List of Transcripts


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

TRAVIS: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Like that. Before we jump into tonight's game, we're going to go ahead and have some announcements, beginning with our fantastic two sponsors tonight. Up first, a new sponsor. You may have seen them talk about their upcoming game on social media but it is Big Ben Entertainment and Paranoia.

SAM: Paranoia.

MATT: And do we have any?

SAM: Oh, sorry.

MATT: That you?

SAM: Yeah, that's me.


SAM: But shh, quiet, man. There could be recording devices in here, all right? I've got super secret info, but the government might be watching. So I'm going to use protection. Okay, keep this between us, but our sponsor tonight is a new video game from Big Ben Interactive called Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, inspired by classic CRPG games and the original Kult RPG. In the game, you create and lead a team of four troubleshooters who take commands from an all-knowing paranoid AI called a Friend Computer in a retro-futuristic world filled with deadly tech. Now, I've been awake for 44 straight hours playing it, studying it, hunting for hidden messages and secret subtext. Maybe it's a lack of sleep or the medically dangerous amounts of Rockstar Energy Drink I've consumed, but I was able to verify dozens of conspiracy theories in this interactive, addictive game. Here's a list of a few. (laughter) Would you be surprised to learn that Marilyn Monroe is not only alive, but she's a vampire and she wrote "Old Town Road" as a mind-control experiment for the CIA? Have you heard that if you Naruto run backwards while listening to "I Am the Walrus," the lyrics say, "Taylor Swift was on the grassy knoll?" I learned that truth from Paranoia the game. And did you know that the K-pop band BTS is made entirely out of wood? That Finland is actually in New Mexico? That the Large Hadron Collider is a Sizzler for the Illuminati? All facts, but remember, you didn't hear them here. You didn't hear them in the game Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory. We'll actually be play-- (foil rustling) This is making noise. I thought it was someone tapping me. Yeah, we'll actually be playing the game on this channel closer to the release date, but do not tell the Man. Okay, check out the game for yourself and learn more at Thanks for supporting the show. I've got to burn this iPad before the Men in Black show up.

TRAVIS: The cigarette, the cigarette, the cigarette!


TALIESIN: There it is.


TALIESIN: Everywhere.

TRAVIS: So much spittle.

LAURA: So much spittle.

TALIESIN: Ah, spittle!

LIAM: Rockstar Energy Drink, not actually a sponsor of the show.

MATT: No, no.

LAURA: No, but are very good.

MARISHA: Neither is Sizzler.

MATT: Thank you, Sam. Thank you, big Ben, and Paranoia, which I'm actually really-- I'm excited to play.

TALIESIN: Fine game.

MATT: I've loved the RPG since I was very young and I'm excited for this game.

TRAVIS: When his lips turn that purple, I get worried.

MATT: Yeah, it's scary-looking.

LAURA: He really wasn't breathing.

MARISHA: He was foaming at the mouth a little.

LIAM: That was some method acting.

MATT: Yeah, well done. Also, we have our second returning sponsor since the beginning of the campaign, D&D Beyond. D&D Beyond, thank you so much for your continued support of the show. And for those who haven't had a chance to check it out and this is your first time hearing about it, go check it out at or at specifically But yeah, awesome tool. Check it out if you haven't checked it out yet.

LIAM: That's a lucid, rational representation of D&D Beyond.

MATT: Well, comparatively. It's still pretty slippery. Marisha, you have some things to mention.

MARISHA: Oh, yeah, oh, golly gee.

MATT: Oh, hello.

MARISHA: Oh, hello. In case you missed it, yesterday we shared our big old giant honking fall programming schedule. (cheering) It's a fatty. It's a big one. Yeah, highlights, of course. UnDeadwood.

TRAVIS: Oh, man.

MARISHA: Four-part miniseries featuring Brian Foster as The Marshal. And then of course, Pub Draw is returning. You can watch us all fail at drawing again.

TRAVIS: Actually, some of us are pretty good.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's not too bad. Also, a show that is turning out phenomenally well in post the more edits that I get back of it, Mini Primetime, with Will Friedle. He is a treasure and I'm so glad we have the key to unlock him. And a ton of Everything is Content stuff, like a lot. Like a lot of stuff, so really, if you want to know all the full details, go to

TRAVIS: Crit Role.

MARISHA: Crit Role. To check out all the good things we have coming out.

MATT: Yeah, you guys have been busy. Y'all been real busy.

LAURA: It's a long time since we've done Crit Role.

MARISHA: Crit Role.

LAURA and LIAM: Crit Role.

MATT: Back in the day. Sam?

SAM: Yes, so Laura and Travis are off to New York Comic Con next week and we're hosting a very special one-shot on October 3rd at 7:00 pm Pacific. GMed by me, Sam Riegel. Tonight, we're excited to share to you guys that our sponsor for this one-shot is the one and only Wendy's. (laughter) And I can guarantee that it will be ridiculous. We'll be sharing more about this sponsored one-shot next Thursday, so keep an eye out for more details. Huge thanks to our friends at Wendy's for their support. I can honestly say I've had two more Frosties this week than I have in the last 25 years and they're fucking great.


LAURA: I can honestly say I'm actually really bummed that we're going to be in New York and missing it.

MARISHA: It's going to be ridiculous fun.

LIAM: Shaping up.

MARISHA: It's going to be good.

TRAVIS: You don't want to miss that.

MATT: And referring to New York Comic Con, our very own Brian W. Foster will be moderating a panel called Roleplaying a Human with some familiar names and faces such as Mica Burton, Clint McElroy, Rachel Miner, Brian Posehn, Joe Starr, and Dan Telfer on Thursday, October 3rd at 12:30pm in Room 1A21, so if you're going to be at New York Comic Con, highly recommend you check it out. A lot of good people on that panel. The person moderating it's cool too, I guess. And have fun, should be fun. Laura, you have some updates as well?

LAURA: Well, I do. I don't know if you guys are aware, but we have some cool stuff in our store. And as of today, we have, oh.

SAM: Oh.

LAURA: It's an Is It Thursday Yet? wrap for our fabulous tankards.


LAURA: We also have--

TRAVIS: I covered it.

LAURA: -- an I Have Passed Through Fire. A tribute to the lovely Keyleth. Also, ♪ For the tankards ♪ Also we have a freaking, this is so stupid, a map mat.

SAM: Yep.

LAURA: -- of the Gameverse.

SAM: For "Yee-Haw Game Ranch."

LAURA: For "Yee-Haw Game Ranch."

MARISHA: Well, hell.

LAURA: If you'll cut to that, you can see it, all you lovely folks at home. It feels so, actually it's ridiculously beautiful.

TRAVIS: Matt, don't let your hand fall into the void of the Gameverse.

LAURA: Oh no!

SAM: So you can use that?

LAURA: So you can follow along the adventures at home. I'm not sure. I don't know.

SAM: No, you can use that thing as a game pad, as a mouse pad.

LAURA: Yes, oh yeah, you totally could.

SAM: And your cat could take naps on it.

LAURA: You can roll your dice on it. That was by, that was designed by @caeora. And then our beautiful wraps. The calligrapher on that is Chris Gladis and he's amazing. He's done some other stuff for us as well. Also, it's not on the sheet but we have some awesome David Mack portraits that are in the store that went on sale I think when we weren't playing and so if you didn't get the limited edition David Mack poster that we did, we wanted to make some of the portraits available and they're so fucking beautiful. So yeah, check them out.

TRAVIS: And if you all just want to get Grog, it's okay. You don't have to get everybody else.

SAM: Crit Role!

MATT: There you are. All right. Well, that being said, I think it's time for us to go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

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

Part IEdit

LAURA: Nice.

MATT: Wow!


LIAM: Did you tell Laura, did you tell her?

MATT: Every now and then, you get a glimpse of what I have to deal with every Thursday.

TRAVIS: Just a glimpse.

MATT: Just a glimpse, just a little peek beneath the curtain.

LIAM: Anal sprinkles.

SAM and LAURA: (trumpeting)

MATT: Sounds like a terrible culinary treat.

TALIESIN: Worst DVD extra ever.

MATT: Anyway.

SAM: 32 flavors.

MATT: (aggressive throat clearing)

LAURA: Sorry.

MATT: So last time, the Mighty Nein have been traversing their way across the lands of Xhorhas, returning to the actual Empire where it all began in search of information regarding where this beacon is currently being held that the Empire still holds and seeking information about this Obann figure, who has both taken your friend Yasha as a, seemingly as a companion for the time being alongside this journey as well as awakening, with your aid unintentionally, a terrible entity, a champion of Torog known as the Laughing Hand. Upon keeping your eyes on them magically from a distance, you've been able to follow some of their exploits while researching information about them and some elements of what they might be trying to do. With this newfound information, and discovering that they had attacked the Archive of the Cobalt Soul in Zadash and gathering this information, you decided to follow them towards the Lotusden Greenwood on the south of Xhorhas. You made an additional deal for rapid transportation with your sponsor, Shadowhand Essek Thelyss who agreed begrudgingly for the very last time to do this.

LIAM: The last, last time.

MARISHA: He keeps saying that.

TRAVIS: You can't say no.

MATT: He's just racking up the debt points with you guys. He's going to make you do some fun stuff down the road.

TRAVIS: Shut up.

MATT: There, nestled within the darkened shadow of a city street in Zadash, you use the transportation circle to send yourself to Rosohna, the city once known as Ghor Dranas. You flicking off some of the local townsguard before rushing off.

SAM: Eat it, copper!

MATT: We returned with you all appearing beneath the Lucid Bastion, the familiar space beneath the main central palace of the Kryn Dynasty. You arrive, are recognized and no issue seems to come of the guards who are now getting fairly comfortable with your perpetual in and out.

LAURA: Yes, but there are horses this time.

MATT: That's true.

SAM: Oh, boy.

MATT: You did have horses and you did jump multiple times through a bunch of other archives of the Cobalt Soul without approval or fair warning and acquired knowledge of a number of their teleportation sigils, which should be useful down the road. Though also being, for the time being, banned in most of them. But as you arrive in Rosohna-- (clopping) emerging from the teleportation sigil, the day is yours. What would you like to do, Mighty Nein?

SAM: Essek?

LAURA: Yeah, we need to just ride. I mean, just go as fast as we can.


MARISHA: To Essek!

SAM: Hyah!


MATT: You guys start trotting through the halls. The halls are pretty prone to echoing anyway, but as you make your way out of the subterranean teleportation chamber, through the halls of the Lucid Bastion, you draw attention from everywhere.

LAURA: Are there any horses in the city?

MATT: There are horses, yeah. Not as often as, let's say, heavy trade cities. A lot of the horses are either done for-- are brought on trade paths between Rosohna and other cities or are front line as part of the military, though it's not as big of a horse nation as the Empire is. Anyway, you are drawing attention both from the inside of the Bastion and onto the streets as a group of already sore thumb-looking figures come barreling through the center of the ever-midnight town of Rosohna, heads turning, heading towards the ever-present beacon of your giant, glowing roof tree, heading through the Firmaments.

TALIESIN: No regrets.

MATT: You approach and as you ride, awaiting outside you see, arms probably crossed, from the slight shape of the front of the cloak and mantle, you see Essek just there staring at the ground and then up at you as you all approach. As you (clopping) make your way over towards him.

TRAVIS: A little too good.

MATT: He looks over. "Hello."

LAURA: Super sorry about this again.

LIAM: As you can see, we have come a very long way on horseback.


LIAM: We've just arrived.

MATT: "Impressive, I suppose?"

LIAM: We are in a bit of a hurry. And I know that we are wearing out our welcome, but we need to get to the Lotusden.

LAURA: The Laughing Hand is about, and you know the people that we talked about who we accidentally, that got loose up-- I don't remember where, but it was I think in the north somewhere-- and then they have figured out how to open up somebody else's casket stuff and then they're going to awaken somebody else and it's going to be even worse because there's already three of them. And if there's four, then they're going to be so much more powerful and now he's got a skull and he's going to find a heart. We have to beat him.

MATT: "Of course."

SAM: The heart of a very, very, very bad creature that they want to awaken. It's closer to the Dynasty than the Empire. This could directly impact your people.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's a demon assassin.

LAURA: Super bad.

MARISHA: Heart of a demon assassin.

LAURA: It's the group of people who are letting all the bad things out, you know?

MARISHA: Skull of a demon assassin.

TRAVIS: He seems to be part of their cult. They're called the Angel of Irons.

LAURA: Which we already told you about, I think.

MATT: "Yes, you have informed me of this and I have already agreed. You are not needing to convince me any further."

LAURA: Okay, I was just letting you know. It's super important, that's why we asked for help.

MATT: "Do you have a place to put your horses?"

SAM: Consider them a gift.

TRAVIS: In exchange for your continued assistance.

LIAM: Yeah, these are Empire horses, a rarity in these parts.

TRAVIS: They may know something. (chuckling)

MATT: His rocky held exterior cracks a little with a smile and he goes, "Well, I do not consider this payment. A favor for a favor and I'm certain I will call these favors in at some time in the future. But for now, just go ahead and hitch them to the exterior of your home and we'll be on our way."

TALIESIN: Seems like a plan.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Great, let's do that.

TRAVIS: Yep, we do so.

MATT: You hitch them to the side there. You gather up around him. "So where to, then?"

TRAVIS: Are we just doing this out in the street?

LAURA: Do you know where the Lotusden is?

MATT: "I do, yes."

LAURA: You do?!

LIAM: Have you been there?

MATT: "I've not been there, but I have studied the vicinity of Xhorhas."

LAURA: How big is it?

MATT: "Oh, it's fairly large."

SAM: You saw it, right?

LAURA: I mean, I saw where they were.

SAM: Maybe you could show an image? Maybe that would narrow down some of the geography of where we're headed. Maybe?

LAURA: I mean, I could try to draw what I saw.

SAM: Oh, okay then, well maybe-- I don't know.

MATT: Make a nature or survival check, your choice.

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19, okay. Remembering back to the vision you had when they were traveling and thinking of the time of day that it would have been here and where the sun was in the sky, you can ascertain they were probably heading south.

LAURA: Whoa, I'm so smart. I think they were headed south.

MATT: It was a good roll.

LAURA: So we should probably go towards the south of the Lotusden, right?

MATT: "Were they in the forest, or were they--?"

LAURA: They were entering the forest, right? Or were they in the forest? I can't remember.

MATT: They were entering and then--

LAURA: They were-- I feel like it was swampy-ish where they were coming from and they were getting to more dense foliage or something.

TRAVIS: Yeah, Essek, on this map, do you know if the area right above the Lotusden, represented here, is that swampland, this part?

MATT: "That is largely marsh before it goes into the Fevergulf, yes."

TRAVIS: Should we try the middle or should we try the most southernmost point and work up?

SAM: No, I think we should go where they were, the swamp.

TRAVIS: Up here? They were making their way here?

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: I think we should be south of them.

MARISHA: Well, they were looking--

MATT: "If they're traveling southward towards the Den--"

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "And through a swamp area, then I think you're onto that northern side."

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Let's do that.

LAURA: Yeah, let's do that.

MARISHA: Do we want to take a pee break real quick while we're here at the Xhorhaus, check in on the plants, you know? Make sure that no one's broken in, any disturbances.

SAM: I'm fine.

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, I feel like there's a bit of urgency here.

MATT: "All right, gather around."

MARISHA: Are we at the Xhorhaus? Or where are we?

LAURA: Yeah, but it's super fast. We have to be, like we have to beat them.

MARISHA: Dairon is here.

TRAVIS: Are you going to pee your pants?

LAURA: We have to beat them to the place.

SAM: I will cast Message and point inside the house and say: Dairon, are you in there?

MATT: No response.

SAM: She's not home.

MARISHA: Let's go.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: We're ready.

MATT: His hands emerge from under the cloak. You guys gather in a circle, a familiar joining of hands. He focuses, and I need someone to roll a d100 for me.

LIAM: I'll do it.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: ♪ The wizard. ♪

LIAM: That was a 92.

MATT: 92, all righty.

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

MATT: Yeah, so without issue, you all (swooshing) find the entirety of the scene of the city around you fade to darkness and you're all drawn in that same instantaneous forceful gravitational sucking sensation from the center of your torso, like your sternum is trying to burrow its way out of your chest. Not out of pain, but just a forceful tug and as you are dragged along with it, but a moment later, your feet find purchase once more on hard ground, but not as hard as you began this journey. Your feet (squelching) into a marsh about a foot-- I'm sorry, about an inch or two into the mud, your feet descend and suck in. The water seeps in a bit through any of the cracks of your lower part of your boots, immediately soggy in the base.

LAURA: I'm glad I'm wearing my old boots and not my new boots.

TRAVIS: Would this be considered difficult terrain?

MATT: Not this deep, but were it to turn into a deeper swamp, possibly.

TRAVIS: Yeah, all right.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: About what time of day is it here?

LIAM: It is-- what time of day is it?

TRAVIS: What time of day is it?

MATT: I'd say it's like early afternoon, I'd say. Because you traveled-- because it was-- let's see, you got to the--

LIAM: It's wherever you peg it. Caleb would know, he knows the hour and he knows where north is.

MATT: No, I'm trying to think. You journeyed to Zadash. You arrived, pretty much bee-lined to the Archive, researched for hours, so it'd be like mid-afternoon.

LIAM: Okay. Three, three-ish.

MATT: Four or five.

LIAM: Fish-ish?

MATT: Pushing towards dusk.

LIAM: Three, four, five.

MATT: In the next few hours.

LIAM: It's 4:38.

TRAVIS: That's very specific.

SAM: Do we have any way by magical means or otherwise of tracking or tracing where our former friend, now enemy, murderous assassin Yasha might be? Is there a locate spell?

LAURA: I have a Locate Object spell.

SAM: You know her weapon.

MARISHA: Her sword, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, I could cast that, it's a concentration and if she's within 1,000 feet of us, I will know.

TALIESIN: Could you do it for the heart possibly, or no?

LAURA: I don't know enough about it. I just know it's a heart. But I guess I would know it's a heart not inside a body potentially, but it could be inside a body.

TRAVIS: But Jester, if that actually is a heart and not something that's represented as a heart.

LAURA: That's true, it could be a giant jewel or something. Like the heart of the--

SAM: The sea?

LAURA: The Ruby of the Sea.

SAM: Oh, yes.

LIAM: You are thinking about the other campaign.

TALIESIN: I imagine the hope is to get the heart before they do so that they can't get their friend together.

LAURA: That's the goal.

TALIESIN: Not necessarily to find them.

LAURA: Right.


LAURA: So what should I do?

SAM: You should find the thing that we know, her sword.

LAURA: And just hope that we stay clear of her?

TRAVIS: Hope it doesn't trigger at all.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: I don't think she's within 1,000 feet of us anyway. I'm looking around.

LAURA: 1,000 feet is pretty far.

MATT: As you look around, the one thing you do notice is emerging from the nearby marsh and it is like, you know, various degrees of some hillsides that protrude from the somewhat damp, swampy marsh floor. The sound of buzzing insects surrounds the vicinity. Later in the day, that hot, orangey light is coming through the broken, clouded sky. It's not hot, but it is humid and just a little muggy and uncomfortable. You do notice someone at the nearby rocks. While you were conversing, Essek has made his way over there and is drawing his Teleportation Circle on the rock and he's just not even caring to listen to what you guys are doing.

LIAM: Can I get a bead on his mood or his attitude towards us since we met up with him?

MATT: Make an insight check.

LIAM: How do I do this again? That is a 26.

MATT: Damn good insight.

MARISHA: Ooh, whispers!

LIAM: This might be my first whisper of the campaign.

SAM: Guys, whispers aren't sponsored by anything, but you guys should go to the Crit Role store and buy our merch and also, what was my sponsor today? Paranoia: Happiness is Magic-- Happiness is Mandatory. You should buy that game when it comes out and keep a look at the channel because we might play it soon, I don't know.

MATT: All righty. MATT: Every time you lift that monstrous metal beast.

TRAVIS: Just as a baseline--

LIAM: That's Laura Bailey.

TRAVIS: Aside from the buzzing insects, are there-- is there bird, animal noises? Does the forest sound like it moves quite a bit or is it actually quite still?

MATT: Well, the area that you're in right now, there occasionally sparse trees maybe a few dozen yards apart each. The treeline of the Lotusden is a little further south from you, maybe about a 10 minute walk. You can see where the actual Lotusden Greenwood begins and it is a dense forest.

LAURA: So we bamfed behind the group, or we tried to bamf-- we were trying to bamf ahead of the group, right?

TRAVIS: Yeah, middle of the Lotusden, right?

LAURA: Yeah... or did we bamf behind where they had already gone?

MATT: He was told you wanted to bamf onto the northern side of the forest.


LAURA: Okay, so we bamfed behind them.

SAM: Yeah. So we can track them.

MARISHA: Are there any trees? Or is it like a swamp with vines? Can I pull some Tarzan shit? Can I climb to something for a better vantage point?

MATT: You can go to one of the lower trees. The higher trees are in the actual Lotusden, but it's a quick jump to go in there if you wanted to. It's up to you.

MARISHA: No, let's just go in, right?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Can we see any footprints anywhere? I'm going to cast Locate Object on Yasha's sword.

TRAVIS: Just so we're all on the same page. They started at the top of the Greenwood and we bamfed to the same area. Not in the middle, right?

LAURA: I thought we were bamfing to the middle.

TRAVIS: We were going to get more ahead of them?

LAURA: Yeah, I thought that's what we were doing, but if--

TRAVIS: Because they're moving south and we were trying to cut them off so we can get to--

MARISHA: The south side, right?

LIAM: That's what I thought the plan was too, was to be ahead of them.

LIAM: Trying to.

MARISHA: To intercept.

LIAM: These are invisible things that we don't understand.

LAURA: We had said the south side.

MARISHA: Is that what we did?

LAURA: But we bamfed to the north side.

MATT: The person who's responsible for teleporting you followed the instructions he was given, which was teleport you to the north side of the forest.

LIAM: Then it's done.

SAM: That's fine. We'll track them, it's fine.

MATT: If you wanted to go somewhere more specific, you should've pointed it out to him.

LIAM: It's all right, misunderstandings happen between drow elves and tieflings and humans, so that's what happened.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, maybe it's like a colloquialism.

LAURA: Yeah, maybe.

SAM: We can do some tracking.

MARISHA: Maybe north side.

SAM: Caduceus, you're a good tracker, right?


LAURA: I have a pretty decent survival.

LIAM: Well, aside from that--

LAURA: And that's tracking.

LIAM: Caduceus, are you getting any sort of feeling from--

MATT: He hasn't-- Essek hasn't left yet, if you want to file a complaint or ask for something else to help. Like, he's about to jump through a Teleportation Circle.

MARISHA: That feels rude, right? I'm the rude one and I feel like that feels rude.

TRAVIS: What, to ask him to do it again?


TRAVIS: I would ask him to do it again. I wanted to be in the middle.

MARISHA: Hey, Essek!

MATT: He's like--

MARISHA: You got any more of those? Like, how many times can you do that?

TRAVIS: I'm so sorry. I feel like we didn't communicate clearly. When we pointed to the middle of the forest, that's where we wanted to go. Not here, there. Could we do that?

LIAM: We're the biggest assholes.

MATT: He stands up straight from a slightly hunched position over the rock, finishing the final scribblings across its surface before he turns, holding his iridescent blue chalk in his fingertips, he just spins and goes--

LIAM: That stuff is expensive.

MARISHA: It's pretty.

LAURA: Is it expensive?

LIAM: It's very pricey.

LAURA: Do you think worth one horse pricey or more than that?

TRAVIS: This'll be fine.

SAM: He's going to kill us.

MARISHA: He's going to just flip us off as he jumps into that circle. You want to grab it?

TRAVIS: No, I said gravity. He's got gravity on his side. Or no, I mean, we're just fine where we are.

LIAM: I think what my companions are trying to request, we weren't clear enough, which is foolish of us because the stakes are so high right now. But we actually wish to go-- Fjord, point it out on the map. I walk forward to Essek and place my hand on his forearm and say, "It's on me. I should have been a little more involved in the planning of this moment, and I apologize very much."

MATT: One of the two of you make a persuasion check with advantage or you can each make one separately. It's up to you because you are helping each other.

LIAM: Fjord and me?

MATT: Yes, since you are both the two that are trying to persuade him.

LAURA: I'm going to just pat Caleb on the back of his arm. (whispers) Guidance. (even quieter) Guidance.

LIAM: People can see that.

MATT: Yeah, it's not like, pat. It's saying a phrase and a gesture and doing it.

LAURA: The Traveler loves you so much.


LIAM: Okay, so it's on me. I have advantage. Is that all right?

TRAVIS: Is your persuasion as--

LIAM: Pretty good. It's not as good as Fjord's is.

