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List of Transcripts

Pre-Show[]

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. I think we're recording, because my camera light's not on, but nevertheless, welcome. (laughs)

TRAVIS: We're totally recording.

MATT: I'm pretty sure we are. Anyway guys, welcome, we have a fantastic guest who will be joining us later this evening, but before we get to that we have announcements to go over real fast. First and foremost, tonight's episode is sponsored by a new sponsor, a fantastic group called Quidd! If you want to talk about that first?

SAM: Hi, guys. Vacation Sam here. Quidd is our sponsor tonight, a fantastic new sticker app for your phone. You can check it out at bitly, that's bit.ly/crquidd. I didn't know much about the company, but Quidd sounds vaguely British, so little known fact about me, I have access to the BBC archives at home, so I did some snooping and sure enough, I found a World War II newsreel transcript that talked about Quidd, so I thought I would do a dramatic reading of it for you right now.

LIAM: Here we go.

SAM: News from the front! This is Nigel G. Creamhutch reporting from BBC London. March 23, 1944 may be a turning point in WWII as PM Churchill announces a new weapon in the fight against those devilish Nazis. They're calling it Quidd, a new app where you can collect stickers, cards and Funko figures on your telephone device. Our lads on the frontlines are already using it! We spoke with Lieutenant Neville Bingham of the Royal Navy.

Right, yeah, Quidd's this free app available at the Apple App Store and Google Play, and it's helping us drive Hitler back to Berlin.

But it's not just our Tommies. The Reds have discovered quidd as well! We spoke with tank commander Ivan Bashenko.

With Quidd, Russian army is strongest in world. Morale better now with thousands of stickers to collect that can be used like emojis in messages to your friends. Stalingrad will not fall with these cute stickers!

Why, they're even using Quidd across the pond! We spoke with American sergeant John Smith, an American Doughboy.

I'm John, an American. We American GIs love to collect stickers from brands like Rick and Morty, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, Breaking Bad, Star Trek, and newly announced Game of Thrones. Take that, Emperor Hirohito!

Well, there you have it, ladies and gents. Your British Armed Forces and our allies will defeat the Nazis and win the Second Great War if you go to bit.ly/crquidd and check out Quidd. Good night, good luck, and god save the queen, pip pip!

(cheering)

TRAVIS: I'm so glad that's available on the BBC.

SAM: Yeah, it was a weird transcript. I would have shown the newsreel, but it was just a transcript.

MATT: Fair enough. Well, thank you for the update on that, and thank you, Quidd for sponsoring tonight's episode. Really appreciate it.

LIAM: Did they win the war?

SAM: Find out next time!

(laughter)

MATT: All righty, let's see. Do you have any merch updates at all, Laura?

LAURA: There's stuff in the store!

MATT: There you go. Perfect. Good, I like it, thank you. The Green Ronin Campaign Guide. Pre-orders go up on Monday, guys!

ALL: What!

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Yes, and if you get the book and the pdf, I think the pdf is available immediately, so some of you will have access to actually read the book on Monday.

LAURA: Are you so nervous, Matt?

MATT: I'm so nervous. (laughs nervously)

TALIESIN: People can actually, in real time, call us when we're wrong on our own stuff.

TRAVIS: What do you mean, finally? They do that every week.

MARISHA: Finally? Although you are Taliesin Jaffe.

TALIESIN: This is a level of pain I've only dreamed of; I'm very excited.

LIAM: Hey. We're so proud of you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, nice job with the words and stuff.

SAM: Hold on though, we haven't read it yet. What if it's terribly written, by a child?

LAURA: We'll find out he used crayon. It's all written in marker.

MATT: Probably. Do you know how hard it is to get crayon printed these days?

MARISHA: Only if the writers' room dropped the ball.

MATT: Well, I hope you guys enjoy it, so look forward to that. The podcast is now episodes 11 through 20, right? Up on the Apple Store. So you can go ahead and download those, which are awesome.

MARISHA: Yep, Apple and Google Play.

MATT: Yes. And those are the ones. Of course we'll have Talks Machina next Tuesday at 7:00pm about this episode tonight, here on Twitch and Alpha, 7:00pm Pacific, with our fantastic host Brian Foster, so you can check that out. Wednesday Club next week for you?

TALIESIN: Wednesday Club, we're talking about Comic Con, because Comic Con is coming up, and we're going to try and give you a first-timer's guide to Comic Con: If you've never been to one, what to expect, what to do for fun, and all sorts of things that you could see or do in San Diego. Other than us. Thank you, I was very proud of last night.

MATT: We're not having a show next week, we're going to be at Comic Con. Yeah, we have a week off. So we'll miss you guys next week, but we do have our Critical Role panel on Saturday at Comic Con, it's at 10:30am in Room 6...

TRAVIS: BC... E.

MATT: It's a nice big room You guys should come, we're going to have silly questions, Q and A, conversations, stories and a lot of funness and some cool surprises!

SAM and TALIESIN: Prizes?

MATT: Surprises!

MARISHA: Oh yeah, we have some announcements.

MATT: So hopefully you guys can make it at San Diego Comic Con. If you're going to be there we'd love to see you. And last but not least, Sagas of Sundry: Dread. The third episode went up today.

MATT and MARISHA: (perfect unison) Shit's getting real.

MATT: I'm going to marry you.

(laughter)

MATT: What's that? Oh that's right, and at GenCon next month we have our live show, we mentioned it last week. Tickets are still on sale for the general admission. We're looking forward to having you guys there, it's Friday evening.

TRAVIS: Yeah it's Friday evening, 7:30. In fact, we got an even bigger theatre this year. The last theatre had 1,500 seats, we're like, oh, we'll never get that many people, and it went (explosion sound). It filled up, so we got a 2,500 seat theatre. It's massive, it's a huge party, if you didn't join us last year you want to come to this mayhem. It's so much fun. You don't need passes to GenCon by the way, you don't have to have a badge or anything for that, it's a standalone thing. There are definitely tickets still available, it's going to be super fun.

SAM: I feel like with that many people we should have beach balls in the audience, aand they can do the wave.

MATT: Inflatable d20s to throw out there...

MARISHA: (gasps) You can get them. They're on ThinkGeek I think.

MATT: This is a terrible idea.

TRAVIS: It's a great idea!

MATT: Anyway, I think without further ado that concludes our announcements and as such, let us dive into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[dramatic music]

Part I[]

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. So where we left off last time. Vox Machina, having finally encountered the Undying King, returned in physical form in the Shadowfell, did battle and fled, quite unprepared for that venture, and gathered some tidbits of information about what Vecna's plans may be. Upon returning and discovering that your disintegrated Vax has returned through some deal he made with his patron the Raven Queen after disintegrating, you decided to go ahead and try and gather more information about this and beseech some of the higher powers within Exandria. Pike talked to Sarenrae and was given the invitation to come visit her in Elysium on the Island of Renewal, and upon gathering your materials and causing a mess in Vasselheim, you got together and went to meet this fantastic Everlight. On her island, you spoke with her. She gathered some information from you, as Vecna seemed to be blocking at least the influence and vision from a lot of the deities, and then gave her blessing unto Pike, transferring you over to one of the other gods that lives among the Blessed Fields of Elysium: Pelor, the Dawnfather.

You then walked through the orchards that led to the Fortress of the Sun where he resides, spoke with some of the guardians there, and were led into the center of the citadel, where you met, in the central throne room under the Zenith Tower, Pelor himself. Upon exchanging information, you spoke of your need to gather the favor of certain gods in the battles to come, and were given a challenge. To step up to plate: Vex'ahlia. You accepted the challenge and racing to the top of the tower, the zenith, before the fires could be extinguished in the brazier that awaited you, you threw yourself into the fire, and upon the party speaking on what it was that made Vex'ahlia such an important member of not just your team, but your family, and gave you strength, she was imbued with a blessing of the Dawnfather himself. After which, we left off as you exited the front of the Fortress of the Sun, stepped into the central glade that marks the center of the seemingly-endless orchards that surround this region, and Vox Machina, what would you like to do?

TRAVIS: Eat all of the fruit.

LAURA: No.

TRAVIS: It was really good. It was just fruit, by the way. Like I said.

SAM: We're still in heaven right now?

LAURA: We're still in Elysium.

TALIESIN: It's not quite heaven.

TRAVIS: Are there any other gods here that we should curry favor with? For? Of?

LAURA: Are there any more gods here? Not that we know of.

SAM: We forgot to ask.

TRAVIS: Did we?

LAURA: Yeah. I don't think Ioun is here.

MATT: You're looking at the series of the Sun Tree cousins, one of which you've met, scattered amongst this glade surrounding the central citadel.

MARISHA: What a douche.

SAM: No other people? Guards? Nothing.

MATT: You have the guards behind you, the large planetar and deva entities that stand there, armored in their golden plate, after ushering you out, are standing guard.

LAURA: Maybe we can ask them.

SAM: Sure. I'll go up to one and say, hello there, big fellow.

MATT: Standing a full ten feet taller than you, practically, the wings slightly bent, the large planar entity kneels down. "Hello."

SAM: Hello. Vacation Scanlan here. Couple of questions. By the way, was he one of the ones who fought in there?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Oh. Do they all look alike? 17 plus one.

MATT: Hard to tell. You didn't pay a lot of attention.

SAM: Okay. Hey, just wondering, a few questions. A: How does one get out of here? Is there a door to another plane?

MATT: "I imagine the same way you came in."

SAM: A god brought us here. All right, cool. Number two: Are there any other like your Dawnfather around here? Any other gods in the area?

MATT: "Across Elysium, there are two deities that call it home: the Dawnfather and the Everlight."

SAM: So we covered our bases. Out of curiosity: What are you called?

MATT: He looks very closely, and you get sense that part of its nature is scanning through you; it's getting a sense and a read of you as an individual, and it says, "No one you need to worry about." Stands up and then takes two steps back (heavy footfalls) into place and looks straight ahead.

MARISHA: Scanlan, you should remember that line, that's a good one.

SAM: Yeah. I've already forgot it. I'm too intimidated. Was it no one or something? I don't know. Well, good speaking to you.

MATT: Still looks out. Doesn't respond.

SAM: Well, how do we get out of here? Can she take us home?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: She does on the daily.

SAM: I know, but I don't know. They talked about some sort of a gate that keeps the gods out and the bad gods in.

MATT: To remind you of what happened last time. There was talking about possibly... or at least there was the trammel, the prime trammels that were used previously to seal the Chained Oblivion, Tharizdun, and that the orchestrator, the designer of those was Ioun, the Knowing Goddess. Ioun, however, has sealed herself away, being a wounded god, long recovering, and the only information that Pelor has of where she hid herself. The key, essentially, is not an object but a person. You're seeking an individual, of which you were given a solar light map of a single small home in a forest ravine not far from a place that you've noticed was near the Pools of Wittebak, which is in the Cliffkeep Mountains.

SAM: Yeah, but there was also a mention of some Divine Gate that keeps people from--

MATT: Well the Divine Gate is a known existing entity. It's essentially a large gate that prevents the gods from returning to the Prime Material Plane.

LIAM: It's like a metaphysical screen door that keeps flies out.

LAURA: So the gods can't get in and out.

SAM: Sure, sure.

MARISHA: Yeah, the Prime Trammel. Which we now have to get--

LAURA: We have to get near the Cliffkeep Range, near the Pools of Wittebak, is where we need to go.

MARISHA: And the Cliffkeep is not too far from Whitestone?

MATT: Cliffkeep Mountains go across a lot of the northern side of Tal'Dorei, from what you're familiar with. WLike we're talking Kraghammer to Gatshadow to the Jorenn Village. There's a lot of things. It's like a big horizontal mountain range that caps the top part of the continent.

MARISHA: Do I recognize the city that I can get us to that's close?

MATT: Fort Daxio or Kraghammer.

SAM: Never been to Kraghammer for a while, although Daxio might be worth a check.

TALIESIN: What's closest to the pools.

MATT: Probably Terrah or the Pools of Wittebak. Those are the two that are closest.

LAURA: What is Terrah?

MARISHA: My home.

MATT: Terrah's not your home.

MARISHA: Sorry. Sorry, Terrah is the Earth Ashari.

SAM: My other home, summer home.

MATT: The home away from home.

LIAM: Can you also remind me where my Vecdar made me feel Vecna and where on the Prime Material Plane?

MATT: Yes. Oh, where?

LIAM: Yeah, we talked about it, but I can't remember.

MATT: You did yes. It seemed to be hundreds of miles northwest of Vasselheim. You didn't sense any movement, but you knew the general direction and distance.

LIAM: And that was yesterday.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: Teacher?

MATT: Yes, Laura?

LAURA: I was excited the last game and somehow have misplaced my Pelor champion piece of paper.

LIAM: Oh, she doesn't get to have it now. That's how it works.

LAURA: I don't know how it happened! It's not with my stuffs.

MATT: That's okay, I remember what it does, and if you decide to use it--

LAURA: You'll tell me? Okay.

MATT: I won't tell you. You tell me you want to use it.

LAURA: Oh shit, okay. I'm sorry. I had it, and it's not here.

TALIESIN: It's weird how he's so nice and yet it still feels like you are in so much trouble.

LAURA: I'm in a lot of trouble, you guys.

LIAM: He's calm, but indifferent. Like the Dawnfather.

MATT: All right, so what would you like to do?

TRAVIS: Yeah, what would we like to do?

MARISHA: Should we go to Terrah? Check in with them, I guess, while we're there?

TALIESIN: Seems prudent.

MARISHA: And talk to Pa'tice.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: All right. We ready to go?

TALIESIN: I'm very ready to go. This is lovely and everything, but I've had my fill.

MARISHA: I will burn my 8th-level spell slot to Plane Shift us to Terrah.

MATT: To Terrah, all righty.

MARISHA: Mind the gap.

TALIESIN: What gap?

MARISHA: Don't worry about it.

TRAVIS: No effects from eating that fruit, right?

MATT: No, you didn't sense any effects from that fruit, at the moment.

TRAVIS: Didn't remove a curse or anything?

MATT: No, you didn't. Nothing really caught you up to speed, in that.

LAURA: Are we by those fruit trees again?

MATT: There are no fruit-bearing trees directly near you. The Sun Trees are around you. Further in they do, yes. All righty. Bringing up my notes on Terrah, since that's where you're going.

MARISHA: Yeah I should probably--

LAURA: I'm so confused about the order of things. If we go to Ioun, and we don't have everything we need for this Prime Trammel, are we fucked? I know we need godly power in order to imbue them, right? Or something?

LIAM: Either here or soon we need to sit and work this out.

SAM: What do we need to bring into the trammel?

LAURA: Well, Pelor gave me this. Snap, snap, snap, zip. This. It is a stone and it is supposed to be strong enough to--

LIAM: Power the trammel?

LAURA: Part of it? Not all of it.

MARISHA: We need to collect more though, right? We have to get like eight or something.

SAM: Wait, it said that?

MATT: You weren't given any indication as to how many you needed.

LAURA: But it did seem like this is not enough.

MARISHA: Oh no, wait, Ioun was healing for eight centuries. That's where I got that number. Sorry.

TRAVIS: I could do it, too. Five. Fives stones of power.

MATT: All right, so as you complete your spell, Keyleth, you step through the base of the nearest tree, possibly the same one you spoke with earlier if you want to be a dick about it.

MARISHA: Oh yeah! Let's walk through that asshole. That sounds worse for us. But fuck it.

MATT: All right, you aggressively stampede through the center of this one tree and emerge on the other side from one of the surrounding trees on the Terrah village. There are a number of these pseudo petrified or dried out large trunk trees that seem to have slowly died off from the heavy tectonic shifts and small quakes that happen in this area, that have made a lot of the land unable to support large forms of plant life. They are trees that used to exist here. So you step out and emerge from the exterior of the village and it domes down into this small crater that you recall seeing before almost the village and inhabits the central portion, and the village is there before you.

MARISHA: What are the shard things called again?

MATT: The shard things?

MARISHA: The things we need to collect?

MATT: There wasn't really a name for them more than they're small pieces of essence of the deity.

MARISHA: So we need pieces of god.

LIAM: Does the little seed of light given to my sister look anything like the little seed that Scanlan and Vax saw from riding the shadow creature in sky?

MATT: No. In a sense of it. It is a small source of power of some kind, but what you saw there was maybe about that large on the platform. What she has is bead size.

LAURA: Is it this size? Or this size?

MATT: Comparable to each. So you stand outside of Terrah. What are you doing?

SAM: What time of day is it? How tired are we?

MATT: Based on when you left, it would still be probably-- well, you were over in Vasselheim which means it is getting dark, actually. I'd say with the way the sun has passed through the sky now, you have just gotten past dusk. There is still light in the sky, but it is going from oranges to purples to dark blues on the horizon, and you can see hints of firelight, torchlight and candlelight from within the actual city below.

SAM: Well, what are we going to need on this trip? Maybe we should get whatever supplies we need. Is it far? Are we going to become gas?

TRAVIS: Are we going underground?

MARISHA: Oh, to Terrah?

SAM: No, we are in Terrah. But the next day, we are going to the--

TALIESIN: To the pools.

MARISHA: Do we want to stay the night here then? I can't mist us right now. I am tapped out. Camp here.

LAURA: Vax? Can you sense Vecna? Is he still in the same place?

LIAM: I can sense him?

MATT: You can sense him. He is from your current location, thousands of miles from you.

LAURA: Oh, hard to tell, then?

LIAM: He is still really shitty though.

MATT: Yeah, very heavy west-northwest direction from you, currently.

SAM: Well, sleep? Do we need to get any intel on where these pools are? Do we need anything?

LAURA: We should maybe talk to the people of Terrah? It is not that late.

MARISHA: Yeah, let's go. They have a spare room for us.

TRAVIS: Are you the leader of all the people?

MARISHA: I'm the leader of the Air Ashari and the Voice of the Tempest.

TRAVIS: Is that a yes or a no? You don't have to fucking brag.

MARISHA: Not it is. There is four of us, and I am one of the four.

SAM: Do you know the one who lives here?

MARISHA: I do.

SAM: Then let's go see him or her. Or they.

MARISHA: No, we can just go, like I was saying five minutes ago. Let's just go.

MATT: All right. So as you walk down into the village, a number of the guardians step out quickly seeing an approaching party, however recognizing Keyleth and her station immediately turn into an escort that leads you to the center portion of the village.

MARISHA: I request Pa'tice.

MATT: Quickly enough, they go and retrieve Pa'tice. You see the elderly form of the leader you've met before step out, the graying hair, the weathered dark skin tones, the long greens and brown leathers that drape off, showing hints of the knees and lower feet, the large walking staff that he carries at his side as he approaches and the headdress that seems to be a combination of thick twines and shale shards that have been woven in, steps forward. "Keyleth. An unexpected visit most definitely."

MARISHA: Kaitiaki.

MATT: "Kaitiaki."

MARISHA: Pa'tice, I am so sorry for the late intrusion. We've just gotten back from the plane of Elysium, so we're a little tired. Yeah, we're fighting a god right now, well, more of like a demi-god, so have you heard of Vecna? Sorry, I'm probably getting ahead of myself. Do you have any food? Let's talk over dinner.

MATT: "We have food, yes. You are guests of Terrah. Please, we will provide whatever you require. Come, provide them a meal!" And he puts his hand out and they run off quickly.

TALIESIN: Why do people just feed us? We show up, and there's food.

SAM: You've been used to that your whole life.

TALIESIN: Not, not at home

SAM: I have to sing for dinner. You just say--

TALIESIN: Have you ever tried not singing for dinner?

SAM: Maybe I'll get more food.

TALIESIN: You might!

LIAM: You did have one year-ish where you were on the skids. You did your Prince and the Pauper bit for a little bit.

TALIESIN: It's a big vague, but yes. I was on a boat for quite a while.

TRAVIS: Oh my god, can we eat food?

(laughter)

MATT: And quick as that, you guys make your way down. It's a modest meal, but it's a meal nonetheless. Mostly hunted creatures of the local mountainside, some dried beets and root.

MARISHA: We always try to source locally.

TALIESIN: Charmingly provincial.

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: Keyleth, perhaps you should let your people know that the world is in danger.

MARISHA: So the world's in danger, as she said--

SAM: The waiter is like, what?

LIAM: Runs out the door.

