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Pre-Show[]

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

ALL: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

LIAM: -- Dragons.

MATT: Before we go into our game tonight, we do have some quick announcements to get through beginning with the first of our two sponsors tonight, Hit Point Press. Sam...?

SAM: I'm a cat.

LAURA: God.

SAM: And I'm picky about everything. Baths are torture. Litter boxes? I'd rather pee on your slipper. Chris Pratt as Garfield? Weird flex, but no. But our friends at Hit Point Press? Them, I like, because Hit Point Press is back again with their ongoing early Black Friday sales. I'm a cat. You want to see my butthole?

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: I'll take that as a yes. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Please don't do that.

SAM: Now is the perfect chance to prepare for your next adventure in Humblewood, or travel deep into the Islands of Sina Una with the campaign setting inspired by Filipino mythology and culture.

MATT: It's awesome.

LIAM: That's cool.

SAM: Whoops, time for a nap. (laughter)

MARISHA: No.

SAM: Okay, I'm up, and I'm a cat. Don't forget to equip one of the many items and weapons from the famed Griffon's Saddlebag before you embark on your journey. Here's an owl they sent us. (laughter)

LIAM: Guys we're finally getting that Pussy backstory. (laughter)

SAM: Are you using these papers?

MARISHA: I am, I am.

SAM: I'm going to make it my bed.

MARISHA: No, please stop. Okay. Okay.

TRAVIS: I hope Brittany's living right now.

MARISHA: Here. Can you-- [bell jingling] Can you-- There we go.

LAURA: Oh wow.

MARISHA: Go, go, go, get it.

SAM: I'm a cat, so I have excellent taste. For example, I lick my own genitalia. Also, I love Hit Point Press. Check it all out and use code CRITROLE21 right now to receive an additional $5 off your order of $50 or more on in-stock items at hitpointpress.com/cr.

LAURA: No, don't, don't.

SAM: By the way, I left a dead mouse next to the studio toilet. I'm a cat. Cat to you, Matt.

ASHLEY: Wow!

TRAVIS: Well, we better have more of that later.

LAURA: Oh god.

MATT: Oh boy.

MARISHA: That was a weird one.

MATT: That's going to haunt all of us. Thank you, Sam...? And thank you, Hit Point Press, and I'm so sorry. This episode is also sponsored by our friends at Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios and their latest chapter release of The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood that does not have Sam as a cat. It is available now on all platforms, including Xbox series X, S, and PS5. Join over the 19 million players in the award-warming RPG, warming RPG. It's winning as well, but it's also warming to your heart. And enter the Gates of Oblivion. The year-long adventure, which wraps up with the launch of the ESO: Deadlands DLC, out now on PC and consoles. We welcome you to join in all the fun and please check out everything Elder Scrolls Online at elderscrollsonline.com/buy. I also wanted to thank you all so much for joining us live on Twitch and YouTube. To join our live and moderated community chat, please head on over to our Twitch channel. As a reminder, there will be no new episode of Critical Role next week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US. We will be back the following Thursday on December 2nd for our next episode. Wow, there's a lot of announcements here. In comic book news--

SAM: Do you want me to do this one, Matt?

MATT: No, Sam, stop, shh!

ASHLEY: I'm a cat.

MATT: You've already done enough! In comic book news, Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen Issue number 2 is coming soon from our friends at Dark Horse Comics. The four-part mini series all features writing by Darcy Van Poelgeest and art by CoupleOfKooks. It's amazing, I'm so proud of it. Everyone's done such a great job on it. You can pre-order issue number two now at your local comic book shop and check out darkhorse.com for the latest update.

LAURA: Did you say--

SAM: Yeah, he said poltergeist.

MATT: Sorry, sorry, Poelgeest. The Halloween lingers weeks after. My apologies, Darcy, you're amazing. Liam.

TALIESIN: Hey!

LIAM: Boy, I'm going to try not to think about how beautiful Sam looks like as a cat. Kith & Kin, our novel with Penguin Random House is going to be out on November 30th, which means this is our last show before our first novel is out in the world.

LAURA: Oh my god, pretend that this is it because Liam and I both forgot to bring it.

LIAM: Both promised to bring it, both forgot.

LAURA: And didn't. Kith & Kin tells the story of Vex and Vax a few years before they--

TRAVIS: I even gave it to you at home! You didn't bring it?!

LAURA: A few years before they meet and join Vox Machina.

LIAM: If you pre-order the book, you can watch a virtual Q&A the day before the book releases with myself, Laura, and author Marieke Nijkamp, moderated by our good friend, Mica Burton. We're going to talk a bit about how the collaboration worked and about how it was for us to adapt this pre-stream story of the twins.

LAURA: The Q&A will be available for those who have registered on Monday, November 29th, at 5:00pm Pacific. It will also be available to everyone on our YouTube channel a few weeks after that.

LIAM: They asked us if we wanted to rehearse this before.

LAURA: And we said no.

LIAM: We said no. To pre-order your copy of Kith & Kin, or register for the Q&A, visit criticalrolebooks.com.

LAURA: Hey, and this is not related to and Kith & Kin; this is just for me and you.

TRAVIS: Who? (laughter)

LAURA: If you're considering ordering any gifts for the holidays from our shops, we recommend doing so by next Friday, November 26th, for the best chance of getting them on time. We expect shipping timelines--

TRAVIS: Put that finger down.

LAURA: Ohh! To stretch and get more and more unpredictable.

MARISHA: Whoa, shipping timelines.

LAURA: Oh, as the holidays draw closer, so get your orders in now if you want to. That's all I got.

TRAVIS: "If you want to."

LIAM: Stuck the landing.

MATT: Thank you so much, Laura, well done.

TRAVIS: Wow.

MATT: We've been doing this for a while and we just get worse progressively, it's incredible.

LAURA: How is it possible?

MATT: Indeed.

TRAVIS: Just human.

ASHLEY: Aw.

MATT: Well, with that, our announcements come to a close. So let's go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role. (meowing)

♪ Critical ♪
♪ It's Thursday, ♪
♪ it's Thursday ♪
♪ It's Thursday, ♪
♪ it's Thursday ♪
♪ It's Thursday night ♪
♪ (flames whooshing) ♪

Part I[]

MATT: So welcome back. Last we left off: This group of adventurers had completed their first job under the watch and employ of Lord Eshteross. However, the individual that they had chased off seemed to return and levied some vengeance on the wandering Sir Bertrand Bell, who was slaughtered in an alley that night. Upon discovering this, you brought the body to Lord Eshteross, said your goodbyes, and then vowed to find the person responsible and bring them to justice. Whatever your version of justice may be. Upon asking around, you decided the best place to search for this individual would be to-- Sorry. You asked around about this individual, discovered the name Dugger. Upon finding what bits of information you could, you heard that there may have been a connection, that this individual, Dugger, worked for the Corsairs, the Hubatt Corsairs, which is one of the criminal factions of the city and region beyond. Upon searching for a member or some sort of connection to the Hubatt Corsairs, it brought you to the Elder's Post in the Lantern Spire of Jrusar. There, you asked around a bit, encountered Ephred, the Shadow Baker and asked directly based on your previous relationship, Ashton, if they could perhaps give you some lead as to where you could speak with one of these members, if you would. Things didn't roll necessarily in your favor, but you were given a lead. This led you to the Root-- where do I have it written down over here, the Root Trader alcove here in the Elder Post. Upon giving the phrase--

OFF-CAMERA: (sneeze)

LAURA, ASHLEY, and MATT: Bless you.

SAM: Cat hair.

MATT: That you've come for the laughter. You were ushered up through a tight spiral staircase into the deeper rock of the spire by Heron, an eisfuura. You were led into a darkened chamber of some kind, barely lit by an oil lantern. The hatch closed behind you, and then as other lanterns begin to come into view, lighting the interior, you found yourself surrounded by a few dozen people. All lit from underneath, their various smiles and grins and mask-covered faces and eyes peering upon you. As one figure leaned in, this suave half-elf figure who leans forward, switches back from Marquesian to Common. "So who sent you? Why? Choose your words carefully, as points deducted for falsehood and bad humor will only prolong your eventual pain."

MARISHA: Well, we sent ourselves. We're just looking for anyone who might work for the Hubatt Corsairs.

MATT: "Friends, do you know anybody around here who works for the Hubatt Corsairs? I figure it'd be nice enough to at least let them know if anybody knows anything." Everyone kind of--

MARISHA: Is this one of those things where like we're here, this is them?

LAURA: I think this might be them.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: Laughter begins to break out through the chamber. (varied laughter) "Yeah, a few of us have heard of them. Maybe even dabble a bit."

MARISHA: Fantastic.

MATT: "Once again, who sent you and why are you here?"

LAURA: Dooger.

SAM: (whispering) Dugger.

LAURA: Dugger. (laughter)

LAURA: Pretend I didn't say that first one. Dugger.

ASHLEY: It's just her accent.

LAURA: It's the accent. Dugger.

SAM: Booger.

MATT: Looks to the left and right. As you guys are discussing, you watch as behind this muscular, sleeveless leather tunic-wearing dwarf woman comes up behind, blades at the ready, just kind of-- "What are you asking about Dugger for, huh?"

MARISHA: Well, he murdered a friend of ours. (laughs)

MATT: The man who originally engaged you puts a finger up towards the dwarf woman and she steps back. "Maybe he had a good reason for it, huh?"

ASHLEY: I didn't think about that.

MARISHA: I mean--

LAURA: Do the people in here look similar in their creepiness to Dugger or does it seem like he--

MATT: Make a perception check with disadvantage.

SAM: Disadvantage.

MATT: Because it is very low lit in here.

SAM and ASHLEY: Whoa!

MARISHA: Did that just happen?

SAM: That just happened.

MARISHA: Is that a nat 20 on top?

SAM: What's under it?

ASHLEY: That is a nat 20 on top. That was crazy.

LAURA: A 13 on the bottom, so 14 perception.

MATT: That's wild.

ASHLEY: That was so cool.

MARISHA: That was cool.

MATT: (laughs) 14, looking around the handful of people--

SAM: She said nat 20. Oh, disadvantage.

MATT: Yeah. Looking around at the individuals that are close by to pick up some details on them, they do not, at first glance, appear to be under the same malady that Dugger was when you encountered him. The man leans forward on his knee, places his foot up on this small box, and seems to have a casual energy towards you. "Well, you're looking for Dugger because he married a friend of-- or murdered a friend of yours. Sorry, that would be an entirely different circumstance. My apologies."

MARISHA: That was Dooger.

LAURA: Yeah, that was Dooger.

MATT: There we go.

ASHLEY: As far as we know they weren't married, you know?

MATT: "Look, here is the problem. You know one of our hideouts now."

MARISHA: Oh, so this is them! We found you! So exciting.

MATT: "Well, happy to be excited, I guess. We have a habit of not leaving any loose ends. So..." and he begins to look at all of you intently. Like he's looking through you but also taking in the details, reading you quickly before going, "You don't look like the usual sort that would be working with the Quorum, and I mean that with as much respect as possible."

LAURA: We're not.

TALIESIN: No. (laughs)

MATT: "So you just decided to wander, asking around for the Corsairs blindly in Elder's Post until you were shanked. Is that what I'm to understand?"

LAURA: We've heard that your organization is one of the good ones.

MATT: "Based on whose perspective?"

LAURA: Someone we work with.

MATT: "So you do work for somebody."

TALIESIN: Loosely.

MATT: "How about we begin this with the utmost honesty and for each continued progressive lie, one of you loses a finger?"

TALIESIN: We may have something for you.

MATT: "Go on."

TALIESIN: How much do you know about what Dugger was up to in town?

MATT: "We can have this conversation in a moment because I'm a little curious to hear what Dugger has been up to myself. But I need assurances. Because even though you may seem the less likely to go ahead and fuck us over, we have to make sure that we don't have to kill you. So I need collateral, if you will."

SAM: We could just make a promise that we won't tell anyone your whereabouts.

MATT: "That would help as part of the deal, but you all seem to like each other, yes? Kind of a tight knit group?"

MARISHA: We're just getting to know each other, really.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's bonding, this whole thing has been such a bonding experience!

TALIESIN: Some of them are all right.

MATT: "So more collateral, then. You, you, and... why the hell not, you. I need each of you to tell me somebody who is important to you and where they live. No harm will come to them, unless you sell one of us out. Seems like fair collateral. Just watching our backs, huh?"

LIAM: You want assurances, where are ours?

MATT: "You're the ones who said you think we're the good guys. You have my word. I know it seems a bit fraught given the circumstances, but let's be honest, you walked into the middle of our home and we have to protect ourselves."

ASHLEY: It's understandable.

LIAM: Insight check.

MATT: Make an insight check.

LIAM: Terrible.

LAURA: Does Dugger still work for you? This is an important question.

MATT: "Let's get to the order of the questions first. We have a lot on the table. Here, you tell me this collateral, I'll tell you my name, and then we can have a conversation in earnest. But we have to be careful. We are being hunted by many different people."

MARISHA: Do you think you're the good guys?

MATT: "Doesn't everybody think they are the good guy of their own story?"

MARISHA: Exactly. But what is your opinion?

MATT: "See? More questions. I want more answers first. My plate is getting full."

LAURA: Relvin.

MATT: "Relvin."

LAURA: Temult. My father.

MATT: "They are at?"

LAURA: They live in Gelvaan.

MATT: "See? Not so hard." You see one person behind scribbling down on a quick piece of parchment.

TALIESIN: How much do I have to like this person?

MATT: "Enough that I find it acceptable."

TALIESIN: Fresh Cut Grass, lives in the Krook House.

MATT: "Very well."

SAM: Really?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Oh, that's so nice.

TALIESIN: I thought you'd like that.

MATT: "And you, blue boy?"

ROBBIE: I'm a traveler; everyone who's close to me is right here.

MATT: "Well then, somebody else has to give up some collateral. How about you, spooky girl?"

MARISHA: I'm kind of in the same boat, actually.

MATT: "Ah, this is useless to the point. It's supposed to have collateral, people that aren't here immediately, things at home, things you care about that are in danger if you end up fucking us over. That's how it usually works."

ASHLEY: Well, he can put up me for collateral.

MATT: "It's the same problem!"

ASHLEY: Oh.

MATT: "It--" (sighs) (laughs) Both of you make persuasion checks.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

MARISHA: That's good, that's good.

LAURA: Your dice aren't even out yet!

ASHLEY: I know, I know.

MARISHA: 22.

SAM: She's booting up her-- tablet device. (laughter)

LIAM: Summoning druid powers.

ASHLEY and LAURA: (beeping)

ASHLEY: It is--

SAM: Open Safari.

ASHLEY: Oh boy.

LAURA: What is happening?

ASHLEY: Persuasion, you said?

LIAM: Find the right tab.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Persuasion, you say?

ASHLEY: 15 total.

SAM: All of that to get plus one. (laughter)

ASHLEY: That's what I thought it was going to be, yeah.

MATT: The half-elven man like, (sighs) "We'll go with two, we'll go with two. Sure, that's plenty enough. My name is Yash Mangal."

MARISHA: Yash, Yash--?

MATT: "Yash Mangal."

MARISHA: Mangal.

MATT: "Welcome to one of our many pseudo-safehouses. If I have to reiterate once again, if anything comes of this in a negative light, your father will likely show up dead and your friend Fresh Cut Grass will probably end up, well, fresh cut grass."

TALIESIN: That's fair.

SAM: Oh. Well, I guess it's a mixed blessing then that you--

TALIESIN: What isn't, really, when you think about it?

SAM: Thank you, I suppose.

TALIESIN: You're welcome.

MARISHA: Are you the leader?

MATT: "There is no leader of the Corsairs. We are a collective."

MARISHA: Who makes your decisions, or how?

MATT: "We make them collectively, like a collective. I mean--"

LIAM: Yeah, but you're the chatty one.

MATT: "Well, because I am--" Looks around. "I am not taking a position of leadership, but I happen to be one of the more well-spoken and gregarious members of this particular troop here that you came upon, so it falls to me, you know?"

LAURA: Can I ask a question? Is everybody in a mask or is it just some of them are in masks?

MATT: Just some of them.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You get the sense that you walking into the middle of this kill box, they didn't feel too threatened.

LAURA: We're sorry to have interrupted your meeting that it seems like you had going on at this moment. But my previous question: Dugger, is he really one of yours? Or I hope to hear he's betrayed y'all in some way.

MATT: "I accept your apology for ruining a very important meeting we were having, which everyone can continue." You see a few individuals start bringing out little sandwiches and lunches and they all go back to eating. (laughter) "So Dugger, who you speak of, he no longer runs with us, but-- and he was a bit of a prick, to be honest. His heart was in the right place. We had a lot of aligned ideas and--"

LIAM: What was the nature of his leaving?

MATT: "Well, he just vanished for a few weeks about six months back. We thought he was taken by the Wilders, maybe arrested, and we sent out a few individuals to make sure that he wasn't ratting out on us, but then he showed up again. Rejoined, we asked him what was wrong. He said he just needed some time away to take care of something. He just seemed a little different."

LAURA: Did he look different?

MATT: "Yeah, he began to, I don't know, looked like he was undergoing some malady of some kind, sweating more, his skin growing paler. I was afraid he was just, well, giving in to some sort of illness over time, but he also became more aloof. I was wondering if maybe it was a newfound addiction, possibly. We asked questions, he was dodgy about it, and then eventually he resigned."

SAM: Oh, you can just resign from this organization?

MATT: "Well, we keep a very close eye still, so if anything shifty happens--

LAURA: So you know where he is?

MATT: "Well, for the most part he stays close to his house, yes. Between there and over to the Weary Way Tavern."

ASHLEY: You thought he was taken by who?

LAURA: The Wilders.

MATT: "The Wilders."

ASHLEY: The Wilders?

MATT: "The Wardens, the guards of this region."

ASHLEY: That's right, okay.

MATT: "He does occasionally travel from his home and the Smolder Spire, but for the most part, he stays either at his home or the Weary Way. We keep watch on him for a few more months and if he is on good behavior, maybe we'll lessen."

TALIESIN: Do you know what he's been doing with his time lately?

MATT: "No, don't really care."

TALIESIN: Well.

SAM: You said he travels from his home. You're just talking about in town, right? Not long trips?

LAURA: Smolder Spire.

MATT: "Right."

MATT: "He's traveling to the Smolder Spire but he lives in the Core Spire."

LAURA: Oh.

MARISHA: He lives in the-- Okay. To his house in the Core Spire.

SAM: You're being very forthcoming with the information and we appreciate it a lot.

MATT: "Well, you know, you all look like you're a bit lost, (laughs) to be blunt about it. Relatively affable, and, well, you've given me collateral, so."

LIAM: Our limited experience with him, he's not acting like he's one of the good guys.

MARISHA: He also controls all these shade creepers, like he can summon them. Has he ever been able to do that before?

MATT: "(laughs) Dugger controls and summons shade creepers?"

LAURA: But not normal shade creepers. Shade creepers that look like him.

MARISHA: Like red burning eyes.

LAURA: That burst into flame when they're killed.

MATT: "Sure, okay. I don't know anything about that, but if Dugger is able to pull that off, I mean, kind of good for him. He didn't really have a lot going for him before that aside from a quick mind and a fast stab, but--"

TALIESIN: He's been smuggling brumestone into the city, so I assume you might know something about that.

MATT: Eyes narrow for a second and you see a little bit of mental math going on before Yash looks back.

TALIESIN: So you didn't know.

MATT: "I did not. I'm not aware of any-- Brumestone trade is very dangerous. It's very protected, and there are eyes you definitely do not want to draw on to you if you are not going through the proper channels."

LAURA: Do you think brumestone could cause someone to have that malady?

MATT: "It's possible. I mean, it's an ancient recovered substance, and my limited knowledge of it is just in the use of skyship elements, but anything that glows that heavily and is that close to you, I mean, wouldn't surprise me if there was some sort of a bad reaction over time, but."

LAURA: Right.

LIAM: We mean to find him. Is that going to be a problem for you?

MATT: "No, he's not a part of the Corsairs anymore. If he's being weird about things, if he can summon shade creepers, and killed your friend, then, like, go for it."

SAM: Well, he's also-- the only thing that we've been able to ascertain about him is that he was with your organization, so I would assume that you wouldn't want any of his sort of ill repute associated with you.

MATT: "We were not aware of any ill repute until today, so if we're going to be honest about it, you're right. And he knows a lot of things that, you know, he's going to be on the wrong side of morality in all of this. Maybe it's best that he be punished and prevented from spilling any beans, proverbially."

SAM: Is righting wrongs what y'all are all about, or is it specifically directed at sort of the wealthy classes or what's your whole deal?

MATT: Make a persuasion check. (laughter)

MARISHA: Come on, come on.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, nine.

MARISHA and ASHLEY: Wow.

MATT: Yash just looks at you with this grin and goes, "I cannot get over the fact that you have a talking automaton. This is amazing. Well done, well done."

SAM: Well, I appreciate it. Yeah.

MATT: "Oh, I'm not going to answer any more of your questions, but I am entertained fully, thank you."

SAM: Oh, I just thought you might want to share what your goals were with us, just in case we could help you.

MATT: "We're good on help for the time being. We have our goals. Do not get in our way."

SAM: Well, it's hard to not get in your way if we don't know what you're doing, is what I'm saying. If we knew where to avoid or what you were about, it might help us avoid what you were doing.

MATT: "Hmm."

TALIESIN: And I can't imagine that some sort of unregulated smuggling of large amounts of brumestone into the city is honestly in anybody's best interests. Especially someone associated with you.

MATT: You make a persuasion check, too.

MARISHA: Come on. (laughter)

LAURA: Do you also suck at this?

MARISHA: Yeah, Mr. Charisma.

TALIESIN: Yeah, because I'm being an asshole about everything. 12.

LAURA: Oh wow.

LIAM: Oh, went down. (laughter)

MATT: "Tell you what, I'll put the word out that if anyone gets into a tangle with individuals that match your description to go easy. But our business is our own, and if you manage to wander into our business again, well. (laughs) I can't guarantee it's going to be as welcoming."

LAURA: We'd like to stay friendly with y'all, truly.

MATT: "Then stay friendly."

TALIESIN: We are also available for hire, I should also say.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's true.

MATT: "Okay, hold on a second. So you are just friends looking to avenge a friend's death, but you're also working for someone."

MARISHA and SAM: Yes.

MATT: "Who are you working for?"

LAURA: We're not--

MARISHA: A person.

SAM: He told us not to tell anybody?

ROBBIE: Sort of the friend that was-- is dead, but--

TALIESIN: Clearly, if we're working for someone, it would be our obligation not to say their name, but we feel pretty comfortable.

LAURA: But he did say that he's one of the good guys-- they're one of the good guys and--

SAM: He, or she, or they, yep.

LAURA: He or she. And, you know, the--

ROBBIE: We have gotten so much great information from you. We really appreciate your time. Did we figure out where exactly Dugger was?

LAURA: To go?

ROBBIE: I know you said you were done answering questions, but you said you went back and forth from his home to--

LAURA: Core to Smolder. Do you have his exact address? Can we find him? Also, one other question outside of that, do you have any idea where we would find an entrance into the area where the shade creepers live? Specifically ones that smell like-- what was it?

LIAM: Oh, it was--

SAM: Charcoal?

LAURA: Charcoal.

LIAM: Charcoal, yeah.

MATT: "So many questions. So many times crossing the line. I want to keep this friendly, I really do." You can see this wave of frustration beginning to burble up within, and some of the people in the crowd who are eating their food have set it aside and they're just watching his manner as a guide of what to do. "Dugger's house is on the northern outskirts of Viduun-Devaar. It's a simple home, pale blue wood and mostly stone make. It'll be on the 12th-level up, far-right side. It looks cold and a bit abandoned compared to the ones around it. He doesn't keep his place very well."

TALIESIN: That's great.

SAM: It's amazing, this is so--

TALIESIN: More than we could've hoped for.

LAURA: Sorry I overstepped.

MARISHA: We're honestly quite fans. Just of what you do and your enterprise, so.

LAURA: From what we know, which is next to nothing. Laudna, we don't know hardly anything.

MARISHA: But we're fans of what we do know.

ROBBIE: I'm sure it's great. I'm sure you guys are great.

LAURA: She's also super into masks and stuff like that. So this whole ambiance in here is just super on--

MARISHA: Honestly, you're nailing it.

LIAM: Do you have your collateral? This Dugger, he's a loose thread that is going to bring a negative light back to you. We're doing you a favor.

MATT: "Perhaps. Well, then, if the job is done and a little look into who you are seems to be on the up and up, then friendly we shall remain, and thankful for a loose thread being cut. And if you were indeed looking for work, seemed to be a sort interesting for another conversation maybe."

ASHLEY: May I just have a sidebar with my friends, please, for just a moment? Could you earmuffs?

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

MATT: Make a persuasion check. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Well--

LAURA: Oh no.

ASHLEY: 10.

MATT: 10.

LAURA: We're so bad at persuasion.

MATT: "Sure. Everyone, earmuffs," and everyone does this-- (laughter)

LIAM: Level three!

ASHLEY: Okay, so I remember that (quietly) Eshteross--

LAURA: Don't say his name.

ASHLEY: Okay, but he wanted us to speak nicely of him to these people.

LAURA: Yeah, I know.

ASHLEY: Should we say anything?

LAURA: That's why I was wondering because he said he did want to talk to them, right? Because he's also one of the good guys.

SAM: Oh, he did?

ASHLEY: Yes.

SAM: But he told us not to use his name, but then he said specifically to use his--

LAURA: Not, not--

ROBBIE: It sounds very much-- (groans).

ASHLEY: We say, we just say--

MARISHA: Sorry.

ASHLEY: -- the man that we work alongside of, not for, is incredible. And that's all you need to know.

LAURA: Yeah, and he might understand--

LIAM: Orym is listening to all this swirl of voices and just staring up at the Court of Owls--

TALIESIN: Nice reference.

LIAM: -- looking down at them.

ROBBIE: I got a very bad vibe right off the bat about that he was looking for someone, it felt antagonistic. And now, he's being very nice, and he's given us a lot of information.

LAURA: Yeah, so we should leave.

ROBBIE: I want to go, but we can say nice things about Eshteross if you think it's going--

LAURA: Don't say his name out loud.

ROBBIE: I'm sorry.

LAURA: Just stop.

ASHLEY: What if, just before we leave, we just say, "Hmm-hmm-hmm is great," and that could mean anything.

SAM: We're just going to say there's a dude who's great in the world?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: And he's a fan. Right?

ASHLEY: Well, I think we're probably going to go.

MATT: As you turn around, you could see there's a tall figure next to Yash, who's a light gray cloak and a heavy hood, leather armor. You can't see their face, and they're leaning in and whispering something into Yash's ear. Yash listens. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

ASHLEY: Oh, we are leaving, I think. Are we leaving?

SAM: Yep!

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yes.

ASHLEY: But we do know someone. Just a great guy, and he's so great.

MATT: "Fantastic." (laughter)

MATT: "I, and not to inject myself into your story here, but I happen to know a handful of really great people, too."

ASHLEY: You do?

MATT: "I do."

SAM: Should we just tell him?

LAURA: No! I don't feel right about it. I have a question, if--

SAM: Maybe we should go. (laughter)

MATT: The figure with the hood puts their hand out onto his shoulder, and he goes like--

LAURA: No, no, no, we should go, we should go.

ASHLEY: Maybe it's an important question.

LAURA: It was just that if, in the future, we thought we had information that would be valuable to you, is there a way we can get you that information?

MATT: "You return to here and--"

LAURA: And that's all right? We don't want to overstep.

MARISHA: And we don't want to say the laughter line again because that was clearly wrong.

MATT: "No, I would not say that again."

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MARISHA: What should we say?

MATT: "I would say--" Let me look at my notes here. Find it here, or did I lose it? It's in my binder. (laughs)

LAURA: I'd like to imagine that he's searching through his binder right now.

MATT: He's like, "Excuse me just a minute. I need to look through all of my stuff."

MARISHA: We change our password once a week for safety.

ASHLEY: We have a new wifi code here.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "It's perfect."

MARISHA: You should get a VPN, honestly.

MATT: "Just come into the same vicinity of this-- the woman who runs downstairs and say--" He thinks for a second because I can't find the sheet of paper that has the actual phrase.

SAM: Nice.

ASHLEY: And you're going to find it later as we all know.

LIAM: This is the new one.

MATT: I know, it is a new one. I'm going to find it because I don't want to fuck it up.

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: It's part of my notes. Thank you for your patience.

ASHLEY: (whispered) I think we're doing a good job.

TALIESIN: Say TBD. (laughter)

MARISHA: One, two, three, four. (laughter)

LAURA: One, two, one, two.

ASHLEY: One, one, one, one, one, one, one, one, one.

MATT: There it was. He thinks to himself, "Just mention the phrase, you've come to loosen the snare."

SAM: Loosen--

LAURA: We all write it down.

SAM: Yep, we're all writing it down.

LAURA: And we'll none of us be able to find it.

TALIESIN: I'm going to be a note taker this campaign.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Same.

SAM: Thank you so much for your time. It's been a pleasure getting to know you a little better, and whether you know it or not, you've made my day just so much brighter by chance, so thank you.

MATT: "I love this little metal person here. This is amazing."

LAURA: It's quite wonderful.

TALIESIN: They grow on you.

SAM: Well, bye-bye.

MATT: "Yes, please leave, but thank you, a pleasure to meet you all. A lot of good conversation and whiplash, but well, good luck with Dugger, I guess."

SAM: We'll let you know how it goes.

MARISHA: Question, while all this was happening, and he was getting a whisper, and the guy was like, "Come on, it's time to go," what is everyone else doing? Does it look like they're rallying?

MATT: Half of them are eating lunch, it looks like.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: And the other half are just keeping an eye with a hand on their weapons at the side, being guarded, at the ready.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: They seemed to lose interest when it became more of a conversation than a scuffle.

SAM: I guess we'll exit.

LAURA: Sure. Right as we're getting ready to go, I'll just say: On the way in, I bought this from a baker in town. Would you want it?

MATT: "I appreciate the offer, but I do not make a habit of eating phantom pastries."

