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List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hello, and welcome to this evening’s episode of Critical Role! We’ll be with you in just a second. Unfortunately we’re down a Travis Willingham tonight, but in Grog’s stead we have the rest of the party venturing forth into the Emberhold after just recently discovering Lady Kima. We shall see what happens very shortly, but in the meantime, let’s go ahead and give you guys some character backstory.

[dramatic music]

ASHLEY: Pike grew up on the outskirts of town, near the Bramblewood. Her ancestors were a family of deep gnomes with quite an unfavorable reputation. Thievery, destruction, and trickery left them with the curse of the last name Trickfoot. Sarenrae, the goddess of healing and redemption, had other plans for Pike’s great-great-grandfather Wilhand, who left his family at a young age after a dream, a dream that changed the course of the Trickfoot family. Wilhand devoted his life to Sarenrae, and pledged from then on that him and his family would live a life of service and devotion. As a child, Pike seemed to have an affinity to heal. Whether it was animals, people, or even flowers, she felt she had a purpose in making things whole that had once been broken. She studied and learned the ways to heal through divine magic. She lived a peaceful life, quiet and simple, until one day Wilhand was captured and almost killed by a group of goliath barbarians. One of the goliaths took a stand against the murder of the innocent gnome, and he himself was beaten, bloodied, and left for dead, abandoned by his herd. Wilhand went to Pike for help. She prayed and healed this barbarian as best she could, bringing him back to life. When he awoke, she discovered his name was Grog Strongjaw. After that, they were the best of friends, a rather unlikely pair. Little did she know that in a few years’ time Grog would soon return the favor and bring her back from the clutches of death. (roaring, crunch) After being killed in battle, Pike felt angry. She wanted to be stronger so that it would never happen again. She spent four months at sea, training with the men and women aboard a ship called the Broken Howl. Gripping her holy symbol in one hand, and her morningstar in the other, this time, Pike is ready.

TRAVIS: Right, listen up! If you have ale, then you have a friend in Grog Strongjaw! A goliath of towering height and size, this barbarian has an appetite for the two great loves in his life: combat, women, and ale! [record scratch] Wait. Easily the brains of the group, Grog is often consulted for his vast knowledge of shapes, colors, and shiny things! Also ale. In his early years, armed with his two-handed greataxe, Grog often enjoyed proving his might amongst the ranks of his family’s wandering herd. But after coming upon an unsuspecting elderly gnome in the woods, he objected to the killing of such an innocent life. A creature of impulse, Grog felt only pity for this– well, this terrified little thing. And his disobedience cost him dearly. Beaten bloody, and banished by the herd leader, his Uncle Kevdak, Grog was abandoned and left to die. Exiled from his herd, it was then that the relative of the very gnome he fought to save, saved him. It was the kindness of a gnome cleric named Pike that healed Grog, bringing him back from death’s edge. And they have remained close friends ever since. Most nights, Grog can be found challenging entire taverns to wrestling matches! Or accompanying Scanlan to the nearest house where you pay for lady favors. Also ale!

MARISHA: A first impression of Keyleth would leave you with little information on the half-elven druid. You might even think that her social awkwardness due to her sheltered upbringing is kind of sweet. Of course, it would be unwise underestimate her based on first impressions. [thunder crack] Under that un-intimidating petite frame is a vicious beast waiting to be unleashed, whose natural powers have made even the fiercest of champions pee their pants, literally! Born to the Air Tribe of the Ashari people, Keyleth was raised with a deep love of nature and the elemental magics. It is her people’s inherent duty to protect the delicate areas in Tal'Dorei where the four elemental planes begin to bleed with this realm. Since she was a little girl, she had quite a knack for air manipulation and beast shaping abilities. Well, if you consider kittens and flying squirrels to be little beasts...which, I do. Anyways, it wasn’t long before the headmaster of the tribe, her father, Korrin, realized her true prodigious abilities and she was inveterated to succeed him as the next headmaster. Just like that, her jovial childhood was stripped and replaced with endless spell memorization, teachings from ancient traditions, and exceedingly high expectations. Every druid leader-to-be must embark on a journey to seek out the sister tribes in order to introduce and establish respect amongst the fellow headmasters. They call this the Aramente, or Noble Odyssey. When her father felt she was ready, he set her on the path to truly discovering herself, not knowing when, or if, she will ever return. As she hiked down the mountain towards Stilben, she meditated on the task ahead. Part of the Aramente is proving yourself a strong warrior, a valiant protector, and a wise and compassionate leader. With this knowledge, one thought plays in repeat in her mind: Is she even worthy?

TALIESIN: Percy was the third child of seven children, born to a noble family who lived far to the north in the ancient castle of Whitestone. With so many siblings to share the burdens of lordship, Percy turned his attention to the sciences, engineering, and naturalism. One day, a mysterious couple, named Lord and Lady Briarwood, came to court. During a feast held in their honor, the Briarwoods violently took control of the castle, killing or imprisoning everyone who would stand in their way. Percy awoke chained in the dungeon, only to be freed by his younger sister. Together they fled, chased by the Briarwoods’ men. As they ran, Percy’s sister took several arrows to the chest and fell. Percy kept running, eventually jumping into a freezing river and floating unconscious to freedom. He did not remember waking up on a fishing boat. He barely remembered the next two years, as he slowly made his way as far south as possible. Then one night, Percy had a dream: a roaring cloud of smoke offered him vengeance against those who destroyed his family. When he awoke, Percy began to design his first gun.

SAM: Oh, you haven’t heard of Scanlan Shorthalt? Well, gird your loins, ladies, because he has his eye on you. A talented musician, master of disguise, and dashingly handsome in his own mind, Scanlan sings songs almost as much as he sings his own praises. Born a poor gnome, Scanlan used his endless charm and soaring tenor voice to croon for coin and support his single mother. One day, he was discovered by a half-orc promoter, and joined Dr. Dranzel’s Spectacular Traveling Troupe where he learned the ways of the world, and honed his skills as a bard extraordinaire. A loner much of his life, Scanlan has never quite come to terms with the violent death of his mother at the hands of a goblin invasion. While his years on the road provided many, shall we say, educational experiences with the opposite sex, deep down Scanlan yearns for the one thing he’s never known: the true love of a fellow gnome. Still, Scanlan considers himself a lover first, performer second, and fighter distant third. On the battlefield, he’ll support his allies, but rarely draws blood, unless it’s to protect fellow gnome, Pike. Count on Scanlan for a hearty laugh, a rollicking song, and a twinkle in his eye that melts hearts and makes the females swoon.

ORION: Greetings and salutations, I am Tiberius Stormwind. I hail from a town called Tyriex, located in the heart of Draconia. Born from a politically respected family, at the age of 15, I succeeded in passing the Sorcerer’s Rite, showing prodigy-like control of my magic. The judges and the Draconian high council were amazed at how powerful my spells were for how long I had been training. At 20 years old, I was the youngest appointed member of the magic guild in Draconian history. For the next few years, I almost went mad from the malaise of being a guild member, as it’s rather boring. However, one day I happened upon a chamber, unused for quite some time. In the room were stacks of books and maps of the surrounding cities and areas around the known world. For months, I would frequent the chamber, and learned of artifacts from legend. After a long period of research, I made a list of artifacts that caught my eye. I brought these findings to the high council and was told that all of the information in the chamber I had stumbled upon was either believed to be fiction, or unsolvable mysteries, and hence were lost forever. I found those answers to be unacceptable. A year later, I devised a ruse and managed to convince the city council to lend support in me leaving Draconia on a mission of peace and diplomacy for the surrounding kingdoms. Going from town to town and making friends and allies in and for the name of Draconia. Being a red dragonborn, I had quite the task on my hands in that respect, but it was exactly what I needed so I could explore the world and find these artifacts, as I felt the truth was out there. Some may describe me as buffoonish, but I say poppycock to all that. I am much sharper than most give me credit for. I just don’t pay attention to things sometimes. I’ve also been known to be rather cunning, loyal, happy-go-lucky, and well, dangerous. I can’t help but show my true scales every now and then. But overall, I think I’m quite friendly for a dragonborn.

LIAM: Never entirely welcome in the company of elves or men, Vax'ildan learned at a young age to skip past formality, preferring instead to invite himself in your door. Along with twin sister, Vex'ahlia, Vax was born by a chance encounter between elven royalty and human peasantry. Raised by their mother in their early years, the twins were eventually sent off to their father in the elven capital of Syngorn. But their cool reception among the elves there never warmed, and their time in the capital didn’t last. The siblings stole away one autumn night and set out on the open road. After a few years of wandering, they eventually decided to return to their mother, and journeyed back to the lands of their youth. But instead of finding their childhood home, they returned to a pile of rubble. Their mother was gone, their home burned to ash. Pressing the townspeople for answers, they learned of the day the dragon came. With their ties all severed, Vax'ildan and his sister set out to find their fortune together in Tal'Dorei. An outsider since birth, Vax quickly learned to solve life’s challenges in his own particular way, often by sidestepping them entirely. And when his knack for circumventing adversity isn’t enough, the way of blades the elves schooled him in more than makes up the difference.

LAURA: Like so many half-elves, Vex'ahlia has spent most of her life suffering the cool reception of a people who don’t fully accept her. Born of a human mother, and an elven father who only later in life took an interest in their existence, Vex'ahlia and her twin brother, Vax'ildan, quickly realized the only people they could truly rely on in this world were each other. It was at the age of ten when the two were taken from their mother, and brought to live in Syngorn, the isolated elven city for which their father was an ambassador. He quietly took them in, but always kept an icy distance, and after too many years of disdainful looks, the pair decided to leave his indifference behind, and set out on their own. Vax took to the cities, stealing small trinkets and learning the ways of the thief, while Vex kept to the woods. She preferred the isolation. Always the keen observer, she learned to hunt and to track, to spy and to shoot. Through a series of fateful events, earned herself a companion in the form of a bear– her own stolen Trinket – to fight alongside her and protect her fiercely. Also, he is adorable, and gives expert massages.

[dramatic music]

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome back to the next episode of Critical Role. We unfortunately are down one Grog this evening, as I mentioned before.

ALL: (distressed noises)

MATT: We are missing him terribly. We’ll see what terrors will transpire in his absence. However, though! We do have some fun things to announce real fast: first off, we’re still giving away promo kits for every 50 subscribers we get, so we’ll be having those randomly drawn from everyone in the chat room every time 50 subscribers are joined to the channel, I guess you would say. Also, every ten subscribers we’re giving away Steam keys for different games, so also cool giveaways, which is kind of fun. I want to take a moment also to mention our… charity, there, that’s the word I was looking for, it’s been a long day.

(laughter)

MATT: Our charity, 826LA, which we’re putting up links in the chat room for you guys if you’re able to donate. It’s a fantastic program that tutors children, helps with creative writing and general literacy skills. It’s a wonderful program, you can look it up at 826LA, you should Google it, find the website, it has all the information you need. It’s a really great charity and we’re still pushing that through our show every week, so thank you for all who have donated, and if you have the opportunity to, I highly recommend it. Also! I wanted to let you guys know we have– Marisha wants to mention a cool sponsor tonight or at least a promotional push we’re pushing.

MARISHA: Yes! Yes! Friends of the show, Espionage Cosmetics, hooked us all up with some awesome nerdy manicures. We’ll tweet pictures of our nails, so yes, we’re all wearing awesome nails and we’re going to be doing a giveaway from Espionage. Their tabletop bath bombs, which are awesome d20s–

MATT: d10s, technically.

MARISHA: Oh, d10s– No, there’s a d20! There’s a d10 and there’s a percentile die!

MATT: No, you’re right! I saw the wrong side of it, my apologies. Forget I said anything.

MARISHA: So yes, and we’ll probably also go ahead and throw in a Critical Role signed picture as well with this. What you have to do is tweet @EspionageMakeup, is their twitter, @EspionageMakeup and #CriticalRole, and tell them what your favorite character is from Critical Role and who your favorite nail wraps are today and then we’ll pick at half-time a winner.

MATT: Indeed. So fantastic. I may have some more stuff down the road we’ll be able to talk about but in the meantime, let’s go ahead and get everyone caught up to speed with what has transpired recently on Critical Role.

Part IEdit

MATT: So the party, to give you a quick overview for those who have just joined us, they were given a mission to seek out a female halfling paladin named Lady Kima of Vord, who had been missing, going on a vision quest, apparently seeking some deep, dark evil that had begun to simmer and grow beneath the dwarven city of Kraghammer. The party managed to make their way to the city, delve deep within its caverns to discover an entire series of caves, and what eventually led to the Underdark itself. A subterranean landscape of terror and darkness. After a series of battles with some duergar, which are kinda ashy-skinned evil dwarven offshoot people, characters, and a few brushes with some illithids or mind flayer creatures, they managed to befriend one, or I should say, ally with one named Clarota. Who has been traveling with them, who has apparently been kicked away from his society and wishes reentry to save them from the kind of ominous presence of this unseen, barely spoken entity called K'vorn. K'varn.

(laughter)

MATT: Long day. Long day. So upon traveling deep into the recesses–

SAM: Don’t worry Matt, you just have to talk for three straight hours.

MATT: (laughs) I know. I know.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Your day is just getting started.

MATT: I know. But yes, so they have now, after a series of battles, found their way into the magma-covered, kind of obsidian jagged caverns where the Emberhold, the duergar fortress currently resides, where they believe Lady Kima was. Upon finding a way in, unfortunately announcing their presence to the fortress itself, they managed to find Lady Kima in a torture chamber beneath Emberhold, save her, slay her oppressor, and now they have, after a tenuous alliance was made– as Lady Kima and their mind-flayer friend Clarota are very much at odds– a very tenuous alliance was forged. And they now journey back up to the main basement floor, or main base floor of the Emberhold proper. And that’s where we left off last time. So, hope you can absorb all that, guys. (laughs)

SAM: We are inside this fortress.

MATT: Correct.

SAM: We are moving towards the armory. We’re trying to find the armory or something, is that right?

MATT: You’re trying to find, essentially– Lady Kima has mentioned she wants to find the rest of her equipment that she says is either in an armory, or she mentioned a vault. And also she knows– she mentioned something about vengeance to those who run the keep. So she stormed up.

LAURA: We’re following her, right?

MATT: You’ve followed her back into the base floor of the Emberhold itself. You all currently are now back kinda where you started after you snuck into the side passage of the Emberhold.

LAURA: And she said she would lead the way to the vault?

SAM: Can we be quiet for a second and see if there’s any footsteps around us or guards marching around? Are we in immediate peril or do we have a second?

MATT: Certainly. Everyone go ahead and make an immediate perception roll.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: So fast!

MARISHA: Website went live, if you want to announce that now or later.

MATT: Later. Two?

LAURA: No, 22! (laughs)

LIAM: 28.

ASHLEY: 13.

TALIESIN: 24.

ORION: Fail.

SAM: Ten. (laughs)

MATT: That’s a fail! All right, so– You’ve got to be ready!

MARISHA: 27!

MATT: Okay.

(laughter)

SAM: I’m sure he’ll give you half of that.

MATT: Nearly at the ready. All right, so as you all take a moment and kind of steel yourselves, your ears perk up and you can hear what sounds like echoes of distant footsteps down hallways, far out of sight. You hear some movement across the stone ceiling above you that eventually comes to a stop. And you wait for about a minute, and the entire place is now in a very eerie silence.

LIAM: They know we’re here, still.

LAURA: But they don’t know where we are.

LIAM: No.

ORION: Maybe they went to sleep?

TALIESIN: Lady Kima, do you remember where the vault is? Do you remember how we can get back there?

MATT: Kima turns to you, her eyes still peering back, and she’s creeping towards the edge of the hallway. She looks back at you, briefly, and says, “I’ve only seen half of this stronghold before they captured me. As far as I know, probably somewhere on the second floor.”

LAURA: What floor are we on now?

MATT: “The ground floor.”

LIAM: The ground floor.

LAURA: Right, cool.

ASHLEY: So it’s just one up?

(laughter)

MATT: “Apparently.”

LIAM: Were there stairs– When we went down that set of stairs there, was there also stairs going up right there, or stairs going up?

MATT: There were stairs– Right there? No. There were stairs going up in the first room you entered.

LAURA: Oh, right! So we could go back in the little storage room.

LIAM: We could.

LAURA: And go up.

LIAM: We should just spend the next three hours in the storage room.

LAURA: Let’s go in the storage room and go up.

LIAM: Lady Kima, allow me to take a peek around the corner, see what’s going on.

So I’m gonna go stealth.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll stealth.

LIAM: And inch past her. That’s good. 29.

MATT: 29? All right. She begrudgingly steps back. You can see there’s that eagerness to get in some sort of a fray or to feel somebody else bash along the side of this greatsword that she borrowed from you guys. She lets you pass. You creep up along the edge. As you do, you see– back here there is, in the middle of this hallway, a series of doorways, and what looks to be a large room in the center of the chamber where two duergar currently stand.

LIAM: I turn back to the group.

TALIESIN: (whispers) How about the other way?

SAM: Why don’t we just kill them?

LIAM: Isn’t that a corner– a dead-on corner right there?

MATT: This is another hallway.

LIAM: Another hallway.

SAM: Let’s go kill the duergar.

LAURA: How dark is it in here? Is it like–

MATT: No. It’s pretty dark in here. Like, with low light vision, you’re able to see maybe a good 30 to 40 feet ahead of you. There are a few of those red crystal clusters that give off a little bit of light, incrementally, but duergar themselves, you’ve gotten to the point where you see they like it very, very dark. They actually aren’t needing light. This is more of a courtesy to guests they may have.

LAURA: So potentially, brother, we could take them both out if you throw your knife and I do an arrow.

ORION: Wait, didn’t we see further past that, ‘cause that’s where Grog did the–

(crushing noise)

SAM: No, this is the area that we haven’t been in yet.

LIAM: I just put up a hand, and then slip around this direction and slip down this second hallway that you revealed.

MATT: All right. As you step past, you do see, this room here is a little ajar; the inside looks to be a storage room. There’s just a series of boxes, barrels, and various–

LAURA: (gasps) Maybe you can put yourself in a box and walk around.

MARISHA: (gasps) Yes! Metal Gear Solid it!

LIAM: I continue to creep away from my sister, specifically.

MATT: All right, you glare down the side of this hallway. It leads to two other smaller rooms down the way, with a split towards the back end. There does not appear to be anybody visible in that hall.

LIAM: All right, I got this, I’m going to keep going.

SAM: Wait, what about us!?

LAURA: Why are you doing this?

MATT: All right, so you go past this way.

SAM: Jesus. Two duergar, we can take them out in a second!

MATT: Now this hallway, there appears to be an opening to this room, no doorway.

LAURA: Everybody wait while my brother goes on a field trip.

MATT: And this additional room, you do not currently see an entrance.

LIAM: An opening that’s not a doorway? Or–

MATT: I mean, there isn’t a door in the way, it’s just an opening.

LIAM: The door is open. All right, so I’m going to press against the wall, up to the edge, wait for five seconds, see if I can hear anything, and then if not, curve around and peek in.

MATT: Perception roll.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: 20. You take a moment and listen. You hear what sounds like a light crackling of some sort of a fire? And the occasional dull ring of metal being hit against metal.

SAM: What was it? Metal against metal?

LIAM: Okay, I’m going to get low to the ground, and peek in the door.

MATT: All right. Peeking through, you do see, indeed, it is some sort of a smithy, with two kilns, or two anvils, set up, a work table in the center, and there is one lone duergar that, apparently, in the middle of his work, has not been paying attention to any of the ruckus going on around, and is just in the middle of hitting some sort of long, thick piece of black iron, and it’s just, (ting ting), sweat dripping down the front of his brow, the room itself is– even against the corner of the doorway, you can tell the temperature is a lot warmer on the inside.

LIAM: And his back is to me, currently?

MATT: It’s kinda to the side to you. He’s currently looking– working out the anvil, banging down.

LIAM: So this way?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: Oh, but I see the door on the other side, so I take the earring–

SAM: Oh, why don’t you just keep going forever?

LIAM: – take the earring and I whisper to my sister, (whispers) follow along.

LAURA: Oh. I’ve been invited on the field trip, guys!

SAM: Just you?

LAURA: Just me!

SAM: Come on!

LAURA: Who else can stealth?

MARISHA: I’m a stealthy panther right now.

LAURA: Do you wanna be something and pop in my pocket? (laughs) That sounded wrong.

MATT: You haven’t had a short rest yet, and you do–

MARISHA: (clears throat) I was gonna say, I’m still a cat form. But I can accompany you.

LAURA: I should not go with you, I can’t stealth for shit right now.

(laughter)

LAURA: I rolled a seven.

LIAM: (whispers) Send Scanlan up.

LAURA: (whispers) Scanlan.

SAM: Huh, what?

LAURA: My brother’s calling for you.

MATT: You feel the oppressive force of Clarota’s voice in your heads simultaneously say, “I can also accompany.”

ASHLEY: Good plan. Good plan, Clarota.

SAM: All right. I’ll step ahead and go invisible.

MATT: All right, so mark off your next Invisibility spell. As you vanish, Clarota also kind of waves his hand for a moment, and his image disappears the same way Scanlan’s did.

SAM: Ooh! He does that too?

MATT: Apparently.

LAURA: What did he do?

SAM: He went invisible! (sings) We’re walking down a hall, nobody’s watching us.

(laughter)

MATT: As you’re humming to yourself–

SAM: Oh no!

MATT: You make your way down and eventually towards the back of where Vax is pressed against the–

LIAM: I can feel Scanlan’s flute pressing into my buttocks.

SAM: That’s not my flute!

(laughter)

LIAM: So I turn to them, and then I start– I pass the door.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I’m gonna go around the corner to that other door.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: And now I’m going to stab the duergar in the neck.

MATT: All right! Go ahead and roll for an attack!

LIAM: Natural 20, natural 20!

(cheering)

MATT: That’s how you start the game.

MARISHA: It’s a good day! I feel like it’s gonna be a good day.

MATT: All righty. So go ahead and roll damage. This is a sneak attack, as he didn’t– it was not aware you were there.

LIAM: I’ll use my keen dagger, I think. Four plus seven is– This is a pencil, right? Okay, 11. Where– how do you make it work? 11.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Eight, 13–

SAM: Get him in the neck so he can’t yell.

LIAM: Ooh. 66.

MATT: You don’t multiply the modifier. The modifier goes on at the end. So it’s the dice roll plus your sneak attack, multiplied by two, and then the dex modifier at the end.

MARISHA: That’s a lot!

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Plus seven, I think, right at the end.

LIAM: Yeah, that’s right. So it’s the damage plus the sneak attack, double that–

MATT: And then add the plus seven at the end.

LAURA: That’s 28 times two plus seven.

LIAM: 26.

MATT: Splitting hairs here! That’s enough. So.

LIAM: One plus two plus two plus one.

MATT: So you hear this, ‘Tink! Tink! Tink!’ (pause) That’s it. Without even a guttural noise, the dagger buries itself in the base of his skull. You see him just (grunts) and slump down to the ground.

LIAM: I catch the hammer and I start going ‘Tink! Tink! Tink!’ And wave the two invisible beings into the room.

ASHLEY: Hey! What happened in there?

SAM: We’re here! We’re ready to fight. What do you need us to do?

MATT: Kima at this point– You can see her hand kind of tensing around the sword as she looks back at Grog, whose hands are also wringing his greataxe. “I want to kill something!” She kind of backs off to the side and sees the other duergar that are there.

ASHLEY: (Grog voice) I want to rage!

MATT: And she’s going to go ahead and run around.

LIAM: Don’t waste my natural 20, Kima. Come on!

LAURA: Man, you can’t control Kima!

MARISHA: This is why we don’t have AI in the party, guys. You can’t control the AI.

MATT: You know you guys are telling a very, very angry woman right now to be patient. Doesn’t seem to make a ruckus.

LAURA: Can I sneak up to the corner at least, so I can be ready to attack those two bastards?

MATT: Over to here? All righty. Trinket, who hasn’t seen you in a while, is sticking to your back.

LAURA: I sit there and I kind of pet him as I look around the corner.

MATT: Okay. Trinket is enjoying the petting. All right, so that duergar’s down, the current armory section appears to be completely open and at your disposal. There are a series of partially made weapons kind of scattered in a pile. There are some ingots, and even some raw iron material in the far corner. Other than that, it just looks like your general smithing workshop.

SAM: Is Kima with us now?

