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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to the first episode of Campaign 3 of Critical Role, where a bunch of us-- (cheering)

MATT: -- nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.

TRAVIS: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Wow. After a brief hiatus and getting to play with some new friends, we are back for Campaign 3, and I'm super excited.

TRAVIS: It's a real thing.

MATT: Yeah, so hello everyone. Thank you to come join us, all the Critters who've been with us for short or long periods of time, and welcome all the new Critters that are here for the first time.

LIAM: Wow.

MATT: But before we jump into tonight's episode and kick this campaign off, we do have some announcements to get through. Bear with us, we're going to get through it as fast as possible because it's been a while.

ALL: ♪ It's been a while ♪

MATT: But let us begin with our sponsor for tonight, Hit Point Press. Sam.

SAM: First ad of Campaign 3, so buckle up.

TRAVIS and SAM: Woo!

ASHLEY: Here we go!

SAM: Want an adventure where fun is guaranteed and death is very likely? The folks at Hit Point Press have *the** campaign setting--

TRAVIS: Oh.

SAM: For you. Shut up. Based on the-- (laughter)

SAM: Based on the popular YouTube animated series by Dingo Doodles, Fool's Gold: Into the Bellowing Wilds is a high-level, jungle-themed setting in which you can uncover the mysteries of the world's deadliest jungle, face new monsters like sheep and ducks, and tinker with new alchemy to create over a million very questionable potions. It contains heaps of new content, including an adventure module for new and experienced adventurers, plus materials to use in your own campaigns. Check it out at foolsgold5e.com.

TRAVIS: Wow.

ASHLEY: Wow.

LAURA: Woo!

TRAVIS: Well done, that's a speed read.

MATT: Is that-- is that it? Is that the entire--

SAM: Yeah! For people new to Critical Role, sometimes I do wacky, zany ad things for the sponsorship, but tonight, sticking to the script, that's it.

MATT: Really?

SAM: No, Matt, of course not! I wrote a Broadway musical that the sponsor did not ask for-- (laughter)

SAM: -- and has never seen before, and I'm going to perform it for you guys right now.

MATT: Oh, god. No, no, what's happening, what's happening? No! No, no!

MARISHA: Get it! [applause]

MARY ELIZABETH: Honey, it's 3:00 in the morning. Do you still have writer's block?

SAM: Yes, damn it. Unless I finish this commercial, I'm never going to make it, and you'll never respect me.

MARY ELIZABETH: Oh, can't you just get a job at the factory like the other husbands? What more do you need?

SAM: You know what I need. I need the greatest gift of all. I need someone like them.
♪ When I'm feeling down in the dumps ♪
♪ Life is dishing out its lumps ♪
♪ Our stomachs only full of butterflies ♪
♪ No food, no hope, no motivation ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: A big heart!

SAM: ♪ But no creation ♪
♪ My mind is crying, dying to advertise ♪
♪ Won't someone sponsor me ♪
♪ Take out that checkbook and just sponsor me ♪
♪ I swear that there's a ton of products I can sell ♪
♪ So come on, what the hell! ♪
♪ Just take my hand and hear my honest plea ♪
♪ And please sponsor me ♪ (knocks)

MARY ELIZABETH: (gasps) What's this? A telegram?

SAM: It's from Hit Point Press. They want to buy commercial time on the first episode of Campaign 3.

MARY ELIZABETH: Honey, you mean--

SAM: That's right, we made it, baby. We're going to be okay.
♪ Grab ahold and don't let go ♪
♪ Because there's a sign, and it's shown ♪
♪ That, baby, we don't need to get divorced ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: No, we don't!
♪ The ad execs open their doors ♪
♪ A love way more important than yours ♪
♪ You're multi-national company-endorsed ♪

SAM: ♪ They chose to sponsor me! ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Sponsor you ♪

SAM: ♪ Spent their commercial budget properly ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ This great song ♪

SAM: ♪ I've finally broken through and earned some validation ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Earned some validation ♪

SAM: ♪ From this fine corporation ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ This fine corporation ♪

SAM: ♪ And they called me up and chose to honor me ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Change the key ♪

SAM: ♪ Honor me ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Change the key ♪

SAM: ♪ Now someone sponsors me! ♪
♪ They took that checkbook and they sponsored me ♪
♪ You'll see that there's a ton of sponsors I can land ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Sponsors you can land ♪

SAM: ♪ So, come on, take my hand ♪

MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ You know I'll take your hand ♪

SAM and MARY ELIZABETH: ♪ Because shilling paves the road to prosperity ♪
♪ Now sponsor me ♪

[cheering]

MARY ELIZABETH: So no more dancing? Go to bed.

SAM: A little bit longer.

MARY ELIZABETH: Go to bed.

SAM: A little bit longer.

MARY ELIZABETH: Longer?

SAM: A little longer.

MARY ELIZABETH: Okay, okay.

SAM: Ah! Ah! Was that too self-indulgent? (laughter)

LIAM: Yeah...

MATT: Okay!

TRAVIS: I'm sweating in my jacket.

LAURA: What the hell?

MARISHA: I love you so much.

MATT: What the fuck, Sam?

ASHLEY: How did you keep that a secret?

TRAVIS: My face hurts.

SAM: Back to you, Matt.

TRAVIS: No, what?

MATT: Oh my god.

SAM: Oh, special thanks to Mary Elizabeth McGlynn! (cheering)

ASHLEY: Mary!

LIAM: Mary!

SAM: And composer extraordinaire Neil Acree for doing the--

ALL: Aww.

MATT: What?! (laughs) You guys are ridiculous.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: She didn't say shit.

LAURA: God.

SAM: She's good, she's good.

MARISHA: So good.

MATT: Thank you, Sam. Thank you, Hit Point Press. I guess, here we go. In the excitement, I hadn't mentioned, new set, by the way.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: Looks amazing. (cheering)

MARISHA: ♪ New set ♪

MATT: Super excited to be here. Wanted to thank all of you for joining us live in our Twitch chat and on YouTube, but if you want to be part of the Twitch chat, you have to come over to our official Twitch channel, and I think that's all I have for that one. But yes. (laughter)

MATT: I got lost in the page there.

SAM: It seemed so abrupt.

MATT: I know, it was like, "And that's it." I thought I had more. But yeah, thank you for joining us, and Twitch chat, I guess. There you go. Marisha, you have some announcements.

MARISHA: Oh, yes, hello. (laughter)

MARISHA: I'm Marisha Ray, the creative director of Critical Role, here with a few FYIs for those who are joining us for the first time. See, now it has context.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah. VODs for each episode of Critical Role are available immediately after the broadcast here on Twitch for our channel subscribers, of course, and will be available on YouTube-- MewTube-- Mondays.

TRAVIS: MewTube.

MARISHA: Mondays at noon.

MATT: That's my favorite Pokémon.

MARISHA: Also, a podcast version of episodes will be available a week after the initial broadcast, so that means you can find this episode as a podcast wherever you enjoy podcasts on Thursday, October the 28th, and then, starting in 2022-- this is important-- we'll take the last Thursday of every month off to give viewers extra time to catch up, Matt extra time to prep and plan, us time to maybe sleep, and then, probably, actually not do those things, and air a bunch of new content instead.

MATT: Yes, yes.

LAURA: Eyy.

MARISHA: (laughs) And then you can stay up to date on our weekly schedules, check out our programming posts every Monday at 10:00am Pacific on critrole.com.

MATT: Fantastic.

MARISHA: Ashley Johnson!

MATT: Oh!

ASHLEY: Oh boy!

MARISHA: President of the Critical Role Foundation.

SAM: We clap now, is that a thing?

LAURA: Yeah, this is apparently what we do.

MATT: No, don't make it a thing, don't make it a thing.

ASHLEY: Hello, I'm Ashley Johnson-- (laughter)

ASHLEY: -- President of Critical Role Foundation, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

TRAVIS and LAURA: Woo hoo.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I think it's that one? Okay. Just trying to see where to look here.

MATT: Well-oiled machine.

SAM: Just one camera.

TRAVIS: Split the diff.

ASHLEY: So, I, we, all of us here, we just want to thank everyone who has donated to our Shanti Bhavan campaign.

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: Yes!

ASHLEY: With your help, we are funding a new girls' dormitory and finishing funding for their music program at the Shanti Bhavan school to help build an enriched life for students from India's lowest socioeconomic class. So to learn more, it's amazing, go check it out, and to learn more about CRF, and our mission-- (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh.

SAM: Yeah, no, it's going.

TRAVIS: You're killing it.

ASHLEY: To learn more about CRF and our mission to leave the world better than we found it, check out criticalrolefoundation.org. (laughter, cheering)

MATT: Yeah, Ashley.

ASHLEY: I was going to say .com, but it's .org.

MATT: You did it, you did it.

ASHLEY: Whew.

MATT: Proud of you.

ASHLEY: Rusty!

MATT: Laura!

ASHLEY: Thank you.

MATT: Your turn.

LAURA: It's-a me, Laura Bailey. (laughter)

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: That's right, okay, okay, okay. I'm here to bring you merchandise announcements. Ta-da. Okay, wait, I should tell you what they are.

TRAVIS: Oh boy.

LAURA: First thing up is our Campaign 3 commencement hoodie.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, that's great.

LIAM: Well, I'll show just the front first. Don't forget the color.

LAURA: All right. There's the front because it's a great color, and we don't have a name for it yet.

LIAM: Action's in the back.

LAURA: Yeah.

ALL: Oh! ♪ The adventure begins ♪ (laughter)

MATT: That's what it says.

LAURA: So yeah, this is available right now. It's from our artist, Jordyn Torrence. She's amazing.

ASHLEY: Woo!

LAURA: It's available at our US and... CA store? Canada stores. I thought California, and I was like, "Why is that separate?"

ASHLEY: US and California.

LAURA: So yeah, this is available right now. It's just like our other hoodies; it's great. Okay, next up.

MATT: Well oiled machine.

TRAVIS: We bat 1,000, you guys.

LAURA: Next up, okay, okay, okay, I'm excited about this, but I'm also excited about this.

SAM: I haven't seen this. What's this?

LAURA: This is a surprise. You guys have seen it. Some of you have seen it.

ASHLEY: Oh, yes.

SAM: Whoa.

LAURA: It's a dress. It's a hoodie dress.

MATT: Oh, that's actually really cute.

LAURA: Inspired by Vex'ahlia.

SAM: Oh, that's cool.

TALIESIN: That is so cool.

ASHLEY: Look at this.

LAURA: It's got thumb holes.

SAM: Oh! It's got magic.

MARISHA: Yeah, the thumb holes are the best.

LAURA: Anyway, it's by artist Adriann Helton. It's got a Vex patch on the chest.

SAM: Nice, it's great. (laughter)

LIAM: Stop rubbing your patch.

LAURA: Sorry. It's got a whole bunch of stuff. It's available at our US, UK, Australia, and Canada stores. Check it out. I'm excited to have a dress in the store. And-- okay.

LIAM: Here, let me see, let me see.

LAURA: Okay, I don't know whether to say this next, or the next part next. I'ma say this part next. We launched a whole bunch of shit when we were on break, and so I'm going to run through some of it right now because I didn't get to talk about any of it, and I'm so excited about a lot of it. Okay, first up, let's talk about this shirt. It's a Henry Crabgrass tee.

ASHLEY: Oh ho ho!

LAURA: Look at that, and it goes so well with our Fjordy lounge shorts, which I passed over to Travis to hold out.

SAM: Ooh.

TRAVIS: So soft.

MARISHA: Ooh.

LAURA: So soft, they're great.

TRAVIS: Put your package in here.

LAURA: They've got pockets. It's got pockets.

SAM: You don't even need underwear.

TRAVIS: And your buns on this side.

LAURA: We also have-- Oh, pet bow ties and handkerchiefs.

ASHLEY: You could also wear them yourself.

LAURA: You could totally wear them yourself, and I do wear them, myself.

ASHLEY: Bow ties.

LAURA: Look how cute those are. We also got, oh, Chaos Crew scrunchies.

MARISHA: Ah, so you can match your dog.

LAURA: That's right!

ASHLEY: (laughs)

LAURA: Well, these ones have a Critter pattern.

ASHLEY: Boy, we're a little rusty today.

MATT: Yeah, you think?

MARISHA: Oh, you're right. Chaos Crew.

LAURA: Save one for me because I'm probably going to use it tonight. And then-- Oh! We have face masks that came out, that are great for Halloweenies.

SAM: Yes, Nott the Brave.

LAURA: Nott the Brave face masks in adult sizes and children's sizes.

ASHLEY: So cool.

SAM: Kid sizes, too.

LIAM: (like Nott) Ah!

LAURA: Is that everything? Is that everything that I had? I think that's everything that I had. There's also more stuff. Check out our shops. And last thing that I'm going to say, a lot of people have been hitting me up on Twitter, and hitting up us on Twitter, and I know that you guys have wanted a European store for a long time, and I want to let you know that we're in the works of getting a European store.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MARISHA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: Let's go!

LAURA: That's pretty great.

SAM: That is great.

LAURA: It's in the works, it's coming soon. That's all I got.

MATT: Thank you Laura. All right, with that I guess it's time. Let's go ahead and jump into, Tonight's first episode of Critical Role. (cheering)

(explosion) (flames whoosh)

Part I[]

MATT: I would like to welcome you to Marquet. The year is 843 P.D., or Post Divergence. A landmass once marred by a vengeful god during the Calamity, the staggeringly twisted mountain ranges created in its wake divided the regions that have now developed into a varied and beautiful continent. The epicenter of this ancient destruction created the Rumedam Desert, a vast expanse of sand dunes and rocky landmarks that encompasses nearly a third of Marquet. Dotted with oasis townships surrounding the central city of Ank'Harel, known as the Jewel of Hope. Here, the long-living ruler, J'mon Sa Ord, and their Hands of Ord keep the peace and prosperity of their people protected. Beyond the Rumedam Desert and its sister desert, the Panagrip Sands, to the south lies the Gloomed Jungles of Aeshanadoor. A shaded territory of treacherous wilderness and careful guard by the historically orcish erudite society of Yios, here many skilled dreamers seek the Marquesian peak of collegiate study and social influence within the political powerhouse of its ruling council, the Court of the Lambent Path. To the southwest, a towering range of mountain spires climb into the clouds known as the Taloned Highlands where massive shelves and plateaus scattered among the peaks are home to elevated valleys, abundant with agriculture and rural life, before reaching to the apex where the military might of the region is held by the Stratos Throne. Near the center of this continent, the rugged badlands known as the Hellcatch Valley acts as the roadway nexus between the cage-like mountain ranges of Marquet, where numerous independent villages and cities survive among the harsh, dusty canyons and compete for dominance. The history of Marquet is filled with vibrant culture, incredible discoveries, political intrigue, and inter-region warfare that recently culminated two decades back in a years-long conflict known as the Apex War between the Stratos Throne and the Court of the Lambent Path that left both sides exhausted, expended, and without victory. This truce has continued to this day as both factions continue the slow work to rebuild their societies to their former glory. Our story, however, begins to the northwest of the Hellcatch Valley within the natural boundaries of the Serpentwind Peaks, where the lush jungle valley of the Oderan Wilds thrums with life and mystery. Here among the vines and mists that choke the uncarved paths of the rainforest, howling beasts and long, dormant shadows are rumored to hide among the lost relics of ancient days. Here, the dense jungle canopy is home to numerous towns along the Honored Trails, where travelers and traders trudge through the dangerous wilds to seek their fortunes. Here, from the central jungle floor, rises five, tower-like mountains that reach for the heavens where upon their rocky exterior, numerous streets and urban districts have been carved into them to form a singular city connected by bridge and cable. These spires glow with the thousands of lights and lanterns that mark the Oderan Wilds' capital city of Jrusar, home to the Chandei Quorum that oversees and controls the larger populace of the region. The spiraling streets bustle with life and chatter beneath the cloud-dappled, blue sky, where the innumerable birds fly among the Simurgh Riders that keep watch. Here, in Jrusar, is where our story begins. (nervous laughter) I would like Laura and Marisha to remain at the table while the rest of you exit, if you don't mind. (quiet laughter)

TRAVIS: (surprised laugh)

LAURA and ASHLEY: Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.

LIAM: See ya in a bit.

MARISHA: Oh, my skin is instantly clammy.

LAURA: (laughs nervously) Okay.

TRAVIS: Cool.

ASHLEY: Have fun, I love you.

LAURA: I love you, okay, okay. What if we die before you get here? Okay, bye.

TRAVIS: Don't die!

LAURA: Ah!

MARISHA: I got to get a page.

MATT: So... We begin with the rocking sensation of one of the various engineered cable cars making its way, dangling from one of the many cables that connects the five different spires of Jrusar as the two of you now ride up within. Just the two of you for now, the rest of the interior appears to be empty at the moment. But as you coast along the way, it's shifting and rocking. The small windows outside are giving a beautiful view of the jungle mists that are just beginning to slowly return after being burned away by most of the midday sun. You glance at each other as you head and climb towards the Aerie Spire. To that point, Laura, if you'd like to describe your character.

LAURA: Oh gosh. (light southern accent) Well, all right. Oh gosh. Okay. A young lady with long, light purple hair, a yellow scarf around my neck. I look a little bit-- Maybe shy, like I'm trying to hide myself from other people. A light blue dress, just keeping myself tucked back a little bit and looking mildly uncomfortable as we rattle along. I'm going to just hold onto your arm, Laudna, if that's all right.

MARISHA: You feeling okay? A little sick?

LAURA: I just, you know, I never get used to these things.

MATT: Human, correct?

LAURA: I am a human. Yes.

MATT: Now, Marisha, if you would like to describe yourself.

MARISHA: All right. Oh, goodness. Don't fuck this up. (Mid-Atlantic accent) You see a also youngish-looking woman, not as young as Imogen over here, long, scraggly, dark hair with a shock of white going through the top of her bangs. She has it pulled back into a half-up bun with a rock chisel holding it up. Her skin is pale and her eyes are big, a little bulbous with dilated pupils, almost doll-like. Her lips are dark, and she's wearing tattered, scraggly clothes, a black skirt and a blood-maroon blouse. You can see she's very thin, gaunt, and around her belt with some tools and odds and ends, is a dead rat with a bird skull. I made him myself.

MATT: Gross. (laughter) Now, you've been here in the city for a short period of time, a handful of weeks. As part of this journey, you, Imogen, you went to the Ascension's Rise University seeking to see if perhaps there was a way of utilizing their extensive library for research materials. You have yourself something you're looking into, but the university itself only keeps its grounds for those who are enrolled there or have approval. So instead, you went over to the Starpoint Conservatory, also on the Aerie. They gave you pretty much the same answer, but said you may submit a formal request and you left behind and have heard nothing for two weeks. Now, as you climb up higher and higher to check in to see if perhaps there's been any movement within the Conservatory, you can watch the edge of the Aerie grow closer and closer as the (clunking) shifting of it begins to clatter with some of the slight imperfections in the metallic cable pulling you forward. Some of the nearby birds that have roosted on the cliff side as you get towards the spire edge itself, (wings fluttering) scatter off upon approach.

MARISHA: Hmm.

LAURA: You'd think they would get better cables with as often as people use these things.

MARISHA: Hmm, maybe in time. Are you feeling pretty good about your little essay that you wrote?

LAURA: (laughs) No.

MARISHA: I liked it! I thought it was pretty good.

LAURA: I hope they will give us the time of day this time. Just a little nudge maybe.

MARISHA: Well, I guess let's find out.

LAURA: I forget, is the--

MATT: (crashing)

MARISHA: Oh.

LAURA: Is the Aerie Spire quite as crowded as the Core Spire is?

MATT: Not by any means. The Aerie Spire is the tallest and technically smallest of the spires. It is more of a thin peak amongst the other four, but this is where a handful of upper Mahaan houses, or nobles, live, but it's largely consumed by these two different things. The university, the Ascension's Rise University and the Starpoint Conservatory, as well as a handful of other guilds that use the space, predominantly for their business. But as you come to rest at this point, you can see the massive construct that is responsible for winding up the cable that allows the car to descend upon its track and return, finishes its work, (crashing) locks it over and then goes into a stasis mode. The side of the door comes ajar and you can already see right there, a small, dark-skinned halfling who is wearing one of the general, dark-greenish, and gold-trimmed outfits of those that run the various cable gondolas throughout the city. Wordlessly just waits for you to exit.

LAURA: Thank you.

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: Closes it.

MARISHA: Are you supposed to give tips here? Is this a tipping culture?

LAURA: I hope not because I've never--

MARISHA: We haven't been doing that.

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: No. It's fine.

MATT: Continuing the familiar path along this extremely high portion of the city, it is unnerving the moment you step off of this as you're about 15, 20 feet from what would be a drop for hundreds and hundreds of feet into the jungle floor below. The mist actually obscures a majority of the jungle floor from here and you can see just the faint detail of the canopy below as hundreds of birds occasionally dot aspects of the misty landscape below you. Following--

MARISHA: Just adjusting to the heights.

LAURA: Oh, I love it once we're off those cables.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: It's beautiful up here.

MATT: Continuing to follow the stone pathways you've traversed once before, you bypass the massive and almost gaudy Ascension's Rise University and make your way instead to the multi-level courtyard that surrounds the exterior of the Conservatory. Here you can see each large platform step get smaller and smaller as it rises towards the massive, double, gold-plated doors with the handles up front. They sit mostly-- readily ajar for at least two people to walk in shoulder to shoulder. The 25-foot wide doors stay that way unless it's closed for the evening. As you carefully step in, passing by the gardens, beautiful fauna and the torch-topped pillars that guide you into the entryway, you hear this gentle, sourceless music that just apparates in the air around you. Calming, if a little unnerving that you do not see where it comes from.

MARISHA: Like you just have ambient music?

MATT: Just gentle atmospheric music as you step in.

LAURA: How do they do that?

MARISHA: It's so calming.

MATT: There, at the front desk setup, you see in a massive, circular position as it climbs up to the sides and on each end, you can see statues of previous tutors that took up residence here within the Conservatory. You see a female halfling looking towards you with darker hair, an olive complexion, these shaded glasses that sit at the edge of her nose, these green eyes that peek from above the lenses. You've spoken with this individual once before, and you recall her name to be the Escritorae Kunthea. Escritorae being her title.

LAURA: Escritorae--

MATT: Kunthea.

MARISHA: Kun-- Kunfia.

MATT: Kunthea.

MARISHA: Kunthea.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Geska something.

LAURA: Escritorae.

MARISHA: Eskay--

LAURA: Escritorae Kunthea.

MATT: And immediately looks up and makes eye contact. "Hello. Might I help you?"

LAURA: Do you remember me? We came here a couple of weeks ago.

MATT: "Right. Have you not been contacted?"

LAURA: No. And I just figured, you know, the Windowed Wall is such a packed-in sort of area that maybe you got our address wrong and you have been trying to contact us, and I just wanted to make sure you knew that we were available for an appointment whenever you need it.

MATT: "Allow me to inquire beyond the doors and see if there has been any sort of adjustment or change in your request process."

LAURA: Thank you so much.

MATT: "Excuse me."

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: Steps down and begins to make her way out to a side chamber and you hear the door. (slamming)

MARISHA: Oh, she hates us.

LAURA: I can tell. She just can't stand us.

MATT: There's nobody within the room, but these marble halls are spacious. You can hear your voice echoing and bouncing a bit amongst the long, marble flooring. At first, you think you're being-- You feel like you're not being watched or attended to anybody, but-- Laudna, you do glance up and can see what looks to be these two stone hawks that sit at the top of these pillars. And as you look up and glance, one of them (stone grinding) shifts its head and glances in your direction.

MARISHA: Hello!

LAURA: Hi.

MARISHA: Look at the bird.

LAURA: Oh! Oh.

MARISHA: Oh.

LAURA: Is that where the music's coming from, too?

MARISHA: Oh, it's also a speaker.

MATT: (creaking) The door shifts open, and you watch as Kunthea steps out, carrying a small piece of paper, or an envelope, or some sort of folded thing, goes, "Ah, this was intended to be delivered, but could not find your abode, but--"

LAURA: See, I knew it. I knew it, it's going to say--

MARISHA: It's so complicated.

