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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, roll dice, and play Dungeons and Dragons. You may notice Ashley Johnson left us last week to go shoot in New York and shooting got delayed a week.

ASHLEY: Here I am! Well, hey, guys!

LAURA: Astral projection!

MATT: Pike's gone, but she at least can sit there while you guys play, which will be fun.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I just came to hang out.

MATT: Yeah, that's cool, I appreciate and respect that. Thank you guys for your patience with the tech issues, we're trying out some new arrangements here and it took a little setup. Nevertheless, we are good to go. Before we jump into tonight's game, let's go ahead and get through our announcements. First and foremost, Loot Crate has been our fantastic sponsor, and they currently are unveiling their July theme: Futuristic! Which is pretty rad. They have a bunch of things from Rick and Morty, Futurama, Megaman, Valiant Comics, and Star Trek. Then they have a figure in there, they also have their monthly t-shirt and pin, all that cool stuff coming up, and we have the Loot Anime July theme of Squadron as well! Which includes a bunch of Gundam, Gate, Arpeggio Blue Steel, Anti-Magic Academy stuff, an exclusive loot to the anime box. Both of these are their current themes for July. If you want to sign up to Loot Crate to get these and be awesome and keep our sponsors happy, you go to www.lootcrate.com/criticalrole, and there you can go ahead and sign up for a $3 a month discount by putting in the special code criticalrole, one word, into your subscription.

ASHLEY: It's the best.

LAURA: Do we get to do this? We haven't opened any of these yet.

SAM: Loot Anime? Wait, we all have to have anime reactions to these.

MATT: Okay, ready. Ready?

TRAVIS: One, two, three.

(anime reactions)

LAURA: Oh, this is super cool!

SAM: This is definitely a Captain America shirt.

MATT: I was going to say Homestar Runner.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Biggest Dragon Ball Z fan in the world.

MARISHA: It's Super Saiyan Goku! That's pretty great! He's got gold hair.

TALIESIN: Boy and little Chiko! I'm going to put it on my head.

TRAVIS: Fullmetal Alchemist transmutation circle!

LAURA: We may or may not do voices in Fullmetal Alchemist and Dragon Ball Z.

ASHLEY: Full circle!

MATT: You got a cool poster!

LAURA: You got a poster? Oh, there is a poster! Oh, and little cell phone charms!

MATT: Yeah, these are from Unity. These are little feather charms from Unity.

LIAM: Can someone save me a Loot Crate box?

TRAVIS: Shut up, Liam. You're not here!

LAURA: Sorry Liam, you're missing out. I'll save you a cell phone charm.

MATT: So we got an awesome Yokai shirt.

ASHLEY: They're like little best friend charms.

MARISHA: Yeah, they're like best friend charms.

LAURA: And they're feathers! Actually, Liam, these are really appropriate. They're feathers. I'll save you one!

TRAVIS: This is going in the kitchen in front of the sink. I'm going to stand on it and transmute my dishes into clean.

ASHLEY: I love this little plush.

TALIESIN: Most useful alchemist ever.

MARISHA: Yay! Thanks, Loot Crate!

MATT: Thank you, Loot Crate. Check it out, if it's something you want to be part of, they send this stuff monthly, themed crates are awesome, we've been at this for a long time.

LAURA: I didn't even know they had an Anime Loot Crate. That's pretty cool.

MATT: And now you do, Laura. What!

ASHLEY: (singing) The more you know!

MATT: Awesome. So once again, that's criticalrole, one word, on their website at lootcrate.com/criticalrole to get your discount for being Critters and awesome. We have, also, Laura?

LAURA: Oh, the t-shirt competition! Okay. So we have officially selected the top three of our choosing, and then we are now presenting them to you guys to vote on. They are already up on geekandsundry.com, so go and check them out and make your votes heard, and we're going to be announcing the actual winner of the t-shirt competition at our live show next week, so everybody that comes and sees that will get to see a picture of it live. Just like you guys at home.

TRAVIS: What a goober.

MARISHA: You basically see it 30 seconds before everyone else.

LAURA: That 30 seconds makes a huge difference.

MARISHA: It does.

TALIESIN: We may be miming something while the picture's up, and that'll be exclusive content.

ASHLEY: And there were so many good ones. It was so hard.

LAURA: The amount of texts that went back and forth between all of us, trying to decide what the top three were going to be, was really–

MARISHA: It was like, okay, everybody pick your top three, and so we each picked six. And they were all different. And we're like, cool.

TRAVIS: Which brings us to our next announcement, which is we do have a live show next week!

(cheering)

TRAVIS: We're going be at Landmark Theatres. It's a sold-out show, somehow, because everybody's crazy and is coming to see it. We're going to be there, in person, trying to pull off this live show thing. It's going to be wacky, it's going to be zany. We're not going to have any clothes on.

LAURA: No, that's not true.

MATT: You are welcome to come clothed.

TRAVIS: I'm gonna sit in a sock, and that's it.

LAURA: No!

MATT: Travis, it's already sold out, you don't have to–

TRAVIS: It's the first of hopefully many, so we'll see how it goes.

MATT: Yeah, if it goes well and runs smoothly and people are receptive to it, then hopefully there will be more of these at different places over the country.

SAM: Guys, one more quick announcement, over here on the cool table. Joe Mad posters. You know them, you love them, they're up on shop.geekandsundry.com. It's your last chance to preorder the unsigned limited edition Critical Role poster. The poster size: it's not 23 by 35, it's 24 by 36. We went the extra inch for you guys. These posters will be removed from the website and deleted forever tomorrow at 1:00pm Pacific. The cost is $40. Go buy it now. Sorry, Taliesin. Let me try that again.

TRAVIS: We must reiterate, they are gorgeous. You will want one of these for you or your friends.

TALIESIN: Trust Scanlan. It's that extra inch that makes all the difference.

SAM: It's the extra inch, cubed.

MATT: All right. Any other announcements anyone wants to bring forward? I know Technomancer just came out. I voice Sean Mancer in that.

MARISHA: What just came out?

MATT: Technomancer.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Oh, cool.

MATT: A game. It's a game. Anybody else have anything?

SAM: That's a very half-hearted plug, Matt.

MATT: I just want to get in the game. It's a thing. There's stuff in it. Yeah, I'm a little jet-lagged. But that doesn't matter, because that's what energy drinks are for. All right guys, let's dive in here to the proper part of tonight's episode of Critical Role.

TALIESIN: Opening credits!

Part I[]

[dramatic music]

MATT: Welcome back! So we had a week off last week where the amazing Liam O'Brien there ran a one-shot game of absolute chaos and did an amazing job.

LAURA: It was pretty fun.

MATT: If you guys haven't had an opportunity to check it out, you should. It's up on geekandsundry.com. It's amazing, and made me and Marisha very jealous that we couldn't play it, but we were here in spirit, and obviously, motorcycle and sidecar. So that was fun. We'll show you some of the fanart. But anyway, back to this game. Vox Machina, the group of adventurers who had found their way now seeking the Vestiges of Divergence, ancient artifacts of power, to help them in their struggle against the Chroma Conclave, the collection of chromatic dragons that have razed the entire countryside of Tal'Dorei. They've acquired a few of them, but the most recent one sends them to the Feywild in search of Fenthras, a bow which seems to have acquired the eyes of Vex upon it. You took care of some business, managed to ward off an assassination attempt by a rakshasa, and found your way through Keyleth's Plane Shift spell into the Feywild, somewhere in the vicinity of the portal where the nymph in the Frostweald, upon meeting Vox Machina years before, supposedly lives.

LAURA: Oh shit, Grog.

ASHLEY: Time to get some… tail. I was going to say something else and then I realized– Not sure where that came from.

MATT: So to bring us back in. As you step out into the temperate air, you're struck by the vibrant purples, blues and pinks of sunset that envelop the skies and the clouds above the tree line. The smell of fresh morning dew and poppy upon the breeze fills your head, and your feet wade through tall, thick grasses that tickle your knees with each step. Vine-covered tree trunks rise all around you, curling as they stretch upward like a bending dreamscape, and hundreds of small, bobbing faerie lights glow in the shadowed distance of the forest. Looking about you, you can see what appear to be clusters of mud and small pools of water that are scattered in your vicinity, some ten, 15, even 30 feet apart. Small, little pools that dot the landscape almost like pebbles scattered across a small field. What do you guys want to do?

LAURA: Already?

SAM: Where are we?

MARISHA: It's beautiful.

TRAVIS: I feel like we got drugged.

TALIESIN: This is fantastic.

TRAVIS: Is anyone else seeing the colors and the shapes and the–

TALIESIN: Oh, it's everything I could have hoped for.

MARISHA: I want to live here. It's amazing. Okay.

LAURA: Well, I have no idea how to get our bearings here, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Well. Is there any sign of any bit of civilization or construction?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Oh lord.

TRAVIS: First roll of the day. Don't fuck it up.

TALIESIN: Ah! Yay. 26.

MATT: 26, okay. As you guys are taking in the vicinity, Percy, glancing around, you see no signs of civilization. The only thing that catches your eye is a little ways past the immediate tree line, that meets your eye, the fairy lights seem to be caressing the outside of some sort of older stone structure. And that's about as much as you can make out. Looks about four or five feet tall, and it's only barely visible between two of the trunks.

TALIESIN: I think I see a thing. I'm heading in that direction.

MARISHA: Oh! I want to go see a thing. I want to go! I take off after Percy.

TRAVIS: We can always let them go first and they die, and then we go.

LAURA: Perhaps it might be wise to move quietly.

TALIESIN: We are already going.

LAURA: Brilliant.

LIAM: You remember what our teachers said of this place. It's pretty, but it's dangerous.

LAURA: It's very dangerous, and I'm afraid they don't understand.

MARISHA: Guys, look! They're fireflies!

TALIESIN: Wait, don't touch. Don't touch. We're going to head towards the stone.

MATT: Okay. You make your way across these extremely thick, moss-covered tree trunks. You push past the two and eventually come upon the structure, and as you get closer, the fairy lights dim and vanish, as soon as you get within five or six feet of them, and they seem to only appear at a peripheral point. You guys approach the stone structure?

LIAM: Do Vex and I have memories of these from our tutoring in Elftown?

MATT: Not particularly. Nothing about it strikes you as part of the general Feywild lore. There are structures that have been built throughout periods of time, some of which have fallen to ruin. Nature in the Feywild tends to reclaim things that aren't natural if left to their own devices.

LIAM: But the lights, we never heard anything about those lights?

LAURA: (whispering) Will-o'-wisps.

LIAM: Well, Liam knows that, but I'm asking if Vax does.

MATT: I would say, have both of you guys roll history checks, for the both of you. Vex and Vax.

TALIESIN: Can I add into that, too?

MATT: You would not.

TALIESIN: I learned Elven. I was a bit of a nerd.

MATT: You learned Elven, but elven culture and the Feywild are two entirely different things.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, I'm aware my head's full of bullshit, too.

LAURA: 20.

LIAM: Just a 13.

MATT: 13, okay. Best that you can ascertain, the first worry initially, and you have encountered something like this before: will-o'-wisps, entities that were the lost souls of individuals that died under tragic circumstances in swamps and bogs and in heavily wooded areas. However, those entities are usually larger and are drawn towards sources of life. The fact that these are much smaller and tend to fade at your arrival means either they're not will-o'-wisps at all, or a different kind you haven't encountered. That's as much information that you can deal with.

LIAM: I wonder if they're fairy folk.

LAURA: Maybe.

TALIESIN: Now, don't touch. We'll stay 11 paces away.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: I'd like you both to make stealth checks if you could.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Anybody else going up with them, or is just the two of them?

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck those pieces of bait.

LAURA: Can I climb a tree? Close by.

MATT: Make an athletics check.

LAURA: Athletics. Can I use my acrobatics to hop up? Ooh! Swing myself? Parkour?

MATT: Roll athletics with disadvantage, just because I'm giving you a chance.

LAURA: Acrobatics, with disadvantage?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: 24.

MATT: Okay. This is the one time you've bartered with the DM this session.

LAURA: Oh no! I should've saved it!

MATT: You do manage to leap across. Because these trees are thickly wooded and the branch line starts at about the four-foot mark anyway, it's fairly easy for you to leap up the top of the tree without an issue. You vanish up into the canopy. You two, what'd you roll for stealth?

MARISHA: A 20.

TALIESIN: And a 12.

MATT: And Liam, what'd you get?

LIAM: I didn't roll anything. I just wanted to call out: you couldn't have used the broom for that?

LAURA: (laughs) Nope!

TALIESIN: And we're keeping about 11 feet, so. At least.

MATT: 11 feet, okay. You approach this stone structure, which you see now is the corner part of a wall. It looks like there was some sort of a small structure here. Best that you can make out, all of it's heavily covered with vine and ivy, and all the places where the stonework is broken looks to be through natural erosion or claimed by actual roots, and you can see now part of the tree roots have actually risen up and tore down elements of these walls, and you can see broken rubble barely poking through the very thick underbrush of this forest. Whatever was here was built a long time ago and has been mostly reclaimed by the forest.

TALIESIN: Inner corner or outer corner?

MATT: The corner is facing you guys, so you're on the outside of where the structure would have been.

MARISHA: It's a ruin? Or are there walls that continue on?

MATT: This is a ruin, but most of it's been torn down and it's not visible. Sections of walls available. The largest piece is currently the corner you're facing.

MARISHA: Interesting.

TALIESIN: Go ahead. I'm going to sit and quietly sketch for a moment. I'm taking everything down.

MARISHA: Can I do a check to see if I can recognize who might've built this stone structure?

MATT: Make a history check.

MARISHA: Ten.

MATT: You have no idea. The planes you've studied are the planes of the elemental form. The Feywild is a little ways outside of your realm of any training or storytime you've been given growing up. Most of what you've gleaned about it thus far has been based on the conversations you've had in recent weeks.

TRAVIS: Are there a lot of pastel colors all over the place?

MATT: It ranges from, at least in this forest, a very deep lush dark green, like a heavy winter's pine green. The forests are more vine-wrapped, mossy, willow-ish trees that hang down.

TRAVIS: Okay, so not crazy LSD colors going.

MATT: No. However, the evening sky is very purple and orange, like around a very bright dusk. And that colorscape does contrast with the green of the forest quite beautifully.

TRAVIS: Is it dusk?

MATT: It looks to be getting to dusk, yeah.

TALIESIN: It may or may not be.

TRAVIS: What does that mean?

LAURA: Time is different in the Feywild.

TALIESIN: So there's no carvings that I can see on this outer wall, nothing?

MATT: Not from ten feet away, no.

TALIESIN: And the vines that are climbing on it, are they flowering anything at all?

MATT: The vines that are there do have small whitish flower buds. Little flowers that have been blooming in a small scale across the vines.

MARISHA: Do they look like anything that we have on our plane?

MATT: Not particularly. They look like white flowers from this distance. You'd have to get closer to inspect directly.

MARISHA: Can I do that?

MATT: Sure.

TALIESIN: Be very careful. Nothing here is exactly what it appears to be.

MARISHA: I won't touch it! I'm going to– it's so pretty.

LIAM: Vex'ahlia!

LAURA: What? Yes?

LIAM: Do you want to go higher and get a bird's eye view? Maybe that's not safe, but–

LAURA: That's why I'm staying in the trees, brother.

LIAM: I meant even higher.

LAURA: I will if it looks safe.

LIAM: All right.

LAURA: Does it look safe?

MATT: The canopy is very thick, and only in these small little patches of meadow, like the one that you entered and had all the little pools in it, and the one that you're entering now which has the ruin, have little breaks in the canopy where you can actually see the sky. Otherwise, it's very thick, so actually flying through the canopy, unless you're going very slowly, is going to be whipping you and probably knocking you off.

LAURA: Can I see from my height, can I see a better view of the ruins and everything?

MATT: You can make your way up there a little bit. Make a perception check. Keyleth, you approach the ruin to get a closer look at the plants? Make a nature check.

LAURA: Oh! And this is forest, right?

TALIESIN and MARISHA: Oh!

MARISHA: 30.

MATT: Okay. These white flowers resemble a form of daisy that exists in Tal'Dorei. However, they grow there in flower clusters out of the ground. You've never seen them sprout from a vine, and the shape's a little different, and you don't actually know this form of plant from your personal experience, but you can ascertain a similar nature to it.

TRAVIS: Nothing is what it seems.

MARISHA: A “feysy.” Are they poisonous or anything like that?

MATT: They don't appear to be toxic, no.

MARISHA: Can I touch it?

MATT: As you reach out and touch it with your finger, I need you to go ahead and do nothing, because it's fine.

LAURA: You sneaky. Here we go.

TRAVIS: “As you” always means doom.

LAURA: I got 25 on my perception.