MARISHA: Aw shit! I just induced panic.

MATT: Pa'tice, who's sat down with you, says quickly, "We have been made aware via the other Ashari that there is some danger possibly coming. We are awaiting word of what to do other than keep ourselves in a defensive position. We have to guard the rift, of course. But should there be a call to action, we'll do what we can. I'm unfamiliar with this Vecna, but whatever you plan, please be careful."

MARISHA: (sighs) Okay. More than anything, I think I would want you all to be relief for the surrounding area and surrounding villages if anything disastrous were to happen. I know you have to guard the rift and that is insanely important and especially right now with someone like Vecna who could potentially abuse that. But if anything were to happen, I don't know if you could house extra people during a disaster."

MATT: "We are quite good at assembling makeshift and temporary lodging. The rock is our friend, if you will."

MARISHA: Yeah, that's more, I think, what we would need.

MATT: "Of course, of course! Not a worry."

MARISHA: Currently, Vecna is north of Vasselheim, close to Pyrah.

MATT: "Have you asked Pyrah for aid, as well?"

MARISHA: They've also been put on alert, but we have not personally been there yet since this has happened.

MATT: "Well. Good. They're closer. But we're happy to help if we can."

MARISHA: Yeah. Thank you.

LAURA: Things are happening very quickly. We just happened here first.

MATT: "We're happy to help. Where are you off to?"

SAM: The Pools of Wittebak.

MATT: "What brings you towards the Pools of Wittebak?"

SAM: You know this place?

MATT: "It is a series of poisoned wells and hulking, stupid giants."

SAM: Hulking, stupid giants?

LAURA: Giants? At the pools?

MATT: "Yes."

LAURA: I thought it was something about gnomes there.

MATT: "It was once."

SAM: They grew.

(laughter)

LAURA: Is that something you can do, Scanlan?

SAM: I don't know. (laughs)

MATT: "They're geothermic large puddles across the mountainside. Various minerals being lifted up from the deep waters beneath the mountain. Heated, bubbling, boiling, steaming. But the giants moved in hundreds of years ago, stomped around, and ended up filling the entire subterranean gnomish city of Wittebak with fumes and poison. Killed most of them, and the rest fled to Kraghammer."

LIAM: Do you all ever broach the area or do you just stay clear of it?

MATT: "Best to avoid, we have our own business to deal with. And it's 100 miles from here. It's not much of an issue."

TALIESIN: And the pools are naturally poisonous?

MATT: "Well, some are toxic, some are not, but since the giants moved in and ruptured some of the natural formations, some of them have grown toxic or acidic, yes."

MARISHA: Do you know if people still try to live there? We're looking for someone.

MATT: "If they are, they're foolish."

MARISHA: Okay.

TALIESIN: That's our kind of people.

LAURA: Maybe the person we're looking for is a giant.

MARISHA: Maybe.

SAM: Do you know what type of giant? We've seen a few types of giants. Do you know their make and model?

MATT: "The dumbest. Hill giants."

LAURA: Hill giants.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: "Easy to outsmart, difficult to outrun. They'll eat anything, even small little gnomes."

LAURA: Seems like they ate a lot of them.

SAM: (laughing) I guess so.

LAURA: Pasty, I have a question. Do you know anything about Ioun?

MATT: "I know of the name."

LAURA: But not much.

MATT: "We're not the most devoted people."

LAURA: I know.

MARISHA: I saw that

(laughter)

MATT: "I can't imagine I'd have any information you wouldn't."

LAURA: Okay. Just checking.

MATT: "My apologies."

LAURA: This food is really good.

MATT: "Yes! Enjoy your meal!" And he gets up and walks away.

TALIESIN: He was so officious.

LAURA: I thought we were walking into a fucking lake with gnomes living there. I didn't realize we were going to fight giants.

TRAVIS: This got so much better all of a sudden.

TALIESIN: If it were easy, it really wouldn't be us, would it?

MARISHA: So the question is, is there actually someone of some minor intelligence living there that is this magical key, or did that person get eaten by a giant?

TALIESIN: I cannot believe I'm about to say this. I'm inclined to believe the god. They're in the position where trying to trick us out of leaving is not necessary. They could've just told us to leave and be done with it. That information just wouldn't suit them, I don't think.

MARISHA: I'm not saying it's bad information, I'm just wondering who the key is.

LAURA: It's possible the key is now inside of a giant's stomach. In which case, it's still would be inside of someone. Just a different someone.

MARISHA: Yeah. Maybe they're still living inside. Maybe it's like a Moby Dick situation.

MATT: You do recall the map that was shown to you by the Dawnfather Pelor. It was adjacent to the pools, not actually in the Pools of Wittebak. It was within a forest, and was a home.

LAURA: Oh! I remember it now! It was a home inside. Oh, I drew a little map of it.Yep, that's it. Yes, it's adjacent to the pools, but there's a home in a forest. Did you like it? That's what my map was.

MARISHA: Can we theoretically just mist over everywhere?

LAURA: I mean and look out for a home in the forest? We'll have to fly pretty low. I'm assuming the home is going to be covered by treetop.

TRAVIS: We never travel traditionally anymore. I'm just saying, I miss the romantic aspects of traveling the countryside. It's like fast forward, immediate gratification, fucking you know.

SAM: The Dawnfather said we must hurry or else the world will end.

LAURA: It's very far. We could Misty Step into the forest and then walk in the forest?

TRAVIS: Why are you fucking talking to me like I'm a child?

LAURA: No reason, darling.

TRAVIS: Okay. That would-- okay.

(laughter)

LIAM: Once this is all done, Grog, you and I will go on a long trek together.

TRAVIS: Yeah? Yeah. I dig that.

LAURA: Don't be dark and creepy and make it sound like you're being nice. I know you're being dark and creepy right now.

TRAVIS: Oh, hey. Don't get after my camping partner like that, all right? Shit. Chill.

LIAM: Can't predict this one.

TRAVIS: No marshmallows for this witch.

MARISHA: It is a little weird to be making promises, though.

TALIESIN: Well, on the chipper little side note, I think we should turn in for the evening.

SAM: Yes, do we have lodging?

MATT: Lodging is provided for you. They have a number of various guest tents and small buildings that provide you with space. Not the highest of quality of places you've slept in, probably, and if you wanted to provide your mansion instead, you're welcome to, but ample food, quiet sleep. It's a comfortable evening's rest. You all find yourselves through the evening. As you sleep, and having this be the first time, many of you, sleeping in Terrah, it takes you a while. There is a just a general low hum or vibration to the ground that you sleep on. You get the sense it's probably proximity to the rift, but there is this slow, perpetual (rumbling). It's like a weird, low grumble. Like a heavy bass sound that never seems to dissipate that you hadn't noticed until you were trying to quietly sleep. But it's not off-putting and within ten or 15 minutes, it actually almost helps to lull you to rest. You all come to in the morning, gather your supplies, and are preparing for the next leg of your journey. What do you wish to do?

TRAVIS: Could I attune, either before I go to sleep or when I wake up, to the Dwarven Thrower instead of the Bloodaxe?

MATT: You may. All right. Any other attunements, anyone wishes to--

LIAM: I'll set the Deathwalker's Ward to acid.

MATT: All right, to acid. Boom.

LAURA: Before everyone else gets up, can I go find where Vax is sleeping?

MATT: You may.

LAURA: This is a tent. What do I do? Do I knock? Do I shake it? I'm not sure. Scratch?

MATT: They're lodging made from large pieces of shale and rock, jammed into somewhat a triangular pattern to form an earth yurt, if you will.

LAURA: Oi. Vax. Are you naked?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: Put some clothes on, then. Jesus. Keyleth, sorry.

MARISHA: Keyleth opens the shamble door first with a little earth movement. I'm dressed. Yeah. I'm not like that.

LAURA: You don't sleep naked?

MARISHA: I'm going to go get coffee.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: (laughs) Keyleth darts off in the distance and the two of you are left within the tent.

LAURA: Are you decent?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: I'm coming in.

LIAM: I'm still naked.

LAURA: Ugh, come on! So fucking weird. (groans) I turn my back to him.

LIAM: I start putting on the rest of my armor.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

LAURA: Can I ask you a question? Well, I'm going to.

LIAM: Of course you can.

LAURA: I look down at my feet. Why didn't you ever try to take these back?

LIAM: Well, they're going to be yours, anyway.

LAURA: Oh Jesus. You know, the only reason that I do things is that I take great joy in irritating you. If you don't show irritation, it makes it not worth it. (sighs) Can I turn around now? I'm turning around.

LIAM: I am covered.

LAURA: Good. Why are you so calm? You're so calm and confident now. It's weird.

LIAM: I mean, I'm on bonus time.

LAURA: Is he still cold?

MATT: His skin is colder than a warm body, yes.

LIAM: But I'm not Bobby Drake, right?

LAURA: What's his heartbeat like?

MATT: (very slow heartbeat)

LAURA: (groans) Jeez!

TALIESIN: Wow, way to hang onto that one, Matt.

LIAM: But look. (slashing noise) I mean, look.

LAURA: Is there blood?

MATT: Yeah, he bleeds, and it's a pretty open wound. You watch as the wound slowly seals itself up.

LAURA: (gasping) No fucking way!

LIAM: Oh, I didn't know it did that.

(laughter)

LAURA: That's really cool.

LIAM: Thank you!

LAURA: Wow.

LIAM: I don't know, this is the dumbest conversation. This is bonus time. I shouldn't be here. It was the long sleep or come back and help.

LAURA: So she gave you the option and then you came back and now you're what? Super? Super half-elf?

LIAM: Well, I'm just following through on a promise made

LAURA: And we defeat Vecna and you're done, you're gone. That's it? Instant? Is it like we kill him and you're gone that second or is it like we kill him and you're here for another week or until Raven Queen realizes that you're still here?

LIAM: There isn't really a handbook.

LAURA: She didn't tell you?

LIAM: When Vecna is destroyed, she will call me back to where I would be right now. I expect everyone-- Keyleth and I have barely spoken-- I expect everyone to be sad, but I wish you wouldn't be so sad, not exorbitantly so, because I--

LAURA: Exorbitant? That's a good word

LIAM: I read. Not as much as some, but I read. This is the path that I have chosen for myself and I did it based out of desperation, at first. But everyone dies.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: And I think our group has become a little spoiled. We not your ordinary group of idiots. We have blessings.

LAURA: We're blessed idiots.

LIAM: Blessed idiots, yes, and I know that we've gotten used to feeling like we can overcome losing anyone, but your average farmer or seamstress doesn't come back. And everybody dies, and all that matters is what you do with what you have, and I have done a lot, and I've taken great pride watching all that you have done. And I have good friends and I have fallen in love. More than most, I've had.

LAURA: Yeah. After you die, do you stand by her side?

LIAM: That I don't really know. I imagine she'll keep me close.

LAURA: Do you like her now?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: That's good.

LIAM: She's necessary and she's of use, and I like that.

LAURA: She brought you back to us for a while. I like her, too. Anyway, do you want the fucking boots back? Fuck! Yeah, sure, yes, fine that's fine. I wanted to give them back ,so there you go. I'm glad you asked for them back.

LIAM: I don't have a lot of time. They really are my favorite thing.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: Physical thing.

LAURA: Just make sure that you write it down somewhere that after you go back to the Raven Queen that your sister is your favorite in the universe.

LIAM: Dear, every stitch on my body is yours when I am gone.

LAURA: I don't want every stitch. None of it's worth you leaving.

LIAM: I slide my feet in the shoes and I wiggle my toes around. Oh, I'm sorry. I also have a confession to make.

LAURA: What?

LIAM: I don't exactly have your shoes anymore.

LAURA: What?!

LIAM: I think that I left them in the Feywild.

LAURA: The Feywild?

LIAM: Yeah I think I dropped them into a bog. They didn't fit me.

LAURA: You are a motherfucker. You couldn't have just put them in the Bag of Holding?

LIAM: I'm still me.

LAURA: Great, wonderful. I like being barefoot.

LIAM: You have very cute, small feet that fit in the boots that you gave me, but not my feet.

LAURA: That's great.

LIAM: There's probably shoes here.

LAURA: Probably. All right.

LIAM: I pull out her shoes and I put them down.

LAURA: Well, at least there's that!

MATT: Got your shoes back. Keyleth returns with some coffee. The rest of you come to consciousness, and the morning sun is now blaring down over the Cliffkeep. It's a strangely clear sky for the north. While a lot of it relatively cold usually, you're used to seeing the snow capped mountaintops-- oh, you found it! There you go.

TALIESIN: It was with you the whole time.

LIAM: Must have been inside your shoes.

LAURA: Oh my gosh! I put it in the safe place and I didn't realize it!

TRAVIS: Thank you, chat.

LAURA: Did they really know where I put it?

TRAVIS: Yeah, they know where your shit is.

SAM: Did the chat know where you put your stuff?

TRAVIS: “It's in the page in front of your blue divider.”

SAM: No way!

LAURA: Wow, thank you. Thank you, guys!

LIAM: How many fingers am I holding up?

MATT: So bringing it back in, guys.

SAM: Yes, we have a guest.

MATT: Yes. At some point. So what do you guys want to do?

SAM: Set off! For the Pools of Hatabah!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: For the forest near the Pools of--

SAM: The adjacent to the Pools of Hatafah.

TRAVIS: We didn't want to bring any extra muscle with us, do we, from these peeps? Oh wait, we're misting a long ways away. Never mind. Sorry. Forget it.

LIAM: Grog, you are our extra muscle.

TRAVIS: See! High five! Up top.

LIAM: I'm not dead.

TRAVIS: His hand's cold.

MATT: So you're traversing via your Wind Walk?

MARISHA: I guess. Are we wind walking there?

LAURA: (mispronouncing) Wind.

MARISHA: (mispronouncing) Wind walk? Wind walking.

LIAM: (mispronouncing) Wil Wheaton!

SAM: Hey, before we leave, real quick: Kiki.

MARISHA: Yes.

SAM: Can you send messages or anything?

MARISHA: No, man. We have been through this with our entire group so many times.

SAM: It's just you're so powerful.

MARISHA: Thank you.

SAM: Let's go.

MARISHA: What do you need?

SAM: I would send a letter, but it would take weeks. So forget it. We'll be somewhere close to somewhere with magic soon.

MARISHA: You could leave it in the hands of the Ashari, see if they could find somebody.

SAM: You trust these folks?

MARISHA: Yeah. They're all right.

TALIESIN and MARISHA: They're not the worst.

SAM: All right, I'll scribble a little note and say-- well, no there's no way they can get it to-- it's too far! It's too far!

TALIESIN: I was really excited to see your face when you handed it to them and they're like, what are we supposed to do with this?

SAM: Here, I'll show you, Grog.

TRAVIS: Write it out, bitch!

SAM: I write, a sphincter says what.

TRAVIS: A. As. Good message. That's a big word at the front.

LAURA: You could have gotten the last one, though.

TRAVIS: What!

SAM: Yes!

MATT: Pike taps you on the shoulder and is like, “I'll teach you that later.”

TALIESIN: Thank you for the Ashley Johnson simulator. That was weirdly comforting.

MATT: Curse you, Blindspot!

TRAVIS: Yeah! Are we misting?

SAM: Yeah, let's do it.

LAURA: Should we eat a feast first, or should we save that?

TALIESIN: Let's save that.

LAURA: Okay. I don't know what we're going to find!

MATT: That's up to you guys. So preparations being done, you grab your materials, Keyleth completes the Wind Walk spell and you all feel yourselves grow slightly lighter on your toes. You concentrate. Over the minute concentration, you turn into your mist forms and take off in what direction?

MARISHA: Towards the Falafel Pools!

SAM: We wrote it down.

TALIESIN: Falafel pool is actually really tasty.

TRAVIS: Pools of Wittebak.

LAURA: Yeah! Towards the mountains!

SAM: He said “which direction?” He did not say “Where are you going?” He said “which direction?”

LAURA: We got to look at our map.

MARISHA: We have it on the map!

LAURA: We have a map!

MATT: Okay! Well, you have Terrah locked down. The Pools of Wittebak was not on your specific map that you acquired earlier. You can ask around within Terrah within a brief time and figure it out. Somewhere between 100 and 120 miles, and he points in a specific direction. You mark the sun's traveling and where certain landmarks are.

MARISHA: I quickly do the math how fast I can travel and be like okay, it shouldn't take long.

MATT: It's an eastward direction from where you are.

TALIESIN: You did actually, legitimately point east, too, which makes that even better.

MATT: That's weird.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that is weird.

MATT: I'm putting points in my nature skill. Or survival, I guess. Anyway, too many editions in my head. (laughs) As you all take off into the morning sky, you begin to rocket over, and you're hitting jets of wind that are beginning to find their way over the mountain ranges, and you get blown a little off course, but you maintain concentration as best you can in that direction. Who is leading this venture?

SAM: I've been there. No, I knew of it, right?

MATT: You knew of it, yeah.

SAM: But I don't know exactly where.

LAURA: After listening to everybody, I'll lead the way. That way, I can keep an eye out for the forest next, too, and the house and the cliffs. Things we're looking for. I got a good look at the map that Pelor held up in front of us, as well.

MATT: Right. Okay, cool. I need you to go ahead and make a survival check. Actually, for this, I would say-- yeah, because it would be tracking in the wilderness. So survival.

LAURA: Survival? Great. Any advantage on that?

SAM: Wilderness is your favored terrain.

MATT: It's mountains, technically.

LAURA: That's also my favored.

MATT: Then yeah, roll again.

TRAVIS: Because that was a one.

LAURA: Oh! So much better. 28.

MATT: Okay, that will do it. Your speed is tremendous when in this form, so what would have been an extended trek on foot over a series of days, it takes you mere hours to eventually get to the point where you crest one heavy peak. On the opposite side, you can see down the cliffside, the edge reaches a slight precipice, and there you can see what looks to be for a mile or so a cluster of dozens and dozens of pools of water of different sizes, all jammed together in a geothermic cluster, where you can see bright greens that move to a deep orange-maroon at the edges from the various mineral deposits that have collected over hundreds and hundreds of years. You can see large columns of smoke and steam of different chemical colors rising out of various large pools, and at a glance down, you can see a number of shapes: a number of hulking, humanoid shapes; somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 or so scattered at different pools, moving in small clusters or gangs. Some of them are jumping in, cannonballing and swimming through the actual pools. Some of them are lounging around and lying. Some of them appear to be returning, dragging things from the nearby forest on the eastern side of the bank.

MARISHA: This is a vacation spot. What's that water park nearby?

LAURA: Wet 'N' Wild?

MATT: Essentially, for a few hundred years, you get the sense that the Pools of Wittebak have been a hill giant water park. You can see these large mounds of mud and scrap wood and things that have been built into these large hill giant domiciles onto the side of the mountain not far from the pools. It's become a definite hill giant wandering zone. So do you guys continue over the pools, down towards the nearby forest ridge?

LAURA: Yeah, past the pools.

MATT: All righty. You come to the forest ridge, and you can see it's not thick forest. The ravine comes down off the precipice where the pools are. You get a few hundred-- I'd say, actually more than that. A thousand or more feet away from that precipice before plants even begin to grow. It looks like whatever toxic chemicals have burbled up in some of these pools have made a lot of the ground there unable to give any forest life or sustain any large trees. As soon as the forest begins, it's a dense little pocket, maybe a mile and a half or two miles across. That's what you've got. What do you guys want to do?

LAURA: Oh man. I should try to track any footprints in there and see if there's something around the edges, maybe, that lead back to-- shit, I don't fucking know. It's only a couple of miles.

MATT: If you guys begin to do a loop over. Who's doing a quick pass over the patch of forest? All right, make a perception check.

LAURA: It's the forest. Do I get advantage on that one? Perception? What is that, 21? 21.

TALIESIN: 12.

MATT: Okay. Glancing over, you don't see any major glades or clearings. There doesn't appear to be any signs of bastions of civilization or any sort of logging going on. There's no areas where trees have been cut or cleared. It's a featureless forest top, from what you can see.

LAURA: Can we fly down lower to where we're in between the trees?

MATT: You can go down into the forest, if you'd like. All right, who's going into the forest, then?

MARISHA: I'll go.

LAURA: I'll go. All of us?