LAURA: It's real. (laughter)

MATT: "The source is dubious. It's been in your pocket. Get out of here."

LIAM: Orym watches the whole group exit and go down the stairs, and he's the last one out, and just looks at the whole room, and follows them.

LAURA: I was going to say who it was from, then I was afraid it would be bad to say the name of the person that sent us.

ASHLEY: Yeah, and then he thought it wasn't real.

ROBBIE: I don't necessarily know that it's bad to say anyone's name.

LAURA: I don't know!

ROBBIE: I'm feeling somewhat guilty for not saying Eshteross's name.

LAURA: No, no, no, no, it's good that we didn't say it. And don't worry--

SAM: He said to specifically talk him up.

TALIESIN: No, you don't say anyone's name.

ASHLEY: I feel like he did.

SAM: He specifically said--

LAURA: Well, y'all don't worry, because we said his name twice, and they know they heard us.

ROBBIE: How far away from door are we?

MATT: You guys are just stepping down the first few steps of the spiral staircase that exits.

ROBBIE: Should we, or should we-- We still have a chance.

SAM: What are you going to do, yell it back?

ROBBIE: I am going to.

SAM: Okay, go for it.

ROBBIE: All right.

TALIESIN: I cover his mouth!

LAURA: No, no, no, don't!

MARISHA: Hang on!

SAM: Silence.

MARISHA: Here's the thing.

ASHLEY: Do it, do it, do it.

TALIESIN: I make a jump to cover the mouth.

ROBBIE: (mumbled speech)

TALIESIN: No, no, no.

LAURA: I can't remember--

MARISHA: Hang on!

ROBBIE: (muffled) Orym!

SAM: You know, we were so much more organized when Bertrand was around.

ROBBIE: This is your hand.

LAURA: We kind of were. I feel like we were. Because here's the thing: Like, as much of a, you know, showman he was, he was good at talking.

MARISHA: Yes.

SAM: He had leadership qualities.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Even though he was a slimy dirtbag, you know? He had a lot of good qualities to him.

ASHLEY: He was a great wrangler.

MARISHA: Yes, wrangler.

LAURA: Yes.

MARISHA: Well, look, we're probably going to see Yash again, right? This is not the last time that we're going to be here.

LIAM: We're here in town.

MARISHA: We're here in town. We can always come back. We can build trust over time. Trust for them, trust for us, trust for everyone!

ROBBIE: We'll try a conversation where he doesn't threaten to cut our fingers off first.

MARISHA: Yes! Exactly, exactly.

LIAM: Let's just feel things out.

SAM: And we have a lead, right? We know where Dugger lives.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: And what time?

MARISHA: So let's go murder him!

SAM: Oh, okay.

LAURA: Is it early right now? What time is it?

ASHLEY: It's time for murder! (laughter)

TALIESIN: It's always time for murder.

MATT: Let's see, you guys--

SAM: We got up.

MATT: You guys crashed that evening, or you guys-- some of you crashed the evening in Eshteross' place.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: The next morning, that's where you guys reconvened. So that's where you-- (mumbling) So that's-- I'm going to say, mid-afternoon.

SAM: Great! Murder time.

LAURA: Murder time.

MARISHA: Should we get a late lunch before murder?

ASHLEY: Yeah, because you don't want to do murder on an empty stomach.

MATT: The hatch closes.

LAURA: Oh, that whole time--

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: -- they were listening to our stupid conversation.

MARISHA: Heron's like, "Shut up."

MATT: Heron's like, "All right."

SAM: Thank you for your hospitality, have a shiny day.

TALIESIN: What spire is this place?

MATT: Viduun-Devaar is--

SAM: We're in the Lantern right now.

LAURA: That's in the Core Spire, right?

MATT: Yes, that's actually--

LAURA: That's where we live.

MATT: That's the neighborhood of where you both are staying.

TALIESIN: That's the main.

SAM: So that's where we're going.

ASHLEY: We're going to talk to some of your friends.

LAURA: He lives in the same neighborhood that we live in. That's kind of scary.

SAM: You're neighbors.

MARISHA: I know. And where he killed Bertrand.

LAURA: Right around there.

MARISHA: Right around there.

SAM: Well, they say most accidents happen within 50 feet of your home, so.

TALIESIN: Since we're here, does anybody want to spend some cash on maybe a couple of healing potions considering we got our asses kicked last time pretty fucking hard?

MARISHA: That's true. Do they have anything here like that?

MATT: You can definitely look around and ask around if you'd like.

LAURA: Hold onto your coin purses.

SAM: You mean at this place where we are currently, Root Trader alcove, or around?

MATT: There's all those places at the Elder's Post, there are other places throughout the Lantern Spire that you can check around. You would know there's a couple of--

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You noticed the Yohaurag Smithy, if you're looking for any sort of metal and weapon or armory-based stuff. There's the Trove of Marwa, which is a general goods gathering element there.

TALIESIN: Well, I don't know but I'll take your word for it.

MATT: You can figure that one as you go.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah, well, if you know some places, let's stop.

TALIESIN: I mean, yeah, I mean, the smithy is mostly just armor and weapons, but they might, at the very-- Do I know the Trove of Marwa, or do I not?

MATT: I would say you've heard of it. You may not have been there.

TALIESIN: I don't know where it is, but we could ask around.

LAURA: Is that where they would have--

TALIESIN: It's where they would probably have potions or something like that. But we could also ask at the smithy and just see what comes up, so.

SAM: Let's go to where you think they'll be. The magic-y place.

TALIESIN: It's a big shopping district, if I recall from reading up, or is it scattered a bit?

MATT: As far as the Elder Post, you mean?

TALIESIN: In the Lantern-- like--

MATT: The Lantern Spire has a loose market district. It's the initial spire, people that are entering the city by foot are. So there's an open trade. It's a little hard to find the real good quality stuff in between because a lot of it is either sold for people that are exiting or people that are just passing by. A lot of knickknacks and travel elements there. But if you dig past that, you're sure you can find some good stuff.

TALIESIN: Let's ask around and see if we can figure out where the Trove of Marwa is, because I've heard that place is pretty good. I've never been, but--

SAM: Let's do it.

TALIESIN: And, preferably, I think someone else should ask around because I look like I'm going to rob somebody, so.

LAURA: I'll walk up to a stall.

TALIESIN: Actually.

MATT: Okay, as you walk, are you in the Elder's Post?

LAURA: Yes?

MATT: Okay. The first stall that you see at your disposal is a rugged-looking wooden stall that looks like it's been repaired seven different times. One of the wheels is almost more there to hold it up as opposed to be pushing it. And you see there's an older woman there with small little glasses at the tip of her nose, bright eyes with these bags underneath that have this white makeup-like material underneath it, just causes the face to brighten up a bit. Her hair is pulled taut to one side and given this side braid that curls down, and she has this little outfit on, and she sits there and glances over you as you approach.

LAURA: Hi.

MATT: (deep, gruff voice) "Hi."

LAURA: Can I see what her cart has on it? What's she selling?

MATT: Looking down at the cart, you can see there're manner of small leather folds, It looks like there're bracelets and belts, and other bits of simple tooled leather materials for just accessories and straps and--

LAURA: Oh, these are lovely. Can I pick up just a little leather pouch?

MATT: Yep.

LAURA: How much would this be?

MATT: "That would be about five copper pieces."

LAURA: Five copper pieces?

MATT: "Yeah."

LAURA: All right, do you make these yourself?

MATT: "My daughter makes them."

LAURA: Oh, that's wonderful.

MATT: "I'm just the one with the silver tongue." (laughter)

LAURA: And what's your name?

MATT: "My name is Juraya."

LAURA: Juraya. Nice to meet you, Juraya. I will take this leather pouch. And I'll pass over a silver.

MATT: "Big spender."

LAURA: Well, I also wanted to ask you some information.

MATT: "Thank you."

LAURA: You're welcome. Could you point me in the direction of the Trove? What is it called?

TALIESIN: Oh.

LAURA: The Trove of Marwa? No-- what-- Is that really what it is and I actually remembered it? Wow.

TALIESIN: Yeah, well done.

MATT: "You're looking for Marwa?"

LAURA: Maybe.

MATT: "Okay."

LAURA: Why?

MATT: "No reason."

LAURA: I'm just looking for a place to buy general goods, potions, stuff like that.

MATT: "Marwa could help you."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Plenty of others here in the Post that could help as well."

LAURA: That is an excellent point.

MARISHA: Insight check.

LAURA: How many people are around us right now?

MATT: I mean, there's maybe four or five that are in 10, 15-foot vicinity of you that are just walking by, going around the carts. Making an insight check, what are you checking into?

MARISHA: Does she hate this woman? Whoever Marwa is?

MATT: You got it. Insight check. And you're making a persuasion check.

MARISHA: What is my-- Oh my god, 14. (die clinks loudly)

LAURA: Whoa, clunk! Persuasion, oh!

SAM: Oh, whispers.

LAURA: I'm good at persuasion.

SAM: Whispers, everybody. Hit Point Press. They love cats and they--

LAURA: Don't put the mask back on.

SAM: I don't have it, but they sent us an owl.

LIAM: Speak for yourself.

SAM: And it was very nice of them. Buy their wares.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: 21, okay. (as Juraya) "I sell other things. If you're looking for things that aren't leather, you're welcome to look around. If you're really looking for something that Marwa has, then so be it."

MARISHA: Do you have any other recommendations, outside of Marwa?

MATT: "What are you looking for?"

LAURA: Someone that would give us a good deal on potions, and we might be wandering into a dangerous situation.

MATT: "I can introduce you to someone."

MARISHA: Ooh.

MATT: And this cute little granny, as you're quickly seeing, has this dark undertone to her. "Follow me." She goes ahead and quickly, in a rapid succession, closes down her cart, locks it, finishes up.

LAURA: If we're far enough away from enough people, I would like to just tentatively see what is going on in her mind to make sure she's not trying to set us up for another fricking ambush.

MATT: Okay, so you're opening your mind in her direction?

TALIESIN: Second location.

LAURA: Yeah, but I want to tell the group to step the fuck away from me. I'm going to just follow her at a distance, so that I can try to get as isolated as possible.

MATT: Okay, it's a little hard here in this busy street.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: But we can do the best you can, all right.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right, so it's not a long jaunt to where she seems to be taking you, so in that brief time as you're gauging the space around you, you can maybe attempt it within the presence of four other people interfering.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: So go ahead and roll.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: New toys.

LAURA: (gasps) I succeeded!

MATT: Okay. (laughter)

MATT: As you're walking, you catch the surface thoughts, which are just, "Fucking Marwa taking all the work. Kind of hard to work when someone's so above board!" And then as you dig deeper, the next thought is, But if I can squeeze a commission out of this, I can upsell them all that and this is going to work great for both me and Advik. All right, all right."

LAURA: Are you taking us to an actual place of business or would we be heading to another stall, another vendor?

MATT: She stops and turns around with a big smile. "There aren't many folks here that wander in the various wilds and beyond and bring back many great secret things, concocting many ambrosias that can stave off defeat and death. One such traveling merchant is an old friend of mine named Advik, and I'd like to introduce the two of you. I'm sure he could be of help."

LIAM: Have you left everyone in the dust, by the way?

LAURA: Have I what?

LIAM: Left the group in the dust?

LAURA: Uh-- I'm--

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Let me just let my compatriots know where we're heading.

MATT: "Of course, take your time."

LAURA: I head back to them for a second. So Advik, wasn't that the name of one of your friends?

TALIESIN: Yeah, friends, loose but yeah.

LAURA: This lovely woman, Juraya, off in the distance a little bit, she's leading us to him. Says that he has a lot of good deals on wares.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: Should we do that or should we go to the Trove?

TALIESIN: Let's see where this pans out. I will stay in the back just to--

LAURA: Are you going to get us worse deals or better deals, you think?

TALIESIN: Oh, honestly, I don't think it'll matter.

LAURA: Right. Is this dangerous?

TALIESIN: What isn't, at this point?

LAURA: Shopping at the Trove, I would imagine.

TALIESIN: Let's see where this goes.

LAURA: All right.

TALIESIN: Clearly, we're meant to go. Sometimes you're going to wander into something. We've already wandered into one thing. What are the chances we're going to wander into two terrible things in one day?

MARISHA: Feels pretty high, honestly.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: Bertrand started the day off by dying, so I think we're on a great path.

TALIESIN: That's one person having one bad thing. This is a group of people having-- and that didn't happen to us.

SAM: Yeah, I'm with Ashton on this, and not just because he told me that I matter to him.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: I think in life, it's, No pain, no Wayne," is what we used to say all the time.

LAURA: What does that mean?

SAM: Oh, well, we knew this guy named Wayne, and he hated to get injured, so we would always just say, "So no pain, no Wayne." I guess you had to know him to make it make sense, but--

LAURA: Yeah, probably.

ASHLEY: Well.

ROBBIE: Think of it this way, we're supporting small business.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Very good, very good.

TALIESIN: I always prefer to keep things below board, if you can. Fuck, all right, let's just do this shit.

LAURA: I start following her again.

MATT: As you guys are finishing this conversation, you turn, and you can see that she's currently having a conversation with a figure. You can see now before you is this massive presentational cart. You can see, compared to the one that she had, this is probably like three carts lined, and then locked together with a vast spread. You're familiar with this sight as it moves throughout the city at times. A great sign that says, Advik's Wandering Curiosities and Collections.

LAURA: Oh, wow. This is way more than I expected.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: The man you see she's talking to is a human man with long black hair that is oiled back and pulled into a part on the side into a long ponytail that goes to his mid back. He has a thin pencil mustache that runs just past the edges of the mouth. He's thin with good posture and keeps his hands ready to present. He's wearing a nice little buttoned-over shirt that has a formal look to it with a tattered cloak around it that also looks world-wearied. And as he's talking with this old woman, he goes-- looks over at the rest of you, "Come, friends, please. I've been told that you're looking for goods from all over."

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: Are they above us or--?

MATT: "They're up here, behind it. Tell me what you need, I have many things, please."

LIAM: I think we're looking for a little survivability.

MATT: "So protection, weaponry."

LAURA: Healing.

MATT: "Ah. I may be able to help. So I was wandering, not too long in the outskirts of The Heartmoor, and met a nice young man named Amarash. Amarash was an herbalist and after a night of drinks, he began to regale me with the tales of his family's great technique in brewing the finest of herbal remedies. Over a game of cards, I managed to win from him quite the collection, and I have them here with me." He lays on the top, you could see this small, square-ish leather case with a flap that he pulls back, and you hear the clinking of glass. From there, you can see there are four small vials with a somewhat brackish red liquid inside that shakes a bit as he sets it down. "I've been, well, looking for the right home for these, and there have been questions brought about, but it didn't feel right until you all walked up. And I have to say, maybe it is destiny." (laughter)

LIAM and TALIESIN: Oh, insight check.

LAURA: I know, I feel like this is a total scam.

MARISHA: I know.

LAURA: What are those concoctions?

MATT: "Well, you said you were looking for things that could keep you alive, that could heal. These are potions of healing."

ASHLEY: And they're from the Heartmoor Take?

MATT: "They were created and brought back from The Heartmoor."

ROBBIE: May I see one? Just hold in my hand, maybe.

LAURA: They don't look like healing potions we've seen before, do they?

MATT: They look adjacent.

TALIESIN: Healing-esque.

MATT: So you rolled an-- You were doing an insight check, you said?

LIAM: I did, 16.

MATT: 16.

TALIESIN: I didn't-- I did seven, six.

SAM: Oh, healing potion whispers. So many whispers today.

LIAM: Pour it in. (laughter)

SAM: (fake vomiting)

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: Hit Point Press, everybody, and Kith & Kin.

LAURA: Oh my gosh, yeah.

MARISHA: Hey!

SAM: Available now at booksellers everywhere. I wasn't paying attention.

MARISHA: It's such a beautiful cover. (laughter)

SAM: Oh, looks so nice.

MARISHA: So beautiful.

ASHLEY: Wow.

LIAM: You've got a copy of Kith & Kin?

MATT: Make a medicine or arcana check on how you want to inspect this.

ROBBIE: I want to look for any discerning marks, like maybe this fell off the back of a truck.

MATT: Oh, okay, Then that would be an investigation check.

ROBBIE: All right.

MARISHA: Cocked.

MATT: It's cocked, yeah.

ROBBIE: It was a 19.

MARISHA: I know.

ROBBIE: Oh! No, no, it's very bad. Eight.

MATT: I mean, the glassware looks fine. It's not beautiful elvish glasswork, but it's functional.

SAM: How much do these run?

MATT: "Well, these are, as professed by this individual, a family recipe, and The Heartmoor is a very lauded location and source for herbal remedies. But... seeing as how you're friends of Ashton, I will give you a discount, 115 gold a piece."

SAM: I pop a coin into my mouth. (munches) (laughter) Sounds good to me!

MATT: "What the hell?"

SAM: Sorry, just peckish.

MATT: "All right, all right."

LAURA: And having bought a healing potion before, I know how much they cost. How much do normal healing potions cost?

MATT: It can depend on where you're sourcing it. Some places, it's cheaper, some places, it's more expensive. Commonly spend between 50 and 75, but you also have not seen healing potions like these.

LAURA: Yeah. What kind of healing does it do?

MATT: "I mean, the healing kind."

LAURA: Yeah, but I mean, if I have a cut on my arm, is it going to heal that? Or if I have a broken leg, is it going to heal that?

MATT: "(sighs) I take it you've not traveled to The Heartmoor."

LAURA: I have not, have I?

MATT: Make a history check.

SAM: How far have you traveled?

MARISHA: Well, have I been?

LAURA: Mm-mm. Mm-mm. Obviously. Three.

MATT: You know nothing about the Heartmoor.

LAURA: I don't know shit.

MATT: "But I assure you, while these may look a little rough around the edges, the coloration a bit less delicious, they stem from the finest of herbal ingredients, and they'll heal far more than just the scattered bump on the knee and the small cuts to the cheek."

ASHLEY: May I?

ROBBIE: Oh, I gave it back to him, I'm sorry.

ASHLEY: May I just hold it?

SAM: What else do you sell around here?

MATT: "Oh, I sell many things."

TALIESIN: Actually, I should probably say: Hey, Advik.

MATT: "Hello, Ashton."

TALIESIN: These kids are new in town.

MATT: "I can tell."

TALIESIN: I'm helping them establish some relationships. So I just want to make sure that that's absolutely clear because these don't seem like the sort of kids that once they find a place they like and trust, I don't think they're going to stray very far. Certainly, not into anybody's trove. Do you have anything in the back that's particularly interesting? You know what I mean?

MATT: Make a persuasion check with advantage. (laughs)

TALIESIN: He knows I'm full of shit, that's the problem. Oh my god, thank god, 13. (laughter) For me, that's great.

MATT: "I've got a few things, friend."

TALIESIN: I'm trying to impress some new people.

MATT: "I understand. Well. Travelers, you say?" Goes underneath the cart and rattles around for a second, and pulls this small pair of reddish maroon stones. About that big, about this, a little larger than a gold coin, fit in the palm of your hand with some insignia on them. "If you are to be quite a distance from each other, these can help bridge that gap for important conversational topics. These are known are Sending Stones, rare to find, hard to make, but nevertheless, Advik places them before you."

SAM: That could've been helpful back at the warehouse.

LAURA: Yeah, it really, really could've.

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: How often can you use them?

MATT: "Once a day."

ASHLEY: Once a day.

SAM: Still good.

LAURA: Just say something into one stone and it comes out of the other one? I don't understand.

MATT: Traces his finger along the outside. "Once a day, you can speak a phrase of up to 25 words, and no matter where they are on this realm or perhaps another, they will receive it and have the opportunity to retort immediately."

LAURA: I understand.

SAM: How much do those cost?

MATT: "Well, like I said, hard to make, hard to find. But I can part with these for 300 gold pieces."

LIAM: Pretty cool. Orym grabs them and tosses one to Dorian and he jogs 50 feet away.

MATT: Without paying?

LIAM: That's right. Hey, I'm just wondering if you can hear anything. (repeated) Can you hear me right now? Just testing, just testing.

ROBBIE: (gasps) It works!

MARISHA: Ooh!

SAM: Did it work?

LAURA and SAM: Did it?

MARISHA: It's a little crackly. It's not the best reception, but it is good.

MATT: So.

LIAM: I don't know anything about magic.

MATT: Yeah. You just start talking into the stone and nothing happens.

ROBBIE: Ha! It doesn't work! I was lying.

MATT: "You have to invoke the enchantment on the stones."

LIAM: I'm not getting anything.

ROBBIE: Me either.

TALIESIN: Ugh.

LAURA: Orym.

TALIESIN: I'm so sorry.

LAURA: I just say in Orym's head: Get back here.

LIAM: He thinks: Do you know how to use this?

LAURA: No idea.

LIAM: Cool. He strides back up. Here's your rock.

MARISHA: What do you have to say to invoke it?

MATT: "You just have to rub your finger along the runic carving on the front, and think carefully about the individual, and then speak the phrase aloud."

SAM: Hmm!

MARISHA: (loudly) Try it again, but finger the symbol. Go like mm, and then think about Dorian.

TALIESIN: (chuckles)

LIAM: He just silently walks away. (laughter)

MATT: Turns to you, Ashton, and says, "If he doesn't come back, I'm take that out on your hide."

TALIESIN: That's-- If he doesn't come back, I'll take it out of his.

LIAM: Okay. Diddled the sigil.

MATT: It begins to glow.

LIAM: Dorian? Blue boy, hello?

ROBBIE: Does it transmit through the other stone?

MATT: It does.

ROBBIE: (gasps) It works!

MARISHA: Now it works! Fantastic! There we go.

ROBBIE: This is amazing. It's like a low-tech version of what you two do.

MARISHA: Yes.

ASHLEY: So is he able to respond back one time, or it's just a one-time voice memo?

ROBBIE: Dorian's not here right now. Leave him a message and he will call you back.

ASHLEY: Did you rub it?

ROBBIE: I didn't. Shit.

MARISHA: Could you hear?

MATT: But you could see, it was glowing as you received the message. Then when you finished speaking into it.

LAURA: Why did you clap in his face so much while he was talking?

MARISHA: Because we need to test it if we're in a loud environment.

LAURA: Oh, I see.

MARISHA: Does it pick up everything? Is it very directional or is it omnidirectional?

ROBBIE: I'm tapping it, I'm tapping it.

LAURA: I wonder if he can hear the taps.

MATT: You cannot hear anything. (laughter)

LIAM: Nothing!

LAURA: Did you get the message delivered?

LIAM: No, I barely, I didn't feel it. (laughter)

MATT: "I take it you're satisfied."

SAM: Yeah, it seems like it works. We might need some practice with it.

LIAM: Wow. I'm sorry. I thought you were full of shit. Okay.

MATT: "Point taken. Most do, until they realize the splendor they're in the presence of. So, 300 gold?"

LAURA: Anybody want that?

MARISHA: Well, let's see, we might be--

TALIESIN: How many potions?

MATT: "Four potions."

TALIESIN: Four potions at 115 each.

MATT: "Mm-hmm."

ASHLEY: Oh, I did want to do a check on it. Can I just check the medicine in it? Can I do a medicine check?

MATT: You can do a medicine or arcana check.

ASHLEY: I'm going to do a medicine check and I'm just going to take a-- just stick my finger in and pull a little bit on my gums.

MATT: Sure.

ASHLEY: See if it's good. (laughter)

MATT: Healing portions work differently in the Feywild, guys.

ROBBIE: Pure, uncut healing.

ASHLEY: 15.

ROBBIE: Woo!

MATT: Oh god.

ASHLEY: 15.

MATT: 15. Based on the texture, the scent, the strange kind of fuzziness that meets your gums as you placed them on, you get the sense that they do appear to be legitimate healing concoctions, and just by the faint bit that you did utilize to be able to sense that means that they have a potency on par with what you were expecting.

LIAM: Your canker sore closes up.

ASHLEY: Yeah. This is very good stuff. I think these are worth-- I think we should get them all.

MARISHA: Do you do wholesale prices, bulk purchase?

MATT: "Well, if you're making many purchases, there are arrangements that can be made. How much you buying?"

LAURA: If we bought all four of those potions, would you be able to knock the price down a bit on each?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LAURA: 13.

MATT: 13. "Mm, I could knock 25 gold off the final price."

MARISHA: Of each one or total?

MATT: "Total."

MARISHA: Oh, Advik.

MATT: "My scary friend."

MARISHA: Didn't you say you won these in a card game? This is no overhead loss for you.

MATT: "No, but I also have a business to maintain, and I understand the goods I carry are worth what they're worth."

MARISHA: Maybe you could get more business if you knock a little bit more off.

MATT: "No."

LAURA: What if we also got the Sending Stones?

TALIESIN: Do we have that kind of money?

SAM: Sounds good to me.

MATT: "I'll sell you the lot for 650."

LAURA: That's a pretty good price for everything.

TALIESIN: That's a very good price.

ROBBIE: I'll kick in.

ASHLEY: We'll split it?

LIAM: I'll kick in.

ASHLEY: Yeah, for sure.

SAM: I don't have anything.

LAURA: Oh, right. Because he has all your money.

MARISHA: Ashton?

TALIESIN: I'll kick in.

LAURA: All right, great.

TALIESIN: I got a hundred I can push at that.

LAURA: Great, and is that of your money or FCG's money?

TALIESIN: It's our money.

LAURA: All the money together?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: I'll do a hundred.

LAURA: Wow, yeah, we would love to buy everything.

MATT: "Well then, splendid to make your acquaintances. Which by the way, let's make some acquaintances." As he goes ahead and closes up the leather satchel, pushes it forward, and you all can mark off your corresponding split of 600 gold.

LAURA: How much did everybody give?

MATT: It was 100 gold each.

LAURA: You gave 100, 100.

TALIESIN: Everyone puts in a hundred, that's six.

MARISHA: I'll put in a hundred.

TALIESIN: Other than FCG.

SAM: ♪ I don't have to worry about this shit. ♪ (laughter)

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: You're going to want magic shit, at some point.

SAM: You'll have to buy it for me. (laughter)

MATT: "Absolute pleasure doing business with you. Thank you so much, and you are, by the way?"

LAURA: Oh, we are--

SAM: Grateful and thankful for your business.

TALIESIN: No, no, the names, names.

SAM: I'm Fresh Cut Grass.

MATT: "All right!"

ROBBIE: Dorian Storm.

MATT: "Hmm."

MARISHA: Laudna.

SAM: You got a last name?

MARISHA: Laudna.

SAM: Okay.

ROBBIE: Laudna Laudna.

MARISHA: No, just Laudna. It's not like a Mario Bros thing. (laughter)

LAURA: Laudna Laudna, just Laudna.

ASHLEY: Oh, I'm Fearne Calloway.

LAURA: Oh, you have a last name.

SAM: What a nice last name.

LAURA: Oh, it's beautiful.

ASHLEY: Thank you.

LAURA: Imogen.

SAM: What was your last name?

ASHLEY: Temult.

LAURA: I thought you wrote down everything, FCG. Temult is my last name.

SAM: Didn't get it.

LIAM: Just Orym.

MATT: "You'd all consider yourselves friends of Ashton?"

TALIESIN: Uh--

LIAM: Getting there, yeah.

LAURA: Recent friends, yeah.

MARISHA: I'm not sure.

TALIESIN: They haven't known me long enough to have come to an assessment.

MATT: "I'm just--"

SAM: The best of friends, I would say.

MATT: ""-- proud that you found friends."

TALIESIN: Well, let's give it time. Thank you for taking care of them, and you know how to put the word out if you get anything interesting. You know where I am.

MATT: "Very well. Thank you all as much for coming, and don't forget: Advik is always your humble servant. Now move along, I have more people to sell to."

SAM: Thank you.

LAURA: Sure, sure.

MATT: "Thank you so much."

SAM: Ashton, you said that you did not get along with that fellow, but he was delightful and wonderful in every way.

ASHLEY: And gave us a discount because of you.

MARISHA: What happened? What's the story? Dish.

LAURA: Can everybody also give four more gold? I think that does the math right.

TALIESIN: Sure.

LAURA: No, no, no. That's wrong, that's wrong, that's wrong. One, two, three, four, five, six. Six.

LIAM: In Orym's head he just thinks: Six, three, 15, 25, 21. (laughter)

LAURA: I got to figure it out. It's, like, 10 more gold each person, maybe nine more gold each person.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: What kind of potions are they?

MATT: They are potions of healing.

SAM: Hey!

ASHLEY: Potions of healing.

SAM: Puts me at--

LAURA: Eight gold. Everybody gives eight additional gold.

LIAM: 11.

TALIESIN: I've lived in this town a long time. I do a lot of work in this town. I do a lot of favors, I piss a lot of people off. Sometimes it's a little difficult to remember what the last interaction was with somebody, and whether or not something I did for or to somebody else has affected that relationship. So clearly, there are a few things that have not gotten back to Advik yet, and that's a positive for now, so.

ROBBIE: So you're friends for now.

TALIESIN: Sure. Friends is always a complicated word. I try to avoid it. It implies a layer of trust that is not necessarily healthy.

ROBBIE: Hmm.

TALIESIN: Take, for example, our employer. Clearly, everyone has made a few judgements about this person. I feel like it's a little too early to be speaking of the character of somebody that we just fucking met, that is just fucking some guy with enough money to hire a bunch of fucking people to do some weird fucking shit, and then fill their house with a bunch of death objects. It just still rubs me the wrong way. I'm not there yet, I'm just saying.

ASHLEY: I don't disagree, I don't disagree.

TALIESIN: Fair.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ROBBIE: How many potions did we get?

ALL: Four.

LAURA: Yeah, so I'm holding them up. Who all's going to take one?

ROBBIE: Well--

LAURA: Who gets the most damaged?

ROBBIE: I can heal, so probably shouldn't be me.

ASHLEY: I can heal.

LAURA: Laudna, you're fragile.

MARISHA: Okay, thank, ow! Thank you.

LAURA: Watch your fingers.

LIAM: You are a wet Kleenex. Please hold onto that.

SAM: I can hold onto one to give out to others.

LAURA: Sure. That's a good idea.

MATT: That's yours.