MATT: Okay. As you rocket up past the boughs and begin to emerge from the edge of the canopy over this opening, you do see a very large water pool on the other side of this ruin. You can see where this ruin used to be. Most of it has fallen and then sunken into what appears to be a very glassy pool of water. A still surface, untouched. There's no wind in this area. It's a perfectly reflective surface to the opening above it.

LAURA: Do I see any life forms around?

MATT: You don't see any life forms. You do see a bare minimum hint of movement, if you will, beneath the water. You can't make out the shape, but you do see something moving beneath the water.

LAURA: Does this look similar to the pool that was on the other side of the portal?

MATT: It's a pool.

LAURA: I wouldn't know?

MATT: It looks like water. And you've seen a number that you've come past in this way. This one's larger than the others.

MARISHA: I want to pick the little white flower.

TALIESIN: Oh, I wouldn't do that!

LAURA: I come down and I watch as Keyleth makes a stupid move. Don't pick anything.

MATT: You pluck the flower. As you pluck it, the vines begin to writhe and pull away from the stone, actually releasing the hold on the ruin, and as it does, you hear what sounds like some movement, some shifting of water on the other side of the stone wall.

LAURA: There was something in the water on the other side of the ruins.

MARISHA: I take the flower and I put it back.

MATT: The vine has retracted, and as you set it towards the vine, it tumbles off. And actually the flower, you see now as you reach down, it has turned from a beautiful white and has immediately withered into a black, dried husk.

TRAVIS: Wow. We've been here five minutes.

MARISHA: I was going to press it and keep it.

LAURA: I'm not lying. We should probably hide!

MATT: Where was once silence, you hear the rushing of leaves as the canopy's beginning to close over, like the trees are leaning in and the actual branches themselves are starting to close up the gap in space on the sky.

LIAM: I'm going stealth! Ducking into the grass!

MATT: Stealth check on both you guys.

SAM: I'm hanging back with Grog. I've been scratching my back on his knee for a while.

TRAVIS: I don't see what the big deal is, really.

LAURA: 29.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: 34.

MATT: Okay. Both of you guys– you go back into the branch, and you can feel the branches pushing behind you, and you have to actually get low to not be dragged away with the rest of these extending branches that are closing off the opening in the canopy. Vax, you make your way towards one of the tree trunks and dart out of the way. Percy, you're watching this in horror.

TALIESIN: I'm trying to very gently back her up.

MATT: Okay. It's at this point, you guys see a hand creep up over the stone. A secondary hand.

MARISHA: Maybe it's his version of a doorbell. You pick a plant and you get–

MATT: Pulling up from here, you now see what appears to be a humanoid female form, lithe, hair wet and slicked back, and as the head peeks over–

TALIESIN: I bow. And I push her down.

MATT: Okay. The moment there is any movement, she flickers and moves back from the wall, looking already very perturbed by this whole circumstance. I need both of you guys to make constitution saving throws.

MARISHA: Oh, not bad. 21.

TALIESIN: Natural one.

MATT: Natural one. As you're shoved ahead, and begin to go into a bow, Percy, you bow, but you can't take your eyes off of it as the creature pulls herself up over the wall. An extremely beautiful, impossibly beautiful woman, nude, steps up over the edge of the wall, and as you glance forward, everything goes dark. Blackness.

MARISHA: Is he still conscious?

MATT: You bow, and he appears to be bowing. He's still standing; he's fine.

TALIESIN: Hello?

MATT: As soon as you say that, the creature darts backward, and you see it take a few steps and then leap and dives into the pool and vanishes beneath the water's surface. Although you see that, Keyleth. Percy, you do not. You just hear footsteps.

TALIESIN: Oh dear.

LAURA: What happened?

TALIESIN: We're going to have to find her.

LAURA: Did she say anything?

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: She was very pretty. Are you okay?

TALIESIN: I think she blinded me. No, she blinded me.

MATT: And you look at Percy, eyes wide open, glancing about, the pupils moving about.

TALIESIN: Yes, I'm blinded. I'm blind.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Really?

SAM: We should test it out.

TRAVIS: Yeah. How many fingers am I holding up?

TALIESIN: One.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: He's a liar! He can see fine. Piece of shit.

LAURA: Grog! Did you recognize that woman?

MATT: Were you paying attention?

TRAVIS: No.

(laughter)

LAURA: You didn't see the naked woman come up over that wall?

TRAVIS: Where? Hold on. Did you hear that?

SAM: If there was a naked woman, I would have seen it.

TALIESIN: I'm going to curl up in a little ball for a minute and rock.

MATT: Okay. Percy crawls onto the ground and begins rocking back and forth.

LAURA: I come down out of the tree. Can you just be quiet for two seconds?

MARISHA: Maybe it'll wear off in a minute?

LAURA: (shushing) Grog.

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: There was a naked woman. In a pool.

SAM: Go on.

LAURA: That reminded me of maybe the pool on the other side. We were jumping over from close to that portal, right? Could it be the nymph that you stole the heart of?

MARISHA: She was very pretty.

TRAVIS: I don't know. Maybe.

LAURA: Would it be safe for you to see her again and maybe ask for her to cure our friend here or would you– Is she dangerous to be around?

TRAVIS: Well, she didn't blind me.

LAURA: What'd she do to you?

TRAVIS: That's none of your business.

LAURA: Well, I worry if we go try to talk to her if it's not her, then she could blind all of us.

TRAVIS: I don't know. My chick didn't blind me, so if she did, I think we need to kill her.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take out my Dragonslayer Longsword and stand up and start using it as a cane. Find my way to Grog and poke him with it.

MATT: Okay. Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Better. That's 18.

MATT: Okay. As they're having this conversation, you–

TALIESIN: Just a tap.

MATT: You find your way over, and sure enough, no person has the leg density that Grog does, and you're pretty sure you have your mark.

TALIESIN: Going to give it a good little whack. Oh, I'm sorry! It's so hard to see.

TRAVIS: I'm sorry, I need to be more sensitive– look out, it's a parrot! And I kick the sword.

MARISHA: A parrot?

TRAVIS: Yeah, there are rabid parrots out here in the Feywild.

SAM: He kicked the sword.

TRAVIS: Oh, you know what? Just go pick it up.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Let me get it for you. I'll hold onto it, since you're obviously useless now. I go pick up the Dragonslayer Longsword.

LIAM: I walk over to Percival. Percival, I'm worried you're going to walk your glasses into a tree or something. Do you want one of us to hold those for the time being?

TALIESIN: I'll take them off and put them in my pocket.

LIAM: Do you have something to put them inside of, besides just the pocket? I don't want you falling on them.

TALIESIN: No. I've got a thing. It'll be all right.

LAURA: Percival, would you like something to hold onto as you walk?

TALIESIN: Actually, if you don't mind, can I borrow a bear? Yes.

LAURA: Yes, of course. I pop Trinket out.

MATT: Okay. Trinket. (whoosh, bear noises)

LAURA: Hi, buddy!

MATT: Jowls shake as you rub your fingers into his fur.

LAURA: Trinket, we're in a very weird place. A weird place. Things can happen.

MARISHA: And I whisper to Trinket: don't crush the flowers.

TALIESIN: I'm willing to try and make this work for a moment.

LAURA: Trinket, can you help Percival walk? He's blind.

LIAM: Matt! Pike is with us, right?

MATT: No.

LIAM: No? Okay.

LAURA: She's back in Whitestone.

LIAM: All right. I robot out once in a while on Skype. I guess I missed that.

MATT: That's okay. All right, so you feel the somewhat damp, cold nose of a bear nudge under your hand, and then (bear noises) and a shoulder lunges into you.

LAURA: Now don't walk him into any trees, Trinket dear.

TALIESIN: Do you mind? I'm going to try and hop on top. I'm going to make a leap to get on top of the bear.

MATT: Okay. It takes you a little while, but you get up onto the bear eventually. You have to right him because he's facing the wrong direction a little.

TRAVIS: All right. So wait, can we be clear? You picked a flower, all the trees got pissed off, you went blind, some naked chick jumped a wall, and that's the story of what's happened so far? We are killing it right now.

LAURA: Don't touch anything.

TRAVIS: I feel like maybe we need a change in leadership. Just saying.

MARISHA: There are very large consequences for picking flowers.

SAM: All right, which way did she go?

LAURA: She jumped over the wall here.

SAM: Should we follow?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Vax? Can you get a pair of eyes on her without going blind?

LIAM: I don't feel confident about that.

LAURA: I can try.

TALIESIN: Which direction was this pool?

LAURA: It's right past the ruins. Right there, darling, can't you see? Grog, do you want to give it a go?

TRAVIS: What? Go look for her?

LAURA: Just go see if it's her?

TRAVIS: All right. Fuck it.

LAURA: Be quiet– okay.

TRAVIS: No. And I do a full vault over the wall.

MATT: You land, feet go (squelch) into the muddy outskirts of the pond. It's about up to your ankles, but you can see the water is now rippled and disturbed.

TRAVIS: Can I stick my fingers in the mud. Does it smell weird?

MATT: Smells like probably the freshest poolside mud you've ever come across.

TRAVIS: I wipe it across my chest. Do I see any footprints from where naked chick went?

MATT: No, none.

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: She went in the water, Grog.

TRAVIS: She left no traces!

LAURA: She was in the water before.

TRAVIS: Does anyone want to come with me to the water?

LAURA: I'll come with you to the water.

TALIESIN: I'll go with you.

TRAVIS: You're not going anywhere!

TALIESIN: Trinket!

MARISHA: I'll go get your eyes back! Okay.

TRAVIS: All right. I cautiously make my way down. How far is the water? Can I see it from where I am now?

MATT: Yeah. It's about maybe ten feet from you.

TRAVIS: All right, I'll stealthily make my way ten feet towards it.

MATT: Roll a stealth check.

TRAVIS: Son of a bitch.

MATT: You put it in the descriptor, man.

TRAVIS: I did. 17.

MATT: Okay. (squelching) You make your way, as markedly quiet as you can.

MARISHA: I'm going to sit on the wall and watch for a second.

MATT: Okay. You come up to the edge of the water, and you can see some of the ripples are starting to lap across the mud. The mud and silt continues downward into a perfectly clear pool, though the light source has been cut off from the sky now as the canopy has closed, and what little bit of light happens to find its way through the forest ceiling– other than that, it's pretty dark. However, you do have darkvision; a few of you do have darkvision, so it's not a huge hindrance within a certain distance. You do see what appears to be clouds of silt on the bottom of the water that have slowly found their way close to resting.

TRAVIS: Can I call out: hello? Nothing?

MATT: No immediate response, no.

TRAVIS: Can I reach in the Bag of Holding and grab a basilisk egg? And can I try to launch it as far as I can into the pool?

MATT: Yeah. Go ahead and make a strength check.

LIAM: I'm going to scramble up next to Keyleth to watch this.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: 23.

MATT: 23. You lob the egg with perfect accuracy directly into the center of the pool. It hits and floats on the surface, semi-buoyant, with a little bit of the shell revealed on the top. A few moments pass before a few fingers curl up and grab it, and pull it down below.

TRAVIS: Oh! I saw a hand!

SAM: Did you recognize the hand?

TRAVIS: No, I'm not like Ray Charles. I can't tell if someone's attractive just by their hands.

MARISHA: Grog. Do you know how to float? Do you know how to float on top of water?

TRAVIS: Yeah?

MARISHA: You should do that.

TRAVIS: You want me to put my body in there?

MARISHA: Right. Don't we want to talk to her?

TRAVIS: What if there's more than one her?

LIAM: It went really well for you the last time that this happened.

MARISHA: Yeah! I figured it went well for you the last time. You're the only one who's done this before.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but there were these invisible steps, right? I feel like we walked up some steps and then there was a portal. And she came out first! It wasn't like I went to her apartment and I was like: Hey! Want to hook up?

LAURA: Hey. Does this look like the pool you came into on the other side?

TRAVIS: Does this look like the pool I came into on the other side?

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: 11.

MATT: You were distracted for the brief time you spent over here, but it does appear to be similar.

TRAVIS: Similar?

LAURA: Remember her name?

TRAVIS: No! Did she have a name? Her name was Nymph!

SAM: Why don't you call out her name?

TRAVIS: O Nymph! Where thee art thou?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TRAVIS: Oh shit! Seven.

MATT: You watch as suddenly there's a burst of bubbles under the surface of the water.

LAURA: Scanlan! Whisper to Grog what to say to draw a lady out. You're very charismatic. And repeat what you hear Scanlan say.

TRAVIS: Okay. Well, you've got to come closer, though.

LAURA: Use your earring!

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, we got earrings.

MARISHA and ASHLEY: Cyrano de Bergerac!

ASHLEY: Cyrano that shit.

SAM: O Nymph! Hear my call!

TRAVIS: O Nymph! Hear my ball!

SAM: Nope, call.

TRAVIS: Call!

SAM: Once, we spent an afternoon together.

TRAVIS: Once, we spent an afternoon together.

SAM: The sun never shone brighter.

TRAVIS: The sun never shone brighter!

SAM: The clouds were never quite as fluffy.

TRAVIS: The clouds were never quite as fluffy!

SAM: Oh, it would make me a man again to see you once more.

TRAVIS: Oh. That was too much.

SAM and TRAVIS: Oh! It would make me a man again to see you once more! I have a small dick.

MATT: Another burst of bubbles comes up on the surface as the water begins to break, and you can see a very beautiful, water-covered nude female form that is laughing uproariously in the pool. (laughs) “Oh. It has been some time.”

(gasping)

SAM: It's her!

MATT: And she takes her hair off to the side and gets the water out of it and shoves it over her shoulder. She steps up, and this time her feet touch the surface, and she walks on it like it's solid. As she begins to step carefully towards you, “I apologize for being, well–” And she points over towards him. “I would recommend in the future, perhaps, a more respectful means of arrival.”

MARISHA: (stage whisper) Sorry!

MATT: “If I recall, your name was Grog, is that correct?”

TRAVIS: That's right, my lady. Forgive me, your beauty has wiped my mind. Your name was?

MATT: “Nahla.”

TRAVIS: Nahla. I shan't forget again.

MATT: “I watch over this glade. It is bound to me as I am to it. I would hope that in the future you'd be more gentle with that that resides here.”

MARISHA: Sorry. I'm a huge fan is all. Hi. I'm Keyleth, by the way. Of the Air Ashari–

MATT: As you're talking at this moment, there's a sudden sparking sound, like a heavy log has fallen in a forest with a crack and a thoom. There's a flash of light and she instinctively turns and then dives beneath the water once more. As you guys glance over, there's a somewhat shimmering form of light that congeals into a small gnomish female flickering in and out. As Pike, after coming back from your goodbyes and walking to the temple of Pelor now constructed to take at least a moment to begin building a bastion for Sarenrae worship here, as well, you miss your friends so hard in that moment that, for a brief moment, the divine energies give you one last brief moment to walk beside them across the planes.

LAURA: Pike! It's been five fucking minutes.

ASHLEY: Don't we have a gatestone? I'm sorry! I didn't want to stay.

SAM: Is it because I owe you two gold?

ASHLEY: Yes!

SAM: Okay, here it is!

ASHLEY: Okay, bye!

TRAVIS: Buddy!

ASHLEY: Hi, buddy!

TRAVIS: What the fuck did you just do?

LAURA: You missed the naked chick! There's a naked chick. She blinded Percival with her beauty.

ASHLEY: Oh, wow. Well maybe we can take it. Where is she?

TRAVIS: Yeah, she went back underwater. Wait, do me a favor. Look, maybe everybody take a knee and be real chill while I throw down this swag, all right?

ASHLEY: Sorry. Did I come in at a bad time?

SAM: Well, you cockblocked Grog a little bit.

ASHLEY: I'm sorry, Grog.

TRAVIS: I was on fleek and now I'm on flock.

ASHLEY: Oh no. Well, let's fix it. I had to come. The Feywild, you know? I know we just said bye, but I had to come. All right, let's do this.

LAURA: We all get down on a knee.

TRAVIS: Nahla, it is a friend, not a foe. She's with me, and a great ally of ours.

MATT: With that, Nahla steps back through the water, taking invisible steps up to the top of the surface, where you're pretty much up to your waist in the pool at this time. She's now standing directly on the surface about ten feet from you. She looks out and looks towards you. “I remember you, as well.”

ASHLEY: Hi. I remember you. (stammering) I didn't mean to startle you. I didn't know everyone was in the middle of something.

SAM: (whispering) She fucked her, too.

MATT: She met all of you guys.

MARISHA: Oh right, for a hot second. But then she took Grog–

SAM: Of course we remember that thing that happened when we were drunk two and a half years ago.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I do apologize again for startling you.