LAURA: "Miss Imogen Temult--" That's me. I'm just going to open it up right now. I hope you don't mind, because I would love to find out when we finally get to come, because, you know, we came really far to be able to do this. "Miss Imogen Tamolt--" You spelled my name wrong, but that's all right. "We are appreciative for your inquiry regarding our internal collection of tomes and historical records. Unfortunately, much effort has gone into the acquisition of our library for studious purposes, and at this time, the Conservatory cannot allow individuals not enrolled within the Conservatory, nor granted approval by either the Guro Cotier--" Coterie?

MATT: "Coterie."

LAURA: "-- Coterie or the Chandei Quorum entry to our--" Okay, cool, fine, yeah, that's great.

MATT: "My apologies. Have a good day."

LAURA: No, no, no, I actually have one more question.

MATT: "Mm-hmm?"

LAURA: How would one get approval from the Guro Coterie?

MATT: "You would have to have somebody on the Coterie speak on your behalf."

LAURA: Great. How do we talk to them?

MARISHA: Do you know anybody? Family friends.

MATT: "If you already have your connections, then you can utilize them. If not, well, then I cannot help you."

MARISHA: Mm.

LAURA: It's just, you know, it's really important to us because, you know, it's been kind of hard for both of us. We've faced a lot of adversity coming to see you. You know, we heard wonderful things, and so it's really hard to find out that, you know-- All we want to do is learn. All we want to do is find out some information.

MARISHA: My feet, bloody, blistered on the bottom.

LAURA: That's not what we're--

MARISHA: From walking here.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: So far.

LAURA: We don't need to learn about her feet, necessarily.

MARISHA: They're very gross.

LAURA: Trust me, you don't want to see.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LAURA: Okay. (laughs)

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: Persuasion. Oh god, first roll, first roll?

MATT: First roll of the campaign.

LAURA: (nervous noise)

MARISHA: Don't fuck up.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

MARISHA: Don't fuck it up.

LAURA: I'm going to choose this one. (laughs)

MATT: Yeah, let's do it.

LAURA: Okay. That's great. Persuasion, setting it off. Oh, you know what? No, that's still pretty-- 12?

MATT: 12.

MARISHA: It's above average.

LAURA: It's not as bad as it could have been.

MATT: She listens to your pleading, lingers a bit on the detailed description of your bloody feet.

MARISHA: Want to see right now?

MATT: Before glancing back to you. "Your best bet, if you do not have a connection to the Coterie, would be to appeal to the Chandei Quorum, and whether it be through deeds or goodwill, have them speak on your behalf, send a letter of recommendation."

LAURA: All right, an appeal.

MARISHA: And where do we talk to the Chandei Quorum? Where do we find them?

MATT: "Well, if they're meeting on the Core Spire, specifically--" Specifically, it would be on the-- -- the Chandei Chambers, which are on the very top of the Core Spire."

MARISHA: Chandei Chambers.

LAURA: Right, yeah.

MATT: "However, they are carefully guarded, and you require appointments to speak with anybody, to give information. The Chandei Quorum is anonymous, so to speak directly is impossible, but--"

LAURA: Do you know anyone on the Chandei Quorum?

MATT: "Nobody knows who is on the Chandei Quorum."

MARISHA: That's what anonymous means.

LAURA: Yeah, but I thought maybe it was anonymous to the public, but certain people knew, you know?

MATT: "I'm certain there are people who know, but I am not of that station myself."

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "I'm sorry, I wish I could be of more help."

MARISHA: How long are these appointments usually backed up?

MATT: "I could not tell you."

MARISHA: Days, weeks?

MATT: "I have not dealt. Best of luck."

MARISHA: Thank you.

LAURA: Great. Do you work here all the time?

MATT: "I am not the only escritorae, but I do handle this shift."

LAURA: Okay, thank you. How often is the Conservatory open? Is it an all day, all night sort of situation?

MATT: "Outside of members of the Conservatory, and the student body, it is only open during the light of the day."

LAURA: All right.

MATT: "Students have access to it at all times."

LAURA: Great, maybe we should just become students here.

MARISHA: Oh. Yeah, I could go back to school. That would be fun. Oh, mm.

MATT: "I have to get to business and make some tea, but thank you for your time."

LAURA: Great, thank you.

MARISHA: Hm.

LAURA: Yeah. How do we enroll? How do you become a student here?

MARISHA: I don't know. I always felt like this was always for the fancy and rich people who can afford--

LAURA: This looks like an expensive sort of place.

MARISHA: It does look very expensive, but I don't know, maybe they have grants, you know, programs we could get into.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Financial.

LAURA: Can I just open up my mind a little bit, and see if I can hear the thoughts of Miss Kunthea?

MATT: Certainly, are you using a spell slot, or just your feature?

LAURA: Just opening up my mind.

MATT: All right. Wisdom saving throw?

LAURA: Oh, did I have to roll?

MATT: I mean, you will when you use this, yes.

LAURA: Oh, okay, okay.

MATT: But first, as you step just beyond the range of your awareness, and this capability of creeping in and seeding into someone's mind, you are met with an obstinate willpower, and a figure that has likely been trained, due to their station, to be somewhat resistant to such prodding.

LAURA: That makes sense.

MATT: However, you do still have to make a saving throw.

LAURA: (laughs)

MARISHA: Oh shit. Oh no.

LAURA: Yeah, that'll take me out. It's plus my-- What is it?

MATT: The DC would be 10 plus the number of people in the space.

LAURA: Yeah, no. 100% don't reach that.

MATT: Okay, while her voice does not seem to connect with your extended will, a number of other whispers begin to cross paths. As you exit the Conservatory, make your way down the Conservatory steps, other students that walk by and employees of the Conservatory, you can hear their voices all (dissonant whispering) creeping in, and it's starting to give you a headache.

MARISHA: Imogen?

MATT: It hurts a bit.

MARISHA: Imogen, wait. Before I leave: Kunthea, darling?

MATT: "Yes?"

MARISHA: Do you have a pamphlet or something, little introduction to the school, in case we consider enrolling? You know, just doing a little campus tour trip.

MATT: "No."

MARISHA: Oh. Wait, how do you even fucking enroll then? How do you get into this place?

MATT: "Do your research. If you just wander in off the street without doing the research, well, that does not bode well for a student's inquiry, does it?"

MARISHA: I find that quite ironic considering I came here for research, so.

MATT: "Good day, miss."

MARISHA: Thank you. Imogen!

MATT: As you head off and step down the stairs, you can see there's two cats that are probably Conservatory wild creatures that wander about. They both stop and turn. (hisses) And hiss at you as you walk by.

MARISHA: (hisses)

MATT: (meows) And they rush off into the bushes.

MARISHA: Darling, are you all right?

LAURA: No, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine.

MARISHA: Let's get out of here, it's getting crowded.

LAURA: Yeah. I promised Zhudanna I would stop by the market and get some eggs. She's out of eggs.

MARISHA: Right. Let's pick up some tea on the way, too.

LAURA: That's smart.

MATT: Okay, returning to the wired gondola relatively soon after you disembarked, you pay the ferry cost of one silver each.

MARISHA: And those two universities are the only ones up here?

MATT: Correct, the high end universities. There are other places of learning, but they're not as lauded nationwide as much.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay. These are Ivy League.

MATT: One of them, if Ivy League's even that great.

MARISHA: Right.

LAURA: Oh, right, it doesn't just--

MATT: Sorry, if you're Ivy League.

LAURA: And 10 silver make a gold? No, 10 silver make a--

MATT: 10 silver make a gold, you're correct.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: But you ride the gondola back down to the Core Spire, descending as the afternoon gets later. You immediately step off and enter the main thoroughfare here, bustling with people of all walks of life. You hear the heavy footfalls of a figure that pushes past, hitting your shoulder a bit, Imogen, and you watch as a pachydan, the massive elephant folk, step by, holding a large, netted cluster of gathered fruits and vegetables in one arm, goes, "Ah, I'm sorry."

LAURA: It's fine.

MATT: And continues.

MARISHA: Interlock my arm around Imogen's.

LAURA: I mean, are we ever going to find out anything? Maybe we should just leave this place and go find another city.

MARISHA: I mean, we always have that option. I know. I felt so good about coming here, like it was, you know, the first-- Oh, we'd be interacting with civilization in a while. I had high hopes for it, but.

LAURA: We've done well here, we really have.

MARISHA: We have, yeah. Honestly, I anticipated somebody running me out of the city far sooner, so the fact that it hasn't happened yet.

MATT: "Misses, misses, excuse me, so sorry." And you turn over, and you can see one of the katari folk, lion-like in appearance, with a heavy medium-brown mane that has been pulled back and put over the shoulders, and it goes to around the mid back or so, with a very light, tan fur coloration in the face, thinner for a katari, approaches with a colorful blouse on, a small, hand-carried cart with all manner of jewelry made of nuts and pieces of wood that have been carved. He goes, "Sorry to bother you, but I had to say, this would look incredible on either one of you or both of you, if you're interested. You have some great sense, but, you know, accessorizing is what it's all about. I'm just saying."

LAURA: I am just going to hold onto my coin purse.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "Any interest? It's a special price this afternoon." It's locking eyes on you, and starting to scoot a little bit away.

LAURA: I think we're fine.

MATT: "You sure? It's special, five copper for this beautiful beech nut necklace. Kind of clatters together. It looks okay."

LAURA: I think--

MATT: "Ah, ah?"

LAURA: I think we're fine, I think we're fine.

MATT: "Very well, continue on your way, if you'd like." Takes it, and places it back in his cart, and quickly picks it up and moves off. "Excuse me, miss." Just already skitters off to the side. It's at this point, Laudna, you notice there's a pair of dwarven children that are off the side of this small alley that are just staring right at you. (gasp) They both get spooked and retract, but not completely out of the way.

MARISHA: (chuckles)

LAURA: What do you see?

MARISHA: There's two kids, a little spooked, it seems. Where did they go? Are they still looking?

MATT: They're still looking. They feel like they hid, but they're still peeking around the side of the corner.

MARISHA: I'm curious, hang on. Just going to go over. Hello.

MATT: They both immediately go and try and hide further down the alley. As you step off to the side, you can see bits of shattered cloth that was part of an archway that's been just left to slight ruin, down the path, and it goes about 15 or so feet. You can see left over rotted bits of wood, empty boxes that have been placed there for storage and forgotten. You can see a little bit of the stonework in the alley has slowly eroded over time, and there's a patch of mud there, and, right around the very, very back, where you see where those boxes are, both children just (pants).

MARISHA: Are we playing hide and seek?

MATT: They both look terrified. (laughter)

MARISHA: I jump out. I found you!

MATT: (fearful shrieking) They both scream and run past you. One runs through your legs. They both scatter out into the street.

MARISHA: I'm friendly.

LAURA: You know, I don't think it goes over quite as well as you think it does, you know?

MARISHA: I love kids, though.

LAURA: Little much.

MARISHA: Don't they love--

LAURA: Laudna, no, they don't.

MARISHA: Fuck.

LAURA: They like, you know, fun scary.

MARISHA: Fun scary.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I am fun scary.

LAURA: Laudna, you're scary scary.

MARISHA: I'm scary scary?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LAURA: But in a good way.

MARISHA: Thank you.

LAURA: Yeah, comes in handy.

MARISHA: I want to just talk to the kids. I feel like maybe they know something.

LAURA: They know something? What, like how to get into the-- You know, maybe they could. Maybe they could sneak into the Conservatory.

MARISHA: Yeah, kids know stuff like that, like weird little sewer entrances, because they're tiny, so they fit in small places.

LAURA: We could get into a sewer in the Spire, and go up through the sewer, and come up out in the middle of a library in the Conservatory.

MARISHA: You know, I wonder what those shadow creepers, what they were doing, and if they have any paths up that way.

LAURA: It's a good point.

MARISHA: Children! Children.

LAURA: I don't think it's going to work, Laudna.

MARISHA: Do I see the kids?

MATT: Make a perception check. (laughter)

MARISHA: Mm. (chuckles) It's not good.

LAURA: (laughs)

MARISHA: Eight total.

LAURA: Ooh.

MATT: Those children are gone.

LAURA: They're gone.

MATT: They have scattered to the four winds, and likely have adopted a new nightmare.

MARISHA: I'll find more children.

LAURA: You can visit them in their dreams tonight.

MATT: You can see there's an older woman right off next to Laudna that hears her say she'll find more children, and goes--

MARISHA: Oh, fuck, let's go.

LAURA: Let's get out-- I got to get eggs. (laughter)

MATT: As you both begin to wander off to find one of the larger marketplaces here on the Core Spire, I would like to ask Sam and Taliesin to come to the table, please.

LAURA: Ah!

SAM: I'm ready, I am so ready.

LAURA: Oh my god, oh my god.

MARISHA: Oh my god, it's you.

LAURA: What are you-- Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

LAURA: Hi.

TALIESIN: Hi.

MATT: Ashton, your eyes flutter open. The air, familiar, if familiarly stale, you slightly feel the hint of a hangover, but, as you rub your eyes, and sit up, you are on your standard sleeping cot here in the Krook House, surrounded by the what would be considered destitute interior by anyone of means, but, to you, it's colorful, and it's fun. A lot of cobbled together, half-torn tapestries, and colorful strings of gems and beads of no worth that give a character to it. The place has a very vibrant, whatever you find at the bottom of the gutter and polish off feel to it, but here, in the Krook House, it's home. You're not sure what time it is. It could be 4:00 in the morning. It could be 4:00 in the afternoon. No light makes its way down here. It's the odd nature of being here in the Fownsee Hollow in the center of the Core Spire, this empty, cylindrical space that resides in the central area of the Core Spire where many of the folk go to disappear, disappear intentionally, to be away from the streets, and find community amongst the others who don't want to engage too heavily with society, for all of its good and bad. The inside of the Hollow is hundreds and hundreds of feet of climbing ladders, and walkways, and rafters, and just a mass collection of odd pieces of bamboo, and metal, and wood, and cables that are strung together to create a network of climbable space to reach any of the numerous tunnels that exit from the center of the Spire out to the many streets. People come here to be forgotten, or people are thrown here to be forgotten, but you call it home. If you'd like to describe yourself, Ashton.

TALIESIN: Ashton, he, they, he/they are an earth genasi with green stone skin, and a dark purple crystal hair on the shorter end of things. They're wearing an awful lot of leather that looks like they've been wearing it for a very, very long time, with red fabric lining it. They've got leather pouches, a bit of everything to keep little bits and pieces together, some piercings made mostly of nails, and, very obviously, a giant hole in the left side of their head that has been filled with slag glass, and beneath the slag glass, there's a little bit of an opalescent brain that can be seen through. One of the eyes on the cracked side is milky like a tiger's eye gem. The cracks run most of the upper left side of the body, and have been patched together with slag melted gold to piece everything together. They also have, on the back of their very hand-decorated jacket, the words, "JUST DON'T" (laughter) And a big glass hammer that they carry around that very, very gently, just around the base of it, says, "FUCK OFF" (laughter) So that's Ashton.

MATT: As you stir for a moment and sit up, get your bearings, a familiar voice goes, "So when are you going to wake up? You're being lazy." As you hear Milo from around the corner.

TALIESIN: Fuck off, what time is it?

MATT: "It's afternoon."

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: "That's right."

TALIESIN: Okay. (groans)

MATT: It's at this point, you begin to take in the smell of some sort of cooking meat that's filled the room a bit, and as you push past the hanging lantern to your left in a makeshift cloth bed that dangles between two portions of the room, you can see, on the work shelf to one side, and the metal, iron skillet placed upon a little, heated device that Milo has created, you see Milo. Now, Milo, to bring this over here.

TALIESIN: Sorry.

MATT: No, no, it's all good. I'm trying to make sure I've got everything. Sees a nonbinary human, early 20s, has fawny beige skin, large glasses, and a knitted cap, and they're in the process of cooking up some food, and says, "Soon as you're ready, there'll be food. It's almost done."

TALIESIN: Oh, that's fucking brilliant. Ah, shit.

MATT: Scrapes it off onto a piece of sheet metal, puts a couple small bolts off, and places them back in a shelf that they keep.

TALIESIN: Could've used that, but that's okay. Have you seen Fresh Cut Grass around?

MATT: You motherfucker. (laughter) "Hey, Letters."

LAURA: Letters.

MATT: As you are just milling about, taking in the space, impatient for anything to happen, but not quite ready to do anything on your own, you hear Milo shout out, and the rousing sounds of Ashton around the corner. If you would like to describe yourself.

SAM: Sure! Wheeling into the room is a short automaton with yellow, metallic skin, a cute little backpack. He/they has two big, blue eyes of different shapes. He's got a wheel that he rolls around on. On his chest plate are four stripes that sort of look like blades of grass down his chest plate, and-- Yeah, he's a robit. (laughter) As he wheels into the room. (broad southern accent) Well, smiley day there, Ashton. How you doing? How was your stasis? I've been sort of waiting here on standby, waiting for your designation. Are you almost ready to go?

TALIESIN: The stasis was short. (laughter) Protein is incoming, protein is incoming, right?

MATT: "Protein is ready."

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: As they hand it over to you.

SAM: Short? I mean, you had to be out for at least 11 hours. Do you need more than that?

TALIESIN: Oh, I could've done with 14, 15 easily.

SAM: Wow, wow.

MATT: "Are you hungry as well?"

SAM: Oh, I had some bolts already. I'm good to go. Thank you, though, Milo, and thank you for patching up my whole thing over here. I appreciate it.

MATT: "Trust me, my honor. As a person who dabbles in automation on a lower arcane level, it's not every day you get the option to work with something quite as... deep as you, I'd say."

SAM: Well, I'm very pleased that working on me gave you value. (laughter)

MATT: "Anyway, I'm going to get back to my work. Doing anything today? You just lounging around again?"

TALIESIN: No, I thought I'd head up, maybe show Fresh Cut Grass around a little bit, see something, unless you've got something that needs to be picked up, any work. I could certainly use the work, if you have the work.

MATT: "Not anything that really hits your specialty. I've been doing some minor repairs around the Windowed Wall for a bit."

TALIESIN: Okay, because I'm bored, so I'll do some stupid shit right now.

MATT: "Honestly, we could use a little bit of excitement around here, so stupid shit away."

TALIESIN: Ah.

SAM: We're doing stupid shit?

TALIESIN: I figure that's the best way to spend a day, or what's left of it.

SAM: Feels like we've been doing a lot of stupid shit since we got here, but--

TALIESIN: Ah, you're catching on, that's good.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: That's good, you're sharp.

SAM: So, I guess, after you finish up breakfast, and maybe tidy up yourself.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

SAM: Nope, all right, we'll just go then.

TALIESIN: Let's go see what's happening upstairs. (groans)

MATT: All right, so as you climb this multi-leveled, truncated hovel that has odd stairs and ladders that lead you up to the area where it exits out onto the side of the wall of the center of the Hollow, you pass by Anni. This is Anni Aughta. You see the half-elf, half-orc young performer, looks to be in her early 20s, sitting down with this, for as rough as her clothing is, this really nice-looking lute that you're uncertain if she saved up for it, necessarily, or got it off the back of somebody's cart. Who knows? But is sitting there in the process of just quietly practicing, and as you begin to approach, goes, "Glad you both finally decided to do something today."

TALIESIN: Oh, fuck off.

MATT: "You fuck off."

TALIESIN: Please tell me you have something that needs lifting. Ah, please, do you have a show, do you need something carried? I just want a little cash.

MATT: "Nope, sorry."

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: "I'm practicing for an audition because I want to actually maybe get a spot in the Dreamscape Theater, for Stuvan, and that would actually, I don't know, earn us a little money in this household, so you go do whatever it is--"

SAM: The Dreamscape Theater, did you say?

MATT: "Stuvan's Dreamscape Theater."

SAM: What's that? What's that? What's that?

MATT: "It's a performance auditorium. It's where people of all sort of believed skill sets go and try and wow the crowd."

SAM: I mean, that sounds amazing. And you're hopeful to perform there?

MATT: "It's amazing, depending on what you consider art. Some of the music I've heard there is pretty bad."

TALIESIN: It's pretty iffy.

SAM: Maybe you can raise the bar.

MATT: "Well, that's the hope."

TALIESIN: Do you actually have to perform for Stuvan, or no?

MATT: "I actually don't have an audition yet, but I'm practicing for when I get one."

TALIESIN: Oh, heaven help you, god.

SAM: Well, I guess just out there-- unless you need us to go find out when auditions are being held or anything?

MATT: "What do you want from me?" (quiet laughter)

TALIESIN: They're very friendly. I don't know how to turn it off and stop that part.

MATT: "I hate it."

TALIESIN: I keep being told it's going to grow on me.

SAM: Hi. (laughter)

MATT: "If you hear anything, just let me know. I'm just going to stay here and practice."

TALIESIN: Well, look forward to the new show regardless. Keep it up.

MATT: "Hey, I'll let you know if I can pull myself together for some sort of a performance any time soon."

TALIESIN: I believe in you.

SAM: I believe in you as well.

MATT: "That makes it worse."

TALIESIN: They're not joking.

SAM: I know we just met, but I definitely believe in you.

MATT: "Get out."

SAM: All right, fuck off!

MATT: "Please, yes."

TALIESIN: Good morning!

MATT: "Ugh." And begins tuning and adjusting a bit. Stepping out into the Hollow, you immediately see this large, cylindrical space that climbs up at a mostly vertical way, and descends for another 100 or so feet. It looks extremely dangerous, if not for the hundreds of various cables and ropes that are carved from wall to wall, and attached to pitons and other anchor points so everyone can pull their way up and climb these endless pieces of scaffolding and ladders that just make their way all around this center space. You can see entranceways, and doors, and tunnels to all little homes, and cavern nooks where people have essentially set up and squatted. There isn't a lot of oversight to the Hollow, necessarily, so it's great for those who want to be off the grid a bit. So leading your way through.

TALIESIN: Well, I figure we've seen a lot of the underground of the Core Spire. Why don't we take you upstairs and actually see some sky for a change?

SAM: Aw, I mean, that sounds lovely. We don't have a job yet, though.

TALIESIN: I mean, not yet, no.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: I'm working on it. You can work on it, too.

SAM: Sure, I'll ask around, see what I can--

TALIESIN: Actually, that might be better. I've figured out who I'm already working for in this town. I think getting new clients is not my specialty.

SAM: Oh, well, don't sell yourself short. I'm sure you've got-- You know, you present yourself as sort of rough around the edges, and you know, brusque a little bit.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: But I feel like there's a heart of gold down there. I just need to stick on my miner's cap, and get a pickaxe, and dig real deep, you know?

TALIESIN: It's been so fun having you around for the last few weeks. I've really enjoyed it.

SAM: I appreciate that, although it does sound like there's a "but" or an end of that coming, but.

TALIESIN: Maybe there is. You know, I'm not entirely sure anymore. Anyway, let's--

SAM: Topside we go.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All righty. Climbing up a number of stories to one of the various tunnels that exits the hollow and makes its way towards one of the main streets of this region of the Core Spire, you eventually emerge. This would be on the edge of what's called the Prism Emporium, which is one of the general wares repositories and shops in this region. And at this point, it's mid-afternoon, a nice, warm day with the sun pouring through. And it's a beautiful view as you step into the main road, Fresh Cut Grass. As you glance by, you can see a flock of birds going through the gentle clouds and hear the sounds of people taking care of their business throughout the surrounding, bustling thoroughfare. (splashing) Somebody dumps a piss bucket outside of their door and just coats you.

SAM: Ah!

MATT: "Sorry."

TALIESIN: Fuck off!

SAM: Sorry I was in your way. I apologize.

MARISHA: (giggles)

TALIESIN: Man, we got to work on that. Fucker! (grunts)

LAURA and MARISHA: (laugh)

LIAM and ASHLEY: (laugh)

TALIESIN: (sighs)

SAM: It's really no skin off my teeth. I don't have skin or teeth, so it's really fine. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Oh. All right. Let's take a little stroll. See a few sights. Have I taken you to Spire by Fire yet?

SAM: No, but it rhymes, so I'm in.

TALIESIN: I knew you would. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Let's head to Spire by Fire. Let's see if we can rustle up a little work. I'll give you a tour. It's pretty nice.