LAURA: They're real!

LAURA and LIAM: Now you know they're real.

LAURA: Okay, so you two had one. Fearne, Orym?

ASHLEY: I'm able to heal as well. So maybe it'd be better to--

TALIESIN: I'll take one, then.

LAURA: There you are, and Orym, you're always up in the fray.

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

LAURA: No, I think you should take one.

MARISHA: Plus you're very nimble, if you need to get to one of us.

ASHLEY: That's true.

TALIESIN: That is true.

LIAM: That's fair.

ROBBIE: I have an above board question. How much of my inventory's carry over from game zero from the summer? All of it. Or--?

TALIESIN: None of it.

SAM: We get it, Robbie. You were in ExU and I wasn't. Okay. (laughter)

ROBBIE: I'm sorry, FCG.

LAURA: Robbie's like, I have 10 healing potions in my inventory.

ROBBIE: In truth, I have three. So I would like to give them, that's why I spent all my money on them.

MATT: I would say that in the time that's happened since, you've used two of them, so you would have one left.

LAURA: What about you, Fearne? How many do you have in your--

ASHLEY: I don't have any. I think I just threw them away. (laughter)

LAURA: You're like--

ASHLEY: I don't need these! (laughs)

MATT: To that point, here is your--

ROBBIE: Well, actually, I have one more to give to the cause, and since I can heal, someone else who can't should take it.

ASHLEY: Why don't you take one?

LAURA: I already have one in my bag.

ASHLEY: Are you sure you don't want to keep it?

ROBBIE: I don't mind.

LAURA: Keep it.

ROBBIE: Are you sure?

LAURA: Keep it, Dorian. Yeah.

ROBBIE: Are you saying that because you think I need it?

LAURA: No, I'm saying it because it's good to have them spread out amongst everyone.

TALIESIN: And you definitely need it.

ROBBIE: Now you're both ganging up. It feels like you're doubling up on me.

TALIESIN: At the moment? Yeah.

LAURA: You hear in your head--

ROBBIE: I will keep it.

LAURA: Calm down, Dorian. It's fine.

ROBBIE: If you're sure.

LAURA: You're fine.

ROBBIE: Thank you. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Why am I so contented? (laughter)

ROBBIE: It worked, goddamn it.

LAURA: All right, we should head to the Core Spire.

MARISHA: Oh, and who's taking the Sending Stones?

LIAM: That I have an opinion about, because everyone in this group can talk using their brains so that I feel like I should hang onto.

MARISHA: Sure.

LIAM: Yeah, and either Fearne or Ash here.

ASHLEY: Wait, we can all talk using our brains? What do you mean?

TALIESIN: I mean, technically, everyone can talk using their brain. That's a core function of it, but.

LAURA: You can. You hear in your head: You can talk all you want.

LIAM: I'll need a little help. (laughter)

LIAM: I don't know why I tried to do a ventriloquist act there, but I did.

LAURA: You can talk, too, Fearne, in your head.

ASHLEY: I'm saying a bunch of shit.

LAURA: I'm hearing it all. (laughs)

ASHLEY: Okay. All right.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Sending Stones. Who do we give the--

LAURA: Orym and you.

SAM: Fearne.

LAURA: That way, if we get split up, you two will be on separate teams.

ASHLEY: But I don't know if I want to be without Orym.

LAURA: Oh, all right.

SAM: Did Ashton--?

LAURA: Ashton?

TALIESIN: Sure.

LAURA: Dorian got the other one.

ROBBIE: I have it.

LAURA: You had the other one.

TALIESIN: Mime throwing it to me.

SAM: (laughs)

LIAM: Hurry up and mime, Robbie, god!

ROBBIE: I didn't know I had to--

LAURA: I lost it, you guys. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Now I've swallowed it. (laughter)

ASHLEY: It's gone, it's gone.

LIAM: I'll give it back to in six hours.

MATT: Now it has been used for the day.

TALIESIN: Yeah, so it's useless today.

MATT: Useless today, but tomorrow it should be good to go.

TALIESIN: What's it called? Just so I can add--

MATT: Sending Stone.

TALIESIN: Sending Stone, thank you.

LIAM: We had one of a pair in the last campaign.

LAURA: Oh yeah.

LIAM: I almost talked into so many times.

LAURA: You should've.

LIAM: It was never the right moment. Something was always happening. Something was always going wrong!

SAM: Should we go find Dugger?

LAURA: Dooger? Yeah.

SAM: Is it Dooger? Now you got me in my head. (laughter)

TALIESIN: I say we scope out the place, take a look, maybe--

LAURA: 18 shade creepers and counting.

ASHLEY: I think Dugger has, like, 18 brothers and sisters.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

ASHLEY: Just a little bit of reality TV. (laughter)

LAURA: All right. Yeah, let's head to the Windowed Wall, I always forget, the--

SAM: Oh, to Dooger's? Dugger's?

LAURA: The Viduun-Devaar.

MATT: The Viduun-Devaar, the Windowed Wall.

LAURA: Viduun-Devaar.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: You find a window in the shower.

LIAM: Pale blue house, 12th level.

LAURA: And we are living on the first level or the second level?

MATT: You guys are in the lower section. This whole neighborhood climbs up into dozens of stories up to the edge of the spire wall. You are about the third or fourth. I want to say.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MATT: This is a little further ways up into the northeastern side of what you were given instruction for, but you still have to find it in the colorful patchwork neighborhood that is the Windowed Wall.

LAURA: This place is pretty crowded.

MATT: But who is helming that?

LAURA: I feel like we should, right? Since we live around here.

MARISHA: Sure. Are you doing all right? I know it's been so much here lately.

TALIESIN: I'll assist.

LAURA: It's all right. Yeah. The sleep helped.

MARISHA: Good.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Good.

LAURA: Thank you, Laudna.

MARISHA: All that stuff, having to give your dad up for collateral, but it's--

LAURA: Yeah, that--

MARISHA: We'll talk, we'll put a pin in that. All right?

MATT: All right, if you can make a perception check with advantage since Ashton is helping you.

LAURA: Thank you. Oh, thank god. 19.

MATT: 19. A short time into looking across the knotted expanse of this neighborhood, you pick out a few possible buildings that match the description that you were given. Upon going and inspecting a handful of them, and some of it is vertical buildings and there's a shelf with a street and then a few more buildings and another shelf street. It's this really wonderful climbing, like a multi-tiered cake of a neighborhood that continues up on the side of the spire. About four of those streets upward, you see off to the far right before a spire break hits, where you see a cluster of buildings, one at the base near the edge of where that Spire break is that has that same dull gray stone exterior, and looks like the other ones, but not as lively.

LIAM: I'm sorry, what do you mean by Spire break?

MATT: Sorry. There is a portion of spire stone that has not been built into that breaks up the neighborhood. So it's houses and houses and houses and then stone and then houses.

MARISHA: It was a powder blue?

LAURA: That's it.

MARISHA: A blue house?

LAURA: That's the one. I duck down and point everybody.

SAM: What's our play here?

LAURA: I have no idea.

SAM: Should we send someone in to see if Dugger's home?

LAURA: Well, I mean, Bertrand faced him alone and--

SAM: Just as a spy out, a look-see is what I mean.

TALIESIN: I think just take a look around the perimeter first, see what buildings are next door, what the best way to get into it. When it's time, maybe--

LAURA: Most of the houses around here, you can't get in any way but the front. They're built into the rock.

ASHLEY: Oh. So there's no way he sneak out through the back?

LAURA: Unless! The shade creepers.

SAM: The drop thing.

LAURA: There's a hole in our house that they got in through. So I'm sure a lot of the houses here might have the same situation.

TALIESIN: I mean, there's got to be a way to get water into them. There's got to be a way to-- A lot of them probably have access to sewers.

LIAM: It's a pretty safe assumption we would find a hole on the back of his place.

SAM: Well then, I mean, we should at least just go take a peek-see, just to see if he's home and then we can decide whether to storm in or wait till he comes out.

MARISHA: He does seem to probably be the type to do his skullduggery in the evening.

LIAM: Are we in a purely residential area or are there eateries and shops or anything else here?

MATT: This portion of the-- I mean, the majority of the Windowed Wall is residential. There are some people that convert their front porch areas into makeshift eateries. They cook at home for the neighborhood and stuff. But most formal businesses are further to the right and left of the Windowed Wall, and hit main streets. Oh god.

TALIESIN: Are we--

MARISHA: Emmy winner. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Is this the same spire that we saw the big 1,200 foot drop?

LAURA: No.

ASHLEY: That's the other spire, one of the other spires?

LAURA: The Weary Way Tavern.

MATT: That's the Lantern, that's a different spire.

LAURA: The Spire by Fire is in this one.

MATT: Correct.

ASHLEY: That's right, okay.

TALIESIN: This neighborhood's got a lot of waterfalls that-- It's very pretty. It's a very pretty neighborhood.

MARISHA: Are we hidden?

MATT: You guys are just up the street, a few houses, looking over a bit. It's still broad daylight right now. It's late afternoon. You're probably about an hour out before sunset hits. It's not very bustling. It's higher up in the neighborhood. Fewer people traverse the small paths and the staircases and ladders that lead to the upper areas. So it's not like it's a very busy space.

LIAM: One home surrounded by other homes is plain to see?

MATT: You've seen a few that were like it, but this one deeply matches the description that you've seen before.

LIAM: Right, sorry. Question is, if you're in front of this place, it's not around a corner, it's not an in an alley. It's--

LAURA: It's just a house.

MATT: It's just a house out in the open.

LIAM: -- in the neighborhood to see. Yeah?

MATT: Yeah. You can see houses immediately to the right and left of it as well, too.

ROBBIE: How big is it? I guess, does it look like a guy lives there, or is it a larger home?

LIAM: Is it a four bedroom?

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Why does your cup always sound like that?

ASHLEY: 3.5 baths.

TALIESIN: Heated pool.

MATT: It is a single story building. It looks to be about, from what you can see, 20 feet from side to side, so not massive by any means, but not a tiny hovel, either. It looks like it's a small home for a person that was making a moderate living.

LIAM: Well, let's talk it out. We still got sunlight, right, so if we try to go in now, we can be easily spotted. We could also walk in on him. That means we're tangling, probably. We could wait for the sun to go down. Then we can wait, see if he comes in or goes out.

MARISHA: If he's out, we can wait inside? Do the ambush thing?

LIAM: That's what I was thinking, and we could have some time to root around, as well.

MARISHA: We could probably make a little disturbance right now, see if it lures him out.

SAM: Like knock on the door or something?

LIAM: You're very disturbing, how disturbing are we talking?

MARISHA: Knocking on the door, but I won't be there. From a distance!

LAURA: That's good.

SAM: ♪ From a distance ♪ (laughter)

LAURA: Yeah, maybe let's all hide and do that.

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: Ooh, ooh, what if we go up to the level above? People never look up. What if we go to the level above and we can look down on the house?

LIAM: I like that.

ASHLEY: Oh, good idea.

LAURA: There's a 13th tier, right?

MATT: There is. You can see where the row of houses are and they're relatively in line. Some of them are more recessed, some of them are further out. This house is a little further out, and then there is the rough spire rock right above it that leads up into the next lip-like street, that neck has the next bit of buildings above it.

LAURA: I do think it's interesting that his house is right next to this big outcropping of stone. Tunnels.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, all right. Wanna go up?

SAM: Let's do it.

LAURA: And knock? See if he comes--

TALIESIN: Just as we walk by the house, I'm going to try and see if we can see anybody inside or if there's anything. I'm just going to glance as we're walking.

LAURA: We're walking, we're not walking past his house. No, no, no. We're going above his house and then--

MATT: Okay. Are you going to the level above it or into the rock right above it?

LAURA: The level above it.

MATT: Okay. Okay.

SAM: Can we still see from that?

LAURA: Yeah, we're trying to get a good vantage point, but.

MATT: From that vantage point, you can see the roof, and where it meets the rock, but you cannot-- The lip of the roof cuts off where the door would be. Because you're up and above and further back. So you're looking at it from behind and the front door is now covered by the roof.

SAM: All right, back down we go.

LIAM: Can we send one of us down below?

LAURA: Sure.

LIAM: To see what they see?

LAURA: Oh, sure. I could go down. I can talk to any of y'all.

LIAM: Yeah, and do we want to wait until it's a little darker? That way, if there's no answer, and we want to go in, we can?

ROBBIE: But if he does answer, I want to know it's him.

SAM: Also, if there's no answer now, we can go in.

MARISHA: That's true.

LIAM: Well.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: There's nothing saying that he isn't in there and just doesn't answer the door.

SAM: So we should know that sooner than later, no?

LIAM: I just don't want to be spotted by local authorities.

LAURA: Oh.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's right.

SAM: But she's just talking about knocking on the door from far away, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Let's do it.

MARISHA: My hair's a bit ratty.

SAM: I think it's very lovely.

MARISHA: Oh, thank you.

LAURA: Sure, I'll stay on the same level as the house, if y'all want to go up, if that's what's happening and then I'll just let you know if something goes on.

TALIESIN: All right.

LIAM: I'll hang with you.

ASHLEY: Okay, good. I was going to say, maybe somebody stay with you, just in case.

LAURA: Oh, sure.

LIAM: I don't think anyone should be alone after Bertrand.

SAM: Then you're going to cast some sort of magical spell?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Okay, so are you staying level with them, or are you going up above?

MARISHA: I'll stay up the level, because I think I should be able to reach from here.

MATT: What are you trying to do?

MARISHA: Prestidigitation, knock on the door noise.

MATT: Okay. What's the range on that one?

MARISHA: 10 feet.

MATT: You'd have to be much closer.

MARISHA: I'll be down with them.

LAURA: I also have the ability to do that. I though you were using Thaumaturgy or something. I can do Prestidigitation.

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: Okay. I can do that.

MATT: Okay. All right, so you're staying up with everybody else?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: The rest of you take a little bit to go up the stairs and ladders--

SAM: You're amazing.

MATT: -- to get to the--

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: -- 13th level of the wall.

MARISHA: Watch what I do.

MATT: The two of you stay down below and glancing not far from the front, as you can see the building, it pushes out a little bit towards the alley-like road that wraps around the lip. There is a small house to the left, a small house to the right. There is a door, window appears to be closed. There is a single window to the right of the front door. What would you like to do?

LIAM: Boy, if we're doing this, why is everybody up on the other floor now? Oh well. How close do you have to be?

LAURA: 10 feet. So maybe we just hang out on the side of the house, and--

LIAM: How about you do your thing, and we just start walking fast?

LAURA: Oh yeah. I used to do this back in town before. Yeah. So I'll get 10 feet away.

MATT: So you'll just be walking past the front door and like (pops).

LAURA: Uh-huh. Do the knock, and then both, we just take off running.

LIAM: Think you can do that while you're jogging? (laughter)

MATT: (thudding) You hear the knocking emerge from the exterior of the door, and you both hurry your way along.

LAURA: Duck behind the--

LIAM: Duck behind, yeah.

MATT: Yeah, about maybe 30 feet past, 35 feet past.

TALIESIN: 12 years old.

MATT: Yeah. Closer to 40 or so, you can see where the edge of the core of the Spire break is, and you can hide behind there as you glance back. Make a perception check, each of you.

LAURA: You guys are all watching it happen, too.

MARISHA: Yeah, can we see any movement in the house?

MATT: If you guys are all above, you can see the roof of the house. You cannot see the front door, because it is on the other side of the lip of the roof, but if anybody were to exit, or something like that, or any sort of other exit pattern like through the roof, then you would see.

ROBBIE: Can we see them in their hidey spot?

MATT: From where you're standing, no. They've gone out of your field of view.

LAURA: 19.

LIAM: 18, nice.

LAURA: Ooh.

MATT: Nice.

LAURA: Don't-- You! (laughter)

SAM: Give me that back!

LAURA: No. (laughter)

ASHLEY: I actually quite enjoy it.

LAURA: I do, too.

MATT: I do as well, actually.

SAM: I'm taking them down. (laughter) I'm going to single-handedly destroy their company. You know what you did, Werther's. (laughter)

MARISHA: Oh god.

MATT: You both comfortably affix your eyes onto the front door and window of this abode, and as a minute or two pass by, there does not appear to be any sort of reaction. Nothing shifts, nothing moves, nothing opens, nothing.

LAURA: Laudna hears in her ear, in her head: Nothing.

SAM: You hear nothing.

LAURA: No, you-- You know what you hear.

MARISHA: Nothing.

SAM: So either Dugger's not home, or not coming to the door. So do we wait?

LAURA: Should we just try to barge in?

SAM: Should we go on the roof, see if we could sneak down the old chimney?

LAURA: Do you think now that we've knocked, he knows somebody's outside? Have we lost our surprise?

SAM: No.

LIAM: Yes, yes.

LAURA: Is that what we just did?

LIAM: We should chill out for a while until the sun goes down.

ASHLEY: Do you think that--

LIAM: If we're going to mess with the door, go in when no one can, at least the authorities here don't see us, let alone Dugger, no?

LAURA: In your head, you hear: Orym thinks we should wait until it gets dark, because the authorities could get us.

MARISHA: Orym's afraid of the authorities.

SAM: That speaks volumes to his, just sort of general character.

MARISHA: His character, yes. Because I don't--

SAM: I wonder if he had--

MARISHA: I keep forgetting--

SAM: -- parents that were too strong with him, or not strong enough.

MARISHA: Or did he have parents that were authorities?

ROBBIE: I think he's just concerned for our wellbeing.

MARISHA: I always forget about gods, that they exist.

ROBBIE: Their existence?

MARISHA: I do.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's weird, you know?

ASHLEY: It is weird, it's a weird thing. I wonder if--

SAM: You have the opposite issue that Orym has, sort of. Anyway, go on.

ASHLEY: I wonder if Imogen would be able to hear him from inside, you know, see if she could hear thoughts in there?

SAM: Oh, sense his thoughts?

ASHLEY: Is that a thing that she does?

MARISHA: She might be able to.

SAM: I can do that a little bit as well.

LAURA: You can communicate with me--

TALIESIN: I think it's actually a really cool idea. I'm into that.

SAM: Can you whisper to her in her head and tell her to do that?

MARISHA: I can. ♪ Imogen? ♪

ALL: (creepy whispering)

LAURA: Yeah?

MARISHA: Just wondering--

ALL: (creepy whispering)

MARISHA: If you can sense good old Dugger?

ALL: (creepy whispering)

LAURA: Oh, that's a good idea. Yeah, I can totally try that.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: She's going to try. (laughter)

LAURA: Orym, seriously, stay here. Don't come near me, just for a second, all right?

LIAM: Do you want me to get further back?

LAURA: You're about 30 feet away, it's fine.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to just creep on over to the outside of the house and--

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: -- try good old Open Mind again.

MATT: You got it. You go ahead and close your eyes and focus on the idea of an entity within-- Is it 30 feet, 60 feet? 30 feet, concentrate, and.... nothing. Nothing of your extended consciousness finds purchase. What you do catch, as you're now closer to the home and wandering past, there's an old, musty smell that just seems to permeate this abode. Something akin to mildew or old wet leather that was discarded. It's not a pleasant smell, and it's faint, but it's definitive.

LAURA: Does it smell sweet, or does it smell like old vegetables that have rotten?

MATT: Closer to the latter.

LAURA: All right. Back away. You hear in your head: There's something nasty going on in that house.

MARISHA: Oh, nasty how?

LAURA: It smells like rot.

MARISHA: Oh. No Dugger?

LAURA: Not from what I could sense.

MARISHA: No Dugger, apparently, but she said it has a horrible stench, like rot.

ROBBIE: Literal stench, or a mystical, psychic stench?

MARISHA: You know, I think-- I didn't-- Do you mean like a literal stench, or like--

ALL: (creepy whispering)

MARISHA: Or-- (laughter) Or like, ooh, there's something rotten in Wildemount type of stench?

SAM: (whispers) Hit Point Press.

LAURA: It's a really interesting question.

TALIESIN: Never going to get old.

MATT: Fucking dick.

LAURA: But no, I mean a literal rotten smell. It smells like mildew or something.

MARISHA: Okay, she means literally.

ROBBIE: Oh, like it smells.

MARISHA: Not like--

SAM: Maybe we should all just go down there and talk.

MARISHA: Maybe we all could, yes.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

SAM: We'll catch up with them, sneakily, sneakily.

MATT: I would like you all who are joining them to make a stealth check, please.

LIAM: (squeaking)

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Oh wait, disadvantage here. Oh, pretty good.

ASHLEY: Natural 20.

LAURA: What, what!

MATT: What?!

SAM: 14.

TALIESIN: Dirty 20.

MATT: Dirty 20, 20 plus.

ASHLEY: Two.

MATT: 22.

ROBBIE: 19.

MARISHA: 19.

MATT: All right. You feel pretty confident that you were not making any sort of overt sign to 'look at me!' as you were traversing the path back down to the 12th-level. (laughter)

SAM: All right, so what's the play? Are we waiting until dusk, and then to see if he comes back? Are we breaking in now while he's not there?

LAURA: It seemed like nobody was within, you know, 30 feet of the door when I went over there.

SAM: It's probably the whole place.

TALIESIN: Personally, I vote for going in now because it's going to be less to deal with in there. It's daylight, which means if it's really creepy, undead, shadowy bullshit, that we'll have less shadowy bullshit around it that's just shadowy bullshit.

LAURA: Y'all have my back?

LIAM: How often are they flying overhead?

MATT: Looking about, you can see immediately just within your visual range, probably about eight or so that are scattered across the skyline. Some are distant dots. You can just see the Simurgh Riders making their way around. There's two that are currently looking past the neighborhood. Just keeping watch, cursorily. But hundreds of feet away.

MARISHA: Is there a patrol? Like are they doing swoops over?

MATT: Just roll a general intelligence check for me.

MARISHA: All right.

MARISHA: 10 total.

MATT: 10? You haven't been keeping tabs on the pattern of them overhead enough to really suss out any sort of pattern. So right now, it just seems a bit random.

SAM: Did we decide who's good at breaking in?

LAURA: None of us are.

TALIESIN: If someone can check for traps, I might be able to open it up.

ASHLEY: I can turn into something.

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: Oh, right. How do we check for traps? I'll check for traps.

MATT: Okay. You can roll an investigation or perception check for this one.

LAURA: I don't know why I'm doing this, I'm not good at this.

TALIESIN: I was about to say, does anybody?

LAURA: I said I was doing it. 10.

SAM: Oh, Guidance. Too late.

MATT: Too late. Don't see any signs of a trap.

LAURA: It looks like a normal door to me.

MARISHA: I jiggie the handle.

MATT: It is locked.

TALIESIN: Okay, can I get a little--

LAURA: Push on the window?

MATT: It does not push open.

TALIESIN: Get a little luck?

MATT: In fact, it's solid. You see it's two wooden shutters that open up from the inside out. But you go and find-- There isn't much to really pull on it other than the bottom lip of it. You try and give it a tug, and they're solidly locked.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Did you have any--? Sorry, go ahead.

SAM: No, I was going to give Ashton Guidance, but unless you're going in as a gerbil or something?

LAURA: Are you going to try to-- is there a space under the door?

ASHLEY: Basically, yeah, that's what I was--

MATT: There's a very small gap, maybe about a half an inch wide.

ASHLEY: I can go in it. Well, rats? They can get really small.

LAURA: That's true.

ASHLEY: They can get as thin as a quarter.

SAM: Really?

ASHLEY: So I've heard. (laughter)

SAM: That's amazing!

ASHLEY: That feels really thin. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Isn't that an octopus? (laughter)

LAURA: Oh yeah, you can be an octopus. They're also good at unlocking things.

ASHLEY: Would that make sense, if he saw me, if he was alive? (laughter) He'd be like, "What are you doing in here?"

LIAM: (flapping sounds)

ASHLEY: (sucking sounds)

LAURA: I didn't think about that part.

MATT: So, what's happening?

LIAM: Fearne, Fearne, Fearne, what about--

ROBBIE: A rat or octopus, it's a toss up.

LIAM: A worm, or a spider?

MATT: If I had a nickel. Or something very small?

ASHLEY: I can be a spider--

LAURA: She needs to be able to unlock from the inside.

TALIESIN: You turn back into a--

LIAM: Sometimes doors have--

ASHLEY: I have to be able to-- Well, I could be a cat. I could be-- Where did the list go?

TALIESIN: If you have proficiency, how does proficiency affect the roll again?

MATT: Which one?

TALIESIN: Lock picking.

MATT: If you have proficiency?

TALIESIN: I do.

MATT: You do? Then you just add your proficiency bonus to a dexterity check.

LIAM: You don't get stupid, though, you keep your intelligence.

MATT: Would be under your proficiencies, if you have it.

TALIESIN: Armor, weapons, tools.

MATT: It would be under tools.

TALIESIN: Yeah, okay, yeah, thieves' tools.

MATT: Thieves' tools, then yeah.

TALIESIN: Just add my proficiency.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Add my proficiency bonus.

MATT: Proficiency bonus, dex bonus, and then a Guidance roll.

TALIESIN: So, it's sleight of hand. It's sleight of hand, right?

SAM: He's doing it.

MATT: No, just dexterity check.

ROBBIE: He's doing it while you're discussing what not to do.

ASHLEY: I'm going to turn into a rat.

SAM: She's turning into a rat, Ashton, hold on.

ASHLEY: But I'm waiting.

TALIESIN: No, no, I'm holding off.

LAURA: Okay. Go in, Fearne. Let's see this quarter trick?

LAURA: Can you go under the door?

SAM: Make yourself as thin as a quarter, and go on in. (laughter)

LAURA: Does her butt get stuck?

MATT: It is a very, very, very tight space. I need you to go ahead and roll an acrobatics check with disadvantage using the physical dexterity of a rat.

LIAM: ♪ Fearnie the Pooh, Fearnie the Pooh. ♪

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LAURA: Does the door open in or out?

MATT: It looks like it opens inward.

LAURA: Okay, well, that's good.

SAM: It's built to code.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: Seven.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Seven? You push into the space--

ASHLEY: I try to put my back legs out, to do splits and pull with my front legs.

MATT: Totally, and your tiny little rat arms get underneath, the skull doesn't collapse past a certain point, unfortunately. It does get wedged. So you get to a certain point where your little rat head gets in, and it's just there now. This is your life. (laughter) This is just how it goes. (laughter)

SAM: Okay, pick that lock.

LIAM: Wait, wait! Get her out first! Get her out first.

LAURA: Can we turn her little head? Can I help?

SAM: When he opens the door--

LAURA: I'm just trying to turn her head.

MATT: You're trying to push her through?

LAURA: No, I trying to turn her head so she's not stuck, you know?

TALIESIN: If the door unlocks, I'm going to lift the door as I very slowly open.

MATT: Make a dexterity check for me.

LIAM: She's going to be crushed.

MATT: While you make a--

ASHLEY: I know she's helping, so I'm trying to get flat.

MARISHA: Yeah, I was going to say--

ROBBIE: You're helping, Fearne.

MATT: Plus a d4.

TALIESIN: 13.

MATT: Okay, 13?

LAURA: Seven.

MATT: You're with the lock picks for a bit, working on it. When you feel like it hits the tumbler, and you're like, yes, you got it. Then you pull and it's caught in there.

SAM: We've got two things stuck in there now.

MARISHA: Yes, we do.

ROBBIE: Somebody put their dick in the keyhole.

MATT: You manage to get it free, but the lock remains locked.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: What'd you roll for a dexterity check?

LAURA: Seven.

MATT: 11?

LAURA: Seven.

MATT: Seven?

ASHLEY: Can I see anything, at least?

MATT: Do you have darkvision?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: Yes, you can see there, within this space here, the little bit of gap that you have, that there is furniture, in a bit disarray. There's like, you can see the bottom parts of a table that's flipped over. There's a bench on the ground. That's about as much as you can make out from this perspective.

SAM: A bench?

ASHLEY: Ooh.

MATT: But you are still stuck.

LAURA: Fearne, do you need us to, like, pull you out?

TALIESIN: Another run might?

SAM: You're going to try again?

TALIESIN: I'm going to try again. Hit me again.

SAM: All right, I will guide you once again. Ashton, you've got this, do this.

MATT: It's a higher DC on it now.

TALIESIN: I know.

LAURA: Just wiggle your tail if you want me to pull you out.

LIAM: Orym's got eyes on the skies trying to see if any--

LAURA: -- and lay really still if you want to stay there.

MATT: Roll a perception check.

LIAM: -- taking notice.

LAURA: Are you wiggling your tail?

ASHLEY: Yeah, I'm wiggling my butt.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to try and pull her out.

TALIESIN: Much better.

LAURA: You want me to pull you out? I'm going to try to pull her out.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: 22.

SAM: Ooh, that is better.

MATT: That is much better. You do manage to pull her free at this point. You pull her out, just as you see--

TALIESIN: Shit, fuck, piss.

LIAM: Also 22.

MATT: A Simurgh Rider beginning to grow larger and larger.

TALIESIN: Pass Without a Trace.

MATT: The light from the sun in the sky above just leaving this dark shadowy outline of the flying crimson bird.

SAM: Let's everybody in. In, in, in.

TALIESIN: Open the door, Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: We all go in the house?

MATT: Everyone roll a stealth check.

MARISHA: Go, go, go.

LIAM: You spread it like a squid.

TALIESIN: Yep.

SAM: Is it stealth check?

MARISHA: Just go, go.

TALIESIN: Anyone who's next to me.

ROBBIE: Oh no!

LIAM: Plus 10, right?

TALIESIN: Plus 10.

MARISHA: Oh no. You good?

ROBBIE: 10.

MARISHA, TALIESIN, and LIAM: Plus 10.

ROBBIE: You roll plus 10?

MATT: Yeah, with Pass Without a Trace, so--

ROBBIE: Oh, is that what that is? Oh, then 20.

MATT: 20?

MARISHA: 22.

SAM: I rub a little grease on my wheel and I get a 24. (laughter)

ASHLEY: 18.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: 25.

LIAM: 27.

TALIESIN: 31.

SAM: Nice.