MATT: “It's all right. Not many things happen in this glade these days, so when they happen rapidly, it tends to drop my heart a bit. Speaking of which, do you still carry my heart with you, Grog?”

TRAVIS: As you know, my lady, of course I do.

MATT: She turns her head. “I don't sense it on your person.”

TRAVIS: Oh! Right. An actual– No, I don't. We needed it for something. Yeah, so when last I saw you, I had this horrible bunk in my chest? It was terrible. And in combination with your heart, I was able to remove it and prolong my life. Which means I'm here.

MATT: “Glad you're safe. I shall begin the process of creating a new one, then. I'm glad it served you well.”

TRAVIS: It did, thank you. Many, many thanks. And you have our apologies again for beheading one of your flowers and for making all the loud snapping noises. This is not the way we wanted to start, believe me.

MATT: She puts her hand up and nods.

MARISHA: I Druidcraft a Tal'Dorei daisy and give it back to– I didn't mean to hurt your flowers.

MATT: She nods and laughs. She brings her arm up and as she does, a singular vine seems to grow up out of the muck and curl up, and take the daisy from your finger and drag it off into the forest.

MARISHA: Sorry.

TRAVIS: If I might ask, old bleachy-hair over here took a look at your beauty and all of a sudden went (raspberry) and can't see anything.

MATT: “That's a hard lesson learned.”

MARISHA: Can you not get it back?

TRAVIS: Nope, he's blind forever.

MATT: “It doesn't work that way. I'm sorry.”

LAURA: How does it work?

MATT: “For the most part, those that fall under my protective gaze, they've earned it. Don't consider past that. And my innate talents do not reach beyond that striking, so I'm sorry.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, totally cool. We're going to put some Braille on your gun.

LAURA: I bet Pike has a few tricks up her sleeve.

ASHLEY: I think I could give it a go, with some things.

MARISHA: Do you have Regeneration on you today?

ASHLEY: (quietly) Yeah.

TALIESIN: I think it's probably mystical.

MARISHA: I could attempt a Dispel Magic first.

SAM: Maybe you're just this way now, and your other senses will get better.

MARISHA: You could rock it for a while.

TRAVIS: You said it's been very calm around here.

MATT: “Yes.”

TRAVIS: No unexpected visitors or commotions lately?

MATT: “Not around my glade, no. I'd know.”

TRAVIS: May I introduce to you Vex'ahlia?

MATT: “We've met, yes.”

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's right. I forget. She's seeking something in this place.

LAURA: Yes, actually. We all are. Have you heard tale of a sick tree? Something very cancerous on the land.

MATT: “There are trees that fall under various states of corruption time and time again in the Feywild. Light and darkness stands eternal here.”

LAURA: This one holds a bow at its heart.

MARISHA: It's located in a bog?

LAURA: In a bog. Something about glass?

MARISHA: Near the river of the Gilded Run?

MATT: “The Shademirk Bog.”

MARISHA: The Shademirk Bog. That's the one!

MATT: “That is roughly two days duskward from here.”

SAM: Duskward? That's west.

TALIESIN: Or what passes for west.

LAURA: I just started a page on the Feywild and now it's already– there it is.

TRAVIS: Nahla, I'm sorry. I'm very simple. Is duskward actually west?

MATT: “Duskward is towards the dusk.” She points. As she puts her finger up, you can see the trees relax now and open up the sky above you, and you can see the direction where most of the setting sunlight is being cast into the sky, and she motions in that direction.

TRAVIS: Are you controlling the way the trees move?

MATT: “This is my glade. We are one.”

TRAVIS: Yes. It's very impressive.

MARISHA: Man, can you teach people how to do that? Because that's awesome.

SAM: We'll be moving on before then.

MARISHA: You know what? I'll talk to you later about it.

SAM: Have you heard anything of this bow or this tree?

MATT: “I have not. I stay here. This is my home, and I am bound to it to not wander too far. What I know of the Shademirk, I only know through individuals who passed through and kept me up to speed with things that may or may not be transpiring in this landscape, but those meetings are tens of years, if not more, between.”

LAURA: Wow.

LIAM: I'm sorry. Have there been any significant changes of late? Cities here that didn't exist but a while ago?

MATT: “Not to my knowledge, no. My understanding of realms beyond this wood and beyond this glade are fairly limited beyond what I've been given by passersby, and it's been not since you, Grog, stepped through with me. I've not had another cross my path.”

LAURA: Sounds lonely.

MATT: “It is my life. The trees keep me company. The roots, they speak. The earth itself is sustenance and the voice, the timeless voice of this land– well, there are many stories here.”

TRAVIS: She's so sweet.

MARISHA: I really like her, yeah.

TRAVIS: As we make our way towards this area, is there anything that you would warn us of?

MATT: “Everything.”

TRAVIS: Oh. Everything.

TALIESIN: Like don't pick the flowers.

SAM: Is there anything specifically we should avoid? Specific plants, colors?

TRAVIS: Hands in the pocket policy going forward?

MATT: “Gauge with care that which you tamper. Many things lie and live in these lands that could be of aid and many, your own destruction. Words spoken by many who live and call the Feywild their home are in themselves riddles. Deceit is their common form of time passage, and those that wander from beyond, well, some would consider you more of a toy or a plaything than a visitor or passerby.”

TRAVIS: Before we leave, is there anything we might bring you on our way back through here, should we be successful?

MATT: (laughs) “Bring me some books.”

TRAVIS: Books?

MATT: “I'd like some books.”

TRAVIS: My kind of books? Pictures?

MATT: “Pictures are always nice, but things to tell me of things beyond my sphere. Perhaps the world you come from. Beyond the Frostweald, I know very little, as well.”

LAURA: I have a book on me. Would you like it?

MATT: “Take whatever you wish to say goodbye with.”

LAURA: Well. I basically have it memorized at this point, I've read it so many times.

MATT: She takes it and thumbs through.

LAURA: That'll be 30 gold.

(laughter)

LIAM: 35.

LAURA: 50 gold.

TRAVIS: Markup's a bitch.

MATT: Closes it. “Thank you.”

LAURA: Thank you.

SAM: Before we set out. You've told us what to be wary of: everything. Is there anyone out there we can trust if come across them?

MATT: “Depends on what you seek and what your reasons are. Trust goes all ways. The difficulty is finding who is aligned with your ideals, your intentions, and your goals, and who isn't. I trust practically no one. Sorry.”

TALIESIN: I'm sorry, were you talking to me?

SAM: She's talking to you.

LAURA: What were those little colored lights that disappear as we get close?

MATT: “Oh! Feyspecks. They are small entities that care to the underbrush of the forests here. They're not dangerous.”

LAURA: Do they lead you anywhere?

MATT: “I'm sure they lead you many places, though none of them may be where you're trying to go. I wouldn't trust them to guide you. They themselves are very deceptive and trickery-loving entities. But they help me keep the glade in the forest.”

LAURA: I was wondering if you have any sort of– you're very well-versed with this area. Any form of protection you could offer us or recommend to us as we move forward in this confusing land?

LIAM: Any last bit of advice.

MATT: Make a persuasion roll.

LAURA: 26.

MATT: She thinks for a moment, holding the tome under her arm. “Well. I have minor magical capabilities. Perhaps I could harden the physicality of one of you, in a way to aid. It won't last long, but it's something.”

MARISHA: Any assistance is more than greatly appreciated.

LAURA: Maybe Grog?

TRAVIS: No, I definitely don't need it. I'm good. Who's all tender?

SAM: Percy, at this point.

LAURA: Oh. Well, that's true.

SAM: How many of us can you embolden?

TALIESIN: I'm a bit useless at the moment.

SAM: No, don't sell yourself short. You're great.

TALIESIN: You know I know what you're doing right now?

MATT: She steps forward, and as you're having this conversation, she puts her fingers towards the front of your forehead and touches your skin. You feel a surge of warmth through your body, though blackness still takes your vision. The rest of you watch as his skin suddenly turns to a dark brown and crackles. For a brief moment, you fear, but notice it's like his physical form, all parts of the pinky flesh of the human Percy become hard like tree bark.

LAURA: Oh, that's attractive.

TRAVIS: You got wood.

LAURA: How's it feel?

MARISHA: I sniff Percy.

MATT: It's like a fine cedar.

MARISHA: It's nice. It suits you. It's very masculine. It's a musk.

TALIESIN: Thank you. I'm still angry with you, but thank you.

SAM: Grog, carve your name in him.

TRAVIS: Yes! Oh my god. Holy shit.

TALIESIN: I put the pistol slowly in the direction of his voice. My lady, I do appreciate your gift, and I do apologize for my friend and for startling you earlier. It is my deepest regret that I cannot take in the majesty of your realm for the moment.

LAURA: (laughter) Of your realm.

MATT: “Well. Keep your wits about you. That's the finest defense you have against this uncertain landscape.”

TRAVIS: It was a true joy seeing you again. We'll try to bring ourselves by this way on our way out as we can.

MATT: “I appreciate that. It is good to see your faces, as brief as it is.”

TRAVIS: Well, wish us luck.

MATT: “Good luck and safe travels.”

ASHLEY: Bye, Nahla.

MARISHA: As we walk away, I give Percy a wet willie.

TRAVIS: I bow to her before I leave.

LAURA: Yeah, we do that, too.

TALIESIN: Does she go for the wet willie?

MARISHA: No, I give you a wet willie.

TALIESIN: Are you trying to give me a wet willie? I use missile snare.

TRAVIS: (pointedly) I bow before we leave.

MARISHA: It's not a ranged attack.

MATT: So you bow. She turns around and begins to walk back down the invisible steps you see her taking, as she drifts deeper into the water, and actually, before she disappears beneath the surface, looks over her shoulder and smiles at you, Grog, and then disappears beneath the water below.

LAURA: Be honest. You totally (tongue click).

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: Did you?

TRAVIS: I what? What's wrong with your mouth?

LAURA: Did you get it on with her?

LIAM: Copulation, Grog. She means did you do the thing.

TRAVIS: Population? No. There's no population in that. I think it's just her in that.

LAURA: All right.

LIAM: Did she like the beard, though?

LAURA: Oh, that's right, you didn't have a beard before!

MATT: As you guys are having this conversation, there's a brief sound as Percy, even amongst his blinded state, catches Keyleth's finger in midair.

MARISHA: I still don't say that's a ranged attack!

TRAVIS: Gross. While the children play, I make my way towards the dusk direction.

LAURA: Toward the Shademirk.

LIAM: Wait, hold on. I believe I was standing next to Keyleth, so I stick my pinky into my mouth and I shove it into Percy's ear.

MARISHA: Wet willie is happening!

MATT: All right. Flanked by wet willies, Percy, one is halted, but in the distracted moment and the stealthy rogue being what he is, you feel the slimy insertion of a single half-elven digit into your ear canal.

LIAM: And I say: Keyleth, that is really immature, really. What is the matter with you? And I walk off.

TALIESIN: Still angry at you.

ASHLEY: We should fix you.

MARISHA: Consider that payback.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Is there any rocks or debris or little pebbles around on the ground?

MATT: Yeah. There's plenty of stone debris.

TRAVIS: I'll take a small pebble. Pike, you really should do what you can to help Percy.

ASHLEY: All right.

TRAVIS: And I toss the pebble at his face.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Missile snare? With disadvantage?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MARISHA: See, that is a ranged attack.

TALIESIN: 26.

MATT: He catches the pebble out of the air.

TALIESIN: My kung-fu is far stronger than yours.

SAM: All right, Pike. Do your thing.

LAURA: I don't know if he needs it.

TALIESIN: I have dreamed about coming here since I was a little child. I'm going to see this!

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Wait, let's all think about this for a moment. Don't do anything hasty. (stage whisper) Everybody, let's back up slowly.

MATT: It gets really quiet suddenly, Percy.

TALIESIN: I'm on a bear.

MATT: Yes. Trinket stops and (bear noises).

LAURA: (stage whisper) It's okay, Trinket.

SAM: (stage whisper) Pike, if you do this thing that you're going to do, will it take away his Barkskin, too?

ASHLEY: I don't know. That's why I'm a little nervous.

LAURA: Well, you know. That's how it goes.

MARISHA: You know, and to be fair, Barkskin, it's all right.

TRAVIS: Maybe it's temporary.

MARISHA: Barkskin is temporary.

TRAVIS: No, I mean the blind part.

MARISHA: Oh, the blindness? I don't know.

TALIESIN: You're all wearing your earrings. It's dangerous as it is, but–

LIAM: It's clearly hilarious, but Percival is our sharpshooter. I don't know if we want him–

LAURA: He is one of our sharpshooters, thank you very much.

LIAM: Well, why would we want one when we could have two?

TRAVIS: Let's try it, then.

ASHLEY: Yeah, a blind sharpshooter might not be the best in the Feywild. I would throw it out there.

TALIESIN: Be a shame if your broom breaks.

LAURA: It really would. Hey, I want to heal you! All right?

MARISHA: Do you want to be healed or not, Percy? Jeez, first you say you're mad at me and then you ensnare my melee wet willie–

SAM: People! We're tearing ourselves apart in the Feywild.

TALIESIN: I'm just reminding the dear what side her bread is buttered on.

SAM: Let Pike get rid of this blind spot so we can all be together again.

TRAVIS: It's masterful.

LAURA: How long has he been working on that?

TALIESIN: Wow. Okay.

LIAM: Critical Role, where you come for high fantasy.

LAURA: Give it a go.

MARISHA: Wait. Percy.

TALIESIN: What?

MARISHA: Say you're not mad at me anymore. Say: Hey, I know I've done things in the past to piss you off–

LAURA: Trinket, come here!

MATT: All of a sudden, Trinket lurches forward and starts dragging him.

TALIESIN: Am I a reckless human?

MARISHA: Yes.

TALIESIN: So when I say you shouldn't probably touch anything, there's probably a really good reason, right?

MARISHA: Yeah. Are you going to hold this one against me because I picked a flower, like how you held the Clasp against me?

MATT: Trinket's been dragging him away from you, towards her.

MARISHA: Hold against me like the Clasp?

SAM: Do you need inspiration, Pike?

ASHLEY: No, I think it's okay.

TALIESIN: I'll have my revenge, but I love you.

MARISHA: It's okay.

ASHLEY: Get my way up Trinket and cast Greater Restoration.

MATT: Okay. So as you clutch your holy symbol, your flickering divine form drifts over towards the side of Trinket. You reach up and touch his leg, and the warmth of the divine energy surges through his leg. You can see it almost like a sparkle up his chest, little light rays peering out from beneath the clothing. It comes up his gullet, up the side of his face, and his eyes flash white, with beams of gentle sunlight shooting out for a second. The darkness becomes blurry, and your vision over the next 15 or so seconds returns to normal.

TALIESIN: Oh!

ASHLEY: You see?

TALIESIN: Yes, much better. Hi! It's so good to see you.

ASHLEY: Does he still have Barkskin?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Yay!

MARISHA: I come up from behind and give him another wet willie!

TALIESIN: (yelps)

MARISHA: See? I got you even when you had your eyes.

TALIESIN: I'll make you a deal.

MARISHA: All right, what?

TALIESIN: Come here.

MARISHA: What?

LAURA: Can we start moving forward? Yeah, we leave them.

MARISHA: All right. We'll keep moving.

MATT: You guys catch up with the rest of the party, who's now moved on ahead. Making your way through this thick forest, I would like you all to make a perception check.

SAM: Perception check?

LAURA: Perception check.

TRAVIS: Nice. 19. Natural 19.

LAURA: 27.

TALIESIN: 11.

MARISHA: 25.

SAM: Oh, ten.

ASHLEY: 14.

MATT: What did you get, Liam?

LIAM: 24.

MATT: 24. Okay. 25s or higher, which I think is Keyleth and Vex. You guys push through the forest for about another two hours or so.

MARISHA: While we do that, I take Percy's Barkskin, and I regal it out. I give him moss epaulets, grow some flowers on it, give him a little Whitestone flower crown. I'm making him a fancy tree.

LIAM: A druidic Sergeant Pepper?

TALIESIN: Now we're even. Good.

MATT: All right. Two hours of travel towards the direction of the dusk, keeping tabs on it the best you can, you being the tracker you are, you notice that the night hasn't come. The light in the sky itself has not changed. The dusk hasn't waxed or waned; there's been no change in the sky light or color whatsoever. The dusk seems to have for the last couple hours been perpetual and unmoving.

TALIESIN: Maybe we're in the dusklands.

LAURA: I feel like I remember hearing that the time here is very strange.

MARISHA: It stays at a constant, correct?

TALIESIN: Well, not necessarily.

LAURA: Maybe it moves slower here. I don't know.

MARISHA: We are moving towards dusk, correct? We're moving towards the setting sun?

MATT: You're moving towards that. That was the one direction you were given by the nymph, yes.