MATT: Kima is currently looking around this section with you guys.

SAM: Kima, do you see any of your equipment here that you wanted?

MATT: She glances around, goes and move some of the piles by, turning over the room as quietly as she can– not as quietly as you’d like– but quiet enough. “No. Nothing’s here.”

SAM: Can’t you just take one of these things and call it a day?

(laughter)

MATT: She glares in the direction of your voice.

SAM: I’m invisible, I–

MATT: “This will do me just fine for now!”

SAM: Oh!

MATT: “Right. Let’s keep looking.” She leaves the room. She starts heading down this way–

LIAM: All right, I’m following after her, tiptoeing after her.

LAURA: We should go after her. 'Cause we’re all gonna split up.

LIAM: Yeah, I speak into my earring and say zubba zubba zubba zubba.

LAURA: Let’s all go in that back way and see if we can stealth around.

MATT: Okay. For everyone else, stealth check.

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

ASHLEY: Here we go!

ORION: Yes! Natural 20!

MATT: Disadvantage on you, Pike, because of your heavy armor.

ASHLEY: So that means I roll twice?

MATT: Roll twice, take the lower.

ASHLEY: I take the lower one.

ORION: Now as that happens, I want to cast Mage Hand and I want to cast Light on it, and I want to slowly have it drift down there.

MATT: They’re both concentration spells. You can have one or the other.

ORION: Dagnabbit.

MATT: Mage Hand isn’t an actual object, unfortunately.

ORION: Dagnabbit. Okay, fine. Instead I cast Prestidigitation and I make a little glowy orb, and it’s a little flickery, and I cast– I think I can maybe try, what, 15 feet?

MATT: Okay. And where are you casting it? Just in the middle of this hallway here?

ORION: No. To my left.

MATT: Here?

SAM: He wants to see in the dark place.

ORION: I wanna see in the dark place.

MATT: There is no entrance to this room currently from what you can see. It’s just a wall. There is a door on the opposite side.

SAM: Now it’s a well-lit wall.

ORION: Hm. All right, well, I follow after the bear.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, so what was your stealth roll?

LAURA: Oh, it was 17.

MATT: 17. Roll for Trinket.

LAURA: Oh gosh.

SAM: (bear noises)

LAURA: I thought he just got what I got. Crap.

SAM: Not good.

LAURA: What do I add to it?

SAM: Nothing.

MATT: Add his dex modifier. Trinket’s dex modifier.

LAURA: Okay, hold on. Hold on. Oh, good.

LIAM and LAURA: 11.

MATT: All right, as you guys are making your way down the hallway, slowly–

LAURA: I kinda clamp my hand over his mouth and tell him to shush.

MATT: You guys make your way down here. One of the duergar glances over–

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: – utters something to the friend at his side and he goes–

LIAM: I heard the bear and I start sliding my back down along the wall.

LAURA: Oh crap. I turn around and notch my arrow for them.

MATT: Okay, Trinket moves past

TALIESIN: I walk up to the very, very edge of the hallway.

LIAM: And I’m stabbing! Stabbing, stabbing! Stabbing.

ORION: Matthew, behind the bear.

MATT: You move behind the bear?

ORION: Yes.

MATT: You are right there and they both see you.

ORION: No, no, the other bear. I mean, the other side of the bear.

MATT: As you’re walking behind Trinket, all this transpires simultaneously. Right. And they saw the bear and then saw something move behind it. Their attention was got. They see you and they start walking towards–

LIAM: Stabbing duergars, stabbing duergars.

MATT: However, as they pass there, you get one shot at this guy as he passes past you. Go ahead and make your attack.

ORION: I wave at them.

MATT: Okay. (laughs) Tiberius waves at them.

MARISHA: I go ahead and move up next to Percy.

ORION: Hello. I don’t think they’re our friends.

MATT: Unfortunately, the space is a little limited for your size. You have to wait for the rest of them to let you by.

MARISHA: Oh, but Grog’s behind me. He’s not here, right? Where’s Grog?

MATT: You’re a big cat right now.

MARISHA: I’m a big kitty.

LIAM: I rolled a 15.

MATT: 15? 15 does barely hit.

LIAM: Okay, so same keen dagger.

MATT: As you go ahead, move around the corner and fire. Two arrows?

LAURA: 17.

MATT: All right. Second one? Same guy or different targets?

LAURA: Same target. He’s right in front. That one hits too, that’s 19.

MATT: Both hit, go ahead and roll damage on both.

LIAM: 32 for me.

MATT: Okay. So as you watch them both walk past you, one of them continues past with his hammer out, rushing towards whatever he sees moving at the end of the hallway, probably Tiberius after Trinket. The next one that comes past you, you reach around and just take your dagger and swing it across the back of his neck area. You manage to sever the base of the spine and he just crumples into a pile in front of you. The other one– Damage?

LAURA: 22 with the two arrows. Nine and 13.

MATT: Both arrows impact his chest. The duergar steps back for a second, surprised by the moment, looks really furious and begins to step forward, his size enlarging.

TALIESIN: I knock him right in the face with the butt of my gun as he rounds the corner.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and make a stealth check to see whether or not he sees you.

TALIESIN: I can’t use my previous stealth roll?

MATT: Not for this point. This is an active combat.

TALIESIN: Damn it. Eight.

MATT: Okay. So you still get the attack, but you don’t have advantage, 'cause he’s aware you’re there. As he’s running past you, he glances and sees you in the corner of his eye and is preparing for the blows. Go ahead and roll your attack.

TALIESIN: What do I add to this, by the way? I’ve never done a physical attack.

MATT: You’re hitting it with the blunt. Go ahead and roll a d20 and add your strength modifier and four.

TALIESIN: All right. Natural 20!

(cheering)

MARISHA: Look, it’s flashing!

TALIESIN: It flashes if I hit a natural 20.

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll damage. It is a 1d4 plus your strength modifier.

TALIESIN: So that would be 2d4 plus my strength modifier, because it’s a natural 20.

MATT: Correct, yes.

TALIESIN: That’s six points of damage.

MATT: Well, it’s five on there, right?

TALIESIN: My strength modifier is one.

MATT: Okay, so that’s five times two is ten plus one. 11 points of damage.

TALIESIN: 11 points of damage.

MATT: Which will do it. As the duergar sees you, is rushing past with his hammer, about to fall back and swing at you, you rush out from behind the corner with the blunt end of your weapon and just whack him in the side of the temple.

SAM: Girly scream.

ORION: What was that?

TALIESIN: (whispers) We’re good, we’re good.

MATT: Unconscious on the ground. Alive but unconscious.

ASHLEY: He’s not dead? Can I– so he’s at a disadvantage, basically?

MATT: He’s incapacitated.

ASHLEY: So can I go up to him and slit his throat with my mace of disruption? To make sure he’s dead?

MATT: If you’d like to?

ASHLEY: Yes, I want to.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Is that really bad, though?

MATT: Pike walks up and grabs the back of the duergar’s hair, holds it back and using the jagged edge of her mace of disruption, tears open the throat of the duergar, which then spills all this blackish ichor across the ground.

LIAM: She went renegade, folks. She’s gone renegade.

ASHLEY: I just wanted to make sure he didn’t come after us.

MATT: Grog looks impressed but also slightly worried as the man who grew up alongside you. All right, so that happened.

LIAM: And then she says, okay, I’m gonna dismember the body. Hold on.

(laughter)

LAURA: Torture weapons.

SAM: Because I’m invisible in the thing with Lady Kima, I get up on a stool to see if I can catch some cleavage.

(laughter)

SAM: Just peek over, peek in.

MATT: The leather armor that she wore is a full torso-covering leather armor piece, I apologize.

SAM: (sighs) I give up.

MATT: Sorry, Scanlan. She is– Yeah, which by the way, I mean, it’s not just so much the fact that Pike did it, it’s the fact that Pike did it by running a jagged, blade-edged mace across someone’s throat. It was less of a slice and more of a–

ASHLEY: Is Sarenrae gonna get really mad at me?

MATT: We’ll see.

ASHLEY: They’re really bad! If they’re really bad guys, they were super bad. The duergar are so bad. She’d probably be happy–

ORION: Right, Pike, but man, that was rough.

MATT: We’ll find out.

TALIESIN: He had a little duergar back at home.

MATT: So, given this case, now the rest of the party is able to move forward. This hallway now, you can only see about that far down with the current light source. You can see Kima is now moving across–

SAM: Aw, she’s just going?

LAURA: Go listen– aw, she’s still going that direction?

LIAM: All right. I’m tiptoe-jogging behind Kima.

MARISHA: Can we do something to slow her down?

SAM: I can stop her if you want?

MARISHA: Well, I mean, can we– I mean, we don’t wanna stop her I just wanna be like, hey, slow, girl.

LAURA: She’s– you know what? I bet she’s pretty noisy too!

MATT: She’s wearing leather armor, she’s not very noisy right now.

LIAM: I carefully place a hand on Kima’s shoulder, and do a little, sort of, curtsy motion. Allow me, I can–

MATT: Okay, as you do so she kinda stops and looks back over her shoulder and gives a begrudging nod. But you can see she’s– there’s shaking, her hand holding the greatsword is currently shaking with rage.

LIAM: I say– (silent) Two words, three syllables.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, so. Coasting down this hallway. It leads down to an open doorway and a closed doorway immediately to your right. And then the room to– actually, the doorway’s to your left, and to the right you see another wall to another room that you don’t have a doorway currently available.

LIAM: There’s a door to my left and a door straight ahead, right?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Okay, I inch up to the closed door on the left and place my ear to the door and listen.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a perception check.

LIAM: Yeah, natural 20.

MARISHA: What?!

ASHLEY: Come on!

SAM: Yeah. It’s gonna be one of those nights.

LAURA: I need that one! Oh my goodness.

TALIESIN: Don’t. Jinx it.

MATT: I’m gon’ kill all you.

LAURA: No!

(laughter)

MATT: You put your ear to the side, and you hear nothing.

LIAM: Okay. Do I sense any kind of– I’m checking for traps on the door.

MATT: Okay. Yup.

LIAM: Trap’s perception, right? 26.

MATT: So the door itself does not appear to be trapped. It does appear to be locked, though.

LIAM: All right, well, I pull out my picks. And I get a three on that, so–

MATT: That’s okay. It’s a really, really, really crappy lock.

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: You notice that the door itself, it has a locking mechanism on it. It was kinda half-locked, and as you push, it opens up, into a commode.

LIAM: Aw, yes!

MATT: There’s nobody in there. It is a room with what looks almost like a bench, with a series of holes cut into the bench. It’s a communal–

LIAM: Well, I’m tempted to close the door for a moment, but I will press on instead.

SAM: Check for loot!

(laughter)

LAURA: Gross!

LIAM: All right, so I’m going to inch towards that open door ahead of me, see what’s around the corner.

SAM: I’m gonna follow– I’m gonna inch up behind him as well. I’m still invisible, right? How long does that last?

MATT: Okay. It’s concentration for quite some time, I believe.

MARISHA: Actually–

TALIESIN: Really quickly– Oh, do you want to go first?

MARISHA: No, you go.

TALIESIN: Does anyone want to hide these bodies that we’ve just scattered about–

LAURA: Yeah, that would be good!

MARISHA: Inside the loo.

TALIESIN: It’s a perfect place for them to be interred.

LIAM: So, Pike, hold still, please.

ASHLEY: I’m not moving!

SAM: Pike, eviscerate the bodies!

MARISHA: Here, I’m gonna– I’ll walk over, in tiger form, and I just grab one by the scruff and start dragging it.

MATT: Grog helps out. You guys move the two bodies slowly over into the restroom area.

MARISHA: Wait, we kinda prop them up to kinda like Weekend at Bernie’s them, yeah, make them just look like they’re, you know, passed out.

MATT: Okay, as they’re both generally laying back, like they just got really drunk and barely found their way to the toilet.

SAM: And throats slit.

(laughter)

MATT: It’s really rough blockage.

MARISHA: We take that one and kind of like lean him forward so you can’t tell immediately.

MATT: Okay. All right, that’s not a worry. You bring that up to that little area there. All right.

LIAM: Well done, there.

TALIESIN: Oh, thank you.

MATT: You guys move forward to that. Grog has come over here to be able to help. Now, looking down this hallway, here you can see–

SAM: Who we got, who we got?

MATT: This side opens up–

LAURA: All I want to do is find the damn treasure room.

MATT: Looking into this room, it appears to be a barracks. A room that is just filled with different beds, all apparently empty.

LAURA: Oh, they’re up and looking for us.

MARISHA: Apparently empty?

MATT: From what you can see.

MARISHA: Can I use my keen smell to see if I smell any duergar in there?

MATT: Sure. So you slowly approach the door using your keen senses, which opens up this hallway a little bit visibly to you. You can see it goes back quite a bit. Sniffing this room, you can tell that there were duergar there recently. Apparently, at the moment, though, there is no immediate scent that matches a duergar. So the room, for the most part, has been completely evacuated.

MARISHA: Okay, I kinda– even though I’m not a dog, I’m a cat, I still kinda point. I go into pointer face. You know? Like–

ORION: Pointer face?

MARISHA: You know, like a pointer.

LIAM: Yeah, angling your nose forward, all right.

SAM: I think Keyleth has to pee.

(laughter)

SAM: I never had a cat.

LIAM: All right, I’m gonna start sliding down that hall there, ignoring this other passage, and get up to the door and again place my ear to it. Oh look, there’s the front entrance.

MATT: As you look to your right, this is a large foyer-type area with two red carpets that are rolled on the sides of it that lead to the front of the main double-sided, large ten-foot-tall stone doors of the front of the fortress. To your left, there is a double wooden door, about eight feet tall each side, about five feet wide, that are currently closed, leading into whatever this large chamber is immediately to your left.

SAM: Can I hang a right and go down that other hall?

TALIESIN: We should check out what’s in that other hall.

SAM: Is there a door over there?

MATT: There are two doors, actually.

SAM: Closed?

MATT: Both closed.

SAM: I’m going to listen into those doors.

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Natural 17.

(cheering)

MARISHA: Gotta love that nat 17.

MATT: Listening in, you don’t hear any noise.

SAM: That could mean nothing.

LIAM: Are you at the double doors with me?

SAM: I’m to the right. I went the other way.

LIAM: Okay. I’m going to listen at the big wooden doors, and I rolled, oh, not that great. 17.

MATT: All right. Listening in–

ORION: I scootch up ahead of Grog like, excuse me, excuse me.

MATT: As you listen back, there is no noise internally, except for the slight squeak as you put yourself against the door. It shifts a little bit, making no noticeable noise, but it appears the doors are unlocked, or there is no lock.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: You’re not hearing anything from inside that one door you’re at.

SAM: Wait, I just heard a noise?

MATT: No, you hear no noise coming from that room.

SAM: Oh, okay. Stinking Cloud, can I go through doors, or do I have to see what I’m casting it at?

MATT: You have to have sight, unfortunately. I mean, you could peek very low.

SAM: I’m going to open the door and look.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: 'Cause why not?

MATT: You open the door. It appears to be some sort of a guest bedroom. It’s a singular bed that’s in much better condition than the barracks, it’s empty, it’s well-made. It’s more lit than the other rooms. It seems to be a room that’s designed for either non-duergar riff-raff or general soldiers or guests or people that would come to the fortress to stay, so.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: I’m going to try to peer into the door, and I haven’t talked about this before, but I’m wearing a cloak of elvenkind, which means I have advantage on stealth, and enemies have disadvantage on spotting me, so I’m going to lean my head in.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Do I need to roll for stealth or am I already stealthed?

MATT: For this, you’re already stealthed. So as you glance inside the room, you see what appears to be a great hall of some kind. There are large wooden tables, there is a fire pit in the center that has a number of mostly burned wood that is mainly just small darkened embers with a little bit of glowing yellow and red to it. There are stools scattered about the room, you can see there are remnants of some of a meal that hasn’t been fully cleaned up yet on some of the tables. But the room appears to be empty. You do see a slight glimmer across the way on one of the tables.

LIAM: Oh, I’m going to go check it out.

LAURA: (whispers) Get the sparkly thing.

MATT: All right. Everyone else, what are you doing?

SAM: Can I look around the guest bedroom? Just kinda snoop around up in things?

LAURA: Can I ask him, I’m asking you what you see in there. What do you see in there?

LIAM: I don’t know yet, hold on

LAURA: Is it sparkly?

LIAM: I’m going to try to sense for traps in this room.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I’m going to snoop in the barracks.

MATT: Snoop in the barracks.

LIAM: 14.

ORION: I’m going to make my way around all this riff-raff, uh, no, uh, yes.

MATT: You push your way through. “Excuse me, excuse me, pardon me.” Pushing through everybody.

ORION: I’m going to go past where Vax is in the room down that hallway, then I’m going to do my Mage Hand thingy again. Oh, my Prestidigitation.

MATT: Down this hallway?

ORION: Mm-hm.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: Slowly, five feet by five feet.

MATT: All right. You see slowly, as you move down this hallway to check it out, a secondary set of barracks that are also apparently empty.

LAURA: Where are they? The stairs are up in the storage room, man. That’s where we just were.

MATT: You see a secondary commode that is open. And as you glance around the corner as the light passes by you see there are two duergar currently coming down the hallway this direction.

MARISHA: Oh shit!

ORION: I just stop! And I creep back.

MATT: Okay. As you creep back, you hear footsteps coming your way quickly.

LIAM: I’m going to the door, then, I can hear that. Inside the door, inside the door.

MATT: Oh, inside the door there?

MARISHA: I’m going to stay actually right there, just right at the threshold.

MATT: Okay. The rest of you guys?

LAURA: I mean, I’m so far away. I can try to get up there but–

MATT: You can glance, there’s still a hallway around that way if you wanted to go around.

LAURA: Okay. I’ll go around the back way then.

MATT: Okay, so you move around–

LAURA: With Trinket!

MATT: Trinket follows up behind. Makes your way up there. Scanlan, you staying in that room?

SAM: I’m taking a dump on the guest bed.

(laughter)

ORION: They don’t see me, right?

LAURA: I like walk by the door and see that happening (laughter)

SAM: But also just covering it up with a blanket afterwards.

MATT: Okay, well, you’re in mid-process, this is all happening very quickly.

SAM: Oh. (grunts)

ASHLEY: I’ll go around back behind where Trinket and Vex just went.

MATT: Okay. Because of your little legs you get about that far. Your little legs carry you.

SAM: I’m invisible. It’s poop.

(laughter)

MATT: (sighs)

(grunting and laughter)

MARISHA: It’s apparating poo.

TALIESIN: I’m staying in the hallway,

SAM: Scanlan’s just like, I hate this mission.

MATT: Okay, so. Tiberius, as you’re backing up, both the duergar turn around immediately, seeing you, and rear back with javelins, throwing them directly at you.

ORION: Oh! I’ll cast Blur instead.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll initiative real fast to see who gets off first what.

ORION: I’m not going to count that. Oh, I’ll count that. 19.

(laughter)

MATT: What, why didn’t you count it?

ORION: Because it flew out of my hand, I didn’t roll it.

MATT: Okay. All right.

ORION: Yeah.

(laughter)

ORION: It’s on camera, tell them to play back.

MATT: So you go ahead and cast Blur. You guys see as Tiberius comes running back, (startled sounds). He manages to cast a spell really fast as two javelins come flying towards him. His visible image begins to actually blur; the outline looks almost like there’s two mirror images of Tiberius in the same place that are both shimmering and preventing them from actually telling where he’s actually standing. The first javelin comes in at a 14.

ORION: Nope.

MATT: Second one comes in at a 17.

ORION: 17. Yes.

MATT: Oh sorry, no, it’s a four, 'cause it has disadvantage. So both javelins just whish past. Looks like they pierced part of that kinda shimmering blurring form, but both just ricochet off the walls of stone and come clattering to the ground. Kinda near back where Kima and Grog are. They both step out of the way as they land.

MARISHA: Ha-ha.

MATT: All right, so that brings us to– that was your action. Who else wants to take the next action?

LIAM: I’m gonna hold.

LAURA: I can’t see anything, can I, from where I am?

MATT: It’s kinda dark, and you can see movement in the distance.

LAURA: Can I hop on Trinket’s back and see if I can see higher?

MATT: You can try. All right. So you hop on the back of Trinket, (laughs) looking over the top, and you know Grog is kinda blocking part of your view, but you can see, with your low-light vision, what looks to be Tiberius’ form shimmering and two duergar-height individuals that are partially blocked by him. So they do have partial cover, or three-quarters cover. Do you have the feat that ignores that?

LAURA: I don’t know? I don’t know.

MATT: (laughs) Because you don’t know I’m going to say no.

TALIESIN: It would be called Sharpshooter.

MATT: Yeah it would be called Sharpshooter, is the feat.

LAURA: No, I don’t have that.

MATT: Okay, yeah. So go ahead and roll for attack on one or both duergar, up to you.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: And 23.

MATT: Okay. The 21 misses, the 23 hits. Because they have cover and because it’s so dark it’s difficult to make out their form, but you do manage to hit one with the arrow.

LAURA: Okay. I Hunter’s Mark him.

MATT: Okay. Next time, make sure you do that before you attack. Otherwise it won’t count for the attack.

LAURA: Okay. Okay. 13, uh, 12! (laughs) Math! Stay in school.

MATT: (laughs) All right. There you go. 12, then add your Hunter’s Mark bonus to that as well.

LAURA: Oh, good, one.

MATT: All right, gotcha. So one arrow sinks in the shoulder, but doesn’t appear to be stopping his angry advance towards Tiberius. Let’s see. You’re staying where you are?

LIAM: Waiting.

MATT: All right. You guys are actually kind of like pinched off in the hallway right here, so as you guys are all kind of–

SAM: (strained) Don’t say 'pinched off’ to me.

(laughter)

MATT: – as you’re doing this, Tiberius, you’re right there. The two duergar catch up to you and both, now that their javelins are out of their hands, pull out their hammers with their bonus actions and come down at you with an attack each.

MARISHA: Run, Tiberius!

MATT: That’s gonna be a six.

ORION: No.

MATT: And a 17.

ORION: 17 hits.

MATT: Okay, yeah, that Blur is saving you, man. All right, so as the one– both the duergar are kinda like swelling with frustration, anger. It’s an ability, you’ve now gotten to the point where you can see, these duergar can actually temporarily increase their form for stronger blows and attacks. Comes and strikes you for 12 points of bludgeoning damage as the hammer comes cracking down, finding purchase on your torso, and it kinda pushes you back a few inches. That’s gonna bruise tomorrow morning.

MARISHA: Can I do a combo move with Grog, assuming that he would agree with me that it’s gonna be super cool?

MATT: He’d probably agree with you, what do you wanna do?

MARISHA: Okay. (laughs) Thanks, Grog! So since Grog’s kind of there– Can we arrange like a fastball special, almost? So have him like kind of go up and crouch and I’m gonna bust out–

MATT: How are you going to communicate this to Grog?

MARISHA: He– with–

LIAM: (meows)

(laughter)

MATT: I’m gonna have to say, unfortunately, that’s not gonna work out for this moment. Grog’s attention is on the duergar and you are a giant cat.

LIAM: Hey, I’m gonna sneak behind Tiberius and stab that guy.

LAURA: It would’ve been so cool, though.

ASHLEY: That would’ve been really cool.

LIAM: And since Tiberius is there, I can get sneak attack damage, 'cause one of my allies is there–

MATT: All right, just a second there, you’re still holding, let’s finish Keyleth. So Keyleth, what are you doing?

MARISHA: Well, is Grog in my way?

MATT: Grog is there. You can attempt to leap over Grog.

MARISHA: I was wanting to vault off Grog’s back, is what I was wanting to do.

MATT: You can do that without asking him.

MARISHA: Yeah, that’s what I was going to do.

MATT: No, you were saying you wanted to tell Grog you were going to do that. But yes, you can still do it. So go ahead and roll an acrobatics check.

MARISHA: No, you asked how I was communicating it.

LAURA: Just do it, Keyleth!

MARISHA: So I’m gonna come out and I’m gonna vault off his back and try and do a pounce over top of Tiberius for that duergar that’s closest to you. What am I rolling?

TALIESIN: Acrobatics.

MARISHA: Acrobatics? Is this an acrobatics thing?

MATT: Yes. From around the corner, you pull back, leap up, jump onto Grog’s back and attempt to spring off of it.

MARISHA: 11.

