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Critical Role Wiki
Critical Role Wiki

List of Transcripts


MARISHA: Welcome! Whoa! To our very special second installment of our one-shot collaboration with our friends at Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios in their 2021 release, Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood. It's kind of like a one-shot trilogy. We could've probably named it better at the beginning, to be totally honest.

SAM: Three-shot.

MARISHA: It's a three-shot. Yeah, so welcome to this second of this three-shot. If you're watching this for the first time, don't stress, the first episode is available right now on our YouTube channel, so you can catch up afterwards, and if you saw the first one, welcome back. We're doing this again. It's going to be fun. (laughter) If you've been following along with our ESO content, you know that the Gates of Oblivion year-long adventure is in full swing, and the Blackwood chapter is now available on all platforms. It is optimized for the Xbox Series X, S, and PlayStation 5, and is on sale for the first time right now. There is a free trial currently happening for the base game, which ends on August 30th. Tonight's one-shot is airing alongside Bethesda's 26th annual QuakeCon--

ALL: Ooh!

MARISHA: Special.

SAM: 26th?

MARISHA: 26th.

LAURA: That's a lot of Quake.

SAM: Jeez louise.

MARISHA: That's what's on the sheet. We welcome you to join in all the fun, and please check out everything Elder Scrolls Online at

SAM: Oh, that's easy.

MARISHA: Yeah, buy it.

SAM: Buy.

MARISHA: Purchase it.



SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, not like "Bye." We are back with a returning cast. Let's go around and introduce ourselves, starting with Michelle.

MICHELLE: Hello, my name's Michelle Nguyen Bradley. I'm so excited to be here and to hear someone say the http part of a URL with the slash, I don't even know what those things are called. Colon?

LAURA: Colon slash--

MICHELLE: Colon, colon. I never knew there were so many. I thought it was just www, but I didn't know that.

MARISHA: Got to do the full thing.

MICHELLE: Yeah. And I'm glad to be here. I'm so excited to be DMed by you.

MARISHA: (nervous) Oh.

MICHELLE: I hear it's an experience.

MARISHA: Here we go.

AABRIA: Big mood. (laughter)

MARISHA: And of course Laura, giving the emotional support from across the table.

LAURA: I'm Laura Bailey. I'm still playing Grelnok.

MARISHA: Yes. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Was I supposed to say my character's name? Because I did not do that.

LAURA: You can do it now.

SAM: Start over. We'll edit this out.

MICHELLE: My character's name is Hoa Sen, just call me Hoa. And I said it earlier, definitely.

LAURA: Ta-da! (laughter)

AABRIA: All right, I'm going to go. Learning curve! Hey, I'm Aabria Iyengar and I'm playing Tavima, your Redguard Templar and bouncer. I'm a bouncer, and now I look like Christmas.

LAURA: You look wonderful.

AABRIA: Oh, it's falling. I look like a grandma.

MARISHA: It's great.

AABRIA: Very confused. (laughter) This is how I feel constantly. This is good.

MARISHA: The sexiest grandma.

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Thank you.

MARISHA: Yeah. Taliesin.

TALIESIN: Okay, I have to follow that.



MARISHA: You also look like a sexy grandma.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

AABRIA: Sexy grandma!

TALIESIN: Really what I was going for. Great grandma, maybe. My name is Taliesin Jaffe and I will be playing Mallory, the cook. So still cooking.

SAM: Yeah, still cooking.

TALIESIN: Still cooking.

SAM: Greetings. My name's Sam Riegel. I will be your server tonight. I am playing Slaughter Grimm, the waiter of the establishment, and also, I like to think, the pluckiest of the bunch.

LAURA: Oh, really? (laughter) I realize, Michelle, you and I did not say our role at the--

MICHELLE: We had to start, we didn't know. (clears throat) So Hoa is the-- (laughter)

AABRIA: You just messed up and we have to find it, immersion, in the game.

MICHELLE: Okay, yeah.

AABRIA: I'm kidding, go!

MICHELLE: Let us know in the chat, it's fine. (laughter) Is that how we're doing this?

MARISHA: Tell me my role.

MICHELLE: Hoa's the hostess. She's Altmer. She cool, she got bird friends.

LAURA: Tight.

MICHELLE: All right, let's keep going.

LAURA: I'm the bartender, I'm the barkeep. I serve the drinks.


LAURA: I'm a half-orc. That's all I got. All right. We're done. That was the whole game.

MARISHA: That was great. That was the smoothest intro we have ever done by far.

SAM: Http. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Colon colon, slash slash.

MARISHA: And yeah, I mean, it can only go uphill from here. So without further ado, let's jump into tonight's episode of Elder Scrolls Online.

(exciting fantasy music)

Part I[]

MARISHA: Okay. The sun is slowly climbing towards its apex over Grahtwood. It's still a couple of hours before noon, but you can already feel it's going to be a scorcher of a day in Valenwood. However, the muggy heat from the morning sun, air thick with fresh evaporated mist from the nearby woods, does not seem to be slowing down the foot traffic in front of Grelnok's Skull Tavern. The tavern formerly known as The Dreary Jug, The Dirty Hole, The Dingy Hole, The Silver Lining, The Burned Journal, and The Really Nice Hole. Tavern keeps. It's been precisely 85 days since your strange encounter with a daedric beast that inspired the namesake of your now thriving tavern. With the growing clientele, partially thanks to the upgrades you've made from the tavern over the past three months or so, and partially due to the ongoing conflict between rival factions across the Aldmeri Dominion, creating an ever-growing need for weary soldiers and refugees to seek comfort and your famed pork platter when in need of a respite. Currently, you can hear about a half dozen or so Dominion patrols that are currently loitering in front of your establishment, waiting for the doors to open. It's almost lunchtime and people are getting hungry. So, tavern keepers, moments before opening the doors, what are you up to?

SAM: Oh boy!


SAM: (startled noise)

MARISHA: -- as you all know, it's been about three months. You've had a little influx of cash. You've been able to make some upgrades. Tavern's had a little glow-up. So feel free to illuminate us with how fancy your tavern is now.

SAM: Uh-huh.

AABRIA: Yeah. Okay.

SAM: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

AABRIA: I think Tavima starts very specifically, she does not clean or do any upkeep to the tavern, but she is fastidiously cleaning the front main window because her share of the loot going into upgrading the tavern is just for this beautiful, ornate stained glass window in the front that I throw people out of when I bounce them because it reforms.


AABRIA: So it's enchanted--

MARISHA: That's sick.

AABRIA: -- to come back. And she's stretching out a rotator cuff injury because she does this a lot now. People pay extra to get bounced out. So she adjusts her shoulder and then, (exhales sharply) finishes--

LAURA: Part of the experience here at Grelnok's Skull.

AABRIA: All right. New day, here we go. Oh.

SAM: You're getting all flexible there?

AABRIA: Yeah, I got to warm up.

SAM: Working out your bouncer muscles?

AABRIA: Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: Nice.

AABRIA: Stay limber.

SAM: I'm busying myself. Slaughter Grimm is busying himself, making sure that his tray is ready. He used some of the income from the restaurant to buy a levitating tray, which he calls Rex. And so, when he walks across the tavern he says: (clicks) Come here. Come here, Rex. And the tray sort of scoots along beside him. But it sometimes gets distracted and goes around sniffing things. But for right now, Rex is behaving, and he's all ready to accept the customers.

MICHELLE: That's so cute.

TALIESIN: Mallory is getting ready, getting the meals ready, everything prepped. Upgraded the kitchen quite a bit. There's now an eight stage burner and two ovens. One of the ovens is currently broken and two of the burners have not been lighting, but that's fine. Got a bunch of new stuff on the menu. I've got an extra thick, double swing door that just makes it more inconvenient and more difficult to come into the kitchen. Really has helped my disposition. Also hired a sous chef named Timothy, who's quit. But-- (laughter) He was obnoxious, anyway, so that's fine.

MICHELLE: Well, I've updated the front of the area with a new numbering system so that when you arrive... So I used my money to build a small coop for my bird friends so they had a nice warm place to sleep inside, not just outside. Anyway, I've sort of numbered the birds around their neck, and they think that's their name. So I give each patron a numbered bird, and when it's their time, I yell out in the Altmer Elvish language for the number/the bird, they do chirp, and then I know exactly where the patron is and they can come in when it is their turn. I've also added a small guest book in the front of the door. The guest book is made out of the skin of the giant beast that we slew a few months ago. And for the pen, we use a quill from Slaughter.

MARISHA: Amazing.

MICHELLE: Little bit of ink.

SAM: So the birds are like those pagers that you get.

MARISHA: Yes. I want to go to this restaurant.

TALIESIN: I'm actually really into this.


AABRIA: This is--

SAM: Where they're like, "Come back in.

AABRIA: -- so unsanitary.

SAM: "We'll page you when you're--"

AABRIA: I hate it so much.

SAM: Amazing.

MICHELLE: It's very good. And I don't let Tavima touch them. No, please don't. Nope, okay. Don't hurt them. That's number four, don't hurt number four. (laughter)

LAURA: Don't touch the birds.

AABRIA: Teach them to not shit on things.

MICHELLE: They're little birds, they eat, they get full of food and they have to--

LAURA: Poop. They've got to poop.

MICHELLE: It's natural.

AABRIA: When is Timothy coming in? Someone needs to clean the ground.

SAM: He's late again.

TALIESIN: I don't know if he's coming back. He seemed-- I mean, he was terrible. He was terrible last week. I don't think he's coming back.

SAM: He seemed okay. You yelled at him a lot!

TALIESIN: I yell at a lot of people a lot.


TALIESIN: He can handle it or he can't.

LAURA: Grelnok has upgraded the bar top from the old, cracked piece of wood that was there, to a nice large slab of mahogany.


LAURA: It's beautiful. (laughter)

SAM: Beautiful.

LAURA: Beautiful! And has a much better selection of different meads, nice fine wines, hard liquor. We've got a big selection now. Before it was just dusty wine bottles, I didn't even know what it was.

MARISHA: Excellent.

SAM: Nice.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: About this time you hear (knocking).

SAM: (startled noise)

MARISHA: "Hello? Door says you're going to open at 11:00."

TALIESIN: Door says a lot of things!

MICHELLE: No, no, we are supposed to open at 11:00, it's 11:00 just now. I will go take care of this.

SAM: Is everyone ready? We're ready to open? Everyone--

LAURA: Open the fucking door.

SAM: We need to have our pre-opening pep talk.


SAM: Everyone, have a great day today. Support each other, be there for each other, and remember the customers always come first, and the customer's always right, all right? Good tips, everyone. Let's go. (snapping)

MICHELLE: Yes, tips are very important. Okay! I open the door. Welcome to Grelnok Skull hyphen, I mean slash, A Very Nice Hole--

LAURA: It's not A Really Nice Hole, it's just Grelnok's Skull.

MICHELLE: Just Grel-- oh. I thought we were still TBA on that.

LAURA: Grelnok's Skull.

MICHELLE: Welcome to the rest-- the tavern, restaurant, an all-immersive experience of fine dining and meats, and some birds. Oh, and we have a shed in the back that's sort of a whole immersive experience thing. We'll talk about that later.

AABRIA: Whoa, hold on. Don't undersell my favorite part.


AABRIA: There is an immersive experience.

MICHELLE: Immersive experience.

AABRIA: If you want, we can go on a tour through it once you've paid your bill.

LAURA: It costs extra. It costs extra.

AABRIA: It costs extra.

MARISHA: "Okay, can we just get a table now?"

SAM: Oh.

MICHELLE: Yes, dinner, then the show. Yes, excellent. Okay.

MARISHA: "Okay."

MICHELLE: I guess there's no wait, so I don't need to use my little birds. Number one, you can just take a knee? Just take a rest.

MARISHA: "All right."

MICHELLE: I lead them into the-- This is our finest table next to the fireplace on this hot day.

MARISHA: "Okay?" Just the rest of the soldiers are just all shuffling in and you can tell they just-- They're trying to be entertained and enthused, but, "We just heard about the pork platter. "We just hear a lot of things--"

SAM: Hi, hi. Hi.


SAM: My name's Slaughter, I'll be your server today.

MARISHA: "Okay."

SAM: Can I tell you about our specials before you go ahead and order?

MARISHA: (stammering)

SAM: You said the pork platter, which is a lovely dish, but I'd love to tell you about some of our other specials.

MARISHA: Soldier looks to the other ones and they just. "Okay, okay."

SAM: Well, Mallory has prepared a bunch of fresh things for you today. Number one is the veal tartar with black truffles, shallots, potato crisps, quail egg, and a black truffle aioli. We've also got a lacquered duck with yellow turnip, brazed red cabbage, sun-dried cherries. Very good, limited quantity, though. Roasted juniper lamb with cauliflower and saffron-scented basmati rice. Or you can go traditional with the beef burger. That will take extra prep time, though.

MARISHA: One of the female soldiers who's an Altmer, you can tell she's young, she turns and she's goes, "I do really love lamb. It's like, one of my favorites."

MICHELLE: I think you should get the lamb. Actually, I wanted to nickname all of these, but we haven't really gotten to the name. I think the lamb burger should be, what do you think? The baa-burger, is that too much? (laughter)

MARISHA: "I don't get it."

MICHELLE: It's because they, when they're alive, you see, before you... When they're alive they go (bleating).

MARISHA: "Right, but it's dead now."

MICHELLE: It's meat now.

LAURA: Then they get slaughtered and then you eat 'em.

MICHELLE: And coincidentally, our server is named Slaughter.

SAM: Hi, yes.


SAM: Hi.


SAM: So one lamb, then? Or lamb all around?

MARISHA: The original soldier's just like, "I still just want the pork, I think."

SAM: All right, great.

MARISHA: But the female's like, "I'll take the lamb."

SAM: Thank you so much. (yelling) Mallory!


SAM: Mallory, table one wants one baa-burger and one pork!

MICHELLE: Oh, you said it!

TALIESIN: Fine, I'll push the pork. (grunts)

MARISHA: You see a couple more people are starting to gather in the front, in the hostess area, just starting to get a little bit anxious, wanting seats.

LAURA: Drinks? Drinks while you wait?

MARISHA: "Well actually, I just wanted to show my little child," it's this beautiful Khajiit mother, and she has her two little sons, and they're like, eight and six, and they're both already rowdy, they've got wooden swords. The two boys are just over there just whacking their swords against the hostess podium. One of them goes over and then climbs up on it and starts looking through your guest book.

SAM: I don't know about that.

AABRIA: I grab that one by the scruff of the neck.

MARISHA: "What?"

AABRIA: What do we think we're doing? What is this?


AABRIA: Hand over the mouth. No, no, no, we don't scream for help. Either you're strong enough to get out of this yourself, or you just let this happen.

SAM: It's a life lesson!

AABRIA: This is a teachable moment.

MARISHA: The mom lets it happen.

AABRIA: I give her a little nod like.

MARISHA: She's, you know, don't hurt her kid, but also I think she's probably had this dream herself.

AABRIA: So is that your book?

MARISHA: "Mm-mm."

AABRIA: Did you ask anyone before you climbed up on the podium?

MARISHA: (whimpering) "Mm-mm."

AABRIA: Mm-mm. Also, your sword form is fucking terrible. And I just drop the kid on the ground. Two hands. And you swivel with your hips. And just let them go ahead and continue to torment the hostess podium.

MARISHA: You can tell he's really into soldiers and weaponry, so as soon as you start talking about form and seem like you're going to be this teacher, the kid starts coming back around again. And then they just go like, (laughs) "You're mean!" And then run off and go over to these soldiers and start just whacking the soldiers with their new form.

AABRIA: (teary) I am mean, thank you. (laughter) Good kids.

MARISHA: The mom just turns and look at you and goes, "(laughs) Are you serving wine right now?"

MICHELLE: Oh yes, we're always serving. We have wines of at least two colors, yes.

MARISHA: "Okay, I'll have your strongest one."

MICHELLE: Wonderful. Why don't you take a seat--

LAURA: Strongest wine. Your strongest wine?

MARISHA: "Uh-huh. Or, you know what? Just make it... Can you just pour it in that tankard instead of a wine glass?"

LAURA: Red, white?


LAURA: Cool. Pop open two bottles and just-- (laughter) - in the tankard.

MARISHA: She's not going to complain. And then a couple more soldiers that were still loitering outside just finished smoking their pipes, and then they also come inside.

SAM: Welcome, welcome inside. You know, I can't help but notice there's a whole bunch of soldiers here today. Was there a fight that has recently broken out near here?

MARISHA: "No, we're just stationed here."

SAM: Stationed here?

MARISHA: "Yeah. It's real fuckin' boring, you know?"

SAM: You're wanting some action.

MARISHA: "It's why I signed up for the army. Wanted to go on the frontline."

SAM: Sure, yeah. That's why you would.

MARISHA: "Stupid patrol. Fuckin' stupid--"

TALIESIN: Coming through, coming through! I walk over with the plates because this is... And I just slop the pork plate down, gently place the lamb down. Thank you for ordering the lamb.

MARISHA: "Thank you."

TALIESIN: Just as a thank you, here's a slice of our triple berry pie.


TALIESIN: It's got blackberry, raspberry, jumbleberries, and we make the vanilla ice cream. I make the vanilla ice cream in-house every day fresh.

MARISHA: "I'm sort of--"

TALIESIN: Don't share it. I go back into the kitchen.

MARISHA: She just turns to the other soldiers she's with and she's like, "I'm allergic to berries."

SAM: Oh, well maybe your friend would like it instead.

MARISHA: "He just--"

SAM: He won't know.

MARISHA: "He said not to--"

SAM: Don't worry. He's harmless.

MARISHA: "I feel like he would."

SAM: Nah, don't worry.

MARISHA: "He was really... All right."

SAM: I wouldn't worry about it. Nothing bad could happen.

MARISHA: She looks over her shoulder where Mallory went and just pushes the plate very gingerly--

SAM: It'll be fine.

MARISHA: "All right."

SAM: Dig in, I'll get you some napkins, and if you need anything else to drink, just holler.

MARISHA: "Okay. Thank you!" (other soldier) "Thank you."

SAM: I'll go back over to that soldier, unless that's the same person.

MARISHA: Well, you mean you can't tell the difference?

SAM: I can't. (laughter) They're all beautiful.

MARISHA: This one, the one that's mad.

SAM: (groaning) Yeah!

MARISHA: All right. He sits down, he's real pissed.

SAM: So you're stationed nearby?

MARISHA: "Yeah."

SAM: And you were all on patrol and decided to come here, that's--

MARISHA: "There's not much else to do, you know? It's a real fucking boring town."

SAM: Is there any threat that we're under? Why so many soldiers on patrol?

MARISHA: "I don't know. People keep claiming that there's all these Daedric elements, supernatural rigamarole. I don't know, I've never seen it. Seems like a big ol' excuse to me."

SAM: I have a feeling that there are some Daedric influences nearby.

MARISHA: (scoffs) "(laughs) This fucking guy. You're one of them believers?"

SAM: I am. Yeah, I do believe. I do believe, yes.

MARISHA: "Just get me an ale."

SAM: All right, right away. (clears throat) One ale for table two, please.

LAURA: What kind of ale?

SAM: What kind of ale would you like?

MARISHA: "You have like a--"

LAURA: We've got lots of ale now. We've got lots of different types of ale. You want dark ale, light ale?

SAM: She's really into the varietals, so you might have to listen to a bunch of options.

MARISHA: "Do you have like--"

LAURA: We got wheat ale, we got--

MARISHA: "You have a stout, like a red stout?"

LAURA: Stout, we got porter. Is that a thing?

MARISHA: "You got port?"

LAURA: A port.

SAM: Oh no. Does Laura not know anything about beer? (laughter)

MARISHA: Porter.

LAURA: IPA, we got--

TALIESIN: Technically.

MICHELLE: Mango Cart, maybe. (laughter) Is that one?

MARISHA: "Yeah, I'll just have that stout, thank you."

LAURA: Got it.

MARISHA: "All right."

LAURA: Here you go.

SAM: Here, I'll put it on Rex. Rex, come with me. (clicks) Come here. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, this way. (kisses) Come here, honey. Here we go.

MARISHA: Rex just clips one of the Khajiit kids' heads. It's right at the kid height.

SAM: Oh, it's okay.

MARISHA: (groans) (crying)

AABRIA: Don't cry.

SAM: (kisses) Come here, baby, come here.


SAM: All right, there you go. Here's your ale.

MARISHA: "Thank you."

SAM: Go away. (kisses) Go.

MARISHA: About this time, the door swings open again. (bell ringing) I don't know if you guys have a door bell, I don't know.


AABRIA: It's a bunch tiny rat skulls from before. We put a little bell--

MARISHA: Oh. So it's like (clanking).


MARISHA: You see a familiar face walk through the front door. Familiar, yet perhaps not welcome? An Altmer figure in fine Sariellen clothing, short blond hair, now even more shorn and clean-cut to accommodate for the hot summer months. This is your old friend, Diven the tax collector.

LAURA: Fuckin' Diven.

AABRIA: Elf feel, go.

MICHELLE: Oh, hello, Sir Diven. Welcome back to our little humble tavern. We're so delighted to have you back. We believe we paid all of our taxes previously. (stammers) What brings you here today? Just a meal, perhaps?

MARISHA: "Oh. I see you have made quite the improvement since I've last been here."

MICHELLE: Yes. We're doing our best, and paying our taxes like law-abiding citizens because you said to do that, so now we're doing it.

MARISHA: "Good for you. I actually don't work for the tax department anymore."

MICHELLE: Oh, what's your new job?

MARISHA: "I now work for the Department of Health and Safety for the Dominion."

AABRIA: I am subtly trying to entice the Khajiit children to go attack Diven with their wooden swords. I'm like: Get in there. From the waist.

MARISHA: "Okay."

AABRIA: Aim for the knees and ankles. Joints. Go. Yes.

MARISHA: "Okay."

TALIESIN: I was just peeking above the double swing door to watch the soldier eating the lamb to see the reaction, and then I heard that and I've immediately scurried away into the kitchen. And there's a lot of sounds happening. (laughter)

LAURA: I'm kicking at the rats that live under the counter to try to shoo them out before he--

MARISHA: "Yes, I'm just here to do a routine inspection."

MICHELLE: Well, that's fine. I mean, health sounds very important--

MARISHA: "It is."

MICHELLE: And safety is also very important, so this should be totally fine, I think. I will-- What do you need to look at first?

MARISHA: "Well, you know, if you wouldn't mind just giving me a moment. Don't want any hoverers while I walk around and-- gah!" And about this time, two Khajiit children just start whacking at his shins.

AABRIA: No quarter!

LAURA: Aim higher!

MARISHA: "(pained noise)"


MICHELLE: Oh, those don't belong to us, so that's not part of the restaurant.

SAM: I'm so sorry about that. Here, little tykes, please go back to your table. We apologize for that, truly.

MARISHA: "Just--"

MICHELLE: Is that a good note?


MICHELLE: Is that saying that we have-- all ages are welcome here and it's a family establishment? I think that's what you're writing, right?

MARISHA: "I'll do my inspection now, if you don't mind."

MICHELLE: I've been told I'm an excellent helper. I can assist you. I'm hovering the shit out of this Altmer.

MARISHA: He turns and walks away and starts looking at things, doing his own thing. "Hmm. These new torch sconches? Beautiful. You hung them a little bit low, that could be a fire hazard. Just--"

LAURA: Easy to fix. I go and rip one off the wall.

MARISHA: "All right."

MICHELLE: We're problem solvers.

MARISHA: "Nice stained glass."

AABRIA: Thank you. I had a problem with you, and now we're good. (laughter)

MARISHA: "Well done. Good craftsmanship. Oh, this levitating tray."

SAM: Yes, his name's Rex and he helps me serve all the food.

MARISHA: "Bit dingy."

SAM: Well, I mean, that's--

MARISHA: "You do clean this, right?"

SAM: It's a bit alive. So, you know, he cleans himself from time to time as is his-- I can make it--

AABRIA: Calm down.

SAM: (exhales)

MARISHA: "Oh oh, oh." He is stomping on the floor and (knocking) testing the floorboards a bit.

AABRIA: Can I insight check him?


AABRIA: Does he think he's being thorough? No, it begins. Never mind, I'm not going to finish the thought.

LAURA: I forgot we rolled so bad for this game.

AABRIA: Nine, I got a nine.

MICHELLE: Cool, cool, cool.

MARISHA: He seems pretty diligent. Seems he's taken this new change of government position pretty seriously. "Yes, these soft floorboards."

SAM: Soft?

LAURA: Soft floorboards?

SAM: They're made of wood!

MARISHA: He crouches down, pulls out a little utility knife, cracks one of them open.

AABRIA: Aren't you to do this when we're not in the middle of working?

MARISHA: "Well, I sent a notice. You should have noticed gotten it."

AABRIA: With whomst?

MARISHA: "That's not my department." Continues to look under the floorboards. "Oof."

AABRIA: What are you doing?

MARISHA: "Bit of a crumbling foundation under here. All right."

LAURA: Welp.

AABRIA: Do something!

MARISHA: "Do you mind if I just check behind the bar?"

LAURA: Yep, I mind a lot.

MARISHA: "Well, unfortunately, if you don't let me check behind the bar, I can't finish your inspection and that's an automatic failure."

SAM: What does it mean if we fail the inspection?

MARISHA: "Oh, you will be shut down effective immediately until any and all adjustments are made."

SAM: I-- What is your-- Why do you seem to have this vendetta against us? We've done nothing but serve you.

LAURA: Get behind the fucking-- go look behind the bar. I drop a rag on the ground, hopefully to cover up the rats, see if they go back into the corner.

AABRIA: Scurries away.

MARISHA: Just moving the rag. He kind of--

AABRIA: It's also enchanted.

SAM: It's a levitating bar towel. That one's named Bessie.

MICHELLE: Mm-hmm. Rex and Bessie.

MARISHA: "Bessie."


MARISHA: "Bessie and Rex. All right. Are these-- These bird friends are also, these are new."

MICHELLE: Yes, they all have names and they all have individual souls and feelings and thoughts and dreams.

MARISHA: "They also could have diseases."

MICHELLE: Oh, no, they clean themselves all the time. Are you worried about them being dirty?

MARISHA: "Yes, precisely."

MICHELLE: I call all of the birds over to me and I have this big pitcher of water and I just dunk on top of them. And now they're clean! And that birds are shaking themselves off. And now they're clean, that's how cleaning works. Rex, come here! (kisses) And I just take another thing of water, a pitcher or water, I just throw it on Rex. Clean!

AABRIA: I am on the wrong side of this, because I am with Diven. (laughter)

SAM: So now we got a big puddle of dirty water?


SAM: Nice.

AABRIA: Bessie, please come clean up this weird mess that Hoa has caused.

SAM: Oh, Bessie doesn't actually respond to your-- It's just a rat.

MARISHA: Diven now just--

AABRIA: I bonded really hard.

LAURA: Just a rat with a rag over top of it. But it does move and start drinking. (laughter)

AABRIA: So it kind of worked.