TALIESIN: It could be that we are either stuck in a loop or that we simply in an area of the Feywild that is eternal dusk.

LAURA: Does it feel like we're moving forward?

MARISHA: She said it was two days' travel.

SAM: Two dusks' travel.

TALIESIN: So we have to pass a dusk, at least.

SAM: That could be years.

TALIESIN: It could.

LAURA: Do you think it's safe if I fly up and look at the sky?

TALIESIN: No, but you might as well. Nothing's safe.

MARISHA: Do I see any birds or anything like that in the sky? Any wildlife? Any critters?

MATT: Make a perception check.

ASHLEY: Any critters?

LAURA and TALIESIN: Critters everywhere.

MARISHA: Sorry, 21. Yes, 21.

MATT: Yeah, okay. You glance up at the next opening you have in the canopy, and you see occasionally a flock of birds go flying by. There is definitely vibrant wildlife, and you've seen throughout the forest here skittering squirrels and other creatures that live here, though themselves being skittish and running off as soon as your footfalls begin to hit that portion of the forest. There is a very vibrant critter lifestyle here within this part of the Feywild.

LAURA: I'm going to try flying up. All right, I'm going to try flying up above the canopy.

MATT: Okay. You come up above the canopy. Have to maneuver around some of the larger branches, and these trees are tall. You probably get yourself a hundred feet up before you finally break the canopy, and as you coast over the top you can see now before you, this forest is vast. The majority of it behind you, and you can actually see what appears to be the edge of the forest's line maybe about ten miles up, and past that you can see rolling grass hills before a mountain line. You can see in the distance, a very far distance– make a perception check.

LAURA: I'm assuming I'm not in the forest anymore, right?

MATT: This would be looking beyond the forest, so yeah, it would not have advantage.

LAURA: 17.

MATT: 17. You see a faint glimmer of some kind. Something that stands out, it's like a reflection or bead of light amongst the grass fields beyond the forest. You're unable to really tell the distance, but it does stand out as it occasionally flickers.

LAURA: Flickering. Do I see any sign of a city?

MATT: Not from this perspective, no. Mostly, it looks natural from this view. Also, the clouds in the sky are slowly moving like normal clouds, and you can see in the distance what appears to be a sun that has passed beyond the mountain range, but there is no change in the light.

LAURA: The sky looks the same?

MATT: Same it was since the moment you arrived.

LAURA: Well, at least we know we've made some headway. I go back down. There's a tree line, at least. I think we should reach it soon.

TALIESIN: And if we don't, then we know that there's a problem.

LAURA: Right.

TALIESIN: And remember: in theory, from what little I know, the prettier it is, the more dangerous it probably is, and the older it is, the more dangerous it probably is.

MARISHA: What, things get prettier as they get older here? That's not fair.

SAM: Just the men.

MARISHA: Damn it.

TRAVIS: All right, let's keep going, then.

MATT: Okay. You guys push on for another three or so hours–

LAURA: We're not out of the tree line yet?

MATT: At the pace you guys are walking, you just begin to push outside of the trees. It was hard gauging the distance from that period of time; that was the rough estimate based on the perception roll. You begin to watch the tree line thin a bit. There's still many trees around you, but the density's beginning to scatter, and you're beginning to see more and more light let through from the treetops, and the trees themselves are not as tall as they were towards the central bulk of the forest. Vex, you do catch to your left side something that sounds like at first a little hiss, but instead it comes to your ear as a chuckle.

LAURA: Hello?

TRAVIS: What?

ASHLEY: Did you hear something?

LAURA: Is somebody there?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Ooh! Natural 20.

MATT: Natural 20. You glance out of the corner of your eye, and you see about four trees behind you some outline of a shaded figure that darts behind a tree.

LAURA: (stage whisper) Did anybody else see that?

ALL: What?

LAURA: Okay, cool. Did it look childlike or adultlike?

MATT: In between.

LAURA: Oh. Okay.

LIAM: We got a problem here?

LAURA: Just be ready.

SAM: Which direction?

LAURA: Behind us. I saw you!

MARISHA: Let's get back-to-back, shall we?

TALIESIN: I'm going to sit backwards on the bear while we move forward.

MARISHA: I'm going to go back-to-back to the twins.

LAURA: Did you want to say hello?

MATT: No response.

LAURA: All right. I guess we'll have fun over here without you.

TRAVIS: Are you sure you really saw something?

LAURA: Laugh like I told a really funny joke.

(forced laughter)

TRAVIS: You kill me. Oh man, who would want to miss this?

SAM: I didn't know a nun could curse like that.

LAURA: So funny. Anything?

MATT: You guys continue making your way towards the edge of the forest, and shortly after, the tree line does come to an end. There are small clusters of trees, but beyond that, you're now opening this nearly-endless grassland, the grasses themselves swaying with the breeze that is starting to catch up. You can see the waves that curl over these low hills, and this beautiful, deep verdant green-emerald color that shifts and cascades over and over and over. As you begin to step into the grass, it's high. It's chest-high to the half-elves. A little below waist-high to you, and the gnomes are swimming through grass, at this point.

TRAVIS: Hey, buddy.

ASHLEY: This is fun, though.

TRAVIS: Do you want to keep staying down there doing the breaststroke?

ASHLEY: No. I'm done.

TALIESIN: It occurs to me, I don't actually have to ride the bear anymore.

LAURA: That's true. Do you guys want to ride Trinket and see?

SAM: No, thanks. I'll ride Grog.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

ASHLEY: I'll ride Trinket.

MATT: You hop on Trinket.

LAURA: Do you still have Barkskin? Nice.

MARISHA: He looks good, too, right?

TALIESIN: She's done me up.

ASHLEY: I give Trinket a scratch where it makes him go weird and start scratching his neck.

MATT: (bear noises) He reaches up and gives you a lick, but it pseudo-passes through your form, and Trinket looks really confused and tilts the bear head to the side.

ASHLEY: Sorry, buddy.

LAURA: Oh! As we're walking, first question: do I see any form of path through this grass?

MATT: It's open field. Directionless and before you. There is still the dusk ahead of you. That's the best directional point you have right now, but there is no worn path. There is no road or street. There are no signs of civilization. It looks like an endless field.

LIAM: I've played the original Legend of Zelda. I know if we go up, left, down, left, we should get out of this field.

MATT: Shoot the bush.

LAURA: The flicker of light I saw in the distance. Are we going to intersect it in the direction that we're going?

MATT: You will get near it.

LAURA: Okay, so I'll keep an eye in that direction as we move forward, but I want to talk to you, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Yeah?

LAURA: I've been trying to find out a way to talk to Trinket like I know you can, right?

MARISHA: Oh?

LAURA: I was wondering if maybe you could teach me how to do that?

MARISHA: (gasps) Teach you?

LAURA: Do you think that's possible?

MARISHA: I don't know! But I'd like to try.

LAURA: Okay!

MARISHA: Yeah, that would be fun. Okay. Can I do something like that?

LAURA: I have a spell slot available for Speak With Animals that I never claimed that I want to learn.

MATT: You want to take it? Okay. As you guys begin to walk through the field, you begin to reveal some of the druidic secrets of animal communication to Vex, and over the course of the next hour of travel–

MARISHA: See, the thing is, you have to get the accents right for each critter, or else they could get a little offended.

TRAVIS: And you're the point of access.

MARISHA: Totally. I keep going.

MATT: She bestows upon you the elements of it. It's less about vocality. It's about being able to connect on an empathic and emotional level, where creatures can speak to you less out of words and more out of the idea of emotions and thoughts, which our human minds– or in some cases, half-human minds– accept as words. There is no actual speech that they're talking, like, “Hello, my dear!”

MARISHA: So one of the things that I like to do is embody the animal, and that can get you in the mindset.

LAURA: I will definitely keep that in mind.

MARISHA: Let's practice being Trinket together.

LAURA: I let her do that, and I'm going to keep walking normally.

MATT: She does it for a while.

MARISHA: I go up to Grog. (sniffs, groans)

LAURA: I'm learning so much.

ASHLEY: I think we're all learning. This is so great.

SAM: I wish Nahla had cast Blindness on me.

(laughter)

LAURA: Can I walk up to Trinket and say: Hey, buddy. Can you understand me?

MATT: Do you cast the spell?

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: Trinket turns to you.

LAURA: Do you understand me?

MATT: “Yes.”

LAURA: (screams) I hug him so hard! Oh my gosh!

MATT: You grab him. Trinket doesn't seem to realize any sort of difference.

LAURA: Could you understand me all the time?

MATT: “Yes.”

LAURA: Oh, darling, but now I understand you, and it's wonderful!

MATT: “Okay.”

LAURA: Okay, quick question. Do you mind being in my necklace, or does it bother you? What's it like? Is it terrible? Because I don't want to do it if you hate it.

MATT: “It's a little lonely.”

ASHLEY: Oh no!

MATT: “I haven't been in there very long.”

LAURA: No, you haven't. Okay. Well, that's good. Well, I basically wanted to say that I love you so much.

MARISHA: I give her a thumbs up.

MATT: “I love you, too, Vex'ahlia.”

LAURA: (sobbing) I start crying!

MATT: A big lick upside your face, and nudges his head against you.

LAURA: Oh, this is the best spell ever! I can't believe I didn't know it before! Trinket! Thanks, Keyleth!

MARISHA: The accent's really good. You're doing a good job. It's very good.

MATT: As Trinket nudges you, he says, “It's okay. I can stay in there all you need.”

LAURA: Thanks, buddy.

MATT: “I can watch you through there. I can see you.”

LAURA: You can? Wait, you can?

MATT: “Yes.”

LAURA: Cool. It's like when your dog comes in the room when you're peeing. It's a little awkward at first when you hear about it, but it's fine. It's okay. I'm fine with it. Whatever.

MATT: Grog, you've actually been in there, so you have an idea of what he's talking about.

LAURA: If you understood what he was saying, which you don't!

MATT: Boom, what!

TALIESIN: I'm imagining the genie bottle.

LAURA: For a while, as long as my spell lasts, I want to keep talking to Trinket and catch up on old times.

MATT: You guys do, and he talks about how he hated at the time, but has in hindsight enjoyed the memory of the pie contest in Whitestone.

LAURA: Oh, right. That was so good, right?

ASHLEY: What about getting his hair done with flowers and braids and bows?

MATT: He tells you that was fine, but you can tell through the subtle bear undertones that he wasn't too happy about it. But everything has this tone of basically whatever you need, and anything for you. There is an undying loyalty and love from Trinket that you've always felt, but now to hear in language form is very moving.

LIAM: I'm watching quietly the whole time with a smile at this bear that I've known as a cub grunting with my sister grunting back, and it's very touching.

LAURA: I love the Feywild.

TRAVIS: I think the whole thing is fucking weird.

MARISHA: Keyleth wipes away a little tear.

ASHLEY: Same. I'm sitting on Trinket, wiping away tears.

LAURA: We're walking.

TRAVIS: We've been walking this whole time.

MATT: You guys keep walking. And you keep walking.

SAM: We still haven't hit that tree line?

MATT: You're past the tree line. You're in the grass, but it's hard to really gauge, since you have no sun in the sky and you don't have a central timepiece of any kind.

LAURA: Do we feel tired?

TRAVIS: Well, hold on. Can I spin around and see if the grass we've been trampling on is leaving a trail?

MATT: No. None. No trail. It's like you never stepped through behind you. The grasses parted where you walked through, and then, looking behind, it's like you were dropped in the middle of a field.

TRAVIS: Is anything following us?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: There was that kid that we talked to.

ASHLEY: Good call.

TRAVIS: A deathly eight.

LAURA: There was a creature in the woods.

TALIESIN: That you saw?

LAURA: I saw it.

TRAVIS: Nothing. We're good!

ASHLEY: Can I perception check?

MATT: You can make a perception check, as well, yeah.

TALIESIN: Vex, do you feel like getting a little bit of a bird's-eye view really quickly, perhaps?

ASHLEY: 14.

MATT: Glancing about, a smooth grassline.

TRAVIS: We're clear. Team monster!

ASHLEY: No one's following us!

SAM: What about this? Keyleth, can't we move through the trees?

TALIESIN: We can't. There's no trees.

SAM: Just grass?

MARISHA: I will turn around. How far away are we from the treeline?

MATT: From where you guys left?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It's visible, but it's quite a ways away.

MARISHA: We have been moving away.

MATT: Yeah. It's the rolling fields and hills. It's comparable to the width of the valley between the Cliffkeep Mountains and the Stormcrest Mountains on Tal'Dorei. It seems like such a vast space, with no immediate scattered landmarks. In your head, which is used to gauging your position from small changes in the scenery, it's mind-numbing. It feels like it's endless.

LAURA: We have food. We're on our way.

SAM: What if this is a week's journey? What if this is two weeks' journey?

MARISHA: She said two days south.

SAM: She said two dusks south. What if this is a month?

MATT: She said two days duskward.

LAURA: Two days duskward. See? Two days.

LIAM: Does that mean two days into dusk or two days that last an eternity?

LAURA: Two days. It's two days.

MATT: She said two days duskward.

TRAVIS: We're fine.

MARISHA: But you were saying she was using two days in a way that we would understand?

LIAM: We don't know.

TALIESIN: I'm feeling pretty confident about this. I'm not having a lot of stress about this.

TRAVIS: Let's keep grooving. Sun's up.

TALIESIN: Until it's time that we all think it's time to take a rest, and we'll take a nap.

LAURA: Yeah. When we feel tired– I do want to make sure that nothing's following us on occasion, and make sure that nothing is around.

TRAVIS: We checked it out. We're solid.

SAM: Should one of us circle back and make sure that no one's behind us?

LAURA: We'll get separated.

MARISHA: We'll never find each other again.

SAM: All right, then we're going to keep going, and I'll keep reading my book on top of Grog.

MARISHA: Do we still see the flashing light in the distance that she saw?

MATT: Only at times, because when you go below the hills into these deep valleys, before you come to the next hill line, it cuts off your perspective. But as you get close, make another perception check, Vex, as you're keeping an eye on the back of Trinket.

LIAM: Wait, you said Vax. Do you mean Vax, or do you mean Vex?

MATT: I said Vex.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: 18. The source of the glimmer is becoming larger, but you can't make out any details. There are actually a few glimmers, clustered. It's one of those things where it's not perpetual. Every now and then you see it.

LAURA: We are heading towards something. I'm not sure what it is.

MARISHA: Is it erratic?

MATT: It seems erratic, yeah.

TRAVIS: Something's on fire.

TALIESIN: It's a party.

SAM: Press on?

TRAVIS: Yeah!

LAURA: What else are we going to do?

TRAVIS: Definitely nothing here.

TALIESIN: We press on until it's time to rest.

MATT: You push on for a few more hours, and trying to think back how long you've been here, the time passes in a strange way to the point where you have no way of understanding how much time has gone by, but you're starting to get a little tired like you would towards the end of a day's worth of travel. You come up over a large hillside, and you can see now, there's a base of a mountain range that you can make out a little bit in the distance that meets up where that flickering is. You can see what appears to be now the source of the flickering. There looks to be some sort of a civilization. There are towers. There appears to be a stone ring around it. It's hard to make out the details from this distance, but it looks fairly large. It's in the side of the mountain range.

TALIESIN: I say we camp here. I think it's a lovely idea.

TRAVIS: What's around us? Grass fields, pretty much?

MATT: Just grass fields.

TRAVIS: Far as you can see?

MATT: As far as you can see, and then the hill line eventually gets so high in the distance where you can't see past it. You see the mountain range and whatever the source of this glimmer is, this strange, city-like series of structures at the base of that mountain range.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Let's set up shop, drop.

LAURA: Can I fly up on the broom and see if I can see anything in the field around us or look for any movement in the grass?

SAM: Don't forget your hat!

LAURA: I put my fucking hat on.

TALIESIN: It suits you. It's lovely. I'm going to use my optics to try and sketch what I can of the city for the moment and get a general idea of it, sitting down and starting to get an idea of it.

LIAM: And does it look like anything from my sister and my memory?

MATT: Go ahead and roll a perception check on your end, as well, Vax.

LAURA: And me?

LIAM: 20.

MATT: As you're getting up, sure, go ahead and make one, because you get a better view, as well.

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25. Vax, it's hard at this distance to make out much of the information, especially with the grass being as high as it is, and the hill beyond it. For the most part, the folks that can get a clear bead are those that are above the grass line and keeping a keen eye, which Vex is.

LAURA: Oh, whispers! Whispers!

ASHLEY: (singing) Whispers in the night!

SAM: This is the anticipation that you feel before you open a Loot Crate! Not knowing what it could be. Could it be good? Could it be bad? What you do know is that it's $3 off if you use the code criticalrole.

