FANDOM


List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.

TRAVIS: We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Before we get into tonight's episode, we have some quick announcements to get through, beginning with our sponsors for this evening, Sam, if you would do the honors of our first sponsor tonight.

SAM: Our sponsor today is Skybound Games, and their release of enhanced versions of classic D&D video games to consoles this fall and winter. I thought it would be fun to get a temporary tattoo of the word "Skybound" across my face. But I did not realize I'm extremely allergic to henna. So my face is a little bit swollen right now. Despite my advertising injury, the show must go on.

TRAVIS: Oh, god. Help him, help him.

SAM: Skybound is releasing classic D&D video games like Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights, all coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One for the first time - oh, yeah. So I got a prednisone shot to take down some of the swelling, but it turns out I'm also allergic to prednisone. My hands are twice their normal size, which means I can give an even bigger thumbs up to Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale which will be launching on October 15th. Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, which includes Baldur's Gate One and Two and Siege of Dragonspear also launches on October 15th.

TRAVIS: Is the bandage in his eye?

SAM: And Neverwinter Nights launches on December 3rd. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Nope.

SAM: When they told me, I pumped my fist with excitement, and I broke my arm. I'm in a lot of pain, but you know what won't feel bad? Buying these enhanced editions! Which you can do either digitally or at retail. Find out a lot more at bit.ly/Beamdog_EE. I think I need to go to the hospital. (laughter) Back to you, Matt!

MATT: Thank you, Sam. (laughs) Legitimately actually really excited for these releases. What are you--

LAURA: Can you breathe, Sam?

LIAM: I will always see this when I play Baldur's Gate now.

MATT: Yeah. Thank you, Sam, and thank you, Skybound. Following up with our second sponsor and sponsors with us since the beginning of Campaign Two, our friends at D&D Beyond!

TRAVIS: (singing) D&D Beyond!

MATT: A fantastic online digital tool for character creation, campaign management, and all sorts of other awesome D&D elements there. You can check them out at ndbeyond.link/criticalrole if you haven't yet because it's cool. All right, on Tuesday, October 15th, which is next Tuesday, the first six-issue run of our comic book series, Vox Machina: Origins I, the first volume, will finally be available in trade paperback (cheering) at your favorite local comic book store or retail shops. We're also bringing back the standard edition hardcover to our online shop if you weren't around or able to grab that the first time it came out. We'll have that available for a short time. More info will be available at critrole.com on Tuesday of next week so keep an eye out for that. For those who haven't seen it, Undeadwood our special four-part, supernatural (snapping) Old West miniseries, GM'd by, being the Game Marshall, the GM this one by our fantastic friend Brian W. Foster. It will premiere on Friday, October 18th at 7:00pm Pacific on our Twitch channel here. The VOD will be available immediately after on our Twitch channel for our subscribers and will be on YouTube the following Sunday. So keep an eye out for that as well. Fantastic guests, a very awesome time on that game, so I'm excited for you guys to check it out.

TALIESIN:: Such facial hair.

LAURA: *Such** facial hair.

TRAVIS: Much wow.

LIAM: Too sexy. That trailer was too sexy.

MATT: I was going to shave my beard much earlier, but then I said, yeah.

LAURA: I did like that priest look, baby.

MATT: Oh yeah, you looked good.

TRAVIS: Yeah yeah, I'll forgive your sins.

(laughter)

MATT: Yeah, it was worth holding on to the facial hair for a little longer.

TRAVIS: Yeah, it was good!

MATT: And today, if you haven't seen it yet, we shared a special, unannounced reward for our recent Kickstarter-- meaning unofficially announced as part of the Kickstarter, but we had talked about it, because Sam offered it up spontaneously-- for our Kickstarter campaign earlier this year for The Legend of Vox Machina and we took Travis through the Fear Gate haunted house in Simi Valley and filmed it for our and your pleasure.

LAURA: Mostly our, let's be honest.

MATT: Mostly ours, yeah. If you missed the video, stick around for the break or check it out on YouTube at our YouTube channel. Once again, huge thanks to all of our fantastic Kickstarter supporters for allowing this crazy series to come together and for this man to be punished for all of our enjoyment.

TRAVIS: It's okay, you don't need to see it.

TALIESIN: That's a good warning there, is during the break here will be scary clowns, so if you have a problem with some scary clowns, probably walk away for about ten minutes.

MATT: Fair enough, good call on that, Taliesin.

TRAVIS: Why couldn't I get that warning?

MARISHA: The funny outweighs the scary.

MATT: Generally. Laura, you had some announcements?

LAURA: Oh, why yes I do. Check out this!

TALIESIN:What is happening?

LAURA: No, I did this other day, I told him to move cameras. Look at these pins, you guys!

ALL: Oh!

LAURA: So we've got these amazing chibi pins, part of our amazing series that we're doing of chibi pins and those are designed by the wonderful Jenny Park. And then on the other side, you can see our Mighty Nein crest and our Vox Machina crest. And the Mighty Nein crest as seen behind Matt Mercer was designed by Crystal Sharp, who is phenomenal, and you can check them out in our store right now.

TRAVIS: So awesome.

MARISHA: So cute!

TRAVIS: We saw so many Critters in New York and they were rocking these pins, and we immediately grabbed them and smothered them with love.

LAURA: I am very excited about the chibi line, I'm very excited.

MATT: Fantastic, yeah. I'm really excited about jumping into tonight's episode of Critical Role!

MARISHA: Ah! I'm instantly sweating.

(water bubbling) (thunder crashes) (explosion) ♪ Role ♪ ♪ Role, Critical, Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical, Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical, Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical, Critical ♪ ♪ Role, Critical, Critical ♪ ♪ Roll the dice ♪ ♪ Roll the dice, dice, dice ♪ ♪ The adventure begins ♪ ♪ They were always beside you ♪ ♪ Your nerdy best friends ♪ ♪ And the DM to guide you ♪ ♪ And they rise from the flames for the battles ahead ♪ ♪ Villains, beware, 'cause you're 'bout to be dead ♪ ♪ They got magic and flare ♪ ♪ They got falchions and cunning ♪ ♪ They don't see over there ♪ ♪ There's a monster incoming ♪ ♪ Inspiration is waiting, rise up, don't think twice ♪ ♪ Put your fate in your hands, take a chance, ♪ ♪ roll the dice ♪ ♪ Roll the dice, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Roll the dice, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Ooh, ahh ♪ ♪ Can you answer the call ♪ ♪ Diggin' deep in your soul ♪ ♪ As the legend unfolds ♪ ♪ Now it's your turn ♪ ♪ Your turn ♪ ♪ Your turn ♪ ♪ To roll ♪ (fire whooshes)

Part IEdit

MATT: And welcome back. So, last we left off, the Mighty Nein, having long lost one of their compatriots, Yasha, to the will of some entity or cult under the name the Angel of Irons. You've been seeking out the individual Obann who seems to be gathering figures of Exandria's past, champions of the betrayers. Having collected one called the Laughing Hand, unintentionally with your aid, you began to hunt down the next venture after an attack on the Cobalt Soul's archive in Zadash, discovering the intent of Obann to raise another champion, apparently one known as the--

LAURA: Inevitable End.

MATT: The Inevitable End, there you go. Yes, the Caedogeist. You transported through the aid of your ally, Shadowhand Essek, to the center of the Lotusden Greenwood, where you managed to work your way pretty much at the same pace or overtake their trudging towards the Wraithroot Tree, which you had discovered held the last portion of the long-sealed entity, this Caedogeist. Unfortunately, crashing through the trees was enough to alert them of your presence and a pre-dawn chase took place thereafter upon which you had managed to temporarily charm the Laughing Hand and sent him off the scent. Chasing down Yasha and Obann to the Wraithroot Tree, Obann, through a very lucky roll, managed to draw the heart from the center of the tree that he required and a failed attempt to pick the skull from his side meant that he had acquired both artifacts he required. Reaching down, grabbing Yasha in all of her fallen aasimar glory, they both vanished. Leaving you to deal with the Wraithroot Tree. Fleeing from the center of this darkened, pre-sunrise battlefield, you teleported yourselves towards the capital dynasty city of Rosohna, where you, the Mighty Nein, have to figure out the next step in your journey. Returning to the center of the dark elf city here in Xhorhas. Quietly trudging your way past the guards who have become familiar with your comings and goings by this time, you make your way quietly back in the wee hours of the morning to your home in the Firmaments. Entering your abode, the Xhorhaus, you close the door behind, and exhale for what seems like the first time since your arrival.

MARISHA: Well, that fucking sucked.

SAM: I mean, to be fair, we got very, very close.

LAURA: And then we got our asses handed to us.

MARISHA: I'm really fucking tired of shit running away from us. That's happened a lot.

SAM: I'm tired of losing.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Is it us, you guys?

SAM: Maybe.

TRAVIS: What do you mean?

MARISHA: I think so.

LAURA: Maybe, we thought we were badass and maybe we're not badass.

MARISHA: Oh, I was kind of thinking that people hate us.

LAURA: Oh, well.

MARISHA: But that might also be part of it.

LAURA: I guess people, yeah, they don't like us.

TALIESIN: Well...

TRAVIS: We also don't really belong anywhere. Keep moving so much. I don't know if we're not badass, we're just not very lucky.

SAM: Well, it's not like we we set out to do any of this, right? We were thrust into this, and have been finding our way as we've been going, but the only real consistency is that we've been doing this together, but...

LIAM: I think we have spent a long time just learning how to trust each other somewhat. Maybe it's time we trust someone else.

SAM: Who?

TALIESIN: Exactly my thought. We've been managing our own problems and our own expectations, and just asking people to let us wander in and out of what they need with no real commitment, no humility.

SAM: So you're saying we align with Obann and destroy the world?

LAURA: I mean, he's really powerful.

SAM: He's very powerful.

LAURA: If you're going to do it, he's the person to do it with.

SAM: Seems like he's winning. I always bet on the winner.

TRAVIS: Nott, I think what Caduceus or Caleb was talking about--

MARISHA: I mean, it could be a free trip to the plane of the Abyss. We could travel, you know?

SAM: What were you thinking, gentlemen?

TALIESIN: There's a... There's a tiny bird.

LAURA: A hummingbird!

TALIESIN: Well, it's even--

LAURA: A sparrow!

TALIESIN: There's a tiny bird--

LAURA: A canary?

TALIESIN: That live on the back--

LAURA: A finch?

TALIESIN: Of larger animals and eat the bugs that live on the specific larger animals. There's rhinoceroses and otherwise. And the birds require the insects that live on this specific animal and the insects require the animal that they sit on. I think we need an ecosystem, I think we need somewhere that feeds us and supports us and I think we need allies. Real allies, people that we've invested in, other than ourselves.

LAURA: We need a rhinoceros.

TALIESIN: We need a rhinoceros.

LIAM: We are fairly capable people, but the forces in play are larger than us. Two separate nations, and whatever this goose chase is that we have been hunting down across the continent, for weeks, months, I can't keep up with Obann.

LAURA: None of us can, obviously!

TALIESIN: I don't know if either of these two groups are going to be able to turn away from their own interests long enough to see the bigger picture, I don't know. But we need to invest in somebody and hope that they invest in what we see.

LAURA: We need to find somebody that doesn't have that-- what?

TRAVIS: You're talking about a third party? Someone outside of the Dynasty or the Empire?

TALIESIN: Someone like us.

MARISHA: I mean, we've tried to talk to the Dynasty and they brush it off and say we're at a war. Talk to the Empire, and they've done the same thing. I mean, the Cobalt Soul, who I thought was supposed to listen to me, they didn't offer any help.

LAURA: They don't like us.

SAM: They fucking hate us.

LAURA: Well, I mean, to be fair, we kind of screwed with them just a little.

SAM: That is fair, I think you don't even have to remind us of that, we have pissed off everybody.

LAURA: I've still got holes in both of my--

TALIESIN: I think it's important to remind us actually, yeah. You're, oh god.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll get this dress cleaned eventually.

LIAM: There is maybe some use in dancing with the one we brought and talk to Essek or the Queen herself, probably Essek. And see if we are done being vetted. If we can get some assistance in the way that we think would be useful, or to get them to pay attention. To what we seem to be the only ones who are paying attention to.

TALIESIN: Be honest, what's the worst that could happen? Either we die alone or we die as a part of something.

TRAVIS: I feel like we've produced nothing, I feel like we're going to continue to be ignored. We should tell Essek and we have an enormous debt to pay, as he likes to remind us, but who would this third party be if we were going to find someone outside of the Empire, outside of the Dynasty?

TALIESIN: Other than your mom, I suppose.

LIAM: Other than Nicodranas.

LAURA: The wizard?

LIAM: Yussa.

LAURA: Yussa!

TRAVIS: Who?

LIAM: Yussa.

LAURA: That guy in Nicodranas, he has the big tower.

MARISHA: That we gave the Happy Fun Ball to.

TALIESIN: You were really good in there.

LAURA: You were!

MARISHA: Thanks.

LAURA: Oh, you were, and you were, both of you were.

TRAVIS: In where?

MARISHA: In the Happy Fun Ball?

TALIESIN: I meant in the tower.

MARISHA: Oh that's right, we talked to him, yeah. I totally remember that.

TALIESIN: You did the one thing we haven't done since, which is actually practice a little humility and honesty.

MARISHA: Yeah, that was the last time we did that.

LAURA: Hey, maybe that's why he didn't hate us immediately.

SAM: We also gave him a shiny present.

LAURA: That is true.

TRAVIS: What shiny present?

MARISHA: The Happy Fun Ball!

TRAVIS: Yes, no, I'm tracking all of this.

SAM: Do you have a concussion?

MARISHA: Did you lose your memory with your class?

TRAVIS: I got dropped through those branches real fucking hard.

LAURA: Sorry about that, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Got a little bit of a stuffy sound in here and little bit of a dark spot.

(laughter)

LAURA: I saw one big branch smack you right upside the head and I wasn't going to say anything.

TRAVIS: Just need a nap. A big nap!

SAM: Do you have a last name and you just can't remember it? Is that what it is?

TRAVIS: (burbling)

LAURA: (laughs)

SAM: All right, so.

LIAM: Any of these parties are a gamble. The question is which is the least risky?

TALIESIN: And can we commit to it?

LAURA: I think we should. I think we should commit to something. Honestly, this back and forth, this playing secrets--

MARISHA: The jet lag is really starting to catch up to me.

LIAM: That's too real.

SAM: So, to lay out a plan of action. Are we going to report in with Essek? Or are we just going to jump to the wizard?

LAURA: I think we should tell Essek at least about I mean, it's in their world now, right?

TRAVIS: The last known sighting was, yes. I think we should at least--

MARISHA: Tell him that we fucked up?

TRAVIS: Lay it at his feet and see what he does with it.

MARISHA: Yeah, it could be his last chance to pay any type of mind to it. If he shrugs us off after we say they got away-- Fuck him!

LIAM: And maybe he will surprise us, maybe--

SAM: Can you heal him?

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I don't know if there's any fixing that.

SAM: Oh no, he's got blood coming out of his ears!

(laughter)

LAURA: His intelligence goes down to six.

TRAVIS: (laughing slows down)

TALIESIN: We know also that there's people working against the Empire within the Empire. We know that trust is going to be hard in here, but we've got to tell somebody something.

SAM: Do we tell him now or do we tell him in the morning?

TALIESIN: I say we tell him in the morning.

TRAVIS: I would second that.

MARISHA: Actually gives me a chance to check in and see what Dairon's been up to for the past three weeks.

TRAVIS: Yeah, two and a half, three?

SAM: If they're here.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: Hello? Anybody home?

LAURA: Dairon could be listening.

MARISHA: We're walking and talking.

(knocking)

MATT: A brief moment passes before eventually you hear no footsteps, but see a shadow appear at the top of steps before Dairon in full dark elf visual regalia descends the stairs. "Ah, you return. What news is there of your goings about?"

TALIESIN: Oof.

SAM: We can skip that, pretty much.

MATT: "Fair enough, not a problem."

SAM: What's been going on here?

MATT: "I have been doing my research, and well, my suspicions have been at least loosely confirmed. I believe I have found traces that the beacon that started this war was not taken by the Empire, but was indeed given by an agent within--"

LAURA: (gasps)

SAM: Oh! Oh.

MATT: "--the Dynasty."

LAURA: Do you know who?

TRAVIS: Or to what end?

MATT: "I do not."

SAM: And not with the permission of the Bright Queen herself. It was was secreted away.

MATT: "I would assume as such and would not confirm, as to ask such questions would raise too much suspicion on myself. And I'm already riding the line."

MARISHA: Unless they were looking for an excuse to start a war.

TRAVIS: Did you get the impression this was recent or old?

MATT: "This would have had to have happened a year or more."

LAURA: Who was it? I wonder it's somebody we met! (gasps)

SAM: It has to be. The people who have access to that rare an artifact could only be the Bright Queen and those in her inner circle. The heads of the dens?

LAURA: It was the old lady!

SAM: The den mothers!

LAURA: I know it was! It was the old one.

SAM: The old one, the goblin one?

LAURA: Yeah, that's the one!

SAM: I fucking hate goblins!

LAURA: I knew it was her! I said, is she good or bad? I don't understand who's the good person, who's the bad person?

SAM: Just in general?

LAURA: Kind of.

SAM: Like in life?

LAURA: Well, like if she took it from the Dynasty and gave it to the Empire, is that bad? Or did she do it because she's good?

SAM: No, I think it's bad, I think it's bad.

LAURA: Oh, I knew it.

SAM: Yeah!

LIAM: It's bad.

(laughter)

MATT: "The other aspect of this, and part of the reason why I am still awake is in finding this information, I was nearly found and apprehended. And I am hoping that I have not led a trace back to this house."

TRAVIS: Ooh, ooh!

MARISHA: Why would you-- what? Why would you come back here if you thought you were being followed?

MATT: "I wasn't here. I was on another roof, but I saw you enter and begin to call out."

MARISHA: I'm going to go peek the windows, I'm going to start--

TRAVIS: I'll head up to the rooftop.

MARISHA: I'm closing curtains.

LAURA: Should we just pretend everything's normal? Should we just pretend like we're having a party or something?

SAM: I'm going to knock over a chair!

(laughter)

LAURA: I'm going to start dancing, I don't know. I'm just dancing in the living room.

MARISHA: Ahhh, what do I see when I look out the window?

MATT: Make a perception check!

MARISHA: Okay!

SAM: Dancing in the living room, I imagine like in "Home Alone," where it's like two two mannequins that are just...

TRAVIS: Can I make a rooftop check?

MATT: Yes, you may.

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: All right, and perception for you as well.

TRAVIS: 17.

LAURA: Would you like a performance check?

MATT: Sure, please.

LAURA: Okay. Oh good.

TALIESIN: Get that out of your system now.

LAURA: Three!

MATT: With disadvantage, because there's no music.

(laughter)

LAURA: Still three, still three.

MATT: There you go. (laughs) Much like the wonderful Lorde song "Liability," you stand there dancing with yourself in quiet desperation.

TALIESIN: Don't pop and lock.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: It's the dad joke of dancing.

LAURA: I rolled a three, I have to pop and lock!

TRAVIS: I must pop and lock!

SAM: And a poop and a look.

LIAM: I'm seeing a Molly Ringwald Breakfast Club kind of dance.

LAURA: No, that's too good. For a three, that's too good for a three.

MATT: Keeping an eye out for a quiet ten or minutes among the streets, you can see there are wandering guards of Rosohna doing their usual path, but you do not see any strange foot traffic or anything moving in your direction that would spike your alarm.

MARISHA: Do we have a cellar? We've got a dung- right? We got a basement?

LAURA: We've got a jacuzzi.

TALIESIN: We could empty it.

LAURA: Or we could go sit in it. I mean, we all could use--

TALIESIN: Actually use the jacuzzi. I'm going to go set that up right now.

TRAVIS: Can I summon the Star Razor in my hand?

MATT: Yep.

TRAVIS: Can I use one of its abilities, See Invisibility?

SAM: Ooh!

MATT: Yes, you may.

LAURA: You have an ability to do that?

TRAVIS: And can I scan?

MARISHA: I know, that's new!

MATT: Looking around, you do not see anything invisible within the radius of what you're able to see. So you feel a little more confident and a little more assured that at least there is no unseen peering near you.

TRAVIS: Okay. It lasts for... one hour, shit, okay, so I'll just walk around the inside of the house as well, and make sure no one snuck in after Dairon.

MARISHA: I'm going to do a patrol as well. I'm going to just do a patrol for a little bit.

TALIESIN: Getting a really nice hot tub time coming up.

TRAVIS: Big fuck-off sword at my side.

SAM: Just dance?

LIAM: I will tell Frumpkin to mirror Beau a few-- are you outside?

MARISHA: I'm inside, doing a patrol.

LIAM: Frumpkin will sit in the tree, and slowly walk around the tree and look for anybody fucking with the house.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Or anybody fucking.

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: He can see a lot from that tree.

TRAVIS: (laughs) M

ATT: Fair enough.

SAM: Is there anything else, Dairon, that we should know? Any details of where or how you learned this information? Where did you learn this information?

MATT: "I've been following and asking questions about individuals who have been traveling for extended periods of time, moving or adjusting the placement of these beacons. I've had to masquerade as a few different individuals to make my way into some of these avenues."

LAURA: That's scary!

MATT: "You don't know the half of it. But this is the job that we are trained for."

SAM: So much training.

MATT: "I've come to understand that the last time the beacon was under the watch of anyone before it was said to have gone missing, all of the paperwork and records of its movement have been destroyed internally. Someone is covering a trail of this."

SAM: Okay.

MATT: "However, the longer I am here, the more I put all of you and what you are doing in danger. So I think I may be heading back to the Cobalt Soul myself."

LAURA: Oh wow.

MARISHA: If you're going there, could you like tell them I'm cool and an expositor? And um... if they could lift the ban on us?

MATT: "Excuse me?"

LAURA: Rexxentrum and Port Damali both.

MARISHA: Yeah, Port Damali. If you could, like, do that?

MATT: "What-- I'm not even going to ask."

LAURA: But you can do that, you can get the bans lifted probably, though?

TALIESIN: I would do that after you've given them the good news of all the information that you have here.

MATT: "I think you are very wise to have this mindset. I'll see what I can do, as I know you are prone to very curious means of reaching the ends of your quest."

LAURA: All a huge misunderstanding.

MATT: "I'm sure it is. I will do my best. I will inform of your particular advancement, as I have been intending to and that should help."

TRAVIS: Would it be too much to ask how or who you were speaking with or overheard discussing this information with?

SAM: Just so we can rule them out.

MATT: "To who I'm speaking?"

TRAVIS: Yeah, from whom did you learn that this transpired? Or was it just in research and then--

MATT: "This was in research. This was in getting-- bypassing the various guardians of the interior chamber, note-taking, and record-keeping. At this point in time, you in particular, Travis, glancing up to the top of the stairs, just from watching about, there's this faint little glowing orb that's been coasting along the ceiling, gently floats down.

TRAVIS: Is it invisible?