MATT: So with Pike following suit, you guys all swoop down through the boughs of the trees and into the center of the forest itself. Within there, it's not a super thick canopy; it's not as heavy as the Feywild or some of the recent forests that cluster around Vasselheim. There are breaks in the canopy where you can see the sunbeams come through from the morning sun that's rising up higher and higher in the sky as you traveled. The mist has burned away in this area, so it's a nice, warm forest. Glancing about, there is a lot of life in here. You can see signs of squirrels. You rush by what was a family of wolverine-like creatures that are rustling by. As soon as the wind scoots in and your mist forms come rocketing past, they all scatter and run off into the shadows. There's a lot of forest ground here to cover. For you to really super track with advantage, you'd have to go in human form. I'd give you a regular roll if you want to try and track in your mist form.

LAURA: Not so much tracking right now, just a loose passover as we're going, looking for any kind of hunting traps or trails, signs of life of things that have been traversed a lot.

MATT: I'd say make an investigation check.

LAURA: 27.

MATT: 27. Begin coasting through tree after tree through small, tiny bits of clearing that immediately come into large clusters of trunks and knotted branches that all merge and cluster at different intersections. After about 20 or so minutes of this, trying to do a large spiral around the forest inward, out of the corner of your eye, Vex'ahlia, you glance over and see a quick glimpse of something that appears to be more structured. You look back and rush over and there you see amongst the trees what appears to be a humble-looking two-story home. You see a small balcony built in the second floor that goes over one of the larger rooms in the bottom floor. It's not huge, by any means, and is hidden by a lot of the local brush and trees there. Can't get a lot more detail at this distance, though.

LAURA: Okay. We land. I land.

MARISHA: I follow.

LAURA: And behind a tree, I'm going to take form.

MATT: You take your form? Okay. So all of you land and follow Vex?

SAM: Yeah!

MATT: You all take a minute to go back to your physical forms. You glance over, and there it is, standing before you. It's very shaded in this part of the forest. You can see a little bit of what looks to be interior light, very faint.

TRAVIS: Like a normal person-sized dwelling?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Natural 20!

LAURA: Yay!

MATT: It would be a little small for you, Grog. But you could walk in it. Proportionally, it looks maybe like it was built for a little bit of a smaller person.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: I want to start eyeballing the ground of the house for any kinds of traps set out. Is that investigation, yeah?

MATT: That is investigation.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18. Okay. So you guys begin to slowly--

TRAVIS: Wait. Before we do, there are no random nudist giants that have run over in this area, right? There's nobody sees us over here taking off?

TALIESIN: You're worried about giants streaking?

TRAVIS: Not particularly.

TALIESIN: That was *very* specific.

TRAVIS: Well, yeah, have you ever seen a giant naked? You'll never forget it.

TALIESIN: I might. I don't know.

SAM: Are you suggesting we set up a perimeter?

TRAVIS: Yeah! I mean, it's a tiny house, I don't really want to go in there. I like having exits I fit through.

LAURA: I don't want whoever it is to think that we threaten them in any way. But then, if they threaten us, I wouldn't want them to attack us, either.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll just knock the house down from the outside.

TALIESIN: Let's keep this structure standing for now.

TRAVIS: I'll stay outside.

SAM: Are we knocking properly or are we just going to Invisibility in and see who's in there?

LAURA: I feel like knock properly.

TALIESIN: If you think long and hard about it, it's not like manners have failed us very often.

LAURA: Yeah. But do keep an eye out for traps or anything weird on the way up.

MARISHA: I think we've failed at manners often.

TALIESIN: We fail at manners more often. We'll see how this goes. We'll try being nice.

TRAVIS: I'll stay out here.

SAM: I'll go knock on the door. It seems like a smallish door, right?

LAURA: Yeah, I'll go with you.

MATT: Okay, so what's the marching order?

SAM: I'll go first.

LIAM: Nothing perked up my spidey-sense?

MATT: From this current glance, no. You guys are behind a tree at a distance.

TRAVIS: No nude giants, right?

MATT: Currently, no, but you're keeping an eye out.

LAURA: I'm walking in with a smile, looking very friendly.

MATT: Who's leading the charge?

SAM: I'll go knock.

LAURA: I'll walk behind Scanlan.

MATT: We have Scanlan and Vex'ahlia.

LIAM: I'm going to go, as well, and continue to eyeball for traps.

TALIESIN: I'll be hanging back a bit, as well.

MARISHA: I'll be comfortably back, as well.

SAM: Before we knock, what were we told was in this thing?

TRAVIS: The key.

SAM: The key. Inside a person, inside a house.

LAURA: It's possible the person is the key; we're not sure.

MATT: Is Trinket within your necklace for this?

LAURA: No, he's out.

MATT: Okay, Trinket is out alongside you. Grog?

LAURA: He's a very friendly bear, look at him!

TRAVIS: I'm outside the house.

LAURA: Trinket, smile! Be friendly!

MATT: As you get across this small walkway towards the front, as you're walking with a big smile, Vex'ahlia, something catches your eye on the ground right before her and you watch as she steps forward. You reach out and grab her wrist and hold her back before she steps down.

LAURA: What is it?

MATT: There is a large, rusted, iron bear trap that is open that you almost stepped right into.

TRAVIS: That would be have been donesies.

LAURA: I was being friendly, and it almost crushed me. Trinket, be careful, this thing was made for you.

MATT: Trinket walks up to it.

LAURA: No, no, be careful! Spit on it!

MATT: (growling)

LAURA: Can he spit? Can Trinket spit?

MATT: (bear spitting) It's not very-- it's more of a power drool, if you will.

LIAM: Is it easy enough to walk around?

MATT: You can walk around that one, and you being to see what looks to be seven other ones that are clustered around.

TALIESIN: This is probably a giant-infested forest.

MARISHA: Yes, exactly why. Bear traps are the biggest thing you can get for a giant. Sorry, Grog.

MATT: You begin to walk around. Yeah, you would, actually. As you step around one, you can see, at the front door, there is a welcome mat that says “welcome.” As you're approaching it, you can see the welcome mat, there's just something a little off about it. Like, it's raised higher than the ground should be.

TRAVIS: Willkommen.

MARISHA: Trapped?

LIAM: Well, I could attempt to dicker with it, but we could just knock the door over it if we really are going on manners.

TALIESIN: Double check to make sure the door isn't a problem, either. I'd imagine if the welcome mat is.

LIAM: The door's going to blow up if we knock on it? I mean, we don't have much luck with doors.

LAURA: Can I grab a stick and lift the edge of the mat up?

LIAM: Do you want to do that?

MATT: Are you stopping her from doing that?

LIAM: Yes, I am! Let me take a look at it, please! I've already detected it. I will attempt to disarm is with thieves' tools, correct?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: That's fine. That is a 29.

MATT: You walk over. You look and you watch. There's a small cord that is hidden amongst the brush that runs from underneath the mat through a small ring that goes up from the house, then up a branch or vine, so it's hidden amongst them. You look straight up about 40 feet, you see a nice, solid, thick trunk that is just (creaking).

TRAVIS: That's some Predator shit!

MATT: Right above the door.

TALIESIN: I feel like there's a complicated story that goes along with all of this. I'm really excited by it.

MARISHA: Is this going to be an Uncharted kind of adventure?

TALIESIN: We have found the cabin of Macaulay Culkin!

MATT: So knowing this, you walk over and grab the cord. Looking to see where the leverage is, you motion to Grog to come over and hold it. You find another piece of heavy stone that is by the wall to the side. With Grog's help, you snip it, bring it over, and tie it onto the edge of this piece of the stonework, like a small pole that was placed at the base of the house. It holds the weight of this suspended trunk and it no longer triggers based on the step.

LIAM: Percy, I'm sorry, I know you like a good Rube Goldberg.

TALIESIN: I was really excited by this thing. It's a shame to dismantle it.

LAURA: It's still there. Maybe when we leave, we can crash it down.

LIAM: Does the door look hinky at all?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: You did say kinky right?

LIAM: I said hinky. 18.

MATT: 18. It does not appear to be trapped, per se. It does appear to be locked.

LIAM: Yeah, well, I don't want to pick it.

LAURA: I want to use a stick, and oh! Here, Scanlan, you were going to knock.

SAM: (chuckles) What is this stick?

LAURA: So that you don't have to touch the door in case it's magic.

MATT: Which as a note, the door, at full height is about at the shoulders of most of you. You recognize this. This is definitely a homestead built on the scale for probably halfling or gnome. It's still pretty big for a gnomish home, meaning it's a little more spacious headroom, you'd probably be able to stand in comfortably, except for you Grog, you're probably a little hunched.

LIAM: So it's like an ostentatious gnome door. Little more than is needed.

SAM: Like me. I'll just rap on the door with my knuckles.

MATT: Okay. There is an awkward pause.

SAM: Hello? Bidet?

MATT: Darin, if you want to go ahead onto the stage, please.

(cheering)

LAURA: I'm glad he didn't murder us with his bear traps.

SAM: You need this? Oh, you need this. *Oh!* I've been goosed.

LIAM: Hey, chaotic evil necromancer gnome.

MATT: You weren't supposed to tell them.

DARIN: I didn't.

MATT: So you hear amongst your business for the day, out of nowhere (knocking) on the door.

SAM: Kaitiaki!

DARIN: I open it.

MATT: Okay you hear (clicking) what sounds like six or seven different locks unlock on the door, as it slowly swings open and before them what do they see?

DARIN: A very small, elderly gnome, bald on top, with a long white beard, and a bit of a distant look in his eyes, and he looks at you and says, are you real?

LAURA: I think so.

DARIN: You're real? Prove it! Say that you're real to my invisible frog companion.

SAM: I will step forward and say, hello there (whispers) I'm real.

DARIN: Yes, you're real. There is no invisible frog companion. The voices in my head would not have spoken to that. (stuttering) They know a little bit better than that, but that doesn't matter, I haven't had people here in over 35 years. (laughs) But you're here! And you're real! Go away.

(laughter)

DARIN: Demistrik, show them out.

MATT: You watch as two tiny red claws come around the corner as these tiny, impish wings unfurl. You watch as a tiny imp releases from the edge of the doorframe. (wings beating) “Get out!” (door slamming) and slams the door.

DARIN: And show yourself out, Demistrik. I don't need you here, 19 years of you is more than enough.

MATT: You hear muffling argument through the door as the voice goes, “I'll stay where I damn please. You gave me permission to stay. If anyone is going to leave, *you're* going to leave!”

DARIN: I think you should go to Kraghammer and become a circus performer with a little tin cup and the little hat and say, "Oh dear, I am Demistrik, the magical imp.” That's where you belong I tell you right now.

MATT: “Sounds like a lot more fun than having to deal with you on a daily basis you son of a--”

DARIN: (offended cry) Language, imp!

MATT: The door creaks open once more. “Sorry.” (door closing)

DARIN: The door creaks open again. I'm sorry, as well. (whispering) For him, he's *awful*.

LIAM: I stick my foot in!

DARIN: No!

(laughter)

LIAM: I really very sorry to bother you, although I'm delighted to make your acquaintance. I'm having a very hard time not just smiling like an idiot. Could we trouble you just for a few moments? We mean no harm at all. We do need to talk to you. We've come a very long way… as farts. That's got to count for something.

LAURA: (sing-songy) We could give you some interesting conversation. 35 years is a very long time.

LIAM: We've done a lot, we've seen a lot, we could tell you all about it.

SAM: I play an old, traditional gnome song to soften him a bit.

MATT: Make a performance check.

LAURA: What is an old gnome song?

SAM: I don't know.

(laughter)

SAM: 24.

MATT: It's been a long time since you've heard music, let alone one that scratches an old memory of childhood. It's nice.

TALIESIN: It's more or less whatever strikes your fancy, to be fair.

ALL: (humming Going to the Chapel)

MATT: You see the imp in the back going, "Ugh! Stop that racket!"

DARIN: You don't even appreciate music. What would an imp song sound like? You can't say one, can you? Because you don't have music where you're from.

MATT: “I can, but it'll because your ears to bleed! It sounds like this." (screeching)

DARIN: I find that very entertaining.

MATT: "You're such a liar!" The imp (poof) vanishes before you.

DARIN: He's gone. Don't worry about him. He gets a little bit... testy, if you will.

SAM: May we speak? May we have a moment of your time?

DARIN: Oh, well... Very well. You can come in if you like. Oh! Be careful there's illusions and thingamabobbers.

LIAM: (stammers) Sorry, that's infectious. We have a really big guy. Are you all right with him coming in? Grog, are you all right with coming in?

TRAVIS: How the fuck do I get in that damn door?

LIAM: Have you not crawled on all fours before?

TALIESIN: You should try it if you haven't; it's quite delightful.

TRAVIS: Are you lying?

TALIESIN: No. For once, no, I'm not.

TRAVIS: Can I do an insight check on Percy?

MATT: Sure.

TRAVIS: 19.

TALIESIN: I have never actually been quite so honest in my entire life. I think you'll find it very therapeutic.

TRAVIS: I get on all fours.

TALIESIN: How does it feel?

TRAVIS: I'm waiting for it to kick in.

TALIESIN: Crawls forward, back a bit, stretch, downward dog, stretch.

MATT: You watch as this large, gray-skinned mountain of a man crawls his way in. You could duck walk through if you really wanted to. This is worse than Gandalf in Bag End. All fours is probably the most comfortable means of transport through the house. But you walk in and immediately, you watch as your new gnomish friend is going around and quickly disabling small things, putting small keys and tying off strings and wires you saw that were set up around portions of the room.

TALIESIN: I am going to try and map this in my head, the crazy stuff I'm seeing right now.

MATT: This place is a hoarder's den. You see shelves and shelves of books and papers and scrolls and stacks of them. You see on bits of furniture and chairs more stacks of books and sacks and satchels and quills and inkwells. Some spilled and left and dried long ago. This place is very lived in, very chaotic, and very unique.

LIAM: The first thing that I do as we come in is I scan the room, or rooms, for more Macaulay Culkin shenanigans.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: Maculkins. I think we can just call them Maculkins now.

LIAM: That is a 21.

MATT: Okay. You do see there's one portion of the floor that he keeps avoiding, instinctually, that catches your attention. You're like, "why does he keep walking around that?"

MARISHA: What's your name, friend?

DARIN: Oh, well, that was taken from me a very long time ago. I only have what they call me. You know, names are an odd thing, aren't they? Sometimes a name can stick to you like blood on a knife or your fingers on a wallet that might not be your property and then who you were is not who you are and yet... here we are.

MARISHA: That probably made way too much sense.

SAM: What do they call you?

DARIN: They call me Sprigg. There's more. They called me Sprigg the Obnoxious.

SAM: Sprigg the Obnoxious?

DARIN: Yes. It's not my given name; it was a name that was given to me when it was given to me.

LIAM: Did you used to be obnoxious? Because I'm not picking that up.

DARIN: Oh. We're rarely who we used to be.

TALIESIN: Is there mercury in those pools?

(laughter)

DARIN: Who? Is that a friend of yours?

TALIESIN: I sometimes will talk to the fourth wall. It's a thing; ignore it.

DARIN: It's a domicile. There has to be four walls. If there weren't, it would be a yurt. I don't live in a yurt, dear boy.

MARISHA: I sometimes live in a yurt. They're quite nice.

DARIN: I have nothing against yurts. (laughs) Like a stick that you would put in a yurt so it wouldn't fall over. I would want it to fall over, so therefore I have nothing against yurts. (wheezing laughter) Demistrik!

MATT: The imp (makes sound) just appears across the room and just goes, “Good one. That was-- I am so sorry.”

LAURA: Pike? Do you think maybe a Greater Restoration is in order?

MATT: Pike goes, “Why?”

LAURA: No reason.

MATT: “Could I just touch your hand for a second? Is that okay?”

DARIN: (stuttering) Why?

MATT: “Just to see if we can help your day.”

DARIN: Do you not think that I'm real?

MATT: “Probably not.”

DARIN: I assure you, I'm real. I'm here. My companions are long gone. They were like you, like you, like you, and you, and you, and I'm all that is left. You are looking into a mirror of your future.

SAM: I'm going to look like you, or you're going to look like me?

MARISHA: No, I know what he means. Who were your companions?

DARIN: Memories. They're all memories now. I don't even remember their names. I remember some of them, but we were heroes and now I am here.

MARISHA: Oh no.

LIAM: Were there no other gnome folk in your party?

DARIN: No, there was one like you, there was a big one, a mighty one. There was one like you, brave and kind.

LAURA: That's like me! That's exactly like me.

DARIN: There was one like you. Smart, yet sad. And you, as well. Yeah, and I was you.

MATT: Pike goes, “Please?” She grabs your hand and concentrates for a second, you watch as the holy symbol flares for a moment and the warmth passes through her arms into your hand. And it feels nice. It's like holding a freshly heated cup of tea. And as the spell completes and she pulls back. “That's all. Thank you.”

DARIN: Thank you, very kind of you. Don't ever do that again.

MATT: “Right, okay. Okay.”

SAM: Your companions. Not to bring up sad times. How long ago did they go away? Perish?

DARIN: 37 years.

SAM: And how, was it in a fight?

DARIN: Oh, yes.

SAM: Against a powerful entity?

DARIN: Oh no. Against ignorance, against bravery that should never have been. And that's why I'm here and they're not, because I ran, you see. I'm your future. You'll all be gone. You and you and you and you and you, and you'll be left.

LIAM: While we're listening to all that, Vax slid his hand into Keyleth's and quietly listened to the whole thing.

DARIN: Oh, well. Perhaps we should talk of other things. Should we?

SAM: Yes. Yes, we want this to be a positive visit for you, so is there anything we can tell you from the world outside that you might be curious about?

DARIN: The world outside? Who needs the world outside? I have everything here, and what I need, dear boy, I have taken from Kraghammer. All these books over there you see, those are mine. They should have been mine to begin with, and I took them, and now they are mine. (wheezing laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm going to peruse some of these titles, quietly.

SAM: The books, you mean?

DARIN: Yes. You'd like to look at the books, would you?

TALIESIN: I find it's the easiest way to learn quite a bit about a person.

DARIN: Oh, you're very welcome to look at anything you like. What will you give me dear boy? I require something. And yet, what do I need, living here? Not much. Intelligence, no. Secrets, no. Love, no. Sadness, bravery, power. What do you have that you would give me?

TRAVIS: I reach in the Bag of Holding. I take out Percy's glasses. Would you care for a pair of these spectacles?

DARIN: I seek power, dear boy, not silliness. If I wanted silliness, I would talk to a sun tree. No one should ever talk to a sun tree, they should only listen to a sun tree. And so I shall say again, if you would like to peruse my book and perhaps find what you are looking for, what will you give me that would bring power and redemption into my life?

SAM: What do you have, Grog?

LAURA: (whispering) Give him some ale.

TRAVIS: But that's not fucking power.

LAURA: You don't know. Bet it's been a while since he has had some of that.

DARIN: It seems you have powerful items.

TRAVIS: I do. I have these Bracers of Defense.

DARIN: Ah, but that is strength. I require power.

TRAVIS: (softly) Shit. Fuck.

TALIESIN: Well, I reach into my bag and start cleaning a small green shard of residuum, polishing it.

DARIN: Demistrik! If you excuse me for a just-- while you look, I'll just talk to my imp. You'll pardon us. (whispering) A word, Demistrik?

MATT: “Ugh. Just one moment. What?”

DARIN: The big one worries me. I think we should have a code in case we have to jump him.

MATT: “What code would you wish?”

DARIN: Goliath grab! But we need to remember that. We need to remember that.

MATT: “Goliath grab. Good luck!”

DARIN: We need some sort of mnemonic device to remember Goliath grab. G, goodness gracious grab that goliath. O?

MATT: “O? Huh. I'll tell you what, I've got your back.”

DARIN: I don't feel that at all. You're right in front of me. How could you have my back? (wheezing chuckle) I got you. (laughing) Go away. So what do you have for me? You've had ample time to look in your Bag of Holding to produce something very--

TRAVIS: Powerful. Well, I do have one thing that seems to be pretty powerful.

MARISHA: Oh no, Grog.

TRAVIS: I pull out from the Bag of Holding a small leather case. I open the flap. I don't know if you have any interest in this, but my experience with these items has been very extreme. Would you care to take a card?