MATT: Okay. You come in and you close the door behind you, and you hear outside (impacts) (creature grunts, sniffing) (pants) (heavy footsteps) You hear in Marquesian: "Where'd they go, boy?" (sniffs) You hear-- (heavy footsteps)

MARISHA: I'm going to use Prestidigitation to make it sound like a rock is tumbling down the hillside in that gap next to the house.

MATT: Okay. Do you need visual on that?

SAM: Go to the spell, go to the spell.

LAURA: It's only a 10-foot distance.

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: But if I'm near the wall on the outside?

MATT: Maybe, maybe. Okay.

MARISHA: I don't know.

MATT: If you lean over, if you rush off to that opposite wall, you have darkvision?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: You do, so you don't go careening into all the toppled furniture. As you move through the room, the first thing that catches you as you're stepping through, you can see overturned tables and chairs that are lying on the ground. It looks like the place has either been rolled for cash, or a fight took place, or somebody just got really angry and fucked it up. Nothing's necessarily broken, per se, just tossed about. The floor is also sticky in places. As you go rushing past, your foot sticks in a part. You have to pull yourself free, and you rush off into a small kitchen-esque alcove on the inside. It would be on the side of the wall that meets one of the other buildings on the side. There you can go ahead and cast it, and you hear the (tapping) outside. (sniffing) (barking) (quick heavy footsteps) The dog goes off for a bit. You all stay frozen still.

LIAM: The window lets no light in, right?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: It's all covered up.

MATT: Yeah, those of you who do not have darkvision, you have no light in here. It is pitch black, and you're just quietly holding your breath as you hear these sounds outside.

LIAM: Here we go again.

MATT: After a short period, you hear in Marquesian again, "Well, we'll keep an eye. I just don't trust it. Come on." (flapping)

LIAM: Who all speaks Marquesian at this table? You do, you do, you do, you do.

ASHLEY: I'm going to crawl down Imogen's shoulder and start looking around the house. Laudna hears in her head: Is it safe for me to turn on some light?

MARISHA: I think so, I couldn't understand what he said.

LAURA: He was looking for us, but I'm more concerned about what's in here.

MARISHA: Oh. It appears to be quite the sight, so be careful. But yeah, we need light.

TALIESIN: Oh, light would be a good idea.

LAURA: Get the (crackling) as my Dancing Lights come into effect, but they flicker like electricity.

MATT: Giving that flickering energy throughout the room. You all, by the way, that strange mildew smell that you caught outside of the house, now that you've let the adrenaline begin to run free, you begin to take in your other senses. With that, the very strong, pungent smell of-- It's like decaying vegetation meets old fungus. It is this weird organic smell that's musty and unnatural. As the lights begin to flicker around, too, you can see there's an odd oily residue on everything. You can see an overturned table with long benches that are on the ground. You can see an open door to the backside that leads into another chamber. You can see in the kitchen area, Laudna, where you are, there are shelves where some things have fallen off to the side and it looks like part of a meal has been scattered to the ground. But everything has this faint shimmering, oily residue on it that shines as the energy balls glide around the room to give light to it.

LAURA: Can we see what color the residue is?

MATT: It looks like-- It's clear, it is translucent, but it has a cloudiness to it.

SAM: So everything's covered in goop?

LIAM: Coconut oil, sperm?

MATT: Kind of, yeah.

TALIESIN: That's pretty fucking gross.

SAM: I'll go examine some of the goop.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: See if I can get a read on it.

MATT: Make a-- What are you trying to ask, what kind of a read on it?

SAM: Just what is it, I guess? If I would recognize the substance?

MATT: Make a nature check, if you'd like.

SAM: Nature check, ugh. That's terrible. Well, I said I was going to do it. And it's a nine.

MATT: You're unable to really ascertain the nature or source of this, but it definitely has a slippery viscousness to it. The smell is strong. You can see on the elements of the wall, there are striations and some edges that it's condensed thicker and has a dark gray material to it.

SAM: Like it was dripping down, or like it was splattered out?

MATT: Like it was dripping down. You know how minerals that drip down a stone cavern wall over time will build up? This is like elements of it have congealed to form a bit of a segment of the wall that has a thicker substance to it.

TALIESIN: Is there anything on the ceiling?

MATT: Looking up at the ceiling, you don't see anything in particular other than just this odd humidity to the room that you begin to also take notice of.

LIAM: All the furniture is overturned, you said, like the place has been rolled? What about--?

MATT: In fact, let me go ahead and make this adjustment here. Since we're in a darker space properly. The moisture in the room occasionally (dripping) drops around you. Looking up at the ceiling--

LAURA: Spores.

MATT: Looking up at the ceiling, you can see the general cracks in the plaster and stone. But occasionally these little strands of some sort of organic threads that have, drifting a few inches down from these cracks. Almost like, once again, this humid material is just gathered and slowly begun to build off of itself.

MARISHA: Going off of what Orym was saying, does it look like this place was rolled? Or like--?

LIAM: Any sense of violence?

MARISHA: Or like he is building his creepy nest?

MATT: You both can make investigation checks, if you'd like.

SAM: Someone should look around for--

LAURA: Yeah, I was going to--

SAM: -- his dead body, or?

LAURA: Well, I was going to look around the perimeter of the room and look for holes on the walls.

MATT: Okay, in the main entry room area?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Roll a perception or investigation as well. What'd you get?

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: Nine?

LIAM: Just a 12.

MATT: 12? Looking at where things have been placed here, it looks like there was some sort of a chaotic, forceful reason to everything here being scattered, but there aren't signs of a battle or fight. There's no blood. Nothing has been smashed with, you know, fists or scarred with weaponry. So you're not sure if-- You're not sure of anything beyond the fact that it wasn't a hyper-violent, bloody struggle or anything. That's as best as you can suss out.

TALIESIN: Are we leaving footprints on the ground? Like, is there settled goop or dust? Are we leaving--?

MATT: Yes and yes. Well, there isn't a strong layer of dust necessarily, but there is a little bit of, you know, odd moats in the air. There are patches of this similar liquid, but it is, as opposed to being as viscous, it is sticky. Laudna caught one, and as you step over your foot takes a minute to like rip up a bit from it.

TALIESIN: Are there any pathways that we haven't walked where somebody else has been?

MATT: There is the open door that leads into further back chamber.

TALIESIN: Are there some footprints going in that direction?

MATT: Make a perception or investigation check, your choice. You were rolling?

LAURA: I rolled a perception check for holes along the wall. I rolled eight, shit. But once my foot got caught in one of the sticky things, I'm going to send one of my lights down to where it stays in front of my feet, so I can try to avoid.

MATT: Okay, it helps you suss out where some of these patches are. It isn't the entire ground, but just in certain areas, it looks like. It looks like there was some leftover congealed puddles that have marked the floor around.

LAURA: Maybe that can help out, Ashton, since you're looking at the ground, if there's a light source on that area or something?

MATT: Okay, and you are?

TALIESIN: I used perception to find, and I rolled a nine.

MATT: Nine. In this room here, where you guys are, you don't see any sort of immediate signs of holes in the wall or anything like that.

SAM: I'll go to the next room, I guess? Imogen, can you send one of your balls in here?

LAURA: Of course.

ASHLEY: I took off that direction, too.

MATT: Okay. So Fresh Cut Grass--

LAURA: I'll have them follow us.

LIAM: Are you still a rat?

MATT: -- and Fearne are--

SAM: I'll, once there's some light in here, I'll do the same thing. Scan around the perimeter the to see if there's any holes or false doors or anything.

MATT: You push past the already ajar door and you can see immediately to the left there is a large cabinet that is tipped at an angle. It doesn't appear to be destroyed necessarily, it looks like it was pushed over and hit the wall. The cabinet doors are open towards the floor, and the contents have spilled out into the ground beneath. Just even just glancing over, you can see that same oily residue is collected over it. To the right, you can see there's a bed that's angled odd on the corner. Tossed elements of clothing and other personal effects that are across the ground, and also this thin layer of oil. Want to join in?

SAM: Just scan for any imperfections in the wall or secret entrances.

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Ooh, 22.

MATT: 22. On the center of the wall, the back. This room is closest, the deepest in towards the rock, built into the spire. You can see the base wooden board itself has splintered and pushed away a little bit and glancing off to one side. You move past, your wheel gets stuck in one of those little bits of patches of sticky substance. You glance to where the wood is splintered a bit, and you can see there's darkness behind it.

SAM: Oh, I'll go and see how big this hole is.

ASHLEY: (squeaking)

MATT: Go ahead.

SAM: Oh yeah.

LAURA: You're a rat!

MATT: Pull it back a little bit, and you can see it's roughly the same size as the one that you saw in the Weary Way. It's about a foot and a half wide, to about a foot tall and seems to travel into the rock for a few feet. Do you have darkvision?

SAM: I don't, I'm just relying on her, I'm relying on Laura's balls.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll send it in front of him so he can see what he's seeing.

MATT: Okay, so you get into the doorway of the room as well?

LAURA: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: In order to shift, you have to be able to have visual range. So you're standing in the doorway there, avoiding the sticky substance there. Sending the sphere over to look inside, and from as far as-- and it casts light in a 10-foot radius?

LAURA: ♪ Let me see. ♪ 10 foot radius, yes.

MATT: So to where you can see, the orb sends 10 feet in, you can see the tunnel continues to where the light vanishes with a slight downward curvature before it goes into darkness.

SAM: I will cast Speak With Animals. Hey, do you want to go in there and go down in the hole and see what you can see?

ASHLEY: Yeah! I just start taking off. (laughter)

MATT: Okay. So you're going to head further down. You move out of the range of the light, but you have darkvision.

LAURA: I've never done this before. I'm going to try to talk into Fearne's head.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: You can ask me rat language and I'll translate back to you.

LAURA: Oh, right. I'll squeak to you and-- But if I speak to Fearne, will her thoughts come back as Fearne?

MATT: Only one way to find out.

LAURA: All right, I'm going to try to speak to her as she's going down. Can you think to me?

MATT: You hear her clearly in your head as your mind is your own, even though you're in a rat form.

ASHLEY: Yes, I can.

LAURA: (gasps)

ASHLEY: Yes, I can?

LAURA: I can hear you!

ROBBIE: Oh!

LAURA: All right, well, you know, we can talk for three minutes if you see anything.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm just going to go really, really slow.

MATT: Okay, skittering past the edge of the light, 15, 20 feet and you can see it's curving at a downward angle. At about 25, 30 or so feet, the decline starts to get uncomfortable. You start noticing that gravity might begin taking over.

ASHLEY: Okay, so it's taking a bit of a drop. Now, I can just, you know, go for it.

LAURA: Wasn't the last drop 1,200 feet or something?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, so maybe let's not.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ASHLEY: I'm going to turn around.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Roll a perception check.

LIAM: A minor detail while she rolls, Orym is at the door between the two rooms and I'm watching the front door.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: 15.

SAM: Oh.

MATT: 15.

SAM: Okay, okay.

MATT: A faint sound to catches your ears.

SAM: That's good, that's good.

ASHLEY: Oh, wait, wait, wait. I think I have keen-- Oh, it's keen smell. So I have advantage on-- I have advantage on perception checks.

MATT: That involve smell.

ASHLEY: Right. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Keen smell.

SAM: But isn't hearing smelling with your ears, Matt?

MATT: More or less.

ASHLEY: That's how rats work.

MATT: Exactly, totally. Critical Role, teaching you historical nature. Big science buffs here. We are, actually. We're just bad at it. This faint sound begins to catch your rat ears in the darkened tunnel. (wet chittering) You hear this weird, liquid squeezing sound.

LAURA: Squeezing sound?

MATT: And it's getting louder.

LAURA: I don't like that.

ASHLEY: I'm going to turn around and make my way up.

MATT: Okay.

ALL: ♪ Makin' my way up ♪

MATT: You go ahead.

ASHLEY: There's a weird squishy sound.

LAURA: Weird squishy sound.

MATT: You begin to hear it, too.

LAURA: Weird squishy sounds!

ASHLEY: I think it's coming up, so prepare yourselves. Try to slam the hole shut once I come out.

LAURA: Okay. Something's coming.

MATT: What's your speed as a rat?

ASHLEY: 20 Feet.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Something's coming?

MARISHA: False Life.

TALIESIN: I would double speed that by the way.

ASHLEY: Yeah, double speed it, I'll double speed it.

LAURA: Mage Armor.

MATT: Okay, you cast Mage Armor. You're looking towards the doorway between the two.

LIAM: I'm in the door, yeah, I'm in the doorframe to both rooms, looking at the front door in case anyone came behind us.

MATT: Then Imogen would be within the door of that chamber.

LAURA: Yeah, I would be in the room.

MATT: Right, with Fresh Cut Grass, right there at the edge. What are you three doing?

MARISHA: I cast False Life, and I'm going to back far away, but stay in visual range if I can.

MATT: Of the doorframe?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and find an empty corner of the room and brace myself to charge.

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: Yeah, I'll put a back to any of the windows to cover a second entrance.

MATT: Okay, got it.

SAM: Are we getting ready for a fight? Is that what's happening here?

LAURA: Something sounds gross.

LIAM: We're hearing wet farts come up that hole.

SAM: If we're prepping, I will cast Sympathetic Binding, and bind myself to... let's say Orym and Imogen.

MARISHA: You said there was a plank. Is there anything over the wall that I could patch it with?

LIAM: Rock-hard.

MATT: From what you see right now, it looks like the wood has been pulled away and there's the hole behind it. So you'd have to press it against it to do so. But you just cast False Life on yourself.

MARISHA: I did.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: So this is happening too fast.

MATT: Well, as you cast False Life on yourself, you all begin to hear in that back room that (squelching) sound that gets louder and louder. And just as you all get yourself ready, you watch the plank push past. And coming out from this hole, you see this pale dwarven face squeeze--

ALL: No!

MATT: Just this odd glistening liquid across his face, the eyes pull back.

ASHLEY: Ew! (disgusted shouting) As it squeezes out, you can see the shoulders, broken back as it cracks into the sides. We're going to go to break.

ALL: Oh!

ASHLEY: Did I make it out?

MATT: You just made it out as it emerged.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: That's probably for the best.

LIAM: That little rat was riding and going like, "Whoa!"

ASHLEY: Just riding the face.

MATT: Like, you had just enough movement to keep just above it.

MARISHA: Ew, ew!

ASHLEY: Ew, that's disgusting.

LIAM: I love it.

ASHLEY: I love it.

MARISHA: Remember the X-men movie?

MATT: That was partially the inspiration for this, actually. So we'll pick up on that here shortly. We'll see you in a little bit.

ASHLEY: I love it!

MATT: (laughs)

Break[]

(suspenseful adventure music) (fantasy choir music)

LAURA: Hey critters, Laura Bailey here to guide you through what's new in the Critical Role Shop. This holiday season give the gift of effortless style. You need this? You probably need this. Oo, look at this, look at the details, oo! Darling, I recommend buying two, one for you, and another for you, let's be honest. Oo, so comfy, cozy. You're only like five clicks away from owning this, maybe more if you have a lot of windows open on your browser I don't know your life. These holidays, you know, they're just around the corner. And hey, if you want, you could head over to the Critical Role shop right now.

(whimsical music)
(typewriter clicking)
(whimsical music)
(inspirational piano music)

Announcer: We now go live to a special address from the President.

ASHLEY: Hey dweebs. Now as your president, I've been kinda killing it lately. I gave global warming an atomic wedgie. I balanced the budget by selling my Pog collection, and I saved the Queen of England from that octopus! But my kick-assery is far from done. According to this chart that I made, an estimated 35% of you are still a bunch of nasty goobers, but don't worry, I have a plan. Operation: Gag Me With A Spoon. It's easy sleazy. According to this study that I wrote, if every citizen subscribed to Critical Role on Twitch, we could reduce maximum goobage by a metric buttload. Twitch is the only place where you'll get a live and moderated chat and when you subscribe to Critical Role, you instantly get access to all their shows as soon as the live broadcast ends. So while you're oogling those Critical Role dorks with their sick goof-em-ups and their nerdy voices, think of me, Gale, the current president of whatever. Now I gotta go make a fresh batch of spitballs, but I guess I have some time for your boring questions. You.

Reporter: Gale, is it true that if you subscribe to Critical Role through Prime Gaming, you have to resubscribe every month?

ASHLEY: Uh, yeah. I do it right after my monthly prank call to Pee-an O'Brien. Next question.

Reporter: Does Critical Role have exclusive emotes for their subscribers?

ASHLEY: Uh, doy. Of course they do. I like the hello bees one, 'cause bees are cool. I replaced my whole security detail with a bunch of bees that think I'm their queen. Last question.

Reporter: Yeah, with all due respect, is Operation: Gag Me With a Spoon a real policy, or are you mad goofin'?

ASHLEY: Am I mad goofin'? What, do you see me scarfing Milk Duds while doodling ding-dongs in the SkyMall catalog? Listen, I know I'm new to this. And I admit that when I made the wish to be the boss of everything, I did not know the witch that works at Woolworth's was listening. Well, Faustian bargain or not, I am the president and I have an obligation to lead this country. So to answer your question, no, I am not mad goofin'. Security, take him out. (bees buzzing) (Gale laughing) Later, chudruckers!

Part II[]

MATT: Welcome back. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Nice.

MATT: Well, I guess we should roll initiative. (cheering)

LAURA: La-la-la-la.

MARISHA: Random noises! La-la-la-la-la!

LIAM: Bring out the toothpaste dwarf!

ROBBIE: I stole your tactic, I organized this.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, yeah.

SAM: Oh wow.

LIAM: Once he's out of the tube, there's no putting him back.

MARISHA: Okay, thanks, Gil.

SAM: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

LIAM: Yes!

SAM: The neighboring houses, too?

TALIESIN: As I do that, I am so sorry.

SAM: This is extensive.

MATT: He has emerged.

LAURA: Oh no.

LIAM: Cool.

MATT: Right over here. Which means it would put you right there.

MARISHA: That is a bard initiative if I've ever seen one.

LAURA: Hi, little rat!

MATT: And Fresh Cut Grass right about there.

SAM: Oh dear!

LAURA: There's me.

MATT: There's you in the doorway right there.

SAM: Yep. Dorian.

MATT: Laudna, you said you were keeping visual in the back of the room.

LIAM: Door-ian is the secret big bad of the campaign.

LAURA: Are you in the living room back of the room, or were you guys in the bedroom?

LIAM: It's right in the name.

MARISHA: Dorian was a door the whole time.

ROBBIE: Dun-dun-dun!

SAM: He was hiding in plain sight.

MATT: You were guarding the window over there.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Sorry, where did you say you were?

LAURA: I didn't know if you said if you were in the living room or in the bedroom.

MARISHA: I was back-- Oh, I backed far away.

ROBBIE: We never went in the kitchen, did we? Like, never?

MATT: Laudna did in the very beginning.

ROBBIE: Oh, you did? Okay.

MATT: You tried to use Prestidigitation over towards edge of the wall there on the stone.

LAURA: This makes me fully-- I get now what you meant with the-- cool.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Just the visual helped.

TALIESIN: Where's this creature coming out of?

LAURA: I made no sense.

MATT: Right there.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LAURA: But I made sense.

MATT: Yeah, this is all the rock wall that leads up to the second platform there. All right, so 25 to 20.

LIAM: Is he still in semi-glue state?

SAM: Nobody.

ROBBIE: Ooh.

MATT: You don't know.

LAURA: We've been rolling so good on initiative.

MARISHA: We have, I know.

ROBBIE: We all got startled by the birth.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Ah, ah!

ASHLEY: Ah, I like it? (laughter)

MATT: 20 to 15?

LIAM: 16.

LAURA and TALIESIN: 17.

SAM: Okay, okay, okay.

LIAM: I hope this doesn't awaken something in me.

ASHLEY: 15 for me.

MATT: Who has the higher dex?

TALIESIN: 15 for me.

LAURA: Oh, I've got the same dex as you. Oh, right, Rollies!

MATT: Yep, Rollies!

ROBBIE: Yeah!

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: Oh.

LIAM: You both rolled bad.

LAURA: One.

ALL: Oh!

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Wait, did you get-- I'm 15.

LAURA: No, we're 17.

ASHLEY: You're 17s.

SAM: Rollies is the ultimate equalizer.

ASHLEY: Were you 15?

MATT: It really is.

LIAM: No, 16. Laudna and Orym were at 16.

LAURA: I'll take getting rid of my ones on Rollies.

MARISHA: My dex is 14.

LIAM: Mine is super high.

MATT: And then 16, 16?

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, Orym and then Laudna.

MATT: All righty, 15 to 10?

LIAM: 16.

ASHLEY: 15.

LIAM: Above Laudna, 16.

MARISHA: It's the weirdest thing.

MATT: 10 to five?

SAM: Seven.

ROBBIE: Seven.

SAM: Rollies!

LAURA: Wait, whose dex is higher?

SAM: I don't care, I just want to do Rollies.

MATT: All right, sure, go for it. Sure, I'll allow it.

SAM: 19!

ROBBIE: Nine-ah.

SAM: What is your dex, by the way?

ROBBIE: 16.

SAM: Oh, you would've gone first. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Its those little wheels. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: How do we resolve this now, Matt? We've got two competing things.

MATT: You both pick.

SAM: Rollies, so I'll go first.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN and MATT: Rollies always wins.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I thought you were going to use Rollies to decide your Rollies.

MATT: Top of the combat round. (laughs)

MARISHA: How do we pick? Rollies again, you guys.

MATT: Top of the combat round. (squelching)

ALL: Ah!

MATT: Squeezes out and (groans), "Interesting," and goes and pulls his blades out and is immediately, since you're in proximity, doesn't even think you are a threat, you're a rat. Instead is going to go straight into Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: Ooh!

MARISHA: Question, I said Hex right before break. Did I get the Hex or did I not get the Hex?

MATT: The proximity of events was these things were happening as you were all taking your one round to prepare.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

MATT: In which you cast False Life on yourself.

MARISHA: That's fair, okay.

MATT: So by the time you would have seen him to begin casting is when initiative would have kicked in, essentially, but you can on your turn when we get to it. So is going to go ahead and take four attacks against you, Fresh Cut Grass.

LAURA: Whoa!

SAM: Ooh!

MARISHA: He's going first?

SAM: Jeepers.

MATT: He is; he rolled a natural 19 on initiative.

LAURA: Ah, Dugger.

MATT: That's going to be

MARISHA: Doogs.

MATT: A 20 to hit.

SAM: Hits.

MATT: This is with a shortsword that he's pulled out. That's nine points of piercing damage to you.

LIAM: That'd be bad.

SAM: Yep, that happens.

MATT: Stabs it in you. Or slashing damage, sorry. The next attack is going to be 16 to hit.

SAM: 16 is my armor class.

MATT: All right. You take eight points of slashing damage. And is going to go ahead and take the rapier in the other hand and try and get to you there. That's going to be a 12 to hit?

SAM: Miss!

MATT: And 15 to hit.

SAM: Miss!

MATT: There you go. Hacks at you twice, tries to pierce twice, and you're like, (zooming) scooting back and forth.

ASHLEY: (vrooming)

SAM: Nice, nice.

MATT: Is going to go ahead and as a bonus action, going to cunning action and dash out of the way--

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MATT: -- onto the side and leap onto the slightly-tilted dresser. As he pushes onto it, cracks in a bit, lands on it and is now right up in your face, Imogen. He goes, "Come to let me finish the rest of you?" As you get close, you can see the bones have cracked back into place, and now the stocky dwarf body is there. However, there's still that weird, glistening, similar oily film you see on everything, emerging from him, these blackened veins that curl up the side of the face, now that you're up close and personal. The eyes are almost completely black like the other shade creepers that you've seen in the previous encounter. There's something extremely unnatural about him. He's hunched forward with the heavy cloak.

LIAM: So much lubricant. That's going to go ahead and finish his turn. At this point--

MARISHA: He stocked up during the pandemic. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Put KY out of business.

MARISHA: Yeah (laughs).

MATT: There is a slight rustling sound in the chamber over here as this--

SAM: Oh no, there's another thing?

LAURA: Oh, sh--

MATT: Pushes open to reveal--

LAURA: There's another hole!

ROBBIE: Laudna!

MARISHA: Shit.

MATT: Didn't quite roll high enough to find.

ROBBIE: You were on kitchen duty.

MARISHA: (gasps) Oh. (groaning)

MATT: (snarling)

MARISHA: Not again.

MATT: A shade creeper emerges.

LAURA: Fuck!

MARISHA: Fuck.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: Dang. Dang, we're in a tight spot.

ASHLEY: We're in a tight spot!

MATT: Finishing that, we're going to Ashton with Imogen on deck.

TALIESIN: Okay, because I'm having trouble with the grid.

MATT: That's where you are there.

TALIESIN: Yeah, where's my 30-foot arc, out of curiosity?

MATT: 30 is about here.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to--

MATT: Sorry, 30 would be here. My bad. But also, all this furniture does make elements of this rough terrain.

TALIESIN: Technically, would I have issue with the rough terrain since I'm an earth genasi?

MATT: What's it say about the ability, specifically?

TALIESIN: It says that you can move across difficult terrain made of earth or stone without extra movement.

MATT: It is, I would say it's made difficult because of furniture.

TALIESIN: Furniture.

MATT: Not because of being rough stone or earth.

TALIESIN: No, no, no, I'll take it.

MARISHA: You're still a rat. That's right.

MATT: You can drop it for free whenever you want, on your turn, though.

TALIESIN: I am going to move as far against the wall as I can, and position myself for an attack.

MATT: 10, moving this way?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: 30, what's your movement?

TALIESIN: 30.

MATT: 30, that gets you about there. You're stepping up onto some of the broken furniture. Actually, no, with the rough terrain here with a five, 10 would get you there because you had to move over some of the benches and furniture and stuff. So that's your 30 feet right there.

TALIESIN: All right, and I'm going to hold an attack for if anyone gets anywhere near me.

MATT: Okay, is that your turn?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right, finishing Ashton's go. Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Come on, Imogen.

LAURA: All right, I'm going to-- I wonder if he's smart, I'm going to look up at him and send my arm out really fast and cast Tasha's Mind Whip, so he feels a flash of psychic energy hit his brain.

MATT: (hisses) All right, was that a saving throw for him?

LAURA: Intelligence saving throw.

MATT: That... is not going to succeed at all.

ROBBIE: Ooh, hey! Woo!

LAURA: Awesome. all right. In that case, he takes 3d6 psychic damage.

MATT: Sick.

LAURA: Oh well, 11, 14 points of psychic. No, 13 points of psychic damage, and you have to, on your next turn, you must choose-- Oh wait, you can't take your reaction until the end of your next turn.

SAM: No, you cain't.

MATT: Good call.

LAURA: And on your next turn--

LIAM: Yes, I cain.

LAURA: -- you must choose (laughs) if you move, get an action, or a bonus action. You can only get one of the three.

MATT: Good call. Good to know, okay.

LAURA: So since you cannot use your reaction, I am going to move away from you.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to move as far away from you as I can, probably into this back corner.

MATT: I'd like you to make a strength saving throw for me, please.

LAURA: Oh, okay. (laughs nervously) Why? Oh, that's really good. 19 plus--

MATT: 19, you begin to pull back and you feel that stickiness in the ground, right by the door where you were standing and didn't realize that you had stepped into, begins to pull at your boot, but you pull yourself free and manage to maneuver. So where you want to go?

LAURA: I want to back away from him, maybe onto that box in the corner, or can I get-- Sorry.

MATT: It's okay.

LAURA: Can I get over the table on the other side of him? Yeah, right, oh. Yeah, right there. Why not? I'm going to stand on a table.

MATT: 20, 25, 30, yes, you get on the table there.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You got it. Does that finish your turn?

LAURA: Seems like it.

MATT: All right, now the shade creeper's turn. It's going to leap over the box (growls) and rush forward up to the table to meet you onto its back. (growls)

LAURA: Seesaw.

MATT: Clambers up and curls over. You can see the cloth flittering past underneath the clawed grayish fleshy arms pulling past and breaking some of the wood as it comes for you. Its stretchy toothed mouth with no nose features and the beady black eyes staring at you (growls) as it goes forward to attack you with its claws. Natural 20. (groaning)

MATT: That's going to bring us to 11 points of piercing damage.

LAURA: Cool. Cool.

MATT: Plus.

MARISHA: Oh jeez.

MATT: You're lucky. Six points of necrotic damage.

LAURA: Are we bonded?

SAM: We're bonded.

LAURA: What does that mean?

SAM: Nothing yet.

LAURA: Wait, whoa! Really? Wait, did that really just do that?

TALIESIN: 17 points.

MARISHA: Are you down? Are you down?

LAURA: Not yet.

SAM: She ain't down.

ASHLEY: Pretty dang close.

TALIESIN: We had a long rest. You did heal up, right?

LAURA: Sure, I only have 19 points total.

TALIESIN: What?!

MATT: Sorcerers, man.

TALIESIN: Oh no. Okay.

MATT: All right, that finishes the creature's turn. (growls) As it claws past you with both of its claws, tears into your chest, leaps up and is clambering onto your torso, trying to bite for your throat.

LAURA: They were both, it was like double hit for one roll to hit?

MATT: Yeah, it's considered its claws, so.

LAURA: Okay, okay.

MATT: Finishing its go. Now it's Orym, with Laudna on deck, whatcha got?

LIAM: Okay, so Orym springs from the doorway and lands on the dresser next to slimy.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I got him. He's done, it's done.

MATT: There you go. So we'll put you right there.

TALIESIN: Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

LIAM: Okay, blade out, and I'm going to try to spiral his blade down into the dresser again. I'm going to do a disarming attack.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That is-- shit, and I'm on the wrong thing. Nah, that's just a 10, that's not going to hit. What do I want to do next? That's it, I'm just going to stand my ground.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That's it.

MATT: Okay, that finishes your go. Brings us to Laudna, with Fearne on deck.

MARISHA: All right. You know it, you've seen it!

MATT: You currently do not have an eye visual on him since he jumped up into the corner to attack Laudna, but you can see where Orym is trying to slash over to something just beyond the doorframe.

MARISHA: Oh, and I can see the shade creeper in front of me, correct?

MATT: You can see the shade creeper, yes.