MARISHA: Diven looks at the puddle and now goes, "Hmm! Improper water spillage cleanup. Leaving standing water. All right, behind the bar now," and he just lifts the little swinging door, goes in. "These keg taps. Got a little bit of mold growing on some of the spigots."

LAURA: Stick my finger in there and wiggle it around. Really? Ah! Oh yeah. Are you supposed to remove these every once in a while? I don't know. We'll get those cleaned for you.

MARISHA: "And now the kitchen."

TALIESIN: Can I ask you to make a strength check to open the door? (laughter)

MARISHA: Sure! Mm. (grunts) (giggles awkwardly) "How, um-- How does this?"

LAURA: You just push.

AABRIA: Yeah, you just push through.

SAM: It's a double door, it goes both ways.

AABRIA: I'm going to walk into the kitchen just to prove a point.

MARISHA: Same roll. (laughter) (grunts) He just.

TALIESIN: I lift away the-- I'm taking away the barrier and backing up.

MARISHA: "Oh, thank you."

TALIESIN: Come in, come in.

MARISHA: "Oh, kitchen upgrade."

TALIESIN: Yeah, very clean, very clean.

MARISHA: "Lovely."

TALIESIN: Yep, you've seen--

MARISHA: He goes over.

TALIESIN: I-- Don't, don't.

MARISHA: "Is that-- (sniffs) Is that gas? One these burners are not working. Do you know these burners, not working?"

TALIESIN: I might be aware of that, yes.

SAM: Wait, do I have any magic?

MARISHA: And then he...

SAM: Can I make fire?

MARISHA: Starts kind of--

AABRIA: I've got a magical sword that could end this very quickly.

MARISHA: Throws open some drawers and some cabinets.

TALIESIN: Oh, they're full of dirty shit.

MARISHA: And he's immediately taken aback.

TALIESIN: I hid everything before you came back here.

MARISHA: "There's quite a few rodent droppings, isn't there? Gathered in the corners."

TALIESIN: I had someone quit on me this week and it's been just a bit off--

MARISHA: "Would that be Sir Timothy?"


MARISHA: "We've heard from him recently."

TALIESIN: Have you?

MARISHA: "Just complained about some improper worker's conduct within the establishment. Some complaints about some rude and ornery employees and business partners."

TALIESIN: Well, he's a liar and a traitor and I (stammering). (deep breath) We had some disagreements. That's absolutely fair, but we parted ways. He wanted to look for other employment and I needed somebody who actually knew how to work.

MARISHA: "Great."

SAM: Did you at least offer to write him a recommendation?


SAM: That's what it is, then.

MARISHA: "Well, beyond the cook, and honestly, this one's not even this isn't my department, but I got some complaints about a rude bouncer. Just so you know."

LAURA: It's part of the experience.

MARISHA: "It's your business."

LAURA: People come here just for our bouncer.

AABRIA: Yeah, can I show you the main attraction of this bar?

LAURA: You want the full experience?

AABRIA: Please, you are so diligent and meticulous. You would be remiss to not see.

MARISHA: Make a persuasion check.


SAM: Come on, come on, come on.

TALIESIN: One good roll.

AABRIA: No. (laughter) Three.



MARISHA: "Perhaps after I am done with my evaluation. I am here on official Dominion business, so shouldn't be playing on the clock. Welp, I think I've seen enough. If you wouldn't mind just giving me a moment to calculate your score. Be with you in a moment." And he just--

LAURA: Is this how health building inspectors really work?

MARISHA: He shuffles off into the corner and is kind of-- he's got a clipboard and he's checking forms.

AABRIA: Grelnok, go get the bribe money. We're going to have to.

TALIESIN: I don't know. Say the word, we could have a new special tomorrow.

SAM: Are we going to kill and cook the inspector?!

AABRIA: I think that's a good idea.

SAM: There's soldiers here, they'll see!

LAURA: Could I roll a knowledge check? If we kill this guy, are we going to get in trouble? Will people know?

TALIESIN: Put him in the beef burger, they won't know the difference, I think.

MARISHA: Sure, yeah. Roll a-- what would that be?

LAURA: Survival? (laughter)

MARISHA: Roll a-- Just roll a history check. How about that?

LAURA: Oh. Eight.


TALIESIN: We are a powerhouse.


MARISHA: You don't know a lot about politics and how it works, but you do know that if people tend to mess with the Dominion, especially government official employees, that sometimes those people are never seen again.

SAM: Hmm.

LAURA: All right.

SAM: Dangerous game.

MARISHA: After a moment, Diven comes back. "Welp, tallied up your score and I have bad news. I am so sorry, my dear acquaintances. I'm afraid this establishment is not up to code. I regret to inform you that I must immediately shut down this business."

SAM: Again?

MARISHA: "By order of title 47, in accordance with article 69, section 1-1-9-8-7 B4."

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: "This is primarily in part and in perpetuity due to the crumbling foundation of the building. But good news is, once sufficient repairs are made, you may reopen your establishment immediately. So. Oh, and sorry. After you pay 150 gold fine for allowing the foundation to wear out and get that bad in the first place."

LAURA: How much money do we have?

SAM: 150 gold?

MARISHA: "Mm-hmm."

SAM: Is the fine, and we have to repair everything.


LAURA: Foundation problems, so expensive.

SAM: They are.

MICHELLE: And finding a contractor is very difficult during this time.

SAM: That's true.

AABRIA: Can I make a history check? Because there's no way I don't know what the like legal ramifications are for killing a government official. If it's less than 150 gold in fines and jail time, I would like to make that calculation, please. Can I?

MARISHA: Sure, yeah, roll a history check.

AABRIA: Okay, okay. Oh no, it's not plus anything. 10.

MARISHA: It's not so much the fine of murder within the empire or within the Dominion. It's more of the... locked away in a dungeon, never to be seen again factor.

AABRIA: If you get caught. Cool.

SAM: All right. And can we at least finish the lunch service, or must we shut the doors immediately?

MARISHA: "Well, I would say you have as much time as it takes me to post this sign on your front door."

AABRIA: Let me help you out, then. I want to throw him out the front window.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. Make a-- What is that, a strength check?

AABRIA: Yes, please.

MARISHA: Make a strength check.


LAURA: You can do it.

AABRIA: There we go. Can it be athletics?


AABRIA: Dirty 20!

MARISHA: (glass shattering) Without, like-- It happened so fast, Diven doesn't even know what's really happened to him. He just was standing in the tavern, and is now laying down outside the tavern. And you look through the stained glass and you just see he's a little bit in a daze, scuffed up on the ground.

AABRIA: And I just flip him off as the glass slowly re-forms.

MICHELLE: Before it closes I yell: That's part of the immersive experience!

MARISHA: "(stammering) You knocked the hair off of me."

LAURA: You knocked the hair off him.

MARISHA: "(pained noises) Oh! Stands up, brushes himself off.

SAM: Hoa, lock the door!

MICHELLE: Oh, okay.

LAURA: Well, get the guests out first.

SAM: Well, we have to-- There's still food coming for some of them, though, they'll leave hungry. We can't let a guest leave hungry!

AABRIA: Why is that the takeaway here?

SAM: Because our customers are like our family. If we don't treat them well, they won't come back for more.

TALIESIN: They're not like my family, I actually talk to the customers on occasion.

SAM: That's true. Also, they're soldiers, won't they become irate if we don't serve them their food?

AABRIA: They don't believe in Daedrics and all of the supernatural stuff that we've seen. They are effectively bullet fodder. So I'm not worried about them.

TALIESIN: I mean, there's an easy way to take care of this.

MICHELLE: What's that?

SAM: What is that?

TALIESIN: Offer them a free drink as we kick them out.


SAM: I like that idea. I don't want any upset customers.

AABRIA: We're hemorrhaging money.

LAURA: Oy! Come get a drink and get the fuck out. (laughter)

MICHELLE: And if you don't like it, you can blame the gentleman laying outside the window.

MARISHA: (pained groaning)

TALIESIN: They did it.

MARISHA: You just look outside the window and just see a struggling Diven.

LAURA: Feel free to kick some dirt in his face on your way out.

AABRIA: Oh, that'll get you 10% off your next pork platter.

MICHELLE: His name's Diven, just so you know.

LAURA: I start pouring ale out of the moldy tap, passing it out.

MARISHA: After a moment, you just hear (thudding).


MARISHA: And you see he's clutching his side a little as he hammers in--

SAM: Oh, he's posting it.

MARISHA: -- the sign.

TALIESIN: I mean, if we take this far back enough, really it's the inspectors who went over this when we bought the place that's really messed us here. I feel like they should have caught this.

SAM: For sure. Did we have an inspection when we bought this? I thought it was more of an as-is scenario, but I guess we should have done our due diligence.

TALIESIN: I thought we had one. Didn't we get? There was--

LAURA: We didn't have an inspection. Mallory. We didn't have anything. I go over to where the foundation problems are and start stomping my feet on the wood planks. Do I feel anything? Does it feel like I could break through?

MARISHA: It's one of those things where it's like, you've always known that it seemed a little janky, but wasn't really a problem that crossed your radar. But now as you, like (stamping).

TALIESIN: Squeaky floorboards.

MARISHA: Stomp around, you're like, it feels a little rough.

TALIESIN: Now we got to fix this.

AABRIA: We could have thrown some sawdust under there.

LAURA: What's underneath the bar?

SAM: Well, let's get everybody out first. Thank you for coming, everyone. Remember we mainly subsist on tips. So please be generous on your way out. Thank you so much.

LAURA: Give us a tip and get the fuck out!

SAM: Fight the good fight, soldiers. Children, please learn the good learn, and have a wonderful day.

MICHELLE: And sign the guestbook, please, before you leave. Signing the guestbook is very important.

MARISHA: On the outside of the door is still Diven, just wanting to get back in. And then the door swings open from a customer, and he takes a step back. He's playing that battle of when too many people are leaving, but he's trying to get back in, but is--

AABRIA: You're like a terrible salmon.


MICHELLE: Can I use animal handling to try to get my birds to shoo him away?

MARISHA: Sure, roll an animal handling check.

MICHELLE: A peck fight, if you will. A seven. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow, we are the best.

MARISHA: You said how many birds were there? Six?

MICHELLE: Yeah, six.

MARISHA: Number one just (wings fluttering) out the window.


SAM: Gone forever?

MARISHA: It's out the window.

MICHELLE: Number one went to go find its dream. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Number one was in league with Timothy.

LAURA: Yeah.

MICHELLE: We don't know what that. Is there a letter?

TALIESIN: Just had a look to him, I was always thinking it.

AABRIA: Maybe it didn't like water getting dumped on it.

MICHELLE: Well, now they're clean. So I solved one problem. I have solutions to our problems and Diven didn't seem to like it, I don't understand.

MARISHA: And once again, Diven's still trying to get in.

AABRIA: Just wait!

MARISHA: The two Khajiit kids just on their way out, whack, whack!

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: "(groaning)"

LAURA: I like those kids.

AABRIA: I love-- I think I want kids to teach tiny murder. No, not for me, to do crimes for me.

LAURA: Okay.


SAM: You want to start a family?

AABRIA: Whoa, okay, calm down. And I pull the little--

SAM: I'm just saying in general, I'm trying and to get to know you better. I feel like we work together, but we're not friends, you know? Like, there should be--

AABRIA: I also have that feeling.

SAM: Yeah, so I didn't know that you had a family mindset. That's really nice.

AABRIA: I feel like I clarified. And I think there's like a moment where she like tries to be super gruff about it and then looks around and is like: Yeah, a little bit.

SAM: I mean, you know my family is not the greatest. I mean, they're tight, but I've been sort of on the outs with them for a long time. And so I, you know, when I see that feeling of familial bond in someone, I really, I appreciate it. It's a good thing to strive for. If you want, you could call me your honorary brother.

LAURA: I thought he was going to offer to bone you.

MICHELLE: But that's how you make children.

AABRIA: I was also afraid of that, but you know what? I will take the-- Brother feels good. I like that. And she claps you on the shoulders very hard. Brother.

SAM: Yeah. Thank you.

AABRIA: Pushes you away.

MARISHA: "(clearing throat)"

TALIESIN: Oh, you're still here.

LAURA: What?

MARISHA: "Sorry. Wasn't done before you threw me through--"

AABRIA: That's going to be five gold.

MARISHA: "It's back."


TALIESIN: It's immersive.

MARISHA: "It's deeply impressive. I will say. I do enjoy that."

AABRIA: Then it's on the house.

SAM: Will that be a discount or something for us?

MICHELLE: Like a bonus point?

MARISHA: Roll for persuasion.

MICHELLE: Which of us?

MARISHA: Slaughter, you brought it up first. And with advantage because they're assisting you. It's a one and a five.

LAURA: Dear lord.

MICHELLE: Team, what's going on?

AABRIA: It hurts to play this game.

MICHELLE: Yeah, this is rough.

MARISHA: "I'll tell you this."

TALIESIN: We're going to [inaudible] the inspection. Sorry, carry on.

MARISHA: "I cannot offer you a discount as a fine is a fine. And all of the paperwork must be of the utmost diligence and streamlined, or else I could get in trouble. You could understand that, right? You don't want me to get in trouble. But I'll offer you a little tip because I like the stained glass window."

SAM: We do work on tips.

MARISHA: He pulls out his notebook again and he writes down a name and with a vague direction. Rips off of the paper, hands it. "This is a reasonable and fairly decent stone mason. His name is Orimen Granoth. Not far north from here, through the woods."

LAURA: Through the woods?

MARISHA: "Mm-hmm. He set up his own little rock quarry, so got to travel a little bit. But the day is still young. (smarmy laugh) If you set off now, you might be able to get there and back again before nightfall and perhaps not lose too much business. You could get started on your repairs tomorrow, perhaps be open the next day."

SAM: All right, all right, that's not too bad.

MARISHA: "He's an okay person. Just tell, no. Don't tell him I sent you. (chuckling)"

MICHELLE: Is there some sort of deep past conflict we should know about?

MARISHA: "He's just a little rough around the edges. Like all stone masons, am I right? (laughs forcefully) But yes, just head north through the Grahtwood. I'd say hour and a half, two hours. You should run into a clearing. He's got a little stone cabin built into the base of the wood.

SAM: Well, thank you so much. You know, you've been helpful and diligent and we appreciate your service to the community and to the safety of our kingdom? Empire?

MICHELLE: Health and safety.


SAM: Dominion.

MARISHA: "That is my department. Yep, and that's who I work for. Thank you for your utmost cooperation."

LAURA: Does he really work for health and--

MARISHA: Make an insight check.

SAM: I'm sure you'll roll low and we'll never know.

AABRIA: Is that berry pie is still on the table?



LAURA: 17!

AABRIA: Yo! I didn't know the dice could roll that high.

SAM: When it counts.

MARISHA: There is kind of an air of bullshit to him, but you're not entirely sure if it's because the department and who he is as a person is just wrapped up in a little bit bullshitty all the time, or if he's like actually trying to pull a fast one. You're not sure. But there is something that kicks in the back of your head of like: Is this really right? Is he doing this correctly?

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah. "Anyway. I'll be back in one week's time to check in on your progress, unless you would like me to come in a little bit earlier, if you think you might be done. Could remove this little post on your door, utmost haste."

SAM: We'll probably get in touch with you within two days' time.

MARISHA: "All right."

LAURA: Yeah, we're speedy.

MARISHA: "I will look for your word, and if I do not hear anything, I'll just slide by. I am in the neighborhood. I actually have to do a few more health inspections a few days at the joint across the street, so."

LAURA: Diven, are you lonely?

MARISHA: Roll an insight check.

MICHELLE: Yes, do it!

LAURA: No! Four!

MARISHA: He goes, "(awkward laugh) Nope, I am happily married with two children, actually. Quite the family man. Thank you for asking."

AABRIA: I want to point at the pie that the lady soldier didn't eat. Don't let it go to waste. Sit down. We don't have any other customers. You might as well.

MARISHA: He grabs the chair, slowly pulls it back, sits down.

MICHELLE: Oh, it's not to-go. Okay, I wasn't-- I quickly clean the table off, and I get a candle, and I put it out. I make it all nice.

MARISHA: He takes, like-- Someone who's on a diet at the bar, like a date who's not really wanting to eat anything. He takes just the tiniest sliver off the front of the pie. "That might be the best pie I've ever had."

TALIESIN: It's the fresh jumbleberries.

MARISHA: "Well, I'm full. Thank you. I best be on my way. Lot to inspect. Lots of code, lots of health and safety to implement."

SAM: Well, good day to you, and next time you come, maybe we'll serve you another sliver of pie.

MARISHA: "I look forward to it. Hopefully, it doesn't have rat feces." And he just starts to shuffle out the door.

TALIESIN: I mean, to be fair, I did see some of the birds going at that one before you offered it. So that's fine.

SAM: Well, shit.

AABRIA: I tried to be nice. I will never do it again.

SAM: You did great.

LAURA: Fuck that guy.

AABRIA: Fuck that guy.

TALIESIN: Fuck that guy.

SAM: So we're in this pickle again.


SAM: We owe money to the state.


SAM: And we've got no way of getting it.

LAURA: Well, we got money. We got to fix our foundation.

TALIESIN: I like the idea of a stone mason.

LAURA: Yeah, let's go find this guy.

SAM: We have other options. I just want to throw them out there.

AABRIA: Murder!

MICHELLE: Oh, ooh.

SAM: We could track Devin, Divin, Devon, whatever their name was--

MARISHA: I kind of changed it a little bit. It's fine.

SAM: And murder him.

AABRIA: Mm-hmm!

SAM: Thus ending our run-in with the law forever. We could pry open these soft floor boards and try to repair the foundation ourselves.


LAURA: Stuff it full of rags and shit.

SAM: I meant actually repair it, but sure. We could stuff it full of rags.

TALIESIN: As I'm the one who tried to fix the oven, I have a funny feeling that's not going to go very well.

SAM: Or I guess we could--

LAURA: We could just pull up the floorboards and see, though.

SAM: We could. Maybe there's another portal to--

MICHELLE: Oh, that'd be neat.

TALIESIN: I pull out a cheap kitchen knife and a spatula and begin ripping up the floor boards.

MARISHA: Okay, roll a strength check.

TALIESIN: Ooh, this will be fun. Ooh, that's an actual roll. That's 15.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah, no problem. These boards are pretty dry rotted. They've got a little bit of termite damage. They start popping up pretty good. And it does expose this crumbled stone flooring that has a decent amount of cracks, looks like it was already a patchwork job before they covered it up with this hardwood flooring.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to put it out there, I kind of like the stone floor better.

LAURA: It's real nice.

TALIESIN: Actually, if we repair this--

SAM: If we get the mason to come, maybe we could just go eschew the wood for just a full stone flooring.

TALIESIN: That might be the way to go.

LAURA: Nice upgrade.

TALIESIN: It's is going to be so much easier to clean, too.

MICHELLE: So we should go visit this gentlemen, this Orimen Granoth.

SAM: DM, have I ever heard of Orimen Granoth before?

MARISHA: Make a history check.

LAURA: Is his name Oarman, like Oar-man?

MARISHA: Orimen, O-R-I-M-E-N. Orimen.


SAM: That's a 19.

MARISHA: Okay. Yes, there's not too many stone masons around. The odd thing is, it's one of those, "That's a name I haven't heard in a long time, and I haven't even really thought about it. I didn't even know this person still existed." But you've only loosely heard about him because you're not really in the architecture and construction business.

SAM: I think I've been to a couple of buildings where he stamped his name on the cornerstone, you know? It seems familiar.

MARISHA: But yeah, I don't know, almost like hearing about Henry Ford, like, "Oh. Wait, what?" Kind of what it feels like.

AABRIA: May just be the Templar in me, but we could also consider just burning this place down and getting the insurance money.

SAM: Do we have insurance? Did we do that?

TALIESIN: I don't think we got insurance. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Another thing we forgot about when we got this place.

SAM: But we could take out an insurance policy--


SAM: Wait a couple weeks for it to kick in, I guess? I don't know how insurance works.

LAURA: Do you think they do insurance policies on places that are condemned and shut down? I don't know. (laughter)

AABRIA: We should get it for cheap, or more? I don't know how insurance works.

MICHELLE: There are holes in this plan.

SAM: All right, all right. That was a good outside of the box--

AABRIA: I just wanted to put lots of options out there. I like fire.

TALIESIN: Good Plan G.

AABRIA: Thank you.

MICHELLE: Well, I'd like to protect this place. It's a place where we made all of our memories and a great business model. So maybe just ask the stone mason to help quickly?

SAM: That's fair, that's fair. That seems like the simplest--

MICHELLE: Keep the burning it down as a Plan B or a C or D.

AABRIA: Look, it upgraded from G. Now it's B.


TALIESIN: I was very happy with G, but you say C.

MICHELLE: We didn't have any of the letters--

AABRIA: Let the record show--

MICHELLE: -- in the middle.

AABRIA: -- the second plan is burn it down.

MICHELLE: Was murder B? Which one?

LAURA: The second plan is burn it down. Let's go talk to the Orimen.

SAM: All right, we're going through the dangerous woods, though. We should bring some weapons for protection.

LAURA: Yeah, we bring the torch that I ripped off the wall.

MARISHA: Okay, yep.

LAURA: I grab my ax from above the bar.


LAURA: I'm ready.

SAM: I'll bring a stick. And I'm going to bring Rex, just in case.

LAURA: Should we get some rope or some shit?

AABRIA: I walk into the back and bring out the magical sword that we got from in the crevice and hand it off to you.


SAM: I didn't want to... I thought that was maybe yours. I didn't want to--

AABRIA: You claimed it. I'm not going to take a thing.

SAM: Yeah, but you're very--

AABRIA: We're keeping it in the family. You're good.

SAM: Family? See, there that is again.

LAURA: Did we get anything else cool the last time that I don't remember? We got those cloaks, we have cloaks.

MICHELLE: We did get some cloaks.

LAURA: We all have our cloaks that we've dyed to be our uniform.

MICHELLE: They were tabards, and they do give us a plus one to saving throws and plus one to AC.

MARISHA: What color did you dye them?

MICHELLE: All of them?

MARISHA: All the colors? You did a little tie-dye job?

LAURA: What color--

SAM: We should synchronize our colors.

MICHELLE: Synchronize, yeah.

LAURA: Green? Green.

AABRIA: Mine's green.

LAURA: Dark green?

SAM: Green.

AABRIA: It took so much to turn this from crimson to green. And she is so proud of it, yeah.

SAM: We're all green cloaks.

LAURA: Green cloaks--

TALIESIN: Mine was green, but I washed it

LAURA: Green cloaks going through the woods. Look, we're camouflaged.

TALIESIN: Now it's just now. It's this awful plum.

MARISHA: Okay, nice, I love it.

MICHELLE: So they'll all be green.


SAM: Mine's green.

MARISHA: Green, you're in green cloaks.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's great.

AABRIA: And the plum one.

LAURA: Is that stupid? Is that--

SAM: No, it's great, of course.

MARISHA: No, I love it.

SAM: Green clothes.

MARISHA: I was just honestly curious, just because I want to paint a picture.

LAURA: Green. (laughter)

SAM: Well.

AABRIA: Didn't you get-- You got an upgraded axe, too, though, yeah?


AABRIA: Yeah, you did.

SAM: How do you remember all this?

LAURA: I got an upgraded axe.

AABRIA: I have a-- I'm a DM. It's my job.

LAURA: I got an upgraded axe. I don't have it marked down.

AABRIA: It's a plus one, so it's just an increase.

LAURA: Oh, maybe it's already in part of my--

SAM: I got a magical sword of some sort.

AABRIA: Yeah, yours is also a plus one.

SAM: Jesus, this is amazing, thanks!

LAURA: How do you know these things?

AABRIA: I remember.

MICHELLE: Memory notes. I go to the corner. There's a large--

LAURA: Should I add a plus one to my--

AABRIA: Yes, to hit and damage.

SAM: Laura, don't cheat on Marisha right in front of her. (laughter)

MARISHA: No, please.

SAM: She's the DM right now.

AABRIA: I'm sorry!

MARISHA: Go! Listen, she knows more.

LAURA: Marisha, plus one to my attack and a plus one to my damage?

AABRIA: ♪ Keep it on the down low ♪

MARISHA: Great. Amazing.

SAM: Do it on a break or something. She's right there. She can see you doing it.

MARISHA: Aabria's like, "I am your god now. Don't look at Matt Mercer." And I'm like, "Aabria is still your god now. Look at her."

AABRIA: It's still my summer.

MARISHA: Yes, it is still the Summer of Aabria. Let's be real here.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: All right. Are you guys doing this on foot?

TALIESIN: I mean, do we have an option?

AABRIA: Did we upgrade and get horses?

MICHELLE: Oh, we never got horses. I think I'd remember having more animals.

AABRIA: We have a deliv-- Okay, so there was definitely a period where a minor plague swept through the Grahtwood. So we have a little delivery wagon.

MARISHA: Okay, great. How are you hauling that?

MICHELLE: With a horse?

AABRIA: It's got, like, one horse.

MICHELLE: We have one horse?

AABRIA: It's an old, bad horse.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah.

LAURA: So we load up in the wagon?

SAM: Didn't they say it was only an hour walk?

LAURA: Yeah, I think we should just walk it.


LAURA: Because it's the woods.

AABRIA: That's fair.

LAURA: Yes, right?

TALIESIN: I'm fine walking.

AABRIA: All right. I just look at the horse like, "Next time, buddy." (laughter)

MARISHA: (neighs) He's tired. He's old. He's foaming at the mouth a little. You're not sure why.

AABRIA: The birds.

MARISHA: It just happens sometimes.

MARISHA: It's the birds. Yeah, he's got a little avian flu.

MICHELLE: Well, no, it's not their fault. They're just doing bird things. They didn't know.

MARISHA: Okay, you guys head out. You guys know this town very well. You know exactly the smoothest and easiest entrance into the south side of the Grahtwood. And this is the Grahtwood where this area more or less has its namesake from. These woods are dense, overgrown, and you need to know of foot paths that only locals would really know of how to get through, how to follow. Somebody make a survival check for me.

SAM: DM, by the way, just for clarity, before we left, I got my bandolier of skulls.

MARISHA: Okay, great.

SAM: Just in case.

MICHELLE: Did you take them off of the wind chime?

SAM: Yeah. (laughter)

MARISHA: (skulls knocking) as you walk.

MICHELLE: Also to be clear, we locked the doors before we left, correct? That's very important.

AABRIA: I didn't do it.

MARISHA: You-- Hoa, you turn around to slam the door shut in the front of Grelnok's Skull Tavern. And this beautiful sign that you guys have had hand carved over these past 85 days that you're very proud of now just has this big, "Condemned by the Dominion for the public's health and safety," sign pasted right overtop of it. And it hurts a little.