TRAVIS: Then we should both roll.

LIAM: But it's close.

TRAVIS: Let's both roll.

LIAM: What did you give me?

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

LIAM: Ooh!


MATT: For a total of--?

LAURA: Plus four-- a d4.

TRAVIS: 26, 25.

LIAM: Ooh, 22.

LAURA: Well, a d4, you have to roll a d4.

LIAM: It's going to be four. It was four.

SAM: It's four. (laughter) 26 and a natural 20.

LAURA: Amazing.

TALIESIN: Why can't we always roll like this?

MARISHA: I know.

LIAM: 20, 20.

MATT: The chalk descends back beneath the cloak. He looks at the two of you, and looks across at the rest of the group and goes, "Very well, though this is expending the limits of my prominent abilities for the day. Come, gather, are you going to do this or not?"

(all agreeing)

LAURA: Do you want to hang out with us until you can regain your spells and stuff?


LAURA: You can, I mean.

MATT: "There would be nothing I would love more than to not be around you all."


MATT: "For the remainder of this day. So, let's try this again, shall we?"

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "All right."

LIAM: I give his forearm just a little squeeze, and let it go.

LAURA: Okay, yeah.

MATT: He like pulls away just like in a (low grunt). Go ahead and roll a d100 for me.

LIAM: Oh, shit.

LAURA: Oh, god!

TRAVIS: Should someone else roll a d100?

LAURA: No. SAM: No, this is good.

TALIESIN: We're fine.

LIAM: 91.


MATT: Okay.

LIAM: You hush your mouth.

MATT: Some lucky rolls tonight. All right.

MARISHA: I don't want to be in the middle.

MATT: So the familiar sensation this time, as opposed to being pulled into a void and then pushed out the other side, this feels like reality static shifts. And you guys are suddenly shunted miles and miles to the south. As soon as you all stop, there's like a brief moment of momentum and your stomach spins and feels sick just momentarily as you all touch down onto even, I'd say spongier ground. It's still marshland in this part of the forest but as opposed to being just like a thick, watery swamp, it's just damp, undergrowth and general dense, gross forest floor. Around you, you can hear the echoing calls of strange birds just permeating what is a very thick canopy of dangling vines, tangled branches and thick, thick, deep green leaves. You can see faint, low hints of mist that just slightly drift over large, heavy roots the protrude from underneath and twist and knot between each other as the different trees that push in the space around you. You realize as you land that a few of you may have been a little close for comfort to something solid, but you safely manage to make your way here without issue. You occasionally hear a little bit of a strange monster. It's like (hooting) in the distance and other creatures (chittering).

SAM: Predator shit.

MATT: It's a very lively--

TRAVIS: I don't like it.

MATT: Very lived in--

LAURA: This is way creepier than the other place we bamfed to.

MATT: The air smells of fresh vegetation, a recent rainfall, occasionally waves of a putrid musk or sweet flower scent whiff through the air. It's a very lively, natural place where civilization seems to have not really got a foothold or if it has, it's been heavily reclaimed over time. As Essek looks around, "Well, now I have formally visited the Lotusden, I would not wish to return. Good luck."

LAURA: Essek? Do you know of any like ruins around here or anything? Have you heard of anything?

MATT: "I have no idea."

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Hey, Essek.

MATT: "Yes?"

MARISHA: Are you mad at us?

MATT: "Mad is not the right word. I would say ready to leave."

LAURA: At least he didn't say disappointed. I feel like disappointed is the absolute worst thing.

TALIESIN: It's three small words that's now combined into one big feeling.

MARISHA: We haven't forgotten that we owe you a favor and that you wanted to talk to us about needing something. So hey, you're at the top of our list as soon as this is done.

MATT: "A number of favors, I have not forgotten."

MARISHA: Neither have we!

MATT: "But in all honesty, be careful and be safe, do not be stupid. And good-bye." You watch as he finishes casting that spell he was subtly signing in the air and you watch him just fly through the canopy as he goes through, not rocketing out like Superman but just drifts up with a fair bit of speed. Some of the branches snap and fall from where he was and there's a brief little bit of light that peeks through where he pushed his way through the treeline.


LIAM: He just ascended.

SAM: Now, I hate to be a Negative Nottie here, but part of the reason I was sort of pro-north end of the forest is now we're here and we don't know if we are ahead of them or behind them and there's no mathematical way of figuring that out.

LAURA: Well, I could scry on them again.

LIAM: First of all, you should have spoken up sooner.


LIAM: Second of all, we have not spoken to Caduceus yet, who sometimes you are able to have a feeling between you and your--

TALIESIN: I can do that. I also-- Are we looking for ruins you think, or?

LIAM: We are looking for the heart.

TALIESIN: Well, where would you put a heart if you were trying to keep it safe?

TRAVIS: I don't know, perhaps at the base of a tree or ruin? Like you said, ruins, maybe some sort of a geological marker?

TALIESIN: Well, I usually like to start by asking the locals. So I'm going to take a few steps away from the group.

TRAVIS: Warming it up.

SAM: Can you talk to animals or plants or both?

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah. (laughter) Hey everybody, don't mean to intrude. Obviously, there's a lot going on here, but we're going to be walking around for probably the next couple days and there's some other people wandering through the swamp forest right now that are, they're bad business. They're probably going to do a lot of damage, possibly a fire, who knows? But we're trying to take care of that. If there's any ruins around, if you've seen any like tall man-made structures slowly collapsing anywhere around here, we'd really appreciate a helping hand and we'll try our best to stay out of everybody's way. Especially if there's any birds. Hey, up there. If you've seen anything, we'd love to just get in and out with as little hassle as possible. Thanks, that'd be great.

MATT: So you're just talking to the nature around you?

TALIESIN and MATT: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: As you finish the conversation, there's a slight pause and you watch a (buzzing) little fly just lands on his face.


MATT: (buzzing) Takes off.

TALIESIN: Follow that fly.


LIAM: Side note, as soon as he starts, as soon as Reindeer Games starts talking to the trees, Caleb goes into meditative state and starts doing arcane recovery.

MATT: So you're taking taking a short rest?

LIAM: Taking a short rest, yeah.

MATT: You guys are taking a short rest?

LIAM: I am.

TALIESIN: Which direction was that fly headed?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LIAM: I'm trying to pull in some arcane mojo.

TALIESIN: Where'd I put my d20s? That's 23.

MATT: Great, you watch the fly (buzzing). (chomping) Eaten by a frog. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Who ate it?

MATT: A little toad about maybe like--

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk over to the toad and look down.

MATT: (croaking)

TALIESIN: Not cool, man. That was not cool.

MATT: (croaking)

TALIESIN: I don't suppose that you feel like helping?

MATT: (croaking)

TALIESIN: Yeah, I thought not. (laughter) Go on, get out.

MATT: (croaking) He starts like leaping off.

TRAVIS: Are we following the frog, the toad?

TALIESIN: No, he's no help.

TRAVIS: All right.


TALIESIN: Are we taking a brief, short rest then?

LAURA: I mean--

SAM: While we do, is there anything else you've got in your?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, that was just round one.

LAURA: We don't want to sit here for an hour.

TALIESIN: No, we don't want to sit, but I mean--

SAM: It's getting dark.

TRAVIS: If we don't hear anything moving largely through the trees of immense size--

TALIESIN: I only need a minute.

TRAVIS: Perhaps we should try your spell to see if we can locate her sword?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I'll do the old classic climb a tree.

LAURA: Yeah, they're tall trees, right?

MARISHA: Climb the tree thing first.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make an athletics check for me.

SAM: Want to race up there?

LAURA: Guidance. The Traveler loves you so much, Beau.

MATT: Athletics or acrobatics, your choice.

MARISHA: You want a round two? You want a rematch?

SAM: Round two.

MARISHA: All right, all right.

SAM: I can go up as well.

MARISHA: Ready, and--

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Go! Fuck.

LAURA: Plus four, you got guided.

MARISHA: What is that?

SAM: 23.

MATT: Plus a d4.

LAURA: Plus a d4, Beau.

MARISHA: Plus a d4, I got guided? Terrible, 19.

MATT: All right, so as you both leap up on two different trees about 12 feet from each other, Beau like jumping and grabbing and leaping and spinning, you just skittering up the side, using your dagger to wade yourself across the weird, moss-covered bark. It's little slipperier than you expected from just the atmosphere here, the bit of vegetative growth that's begun to grow up and hold onto the side of these trees and their bark, but you do manage to skitter up there. Nott does get there a little bit before you do.

SAM: Woo.


SAM: Best two out of three next time.

MARISHA: All right, deal.

MATT: And best you can peek up, the downside of Nott is Nott a bit shorter than you and you get a little bit of a better view past--

MARISHA: Here Nott, get on my shoulder.

MATT: The broken parts of the canopy.

MARISHA: Can I put Nott on my shoulders?

MATT: Yeah. And so with that, it's not like a beautiful view. This isn't the tallest tree of the entire forest that gives you a view. You're just able to see through elements of the canopy that otherwise would not be visible. And peeking out southward, you can see the top of the Lotusden Greenwood. It looks almost like rolling hills but made of deep, deep green, in some cases gray-type branches and leaves. You can see in the distance, the sky's getting, starting to get pushing towards a sunset, like dusk is maybe an hour, hour and a half off. And it's beautiful and it's weirdly alien landscape.

SAM: Any smoke, any clearings?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Wiggling trees?

LAURA: I can't guide you, I'm too far away.

SAM: Don't worry, I got this.

MARISHA: What'd you say, perception, babe?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: 19.

MARISHA: Better than me. 12.

MATT: You look about. You know, there are a few birds that like (puffing), like a small cluster of some sort of large bird a little more south, southwest of you. The wind picks up in one area and you can see the gentle sway of the canopy, but it's a large area, not a singular path. After a few minutes, not much about a specific sign of nearby movement that would be a symbol.

MARISHA: But we kind of have a general direction of the thick of the forest?

MATT: You guys are in the center, more or less, of the Lotusden Greenwood. You are-- who knows really where you are and which way is a direction other than where you go.

TALIESIN: Anybody have any questions they want to ask or should I just?

LAURA: You going to commune?

TALIESIN: I'm going to commune, see what I get.

LAURA: I think that's smart. I'm going to ask the Traveler, too.

TRAVIS: Could she point us in a direction? What are we looking for?

MARISHA: Any ruins?

TALIESIN: I'll see what I can do.

MARISHA: Any evil things to look out for?


TALIESIN: It's not really--

TRAVIS: What's today's lotto number?

LAURA: You should say, should we go north or south?

TALIESIN: That I can kind of ask.

LIAM: Yes or no questions, right?


SAM: Should we go south?

TALIESIN: So, I am casting Commune.

MATT: Okay. So you are suffused in nature, though maybe not the most benevolent space per se, but the smell is familiar and based on where you grew up in the Savalirwood, there is a familiarity to coexisting with a dangerous bit of unbridled wild. So you close your eyes. You focus, you light your incense. You begin to concentrate on your deity and within a short time, the sensation of your physical body begins to fade and you begin to discorporate into a warmer space, a familiar space, a space of connection and there you can sense her presence awaiting your questions.

TALIESIN: The object we seek, this heart, is it to the south of us?

MATT: You hear a breeze blow. (whooshing) The breeze is warm, and it seems to, based on where you are sitting, blow in like a south, southwestern direction.

TALIESIN: Is it in a temple or a building? Is it protected by something built by civilization?

MATT: This time, you sense an absence of stone, an absence of mortar, an absence of humanoid mind and hands. Instead, just natural imprisonment methods.

MARISHA: Natural imprisonment methods.

TALIESIN: The others who seek this object, are they ahead of us?

MATT: The wind blows once more in the southwestern direction, but it is cold and stronger. You gather, yes.

TALIESIN: It's to the southwest, south-southwest. They are ahead of us.

SAM: They're ahead of us.

TALIESIN: There's no building. It's guarded by some other mechanism. I couldn't say.

LAURA: They're ahead of us still.

TRAVIS: I'm glad we jumped this far ahead. South-southwest, nothing man-made. What can that be, roots, trees, amber?

TALIESIN: It could be a magic tree. Could be a briar, could be a swamp. Don't know.

MARISHA: I mean, this entire forest feels like an imprisonment device.

LAURA: No offense.

MARISHA: Yeah, I mean, you're great.

TALIESIN: I don't think they can understand you.

MARISHA: Oh, okay then.

TRAVIS: We're about to lose the light, should we move as long as we can?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Should we try and locate now or tomorrow, Jester? What would you?

LAURA: Did she say how far ahead of us they were?


LAURA: Well, I can, you know, try to locate. We can travel for a little bit and then I can cast Locate Object and see if I can get a bead on them.

MARISHA: Yeah, how far is the range for that?

LAURA: 1,000 feet.

SAM: Why don't we walk? How long does it last?

LAURA: 10 minutes.

SAM: Why don't we walk for 25 minutes and then do it or something? LAURA: And then I'll cast it.

TALIESIN: At the end of, once we think we're close to bedding down for the night?

SAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: Because this place is probably going to get very dangerous when the sun gets down.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: And it'll get dark very quickly in this forest.


TRAVIS: Should we be trying, do you remember if they were moving urgently, walking? Were they jogging, whatever?

LAURA: They seemed like they were walking with a purpose, but it didn't seem like they were going very quickly. It's like they were trying to find it.

MARISHA: Power walking.

LAURA: They couldn't be moving quickly. I don't think they knew exactly where it was.

TRAVIS: I'm of the inclination that we should at least be trying to make up ground, but we'll be loud.

SAM: Well, we're not going to make any ground if we just talk about it.

LAURA: Let's keep walking.

SAM: Let's go.

MARISHA: Yeah, and eventually they'll show signs of where they've been through, so we just keep an eye out for broken twigs.

SAM: Yeah, we should maybe spread out.

MARISHA: Clearings.

TRAVIS: Do a fire line, yes. Good call.

MATT: Okay. So you guys are keeping a fire line? What is the fire line order?

TRAVIS: Do you want to do 10 feet between each other?

SAM: 10 feet between sounds great.


LIAM: Caleb snaps out of his meditation, realizing that everyone is moving and does not regain anything. He realizes that we're on the move.

LAURA: I think I should be--

MATT: What order should you be in?

LIAM: Second to last!

LAURA: Pretty good.

LIAM: Oh, we're walking in a fire line?

MATT: Fire line.

LIAM: Okay, cool.

MATT: All right, how far apart?

ALL: 10 feet.

MATT: 10 feet, all right. I'll say one of you can make a perception check and one of you can make a survival check with advantage because you're doing it as a group. I'll allow that.

LAURA: I'll make survival.

TALIESIN: I'll make perception.

MATT: All right. Helming this, we have Caduceus and Jester, go ahead.

LAURA: With advantage?

MATT: With advantage because everyone is helping in this one.

TALIESIN: I don't have advantage on that, or?

MATT: You do.

LAURA: 24.

SAM: 25.


SAM: The rolls tonight.

LAURA: We should have guided each other.

TRAVIS: We're going to get that later.


LAURA: Next time.

MATT: That's basically the Troy-Abed handshake.

LAURA: I don't know, I have no idea.

TALIESIN: You don't know how to do this?

LAURA: I don't know what you're doing.

SAM: Come on, Laura, let's do it.

MATT: Okay. Okay. Caduceus, you're the first to mention about 30 minutes into this travel, as you guys are just starting to think it's the cusp of when you should probably stop searching or at least begin to, if you were planning to bed down for the night, start looking for a safe place to go. You begin to notice a bit of a swath of branch and vine that appears to have been cut and you glance over towards it and pick up one and the cut is recent. You can see the vine itself, the interior nutrients of the matter is still freshly bleeding. It's slightly, milky material. And looking about on the floor as you point this out to Jester, you notice there are a few sets of footprints.

LAURA: They would have faded pretty quickly, too.

MATT: You gather with your survival roll, at least in the last day.

LAURA: Okay. Okay, last day.

MARISHA: Do demons sleep? Do people who are mind-controlled get tired? Or are they like hey, it's dark, we should--

LAURA: Maybe that's why Laughing Hand is crazy. Maybe they don't let him sleep.

LIAM: We've seen Yasha be tired, though.

LAURA: Well yeah, but not while she's had this orange thingy on her back.

TRAVIS: When you saw her, did she look sunken-eyed, tired, withdrawn?

LAURA: She looked like she'd been crying a lot. I don't know.

SAM: Her face was very pale.

TALIESIN: And sleeping is, they've got to sleep.

LAURA: Plus she's got that makeup, covers the dark circles.

MARISHA: I'm just curious, because we could try and sneak up on their camp if we think that they might stop for a camp, but I don't know. Generally, I feel like--

TALIESIN: And then what?

MARISHA: Ambush.

TRAVIS: Wait, that's actually a good point.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: If we are behind them--

MARISHA: We can ambush them.

TRAVIS: Well, we could ambush them or we could try and go around them and try and pass them in the night. But if we are ambushing them, didn't you say that someone had something on their hip?

LAURA: We could sneak in, be invisible and super-stealthy and then you can just go and take the skull from him. And that way, we don't even need to get to the heart first. We just need to get the skull and get away.

MARISHA: Because it's just about stopping the ritual, right?

LAURA: Right.

MARISHA: But this only makes sense if crazed demon-people in search of skulls sleep.

LIAM: I have another idea as well that we could do.

LAURA: We're still walking forward.

MATT: Right.

LIAM: Ja, in addition to this, we could try to just take the skull and Yasha. If you're able to run and give her a hug and pull her out, we could go.

MARISHA: Yasha's--

LIAM: We could deal with that after the fact. We could take her--

SAM: She's a bad person. She hates us and wants to kill us, she's evil.

MARISHA: Her imprisonment isn't tangible, it's in her head.

LIAM: What if we were able to separate her from these things?

TALIESIN: I don't know if we have that power here.

SAM: Do you have that power?

LIAM: To take her away or to clear her mind?

SAM: To clear her mind.

LIAM: I do not know, but we have a better chance of that if we get her away from them than if she is with them.

MARISHA: Have you ever tried to tame a wild, caged rat? Imagine that, but Yasha's size, trying to come at us.

LIAM: I have watched you make someone vanish and reappear somewhere else. SAM: Or turn into a turtle.

LAURA: But Caleb, I can do that, but I can only do it quickly if someone is willing to come with me. If they are not, then there's a very real possibility that I could go and hug her and then she would chop my head off.

TRAVIS: And that would be bad, so we're clear.

LAURA: Probably, I mean, I don't know, I think Caduceus could still bring me back but only if he could get to me.

MARISHA: I really like your head on your body.

TALIESIN: Not sure I really want to experiment with that just yet. I liked the intention of the plan. I just don't think--

SAM: He just said you were, your head was attractive.

TALIESIN: I think that if we're going to get her out of this, we're going to have to be careful and that doesn't sound careful. That sounds fraught.

LIAM: Going toe-to-toe does not seem like a very good idea to me. It didn't go very well the last time.

LAURA: That's why we don't want to go to-to-toe. We want to sneak in before they awake and then just steal it and then run away. No toes.

TALIESIN: Slow them down while we get stronger. Make them weaker while we get stronger.

TRAVIS: No toes. No capes.

SAM: We have to find them first for any of these plans, even the ambush one.

LAURA: Should I cast it? Do you think it's a little early, what do you think?

SAM: Still too early.

MARISHA: Let's follow the tracks.

TALIESIN: Stealthily.

LAURA: If the footprints start looking fresher, we need to, I'm going, you know? Because I'm assuming they'll look more and more fresh the more we follow them.

MARISHA: I’m good at investigating. That feels like an investigating thing, right?

MATT: That would probably be one aspect of it, yeah.

MARISHA: The recentness.

MATT: Yes, because you’re not trying to find the tracks, you’re just trying to –

MARISHA: Discern how...

MATT: Discern. Yeah.

MARISHA: So can I actually do that with one of the tracks that I see now?

MATT: Go ahead and roll an investigation.

TALIESIN: I'll give you a d4 for that.

MARISHA: Thank you.

TALIESIN: If I see you doing that.

MARISHA: Oh, my goodness. I roll terrible on investigation checks.

TALIESIN: Except this time. No, maybe not.

LIAM: No, this time too.

MARISHA: It teases me, it teases me every time. I do.

TRAVIS: It's okay, it's not what you're known for or anything.

MARISHA: 15, it's not like the entire basis of my fucking class or anything.

TALIESIN: You're more known for kicking ass and less for taking names.

TRAVIS: All of us, some of us went to college and we don't use that shit either.

LIAM: Is that a 10?

MARISHA: I'm going to fix that. That's a plus six to my investigation.

MATT: So looking about the tracks that Jester pointed out, you guys are following as you go through and here the trees can be anywhere from 10 to four feet from each other at times and then they spread out a bit. At this place, this particular place, you can see where the heavy gash marks are from what you imagine are either Yasha's blade or the Laughing Hand's arm occasionally scraping past one of the trees, freshly gouging from the side and you can see bits of heavy branch and clusters of leaves and bits of brush have been cut and laid to the side as they move forward. You can't really tell in hours how fresh they are. It's hard to discern necessarily. You do very much see two sets of humanoid footprints and one much larger, heavier-footfall-based set of footprints.

LAURA: Do the footprints seem tired?

MATT: Hard to tell.

TRAVIS: Is there a firm print and then a draggy toe, another firm print and then a draggy toe?

MATT: An empty 5-hour ENERGY drink bottle.


LIAM: I don't want to destroy the world anymore.

MATT: You don't know.


SAM: We keep on pushing on.

TRAVIS: Push on, push on.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I don't think we need a fire line anymore now that we're following a trail.

MATT: So what is your marching order?

TRAVIS: Two by two, two by two. ♪ Two by two ♪

MATT: Who's in the front?

SAM: I will be.

MATT: Nott and who? Who's in the front with Nott?

TRAVIS: I'll join Nott.

LAURA: I'll go in the middle.

MATT: Next in line?

LAURA: Middle next to Caleb.

MATT: All righty, and that puts Beau and Caduceus in the back.

TALIESIN: Right there is perfect.

MATT: You got it, all righty.

SAM: Greens, blues. Pinks.

MATT: There you go. So, pushing onward for the next hour or so, the little bit of light that's peeking through the broken bits of upper tree canopy begins to turn to a bright orange, to a red, to a purple.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Locate Object just to be safe.

MATT: Okay, you cast Locate Object on?

LAURA: Yasha's sword.

MATT: Okay. It does not pick up anything.

LAURA: Cool, I just want to be safe.

MATT: No worries.

SAM: So we can speed up and not be stealthy.

MATT: At about that hour point, you do come across a small pseudo-clearing, I would say. There appears to be an area where some of the trees are a little more sparse. The ground gets less swampy and mucky and a little harder at this point. You notice it first.


MATT: With Beauregard up second as you're the next in line. Jester as well, actually because you're in front, yeah. Jester probably noticed it the same time as you. You do see two figures lying against the base of a tree.

MARISHA: Conscious?

MATT: It's darkened shadow. They're not moving.

MARISHA: Asleep?

SAM: Your Locate Object is not--?

LAURA: My Locate Object isn't doing anything?

TRAVIS: It's an hour later.

MATT: Nothing yet.

TALIESIN: Do we want to bed down here maybe and have a place to sleep if we have to and a place to retreat to before--

LAURA: There's people asleep against the tree over there.

TALIESIN: Are they asleep, or are they--?

LIAM: Would you like my cat to take a look?

LAURA: Can we see them?

TRAVIS: Yes, yes, jungle cat, launch the jungle cat.

LIAM: Frumpkin is there next to me.

LAURA: What if it's an illusion?

LIAM: Go take a look, okay? Quietly, carefully.

TALIESIN: I am keeping an eye all around for anything. I'm trying to-- this feels ambushy.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah, is this a honey pot situation?

LAURA: It feels ambushy. I don't like it.

MATT: Frumpkin, roll a stealth check for Frumpkin.

LAURA: And can I guide Frumpkin?

LIAM: Yeah, you can.

MATT: It takes a round to happen, so.

LIAM: Seven.

TRAVIS: We all wave down and take a knee so we like lower our profile.

LAURA: Yeah, we're all crouching.

MATT: You all get low. At this point, the roots and the forest floor is constantly changing up and down based on proximity to the trees. So there are some ridges and heavy roots where you can get down a little bit. And then for perspective here, the trees here resemble, you know the sequence in Lord of the Rings where they hide from the Nazgûl? that big old tree with the--

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: The forest is a lot of that.

LIAM: Who can forget that tree?

MATT: Size and style of it. Half the forest floor here is just roots with bits of compost decomposing between where leaves have fallen.

TALIESIN: Just for fun, I'm going to do Eyes of the Grave really quick.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: And I'm going to cast Detect Magic really quick.