LAURA: Oh, it's an invisible orb, everybody stop talking. (quiet dithering)

TRAVIS: (sighs) Perhaps it would be wise for us to not say any more about this this evening. Would anyone care to join me up on the roof for perhaps a beverage. Now.

TALIESIN: I would have headed up there anyway.

TRAVIS: Just insist if you could all, perhaps, join me immediately. Upstairs.

MARISHA: I join immediately.

TALIESIN: I'm already walking.

SAM: Sure, let's go.

LAURA: Yeah, lets, I dance up the stairs. Let's do it. It's a party after all, here, in this house.

SAM: See you, Dairon.

LAURA: Just having a party.

TRAVIS: So, we'll start heading up the stairs.

MARISHA: Don't use names!

(laughter)

SAM: I'm sorry, Sally.

TRAVIS: Is it at the top of the the first landing?

MATT: Yeah. When you first enter the building, where there's the main gathering area, the foyer, before you head up the stairs, it begins to coast its way down about a foot below the ceiling. It's just very slowly moving in the direction of where you all are, seemingly following the sound.

TRAVIS: Once we get to a level that is closer to it in distance, I'll reach out and I'll fire two Eldritch Blasts at it.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll two attack rolls for me.

MARISHA: You know those videos of people shooting drones out of the sky?

TALIESIN: Love the ren faire one where someone hits it with, they throw a lance--

LAURA: Do you think it'd be smart to just pretend just boring in here?

SAM: Too late.

TRAVIS: That's a 24.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: And a 15.

MATT: 15, you fire two Eldritch Blasts as they both slam into the side of the wall, moving through this strange orb. You watch as the back portion of the wall behind it has two holes now blown into it from the force damage of the attack.

LAURA: Oh, I saw that spider up there, too! Don't worry, I think you got it.

TRAVIS: I say, I know that seemed odd. Maybe on the double if you could join me on the roof.

SAM: Yeah, we were going to the roof anyway.

TRAVIS: Yes, let's go.

TALIESIN: That was weird.

MATT: It's changed direction and is now heading towards slowly the path you guys are taking.

LAURA: Following us?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Jesus, I'm so nerv-- I'm like running! Come on, come on, fucking follow me!

SAM: What are we running from? What's going on?

TRAVIS: Just running, running! Up on the roof!

SAM: (yells)

TRAVIS: Come behind me, come behind me, come behind me!

LIAM: We all run like idiots.

MATT: You all catch up--

TRAVIS: As we come up the stairs, do we see it?

MATT: It's a ways behind you.

TRAVIS: (whisper) I can see something that's invisible. There's a glowing orb that's been following us. I don't know. I tried to shoot it.

LAURA: Is it like a scrying ball?

TRAVIS: I didn't hit it!

SAM: A glowing orb?

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's like a glowing sphere, but I tried to shoot it and it went right through it.

LAURA: I bet it's spying on us.

MARISHA: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MATT: You do know from the times you've been scrying that the projection of your consciousness does appear as an invisible beacon, essentially.

LAURA: Yeah, it's a scrying ball.

SAM: How would you know that?

TRAVIS: I don't know!

LAURA: That's okay, if it's going to follow us, let's all pretend like we're having a party up here it'll be so confused!

SAM: No, no, no. Not just a party, let's talk about our (louder) upcoming trip to Rexxentrum!

TRAVIS: Yes!

SAM: Or somewhere else that you guys want to visit.

TALIESIN: Are we going to Rexxentrum?

MARISHA: Who wants a cocktail?

TRAVIS: Hot on the lead--

LIAM: (quietly) Where is it?

TRAVIS: (quietly) It was coming up the stairs.

LIAM: I walk towards the stairs.

SAM: Before you dispel it, we can do things with it.

LAURA: Oh, man!

SAM: Give it false information!

MATT: You walk over to the edge of the stairs, you guys are all in the little garden around the tree right now, is that where you guys have gone?

TALIESIN: I'm going to start making dinner.

SAM: Give it false information first. Don't dispel it yet!

LAURA: I like that you're just shaking a cocktail.

LIAM: Just a slow, ongoing...

TRAVIS: Those fools in Rexxentrum don't know that we're coming for them.

SAM: We're going to go to Rexxentrum all right. Right, Caleb? To Rexxentrum!

MARISHA: And we will find that beacon, just...

TRAVIS: No, that device of great machination.

MARISHA: We need it!

TRAVIS: --that will be a boon--

MARISHA: For the Dynasty!

TRAVIS: For the Empire!

(laughter)

LIAM: Just guesstimating--

MATT: Both of you make deception rolls, please. Or one of you can make it with advantage, since you're doing this together.

SAM: Both of you should do it.

LAURA: Yeah, separate. Because that was horrendous.

LIAM: Guesstimating-- Guesstimating its location--

MARISHA: One, two, three.

LIAM: --to move this into its vicinity.

TRAVIS: 22.

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: Okay, you feel confident that to some folks you may have been believable in your strange display of boisterous planning.

TRAVIS: Complete opposite. (laughter)

LIAM: One of us always lies, and one of us always tells the truth.

(laughter)

LIAM: Ooh, that's a lie!

MATT: As you finish your statement, you look over and there's Caleb standing at the front and you see the orb slowly begin to rise up to the top of the stairs, and when it gets within a foot of Caleb, Caleb holds up a necklace and you watch (whoosh) blink out.

LIAM: Is is there?

TRAVIS: I don't see it. What are you holding?

LIAM: Is it coming?

TRAVIS: No, it's gone. What is in your hand?

SAM: He always has that on.

TRAVIS: Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention earlier. It's gone now.

LAURA: It's so people can't find him.

TRAVIS: Oh, right, you have-- you said! People cannot look in on you from afar.

LIAM: Ja, but it's limited, so.

MARISHA: He's coming back from his amnesia.

TRAVIS: It worked.

TALIESIN: That's impressive.

SAM: It's a slow recovery.

TRAVIS: It worked!

SAM: Oh no!

TRAVIS: I'm so glad for you, Caleb. Thank god!

LIAM: Punch him in the face!

LAURA: Cure Wounds at level one on Fjord.

MARISHA: We need a Greater Restoration.

LAURA: Yeah, it's going to take more than a Cure Wounds. I'm going to aim it right at his brain, though. Cure Wounds on the inside.

LIAM: You have to reach through and heal Travis.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I don't see it anymore.

(laughter)

SAM: So someone's watching us. We can't tell who, though, right? That's not how scrying works. You can't tell.

LAURA: I mean, no.

MARISHA: Could you--

LAURA: I could scry on somebody and see-- oh no, I can't scry on anybody, I'm out of power.

MARISHA: Is that something your god could tell us?

TALIESIN: Maybe?

LIAM: Do you think there is an above average chance that it's someone here who knows that we've returned?

LAURA: Hey, Traveler! Did you see who was looking at us? Traveler, did you see that funny ball?

TRAVIS: Don't you need to be alone for that, Jester?

LAURA: What? He's always around.

TALIESIN: I could find out something about them if we really wanted.

LAURA: Are you in the tree?

SAM: Yes.

LIAM: How so?

TALIESIN: I could Commune, see if just some general idea.

LAURA: Are you sleeping? You went to bed or something?

MARISHA: I mean, we knew when we got this house that we were probably being watched the whole time.

TRAVIS: Yes, we did.

TALIESIN: What do we want to bet on? Who do we think it is?

LAURA: Oh man, I wonder how many times they've done that?

TALIESIN: Probably a lot.

MARISHA: And I hope we weren't saying anything stupid when they did that.

TRAVIS: Us? No! Tight lipped, not a problem.

TALIESIN: When you spend all your time trying to parse what information to put out, you're always going to be a little--

LAURA: I wonder who they were scrying on specifically.

SAM: You have to target an individual?

LAURA: You have to target somebody, yes.

SAM: I like to think it was me.

LAURA: It probably was, Nott.

TALIESIN: Probably was not?

MATT: Individual or a location.

LAURA: Or a location.

TALIESIN: Probably it was not Nott.

LAURA: So it could have been our house in general.

TRAVIS: It did seem like it was following us, and if Caleb is able to prevent that then that rules him out.

LIAM: I think we need to assume, though, that it has heard Yussa's name, whoever was looking.

TRAVIS: Yes.

LIAM: And heard us choosing--

LAURA: I mean, maybe, but--

MATT: You do also know, from your experience with Scry, that it only really picks up information in the vicinity--

LAURA: In the immediate vicinity of it.

SAM: And it wasn't there when--

LAURA: And you were looking for it, right?

TRAVIS: It appeared later. I think we're safe with Yussa.

MARISHA: After we mentioned Yussa.

TRAVIS: We're okay there.

LAURA: Yeah, so it's fine.

LIAM: Well, that's when you used the ability.

LAURA: No, but he'd been using it for like an hour.

TRAVIS: But I ran upstairs

MARISHA: Yes, he used it upstairs.

LIAM: It was running upstairs?

MARISHA: Yes.

LAURA: Yeah, so it wasn't with us for a while.

LIAM: Stupid invisible set.

TRAVIS: All right, so let's pretend someone was watching, we should-- SAM: Does that change anything? Are we still going to report to Essek in the morning?

TRAVIS: We should.

LAURA: Yeah, I think we should.

LIAM: Are you able to do your suggestion, Caduceus?

TALIESIN: I would ask what three questions?

LIAM: You would ask, is it from someone here? If that is yes, we start naming names.

TALIESIN: Someone in the Dynasty.

MARISHA: Someone we know.

LIAM: Dynasty. And then two names.

TALIESIN: All right, what are our two names?

SAM and LAURA: Essek!

TRAVIS and MARISHA: The Bright Queen!

TRAVIS: Or is it the--

LAURA: The old lady goblin!

TRAVIS: What's her name?

SAM: I will look it up in my memory.

TRAVIS: Yeah, go ahead.

TALIESIN: Give me a piece of paper.

TRAVIS: Kevin Spacey Se7en notes.

LAURA: I'm going to look in my notes, too. I bet I can find it faster!

TALIESIN: In the meantime, I need some tea.

SAM: Leylas Kryn, Mirimm, Kryn, Thelyss.

LAURA: Miriam?

SAM: Skysybil Abrianna, the female goblin, Den Mirimm.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: I love all of this. So Essek and the Bright Queen are immediate.

LAURA: Hey, Skysybil, old lady goblin!

SAM: Yeah!

LAURA: Den Miriam. I wrote it down.

MATT: You did, I'm proud of you.

TALIESIN: Essek, Skysybil, Bright Queen? So, is it someone in the Dynasty?

LAURA: Hey, wait! Whatever happened to Lythir VaSuun? The guy we fought that turned us in. Did we ever look him up again?

SAM: Oh, that's right.

LAURA: He knew what we were and we talked him out of believing it, right?

TALIESIN: I'm going to sit down

LAURA: I wonder if he hates us.

TALIESIN: Start burning a little incense, drinking my tea incense and getting together.

MATT: You're aware of this at this point. Though the sun doesn't necessarily rise or fall here in the center of Rosohna, it is about dawn.

LIAM: Oh, so we are exhausted.

MATT: You're pretty tired, just as a heads up.

LAURA: We need to go to sleep.

LIAM: Well, this is good to do now before we crash.

TALIESIN: This is the end of me.

MATT: So while you guys are looking at the space and Dairon returns from gathering what small supplies that she has packed up in a satchel, you finish completing your ritual in the center of the tower-top of the Xhorhaus, underneath the tree that you built in the Wildmother's honor. After the incense burns and you inhale it into your nose and it tingles and sears the inside, your eyes water slightly, and with your eyes closed you can feel that warm breeze pass through your mind and over your arms and shoulders as well.

TALIESIN: We were just being watched. Was it by someone who is a member of the Dynasty?

MATT: The breeze comes by once more, this time warm and affirming. (wind whooshes) You also feel the breeze, too. (gasps)

LAURA: Ooh! You guys are so in sync.

MATT: You actually watch as both Caduceus's and Fjord's hair slightly shift to an invisible wind that doesn't exist.

LAURA: Ooh, an invisible tusk.

TALIESIN: Was it Essek?

MATT: The wind grows cold.

TALIESIN: That's good.

MARISHA: Is Essek part of Den Thelyss?

SAM: Wait, did we already ask-- was it the dynasty?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: So we're asking about people in the dynasty.

TALIESIN: I actually am going to try something slightly different, because I think it's just too hit and miss. Does the Bright Queen know?

MATT: You get the sense you may need to clarify your question.

TALIESIN: Does the Bright Queen-- Does the Bright Queen--

LAURA: (gasps)

TALIESIN: Has she asked that we be watched? Is this by her command?

MATT: The breeze once more becomes warm.

LAURA: She doesn't trust us.

SAM: I wouldn't either.

TRAVIS: We're from out of town.

LAURA: Yeah, I know.

TALIESIN: I wouldn't trust us. Thank you.

TRAVIS: Our visas are limited.

LAURA: That's it, that's all we get?

TALIESIN: That's all we get.

LAURA: Man, if she was like the Traveler, you could sit down and have a whole conversation with her right now.

SAM: Let's not compare gods, all right?

TRAVIS: That's amazing, Caduceus, every time, very impressive.

TALIESIN: You were there too.

TRAVIS: I was.

SAM: The Traveler sounds pretty cool.

TALIESIN: We should have a talk about that at some point.

SAM: I mean, a breeze, come on.

LAURA: Like, he'd be like, dude, yeah, it's the dynasty.

SAM: Oh, I'm talking in wind.

LIAM: We are really spinning our wheels here, I think we maybe we should--

TRAVIS: Crash, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a hot tub and then go to sleep.

MATT: Dairon goes, "Just out of curiosity, where are you going and can you bring another?"

LAURA: Oh.

MARISHA: Yeah. We're talking about--

SAM: Is it okay to say out loud?

MARISHA: I don't say it out loud, I write it down in my book and I show it to her.

MATT: Which is--? what'd you write down?

MARISHA: Nicodranas.

MATT: Okay, and she nods. "Close enough, it's better than taking the long way by foot, so thank you."

LIAM: I'm going to start putting up the dome in our study-laboratory.

LAURA: Oh, that's smart. Yeah, let's sleep in there tonight.

MARISHA: I pull Dairon aside for a second.

MATT: Okay. As you guys are getting that all set up for the evening's rest, Dairon meets with you off to the side.

MARISHA: Can I have my seal back?

MATT: "Yes, you may, It has come in very handy getting me to the places I needed to go."

MARISHA: Remember.

MATT: "There you are."

MARISHA: That stays between us.

MATT: "Of course. Beauregard..."

MARISHA: What?

MATT: And she turns around.

MARISHA: Where's she going?

(laughter)

MATT: She's leaving. You know that look because she's given you that look every time you guys parted but didn't feel the need to say the words--

MATT and MARISHA: "Don't die."

MARISHA: Okay. Any more pieces of training, since you know, we trained for all this shit?

MATT: "Some way to keep it quiet..." And she calls you down to the cellar, the basement area. (footsteps tapping) Puts fingers to the front, saying-- Begins to quietly work you through a series of forms. The beginning process of showing you how to react to an assault or to react to a movement and then briefly pulse the adrenaline in your body through the expense of ki to have twice the reaction or even more depending on the situation. It's an exhausting bit, especially after an exhausting day, and as such, the training is incomplete. But the beginnings of your next stage as a Cobalt Soul expositor have begun.

MARISHA: Cool, I go to bed.

LAURA: I'm going to go into Yasha's room.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: She's there.

LAURA: Yeah! I'm going to look at the mural, and I'm going to sit down on Yasha's bed and I'm just going to say, Oh, Traveler. Probably saw that we kind of shit the bed a little bit. And I know you have a lot going on with TravelerCon coming up, I know that you're probably pretty busy, but our friend Yasha's in a bit of a pickle right now, and she's having a hard time and she's working with some really bad people but I know it's not by choice, okay, because I scryed on her with your help and you saw too, she's trying to fight it. And I know that she works with the Storm Lord and stuff, but if you can just try to keep an eye out on her as well and maybe help her fight it a little bit, because I'm having a hard time knowing that we abandoned her, okay? (heavy sighs)

MATT: In the silence as you sit there and quietly mourn the frustrating circumstances surrounding your friend, you look up at the flower wall that you painted her, and you swear, right there in the middle of the flowers, the beautiful shapes and curls, you see what looks like a hidden dick.

LAURA: I didn't paint that one. Okay. I'm going to go get in the study, after I wipe my face off.

MATT: Okay. The rest of you gather around Caleb and his hut, bed down, even within the comfort of your own house, carefully and defensively for a night's rest. You all can take your long rest.

(group cheers)

TRAVIS: Touch that button, boom, yes, confirm! Holy shit.

SAM: Confirm!

LAURA: Now we choose the spells, spells, spells!

TALIESIN: Oh, they're all back!

LAURA: Pick your spells!

SAM: Pick your spells for travel, pick your spells for talking to Essek, come on guys. No controlling water, guys, come on.

TRAVIS: But, it's innate, it's innate.

TALIESIN: I wanted to use Meld Into Stone.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Melt into Stone?

TALIESIN: Meld Into Stone.

MARISHA: Meld.

SAM: That's a thing?

TRAVIS: "It's bad, run!" No, "We're running, it's bad!" (laughter)

TALIESIN: It's pretty cool.

MATT: So, you wake up rested, safe within the final moments of the hut fading (makes whooshing noise) before the cover vanishes and you all find yourselves standing in the center of the arcane study with the day, past noon at this point, a few hours into the afternoon, at your disposal. What would you like to do?

SAM: Let's call Essek in, I suppose? Also, by the way, just rewinding a bit to our fight with Obann and stuff, next time we fight Obann, let's have one of the Counterspell people closer, so that he can't get away and also maybe the whip? The whip? We could hold him there with the whip? That's a thing, right?

TRAVIS: I think he could still teleport away--

SAM: I guess you're right.

TRAVIS: I don't know what would happen after that, take half the whip, take me, I don't know.

SAM: Either way, we win!

TRAVIS: All right. (laughter)

LIAM: I will also need to do a little bit of shopping if we hope to go to Nicodranas today.

SAM: Oh, you need some chalk or something?

LIAM: I could just run out quickly now.

TRAVIS: Sure.

LIAM: While we wait. Send word to Essek.

LAURA: Yeah, sure.

LIAM: I will go to--

MARISHA: What are we saying to Essek? Sorry, go ahead.

TALIESIN: We may have to go to Essek, if we have to.

LIAM: I don't think we know where he lives, still.

TALIESIN: True.

LAURA: He's never told us.

LIAM: Before the day gets on, I will just run off to the same place that I've been to before and spend-- how much money do I have?

TRAVIS: Two, three...

TALIESIN: Need to borrow a little?

LIAM: No, no, I'm all right.

SAM: And me and Fjord will also send--

TRAVIS: Fjord and I!

SAM: Will also send some requests. I would like a drop of bitumen and a spider. I would also like a bit of fleece, get me an eyelash encased in gum arabic, I'd like some tiny tarts and a feather.

LIAM: Oh, well role-played.

SAM: And another bit of fleece, lot of fucking fleece spells.

LAURA: You don't have like a-- Maybe just get a components bag.

SAM: Yeah, whatever, I don't want to do-- I don't want to be what Fjord did last time. Get me all the components for everything!

MATT: Which as a note, too, clarifying on that because I looked it up extensively afterward, you do not need the blood to summon the demon, you need the blood if you want to draw the circle that's the second half of the spell.

TRAVIS: Got it.

MATT: Another circumstance of the internet yelling at me for doing rules incorrectly, getting confused by the rules and then realizing I did it right accidentally, and the internet was the internet. But thank you for all the clarification after the fact, too.

SAM: Guys, we love the internet.

MATT: We love it. (laughter)

MATT: Yeah, shopping can-- oh, sorry.

LIAM: Give me some money.

SAM: Sure, how much do you need?

LIAM: Well, I am good for the chalks that I will need for us to travel, but if you want to get some stuff, give me-- I don't know, give me 50 gold and I'll give you the change.

SAM: I'll give you 75, you handsome young wizard.

TRAVIS: Jesus.

(laughter)

SAM: Keep the change.

TRAVIS: Are you blushing?

LIAM: Wow. Yes. All right, I go shopping.

MATT: Okay. Prices are a bit high, and things are a little scarce right now. The war effort has been placing a lot of supplies out of Rosohna and closer to Asarius and the Western front of Xhorhas, so as such, the component pouch, which would normally cost about 25 gold goes for 40 to get all the supplies that are needed and requested by Nott.

LIAM: Is the chalk pricier as well?

MATT: The chalk is an additional 20 gold beyond its normal price.

MARISHA: Dang!

TRAVIS: Fuck.

LIAM: You gave me 75, all right, I have enough for that. How much higher than regular?

MATT: Sorry, how much chalk are you purchasing?

LIAM: Three doses, so that's 150 gold's worth, as written in the spell.

MATT: Correct. An additional 20 on top of that, so 170.

LIAM: Overall.

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Okay, okay. Yeah, I have it, okay.

TRAVIS: For a bottle of water at a Hilton, what is this?

(laughter)

MARISHA: Is this a Coke on a Eurostar, what is this?

(laughter)

LIAM: All right, I hustle back, once I have a tote full of potpourri and other bits, I hand it over to Nott.

SAM: Thank you. Thank you for these bits and pieces. Did we already summon Essek and how do we do so?

LAURA: Oh yes, while they were gone, I sent a message to Essek.

SAM: Great.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Hold on, I got to make sure I have that prepared.

SAM: Just say a message.

LAURA: Essek, we're back but we really need to talk to you if you have the time. Because it's super important. Also--

SAM: Uh-oh.

LAURA: You're super cool, we miss you, and you float really good!

(laughter)

MATT: As a reminder, you don't *have** to say all the words, but I appreciate the effort.

(laughter)

MATT: I respect that.

SAM: You want to use it all up!

LAURA: Exactly.

LIAM: Those words wasted!

MATT: Every piece of the buffalo, I respect that. Essek responds, "Ah, this is good to hear. I'm glad you returned, I assume safely. I will go ahead and pass on by within the hour."

LAURA: He's coming by.

SAM: Excellent.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: While I'm waiting for Caleb to return, can I go ahead and ju-u-ust use that same feature I used last night and cast See Invisibility for another hour?

MATT: Okay. And you just...?

TRAVIS: Just in the room, I'll try and stay around everyone else just to see if there are any more spheres.

MATT: Okay. About half an hour into waiting for Essek's arrival, same type of little sentry orb just floats back down the stairs.

LAURA: Just hanging out this whole damn time.

MARISHA: It totally fucking has.

TRAVIS: You know, I really didn't think that the dynasty would have such a bug problem, but it is really prevalent right now.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: What kind of bugs?

TRAVIS: Like, you know, ones with--

SAM: Big eyes.

TRAVIS: Yes, many, many eyes.

LAURA: Ooh, like spiders?

TRAVIS: (squeaks) Sure, they have lots of eyes.

LAURA: Or flies have lot of-- they've got big eyes at least.

TRAVIS: Right, perhaps, like one big eye on the--

(knocking)

SAM: Front door!

