of sorts, but it’s of Bahamut, which is a good thing.

LAURA: K'vah? I thought it was K'varn.

SAM: It’s a good thing?

ORION: Bahamut is the essentially nicer deity of the two between him and Tiamat, which is a total asshole, but–

SAM: Well that must be why Lady Kima came down here.

ORION: Right. So she must have camped here, put this symbol up for protection.

MATT: As you are having this discussion, you feel a slight rumble in the ground.

TRAVIS: Fucked up now.

MARISHA: Oh no.

MATT: Some of the rocks nearby, the loose pebbles, begin to vibrate and move around.

ORION: Oh dear.

SAM: Grog’s probably farting again.

ORION: No, I don’t think– I think we should alert the others.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: We’re waking up, we’re waking up. Don’t worry, we are gonna heal you.

ORION: How far are we from everybody? We’re just like–

MATT: You guys are all clustered in the small camp.

ORION: Oh.

SAM: Let’s quietly wake them, and I will go peer into the darkness and see if I can see them.

ORION: Rumbling is never a good thing, Scanlan.

LAURA: Something’s rumbling? I wasn’t paying attention.

MATT: Do you still have your light source up, Light, or you just, the campfire?

ORION: Just the campfire.

MATT: Yeah, you are– outside of just, maybe 15, 20 feet, you see nothing. It’s pitch black.

TALIESIN: Let’s wake everybody up, and then we’ll get to work–

LAURA: On healing Grog?

TALIESIN: – on Grog, and go see what that is.

LAURA: I’m not awake yet.

TALIESIN: Is all this going at the same time?

SAM: Is the rumbling continuous, or is it just one little rumble?

MATT: A few moments pass, the rumbling has subsided.

SAM: Oh, okay.

ORION: Oh, it stopped.

SAM: Oh, easy!

LAURA: So we’re awake.

MARISHA: Okay, but let’s–

LAURA: Let’s heal this guy. Can you heal him?

MARISHA: Am I awake? Are we awake? Did you wake me up?

LAURA: Are we awake?

ORION: I do Prestidigitation and wake everybody up–

LAURA: (grunts) Awake.

ORION: – with a little spritz of water in the face.

MATT: Okay, all wake up–

ORION: Everybody get up!

SAM: Like the flower, the flower trick?

MARISHA: Why water? Why would you do that?

ORION: Yeah.

MARISHA: Why couldn’t you just touch me?

TALIESIN: Magic bukkake.

ORION: Because it’s–

LAURA: Ah, that was a good nap!

LIAM: Stupid lizard.

MARISHA: Ugh.

LAURA: I think Grog farted again.

ORION: I do it again, and clean everybody up.

MARISHA: Stop!

ORION: Sorry. sorry! It’s off. I–

SAM: Something terrible is brewing.

LAURA: Keyleth– no, what?

SAM: How is everyone feeling? Do we need to heal? Everyone?

LAURA: We need to heal this guy.

SAM: No, what about us? How are we feeling?

LIAM: Well, we all just slept, so we’re fine.

LAURA: We’re fine! Heal this guy!

MARISHA: I’m okay.

SAM: Are we okay?

MATT: You’ve all slept for the evening–

ORION: Oh, awesome.

MATT: –and from the points of your unused–

LAURA: Grog, just wait a little bit longer.

MATT: – healing dice, you’re pretty much all at max health, so.

LAURA: You’ll be okay.

MARISHA: Okay, do we wanna stay here? Do we wanna do this here?

LAURA: Yeah! Do it here!

TALIESIN: Do this here.

ORION: There was a rumble. Okay, we need to get Grog, the others, and–

LAURA: How long will this take, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Tiberius– I don’t know. But I want us to be as safe as we can. Tiberius, can you lift us up on your pillars, or like, encase us in, or something? Make us a room?

ORION: I was just about to do that!

MARISHA: Make us a room?

ORION: Yes!

MARISHA: Yes? Okay.

ORION: But everybody hates when I do that.

SAM: Are you gonna cast a spell now?

MARISHA: We’re gonna do this.

SAM: Okay, I’d like to give her a little inspirational song.

MARISHA: Yes, if you could.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Scanlan, give me some nice meditation, some–

SAM: Okay, some, like, yoga music?

MARISHA: Some, like, pure moods. Yes! Yes.

LAURA: Trinket gives her a massage beforehand to loosen her up.

MARISHA: I go ahead–

SAM: (sings) You know you got to cure Grog.

MARISHA: I go ahead and light some incense.

ORION: Wonderful tune.

MARISHA: Scanlan. Scanlan, do you still have that deity, that little idol of Pike?

SAM: I do have my idol of Pike, yes!

MARISHA: Can we just have that out just so I have her energy.

SAM: Oh, of course!

MARISHA: Just feel like I need her.

SAM: I take out the idol of Pike that I keep always close to my loins, and I hold it tightly, and warmly–

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: – and caress it a little.

ORION: Give it to her.

MATT: It is momentarily distracting, but eventually you phase it out. All right, so as you guys–

(all laugh)

ORION: Did you want my hand or the statue?

MATT: You take a bit of earth from a pouch that you keep of your–

ORION: Statue.

MATT: – home tribe where you grew up. You scattered some of it around Grog, who is now laid on his back, whose arms and legs, all equally stretched out.

TRAVIS: Naked.

MATT: No. You’re still clothed.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: Let’s not go there. No need to be naked.

LAURA: There’s coffee next to you.

MATT: As this is the first time you’ve attempted a magic of this type, you close your eyes and take in the earth’s essence. As a druid, being connected to nature is where you draw your divine energy. You kind of–

MARISHA: I’m so nervous.

MATT: – almost take from the vibration of the nearby caverns that you felt, and come in tune with the way the earth, the planet itself shifts and moves, you–

LIAM: You got this, Keyleth! You got this!

LAURA: You can do this Keyleth! You can do this!

MARISHA: I’m literally shaking.

MATT: You use that to give constitutional strength to the physical form of Grog in hopes of restoring him.

MARISHA: Okay, I just kind of lay my hands on his forehead.

LAURA: Oh my gosh!

SAM: You know, I know Grog very well, and he might enjoy, or be inspired by, a kiss of a female. I’m just saying, just the gentle kiss of a female lips on his might rouse him.

ORION: Ooh, Vex!

SAM: I’ve seen it many times.

ORION: You should plant one on him.

SAM: Vex? Get in there! Get in there!

(all laugh)

MATT: As Vex awkwardly fumbles over the–

LAURA: I think it helped.

MATT: – the overtly sized goliath-

LAURA: Stop it.

TRAVIS: Not all dead.

MATT: Go ahead and–

LIAM: Just upstairs.

MARISHA: Do I get an inspiration die from him or anything?

MATT: You do, yes.

MARISHA: Okay. What am I rolling? What do I do?

MATT: Roll a d20, add your wisdom modifier.

LAURA: Do I get to assist since I gave him a kiss?

MATT: No assistance on this. This only affects a d20 roll.

SAM: d20.

LAURA: Oh god.

TALIESIN: It’s a wisdom modifier.

SAM: Let’s do this, man.

LIAM: Save Grog!

LAURA: Save Grog. Save Grog!

SAM: For the chat room.

MARISHA: Gah. Nauseous. No.

MATT: What’d you roll? What’d you roll?

LAURA: No!

MARISHA: Where’s the inspiration die? Where’s the inspiration die?

ORION: Didn’t you get advantage on that?

MARISHA: It’s a d8, right?

MATT: It’s a d8.

MARISHA: Do I get advantage on this, since I’m taking time?

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: As is, yes, yeah, you have advantage on the roll, yeah!

MARISHA: I do have advantage on this?

LAURA: Come on, Keyleth! Keyleth, Keyleth, Keyleth!

ORION: Yeah!

MARISHA: Oh, that’s much better!

LAURA: What? What was it?

MARISHA: I’m still gonna do the inspiration dice, just in casies. Okay, that’s good.

TALIESIN: That’s good.

MARISHA: Okay, so.

MATT: What’s the total?

MARISHA: 17 plus 12.

MATT: Plus 12?

MARISHA: Plus six, plus six with my wisdom modifier. My heart is pounding. So that’s 30? No, 29.

MATT: 29, that should be enough.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

MATT: So, (laughs), in this circumstance, you complete the ritual. There’s a brief glow of all the–

MARISHA: Ah, I’m still shaking.

MATT: The dirt that you’d scattered around Grog, and you can see his form kind of take in a deeper breath. His chest expands, and as it does, his eyes, which currently stare off in space, begin to clarify and crystallize and his brow quivers for a second, and you see a little bit of life return to his face.

TRAVIS: Ugh. Kittens. Ugh. Nachos. Ugh.

SAM: (laughs)

MARISHA: Grog?

MATT: Grog, your sight focuses as the party is gathered around you, looking down upon your currently stretched out physical form in a cavern. You’re very confused.

LIAM: Welcome back, big guy.

TRAVIS: I thought I was in algebra class again for a second there.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: Grog!

SAM: You’re alive!

ORION: Why are you all cheering?

LAURA: Good job, Keyleth!

ORION: Why did you run out and destroy nothing? Look what you did. You were giving me crap about the lightning. Don’t ever do that again.

TRAVIS: Sorry, who woke me up from my sleep?

(electronic beep)

LAURA: Oh, Siri did, apparently.

ORION: It was a group effort really, but Keyleth did an amazing job.

TRAVIS: Keyleth? I run over and I give Keyleth a big ol’ bear hug, squeezing maybe a bit too tight.

MARISHA: Ow.

LAURA: I think he shit himself while he was unconscious, so that’s gotta smell really wonderful.

TRAVIS: I smell better than I ever have before.

MARISHA: Just glad you’re all right, Grog. Really glad you’re awake.

TRAVIS: I reach into the bag of holding and I get the cask of ale and my goblet, and I pour a little goblet of ale and I give it to Keyleth.

MARISHA: To Grog!

ALL: To Grog!

TRAVIS: To me!

(all laugh)

MATT: As a note too, just so you guys are aware, 20 is the stat cap for normal physical stats, however magical items can then bump that up higher. Just answering a chat room question.

LAURA: Right.

SAM: I don’t even know what that means. Question or the answer.

MATT: That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.

SAM: Hey. How is he doing, how is he feeling?

TRAVIS: I’m so glad you had advantage on that.

SAM: Grog, how are you feeling?

ORION: Yes!

SAM: How is he feeling?

TRAVIS: My intelligence is–

What is it now?

MATT: It’s back to normal.

MARISHA: At like the gym and you need some alcohol, after that.

TRAVIS: It’s six, so–

SAM: Right where it should be.

TRAVIS: I feel right as rain. What are we killing?

(all laugh)

LIAM: Brains, apparently.

SAM: How many fingers is this?

TRAVIS: Three.

SAM: Perfect.

MARISHA: Good, he’s back, you guys. He’s back.

TRAVIS: Blue, oh no, hold on.

MARISHA: Good.

TRAVIS: Square!

ORION: I saunter over to Keyleth. That was mighty impressive.

MARISHA: Oh, thank you.

ORION: That was amazing.

MARISHA: I had Pike in mind. I channeled her energy.

SAM: It’s true, it was quite astounding. I have a little chub on.

LAURA: (groans)

TRAVIS: (laughs) So do I, for some reason.

LAURA: You’re welcome.

MARISHA: Yeah well, that’s a bit of a side effect.

TRAVIS: It must be the morning.

MARISHA: That’s part of the Greater Restoration, a few things get restored.

MATT: (laughs)

TRAVIS: God bless you.

LIAM: Do you remember anything about a kiss in your dreams while you were asleep?

TRAVIS: Well, my cheeks are sort of sore for some reason, as if they’ve been slapped repeatedly by a bunch of twats, and then I’ve got this one little wet mark right here where I got a kiss and it smells like half-elvish spit.

LIAM: Oh, that was Trinket. Trinket helped with the spell. Gave you a kiss and helped wake you up.

LAURA: Oh, why didn’t I have Trinket–

TALIESIN: And several slaps.

MATT: At which point you look over and Trinket is there off to the side, notably excited that you’re moving again.

(bear noises)

LAURA: Aw.

MATT: Comes over and nuzzles up against you for a moment.

TRAVIS: Oh Trinket, you big ol’ furball. Trinket noogie.

LAURA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Can we go kill something now?

LAURA: Well shit, I guess we should. I think we are all healed up.

MATT: You guys all healed overnight.

LAURA: Did he heal while he was unconscious?

MATT: You did not get an opportunity to use any of your stuff, so you’re currently still at the hit points you were, plus you naturally healed just from the evening’s rest.

TRAVIS: Oh, I did?

MATT: Four hit points.

SAM: Let’s do some Grog healing. You don’t have your healing dice, right?

TRAVIS: I do.

SAM: I’m gonna sing a song of rest for you, so that’ll add 1d6 to your healing rolls.

TRAVIS: Yes! 11 plus– All right. 12. Great.

LAURA: How many d12s do you get to roll? You can roll four of them if you need to.

TRAVIS: (counts)

MATT: You can roll up to nine.

LAURA: You can roll up to nine dice.

TRAVIS: Oh!

MATT: Whatever your level is, that’s how many dice you can use.

TRAVIS: Nipple tassels! That’s way better.

(all laugh)

MATT: But that’s for the day. Once you’ve used those nine hit dice to heal yourself naturally, you are maxed out outside of magical healing or potions.

TRAVIS: I’ve used two.

SAM: Shall we tarry on, everyone?

LIAM: Yes, I have a feeling these tunnels are going to suck majorly, but we have nowhere to go but down, so–

LAURA: So we know which tunnel she pointed towards?

MATT: She pointed towards the rest of the cavern, which you have just stepped into.

LAURA: Can I use tracking and see if I can not only see where the majority of tracks lead to, but see if I can spot the halfling Kima’s tracks.

MATT: Lady Kima. Go ahead and make a survival check.

LAURA: Survival?

MATT: Which you have advantage on simply for tracking depending on what you’re tracking.

LAURA: I do!

MATT: What are your favored enemies?

LAURA: My favored enemies are dragons and demons.

MATT: So you would not have advantage on this.

LAURA: Ah, screw that

MATT: That’s okay. What did you roll?

LAURA: Oh, but I do. Wait. My favored terrain is the Underdark.

MATT: Okay. All right. For that, I will go ahead and give you advantage on that. This is technically considered the crust of the Underdark.

LAURA: That doesn’t count if it rolls onto a phone?

LIAM: I think that’s in this book.

MATT: Yeah, yeah, I think it’s chapter four.

LAURA: 19 is what I rolled.

MATT: 19. Okay. As you guys begin to move, you can find, like, there is this waterfall. Which you can hear in the distance, there are a number of cascading, crashing water sounds. So you imagine there are multiple layers as this cavern descends down into the darkness. What are you using for a light source, by the way?

LIAM: Tiberius, yeah?

SAM: Tiberius, hit us.

ORION: What’s happening?

SAM: Light

TRAVIS: Oh, ah.

(all laugh)

MATT: The cavern comes alive with bright white light.

TRAVIS: Oh, right. Sunglasses.

MATT: Using that, you take a while and you begin to just keep tabs on the surface area of this cavern as you begin to move further down. You find some portions where you can climb down to the lower levels. The first thing you notice is there are definitive signs of struggle or intense running towards the direction that you came from. Meaning things were seemingly either fleeing or heading that direction very quickly. Some of them appear to be more recent than others. You also begin to see a few partially decomposed corpses of various goblinoid creatures. You find two goblins just slain, just cut open, and off to the side you see some of the skin is pulled tight against the bone as a lot of it is just rotting from the cave itself. Not a very great smell. There have been small pockets of struggle the more you progress down this way. You also find some drag marks that are similar to what you saw back in the mines, and as you move forward and the light begins to open up, you can see small pockets of that red stone that’s used to light a bunch of Kraghammer. You can start seeing elements of it embedded in the walls of the cavern ahead and just faintly giving this reddish glow and the outline of some shapes. You begin to step into the outskirts about 60 feet ahead of what looks like a series of huts, small stone structures cobbled together with small stone and stacked on each other. Simple driftwood and broken pieces of scavenged material put into small buildings. It’s a very kinda ramshackle village underground.

SAM: Let’s burn it down.

LIAM: I am stealthing. I roll stealth.

LAURA: Oh, okay, I’m gonna stealth too.

LIAM: Natural 20.

MARISHA: Woohoo!

LAURA: Natural 20. Oh, that really didn’t count.

LIAM: Just roll on your phone a couple times and then off to the side.

LAURA: They all sucked, so.

LIAM: And you said that the red crystals on the wall are glowing somewhat?

MATT: Yeah, it’s a certain amount of crystal that this mountain range seems to naturally produce that just inherently.

LIAM: Enough to give the half-elves vision in low light?