TALIESIN: Don't try and Super Saiyan me.

MARISHA: Amazing.

TALIESIN: Oh, not quite.

MARISHA: Almost. Wait, maybe the bigger one?

LAURA: He's been chewing on that, just so you know. In addition to that, do I see anything in the grass around us?

MATT: From what you can see… every now and then, you see tiny little bits of movement in the grass, maybe a quarter mile one way. You can see a similar type winding shape in the grass a mile or so the other way. It's even further out. There are other things moving in the grass, but none of them are breaking the grass surface. But they appear to be singular, at least in the shifting of movement. You do catch a smaller source of movement in the grass, no more than 30 feet off from where the rest of your party is currently walking.

LAURA: Can I fly down near it?

MATT: Yeah. You swoop down, and over view of that, you can see what appears to be a small humanoid that is curling through the grass line. Looks human. Big, thick curled beard, very coarse dark hair. A muscled torso; stocky, but strong. What appears to be a light blue vest that's covering the upper part of the torso, most of the buttons missing, and the bottom of it tattered and worn. The hindquarters themselves are fur and come into cloven hooves, and you can see a small pair of horns hooking off the back of the head. This individual is skulking through the grass, carrying a small book and a long quill, and he's occasionally leaping up over the grass line, landing, and then drawing something in the book.

LAURA: Does he see me?

MATT: He does not see you at the moment, no. You're overhead.

LAURA: I want to float down above him on the broom and lay down on the broom and say: What are you drawing?

MATT: As soon as you come down and whisper, the tome slams shut. The figure stands up straight, slowly turns the eyes towards you, and you can see the dark and ruddy skin, the sun-touched nose and cheeks, a darker, more leathered texture to them, but the eyes are piercing ice blue as he looks back into yours. “Nothing.”

LAURA: Nothing at all?

MATT: “Just taking notes.”

LAURA: On those people up there?

MATT: “Yes.”

LAURA: Oh. Interesting.

MATT: “Because why not?”

LAURA: Why not? You know, you probably could get a better view of them if you were riding on this broom.

MATT: “You see, if you're worried, it's not me you need to worry about. It's him.” And points past your shoulder.

LAURA: I'm not looking. I'm not falling for that! Nope! Can I insight check him and see?

MATT: Make an insight check, yeah.

TALIESIN: I love this place.

LAURA: 16?

MATT: 16? He seems like a slippery person in general, though he is caught off guard and right now is in self-preservation mode. It's hard to gauge if he's telling the truth or not.

LAURA: I'm not going to bite you.

MATT: “I don't– I'm not a biter. I'm not the biter in this area.” And he starts backing up towards the grass.

LAURA: Can I fly down and grab his wrist and fly up?

MATT: You grab his wrist and fly up? (whimpers) I need you to make a grapple check. Go ahead and make an athletics.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

TRAVIS: I love it.

LAURA: Athletics? Oh, great. 15?

MATT: He pulls away, and as your hand grabs his wrist, he attempts to slip his hand out. Fingers pull through from your grasp as you double over your other hand and grab him by the elbow. You lift up and pull him out of the grass field, now dangling his little feet in the middle of the air. As he's being dragged up, the quill gets dropped, and he looks for it, and the book's tumbling out of his hand. He grabs the book and clutches it to himself. “What are you doing?”

LAURA: Now I spin around and see if there's anything behind me.

MATT: There is nothing visible in the vicinity.

LAURA: Sneaky little fuck!

MATT: “Please! This is really high!”

LAURA: It really is. I think we should go say hi to my friends, don't you?

MATT: (whimpers)

LAURA: We're in need of company, dear. And we fly down. Hello to everyone.

MATT: You drag him down, the broom coasting right over the grass line, presenting you and your new compatriot to the rest of Vox Machina.

LAURA: Well, look at this friend I just found!

MARISHA: Look at you!

MATT: Dangling from her grasp.

SAM: Grog, grab him!

LAURA: Gentle, Grog. Gentle.

MATT: “Hey, friend. You look like a smart fellow. Let's have a conversation.”

SAM: Don't talk to him.

TRAVIS: What is this?

LAURA: What are you?

TRAVIS: What are you?

MATT: “I am but a simple wanderer and an individual who enjoys learning about things that are new and different.”

SAM: Squeeze him.

LAURA: Don't squeeze him, Grog.

ASHLEY: What's your name?

MATT: “Garmelie.”

ASHLEY: What was it?

MATT: “Garmelie.”

ASHLEY: What are you reading?

MATT: “I'm–”

ASHLEY: What are you reading?

MATT: “Nothing! No reading!”

LAURA: No reading, just drawing. Percy! Our friend Percival here, he likes to draw, as well.

TALIESIN: I do, quite a bit. Let's see your work.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, compare notes!

MATT: He tries to wiggle out of your grasp, but it does nothing. You're concrete around him.

TRAVIS: With one of my fingers, can I give him a little tickle?

MATT: (giggles) “No!”

TALIESIN: I'm going to very gently put my hand on the book and take it.

MATT: It's a very finely bound book. The leather is impeccable. It's oiled. There's a brass metallic trim around the edges of it and the binding. There is a thick piece of red velvet strip that is set as a bookmarker in the center of it.

TALIESIN: May I?

MATT: (whimpers)

(laughter)

ASHLEY: That's the best face ever.

LAURA: Garmelie, I saw what you were drawing, and it was quite lovely. Don't you want to share?

MARISHA: What's the matter? Are you scared?

LIAM: You might want to tell us what's going on before we figure it out for ourselves. This is your chance.

MATT: “There's really nothing going on. I was curious and taking notes.”

TALIESIN: I've been taking notes myself.

MARISHA: Yeah, you guys should compare notes. Cross-references are always good.

MATT: “You wouldn't understand.”

MARISHA: You could help us.

TALIESIN: Do we have that Hunk of– not that that's going to help here.

MARISHA: The Hunk of Quall? It's expired.

SAM: I'll step forward and put my hand on his shoulder and say: Listen.

MATT: By the way, he's being held up by Grog right now.

SAM: On his toe, then. I'll say: Listen, little man. I'm little, too, and you have nothing to fear from us as long as you cooperate. I will cast Suggestion on him, and I will suggest that he fully cooperate with us and tell us all he knows.

MATT: What's the DC?

SAM: Well, I didn't use the hand cone, did I? So 18.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Is the book safe to open?

MATT: As you, touching his leg and looking up at him, there's that shimmer of purplish energy in your eyes, and he gives you a look. “Right, no worries. No problems whatsoever. Whatever you need.”

MARISHA: Can I go find his feather quill that he dropped?

MATT: You don't know about the quill. You know the book that he had.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Tell us. Can we open the book?

MATT: Do you want to try to open the book?

TALIESIN: I'm asking, is it safe to open? For me?

MATT: “Yes, it's quite safe.”

TALIESIN: What's at the bookmark, may I ask? And I slowly start to open it at the bookmark.

MATT: “It's where I'm currently making notes.”

TRAVIS: Please be nudie pictures.

TALIESIN: I'm gently opening it.

MATT: All right. The picture you come to, as of right now, is a very finely detailed sketch of Grog. Very well drawn, but he has bulging eyes, big buck teeth, and a very tiny penis.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: What do you see?

TALIESIN: He's brilliant. He captured everything.

TRAVIS: What's it a picture of?

SAM: He's a little shithead!

TRAVIS: Has he drawn us?

TALIESIN: I turn it.

SAM: Don't kill him, Grog!

LAURA: There's nothing wrong with drawing a funny picture.

SAM: Art is subjective.

MARISHA: Oh man, he nailed you, Grog.

TRAVIS: What other goliath has been tromping through this place?

MATT: “Many! So many. That's one of them.”

TALIESIN: I'm going to start gently flipping through some of the pages.

MATT: There are drawings of the entire party, but with extremely exaggerated cartoonish parody features. For Pike, her head is extremely large.

TALIESIN: Like Six Flags Magic Mountain caricature vibe?

MATT: Yeah, with a hint of Mad Magazine. It's essentially a book full of dickbutts. It's him drawing and vandalizing the image of a number of you guys. There's a picture of Vax and Keyleth that are both covered in poo and slapping it on their face. Written in Elvish, “I love this!” with a word bubble. It's essentially a kid entertaining himself with a bunch of stupid pictures.

TALIESIN: This is an awfully expensive book to be this shitty in.

MARISHA: Is this just your hobby? Your pastime? Or are you an actual records keeper for whatever town this is? Because both would be humorous.

MATT: “No. No record keeper.”

TALIESIN: I'm going much earlier in the book to see what's there.

MATT: You start seeing a number of elven individuals. You see people in really nice regal armor, but all of them are pooping themselves. There's a bunch of elvish ladies with oversized floppy boobs smacking each other in the face. It's truly childish. But they're really well drawn and well shaded! There is a serious talent to the artwork. His skewed intent of imagery is fascinating.

LIAM: I'm in the mood to hear this guy's life story. Get him a cup.

LAURA: I love them. Honestly, I think you're quite talented.

SAM: Should we make camp here and invite him into the mansion?

LIAM: As long as he's secure, yeah.

MARISHA: What's the name of this little town here that we see?

MATT: “That! That is the elven city of Syngorn. They've been here for a little while, and they've been a gracious source of subjects.”

MARISHA: And where do you live when Syngorn's not here?

MATT: “I live wherever I please. I choose my place to rest.”

LAURA: Where do your clothes come from? Where do you live?

TRAVIS: Do you have any family? Friends?

MATT: “I've got family and friends all over, yes. They're just a ways away.”

LAURA: So you know this area quite well.

MATT: “I know it well, yes.”

LAURA: So you could potentially guide us?

MATT: “It's hard to guide when you're being crushed by a giant green-gray man thing.”

TRAVIS: I'm just saying, is there anyone that would miss you if you're gone?

LAURA: Grog!

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: Be nice to our guest.

MARISHA: We're in the Feywild.

LAURA: I have a deal for you. We could offer you–

TALIESIN: Dinner!

LAURA: Dinner! Delicious dinner. Chicken. Have you ever had chicken? It's so wonderful.

MATT: “Chicken?”

MARISHA: Also a bath.

LAURA: If you happen to lead us where we want to go.

MATT: “Where do you want to go?”

LAURA: We'll tell you in a little bit.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Crack out the door, homie.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: And to sweeten the offer, after you've had dinner with us and we send you on your way, perhaps we will consider giving you your book back. Perhaps.

LAURA: I fly off, and I go grab the quill.

MATT: Make a perception check. That quill fell in the center of a tall grass field.

LAURA: I didn't even make it into the square. It was pathetic. 27?

MATT: You spend the better part of the next 20 minutes realizing that there is no way you're finding this quill amongst the grass. This is the needle in a hay factory.

ASHLEY: Can I pat him down for any weapons?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: He's got seven dicks.

ASHLEY: Nine.

MATT: Best you can find throughout his body, the only thing that catches your attention is a now-crushed ocarina that he had on the inside of his pocket that did not survive the grasping of Grog.

SAM: We can fix it for him.

ASHLEY: We can make you a new one somewhere.

TALIESIN: Give me the bits.

LIAM: Garmelie, we have a very bad track record when we make friends. We have been burned badly a few times, and I want to make it clear that you will be watched while you're here. Come in, eat, enjoy yourself, but multiple people here are keeping an eye on you. Understand?

MATT: “I understand. Look, if we are to strike an accord here, one of friendly trade of services, I would greatly appreciate it's done without this very handsome, muscled– ”

TRAVIS: (sneezes) I sneeze right in his face.

MATT: You see it (drip) off his nose. “Without this man trying to smash my innards, please.”

LAURA: Grog, let him go.

SAM: Well, not go. Just put him down.

LAURA: Grog, put him down and put your hand on his shoulder.

SAM: Are we making camp here? Should we get in the house?

LAURA: Let's hold hands as we walk through the door.

SAM: I'll cast the mansion. I'll sit down and sing: (singing) My house is very, very, very fine house! With chicken everywhere! Life used to be so fair, but now it's better because of me!

(laughter)

MATT: As you finish the incantation, the shimmering doorway of Scanlan's magnificent mansion outlines within the grass field, only emerging about a foot beyond the actual tallest part of the grass. You have to bow down to get into it. But you guys all enter, along with your new friend, Garmelie, into the mansion itself. We'll take a break there, and we'll jump back into this crazed circumstance here in a few minutes. We'll see you guys shortly.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. A couple quick things I forgot to mention at the top, as I guess I can talk about it now. GenCon.

LAURA: Oh shit, we can talk about that?

MATT: I'm talking about it. They have a Critical Role panel that they've announced in the thing they put out–

SAM: Press release?

MATT: Yes, one of those. Emails, newsletters. Thank you. Critical Role stuff happening. I will be there all four days so panels and stuff coming up. Cool. We'll have more info as that's unveiled. But those of you going to GenCon, hopefully I'll have some cool stuff ready for you then. That's one mention. Also want to give another thanks again to Loot Crate for being our awesome sponsor!

(cheering)

MATT: Go to lootcrate.com/criticalrole and put in the singular criticalrole word phrase to get your $3 per month subscription discount. And we have hit 20k subscribers, which is ridiculous!

(cheering)

MATT: I've just been notified that once we hit 25k subscribers, that goal, whenever we reach that, will be 25k and a talent show. I guess a lot of the hosts and people involved with this show and others have a lot of random weird-ass talents that they want to reveal on the internet, because what could possibly go wrong? So that's something to look forward to. And we'll have other things intermittently, giveaways and other goals, but that's the next big goal that's been put out there as far as I know, so I want to let you guys be aware of that.

LAURA: My talent includes taming otters. I wish.

MATT: Is it the otter taming finger?

LAURA: No, that's my other stupid talent. But I wanted an excuse to have an otter here.

TALIESIN: Shocking otters.

MARISHA: We missed the sloth, so if anyone wants to bring out an otter, I'd be okay with that, too.

TRAVIS: You didn't miss anything. It moved super fucking slow.

LAURA: Oh, it was magical.

ASHLEY: Maybe a baby panther.

MARISHA: That's so random, but I'm into it.

ASHLEY: I want one.

MATT: 22k and a red panda.

LAURA: 22k and a red panda! That's not official. 25k and a talent show, though, is real.

MARISHA: You're going to get an e-mail tomorrow being like: Matt.

MATT: Unofficial!

ASHLEY: I don't want any zoo animals.

LAURA: I don't want any badly poached animals taken from their environment.

MATT: Badly poached?

LAURA: I know, that was terrible.

SAM: I like a nicely poached animal.

MATT: There you go. Affectionately. All right, guys, so back in the game. As you guys find your way into the interior of Scanlan's magnificent mansion, the individual, the fey creature known as Garmelie, nervously walks along with you. What do you wish to do before an evening's rest is taken?

TRAVIS: I stand at the door like a sentry.

TALIESIN: Let's have some food. Let's put two guards on him.

SAM: I put 20 guards on him.

TALIESIN: 20 guards? That's a lot of guards.

MATT: A bunch of the servants (whoosh) shimmer out next to him and he's like (nervous whimper). “Hello.”

MARISHA: Guys, let's have a carpet picnic tonight. Can we have a carpet picnic?

LAURA: Is there a carpet here?

SAM: Yeah, there's carpet, but we have beds.

LAURA: Just a picnic?

MARISHA: Because we're in the Feywild. It seems appropriate.

TRAVIS: We're not in the Feywild. We're in the house.

TALIESIN: There's tables.

MARISHA: I just thought it would be fun.

LAURA: I would have a picnic with you, darling.

MARISHA: Thank you! I sit down next to the satyr and I stare at him like this, a little bit.

MATT: “Hi.”

SAM: What do we want to know from this little twerp?

LAURA: Why don't we eat, and we'll get to the questions in a little bit? Let's give him a rest. I shocked him when I abducted him.

MARISHA: Do you shed?

MATT: “A little.”

MARISHA: Do you grow a thicker coat during wintertime?

MATT: “Winter– seasons– It's not really a thing here.”

MARISHA: Do you grow horns?

MATT: “They grew.”

MARISHA: That's awesome.

TRAVIS: Would you care for any ale?

MATT: “Yes, please.”

TRAVIS: All right. I crack out the big-ass cask of ale.

LAURA: I would like some of that, as well, Grog.

LIAM: Pass it around.

MATT: You pass the ale around. He skulls it. (gulps)

TRAVIS: Well, all right, Tiny Toons. Nicely done.

LAURA: Can I pull Vax aside for a moment and ask: Do you want to go to Syngorn? We could avoid it.

LIAM: Well, we know no one here except for this guy. We need to find you that bow. I don't relish the idea of dealing with our father, but it seems like our best bet.

LAURA: Right. Of course. We should go see them.

LIAM: Are you sure you want to, though?