MICHELLE: I do the same as last time, and I take out a quill, and I just start writing, "And we'll be just right back in a couple of days. Please remember to come back and revisit. We are not closing for good. Love, the Friends of Grenlok's Skull."

SAM: Lot of words.

TALIESIN: Really overwritten now.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's squeezed in the margins around a bunch of litigative code and fine print.

TALIESIN: That fourth grade sign that says, "Happy birthdy."

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter)

MARISHA: Absolutely.

LAURA: You wrote my name wrong. You wrote Grenlok. It's Grelnok.

SAM: Grelnok.

LAURA: It's on the sign. It's Grelnok.

MICHELLE: I cross it out, and I start all over again.

SAM: Oh no.

MICHELLE: "And we will be just right back in a few days." (laughter)

MARISHA: There's just ink splotches.

MICHELLE: I am so sorry. Oh, I am so sorry that I made that mistake.

TALIESIN: Well, it's been a day.

MARISHA: Yeah, just the anxiety.

MICHELLE: Now we're ready.


MARISHA: All right, you guys set forth into the base of the woods. And at this point in time, it's just past noon, going on one o'clock. The sun is high in the sky, and it is hot. Full, deep summer day. You can feel the sun beating onto the tops of your shoulders.

LAURA: I rolled a 19 survival check.

MARISHA: Okay, great, great. So Grelnok, you take hikes in these woods all the time.

LAURA: Obviously.

SAM: Big hiker.

MARISHA: Yes, of course.

SAM: Huge hiker.

MARISHA: You know--

LAURA: I love hikes. (laughter)

AABRIA: That's what everyone says about you.

MARISHA: You find a familiar foot path that you have traversed before. It's a little overgrown, looks like it hasn't gotten much traffic in a little bit. But you can still see the forest through the trees and can carve your way through pretty easily to start out getting to these woods.

SAM: As we walk, I'm going to walk next to Tavima and say: Tavima, I just wanted to say thank you. I'm sure you all have noticed that all of my quills fell out.

AABRIA: I didn't want to say anything.

SAM: I know you didn't want to say anything, and I appreciate that. I could see-- I have seen you look at me. I've seen you look at me and see, clearly, I look different. And I just wanted to explain. I know you have unanswered questions.

AABRIA: I have so many questions.

SAM: I'm an Argonian, as you know. We have a 50-year molt. But it's not supposed to happen for many, many more years. But I think, because of the traumatic experience that we had down in the depths, it might have prematurely molted me. This is all Elder Scrolls canon, by the way. This is all definitely true. And I appreciate you not saying anything because I've been quite self-conscious about it.

AABRIA: You look great. You look sleeker.

SAM: I know, it's just I feel like they were a shield from the outside world to me, just keeping me-- Making me feel a little bit more secure. And now I just feel a little bit more exposed and vulnerable.

AABRIA: I subtly pull the one that I keep in my hairdo out, wipe it off.

SAM: You kept one?

AABRIA: Yeah. And I give it back to you. If you want to--

SAM: Thank you. I'll just sort of tuck it behind my ear and feel the sharp tip. That's nice. I thought I had lost all of them.

MICHELLE: Oh, goodness, are we giving him back his quills? And the note I had just written, I'm like: This was part of the guest book area.

SAM: Oh, you kept one, too?

MICHELLE: I thought you knew it was there, but yes.

SAM: Oh, okay, great.


SAM: I'll tuck that one in the other ear.

AABRIA: Well, now it's symmetrical.

LAURA: That's nice, that's nice.

SAM: Thanks, thanks. I appreciate it, all of you.

LAURA: Oh, let me get--

SAM: You kept one as well? Oh, yep, that tracks. (laughter)

SAM: That tracks. I'm sorry to interrupt your hike. Let's just keep going. (laughter)

MARISHA: Who's leading this charge?

AABRIA: The one that hikes.

MARISHA: All right, all right. (laughter)

SAM: I am the one who hikes. (laughter)

MICHELLE: The greatest power of all. (laughter)

MARISHA: You hike for a bit. 30 minutes, 40, 50. And even though you know that it is broad daylight, not a cloud in the sky, it's still getting darker as the forest canopy is getting denser and denser. And still, that sticky, dewy air as the moisture from the forest floor permeates. All of you are just soaking through your clothes, drenched in sweat. And then-- Who wants to make a perception check for me?

TALIESIN: I'll do a roll.


TALIESIN: Yeah. 12.


SAM: It's something.

TALIESIN: It's a number.

SAM: It's something.

LAURA: (laughs) It's a number.

AABRIA: We're so here for double digits.

MARISHA: There's this moment, Mallory, as everyone's walking and everyone's talking and joking and kiki-ing. You can hear birds and chipmunks. They make noise, right? And the general clatter of the forest.

SAM: (squeaking)

MARISHA: And Mallory, after a certain moment, you notice... it's really quiet. Can't hear any birds. Can't hear any crickets.

TALIESIN: You hear that?

SAM: ♪ Do-do-do-do-do-do ♪


SAM: Oh, what?

LAURA: What?

TALIESIN: It's nothing.

AABRIA: Were you humming the birthday song?

SAM: I was humming the birthday song.

AABRIA: We're not at work. Power it down a little bit.

TALIESIN: I hate to go this cliché, but it's too quiet.

SAM: When you hike these woods, does it ever sound like this?

TALIESIN: I'm going to very carefully take a look around.

LAURA: Does it ever sound like this when I hike usually? Have I ever noticed this?

MARISHA: Go ahead and make a perception check as well.

AABRIA: Can I give advantage by helping?

MARISHA: Sure. You're back-to-back?


LAURA: 16?

SAM: Hey!

MARISHA: Yeah, okay. You hear what Mallory's saying, and you also take this moment to look around. And yes, it almost felt like there was this swell-- You start to now, thinking back in the past two, three minutes, there was a swell of birds chirping, and then sudden silence. And roll a survival check as well.

LAURA: Ooh! 19.



SAM: Killing it.

MARISHA: You know that this tends to be a sign that a predator is nearby. The birds went on alert, started squawking, making this loud ruckus, and now it seems like a lot of the woodland creatures are playing the stealth game.

SAM: What do we do?

MARISHA: (rustling)

SAM: Glass just broke, what is that?

MARISHA: Fuck! Where's Matt Mercer sound effects when you need them? (laughter)

LAURA: It wasn't glass?

MARISHA: It was supposed to be trees rustling.


AABRIA: I heard it.

MICHELLE: That's what trees sound like.

MARISHA: What do trees sound like?

SAM: I think someone's shooting lasers. (laughter)

AABRIA: It's a chipmunk! (laughter)

MICHELLE: Wrong game, wrong game. (laughter)

LAURA: It's trees rustling?

MARISHA: You can hear some branches. (snapping)

LAURA: Oh, shit.

MARISHA: A stick breaks.

LAURA: -- I pull my axe out.

TALIESIN: I am going to face that direction and prepare.

LAURA: Same.

MARISHA: Make a perception check.

AABRIA: Question.

TALIESIN: (laughs) No. One.

MARISHA: Mallory, as you're looking deep into the forest brush, you almost get this tunnel vision as you can just see this parallax of the forest stretching on deeper and deeper for forever, it almost seems. And you are hyper-focused staring deep into the woods in the for-sure direction you heard this from. And then, from the right of you, this lizard head pokes its head out of the bushes, right into your face.

SAM: A big lizard?

LAURA: A friendly lizard?


MARISHA: (growls) Kh-kh-kh-kh. I need everybody to roll initiative. (cheering)

AABRIA: Let's go! Oh, there we go.

MICHELLE: That was a little bad.


AABRIA: Best life.

MARISHA: All right. Did anyone roll over 20? (laughter)

AABRIA: Dirty 20.

MARISHA: Dirty 20.

MICHELLE: Ooh, dang.

AABRIA: I hate hiking.

SAM: Lizard killing time.

MARISHA: 20 to 15? 15 to 10?

SAM: 12.


MARISHA: Okay, who wants-- Who's go the higher dex?


SAM: 12. (laughter)

MARISHA: You guys can choose. You guys are going at the same time.

TALIESIN and SAM: Boulder, parchment, shears. One more time. Boulder, parchment... There we go, I'll go first.

MARISHA: Great, that's how I wrote it down. I didn't want to change it. 10 to five?


LAURA: Nine.

MARISHA: Okay, Grelnok and Hoa.

MICHELLE: Rough first one here.

MARISHA: Okay. Oh, this guy's initiative. What does he do? Ooh. (funny thinking noises) What do you add to their--? It's their dex mod, right?

SAM: Just make it up. (laughter)


MICHELLE: Make it a one.

SAM: Just fudge the roll.

MARISHA: It's fine.

SAM: That's what Matt always does. (laughter)

MARISHA: That is not true. Do not attack him. Mallory, this lizard-like, bulbous head emerges from the brush. And it peers out through as it separates leaves around it. It's got this red, scaly head that's got these gray stripes that are coursing back down the side of its body.

TALIESIN: Don't you even... Don't, nope, nope, nope.

MARISHA: Rah! And it comes after you. That's the noise that it makes. (laughter) And it's going to go for a bite attack against you.

LAURA: Ka-kaw!


MARISHA: (laughs) And that is a 13 to hit.



MICHELLE: Is that with the plus one from your cloak?

LAURA: Oh, yeah, yeah. Oh, we're wearing our cloaks? Did we-- Does it add--

AABRIA: It's not built in. You have to add it.

LAURA: Sweet.

MARISHA: You take 14 points of damage.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

SAM: That's a lot!

MARISHA: That is a lot. And do a strength saving throw for me.

AABRIA: We're in danger.

SAM: Not the cook.

LAURA: We're all going to die!


MARISHA: You are knocked prone.

SAM: Okay.


MARISHA: So the rest of you, you just hear that this forest has gone silent, and then as fast as you notice the silence, you just see Mallory full-on bum rushed by this giant dinosaur-looking lizard thing. And it's full-on got it in its mouth, and this thing is called a guar. It is on top of Mallory, sort of pinning him down, just snapping at him--

SAM: Oh no.

MARISHA: Tsh, tsh, trying to bite with its teeth. And you just see a huge chunk taken out of Mallory's shoulder from the direction he came from.

LAURA: I'm assuming we've seen or run across these before in the woods?

MARISHA: You have. These are pretty common in the woods. So you do, you are familiar with these creatures. Okay. Tavima, you are up.

AABRIA: Sweet. Okay, you are prone, but not grappled by this, right?

MARISHA: Correct.

AABRIA: Okay, so I want to run over and do my best to interpose myself between the guar and Mallory. And my bonus action, I'm going to use a stamina for Shield Wall and then peek overtop of it and cast Sunfire and go: Hiking is bullshit. And hit it with an attack.

MARISHA: Make your attack.

AABRIA: Does an 18 hit?

MARISHA: That hits.

AABRIA: Cool, cool, cool. 20 points of-- 3d8 fire damage-- Oh, yeah, sorry. Yeah, 20 points of fire damage.


SAM: That's a lot.

MARISHA: That is a lot.

AABRIA: Is there any other enemy near or around this? Is it just him?

MARISHA: That was your bonus, right?

AABRIA: That was my action.

MARISHA: That was your action.


MARISHA: Yeah, go ahead and make a perception check.

SAM: We're fighting guar. Are we fighting Scorpions, or AC/DC or--

MARISHA: There is green goo falling from the trees. What was that?


MARISHA: Ksh. Ksh-ksh-ksh, those are trees. (laughter) From the opposite side, you realize you are being flanked as another dinosaur lizard-like raptor thing comes out of the corner on the opposite side of you.

AABRIA: Okay. It's worse! I just yell that and stay here and try to body block for my boy.

MARISHA: And Mallory, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm going to stand up.


TALIESIN: Bonus action, Dark Exchange to heal. Burn the stanima.

SAM: He said it!



TALIESIN: And I regain... Seven hit points.


SAM: That's good.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's better. Now, I'm going to turn towards the one that's rushing right now, and I'm going to use the Force Shock for a 25-foot cone.


TALIESIN: So anything else that's in there is also-- That's a constitution saving throw.

MARISHA: Okay. Do you have to roll against it?

TALIESIN: It's 14, yeah. DC 14.

MARISHA: He fails.

TALIESIN: That's fine, because I rolled really terribly. That's five points of force damage.


TALIESIN: And anyone else who was in there.

MARISHA: Boof, you see as you do this, just chunks, especially after Tavima just scorched the front of its flesh, and you come back with this radiating boom of magical energy, and just where was already charred on the front of this lizard creature's, you know, front face, just chunks of flesh start sloughing off of it, and flying backwards from the force damage. He's looking very rough.

AABRIA: Heck yes.

MARISHA: And is that your turn, Mallory?


MARISHA: Slaughter Grimm.

SAM: I see my friend in trouble. So the guar that attacked him is still alive, right?

MARISHA: Barely.

SAM: Barely, okay. I'm going to draw my sword, my magical sword. Was it a flame sword, do we remember? I don't know.

AABRIA: I didn't even remember the bonus.

SAM: Let's say that it's a flame sword.



SAM: And I'm going to-- (laughter) I'm going to run at the creature. Ah, get off my cook! And I'm going to attack with my sword.

MARISHA: It starts snapping at you a little bit in your direction just out of defense. This is a cornered animal.

SAM: Okay, I'm going to just roll. Oh, that's a one.

LAURA: Oh, oh no! It begins!

MARISHA: Full as it backs up, and it just sees you coming, because you came running at it, screaming. And it just dodges as it snaps in your direction.

SAM: (yelps) Okay. (laughter) Well, I'm going to use momentum! I'm going to spend a stanima!

MARISHA: All right, it staggers a little bit, and it is almost like it's casing you, it's almost walking around you.

SAM: I get a second attack. Oh, against another creature. Well, no, I don't. (laughs) That's it!

MARISHA: (snapping) (laughter)

MARISHA: Its jaws snap around you again.

SAM: (yelps) I'm going to use the rest of my motion movement to get away, to get away. Will it get an attack of opportunity on me?


SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Because I'm feeling nice.

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: Grelnok, it's your turn.

AABRIA: Good try.


LAURA: How close am I to the creatures?

MARISHA: Okay, so I would say you're about 20 feet or so from the one that was coming after Mallory and Slaughter. But the other one is more or less flanked pretty close to you, it's about five, 10 feet away, as it is now starting to flank you.

LAURA: Okay, and Tavima is over at the one. I would get flanking advantage on the other one, right?

MARISHA: Yes, Tavima is facing off against the right side.

LAURA: All right, then I want to get behind it.


LAURA: And I'm going to-- (thinking noises) I think this-- Can I get advantage if I use my Molten Whip?

MARISHA: Yep, sounds great, sure.

MICHELLE: (laughs)

LAURA: So I'm going to use my Molten Whip to spend two magicka and send out a fiery, red hot whip that can strike an enemy up to 30 feet away.

MARISHA: That's sick.

LAURA: And I'm going to try to whip it and yank it towards me.

MARISHA: Okay, away from these guys.


MARISHA: Okay, go for it.

LAURA: All right. (laughs) What do I do? I roll.

AABRIA: You've got this.

LAURA: It's not in my brain-- hold on. It's not in my battle axe, so how do I do this? (laughter) I make a spell attack. Okay. 14.

MARISHA: That hits.


LAURA: Sweet! Okay, so if it's a large creature or smaller. Is it large or smaller?

MARISHA: It is large.

LAURA: Sweet, then it pulls 10 feet closer to me, and I do 4d6 fire damage.

AABRIA: Do I get an attack of opportunity as it leaves my threatened area?

MARISHA: Yeah, I think you would, yeah.

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: If she's ripping it away, yeah.

LAURA: 10 fire damage as it's pulled towards me.

MARISHA: So you yank on this whip, and as the flaming whip wraps around its neck, and sears into what's already been pretty heavily damaged and burned from Tavima, and then Mallory's force damage. As you yank, the whip just cauterizes, and crushes its throat. And the head comes off--

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: And not the rest of the body, and it is dead.

LAURA: Yeah!


SAM: Nice!

AABRIA: I hit the rest of it. (laughter)

MARISHA: Yeah, so you're super psyched and yeah, yeah.

AABRIA: I just like tuck my sword into my armor, and clap at you.

MARISHA: Its tail twitches--

AABRIA: That was dope.

MARISHA: -- a little as you hit its rear end.

AABRIA: Love it.

MARISHA: Yeah, and now it's dead.

LAURA: Okay, so, as my bonus action, I'm going to use Venomous Claw. I'm going to turn around and go for the other one.


LAURA: All right. And I'm going to strike out with my claws, and go, hah!

MARISHA: Okay, make an attack roll.

LAURA: This is a melee, no? Turn it melee, oh wait, it says, in melee, as well as it's treated as a melee weapon attack, okay. So that is a 21.

MARISHA: That definitely hits.

AABRIA: Let's go!


MARISHA: For sure.

SAM: Grelnok.

LAURA: Plus my strength, muddafudda!

SAM: Grel.

MARISHA: Grelnok before you enter.

SAM: Sure, sure, that's a thing.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: I was going to say, Grel say nok you out, but no.

MARISHA: Oh! ♪ Mama said knock you out. ♪

LAURA: So that's 10 poison damage to the guar.

MARISHA: All right.

AABRIA: It harder about a second after. (laughs) (laughter)

MARISHA: Excellent turn. Hoa, you are up.

MICHELLE: Is there any space between Grelnok, and the newer, still alive monster? Or are they locked in?

MARISHA: She's pretty tight against him now, due to making these claw attacks. But it is definitely distracted by Grelnok, and you know, trying to survey the scene. So you do still have an opening on its backside, if you would like.

MICHELLE: Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm. Okay, I'm going to try to set Barbed Trap.


MICHELLE: So I spend three stamina, and there is a Barbed Trap, the 15-foot line, or a five-foot radius, the 15-foot line behind it, right behind it.


MICHELLE: And if it crosses that, it has to make a DC 13 dex save throw, or take damage.


MICHELLE: So I set it, and a bunch of little sort of bugs come out of my fingers, and you see them make a little line, a straight black line behind the creature.

SAM: Cool.

MICHELLE: If someone could just tip it backwards three inches, that'd be great.

MARISHA: Perfect. (clicking) You see all of the little buggies, with their little spikies go out. All right, top of the turn. It is the new guar's turn. It is squared off against you, Grelnok, so it's going to immediately attempt to protect itself. What is that? That is not great. That is not a great. 10, 10 to hit.

LAURA: It doesn't hit me.

MARISHA: All right. Its jaws try and snap around you, you successfully block, bashes its jaw against your-- do you have a shield?

LAURA: No, just really strong forearms.

MARISHA: Okay, great, yeah, just like, ah, ah! It can't speak, but that's what it's doing in its head. That's its turn. It's going to stay in melee with you. You are currently its biggest threat. And Tavima, you are up.

AABRIA: Sweet. Is this 10 feet away from me? This one's the one on the other side, so it's a little farther away.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'd say it's like 15.

AABRIA: Perfect.

MARISHA: Yeah, 20ish.

AABRIA: Okay, bonus action, I'm going to cast Backlash. So make a DC 15 Con save.

MARISHA: All right. It saves.

AABRIA: Shoot.

MARISHA: It rolled exactly a 15.

AABRIA: Yeah. Okay, never mind. So I'm like: (groans). Anyway. And I'm going to Shield Charge it.

MICHELLE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay, cool.

AABRIA: All right, so.

MICHELLE: Push it, push it, push it.

MARISHA: Mallory, you're on deck.

AABRIA: Okay, what is it? Two stamina, oh, shield is a melee weapon. Plus five, 19 to hit.

MARISHA: That hits.

AABRIA: Cool, so 3d6. Eight plus three. 11 points of bludgeoning damage.

MARISHA: Amazing.

AABRIA: And I need a DC 13 Strength saving throw.

MICHELLE: All right.

AABRIA: Or I'm going to knock it prone. And that's a free action, so we're going to be here for a second.

MARISHA: Strength saving throw. It fails.

AABRIA: Sweet.

MARISHA: Good work.

AABRIA: So it's knocked prone, and I have advantage on attacking something while it's prone, yeah?

MARISHA: Yes, absolutely.

AABRIA: So then, with my action, I'm going to attack it with my longsword.



AABRIA: Dirty 20 to hit.


AABRIA: Sweet.

MICHELLE: I hope so.

SAM: Did it fall on whatever you were--

MICHELLE: Yeah, my trap is going to--

AABRIA: And then 10 points of piercing damage.

MARISHA: Perfect.

SAM: Girl.

MARISHA: And then it stammers back. (clicking) And it's already just looking super rough, and it falls backwards onto your Barbed Trap. Make your--

AABRIA: Ooh, let's go!

MICHELLE: One, two, three, oh, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13 damage.

MARISHA: How do you both want to do this?


AABRIA: Yeah! I'll run over and I'm less concerned about knocking it prone, so I hit it low to push it backwards instead of knocking it down, and that little extra push with my sword is just to get it back, so that it staggers back and it--

MICHELLE: And then the flies do this crazy shit where they all spit-- Where they all, they spit, and instead of saliva, fly saliva, which probably exists, it's the little barbs. So they all hook into its body, and they tear it apart, and that's the Barbed Trap.



MICHELLE: His flesh goes everywhere, flying in every direction.

SAM: And it sounds like "Ch, ch, ch."

MARISHA: Ch, ch, ch. Yeah, it's all the same sound effect, yeah. (laughter) Yeah, as the flies start to consume its body, and it's one of those things where you see the face of this guar, and then you don't, suddenly, from where all it is, is just a mass of writhing flies as they like begin to crawl inside of his mouth, and just start to instantly consume the corpse.

MICHELLE: Ooh, yay, it worked. Is everyone okay?

LAURA: Good job. That was nasty.

SAM: Are you all right?

TALIESIN: I hate hiking.

AABRIA: That's what I said.

LAURA: I like hiking.

MICHELLE: I quite like the outdoors, it's where all my friends live.

SAM: Do you need to be healed?

TALIESIN: I mean, a little. I'm all right, a little wouldn't hurt. I'm a little.

LAURA: Can you heal now?

AABRIA: Can you heal people?

TALIESIN: Do you know how to heal?

SAM: I can do a little.

TALIESIN: I'll take a little.

SAM: Unless.

MICHELLE: I can do this thing only once per short rest.

AABRIA: Well, we could take a little break.

MICHELLE: We could take a little break.

AABRIA: I feel like once you kill two giant dinosaurs in the woods--

MICHELLE: Sure, okay.

AABRIA: -- you deserve a nap.

MICHELLE: So I spend one magicka, I have an area of healing mushroom, it's a 10-foot radius. Anyone in the zone gains 1d4 hit points every turn for three rounds, or until it has restored 20 total hit points, whichever comes first. So is anyone else damaged besides Mallory?

LAURA: He'll just sit in the whole time and take the 20.

MICHELLE: So you get 20.

TALIESIN: That did it. I just rolled real well--

SAM: Wait, you get to roll?

TALIESIN: I rolled four and four, so.

SAM: Oh, great.

MICHELLE: Okay, I mean, if you sit there long enough, you'll get 20, so.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm back. That'll do it.

MICHELLE: Just so you know, it's a bunch of mushrooms, and it looks really cool, and I have mushrooms here, but I can't reach you, but.

LAURA: Oh, cute.

TALIESIN: Can I, oh. (laughter)

MICHELLE: They're hitting the light.

TALIESIN: I don't know where that last one went.

MARISHA: I don't know either! It just vanished! (laughs)

AABRIA: You are breaking my athlete heart, you got to stop.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

AABRIA: You got to stop.

LAURA: Ping, ping, ping.

TALIESIN: I'm going to grab few--

AABRIA: This is bad to see.

TALIESIN: I've got a little.

LAURA: Cameras have a crack in them. (laughter) I've got a little truffle bag, I'm going to put of these mushrooms in my truffle bag.

SAM: That's nice.

MARISHA: How long are you guys resting?

TALIESIN: Just a short rest.

SAM: Oh, we need to rest for, what, an hour or something?

MARISHA: But yeah, you said your spell, it's not an hour thing, is it?

MICHELLE: No, but for the spell to work, it's just, sitting around for three rounds, whatever that is. And then, to refresh it, I need a short rest. So I'm fine.


AABRIA: Nothing bad has ever happened to us where we should have learned to take a short rest. So we're good, we should just keep going.

LAURA: We should keep going.

SAM: Oh, without resting? I agree completely. (laughter) Let's do it.

MARISHA: Okay. You've been trekking through these woods for about an hour now. Kind of trying to do the math in your head, based on what Diven told you, and maybe 30, maybe an hour or more time. Someone make another survival check for me.

SAM: I'll do it.


SAM: I'll just reach down and grab a handful of nirn.

MARISHA: Mm. (laughter)

SAM: Just to see if I can--

MICHELLE: So much knowledge is in here. (laughter)

SAM: -- if I can sort of figure out the direction.


SAM: Natural 20. (cheering)

MICHELLE: It's all happening!

MARISHA: Incredible.

LAURA: You found your calling!

MARISHA: As the nirn sifts through your fingertips-- (laughter)

MARISHA: -- and tumbles down your forearm.

SAM: That's fresh nirn. (sniffs)

MARISHA: You smell it.


MARISHA: You look up, you look behind you. You look forward again, and you look down, and you can see little granules of moss and lichen.

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: And you know this lichen only grows under patches of sunlight, as you start to reach the outskirts of the forest.

SAM: Oh, yeah.

MARISHA: And it always, and then you look, and you see this rock, and it's got moss growing on the side of it. You know moss only grows on the north side facing rock.

SAM: I do know that.

MARISHA: You are heading in the right direction, and you probably only have about 30 or so minutes left. And with that natural 20, you are a little bit expedited in your journey.

SAM: On my six, let's do this.

AABRIA: I respond to strong commands, I'm a former soldier. I immediately fall into line.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Slaughter. That was hot.


SAM: Really?

LAURA: You can come on a hike with me anytime. (laughter)

AABRIA: I just push you because behind you, let's go!

SAM: Okay, okay. I just wanted to just bask in that for a second, but okay.

AABRIA: No, no, no, I'm second, go! Shoot your shoot.

SAM: Okay, shoot my shot, oh, like go, oh. So. Anytime you want to hike, you want to--

LAURA: Fucking walk. (laughter)

SAM: Cool, cool. Cool. Cool. Uh-huh. Once you've had a Grimm, you know--

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: You like him. (laughter)

SAM: That's what they say.

AABRIA: Oh no.


SAM: All right, I'm going to forge ahead into the forest.

MARISHA: And with embarrassment as the wind under your sails, you, with pure determination, walk forward through the rest of the forest. In about 20, 30 minutes, eventually the trees part, and you start to see this clearing where there's a little bit of a hillside that's starting to emerge, where the edge of the forest doesn't necessarily grow on the emerging hillside. And with the sunlight now peeking through more and more, you can start to feel the heat of the summer months that you are deep within. And you see Orimen Granoth's small stone cabin nestled in the base of this hillside. It's once again very quiet, very dark in this cabin. Doesn't really seem to be a lot of activity around it. You see old mining equipment strewn about the yard. And upon initial glance, no real sign of any life anywhere.