LAURA: I'll go--

SAM: Let someone else get the door.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Hey! How does scrying work, can they see and hear?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You go to-- the door opens slightly, the chimes ding ding a little bit. On the other side, you see Essek with two of the guards of the Rosohna guard at his side. "Hello--"

MARISHA: Wait, he's got two guards?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Why's he got two guards? Wait, what? Sorry, keep going.

MATT: "I apologize for the companions, there was apparently a break-in last night to some records and as such, we're just being more careful."

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: "So, anyway. Wait outside if you don't mind." The two guards stay exterior--

MARISHA: Dairon's not in the room with us, right?

MATT: Dairon is nowhere to be seen currently.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: We haven't seen them all morning?

MATT: No.

LIAM: Okay.

MARISHA: I would have told them that we were doing this and to not come and, like, hide.

MATT: Dairon, you have not seen at all this morning.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: At all. Essek enters the chamber--

SAM: She's not going to come out of the shower or something?

MATT: "So, I see you have all arrived safely. How did the venture go?"

TALIESIN: Not well.

LAURA: It went real, real bad, Essek.

MATT: "I am sorry to hear that."

LAURA: So are we.

TRAVIS: Unsuccessful again, we seem to be in a never-ending chase after that which we are trying to prevent.

MARISHA: Which means Obann is one step closer to his overall goal and potentially not on this plane with us anymore.

MATT: "I think, given the circumstances, and how-- how dire this growth seems to be of this individual you've been after, perhaps we put our specific endeavor on hold while you pursue this one, yes?"

SAM: Pursue Obann?

LAURA: Here's the thing, I think we're a little bit out of our depth. He's pretty powerful and he just woke up somebody else. The Inevitable End.

MATT: "All right, I will put some research into this. I already have a few operatives looking to infiltrate-- to locate and infiltrate the Cult of the Angel of Irons, you said it was, in hopes of gathering more information."

LAURA: You have?

MATT: "Yes, since you gave me this information a while back."

TRAVIS: Thank you.

LAURA: I just didn't know if you were really listening to us or not.

MATT: "I'm, to be fair--" and he steeples his fingers from underneath his cloak-- "I have a lot of plates I'm spinning at any given point in time. This is one, and I'm now giving it a bit more prominence, so... I apologize to have mislead you to think otherwise. And I also apologize for my attitude yesterday, I have been under some pressure."

LIAM: Not at all, we are trying to be of use here. Can we be of use?

MATT: He looks back over at the door. "Your usefulness currently, by the mind of the Bright Queen, is in offering a tactical advantage or any information you've gleaned from the Empire's military movements. You've been a great aid in that once already, and so they are very interested in anything else you've heard. Locally, I don't know what much you can do, but just speaking of the interests above me, if there's any information you can find, glean, or have heard of any sort of military movements of the Empire that could put us in a continuous advantageous position, she'll be extremely grateful."

TALIESIN: There is, I think, one thing that we could say that-- There's something that if it were considered could be advantageous, although, to an uncreative mind it may not seem useful. There are more than two parties at work in this conflict of yours, and I think this dual thinking is going to be the end of you if you're not careful. And I would say that we feel pretty confident that there are people within the Empire working against the Empire, and there are people in the dynasty working against the dynasty. And perhaps these people are working together. And if you are one of those people, and we're hoping you're not, then this information will never go any further than this and that's the end of that. But if you're not, maybe it will make its way higher up.

LIAM: We feel more firmly than ever that this war is a game. That these two nations are being thrust into for someone's else purposes.

MATT: "I appreciate your candor. I will take this information to the right, trusted few, and only after very careful vetting on my end as well. If what you say is true, then that is... very much disconcerting."

TRAVIS: Can I raise my eyes slightly and see if the sphere is still there?

LIAM: I was going to be on his--

TALIESIN: Insight check that.

MARISHA: Insight check? Yeah, same.

MATT: Insight check?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Go for it. Insight check, and you're looking to see--

TRAVIS: I just want to see if the sphere is still up there.

MATT: Yeah, it's still-- it's coasted and it's now moved center of the chamber and is hovering above of all you.

LIAM: 19.

MATT: 19?

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

MATT: On the insight check?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Double whispers, double whispers! Guys, pins, pins, chibi Yasha.

MATT: What's the total on insight?

TALIESIN: Because I gave myself a little-- Couldn't have given myself a thing, dammit.

SAM: Chibi Laura Bailey. Ooh, I would buy that pin.

MATT: 29.

TRAVIS: 29 total insight check?

TALIESIN: It's hard to lie to me.

TRAVIS: You know more about them than they do.

TALIESIN: I know more about you than you do.

TRAVIS: That's probably true. I keep asking you tell me and you just won't!

SAM: Skybound! Dwarven Forge.

TRAVIS: Don't hurt yourself.

SAM: D&D Beyond, these are all fabulous, fabulous supporters of Critical Role.

TRAVIS: Can we comment on how miraculous your healing--

LAURA: Yeah, you look really good!

SAM: I got an adrenaline shot right before--

(laughter)

TRAVIS: B12.

TALIESIN: We appreciate that.

MATT: "Well."

TALIESIN: Good luck.

MATT: "You as well. Should any more concrete-- anything I can bring to the Bright Queen about this threat that you're after, this Obann, this Angel of Irons, whether I find it first or you do, but anything that you think could draw her attention away from this conflict and perhaps focus on this thing--"

LAURA: They said that Caedogeist was a servant of who?

MARISHA: Lolth.

MATT: "That is certainly of interest to the Queen.

MARISHA: He had a contract with Asmodeus.

MATT: "That is a strange union. I'm not brushed up on my history but--"

LIAM: Referred to as an assassin for Lolth.

MATT: "I will look into this."

TALIESIN: We will share whatever information we can without compromising our very complicated position.

LAURA: I'll keep in touch with you.

MATT: "I am certain you will, your timing is impeccable."

LAURA: Best friends all the time, just think of it. Is there a certain time of day that's, like, better for me to contact you, so that maybe I'm not interrupting anything?

MATT: "Preferably no later than midnight, Xhorhas time."

LAURA: Okay, I'll ask you, you'll remember, Caleb, what time it is here all the time, yeah?

LIAM: Ja.

LAURA: And would like a breakfast message, if possible? Do you like dinner messages? When do you check your emails?

TALIESIN: Quote of the day, maybe, it's like Quote of the Day.

MATT: "I don't think it will make a difference, so whatever suits your fancy."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Good luck."

TRAVIS: Same to you.

MATT: "Thank you."

SAM: Don't trust anyone. Not even us.

TRAVIS: Nott, we want him to trust us.

SAM: Don't even trust us.

LAURA: Stop, she's just fucking with you.

MATT: "Right, anyway, keep in touch," and he turns around and glides his way towards the door. (makes dingly chime sounds) Opens once more, the guards are waiting him, and they exit.

LAURA: Is the ball still there?

MARISHA: Does the ball fly, yeah?

LAURA: Because that thing's lasting for a long time.

TRAVIS: Is there a tennis ball on the ceiling?

SAM: Because it's time to go to Rexxentrum soon. Which is where we're going!

MARISHA: Gotta get more information!

MATT: About ten or so minute mark since it first arrived, it (whooshes) dissipates.

MARISHA: Ten minutes?

SAM: All right, we're clear?

TRAVIS: It's gone.

LAURA: That's a good amount of scry.

SAM: Let's go to Rexxentrum!

TRAVIS: We're not actually going.

MARISHA: We didn't get shit from Obann, right?

SAM: Like items? No.

MARISHA: I mean, Essek, sorry.

LAURA: No, but he is putting in words and--

TRAVIS: Yeah, it's encouraging that he's working on it.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: And now-- I mean, in theory, it's possible that the Bright Queen heard all of that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we didn't say anything to incriminate him. He certainly said anything against the Empire we can provide--

SAM: Also, he let us know our place in things over here. We are still being kept at a distance.

LIAM: Seemed a little on edge to me.

LAURA: Maybe he's been under watch. Because of the things that we've been doing.

TALIESIN: To be fair, now she'll know if he's not telling her any of the stuff that we tell him.

LAURA: That is true.

SAM: It just makes our path forward even more clear. We go where there is no dynasty and Empire. We go and we find the wizard and we figure out what our next step is.

LIAM: Unfortunately, I feel that the jury is still out on Essek.

TRAVIS: I just realized, I should have at least left the room for a moment, tried to isolate who or what it's-- I mean, if it's just on the Xhorhaus-- well sure, but what if it's not?

TALIESIN: In the long run, it means--

TRAVIS: It did follow us upstairs.

TALIESIN: At the very least means that someone else knows about that conversation, which is in the end, whether or not he's telling the truth or not it has now possibly put him in the position where he's going to have to defend it if he isn't. It just seemed to be the thing to do is tell the truth in front of two people and see who commits to it.

TRAVIS: It was the right call.

LIAM: We certainly want to keep up appearances, regardless.

SAM: Well, let's get going before that ball comes back.

LIAM: Right, to "Rexxentrum."

MARISHA: I'm also very curious to see if that ball follows us.

TRAVIS: Got an hour!

MARISHA: That'll be interesting.

TALIESIN: Hadn't even thought of that.

MARISHA: Like, outside this house.

TRAVIS: I can only do it for one hour a day, so.

LAURA: Hope you pick a good time, then! Maybe we can constantly just Dispel!

LIAM: Catch it in its ten minute period.

SAM: You know what, though, if we go talk to the wizard, something tells me that he will be able to sense--

ALL: ♪ When we meet the wizard ♪

LAURA: ♪ Once we prove our worth ♪

SAM: I think I'm already drunk. It sounds like everyone's singing.

TRAVIS: ♪ What I've waited for since ♪

SAM: Why don't we just, when we get to Yussa, we'll tell him people may be scrying so maybe he can do a little something something.

TALIESIN: Let's maybe have that conversation once we've--

SAM: Yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: Ixnayed the outway of the scryway, I don't know what I was saying.

TRAVIS: Caleb, Bob Ross us a circle.

LAURA: Let's do it, where's your friend?

TRAVIS: Give us a happy teleportation circle.

LAURA: We should make sure they are here.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, Dairon!

MATT: At which point--

LIAM: I'll start it, I'll start it, I won't finish it though.

MATT: There's a small alcove underneath the stairs that descend from the second floor, and Dairon swiftly, feet kick out and land on-- ready to go.

MARISHA: Has that alcove been there the whole time?

TRAVIS: Fuck.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: "It was hidden by furniture, but I've made use of it."

SAM: I throw the chair down again.

LAURA: Wonder if other people have ever been in there spying on us when we're in the house?

MARISHA: That's awesome.

LAURA: I wonder if they saw us getting naked when we were going down to the jacuzzi.

TRAVIS: You were naked in the jacuzzi?

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: That's how you're supposed to be.

TALIESIN: That's usually how you do a jacuzzi.

TRAVIS: Sure, I knew that.

(laughter)

MATT: You complete the creation of your teleportation circle. (whooshes) It flashes, you watch as the sparkling light of the arcane sigil begins to rise up off of it for the brief moment that it's available. Do you guys all rush in? (various agreements and rallying cries)

LIAM: Just a happy little sigil.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Hey, everybody, I got the--

MATT: As Caduceus rushes through, holding a now spilling plate of tea.

TALIESIN: My tea cake's gone!

LIAM: Kevin, we forgot Kevin!

(laughter)

MATT: I just envision you rushing through like the--

LIAM: Caduceus sitting up.

MATT: The old butler in Tomb Raider. You all immediately step down into a darkened stone interior space, one you recall previously as the reception chamber for teleportation within Tide Peak Tower.

LAURA: Tide Peak Tower!

LIAM: And this was up top, right?

MARISHA: Aw shit.

MATT: It was partway up.

LAURA: What?

LIAM: Not ground floor.

TRAVIS: We didn't announce ourselves.

MARISHA: Yes, we did it again!

LIAM: We said we would tell him.

SAM: Wait, last time we did this, we called him from this room. Do it again!

MARISHA: We cannot do that again!

LAURA: Okay, I'll do Sending. Oh, hey, guess what? We're going to come here in a little bit. We're going to be here in this tower in a little bit--

SAM: Here? *Here** in this tower?

LAURA: Um--

SAM: You mean "there"!

LAURA: Just let us know when it's good to come in!

MATT: Roll a percentage dice for me if you don't mind.

LAURA: Me?

SAM: A percentage dice?

MATT: Percentile dice.

LAURA: I roll two--

MATT: Two tens.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

TALIESIN: And pick one of them as the 10.

LAURA: The pink one is the 10, 32%.

MATT: Okay. The message is received but there's no response.

LAURA: Well I know he heard me, I could tell he heard me.

MARISHA: Should we just all wait a little bit and then jump at the same time, like we just arrived?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: Three, two, one! (inhaling) (grunting)

TRAVIS: Aww, fuck.

SAM: We're here!

LAURA: Every time.

MATT: Another minute passes and you hear the faint sound of footsteps down the stairs, quickly. (footstep sounds) (door creaks) The door opens up. From the dark, lightless interior, suddenly you can see framed the small figure of a goblin. There you see Wensforth, still well-dressed. Somewhat portly in the torso but glasses on the face. Opens the door, "Um, hello?"

LAURA: Hi!

TALIESIN: We apologize--

LAURA: We sent a message--

TRAVIS: We're here!

LAURA: --a little bit ago and said we were going to pop in I know that he heard us but--

MATT: "Right, right."

LAURA: He didn't respond, I'm assuming it's because--

SAM: Where's the master?

MATT: "Come--come with me, if you don't mind, just--just follow me for a moment, this way."

TRAVIS: Are we good?

MATT: "Yeah, yeah, more or less."

MARISHA: Does he look okay?

MATT: Make an insight check.

SAM: What's his name again?

LIAM: He doesn't really look okay.

MARISHA: Wensworth?

MATT: Wensforth.

MARISHA: Fucking fuck. An 11.

MATT: 11, eh, he looks like a goblin. That's well dressed. Dairon at this point goes, "Well--" Drops the guise of the dark elf. "I will make my way quickly back to Zadash."

LIAM: This is a very interesting building, I would be very careful if you think you're going to run out of here.

MATT: "What sort of interesting?" Wensforth goes, "Oh, don't worry, just head down to the foyer area, and the door, push it open from the inside." Dairon goes, "Very well, let me know if you need anything."

LIAM: Easy does it.

MATT: And she rushes off.

TRAVIS: Are you high fiving?

LAURA: High five, high five on the way out, high five?

(makes clapping sound)

MATT: Very callused palms, like surprisingly so.

MARISHA: Let me know about those parking tickets!

(chuckles)

MATT: There's a moment as Dairon stops and looks back at you, goes-- and then darts down.

TALIESIN: Cool stuff you guys were doing last night.

TRAVIS: Change my grades in the computer. MARISHA: You were watching?

TALIESIN: I was in the hot tub, I was just very quiet the whole time. I was just trying not to--

MARISHA: Oh, I kind of forgot you were there.

TALIESIN: I'm aware, I just sitting right there, trying really to be quiet.

TRAVIS: Gross.

MATT: Wensforth at this point goes, "All right, um-- (laughs awkwardly) follow me."

TRAVIS: Lead the way, please, yeah.

MATT: "This way." And leads you up the spiral staircase to the next landing, and there on that landing you can see there it seems wider than the previous level of the tower was. It almost seems to bow outward, and there are three doors. One of the doors is ajar, and he steps inside to the chamber.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: Just confusing you on both fronts in that phrase, sorry. Into what looks to be a wide chamber of patterned wallpaper surrounded by bookshelves and cases and tapestries. Wensforth turns around and goes, "Can I ask some advice from you folks?"

TRAVIS: Of course.

SAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: I don't think anyone's ever done that before.

MATT: "So..." And he points to the center of the chamber, and you can see surrounded by plush leather furniture, there's a worktable that's lit by a hanging glass globe emitting a bright light over a metallic sphere--

SAM and LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: --on the table.

TRAVIS: Shut the fuck up.

MARISHA: He went in!

MATT: All manner of instruments and devices, tools are scattered across the outside of it, it's a set of goggles with multiple lenses open. He goes, "The master's been delving into that object that you gave him. It's been days, sometimes weeks at a time within the sphere."

LIAM: How long has he been gone this time?

MATT: "This time, three weeks, I'm a bit worried. I've not heard from him. He gave me the ability to contact an ally to get his aid if it gets worrying. I'm uncertain if it's been enough time and I know he'd be unhappy if I leapt too early, so. I'm just asking you, as the ones who gave him the ball, do you think it's okay for me to do that, is it too early, should I wait?"

SAM: What ally would you contact?

MATT: "I don't know the name, he just gave me a Sending stone."

TRAVIS: Caleb, how long were we gone, do you remember, when we came out?

LAURA: We were gone seven days.

TRAVIS: A week.

MATT: Five days, I think.

SAM: But we made a vow, that if any us were gone for seven days, we would assume they were dead and have a funeral.

TALIESIN: Did we?

SAM: Yes. That was a--

MATT: You see Wensforth's face just drop and go pale.

TRAVIS: That's an unusual thing to remember at this moment when his master is missing.

MARISHA: Well, look, time gets weird in the Happy Fun Ball. Right, that's why we didn't know that it was seven days.

LAURA: It only felt like an hour to us.

TRAVIS: And no instructions on who to contact?

SAM: No, he said he has a Sending stone.

MATT: "It's--" and points over off, what looks like an end table off to the side of the chamber underneath one of the tapestries, you can see a smooth, polished, looks like a river stone but it's a light blue tint. "I'm supposed to get that to ask them for help but only if it's necessary. I don't want to have to do this favor if the master said I'm supposed to wait longer. But, I just-- (stutters and stumbles) What do you think?"

LIAM: How much does that stone look like the stone in my bag?

MATT: It's a similar design, though different color.

TRAVIS: Do you know where that goes? LAURA: No, he doesn't know.

SAM: So our options are--

TALIESIN: How long are you supposed to wait out of curiosity?

MATT: "He didn't say, he said when it felt right."

LAURA: When it felt right.

SAM: So we either go in or we use the Sending Stone to call in someone.

TALIESIN: Or both.

MARISHA: Can you like star 69 this? Can you reverse see who's on the other side of the Sending stone, is that something you could tell?

LIAM: I was not able to before. (Travis makes phone tones)

TRAVIS: "We're sorry, the number you dialed..."

LAURA: What if we do it, and then whoever is the ally, we go in with them?

SAM: What if they're not an ally of us?

LAURA: We don't have any allies.

MATT: "They're an ally of the master's, so I think they're trustworthy?"

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: "I think."

TRAVIS: Let's do it.

MARISHA: Do we have any active enemies that we can think of, other than like Obann and the Horsemen?

TALIESIN: (laughs) Sorry, sorry.

TRAVIS: Question, question, question. The stone brings them to us or us to them?

SAM: Just talks.

MATT: "The stone just talks."

LAURA: Oh, let's just talk to them. I'm really good at Sending.

MATT: "Okay, so yes? You're giving me permission to use the stone?"

TRAVIS: Yes, you can say we forced you--

LAURA: No, no!

MATT: "Oh, perfect!" Runs over and grabs the stone and takes it and rubs the front and goes like, (exhales)

LAURA: You hold it up, are you supposed to hold it up--

MATT: "Hello?"

TRAVIS and LAURA: Oh, hi!

MATT: "Sorry to bother you, this is Wensforth, I'm the assistant to the esteemed Archmage Yussa Errenis. Um-- I was given your stone in case of emergency, which I believe has transpired."

LAURA: Who is it?

MATT: "Hold on. I am with friends, might we have a word with you?"

MARISHA: Yo, can you put him on speaker?

(laughter)

MATT: "No, at the tower."

LAURA: Who is it?

MATT: "Okay, thank you."

LAURA: Did you ask who it was?

MATT: "No, I forgot."

(laughter)

TRAVIS: The fuck?

MATT: "I'm nervous, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

LAURA: I was saying "who is it" the whole time!

MATT: "I don't know who it is!"

LAURA: That's why you ask!

MATT: "I forgot!"

TRAVIS: What did they--

SAM: Just have a drink, alright? You need to calm your nerves, it works for me every time.

MATT: (whoosh) You hear a faint arrival sound, a familiar sound to you, as well, similar to the shunting sound of when you arrive in a Teleportation chamber.

LAURA: Is that how it always sounds in here when somebody shows up?

MATT: "Usually, yeah."

LAURA: Then what does it sound like when everybody jumps a few minutes later?

MATT: "It's like duller, I was just sort of creeping along and the noise made me nervous so I ran down. Anyway--" And you hear the (knocking) the footfalls making their way up towards the landing.

SAM: I'm going to go hide somewhere. Behind a book.

MATT: Roll a stealth check. What are you guys doing?

MARISHA: Behind a book!

TALIESIN: I'm just going to stand here.

TRAVIS: I'm making myself look like Ussa.

SAM: 32.

MATT: 32.

MARISHA: You're making yourself look like Yussa?

TRAVIS: No, I'm not.

LAURA: I'm just going to stand here with a big smile on my face.

TALIESIN: Trying something new.

MATT: Okay. From the shaded interior of the landing, with a faint bit of sconce light that's coming through, there's only one open window in this chamber where light's coming in from the far end and the one white orb that's hanging that's lighting up the tool arrangement over the brass sphere that you have deemed the "Happy Fun Ball."

LAURA: (giggles)

MATT: You watch the figure enter in a bit of a huff. You see what looks to be a human woman, pale skin, light graying blond hair that's braided back behind her with gems tied throughout each braid.

SAM: Who dat?

LAURA: What if it's Allura?

MATT: An intricate satchel over one shoulder and a long dark blue dress.

LAURA: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Shut the fuck up.

SAM: Wait, wait.

MATT: (familiar female voice) "All right, what is that godforsaken fool gotten himself into?"

(gleeful screaming)

MARISHA: Wait, is it really? No way, is it really? (screams of joy) She just looks 20 years older now?

(gleeful screams)

All wizards know each other!

TRAVIS: Graying blond hair?

MARISHA: (screams)

TRAVIS: Maybe it's not her.

MARISHA: Maybe it's not, is it her?

MATT: The woman looks to be about in her mid-50s or so.

MARISHA: It checks out!

TRAVIS: That's it, it's definitely her! Blue is a popular color, it might not be her.

LIAM: That's an automatic background check on Yussa!

TRAVIS: It might not be her.

LIAM: (cooing)

SAM: I spring from the shadows!

(laughter)

MATT: Do you? (laughter)

TALIESIN: Take three shots, surprise attack!

SAM: I'm just going to watch, suss her out, see if she's on the up and up.

MATT: "Hello."

TALIESIN: Hey.

LAURA: Hi.

MATT: "And you are?"

LIAM: We are--

MATT: One hand is up nervously.

LAURA: We're friendly!

MARISHA: We're the Mighty Nein!

LIAM: The Mighty Nein.

TALIESIN: Pleasure.

LIAM: We are friends to Yussa, I am somewhere between a apprentice and protege to Master Yussa. We've been here for a while, and apparently, you're-- I'm sorry, what is your name?

MATT: "Well... I'm Arcanist Allura Vysoren."