DARIN: Would you care to give them to me?

SAM: All or just one?

TRAVIS: No, you can pick a card.

MATT: Make an arcana check. Roll a d20 and add your arcana skill modifier to it.

TALIESIN: You are a madman.

DARIN: 15.

MATT: 15. You don't recognize what he's holding in his hands, but you immediately see the leather casing around it, and your essence being able to read certain elements of magic. It does appear to be a powerful enchantment, whatever he has procured from the bag.

DARIN: Indeed. Perhaps one card for one book?

TRAVIS: Yeah, sure. I mean, Percy do you have a book out of all of these that you want to read?

DARIN: What are you looking for? What do you seek? What knowledge? I've got it all here.

SAM: We seek a key.

LAURA: To find a very ancient goddess--

DARIN: Oh, don't say Ioun.

TALIESIN: We're not going to say Ioun.

DARIN: You just did!

LIAM: Is there another name that you would like us to use? Like a nickname instead of Ioun?

DARIN: The Broken Goddess. I know more than Ioun, please! Ioun. Gods, what do they know? We know more than they, for we exist! We live! We adventure! They merely observe. Am I right?

SAM: You have a point. They don't do much for us in the day-to-day.

TALIESIN: Are you saying you know more than Ioun?

DARIN: Of course I know more than Ioun.

TALIESIN: Can you prove that you know more than Ioun?

DARIN: Yes.

TALIESIN: So if I ask you a question that is almost impossible to answer, you could answer it before Ioun could answer it?

DARIN: Could Ioun create a rock so heavy that even she couldn't lift it?

TALIESIN: Oh, please. I'm far to clever to ask such a simple question. That's easy. I would have to ask something that was very difficult to answer.

DARIN: I will give you your answer if you give me a card.

LIAM: You know, I was just saying what a good idea I thought it was, but I thought you were talking about the entire deck, Grog. I think the entire deck is a fairer thing than to have him pull a card, because that seems unpredictable to me.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that sounds perfect to me.

LIAM: We're all in a small, enclosed space together, Grog, and I like this fellow.

LAURA: Sprigg, it is quite powerful, yes, but also maybe slightly dangerous.

TALIESIN: A bit dangerous, to be fair.

DARIN: I'm here alone. Well, there's... oh, yes. Go peddle your papers somewhere where they'd like papers peddled!

LAURA: You're not alone at the moment.

DARIN: That's true!

LAURA: This is very true. And I'd rather not put my life in the hands of you, not knowing you very well.

DARIN: Some did. I'm here.

LAURA: Yes.

DARIN: They are not.

LAURA: So something bad could happen, and you'd run away, and we'd be stuck here?

DARIN: No. 37 years. I ran away. I've been here deciding how to live again, how *not* to run away. That's what all this is about, isn't it? You can't just hide from the world. I've done it! Done it for a long, long time. Maybe you being here means that I should hide no longer. Or maybe I just have an invisible frog friend. Maybe I have nothing here, and nothing here.

TALIESIN: Whoever has devised these contraptions and created this safety for you is a genius. I'm not saying you're necessarily--

DARIN: It was both of us.

TALIESIN: I somehow don't think so.

DARIN: What?

MATT: "It was all me."

TALIESIN: I've had my own demons to contend with in my life, to make me doubt my own intelligence. I get the sense that your compatriot-- I hate to call it friend, here--

DARIN: I hate to call it friend, and yet I do. Isn't that right, friend?

MATT: "Unfortunately."

TALIESIN: What are you doing here?

DARIN: You can tell them.

MATT: "No!"

DARIN: Just tell him.

MATT: "No! Why, because he asked me?"

DARIN: Yes! They're guests in our home.

MATT: "Oh, it's not our home."

DARIN: 19 years you've been here, ever since your master died trying to enter and got tricked into one of my traps, and now you're here-- does that answer your question?-- now, why don't you tell him what I just said?

MATT: "My master died trying to get in here. I wanted the traps, and now I call this my home."

DARIN: Beautifully said. Bravo. You should be a little performer in Kraghammer. You know what the reviews would be? Not very good! Shameful behavior. Abysmal behavior from the Abyss itself!

TALIESIN: We don't have much. Many of the things that we carry are very dangerous. Obviously, you have a great deal of genius here. I'm going to show him the elemental shard. I don't know if this would interest you, but I consider it to be of great value.

MATT: So you're showing him the residuum piece?

TALIESIN: The last piece of residuum I have.

MATT: All right. So this is a sliver of what looks like green glass. It's finely polished, about that thick, that long. You've read about this. You've read that condensed residuum is very susceptible to enchantment and/or the focusing of short-term magic spells. It's expensive, it's lauded, it's hard to find.

DARIN: I will use that Ring of Telekinesis to lift it up and take a better look at it.

MATT: You watch as it darts out of your hand and wisps up, maybe two feet ahead of him, and slowly rotates above him as he inspects it.

TALIESIN: Impressive, but not as impressive as the giant log.

DARIN: Oh, yes. But is there power in this, dear boy? Or are there only secrets? For you are secrets. He is power.

TALIESIN: I may be secrets, and that is of me, but I believe there is power in its secret. People died for that. Many people.

DARIN: People die every day. Except me. That's my punishment, child. I live on. I live on with my shame and my intelligence and you.

LAURA: Because of Ioun?

MARISHA: What's your relationship to her?

DARIN: What is anyone's relationship to a god?

MARISHA: Good question.

LAURA: Some of us are champions. Some of them don't like them. Some of them worship them but don't really get respect. What's yours?

DARIN: All of that and more.

LAURA: So you're a champion? Are you a champion of Ioun?

MARISHA: You're a champion of Ioun. Of course he's a champion of Ioun.

DARIN: I wouldn't say that.

TALIESIN: But we might, wouldn't we?

DARIN: Champion of Ioun?

MATT: (demonic cackling)

DARIN: They're going to start calling me Ioun's Champion!

MATT: "Only if it bothers you, Ioun's Champion!"

DARIN: I like it. Drat, eh? Drat. You tell them what you know of Ioun.

MATT: "She's a heinous bitch who got what's coming to her 800 years ago."

MARISHA: What?

DARIN: It's a bit common, but that is his belief. What is yours? What is your thought about Ioun?

SAM: We know that she possesses knowledge that could help us in our quest to save the world, and therefore, no matter what her personality is, she is valuable to us.

DARIN: And yet, is there value in saving the world? Or should you just let it all go away?

LAURA: No, no, I think we should save it.

SAM: Yeah, we're pro-world here.

DARIN: Are you? That is interesting.

LIAM: Sprigg, you're seeking power.

DARIN: I seek redemption. There is great power in redemption.

LIAM: We offer you redemption. Collaborating with us grants you the power to fell a would-be god.

DARIN: Excuse me. For one second. Can I speak to you for just a second?

MATT: (flapping wings) "What?"

DARIN: He's tricky. I think we should get a mnemonic device on what we need to do if he becomes too tricky. We should say, elf boy grab! E! For egads! There's an elf, we should grab him. L! Let's grab that elf boy.

MATT: "Right, all right." You guys can hear all of this.

DARIN: F. Forsooth, I shall grab this elf boy!

LIAM: I'm not an elf. Not an elf.

MARISHA: Why do people like calling you elf boy and elf girl?

LIAM: We have vaguely-pointed ears. Not even fully-pointed ears. My mother was not an elf.

DARIN: Just a second. He's not an elf!

MATT: "We'll stick with the device. I've got your back."

DARIN: I still don't feel it.

MATT: "You will."

DARIN: All right. Hello!

SAM: Hi. Hi, mirror man. Listen.

DARIN: All right.

SAM: Let's cut to the chase here. We need information from you.

DARIN: Indeed.

SAM: You need something from us. Grog, give him a card.

MARISHA: Wait.

SAM: We're dancing around this! We need this man!

LAURA: He took the stone! Are you taking the stone?

SAM: Are you going to take the stone as a source of power? He said it's too mysterious.

LIAM: I thought we were talking about redemption.

DARIN: If you'll allow me. You've been very quiet.

MARISHA: Yes, I'm a little freaked out right now. You're my worst fear incarnate. Sorry, that seemed very rude. My worst nightmare incarnate.

DARIN: That didn't make it any better, dear child!

MATT: (cackling)

DARIN: (shushing) Go ahead. Why am I your worst fear in a carnation?

MARISHA: I've seen you in my dreams.

DARIN: Hear that?

MATT: "Go get them, tiger."

LAURA: Trinket starts chasing the imp around the room.

MATT: "No!" Up into the corner, (hissing). Turns invisible.

DARIN: Oh, I guess you found that unbearable!

SAM: That was a good pun.

MATT: You hear the tiniest little demonic fart by your ear.

LIAM: I'm also gently steering Trinket away from the floorboard in the middle of the room as he walked by.

MARISHA: Somehow everything you have said since the minute we've walked into this building has made 100% sense, and I think that's what scares me the most, is I understand everything you've said.

DARIN: It should scare you the most. I was one of you. I did what you did. 37 years ago, I did it. And we fought, and we fought, and they were right here. They were right here!

SAM: Who is they?

DARIN: My companions.

SAM: And who were you fighting against? You, we?

TRAVIS: Vecna.

DARIN: No.

SAM: Gods?

DARIN: It was silly. It was hobgoblins. It should never have happened. It was a simple fight, and they died, and I ran, and I can't even remember their names.

LIAM: Sprigg.

DARIN: Yes?

LIAM: Would you like to be needed again? Maybe it's time to stop running.

DARIN: What would I do?

MARISHA: We can grant you power in items, but I don't want to speak for all of us, but I think all of us can speak a little bit to the fact that items don't grant you as much inner power as you expect them to.

LAURA: Unless they're boots. And then they're amazing.

MARISHA: Unless they're very highly argued and debated-upon boots, in which case I still think the argument--

DARIN: Are we about to have a debate about boots? I'm against them! Your turn.

LAURA: I am for them, usually.

DARIN: Continue, counsellor, but watch yourself.

LAURA: Have you any idea where the key to Ioun is?

DARIN: In the boots? We're talking about boots, are we?

LAURA: Yes. Boots that hold a key to Ioun's location. Specifically.

DARIN: I think the key might be here, but I don't really know.

LIAM: Sprigg, the world is on the brink right now. It's worse than hobgoblins. We've come here in great need, and the world is in great need, and the power that I offer you is making a difference.

DARIN: Then make me believe in Ioun. We'll make a difference together.

LIAM: Make you believe?

MARISHA: Of course he believes. Believing is not the question.

DARIN: Books everywhere, you see. That's something you can hold. That's something you can learn.

MARISHA: That's something that's tangible. Ioun is distant.

LAURA: But she could be tangible if you'd help us find her.

MARISHA: What if we have found her? What if Sprigg is right? What if all of the information that Ioun knows is here in Sprigg?

TALIESIN: I really want to look at these. I want to look at these books really quickly. I'm having a moment. I just want to start looking at these titles. What are these books?

MATT: You go over and start walking towards the edge of the nearest bookcase, and all of you at once-- everyone but Sprigg, actually-- suddenly hear a voice come through, filling your mind, filling your consciousness, filling your ears. Sourceless, delivered to your consciousness directly. "Thank you for showing me where he is." And that's where we're going to take a break.

LIAM: Fuck!

MARISHA: How? We don't have the eye! What a cock!

TALIESIN: Oh my god, he's been in the troll dick all along.

MARISHA: It's always been the troll dick.

MATT: All right, we'll be in just a minute. We'll be back here in a few minutes, guys. For the Twitch giveaway, we have this awesome Peruvian walnut dice tray, leather interior. It's very nice. It's the same type that I have, actually, back here, which is nice. Giving it away for somebody in the Twitch chat, so run on over, and the code for the evening is Sprigg. S-P-R-I...

DARIN: G-G.

MATT: G-G. Double G.

DARIN: S-P-R-I-G-G spells Sprigg, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to win that valuable prize.

MATT: So pay attention in the chat. When it's time to, go ahead and enter Sprigg into the chat, and one lucky winner will be announced when we get back here. See you guys in a few minutes!

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome back. All right, so first and foremost, we have our winner for the dice tray from Wyrmwood. That is our friend k0sn1ght, in the way that you spell your XBox Live name: k0sn1ght. Congratulations, you are the winner. Go ahead and contact danoba and get your information and we'll get that shipped out to you. Bringing us back in.

TALIESIN: That was fast.

MATT: Last we left off, you all, almost all of you, heard a singular familiar voice. The low, gravely undead voice of The Whispered One fills your minds, saying, "Thank you for showing me where he is." In that moment where you all pause in place, you hear a series of simultaneous sounds (arrows firing) as a number of heavy crossbow bolts from nearby windows all fire simultaneously at Sprigg.

MARISHA: Do I have time for a reaction?

MATT: No, you do not. This is a surprise round.

LIAM: This is the sound of bolts, no.

TRAVIS: It's all right, he can't die. It's cool. We're all right.

MATT: So that first one is a 24. What's your armor class?

DARIN: My armor class is 19.

MATT: Okay! So you take 23 points of piercing damage.

DARIN: Okay. Oh, there we go.

MATT: That's 17. That misses you. It strikes your shoulder and glances off. One bolt sinks into your chest and you look down and you see it's this big, long heavy metal bolt and it's jutting out from the side of where your shoulder and pec is. Another one rushes by and glances off your other shoulder. The third one--

DARIN: Well, this is different.

MATT: That hits. That's a 25. That's 23 points of piercing damage.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

MATT: That one actually misses; a six and a one. It slams into one of the nearby books right behind you, barely moving past your cheek. Fifth one, that is a 19 exactly, so you take 24 points of damage.

LAURA: How many fucking bolts are there?

MARISHA: 24?

MATT: They're all sneak attack. And that is 20.

DARIN: Another one?

MATT: Another one.

DARIN: Okay.

MATT: That one's going to be 26 points of piercing damage.

DARIN: I'm gone.

MATT: You guys watch as all these bolts (arrows firing and impacting) into Sprigg's body and Sprigg falls back, unconscious on the side of the room. I'm going to bring out a map now.

DARIN: Fly, you fools!

MARISHA: (yelling) No, Sprigg!

SAM: Darin, it was really great having you on. Thanks so much.

LAURA: Whoa, cool!

SAM: Whoa, this is a cute house!

LAURA: Oh, I can't see inside of it.

MATT: Moving the top floor off.

LIAM: There's crates of apples!

SAM: There's a sack of something in the corner! Oh my god, how are we all going to fit in there?

MATT: Sprigg is currently unconscious on the ground there. Percival was there talking. Trinket is off to the side.

LAURA: Trinket! Where's the imp?

MATT: The imp is not currently visible. Pike would be over on the side here. Keyleth, Vax, where would you guys see yourselves right now? Actually, tell me where you would be. I think that's what I'm trying to ask.

LIAM: I would be right next to Keyleth because I was holding her hand.

MATT: As I chuck you into the ground.

LIAM: It's all right. It's fine.

MATT: Yeah, comes back in a day later. All right cool. So you're there holding that. Scanlan, where would you be?

SAM: Near Sprigg-ish.

MATT: All right, so I'll put you right there next to the scroll in the ground.

LIAM: And Matt? Could you touch on the map where the bad man touched you? No, where the bad floorboard is?

MATT: Yes actually, I can do that.

LIAM: None of you know this.

MATT: None of you know this, except for you, which is actually why I'm not going to show you. You know how to avoid it, but nobody else knows where it is.

LAURA: Where is the front door?

MATT: The front door is right there.

LIAM: There, over by Grog on your right.

SAM: These trees need to move.

LAURA: I know, these trees are a pain in our butts. Oh no.

SAM: There's cloaked men everywhere

MATT: You watch as one that was up in the stairs vanishes up top.

TRAVIS: Oh, he actually made it upstairs?

MATT: He fired, and then ducked up there. I need everyone to roll initiative.

SAM: Initiative?

MATT: Yes. Including you, even though you're on the ground.

MARISHA: Don't. Fuck. Me. Gil. It's fine. Gil did all right.

SAM: I don't trust Gil. I never roll on his dice.

LIAM: Rarely. I have, but I got my Matt Colville meteorite dice.

MATT: 25 to 20?

TALIESIN: 23.

LIAM: 20.

TRAVIS: 22.

MATT: Oh wow, so we have Percy, we have Grog, and Vax. Okay, 20 to 15?

SAM: 19.

LAURA: Should somebody roll for Pike?

MATT: Yes, actually. Okay, yeah..

DARIN: Also a 19.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: You've got a very low initiative bonus.

MATT: All righty, anybody else?

LAURA: 13.

MARISHA: 12. I don't know why I did deuces. 12.

TALIESIN: Peace out.

SAM: NKOTB.

MARISHA: 12 initiative, Wu Tang out.

TALIESIN: That's our next shirt.

SAM: Quidd, everyone. Quidd.

LAURA: Quidd.

LIAM: Quid pro quo.

MATT: All right, so top of the combat round. The surprise round is done, you watch Sprigg fall to the ground, bolts sticking out of the side of the next, the shoulder, in the body. Unconscious, now beginning to pool blood underneath where he is bleeding out and you glance around and you see a series of shaded figures in the windows that all dart out of the way.

MARISHA: Cowards.

LAURA: Dicks.

SAM: Oh, they left. The fight's over, everyone.

MATT: Percy, you're up first.

TALIESIN: Wow, this is a lot that happened. I'm going to click my boots, and I'm going to run up the wall and run upstairs.

MATT: Which, for the purposes of this, I will place the upstairs over here. So as you dart up, Percival, you run up the stairway there where the one guy you saw was standing.

TALIESIN: Is he right there?

MATT: Yeah, he ducked out of the way, and there is also one figure that you recognize from the Shadowfell earlier. You see one of the ghastly creatures that was darting through the ruins leaping from rooftop to rooftop. Its skin is grayish and long, its limbs lankey, its finger curled into claws, and this long tongue dangling from his jaws, it's getting ready to run down the stairs as you charge him, and it goes (makes growling noises).

TALIESIN: Manners! Action Surge!

MARISHA: Yay, Manners!

MATT: Okay then.

MARISHA: We're bad at manners, until now!

MATT: All righty, so what's the saving throw on that one?

TALIESIN: It's a DC 20 strength. Oh, I'm sorry, no. Never mind. It's a attack roll.

MATT: Okay, so you have to roll first to see if you hit it.

TALIESIN: 18.

MATT: 18? Yeah that definitely hits. It hits, and you watch as you pulled the sphere out and chucked it at the creature (groaning) pulls its claws out, slams into it chest, and then unravels (chains wrapping). It falls to the ground, prone, unable to move, right there in the middle of the floor.

TALIESIN: Just making sure that I can do this.

MATT: Was that your action, there, doing that?

TALIESIN: That was my action surge. I can only do one round. Just seeing in anything in a bonus that I can do.

MATT: You spent your action--?

TALIESIN: My action, I activated my boots. My action surge activating that. Do I have anything I can do with a bonus action?

MATT: Not really.

TALIESIN: I'm going to turn to the other guy and pull the ripcord on the glove angrily. (revving)

MATT: You load up Diplomacy. Good. That's your turn, Percy. Grog, you're up.

TRAVIS: Me? Oh? Can I go into a rage?

MATT: Yes, you may.

TRAVIS: And he fell where?

MATT: He fell right there, on the ground, currently bleeding out.

TRAVIS: Could I run over to Sprigg and shove a-- should I shove a health potion in his throat?

LAURA: No, we've got healers.

TRAVIS: Right. I run upstairs to see where Percy went.

MATT: You rage run just past Percival and you see there's one creature bound on the ground and there's another guy who's there with his crossbow. He's trying to reload, who sees Percival and is getting ready to pull it up as you leap in front.

TALIESIN: Smash him!

TRAVIS: Do you mind?

TALIESIN: Please!

TRAVIS: Yeah. (rage noises)

MATT: Go for it. Go for a double attack.

TRAVIS: Reckless! Not great weapon master. Two-handed with the Dwarven Thrower. That's a lot. 30, minus-- oh, there is no minus. 32.

MATT: 32 hits. Second attack?

TRAVIS: 31.

MATT: Hits. Go ahead and roll damage for both.

TRAVIS: So they're not giants. So I just roll a d10. That's a 10. Rage damage. 25.

MATT: 25 damage on the first hit?