LAURA: Does it look like the shit thrown everywhere, is that placed, left behind, or does it look like it was thrown?

MARISHA: Do you want to get closer?

LAURA: Yeah!

MARISHA: Okay. Go ahead and make an investigation check.

LAURA: Yeah!

AABRIA: Investigation.

LAURA: Nine. (laughter)

MARISHA: You know, I don't know, maybe this guy is just really messy, and he leaves his stuff there. You do get closer to it, and you see that-- bend down, and look at this pickaxe, and there is rust that is starting to take over where the head of the pickaxe and the wooden handle meet, and starting to consume the rest of the pickaxe.

LAURA: Think a master mason would take better care of his tools.

SAM: Hmm.

AABRIA: Well, he's probably dead then, right?

MICHELLE: Or on vacation.

TALIESIN: Going to walk all the way around.


TALIESIN: Just taking a look.

MARISHA: As you walk forward, you can clearly see the front-facing facade of this cabin. And Mallory, as you start to do your loop, you get to the base of the mountain, and you realize that this cabin is actually built into the front of the mountain. You cannot do a full perimeter on the outside.

AABRIA: That's super cool.

TALIESIN: It's a set; it's not a real cabin. (laughter)

SAM: It's a flat?

TALIESIN: It's just a flat.

SAM: Damn.

AABRIA: You were by a mountain, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Why don't we build Grelnok's Skull into the mountain?

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Like this.

LAURA: This is sick.

SAM: We're going to move the location of our place?

AABRIA: 10 feet back from where it is.

LAURA: Why don't we just take this place? He's obviously dead. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm going to try the door.

AABRIA: We can franchise.

SAM: Just open it or knock?

TALIESIN: I mean, we're making noise. I'm going to knock, then open it. (knocking)

MARISHA: Nothing.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and open it.

MARISHA: (creaking)

MICHELLE: (gasps)

MARISHA: No problem.

TALIESIN: I've ceased to care about politeness at this point, it's been a day. I am walking in and taking a look around.

LAURA: Does it smell like old food?

MARISHA: It does, precisely. A little bit of old food, a little bit of that musty attic smell, like a sleeping bag that you haven't used in years. And it is dark inside. Especially with this cabin being built into the base of the mountain. There's not really a lot of opportunities inside of it for natural light, and those windows that are there are so coated in dust that not a lot of light pierces through.

TALIESIN: I got darkvision.


SAM: I can give us some light, if you want.

TALIESIN: No, no, no, no.

SAM: I'm eager to please.

TALIESIN: (grunts)

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Inside of the cabin has the same feel as the outside, all the signs of life are deeply dated. You look over, and there's, in the corner, a little side table, and there's this tankard that is scorched on the bottom that was clearly used as a coffee mug that whoever was here last would throw over the fire to make their morning coffee. You look in the bottom of the tankard, and there's this thick layer of muck at the bottom. Long dry, long sitting there. You look in the other opposite corner of the room, and there is a dusty bedroll, and a small, rickety, very handmade bed frame. And the mattress pad is flung and off of the side of the bed. It looks like rodents have gotten in, and stolen some of the stuffing. This place is just reeking of sheer entropy from the universe.

TALIESIN: So there's nothing moving around.

MARISHA: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Why do I even bother?

SAM: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Nine, I miss my old character. (laughter)

SAM: Do you need me to put some light in there, or--?

TALIESIN: Yeah, fine.


SAM: I'll take a skull off my bandolier.

MICHELLE: Ooh, finally.

SAM: And whisper some necromantic words to it. (gurgling) Set it on fire, and put it, and take out Rex, and put it on top and say: Buoyant, buoyant!

MARISHA: Oh, brilliant.

SAM: And so it's going to float around, lighting, casting Light.

MARISHA: That's amazing.

TALIESIN: It's pretty impressive.

MARISHA: Rex hovers throughout, and starts going deeper into this cabin. And you quickly start to realize-- It's not a big cabin. And as Rex floats deeper within, you notice that there is no wall. There are three walls. Where the fourth wall would be is completely cored out into the mountain. And there is this upward angled slope, this tunnel that is carved with leftover mining rubble and ore and debris that has fallen down this mining shaft from where whoever was living here, whoever was operating this place, decided to core into the side of the mountain from the inside of their house, making the front of it the living space, and the back side of it their own personal mining endeavor.

LAURA: Cool.

TALIESIN: Would be a hell of a bed and breakfast if he kept building this out.

MARISHA: There's a gathering of rocks that litter the floor at the base of this slope that have slowly slimmed down, and have been placed there by gravity over time. Do you go deeper?

TALIESIN: I mean. We going?

LAURA: I mean, yeah, does it-- Is there sign of a struggle? Is there blood, is there--?

MARISHA: Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Anybody looking with me?

AABRIA: I'll help.

LAURA: (laughs) Ooh, dirty 20!


MARISHA: Okay, excellent.


MARISHA: You can, seeing the state of everything, you look down. There really is no floor in this cabin. It's more or less just leveled dirt and rock and bedrock that whoever built this made whatever was here, this flat surface, their flooring. And there's a thick layer of dust over top of it. And you do see some footprints that seem newer than everything else, considering the state that this place is in. It feels a little out of place.

LAURA: Leading to the door, just shuffling around, into the--

MARISHA: They are facing towards this upward-facing slope tunnel.

LAURA: Someone was here before us.


SAM: Might I remind us, we came here to get our foundation repaired? We're not monster hunters, or detectives, or anything. We can just turn around, and go home right now if we wanted to.

LAURA: Maybe Orimen's down there, down the cave.

MICHELLE: Yeah, maybe the footsteps are his, and he's taking a little break down there.

TALIESIN: Maybe he's trapped down there because some rocks fell, and he'll give a very, very nice discount to somebody who helps.

LAURA: Maybe he'll do it for free if we save his life.

AABRIA: Maybe he's dead and all of his good stuff is inside, and we take that for the fine.


AABRIA: I'm sorry, I do not believe that-- This is disgusting. He's not alive, right? Right?

SAM: What if he's just like a--

AABRIA: Like a sad hoarder?

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: He's got a nice SCOBY growing in that cup right there.

AABRIA: Yeah, there's kombucha. (laughter)

AABRIA: I see you. Take the SCOBY!

TALIESIN: Yeah, thank you.

SAM: You should take it.

AABRIA: You should take it.

MARISHA: Honestly, that is valuable.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Give the SCOBY a sniff.

MARISHA: That's a nice little starter.

AABRIA: Any good?

SAM: It needs to be fed.

TALIESIN: It does. I mean, that's pretty popular. If we have that on tap, that could go over well.

SAM: A kombucha? An alcoholic kombucha would go over great.

TALIESIN: Booze hooch.

LAURA: Isn't that basically what the moldy tap is?

SAM: Like a little ginger cranberry kombucha.


LAURA: I mean.

AABRIA: We could put it in the moldy tap line, and then never clean it.

MARISHA: Mallory, as you--

TALIESIN: Thinking some jumbleberries really have a-- it'll bring the flavor out real well.

LAURA: I'm thinking we should put it in a thingy.

SAM: Jumbleberry hooch.

LAURA: I don't know, I don't know how you do it.

SAM: I like it.

AABRIA: This is great.

LAURA: We'll make kombucha.

TALIESIN: I'm going to put it in my canteen very, very carefully.

MARISHA: (slurping) (laughter)

MARISHA: You know when there's a thick layer of mold that sloughs in, slides out of the mug, that's what it does.

LAURA: Where it's kind of stuck to the edges?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You've got to-- but it comes out perfectly disk-shaped at the bottom.

LAURA: Yeah, a fried egg, almost.

MARISHA: Yes, yes!

TALIESIN: I'm want to be able to talk to kombucha.

AABRIA: You have to.

TALIESIN: Talk to Plants would work on kombucha, I think.

MICHELLE: Yeah, it's alive.

TALIESIN: It's a mushroom.

SAM: Is that a thing you have?

TALIESIN: No, but if I did--

SAM: Oh, damn.

MICHELLE: Maybe you'll find it, a spell in a case.

TALIESIN: Somebody at home is going, "Ah." (laughter)

TALIESIN: My animal will be a kombucha. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Don't you think if this place was made by a stonemason that this foundation's really good, Can we just take it? Is that how that works?

SAM: I don't think that's how it works.


SAM: No.

LAURA: You know, you're right, though. Now I'm realizing we should've got a cart.

SAM: Oh!

AABRIA: Thank you! (laughter)

SAM: I shouldn't have negged that, I'm so sorry.

AABRIA: It's fine, I know you guys haven't been as interested in the cart situation. It was a limited use thing, but that horse, every time I look in his eyes, it makes me cry.

LAURA: But you know he'd probably die trying to carry that stuff.

AABRIA: Probably. He would've been eaten by those big dinosaur things.

TALIESIN: It's definitely a panic purchase, let's not--

AABRIA: Yeah, I get stressed.

SAM: My skull's going to run out soon. Should we go? Should we pursue and go in?

LAURA: I also have this torch that I ripped off the wall. (laughter) I'm going to light it from the skull, yeah.

SAM: Yeah.


SAM: (whooshing)

AABRIA: I want to nudge the skull towards the front.

MARISHA: (rustling) (laughter)

MARISHA: The sound of fire. And plants, and glass.

AABRIA: Oh, I want to nudge the skull to the front of Rex, so it looks like Rex is a little animal.

MARISHA: Oh, that's great, yeah!

LAURA: That's so cute!


AABRIA: Like a little Ghost Rider.

MARISHA: He totally is a little Ghost Rider.

MICHELLE: Oh yeah.

MARISHA: He does a little dance. He kind of--

AABRIA: Oh, that's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

MARISHA: Has his own little haunted mansion show that happens. You can see the wires. (laughter)

MARISHA: All right, are you guys all moving to the base?


MARISHA: Someone make a perception check for me.

SAM: Wow, you haven't--

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MICHELLE: Yeah, I can perceive it, I've got a plus five.

LAURA: Oh yeah. Great, you should be perceiving.

AABRIA: Oh god, yes, what?

SAM: Those ears that can hear!

MICHELLE: They can hear everything that you're all thinking and saying. That is a 19! (laughter)


MARISHA: And with--

SAM: Where have you been?

LAURA: Why don't you ever do this?

MICHELLE: I was just going to say, everyone seems so eager to do it, and I just want to support, be support staff.

MARISHA: With your keen Altmer hearing, and those amazing ears, you pick up, over all of the ruckus your party is making. No, no, now it's going to sound like every other sound effect.

SAM: Chh.

MARISHA: Chh. (cracking) (bouncing) (laughter)

SAM: Something has caught on fire.

MICHELLE: Someone's playing a drum, an old drum set, like a child's drum set. (laughter)

SAM: Taiko drum.

LAURA: The bottom broke at the very end.

TALIESIN: Someone told a joke.

MICHELLE: It was sort of to the tune of "Merry Christmas," or "Happy Birthday," I'm sorry.

TALIESIN, AABRIA, and LAURA: "Merry Birthday."

SAM: So you heard something? (laughter)

MICHELLE: I mean, yeah, I heard, there's definitely movement done there, and indistinguishable sounds, so. (laughter) It's quite a mystery, but there is movement, absolutely. Or water.

MARISHA: Y'all hear it again. (clicking) (thud) And as it rolls towards you, you realize this was a rock. (laughter)


MARISHA: Falling down the slopey hillside, and tumbles towards your feet, yes.

SAM: Right, but as if something or someone moved it, because they're scrambling away from us, or heard us coming, or?

MARISHA: And with you saying that, you hear, "No!"

SAM: Oh shit.

AABRIA: You nailed it.

MARISHA: Everyone who was standing at the base of the hillside, which I think is all of you at this point, need to make a dexterity save for me, as you see giant boulders. (booming)

SAM: Ooh, hey.

MARISHA: That start rolling down the hill.

LAURA: (gasps) Natural 20!

SAM: 15.


SAM: 15 over here.






TALIESIN: You have a plus one on saves, by the way.


LAURA: We do?


MICHELLE: Then 20!


AABRIA: Thank you!

TALIESIN: Because of the cloak.

MICHELLE: The cloaks.

LAURA: Plus one to all saves?

TALIESIN: Plus one to saves and your AC.

MARISHA: While Grelnok and Slaughter Grimm, you all save, and you see these boulders tumbling, unfortunately, Tavima and Mallory, you, leading this charge, are not able to back away, and you take, you both take, hang on. Seven, mmph, that was a good roll, seven points of bludgeoning damage, and are pinned under these--


MARISHA: -- giant boulders.

TALIESIN: Oh, for god's sake.

MARISHA: And then you hear just a more, it kind of sounds like water, but it is not water. It is the rushing sound of rubble tumbling down this hill. (whooshes) As you see four humanoids start to slide down this hill towards you. I need everybody to roll for initiative!

SAM: Here we go!

MICHELLE: Oh, humanoids.

LAURA: Tight.

MARISHA: Anyone over 20? 20 to 20, 20 to 15?


SAM: 18.

AABRIA: Let's go! Brother Grimm.

MARISHA: Okay, Slaughter.

LAURA: That's awesome. That's your new name.

MICHELLE: I like that.

AABRIA: The Brother Grimm.

LAURA: Brother Grimm is fucking hot.

MARISHA: Let me also real quick--

SAM: I like it. I like it.

MARISHA: -- roll for these guys.

LAURA: It's good.

SAM: Brother Grimm.

AABRIA: Thanks!

AABRIA: I learned it from you!

MICHELLE: But we're not all siblings, right? Just in case, you know.

MARISHA: Okay. You said you were a 13.


MARISHA: 16, okay. 15 to 10.


MARISHA: Okay. Okay. 10 to five.


MARISHA: That's everybody, right?



MARISHA: Grelnok-- Grelnok. (laughter) Bringing up the rear.

LAURA: Oh wait, I lied. (laughter)

MARISHA: Okay, it doesn't change much.

AABRIA: It's hurtful, the way you put that.

MARISHA: Slaughter, you are going first. As you see four humanoid people, clearly, like, ragtag looking sellswords, but these are pretty beefy dudes. Are more or less gliding, surfing down the edge of this hill and they are coming straight towards you. (yelling) You go first.

SAM: Are they clumped together?

MARISHA: They're spread out. You see three of them are more or less leading the charge in front. And then one of them who was the one who shouted, "Now," is following up the rears.

SAM: Are any of the four within 10 feet of each other?

MARISHA: They will be shortly. Oh, within 10 feet of each other?

SAM: Yeah, like next to each other.

MARISHA: Yes, I would say the three in front.

SAM: And how far about are they from me right now?

MARISHA: At this point, I mean, they're quickly coming within range to you.

SAM: Okay. Well, whenever they get in range, even if I have to hold the action to do so, I'm going to cast a spell learned from my forefathers, Massacre and Felony, my mom and dad. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Hear that lore drop.

SAM: I'm going to spend two stanimas, and I'm going to cast Trapping Webs at them, which it's a 10-foot wide net of webbing that I hope will catch at least two of them as they run down into it. They have to make a dexterity DC saving throw or get grappled.

MARISHA: Okay. You're seeing an orsimer and then two nords that are leading the charge.

SAM: I know what those are.

MARISHA: You're just trying to use your best judgment, a DC what saving throw?

SAM: 14!

MARISHA: Strength, you said?

SAM: Dex.

MARISHA: Dex, okay, all right. Straight rolls. (uncertain noise) Mm, okay. Trying to go for the two that are coming at you directly in front of you. One of them does save for it, but you do hit the orsimer.

SAM: All right. What is an orsimer?

MARISHA: It's an orc-- It's a half-orc.

SAM: Oh, sorry. I didn't mean-- No offense. I-- I-- okay.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: So they are grappled for the rest of this turn.


SAM: And then at the beginning of my next turn, the net's going to explode.

MARISHA: Okay, amazing. So as you see these guys in there, they look really cool coming down this mountain, and then you web and snare this half-orc and he just (grunt) (falling). Just ass over tea kettle.

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: Starts rolling down the hill fully grappled.

LAURA: Nice!

AABRIA: Love it.

SAM: That's good, I could use a bonus action. Nah, no, I'm good, that's it.

MARISHA: Tavima.

AABRIA: Am I pinned next to Mallory?

MARISHA: I'd say you're about 10 feet apart.

AABRIA: Can I uns-- I want to prioritize getting the two of us unstuck.


AABRIA: So what do I do?

SAM: Yeah, I should have done that, sorry.

AABRIA: That's okay. (laughter) You stuck a new person, that's great.

MARISHA: The way that boulder hit and you brace, knowing that the impact was coming, your left leg is a little bit caught. You still have use of your upper body, but your legs down are a bit stuck. So whatever you would like to do, figure that out.

AABRIA: Yeah, I think I'm going to try to pry my shield in to give myself enough room to get free and loose and then try to spend the rest of my time getting Mallory pried out.

MARISHA: Okay, make a strength check.

AABRIA: Sweet. Was that an athletics check, you say?

MARISHA: Yeah, that works. (laughter)

MARISHA: It's strength-based.

AABRIA: It's strength-based, 21.

MARISHA: Yep. Oh, great, yeah, no problem. You (grunts) and with a topple over. You were able to use that leverage to move them.

AABRIA: I just want to push him out and away from the rubble.


AABRIA: And then if we're still stuck in that area, then I'm going to throw up bonus action Shield Wall, to brace for whatever's coming.


AABRIA: As I watch the one dude roll up, I'm like: You suck!

MARISHA: Perfect. Yeah, you're able to get yourself free. There are two different boulders, so Mallory is still a little bit caught, but you are there bracing, guarding against him.


MARISHA: And then it is their turn. So the orsimer, he is-- Oh, he has to make a strength check to get out of--

SAM: On my turn.

MARISHA: What does he have to do to break from your web?

SAM: "On your turn, they may make a DC 16 strength check to escape."

MARISHA: Okay. He succeeds with a natural 18. So you see this orc roll down the end of the hill and (grunts). He rips his shirt open and it's kind of hot.

SAM: Damn you.

MARISHA: The web is, you know, out of it. It did use his turn.

AABRIA: [Inaudible] sucks. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Has both.

MARISHA: (groans) And he's using the rest of his movement to stand up. The other two, the first one is going to go after you, and he's going to come at you with a scimitar attack.

AABRIA: Love that.

MARISHA: And he rolled a natural one.

SAM: Oh, nice.

MARISHA: So full on, just hits your shield, no effect. The second one is going to go after Grelnok.

LAURA: (groans)

MARISHA: That, I believe, hits with the 20 total.

LAURA: Ooh, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay. Ugh, and he rolled a one for damage. So you take three slashing damage. He's caught a little bit off-guard by this whole situation, distracted by his friend, so he shears your side a little bit. And then in the back, the one who's still perched, he's found this ledge, this-- What is it? Foothold, and pulls out a crossbow-- Nope, nope. He pulls out two daggers.

SAM: Yeah!

MARISHA: And he's going to go for the two casters in the back, to Hoa and Slaughter Grimm. (laughter)

MARISHA: Oh, my gosh, that is a natural one to the one for Hoa. But to the one for Grimm, that is 21 to hit.

SAM: Hits, but I will use my reaction to cast a Bone Shield on myself.

LAURA: Nice.


SAM: Shielded by the power of my bone.

MICHELLE: All right, all right.

MARISHA: What does that do?

SAM: It adds 2d6 temporary HP-- that stands for hit points-- to me.


MICHELLE: What does that look like?

MARISHA: You must play RPGs, like Elder Scrolls Online.

SAM: Elder Scrolls Online is a fine game, available for the first time everywhere. She said that at some point.

MARISHA: I don't know why it was in the-- I don't know. I read what was on the paper.

SAM: They just started selling Elder Scrolls Online. (laughter)

MARISHA: Okay, so you're taking those temporary hit points.

SAM: Which, I got 11 temporary hit points.



SAM: So bring it.

AABRIA: It does.

MARISHA: Okay, you take eight damage.

SAM: Doesn't do shit.

MARISHA: Ricochets off of your bone shield, the dagger getting wedged in.

SAM: In my bone?

MARISHA: In your bone. Mallory, you're up.


MARISHA: Hoa, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: So the layout right now, are any of these guys in a clump right now, or any of these guys standing next to each other?

MARISHA: There're the two nords who have successfully come down the mountain that are a little bit more clumped together, I'd say within 10 feet of each other.

TALIESIN: All right, I know I'm still kind of stuck here.

MARISHA: You are.

TALIESIN: But I'm going to use my action to just-- because I'm kind of okay, I got a little out of it.

MARISHA: You've got like cover from Tavima--

TALIESIN: All right, so I'm--

MARISHA: -- protecting you. You are still pinned, so you can't move.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use Lightning Splash on the two that are stuck right there.


TALIESIN: I think, how many? Yeah. We got our magicka back, right, or no?

LAURA: Yeah, we got everything back.

TALIESIN: Okay, so I'm also going to use a Power Surge with that as well.

AABRIA: Let's go.

TALIESIN: So let's hit both of them. They've got a DC 14 dexterity saving throw.

MARISHA: Okay. For the first one, he fails. For the second one, passes. So you do hit the far one.

TALIESIN: So this will be fun. Where is my-- I should have thought that through. Here we go. So that one takes-- come on. Ooh. 16 points of lightning damage.

MARISHA: Oh my god.


MARISHA: As quickly as he got there, (zapping, screaming) you see lightning pierce through him and splits open the front of his chest. And he is dead. (cheering)

MARISHA: Instantly fried. The other nord that was standing next to him goes, "Wha-- They've got magic!"

LAURA: Uh-oh.


LAURA: Who's he yelling at?

MICHELLE: Who's he talking to?

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: More where that came from.

MARISHA: Hoa, you're up. Grelnok--

SAM: Maybe he's just an expressive guy. (laughter)

MICHELLE: How far away is the enemy that's at the top of the slope still?

MARISHA: I'd say about 30 feet.

MICHELLE: Okay, well, not for much longer. I cast Swarm, so range of 60 feet on that.


MICHELLE: A bunch of fetcherflies come out of my hands. More fly magic, I guess, I don't know. And they will go up to them and they have to make a DC 14 con saving throw, please.

MARISHA: Okay. Natural one.

AABRIA: Yes! You roll like us now!

MICHELLE: Does it do double damage?

MARISHA: I do, you've poisoned me.

MICHELLE: Does it do double damage or no? Crit fail, or is that not how it works?

MARISHA: It's only critical success where you get to double your dice.

MICHELLE: Okay, well, I tried my best. So that is still 4d6. Oh my god.

MARISHA: That's still real good.

MICHELLE: Six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13 damage.

MARISHA: Amazing. Okay.

MICHELLE: They spit out fire, it's fire damage.

MARISHA: Oh, so you hear from deep, echoing in this cavern (screaming) as this guy starts to be ignited from up top.

SAM: Who are the bad guys again? (laughter)

MICHELLE: We were exploring in peace.

LAURA: These are bandits.

MARISHA: And Grelnok, you're up.

SAM: Well, we came into their house.

LAURA: I'm going to run. This is not their house. I'm going to run forward to the fellow orc.


LAURA: Who tripped down and I'm going to warm up my hands and swing my axe and try to slam him into the big boulder that Tavima's pinned under.

MARISHA: Okay, he's standing up, and he goes--

SAM: Go Grelnok, I love you!

MARISHA: "You're real pretty." All right, roll for attack.

SAM: I mean, go!

AABRIA: I'm vaguely pinned, like: (gasps) What?

SAM: I was overcome.

LAURA: 10 to hit.


LAURA: I swing and hit the rock instead.

MARISHA: "Nice."

LAURA: Cool, cool, cool, cool. I'll, bonus action, use my claw to rake him instead.

MARISHA: Amazing. So he's being cute with you and he's like, "Nice try, cutie." Try and hit, yeah, roll again.

LAURA: Come on, please. (gasps) Wow.

AABRIA: No! (laughs) Why?

LAURA: You treated me well for a second, dice, but you're out!

TALIESIN: Is this guy on the ground?

MARISHA: He stood up.


MARISHA: He broke from his grapple and stood up and has moved. So yeah, he's being a douchebag and (chuckling) "Nice try, cutie." (lips smooching)

SAM: Ugh, gross.

AABRIA: Disgusting!

SAM: How dare you?

MARISHA: (laughs)

LAURA: I going to kill him.

MARISHA: Slaughter, you're up.

SAM: Oh, okay. Lay of the land.

MARISHA: Tavima, you're on deck.

SAM: One's dead, there's an orc, that's the one you were trying to get.

LAURA: Yeah.

MICHELLE: One's on fire.

SAM: The orc, the one's on fire was 30 feet away from us and then there's another--

MARISHA: You have another nord who hasn't been touched, yes.

SAM: Okay, just a point of order, the one who escaped from my netting, my webbing.


SAM: I still believe that the webbing explodes.

MARISHA: Oh, right.

SAM: Whether they're in it or not. How far away did they get from it?

MARISHA: He just ripped it apart and then stood up. So yeah, go ahead and--

LAURA: Was he kissy facing me and it explodes on him?

MARISHA: Yeah, roll for damage.

TALIESIN: That's a Looney Tune.

AABRIA: I love it.

SAM: It explodes on you, too.

LAURA: That's fine, worth it.

SAM: Okay. So it explodes and causes 2d10 poison damage.

AABRIA: Let's go!

MARISHA: 2d10.

SAM: That's a 10.

ALL: Ooh.

SAM: And a three.

MARISHA: Ooh, so 13 damage.

LAURA: Do I have to roll to save at all?

MARISHA: No, how does it work?

SAM: It just happens.

MARISHA: So as this guy is being super gross and making kissy noises.


MARISHA: (hissing, crackling) Almost like a fuse. The web from the outside starts to dissipate and turns into this poison mist that sucks right into-- in between you guys. So yeah, take 13 points of damage. But this orsimer starts coughing and starts hacking up blood as he looks up and he looks at you.

SAM: Oh, nice.

MARISHA: Falls over, collapses dead.

AABRIA: Amazing!

SAM: Great.

LAURA: (coughing)

SAM: Sorry about that. And then for my action, I will rip my second of-- we'll say three skulls off, light it up. Come on, buddy. And I'll toss it up to the one that's already on fire. (high-pitched yell)

MICHELLE: (laughs)

SAM: See what happens. Four. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Why can't those ever hit?!

MARISHA: Just (bouncing) (thuds) And it just rolls back down to your feet. (laughter)

SAM: (exhales) (click) (laughter)

MICHELLE: Maybe try the underhand throw next time.

LAURA: Like Skee-ball?

TALIESIN: Final mini golf.

MARISHA: Yeah. Skee-ball.

TALIESIN: Final mini golf ramp and you keep hitting it and it comes right back to you.

MARISHA: Just rolls all the way back to your feet.

TALIESIN: All the way back, every time.

SAM: To be fair, it was a four plus six, so 10. Still I'm assuming misses, okay.

MARISHA: It misses.