MATT: Okay. It's, I'd say, about a 20, 25-minute journey from where you currently are to Spire by Fire. The city streets of each of the main spires is a gradual spiral that heads upward with various stairways that wind to shortcut between the different levels as well as pulley-vators that are pulled up by chain cable, and if you have the money to spend occasionally, a few other more expensive means of jumping between. You can hire simurghs to go ahead and ride on if you know where to go to one of their spaces. The simurghs which are these a deep red, crimson-looking, massive, hawk-type birds with heads of a wolf-dog-like creature, native to the wilds here and are considered dangerous if spooked out in the wild, but there are simurgh riders here that are trained as part of the Wilders. Wilders, the colloquial name for the Wardens, the guards of the city that work for the Chandei Quorum. So you see them keeping an eye up above and are considered the law enforcement to whatever your perception of that may be, and/or the Quorum itself. But occasionally there are some that are trained and their trainers utilize them to ferry people from spire to spire and level to level, but on foot, eventually you make your way to the Spire by Fire Inn. What you see before you is a monstrous, six-story tavern that looks like a labyrinth built into the edge of the rock of the spire itself. You can see it's climbing up like a makeshift stronghold more than an inn, though there are a number of balconies that emerge from it. And if it were free-standing on its own, it would look like a mess and probably crumble, but because it's built into the rock, they got to be very creative with its layout. There are all manner of torches that burn throughout the day and night here and give it a warm, welcoming glow at all points of the day. You can see there is a very unique mix of clientele here. There are people from all different walks of life and colorful, wealthy outfits with fine silks and accessories. There are some more ragtag, rough-and-tumble folks that come in here for the drinks. It is a mixing pot here in the center of the Core Spire within Jrusar, and immediately it just draws your intrigue as to what adventure might be found in this space.

SAM: You want me to do the talking or you, Ashton?

TALIESIN: Well, let's take a look around. Let's see what's here. I value your input. I'm going to see if I know anybody. I think between the two of us, we can probably wrangle something.

SAM: Sounds good to me.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: All right. Let's roll on in.

MATT: All right.

SAM: Or walk.

TALIESIN: We can do both.

MATT: Stepping inside, immediately to the right, you see there's a table where three figures are in the process of playing a card game. You can see an orc with very intense, greasy hair that almost gives a frond-like look to it with a nice, billowed sleeve. Dressed like a nice shirt who is currently holding a hand at their front. You see a gnome, older, wrapped in scarves and bundled up a bit with an upturned nose that probably was adorable in their younger years, but they've been going on for a bit and now it just-- Well, it's adorable in a different way, I'll say. And you see a massive pachydan who is at the table, big, long, draping ears that go past the tail, a trunk that is curled around and up against the chest, tusks that are adorned and carved with designs, and you can see them holding their cards in their tiny, little hands, keeping the watch as they lean deep down to get close to the rest of the people at the table. You know this individual to be Towering Kalliyan who is loosely the bouncer of the establishment. And as you walk in, Kalliyan just goes, "Ashton."

TALIESIN: Kalliyan. Is Ishir here, or--?

MATT: "Right over there, if you're looking," and points over to the front and you can see... Well, not at the front at the moment. There are no patrons at the central barkeep table but beyond the door, you can see there is a chair in the corner and beyond that, you can see a male katari of lion descent, orange-brown fur and a dark, dark black mane that is braided tightly and goes past the back shoulders. More of a tank top than a tunic or shirt. Well-built and seems to be eager to show it off, but is arranging and organizing things back there. Doesn't seem to notice your presence yet.

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk out, and take out a couple silver, and slide it down the bar. And I'm just going to keep sliding it down the bar, making as much noise as I can.

MATT: As soon as the coin hits the wood and the textures begin to scrape a bit, you can see one of the ears turn off to the side and Ishir goes, "Hey! (laughs) Sorry, I, you know, was running a business, but I heard your coin on the table. What can I do for ya?"

TALIESIN: Something for breakfast. Whatever breakfast beer you have would be great.

MATT: "Breakfast beer."

TALIESIN: And also, just to put into your mind, imagine how much drunker I would be right now if you knew a way for me to earn some money.

MATT: "Ah, ah. Okay, okay. Well, for a breakfast beer-- Is this your protector? You're one of those arcane guardians or whatever they're called? I've seen a couple of them come through here, but this one's quite small. You might want to get your money back."

TALIESIN: They're complicated. This is Fresh Cut Grass, please.

SAM: Smiley day to you. It's a lovely establishment you got here. Is this owner-operated, or is this your place?

MATT: "It is. Yeah."

TALIESIN: Be careful what you say, they're very vicious.

SAM: Fantastic.

TALIESIN: They'll fuck you up.

SAM: The ambiance is really nice. The clientele looks varied, and I'm impressed that you're so busy mid-day like this.

MATT: "Well, thank you!"

SAM: Yeah!

MATT: "I thank you! No one seems to appreciate the hard work I've put into this place for the past 10 years, and it's nice to get a little acknowledgement from a stranger."

SAM: That's right.

MATT: "Yeah. Yeah. Would you like a breakfast beer as well?"

SAM: I would not. I can't drink it.

MATT: "Oh, right." (laughter)

MATT: "Should have... Sorry. I'll say a Hartmore Brisket Beer. I can get it for you. I'll get one for myself as well."

TALIESIN: What a good idea.

MATT: He goes ahead and fills up two and hands it over to you. Begins to drink a bit.

TALIESIN: And down.

MATT: "So what, what's, what's your deal? But what is-- What's your-- What's your deal? This is fascinating." And he grins with the sharpened teeth of the heavy canines appearing. A bright smile, but you can definitely see there could be viciousness.

SAM: My deal? I'm here to assist and be helpful to Ashton in all of their journeys and travels at the moment.

MATT: "All right. All right. Well, you good at lifting, arranging?"

SAM: Lifting? I mean, I can lift something. Yeah. Are we--

TALIESIN: Less of a lifter and more of a thinker, and a bit of a doer.

MATT: "Okay."

TALIESIN: And, honestly, just lightens the place up, so.

MATT: "Ledger work."

SAM: Ledger work?

MATT: "How fast can you do my taxes?"

SAM: I've not done taxes yet. I do more things like when people are injured, I make them less injured, that sort of thing.

MATT: "Oh, well stick around 'til past sunset tonight, there'll be plenty of injured people probably."

SAM: Oh yeah? I'm also keen to meet people who, well, have a lack in their life and try to figure out what it is and see if I can help them fill it.

MATT: "Okay. Now it got weird."

SAM: Oh, sorry.

MATT: "No, no. It's..."

SAM: I just feel like there's a lot of broken people out there and I can do a lot to help them, that's all.

MATT: "You're going to be real busy, friend. Let me just tell ya."

SAM: Can't wait!

MATT: "Right, right. (laughs) Sure you don't want a beer?"

SAM: Oh, no. I definitely don't.

MATT: "All right. Fair enough." (chuckles)

TALIESIN: If you have some scrap iron or any chunks of metal back there, though. Anything particular you'd be looking for?

SAM: Any alloy. Anything really.

MATT: "Oh, you're serious."

TALIESIN: No, I'm dead-fucking serious.

MATT: Goes ahead and takes the silver that you brought over and changes it out to a couple of copper pieces and slides them over.

SAM: Copper pieces? Ooh, this is a conundrum. I want to eat those.

MATT: "Yeah?"

SAM: But Ashton really likes money. So--

TALIESIN: Copper's not really money.

SAM: Really?

TALIESIN: Copper's more of an insult. You can totally eat that.

SAM: All right. (laughter)

SAM: You sure? I feel weird about this.

TALIESIN: Yeah, no, no. Do it.

SAM: Do you want to turn away?

TALIESIN: No, I'm good.

SAM: You're real weird around money. You love it so much.

TALIESIN: I also really love watching you eat, though. You know this.

SAM: All right.

MATT: Ishir is just completely enthralled and watching.

SAM: I'll put both the coins into my mouth and just. (chomping)

TALIESIN: Okay, I will admit, that does hurt a little.

MATT: "That is amazing! (laughs) That's amazing."

TALIESIN: Yep. Never gets old.

SAM: (smacks lips) I can't taste.

MATT: "Tell you what." (laughter) (laughter)

MATT: "Tell you what, you want to come by about once a week, twice a week or so for the nights and you want to do that for money, you'll entertain the different patrons around here. You can make a little cash."

SAM: It means nothing to me, but sure. If Ashton wants some cash, sure.

TALIESIN: I'll also say, it'll keep you put together. I know that we-- I have a funny feeling we're going to need to patch you up every now and then.

SAM: Am I going to be a regular at a tavern?

TALIESIN: If you like.

SAM: Oh! Will they do that thing when I roll in and where they all go, "Fresh Cut Grass!" And everyone's just happy to see me?

MATT: "Keep this up, most likely. (chuckles)"

TALIESIN: Quite possibly. We might even get into a bar fight.

SAM: (gasps)

TALIESIN: I knew that would excite you.

SAM: This is amazing.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's good times.

MATT: "Work for you? Your skillset, not quite, but I'll keep an ear out."

TALIESIN: Please, please, please, please, please.

MATT: "Well, in the meantime, finish your breakfast."

SAM: Are you sure you don't have anything for Ashton? He, they would really appreciate it.

MATT: "I think, honestly, between Emir and Kalliyan, we got all the physical stuff taken care of at the moment. You can try back in a week maybe."

TALIESIN: And if you hear anybody needs anything around, you know how it is.

MATT: "I know. I'll keep up on that."

TALIESIN: Not feeling very particular right now either.

MATT: "Good to know. Open options."

TALIESIN: Very open.

MATT: "We've only got a couple hours before the mainstays start coming through here. So either stick around and be ready, or be scarce to leave open tables for paying customers if you don't mind."

TALIESIN: There's a few people who probably won't be that happy to see me anyway, so.

MATT: "Okay, well, stay for now. Finish your beer. And a pleasure to meet you, Fresh Cut Grass."

SAM: Fresh Cut Grass.

MATT: "Hmm. Bring him around more often."

TALIESIN: Yeah. Yeah. They're sticking around.

MATT: (metal tinging) Flicks you in the head for a minute.

SAM: Yep, that's me.

MATT: "Fascinating."

MARISHA: Rude.

TALIESIN: Definitely a little rude, but I'm drinking, so. (laughter)

MATT: Meanwhile...

TALIESIN: Hmm.

LAURA: Oh, oh, oh.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: If I could please have--

LAURA: (gasps) Ooh, ooh!

SAM: Oh!

MATT: Liam, Ashley, and Robbie come to the table. (yelling)

MARISHA: Oh shit!

SAM: Travis changed his name to Robbie.

MARISHA: Oh shit! (cheering) (applauding)

SAM: Who is this, now?

ASHLEY and LIAM: Woo!

ROBBIE: Matt, you lied. This isn't your basement. (laughter)

MATT: Basement, schmasement. It all works out fine.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

MATT: So now. The three of you have been sent on a trek specifically tied to the Air Ashari when a call was made to you after returning to Byroden with the rest of your found friends. You were given a task by the Voice of the Tempest, Keyleth. And as part of this journey--

SAM: Wait, what?

MATT: -- you were told to bring two friends along the way. These two could be helpful in this. Opal had to stay behind, still figuring out where she stood both with her sister and the newfound vestige that lies upon her head. And Dariax wanted to keep an eye and be there to support and help her figure out what the next step was to be while the two of you were asked to attend Orym's side for this. With that, Keyleth transitioned to you via tree to Emon to bypass the challenging mess you had left behind in some of the streets of Emon.

ASHLEY: What on earth do you mean?

MATT: (chuckles) And enough money to afford yourselves a skyship across the Ozmit Sea.

TALIESIN: (whistles)

SAM: Like, that they own or rented?

MATT: No. A one-way passage on the skyship. (laughter)

ASHLEY: It's mine. (laughter)

MATT: Now, as you come towards the end of this multi-day journey, the three of you glance past the edge of the skyship, holding onto the far railing as the clouds and mist begin to dissipate beyond the front of the ship. Once you look past the bow, you can see, beginning to emerge from the clouds and mist below, the five different heights of the rocky spires that mark Jrusar.

ASHLEY: Oh. This is lovely. They're so pointy? Are they pointy?

MATT: One of them is.

ASHLEY: One of them is so pointy. (laughter)

MATT: Now, for those who have not watched Exandria Unlimited, Ashley, would you mind--? Asshole. Do you mind describing Fearne?

ASHLEY: Yes. Fearne is about a six-foot-tall faun. Very, very long, seafoam-green hair. And is covered in all bits and baubles and lots of flowers and toadstools and moss on her hooves. And she has a little friend, Mister, and he's a little monkey. That's all. (laughter)

SAM: Are you drunk right now? Or is this it?

ASHLEY: Always.

SAM: Oh, okay! (laughter)

MATT: Glancing over the side and spilling your excitement out, to Orym, if you wouldn't mind describing yourself.

LIAM: Sure. Orym is a halfling. He's three foot and change. Shock of short brown hair, and he's wearing a little bit of brown leather armor, mostly a breastplate, And these leather boots that have round, green, stone rings that are laced into the shin guard of each one. He has a shortsword sheathed on his back, an ivy-adorned shield on one hand and the armor and the very well-worn sashes that are tied around his waist and hanging down have woven patterns of ivy and flower on them and they're beautiful, but they're not fancy. They're just well-made and well-worn. And he has a full-sleeve tattoo going up his arm that is all clouds from the wrist all the way up onto his shoulder, and then disappearing under his armor onto his chest. And the two moons of Exandria are right here. Catha is a white crescent and Ruidus is a smaller, full moon cradled within. And he has very fine features. He has really ropey muscles and slender, like a dancer.

MATT: Okay. Glancing past the edge of this wonderful vista before you, as the city grows closer. This is the first journey any of you have taken in a skyship, but it's certainly not the first time that you've been here, Dorian. This is an odd, if conflicted, return to a continent where you began your journey a long time ago. If you wouldn't mind describing Dorian.

ROBBIE: Sure. Dorian is, for all intents and purposes, a normal bard. He's dressed in traveler's clothes. But if you were to first glance at him, what you would notice is how uncharacteristically clean he is. No mud on his boots. He has a large, winged armor plate that you can't really tell if it's ornamental or functional and there's not a fingerprint on it. It's perfectly shined. And he's wearing a long cape that has a sunburst ombre that goes down the back. He's an air genasi, so he moves with a lightness and you might first mistake it for confidence, but it just seems like it's part of who he is and not so much what he wants to project. And he has long, black hair that goes down into a white ombre and he's got a top-knot man-bun here, also very pristine. And yeah, as he looks out over things, he feels comfortable in the sky, but this is a wild experience. Yeah. And he's enjoying it a lot.

MATT: Slowly, the skyship begins to grow closer and closer to dock between the five spires of Jrusar heading towards the Aerie Spire, whereupon you can see from this distance, these massive structures, these clusters of towers that draw high and thin. You can see mass halls made of marble with open windows and crystalline art pieces that are these murals that the sunlight catches and creates a prismatic-like refraction across the concrete ground on the exterior. What you do also see are the two other skyships that are docked on one large, protruding skyport. You can see they have different designs than the one you're on based on where they were built, whatever union or guild or individual had conscripted or ordered their construction. While they're all a similar layout for the most part, each seems to have a little bit of flair from wherever its home may be. And you watch as one initiates its takeoff heading more in a northeastern direction, and one that is currently locked in at the dock as you get closer and closer and closer. Some of the other people who were staying on this trip and mostly kept to themselves, you can see gathering their belongings and preparing to disembark upon arrival. You have about a minute before you touch down at the skyport.

LIAM: This is easily one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

ASHLEY: I agree.

ROBBIE: How do you suppose it stops? I think I've understood how we've been going, but how does it stop? It looks like we're going too fast. Does it feel too fast?

ASHLEY: I think we crash.

ROBBIE: What? (laughter)

LIAM: I'm sure they've got it worked out.

ROBBIE: All right. Beautiful, beautiful. Very beautiful. (throat clear)

LIAM: Look at that city. It looks huge.

MATT: You watch as the two prominent, blue, rounded stones, about 10 to 12 feet in diameter that are affixed to the front of the ship, referred to as brumestone, which has a natural arcane ability to remain aloft in spite of gravity and that maintains a skyship's movement begin to glow brighter, and as they do, the ship begins to come to a slower and slower speed until eventually it descends rather suddenly and everyone gets that sudden drop in their stomach because the butterflies creep in until you feel a (heavy impact). It impacts on some sort of dock and you can already hear chains (clinking) being pulled down. From below, a few shouts. People shouting in Marquesian phrases. "Over here!" "Quick!" "All right, we got it locked down." You guys, who do not speak Marquesian, just hear shouting.

LIAM: I give Dorian a little soft fist on the hip and say: See, we're fine.

ROBBIE: Thank you.

LIAM: Everything's fine.

ROBBIE: You'd think I'd be better at this, wouldn't you? (clapping)

MARISHA: Clapping for the pilot? (laughter)

MATT: Two of the other people watch and clap, not wanting to feel left out, and they gather their belongings. You can see there's an iron gate at the edge of the skyship edge. And now as it begins to open up, you can see all the people walking towards it, and there is a staircase that has been affixed to it that leads them down one by one as you gather your things and exit the skyship yourselves.

LIAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: Shall we?

LIAM: Yeah. Let's get a feel for this place. Don't need to rush into things.

ROBBIE: All right.

MATT: "Thank you all for traveling. Welcome to Jrusar. I am the Port Captain Tang. Thank you for flying." And you look over-- (laughter) You glance over, and off to the side, there is a heavy station in the center of the skyport, which has multiple outcroppings. It looks like it could hold at any given point in time simultaneously, up to eight different skyships comfortably. And in the center of it, there is a small tower and you see there with a vocal extension horn-- a cone, if you will-- shouting out, a humanoid bird kinfolk. Which you know is referred to as an eisfuura and you could see this beautiful ivory feathers that eventually transition into a dark brown at some points, and then over the shoulders, it's like a heavy brown coloration, but is wearing a uniform and a hat and seems to be very excited and proud of their position. With that, you exit following the rest of the folks that are disembarking and make your way down into a central street here within the Aerie Spire.

LIAM: Just dive into the current of it and see what we see, learn by walking.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Just like the last few months, huh?

ASHLEY: Yeah. One foot in front of the other and you move forward.

ROBBIE: That's exactly how you walk.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LIAM: Let's hoof it.

ASHLEY: Let's hoof it.

MATT: Continuing on, you watch as part of the crowd splinter off. Some of them ahead towards some of those larger, tower-based structures that you saw. A small crew of them begin to progress to what looks to be a-- some sort of a two-story structure where a large, heavy tower that has a metal ball at the top and a cable that descends out of view. You know this to be one of the various wire gondolas that connect elements of the city, and as folks go up and begin to pay an individual that lets them onto one of these gondolas that is ready to make its way downward, he looks over you all expectantly with his hand out.

ASHLEY: I give him a-- (laughter)

ASHLEY: -- a slap.

MATT: "Thank you. Are you taking passage?"

ASHLEY: Oh. Are we taking passage on this thing?

LIAM: Yes, we are. How much? I start pulling out a change purse.

MATT: "One silver per."

LIAM: I got it, I got it, I got it.

ASHLEY: Are you sure?

LIAM: Sure.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: This is on top of the low five she gave you.

MATT: "Thank you." Goes ahead and opens the door, lets you in. And it's now the three of you and one other large pachydan, like a priest figure. Looks younger, you know, massive, elephant folk who is wearing this roomy, almost cream-colored robes and sleeves that drag past the arms. It looks like they have a long earring chain that dangles down to the mid chest and you can see them clutching it with one of their hands and rubbing it like it has some sort of personal meaning. And this individual you saw briefly get onto the skyship as you originally took off and then was unseen until you arrived. They fiddle nervously as the doors close and it jerks for a second, (chains clanking) and you feel the gondola descending. And while the interior is largely closed off, there are a few windows and there is an element as you can't help yourself but peek through where you are looking down hundreds and hundreds of feet to just the faintest texture of a mist-covered jungle below.

ASHLEY: Oh my.

ROBBIE: For some reason, this doesn't bother me like the ship did.

ASHLEY: Really?

ROBBIE: Yeah, I'm all right with this. Yeah, I think it's the wire. It feels like we're connected, we're safe.

ASHLEY: We're real safe, just on a string.

ROBBIE: Yeah, big, safe string.

ASHLEY: It's much more safe.

LIAM: When we were on the ship it didn't have that sway to it.

ASHLEY: Oh, it made me so sleepy. It was very relaxing just being on the ship, just the light sway, you know?

MATT: Suddenly it lurches midway down the cable and comes to a stop and sways.

LIAM: Is this normal?

ROBBIE: What's the weight limit on this thing? And I nudge the guy next to us.

MATT: The pachydan, "I'm sorry. Excuse me."

ROBBIE: Just a joke, joke.

MATT: (laughs)

ROBBIE: (laughs nervously)

LIAM: How were your travels?

MATT: "Nervous." (metal clanking) It continues again. And you see the pachydan (gagging).

LIAM: Did you get the tummy flutters?

MATT: "Every time."

LIAM: Yeah?

MATT: "I'll never get used to it." And glances back out past the window. Now you can see you're heading now towards the central spire of this city. Of these five that are there, the middle one is not the tallest, but it is definitely the largest and along the spirals here, you can see all smattering of neighborhoods, like this massive dream-like quilt of colors and structures. You can see one region looks like a neighborhood that is encompassing and swallowing almost an entire fifth of the side of this spire. And it looks like all these almost vertical buildings that are locked onto each other and are connected by these tiny little ladders and pathways and walkways. And it's incredible. Beyond that, you see a smaller spire to the northwestern side of it that is a little smaller than the others though almost as tall as the Core Spire where there are what looks almost like factories. More industrial landscape there and about a half dozen or more plumes of smoke that rise from different exhaust ports or holes within the rock itself. And it changes the colors of the mist that gather around that particular region.

LIAM: I squeeze in between Fearne and Dorian and look out. Boy, a city this big, all we got to do is find one man. Easy.

ASHLEY: Yeah, that sounds very simple.

LIAM: Not today, though.

ROBBIE: We should take one night to get rid of the jet lag, right?

LIAM: Yeah, don't want to walk into trouble.

ROBBIE: Well, hold onto your purse. I spent a night here, just one. I stayed at a hostel, and woke up and my purse strings were cut. So just be on your guard.

ASHLEY: Okay. I'm going to step over to the one with the earring. Is he still on the?

MATT: Pachydan? Yeah, and he's edging his way towards the door that'll open the exit as it's just come to rest at the bottom of the Core Spire exit.

ASHLEY: I really like your earring.

MATT: "Oh, thank you very much."

ASHLEY: I reach out and I just touch it.

MATT: He does a flinch, but he allows it. (chuckles) "It's a symbol of the Allhammer."

ASHLEY: One more time?

MATT: "It's a symbol of the Allhammer."

ASHLEY: The Allhammer? (laughter)

MATT: "A great deity of skilled crafting."

ASHLEY: Oh. How interesting. (laughter)

MATT: The brief glimpse of a smile that had curled to his lips begins to fade and he just starts fiddling with it again and turns back to the door as it opens and then just steps out and immediately--

ASHLEY: As he starts to step out, I'm going to try to swipe it. I'm going to try to take it off his ear, grab it. Because I like it a lot.

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

MARISHA: We've been here five minutes.

LIAM: She's the one we're supposed to be looking out for.

LAURA: Hold on, let me move my scrunchie out of my dice trays. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh okay, that's a natural 19.

LAURA: Oh.

ASHLEY: Plus two.

LIAM: Wow.

MATT: He exits briskly, for such a large, beastly-looking entity, the steps are quite gentle and quick (pattering) as he exits and a moment later, you can see Fearne in her hand, clutching this gathered chain of gold and silver with a particular symbol on it that looks like a metallic hammer with faces lightly carved on the edges of it.

LIAM: Fearne.

ASHLEY: Mm-hmm?

LIAM: We talked about this.

ASHLEY: What?

LIAM: I know that it works most of the time, but that is going to get us in trouble.

ROBBIE: I told you a story about someone picking my pocket 30 seconds ago and then you pick someone's pocket?

LIAM: That was a priest!

ASHLEY: Don't get on my ass about it! (laughter) All I know is that it's pretty easy to do here. That's all I took from what you said. (laughter)

SAM: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Wow.