MARISHA: Yeah, so I crack my neck and my spine starts expanding as the black veil comes over my face and the familiar black tears, and I go into my Form of Dread and I lunge forward a little bit on the table, and.

MATT: Towards the table, you mean?

MARISHA: Yes, and do an Eldritch Blast to the shade creeper in front of me--

LAURA: Through my legs.

MARISHA: -- through her legs.

MATT: Shoom! Roll for attack.

MARISHA: Ooh, that's good, I'm going to keep it. 19 plus--

MATT: That hits, go ahead and roll damage (laughs).

MARISHA: What is? Okay, and then. Sorry. Sorry, where's my d--? Here it is. Oh god. Blessed. Okay, five damage, and he has to make a wisdom saving throw.

TALIESIN: Mudering's alive.

MATT: Or?

MARISHA: He's frightened.

MATT: He's frightened. That rolled a seven, so it is frightened of you.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, that runs away.

MARISHA: It runs away. I look at it, and I just take my fingers in the corner of my mouth and I spread them unnaturally far apart to my ears and go (growls).

MATT: (snarling)

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

MATT: (cries) You can see it starting to scramble backward immediately. It jumps off of Imogen's torso and is now trying to make some sort of escape.

LAURA: I don't know if I can hit it on its way away from me.

MARISHA: It's running.

MATT: It's not running yet, it's beginning the process. It's not its turn yet. All right, that finishes your turn, Laudna?

MARISHA: Yep.

MATT: Fearne, you're up, with Fresh Cut Grass on deck.

ASHLEY: Okay. As a bonus action, I'm going to drop my Wild Shape.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: Froom!

MATT: Well, I don't think dropping is a bonus action, I think it's a free action, isn't it?

ASHLEY: I think it is a bonus action. Let me just double check.

MATT: To use it, it is. Is it a bonus action to drop?

ASHLEY: "You can stay in Beast Shape for one hour before reverting back to your normal form or as a bonus action earlier, if you fall unconscious or drop to zero hit points."

MATT: Gotcha, I missed--

ASHLEY: So maybe, but.

ROBBIE: I think it's almost the same.

MATT: Yeah, bonus action to turn back. You're right. You're totally right. Been a while since we had a druid in the campaign.

ASHLEY: That feels weird.

ALL: ♪ It's been a while ♪

ASHLEY: ♪ Been a while ♪ Okay.

MARISHA: There it is.

ASHLEY: Yeah, double. (murmurs) I feel like it just doesn't make sense that I would get this right.

SAM: You got it right, you got it right.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay, so. (poofs) (laughter) I am going to-- Can I get over to him?

MATT: You can move over, if you want to climb up into the corner where Orym currently has him pushed into the edge and step up onto here.

ASHLEY: Yeah, try to go on the other side. Perfect.

MATT: You can get up into melee with him.

ASHLEY: I'm going to reach my hands out and cast Burning Hands on his chest.

MATT: Oh shit!

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Yeah, it just fills the corner. You're essentially point blank torching him. Up into the very stone corner of this chamber. That will be dexterity saving throw on his point. That is 19. He succeeds.

ASHLEY: Ooh, that saves!

MATT: So half damage, so go ahead and roll.

ASHLEY: Okay. Ah! Okay, oh. Oh. Okay, so 19, so eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of fire damage, nice. All righty. That finish your go, Fearne?

LAURA: Yeah?

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: All right, Fresh Cut Grass, you are up with Dorian on deck.

SAM: As my bonus action, I will imbue-- I don't think it's a spell. It's just a feature. Ardent Armor on Imogen.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, yeah.

SAM: Which gives you four temporary hit points because we're bonded.

LAURA: We're bonded. Ooh, I get tingly. (laughter)

SAM: Yes, you do, and then I can still cast a spell. So I will cast Command at the creature man.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: What is this? It's a wisdom 13 save.

MATT: Got it. Failed on a natural two.

LAURA: Whoa!

SAM: I will utter the command: Alphabetize!

MATT: Okay. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow!

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: Wow!

MATT: Okay. Does that finish your turn?

SAM: Uh-huh.

MATT: You want to move anywhere?

SAM: I'm going to move as far away from him as I can.

TALIESIN: That changes everything!

MATT: Make a strength saving throw for me, please.

SAM: Strength? Oh, because I'm going through the goop?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Ew. Two, doesn't seem right.

MATT: You go, (squeals)!

SAM: Oh, I'm stuck.

MATT: You are stuck right now until the beginning of your next turn. You can make another save to get going.

SAM: Got some gum. (laughter)

MATT: All right, that finishes your go. That brings us to Dorian.

ROBBIE: Cool, I am going-- Did I see the creature come out of a hole behind that crate or did he just sort of appear?

LIAM: What did you say?

MATT: You heard the crate begin--

ROBBIE: What? What did I say? Oh no, I'm scared.

MATT: From where you were standing, you saw--

ROBBIE: Did I mumble?

MATT: You saw the crate begin to shift, and you saw it emerge from behind the crate. So you have not seen the hole, but you get the sense from previous experiences.

ROBBIE: Well, I'm going to go. I'm going to break straight for the hole. Can I get there in 30 feet?

MATT: Five, 10. Make a strength save for me, if you like.

ROBBIE: All right.

LIAM: The goop.

ROBBIE: Oh, the goop!

LIAM: Oh, it's even represented on the map.

SAM: It is? Oh!

LIAM: Goop!

ROBBIE: (thinking noises)

MARISHA: It is? Where? Goop?

ROBBIE: 13.

MATT: 13? Not a problem. It's sticky, but you push past.

LAURA: You have to roll really shitty, like FCG did.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: 25, yeah, you'll be able to vault past this box, 30, and get right to where the hole in the wall is.

ROBBIE: Okay, and it is a hole?

MATT: Yes.

ROBBIE: Cool. I've got a bag of caltrops and I'm going to pull them out for my action and just throw them down in front of the hole.

MATT: Yeah, easy enough to do.

MARISHA: Yes.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: In front of it, or inside of it?

ROBBIE: Yeah, like in the entrance, but all the way down into the hole.

MATT: Okay, so you scatter it around the front, and go (whooshing). All right, and as you're there, you can hear scratching sounds getting louder.

MARISHA: Good fucking idea.

MATT: All righty.

ROBBIE: Then for my bonus action, I'll call out to Imogen and be like: Ah, best of luck! And I'll cast Bardic Inspiration.

MATT: All righty, so you get a d6 inspiration die for when you want to use it.

LAURA: Oh, awesome.

MATT: That's awesome. All right. Finishing Dorian's go. Top of the round, it is now Dugger's go. Dugger, who's right there in front of Orym, and now Fearne, he goes (growls). "Dagger. Rapier. Shortsword." And that's his action.

MARISHA: Oh my god!

LIAM: Wow.

LAURA: That's all he can do is an action.

MATT: That's all he can do, yeah.

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

MATT: So that's his turn.

ASHLEY: That's great.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Alphabetize.

MATT: The next bit here. Okay.

MARISHA: That's brilliant.

MATT: You hear the scraping sounds getting louder and louder, and then you hear (shrieking), two different voices screeching in pain--

LAURA: Good, but also--

MATT: -- as two shade creepers push past and emerge next to you.

LAURA: Uh-oh.

ROBBIE: I know.

MATT: But they come out with all of these damaged points jammed into them and they look pretty hurt at the get go.

SAM: Great. Nicely done.

MATT: They both come out, but they're both like (snarl). They're both going to try and attack you. They do have you pincered. So with advantage on that, that is going to be a 19 to hit.

ROBBIE: Oh yes.

MATT: All right, you take four points of piercing damage, plus 10 necrotic.

ROBBIE: Fuck.

MATT: The other one is going to be. It's 15 to hit?

ROBBIE: That's my armor class.

MATT: That does hit, okay. You take another four points of piercing damage.

ROBBIE: Oh man.

MATT: And four points of necrotic.

ROBBIE: The other one better be slow.

MARISHA: Damn.

MATT: All right, that's their go. That brings us to Ashton, with Imogen on deck.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm not 30 feet from Dugger, am I? There's just no way to get there in 30 feet from what I can tell.

MATT: Dugger? You can move around here and get into the center point there, and you'd be within melee.

TALIESIN: There's goo there, though, isn't there?

MATT: There is.

TALIESIN: Or I could just go straight in. Okay, you know what? Yeah, I'm feeling like that might be the wise thing to do.

MATT: Your call.

TALIESIN: At this point. Okay, first off, I'm going to rage.

SAM: Yes. Yes.

TALIESIN: Which will actually might change the decision of what I'm going to do. Oh yeah, that makes life real weird.

MATT: So we're going Gravity this time?

TALIESIN: We're going Gravity, which makes, yeah. Gravity is going to be really interesting. All right, I'm going to head towards Dugger at full speed.

MATT: Okay, so we're going 10, 15, 20, gets you right there, and so now you are in just past the doorway, foot on the ground, the air around-- Everyone, you feel suddenly the air get a bit thicker, and the ground seems to pull you slightly heavier, just a hint, a noticeable presence, and you all look back, and you see Ashton coming into the room.

TALIESIN: I am taking a swing at this--

LIAM: (accented) Bitch.

TALIESIN: -- this person. I'm just going to take a normal swing. I'm not doing anything fancy yet. Whoa, that hopped.

SAM: Easy.

TALIESIN: What number is that? I can't actually--

LIAM: What the hell is that?

TALIESIN: I'm going to call it a five because it's-- (laughter)

ROBBIE: What?

TALIESIN: 12 To hit?

MATT: 12 to hit misses.

SAM: You have a die?

MARISHA: Call it a five?

TALIESIN: I can't actually, I used a weird die that has a weird font.

LIAM: You sure did.

TALIESIN: Yeah, so I'm going to put that away.

MATT: That's okay. So that misses. Since your spell is finished, at the end of his next turn, he gets his reaction back.

ROBBIE: Ancient Sumerian.

MATT: So he is going to use reaction for Slippery Dash.

SAM: Slippery Dash?

MATT: As you miss, he actually jumps in the air. Your hammer hits the ground. He jumps onto the hammer, then darts onto your head, and then jumps out into the next room.

LIAM: Free of opportunity attack?

MATT: Free of opportunity attacks.

TALIESIN: How far away from me?

MATT: To about there.

TALIESIN: How far?

MATT: Right up over by where Imogen is.

TALIESIN: How far away from me?

MATT: Actually, no, it would've been, it probably would've gone for you first. So that would be 20 feet from you.

ASHLEY: Do we each get an attack of opportunity?

MATT: Neither of you do with Slippery Dash.

ASHLEY: Damn.

LAURA: That Slippery Dash will get you every time.

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: That's really irritating.

SAM: My command only lasted for his turn, not for after his turn.

MATT: What's up?

SAM: My command only lasted for his turn.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: Not anything after?

MATT: Correct, Command is on the next turn they have to do what you said if they failed. All right, so does that finish your turn?

TALIESIN: I mean. Do I still have a little bit of movement left?

MATT: You would have 10 more feet of movement.

TALIESIN: I'm going to dart.

MATT: Make a strength check.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: As you stepped right into the puddle of ichor.

TALIESIN: Yep, that's fine. That's-- God, these are hard to read, my own fault, that's 12.

SAM: Did you use the same die again?

LAURA: No, he used a different one.

MATT: Okay. That finishes Ashton's go. Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to use my Telekinetic Shove and try to shove this guy away from me five feet so I can move without him getting an attack of opportunity.

MATT: You got it, all right. This guy here?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, that's a 11.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: He's pushed back this way, just off the edge of the table onto that element there, okay.

LAURA: Great. After that, I'm going to hop off of the table towards the door.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: But I'm going to stop behind Ashton.

MATT: Okay. Right there?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You got it. You are now behind Ashton.

LAURA: Not directly behind, but a little off to the side.

MATT: A little off to the side?

LAURA: So that I can still shoot around him, and I'm going to--

TALIESIN: Ready to fuck some shit up. I'm going to cast Dissonant Whispers at Dugger. Open up my mind and shove it all at him.

MATT: You've got it. That is a wisdom save, you said?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: 12.

LAURA: Yes! So that's 3d6. [Liam's mug clinks]

LAURA, MARISHA, and ASHLEY: (imitates Liam's mug)

LAURA: That's not very good. Six, eight points of psychic damage, and in addition to that, he-- What does he do? He moves as far away as he can from me because he's scared.

MATT: He does.

LAURA: Anybody near him gets an attack of opportunity, but that doesn't really matter.

MATT: You do get an attack of opportunity, physically, if you want one. (laughter)

SAM: It's like a zero, isn't it?

MARISHA: I don't do anything. I'll see him and just go like: Ah!

MATT: (growling)

MARISHA: As being startled. And I-- Oh, okay.

SAM: You rolled really well.

MARISHA: I rolled really well, but, okay, it's a minus three to my attack. With strength? So 14.

MATT: Misses.

MARISHA: Great.

MATT: So sorry.

MARISHA: (startled noise)

MATT: (startled growl) All righty. So as Dugger runs past you and back to the door, that finishes your turn, Imogen?

LAURA: Yes, it does. If he has to run as far away from me as he can, would that have put him out of the door, or would he have stayed in the room?

MATT: The door is currently closed.

LAURA: Okay. So that's how it works?

MATT: So yeah. I mean. Runs away from you. Look up the specific.

SAM: He has to move away, but he doesn't have to--

LAURA: "Move as far as its speed allows away for me."

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: As long as it's not into obviously dangerous ground.

TALIESIN: I wonder if that means, if it were a smart creature, it would move towards the door. If it was a dumb creature, it would just find a corner.

LAURA: Yeah, I know. I don't know.

MATT: No, I would say for this point, he would actually try and push through the door. Who closed the door behind you as you came in?

LAURA: Who was the last person in?

MARISHA: I think it was Orym.

SAM: We all rushed in.

MATT: Would you have locked it behind you, or would you have kept it open?

SAM: We definitely closed it because there was a simurgh.

MATT: I know it's closed.

TALIESIN: I don't remember you locking it, but I remember thinking, don't lock it.

LIAM: I didn't-- Well. Yeah, but Matt's asking.

MATT: I'm asking you what Orym would've done.

LIAM: He was the last one in and not wanting people to walk in behind us, he would've locked it.

MATT: Okay. So then that's as far as he gets. He tries to-- and not having the time to go for any sort of key mechanism, spins around, weapon still out, (growls) just growls and emits a long sigh. All right, that finishes your go. Technically, the shade creepers would've gone this round, but I didn't [inaudible] around for that. So just the one that's frightened of you, which cannot get closer to you because it's frightened. So it's going to go ahead and maneuver over to Laudna.

LAURA: Actually, I think it's afraid of Laudna. It's not afraid--

MATT: Oh, sorry, you're right.

LAURA: Yeah, it's not afraid of--

MATT: So then it's going to move over to Imogen.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: (nervous noises)

MATT: And so as it's (scared noises) It runs, you're still in sight, so it will have disadvantage on its attacks?

TALIESIN: Would it have started within 15 feet of me?

MATT: It would have.

TALIESIN: So it has to-- It doesn't matter. It gets pulled 10 feet towards me regardless.

MATT: That's true. So, through five, 10.

MARISHA: That's cool. Tank.

MATT: So yeah, it pulls towards you, and then it's right there, but now it's melee with you as well.

TALIESIN: Yeah. So it still gets to decide.

MATT: Correct. Yeah.

LAURA: So it hit me.

MATT: So it's going to attack you, Imogen.

TALIESIN: With disadvantage.

MATT: With disadvantage, correct. Which brings it to-- Because it's frightened of her and still within eyesight. That puts it at a 11.

LAURA: It doesn't hit me!

MATT: He goes to strike towards you, and you rear your back, but the magical mage armor suddenly lights up and you see it dash off the strike. No effect against you. Finishing its go. Orym, you're up, with Laudna on deck.

LIAM: So Orym saw Imogen get rocked, so he's going to leap down into the doorway, run up right in front of her and just nudge her back with his shield arm. I'm going to spend a superiority die to switch places with her. And you gain two points to your AC. You, through this turn. So your AC is two higher.

LAURA: Really, does that buff with my mage armor that I did, too?

LIAM: Yeah. Yeah.

LAURA: Whoa!

MATT: For this turn.

LIAM: I'm standing in front of you. And just holding the shield in front of this, the little weirdo.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: Okay. That finishes your go. Laudna, you're up, with Fearne on deck.

MARISHA: All right, I'm going to back up, if I can, towards the back wall, far as I can. And I'm going to Bane, of course, the Duges.

MATT: Natural 19. Sorry, he resists it.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: (groan)

MARISHA: Duges.

SAM: Duginator.

MATT: Oh, Duginator. Throwback. Hey, buddy!

MARISHA: I'll Bane this one that's threatening my friends.

MATT: Right here?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: And then I'll Bane-- Gosh, I have one more. I guess just this one who's closest.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: Bane.

MARISHA: Bane! Those don't count as--

MATT: That guy goes to save and see if he's--

MARISHA: Frightened?

MATT: He's no longer frightened of you.

MARISHA: He is not.

MATT: But he is Baned.

MARISHA: Does Bane not count as-- Because it says if you hit something, then it-- but that has to be an attack roll, correct? Bane.

MATT: Attack rolls and saving throws have minus 1d4. Technically, it would've made its save before it got Baned.

MARISHA: No, I mean--

TALIESIN: It doesn't go away.

MARISHA: With my fear of-- or with my Form of Dread, does Bane make them have to do a wisdom save or be afraid of me?

MATT: It's not an attack.

MARISHA: That's what I thought. It just says, "If you hit a creature--"

MATT: Hitting something means you rolled an attack. I'm pretty sure.

MARISHA: Cool.

MATT: Pretty sure. We'll look it up. But anyway, is that--

MARISHA: That's my turn.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah. That's what I got.

SAM: ♪ Lovin' ♪

LAURA: I know. Me too.

MARISHA: ♪ Is what I got. ♪

MATT: Fearne, what you got?

ASHLEY: Okay. That's the Duges over there next to Ashton?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Correct.

ASHLEY: Okay. So I'm going to--

MARISHA: With an attack roll.

MATT: Does it say with an attack roll? Yes, it is.

SAM: What do I do? What do I do?

ASHLEY: I'm going get myself into that room.

MATT: Okay. You can move over here.

ASHLEY: Great. And I am going to shoot three Scorching Rays.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: At Mr. Dugger.

MATT: All three at him?

ASHLEY: Where are the other ones again?

MATT: There's one right there and there's two over there.

LAURA: Woof.

ASHLEY: I wonder if they'll get called off if he-- I'm going to do two at him and one at the guys, one of the little ones over there.

MATT: Over by Dorian?

ASHLEY: Yeah. You choose.

MATT: You got it.

ASHLEY: It's just up to you.

MATT: Sure. Okay.

LAURA: One of them is Baned.

MATT: So roll for attacks against Dugger.

ASHLEY: First one does not hit. Second one hits.

MATT: What'd you roll for the second one?

ASHLEY: 18 plus--

MATT: That definitely hits, yeah. And then for the other guy?

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: Hits. So roll 2d6 damage for the hit on Dugger.

ASHLEY: Four for the first one, and seven for the second one.

MATT: Seven for the second one. (creature screech)

MARISHA: Hey! You hit, Dugger went (growls) gets hit and you see it bounces off the shoulder a bit, burns him, but not terribly. You fire the second one, and it arcs just past the box and the one that's standing above on top of it hits the one on the other side of Dorian, and you watch them just (yells) and explode.

LAURA: Oh, they do explode.

MATT: Well, it lands. I need you to make a dexterity saving throw for me, please.

ROBBIE: Whuh-oh. ♪ Oh, oh, I thank you ♪ for the [inaudible] ♪ 15.

MATT: 15. You take one point of fire damage as it burns to ash, but you shrug it off. Okay. Fearne.

ASHLEY: And as a bonus action, I am going to bring my staff to life.

MATT: Okay. (hisses)

ASHLEY: I could use these snakes at some point. They're ready to go.

MATT: Snakes are at the ready. You got it. Okay. Finishing Fearne's go, brings us to Fresh Cut Grass, with Dorian on deck.

SAM: Oh boy. No one's in the room with me?

MATT: Nope. You're alone.

SAM: And I'm stuck in the beer puddle, right?

MATT: Make a strength check for me, please.

SAM: All right. (laughter) Oh boy. Six.

MATT: Six, your speed is zero. You are stuck. You're literally like (squealing)

ASHLEY: Oh no!

SAM: How's it going over there?

TALIESIN: Not great!

SAM: I need some salt or some sand or something. I'm spinning out!

MATT: You can just barely see Fearne and Imogen in the next room.

SAM: And I can't see any baddies. So I guess I'll just have to support, then.

LAURA: Oh my god, I thought something really dripped. It's just [inaudible].

LIAM: [Inaudible]

ASHLEY: Drip, drip.

LIAM: Well done.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Boy, oh boy. I can see Imogen, Fearne, and a bit of Ash. Oh, okay. Then that's it.

MATT: Imogen and Fearne are the only ones you can see from this perspective where you are.

SAM: I don't know who's doing what. I guess I'll help Imogen, but I don't know what to help her with.

MARISHA: She's hurt.

LIAM: She's real hurt.

SAM: Yeah, I know. I can do Healing Word. That's not going to do much, but maybe I can do it at a higher level. Can I do it at a higher level? Does that work? Does that scale?

MATT: Yeah, it gets 2d4, as opposed 1d4.

SAM: I'll do a 2nd-level Healing Word.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: Okay. Okay, that's 2d4. Three. Three that's six plus--

MATT: It's your wisdom modifier.

SAM: Three.

LAURA: So nine points?

SAM: Nine points.

LAURA: That's great.

LIAM: There we go.

SAM: Okay. Okay. That helps.

LIAM: More than halfway to full.

LAURA: That's right.

MATT: What's the Healing Word?

MARISHA: Level three.

SAM: The Healing Word is--

ASHLEY: Squishy.

LAURA: I know.

LIAM: Caleb remembers.

SAM: Carpe BM. Well, when we're in a real shitty situation, you just got to seize it. You know?

LAURA: Seize the shit. (laughter) Thanks, Letters.

MATT: All right, does that finish your turn?

SAM: That's a bonus action, right? So what can I do as an action?

LAURA: Can you try to unstick yourself as an action?

SAM: Boy, oh boy!

MATT: If you want to spend an action to try and break free, I'll allow it.

SAM: Okay. I can't cast another spell. So what I'll do is an action, then. Because I've still got my grapple thing, I'll fire it and try to pull myself forward.

MATT: Interesting. So you get the grapple arm out and fire it. Roll a strength check with advantage.

SAM: Okay. 13. Two.

MATT: Easy enough to do.

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MATT: (zooming) (cheering) You pull yourself forward.

ROBBIE: You're free!

SAM: Rollies!

ASHLEY: Rollies!

MATT: Catch yourself there. You land in another bit of muck. We'll deal with that next round. (laughter) At least you have a visual range of the chamber. All right, that finishes your go. Dorian, you're up.

ROBBIE: Fearne nuked the second guy, right?

MATT: Correct.

ROBBIE: So it's just one-v-one right now?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

ROBBIE: Cool, pull out my--

MATT: You hear more skittering coming from down the hole in the wall.

SAM: Damn skittering!

ROBBIE: How much skittering? How close is the skittering? Do I get to know?

MATT: It sounds like it's getting closer.

ROBBIE: Ugh, fluff.

MATT: In the midst of all the sound and chaos around you, you're unable to really ascertain how close.

ROBBIE: I have kids. (laughter)

MARISHA: That's the cutest.

ROBBIE: They better be in bed! Yeah. Okay. I'll do this quick, then. Then I'll pull out my moon-touched scimitar and I'll take a swipe at the creep up there.

MATT: Go for it.

ROBBIE: ♪ Okay, beep, boop ♪ ♪ Beep, boop, beep, boop ♪ ♪ That's a two ♪ (laughter)

LIAM: That's just right.

MATT: (whooshes) It jumps in the air and it just skitters into the air around it, scraping the back wall, no impact.

ROBBIE: Oh, I hate you! And then I'll unclip my axe and I'll go another go for two-handed combat.

MATT: Let's do it.

ROBBIE: Oh, please. (yelling)

LAURA: What is it?

ROBBIE: Does that count as cocked? Probably not. ♪ It's very bad ♪ ♪ I'm going to miss again ♪ That would be-- Well, maybe not. 11.

MATT: 11? Misses, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Oh, dang it.

MATT: And it will slippery dash away.

SAM: Slippery dash.

ASHLEY: Oh, what a bitch.

LAURA: Not the slippery dash.

MATT: Head over into that space.

ROBBIE: With more on the way. Cool, cool, cool, cool.

ASHLEY: Wait, does he get an attack of opportunity?

MATT: Slippery dash, it avoids that. All right, that finishes your turn.

ASHLEY: That was a--

LAURA: Slippy dash.

MARISHA: Slippy dash.

MATT: You can move, if you want.

ROBBIE: I want to move.

MATT: Yeah, where do you want to move?

ROBBIE: I want to move away from the skitter hole because I'm all fucked up.

LIAM: Slippery dash, that's my stage name.

ROBBIE: Where can I even go to get me-- I'm going to get swiped at everywhere, aren't I? Can I vault over that and try to get over to Orym's left without being tagged?

MATT: You can try it. Getting over there.

LIAM: Oh, it's gooey.

MATT: Make a strength check.

ROBBIE: This going to go great, I'm sure.

MATT: A saving throw, sorry.

ROBBIE: Fuck me!

MARISHA: Dude!

ROBBIE: Six.

ASHLEY: No!

MATT: Six. (laughter)

MATT: Robbie!

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: I'm going to mix them up. I'm going to mix them up.

MATT: You miss twice, vault over the box, go towards Orym, and then caught right there.

TALIESIN: Gum.

ROBBIE: Gum trap. (laughter)

MATT: All right.

SAM: Did you say "come trap"?

ROBBIE: No!

LAURA: I totally thought that's what he said.

ROBBIE: I have kids. Never.

ASHLEY: I was like, woo!

ROBBIE: That's it.

MATT: Dugger.

ROBBIE: What a shit show.

MATT: Dugger is going to go ahead and like, (heaves). "Oh, this'll be fun."

TALIESIN: Is Dugger right next to me or--

MATT: No, Dugger is way across the room from you. So he's going to step forward, blades out. And walking forward towards the rest of your group. Not even looking at Laudna. Barely making a glance over to try and make all four strikes against you.

SAM: Use Shield!

MATT: That is going to be a 14 hit.

MARISHA: Shield.

LIAM: Yeah!

MATT: Boof! It deflects the first strike. The next strike is a natural one.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: Deflects the second one. Now, the rapier's coming in. That is going to be a 26 to hit, and a 21 to hit. (groaning)

MATT: So the two rapier strikes come through. The two shortswords deflected, angrily comes back with the other two strikes for nine points of piercing damage for the first one, and seven points of piercing damage for the second one.

MARISHA: 16 total. Jesus.

LAURA: Thank god he missed on the first two, though.

MARISHA: And my temporary hit points?

SAM: Oh, you had temporary hit points?

MARISHA: Yeah, Form of Dread.

SAM: Cool!

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: So I'm okay, I'm actually okay.

LAURA: Okay. Good.

MARISHA: Pretty good. Pretty good.

MATT: Is going to move slightly back there, after expecting to just eviscerate you and pull back a bit. And look back at the rest of the group with a, "Come on." The shoulder hunched, curled down in the ground, ready. All right. With that, it's going to go ahead and bring us to-- You hear the skittering. Once more from that opening back there, another one emerges from the hole. It does take damage from the caltrops that were thrown down there.

ASHLEY: Nice.

ROBBIE: Woo!

MATT: Not as much, but those are really messing up their entrances.

ROBBIE: Does it have to do the dex thing when they do it? I think it's 15 and then their movement speed is reduced if they fail. Should I double check that?

MATT: Let's double check that.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: I'm saying for this, here's the thing, I'm doing this differently for the caltrops because this isn't so much like trying to run past it. This is creature scrambling up a really short space and then grinding into them and pulling their way through. So this is slowing their movement regardless. They have no way to avoid it as they emerge, and they take a little bit of damage as they come through.

ROBBIE: Cool.

MATT: But at this point, the caltrops have been used. Three of them have come through and they've all been steadily damaged as they do. Yeah. All right. Finishing that arrival, Ashton, you're up with Imogen on deck.

TALIESIN: I'm going to saunter up to that asshole, Dugger, avoiding as much sticky as I can.

MATT: Yeah, there's none in this spot here.

TALIESIN: Can I slowly start to rotate around them and try and get them into a good position against Laudna?

MATT: You mean over here?

TALIESIN: Try and--

LAURA: Into flanking position?

TALIESIN: Into a flanking position.

MATT: With Laudna?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You can, five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. You can certainly try.

TALIESIN: Sure.

MATT: All right. So you move around and there is an attack of opportunity against you from the--

LIAM: Creeper.

MATT: The creeper right there.

TALIESIN: Suck it. And he also has Bane.

MATT: He does. I know. That is going to be... seven. So it just lashes out into nothing so far away from you. You're not even paying attention.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so you move around.

TALIESIN: Yep, I move around.

MATT: Half standing on the bench as Dugger's right there.

TALIESIN: Getting up, setting up, and I'm going to take-- and I'm also going to make this a reckless attack.

MATT: Okay. And you have him flanked.

TALIESIN: Oh, fair point. So, never mind.

MARISHA: 18.

LIAM: Eight total?

MARISHA: 18. I got temporary hit points.

TALIESIN: That's a-- God, I'm going blind. 19 to hit?

MATT: 19 does hit.

TALIESIN: And I'm going to put a Chaos Burst in that.

MATT: Do it.

TALIESIN: Just for fun. That's if I can find the die. Ooh, of cold damage. So many dice with barbarians. Okay, here we go. Oh god, I'm just being a beast. 17 points of my normal damage. I'm rolling so well when it comes to damage and then five points of cold.

MATT: So 22 total?

TALIESIN: Yes.

MATT: He's going to go ahead and use his reaction to Uncanny Dodge that to 11.

TALIESIN: Cool.

MARISHA: Damn.

MATT: (snarls) Takes the hit, but you see it glances off the back. It hits the hunch of the shoulders and it squishes a little bit. It's gross. Is that your turn?