MATT: It seems such. At the point where you’re close to it. Currently you have to use his light source to see much of anything. This village doesn’t have any, but near the walls and the edges of the cavern you can see the gentle outline of this whole size of it. It’s immense.

TALIESIN: Does it seem that there are signs of life?

MATT: From this view, you don’t see any movement.

LIAM: I am starting to creep along the ground towards the nearest building and press up against the wall and see if I can– I’m just going to listen.

LAURA: I rolled a 16, is that enough to actually stealth?

MATT: That’s up to you.

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: I’m going to let the twins stealth ahead.

MATT: You guys stealth ahead. The two of you follow each other, and you get to the outskirts, and you can now see in the center of this, a number of the buildings and huts have been smashed or destroyed. You can see more and more of these goblin corpses strewn across the ground. You can see some of these tents seem to have rags or something stuffed into one that’s not too far ahead of you. There’s two goblins near you, apparently slashed open. Similar wounds. It’s just from the first glance stepping forward.

LIAM: None of them alive, that we can tell?

MATT: Nope.

LAURA: We can’t see any movement anywhere?

MATT: Not from this perspective. You guys moved ahead and you barely have any light source of your own. You’re having to deal with just the outskirts of his light spell.

LAURA: And none of that red light is lighting any of this?

MATT: Not in the center of the village. Those are only towards the outside walls of the cavern.

LIAM: So we’re in the dark.

LAURA: Can I go up and see if I can get one of those little red rocks?

MATT: You can walk off to the side. So you take a few minutes to walk off to the very edge of the cavern. The rock is less of an actual stone that you can pull, more than it’s a cluster of– almost like a vein of the stone in the actual wall. It would take a while for you to actually hack it out of the side. It can be done, but it will take you a while.

LAURA: Nah. I don’t want to waste the time.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: What do you think, should I do it?

LIAM: No.

LAURA: Okay, cool.

TRAVIS: (laughs) No.

LIAM: But we’re in pitch black here, and we can’t really see what’s going on. I think we need–

LAURA: A lantern.

LIAM: And Tiberius.

LAURA: (whispers) Tiberius.

LIAM: Wait, hold on. Tiberius, will you bring the party up?

ORION: Oh yes, of course, we’ll be right there.

LAURA: Does anybody know– have we told anybody at home what that actually is?

MATT: Okay, so as you guys are aware, one of the magical items that was designed by Tiberius early in the campaign are essentially these gem enchanted earrings that activate as a Message spell between a few party members. He made a few of them.

LIAM: It was five total. Why don’t we nail down who that is. It’s the twins.

LAURA: We both have one.

LIAM: You.

ORION: You have one. He has one. She has one.

LIAM: He’s pretty sneaky. All right.

SAM: And we can send and receive messages or just receive?

MATT: You’re essentially whispering into each other’s ears.

ORION: They’re like walkie-talkies.

LAURA: It’s like a walkie-talkie.

MATT: But it only works within a certain range.

SAM: Is it like a Madonna microphone?

MATT: A straight up with a big ol’–

ORION: I think it’s like 500 feet.

MATT: 500 feet is the maximum length. So. You guys approach slowly, the light source opens up, and you see now a multitude of goblin bodies strewn about the open area of this village. You can see there are actually piles of corpses stuffed into some of these huts in the sides that aren’t goblin. You can see what looks like a few small dwarven bodies piled up on the side. As you kinda glance over you look, some of them are partially eaten like they have been stripped for meat.

LAURA: Ew.

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: 24.

LIAM: 22.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Check that building?

MATT: As you look through the building, there are piles of bone, sinew, and metal at this point. The dwarven bodies are mostly decomposed entirely, what remnants have not been stripped off it for food.

LIAM: Anything useful in the pile?

MATT: As far as what you guys can tell, you discover two things. One of the dwarves has a set of very very finely crafted leather armor.

LAURA: Ooh.

MATT: To pull it off the corpse is going to destroy it and going to be a not very interesting affair.

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: But it does look to have survived the horrible conditions under here. You also note specifically, Vex, that not the dwarven corpses, but a number of the goblin corpses you come across, some of them have a uniform wound. A number of these goblin corpses have this terrible puncture wound in the skull.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: In the forehead there. Just an opening wound about that big around.

LAURA: You didn’t notice that, that’s how unperceptive you are.

LIAM: My sister, everybody.

MATT: And for each one of these wounds– for as much flesh is on these goblins, there doesn’t appear to be anything inside.

LAURA: It sucked their brains out. Whatever it was.

MATT: It’s very possible.

TRAVIS: I know what that feels like.

ORION: Ooh, brain suckers.

TRAVIS: Are we with you?

LAURA: No, you’re not, you’re still hanging out–

SAM: We’ve come back.

TRAVIS: Did you put your finger in the hole?

LAURA: I’m going to put my finger in the hole.

ORION: I sauntered up ‘cause–

SAM: You sauntered up.

ORION: You guys are sticking to the darkness?

MATT: Your finger goes inside, you reach around. There are elements of brain matter within there but even that has become very gelatinous.

TRAVIS: Oatmeal.

MATT: Partially decomposed in its own right, almost like a slime. But sure enough, the inside of the cranium itself is mostly vacant.

LAURA: Lovely. Trinket, no, he’s not with us.

MATT: Trinket is back with the party.

MARISHA: So we can only assume that, what was his name?

SAM: Should we rejoin our fellows?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: I guess it seems like it’s safe enough, right? Around here right now?

TRAVIS: We come running up.

ORION: We do.

SAM: Traipsing, we traipse up.

TRAVIS: Skipping.

LAURA: As silently as possible, you come running up.

TRAVIS: (sings)

SAM: What’s going on, guys?

LAURA: Brain suckers, something that sucks brains.

SAM: As long as they are sucking it out of goblins, I’m good with that.

LIAM: My sister doesn’t remember, but one of our instructors in Syngorn used to tell us of a creature, I’m not sure what they’re called, but–

LAURA: I don’t think I was in that class, actually.

LIAM: Mm. A creature that steals its victims’ minds and digests them, reaches right in and takes them out.

ORION: I’m assuming it’s got to be a much smaller, mutated version of our brain-on-legs friend.

LIAM: I think it’s much worse.

MARISHA: Yeah. Much worse.

LAURA: Much worse?

LIAM: Much worse.

ORION: Yeah.

LIAM: I think the brain was a scout or some sort of pet.

MARISHA: Well, we also have this K'varn, who is experimenting on all those creatures, so we can’t even attest for any of this.

LAURA: Exactly.

ORION: That’s true.

TRAVIS: I take a few steps back.

TALIESIN: It could just be parts of one.

MARISHA: Yeah, parts of one. It could be a hodge-podge of everything

TALIESIN: A dragon, goblin drained, brained–

LAURA: (gasps) What if K'varn is a dragon? What if– oh wait, I don’t know anything about that. What was that symbol anyway, Tiberius?

ORION: That was a symbol of Bahamut, and it was a protection thing that I’m sure she put up to protect herself.

LAURA: Oh. So it was a good symbol?

ORION: It was, yes.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You recall that Lady Kima was, specifically, a paladin of Bahamut.

LAURA: Oh! So she probably did that.

MARISHA: So she’s been here.

MATT: That camp seems to have been hers while she was traipsing through the tunnels.

LAURA: I understand.

TALIESIN: Ah!

LIAM: I just think we should proceed with caution. Our teachers spoke about this thing, said that it was a being of the mind. I think our trouble with Grog could just be the beginning. We need to proceed very carefully.

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: I have two potions of fox’s cunning. Could I drink one of those, since there’s a giant brain-bitch wondering around the camp?

MARISHA: That’s for your wisdom.

SAM: How long do they last?

LAURA: You could make yourself smarter?

TRAVIS: But it don’t last very long.

MATT: Fox’s cunning would give you benefit, I believe, to–

MARISHA: Intelligence.

MATT: I mean, essentially–

MARISHA: It would be Enhance Ability, essentially.

MATT: It would be Enhance Ability for wisdom, I’m

pretty sure.

MARISHA: I’ll tell you. I think it’s wisdom.

TRAVIS: Not intelligence?

MARISHA: No, no, no, it’s intelligence.

MATT: It’s intelligence? Okay, there you go.

MARISHA: Because I think it’s like owl’s wisdom for wisdom.

MATT: Right, no, you’re correct. So essentially it would be an Enhance Ability for intelligence, yes.

LAURA: How long does it last?

MATT: Oh, for the potion’s effect? That would be anywhere from four to eight hours, you’re not quite sure.

LAURA: Maybe you should wait until we come across something.

TRAVIS: All right, but if it’s too late–

MARISHA: Yeah, you have advantage on intelligence checks.

TRAVIS: Intelligence checks? All right.

LIAM: Just don’t go running off into the dark again.

LAURA: Yeah, let us lead the way, or whoever’s smart. I’m really smart, how smart are you?

LIAM: Not smart enough, apparently.

MARISHA: So it wouldn’t necessarily–

TRAVIS: It wouldn’t make my intelligence higher?

MARISHA: It wouldn’t make your intelligence higher, and it wouldn’t necessarily help with your vulnerability.

TRAVIS: All right, never mind.

LIAM: He’s smart.

LAURA: Who’s our smartest person? Who has the highest intelligence here?

LIAM: What are these scores you keep talking about? I don’t know what anybody’s talking about.

ORION: It’s okay, Vax. I don’t know what a lot of people are talking about all of the time.

TALIESIN: IRL?

TRAVIS: Yeah, whoever’s the smartest should be in the front.

LAURA: That’s true.

TALIESIN: I’m sitting at 16.

TRAVIS: 14.

LIAM: 16.

LAURA: 16.

MARISHA: Well it’s about, like, having high– it’s not necessarily being smart, it’s about having resistance to willpower.

LAURA: But if they take you down– if they take down your intelligence, then whoever has higher intelligence–

MARISHA: Right.

SAM: No one’s going to take down our intelligence, we’re too strong and we’re too awesome.

LAURA: I don’t want another catatonic– all right.

ORION: And we know what we’re going into.

LAURA: All right!

MARISHA: Well, we sort of know what we’re going into.

TRAVIS: Does that mean we get to run into a fight?

LAURA: Oh no, this music sounds very fighty.

MARISHA: Hang on.

SAM: Or festive.

LAURA: Oh no!

MARISHA: Okay, so here’s my question.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: So we’ve already fought two things where we can’t look at them and they mess with our heads.

TRAVIS: Right.

LAURA: Yes.

MARISHA: So is there something we can do going forward–

LAURA: To like boost our willpower or something?

MARISHA: Or like–

TALIESIN: You want Magneto’s helmet? What you want is Magneto’s helmet.

MARISHA: I like Magneto’s helmet! Or even if we–

TALIESIN: I haven’t built Magneto’s helmet.

MARISHA: Do we have a bunch of mirrors? Or where we can look through things with reflections.

LAURA: (gasps) I gave you some mirrors! Do you remember?

LIAM: I have mirrors.

TRAVIS: We do have a big dressing mirror.

LIAM: But that’s more for–

LAURA: For looking around corners?

LIAM: I don’t know if that’s going to help.

LAURA: It could help!

ORION: I could make a mirror.

LIAM: Yes, I have them, of course. I always, I always have them, they were a gift.

TRAVIS: We have one mirror in the bag of holding.

LAURA: That’s good!

ORION: With like an ice-type of thing–

LAURA: We could put a mirror–

MARISHA: Kind of like a Medusa’s gaze thing. You know, where you like look in the reflection.

LIAM: But that’s a Gorgon. That’s talking about the gaze–

MARISHA: Right.

LIAM: We’re talking about the mind, I think.

LAURA: Right.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: I have a whip! And a forgery kit.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: It would just be about making us less vulnerable to the mind–

LIAM: Could you forge some professor hats for us all?

(all laugh)

LAURA: So what, our option is to keep moving forward, then?

SAM: Yes, just be cautious, that’s all we can do.

VAX and TALIESIN: That’s all we can do.

LAURA: All right.

TRAVIS: We move forward.

SAM: What do you want to do, you want go back?

LAURA: As quietly as possible, to keep moving forward.

TALIESIN: It’s difficult to prepare for what we’re not prepared for.

LAURA: And on the lookout for anything in this ramshackle town.

MARISHA: That’s true.

TALIESIN: Sorry.

MARISHA: I mean, I can cast Enhance Ability to help our willpower? Or our will.

MATT: So you leave behind the pile of dwarven corpses, you leave behind the goblin corpses with the wounds and start seeing more of a pattern.

LIAM: And if I may, I suggest Tiberius, you work your Light spell, and Vex'ahlia and I scout ahead about 60 or 70 feet, so that we can see in the dim light, catch anything coming, using your magic.

LAURA: Yes.

TRAVIS: And I light up the hooded lantern we have in the bag of holding.

MATT: Okay. So you put the hood on and light that up, very good. Leaving the leather armor behind?

LAURA: Oh well, I thought you said it would get ruined if we took it?

LIAM: And it was dwarf-sized.

MATT: No, it would be nasty pulling it off a corpse.

LAURA: Oh, well then, fuck it, let’s pull it off.

LIAM: Isn’t it dwarf-sized? Or is armor also shrink and expand?

LAURA: It’s magical. Possibly.

MATT: It’s dwarf-sized.

LIAM: Magical.

ORION: It’s fine. I cast Prestidigitation and clean it all up.

LAURA: I take it.

MATT: Okay, so you shake off the element–

LAURA: All the goo.

MATT: – the remaining elements of the dwarven corpse. Just falls off out of the armor. You have to kind of shake it and eventually all of it escapes–

LAURA: Yes. Thank you!

TALIESIN: Dwarven corpse.

LIAM: It’s like pulled pork.

LAURA: Mm.

MATT: Make an arcana check. It does have a magical aura.

LAURA: (gasps) What is it?

ORION: Nice. 20.

MATT: All right. It appears to be a simple but powerful enchantment. It is a pair of studded leather armor with a +2 enchantment.

LAURA: +2 enchantment to what?

SAM: +2 enchantment?

MATT: To your AC.

LIAM: If I try to pull on the sleeve, does it come up to my elbow or does it stretch out and fit?

MATT: It comes up to your elbow and then, given a moment, it fits to your form.

LAURA: Ooh, yeah!

LIAM: That’s nice.

LAURA: Go take that studded leather armor, brother!

LIAM: I’ll take this, hold on. Thank you. I go into the smelly corpse hut and start to change my armor.

LAURA: What did you get? Let me see that.

SAM: So wait, does he get a bigger or higher AC? What is that?

MATT: Yes, it is considered– it works as studded leather armor, but that gives him a +2 bonus to his armor class on top of that.

SAM: Wow, that’s huge!

LAURA: Yeah, so he just took it.

SAM: I’ll take it.

LAURA: He already took it.

MARISHA: Hey, dungeon master? Asking as the dungeon master.

MATT: Yes?

MARISHA: If I cast Owl’s Wisdom on people, it gives people advantage on wisdom checks. Would that count on saving throws against willpower?

MATT: No.

LAURA: Damn it!

MATT: Not checks, specifically.

MARISHA: Would it help anything?

MATT: I mean–

MARISHA: Would, would any advantage to wisdom under Enhance Ability help some?

MATT: Let me double-check it.

SAM: I’ll give you all dice before we go in.

LAURA: Some of these– I remember we rolled charisma saving throws, though, for the umbers. They were charisma.

MARISHA: Right. And for the brains it was versus willpower.

SAM: While the DM looks this up, everyone, subscribe to the Geek and Sundry twitch channel! Support the show, support the channel.

MARISHA: Yeah! And don’t forget about our charity, 826LA, which helps children be literate and write stories well.

ORION: It makes them smarter in the head.

SAM: And keep sending us food.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: We like food.

SAM: And more presents.

LIAM: If you want a thousand years–

ZAC: There’s more food on the way, so don’t ask them for more.

MARISHA: What?

ORION: Oh, no!

TRAVIS: No food!

TALIESIN and SAM: No more food.

MATT: Yeah, we have enough food, guys, thank you.

LIAM: If you want a thousand years of D&D, we’ve got to pay the overheads, so please, subscribe!

ORION: It’s true!

MATT: So yeah, unfortunately it helps ability checks, those are not considered saving throws.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: I don’t know if I have anything.

TALIESIN: We’ll be all right, we’ll be all right.

ORION: As we start to walk, I cast Stoneskin on myself.

MATT: You cast Stoneskin on yourself? All right, Stoneskin’s on you, Tiberius.

LIAM: Once you’ve got the dwarf gunk off, it’s rather nice.

LAURA: Oh yeah?

LIAM: Yes, it’s supple.

SAM: All right, shall we keep on keeping on?

TALIESIN: Let’s go.

LAURA: Let’s go, let’s keep on moving!

MARISHA: Let’s get it done.

ORION: (sings) Keep on keeping on.