ASHLEY: It's beautiful, and it's for the god of arts and crafts. I think that's what he said.

LIAM: Close enough.

ASHLEY: Skills?

ROBBIE: Put it away in case he comes back, please.

ASHLEY: Okay, gosh, take it easy. (laughter)

MATT: As a note, this is about two and a half feet long. (laughter) It looked much smaller on the ear of its previous carrier. On you, it drags your ear a bit, but it looks cool.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LIAM: I pull Dorian over a few feet away. Listen, I don't think she's going to stop, and I think the only way that it is going to stop is if she steps on a rake, do you know what I mean?

ROBBIE: Of course, but she's not going to step on a rake. She's going to step on our rakes and those rakes--

ASHLEY: We're right in the same gondola together.

LIAM: Just give us a second, Fearne.

ROBBIE: How do we keep her under control?

LIAM: How's that gone the last couple of months?

ROBBIE: Horribly. All right, just... I'll stay on her left. You stay on her right, and we'll do a sandwich.

LIAM: We'll just be more alert than usual, okay?

ROBBIE: She took it so fast. I couldn't do anything.

LIAM: I know and it's amusing, but we got to tamp it down if we can, and eventually, it's going to bite her in the ass and all of us, but--

ROBBIE: All right, fine.

LIAM: All right.

ROBBIE: Agreed.

LIAM: All right. We're done talking in front of you, let's go.

ASHLEY: Okay. I'll be more careful, I promise. It was just so beautiful.

LIAM: Yes, it is.

ROBBIE: It looks great.

ASHLEY: I don't do that to everybody. I don't!

ROBBIE: Let's keep going.

LIAM: I guess not that many, come on.

MATT: Where are you off to?

LIAM: Well, unless you guys have any other ideas, I think just finding a place to eat and stay for the night and I don't think we should rush into this.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

LIAM: I know that you haven't been here much at all, but you'd know it better than us, certainly.

MATT: Make a history check.

SAM: History check. Huge roll.

ROBBIE: A natural 20.

ASHLEY: Oh, oh, first natural 20.

MATT: First nat 20 of the campaign.

LIAM: Yes, yes! End the show right there. (laughter)

MATT: There it is.

MARISHA: Thank you for joining for Campaign 3.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, that's it, one roll.

MATT: You stayed here last time. That's how it's a natural 20. You know it so well because you've been there. In the Core Spire, one of the affordable, interesting, filled with colorful characters and not too far from where you currently are right now would be the Spire by Fire.

ROBBIE: (sighs) Well, we've got a little spending cash, right? A little slush fund, but we've got a lot to do and it's our first night. I think we should be frugal. There are some places around here, I didn't stay here, but it's called the Spire by Fire. It's got a nice name, catchy, yeah. So go there, check it out. Get the lay of the land. Maybe find a bed, two, three, whatever.

ASHLEY: We can all sleep in the same bed.

ROBBIE: Sure.

ASHLEY: Save money if we're trying to be frugal.

LIAM: You're really tall.

ASHLEY: You're really small.

ROBBIE: We'll figure it out when we get there.

ASHLEY: Okay. (laughter)

LIAM: Everything rhymes here.

ROBBIE: And if I recall, I think it's this way.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ROBBIE: All right.

MATT: All right, so taking the lead, you continue to guide your other compatriots towards your destination. As the sun in the sky begins to slowly make its way towards the horizon, the sunset imminent.

SAM: It's happening.

MATT: The oranges and purples beginning to take the blues that have been familiar up until now. (excited laughter) Laudna.

MARISHA: huh?

MATT: Imogen.

LAURA: Yes?

MATT: You've been going about the market, gathering things and eggs, you said.

LAURA: I had to get some eggs.

MATT: Anything else you're looking for?

LAURA: Zhudanna's out of eggs.

MARISHA: I've got a rooibos here, I've got an Earl Grey.

LAURA: That's great.

MARISHA: I've got a chai.

LAURA: How about some leeks or I don't know, onions to go with it? She said she wanted it for breakfast or something. I don't know.

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: Veggies.

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: We got a basket full of fucking food.

MATT: Heck yeah.

SAM: Fucking food.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: I grab all of the teas, a variety.

MATT: All right. Feeling confident in what you've sought to acquire, you begin to make your way back towards the Viduun-Devaar, the Windowed Wall, where you are currently holed up with the elderly compatriot who is granting you space in the room where her husband once lived.

MARISHA: (knocks) Zhudanna?

MATT: You haven't arrived there yet. (laughter)

LAURA: Just practicing.

MARISHA: Was that good?

LAURA: That was good.

MATT: That was great. (laughs)

LAURA: She's not going to be scared of you soon, I know it.

MATT: But in heading back and walking through the street and making your way towards that destination, the streets are busy as the individuals who are finishing up their work for the day or their various errands for the afternoon are heading back to their abodes. Whereas the night crew, as some people refer to it, those who either work during the night or definitely play during the night are beginning to make their way out into the evening air. You hear this strange-- you specifically, Imogen, feel it, this (rumbles), this odd, low, bassy rumble and right as you hear it, you see it. This dull blue flash (swoosh) that emerges about 30, 40 feet ahead of you off to the side of the street and you glance over in that space and you can immediately see a cart being pulled by two of these sillgoats behind it. As this small arcane sphere that (swoosh) emerges from it, flashes for a second, both of the goats rear up (bleats) and rush into a charge forward. As they do, the cart seems to dislodge and (crackling) splayed out onto its side, crashing into the street, boxes scattering across the center of the row. People around, (gasps) "Oh god!" Looking at each other, and checking to make sure it's okay. The boxes hit and break open. As they do, utensils and furniture and bits of decoration scatter onto the ground and a small kitchen knife (clatters) begins to glide into the air. A table that was turned on its side, the legs bend (crackles) and the table seems to be moving of its own accord.

MARISHA: Are you seeing this?

MATT: A broom suddenly begins to whip up into the air. A sword scattered to the side begins to drift up with no wielder.

MARISHA: Oh.

LAURA: Uh.

MATT: And a rolled up rug that had spilled open begins to wrinkle and pulse.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: You hear this commotion outside, both of you.

SAM: What's that, is that a party?

TALIESIN: Let's find out.

SAM: All right.

MARISHA: Should we go closer?

TALIESIN: Not even putting my drink down, I'm going straight out.

MATT: Okay, you two rush. The three of you had just begun to make your way to the outside of the Spire by Fire before you watch this sudden minor cataclysm to this cart occur and these objects beginning to move under their own power in the center of the street.

MARISHA: Do we see any people nearby?

MATT: There are many people nearby, and some of them are curious. Some of them are frozen in place, a bit spooked and some are just running. I'd like you all to roll initiative, please. (exclaiming)

LAURA: All of us?

LIAM: First half of the first episode. (exclaiming)

ASHLEY: Jeez.

SAM: What is happening?

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

SAM: What is happening?

LAURA: (screams)

ASHLEY: How do I do this?

SAM: Howdy dowdy do dis.

MARISHA: Howdy dowdy do dis.

ROBBIE: What? (exclaiming)

LIAM: I see it! I'm touching it!

SAM: It's so close!

MARISHA: Look at the rug!

ROBBIE: Whoa!

SAM: Rug.

LIAM: Wow!

MATT: So.

ROBBIE: Awesome.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: So here-- sorry about the mic there. This is the sword that is drifting. This is the knife, this is the rug. This is the table, and this is the broom.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

SAM: Those are our enemies?

LAURA: We're fighting objects.

MATT: They're something.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Now, if I could have Imogen, Laudna, whereabouts would you be standing?

LAURA: Which way were we coming from?

MATT: You guys would be walking this direction. So you would likely be over on this path.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: Back one for me.

LAURA: I would've stayed towards the side of the street. I want to stay away from people, if I can, for the most part, whichever area.

MATT: Over here, then?

LAURA: Sure.

MARISHA: Keep me by her.

MATT: So about there?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: That's good.

MATT: All righty, if I can go ahead and get Ashton and Fresh Cut Grass, you guys were stepping outside of the front there. The cart is right there.

MARISHA: I wonder when we'll get used to it.

SAM: Never.

MARISHA: If we ever will.

LIAM: Have a smiley day!

TALIESIN: I haven't yet.

ASHLEY: Look at those minis.

SAM: That looks about right.

LAURA: Oh my gosh. Look at you guys.

MATT: You just step out the front there.

LAURA: You're so wee.

MATT: All right. Now, the rest of you who are--

LAURA: That's a big rug.

MATT: -- just arriving as well were stepping across this side of the road to approach the front.

MARISHA: Oh god.

MATT: So that is where you are currently placed.

LIAM: (cackling)

MATT: So, getting my initiative sheets out here. 20 to 15?

LAURA: 18.

SAM: 19.

MARISHA: 17.

LIAM: 22.

ASHLEY: 22.

LAURA and MARISHA: Whoa!

MATT: Dang!

LAURA: Holy moly.

LIAM: That was terrible.

ROBBIE: 23. (cheering)

MATT: Whoa, that's a hell of an initiative run! (exclaiming) All right, so Dorian up front.

ROBBIE: Oh no.

LAURA: Yeah, ha ha ha.

MATT: Following that, we have Fearne and then Orym. I'd say Orym will probably go first because of his--

LIAM: Dex.

MATT: Dex, right. All right.

LIAM: -- my dex.

MATT: And then who had the--?

LAURA: Who had 19?

MATT: 19 was--?

SAM: 19 here.

MATT: 19, Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: ♪ Letters ♪

MATT: 18 was?

LAURA: That's me.

MATT: Wow, you guys rolled really, really good. And then 17 was?

MARISHA: That was me.

MATT: What's your dexterity?

MARISHA: Mine?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Oh, it's a plus two, 14.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: [Inaudible]

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Sorry.

MATT: You're the only one left. What'd you get?

TALIESIN: 13.

MATT: 13, okay.

TALIESIN: Not terrible, in a normal world, that would have been not terrible, but these people, for some strange reason, I don't know.

MATT: Okay. And then we have Ashton. All right, cool. So top of the round, Dorian, as you're stepping in and you see these crates open and these objects beginning to just shift in the air and move around, people you see scared and are starting to run and one of these blades, the sword seems to right itself from one in the direction. It looks like it's going for them. The knife is now starting to make its way towards one of the nearby people. It looks like these are not just enchanted objects, they are currently looking to make a mess. What are you doing?

ROBBIE: (nervous exhale)

MATT: Orym on deck.

ROBBIE: In any sort of conflict, first things first: I'm going to look straight to Orym, I'm going to go: Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like those pointy things are pointing at those people, right?

LIAM: Yeah, I mean, it doesn't change where we are.

ROBBIE: All right. And-- I'm going to sprint toward that longsword headed for that poor guy with the bag. I'm going to make half the distance, though. Half the distance.

MATT: You got it.

ROBBIE: And-- While I'm running, I'm going to-- on my hip, I've got a handaxe, and I'm going to unclip it from my hip and I am going to attempt to throw it at the sword that is going for the guy, in an attempt to divert it.

MATT: So you go ahead and throw the axe; roll an attack.

ROBBIE: 19.

MARISHA: Hell yes.

ROBBIE: Plus five, yeah, 24.

MATT: That definitely hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

ROBBIE: Sweet.

LAURA: I'm glad Dorian's at the table with us, you guys. (laughter)

ROBBIE: By the way, these are the dice you gave me. So I don't want to give you all the credit, but. Seven.

MATT: Seven points of damage?

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: All right. So as the axe hits the sword, you watch as they both impact and it seems to hit the ground for a second. You're like: Oh, you took it out! Then it rises and then (metallic clang) seems like the metal vibrates in your direction as it's getting ready to reassess its direction.

ROBBIE: (chuckles) Oh no.

MATT: That's your turn?

ROBBIE: That's it. I'm frozen. That's it.

MATT: Okay, all right.

ROBBIE: I'm terrified.

MATT: Finishing Dorian's go. Orym, you're up. Fearne, you're on deck.

LIAM: Okay, the boots on my feet tighten around and the leather straps tighten around his feet and I get a running start, run about 10 feet and then spring into the air, flipping over the sword. I can make it 10 feet into the air and Orym is going to thrust down, swing his sword down and knock it towards the ground if he can and I'm going to use a goading attack.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: That is a wisdom save for the sword.

MATT: Striking down as you feel the gravity pull you to the floor.

LIAM: That is terrible. So I am going to use an action surge and attack again. So I take two swings and the second connects because I rolled a 19.

MATT: Great.

LIAM: So DC 14.

MATT: DC 14.

LIAM: Wisdom.

MATT: Oh, that's a fail.

LIAM: Okay, so if that thing tries to attack anyone else but me, it's going to be at disadvantage and it takes--

MATT: You've got it.

LIAM: Five plus-- it takes seven points of damage.

MATT: Seven points of damage, got it. As you strike down on top of it, it once again clatters to the ground and you feel like you've pinned it to the floor and it's hitting into the stone. You feel it fighting, it's weird. You've never had a weapon fight on its own against you until eventually it slides out from under your blade and rights itself. You can see it's looking a bit scuffed and it's looking a bit damaged, but it is still intent on massacring whatever's in front of it, possibly.

LIAM: That's new. Then I just wait for the next thing.

MATT: All right. Finishing that, Fearne, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm going to take my Thorn Whip off of my hip.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I'm going to look over at this rug and just try to snap my whip around it.

MATT: Go for it, all right, go ahead and roll for your Thorn Whip.

ASHLEY: Okay. 14.

MATT: 14 does hit.

ASHLEY: Okay. Nope, 13.

MATT: 13 does hit.

LAURA: Oh, good.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay. It's just teensies. Four.

MATT: Four?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Four points of damage, all righty.

ASHLEY: Am I able to hold onto it and keep it from?

MATT: This is the Thorn Whip cantrip is what you're doing?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: All right, let me double-check here.

ASHLEY: I guess I could've done this at a higher level.

LAURA: If it's a cantrip.

MATT: Well, it's a cantrip. It just what it is.

ASHLEY: Yeah. I just want to keep it there.

MATT: So yeah, it takes the damage, and it is large or smaller, you can pull it 10 feet closer to you, so yeah. It's brought a little bit closer to you. It's not grappled, and eventually fights its way off the whip but it now is pulled in towards where you're standing.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: All right, that's your action.

LAURA: Is that what you wanted to do?

ASHLEY: That's my action, that's what I wanted to do.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I'm just going to hold onto it.

MATT: Okay, you've got it. That finishes your go, Fearne?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: All the people are now going to start fleeing and running off to the side. Everyone just starts screaming and charging out of the way, getting off the road as best they can, running and fleeing. This cart runs charging off the side as the sillgoats that are pulling it continue yelling. These flee off the board, off the board running.

LIAM: Run away.

MATT: Running away. Running away.

ASHLEY: Run for your lives.

MATT: Fleeing this way. This guy's going to be like, "No!" He's going to run that direction. This guy's running this way over here, down the alley this way to escape and this individual is going to run inside of the inn and vanish.

TALIESIN: They all dress like they can handle some shit, but when it really comes down, they're all just cosplayers. Just cosplayers. (laughter)

MATT: They have conventions in Jrusar sometimes, don't hate.

LIAM: That hammer's made of PVC pipe.

MATT: Indeed. Finishing their go, Fresh Cut Grass, you are up with Imogen on deck.

SAM: The item in front of us is what?

MATT: Item in front of you is a broom.

SAM: It's a broom, okay.

MATT: It's just like (whooshes).

SAM: I feel like Ashton's got this. So. I will turn to Ashton and focus my eyes on him and just say: Believe in yourself. And I will do Sympathetic Binding.

TALIESIN: Ooh, we're going there.

MATT: Okay. All right, so, Channel Divinity: Sympathetic Binding.

SAM: Yes, and I guess as my bonus section, I could do the feature of that, but instead, can I cast a spell as a bonus action?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Okay, I'll do Shield of Faith, or as I call it, Shield of Help! (laughter) So Ashton, you, in addition to being just a fucking badass, you now have a plus two to AC.

TALIESIN: Woo.

MATT: That's concentration. So I have a concentration marker on you.

SAM: That's great. And then I will, just to get out of the way, I'll use my movement to take off my right hand and just start to put on, I have a saw blade attachment that I'm going to start screwing into my right hand socket.

TALIESIN: Oh, you don't.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

LAURA: What do you have?

MATT: I had accidentally snapped the mini, but that's okay.

SAM: Is that mine?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Amazing!

ROBBIE: No!

MATT: That's okay.

MARISHA: We have a casualty.

SAM: It's all right.

LAURA and LIAM: Aw!

LIAM: Beebee!

LAURA: Oh no, that's a sign you're going to die today.

MATT: Oh, don't say that.

LIAM: There he is.

MATT: We'll get some people over here in the interim. So where're you going?

SAM: I'm not going to move. I'm just going to attach my saw blade arm and maybe just tuck behind the box.

MATT: Behind the box over here?

SAM: Yeah, sure.

MATT: All righty. There you go.

MARISHA: He's just getting drug on a plate.

MATT: That's my fault for holding you two up. All right, that finishes your go. Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: Okay, I have a question.

MATT: Yeah?

LAURA: I want to try using Catapult and focusing my energy on, is that a dagger spinning around? What do we got here?

MATT: That is a dagger right now. Some sort of a kitchen knife that is spinning in the air on its own for a second, it hasn't chosen a target.

LAURA: Okay, can I try to use Catapult on that object?

SAM: Ooh, interesting.

LAURA: Because I can use it on objects, but I don't know about--

MATT: These are technically animated, so it would not work.

LAURA: It wouldn't work? Okay, then in that case, I'm going to cast this at 2nd-level so I can pick up something that's 10 pounds. Would I be able to pick up that box that that robot thing just hid behind?

MATT: I would say that box, the contents of that one is too heavy, but this one here that's been partially broken would be about 10 pounds.

LAURA: Sure, I will pick that up and throw it towards the rug that just moved in the whip.

MATT: Over there?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You got it, go ahead and roll for an attack on that one.

LAURA: Okay. How do I do this?

SAM: This whole fight is brought to you by West Downing. (laughter)

MATT: This is the Crate and Barrel showdown.

LAURA: I don't make an attack roll; you make a save.

MATT: Save?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Good call. That would be dexterity?

LAURA: Dexterity.

MATT: 12.

LAURA: Yes, so it works! So yeah, it takes 3d8 bludgeoning. Oh wait, 4d8 bludgeoning because I cast it at 2nd-level.

ASHLEY: Hell yes.

MATT: Nice.

LAURA: ♪ (humming "Mary Had a Little Lamb") ♪

LIAM: ♪ (sings random notes) ♪

SAM: Ooh, lots of dice.

TALIESIN: Fancy dice.

LAURA: Nine, 11, 14 points of bludgeoning damage.

TALIESIN: (whistles)

MATT: 14 points. Very nice. Slick. The rug is currently wrapped in the Thorn Whip and being pulled over towards this strange faun character over there who's smiling oddly through the whole experience. As you lift up, concentrating your mind on this box chunk, it lifts and then rockets with incredible speed. You watch as the rug seems to push like something had punched almost through it on the other side and it comes inches from your face before crumbling back beyond the backside and the rug, some of the threads are now torn and fraying. Are you going to stay put?

LAURA: I think that's-- Yeah, I'm going to stay where I am.

MATT: Okay, you got it.

SAM: Patient Defense.

MATT: All right, it is now the rug's go. (laughter) The rug is going to go ahead and--

MARISHA: The rug is more dexterous than I am? That's bullshit.

MATT: That's how it goes sometimes. The rug is now going to attempt to smother. That's an 18 to hit. Does that hit you?

ASHLEY: Yes.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: It's okay.

MATT: So you watch as the rug now (swoosh) whips around and begins to surround you and tighten and pull and crush you. You all, you can not see. You're not even certain yet if you can even breathe, but everything just goes dark as you feel your body now completely held against itself.

MARISHA: I grok this, it sucks.

MATT: You are grappled.

LIAM: Everybody stab it.

MATT: You are restrained, you are blinded.

SAM: Set it on fire.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: All right. So we're going to go ahead and say--

LIAM: Prestige.

MATT: The Prestige. All right. Where is the... elements here.

SAM: If he sets it on fire, I will-- I'll-- I think he's going to pull out a lighter right now.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Oh, okay.

MATT: Restrained.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: All righty. That finishes its go. It is now, let's see, Laudna's go.

MARISHA: Imogen, the objects have gone postal. And I turn into a Form of Dread. I start to transform. Let me mark it off. Wait for it and my bones start to crick and crack and you see Laudna starts to extend even lengthier than she was and even more spindly and her fingers start to stretch and drip as a dark veil comes over her face as black tears start coming out of her eyes and (intimidating whispering)

MATT: The fleeing folks that were heading this way run past you and scream even louder and run even faster.

MARISHA: Don't worry, I've got you.

MATT: (screams) They just keep going.

MARISHA: I'm here to help. I start echoing a cacophony of whispers and I cast Bane on, I'm going to go for Bane on the rug, Bane on the kitchen knife, and let's do Bane on the sword. All things that feel more deadly.

TALIESIN: (like Bane) I was born in the dark. (laughter)

MATT: The rug fails.

TALIESIN: I was working on it what I saw it coming.

MATT: Fails.

TALIESIN: Had to get that in first.

LIAM: What's the angle?

MATT: And which one, the knife you said?

MARISHA: (whispering) The kitchen knife.

MATT: That does succeed, I think, with a 16.

MARISHA: What? I can't curse a knife?

MATT: Sorry.

MARISHA: It's a fucking object.

LAURA: I just reach down and pet the back of her creepy head. (laughter) It's okay.

MATT: But those two, you watch as the parts of them that are a bit frayed and damaged begin to almost unravel or begin to crack and break on their own as the magic seems to siphon away some of the enchantment that holds them aloft. Does that finish your turn? You going to stay put, or do you want to move?

MARISHA: No, I'll stay put.

MATT: All righty. That brings us to the table's go.

TALIESIN: I forgot about the table.

LAURA: Yeah, the table's going to do something.

MATT: You're right there. The table's going to go ahead and back up. (heavy footsteps) (slamming) And slam into you full force. It's going to move. It's going to attempt to-- Actually, you know what? No, it's not. Yeah, it can do that.

LIAM: Let's table this for now.

MATT: You can get an attack of opportunity on it as it backs away from you.

LIAM: Oh, is it leaving? Sure, absolutely.

MATT: It is, yeah.

LIAM: So I'm looking at a sword spinning in front of me, hear the (crackles) and just pivot and swing down. Give it a quick stab. That is a-- What do all my things do? 13 to hit.

MATT: 13 misses. You swing wide and it hits the wood, but it just hits wood and cuts a little scrape through it as it backs up 20 feet (heavy footsteps) (thudding) and just comes full blast, slamming into you with a charge.

LAURA: Slam attack.

LIAM: I'm a sword expert, not a table expert. (laughter)

MATT: That is a 25 to hit.

LIAM: That kind of hits.

ASHLEY: What the hell?!

ROBBIE: Whoa!

LAURA: What if we all die in the first episode?

ASHLEY: By tables and rugs?

SAM: Campaign 2, chairs. Campaign 3, tables. Campaign 4... wardrobes?

MATT: You take 18 points of bludgeoning damage.

LIAM: Woo!

MATT: As you are almost knocked off your ass and then catch yourself (groans) and the table seems to be getting itself ready for a second round. That finishes its go. So now the sword's turn, which is already right next to you and goaded in to attack you.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: The sword does minus four from its attack, though. So that brings it to a 16 to hit.

LIAM: I parry it off.

MATT: Nice, nice, nice.

LAURA: That's good.

MARISHA: Oh, with Bane?

MATT: Bane.

MARISHA: Ah.

MATT: The broom is going to swoop in towards you--

TALIESIN: (cackles)

MATT: -- and (whooshing) up in the direction. That's going to be, here we go. That is 17 to hit.

TALIESIN: That is my AC.

MATT: You take--

SAM: Even with the plus two?

TALIESIN: Even with the plus two.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Five points of bludgeoning damage as the broom cracks you in the jaw and you feel like ugh, that bit of pain hit, but you like the pain.

TALIESIN: Ugh.