MATT: 11, okay. (laughs) All right. So you jump off of Grog’s back. Grog, not expecting it, instinctively ducks down and the force you push off, as he’s not aware there’s going to be a giant cat there–

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

MATT: – in doing so, it doesn’t give you the momentum you need. You are able to jump over him and get kind of into center of the fray. But you do not have the pounce attack, unfortunately.

MARISHA: Okay. That’s fine.

MATT: But it gets you there, at least.

MARISHA: Oh, can I not attack?

MATT: You can attack, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay. I’m gonna go ahead and do my bite attack.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: I’m gonna go right for his throat. Still with the same intention that I had in mind.

MATT: Okay, this is the one that took the arrow from Laura.

MARISHA: Okay, 17.

MATT: 17? That hits. Go ahead and roll for damage.

MARISHA: 1d10 plus five. Where’s my d10s? Ten damage. Piercing damage.

MATT: Ten piercing damage, all right. So, as you rush forward, you bite at him. You see he pulls back, but you get a big, meaty chunk of his forearm and clamp down, and you feel a snap, some sort of bone in the middle of his arm and he gives out a horrible– (yells) sound, as he takes the butt of his hammer and hits you on the snout. Doesn’t do any damage, but it’s enough to get you to kind of let go of your grip a little bit, and he rips his arm out of your jaws. Leaving that kind of nasty, irony taste of duergar blood, that you’ve now become accustomed to, unfortunately. That ends the round. Now you have Tiberius and a cat in your way.

MARISHA: (meows)

LIAM: Do the doors go in or out, that I’m by?

MATT: The doors go in.

LIAM: In. So I’m just gonna go like this (hinges creak) and throw a dagger and say peek-a-boo at the same time.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay. As you step out (fwip).

LIAM: That is a 29 to hit.

MATT: That does hit.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You do not get sneak attack bonus, unfortunately.

LIAM: Even though my ally is five feet away from him? I thought I remembered that rule.

MATT: You do if you are in melee with them.

LAURA: Oh, right.

MATT: You get the bonus if you’re both like flanking them, or you’re like harrying them in combat. Because you’re at a distance, you don’t get the bonus.

LIAM: Okay, so that is a nine. And then I’m going to follow– the nine of damage.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: And immediately follow up with my other dagger, which also hits.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll damage on the second dagger. Which is 1d4 plus what?

LIAM: Six. That’s a nine.

MATT: Nine, okay. So, after the guy rips his arm out of Keyleth’s face, essentially, a dagger comes swinging out from behind the doorway, stabs him in the other shoulder. You see he looks down at it confused for a second, and as that dagger vanishes in a puff of dark smoke, returning to your– the side of your hilt, he looks up just in time to see the second dagger catch him right in the middle of the forehead, and he just falls onto his back at that point, unmoving. That duergar is stripped.

LAURA: What-what!

MATT: Who’s up next? Who wants to do anything? Who hasn’t done anything yet this action?

SAM: Is there is a door next to me for another room?

MATT: You’re just finishing.

SAM: Oh, I’m just finishing, okay.

MATT: Sorry. So, Pike, have you done anything yet?

ASHLEY: Can I– Is there a door there? Somewhere, right there?

MATT: You move around here, there is a door over here, yes.

ASHLEY: I can’t really do anything. Check it out, check it out.

LIAM: Yeah, bust in. You can’t stealth.

MATT: The door is a secondary guest room.

LIAM: And now, poop on this bed.

ASHLEY: All right.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I can’t do anything that could make noise anyway.

MATT: It is a guest room of equal design and dressing as the one that Scanlan, you are unaware, is currently fouling.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Maybe I get a sudden urge for some reason to just poo on the bed.

(laughter)

MATT: You can do what you want. Be aware, Pike as a character has her intent, the more you stray from that, the more it will have ramifications for her in the end.

ASHLEY: Yes, I know, I’m just kidding, That’s not what, that’s not what I want to do. I was just, had this feeling that Scanlan was doing something and I felt that–

SAM: She could probably hear, muffled from behind the door, (grunts).

ASHLEY: Okay, so I’ll just– I guess I can’t do anything while I’m in there, so? Can I just–

MATT: That’s about as far as you’re able to move. You can still use your action if you wanted to do anything, but right now your vision is currently fairly well-blocked by a woman and a bear, and a man the size of a bear.

ASHLEY: Yeah, okay, so I’ll just hang out there.

MATT: Okay, so that brings us back to Kima, who currently doesn’t have any sort of way of getting over there, kind of frustrating, trying to find a way over.

MARISHA: It’s a narrow hallway.

MATT: Clarota, who is still invisible, is just gonna hold on that point.

ORION: As everybody is doing this, I’m going to– why are you blocking me, I’m not supposed to be this close to this thing! Keep going.

MATT: Okay, Percy! Stand there? All right, Tiberius, you’re up.

ORION: Oh, like I was saying. Well, shit.

SAM: Aren’t you right next to the guy? Kill him.

MATT: Do it quick, or we are gonna move for the next turn.

ORION: Okay, I’ll just lift up my hand and go, Firebolt.

MATT: Okay, point-blank Firebolt. Go ahead and roll your spell attack.

ORION: Okay, okay, 20.

MATT: 20, all right. That’ll hit, go ahead and roll for damage for the Firebolt.

ORION: Okay, ten, 18, 20, 21, 23.

MATT: 23 damage? All right. So as you instinctively pull back, you release the blast of Firebolt energy, the duergar who is currently harrying you with this warhammer takes the brunt of it right to the bottom of his face and his torso. The studded leather armor that he’s wearing tears open with a sheer flaming burst of the impact of it, and you see most of his skin is charred and burned at that point. He reels back for a second, looking very, very hurt but not quite put down yet.

ORION: As my bonus action, I’m gonna spend two sorcery points and do it again. So I roll for that. It’s a 22.

MATT: All right, the second blast, as he reaches back, before he can get a chance to get back to his feet, the second blast hits. This time, it sends him off his feet, flying about five to ten feet back, skidding across the ground.

ORION: 15 damage.

MATT: Yes, and that puts him, still on the floor, laid out with a burning, kind of crippling, crispy scent in the air of what was once a standing duergar, now dead and burning on the ground.

MARISHA: So once again I grab him by the scruff, take him, and put him in the bathroom.

LIAM: I give a couple of pats on Tiberius’s shoulder and start to inch down the hall.

MATT: All right, as you guys are doing this, Scanlan steps out of the guest room, getting his pantaloons back on.

SAM: My invisible pantaloons.

MATT: Yes. You hear the footprints of Scanlan, you being still invisible, you essentially just–

SAM: I phantom pooped. Did I find anything in there, by the way?

LIAM: Just relief.

MATT: You found a fun way to prank duergar.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, did I find anything in the barracks?

MATT: Over there? No.

TALIESIN: Did Liam– Did Vax find anything shiny in the room? The shiny thing.

LIAM: No, I got interrupted. That’s a good idea, thanks for the reminder, Percy.

TALIESIN: You’re welcome, yes.

LIAM: Checking for– I checked for traps before, but I can’t remember what I rolled. I’m sure it was successful.

MATT: Go ahead and roll again.

(laughter)

LIAM: 17.

MATT: Okay, as you push the door open and get a glance inside of the main hall, you don’t see any traps across the floor.

LIAM: Okay, I’m gonna go check out the shiny thing.

MATT: Okay. Everyone else staying out in the hallway?

SAM: I’m coming with him.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: If I can get there.

MATT: You manage to scoot through, dancing around folks, people kind of let you get by. Anyone else?

LAURA: Yeah, sure, I like shiny things.

MARISHA: I’m burying my shame, again. Burying the duergar.

MATT: So, you’re dragging the duergar over in the–

TALIESIN: I’ll go in, too.

ASHLEY: I’ll follow, I’ll follow.

LAURA: We’re all going. It’s a big, happy room.

LIAM: So say we all.

MARISHA: Well, I guess I’ll go after I bury duergar.

MATT: Yes, as you guys step in here, move up towards the back corner, where there’s the shiny glint. Tiberius, you stay inside or outside?

ORION: I’m going to wait for everybody to go inside.

MARISHA: We will be Team Outside Posse.

MATT: Kima walks in, Grog goes to start making his way in. As he does, you go over towards the glimmer. The glimmer on the table, you look, it’s just formless and kind of this weird spark of light. It then vanishes, and the doors that you guys entered–

LAURA: (singsong) It’s a trap.

MATT: – slam behind you, with Tiberius, Grog and Keyleth all kept outside of the room.

ASHLEY: No!

MATT: The rest of you guys, the flames go to darkness and the entire room goes pitch-black.

MARISHA: Oh, shit!

LAURA: Oh, no, we don’t have light.

LIAM: In the darkness, I say, fuck!

(laughter)

LAURA: Stupid, stupid, stupid!

ORION: I motion to Grog and I’m like, you know what to do, damn it.

MATT: Grog’s gonna go for the door, however, at this point in time, I’m going to ask for–

LAURA: Can we stealth? I mean, I guess we’re all kind of–

SAM: Ask for?

LIAM: Roll for Deus ex Machina.

SAM: Oh, You’re gonna ask the chat room something?

MATT: No, no, no. I’m not. I’m working out what’s actually gonna happen here. All right, so, suddenly there is a cacophonous bit of pain streaking through Pike, Vex, and Clarota. Guys, go ahead and make an intelligence saving throw.

SAM: Intelligence?

LAURA: All of us?

SAM: Some sort of a mind thing.

LAURA: Oh, crud.

MARISHA: Intelligence.

LAURA: Oh, oh, oh! Oh, no, I don’t get any advantage in this.

LIAM: 13.

MATT: Not you, just you two. So what’s the–

TALIESIN: Never mind, that was such a good roll.

ASHLEY: What was that? That’s a one. (laughs)

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I rolled a one!

MATT: So in the darkness, suddenly there is this searing pain, like some sort of screaming sound is blasting you from the inside of your very mind. You two are both currently stunned.

LAURA: Oh, crud.

SAM: Who’s you two?

LAURA: Me and Pike.

ASHLEY: I did bad things, I did bad things. I shouldn’t have killed a man while he was down. Wait, so what does that– That means we just can’t do anything, right?

MATT: On every turn, you get to try and break that, but right now neither of you can–

MARISHA: Every turn they have to try and break out of it? It keeps going? It’s like a keep-going thing?

MATT: You both just sit there, grasping your heads, just screaming in pain as your body is unable to function or listen to any thought process. Clarota also unfortunately falls victim to this and is also unable to make any actions.

SAM: Oh boy!

LIAM: I’m pulling out my flametongue dagger to try to get a little bit of light in here.

MATT: All right, however– You, as you are currently pulling out your flametongue dagger, you feel a presence nearby, and with a little bit of embers around the fire, you see, out of nothing, a figure step into view that apparently was not visible but a moment before. A tall, lithe figure, with long limbs, fingers and a wrapping of facial tentacles coming towards your face.

SAM: It was invisible.

LIAM: I see him, I’m gonna stab, I’m just gonna stab.

MATT: Before you get the chance to stab, you get a surprise attack from this guy.

LAURA: Oh, no, what if he sucks our brains out?

MATT: All right, that comes to an 18 versus armor class.

LIAM: Yeah, he got me.

MATT: So, as you go back for your blade to pull it out, he grabs you by the shoulders and pulls you, and the tentacles wrap around your face and pull you into this horrible toothy maw. You feel this tearing pain sensation as its teeth begin to dig into your face.

ASHLEY: No, no, no, no.

LAURA: Oh my god, he’s gonna die.

LIAM: That hurts. A lot.

MATT: You take 17 points of psychic damage as the actual presence of the tentacles pulling on your face, you feel it’s kind of grabbing your brain and trying to hold it in place. You are currently considered grappled.

MARISHA: Son of a bitch.

MATT: Now, guys, everyone roll initiative. That was a surprise round.

MARISHA: Surprise round.

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: 'Cause they got the drop on us

TALIESIN: That’ll do.

ORION: What’s going on in there? I hear lots of ruckus.

SAM: We’ll be out in a minute.

ORION: Don’t give me that, Scanlan. Oh. Scanlan, you can hear me. What’s going on in there?

SAM: We’re all dying.

ORION: I turn to Grog. They’re all dying.

MATT: (laughs) All right, so 25 to 20?

SAM: No one.

MATT: All right, 25 to 20, no one– almost forgot, go ahead and make an intelligence saving throw.

LIAM: 23.

MATT: 23, all right, you feel the presence of its mind pressing into your brain and you manage to, through the pain of its tentacles pulling you towards its mouth, shrug off its current attempt to push into your mind.

LIAM: I’m thinking of the middle finger.

MATT: That’s a good thing. Okay. So you’re still grappled but you’re not stunned.

SAM: Is he a piece on the board yet?

MATT: Both of them are now visible right there. All right, so, 25 to 20?

LAURA: Nobody.

MATT: 20 to 15?

LIAM: 17.

TALIESIN: 16.

ORION: 17.

MATT: 17 and 16, all right. So actually, Grog is going first. All right, and Percy. 15 to ten? Ten to five?

MARISHA: Oh, oh, wait, 13.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Sorry, I was thinking about shit.

MATT: That’s okay. Ten to five?

LAURA: Nine.

TALIESIN: Thinking about shit.

MARISHA: Thinking about life and death. (laughs)

TALIESIN: Word.

MATT: All right.

SAM: Two.

ASHLEY: Oh, so did I. Best friends.

SAM: Besties. Twinsies.

ASHLEY: Gnomesies.

(laughter)

SAM: We’re still– Mr. Dungeon Master, sir, this is all the same day. I don’t get any of my spells back?

MATT: No, you guys have not rested. All right, so first, the top actually– Kima is at the top of the initiative order.

MARISHA: Kima, get it girl, get it, get it girl.

MATT: Kima angrily leaps on top of the table and goes running down with an angry yell, and leaps down toward the one that’s currently grabbing onto you with its grapple. As she’s running a little bit of light bursts, as you can see this divine energy begin to burst and glow off the edge of the greatsword that she’s holding. She leaps down, and with a giant arc through the air that lights up that portion of the room with a brief sweep, the blade comes down towards– oh, that’ll hit. Second attack also hits.

ASHLEY: Yes, go Kima.

MATT: So that comes to– okay, using her Divine Smite ability on top of that, she manages to deal 37 points of damage to it.

TALIESIN: Damn.

MATT: As she finishes both of her strikes simultaneously. The mindflayer, however, does not release its grasp on you. You are still considered grappled. That ends her turn. Grog now is gonna angrily attempt to bash into this door, is gonna make an– actually no, no athletics check, he’s going to go into a rage and hitting away at the door.

(growling)

LIAM and LAURA: (Grog voice) I would like to rage.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, that puts a total of 32 points of damage, that’s enough. So Grog just takes two big swings. The first one comes through, cracks the door in half, splitting it down the center. Rears back a second time, cleaves through the door entirely. What little bit is left on the hinges, he kicks out with his foot, leaving now this side completely open to the interior. He then moves in around Clarota. That’s as far as he can get in this current turn. That brings us to Vax.

LIAM: What can I do while grappled, nothing until I’m ungrappled?

MATT: Well, no, you can try and make an acrobatics or athletics roll against them to try and break free.

LIAM: Okay, but then do I have an action once that’s done or that’s the action?

MATT: I’ll let you use that as your move.

LIAM: All right, so I’m gonna try to use, I guess athletics is what I would do.

MATT: Or acrobatics, up to you, whichever’s higher.

LIAM: Well, that would be acrobatics.

MATT: Acrobatics, then.

LIAM: 27.

MATT: 27?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: That’ll do it.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You manage to, just in that moment of it being struck with the two blade strikes from Lady Kima, you manage to pull your head free from its grasp. And just manage to right yourself now, the throbbing pain in your head of what you just narrowly avoided still there.

LIAM: Okay. Poison dagger in hand, I roll an 18. Does that hit?

MATT: Okay. 18. Currently that does hit, yes.

LIAM: I wanna grab him by the calamari and stab him in the eye.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay, go for it.

LIAM: That’s what I did, so– and then if I’m five feet– if Kima’s there, I can sneak attack according to the rules?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: All right, so I’m gonna stab him in the eye. One. Plus the sneak attack damage is two, four,

ten, 13, 19, 38, plus seven– 45.

MATT: 45. All right. So, as you–

LIAM: With the poison dagger.

MATT: Right, the poison dagger. I think you’ve already used the daily poison ability on this.

LIAM: I don’t remember, so it’s just a stab.

MATT: Okay. So the 45 points of damage. You pull back and you jam it into the side of its eye. You can see as it rears back, a spray of dark-colored liquid kind of warms the side of your face. As you pull the blade back out it rears back and (growls). You can hear its voice piercing into your head going, “I will eat you one way or another!”

ASHLEY: No, you won’t!

LAURA: Did it distract him enough that we lost our thingy?

MATT: That’s your main attack?

LIAM: I mean, I would imagine between ungrappling and stabbing, is that it for me? Or do I get my second attack, I don’t know?

MATT: You can get your second attack, I’m sorry.

LIAM: Okay, well I think, go fuck yourself, and stab again. Nine plus– 19.

MATT: 19? Yeah, that hits.

LIAM: Other eye, other eye. No sneak attack. Two plus– eight.

MATT: Eight. Okay. As it rears back and you hear it saying that, you pull back and you grab with your off hand the cluster of tentacles in the front of its face and pull it down. As you do, the inertia– you jam the blade into the other eye. As you do, you hear this blast burst of angry scream inside your head, before it goes dead cold, silent, and the mind flayer falls to the ground.

LIAM: I fucking hate these things!

MATT: All right. That brings us to Clarota, who’s currently stunned and fails save, Clarota’s still stunned. Tiberius.

ORION: I look through the door.

MATT: Look through the door.

ORION: What’s going on in here? Are there any enemies I can see?

MATT: You can see over here, barely. It’s very dark in the far corner, you can see just the shape of some humanoid there.

ORION: Oh. Okay, is he– (laughs)

MATT: What are you doing, Tiberius?

ORION: (laughs) How tall is the thing?

MATT: From what you can see, it’s maybe roughly six, seven feet. Grog’s blocking most of it.

ORION: No, like, we’re in a bunker, right?

MATT: Right now, you’re in this giant great hall with giant tables and stools everywhere.

ORION: And the ceiling is–

MATT: You can’t see the ceiling right now, there’s no light.

ORION: Oh.

MATT: The room is near pitch-black, like there’s just very little light in there currently.

ORION: I will waltz in behind Grog.

MATT: All right.

ORION: I cast Light.

MATT: Okay. The room all of a sudden bursts into view, you can now see the walls, the ceiling– it’s a smooth stone room. There is a large chandelier currently hanging from the top of the ceiling. It’s about 25 feet up to the ceiling in this current room.

MARISHA: (gasps) There’s a big chandelier. That’s fun.

ORION: And now do I see that guy better?

MATT: You do, yes. You see now there is a mind flayer currently ducking behind one of the tables right now. You can see a number of your friends in the party are currently clutching their heads, silently screaming to themselves, unmoving.

ORION: Ah, right. There’s another one of those guys over there!

MARISHA: Wait, there’s another one?

ORION: Yes!

MARISHA: There’s two?

MATT: There’s two.

ORION: I spend three sorcerer points.

MATT: How many sorcerer points do you have left? You spent a lot over the past couple games.

ORION: No, I have not, because I didn’t do anything last game, because I was all recharged.

MATT: That’s true, actually. Okay. Just keep track of that. So how many do you have left?

ORION: I have eight right now. Now I’ll spend it to go down to–

LAURA: Five.

ORION: Five. 'Cause math.

MATT: Okay, got you. Cool, good on you.

MARISHA: Fantasy math. Once again, 826LA, after-school tutoring. Good charity.

ORION: I could have used it. I cast my pillars, or Grand Columns, as I like to call it, and (piston sound) all the way up and smash that little bastard.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Smashy smashy.

MATT: So what’s the save you get past that for the spell?

ORION: He does a dex save, and he takes 6d6 damage, and the dex save is to see if he’s pinned or not.

MATT: Right. It does make its save, I believe, it’s 21?

ORION: Oh, my, what?

MATT: Rolled a 21 versus your DC of your spell, which I believe is not higher than 21.

ORION: No.

MATT: So yeah, so he still takes the damage, but is not pinned.

ORION: Which is 15, 18 points of damage.

MATT: Okay, 18 points of damage, and manages to pull out of the way just in time as it slams into him, he darts off and catches himself on the ground, kind of slowly levitating above the ground as he comes to a stop. The pillar then slams into the roof, this section here. Actually splinters part of the table, which is now kind of lifted off-kilter at an angle. Yup. It–

ORION: Oh, so that– does that mean he’s in the air for a whole round? 'Cause how it works is, he’s all the way up to that height, but he gets to come, or fall, back down if he makes the save. That’s how– so he has to travel that distance, so does he cast Levitate as he’s coming down?

MATT: How I’m playing it is, the impact of the pillar suddenly slamming in from underneath is what does the initial damage, and he manages to roll off before it slams into the ceiling. He kinda– So. However, that ends your turn. The mind flayer, now looking around and seeing the room lit up, seeing the entire group now in this room, looks around at everyone, puts its hands together and concentrates– and as it does you see its form (sucking noise) vanish.

MARISHA: Damn it!

MATT: A few seconds pass, you guys manage to shrug your stun, and Clarota as well.

ASHLEY: Whoa, what happened?

MARISHA: That’s not good.

LAURA: What happened?

MARISHA: They really know we’re here.

LAURA: We need to get out of this room, then.

TALIESIN: Let’s just search the rest of this floor as quickly as possible.

MARISHA: As quickly as possible.

LAURA: Grog, can you always put down the dust of tracelessness?

MATT: “All right, I will.” He’s doing his flower-girl moment. Passes behind you guys. All right, so, what is the current mode of action for you guys?

MARISHA: I’m going to go ahead and dart down this hall that we know is for sure empty.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Exit the other side of the great hall that we’re in.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: And I think we should all go back– we should go to the second floor.

MATT: Through here.

LIAM: Walking in that door.

MATT: You look through here and see what appears to be some sort of a kitchen. You can see shelf units, you can see what looks like a few tables, you can see some kitchen elements.

LIAM: I’m gonna walk all the way in, all the way in.

MATT: All right, you walk all the way in. There’s a door towards the back–

LIAM: The right, what do I see?

MATT: The right, you see what looks to be a doorway that’s partially open that leads to a staircase.

LIAM: Up or down?

MATT: Looks like it’s going up.

MARISHA: And what’s in this room? I’m looking over here.

MATT: Okay, you look over here. It’s a double door that is currently closed.

TALIESIN: I will head in your direction as well.

ORION: Eight, two of my d6s to heal up.

MATT: You haven’t taken a short rest yet. You have to– you guys have to stop and take ten minutes, 15 minutes to rest to do that, so–

SAM: I’m gonna look all over the great hall and see if there’s any cool stuff in there.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: I think what we should do– Everyone, I think what we should do is make our way back to the initial storage room we were in and go up that stairway, because that one’s hidden. It’s by a hidden entrance, people aren’t gonna think about that one as much as main stairways.

TALIESIN: I agree, I think we should– I agree with that, I just think we should check the rest of the floor as well. Just double-check everything, make sure we didn’t miss the–

LIAM: Vax is heading back to the group.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Percy and I are checking this room with the double doors. Do you have any trap checks to see if it’s locked?

LIAM: I do!

MATT: Okay, so Percy and both you guys open this doorway. It opens up into what looks to be another smaller eating hall. This one’s nicer, this one has one long table. This is probably where the more socially risen–

TALIESIN: Take a quick look around.

MARISHA: Yeah, anything in there?

MATT: Looks like it hasn’t been used for a day or two.

TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: No cool goodies?

MATT: No current goodies in this area, no.

TALIESIN: So we’ll go– just keep going down and check the rest of that hallway.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: There’s a lot more, you guys. I think we should go find the vault on the second floor.

MATT: All right, you guys press down here. There apparently are now– you can see there’s another set of double doors–

LIAM: Vax is following.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: I think I should gather the group and try to make it back to the other storage room. Just to get us out of this area specifically.

MATT: So you guys are all moving back with–

LAURA: Is that cool?

MATT: – Vex to return to the previous storage room?

MARISHA: We can do that. Yeah, go for it.

TALIESIN: And you’ll hear us if anything goes wrong. Yeah, we’ll power through it.