MATT: You guys keep pushing forward.

ORION: Is that what we’re going to do?

LAURA: All right.

MATT: All right, as you begin to press through the goblin ghost town–

TRAVIS: We’ve got to get it closer than that.

LAURA: I’m still tracking, looking for anything interesting.

MATT: Which you do, you catch, off in the distance, another faint moving light source.

LAURA: Oh shit! Hey, everybody, calm down.

SAM: Huh?

LAURA: Sh! There’s something moving in the distance.

MATT: Everyone roll a stealth check.

TRAVIS: Stealth check?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Oh god, roll a stealth check. (gasps) Natural 20!

MATT and LIAM: Nice!

LIAM: 30.

MARISHA: 15.

ORION: 11.

SAM: 20.

TALIESIN: 12.

TRAVIS: (softly) Six.

MATT: Okay, as you all buckle down and be as quiet as you can–

LAURA: You rolled a six? He rolled a six.

MATT: You begin to see–

SAM: (whispers) Grog rolled a six.

LIAM: (whispers) Stay put, you asshole.

MATT: No, noted, that’s okay, that’s okay. It’s a group check, in which case people offset each other's difficulty.

TRAVIS: Yay, bell curve.

MATT: So you seem to be comfortable in the stillness of the moment. Best you can see in the distance, you see figures shifting, moving away from you.

LAURA: (whispers) Sh, figures!

MATT: Many figures. A fairly large group of seeming to be humanoid figures, moving steadily away from you.

LAURA: Can we scout ahead? We’re both really super stealth, can we like–

LIAM: Yeah, we’re gonna start kinda quickly dash after them.

MATT: Yeah, using your same stealth rolls, you push forward.

TRAVIS: Humanoid figures, you say?

LIAM: Could mean anything.

MATT: Yes, best you could tell. As you guys start reaching the outskirts of the opposite side of this small, goblin village that has been completely sundered, you see a cliff, but a large cliff. The actual surface here comes to a very direct end and seems to just disappear into a dark abyss. There is a singular, ten-foot-wide rope bridge, that is bolted into the side of this cliff and stretches out across this giant crevasse, for what– you can’t see the other side.

TRAVIS: Awesome!

LAURA: This feels like The Descent, I don’t like this, you guys.

MATT: It very much has that kind of a feel. It just goes on a for a good 60, 70 feet, and then darkness. And you can see what looks to be a cluster of about 12 to 13 duergar–

LAURA: (whispers) Oh no.

MATT: – making their way in lines of two across this bridge. Amongst them, they have, chained up, three dwarf miners that they are also dragging across the bridge.

SAM: We have to save those ones.

TRAVIS: Just cut the bridge

SAM: No, no!

LAURA: What do the miners look like? Are they– are they docile, or are they– do they seem to be fighting back?

MATT: They don’t appear to put up much of a fight in their current circumstance.

LIAM: How wide is the bridge?

MATT: Ten feet.

LIAM: Ten feet? That means two people wide.

LAURA: Grog goes by himself. Yes.

LIAM: But if we go out there, it’s going to be close combat.

TRAVIS: (whispers) We have a flying carpet.

LIAM: You can’t get to the ones at the back.

LAURA: I mean how many are there? Like ten or so?

LIAM: 12. 12 I count.

MATT: From what you can see it looks about 12-ish

LAURA: And they have a light source with them so we can definitely see them?

MATT: They do, it’s a very faint light. It’s like a small cluster of the red stone that’s been mined and put into a spherical element and is hanging from a chain like a lantern.

LAURA: We have two options. We can fight them.

LIAM: We could fight now.

LAURA: Or follow them.

TRAVIS: Follow.

LAURA: I think we follow them.

MARISHA: Do I see any– are there any bats?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: If we follow them on the bridge, won’t they feel it bouncing?

MARISHA: I failed.

LAURA: We gotta wait ‘til they cross it, Scanlan.

SAM: We can’t see the end of it.

LIAM: I grab my ear and, Keyleth, I heard you through Tiberius’ earring, why don’t you just become a bat and follow along?

LAURA: She’s trying to do that.

MARISHA: I was gonna see if they’re in the–

LIAM: You’ve never seen a bat in the woods?

MATT: Best you can tell, and from your knowledge of bats and their existence, they generally live in caverns that have readily available openings to\ the outside world, where they do their nocturnal hunting. This is a very, very deep cavern that does not have easy access to the surface. Bats are probably not a good chance in this cavern.

LAURA: I’ve got an idea. I run back to Grog, stealthed. I get our flying carpet.

MATT: A hand suddenly mysteriously reaches into the bag.

TRAVIS: (sputters)

LAURA: Gimme the carpet.

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: The carpet. Gimme the carpet.

SAM: Just you? You’re gonna go on the carpet alone?

LAURA: And him. we can both go on the carpet.

SAM: What if something happens?

LAURA: We just gotta see where they’re going! We’ll come back and get you.

SAM: I’m coming with you.

LAURA: All right, Scanlan.

TRAVIS: I give them her carpet, but I also tie the endless rope thread around.

LAURA: Oh yeah. Okay, so we have an endless rope with us.

LIAM: Now we’re a kite.

MATT: You pull out the carpet and lay it out. At this point in time, they’re a little over halfway across the bridge.

LAURA: Okay, so we–

MATT: Which, you can see it swaying in a very uncomfortable way.

LAURA: Scanlan, you better be stealthed.

MATT: You hear the stretching of ropes.

LAURA: Oh, you can hear the rope?

MATT: As you hear the rope just tense as the bridge is slowly swaying. So you guys lay out the carpet. The two of you get on?

LAURA and LIAM: And Scanlan.

LIAM: I grab Scanlan by the scruff of his neck.

MATT: The three of you guys hop on, and it’s probably big enough for the three of you. It’s about the right size.

SAM: Shotgun.

MATT: The carpet begins to lift off, and you kind of will it towards– Are you going straight over the bridge or are you taking a side route?

LAURA: We’re going next to the bridge.

LIAM: Side and up. 'Cause they can look sideways.

LAURA: I think we should go down below the bridge.

LIAM: If you’re on a bridge, you’re looking down at your feet.

SAM: Let’s go above them.

LAURA: All right, fine, fuck it, go above them.

MATT: Okay so you guys, you take up over. First off, the three of you guys make a stealth check.

LAURA: I thought we were still stealthed?

MATT: Maneuvering on a flying carpet is a different type of locomotion.

TALIESIN: We have a flying carpet, by the way. That’s a thing.

SAM: Not great. 13.

LIAM: 29.

LAURA: 17.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Were you guys trying to stealth? Is that what happened?

MATT: So, as soon as you reach the edge of the crevasse, immediately the air itself is warmer. And there’s actually a bit of a strange breeze blowing up from underneath this giant crevasse. And you look down and you can see, faintly, light sources. Long, thin, trickling streams of what looks like molten rock.

TRAVIS: Shit.

SAM: Way down below.

MATT: Way down below.

TRAVIS: That’s a ways.

MATT: It’s at least a thousand feet down.

SAM: We don’t want to fall.

MATT: Don’t fall, it’s very bad. The air itself has a very sulfurous smell. There’s a lot of various strange chemical scents that’s a bit pungent to the nose. There’s a lot of chemical reactions that are causing this atmosphere. It’s a little difficult to take any air at first. You have to get adjusted. It is a very, very deep cavern below. When you look behind, you can see the river that’s been cascading through this cavern goes rocketing off the edge and disappears into the darkness below. Are you keeping your distance or–

LAURA: Keeping a good distance.

LIAM: Distance, because they have a light source, so we want to follow that.

LAURA: Yeah, so we need to stay kind of out of it but see it.

MATT: Okay. You guys push forward, keeping at a safe distance. You eventually follow them across the crevasse, and you can see now them entering what looks like a shanty town of tents and small stone structures. Better built than the goblin village that was previously there, but it looks almost like a temporary or pseudo-temporary series of homes for the duergar in this section. There’s a bunch of military tents and cloth pup tents put up in sections. You can see some easy-to-construct one- or two-day constructions of stone buildings. Very square, very rigid and dwarven in their design, more for utility that any sort of visual presentation or beauty.

LIAM: This is a temporary war camp.

LAURA: It is.

MATT: There are also a series of these-

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: – of these redstone–

LAURA: Good dialogue!

MATT: Yeah, it’s legit guys. A series of these redstone torches that they were holding, or these lanterns, are hung up all throughout the village on these giant poles that have been placed in areas to give a little bit of an occasional light source throughout this entire camp.

LAURA: About how many people does it look like– I mean, how big is this camp?

MATT: How big, the camp?

LIAM: How many buildings?

MATT: At a first glance, you can only check out elements of it from your distance, you’re only making out shapes from how far back you guys are without actually getting inside. You gather you’ve probably seen throughout, just this portion that you’ve come into, anywhere from 30 to 40 duergar moving through, as well as a few larger shapes.

LAURA: (whispers) Oh, shit.

MATT: You swear you catch one or two other very large humanoid hulking figures just

(thudding noises)

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: Stepping through the camp.

LIAM: How are we gonna get through this?

LAURA: How are we– what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do?

SAM: The view up here is beautiful!

LAURA: (sings) A whole new world.

MARISHA: (whispers) Hey, hey, what do you guys see?

ORION: Scanlan, what’s going on?

LAURA: (whispers) Okay, so–

SAM: Is the range? How are–

MATT: The range is getting a little broken, you can hear–

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: The words are coming through but–

MARISHA: You’re cutting out. I can’t hear you

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: I think–

LAURA: Well, one of us.

SAM: We’ll update you soon.

LAURA: Well, one of us. Let’s put down.

LIAM: Put down?

TRAVIS: In the volcano?

LAURA: No no no, how are we, like–

TRAVIS: Just go straight down.

LAURA: At a place where we can land the carpet and stand around.

SAM: They’ll probably see us.

LAURA: Or should we go back?

LIAM: We’re past the chasm at this point or still afloat?

MATT: You’ve just now crested–

LIAM: The other side.

MATT: The crevasse the other side. And you’re feeling uncomfortable pushing further forward because you’re now starting to get a lot more eyes in your vicinity.

LAURA: Okay, are there any– does it look like– do we see any cavern openings in the vicinity? Does it look like there’s any?

MATT: Looking around, there are no side caverns, this is actually a pretty smooth cavern that kind of circles around where this camp is built, there is one large tunnel entrance on the opposite side that continues past.

LAURA: But they’re blocking it? Or–

MATT: You can’t see anything beyond the fact that the tunnel– the walls kind of convene. You can see a little bit of a tunnel opening and just darkness beyond that.

LIAM: So, bridge to land, and then a tunnel.

MATT: A tunnel on the other side, and where the land starts there’s a giant portion of the cavern that continues and then closes off, kind of pinches, to the entrance to where the camp is.

LAURA: How far away is the camp from that?

MATT: The camp is completely filling this side of the cross. It’s blocking pretty much the whole.

LAURA: Oh, so we can’t get to that.

MATT: Not without going through or over the city.

LAURA: What about–

LIAM: So it’s bridge, town, tunnel.

SAM: Tunnel.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: Do we see any closer– Under the bridge, are there any openings underneath the bridge that look like–

MATT: Do you want to swoop down and check?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, you swoop down and–

LIAM: (whoosh)

MATT: –the rock there–

LAURA: (whoosh)

MATT: (whoosh) – the warm air is still kinda bothering you in general.

LIAM: (makes farting noise)

LAURA: Excuse me.

MATT: You find yourself kinda taking your cloak and putting it over your mouth just to get the scent out. The side of the rock surface is worn through what looks like maybe a possible river that also came from the other side that has since dried out, so you can see there is, while no water on this side of the crevasse, a lot of the stone has been smoothed just through rapid water running for thousands of years possibly. But there are no visible openings or other additional caverns on this rock surface

LAURA: What are we gonna do?

TRAVIS: (whispers) Are they still on–

SAM: Okay, listen. Leave me behind, I’ll follow the party with the hostages, I’ll see where they go. Don’t worry, I’ll be invisible. Go back, tell our fellows, get them across the bridge, and we’ll meet here in about an hour.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: Scanlan!

TRAVIS: I like it.

SAM: What? I’m super brave and hung, come on, let’s do this.

(all laugh)

LAURA: All right, I’m down. Should we do it?

LIAM: All right.

LAURA: We drop him off.

SAM: I turn invisible.

TRAVIS: (sings) Scanlan, the best bard.

SAM: And I’m gonna just hang behind the party that’s got the hostage dwarves, and just kinda see where they go.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Should one of us protect him?

TRAVIS: Do you activate hung at the same time?

SAM: Don’t have to activate.

LIAM: He’s invisible, though.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: I mean, we can’t go invisible, we can’t be as like–

LIAM: No.

SAM: It’s passive.

MARISHA: It’s a racial bonus.

LAURA: He’s sneaky, we can’t be as invisible as him. All right.

SAM: Yeah but I might make– I might snap twigs.

LIAM: Last question. Where are the people, the figures we were following?

Did they finish the bridge at this point?

MATT: They’re long past the bridge, they’re inside the city proper at this point.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Okay, so then I’ll stay by the edge of the bridge, you go back. Scanlan, go ahead, I’ll wait for you here, if there’s trouble.

SAM: Ding-a-ling-a-ling!

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: Got it.

LAURA: All right.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: I go back, thanks.

LIAM: Shit.

LAURA: Thanks for sending me back. I go back.

LIAM: Go get the others.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Scanlan. As you go ahead, make your way in towards the city, go ahead and make a stealth check with advantage.

TRAVIS: C'mon, buddy.

SAM: 16. 18!

MATT: 18, okay. You push, kind of falling behind the main group, and they’re heading towards this kind of, more or less a loose thoroughfare in the center of this town. You can see a few duergar coming out and kind of inspecting as they enter, speaking in a language you don’t understand, asking questions, some of them are coming out and slapping the dwarf captives as they go across, or spitting on them. The dwarves look very broken and unhappy with the circumstance, but brimming with anger. You see a couple of them are, like true dwarves, they haven’t given in to it, they’re just looking for an option or a moment to get some vengeance. They’re stripped of all armor and weaponry. They’re brought through some of the alleys and paths between these pup tents and these stone structures. You can see, there are some of the hulking figures, there are two trolls wandering amongst these duergar.

TRAVIS: Yes! (whispers) Trolls!

MATT: Now, you’ve encountered trolls before, but these trolls–

LAURA: (gasps) Yeah we have.

MATT: – also have a similar, pupil-less, clouded over, white-eye appearance–

SAM: Ooh! They’re slave trolls!

MATT: As you begin to follow them further in, you manage to see two ogres that are currently stationed across this main open center location in this campsite. And both of these ogres also have the same, pupil-less, white, glazed-over look to their eyes. And they’re both just kind of glancing about. The rest of the duergar are in the process of constructing other tents. Some of them look like they’re actually in the process of forging weaponry. It feels like it’s a war camp. It’s definitely preparing for something. However, in the center of this main area, you do see, there is a wooden platform, about 20 foot by 20 foot, that is raised up, and you see a group of about six duergar that are all wearing very intricate, black iron plate armor. And they’re all just sitting on the outskirts of this platform.

SAM: White eyes?

MATT: All the duergar seem to have that natural look to their eyes as well.

TRAVIS: Shit.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: As the party you’ve been following enters the center of this vicinity, make another stealth check, with advantage.

SAM: Gah. 19.

MATT: All right. You kind of step off to the side, a duergar steps out of one of the tents near you, and you just barely manage to pull out of the way without making any sort of squeak or noise. He goes by. (sniffs)

TRAVIS: Oh god!

LAURA: Oh god!

LIAM: Careful, Bilbo!

MATT: And begins stepping out, looking intently for something, but right past you, by inches, as he walks past. You look over again, to the camp, and you can now see, toward the very back end of this open midsection, by this platform, there is one large, stone construct. It looks like a makeshift barracks has been placed there, with double stone doors that are currently opened, and you can see two figures stepping out of the stairs that lead into these barracks, heading towards the main platform. They step up onto the platform. One of which is a very, very well-decorated duergar, who’s wearing similar blackened plate armor as the other kind of elite guard that you saw surrounding this platform, but with gold and silver scrolling on it, a long, tattered, dark, dark purple cape, and has a nasty scar across the cheek that leads into this kind of gnarled, grey beard. As it steps forward, you can see, sheathed off to its back in a large scabbard, a gargantuan– for a dwarf especially– two-handed sword that should be unwieldy for a creature of its size. But nevertheless looks dangerous and a creature next to it is–

LAURA: (whispers) We can’t fight these guys.

MATT: – not so small, not dwarven. Actually, very tall, lanky, long, black and purple robes, a hood, obscuring its features, stepping roughly two feet behind it as they both step on to the platform to address the rest of the guard and the approaching party of duergar dwarves you’ve been following. You can see some conversation happening, but you’re too far away to really make out anything that’s being said, do you want to move closer?