MATT: Okay. You cast both of those. No undead sensed. Nothing magical beyond what you all have on your persons. Frumpkin's stealth was?

LIAM: A massive eight.

MATT: Frumpkin continues out to about 40, 50 or so feet from where you guys are, carefully heading toward these two bodies. Right as Frumpkin gets about 10 feet from it, he notices that they're not moving. They are dead. They are two bodies. One that appears to be halfling, female, ruddy skin, a tangled mess of dark hair with leathers and looks like a backpack. The other figure looks to be dragonborn. A lithe, thin dragonborn. Tall and lanky, copper-scaled. And they're both-- not next to each other. They're both six or seven feet from one another. At a glance, they both have a couple of very, very heavy gash wounds across their torso and abdomen.

LIAM: I say as I'm staring into nothing, "Dead bodies, one moment." And if Frumpkin's still in range, I tell Frumpkin to very carefully bite each one.

MATT: Frumpkin looks back at you like (meows)?

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: I'll remember this.

MATT: No reaction.

LIAM: Yeah, dead bodies.


TALIESIN: Keep an eye out.

LAURA: Keep an eye out for traps.

TRAVIS: Are they at the edge of the clearing? Like, it's them, it's the bodies and then a larger clearing beyond them?

MATT: When I say it's a clearing, it's a clearing by comparison to how dense most of the area here is. Maybe about 15, 20 or so feet right now between the trees here to create this bowl and you can see now as you get closer, there are some stones set up like there was once some sort of a small fire set up that has since been completely put out. Dirt and other bits of rock have been thrown in to put out whatever embers there are and as you get close, you can feel a little bit of faint heat, so this fire was not too long ago.

TRAVIS: Are the tracks around here chaotic and spread out as if there was a bit of a tango?

MATT: Make a perception check with a disadvantage because it's getting dark.

LAURA: The Traveler loves you so much.

SAM: I'm going to go over and inspect the bodies and look for traps around them.

MATT: Then make an investigation check.

LIAM: Globe goes out, (foomphing).

MATT: The area lights up a bit.


MATT: And this was to look for tracks about how chaotic it was around it?


MATT: There was a bit of scuffle. It doesn't look like there was an extended fight but it looks like there was, around and in the direction of where that tree and where the bodies are, there was some heavy movement. Apparently, putting the pieces together, you can imagine that whoever these figures were, they were set upon by those you track.

TRAVIS: Just because we're clocking those, can I find the larger prints specifically and see which direction they left in and ask Nott to join me in keeping an eye out on whatever direction that might be?

MATT: Yep, the direction changes a little bit from the southwest direction that you were traveling and actually heads a little slightly more south from this point in time and that's where the tracks continue on.

TRAVIS: Can you help me keep an eye out?

SAM: I'm looking for traps right now, friend.

TRAVIS: Just to help me keep an eye out.

TALIESIN: Hey, anybody in the forest. If this is some ambush or if anybody's coming up, I would appreciate a little noise or something. If you guys feel like just letting us know, that'd be great.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

TALIESIN: All right.

MARISHA: Persuade the swamp.


MATT: Six, all right.

LAURA: That was a Guidance tap.

SAM: That's not going to do anything.


MATT: No traps, but looking through, it looks like one of them was slashed and impaled and was thrown against the tree. The tree above them, now there's a little bit of a crack where the impact was and a smear of blood where the body came to rest.

SAM: And were their pockets picked, or?

MATT: No, pockets unpicked.

SAM: Well, I'm going to get all their shit, of course.

LIAM: How long dead do these bodies seem upon inspection?

MATT: Make a medicine check.

LAURA: Can I help?

MATT: You may, yeah.

LAURA: Well, I have really good medicine-- okay.

LIAM: Do it. I rolled one. So you roll.

MATT: Up to you guys.

LIAM: Mine was shit, so roll as well. Nine for me.

SAM: Nein.

LIAM: Oh, it's cocked.

LAURA: It's cocked. Unfortunately. 18.

MATT: Okay. The bodies have been dead maybe between six to three hours.

LAURA: Okay, we're a few hours behind them.

MARISHA: Looking through the pockets with Nott--

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: While she looks for valuables and goods, I want to look for things like, does it look like they were guides? Does it look like they were rolling with these people?

MATT: Looking through equipment, you find a number of arrows, a short bow on the halfling as well as pelts, knives. These were both hunters. They're game hunters.

SAM: Wrong place, wrong time.

MARISHA: Casualties. Okay.

MATT: They look they're dressed for stealth and for traveling this terrain, looks like they lived here and knew it well.

LAURA: They would have been really good guides.

MARISHA: Bummer.

LAURA: Maybe they know about ruins!

TALIESIN: They still can be.

LAURA: Can you talk to them?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I can talk to them.

TRAVIS: There's no ruins, remember?

LAURA: Well, maybe they know of something.

MARISHA: Yeah, where the heart is?

MATT: If you want, you can take the shortbow. Two shortbows, three daggers. There's about 35 gold and 26 silver between the two of them along with a handful of copper.

SAM: I take the gold, anything else shiny?

MATT: No, there's some charms and keepsakes. There's some fashioned, carved bone pieces that are made into small orbs that are all tied together in this long leather tether that hangs from the side of the armor. Yeah, these are these people that travel and seem to carry an element of their persona and maybe the people they care about with them as they travel through.

LIAM: So the sun is down. How close are we pushing into exhaustion?

MATT: If you were to continue on without sleep tonight, you would all gain a point of exhaustion.


TALIESIN: And have burned through a bunch of spells.

LIAM: So what time, yes, what time roughly is it? Not roughly, precisely for Caleb? Sorry, I picked the feat.

MATT: You did. I'd say about now, it's close to 8:30-ish.

LIAM: That's not bad, not bad.

LAURA: I have a question. Does anybody have a jewel or anything that's worth like 50 gold? Like a decently expensive one?


LIAM: I do.

SAM: I do.

LAURA: That you would be willing to let me borrow?

LIAM: Yeah, sure.

LAURA: To literally destroy?

SAM: Would you use it for a magic spell and dispel it forever?

LIAM: I have a spell that I never use anymore. So you could have a diamond if you care for it.

MARISHA: I have this pearl necklace.

LAURA: I probably need one thing, so if you're not going to--

MARISHA: I mean, pearls. You just need 50 gold, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Maybe save the diamond and take the pearl because pearls, right?

LIAM: I have one diamond.

MARISHA: No one gives a shit about pearls.

TRAVIS: Still 50 gold, so.

LIAM: It's a single gem, and I have not used it since Felderwin. Or thereabouts.

LAURA: If you don't mind, Caleb.

LIAM: Here you are.

LAURA: Thank you.

MARISHA: You don't use it, you just keep it.

TRAVIS: That'd be awesome.

MATT: It'd be pretty great.

LAURA: I'm not going to use it like, I don't need it for a spell right now. I need it for a spell a little bit later. I have it prepared and then I realized I can't actually do it.

LIAM: I trust you.

TALIESIN: Anybody have any questions they want to ask these guys?

SAM: We know when this happened, roughly. We know which direction they went. The only information we can get is--

MARISHA: Who it was.

SAM: We know who it was.

MARISHA: If they know where the heart is.

LAURA: Do they know where the heart is?

TRAVIS: Do they know what it is? And it's the heart of--?

MARISHA: A demon. Graz'zt?

TRAVIS: Tharizdun?

MARISHA: Jourrael.

LIAM: Caedogeist.

MARISHA: Caedogeist.

SAM: Ask if they know where this structure, this natural structure is that we're trying to find.

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: All right, I'm going to cast Speak with Dead.

MATT: On which one?

SAM: Are we going to bed down here?

TALIESIN: Let's take the halfling.

MATT: Okay. All right, so you take and arrange the body. The face is now facing forward. Prepare your ritual. Close your eyes. Focus on the Wildmother to breathe life once more into this shell so that it may impart its knowledge so it can be avenged. As you open your eyes and let the bit of a prayer escape your mouth, you can watch as the mist on the ground that's been growing a little more dense as the temperature drops closer to night begins to swirl and become a funnel, like a reverse, slow-moving tornado. As it slowly curls upward, it leans and then fills the mouth of the body. And the bit of mist vanishes into its jaw and then as the chest begins to puff up with air, the eyes look towards you.

TALIESIN: The party that killed you, we're searching for them to stop them. They seek the heart of Jourrael, the heart of a demon that is buried somewhere to the south of us or encased somewhere to the south of us. Do you know where we would find this?

MATT: "I know not of the heart you speak of. Only what they asked us."

TALIESIN: What did they ask you?

MATT: "We were approached by a handsome man and a hooded woman. They requested knowledge of the Wraithroot tree.

TRAVIS: (whispering) The Wraithroot tree.

MATT: "We told them how to reach it but warned them of the curse inside, recommending they leave it be. And then we heard laughter. And that was all."

MARISHA: (groans)

LAURA: I got goosebumps, I got goosebumps!

TRAVIS: It got me on my chest. It got me on my chest parts.

TALIESIN: What is the curse of the Wraithwood tree?

LIAM: Wraithroot.

MATT: "The Wraithroot sits at the center of the Mouldered Grove, a region of leafless deadwoods. Beware the bark that bites."

LAURA: The mark?

MATT: The bark that bites.

TRAVIS: Stay away from the fucking tree.

MARISHA: The Mouldered Grove?

MATT: The Mouldered Grove.

LAURA: Beware the bark that bites.

SAM: Its bark is worse than its bite.


MATT: Dead.

LIAM: It's barking and biting.

TRAVIS: (dead voice) Don't make jokes about it. It will kill you.

MARISHA: (dead voice) It hates puns.

LIAM: Not like Pulp Fiction?

TRAVIS: Ketchup.

TALIESIN: How far away and in what direction is this tree? How would we get there?

MATT: One of the arms, which is partially ruined-- it's the muscle tissue just exposed and the bone open, the arm (creaking) and points in a southward direction from where you are currently. "About a day's travel."

SAM: We should go all night.

TALIESIN: Last question. We think we know possibly how to protect ourselves from them but is there anything you can say that would protect us? Any advice to shield us from what we're about to face?

LAURA: Was that your fifth question?


LAURA: Shit.

MATT: "Yes: don't go."


MATT: And the mist emerges from the mouth and slowly spills down the front of the chest and then merges with the rest of the surrounding fog.

LIAM: Okay, so we're doing this.

SAM: I mean, we have to keep going.

LAURA: Yeah. We're less than a day behind them. We're like three hours to six hours behind them. And we could get ahead of them.

TALIESIN: And then what?

SAM: Ambush, stop them before they get there.

TALIESIN: With what spells? SAM: At least watch them go in.

LAURA: I don't know how we would get ahead of them.

LIAM: How are you two doing?

LAURA: I'm almost out of everything.

TRAVIS: Could a short rest get you anything?


SAM: But we can get closer and then rest. Or, you know, you spellcasters can take a nap and we can keep on. Some of us can keep on and find them.

MARISHA: Yeah, I feel great.

LAURA: Can you carry me while I sleep?


TRAVIS: I would love to catch them as much as the next person but if we get there and we're weak and we're half at our best, it's for nothing.

LAURA: We're not going to fight them though, right? We're not trying to fight them.

TRAVIS: If we have a say.

LAURA: I don't want to fight them.

TALIESIN: Are we strong enough to even run if we have to?

LIAM: I don't have the ability to take us out of here in the way that we are accustomed to. I have used all of my--

LAURA: Oh, god.

TALIESIN: So we couldn't even run if things went bad.

LAURA: Could you make a dome?

LIAM: If I had enough time, yeah, or if I could do it in advance, yeah.

TRAVIS: I don't think that's part of this, though. We'll come upon them quickly.

LIAM: It's unpredictable. There's no way to control the situation like that.

TRAVIS: We should rest.

LAURA: We're walking.

SAM: The four of you can rest. Me and Beau can go find them.

MARISHA: We could scout a little if we wanted, I guess.

LIAM: Miles ahead of us? That's lunacy.

SAM: I don't know the meaning of the word. Really, though.

LIAM: It's a bad idea.

TRAVIS: It has to do with the moon. The "lun" that you'll "see."

TALIESIN: This forest is going to be very dangerous in the evening.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Have you seen Beau's arms?

LIAM: Here's the thing.

TRAVIS: Or abs, for that matter.

TALIESIN: I've seen both of their arms.

LAURA: They are very healthily on display.

LIAM: This group of people have snapped away like that, so if they get to their quarry, they're gone. Most likely they are gone.

LAURA: Or they'll wake it up. They probably need some time. Maybe they'll do it right there.

SAM: If they get there tonight while we're snoozing, they could be gone by the time we wake up.

LIAM: That's what I'm saying.

TRAVIS: Also, one last thing. The last time Obann needed access to something, he waited for us. He needed us to open it.

LAURA: Yeah, but he doesn't know we're even around. This time, he's got Yasha. He needed Yasha.

MARISHA: He needed Yasha.

TRAVIS: Did he need Yasha to get in there?

MARISHA: I think he needed Yasha for his overall piece of his puzzle.

LIAM: His overall plan. But we don't know, we don't know enough on what he's doing now.

TALIESIN: It's not like this is going to be an easy walk-up. This is going to be, I have a funny feeling that they're not going to, I don't think they're going to waltz into this thing either.

LAURA: One powerful spell left.

TALIESIN: I think it's dangerous.

LAURA: I could scry again.

TALIESIN: I mean, only if we're going to sleep.

LAURA: But we've already done it once today, so maybe I can't.

TRAVIS: If you scry and they're moving instead of resting, will that shape your thoughts at all?

LAURA: If they're resting?

SAM: If they're moving, we have to keep moving.

TRAVIS: Might as well scry, then.

SAM: (singing) You might as well scry.

MATT: Just so you know, if a scry fails, it's resisted, then they can't be scried on again for 24 hours but if it succeeded, there's no reason why you couldn't try it again.

TALIESIN: I'm actually going to try and use Divine Intervention to see if they're going to bed down for the night.

LAURA: Oh yeah, do that before.

MATT: You're going to attempt a Divine Intervention. All right, go for it.

TRAVIS: Come on, baby.

SAM: Do demons sleep?

TALIESIN: Fuck no.

LIAM: Damn it!

LAURA: What do you have to get? How does it work?

TALIESIN: Under 10%.

MATT: You focus quietly and take a deep breath and as you do that, another fly (buzzing). Chokes you up for a minute.

LAURA: So it's got to be the zero?

LIAM: No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

TALIESIN: Or the 10 and the zero.

LAURA: Or a zero and anything.

TALIESIN: Or the zero, anything.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to try it too.

LIAM: Come on.

MATT: So you're focused.

LAURA: Come on, Traveler!

MARISHA: Shake weight that roll!

LAURA: Nope.

LIAM: Damn it.

TALIESIN: And once you use it, once it succeeds, you can't use it for a week.

LAURA: Okay, all right, I'm going to try to scry.

MATT: Okay. So you stop here in the same area where the bodies were found. You haven't left from this spot. Using the little clearing here, you begin to set up your scrying ritual, you focus. It takes about 10 minutes to cast. You set up everything nervously. It's getting colder and colder and as you sit down, the mist is obfuscating about a foot or so of the ground. As you're setting up, you're having to shoo away the mist a bit and set it up before it begins to filter back in. You sit down. You guys watch as Jester, you can only really see about her elbows up as she sits in the middle of this mist that's drifted around her. Cold and really beautiful, as she closes her eyes, and for a second you swear you see the mist move around her like something just shifted around her. Makes you think for a moment. It's cold and it's dark and in that moment, there is that sense of desperation and loneliness as you focus on the spell and as the mist curls in around you like a cloak, encircling you, you feel the Traveler there once more and saying, "Not too far." And suddenly, you feel your vision pulled as his hand rests on your cheek and turns your head this way and as your head turns this way, it's like you're looking from one window into another and as you look into this other pane of glass, through it you can see in a familiar, darkened wood like this, in the shadows, a very, very faint bit of crackling firelight. You see in the space a very, very low-lit fire in a center of stones and sitting across it on two rotting logs that have been lumped there, you can see Obann in his true form, red demon skin, wings folded, sitting there looking at the fire, putting his hand in it and letting it curl around his fingers and Yasha just sitting there looking into the flames. He reaches down and pulls up a bottle of wine and takes a drink of it, looks to her. "You may have some," and holds it out. She reaches out without even looking and takes it and drinks from the bottle and hands it back. As he retrieves it, he says, "You knew the seed of darkness within you only needed the right guide to germinate into something beautiful. Don't forget, you were the one to find me, Orphan Maker. For this, I will always be grateful and you will always be my favorite." He glances around to the nearby wood to see if maybe another heard him. "We draw close to completing our found family. Becoming her will manifest, striking from the lightless realms and breaking her chains one by one. You remind me of her, a vision of her intent, walking towards destiny. I'm proud of you." He reaches out to touch her chin.

SAM: Gross.

MATT: There's a small spark of blue lightning (crackling) that sparks from under her chin to his hand and he pulls back as she (grunts), recoils a bit to one side. You see him look at his fingers and look at her, furious. In but a moment, his eyes glow orange and you see behind her, from underneath the hair, the orange glow emanates and she winces for a second before her face going slack once more. He now takes her chin in his hand without a fight and looks her in the eyes and says, "Stubborn as you may be, you are mine. You belong to her. Where we shall walk, no cloud or storm can touch us." As he pulls his hand away, you hear a (thudding) and a slight little (low cackling). He looks over his shoulder a bit. "Keep a perimeter watch. Who knows what else is lingering in this forest, and we're so close, I can taste it." And he sits down and starts drinking his wine a bit more and they both just quietly look into the fire a bit longer as the Laughing Hand begins to lumber off into the darkness.

LAURA: Oh, god. Was the satchel still on his waist? Did it look like--

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Come on, come on, this is key, this is key.

MATT: With disadvantage because it is-- well, you have darkvision, don't you? Yeah, so you're fine.

LAURA: Okay. Goddamn it, perception. 14.

MATT: 14? Within the fire, it wasn't some very terribly hidden thing he was trying to keep from anybody. Yeah, it was still hanging from his belt.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh, shit. Come on, that's it.

TRAVIS: Does she relay all of that?

LAURA: All of it. All of it, everything. I like to imagine as I'm scrying, if I'm hearing anything, I'm just repeating what I'm hearing like out loud, yeah.

SAM: Well, clearly Yasha is definitely evil and not under the control of anything.

TRAVIS: That's my assertion as well.

SAM: We have to keep going.

LAURA: Poor Yasha.

SAM: They're close.

LIAM: With what intention? Are we trying to get close enough to have you--

LAURA: Sneak in.

LIAM: Invisible?

LAURA: Get the skull.

LIAM: Grabbing the sack is one option.

SAM: I will take a drink right now. That was scary.

MARISHA: It looks like the Laughing Hand roams free. He runs patrol. We don't need to--

LIAM: Probably he does not need to sleep.

MARISHA: He doesn't need to sleep.

LAURA: He's insane already.

MARISHA: He might be wandering. Who knows how much ground he covers in the middle of the night but maybe stalking him, trying to attack him when he's far enough away from the camp. Not attacking him.

SAM: The one that can't die?

MARISHA: We just got to get this skull though, like you said.

TRAVIS: And if he is just walking a perimeter, there are openings in that perimeter.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: If he's the only one.

TRAVIS: You just have to be the most silent and unseen you've ever been.

TALIESIN: We have no spells to help you.

LAURA: Nothing.

SAM: I got this.

MARISHA: I'm going with you.

LAURA: What?

TALIESIN: I think this is a terrible idea.

TRAVIS: I do as well.

LIAM: No, no, no, no. Let's think this out first.

SAM: We can create a distraction.

LAURA: No distractions, no nothing. No nothing, we make no noise. If you make noise, the Laughing Hand will be alerted and then everything goes to shit. You have to know where he's going and sneak in in the big hole in his perimeter and go in and steal the thing and then run back out immediately.

MARISHA: I think she's right.

TALIESIN: If there's not some sort of, magic spell on the bag itself that won't alert him to being disturbed immediately, the way we used to do.

MARISHA: Well, and it might. In which case, I think we all need to be nearby, but I think Jester's right. I think maybe this is going to take a little bit of observation and watching the Laughing Hand and watching its path and seeing if it is a specific patrol path.

TALIESIN: We're down so much right now.

TRAVIS: Yeah, okay, so, we all know the option of letting Nott somehow go in unseen, undetected and pulling hopefully the object off of his hip and retreating. However, even if they are close, they still have to get to the tree that seems to have a fucking curse on it and it might slow them down a bit. If Nott is detected, we're going to try and rally to her in her half state, if not worse. We could just follow them and try and catch up with them tomorrow after a rest, when we're all in our best form.

LAURA: And then what?

LIAM: If we do that, and I'm not saying we don't, Fjord, but if we do that, we run the risk potentially of this extra being, this Caedogeist, from joining them. So I'm not saying no, I'm just putting that on the table.

SAM: One more option.


SAM: I'm supremely confident in my abilities, especially if I have a few more gulps of booze, but we could continue on tonight. And get there.

MARISHA: And get there first, and try and get to the heart first.

TRAVIS: We will take on the cursed tree in a half state.

MARISHA: So that's the thing.

SAM: We just don't have to touch the bark that bites.

TRAVIS: Allowing them to catch up to us.

SAM: Tomorrow morning.

MARISHA: Here's our three options that I think that I have, that we've laid out. Right?

TRAVIS: (cackling)

MARISHA: Hang on, because there's pros and cons to both. There's pros and cons to both.

MATT: I love this game so much.

SAM: There's one more option.

MARISHA: Wait, what do you mean? There's a fourth? What's your fourth?

LIAM: We'll talk it out.

SAM: We call Essek here and Essek comes back.


TRAVIS: I sensed he had more to give, I think.


MATT: He has this little red bead. He's like, "Here, hug this" and it's a Delayed Blast Fireball that wipes you all out.

LIAM: I like this, I like this. I think the idea of getting there before them and securing their goal before them is probably less of a challenge than them all together, especially with this one woken up. I can fly three of us there. You can, can you fly right now?

SAM: Fly, he can fly?

LAURA: I can fly.

SAM: Oh, oh, he can fly!

LIAM: And you can carry. And I can make some of us fly now. I know how to do that.

LAURA: But it will literally, I will have just some 1st-levels left. I will have one 4th-level and-- I've got some shit.

LIAM: But it won't be dealing with our friend Yasha and this Laughing Hand and Redman from Wu-Tang.

TRAVIS: Did you say Wu-Tang? I heard "from Wu-Tang" and I just wanted to know if the RZA or if anyone else were joining us.

TALIESIN: We need a long rest if this is what we're getting into.

TRAVIS: I could use some sixes on the sword.

MARISHA: Honestly, I am down to bring the motherfucking ruckus. If we want to do this--

LIAM: I like getting there. I am voting for grabbing their prey out from under them right now.

LAURA: I like that plan.

TRAVIS: Wait, wait, wait.

MARISHA: You said one plan that you liked and then--

LIAM: I understand. What I prefer is getting there before them while they rest, even though--

LAURA: Go for the heart.

LIAM: Yeah, right now.

SAM: Okay. I love you Caleb, and I always agree with you but If we go there and get the heart, they're three to six hours ahead of us now. They're going to sleep for--

LAURA: Eight hours.

SAM: Eight hours, right? So we have to make up the up to six hours that we've already--

LAURA: But we'll be flying.

LIAM: In flight.

SAM: And then keep going and acquire the thing. Now they're going to wake up and start making their way to us and once we acquire the thing and we walk out the door and they're standing right there--

TALIESIN: There's not going to be a door.

SAM: We have nothing left. No escape, no spells, no nothing.

LIAM: Excuse me, though. If we allow me to rest for an hour, right now, I could take us out of this place for good. I am tapped in that respect. But if we rest for an hour I can do that, and then we fly the rest of the way, grab what they want, and we’re gone and they lose the ability--

TRAVIS: How long do you need to prepare that button, that “I’m out!” button? One minute?

LIAM: Let me verify so I'm not-- As a ritual though, it would be 11 minutes. If it's one minute.

MATT: For a Teleportation Circle? Is that what you're thinking?

LIAM: I'm thinking of various spells at one time. One minute normally, so as a ritual. Oh, no, if I rest, sorry. If I rest I could do it in one minute.

LAURA: Do it as a ritual without the rest.

MATT: Well, I don't know. Can Teleportation Circle be done as a ritual?

LIAM: I'm thinking of Leomund's Tiny Hut. It's one minute if I have it, so I need to rest an hour to be able to do it in one minute.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: That's a good, that's the closest thing to a good plan.

LAURA: Rest for an hour, we turn into flying things. We fly around them and then try to what? Fly down and find it? We don't, but we know we're looking for a tree or something.