TRAVIS: On the first one. Second one.

LAURA: 24.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Nice. With your hammer, two hands, whack right across the side of its head. You see the jaw unhinge from the side. As he pulls back, it's hanging loosely there, and the second hit you clock right in the side of the temple, and it nearly goes unconscious, and picks itself up again, gets its crossbow ready. It's still holding. It's not down yet, but it's hurt badly. You can see now, up close, you can see these figures. They're dressed in very, very tight black leathers, cloaks enshrouding their body, the hood is still up, but you've knocked it back. There you see a human male in his late 40s, early 50s, the head shaved completely bald, a tattoo of black tendrils around the left eye, and the left eye is missing from the socket.

TRAVIS: Black tendrils? Okay, cool. That's my turn.

MATT: That's your turn. All right. Grog's done. Vax, you're up.

LIAM: Okay, let's talk this out. Click the Boots of Haste. I think, with 120 feet of movement, I can blur up the stairs to where Percy is in probably 50 or 60 feet. And then finish that movement and go past the guy, out the window, with all of my movement in 120 feet or less. Okay, so I'm doing that.

MATT: There's also a window here, a window here, and a window here. Just so you guys know, and a window here, if you wanted.

LIAM: Definitely understand. Blur up the stairs, shoot past Percy, shoot past that guy, out the window.

MATT: You're on the balcony now, look right about here.

LIAM: Do I already see those guys?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: 19 plus 14 is a hell of a lot.

MATT: 19 plus 14? Yeah, you do see him. And you glance down, you can see they're hiding amongst bushes, and they're specifically stealthed. But you are keen of eye enough to see where they're placed.

LIAM: I stealth, hide. Bonus action to hide. I'm going to use luck. That's better. 27.

MATT: 27. Okay. You're not sure if they see you or not.

LIAM: All right, then from this spot, if they're in range, I'm going to throw Whisper at one of them.

MATT: Right now, you are currently up here. So you glance off and you can barely see one that's over the edge of the roof right there. That's the only one you can see.

LIAM: But I can see them and can ignore three-quarter cover because of sharpshooter.

MATT: So you barely see the edge of one there. Sharpshooter. I'd say yeah, you can. You can hit both, if you want.

LIAM: So the one that I can see hidden I will try to throw Whisper. I'm going to hopefully sneak attack him and bamf there. That is a 28.

MATT: 28. He does not see you. So you have advantage on that if you want to roll again.

LIAM: Right. Natural 20.

TALIESIN: Turn him into paste.

LIAM: Okay. (counting)

SAM: Did Pike roll?

MATT: She did.

LAURA: What did she get?

MATT: 11. Typical Pike.

MARISHA: She's after me.

LAURA: But no, but Sprigg is right after Scanlan. He's before we are. So I'd rather get him up before.

LIAM: So that one is 60 on that guy.

MATT: 60 points of damage?

LIAM: Yeah, and I bamf there.

MATT: As you chuck the dagger, like right towards where the center of the shoulderblades connect in the back he, (groans) you watch as the crossbow that he had drops to the ground and he crumples over on top of it, but he slowly starts getting to his feet out of the bushes. He looks really hurt, but he's still standing. And you appear right next to him there.

LIAM: So I did movement, I hid for my bonus, I have action-action as a paladin. And action.

MATT: You have attack-attack as a paladin.

LIAM: Attack-attack as a paladin. And then my bonus action. That was the first of attack-attack, so now I'll just do a regular attack which is a 20--

LAURA: (sarcastically) I'm so glad he got those boots back, I'm just so glad.

LIAM: 30.

MATT: 30 hits.

LIAM: That is a ten and I'm going to pump him full of poison. He needs to make a DC check on 15.

MATT: That is a seven. No. Four plus three.

LIAM: So he also gets, that was ten plus 14 total. 20 total, between the dagger and the poison.

MATT: So the second dagger, you shiv him in the side and he (groans) goes to spin with the heavy crossbow and pull away, and as soon as the poison through him he goes, (gurgles) and you can see blood vomit down the front of his chest, his eyes roll back and he twinges and falls to the ground.

LIAM: And there's another guy there that can see me, right?

MATT: Yeah, and he's hidden, but he's like (scared, heavy breathing).

LIAM: Whisper.

MATT: Okay, he's trying to see that you're not being seen.

LIAM: That is 31. Yeah, okay. So that is two plus eight is ten, plus psychic damage. 18. I'm going to bamf there with Whisper.

MATT: Okay. All righty. You hit him and you stand there. You're right in front of him now. All righty. That ends your go. As you appear over on the other side, you realize that over in the clearing there, there is another one of the robed figures, this one clutching a long, black, smooth staff that crooks over in the front that looks like a hand holding an eye.

MARISHA: What? Where? Who?

MARISHA: There *were* more of them!

LIAM: But you guys don't know that yet.

MATT: You guys don't know that yet, just him. Ending your turn, Vax. That guy on the ground is going to try to break free. That is a 17. DC 20?

TALIESIN: DC 20.

MATT: It struggles on the ground and can't seem to break free of the current magic manacles that hold it in place.

TALIESIN: Yeah, he's stuck. I love that we have floors!

MATT: Another one of these darts through the window, leaps across the way, right in front of Sprigg and you being right there, Scanlan, goes, (angry hissing) and lashes out at you.

MARISHA: He's going for Sprigg!

TALIESIN: He's going for Scanlan.

MARISHA: But because Scanlan's over Sprigg!

TALIESIN: Oh, that's fair.

MATT: Makes two claw strikes at you. First one is 16 to hit.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: All right. You suffer eight points of slashing damage, and I need you make a constitution saving throw.

SAM: Oh boy. Not great. 16.

MATT: 16, all right.

SAM: Is it magical?

MATT: No, it is not magical, but you feel this pulse of some sort of necrotic disease hit your system, and you just manage to shrug it off.

(relieved cheering)

MATT: That's a natural 20.

SAM: Natural 20 to hit, sure.

MATT: That is 30 points of slashing damage on the second hit. Make another saving throw, please.

SAM: That's 17.

MATT: 17. The second strike hits you and you feel as the side of your torso gets torn out of the side, the blood splatters on Sprigg, who's already bloodied and now there's gnome blood on gnome blood. As you reach for your side, however, it does not take effect; you manage to shrug off.

TRAVIS: Those are constitution saving throws?

MATT: Yeah. That ends the shadow ghast's turn. Sprigg, I need you to make a death saving throw, please. Roll a d20.

LIAM and MARISHA: Come on, Sprigg!

DARIN: 14.

MATT: Okay, so you're okay for now. You're stabilizing. You're not bleeding out, yet. Mark a success on your death saving throws there. Scanlan, what are you doing?

SAM: I am going to, bonus action-- down here, success, one.

MATT: Actually, before he even does that, what are you doing on your turn?

SAM: I'm going to heal him first.

MATT: That roll wouldn't matter because he'll heal you before you come up. Don't worry about it.

SAM: I'll bonus action Healing Word him, 2nd-level. I will sing to him. I'll do a little line dance right in front of him and I'll say: (singing) I'll heal your heart, your achy breaky heart. I just don't think you'll understand. That if I heal your heart, your achy breaky heart, you got to wake up and kill a man!

ALL: Ooh!

DARIN: (singing) If only you had used Mage Hand!

SAM: Nice!

MATT: So how much does he heal?

SAM: Seven plus six. 13.

MATT: You heal 13 hit points. That roll doesn't matter. You hear this echoing song in the back of your head. The second song today you've heard from your childhood. You come to consciousness. You wake up and look around you and you can see him singing to you as this giant horrible necrotic creature is looming right in front of you. You have metal bolts sticking out of your chest and an old sensation you haven't felt in a long time courses through your body, which is the need to survive.

SAM: It's my turn still.

MATT: It's both of your turns at the same time.

SAM: I will hold my turn.

MATT: What are you going to do?

SAM: Dimension Door, but I'm holding until either Pike or Keyleth heals him more. And I will also say to him, old man, do you have some fight left in you?

DARIN: I hope so.

SAM: Hold that thought for one second.

DARIN: Holding.

MATT: So what are you doing?

DARIN: There's a bookcase, is there not?

MATT: There's bookcases here, bookcase there. There's books strewn and clustered in these corners.

DARIN: I'd like, if I could, to use the Ring of Telekinesis to pull a bookcase down upon an attacker.

MATT: Okay. Currently there's a bunch of books up here on a shelf, you can pull them down on him if you'd like.

DARIN: I would like to do that.

MATT: So from the ground, you yank a bunch of heavy tomes off of this large shelf that goes flying towards this creature. I'm going to make this a dexterity saving throw for it.

MARISHA: The pen is mightier than the bookcase security!

MATT: What's the DC on the telekinesis ring?

DARIN: Where was it? Ring of Telekinesis.

MATT: I'll pull it up here real fast. Looking up magical items really fast. I have it here. Oh, it's for the spell Telekinesis? That's right. What's your spell DC?

DARIN: 17.

MATT: 17. No, that's a failure. So for this, go ahead and roll 3d6.

SAM: He failed, or the guy failed?

MATT: The guy failed. He didn't dodge out of the way. He's like, (confused snarling, book impacts) and gets pummeled from behind by a bunch of tomes, books, and random glass baubles that were on the shelf that shatter against the back of its head.

DARIN: We have a six, we have a five, and we have a two. 13.

MATT: Then add your intelligence modifier.

DARIN: My intelligence modifier is a four.

MATT: 17, nice! 17 points of damage to that one. As you slam it in the back of the head (impacts) and it tumbles over and (snarling), its long tongue lashing around. You're still on the ground, and it's over you. Is there anything else you want to do on your turn?

DARIN: Demistrik?!

MATT: You hear nothing.

TALIESIN: Not cool.

DARIN: Can I cast something?

MATT: That is an action to do that, so if you have a bonus action spell, you could do that.

DARIN: I believe I do. Tasha's Hideous Laughter?

MATT: I believe that's an action to cast, unfortunately.

DARIN: I don't believe we have any bonus actions. Oh, are there any healing potions that I can use my Telekinesis to get a healing potion to me.

MATT: You can do that next round. The attack was your one action. You can stand on your feet, if you'd like to.

DARIN: No, I'll stay right here.

MATT: Got it. That ends your turn. Now, these guys go again.

LAURA: That's good, they're at disadvantage, now, to hit you. They are! Because you're prone.

MATT: This guy's going to move in. This guy is still standing and is going to drop the crossbow and pull out his shortsword. Is going to go ahead and attack you first, Grog. That is 13?

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: And a 27.

TRAVIS: That does hit.

MATT: You take five plus four, that's nine points of slashing damage, reduced to five, yeah. Round down, so four. Struck twice, missed both. Both of these guys are going to fire at-- one of them is going to fire at Sprigg on this end because it's their goal, here. With disadvantage, that is a 16? What's your AC again?

DARIN: My AC is 19.

MATT: 19, yeah. It darts over you. It misses, it hits the side of the wall. The other guy's going to strike again with disadvantage. That's a 14. And you see the other guy pulling back with a crossbow and fire. You pull out of the way and it (arrow vibrating) into the wooden flooring right next to you.

DARIN: Are there any traps that they hit?

MATT: No. That one is going to attack you, Vax, because you're right there in front of it. That's going to be a 13. Does not hit. Second strike, another 13. Both of its shortsword attacks, you duck out of the way and dodge, moving around very quickly. All righty. Those two right there, one of them is going to, because it saw that you got up, Scanlan, they're going to fire two bolts directly at you. That is a 16 to hit?

SAM: That hits.

MATT: Okay, and the second one is a 24.

SAM: Everything hits.

MATT: You are currently in base to base with one of their companions, so they both get sneak attack on you. 19 points of piercing damage from the first hit. 24 points of piercing damage from the second hit. And then they both duck around the side here.

SAM: What was the second one? 24.

MATT: They both, we'll say, they vanish from sight. You're not quite sure where they are right now. Those two also duck out of sight, not quite sure where they are, either. That ends their go. Now, the guy in the back right there, who noticed Vax show up is going to, after you slaughter one of the guys, and stab the other, is going to angrily go ahead and use Blight on you. Could you go ahead an make a constitution saving throw, please?

LIAM: Natural 20. You fucking dick, necro guy!

MATT: All righty. That does half the damage.

LIAM: It's still a lot.

TALIESIN: I feel like a natural 20 should auto-fail this.

LAURA: I know, right?

MATT: 21 points of necrotic damage to you.

LIAM: All righty.

MATT: And is going to-- four, five, six. All righty. That ends his turn. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: I'm going to run over to the window that those guys disappeared from.

MATT: Over this way or this way?

LAURA: Over there, yeah. Can I see that motherfucker? Did I see him run past the window?

MATT: You know what? Yes, because he was not stealthing. You watch as he darts by, and you would have a shot, yeah.

LAURA: All right, then I'm going to shoot at him. I'm going to Hunter's Mark him!

MATT: All righty, look at that!

LAURA: Trinket doesn't have enough movement to get over by him, does he?

MATT: No, but Trinket can attack whatever's in your area, too.

LAURA: I'm going to attack him with my Bramble Shot. With the Blazing Bowstring. Ooh, yeah. That's a 31.

MATT: 31? That hits!

LAURA: Yes! Okay! Do I get sneak attack on him? I don't, do I.

MATT: No.

LAURA: Damn! At least I got Hunter's Mark. Okay.

LIAM: Hey Matt, I realized. I never shot out the wings, so I shouldn't have had as much movement as I did, so I think we should take the damage back from my last attack.

MATT: (counting). 50 to get up to the top there, so your double speed, you'd be at 60, threw the dagger and threw the dagger. You're fine. It still works out.

LAURA: Okay, 28 plus my 4d8 piercing damage. That's balls.

MATT: You're on deck, Keyleth, just so you know.

LAURA: Seven, nine, plus nine is 37. 37 points of damage.

MATT: The first arrow hits him in the stomach, doubles forward and pulls back. Now, glancing over, saw you rush up and couldn't get out in time and now is going to try and back up as you're taking the second shot.

LAURA: Does he roll a DC of over 17? A strength save?

MATT: Rolls a natural 17. Literally. Strength save? Minus one strength modifier.

(cheering)

MATT: Oh, silly, necromancer. You and your strength of nine. All right, so he is currently entangled with the brambles as the vines wrap around and pull him in, almost near the tree. You see the staff is pulled close to his chest.

LAURA: Nice. Then I am going to shoot him. Oh, wait! I didn't add my Blazing Bowstring damage. Eight more for the Blazing Bowstring. And then I'm going to shoot him again. I'm just asking: do you get sneak attack damage if they're restrained?

MATT: You do, yeah. You can do that. You have advantage on the attack, remember, because he's restrained.

LAURA: That's okay. Eight plus 14 is what? 32?

MATT: Yeah, that hits.

LAURA: Oh gosh! Okay! Ten, 11, 12, 13, plus sneak attack. 13. What's that? Ten. So 23. And then Hunter's Mark. Plus one. 24.

MATT: 24. Nice. The second arrow hits right in the throat, and you can see it doesn't hit anything vital, but you can see blood's starting to pour out. It's one of those things that if he were to pull it out, it would probably be very bad. But he's leaving it in right now. He's looking pretty rough.

TRAVIS: The necromancer is?

MATT: Yeah. All righty. That ends your turn? Keyleth, your turn.

LAURA: I'm going to step away from the window.

MATT: Okay. Step away from the window.

LAURA: No, against the wall.

MATT: Okay, so the wall there? You push the table back a bit; book almost falls off the top. What's Trinket doing?

LAURA: Trinket is going to run over to Sprigg and Scanlan.

MATT: Up to Scanlan, or the guy who's there?

LAURA: Just to the guy.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Just try to growl at him and scare him because he can't attack him.

TALIESIN: He's technically now engaged with the bear, so if he walks away, the bear gets an attack of opportunity.

MATT: That's true. That ends your turn. Trinket goes (roars) right in front of the creature. Keyleth, what are you doing?

MARISHA: Okay. In my weird, emotional panic, Keyleth is going to turn and look around and she sees Vex firing a bow and Sprigg down on the floor, and she's upset, and she's just going to scream at the top of her lungs and do a Fire Storm around the building. Just (screams) and then I'm going to go (boof) where I think people might be in my rage.

MATT: Okay! So around the building where?

MARISHA: Around the building. Sorry, Vax. I don't really know you're there, but around here. I do it here, and I'm sure I see Vex shooting at things, right? I'm going to try and go around.

MATT: So you have right here.

MARISHA: Here, around, and that way.

MATT: All right. Okay, because you didn't see Vax outside.

MARISHA: No. He's getting hit.

MATT: You saw Vax run upstairs.

MARISHA: I just know there were shooting through this window and through this window, so I'm doing a perimeter around. How many squares is it? Ten, right?

MARISHA: Ten ten-by-tens.

MATT: These two here get caught in it, as well as Vax and that guy there.

LAURA: What about the magician guy?

MATT: If she's doing a perimeter? No.

LAURA: Did you know I was shooting at somebody?

MATT: She doesn't see the magician. Doesn't know where it is. "The Magician." The Prestige!

LIAM: I have evasion.

MATT: Which means it's either half or nothing.

LIAM: Right. At advantage because of the boots. What do I have to match?

MATT: Her DC, which is 21, right?

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: Dexterity saving throw.

LIAM: Oh yeah, way higher than that. We're good.

MATT: Yeah, you take no damage. You duck out of the Fire Storm just in time for it to (raging fire).

MARISHA: I need two more d10s.

LIAM: Yeah, dexterity save, man. Area effect.

TALIESIN: Smoky d10 and spiky d10. And you get rerolls!

MARISHA: I reroll ones. None of these are ones, unfortunately. (counting)

DARIN: I just noticed the little lanterns glowing. Bravo!

MATT: Oh! Bravo to Dwarven Forge, man.

SAM: Well, it's your house.

MATT: True. Good torches you have in there.

TRAVIS: Way to be energy conscious with those LEDs!

MARISHA: 39 fire damage.

MATT: 39 damage. This guy incinerates. He screams and burns. He manages to dodge partway out, but even the partial damage burns him and he, (screams). You see him run off into the forest ten or so steps, on fire, like stun man shot in a movie before he (splatting) on the ground and smolders there in the distance. Those guys take it. What was the amount again?

MARISHA: 39, and they're on fire.

TALIESIN: It's hard to stealth when you're on fire.

MATT: They're both on fire.

MARISHA: So that was my action. I'm going to do that out of my staff as I slam it down. I'm going to look at Sprigg and say: gods damn it, Sprigg! And I'm going to use that as my Healing Word, and I'm going to cast Healing Word at 2nd-level. Which is 2d4. 11 points to you. And then I'm going to use my free action that I have to turn into a fire elemental.

MATT: Your free action?

MARISHA: Changing into something's not a bonus, it's a free action to change into my beast shape. Circle of the Moon, bitch!

SAM: Did you just call your fiancé--

TRAVIS: --a bitch?

MARISHA: No! Combat wild shape.

MATT: Wild Shape makes it a bonus action, as opposed to an action. That's the difference.

LIAM: I would like to retract my "bitch," please.

MARISHA: All right, so I'm just Keyleth.

MATT: Does that end your turn? All right, so as Keyleth's turn ends, it comes to Pike's. The entire exterior perimeter of this part of the house is on fire. Flames are now starting to catch. It is dry wood; the entire building is made of wood of the forest, so your home is now in flames.

MARISHA: Wait, hang on. No, I'm doing the perimeter. I did think about this, which is why I didn't attack the guy in the house.

TRAVIS: If you napalm the forest, the trees will probably catch fire.

LIAM: It's a quick jump, though.

MATT: In order to do the perimeter, it's not a blazing inferno, but it's starting to catch. Flames are starting to lick up the sides.

LIAM: End it quick, we can save it.

MATT: Fire Storm's a dangerous spell.

LAURA: Let's try to save those books before they all burn.

SAM: He's an old guy. We were either going to kill him or burn his house down.

MATT: It's Vox Machina's MO, man!

SAM: It was always going to end this way.

TALIESIN: Things you own end up owning you.

DARIN: So glad I wore a jacket.

MATT: Pike is going to rush forward and is also going to attempt to Healing Word you at level two. It's a heal fountain on you. That is six plus five. That's 11 hit points you heal.