SAM: Cool.

MARISHA: Tavima, you are up, unless you have anything else you want to do.

SAM: No, I mean, is anyone still pinned under rocks?

TALIESIN: I'm a little pinned.

MARISHA: He's still pinned, yes.

SAM: I'll go over, I can't really do anything else, but I'll just go over and be like: Ah, well, next turn, I'm coming for you! (laughter)

AABRIA: Amazing.

TALIESIN: That'll do it.

MARISHA: All right, that was your move?

SAM: Yeah.


AABRIA: Okay, so orc is down nord is down. There's one nord left?

MARISHA: One nord.

AABRIA: That snitch nord, that was like, "There's more."


LAURA: And then there's another one that's up high.

MARISHA: Up in the hill.

AABRIA: Cool. We'll take out the snitch first.


AABRIA: Backlash, pleas make a DC 15 con save.

MARISHA: I will do that. And passes.

AABRIA: Not a problem, it's all good.

MARISHA: I'm sorry, I feel bad.

AABRIA: Do not apologize.

MARISHA: Okay. I just want you to--

AABRIA: I'm going to murder him regardless.

MARISHA: Yeah, murder him.

AABRIA: Okay, then Sun Fire. I'm like: Eh? Left hand. (laughter) And we'll try the attack one, and I got a natural 20.


MARISHA: Light him up! Double dice!

LAURA: That's how you get the devils.

AABRIA: All right.

MARISHA: Hell yeah.

AABRIA: What's a d8 look like? I've never known in my life.

MICHELLE: Double pyramid.

AABRIA: Seven, 15, 16, doubled to 32. And there's no one else around. It was just one guy by himself, right?

MARISHA: Yes, how big is the effect?

AABRIA: It would hit another-- It would be another d6 of fire damage to any other enemy within a five-foot range.

MARISHA: Nah, nah.

AABRIA: That's okay.

MARISHA: All right, so 32 points of fire damage.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

AABRIA: No snitching.

MARISHA: He just goes. (shrieks) And as he starts to scream, he can't even finish it as the flame just pierces his throat and starts gorging inside of his body and just smoke and flame erupt out of his mouth and out of all of his orifices. And he is instantly dead, just a pile of ash.

AABRIA: I want to spend my full movement to sprint over to him and try to get that skull before it goes down. I'm like: Hot, hot, new skull for brother. (laughter)

MARISHA: And yeah, you do.

SAM: I'll take it!

MARISHA: It's a little charred but yeah.

AABRIA: It's still good, it's still good.

SAM: I'll just, I'll hold it with my two corn holders.

MARISHA: Oh, corn cobbers?

MICHELLE: Yes! (laughter)

SAM: Got it, thank you.

MARISHA: Okay, he is dead. And then from the top of that-- Are you done with your turn?

AABRIA: Fully done.

MARISHA: Thank you. You hear the man still at the top, and he goes, (pants) "I'm not getting paid enough for this." And he begins to slide down the hill himself as, once again. Yeah, as he slides down the hill, he takes out another dagger. Seeing what you just did, Tavima, throws it as he's sliding down the hill for his first attack. Where's a d20? (high-pitched noise) 16 to hit.

AABRIA: Misses. Blah!

LAURA: (cackles)

MARISHA: (dagger whooshing) Dagger flies wide, and he launches off of the base of the hill. And I think-- Who was sort of close? You know what? You're still pinned. So he's going to see you as an easy target. As he flies, he's going to draw a scimitar from his back and come down with like a flying stabbing.

AABRIA: Does he go past me to get to--

MARISHA: Well, you were back a little. Oh, but you did move forward.

AABRIA: I ran up to go get the skull from the fresh guy.

MARISHA: I'd say you're each within five feet of each other. You're kind of right there.

AABRIA: I just wanted to see if I could get an opportunity attack as he tries to go back to hit Mallory.

MARISHA: I'd say he's still--

AABRIA: It's okay if not.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's within, you are now within range with him, but he is also just entering your melee range.

AABRIA: Okay, okay, okay.

MARISHA: And he's going to come down with an attack. 16 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits.

MARISHA: Same thing, okay. And that is--

LAURA: Mallory!

SAM: Everyone picks on the cook.


MARISHA: Oh why, terrible roll! Seven damage.


AABRIA: Thanks, I hate it.

MARISHA: And he just three-point lands with his scimitar just right into your other shoulder that-- You already got one shoulder fucked from the bar. He goes for the other one. And then he just.

LAURA: Why do you always get squished, Mallory?

MICHELLE: It's true.

AABRIA: It does happen a lot to you.


TALIESIN: It's been a bad day. It's been very bad day.

MARISHA: He tilts his head up and he just makes eye contact with you still holding onto the base of the scimitar. And he just looks pissed.

AABRIA: You're not going to get paid enough to die here.

MARISHA: (annoyed huff) Make a persuasion check.

SAM: You're good at these.

AABRIA: (mouthed) No, I'm not. (laughter)

AABRIA: Five, that is a five. It's a five?

MARISHA: "(grunts) At least I'll die with honor."

SAM: Oh!

AABRIA: You'll be dead regardless.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's not smart.

AABRIA: Yeah. (laughs) She just smirks like, "Okay."

MARISHA: Yeah. Mallory, you're up.

TALIESIN: (unhappy sigh) I think about hitting him with a stick. (laughter) I'm like, no, I'm just going to put out my hand. Force Shock.


AABRIA: Let's go!

SAM: Force Shock.

MARISHA: Roll to attack. Or is that one I have to save for?

TALIESIN: That's a constitution save.


LAURA: Like on the ground, just a-- (grunts) (laughter)



MARISHA: So that saves.

TALIESIN: That saves. That's okay, you still take... 12, still take six force damage.



TALIESIN: And as a bonus action, I'm just going to give myself some hit points as well. So I'm going to heal.


TALIESIN: Oh, you bastard.

MARISHA: Hoa, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I heal for eight points. So yeah, I'm good.

MARISHA: Okay, Hoa, you're up.

SAM: Come on, Hoa!

MICHELLE: I don't appreciate all of this violence against my friends! And I just pull out my giant-ass ice staff and I go to hit with a melee attack.

MARISHA: All righty.

MICHELLE: And I use my bonus action to enhance it.


MICHELLE: Holy crap, that's 18, 19, 20, 21--

MARISHA: For sure hits, for sure.

MICHELLE: The damage is 1d8 plus the 1d10. Yeah, please be good. That's a three and a seven, 10 damage.



MARISHA: (impacts) He gets hit, as ice starts to crawl up his arm. That the one that he has locked into, to Mallory, starts to creep up, the one he's holding.

MICHELLE: Can I stare into his eyes and say: Chill out. (laughter)

SAM: Oh boy.

MARISHA: He just goes--

SAM: Oh boy.


MARISHA: "Really?"

MICHELLE: I mean, it's hot outside, so I'm actually doing you a favor. You're going to die.

MARISHA: "It's too hot outside. Just shut up!"

AABRIA: (laughs)

MARISHA: Okay, is that your turn, Hoa?

MICHELLE: Yeah, that's her turn.

MARISHA: Grelnok, you're up.

LAURA: (displeased noise) (laughter) I'm to go up with my axe and try to hit him.

MARISHA: Do it, you got this.

AABRIA: I believe in you.

SAM: But with flare.

MARISHA: Vindication.

LAURA: Fucking one!

MARISHA: No way! Lies!

AABRIA: Get new kids!

LAURA: (gasps) I want to try to throw him a skull. I'm trying, but I don't know if I have enough stamina. I don't. (laughter) I don't have enough. Okay, hold on. Let me see what else I can do. Nothing. I'm going to-- I'm going to, bonus action, Hardened Armor right next to him. (growls) (laughter) Just hit me. Hit me!

AABRIA: I hate this.

MARISHA: (grunts) He's acting like he's going to take it. Slaughter, you're up.

SAM: Oh, is this the only one left?


SAM: Okay, I will use my turn to-- She seems to want--

LAURA: Oh, oh wait! Was he-- Was I-- Was I flanking?

MARISHA: I would say yes, that Tavima would be on one side of him and you would've been on the other. Roll with advantage.


MARISHA: I want to see this happen.

TALIESIN: Another one.

LAURA: Oh wait, no, no, no! That was good! Wait! 12? No. (laughs)

MARISHA: No. (laughter)

MICHELLE: You were so excited.


LAURA: Hit me!

MARISHA: "Okay! (grunts)"

LAURA: Sorry I skipped you.

SAM: It's my turn?

MARISHA: It's your turn.

SAM: All right, I'm going to spend my turn saying: There's only one way to get out of this for you. That's by hitting her.

MARISHA: "Wha--"

SAM: That's it.

MARISHA: "Is this like--"

SAM: You got to hit her.

MARISHA: "Is just a fetish thing?"

SAM: Yes, she's into it!

LAURA: (yells)

MARISHA: "(yells)" Tavima, you're up. He's so confused!

AABRIA: Are we doing this? Do you need this?

SAM: She wants, she needs it.

LAURA: No, let him-- No, hit him.

AABRIA: Yeah, okay. No. No, it's all you, baby girl.

LAURA: While we just stand around and I'm screaming at him.

AABRIA: I would like to try to grapple this guy.

SAM: You don't have the guts to hit her!

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. Make-- What, that's--

AABRIA: Opposed strength checks.

MARISHA: Opposed strengths, yes? Okay.


MARISHA: Oh, natural one for him.

AABRIA: I rolled a natural two, and I can't believe that worked! (laughter)

SAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: This is the saddest thing to watch.

MARISHA: So he's just like, looking around, doesn't-- He's really confused of what to make with it.

AABRIA: I want to grab him by--

MARISHA: (confused noise)

AABRIA: I, like, whip around and grab him across his neck but behind him just to hoist him up and pull his body up and away so he's exposed and can't really deal with anything.

MARISHA: Okay, he starts clawing at your arm that's grappling him, just. (grunts)

AABRIA: And I squeeze just a little bit. I just want to hear a little pop before I stop and then just: Finish him. You got this, I believe in you.


AABRIA: And just hold.

MARISHA: It is his turn. He's going to try and break from his grapple. Which, how does he do that?

AABRIA: I think it's just another.

MARISHA: Another strength check. This is getting-- I don't know, another--

AABRIA: Here we go.

MARISHA: He rolled a three.


MARISHA: (claps) Oh my god.

TALIESIN: It's finally turning.

MARISHA: No, he's like (chokes and grunts) and you can start to see his eyes dilate a little bit where it's almost like you're putting a sleeper hold on him.

AABRIA: And I want to just whisper since we have this weird, like our heads are close to each other and go: You're going to die to a bartender.

MARISHA: "Fuck you." Mallory, you're up.

LAURA: Wait, let him hit me. Shit. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm just going to push the rock away so that I can.

MARISHA: Okay, make a strength or an athletics check. Whatever's highest.

TALIESIN: Oh great, this is just-- Hey, there's a roll! That's a 17.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah, no problem. With just a little bit-- you-- What do you have, a sword? What do you use?

TALIESIN: I have a stick.

MARISHA: You have a stick, all right, great.

SAM: What's your--

MARISHA: You wedge your stick under and you just full-on use it like a lever and just push against it and it rolls off.

TALIESIN: All right, now I'm just going to use my bonus action to key up my staff just in case we need to-- I'm just getting a nice clean.

MARISHA: Okay, you're winding up?

SAM: Golf swing.

TALIESIN: Yeah, readying my golf swing.

MARISHA: Great. Hoa.

MICHELLE: I lock eyes with Grelnok. I also believe in you.

LAURA: Oh god.

MICHELLE: And I'm also flanking.

MARISHA: Grelnok.

MICHELLE: We are here to help you grow as a person and become better friends.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: This is somehow much lamer than I thought it would be. (laughter)

MARISHA: Grelnok, it's your turn.

LAURA: What if I miss him?

TALIESIN: This is going to be great.

LAURA: I get advantage because--

MARISHA: You are flanking and he is grappled.

LAURA: Dear--

TALIESIN: (laughs)

AABRIA: Like double advantage.

TALIESIN: Snake eyes.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

SAM: Okay, okay.

LAURA: So 20 to hit, that's 20 to hit.

MARISHA: It definitely hits.

LAURA: Okay. Who's rolled more than a one? Here we go. Oh god! (tongue waggling) That's 16 points of slashing damage.


MARISHA: Grelnok, how do you want to do this?


MICHELLE: Finally.

MARISHA: Like whacking a piñata.

LAURA: Swing the axe really pathetically because I'm surrounded by everyone.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's close quarters.

LAURA: Bunt the axe into his stomach as a single tear falls down out of my eye.

MARISHA: The back end of your handle of your axe hits the boulder that was just on Mallory. And it prevents you from getting a full swing, but it's just enough. You hit him just right in this exposed spleen shots right there to just lands right under his rib cage. And already having a hard time being grappled by Tavima he just, (grunts) and just, the light just goes out in his eyes and he goes limp.

LAURA: Thanks, guys.

SAM: (overenthusiastically) Oh, that was crazy! So good!

AABRIA: I'm proud of you!

SAM: Oh, you did it!



SAM: Yeah! It was so-- Wha! Ah!


AABRIA: You just got to get the blade wet a little bit, and then it picks up.

LAURA: I'm going to leave the blood on the axe this time, I'm not going to clean it.

SAM: So much blood!


SAM: So good!

LAURA: Do you want this? Do you want this skull?


MICHELLE: Ooh, a twist off.

AABRIA: Did you just snap off his skull?!

SAM: It's attached to the rest of its body.

LAURA: I just twisted it off.

SAM: Oh wow!

AABRIA: That was genuinely cool.

SAM: That's amazing, yes, I'll take it, I guess I should, I mean, it's a whole--

TALIESIN: -- which direction to close it. I didn't know you could open it.

MARISHA: Yeah. Lefty loosey.

SAM: I'm going to start shucking it, I guess. I just need the skull, I don't need the hair or the skin or anything.

TALIESIN: Oh boy, we're going there.

MARISHA: With your all's questionable victory, we're going to take a break. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I want to rifle through some pockets.

MARISHA: We will be back very shortly to rifle through some pockets. See you soon.

SAM: Woo hoo!


(suspenseful music) (flames whooshing)

NARRATOR: Long ago, in the Second Era, there were those who would sacrifice humanity's future for power in the present. (explosion booming) (suspenseful music) When the Longhouse Emperors came to power, they made bargains with the daedric princes to maintain their grip on Tamriel. As their power solidified, Imperial influence began to sway Emperor Durcorach the Black Drake. He believed that only devotion to Mehrunes Dagon could maintain his family's legacy. (dramatic music) As a result, he struck a bargain with the daedric prince to cement his family's rule for generations to come. And with that bargain came the creation of the four ambitions. (dramatic music) It was the Black Drake's son, Moricar, who forged the ambitions, once again calling upon the prince of destruction to create these daedric weapons. The weapons were passed down to Moricar's son, Leovic. But before Leovic was slain, he hid the ambitions across Tamriel, and they were lost for all time, reduced only to whispers... Rumors... Secrets in the dark. Until now. (dramatic music) But you are not the only one who hopes to find them. There are those who would seek the four ambitions for themselves, to harness the power of Oblivion for their own ends. But you must stop them. You must succeed.

LAURA: Hey Critters, Laura Bailey here. Let's see what's up in the Critical Role shops. Ooh, look at this. Look at the details, ooh! I mean, the Traveler always says impulse purchases on a good decision. Roll an investigation if you want. It's basically perfect. I mean, seriously, look at this thing. So click on over to the Critical Roll shops. Don't worry, there's a few more minutes in the break. You've still got time.

Part II[]

MARISHA: Welcome back. You all are still inside the stone cabin. Four corpses at your feet. What do you do?

LAURA: Loot the bodies!

MARISHA: All right.


SAM: I'm going to not loot the body, I'm going to go around the area to see if there's any things in drawers or, you know?



LAURA: And also listen, because he was definitely yelling to somebody.

SAM: Oh yeah.

MARISHA: Okay. You're looting, so investigation check, investigation check.

MICHELLE: I want to use my Expert Hunter ability to, I can sense any living creature within a 120-foot cone, just in case.

MARISHA: Do you have to roll for that, or is that?

MICHELLE: It just says, I just do it.

MARISHA: Cool, yeah.

MICHELLE: Sounds like I automatically do it.

MARISHA: Works for me.


MARISHA: What do you got, Grelnok?

LAURA: 14.



SAM: 15 to investigate.

AABRIA: Can I loot? I wanted to loot.

MARISHA: Sure, yeah.

AABRIA: Ooh. 17.

SAM: Wow, we all did great.

MARISHA: Great, great. The three of you, as you are looting through the bodies, you find a handful of gold on some of the what were definitely more of the followers. The one who was the team leader, Mallory, you start rooting in his pockets, and you find a pouch filled with what appears to be 500 gold.

SAM: Ooh, we're done!

AABRIA: Let's go!

SAM: We're done.

TALIESIN: You don't know I found it.

LAURA: 500 gold?

SAM: You're right.

TALIESIN: I'm kidding, of course.

MARISHA: And wrapped around the pouch is a piece of parchment.

SAM: (gasps) An elder scroll? (laughter)

MICHELLE: We beat the game!

MARISHA: Not one of those.


SAM: Is that a thing that?

MICHELLE: It's a regular--

TALIESIN: It's a younger scroll.

LAURA: It's a baby scroll.

AABRIA: It's a middle-aged scroll with nothing wrong with it.


MICHELLE: Adolescent scroll.

MARISHA: Yeah, you find a letter.

TALIESIN: All right, let's take a look. I'm going to unroll it.

MARISHA: It says--

SAM: Old.

MARISHA: "Here is the agreed upon upfront payment. Remember, there is more where this came from upon confirmation of total dispatchment."

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: And that's all it says. No signature.

LAURA: Dispatchment of us?

SAM: Dispatchment of Orimen Granoth?


LAURA: I wonder.

TALIESIN: I feel like this is not about us.

LAURA: Well, I don't know, we got sent here specifically by that fucker, maybe he sent, I forgot what voice I was doing. And now I remember! (laughter)

TALIESIN: Welcome back.

LAURA: Maybe he hired people in those two hours to come and kill us.

SAM: You think my (pathetic groan) You think Devon, Devin--

LAURA: Dev, Davin, Devin, Devynne.

SAM: Hired someone to kill us? To what end? Why?


LAURA: Maybe he wants the bar.

AABRIA: Why wouldn't he be-- if he hired the soldiers that were in there?

SAM: It is a great bar.

LAURA: It's a great bah!

SAM: It is a great bah!

MICHELLE: I thought it was actually quite decrepit, and that was the whole reason we're out here, because it's falling apart.

SAM: But it's got good bones.

LAURA: We know.

AABRIA: It doesn't, the bones are crumbling.

LAURA: It has a really good location.

SAM: You're right, it doesn't have good bones, it has character!

AABRIA: It has osteoporosis, and that's why we're here.

MICHELLE: And the secret chamber in the back that we don't really ever talk about, but yeah.

LAURA: Maybe they were here for Orimen.

MARISHA: Slaughter, you find--

SAM: Oh yes, I'm going around the other--

MARISHA: Yeah, as you pull open a drawer, and you find an old ledger, that's got orders and business papers, very detailed contracts, things that clearly these were, you know, business transactions, and they--

SAM: About stone masonry?

MARISHA: Yes, all about stone masonry. All labeled to Orimen Granoth, but it appears to be about seven years old.

SAM: Oh.

MARISHA: Nothing new.

SAM: I found an elder ledger. (laughter) But it runs out seven years ago. I'll rifle around, and just look for any signs of anything newer than seven years ago.

MARISHA: You find a little bit of trash, some old broken bottles from maybe some squatters that have found this place, but have since moved on. Some old satchels that are crumpled up in the corner, but far long empty. This seems pretty ransacked aside from a few faded papers with charcoal scratchings across them.

SAM: Elder papers?


LAURA: Seven years!

SAM: Devon, Devin must have definitely known that this guy wasn't here anymore.

LAURA: Right?

MICHELLE: Maybe he sent us the-- Well, how could he have known those marauders were up hiding in this cavern, though, the whole time?

LAURA: He sent them.

MICHELLE: Unless they could've-- Do you think they raced us here from the bar?


SAM: He could've paid them yesterday, or a week ago, and said, "I'm going to be sending these folks your way, lay in wait for them."


LAURA: Maybe Divin-- What the fuck is his name?

MARISHA: I don't know. What did Matt say it was? Devon, Divin?

SAM: Davon?


SAM: Divin?

LAURA: Divin? It's maybe Divin.

MARISHA: Divin, it's got an accent, it's Devin.

LAURA: -- doesn't sound right. Maybe he was one of the cultists. And he's getting even with us.

SAM: The cultists that we discovered in our last adventure?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, forever ago.

AABRIA: Yeah, we're still wearing their jackets.

SAM: I know, they're all green now.

MICHELLE: All green.

TALIESIN: Why don't we--

LAURA: Why don't we just go deeper into the cavern, and then we'll find out more?

TALIESIN: I'm okay with that if everybody else is--

SAM: We have enough to pay our fee, but there is a deeper mystery here.

LAURA: We have to find out what happened to Orimen.

AABRIA: We don't, we could find another, I mean--

LAURA: We have to!

AABRIA: Okay, okay. Sorry, refresh my memory. Did-- Everything's old and dusty, but did it look like--

SAM: Elder. (laughter)

AABRIA: It is an elder cabin.


AABRIA: But were there signs of an elder struggle that maybe Orimen perished in?

MARISHA: No signs of struggle, no. The most recent thing that you found was when Grelnok found those footprints that upon closer inspection, do match the boots of these sellswords, yeah.

AABRIA: So do we think Orimen was here, maybe looking for something, and then vanished when he found whatever it was?

LAURA: Maybe he fell into a hole.

AABRIA: Yeah, probably.

MICHELLE: Well, I mean, with the evidence of the big cavern behind us, perhaps he did discover something, and went in to find it, and never came out.

AABRIA: I'm going to run back outside really quick, just to go grab that pickaxe.


AABRIA: This feels like a stone adventure, and maybe this will help.


LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Why not?



MARISHA: You grab the pickaxe.


MICHELLE: Do I sense any living beings or creatures within 120 feet?

MARISHA: Your vision extends. You can hear birds, little chipmunks in the nearby forest edge. No humanoids.

LAURA: (chirping) (laughter)

TALIESIN: (shushes)

MARISHA: Yeah, that's the sound of chipmunks.

TALIESIN: Yep. (shushing)

MICHELLE: Really relaxed chipmunks here, but nothing else that I can sense.

MARISHA: ASMR chipmunks. (laughter) But no, no signs of life. Seems that this place is pretty remote. You have to know that this cabin is here, it seems.

MICHELLE: Cavern seem safe to me, I can't hear anything bad for now.

LAURA: Let's try.

TALIESIN: Yeah, let's give it a try.

MARISHA: Okay. Everyone give me, unless there's any other way you want to try, and get up this slope, give me an acrobatics check.

MICHELLE: Oh. (laughs) And this is how we die.

LAURA: We do have a rope. We do have Mallory's rope.

TALIESIN: I do have a rope.

LAURA: So if one of us can get up, that's more dart-y than the rest.

SAM: Acrobatics?

LAURA: Is anybody dart-y?

MARISHA: Acrobatics.

SAM: I'm feeling pretty good.

TALIESIN: All right, here, have a rope.

LAURA: I'm not particularly dart-y, oof.

TALIESIN: I mean, I'm doing fine by myself, so that's.

MARISHA: What do you got, Slaughter?

SAM: 17.


TALIESIN: Natural 20.


AABRIA: Dirty 20.

MARISHA: Dirty 20.

LAURA: Oh, uh, mm. A seven.

MARISHA: All right.



MARISHA: So, Hoa and Grelnok, you're like, "Let's do this," and you start trying to make your way up the slope. And then your foot just falls out from under you, as rock, and rubble, and these tiny micro-pebbles start to just erode out from under, yes, around your feet. And you just slowly keep-- It's a war of attrition, you take one step forward and two steps back. The three of you, however, especially Mallory, you can look and you can see these outcroppings of little rock that are protruding out of the stone, and you can boof, boof, boof.

TALIESIN: Like skiing up hills.


MARISHA: Yeah, you bounce back and forth, and you do manage to make progress with the two of you following closely behind. Sometimes some rubble and rock kicks out from under you, it unfortunately comes tumbling right back down into your all's eyes and face, and you have to dodge some kicked out rocks.

TALIESIN: I'm going to toss down the rope.

MICHELLE: Oh, excellent, thank you, rope, rope, rope. Grelnok, rope.

LAURA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. I'll go behind you, so if you fall, I can catch you.

LAURA: Oh, okay, you're saving me, excellent, nice thinking.

MARISHA: You have darkvision, right?


MARISHA: You look up further into this tunnel, and it is just pure darkness just falling off to black. Do you keep going?

TALIESIN: I mean, yeah. I mean, how many of us are together at this point?

SAM: The three of us up with you.

MARISHA: You're a little bit higher. The two of them are maybe five feet below you as you're all, the three of you are perched, wedged up in the back of this tunnel.

TALIESIN: I'll wait for everybody, but--


TALIESIN: Keeping an eye out, keeping an ear open.

MARISHA: You toss out the rope. You all are able to, much easier, yeah, no checks needed.

MICHELLE: Okay, I was wondering.

MARISHA: Just scale the wall.

TALIESIN: You have to mime.

MARISHA: Give me another acrobatics check.


MARISHA: You start trying to look. The shadows are so dark, it's a little bit harder to find little grab holes, and purchase. You go two little pounces up, and you start realizing that the ceiling of this cavern is starting to come to this pincer point. It's starting to come down on you, and it's definitely still dark, you can't see much further, but the slope is starting to close.

LAURA: I'm going to take out the torch, and chuck it forward for Mallory to catch. Are we that badass? (laughter)

MARISHA: Roll an acrobatics check.

SAM: No-look catch.

MARISHA: Yeah, roll for catch.


MARISHA: Okay, yeah.

LAURA: We are that badass!

MARISHA: Psh, you grab it. (laughter) That's the sound of catching something.


MICHELLE: Little explosion.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah, a little cherry bomb erupts in your hand.

TALIESIN: Moving the shadows around, taking a look.

MARISHA: So you move the shadows around, this comes to a close. It does not go any further. You do see, as you look, and the lights starts glistening. You can see what looks like very small remnants of silver ore veins that are crackling up through the roof and the ground of this cavern. But you can tell that it looks like whatever anyone was trying to get out of this, they felt like they reached a point where it wasn't worth their effort much more.

SAM: Down below, before we hiked up this slope, were there any other caverns that delved deeper into the darkness?

MARISHA: No, not really.

TALIESIN: I'm going to-- Do I feel any air movement in here at all?


AABRIA: Look at the torch. Does the flame flicker?

TALIESIN: Flame doing anything weird?

MARISHA: Over by Tavima's breath, and as you exhale, you see a little bit of it flicker. You hold your breath for a minute. Nothing.