LIAM: We are looking for a remarkable tree to the south.

LAURA: In the dark.

TALIESIN: One normal day's travel.

LIAM: Beauregard and Nott will fly on you. Fjord, Caduceus and I will just fly and we will get there ahead of them.

MARISHA: All right, let's work out our options. I really want to talk out talk out our options.

TRAVIS: I think we know what the options are.

MARISHA: So we have option one.

LIAM: Tell me what we're doing in an hour I'll start meditating.

LAURA: Yeah, that's cool.

MARISHA: Option one, we sleep now. We know we're full and healthy and rested. but maybe face them also full and rested.

LAURA: Or we don't face them at all, they get ahead of us.

MARISHA: And they find it and they're gone and they leave.

SAM: Lots of downsides.

MARISHA: A lot of downsides to that one but our casters are rested. Number two, Nott and I do a little recon mission. We head to the woods, we watch the patrol of this guy, this Laughing Hand.

SAM: We get in, we get out.

MARISHA: Super general on this one. Search, get in, get out, surgical.

TRAVIS: We're assuming the demon sleeps?

TALIESIN: Which it doesn't.

MARISHA: No, no, I think we just, no, I'm not fucking assuming anyone sleeps.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that changes it. If the demon sleeps, better plan. If he's awake and just sipping fucking Merlot, it's not so great.

TALIESIN: Assuming that they also don't do anything to protect themselves.

MARISHA: No, I'm just hoping the demon never finds out. But that's also like a hope and not a promise. It's a lot of hopes. So there's a lot of hopes to that one and that one.

LAURA: Third option, do what Caleb said.

MARISHA: Third option, we go now. We don't sleep.

TALIESIN: They don't know they're even being followed.

MARISHA: Get out and deal with the cursed tree and probably some like creepy shit and maybe bad guys in the middle of the night at this cursed tree.

LAURA: I think that's the only option we can do, though.

TRAVIS: The first option is far safer with less risk to all of us, yes.

LAURA: But--

MARISHA: Higher risk of failure.

LAURA: The goal of the whole reason we fucking came here.

TRAVIS: But yeah, just so we're saying it out loud, failure is what? They get what they came for and they bring back something that what, we've decided is our mission to prevent?

LAURA: They're four people.

TRAVIS: I know, I'm just saying it out loud, right? Because we could all die trying to prevent this one thing instead of--

MARISHA: Losing our best friend?

TRAVIS: Doing something that's safe, maybe losing it, being stronger, coming back with more allies.

LAURA: We won't die.

TRAVIS: Living to fight another day. I'm just saying.

LIAM: Still meditating.

LAURA: Caleb will be able to bamf us out. Also, I'll make sure I have at least one Revivify so that if one of us goes down, then I can, you know.

TALIESIN: To be fair, also, yeah, I mean there's not a lot of, I've got a little bit of healing. It's not a lot I can do.

LAURA: I've some 1st-levels.

TRAVIS: To be fair, there's not a lot you can do.

SAM: If we go, if we fly, if we get to the Wraithroot, the Rufus Wainwright tree.


TALIESIN: Yeah, you would.

SAM: We find the object, we get it.

TALIESIN: Bamf out.

SAM: do not get Yasha in that scenario.

LAURA: No, we save her for another day.

TALIESIN: We get not Yasha later, when we're better prepared.

MARISHA: I appreciate Caleb's sentiment and I'm going to say this comfortably because he can't hear me because he's deep in meditation. I think Yasha, trying to scoop her out, is a bad plan.

TALIESIN: I think it's a bad plan.

TRAVIS: Agreed. I think he can hear everything you're saying.

MARISHA: Like subconsciously, yeah.

SAM: He can't hear a word we're saying. Here, watch this. (yelling) Caleb, you're a fucking--


SAM: Oh, sorry.

TRAVIS: What, are you jerking off a giant tree root? What is that?

LIAM: Unlike poor Nott, I can multitask.


TALIESIN: I like the plan of going in and trying to get, because they don't know that we're following them.

LAURA: They don't know we're here.

TALIESIN: They don't know that they need to rush. They're going to take their time. They're going to move at a reasonable pace.

LAURA: They're going to sleep.

TALIESIN: They're not in a rush. TRAVIS: They don't sleep.

LAURA: Well, Yasha might need to sleep.

TRAVIS: We move at first light. LAURA: Maybe that's why.

SAM: No... sleep 'til Rufus Wainwright!

TALIESIN: But if we roll in now, we roll in now, teleport out.

TRAVIS: I mean, it is certainly more of the adventure what we're talking about.

TALIESIN: And then immediately get that skull into the--

LAURA: The heart.

TRAVIS: Long as we're all in agreement. We are at great risk--

TALIESIN: Heart in the bag.

TRAVIS: Going forward instead of resting.


TRAVIS: And not being able to do this at a day.

LAURA: I don't see that as a real option, though.

MARISHA: I agree. I think we technically have two options. Either getting the case off of the Laughing Hand or going ahead and getting the heart. I don't think resting is an option.

TRAVIS: All right, then let's do it.

TALIESIN: How are you feeling? Are you all right?

TRAVIS: I will not abandon this group, but I do feel like it's quite the risk.

SAM: He has ulcers.

TALIESIN: I'll also say that we're not exhausted yet. I mean, we won't be exhausted 'til daylight.

LAURA: Tomorrow.

LIAM: If we pushed into the night, hopefully the flight-- I'm meditating.

LAURA: It's, like, 9:30 right now. We can go until at least like--

TRAVIS: Then let's do this.

LIAM: I have partied 'til three before.

SAM: Yeah!

TRAVIS: Decided?

SAM: Decided!

TRAVIS: All right.


TALIESIN: If it goes, if it starts to go bad--

SAM: Wait for 55 minutes now while he meditates. Wait, we can fly Caleb while he's meditating maybe.


SAM: All right, we'll all short rest.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: All right, short rest.

MATT: All right, so take your short rest here. Gather yourselves. Make sure you have your healing potions distributed amongst who's supposed to have them.

TALIESIN: Thank you for the reminder. That's not foreboding at all.

MATT: No, not at all.

MARISHA: Is there anything else we can do to prepare? Is there anything else we can do to prepare? Us not-spellcasters. What do we do?

SAM: Do we have any set plays? What if we see them? Okay, how are we getting out of here? He's casting a spell. But what if we walk out of the Wainwright tree and they're there waiting for us?

TALIESIN: How are we even going to walk out?

LAURA: Soon as we get it, we bamf.

SAM: Oh, we just get it and go. What if they walk in on us while we're down there fiddling and diddling with something?

TALIESIN: Well, then we're dead.

MARISHA: We have team distraction.

LAURA: We're probably going to die.

TALIESIN: Yes, that's probably, we'll die.

TRAVIS: Where will we put this heart, in the bag?

LAURA: We can put it in one of the bags, yeah.

TRAVIS: The Bag of Holding or the haversack?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: And we're going to put maybe the string around the tree? To protect us?

LAURA: That's smart.

TALIESIN: If we can.

MARISHA: That'll work for now.

LIAM: We're looking at limited range.

SAM: Limited range, all right. Well maybe we could just put-- if we get there early, we could put like just a physical--

MARISHA: Backtrack a little bit, yeah.

SAM: Well just like a trip wire with some tin cans on it or something.

LAURA: Yeah, we could like do something.

TRAVIS: I knew I was keeping all those canned anchovies for a reason, thank god. It fucking reeks in here. I thought it was my armor.

TALIESIN: You're just becoming ninja hobos. That's fine, okay.

SAM: You ready yet, Cay?

TRAVIS: An hour has passed.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Has an hour passed?

MATT: Sure. If you guys don't have anything else you wanted to prepare, then yes, the short rest comes to a close. Caleb slams his book closed in front of him and you have regained your spell slot.

LIAM: I heard some of that, not much of it. Another thing we could do when we're there is I could throw up the dome while we're there and then you would have the dome to run-- not me, I would be stuck inside of it but you could run into it and out of it in case shit goes down.

MARISHA: That did work very well with the white dragon.

LAURA: It worked so well.

SAM: But we wouldn't have you in there to help us.

LIAM: Not necessarily so, thanks to our man Essek.

SAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: What do you mean?

SAM: You can put up the dome and not be in it?

LIAM: He has shown me how to realize other versions of myself.

SAM: He polished your dome?

LAURA: That's really smart.

LIAM: That is not what happened.

LAURA: But wait, I think, didn't he say as soon as your other version casts a spell, they disappeared, right?

LIAM: We'll find out.

TRAVIS: Oh, good, yes, let's find out in the middle of it.

LIAM: Caleb would know, he would know if he was told, but I don't remember.

LAURA: I thought I remembered that. As soon as it casts a spell, it's gone.

MARISHA: The echoes?

LIAM: It still gets to cast a spell, yeah. If it casts that 3rd-level spell, it's gone, gone?

MATT: Yeah, it vanishes once the spell's completed. If it's a concentration spell, it stays around to maintain the concentration until it gets killed.

LIAM: That's a great benefit.

LAURA: So that thing could cast the dome?

LIAM: No, no, no, I'm saying I would cast the dome and sit within it. And then you guys would have this great buffer between you and our enemies you could run into and out of. I could have most of our Teleportation Circle drawn and you guys could pop in, pop out if we thought that they were going to descend upon us and I could also help from within by using Dunamancy.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: To a limited extent, but still.


MARISHA: I like it.

TRAVIS: That's a good option.

SAM: Let's fly.

TRAVIS: Like an eagle.

LIAM: Into the future.

MARISHA: To the tree.

LAURA: To the tree

MARISHA: ♪ Fly like an eagle ♪

TRAVIS: ♪ You get to carry me ♪

LAURA: I have to pee. Are we taking a break?

MATT: I guess we shall, then. (laughter) As you guys prepare yourselves for this, this plot you've hatched to rush off into the night in hopes of beating your adversaries to the very target they seek, we're going to go ahead and take a break.

TALIESIN: With our polished dome.

MATT: So we'll return here shortly to pick up where this adventure is leaving off. We do have our Wyrmwood giveaway before we leave there. If you guys haven't seen their awesome Kickstarter campaign, this particular awesome dice vault and it's a Hero Vault specifically, which I think can be for dice or your hero is drawn by our amazing Deven Rue on the front there. The art for this Kickstarter campaign contains art by Deven and Crystal Sully, both amazing artists in the community. Definitely check it out, if you haven't yet. This awesome piece of, what type of wood is this? It doesn't tell me, but it's so pretty on the inside for all your dice. It is pretty wood that is not here, but I guarantee you it feels nice, it looks nice, smells nice, it's great. Goes to one lucky winner in the chat tonight. The word for tonight is follow, F-O-L-L-O-W. Put it in once. More than once, you're disqualified. Once again, US and Canada only, including Quebec. We'll be back here with a winner shortly. See you in a minute.

SAM: This is tense.

TALIESIN: So much could go wrong.


(upbeat music) ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open the webpage ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ In that mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D, D&D, yeah! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D, D&D, yeah! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You've got your stats, you've got your swords ♪ ♪ And you got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D, D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ BRIAN (V.O.): Last time on Talks Machina. BRIAN: How did it feel to hear Beau's father for the first time? MARISHA: Yeah, that was weird. Because like Matt's never done his voice before. TRAVIS: Right. MARISHA: So I was like, "Oh!" and then he did it. And I was like, "Oh fuck, "my dad kind of sounds like a schmuck." (laughter) TRAVIS: He's a wine snob. MARISHA: He's a wine snob, yeah. BRIAN: Yep. TRAVIS: Oh no. MARISHA: Oh, shit. TRAVIS: Did that help or hurt your opinion of your backstory dad in your mind? MARISHA: Man, people are going to watch this and be like, "This makes so much more sense about Beau now." BRIAN: How is Fjord settling into his new role? Does he intend to perform specific acts of service for the Wildmother or does he see things being business as usual? TRAVIS: Great question, WizardSimulator. I have no fucking idea. I have no clue. It is definitely business as usual. No particular plans for the Wildmother. She did not send me a deal memo or anything of that nature. I'm just winging it. BRIAN: I understand. TRAVIS: I'm making trees grow or perpetuating vine. BRIAN: Yeah, yep. (laughter) MARISHA: Wake up to like a non-compete just sitting on your bedside table. Like, "Oh, shit." BRIAN: In the new character art, we see Fjord's tusks have grown back to be visible. Is this because of Jester's encouragement to accept them as part of himself, Nott's struggle with her own appearance, or something else? TRAVIS: Well, shit, Alex Douglas. I think it's all of the above, man. Or ma'am, I don't want to assume. Look, yeah. (laughter) DANI: What is going on? TRAVIS: Nothing! BRIAN: This episode will go down in history as the least informative. And this is a very uninformative program, folks. This program-- TRAVIS: It's think all of the above, yes. Jester definitely calling him out and positively reinforcing him. Letting his appearance be how it is helped. I was definitely moved by what Nott and Sam said. It shined a mirror on what my character was going through as well, so it was all of those things. BRIAN: I apologize, this is probably an emergency. What? SAM: What the hell is going on with your show? BRIAN: What do you mean what's going on with my show? I'm in the middle of, I'm on the 18th question. This is probably one of the best shows we've had in the last probably 10 years. SAM: And are you guys smoking the dope? BRIAN: We're not smoking the dope. Apparently, we ate all of it earlier. Now, there was two plates of brownies. One of them had an XXX on the top of it. SAM: Get it together, people. Just get it together, that's all I'm going to say. TRAVIS: Sam, where are you? BRIAN: Where are you? Are you in a Bed, Bath and Beyond? SAM: I'm folding my kids' socks! BRIAN: Why are you watching our show? TRAVIS: Are your light bulbs like 600 watts? What the fuck is going on in there? BRIAN: That is more fluorescent light than an elementary school detention room. Why are you watching our show? Did you finally catch up on Murder, She Wrote? (laughter) SAM: I'm just in my kid's room with Mister Monkey. BRIAN: Oh yeah, your wife told me what you guys do with Mister Monkey. SAM: All right, go back to it. Stay off the dope. BRIAN: What if I just keep getting higher, Steve? Can you do it? I would like to thank-- DANI: You're as high as you possibly can be right now, Brian. BRIAN: Marisha and Travis for joining us. Episode 79 of Critical Role airs this Thursday at 7:00pm Pacific. As always, don't forget to love each other. Don't worry, it's almost Thursday. Stay turnt my friends and remember, creepy ain't a crime. Neither is D&D. (laughter) TRAVIS: (V.O.) Last time on "Yee-Haw Game Ranch." LIAM: (screaming) BRIAN: What the fuck was that? It sounds like it's in pain. TRAVIS: I don't see anything. BRIAN: No. TRAVIS: We've been here so long, the jungle's starting to grow out of us. What are you talking about? BRIAN: I'm fucking losing it, man. LIAM: (screaming) BRIAN: There it is. TRAVIS: That's a monkey with an arm up its ass. LIAM: That's rude! BRIAN: Little fucker, what are you doing here? LIAM: That's no way to greet a fellow adventurer! Let me introduce myself. I am the great adventurer, Minnesota Jones. BRIAN: Minnesota Jones? What kind of name is that? Sounds pretty similar to something I've heard before. LIAM: It's probably a name your daddy used to dodge child support. TRAVIS: Whoa! LIAM: Oh, oh, oh, oh! You look like someone put a beard of pubes on a piece of string cheese. I'm just passing through on my way to the temple of Zolgrux the Mad. BRIAN: That's the place the stupid frog was talking about. TRAVIS: Yeah. BRIAN: Why are you going there? LIAM: Rumor has it there's an ancient tome buried with Zolgrux's body. BRIAN: An ancient tome? TRAVIS: Keep going. BRIAN: What is that? LIAM: I'll tell you if you'd shut the fuck up for one second. When you talk, your mouth looks like a rat's asshole! (Travis laughing) As I was saying, they say it's a tome of realm-portation, a powerful book of magic that can transport you to another realm. I'm still here. I don't know about you, but I don't plan on living the rest of my days out in this forsaken place. This baby is tapped, and I got to get the fuck out of here! BRIAN: What realm are you trying to travel to? LIAM: Well I'll tell you, buddy, I'll take anything I can get. This jungle shit is boring as hell, man. BRIAN: And who is Zolgrux the Mad? TRAVIS: Good question. LIAM: That is a good question. No one really knows exactly who he was but I've translated some glyphs I found around the island and all that I've gathered is he was the first one of his kind, some type of wizard or magic-user. BRIAN: I mean, that magic sounds pretty cool. I wonder what happened to him. LIAM: Yeah, good question. Who knows, Cardboard Face? (laughter) Tell you what though, I'll get a good look at him when I pry this tomb open and get that book. I'll see you suckers on the other side. Later. Hoo. TRAVIS: Minnesota, don't leave. You left your vine hanging. BRIAN: You left your-- TRAVIS: Where do they go when they go down? BRIAN: I don't know. I would be just as curious-- TRAVIS: I haven't found a single-- BRIAN: -- to find out where they go when they go up. TRAVIS: They explode? Oh, they do! That's disgusting! That was amazing. BRIAN: Do it again. Yeah. TRAVIS: Try to pop it. BRIAN: Cut it open. TRAVIS: Like a zit. BRIAN: Do it. TRAVIS: Oh, yeah. I'm sure I'm fine, I'm sure I'm fine. Didn't get in my eyes or mouth. BRIAN: That's some Starship Trooper shit, man. BRIAN and TRAVIS: We're sliding. BRIAN: Ooh, that was cool. That was cool. GAME VOICE: So much for a silo. BRIAN: Ooh. TRAVIS: I don't think. Can you give him CPR? Can you give him a little help? BRIAN: I think-- TRAVIS: Boy. BRIAN: Does CPR unsmash your skull? You don't even know how to use the chainsaw, my man. TRAVIS: Punk. BRIAN: How did you set him on fire by punching him? TRAVIS: I have a flaming dagger. BRIAN: Oh look, you could have shot those barrels and exploded stuff. Don't shoot it right now while you're standing next to it. TRAVIS: You don't know that. (explosion booming) Those does explode. BRIAN: There was four of them, dude. Since the beginning of video games-- TRAVIS: More than four, I might add. BRIAN: There've been red barrels-- TRAVIS: It could've been rum. BRIAN: For one purpose only. TRAVIS: Could've been wine. (electronic humming) (grunting) MATT: (as Pumat Sol) Well! Would you look at that, I think it worked. You were right, Pumat Number Three. All we had to do was invoke that subscription cantrip. Pumat, Pumat Number Three? Oh boy. Well, hello there. I am Pumat Prime. It's good to finally join you here in the Prime Dimension. I see this is the Twitch Prime Realm, I think. Oh! We're on the Critical Role Channel, aren't we? Well, would you look at that? You got chat and everything. Respectfully, I was looking for the Prime Rib Realm, but this isn't too bad. You see, if you already have access to the Amazon Prime Realm, you can get a free subscription to the channel of your choice in the Twitch Prime Realm. The two realms have a pretty good working relationship after that peace treaty the Prime Minister signed a few years back. You just have to remember to renew your Twitch Prime subscription at the top of each month, respectfully and hey, if you're already a subscriber, you can spread the joy by gifting a subscription using the Gift a Sub button. That is, assuming the Empire hasn't sent a tax man to your shop here recently. All right, well, off to find that darn elusive Prime Rib Realm. Who knew the Prime Dimension had so many pockets? Good luck. Pumat Three? TALIESIN (V.O.): Subscribe. Resubscribe! Brian Foster is not a cabbage. (dramatic orchestral music)

Part IIEdit

MATT: And welcome back. Before jump into the game, we do have our winner of the Wyrmwood giveaway. The winner is Carnival Elite. With a key. Carnival Elite, you are the winner. We'll go ahead and send that to you ASAP, congratulations.

TALIESIN: 123 feet.

MATT: All righty, friends.

TRAVIS: I don't need to be sweating like this. We just got off the break. Let's git 'er done.

SAM: Laura, did you have to pee again? Maybe we should take another break.

LAURA: I got to pee, can we think about it some more?

TALIESIN: I can't understand you.

(Laura mumbling) (Taliesin laughing)

TALIESIN and LAURA: Aaron Burr.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

TRAVIS: It'll be fine, it'll be fine.

MATT: So your rest complete, the night now darkens the entire sky above. You can hear the heavy sound of crickets and other nocturnal creatures coming to life out hunting, wandering amongst the upper parts of the trees, the lower parts of the forest and the sky above. Mighty Nein, what would you like to do?

LAURA: Well, I guess we should turn into big eagles or something, no?

LIAM: That's what you're going to do. Caduceus, Fjord and I are just going to fly. Are we ready?

LAURA: Is there such a thing as a giant owl?

LIAM: Yeah, of course there is.

TRAVIS: Whoa, time out, time out. We don't know where we're going yet, right? We have to find this thing.

SAM: We know the direction and the rough distance.

TRAVIS: It's the middle of the night.

LIAM: We have to move quickly.

TRAVIS: Is it a full moon?

MATT: No, it's probably like waning, maybe a half moon.

SAM: But I think the dead body we talked to said it was in a small clearing, right?

TALIESIN: I think it's going to be visible.

TRAVIS: Big tree in a bunch of trees, cool.

LAURA: Well, also--


LAURA: Once we see their firelight from the sky, then we know we go past that.

TRAVIS: Good call. You're very smart, all right, here we go.


LIAM: Caleb pulls out a raven's feather and mutters a few arcane words and suddenly Caduceus, Fjord, and Caleb start to hover slightly above the ground.

MATT: So you're casting Fly at 5th-level?

LIAM: Yeah, no. Four.

MATT: Fly is a 3rd-level spell.

LIAM: 3rd-level?

MATT: 4th-level, you can do an additional.

LIAM: Shit.

TRAVIS: Oh no, the calculus is ruined!

SAM: What's Polymorph?

LIAM: Polymorph is not enough to carry everybody.

LIAM: Okay, wait, wait, wait, wait.

SAM: Not if you're a giant something?

LAURA: Cast it on, I can--

LIAM: You will hold onto me.

LAURA: Also, I--

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Or I can carry--

SAM: I can hold on.

LAURA: Who am I carrying?

LIAM: Caduceus.

LAURA: Just Caduceus.

TRAVIS: What about Beau?

SAM: And Beau.

LAURA: And Beau.

TRAVIS: Can you carry Caduceus and Beau?

LAURA: What if you cast it on Caduceus and I carry Beau and Nott? Because I feel like I could do that easier than--

LIAM: Yeah, that's true. So me and Caduceus.

MARISHA: And then Nott. Maybe Cad can carry Nott?

SAM: Well, wait, if you fly, then I can fly with you.

LIAM: You will ride with me. You will fly. You will carry these two.

LAURA: Fjord and Beau.

LIAM: Correct.

LAURA: You got it.

TRAVIS: Can you carry us?

LAURA: Yeah, I can carry both of you. As a giant owl, yeah, for sure.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Confirmed?

MATT: As a giant owl? Yeah, you won't be traveling at maximum speed, but you can, you know.

TALIESIN: You'll be doing fine.

MATT: I'd say it's allowed.

LIAM: Better than walking.

LAURA: Yeah, definitely. We'll be above all of the totally creepy things in the trees.


MARISHA: I'm riding up front.

TRAVIS: There are two feet. We're side by side.

MARISHA: I know, I'm riding up front, though.

TRAVIS: But there's no, it's not--

LAURA: I'll try to carry you in a way that is comfortable for you, okay?

MARISHA: Oh, we're not riding on her back?

TRAVIS: No, we're literally, I just told you that. Don't look at me anymore. I'm mad at you now.

MARISHA: What? What the fuck did I do?

LAURA: Ride on my back if you want.

MATT: Just to remind you, you guys are traveling Polymorph and Fly, correct? All righty.

LAURA: Polymorph lasts for an hour.

MATT: Right, Fly lasts for 10 minutes.

LIAM: 10 minutes only?

SAM: Why don't you just polymorph?

TRAVIS: Super important. Super important.

LIAM: I could.

TRAVIS: Holy fuck.

MARISHA: The plan is falling apart and we haven't even gotten out of camp.

MATT: I'm just double-checking.

TRAVIS: Holy fuck me running. That would have been--

LIAM: No, we can still do it. I can polymorph, I can, and I can do giant eagle and I could, we wouldn't go as fast as I would like, but I can take Caduceus and Nott.

LAURA: Yeah, see?

LIAM: And you'll take these two.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: But it means a slower speed, but still faster than walking.

TALIESIN: You want to do giant eagle or giant owl?

LIAM: Eagle.

LAURA: You're going to be an eagle?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Should I be an eagle too, is that better?

SAM: Can one of those see in the dark?