TALIESIN: Yep. Keep dodging. Keep dodging.

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

LAURA: All right, I'm going to step up. Am I within melee range of that little dude?

MATT: You are.

LAURA: Okay, then I'm going to step up next to him and I'm going to telekinetic shove him to the side so he's like five feet into the goop.

MATT: Okay. He... does not make his save.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: He gets shoved five feet into that.

LAURA: And then my hair's going to start to float up a little bit around me and you're going to see a little bit of electricity start to climb up my arm a bit, and I'm going to cast Witch Bolt out onto Doo-ger.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll an attack.

SAM: ♪ (Doogie Howser theme) ♪

LAURA: Doo-ger. I'm adding my thing to that. Yeah. So that's 14 plus six. So 20.

MATT: That does hit. Bardic Inspiration came in handy.

MARISHA: Yes, yes!

LAURA: Yes! Okay. So that is a d12. Ooh, 11 points of electric damage.

MATT: Nice!

LAURA: And I'm just going to hold that beam on him.

MATT: So he is currently now being concentrated blast of Witch Bolt onto his form.

LIAM: Take that, Neil Patrick Harris. (laughter)

MATT: And have you hexed him yet? I thought you mentioned you were going to--

MARISHA: I'm not. I have Bane up instead.

MATT: That's right.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. So after the blast hits (snarling), the energy burst out of the chest for Bane, you can now see (sparking) arcing through his body in places, lighting up around the dark cloak. You can see now from the impacts he's taken, the cloak-- a better look of the inside of the body, and there's the dwarven form there, but the shoulders and back is oddly swollen. Does that finish your turn?

LAURA: Uh-huh.

MATT: All right. It's now the shade creepers' turn.

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: It's going to leap over and follow here. This one's going to rush forward there. And this one's going to turn and rush over to you there, Ashton. So that's a strike against from your back. The one that just emerged as you rush over and get stuck, it's going to come over. (snarling) That's going to be a 14 to hit.

ROBBIE: It does not.

MATT: You just manage to duck out of the way and use your blade to parry its claws off to the side. (snarling) No effect. The one that's rushing towards you, Ashton. That's going to be a nine. It goes to strike towards you and you just deflect with the butt of the hammer, barely even any effort. One's coming after you, Imogen. That's going to be a 14 to hit.

LAURA: Doesn't hit!

MATT: Doesn't hit. All three of them miss.

MARISHA: Fuck yes.

SAM: Wow.

MATT: They just start growling angrily. All right, that finishes their go. Orym, you're up, with Laudna on deck.

LIAM: Boy. And so Laudna is-- Okay. Okay. I'm going to bolt and risk an attack of opportunity. I'm going to run under Imogen's legs towards Doogie.

MATT: It does get an attack of opportunity against you as you rush past it. That is going to be a 24 to hit.

LIAM: It definitely hits.

MARISHA: Bane doesn't make any difference here, does it?

MATT: No, it does, actually. That brings it to a 20 to hit.

LIAM: Still hits.

MATT: So you take, as it claws towards you, six points of slashing damage, plus... 12 points of necrotic.

ALL: Whoa!

MATT: Double sixes.

LIAM: I'm fucked up. Okay. Is there enough room for me to get to here to count for flanking from Ashton?

MATT: Ashton is flanking with Laudna.

LIAM: Oh, so they're already full up.

MATT: So right now, you're--

LIAM: Okay. All right, that's what it is then. I'm going to use a bonus action to feint and attack.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: So that's at advantage. Oh, that's a one, so I get to reroll it. Yep. That is a 14 to hit on him.

MATT: 14 to hit, misses.

LIAM: Okay. Action surge. I will attack again.

MATT: The shortsword deflects your blade to the side. He knew you were coming.

LIAM: Okay, next one is 18 plus six, so that's 24 to hit.

MATT: That does hit. Go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: And this is going to be a goading attack.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Ooh.

MARISHA: Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

TALIESIN: That's going to be very interesting.

ASHLEY: Come on. Come on.

LIAM: Five plus four is nine, plus the d8... (groans) is 11. And now any attack that's not on me is at disadvantage.

MATT: That's great. 11 points of damage. After he parries the first attack to the side.

LIAM: Sorry, I'll say as he parries me aside, I reach out with the blade and get under his ear and pull out and cut him underneath.

MATT: As you catch him there, the blade goes past. A normal person would just go to the ear. But from where the shoulder is raised and hunched, you carve past and pull back. And as you do, he bundles forward. The cloak falls open a bit from the slashing and you can see the back is bulging a bit, and something is quivering underneath before it pops. And you watch as a shade creeper-- (snarls) emerges-- (yelling)

MATT: -- from his back.

ROBBIE: He's got back babies.

LIAM: Gizmo. No.

ASHLEY: Ew, I hate it.

LAURA: That is so foul.

MATT: With no cloak. It's just its odd little skittering, demonic, humanoid-like body.

TALIESIN: This is three shades in a cloak. In a trenchcoat.

ASHLEY: Are these--

LIAM: (monster voice) Gizmo.

ROBBIE: They go to the movies together.

TALIESIN: He's trying real hard to--

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: So there's just one there, or we don't know?

MATT: It looked like it's large enough where there wasn't a lot of room for a second one for right now.

TALIESIN: It's too much work to see a Tarantino film, just saying.

LIAM: Does it look like him--

MATT: No.

LIAM: -- at all? All right.

MATT: It looks like all the rest of the shade creepers you've seen.

TALIESIN: Has his eyes.

MATT: All right. (laughter)

MATT: He recoils from it. (growls) Angrily growls and gets his weapons at the ready. Does that finish your turn?

LIAM: Sure does.

MATT: All right, Orym, you're done. Laudna, you're up, with Fearne on deck.

MARISHA: Does your goading attack keep him from-- it's focused on you?

LIAM: Well, that's up to Matt, but anything on anyone but me is at disadvantage.

MARISHA: All right.

LIAM: The idea is I've done something to piss him off.

ASHLEY: He has disadvantage against hitting anyone?

MATT: Anybody but him.

LIAM: On anyone but me.

TALIESIN: I'll also say that, technically, he has disadvantage on hitting anyone but me as well.

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: Oh.

ROBBIE: Oh.

TALIESIN: So I don't think there's a good option here.

MATT: Not really. With the two of you with your specific features right now--

LAURA: He has disadvantage on everything.

TALIESIN: Got him pinned real hard.

LIAM: (impacts)

MATT: Yeah, essentially. (laughs)

MARISHA: Okay, seeing this, this is a lot for Laudna and I'm going to, after being hit, stumble backwards and away from him.

LAURA: I imagine you said that out loud. I would like-- (laughter)

MARISHA: A lot for Laudna! And I'm going to stumble back.

MATT: He does not have his reaction because he used it to do that.

MARISHA: Great, I'm going to go and butt up with my witches be bitches.

LIAM: Don't make me use necromancy.

ASHLEY: ♪ Witches be bitches! ♪

MARISHA: Awesome squad moment here, and I'm going to bump into Fearne, and look at Fearne, and I'm going to look at Imogen and I'm going to start once again, Jacob's ladder comes out and I'm going to hold an Eldritch Blast for when Fearne attacks.

MATT: Okay. All right.

SAM: Combo moves.

MATT: You've got it. All right, that finishes Laudna's go. Fearne, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay. So seeing this, making eye contact with my bitchy witches, witch bitches,

LAURA: Either way.

ASHLEY: Doesn't work. We're bitches.

MARISHA: It depends on the moment.

ASHLEY: I'm going to just step down real slowly and saunter over hippily walking over to Dugger.

MARISHA: Because you still have your Witch Bolt connected too, right?

LAURA: That's still going. Yeah.

ASHLEY: And I'm going to take out my Thorn Whip and wrap it around his neck and try to turn him around towards Laudna.

MATT: Okay!

ASHLEY: To get him ready.

MATT: Is that an attack from you, or saving throw for him?

ASHLEY: It's an attack.

MATT: You technically have advantage because you are flanking with--

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's right.

SAM and MATT: Ashton.

TALIESIN: I've got you.

ASHLEY: Ugh.

LAURA: Advantage, advantage!

ASHLEY: Okay. 15.

MATT: 15 does not hit.

ASHLEY: Damn it!

MATT: Unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay, okay, that would've been cool. So then--

MARISHA: Do I keep holding mine?

ASHLEY: -- bonus action--

MATT: Well, no, you were holding it until she attacked, so your attack still goes off.

LAURA: So, yeah, you still do it.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

ASHLEY: Let me see if I--

SAM: Cool combo move!

LIAM and MARISHA: (explosions)

ASHLEY: No, maybe-- Oh, no, I can't use that because that's 2nd-level. Okay, that's it.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Still using-- here's what I want to do, still using as her Thorn Whip goes out. I'm going to embrace that, and I'm going to try to wrap the spell around her Thorn Whip and shoot it towards him.

MATT: That's cool. So what you do is you go and you strike with the Thorn Whip, he ducks out of the way and as it spins around the momentum of it, curving backwards, you fire your Eldritch Blast into the whip--

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: -- which energizes it with her eldritch energy and you swing around for a second hit, and with that, go ahead and-- you roll the damage for the--

ASHLEY: I just start laughing. I just go: Oh, ho, ho, ho! Wow!

MARISHA: You see that your Thorn Whip start to rot and get black and drippy for a little bit.

MATT: So, actually I'm going to have her go ahead and roll the damage for that.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: So go ahead and roll d10 and add-- what's your charisma modifier?

MARISHA: My charisma modifier is a plus three.

MATT: Okay. So go ahead and roll a d10, Fearne.

ASHLEY: Roll a d10?

MATT: Because you are delivering her Eldritch Blast via your Thorn Whip.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: (gasps)

ASHLEY: 10.

ROBBIE: Yo!

MATT: Oh, hell yeah. Okay.

ROBBIE: Woo.

ASHLEY: Hell yes.

MATT: That is awesome. So, ducks, looks up with a grin and as you start cackling and laughing, spinning around, he turns away and the whip just wraps around his throat and (explosion) bursts into his neck and you hear him go (gurgling scream) in pain as he tears it off of his neck and it comes back to you. That was fucking awesome.

ASHLEY: Cool.

LAURA: That was nice.

MATT: So, cool effect. If something like-- Which, for the record, combining effects like that and spells, all for it. If it managed to succeed on both sides, bonus damage, fun little things there. So always down for combo stuff.

ASHLEY: Cool.

MATT: All righty, so does that finish your turn? Or your turn? Because you were holding for that, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yes, I'm done.

MARISHA: Yes, so, Laudna and Fearne together, yeah.

MATT: You got it.

ASHLEY: But staying close to him.

MATT: Yeah, you're right there. Fresh Cut Grass?

SAM: Oh.

MATT: You're up, with Dorian on deck.

SAM: That guy in front of me who's been Baned, has he been hit yet?

MATT: He's wounded, yeah.

SAM: Okay. I'll try to take him out then before he gets to Imogen.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I guess-- I'm not very good at attacking.

MATT: Roll a strength save first, since you are standing in the goop.

SAM: Oh boy.

LIAM: Nope.

SAM: 16.

LAURA: Yay.

ROBBIE: Whoa!

MATT: All righty, so yeah, you're free to go. So what are you doing?

SAM: I will attack that creeper with-- Boy, I don't have many good attacks, so I'll do-- I'll do my Sacred Flame.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Which is the thing that I do.

MATT: With a natural eight, he does not succeed. So go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: It's only 1d8. Eight! (cheering)

MATT: (fire roaring, screech)

MARISHA: Good rolls. Good damage rolls, y'all.

MATT: Burns up from the flame and then turns to ash himself. I need Imogen to roll a dexterity save for me.

SAM: Oh no, did I burn you?

LAURA: It's okay. Oh, no, that's fine, I rolled a pretty good save, 17.

MATT: Three points of fire damage to you.

SAM: Oh, I'm sorry.

LAURA: That's okay, I have temporary hit points.

SAM: I don't know how these things work.

LAURA: It's fine, honey. (laughter)

SAM: It's a flame that shoots out of my chest. (laughter) I can't control it. I'll move into the room, and bonus action, I will imbue Orym through our bond with four temporary hit points.

LIAM: Aw. (powering up sound)

SAM: I can only do that once per connection, I assume.

MATT: Well, you can do it-- It just takes you a bonus action to do it, but you can't stack temporary hit points either.

SAM: Got it, so it's--

LAURA: So once the hit points are gone, then you can do it again.

MATT: You can do it again.

SAM: I can re-give to Imogen--

MATT: You could.

SAM: -- if she got hit, by a--

TALIESIN: Four's the max.

MATT: Exactly. But you can't give anybody more than four.

SAM: Got it. Great.

MATT: All right. So that finishes your go?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Dorian, you're up.

ROBBIE: Oh man!

MATT: The one guy behind you.

LAURA: You can do it!

MATT: Make a strength save right now to see if you can break free from this sticky substance.

SAM: Four temporary hit points.

ROBBIE: Uh, mm. 12.

MATT: 12 succeeds.

ROBBIE: Oh, okay!

MATT: It's a low DC. You break free.

ROBBIE: So I pull my sticky foot out of there and just rub my head and I go: Fucking you can do this. You were trained for this. I turn around and face this guy.

ASHLEY: Let's go!

ROBBIE: And I lower my eyes and I go: I hate you guys!

MATT: (screams)

ROBBIE: (yells)

LAURA: (laughs) Please be good.

ROBBIE: 24. (cheering)

MATT: Definitely hits.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage on that.

ROBBIE: All right, so moon-touched scimitar, I'll take a little swing. And that is a nine.

SAM: Wow.

MATT: Nine points of damage. Angrily, you carve past and you see him like (groans) duck out of the way and you're like, "Ah fuck, it didn't hit him." (gurgling) Just slumps to the ground.

ROBBIE: Ha! Ha ha! I fucking knew it! But then I'm going to turn around the other--

MATT: Then he burns into ash. Make a dexterity saving throw.

ROBBIE: Oh shit! (laughter)

ROBBIE: I don't even know if I can survive this. 12.

MATT: Two points of fire damage.

LIAM: It's amazing, you shouted, "Fucking knew it," and it exploded. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Just like Wile E. Coyote. Face full of--

SAM: Amazing.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Then, where is everyone else?

MATT: They're over on the corner.

LIAM: Around the slime dude.

ROBBIE: In the corner? How far am I from the Baned guy?

MATT: You are about 20 feet from him.

ROBBIE: That's perfect, I will turn to face him and I'll use my bonus action for two-weapon fighting, but I've got my axe that I can throw.

MATT: That's true.

ROBBIE: So I'm going to go: All right, ooh, lightning strikes twice, and I'm going to wing it at him.

MATT: (rotational whooshing sound)

ROBBIE: Fuck me. It does not. That would be a seven.

MATT: Oh no.

MARISHA: Oh.

MATT: It looks like it's about to, and instead (vibrating) it sticks into the upside down table about three inches from behind it. It's right there. One for two, one for two, not bad.

MATT: If you want to move up, you can catch up and retrieve it.

ROBBIE: I will. I will run up and get the next.

MATT: You do that.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: Stepping over the table to get there and then-- Actually, if you want to avoid the sticky elements, you can stay on the table, if you want to.

ROBBIE: I will. Great.

MATT: You got it. Okay.

ROBBIE: That's it for me.

MATT: That finishes your go. All right, top of the round. It's Dugger's go. Dugger--

LIAM: Doog, Doog. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Come on, Doug. Douggy, Douggy baby.

MARISHA: It's Doug, isn't it?

MATT: Okay, yeah.

LIAM: [Inaudible], come on.

MATT: He's going to go ahead and shift this way. Still staying in melee. You watch his throat--

ASHLEY: Uh oh.

MATT: (gurgling) Bulge up like a bullfrog. Then (spewing groan)

SAM: Oh!

MATT: A thicker, oil-like substance, of the kind that has covered the room, just emerges outward--

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: Yeah, we're getting context here.

LAURA: Oh no, and like everybody-- (groaning)

ROBBIE: Oh no!

MATT: So I need, Imogen--

SAM: The witchy bitchies.

MATT: -- Laudna,

MARISHA: No.

LIAM: Does it go over my head?

MATT: Fearne and-- No, no, it sprays over there. And Orym to go ahead and make a-- Yeah, it's just too short to get to Fresh Cut Grass. I need you all to make dexterity saving throws for me.

ASHLEY: Do we have advantage?

MATT: You do not.

ASHLEY: Because, I don't know why.

SAM: I think you're okay.

MARISHA: Oh, I'm fine. I'm going to be great.

ASHLEY: Is this a magical-- Is this a magical effect? Or a spell of some sort?

MATT: It's not a magical effect or a spell.

ASHLEY: It's just some shit.

MATT: It's just some nasty stuff. So from this point, Laudna?

MARISHA: Natural one.

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: Natural one. You take 12 points of necrotic damage.

MARISHA: Ugh.

SAM: Ouch.

MATT: Sorry, sorry, poison damage to you.

MARISHA: Oh.

SAM: Are you immune to that or anything?

MARISHA: Um.

LIAM: I have advantage against poison.

MARISHA: I don't think I am yet. Should I be rerolling?

MATT: Reroll that thing, yeah.

MARISHA: Not yet, 12 points of poison damage.

MATT: So 12 points of poison damage.

ASHLEY: 21.

MATT: You take six points of poison damage.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: 16?

MATT: Six points of poison damage.

LIAM: Actually, I don't roll again. I just have resistance against the damage. So it's a low roll, it's an eight.

MATT: So you take six points of poison damage and I need you-- So, who failed? The failure is both of you. You are both also poisoned, as the slime begins to burn into your bodies and you feel--

MARISHA: That's not good.

MATT: You feel the (thudding) sensation.

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: I can get poisoned. Let me see. Right now, I can get poisoned, I think.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: I know, I know.

LAURA: I rolled a constitution save for my concentration spell.

MATT: Okay, good looking out.

LAURA: And I passed.

MATT: You're good. Then as a bonus action, he's going to go ahead and dash away--

LIAM: Attack of--?

MATT: Nope, because he has--

LIAM: Because he's a slippery dick?

MATT: Yep, because he has cunning action where he can disengage.

LIAM: Okay, cool.

LAURA: Jeez.

TALIESIN: I was going to say, my gravity effect doesn't hold him back for that, it would just pull--

MATT: No, it's just top of the round and brings him in. So that's going to go ahead and finish his go.

ROBBIE: Jeez.

MATT: The skittering continues because that hole is still open.

SAM: Oh no!

LAURA: Oh, we got to block it.

SAM: You could have plugged that hole.

LAURA: Plug that hole! No, put a crate in front of it so if they broke--

ROBBIE: I think they're going to come through the crate.

LAURA: It's open!

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Oh man.

MATT: Ashton, you're up. Imogen, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I'm going to circle around that shadow creature because I'm not-- Dugger ain't getting away from me.

MATT: Okay, you're moving around this way?

TALIESIN: Yep. I'm going to get in their way.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm not going to create an attack of opportunity, and I'm going to Reckless Attack.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: Come on. Don't do anything stupid.

LAURA: So you're attacking the shade creeper?

TALIESIN: No, I'm attacking Dugger.

MATT: Oh, I misunderstood.

TALIESIN: I'm so sorry.

MATT: So you went around this way?

TALIESIN: Uh.

MATT: Because you were here, you were next to the shade creeper.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I wanted to get toward-- Yeah, I wanted to--

MATT: So if you want to get over to Dugger without getting into the slime, you'd have to get up onto this box.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's fine.

MATT: But the creature does get an attack of opportunity against you, so.

TALIESIN: Fine.

MATT: Did really well on that, natural 18. 24, or 23, sorry.

TALIESIN: Does that-- Doesn't matter. Yeah, that's fine.

MATT: So you take seven points of piercing damage.

TALIESIN: Reduced to three.

MATT: And seven points of necrotic.

TALIESIN: Reduced to seven.

MATT: You don't reduce--

TALIESIN: I know, it's just-- (laughter)

MATT: Yes, good call. As it strikes you from behind, but you keep brushing past, you leap up onto the box, right next to where Dugger is, and you see him (grunt) pulling back at the cloak's part of the side, you can see an empty pocket that was his shoulder previously holding one of these creatures.

TALIESIN: That's 22 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: So, and I'm adding a Chaos Burst to it.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: So let's hit him with-- Ooh, some lightning damage.

MATT: Oh, forgot to mention as a note, all of this is now covered in this slime.

MARISHA: Yeah, yep.

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: So that whole space there.

LIAM: So do we start turns with a save?

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Dude, got to close that hole.

TALIESIN: I'm rolling real well when it comes to damage. That's a six, seven, eight, nine, 16 points of normal damage.

MATT: Nice.

TALIESIN: And six points of lightning damage.

MATT: Nice, okay.

LAURA: You take it as a bonus--

MATT: (impact) (groaning) He's looking real angry, he's looking real hurt.

TALIESIN: That's everything I can fucking do. At the moment.

MATT: All right. That finishes your turn.

MARISHA: Dungeon Master.

MATT: That brings us to-- yes?

MARISHA: Would he still have to make a wisdom saving throw with my combined attack for fear? Dugger?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Just in case.

MATT: Natural 19.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's fine.

MATT: Sorry.

MARISHA: It's fine.

MATT: But good call.

MARISHA: Guess I'll keep going.

MATT: Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: All right. I've got my Witch Bolt on him. Tell me if I can do this. Can I spend a sorcery point and (crackling) and split off the Witch Bolt and hit somebody else with it?

MATT: Only while casting it.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: As part of the concentration effect, you can spend an action to just do the damage again. But with the initial casting, you can split it off.

LAURA: I have to split, okay.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: So I'm just going to try to hit him again, which I guess I just roll for again, right?

MATT: You don't even roll.

LIAM: It's automatic.

MATT: No, it's automatic, you just spend your action [inaudible] a Witch Bolt.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You just spend your next action as long as it's locked on it and he just takes the damage.

SAM: Cool.

LAURA: I'm going to give him some damage.

MATT: Roll a d12.

MARISHA: Come on!

SAM: Come on, big 12.

MARISHA: Come on!

LIAM: Zip zap.

LAURA: Nine points of lightning damage.

MATT: Nice!

MARISHA: That's good.

MATT: (blasting impact) (groaning) You can see the energy pulsing through and now it's arcing across the shoulders. It's arcing through his open wounds. The Witch Bolt has taken root into his flesh. That's awesome. You stay put? Actually, need you to make a strength saving throw for me to see if you can move at all.

LAURA: Stuck?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: 13?

MATT: 13? You can move, yeah, if you want to.

LAURA: Not a lot of places aren't sticky.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Sure, I'll back up against the wall next to the doorframe.

MATT: Up here?

LAURA: On the other side of FCG. Yeah, right there, because I don't want to--

TALIESIN: Healing's going to be a big thing pretty soon.

LAURA: Yeah, I want to use my bonus action to--

SAM: I got you.

LAURA: Yeah?

TALIESIN: He's making the face; I'm so worried.

SAM: I got you.

LAURA: Okay. All right.

MATT: All right, so finished your turn, Imogen?

LAURA: That's my turn.

MATT: All right. That brings us to the shade creepers.

LAURA: Because they get to go before you.

SAM: Uh oh.

LIAM: Here they come.

SAM: Shouldn't listen to me. ♪ We're in a ♪ jizz-filled room ♪ (laughter)

MATT: Oh my god. I hate you so much. (laughter)

MATT: This one is going to rush up to you, Orym.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: So there's one against you. That's going to be an 18 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits.

MATT: You take six points of piercing damage.

TALIESIN: Reduced to three.

MATT: Plus two points of necrotic. Sorry, no, five total. Five points, it's not halved.

TALIESIN: Oh.

MATT: So you take five points necrotic.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: The one against you, Orym, that's going to be a 17 to hit.

LIAM: Doesn't.

MATT: Doesn't hit.

LIAM: Shield up.

MATT: Shield up, knock it to the side. Then there is the one that is attacking you, Fearne. Natural 20.

TALIESIN: Ooh.

ROBBIE: Oh.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: Caduceus, negate it. (laughter)

ROBBIE: Finally takes her down.

TALIESIN: (as Caduceus) All right, here we go. Wait--

MATT: So that's seven points of slashing.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

SAM: Don't.

MATT: And 18 points of necrotic.

LAURA and TALIESIN: Whoa!

ASHLEY: I'm out. (shouting)

ROBBIE: No!

MATT: Fearne is down. (gasping)

ROBBIE: No, no, no!

MATT: One heavy crit strike.

SAM: In a puddle of jizz.

ALL: No!

LAURA: Don't say that.

ROBBIE: Was that one of the little guys?

MATT: Yeah. They're easy to kill, but they hit hard.

ROBBIE: Fuck.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Fuck.

ROBBIE: All that path to get there.

MATT: All right. That finishes their turn. That brings us to Orym, with Laudna on deck.

LIAM: Oh shit, so Orym is woozy, blade in hand. I'm going to make a drunken feint to the left and then dance back to the right and slice along its ribs. So that'll negate the disadvantage, the feint will, using a bonus action to do that. Oops, no, it's just a one roll. 17 plus six is 23 to hit.

MATT: Definitely hits, this is the one that's after Fearne or the other one?

LIAM: I'm going to do the one that's not baned.

MATT: Got it, okay.

LIAM: Ugh, come on. Five plus-- All my superiority dice have not rolled higher than a two. That's seven total on the short, jizz-covered gentleman. (laughter)

MATT: All righty. (laughs) You strike and cut across. (snarling) It takes the hit. This is the one that has no cloak and was birthed out of Dugger. So it's still standing.

LIAM: Okay, that's it. I'm stuck in place, right? It would take an action?

MATT: Well, no, make a strength save action.

LIAM: Strength save, ugh. Oh, I thought it was going to be an action, oh. Oh, that's great, 13.

MATT: 13, you can move if you want to, yeah. You have two of them right next to you.

SAM: I don't got you.

LAURA: No, I don't blame you.

LIAM: No, I'm going to stay where I am because I know that other people can come up behind them.

MATT: Got it.

ROBBIE: How much damage did you do on that one?

LIAM: Just seven.

MATT: Seven.

ROBBIE: Oh, okay.

LIAM: On that one.

MATT: But now currently all the ones that are standing have been damaged so far. All right, that finishes Orym's go. Laudna, you're up, with Fearne on deck.

MARISHA: (groans)

MATT: We'll get to that when we get to it.

MARISHA: (screams) Oh god, okay so.

LIAM: You got to fucking crush that guy's head.

TALIESIN: I'm trying!

MARISHA: Wait, where's the Duginator?

MATT: He's right there.

MARISHA: Ah, fuck this guy, Eldritch Blast!

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Fuck.

LIAM: Get him.

MATT: From across the room. You do have disadvantage because you are poisoned.

MARISHA: I-- what? I do?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: That was-- Well, that's real bad. (groans) 11, total.

MATT: Misses. (groaning)

MATT: The poison (pulsing) through your system, as you go to release it, like summoning the eldritch powers within you, your vision blurs and as you release the bolt, it streaks off and hits the far wall in the back kitchen. Hear some pots and pans break and hit the ground.

LIAM: Not the back kitchen!

MATT: No impact.

MARISHA: That fucking sucks. All right.

SAM: There's still so many of them.

MARISHA: Er, icky. That's, yeah, that's my turn.

MATT: Right.

MARISHA: I guess.

MATT: Finishing Laudna's go, Fearne. I need you to roll a death saving throw for me. (shouting)

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay.

ROBBIE: Come on, come on, come on.

SAM: First one of the campaign.

TALIESIN: Remember, do not kill anything next to Fearne. Because that would be the end.

MARISHA: That's true.

SAM: Oh yeah.

TALIESIN: Just a friendly reminder.

ASHLEY: Three, plus, do I add anything? Or its just a--

MATT: That's one failed death save.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay.

LAURA: Oh god!

TALIESIN: Do not kill anything next to Fearne.

MARISHA: We have to get rid of-- There's two shade creepers next to Fearne, two.

TALIESIN: Yeah, can't hit any of them.

LAURA: There's two right next to her.

LIAM: -- or was it five feet away?

LAURA: Five feet.

MATT: It was within five feet.

LIAM: So the one's 10 feet away, one's five feet away.

MATT: Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: I will cast, as a bonus action at 2nd-level, Healing Word on Ms. Fearne. If that's all right with you.

MARISHA: Come on, come on.

SAM: Two, three, three, that's eight points of healing.

LAURA: Yay, you're awake!

MATT: You come back to consciousness and your feet--

ASHLEY: Whew, that one got me pretty good. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Okay. Wait, what did I heal again, eight?

SAM: Eight points

MATT: You're at eight.

MARISHA: Thank god.

SAM: I will use my action to attack, even though y'all just said not to, the one right next to her with my grappling cannon.

MATT: Sure, yeah.

MARISHA: That's fine.

SAM: And I will try to pull him away.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: That would be great.

MARISHA: But if you kill him before--

SAM: 17 to hit.

MATT: 17 hits, go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: Then-- Oh wait, hold on, it's a d10 for damage on this one.

MATT: Yeah, with no bonus.

SAM: No bonus, yeah. It's cocked.

MARISHA: Cocked.

SAM: And that's a seven.

MATT: Great.

SAM: I pull him away.

MATT: You pull his corpse towards you--

SAM: Corpse?

MATT: -- just as it immolates. (laughter)

SAM: Oh!

MATT: So you stab it and pull it towards you, and as it comes towards you, (screeches) it burns into ash and showers you with black burning ash. I need you to make a dexterity saving throw.

SAM: Oh no, those aren't good. 18!

MATT: Nice! Take three points of fire damage.

SAM: All right! I'm still alive!

MATT: All right.

LIAM: ♪ Still alive ♪

MATT: That finishes your go. Dorian, you are up.

ROBBIE: All right. There's so much going on. (laughter)

MARISHA: I'm nervous scratching.

ASHLEY: Clawing your skin off.

ROBBIE: Could it be because of the way I've been rolling? No. How far away are those guys from me each? I'm right in between those two?

MATT: You're five feet from each of them.

ROBBIE: I'm so hurt. All right, I am going to cast--. It's like a cube, right? I'm going to cast Thunderwave.