LAURA: Of course, why wouldn't I? Please. And I walk back to the group.

TRAVIS: I give the satyr another drink.

MATT: He greedily drinks it down.

MARISHA: Can I pet your fur? Is it coarse?

TRAVIS: Keyleth!

LAURA: Keyleth, that's a bit forward.

TRAVIS: You're so touchy today.

TALIESIN: I understand.

MATT: “So. If we're here to talk and make this deal we're discussing, what is it you want from me?”

TRAVIS: Is he looking any more drunk?

MATT: A slight slur.

LAURA: Can I have some more ale, as well, Grog? Keep it coming, all around.

TRAVIS: Yeah, fine.

TALIESIN: Honest opinion, what is the disposition of the people in that city over on the hill? You can be frank. We're not from around here. You can't offend us with your opinion of them.

MATT: “It's a busy place right now. We haven't seen the city of Syngorn in close to a hundred years, at the very least, and they have an entire army building up right now. It's hustle and bustle.”

TALIESIN: They have an army building up? Why is that?

MATT: “Hell if I know. I just wandered through and used that distraction to acquire a few things and make some fantastic notes.”

LAURA: Acquire what?

MATT: “Things.”

LAURA: Do you steal, darling?

MATT: “I don't steal. I borrow indefinitely.”

TALIESIN: You just pinch small things, though, like little gold trinkets. This is not really a talent of yours, is it?

LIAM: Are we talking klepto stealing, or career?

MATT: “I take things that look nice that I think I would want.”

MARISHA: Where do you steal these things? Are you a pickpocket?

MATT: “I am no simple street thief. I am a procurer of wayward items and objects that need a better home.”

TRAVIS: I think you should know that this door that you walked through in this big house, if you steal anything, it shreds you into ribbons when you leave.

MATT: Make a deception check.

TRAVIS: Fuck. Six.

MATT: “Oh, I'm sure it does, big man.”

ASHLEY: Well, it'll disappear if you take it.

LAURA: It certainly will.

MATT: “Well, good to know.”

LIAM: Chicken in your belly goes, though.

MATT: “Look, I'm not going to take anything from you. You've already proven far more of a match for me than I had ever anticipated, and what was meant to be a simple, fun game of follow and– follow has turned into a much more complicated circumstance, so I'd like to get it over with as soon as possible.”

MARISHA: Are you not having fun? We want you to at least enjoy yourself.

MATT: “My quill is gone! You've threatened me and my life!”

LAURA: I searched for it! Was it a special quill?

MATT: “It had sentimental value. I can get another.”

LAURA: I'm sorry.

MATT: “What do you want from me?”

SAM: We want you to take us to this place, this mirk place.

LAURA: The Shademirk.

MATT: “You want to go to the Shademirk? Whatever for? Why would you go to the Shademirk?”

LAURA: There's a very scary tree there.

MATT: “Yes. Why?”

LAURA: What do you know about the Shademirk?

MATT: “To stay the hell out of it, certainly. Want to go to the Shademirk? Be my guest!”

LIAM: A little more than that, friend. A little more.

TRAVIS: Your glass is looking empty.

MARISHA: You must know something, or else you wouldn't stay out of it.

MATT: He takes it from you. He sloshes it around and makes wild gestures. “It's a dangerous place. It's been a source of vileness and ichor here in the Feywild for hundreds of years. It's a terrible, horrible cesspool of nothing. I'm so sorry, this is getting everywhere.”

SAM: Don't worry, the servants will get it. It's terrible because of what dwells there, or because of the place itself?

MATT: “Both! All of it!”

SAM: What dwells there?

MATT: “Creatures, things, trollish slime creatures.”

LAURA: Do you have drawings? Have you drawn things from there?

MATT: “I sketched a thing or two.”

SAM: Which page?

TALIESIN: Flip, flip, flip.

MATT: You take a moment to scan through, and there are all sorts of creatures, all drawn stupidly, many with extra private parts coming out of shoulders and stuff. “Around page 163, 164.” And you see, and there are creatures all throughout, but at that page in particular, you see a lanky, tall humanoid that is oozing black, thick, viscous tar. It's shaded in a way where it looks like it has that glaze that only thick, oil-like substances really give off. And it's dragging this absolutely unnecessarily large dong behind it about four feet. Every picture looks pretty good to a point, and then you're like, “aw, really?”

LAURA: Garmelie, that creature. Is it very large?

MATT: “It's a little bigger than you.”

LAURA: Oh shit.

MATT: Gestures and takes his drink back.

MARISHA: Does it have a name? What's this called?

MATT: “I haven't gotten close enough to it.”

LIAM: But you know how to get there.

MATT: “I know how to get there, but it's not an easy, let alone safe, route.”

LAURA: Well, we'll protect you.

MATT: “So you're saying that as part of this agreement, I will be your guide to the outskirts of the Shademirk? Because I am not going in there.”

TRAVIS: If you want your book back.

LAURA: Have you heard of a very large– well, I don't know if it's large. A very scary tree there? Something poisoning the land?

MATT: “The land there is poisoned. I haven't gone in there myself. I'm sure there's many poison trees.”

TRAVIS: How far from here would you say it is?

MATT: “Day and a half, maybe? Duskward-seaward, maybe?”

TRAVIS: He's been very helpful. Maybe he could just point us in the direction.

SAM: No, we're taking him. We're taking him as far as we can. We need guides who know the land.

MATT: “Then let us make the other side of this agreement. You want me to be your guide, you'll give me back my book.” He sets the drink down. “Back my book, and–” He looks at the rest of you. “You seem to speak like you know thievery, yes?”

SAM: One of us is a member of a thieves' guild.

MATT: “There's a few things in that there dreary elvish city that I haven't the skills to procure, but if you wouldn't mind maybe borrowing them for me in my stead, well, we've a done deal.”

TRAVIS: Borrowing them indefinitely.

LIAM: What are we discussing, exactly?

SAM: Quid pro quo?

MATT: “If you will.”

LAURA: I've got no problem stealing from any of those people.

LIAM: Yes, but the devil's in the details. What are we after? Tell me a little bit more.

MATT: “We make the agreement first.”

LIAM: Say again?

MATT: “We make the agreement first. Consider it a bit of trust!”

LIAM: Balls is what that is.

TALIESIN: Let us add an addendum, then. If we are going to steal things from you, you will not only take us to the bog–

MARISHA: But you'll take us to our final destination.

MATT: “Nope, no. No Shademirk. I'm out. Sorry.”

SAM: Or we could kill you here.

TALIESIN: Are we killing people?

SAM: We could kill him.

TRAVIS: Do I get to grab him again?

MARISHA: Remember, you have to be nice to things in the Feywild. This is what we've learned.

SAM: We have a powerful position in negotiation. I'm a master negotiator.

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: What is he doing?

SAM: Who's getting whispered to? Percy? Percy goes blind again. Every five minutes.

TALIESIN: This is interesting. 17.

SAM: A roll and a re-whisper.

LAURA: The Feywild. Slippery. Sneaky.

SAM: This is crazy.

TALIESIN: Interesting.

SAM: He just said the C-word, the F-word, the G-word!

MATT: “If it's that important to you to go to this dark place, then keep the book, all right? I can draw more.”

TALIESIN: I've got an idea. We broke your ocarina, correct?

MATT: “Yes.”

TALIESIN: Why don't I try and fix the ocarina? We give him his book back, we take a couple things from those people and get on our way? We could just get on our way.

MARISHA: Not have him at all?

TALIESIN: No, let's make the deal and get this moving. This is a place where deals happen. Let's do it.

TRAVIS: But you're usually so picky about details. What if he asks us to steal somebody?

LIAM: We're talking about a pantsless cartoonist in the middle of fairy land.

TALIESIN: We agree to the deal, we present it, and then we're there.

LAURA: If we can't steal the things, then the deal is off.

MATT: “It's that simple. We both go our separate ways, and good luck finding the Shademirk on your own.”

TALIESIN: It's kismet, in my opinion.

LAURA: Well, I trust you, Percy, if you think it's smart.

ASHLEY: Can I insight check Percy? Because he's acting a little strange.

LIAM: Same.

MATT: You can make an insight check, but he's not acting too far out of his normal place here.

LIAM: Yeah, but I've done insight checks before because he's Percy.

LAURA: Did you do it?

ASHLEY: Yeah, but I didn't get anything.

LIAM: I got a 15. Balls.

MATT: It's an interestingly tense conversation. It's hard to ride one way or the other, but it's a valid point. If worse comes to worst, and what he's asking for is beyond your grasp or something that you wish not to do, then the deal is off and you go your separate ways.

TALIESIN: We're in the Feywild. We're going to make a deal with something. This is what the Feywild is.

TRAVIS: All right. Fine.

LIAM: I turn to Vex. You like this idea? You want to do this?

LAURA: I have no love for that city. I don't care.

TALIESIN: I want to go there, too.

MARISHA: The people we're stealing from better be meanies, though, and they better have deserved it at some point.

LAURA: Ultimately, I would love to ask them to help us in our fight. They're cowardly and stupid for hiding, but we could use their help if they're making an army.

LIAM: Possibly better equipped and better educated, sorry, than this one here.

MARISHA: Well, Garmelie also said they were strengthening up an army. Did they ever have a standing army before?

MATT: They did.

LAURA: They did? Of course they did. They're a city.

MATT: It wasn't a huge army, per se, but they had trained forces, and they had a means of defending their city.

LAURA: We had a fight instructor when we were growing up.

LIAM: They're elves. They're very civilized. They've all got sticks up their asses. They're fucking elves.

TALIESIN: I can't wait.

MATT: “I like this one.”

SAM: Are you going to fix his what-is-it-called?

TALIESIN: Give me your ocarina. Let me see if I can get to work on it.

MARISHA: I can help Percy.

SAM: I will inspire Percy by singing. (singing) Go ahead, Percy, and fix his ocarina! Take your tinkering tools and fix his ocarina! You go, Percival, you can fix his ocarina!

ALL: Hey, ocarina!

MATT: Take your d10.

MARISHA: Can I help with a Mending spell?

TALIESIN: You can help with a Mending spell.

MATT: Mending spell? Do you have the cantrip? Mending is a cantrip.

LIAM: I thought she used it once before on something.

MARISHA: I thought I used it as a ritual spell before.

LIAM: You fixed that little Sarenrae doll.

MATT: Right. So you have the spell, correct?

MARISHA: I thought I learned it. I don't know.

LIAM: Oh jeez, here comes the internet.

MATT: Cantrips you have at all times.

MARISHA: Can I use it as a 1st-level spell?

MATT: What cantrips do you know?

MARISHA: Guidance, Druidcraft. I used Druidcraft before, for the wooden thing. Can I use Druidcraft to help this?

MATT: How would you use Druidcraft?

MARISHA: What's it made out of? Is it made out of wood?

MATT: Actually, it's made out of clay, yeah.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to attempt to glue it together, and then I'm going to need something to hold the whole thing together while the glue sets.

MATT: Okay. Using what materials are within the workshop that you had before, there is a very mild adhesive paste that you construct. Go ahead and make a tinkering roll. This will be with your intelligence modifier.

TALIESIN: That was a natural 20.

MATT: Very rapidly, with the things that are given at your disposal, not even needing the materials here, but what you have on you as part of your traveling tinkering kit, you piece together a nearly unnoticeable binding agent for clay and dirt and earth-based materials. You manage to fix the ocarina rather quickly, in a period of maybe 20 minutes, and with the help of Keyleth's Druidcraft, dry it and manage to get it fixed.

TALIESIN: Your instrument, sir.

MATT: “Thank you. That's one good deed you've done me today. I appreciate that.”

TRAVIS: Don't forget about all them ales, yeah?

MATT: (whistles) It's awful. He doesn't really know how to play, and it's like (off-key singing).

TALIESIN: It's quite nice.

TRAVIS: At least you can always draw.

MATT: “If I can find my quill.”

LAURA: I'm sorry. I said I'm sorry. I looked for 20 fucking minutes. I looked, all right?

ASHLEY: I'm sure we could find you a quill.

LIAM: I've got one right fucking here. I pull the black feather out from behind my ear and hold it up. This is a very fine feather to sweeten the deal. Don't fuck us over. And I slide it into the book.

TRAVIS: Don't give him that, Vax. It's too nice!

LAURA: No, it is really nice! I know you're acting like he's lying, but he's telling the fucking truth.

SAM: Good lie, Grog.

LIAM: We've really been burned. I am really going to punch you in the back of the head if you fuck us over. Do you understand me? I don't like you.

MATT: “I like you! Well. Are we at an agreement?

LAURA: Sure, why not. Me?

SAM: Who's he shaking?

MATT: "Whoever your leader is! Shake my hand.”

LIAM: Here, give me your fucking hand, you dirty bastard.

MATT: Before you got your hand there, Vax, Vex put her hand in, and both of you guys clasp both sides of his hand at the same time. A trio handshake.

LIAM: I'm pretty sure he was talking to me.

LAURA: I'm pretty sure he was talking to me, actually.

MATT: All right, so you guys shake hands with him. You feel this shiver on your back as you shake hands, and he smiles. “Very well. Now, we've properly gotten acquainted. My sharper introductions are in order.” He stands up and wobbles for a second, a little drunk on the ale. "My name is Garmelie. I am a simple joy finder of the ever-shifting grasses, and I am happy to be your guide for the remainder of this journey to the outskirts of the Shademirk, and no further. Three things you wish you avoid as you progress further. As we are traveling through the Moonbrush, alongside the Green Sea– we could take one or the other, your choice. Eventually finding our way to the Gilded Run, and from there on to the Shademirk itself. I'll be leaving you at the outskirts of the Gilded Run, but it should suffice for the journey you wish to have ahead. Things you wish to avoid. One, the Hut of Wodenna. She's a terrible woman. You see a hut, don't go. You may smell enticing things.”

LIAM: Odenna?

MATT: “Wodenna. Delightful smells, sounds of soft music, a gentle light across the shade and sea. Two words at once. I'm drunk. But do not go near the hut. Avoid the hut. No hut! Two. Avoid the Last Campsite of Sorudun the Happy.”

SAM: Sounds nice.

LIAM: Yeah, that sounds fun.

MATT: “Avoid it. Trust me, avoid it. If there's a campsite that's empty, looks happy? Avoid it. And three, avoid the theater.”

SAM: I love the theater!

LIAM: Oh, that's good advice, actually.

MATT: “Avoid the theater.”

SAM: Just in general, the theater?

MATT: “In general. I hate all theater. Let's avoid the theater, please!”

SAM: I do an insight check.

MATT: Do it.

SAM: I don't know what I have. Terrible. 13.

MATT: He seems pretty perturbed by the idea of theater.

LIAM: I'm changing my mind on this guy.

LAURA: Why should we avoid the hut? What does Wodenna do?

MATT: “She's been around a while.”

LAURA: She's a hag? Is she a hag?

MATT: “That's a name. Best to avoid. Trust me.”

SAM: We do nothing but trust you.

MATT: “Great. Wondrous. And who are you, by the way?”

MARISHA: We're Vox Machina.

SAM: The Slayer's Take.

MATT: “Vox Machina Slayer's Take. Very well. Pleasure to meet you all, Vox Machina Slayer's Take.” He holds his drink out for you to fill again.

TRAVIS: How many fingers am I holding up?

MATT: “I don't care. Thank you. Now, the deal is made, drink's been had, introductions have been properly given. I think it's time for bed.” He takes two steps forward, (thud) face-first in the center of the main area, and starts snoring loudly.

LAURA: Maybe we should move him to a safe location that we can lock.

LIAM: With those 20 guards, right, Scanlan?

ASHLEY: Can I take his ocarina? Just for the night?

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

ASHLEY: He's asleep, so do I get advantage or something?

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

ASHLEY: Natural 20.

MATT: You sneak forward, and in a move that would've made Vax proud, you pull the ocarina from his grasp, show it to the rest of the party, and tuck it away.

ASHLEY: I look over at Vax and give him a wink. And Vex!

LIAM: That was primo, baby.

ASHLEY: Thanks.

SAM: Hey, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Yeah?

SAM: You've got magic. I don't entirely trust this thing. We were told specifically not to trust anything. Do you have any spell that can do true-seeing, or that can restore him if he's putting on this form, or that can dispel some charm that he has around him or some aura?

LAURA: Maybe some sort of magical thing that he put on me, because I'm pretty sure he cast something on me and my brother.

MARISHA: Really? What happened? What did you feel?

LAURA: A shiver. When we shook his hand.

MARISHA: Okay. Yeah.

ASHLEY: He never told us what he wanted you to get, what he wanted to steal.

TALIESIN: No, he hasn't.

SAM: Pikey, do you have something that can reveal some truth or dispel magic from him?