LAURA: Well, owls are really good at seeing in the dark.

SAM: Can you check your fucking stats?

LAURA: Yeah.


TRAVIS: Look at Matt's face.

SAM: I know what real owls are.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: It's a burrow owl.


LIAM: I would like to think the people who are riding are doing the most of the looking out.

LAURA: How do I find it again?

SAM: I already put it in there for you.

LAURA: You didn't put a giant owl in there.

SAM: Where's all your creatures?

LAURA: I don't know.

MATT: So you guys are polymorphing, you said. Caleb, you're the giant eagle.

LIAM: Owls have darkvision.

LAURA: Owls have darkvision.

SAM: Giant eagle.

LIAM: But I'm going to do eagle because I feel like an eagle has a better chance of carrying Caduceus and Nott.

LAURA: Owls are just as strong.

MARISHA: Yeah, if they're both giant.

LIAM: Are they?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: If they're both giant, isn't it semantics?

SAM: Eagle has strength 16, what about owl?

LAURA: I don't know if there's giant owl stats.

LIAM: 13, so eagle is categorically stronger than owl.

MATT: It is.

LAURA: Okay, okay. But owls have night vision.

LIAM: And he is a giant reindeer man, so.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LIAM: I'm going to be an eagle.

TALIESIN: I don't weigh a ton, but I am big, so.

TRAVIS: He cannot see in the dark either. Can an eagle see in the dark?

MATT: He can see as well as any other creature that doesn't have darkvision.

TALIESIN: The owl will lead.

MARISHA: It will lead and scout.

LIAM: Goblin, you have darkvision?

SAM: Yes, I do.

TRAVIS: I do as well.

LAURA: Where did you find the stats for the giant owl?

MARISHA: I have goggles, I'm good.

TALIESIN: I'm always the one without darkvision.

LAURA: Never mind, Sam did it for me.

MATT: You do have advantage on wisdom and perception checks to see, which means it counteracts the disadvantage, so it'll be just a straight roll for you in the dark with perception.

LAURA: With plus eight to stealth. Owls are stealthy.

MATT: They are.

LIAM: So do it, I'm ready to be an eagle.

MATT: So the giant eagle, which is the larger of the two, I'll say.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: That'd be you.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You are carrying?

LIAM: Caduceus and Nott.

MATT: Caduceus and Nott, all right, we have Nott.

TALIESIN: Aw, they got little sticky things.

LAURA: Look at that!

SAM: Where'd you get that shit?

MATT: I've had it for a while.

LAURA: That's awesome.

LIAM: From the craft store.

MATT: There we go, got them riding up there.

LAURA: Look at that.

TALIESIN: ♪ Fly like an eagle ♪

MATT: All right and then Fjord and Beau on the owl train, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I'm on the left foot, is that okay with you if on the left foot?

MARISHA: I mean, it feels a little like the driver's seat, but it's fine. I'll take the passenger claw.

TRAVIS: It depends on the country, though.

LIAM: If we're in the UK, you are good.

MARISHA: Oh, we are in Xhorhas. Yeah, I'll take the right!

LAURA: Okay, both of you need to shut up.


LAURA: Once we start moving. I need to be stealthy, so shut up.

TRAVIS: She needs to be stealthy, so shut up.

MARISHA: What the fuck did I do?

SAM: All right, Fjord, Beau, Caduceus, we have to be on the lookout. Keep your eyes peeled. Give us some guidance and stuff.

TALIESIN: I can't see anything.

MATT: So here's my question. Are you guys moving at maximum speed or are you moving stealthily? You can make a stealth check either way, but if you're moving full speed, it's disadvantage on stealth checks.


TRAVIS: No, we can't do Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: But we're making (groans).

MARISHA: We're in the air.

TRAVIS: We're going high, above the canopy of trees.

MARISHA: We got to get there, man.

TALIESIN: We're also, I assume, not going to make it because we're going to do a little bit of curve-around where we think they are.

LIAM: It's also nighttime.

TRAVIS: No, we need to go over their campsite, don't we?

LIAM: We have no idea where they are.

AURA: But we can see smoke. We'll be able to see smoke and firelight.

TRAVIS: ♪ We will. ♪

MARISHA: Look, if we were doing Plan B with the Laughing Hand, then I would say the goal would be stealth but since we're doing Plan C, we're just trying to get to the tree, I think the goal is speed.

LAURA: We definitely want to not--

SAM: What if they see us?

MARISHA: What are they going to fucking do?

SAM: They're going to see two birds over them.


SAM: They don't give a shit.

LIAM: In the dark and we're moving way faster than them. I think we should (cawing).

LAURA: What happened? We had to transform.

LIAM: I think we should go as quickly as possible, yeah.

SAM: Let's go.

LAURA: But make a berth around them. I don't want you, I don't want to fly directly overhead. If I see the campfire, I'm not going to go directly over it.

LIAM: Of course, if we see the campfire, yeah.

TRAVIS and SAM: Okay.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: We suck at this.

TRAVIS: We're amazing.

MATT: You guys transform.

LIAM: Yeah and also, this is Caleb's Transmuter ability to not use a spell slot. He can polymorph himself once a day.

MATT: That's right, you are correct. All righty.

LIAM: It's a level one, which is eagle is within.

MATT: It's pretty great. So transforming into a giant eagle and a giant owl. The owl, which is stealthier. The eagle, which is a little stronger. It can move a little faster. But either you're going to move ahead of the owl or you'll stay in tandem with it.

LIAM: I'll take point, but I'm not going to move that far ahead.

MATT: So traveling through and overhead, you both grab your respective party members and (whooshing). Pushing through the canopy of the forest. A little difficult at first, finding areas to squeeze through. Even this opening here, you know, there's a lot of branches that are all reaching out and creating a net, but you break through and smash across them, sending splinters of various bits of wood and bark flying as you both emerge into the night sky over the Lotusden Greenwood. The moon high up, a little bit of white light that's beginning to trickle across the slightly shifting forest with the breezes that occasionally push through. You are above the space, looking in the general direction of which you were intending to travel. So you both go into a slight dive and pick up, using the wind to your advantage and try and continue pace. Are you going stealthily or speed?

LAURA: Do we see the firelight from above?

MATT: Make a perception check, each of you. Disadvantage for you.

LIAM: Everybody? I mean, I'm just flying. One of the last things I said was, "I'm just flying," and my riders should--

MATT: Got you, then yes. You can try from your space.

MARISHA: Perception?

MATT: Perception.

LAURA: It won't let you guide me.

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MARISHA: I rolled good.

TRAVIS: 22 total.

MARISHA: 20 total.

MATT: Well as a group, check for this. Two people are helming the perspective on here. It's okay. So?

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19 and?

TRAVIS: Natural 20.

MATT: Which is a total of?


MATT: 22, okay. Continuing forward for the first 20 minutes or so of your journey in that direction, you do not see any sign of any glow or flame.

TRAVIS: Speed.

MATT: Because you roll high doesn't mean you're near enough to see anything or that it magically apparates through the tree branches above. It is deep within the Lotusden beneath you.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: So you do not see anything.

SAM and LAURA: Okay.

LAURA: Then we fly in the direction that we know it is and keep an eye out for the other tree.

MATT: Full speed?

LIAM: Strange trees.

SAM: Full speed.

LAURA: Full speed for a bit and then like if it feels like we're going too far, then I say slow down so we can look a little bit better.

MATT: Well, put it this way. It was between-- they're about three to six hours ahead of you. You're not entirely certain how far this location is.

LAURA: A day's travel.

MARISHA: A day's travel, yeah.

MATT: Right, okay, so you're a little bit. So you'll be able to catch, to get ahead of them, but you will not within the hour that you have transformed be able to make a day's worth of traveling.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: So you will gain some movement, hopefully enough, but you're uncertain at this time if it's where it'll be. A half an hour.

MARISHA: Full speed.

MATT: 40 minutes. 50 minutes.

LAURA: As it gets close to when I'm going to poof, then I'll land and cast it again.

MATT: If you guys want to, right before you begin to land, make an additional series of perception checks. Who's helming this? Two of you can make it or one of you can make it advantage.

LAURA: Okay, I've got night vision.

TALIESIN: Oh, I can't. Yeah, I can't help you.

MATT: Yeah, you have disadvantage.

SAM: Whole load of shit.

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah, 11.

MATT: 11, okay. As you begin to descend towards the treeline, knowing that the loss of your polymorph transformation is imminent, you glance ahead in the direction you've been traveling this entire time and you unfortunately, even in the dark of night, can't make out enough detail that tells you where the transition would be to the--

LAURA: Oh wait, my perception, sorry. It's different for a giant owl. It was actually--

SAM: Oh, that's right.

LAURA: Yeah, it was a 14, 15, sorry.

MATT: 15?


SAM: That's much better. Owls, owls, yo.

LAURA: That's why I did it.

MATT: That makes a difference. As you begin to just hit the top of the treeline, looking up ahead, you can see it's a ways off still, but the way the bit of moonlight is hitting the canopy, you can see where the texture begins to change. First, a small pocket a ways away, where the canopy seems to dip and you can see a few, 100 to 200, you don't know how many, but like thin spire-like tops of leafless trees.

SAM: Okay, okay.

LAURA: Oh gosh, okay, okay, okay.

MATT: Still a way's travel from here.

LAURA: But good to know.

MATT: But you now have an orientation of direction.

LAURA: We have a visual, okay. You don't have to recast, you just can sustain this. Or you have to recast?

LIAM: No, I need to go again. I just didn't have to spend a spell slot the last time, but this time I do and I will.

LAURA: Okay, same.

MATT: So you both land.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: And you cast again.

TRAVIS: Quietly.

MATT: All right. Emerging (whooshing), you head back up through the canopy where you landed originally into the sky and traveling that direction again, growing closer and closer. Full speed or stealth?

LAURA: Did we see firelight?

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

LAURA: Am I doing it advantage, is anybody helping? What's going on?

TRAVIS: I'll help you.

MARISHA: Fjord'll help you.


SAM: Pick better dice.

MATT: Shouting loudly to the owl across the way.

MARISHA: It was like about to. 16, no, 17. Thank you.

MATT: 17, okay.

TALIESIN: They're on the same thing.

MATT: Yeah. Continuing on, you don't really notice any sort of firelight. Even the scry, it was low, so you unfortunately aren't able to make out any details as you're looking down, continuing forward. Coasting above, the wind blowing past your stealthy owl feathers, the rest of you glancing down below as well. There are other birds and other large evening flying creatures that you can see are looking ahead and a few of them begin to turn and notice the size of you and the clustering of the two large flying creatures and seem to veer off.

MARISHA: Other large flying creatures? Do I get any sense of what these other large flying creatures could be?

MATT: Too far away to make out any specific details. But you can see in the distance other like things that fly, other hunters, other nocturnal predators.

TALIESIN: Somewhere your arch-nemesis.

MARISHA: Fucking dick.

LIAM: As an eagle, I'm going to start looking for any abnormal tree, anything larger than the rest, anything that stands out as we fly forward.

MATT: Continuing.

LAURA: I had pointed out the spires when we landed.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: So we can all--

MATT: Okay. For the next hour of travel at full speed, you're not going to be able to get to it, you're still going to be a ways off from there, but it's getting closer and now that she's pointed it out to you and you guys continue onward, you do begin to make out that element of that transition in the canopy ahead. You travel for the next hour or so. That's cocked. Again. How did I do that three times in a row? That's ridiculous, all right. You continue onward towards the end of the second hour as your Polymorph begins to threaten gradually (sputtering). (laughter) Begins to... Oh, god.

TRAVIS: (high-pitched) Ah! Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo!

MATT: You begin to descend once more, looking for a gap in the canopy around where you can safely land.

LAURA: Keeping an eye out for, you know, Laughing Hands or--

TRAVIS: Campfires, campfires.

LAURA: Campfires, anything scary.

MATT: Make one more perception check, I'll allow it.

TRAVIS: You want me to roll with you?

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: Okay. Natural 20.

MARISHA: What the fuck?

MATT: Are you serious?

LIAM: Why can't you roll like that, Marisha Ray?!

MARISHA: I don't know!

LAURA: 19 for me.


MATT: Okay. That was a total?

TRAVIS: The total, 22 is the total.

MATT: Okay, great, so as you're coming down into the canopy and looking down, you're probably about, you'd gather on foot, another hour, hour and a half of travel before you reach the edge of this grove. And just as you're coming down to the canopy, Fjord, you look down and see a faint little glow.

TRAVIS: Under us?

MATT: Under you.

TRAVIS: Fly up, keep going.

LAURA: I go up as much--

MATT: You have about a minute before it casts.

LAURA: I'm going to fly up and try to get away from the thing.

MATT: Okay, as you pull up and pull up a bit, you look and the canopy is too dense here. Make a perception check to see if you can find a place safe to land where the canopy isn't completely cluttered here. You have now about--

LAURA: Oh, that was so cocked.

MATT: That was so cocked.

SAM: Ultra-cocked.

LIAM: Ultra-cocked.

SAM: Oh boy, it doesn't look good. I can't really tell what it is.

LAURA: That's a natural one, y'all.


MATT: It is just dense, clustered trees and branches. There is nowhere to land. Other than the place you just were, you can't find a place. You can try and just dive into it and take it or you can try and push on.

SAM: Caduceus, this is so fun, isn't it?

TALIESIN: Oh, we're having a good time.

TRAVIS: Put distance between us and that thing.

LAURA: I'm going to just try to get as far away from that as I can and get low on top of the canopies and just hope that we can grab onto something.

LIAM: The eagle just has improv wings, just whoop.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: You technically will know precisely the second that it's about to go because you have perfect sense of time.

LIAM: That's absolutely right.

LAURA: I just have the gas light on and I'm like (moaning).


MATT: That's exactly what it feels like and you're not quite sure.

LIAM: But actually, I'm the eagle. I'm not Caleb, so that's iffy whether--


LIAM: Yeah, I mean, a moth chews on drapes, so.

MATT: Giant eagles are not--

LIAM: But does it have the Keen Mind feat that Caleb does?

MATT: I'll say--

TRAVIS: To know when it would end.

MATT: Well as casters, you know when it's going to end. It isn't like you wonder.

LAURA: Oh, I can feel it.

MATT: But it's like, you're in the last 30 seconds.

LAURA and LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You're like, "Do I try and land safely or safer now or just continue to push on until it runs out?" What are you doing?

TALIESIN: That's four rounds. You're going to go far in four rounds, I'm just saying.

LAURA: I'm going to push on until the last six seconds, then I'm going to try to find a landing.

LIAM: Yeah, Caleb actually eggs her on with his eyes as an eagle.

MARISHA: Put on my goggles. Hunker down.

MATT: You can see now.

MARISHA: Here we go!

MATT: Both birds are going into a dive and coasting right over the top. As you guys are holding on, you can feel, yeah, bridges. (smacking) Like higher boughs are starting to scrape the bottoms of your feet and whip past you.

TRAVIS: Fuck, fuck, fuck.

MATT: You did roll a one, unfortunately, and you cannot find any place that looks safe to land. You're either going to have to push into one of the canopies or you're just going to lose control as you're all moving at maximum speed flying.

LAURA: I'm going to wait for the last 10 seconds, then push down at the canopy.

MATT: And then just jump out of the airplane at the last minute and you'll be fine?

LAURA: Just like push out of--

LIAM: To slow your velocity.

LAURA: Yeah, I'm going to start to slow in the last 10 seconds. But yeah, I'm going to try to push it right to the edge.

MATT: Okay. All right, and right as you do, you get to the very, very edge.

TRAVIS: Kill power.

MATT: You slope it and--

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: Both of you lose your forms.

LIAM: Caleb reaches into his coat and pulls out a piece of feathery down and casts Feather Fall on everybody except Fjord.

MARISHA: No, no, no, get Fjord, get Fjord.

MATT: No, too late.

LIAM: Too late. Everybody but Fjord, there's only so many people I can get.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's fine.

LIAM: He's beefy cake now.

SAM: I'll cast Feather Fall on him.


MATT: Okay. So, you all poof, appear and it takes six seconds to cast a spell.

SAM: Oh shit.

MATT: It's a reaction though, right? Feather Fall's a reaction, so no, it is a lot quicker.

LAURA: Thank god.

TALIESIN: Expelliarmus.

MATT: That's right.


MATT: As you guys are toppling even at a slower speed, in order to try and slow down at the speed you were careening at, you're still moving at a pretty decent pace before all of a sudden, you all begin to tumble in the air. Two Feather Falls release and you all begin to gently hit boughs and branches, you don't take any damage.

MARISHA: Swipe it away.

TRAVIS: If we can see each other, I'm holding up this and going to be like...

MATT: You guys are hitting like (swooshing), like moving through the trees and plummeting down. You're not taking damage, which is the good news.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: But you're like--

LAURA: We're trying to stealthily fall.

MATT: Yeah, like you know when parachuters come into trees?


MATT: Like it doesn't kill them instantly. They don't all of a sudden come out of it horribly thrashed unless they did a really bad, but it's not fun and it's not quiet.

LIAM: We look super stupid.

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Are we falling at 15 miles an hour like parachuters?

LAURA: The usual.

SAM: It's 60 feet a second or something like that. No, no, 60 feet a round, 60 feet a round. So it's 10 feet a second.

TALIESIN: 10 feet a second.

LIAM: 60 feet per round.

MATT: Yeah, it's landing a parachute. So you guys are (swooshing) through the boughs and the branches. I need everyone to go ahead and make an acrobatics check for me, please.

LIAM: Oh god. That dice is gone.

MARISHA: Fucking piece of shit.

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: Are we exhausted yet?

TALIESIN: You don't know.



TALIESIN: I could have given myself--

LAURA: I did, I gave it to myself.


MATT: Fucking Guidance.

LIAM: 19.

MATT: 19.

SAM: 15.

LAURA: 14.


LIAM: Highest.

MATT: Okay. None of you take a heavy branch to the chest.


MATT: You pop, pop, pop, pop, getting hit around and eventually coast to the point where you break through the bottom part of the canopy before coming to a rest on your feet. It's still a hard landing, like an oof. You still impact, you have to tumble a bit and then catch yourselves skidding to a halt. A couple of you bump into a tree hard with a shoulder. It's probably going to bruise, but not enough to actually physically damage yourself. But you all come to stop scattered a bit amongst the base of the forest.

TRAVIS: Can I spin on my heel and turn in the direction that I saw the campfire and just look?

LAURA: Yeah, listen.

TRAVIS: Can I see?

TALIESIN: Listening for laughter.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and make perception checks, the two of you.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Pass Without a Trace on everyone right now.

SAM: Yes, thank you.

TRAVIS: Natural 19.


MATT: 21. You listen carefully and look out there. Nothing.

TRAVIS: (whispering) I saw them, I saw the campfire.

MATT: You listen as they're all laying. (plodding)

LAURA: Getting louder?

MATT: (louder plodding)

TALIESIN: Run, run, run, run.

LAURA: Fucking stealthy.

MATT: Are you guys going stealthily or are you moving quickly?

ALL: Stealthy.

MATT: Okay, so it's slower speed, that's pretty slow speed. Everyone go ahead and make a standard stealth check.

LAURA: Plus 10, you guys.

TRAVIS: (repeatedly) Did they hear us?

MARISHA: He had to have heard us, right?

LIAM: Roll.

LAURA: Maybe. Blessing of the Trickster. Blessing of the Trickster. So you get advantage on your stealth roll.

TALIESIN: On my stealth, okay.


LIAM: You dick.

TALIESIN: Plus 10.

LIAM: What's your problem?

LAURA: Guide me.

TRAVIS: You better get your ass in gear.

MARISHA: I rolled a three, but plus nine for my stealth.

MATT: We got to get you new dice.

MARISHA: For my stealth which is 12 plus 10, so 22.

SAM: Oh yeah, that's actually not terrible.

MATT: For a three to a, jeez.

MARISHA: But I haven't rolled above a six pretty much all game.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: I rolled a 17 on that perception check that was not for me. It was not my perception check. Keep going.

LIAM: Well I rolled an 18, so 30.

SAM: 41.

LAURA: 35.


MATT: All right.

LIAM: Yeah, 40s.

MATT: So you guys are carefully, quietly moving through in the direction of where the forest was. (low cackling) (thumping)

LAURA: Oh god, should we take him?


MATT: (thudding) (crackling) You hear branches break and shatter. You hear (crackling) a nearby smaller tree topples over amongst others. The heavy sound cracking as you hear (cackling). Shifting laughs that fade.

MARISHA: Just cover your ears, cover your ears.

LAURA: Everybody covers their ears.

MATT: Then silence. (low cackling) Are you guys stopping or are you continuing to move?

SAM: We got to keep going.

LAURA: We're being quiet.

SAM: Keep going.

MARISHA: Should we just wait and hide?

SAM: Just wait.

LAURA: We're going to wait.

MARISHA: We're hiding.

MATT: You're hiding?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right. (crackling) You see wandering about 15 feet off through the forest the hulking shape of the Laughing Hand. Slashes through this large cluster of tangled net-like vines that just all of a sudden flap onto the ground. (thudding) And with each step, you hear like four of five weird, swirling laughs, (cackling).

TRAVIS: Can I in this moment of quick breath, can I use Divine Sense to keep tabs on him, it, that thing?

MARISHA: Oh my god, yes. Put that tracking beacon--

MATT: Divine Sense is, what's the range on that?

TRAVIS: 60 feet. Celestial, fiend, undead within 60 feet.

MATT: All right, yeah, you immediately blip as you focus. For the first time since you were given this blessing from the Wildmother, you close your eyes and you feel this searing, burning sensation to the immediate right of where the Laughing Hand is and a second one about 50 feet behind you.

SAM: What is that?

MARISHA: Is that Obann?

TRAVIS: Shh. There's something behind us about 50 feet.

MATT: (loud thudding) (low growling) You see the Laughing Hand turn around and look back from where it came from. (thudding) And begins marching in the direction you guys were traveling and in the direction of where you are, you can see following in the path of the Laughing Hand, Obann and Yasha also now continuing their trek.

SAM: Wait, are they heading back to their camp or--


TRAVIS: Where we're headed.

SAM: We're walking with them now?

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: This is the worst thing that could've happened.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.


MARISHA: You know when you say goodbye to someone too soon?

LAURA: Oh god, I'm really warm.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

TRAVIS: But if we've started running, Obann was in the direction we were heading, right?

MATT: Obann was behind you guys. The Laughing Hand was a little bit ahead, he was now marching that direction and it looks like Yasha and Obann were slowly catching up from behind.

LAURA: So we see them now, we see Obann and Yasha now, passing us?

MATT: You guys don't see them. You've noticed and glance over your shoulder and see about 50 feet behind. (laughter)

TRAVIS: We should give a berth, like a wide berth, but we need to mirror them to this thing. We need to watch and see what's happening.

SAM: With them?

LAURA: Grab the skull off of Obann as he walks by.

SAM: Maybe we should go to plan two.

MARISHA: Yeah, I think we should go to plan two. He's here--

SAM: We're not going to get there before them.

MARISHA: Fuck no.

SAM: So we got to go to plan two.

MARISHA: Yeah, we just pace alongside of them for a bit. Knock into the plan and then we could just like, like Tie Fighters just--

SAM: They are awake and walking now, this isn't like sneaking up on someone who's asleep.

MARISHA: It's like a moving train mission, like jump on it and go.

TRAVIS: Can demons see things that are invisible? Anybody know? Anybody know, do you know? You read books.

LIAM: Have I read anything in a book on demons?

MATT: You could make a religion check, if you'd like.

MARISHA: Can I do that, too?

MATT: Sure.

TRAVIS: Fuck, what did you roll?

LIAM: 11, super low.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Bullshit for me, too. 17, but--

LIAM: That's a big ask.

MATT: That's great.


MATT: In your studies with different celestial and-or fiendish entities that have a modicum of power and station over lesser versions of themselves, some of them can and often do see things that have been cloaked for the sense of personal preservation. Both in devilish and demonic circles, lesser entities are always looking to undercut each other. To rise up in station, especially when in comes to devils as well. So some do. Not all of them do.

LIAM: Super concrete info.


MARISHA: It's a fucking coin toss.

SAM: I mean--

MATT: Obann (swooshing). He flies up and lands up in a tree and looks around.

MARISHA: Ooh, shit.

MATT: Looks up at where all the branches have broken.

SAM: Oh, shit.

MATT: Follows the eyeline of where they broke and the impacts in the dirt where you guys were.

LAURA: Start casting your Teleportation Circle!


LIAM: I don't think so.

LAURA: Do it and then just run up and grab the skull and run away.

TRAVIS: We don't have 10 minutes.

MATT: "Orphan Maker," and he points in the direction of where you guys are.

LAURA: Where we are.