(screams of joy)

TRAVIS: Give it to me!

(laughter)

Make it rain!

MARISHA: I'm going to cry.

MATT: "Master of Arcana of the Council of Tal'Dorei. And I would like to be notified as to why I have been summoned. I take it you're Wensforth," and points to the goblin. Goblin goes, "Yeah, I am Wensforth, you're the ally, I suppose?" (as Allura) "I am, in some ways, yes."

TALIESIN: Well, it's concerning actually something that we gave him that's a bit of a conundrum.

LAURA: That he really wanted.

LIAM: Perhaps the explanation should precede introductions, I'm so sorry. This device here, this sphere--

LAURA: It's called the Happy Fun Ball.

LIAM: That's a nickname, we don't exactly know what it's called, but your friend, I assume, is within it. It is in another plane, and plays with the passage of time and is expansive.

TALIESIN: Once had a dragon.

LIAM: It is very old.

LAURA: Yes, it's got a library and lots of things.

SAM: And a dragon!

LAURA: There was a dragon, we killed it.

SAM: Oh, hi! Sorry.

MATT: "Hello."

LAURA: That's Nott.

MATT: "Nott."

LAURA: I'm Jester.

TALIESIN: Caduceus, hi.

LIAM: My name is Caleb Widogast.

MARISHA: Beauregard.

TRAVIS: Fjord.

MATT: "There we go, now we're on a first name basis. So, this is the device you speak of?" She leans forward on the table and moves some of the things aside, inspects it. Reaches into the satchel off the side of the dress, opens it, pulls out a component pouch, begins to take a few elements out of it scatter it around. You can see what looks almost like a diamond dust type glitter beneath the overhead light of the orb and she begins to swirl her hand around it. The dust kicks up in this invisible wind and begins to cycle around the orb. As it does, her eyes glow a bright blue color. And then all at once, they (whooshes) drop to the ground, and she goes (clears throat) "The Heirloom Sphere."

LAURA: What?

MATT: That is the--"

SAM: No, the Happy Fun Ball.

MATT: "The official name of the object: The Heirloom Sphere. It is the key to the Folding Halls of Halas. It is also known as the Archmage Bane. It's in the damned name, Yussa, you fool. Well, notes, notes! There should be notes around here, I assume." She starts looking through papers.

LAURA: I go looking through papers, too!

SAM: I'm going to look through papers!

MATT: All right, make an investigation check, you two.

TRAVIS: Can we tell you, we've been inside this device.

LAURA: Oh, I held good Guidance-- too late.

MATT: Too late.

SAM: 15.

LAURA: Six!

MATT: "Well, you've already been within the device and returned?"

TRAVIS: Yes, we were gone for about five days out here, but in there it was much shorter.

LAURA: Like an hour or two.

TRAVIS: There was a chamber and then a library.

LAURA: And then you touched the thing and we got sucked into a dragon thing, and then we almost got killed.

SAM: Small dragon.

MATT: "Small dragon?"

LAURA: A blue one.

MATT: "And you survived this?"

TRAVIS: We did. I believe it was vanquished, but we also only saw--

LAURA: Almost kind of super close.

TRAVIS: -- a portion of this device.

LIAM: We got the sense that the creator of this thing is, was, is/was somewhat paranoid.

MATT:"You could say that, yes. A very, very powerful archmage of old."

MARISHA: Is Hamas the name of the guy who made it?

MATT: Halas.

MARISHA: Halas, the guy that, yeah.

MATT: "You see, the dangers of such pursuits as this device is that they require solitary efforts. Archmages do not usually work with others, as the result of covetous interest in such a device and the secrets it holds. Do you know how many powerful mages in Exandria would kill for this key?"

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: I don't even know how many there are.

MATT: "There are quite a few."

LAURA: Are you an archmage?

MATT: "More or less, yes. I belong to a circle of mages known as the Arcana Pansophical, we look to keep order in things. But we are but a handful amongst a multitude of various moral interests."

LIAM: Have I heard about or read about the Pansophical?

MATT: Make a history check.

TALIESIN: I have something I've always wanted to ask, if that's all right. Are you a good archmage or a bad archmage?

MATT: (laughs) "That's a very deep question. I would like to think a good archmage."

TALIESIN: Insight check just for that.

MATT: Make an insight check.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you insight check Allura.

TALIESIN: 21. (chair scraping the floor) (laughter) I mean, I don't need it. I just really wanted to do it.

TRAVIS: He's whispering, "Don't insight check Allura, motherfucker."

SAM: Turns out Allura was evil this whole time and has been playing the long game.

LIAM: She cuts off Caduceus' hand and says, "It's just business." (explosion) (laughter)

TALIESIN: Thank you, good insight check, thank you.

MATT: Of course.

TALIESIN: Oh man.

MATT: "Well, if anything, the knowledge that he entrusted me as the ally for his excursion and apparently you is comforting in some way, I suppose."

TALIESIN: Now is as good a time as any to practice a little bit of radical honesty. He was not aware that we were coming, but we've--

LAURA: We did give him the ball, though.

TALIESIN: And we did entrust him with it, so.

MATT: "That's good."

TALIESIN: We're here to help.

MATT: "Of all the multitude of individuals you could have entrusted it to, you have made one of the better choices."

TALIESIN: (relieved sigh)

SAM: Can you extract him from this ball, or do we need to go in and fetch?

MATT: "I-- give me a moment." And she pores through some of the-- What did you roll for a history check?

LIAM: So low, I rolled a three, a 13.

MATT: You've maybe had passing mention in your reading, but you don't remember or recall any specific information about it. And what did you roll for your investigation checks?

SAM: 15.

MATT: 15, and...?

SAM: She rolled like six or something.

LAURA: I rolled six.

MATT: That's fine. "I understand that, so you gave him this object. Are you under his employ otherwise? What is your purpose in coming here, then?"

SAM: We work for ourselves.

TRAVIS: Allies, yes.

TALIESIN: We were actually here to hope to expand that relationship, it's been a rough it's been a rough couple...

MARISHA: We don't have many friends.

LIAM: To be honest, I think he saw, if I may be so bold, a bit of promise in us.

MATT: "That is an extension of that comforting thought, isn't that, then? Now you've already been to this place once."

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: We could guide you through it.

LAURA: Ish.

MATT: "You see, the thing, it's called the Archmage Bane for a reason."

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

MATT: "The entities that would be covetous of such a device and the secrets that it holds would be those of my particular skill set. Assuredly, there are many defenses within that are designed specifically to keep individuals like me and Yussa from reaching these secrets. Which I assume is what has befallen him, and hopefully not to a serious degree. I think I would be less of a boon and more of a burden if I were to accompany you."

LIAM: Was he reckless to go in, then? If you are so wary.

MATT: "Yes, I would say so." (chuckles nervously) "But you know, some folks can't help themselves when the shiny red button is before them."

LAURA: Shiny red button! That's what you pushed.

TRAVIS: I pushed a shiny red button.

MATT: "Don't do that again, please."

TRAVIS: I won't. We're more than happy to go in and try and retrieve your friend, if you'll put in a good word for us.

MATT: "I have--" She reaches into the satchel and pulls out a hand mirror of some kind. It looks too wide to have fit into this satchel. She pulls it out. It's silver outside. "Here, take this with you. It should allow us some brief communication across the planes. Only a few times a day for about ten minutes, so be mindful of it."

LAURA: I didn't realize my hair looked like this, we've been through some shit.

TALIESIN: I like it.

MATT: As you're looking through, Nott, you do find amongst the notes, this.

ALL: Ooh!

SAM: I think I found something over here!

TRAVIS: Do you need instructions on the mirror?

SAM: Oh, he's been doing some mapping of the Happy Fun Ball realm.

LAURA: Wow, look at all this things!

SAM: A little disjointed, but there are definitely chambers and connections between them.

LAURA: Wait, where did we go? We went to the library.

TRAVIS: Can we give it to the Xerox machine over here?

SAM: Sure, sure, but we're going to keep it with us.

LAURA: There's a study, that's where we popped into originally. That's why there's so many lines coming out of it.

SAM: From the study, there's the dragon guard exit.

LAURA: That's where we were.

SAM: So those are the places we've been.

LAURA: How do we know - Allura?

SAM: Tapestry entrance. Is that where we went in?

MATT: When you first arrived, there was a chamber with four tapestries.

TRAVIS: Put that bitch on the table!

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

SAM: Sorry, sorry.

LAURA: Wait, let's take a picture of it so that we can--

MARISHA: Holy shit.

TRAVIS: Aww fuck.

MATT: You want to move it this way.

SAM and LAURA: (yelling)

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

SAM: There's something called the Flesh Mend Facility.

TRAVIS: Yussa's got a little bit of an artist in him!

MATT: Now, interesting point of order, while this map is centered here, the paper, it seems a lot of this is unfinished and even looking at this and looking at the notes, Allura glances and she goes, "It's quite a few rooms but that what I could glean from my arcane readings, this is maybe 20-25% of the entirety of the Folding Halls of Halas."

TRAVIS: These names are terrible.

SAM: I know, read some out, Travis.

TRAVIS: The Dreadnought, the Prison of Soot, the Crystal Mines, the Diamond Entrance.

SAM: They're not all bad, there's the Guest Quarters.

LIAM: The Carving Farm.

SAM: Okay, that's not good.

MARISHA: The Experiment Chambers?

SAM and LAURA: (squealing)

MARISHA: Well, if he's already mapped these places out--

LAURA: The Flesh Mound Facility sounds pretty kinky.

MARISHA: If his goal is--

SAM: There's one that's just called the Fuck Room.

(laughter)

SAM: It's crazy.

TRAVIS: Those ley lines, man. Are there any instructions we need to know about the mirror when using it three times a day?

MATT: "Just rub the surface of it and call out my name."

LAURA: So I shouldn't do that right now?

MATT: "I would not recommend it."

LIAM: Point of order, group, for every minute that we spend debating what to do, a vastly greater amount of time is passing.

TRAVIS: Very true.

LIAM: Anything we need to do here now we need to decide and then go.

LAURA: Do we need anything for the inside?

MATT: "I don't know, I mean..."

TRAVIS: You don't happen to have any health potions on you, right? It did fuck us up just a fair bit.

MATT: "I keep one on me, and since I am staying here."

LIAM: Is there anything obvious on the walls?

TRAVIS: Yeah, item-wise.

LAURA: Or that says like where he would have been going to next, where he's trying to get to.

MARISHA: I actually wouldn't mind doing an investigation check, as well.

MATT: Make an investigation check against the notes.

LAURA: I'm going to Guide you!

LIAM: I'm going to search for useful or magic shit!

TALIESIN: I'll also put Guidance on you if you're doing an investigation check.

MARISHA: Roll good, roll good.

LIAM: Dammit!

MARISHA: Oh, is that a, that's a natural 20, right?

LIAM: Yep.

TRAVIS: Confirmed, natural 20.

MARISHA: Natural 20.

MATT: On that investigation check?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm looking for secrets.

TRAVIS: Fucking wizard shit.

MATT: Allura produces these two potions. (cheering)

SAM: Whoa, what the fuck is that? Look at that!

TRAVIS: (glugging)

MATT: "Very thirsty half-orc. Very well."

LAURA: Whoa, that's beautiful, Matt.

TALIESIN: (vocalizing)

MARISHA: Oh yeah, we just haven't had one of those yet.

LIAM: Where's my basic potion?

LAURA: Oh, maybe this is it.

MARISHA: Secrets!

MATT: So you rolled a natural 20, plus your investigation equals what?

MARISHA: Plus my investigation, plus the Guidance. 31.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Do that fucking shit.

MARISHA: Finally, my class!

MATT: Looking at the map, specifically, a lot of the notes look like there's no ink on them. You can see writings in the paper but they're designed not to be followed by anyone else's eyes. You see Allura's frustration going through them like, "Well, he's being smart about it. Unfortunately, not leaving much of a paper trail." You, looking over the map as you guys are poring over it can see--

MARISHA: I'm really into paper trails

MATT: There are areas in the map that the drawing, and there's a lot of tapping around specific locations where it looks like a lot of intent and thought, you begin to see in your mind, like visualize him thinking and making a lot of notes around and focusing on certain areas of the map and looking at the various quill marks and the pressure put into the paper, the ones that gain the most attention are the Study, the Arcane Armory, and the Permaheart Chamber.

SAM: Study, Arcane what?

LAURA: The study...

TALIESIN: Arcane Armory.

LAURA: Arcane Armory and the Permaheart.

MATT: And because you rolled so high an investigation check,

MARISHA: Yes?

MATT: Your brain goes, Permaheart, Permaheart...

LAURA: Oh, there it is, it's the triangle up at the top.

MATT: Permaheart, Permaheart...

TALIESIN: Fastest way is from the tapestry.

SAM: But?

MATT: Something about the Laughing Hand.

MARISHA: (gasps)

LAURA: The heart!

TRAVIS: On another plane.

LAURA: I told you! I fucking told you.

TRAVIS: On another plane. You did, you said it for all fucking weekend, I know.

MATT: That's what a natural 20 gets you.

TRAVIS: (screaming) Fucking detective!

SAM: Break Marisha's bones!

MARISHA: Ah! What if there's a heart on another--

LAURA: Remember, the heart is on another fucking plane, and I said what if it's in the Happy Fun Ball? I said that a long time ago!

SAM: She is the best detective.

LAURA: I'm such a good detective!

SAM: Good job, Jester!

(laughter)

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: We might not be fucked. We might still have a chance to get ahead of this.

SAM: I will say this, also: there's only a few of these rooms that don't connect to another room, and the Permaheart is one of them.

TRAVIS: Just because it's on the map doesn't mean it's going to work that way.

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

MARISHA: So the Permaheart is a room and not a physical thing?

LAURA: If we get rid of the heart, than that means he can be killed.

MATT: You can guys can look over the map closely, if you want to now.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: I'm looking at my picture.

LIAM: I rolled 13 looking for magic bullshit.

MATT: For which one?

LIAM: 15, oh looking for magic anything, items.

MARISHA: The Experiment Chambers...

TALIESIN: Diamond, the Garden, Tower Machine, the Golem Workshop.

MARISHA: So we came in--

MATT: This is just an arcana check you're doing?

LIAM: I wanted to see if he had wands, spells, anything that would be useful.

MARISHA: The Tapestry Entrance is where we came last time.

LIAM: I'll take his shit to save him.

MATT: I understand.

LAURA: I'm sending you guys a picture of the map.

MATT: Looking through this chamber, with a 15, you do see behind one of the glass elements of the case there, there is a vial of liquid that catches your attention. Amongst a bunch of other empty glass vials, but one of them is still full. And--

LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: That doesn't mean that's where he is, though.

SAM: Yeah, that's true.

TALIESIN: But if he were--

LAURA: What if he's like, oh my god.

MARISHA: What if he's a part of this?! What if he is a part of this?

MATT: And that's it.

LAURA: What if Halas is a part of it? What if he, because it's his place to begin with?

SAM: Halas?

LAURA: Yeah, not holla. Holla!

LIAM: Matt, is it "Halas" or "Halis"?

MATT: Halas is how I have...

LIAM: Halas.

SAM: Is there a room on the map that says Vox Machina crossover room?

(laughter)

TRAVIS: No.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay, though. Okay. Can I do another room sweep and see if I see anything about the Angel of Irons, does it look like Yussa's getting into some cult shit?

SAM: We can ask him when we find him!

LAURA: Time is passing! He's trapped in there.

LIAM: Four days have already gone by since I said we have to leave. We should go.

TALIESIN: Let's go, let's go in.

SAM: He's not going to spend all of those four days in the Fuck Room, either.

MARISHA: Okay, hang on, we have to figure out where we're going, we don't want to just dive in without a plan.

TRAVIS: It depends on where we go in. I would also note that place is bad.

LAURA: Isn't that the reverse, Caleb? Wouldn't it be only like a little bit of time has passed in there?

TALIESIN: No, a lot of--

LAURA: Because seven days had passed out here, five days had passed out here and only like two hours in there.

LIAM: No, we were not in there that long and people on the outside were like, "where are they? They're gone."

MATT: Correct, but you're not in the Fun Ball for the time being.

LAURA: I understand, okay, okay.

MATT: So actually, Jester is correct.

LIAM: The quick is inside, the slow is outside, isn't it?

MATT: Correct, so right now, you guys taking an hour here would take a few minutes there, maybe.

LIAM: I got it backwards, yeah.

MATT: You don't have the exact exchange rate of time, and you don't even know if it's constant.

TALIESIN: There's a couple different options. But we can either go to the dining hall or the study. We've been to the study, but the dining hall then leads to guest quarters--

LAURA: But we have to pop in to the study to get to anything else.

SAM: We don't know where we'll pop in, but press that fucking button!

MARISHA: Yeah, we don't have control.

TRAVIS: Let's go. I mean, I'm good at a few things. Pushing shit that gets us in trouble is one of them.

MATT: As you guys are scattering around, Allura's looking at the orb and inspecting it, you can see beads of sweat, she's like, (sighs) "It's rare that you look right into the face of something designed to destroy you. He's braver than I. You're braver than I."

LAURA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Oh no, definitely not.

TRAVIS: Blissfully ignorant.

LAURA: We're just stupid.

MATT: "Stupid's fine, I've been there myself."

SAM: They call me brave.

MATT: "I'm sure you are."

MARISHA: Okay, well. For quick context, there's a big demon that's been unleashed called the Laughing Hand, this monster by this demon named Obann on all part of this cult called the Angel of Irons, and somehow we think that this might loop into it, but we're not totally sure, so we're going to go now. You have a look of recognition in your face?

MATT: "No, I don't know what that is. We'll talk when you return."

LAURA: But what if we don't return? Let people know, okay?

MATT: "Then I will pass that on."

SAM: We're dealing with otherworldly threats.

TRAVIS: (beeping) Okay, bye.

LIAM: It's not a button, it's like a Rubik's Cube that needs to be--

TRAVIS: I still touch it.

MATT: Who wants to attempt to try and figure out -

MARISHA: You did it last time, right?

MATT: You go up and walk to it and you remember. Looking at the device and remember what it looked like and glancing at it now, its arrangement from last time you saw it is entirely different. It seems to continuously reconfigure its outer shell with each successful entry.

LAURA: Maybe, Allura, would you know, okay, maybe Caleb.

SAM: We can do this. Caleb's the smartest.

LAURA: You're pretty smart.

LIAM: I'm good with mechanical devices and mathematics and such. But a little assist would be.

TALIESIN: You got it.

LAURA: Oh yeah, here's some Guidance, just for you.

MATT: Allura holds onto the hand mirror off the side and steps back towards the entrance of the chamber. "I'll watch from over here, just being careful." She steps back onto the landing and is still watching through the doorway, but just like-- Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Okay, so I sit down in front of it and send Caleb to sit on Allura's feet.

MATT: Send Caleb?

LIAM: Yes, Caleb, exactly. Frumpkin, I'm stressed out by the ball! I send Frumpkin over to sit - but it'd be cool if Caleb sat on her feet, though.

(laughter)

MATT: "Strange."

LIAM: (purrs) Okay, so with Guidance, come on. All right, that's good. And the Guidance.

TRAVIS: Here we go. Here we go!

LIAM: 26.

MATT: 26. Yeah, okay. You find one of the central bands, there's a false band that actually splits. You go to rotate it and instead it splits partway open. At that point, there's a small little section where a button press, you click with your finger. As you do it, whirs open slightly, almost going to an ovoid shape. The whole thing reconfigures and you're like, "that's strange." Looking on the opposite end, you can see there's a slight bit of exposed greenish crystal now. As you take that and begin to turn it, (clicking) (whooshes) The whole thing adjusts and as it does, bright blue light begins to (whirring) appear from within all the various nooks and crannies. It fills the chamber with a flash. And that's where we're going to take a break.

(yelling)

MARISHA: Okay, wait, wait, okay.

TRAVIS: She's back!

LIAM: My heart is so full!

LAURA: I'm so happy! (clapping)

MARISHA: Thank fuck.

TRAVIS: Sorry!

LIAM: I know it's meta, but that is such a point of favor for Yussa that he is friends with her.

MARISHA: Fuck yeah.

MATT: As a note, this is your Mirror of Infinite Transpondence. Granted by her.

TRAVIS: It can break, right?

MATT: It possibly can break, and it seems like it's only three uses within a period of a day cycle.

TALIESIN: God only knows what a day means in this other--

LAURA: That's amazing!

TRAVIS: Ten minutes of usage?

MATT: Yeah, per use.

LAURA: We can do it three times a day?

SAM: Wow!

LAURA: That's amazing.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: Going on a break.

SAM: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, break. Is there a contest?

MATT: We're going to go to break. We'll be back here shortly. We do have our fantastic Wyrmwood giveaway! So we have the new Hero Vault from our friends at Wyrmwood. The Kickstarter has ended but they are now available for pre-order on Backer Kit if you didn't have the opportunity to do so. Fantastic art on the cover from friend of the show Deven Rue, it's amazing. This one goes to a lucky winner who gets chosen during the break. The keyword tonight is "PATHS" plural, P-A-T-H-S. Put it in once, more than once and you'll be disqualified and once again only people in the US and Canada excluding Quebec because of stupid laws. We'll have a winner when we come back from the break here shortly.

MARISHA: And enjoy Travis's Spooktacular!

MATT: Yes, enjoy!

TRAVIS: Fuck!

MARISHA: Yes, clowns.

TRAVIS: Yeah, scary clowns.

MARISHA: Go ahead.

TRAVIS: Bye!