SAM: Do I speak their language?

MATT: Do you speak Undercommon?

SAM: Nope!

MATT: Then you– it all sounds gibberish to you!

SAM: Then, no thank you. (laughs)

MATT: Okay. But you see some conversation happening. This seemingly officious duergar, this general that steps out and commands the attention in the room, makes a few gestures, shouts out to amongst the other nearby. Not quite sure, but you get the idea he’s giving orders or directions. The war party then begins to pull the slaves back away, and–

SAM: The captives? Okay.

MATT: The captives. Begins pulling them away toward another section on the side. As it does, the tall, lanky figure, which you now get the sense that it’s not really walking. It’s just kind of drifting–

SAM: (apprehensive sound)

MATT: – holds its hand out. This long, long finger and lanky hand, and as it does, every single duergar in the vicinity, whatever it was doing, stops in place, and all turn and look at it, as one.

SAM: Whoa.

MATT: At which point, this creature brings its fingers in a beckoning gesture, loosely in your direction.

SAM: I’m wearing my ring of mind-shielding, by the way.

MATT: For a split second, you feel your heart at your throat, and the entire back of your body stands on pins and needles as one of the duergar carrying one of the captives begins to pull one of the dwarven captives back towards the platform. As it does, the dwarf, who is giving kind of a fight and looks nervous, looks over at the figure and its arms go limp to its side, and it begins to walk out of its own volition, taking two, three steps. Steps onto the platform and approaches this tall, lanky figure with the hood and long robes behind it. As it does, its hand reaches out and caresses the side of this dwarf’s face. This dwarf seems to have given up all sense of fight or any sort of conflict and just stares up into this darkened hood. As the tall, lanky creature reaches out with both hands and pulls the dwarf forward, you see these terrible purple tentacles come writhing out of the front of the hood, wrapping around the head of the dwarf, pulling it into it. As the hood falls back, you see this horrible smooth, purplish-blue hairless head, these sunken yellowish-green eyes as the tentacles wrap around the dwarf’s head and pulls it into its mouth. There’s a brief struggle, and then the dwarf’s arms fall limp to its side. At which point, the tentacles unravel from its head, the creature pulls back, a bit of ichor and dwarf blood dripping from what looks like a lamprey’s toothy maw, and then thrusts the body to the ground, with a thud as it falls lifeless to the ground.

SAM: Poor son of a bitch.

MATT: A horrible, bored hole in its forehead. The creature then draws its hood back up, releases its hand in a cursory fashion, and all the duergar whip back around and continue the motions they were previously going towards. As the two dwarven captives that now remain look completely stunned, their faces white with fear as they are being dragged off in this state. The tall, lanky figure gives a nod to the duergar general, who gives a nod as well, then to turn around and walk back.

LAURA: Oh god.

SAM: Worst show ever. Okay. That was one of the captives. Do I see where the other captives were taken?

MATT: The two other captives, you follow them? They both are pulled to– essentially to a western side. If you look overhead, this is where the barrack building is, this is where you entered and this is the main area. They are pulled off to the western side here. They are taken to a large tent. As they are pulled in, they close it behind them. You can hear some muffles and some growling from the inside of the tent.

SAM: Okay. I assume bad things are happening in there, I don’t need to see it, right? I think I’ll just kind of– is there anything–

MATT: Do you speak Dwarven?

SAM: No, oh, no, do I? What do I speak? Where does it say? Shit.

MATT: Should be on the lower left-hand of your player sheet.

LAURA: Did you choose languages?

SAM: I play a shawm. No, I just speak Common and Gnome.

MATT: You hear what sounds like guttural Dwarvish being shouted angrily, cursing from the interior, and a few other dwarven voices also joining in– more than two. You hear some horrible, sick thuds and some impacts and some cries of pain. And eventually, the five duergar dragging the captives walk out, carrying cudgels at their side, still dripping with fresh blood. They kind of go amongst their own business from there.

SAM: Okay. I think I’ll go back to my fellows. There’s nothing I can see– that door doesn’t lock– does it lock by any chance?

MATT: It’s just an opening tent.

SAM: Open tent. There’s nothing lying around, none of that black armor lying around or anything? Any extra things –

MATT: Not on the street.

SAM: Okay, I think I will just make back for my friends, then.

MATT: Okay, make a stealth check.

LAURA: Oh, god.

SAM: With advantage?

MATT: With advantage.

(all laugh)

SAM: 21.

MATT: You maneuver your way out back the way you came, best you can, remembering– you get disoriented in general trying to find your way out. Go ahead and make a survival check.

LAURA: Oh no!

SAM: Survival check, so plus zero. 17.

MATT: 17.

LAURA: That’s a good roll, yo.

MATT: Okay, you take a moment, orient yourself, looking about the cavern. This is a very confusing network, and the passages you’ve gone– you paid more attention to what’s happening–

SAM: It’s like Venice.

MATT: Kind of, yeah. You nearly get lost twice, but eventually find your way back to the southern-portion entrance of this war camp. You can just see the crevasse and you start getting the familiar scent of that sulfurous wind that was billowing out from underneath. You step out a few more feet, and you can see the edge of the bridge where the rest of you have finally come to converge on the other side of the crevasse.

LAURA: Ooh!

SAM: Whoa. I am going to tell you everything that just happened, in detail, in real time.

(all laugh)

LAURA: Maybe he can tell us while we are taking a bathroom break?

MATT: You know what, let’s go ahead and take this moment to have a bathroom break, guys, as sort of the halfway mark.

MARISHA: Holy shit.

MATT: We will continue this in just a moment. In the meantime, take a rest, take ten or 11 minutes. We are going to play our character backgrounds for those who haven’t seen it. We will be back here in about ten minutes, guys.

MARISHA: What are we going to do?

TRAVIS: We are gonna fight the shit out of them.

LIAM: We’re going to risk it all.

BreakEdit

[break]

[no audio]

Part IIEdit

MATT: – for her as well, so look forward to that some point in the near future. As we left off, the party had just reconvened on the other side of this gargantuan crevasse in the Underdark, after Scanlan had stealthed into the duergar war camp, witnessed a number of dwarven captives being taken somewhere, however, one of which was devoured by some strange creature. Left brainless and dead on the platform in the center, outside of a giant barracks-type building. You reconvened and expressed all of this information to the party.

SAM: And that’s when I came back to see you guys.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Great.

TALIESIN: Wonderfully detailed.

LAURA: What are we going to do?

MARISHA: I give Scanlan some water from my waterskin.

LIAM: You are a brave little fellow.

SAM: Thank you.

LAURA: Has anyone come across these creatures before? These weird tentacle brain guys?

MARISHA: I’ve heard rumors of those. Can we make a check for those?

ORION: It sounds like it would be a mind flayer, of sorts.

LAURA: A mind flayer?

ORION: A mind flayer or mind slayer, I’m not too sure.

SAM: What is that?

ORION: I’m pretty sure it flays your mind. I’m never encountered one myself, so I have no idea, really. Oh, right, let me check my books.

MATT: Intelligence.

ORION: 14.

MATT: You probably call it a mind flayer.

ORION: It says right here, mind flayer. The rest is all inked up. I got water on it.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: How big was this mind flayer, was he like 20 feet tall, Scanlan?

SAM: He was tall, I mean everyone looks 20 feet tall to me, I’m a gnome.

TRAVIS: Was he bigger than me?

SAM: He was bigger than you by a little?

MATT: No, roughly a little shorter than him. But taller than most.

SAM: He carried himself big. He was lanky.

TRAVIS: Let’s go fuck him up.

LAURA: No, Grog!

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: Do you want to be unconscious again? We have to be careful here.

TRAVIS: It was rather restful.

LAURA: How many dwarves did it sound like there were locked in that prison cell?

SAM: Several?

MARISHA: Did you see Lady Kima?

SAM: No sign of Lady Kima at all, just a bunch of dwarves being held against their will, and then one by one being brain sucked by Mr. Lanky Man.

TRAVIS: And those two big trolls.

ORION: Percy, could you take a look at this?

SAM: Two big trolls, and ogres, don’t forget ogres, there’s ogres too.

TRAVIS: There are ogres?

SAM: Yes, there were two big ogres as well. And duergar aplenty–maybe four dozen or so, three dozen?

LIAM: Spread throughout the city, throughout this little camp, Scanlan.

SAM: Wandering. Yes.

TRAVIS: You know my tactic.

TALIESIN: Would it be a nature check to actually think if I never learned about this in school?

MATT: This would be an intelligence check.

TALIESIN: This would be an intelligence check?

TRAVIS: We should use the volcano as part of our strategy. Like Moses–

SAM: There’s a volcano?

TRAVIS: Well no, the pit–

SAM: Oh the lava, down below?

TRAVIS: Yeah, there’s a shitload of that.

MARISHA: Can I meditate to see if I know anything about this–

LIAM: This seems to match up with the tales that my instructor, master Tharendril, told me about back in Syngorn. I wonder if I remember something. If only I had a small polyhedral to roll– Wow!

LAURA: Holy moly, you guys.

TRAVIS: Oh, shitcakes.

TALIESIN: It’s a stack of pizzas.

MATT: Why are you guys so awesome?

LAURA: You guys are amazing!

MARISHA: Yeah, what the hell?

SAM: Do they know the address here? That’s kinda creepy.

LAURA: Ah, thank you! I was wanting some ice tea!

MARISHA: Thanks chat room!

SAM: Thanks chat room!

LIAM: Thanks! Thank you, long list.

TRAVIS: May your list be ever long, with your– list.

MATT: So, best you can ascertain, you’ve never heard the term mind flayer. But in your people you’ve heard stories and tales growing up about something referred to as an illithid.

TRAVIS: A what?

SAM: An illithid?

MARISHA: An illithid.

MATT: A nasty entity, from beyond.

MARISHA: Illithid, with a D or a T?

MATT: With a D. As far as you know, all that you’ve heard, is that they were considered ghost stories, as a kid, to keep you from wandering dark caves and spaces. They would take your minds, and you thought this whole time that that was just a fable. That it was just a tale. But you do know that they normally aren’t solitary; they usually keep company of a colony.

LAURA: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Fudge.

LIAM: Shit.

MARISHA: But I’ve never heard them called a mind flayer, but I guess they could be called a mind flayer. But we call them Illithids. I didn’t know they were real, though.

LAURA: What do we do?

TRAVIS: Why don’t we– Listen, when my Herd used to wander through the trees and we came upon a force that was greater than our own, we used the landscape to our ad-van-tage, so why don’t we provoke an attack? And then retreat over the bridge.

SAM: And have them all jump over the edge of the cliff?

TRAVIS: You said they were all gray-eyed, right?

LAURA: At least they’ll have to go one at a time, or two at a time across the bridge.

MARISHA: But Scanlan, didn’t you also say that they were, like, levitating?

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: The one lengthy creature.

SAM: The one lengthy creature was levitating.

LAURA: Well, I mean, can he fly, or can he levitate?

SAM: Well yes, but I think what Grog is talking about is the bulk of the fighting force, getting them to follow us over the bridge and then cutting the bridge.

TRAVIS: Yeah, like in 300. Which was a great puppet show I saw.

ORION: Oh Grog, I heard that, where they used 300 puppets!

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ORION: It’s amazing!

LAURA: Okay, I like this plan.

LIAM: What if all but a couple of us snuck into one of these buildings and waited and a couple of us made a stink and got a significant number of them to chase across the bridge.

SAM: That’s a good idea.

LIAM: But then how could we cut the bridge behind? We have a flying carpet so we can go back and forth, but we could drop a significant number of them down into the lava.

MARISHA: Can we have Tiberius standing there to just Firebolt it?

TRAVIS: What’s the bridge made of?

SAM: Do you want the rope?

ORION: Wait a minute. We want to bait them, is that what we’re trying to do?

SAM: No, we want to drop the bridge and have them fall to their deaths.

LAURA: Or, Scanlan–

SAM: Yes?

LAURA: Or, what if you let off a stink bomb in the middle of the camp?

SAM: Well, they would run willy-nilly!

LAURA: Some of them would try to leave across the bridge.

SAM: Well remember, there’s a tunnel on the other side of camp. They could run that way as well.

LIAM: It’s also a huge, and your stink-cloud is only, you know, 20 or 30 feet across.

SAM: 20 feet.

TRAVIS: “Only”.

ORION: How long is the bridge?

MATT: The bridge, now that you’ve traversed it, it’s ten feet wide, and runs about a little over 200 feet or 250 feet in length.

SAM: You can get a lot of them on that bridge and then cut it.

ORION: True.

TRAVIS: Makes their numbers count for nothing.

MARISHA: I think I’ve heard that one. That puppet show.

SAM: I like that idea.

ORION: I think I might have a solution.

LAURA: Yes, Tiberius? Speak your mind.

ORION: I think it’s about time I used these.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

ORION: For non-combat things. I think we should create a diversion, but let me do it. I can use my deck of illusions to generate any kind of number of sorts of creatures or whatever that I can control. I can simply toss one out, I believe 50 feet ahead of me, and control it and get their attention. I can draw them back through the bridge, using the illusions, taunting them along the way. They, of course, will give chase, because they are (chuckles) idiots. And, as soon as we get enough, we can all– you can hack away at the bridge all you like, Grog. We could both burn it, we could hack and burn.

TRAVIS: What kind of creatures can you make?

ORION: Well, that’s all up to the deck.

SAM: It’s up to the deck, or it’s up to you?

ORION: It’s up to the deck.

LAURA: Let’s try it!

SAM: So, what if it’s a scary thing that scares them away?

ORION: If I generate something such as– as exquisite as a red dragon, say, I’m sure somebody like the mindfellows– If they do flee, the camp will be empty and we can search it and free the slaves. If not, they will give chase and they will come and bait it. Either way, it works in our favor.

TRAVIS: Can I test something real quick? If I pull out the magic carpet or I take it back from whoever the fuck had it, and I stand on it, does it hold me up or do I sink?

MATT: You get on top of the carpet and you will it to begin to shift, and the carpet around you lifts, but you are anchoring it to the ground.

TRAVIS: So this is a big problem.

LAURA: But you’ve got Feather Fall. You’ve got Feather Fall! Is that still a thing?

TRAVIS: Yeah, which just slows my fall. It doesn’t take me across.

SAM: That might not be a thing anymore.

ORION: I do have Feather Fall.

LAURA: But Levitate or something– but we could tie a rope to you and it can–

LIAM: It makes him lighter, yeah.

LAURA: – it makes you really light, and we can just drag you behind us. Yeah, it’ll work.

SAM: Why do we need to float Grog?

TRAVIS: If we cut the bridge.

LAURA: In case we destroy the bridge.

SAM: Oh.

ORION: Oh, don’t worry about that, Grog. I’ll just cast Fly on you, because I can fly.

TRAVIS: You can just Fly me?

ORION: Yes. We can both fly.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: And you can Fly Trinket, too?

ORION: Of course, the bear.

LAURA: Of course.

TRAVIS: I’m down for doing this.

LAURA: Let’s do it! Do it!

MARISHA: Flying from the–

ORION: We have ways across.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, hang on, hang on.

TALIESIN: This is a good plan.

SAM: Wait, wait, wait. Are we–

MARISHA: So, let’s have a failsafe in case a few get across the bridge.

SAM: Let’s also recap which plan we’re going with. One of us creating a diversion and running away, or these mystical, magical–

TRAVIS: I like the mystical, magical–

SAM: – weird dragon creatures. What if they scare them the other way?

TALIESIN: It would have to be pretty scary. And then, hey, that works.

ORION: I just said, the path would be clear.

SAM: What if–

LIAM: Well, are we scaring them or are we luring them?

SAM: Also, might I remind–

ORION: It’s all up to the deck.

SAM: We’re luring them. And also, might I remind you all, that they’re being mind controlled by this, what, illithid–

TRAVIS: Davy Jones.

LAURA: I feel like we should try to–

MARISHA: Illithid.

SAM: And if the illithid recognizes that your–

LAURA: Wait, wait!

SAM: – your things are false, then he’s not going to send his men–

LAURA: That’s true.

SAM: – off to chase them.

TALIESIN: Or he may send them to kill whoever is creating the illusion.

ORION: Exactly.

SAM: However, if we were– hm.

ORION: Either way, they’re coming for us.

LAURA: Maybe we could create a distraction and bring them away from the tunnel’s entrance and we can just sneak around them. No?

ORION: I mean, did you see a way to do that?

SAM: What? To sneak through the village to the tunnel? No! Not all seven of us. And a bear. Are you crazy?

(all laugh)

LAURA: Oh no, he’s trying to kill us. All right.

TRAVIS: I’ll stay on this side of the bridge, who wants to go be a distraction? Who wants to be the bait? Who’s real fast?