SAM: As soon as she does that, I grab him and we Dimension Door out the house.

MATT: Where do you Dimension Door?

SAM: To the only place I know: front of the house. Outside the front door. Not right outside, but towards the edge of the map there.

MATT: Over here?

SAM: Yeah, anywhere around there, on approach to the house.

TRAVIS: Or do you want to be more over yonder?

SAM: Where's the front door to the house?

MARISHA: Right there.

SAM: So I'd be 20 feet, the way we approached to the house. So where you got it, if that's the way we approached.

MATT: You guys approached this direction. So you're there. Make a perception check, Scanlan.

SAM: Okay. Ten.

MATT: Okay. You don't see the two hidden fellows over here. You see something large and hulking moving through the forest this direction, at quick glance.

SAM: Is it naked?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Then we're going to be okay.

MATT: You guys have pulled out of that house. You're still on the ground and all of a sudden your body physically shifts, and you're looking at the trees. You glance around and you can see the back of your house, you can hear the frantic fray going on. You see the necromancer who's currently covered in brambles and held in place. You see a couple of guys on fire, on the side screaming on the side of the house, and your house starting to catch fire. That's okay. Pike, on her turn, is going to--

MARISHA: Keyleth has anger issues. It's fine.

MATT: Because it's a single target...

SAM: It's the "This is fine" meme, except it's Keyleth.

MATT: She's going to cast a level five Guiding Bolt because that's what Pike does. So ranged spell attack against that guy. 11 plus-- yeah, that hits. That's a 21. So that is 8d6 radiant damage. Nice. 19.

LAURA: Is she doing it to the magician?

MATT: No, this guy right here, in the room.

SAM: He's an illusionist, Laura.

TRAVIS: Is she doing it against Copperfield? Is David Blaine with them?

MATT: So after she heals Sprigg, and Sprigg vanishes, she grabs her holy symbol and goes, "Chill out!" and shoots this giant flashing beam of divine energy that slams into it. You watch as a lot of its flesh burns away from the impact. It's still standing, but it's a shining beacon. The next attack against it has advantage. And then Pike's going to back up with you, Vex, towards the back where the bookcase and goes, "You smell something?" You now hear, simultaneously, (slow thudding) and watch as the side wall and the back wall explode inward, as splinters of wood and stone (crashing) comes from this wall here--

LAURA: Oh no, all of his stuff!

MARISHA: So I didn't destroy your house *first*.

LIAM: Flames! Flames, less of a thing.

TALIESIN: On the side of the house.

LIAM: Flames on the side of the house!

MATT: Two familiar hulking entities come barrelling into the chamber. Remember those giant things you saw walking through the Shadowfell that you barely avoided with the mask?

MARISHA: The censer?

MATT: Who has the censer? Not on you right now. You don't carry a fucking giant smoking censer with you!

LAURA: Oh, really? I didn't realize it was that big.

TALIESIN: I think at that point, I think we put it in the Bag of Holding.

SAM: But you did make a bunch of those herbs.

MARISHA: I do have the herbs.

SAM: And there's a shit-ton of shit on fire right now.

MATT: They burst through. (roaring) This big yell echoes through their metal masks. It sounds like horrible-- imagine a giant vocal scream that's peaking on the audio level against a tinny metallic speaker.

LIAM: (Bane voice) Your punishment will be more severe!

MATT: Essentially. This one's going to go after Keyleth. This one's going to make two swipes at Trinket because Trinket's right there. As they barrel through, part of the roof breaks. Guys up top, Percy and Grog, you feel the ground buckle a little bit below you and you drop about two or three inches as the building is starting to lose its physical frame.

TALIESIN: Oh god, Grog, what did Keyleth do?

TRAVIS: Thanks, Keyleth. You beat me by one second!

TALIESIN: I'm well aware. It was totally worth it.

MARISHA: #thanksKeyleth.

MATT: That's one's going to go ahead and do two slam attacks against Keyleth.

MARISHA: Yeah, I've earned it. Come on!

MATT: That's 23 to hit.

MARISHA: Yeah, that hits.

MATT: And that's a 29 to hit.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: That's 20 points of bludgeoning damage from the first hit. From the second one is 30 points of bludgeoning damage. (two slams) And it slams you. The second fist actually pins you up against the wall there, and you feel ribs crack inside your chest and now they're both down low in this hulking mass. They're almost wider than they are any other dimension with how they're crouched down and the thickness of their body. They're taking up almost the entirety of the room right now.

MARISHA: You said 30 points, right?

MATT: Yes, for the second one.

MARISHA: So I'm at 83 points.

MATT: Correct. The other one's going to slam twice into Trinket. Giant fists. That's going to be a 28.

LAURA: 28 hits.

MATT: And a 22.

LAURA: 22 hits.

MATT: That is five plus six. 11 points of bludgeoning damage to Trinket.

LAURA: Halved.

MATT: Halved, correct. And 22 points of bludgeoning damage, halved.

LAURA: Okay, so 11 plus six is 27 points.

MATT: That ends their go. We're at the top of the round. Percy, you're upstairs.

TALIESIN: Okay, this all happened. That's awkward. That's okay, I know where I am. I'm going to run out onto the balcony really quick.

MARISHA: There's room over here.

TRAVIS: That guy's still up there with us, right?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I figure you're going to handle this. Grog, take care of these two. What do I see outside on the balcony?

MATT: You see, currently down below-- make a perception check. Actually, you wouldn't even see them from your perspective.

TALIESIN: I just rolled a natural 20.

MATT: Right, it's blocking your vision from this side. You do see Scanlan, you see Sprigg who is currently conscious, you see this necromancer who is currently held with brambles, and you see two streaking flames and hear screams inside of the building.

TALIESIN: Weird question, really quickly. Where is that giant log trap?

MATT: Right there.

TALIESIN: How much swing does it have? Is it locked all the way over here, or is it hung back there?

MATT: It looks more like a drop.

TALIESIN: Oh, so it's a drop on the door. Good to know. In the meantime, I'm going to run on the exterior of the wall, like right over here, if that makes sense. That's going to be my movement. I'm going to take some fun, happy pot shots at these bastards.

LAURA: At the necromancer?

TALIESIN: At the necromancer! Let's start with that bound necromancer. He's fun.

LIAM: With the Vecna eye.

TALIESIN: With the Vecna eye. He's bound, so I have advantage to hit him?

MATT: Yes, you do.

TALIESIN: All right, I'm going to use by Animus gun so I still have a hand open, and I'm also going to burn a point of grit so that I can get him to drop his staff. Here we go with advantage. Oh darn, it was so close. 28.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: That's-- ooh! Fancy. 18 points of damage, four points of psychic damage, and he has to make a strength saving throw or he drops his items.

MATT: Oh, don't worry, he drops his staff, because there's not much left of his head. When you hit the arm, the staff's clutching, but you slam it and it hits the side of the head and causes the right side of the face to explode against the tree, the brambles still clutching as it falls limp to the ground, and they crush the body into a small rock of flesh.

TALIESIN: That'll do.

MARISHA: You get a grit point back, right?

LAURA: You get a grit point back, you get a grit point back!

MATT: You just barely see them; they have three-quarters cover. But you have sharpshooter.

TALIESIN: Three-quarters cover, what does that mean in this crazy world? I'm going to burn a grit for advantage and shoot one of them.

MATT: The one right furthest on the side there?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I'll start there. Let's give it a shot. I love advantage; it's so wonderful. 32. I really should have done extra damage. So that's ten plus six. That hits, obviously. 32 to hit?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: 17 points of damage plus two points of psychic damage.

MATT: How much was that, sorry?

TALIESIN: 17 points of damage plus two points of psychic damage.

MATT: Okay. All right, he's still standing. (bullet impact, yelps) He starts looking up to see where the shot came from as the giant bullet wound through the torso and out the back of the shoulder was clean through. You hear him breathing, gasping for breath. (gasping)

TALIESIN: I'm going to take another shot at him. I'm going to make this a sharpshooter shot, and again with advantage because that's fun. Here we go. Damn! Almost a crit. That's 29. That hits.

MATT: That hits, yeah. Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: 14 points of damage-- I'm sorry, 24 points of damage plus two points of psychic damage.

MATT: He falls to the ground, face first. The second shot hits him in the chest. He just goes down, crumples. His body begins to smolder.

TALIESIN: I use my bonus action to reload and stare at the nice person below me.

MATT: That ends Percival's turn. Grog, you're up. You hear, downstairs, the (heavy thudding). There's the guy in front of you who's like, (angry breathing). What are you going to do?

TRAVIS: Can I smash my Titanstone Knuckles together and cast Enlarge on myself?

MATT: You can! And your head goes into the roof! (thudding)

MARISHA: We're real sorry about your house.

DARIN: It wasn't a house. It was a prison.

LAURA: Well, then you're welcome.

TRAVIS: I'm hoping the floor gives.

MATT: The floor gives out. As your head (crashing) into the ceiling (creaking, crashing) it falls out from under you. You come falling down on top of this guy. Rubble falls around. Keyleth, I need you to make a dexterity saving throw. I need Trinket to make a dexterity saving throw. The other shadow ghast fails.

MARISHA: Nine.

LAURA: 14.

MATT: Trinket, you, and the shadow ghast all take 22 points of bludgeoning damage as the roof caves in over on top. Large part of the upper floor now falls and this guy stumbles and is now prone there. He also takes damage. You also take 22 points of bludgeoning damage from the falling of the wreckage around. Trinket's is halved, yes.

MARISHA: Ugh, debris, ugh!

MATT: That kills him. The shadow ghast right here.

TRAVIS: Because he had barely any left.

MATT: Yeah. He's like, "Huh?" (crashing) Gets rained on with rubble, broken, splintered wood and stone.

TRAVIS: The guy in Manners, he fell too, right?

MATT: His part of the ceiling didn't fully collapse. He's just out of the way. He's dangling off the edge right now, as he shakes, it's making its way towards the hole. The whole ceiling didn't collapse, just the area right below.

TRAVIS: Beautiful. Can I take Tweedledee to my right and make two reckless attacks against him? They're not giants, right?

MATT: No, they're not giants. They're considered undead.

TRAVIS: They're considered undead. 30 to hit. And the second one.

MATT: Big targets.

TRAVIS: 29.

MATT: Hits.

TRAVIS: So ten. 24 points. Plus the Enlarge-- 25.

MATT: 25 for the first hit. (whack)

TRAVIS: 22 with the second one.

MATT: 22 damage on the second hit. (whacks) You're hitting him. Laying on its back, it has these metal spikes jutting out of its flesh. You can see portions of other creatures that it had slain that have been jammed on these spikes and rotted away on its armor. So as you're hitting it, you're knocking away parts of partially decomposed creatures that previously fell in battle to one of these creatures. As you're slamming into it, you can see it's just rippling, partially decayed muscle that seems to be unnaturally strengthened by whatever necrotic energy keeps it stitched together and alive. It's a thick sack of hit points.

TRAVIS: Wow. Cool. Good to know.

MATT: Is that your turn; are you doing anything else?

TRAVIS: That's interesting. I'm going to go into a frenzied rage as my bonus action.

MATT: Okay, and that's the end of your turn? Okay. End of Grog's turn. Vax, you're up. You heard all this go on and now the whole building is starting to catch fire.

LIAM: I'm going to bolt to that window.

MATT: Right there?

LIAM: No, other way. So I have a view of Keyleth, the creature, and Grog. I'm going to throw Whisper-- I've got sharpshooter-- at that thing, and bamf there.

MATT: I will say, at proximity to the flames that they're starting to catch, you do take three points of fire damage.

LIAM: Fine.

MATT: You threw the dagger at the big guy?

LIAM: Whisper goes to the window at that guy there.

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack.

LIAM: And it's flanking, right? Because of where of Grog is, or Keyleth?

MATT: It's not flanking, but you do get to add sneak attack modifier.

LIAM: Okay. Yeah, that's fine. That's 32.

MATT: Yeah, that hits. So you appear next to it.

LIAM: Three plus psychic damage is four plus this junk. (counting) 33, doubled to 66 plus psychic damage is 74. Bamf there.

MATT: And you appear next to it. As the dagger sinks into its torso, you watch as its chest muscles and the iron cage-like armor around it seems to swallow the dagger. As it goes inside, you watch as some of the muscles all of a sudden (squelch) fall off of its body, like whatever energy's holding it together is untethered and this weird, fleshy, stitched-together creature is starting to fall apart. It's looking pretty hurt.

LIAM: Okay, so here's what I wanted to do. So movement-- and I have action-action, action, action-- action-action, action, bonus action.

TRAVIS, LAURA, and MARISHA: (repeating) Action, action.-

LIAM: Guys, it's the rules in the book!

MATT: Well, that's your first attack, so you have your second attack.

LIAM: So action-action for my regular attack, right?

MATT: Attack-attack!

LIAM: It's just semantics. Attack-attack, hasted action, bonus action. So that was the first of my attack-attacks. And here's the second one.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: 30.

MATT: Well, we have dagger, dagger, dagger. Now we have attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack as our next t-shirt.

(laughter)

LIAM: I'm dumping a level two smite into this, against an undead. That's seven, 10, 11. Ooh, it's cocked. 17 for that hit.

MATT: 17 with the additional--?

LIAM: With attack-attack.

MATT: Right. Well, but you said you dumped divine smite into that?

LIAM: Into that one.

MATT: You did the additional damage for it being undead? Okay, so that was how much total?

LIAM: Whatever I just said. It was like 16.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. 17 will do it, actually. So as you rush in with the second dagger, you jam up into the same space where it's falling apart, and you hear this dull (shockwave sound) on the inside as the divine energy radiates from the strike and its body (slurping) sloughs off of the bones and around your arm. It slowly falls around your arm like an old gelatin and (slurping) slips into the ground, covering the floor around you.

LIAM: Okay, I'm going to do the old crouch. Not that she needs it, but crouch in front of Keyleth. And then I have my hasted action for an attack and my bonus action for an attack into the other one. 29, and the second one is higher than 29. I'm going to dump smite into it. Three-- you're making me mess up the math, Laura!

LAURA: Psychic damage.

LIAM: (laughing) I can't keep track of the math!

MATT: (singing) Epic-level DND!

LIAM: 25 on that towards that guy, with smite added. And then the last dagger, with smite, at level one, is two plus is 10, 14, 19.

MATT: 19, okay.

LIAM: I dumped a ton of smite into that.

MATT: You didn't add your modifier to the third strike, right?

LIAM: I don't know, so why don't you just minus six? 19, so we'll call it 13. Some people might have been catcalling me while I was trying to do math.

MATT: That's okay. No worries. You hit with the two final strikes. They blast into it. You watch as some of the armor gets thrown off its body. It takes a little hit, but the other creature looks like it's largely all right. That finished Vax's turn.

LIAM: Let me enjoy my last two months of life!

MATT: Shadow ghast. What's the DC on the sphere again?

SAM: 20.

MATT: Is it 20? 19. He can't escape from this freaking sphere. The shadowghast is up on the second floor going (growling). Manners, man. All right. Scanlan and Sprigg, what do you guys want to do?

DARIN: I have a question. The gentleman who had an arrow in his throat: he's gone, right? He's been blown apart.

MATT: Yeah. Actually, make a perception check.

DARIN: Okay. That's a d20, isn't it?

MATT: Yep, d20 and then add your perception modifier.

DARIN: Got it. That's a 17.

MATT: A 17, okay. You glance over and you see two guys who are hiding amongst the bushes on the side there.

DARIN: Now, it's too far away to cast a spell.

MATT: No, depending on the spell's range, depending on what you want to do.

DARIN: Tasha's Hideous Laughter.

MATT: That we can do.

MARISHA: That's such a good spell.

MATT: It's a fun one. So bringing up Tasha's here, looking at the range. There we go. It's a 30-foot range, so you want to get up and get a little closer, probably.

DARIN: I will do that, if I could.

MATT: All right, so that's half your movement, and you can move two more spaces. You can hit one guy. So one guy of these two you can select.

DARIN: The first one.

MATT: That one there? All righty.

DARIN: Yes. I think his name is Dave? Roll a perception?

MATT: Make a saving throw, a wisdom save. That is a 10! Your spell DC is a 17. You watch as the guy there who has his crossbow out and sees you get up, spins around, has this giant, heavy crossbow, the bolt very recognizable because you still have three of them in your body. Aims it towards you and then suddenly (maniacal laughter) and drops the crossbow to the ground and doubles over laughing, falling to the ground and is now kicking and laughing like a hyena right now, unable to do anything.

DARIN: Knock knock!

MATT: (maniacal laughter)

DARIN: Right!

(laughter)

MATT: All right, is that your turn?

DARIN: Yes, it is.

MATT: All right.

SAM: There's another guy over there? Have I seen him yet?

MATT: You haven't actually. You do see this guy's on fire right now, who is still around.

SAM: Oh, I see somebody.

MATT: Yeah, and you can see that hulking figure come running through, and you hear the (explosion) through the back of the building.

SAM: For the beginning of the round, I'll say, guys I think large giants are coming. Be aware.

LAURA and TRAVIS: (screaming)

SAM: What? I can't hear you! Speak clearly!

LIAM: Threepio! Where could he be?!

SAM: Okay. Shit. I'll approach the guy I can see burning, on fire. That's where the front door is, right? Is he in front of the front door?

MATT: The log is right up in this area.

SAM: Oh yeah. That. So I'll take out my wand of Magic Missiles, And I will just (firing) take down the rope.

MATT: Okay. You watch as three missiles fire out of the wand and slam into the bits of rope up top. As they explode, it's enough of an impact to cause it, as opposed to fall straight down, just spin and fall. I'm going to go ahead and roll a dice to see which direction it's going to land from its front point. So we'll say inward would be one, two, three, four, five, six. That's a six. So it plummets down, hits the ceiling, scrapes off and slams down onto him. He's going to try and make a dexterity saving throw. That is a seven plus four, nope. That's an 11. Go ahead and roll 4d8 please.

LAURA: 4d8?

DARIN: Is this Dr. Comedy, who's writhing in laughter?

MATT: I think so. Oh. No, sorry, he's over here. This guy's on fire from her earlier.

SAM: Oh, that's a five. 16.

MATT: 16 points of damage to him.

SAM: That's not a lot.

LAURA: You only get 16 on 4d8?

MATT: It's not enough to kill him, but it slams on him and then falls over. You see as both of his flaming hands on the ground going, (groans). He's currently restrained underneath it right there, and on fire.

DARIN: Knock knock.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, you going to stay where you are?

SAM: No. I'm going to move towards any entrance or window I see. I can't really see over there.

MATT: There's a window here, window here. This one has, flames in front of it. This one's available.

SAM: I'll go towards that [no audio] other one.

MATT: Okay. Four, five. That's as far as you can move there. You see the guy on the ground who's laughing in front of you.

SAM: Yeah, no thanks to him. And for a bonus, I guess I will inspire Darin De Paul, or rather, Sprigg.

LIAM: Why not both?

SAM: I will sing to him, (singing) You had a bad day, you gettin' knocked down. I sing you a song just to turn it around! You say you don't know, but please don't die. I'll sing you this song and maybe you'll go for a ride. You had a bad day. (speaking) I don't know how that song goes.

MATT: All righty, so you get an Inspiration die. You get a d12 that you can use on any sort of skill. You don't have to use it right now, but whenever you use a skill check or an ability check you can add that to it if you want to. There you go.

DARIN: Thank you. You know, I had a bad day.

SAM: (singing) You had a bad day.

(groaning and laughing)

MATT: All right, so now it's the assassin's turn. Keyleth, how much fire damage does it do when they're on fire? Is it d10?

MARISHA: (stuttering) Oh jeez. Fire Storm. Yeah, no. d10.

MATT: Thought so. All right, he takes eight fire damage.

TALIESIN: Yay! Under a log.

MATT: Under a log. He's going to try and break free from restraint. Nope, that is a 14. He cannot move that giant tree that's currently crushing him on the ground. He tries to reach out for his crossbow and aim it out towards Sprigg with one hand because it's still loaded. But he has super disadvantage on this strike.

SAM: Super disadvantage. Is that in the book?

MATT: It is now.

LAURA: That's in the new campaign guide. Super disadvantage. Only when you're stuck under a tree on fire.