LAURA: Use your earring.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: I’ll go ahead and very– I’m just gonna kinda use my keen sense– or sorry, my keen smell again to see if I can smell any duergar in the area.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and make a perception check with advantage.

MARISHA: That’s pretty good. Oh yeah, I’ll take that first roll, which was seven– 27.

MATT: 27. You smell that on this floor, there doesn’t appear to be any duergar in your immediate vicinity. There is a strong, lingering scent of them coming from the doorway that you’re currently at.

MARISHA: A strong, lingering scent?

MATT: Correct, like it– you can kind of tell there was a recent moving of a large number of duergar.

MARISHA: But probably not present.

MATT: You don’t know.

MARISHA: Whatever. I guess we’ll see what’s in here.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Peeky, peeky.

LIAM: I kind of parkour past Percy.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: Parkour past Percy!

MARISHA: Parkour, parkour!

MATT: You open the doors into what appears to be a large temple chamber, a place of worship. What you see are a series of long, wooden benches that are arranged to look towards the center. There is an altar to the right that is a risen kind of stone dais, and in the center there is a stone table, an altar which has a piece of black cloth wrapped over it and something on top of it you can’t see from this distance. In the center of the room there is a 12-foot-tall statue of what looks like an extremely strong armored duergar clutching a giant warhammer and a shield.

MARISHA: Hm. I’m gonna– oh wait, I’m a tiger.

MATT: Yup.

LIAM: I’m gonna perception check the room. Which is high. 27.

MATT: 27? There does not appear to be anybody inside this room.

LIAM: Screw this room.

MATT: However, do you have a religion–

TALIESIN: I would like to do a religion roll.

MATT: Roll religion, guys.

TALIESIN: Nine.

LIAM: Nine.

ASHLEY: Could I do a religion roll from where I am?

MATT: You are not over there, unfortunately.

MARISHA: That’s what I was gonna do, is tell somebody to get Pike over here real quick.

LAURA: Do you guys have earrings?

ASHLEY: I can put on my sprinter’s boots.

LIAM: Yeah, Pike, Pike? There’s some sort of religious artifacts over here. Could use your expertise.

MATT: Pike, you make your way through, eventually coming down this hallway–

(clanking)

MARISHA: She’s coming! I can hear her coming.

ASHLEY: Hey guys, I’m here! Did you know I was coming?

(laughter)

MATT: Go ahead and make a religion check.

LIAM: Don’t stab anything.

ORION: I’m gonna follow suit, but slowly.

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: All right. As you’re heading that direction slowly, best that you can tell right now, this room is definitely a small temple built to– and the name kind of escapes you, the words trying to form in your head for a second, and then eventually you come to realize this is a chapel to Laduguer. Laduguer is the deity of the duergar. It’s the god that basically freed them from their original enslavement from the illithids, and they worship as a pinnacle of power, strength, and conquest.

ORION: I make it up to where those guys are.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Let’s keep searching.

SAM: Hey, what’s the darkness right next to me? Is there a door there? What is that?

MATT: There is a door right over here.

SAM: Oh. I’m gonna open it.

MATT: Okay. All right. So you go ahead and open the door. It opens up into what you can immediately see is a chamber that is some kind of magical laboratory. You see in the far corner, hunched, a robed duergar, and as you open the door, there’s a slight sound, a click sound, and a jet of greenish fume begins to spray up into your face. Make a constitution save.

SAM: Oh, god. I don’t even know what that is! (laughs) 15.

MATT: 15? All right. So you take 11 points of poison damage. However, you can feel the poison forcing its way into your lungs. You manage to back out of the cloud in time and cough it up and your general physical well-being– you resist most of the effects of the poison. However, this poison fume trap did appear to go off and as the smoke slowly dissipates, you hear a chuckle across the other side.

ORION: As I hear the noise, I–

MATT: You don’t hear the noise, you’re too far away.

ORION: Oh, shit.

MATT: You guys do hear it, though.

LAURA: Okay, I come over there and see what the– what just happened.

MATT: Okay, as you rush over, Scanlan’s backed up away and you can see there’s this chamber here.

LAURA: Is the poison still in the air, or is it–

MATT: It’s dissipated at this point. It’s thin enough. You still can smell it, and it smells awful, like a very, very heavy, electrical fire-type smell.

LAURA: So I can see that guy?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: So should I notch an arrow and try to hit him?

MATT: It’s up to you. What’re you going to do?

LAURA: All right, I attack him, then!

MATT: All right, go for it then.

ASHLEY: Attack him! Get him!

LAURA: Shabang! Oh, dang it, I didn’t do it. I meant to Hunter’s Mark him and transfer it over, but that’s okay, I didn’t say it.

MATT: You didn’t say it this time.

LAURA: That’s 30. For the first.

LIAM: You did say shabang.

LAURA: I did say shabang, and 16 for the second.

MATT: Okay, both hit. Go ahead and roll damage on each.

ASHLEY: Hit it.

(music flares up)

LAURA: Well, sort of. 15 and eight.

MATT: 15 and eight. All right.

LIAM: The music is on.

MATT: All right. So both arrows you’ve been firing over the top. He’s kind of hard to see with the table and from being crouched in the corner, but both arrows still manage to barely make their mark. One kind of pins him against the wall, and he looks at his shoulder briefly, looks back at you, raises his hand, as he begins muttering something under his breath. As he does, your arrow (shnk) through his hand and he tries to shake it, and now he’s pinned to the wall with an arrow in the middle of his hand.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Yeah!

LAURA: Trinket! Oh no, I used two attacks.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Dang it.

MATT: You can still tell Trinket to move. What are you gonna do?

LAURA: No, no no, I’m gonna hold him there, 'cause he’s already in the room.

MATT: Okay, got you. All right, so what are you guys doing over in the temple?

LIAM: Exiting.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: No! Look and see if there’s anything cool, first. What was that thing that’s covered up by the blanket on the altar?

MATT: You keep walking towards it?

MARISHA: Yeah. What’s up with that?

MATT: You make your way, you look at the top of the dais where the altar is, and on top you can see the black cloth that is wrapped over it. The scent gets to you before the actual visual. It’s freshly rotting flesh of some kind, and as you glance over, you can see there is a heart that has been cut from a body and it’s at the point where the blood has coagulated and begin to become thick. It’s roughly dwarven size.

MARISHA: I get up and I grab it in my mouth.

MATT: Okay. It tastes disgusting.

MARISHA: And then I walk over to Vax and I lay it at his feet. I kind of nudge it with my nose.

MATT: She got you a heart.

LIAM: I scritch Keyleth behind the ear, but nudge it aside with my toe and exit the room.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I did scritch her ears, but I’m going to continue down to the end of the hall.

MATT: This way?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, you make your way into what looks like a giant foyer, into a secondary entrance in the side of the fortress.

LIAM: I just walk all the way over to the corner, stealthing.

MATT: Make a stealth check.

LIAM: It’s high, it’s 28.

MATT: 28, got it, okay. So, as you make your way through, you eventually careen to this corner. You can see another hallway, what appears to be another room of some kind. You also glance back and see there are two sets of stairways that go up and down.

LIAM: What’s behind me?

MATT: This is a giant foyer that leads outside of the fortress.

LIAM: And the edge of the map this way?

MATT: This way here? This way? This comes to an abrupt end at that point, a rocky wall into the mountain itself that it’s buttressed up against.

LIAM: Okay, I’m gonna keep coming this way, stealthing.

MATT: All right. As you move through–

LAURA: What’s happening with that dude I– are you doing all this while I just pin down–

LIAM: Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on back there. I’m just walking around.

MATT: So, you glance in this room. There’s an open walkway and what appears to be another barrack section, also completely empty.

LIAM: Screw that. Do I see a door for this room that’s still darkened out? Then I’m gonna keep sliding along the wall.

MATT: Okay, as you slide along here, to make your way around to a door there.

LIAM: Okay. Pressing my hand, just to see if I can check any for traps.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: 26.

MATT: 26, all right. The door does not appear to be trapped.

TALIESIN: I’m gonna be heading in that direction anyway.

MARISHA: Agreed. Same here.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I would like to stealth through the door.

ORION: Before I leave, I carefully examine that statue.

MATT: Okay, what are you examining?

ORION: The facial features of the god, the deity, right? Is that what he is?

MATT: Yeah. Okay, so you look at the face of Laduguer. You can see it’s very, very old, it’s very well-crafted. You can see a lot of very meticulous craftsmanship went into its creation. It almost glistens with a perfection that is out of place in an area that is so covered in soot and various other volcanic activity-based mineral deposits.

ORION: I’m gonna do a quick arcana check, just to see if there’s any kind of mystical thing around it or anything like that. And it’s 19.

MATT: Okay. There is some sort of a hum to the air that has an arcane element to it, but you are unable to pinpoint what it necessarily means or what the source is.

ORION: Interesting. Knowing that, I kind of gather my thoughts and I head towards where the rest of the group is.

MATT: Okay, so, while you’re opening the door, the mage in the far corner kind of looks about sporadically and looks down at the arrow in its hand and its shoulder and just kind of fearfully, “Wait wait wait! Wait. Stop. Don’t attack. Let’s have a conversation.”

LAURA: Speak fast. Before I kill you.

MATT: He leans forward, kind of pulling the arrow out of the doorway. (groans in pain) Starts hobbling towards you a little bit.

LAURA: Can we all– we go in the room and Trinket goes up next to him and, like, gets all up in his face?

MATT: Okay. As you both enter, both of you make constitution saving throws. As two more plumes of poison (pff) out of the ground as both you and Trinket walk in.

LIAM: Good.

LAURA: 15?

MATT: 15, okay. And for Trinket as well.

LAURA: Oh, I should’ve been so smart, but I wasn’t.

(laughter)

LAURA: 14 for Trinket.

MATT: Okay. You take seven points of poison damage.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Trinket, however, takes 14 points of poison damage.

LAURA: Oh man. What did I get, seven?

MATT: Seven. And Trinket is currently considered poisoned.

LAURA: Oh no!

SAM: What does that mean?

MATT: It means disadvantage on attack rolls, disadvantage on ability checks.

LAURA: That’s okay.

MATT: And now there’s a bear coughing and kind of thrashing about the room. The table it bumps into and it kind of topples over.

LAURA: Is this like a turn thing or can I do something?

MATT: Well, this is just a reactionary moment of you guys coughing and trying to get out of this poisonous fume.

LAURA: I mean, can I quickly cast Protection from Poison on Trinket?

MATT: You can, yes.

LAURA: Okay. I do that.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: And that cures it.

MATT: That completely removes the poison?

LAURA: Yes it does.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Yay Trinket!

MATT: Well done. So that’s your action. You now, as you are checking the door and you open it up, you hear all this commotion going off to the side now. Scanlan, you’re over there as well, watching as more plumes of these poisonous smoke bits.

SAM: If I get close to the door without going through it, can I see the guy?

MATT: You can move over and look, you can just barely make out his form. It is a dark room that is currently filled with a slowly dissipating green cloud so it’s hard to make him out.

SAM: Okay, well then I will just– fuck (laughs). Well, if I can’t see him then I will just yell at him.

MATT: All right.

SAM: I’ll yell with Vicious Mockery. I don’t like you very much for poisoning me and my friends, you’re a poopy head!

(laughter)

MARISHA: So vicious.

LAURA: That is threatening.

MARISHA: Damn.

SAM: Ooh. That does seven points of damage.

MATT: Seven points from Vicious Mockery? All right!

(laughter)

MATT: I don’t know how that works.

SAM: It’s Vicious Mockery. It’s an attack.

MATT: That’s crazy.

LIAM: That’s, like, 80 points of damage!

MARISHA: And who said that words couldn’t hurt people?

TALIESIN: And bonus damage to his mother, wherever she may be.

MARISHA: Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can hurt.

MATT: Okay. So it has to make a will saving throw, against your DC. It rolls a three. It does not. So, as you shout out into this room, the currently fearful duergar mage kind of glances, eyes slide about, hears these words and you see him wrack his head for a second with a sudden sense of self-loathing and disappointment.

(laughter)

MATT: His hands drop and it looks like for a minute his intent to begin muttering some sort of incantation is momentarily distracted.

ORION: Nice!

MATT: All right, awesome.

ASHLEY: Can I start moving back?

MATT: Yeah, you can start moving back this way.

LIAM: I hear that, but I’m still going to poke my head stealthily through the door and see what I see. Do I need a new stealth check or?

MATT: Yes you do.

LIAM: Okay, great. So that is a 32.

MATT: All right, you glance inside at what looks to be some sort of a training room. There are– most of the floor itself is stone, and in the far corner there is a large section that is mainly just sand and dirt and there are a number of wooden training structures. You know, various shields and wooden bars that are used as a means of training for weaponry. There’s what looks like a giant rack of weapons, full of arms and stuff.

LIAM: Anything good-looking?

MATT: Go ahead and make a perception check.

LIAM: One.

MATT: Most of the materials in this room look like the basic duergar fare.

LIAM: These don’t look very good.

TALIESIN: I was going to run in and take a look around anyway so–

MATT: (laughs) Okay. As you run in, go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw.

TALIESIN: God damn it. Okay.

SAM: (sings) Traps, traps, traps-traps-traps.

TALIESIN: 24.

MATT: All right, so. You take ten points of lightning damage as you feel a tile on the ground trigger and then spring up, and as it does, you hear this sudden high-pitched whine as blue energy streaks up from the floor, runs through your body. Thankfully, you manage to dive out of the way and touch the ground to ground the energy, minimizing the damage. But yeah, you triggered (laughs) triggered a trap plate. You’re beginning to get the sense that a lot of this tactic of this fortress now has been to lead you guys through a–

MARISHA: Maze?

MATT: A maze of traps.

SAM: A labyrinth.

LIAM: Before we hurt ourselves any longer, we should–

LAURA: We’ve got to kill this guy. Or talk to him at least.

LIAM: We need to get to the main event here.

MATT: All right. At this point, Kima is now– As Kima hears you shouting all these curses into the room, Kima pushes past you, and pushes past you. You can see Kima coming into the room behind you guys. Steps over the broken table, down in front of the circle, and grabs the mage by the front of his robe, pulling him into her face. The mage at this point is still kind of reeling from the fact that you managed to strike him so deeply in the heart of his hearts.

SAM: He’s just not a nice man.

MATT: However, Kima, with a look of absolute death in her face, grabs him and pulls him forward and says, “Listen, where is the rest of your fucking army?” She’s going to make an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: Yeah! Damn.

MATT: He does not succeed in resisting that.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: The duergar is pressed against the wall now, and she’s slamming him against the back of a bookshelf. “Look, all right, they’re waiting for you up there, all right? You’re not going to survive this. At this point, the entire city’s probably waiting for you in the outside of the fortress and those that are upstairs are well-prepared. Okay? Your best chance of survival is laying down your arms and surrendering. I’m looking out for your best interests here.”

LIAM: Kill this asshole.

MARISHA: Kill him.

MATT: Kima, who is still holding him against there, you can see her hand releases the scruff and he takes a deep breath for a second. But before he can finish exhaling, she goes in, immediately grabbing his throat and squeezing it extremely tight. As she does, you see his tongue, dangling out the side of his mouth (strangling noises) as she’s cutting off his entire air supply. She pulls forward and takes the greatsword and begins to slowly push it into his abdomen. As she does, he starts screaming in terrible pain. You can see her just slowly pushing the blade through his body into the bookcase behind. As she does, she goes, "You’re gonna tell me, right now, who they have waiting for us upstairs.” As she begins to push all the way to the hilt now, he’s pinned up against the bookcase and probably a portion of the stonework behind him. He’s now got blood pouring out the sides of his face and outside the front of his nose. The duergar being held up against the wall says, “Whatever you haven’t killed. The army’s probably up with the king himself. They’re all waiting for you and I hope they piss on your body when they’re done!” At which point she takes the blade and twists it. As she does, he gives this guttural yelp and his eyes just go blank. Blanker than the duergar eyes normally are.

ORION: I make it to the doorway and go, what is going on in here?

LAURA: Are there any– taking that in– any healing potions or anything in here that we could use?

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

SAM: Can I look at the door and see if the trap will go off again if we step through it again?

MATT: Perception check.

SAM: 20.

MATT: Looks like, from glancing about the room and getting a feel for it, there were three traps that were all placed directly at the front of the door, basically to give him a point of defense, they’ve all been trigger ed, so you don’t have to worry about any more in this room.

LAURA: Is this still considered the Underdark?

MATT: This is, yes.

LAURA: Oh, cool!

SAM: I’m going to go in and look around some more.

MATT: You’re looking around as well?

SAM: Look around for potions and stuff.

LAURA: Oh, that’s considered the– aw, I could have been rolling twice for all these damn things!

MATT: (sings) Remember your abilities.

LAURA: (sings) 25.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Who’s the singer here, people?

MATT: Sorry, Scanlan. So, as Kima pulls the blade from its body, kicking it off the greatsword and wiping it across the leather on the side– the leather that you gave to her! And a little part of you is like, (sadly) hmm.

LIAM: That’s all right. Worth it. This halfling’s hot.

MATT: So you guys made your way back, Clarota’s there, against the corner, and Grog rushes over, just feeling like he was ready for action. “What’s going on?”

ASHLEY: You’re too late.

MARISHA: This might be a good time to stop for a moment.

MATT: That’s up to you guys, as I say, do you guys want to take a short rest?

LAURA: Did I find any potions? Did I find anything?

MATT: Yes. Glancing around the room, you manage to find two potions of healing, one potion of superior healing.

ALL: Ooh.

LAURA: What is that? That’s major.

MARISHA: That’s cool.

MATT: You also find one vial of some sort of weird, viscous yellow liquid that you cannot identify.

MARISHA: Oh, don’t open that. Who knows how long those guards had to be staked out here? Don’t open that.

SAM: Can I do a– can I investigate it or arcana it?

MATT: Sure, you can give it a go.

SAM: Yeah. That’s a one.

LAURA: Oh good.

SAM: Oh wait, no, that’s a seven. These dice are horrible. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. It’s bad.

MATT: It looks delicious. No, actually, you can’t make out, it has some changing color as you kind of swirl the bottle and watch the texture inside shift and change with the centrifugal force. You can’t make out anything about its intent, but it does feel like it’s a potion created with some effect.

SAM: Tiberius, do you want to drink this?

ORION: No! What is it? I check it for 18.

SAM: For what?

ORION: For whatever you’re trying to hand to me.

MATT: 18 arcana? Okay. You take a look at it. It definitely is magical, you don’t have a lot of experience with alchemy but you gather that the effect that it would have upon imbibement would be to alter your physical form in some way, you just don’t know the specific effects.

ORION: Absolutely, Scanlan, I’ll take that for now. And I put it in my pouch.

TALIESIN: Let’s take a short rest.

MATT: So, as you guys all kind of enter this room, this brief safe zone to take a short rest, if you feel you want to heal yourself up and regain any short rest-based abilities, do so.

MARISHA: Can we talk about what this duergar just told us?

LAURA: Can we go to the bathroom before we do that?

MATT: That’s what I was going to say. We can return– So we’re going to take a quick bathroom break, we’re going to play the videos again, we’ll return here in just a second, as the next element of the attack on Emberhold continues.

MARISHA: Oh, and this is your last chance because after the break we’ll pick a winner for the Espionage giveaway. So, last chance if you want to tweet @EspionageMakeup and #CriticalRole and look at our sweet nails! They’re awesome. They’re cool.

MATT: (whispers) Galaxies! All right, see you guys in a second.

ORION: I have text and whatnot.

BreakEdit

[break]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Welcome back, guys! All right, so we’ve had ourselves sufficiently rested.

ZAC: Indeed we have. We have a Tabletop Promo Day kit to give away, because you guys got the 50 subs since we started today.

MATT: Which is awesome.

ZAC: And we’ll give away another one with another signed poster at the end of the night if you get another 50. So we’re about to give this away, but I just want to remind you guys to donate to 826LA. That’s the group that Critical Role is supporting, and these guys are here out of the graces of their heart, and it would be very helpful for you guys to donate to them and show your love for Critical Role by donating to the charity. We’ll post the link in the chat. Get those donations rolling!

MATT: Awesome.

ZAC: Zac out!

MATT: All right, thank you, Zac! Couple of quick things. You wanted to announce the Espionage–

MARISHA: Yes! Our winner for the Espionage Bath Bombs Tabletop from @espionagemakeup goes to (drumroll) Dani Carr. Who is @Eleine35. So, Dani, I’m pretty sure you follow me on Twitter, just PM me your address and I’ll get these out to you. And thank you!

MATT: Yeah, did you follow him? Because you have to follow him–

MARISHA: Oh, I have to follow– Oh, well then I’ll follow Dani right now.

MATT: Awesome! Also, as a heads-up, guys, we’ve had some people perpetually asking us about the shirts that we made.

ORION: You mean these shirts?

MATT: That shirt right there. So, we have a– it’s a temporary– it’s very basic, but we have up, if you guys ever want to go to critrole.com, we have a limited run of those shirts currently available for purchase.

MARISHA: Very limited, like once they’re gone, they’re gone.

LAURA: It’s less than– probably less than 15 of each size, less than that, probably. It was a small amount.

LIAM: I was wearing mine earlier today and I only rolled 20s. Only.

MARISHA: It’s true. So, it’s www.critrole.com, and, yeah, and the site is still under construction, so. But we managed to rush it out, and I wanna give a huge shout-out to Michael Whitesman, who’s a big friend of ours, for helping us make the website.

ORION: Thanks, Whitey!

MARISHA: @whitesly, if you want to bug him, and, yeah, so, if you buy–

ORION: That’s his nickname! It’s not like a–

MARISHA: Whitesly! His last name is Whitesly.

ORION: I know. But I said, “What’s up Whitey,” like, to him personally, and then they look at me like, “Oh my lord, that’s so racist.”

(laughter)

ORION: And I’m like, no, no, it’s his nickname. It’s okay.

MATT: That is actually his nickname.

LIAM: I’m just sad that you don’t call me Whitey.

ORION: I mean, I can.

LIAM: Okay. Let’s start. After this game.

MARISHA: Anyways. Anyways, you can go buy t-shirts now, which was the whole point of that. At critrole.com. And there’s a limited run. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

MATT: The cost includes shipping. We’ll get– we’re packaging them ourselves. We’ll have, hopefully, more in the future, but this is the first attempt at trying to do something like this for you guys, so–

MARISHA: Yeah. We’re doing this all ourselves just to, just 'cause– See how this works. You guys–

LAURA: And that includes the shipping, that’s why the price is–

ASHLEY: So future t-shirts– Were you guys saying something, like it would be artwork from–

MARISHA: Yes, this was, we got this from @rusegafdi. He wore this at Tabletop Day, so–

LAURA: A very similar design, so yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, so we’re– we decided we’re going to do, like, fan-designed t-shirts. So, once every so often, we’ll do a fan-designed t-shirt, and yes. And then– but they’ll all be limited, so yeah!

MATT: Yeah. Shipping, shipping is included with the price, guys, don’t worry. But yeah. So, anyway, check that out! Thank you guys so much, and let’s go ahead and get back to the game proper.

CREW: Hey, the t-shirts are sold out already. They’re now sold out. They bought all of them.

MARISHA: T-shirts are sold out!

ORION: Wait, what?

TALIESIN: We didn’t even finish telling you people!

LAURA: No they’re not.

TALIESIN: Let us finish our sentence first!

MATT: Okay, so, so, so the limited run was very limited–

MARISHA: Holy shit!

MATT: I guess we’ll have to order some more, then.

SAM: Uh, mental note: make more t-shirts.

MARISHA: We didn’t know! We didn’t know!

MATT: We were gauging interest. I guess there’s interest.

MARISHA: I’m sorry! Now I almost feel guilty. Congratulations to the 100 people who got 'em.

ORION: Hold on. Tiberius is gonna work some magic, and then try to conjure up a few more. He was unaware there was a shortage of, of those– okay.

MATT: Sorry, guys, all right, well, we’ll– thank you guys very much, we’ll get more to you very soon.

MARISHA: I don’t know what to say! Oh god, I’m like, going to cry.

LAURA: Second run, yeah! Just hashtag them critical role and we’ll– oh, but if you’re selling them already, there’s somebody that’s making really cool t-shirts on Redbubble, but if you’re making them there, like, we can’t print them too, so, like, just submit them to us, and then we can–

MATT: Yeah, we’ll figure it out! Anyway, guys, thank you so much! Let’s get to the game!

TALIESIN: Thank you! Cool!