SAM: Wait, are we doing his bait or are we doing a real bait?

TRAVIS: I don’t–

ORION: We can try both.

TRAVIS: What if you cast something big and they turn it against us? That could suck.

ORION: Oh!

SAM: It’s fake. It’s just a hologram.

LAURA: It’s not–

ORION: It’s an illusion that I control.

TRAVIS: How about we throw one of those and send–

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: How about 50/50 it? One fake, one real. One of us, one of the cards.

LIAM: I’ll go.

TRAVIS: Somebody be Gambit and throw that bitch.

MARISHA: We really just need someone to keep them from running through that tunnel.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: We need some way to keep them from coming– going–

LAURA: Can you send a card that looks like a dragon on the other side, in the tunnel, and then they run towards us.

MARISHA: Oh, oh, oh! Wait, wait.

TRAVIS: What’s wrong with them running away from us?

SAM: Oh, snap.

MARISHA: I actually have a spell, while I was reading through my book last night, catching up on spells that I kinda forgot about. I learned something called Hallucinatory Terrain, where I can make the entire terrain look like whatever I want.

SAM: Other terrain or an animal?

MARISHA: Other terrain.

TRAVIS: They’re mind controlled–

MARISHA: What I can do, is–

LAURA: You can make the chasm look like it’s solid ground!

SAM: Can you make the chasm look like it’s solid ground?

TRAVIS: Ooh!

MARISHA: I can make the chasm look like it’s solid ground–

SAM: Can she do this?

MATT: She can try.

SAM: Yes!

TRAVIS: I like it!

MARISHA: I can make the tunnel across the way look like it’s caved in.

LAURA: Make the big chasm look like solid ground. They’ll fall off the edge!

TALIESIN: That’s a great plan.

LIAM: That’s a great idea, but let’s–

ORION: I’ll throw the illusion on the fake lands.

LIAM: – let’s stack the deck, all right? I’m still gonna be live bait, because I have an inkling that that thing, whatever it is, with the tentacles on its face–

SAM: Is gonna see through that.

LIAM: – is going to see through it. So if we’ve got one real half-elf in the mix, he’ll focus on me. So I’ll take the flying carpet and tie it around my back.

LAURA: You better run fast and not get taken!

LIAM: I have boots of haste.

MARISHA: Are you good with hauling ass?

LIAM: Mm?

LAURA: (laughs)

MARISHA: Okay. As long as you can haul ass.

TRAVIS: All right.

LIAM: So I take the rug from Grog–

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: I’m gonna roll it up and I tie it, I have a rope to tie it to my back.

LAURA: It’s a big rug on your back.

TRAVIS: Saddle up, let’s do it.

MATT: It’s a very big rug.

LIAM: Is it?

MATT: What’s your strength?

LIAM: It is–

LAURA: It’s a big-ass rug.

SAM: Wait.

LIAM: 14?

LAURA: It’d be like carrying a–

MATT: It won’t be cumbersome, necessarily.

MARISHA: Before Liam– before Vax leaves–

SAM: Wait! Might I interject? I’m so sorry.

MARISHA: Go ahead.

SAM: You guys– You and you will be hauling ass away from the charging horde–

LAURA: You? You’re not–

TRAVIS: No, no–

LAURA: No, just him.

TRAVIS: I’m staying on our side of the bridge.

SAM: On our side.

TRAVIS: Our side.

LAURA: But he’s got a rug, he’s got the flying carpet.

TALIESIN: So we’re gonna make them hallucinate–

SAM: So, when you get all the way to the other side of the bridge, then we’re gonna chop.

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: No, we’re gonna chop it when they start coming across the bridge. We’re hoping that they’re gonna just fall off the edge instead.

ORION: Run off the bridge–

TRAVIS: They go, (yells)

SAM: Which side are we gonna chop it on? Our side or their side?

TRAVIS: Once he gets back to our side.

LAURA: Our side!

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: (yells) They come back, everybody falls in–

LIAM: What’s the bridge made of? Is it just rope and wood?

SAM: Rope.

MATT: From what it looks like, it is rope and stone platforms.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: On both sides?

MATT: Like slats, slats of stone, that then the rope is tied around.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: It’s a very, very thick, hefty twine.

LAURA: He can cut through that.

TRAVIS: All right. So Tiberius and Vax are going over.

LAURA: All right!

TRAVIS: Do it.

MARISHA: Before Vax leaves, I just put my hands on his shoulders, and I cast Enhance Ability on him, and give you a dexterity boost.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: I’m also going to sing a little song–

MARISHA: So you have advantage on all dex rolls.

SAM: – for both of them–

LIAM: So what’s the boost? How high is it?

SAM: – to inspire them.

MARISHA: You have the advantage–

LIAM: Advantage.

MARISHA: – on all dex rolls.

LIAM: On all dex rolls. All right.

MARISHA: If that comes to that.

LIAM: That’s great, because that’s how I attack.

MATT: Well, advantage on dex ability checks.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Ability checks.

MATT: Like acrobatics, things like that, sleight of hand, stealth.

LIAM: All right.

TRAVIS: Is Scanlan singing?

SAM: Oh, yes, I’ll sing an inspiration song for both of them.

MATT: Okay, so–

SAM: (sings) Hey baby, hey baby, hey!

LIAM: But we need to–

SAM: (sings) Dwarves say. Dwarves say.

(all laugh)

SAM: (sings) Hey baby, hey baby, hey! On to the bridge and fall down.

(all laugh)

MATT: All right! So.

TRAVIS: Was that Gwen Stefani?

LAURA: All right! (laughs)

MATT: So, inspiration dice to Vax, and who else?

MARISHA: I hope this works.

MATT: Vax and who else? Gets inspiration dice? Scanlan.

SAM: Oh, I’m sorry, these two– Grog and Vax.

MATT: Okay. So both of you guys have a d8 of inspiration dice you can spend.

SAM: Oh! Are you going too?

LAURA: Yeah, no, Grog isn’t going, Tiberius is going.

SAM: I’m sorry. Tiberius and Vax, then.

MATT: Okay. There you go.

TRAVIS: You could have gave it to me.

LIAM: But, Tiberius, walk on a bit behind me, and I’m gonna walk up to the edge of town, and I’m gonna chat.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Oh my god. What if you– What!

MATT: So, before this happens, where’s everyone placed? You guys–

LIAM: Yeah, where are you guys–

LAURA: Oh my God.

MATT: You guys are across the bridge.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Where’s the rest of you?

TALIESIN: I’m gonna set up on our side of the bridge, I’m gonna set up the Bad News gun and get ready to train it on whatever might try and come across.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Are there any big rock formations that I can sort of use as a shelter and kind of stay behind that but also peek around?

MATT: About 20 feet off from the edge, on the goblin side, there is one outcropping of, like, a large stalagmite that you could probably get behind.

LAURA: Oh, on the goblin side?

MATT: On the goblin side. Oh, do you wanna be on their side?

LAURA: I want to be on our side.

MATT: Your side, meaning the side that the war camp is on.

LAURA: No. I thought we were all on the other side of the bridge.

SAM: We’re gonna stay on the side that doesn’t have all the bad guys on it.

MATT: Right. There’s the goblin side, which is where you guys first went through, there’s the bridge, and then there’s the war camp side.

LAURA and TRAVIS: Goblin side.

MATT: All right. So you’re on– Goblin side for you, Goblin side for Grog–

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: Goblin side for Percy, setting up the Bad News, your crazy gun.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

LAURA: You’re on the war camp side

TALIESIN: Gonna be great.

MATT: And Scanlan as well.

LIAM: Right, and I’m gonna run that, but you guys are all going back to–

LAURA: We’re on the goblin side.

LIAM: The safer side. The further side.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I’m gonna be– Can I be like halfway in between on the bridge? Is that a bad idea?

MATT: You can do that. It’s up to you.

TRAVIS: Go for it! You can fly.

LAURA: Can she fly?

MATT: Turn into birds.

MARISHA: I can turn into a bird.

MATT: She’s a druid.

LAURA: Oh! You can turn into a bird!

TRAVIS: Yeah. She’s fine.

LAURA: How long does your spell cast? I mean, your spell last?

TRAVIS: (snickers)

LAURA: Shut up.

MARISHA: My– which one?

LAURA: Your illusion spell.

MARISHA: It’s a concentration thing. So, as long as I can keep it up.

LAURA: So, maybe you should do that–

MARISHA: Oh. Yeah, for up to 30– 24 hours, actually. It’s not a concentration spell.

LAURA: So, how far does it reach?

MARISHA: 300 feet.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: 150 square feet.

MATT: Right. Okay.

LIAM: Just needs to–

MARISHA: And it looks, sounds–

LIAM: – work around the edge of the bridge.

MARISHA: – smells, like some other sort of natural terrain.

MATT: So, what are you going to make the terrain look like? What is your alteration?

MARISHA: So, what I’m doing, whenever we– can I make it look like there’s a cave-in happening through the tunnel?

LAURA: (whispers) Wait! No! Make it look like it’s really far–

LIAM: Keyleth, what if you fudged it so the cliff–

MARISHA: Well, that’s what I’m gonna do.

LIAM: – looked like it went 30 feet further out.

MARISHA: Yeah. What I’m gonna do, I just want the terrain to look, on my side–

LIAM: Close to what they’re used to.

MARISHA: I want the terrain to look exactly like what it is, but I just wanna stretch it out a little bit, so it looks like they’ve got, like, an extra running space.

MATT: Okay, okay.

LIAM: Yeah, so if it looks too different–

MATT: So like an additional 40 or so feet out from the actual–

MARISHA: Yes. Of actual, yes. Like the bridge is an extra 40 feet away.

MATT: Okay. The actual ceiling is maybe about 120 feet up, so it might be a little hard to do that, and cause a cave-in-type illusion.

MARISHA: Okay. Then I’ll do that. Then I’m gonna just– you know what, I’m gonna stay on the opposite side of the bridge, and I’m gonna focus on making that illusion.

MATT: Okay. Cool. So you go ahead and you cast Hallucinatory Terrain

MARISHA: Yep.

LAURA: (yells)

MATT: You now see an additional 40 feet of the cliff stretching out–

LAURA: It looks very realistic.

MARISHA: Thank you!

MATT: And you can actually see that the bridge looks attached to it, it’s a very, very convincing illusion. And you kind of have to remind yourself that it’s an illusion, just so you don’t fall for it either!

MARISHA: Yes, be careful guys, please be careful!

MATT: All right. So you’re kind of chilling in the middle of the bridge?

MARISHA: Mm-hm.

MATT: All right. The rest of you are–

MARISHA: All right, I’m on the outside of the bridge.

MATT: – on the other side– outside of the bridge.

MARISHA: I’m out with them.

MATT: Okay. So you’re off the bridge now.

MARISHA: Gone. Yeah.

MATT: All right. So now, Tiberius, Vax, you guys walk across the bridge, keeping grip both side rails, feeling it rock to and fro from the continuous warm bellowing of wind up from the cavern beneath you. Eventually you bring your way across. What looks like you should be stepping on terrain is still the bridge, and it takes you a minute to adjust to the fact that you’re still going across the bridge, but it looks like rocky terrain. Eventually you make it to the other side and you grab purchase on stone. Looking ahead of you, you can see about 60 feet ahead of you the outskirts of the war camp.

LIAM: Okay. Tiberius, you wait here, ready to run. I take Tiberius by the arm like this. Vox Machina.

ORION: Vox Machina.

(all laugh)

LIAM: Okay. So I stealthily walk up to the closing distance to the edge of town and I stand there. I click my boots of haste together.

LAURA: Oh god.

ORION: As he runs off I cast Greater Invisibility on myself.

MATT: All right.

ORION: I cast Fly on myself and I hover.

MATT: Both of those are concentration spells.

ORION: Fuck!

MATT: You can only have one of those up at any given point in time.

ORION: I’ll cast Fly, then.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: Yes.

MATT: So you’re now floating up. Okay.

LIAM: Okay.

ORION: And I’m at enough edge to where her illusions are, as well.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: But over the bridge just in case I fall.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: Okay, all right. So you’re now just kinda hovering above the bridge now. You–

LIAM: I just clicked the boots.

MATT: You feel the sudden surge of magical energy through your body like adrenaline just pumping into your system.

LIAM: And I cry out full voice, listen up, you walking prawn, doom has come for you today. Step forth, you slimy bastard.

LAURA: Oh fuck.

(all laugh)

ORION: As he does that I toss out three cards.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Oh gosh.

LIAM: Your trolls can’t save you.

ORION: Right at the rim of where the illusion stops.

LAURA: I will find you.

LIAM: No matter how far or how long.

MATT: Been awhile since you’ve used those. (laughs) All right. Oh, okay. You shuffled these, right?

TRAVIS: We should call this a rim job.

ORION: Yes.

MATT: All right. This will be very, very interesting.

LIAM: Oh Jesus.

LAURA: Oh god.

TALIESIN: This is a good plan.

SAM: You got your dice?

TRAVIS: Sure it is.

LIAM: It’s a great plan.

SAM: Use your dice.

MARISHA: Are you convincing yourself or are you–

TALIESIN: This is a good plan.

TRAVIS: We’re on the safe side with Bad News and me.

TALIESIN: We’re fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, I’m with you guys. We’re fine.

MATT: So currently one of the cards bursts and you can see rising up from its energy this awful-looking humanoid skeletal undead creature with long golden red robes, with this gnarled gold crown and these glowing blue eyes and just pure arcane energy across this horribly gnarled skeletal face.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: There stands this hideous-looking lich cackling to itself.

ORION: Ah, the ace of spades– two of spades, it changed, dammit. Looking at Pathfinder right now.

(all laugh)

ORION: Two of spades.

LIAM: Tiberius, can we hit it and quit it?

LAURA: What are the other ones?

MATT: The other one (poof) and you see before you a kind of –

ORION: Flip them over, they have good graphics on the cover.

MATT: It’s nice. Through the smoke, you see what looks like some sort of a human kind of long, long-fighting warrior, grizzled, ready to fight, has a big old longsword out, armored up in scalemail, one eye is kinda wounded, and he just kinda sits there and growls with his blade ready. The third card. From the smoke appears a red-skinned dragonborn with long blue robes and a staff with a glowing beam of light on it.

TRAVIS: Yes.

ORION: Oh. It must be a joker.

MATT: You see an exact duplicate of Tiberius now standing there as the three illusions stand.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Outstanding.

MARISHA: That’s perfect.

MATT: Your cards are now spent, correct?

ORION: Uh, no, they exist until I dispel them.

MATT: Right, but I mean the actual cards don’t go back in the deck.

ORION: Yes, they do.

MATT: They do, okay. All right, never mind. Okay. As you shout out, the card illusion appears. You see about five or six duergar kind of look out from a nearby tent and go– and then start running toward the center of the town.

MARISHA: Come here, bitches

MATT: About 20 seconds pass. And then you start hearing this (boom boom boom boom). It sounds like a drum beat.

LAURA: Oh my god.

SAM: Cut the rope, cut the rope.

LAURA: Not yet, not yet, not yet.

SAM: Leave Vax there, let’s go.

(all laugh)

MATT: At this point, you now see about 16 duergar come running out from the center of town, armored, weapons drawn, a few with crossbows, two trolls and an ogre charging out. You see the ogres holding this giant– it looks like a stone slab for one of its clubs, and the two trolls just come with their claws open, rushing right towards you and the illusions.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

LIAM: I start flipping–

ORION: I command the lich to start doing one of his glowy spells, and, like, through him, I go: (whispers) Come for us, your death awaits.

(all laugh)

MATT: All right.

LIAM: And I flip the double birds and start walking backwards a little bit.

SAM: Oh yes, that’s even better!

MARISHA: Just watch your step!

LIAM: Yes, straight back.

ORION: I command the soldier to start swinging his sword.

MATT: As you’re stepping back, four of the duergar immediately take, using their inertia, pull and release javelins in your direction.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Oh god!

MATT: All right, what’s your AC?

LAURA: Oh gosh.

LIAM: My AC is 19.

MATT: All right, you take two javelins–

LIAM: I’m gonna use Uncanny Dodge. For anything I can see, I can dodge for half damage, if I need to.

MATT: All right, good to know. The first one strikes you in the torso for a total of 11 damage.

LIAM: Shit, okay.

ORION: Oh.

MATT: The other hits you for a total of eight damage.

LIAM: Is that the halved or–?

ORION: Total.

MATT: No, well, you can choose to half one. It’s up to you, you choose which one. Probably the higher one.

LIAM: Okay, so, it was 11 and eight?

MATT: So it would be six.

LIAM: Okay, six and eight, okay, 14.

MATT: 14 points of damage with these just javelins hitting you like, oh, that’s right. They have range!

(all laugh)

LIAM: Right, I knew this was coming.