MATT: Of where you guys landed. You guys have probably moved and hid off to the side, but you can see now they're piecing together--

MARISHA: What did he say, what, what did he say?

TRAVIS: If he sends Orphan Maker, you go.

SAM: He's just said Orphan Maker.

TRAVIS: Yeah, if he sends Orphan Maker, then he's by himself.

LAURA: Yeah, but he's in the air.

SAM: He's on a tree, but--

TRAVIS: You can't climb a fucking tree?

SAM: Sure, I can climb a fucking tree.

LAURA: What, what, what?

SAM: Invisible climbing and stealing, sure.


MARISHA: Do it, do it, do it.

TALIESIN: This is such a bad idea.

LAURA: I cannot believe you just suggested this.

SAM: I'll go invisi-- I'll go--

TRAVIS: I didn't want to do this, I wanted to play it safe. But guess what, we're here now.

SAM: How far away he?

LAURA: You've still got Pass Without a Trace.

SAM: Will that last even if I walk away?


SAM: Great.

LAURA: If you're within like 30 feet, 60 feet, 30 feet.

SAM: I'm not going to be that close. How far is his tree from us?

MATT: His tree, he's probably about 45 feet up in the tree, about 40 feet up the tree.

SAM: How far is the base of the tree from where we are?

MATT: The base of the tree, from where you guys are right now, I'd say about 60 feet.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: That's where the Laughing Hand is? You're trying to go after the Laughing Hand, right?

LAURA: No, he's trying to go after Obann in the top of a tree.

MARISHA: Wait, why, why is Obann?

SAM: To get the heart and skull--

LAURA: Obann has the skull. Not Laughing Hand. Obann's got the skull.

MARISHA: Oh, it's Obann. I thought it was on Laughing Hand.

MATT: You can still hear the Laughing Hand is ahead of you guys and is like just circling, looking around and waiting for the others to catch up.

LIAM: I have a quick spatial question.

MATT: Yes?

LIAM: How far away is the Laughing Hand? Obann is like 60 feet away.

MATT: Let's pull up a map.


TRAVIS: (continues screaming)

SAM: Dwarven Forge. Oh fuck. This combat, is it combat? God, I hope not, is powered by Dwarven Forge. I hope they do not power this combat. Check out the latest and greatest--

MATT: Three pieces of Dwarven Forge on there.

SAM: Check out the latest and greatest at

TALIESIN: I am not okay with this.

LIAM: This is such a terrible idea, but Marisha and I have been whispering all night about how--

LAURA: Not with my spells that I don't have.

LIAM and MARISHA: Being horny for combat.

MARISHA: Yeah, we've had a dry spell.

SAM: These trees are amazing.

MATT: So, you guys.

MARISHA: Give it to me.

MATT: We'll say for the purposes of this--

SAM: How did you know we would land here?

MATT: Well no, I have a series of things I can adjust based on where it happens.

TRAVIS: He has so many things back around--

MATT: I have a bunch of maps based on what happened tonight that can be repurposed depending on where it happened.

LIAM: Improvisation.

MATT: You guys, we'll say have all found your ways to hide in this vicinity. You can tell me where specifically you would have gone to hide if you want to.

TRAVIS: It depends on where they are.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: Also, where did we land? Where's our impact craters? Okay.

TRAVIS: And they came from this direction?

LAURA: This is, really, there's only these trees?

MATT: Obann is up in here.

LAURA: Oh god. Where's Yasha?

MATT: The Laughing Hand is a ways--


MATT: In this space somewhere.

LAURA: Oh god, I'm going to cry.

MARISHA: So ahead of us, ahead of us.

LIAM: He's so big.


MATT: And Yasha's over here.

LAURA: Poor Yasha.

LIAM: Anime yell, "Yasha!"

MATT: So what are you guys doing?

LAURA: Crying. I'm literally crying crouching down.

MARISHA: All right, Nott.

TRAVIS: Is that all the cover there is?

MARISHA: I think this can fucking work. You go after Obann.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: All of this is forest, though.

SAM: You distract, you fight.

MARISHA: 100%. And as soon, try it because we don't want to have to move, right? As soon as you snap, he's probably going to feel that you took the shit, right? Scream fucking bloody murder and then we go--


MARISHA: Then you have to just run and then we have to run. Let's try and find a rendezvous point and get the fuck out.



LAURA: That is a terrible plan.


LAURA: That's a terrible plan!

SAM: Ride or die.

MARISHA: Ride or die, man.

LAURA: What if Caleb just--

TRAVIS: The latter part seems like a fairly obvious outcome at this point.

MARISHA: Well, he's got to just get the skull.

SAM: I'm going invisible, and I'm going to start rocking around the back.

MATT: Yasha gets on a knee and starts inspecting the impact. Looking up while Obann is glancing and looking down. What are you doing?

SAM: Invisible, and I'm going to start clocking around counter-clockwise.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll a stealth check.

SAM: I'm still within your--

LAURA: I can't guide you. You're too far away.

SAM: I'm still within your--

LAURA: Pass Without a Trace.

SAM: -- range but I'm going to--

MATT: You will be leaving it, so you do not get the benefit as you continue to stealth, so just roll.

SAM: Natural 20.

LIAM: Not at all.

MARISHA: Goin' with it, goin' with it.

LIAM: Yaas, queen.

MARISHA: You have to seize the opportunities presented to you, Tarv.

MATT: Behind Yasha in this direction.

LAURA: Travis is the one that told Nott to go up there in the first place.

MATT: You're going behind the tree?

SAM: Yeah, I don't know how much movement I can use on this while still being stealthy, so.

MATT: It's slow going. It's the--

SAM: Sure.

MATT: Careful footing.

SAM: I'll still keep creeping on the bonus action.

MATT: Creeping up.

LIAM: Hobbit walking.

MATT: Yasha turns around and looks up towards Obann and says, "It looks like they went this way." Points in the direction where a lot of you ran to hide.

LIAM: Oh boy.

SAM: Oh man.

MARISHA: Just let it happen.

SAM: Just like in "Sound of Music" when Rolf discovers the von Trapps. Maybe it's Rolf! Maybe she's let us go.

MARISHA: Just let him keep doing it, let him keep doing it. Hopefully she's Rolf. You keep going on, you keep sticking.

MATT: Begins to run this direction, like a jog in the direction of where the Laughing Hand is essentially and heading that way. You're going to try and climb the tree?

SAM: Not just try to climb the tree, oh wait. Spider Climb's a spell. I'm going to try to climb the tree.

MATT: Spider Climb will break your concentration.

SAM: Yes, I will climb the tree stealthily.

MATT: Make an athletics check or acrobatics with disadvantage, I'll say, because you're going to do this stealthily and carefully. Athletics could be a careful climb, acrobatics is going to have a lot of leaping from place to place and it would be really hard to stealth through that.

SAM: I'll do athletics. Terrible. Nine.

MATT: You get about 10 feet up on the tree.

MARISHA: Fuck, fuck.

MATT: And there's no handhold. And you're just like--


MATT: I don't know where to go.

SAM: I'm 10 feet up the tree. How many more feet 'til I get to Obannwan Kenobann?

MATT: 30 feet.

SAM: 30 feet?

MATT: Yeah. Yeah.

SAM: That five feet makes a difference.

MATT: 30 feet.

SAM: Okay, and can I see that thing hanging off his belt?

MATT: From this current perspective, make a perception check with disadvantage because he's up in the tree, you just know he's there. You don't have a good-- SAM: Terrible. Two threes.

MATT: Yeah, you have no visual range whatsoever on, all you know is he's up there and you can hear his conversations with Yasha, but from this perspective on the side of the tree, you can't even see him.

MARISHA: Yeah, because you could do a little Mage Hand if you just see it, right?

TRAVIS: ♪ Mage Hand. ♪

SAM: I'm going to just sit and wait for a couple seconds and see if there's any other changes in the scenario.

MATT: Yep. He, yeah, I was rolling to see when he began to notice anything else and so when Yasha's moving forward and with you taking your sweet time down there to try and figure this out, a little too long and he begins to dart (swooshing) and land on the ground next to Yasha and they both continue their walk forward, but you can see now there's paranoia in his eyes and starting to see the tracks in the ground and he's like looking around and right now where Fjord and Caduceus are hiding, they're like 10 feet away from you just walking by.

TALIESIN: If they're walking by, I'm going to turn invisible.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: The second that I even feel like they can see anywhere where I am, I'm going to turn invisible.

MATT: Okay, so you vanish for one round.


MATT: While hiding.

SAM: I will slowly start to climb down that tree and follow Obann.

MATT: Okay. You are moving stealthily.

SAM: Stealthily. But with Dash or whatever.

MATT: Okay, yeah, bonus action. So you're moving normal speed.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Because you move half speed going stealthily, but then the Dash, okay. Well, they're also dashing because they're not trying to be stealthy.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: They're trying to go for time.

SAM: Sure, sure.

MATT: So you are not keeping pace with them. They're moving away from you.

SAM: That's fine.

LAURA: They are moving away from us, though?

MATT: They've looked around, in your radius, you rolled some pretty decent stealth checks so even as they're looking around, they don't make out your location and they move from search to now try and find out whatever these creatures are that they're assuming are ahead of them and they go into a fast jog in the direction of the Laughing Hand.

TRAVIS: That's okay.

MATT: And move on.

TRAVIS: That's okay.

LIAM: Whoa.


MATT: You.

TRAVIS: We know where they are, they don't know where we are. That's an advantage.

SAM: I'm going to creepily be right next to Fjord without him knowing. And just be like: Hey Fjord!


SAM: Should I keep going?

TRAVIS: No, stay with us, stay close.

SAM: But I can keep after them and see their movements.

TRAVIS: No, it's better when they split up together. It's more dangerous to stay close.

TALIESIN: And they know, they know now, there's no surprise.

TRAVIS: We need to--

SAM: I had them, I had them.

MARISHA: So close.

TRAVIS: Being so stealthy, can we wait until they are, let's call it 50 to 60 feet before we try to whisper?

MATT: Yeah.


MATT: And you do hear at the edge of visual range as you're waiting, you hear Obann giving orders, like "Hand, keep your nose to the air. They can't be too far, whoever they are." And then they continue forward in the direction of the grove.

LAURA: Fuck.

TRAVIS: That could have gone way worse.

SAM: But I was feet away from doing it.

TRAVIS: It's weird trying to talk to you when I don't know where you are. We should try and follow them. They're moving at a quicker pace, we should match pace.

LAURA: And then what?

MARISHA: I agree, and then what? The longer that we try and follow them, the more likely the chances are that we're going to fucking fail and they're going to notice us and I'm fine with that. But I just think we should have a plan.

LIAM: Well, we are either starting a fight with them before they reach their destination or waiting for them to complete their plans, which might turn them from three to four.

SAM: All right, we can't get there before them. We can't fly there, we can't rest. The only option we have is to go at pace with them and when we're com--

MARISHA: And wait for a moment.

SAM: Not wait for a moment, create a moment. We need to send two of us in front or three of us in front of them and three behind to make some sort of a distraction. When they turn around to face the ones behind them, the ones who have flanked in front can go and strike or do whatever.

LAURA: Just run up and grab the skull.

TALIESIN: Assuming that he's not going to just fly immediately.

TRAVIS: Remember the tree has defenses. The corpse, its advice was to not go. If the tree has a natural defense, something that would weaken them first, that could serve as a little bit of a buffer for us.

TALIESIN: The way that they fought us.

LIAM: Question for you, Jester.


LIAM: Right now, I could send Obann back to his home. Are you able to do that as well right now?

LAURA: No, I don't have anything that powerful anymore. I used up all my powerful stuff with being an owl.

TRAVIS: Can you send Yasha back to her home?

LIAM: No, Yasha is of this world, but Obann is not. If I am lucky, I could take Obann off of the playing field.

LAURA: He could resist it, but--

MARISHA: Yeah, what if he succeeds?

LIAM: Well, then--

MARISHA: Don't you have to be close to him for something like that?

LIAM: I need to be about 50 or 60 feet away from him.

MARISHA: So, I actually don't hate this plan, though.

SAM: Thank you.

MARISHA: Because who can make an image as well?

LAURA: I can Invoke Duplicity.

TRAVIS: I can make a Major Image.

SAM: I can make a Silent Image.

MARISHA: He knows who we are and he's going to be looking for us. If you're invisible, but if Caleb makes an image of you being there, he might not suspect that any of us are missing. Unless he can see through all the invisibility or the image or any of that stuff. But we don't really know that.

SAM: Ideally, when the back team makes some sort of a distraction and they spin to find out what it is, that's when we strike.

MARISHA: So what I'm saying is we line up, we give them that Avengers lineup with Nott included but it's an illusion Nott and invisible Nott is sneaking up and while he's doing his bad guy monologue-- because bad guys love monologuing-- and we're like, "Yo, we're going to fight you, your road ends here with us." You're doing that, but there's an illusion Nott the whole time but the real Nott is sneaking up and stealing his shit.

SAM: I just realized how confusing my name is in all of these conversations.

TRAVIS: That was a great pick, great pick for a name. Okay, let's assume that that terrible idea works, how do we get Nott and the rest of us out of here immediately? One minute for the thing that Caleb does.

LIAM: No, longer.

TRAVIS: Longer.

LIAM: 10.

TRAVIS: Right.

MATT: No, it's a minute.

LIAM: If I had it prepared, I don't have it prepared.

LAURA: I thought you had it, I thought that was the point. No, we're talking about the Teleport Circle.

LIAM: Teleport, not the hut? That's one minute then, yeah.

SAM: If we or I were able to swipe the skull-- skull?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Then I would assume they would send some folks after me. So all I have to do is run around for 59 seconds until you guys can get ready.

TALIESIN: Dodge three people, one of which can fly.

SAM: Yeah, but I'm super fast, have you seen me?

LAURA: Have you seen them?

SAM: I'm invisible sometimes, too.

MARISHA: But invisible Nott would be stealing the shit, right?

LAURA: Oh my god, we're going to die.

MARISHA: And maybe illusion Nott could be the one tricksy-ing.

TALIESIN: This is assuming they can't see right through all of this.

LIAM: I could also make just you fly.

TALIESIN: Would you be able to fly faster than Obann?

MATT: Their movement and footfalls, by the way, are gone. They moved on ahead.

TRAVIS: All right, we're going to keep following. At about 80 feet behind.

TALIESIN: Maybe something's going to present itself.

TRAVIS: 80 to 100 feet, visible range.

MATT: To keep pace behind them, you're going to have to be at the same jog pace they are. Which means stealth checks would be disadvantage.

MARISHA: I'm afraid when the moment presents itself, it might be an emergency and we won't have the jump on them. That's all I'm presenting right now is if the moment--

LIAM: As we run.

MARISHA: If something happens as we're trying to keep pace with them and just, it's going to take one of us to snap a stick and for that fucker to turn around and look at us.

LAURA: What if we keep pace and then how far away can you make your Major Image?

TRAVIS: 120 feet.

LAURA: What if we keep pace behind them and then you throw it out, we all drop stealthily, you throw out the image in front of them and then Nott, you run up from behind.

SAM: And grab it!

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: And then come back.

LAURA: No flanking involved. We use the Image to flank and then we just--

SAM: Run.

MARISHA: We can do that.

SAM: And you need a minute in one stationary place. No, you need 10 seconds?

LIAM: A minute.

SAM: In a stationary place.

TRAVIS: In theory, if we're stationary, we should get to the outside of this tree, I would assume they're going to get to the outside of it and assess it, right?

MARISHA: We're not going to beat them to that.

TRAVIS: No, I know.

LAURA: But you can make the Image come out of the tree or something.

TRAVIS: That's what I mean, if they get to the tree and they stop and assess it, he takes a minute to prepare, we wait, we conjure, we fucking go for it.

MARISHA: But what I'm saying is we could still be hours from the tree and the longer that we pace them, the longer that we're tracking them, the more opportunities with each footfall--

TRAVIS: At 100 feet.

MARISHA: We have to alerting them.

MATT: Distance-wise because you have gotten close enough to see, you're probably about an hour travel from the edge of the grove.

MARISHA: Do we think we can stalk behind them for an hour without making our presence known?

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: At 100 feet?

SAM: I think that five of us can be 300 feet behind and only one of us needs to be within 100 feet making sure that they're--

TRAVIS: How long does Pass Without-- it's 10 minutes, right?

LAURA: 10 minutes. And I can't keep doing it.

TRAVIS: No, I know, I know. Because we fucking came out here.

TALIESIN: We're almost empty and will have no spells.

TRAVIS: (high-pitched, nervous, closed-mouth scream)

MARISHA: I think we have element of surprise sooner rather than later. But that's just me.

TRAVIS: Do you want to do it now? MARISHA: I think we do it sooner. I don't know.

LIAM: Take them before they get there.

SAM: Let's do it. Ride or die.

LAURA: The minute you throw out Major Image, Caleb starts casting, you prep it--

MARISHA: We try and distract them--

LAURA: Nott goes in.

MARISHA: For as long as we can, Nott goes in.

TALIESIN: 10 rounds is a long time to distract.

MARISHA: 10 rounds is an insanely long time but hopefully the Major Image can do most of the heavy lifting, right?

TALIESIN: Assuming they don't just, instead of talking, immediately charge.

MARISHA: Turn around.

TALIESIN: Turn around and charge.

MARISHA: And look at us.

TALIESIN: And murder us.

SAM: Is there any other way that we can get away from them quickly?

TALIESIN: They're faster than us.

MARISHA: I miss being the druid.

SAM: What are you talking about?


LIAM: Are you about to turn into an owl again or that's done?

LAURA: I'm done, I literally have jack a-shit. I have the ability to revive you guys if you die.

TALIESIN: If one of you.

LAURA: One person.

MARISHA: I can run real fast. That's all I got.

TALIESIN: That's assuming that the laughter doesn't take you.

LAURA: Plus, I could potentially try to, you know, Command them to halt.

LIAM: We could improvise, yeah.

MATT: You've been moving to try and keep pace with them while you've been having this conversation, right?

SAM: Yeah, so we probably should roll for stealth.

LIAM: So we should roll at disadvantage for stealth?

MATT: You're not keeping pace if you're moving stealthily.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: Either you move stealthily and the gap continues because they're not moving stealthily or you keep pace and then roll stealth at disadvantage.

SAM: We're keeping pace.

TALIESIN: We're keeping pace, but far enough back that we would have to be real dumb for them to hear us.

MATT: Where are you keeping pace, then? What is the distance you want to keep?

TALIESIN: Like 300 feet.

LAURA: 100.

TRAVIS: 80. What, 300 feet?

LIAM: 200 feet back.

LAURA: I think 100.

TALIESIN: 100 feet's still within spellcasting.

LAURA: This is true.

MARISHA: 100 feet is still within earshot.

LAURA: Is it? 200 feet.

MARISHA: This studio is 100 feet. I can hear from the other side of the studio if someone does something.

TRAVIS: All right, 300 feet.

MATT: 300 feet, all right. You guys jog up to try and keep what you assume is about a 300-foot distance from them without visual range on them, just pushing in that direction. Everyone make stealth checks with disadvantage, please.

MARISHA: Disadvantage. That's cocked, right?

TRAVIS: 17. That is cocked.

MARISHA: RIP almost 20.

TALIESIN: We don't have Pass Without a Trace.

LAURA: Nope.

MARISHA: It's not cocked, right?


SAM: It's disadvantage, right?

LAURA: You rolled a one?

LIAM: I rolled a one with disadvantage.

MATT: But just a straight roll for you because you have an advantage on your stealth checks.

MARISHA: Do we still have Pass Without a Trace?

LAURA: Only for 10 minutes. It's going to be gone, probably.


MATT: Okay.

SAM: Natural 20.

LAURA: Well that's good, that balances Caleb.

LIAM: Cancel each other out.

SAM: Maybe. I don't know about that.


MARISHA: Oh, you don't get disadvantage, right.

MATT: You guys push on for about 15 or 20 minutes or so to where you just catch up within probably about 200 feet of them to where you can begin to hear their movement and their shifting and their jogging, snapping of twigs and moving over of brush and the slashing of bits of heavy foliage that get in the way and at that point you hear all the footfalls stop for a second and you guys stop and you can just barely make out through the little bit of moonlight that's coming through the trees Obann, hand up like this, goes, "I heard something."


LAURA: (whispering) Do it!

MATT: "Hand, hunt them. We're going." And him and Yasha continue to move on in the direction while the Hand turns around.

MARISHA: Fucking forgot about the Hand! We don't want to fuck with the Hand.

MATT: And now turns around and glances around loosely in the direction you guys are.

SAM: Fuck, we got to get past the Hand now.

MARISHA: Now we got to get past the Hand.

MATT: And he's moving.

SAM: Fluffernutter!

MATT: Zig zag through the brush.

TRAVIS: I could give him a demon to play with.

LIAM: He's separated, though.

SAM: You could.

MARISHA: And then we keep going?


MARISHA: Yeah, do it.

MATT: You see the tree now nearby, it takes the blade and like--

TRAVIS: I'll reach my hand out and I'll summon the Star Razor sword and I'll reach up and point and my eyes roll back and I'll say: Barlgura! And I'll Summon a Greater Demon.

MATT: Okay. As your eyes roll back and the energy flows into your eyes-- First off, just a reminder, you need to look at the components of the spell.

SAM: Ooh boy, what does that mean?

LIAM: What a great way to introduce this.

TRAVIS: Visual, yes.

MATT: Previously, so we're looking it up afterward. One of the challenges of summoning demons, you have to look at the components of the spell.

MARISHA: Under spellcasting.

TRAVIS: Have I ever had to look at the components of the spell?

SAM: You're starting now.

LIAM: You were supposed to, you just didn't, so now--

TALIESIN: Now you got to.

LIAM: Now, you're on the clock.

MATT: Summon Greater Demon requires, yep, requires a vial of blood from a humanoid killed within the past 24 hours.

MARISHA: Can you take my blood right now?

LAURA: If you were killed.

SAM: We were just by some dead humanoids.

LAURA: If he knew that he needed it, you could have gotten blood from a dead humanoid.

MARISHA: We did have one.

MATT: You did come across a freshly killed humanoid. Roll an intelligence check for me, Fjord.

SAM: See if you would've remembered.

MATT: I'm saying just from that standpoint, to have thought about that in advance.

LAURA: If Travis would have known that--


MATT: 22? Yes, I will allow it. I will say in the time that you'd come across these bodies, knowing the danger that you were facing and the components required for the spell, just as an optional precaution, you took a vial of semi-coagulated blood from the corpses that were left behind.

MARISHA: That's good.

MATT: Stealthily without the rest of your party knowing.

TRAVIS: I can look through all the rest of my spells and figure out what components they need?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: In the middle of this?!

MATT: Yeah.


MARISHA: I can help you.

TRAVIS: The sword was never an arcane focus or whatever?

MATT: Physical components--

LIAM: The ones that you can't get around.

MATT: Yeah, the ones that--

MARISHA: You can use a focus for some but if it's a big spell, then you have to have a thing.

LAURA: I use the Traveler's symbol for a focus on some of my--

TRAVIS: All of these things have fucking components.

TALIESIN: Components only if they're worth something.

MATT: No, this isn't worth something, actually this is a--

MARISHA: Because like you can have a component bag.

TALIESIN: Or something that wouldn't last.

MARISHA: Like you have a component bag.

TRAVIS: I do, too.

LIAM: Sure.

MARISHA: But then it's like special items.

TALIESIN: We're so fucked.

SAM: Next time we're in a town, we're just going to stock up on the weirdest shit. I need spider legs.

LIAM: Excuse me, I've made a point of getting weird shit since the beginning of this campaign.

TRAVIS: An undead eyeball encased in a gem worth 150 gold?

MATT: If it says that something--

LIAM: Hey, if it's got a coin value, for certain you have to have that shit.

TRAVIS: An undead eyeball encased in a gem? Worth 150?

LAURA: I mean, where would you find that?

MATT: Hold on.

TALIESIN: An undead eyeball store.

LAURA: Hold on, he's saying hold on.

MARISHA: We did a Handbooker Helper episode on this. One was about, you can have a focus for some things.

LIAM: If it doesn't have a cost.

MARISHA: But then it depends on the other, yeah.

SAM: ♪ Don't know how to play ♪

LAURA: ♪ We'll blow you away ♪

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: ♪ Eyeball, eyeball, eyeball ♪

MATT: Jeremy Crawford tweeted as a response, "To create the circle in the Summon Lesser or Greater Demon spell, you need the blood mentioned in the spell's description. A focus cannot substitute the material, the blood."

MARISHA: Wait, did Jeremy Crawford just tweet that?

MATT: No, this was November 27th, 2017, I searched it.