MATT: And it hovers there and if a broom could be angry, it goes (laughter) at you. It finishes its turn. You're up.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to pop my hammer on the ground real hard (booms) and I'm going to rage.

SAM: Yeah!

TALIESIN: And I'm doing the gravity build, so.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Here we go. The crystal, the glass inside my head starts to get a little dim and light just seems to get a little dimmer around me. There's just this strange--

MATT: The broom immediately begins to act like it's being pulled slightly towards you.

TALIESIN: So I am going to just try and stomp it, flip, and hit it with the hammer on the ground.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: That is a yes to hit. That is a... 23 to hit.

MATT: 23 does hit. I saw the broom actually has multiattack, so it attacks again, and hit you previously before that as well, so the broom actually got two hits on you. The other one would've been four points of bludgeoning damage.

TALIESIN: Okay, so that's before--

MATT: That would've been before the rage.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: Broom's a dick.

TALIESIN: That's fine.

SAM: Sweep the leg! (laughter)

MATT: So how much damage was that? You rolled to hit.

TALIESIN: I rolled to hit and I did hit.

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: I'm also going to, just because this thing's pissing me off, I'm going to burn a Chaos Burst into this, because I don't like this. Cool, a little force damage.

MATT: Fundamental Chaos, so how much damage?

TALIESIN: That's going to be-- let me do it all together. Ugh, that's terrible. 10 points of normal damage, of just the normal stuff.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's better. Eight points of force damage.

MATT: Nice. So after you get clocked twice in the face by this broom, you pull back your weapon, and... how do you want to do this? (cheering)

TALIESIN: Do we get shared damage or no, by the way?

SAM: I can absorb some--

TALIESIN: Okay, so you haven't-- that's fine.

SAM: No, I haven't.

TALIESIN: I am going to just take the edge of the hammer, I'm going to stomp the broom down on the ground. I'm going to just take the edge of the hammer and I'm just going to come down and break it right in two.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: It snaps, immediately goes limp onto the ground.

TALIESIN: Fuck you! (laughter) And I'm going to look up. I still have my movement.

MATT: You do.

TALIESIN: Let's see, what'll be fun? I'm going to move... I'm going to move towards that fucking table.

MATT: You move to the table?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Up there?

TALIESIN: Yeah, whatever will flank with the little guy.

MATT: That would be the flank there.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: (like Bane) Your spring cleaning will be more severe. (laughter)

MATT: All right, that finishes your go. That brings us now to the knife.

TALIESIN: The knife immediately moves 10 feet towards me.

MATT: The knife is adjacent to you, so--

TALIESIN: Okay, never mind, all right.

MATT: But yes, no, that's good call to know.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: All right, so the knife is now going to continue to swing towards you, since you are the one who--

LIAM: Sure.

MATT: Actually no. You're next to it now. It'll go after you, because you're the one who's now within its space. It doesn't have a lot of intel-- ooh, not bad. That is going to be a 21 to hit.

TALIESIN: Oh, that hits.

MATT: You take five points of piercing damage, reduced to two. All right. At this point in time, you can see now people are beginning to scatter. Another figure seems to be charging out from inside of the inn that you had both had been coming from, shouting out into the fray. Travis, if you wouldn't mind coming to the table. (cheering)

MARISHA: Bring in the big guy! Let's go!

LIAM: Get in here.

MARISHA: Let us go.

MATT: So, how do you enter, and if you wouldn't mind describing yourself.

TRAVIS: Ah, ah! (deep bombastic voice) Yes, for the good of Jrusar! (laughter) I will enter the fray with you! And you see a gentlemen in his late seventies, early eighties.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Beautiful silver- trimmed facial hair. A good receding hairline going and a nice ponytail pulled tight in the back.

SAM: He's a cool grandpa.

TRAVIS: Nice purple refinery, a nice coiffed collar, and some burnt orange underneath. And he has a very elegant looking walking stick in his hand, as well as a very beautiful looking rapier on the other hand.

MARISHA: It's because he's dignified, not because he needs the stick. (laughter)

MATT: Where would you like to...? Well, first roll initiative, if you don't mind.

TRAVIS: Oh, oh, oh, yes, that thing. I have a bonus to my initiative, so 12.

MATT: Gotcha, gotcha.

TRAVIS: That's a first.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Cheers.

TALIESIN: I don't know what to do with that.

ASHLEY: Wait, you didn't have initiative with Grog?

TRAVIS: No, I had advantage.

ASHLEY: You had advantage.

MATT: Okay, so top of the round, Dorian, you're up, Orym, you're on deck.

ROBBIE: All right, so two of my friends are jacked up side by side. I'm going to... I'm going to rush toward Fearne, use my movement to get all the way over to her wrapped up in the rug.

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: And bewildered, I will attempt to grapple the rug and try to pull it off of her.

MATT: Try to pull it off of her?

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, I will say go ahead and make an athletics check for me, contested with the rug.

ROBBIE: I'm a strong boy.

MARISHA: Oh, damn! (laughter) Fucking killin' it!

ROBBIE: 25.

ASHLEY: Oh!

LAURA: What the fuck?

ROBBIE: Strong boy.

TRAVIS: What? Are you-- what?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: It's real, I see it.

MATT: All right. As you grab this rug and you can feel it, it is in the process of attempting to smother and crush Fearne, and as you get a hold on it, you put your foot up, the one space where you can see the top of her hip is and pull away and it rips off with a terrible tearing sound, and is no longer grappling you.

ASHLEY: Who did that, I can't see. (laughter)

ROBBIE: It was me, it was me!

ASHLEY: Oh, thank you!

ROBBIE: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Some biceps hiding under that padded leather.

MATT: All right, so that's your action. You still have a bonus action, if you'd like.

ROBBIE: Do I now have the rug grappled?

MATT: You have not grappled it necessarily. You've tried to free her, you said.

ROBBIE: Uh-huh, okay.

MATT: So, those are two different actions.

ROBBIE: Okay, got you. I will say, okay, rug's gone. Do your best. And I'm going to give her a Bardic Inspiration.

ASHLEY: Oh!

MATT: So a d6 for her?

ROBBIE: Hmm?

MATT: That's a d6, right?

ROBBIE: Yeah, let me double check. Yes, yes.

MATT: Pretty sure, yeah. So you take a d6 you can add to an attack roll, saving throw, ability checks. All right, cool, finishing Dorian's go, unless you want to move still. You still have--

ROBBIE: No, I was-- rug.

MATT: You're just having a tussle? Orym, you're up. Fearne, you're on deck.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Okay, I'm going to use a bonus action to make a Feinting Attack, another maneuver, and go to the left and then instantly--

MARISHA: Falls on the table. Catch me, table.

MATT: It is a fainting table.

LIAM: I'll juke to the left and then instantly back to the right, and once the blade goes for where I was, I will spring up into the air and I will just repeat what I did before and try to smash it down with my blade into the stone.

MATT: Go for it, roll an attack.

LIAM: So it's at advantage because of the feint. That hits. That's a 20 to hit. And that's a total of, one plus six is seven. 15.

MATT: 15. How do you want to do this? (cheering)

LIAM: Orym jumps 12 feet into the air, flipping, and cracks the blade from the hilt on the pavement below.

MATT: It snaps and scatters across the stone, broken and unmoving.

LIAM: Table, shit. And I just stand my ground. Because everyone's going to hurt me.

MATT: You got it. Fearne, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay, am I still blinded?

MATT: You are no longer blinded. The rug has been pulled off-- the wool had been pulled from your eyes, proverbially.

ASHLEY: Wow! Okay, so I see the rug in Dorian's hand. He's grappling with it and I'm going to just look at him and reach out my hands and put my hands on it and cast Burning Hands onto the rug.

MATT: Okay, yeah, let's do it.

ROBBIE: Am I still holding the rug?

MATT: I will allow you to let go as the flames are going past your hand, not directly on them.

ASHLEY: Oh, you should let go, okay?

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: All right, easy enough to get the rug without having to worry about anyone else. Let's see, that's a dexterity saving throw?

ASHLEY: It is.

LIAM: She's effective--

MATT: Natural one. Go ahead and roll for damage on that.

ROBBIE: Nice.

MATT: The rug is still being held by Dorian, before you let go at the last minute and then (burning)

ASHLEY: Okay, well not amazing. Can I use my extra Bardic Inspiration for--?

MATT: Not for damage.

ASHLEY: Not for damage. Okay, so this is pretty awful.

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

ASHLEY: Five points of damage.

MATT: Oh, five points of fire damage.

ASHLEY: I should have rolled my teeth dice.

MATT: No worries.

LAURA: Teeny teeth dice.

MATT: As the flames tear across the rug, the rug seems to almost attempt-- if a rug could tuck and roll out of the way, that's what it's doing. It's like, no fire!

ASHLEY: You bitch!

MATT: It singes the outside, and you can see a lot of the exposed fraying edges curl back into a black matted mess, but it's still spinning in the space getting ready to prepare for its next round. Do you want to stay put?

ASHLEY: Yes, I will stay put.

MATT: Okay. Finishing Fearne's turn.

LIAM: Stop, drop, and roll.

MATT: All the people start fleeing further.

TRAVIS: What have we defeated so far? A sword and--

MATT: Out and off the space.

ROBBIE: Broom.

TRAVIS: A broom.

ASHLEY: As a bonus action--

MATT: Yes?

ASHLEY: Can I summon my Wildfire Spirit?

MATT: It is an action to summon your Wildfire Spirit, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: It's an action, okay.

MATT: Off the board. Off the board.

LIAM: Look for me at dawn on the third day at Ikea.

ASHLEY: I understand. Bonus action to make him do something.

MATT: All righty. Fresh Cut Grass, you are up. Imogen, you're on deck.

TRAVIS: Jesus.

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: I don't know how--

MARISHA: Never gets old!

SAM: We'll see. I'm going to-- (laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow, we really will.

MARISHA: We're only two hours in.

MATT: This is a unique experiment.

SAM: I'm going to move in closer to the kitchen knife. Is that what that is?

MATT: It is.

MARISHA: Aww.

ROBBIE: Oh.

SAM: I don't know if I can get--

MATT: I'm going to fix that at the break.

SAM: I don't know if I can get all the way up, but if I--

MATT: From there, five, 10, 15, yeah, you can get right up to it, if you want to.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: (creaking)

MATT: We'll fix it at the break.

SAM: I'll activate my handsaw. (buzzing)

MATT: You hear this loud whining sound as this metallic disc attached to the edge of the arm (buzzing) begins to spin up.

SAM: And I'm going to try to... (buzzing) I'm going to try to slice it.

MATT: It's that blade on blade action.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Roll an attack.

TALIESIN: Are you flanking or no?

MATT: Technically, no.

TALIESIN: Okay.

SAM: Here's just a simple attack. I rolled a four. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Yeah, that tracks.

LIAM: He just sharpened it.

SAM: So that's a seven.

MATT: That misses.

SAM: All right.

MATT: You go-- and it just darts out. It's very small and very nimble. It's hard to catch a blade that's only about that long and is going through the air like an angry bee.

SAM: Well then, frustrated, I will, as a bonus action, cast Spiritual Weapon.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: And I will... Make something that most kitchen knives can't stand, which is a tomato, because it's just really hard.

ASHLEY: It's so hard.

MARISHA: It's squishy.

SAM: Yeah.

SAM: It's not serrated.

TALIESIN: There you go.

SAM: So a tomato will attack this knife.

MATT: We'll say a spiritual tomato apparates. I don't have a tomato mini, my apologies.

LAURA: It looks really close to one.

MATT: That's as close as I can get there.

TRAVIS: What's the matter with you?

MATT: I'm sorry, Travis!

TRAVIS: Did you not have enough time off?

MATT: God! Go ahead and roll your attack for your spiritual tomato.

TALIESIN: An apple, real nice.

SAM: That's a five. That's a five, plus five is 10.

MATT: That misses, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Oh no!

SAM: It's all right.

MATT: This knife was ready. It hates tomatoes so much it doesn't want to be near one.

SAM: It's a Santoku, they can do anything. (laughter)

MATT: Does that finish your turn?

MARISHA: Oh no!

SAM: Yep.

LAURA: All right, I'm going to step forward a bit, so I'm a bit closer, maybe 10 feet forward.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: And I want to be-- as long as I'm within 30 feet of what's happening.

MATT: You're within 30 feet of a lot of it, you have get a little closer if you want to get near the table, but.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to step forward 10 more feet, then. All right. All right, and I'm going to spend a Sorcery Point.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to hold my hand up and you're going to see these lightning flares that are on my arms start to get a bit brighter and climb up my arm a bit and I'm going to use Twinned Spell.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Witch Bolt at the kitchen knife and the rug at the same time.

MATT: You've got it. Okay, roll for an attack for each.

SAM: Twin witch spells.

LAURA: Oh cool, a one and a 20.

ASHLEY: That was crazy.

MATT: Well, which one was for which?

LAURA: The 20 was for the knife, and the one was for the rug.

MATT: Okay, you got it.

ASHLEY: Whoa, that's nuts.

MATT: So the rug at this point, ducking out of the way of the flames, also ducks the way out of the bolt that you were mostly focusing on the knife, since that seems to be the hardest to hit. So that Witch Bolt goes wide and just strikes the stone for no reason. However, the other one directly impacts the knife as it tries to duck out of the way, and you see the knife suddenly surrounded by this purple flashing electric aura of energy. Go ahead and roll damage and double it.

LAURA: 10 times two.

MATT: 20.

TRAVIS: I saw the one, figured, I was like one. (laughter)

MARISHA: Two.

MATT: How do you want to do this? (cheering)

MARISHA: Fuck that knife.

LAURA: Just for a second, my eyes--

ROBBIE: No, no, no, no.

LAURA: Don't do that. (laughter)

MARISHA: It's on small print on the packaging.

LAURA: Just for a second, you see my eyes flicker pure white.

SAM: Critical Role endorses knife fucking.

MATT: No! Shh! (laughter)

SAM: Story at 11. (laughter)

LAURA: And a lightning bolt is going to come out of my hand and just turn the knife bright, bright, bright white, and just-- I don't think I can crumble it, but it's going to turn the knife completely black.

MATT: Okay. As the arc hits it, you watch as it dissipates, and the knife hits the ground, and just bends on the impact. It's so heated by the impact that it's just completely bereft of enchantment.

SAM: Nice.

MATT: That finishes your go.

LAURA: You know what, I'm going to use my Telekinetic Shove and I'm going to pull this little robot dude, he seems like he might be struggling a bit, and just pull him back five feet away from that knife.

MATT: You got it.

SAM: Ooh!

MATT: You don't know what happened, but you got dragged back across the ground, and as you look around, all you see is this woman, hand out, staring at you.

SAM: Shiny day to you.

LAURA: Oh, you too! (laughter)

MATT: Oh no.

ROBBIE: Oh boy.

MATT: It is now the rug's turn, but the rug--

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: The rug's less worried about the fire, more worried about the one that pulled it off of its previous quarry, is going to go after you.

ROBBIE: Oh, okay.

MATT: Dorian. Not bad, not bad. Oh, it does have Bane on it. It's minus... Minus one, not too bad. That puts it at...

MARISHA: (like Bane) I see you went to Wayfair.

MATT: 16 to hit? (laughter)

ROBBIE: It does at that, yes.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: How dare you.

MATT: You are now wrapped and grappled by it, unable to move as you now are being pulled tightly within. No sight, nothing, and you can feel the bones in your shoulder starting to get ready to pop out of the socket with the force that it's crushing on you.

LAURA: This damn rug.

MATT: It's not fun. Finishing its go. Laudna, you're up.

MARISHA: All right, so we have the rug and the table, right?

TALIESIN: Some chairs.

MARISHA: Almost have a picnic. I'm going to fuck the rug. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Come on.

MARISHA: It seems like more of a problem. Eldritch Blast to the rug.

SAM: (posh accent) Eldritch Blast.

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: 14 does hit.

LAURA: Yes!

MARISHA: All right!

TALIESIN: Hey.

MARISHA: Here's a weird one. Okay, all right, that's fine. Nine damage.

MATT: Nine damage. How do you want to do this? (cheering)

MARISHA: Well, I was going to say because of my Form of Dread it would have to make a wisdom saving throw or be afraid of me, but since I kill it--

MATT: It's so afraid of you, it's dead.

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Can't get more afraid.

MARISHA: I look into the rug's eyes, or where I perceive its eyes to be.

ASHLEY: Tassels.

MARISHA: Its tassels. And I just look deep into it as I just coat it with black ooey ichor. And I go: Yes.

MATT: It falls to the ground and slowly begins to just turn into this crimson--

MARISHA: I wanted you to know it was me. (laughter)

MATT: This crimson sludge that just sloughs off of you into the ground. You glance right up at this terribly frightening, black veiled creature.

MARISHA: Hello.

ROBBIE: (nervously) Hello.

MARISHA: Hi.

ROBBIE: Hi.

MARISHA: Pleasure to meet you.

ROBBIE: Nice to meet you, too.

MARISHA: Oh, this is fun.

ROBBIE: It's so much fun. Did you just do that?

MARISHA: Yes.

ROBBIE: Okay, thank you.

MATT: He shouts from 40 feet away. (laughter)

MARISHA: Yes!

ROBBIE: Thank you!

MATT: All right, that finish your go?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Do you want to move or stay put?

MARISHA: No.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: I'm quite comfortable.

MATT: Your turn, sir.

TRAVIS: I am immediately quite concerned about the creepy-ass bitch. (laughter) 40 feet away, dripping with goo. But I think she's friendly, so I will, what's left? The table?

SAM: Table.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Table!

TRAVIS: I will unsheathe my Gambler's Blade rapier and rush towards the table and take a mighty strike. (laughter) Don't fucking laugh! (laughter) And I will wager a plus three to hit on this strike.

MATT: All righty, go for it.

TRAVIS: That's a 22, 25 to hit!

MATT: That hits.

ROBBIE: Whoa!

TRAVIS: Y'all better learn.

LAURA: I still got it.

TRAVIS: Man, this pencil. Three, eight points of damage, of slashing damage.

MATT: You got it. As you cut through the table, a deep cut, that table looks cut. Probably have to knock the price off of it in the window. (laughter)

TRAVIS: I think I get a second slash, yes?

MARISHA: Floor model.

MATT: You do. At your level, you do.

TRAVIS: Oh yes, beautiful, that's a 26 to hit.

MATT: That hits, roll damage the second time.

TRAVIS: I am rolling the thing. And seven points of slashing damage.

MATT: Nice! Twice carving into it, as I spray my map, my apologies.

ROBBIE: Thank you, sir.

MARISHA: I didn't want to say anything, but I saw Laura go-- (laughter)

MATT: Drink of my blood.

SAM: It's going to be on the big screen.

MATT: I know. (laughter)

MATT: God.

ROBBIE: Slow mo.

MATT: Sorry. Anyway.

TRAVIS: We'll get the first two rows.

ROBBIE: Splash zone, splash zone.

MARISHA: We'll do those 4D things that spray people.

LIAM: It's all right, everyone in the first three rows has ponchos.

MATT: Two deep gashes in the table. Good job, your turn's over. (laughter)

ASHLEY: He hates us.

LAURA: Yep, yep.

MATT: It is now the table's go.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: Oh, this guy, both of these guys are running. They are way out of the way here. The table is going to go ahead and-- The deep gashes, it's going to turn on you.

TRAVIS: Wait!

TALIESIN: It's got disadvantage.

MATT: It does, because it's within--

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's within 15 feet of me.

MATT: That's true, yeah.

LAURA: Ooh.

TRAVIS: 15 feet of you?

LAURA: That's a lot of feet.

TALIESIN: It's 15 of them.

MATT: Still an 18 on its lowest roll.

TRAVIS: Ow. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Might we parlay?

MATT: Ooh! That's-- ooh. That is 19 points of bludgeoning damage against you.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MARISHA: Wait, what?

SAM: I will see this happening to this old geezer.

TRAVIS: I'm okay, I'm upright.

SAM: I will transfer half of his suffering to myself.

LAURA: Aww!

MATT: Okay, so you use that reaction ability, okay.

SAM: (groans) Ah! So half damage to you.

TRAVIS: Bless you, small creature.

SAM: Oh, it's my pleasure. (groans)

MATT: All right, so you take half that damage.

TRAVIS: Great.

SAM: So I get nine, he gets 10, or he gets nine, I get 10?

TRAVIS: I take 10, you take 10.

MATT: Yeah. So he takes 10, and you have nine temporary hit points at the moment from that. So write that off, great.

TRAVIS: That's amazing.

MATT: That finishes the table's go, because it's not going to move from it space and is currently wrapped around. That brings us to Ashton, you're up.

TALIESIN: I just watched lightning come out of this purple-haired woman and fry the knife I was about to fuck with. So a little put out, I'm going to take a big spin and see if I can knock the feet out of this table.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: I have advantage because it's flanked. That's a natural 20.

ALL: Ooh!

TALIESIN: And I'm putting a Chaos Burst into that.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Because, you know, that's going to be awesome. So let's add some lightning damage to that.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Do it.

TALIESIN: Hammer's going to crackle a bit, get going. Oh, this is-- it's done.

MATT: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Oh my god, it's done. Okay, that's seven points that don't get doubled. Seven standard, and then... 18 doubled.

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: So 18 and then double?

TALIESIN: And then double the 18 and then add seven.

MATT: How do you want to do this? (cheering)

TALIESIN: I am going to spin around, knock all four feet out, flip over, crack it in half, and then just keep hitting it until it's powdered.

MATT: The table snaps with a loud cracking noise and then smash, smash, smash, over and over again. This table just eventually is reduced to a pile of splinters and fire.

MARISHA: I can probably recycle some of that. Okay.

TALIESIN: (sighs)

TRAVIS: That was very well done, all of you. That was very impressive. That's quite the hammer you have there.

TALIESIN: Thanks, old person, yeah. What the fuck was that?

SAM: No idea.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah, no, do you need--? Oh.

SAM: No, I'm okay, I'm okay.

TALIESIN: Hit me next time, just before.

SAM: I'm all right, I'm all right.

MATT: You do take the nine damage that you--

SAM: Does that happen here all the time, Ashton?

TALIESIN: I've broken a lot of furniture in my time, and I've never actually had any fight back. So this is new. Maybe it knows.

MARISHA: I'm just wondering who it belonged to.

SAM: Thank goodness all y'all were here.

TALIESIN: Where the fuck did that cart go? I'm going to run towards where the fuck that cart went.

MARISHA: Where the fuck did the driver go?

LAURA: There was a big flash of blue--

TALIESIN: Oh, the cart's right there.

LAURA: -- magic energy as it happened. So I feel like somebody set it off. Hi.

ASHLEY: Hello.

MARISHA: Oh yes, hello.

LIAM: Yeah, Orym's just looking at all these strange people.

TRAVIS: I'm sorry, do you all know each other?

MARISHA: I know her.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

SAM: I know them.

TALIESIN: I know them.

ROBBIE: We're like a trio, sort of.

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: That's a lot of fingers. You worked remarkably well together, I have to commend you on that. It was almost as if you were moving in concert, a great deal of talent on display.

MARISHA: It was just improvised.

ROBBIE: We just fought a rug.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

TALIESIN: There's three words and I'm a little iffy other than that.

LAURA: It was a really scary rug. I mean, in your defense.

ASHLEY: It was. I was going to try to save it, but you know.

LAURA: Yeah, I saw.

TRAVIS: Are you from Jrusar?

LAURA: No.

ASHLEY: I'm not.

TRAVIS: Are you by any chance looking for more of this sort of work, or just passing through?

TALIESIN: Is there money involved?

MARISHA: Is there clout involved?

TRAVIS: Clout?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, would it get the attention of maybe, you know, what were they called?

MARISHA: The Chandei Quorum.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh, I think there could be plenty of clout and some money.

MARISHA: Do you know them?

TALIESIN: Money, I'm in.

TRAVIS: Do I know them?

MARISHA: Yes.

TALIESIN: You're in.

TRAVIS: My dear, I do.

ASHLEY: Is there a place to train to show you how to fight furniture properly?

TRAVIS: Yes, yes, in a city such as this, of course.

ASHLEY: So this is what we would be doing?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm, this--

LAURA: I'm sorry, who--

TRAVIS: -- was probably just a training exercise of some sort. You're right, this is terribly rude of me. I was just so excited seeing you all. My name is Sir Bertrand Bell. It's a pleasure to meet all of you.