LAURA: Right!

MATT: You can immediately see one of the trolls goes and just lunges forward and slashes the lich, just passing through its form.

ORION: He lunges at the lich?

MATT: Yeah.

ORION: Sweet!

MATT: It went through, it kinda loses its footing for a second, stops and kinda looks angry, turns and starts slashing at it again.

LAURA: Run! Run away!

SAM: – fake ground.

ORION: And I’m like–

MARISHA: Yeah, isn’t he on the fake ground? The lich?

ORION: Yes, yeah, he’s like right at the edge.

MATT: Yeah, right at the precipice.

ORION: I can’t throw my card on the fake ground. They’d fall.

MATT: Yeah, so the troll kind of steps forward–

ORION: They’re right at the edge, though.

MATT: – and the troll turns around and starts slashing. The other one goes right for the veteran. And (laughs) goes running right off the edge.

LAURA: (gasps)

ALL: Yes!

SAM: The troll?

MATT: That was the troll, just (falling sounds). The ogre goes running forward, right towards you.

ORION: I command the–

LIAM: Yes?

MATT: Just their speed, they’re just the first ones to get there. Duergar have tiny legs.

LIAM: (high-pitched voice) Where’s the roll for initiative, man?

LAURA: You’re already back, you’re at the bridge!

MATT: This is what I’m saying, what are you doing? This is your reactionary part. We’re just taking– this isn’t a battle, this is–

LIAM: Yeah, I’m backing it up, I’m running, man.

MATT: All right, so you go charging back onto the bridge. As you go running, all right, both trolls and the ogre have just gone off the side.

LAURA: Badass!

(all cheer)

MATT: You hear them screaming as they tumble into the darkness.

LIAM: I’m laughing as I run.

TRAVIS: Didn’t occur to me that there is a bridge–

MATT: About four duergar also go spilling over the side, screaming as they tumble into the darkness.

TRAVIS: Yes!

MATT: The rest of them stop, kind of look around and–

SAM: This was a great plan!

ORION: I start– as that’s happening, I start to pull back and float away and I’m commanding all of my guys to come through the bridge. Because I can command them within 30 feet. So they’re now, they’re all within 30 feet of me, retreating as well.

MATT: Okay. As this is happening, you can now see some of the members of the duergar that are now at the edge are some of the elite guard, with the blackened armor you saw. They both kinda step forward and put their foot out, feeling for purchase, give a nod, pull out their swords, and start hacking at the bridge immediately.

SAM: (gasps) Oh shit.

LAURA: Shit.

TALIESIN: All right, I’m taking a shot.

LAURA: Can we– does our aim reach? Our ranged

attacks, do they reach?

SAM: (whispers) You, fly?

TRAVIS: No, he’s got it.

LAURA: Do ranged attacks reach?

MATT: From this distance, it’s gonna be a serious penalty.

TALIESIN: I’m not!

MATT: You don’t, because you–

TALIESIN: I’m taking that shot, because I can shoot forever.

MATT: Go for it.

ORION: (gunshot)

LIAM: I’m untying the carpet quickly.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Oh, for the love of god and all that is holy.

MARISHA: (groans) Oh, no.

TALIESIN: Misfire, I gotta–

LAURA: I can at least try, right?

MATT: Go ahead and roll. As you– You’re at disadvantage.

LAURA: Fail so hard.

MATT: As your arrow (shooting sound) off, you (gun misfiring sound) and there’s a slight delay, and you wonder, why isn’t it working? And this horrible explosion sound bursts out as you can now see, black and red smoke pouring out of the front of the barrel of Bad News, and it burns your hands for a second and you’re like, ah, shit, take a second to–

TALIESIN: All right, so I gotta stop and clean.

MATT: Yeah, however, because you are unable to halt that, both of those duergar take shots at the bridge.

TALIESIN: Damn it.

MATT: Both hit with their swords.

MARISHA: Are you on the carpet, Vax?

TRAVIS: He’s getting it out.

LIAM: I don’t know, I said I was.

LAURA: Get on it, now.

MATT: As you’re running and pulling the carpet out–

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: – the bridge is cut clean–

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: Son of a bitch.

MATT: – and begins to fall out from under you.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You go pulling out the–

LIAM: Acrobatics check?

MARISHA: Use them dex saves!

MATT: This is gonna go ahead and be a dex check now.

MARISHA: You’ve got advantage!

MATT: You do.

LAURA: Oh, good.

LIAM: Okay, good, because the first roll was a

one. The second roll was a 19.

ORION: Yes!

LIAM: Plus! Plus, plus, plus nine is 28.

TRAVIS: Oh my god! You almost died!

MATT: All right. You pull out the carpet. As you’re going to set it down, as you feel the bridge beginning to like, give out from under you, you feel this creepy sensation pushing towards the back of your head.

LAURA: Oh no!

LIAM: Mm-hm.

MATT: You guys, looking across, you can see now a familiar cloaked figure has emerged.

(all gasp)

SAM: Oh shit!

LIAM: I drew him out.

LAURA: Clean your gun, clean your gun!

TALIESIN: I’m cleaning my gun.

MATT: Go ahead and make a willpower saving throw.

TRAVIS: Get your bow ready.

LAURA: I am, I’m ready, it’s too far!

LIAM: I survive a free fall and you hit me with that right after? Yeah, will save?

MATT: Willpower save.

LIAM: So that’s– what is it, I’ve never done that? That’s–

MATT: It’s at the top of your sheet of your stats, above your stats, on the right of your stats. Oh, it’s your wisdom saving.

LIAM: Wisdom, okay.

MATT: Wisdom.

LIAM: Ow, not very good. Seven.

MATT: Seven.

LAURA: No!

MATT: As you are running, you get the carpet out, you leap onto it and your whole sense and awareness of your surroundings just fades from you. You just feel your entire body going numb for a second and you just feel yourself falling.

MARISHA: Holy shit.

LAURA: Fly down! Get him! Get him!

MATT: Falling back.

ORION: Oh! Oh bother! Shoo! I go get him!

LIAM: 29 dex save right down the toilet.

MATT: You go and swoop down, fly. You manage to–

ORION: Is he conscious?

MATT: He is just staring up at this moment.

ORION: Very good. I go just to touch him, I am not trying to pull him up.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: What? Try to grab him! Try to grab him!

LIAM: Fly, he can fly me.

SAM : He is falling!

ORION: He is falling. Fly!

LIAM: Like Superman.

MATT: You cast Fly on him? All right!

ORION: Now fly, damn it.

MATT: He is still just kind of standing there, not doing anything. As you finish casting the Fly spell, your Fly spell dissipates because it’s a concentration spell and you can have one at a given time.

ORION: Wait, you’re unconscious?

LIAM: I don’t know what I am.

ORION: I ask right now, is he–

MARISHA: He’s like catatonic.

ORION: He is, okay. Then I don’t do that, because you can’t fly yourself, so I do grab him, this time.

MATT: Okay, you grab him as his whole weight goes onto you. What’s your strength?

ORION: Oh my god.

LIAM: It has been nice knowing you, ladies and gentlemen.

ORION: 12.

LAURA: No, no, no.

MATT: Go ahead and make an athletics check.

MARISHA: Come on, Tiberius.

LAURA: Can we see this all happening off to the side?

SAM: Plus eight.

LAURA: Keyleth!

TALIESIN: It’s happening very fast.

LIAM: Oh, shit, can I use–

ORION: It’s a 21.

MATT: 21? You rush down, diving, you grab the back of his armor. As you yank up on him, you manage to just pull him across and get him to the other edge. The flying carpet, however, has plummeted down in–

ALL: No!

TRAVIS: Son of a bitch.

LAURA: You lost our flying carpet, you unconscious bastard!

MATT: However, Tiberius swoops up. You guys just see them both plummet into darkness and then flying up at the edge of the crevasse on your side, Tiberius clutching your brother, currently just staring off into space and dropping him down with a dull sound.

LAURA: Vax!

MATT: The bridge slaps onto the side of the cavern.

LIAM: Mawp.

LAURA: And I run over to Vax.

LIAM: Mawp.

LAURA: And I’m like trying to figure out what’s wrong with him.

TRAVIS: The magic carpet is done?

MATT: It just disappeared into the darkness below.

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: (tearfully) I have to erase it.

MARISHA: Bye, carpet.

TALIESIN: No.

SAM: That was our ticket across the chasm.

LIAM: Yes.

MARISHA: I loved that carpet, damn it.

MATT: About a minute passes or so, you come back to your senses.

LAURA: Oh, good.

LIAM: I got to get the carpet.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Can I clean my gun?

ORION: I slap him with Mage Hand. Snap out of it!

LIAM: What happened? What happened?

TRAVIS: Wait, do we leave or–

LAURA: No, wait–

TALIESIN: They are still across there, aren’t they?

MATT: You can see across the way that there are a bunch of them just standing at the edge.

TALIESIN: I wanna take a shot at the–

LAURA: At the–

LIAM: Noodle-face, yeah.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

LAURA: Oh, man!

SAM: You can see them and they control you.

LAURA: Right in the noggin.

LIAM: Shoot it in the eye, man.

ORION: Not from that distance, I don’t think. His sniper rifle goes far.

TALIESIN: Hm, that’s a 23.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll the damage. Across the way you can hear the resounding (gunshot).

TALIESIN: Ah, yeah! That don’t suck! 20 points of damage.

MATT: 20 points of damage! Nice. You just see this blast of red and flame across the way and the figure is just knocked off its feet, about ten feet back.

(all laugh)

LAURA: Can you shoot him again?

TALIESIN: Yes.

MARISHA: It’s just a carnival game for Percy at this point.

MATT: At this point in time you can now see the duergar looking up and backing away from the cliff side.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You come to the bridge, which is just dangling off the side now.

LIAM: We’re on the goblin side, now?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You’re on the goblin side and the bridge is just dangling down into darkness.

TALIESIN: That felt pretty good, too.

LIAM: Who wants to have a picnic?

ORION: I mean, seriously.

MARISHA: So how many (monster sounds) are ove there?

MATT: You only saw the one.

MARISHA: And how many duergar left? How many–

ORION: Yes, how many are left after all that?

MARISHA: After they fell into–

MATT: After all that, you saw a few more kind of filter out from the town, you have probably about 25 visible at that moment that have all backed.

TALIESIN: I’m going to hang on him visually and I’m gonna wait to take another shot until he tries to stand up again.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: So if he tries to stand up again, I want to shoot him again.

LAURA: But wait, you can shoot him while he’s on the ground! Can’t you?

TALIESIN: That’s so much more fun to wait.

MATT: You can shoot him, but it’s at disadvantage to shoot someone who’s prone.

LAURA: He’s on the ground?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Technically, he’s got cover. And it’s funnier to just wait.

MATT: A moment passes and he kind of drifts back up. Take another shot.

TALIESIN: Taking another shot.

MARISHA: Come on, Percy.

LIAM: Come on, baby.

TALIESIN: He’s such an asshole.

MARISHA: Like fish in a barrel.

LIAM: Come on, Von Rolo!

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: 15? Unfortunately, it does not hit.

LIAM: (ricochet noise)

MATT: At that distance, with the darkness, it’s very hard to get your bead on him at that point. So you (gunshot), fires off, you can now see it drift away–

LAURA: Fudge!

MATT: – and all the rest of the duergar are now retreating into the city.

TALIESIN: Man!

LAURA: What’re you gonna do? All of our shit’s gone.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Okay. What’re we gonna do? Leave?

LAURA: Maybe we can– can we walk up and see–

ORION: Let’s take a short rest.

LAURA: – if we can find another bridge?

ORION: While we’re figuring this out.

MATT: If you want to. Okay. So you walk over to the edge, and you kind of look across to the sides. Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: I’ll assist.

LAURA: Oh, 20!

LIAM: 20.

TALIESIN: Never mind!

LAURA: No, no assistance needed.

MATT: Natural 20?

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Never mind.

MATT: Natural 20.

LAURA & LIAM: Yes.

MATT: Plus–

LAURA: Plus my perception?

LIAM: (high-pitched) Natural 20 motherfucker!

LAURA: My perception is six.

LIAM: (high-pitched) Automatic win!

MATT: You glance over the side–

(all laugh)

MATT: – and looking down, you can see the bridge is just kind of like drifting from the air that’s flowing, and you can just see the– and it’s not like the whole bottom floor is all lava, there’s just streaks of it pouring down from whatever the interior of this lower chasm is. You see, at the edge of the rope break, which goes down for a good 150, 200 feet or so, dangling, and there’s a tiny little flicker of material–

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: – wrapped up in the ropes of the rope bridge.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: It’s the carpet!

SAM: Material? It’s the carpet!

MATT: It’s the carpet! It seems to be the carpet.

TALIESIN: Okay. We have an infinite rope!

MARISHA: Oh! Go!

LAURA: We have infinite rope! I’m gonna tie it to myself–

ORION: Wait, hold on a second–

TALIESIN: We’re gonna lower you down.

ORION: Is it still– it’s just at the end of the– all the way down there?

MATT: Mm-hm.

ORION: So I fly down there–

LAURA: No– aww.

ORION: – and go get it!

SAM: Yeah, that makes sense.

LAURA: Oh, all right.

ORION: It’s still in effect!

MATT: Mm-hm.

SAM: Okay, watch out for that warm air, whatever that was.

MATT: So.

ORION: Ooh. You’re right. I take out an empty bottle while I do this.

MATT: All right. You glide down along the base of the cut rope bridge, and there, just barely hanging on by just haphazardly falling and tangling itself in the ropes is the flying carpet. As you float down, you now get a little bit of a better view, as your staff is lit, you can see, about another 150 feet down below you, a little bit of a reflection of your light. It’s currently just kind of rippling and shifting.

LAURA: (gasps) It’s water down there?

MARISHA and SAM: It’s water?

MATT: It appears to be some sort of water surface below you. About 150 feet down.

SAM: I thought there was lava–

TRAVIS: I run and jump off the cliff!

MATT: There are streaks of lava–

LAURA: No you don’t.

MATT: – pouring, like from the ceiling and portions of the wall–

TRAVIS: Yep, and I jumped all the way down.

LAURA: It’s 1000 feet down.

MATT: – but it’s all just kind of pouring down and pooling at the edges and then cooling.

LAURA: It’s 1000 feet.

LIAM: That’s a big belly flop.

TRAVIS: I have great form in mid-air.

SAM: So there, it’s a river–

ORION: And you don’t know this yet.

LAURA: Do you want to die?

MATT: And you can see the waterfall, it’s cascading over the side–

TRAVIS: It’s water.

LAURA: You’re being incredibly childish. Don’t do that.

MATT: – is currently rushing past you at about 30 feet to your right, and it seems to be splashing into this pool below.

LAURA: Don’t. Dive. 1000 fucking feet.

ORION: Waterfall. Ah! I retrieve the magic carpet.

MATT: You grab the magic carpet, you roll it up, make your way back up to the surface.

MARISHA: Carpet!

ORION: Ah, here you are. By the way, cool stuff down there. It’s actually not lava, it’s water! Aha. Believe it or not.

LAURA: Water? How far down from the bridge?

ORION: It’s about 150 feet from the bridge, but it’s about 1000 feet down all the way. We could traverse down, somehow, and I think it would be a nice place to go explore.

SAM: Place to go explore?

ORION: Especially because we have nothing else to do, and–

SAM: Well, we could go to the camp and go kick some–

LAURA: Well, look, we know– we can’t get over there.

SAM: But we have a carpet now!

ORION: Oh, that’s right.

LAURA: Oh.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but we go over one at a time and then we’re waiting for–

MARISHA: Ah, fly me down with you.

LAURA: The thing is–

SAM: The three of us can fly.

MARISHA: Tiberius and I are going to fly down.

LAURA: The thing is, we know that–

MARISHA: On the carpet.

LAURA: – deeper down is where they’ve gone.

MARISHA: Yes. That’s true.

LAURA: So probably it’d be best to go down. We could have avoided all of this bullshit if we’d just have known–

LIAM: But we didn’t know, and if there’s–

MARISHA: I don’t wanna fight, I don’t wanna fight that guy.

LIAM: – if there’s more than one of them these, though, he’s gone boodle-oodle-ooo to his friends right now, I mean–

LAURA: Right.

LIAM: – if we can it’d be good to put this guy in the ground.

SAM: I’m all for going–

MARISHA: I don’t know. Okay, take me down–

SAM: There’s a tunnel back there–

MARISHA: Hang on, let me, let’s go see, let’s go see.

SAM: – back, past that village, that they’re protecting.

ORION: Well, I’m still flying, you can take– Percy, would you like to come?

TALIESIN: Oh, all right.

MARISHA: I’ve– to ride the carpet down to the bottom with Percy and Tiberius.

ORION: Well, I– whoever’s going down should be on the carpet, 'cause I can still fly.