MARISHA: I actually have Dispel Magic right now.

LAURA: Can we try it? On me and my brother, see if it cancels out whatever he just did?

MARISHA: I'll touch Vex and cast Dispel Magic and see if anything happens. Wait, take off all magical items first.

LAURA: Everything I'm wearing is magic.

MARISHA: Well, take it off.

TRAVIS: Yeah, take it off!

LAURA: What is it about this dimension that makes us get naked all the time?

SAM: The hat is not magic. You can leave that on.

LAURA: Thank you. So I take off everything except for the hat.

MARISHA: I don't want to risk dispelling anything.

LIAM: I'm taking a short walk, all right.

TALIESIN: Every time I've seen anything attractive and naked, it's gone very poorly today. I'm walking away.

MARISHA: It's like wearing metal in a really hot sauna. You just don't do it. Come on.

MATT: Roll a d20 and add your wisdom modifier.

MARISHA: All right. I'll do the big guy. Come on, big guy. Oh, that's okay. My wisdom, just my modifier? 22.

MATT: Okay. You cast the spell.

ASHLEY: Do you feel different?

MARISHA: That was a very high wisdom roll. Do you feel anything?

LAURA: Do I feel anything?

MATT: You didn't feel anything in particular.

TRAVIS: Give it a minute. It might take a while to take effect. Maybe do some jumping jacks.

LAURA: I'm definitely putting my clothes back on.

MARISHA: I can also try a Regeneration spell.

SAM: Wait. I think I can do something. I can sing a song. That's mostly what I do, if you haven't noticed by now. I have a power that I never ever use. It's called Countercharm. I can counter charms.

MATT: As they're being cast. So you still can't use it.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm going to start gathering the servants to pick the boy up and put him in his room.

MATT: And the 20 guards lift his form and carry him off.

TRAVIS: Don't let him steal any of our shit.

TALIESIN: Everything would disappear, anyway.

TRAVIS: No, I mean our personal shit.

LAURA: Lock the door.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but what if he can do Scanlan's thing where he goes through the door?

MARISHA: I have a feeling if he shook your hand and did something, like Scanlan said, it's probably a Pike thing, like a Remove Curse. It's got to be something more like that. Mine is all nature-based. I can try to Regenerate you, but I don't think this would fall under that.

TRAVIS: She's fine. It was a draft. She needs to wear more clothes. It's all right.

ASHLEY: Do you feel different?

LAURA: No, not anymore.

MARISHA: I have a feeling it's like if you stray from a contract or something, you might feel it. I don't know. That's what I would think.

TRAVIS: I'll go to bed. And I sleep on all of my weapons and stuff. They're under me, on top of the mattress.

MATT: Perfect. Everyone else go to bed?

MARISHA: I put a blanket over the satyr, and I pet him, now that he's asleep. Is his fur coarse, or is it soft?

MATT: It's pretty coarse.

LAURA: That is really creepy.

TRAVIS: Creepy, unconsented petting farm.

MARISHA: Okay, good night.

TALIESIN: I make sure everything's fine. I will leave him his book, lock the door, and head up to my room and lock the door behind me, as well.

SAM: I stayed up all night reading.

MARISHA: Are you going to take a point of exhaustion for that?

SAM: I have to.

LAURA: I get very little sleep. I'm having trouble sleeping.

TRAVIS: You are?

MATT: All right. So this is your second level of exhaustion.

SAM: No, I slept last time.

MATT: Oh, that's right! You did sleep. Correct. So you do take another point of exhaustion now, so you're back to one point of exhaustion. So all your ability checks are at disadvantage.

ASHLEY: How long does that take?

TALIESIN: A week.

ASHLEY: It takes a week? To memorize it?

SAM: I think it was 48 hours of reading over a period of six days.

LAURA: Oh jeez.

SAM: Yeah.

ASHLEY: How close?

SAM: I'm on day four, I believe. And I'm up to 36 hours now, if this counts as ten, 12 hours.

ASHLEY and LAURA: Wow.

MARISHA: So you're close. Yeah, you're doing good.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: All right. Anyone else doing anything?

MARISHA: I sleep, and I dream of fireflies and the Feywild because it's so magical.

MATT: There you go.

ASHLEY: I'm going to get up early, but yeah.

LAURA: I'm going to get up early and try to fix my hair and make it as pristine as I can and try to clean off my clothes and everything before we go.

LIAM: I sleep like a baby in my armor.

MATT: All right. Percy, as you're getting ready to go to bed, you feel this strange tickle at the back of your head that dissipates.

TALIESIN: Is it what I think it is?

MATT: It is the fading of a Charm Person spell.

TALIESIN: Okay. Goddamn it.

MARISHA: Son of a fuck.

TALIESIN: And as I'm going to bed? Or as I wake up?

MATT: As you're going to bed.

TALIESIN: Okay. Fuck.

TRAVIS: Did you fuck us?

LAURA: Percy was charmed.

TALIESIN: No, you don't know anything yet. I'm not quite going to go to sleep yet. I'm going to go see who else is still awake.

MATT: Okay. Scanlan is reading in his room with the door slightly ajar.

SAM: Yes?

TALIESIN: The little fucker charmed me.

SAM: I knew it! I suspected it! That's why I tried to use Countercharm, but I don't know how to use it.

(laughter)

SAM: Apparently, it's some sort of preemptive thing. I have to read about it. Oh shit, I'm already reading this! Goddamn it!

(laughter)

SAM: Anyway. What do you think we should do?

TALIESIN: I don't know what we can do.

SAM: Wait. When were you charmed? What did it affect? What decisions did you make today that were key?

TALIESIN: We made a bloody deal with him.

SAM: Well, we can always back out on the deal.

TALIESIN: Well, no, we can't, really.

SAM: What, is there some sort of blood pact that we made?

TALIESIN: (sputtering) I don't know exactly how it works. It's just in any book you read about the Feywild, you make a deal and it's a deal and you have to deal with it.

SAM: What does mean? You and I could go down to his room right now and kill him and be done with it.

TALIESIN: I don't think that would work.

SAM: Would we be cursed?

TALIESIN: Maybe?

SAM: Haunted forever?

TALIESIN: Probably.

SAM: Oh man. That sucks. I don't want to be haunted. That's for you and Vax!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: You would look lovely in eyeliner.

SAM: No baggage, man, no baggage. What do we do? We made a deal with a devil of some sort.

TALIESIN: It was inevitable.

SAM: Is there a way to trick the trickster into releasing us from the deal?

TALIESIN: Could be.

SAM: Because, you know, I'm a sly talker.

LIAM: When did this show turn into Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?

(laughter)

MATT: Right now.

TALIESIN: Right now. I'm going to have to tell the others in the morning. I'm going to go see if anybody else is awake. Oh god. Sleep well. Oh, you're reading. Never mind. Don't sleep.

SAM: Now I've got to read about the fucking fey, too.

TALIESIN: No. Finish your bloody book.

MATT: Keyleth is at rest, Grog is at rest, Vax is at rest. Vex is still up, cleaning your garments, you said, right? And Pike, you went to bed but are waking up early, correct? So essentially, it's just Vex who's awake.

TALIESIN: Vex.

LAURA: Yes?

TALIESIN: Little shit put a charm on me. I felt it wear off about 45 minutes ago.

LAURA: Before we made the deal with him?

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: Fuck, Percy! I made the deal because you said it was fine!

TALIESIN: Well, I–

LAURA: It's fine. You didn't know. Well.

TALIESIN: Well, at least we know that he definitely can't be trusted.

LAURA: It's our own stupid fault. We knew we weren't supposed to trust anything here.

TALIESIN: I know. We've got to make sure that Pike doesn't give him back his whistle, just yet.

LAURA: Why did you want to fix his whistle? You just liked him.

TALIESIN: He was so nice! He was just so nice.

LAURA: Damn it. I thought you knew something we didn't know. I really thought you did.

TALIESIN: I did. It's sadly what I knew was he's a little shit. I just didn't know until about half an hour ago. I hate magic!

LAURA: Percy. Change of subject. Would you say I look put together? Well off? With this armor.

TALIESIN: In what sense?

LAURA: Well, you come from money, right?

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: Right, so do I look like I come from money?

TALIESIN: Does she look like she comes from money?

MATT: That's entirely up to your opinion. You know the attire she wears; you've traveled with her. It's based on what you want to base that judgment on, whether it be pure looks, the person inside. It's whatever Percival thinks she would be in his eyes.

SAM: (quietly) She's naked in a hat.

TALIESIN: (laughs) Honestly, dear, you're too happy to look like you come from money.

LAURA: (laughs) I don't believe that.

TALIESIN: No, it's a sure sign of it, is an abject misery, believe me. I can speak to it. You look too much like you, and you don't look enough like something you're supposed to be. If you feel the urge to deeply bullshit, I'd be happy to help you. It's not hard.

LAURA: No?

TALIESIN: No. It is easy to pretend you come from money. You just have to be a bit of a shit and wear what everybody else is wearing. Does this have something to do with that city? It does, doesn't it. Who's there?

LAURA: Well, you know. Everyone. We were judged, growing up, and I don't look forward to seeing that again.

TALIESIN: (sighs) Well.

LAURA: It's not important.

TALIESIN: Oh, I disagree. Dear, I think that if you're worried about them knowing whether or not you've made your money and made your fortune– I don't think that's going to be the thing to earn their respect. I think you're better off, A, with the company that you keep, and B, with the fact that you're probably just better than most of them.

LAURA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: I've known a lot of people with money, and they are definitely not worth you. And besides, if they have something nice that makes you feel inferior, we can just take it.

LAURA: (laughs) I like the way you think.

TALIESIN: Well, and then they're just shit without anything, and then you're you with their stuff.

LAURA: Thank you, Percy.

TALIESIN: You're welcome. I know it doesn't really help.

LAURA: Will you stay at my side when we're there?

TALIESIN: Yes. And the outfit works. Don't change it. Keep the hat.

LAURA: (laughs) All right. Good night.

TALIESIN: Good night. Sleep well.

LAURA: We'll sort out this charmed mess in the morning.

TALIESIN: I'm sorry for my part in it.

MATT: So you guys go your separate ways. You find yourself eventually to bed as the rest of the group is asleep. Vex, you take a bit of solace in the conversation, finish cleaning your things, though it doesn't seem like the incessant scrubbing you were driven on has much purpose, nor the impact you thought it might at this point, and you resign yourself to sleep for the evening. As the evening comes to a close, Pike, you wake up early. As you come out of your room, you struggle with the view of 20 guards slowly shifting through the foyer as a very hungover and groaning satyr begins clomping through the main foyer, going, “Breakfast, please? Please, breakfast?”

ASHLEY: Yes. Follow me to the kitchen.

MATT: “Yes! Someone they listen to! Thank you!” Rubbing his eyes as he follows you into the kitchen. He comes up onto one of the long benches in the center of one of the main dining tables.

ASHLEY: I put down a cup of coffee for him, and I run into the kitchen and get a very large– oh no.

MATT: “Are you poisoning me?!”

ASHLEY: What's wrong?

MATT: “What is this?”

ASHLEY: It's coffee?

MATT: “I don't like coffee.”

ASHLEY: Oh. What do you want?

MATT: “Something that's not coffee.”

ASHLEY: Okay. Can we get him something that's not coffee?

MATT: The servants look at each other, confused, and wander off and come back with a carafe of an apple juice.

ASHLEY: Apple juice will be great.

MATT: “That is familiar. Thank you.” He takes the carafe.

ASHLEY: I run in the kitchen really quick and get a very large piece of butcher paper.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay. So. Garmelie.

MATT: “Yes.”

ASHLEY: I think you're so talented, and I wanted to ask if maybe you could draw a family portrait for us. The most ridiculous you can make it.

MATT: “What do you mean?”

ASHLEY: Just of all of us. I want to hang it above the mantel before everybody wakes up.

MATT: “Well, it's hard to do without seeing the subjects, but if you want to fill in the details?”

ASHLEY: Yeah, fill in the details.

MATT: “All right. Well, I need a quill or some charcoal.”

ASHLEY: Vax gave you a quill last night.

MATT: “He gave me a feather. It has to be refined into a quill.”

ASHLEY: Oh, I forgot. I think there's one in the kitchen.

MATT: There is no quill in the kitchen, but glancing around and asking the servants, there are pieces of charcoal. There is charcoal available, sketch charcoal.

ASHLEY: Okay. Can you use charcoal?

MATT: “Of course.”

ASHLEY: Great.

MATT: “All right.”

ASHLEY: Have at it.

MATT: “You first?”

ASHLEY: Sure.

MATT: “All right.”

SAM: It's Leonardo and Winslet.

ASHLEY and MARISHA: Draw me like one of your French girls!

MATT: You hear the gentle lyrical stylings of Celine Dion swell in background as the satyr quickly begins sketching your charcoal form.

ASHLEY: And remember, very ridiculous.

MATT: “I don't know what that means, but I'll do my best.” In rapid time, faster than anyone you've ever seen sketch, his form almost becomes blurred with the haste in which he draws, and within the hour, he has completed an extremely well-detailed portrait. And I mean portrait, as everyone is standing shoulder to shoulder like a family above a mantel, and it is grotesque. Horrifying. You look like perhaps the Trickfoots had been keeping the bloodline strong for a very long period of time. Droopy face, one eye sinking below the other. You don't even have the right number of fingers. You see Grog in the back, who is as wide as the rest of everybody, is behind them, this giant wall with this tiny little head, with a tongue lolling out to the side. It looks like he has one finger as a thumbs-up and the other one's up his bum. In the front, you see Vex and Vax, the twins, are furiously making out in a really horrible display, clutching each other. It's terrifying. Keyleth is currently clutching the side of a tree happily, and as she does, her eyes are going in different directions, and the tree itself is trying to push her off the branch. You see Percy, who is extremely tall with this squat, thin head with these giant glasses that make his eyes bug-eyed and strange. You see a little bit of scruff on the chin that's actually turning into this long, awful, matted dingleberry mess of a goatee, and he has both of his guns pointed at his head. Next to that is a perfectly defined, unchanged portrait of Scanlan Shorthalt.

ASHLEY: I just wanted to hear you explain it. So I'm going to take it and I'm going to paste it above the mantel. I'm going to go back upstairs to my room.

MATT: Okay. Eventually you all come to consciousness, brought to the wonderful, welcome morning scent of, once again, a chickenful breakfast. You find yourselves down to a once again passed-out satyr, slumped over the breakfast table with two plates of mostly devoured chicken, mashed potatoes, and a couple other side elements.

LAURA: That sounds so good.

MATT: There above, on the mantel across the room, is a glorious sketch of the family of Vox Machina.

TALIESIN: Charming.

SAM: Who changed my– oh, I look pretty good.

MARISHA: This is brilliant. Wait, Scanlan, why do you look normal?

SAM: I think we all look normal, actually. That's how I see us, sure.

LAURA: This picture is disgusting.

MARISHA: I love it.

TALIESIN: No, that is awful.

MARISHA: You guys, we have a souvenir! We have a souvenir from the Feywild!

TRAVIS: I think he wants a beating. That's what he wants.

LAURA: I flick his head.

MATT: “Yes, what? What? Hi!”

TRAVIS: Why would you do that when we've been so hospitable?

MATT: “It's a gift.” Make a persuasion check.

ASHLEY: 15.

MATT: He goes, “I thought I'd leave you a little present.”

ASHLEY: I love it.

LAURA: Well, it's gross, but everybody else looks quite wonderful.

TALIESIN: I sit down, right in front and across the table.

TRAVIS: I guess I don't mind. At least I'm big.

TALIESIN: I like it.

LIAM: I think it's gross.

MATT: “Eat up, and we'll be on our way!” He notices the tension from Percy and Grog.

TALIESIN: No, not yet. Not yet. Just so all cards are on the table, we know that we agreed to a deal last night, despite your charm spell on me, which was–

MATT: “Defending myself! As was warranted.”

TALIESIN: Fair play.

TRAVIS: You got charmed?

LAURA: I do think we should inform you, though, we may have used a little magic on you. Sorry. Just to make sure the deal was solid.

MATT: “I'm certain that was a necessary precaution.”

TALIESIN: Well, the deal stands as it is at the moment, I suppose.

MATT: “Wondrous. I had hoped as such, because we have much to gain.”

ASHLEY: Wait.

TALIESIN: Yeah, no, he charmed me. He put a charm on me last night.

ASHLEY: I had a feeling.

LIAM: So you no longer think it's a good idea to enter into this agreement?

TALIESIN: Well, a little late.

MATT: “It is a little late.”

ASHLEY: You never told us what you wanted.

MATT: “I'm going to show you.”

LAURA: You're going to walk us right in.

MATT: “Something like that.”

TRAVIS: Well, might as well.