MATT: It does require the material component cost for that. But you have it because you rolled high enough intelligence and I'm saying that you had the precaution, you took the measure to do so in advance.

LIAM: D&D, live and learn.

MARISHA: We're going to break that down after this show because I'm confused and curious but we'll-- After the show.

MATT: Sure. It does state in the spell's description that it consumes the blood, but anyway, we'll go with that afterward. It's fine, you were able to use the spell in this instance. As you close your eyes, concentrating on the vengeance that you had subtly promised to these two that you found dead and slaughtered in the center of the Lotusden, you expend the vial of blood that you took from the corpses and in doing so (bubbling), this darkened circle appears. Whereas previously red energy summoned this demon forward, this has a dull, vibrant green, verdant color to it and as the circle swirls, as opposed to these jagged arcane runes, they're curved elvish and as the barlgura emerges, its skin is actually green and black and where you saw once these jagged elements here, it seems to have a fey quality to its appearance. It is not the demon that you had seen previously summoned by Fjord. As it lands, (thudding) you see the Laughing Hand glance over in the direction of Fjord originally. The big toothy grin curving across its face as it begins to lumber towards you to close the distance. The barlgura appears to its side. And it turns towards it. (growling)

LIAM: Round two.


MATT: It's going to turn on the barlgura.


LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: And it turns at it and immediately just goes in and starts hacking away. Let's go ahead and see how this combat plays out. What are you guys doing?

LAURA: Moving forward. SAM: Sneaking around. Sneaking around, sneaking around.

MATT: All right, so you're going stealthily?


MATT: That means you'll move with a dash, 60 feet in a turn for the base of you. So it'll take you about four or five rounds before you can even really catch up to where it is since you're about 200 to 300 feet back. Just a heads up. So the Laughing Hand is now going toe to toe with the barlgura.

TRAVIS: Should we run wide, should we run wide and fast? I mean, it's the Laughing Hand fighting a barlgura and we're going to be running away from where the melee is and swinging wide to try and catch up and run parallel.

MATT: Roll initiative for the barlgura.

LAURA: Okay.


MATT: 15, okay. Barlgura goes first.


SAM: Let's just run.

LAURA: Let's just run.

TALIESIN: Run wide.

MATT: Running wide?

LIAM: Running wide?

LAURA: We're trying to step lightly as we're running.

LIAM: No, we're running wide. It's one or the other, it's binary.

MATT: Okay, so you guys are going into a run now.

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: Continuing off to the side at an angle to not immediately follow in the path of Obann and Yasha. All right, so that can be-- dashing through this area, it's not the best terrain at a strong speed. So we'll say because it is heavily forested, it is difficult terrain, so you're at a half speed for a lot of this. So that balances out. It'll take you about three rounds to get past him. Nevertheless, barlgura goes first while you guys are running.

TRAVIS: The barlgura can innately cast the following spells requiring no material components. He will cast Invisibility on himself.

MATT: Okay. That's his action.

TRAVIS: That's his action.

MATT: Is he going to try and move away?

TRAVIS: He will loudly run in the opposite direction of where he sees the group running.

MATT: You got it. In his first couple footfalls, he goes in and takes a swing in the direction as he sees it vanish as it heads that direction and (growl-laugh) swing with its large, wide blade arm with disadvantage, because it is invisible. 18.

TRAVIS: (scatting) Hits.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Shit.

MATT: That is... 21 points of slashing damage.


MATT: And the barlgura needs to make a concentration check.

SAM: A-damn.

MATT: So roll a constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: Constitution saving throw.

SAM: This is our big first fight in four episodes and none of us are in it.


MATT: 18? Yeah, it maintains concentration.


MATT: Okay. It lumbers off, it's now the Laughing Hand's turn. What's the movement speed on the barlgura?

TRAVIS: 40 feet.

MATT: That's the speed of the Laughing Hand. He catches up to where he thinks it may be and is going to swing wide in the general vicinity of where it is. It's going to make... two melee attacks with the blade arm. With disadvantage, that is going to be a 14 to hit.

TRAVIS: Misses.

MATT: Misses. Goes wide. Now he's going to attempt to do a slam attack on it. With disadvantage. That is going to be a 20 to hit.

TRAVIS: That does hit.

MATT: Okay. So the barlgura now takes... 14 points of bludgeoning damage. And needs to make another constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: That is a 17.

MATT: 17. Okay, so it maintains concentration, it's still invisible. You guys move wide another full range of movement. Beau and... Nott are ahead of the group because of your speed that you're traveling unless you want to stay in pace with the rest of them.

SAM: Nope.

MATT: Okay. You guys are cruising off in that direction. Barlgura takes his turn.

TRAVIS: The barlgura will move 40 feet again away from the group, trying to draw the Laughing Hand as far away as possible and it will use this spell he can use once a day. He can do Invisibility twice a day, this one's once a day. He will use Phantasmal Force. SAM: Oh, yes.

TRAVIS: To-- I've never used this before. It's concentration, so he's going to lose invisibility, which is fine, but it's an intelligence saving throw for the Laughing Hand.

MATT: Okay, first make a wisdom saving throw for the barlgura now.

SAM: Oh, for the laughter.

MATT: Just while we're at it.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

MATT: Now the laughter's starting to burble out from in its body.


MATT: Yeah, that's fine.


MATT: All right. So continue with your spell.

TRAVIS: You've used Phantasmal Force, what do you make?

LIAM: Whatever you want.

SAM: You can make the Laughing Hand, if it's successful, you can make the Laughing Hand imagine any-- like see something and believe it is real. Whatever you want it to be.

LAURA: Like that he's on fire.

SAM: That he's on fire or that he sees the Mighty Nein or--

TRAVIS: Uh-huh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, he sees a big-ass laughing mouth that is zooming in on top of him and starting to bite with rows and rows of teeth.

MATT: So Phantasmal Force, you said?

TRAVIS: Phantasmal Force.

SAM: Intelligence save. Do you know what your spell save thing is for this bulgie guy?

TRAVIS: It is, it is, it's DC 13, 14.

LAURA: 14.

SAM: 14, but that's intelligence save.

LAURA: The Laughing Hand might be really dumb.

MATT: Double checking one thing right here for myself.

LAURA: And it would do psychic damage?

SAM: You craft an illusion that takes root in the mind of a creature you can see. It doesn't say anything about knowing language.

MATT: What level is it?

TRAVIS: 60 feet.

SAM: It's a level two illusion.

MATT: How did you get access to Phantasmal Force?

TRAVIS: It says once a day you can cast Entangle or Phantasmal Force.

MATT: Oh, you're not casting it, the barlgura is. Sorry. That's where I got confused, okay. So yeah, intelligence saving throw. 20.

SAM: Damn.

TRAVIS: Wow. That's a smart Hand.

MATT: And the barlgura is no longer invisible.

TRAVIS: That's right.

MATT: Because it lost its spell. It does get an attack opportunity against it as it runs past. With disadvantage long as it was invisible at the start of it, that is a 19.


MATT: So it does take... 14 points of slashing damage from the blade arm and the barlgura continues to run that direction. All right. The Laughing Hand, for its turn, as it slashes away, it looks down at the ground for a second and the laughter goes-- (cackling) Begins to echo and from the shadows--

TALIESIN: The second I start hearing that, were we within 120 feet still?

MATT: You were about, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to use my last action, since we're 120 feet, to cast a ball of Silence around the Laughing Hand.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: If that's okay.

MATT: Sure. It is stationary.


MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Just right where he's standing.

MATT: Right where he's standing, okay. So the laughter goes quiet, but from the shadows you see (swooshing) three shadowy hounds that you had previously seen it summon when you first fought it begin to emerge and begin to scatter in the direction of your troupe as you are running.

LAURA: I forgot about those guys, yep, yep, yep.

TALIESIN: Damn, I thought that might have stopped the spell.

MATT: It's not a spell. It's just a feature.

SAM: That's fine.

MATT: It's an ability, sorry.

TALIESIN: That's all right.

MATT: So the shadow hounds are now--

LIAM: Fog of war.

MATT: (clattering) Running in your direction. You can just barely see the movement through the darkness as they're darting between trees and you hear the (howling), (panting) getting louder and louder as you guys are running, arcing around the side and the hounds are trying to keep up and keep pace with you all.

MARISHA: They're coming after us?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: They know where we are? How do they even know where we are?

MATT: Because you guys are running.

LIAM: We're running, making sound.

MATT: You're not stealthy, you guys are full on sprinting at the edge around away for him.

LAURA: Okay sorry, I thought--

MATT: So you are very much-- you are very visible and very audible.

LIAM: How close are they?

MATT: At this point now, if you guys went on the edge, I'd say about-- and he went this way, about 100 feet from you.

LIAM: 100 feet.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: So just be aware that that's coming.

MARISHA: How many?

TRAVIS: Three.


MATT: Three. All right, so the Laughing Hand is going to go ahead--

LAURA: H-h-how many? (Marisha stuttering)

MATT: The barlgura's taking its turn.

TRAVIS: It is-- he will use his full 40 feet of movement to run and he will use his Running Leap, which is an additional 40 feet, so 80 feet total. Well, I guess if he runs and dashes and does his leap, is that just 80 or is it also 40, 40 and 40?

LIAM: Holy shit, what did you just say?

TRAVIS: He has a thing called Running Leap-- It says the barlgura's long jump is up to 40 feet when it has a running start. So it'd be 40 and then he could jump another 40 for 80 feet total movement or is that like--

MATT: I'll allow it, yeah. TRAVIS: Okay, so he'll do that and bang his chest (growling), "Come on."


MATT: Roll an intimidation check for the barlgura.

LIAM: Damn, buddy.

TRAVIS: Intimidation is what, charisma?

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Come on, I want to give you a big hug.

TRAVIS: Doesn't it have like awesome intimidation?

LAURA: (coos) Maybe try to grapple him instead, over.

MARISHA: I'm just going to grapple him.


MATT: 13? All right, so the barlgura runs 80 feet away, leaps and lands and turns and beats its chest. The hounds that have circled off to the side in the silence that encapsulated and stopped its laughter, the Laughing Hand looks at the barlgura, looks in the direction the hounds are going, smiles and goes and gives chase after the hounds.

TALIESIN: Damn it.

MATT: But you guys have-- so let's go. I'm going to get another map here.

SAM: Oh god.

LIAM: Shit. Oh shit, fog of war, motherfucker.

SAM: What can't be said about Dwarven Forge that hasn't already been said?

LIAM: It's dwarfy.

LIAM and SAM: It's forgy.

TRAVIS: He was low on hit points anyways.

SAM: You can check out more at

MATT: You run a distraction to you guys to the point where he's not between you and the path you're traveling.

LIAM: Oh shit.

MARISHA: It's almost dead?

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.


MATT: I'm going to move that book if you don't mind.

LIAM: Yeah, of course.

MATT: Thank you.

LIAM: Oh my gosh.


SAM: Oh my god.

MATT: You guys are all running on this end here.

SAM: Where is Yashy?

MATT: You're still invisible, right?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: So you'll be, you're ahead here probably. A little ways above. Beauregard, a little bit further ahead. So you guys have all caught up about there with, oh, it's not Yasha, sorry. That's Jester and Caleb all keeping in pace there. All righty. So...

SAM: We got this, guys.

TRAVIS: Yes and, here we go.

TALIESIN: Always the cheerleader.

SAM: Are Obann and Yasha anywhere on this map?

MARISHA: Where are they because we--

MATT: You don't see them. They are just ahead.

LAURA: Already? How did they get that far ahead?

LIAM: Being pursued by the Laughing Hand's and his dogs.

TALIESIN: They were already hundreds of feet ahead.

TRAVIS: We were 100 feet behind them.

LIAM: We were running in the dark going like "What do we do? Do we do this, do we do that?"

MARISHA: If we run and we catch up with them--

MATT: Yeah, they heard you guys making noise. They gave Laughing Hand his order and then they ran ahead. You guys waited for him with the Laughing Hand came forward and stalked the space again and then that's when you summoned. So they're not super ahead of you, but at the moment right now as you're focused on running, you do not see them. But you did arc around this way and so you're on a side path. Nevertheless--

TALIESIN: Faster than us.

MATT: Let's go ahead and roll initiative.

LIAM: Oh shit.

LAURA: I'm going to barf.


SAM: Oh boy. You know.

LAURA: I'm literally shaking so hard, I can't even hold my dice.

SAM: Well, we're not going to kill the Laughing Hand. We just got to stop it.

TALIESIN: Thank god we have all of our spells.

SAM: Slow it down, something.

MATT: 25 to 20.

TALIESIN: Crickets.

MATT: 20 to 15.

SAM: 15.

LAURA: 19.

TRAVIS: Jester leading us off.

MATT: What'd you have?

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19.

MARISHA: Oh cool, cool, cool.

LIAM: What'd you do?

MARISHA: I rolled two ones.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: What the fuck is going on with you?

MATT: You are having a rough night. Okay.

SAM: Month.

MATT: So that brings us to--

MARISHA: Yeah, it's been awhile.

TRAVIS: 10 to 15.

MATT: 10 to 15?


LIAM: 10.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Caduceus.

TALIESIN: Fuck, man.

MATT: 10 to five.

TRAVIS: Eight.


LIAM: Jesus.

SAM: What's the play here, gang? Do we stay and fight?

MATT: Jester, you're up first.

SAM: Run as fast as we can?

LAURA: I'm running.

MATT: You're running. Double speed. That's 10, 15.

MARISHA: If we run and catch up, we're bringing everyone into the fight.

LIAM: We're bringing everyone into one, but if we stop--

MARISHA: If we stop--

LIAM: We are focusing on--

MARISHA: We're--

LIAM: The Laughing Hand and dogs.

MARISHA: --accurately leaning into his distraction and fighting the Laughing Hand and letting them get a head start.

TALIESIN: There's no good-- none of this is good. There's nothing good.



SAM: Essek!

MATT: Because this area is thick forest, it is largely considered difficult terrain. So the movement is a little slow.

TRAVIS: Remember, he can jump.

MATT: But you guys are double speeding forward. So that's your double movement to there, Jester. That's your go. The Laughing Hand.

LAURA: How far away was he from us. Is he--?

MATT: He is over this way.

LAURA: Okay, okay. Okay.

TALIESIN: Oh man. Also, there's still a creature chasing him, I assume.

MATT: There are three shadow hounds heading this way.

TALIESIN: Jesus. Good to know.

MATT: The Laughing Hand takes his turn, runs and jumps. All right, so that brings us to Nott.

SAM: Double dash run forward.

MATT: Okay. Five, ten, 15, 20. Oh, that would be 15.

TALIESIN: Fuck, man.

MATT: Puts you about there as you're pushing through the rough terrain and having to jump over bits of bushes and roots and the harshness and difficult floor of the Lotusden Greenwood itself.

SAM: I only can run 30 feet?

MATT: 30 feet.

SAM: Well, 35 feet?

MATT: 35 feet total, but then it's half speed and I'm saying that would put you at about 15 feet per movement. You can use your bonus action to dash.

SAM: Oh yeah, of course.

MATT: So there, that gets you to there, all right. It's now the hounds' turn. They do not suffer issues with the rough terrain. They get not quite, but they're lapping at the heels of Caleb, Caduceus, and Fjord.

LIAM: What's their range from us?

MATT: I'd say they're about 20 or so feet behind you guys. That brings us to Caduceus with Caleb on deck. What are you doing, buddy?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we got to fight them. We at least have to fight the hounds.

TALIESIN: I'm-- fuck, man.

MARISHA: If we try and fight and run. Fight while we run.


TALIESIN: Are we double speeding here or-- I suppose I'm keeping pace with everybody. Fuck, why am I next? That's so fucked.

TRAVIS: You need one minute to do what?

LAURA: To teleport us away.

LIAM: That's gone.

TALIESIN: Sorry. How close are they at this point?

MATT: What's up?

TALIESIN: How close are the hounds?

MATT: About 20 feet behind you.

TALIESIN: About 20 feet behind me and they are way faster than I am. I can tell.

MATT: Yeah.


MATT: They're not held by the difficulty of this forest terrain.

TALIESIN: Shit, so even at double speed--

MATT: They're going to catch up to you.

TALIESIN: They're going to catch up to me next round.

MATT: Now, mind you, you've fought them before and you know they weren't extremely powerful. They were, you know, fairly annoying.

SAM: Can anyone turn them against their master or anything?

MATT: What are you doing, Caduceus, what you doing?

TALIESIN: I'm going to--

MARISHA: Run and fight.

TRAVIS: I know how I feel, but would we consider the Laughing Hand a monster?

MATT: He's considered a creature, a monster, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast Bane on the three of them since they're right there and since it currently matters.

MARISHA: You've got the cold sweats.

MATT: Bane on all three of them. You got it.

TALIESIN: They actually do have a save against it, I should mention.

MATT: Oh right, so wisdom?

TALIESIN: Charisma.

MATT: Charisma, oh, they're terrible at that. Fail.

MARISHA: But they're so cute.

MATT: Fail. 16?


MATT: Fail, all three of them are Baned.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to take my full movement in whatever direction seems like--

MATT: That'll get you about there.

TALIESIN: Ah, hell. And...

SAM: (nervous laughter)

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: That finishes your turn, Caduceus?

TALIESIN: I think it does.

MATT: Caleb, you're up.

LAURA: If I was doing my full movement and used my bonus action to do the movement, that's as far as I would--

MATT: You can't use your bonus action to move.

LAURA: Oh, that's only a rogue.

MATT: Only rogues can do that.

LAURA: Got it.

TALIESIN: Fuck, man.

LIAM: I would like to run on a diagonal this way. Five, 10, 15. 25, 30.

MATT: It's rough terrain. You move half speed.

LIAM: Okay, got it.

MATT: Yeah. Because you're having to jump over all the shit that's been growing and filling in the bottom of this forest.

TRAVIS: We're all running and tripping and falling.

LIAM: I pull out not my spellbook, but the other book and I start casting and muttering arcane words and cast Banishment on the Laughing Hand.

MATT: On the Laughing Hand?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Come on, work.

LAURA: Oh my god, if it works.

TRAVIS: What is it?

MATT: What is that, is that a--

LIAM: 17.

MATT: 17 wisdom?

MARISHA: I think it's a will save.

LIAM: It's charisma.

MATT: Charisma.

TRAVIS: Remember he had high, really--

LAURA: He had high of certain--

MATT: Natural 19. Plus a lot, so--

SAM: Damn.

MATT: Sorry.

LIAM: Done.

MATT: Sorry.

LIAM: It's fine.

MARISHA: Plus 11, is that what you said?

MATT: No, I said plus a lot.

MARISHA: Plus a lot.

LAURA: He's got super high charisma?

MATT: Fjord, you're up.

LAURA: I wouldn't have thought that about him?

MARISHA: Ha ha ha, the laughing, I don't know. He's the funny guy at a party.

MATT: Charisma isn't always appearance. Sometimes it's just force of terrible--

SAM: The personality.

MATT: --personality and presence.

LIAM: Force of will.

TRAVIS: I will...

TALIESIN: They use pack tactics, too. I do remember that.

TRAVIS: I will run in that diagonal. Five, 10, 15.

MATT: 15, you're there.

TRAVIS: Cool, and I can't see the squares, am I about 30 feet from the Hand?

MATT: I'd say you're about 30, 35 feet from him, yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay, if I'm 30, fuck it, I'm going to try and cast Charm Monster on the Hand and the hound that is nearest to him.

MATT: Oh, interesting.

MARISHA: Make him your friend.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Come on, come on.

MATT: Charm Monster.

SAM: Roll low, Matt, roll low.

TRAVIS: It's a wisdom save?

TRAVIS: Yeah, 17.

LAURA: Roll a one.

MATT: That is a nine. That's a failure.

LIAM: Yes. (gasping)

SAM: For the Hand?

MATT: For the Hand.

LIAM: Yes, yes.

SAM: Whoa, game changer.

LIAM: Game changer.

MATT: Okay. Let me look up the specifics here.


LAURA: I have to pee again.


TALIESIN: So badly.

SAM: We're not taking another break, Laura! Here, this is empty.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: It lasts for one hour, it is concentration.

SAM: An hour?

LIAM and SAM: Game changer.

LAURA: It's concentration, though, so we have to protect Fjord from the other hounds.

MATT: It does so with advantage if your companions are fighting it.

SAM and LAURA: We haven't fought it.

MATT: You're in--

SAM: We haven't fought it.

MARISHA: We haven't fought it.

LIAM: It fought off a spell from me.

MATT: It's been fighting a barlgura that was summoned by you. You're fighting it. That's still a 14.

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: Shit! Okay. Okay.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MATT: Okay, so the creature for the next hour is charmed by you.

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: Here.

TRAVIS: Do not do anything harmful to it.

MATT: Here... Go ahead and make a d20 check, adding your spell modifier, which is your charisma bonus.

LAURA: Okay, you're very charming.

MARISHA: But why.

LAURA: Fjord is incredibly charming.

MATT: There's a reason for this.

LAURA: Can I guide him? No, I can't touch him right now.

MARISHA: There's a reason?

TRAVIS: Oh god. It's a nine.

MARISHA: You've been rolling so well all game.

SAM: Wait, plus your charisma?


MATT: Plus your charisma modifier?

TRAVIS: That's a four plus five.

MATT: Hilariously-- you've had some fucking luck tonight. Okay so--

SAM: That's okay.

MATT: So the spell continues through. The charm is successful. LIAM: What was that?

MARISHA: What was that, though?

TALIESIN: It might have been an attempt to, yeah.

SAM: It gets some sort of bonus that it didn't give it.

MARISHA: Does it get like legendary resistance?

MATT: It doesn't have legendary resistance necessarily.

MARISHA: "Necessarily."

MATT: You don't know.

LIAM: Next.

MATT: Regardless, the spell works.

LAURA: Tell him to call off his hounds.

TRAVIS: Yeah, can I say "Don't attack my friends. Call off your warrants."?

MATT: All right, so as you stand there putting your hands forward and say that, the Laughing Hand (stomping) comes barreling up towards you. (low laughter) And is just staring right down at you. It stands at about roughly-- you're guessing at about 10 to 12 feet tall.

TRAVIS: Faint sweat drop.

LIAM: That saved our bacon.

MATT: The hounds which are following (clomping) run past you and then curve back around and join the Hand.

SAM: What?

TALIESIN: This is an hour?

TRAVIS: I'm going to stay right here and I'm going to turn to the group and go: You have an hour. Go.

MARISHA: Are you not coming with us?

TALIESIN: Wait. This is an opportunity.

TRAVIS: For what?

SAM: For comedy.

LIAM: And assault.

TALIESIN: For two things.

TRAVIS: You hit it, it breaks.

LAURA: Nobody attack it.


TALIESIN: Can it talk?

SAM: It's not, you can't, it's not a control spell.


SAM: He's just friends with him.

MATT: Are you guys still running or are you staying--

LAURA: Yes, we're still running.

TALIESIN: Just a second, I'm talking to him before we break.

MATT: Everyone else is still running, just so you know. Are you running with the rest or are you staying put?

LAURA: Just ask him to stay.

LIAM: Tell it to run away in the opposite direction as fast as it can.

TRAVIS: I don't think it obeys you; it's just friendly to you.

MATT: Yeah it's friendly, it's not dominated.

LIAM: Oh, oh, oh, oh.

TALIESIN: Can you ask it its name?

LAURA: Its name is Ganix.

TRAVIS: I don't want it to talk to me. That's how that shit happens, it was like (gibbering).

LAURA: His name is Ganix.

TALIESIN: I guess we can--

MATT: What are you doing, guys?

TRAVIS: Just go.

TALIESIN: Just go, fuck it.

TRAVIS: I'm going to stay.



MARISHA: Okay, okay, I'm running.

LAURA: Don't stay.

TRAVIS: I'm going to walk after them as they are darting and I'll watch what the Hand is doing. Is he staying with me or is he staying where he is?

MATT: No, he's traveling with you guys. As they're all running and if you're running with them--

TRAVIS: He's coming with us, let's go.

MATT: It's up to you.

TRAVIS: He's coming with us. Yeah, good boy, don't trip and fall.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: You're bringing him with us?

MARISHA: It's not a dominate.

TALIESIN: No, but I think you can ask him to do stuff.

MARISHA: Tell him fuck Obann, Obann's a piece of shit. Fight Obann with us.

SAM: It's not a dominate.

MATT: You would understand charming a creature means the creature treats you as a friend and your intent as a friend. That doesn't mean that it follows all of your commands and it doesn't mean that it hates anybody else that it sees as an ally.

TALIESIN: So why don't we just tell him that we need him to go on a mission?

TRAVIS: I need him to come--

LIAM: Ask him as a favor to go check something out.

TRAVIS: To go check it out, or to come with us and protect us.