ASHLEY: Sir Bertrand.

ROBBIE: You're a knight?

SAM: A real knight!

MARISHA: Are you a noble?

TRAVIS: Not a noble, a knight is generous, but it was a title bestowed upon me, and I didn't shoo it away.

ASHLEY: Who bestowed it on you?

TRAVIS: Are you familiar with Vasselheim?

ASHLEY: Oh, you're not going to answer my question?

TRAVIS: I'm so sorry.

TALIESIN: I like that one.

ASHLEY: Who bestowed it on you?

TRAVIS: I don't know if you would-- (laughter)

SAM: (refreshed exhale)

ASHLEY: That is--

LAURA: What in the hell.

MATT: You motherfucker.

LAURA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: I mean, we knew that already.

TRAVIS: Did he have that over there the whole time?

LAURA: That is so cool, though! I really like it.

ASHLEY: It looks really cool.

MATT: How?

TRAVIS: Where did you even--?

MATT: How? What the fuck?

SAM: What? I'm just getting a sip, guys.

MATT: Continue the scene, please.

ROBBIE: Just a simple home game.

ASHLEY: It actually is very cool.

LAURA: Look at it! What does it feel like?

ASHLEY: Looks like it's out of Borderlands or something.

LAURA: Yeah!

MARISHA: What do you have on the front? Oh! (laughter)

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: But it was a brand new, clean container when you started and you just gussied up the outside, right?

SAM: That's right.

TRAVIS: You're drinking out of it?

LAURA: That's really cool.

TRAVIS: Did you get that at the Warner lot? What is that?

TALIESIN: I mean, if you're going to derail, this is the best way to derail, let's be fair.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Sorry about that.

ASHLEY: Anyway.

LAURA: I'm sorry, you said Vasselheim? I'm not familiar.

TRAVIS: Are you familiar with the Dawn Marshals in Vasselheim? I've been around Tal'Dorei, Vasselheim, Issylra. It doesn't really matter.

MARISHA: Heard of Vasselheim.

TRAVIS: The important thing is you all displayed tremendous talent, and I know someone that would pay well, perhaps, for services that you might render.

SAM: Will it be an emotionally enriching experience?

TRAVIS: Yes. I mean, all things in life are. Have you heard the name Lord Eshteross?

SAM: Have we?

MARISHA: Have we?

MATT: Make a history check, those of you who have been in Marquet for some time. I'd say probably--

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: Fresh Cut Grass.

LAURA: Ooh! A history check?

MATT: History check.

LAURA: 19.

MARISHA: Oh! Not too bad either.

SAM: Two.

MARISHA: 15.

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: 15? None of you have heard of the name.

SAM: Oh, actually, zero. (laughter)

LAURA: No, we've never-- I've never heard of him.

TRAVIS: I know this all seems a bit strange, not uncommon for someone in my decades, I've seen stranger, but if you would be interested in hearing more, I would love to treat you all to a drink, perhaps some food, and maybe talk it over a bit more? Unless you're more interested in finding out who let the furniture out.

MARISHA: Are you paying? For dinner.

TRAVIS: Yes, yes.

LIAM: We literally just got off a ship. But food sounds good, at the least.

TALIESIN: You clearly need a drink. You clearly need a drink.

ASHLEY: Absolutely.

SAM: Your fingers are dripping.

TALIESIN: You clearly need a drink.

MARISHA: Oh, I'm so sorry. Oh, actually, about this time, I probably shrink down to my normal form. Sorry about that.

SAM: No, no offense taken.

MARISHA: What was your name?

SAM: Fresh Cut Grass.

MARISHA: All right.

TRAVIS: Fresh Cut Grass.

TALIESIN: You heard them.

SAM: That's right.

ASHLEY: You smell a little bit like piss.

SAM: Oh. Very astute. Earlier today, a gentlemen threw piss at me.

ASHLEY: Oh.

LIAM: Why?

SAM: Well, I didn't get a chance to ask him, but I think he just didn't want it in his house anymore, so.

LIAM: Ah.

ASHLEY: Oh, he was throwing it out.

SAM: I'm so sorry. You know, I lack the ability to smell, so it doesn't really bother me, but if it bothers you, I'll get tidied up right away.

ASHLEY: It absolutely does not.

SAM: Oh, well then, piss it is.

ASHLEY: Okay. Well.

SAM: Oh, what was your name?

ASHLEY: Oh, my name is Fearne.

SAM: You're very tall.

ASHLEY: Yes, I am.

SAM: And what brings y'all to-- It's you three, right? What brings y'all to this neck of the woods?

ROBBIE: Sightseeing, we're sightseeing.

SAM: Insight check. (laughter)

MATT: Make a deception check, make an insight check.

SAM: 22.

ROBBIE: Oh, 17, four, 21. (shouting)

MARISHA: So close!

MATT: You catch just the faint hint of a not entire truth.

TRAVIS: (coughs) Bullshit.

SAM: Sightseeing sounds great.

TALIESIN: You know, I can pretend I'm much more interested if there's food and beer in front of me. I think that we should take this all inside.

TRAVIS: I did not notice the-- Fresh Cut Grass, can you help with the--?

SAM: No, they're fine. They're fine. They're like that all the time. It's kind of cool, really.

TRAVIS: Wow.

TALIESIN: Free to look.

TRAVIS: It's all right.

TALIESIN: It'll be a gold piece, but you're free to look.

TRAVIS: I'm good.

TALIESIN: Some people stare inside and they see hell itself. It's absolutely true.

ASHLEY: May I try?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Here's a gold piece.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: Sometimes it takes a while.

TALIESIN: It's mostly just a sparkly opal in there. I am going to try and pickpocket her, though.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Roll a sleight of hand check.

TALIESIN: Game meets game.

MATT: And you can roll a perception, or no, what's your passive perception?

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: I got it.

ASHLEY: 15.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

ALL: Oh!

MATT: So that is a really, really cool view. You can see this sparkly opalescent interior beyond this dirtied glass that fills this broken gap in the head. Go ahead and deduct 12 gold.

TALIESIN: Oh, I know what I'm going for.

MATT: Oh, what are you going for?

TALIESIN: The fucking earring.

MATT: Oh, even better. (laughter)

TALIESIN: That clearly does not belong.

MATT: Fair enough.

TRAVIS: 15-foot long--

TALIESIN: Just wrap it around my waist, like a fucking belt.

MATT: Yeah, nobody even noticing.

ASHLEY: I don't see hell.

TALIESIN: No, well, you know, heaven to some, hell to others.

TRAVIS: Wow. (laughs) Wow.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: Some other folks are starting to return to the street and checking to see what happened, and talk amongst themselves.

MARISHA: Let's make ourselves scarce.

LAURA: Sir Bertrand, would you-- Is it possible to get a table that's a little more isolated, maybe? Something away from the crowds?

TRAVIS: An easy task for one such as myself. Your name was?

LAURA: Imogen.

TRAVIS: Imogen, very nice to meet you.

LAURA: You as well.

TRAVIS: Follow me, if you would.

SAM: 'Course.

TRAVIS: And I'll lead them to the nearest place.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Orym lags just for a second, looking down at the rug. You really tied the room together. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Shame on you. (laughter)

ROBBIE: No, it's nice.

MATT: You can hear somebody on the side, one of the street musicians with their French horn go (sad trombone). (laughter)

MATT: As they're practicing for a busking performance. Ah, got to clear it out. As you all follow Sir Bertrand Bell into the interior of the Spire by Fire Inn, we're going to take a break. (cheering)

SAM: First break of Campaign 3!

MARISHA: Woo!

TRAVIS: That was so much fun.

MATT: We'll back here in a little bit for the second half of our first episode. Oh man, and we're off! We're off! Okay, all right, we'll see you guys a little bit.

Break[]

- Finally after all these years, with the hardships, and emotional turmoil, and Steven losing his leg. - Hi! - We finally found it, the treasure of the jungle. - It's the Fool's Gold 5E campaign setting! - And welcome to our Kickstarter! - Oh god no! - Based off of the YouTube animated D&D series: Fool's Gold. - Eat your... potassium! - Fool's Gold: Into the Bellowing Wilds is a 5E campaign setting with everything you need to survive the world's deadliest jungle. - Where everything wants to kill you. - Like this thing! What the [quack] is that? And sheep! - We got new classes, races, items, giant mechanical dragons! Charts. - We've also included a full adventure module so you can play through the entire open-world campaign of Fool's Gold with your own party! There's quests, NPCs, and lots of lore to uncover about the mysterious disappearance of the ancient four claimer race. It's pretty wack, yo. Don't worry about spoilers, everyone plays through it their own way. And I'm pretty sure you're not gonna make the same horrible choices... we made. - So Hey, back the Fool's Gold Kickstarter campaign today at FOOLSGOLD5E.com and help bring this chaos to your table. - Thinking about this, this may have been a bad idea. - You leave now!

LAURA: Hey Critters, Laura Bailey here to guide you through what's new in the Critical Role Shop. Ooh, so comfy cozy. Look at this, isn't it fashion? So much fashion happening here. Style should never be a dump stat, darling. This is pretty bad-ass, and it glows. Hey, look at these. They go on your face. And hey, if you want, you can head over to the Critical Role Shop right now. [dramatic music]

ANNOUNCER: We now go live to a special address from the President.

GALE: Hey dweebs, Now as your president, I've been kinda killing it lately. I gave global warming an atomic wedgie. I balanced the budget by selling my Pog collection, and I saved the Queen of England from that octopus! But my kick-assery is far from done. According to this chart that I made, an estimated 35% of you are still a bunch of nasty goobers, but don't worry, I have a plan. Operation: Gag Me With A Spoon. It's easy sleazy. According to this study that I wrote, if every citizen subscribed to Critical Role on Twitch, we could reduce maximum goobage by a metric buttload. Twitch is the only place where you'll get a live and moderated chat and when you subscribe to Critical Role, you instantly get access to all their shows as soon as the live broadcast ends. So while you're oogling those Critical Role dorks with their sick goof-em-ups and their nerdy voices, think of me, Gale, the current president of whatever. Now I gotta go make a fresh batch of spitballs, but I guess I have some time for your boring questions. You.

REPORTER: Gale, is it true that if you subscribe to Critical Role through Prime Gaming, you have to resubscribe every month?

GALE: Uh, yeah. I do it right after my monthly prank call to Pee-an O'Brien. Next question.

Reporter: Does Critical Role have exclusive emotes for their subscribers?

GALE: Uh, doy. Of course they do. I like the hello bees one, 'cause bees are cool. I replaced my whole security detail with a bunch of bees that think I'm their queen. Last question.

Reporter: Yeah, with all due respect, is Operation: Gag Me With a Spoon a real policy, or are you mad goofin'?

GALE: Am I mad goofin'? What, do you see me scarfing Milk Duds while doodling ding-dongs in the SkyMall catalog? Listen, I know I'm new to this. And I admit that when I made the wish to be the boss of everything, I did not know the witch that works at Woolworth's was listening. Well, Faustian bargain or not, I am the president and I have an obligation to lead this country. So to answer your question, no, I am not mad goofin'. Security, take him out. [bees buzzing] [Gale laughing] Later, chudruckers!

Part II[]

MATT: And welcome back. So, last we left off, this motley crew of strange traveling individuals that gathered for an odd occurrence in the street, cut down some wayward enchanted utensils and furniture pieces, and in doing so, caught the eye of an older adventurer named Sir Bertrand Bell, who is currently leading you on the invitation of a meal and drink to discuss some possibilities. You all followed him into the Spire by Fire Tavern, managed to procure a table in the back elevated platform in this little side nook, not quite a booth, but at least away from the main crowd, which is starting to build up for the evening. Food is ordered and is on its way. Drinks are passed around as you all sit and figure out what exactly this is about.

TRAVIS: Does everyone have something to satisfy their appetites?

LAURA: Are we far away from other patrons in the tavern?

MATT: I'd say 12 to 15 feet from the nearest table, but around the corner slightly. There is no private area here, necessarily. It's not one of those establishments.

LIAM: Is there a thrum of conversation all over the place?

MATT: Yeah, I mean, there's a bustle about the room. There's chuckles and whispers and conversations, so you can feel with a lowered voice you can be fairly discreet.

MARISHA: Do we seem to be drawing anyone's attention?

MATT: Your entrance definitely drew some eyes.

TRAVIS: Yeah. (laughter) You're a fucking nightmare right now. I'm having problems. (laughter) Got the damn Grudge over here. (laughter)

MATT: So you definitely drew some eyes, and every now and then, you do catch somebody just glancing over, but there's nobody that you've noticed stooping close yet.

LIAM: So you live here.

TRAVIS: I do, for the moment.

LIAM: How long? About how long?

TRAVIS: Oh, on and off in the summer months. It's so beautiful here. One of the few destinations I choose to frequent with my time. If you don't mind me asking, because you all don't seem entirely familiar with each other. Some of you said you were passing through, tourists?

LIAM: Definitely.

TRAVIS: None of you have any outstanding entanglements with the law, warrants, anyone chasing you?

ASHLEY: Definitely not here.

TRAVIS: Oh, good! All of you? If I could just get a single yes or no from each of you, please.

ASHLEY: Well, what exactly do you mean by--

TRAVIS: Is anyone hunting you? Is there a bounty out on your head? Are you criminal folk?

TALIESIN: Do we have to answer all those questions or just one? Is that just one answer?

TRAVIS: General yes or no. I think you get the question.

MARISHA: I'd say not that I'm aware of, but you know, who can really say for certain if anyone is being hunted, right? How could you really know unless you are the hunter?

TRAVIS: Fair. I would know. But by the way, at any time you can feel free to, you know, investigate what was happening outside. I don't mean to pull you away from anything that might be of interest to you. But if you are interested in, perhaps, a little bit of employment, I happen to know a gentleman named Lord Eshteross that employs very talented warriors such as yourself, and I would be keen to put in a good word for you if an introduction to an estate of that esteem would be in your interest.

LIAM: You do a lot of work like that?

TRAVIS: I do. I do. I've spent the last few years really building up more of a consulting service. As you can see, I'm a little later in my years, I still have a bit of spring in my step. But really, it's the wisdom I want to share with the next generation.

LIAM: So are you like a talent agent?

TRAVIS: Well, more of a--

MARISHA: A manager.

TRAVIS: Always out for a finder's fee, if I could say so.

LAURA: So, a manager.

TRAVIS: But I also recognize opportunity.

MARISHA: A middle man.

TRAVIS: Opportunity.

ROBBIE: Did anyone see who was driving that cart?

LAURA: No, I didn't. I just saw a big blue explosion, like a ball of energy.

ROBBIE: So Bertrand, you're a talent scout, correct?

TRAVIS: You could say that, among other things.

ROBBIE: Who just happened to be here at this event, right?

TRAVIS: In this very tavern, enjoying a cold drink.

MARISHA: Do you do magic?

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: Insight check.

MATT: Make an insight check.

LAURA: 11.

MATT: Hard to read, seems to be on the up and up.

TRAVIS: To be fair, I've been accused of magic by some, but not of the variety I think you mean.

TALIESIN: Card tricks, shit like that? Like a kid's birthday party magician kind of thing?

TRAVIS: I have no arcane abilities.

TALIESIN: Okay.

TRAVIS: So. But. If you wouldn't be opposed to it, I think perhaps this gentlemen and his lady would you be interested in meeting with all of you.

LAURA: You said he has a lot of influence in the city?

TRAVIS: Yes. Eshteross Manor. Never heard of Eshteross Manor?

MARISHA: Have we ever heard of Eshteross Manor?

MATT: We did a check earlier and you do not.

MARISHA: Oh, we did.

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Is that on this spire?

TRAVIS: Is that on this spire?

MATT: It is.

TRAVIS: It's on this spire.

SAM: Oh, okay. So it's close by.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: And this gentlemen would want to meet with potential employees immediately?

TRAVIS: I think so. I owe him a favor, and it'll be good to catch up with an old friend. Besides, it seems since you're new in town it would be a great opportunity for you to then network through Jrusar.

SAM: I mean, Ashton and I set out today specifically to find something to do for money for you, so I mean--

TALIESIN: And then a mop attacked us. This is exactly the sort of thing that I was trying to convey to you, just the way things happen in this city. It's really--

SAM: It's a wild place.

TALIESIN: It is. Nothing else like it.

SAM: I mean, this is a pretty good tour for our first day.

TALIESIN: I'm quite pleased.

ASHLEY: So we would be employed to take care of unruly furniture.

TRAVIS: Oh. I don't want to speak to the manner in which you would be put to service, but Lord Eshteross is a bit of a philanthropist. (stuttering) Philanthropist.

SAM: He's very old. (chuckling)

TRAVIS: My dentures get loose. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Teeth stop moving halfway through.

TRAVIS: And the good part is that he is really interested in preserving the good folk of Jrusar. There are some, you know, shady characters in every city, but here in particular, and he seems to really want to do good.

LIAM: Insight check.

TRAVIS: How many is that?

LAURA: Just two.

LIAM: Natural 20.

LAURA: Oh!

TRAVIS: Telling the truth.

LAURA: Oh, that's great.

MARISHA: You know, I kind of agree with, Fearne, was it?

ASHLEY: Yes, that was my name.

MARISHA: I'm really distracted by the angry furniture. How often-- Have you got attacked by a broom before? You're acting like it's a thing.

TALIESIN: I've been attacked by a broom before, this is true, but it's been normally in the hands of somebody else. This was the first time it was really independent of any other circumstance.

ASHLEY: Is this-- Is this normal? I've never seen anything like that before. Why did they attack us?

TRAVIS: Normal? I mean, this shit's got some nuts in it. I just want to say even just this group is-- (dubious noise) But you know--

MARISHA: I guess we have seen a few strange things just in our time that we've been here.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I mean, that's pretty weird, though.

LAURA: Did you have anything to do with it?

TRAVIS: The furniture?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: Hmm.

ASHLEY: That's a good point.

SAM: Furniture attacks us and then a strange old man comes and offers us a job. I mean, it seems like a pretty cool day. (laughter)

ROBBIE: It is a very convenient day.

LAURA: Regardless, I think I would like to meet with this-- I can't remember his name.

SAM: Eshteross.

LAURA: Lord Eshteross, that's right, thank you.

MARISHA: Eh, never mind. We'll find out. Let's go meet him.

TRAVIS: Is everything okay? I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure that this isn't something that'll wear off after a minute or something and just--

MARISHA: My appearance? Do you want my face to wear off after a few minutes?

TALIESIN: No, it's fucking awesome.

TRAVIS: No, no, no, yeah, no.

MARISHA: Thank you.

TRAVIS: Just wanted to be sure.

MARISHA: Pleasure to meet you, Bertrand. I don't think I got your name.

TALIESIN: Ashton. Ashton. Actually, yeah.

LIAM: We should go around.

TALIESIN: Oldie.

TRAVIS: Sir Bertrand Bell.

TALIESIN: Bert, yeah.

ROBBIE: Dorian Storm. Dorian Storm.

MARISHA: Laudna.

SAM: Hi, I'm Fresh Cut Grass.

LIAM: What do you mean?

TALIESIN: (laughs)

SAM: I'm Fresh Cut Grass.

LAURA: That's your name?

SAM: That's what I'm called. Yeah.

MARISHA: Like your first name, or is Grass your middle name? Or your last name?

LIAM: Or Cut Grass.

MARISHA: Yeah. Hyphenated?

SAM: I'm just called Fresh Cut Grass. I don't really distinguish between a surname or anything like that.

ROBBIE: Did you give yourself your name, or--?

SAM: No, no. My former associate gave me my name. She named all of her creations after her favorite smells.

MARISHA: Hmm.

LAURA: Oh, that's lovely.

SAM: There was a bunch of us. There was me, there was Oatmeal. There was Apple Pie. There was Pussy. There was a bunch of us.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: So nice to see other people having to hear this. It's really just bringing everything into sharp perspective.

ROBBIE: (wheezing)

LIAM: This has been a day.

ASHLEY: That took me a bit by surprise.

LIAM: This has been a day.

TALIESIN: You-- What was your name? (laughter)

MARISHA: Help us.

ASHLEY: Wow, it was just thrown out there so quick.

TRAVIS: Did you say, "Send help?" (laughter)

ASHLEY: My name is Fearne. Yeah. I've heard of creatures like you.

SAM: Oh, you have. Have you ever met another automaton such as myself?

ASHLEY: No.

SAM: But you've heard?

ASHLEY: Mm-hmm.

SAM: I've only met the ones that my former associate created. So I haven't gotten a chance to talk to many others, so. If you ever hear of any, I'd love to meet more.

ASHLEY: I'll make sure to let you know.

SAM: Thank you.

ASHLEY: What's your name?

LAURA: Oh, I'm Imogen. Temult.

ASHLEY: Imogen Temult, okay.

LAURA: Nice to meet you.

TALIESIN: I like what you did with the lightning, that was pretty cool.

LAURA: Thank you. You know, I've been working on it. Thank you.

MARISHA: She's quite naturally talented. Very gifted.

LAURA: Fresh. Was your associate also from the Taloned Highlands?

SAM: No, she came from Bassuras.

LAURA: Oh, all right.

SAM: Yeah, that's where we sort of originated and went out on our journeys and adventures. I was part of a group of adventurers, of all sorts of different exciting folks, and yeah, we worked out of Bassuras.

MARISHA: Where's Bassuras? Is that here in Marquet?

SAM: It is in Marquet, in the Oderan Wilds.

MARISHA: Oh! We passed by that.

MATT: Hellcatch Valley.

SAM: That's what I said, yep.

TALIESIN: It's a ways.

LAURA: Is that far away from the Taloned Highlands?

MATT: It's loosely between the Oderan Wilds and the Taloned Highlands. It's a central nexus point between many of the different regions of Marquet.

ROBBIE: Where's your former group?

TALIESIN: Oh. They're not around anymore. Things went a little south and--

LAURA: Oh, I'm so sorry.

TALIESIN: Job in a silver mine not too far away. You don't have to get into it if you don't want to.

SAM: No, it's fine. It's better to confront tragedy when it happens and admit it. Yeah, they were-- They didn't make it, and I was unable to heal them.

LIAM: Oh gosh, we're sorry.

MARISHA: How long ago was that?

SAM: When did we meet?

TALIESIN: That was a couple months ago, I got to say, at this point.

MARISHA: Not that long ago.

TALIESIN: Time moves very weird when there's not a lot of sundown, sunup.

ASHLEY: How did they die?

SAM: We were-- No, it's okay.

MARISHA: I would like to know as well. No, I agree with this question.

SAM: I feel like I'm taking up a lot of the spotlight here when we haven't even met this little fella over here.

LIAM: I'm good, I'm curious, too. Go ahead, please.

SAM: Well, yeah, we were on a mission in this silver mine, hired by a family to clear it out because there was monsters in there, and we got as far into it as we could, but we met with a lot more resistance than we expected, and had to retreat, come out and make camp and rest for the night, and-- Well, I was in a stasis mode, which is what y'all call sleep, I think, and when I came to, they were all deceased.

TALIESIN: Very deceased.

MARISHA: Tragic.

SAM: Yeah. Ashton came upon me some time later. I'm not quite sure how long, but--

TALIESIN: In theory, a few days later. I got paid to go see what the fuck had happened, and Letters over here was the only survivor.

SAM: Yeah.

ROBBIE: I didn't mean to pry.

SAM: No, no, it's fine. It's best that we all know everything about each other.

MARISHA: Did you keep their corpses?

SAM: Well, you know what?

MARISHA: Just saying, they're a great resource.

SAM: You know what? I actually did keep parts of them.

MARISHA: Really?

SAM: Not their corpses. It's not morbid like that, but Dancer, my former associate, she had made some other automatons, gizmos and gadgets, and some that were pretty sophisticated and some that weren't, and I grabbed a few of their parts that I can use now. And so I pull out the saw blade and the bolt thrower and a hammer tool that was attached to something else at one point.

MARISHA: Very resourceful.

SAM: Yeah. But I left the bodies. We covered them up as best we could and gave them a proper-ish burial. It's--

TALIESIN: It did its job.

SAM: It's heartbreaking when a soul-touched like that passes away, and-- It was wonderful that Ashton came along when they did.