BreakEdit

(epic 80s synth music) ♪ You've got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open the webpage ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ In that mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D ♪ ♪ D&D, yeah ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah, D&D ♪ ♪ D&D, yeah ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats, you've got your swords ♪ ♪ And you've got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ (epic 80s synth music) (soulful banjo music) TRAVIS (V.O.): (as Reverend Mason) Our father, we gather here as strangers brought together by gold now bound by fate and fear. We remain steadfast in our bodies and in our minds, but this evil we face now meets us ill-prepared. For guidance, we ask you now. For... protection, not just for our lives, but for our very souls. Be our light as we enter the darkness. (guitar and banjo strumming) (fire crackles) (zen music) (groovy synth music) TRAVIS (V.O.): Last time, on Yee-Haw Game Ranch. (bat squeaks) (wings flapping) BRIAN and TRAVIS: Well, hell. (screaming) TRAVIS: What the fuck, what the fuck?! TALIESIN: Welcome to Yee-Haw Spooky Ranch! BRIAN: Yee-Haw Spooky Ranch? There's no way; we were just in Jungle Ranch. TALIESIN: A friend of yours left a message, where is it? Ah, yes (struggling grunts). BRIAN: Looks like a message. TRAVIS: The dexterity on this fucking thing. TALIESIN: "Dear Cardboard Face and Chosen One," BRIAN: Ah. TRAVIS: (laughs) TALIESIN: "If you are receiving this message, it means "that the Tome of Realm-portation was successful!" Mm! BRIAN: Wait, you don't think it's, you don't think it's Bast'Alar, do you? You think he knows him? TALIESIN: Did you say Bast'Alar? TRAVIS: Well-- TALIESIN: Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long time. TRAVIS: What the fuck?! BRIAN: What?! You know Bast'Alar? TALIESIN: Hah! Know him, well, not by that stupid moniker he uses now. I knew him ages ago, a simpler time. When he was known as Mitten McFluffyFloof. BRIAN: You're telling me that creature's name was once Mittens McFluffyFloof? TALIESIN: Are you really surprised? He hasn't always been the Ascended One, or whatever. BRIAN: Ascended One, how do you know him? TALIESIN: A long time ago, before he rose to power-- TRAVIS: He's monologuing. TALIESIN: We were just stray kittens living on the streets of Neo-Gameland. TRAVIS: Fucking where? TALIESIN: When you live on the streets in a place like that, you learn quickly that you need companionship to survive. TRAVIS: Oh, they were lovers. TALIESIN: We hunted together, ate together, and kept each other warm on cold nights. TRAVIS: They're fucking. BRIAN: -- warm. TALIESIN: I always accepted my fate of being abandoned on the streets, but he could never come to terms with it. That's a story for another time, Swamp Cooler Breath. TRAVIS: (laughs) TALIESIN: Now, it is time for you to charge our Game Soul with your laughs and your screams! (evil laughing) (coughing) TRAVIS: Oh, shit. TALIESIN: Excuse me. (hacking) BRIAN: Are you vaping, sir? Is he gone? TRAVIS: Somebody wants to hit him with something long. BRIAN: Where is he? TRAVIS: There he is. That guy. BRIAN: Oh, he just exploded all over my face. TRAVIS: Yep, that one. Well, I don't think that's, again, the way we want to phrase it. BRIAN: That's what happened. Oh, what is this, is that cigarettes? TRAVIS: Don't open the door again! There, you got him. BRIAN: Oh, it's ammo. Wow. Oh my god. TRAVIS: Dude, the Spookyverse rains candy! BRIAN: Dude, this place is amazing! TRAVIS: This is the best thing ever! Big sound, ow. Big bear, big bear chase me! Big bear chase me. BRIAN: I got him. (machine gun fires) TRAVIS: Oh yeah, you're in trouble, here, I'm going to get over to you and-- BRIAN: Where is he? TRAVIS: I'm going to help you out. BRIAN: Let me at him! TRAVIS: Help you up. (Brian yells) You're walking around with a doll! Do you know how fucked that is? BRIAN: I mean... TRAVIS: If somebody sees us, they're going to shoot us. BRIAN: It's not that far off from real life, but. TRAVIS: Two people with white jumpsuits walking around with dolls? BRIAN: Creepy ain't a crime. (screaming) Was that mine or yours? You still have yours, do I still have mine? Whose was it? Can we go in there? I don't want to go in there, but can we? (Brian yells) TRAVIS: I don't want to play anymore. Come here, you piece of shit! (screaming) I'm going to get you (more screaming) BRIAN: Did you get it? TRAVIS: I got it. BRIAN: How did you do it? TRAVIS: I ran. BRIAN: You ran over it? (Brian whimpers loudly) We're good. TRAVIS: Are we supposed to be-- BRIAN: We're good, we're good we're good, ah, key (screams)! Fuck! TRAVIS: Whoa, what the fuck is that? BRIAN: Fuck! TRAVIS: No no no no no no no! BRIAN: I threw the doll at her and she took it! Fuck, shit! Oh fuck, dude dude dude. Is she dancing? TRAVIS: Stop looking at her, dude, stop looking at her. (roaring) (screaming) BRIAN: Can I kill her with the pen, oh god, oh god. How do I run? Oh fuck me, dude, get me out of here. Get me out of here. Get me out of here, get me out of here, man. (screaming) TRAVIS: Nope, I'm not looking over there. Not looking over there. BRIAN: Look, look, look! TRAVIS: Nope, not doing it. (Brian screams) TRAVIS: I'm alive. BRIAN and TRAVIS: You are a doll? BRIAN: I'm a little doll now! TRAVIS: What is that? BRIAN: Dude. TRAVIS: Is that you? BRIAN: It's me! TRAVIS: Come here, can I pick you up, you little piece of shit? (Brian yells gleefully) Little Toy Story motherfucker, come here! Come here, Woody! BRIAN: You can't get me! I have wood! How do I use my wood, Jerry? TRAVIS: Can I take this rapier? BRIAN: Whoa! Dude, watch, watch, look, I can jump super high. TRAVIS: Holy shit. BRIAN: Later! (laughter) TRAVIS: Oh! Oh no, oh no! Why am I walking so slow? Oh, please fucking run. Is that her? (creepy growling) (screaming) Oh shit, oh fuck! BRIAN: Whoa, that looks cool, look, look, look! You're stuck, look, but you're still alive (screams). Look, look at me, dude, yeah! (dramatic orchestral music)

Part IIEdit

MATT: Welcome back, before we get into the game, we do have our winner of the Wyrmwood Hero Vault. The winner is BeerBaronessWA, which I assume is Washington, but BeerBaronessWA, congratulations, we'll get this sent to you A-S-A-P, well done. Alrighty.

LAURA: We're in it, we're in it!

SAM: We're in the Happy Fun Ball.

LAURA: My back hurts.

SAM: I'm sorry.

LAURA: It's okay.

SAM: Need lumbar support.

TALIESIN: Lumbar.

MATT: The green light recedes, the temperature adjusts. Colder than the warm, Nicodranas humid interior, that is moisture-less, chilly. Glancing around yourself, you see your party standing in a diamond shaped chamber with a corner on each side of you. The room appears to be made of--

MARISHA: There's a few, there's also the Diamond Entrance. Probably the Diamond Entrance.

TALIESIN: Shh, shh!

MATT: It looks to be a turquoise colored marble that surrounds you entirely within the chamber. Right in front of you, there is a doorway and then behind you in the far corner opposite of it is another doorway. One looks to be of silver trim, the other gold.

MARISHA: We need to make it to the garden.

TALIESIN: Let's all take a second and breathe, take a look around. Let's just say out loud anything you see and don't necessarily touch anything.

LAURA: Don't touch anything!

LIAM: And we're going to alert each other of anything we do.

MATT: You look up on the ceiling, Caduceus. You see embedded in the ceiling-- it's a sculpture of like a tower but it's curving. It's curving around, almost but not quite looping in on itself, like a giant C shape. You can see it almost resembling a twisted tree that's been bent forcefully into a U with a series of smaller branches shooting off of it. But you can see within the design, windows and little doorways and even small little gears and pieces of it that appear to be constructed.

TALIESIN: That's a lot.

LAURA: Whoa.

MATT: It looks like almost odd leaves on a near-barren tree seeing all the little details and dots around this curved tower that's thick in places and thin in others. It seems to defy physics or logic of any tower you've seen.

TALIESIN: Same that way.

MATT: In the center of the loop, sits a large, thick humanoid-like relief without a face. Its arms and legs sprawled like an anatomy study. It catches your attention. It's pretty, pretty odd.

SAM: It's just a picture?

MATT: It's a stone sculpture, like a relief.

LAURA: But is it moving?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: I will definitely get in on that.

LAURA: Guide me! Did that count, because he bounced off his arm?

TALIESIN: I did catch it with my elbow.

MATT: You did, you would have taken it if it was good, though.

LAURA: Would I have, though?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Don't think I would have. But okay.

MATT: I'll let you roll again, then. Go for it.

TALIESIN: 20.

LAURA: I'll roll the same one.

TALIESIN: Same number!

LAURA: Same number.

MATT: Look at that, (laughs), it was meant to be.

TALIESIN: I rolled 20 perception.

LAURA: I rolled a 10. 10.

MATT: Okay, it is not moving. The whole relief appears still.

TALIESIN: Anything odd about it, is it giving off any kind of, the gears aren't moving, it just seems to be--

LIAM: Are they moveable?

MATT: It's just stationary.

TALIESIN: Are there grooves cut in it or does it all seem like one piece of stone? It's so far away--

MATT: It's about 20 feet above you.

TALIESIN: Oh, that ain't bad.

MATT: At this distance, it looks like a carved design. What was your question?

LIAM: Does anything look moveable?

MATT: Make an investigation check, or you'd probably have to get closer to check that.

LAURA: You guys, maybe we shouldn't touch anything that we don't have a path for already, because, you know, it leads to dragons.

TALIESIN: We should take a look at it at very least, just not touch.

MARISHA: We can figure this out. Can I look for any markings on the wall or any type of script?

MATT: Sure, make an investigation check.

MARISHA: Any form of indicators?

TALIESIN: D4.

LAURA: I'm going to look at the doors

TALIESIN: You've got a d4 on that.

LAURA: See if I can see any identifying features on the doors.

TALIESIN: Yeah, go do your work.

LAURA: So that we know which one leads to which.

MARISHA: Thank you. Come on, come on, this is what you do. Okay, well, it could be worse.

TRAVIS: That's normally what you do.

MARISHA: (Marisha sighs) Investigation, you said?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: 20 total - no, sorry, six plus 12 is 18.

MATT: Okay. Looking along the walls, you don't see any script but as you come across the archways, you and Jester both approach and the gold archway there is no door there, it is just a black space. You pick up specifically a smell under the gold archway, of kind of an earthy smell. Something that reminds you of open fields and greenery.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: You head back towards the silver one and there is no discernible scent.

SAM: Is there a door on that side?

MATT: No, both arches are just open arches to darkness.

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: Is anyone standing underneath that faceless face? The featureless face?

LAURA: It's above all of us, isn't it?

MATT: It's in the center of the chamber upward about 20 feet or so and the roof itself seems like a curved like a stretched dome almost.

SAM: Has anyone moved directly under that?

MATT: You guys arrived directly under it.

SAM: Okay, got it.

TRAVIS: Is there any sort of dust or dirt that's been disturbed on the floor below us, like prints from someone that might have come before?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LARUA: It looks like if we're trying to get--

MATT: Actually, this would be tracks, so make a survival, that's what this would be.

LAURA: We need to go to the garden.

TRAVIS: Reroll, it's a different modifier.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: There's two ways to go.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: 14, there's not a lot of dust in this room. For there to be dust in this chamber, there would have to be a lot of foot traffic or existing of things that give off skin flakes, not a lot of dust in this chamber.

TRAVIS: Skin flakes, I mean you're right but ugh.

TALIESIN: Hey Beau?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I think we're going to need a bit of you, I got an idea.

MARISHA: What do you mean, need a bit--

TALIESIN: Lemme give you something. And I touch you and cast Enhance Ability and give you Fox's Cunning. You have advantage on all intelligence checks for the next hour.

MARISHA: Dope!

MATT: Slick.

TRAVIS: Caleb?

LIAM: Yeah?

TRAVIS: A penny for your wizardy thoughts.

TALIESIN: Remember, you can't do the d4--

LIAM: Well, the thing I'm thinking about is--

LAURA: I can. You're right.

LIAM: This place is probably full of magical death and I could certainly take my time room by room to reveal things to us, but each room, whether expediency or clarity is of greater use is--

TALIESIN: I feel like if I were building a thing like this, I would put the worse stuff further in. I feel like we're just on the-- I feel like this the lobby. It's not necessarily worth going over it unless we can see some signs of people who have been here. If that makes sense.

MARISHA: We have a direction. We know we should go to the garden.

LAURA: Me and Nott have been doing our detective due diligence.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

LAURA: And we have found two pathways--

SAM: Two.

LAURA: That are the shortest way to get to the heart.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: One of them will take us-- they'll both take us through the garden, yes. One of us will take us to the Crystal Mines, to the Dreadnought, to the--

SAM and LAURA: Experiment Chambers.

LAURA: And then to the Heart Study, and then to the heart, potentially.

SAM: Or B. To the Garden, the Tower Machine, the Golem Workshop--

SAM and LAURA: Experiment Chambers, Heart Study--

LAURA: Heart.

SAM: So basically, we're deciding between Dreadnought or Golem Workshop.

TALIESIN: I feel like...

MARISHA: Dreadnought sounds fucking terrifying.

TRAVIS: I assume there's just no undiscovered route from, I don't know, the Tapestry Entrance to the Heart Study?

TALIESIN: I don't know if we're trailblazing here necessarily.

SAM: We are not.

LAURA: It might be--

TRAVIS: I'm just putting it out there, of course, because who are we-- the Guest Quarters to the Dining Hall to the Tapestry Entrance all have words in them that don't suck mortal death!

(laughter)

LARUA: True, but they might not suck mortal death because they're not guarding the heart.

TRAVIS: Maybe.

LAURA: Both of these pathways--

TRAVIS: He's a talented artist, and there seem to be one, two, three, four little sections on the Tapestry Entrance and only one, two routes out of the map so far. If we could find the one that went Boop!

MARISHA: Also, just pointing it out, not trying to throw another thing to think about, but in my investigation check, the Arcane Armory and the study were both heavily pored over. Do we feel like there's any need to go to there, or--

LAURA: Probably because they lead to a lot of other things, maybe?

MARISHA: Maybe.

SAM: Well, why don't we take the first step. We know we have to go through the garden to get anywhere. So let's go there and maybe we call--

LAURA: Fjord, how would we even get to the Tapestry Entrance? We're at the Diamond Entrance.

MATT: As a note, too, the Tapestry Entrance, you guys checked not all but I think three of the tapestries, one of which was the exit, one of which electrocuted a bunch of you, and another one that seemed to have, if I recall-- I have to look it up, but another form of--

MARISHA: Pain?

MATT: Pain.

TRAVIS: That's right. And it goes bing, boom, boom.

LIAM: We spent very little time--

MATT: There is a tapestry you haven't checked out.

LIAM: --very little time in the Study before Fjord sent us to the dragon.

TALIESIN: I'm excited about the Garden, I feel like the Garden is--

SAM: Let's go to the Garden, then we can call, we can always call with the mirror, we can call Lady Alina, Alena, Elena? Something like that.

LAURA: Allura.

SAM: I like Elena better.

TRAVIS: The Garden it is.

TALIESIN: What's the difference between these two doors?

TRAVIS: Gold and silver.

LAURA: One is gold, one is silver.

SAM: One leads to the garden.

MARISHA: This one's to the garden, the gold one. G for garden.

LAURA: Let's fucking do it! Let's do it, let's be proactive.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm in touch with nature.

SAM: She smelled stuff on it. She knows where we're going.

MARISHA: Are you impressed or judging me?

TALIESIN: It can be both.

(laughter)

SAM: To the garden!

MARISHA: To the garden!

MATT: All right, you step to the precipice of the golden archway. Who steps through first?

MARISHA: I'm there.

LAURA: I'll follow.

MARISHA: Zoom!

MATT: Beau leaps through.

LAURA: I go right after.

TRAVIS: I'll go third.

MATT: Fjord jumps through.

TALIESIN: I'll go fourth.

MATT: Caduceus jumps through.

SAM: I'll go.

MATT: Nott goes through, Caleb?

LIAM: (whooshes)

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: All right. You step through the archway and the moment you step into it you see this tiny little point of light. Like faint greenish blue tint. It (whooshes) opens up rapidly and for a split second you can see the shape of what looks to be some sort of a lush, jungle-type location awaiting you, but it's climbing at you at a rapid speed. For a moment, trying to figure out what's up, what's down, you feel like you're plummeting at full speed from a great height. You catch your breath in your lungs, but there's no air. And then suddenly (thud), you stumble out with a very, very extreme amount of force tumbling across a grassy, thick jungle floor. Make an acrobatics check for me. All of you need to make an acrobatics check.

LIAM: That's what you roll high on, really, acrobatics?

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

SAM: Ooh!

MARISHA: 18.

LIAM: 20.

SAM: 20.

LAURA: 13.

TALIESIN: One.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Get down with that nature, yo.

MATT: So all of you take a shoulder tumble into the momentum that carries you through this opening, skidding, missing a few sharp rocks. Caduceus comes in ass over tea kettle, (scraping sound) skidding into the dirt.

LIAM: That's a big tea kettle.

MATT: Yeah. And you do suffer four points of bludgeoning damage.

TALIESIN: Do I have to make a Concentration check?

MATT: You do.

LAURA: Aww!

TALIESIN: Okay, four points of bludgeoning damage.

MATT: So just roll a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: What do you have up?

LAURA: Enhance Ability.

TALIESIN: Yeah, thankfully I have advantage, so yeah, that's 19.

MATT: 19, you're fine.

TALIESIN: And I did roll another natural one, but I get to ignore it.

MATT: You do, fair enough. All right. So as you all adjust your bearings, you now stand within this incredibly tall room. You actually cannot see the ceiling from where you stand. Instead, you're in the center of a lush jungle. With thick, vine-covered tropical trees stretching up multiple stories towards a sourceless, unchanging sunset.

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: Soft orange and red glow appearing through a somewhat muggy, humid sky above. Or it's a room, you have to consciously remind yourself that or if you've stumbled into some other plane. It should be a room, but it feels like a jungle.

SAM: Is this where the wild things are?

(laughter)

LAURA: When it said garden, I thought like roses.

MATT: You can see amongst the dozens and dozens of immediately visible thick jungle trees, knotted and vine-covered roots and trunk. You can see the various bits of fauna and ferns that are heavily overgrown the base and the floor, the vicinity around you. You can see past the trees to the front and left of where you landed what looks to be a massive mountainside cliff of rock that rises up past visual sight and you can hear the faint sound of rushing water, like a waterfall just out of sight.

LIAM: He has sketched that in on his map. It's possibly of significance.

LAURA: What if all this is just a big illusion or something?

MARISHA: It could be.

SAM: Go touch some-- go draw a dick on a tree.

LAURA: I feel like we shouldn't touch anything.

SAM: But look at all these surfaces.

MATT: As you look around, you begin to see now these soft little motes of dancing light, faintly orange like little fireflies that just glide through the air around you.

MARISHA: Does this look recognizable to anything I might have studied?

MATT: Make an arcana check.

TRAVIS: The motes aren't connected to anything, they're free floating?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: With advantage.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, it is intellect. I'm going to leave that one there. Mm-hmm, 19.

MATT: 19.

MARISHA: Thanks, Caduceus.

MATT: These you've heard about, they're referred to as Scribe Mites. They just freely float, but around the presence of magical spellcraft or incantations or any sort of strong magical presence, they gravitate towards it to eat.

LAURA: (groans) (gasps) No wonder, if Allura had been here, they would have all come to her and tried to devour her.

MARISHA: Eat her. They're like lighting bugs, but piranha lighting bugs.

TRAVIS: We have an Allura, yeah.

LAURA: Caleb, why aren't they trying to eat you? Are you not powerful enough?

SAM: Of course he's powerful enough. He can do whatever he wants.

MARISHA: I'd just be careful, maybe not--

LIAM: Time will tell.

MARISHA: --cast anything. Sorry.

TRAVIS: The ground beneath our feet, grass, moving? Anything adapting to our presence here?

MATT: Make an investigation check. Investigation or perception, your choice.

TRAVIS: 17 investigation.

MATT: 17?

LAURA: Crystal Mines.

MATT: Nothing appears to be shifting or moving out of the ordinary. It appears to be just standing in the middle of a natural space.

LAURA: We have to find entrances, something that will lead us to another--

SAM: Would you like to go to the mountains or to the water?

TRAVIS: Caleb did say the waterfall was on the map. Perhaps we should--

LIAM: He sketched it there. It's probably no accident.

LAURA: It looks like the line leading to the Crystal Mines is at the top of the garden? Maybe that is useful.

TRAVIS: Maybe we climb up.

LIAM: Well, the best lead we have is his map. Otherwise, we are just picking a random direction, ja?

TALIESIN: Do we want to make our presence known or do we want to try and keep it quiet?

LAURA: Let's try and keep it quiet here.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MARISHA: There's Scribe Mites that'll tear his flesh off.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

TRAVIS: We'll head down towards the water.

SAM: Sure.

TRAVIS: In the direction of the waterfall. Looking for a path.

TALIESIN: Avoiding the little--

MATT: Can I have a marching order, please?

(gasps and oohs)

LIAM: Caleb in the middle.

TRAVIS: Do we want the nature boys to walk up front?

TALIESIN: I'll keep-- we can have perception in the front or perception in the back, if you want.

MARISHA: I'll be up front with Caduceus since I've got his blessing right now.

MATT: Is Caduceus in the front or is Fjord in the front?

TRAVIS: Caduceus and Beau in the front.

MATT: You got it. And the Fjord, where are you?

TRAVIS: I will be behind them.

MATT: All righty, and then?

TRAVIS: Caleb.

MATT: Caleb after that.

LAURA: And then I'll follow Caleb.

LIAM: Oh man, it's a mullet, business in the front, party in the back.

SAM: I'll follow Jester, and that's it.

LAURA: ♪ I will follow him ♪

SAM: ♪ Follow him ♪

MATT: All right. Stepping through the thick jungle underbrush, pushing past any strange colorful ferns or brightly colored fruit, of which there are a few plants that seem to produce some vibrant looking delicacies.

TALIESIN: Oh man.

LIAM: Nah.

LAURA: It's so tempting.

MARISHA: We've done that before.

MATT: The soft motes of the Scribe Mites just gently floating through, not a cluster of them, but every ten feet, there'll be like two or three that drift by, not acknowledging your presence. You go past a few trees and as Caduceus and Beau make their way around one edge, you come upon the waterfall that's cascading over rocks at the base of this mountain. You're unable to really see the source. It gets hazy further and further up, blocking any sight of the actual source of this river or fall, but you see as it breaks over the rocks below it empties into a beautiful pool, maybe about 40, 50 feet across.

LAURA: It's really pretty.

TALIESIN: Is it possible that there are things hidden behind the waterfall? LAURA: Yeah, in a lot of the books that I read that's where the lovers go and there's always like a little--

MARISHA: We have to check behind the waterfall.

LAURA: Secret cove and they--

SAM: Why don't you and Fjord check it out?

LAURA: --take off their clothes behind the waterfall.

SAM: Maybe you and Fjord should go?

TALIESIN: Or maybe we should all stick together and just be, I mean, clever about this. Oh, am I mis-- never mind, I don't want that.

MARISHA: Towards the waterfall--

TALIESIN: Is the water-- other than the pressure from the waterfall, there's no weird movements in there. Can you see the bottom of it? Is it crystal clear?

MATT: You can make a perception check as you guys approach it.

TALIESIN: I'll make a perception check.

LAURA: Guide you. I'm guiding you.

TALIESIN: Thank you. Uh... (sound of hesitation)

LAURA: What? I can guide you.

TALIESIN: It's, uh-- do we want to cast magic around here or do we not want to cast magic around here?

SAM: Do it, happening.

LAURA: I already said it.

MARISHA: I would try to avoid it.

LAURA: I already said I was doing it. I'm sorry.

MATT: Okay, so you cast Guidance and touch Caduceus, you may take your Guidance roll.

TALIESIN: I mean, it helped, too, but 17.

MATT: 17, okay. As you cast the spell and pull your hand back, there's that brief spark as you utter the phrase beneath your breath in support and you remember, "Shit." All of you glance upward and the nearby mites suddenly go (whooshes) and all stop about a foot away from Jester and then keep floating. It wasn't enough of a pull to keep a source going for the cantrip that she cast.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: The cantrip.