SAM and TALIESIN: Ooh.

ROBBIE: Thunder. Would I hit them if I make myself the point of the cube?

MATT: Both of them? Not the two of them, no.

ROBBIE: Not the two of them.

MATT: It's a 15-foot cube. You can hit both of them and Ashton.

TALIESIN: Or if you move--

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: Yeah, if you move over here, you can get both.

LIAM: Or jump to the other side of the table, too.

MATT: That's true.

ROBBIE: Yeah. I just want to do maximum damage. All right.

LIAM: Maximum damage.

TALIESIN: Hitting the two that I'm engaged with would be awesome.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

TALIESIN: As long as you don't hit me.

ROBBIE: That's what I'll do. I'll move off, I guess, in front, forward, just enough to get out of range of hurting him.

MATT: Okay, I would--

LAURA: Would you still get Dugger?

MATT: Make a strength saving throw for me.

ROBBIE: Oh, the fucking goo. Ha, ha! Maybe not. 15.

MATT: 15, you're good.

ROBBIE: Good.

MATT: So you move over into this space and with that, you could do a Thunderwave cube that gets both of them and the table and everything in that space right there.

LAURA: Would the table go (fluttering)?

ROBBIE: Yeah, okay.

MATT: You'll find out.

SAM: Right into Imogen's face.

ROBBIE: I'll do it. I'll rub my hands together and give a nice loud clap and that's what sends the energy out.

MATT: (bursting) It blasts forward, this loud cracking thunder sound fills the chamber, everyone's ears ring for a second, and you hear the splintering sound of wood furniture being sundered from the impact. Go ahead and roll damage and I'll go ahead and make a save for each. Is it a dex save?

ROBBIE: It's a con save.

MATT: Right.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: Shade creeper, natural 20 on its save.

ROBBIE: Ooh. (vocalizing)

LIAM: Shoot.

MATT: Dugger does not save.

MARISHA: Not bad, not bad.

ROBBIE: Yeah. 15.

MATT: 15?

ROBBIE: Yeah. It's 3d8, right? Let me double check.

MATT: This guy (explosion).

SAM: Nice, nice, nice.

MATT: Blasted. I need both of you to make dexterity saving throws for me, please, as it is just, (shrieks) scattered into ash.

LAURA: Does it do damage to Dugger as well?

MATT: Yes, yes.

TALIESIN: Dex save, right?

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's not bad, 14?

ROBBIE: 12.

MATT: 14, you take two points of fire damage. You take two points of fire damage.

ASHLEY: Oh god.

TALIESIN: Is Dugger still standing?

LAURA: Dugger's still standing.

LIAM: Yeah, he sucks.

ROBBIE: That's got to end my turn.

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

ROBBIE: What's happening?! (laughter)

ROBBIE: Who did I murder?

LAURA: You murdered Dugger!

TALIESIN: You, who was the most useless of all.

ROBBIE: I did not murder Dugger!

LIAM: You did it, you did it!

ROBBIE: No, I don't believe it.

MATT: Dugger!

MARISHA: You murdered Dugger!

ROBBIE: Fuck that guy, he killed my friend, Bertrand!

LIAM: Narrate your glory!

LAURA: How did you do it?

ROBBIE: Oh man, when that energy left the body it felt good, and as it exploded out into this space, he feels it impact him from the side and then turns to look at everyone in the room, and he's just filled with hate and revulsion as his body goes (sizzles) sizzling into electric nastiness.

MARISHA: Yes!

MATT: And he burns away as well, with a flaming pyre of dark fire as he scatters. Make another dexterity save.

LAURA: My Witch Bolt fizzles away.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: It does.

LIAM: Jizz everywhere. (laughter)

MATT: Oh god.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: 16? So you take four points of fire damage.

ROBBIE: I'm sorry.

LAURA: I can't, oh okay, okay.

TALIESIN: I'm a barbarian.

LAURA: You're fine.

SAM: Black light, black light. (laughter)

MATT: You don't want to do that here, buddy.

LIAM: It's the end of Ghostbusters, they're all just like (groans).

MATT: All righty, well done. You still have 10 feet of movement, if you want.

SAM: Oh, yeah there's all sorts of other creatures.

LIAM: Got to plug the hole.

ROBBIE: The creeper hole. I'll move up right next to Ashton. I want to get behind him.

MATT: You got it, okay.

TALIESIN: There we are.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: That finishes your go?

ROBBIE: That's it.

MATT: Top of the round, Dugger is no more. However, the skittering sound continues.

MARISHA: (laughs) I know. Oh wait, aww.

ROBBIE: Oh no, more!

LIAM and ROBBIE: (groan)

SAM: Someone plug the hole!

MATT: Two more emerge from the side.

LAURA: Oh, two of them!

MATT: Ashton, it's your turn.

SAM: Pick up that fucking table.

TALIESIN: That one that's baned is 10 feet away from Fearne, right?

MATT: It is, yeah.

TALIESIN: So I would be the only one who took damage if I hit that thing?

MATT: You would be, yeah.

TALIESIN: All right, yeah. So I'm going to hop up on the table and run over to try and not get stuck on anything.

MATT: Well, the table is gone.

TALIESIN: Oh, the table's gone

MATT: This whole area--

TALIESIN: Was it hopefully covering it so it's now clear and there's no goop underneath the table?

MATT: The goop is still there, but there is now that path in the center is open. The furniture has been scattered into chunks and pieces of wood. Imogen, you had to protect yourself from this little burst of Mage Armor that protects you from the showering spray of jagged wood shards.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hopscotch my way over to that baned--

LAURA: My hair floats back down.

TALIESIN: -- baned creature. I'm just going to do a little hop rollover and bring it down. I'm using Reckless Attack too, so.

MATT: Okay. Orym is also in its area, too, just so you know.

LIAM: ♪ Grease is the word ♪

TALIESIN: Orym is in its...

MATT: Yeah. Just so you're aware.

TALIESIN: Somebody got to do it, fuck it.

MATT: Mm-hmm, I respect that.

TALIESIN: Natural 20. (yelling)

ASHLEY: Well, if you're going to do it.

MATT: I mean, that's the way to do it.

LAURA: Oh shit!

MATT: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: 27 points of damage.

MATT: It's dead, it's dead.

ROBBIE: Jeez, is that even a real number?

MARISHA: I know, I know. How are we there yet?

MATT: Barbarian crits are nasty.

TALIESIN: And I've been rolling really well on damage. I don't think I've rolled below a four on any one of my d6s in a long time.

MATT: I've been watching them all here. I'm like, "Fuck."

TALIESIN: Big dice, man.

MATT: All right. You smash into the ground. You pull the hammer up, and stretchy, black-gray tendrils (slurps) of its flesh, trying to adhere to the hammer. As you pull back, (swooshes) it burns. I need both you and Orym to make dexterity saving throws for me, please.

ASHLEY: Do I need to make one?

MATT: No, you're 10 feet away from them.

ASHLEY: Oh, oh, okay, okay.

TALIESIN: 20.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: Two points of fire damage.

TALIESIN: You all right?

LIAM: Yeah, you know.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: I'm going to--

MATT: You have--

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: -- 10 feet of movement still, if you want.

TALIESIN: I'm feeling pretty good. Just because I know what's going to be coming out of there, I'm going to-- I'm going to maybe take one step closer to the hole. As a bonus action, I'm going to drink my potion.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: What is the plus on these? 2d4 plus?

MATT: It's 2d4 plus two.

LAURA: Whoa.

ASHLEY: God, I'm sorry.

MATT: So a five, you heal five. (laughter) All righty, finishing Ashton's go. Imogen, you're up.

LAURA: Okay. I'm going to step out and stand next to Ashton.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Yeah. I'm just going to say: Can somebody block this hole? I'm going to do it right this time, and I'm going to cast Witch Bolt with a sorcery point and twin that shit so I can double hit these guys.

MATT: Do it. You charge up the energy.

LAURA: My hair flies up again.

MATT: As it floats in the air, you charge up and release a forked Witch Bolt at both of them. Go ahead and roll.

LAURA: That would be 14 on one of them. And a six, no, 18 on the other.

MATT: Both hit.

MARISHA: Yeah, baby.

ROBBIE: Let's go.

LIAM: (gruffly) [Inaudible]

MATT: Just roll 1d12 once.

LAURA: Oh, it'll be for both of them? Five points of lightning damage.

MATT: All righty. (groaning) They both get impacted. The energy is charging through them. It's grasped them. It's holding on, anchored. You can feel the energy tethering you to both of them. All righty, does that finish your turn, Imogen?

LAURA: Uh-huh.

MATT: All righty. It's now--

LAURA: Ooh, ooh. No, that crate. Is that crate... five pounds or less? No, wait, that's not--

MATT: No, that crate is--

LAURA: That's different.

MATT: -- heavier than that.

LAURA: That's a different thing.

MATT: All right, now their turns. Leaping over and running across to there. Running across to there. Technically, they would be right there. Both real angry at you, Imogen. First one's going to strike at you. It's an 18 to hit.

LAURA: It hits.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: I'm done.

MATT: You take five points of piercing damage--

TALIESIN: Oh no.

MATT: And six points of necrotic.

MARISHA: (groans)

TALIESIN: You down?

LAURA: (slicing)

SAM: I can take three points of that. Will that make it matter?

LAURA: Doesn't matter. Nope.

SAM: No.

MATT: Imogen falls unconscious as one of them leaps up and just streaks its claws across her chest.

LAURA: I might have pissed them off enough. This is bad.

TALIESIN: I yell-- I'm going to yell right in their face.

MATT: Now the other one, because they're both going for you, and they're mindless creatures, the other one's going to go ahead and attack you.

LAURA: I might be dead.

TALIESIN: Can I fucking--

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: No, no, no, no.

MATT: You take two death saving throws. As you fall to the ground, the other one starts clawing into you. (snarls) They're both just tearing into an unconscious Imogen. You see just blood strings flying as they are just gone feral on her.

TALIESIN: So we need to heal now and not attack those things.

SAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: So that finishes their turn. Orym, you're up.

LIAM: I drunkenly reach into my pack, and I pull the healing potion out, and I just fall down to my knees in front of Imogen, and I pour it into her mouth.

LAURA: Are you close enough?

LIAM: Sure, I am.

LAURA: Oh, thank god.

MARISHA: Thank you.

MATT: Yeah, you can roll a strength save, if you want to try and break free, regardless.

ASHLEY: This is too stressful right now.

ROBBIE: It's super stressful.

LIAM: Eight.

MATT: Eight. So you are stuck, but thankfully, you are still within five feet of where she dropped.

LIAM: Okay, so I'm glued. I have kneeled and glued myself kneeling into the ground, in jizz.

MATT: Goddamn it. (laughter)

SAM: Sorry, Matt.

ROBBIE: You had to know, somewhere deep down.

MATT: No, I didn't!

ROBBIE: Somewhere deep down.

MATT: This was supposed to be cool and creepy.

ROBBIE: As soon as you said cloudy and sticky, it was over.

LIAM: It is creepy.

MATT: I realized when I said it that it was a problem!

LIAM: I mean, the dwarf did come out of the hole like Play-Doh Fun Factory, and it all started from there. But Imogen is up.

MATT: Roll your hit points.

MARISHA: Yeah, Imogen is up.

ROBBIE: It's like he was ejaculated out of the wall. (laughter) Too much? Too much?

LAURA: Oh! Plus two?

MATT: Plus two.

TALIESIN: Eight.

LIAM: Not bad, not bad.

MATT: Pass it over. Ones that get finished, pass them over to me.

MARISHA: I love the response for when you're too clean or too dirty is, "I've got kids, I don't know."

TALIESIN: I know the rules.

MATT: All right, so you are conscious.

LAURA: Yay, I'm awake.

ASHLEY: You're conscious.

MATT: That brings us to Laudna's go.

LAURA: Thanks, Orym!

MARISHA: Fucking infuriated by what I just saw. In my Form of Dread, I just start crawling. Is there a way? I've got to crawl through the goop, through the jizz.

MATT: You have to make a strength save at the beginning to see if you even can because you're still standing in it.

MARISHA: I can't. We already know this.

MATT: Well, it would be a surprise.

MARISHA: A strength saving throw?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: One total.

MATT: Yeah, no, you're stuck there.

MARISHA: (groans)

MATT: So you go to crawl, and, no, it's not happening.

MARISHA: I scream and--

SAM: You're a Spell Sniper.

MARISHA: Fuck.

TALIESIN: Bane's dropped, by the way, since everything that was baned is gone.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Oh, everything that was baned is gone.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: (groans)

MATT: What you do you got, Laudna?

SAM: Super low.

LIAM: Yep.

SAM: How are you, Liam?

LIAM: Sorry, can I do a bonus action?

MATT: What were you planning, Liam?

LIAM: Just to-- (sighs) I still haven't memorized what the fucking term is. Second Wind.

MATT: Yes, I'll allow it.

LIAM: Thank you.

TALIESIN: That's a really good idea.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: That's good.

MARISHA: I will Hex this one. Is this one that's on the far side not within five feet of Imogen?

MATT: They're both within five feet of Imogen because they both just attacked and brought her to the ground.

MARISHA: Whatever. I will Hex the one on the right of me, which is the one closest to you. Closet to you, yeah.

LAURA: They're basically standing on me, at this point.

MATT: Yeah. (laughs) Still, they just finished clawing for a second just to see you reach over and put a potion in their mouth. They're like (snarling) You're not sure if they're going to go after her again or go after you, as you go ahead and Hex one of them.

MARISHA: So you hear some shadow cant being whispered out of Laudna. Then I'm going to scoop up some of the jizz, and it turns black and icky.

MATT: I am so sorry.

MARISHA: It's--

MATT: I'm so sorry.

SAM: Black jizz.

MARISHA: Like a reverse drip into my hand. And I flick it onto them for an Eldritch Blast, a jizz-y--

MATT: Eldritch Bukkake.

MARISHA: That's a 20 total.

LIAM: Now you're complicit.

MATT: That hits. At a certain point, you have to embrace it. You only can fight it so long before you just kind of give in.

MARISHA: Oh shit. Seven plus another three. 10 total.

MATT: 10 total. (snarling) It is turned to cinders from the darkened splatter.

MARISHA: I say: Imogen, roll!

MATT: Imogen, make a dexterity saving throw. But you have--

LIAM: Imogen rules?

MARISHA: Imogen rules.

MATT: Yeah. No, just make a dexterity saving throw, please.

LAURA: Imogen, poop! What, okay. Oh, that's good. 17 plus three. 20.

MATT: Take two points of fire damage. All righty, does that finish your turn, Laudna?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: Fearne, you're up, with Fresh Cut Grass on deck.

TALIESIN: I got a plan.

LIAM: Why is this so hard?

SAM: I don't know what--

TALIESIN: Because we're level three.

SAM: I'm stuck in a bad place.

TALIESIN: Because everything is hard at level three.

LIAM: Yes, it is.

MARISHA: Are you also stuck in the goo?

SAM: We'll see when I roll.

TALIESIN: We've had two go down. Yes, this is hard.

LAURA: We both went unconscious in this fight. Buddies.

ASHLEY: That's good. Oh, it's my turn, yeah?

SAM: Yeah, it's your turn.

ASHLEY: Oh, you were talking. I got it.

LAURA: I'm sorry I was distracting you.

TALIESIN: Less lamenting, more ruing!

LIAM: She's still shaking off the--

ASHLEY: I thought you were going, and I was like, "Okay, I'm just hanging out." Okay, question for you.

MATT: Yes.

SAM: How do you do it, Matt?

ASHLEY: Just, like, how do you do it?

MATT: I have no fucking clue.

ASHLEY: I forgot to--

MATT: Waiting for everyone not to figure out that I'm faking it every week. (laughter)

ASHLEY: One of the items that I got in ExU, do we still have some of those with us?

MATT: I'm not going to deny you what was granted by the almighty Aabria.

ASHLEY: I know, the almighty.

SAM and MATT: Praise be.

ASHLEY: Am I 60 feet from the crate and the hole?

MATT: You are, how--

ASHLEY: Do I have 60 feet of range from where I'm at?

MATT: Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

ASHLEY: Okay, so I'm just going to slowly get myself up and use my Stonky's Ring.

ROBBIE: Let's go!

LAURA: What is a Stonky's Ring?

ASHLEY: Oh, I'ma tell you. You already know what this is. But you already naturally have this. So I'm going to just reach out.

LIAM: It's the name of an actual--

ASHLEY: That big crate--

LAURA: Oh!

ASHLEY: I'm going to move it in front of the hole and just try to keep it there.

MARISHA: Yes, yes.

MATT: Okay. You push it up in that space, pushing it from the outside of the way. I can't see it from here, but I don't know if it's covering the hole.

LIAM: Yeah, you got it.

LAURA: It seems like it, yeah.

MATT: Okay, good. (creaking, slamming) It's pushed up against it. As you're just focusing and concentrating, holding it there. You got it.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So that's your action?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: I'm laying on the ground. I just see Fearne on all fours. Then I'm just going to start walking over to Imogen.

MATT: Okay. Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: That finishes your go.

ASHLEY: Because I can't pull her to me, can I?

MATT: At the moment, no.

ASHLEY: Okay, I already-- Okay, okay, okay.

MATT: All right, Fresh Cut Grass, you're up. Dorian on deck.

MARISHA: Are they going between Imogen and Laudna?

ASHLEY: There's just one guy left, right?

MATT: There's one guy left. And the sound of skittering coming soon. Fresh Cut Grass, what're you doing?

MARISHA: Skittering: Coming Soon.

SAM: I don't think I can kill this thing. I think you can, though.

TALIESIN: Ehh.

LIAM: I'm hearing it in my head.

TALIESIN: I got a weirder plan, but.

SAM: I feel like you can-- I feel like Ashton's got this, or maybe Dorian.

ASHLEY: It would hurt so many people right now if that thing blew up.

SAM: Well, that's true. Shit, I don't know what to do. I will-- I will Bless Ashton.

TALIESIN: I'll take that.

SAM: You get a plus d4 to your attacks and saves. I'll just-- Oh wait, that's a spell. Shit.

MATT: Yeah, Bless is a spell.

TALIESIN: You can do it to three people at once.

SAM: Yeah, then I'm not going to do that. It's a spell. I will just shoot my little grappling gun again--

MATT: Okay, go for it.

SAM: -- at this guy.

TALIESIN: That's actually a really good idea.

SAM: Oh wow! 19.

MATT: That hits, go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: That's an eight, right? No, grappling gun is 10.

MATT: 10, there's no modifier.

SAM: Eight.

LAURA: Nice!

MARISHA and ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: Now I'll allow you to choose. You can either let it die where it was, or die towards you.

SAM: Die towards me.

MATT: Okay. So as you pierce it and pull it backward (screeches) through the air, it begins to burn into cinder as it comes towards you and splashes you once more in the front. Make a dexterity saving throw.

ASHLEY: Splishes and splashes.

SAM: Nine.

MATT: Three points of-- No, six points of fire damage because you failed.

SAM: Oh.

LAURA: Oh no.

SAM: I'm down. (yelling)

MARISHA: How do you heal a robit?

TALIESIN: Do we have a potion? Well, you used the potion.

LAURA: Does a potion work?

LIAM: Disassembled.

ASHLEY: Are we still in combat?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You're still in combat.

ASHLEY: Fuck. I can, I can--

SAM: I don't get a bonus action.

MATT: You do not.

SAM and MATT: (laugh)

MATT: All right, finishing your go, Dorian, you're up. The box is pressed against the wall, and you can hear now-- (thudding) It's starting to shift, like something's starting to try and push through. Your friends are down what are you doing?

ROBBIE: My attention is torn. Can I make it to Fresh Cut Grass?

MATT: You can certainly try.

ROBBIE: Yeah, I'm going to try to bee line it for him.

MATT: All right, five, 10, 15, 20, 25, yeah, you can get there.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: Without having to step in slime.

ROBBIE: No goo?

MATT: No goo.

ROBBIE: Okay, I will go ahead and-- I'm going to heal our little healer, and I'll cast level one Cure Wounds.

MATT: Go for it, roll a d8.

ROBBIE: Plus three.

SAM: Sorry, it doesn't work on robots. (laughter)

MATT: Only Sam would hardcore nerf his character to be untenable in D&D.

ROBBIE: That is seven plus three, 10.

MATT: Great.

LAURA: Ooh!

MATT: Back to consciousness, Fresh Cut Grass.

SAM: Thank you.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: Those two death--

MARISHA: Don't put FCG in the bathtub. (laughter)

ROBBIE: We need a real healer.

SAM: Whoa!

ROBBIE: He's a little robot Jesus. (laughter)

SAM: Well, smiley day! Who are you all? (laughter)

MARISHA: No!

LAURA: Do not.

TALIESIN: No!

MARISHA: You are lying!

SAM: Just kidding, y'all. (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Flex, nice flex.

MATT: Amazing. All right.

ASHLEY: I'd have believed it.

MATT: Dorian, that's your move and your action.

ROBBIE: Then I'm going to go--

MARISHA: He just wants to tell his pussy joke again. (laughter)

SAM: It's a funny story.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter)

MATT: What you got, Dorian?

ROBBIE: I'm going to go: Hey, don't do that again, little guy. We need you. I'm going to cast Bardic Inspiration on you.

SAM: Oh okay.

MATT: So you take a d6.

SAM: Oh my goodness.

LAURA: Nice.

MATT: All right, finishing your go, Dorian. Top of the round.

SAM: Are we still fighting?

ROBBIE: We've got skittering noises.

MATT: So for Stonky's Ring, you pushed it in front of the way. Now that it's blocked--

LIAM and ROBBIE: Stonky's.

MATT: Now that it's blocked, they have to try and push past. That is-- What is your spell save? DC?

ASHLEY: 14.

MATT: 14, one of them fails. They both fail. Neither of them push through. The door is-- The box is just being held there currently.

ROBBIE: Stonky, let's go.

MATT: All right. That finishes that. What's everyone else doing?

SAM: We got to close up this thing, right?

LAURA: Try to close up the other hole, too. Because there's another one in the bedroom. I don't know if it's--

MARISHA: Are we out of initiative?

MATT: Right now, there's nothing on the battlefield. So everyone can go until it comes back to them to try and get through again.

LAURA: Let's try and close up--

TALIESIN: I'm going to run towards the crate.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to see if I can get next to the crate.

MATT: Yeah, you can do that easily.

TALIESIN: I'm going to block the crate with my body.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to use my hammer to try and collapse the tunnel by nailing the wall really fucking hard.

MATT: Right above it?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Got an idea.

TALIESIN: What?

MARISHA: Go, do your thing, do your thing.

TALIESIN: So I'm actually-- I'm even going to get on top of the crate so I can get a really nice chunk of rocks to fall down.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: So I'm just--

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack.

TALIESIN: Roll an attack. You know what? Do I even-- Yeah, I'm going to do reckless against the wall. It's a wall. You never know. Could get lucky with a natural 20, like I just did.

SAM: Whoa.

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: That's cool. This has been a day. 16--

MATT: That's a normal--

TALIESIN: 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. Remember Percy? 23 points of damage.

MATT: Yeah, 23 points of damage to the wall. As the hammer slams down, the wall cracks and breaks in for a bit. All of you feel the impact. Dust and liquid settles and drips from the ceiling, from the room being shaken and the foundation feeling the impact. The wall cracks and falls in a bit. Not enough to collapse, but it's looking like it's barely holding on.

TALIESIN: I'll also assume my gravity field is probably going to make it a little rough for them to try and claw through at this point, if they're not actually attacking me.

MATT: Oh, there's a lot of things working against them right now.

TALIESIN: Yeah, okay.

MATT: All right, so that's your go. Anybody else doing anything to contribute to this?

LAURA: I'm going to get up.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Can I look in the bedroom and see if anything's coming out of that wall?

MATT: Currently, doesn't look like anything's coming out of that wall at the moment.

LAURA: Is there a bed in there?

MATT: There is.

LIAM: Yeah, it's over--

LAURA: Can we push the bed into that hole, just for--

LIAM: There's actually a crate right next to it, like 10 feet over.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MATT: That's as far as you can move this round.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: So that's your movement. You could dash and try to move over more, if you wanted to.

LAURA: Sure, why not? Yeah, I'll move closer to the crate so I can try to cover it up.

MATT: So that's your action. So there you go.

MARISHA: Those are the only two holes?

LIAM: Orym's going to try to pull--

TALIESIN: That we're aware of.

MATT: You still have your bonus action, if you want.

TALIESIN: But--

MATT: Orym, what're you doing?

TALIESIN: The only ones that have been used for anything.

LIAM: You want to use a bonus action?

LIAM: Orym's going to try to pull out of the goop. So new strength save for that?

MATT: Actually, to that point, you both do need to a make strength save.

TALIESIN: I'm not making the joke. I can see it, I hear it, I'm not making it.

LIAM: 18.

LAURA: 14.

MATT: Yeah, you both succeed. You're fine.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: All right, so Orym--

LIAM: So Orym is going to take a run and leap through the doorway and land on the same table or dresser he was on before. You guys watch as his arms swing like this and he casts Gust. I'm going to try to blow the crate that's in the corner in front of the hole.

MATT: Go ahead and roll a d20. Just roll a d20.

LAURA: Can I assist with my--

LIAM: A one, which I will re-roll.

LAURA: -- Telekinesis and try to assist him in that?

MATT: As your bonus action, you mean?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: 18 for me.

MATT: Okay. So the gust begins to blow the crate. It is a decent wind, but it's not strong enough.

LIAM: It's a heavy crate.

MATT: It's a heavy crate. Not anywhere strong enough to do it, or so you think--

SAM: What?

MATT: Until suddenly, it shifts over in front of the space. You're like, "Whoa, that was pretty fantastic." You glance over your shoulder, and you see Imogen concentrating and shifting it over.

ASHLEY: Awesome.

LAURA: Teamwork.

MATT: ♪ That's fucking teamwork. ♪ All righty.

SAM: So it's totally covering the--

MATT: Yes.

SAM: The gap now? Okay, great.

LIAM: But they made a strength save over there, and they continue to make strength saves.

LAURA: Who knows what this one leads to? I don't know.

MARISHA: Ashton? Who's feeling confident, and who's not?

LAURA: I think we're all feeling like shit, Laudna.

MARISHA: I'm going to stumble over because I'm still poisoned, to the crate that Ashton--

MATT: Make a strength save for me.

MARISHA: But I just won't ever. That's the thing.

TALIESIN: They have no pride over this.

MARISHA: Okay, okay. 11.

MATT: You're fine, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay. My hip dislocates a little bit. No, going towards the Ashton crate.

MATT: Oh, gotcha.

LIAM: You leave a leg behind?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm grabbing it.

TALIESIN: Slowly starts growing the new one in.

MATT: You can get about there. You can't quite get all the way up to it, but you can get about five feet from it.

MARISHA: I can't get all the way there?

MATT: Yeah, you moved quite a bit to get over there.

MARISHA: All right. Oh, but I can dash, right?

MATT: You can, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.

MATT: Okay, so you're there.

MARISHA: I'm going to get directly behind the crate. Then I'm going to pull out my immovable rod.

MATT: Oh.

MARISHA: I'm going to shove it directly against the crate--

TALIESIN: Hey!

MARISHA: And click it in.

MATT: That, all right.

ASHLEY: There we go.

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: You press it there.

MARISHA: Then I just lean up against the crate and just-- (groans)

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: That's my turn.

MATT: All right, that finishes. What's everybody else doing now? You all watch as Laudna goes over and clicks this immovable rod. As it holds in place, that crate was initially like (thudding) being pushed back a bit. As Ashton's hammering and just keeping balance up there, as soon as she clicks it into place, it is not moving. You hear the impact, but that crate is staying put. Everyone?

LIAM: I think Orym just gets Imogen to help him, and they pull the entire dresser over and just pile it.

LAURA: I'm useless in this, but I'll use my-- (laughter) My telekinesis is much stronger than I am physically.

LIAM: Sure. It's stronger than me. (grunts)

MATT: A moment passes. A few more moments pass, and the clawing dissipates. You hear the faint sounds, those that are near the other wall, of skittering getting more and more distant, and then silence. Take a few breaths. Then after a few moments of fear and chaos, there is a stillness, a welcome stillness.

LAURA: Oh my god.

LIAM: I can't believe we were thinking about going down one of those holes.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

LAURA: I can't believe we all survived that. (sighs)

ASHLEY: Bonkers.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

ROBBIE: We all saw it, right? When he (moans) came out of the thing?

ASHLEY: That was disgusting.

LAURA: Did you see when the extra guy flopped up out of him?

ROBBIE: Back baby, out of his back.

ASHLEY: Back baby.

SAM: Back baby?

ROBBIE: Back baby.

LAURA: Ashton, could I use that empty vial you had?

TALIESIN: I think Matt took it, but I think I've got another one.

LAURA: Just a glass container. I'm just going to scoop up some of the slime (chuckles) into the vial and--

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: So we have it for reference.

LIAM: For what?

SAM: To test?

MARISHA: For reference!

LAURA: Testing?

TALIESIN: I dare you to drink some.

MATT: Okay. (laughter)

SAM: For pranks? (laughter)

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Are we going to-- Well, we're pretty hurt. Are we going to sit here and rest for a while?

TALIESIN: I think we shouldn't leave this house 'til nightfall.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

LAURA: It is nightfall, isn't it? Is it nighttime yet?

LIAM: Well, it's the start of.

MATT: Yeah. From what you can gather in the time that you've been here, it's getting probably within the hour of sunset. Night is soon.

TALIESIN: Let's maybe make sure-- I know that they were suspicious. Let's just take a-- If we can peek through a window or something and see if the coast is clear before we take off.

SAM: We should look around for, I don't know--

LAURA: Paperwork, anything?

SAM: Clues?

TALIESIN: Fuck, that's a good idea, shit.

LAURA: That tells us what he is.

LIAM: Is there anything left of Dugger? The weapons, anything? I'll go look through the schmutz.

MATT: Okay. The body is burned away.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: There is no physical sign of him there other than a pile of blackened ash and charcoal bits. There are shreds of the cloak, but equipment that remains looks to be a small pouch, a wound piece of cable or hefty rope, a coin purse, and three weapons: His shortsword, his rapier, and his dagger.