MARISHA: Right.

ORION: So, I don’t need it.

MARISHA: Me and Percy are on the carpet.

MATT: All right, so the two of you get on the carpet, you drift down, and you begin to make your way down this giant crevasse. As you get down, the air gets warmer and warmer, and you begin to see as you come down, a good 600 feet now at this point, into this much larger space than the one you guys are currently above. It’s like a giant, triangular, open cavern down here. It kind of funnels up into where the bridge was.

MARISHA: Do I see any tunnels, or areas that look like it leads someplace of interest?

MATT: As you look down, there is definitely a large pool of water that leads off into a few other underground rivers that spill off into the mountainside itself. There are sections of the wall where lava is pouring out, where there seems to be some sort of a vent or some sort of opening into some magma reserve, and there are about three of them that are pouring out, and kind of drifting down. One of them is pooling and cooling as it hits the water, and it’s just kind of this perpetually glowing mass of slow-growing rock. There also appears to be one that is just continuing to flow that leads, kind of, back in the direction where you guys came, but underneath. There’s one big lava pool that is spilling, and then kind of giving a little bit of light to the inside of a tunnel that continues further down at a decline. The opposite side–

SAM: Lava tunnels? What, are you crazy?

MARISHA: I keep going.

SAM: Sorry, yes?

MATT: That’s okay.

MARISHA: Are you done?

MATT: On the opposite side, you can see there’s a small outcropping and a smaller waterfall that is pouring out of the side of the mountain, like another sea is now meeting the river underneath, and that is just kind of cascading out from the side of the rock, dropping about 30 or 40 feet, and hitting the edge of the rock pool.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: On Cthulhu’s side, you’re talking about?

MATT: On Cthulhu’s side. Yeah.

ORION: I think we should–

MARISHA: I say, Tiberius, give me some light?

ORION: Oh!

MARISHA: And I take– and I cast Control Water, and I just take the pool– the water in the bottom of the pool, and I bend it, and I part the pool, and I take it and I cascade it all the way up, following the lava flows.

MATT: Okay. Just so you’re aware, the pool is about 600 feet across.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: I can part seas with this.

MATT: Right. So you can part elements of it, but

like, it is a large, large, large body of water.

MARISHA: Oh, okay, okay. Well I’m taking– okay. I don’t necessarily part it, but I take the water, and I draw it up, cascading along the edges following all the lava streams going into the tunnels.

MATT: Okay, another thing you notice, is there are two trolls and an ogre currently trying to stay afloat, as one of them just (sucking sound) gets pulled under the water.

LAURA: Gets pulled under?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: (yells)

MATT: You begin moving the water to the sides and you begin to cool some of the lava flows.

ORION: Oh, that’s awesome.

MATT: You can see the glowing red magma begin to cool to a dark black and become solid. As it does you can see parts of it crack, as the magma’s still pushing out. But you’re definitely staunching the flow.

MARISHA: I’m gonna kind of push it, you said there was a tunnel kind of going up into Cthulhu side?

MATT: Yeah, there is a tunnel that seemed– the opening leads to the back, and there’s a waterfall that is pouring out from that side.

ORION: Waterfall.

MARISHA: There’s a waterfall.

MATT: Waterfall.

ORION: Not a lava fall.

MATT: The lava flow is going down the opposite direction.

MARISHA: But there’s like a tunnel kind of carving out that way?

MATT: Yeah. Like a large opening that continues further down.

MARISHA: Okay, I take all of the water, and I really just concentrate, and I gather just a big tube, and I push it down that tunnel.

MATT: Okay, so the best– the water that you gather from this, you force into a quick geyser in that direction. As it sprays across the front, you can see it begins to cool some of the magma. It’s a pretty hefty flow, you manage to slow it, and you do cool parts of it, but it’s gonna be difficult and take you a while, if you’re just constantly pushing water on it, to give the flow any sort of serious stop. You notice the lava flow doesn’t coat the entire floor of the tunnel, just a side of it. It’s almost like there’s some portion of it that is walkable, adjacent to the lava.

ORION: We can also go in the not-lava cave, Keyleth.

MARISHA: I’m sorry, that lava cave just looks important.

ORION: I know. Because of the lava.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ORION: Let’s go tell the others what we’ve found, and then we’ll come back and decide which way to go.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

TALIESIN: Sometimes a lava cave is just a lava cave.

ORION: I fly back up.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: Guys. Blah-blah-blah-blah.

SAM: So here’s my thoughts.

MATT: The other troll. (sucking sound) Pulled beneath the surface.

SAM: Yeah, so, I don’t wanna go down there–

MARISHA: Also, it looks like there’s something eating those trolls.

SAM: – there’s things pulling trolls. Yeah, let’s not go down there where there’s things eating trolls! Why don’t we just–

ORION: In the water?

SAM: Yeah!

MATT: Yeah. In the giant water pool in the bottom.

LAURA: Wait, but we’re gonna have to go down eventually, so.

LIAM: Maybe.

SAM: Why?

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Why do we have to go down there, there’s nothing that we need down there!

ORION: But across the way is a 25-man battle with a huge, nasty boss.

SAM: There’s seven of us and one of us is Grog!

LAURA: Well, everybody keeps saying that everything is deeper and deeper, so I think we’re gonna have to go–

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: – deep down. Eventually.

MARISHA: I agree with Vex on this one.

LIAM: Well, hold on.

SAM: Deep into the tunnels.

LIAM: All those assholes are still standing on the edge across there. Do we have– we’ve flown out of a falling tower before, we were all able to do it, can we just fly up and over those shitheads and go towards the tunnel?

ORION: Not with the eye of that mind flayer.

LAURA: Yeah. It can grab us.

MARISHA: Yeah, look what it did to you!

ORION: I don’t trust it.

LAURA: Exactly.

LIAM: Can’t we go 150 feet in the air, and–

LAURA: The tunnel doesn’t go that high.

MARISHA: I think you were at least 150 feet across that bridge when he did that to you.

LAURA: Yeah. It can grab us from there.

SAM: We can try–

LIAM: I was on the bridge when that happened–

MATT: You were on the bridge when that happened, you were–

LIAM: – and fell down. I wasn’t way above.

MARISHA: But the bridge was like 250 feet across, right?

MATT: Right. You were about, loosely, 80 feet across when it got you.

LIAM: When it got me.

ORION: So its range is probably like 100 feet.

LIAM: And you said it’s 150-ish feet in here, though, to the ceiling?

MATT: To the ceiling it’s about 150 feet, yeah.

LIAM: We can go–

LAURA: But the tunnel, oh–

TALIESIN: They have ranged weapons as well.

LAURA: (quietly) I think we should go down!

SAM: But what is down there?

TRAVIS: If we don’t find out.

LAURA: Kima!

TRAVIS: You can drop me like a depth charge.

SAM: But there’s no sign of anything intelligent down there, other than something that’s eating trolls underwater. It could be just giant whales down there! We have no idea! There’s no sign of humans at all! It’s lava and death animals!

LAURA: Maybe, okay. If I go down there–

ORION: There’s more like tunnels, that go further–

LAURA: – and look in one of the tunnels–

MARISHA: Tunnels that go deeper!

LAURA: – can I look in one of the tunnels and see if I find tracks? If I do, can we go that way?

SAM: How’re you gonna go in the tunnels?

LAURA: I’ve got a flying carpet!

SAM: There’s lava!

LAURA: There’s tunnels that don’t have lava flowing into them.

SAM: If you burn–

MARISHA: And I can control water for at least an hour.

ORION: There’s, so, down there, there’s a big pool of water–

MARISHA: It lasts a while.

ORION: – a tunnel going towards the mind flayer side, with no lava–

LAURA: Exactly!

ORION: – and then there’s another cave with lava–

LAURA: There is a tunnel that we can walk in.

ORION: – that we can go, going away from him.

TALIESIN: Let’s see if there’s anything resembling tracks–

LAURA: Yes!

MARISHA: I’ll go with Vex that-a-way. I can cool lava as we go.

LAURA: Please, Scanlan, let me look for tracks. Please?

SAM: Tracks in a river?

LAURA: Tracks in a tunnel.

SAM: It’s not that kind of a tunnel!

LAURA: It is!

SAM: There’s water flowing in it!

MATT: There is, on– Okay. In a giant cavern, there is, towards the side where you guys kind of entered, underneath where you first came in–

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: – there is a descending, large tunnel, of which there are a series of lava flows that kind of pool into one river of lava that covers half of that path down–

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: In the direction of goblin town.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Towards the other side, the–

LIAM: The Cthulhu side.

MATT: The cavern ends and there is a waterfall pouring out of the side of the wall–

SAM: Can’t go in there.

MATT: – that just kind of flows down–

SAM: Oh, so there’s a cavern opening?

MATT: No, no. There is a– there– well, there is essentially a hole where water is pouring out of.

SAM: Can’t go in there.

LAURA: Oh.

MARISHA: We can go in there!

TALIESIN: But we can go in the one with lava.

SAM: There’s water pouring out of it!

MARISHA: I can make that stop happening.

SAM: But what would we find in a tunnel with water pouring out of it? It’s not like anything lives up there!

MARISHA: I’m just– I would much rather face random beasts who are just random beasts, than mind flayers who can suck my brain out.

TALIESIN: There would be no random beasts, though, it’s just nothing but plumbing.

LIAM: Yes, but Kima did not fall prey to random beasts, she fell prey to these shits.

LAURA: All right, fine! Let’s do whatever you guys want to do.

MARISHA: I think– I don’t think a boss battle– I don’t think we can fight this guy and win!

TRAVIS: Vote. Vote. For fuck’s sake, vote. Put it to a vote.

LIAM: Vote, yes.

SAM: All right. All in favor of going to the duergar village and facing the giant fucker.

LIAM: Up and over, up and over!

SAM: Or up and over. Or at least getting past it. That direction. That’s four of us.

TRAVIS: That’s four.

SAM: All in favor of going into the lava flows, to find something.

LAURA: Water holes!

LIAM: Water holes or fire holes?

MARISHA: Water holes!

SAM: Mm. Mm.

MARISHA: Tiberius, you haven’t voted!

ORION: A Draconian does not vote.

TRAVIS: What are you, Switzerland? C'mon.

LAURA: It’s four against us anyway.

MARISHA: A Draconian– you come from a political family!

LAURA: We gotta go that way.

ORION: Well, I don’t vote. I don’t believe in our system. Anyway, that’s none of your business.

SAM: Are you a communist?

(all laugh)

ORION: I don’t know what that means!

LIAM: Now. Tiberius can fly, Keyleth is an eagle who can carry a gnome, and maybe my sister?

LAURA: Ugh, no.

LIAM: And that leaves Percy and Grog and I on the flying carpet. Can it hold our weight? Let’s give it a little test?

LAURA: And Trinket!

MARISHA: Okay, well, if this doesn’t work, we’re going to the tunnel.

MATT: The flying carpet can’t carry Grog on his own.

LAURA: No, then I can’t carry Grog.

TALIESIN: You can, on the other hand, use–

MARISHA: Can’t– wait, wait, wait. Why can’t, why can’t Vex and I just, at least, go check it out before we do this?

LIAM: You lost the vote, Keyleth. You lost the vote.

MARISHA: (sighs)

LAURA: I think we should go.

LIAM: Feather Fall

MARISHA: Let’s do it! Fuck it!

LAURA: Going!

MARISHA: They don’t control us!

LAURA: We’re going.

MARISHA: Let’s do it. We’re going.

MATT: All right, So, what, you ladies hop on the flying carpet?

LAURA & MARISHA: Yes.

LIAM: The fellowship has broken.

MATT: (laughs) So, as you guys are discussing this–

SAM: Wait, you’re stealing our flying carpet?

(all laugh)

MATT: The two ladies have leaped on the flying carpet–

MARISHA: We’re just checking it out! We’re coming back! We’re coming back.

LAURA: We’re coming back!

ORION: Throw a red one! Throw a red one.

MARISHA: Just wait ten god damn minutes.

MATT: They shout, as they disappear, into the darkness below the cavern.

LIAM: The mind flayer isn’t on pause!

LAURA: Okay, I could, I have, wait! I have a–

ORION: That was gonna go right in my mouth!

LAURA: I have a lantern.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Yeah. Cause I have a dungeoneering kit.

TALIESIN: Oh, cool! Yellow.

MATT: All right. So you pull out your lantern, as the two of you are going down towards the water–

LAURA: Part the water!

MATT: – the rest of you kind of stand at the edge of the crevasse going, 'Uh…’

ORION: I follow. I follow.

LAURA: Part the water!

MARISHA: I take the river flow, where the water’s flow is coming out of this waterfall–

LIAM: Meanwhile the mind flayer’s saying,

(gravelly voice) 'I haven’t got all day.’

MARISHA: – and I reverse it.

MATT: All right. So as you guys float down–

ORION: I follow.

MATT: – the two trolls that were missing– the ogre is not anywhere to be seen.

TRAVIS: Fly, you fools!

LIAM: (laughs)

MATT: – there’s just a slight ripple in the water’s surface.

LAURA: We don’t wanna land, we just wanna go towards the tunnel.

MATT: Right. As you staunch the water supply of this waterfall, it just kind of holds it in place, with enough of a force that the water coming out is being balanced by the force you’re putting back on it, it’s just kind of holding it there.

LAURA: Can you lower the water, so we can fly–

MATT: However, as the water vanishes, beneath where the waterfall was, you can see an actual small tunnel that’s carved into the rock–

LAURA: Fuck all y'all bitches!

TALIESIN: Whoa. (laughs)

LIAM: Well, wanna go down?

LAURA: Let’s go in there!

TRAVIS: That doesn’t do anything yet! We don’t know!

LAURA: Let’s go into the tunnel.

SAM: Meanwhile, back up top, I’m saying, they’re not gonna find anything. They’re not gonna find any tunnels.

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m agreeing with Scanlan, and I am mooning off the cliff’s face.

LAURA: So I’m stealthing, let’s stealth? Let’s be very quiet.

MARISHA: Okay.

ORION: Hold on.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Can you turn into an animal?

ORION: I fly back up to tell them what’s going on.

MARISHA: Oh, I can!

I go into a black panther form.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Scanlan, remember when we had women in this party?

LAURA: Okay, and I stealth.

SAM: (laughs)

MATT: Okay, both of you guys roll stealth.

MARISHA: Panthers have, like, advantage on stealth, something like that?

MATT: They have advantage on stealth check. Yeah.

ORION: You guys are just in further then?

MARISHA: 16. 13. So 16 plus whatever–

MATT: Plus your dex.

LAURA: 15.

MARISHA: – the dex of the panther is.

LAURA: Plus, oh.

MARISHA: No, it’s whatever the dex– it’s gonna be like–

ORION: Oh.

TALIESIN: (sings) The dex of the panther–

MARISHA: It’s gonna be like 20 or something like that.

MATT: All right. You guys move– are you staying on the carpet?

LAURA: No, we’re like hopping down off the carpet, and I just want to look around for tracks!

MARISHA: Plus four.

ORION: I take the carpet–

MARISHA: No, plus six.

ORION: – and then I bring it up, while I tell them all that stuff.

MATT: Okay, so you go back down–

LAURA: What! You took our carpet?

ORION: Oh yes, because they need it to get down here as well.

LAURA: Oh, we’re going– okay, you guys are joining us. All right.

ORION: I was–

MARISHA: No, we were scouting.

LAURA: I’m just looking for tracks right now, Tiberius.

ORION: Yeah and I followed you, saw what was going on, took your carpet, and I’m giving it back to them.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: So as you guys are–

MARISHA: You can’t take our carpet, we’re on the carpet.

ORION: Oh, I thought you guys hopped off.

MATT: No, you guys stepped off the carpet, she said, and you transformed, began stealthing in.

MARISHA: Oh, that’s right. We did transform. Okay, sure, you can take the carpet.

MATT: As you’re doing that you turn around and see Tiberius had rolled the carpet and is currently taking it away.

LAURA: You motherfucker.

MATT: So you guys are on the bottom of this crevasse and Tiberius disappears into the darkness.

Okay, well, go ahead and roll– this would be survival for tracking? Just to get an idea for anything around you see.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: You do see some scratches into the mud of the surface there that lead into a tunnel. You see drag marks, you see footprints, and that’s the best you can make out at this in this point in time. But the footprints appear to be dwarven, or dwarf-sized in nature.

MARISHA: Can I do a nature check to see what the scratch marks look like? If they look like any type of beast I might recognize.

MATT: The scratch marks are across the ground, it looks just like fingers being pulled through.

MARISHA: Any type of residue, any type of slime?

MATT: No that you can tell, no.

LAURA: Can we see where the tunnel leads?

MATT: From what you can see, there’s no light source in there.