SAM: Guys, guys, the chatroom just solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!

(laughter)

MATT: Thank you so much, chat! Nice.

TALIESIN: We’ve got a box of stuff coming right for you right now. Thank you.

MARISHA: Oh my god, I’m like, shaking.

MATT: All right, so. For all who didn’t get 'em, we’ll have more soon, I promise.

LIAM: Do you guys like D&D? What is that?

MARISHA: (laughs) We didn’t know if people liked our show or not!

MATT: So. So. So, you’ve housed yourselves into this enchanting room, this magical laboratory, and taken about a 15-minute rest. You’re able to use any of your unused hit dice to heal yourself up if need be. Any–

ASHLEY: Oh, well, where’s everybody at? 'Cause maybe I can just do a– some healing up.

TALIESIN: I just spent a healing surge, so.

LAURA: Well, he’s, well, as far as health goes–

LIAM: I’m low, yeah, I’m pretty low.

ASHLEY: Yeah, what are you at?

MATT: How many hit dice do you have left?

LIAM: I know, I have, I don’t have that many left. I’m at, like– I accidentally erased it, but I believe I’m at 30?

ASHLEY: Ooh, yeah, you– I need to, I’ll get on that. Anybody else? What’s everybody at?

SAM: I can sing to you and give you an extra little roll.

LIAM: I’d like you to sing to me, either in the game or on another day.

SAM: Are you Vex or Vax? (laughs)

LIAM: I’m Vix.

SAM: All right, I’ll sing to you and– are you gonna use a dice?

LIAM: Thank you. Ah, let me see how beautiful your song is

SAM: (sings) Heal the Vax, make him a better elf.

SAM and ASHLEY: (sings) For you and for me and the entire adventuring band.

SAM: (sings) There are duergar dying, if you cared enough for the adventurers, you’d bring Vax back to help us with the stabby-stab. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

LIAM: And please, vaccinate your kids.

(laughter)

LIAM: I mean, don’t Vax-inate them.

MATT: Yeah, there’s the difference. All right, so.

SAM: You get a 1d6 for that.

MATT: So, an extra 1d6 healing to anyone.

LIAM: Who needs more than one? Three, okay.

ASHLEY: I healed you, 18, which was actually low, but I rolled really high for each roll. That’s my–

LIAM: Oh, thanks. That’s very good. Okay, great, I am almost tip-top condition, thank you. I have a blister.

MATT: So, as you guys manage to pull yourself out of your rest mode, you now glance out, and the hallway’s still quiet, you can hear the movement of footsteps up above you. What is your intent?

SAM: To win!

MARISHA: Okay. Wait, what are we gonna do, 'cause here’s– there’s an army waiting upstairs for us?

LIAM: They know we’re up there, but Kima needs her stuff, and we need to kind of put an end to this problem.

MARISHA: I’m gonna hop out of tiger form, by the way, since we rested and stuff.

SAM: Wait, they’re above us?

LIAM: Yeah, they’re all upstairs, including the mind flayer who vanished from the room we’re in, so I’m sure he told everyone what’s going on. But they don’t know we’ve found the secret entrance, so I think we should go– Vex'ahlia’s correct, we should use the stairwell near the secret entrance.

ORION: Are we sure there’s no other way out of here, through this particular floor? Is that the only exit?

LAURA: There’s– I mean, there’s the front entrance, there’s that door over there, there’s like two other stairways, but we should use this back one, by the back entrance.

LIAM: Also, Lady Kima, our purpose here was to find you, but your purpose is somewhat greater than our own. What do you suggest we do in this moment?

MATT: As she stands up, and she holds the greatsword and swings it a bit. “What I’m seeking lies deeper into this cavern. Whatever is at the heart of this illithid scourge.” And she glances over at Clarota– who’s in the back corner, hands folded– and there’s a slight mental hiss sound in her direction. “There’s something far darker at the heart of this temple. I’ve seen it. But I have my thoughts and my ideas, but I need confirmation before I speak of any doom-saying. However, the link between those foul creatures and the assault that’s currently mounting against Kraghammer lie upstairs at the center of this duergar people.”

SAM: Oh, here? Here at– where we are now? Yes, here?

MATT: “The link between this K'varn character–”

LIAM: And let me ask you this. We can be on the same page, we can go up and fuck shit up. However, your weapons and armor– would they be a great help? Should they be our short-term purpose, or should we just go up and try to end this problem?

MATT: “To be honest, we’ve entirely lost the element of surprise. I would not wish to sacrifice as foolishly for a few additional trinkets of my own when I feel that this should do well enough, as long as we manage to work together and be smart about this.”

LAURA: So we should potentially just leave this castle for now and go find K'varn, rest up–

SAM: No, no, no.

LIAM: No, Kima is saying this is the main event.

SAM: She just said there’s a link upstairs. The link from– to K'varn that we need to–

LAURA: I get it! Okay. Yeah.

MATT: “How do you think K'varn is able to send these armies up again and again towards the back door of Kraghammer?”

LAURA: Right.

MATT: “Besides, if we go on and leave them as they are, who’s to say they wouldn’t come up behind us, and then we’re fighting a two-sided front once we get there?”

LAURA: Then let’s– We gotta go upstairs.

LIAM: Vox Machina, our years are short. Let’s make good use of them.

SAM: Let’s leave this decision up to Grog.

ORION: Absolutely not!

(laughter)

MATT: Grog’s standing there clutching his greataxe. “I say, I haven’t been able to kill much since we got here. Let’s kill something!”

ORION: That’s a terrible idea.

LAURA: Have some ale before we go out, Grog.

MATT: “Oh, yeah, of course.” And he goes into his bag of holding, and pulls out his now half-empty cask, and you see him frown as he hears it clink around. He pours everyone a small drink, to what is now an empty cask.

LAURA: This could potentially kill us all.

TRAVIS: Vox Machina.

ALL: Vox Machina!

LAURA: Scanlan had a great idea, though. Should we talk about what Scanlan wants to do?

SAM: Ah, yes, I have an idea. But also, are there two stairs up to the top floor?

LIAM: There’s multiple.

SAM: Perhaps we should use more than one. One, half of our band go up, create a diversion. The other half sneak up and kill, kill, kill. That’s one option. The other option–

LIAM: Pike leads the diversion group.

ASHLEY: Definitely the stealthy ones with me.

(laughter)

SAM: Ah, I do have an idea about gaining the upper hand on our first meeting with this army that’s upstairs. An intimidation technique of some sort.

MARISHA: You’re not going to kill another pony, are you?

SAM: I can’t anymore.

MARISHA: Good.

SAM: Much as I would love to. No, but we’ve heard over our eavesdropping that some of these duergar bastards are scared of that strange chimera sort of hodgepodge, human centipede thing? We could be one of those with a little bit of deception, and all of us sort of piling on each other. We could act like a big scary monster and go up and freak the fuck out of them.

MARISHA: Ah! That’s actually a really good idea.

LAURA: – all of us piled on Grog and Trinket and you as the bases, and we become this–

SAM: They would probably be, at least for the moment, intimidated a bit, and we could get a few licks in before they realized we’re just a pile of idiots running at them.

(laughter)

LAURA: I like it.

MARISHA: So we’re basically gonna be like three kids Little Rascals-style on each other’s shoulders with a giant coat?

SAM: But that could be the diversion, at least.

MARISHA: Okay, well then, why don’t– I actually like this idea. Why don’t we have a few of our stealthy members, why don’t we have the twins be in the shadows, and picking people off while–

LAURA: That’s true, 'cause I’ve got range, so that makes sense.

MARISHA: Right, why don’t we have some of our ranged people– I’ll transform. I can transform into– how about a giant scorpion? That sounds fun.

SAM: Can you transform into anything?

MARISHA: I can transform into beasts. They have to be beasts.

SAM: How about the type of beast that we know would scare them, like that big triceratops thing that we saw with the big metal thing on it.

MARISHA: I can be a rhinoceros– I can be, like– Can I do dinosaurs? I can be a dinosaur, right? That’s a new thing I can be, right?

MATT: Up to a certain point.

LIAM: What if you were a scorpion, with a dragonborn tail sliding around and a gnome on your front leg and a–

MARISHA: Well here’s, oh wait wait, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, hang on, hang on, hang on, this might be crazy– wonder what would happen if I drank that weird yellowish potion? While I’m a monster?

LAURA: No, It could be poison, though.

MARISHA: But I’m wondering if you can, like, if I can transform into a monster and then you with Polymorph can maybe just transform.

ORION: Stop talking, stop talking! Hold on.

(laughter)

MARISHA: You don’t have to snap at me.

ORION: No, no, no, you’re brilliant, your highness.

MARISHA: Oh, thank you. I mean.

ORION: I have an idea, I have an idea.

LIAM: We’re off the rails, here.

LAURA: Tell it to us, Tiberius, what’s the idea?

SAM: Does it involve shitting on a bed?

(laughter)

ORION: Eventually, actually, yes.

TALIESIN: Aren’t you empty yet?

ORION: This is what’s going to happen. As far as we know, they’re all duergar up there, correct?

LAURA: Mostly, except for the mind flayers. And another big monster probably, they might have–

ASHLEY: Which I saw in a vision. I think that’s what’s controlling them

LAURA: Oh no, that’s K'varn. No, no, no, he’s at the other one.

ASHLEY: Sorry, read it wrong.

ORION: This is what will happen. Those who can go stealth, we will creep up there. I will go invisible myself. I will be in front. You closely behind me.

SAM: He has a name.

ORION: Vax. There we go. You closely behind me, and whoever else can stealth follows suit. I will cast Alter Self and turn myself into their god.

SAM: Their god?

ALL: K'varn?

MARISHA: But you don’t know what he looks like.

LAURA: Oh, or into that other thingie.

ORION: I absolutely know what he looks like.

MATT: You mean Laduguer?

ORION: We just saw his statue.

MARISHA: Well. that’s not K'varn though.

ORION: But that’s who they worship. As I give my, whatever the hell I come up with to say at that particular time–

SAM: Maybe you should think it first, think it through first.

ORION: As soon as the mind flayers catch on, and I turn to Clarota, and I turn to Kima, that’s when all of you will strike at them first. The rest of you will wait 'til I shoot off a couple of Fireballs at the duergar once they figure out we’re full of crap. 'Cause I’m sure that might happen unless I’m super convincing, which I hope that’s the case– But I think that’s our best bet to keep a certain element of surprise.

MARISHA: So wait, so wait, are you going to be their god, and I’m still going to also be a crazy monster, as like your pet crazy monster, with our stealthy team, or just–

TALIESIN: I think the only thing better than their god would be their god on top of a giant scorpion.

LAURA and MARISHA: Ooh!

LIAM: I have faith in you, Tiberius.

MARISHA: You’ll be like Xerxes.

ASHLEY: Can I cast, 'cause I’ve been wanting to use Thaumaturgy. Which can make your voice three times as louder.

MATT: At the moment he would be speaking, yeah.

ASHLEY: At the moment he’d be speaking, okay, so let’s do that.

LAURA: Oh, that’s going to be so cool.

MARISHA: Some theatrics.

LIAM: I love it when a good plan comes together.

SAM: So some of us are stealthing, you’re being a big god who talks loud and is riding a scorpion.

ASHLEY: So maybe I’ll tuck behind him, on top of you the scorpion, and then when you’re getting ready to talk I’ll just (whoosh) and then you’ll– your voice will be, you know, you’ll have–

LIAM: Yeah, that’s good, that’s good.

SAM: How about this– so, just to clarify, are we all going up the same staircase, or are we going up two separate staircases, Vex and Vax–

LAURA: I think we should just go up the same staircase. There’s too many of them. If we split up we could just all die.

SAM: You don’t know what– there could be a million rooms up there.

LIAM: We have no idea what’s up there, but Tiberius has got a plan, I like it.

LAURA: If he’s the god, we just go in behind him as the god.

ASHLEY: What if we did like your Dimension Door? Is it too not very god-like if he’s coming up the staircase like, hey?

SAM: The Dimension Door’s off the table.

LIAM: Tiberius, Tiberius. Tibs.

SAM: But don’t use the god thing. But don’t use the god thing until we get to the big group. The big thing, if you see a guard, don’t turn into a god, you gotta see like more than five people before you turn into a god.

LIAM: Tiberius.

ORION: Yes, Vax?

LIAM: Do you intend to go up one of the other stairways? I believe this one by the entrance, the secret entrance we came in, will afford us the element of surprise. Do you think you want to go up one of the others?

ORION: No, let’s go up that one.

LIAM: And make a distraction, right? Your plan is to make a distraction.

ORION: Yes, of course.

LIAM: You’re a brave dragonborn.

MARISHA: I’m going to cast Pass Without a Trace on the party. Everyone stay close.

LIAM: Who’s the stealth party, not you, you and me, you.

MARISHA: Well, all of us, all of us I guess, until we get upstairs.

LAURA: Potentially all of us will be stealthed except for Tiberius, and you who is a scorpion, and you who’s riding behind Tiberius.

ASHLEY: I’m riding on her, so I probably won’t be rolling for stealth.

MATT: Uh.

ASHLEY: Just kidding.

MATT: You’ll be rolling.

ASHLEY: I probably won’t roll well, just putting it out there.

MATT: You hear in the back of your mind this subtle, soft, echoing chuckle. “You’re all crazy. I like it.”

(laughter)

MATT: At which point, Kima, who’s listening to all this with a look of kind of awe and curiosity says, “You know, for once? I actually agree with the thing.”

(laughter)

MATT: “All right.” Takes her greatsword in her hands. “Lead the way.”

ASHLEY: So you guys are stealthing up first?

MARISHA: We all have Pass Without a Trace as long as you stand close enough.

LIAM: Wait, wait for the inspiration.

SAM: I have some inspiration dice to give out, that I can give out as bonus actions. Can I give it out before we go into battle?

MATT: I would say like momentarily, right beforehand.

SAM: Okay, good to know. But I can’t mass give it out, just have to give it to one person.

MATT: It’s one of those things where it has to be in the moment when the adrenaline’s pumping, I think, for it to last into the combat.

SAM: Okay, and do we want to send Clarota and Kima off through a different staircase so we have at least a backup plan?

LAURA: No, no, no stick together. Too big of a group of an army upstairs to split us up.

LIAM: Don’t split the party.

SAM: In those action movies, when there’s one guy who goes away for a while, he comes back at the end and saves the day. If we did that–

LAURA: That’s not going to be us!

LIAM: We few, we happy few.

(laughter)

LIAM: About to go and do something very stupid. Let’s do it.

MATT: So you are venturing up which stairway?

LAURA: The secret one, the one by– in the storage room.

MATT: All right. So. You guys–

MARISHA: We got this. We got this.

LAURA: Oh no, Grog fell over. Oh my gosh.

MARISHA: It’s been a good day. What are you going to say? Are you thinking about this? Think about something.

ORION: Okay.

MARISHA: Start thinking about this now.

LIAM: There are rooms up there.

TALIESIN: What’s the name of the god again?

MARISHA: Laduguer.

ASHLEY: Can I take off my armor right now?

MATT: You’d become a soft target. All right, you guys all make your way up, and you’re all squeezing into this tiny, tiny room. You’re all shoulder-to-shoulder, essentially. You come up to the top area, there’s a small box, and there is just a single stone door.

LAURA: Check for traps.

LIAM: Excuse me, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, excuse me Kima, sorry, sorry, All right, my hands are on the door. I’m going to check for traps on this door. I get a 21.

MATT: Okay, you take a moment and you place your hand along this stone surface. You find that there’s a low hum to it.

LIAM: Careful, careful, careful.

MATT: And you can tell that there’s a small, almost like a thin whisper of string laid across the very top of the stone, where the wall meets it.

LIAM: Of course I can, of course I can. I’m going to take care of this, hold on. Yeah, this is thieves’ tools, correct? 26.

MATT: 26, okay. You come up and you find that this is a very, very fine hair trigger. This is actually a partial enchantment as part of a magical trap. You know that with the slightest hint of false vibration to it, the door shifting or hitting it in the wrong place will trigger whatever this trap is. And so you bring your tools up, you manage to place one at the base of each point at where this arcane silver thread lies across. Simultaneously, you take your daggers and place them underneath the thread at each ends and sever them both at the same time. The thin whisper of a string just slowly glides down and vanishes into a small sparkle of light.

SAM: Cut the red wire.

LIAM: I’m just going to lay my ear on the door and see what I can hear. That is 21.

MATT: Hearing it, you hear what sounds like a low mutter of somewhere in the neighbourhood of ten to 15 low voices, and the slow, small shuffling of many, many, many, many footsteps.

LIAM: Shuffling, you said? And if I listen for a moment, do I– does it continue?

MATT: It, kind of, couple of footsteps, some talking, soft footprints. You can hear the scraping of metal–

LIAM: And it’s the only way we can go is through this door, right? We’re all smooshed into this hallway–

MATT: There is a hallway this way.

LAURA: Oh, so we stealth down the other hall, we try.

LIAM: So I mooshed everyone away from this hall.

MATT: The whispers and voices aren’t directly on the other side of this wall, they’re just in that room echoing through, but you do hear a lot of people there. All right, so, what are you doing?

LAURA: Well, well, stealthing down that hallway. Can we check for traps, check for traps, I look, I’m perceiving.

MATT: (laughs) Roll for perceiving

(laughter)

LIAM: 23 for Vax.

LAURA: Oh, I get twice that, good. Oh, good, that was way better.

MATT: (laughs)

LAURA: Ten.

MATT: Okay, no traps.

LAURA: Yay!

MATT: You both glide your way up and peek around the corner. What you see immediately are six duergar all stationed in this hallway guarding what looks like two large doors and entrance to this main chamber. And they’re all just standing there, weapons ready, looking around.

SAM: Wait, which is the main chamber that you just–

MATT: This big chamber here that you–

SAM: Oh, that we were listening to at the door.

LIAM: Vax sneaks back to the group and motions Tiberius over, and Keyleth over.

SAM: We’re doing this?

LIAM: One moment, one moment. Lightning, Lightning, who knows Lightning?

MARISHA: Are you gonna try to Lightning Bolt an entire line?

LIAM: Do you know the magic of lightning? I’ve seen you do it before, I’ve seen you.

MARISHA: I do know it right now.

LIAM: You know it? Anyone who knows Lightning, I’ve seen it done on the battlefield with us, person to person to person.

SAM: I can do it.

MATT: Who is up once again, clearing his throat in your presence.

SAM: Hi! Scanlan here.

LIAM: Scanlan, you know how to harness the power of electricity.

SAM: I don’t wanna brag, but I’m a regular Ben Franklin over here. He’s a guy, he’s a gnome I knew once.

MARISHA: Scanlan, can you and I focus our Call Lightning spells together? To Lightning these–

SAM: I mean, mine’s so fricking powerful.

LIAM: If Scanlan and one of the others does Lightning at the same time and it goes through that line, we could drop them all at once.

LAURA: But that’s noisy, they’ll come out.

LIAM: It’s not that noisy, it’s not like armor banging around.

LAURA: I think it’s gonna be noisy, it’s not a stealthy attack.

TALIESIN: It’s a quick way to get rid of six people, though.

ORION: Oh, is that what we need to do?

LIAM: There’s a row of duergar around the corner, they’re all in a line like Radio City, we just– if I can get– Scanlan, if you– what about you, Keyleth? Do I remember light– or do you bring it down from above? Tiberius.

ORION: What, what?

SAM: Do you want me to shock 'em?

ORION: Oh, I have an idea. Okay, I’ll peek around.

MATT: Okay, make a stealth check.

ORION: Sweet.

MARISHA: You have plus ten because of my Pass Without a Trace.

LIAM: You’ve got six duergar in a row. Is there anything you can do that’s–

ORION: 27.

MATT: That’s when you see this long row of duergar that are all kind of armored and ready, guarding the front of this chamber.

ORION: I cast Watery Sphere at the end of the last guy and create a giant ball.

LIAM: Wait, you’re doing it now?

ORION: What does it look like, Vax?

MATT: Okay, so this giant water sphere appears. At which side of the wall?

ORION: On the last guy. Yeah, and I draw it towards us.

LIAM: Vax is grabbing the gnome and tossing him out to the right, out here at the front of the group.

ORION: And I stop at the last guy.

MATT: Okay, as the water sphere begins to pull in. Saving throws, what’s your DC?

ORION: My spell DC, 17.

MATT: This is a dexterity save? All right.

SAM: One at a time.

MATT: All of them fail!

(cheering)

MARISHA: This is gonna be cool, this is gonna be cool. It’s gonna put them all in one spot.

SAM: They were already in a line.

MARISHA: No, now we can electrocute them and they’re wet!

MATT: There is now an entire clustered sphere of water that is containing a mishmash of duergar.

MARISHA: Lightning Bolt!

MATT: Call Lightning. All right, so, as Keyleth, you step forward, out in the hallway, you bring your arm up and there’s this small cluster of dark clouds beginning to form and swirl up on the top of the 20-foot hallway. As it swirls, you bring your arm downward, and there’s a sudden crack of thunder, a loud blasting sound that echoes through the hallway. As the lightning strikes the center of the sphere, the water itself bursts as the actual cacophonous blast of the lightning loosely shakes the aquatic sphere. However, go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: Do I get any more damage because of the–

MATT: You get an additional two dice of damage to each one of the duergar because they are contained in the water.

ORION: Yeah!

MARISHA: So 5d10?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: Do I roll for each one?

MATT: You just roll once, and that’s across the board for all of them, and they are at a disadvantage because they are in the sphere.

MARISHA: Oh, and they’re at a disadvantage?

ORION: Yeah, yeah, because I’m like holding them up.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: It’s really funny, because two of them rolled 20s in a row, but they’re at a disadvantage.

MARISHA: Nice. Not too shabby. So we have ten, 19 plus 18, bringing it to 28 plus three, 31 plus one. 32.

MATT: Okay. So the sphere explodes, the actual stone on the ground you can feel shake and shudder with the impact of the lightning storm. All but one of the duergar are blown apart and scattered across the wall Akira-style, just (splat) against the walls. One of them is still in the center of the sphere, now looking charred and burnt, and eyes wide open with anger and frustration.

MARISHA: Scanlan, go!

SAM: I say, (chants) you ugly, you ugly, yo mama says you ugly! And I cast Vicious Mockery.

(laughter)

MATT: He rolled a 14 vs the DC which I think is–

SAM: 19.

MATT: All right, how much total did you do?

SAM: Just a five.

MATT: How much did you do, total?

MARISHA: 32, total.

MATT: Hold on. So as the duergar is currently held aloft in this aquatic sphere, half-charred and burnt with pieces of his friends floating in the water around him, he hears through this kind of warbling sound, “You ugly, you ugly,” and he sees everyone kind of step in the hallway clapping with you, and he kind of looks around at himself, looks at his situation… and eventually just gives up and takes a big old gulp of water and drowns inside the aquatic sphere.

(laughter)

SAM: Yes! I shamed him to death

ASHLEY: Amazing.

MARISHA: (laughs) What a terrible way to die.

MATT: Good news is, you guys royally screwed over six duergar, one of which you shamed him to death.

(laughter)

MATT: You have definitely, however, announced your presence at the chamber.

LIAM: Vax spanks Tiberius on the tail and says, get ready to deity! Going stealth.

MARISHA: I say– I go, get on my back, get on my back, and I piggyback him.

MATT: You transform?

ORION: I do.

MATT: No, Marisha, did you transform?

MARISHA: Well I’m piggybacking him, just now. I’m literally just piggybacking Tiberius waiting.

MATT: Okay, so Tiberius, you leap onto her back.

ORION: Mm-hm, and I cast Alter Self, and I turn to–

LIAM: Scanlan, Vex.

ASHLEY: I’m going to cast the thing on him.

MATT: Okay, so you cast Thaumaturgy on him to give him a vocal emphasis, a roaring, booming voice. Do you stay with him or do you move back with the rest of the group?

MARISHA: Oh, oh, Pike Pike Pike Pike Pike. What kind of animal would this god use? Would you know what kind of animal the duergar would worship? Do you know?

ORION: It’s a religion check.

MATT: Religion check.

MARISHA: What kind of animals he might like? You know, check out– you know, animals.

ASHLEY: 14.

MATT: You have no idea. You know the deity exists, you don’t know of any sort of animal, beast or creature symbolism that would befit a duergar god.

ASHLEY: I have no idea.

MARISHA: I guess a scorpion, a scorpion sounds good? Scorpion. Giant Scorpion.