SAM: It has to be a lot bigger than a cantrip.

TALIESIN: Let's not test that.

LAURA: I wouldn't want to do like another cantrip right now, you know what I mean?

TALIESIN: No.

MATT: So you rolled a 17?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Looking at the edge of the water, it's murky and you can see thick algae banks, but there is what looks like the algae almost seems to turn into a vortex or some sort of opening that continues down into darkness at the base of this pond about 30, 40 feet down. You also do see just beyond the edge of the waterfall, there's an area of the rocks where it looks like there's a slight opening that could possibly be walked beyond the water, but you're not sure if it's a cavern or just a gap.

TALIESIN: Let's check-- I have a funny feeling that there's several different exits, maybe. Let's try the one behind the waterfall.

LAURA: It could take us... at least, you know--

MATT: (frog croak)

LAURA: --we might have a--

SAM: What was that?

MATT: You hear this, you hear this, you hear this. You hear this little-- (frog croak)

SAM: That's just a frog.

LAURA: Is there a frog?

MARISHA: I'm looking at the bank.

MATT: Okay. You see a tiny frog there on the edge.

TALIESIN: Hey, Mr. Frog.

MATT: (croaking) From other sources and you glance up toward the rocks on the edge of the waterfall and you think you see something duck down behind a rock.

MARISHA: Be on alert.

TALIESIN: No chance we can just keep this cool, is there?

MATT: (various croaks)

LAURA: Oh no.

TRAVIS: We should start moving.

LAURA: Let's move, let's move. Where are we going?

TALIESIN: Towards behind the waterfall.

SAM: Can we get close to the waterfall without going along the water or do we have to swim through?

MATT: You could attempt to climb up on the side if you like.

MARISHA: How big are these frogs? LAURA: They're little?

MATT: You saw a handful of small frogs, but the sounds you're hearing aren't coming from the frogs on the bank.

TRAVIS: Oh fuck, good, cool, sweet, let's keep going.

MARISHA: Yeah, move, move, move, move, move.

SAM: I'm going to dash across the water.

TALIESIN: W-what?

LAURA: Oh, you can walk on water.

MATT: So you (stepping sounds) dart across and as you're-- make a perception check.

TRAVIS: (roars)

(laughter)

SAM: Five-- six.

MATT: Six, you go running across the way. You guys see Nott (stepping sounds)

TALIESIN: Nott, what are you-- I wouldn't just go.

MATT: (roars) No joke. The water begins to break from underneath as some large hulking shape rises up from beneath the pond. (laughter)

SAM: Oh god, oh god.

LIAM: We said we were going to call out our actions before we did them.

LAURA: Why would you do that in the Happy Fun Ball?!

SAM: I thought that they were things on the land.

MATT: 24!

SAM: To hit?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: Yes, it hits!

MATT: All right!

MARISHA: We're about to watch Nott get eaten.

TRAVIS: We wanted to go fly fishing while we were here, right? Let's use the goblin as bait, sure.

LAURA: Use your whip! Use your whip, quick! Try to catch Nott!

LIAM: I think this is happening.

MATT: This is happening, this is a surprise against Nott. So you suffer... 18 points of piercing damage.

SAM: Uncanny Dodge.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: The reach is ten feet.

MATT: And Nott is no longer visible, as a giant green creature's toothy maw-- I got to use it again-- collapses around Nott's form and then comes to rest a bit in the water.

TRAVIS: Fucking dildo.

MATT: Green tendrils (slurps) begin to wrap around. I need you guys to roll initiative.

MARISHA: I'm sorry, but that's too funny!

SAM: But I thought that the things were on land!

TRAVIS: No, you didn't, you fucking knew!

SAM: He said frogs!

TRAVIS: You ran across the water!

MARISHA: He said it was pristine and beautiful. You never trust beauty in D&D!

SAM: This combat is powered by Dwarven Forge, Marisha!

LIAM: You don't have to be a troll every time!

SAM: I'm not being a troll, I thought that the thing was on land! Check out the latest and greatest from Dwarven Forge at dwarvenforge.com!

TRAVIS: Look at this waterfall!

LAURA: It's really beautiful.

MATT: You guys are moving around the side of the waterfall here.

TRAVIS: Look how small the pool was, you--

MARISHA: It's so good!

MATT: Actually, order of things, you guys marching order would have been here.

TALIESIN: Try and keep our magic to a minimum.

TRAVIS: (burps)

LIAM: Great, so I will be clapping and cheering for this battle.

TALIESIN: Mm-hm.

LAURA: Yep. All of us, really.

TRAVIS: I could hand you a weapon.

SAM: Oh my god!

LAURA: It is huge!

MATT: Nott is not--

LAURA: It is huge!

MATT: --visible anymore.

TRAVIS: What is that? What is that?! (laughter)

LAURA: Whoa, god!

MATT: 25 to 20.

TRAVIS: Oh, I didn't even roll initiative. I'm still in shock.

MARISHA: 24.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Fudge.

MATT: 20 to 15?

LAURA: 15.

TRAVIS: 16.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: 15 was Jester?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: 12.

TALIESIN: 12.

MATT: And Caduceus...

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

SAM: What the fuck is that thing?

MATT: Alrighty, Caduceus, you with your passive perception...

LIAM: I would just prefer to take it off my papers.

TRAVIS: Do you want it?

LIAM: No.

TRAVIS: You want the whip? You want the dagger?

LIAM: I don't know. I want to use magic.

SAM: (laughs)

LIAM: I want to use my vast array of spells.

TRAVIS: Did you crush the pretzel inside?

MATT: All right, so, top of the round. Beauregard, as you watch the splash and it rests itself in the water there. Itself, its form taking up a large portion of the pond. In fact, it may very well have been the base of this pond, consume Nott in one bite. Nott, you are currently considered blind and restrained.

SAM: Sure, sure.

MATT: What are you doing, Beau?

(laughter)

MARISHA: Ah! He ate Nott, and then I'm going to flip forward and I am also going to skip off of the water and I'm going to come down and I'm going to do a front flippy kicky thingy to his face.

MATT: Okay, make an acrobatics check trying to avoid the water.

LIAM: That's Krav Maga. Kicky thing.

SAM: (sings with the background music)

MARISHA: 22.

TALIESIN: Hey!

MATT: Using your movement to move over, you flip and then land right in front of its face, which is where you're doing the impact there. So go ahead and roll the attacks.

MARISHA: I come down with a big slap. Pop pop! Two attacks is okay, 23 for the first and 21 for the second.

MATT: Both hit, go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: I'm going to use my fists here.

SAM: (sings with background music)

MARISHA: Okay. First attack is 11 damage, Stunning Strike.

MATT: Stunning Strike! That is a 21, unfortunately.

MARISHA: Jesus, yeah okay, second is nine damage.

MATT: Nine damage, all righty.

MARISHA: Stunning Strike.

MATT: That is 18.

MARISHA: Fuck, his constitution is high.

MATT: It's a pretty beefy creature. Bonus action still.

MARISHA: And then bonus attaction, bonus attaction!

MATT: (chuckles)

MARISHA: I'm going to attack.

MATT: Regular attack?

MARISHA: Just a regular attack.

MATT: Go for it, make a third strike.

MARISHA: Actually, no.

LAURA: Did you already damage it?

MARISHA: I did.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Patient Defense.

MATT: Patient Defense, you got it. So, (exhales) you go into a defensive stance across from this massive creature, which now you see as it emerges from the water, it's glistening green, leathery slick hide almost slimy as the water pours off of it. You can see this massive jaw from corner to corner is about six feet and at the top of its head this rising arm-like protrusion ends in three eyestalks that all blink with these ghastly looking yellow eyes. You see multiple tendrils off of its body as its large tongue (slurps) thrashes around the outside of its mouth, Nott nowhere to be seen within its jaws.

MARISHA: Can I get an Extract Aspects from that?

MATT: You did not use your--

MARISHA: I didn't use it, okay.

MATT: You used your bonus action to use your Patient Defense.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, sorry.

MATT: Caleb, you're up next.

LIAM: Caleb is going to back away maybe 20 feet sizing up the situation, looking at the beast, looking at the little bug motes.

MATT: Okay, as you move out of its combat range--

LIAM: Oh.

MATT: --one of its tentacles (whooshes) whips towards you as a reaction.

LIAM: I thought I was far enough away.

TRAVIS: Figuring it out for us.

MATT: You thought you were, but you're not.

LAURA: (laughs) But you're not!

MATT: That's a 15 to hit?

LIAM: Shield!

LAURA: Caleb, is that a cantrip?

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I'm doing it.

MATT: That deflects the attack.

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

MATT: All the local mites all of a sudden flash and glow, nothing yet on that point, but--

LIAM: Yeah, and I'm looking at the insects as I back up and no time to find out like the present and I slap bat guano and sulfur together (rumbling whooshing) and a massive ball of flame appears in my hands and I chuck a Fireball through the air and set it off 15 feet up and behind Froggy.

MATT: 15 feet up and behind?

LIAM: Yeah, so it just hits his backside, burns his ass.

MATT: Right there, you mean?

LIAM: Close enough to him to burn his ass, but away from the group.

MATT: Gotcha, no worries. You release the sphere (whooshes, explodes) detonates on the side of the mountain. You can see rocks go flying, an area of the tree over here suddenly ignites and the tree's starting to burn and crumple inward. You hear a handful of shrieks (various shrieks) as a couple of figures that were apparently lurking on this side are going to take some damage. So go ahead and roll damage on that. Saving throw for him, is a 14, does not make it.

LIAM: No, 18 fire damage, and here come the bugs.

MATT: Okay, all right, you see one burning body tumble off and hit the ground over here. A somewhat humanoid, shorter than a normal human, but rotund looking frog-like creature.

LIAM: (croaks)

MATT: Also, the flames manage to impact the large, hulking creature and it didn't even attempt to move, but it didn't seem to have the impact you were hoping.

LIAM: Hmm.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Resistant to fire.

LIAM: That's different than no impact, right?

MATT: No, it did some damage. That's your turn?

LIAM: Yeah, that's my turn.

MATT: Now, various glowing Scribe Mites in the vicinity (whooshes) descend upon Caleb. Caleb, I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: What is this going to do?

MARISHA: I know!

TRAVIS: Oh god.

LIAM: Constitution, you say?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: 20, okay, you manage to shrug off the majority of the impact, only taking six points of lightning damage, but you watch as a cloud of 12 of them adhere to him and then spark and in doing so send a surge of energy through Caleb's body past the Shield that he had up, and you watch as he shudders for a second before they detach and they fade away, seemingly sated. More seem to be slowly filling the clouded area around you, drawn toward the expenditure of arcane spellcraft. That finishes their go. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I will-- oh shit. I'll run forward and summon the Star Razor.

MATT: (whoosh)

TRAVIS: And I will take two arcing, upward swings into the mutant frog fuck.

MATT: All right, you got it. Moving up, blade gleaming blue silver across its front end, make your strikes.

TRAVIS: That is a 23 to hit.

MATT: That definitely hits.

TRAVIS: And the second one is a 14 to hit.

MATT: That does hit. Actually, no, 14 just misses. Sorry, just misses.

TRAVIS: Okay. That's 13 points of slashing damage, sorry, 15 points of slashing damage.

MATT: 15 points of slashing damage, you got it.

TRAVIS: And that's it. And that is my turn. I'll stay there. Oh no, no no no (scats). (group scats along)

TRAVIS: With my bonus action, I will say the command word Gallas Var and cause it to ignite in that blue light.

MATT: Alrighty, so now you watch the blade suddenly burst into vibrant blue-white radiant energy, the runes along its blade lighting up (skittering sound) along its edge until the tip seems to gleam, releasing the faint bit of energy it released as it was summoned and invoked. The area around Fjord is now lit up. There's this radial, faint glow, like a blue torchlight around him. That finishes Fjord's turn. Jester, you're up.

LAURA: Okay, as an action, I'm going to Channel Divinity that I hope is not like magic, and I'm going to cast Invoke Duplicity.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Gonna find out!

MATT: Where you want to place...?

LAURA: I'm going to send her around to the backside of-- oops.

MATT: It's okay.

LAURA: Of the frog. Like around there.

MATT: Like dancing on the surface of the water?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: And then as my bonus action, after seeing what happened to Caleb, I'm going to cast Spiritual Weapon at second level.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Second level!

LAURA: And I'm going to cast it right next to him and he's going to slam the--

MATT: Which side of him do you want it to be?

LAURA: On the outside, yeah, yeah.

MATT: Right there?

LAURA: It's going to try to smack him upside the eyeballs on top of his head.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Oh boy, oh boy.

MATT: The mites are gathering in your direction. We'll come to that later.

LAURA: Okay. That would be a 20 to hit.

MATT: 20 hits, go ahead and roll damage.

LAURA: Okay. 11 points of damage.

MATT: 11 points of damage, nice.

LIAM: Hey, remember when you were outside the monster?

SAM: Nope.

MATT: (laughs) So after the duplicate of Jester appears on the opposite side, you see one of the eyestalks (slurps) curl over and glance in her direction, the other two still facing forward towards the rest of the group. As she lands, the swirl of divine energy summons the lollipop in the air as it, whack, slams into its blubbery side. (thud of impact) (croak)

LAURA: And I can make it with my duplicate like any of my spells are coming from her.

MATT: That's why it's eye is turned toward it.

LAURA: So I'm hoping that the casting of the spell is centered on her instead of me. That's the goal.

MATT: That's the goal. All right, that finishes Jester's turn. It's now the creature's turn.

TRAVIS: What the fuck is this thing?

TALIESIN: That's cool.

LIAM: (croaks)

MATT: It's going to make two tentacle strikes. One of its tentacles is going to reach out and slap-- actually, one of them's going to go forward towards you, Fjord, and the other one's going to go against Beauregard. Against Fjord, that is a 25 to hit.

TRAVIS: Whoa. That hits.

MATT: Beauregard's a 21.

MARISHA: Disadvantage?

MATT: Oh that's right, because you have... That was a 25, so yeah, it still hit, 21. Does that hit?

MARISHA: Fuck, yes.

MATT: All right, so two of the tentacles (whooshing) whip each of you. That'll put it at... Oh!

LAURA: He made a "oh" sound.

MATT: 24 points of bludgeoning damage to you, Fjord.

LAURA: Halved because you're raging.

(laughter)

MATT: 26 points of bludgeoning damage to you, Beauregard.

SAM: Damn!

TRAVIS: Um, Matt...

MATT: Two tentacles!

TRAVIS: When he hits me, the sword will pulse blue and he will take three points of radiant damage.

LAURA: Nice.

SAM: Eat it.

MATT: As the tentacle slaps on the side of you, you see this blue flash of light, and it retracts with this burn scorching mark across the side of the tip. It adjusts within the pool. You're only seeing the upper half of its body. (slurps) Moves a bit, its legs kicking the water, splashing around it as it shifts, and it sees Caduceus and Caleb over there rushing away. It's going to open its mouth (growls) and the tongue (whoosh) is going to whip out towards you, Caduceus. Oh actually, you have to make a strength saving throw.

TALIESIN: I have to make a strength saving throw?

LAURA: What, is he going to grab you with his tongue?

TRAVIS: That seems unfair.

SAM: Come on in!

TALIESIN: Nope!

MATT: Slaps into you and it doesn't hurt so much as just catches you off guard, but the tongue is adhered to your chest armor and it (whooshes) yanks you (whooshes) into the water, sploosh, next to it and in towards its mouth. It gets a free bite attack against you.

TALIESIN: That's fine.

MATT: As a bonus action.

LAURA: This guy's hard.

MATT: That's a 28 to hit.

TALIESIN: A 28 to hit!? Somehow that misses-- just kidding, that hits.

MATT: Rolled really high.

TALIESIN: My god, man.

TRAVIS: Look at that waterfall!

LAURA: Yeah, but look at that waterfall.

MATT: 25 points of piercing damage, and Caduceus (gulps) is swallowed.

LAURA: Oh god, Caduceus is swallowed, too?!

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Yes.

SAM: Matt, did you add the cotton to the waterfall?

MATT: No, it comes with that.

TRAVIS: It's fucking gorgeous.

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

MATT: Also, Nott, you are in a dark, enclosed space and suffer only four points of acid damage, as you are being digested within its belly.

SAM: It's safer in here than out there.

(laughter)

MARISHA: That's true!

MATT: And right as the acid burns into you, and you're starting to get yourself ready, (slamming sound) something heavy lands on you.

TALIESIN: Sorry! (laughter)

SAM: (screams)

MATT: It's now both of your guys turn!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: You first, please.

SAM: I'm going to trust that you'll get us out of here.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's adorable.

SAM: I assume I'm too restrained to get a weapon out or anything.

MATT: You can get a weapon out if you want to. You can't move, your speed is zero--

SAM: Like a crossbow?

MATT: Yeah!

TRAVIS: Come on, you've been in an anus before.

MATT: You can pull an object out, but any attacks or ability checks are at disadvantage and your speed is zero.

SAM: Okay, I will jimmy the crossbow out and just shoot straight down.

MATT: Okay, you're just hoping to aim for somewhere sensitive in its anatomy.

SAM: Yeah!

MATT: Go ahead and make an attack roll with disadvantage.

SAM: Disadvants.

MATT: Yes.

SAM: 11 and a 12, both plus, this is the crossbow, right, so plus 10, so 21.

MATT: That does hit.

SAM: Nice!

MATT: Technica--

SAM: This is tricky.

MATT: Well, no, it's either with advantage or if you have a friend who's adjacent to it and so it is technically distracted.

SAM: Sneak attack damage?!

MATT: Honestly, I'd say yes because there's no armor protecting its hide. You are shooting it from the inside of its body, so yeah.

SAM: Okay. Then I will hit it with six, seven, eight, oh my god, 26 points of piercing damage. Plus I'll add the extra plus 10 of Fury of the Small, 36 damage.

MATT: 36 points of damage. As you reach down and (whooshes) and you hear the crossbow (pings) release, (thuds) of impact and suddenly (growling) it begins to quake from the inside.

TRAVIS: Why don't we just all get swallowed?

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I'm next, take me!

MARISHA: Fight this thing from the inside out.

LIAM: Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep!

MATT: It does manage to keep you down though.

SAM: Damn.

LAURA: Aww!

MATT: Just barely, like on the dot (laughs). So you guys are both still kept inside, its muscles are crushing and restraining you both. The acid's beginning to burn and tear away at the flesh and skin. Rest of your turn?

SAM: I mean, I'm going to assume I cannot reload the thing in here.

MATT: It's all quick motion. You're not like-- you're not tied.

LAURA: You're in a stomach.

MATT: You're just pressed in.

LAURA: You're not like you were in the dragon.

SAM: I can reload? All right, bonus action shoot again!

MATT: Still disadvantage on the strike, though.

SAM: Yes, oh, one and a two.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Miss.

MATT: So roll again, because on a 1, with disadvantage.

SAM: Oh, you're right.

MATT: It attacks you. So in trying to get it situated on the inside, unknowingly you set the crossbow backwards and fire. Make an attack roll against yourself. Attack rolls against you have advantage, technically, but you have disadvantage, so no, it's just a straight roll.

SAM: Well, it was a one, so I get one point of damage.

LAURA: Oh that's good, it was a little, teeny.

MATT: Yeah, it grazes you off the shoulder, like, ah shit.

SAM: Maybe I hit Caduceus.

MATT: Caduceus, your turn.

TALIESIN: Well, this sucks.

LAURA: I bet if you do magic from the inside--

TRAVIS: Oh yeah!

TALIESIN: I know.

LAURA: They can't attack you.

TRAVIS: Or attack the frog!

TALIESIN: Just for fun, since I'm stuck in here, can I cast a spell? Actually, there's no movement. This is verbal and somatic. There is no actual movement to this spell, so this is--

MATT: There's still motion, you can still move on the inside.

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast Ray of Enfeeblement.

LIAM: What does the frog say?

SAM: (singing "What Does the Fox Say")

MATT: You begin muttering your incantation from underneath, the spell release, what's it have to roll?

TALIESIN: It's a constitution save.

MATT: All right. Natural one. (cheering) Even with it's high constitution, natural one, so it fails. It is enfeebled.

TALIESIN: Yep.

SAM: Ribbit, ribbit, motherfucker!

TALIESIN: And then I'm going to drop the spell. It stays up even after I drop it because it's an effect, right? No, no, no I have to hold it.

MATT: No, it says concentration.

TALIESIN: So I have to hold it.

MATT: You do lose your advantage on your--

TALIESIN: Intelligence checks, big deal.

MATT: It's a frog.

TALIESIN: And then I have a bonus action, there's not much I can do with my bonus action, really. I don't really have anything to do with a bonus action, so.

MATT: All right, that ends your turn.

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: Okay. You watch as a series of the mites begin to suddenly shift and gravitate towards the creature.

TRAVIS: No fucking way.

MARISHA: What happens if you get electrocuted on the inside?

MATT: Now, (croaking) a bunch of similarly sized frog-like humanoids with spears and shields and clubs start rushing out of the nearby trees and bushes. Apparently drawn by the croaks of this larger beast and slowly hunting you from the distant sides of this jungle.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

MATT: Oh god!

TRAVIS: Can we tell how deep that pool of water is? It's shallow-ish, right?

MATT: Elements of it are about 10-15 at the very edge, and then it dips down to 30 or 40 below.

SAM: What is that?

LAURA: Oh god, there are so many of them.

SAM: How do we get out of here?

TRAVIS: Come at me!

TALIESIN: I got two more and then we're done.

MATT: Bunch of them died over here from the Fireball, before they even had a chance.

SAM: Those are ugly motherfuckers.

MATT: This is going to rush around, 10, 15, 20 to Caleb there, oh god, the trees, the trees keep falling.

SAM: ♪ The trees keep falling down, down, down ♪

MATT: (counting) into a standing leap and (croaks) jumps without having to lose any movement and lands right next to Fjord while this one here is going to throw a spear towards you, Fjord. The spear... That's a 12.

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: Just (whooshes), no issue. The one that rushed up towards you is going to attempt to make two melee attacks, one with its spear, one with its bite. Spear attack against you, 15.

TRAVIS: Misses!

MATT: The spear glances off and now it's up in your face and you can see the giant mouth, the bullfroggy mouth open with sharp, jagged teeth, as it's going to attempt to bite you. That is going to be a 21.

TRAVIS: Does hit. Use your words!

MATT: You suffer, ooh, seven points of piercing damage as it bites on to your face.

TRAVIS: He will take... one point of radiant damage.

MATT: There you go. That would have been five points of damage.

TRAVIS: You got it.

MATT: The two against you, Caleb, both making a spear strike against you. You still have your high AC.

LIAM: Because it's the same round.

MATT: Shield lasts until the next round. They got 21 and a 20.

LIAM: Both hit.

MATT: Both hit? Oh wow, even with the--

LIAM: Yeah, only to 19 with Shield.

MATT: Fair enough.