LIAM: Soul-touched?

SAM: Oh, yeah. That's folk like you, with souls.

LAURA and MARISHA: Oh.

ASHLEY: You don't have a soul?

SAM: I would assume not.

ASHLEY: How do you know?

SAM: Well, I can't do a lot of the things that you can do.

ASHLEY: Were you sad when you lost your group?

SAM: I imagine so, but that could have been something that Dancer made me think.

ASHLEY: Well, I think only souls can be sad.

SAM: I hope you're right. I don't see how that's possible, but all right. I was built out of parts.

ASHLEY: Yeah, but anything's possible.

MARISHA: Technically, we're all built out of parts.

ASHLEY: Yes.

TALIESIN: Very fair.

ROBBIE: And technically, we don't know if we have souls either.

ASHLEY: That's a very good point.

TALIESIN: Very sketchy on my end.

SAM: I'm pretty sure you got one.

TRAVIS: You were very adept with that sword and all of the acrobatics. Reminded me of myself 50 years ago.

LIAM: You were pretty good out there, too.

TRAVIS: Thank you. What's your story?

LIAM: Well, I'm from overseas.

MARISHA: Where overseas?

LIAM: Tal'Dorei.

MARISHA: Oh, same.

LAURA: Oh wow. That's really far.

ASHLEY: It's really far.

LIAM: What parts?

MARISHA: All over, really. I was quite the traveler. Originally from Whitestone. That was a long time ago.

SAM: What sort of place is that?

MARISHA: A shitty one.

ASHLEY: And you?

TALIESIN: Oh. That's not a very interesting story. I've been living in this city for quite a few years now, just picking up odd jobs, living in the Core Spire. Got a nice place, got a nice life. Beats anything else I've found so far.

LAURA: And your name was Ashton?

TALIESIN: Yes. Ashton Greymoore.

ASHLEY: Ashton Greymoore.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Just a local, I like it here. It's fun.

LIAM: We saw.

LAURA: So y'all reckon we all want to go meet this Lord--? Damn it, I keep forgetting his name.

SAM: (whispering) Eshteross.

LAURA: Eshteross.

TRAVIS: Yes. Sorry, I fell asleep. (laughter)

LAURA: How soon would you be wanting us to meet him?

TRAVIS: I mean, my time is your time.

ASHLEY: Do you need to take a nap?

TRAVIS: I just took care of that. (laughter)

LIAM: Are we talking about tomorrow? Or--?

TRAVIS: What time is it?

MATT: The sun, at this point, is close to set at this point and it's turning to nighttime.

TRAVIS: Oh. Yes, yes. Tomorrow will be fine. First thing. No time like the present, except not the present, the future present.

MARISHA: Well, I imagine we should get eggs back to Zhudanna.

LAURA: Oh my gosh, the vegetables.

MARISHA: The vegetables.

TALIESIN: Shit.

LIAM: Does this place put you up for the night?

TALIESIN: They do. As far as I remember.

MATT: They can, yeah. They have rooms.

TALIESIN: This place is great.

TRAVIS: How far are we from here from Eshteross Manor?

MATT: You're probably about 15- to 20-foot walk from here.

TRAVIS: Oh!

LAURA: It's how far?

TRAVIS: We're right--

SAM: Did you say 20 feet?

TRAVIS: We're here.

MATT: Sorry, 20 minute. My brain. (laughter)

TRAVIS: I was like, it's next door. (laughter)

MATT: Sorry, 15- to 20-minute walk. My bad.

TRAVIS: Sorry, just woke up.

MATT: My brain.

TRAVIS: We certainly can stay here for the night. Do you need to meet with someone?

LAURA: Well, we have a place over in the Windows. The Windowed Wall.

ROBBIE: Meet us in the morning.

LAURA: Sure. Yeah. What time were you thinking?

TRAVIS: Oh, first light.

SAM: Oh, no, that's not going to work for Ashton.

TALIESIN: I mean, if you don't mind waking me up, I'll just, you know, get a couple drinks in me and fall asleep as quick as possible.

SAM: You're very, very cranky, though. And not pleasant at all.

TALIESIN: When am I not cranky and unpleasant?

SAM: That's true.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: That's true. This would just be the same, but earlier.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: I need the money. I'm not going to pretend I don't.

SAM: All right. First light, then.

TRAVIS: We have an accord. First light. Room's on me.

TALIESIN: Wait, what?

ASHLEY: That's wonderful. Very generous.

TRAVIS: Well, of course. I appreciate you putting yourself out there like this. It's very admirable.

TALIESIN: Want a room or do you want to go home?

SAM: I mean, we're here.

TALIESIN: Fair.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it'll be much easier waking up if I don't have to walk here. That's great. I'm into that.

TRAVIS: By all means. How many rooms? Any roomies?

TALIESIN: Let's go nuts. Private rooms.

SAM: Oh, I mean, I don't need that, but sure.

TALIESIN: Just go for it. Just-- paying.

TRAVIS: Private.

SAM: Doesn't matter for me at all.

TALIESIN: Matters to me, yeah. I'll let him spend money.

TRAVIS: Nobody wants to--? Not a problem. I'll be back. (laughter)

SAM: Got to go to the ATM?

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughter)

TALIESIN: "Drinks are on me!" Top shelf, top shelf, top shelf.

MATT: So you walk over to the side, Ishir is over there finishing conversation with a couple of other clientele at the bar, is like, "That's when-- Can I help you?"

TRAVIS: Rooms for the evening for one, two--

LAURA: None for us. We have a place.

TRAVIS: Oh, great. For six, six rooms.

MATT: "Oh, you need six rooms for the night, you said?"

TALIESIN: Quietly try and signal to Ishir that this person's got money.

MATT: "Let's go with one gold a night per room. Nice, fair, you know, friends and family discount, since you got a friendly face."

TRAVIS: I do, I do. And for the six, could we call it maybe four gold?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TRAVIS: Oh god, that's balls. I think that's a seven.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

LIAM: You let out that squeaker.

MATT: (laughs)

TRAVIS: That's terrible. It's less, it's a six. (laughter)

MATT: "I understand where you're coming from, but you also got to-- I'm running a business here."

TRAVIS: Sure, yeah, six gold.

ASHLEY: I'm going to walk up behind him. Wait, were we trying to figure out rooms here?

MATT: "Right, well, is this--"

TRAVIS: Yes, this is one of my party.

ASHLEY: We're together.

MATT: "Ah, yes. Six rooms, just paid for. Let me get the keys for you."

ASHLEY: Oh. Did you get a discount or anything like that on account of us helping the town and everything? And saving your establishment from rugs and tables?

MATT: "Oh, I heard something about that tale out there."

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: "Good on you, I guess."

ASHLEY: Would you want to give a little discount? (laughter)

ASHLEY: I'm going to try to persuade him.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: With a higher DC.

ASHLEY: Stand by. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I potentially made this very hard and I'm quite pleased.

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: What am I--

SAM: Persuasion.

MATT: (French accent) Persuasion I think is how it's pronounced.

ASHLEY: Oops, cocked.

SAM: Cocked.

ASHLEY: Nine.

LAURA: No.

MATT: "No." (laughter)

MATT: "Them's my rates."

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: It's really no trouble at all.

ASHLEY: Okay.

SAM: Did someone say negotiate? No, I'm kidding. (laughter)

MATT: Keys are passed out for the rooms that are necessitated, six rooms.

TRAVIS: One, two, three, four, five. Six.

MATT: "Very well, here you go. Have a good night."

TRAVIS: Thank you.

MATT: Grins. Pointy toothy grin.

LAURA: I'll stand up. Laudna?

MARISHA: Yeah. Till tomorrow.

LAURA: Basket of food. It was really wonderful working with y'all? See you in the morning.

TALIESIN: It was fun beating the shit out of people with you. Or things. Things.

LAURA: Kind of was.

TALIESIN: That was fun. Felt good.

MARISHA: Sleep tight, Bertrand.

LAURA: Bertrand hears in his head as we leave: Thank you so much.

SAM: Ooh.

TRAVIS: What the fuck was that?

TALIESIN: The fuck was what?

LIAM: You guys are going to kill him. (laughter)

MARISHA: Have a heart attack.

MATT: And they exit into the now darkened night sky.

SAM: Oh, oh.

MARISHA: Ooh, ooh, ooh!

MATT: The moonlight breaking down from above, lighting the stone across the streets. Not as busy as the day was, but still, folks wandering through, but you have a straight shot on to the Windowed Wall. The rest of you have your rooms about you and at your disposal.

MARISHA: How are you feeling about everything?

LAURA: I feel fine. That was a little overwhelming.

MARISHA: It was a lot overwhelming.

LAURA: That was a lot of people.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: But, I mean, it was really interesting to see a whole bunch of people that, you know, kind of do the same thing that we do.

MARISHA: I agree. Were they in your head at all? Did you get any--?

LAURA: You know, after what happened over at the conservatory, the whole rest of the day has just been a bit of a cacophony. So I didn't really hear anything particular. It was kind of hard to hear the conversation at the table, to be honest. But-- Yeah, I mean, everybody seemed real nice.

MARISHA: Yeah. Maybe this could get us that recognition.

LAURA: That's what I'm hoping! I mean, if we can get enough notice, then maybe we can get, you know, somebody to pay attention to us, and then we can actually get in.

MARISHA: And if this goes horribly wrong, we could always leave.

LAURA: Sure.

MARISHA: We have that option.

LAURA: Yeah. And worst case scenario, I mean, make a little coin, get us some money so we can actually travel in style.

MARISHA: That would be nice.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I've grown to like Zhudanna, though.

LAURA: I really do like her. I hope she doesn't mind that a few of the eggs got cracked, but.

MARISHA: Just blame it on the broom.

LAURA: (chuckles) She's never going to believe this. (chuckles)

MATT: As you both approach the outside of the Windowed Wall, you can see at the base, the massive neighborhood that is slowly curling up in different shapes against the rocky exterior of the Core Spire base, these hundreds of abodes and homes of different colors, and painted over the rock on the outside to stand out against the patchwork neighborhood in front of you, you can see all manner of platforms and stairways and ladders that lead up to different portions of it. And at this point in the night, you can see a lot of the porches that are built out in front of these are filled with the families and folks that are sitting out there and looking at this beautiful view, because from upward, more than 30 or so feet and beyond up the Windowed Wall, you get a beautiful view, just past the ledge of the roads on the outside of the Spire and down into the dark jungle below. As you eventually climb your way up, and it takes about 10 minutes or so to get up to where, where she lives, as I tangle on the name, you approach the door, and you can see the door is partially open, this little warm light coming from inside. And you hear what sounds like scrubbing. As you glance through, you can see the older woman, her stark white hair is currently let down past her shoulder, she's wearing a comfortable robe, a softer robe for the night. And she's in the process of finishing cleaning up dishes. Doesn't even notice your approach.

LAURA: Zhudanna?

MARISHA: Zhudanna!

MATT: "Oh, you've come."

LAURA: You will never believe what happened to us today in the market. Now, we got you the eggs that you wanted, but a few of them cracked, sorry about that.

MATT: "That's all right."

LAURA: They'll still be good for tomorrow.

MATT: "I could cook them up now."

LAURA: How about,-- We'll tell you what, We had a really nice meal already, crazy story. But we're going to be getting up first thing in the morning. So maybe a nice breakfast?

MATT: "All right, I'm more than happy to do so. I hope your day in the city was enjoyable."

MARISHA: It was fantastic. Here, let me finish these dishes for you.

MATT: "Oh, it's fine."

MARISHA: Go sit down!

MARISHA: Please.

MATT: "Very well. (laughs)" And she walks over to her little ottoman cushion that she sits on when she does her knitting or reading a book, and she stretches out her feet a bit and slips them into her slippers and looks back.

MARISHA: Zhudanna? Have you heard of a Lord Eshteross? (snickering)

MATT: "I have."

LAURA: Oh, you have?

MATT: "I have not seen him, but he's certainly one of the-- one of the odd recluses of the city."

LAURA: Oh, have you heard good things, bad things?

MATT: "I've heard strange things."

LAURA: Great.

MARISHA: All right. Oh, we're strange recluses.

LAURA: It's true.

MARISHA: Cut from the same cloth.

MATT: "Who was it he used to work for, it was, what was the name? It was a very nice woman, Mistress Prudaj, that a long time ago lived in that house, that estate, but when she passed, Lord Eshteross took over."

LAURA: How long ago was that?

MATT: "Oh, maybe 20 years ago."

LAURA: Okay, wow. Would you like me to get some of your knitting?

MATT: "Oh, I've got it right here, actually." She leans over and pulls up some of her stuff, and says, "I'm thinking about making you a pair of socks,"

LAURA: (gasps) That would be just wonderful!

MATT: "Color of preference?"

LAURA: Oh, well, you know what? How about a nice color that matches this scarf?

MATT: "Very well."

LAURA: Thank you.

MATT: She begins quietly, adjusts her glasses and focuses on her work at hand, as you finish doing the dishes.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: We tell her all about the broom and everything, and the craziness as she continues knitting.

MATT: She's knitting, she's like, "That sounds wild." (laughter) Half interested, and also really focused on her work. (laughter) The rest of you retire to your various rooms for the night.

LIAM: I'm going to get out into the hallway and find Bertrand's room. Give it a little gunk-gunk-gunk-gunk-gunk.

TRAVIS: (snoring)

SAM: First ship, right here. (laughter)

TRAVIS: (grunting) (long throat clear) Yes?

LIAM: I'm sorry, it's 7:30. Were you asleep?

TRAVIS: 7:30 in the morning?

LIAM: No, it's still, it's barely--

TRAVIS: Oh, I don't know.

LIAM: We just saw each other 30 minutes ago downstairs.

TRAVIS: Yes.

LIAM: I'm sorry.

TRAVIS: Who are you?

LIAM: I feel really-- (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh yes, no, no, no. I remember, I'm sorry. I work a lot during the day. How can I be of service? (laughter)

LIAM: Gosh, this is stupid. You said that you know a lot of talent here in town, you help sort of hire or find people for the type of work you're talking about.

TRAVIS: (sighs) From time to time. I've made quite a name for myself in various cities, and so my name carries a certain weight. And I know that for a fact, that this Lord Eshteross is in need of people, and for the moment it seems that talent is scarce.

LIAM: So people know you, do you know people?

TRAVIS: I do. (laughs) I do.

LIAM: Do you know a man by the name of Breshio? Oshad Breshio?

TRAVIS: Breshad Breshio?

LIAM: Oshad.

TRAVIS: Oshad Breshio. Does that kick anything around in the old noodle?

MATT: Roll a history check. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Hold on to your butts. Nine.

MATT: Nope!

TRAVIS: Rashad Brareo. (laughter)

TALIESIN: His final form.

TRAVIS: It's-- (laughter)

MATT: It's a snapshot of the future. (laughter)

TALIESIN: It's a dark mirror.

LIAM: There you go.

SAM: Richard Broborough.

ASHLEY: Richard Branson.

LIAM: I'll just try one more. What about somebody named The Anger? Does that mean anything to you?

TRAVIS: The Anger?

LIAM: I know it's a long shot.

TRAVIS: No, I do feel like I would remember someone.

LIAM: It's a specific name.

TRAVIS: It's someone here in Jrusar?

LIAM: Yeah, a friend of a friend of a friend, yeah.

TRAVIS: Sadly, no.

LIAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: A friend of yours, though, not--?

LIAM: Not of mine, just someone I know is here. Somebody capable, I guess, maybe more so. So I thought you might have crossed paths.

TRAVIS: Well, I mean, if his name is The Anger, I mean, is it worth bringing him in on a little venture? Would he be of asset?

LIAM: Maybe. Got to track him down first.

TRAVIS: Ah. (sharp inhale) Perhaps, just perhaps, we could arrange this introduction first and then we can bring him in on our merry adventures.

LIAM: Okay, yeah, all right, cool. Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up. Really good sword work out there, though. (laughter) I look up and down the hall. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Did you, did you need anything else?

LIAM: I just sort of take him by the finger, and I lead him over. I think it's time for, this is-- I'm going to go.

TRAVIS: See you in the morning... Orn. (laughter)

LIAM: You got it, Bell. Good night.

TRAVIS: (snoring) (laughter)

LIAM: I shut the door and just soak that really bad interaction in for a second. Fuck. I walk down the hall and I find Dorian and Fearne. Come with me. We show up at your door. Can we talk in your room for a minute?

ASHLEY: Yes, yes, come in, come in.

LIAM: I kind of want to do this thing, but I didn't want to speak for the two of you.

ASHLEY: What thing?

LIAM: What this guy, Bell, is talking about. I don't even know really where to start. And this seems like it's probably a dead end, but it's at least a start.

ROBBIE: We were just pointed in a direction. How we achieve what we're trying to achieve is up to us, I suppose. And we don't know anyone here.

LIAM: You okay with it?

ASHLEY: I'm along for the ride. I know we have things to do, but.

ROBBIE: I know you don't like to take the lead, Orym, but this is your choice.

LIAM: I think it's stupid, I don't think it's going to work, but there's something biting at the back of my brain, I feel like.

ROBBIE: We've done pretty well with stupid so far.

LIAM: Okay, well, stick with what works, I guess. Okay.

ASHLEY: You feel okay about it?

LIAM: Yeah. Not going to figure it out all at once. This is just day one, not even.

ASHLEY: Is it okay that we take this detour? Will she be okay with it?

LIAM: I think so.

LIAM: If we're lucky, it's not a detour. Probably is a detour.

ASHLEY: Just a little one.

ROBBIE: Yeah, we can take a little detour.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

ASHLEY: And this quite a fun group.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: (sighs) Well.

ROBBIE: I don't think I'm quite ready for bed.

ASHLEY: Oh!

ROBBIE: I'm going to go down and see what the tavern has to offer. Once again, you don't have to follow me. You're the leader. I'm going to go down.

LIAM: Have fun.

ROBBIE: Fair enough. Fearne?

ASHLEY: I did kind of want one more glass of milk and whiskey.

ROBBIE: One, just one.

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, let's go, let's go.

ROBBIE: Come on, come on.

ASHLEY: We'll definitely sleep better.

ROBBIE: Yes.

TALIESIN: Is Kalliyan playing cards?

MATT: Currently, yes, are you guys in two rooms?

SAM: I'm with Ashton. So if we're still down, I'm still down.

TALIESIN: I dropped my stuff off and I was going to go right back down and have some drinks and play some fucking cards.

SAM: I'd be looking downstairs for anyone who looks really, really tipsy, super tipsy, or drunk. Is there anyone?

MATT: At this point in the day, there's one person really drunk. (laughs) It's 8:30-ish.

SAM: Oh, it's still early.

MATT: It's still early.

SAM: I'm going to stay down there till I see someone who's really, really looking bad.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: And I'll just watch Ashton.

MATT: Okay, we'll stay between these conversations and such, and about 9:30, maybe, pushing 10:00 or so, you guys get down there, while you have been.

TALIESIN: I saw that there's a card game going on. I'm going to bet against the Tower.

MATT: (laughs) Okay, so you're just carousing.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah. This is good fun, I got some money in my pockets.

MATT: Okay, roll a d20 for me. How much are you ante-ing?

TALIESIN: I rolled 10.

MATT: How much money are you ante-ing?

TALIESIN: Oh, you know, I got 10 gold in my pocket to burn.

MATT: Sure.

MATT: You lose five of it.

TALIESIN: Fair.

SAM: Was that Rollies? Did we just play Rollies?

MARISHA: Yeah, we did, we played Rollies, yeah.

LAURA: Seriously? (laughter)

MARISHA: Betting money on Rollies.

LAURA: Oh my god, I'm going to be so addicted to Rollies! (laughter)

SAM: Guys, Rollies is the greatest game.

MATT: It's the greatest game. We'll tell you about it, it's pretty exciting. (laughter)

LIAM: You heard it here first. (laughter)

SAM: While Ashton's playing, I'm going to roll over and just say: Ashton, hey, can I just pick your brain about something?

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no, no, yeah.

SAM: So, these new folk that we've encountered.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: They seem very interesting.

TALIESIN: They do.

SAM: Are you okay if one of them lied to us a little bit?

MATT: "Don't look at my cards," and a half-giant is on the side of the table that you're in between, pulls the hand back and goes like--

SAM: Oh, sorry, no--

TALIESIN: Oh, we all know your cards are shit, you've got such a fucking tell.

MATT: "Fuck you."

TALIESIN: Fuck you! (laughter) Honestly, if one of them's lying, I kind of like them better.

SAM: All right, I just wanted you to be aware.

TALIESIN: I really appreciate that. I mean, clearly, we've got to know. I trust you, I trust you.

SAM: You would have no reason not to.

TALIESIN: No, definitely not. So how do you feel about this group?

SAM: Oh, I'm really interested in digging in with them and seeing what they got going on, because there seems like a lot of backstory there. (laughter)

TALIESIN: This is why we're friends. I can't wait to see what sort of shit you uncover.

SAM: And I'll turn to the half-giant?

MATT: Yeah, the goliath.

SAM: I apologize, I did see all of your cards. So you might want to just reshuffle and re-deal. They're very poor cards.

TALIESIN: You have a tell.

MATT: "Shit." (laughs) And folds. (laughter) Roll again. Well, first, before you roll, you still have five more gold, you said you're ready to burn. Are you putting that up?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'll put that up. Actually, I'll put another five.

MATT: So another 10.

SAM: Rollies!

MARISHA and ROBBIE: Rollies.

TALIESIN: One. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Oh no!

MATT: Ten gold gone.

TALIESIN: Burn it.

ROBBIE: No!

MATT: Best game ever, y'all. (laughter)

SAM: We'll release the rule book later.

MARISHA: We're game designing geniuses.

MATT: It needs some play testing before we do that. (laughter)

ASHLEY: I'm going to saunter over, I'm going to go see, I'm going to help Ashton just a little bit.

ROBBIE: Sure, yeah, happy with your drink?

ASHLEY: I am.

ROBBIE: All right, one second. Barkeep, what was your name again?

MATT: Look over at the individual who's there at the edge "Ishir, Ishir's my name."

ROBBIE: Ishir, nice to meet you. My name is Dorian, and I am a bard. I was curious if you had any entertainment for the evening.

MATT: He gives you a real-- It goes from this smiling, you know, "Patron walks up," to "Fucking musician," kind of a glare and gives you a look over. Make a persuasion check.

ROBBIE: Oh! Hmm, oy-oy-oy. That would be a seven.

MATT: Seven. Goes, "We don't have entertainment for the evening. If you want to play, do it near the front door. That way, if it goes poorly, it's quicker to kick you out."

ROBBIE: Deal, and listen, I work for tips.

MATT: "Good luck." (laughter)

ROBBIE: And I'm very happy about it now.

LIAM: Got cold in here fast. (laughter)

ROBBIE: And whereabouts it normally it would be, I'm just going to set up a little spot for me, I'm going to, you know--

MATT: You go over, and as you start setting up, there's a nearby table of three, soot-covered, hands covered, almost miner types. You see one that's a half-elf, probably pretty deep into his cups. You see another human who's youngish, you know, thin but scraggly, scratching his neck, and a half-orc who's in the process of gargling a drink, all of them look over at you set up, and go, "Oh, fuck."

ROBBIE: I will sit down and I'll pull my lyre out and tune it, (string tuning) not quite right. And he tunes for a little bit too long. And then he looks over at the half-orc and goes: What's your favorite song?

MATT: "Jordan, Fetch My Whiskey."

ROBBIE: Don't know it! Then I just start playing whatever. (laughter)

MATT: You just start going. Make a performance check for me. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Let's go! (laughter)

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MARISHA: Oh my god!

LAURA: Is it a one? Tell me it's a one.

ROBBIE: That would be a one.

ASHLEY: Yes!

ROBBIE: Yeah, plus seven. But yeah, yeah.

MATT: Natural one.

ROBBIE: It's a natural one.

MATT: You get that grin on your face, and people are starting to lean over in anticipation, "This guy's got some bravado," got some confidence. And there is an air about you of, "You don't know what you're in for." Ping! (laughter) String breaks, first strum in, immediately. (various patrons laugh) Laughter starts picking up around the space.

ROBBIE: I'll immediately sink into myself.

LAURA: Aw!