MATT: Keyleth’s form shifts. As you see a bunch of arachnid-like legs sprawl out the side of her torso, her form condenses into a dark, chitinous shell as two giant claws form out the side of her body, and a giant poison stinger curls up from behind. Tiberius kind of holds on during the transformation–

ASHLEY: I’m going to go back, because if they see me, then they’ll know something’s fishy.

MATT: All right, the rest of you are here. So. You feel this kind of divine energy cascade around your throat. You can feel your vocal cords themselves are temporarily infused with some sort of divine presence. You’ve transformed yourself now into the visage of this duergar deity. Standing at probably a good– what height are you going at?

ORION: How tall are the–

MATT: The duergar are about four-and-a-half feet tall.

ORION: So let’s make him six feet tall.

MATT: All right, six-foot-tall duergar standing there.

LAURA: The two of us get back by the other twin door, and get ready to bust into that entrance.

SAM: I’m with them. We’re the stealth party.

LIAM: I’m in fact nudging Grog away from this door towards the front towards Tiberius. I don’t know, they’re not that strong.

MATT: What are you doing? Grog says, “Which way, which way do I go?”

LIAM: Vax kicks Grog in the butt and sends him forward. Go help Tiberius!

MATT: “I’m walking back for you.”

LAURA: Grog, don’t do that. Not that far. Grog, come back, because if they see him–

ORION: No, stay in the corner, Grog. Wait 'til I say help me, and then come kill everything.

MATT: He looks like he’s listening. Mostly.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Back him up. Back him up.

MATT: You hear shifting in the doorway from the front where you guys are. What’s the plan? What’s doing what?

SAM: Who’s going in first?

ORION: Is this going to be the entrance where we’re going in?

LAURA: Yeah you bust in and be a god.

MARISHA: Oh, are we busting in?

LAURA: When you give it, we’ll go in the other way.

MARISHA: Fuck if I know.

ORION: That’s your job. Bust the door open.

MATT: All right, go ahead and make an athletics check.

LIAM: I’m simultaneously checking our door for– no, I already did. It’s unlocked, and untrapped. Never mind.

MARISHA: Giant scorpion. Athletics. Plus my dex, I’m assuming?

MATT: No, plus your strength.

MARISHA: Strength, that’s pretty cool, though. 22.

MATT: A 22.

MARISHA: I rolled a 19.

MATT: All right, the doors splinter open. The doors are actually broken off the hinges.

ORION: As that happens, I cast Light and I cast Prestidigitation.

SAM: Concentrate. Don’t cast too much shit.

ORION: I can’t hear what’s going on. I hear some annoyances in the background as I cast Prestidigitation to make my voice louder.

LAURA: No, she already did it. It’s three times louder than it normally would be.

ORION: Oh, shit.

MARISHA: So just keep focusing on your Light.

MATT: As you guys come bursting in–

LIAM: Holy shit.

LAURA: Yeah, there’s a lot of them.

MARISHA: Maybe do some Prestidigitation where you move shit around.

ASHLEY: Oh ho ho. What!

MARISHA: Oh! Hello, everybody.

LIAM and LAURA: (Grog voice) I would like to rage.

LAURA: Oh, no. Basilisks!

LIAM: What?

LAURA: Those thingies!

MARISHA: Oh, that’s right, they have those pet basilisks. Remember?

MATT: So the doors burst open and you guys come through. All of the duergar stand there with their weapons at the ready. You can see in the back, on this raised platform, where the cloth stops, there is two thrones, at the top two duergar sitting on the thrones at the ready. You can see two kind of lizard-like creatures in the back on chained leashes. However, all of the duergar that are ready to strike as you burst through, take a step back, looking extremely confused about what’s going on.

ORION: (shouts) Silence! All of you, silence!

SAM: We weren’t talking.

ORION: Who knows who I am?

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

MARISHA: Get it. Get it. Get it.

LIAM: Yep. Yep yep yep yep. Vax is quietly moving along the back wall.

SAM: Our door is open?

LIAM: It is now.

LAURA: Yeah we’re going to try to stealth in and sneak attack them.

ORION: 16.

LAURA: Oh god. Oh god.

MATT: Okay. The duergar in the front take another step back, looking both frightened and awed. The one nearest to you takes his hammer and throws it to the ground, and takes a knee.

ORION: Well, it looks like there’s one saved soul at this point in time.

MATT: At which point two of the other ones nearby kind of look at each other and look back at the one who’s on on the ground. They put their hammers down, and they kneel as well. At which point, in the back, you see the two throned figures stand up. One of which you can barely see in the dim light outside of your Light spell that’s currently gleaming above you. This long, almost-touching-the-floor black, braided beard that drags right over this heavy-set plate of jagged black iron metal. A giant sword in his hand. “You’re kneeling below this false idol.”

ORION: Silence!

MATT: “This imposter!”

ORION: As I cast– As I say silence, I blow a big plume of fire out of my mouth, and I cast Control Flames.

MATT: So the light (pff).

ORION: I don’t cast Control Flames. I just do the Fireball for effect. I don’t do Control Flames, because that’s a concentration spell.

MATT: All right, so you do Fireball. Where are you casting Fireball? Or just doing it to do it?

ORION: Just (fwoosh).

MATT: Plume of flame. Roll an intimidation check.

TALIESIN: You guys, what are you doing right now?

LIAM: I’m moving along the back wall. I want that illithid.

ORION: 18.

MATT: Okay. Make a stealth check. Who else is going in there with him?

LAURA: I go in and stand at the walls next to the door.

LIAM: 32.

MATT: Okay, your stealth roll?

ASHLEY: I’m so stressed.

MARISHA: I know! I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack.

MATT: So you rolled a–

ORION: 18.

MATT: Okay, you can see this figure– which you are gathering at this point is probably King Murghol– still holding his sword aloft, looks back towards his wife who’s sitting in the throne next to him, who is just standing up kind of confused.

ORION: That’s right, boy. I am Laduguer! You know, and you know your deeds as of late might upset my rest.

MATT: All of the duergar are now looking over their shoulders back towards the king and watching this transpire between the two of you.

ORION: (shouts) All of you, lay down your arms!

LAURA: 32.

MATT: 32. You’re moving in, everyone else staying in the hallway?

ASHLEY: I’m not moving. I’m like this!

MATT: As you guys push in further and further, the group that are kneeling move back in sheer fear and horror. At which point the king takes a step down off of the throne area onto the next platform, weapons still at his side and says, “Men, I’ve trained you. I’ve raised you. I’ve fed you and I’ve kept you alive.”

ORION: And I don’t care for you to finish that sentence! I cast Fireball. Right fucking– Right on him.

SAM: That’s an attack right there.

ORION: Of course it is!

MATT: So the blast hits him and a 20-foot radius that will grab everything in that radius. Including you. So go ahead and roll damage. 8d6.

LIAM: It’s all right.

MARISHA: 8d6.

LIAM: Heal me, Pike, heal me. Heal me in three minutes, heal me. This is gonna hurt. This is gonna sting.

MARISHA: Oh, god damn. Come on, you got this. You got this, Vax.

SAM: You want it to be a lot, but not too much.

(laughter)

LIAM: A little less than 55.

ORION: Uh, 25.

MATT: 25, okay.

ORION: Oh, I’m sorry, 30.

MATT: Okay, good. So it explodes around them. You see all of them kind of shield themselves from the blast of flame. As it spreads out–

LIAM: Wait, I’m doing the rogue thing that I can’t remember the name for.

LAURA and MARISHA: Uncanny Dodge?

LIAM: No, it’s something else.

ORION: Quickly. Quickly.

MATT: So while you’re looking that up– The duergar brace themselves and they have an innate natural resistance against things magical in nature.

LIAM: Evasion!

MATT: So they all take the brunt of the damage, however, it does not do as much as you hoped to the group. All of them look hurt, but definitely not taken out of the fight. The two lizard creatures you now have a better look at, you do see it’s familiar. They have numerous sets of legs, and though the chains hold them at bay, both of them glance up instinctually. I want you, Tiberius, to make two constitution saving throws.

SAM: Traps.

ORION: Yes.

LIAM: DM. Evasion, if I make a success I get half-damage, if I fail I get– If I fail, I get half-damage, if I succeed I get no damage. I think I failed. I got a nine.

MATT: Yeah you take half-damage. So you take the– What was the total damage on your Fireball? So you take 15 points of fire damage. So as you glance about the room now, you look over and both of these lizard creatures kind of look towards you. You kind of look back and forth– there’s a slight gleam in their eye. Suddenly you feel your form begin to tighten up, instant. You are considered restrained, which means you are at disadvantage to all your attack rolls and ability checks for right now.

ORION: Hold on, I still have a bonus attack I can do before that happens, correct?

MATT: No, this is as it’s happening. Your turn is still happening.

ORION: I got it.

MATT: This is all kind of a fluid moment. Things happen as they happen until initiative is being rolled, which is now. So everyone roll initiative.

MARISHA: Sneaky sneaky.

LAURA: Oh, great.

MATT: All right, so, 25 to 20?

SAM: Natural 20.

MATT: Plus your–

SAM: Nothing.

MATT: Plus nothing for dex. Okay.

SAM: Oh, for dex. Plus nothing.

MATT: Okay, so 25 to 20?

TALIESIN: 23.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: 21, all right, all right.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Sneak attack.

MATT: All righty, 20 to 15?

LAURA: 19.

ORION: 17.

MATT: All right, 15 to ten?

MARISHA: I’m nine.

ASHLEY: Five. Not to brag.

MARISHA: (laughs) Big number five.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: I just noticed your shirt. It’s really great.

SAM: Guys, tune in every week for this kind of intense action.

LAURA: Unless we’re all dead next week. In which case–

LIAM: – Mama put the coins on my eyes.

MATT: All right, that brings us to top of the round. Percy, you’re up.

TALIESIN: I’m going to hold off until– I’m actually going to delay my turn until post-Pike.

ORION: Can I still yell out shit while this is happening? Even though it isn’t my turn?

MATT: I mean, you can yell like one thing.

TALIESIN: I’m loud and I’ve got range, so I’m going to let the room fill, and then I’m going to come in and get some.

ORION: As this is all going down, I’m going to yell, those who want to live, throw down your arms. That’s what I do.

MATT: Okay. That brings us back to the top. Vax, you’re up.

LIAM: Okay, I use my bonus action to click my boots of haste together. And I tap-dance over to the illithid, and I’m going to use two daggers to stab him in his eyeballs.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: First one hits, it’s 18.

MATT: It is a critical because it does not see you and has not acted yet this combat.

LIAM: Yeah it is. So I just take my keen dagger and I shove it in his eyeball. 1d4 is two, plus–

MARISHA: Feel like I’m going to have a heart attack.

TALIESIN: We’re going to be fine. It’s nothing we can’t handle.

MARISHA: Nothing we can’t handle.

LIAM: 19, 28, plus 36 is the first dagger into his eyeball.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Second dagger also hits for a little less, for seven points of fire damage in his other eyeball.

MATT: All right. Gotcha. So the first one actually jams into one of its eyes. It didn’t even see you, it recoils back, slapping your hand back out of the way. The other dagger strikes and just gleans off its shoulder. However, it turns around with its other eye and it definitely knows you’re there.

LIAM: I’d like to circulate my hands to kind of carve out the eyeball area.

(laughter)

MATT: No, it pushed you off.

LIAM: Yeah, okay, okay, it’s all right.

MATT: All right. That brings us to Grog.

SAM: (Grog voice) I would like to rage.

LIAM: (Grog voice) I would like to go to a whore house.

MATT: He goes into a rage. And Grog is going to go ahead and take his axe with the chain on it and throw it toward the first duergar he sees, which is right here. Throws it. All right, that is a– That’s going to miss. He rolled a four. Swings past. He’s going to make an athletics check to see if he can bring it back. That he succeeds. So he throws the axe. It swings past the duergar, clangs to the ground, uses his chain, he yanks it back, catches it in his hand. His turn is spent, however. Next up is Scanlan.

SAM: I step into the room, lining myself up with those two pig, creature, beast things. In a line. Yeah. Can I also catch the king or no?

MATT: No, it has to be a line. It has to go straight.

SAM: Going for the guys. I don’t want to scald you. You’re already hurting. I’m going to go straight across the piggies and make them squeal with Lightning.

MATT: All right. At the start of your turn–

SAM: Oh shit, there’s a trap.

MATT: No, at the start of your turn you come up and the creature looks over and you guys make eye contact. You weren’t averting your gaze. Go ahead and make a constitution save.

LIAM: Saving throw, saving throw. Come on, Scanlan, you lucky motherfucker! Roll high.

SAM: 17, plus what?

MATT: Plus your constitution modifier.

SAM: 19.

MATT: All right, so, as it glances over at you, there’s a shine in its eye, and you feel all of a sudden your form, for a second, tense, and you shrug off the effect, untouched by it. Now, go ahead and take your turn.

SAM: I cast Lightning on the two beasts. In a straight line.

MATT: Okay, so you pull back and you unleash a lightning bolt. It goes streaking across the room.

SAM: If I can get the king, I’ll try.

MATT: Unfortunately, he’s just out of the line array, but it does streak across and blast both of these now visibly basilisks in front of you. You hit automatically. Just go ahead and roll damage.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Oh sweet, sweet dice rolls.

LIAM: Let it rain!

MARISHA: Let it rain d6s from the sky!

SAM: 29.

MATT: 29. One fails its saving throw, one makes it. So 29 damage to one, and 14 to the other.

SAM: And then, for bonus action, I inspire Vax with a little ditty.

MATT: All right.

SAM: (sings) I want to sing a song of inspiration, of inspiration!

(laughter)

MATT: All righty, that’s it. That ends Scanlan’s turn. King Murghol’s turn, now. King Murghol is going to– It sees this blast of lightning streak past now, as it blasts, just barely passing in front of it, hitting both of his pet basilisks. Now seeing that there’s, like, a full army between himself and the current intruders, one of which is visibly stiffening, he glances over at this tiny gnome individual, who now gave loose to this bolt of energy. Grabs his blade with both hands and goes running towards you with an angry– but he uses a bonus action, quickly, to pull out a vial, pop a cork, chug it, shatter the glass on the ground. As he does, you can see his arms actually billow and grow extremely strong and thick with muscle.

MARISHA and LAURA: What color was the vial?

MATT: This was purplish in color. He then runs forward. And is going to take his turn, swinging at Scanlan.

SAM: As he does, I sing (sings) Dodge that sexy attack-oh white boy.

(laughter)

SAM: I sing my– what is it called? Counter– Cutting Word– no, yes, what? Cutting Words! And I try to distract him as he’s attacking me. What is that, a d8?

MATT: A d8 off of his first attack.

SAM: Five.

MATT: Five. Okay, well, he rolled a 20, which brings it down, oh, a total of 20, which brings it down to 15. What’s your armor class?

SAM: 14.

MATT: Oh. Second strike is a 13. Third strike is a 12. Wow, he just can’t hit at all this turn. But, however, the one strike he does get on you, the sword comes down, streaks across the front of you, and as you’re finishing your last, final note of that song, you take 18 points of slashing damage.

SAM: Okay, okay, okay.

ASHLEY: Where you at?

SAM: I’m fine.

ASHLEY: Where are you at?

SAM: I’m fine. I’ve got more than him.

MATT: That ends his turn. This brings us back to Vex!

LAURA: That’s me! I cast Hunter’s Mark! Actually, I just transfer it, because the other one died. I transfer it to the king. And then I cast– First I want to move Trinket over and– oh no, I can only move Trinket. Okay, first I’m gonna cast Conjure Barrage. It’s a 60-foot cone. So I want to see how many of them I can get.

MATT: You can, you can get– let’s see. That’ll get everybody.

LAURA: Can I angle it so I don’t hit my buddies?

MATT: You can angle it in a way that will– well, if you wanna get the king in it, you’re going to hit these two here. And Grog.

LAURA: All right, I’ll hit them.

MATT: Okay, so, you will be able to hit everything in that row. So go for it. How does the effect on that work?

LAURA: I roll 3d8.

MATT: All right, so go ahead and roll 3d8.

LAURA: That was on a corner. Oh good! 17.

MATT: 17, okay. And what’s the effect on the spell, like what do they roll against?

LAURA: They roll a dexterity saving throw.

MATT: Dexterity saving throw. King makes his, with a 20. So he takes half-damage for it, or no damage?

LAURA: Half as much, yeah.

MATT: Okay, so what was the total again? It was– What was the total originally? It was– what was the total?

LAURA: The total? Was 17.

MATT: 17. Okay, so that is eight damage to the king.

LAURA: Plus a Hunter’s Mark.

MATT: Right, so roll the additional one on that.

LAURA: Four.

MATT: Four, gotcha. All right. The basilisk also does not make its save. What’s the DC on this?

LAURA: DC. What do you mean?

MATT: Your spell DC. At the top of your spell page.

LAURA: Yes. It’s 14.

MATT: 14.

LAURA: Oh, I did get a– I didn’t add my spell attack bonus! Should I have done that?

MATT: No, that’s just to hit something with a spell.

LAURA: Okay, cool.

MATT: All right, so basilisk in front makes it, so it takes the eight damage. Okay, the rest of the duergar, they do make their saves, they take half damage. However, with the spray of arrows that comes flying out of the front of your bow, you manage to take out five duergar in one swipe. The others ones remain, damaged but still standing. Also, now dexterity saving throw for you, Tiberius, and Grog.

MARISHA: Natural 20.

ORION: 19.

MATT: Nice. So both you guys take eight damage. Grog fails, Grog takes 17.

LAURA: I’m sorry, Grog.

MATT: “It’s all right.” All right, Vex, is that the end of your turn?

LAURA: Oh, I move Trinket in, and I want to– If I can get him to illithid, I want to get Trinket close, like kind of behind the queen. No, no, I want to get him near. That way he can flank.

MATT: Okay, all right. That ends your turn. It is now Lady Kima’s turn.

SAM: Ooh, I forgot about her.

MATT: Kima rushes in angrily. She has to make a saving throw. Succeeds against the basilisk, as it glances past. Rushes forward, in combat with both King Murghol and the basilisk. However, as she goes in for King Murghol, screaming, the blade of the greatsword arcing across the air with a divine glowing energy, you see it aiming for the king, but then looks to her side and sees this dangerous lizard creature, recognizing it in a moment, she changes her trajectory and swings next to the lizard with her first strike. That is a– that hits. And that strike does just enough damage. She cleaves that basilisk in two with her first strike. With her first strike, using the inertia, she turns around and strikes at King Murghol. However, King Murghol, seeing her come forward, takes his sword up and manages to parry hers to the side. Both of them lock for a second as he steps into her and kind of glares into her face. “Oh, you’re supposed to be downstairs for playtime.” Pushes her off with his blade.

MARISHA: Playtime? I don’t– (laughs) I know, all the ladies are like 'ew’.

MATT: That brings us to Queen Ulara’s turn. Queen Ulara is now standing over there with Trinket towards her back. As she instinctually does this, she goes ahead and reaches up, places her hand on the front of her robes. You can see this duergar woman with kind of long, reddish hair that she’s let flow to the back, to the small of her back. She stands up out of the throne. As she puts her hand on her chest, her form shimmers, much like you saw earlier on Tiberius, in your earlier battle. She moves back to there.

ORION: As she does that, I try to Counterspell it.

MATT: That’s a reaction?

ORION: Yep.

MATT: Okay. So let’s go ahead and do the contested roll.

ORION: Contested roll.

SAM: That was almost the name of this show. Not as catchy.

ORION: DC equals ten plus the spell’s level.

MATT: Okay. So the DC is 12. Go ahead and you roll that.

ORION: DC is 13. It’s a third-level spell. Right?

MATT: Blur is second-level.

ORION: Oh, I thought Counter– Okay, I see.

MATT: Yes. So, Counterspell. Go ahead and– Oh– interrupt a creature in process of casting a spell. If the creature is casting a spell– third level or lower, it fails and has no effect. So, yeah, it just counters it entirely. So, the– her form begins to shimmer for a second. All of a sudden, Tiberius, your attempt to go ahead and counter the spell, that burst of energy you’re trying to put through the Blur vanishes. She looks back at you.

ORION: What do you think you’re doing, lass?

SAM: You still trying to be a god?

ORION: I’m in that form still.

(laughter)

MATT: Yeah. So with her sorcery points expended on that quick cast, she turns around for her main action, puts out her fingers, and you see these blasts of blue energy begin to rocket out from her fingertips, across the room, in what is a Chain Lightning.

LIAM: Shit. He’s got the iPhone out.

MATT: So, this’ll be towards– actually, this’d be towards you, Vex, Kima, and Scanlan.

LAURA: All right.

LIAM: Did you say Vex or Vax?

MATT: Yeah, Vex and Vax, both of you.

LAURA: Wait, you’re all the way over there.

SAM: Yeah, you’re all the way over somewhere else, right?

MATT: Over there, yeah. Chain Lightning, man. It’s a bitch. All right. All right, so. Vax, go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw.

LIAM: Not good. Seven.

MATT: Seven, all right.

LIAM: Can I use Evasion, or– Uncanny Dodge or Evasion?

SAM: I gave you some dice. I gave you, I gave you some dice.

LIAM: You did give me some dice.

SAM: It’s not going to be enough, though.

LIAM: So now I’m at 13, but can I use Evasion or Uncanny Dodge? Evasion is for area effects, Uncanny Dodge is–

MATT: Well, you’ve already used one for the area effect, the other one reduces the damage by half.

LIAM: All right, Uncanny Dodge.

MATT: Okay, so you’re reducing the damage by half?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, so instead, you take 18 points of lightning damage. However, both Vex and Scanlan and Kima all have to make dexterity saving throws as well. She makes hers.

SAM: Not great. 14. I have no dexterity.

LAURA: 16.

MATT: 16, okay. So you took, was it 18 lightning damage, I said?

LIAM: Oh, I didn’t add any dexterity. I add a 9 to what I got, which means I’m at 22.

MATT: Just, you mean, your dexterity modifier? 22? Okay, then you would’ve taken half damage, make it quarter damage, so you take half of that even. So keep that in mind when you make your dexterity saving throw. So, that would give you total how much damage? So, it was 18 you took, right?

LIAM: Yeah, and we halved it to nine. Five?

MATT: So, 36 damage to Scanlan and to Kima, and to you, Vex. 36 points of lightning damage. That ends her turn. Tiberius, you’re up. So you, it’s your turn now, as you’re now on top of the scorpion still.

ASHLEY: It’s okay.

MARISHA: You’re on top of me. I’m holding you!

ASHLEY: I got you.

ORION: Cool. This is– there’s still on the altar that’s raised above– and all that.

TALIESIN: You’ve got a problem down there, to be fair.

ORION: Where we’re at?

TALIESIN: You’ve got the witch problem to deal with.

MATT: What do you got, Tiberius? Quick, before you miss your turn.

ORION: I shall miss nothing. I’m going to stay right where I’m at.

MATT: All right.

ORION: I’m going to snicker, and I will (laughs) hand out, put out my hand, and give my little ring a rub, and let out a Fireball from it, right where no one else but these buttholes will get hurt.

MATT: All right, so (laughs), I’d say probably a 20-foot radius around would put it about there.

LIAM: (Tiberius voice) What is the Common word for it?

ALL: (Tiberius voice) Butthole.

MATT: So, as you polish off the ring and release it, the bead of red energy streaks across, blasting the floor, the secondary explosion, giant Fireball just bursts into the room, go ahead and roll damage on that.

ORION: Six, I have enough, there’s a four, this is terrible, help me count, eight.

MARISHA: Okay, well, we have all these twos. Let’s put the twos side by side. That’s fun. Uh-huh.

LAURA: Your turns are taking so long!

ORION: 18. 23!

MATT: 23. Okay. The rest of these duergar detonate, blasted away out of play. Just, their bodies go thrown against the walls and the various pillars in the room. There’s two pillars over there, they’re kind of holding the ceiling up. The rest of them just go thrown about the room. The queen takes a bit of the damage, but seems to shrug off most of it.

ORION: I’m going to spend two sorcerer points. And I’m going to reach out my hand, and I’m going to form an ice knife and– where is the queen, actually?

MATT: Right there.

ORION: Oh, very good. I’m going to throw the ice knife right there.

MATT: Okay. Right there? All right.

ORION: And I cast it at level two.