LAURA: Well, shit.

TALIESIN: Head down a little further, see if there's any air movement in here at all.

MARISHA: Okay. Roll, give me one more check.


TALIESIN: Athletics?

MARISHA: Athletics or acrobatics.

TALIESIN: Finally a to-- Well, hey, that could've been worse. 10.

MARISHA: Okay. You crouch down, the ceiling getting closer and closer to you.

TALIESIN: Oh, I was trying to go back down.

MARISHA: Oh, you were trying to go back down. Yeah, you slide down.

TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: You're fine.

TALIESIN: Just seeing if there's any--

MARISHA: Oh, around the edges?


MARISHA: It looks like there might've been a few little concave, maybe what once was the start of a tunnel that was never pursued.


MARISHA: Pretty empty and clear.

LAURA: Are there any rugs in his cabin?



MARISHA: You don't see any rugs, no, just the bare, exposed dirt floor. If there was once a rug, it is long gone.

MICHELLE: Can I do an arcana check for magic things?


MICHELLE: Words, maybe? ♪ Ba ba ba ba ba ♪ That's 14.

MARISHA: You do a pretty extensive arcana check. The only thing that you are sensing is the magical items, and your cloaks that you were wearing.

SAM: (tongue clicking)

TALIESIN: Two thoughts.


TALIESIN: Hmm, I'm going to pull out that letter that we were looking at that last time.


TALIESIN: Does the handwriting match the handwriting on the notice on the door?

MARISHA: What would this be? Well, the writing on the door was a more official ledger, but you have gotten plenty of, you know, you've peeked over Diven's shoulder. Roll a-- I don't know what this should be. History check? Roll for memory. (laughter) Roll a history check.

SAM: Speaking of Diven's handwriting, earlier, when you were playing Diven, you held up your post-it, and it was just a bunch of squiggles. It was real cute.

MARISHA: Yeah, it was definitely a bunch of squiggles, yeah. (laughter)

SAM: [Inaudible] writing anything.

TALIESIN: He's a doctor, by god!

MARISHA: I just wanted the noise of pencil on the paper.



AABRIA: Let's go.

MARISHA: There does seem to be a similarity. (surprised noises)

SAM: The serifs, the curls, the way that the I's are dotted with hearts! (laughter)

LAURA: It was him!

MICHELLE: And I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

LAURA: We gave him pie!

SAM: Just a little.

AABRIA: Just a tiny bit of pie.

TALIESIN: Only thing I can think to do other than this is--

SAM: Go kill Diven?

TALIESIN: Well, that too, but where were those mercenaries hiding? I feel like they were-- where were they hiding?

SAM: They were tucked up here in this alcove.

MARISHA: Yeah, it was just, it's so dark in here, they crawled their way up here, and they camped for a bit. You can actually, you can see where it looks like some cans were opened, and a little bit of soot residue is tossed aside, where it looks like they were maybe hanging out here for a little bit. A little bit of a urine smell in the corner.

SAM: Mm.


SAM: I'm going to go really investigate that. (laughter)

MARISHA: Yeah. I mean, it smells like piss, yeah.

SAM: It's piss.

TALIESIN: Practically a compliment.

LAURA: What, what-- Why the fuck would he want to kill us? Why the fuck would he think that four marauders are going to take us down?

AABRIA: Thank you.

MICHELLE: Maybe he--

SAM: We're just restaurateurs, he doesn't know any that--

MICHELLE: Well, maybe he wanted something in our restaurant, like one of our magical items, or maybe that big cultist lair we found behind the shed.

AABRIA: Oh no.

SAM: Or the restaurant itself?

MICHELLE: Uh, maybe?

SAM: It's a cash cow.



AABRIA: That seems generous.

TALIESIN: I mean, we're breaking even, let's be honest.

MICHELLE: I think it's a labor of love.

SAM: I agree! We get paid in friendship--

LAURA: (laughs)


SAM: Community, and family.

MICHELLE: And sometimes tips, but not all the time, apparently.

TALIESIN: It's a labor of like, really, more, but it's fair.

LAURA: Shall we go back and kill him, then?

AABRIA: Yeah, we should go back quickly.

TALIESIN: Interrogate, then kill.

LAURA: All right.

MICHELLE: We should scurry, I can imagine, if he thought we were going to leave and then die here, he probably moved right in already.

SAM: How will we find him? If he doesn't actually work for the, for the Valenwood authorities, then how will we, he might be gone. He might've gotten whatever he wanted from our place, and vanished.

LAURA: We run back.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: Run through the woods.

AABRIA: I would like to mind meld with my old horse. (laughter)

SAM: Oh, can you see through like Beastmaster?

AABRIA: I can warg into the horse.

MICHELLE: If you can do that, I can do that with my birds, too.

MARISHA: Wait, can you do this? Is that a real thing you--? Oh.

AABRIA: That would be amazing, no.

MICHELLE: We're just asking.

MARISHA: I was like, this is going to be dope if you can.

SAM: You can.

MARISHA: Let me check the Nest cam real quick. Yeah.


MARISHA: Yeah, it's called a Neigh Cam.

AABRIA: The Neigh Cam.

MICHELLE: Birds have a Nest.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MICHELLE: Nobody else? Nope!


AABRIA: Did we bring some birds back?

MICHELLE: No, I can't. (laughs) I can also do not have this ability.

TALIESIN: Let's be quiet when we approach the restaurant, maybe, and just see what's up. Maybe we'll catch him in the act.


SAM: It must be getting late now, right? And it took us a few hours to get up here. We left around one or noon or something, right?

MARISHA: Yes, by the time you got here, it was around 2:00, 2:30, and you've been here for a little bit.

SAM: Yep, get home before dark.

LAURA: Yeah.

MICHELLE: It's summer, it stays light out till like eight o'clock, we'll be fine.

MARISHA: She's not entirely wrong, she's not wrong. With this newfound discovery and new impetus behind you, you, following the path that you came across, already knowing what's out there, and what's in there, in the forest, make haste. Let me just get a general survival check from everybody, as you move swiftly, but stealthily through the wood. Uh-oh. Six, okay.

LAURA: 18.





SAM: 22 to bring us home.

SAM: Whoa!


LAURA: Me and you got this.

MICHELLE: Can you share? (laughs)

SAM: I like a good hike.

LAURA: (laughs)

AABRIA: And definitely, we're falling back, because I am, I got to help my brother out, and just, stay back!


AABRIA: We're tripping in the darkness while I give them a little clearance.

MARISHA: Yeah, and as you start to go into the forest, and there is that point where the sun is starting to drop below the treeline, and it does get even darker, even within the forest canopy. So it is a little bit harder to see, and stay oriented to where you're going. So it does take you a little bit longer as it is starting to get darker. Also, as you hear movement in the forest, there are moments where you pause, wait, I'd say it takes you about two, two and a half hours to get back home at this rate through the forest. You emerge on the opposite side, and start making your way to the tavern. As you keep moving, the sun cresting below the horizon, it is getting darker, but not cooler. The heat and the moisture in the air is just holding that summer air. You're now sticky and sweaty from moving through this forest. Still warm, you can feel your lungs trying to pump a little bit harder, as you are a little bit worn out, and tired from moving through this journey, but--

SAM: Ordinarily, my quills help cool me. But because of the molting that is canonically associated with my character type.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: They fell out. (laughter)

MARISHA: You rush back to the tavern. As you return, the tavern, getting larger in your sights, posted out front on either side of the Grelnok's Skull Tavern, you see two humanoids in red cloaks--

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: -- flanking the front door.

LAURA: He was, he was!

MARISHA: Both of them standing erect and at attention, one holding a flame in his right hand, the other in his left, flanked on either side of the door.

SAM: Flame is coming out of their hand, just magically?

MARISHA: Just holding a little-- a little pocket of fire.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Just controlling.

LAURA: Do they have red above their heads, do we know if they're bad guys?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They've got a health bar. Yeah, if you have the patch, uh-huh. They're standing there and you can just see their heads scanning the horizon, standing guard.

SAM: What's up?

LAURA: Should we go stealthy?

MICHELLE: I think we should--

LAURA: Or should we?

AABRIA: Before we go in, I want to use my Rune Focus ability to give myself some hit points back. And the next attack on me will have disadvantage.


SAM: What's our play here?

MICHELLE: I could set a trap, so that when they cross to come over here, they'll get hit with the bugs that with the teeth.

LAURA: Oh, that's nice.

SAM: But we'd have to lure them over.

LAURA: What if I call them?

SAM and MICHELLE: Mm-hmm?

SAM: Might they not leave their post?

LAURA: I mean.

MICHELLE: If anyone's excellent in mimicry, we could perhaps try to pretend to be Diven, and call them over.

AABRIA: What if we--?

MICHELLE: Not me, though. (laughs)

SAM: I mean, your accent is closest. (laughter)

LAURA: It's pretty close. I could try.

TALIESIN: (snorts)

LAURA: I could certainly try.

SAM: You've got that nice baritone that Diven had.

LAURA: Yeah, that Devin, Dev--

SAM: Devon had.

AABRIA: "Devon."

SAM: You won't have-- If you're mimicking him, you won't have to say your own name, probably.

LAURA: That's true.

SAM: You wouldn't say, hey--

LAURA: It's me.

MICHELLE: It's me.

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: It's me? (laughter)


LAURA: Set the trap.

MICHELLE: Okay, okay. I scoot out a little bit forward, and set the Barbed Trap down.

SAM: Should any of us-- I'm just throwing this out there. Should any of us go around the back to have a second entry point, or?

AABRIA: I like that.

SAM: Or?


SAM: To see if in the-- Do we have windows back there?

LAURA: Maybe we should just go back, and we shouldn't even bother these guys in the front.

SAM: I don't know.

AABRIA: Well, if they're guards, they will alert if they hear or see anything. So if you can, if we can kill them quickly, sorry, I'm very into just the murder part of this now. I am done negotiating.

LAURA: Just get them away from the door, kill them quietly, super quietly. We have to do it quietly.

AABRIA: That's the part.

LAURA: That's dangerous, yeah. We could do it.

SAM: So you're going to shout something like, "Hey, come over here, gents."

LAURA: Hey gents, you want to talk to me? It's Diven. (laughs)

TALIESIN: Don't say your own name, that's weird.

MICHELLE: We should just throw a rock.

SAM: Should someone else say it? Should one of us be like, "Oh no, more taxes to pay? Diven, you're the worst!"

LAURA: Oh, but Diven's obviously a cultist!

SAM: Oh, you're right.

LAURA: He doesn't do taxes!

AABRIA: Okay, let's just sneak around the back.

LAURA: Okay, let's just--

SAM: Wait, we're abandoning this altogether?

TALIESIN: We're putting it aside, we may come back to it.

MICHELLE: Okay, trap's out though, I did spend a stamina on that.

SAM: Oh, you did!

MICHELLE: No, no, that's fine, they'll come out, someone will come near this thing.

SAM: Well, what if it's just Marty from down the street? (laughter)

MICHELLE: I can probably deactivate it.

MARISHA: Oh, poor Marty.

LAURA: No, no, leave it, leave it, it'll be funny.

MICHELLE: I leave it?

MARISHA: Okay, and just for clarity, you placed it on the street in front of across the-- Where did you place this?


SAM: Near the toy store. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Well, where are we all standing, looking at those guards? In a bush, probably.

MARISHA: Yeah, so, your all's tavern is on the north side of town, where it does start to encroach into where the edge of the wood is. So it's not like the busiest thoroughfare, but there are other businesses across the street from you.

MICHELLE: Okay, you know what I do? Leave it. I go back a little. I take the quill back from your ear.

SAM: Slaughter.

MICHELLE: And I-- Slaughter-- and I make another note, I just put it, you know, so they can't see it, it just says, "Hey, don't, just-- Not open right now, don't go this way, okay? Heart," and I just put it right.

MARISHA: In front of this alley that you guys are lurked in, okay.

MICHELLE: So they can't see from their side, but from the other side, you'd be like, "Oh, I shouldn't go in here."

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: I feel like I would obey a lot more traffic laws, if that were. (laughter)

MICHELLE: I am just okay with writing notes.

MARISHA: Give me, Hoa, give me a-- Give me a performance check, I guess, just to see if people could even read this sign in the darkness.

MICHELLE: Oh, no, my handwriting is amazing.

MARISHA: It's more like, you know.

MICHELLE: 15 plus two, 17.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah, so, doing the best that you can, you take a scrap paper and scribble, watch your step. You fold it and crease it to make it seem like a safety cone in around it.

MICHELLE: I'll place one of my fletcherflies right on top.

MARISHA: Oh, okay, yeah.

MICHELLE: Stay here, little buddy.

MARISHA: We'll see. I guess. Hopefully someone sees it. And is paying attention.

MICHELLE: I feel like this is--

LAURA: I think it's a good idea.

MICHELLE: Due diligence.


SAM: Nothing wrong with setting random traps.

MICHELLE: We have to really remember that's here, though, okay, when we're done with this.

LAURA: Oh, right, right, right.

TALIESIN: This may pay off later.

SAM: Yeah!

MICHELLE: Yeah, probably.

SAM: Unexpected way.

TALIESIN: In an interesting way.

SAM: Yeah.

MICHELLE: Hopefully. Let's go to the back, then, I guess.

MARISHA: Okay, are you guys all traveling together?


SAM, LAURA, and AABRIA: Stealthily.

MARISHA: Okay, stealth checks from everybody.

LAURA: Oh no.

SAM: Here we go, here we go.

AABRIA: It's going to be fine, it's going to be great.

SAM: Yep.


MICHELLE: (gasps) Nat 20!

LAURA: Oh, that's great, that'll balance whatever I get, yeah. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Does it balance?

LAURA: It's not a one.


LAURA: Seven.





SAM: Nine.

MICHELLE: We can't be like this any more!

TALIESIN: We're terrible at everything!

MICHELLE: This was after we leveled up.

LAURA: Oh, you should just [inaudible] a bar.

TALIESIN: No wonder we opened a restaurant, we're terrible at this!

SAM: We're not good at things.

MARISHA: As you all decide to case the perimeter as a group. (laughter)

SAM: (heavy footsteps)

MARISHA: You hit a few puddles, there was a recent summer rain. You try, you think you're keeping a wide berth. You make your way around to the backside of--

LAURA: ♪ Makin' my way! ♪

MARISHA: ♪ Making your way ♪ to the backside of the tavern, where you see two more cultists stationed in the back, two more figures in red cloaks, and another one stationed in front of the cavern.

LAURA: The shed.

MARISHA: The shed, that is chained off across.

LAURA: Are they within, like, visual?

SAM: Of each other?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yes, the three of them around back can all see each other.

SAM: Is the horse alive?

MARISHA: The horse is barely hanging on. It is hot, and--

SAM: But not because of anything they did to it?

MARISHA: No, no, he's just old as fuck, and you guys haven't refilled his water trough in three days.

LAURA: No, that's not true.

MICHELLE: Did we do that?

LAURA: That's not true. Grelnok would definitely take care of the animals.

AABRIA: I'm very forgetful. I may have forgotten.

SAM: It hasn't eaten.

TALIESIN: I keep emptying his water trough.

AABRIA: It's so humid, I figured it's not as important.

MARISHA: It's evaporated a little.

AABRIA: You can just breathe and you get the water in you?

SAM: No, it's true, horses get most of their water content from just the air.

MARISHA: They've got gills.

SAM: From osmosis.


MICHELLE: Horse facts, thank you.

TALIESIN: Reverse sweating.

MARISHA: As you move around to the back side of this tavern-- (laughs)

TALIESIN: Thank you. That's all I wanted.

LAURA: (slurping)

MARISHA: Poor Slaughter and Hoa, just not really seeing these puddles, splash. And one of the cultists goes, "Who goes there? Psst, hey. Eyes to the left."

MICHELLE: I yell: It's me. (clears throat) Hold on. (deeper voice) It's me, Devin. (laughter)

MARISHA: Roll a deception check?

SAM: Devin. Hello.

MARISHA: "It's me, Devin."

TALIESIN: They don't know his name.

MARISHA: "Groovy, baby."

SAM: Bond.

MARISHA: Yes, yes!

SAM: James Bond.

MICHELLE: It's not terrible, but I don't know if it's going to work. This is a 13.

MARISHA: They just go, "Who? Who goes there? What?" You've just alerted them a little bit more.


TALIESIN: The yellow meter is now hitting the red. It's almost the red exclamation point.

LAURA: We all crouch and wait until the eye closes. (laughter)

SAM: The eye closes?

LAURA: You know what I mean.

MARISHA: As you all crouch down--

SAM: I don't know. Is that a Skyrim thing?

MARISHA: Yeah. As you all crouch down, and the cultist that is framed closest to you all turns to the others like, "I'm going to go check it out," and starts taking a few steps toward your direction, peering into the bushes.

SAM: Should we run back to the trap?

MARISHA: And about this time, you see a female dremora in a deep indigo dress, flowing a bit tattered at the bottom with a red cloak draped over top. She busts out of the cellar that was once chained to the adventure that you had not too long ago. The lock is no longer there. As she storms out, furious in rage, "It's gone. The Ambition is gone!"

LAURA: The what is gone?

MARISHA: The Ambition. The cultist who was stationed in front of the cellar says, "I'm sorry, Lieutenant." She turns, snaps her head in his direction in fury, as she reaches out and grabs him by the throat. And in a split second, his head bursts into an immolation of flame.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: "You disappoint me." Lets go as a flaming corpse drops to the ground. Upset, she then storms into the tavern from the back door.

SAM: Is the one still coming for us, or was that the guy?

MARISHA: No, that was not the guy. The one who was coming towards you, now seeing his lieutenant come out, rushes back and stands back in attention towards the back door, now seemingly distracted from what he just saw.

TALIESIN: One down.

SAM: If we wait long enough-- (laughter)

LAURA: She'll come out again! (laughter)

LAURA: I forget, do we have any windows on our tavern?

SAM: We must, right? It's a tavern.

MICHELLE: One stained glass one in the front for sure.

MARISHA: Yeah. There are a few towards the back, yes.

LAURA: Can we see into the tavern? How many people are in there?

MARISHA: Make a perception check.

LAURA: (uncertain noise) 14?

MARISHA: It's hard to make out--

LAURA: Is that good? We're like, "Yes!"

MARISHA: Yeah. It's hard to make out exactly how many figures are in there, but you do see, like a stage show, a few bodies moving around on the inside. And for a brief second, the window almost blacks out with what seems to be a much larger, hulking figure, that passes by. But you can't fully make out what's going on.

MICHELLE: Is this when it's okay to burn the tavern down? Because I am so scared of everything inside of that.

AABRIA: Plan B is valid.

SAM: Burn our tavern down?

LAURA: But it's our tavern.

MICHELLE: I was against it before, but it's full of bad guys now.

LAURA: I mean, we do have 500 gold now.

SAM: We could--

AABRIA: Buy a new tavern.

SAM: Other than the foundation, it's got a lot of memories for me in there.

TALIESIN: Make new memories.

LAURA: Mallory doesn't give a shit.

TALIESIN: No, I don't give a fuck.

SAM: But it's got six good burners.

TALIESIN: It's got four good burners, let's be honest. (laughter)

MICHELLE: I thought it was one. Down to one, no?

SAM: We could--

MICHELLE: (laughs)

AABRIA: I love burning things down, but I do just want to straight murder that lady.

SAM: Your window!

MICHELLE: That dremora--

LAURA: If we start-- The thing is, if we burn it, everything will come running out and then we'll have to fight all of the things.

SAM: Unless they're, like-- Well, I guess we've just seen that they're not immune to fire because one of their heads just caught on fire.

LAURA: But she created the fire, so the guards aren't immune to fire, but she might be--

AABRIA: Hold on. I do fire magic all the time--

LAURA: And the big hulking thing might be. and I burn the shit out of myself all the time.

MICHELLE: Doesn't mean you're immune, you have resistance, usually. Yes. If they're out the front-- If they run out the front, won't they hit my trap? That's good. It won't kill them, though, just to be fair.

AABRIA: Why don't we ferry them out the front?

MICHELLE: It's just 4d6.

SAM: They also might see the note that says there's a trap. (laughter)


MARISHA: It's from the back.

MICHELLE: It's from the other side. If you're an innocent, you'll see the sign--

LAURA: I just want to kill something right now.

AABRIA: Right now, right?

LAURA: Can we just kill the guards?

SAM: Can we agree that what we're witnessing is, they're using our tavern as a sort of a staging area to go delve into the tunnels that we excavated, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Grab one guy and kill him.

SAM: So they might not even care about our tavern.

MARISHA: Grelnok.

SAM: Oh no.

MARISHA: As you're continuing to peer into the window that you have very limited range of what you can see, as this conversation is happening you see (whooshes) a flash of red glow that subsides a bit again.

LAURA: They're doing something in there.

TALIESIN: Maybe that's one more dead.

LAURA: They're doing something in there. We need to get in there and kill everything.

AABRIA: Hold on. Why don't we question one of these dummies?

SAM: Question? They'll see us! There's windows.

LAURA: What if, kill one, question the other--

LAURA: We kill one--

AABRIA: -- and figure out what's going on.

LAURA: I'll whip the other one over here.


LAURA: Should we just try to call him over and if it doesn't work, then we kill him?

SAM: We can do the same thing, just be like, "Hey, it's still me." (laughter)

SAM: I'm still over here.

MICHELLE: Should I pretend to be that lady instead?

TALIESIN: They know that she's inside. (laughter)

TALIESIN: That'd be really weird.

MICHELLE: Oh. Yeah, I suppose you're right. I didn't really think that through.


MICHELLE: Maybe they don't even know who Devin is.

LAURA: Possible.

TALIESIN: Who's Devin?

AABRIA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Oh! Devon, yeah.

LAURA: Diven.


AABRIA: That sounds right.


SAM: Does not sound right.

LAURA: Doesn't sound right.

MICHELLE: We'll never really know. There's no way of knowing.

SAM: All right, so we have four different plans. We either burn the house down, lure somebody over, send them into the trap. I guess just three.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I got a weird idea.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Okay, four. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I think I can get them to leave their posts.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: How?

TALIESIN: I'm going to sneak over, right on the other side of the shed and just say, "You two, come take a look at this." See what happens.

AABRIA: Do it. This is perfect.

SAM: Okay, and what will we do when they walk away?

TALIESIN: Going to kill them both when they come over--

MICHELLE: Oh, from behind.

AABRIA: Interrogate one.

TALIESIN: Walk them away from the door and then kill them.

LAURA: Okay.

MICHELLE: One, keep one? Keep one?

AABRIA: Leave one alive.

TALIESIN: Yeah, all right.

LAURA: Yeah, sure, sure, sure. Just get 'em over here so we can kill 'em.

MICHELLE: But keep one.

MARISHA: Mallory, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: I'm going to circle around and try and get a little closer to the house on the side of the shed so that they can't see me.

MARISHA: Make a stealth check.

TALIESIN: This'll go great.


SAM: Bless. (laughter)



TALIESIN: I got my hood up, I'm going to just--

SAM: He's got his hood up, Marisha.

LAURA: In the dark, it might look like it's red.

MICHELLE: Yeah, and his cape is gray, so it's dark.

SAM: It's 6:00. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Crap. Crap.

MARISHA: You hear the one that was already a little suspicious go, "I swear I'm hearing something."

SAM: This guy's not very good.

MARISHA: "Is it that possum? I know we have a possum in this station."

AABRIA: Love our possum.

TALIESIN: You two, over here.

MARISHA: "Wh--?"

LAURA: Say, "Come take a look at this."

TALIESIN: Take a look at this.

MARISHA: (whistling) They whistle up--


MARISHA: And they say, "Eyes on the back."

TALIESIN: (whispering) There's one on the roof.

MICHELLE: Should've made a possum noise.

AABRIA: There's one high?

SAM: There's something.

MARISHA: Someone roll a perception check for me.

MICHELLE: I'll do-- oh.

TALIESIN: Oh, I'm not in the place to see it anyway.

SAM: Who's rolling?

LAURA: She was.


SAM: Oh!


MARISHA: Hoa, you are the only one who can see it, and only because of that roll, they say, "Eyes over here," and you do look up and you train your eyes upwards to the roof. And all you can see-- You can't see a body, but you can see just the tip and the cross section of a crossbow peek over the apex of the roof of your tavern.

MICHELLE: Okay, there's a sniper up top with a crossbow, so just stay down.

SAM: Not good.

MICHELLE: Very bad, this is very bad.

AABRIA: I want to go try to climb to the roof.

LAURA: Yeah, climb--

MICHELLE: Are you good at climbing? Okay.

LAURA: Knock him off, yeah.

SAM: But they're already coming over here!

TALIESIN: They don't seem like they're moving, are they? Are they coming over?

MARISHA: They're on high alert.


MARISHA: They've been--

SAM: What does it take to get these fuckers to walk over here?

LAURA: We just are going to have to kill them.

TALIESIN: First the one on the roof.

LAURA: While we're standing back here, I'm going to Hardened Armor myself.


AABRIA: I'm climbing. I'm going up to the roof.

MARISHA: Make a stealth check.

AABRIA: Oh no. Yes. Dirty 20.

MARISHA: All right, yeah. You know this tavern.

AABRIA: I use my little pickaxe!

MARISHA: You use your little pickaxe. You, of all people, have been stationed on the outside of this tavern more than anyone else in this crew. You've been doing perimeters, you are the bouncer. So you know that there's a brick on this side that's protruding a little bit more out of the foundation, and this ledge from the window sill. And with nice ease, you start to slowly crawl your way up. Give me an athletics check, since I know that's your jam.

AABRIA: Thank you. 17.

MARISHA: Great. You climb the roof.

AABRIA: What do I see?

MARISHA: With your stealth check, keeping that in mind, you see two cultists--


MARISHA: -- with crossbow bolts. Crossbow bolts that are peering over the pitch of the roof. And they very much are focused towards the backside towards where Mallory shouted. They're looking in that direction. So you're perfectly on their profile, not 100% out of their peripheral vision, but you haven't been seen yet.

AABRIA: How close together are they?

MARISHA: They're perched on opposite side of the roof, so I'd say 15 feet apart.

AABRIA: All right. I'm going to take two small copper coins out of my pocket and drop them off the roof one after another as close to Grelnok because I know she was watching me go up just to give her quiet notice that there's two people up here.

MARISHA: Brilliant.

MICHELLE: So good.

AABRIA: And then I'm going to--

MARISHA: (two coins clinking)

LAURA: I'm going to prep to attack the guy on the ground by the door with my magic whip as soon as you do anything up there.

MARISHA: Okay. So you guys have this perfect-- you're both on the east-facing side of the building. You're up top with Grelnok at the bottom, both with two guards in your sight.

AABRIA: So to the guard that's closest to where I came up and around, I want to sneak over, and my goal is just to try to tug him off the roof and drop him for my friend.

MARISHA: Amazing.

AABRIA: We want to do a murder.