MATT: Sure, I'll do a three. All right. Eight, 12, 12. I made him roll super disadvantage. What does this remind me of? Like a terrible old sci-fi movie where the bad guy's on the ground with the gun trying to aim it at the hero with his final shot and the hero just walks up and steps on the gun. You (whoosh) sidestep the bolt as if fires. Nothing on you.

DARIN: Of course.

MATT: The crossbow drops, (grunting).

DARIN: Knock knock.

MATT: (crying) On fire. All righty, that end his turn.

DARIN: (whispering) Comedy comes in threes.

MATT: This guy back here is going to go ahead and since you're the one who has his friend writhing on the ground, is going to go ahead and try to shoot you with his crossbow. You do see him, although he's unaware of that, so he thinks it's a sneak attack shot. That is a 14.

TALIESIN: You got to get better cultists, man.

MATT: I know, seriously. They come in large numbers, so yeah. This one just (impact sound) hits the tree to your left. His aim's off.

TRAVIS: He's missing an eye. His depth perception sucks.

MATT: Exactly. And he goes ahead and darts behind this building there, vanishing.

SAM: Did I see the bolt or any indication that he exists?

MATT: You do. He reveals himself when he fires. So you watched him come out of the bushes and (whoosh) fire and then duck around the side of the building. The guy on the ground is going to try and save against your spell. That is a 13 plus zero. Nope. He's still laughing. He's just on the ground, (laughing). Tears in his eyes now.

TALIESIN: I love that spell.

MATT: That's the end of the assassins' turn. Necro's dead. Vex, you're up.

LAURA: I'm going to Hunter's Mark the big undead monster in the room. And then I'm going to shoot him! With the Blazing Bowstring!

TALIESIN: Be careful. You might catch the building on fire.

LAURA: Oh, but I'm going to use the sharpshooter thing.

MATT: Take minus five and do additional damage? Okay.

LAURA: Which I don't know if I should have done that on this particular one. It was 17 to hit.

MATT: 17 is exactly his armor class.

LIAM: Yas, Pelor queen!

(laughter)

LAURA: Five plus eight is 13. Plus sneak attack, because he's got Trinket next to him. 13, 18, 23, sorry! 23 and then lightning damage. 24. 25, 26. And then Blazing Bowstring. God dang! 27.

MATT: Okay, 27. So that's your first strike. (arrow shot) First one just (impact sound) hits in the side and you see the bolt of energy arc out and the flames burn up the arrow. By the way, the wall behind you is starting to get really warm.

LAURA: I'm going to move forward. I'm going to actually move toward the corner where Keyleth is.

MATT: There's a guy on the ground there.

LAURA: Oh, there is?

MATT: Yeah. So you've got to step over him.

LAURA: I'm going to step on him.

MATT: As you move past, he does get a swing with his shortsword at you. Oh, wow. That's a 25.

LAURA: Oh, wow. It hits me. Probably because I stepped on him.

MATT: I think so. So you take nine points of slashing damage. Just like, (pain sound) as you're walking past.

LAURA: (pain sound) Fuck. Ah, shit. Okay, I'm going to hit the big hulking thing again.

MATT: I realized he had disadvantage, but I rolled another 18, so it's fine.

LAURA: Oh, okay, well, yeah. I'm going to do the same thing with the big hulking guy.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: 25 to hit.

MATT: 25 hits.

LAURA: Oh, I didn't add plus ten to the previous one!

MATT: Because of the sharpshooter, all right. 39 last time. So go ahead and take a swing at it.

LAURA: Thanks! 14.

MATT: You're up next, Keyleth.

LAURA: 14 plus six is 20.

SAM: Figure out how you're going to ruin Darin's life more.

MARISHA: I know. That's my one goal in life. I'm a big old homewrecker.

LAURA: I think it's just 32 because I don't get sneak attack again.

MATT: All right.So the second arrow slams into him. It's still holding firm. It's taking the hits and you see parts of its body are starting to spill black liquid out of the wounds and (growls) its red eyes still beaming out from behind the metal mask in front of its face. Its arm swings back and tears some of the ceiling beams out with it. It's looking pretty rickety right now. So that ends your turn?

LAURA: I guess so.

MARISHA: Is it in a fireproof safe? No? Okay!

MATT: Keyleth, you're up.

MARISHA: All right. So I have this big asshole in front of me, yeah? The house is catching on fire, right? Yeah. Nope, she'd still be really upset and really angry. So continuing what I was saying before, she's gonna rage a little bit more and go into her fire elemental self.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Unable to contain her frustration--

TALIESIN: This is a good plan.

MATT: You technically entered the space of the guy who's on the ground becoming a fire elemental, which lights him on fire. (screams)

MARISHA: Even more upset, I'm gonna move right in the space of this guy.

MATT: (whoosh) So occupying his space from this side, we'll say. She can catch you guys on fire.

LAURA: But she doesn't have to.

MATT: I'll double check that real fast.

MARISHA: I mean, I'm magical.

TALIESIN: Sparkle fire.

MARISHA: I sparkle fire.

LIAM: Also, we can take it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's fire.

MATT: You know what? It can move through a space as narrow as one inch wide, so I'll say yes, you can maneuver through. Only if you want to, can you set things on fire.

MARISHA: I'm going to go into this guy's space, engulf in flames, and do my multi-attack, two slam touch attacks.

MATT: Go for it. He is now in flames.

MARISHA: That's cocked. Ooh, that's good, that's good. 21.

MATT: 21, yeah.

MARISHA: And 16.

MATT: 16 just misses.

MARISHA: Fucking balls. Okay. No, plus six to 11. That's 17.

MATT: That hits. That's what you needed.

MARISHA: So both of those hit. 2d6 plus three. First one is eight. Plus ten. 18 fire damage.

MATT: He's looking pretty hurt. As you slam him with both of your flaming hands and claw across his body, where the flame hits, you see it (hissing) singes through the flesh and drags charred remains of where muscle once was where you dragged your claws through. The body's starting to shake as it's holding its form together.

MARISHA: That's all I've got, I think. That's it.

SAM: No. You have action, action, action, action, action.

(laughter)

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Bonus action.

LAURA: Hasted action.

LIAM: Send all your complaints to Mike Mearls and Chris Perkins at Wizards of the Coast.

SAM: Matt, not to be a dick, but has anyone stepped on the trap on the floor?

MATT: Actually, you know what, Vax would have avoided it. Because Vax is in the spot where it was, but Vax knew where it was, so Vax probably would have gone over it.

SAM: So cool. You're doing the little splits over it.

LIAM: Splitsing. Van Damme-ing it.

MATT: Wait, you wouldn't have, because when you threw the dagger--

LIAM: Let's do it.

MATT: It's not a big deal. Thank you for pointing that out.

SAM: But your boots are gone.

LIAM: She stole them again? How did you do it?

MATT: You guys glance upward as you hear a (deep swoosh) and up above you in the hole in the ceiling where there once was nothing but air, you see hovering above you a giant beholder just appear. (guttural moan) All of its eyestalks curling around it.

MARISHA: What do you mean, it's not a big deal? That's the part that I'm confused about!

MATT: Thank you for that. So that finishes your turn, Keyleth. Pike's turn. Pike sees this--

LIAM: If we're retconning that in, I'm retconning (blows raspberry) when I see it.

DARIN: Don't get Gargamel angry.

MARISHA: Does that mean that Keyleth would have seen the beholder beforehand? You know what, don't worry about it.

MATT: No. You were so angry-- it's in the hole above. You don't quite see where that hole was at the moment, you backed away.

MARISHA: Man, so much blind rage.

MATT: So much blind rage. Look guys, that's what we're doing. So anyway, Pike does actually make an insight check, and says, "It's not real. Don't worry about it!"

LAURA: Thanks, Pike.

MATT: Fixed.

(laughter)

LAURA: It's not a big deal, you guys.

MATT: Pike is, however, going to go ahead and make another Guiding Bolt at the large guy there. That's going to be a 20. That hits. That's going to be 4d6. 14 points of radiant damage, which will do it. So you watch as Pike blasts it in the face with the Guiding Bolt. As it hits, the mask gets thrown off, and where the head was beneath it, you see this empty black void with two red burning coals for eyes that blink out as soon as the mask is removed, and the whole body crumples to the ground and turns into a horrible, thick, black-purple ichor.

LAURA: I'm going to have nightmares about that.

SAM: For sure.

MATT: The beholder is still upstairs, staying in place going (hoarse screaming).

(laughter)

MATT: Yeah, it's that kind of thing.

TALIESIN: Brilliant.

MATT: That ends Pike's turn. They're both dead. That brings us back. Percival, it's your turn. There's the one guy on the ground there. One's laughing. We'll say for the purposes of this, for the time, most everything there is not much of a threat at this point. So systematically, the guy on the ground who's hidden by the tree, you can just--

TALIESIN: I'm ignoring him. I'm not even gonna deal. I'm just hopping in the window. I'm going to grab my little guy there. I'm going to bring him out to the balcony, and I'm going to unceremoniously toss him out of the house.

SAM: Defenestrated!

MATT: You throw him (thud). He lands.

TALIESIN: And then I'm going to jump and I'm going to crawl down the rest of my way and join him outside the house. And try and jump around the fire, dragging him away from the fire.

MATT: Make an athletics check. Sorry, acrobatics check.

TALIESIN: Acrobatics? Bless you for an acrobatics check. I'm rerolling that.

MATT: No, it's not a saving throw. You can't do that.

TALIESIN: It's not a saving throw. Oh well, that's fine. That's a 16.

MATT: I'll say for the purposes of this--

TALIESIN: I had the Spider Climb boots.

MATT: Right, I know. But spider climb boots only helps you if you keep on the surface. So as you leap, you manage to land on your feet, but the flames do catch you a bit, so you take six points of fire damage as you start to burn. For the purposes of time on this one, the guy who's currently under the log just burns to death there under the log. Pinned, he's trying to reach for his crossbow, but he's only fired the one bolt that was loaded in it. The guy on the ground is still laughing as you approach him.

DARIN: Are there any rocks about?

MATT: Yeah, there's quite a few heavier rocks on the ground.

DARIN: Well, I look at him, and I say, "It was a prison, but it was my prison." And I use the Telekinesis ring to lift a rock and drop it on his head.

MATT: (splat) A horrible sickening crack sound. It slams into the head. You lift it up. The laughing has stopped, but he's still moving and you can see the face is broken. The nose is smashed to the side and it's just blood. He's starting to try and get back up.

DARIN: Well, tell them that Ethred Brokenbranch sends his regards.

MATT: Do you let him get up?

DARIN: Yes.

MATT: He gets up. (grunting)

SAM: I'll Lightning Bolt him as he runs away.

MATT: Okay, we'll say for the purposes of this, he runs off in the distance (footsteps, yelp) and falls to the ground, no longer moving.

TRAVIS: Can I kill the guy on the floor? Can he be mine, please? Can I please smash him? The guy that's lying on the floor in the house, please?

TALIESIN: Just sit on him.

TRAVIS: I haven't Gallaghered anybody in a while.

MATT: He's on the ground on fire now, going (frantic gasps) patting out the fire.

LAURA: Oh, Grog, put him out!

MATT: He spends his action putting the fire out now, and is like, (frantic gasps).

MARISHA: Keyleth takes a few steps back and motions as a fire elemental...

TRAVIS: I skip on in and (gibberish yell).

MATT: He's like, (scream, impact). Just smashed on the ground. Red watermelon.

LAURA: Fire's out, I'm assuming.

MARISHA: I drop my fire form, turn, see my anger, destruction, get immediately guilty, and then do a Tidal Wave to quell the flames.

MATT: The building is standing, mostly. The whole front of it is blackened. The flames are gone. Most of the interior is destroyed. You have two giant holes in the back. Most of the upper ceiling is ruined. The house is in shambles.

LAURA: What about the books?

MATT: A lot of them have been destroyed. Some of the ones on the back wall have been burned. Some of them have been burned by people in flames or made of flame or general black ichor that spilled out. The house is pretty wrecked.

LAURA: Can I go over to them and see if I can find some books I think Percy would like?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: I'm running over to see that staff with an eye in it.

LAURA: 27.

MATT: 27? Okay. You start glancing through. You find some history books. You find some that relate to local history. You see some books that relate to various types of creatures; some animals and beasts. Many that are encyclopedias of various rivers and it's scattered everywhere. It's just universal knowledge of pretty much anything he can get his hands on. So some of it seems less useful than others but you hand-pick a few out that you think Percy would like.

TRAVIS: I don't mean to ask the obvious question, but how did he know we were here?

TALIESIN: No, that's not an obvious question. I have no idea.

MARISHA: They have multiple eyes.

LAURA: But how? Was he watching us? Is he scrying on us?

TALIESIN: Must have.

LAURA: Oh, he's fucking scrying on us.

TALIESIN: Maybe he can feel you the way you can feel him.

MATT: You get the sense that's not how this works.

TALIESIN: Yeah. I don't know.

MARISHA: He had another eye, right?

SAM: Does that thing have an eye in it?

MATT: The staff you see? It's a carved eye. It's made of wood and paint. It's ornamental. It's mainly used as a focus, technically acts as a plus-one staff.

TRAVIS: Sprigg. You said this place was a prison. Did you mean that?

DARIN: Of course I meant it, boy. I've been there for years.

TRAVIS: Could you leave? If you wanted.

DARIN: Of course I can. The prison was more up here than in there.

TRAVIS: Oh. Sorry about the prison, then.

DARIN: Why would you be sorry? I asked you for power and redemption. Don't you feel you gave me that? We lived, child. We all lived.

TRAVIS: Yep. Yes. That is indeed what I was hoping for.

LAURA: I lean out the window. Hey, Sprigg!

DARIN: Hello!

LAURA: Hi.

DARIN: Hi! How are you? I have some arrows in me at the moment. You like arrows, don't you?

LAURA: I do. Come in here, I'll take them off your hands.

DARIN: Okay. Question: if you do that, I'd probably die again.

LAURA: I'll cure you, darling. Don't worry.

DARIN: She called me darling.

SAM: She's the cutest.

DARIN: (growls) I go in.

(laughter)

MATT: You walk into your destroyed abode, managing to sidestep all the bear traps along the way. You've walked the path many times and you know it and I'm actually surprised none of you walked into any of them. You knew where most of them were, but none of you wandered out far enough into the open to do that. They're all inside. You can see your giant friend, of course, that you were talking to as you walked in is twice the size he was earlier. Previously where you had to hunch, you're now having to almost belly crawl inside the house.

TRAVIS: But why? There's no separation between the first and the second floor.

MATT: So if you stand in that space, you're fine.

TRAVIS: I'm in my space.

TALIESIN: I'm going to prop our idiot up in the window so I can go in and keep an eye on him even while I'm inside.

SAM: We have a prisoner?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I kept one.

LAURA: But he's one of those creepy ghouls that probably doesn't speak.

MATT: And in the last minute or so has not been able to break free but is still trying.

TALIESIN: He automatically fails until 24 hours has elapsed.

MATT: After the first failed save?

TALIESIN: Any further attempts by the creature automatically fail until 24 hours have elapsed. He ain't going nowhere. It's mean, man.

LAURA: Me and Pike can heal him as I take the arrows out.

MATT: Okay.

DARIN: Last you've seen the *point* of me, eh?

LAURA: (sarcastic laugh) Sprigg, anything valuable in here that you want to save before we get you out of here?

DARIN: Would like my organs! Oh, I would like to save those.

LAURA: Yes.

DARIN: All right. No. There's nothing.

LAURA: No keys to Ioun? You know where she is?

DARIN: I might. I hope I do. I hope that I can give you the answers you seek.

LAURA: I hope so, too. I cast Cure Wounds.

MATT: Pike casts Cure Wounds on you, as well, and you heal 18.

DARIN: Do I know her name yet?

MATT: No, you do not.

DARIN: Cleric.

MATT: "Pike."

DARIN: Yes. Ethred. Or Sprigg. Whichever you like. You can call me Sprigg. Can you help me pray to Ioun? We need answers, and I think together we might find them.

MATT: "I can certainly try. Do you have any items of her iconography?"

DARIN: Do I?

MATT: Yeah, actually. You just reach over and find one of the undamaged books.

LAURA: You healed 19, by the way.

DARIN: Thank you. Use this and you talk to her where I can't. At least, not yet.

MATT: "I don't know if I can talk to her. I'm not... But I can help you pray. I don't know if it'll be enough."

DARIN: Let's give it a go. There's a first time for everything.

MATT: "Grog!"

TRAVIS: Yeah?

MATT: "Can you help me clear some of the floor, please?"

TRAVIS: Not a problem! (grunting) Keyleth, catch!

MARISHA: Ah! Ow!

(laughter)

SAM: Floorboards! In her face!

TRAVIS: I thought you were on fire. I'm really sorry.

MATT: Pike takes you over to the center of the room and tells you. "Kneel with me. Now take this book and close your eyes and... apologize."

DARIN: For what?

MATT: "For everything you said about Ioun."

DARIN: (grumbles) All right. Well, look the other way. Find some things that are of value.

TRAVIS: (whistles)

LAURA: Trinket sits down next to him and stares, but I'll turn around.

DARIN: All right. I don't know if you're listening, Ioun. It's been many years since I've actually spoken to a god. I'd like to express my deepest sorrow. You see, this home... didn't mean as much to me as life. And I think these people gave that to me. If you could give us... If you could give me anything, any little hint, it would be greatly appreciated and I would be a warrior in your name forevermore. Please. Was that okay, bear?

MATT: (huffs, licking) Licks the side of your face.

DARIN: No, I'm not crying. You're crying, bear.

MATT: You sit there in silence with your eyes closed, concentrating, holding the book before you. Doesn't seem to be an answer. Just silence in the darkness. Nothing. Everyone wants to still look at him-- still turned away?

MARISHA: Keyleth is definitely staring, but pretending not to stare.

TALIESIN: I'm watching through the book.

LAURA: I'm leaning against the wall and staring at him now.

MATT: Nothing. Nothing responds. As you have your eyes closed, you hear this soft chuckle in the far corner of the room. (cackles) "Really? Praying, are you?"

DARIN: Yes. Can you help?

MATT: "Do I look the kind of guy that would help?"

DARIN: Yes. I've known you for 19 years and I think anybody's capable of anything, so why don't you do something unexpected?

MATT: "I think you're right. It's no longer your prison. It's not mine, either."

DARIN: That's true.

MATT: (flapping) Flies out the window.

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

DARIN: Kraghammer has another performer, and not a very good one.

MATT: While you've been talking, by the way, and the silence has been sad. Taking in the slight emotional cut that not getting a response and putting yourself on that limb means nothing. The rest of you notice his torso is glowing bright blue.

MARISHA: What? Is it really?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Your stomach is glowing.

DARIN: Growing? What? I didn't eat anything. How could my stomach be growing?

SAM: You're blue balling.

DARIN: What?

SAM: (whispering) Look down.

MATT: Pike looks at you and takes your hands and opens your arms and motions to your chest. And the book in your hand, you pull aside. You glance down and you can see, there's this soft, bluish glow that's emanating from your torso. Strange.

DARIN: You see? I didn't have to believe in Ioun. I've found my religion. (chuckling) I'm Bluish!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Aw, man!

DARIN: It didn't happen!

MATT: No, it did. That's canon.

DARIN: Wait a second, gentlemen. We'll restart for just a second. It'll be fine. That little imp is gone. So apparently, the key… is me.

LAURA: Is you? It is you.

SAM: Is in you or is you?

MARISHA: It is him. I've known it from the minute that I laid eyes upon him. It's him.

TRAVIS: You did? You knew that the moment you saw him?

MARISHA: No, I mean I had a hunch, I had a feeling, deep down inside. I can't say it. If I say it out loud and then if it's not true then I'm an asshole.

LIAM: To be fair, we've only been here 12 minutes.

DARIN: Yes. House gone. The imp gone. Burny, burny. Sad, sad. Pray, nothing happened. Now I'm blue. That's a day for you, isn't it?

LAURA: So do you glow brighter the closer we get? What's the deal here?

DARIN: I've never glowed before, child.

LAURA: I think it's glown.

DARIN: I've never glowned.

SAM: If you're the key, where's the lock? Where do we take you?

DARIN: Well, I have been gone for many many years, so English may have changed. To be fair. To be fair. I don't know. This is all new to me. I would have thought it would be in one of those tomes.