MATT: All right. So you get to throw at a target, though, right? Or are you just throwing on the ground to do the radial? Okay, so you take– you form the ice knife, you throw it, it streaks across, slams into the stone floor and explodes, sending shards of ice out. Go ahead and roll damage.

ORION: Which is 3d6, because it’s at level two now.

MATT: Correct. Saving throw, which it succeeds.

ORION: Much better. 14 points of damage.

MATT: Okay. Both succeed for half damage. So seven points of damage to each. All right, got it, cool. That ends your turn, Tiberius. Clarota, now–

ORION: How do you like them apples?!

MATT: Clarota steps forward– Seeing the other mind flayer there, steps past and decides to go into a contest of wills against it.

MARISHA: Contest of wills, staring contest, staring contest!

MATT: All right, this is intense. All right. Clarota is going to step forward and begin to intensely stare at– you can see the air itself seems to shimmer and push, like a strange bubble shifting between the two of them at this connection point. Mind flayer, now one-eyed and seeping liquid from the side of its face, glares back at him. Fails his saving throw.

MARISHA: That’s right, he does.

MATT: This mind flayer suddenly diverts its attention away from Clarota and towards the queen.

(cheering)

SAM: The old Dominate.

ASHLEY: Tight, tight, tight.

(laughter)

MATT: That ends Clarota’s turn. All right. The duergar would go if they weren’t all blasted to hell. That brings us to Keyleth.

MARISHA: All right. I’m going to go right for the king. You’re coming for a ride, Tiberius. I’m gonna make a straight line. I have a 40-foot movement, pretty straight movement.

ORION: All right! Let’s get 'em!

LAURA: Oh no, Tiberius fell off.

MATT: There you go.

MARISHA: Okay, I’m in melee, yeah?

MATT: Yes, you are.

MARISHA: All right, I’m gonna do my full three multi-attack.

ORION: I’m maniacally laughing.

MATT: You are going to have a disadvantage on the tail attack, because you have Tiberius on your back and you’re trying to make sure you don’t hit him with your tail.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: So, first two claw strikes.

MARISHA: Okay, first one, probably not gonna hit. 12?

MATT: No, that does not hit.

MARISHA: Second one. 16?

MATT: Does not hit. Clink, clink! Off the armor. Tail strike.

MARISHA: Tail strike. Two. Ten. Nothing.

MATT: Yeah, unfortunately just his thick suit of armor– you’re just hitting at him with the giant scorpion claws, but nothing seems to be getting through.

MARISHA: God, you’re so heavy, Tiberius, god!

MATT: You hear this clacking scorpion angrily (scorpion sounds).

MARISHA: My balance is wonky.

MATT: Pike, you’re up!

ASHLEY: All right, time for some healing. So pull me in there. I’m gonna do a– I’m gonna do a Mass Cure Wounds. At level five gives, which I thinks gives– thinks? Which methinks gives me 4d8? Plus my spell ability modifier. Okay, so–

MARISHA: Get your heal on.

LIAM: (Yoda voice) 4d8 you would give.

ASHLEY: Oh, so, 20. 20 points of healing for whoever would like it.

MATT: For everyone who’s in the radius. Everyone but Grog, essentially, gets healed for 20 points. Grog’s too far away from you, unfortunately.

SAM: Thank you, my love.

MATT: All right, Percy, you’re up.

TALIESIN: All right, I’m going to just get– just step into the doorway to take a look. I’m just stepping one step. And now I’m just going to shoot– can I– I’m just gonna try and– The minute I recognize what a basilisk is, since I’ve faced them before, I’m going to do my best not to look and take a shot.

MATT: Okay, so go ahead and fire with a disadvantage against the basilisk on the far end of the room.

SAM: Don’t you shoot me.

MARISHA: Oh, that was a pretty one.

TALIESIN: I get 16 at my disadvantage.

MATT: 16 at disadvantage? That does hit. Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: Nice! I’ll be taking another shot, too.

MATT: Also, Tiberius, make another constitution saving throw.

TALIESIN: Six points of damage.

MATT: Six points of damage to the basilisk, got it.

TALIESIN: I’m going to take another shot, though. 16 again.

ORION: Ten.

TALIESIN: 16 hits. This time I do 12 points of damage.

MARISHA: 12 points?

TALIESIN: 12 points. And then I’m gonna duck back around the corner again.

MATT: Okay. Cool. As you duck around the corner, you’ve gotten these strikes in, and as you’re trying to– as you finish your blows on the duergar king, Murghol, in front of you, you hear this clanking sound as Tiberius’s now fully stone form falls off of the scorpion onto the ground, beside you.

SAM: Oh no! He’s stoned!

ASHLEY: You turned to stone?

LAURA: 'Cause of the basilisk.

LIAM: We’ve dealt with this before.

LAURA: Basilisk blood, we can fix it.

SAM: I think you pee on the body and it cures them.

ASHLEY: Can I– I can’t, I have to go–

SAM: Let’s try it and find out.

MATT: The basilisk now takes its turn.

LIAM: (stone Tiberius voice) Please, no!

MATT: Steps forward onto the edge. It’s going to go ahead and– it’s gonna be for Lady Kima. It’s going to attempt to make its stare at her. Lady Kima–

ASHLEY: Close your eyes!

LAURA: She’s smart, she’s closing her eyes.

MATT: Lady Kima, who’s currently in this blood frenzy against the king, unfortunately is not paying attention. Off to the side, the basilisk gets a glance out, which she looks at from the corner of her eye, she sees the movement over and has a hard time pushing through the stiffness as the gaze begins to take a clenching effect on her body.

LAURA: Oh no.

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: All set, let’s go.

MATT: Yes, thank you. Let’s do that. Oh, Waze. Why’s my phone on? All right, so, that brings us to the– Oof, okay.

LIAM: (computer voice) I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that, Vex'ahlia.

MATT: This mind flayer, who’s currently Dominated, steps forward and is going to attempt to make a tentacle grab against the queen. Queen Ulara manages to dodge out of the way, seeing this coming, and just backhands it, while taking a step back. Unfortunately does not cling with the tentacle. That ends its action. Yeah, unfortunately that didn’t hit. All right, next, at the top, that brings us to Vax.

LIAM: I’m hasted. I’m gonna try to go stealth again from where I am. So I’m stealth, 17– 30. Okay. I’m going to scuttle along the floor and leap on the back of the basilisk and try to stab it in the eye while looking at the ceiling.

MATT: Well, at the start of your turn, it’s within 30 feet of you and you can see it. Are you going to–

LIAM: Not look at it, no, no.

MATT: Okay, so you’re taking disadvantage on this attack. So you move behind, you’re hidden.

LIAM: 15 for my first attack.

MATT: Your first attack, that will not hit, unfortunately.

LIAM: And second time, 19 for the second attack.

MATT: That does hit, yes.

LIAM: Okay. Feel for the eyes, stab it with keen dagger– Four. 11.

MATT: Okay. As you rush over, you take your first strike at the basilisk, you see it reel back and slap around its tail. You barely just get out of the way, and as you see its head turning around to attempt to glare at you, you instinctively take your offhand dagger and place it directly into the eye socket of the basilisk. It sinks past your fingers and you feel that warm rush of blood and gore against your hand. As you pull back, it just slumps to the ground.

(cheering)

ASHLEY: We’ll get you some of that– we’ll get you some of that blood. Blood! Basilisk blood!

LIAM: I only moved ten feet. So who’s stone right now? Tiberius and– wasn’t– aren’t two people?

MATT: Lady Kima is mid-effect and Tiberius is solid stone.

LIAM: I’ve got Haste on– If I’ve got Haste on, can I get to Kima? 'Cause I’ve got haste boots.

MATT: I would say, yeah, you could spend the rest of your movement doing that, yeah.

LIAM: Okay, and I use my thumb to slide some of its blood off the blade and drip it onto her eyes.

MATT: Okay. All right. That ends your turn. That brings us to Grog. Grog turns and is going to go ahead and go raging, frenzied, against the queen. And a critical hit.

(cheering)

MARISHA: He crit?

ORION: Yeah.

MATT: The first hit, she’s gonna go ahead and use her reaction to do Shield, it’s going to up her defense. First attack misses, so two attacks miss now and the last attack is a critical hit, which is nice. So that’s a–

MARISHA: No crits for you! Crit happens, whether you’re here or not.

MATT: All right, so that’s 31 points of damage. Oof, that’s a hefty chunk. All right, that ends Grog’s turn. That brings us to Scanlan!

SAM: I’m next to the king, right? I’m near the king? Over there.

MATT: Yep. You’re right next to him.

SAM: Okay. I just make eye contact with him and I mentally tell him that he really has the urge to try to do a headstand. Lay down his weapon and he really just wants to see if he can do it.

(laughter)

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Suggestion.

MATT: Okay. (laughs) What’s your DC?

SAM: 19.

MATT: All right. This is through the hand cone?

SAM: Through the hand cone, through the hand cone.

MATT: Okay. That will be a 20, unfortunately. Makes his saving throw. He glances back towards you with a look of confusion for a second. Looks at his feet and like begins to reach forward and then steels his mind and looks up at you angrily. All right.

SAM: Can I also, as my bonus action– Who’s around me? Who needs inspiration? Who needs inspiring? Who’s– yeah, oh, shit. I’ll give Pike some inspiration, 'cause she’s my awesome sweetheart.

ASHLEY: What do I get?

LAURA: You get 1d8.

ASHLEY: Hey, thanks, man.

MATT: Next up is King Murghol, who’s furious now. Both of his beasts have been slain and most of his men have been completely torn asunder by multitudes of arrows and fireball spells. He, now growing in physical form, on top of already the musculature he acquired from that potion, is going to make his three attacks against whatever is nearby. That’s actually going to be– actually, that’s gonna be two strikes against you, Scanlan, since you just now tried to make him stand on his head, and one against Kima.

(laughter)

MATT: That is a 15–

SAM: Hit.

MATT: – a 24–

SAM: (higher voice) Hit.

MATT: – and against Kima is a 20, that also hits. So all three hit.

LIAM: Nobody puts baby in the corner.

(laughter)

MATT: Oof, all right. So the first strike hits you for 21 points of slashing damage.

SAM: Still alive.

MATT: The next one hits you for 23 points of slashing damage.

SAM: No longer alive (laughs).

ASHLEY: You’re no longer alive?

LAURA: Are you unconscious?!

MATT: Scanlan falls unconscious on the ground from the two strikes of the king. The third strike back towards Kima, who’s currently seizing from the effect of the spell. She’s restrained, so he has advantage.

LIAM: But she’s got the basilisk blood in her eyes.

MATT: There’s a process to undoing a creature into stone. To your knowledge, it does not seem to be having an effect. However, Lady Kima takes 22 points of damage. All righty. That brings us to– Vex, you’re up.

LAURA: Oh, that’s me. Every time!

LIAM: I’m Vex.

LAURA: No, you’re not. Okay, I’m gonna hail, I’m gonna– hail of arr– no, yeah, Hail of Thorns? At level three.

MATT: Okay, at who?

LAURA: At the queen and the illithid. So, I should’ve transferred my bonus action over to– but I didn’t, that’s okay. That gives me– I should’ve done this before, I’m an asshole, I’m sorry.

LIAM: But what about in the game?

LAURA: That gives me 2d10.

MATT: Additional damage to the arrow.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: So it explodes around, right? All right, so, fire the arrow. So, as your bonus action, you go and you grab one of the arrows out from the back, and as you pull it back you can see a bunch of these little thorns begin to grow and sprout from the actual shaft of the arrow. You release it and as it arcs across–

LAURA: Yes! Natural 20!

(cheering)

MATT: Against the queen. All right, go ahead and roll the damage for the arrow and the damage for the spell. And all that doubles.

LAURA: Oh, awesome.

MARISHA: (sings) All that doubles is gold.

TALIESIN: (sings) Only shooting arrows.

ORION: (sings) In a butthole.

LAURA: Yeah, all of it doubles.

MATT: The bonus at the end doesn’t double, just the dice.

LAURA: Oh, so, 36–

MATT: 36 points of damage. Yeah, plus the seven. And then it does– it explodes? In a radius. And it does the dice damage, the 2d10, to–

LAURA: To everything within five feet.

MATT: All right, so the mind flayer and Grog.

LAURA: Oh, right, yeah, I should’ve hit the mind flayer with that arrow. No, it would’ve still hit Grog. Okay.

LIAM: Grog is a tank.

LAURA: They have to make a dexterity saving throw.

MATT: All righty. Grog does not make it and the mind flayer does not make it.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: All right, cool. All right, second arrow you can fire now if you want to.

LAURA: Second arrow. I’m gonna fire from my flaming bow. I’ve got one shot on that left. At her again.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: And that’s a 28.

MATT: That hits.

LAURA: And that’s nine plus a ten, where’s my ten? There they are. That’s plus two. 11.

MATT: All right. You see flames begin to burn up along the side of her robe and she’s looking really flustered and frustrated at this point. All right, that brings us to Kima’s turn. No. She’s made of hardy stuff. Kima currently is fighting this, is going to go ahead and release an entire– all of her attacks against the king Murghol as he’s right in front of her. She has disadvantage on that, unfortunately, because she is restrained. She’s gonna make two attacks against him using Divine Smite, expending a 3rd-level spell. So that’s 3d8 extra damage to each strike. So the first one hits. Both hit. All right. She’s going to do it twice. That’s gonna be 6d8 additional damage.

MARISHA: Ooh! That’s hot.

MATT: Oof. Okay. So, as Kima rears back, her first strike comes down and hits overhead, into King Murghol’s armor, and as it does, it hits. The blade only goes about a few inches in, but then all of a sudden the blade heats up white-hot and actually buries itself an additional six inches into his shoulder. He screams out in pain, reaches up and grabs the blade and as he does, his hand actually burns in the process. She pulls the blade out, around and swings it down again, sinking another eight inches into the side of his torso. This time with a giant arc of white divine light into the side. He looks like he’s starting to bleed out from the two of the wounds really heavily. The king is looking a little rough. That ends Kima’s turn. Kima’s going to try and make a saving throw. Kima pulls the blade out, and turns to stone herself.

LAURA: Oh shit. Shit, shit, shit. He’s still at like really high health, too. The king.

SAM: What, he is?

MATT: The king is looking a little rough.

SAM: You never know. He might just start doing a headstand.

(laughter)

MATT: The queen’s turn.

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: The queen looks over at Grog in front of her, kinda frustratedly, uses a bulk of sorcery points, puts her hand up towards him as he’s pulling his axe back angrily. He fails his save. And he puts his axe back down and looks towards the rest of the group.

MARISHA: Oh no! Not again!

MATT: Eye color glazed over.

SAM: He’s so easily influenced.

LAURA: No, he’s under her control.

MATT: So that was her sorcery points, her quick action. She then says, “We’re not gonna die this day alone and I won’t die. My love, I’m sorry, but there’s much more work to be done.” And she raises her hand up and you see this buildup of green arcane energy at her hand. She turns it towards the rest of the group, faces it up towards the ceiling and releases this pulse of arcane, green, ill-looking energy that blasts into the stone ceiling. As it does, the stone itself disintegrates in a large chunk, and a glowing mass of seeping, hot, molten magma begins to pour into the room.

MARISHA: Oh shit!

ORION: Where’s it coming from?

MATT: It’s now coming from right here.

LAURA: Oh my god.

LIAM: (sings) TPK. TPK.

MATT: So now, magma is pouring onto the throne room from above. The giant fall that is on top of the fortress is now peering into the room.

SAM: (high-pitched) Someone grab me and leave.

MATT: That brings us to Tiberius, who is stone. Clarota currently looks around and–

ORION: Hold on. Am I conscious in stone form?

MATT: No. You are a slate. You are a blue screen. You are Grog after the intellect devourer.

ASHLEY: Oh god, this is bad.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

SAM: Pike, it’s all on you, dude.

MARISHA: Do you have water?

ASHLEY: I can create it.

MATT: Clarota steps back and grabs Lady Kima and begins dragging her back through the doorway.

LAURA: Oh god, we’ve got to get out. That’s a retreat.

MATT: Pulling her down towards the stairway. That brings us to Keyleth.

SAM: Keyleth. Keyleth. Get us out of here.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay. I come out of the form. Yes, thank you.

MATT: It’s a free action.

ORION: Isn’t there a dead basilisk right in front of us right now?

MATT: There is a body of a dead basilisk on the ground, yes.

MARISHA: I’m going to take Wind Wall. I’m gonna cast Wind Wall and try and wrap it around the lava column and try and contain it within the Wind Wall, cooling it down. Essentially making a tornado-like vortex around the lava.

MATT: Okay. For the purposes of this, I want you to go ahead and make a basic religion check.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Wait no, not religion. For you it’d be nature. Just for the purposes of my thought, I think a nature check would be an interesting way to see how this plays out.

MARISHA: 18.

MATT: 18? Okay. So, as you bring this gust of cold wind, swirling around, the column of magma begins to cool and darken as Trinket is like backing up against the wall and the magma is starting to singe the edge of Trinket’s nails. It cools to a dark, black, kind of rockish color. And the magma fall ceases, but you can see parts of it breaking and beginning to break past that shell exterior. So you’ve slowed it.

MARISHA: This isn’t gonna hold for long! Somebody rub some blood on Tiberius, quick, and let’s get the hell out of here! I’m just holding this.

MATT: Holding it there? Okay. That brings us to Pike.

ASHLEY: There’s so much to do. I don’t know if I should heal you, if I should rub blood on you or if I should go try to remove the curse from Grog.

LAURA: See if you can get the curse out of Grog. Because if we’ve got to retreat, then–

ASHLEY: Can Remove Curse remove the thing off of him?

MATT: From your knowledge, no, it’s an arcane effect, not a curse.

ASHLEY: That’s an arcane effect. Okay, so, Grog might be on his own for a little bit. Okay. So can I heal Scanlan and then also rub some basilisk blood on Tiberius?

MATT: From your previous experience, it’s not the blood directly. The blood itself has to be distilled into a specific alchemical form to reverse the effect.

ORION: We just drank the blood last time.

MATT: No, it wasn’t drinking. After the battle, you guys took the blood, prepared it, and then used it as part of the recovery.

MARISHA: Will someone collect some blood?

MATT: Okay, so you heal Scanlan. How much does he heal?

ORION: The king’s almost dead.

MARISHA: Do we want to kill the king? Do we need somebody alive to help us?

ASHLEY: Oh, 19, 19!

MATT: So you’re healed 19. You’re on the ground, prone, but you’re conscious now.

SAM: Hi!

MATT: You look up at Pike and smile and you look over and see this large column of magma that’s now cracking through stone and pouring into the throne room again.

ASHLEY: Is there anything else we can do? Is there anything else I can do at this moment?

MATT: No, this has been a heal, this has been– no, okay, you can move, that’s about it.

ASHLEY: I can move? Can I take anyone with me while I move?

MATT: I will say you can drag him. You’ll be at half speed.

ASHLEY: Can I try to drag Tiberius away from the magma?

MATT: You can try. Make a strength check.

SAM: You’re two feet tall. He’s a dragon.

MATT: Let’s say athletics, do athletics.

ASHLEY: Athletics? 19.

MATT: Okay. So, you grab onto Tiberius, you rush over after healing him, grab and start dragging him towards the entrance. At half-speed you manage to get him three squares, that’s as far as you got. As you’re pulling back, the king, as a reaction, gets one strike on you with his sword. That’s gonna be a 19.

ASHLEY: Get outta here.

(laughter)

MATT: Your AC is 20?

ASHLEY: It’s 20.

MATT: So the blade hits you–

ASHLEY: I just flip him off.

(laughter)

MATT: The blade comes down towards you, but with a flash of divine energy in your shoulder armor, it just gets deflected off the side and you glare at him out of the side of your face. And continue to drag Tiberius out of the room.

LIAM: Now go home and get your shine box.

(laughter)

MATT: All right. Percy, you’re up.

TALIESIN: All right. I’m going to step into the room, to give some cover. Right about, probably just slightly on the other end of this.

MATT: Where, over here?

TALIESIN: No, like, next to Keyleth, like near Keyleth.

MATT: Oh, you’re gonna have to go around here, then. This is a really harrowing place.

TALIESIN: Okay, the first thing I’m going to do, is I’m going to– I’ve got my ice shot loaded. I’m going to take a shot at the break in the ceiling and I’m gonna try and ice it over.

MATT: Okay, all right. So as you pull over, you go ahead and aim up with your ice shot ready. Go ahead and fire.

TALIESIN: That’s 20.

MATT: 20 definitively hits. It’s not hard to do. Go ahead and roll damage and that will signify how long and how much it will stop. So just the ice damage. Not the actual bullet, it won’t do anything. So just–

TALIESIN: Oh. So just the ice damage

MATT: Just the ice damage.

TALIESIN: Two.

MATT: Two. Okay. So as you blast up, you can see, as the magma’s beginning to pour down again, you blast it and it immediately– a spot cools into a rock and begins to slip again. You’ve maybe given yourself a couple more seconds. That may be what you need, you don’t know. But that’s all you got on that one.

TALIESIN: Okay, my next shot, I’m just gonna turn to the king and just shoot.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

TALIESIN: I’m also gonna spend a point for additional damage. And I’m also taking Sharpshooter for additional damage.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: That’s 16.

MATT: 16 versus armor class will not hit, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Oh! Wait, okay, no, I just, I don’t get the– oh god, it’s not Pathfinder, gah!

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay, that’s fine. I’m gonna spend my bonus action to take another shot.

MATT: Okay, so you’re using your Action Surge?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. So Action Surge. You now have two more attacks. Go for it.

TALIESIN: 23, eff you.

MATT: That hits.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: That’s nine points of damage.

MATT: Nine points of damage, got it.

TALIESIN: Taking another shot.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: This shot’s fire, fire bonus damage. And I’m also gonna spend another grit point to maybe do a little more damage. 28 to hit.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage. With the extra grit point you do two dice, right?

TALIESIN: Yeah. I get a bonus die, I just have to find one. Oh, that’ll do. That’s 17 points of damage plus one point of fire damage.

MATT: Nice. Okay, so, the next– the first shot fires, just ricochets off his armor and streaks across the room. You get his attention, though, and he looks back at you with this kind of wild look in his eyes, the muscles tensing. You can see the armor actually bending and twisting against his physical form underneath. However, the next shot blasts off side of his jaw, there’s actually a giant gap now in his flesh as he looks back at you and you can see his teeth. And as he grits down towards you, now definitely intent on getting vengeance on that, the second shot (impact sound) takes off a chunk of his head. You can see the skull exposed on where you’ve now taken a piece of flesh off the top of his scalp. He’s looking pretty rough.

TALIESIN: Let’s move it, people. And I’m gonna take like a step back towards the door. Just with what’s remaining of my movement.

MATT: Okay. You can get back to there. All right. That brings us to–

TALIESIN: Oh, I killed him, didn’t I? No, he’s not dead, damn it.

MATT: He’s not dead yet. Not dead yet.

TALIESIN: I know, that would’ve been so cool.

MATT: All right. The mind flayer, who is no longer dominated as Clarota took his attention off of that for the time being, looks around at everyone, sees the circumstance, the magma flowing down, and just grabs his chest and you can see his form blink out and vanish.

ORION: (groans) He peaced out.

MATT: That brings us to the top. Vax. At this round, by the way, is broken and has begun to spread, the magma has now filled this much of the room. And it’s quickening.

LIAM: My boots of haste are on, so I run– I just dart right around Grog, around that column, up to the queen, while pulling out my keen dagger, I speak my mother’s name, kiss the blade and shove it in, right into her collarbone.

MATT: All right, go ahead and roll for the attack.

LIAM: So that’s a two, but I’m gonna use Luck. I get ad– 20.

MATT: 20 does hit.

LIAM: Because of it, and because Grog’s there, this–

MATT: Grog is not an ally, currently. You do not get Sneak Attack.

LIAM: Don’t get Sneak Attack, all right. Three, ten, then. That’s the first attack. And the second one also hits, that’s a 29.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Is ten.

MATT: Ten, nice. So the first blade plunges into her clavicle, she maneuvers out of the way to the point where it misses any vital points, but still sinks in. She looks at you angrily and you can see her dull white, ashy, duergar eyes flash with an intense arcane rage. As you pull the blade out, her eyes dart around with some sort of a plan, a thought process going through her head, as the other blade sinks into the side of her torso she spits out blood that actually spatters across your face. She pushes the blade out and you see her preparing herself for something. That ends your turn. Grog currently moves forward towards you.