MARISHA: Man. What type of roll is this? Just give me one more stealth check to see if he notices.

AABRIA: Please. Please be good. 12?

MARISHA: I'd say that's fine. Now give me a strength check.

AABRIA: Yes. Is it athletics?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

AABRIA: Oh no, that's seven. No!

MARISHA: As you're right slowly within range, and moments before you're about to reach out and grab him, your foot slips on the shingle just a little bit.

SAM: God, our fucking tavern sucks.

AABRIA: It sucks.

MARISHA: As the cultist turns and looks over, he sees you, he goes, "Shit!" But it's too late, you grab him. You do have grapple on him.

AABRIA: Sweet.

MARISHA: I'm going to give you an opposed strength check to see if you can throw him off.

AABRIA: Die, you've got to do this for me. Natural 20.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: I rolled a three.


MARISHA: "Shit!" And as he says this, (groans) you toss him off. (screaming)

AABRIA: Can I try to keep his crossbow?

MARISHA: Oh my god. Give me a--

AABRIA: A nat 20.

MARISHA: Give me a sleight of hand check--

AABRIA: Oh god, oh god.

MARISHA: -- on top of it. Nine.

MARISHA: You knock his crossbow bolt out of his hand as he's already fumbling. It tumbles on the roof a little bit and starts sliding down the shingles. You do not have it in your grasp, but it is nearby.

AABRIA: Fuck it, I want to kick it off the roof and then start running for the other guy.

MARISHA: Amazing. It goes flying, this guy is falling, he is on his ass. He landed not far from you, Grelnok, and the other one goes, "They're here!" And turns and aims his crossbolt-- Crossbow bolt to you. Roll for initiative. (cheering)

MICHELLE: We're not stealthing anymore. (gasps) Nat 20.

LAURA: I was prepped to do my magic whip as soon as she knocked somebody off the roof, but--

MARISHA: Go ahead and do it now as part of all of this, as the surprise round.

LAURA: This is to yank the guy at the door closer, so he can get away from the door a little bit.

MARISHA: Okay, I love it.

LAURA: Oh yeah, that definitely hits. 17 plus whatever.

MARISHA: That hits. Roll for damage.

AABRIA: Get him, get him, get him, get him, get him.

LAURA: My other-- (laughs)

AABRIA: It lights up?

LAURA: Yeah, it's from Taliesin.

AABRIA: That's rad as shit!

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: 15 points of fire damage.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MICHELLE: Hell yeah.

MARISHA: So once again, in a moment, as your whip wraps around his body, it just sears in and almost start bisecting him. You do yank him towards you, but the side of his body starts collapsing in on himself and he almost buckles within your force that you ripped him towards you. He is dead.

AABRIA: Oh my god!

MARISHA: One down.

LAURA: Damn.

AABRIA: That's amazing.

MARISHA: Give me initiative. Hoa, you rolled a nat 20.

MICHELLE: Yes, thank you.

MARISHA: Anyone else over 20? 20 to 15?


MARISHA: Okay, Mallory. 15 to 10?

SAM: 12.


SAM: Ooh.

MARISHA: Slaughter-- Did you say 10?

AABRIA: I got a 10.

MARISHA: Tavima. Bringing up the years, the rears, the ears.

LAURA: Yeah. (laughter)

LAURA: Again.

MARISHA: Grelnok. Okay. That kind of works. You did something cool up front. Hoa, you're up front.

MICHELLE: Since I'm around a lot of you, except for, you're still on the roof, right? I'm going to cast Frost Cloak so everyone gets a plus one to their AC. You're covered in a thick cloak of frost, so you kind of look like cool ice monsters. If anyone hits you in melee, they get three damage.

SAM: Hey!

AABRIA: Let's go!

MARISHA: And it feels nice because it's so hot.

MICHELLE: It's so hot.


MICHELLE: You guys feel like a cool air conditioning.

SAM: That's nice.

MICHELLE: Let's do this. Let's kill, I guess.

SAM: Thank you, Hoa.

LAURA: And then if they hit us, or if they attack us?

MICHELLE: Yes, if they hit.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: So did somebody fall off the roof?


TALIESIN: Are they alive?

MARISHA: Yes. But prone.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take my advantage with my--

MARISHA: And also he would've taken fall damage. Ooh, mm-hmm. Hang on. Sorry.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to hit them with my staff.


TALIESIN: I assume that's advantage because they're prone?


SAM: We're the staff.



TALIESIN: Let's do--

AABRIA: Let's go.

TALIESIN: That's seven points of bludgeoning damage.

MARISHA: Whack! You just smash his head into a pulp in one fell strike, just like a butcher--

LAURA: Cultists.

MARISHA: -- killing his meal. He is dead.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and get a little cover from the other guy. I'm going to back off a bit--

LAURA: ♪ Get a little cover ♪

TALIESIN: Get a little cover.

MARISHA: All right. Oh, oh my god, that's the cultists' turn. Okay. So the one that is coming after you, he's going to train his crossbow bolt towards you, pull the trigger--

SAM: It's always a bolt.

MARISHA: Words, crossbow bolt.

TALIESIN: Crossbow bolt.

SAM: Not a crossbow.

MARISHA: Nope. I got to say the full thing because of you, this is your problem, you did this. 17 to hit.

AABRIA: It does hit.


LAURA: Even with your plus one from--

AABRIA: It's exactly 17.


MARISHA: You take five damage as he gets one bolt off onto you.

AABRIA: All right.

MARISHA: And then the one who is also in the back turns, knowing that you all are here, he sees you, Mallory, and starts moving towards you. He has his flame in his hand. He is going to hurl the flame towards you.

LAURA: Oh, it's like what you try to do!

MARISHA: With a natural 20.

SAM: Ooh. He's good at that.


LAURA: Watch them. Watch those.

SAM: He's a lefty. Maybe I should switch?

LAURA: Maybe you should switch.

SAM: Maybe I'm a lefty! You know, I probably grew up as lefty and my parents trained me to be a righty, that's what happens a lot.

LAURA: You always feel like you're not as good.

TALIESIN: Bring it.

MARISHA: You take 12 points of fire damage.


MARISHA: As he tosses his flame towards you.

MICHELLE: If only those were melee attacks.

MARISHA: With all of this commotion, the two cultists that were stationed up front go, "They're here. Run back!" And start to move around. The one that was towards the left front peeks around and he sees you, Hoa. You just cast your spell as this ice magic forms around you. Yeah, I think he hits with a 17.

MICHELLE: 12, 13, 14. Yep, sure do.


MARISHA: He's going to do the same thing. He is going to toss a flame towards you for three damage. Not as good as the other guy. The other ones move around. They're not close enough to do anything else. And that is the cultists' turn. Slaughter, you're up.

SAM: Lay of the land here, DM.


SAM: How many-- There's a cultist on the roof that's tangling with you. There's at least one or two guards by the shed, one guard by the shed.

MARISHA: The guard that was by the shed is now dead.

SAM: There was only one and they're gone.

MARISHA: There's only one. There are-- One of the one in the back... So there's now one more in the back that is moving around--

SAM: And two from the front that are--

MARISHA: And then two from the front that are now peeking around.

SAM: And one on the roof. So four total.

MARISHA: Correct.

SAM: The folks inside, I'm not aware if they've heard or might be coming out.

MARISHA: Correct.

SAM: Should I seal the door? Should I-- So the two guards coming around from the front, are they together? Are they near each other?

MARISHA: One's trailing a little bit behind just based on their positioning, but they're... Yeah, they're together. They're trying to be strategic about their placement as well, and they're not directly next to each other, but they're within five feet.

SAM: Okay. Tapping Webs!



SAM: Thwip, thwip!


MARISHA: They have to roll a dex saving throw.

SAM: A dex saving throw of 14.

MARISHA: Okay, the first one rolls a two. The second one rolls a natural 19. So the one that is leading the charge gets hit in the face with this web, it's almost like a bukkake.

SAM: Oh!


SAM: Oh, sponsored content. (laughter)

MARISHA: Just in his mouth a little bit and he is grappled.

MICHELLE: Hoa's really into it, by the way. She's applauding from the side like, "Yes, very good. Good placement, okay."

MARISHA: Yes, the one... The left front cultist is webbed.

SAM: Okay. So he, or she, or they, are grappled.


SAM: For at least a full turn.


SAM: And I might have a bonus action. No, not really. But I'll charge out more into the fray, closer to these other folks. We were at least 30 feet away or something?

MARISHA: Yeah, probably right exactly at 30 feet.

SAM: Okay. So I'll just-- I'll run in, and I don't know, I'll get next to one of the cultists in a possible flanking way, inviting one of the brawlier folks to come to the other side of said individual.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. There's still the one who's coming around from the back side. So he starts closing in on you as you square off.

SAM: All right.

MARISHA: And that is Tavima.

SAM: I instinctively flare out my quills to protect myself, and then I realize they're not there because canonically my species loses their quills at a certain point of their lifespan. (laughter)

AABRIA: Amazing. Okay, so the cultist that spun around, they turned, but are they still at the edge of the roof?

MARISHA: I'd say they're within five feet of the edge of the roof, yeah.

AABRIA: Good enough for me.

MARISHA: Pretty close.

AABRIA: Shield Charge.


MARISHA: Do it. This is going to be so cool.

AABRIA: The dice do not want this for me.



AABRIA: Eight. I got an eight. Eight is what I got to do it.

MARISHA: You rush towards him and he sees it's coming and then just full-on turns to the side. You bolt past him and then just put on the brakes, dig in your heels, sliding a little bit, especially with the rickety shingles, and almost go over the edge yourself, but then right yourself, and then turn and he is right in your face now.

AABRIA: Sweet. Looking out over the edge as I did my little (squeaking), do I see the two guards from the front coming around?

MARISHA: So you're on the far side of the building, you're now furthest in, they're heading backwards.

AABRIA: Backwards this way. Okay, cool.


AABRIA: I just want the lay of the land as they're coming around.


AABRIA: I don't know if you guys know that, so I just shout it like: They're coming back! And yeah, while we're in melee I'll swing with my longsword.


AABRIA: Jesus Christ. (laughter) (sighs) Does a nine hit?

MARISHA: No, it doesn't.

AABRIA: It's real slippy up here. It's so humid and--

LAURA: So slippy.


AABRIA: It got real slick and I'm like, eh.

MARISHA: Yeah, there's-- It's summer, there's some moss and stuff that's started growing, and your footing just slips again as you try and get purchase.

LAURA: That's okay.

MARISHA: They back up a little bit.

AABRIA: All right, eff it. Last one. One magicka, majica for Backlash.


AABRIA: DC 15 con save. Everyone has made this today, so I'm assuming I'm just throwing a majica into the wind.

MARISHA: It has only been-- Only good rolls is the only way... Natural one.

AABRIA: Oh my god.



MARISHA: So they make it this time.

MICHELLE: Excellent.

AABRIA: And sixes on the dice, so 12 points of fire damage. And they are Doomed until the end of my next turn.

LAURA: They're doomed!

AABRIA: So if I ever hit again, it will be bad.


MARISHA: You swipe, you swipe, they dodge. They get a little cocky, they're like. (laughs) As they chuckle in your face, (whooshes) just from your mind, they burst into flame. Light themselves on fire, and as they are in a full panic they slip and fall off of the edge of the building to their death in a flaming ball of fire. He is dead.

SAM: Dramatic.

AABRIA: Vibes. Cool. Man, I like magic way more. Sword, we got to work on this. And I very gingerly walk across the roof because I'm afraid of it.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter) Perfect. It is now Grelnok's turn.

LAURA: Oh! I'm going to charge forward and flank the one that Slaughter's on the other side of.


LAURA: And hit it with my axe.


SAM: Don't hit me!

LAURA: I'm not going to, don't worry. That is 13.

MARISHA: To hit?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: That hits.

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Let's go!

LAURA: Sweet. That's seven slashing damage, and I'm going to use one of my stamina to add another d8 of slashing damage. That's another four.

MARISHA: Just a scream, once again, erupts from this person as they are dead, they're dead.

LAURA: Sweet.

SAM: Nice.

LAURA: Are there any other ones near me?

MARISHA: You can see the two that are coming around from the front that have started wrapping around the building and they're assessing the action.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: So you see two more.

LAURA: I'm going to stand and go: Hit me! (laughter)

SAM: Wait, me?

LAURA: No, no, no.

SAM: Me?

LAURA: I'm standing in front of you, Slaughter.

SAM: All right!

LAURA: No! (laughter) I want them to hit me and not you!

SAM: Oh, okay, okay. Hit her!

MARISHA: And for the second time today, two people are like-- a little confused, but, you know, alerted.

LAURA: I look angry, I like fight.

MARISHA: One of the female cultists who's there just goes (screams) back at you. And Hoa, it is your turn.

MICHELLE: So the one that's webbed was the one who died, right?

MARISHA: No, the one that is webbed is still there.

SAM: Still webbed.


MICHELLE: As a free action, can I have a small chat or no?


MICHELLE: I just go over again, very into this. Hey, hi, my name's Hoa. Do you-- So, like, what are you doing here? I just feel like, have I seen you around or no? What are you guys doing here? It could be merciful, I just thought-- Hi.

MARISHA: Roll a persuasion check.

MICHELLE: (cackles) Woof. That's a 10.

MARISHA: They just go, "Ha, funny coming from someone who's so unworthy." And starts trying to continue to struggle.

MICHELLE: Okay, you're webbed and I tried my best, but okay.

LAURA: Do the webs explode? When do the webs explode?

MICHELLE: Next turn, not yet.

SAM: At the start of my next turn.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MICHELLE: I back up a little bit. (laughter) Whatever the range of that is, I back up, and then I cast Swarm again.

MARISHA: On the webbed person or the one behind them?

MICHELLE: On the webbed person.


MICHELLE: I'm feeling a little turned off. That's a DC 14 con save, please.

MARISHA: I rolled a 14, no, I rolled a 17.

SAM: Ooh.

MICHELLE: But they're webbed.

MARISHA: They save. I don't think their web effects their constitution.

MICHELLE: The fetcherflies just fly around like "What? Ugh, gross, webs."

MARISHA: They're like, "Webs," yeah. (laughs) They're like, "Oh, we know what this means," yeah.

MICHELLE: They fly away. (laughter) I did try my best. Okay, all right, I need to really focus. And I walk away.

MARISHA: Mallory, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I love the idea that you have summoned a swarm of insects and they just go (buzzing). (laughter) Well, I brought 'em, but they're really not interested in anything happening here. Okay, first thing I'm going to use my bonus action to heal a little bit because I'm bleeding heavily.


TALIESIN: So that's a--

LAURA: Healing potion?

TALIESIN: I don't have healing potions. I just have a thing I can do.

LAURA: We didn't buy anything.


MICHELLE: We sure didn't have a short rest.

TALIESIN: That's not great, but that's okay.

MARISHA: I thought about it, I was like, "Would they find healing potions in this abandoned shack? Nah, they wouldn't, they just wouldn't."

TALIESIN: That's a little bit and yeah, let's-- There's just solo people right now, there's nobody grouped?

MARISHA: There are the two cultists who came around from the front. The one is webbed and there's another one who's about five feet from that person.

TALIESIN: Okay. Let's just have a little fun with a Lightning Splash then.

LAURA: I thought the ones that were webbed were the ones coming around from the front.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Those are the two that are still grouped together. Yeah.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to get out of the range of the other one. I'm going to try and situate myself so that other people are more exciting targets.


TALIESIN: And I'm going to use a Lightning Splash. So I'm going to create a little 10-foot sphere to catch both of them.


TALIESIN: From a great distance, and they have to make a dex save, a 14 dex save and I'm pretty sure the webbed one, I don't know.


SAM: Is grappled and probably can't make it.

MARISHA: The grappled one fails. The other one rolled a natural 20.

LAURA: Wow, that one's dodgy.


TALIESIN: Okay, so the one that failed takes-- Ooh, that's nice. Takes 16 points of lightning damage.

MARISHA: As they are tangled in this web, they erupt and I'm going to say as the lightning catches the web, it all explodes all at once into this electrified poison cloud that just bursts and I would say the other cultist would be close by to potentially get some poison damage. So the one that is webbed fries as the web acts like a conduit to the electricity and arcing lightning shatters across their body and they die! And the other one takes how many points of poison damage?

SAM: I rolled 16 points of poison damage.

MARISHA: And the other one is just too close to it, and dies from asphyxiation.

SAM: Nice.

MARISHA: As poisoned ozone erupts nearby and just takes them both out.

SAM and AABRIA: Nice.

SAM: Double kill.

TALIESIN: Going to need some healing at some point, but thank you.

AABRIA: Tight.

MICHELLE: Short rest in our future.

MARISHA: All of the cultists on the outside are now dead. So. I'm going to say you're not out of initiative, but the cultists will miss this turn. Slaughter, you're up.

SAM: Are we going in? Should we burn the place down? What are we doing?

AABRIA: I'll meet you from the other side.

SAM: Oh hi, yeah.

AABRIA: Yeah, good job. Can you toss the crossbow up?

SAM: Oh! (laughter)

AABRIA: I slip and drop it again. I don't fucking need it.

SAM: Are we burning it down? Are we going in? Are we SWAT-teaming this?

LAURA: Can we see now? Can we get a better vantage point of how many people are on the inside?

MARISHA: Are you peeking in through the window?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay. You see just one person stationed at the top and holding onto this leash, this heavy chain, they have what is known as a daedroth, which looks like a bipedal, dual-horned, almost like an alligator-mouthed, demon-like Daedric monster creature that's probably standing-- it fills-- almost fills the entirety and reaches the ceiling of your tavern, probably about 12, 15 feet tall.

LAURA: Shit.

SAM: But they're not moving? They're not making defensive moves, or?

MARISHA: They're just waiting.

LAURA: This thing is huge! This thing is fucking huge.

AABRIA: Why don't we seal it off? We all have keys to this place.

LAURA: No, there's other people in there, it's not alone.

AABRIA: I bet they're all bad.

LAURA: Seal it off and burn it?

SAM: Lock it and burn it?

AABRIA: Lock it and burn it. It's got good bones, we can build a new place on good bones.

TALIESIN: It's got terrible bones. I feel like we've established that. There's no bones.

MICHELLE: It's true.

TALIESIN: Just meat.

LAURA: Lock it up, try to burn it. As they try to escape, we attack 'em.

AABRIA: There we go.

MICHELLE: I feel like it would be extra bonus points if we went to the front so they could run towards us and get trapped in my trap. (laughter)

MICHELLE: It's still there.

SAM: You really want to use that trap.



TALIESIN: I mean, I feel that.

MARISHA: As you all are having this conversation.

MICHELLE: Ah, too long.


MARISHA: Grelnok, you are peering into the window, your face--

LAURA: Stealthily!

SAM: It's my turn, right?

MARISHA: It is your turn.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Your face pretty close to the glass, you see (stomps) as the daedroth fills the window with its enormous snout (whooshes) and fogs the glass, it notices your presence.

LAURA: Burn it, burn it now, burn it now.

SAM: Okay, I will cast, we're trying to get them to flee out the front door, is that right?

LAURA: I don't know. I'm going to run over to the back door and try to start locking it.

SAM: Don't bother, it's my turn. I'm going to do webs (whooshes) over the door.

LAURA: Oh, good.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay.

SAM: And that's my action. For my movement and stuff, I'll just start trucking around towards the front door to see if they're popping out there, I guess, and someone else is going to set it on fire, right? Someone else can do fire, maybe?

AABRIA: Brrah!

SAM: Okay. (laughter)

MICHELLE: Oh my gosh.

MARISHA: Tavima, it is your turn, if that is the end of yours.

SAM: Yeah, that's all I can do.

AABRIA: Sweet, I just look down and I go: I got you. And I want to stomp on the ground because I know these are loose tiles and expose and break through the tile to get down to the wood of this, and cast Sunfire directly below me and sprint to get off the front.

MARISHA: Amazing. Yeah, your tavern is pretty derelict at this point and you--

SAM: Terrible.

AABRIA: It's got terrible bones.

MARISHA: Break through the hole and you're aiming towards the daedroth?

AABRIA: Can I punch a hole through and see down into the interior?

MARISHA: You can.



AABRIA: Yeah, just (poofs). Fuck you! And just light it up.

MARISHA: Amazing, is that a saving throw for me?

AABRIA: Who could possibly know? No, it's a spell attack.

MARISHA: Okay, go for it.

AABRIA: Okay. 17.

MARISHA: That hits.

AABRIA: Cool, cool, cool. 3d8. I can't do math. 19 points of fire damage.

MARISHA: Holy shit.

AABRIA: Is the person holding them on the leash within five feet of them?


AABRIA: Sweet, and then they also take (blows raspberry) one point of fire damage.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: So as the Sunfire hits, it just courses through the chain a little bit and the cultist goes like, "Ow." It burns his hand a little bit, but he's okay. The daedroth, you can see the heat has supercharged almost his plates, his thick hide. He did take damage, but he looks up at you and snorts as fire just puffs out of his nose.

AABRIA: Less effective than I wanted. And I want to get off the front of the roof.


AABRIA: And I don't know if you will let me, as a bonus action, attempt to lock the front door.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'd say-- You're sliding off the roof. Give me an acrobatics check to see if you can land it.

AABRIA: Four? Is four good?

MARISHA: You're like, "Fuck yeah," right as you're about to do this awesome three-point landing, there goes another shingle.

AABRIA: [Inaudible].

MARISHA: And then you--

TALIESIN: Parkour!

MARISHA: You land right on your tailbone.

AABRIA: Uh-huh!

LAURA: Oh, that fucking hurts.

MARISHA: Yeah, right up your spine a little bit. You're okay, but it wasn't the most graceful fall.

AABRIA: Cool, cool, cool.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'd say you can't lock the door this turn.

AABRIA: I just get up and I'm waiting for Slaughter to come around to the front and I'm like: Ow.

MARISHA: Yeah, (laughs) yeah.

AABRIA: The door, the door, the door, the door.

MARISHA: Grelnok, it is your turn. Hoa, you're on deck.

LAURA: I'm going to take out my torch. (laughter)


MICHELLE: Pay off!

LAURA: And just use my free action to start burning as much as I can around the bar.

MARISHA: Let's see.

LAURA: I can use my whole action if it's necessary. I just want to fucking, you know, catch things.

MARISHA: It takes a little bit of time to try and get things to catch, but yeah, that side of the building slowly does start to slowly burn away.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: That's probably your turn.

TALIESIN: Roll up some newspaper first, and then get some smaller sticks.

LAURA: Yeah, I know.

SAM: I feel like our place probably has balled up trash, and dried rags and stuff and oil.

MARISHA: The wood is dry rotted, so it's like, you know. But there is still some stone in the foundation that doesn't catch. So you're trying to go for the wood beams.

LAURA: Can I use-- Can I still move?


LAURA: Okay, then I'm going to try to make a run for the front.


LAURA: And then as my bonus action, I can move up to my speed toward an enemy of my choice. So I'm going to use another full movement to get to the front and try to run around to the front window.

MARISHA: The front window?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Because he webbed the door.

SAM: The back door.

MARISHA: You webbed the back door.

LAURA: I want to get to the front door.


LAURA: To, like-- I don't think I'd be able to lock it on my turn, but I want to be ready to, like-- Anything that comes out of that window, I want to try to be in front of it.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah. I'd say you definitely are able to get to the front, and then that's probably about all you can do this turn.

LAURA: As long as it gets me closer to an enemy than I started, would it?


LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: I'd say yes.

MICHELLE: I do the running to the front thing as well, and after I run to the front, I can lock the front door. Can I do this?


MICHELLE: Okay, I lock the front door. I don't want to, I feel so bad about our memories and our friendships built in this building.

LAURA: Get the sign off the door, at least.

MICHELLE: All right, and I take the sign off the door. You know what? I don't know if you'll let me do this because I already moved once. Maybe I can divide up my movement. I want to go to the horse and make sure it's not going to get the horse. The horse!

MARISHA: The horse is around back.

MICHELLE: Oh shit.

MARISHA: You've already used your movement to move around front. I think it would be another move to get to the horse.

MICHELLE: I use the rest of my movement to go to my bird pen, my bird cage pen.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, yeah.

MICHELLE: And then I open it and I say: Be free! (laughter) I let them go to be free.

MARISHA: (cawing)

MICHELLE: Not towards the fire, away from the fire. Other way, other way.

MARISHA: (fluttering) Your precious birdies are no longer caged.

MICHELLE: That was my whole turn.

MARISHA: Oh, that's so sweet, though!

MICHELLE: I don't want them to die.

MARISHA: Mallory, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm the only one left at the back, aren't I?

MARISHA: You are.


MARISHA: I think Slaughter is also--

SAM: En route to the front.

MARISHA: Yeah, around the side of the building. So Slaughter is the closest one to you.

TALIESIN: How's the horse look?

MARISHA: Once again, it's still--

AABRIA: He will outlive us all!

MARISHA: Its knees are kind of shaky. So he just lays down and tucks his hooves under him and still foaming at the mouth. You're not sure what's with this foaming thing.

TALIESIN: It seems like a problem that can be dealt with later.

MARISHA: Yeah, the horse is no worse off than what you left it at.

TALIESIN: The horse is not an imminent threat.

MARISHA: The horse doesn't know what's happening. It's so old, it doesn't know.

SAM: It's got cataracts.


TALIESIN: I'm going to try and take the other direction around the house because I feel like there's less commotion and I'm feeling a little ragged. So I'm going to want to jump to some cover on my way there.


TALIESIN: But before I go, I'm going to throw a Lightning Splash into the house because it's got a 60-foot range where I can make a ball explode.

SAM: Cool.

MARISHA: Can you do it through walls?

TALIESIN: As long as I think I can see. I think as long as I can see, it's fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, fine, works with me, I don't know.

TALIESIN: As long as I can see through the window, and I'm going to try and get both of them in that little splash.

MARISHA: Okay, the cultist and the monster?

TALIESIN: Yeah, and I'm going to put a Power Surge in it.

MARISHA: That's a dex save once again?

TALIESIN: It's two dex saves. Yeah, it's a dex save.

MARISHA: Okay, for the cultist. The cultist rolls a natural 17, so I think it's a save.

SAM: Damn, these guys roll good.


AABRIA: They roll so good.

MARISHA: Ooh. Ooh, ooh, ooh. The daedroth does not roll-- The daedroth fails.

TALIESIN: So okay, this is lightning damage. Let's see what we got. Ehh. Okay. 11 points of lightning damage.


TALIESIN: That's what I got.

MARISHA: He's looking rough.

TALIESIN: And now I'm going to roll my way and I'm going to try and take some cover so that these things, I'm going to find a place to hide. I'm going to make my way around and--

LAURA and MARISHA: ♪ Makin' my way! ♪

TALIESIN: -- because I am squishy.

MARISHA: Okay. It is the cultist's turn.

SAM: Oh boy.