SAM: N-n-n-n-nineteen.

MATT: So you suffer... 16 points of piercing damage from both strikes as you get speared from both sides. And they're both going to attempt to make a bite attack on you.

LIAM: Oh, Gott.

MATT: That's going to be a 12 and a 14, so those both miss you. The spears stab, stab at you from each side and as they both push it in you manage to shove them over off to the side and they can't find purchase with their teeth. There is the one now that's going to be on this side, throwing a spear at the illusionary Jester.

LAURA: (evil laugh)

MATT: Disappears into the waterfall.

LAURA: Eat shit, frog person.

MATT: The one back there is going to attempt to throw a spear at main Jester. That's a 22 to hit.

LAURA: Ow.

MATT: And with that, you suffer four points of piercing damage.

LAURA: Okay, do I need to roll a constitution--

MATT: You do. Well no, for Spiritual Weapon you do not.

LAURA: Yeah, it's not concentration, but the Invoke Duplicity is.

MATT: Technically, it's concentrated, so yeah, roll a constitution saving throw to maintain it.

LAURA: Five, oh, and I took four, no, how much did I take?

SAM: Four damage.

MATT: What's your total with your constitution saving throw?

LAURA: No, it's five with my consti--

MATT: It's a 10 DC base or half the damage, whichever's higher. The duplicity vanishes. The one that threw the spear and missed it just starts celebrating (happy croaks). Thinking he killed it, he's so excited. The eyestalk that was behind (slurps) wrenches back forward in your direction. That brings us to the top of the round. Beauregard, you are up.

MARISHA: I'm going to keep whaling on this froggy frog! I'm going to go whack, whack right in his gut and be like, "Puke, dammit!"

MATT: (laughs) Alrighty.

MARISHA: Two attacks back to back here. Okay, yeah, 25 and 23.

MATT: Both hit.

MARISHA: 10 damage and 11 damage, so 21 damage total.

MATT: (impacts) Both fists. It's like hitting the side of a giant whale. Every impact, there is give, but there's so much weight and heft behind its blubbery mass that it almost hurts your hand with each impact. But it's doing damage, and you can see it (croaking) (slurping) reacting to each hit.

MARISHA: Flurry of Blows?

MATT: Go for it, two more strikes.

MARISHA: Pop, pop! Beau, that's bullshit.

TRAVIS: Did you say your own name? Beau?

LIAM: Fo' sho.

MARISHA: 15 and 12.

MATT: 15 hits, 12 does not.

MARISHA: Okay, perfect. God, seven damage and (snaps) gimme that, gimme them deets.

MATT: Stunning Strike?

MARISHA: Extract Aspects.

MATT: Oh, Extract Aspects?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Alrighty. As you draw-- After the impacts of its body begin to align your ki with the structure of its body and as you pull your way back for that final hit and impact it, you watch the ray of the force of the impact blubber off of it like a ripple effect of water, Jurassic Park style. As you pull back, you realize it is resistant to fire and lightning.

MARISHA: Fire and lightning. Okay, I shout that out to the group. Avoid fire and lightning! Sorry, Caleb.

TRAVIS: We should avoid fire and lightning?

MARISHA: Yeah, he's immune, or resistant to fire and lightning.

TRAVIS: He's got fire and lightning!

MATT: Okay, that ends Beau's turn. Caleb, you're up.

LIAM: I hear Beauregard shout not to use fire, and to myself I mutter panickedly: Oh, tough titty. And I reach my hands into my bag, fingers going into a cat's cradle crusted over in phosphorus, which I slam down onto the ground and cast Widogast's Web of Fire. A ring of flames goes (violently whooshes) around Caleb and five chains of fire streak out at different enemies on the ground, the two frogmen next to me, the one in the distance over there, two come around this way, one to hit frogman there and one to hit the big.

MATT: Alrighty.

SAM: Whoa!

LAURA: Holy shit.

MATT: It's a dexterity saving throw on that one?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Roll damage first.

TRAVIS: Those fireflies are coming.

MARISHA: Gonna be pissed!

TRAVIS: Or they're like, "woo!" Damn. Come on, Gina.

SAM: (exaggerated German accent) Widogast's Web of--

LIAM: 32.

MATT: 32, all right, this fellow fails! (whooshing flame) These streaks of fire, imagine an extremely volatile fuse burning across the ground snaking like they have a mind of their own, homing in on the target and then once they arrive, a column of flame (violently whooshes) bursts out of the ground like a contained pillar of pure fire and death. You watch as it explodes under each of these creatures, burning, their shrieks ringing out. That one's destroyed, the two next to you, you said?

LIAM: Ja.

MATT: Failure. And failure.

MARISHA: Yes!

MATT: The one next to Fjord succeeds with an 18, I believe?

LIAM: Ja.

MATT: And what was the damage total on that one?

LIAM: 32 total.

MATT: Yeah, so 16. He's looking real rough.

TALIESIN: He also took damage from you previously from attacking you as well.

TRAVIS: One point.

MATT: Yeah, he's looking really rough.

TALIESIN: Well done.

MATT: The one off that way you said? No, it was one, two, three, four, and then the big guy.

LIAM: Big frog.

MATT: He... 20, takes half damage, correct? Which would be 16.

LIAM: Quartered for him.

MATT: Yeah. So eight points of fire damage (explosion) it bursts and one of the two eyestalks looks down real fast at where it's now burned and charred on one end (burbles) look over in your direction.

LIAM: And for his movement, he starts running this way, going like--

MATT: Which way?

LIAM: This-- in a curve around, but not close to big frog. Midway between these two.

MATT: 25, 30, right there?

LIAM: Yeah sure, that's good.

MATT: You got it. Okay, it's now the mites turn. Swarming on Jester, swarming on the creature, and swarming on you now, Caleb. That is 10 points of lightning damage to each of you.

LIAM: Do we do con saves for this?

MATT: No, this just happens from casting the spell. 10 points of lightning damage to both of you.

LAURA: So you get the same amount of damage if you do a level one or a level five?

TRAVIS: It appears that way.

LAURA: Good to know.

MATT: You've learned possibly something here.

TRAVIS: Learning the fight.

MATT: There is the shocking impact on the creature right there. You watch it flash and it takes a little bit of damage, but it seems to thrash around. (croaks unhappily) Even though it didn't take a lot of damage, it looks like its body is spasming from the effect of the lightning strike on its body from the mites.

TRAVIS: It's resistant to the lightning.

MARISHA: Resistant but not immune.

LAURA: But the mites...?

MATT: That brings us to Fjord's turn.

TRAVIS: Yes, right, well, cool beans. I will take two more strikes with the Star Razor. Against Frog McGee. That's 13, that sucks balls. Wow, 16, 17, 18, oh actually the first one's a 14 because it's plus two when its glowing, 14 still misses, right?

MATT: Actually, they both hit, because of reasons.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: All right, I am a fan of reasons.

MATT: It seems sluggish in its attempts to resist your attacks from the previous mite assault that it took.

SAM and LAURA: The mites can slow it down.

TRAVIS: Reasons all day, erryday.

SAM: Lightning doesn't cause damage, but it does slow it?

LAURA: Or do the mites do extra damage?

SAM: But the mites didn't do that to you guys.

LAURA and MARISHA: No.

TRAVIS: 30, no, 16 plus 17.

MATT: That's 35.

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: 33, sorry.

TRAVIS: Total, slashing.

MATT: It is looking hurt, as you now, seeing it shock and trying to pull back into the water. It looks like it's trying to pull back to retract. You slice in its belly once, you see a bunch of this dark purple ichor spill out and darken part of the water to its side, a second slash goes upward and you actually cut into part of its lip. It's splitting down the middle and you can see the gums all bloody and it's now leaking onto the side of its belly (croaking roars).

TRAVIS: Is there a foot sticking up out of the back of that maw?

MATT: Unfortunately, no, pretty deep in its stomach and it's a big creature.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: Just for comparison here, you're only seeing the upper half of its belly right now, and even that's about twelve feet out of the water. So it's a big creature. There we go, that finishes Fjord's turn, unless you want to move or anything else.

TRAVIS: No, I'm good, thank you.

MATT: Jester, you're up.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to hit it with the Spiritual Weapon.

MATT: Go for it.

LAURA: At the same time, I'm going to run underneath and between Fjord's legs, I'm going to reach up with my hand and cast Inflict Wounds on it at the same time.

TRAVIS: Ooh, get that shit!

SAM: Right on the spot that he was slashing.

MATT: All right, roll for an attack.

LAURA: Is this my Spiritual--?

SAM: That's cocked!

MATT: Spiritual Weapon is what this is.

LAURA: That's cocked? it didn't look like--

TALIESIN: It was lifted.

LAURA: Okay, well, that's better, that's a 21.

MATT: 21 with the Spiritual Weapon?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: That definitely hits. Roll damage.

LAURA: Six.

MATT: Six points of damage. And then you rush forward. You end up wading a bit into the water when you get past Fjord to push your way towards the creature (splashing), and reach outward. Roll for your attack with your Inflict Wounds. Casting it at first level?

LAURA: No, at second level.

MATT: Second level, got it.

LAURA: Ooh, that definitely hits, that's 27.

MATT: 27, yes, that does hit.

LAURA: So that's 4d6.

MATT: 4d10.

LAURA: 4d10!

TRAVIS: 4d10?!

MATT: Inflict Wounds! You got to get right up in there to do it; it's a touch spell, but man, it hurts.

LAURA: That's why I had my duplicate up, I was going to do it with her, but... 16, 20, 20 points.

MATT: 20 points of damage.

LAURA: Of necromantic.

MATT: Necrotic damage, you got it. How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

LAURA: I want to get my hand up into the cut and grab onto it as I cast it and then yank down at the same time.

SAM: Frog legs!

MATT: As your fingers find their way into the strangely, grossly warm flesh exposed from the wound--

LAURA: And my Traveler symbol is dangling from my wrist and is like yeah.

MATT: As you reach in, the Traveler symbol that's danging actually magnetically goes (slicing) and plunges itself in there beneath your grip and then burns dark black as necrotic energy pulses through its body. You see dozens of veins suddenly go black around its torso and as it pulls back (croaky screams) screaming you see the black veins curling further and further up along its body before its eyes go milky white, its skin goes pale, and it (thumps) falls over into the pool, its tentacles off to the side, itself half dangling and half sunken into the water.

LAURA: Quick, quick, get them out, get them out!

SAM: Is it sinking or is it stable?

MATT: Well, does that finish your turn?

LAURA: I guess, I mean.

TRAVIS: There's still one frog fuck. Two frog fucks.

LAURA: I already used my bonus action and my attack.

MATT: You have a little bit of movement left. Actually, with going into the water for that, I'd say you have five feet.

LAURA: I'm pretty much done.

MATT: You got it, finishing your turn, the creature-- you both, even though it's dead, you still take acid damage in its belly.

TALIESIN: That's fine.

MATT: That is nine points of acid damage to both of you.

TALIESIN: Ew.

SAM: Ouch.

MATT: And the body is slowly (wet sliding) slinking in towards the center of the pond.

TALIESIN: And I lose my concentration. Oh no, wait wait, not that it matters anymore. Oh, he's dead, my concentration on the spell is broken anyway.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: I know he's dead then.

MATT: You do.

SAM: I'm going to start climbing out, if it's our turn.

MATT: Yes, you guys can both, on your turn, climb out of its body. You're no longer restrained and you escape it using 10 feet of movement, exiting prone, so both of you, as it's slipping in towards the water, you both leap out of its mouth (thudding), losing 10 feet of movement and stepping onto the ground before it sinks below the waves.

TALIESIN: That was unpleasant.

TRAVIS: Check its pockets!

(laughter)

MATT: You guys both, you're prone and you've lost 10 feet of movement. You still have your actions and everything you want to this turn, if anything.

TALIESIN: I'm going to get up, brush myself off, and look at all of these things.

MATT: There's three of them currently.

TALIESIN: There are frog people attacking. That's what I was going to say, before.

MATT: Their eyes are bugging on the sides of their head and they're holding spears and shields.

TALIESIN: I'm putting up my shield and just egging them on.

LAURA: Do they still look as ready to fight now that their giant frog is--

MATT: We'll find out.

SAM: I guess I'll fire at somebody, whoever's closest.

MATT: Closest to you right here, you're on the ground, prone.

SAM: I'll stand up. That's another 15 feet of movement or something like that?

MATT: 15 feet.

SAM: Fire at one of them.

MATT: Which one? There's three of them. There's one next to Fjord and Jester, one back here closer to Caleb.

SAM: The one next to Fjord and Jester, please.

MATT: You got it.

SAM: 19 to hit?

MATT: That definitely hits.

SAM: A million. Million points of--

MATT: It had one hit point left. You get up, and we're talking Blackthorne-style shooting over the shoulder, barely even looking. Firing and you watch as it looks its bug eyes in two different directions, it goes to turn, and then slumps into the water, rolls, and then itself sinks back under the waves. It's floating and sinking next to you, Jester. You watch it (wet sinking).

SAM: And then I'll use my bonus action to dash across the water back to that waterfall.

TRAVIS: (roars)

SAM: No! That was the baby!

(laughter)

MATT: Heavy waterfall now (splashing) It's a big impact on you, right now, you--

SAM: I'll just get up to the edge of the mist.

MATT: It's splashing you. You're getting wet. All right, that finishes your guys' turns. These creatures turn and fucking run.

TALIESIN: That's right.

MATT: Double dash, off the board, running out of sight.

LAURA: What about the mites?

MATT: Well, you're currently no longer in battle.

SAM: Do they still like magic?

MATT: (whooshes) They do. And they return to both Caleb and Jester.

LAURA: Well, we did the last--

MATT: 12 points of lightning damage to each of you.

SAM and TRAVIS: Oof!

LAURA: Gets worse every time!

SAM: No more magic!

TALIESIN: Let's take a second--

TRAVIS: More magic?

TALIESIN: Well, with that, I think I'm going to look behind this waterfall.

MARISHA: Yes!

TALIESIN: And I'm going to walk around, climb up, and peer behind the first, up this little--

MATT: Okay, you look behind and now having viewed this little gap, you're looking from underneath it, the two of you triangulate there is a bit of space behind the immediate waterfall. There is no path to it, you'd have to move through the water, but there is apparently a gap.

SAM: I will cast Shape Water.

(laughter)

SAM: And I will angle the waterfall around making a nice little pathway for us to get in.

MATT: Okay, you carve it to the side, you watch the waterfall spread open, leaving a path to a cavern behind it.

LAURA: Wow!

MATT: You also take six points of lightning damage as the motes-- or the mites shift and gravitate toward you, shocking your body and then drifting away, sustained by whatever sort of nutrients they drew from the attack.

LAURA: Should we all go there?

MATT: Is it a concentration spell?

SAM: It is...n't? It says instantaneous. It doesn't say--

LAURA: There's nothing about concentration.

MATT: How long does it last?

SAM: It's also a cantrip.

MATT: Oh, it's a cantrip? Oh, then you're fine.

SAM: This is Shape Water, sorry, not Control Water, Shape Water.

MATT: Correct, got you. Shape Water, where is that?

SAM: I can make a five foot cube of--

MATT: Ah, there it is.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Yeah, there's no concentration worry about it. For the next hour, the opening is available.

LAURA: Let's go!

SAM: Our plan worked, let's go in.

MARISHA: Hang on, hang on, hang on. Can I check the door, see any markings, once again any scents coming from it like before?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: Without advantage.

TRAVIS: Remember, there are five entrances or exits out of this, so there could be--

MARISHA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, 21.

MATT: The door itself is a soft, dark burgundy red color. The wood itself is moist from the moisture that's pushed in here via the waterfall. There's a brass doorknob on it. It seems out of place against this rock wall and the actual cavern behind this waterfall only goes back about six or seven feet deep before you find this doorway. The door itself smells of fresh wood and looking across the front of it, there's slight carvings, looks like the shape of hexagons. Like six-sided hexagons.

LIAM: It's the study.

SAM: Or the Tower Machine.

MARISHA: Would I, from our previous time in the study, recognize this wood? Does it look familiar to the doors that we saw in the study?

MATT: It definitely seems in the color scheme that Halas likes to dress in. Red with gold trim, generally was what you guys found on the outfits that dropped out of the sphere when you first encountered it, as well as the portrait you saw within the study.

TALIESIN: I'm going to crawl higher and look into the next one.

TRAVIS: While they're studying, I'll tell Caleb and Beau and just generally and say I want to check the pool and I'm going to dive into the pool where the creature fell into and scan the floor, make sure that there's--

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Just putting out there, that if this does go to the study--

SAM: That's the wrong way.

LAURA: It's the wrong way, but from the study, I thought it said "Flesh Mound" because obviously, but it actually says "Flesh Mend." So it might be a place that heals.

SAM: Interesting.

LAURA: Just letting you guys know.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: You dive down. There's this thick algae blanket and you pull through and the further down you get, you can see the funneling hole. You don't see the body of the creature you had just slain, nor that other smaller frog creature that sunk down below it, just a dark path that leads deeper and deeper below.

LAURA: Another doorway!

MATT: The water is slightly pulling you in that direction as well.

TRAVIS: I start swimming back up.

MATT: Make a strength saving throw for me.

LAURA: Oh god, Fjord, again?

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: What'd you get?

LAURA: A one, did you roll a one? Did we see him go into the water this time?

MATT: You watched him. You did, you watched him dive into the water. And you look down and you can see the darkness below and you're like, "okay." (whooshes)

TALIESIN: Do you have bonuses in water by the way?

MATT: "Shit, shit!"

TRAVIS: Can I cast quickly Control Water and reverse the flow of water, shooting me up out of the pool? If I'm getting close enough to that--

MATT: I'll allow it, yeah. That is an ability of yours. And you do maintain it through the connection to the Wildmother, you didn't lose it because of the pact you made with her. At the moment you begin to pull yourself drawn down towards the base of the water, you immediately concentrate, cast the spell, and reverse the flow and suddenly you guys watch as Fjord disappears beneath the surface. (explosive splash)

TRAVIS: (screams)

MATT: It jettisons him about 15 feet in the air before he comes landing (splash) into the water once more. It's bubbling up, almost like a soft geyser. It got an immediate push and as is now burbling from the center.

LAURA: Did you find something?

TRAVIS: Are the fucking fireflies coming?

MATT: Right now, they would be.

TRAVIS: I'll duck my head back under the water and just hold under.

MATT: You guys watch all the mites swarm to the top of the water and stay about an inch off the surface and stay there for a second before--

ALL: Oh!

LAURA: I guess we all could have done that.

TALIESIN: Fjord, you can come out now. Fjord, you can-- he's not listening.

LAURA: I hit the water.

TRAVIS: (panting)

TALIESIN: You're good.

LAURA: What'd you find?

TRAVIS: There's a (coughs) another tunnel, a dark tunnel that just goes, the body is not down there.

MARISHA: I bet it's the Nest. Which means, okay, based on the direction that we came in from the Diamond Entrance and the direction that we moved to the water, would I have gathered that it seems that these doorways are a little bit accurate to where he's put them? On the map?

MATT: You're not entirely certain. It could be, but in some cases, they also seem to be arranged for space in the map, as well. So you're not certain.

TALIESIN: I'm hopping up to the next level to see what's there.

TRAVIS: I don't think it would hurt to maybe check maybe some outcroppings and maybe some tree trunks for some Jack Skellington door type shit.

MATT: It is pretty sheer on this end. Make a perception check.

LAURA: Maybe all the entrances are around the waterfall.

TALIESIN: Ah, 19!

MATT: The cliff gets pretty sheer and about 60-65 feet up you can see what looks to be a slight outcropping of stone and a small cave up there.

TALIESIN: I think I found something.

TRAVIS: That's three.

TALIESIN: But I'm going to want a rope. Maybe two ropes. I'm real tired. That was a lot.

TRAVIS: Can I make my way over to this outcropping and investigate this area and these trees and see if there's anything that looks like a hidden door?

MATT: Sure. You're just doing that yourself?

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: Just don't.

LAURA: Get sucked into something else, Fjord? Since you every time--

TRAVIS: Well, by all mean, come with me.

TALIESIN: Take a buddy. Wherever you're going, take a buddy.

MARISHA: I'll go with you.

MATT: Okay, so Fjord and Beau, you're doing a general inspection of the nearby trees, floor, what?

TRAVIS: Yeah, looking for any passages anything that might have been hidden from plain view.

MATT: Okay. Either both make investigation checks or one can aid the other for advantage, your choice.

TRAVIS: Let's do it.

MARISHA: All right.

TRAVIS: 21.

MARISHA: 25.

MATT: Fjord, you spend a while--

MARISHA: 24, 24.

MATT: 24?

MARISHA: Sorry, yes. Math.

MATT: You spend a while looking around, Beauregard helping you out, you begin to fan out on this side. You go about five or six trees away, starting to get a little nervous of the distance of the party. You can still hear the waterfall and you can still hear your friends or the motes still drifting around. But other than, it's quiet. Strangely no bird sounds, which is weird to be in an enclosed space like this that feels like jungle to not have the sounds of nature prevalent around you. And you both, looking about, both of your eyes fall on one singular tree where it looks like there's a heavy knot arch on the side, like a knot hole of some kind. And you get a bit closer and you can look and it looks natural from the outside. It's maybe about a foot wide and about four feet tall. It would be difficult, but a person could probably squeeze through. It does appear to enter into the tree.

TRAVIS: Goodness gracious, what is this?

MARISHA: I'm going to once again go over and investigate it. Any markings, anything that would clue me in?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: This is probably the Tower, right?

TRAVIS: I will get the whip out, just in case.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to do that you're walking up to the edge of a cliff thing.

TRAVIS: Don't you have any ball bearings you could just toss in that bitch?

MARISHA: Well, I mean, it's a door. I could. Lemme just check, let me look at it, I'm looking at it. Okay, 17.

MATT: Is this investigation or perception?

MARISHA: This is investigation.

MATT: Okay, looking around the outside of the knot hole you don't see any signs or symbols or any carvings that give you any sense of what's within. From what little bit of light's coming in there, you can see the small space enters a few inches and the curves just out of sight into darkness from this perspective. You'd have to step in a little bit and look around to see where it goes or where it continues further in.

MARISHA: Do I step in?

TRAVIS: No.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: That's my job. I push her aside and--

MARISHA: (screams) (laughter) I don't know what happened!

TALIESIN: All of you are a heart attack.

LAURA: Well look, if we think that that what goes under the water goes to the Nest, then this is either the Crystal Mines or the Tower Machine and both of these are going to lead us to the heart.

SAM: I'm going to start climbing up that cliff to check out the cave.

TALIESIN: All right, I'm watching to make sure you don't get sucked in.

MATT: Make an athletics check for me.

LAURA: I'm going to guide her.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Let's each take a door, see who gets there first.

SAM: 15, thanks to Guidance.

MATT: Not bad. The first 20 feet or so, you manage to make your way up. There a few rock handholds, but it is difficult. The higher up you get, the more sheer and sparse the actual handholds are and you find yourself about 40 feet below that ridge and starving for the next venture. You can attempt again.