LIAM: (Grog voice) Wrong direction!

MATT: That is a 25 versus armor class.

LIAM: Yeah, but Uncanny Dodge!

MATT: How many times can you– you’ve already used that. It’s once per encounter. Once per encounter you can use that. Next one is a 21 versus armor class?

LIAM: Once a round.

MATT: Once a round you can do it? Okay, well never mind. So take half on that first attack. All right, so. First strike comes at you with a– oof, that’ll be 19 points of damage. Reduced to nine.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MATT: Second strike hits you for a total of 15 points of damage. So 24 total.

MARISHA: Could be worse.

MATT: And that’s Grog’s go. That brings us to Scanlan.

LIAM: That really hurts, Grog.

SAM: With my knowledge of the arcane arts, do I have any knowledge that using my Dispel Magic spell would work on Grog? Or do I just have to try it?

MATT: It’s a possibility. You know the spell that’s been cast on him– you use it. There is a chance, but it has to be a contested roll.

LIAM: You could roll a 20.

MARISHA: You could roll a 20.

SAM: Does it take my move to just stand up?

MATT: Yes, it does, unfortunately. So it’s your call.

SAM: But I don’t have to be standing to cast a spell–

MATT: No, but I would say it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to give–

SAM: All right, I’ll stand up.

MATT: All right. You get back up. What are you doing?

SAM: And I will– Jesus, is it better for me to get out of there or get the king?

LAURA: Yeah, get the king. You may be able to kill him. He’s on his last legs, probably.

MATT: He’s looking pretty rough.

SAM: Yeah, but Keyleth is right behind him.

LIAM: Do it. Stab him.

LAURA: You can attack him with your sword.

SAM: I am a tiny, tiny boy. I can only do–

LAURA: Do it anyway. He’s at his last legs. It would be epic, Scanlan.

MATT: What do you got? Go ahead, quick. Magma’s pouring through.

SAM: Okay, I swing my Singing Dawnblade at him. (laughs) I have a dawn blade. It’s just so lame though! It’s so weak!

MATT: Okay, so. Go ahead and roll for an attack, d20.

SAM: A natural 20.

(cheering)

MARISHA: We said he could roll a 20! We called it! Who called it? We called it.

MATT: So, roll the dice.

SAM: So that’s eight.

MATT: You rolled an eight. Times two, that’s 16, plus whatever the bonus damage is for the sword.

SAM: Plus seven. Plus the dawn blade gets another bonus attack at disadvantage.

MATT: It does. So, you strike with a critical hit, doing– let’s see, that’s eight, 16, plus seven, 23 points of damage, go ahead and roll for a second attack.

SAM: I’ve never hit anyone with a sword before! Five.

ASHLEY: Can I give him a War God’s Blessing and give him a plus ten?

MATT: You can.

ASHLEY: All right, plus ten, so fifteen.

MATT: So what’s your total? You rolled a five, plus–

SAM: Five plus– ten– I don’t know, what am I adding? I’ve never used a sword before!

MATT: Add your proficiency modifier, which is four, plus your strength modifier, so that’s five to that, which is ten, makes it 20, which hits! Roll damage on the attack.

(cheering)

MARISHA: Kill him, kill him!

SAM: Six!

MATT: Six points of damage. All right, six on that plus your strength, which is one. Seven. Plus the dawn blade, which is– that’s eight. So that’s eight damage on top of the 23. How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

SAM: I– as I draw back the blade, I say, oh! You should’ve stood on your head! And I lop it off.

MATT: So. As you say that, you– the blade vibrates to the sound of your voice, like the echoing of a song of Scanlan behind yours in almost a chorus out of nowhere. The blade streaks through the air, coming down, slitting across the back of his Achilles’ tendon. He instinctually falls to one knee, which is kind of the height level for you. As you do, you bring the blade around with a flourish and take Murghol’s head off his shoulders. It spins, tumbles to the ground, and rolls across the floor into the magma. Blackened beard curling back as the rest of his face is melted away by the lava, which is now pouring pretty heavily into this room.

SAM: (sings) Scanlan make you feel good!

MATT: All right. So that’s your action. And your movement. And your bonus action. No, you did your bonus action to do the extra attack.

SAM: Oh! Great, great. I don’t know how to use swords!

MATT: All right, so. That’s the end of your turn. Wow! You used a sword! And got a kill! On a boss!

SAM: Yay!

ASHLEY: Good job, Scanlan!

MATT: All right, King Murghol’s turn would be now, but he’s on the ground. Vex?

LAURA: I call Trinket back. Get him away from that lava. I run past, 'cause I can’t– can I see? Do I have an angle or is it being blocked by molten tornado?

MATT: You– it’s completely blocked right now.

LAURA: Can I run across behind it?

MATT: Through here?

LAURA: Yeah. Is that magmous right now?

MATT: Yeah, it is. It’s still pouring! She slowed it down, but it’s still breaking through and pouring out slower. It would be even bigger if they hadn’t slowed it.

LAURA: Okay, then well, maybe I won’t run in that direction. I run in the other direction and down– yeah. So I can see.

MATT: Go for it. Roll for an attack.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: First attack.

LAURA: First attack is (sings) 20. No. 19.

MATT: Hits.

LAURA: Yes! Okay. 14.

MATT: 14 points of damage.

LAURA: Second attack is– Second attack is (sings) 21!

MATT: Hits. Roll damage on that.

LAURA: What’s that? 12?

MATT: 12 to hit?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Or 12 damage?

LAURA: 12 damage.

MATT: All right, 12 damage.

LAURA: Oh, um. Hunter’s Mark. Damn it.

Bonus action!

MATT: Yep. All right, so both arrows (impact sounds). One clips her in the leg, and the other embeds itself in her abdomen. You see she grabs for it. She’s looking really rough. Next is Kima. Kima’s stone. It’s now the queen’s turn. She looks over at you who’s stabbed her, the arrows in her abdomen, and she looks up at Grog and says, (sighs) “We’ve got business elsewhere.” And she reaches out and touches Grog. Both of them blink out, Dimension Door.

SAM: We’ve lost Grog again!

MATT: A very familiar purplish color as you’ve seen you cast it, they Dimension Door out of the entire vicinity.

SAM: Son of a–

MARISHA: This is the second time we’ve lost Grog.

MATT: At which point, the stone rocks crack on the column and the magma now goes into full pour.

LAURA: We’ve got to get out!

MATT: You guys have to get out of that tunnel. What do you do now, what’s the process?

ASHLEY: We run!

SAM: Wait, we gotta get our stone friends out.

MATT: So, this is going into a skill challenge now.

LAURA: Yeah, we all run out that–

SAM: No, we don’t all run out, they’re stone, we have to drag them out, yeah.

LIAM: Who all’s stone, it’s Tiberius and Kima? Okay.

MARISHA: Can we– where’s the magic carpet? Throw their asses on the magic carpet!

LAURA: Grog has the magic carpet. Grog had everything.

SAM: Wait, Feather Fall, do you have Feather Fall?

ASHLEY: Before, before we leave, can I take some of the basilisk’s blood and put it in a vial?

MATT: Okay, this will be the first skill challenge. Go ahead and make a dexterity check.

ASHLEY: Dexterity check?

MARISHA: Oh, can we get the magic carpet now?

MATT: No, the magic carpet is in the bag of holding. That thing is huge. You carry that with you, you would be at disadvantage for everything you’ve been doing.

ORION: Oh, I see.

ASHLEY: 18!

MATT: 18, okay, so. I mean, you go over to it, and you manage to gather up into your wine skin a little bit of basilisk’s blood, best you can. The magma pulls close to you and you manage to just take six points of fire damage from just the general heat of the magma now pouring into the room. It’s spilling out and now just continuing to fill the rest of this chamber.

LIAM: I shout to Percy, come, Tiberius, now!

TALIESIN: We pick him up.

MATT: Both of you guys make an athletics check.

SAM: Oh, it’s not a strength check?

MATT: For this, this is just an athletics to pull them all off.

LIAM: 19.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: Okay. You guys grab and pull Tiberius out of the room. It takes the two of you to heft him over. You manage to pull him out of the way, that works out well. Down the stairway, all right. We don’t need the video for this, we’re just going to do this visually. So, you guys manage to bring Tiberius down the stairway. What are you doing, Scanlan?

SAM: I’m unfurling my Bull’s Strength scroll and reading it so I get a plus five to strength? Is that a thing?

MATT: All right, so that’s Enhance Ability. So you go ahead and give yourself Enhance Ability. Your strength is now– you have advantage on all of your strength checks.

SAM: Okay, and I start to help, who was pushing Kima? I’m gonna help push Kima out.

LAURA: Oh wait, no! Wait, didn’t Clarota take Kima?

MATT: No, Clarota pulled Kima out of the room.

LAURA: Oh, so we’re all fucking fine, let’s just get out.

MATT: So you guys are fine.

MARISHA: I go ahead and on our way out I cast Create Water, and I kinda just use my air ability and make a mist to try and like mist the lava that’s coming towards us.

MATT: Okay. You do, but the magma’s so intense and this has filled so much of the room now that you get a localized area. The rest of it just kinda flows around and continues to fill the space. All right, so. All of you guys make a dexterity check to try to get down quickly. Go for it.

ASHLEY: Can I make another one?

MATT: Yes, everyone makes one.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

LIAM: Natural 20.

ORION: (hoarsely) I rolled a 19!

MARISHA: 20.

SAM: (sings) Seven!

ASHLEY: Four!

LAURA: Do I get to roll twice 'cause of terrain?

MATT: Because of– yes you do.

SAM: Do I get my Enhance Ability?

MATT: Not for this one.

ORION: I would like to note that I am frozen like this.

MATT: Okay, Tiberius is.

LAURA: 29.

MATT: Okay, gotcha. So, Pike and Scanlan, both of you guys are, unfortunately 'cause you’re smaller and your legs are moving, you guys rush down the stairway and curl around. As the rest of you make your way to the door, which is currently closed, you are all kinda gathered at the exterior of that hidden doorway. It’s currently dark and held shut on where you guys entered. However, you two, the magma’s now reached the stairway. It’s beginning to pour down off the top, and it manages to catch the two of you. You guys each take five points of heat damage from the magma’s proximity.

LIAM: To the two ladies?

MATT: No, Pike and Scanlan. You guys make it to the bottom floor. The doorway is currently closed for the secret exit of the fortress.

LIAM: Vax drops Tiberius’ stone ass to the ground and starts feeling to get the mechanism of the door open.

SAM: Are we at the foot of the stairs yet, me and Pike?

MATT: You guys just make it to the foot of the stairs. You guys are now–

MARISHA: It’s a big stone door?

MATT: Yeah, it’s the one you guys, the one you guys– it opens up, outward.

MARISHA: I just cast Stone Shape and make a hole.

MATT: Okay, as you’re feeling around for the mechanism, Keyleth steps forward and basically the stone turns into almost a clay, and she just pulls it apart.

MARISHA: Sorry, Vax. I didn’t mean to, like, overstep there.

MATT: A giant glob of magma pours down and splashes down onto the ground, hitting everyone in the vicinity. Everyone down here takes 12 points of heat damage.

LIAM: Ah, it’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot!

LAURA: Hot hot hot hot hot.

LIAM: All right, I’m picking up Tiberius’ stone butt and continuing–

MATT: Okay, you guys push through the open hole that Keyleth pushed in, sweat dripping down your faces as the heat proximity to you is nigh-intolerable. You make your way out of the gate and now you have that giant magma flow.

LAURA: Oh, right! Is the thing not– wasn’t there–

MATT: No no– as you guys go and step out, the doorway that opened up, previously? Is what parted the magma flow. You pulled it open, so now it’s just a wall of magma in front of you.

LAURA: She also had created a wall barrier.

MARISHA: I did create a wall over top.

MATT: You did. It’s not there anymore.

MARISHA: It was permanent!

MATT: It was permanent, but a perpetual flow of magma on it for a period of a few hours will eventually eat through a stone wall.

LAURA: Can you cast it again?

MARISHA: I can. Yeah. Do it again. Bam.

MATT: Okay. It’s probably the last of that. You create a stone wall that juts out, once again blocking off the magma flow. You guys all step out of the room just as the main force of magma begins to fill the room behind you. Everyone make one more dexterity check to get out in time, as it’s a small space and you’re pushing out.

SAM: Natural 20.

ORION: 16.

MATT: You made nothing.

MARISHA: “You made nothing.” Seven.

TALIESIN: Ten.

ASHLEY: Two.

LAURA: Oh no. 29.

LIAM: 12.

MATT: Okay. Everyone under 15: you, you, Percy, I believe, and Keyleth. The magma now, as you’re helping getting your friends out, you’re pushing out, you push Vex out– Vex darts out, Scanlan manages to get out. As you guys are pulling Tiberius through, the hefty force of magma comes funneling down into the room and splashes across the floor.

TALIESIN: Oh, that’s a lot of dice.

MATT: That is 18 points of heat damage.

LIAM: Vax is unconscious.

MARISHA: 18 points?

MATT: As you’re pushing through, Vax, you fall unconscious as the magma is currently lapping at the back of your leg. The rest of you begin pushing out as you begin to realize that your half-elf friend is currently melting in a pool of magma.

ASHLEY: Can I grab him? Can I grab him out?

MATT: Go ahead and make a strength check. This is strength at this point, this is pure adrenaline pushing through.

ASHLEY: 12!

MATT: 12. You manage to start pulling him up through the hole that Keyleth made.

TALIESIN: I’m going to assist, I’m pulling out– I’m doing another ice shot to try and cool off the magma around him.

LAURA: I send Trinket up, to like, pull him.

MATT: Before you get to that point, as you’re readying for it, 'cause it’s a small space– as you’re pulling it, giant bear claws come over and latch onto the back of Vax’s armor. The grizzly bear begins to tense, pulling back. Makes a strength check. That’ll do it. Both of you manage to pull you out. You take an additional bit of heat damage. You are now at two failed saving throws. Two failed death saving throws.

LIAM: I am a centimeter away from real death.

MATT: As he pulls it out, you can see most of his foot is melted. And his right leg.

SAM: Aw, that’s his best leg.

TALIESIN: I pull a level two healing potion, just get it in his mouth.

MATT: Okay, you pull it out. At this point, the magma’s beginning to fill up the room, by the way.

MARISHA: Okay, wait wait wait, can I take my stone wall and like, close it off? We’re all out, right?

MATT: You’re outside of it. How long does Stone Shape last?

MARISHA: Stone Shape?

MATT: What you used on the wall.

MARISHA: I’m just– I’m just taking it away.

MATT: Closing the wall?

MARISHA: I’m closing it. I can do it again, I still have two more spell slots.

MATT: Okay, how many spells do you have at that level?

MARISHA: Three.

MATT: Three. So you spent–

MARISHA: One, so far.

MATT: One going out, coming– no, wait, it’s the same– you haven’t had a chance to do a full night’s rest.

MARISHA: I know. I was an animal all week– all last game. I didn’t use any last game.

MATT: That’s true, so you used the stone form, used Stone Wall.

MARISHA: I used one Stone Wall last week and I have two level five spells now.

MATT: That’s true, that’s true, you do, that’s good. All right, I just wanted to make sure. Okay, so as you do that, you send up another Stone Wall. It blocks off the magma just as it begins to pour over and spill out into this vicinity. It’ll last a short time, but it’ll last enough for what you guys need. You guys drag–

ASHLEY: Can I heal him?

MATT: You can attempt to, yeah, go for it.

LAURA: Anticipation.

MARISHA: I know. C'mon, Pike!

ASHLEY: 24.

MATT: All right. Heals you.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Comes to consciousness. You guys are about ten feet away from the base of the stronghold. Your foot heals up, but it’s still burned.

LAURA: Ew, get that away from me.

MATT: For the time being, until you can take some serious physical rest, your movement is reduced by five. And your stealth rolls are currently at disadvantage.

ASHLEY: Can that ever be healed?

MATT: Over time with some rest it can be, but right now– like, you’re healed up, but that foot is scarred. It probably spent a good six seconds completely submerged in molten lava.

LIAM: Are you telling me I’ll never compete in the roller derby again?

(laughter)

MATT: Quite possibly. You all are just on the outskirts of the stronghold. You can see now elements of the windows of the top floor are beginning to glow with internal light, as the entire stronghold is currently filling up entirely with molten rock.

SAM: Oh, I left my keys in there!

(laughter)

MATT: You’re all resting for a moment, off to the side. Grog is missing. And you all take a moment to realize that somehow you all managed to survive this, mostly.

MARISHA: Sort of.

MATT: However, you didn’t find the vault, didn’t find Kima’s stuff, and a number of escaped individuals from this are out and at large. We’ll end today’s game on that note.

LIAM: Percy, I need Bad News to be my other foot now.

MARISHA: Yeah, you should have– you need, like, a sweet pimp swagger now.

MATT: So that went a little long, guys. Thank you for your– for hanging out, but that was an intense session. Some climactic moments there.

LIAM: Are you sure you guys don’t want to send in a bulette, right now?

MARISHA: Yeah, or maybe, like, you know, a black ooze. You wanna do that?

SAM: Wow, guys.

ZAC: That was fucking intense.

MATT: That was crazy!

ZAC: Guys. Riveting. And exhausting. Are you guys tired?

ALL: Yes.

ZAC: No dancing tonight, guys, get over it.

ASHLEY: Sorry it went late.

LAURA: That went so long, I’m sorry guys.

ZAC: No, they are happy that you went late. They want you to stay forever.

MATT: That was nuts.

ZAC: So I wanted to make a couple announcements of people that helped out tonight. Not just donators, oh so– I’m gonna read off a couple of people who helped out first and then we’re gonna start off reading off people who donated to the charity. If you want us to read off who you are and your message to the Critical Role crew, you still have time to donate, 'cause I’ll start at the bottom and work my way up. So if the mods could post the link to, you know, the command for Critical Role and you guys’ll see there’s a link there to donate. Donate to 826LA. Every little bit helps these guys a lot and it would be really helpful to the stream and the show. These guys have been working really hard and Matt puts in a ton of time and to show your support, go donate to the charity and we’ll get to your messages. Okay, so first off, I’m gonna thank the_Duganator8–

MARISHA: Yes! Was it the Duganator’s birthday?

ZAC: Yes!

ALL: Happy birthday, Duganator!

MARISHA: (sings) Happy happy birthday, from all of us to you. We wish it was our birthdays, so… we’re partying. Yay, woohoo!

ZAC: Way to not use the copywritten one.

MARISHA: (laughs) Yeah, way to not use the copywritten one, yeah.

ZAC: Arislan and Alduin and JakeBoudreaux and Negihama and Duganator8 were all the ones that pitched in to buy dinner for you guys.

MARISHA: Thank you guys, we love it, cupcakes! Happy birthday.

ZAC: And then as a quick update for what’s happening tomorrow, we have three performances tomorrow night. So tomorrow is Gather Your Party and it’s kinda like our bring your friends, have a good time with board games and music and everything. So Indiecade’s coming by tomorrow night to show off some new board games. And then we have two bands playing, Sonja Midtune and Bearwolf. And then we have the musical improv group that was here during the charity drive is coming back to do a performance, Robot Teammates and The Accidental Party, and that’s tomorrow night, it’ll be a lot of fun. So I’m just gonna pull up these donations and messages, if you wanted to see and start going through 'em. And we’ll probably have more as we get to the top. So starting at Fifthdreamtoday said, “I love Critical Role, kudos for giving to a great cause.”

MATT: Oh thank you, Fifthdreamertoday.

ZAC: Ravendreamer: “Cheers and godspeed to the bold members of Critical Role for supporting reading in children.”

MATT: Thank you, Ravendreamer.

ZAC: Voractin24: “A combined donation for Critical Role and for myself and my role group.” Oh. “from AngelMitsu.”

MATT: AngelMitsu and Voractin24, thank you.

MARISHA: Thank you, guys.

ZAC: It’s hard to read some of these messages.

MATT: That’s all good.

ZAC: MageInATower– Starbuck86x. Cargoth912. Eridinsk– Eridinsk. I’ll pull that one up. “Thanks for all that you’ve done with the show, it’s amazing, definitely my favorite show, happy to support the charity for you guys.”

MATT: Aww. Thank you, Eridinsk, that’s awesome.

ZAC: Alduin. “A small thank you for what you’re doing, it’s awesome. Keep it up.” RGcanok #CriticalRole.

MATT: RGcanok, thank you, buddy.

ZAC: TonyLoneFight, donate for 826LA.

MATT: Thank you, TonyLoneFight!

ZAC: CrazyNexy

MATT and MARISHA: CrazyNexy.

MARISHA: You’re crazy.

ZAC: FurryHunter85, “hope it helps a little.”

MARISHA: It does. It helps a lot.

ZAC: Almostheaven, “This is becoming a weekly thing, much love, the #CriticalRole crew.” Becoming a weekly thing for us too.

MARISHA: Almostheaven? More like totally heaven. Always heaven.

ZAC: Zanderinvictus: “Worthy cause and worthy people to make my Thursday so enjoyable ”#lessthan3”

MATT: Aww thank you, Zanderinvictus.

ZAC: Nixdeathsticks: “I don’t encourage violence.”

(laughter)

ZAC: Warmcustard: “I was totally gripped tonight.”

MARISHA: Thanks Warmcustard!

(laughter)

ZAC: Samwheeler: “Incredible stream tonight, thanks so much.”

MATT: Thank you, Samwheeler. You guys are awesome!

ZAC: Sure enough, there’s, oh my gosh.

MARISHA: I know I’m getting more now, muzzbuzz.

ZAC: Poltergeist123.

MATT: Thank you Poltergeist.

MARISHA: That’s a good movie!

ZAC: Ironwolf: “Great stuff, guys.”

MATT: Ironwolf! Strong name!

ZAC: Dumoco: “Thank you for a wonderful time, thank you all for a wonderful time.”

MATT: Thank you for watching, Dumoco!

ZAC: Tone17: “Another donation to a good cause to push karma in the party’s favor.”

MARISHA: We like the karma!

TALIESIN: More 20s!

ZAC: Frisbee: “Thank you for letting us share your adventures. It means a lot to us too.”

MARISHA: Thanks Frisbee!

ZAC: 13Modem, “Thanks Critical Role team.” thisisbonertown: “The least I can do for entertaining all of us.”

MATT: Yeah bonertown!

(laughter)

MARISHA: You are the least we can do to entertain ourselves.

ZAC: LightningGemini: “I love Critical Role, you guys are amazing.”

MATT: Thank you LightningGemini.

ZAC: Wheelyfactoid: “Love you guys, can’t wait to finish my knife for Liam and bear for Laura.”

MARISHA: Wait, what?!

ZAC: Sounds like they’re making a knife for Liam and bear for Laura.

TALIESIN: How do you make a– nope.

LIAM: I encourage violence.

(laughter)

LAURA: I encourage massages.

ZAC: Sickwizard: “Every kid should know how to read, I love Critical Role, Matt, feel free to TPK.”

LAURA: No!

MATT: I don’t try to!

ZAC: You know– oops, sorry, from Zenjurken: “You know it’s good when you’re worried for the characters on screen, and good luck.” Scaviensuretoriot. Popeblasterfighter: “I love you guys so much and you guys make me laugh every time.” Danmanmountain: “Thanks Critical Rollers. Great show tonight, happy to give back #23fu.”

MATT: Ha! I saw that in the chatroom

ORION: 23fu meet Bonertown.

ZAC: Headance. Tiberiusthelad. FicklePickletickler: “#Zacsbonerjams”

(laughter)

MARISHA: FicklePicketickler, that’s great.

MATT: Thanks FicklePicketickler.

ORION: Also lives in bonertown.

ZAC: And one more, this will be the last one, SilentKagamusha: “Critical Role is why I am now addicted to and starting my first game of D&D.”

(cheering)

ZAC: “Matthew Mercer is why I will DM so I should help out.”

MATT: Good on you, buddy! Storytelling.

ZAC: If anyone donates after and we go offline, I’ll make sure these guys get the messages and they’re aware that you donated. Thank you all for tuning in. You guys are killer. Killer show.

MARISHA: Thank you guys so much! You are all amazing, I love you so much.

ZAC: We’re going to go offline and then come back up with the rebroadcast of Thursday and you’ll see this playing throughout the night and tomorrow morning, and will be up on the website tomorrow, so thank you. Thank you guys.

MATT: See you next week.

SAM: Bye!

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