ROBBIE: Put my lyre back, quietly pick up my things, accidentally drop one of them, pick it up again-- (laughter)

ROBBIE: -- and walk back over to Fearne. (laughter)

ASHLEY: (gasps)

ROBBIE: Not my best.

ASHLEY: Are you Dorian Storm? Oh my goodness! (laughter)

ROBBIE: Please, please, please.

ASHLEY: You are incredible. Wow, can you play us another song?

MATT: (as Ishir) "The great Dorian Storm, feared by all twangy things."

ASHLEY: Oh, he's amazing, you have no idea.

MATT: (as patron) "Destroyer of silence is what I heard."

ROBBIE: All right, I'm going to, fuck! I'm going to unclip the handle of my axe, which is also my flute.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit!

ROBBIE: And I am going to try one more time to play.

ASHLEY: This is my favorite instrument that he plays, actually.

ROBBIE: Please, please, please.

MATT: Make a performance check. It is a higher DC, because it's now turned into a tough crowd.

ROBBIE: Oh no! (laughter)

ROBBIE: That'd be a six plus seven, 13.

MATT: 13, 13, okay. Everyone's waiting for this to be a disaster, but it's actually decent, to the point where people aren't cheering, but they've lost interest in focusing on the music, and just are letting it be background now. They've gone back to their business. You do see one. (laughter)

ROBBIE: It's one of these flutes, not one of these. We got to be clarified, one of these.

MATT: You see from the back room, a younger dwarf woman walks up. She has a leather vest over an elbow-cut sleeve. Her hair is slicked back and short. She has some sort of a gem that is embedded in her cheek. You see over one shoulder, she has herself a lyre and she walks up and tosses a gold, and goes, "It's a tough crowd, honey, but you're doing the work."

ROBBIE: Hoot. Thank you!

MATT: And she exits. (laughs) So you make a gold.

ROBBIE: Yes!

MATT: From another musician who felt bad for you. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Thanks, Fearne.

ASHLEY: I'm going to post up, just lean back against the bar, behind the guy that Ashton is playing cards with so I can see his cards and try to communicate.

MATT: Okay, there's two people playing cards with Ashton. There's the half-giant, and then there's the large pachydan who normally guards the door.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I'm just going to try to stand between the two of them so I can see their cards.

MATT: Okay, make a perception check from that distance. Actually, make two checks for me. Make a stealth check, and then a perception check.

SAM: And I'd like to just see if I notice her doing this.

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

ASHLEY: I'm making a stealth check, okay. 12.

MATT: Okay, what'd you roll?

SAM: 17.

MATT: You definitely see her doing this.

ASHLEY: Okay. And now I'm rolling a-- What was the other thing?

MATT: Perception.

ASHLEY: Perception. Okay. Oh no.

SAM: Cocked?

ASHLEY: 10.

MATT: 10. The pachydan, Towering Kalliyan, as you know, twitches over the shoulder and shifts the cards closer to their chest, to where you have no opportunity to see. The half-giant is now scratching their head in the cards and completely oblivious. You can catch out two of the cards, but not the full hand.

ASHLEY: Okay.

SAM: I'm going to cast Detect Thoughts on the player who's going, the pachydan.

MATT: Okay. What's the DC?

SAM: 13.

MATT: 13? At first, you just get a brief hit of soupy thoughts, things that involve, "What's my play? What-- No, I feel like we're being surrounded. I certainly hope Ashton's not trying to play me. That would make me angry."

SAM: Not thinking about his card though, damn it.

MATT: And then goes, "Well, If I drop the two stones card, draw, that might, I think I've got a decent chance."

SAM: Okay, okay. I'll roll on over to Fearne, and sort of try to whisper.

ASHLEY: Hello, Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: I think he's dropping a two stones card and drawing something else.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, let's just--

SAM: Take that information and do with it what you will.

ASHLEY: Great, great, great. I just look at Ashton.

MATT: "I'm going to say, eight more gold in the pot," the pachydan says. And the giant goes, "Too rich for my tastes." And goes out, and starts gathering his things. And now it's just between you and the Towering Kalliyan. Fearne, what are you doing?

ASHLEY: Hmm. (laughter) I'm just standing back here, just looking at him, just trying to let them know that I am halfway seeing some of the cards here.

TALIESIN: I am so focused on this shit. I ain't seen-- I am deep in my weird card playing showdown fantasy.

MATT: "You in?"

TALIESIN: You motherfucker. Yep, eight more.

MATT: "Roll."

TALIESIN: Fucking Rollies.

ALL: Rollies.

TALIESIN: Four.

MATT: Five.

ROBBIE and ASHLEY: No!

ROBBIE: Oh no!

SAM: Rollies is-- It's just the hardest game to master. It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master. (laughter)

MATT: Kalliyan collects the money. "Always a pleasure playing with you."

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: "I'm going to get a drink," and gets up and heads over towards the bar.

LIAM: That guy: addicted to Rollies. (laughter)

SAM: Well, thank you for trying to help my friend.

ASHLEY: We can work on it.

SAM: We'll have to work on.

ASHLEY: We can make a system.

SAM and ASHLEY: Yeah.

SAM: I think they weren't even looking at you is the problem.

ASHLEY: I don't think they were.

TALIESIN: I'm going to wander back to the bar. (sighs)

ASHLEY: Well, I'm going to go to bed. Good night.

SAM: Good night. Sleep tight.

TALIESIN: Good night.

ASHLEY: I clock the earring around his waist before I go to bed.

TALIESIN: Do you make any sort of-- Do I notice that you clock it? Make a perception.

SAM: Perception, perception, perception.

TALIESIN: Wow, I'm going to put this one away. I got a four.

LIAM: Counter perception.

MATT: I'm going to say you're too frustrated, but also the thrill of losing.

TALIESIN: Sure, no, I'm into it. It's a good time.

MATT: Yeah, you definitely clock it.

ASHLEY: Okay. Sleep well, you two.

SAM: I don't sleep.

ASHLEY: Oh.

ROBBIE: I-I-I'll come with you.

ASHLEY: Oh.

ROBBIE: Yeah, that was fun. Oh, not with you-with you, I'll go to my room--

ASHLEY: Sure, sure, sure.

ROBBIE: --and you go to yours.

ASHLEY: Okay. Okay.

TALIESIN: Was it one of these two that was full of-- So once they're gone-- One of these two that was full of shit?

SAM: Yeah, it was the very clean one was full of shit.

TALIESIN: Huh, I wouldn't have pegged that, interesting.

SAM: Yeah. We'll just keep our eyes on him.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Oh, what time is it?

MATT: At this point, you're getting closer to midnight, I'd say.

SAM: Got to wake up soon.

TALIESIN: Fuck, work, okay. Time for bed.

SAM: And before I head up, I'll find the drunkest person in the place and give them my room key.

MATT: Okay, the drunkest person is passed out on a table.

SAM: I will try to help them up to the room and put them to sleep. (groaning)

MATT: As you pull their face up, you see a half-orc with big bushy sideburns and a receding hairline. Looks like they're wearing an outfit of one of the Wardens, or the Wilders, the guard that maintain the city. And he looks like he's a little ragged and had a rough day. And he's like, "What?"

SAM: It's all right, you'll be fine tomorrow. You just need to sleep. Here, take this bed.

MATT: "Okay, weird thing." (laughter)

SAM: I definitely exist. This isn't a dream.

MATT: "Weird." And just goes along with you. (laughter) Doesn't even argue. (laughter)

LIAM: Sometimes I do that after these games when I get home.

ALL: Oh, weird. (laughter)

MATT: All right, so everyone go off to bed for the night?

TALIESIN: Long rest.

MATT: All right, long rest.

SAM: Oh, so many things.

MARISHA: Oh my gosh.

TALIESIN: Been so long.

MARISHA: You guys, first long rest in campaign three. (cheering)

LIAM: First Rollies, first long rest.

ROBBIE: Bertrand's had, like, four, though. (laughter)

TRAVIS: I wake up at 5:00am naturally. (laughter) (laughter)

MATT: Eventually, you all take your mornings and gather on the outside of the Spire by Fire Inn and collect yourselves to meet with Bertrand onto what your plans are for the day. Bertrand, as you see them assembled, the day is yours.

TRAVIS: Hi, sleepy heads. About time.

LAURA: Morning.

TRAVIS: My third bowl of Grape Nuts. (laughter) How did everyone sleep? (laughter)

SAM: Fine, fine.

TALIESIN: Fine.

LIAM: Like a baby.

TRAVIS: And ladies, your travel was uneventful, safe?

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: Yeah. Same as it always.

TRAVIS: Well, should we get some food in our stomachs and then be on our way? I'm sure Lord Eshteross will be thrilled to see all of you.

LAURA: Oh, I already ate, but thank you.

TRAVIS: Very well. Anyone else?

TALIESIN: I'll definitely take some food.

LIAM: I'll grab and go.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we can grab and go.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

TRAVIS: My little friend, is there something that you would care to, uh, eat?

SAM: I ate. I ate some nails last night and I am fine now. So thank you for asking, though.

MARISHA: How often do you have to eat nails?

SAM: Just when I need to just prepare myself. And it's not always nails, it's whatever I need.

MARISHA: That's fascinating.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Insight check.

MATT: Make an insight check.

SAM: Don't know why I'm rolling. (laughter) I need to eat nails. (laughter) Or other pieces of metal. (laughter)

LAURA: That's an interesting thing, though. You eat the metal and then your body just repairs itself?

SAM: It's a very complicated system that Dancer sort of made for me. And yes, it's a self-repairing system. You know, I didn't design it, so I don't quite know how it works, but it needs raw materials to operate.

LAURA: Yeah, it's just amazing.

LIAM: Is there any sort of... I don't know how to ask this.

ROBBIE: Waste.

LIAM: Byproduct?

SAM: Oh, that's a fine question. I mean, sometimes I have to consume rocks that have metal in them and the rock part that I don't really need, the minerals that I don't use, I just sort of--

LAURA: You puke it back out.

ASHLEY: You regurgitate.

LIAM: Like an owl.

SAM: Yeah, yeah.

LIAM: Or a...

LAURA: Interesting.

SAM: Yeah. It's sometimes it takes a little while to get it up. So if you hear me go (gagging).

TALIESIN: I can't look at that.

SAM: That's why--

LAURA: I almost started--

SAM: That's why I'm doing that.

ROBBIE: That's why, huh?

SAM: Yeah. (laughter)

MARISHA: I was wondering how long you were going to commit. (laughter) (gagging) (groaning)

LAURA: Thank you.

MARISHA: That was just in 5.1 surround sound.

SAM: You, uh...

TRAVIS: Do you have control over when you regurgitate, or is it just whenever the spirit moves you?

SAM: No, I can control it. If it disturbs you, I can do it when I'm alone.

LAURA: Yeah--

MARISHA: Honestly--

LAURA: I mean, no, it's fine.

ASHLEY: I don't mind it at all.

TALIESIN: It's strangely calming.

SAM: I like you so much.

MATT: You hear Ishir from about 20 feet back go, "I don't mean any offense here, but if you're going to go ahead and continue those sort of sounds amongst my other breakfast eating patrons, I'ma ask you to do it outside, if you don't mind."

SAM: Absolutely fine.

MATT: "Thank you."

SAM: Maybe we just grab and go.

LAURA: I'll just wait outside of the tavern today. I'm not going to go in.

MATT: Okay. So you grab yourselves some food. You're paying for it?

TALIESIN: Yes. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Put it on my tab. (laughter)

MATT: "You don't have a tab."

TRAVIS: Okay. (laughter)

MATT: Four silver for everyone's grab and go meal. (laughter)

TRAVIS: No tab. He's a joker. (chuckles) Let's go. (laughter)

ASHLEY: That's good.

TRAVIS: Oh, I'm leading the way! Yes, I'm sure it's this way. Follow me. (laughter)

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

TRAVIS: Start making our way towards Eshteross Manor.

TALIESIN: We're going to get lost, aren't we?

TRAVIS: No, no, no.

LAURA: Sir Bell? Mr. Bertrand, sir--

TRAVIS: You can call me Bertrand.

LAURA: Bertrand, how long have you been an associate of Mr. Lord Eshteross?

TRAVIS: (sighs) A few months.

LAURA: Oh, all right. Have you been in the city that long or longer?

TRAVIS: Oh, much longer. Jrusar in particular just the past few months, but I try and visit all the beautiful areas of Marquet that I can. So much to take in and so little time.

ROBBIE: Very little time.

TRAVIS: Yes.

ROBBIE: Hm.

TRAVIS: Yes. But he's a wonderful man, as is his lady. And I think you'll find him very entertaining. He has a strange manner about him.

LAURA: Great.

LIAM: What does that mean?

TRAVIS: He can be a bit mysterious. He has an interesting charm. Hard to pin down.

SAM: We'll see soon enough, I suppose.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: How was y'all's night?

TALIESIN: Expensive.

LAURA: Oh, really? I thought Mr. Bertrand was paying for--

TALIESIN: Oh, I played cards.

LAURA: Oh. You know, I'm real good at cards.

TALIESIN: Really?

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: We should play some time. I would be delighted to lose money to you.

LAURA: You definitely would.

TALIESIN: That's not an impressive feat, if that means anything.

SAM: If you don't mind, I did an awful lot of talking about myself yesterday, but we didn't really get much about you and Laudna. Why are you two strong individuals moving about the city? What are you out for?

LAURA: Oh, you know, we just started, you know, Laudna came through my town a couple of years back, and we hit it off real well, and, um, just decided to start traveling together. And, you know, we like to tour around Marquet and just see different--

SAM: So you're like backpackers?

LAURA: A bit, yeah. You know, we came to Jrusar because we heard it had a wonderful, you know, just all these different restaurants and places. You know, I-I-I'm just not real good at this. W-w-we're going to the Conservatory. I just really wanted to go to the Conservatory.

MARISHA: We're looking for answers.

LIAM: What's the Conservatory?

SAM: Answers?

LAURA: Oh, t-t-the, um, let me just tell you. The Starpoint Conservatory, actually, is this really uppity, um...

MARISHA: University.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: School.

LAURA: That has, apparently, a wide range of books and things that you can research if maybe you go there and pay tuition or whatever. And, you know, it's just real hard to get in and we've been trying for a while, but, apparently, what you need is clout. So hopefully w-w-we will get some.

TRAVIS: Of course, the Starpoint-- I actually sponsor a section of the library.

TALIESIN: Oh, for fuck's sake.

LAURA: You do not!

TRAVIS: I do.

LAURA: Well, we didn't even have to find--

MARISHA: Can you give us access, then?

LAURA: Yeah, could you maybe write a letter of recommendation or walk us in? That would be the most amazing thing.

TRAVIS: Yes. Not a problem.

LAURA: Can I--

TALIESIN: Insight check.

LIAM: Do you need it?

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

LAURA: Mm.

MATT: Make a deception check or a persuasion check, up to you.

LAURA: I'm going to just cast Detect Thoughts, because I want to hear it right away.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Six. (laughter)

LAURA: Can I cast Detect Thoughts on Bertrand, though?

MATT: If you want to.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Are you using your feature, or the--

LAURA: No, there's a lot of people around here right now. I'm going to cast.

MATT: Okay, so use it as a spell. Go ahead and make a... Is it a charisma saving throw or a wisdom saving throw?

LAURA: That would be, I don't know. Is that a 2nd-level spell?

MATT: It is.

LAURA: Motherfucker. It's a wisdom save.

MATT: So make a wisdom saving throw.

TRAVIS: First wisdom saving throw. Modifier of zero. Get on the tray! Ooh, natural 19.

LAURA: Come on.

MARISHA: Oh fuck!

TRAVIS: Mind like a steel trap.

MATT: So you don't carve too deep into his mind, but you definitely see a bit of bullshittery.

TALIESIN: Huh.

SAM: So you just want to go to school for the glory of education?

LAURA: I don't-- no. I don't care about school. No-- I, you know--

TALIESIN: That's a fancy fucking school.

LAURA: It's just really hard--

MARISHA: She's very gifted. Naturally gifted.

ASHLEY: You're both very gifted.

LAURA: Thank you. But no, yeah, it's just a means to an end, if you will. I just really want to learn.

SAM: What's the end?

LAURA: About just different things. You know, I-I-I would like to know where this stuff comes from.

MARISHA: Focus, I think the little one said.

SAM: This stuff? Oh, magic.

LAURA: Sure.

TRAVIS: Have you tried applying as a student?

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: They were very enigmatic about how to apply.

TRAVIS: Oh, well it's all about who you know, like any sort of application, you can just run it up the chain.

MARISHA: Yeah, so they keep telling us.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you should have your parents write you a letter.

MARISHA: (groans)

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: This would be an excellent start for that. I'm sure the lord and lady (clicks tongue) will put in a good word.

LAURA: I mean, that's what I am hoping, sir.

TALIESIN: If you say so.

MATT: About this time, you come upon the exterior of an impressive estate of deep red rock and teal stone accents throughout it. Framed with wrought iron, it is beautiful and least three stories, not built into the rock, but emerging a bit from it with a courtyard and a high metal fence around it. You can see the massive, almost patina-ed wooden door that sits at the front with metal bars across the front, not from an actual barring standpoint from a design standpoint, with a beautiful brass door knocker on the front.

TRAVIS: Okay. We're here. Just follow my lead. Keep your chins up. Stand up straight. Straight. Straight, Ashton. That's good enough. Keep your hands to yourself, don't touch anything, and do as I do. Nothing to worry about.

ROBBIE: Bertrand, do they know we're coming?

TRAVIS: (laughs) What kind of question is that? They expect me at all hours. (heavy knocking)

MATT: There's a brief pause.

TRAVIS: Frau Blücher.

LIAM: (horse whinnying)

MATT: (door creaking) The door opens slightly, and there you see standing in the doorway, a middle-aged elven woman, with light auburn hair. Bits of lighter color near the temples. You see she is wearing a shawl that has a simple but well-made dress of black and silver. And she peeks out around the door. "Hello? Sir Bell."

TRAVIS: (exhales)

MATT: "I'm uncertain the master was expecting you."

TRAVIS: I-I-I believe he said to drop by whenever I procured additional talent.

MATT: "Just a moment." (resonating thump) The door closes.

TRAVIS: He has many servants and whatnot. It's hard to be on a first name basis.

SAM: Of course.

MATT: (door creaking open) “The master will see you. Come this way. I will ask to follow me and follow me directly. Do not wander, at your own safety at hand. So careful." You enter the interior of this chamber and it is very, very, very low light. You can immediately see it's a beautiful interior of dark wood halls and a staircase that ascends upstairs. There are a number of decorative statuettes placed on small tables and intricate inlays amongst the marble, almost gold leafing in the corners. It is a very, very amazing, old, beautiful house. It all looks extremely dusty and there is, other than a handful of lanterns, all the windows are closed. There's very little interior light. She leads you to the right, down the right-hand hallway. And then eventually, partway through that hallway to the left, there is a door that is partially open and she goes, "The master will see you inside his study."

SAM: Thank you.

ASHLEY: What was your name?

MATT: "I'm Evelyn Wress, I am the caretaker of the master, Lord Ariks Eshteross."

TRAVIS: Everyone be calm.

SAM: Sure.

TRAVIS: Here we go. Push the door open.

MATT: All right. As you all step inside the chamber, immediately you see the crackling fireplace across the room that is one of the only light sources of the interior space. You can see torches on the walls, magically lit, that slightly crackle. All you can hear is the snapping of wood across the way. With what light that goes across this, and it's a long study, it's just open, ominous space. Across the floor, you see two fur rugs of massive beasts, what looks like a tiger and a bear, that have been laid out in the center of the chamber for decor. You can see shelves of books on both sides. It looks like a desk and decorations and banners hanging from the walls. And across the way, facing the fireplace, away from you, is a tall-backed, leather chair. As you all enter the chamber. And Evelyn steps in behind you and stands in the doorway. There's a pause. A voice goes, "Sir Bertrand, it has been a moment since you stained my abode with your empty bravado. Did anyone see you enter?"

TRAVIS: Ah, no. I can't imagine anyone would be looking. We came early.

MATT: "And why do you return?"

TRAVIS: Well, Lord Eshteross, I know you have a keen eye for talent and for those that might assist you in your endeavors. And I know it's been (chuckles) a few months since we last were able to work together. And I must say, I don't know if you heard of the dust up yesterday in front of the Spire by Fire, but these individuals here handled the situation marvelously. (coughs)

MATT: "Word has come to my ears of this... event. You seem to speak highly of these individuals. How long have you known them?"

TRAVIS: Oh... (clears throat) I just met them yesterday. But I've seen more than enough to know that they would handle anything that you threw at them.

MATT: Evelyn steps around and heads to the chair and grabs the back and pulls it with a little (squeaking). And begins to arrange it as a figure stands and turns. You see, standing about six foot two, broad-shouldered, in a deep crimson burgundy robe, with a high collar, some sort of a scarf that's laying around the shoulders, wider neck, an older, full-blood orc of grayish skin. A pair of spectacles that are affixed behind the ears. A well-trimmed, like a Van Dyke goatee and beard, but bald on top. And you can see, with what little bit of light catches the side of the face, old scars. Turns around. In his left hand, you can see there is a solid metal cane, with a heavy ball at the end that he clutches that hits the wood with a heavy impact as he spins. Evelyn pushes the chair back in behind him and he sits. She returns back to the doorway. He goes and rests the cane at the side of the chair and leans forward. And with a little bit of light that's crackling from the torches on the sides of the walls, you can see he's in his later years, but that doesn't mean there isn't a power and a presence to him. "Do you lot feel as confident? Do you believe that you have much to offer?"

MARISHA: I guess it depends on the context.

MATT: "What do you want?"

LAURA: Oh, um.

ASHLEY: In general, or--? That's a very large question.

MATT: "Guileful Bertrand."

TRAVIS: No, a-a-apologies, my lord. They seek coin, and merely the opportunity to prove themselves to you and to make a name for themselves in Jrusar, and I assured them that you were the ideal person to do such a thing.

MATT: "So you come to my abode to prove yourself?"

LAURA: In a manner of speaking, yeah.

MATT: He gives a nod and Evelyn steps of out of the room and closes to the door behind her. He sits there and places his hand on his cane.

MARISHA: Did she lock the door?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: 14? You faintly hear (clicking). He stands up out of his chair.

MARISHA: Unsettling.

MATT: "Then show me."

MARISHA: Oh, shit.

MATT: He throws the cane up in the air and catches it.

MARISHA: Oh.

MATT: And rushes.

SAM: Ah!

LAURA: Oh fuck.

MATT: That's where we're ending the episode tonight. (groaning, shouting)

MARISHA: Fighting old men!

TALIESIN: I was so hoping we'd get to fight an old guy. This is great.

MATT: Next episode, you may. You may.

LIAM: This campaign is about silver foxes only.

MATT: I mean, I'm here for it, I'm not going to lie.

SAM: Only furniture and old people. (laughter)

SAM: It's that high fantasy that everyone wants. (laughter)

MATT: Aw yeah.

MARISHA: Oh shit!

TRAVIS: It's going down.

SAM: Man.

LAURA: I don't want to wait.

ALL: ♪ For our lives to be over ♪

MATT: Man, that was too easy.

MARISHA: Oh.

LIAM: A layup.

MATT: Well, there you go, we're off.

LIAM: Wow.

MATT: First episode in the campaign. New campaign, who dis?

TRAVIS: Third campaign!

MATT: Yeah. (cheering)

MATT: Ah!

SAM: Oh, the set looks amazing behind you right now.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: So beautiful.

MATT: Everyone did such a fine job.

MARISHA: The cues all look so good.

MATT: Everyone did such a good job.

MARISHA: Everything looked so great.

LIAM: So many people worked so hard. Thank you.

MARISHA: Thank you.

LIAM: Thank you.

MARISHA: Production team!

ASHLEY: Yeah!

TALIESIN: Yeah!

MARISHA: Production team!

MATT: Thank you all for making this happen. Thank you all for joining us at home and at large. We're get to pick this up next week and see where this goes. But one, so happy to have you join us, Robbie, into these adventures. (cheering)

LAURA: Robbie, I'm so glad you're here.

ROBBIE: It's so fun.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Thank you for joining us, and is it Thursday yet? Good night. (cheering)

TALIESIN: Yeah!

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