SAM: Reach into my chalk bag, get my hands all-- going to keep going, oh yeah, yeah, more, 23.

MATT: The next 20 feet or so, while you're missing the actual handholds you need in immediate proximity, you do see one small gap (exhales). You take a breath, leap, and catch on the edge of it, dangle a bit and then pull yourself up slightly holding onto it, another leap, (grunts) you catch two handholds and get yourself about 40 feet above, you have one more length of 20 feet.

LAURA: Nott, you're doing really good!

TALIESIN: Really good.

SAM: (panting)

LAURA: Just don't fall.

SAM: Can you Guide me from down there?

TALIESIN: Nope. We could probably revive you if you fall. Well, if you don't fall in the water.

LAURA: Just remember, you can't use your spells to catch you because then you'll be electrocuted by a bunch of little fireflies.

SAM: I forgot!

MATT: At that point, you look around you and there are like six motes just drifting in the vicinity.

TRAVIS: We're cheering you on.

SAM: Get the last, the Hillary step, here we go. 14?

MATT: 14? You get partway up, and your foot slips and you catch yourself, your grip's starting to go.

LAURA: You can do it!

MATT: Make one more check with disadvantage to see if you can maintain and scramble up.

SAM: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Say it.

SAM: 18 and a one!

(yelling)

MATT: You get toward the very edge, and the handhold you have breaks off and you plummet back. Falling 60 feet downward--

SAM: I'll throw that feather out and, even though it'll hurt me, I'll cast Feather Fall.

MATT: You drift down. You watch upwards as Nott's body goes into free trust fall position.

TALIESIN: That's going to hurt.

MATT: And it's beautiful. And the mites drifting around, it's a beautiful visage. All the mites (whooshes)--

SAM: (screams)

MATT: You take five points of lightning damage and then drift, slightly fried, down to safety.

LAURA: Is it concentration, Feather Fall?

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

LAURA: No.

SAM: It lasts a minute.

MATT: It's not concentration.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I don't suppose if it's up, if you climb-- no, because once you land, it's over, never mind.

LIAM: While all that happened, Caleb reached that red-themed door and inspected it to see if there is any arcane writing or anything that looks nefarious or dangerous to touch.

MATT: You're inspecting it for traps and dangers.

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: Okay, what'd you roll?

LIAM: I didn't.

MATT: Oh, roll now.

LIAM: That is 25.

MATT: 25, good roll. Looking at it, does not appear to be locked, does not appear to have any traps about the doorway.

LIAM: (quickly exhaling) Barely audible: I'm checking the door.

LAURA: Uh-uh!

LIAM: Try to pull it.

MATT: (clicking, creaks) It opens up.

LIAM: Frumpkin's next to me. Go in, tell me what you see.

MATT: Frumpkin steps past you into the doorway and you watch Frumpkin enter this shadow space then vanish.

LIAM: I will wait until everyone pulls me away. Hopefully he'll come back.

MATT: You don't sense anything about Frumpkin at all.

LAURA: Should we gather up?

TALIESIN: I'm going to crawl back down and start gathering everybody because I think we need Beau to get up to this one.

MARISHA: Fjord and Beau come over.

LAURA: What do you guys think, where should we go?

TRAVIS: Well, if it leads to the study, that's not where we're trying to go.

SAM: We need to find this thing up here.

TALIESIN: I think the Crystal Cave is above us.

SAM: There's no way you can climb it. It's impossible. I tried.

MARISHA: You know this shit will work on me, don't you?

SAM: No, it's impossible, I wouldn't want you to fall. Please don't fall.

LAURA: The Traveler thinks you're really cool.

SAM: Or you know, you could just Polymorph and carry us up.

MARISHA: Validation! And I go.

MATT: Okay, athletics check.

TRAVIS: My god, I want to go every single place.

TALIESIN: Caleb, we're doing a thing.

LIAM: Ja, we are?

MARISHA: Which one, which one?

TALIESIN: Yeah, you should-- just in case.

MARISHA: You said athletics?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: 20.

MATT: You manage to make it halfway with a roll of 20.

MARISHA: I also, you know, Unarmored Movement. My movement up walls is, like, awesome.

SAM: Oh fuck!

MATT: Oh, that's right.

TRAVIS: You have the same thing?

SAM: I have Spider Climb.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: You know, I'm just going to say, we're going to get so much cool stuff when you finally go.

SAM: I forgot how to use spells!

TALIESIN: We're going to have no idea what you have on your body.

TRAVIS: Fucking amazing!

MATT: Yeah, I'll say with a roll of 20 and your Unarmored Movement, and following the path that Nott had skittered up, you make it up to the ledge without issue.

MARISHA: I see where you broke off here. That's pretty good, yeah, it's like a little cavern. Anyway, I made it!

LAURA: Can you lower a rope?

TALIESIN: And what's it look like?

MARISHA: What's it look like? First one to check it out.

MATT: Okay, you're standing at the edge of the cavern. You can see the tunnel continues inward about 10 or so feet before darkness takes it. It winds down to a singular, it's about 15 feet wide and about eight feet tall and about 10 feet or so in it all of a sudden shrinks down like a funnel to a five-foot tall, two foot wide space that you'd have to uncomfortably, or at least most people here would have to uncomfortably slump into to continue forward.

MARISHA: Anything around it that indicates it's crystal-y or mine-y, like a crystal-y mine?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: Mine crystals, crys-mines?

TALIESIN: Any crystals flying.

MATT: Count of Monte Mine Crystals?

LIAM: Nice.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: No, it looks like raw rock and mystery ahead.

MARISHA: Okay, I lean over. Yeah, it definitely feels like a door to another thing.

LAURA: You think maybe I should call Allura or something?

TALIESIN: I think we're jumping the gun yet.

SAM: We don't know what we're doing yet. We need to figure out what's in that door.

TALIESIN: Can you lower a rope or something?

MARISHA: Yeah. Fjord and I also, you know, found, yeah, hang on, let me get out my rope, we found a hole in a knot also probably a door to another place.

LAURA: Hey, don't you think, what if like the Tower entrance would be up high because it's a tower?

TRAVIS: Perhaps.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, and I try and fashion-- do I see like a rock or something I can loop?

MATT: No, it's a smooth cavern. You'd have to hold it.

TRAVIS: I'm sure either way we can get there.

MATT: You have a grappling hook?

TRAVIS: What is a dreadnought?

MARISHA: I have that.

LAURA: (unsure sounds)

SAM: How long is your rope?

MARISHA: Would any of us know what a dreadnought is? 50 feet, basic.

MATT: Make an arcana check. Both of you can make an arcana check.

LIAM: I'm not paying attention to any of that.

MATT: That's right, you are down--

LIAM: Staring at the darkness of this door.

MARISHA: 12!

MATT: Doesn't ring a bell.

SAM: I'm going to jump up and try to climb the rope up there.

MATT: Easily enough with Beau's help. Yeah, that's easy, you don't have to roll for that. She's just helping you up at this point.

MARISHA: What do we do?

SAM: I do have a grappling hook.

LAURA: Help me up.

SAM: I'll tie a grappling hook and set it.

MATT: With that, it's easy enough for the rest of you guys to use the rope to climb, it takes a little bit of time, but you get up there.

LAURA: See any crystals up here or anything?

MARISHA: No, I checked.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a look at this thing. Take a smell, see what's coming out of there.

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: You might have better luck, though.

SAM: Can I go investigate the door, or that's what he's doing?

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: No door currently, it's just a tunnel. 17?

TALIESIN: Yeah. Going to get way up to it.

MATT: There's no door.

TALIESIN: I know.

MATT: Right to where it pincers?

TALIESIN: A little bit in there, yeah.

MATT: Okay, take a smell. Smells metallic.

LAURA: Ooh, I bet it's the Tower, you guys.

TALIESIN: My feeling is the Tower, I'm feeling Tower here.

LAURA: I bet it's the Tower.

SAM: That's one of the right ways.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: That would be my preferred way.

MARISHA: If we think the other one is the study, then the one in the knot in the tree must be...

TRAVIS and MARISHA: The Crystal Mines?

TRAVIS: Or this is the Crystal Mines and the one in the tree leads--

LAURA: No, I bet this is the Tower, it's up high, towers are high.

TALIESIN: Half the tower's high, the other half is low.

MARISHA: The mines could also smell metallic. Maybe Crystal Mines is just a name, but it's still a mine. I don't know.

TALIESIN: Let me see this other door.

TRAVIS: You mine metals out of the earth.

MARISHA: But maybe you mine crystals out of the Crystal Mine!

LAURA: Yeah, you probably mine crystals. I bet it's like amethyst and like quartz, opal.

MARISHA: Fjord, you're still down there, right? Did you climb up yet?

TALIESIN: I'm going to start heading down.

MARISHA: Fjord will show you, where the, yeah.

TRAVIS: I'll lead you over to the Jack Skellington tree.

TALIESIN: Before we go down, I'm going to pop my head in on Caleb. Caleb?

LIAM: Ja?

TALIESIN: You know, he's already been in there, if that's where I think you're thinking about, which means he's probably already gotten all the good stuff out of there.

LIAM: Maybe.

TALIESIN: You can ask him when we find him.

LIAM: Maybe.

TALIESIN: Don't do anything foolish?

LIAM: What are we doing?

TALIESIN: We're checking the final door to see where it goes.

LIAM: Yeah, let's check it.

TALIESIN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Does he want to join us?

TALIESIN: He's thinking about stuff.

LAURA: Ask him if he knows what a Dreadnought is!

TALIESIN: You know what a dreadnought is?

LIAM: Do I know what a dreadnought is?

MATT: Huh?

LIAM: Do I know what a dreadnought is?

MATT: Make an arcana check.

LIAM: Nope. It's a 13.

MATT: 13, no idea. You know what the word means, but you don't know what--

LAURA: What does the word mean? I don't even know that.

TRAVIS: I don't either.

MATT: Best you can ascertain, something that is dangerous, unstoppable.

TRAVIS: Oh, good, sure.

LAURA: Let's do the Tower, I think.

LIAM: Dreadnoughts are bad guys in G.I. Joe.

LAURA: Let's do the Tower.

LIAM: Zartan, you know.

TRAVIS: If it goes to the Tower.

LAURA: I think it does.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to take a look at that last door that you got and give it good look once over.

MATT: The one that Fjord leads you to?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. You climb back down, head over to the side, you see the same knot, and for you it's very small. In order to even step inside, you'd have to get real low and squeeze around the corner.

TALIESIN: Get in there a bit, take a whiff.

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Ooh, 23!

MATT: It smells earthy, similar to the space around you, with a slight bit of dampness that's dissimilar to the moisture and humid atmosphere of this jungle.

TALIESIN: I feel like I can make an educated guess there, all right. Let's get together and maybe does anyone want a short rest or something and we can--

LAURA: I feel that's what we've been doing.

MATT: Well, you've been investigating. A short rest would be stop and rest.

MARISHA: So are we going to do the tower or the mines?

LIAM: I think we should take a short rest right here.

TALIESIN: And then we pick the door.

TRAVIS: Last question.

LAURA: Caleb, stop being weird!

TRAVIS: Last question, I know what we're going after, I guess out of game. There's a bedroom on here. Are we looking for him, are we just hoping to find him along the way?

LAURA: We're not looking for--

TRAVIS: Ussa?

LAURA: No, we are. But Ussa's not in the bedroom probably. Ussa's probably going to the heart thing.

MARISHA: Deeper and deeper.

LIAM: He could be trapped, he could be anything, and it's Yussa with a Y.

LAURA: Yussa.

TRAVIS: Fleshmend Facility...

SAM: Topaz...

LAURA and MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Tiger's Eye.

LIAM: Lapis lazuli.

LAURA: Is Tiger's Eye a crystal?

MARISHA: I guess it's more of a mineral.

MATT: You guys taking a short rest, then?

SAM: I guess?

TALIESIN: I think it's a good idea.

MATT: You can use your hit dice to heal up a bit if you'd like.

MARISHA: Hey Caleb, you still staring at a door?

LIAM: My cat has wandered off. Just waiting.

MARISHA: Cat's wandered off?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: There's no response, no return from Frumpkin. After like 40 minutes.

LIAM: 40 minutes, that's how long? After a half hour, I would go (snap).

MATT: Okay, Frumpkin returns.

LIAM: Well, what did you see?

MATT: (meowing)

LIAM: I have a telepathic link.

MATT: I know, I know. You see familiar images of the study you had previously stumbled into when you first came through the sphere. The large stained glass window that contained an imprint of various planes connected, shelves and the desk, almost no light but what little bit of light there is in there it looks like things have been tousled a bit, like the chair of the desk has been knocked over.

LIAM: While resting, I ask Frumpkin: Did you see a vanity that looks like it had been hacked to pieces? Because that's where we were attacked, right?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: The guts of that, and I ask Frumpkin if he saw the book that was so tempting to me before we dove in after Fjord.

MATT: Right. It looked like, because all the books were locked in these large metal bars that were chained in. The bars are open and the shelves are clear.

LIAM: Completely clear?

MATT: And the innards of the the cabinet mimic that you had battled still remained on the floor where it was left previously.

LIAM: So it looks like, best Frumpkin could tell, it's been rolled.

MATT: To whatever extent, whatever came through.

TRAVIS: I feel so guilty.

SAM: You know, as we sit here resting, it occurs to me as we sit around here that Miss Elaina out there has been waiting for days for us to return now.

LAURA: Oh jeez, you're right.

TRAVIS: Who?

SAM: Alanna?

LAURA and LIAM: Allura.

SAM: Alanna, it was Alanna.

LAURA: I should send her a message.

SAM: We should definitely send her a message.

LAURA: Should I send her a message, or should I use this amazing mirror that she gave me?

SAM: The mirror!

LAURA: Communication lasts for up to 10 minutes, I can use it three times a whole day.

SAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: We should probably maintain contact when we go through so we can describe what we see, maybe?

SAM: Oh, so cast it, talk to her, go through the thing and keep talking?

LAURA: So right when we decide.

MARISHA: So you get two birds, one stone?

SAM: Smart, Mr. Clay.

LAURA: Yeah, we'll cast it, talk to her for five minutes and then go through. Okay, okay, okay, I like it. Are we ready to go through?

TRAVIS: Well, no, Caduceus, Fjord, and Caleb are still on the ground.

SAM: Well, climb up!

LAURA: We're been waiting for an hour. The rope is down, we're on a short rest.

TRAVIS: I know, I'm just saying, that's where we are.

TALIESIN: Let's get up.

SAM: What are you guys doing down there?

MATT: You guys complete a short rest. Those of you who require short rest to restore themselves in certain capabilities or spells and abilities, those are restored. You've used your hit dice to heal up. What would you like to do?

SAM: Drink.

TALIESIN: Into the Machine, is that the conversation we're all having, not the Crystal Cave?

LAURA: Right, the Tower.

TALIESIN: I will admit I'm a little disappointed, but I'm--

LAURA: Yeah, I know.

TALIESIN: It's a cave made of crystal. That can't hurt you.

LAURA: You remember when we saw a cave of crystals before and they were so beautiful?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: It was so wonderful.

TALIESIN: It was great.

LAURA: I would love to see something like that again.

TALIESIN: Me too.

SAM: Is there anything in the information that we gleaned from the libraries that would indicate that a crystal cave is useful to us, a connection to another plane of existence?

LAURA: Maybe we can ask Allura. You know, she's been there for a week, I bet she's done a lot of research in the time that we've been gone, so maybe she'll know more about each of the rooms!

MARISHA: That's true.

TALIESIN: Let's start it, we'll get up here, we'll start it and then we'll tell her where we're going.

MARISHA: It is quicker to get down than get up.

LAURA: That's true, all right.

LIAM: DM, I also used Arcane Recovery on that short rest.

MATT: Right, so you got your spells.

LAURA: Okay, so I'm going to do it, okay?

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: I'm going to pull up the mirror.

MARISHA: Let's talk to Alyssa.

TRAVIS: That's a lollipop.

LAURA: Pretend it's a mirror.

TALIESIN: Alyssa explains it all.

LAURA: Allura, Allura, are you there?

SAM: Talk to a Jester quite so fair!

(laughter)

MATT: The reflection of your face goes cloudy for a moment and swirls and then begins to reform into the face of Allura Vysoren.

LAURA: How much time has passed?

MATT: "It's been nearly three days on this end."

LAURA: Whoa!

TALIESIN: That's crazy.

MATT: "I've been doing my best to research elements here. It seems that most of Yussa's notes were designed to not be pursued, so not much help about the actual interior, research-wise. I have done a bit of research on this Angel of Irons you've been speaking about. Not a whole lot to find here, though I do think I may have a divination spell that might hopefully pierce any sort of guise or veil of secrecy that it's keeping, but I will require you to be here and if you have any effects of a member of the cult at all, that might be helpful in gleaning information."

LAURA: Oh yeah, we've got stuff.

MATT: "Anyway, how goes it there? Please tell me."

LAURA: Okay, so we're in the Garden.

MATT: "Right."

LAURA: We fought a giant frog thing.

TRAVIS: It's only been a couple hours.

LAURA: It's only been a couple hours here. We fought and we succeeded and we're all healed up, we're good, we're good. So now we're deciding where to go next. We can go between the Tower or the Crystal Mines. So what do you think is more dangerous? A golem place or the dreadnought?

MATT: "Both seem capable of danger. I don't know necessarily what are in these places, I would hate to give an uninformed decision and send you to your doom. Is there anything else you can give me to help with this?"

TRAVIS: Tell her, on the map, the Tower Machine looks like it has gears and some sort of machinery and the Crystal Mine, the art does look a bit like a toothy maw.

LAURA: Oh, it kind of does, yeah.

SAM: That could just be artistic expression, though.

LIAM: The eye sees what it wants to see.

SAM: Allura, did you find anything while sitting there for three days that would indicate anything about these Crystal Mines? Any further research?

MATT: "Best that I can tell, many of the chambers in this this portion of the Folding Halls were designed specifically for Halas to reap and recover things for his research and maintenance. Looking at the spread here, it looks like there are things used for gathering materials for rituals, for spellcraft and magical item creation, enchantments, artifact design and development. There's a Golem Workshop; perhaps there is a space where he creates various servants. I don't know if you've recently come upon anyone or any creatures of golem construction."

MARISHA: We did previously.

TALIESIN: There were a bunch of frogs. Oh yeah, that was that last time, I forgot about that.

LIAM: Before your time, Caduceus, we were visiting a town called Hupperdook and we tangled with a bit of clockwork.

TALIESIN: I was thinking of the magic cabinet.

MATT: "I mean within the premises there. If there is a Golem Workshop, there's probably golems somewhere, maybe not just in the workshop, so be on the lookout."

LAURA: I bet they'll be in the Tower Machine.

TRAVIS: And a dreadnought?

MATT: "Dreadnought? There is--"

SAM: She's making a history check?

MATT: "There are many things that can be a dreadnought. It is a descriptive term. I can begin to research if you'd like. It might take a little bit of time."

SAM: Sure, we'll call you in 10 minutes, which will be two days later for you.

MATT: "Judging by the time passage there, you said it had been two to three hours? Looks to be about an hour per day transition, so keep that in mind."

LAURA: Oh, well.

MATT: "So far. Who knows if all the chambers are consistent."

SAM: I think we go into the Tower.

TALIESIN: I think we should regardless probably make a decision and move. That way, at least, we'll have a path forward.

LAURA: The Tower Machine also leads to the Arcane Armory and he has a lot of markings by the Arcane Armory. So maybe it's an important room.

SAM: Or maybe there's some cool weapons and protections there.

MATT: (distant thudding)

LAURA: I think we should do the tower.

MATT: (louder thudding)

SAM: Uh-oh!

LAURA: What is that?

MATT: You hear the crunching of natural sounds, wood and rock being pushed or plowed through. You are all up on the ledge, looking in towards the dark cavern above on the mountainside, correct? Looking down amongst the brush below, you see a 10-15 foot tall humanoid being made of polished, smooth stone with metallic joints. The faceless and reminiscent of the creature or shape you saw embedded in the ceiling of the chamber you arrived in, now emblazoned with runes and where one of its hands is you can see some sort of a claw, an open, C-like claw.

LAURA: Oh, if you hang out in the room too long, the golems come after you.

MARISHA: Or it follows you from room to room.

LAURA: Let's get out of here.

MATT: As you look down at it, you see its face (whirs) look up and there's just a single glowing sigil where its face would be that seems focused on all of you.

TALIESIN: Let's go!

MARISHA: (yells) Jumping into the cavern.

MATT: You all jump through the cavern, all right. One by one, you leap through into the darkness. The tunnel seems to pull you forward like a vacuum. In that moment where your feet leave the ground, the suction being so strong, the darkness all of a sudden is lifted like you've been thrust through a curtain of some kind, and your feet find a stone floor. Looking up around you, you stand on a ledge made of stone and metal. You look over what looks like a curving expanse, a maelstrom of black and purple clouds and swirling energy. On all sides before you, an endless expanse of nothingness with little hints of distance rock just slowing drifting through the space. Looking around behind you, you can see--

LAURA: I flip the mirror around so Allura can see everything that we're seeing.

MATT: Immense in size and nearly infinite, a pillar or a tower or a construct of strange shape and design. Parts of metal and offshoot chambers and bits of heavy gears grinding and shifting. Bits of brass and platinum bent around adamantine pistons and it curves slightly for miles and miles from end to end. Looking up on one side to the other, the immensity of it gives you instantaneous vertigo and you find yourself instinctively getting low to the ground, holding onto this ledge. A flash of purple lightning lights up the vicinity around you. And you look back to the map, and you suddenly see that shape drawn through the center of its design. You stand somewhere along whatever this device may be. The wind blowing and tousling your hair, the sound causing you to speak at a volume to where you can actually reach other's ears from a distance. And that's where we'll leave for next week.

ALL: Oh!

SAM: Fuck you.

TRAVIS: Yes! (clapping)

SAM: Oh man.

TRAVIS and TALIESIN: (moaning)

LAURA: Oh god!

TRAVIS: I love it, I love it!

SAM: We've got golems, we got Allura, we got a dungeon crawl, we got a map.

TRAVIS: We got to find those two doors.

LAURA: This is the best!

TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Oh man, oh man.

LIAM: (like Kermit the Frog) ♪ Why are there are so many ♪ ♪ Songs about Halas ♪ ♪ And what's on other side ♪

SAM: We killed Kermit in this game.

LAURA: There's a secondary map we have to figure out. Down here.

TRAVIS: It is just a portion of a tower.

MARISHA: We're in the engine of the Happy Fun Ball.

MATT: That is as much as Yussa has mapped out.

TRAVIS: Holy shit. Cool, cool cool cool.

MATT: From what you previously heard and Allura confirmed, 100 or more chambers within the Folding Halls.

LAURA: Jesus Christ.

TALIESIN: We cool, we cool.

MATT: We'll pick up there next week and see where this--

SAM: We'll post this picture somewhere.

MATT: Yeah, if you want, you can put it online. Thank you guys so much for joining us. Thank you to our fantastic sponsors. We love you very much and is it Thursday yet? Good night!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.