LAURA: We have the light, remember, when I–

MATT: So you take a lantern and put it inside. The tunnel goes back about 25 feet and then stops. It’s just a little alcove. You see within the tunnel a series of skeletons or bodies that are partially decomposed.

TALIESIN: Oh. God.

MATT: And you see what looks like a pile of rags in the corner.

TRAVIS: Go check it out.

LAURA: So we can either run or loot. What should we do?

TRAVIS: No, go check it out, ladies.

SAM: They’re not gonna find anything.

MARISHA: They’re telling us not to be stupid because we don’t have support. Should we be stupid?

TRAVIS: Grog says yes.

LAURA: Oh, I’m so scared, but okay, here’s the thing, I remember another situation very similar to this.

ORION: It was terrible.

LAURA: And it was the lair of one of those umber hulks.

MARISHA: Right. Why don’t we just go back maybe to the entrance of the–

LIAM: Vex'ahlia, what is going on down there?

TRAVIS: No no no no. Be thorough.

(all laugh)

LAURA: Oh brother, I think we found the lair of the umber hulk

TRAVIS: Are you sure?

LAURA: Oh, pretty damn sure.

MATT: It’s very– well, the actual tunnel is maybe about five to eight feet across and it would not be able to fit an umber hulk.

LAURA: Oh, really? Can I go along the walls very stealthily and see if I can find any opening, anything else?

MATT: As you step inside and put your hands across the walls–

TALIESIN and LAURA: Oh God. Oh.

MATT: –what you do notice is, the walls are solid. This appears to have been carved out over time. And as you move in, you begin to see the rags, and the pile of rags is less a pile of rags and more some sort of humanoid curled up in on the inside. Unconscious, asleep, or dead. Not moving.

MARISHA: What is she– what do they look like?

MATT: You can’t tell from here. It’s just like kind of curled over in the corner.

TRAVIS: Go in there.

TALIESIN: I’d like to roll a save against smugness really quickly. Can I save against smugness? I feel a wave of smugness in here.

MATT: I think you might. You’re not saved against smugness, Percy.

LAURA: Keyleth, I think you should turn into an eagle. Can she turn into something big enough that can carry me?

MATT: She can. Yeah. A giant eagle, I believe you can.

LAURA: What if you turn into something big enough that it can carry me, I hop on your back and we throw something at it? And then fly away.

(all laugh)

MATT: While you guys are having this conversation, 'cause you’re talking to each other–

LAURA: Fuck. We were talking really quietly.

MATT: – the thing in the corner kind of rouses and shoots up out of sudden fear movement, looking about. You see, dressed in rags– you guys are seeing this for the first time, but it’s familiar. Smooth head, purplish and blue in color, a series of tentacles in its mouth. A giant scar drawn across one of its eyes, and it looks filthy, and it looks desperate. And just looks at the two of you and you hear a sudden voice in your minds.

LAURA: Oh fuck!

MATT: No movement, just conversation, saying, “What, who are you?”

MARISHA: I drop to my knees and I look at him and just say, it’s okay, we’re friends.

MATT: He puts up a hand like this and you see there’s a flicker of arcane energy and a barrier appears between you and this creature. And just looks.

MARISHA: I take my Druidcraft and I just make a little flower.

LAURA: Oh my God.

(all laugh)

MARISHA: And there’s a pretty little tulip and I lay it at the edge of the barrier.

LIAM: (Gollum voice) Nasty.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

(all laugh)

MATT: With disadvantage.

MARISHA: With disadvantage? Okay. Nine.

MATT: Okay, nine total?

LAURA: Oh no.

MARISHA: I’m not a very charismatic person.

MATT: It holds its place, and the voice again hits your mind and says, “How did you find me? What is your purpose here?”

ORION: I fly back down.

TRAVIS: No, no, no!

LAURA: We don’t mean to disturb you, great sire.

MATT: “You will die if you try anything.”

LAURA: We’re not going to!

MATT: “I will not fall here, I will not die here.”

LAURA: We mean to help you! We mean to find our way out, and find our friend. That’s all.

MARISHA: We don’t want to die either.

LAURA: Please. Who did this to you? We can help you.

MARISHA: Let’s not die together.

MATT: You can see as you get a better look at it, it definitely has a large scar across part of its face, and it looks to be wearing remnants of a robe similar to what Scanlan was describing. However, it is tattered, it’s dirtied, sullied by the elements and god knows what other liquids. It also has this strange kind of metallic skull cap that’s currently placed around its head. And it just, “Leave me in peace, then, or give me a reason not to slay you where you stand.”

LIAM: (whispers) Revenge.

LAURA: We can help you get revenge against your brethren who did this to you.

MATT: There’s a slight change in mood, you just feel. “Revenge?”

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TRAVIS: Roll the shit out of that new dice.

MARISHA: Come on, Vex.

LAURA: 19?

ORION: Yes!

MATT: The barrier flickers and dissipates. It reaches over and grabs what looks like a gnarled stick. Pulls itself up onto its legs, now what looked like a small minuscule creature is now, even in his terrible hunched form, is standing extremely tall, like scraping the top of this maybe eight-foot-tall ceiling in this tunnel.

MARISHA: (meekly) Hi.

MATT: It takes a step forward and says, “Revenge? You speak of revenge. This is a language I wish to know very well.”

MARISHA: You found the right motley crew.

(all laugh)

LAURA: Should we bring it with us?

MARISHA: Would you like to come with us?

LAURA: To leave this cavern?

MARISHA: Meet our friends? We have friends.

MATT: It kind of gives you both a look and you hear this– There’s a slight lurching to it as it gives this horrible guttural– (low chuckle) “Friends? That’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time. Not one I take to heart, but allies, in time, that I can understand. Take me to your allies.”

LAURA: Tiberius?

ORION: Mm, yes?

LAURA: Maybe you can send that fucking carpet back down.

(all laugh)

ORION: I’ll be right there, I was trying to get the rest of the party here, but everyone’s being buttholes. I fly back down with the carpet.

MATT: You come down with the carpet. At the edge of this opening, you see Keyleth, you see Vex, both emerge with a horrible tentacle-faced gnarled being with a staff coming out with them.

ORION: Hello?

MARISHA: Tiberius–

ORION: Oh, did you make a friend?

MARISHA: We did! See! Friends!

ORION: Wonderful!

MARISHA: This is– What’s your name?

MATT: Looks about to you, then looks at Tiberius and says, ignoring your question, “You have persuasion to the arcane.”

ORION: Yes, I’m a sorcerer! I do all kinds of fun things with the arcane!

MATT: “We shall talk.”

ORION: Very good, I’m always willing to learn. Seems you are very powerful.

MATT: “My name… Clarota.”

ALL: Clarota.

MARISHA: Can we call you Clarence for short?

MATT: “No!”

(all laugh)

MARISHA: Okay! Clar-ota

ALL: Clarota.

LIAM: Sounds Spanish.

LAURA: Please, join us on the carpet.

SAM: Can he fit on the carpet?

LIAM: He is very thin.

LAURA: She can fly.

MARISHA: I’ll fly.

ORION: The rest of our allies are up.

MATT: He carefully steps on the carpet, once again like its tentacles are (slithering noises).

LAURA: I keep a distance.

MATT: Moving around, its mouth and its eyes are constantly darting, it looks extremely nervous and almost like a cornered animal that’s just barely being coaxed onto this journey. You see with each step it takes there a slight flicker of arcane energy at the tip of its fingers, like it’s just prepared for anything to go terribly wrong. It steps onto the carpet and goes, “Take me to your allies.”

ORION: Ah yes, we have wonderful allies!

MARISHA: You can even maybe call them friends, even?

LAURA: Not just yet!

MATT: It crosses its legs and sits on the carpet, holding its staff to its chest on the far corner staring at all of you and says, “Go. Now.”

LAURA: Hold on tight.

MATT: You guys make your way up to the top, eventually you see the carpet (whoosh) over the edge of the crevasse, come down to a rest, as your party has now brought with you the stuff of nightmares.

(all laugh)

SAM: That is the thing I saw in the village!

LAURA: Hold on! Hold on!

TRAVIS: What is that? Oh my god!

MATT: At which point, it’s leapt off at this point, hovering about and you can see this crackle of fire in its hand and it goes, (panicked noises)

LAURA: No! No!

ORION: I’m standing between them, like, it’s okay! These are the allies we speak of!

LAURA: Peace, friends! We are ourselves!

ORION: Grog, don’t do anything!

LAURA: We are not controlled.

ORION: Don’t use a whip, Scanlan, sing a friendly song as he is our friend– ally. To the guy. Ally. He is– He’s in a little spot of trouble and we are going to help him get revenge, or something of the sort.

SAM: He’s a friend? Help–

ORION: He prefers–

MATT: “Ally.”

LAURA: Ally.

SAM: Ally.

MARISHA: Ally.

SAM: Ally.

TALIESIN: Ally?

TRAVIS: What’s on your head?

MATT: He kind of gives you this keen look of, huh, the least person I expected to ask a question.

(all laugh)

MATT: It kind of hobbles forward with its gnarled staff, and says, “I was cast out from my hive. I was cursed with the mark of the arcane. My people see that as an ill omen. I was discarded, left to die.”

LAURA: Let’s destroy your hive.

MATT: “No.”

LAURA: No?

MATT: “You see, the hive is sick. The mind that keeps us safe is no longer its own.”

ORION: Oh?

MATT: “One, an alien one, has come and taken the mind hostage, it has taken my people as its own playthings. I was able to escape its mental grasp.” It reaches up and taps the metal on its head.

LAURA: Oh! Tinfoil hat!

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Magneto helmet!

MARISHA: This is the guy we’ve needed this whole time!

MATT: “My people will not so easily escape its grasp, they are now under the control of this creature.”

MARISHA: So if we did it–

SAM: If we find this creature, we might be able to free your hive as well.

MATT: “That would be why I wish to have your alliance.”

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: “Help me free our hivemind, free my people.”

TRAVIS: (whispers) Sense motive.

LAURA: Oh yeah, can we sense motive on him?

MATT: (laughs) You definitely can!

LAURA: Oh gosh.

TRAVIS: I would do it, but–

MARISHA: We should also have him help us in your–

MATT: I would put this in a group sense motive right now.

TALIESIN: Yeah! All right!

MATT: Everyone roll!

ORION: I rolled 14.

LAURA: I rolled– what do we add to it?

MATT: Sense motive in this would be your insight, sorry. Pathfinder to Fifth Edition!

LAURA: Insight? 24.

MARISHA: 18?

TRAVIS: 16.

ORION: 14.

TALIESIN: Natural one.

LAURA: (laughs) Four?

LIAM: Four.

TRAVIS: 16!

SAM: 13.

TRAVIS: (happy scream) 16!

(all laugh)

MATT: Okay!

SAM: You’re a people person!

MATT: Through your intense grasping this creature’s disposition, best you can, as alien and unfamiliar as its mannerisms and speech and interests may be, you get the feeling that it’s speaking out of desperation and it’s speaking out of genuine interest. You’ve piqued it with the hint of revenge, you’ve piqued it with the idea of alliance as opposed to being alone. You get the feeling that it speaks the truth. It genuinely is asking for your help in freeing its people from whatever is influencing their current actions.

LAURA: Clarota… (laughs)

SAM: What’s his name?

LAURA: Cla-ro-ta?

MATT: Clarota.

SAM: Can we just call him Clarence?

(all laugh)

LIAM: (Jimmy Stewart voice) Clarence, Clarence!

TALIESIN: Clara. It could be a she.

LAURA: We are very interested in being allies with you. Might we have your word that upon defeating this creature, we will be safe?

SAM: And as a symbol of our dedication to you, I’d love to play you just a little bit of a song that might heal some of those wounds and scrapes that you seem to have all over your body.

MATT: He gives you the dirtiest look you’ve ever received.

TRAVIS: (whispers) It was because of the arcane!

SAM: It’s a pretty good song!

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

(all laugh)

LIAM: Come on, Burt Reynolds!

SAM: Hm. Ooh! 17.

(all laugh)

MATT: He takes a sudden step forward towards you, his tentacles– (slithering noises)

LAURA: Ew, ugh!

MATT: “Play this song.”

TRAVIS: Break out the–

LAURA: It better be good!

SAM: (sings) When I get that feeling, I want Clarota healing. Clarota healing is something that’s good for you. Ooh ooh ooh. (sings embellished melisma)

LAURA: Clarota’s dancing, I can see it!

MATT: Make a persuasion check– no, a performance check.

SAM: A performance check!

18!

MATT: 18.

(all laugh)

MATT: In spite of itself, it stands there still glaring at you, but out of the corner of your eye you swear you see its toe tapping.

(all laugh)

MATT: It then kind of– its tentacles withdraw in such a way that gets you kind of off-put and the song comes to a halt. “I’d not heard a song. I shall call upon you for more in the future.”

LAURA: Oh!

SAM: There’s many more where that came from!

MATT: “Now we talk about how we can kill K'varn.”

LAURA: K'varn!

LAURA and SAM: Yes!

MARISHA: Yes! Let’s talk about that.

SAM: End scene!

MATT: And that’s where we’re going to go ahead and end it for today, guys.

(all cheer)

MATT: That went very interestingly! We’ll pick up from that point.

MARISHA: Sorry we had to rebel, you guys.

LAURA: Yeah sorry about that, you guys. Sorry!

MARISHA: Sorry! It was for a good cause!

LIAM: Thank you for rebelling, and staking out on your own!

MATT: You’ve acquired for the moment a very curious ally. Yeah, this will be an interesting branching point for next week.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

TRAVIS: We should get some damn hats.

LAURA: I know! We should get him to make us hats!

MARISHA: We definitely need one for Grog. We have to get him to make us hats for Grog.

TRAVIS: Why me?

MATT: (laughs) I hope you guys enjoyed that! No combat. You guys avoided quite a few possibilities for battle and that makes for an interesting dynamic. So well done! You’ve killed a crap ton of duergar.

LIAM: Trolls.

MATT: And a couple trolls and an ogre, by sending them off a cliff! It was a pretty eventful evening!

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So yeah, so guys, thank you so much forwatching! Also, as a reminder, there is Dwarven Forge that’s been doing an amazing kickstarter for its next set. I was a supporter for all of Dwarven Forge’s kickstarters and I’m looking forward to being able to break out some of those dungeon tiles in this game in the near future. But if you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend it! Go and see if you can back it. Those guys are awesome, the quality of their work is great! All of you DMs out there that wanna run some seriously legit dungeon setups for your miniatures and battle circumstances, it’s highly recommended. So go check that out. I know I’ve already backed it, so come join me! And (evil voice) one of us, one of us! Anyway, does anyone else have something they wanna talk about for the evening, guys?

ZAC: I do.

MATT: Zac! What’s up, buddy?

ZAC: Thanks for tuning in, guys. I wanted to bring up International Tabletop Day.

MATT: Yes! Yes! Let’s do that!

ZAC: It’s coming up on April 11th. We’re going to be live-streaming Tabletop Day from here in this studio. Probably not as complicated a setup as this, but similar of a set up. For those of you that have not registered yet for International Tabletop Day, go to the website tabletopday.com or org, I could be saying it wrong, the chat room will let you know.

MARISHA: Just google it.

ZAC: Google it!

MATT: Angelfire.tabletopday.com

ZAC: I knew you were testing my knowledge! You’re saying it wrong, you’re saying it wrong. I’m not an actor, dammit! So go check that out. We’re still looking for a lot of countries to have representation, so if you’re overseas, go to the website, let your local retailers know about it, sign up, and get in on the fun! It’s going to be a blast. We’re going to have this whole building stacked to the brim with people! Board games, live streaming the whole thing. Get in on it. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

MATT: Yeah, do it!

ZAC: So I think that’s pretty much it, thanks so much guys.

MATT: Yeah, no worries, I think next week we’re gonna try and do a Q&A after the game. So we’ll stay for an hour or more after.

ZAC: Subs only!

MATT: Subs only! You get to hang out.

ZAC: Subs only, so if you want to ask questions next week after the show, make sure you subscribe.

MATT: Yes! Do it!

ZAC: Do it. Yeah, that’s pretty much it, man.

MATT: Hell yeah, awesome! Well, thanks again, guys, for tuning in to Critical Role. Spread the love, tell your friends about it, all come back and join in the story, and we’ll have more fun next week, so. See you next Thursday.

(all cheer)

ZAC: Tune in tomorrow for So You Don’t Have To, where Becca and Hector play the worst games they can find so you don’t have to. And then Gather your Party, where we play board games with our friends, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

MATT: Hell yeah.

ZAC: All right, I’m gonna– you guys can talk amongst yourselves, I gotta run. I’m the only person here so I’m gonna run back, turn off the stream. Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.

MATT: (laughs) This guy, this guy. Guys, thanks again, have a wonderful night, we’ll see you soon.

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