TALIESIN: I'm going to pick up the book that he was holding when he was praying. I'm going to just try and read it.

MATT: Okay. You glance through it. The book is a simple book, talking about the construction of barricades and it looks like it was less of what the contents of the book and more just the image of the book itself.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hand him the book again and see if maybe there's focus to be found. Maybe this is--

MATT: Okay.Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Oh, lord. Ooh. Let's call that a 28.

MATT: When you took the book from him and handed him another book, there was a very faint vibration to his body as you pulled it from him and gave it back to him. Which you haven't noticed, but there's a physical vibration to him.

TALIESIN: If it's all with your permission, I'm going to take his hands.

MATT: Okay. You feel them, and you feel this very faint vibration to his body.

MARISHA: Percy.

TALIESIN: Yes.

MARISHA: Continue holding his hands. I pull out the Tome of Quick Movement. Hold. Hold while I find the paper. Hold.

LAURA: What if he's a tuning fork?

MARISHA: (shushes)

DARIN: That's very rude.

MARISHA: Where is it? I have a lot of things.

SAM: Divining.

DARIN: Oh yes. A divining rod. A rod to the divine. Perhaps I am a divining rod.

LAURA: That's what I mean.

DARIN: Well said, child!

MARISHA: I pull out the fork we that we got to get to Elysium. Is it similar?

MATT: When you pull out the fork and you hold it, you recall that whenever you cast the spell Plane Shift, there was a faint vibration to the specific fork when you cast the spell.

SAM and TALIESIN: He's the tuning fork.

MARISHA: Oh no.

LAURA: What, no? This is good!

MARISHA: No, it is good. It's good, it's just… Oh, Sprigg. No, it's fine. It's good. I don't know. Everything in my life seems to have this impermanence factor about it. So I hope he's not something that can be used and discarded.

DARIN: I haven't been used in 37 years.

MARISHA: Sprigg.

DARIN: It's all right. At least I wasn't discarded all that time.

MARISHA: I'm sure it's fine, I just--

DARIN: Look. Look at me. Just remember. Whatever happens, remember me. That's all that's important.

LIAM: That's good advice.

DARIN: That's all that we have. My friends are gone and I don't even remember their names. I don't remember Thetapax or Zephyr or… the guy with the nose. He was my favorite. (coughs and sniffles) Dusty in here, isn't it?

MARISHA: Oh, Sprigg.

DARIN: (sniffles and coughs) I remember. (softer) I remember. See? It's all up here. So whatever happens, keep me there. All right?

MARISHA: I guess I have to start getting used to losing things.

DARIN: Yes. Or you can be hidden away in a prison for 37 years. And that's not life, child. That's hiding. Don't hide.

MARISHA: I've already built my own prison. They don't know. I'm already there.

DARIN: You can break out. You can. It's hard. But you can do it. Just take the first step. And then you take another one. And then you take another one.

MARISHA: And I grab his hand, and with that, I cast Plane Shift to wherever he is leading to go.

MATT: All right. The rest of you gathered hands for this?

LAURA: I guess so.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Is there enough of us? Trinket, in the necklace. Quick!

MATT: Trinket. (roars) Into the necklace.

DARIN: Wait. My invisible frog companion.

SAM: Is he real?

(laughter)

MATT: There is a sudden (sucking noise). A shuddering of power energy around you as you feel the vibration out of Sprigg's hand emanate throughout the entire loop you guys have created throughout your grasp. The familiar bright light flashes before you, and you feel your body being pulled through, at incredible speeds, through darkness. There. The familiar racing of the divine gate. (fast travel noise) As you pass through one of its many portholes. Then, adrift. By now you've, the times you've passed through the gate, you've passed through it a handful of times since now. Adrift. Still holding hands, but the circle's beginning to turn into an oval. You can all glance around and see each other. Did you miss your destination? Did you overshoot? What's next?

(whoosh) Another white flash. And suddenly you're at a destination. You glance around and you're standing within a small chamber. It resembles a decadent bathhouse but with no water or occupants. It's empty. There are marble pillars stretching to a domed ceiling about 60 feet above you all. Silk draped cloths drift and hang at odd angles throughout the ceiling. Glowing points of magical light latched within iron cages dangle at the edges of these pillars about 15 feet up that give the faint glow to an otherwise darkened room. There are walls on each side of this chamber, about 30 or 40 feet from you, and one arched hallway across from you that leads to the only other chamber you've seen.

MARISHA: I immediately turn and look to see if Sprigg is still holding my hand.

MATT: Sprigg is still holding your hand.

LAURA: See? All that fucking shit was for nothing! He's still alive!

SAM: Are you the same Sprigg as before?

DARIN: I hope so. Let's ask my invisible frog companion. Well, I guess we better go find what we are looking for.

MARISHA: Okay. Glad you're with us, Sprigg.

DARIN: It's good to be alive.

MARISHA: Yes, it is.

DARIN: Remember that.

MARISHA: Okay. I will.

MATT: As you guys walk forward towards the singular hallway, you go through the domed arch, and the hallway extends on. Featureless, smooth grey marble. Like a solid punch that seemed to have carved out whatever this material was. It extends for 100 feet. 150 feet. And even though there's very very faint light, and many of you can see through darkvision, there is a darkness about 60 feet from you that seems to consume what you can see. You can only see so far beyond that radius, and you're not quite sure where that oppressive shadow is coming from. The air is chilled, but not uncomfortably so. You can hear the distant sound of pinched winds whining through small spaces. A familiar sound from the many times you've spent underground, through caverns that had some openings that allowed air to streak through to the surface.

A few steps more and suddenly the hallway opens into a second chamber. Into a library, if you can even call it that. Bookshelves that stretch upward for seemingly hundreds of feet, before flickering lights fell from your vision. You do not see where they stop. These columns of just tomes and cases and scrolls and parchments stacking as in tablets and any form of recorded information seem to just be infinite in front of you, to two sides of this road and upward. They seem to stretch in almost every direction, the walls to the side of you. You see columns ahead of you, and they tend to wind and curl like a labyrinth made of bookcases, to no end. It's very Escher-esque in how the further up you look, they seem to curve and shift and bend around each other.

Your eyes, now attuned to the realms beyond mortality, you catch glimpses of shifting wind gathering books and turning pages. Spirits of the library, though sparse as they may be from this entry point, organizing. Reading and learning from whatever words are within. You begin to almost get vertigo, trying to contemplate the strange and overwhelming construction of such a wondrous place. An endless sea of stories. Spectral custodians keeping the tales of each other and the history of Exandria past, present, and binding the pages to tell what will eventually be the present, currently the future.

TALIESIN: I've dreamed of this place.

LIAM: Inside Matt's brain?

TALIESIN: This is immortality. This is everything. (sighs, chuckles) I may never leave. I glide over to Vex and hold her close. This is stunning. My god, I think they may have actually forgotten all the idiot things I said yesterday.

LAURA: Feels pretty good, doesn't it?

TALIESIN: I think they've completely forgotten. I'm sorry. May have panicked.

LAURA: I give him a kiss.

TALIESIN: I'll be right back. I'm going to run towards one of those stacks, like a child.

MATT: Okay. You begin to take the first--

TALIESIN: I'm doing a title run. I want to figure out the organizational system before I touch a book.

MATT: There are no words on any of the spines.

TALIESIN: I pick one.

MATT: Okay. You pick.

TALIESIN: All right. I pick it up. I look around to see if anyone has a problem. And I turn to the title page.

MATT: It's ironic you do this, because the book is in Celestial.

TALIESIN: I read Celestial.

MATT: You do. It's ironic that you did that. (chuckles) Glancing through, it appears to be describing a birth. Describing a tunnel, then a light, then a cry.

TALIESIN: I skip to the end. Last page.

MATT: It seems to be an older man, surrounded by his family--

TALIESIN: I've got it. I put it down. I pick up another one.

MATT: You glance through this book.

TALIESIN: First page.

MATT: Begins very similarly to the last one.

TALIESIN: Last page.

MATT: This one actually ends with what appears to be a horseback riding accident.

MARISHA: Oh god, they're souls.

TALIESIN: 115 pages in.

MATT: 115 pages in you get to a page that seems to talk about the sorrow of a lost romance, and trying to deal, coping at a young adult age.

TALIESIN: I put it back and I turn. They're made of people.

LAURA: Wait, what? It's skin books?

TALIESIN: It's people! And I'm going to find the most interesting spine and I'm going to turn to the first. Birth. Death.

LAURA: I can't read that, dear.

TALIESIN: Birth! Death! Sex. Birth, death, some disappointment. I am just gone. I'm running back and forth, finding whatever interesting spine I can. Are they all in Celestial?

MATT: They are currently. All the ones you've picked up are in Celestial.

TALIESIN: Oh my god. Okay. This is great. All right. I'm eventually probably going to pass out from mild hyperventilation and have to sit down.

LAURA: We should maybe find Ioun, don't you think?

TALIESIN: If we must, yes. Just as an experiment, I'm going to think about Vesper and try and touch a book. I don't expect this to work, but I'm going to close my eyes and think about, and pick it up and flip through it.

MATT: Make a religion check.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: You grab a tome and pull it forth, and as you read through the story, it's an unfamiliar one.

TALIESIN: There's a system. I will discover the system. I'm going to keep running around like a kid.

MATT: What are the rest of you guys doing while Percival is running around like a kid?

TRAVIS: I'm not interested in the fucking books.

MARISHA: Distracted by Percy, Keyleth just scans. Does anything in Primordial stick out?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: That's good. 29.

MATT: Glancing about, none of the spines have anything written on them, so you have to start pulling a few books out and opening them.

MARISHA: I hold my hand over and pull.

MATT: You open it up. It's not in a language you understand.

MARISHA: I put it back and get frustrated.

TALIESIN: I've stopped. I'm good.

LIAM: Watched her the whole time and quietly walk up behind and give her a hug from behind and don't say anything.

SAM: Are there any doors leading forward or back?

MATT: It's a labyrinth of bookshelves. There's a path forward between, two or three ahead of you, but then it comes to an end where it splits off in two directions. Like I said, they travel up infinitely, so you're not quite sure which way leads where.

LAURA: Is Sprigg still glowing?

MATT: Sprigg is, actually. There's a very faint blue glow in him that never really faded since your arrival.

LAURA: I wonder if we could follow the glow. Warmer?

MARISHA: Hey, Sprigg. Stand over there!

DARIN: All right. I run to where she's pointing. Is there any change in the glow?

MATT: No noticeable change.

MARISHA: Damn. Sprigg, stand over there!

DARIN: I just was shot with a bunch of arrows, so give me a second. I run over there, stop halfway and go, ow, and then I continue. When I get there, any change in the glow?

MATT: Make a perception check.

DARIN: Oh, it's a one.

MATT: No discernible difference.

SAM: You're inspired, if you want to use inspiration.

MATT: It's a natural one. It's an auto-fail.

TALIESIN: Is there a card catalogue?

SAM: Is there a central area info desk?

MATT: You can make an investigation check to begin to wander around and try to find your way.

SAM: Oh, that's a natural 20.

MATT: Scanlan seems to walk with purpose into one of the random rows.

SAM: I'm clutching my Ioun stone.

MATT: Okay. All right. Anyone else do anything?

TALIESIN: He seems to have purpose. I'm giddily following behind.

MATT: Okay, Percy's following Scanlan.

LAURA: I'm going to walk with Percy. Oh, and Trinket's out.

MATT: Okay. Trinket (bear grunt) looks confused and starts looking up.

LAURA: I know. I know, dear.

MATT: Falls onto his back.

SAM: Are Vex and Percy walking with me?

MATT: Yes, they are.

SAM: I'm going to whip out my flute and I start going, (wedding march).

TALIESIN: Oh. He may have heard.

LAURA: You heard?

TALIESIN: I thought you were going to die! I may have panicked.

LAURA: Wait.

TALIESIN: We were asked to plead for your life, and I may have panicked.

LAURA: Who did you tell? Percival, who did you tell?

SAM: Look at your shirt.

LAURA: What? (screams) No!

TALIESIN: I panicked!

LAURA: Percy!

TALIESIN: I panicked! There was a giant glowing sun, and I may have panicked. Well, I was a bit vague, but I was--

LAURA: A bit vague? Scanlan, what did he say?

SAM: Well.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

SAM: First comes love. Then comes marriage.

TALIESIN: I may have hinted that we might have eloped. May have hinted.

SAM: Wait, you're married?

TALIESIN: I may have hinted.

SAM: Wait, no, you said you were betrothed to be married? Wait, you're married? Oh, wow, you just spilled it!

TALIESIN: Silence! Cone of Silence!

SAM: They're married!

MATT: You try and yell, and it's making no sound. It is just absolute quiet. What are the rest of you guys doing?

DARIN: I run in the corner and see if I glow again.

LIAM: Keyleth and Vax heard the (wedding march), so we had a very different silent scene over in our spot.

MARISHA: Yeah, Keyleth was quietly sobbing in Vax's arms and then heard (wedding march) and went (angry roar).

LAURA: Why is that bad? Why was that angry?

LIAM: Because we don't get that.

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: Grog?

SAM: So you're going to ruin everyone else's joy. You're one of those couples.

LIAM: Thank you, vacation Scanlan.

MARISHA: Worst double date sangria partners ever.

TALIESIN: He's back, ladies and gentlemen. He's back and taking no prisoners.

SAM: Are you guys going on vacation? We got a divorce.

LIAM: It's the Debbie Downer SNL sketch.

MATT: Grog, what are you doing?

TRAVIS: I'm as uncomfortable as I can possibly be. This is the worst case scenario of my entire life. I'm not moving and hoping this is all over soon.

TALIESIN: I love that.

TRAVIS: It's just endless books, beyond what you can see! Are there chairs?

LAURA: I feel like Pike would've comforted him.

MATT: Yeah, Pike comes over.

TRAVIS: There are chairs?

MATT: No, there aren't. She goes, "Do you want to go with everyone else, Grog?"

TRAVIS: I don't know. Do you?

MATT: "It's okay, yeah! They're walking."

TRAVIS: I want to leave. Fast.

MATT: "The faster we follow them, then the faster we can go."

TRAVIS: Okay. Let's go.

MATT: "I bet you could read some of these books."

TRAVIS: I bet not. These are really tall books.

MATT: "Come on." She grabs your hand and begins tugging you behind her. What are you guys doing?

MARISHA: Me and him?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Leaning into each other.

MATT: Okay. So you guys stay there.

DARIN: I'm trying to see if I'm glowing anywhere.

MATT: You run around for a good minute and a half and you're not seeing any sort of change.

DARIN: Nothing?

MATT: No.

DARIN: Can I go forward into the bookcases and look right and left to see where they lead?

MATT: Okay, yeah. You turn around the corner and see them disappear around the edge.

DARIN: I'll continue.

MATT: Okay. So you follow them. As you guys are having this silent argument, Sprigg catches up to you, but you hear nothing, Sprigg, as they're all going...

TALIESIN: I just turned it off. I got everyone to agree.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Hi. How's it going?

DARIN: Glowing. You are, too! What's going on with that? Yeah, you seem to be blushing.

LAURA: It's so hot in here. It's very hot in here.

MATT: Pike and Grog catch up around the corner.

TRAVIS: What did you find? The way out? Exit?

SAM: Seems like it could be this way. We'll have to bond together and go forward.

TRAVIS: Really?

SAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: Where did you get the sunglasses from?

SAM: It's glowing in here.

MATT: The Ioun stone actually is giving a faint glow similar to the glow that you see emanating from Sprigg's torso.

SAM: Is it glowing any more than--

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Oh, okay. That's an eight. Maybe 11, I don't know. Do I add Jack of All Trades?

MATT: You do, yeah. If you're not--

SAM: I really want to know. I will inspire myself, and I'll add a d12. That makes it 16.

MATT: Okay. You start getting the sense, the further you walk, both your stone and Sprigg are beginning to emanate a slightly stronger glow, and so you guys begin to realize that this could be used as a path to something. You're not quite sure.

SAM: Let's keep going.

MATT: Okay. So everyone's going behind.

LIAM: Imagination clarification, because a Silence effect went off there. Did Vax and Keyleth hear, "You're married?" Or was that all covered by Silence?

MATT: No, he crushed that in Silence.

LIAM: So we heard the song, but that's it. Good to know.

MATT: Everyone else has gone ahead and vanished into the library. You guys are staying?

LIAM: Noticing that we're totally alone, silently tug Keyleth down after them.

TALIESIN: I felt that honesty was important at that moment.

LAURA: No, it very much is. I'm very glad. I'm just surprised he didn't say anything. I spoke with him.

SAM: He was acting nobly. I won't tell anyone if you don't want me to.

TALIESIN: We had to tell them eventually.

MATT: As you're following the stone, you hear some footfalls as Vax and Keyleth catch up to you guys.

MARISHA: We already know. It's fine.

LIAM: You're engaged. You don't have to--

TALIESIN: Well.

LAURA: I'm sorry I didn't tell you about that. Engagement. But you know.

MARISHA: You fucking liars. You fucking liars! Just tell us! We know!

LAURA: We got married.

TALIESIN: We may have gotten married.

MARISHA: Yeah. (sarcastically) Oh, surprise!

TALIESIN: It was going to be--

LAURA: (weakly) Celebration!

TALIESIN: We didn't want to make it a thing. We wanted it to just be--

SAM: I think it's great.

LAURA: Thank you, Scanlan.

SAM: It's wonderful when two people can fall in love and have each other forever and ever. That's nice. No, I mean it! You guys are great. You're super cute together. You'll make Whitestone-- You'll be celebrities there.

TRAVIS: Do we have to get you gifts?

SAM: No, they eloped, so we're clear.

TALIESIN: Very specifically, no. This place.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's amazing. And Keyleth lights up her flame hands as she walks off in a fury.

TALIESIN: Do you not know what this place means? Am I the only one who understands what this place means?

TRAVIS: I would love to know.

TALIESIN: It all matters!

LAURA: None of us have forgotten.

TALIESIN: No, really! It all matters! So much, and it's not going to go away! Nothing goes away!

MARISHA: No, it only gets filed away in some library where no one else can experience it except for, what, one, maybe two people ever.

TALIESIN: One and two people are all that it takes to experience something!

MATT: An echoing voice billows out from the right side of your troop. A creaky, warm, matronly voice that surrounds and almost welcomes you, with the intonation of a grandmother. It says, "Nothing is forever, Percival." You glance off to the right, and you can see there's a break in the bookcase. To your right, you see the shelves have stopped ahead in this direction to reveal a circular common area within the library, where the ground domes downward into an 80-foot-wide concave pit of cushions and tables, all standing at odd angles alongside this pit, but never sliding. Gravity seems to shift depending on where the dome stands. These tables hold teacups and writing implements and various other décor, and things that involve binding and writing. None of them slipping, all of them affixed to the table as the dome slowly comes to a central rest. Long, spiraling streams of silver, blue, and gray silk descend from the supposed ceiling that is beyond your sight, and they come down like drifting silks that push past as you enter the area.

Sitting 40 feet from you in the center of the dome, no larger than a normal person, is an older woman of long, wavy silver hair. Her olive skin is somewhat weathered and wrinkled around her almond eyes, but the warmth of her smile, and her vibrant purple irises put you at ease immediately. Her blue and white robes tumble out from her form in tendrils of parchment that snake through the pillows like roots. She smiles as you turn and see her. "I felt that you would find me." And that's where we'll end tonight's session.

SAM: Wow, Matt. Wow, Darin!

LIAM: Can everybody watching still at home give a round of applause for Darin?

MATT: Seriously. If you're available, you may want to, if you can, come and join us for the first half maybe. Not next week, but the week after Comic Con, if you're interested. Because I want to roleplay out you meeting Ioun.

DARIN: It would be an honor. You know how important this is to me.

MATT: Great. I'll look forward to having you back in a couple weeks, then.

DARIN: And I will see you next weekend, as well!

MATT: Yes, indeed. Oh, Comic Con. Guys, thank you so much. Great game, well done. Breaking stuff, apparently. Once again, we have no episode next week because we'll be at Comic Con, but we have our panel on Saturday for Critical Role. Love you guys, hope you have a wonderful night, and is it Thursday yet? Good night!

[music]

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