MARISHA: Sort of in the direction that you already started catching the house on fire, the daedroth rears back and you can just hear this guttural (snorts) as a sucking-in noise and then (roars) as it unleashes a fire breath across this wall and starts cutting a hole in the place that you've already started.


MARISHA: It is a 15-foot cone. I'm going to say-- I'm going to say Hoa, Grelnok, and Tavima to make a dexterity saving throw for me.

AABRIA: Oh! 13.


LAURA: 11.

MARISHA: 13, six, and 11. It is-- Okay, it is a DC 11 dex saving throw. So you pass, the other two of you take, I'm going to say it's through the wall, so I'm going to actually still say that it's half damage. You take six points of fire damage.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: But where you already started weakening the foundation is now just carved open like this nice, long, vertical window hole.

LAURA: So that's in the front of the house?

MARISHA: Burning.

LAURA: Front of the building now?

MARISHA: I'd say it's, like, where the side of the building and the corner of the building meet where you already started burning it down on the side of the building. He's taken out this chunk of the corner of the building where you guys are.

AABRIA: We're good, this is fine.

SAM: Our place.

MARISHA: And then the cultist who is also there-- What can the cultist do? The cultist also has a flame and he sees Hoa through this window.


MARISHA: Chucking the flame.


MARISHA: I believe that hits with, once again, another 17.

MICHELLE: Sure do.

MARISHA: And he now has this nice, carved opening. You take three fire damage.

MICHELLE: Okay, I'm fine, it's fine.

MARISHA: And that is the cultist's turn. Slaughter, you are up.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: With Tavima on deck.

SAM: Can I see inside the house, the tavern through this hole that the creature has carved?

MARISHA: Because you're still making your way around the front, right?

SAM: Yeah, I'm heading that way.

MARISHA: You saw these licks of fire course out into the front.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: In front of you.

SAM: Then I'll continue running around.

MARISHA: Okay, I was going to say you do have this window which was where Grelnok was looking through before. So you do see this giant, blue-scaled, horned demon beast in there--

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: -- that just took out the front of your tavern.

SAM: Do you think I could make it to the front if I ran up there?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

SAM: All right, I'll run to the front and see if I can get an opening over there.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah.

SAM: And then I'm going to pop a skull, set it on fire.

MARISHA and LAURA: (carbonated drink opening)

MARISHA: Yeah (laughs).

AABRIA: Shotgun it.

SAM: Light it on fire.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: And then wheel back to throw it, but then look at my chosen sister and realize that maybe I've been doing this wrong this whole time. I'll flip it to my left hand.



SAM: Throw it lefty and see if that works.

LAURA: This is it.

SAM: Natural one. (laughter) (clapping) I'm just a poor, a very poor thrower. A bad pitcher.

MARISHA: You try to go right through this perfectly carved hole and for some reason, even though you have 15 feet in front of you that's open, you clip the side of the building and it just bounces right back towards you.

SAM: Fuck!

AABRIA: I pick it up. Here you go, try again.

SAM: (pained noises) All right, that's my action, that uses a majica point and I used my movement. I mean (chuckles), I can't really do anything else. So I'll use my bonus action, Patient Defense. (laughter) I don't have anything else I can do.


SAM: I'll use my bonus action to make sure no children are running into your trap.

MICHELLE: In case they couldn't read the note, that's fair.

LAURA: Can you heal with any of your actions or bonus actions?

SAM: With an action, I can.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Yeah. Are you looking rough? Okay, I'll remember that for next time.

MARISHA: As you turn around to look, you do see a few citizens that are just on their--

SAM: Get away! Shoo!

MARISHA: And at that, they're just--

SAM: Get away! Get away from here.

MARISHA: And they turn and they run. They don't know what's going on.

TALIESIN: Must be a fantasy world where people just don't huddle closer to a giant--

MARISHA and AABRIA: Yeah (laughs). A whole lot's going down in the Dominion right now. People are nervous. That was Slaughter. Tavima.

AABRIA: Sweet. It's open, so what is on the inside? So there's a big, bad boy.


AABRIA: Someone holding it.

MARISHA: Do a quick perception check for me.


MARISHA: That's okay, you didn't need much. You see inside the tavern that the entire floor of your entrance dining room is gone.

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: The foundation has been ripped open to reveal this glowing red hole and at the precipice of this hidden basement is a massive spiral staircase. And you can only see from your perspective, you can really only see, like, you're trying to peer over maybe five or six steps that start spiraling down as this red glow is emanating from the bottom. And that's about all you can see from your vantage.

AABRIA: That's insane.

SAM: Who sold us this place?

AABRIA: Yeah! (laughter)

AABRIA: This place is dope. How many enemies are still on the inside?

MARISHA: Still just the two. You still just see this daedroth that is looking pretty rough, and the cultist that is still looking fine.

LAURA: So the bad chick went down, I see.

AABRIA: Vibes. I--

MARISHA: (laughs)

AABRIA: I'm looking through where it's burning, and then I just scooch five feet to the right and I'm going to bust through my cool window to get inside.

MARISHA: Amazing. Yes.

AABRIA: And I want to Shield Charge the daedroth.

MARISHA: Okay, you don't even have to roll. This is your window, you've built this. So you do a full barrel roll, you tuck and--

AABRIA: Captain America nonsense.

MARISHA: 100%. As you roll in and you stick the landing and you're inside.

AABRIA: Tight.


AABRIA: Okay, so I want to Shield Charge the daedroth and see if it does anything. Oh yeah, 14 plus five. 19.

MARISHA: That hits.

AABRIA: To bash the guy, cool. 3d6. 11 points of bludgeoning damage and a DC 13 strength saving throw. I'm trying to knock it prone.

MARISHA: Natural one.

AABRIA: (gasps) Dude, okay, so he's knocked down. Sword out.

MARISHA: How do you want to do this?

AABRIA: Oh, shut up!

MARISHA: Yeah. You guys rolled really hard on this beast early.


MARISHA: He was supposed to be a thing, and he's not now.

AABRIA: With that, then, I think she comes in, charges him, and then as she pushes it away, this thing has a weird, heated carapace, right?

MARISHA: Yeah, you can see his fire breath that can course beneath his plate armor.

AABRIA: This Templar reaches out with this almost sun ray-like hand of fire and grabs in between it and just jams her sword in between some of the bits and rocks down with it and then just looks up at its handler.

MARISHA: It's like when you see a blacksmith using hot metal on hot metal, and it's like pudding, it just melts right through his platelets. Platelets?

SAM: Yeah.

AABRIA: That seems fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's a thing, right?

TALIESIN: Yeah. And it starts to just sink and sear and can hear that searing noise as it falls into him.

SAM: Is the searing noise?

MARISHA: (sizzles)

MICHELLE: That sounded good! (laughter)

AABRIA: Amazing! All right, and that's me.

MARISHA: Awesome, and you push him back, right? Or he falls prone.

AABRIA: He falls prone.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah, yeah, so he collapsed. You see this giant beast that is now, he almost fills what is left of the floor of your tavern.

AABRIA: I just want to turn and look at him or at the handler and just go: Run.

MARISHA: (fearful sputtering) Make an intimidation check.

AABRIA: Yes, I'm proficient in that.

MICHELLE: Run into the trap!


MARISHA: Amazing, I'm going to say that that was totally effective, and the next person who attacks the cultist has advantage because they are now a little freaked out.


MARISHA: And that next person is Grelnok.

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Sick.

AABRIA: Let's go.

LAURA: All right. I'm watching all that happen as the window starts closing, I'm going to jump right through it again.


LAURA: Three-point landing.

MARISHA: As almost it barely has a moment to complete and its image comes into focus before (shattering), same sound effect. It breaks open again.

LAURA: I look up, I look at the cultist and go: Did my friend scare you? (swooshes)


MARISHA: Attack with advantage.

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Let's go.

SAM: Here we go.


SAM: Two ones.

LAURA: No, no, no! 16 and a 17, so that's a 24 to attack.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, definitely hits.


MARISHA: That definitely hits. (laughter)

LAURA: This one's dodgy. Whoa, what was that?

LAURA: That was terrible.

MARISHA: What did you do?

MICHELLE: The evil magic.

AABRIA: The green sniper, what?

LAURA: That was a d12 plus five. So 17.

MARISHA: Damage?


MARISHA: Oh my god. So as you burst through and you slice your sword across him, he is just pushed back from the force of your attack and (clanking) falls down this giant hole in the spiral staircase.

AABRIA: You are literally the coolest person I have ever known.

LAURA: Look at this thing you just killed. You just fucking killed that thing.

AABRIA: But that guy's slinking down. He just keeps going end over end.

MARISHA: (metallic clanking) (clunk)

AABRIA: This is a sick beat, I just start throwing it back to the sound of this guy falling dead.

MARISHA: (clanking)

MICHELLE: Should be our new birthday song. (laughter)

SAM: ♪ We wish you a merry ♪

MARISHA: He is dead.

LAURA: Nice.

MARISHA: You all have this quick moment to regroup. The side of your tavern is still, I wouldn't say it's in a full blown flame, but there are still tiny embers and flames that are licking and slowly eating the sides of your tavern from where you started, it's eroding away as the flames spread around. But you see inside, a better vantage as you can get inside, this giant hole in the ground. You look down and you see that this spiral staircase goes down what must be 50, 100 feet. All you can see from now is the top of what looks like this giant statue, it must be 50-foot. Somebody roll a history check for me in this moment.

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: Or-- No, no. History or religion.

SAM: I have a plus zero to both. (laughter)

AABRIA: Do it.

SAM: So 12.



MARISHA: You know that this is Daedric in nature from what you've heard and especially you, Slaughter, who's a little bit more in touch and especially after talking with the soldiers earlier and the one that was giving you shit for believing in Daedric magic. You know this to be Mehrunes Dagon, an imposing demon-like figure with short horns erupting from the top of his head. He's got huge arms, four of them erupting from his torso. Three of them brace against a massive rock jutting out from the surface of the chamber below while the fourth arm holds a giant battleaxe. And you can't see the base of the staircase from here, but the staircase wraps around this giant statue.

SAM: So when we found that our shed had a portal into a nightmare place, we didn't check under our crawlspace or anything? We just were like, "That's probably the only one?"

MICHELLE: We thought it wasn't related.

AABRIA: Could you have imagined that there'd be a giant spiral staircase to hell?

MICHELLE: Lightning can't strike twice, I think is the expression.

SAM: Are there any other places that we should check around the property after this?

LAURA: The whole thing, maybe the whole thing--

TALIESIN: It's about to get cleaned out anyway, because eventually the fires are going to hit the gas leak in the kitchen.

AABRIA: Oh god.

MICHELLE: I would like to cast Frost Cloak on the building to stop the fire.

MARISHA: Okay, yeah.

SAM: But it's a total loss now. Maybe we should just let it burn.


LAURA: We don't have the insurance.

MICHELLE: We don't have insurance.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use my stick to crack open the window and gingerly step through the stained glass window because I'm not jumping through that.

AABRIA: Yeah, that's fair.

MICHELLE: And lock the front door also, yes.

MARISHA: Okay, so yes, with a little bit of time-- How much time do you want to take putting out the flame?

MICHELLE: The Frost Cloak duration is only 10 minutes anyway. So I guess that, 10 or 20.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

TALIESIN: We need to heal anyway.

MARISHA: If you want to take the time, you can.

MICHELLE: Uh oh, oh. Should we not do this? Hold on, I got scared.

TALIESIN: I'm tapped, so if we take a second.

LAURA: I-- I am--

MICHELLE: You're like dying, right?

SAM: I could heal both of you for a few rounds.

LAURA: Really?

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Okay.

MICHELLE: If it's a short rest, we can roll our hit dice.

LAURA: How long is a short rest, an hour or 30 minutes?

SAM: This lieutenant just ran down there, we've got to pursue.

LAURA: I know, we got to-- They're going to know, they're going to come up.

SAM: We'll be fine.

AABRIA: If we just wait like a minute, I think our majica--

MARISHA: (swooshes) Another flash of red pumps from the bottom.

AABRIA: -- back online.

SAM: All right. I will cast Spirit Mender. Come close with me. And "At the start of your turn for the next three rounds, you or an ally you choose," is that just one ally? "Regains 1d4 four plus one hit point."

MARISHA: Okay. That's pretty good.

SAM: For three rounds.

AABRIA: How long does it take--

SAM: Four.

AABRIA: -- to regen our stamina and magicka? Majica? I don't know how to say it.

SAM: 11 points.

MICHELLE: I thought that was every new battle, no?

LAURA: 11 points?

SAM: I'll do for you.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Can you heal this one? Hoa, can you heal this one or no?

MICHELLE: I need a short rest--

SAM: Oh boy.

MICHELLE: -- for me to do that spell.

TALIESIN: I could use that 11.

SAM: I've already given it away.

LAURA: But we're-- you can do it again as we're on our way down. It's a round, right, or three rounds?

SAM: I am out of magicka. Unless after fights, we regenerate it.

LAURA: After fights, we get it back.

TALIESIN: After fights, we regenerate.

SAM: Right, DM?

LAURA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Got to check those notes.

SAM: Yep. That's what she just said.

LAURA: "Yes, that's right, that's exactly right."

MARISHA: Yep, you regenerate it after fights.

LAURA: That I what Matt had told us after the first game.

MARISHA: Once you leave initiative, you regenerate, yes.

AABRIA: Okay, vibes.

SAM: I'm clean slating?

MARISHA: You have been in initiative since the start of-- since you have come into the tavern.

SAM: Are we out of initiative now?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'll say you're out of initiative now, fine.

SAM: I will cast Spirit Mender on you, giving you also 11 hit points.


TALIESIN: I am okay.

MARISHA: Were you attempting to quell the flames? As it is (crackling).

MICHELLE: Yeah, I'll do that, it's just an action and yeah, it's just one action to do that.

MARISHA: Okay, I'll say you are able to tamp them down. There's still a little bit of burning embers on the edges of the wood, but you are able to slow down the spread pretty significantly.

MICHELLE: Just so we can get back out.

AABRIA: It's humid. It'll be fine.

MICHELLE: Just so we can get back up.

LAURA: Maybe it'll rains.

MARISHA: That's not how fire works, but yeah, I mean, sure.

AABRIA: I don't know how fire or water work.

MICHELLE: Or water, yeah.

AABRIA: Neither thing.

MICHELLE: Yeah, if we had one minute, maybe someone can give the horse out in the back some water.

AABRIA: I just gesture down the hole.

TALIESIN: We should go right now.

MARISHA: You all hear a bit of an echo.

SAM: There's a devil ritual going.

LAURA: Yeah. Listen, there's things happening.

MARISHA: That starts reverberating from the bottom of, "Please, please!"

SAM: Let's go down.

MARISHA: "Please, Mehrunes!"



LAURA: Oh, that's not-- That's bad. Let's kill her before she wakes up Mehrunes.

MICHELLE: I was told at the beginning of this to not try to look for Mehrunes, so this is bad.


LAURA: Go, go, go. Run down the stairs.

SAM: Who's going first?


LAURA: I'll follow.


TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: (footsteps) As you guys slowly move down the staircase, you continue to hear echoes of begging, pleading, "I beg of you, what must I do to prove my worth?" As you continue to move down.

LAURA: We pick up speed.

AABRIA: Yep, yep, yep.

MARISHA: (quick footsteps) "Can you hear me, great prince?" And all of you, seeming to emanate throughout the whole bodies and within your skulls almost reverberating from your bones, (as Mehrunes) "Serendipity is on your side, beggar. Seems we have intruders amongst us." And about this time, you see the lieutenant, beautiful woman, pale skin, cloak pulled over her head, pulls back, her long ears pointing up. Looks up at you, eyes dripping with blood as she sees you descending the spiral staircase. "(chuckles) I knew you'd be back." Roll for initiative again.

SAM: Oh my god.

AABRIA: Let's go!

MICHELLE: I mean, we live here.

LAURA: Is this Devin? Diven?

MARISHA: It is not Devin. You do not recognize this woman.

MICHELLE: Oh, Devin.

LAURA: (gasps) (mouthed) Natural 20.


MARISHA: What we got, what do we got? Grelnok, finally?

LAURA: Natural 20.

MARISHA: Hell yes.

AABRIA: Brrah! Anyone else over 20?

AABRIA: Just a dirty 20.

MARISHA: Okay, perfect, that's great. Let me roll for her.

LAURA: Flank sisters.

AABRIA: Yah! Brrah!

MARISHA: Ooh, she rolled real bad. She did not do good.

LAURA: Is there other people? Is it just her right now?

MARISHA: You see two other cultists at her side.


MARISHA: And she just rolled terribly, okay. Sorry, bear with me.

AABRIA: No, you're good.

MARISHA: Tavima. 20 to 15? 15 to 10?


MARISHA: Okay. Yeah.

MICHELLE: So I'm third? Wow. (laughter)

LAURA: We are so shitty. (laughter)

MARISHA: That then puts her--

MICHELLE: We're level two shitty.

MARISHA: And then five to zero?


SAM: Three.

MARISHA: Oh, you did say-- It was six, three? Okay, okay.


MARISHA: Mallory, Slaughter, okay.

MICHELLE: Has it been over 10 minutes since we started the battle in the back of the house?

MARISHA: With the break that you guys just took, I'd say right at 10 minutes.

MICHELLE: Frost Cloak is gone, but I'll do it again.

MARISHA: Okay. And then, wait, Mallory, Slaughter Grimm, you're last?

SAM: Three.

MARISHA: Okay. Grelnok, you are first.

LAURA: All right.

SAM: All right, Grel.

LAURA: How far away are we?

MARISHA: You're still perched up on the spiral staircase. I'd say you're about 20 feet up and another 10 feet away from her, and you look down and you can see that there are these Daedric runes carved around this gigantic statue of Mehrunes Dagon and that has been this pulsing red energy emanating from these runes with this lieutenant, this Daedra lieutenant-- Dremora, sorry-- Dremora lieutenant standing in the middle of it as she's crying these red tears, attempting to commune with Mehrunes Dagon.

LAURA: I'm afraid to go in the middle of those runes. This seems bad.

AABRIA: Just kill her.

LAURA: How close are the other people to her?

MARISHA: They're five feet flanked behind her. They're her squad, you know?

LAURA: Aight, I'm going to give it a try. I'm going to run up and try to get within-- right next to her. I'm going to get up right next to her.


LAURA: And right as I slide up next to her, I'm going to run up, grab my axe, and slam it down into the ground, and cast Stone Fist to try to hit all three at once.

MARISHA: Amazing, do it.


SAM: Triple play.

LAURA: So this is a dexterity save of 14.


LAURA: For all of these.

MARISHA: There's no way. Okay, let's do her first. Nope. The cultists. Okay, one of the cultists made it, one of her little minions, the one that's back to the right of her. Everyone else failed.

LAURA: They take 15 force damage, the ones that failed, and half that for the one that saved.

MARISHA: Okay. So the cultist that's to her left immediately is obliterated as these rocks from the ground--

AABRIA: Let's go!

MARISHA: -- pop up around them and completely crushes them without a second thought. So that one is dead. The other one, you said, takes half damage, he is looking rough and then she's-- That's what she's at.

LAURA: And then for my bonus action, I'm going to Venomous Claw her.

MARISHA: Okay, make an attack.

LAURA: Ooh! That's good, 15 plus something.

MARISHA: Yeah, hits.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Ow.

LAURA: So that's 3d8 plus my strength modifier.

MARISHA: Hell yes.

AABRIA: Let's go!

LAURA: So that's--

SAM: That's a lot.

LAURA: Six, 10, 13 more points of poison damage to her.

AABRIA: Heck yes.

MICHELLE: Gosh. That's a hell of a round.

AABRIA: You rock!

MICHELLE: Kill them all!

SAM: Is it on the lieutenant or on the cultist?

LAURA: On the lieutenant.

MARISHA: Oh my god, I'm not good at math. Okay, there we go, there we go, there we go. 13. Hang on, hang on. Get me a calculator. I don't have a calculator. Let me just do this old school style.

SAM: Carry the three.

MARISHA: Yes, full-on. Okay, okay, yeah, all right, there we go, I was right.

LAURA: I'm just going to grab her shirt and pull her forward and I'm going to go: Hit me.


MARISHA: Once again, she is like, "What?"

MICHELLE: We all nod, "Yep, mm-hmm."

MARISHA: "Okay."

TALIESIN: She likes it, it's fine.

MARISHA: Tavima, it's your turn.

AABRIA: Let's go. I love my battle sister, and I just sprint in. All right, I had to write it all out. As I run down, cast Backlash, so DC 15 con save.

SAM: Backlash.


AABRIA: Wait, did she make it?

MARISHA: She fails.

AABRIA: Oh cool, cool.


AABRIA: Sweet. All right, five points of fire damage and Doomed until the end of the next turn.

SAM: Doomed?

AABRIA: Yeah. So she's about to take way more damage. Finish running, Shield Charge her.

MARISHA: Okay, roll to hit.

AABRIA: Do I get an advantage because of melee? I want to come around and flank. Yeah, I'm not trying to run into you.

MARISHA: Sure, if you're flanking, yeah.

AABRIA: Cool, because that was much better, 16.

MARISHA: That hits.




AABRIA: Cool, cool, cool. 3d6 plus strength. Which is another-- those are low rolls. Nine, no. 10 points of bludgeoning damage plus 2d4. Plus another six fire damage from Backlash. And now I'm going to use, for my action, longsword attack.

MARISHA: Oh my god, yeah.

AABRIA: Oh yeah, sorry, before that, I need a DC 13 strength saving throw or she's knocked prone from the Shield Charge.

SAM: Good gravy.

LAURA: (gasps) What a great--


AABRIA: Yes! So this is also with advantage now because she's down on the ground.

SAM: God.


LAURA: That's clutch!

AABRIA: 18 to hit.


TALIESIN: Oh my god.

AABRIA: Sweet.

SAM: You're going to kill her in one move.


MICHELLE: We're just attempting to take a mental photograph.

AABRIA: For another seven points of slashing damage, and I get another 2d4 fire damage because it's every time I hit with melee.

LAURA: Because she's Doomed.

AABRIA: Yep, because she's Doomed. So another six points of fire damage.


AABRIA: And then I'm going to spend one more stamina as a free action to puncture her. So I need a DC 14 dexterity check.

SAM: Oh my god!

AABRIA: She's prone, so that should be with disadvantage.

MARISHA: You're right. She rolled a 16 on that first one, and then a 13 on the second, she fails.

SAM: Ooh!


AABRIA: For another eight points of piercing damage.

MARISHA: This was supposed to be--

SAM: A multi-round thing?

MARISHA: The climactic culmination-- (laughter)

LAURA: Battle sister.

MARISHA: With things that happened: How do you want to do this?

AABRIA: Yes! Oh, yay!

MARISHA: Sorry, other players.

AABRIA: I'm sorry.


SAM: I'll be right there! (laughter)


MICHELLE: I'm drawing a picture of the scene while I'm-- (laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm sitting down. I'm just going to sit down.

MICHELLE: I'll remember this forever.

LAURA: I'm just drooling watching her fight.

SAM: Nosebleed?

AABRIA: I do all of this while never breaking eye contact with Grelnok.


TALIESIN: Have some chips to dip.

MARISHA: [Inaudible], this.

AABRIA: Yep. Yeah, I don't know how to redescribe it. You make it cool, I don't know.

MARISHA: Okay, so as you just come at her, this woman who is already vulnerable and-- (laughter)

MARISHA: -- emotionally charged in the middle of trying to commune with and get this all power, you slash into her once, you bash her again. She tumbles back into this runic circle and falls downward as the runes burst again with this red energy, and you almost see the tendrils of the energy reach out and begin to consume her as blood starts being siphoned and pouring out of her pores as her skin pulls back all over her body, as her entire life force is just siphoned out of her and you see these blood droplets floating in the air mixing with this red, necromantic demonic energy and then gets sucked right back down into the runes that were glowing this red energy.

MICHELLE: We just fed the monsters.

AABRIA: So I do all that, and then I just turn back to everyone that's still coming down like: Oop.

MARISHA: And then you hear as much as everything was on fire and the clanging and the banging as your fellow teammates come running down the stairs, that same voice echoes within all of your all's heads and throughout the building. "(sinister laughter) A pact will be fulfilled. The time of the Ambitions has come. Only those worthy will claim their power." And as quickly as this escalated, (swooshes) silence. You see one more remaining cultist who looks around.

SAM: You better leave.

MARISHA: And just (pattering) begins walking up the staircase, looking to see. (laughter) He encounters you, Mallory.

TALIESIN: Do I recognize the face?

LAURA: Is it Timothy? (laughter)

AABRIA: Timothy!

SAM: You bastard.

MARISHA: Yeah, you know what? It's Timothy. (yelling)

MARISHA: Why not? It's Timothy, fuck this guy.

SAM: We should screen our employees better.

MICHELLE: Inside job.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to take a swing with my stick.


AABRIA: Let's go!

TALIESIN: All right, taking a swing.

MARISHA: "Mallory?"

TALIESIN: 16 to hit.

MARISHA: "Please." It hits. "Please, we had good times."

TALIESIN: It's four points of damage. Go, shoo!

MARISHA: You kick him back down the stairs. (clanks)

AABRIA: Oh damn.

MARISHA: Falls, collapses on top of the lieutenant's body as once again the final runes, only three though, not all of them, just a few runes go like (slurps). Yeah. (laughter) Just sucks what few remaining hit points was left in poor Timothy.

LAURA: Poor little Chalamet. (laughter)

AABRIA: Oh, it's an honor [inaudible].

MICHELLE: Is that his name?

SAM: He's totally little and cute.

LAURA: So little and cute.

TALIESIN: He's a snitch.

LAURA: He was gone before his time.

TALIESIN: I can't stand a snitch.

MARISHA: With the cultists defeated--

SAM: That's your two weeks' notice. (laughter)

MARISHA: This new emergent silence, quiet. You, the tavern keepers, are now alone with the remnants of your tavern that must now need a bit more renovations and repairs to get running again. The good news, however, your property just expanded by about 350 square feet.

AABRIA: Vibes.

LAURA: Nice!

MARISHA: And that is where we will close Part Two of our three-shot of Elder Scrolls Online.

AABRIA: I want to look over at all of you. We need to name the horse.

MARISHA: What did I do? Did I do it wrong?

AABRIA: We never named the horse.

MARISHA: Part Two of our three-shot. (laughter)

SAM: Wait, we never named the horse. We're going to have to rename the bar now as well because it's been destroyed.

TALIESIN: But there's now a really nice hole!

MICHELLE: There is a nice hole!

SAM: It's a really nice hole! (yelling)

TALIESIN: We've got a dining room inside a wine cellar. This is awesome.

MARISHA: It all comes around.

TALIESIN: We can put a glass floor in and rent it.

MARISHA: It all works out.

MICHELLE: We did that thing where we materialized it into being.

LAURA: "The Secret."

AABRIA: Praise Oprah.

MARISHA: Thank you all for hanging out with us. Please go check out Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood now at and we will see you for the grand finale of this three-shot. (laughter)