LAURA: We should take those.

LIAM: Yeah.

LIAM: I'll shove the dagger into the back of one of my boots.

TALIESIN: We should actually roll the place, see what else is in here.

MARISHA: I turn around to Ashton, and I say: Get-- Get off the crate, help me lift it. See what's in here.

TALIESIN: Let's see if we can just take the top off.

MARISHA: Just the top off. That's exactly what I--

TALIESIN: I got it. You seem like you've had a day.

MARISHA: I think I'm still poisoned.

SAM: Oh, what does that do?

TALIESIN: How do you even know?

SAM: I can try to--

MARISHA: I just feel like shit.

TALIESIN: That's fair.

SAM: I can't do anything.

LAURA: I can't do anything either.

MARISHA: How long does poison last?

MATT: It lasts for an hour.

LAURA: Oh no.

SAM: It's just disadvantage on--

MATT: Disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: I'll be fine, I'll shake it off.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and open this crate like a human. I'm not going to fuck it up. I'm just going to pop the top.

MATT: It takes a little bit of give, but you manage to lever your hammer handle.

TALIESIN: What the fuck are you?

MATT: Looking inside, you get the source of some of the smells in here, which is a series of rice and wheat sacks. It looks like this was a food storage crate that had gotten wet and mildewed and rotten.

TALIESIN: I'm going to pull them out. Well, I'm going to lift just to see if there's anything underneath them.

LAURA: Brumestone anywhere in here?

MARISHA: Exactly.

MATT: No.

LAURA: No brumestone?

TALIESIN: All right, putting that back so it stays heavy. Yeah, I'm just going to-- Let's just roll the whole place.

LAURA: Yeah, I'm going to bring my Dancing Lights back up and flickering around so we can try to get a better search of the area.

MATT: You got it. Who is searching what?

TALIESIN: Who's good at searching?

SAM: I'm good at perception--

LAURA: I'm not very good.

SAM: -- not investigation.

MATT: Either of those can work for different things.

SAM: Yeah. I guess I'll search again for secret compartments in the walls? Is that a perception thing? Or is that a--

MATT: Perception or investigation for that.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: Your choice. Different ways of coming across it.

SAM: I guess.

ASHLEY: I'll help you.

SAM: Sure.

ASHLEY: I'll assist.

LAURA: He sounded like, when he was talking to Danas, he was with multiple people? Or was it just him and her? Do we know?

MATT: You don't know.

ASHLEY: Oh, it did sound like, to you, didn't it sound like there was 10?

LAURA: There were multiple people in the room.

LIAM: 10 people, I think.

TALIESIN: Could've just been more of those weird shadowy things.

MARISHA: Shade creepers.

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

LIAM: In the walls.

LAURA: Yeah. That is true.

ROBBIE: When we were fighting them, did you reach out? Did you sense any kind of consciousness?

LAURA: No, I was trying to (clicks tongue) as much as possible.

TALIESIN: I'm going to check the bed. People always hide shit in their bed.

LAURA: Yeah, I'm going to look around for any residual, like if I can find brumestone residue anywhere.

MATT: Okay. Perception or investigation for you.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: You're rolling the bed?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

SAM: I rolled a 24 for perception.

MATT: Okay, looking around, there are no other hidden compartments. You feel confident that you have looked for any sort of trap doors, any hidden shelf points, any other holes that you didn't come upon and you feel like you don't have to worry about that, necessarily.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: 17. No, nothing in the bed. In fact, as you begin to look around, most everything that's here is just mundane furniture and spaces and shelves and pockets where you can imagine valuables would've been kept, but they're all empty. You start piecing together the idea of this place looks like it was burglarized in the way that everything's been thrown about. Not broken, but tossed and searched for anything of value and worth.

TALIESIN: Pre-tossed. But he was here and this is his place.

LAURA: Yeah, but he was living in the hole.

TALIESIN: But why would he-- I mean--

MARISHA: But they did say he's been living here for quite some time. They've been tracking him.

LAURA: Going between here and the Smolder Spire, I don't know what's there.

SAM: Is that what they said?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Why would-- Hmm. This is weird. This is fucking weird.

MATT: What were you searching for?

LAURA: I was searching for brumestone residue and I rolled a seven, so.

MATT: Seven. No, no sign of it here.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: This isn't-- I don't think--

MARISHA: That this was his place?

TALIESIN: I don't necessarily think that this was him, necessarily.

LAURA: What do you mean?

TALIESIN: Like, who would rob this place and why wouldn't he give a fuck? Like, someone clearly took the-- I mean.

LIAM: In the places in this where there's not goo, is this place covered in dust? Does it look like it's been left as it is for a long time and then slimed in places?

MATT: Make an investigation check for me.

MARISHA: Come on, come on.

LIAM: Aww, why not perception?

SAM: Guidance!

LIAM: I'll take it. Nah, terrible roll. Four total.

MATT: Oh, no, sorry. Yeah, this is less about seeing stuff, and more about sussing out length of time for dust levels and such.

MARISHA: Does it look like there are any other belongings?

MATT: There is dust here and there. It's heavier in some places, but the well-worn places, the best you can tell, it doesn't look like it's been abandoned for years or anything like that.

TALIESIN: How long was he gone for?

LAURA: Six months.

MARISHA: Six months.

LAURA: Before he started to get weird.

MARISHA: And then he came back.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: He'd been gone for a few weeks, and then when he returned, he began to slowly get weirder, and that was six months ago when that all happened.

LAURA: What if he, I mean, he wasn't even himself at all? What if he was a full, different creature by this point? You know?

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: I mean judging by the state of this place, for a moment, you know, it's clear he didn't care about his surroundings.

LAURA: It's clear he didn't eat regular food.

ASHLEY: Yeah, the food went bad.

MARISHA: Correct.

ASHLEY: Maybe he's just been living down there?

LIAM: Yeah, this is just a doorway.

TALIESIN: This is not someone collecting their valuables. This is someone looking for someone else's valuables. This is not someone's place. Like, you wouldn't do this to your own place. You would just grab your shit.

LAURA: There's no way for all of us to fit down that tunnel.

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: Although, just throwing it out there, unclaimed space.

SAM: Oh, you want to live here?

MARISHA: I could spruce it up. I have seen worse. I have fixed a lot worse.

ROBBIE: While Laudna's pitching this, I want to go over to that middle wall where that huge pillar is right by the door, and I just want to look at the actual structure of the house, and I'm trying to see if that is a load-bearing wall.

MATT: So which one, right here?

ROBBIE: Yeah. Right in front of me. Does it look like that's a load-bearing wall, like architecturally? If that wall were to go away, would this house continue to exist?

MATT: Roll an investigation check for me.

ROBBIE: All right.

SAM: You like open floor plans?

ROBBIE: Shit.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah, total shit, 10.

MATT: 10's not bad.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: 10 is average, and so glancing at this and looking at the structure and the amount of rock that is placed upon it and above it, this is the closest thing to a load-bearing pillar in this structure. If this were to go down, you can't say it would be a given, but it'd be hard for the building to not sustain some sort of damage from the weight that's placed upon it.

ROBBIE: Mm. Okay.

LIAM: I'm going to quick rewind to the weapons that Orym's looking at. Do any of them look beyond standard fare?

MATT: They all look been pretty well made. The dagger has a fine make, though it looks like it's seen some rough days in its point. The rapier also looks like it was fairly decent, but it looks like it's also been dulled through years of use. The shortsword is pristine. It is beautiful. It looks like it's probably a more recent purchase, if anything.

LIAM: Okay, I'm going to slide that through my sash in the back and take it with me.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Grab that coin purse.

MATT: You got it.

MARISHA: Hmm.

LAURA: I know, I feel like there's something we can do here.

ASHLEY: I feel that-- yeah.

MARISHA: We're missing.

ASHLEY: Is that a little chamber pot in the corner?

MATT: That is.

ASHLEY: That's so cute. It's like a little baby teacup. I'm going to take it.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Ew.

ASHLEY: He probably hasn't been peeing or pooing in it for a long time.

LAURA: But it's, like, six months old poo.

ASHLEY: I'll check.

MATT: Roll an investigation-- No, it's empty.

LAURA: Prestidigitation it anyway, just because... foul.

MATT: Fair enough.

ASHLEY: It's just I could use it as a big soup bowl.

LAURA: No. Fearne, you should never, ever use this for food.

SAM: If you clean it.

ASHLEY: If you clean it--

LIAM: Nope.

ASHLEY: It might have a--

LIAM: No. It's past its prime.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I think it's beautiful.

LAURA: You can maybe put flowers in.

LIAM: There you go.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

TALIESIN: I'm mostly disturbed that you're that excited about soup, but you know.

ASHLEY: I love soup.

LIAM: Orym reaches up and places his hand on Fearne's hand holding the chamber pot and small little buds start to grow up out of the potty.

ASHLEY: Aww.

LIAM: Don't eat out of this, please.

ASHLEY: Okay, I won't. It's just beautiful.

TALIESIN: I wonder if we pissed off the neighbors.

MARISHA: I was thinking that, too.

SAM: Maybe they're all at work or something.

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: It's the day time.

LAURA: What the fuck?

SAM: Yeah, what do we do with this information?

LAURA: I guess--

SAM: Go back to Yash? Wait, what was the?

ASHLEY: Yash Mangal.

LAURA: Yeah, or to Eshteross. I don't know.

SAM: We killed his old enemy.

LAURA: We can tell both of them?

LIAM: Well, why don't we go to Lord Eshteross first. Tell him how it went with Yash.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Tell him what happened here.

LAURA: Yeah. I mean, he can always send his people to maybe go further down into the hole. He's probably got people that are capable of getting down into little areas, I don't know.

LIAM: It really does feel like there's something.

LAURA: Just on the other side.

LIAM: Right in front of us, and we're not seeing it.

LAURA: Slime creature people.

MARISHA: Nothing from when we rolled the place. Nothing came out from Ashton.

MATT: Nothing unexpected, yeah.

LAURA: I mean, the most--

ASHLEY: Is there-- No, go ahead, go ahead.

LAURA: I was just saying the most we could do is take this goop and have someone look at it.

ROBBIE: Did any of you find anything when you were searching?

LAURA: Nothing.

TALIESIN: Just a sword, just a--

SAM: We didn't go through the other tunnel. Not that I'm saying we should. They probably go to the same place.

TALIESIN: We opened the other crate, too, I assume.

MATT: Oh, the ones in the bedroom?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You can.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah. Open everything.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: We'll spend some time.

ASHLEY: Drawers.

MARISHA: Yeah, spend time opening everything.

MATT: All the drawers, everywhere you look has been-- I mean, you find utensils, you find all the things that you need to live day to day, but nothing of wealth or worth. The crate in the bedroom, as you go ahead and pry that open in the same process, looking inside, it looks like there are heavy tools, some unused iron and some leathers that have mildewed a little bit. It looks like, honestly, like some elements of carpentry, like a carpentry setup has been put into that crate that hasn't been touched in a while. Just a little bit of leather working.

MARISHA: I wonder who this house belonged to.

LAURA: It was his. It was his, before he went weird. This is where he lived.

ROBBIE: It's turned foul.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Have you guys heard about anything like this before? Someone turning into a goopy worm?

TALIESIN: I mean, shit happens, but--

LAURA: I guess so.

LIAM: He burned away, right?

MATT: He did, yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: Just like the shade creepers?

MATT: Just like the shade creepers did, though more visceral and not as immediate. It was an intense, slower burn.

LIAM: And still not familiar to me, right?

MATT: Mm-mm.

MARISHA: The shade creepers that Imogen and I fought did not explode. And I don't know.

TALIESIN: Let's get us as much samples of that goo as we can. So we can---

LAURA: Sure. Any empty vials we have, we're going to scoop it up.

MATT: You got it. Okay.

TALIESIN: I say maybe somebody at some point should talk to the neighbors, but maybe not until everyone already knows that this house has been ransacked and we should sneak the fuck out of here.

LAURA: Yeah, get out if we can.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and peer through the window and see if anybody is--

LAURA: They're still looking for us?

TALIESIN: We did make a ruckus.

MATT: The window is boarded shut from the inside.

TALIESIN: Oh.

MATT: But you can peel off the boards and peek out there. The outside, it is definitely sunset. You probably have another 30 minutes or so of light before the night comes in. Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: 14.

MATT: 14. Nobody in the streets seems to be paying attention. You glance to your left and you see one individual that appears to be the neighbor on the left side, is poking around and looking and then walking back. So it looks like somebody at least has heard some things and is nervously, nosily glancing about.

LIAM: How is it out there?

TALIESIN: We've got a snoopy neighbor, which, if we can convince them that we're not responsible, would be great. If we can't convince them that we're not responsible, is a fucking problem.

MARISHA: Should we wait for a minute? Let it cool off?

LAURA: Do you still have any capabilities to cast?

ROBBIE: I do.

LAURA: You're very charming.

TALIESIN: I tend to find people who go walking around weird sounds out of someone's house probably have an awful lot of fucking opinions about who lives there.

ROBBIE: So we done with this place?

SAM: I think so.

TALIESIN: If you're feeling really fancy, feeling like you want to talk to the neighbor and see if you can get them to tell you every fucking thing about this guy. People love to talk shit.

LAURA: They probably-- yeah. They probably don't know anything. I have a feeling he's kept to himself for the past six months.

TALIESIN: Eh.

ROBBIE: I can try. We could just leave.

TALIESIN: Could leave and come back later and talk to that neighbor.

LAURA: Yeah, I think we just leave right now because I don't want to get stuck here.

TALIESIN: Well, I can't make us quiet anymore. So we're going to have to time this really well.

MARISHA: Maybe we leave one at a time or a little at a time?

SAM: Could we leave carrying boxes so it looks like we're movers?

LIAM: That might look like we're robbing the place.

ROBBIE: What about a dramatic act?

SAM: Not if we all have the same uniforms.

MARISHA: Dramatic how?

TALIESIN: Go on.

ROBBIE: Well, there's an idea brewing.

SAM: Let me think here, let me sort this out.

TALIESIN: I figure we're not going to do the skits on set.

SAM: We could make moving company uniforms.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LAURA: Uh-huh.

SAM: And then--

TALIESIN: With the woodworking tools.

LAURA: Do you have an extra arm extension that's a sewing machine?

SAM: I don't.

TALIESIN: We make a new arm extension.

SAM: But I can chop things.

LIAM: Why don't we just try to time it right?

LAURA: And then leave.

LIAM: You're in the lead, if we run into trouble--

LAURA: If anyone sees us, you charm the shit out of them.

LIAM: There you go.

ASHLEY: Wait, did you have an idea?

ROBBIE: It's silly.

SAM: What was it?

LIAM: We're all ears.

ROBBIE: Well, during that fight, we all tried to seal the holes, right, to make sure that they didn't come out and attack anyone. This is a residential area. What if we seal the holes for good?

TALIESIN: How?

MARISHA: It would take me a little bit of time, but I could.

ROBBIE: Hmm. That pillar.

LAURA: Bring it all down?

ROBBIE: Bring it all down.

LIAM: You got a blast left in you?

MARISHA: Quite the dramatic exit.

ROBBIE: We could try.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Could we do it without getting caught?

LAURA: Would we bring any of the neighboring houses down as well? Are any of the houses on the higher levels built on the foundations of the ones below it?

MATT: No. There is a road above. You're not certain how much would fall into this space if you did. It doesn't look like it's load bearing for a lot of upper areas, but who knows?

TALIESIN: Right now, it just looks robbed. Maybe we were just want to keep it that way.

ROBBIE: All right.

TALIESIN: But I mean, that's wonderfully creative thinking.

MARISHA: I could just do some basic Mending for now, but it might not be permanent.

LIAM: Honestly, these holes seem to be everywhere here.

MARISHA: They are.

ASHLEY: That's true.

LAURA: They really are.

LIAM: I think, I'm with Imogen. I think we should just cut and run right now.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ROBBIE: I'll talk to the neighbor. I'm going to walk right outside.

SAM: Oh, okay.

MATT: (laughs)

SAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: If you can turn them, we will try and go out.

ROBBIE: I'll take their advice, and I'll cast Charm Person on our neighbor friend.

MATT: All right. So as you walk outside, the sunset greeting you as you turn the corner, you glance off to the side and right as you emerge, maybe about 10 feet out of the front door, you begin walking in that direction, the neighbor comes up and then ducks back around behind the corner.

ROBBIE: Hello?

MATT: "Hello?"

ROBBIE: Hello. Can I ask you a silly question?

MATT: You see a halfling, probably looks like in his late 50s or so, wearing what looks to be an evening robe a bit. It was pulled around tightly. "Yes? Yes, hi."

ROBBIE: Hi. I'm sorry to bother you at dusk, I know. My friends and I are renting this place next door for the weekend. We're having a party for someone, and do you know the neighborhood very well?

MATT: "I've lived here most of my life. You're renting from Dooger?"

ROBBIE: Yes, we are. Well, Dugger, Dugger, but--

MATT: "I've only met him twice, so--"

ROBBIE: I just read the name, so I assumed. Dorian, by the way, nice to meet you.

MATT: "Dorian. Loran."

ROBBIE: Charm Person on the handshake.

MARISHA: 'Ey! (snaps fingers) Come on.

MATT: That's a failure on his point. "Well, the pleasure is mine. Well, I was hearing a commotion over there. Was that you and your friends?"

ROBBIE: I told you it was a party and, you know, actually, we're just (louder) headed out right now. We're headed out.

MATT: "That's a very short party, but--"

ROBBIE: You know, a little pregame and then we're out for the night. Anyway.

MATT: "Right, right."

ROBBIE: I'm looking-- How many have made it out?

MATT: At this point, everybody.

LAURA: Don't forget your immovable rod, or else it's going to be stuck here forever.

MATT: "Oh, all right. If you're going to have another party, just let me know so I have an advanced notice so I can be elsewhere if it's going to be loud."

ROBBIE: Sorry, we will.

MATT: "I have a hard time sleeping. So, but thank you, I appreciate it."

ROBBIE: Great. We'll keep it down for now. Hey, what's the best tavern in town?

MATT: "Oh, I'm not much of a tavern person. I see a lot of people going and drinking by the Spire by Fire. That's not too far from here, but--"

ROBBIE: Never been there. We'll give it a try. Thanks so much. Have a great night. Bye-bye!

MATT: "Can't guarantee that it's good."

ROBBIE: Okay, bye-bye!

MATT: "What's your name?"

ROBBIE: I already introduced myself as Dorian. Bye-bye.

MATT: "Right, right." (laughter)

ASHLEY: Bye-bye!

TALIESIN: You told him your real name twice.

LAURA: Well, Dorian, I think you're going to have to change your name.

ROBBIE: To what?

LAURA: Anything but Dorian because you just gave them your real name.

ROBBIE: I did just give them my real name.

SAM: You know, there's probably lots of Dorians.

LAURA: It's fine.

ASHLEY: There's probably lots of Dorians.

ROBBIE: So many.

LIAM: It's a big city.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: And lots of them are blue.

LIAM: At least two.

ROBBIE: I don't see color.

LAURA: You know what? This is a big city.

ROBBIE: Yeah. Of course.

LAURA: It's a real big city.

ROBBIE: Yeah. He'll just remember us as a fun, happy-go-lucky party--

LAURA: Party people.

ROBBIE: Yeah, of course.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got the impression he was creeped out by that house. So I don't think he's going to go checking in.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: It's a haunted house.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: With no bodies in it.

LAURA: We should head to Lord Eshteross.

ROBBIE: Let's do.

TALIESIN: Well, it looks like quite a party happened. Let me tell you.

LAURA: Oh god.

TALIESIN: Sorry, last one. (laughter)

TALIESIN: You did this to me! You! I'm not taking any credit for that. That was you. J'accuse!

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Goddamn it.

MATT: So you eventually head to Eshteross' manor. Upon meeting with him, he notes immediately-- He's like, "My skyship is still out, but I did charter a skyship that is leaving from Tal'Dorei to take Bertrand."

LAURA: Oh, that's wonderful.

MATT: "So he's handled. How goes everything on your end?"

LAURA: I just hold up the vial of goop.

MATT: "I will not inquire."

MARISHA: Oh, it's not like that.

LAURA: Basically, this is Dugger. I mean--

TALIESIN: What's left.

LAURA: He shot it out of his face.

MATT: "That's horrifying."

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: He was just like a goopy-- You know.

MATT: "I don't, but that sounds terrifying."

ASHLEY: I'm not explaining it very well.

MATT: "Did he escape?"

LAURA: No. He exploded into ash.

MATT: "So you succeeded?"

SAM: Yeah, we avenged Sir Bell.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "Good."

LIAM: I have a ton of questions now.

TALIESIN: Lots of questions.

MARISHA: It's been a very eventful day.

MATT: "Understood. I can imagine."

SAM: We had a run in with the Corsairs as well.

LAURA: Oh yeah.

MATT: "So you did?"

LAURA: Did you want us to tell them about you or not? We were kind of--

MATT: "If you are on good terms with them."

SAM: Ooh.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: They were super prickly.

LAURA: But also kind of charming.

LIAM: Sure.

LAURA: You know? They did seem like a cool group.

MATT: "I imagine they have to be very guarded when dealing with strangers."

ASHLEY: Well, have you heard anything like someone just turning into a goopy worm and their arms just bending and breaking to make their way through holes?

LAURA: Oh, yeah, and every once in a while, like another creature would pop out of their back. Also, like black veins.

MATT: "No, no."

LIAM: He wasn't living in the house, he was living in the spire underneath.

LAURA: The hole is still there.

MATT: "That's the stuff of nightmares."

LIAM: Do you know what a Play-Doh Fun Factory is?

MATT: "No."

TALIESIN: No.

LIAM: Just in Tal'Dorei.

SAM: They feel like they've stumbled onto something that's much bigger than just an alleyway killing. This Dugger fellow was involved in illicit trade of an illicit substance.

LAURA: It changed him drastically.

ASHLEY: Living inside the spire?

MATT: "This is unnerving, to say the last."

ASHLEY: Whoo.

MATT: "I'll ask around the few old business contacts of mine who do work within the Smolder Spire and have been involved in the development and maintenance of some of the sewage drainage systems. See if they know anything as to this substance."

LAURA: It's poisonous, I think, if he-- I don't know, it might be. It's sticky. It's real sticky.

MATT: "I can reach out to an alchemist and see if they have any insight. This may go deeper than you expect, but let's see what we can find without keeping you wandering in abandoned, creepy houses."

LAURA: Do you have maybe a crew that could go block that house off? I just, I'm afraid we keep leaving a trail, and.

MATT: "Understood."

ASHLEY: Or investigate underneath?

LAURA: Yeah, there's a hole in the back bedroom.

MARISHA: And in the front living room. There's a few holes.

MATT: "You leave quite a few holes in your wake, don't you?"

ASHLEY: They were there already. But very small, so make sure that if you send people there, probably children.

MATT: "I'll pull in some favors. What?"

LAURA: No.

ASHLEY: They can get through easier.

LAURA: Just small, small.

SAM: Small repairs.

ASHLEY: Small repairs.

SAM: That's all we need.

LIAM: This is awkward.

MATT: "I'll pull in a few favors. I think I can manage that. Also. I'm grateful for your sense of justice in seeing this through, knowing the danger that was ahead. Technically, the murder of an individual as connected and adventured as Sir Bertrand, it'd be natural there would be a bounty for the murderer. Sir Bertrand Bell, friend of the Eshteross Estate, hero of Vasselheim, and pseudo-member of Vox Machina, I've placed a bounty for the murderer. So it seems only fair that you collect the reward."

SAM: We can't accept that.

LAURA: No, no, no, we can.

SAM: We have no use.

LAURA: (shushing)

MATT: With a heavy (thud) on the table, a sack carries the weight out in bows with coin. "It is yours. I think, Sir Bertrand, as generous as he was with the coin that he kept, would be happy to see you rewarded for seeing him off and seeing his murderer to their end."

LAURA: Thank you.

MATT: "Of course."

ROBBIE: I think we would've done it for free.

SAM: I think so, too. We should just give it.

ROBBIE: Would've, would've.

TALIESIN: No comment.

MATT: "It is those who would do it out of the goodness of their heart that deserve the reward the most. Besides, what's the point of keeping what I do, if not to give it to those who are worthy?"

LAURA: It's really cool.

LIAM: I think so, yeah. Excuse me.

MATT: "To your point. I'm reaching out to coordinate a meeting between you and Oshad. No response yet, but as soon as I hear anything, I'll let you know.

LIAM: I'm very grateful. Thank you.

MATT: "Of course. You, and I say this with the deepest respect, all look like shit warmed over."

TALIESIN: Fair.

LAURA: I feel like that.

MATT: "Go rest, find a place to celebrate. You've brushed shoulders with the Hubatt Corsairs and walked away, and avenged a friend. Be off."

LAURA: Can we be off to the room upstairs where we can stay?

MARISHA: Yeah, can we sleep at yours again tonight?

MATT: "The danger after you seems to have subsided with the death of your hunter."

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Sure, yes. But the beds, the mattresses are so nice.

MATT: "I have three beds between seven individuals."

SAM: We can probably buy a bed with that.

LAURA: Yeah, it's fine. We'll find a place. We'll find a place.

MATT: "If you feel in sufficient danger, then you may stay. But otherwise, I do enjoy my privacy."

LAURA: Yeah, we don't, it's fine.

LIAM: We don't want to overstay our welcome.

LAURA: Thank you so much, Lord Eshteross.

MATT: "Of course. It's the only reason I speak up."

TALIESIN: Spire by Fire.

MARISHA: Sure.

TALIESIN: Spire by Fire? Spire by Fire?

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Spire by Fire.

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: Spire by Fire.

MATT: "Very well."

SAM: Sure.

MATT: "Have a good night, friends."

ASHLEY: Goodbye, Lord Eshteross.

SAM: Sure you don't want to come with?

MATT: "Absolutely not."

ASHLEY: Get a little drinky drink?

MATT: My days of rabble rousing are long over.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: "It would put you in danger to do so."

SAM: Mm.

LAURA: Thank you.

MATT: "Sleep well, friends. You've earned it."

LAURA: How much did he give you?

MATT: As you begin to count through, at a quick glance, you have to take some time to truly count it through, but there's, you're guessing at a quick look, well over a thousand gold here, if not more.

TALIESIN: About a thousand gold-ish. Well, I mean, we'll count. We'll count.

LAURA: What about the other little pouch that I took off of Dugger?

MATT: There was three silver, five copper.

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: Very little funds.

SAM: I'll take that copper. (laughter)

MATT: Tired and sore, mission accomplished, friend avenged. Side-by-side, you all saunter with your rewards back to the Spire by Fire to set yourself to an evening of comfort, drink, and much needed rest. And that's where we'll go ahead and end tonight's game. You all level up to level four! (cheering)

MARISHA: We lived, we lived, we lived to see a level up.

ROBBIE: Barely, barely, barely.

SAM: Are we going to roll right now?

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: That's why I was questioning about the ring, because it's a 5th-level. The Telekinesis is a 5th-level spell. So I don't know if I was.

MATT: 5th-level spell doesn't matter about your level, the item carries it.

LAURA: If you have the item.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: I mean, I knew.

LAURA: That's hardcore, yeah.

MATT: No, good question.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay. That's what I've been meaning to ask you.

MATT: Everyone is now level four, so let's go ahead and do a round of hit point rolls here. Who wants to begin?

MARISHA: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

LIAM: Oh man.

LAURA: But this won't-- Does this technically-- Do we get the long rest or we have to take that after?

MATT: You guys can take the long rest.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: The evening goes without issue. (chuckles)

SAM: d8.

TALIESIN: d12.

MATT: All right. You're going first?

MARISHA: Are we d6s?

LAURA: I think d6s.

TALIESIN: Woo!

MATT: That's a full-on 12.

TALIESIN: That's a 12, baby!

MATT: I've got to get creative to kill you. All right, who's up next?

ROBBIE: How for to know? How do I know this?

MATT: It's a d8.

ROBBIE: It's a d8?

LAURA: Yeah, it's a d6 that we get to roll.

MARISHA: Okay.

ROBBIE: I'm using these dice that you gifted me.

TALIESIN: Holy shit. I'm a problem.

ROBBIE: No look. Five.

MATT: Five? That's good, so five plus, go ahead and add five to your placed-in number, your rolled number, and it should add your.

SAM: We'll help you.

MATT: We'll help you with that after the game.

ROBBIE: I'll take afterwards. I'll take the helps.

MATT: No worries. But you rolled five, all right, who's next?

SAM: You want to go?

MARISHA: I will be taking my next level in sorcerer.

SAM: Oh.

TALIESIN: Decide what I want for.

MARISHA: Yikes. Two.

MATT: Two? Oof, all right. There you go.

ROBBIE: Glass cannon, let's go.

MARISHA: Glass cannon.

MATT: That's how it works.

ROBBIE: Love it.

SAM: I will roll a one.

LAURA: Oof, reroll.

MATT: Reroll ones.

SAM: I get to reroll ones. A-three.

MATT: There you go.

LAURA and ASHLEY: (rolled r) Three.

LAURA: A-one.

ALL: A-two.

TALIESIN: A-three.

ASHLEY: Seven!

MATT: Nice. Getting them hit points, Fearne.

ASHLEY: Yes.

LAURA: Two.

MATT: Two to Imogen.

TALIESIN: That can't be right.

LIAM: Six.

TALIESIN: Is that right?

MATT: All righty, six.

TALIESIN: My hit points are stupid and I'm so sorry.

MATT: No, it's okay. I'll find ways.

TALIESIN: I know.

ROBBIE and MATT: (laugh)

TALIESIN: I mean, honestly, I have too many hit points.

ROBBIE: You're made of stone.

MATT: There are more ways to stop you beyond just damage.

TALIESIN: I know, I know.

MATT: If the whole campaign with Grog is any indication.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

MATT: All righty, hit points rolled, levels chosen. We'll go ahead and close out for the night. We'll pick up here for next session, but thank you all for joining us so much tonight. We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? (cheering)

MATT: Good night.

MARISHA: Level four!

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