MARISHA: What are you going to do?

SAM: Why don't you pet his legs again, weirdo?

MARISHA: You fascinate me.

MATT: “Good. That's not the first time I've heard that.”

TALIESIN: Friend, I applaud your cleverness. I am excited by this deal, and I want to let you know that, god forbid something comes up, where I come from, the world I come from, I am possibly the worst person you have ever met. And I think, I hope, not necessarily to hurt you or harm you, but I hope that one day you can know just how awful I can be.

MATT: Make an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: (stuttering) “I hope it never comes to that.”

TALIESIN: Let's hope.

MATT: “I can make addendums to the art piece, if you're unhappy.”

TALIESIN: I love the art piece. Actually, since we're on the subject, have you ever drawn yourself before?

MATT: “Many times.”

TALIESIN: I'd be curious to see one of your self portraits. Are they in the book?

MATT: “No.”

TALIESIN: I didn't think so. Self-reflection is not one of my favorite pastimes, either. Anyway, what are you looking for in the city?

MATT: “I'll show you. As part of the agreement, it'll be unveiled upon arrival.”

SAM: Sounds good to me.

LAURA: That's not sneaky at all. I fully trust you.

MATT: “Great. Now, finish your food! Much to do. Much to see. Much to take.”

LAURA: I hate him now.

MATT: (off-key music)

MARISHA: No. We did that for you. Do not abuse this. That's right.

ASHLEY: What are you doing with your hands?

MATT: “Where did– What?”

TALIESIN: Where did what?

MATT: “They giveth, and they take away.”

TALIESIN: Bless the small print.

MATT: “Well, then. Eat well.” And he makes his way toward the door, and the guards stop him there. “I'll just sit here, then.” And sits on the floor, waiting for you guys to finish.

LAURA: What sort of magic did you cast on us?

MATT: “What do you mean?”

LAURA: What was the deal we agreed to? What will happen if it breaks?

MATT: “Deals are meant to be kept. Should you go against a deal that you've made, especially in here, these realms, there are consequences, so don't stray from the deal.”

TALIESIN: I think it's just a deal. I think deals may be a big deal here.

SAM: So we can still kill him?

TALIESIN: I don't know. I think if it comes to it, it's a possibility.

MARISHA: What happened to don't hurt or touch anything in the Feywild?

LAURA: Yeah, we fucked that up, didn't we?

ASHLEY: Can I take out his ocarina and play a couple of notes while I'm looking at him?

MATT: Sure. Make a performance check.

SAM: Performance check?

TALIESIN: That's a thing.

TRAVIS: Is this your first performance check?

SAM: You're definitely the right person to be doing this.

ASHLEY: Yeah, right. 13.

MATT: 13. In a very rudimentary, kindergarten recorder way: (off-key music) It's a little shaky, but you get the hang of it. It's the only sound in the room. It's dead quiet as you do this in the middle of breakfast, with food being brought to the table.

LAURA: That was amazing, Pike.

LIAM: Move over, Scanlan. Holy hell, that was good.

ASHLEY: Thanks. I learned once.

LAURA: I don't think I've ever seen anyone play an instrument that well.

SAM: Wait, hey. This is my house.

LIAM: Oh, look, the satyr's sad. What's the matter, friend?

MATT: “She has my ocarina.”

LAURA: Oh, that's terrible. Poor guy.

TALIESIN: You're clever. I'm sure you'll be fine.

ASHLEY: Maybe we'll give it back to you, but I know what you did to my friend with this little thing, so I'm not going to give it back to you. Not just yet.

MATT: “Eat your breakfast.”

ASHLEY: Already did.

LIAM: Somebody get this poor asshole a handkerchief. He looks so sad.

MATT: He sits there and pouts. As you guys finish your meal, laughing and enjoying yourselves.

MARISHA: As he pouts, I Druidcraft a little flower crown for him.

MATT: He somehow recedes even further into his grumpy self, his neck disappearing as his head pulls into his torso.

MARISHA: He's so fun to mess with.

LAURA: We are really shit at making friends.

TRAVIS: So I'm curious. While we're eating, would you happen to tell us what our first objective might be?

LAURA: He's going to show us.

TALIESIN: I think it's time to make our way in.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm full.

ASHLEY: I'm going to walk over to Scanlan. Scanlan!

SAM: What?

ASHLEY: I'm going to give this to you.

SAM: The Macarena?

ASHLEY: Yeah. Because I don't like performing.

SAM: You're really good at it.

ASHLEY: That's a lie. Just take this and maybe you can charm some people with it. I don't know if that's what it is, but I don't want him to have it.

SAM: Thank you. I will try my best.

ASHLEY: All right. Let's go.

TALIESIN: Can't believe I wasted a natural 20 on his– Sorry. I'm good.

MATT: You guys finish your breakfast. The guards come with you and escort you and your ally outside the door. As you exit, the–

MARISHA: Wait. Take and roll up the painting, the charcoal drawing that he did and put it in the Bag of Holding.

LAURA: It's going to disappear as soon as we take it out! Leave it in the mansion. That way it'll stay.

TALIESIN: It's from the mansion, so it'll stay in the mansion.

MARISHA: Will it stay in the mansion?

MATT: You've tried taking things out of the mansion, and they've turned to dust.

MARISHA: But I know things will also get ejected from the mansion. Okay, I'll leave it.

MATT: You take it down, talk, put it back up. No worries. As you guys exit the mansion, the dusk light of the sky has not changed. You get the idea here, at least since you've arrived, that there has been no movement in the sun. You haven't even seen the sun. The light source of dusk beyond the distant mountains and horizon is stuck in the dusk hour, with the threat and curl of midnight in the opposite direction, the dark blue coming over the horizon, unmoving. It also is raining gently. There is a rather heavy cloud that has come over, and it's not a terrible downpour, but a gentle rainfall has been here for a while, and the floor between the grasses is quite slushy as you step out. (squelch)

SAM: Let's go to the city.

MARISHA: Vex? Should we be dressing for the occasion? Should we put on our nice cloaks?

TALIESIN: We do have nice cloaks we could wear.

SAM: I think we're going to be sneaking in to steal things.

LAURA: No, there's no way we could sneak in.

LIAM: We're going to go in and make introductions and get settled and then figure out what the fuck we're doing.

MARISHA: Yeah, cloak me.

LAURA: With what?

MARISHA: Our nice cloaks.

LAURA: He has some fancy cloaks, unless he's used them all.

TALIESIN: Am I still made of wood, by the way?

MATT: No, that faded with the night's rest.

TRAVIS: I don't have fancy robes. I do have your fancy winter stuff.

TALIESIN: It's raining. It's not like Hawaii rain. It's rain, I would assume? It's not chilly, but cold.

MARISHA: I'll cloak up. Try and look like I made some sort of effort.

TRAVIS: All right, Keyleth gets a cloak. Do you want some nice shit?

TALIESIN: Oh, yes.

LIAM: I'm not changing anything.

SAM: How long will it take to get to the city from where we are?

MATT: A few hours, maybe.

LAURA: Can't you craft something to keep the rain off of us?

MARISHA: I'll do a little cantrip Gust over top of us to make one of those air umbrellas that would never work in real life.

MATT: Okay. You guys would have to get close together to do that, but it's doable as a cantrip. She keeps this general revolving sphere of wind above that scatters most of the rain to the sides. For the most part, Grog, you still get pretty damp because of your size and difficulty, but most everyone else can stay pretty dry as you cluster together, walking through the grass. You travel for another hour or so before the grass towards the outskirts of the mountain range in the city begins to slowly subside. It grows thinner and shorter, and you come to a bit of marshland, almost. Treeless, open marshland with little bushes in clusters. Anything you guys want to–

LAURA: Perception check? See if I can see anything moving ahead of us?

MATT: Okay, perception check.

LAURA: 29.

MATT: Okay. As you guys begin walking into the marsh, you can see there are areas where it's elevated mud patches, where it's very shallow water, maybe an inch at most, and there are a few different areas that get noticeably deep and murky. You watch to avoid those elements. You're not sure what might be beneath, if anything, but you naturally move through this terrain carefully. You do notice that, occasionally, upon this walk, you see, different from the rest of the bushes and pieces of terrain, these deep bluish purple sprout leaves, almost like carrot tops, very leafy plant top emerges in places, occasionally clusters of two or three. There aren't a lot of them, but many of them occur throughout the walk in this swampy landscape.

LAURA: Garmelie? What are these?

MATT: “Oh, these are best to be avoided. They're mandrake. Don't disturb them. Don't pull them out. "Don't do anything with them.”

MARISHA: Mandrakes? Oh, cool.

LAURA: Let's leave it.

TALIESIN: I've read things about those.

LAURA: What's this?

TALIESIN: That's just a thing. Just read it.

LIAM: It's a potted screaming baby. Leave them.

MATT: “Best left to the side.” You guys make your way through the marsh, occasionally passing by the mandrake tops, until it begins to subside, the marshland itself, and you come towards the base of the city before you. You see a massive, ivy-covered wall of jade-like stone surrounding a dense cluster of towering trees unlike those in any of the surrounding forests or the one you left. It is an open plain, and then within the city walls, there are trees emerging many stories into the air. Trees that you guys recognize have always been there. These trees came with the city, and they're actually from the Verdant Expanse where Syngorn usually resides. As you walk closer, you can see large sealed gates every so often along the outer wall. Every so often, you see these gates embedded in the wall, housing a massive emblem of a crescent moon flanked by two trees over a deep cerulean stone about two feet across. Twins, you know these as the threshold crests. These are the enchanted crests that enable the city to travel back and forth between the Feywild, should it be necessary. They're powerful, and they're rarely utilized, as the journey is not always accurate. It seemingly did so this time. Make a perception check, guys.

TRAVIS: Everybody or just the twins?

MATT: Everybody who's paying attention.

SAM: I'm not. I'm reading.

LAURA: This is not woods anymore? This is not forest? Is this marsh?

MATT: Just past marsh into flatland. 20?

MARISHA: 21.

LAURA: 21.

LIAM: 21.

ASHLEY: 15.

MATT: Okay. You guys continue towards the front of the gate. There's nobody on the outside of it. It's a solid, outside city. You can see white and gray tower spires that streak up from inside, some of which are entwined by trees that wrap around the base and cluster around the center of the tower's height, like its own canopy belt, if you will. As you get even closer still, you can see the white walls themselves are replaced with heavy gold and brass, gold-leaf edging across the top, and at each one of the various nooks where the solid stone walls are adjoined, this is a very intricately carved and well-crafted wall. Probably as part of the enchantment that was placed on it, amongst others, to keep it defended. You get about a hundred feet from the wall before you, Vex, hear (scrape) a quick sound. You leap back instinctually as all of you watch a series of bolts and arrows (arrow impacts) across the floor right in front of you.

SAM: That's exciting.

MATT: You all stop in place.

SAM: Should we attack?

MARISHA: I look up on the wall. Is it coming from archers on the wall?

MATT: You can now see, up on the wall, dozens of figures atop, with longbows, and some with crossbows, drawn and nocked, trained on all of you.

LAURA: I take my hood down. You know us. We're here to see my father.

MATT: There's a pause, and they're still 100 feet away from you. One of the voices says, “Who is us, if I might ask?”

LAURA: The twins. Vex'ahlia and Vax'ildan.

LIAM: Syldor's children.

MATT: There's a little bit of a conversation. You see a couple of figures disappear behind the wall. About five minutes pass, and as you guys get a little fidgety or one of you makes a swift movement, you can see the drawn bows tense up. They're trained on any movement you guys give at this moment. As time passes, an individual steps up to the top of the wall, adorned in similar Syngorian armor, but the helmet is taken off, and you see a woman with deep crimson hair braided to one side and shaved on the other. She steps up and looks out. “Vex'ahlia. Vax'ildan.”

LAURA: Do we know who she is?

MATT: “The Vessar twins return. Do I know why? What is your business here in Syngorn?”

LAURA: We came to speak to our father.

MATT: “And the rest of your company?”

LIAM: They're with us.

MATT: Make a persuasion check, both of you.

LIAM: 20.

LAURA: 14. I'll stop using that one tonight.

MATT: “Come forth to the gate. Relieve your arrows, please.” The guards all take their bows off of you and release the tension in the strings. The woman turns and steps off the wall again. You can see the very front gate, the front of the wall, opens ever so slightly, about a five-foot gap left.

LIAM: Everybody, let my sister and I do the talking for a minute. Thank you. I scoop up my sister's hand, down by my side, and walk forward.

MATT: As you guys walk single file, continuing towards the city, your satyr friend stays in the very back behind you, clutching. (whimpering) As you glance back, Grog, he's not there.

LAURA: Can you still feel him? Oh, sorry.

TRAVIS: Can I reach down to where he was?

MATT: Still tugging, he's holding on to you, but has lost visibility.

TRAVIS: Clever little spider monkey.

MATT: As you guys approach, there waiting at the side of the gate within are about ten guards and this individual. She looks a little more battle-hardened and wasn't elevated before, was just one of the guards when you were children, but this is Iova. Now Watcher Iova, the Watchers which guard the wall. She appears to be of an elevated status within the Watchers of Syngorn. As you approach, she lowers her head in a respectful bow, but still not breaking eye contact, and has an aloof and distanced expression.

LAURA: Watcher Iova. Nice to see you have elevated yourself.

MATT: “Time has passed since you were finding your own path. Surprised to see you return here, especially so far from the material realms.”

LIAM: Then you can imagine there is great cause for us to be here.

MATT: “Is your father aware of your arrival?”

LAURA: No.

MATT: “He is now. You and your guests will be watched. You will be followed, until otherwise given proof and permission from individuals higher than my station within the city, preferably your father.”

LAURA: I would expect nothing less.

MATT: “Now, go. And welcome to Syngorn.” She turns around, puts her helmet on, and half the guard walk away, while another six remain behind, keeping watch.

TALIESIN: Interesting.

MARISHA: Not quite a warm welcome.

TALIESIN: I wouldn't expect one.

LAURA: I guess we should probably make our way straight to– so we can have free rein.

LIAM: I motion for the rest to come up behind.

MATT: As the rest of you approach and find your way within the city walls, you're met with an astounding cityscape. Hundreds of homes and buildings and sanctuaries, formed with a natural grace and keen architectural mind as to seem almost grown from the trees and earth themselves. Upon closer look and a nearby inspection, you can see the craftsmanship, but from a distance, it's almost like they were born from the materials, than they were built or crafted. You can see distant magical lantern light shines all across the city, like the start of a glittering snowfall, as the rest of the streets themselves are ever lit by these little shining beacons. The center of the ageless place is divided by a grand lake of pure blue water, a roiling mist drifting across the surface, obscuring the view of boats currently on the surface of the water. You do notice a large military presence within the city, as the armored guard of Syngorn, these individuals, the armored military force known as the Verdant Guard, are walking throughout the city. Not with a hurried pace, but there is a general tension in the air, far more than you've ever seen in all the years that you did spend in your youth within Syngorn. That's where we'll finish our session for the evening.

LAURA: Shit.

ASHLEY: I felt like we were just getting started.

MATT: It's 10:30, though.

ASHLEY: How?

LAURA: I guess you just have to fly in next week, too!

ASHLEY: I wish I could.

MATT: As I look down and once again notice my Tick Spoons shirt I've had on the entire evening, my overshirt seems to have been shortening it to–

TRAVIS: Poon!

ASHLEY: Oh, I noticed.

MATT: Or even better–

MARISHA: Poo!

LAURA: Well, that's okay. It says Spoon.

MATT: Spoon! It's intended to be. It all works fine. Both ways it's the new Scanlan shirt. Poon and poo! Scanlan Shorthalt. Autobiography. Well, great, guys! Thank you so much. We'll be picking up the next length of this journey in the reunion of Vex and Vax with their father, Syldor Vessar.

MARISHA: Syldor. Such a dipshit.

TRAVIS: Oh shit. At the live show.

LIAM: Live show, no pressure.

TALIESIN: I am so excited.

MATT: And you did notice that they were referred to as the Vessar twins.

TRAVIS: Vessar twins?

SAM: What does that even mean?

LAURA: That's our dad's stupid last name.

SAM: Vessar? Vax and Vex Vessar?

MATT: Whether they use the name, that's up to them, and I don't think that they do. But that it is. All right, folks, we'll see you guys, some of you, live at the– well, we'll see you all live next week, but some of you we'll see at the actual venue in person.

TRAVIS: Thank you to Loot Crate.

MATT: You guys are awesome.

TRAVIS: One day left for Joe Mad.

LAURA: (Dragon Ball Z war cry) There we go.

MATT: That's okay. Ashley, I'm glad you could join us.

TRAVIS: Yay Ashley!

MATT: And we'll see you guys next week. Is it Thursday yet?

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