LIAM: That's not going to last. If he gets bonked in the head, it's done.

MARISHA: Well, we just got to get in and out in under an hour.

TRAVIS: Or if your companions do anything harmful to it. It doesn't say anything about his companions.

TALIESIN: No, but he won't attack his friends.

TRAVIS: No, I don't want him to. Just protect us.

MATT: If other creatures attack him, he's still charmed. It doesn't break his charm, it's if any of you guys or you do anything.

LAURA: So we can say, "Hey, don't let your other friends hurt your new friends."

TALIESIN: That might get weird and again, in an hour--

TRAVIS: Just bringing him with us.

MARISHA: Yeah, we got it. We're going, we're going.

TRAVIS: I need to see where we're going.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MATT: You guys continue. You've arced off to the side and you're circling around the path.

LAURA: I just think once Obann sees him, he's going to be able to overpower whatever it is you're doing to him.

TRAVIS: That's a fair point.

LAURA: I saw what he did to Yasha, it's pretty powerful.

SAM: Hang back.

TRAVIS: I'm going to stay 150 feet behind you guys.

LAURA: Just ask him if he'll hang back.

TRAVIS: Just 150 feet behind you guys.

TALIESIN: Do you need to be near it for it to work?

SAM: He'll figure that out as he walks.

LIAM: Also Fjord, maybe he doesn't need his dogs anymore.

TRAVIS: Maybe you don't need your dogs anymore.

MATT: Are you trying to convince him to get rid of them? Make a persuasion check.

TALIESIN: I'm definitely tapping you. I'm tapping you, Fjord, before.

LAURA: Guidance, guidance. You've got guidance.

LIAM: (like "You've got mail") You've got guidance.

TRAVIS: 21, with guidance.

MATT: As you're running, it looks back and you, you can see the grin on its chin and you see its secondary mouth open up here and (raspy laughing). As it does, it raises its non-blade hand and does like this motion and you watch as the hounds running (clomping) just vanish into smoke and shadow and then dissipate as the fog and mist slowly coalesces.

SAM: No talking. Let's go!

LAURA: We're running as we're saying it.

TRAVIS: Keep going, keep going.

SAM: No, we're not.


SAM: He's standing there.

TRAVIS: No, keep running, keep running. I stop, keep running, just keep running, just keep running! I'll turn around to him and I'll say: What my friends and I are doing is very important. I saw you keeping a perimeter earlier and it was expertly done. You and I will do the same. Form a wide circle. Let's stay at least within bare eyeshot of where we end up. No one gets in. You're the first line of defense.

MATT: And he just cuts the arm through one of the lowest nearby trees and the tree (crunching), (thudding), slams into the ground.

TRAVIS: Laura's going to forgive that. It's okay. (laughter)

MATT: And it continues running off in the direction.

LIAM: It's about time.

MATT: Following your instructions.

TRAVIS: Okay. All right, and I'll try and catch up to the group.

MATT: Okay. You guys are running and as you're running, you can hear the (stomping) of the Laughing Hand with the distant weird phasing chuckles.

LAURA: I think as we come up, we should get stealthy again. They're going to think that nobody could get through the Laughing Hand. He's not back yet. There's fighting in the distance. They're not going to be thinking that we're getting to them.

LIAM: What if he leads the charge?

MARISHA: The Laughing Hand?

LIAM: And we're behind him, yeah.

SAM: He's not going to attack his friends.

LIAM: That's what I'm saying.

MARISHA: But he would be a nice guise.

LIAM: They'll think they're hearing him and not us.

MARISHA: I get what you're laying down.

TALIESIN: Can't we just teleport? SAM: Do this for ourselves.

MARISHA: Yeah, just use the tools at our disposal.

MATT: Who's leading this journey through the middle of the forest, by the way?

LIAM: Fjord.

SAM: I've been running this whole time.

MATT: But you're invisible. So you're not guiding anybody.

LAURA: I was in front and Beau was probably in front.

MATT: All right, so Beau and Jester--

MARISHA: Try and banish him?

LIAM: I could send him away--

MARISHA: Like let him do this?

LIAM: --if he thinks it's good idea. Yes, you tell him it's a good idea and I send him away.

MARISHA: That's a good idea.

MATT: The Laughing Hand is currently out of earshot of you, by the way. He has been told to rush off and is now giving a wide perimeter.

LAURA: I think we've got an hour to get in and out, okay?

SAM: Let's go.

LAURA: The Laughing Hand's not coming back in an hour.

SAM: It's dealt with already. Are we going to sit back and diddle around with the Laughing Hand or are we going to go catch up to our quarry?

TALIESIN: We're running while we're talking.

LAURA: Yeah, we're running.

SAM: Every step we take, with every word we speak, we are getting 50, 100 feet away from him. So you want to turn around and go back?

LAURA: No, no, no, we're going.

TALIESIN: He's with us.

LAURA: No, he's not.

TALIESIN: He's keeping a perimeter.

SAM: He is walking all the way around.

MATT: He is doing-- basically you guys are moving this direction.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: He is running-- he is doing an opposite, opposite of what you guys did, the Laughing Hand.

LAURA: Well, let's do it.

MARISHA: No, we're good, we're good.

LAURA: It doesn't matter.

MARISHA: Let's just go.

LAURA: It's not like Obann wouldn't have been able to go find him and get him again.

MARISHA: Sorry, I didn't mean to stab you in the throat. He's got one Banishment. Let's use it wisely.

TRAVIS: Yeah, plus if he resists it or whatever, coming from me is one thing but if we resist it, then it breaks and then--

LAURA: It's an attack. It counts as an attack if he resists it.

SAM: He's out of the picture.

MATT: You guys are continuing forward, fast-paced. I need Jester and Beau to go ahead and make a survival check to try and guide the rest of the party through this forest at a decent pace.

MARISHA: Let me not be shitty.

LIAM: Pretty good, pretty good.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay.

LAURA: 25.

TALIESIN: I would've tapped you, too.

MARISHA: 18. Oh, are you tapping me?

TALIESIN: I would've tapped you.

LAURA: Well if you're close enough.

TALIESIN: Well, I'm keeping up.

MATT: You couldn't keep up with Beau.

TALIESIN: Okay, nevermind, she's too fast.

MATT: She's too far ahead of you.


LAURA: 25.

MATT: 18, 25, okay. You guys are keeping point on this, helping guide through the paths of least resistance. At times, you manage to gain some speed. At times, it still pulls you back. But you're able to keep a fairly decent travel forward. Thankfully, the jungle here is very dense and the canopy as well. There are many vines and many tangled brush, which means it's difficult for a flying creature to continue to move through.

LAURA: Oh, right.

MATT: Unless it breaks through the canopy, like you guys did before, you don't know. But you're moving as fast as you can in that direction. You continue on for 20 minutes. 30 minutes. Perception checks for two of you toward the front. The front would be probably, actually Nott and Beauregard. You guys are the ones furthest out.

MARISHA: Your perception sucks, doesn't it?

LAURA: No, only if she's--

SAM: Yeah.


SAM: I'll help you.

MATT: I would say that your invisibility has now worn off.

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: I'll take your help. I think mine is better than yours.

MATT: Showed up for a second and went away.


LAURA: Good, good, good.

TALIESIN: That was a vain-- sorry, I'm--

SAM: What'd you get, Marish?


SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Still not rolling great.

SAM: I helped her.

MATT: Oh, so 14. Okay.

MARISHA: No! (players screaming)

MATT: See if I can get some--

LAURA: Fucking trees down.

MATT: I don't have anywhere to put this for the time being.

LIAM: The Laughing Hand gone.

MATT: That's fine there. That'll be fine.

LIAM: Part of me doesn't want to combat, but part of me really wants to combat.

LAURA: I can't do anything.


LIAM: I know, but I still want--

MATT: Continuing on forward, you don't see anything. You push on, 40 minutes. 50 minutes.

LAURA: Listening for anything as well.

MATT: At about the 45 minute mark or so, you begin to see the trees change. You begin to see the atmosphere of the Lotusden shift around you. You can see bits of rotted vegetation along the floor that contains trapped gases to where when you step on some of these patches, it releases this hissing sound that sounds like a death moan or slow whispers and for a first moment, it freaks you out. You continue to move forward and these little patches of like weird trapped gas are amongst a bunch of broken ground and rocks, like a shattered quarry and the trees, the leaves rapidly begin to just vanish. You see just barren, petrified trees. Their extended branches extremely crooked and building and knotting around each other to form like a series of chained together trees that are holding this dense canopy where the branches grow smaller branches that grow smaller branches that grow smaller-- you see this capillary type system where the dark canopy where leaves normally cover is replaced with just a bramble mess of overgrown branches.

MARISHA: Can I get a beat as we're running on the scent of the gas that we're stepping on. Is it sulfurous?

MATT: Make a nature check.

MARISHA: Is it noxious? Okay. Nature?

MATT: Mm hmm.


MATT: 14, it doesn't appear to be sulfurous. It seems to be some sort of a rotting vegetation byproduct.


MATT: Whatever's corrupting or causing this section of the forest to be the way it is, it's part of the decaying process that happens beneath the surface, probably in the roots or something below the actual trees themselves and it's causing this to rise up and in some places become trapped. So pushing on forward, trying the best you can to push through the terrain. Thankfully, the heavy bits of completely grown over and moss covered rock begin to subside, as now it's just slippery shale and cracked ground. The bits of moisture and marsh that occasionally greeted you through this forest is nowhere to be seen and you are just rushing rapidly through this darkened, lightless, for the humans as well, and firbolg lightless region of dead trees.

MARISHA: Hey, Caduceus.


MARISHA: Does any of this reminds you of the Blooming Grove and the rot that you've discovered on the grave?

TALIESIN: We didn't have rot. We had an overtaking. It's different. I assume it's different.

MATT: It is. This is just, this looks to be a dead portion of the forest. The Savalirwood is a heavy corruption. It's still lush, but the leaves have turned purple-gray and it is a very vibrant, angry growth of something that is sinister in the nature of the actual forest. This is just a dead section.

TALIESIN: I also can't see that well. I'm traveling by moonlight.

LIAM: We're still in that quick move here, too, right?

MATT: Yeah, you're still running. You're still making your way through best you can in that direction.

TALIESIN: Not touching any trees.

LAURA: Yeah, nothing.

MATT: Yeah, you hit about the 50, a little past the 50 minute mark. Make a perception check once again, Nott and Beauregard.

SAM: I'll help you again.

MARISHA: Okay. You have a negative to your perception, right?

LAURA: Am I close to them yet? Can I Guide her?


LAURA: Would I be able to guide her? Am I close at all or are they super far ahead?

MATT: They're too far ahead of you.

MARISHA: Great, 15.

MATT: 15.

SAM: I helped her.

MARISHA: He helped me.

MATT: Oh, gotcha. As you come apart ahead of the group, you push through a couple of additional trees and look over the edge and you can see one tree that looms taller than the rest. It's not massive at its base, it's thin, but it's twisted and spiraled upward and it looks like a series of dead vines have choked it and then just died on its body to the point where it looks like a mass of like striations and rope that gather into this thick, tall, leafless tree. All of its hundreds and hundreds of branches all seem to reach out like smaller arms and fingers. It is notably a paler, starch blanch white color against the other trees that are just dead and a little more gray without the coloration of the rest of the forest. The air is noticeably colder as you get closer towards it and as you glance past, you see the tree and at the base of it, you can see both Yasha and Obann. Yasha jogging, just catching up and Obann currently inspecting the base of the tree.

LIAM: How far back are we from them?

MATT: I will give you a little preview.

MARISHA: He hasn't gotten it. He hasn't gotten it yet.

SAM: Guys, can I just tell you about

LAURA: So in 10 minutes, it's going to break.

SAM: It's a fantastic company that makes a fine product and if you don't go to their fucking website, I'll kill you.


SAM: It's getting late, guys.


LIAM: Tensions are ramping up.

MARISHA: We're under a lot of stress. You can do a lot in 10 minutes, though.

LAURA: You can do a lot in 10 minutes.

MATT: This is approximately the location of the tree. And where you see Obann and--

SAM: What is that stuff on there? Is that sesame seeds?

MATT: This is just the broken shale.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: On this there.

MARISHA: Anthrax.

SAM: How did you do that?

LIAM: That's asbestos.

MATT: I'm enjoying the experimentation with various other textured terrain things added on top of maps.

TRAVIS: It's cool.

LIAM: Asbestos for the rest of us.

TALIESIN: Layering is great.

MARISHA: He took shavings from our old apartment.

MATT: There you go. (laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow, that's a throwback.


LIAM: It's just standard. Five years' worth of dandruff.

MATT: And Nott. The rest of you are traveling--

MARISHA: When you're on a budget.

MATT: --about 40 feet behind them.

LIAM: When you're on a budget.

MATT: But actually you guys would probably be on this side because you're not too far from each other. But that's the view you have currently.

MARISHA: I, of course, immediately relay this to the rest of the team.

MATT: So you wait for them to catch up?

MARISHA: Yeah, I stop, see it, look at Nott and be like--

LAURA: Can you go invisible?

SAM: Of course I can.

MARISHA: What the fuck?

SAM: Are we going to stick to the plan? Me invisible, go swipe the thing?

MARISHA: I think so.

LAURA: Can you do it still? Not anymore.

MATT: Obann flies up about 10 or so feet.

SAM: Oh, Jesus.

MATT: And is now inspecting the base of the tree.

MARISHA: We got to do this now before he figures this shit out.

SAM: I'm going to go invisible now.

LAURA: And be a distraction.

MATT: Okay, so you go invisible.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

MATT: There you go.

LAURA: Can I run up behind that one?

MATT: Okay, so you guys have now caught up to Beauregard. So you're all essentially back in this space here.

MARISHA: He's looking at the fucking tree.

MATT: Okay, and so Jester's going to move up behind here.

SAM: In the absence of a plan, I'm going to start moving up the side.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And I'm going to--

MATT: 35.

MARISHA: --mirror Nott's movement, knowing that she's going invisible and flank on the other side.

MATT: Okay, can you make a stealth check?


TALIESIN: I'll tap you before you leave.

MARISHA: Thank you.

LAURA: Oh yeah, I'll touch you as well, for Blessing of the Trickster.

MARISHA: Which gives me advantage?

LAURA: Advantage on stealth checks.

MARISHA: Thank you.

SAM: Double tap?

MARISHA: Hell yeah.

MATT: I'll allow that.

LIAM: Caleb silently holds up a piece of chalk and looks at Fjord.

TRAVIS: What, what?

LAURA: Prep it.

LIAM: I'll start drawing.


MATT: What are you drawing?

LIAM: A Teleportation circle.

MATT: Okay. Where are you going to start drawing it?

LIAM: I will back up 10 feet behind that tree.

MATT: Here?

LIAM: That Caduceus-- I'll go behind Caduceus back five more feet and start to draw on the ground.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Yeah. I will use the chalk.

MATT: You're beginning the build the circle.

LIAM: This might not go off but I'm spending the components.

MATT: Correct, correct. Okay. Caduceus, Fjord?

MARISHA: 29 for stealth for Beau, flank to mirror--

MATT: To head over this way.

MARISHA: Mirror Nott, yeah.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: Eyes of the Grave.

LIAM: Holy shit.

LAURA: And I'm going to prep Invoke Duplicity.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'm 25 stealth.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Holy shit.

LAURA: I'm going to prep her to appear behind this tree, to step out from behind that as soon as I want her to.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: Not yet.

MATT: All right, Fjord, Caduceus?

TRAVIS: I'm going to use another Divine Sense just to focus in on my sense of where they are.

MATT: The range of that is 60 feet?

TRAVIS: It is 60.

MATT: You'll be too far to sense anything.

TRAVIS: Fair enough, I won't-- would I know that I'm not close enough?

MATT: You would know that.

TRAVIS: You know what, it's new.

MATT: You're starting to figure it out. You're figuring it out.

TRAVIS: Okay. I will also move to the--

LIAM: Where's Nott?

TRAVIS: I will move to the right.

SAM: You don't know.

TRAVIS: Closer to the direction Nott went and hide behind that tree.

MARISHA: Fucking metagamer.

MATT: 30. Make a stealth check.

LIAM: DM, I will also roll Frumpkin out to chase Jester's feet.

TRAVIS: Did you give me Blessing of the Trickster? It was for her.

LAURA: It was for her.

TRAVIS: Okay, that's fine.

MATT: This poor Frumpkin mini, the legs are so fragile.

LIAM: What is going on with my cats?

MATT: I don't know, man.

LIAM: Goddamn it.

TRAVIS: I know. We should've ordered them in bulk.

LAURA: Maybe if the mini was better, Frumpkin would do a better job of doing anything.

MARISHA: Yeah Matt, do you want to use this one?

LIAM: Stop it, Laura Bailey.

MATT: I'll use your pupper. That's fine.

MARISHA: My puppers.

LIAM: Fucking dogs. Are you kidding me?


MATT: 17?

SAM: We love dogs, everyone.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: Don't.

LAURA: Are we all rolling stealth?

LIAM: You do! I love cats.

MATT: For those who are moving to not be seen, yes. So you have to roll a stealth check as well. All right, got it.

SAM: Good.

MATT: The cat's moving with Jester, you said?

LIAM: Yes.

LAURA: 24.

MATT: 24, got it. Caduceus, what are you doing?

TALIESIN: I'm staying behind the tree and I'm going to be ready to try and hit people with heal or otherwise, if things go shitty.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Very smart.

MATT: You got it, all right. At this point, Obann is now up the side of the tree. It's a little far to see the details, but it looks like he finds a portion of the tree and begins to like fit his hand into it.

MARISHA: He's fucking found it.

LAURA: He's found it already.

LIAM: He's finger-fucking the tree.

SAM: It's in the tree?

LAURA: Yes, it's in the tree.

SAM: I thought it was like down in a dungeon, I don't know.

MARISHA: We had no confirmation of that.

LAURA: We got to get to him fast.

MATT: Yasha is going to stop and turn and just keep an eye behind him now and is like looking--

SAM: Smart Yasha.

MATT: Outward, doesn't see anybody right now because you're all hidden behind things.

LIAM: Damn it.

MATT: But is keeping a watch.

LIAM: This is a shit show.

SAM: I can get up there.

MARISHA: Stick with the plan until--

MATT: Everyone gets another round of actions.

SAM: Closer.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: As fast as I can--

MATT: Stealth check.

SAM: By being stealthed. I have to check again?

MATT: You do, yes.

SAM: A ton, 32.

LIAM: This is not enough time to draw a Teleportation Circle!

MATT: 32.

LAURA: You're drawing it, right?

LIAM: I am.

MATT: So mark your second round. 10 rounds.

LIAM: Frumpkin is sticking with Jester.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: That's it.

LAURA: (humming nervous "um"s)

TRAVIS: I'm just curious because we all get one more round, right? After this round, it's go time, right?

MARISHA: And then so Nott--

TRAVIS: It's not?

SAM: I don't know what go time means. We didn't stop to make a plan.

MATT: You guys didn't stop and make a point, so you're all doing your own thing.

MARISHA: You're still going with the plan--

MATT: There's no communication here.

TRAVIS: Yeah, no, I know.

TALIESIN: I'm going to be making a hold sign at you anyway.

LAURA: I'm invoking Duplicity behind the thing.

MATT: But you already did that last round.

LAURA: Okay, so she's there.

MATT: She's there.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: The plan that we had before was someone was going to make a distraction while I go swipe this thing.

TRAVIS: I can't do that anymore.

SAM: As far as I know, that's what I'm doing.

TRAVIS: I'm holding, I saw Caduceus do a holding sign.

LIAM: We've never had a fight that has lasted 10 rounds.

LAURA: Should I, I mean--

TALIESIN: She's got this.

LIAM: No Teleportation circle happening.

TALIESIN: We have to wait a few rounds if the Teleportation Circle is going to happen.

SAM: Maybe Obann will cast--

LIAM: One minute.

MARISHA: It's one minute.

SAM: --Slow on everyone.

LIAM: We have never had a fight, ever, that has lasted that long.

LAURA: Should I bring my duplicate out and just go for it?

MARISHA: But it's already been one round, we're on round two.

TALIESIN: We need eight more rounds.

MARISHA: We need eight more rounds.

SAM: You know where Beau is. Beau, are you getting closer or are you just--

MARISHA: I am mirroring your movements to--

SAM: But you don't know where I am.

MARISHA: Well I know she's invisible and I know she's creeping up.

TRAVIS: She can see 'dem leaves moving.

MARISHA: I'm going to keep creeping up knowing that that was the plan that we made before.

MATT: That's fine.

LAURA: I can send my duplicate out and cast Spiritual Weapon--

MARISHA: That's all I got.

LAURA: --from her and try to bash Obann over the head and get him.

TALIESIN: I am trying to signal everyone to wait because I see where the Teleportation circle's at.

MARISHA: I should've refreshed deodorant.

TALIESIN: Can he hold the Circle, by the way?

MATT: When he completes casting the spell?

TALIESIN: Yeah, but like he can wait for the final--

TRAVIS: He can draw it and then cast--

MATT: I'd say-- I'll allow it.

LIAM: Hold the last line, I've said that many times.

MATT: Yeah, I'll allow it.

LIAM: I'm doubtful that we will have the time to draw the lines, though. I'm getting ready to drop this fucking Teleportation circle and join the fray. But right now I'm drawing.

TRAVIS: You're the bail out, so.

MARISHA: Art faster.

MATT: So you're moving around this way?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to keep-- yep, go wide.

MATT: Make another stealth check.

SAM: You better stealth good.

MATT: With advantage because you have Blessing of the Trickster still.

SAM: You stealth good, Marisha Ray.

TALIESIN: We should have waited.

LIAM: Don't do it wrong, do it right.

MARISHA: I've been rolling so bad for a month.

LIAM: Now do it right. Is it advantage or disadvantage?

MARISHA: Advantage.

LIAM: Pretty good.

MARISHA: Yeah, 21.

SAM: Okay, okay.


SAM: Plus 20.

MATT: Not noticed yet. Is Blessing of the Trickster an hour long?

LAURA: Yeah, for an hour. It uses it for an hour.

MATT: Is it an action?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so you wouldn't have been able to do both last round. So now you create your Invoke Duplicity.

LAURA: That's fine.

MATT: Got it. All right, Fjord, Caduceus, anything?

TALIESIN: I'm trying to do the...

TRAVIS: I'm just watching Caduceus, I guess. I'm holding.

MATT: You're holding.

LIAM: Holy shit.

MATT: You now see Obann is now up to the shoulder in this tree and is like-- (groaning) You can hear him loosely in pain and then you watch the tree (crackling) shudder and suddenly he gets pushed out of the tree for a second. His arm, this weird mist drifting off of it as he floats back about five feet or so.

SAM: Oh shit.

MATT: The tree now, its roots don't pull out of the ground aggressively. You watch them just drift up like they're nothing and the tree comes to life. Its many branches become many arms. You see where that knothole where Obann put his arm remains, but you can see there's these ghostly teeth on the inside. No eyes, but the Wraithroot is now animated.

SAM: The tree is the guy.

MARISHA: Is the assassin? Or is this--

LAURA: Whoa!

TRAVIS: Oh shit!

LAURA: Shit.

SAM: He put the heart in.

MARISHA: The heart is in the tree, the curse.

TALIESIN: He tried to get it out and it fought it.

LAURA: Now he has to fight the tree.


MARISHA: Which could be great.

SAM: The bark that bites, okay, got it.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Be cool, be cool.

TRAVIS: The bark that bites.

TALIESIN: We can let this play out for awhile.

MATT: Obann's go ahead and fly up.

LAURA: Maybe.

TALIESIN: I'm happy to let this--

MATT: Reactively even higher.

LIAM: Is he holding anything visibly?

MATT: You don't know, you weren't looking.

LIAM: Okay. That's right, I'm drawing.

SAM: Can I see anything?

LAURA: Can we see?

MATT: If you want to take your turn to try and take a look at it. So Yasha turns around and draws Skingorger. (swooshing) Now looks up at the tree. So now we're going to go ahead and roll initiative because there is a combat happening even if you are not directly in it.

TRAVIS: (yelling) Okay.

TALIESIN: Let's let them do this.

MARISHA: What dice, what dice?

TALIESIN: Ew, gross.

TRAVIS: Let them fight.

TALIESIN: So gross.

SAM: Oh no, really?

TALIESIN: Yes, I mean, I have a couple interesting things if things go south.

TRAVIS: You always do, buddy.

SAM: Things will go south.

TALIESIN: I mean like maybe this'll weaken him up a bit, I don't know.

MATT: 25 to 20.

SAM: 24.

LIAM: Is this the beginning of round three for me on my drawing?

MATT: This would be, yes.

LIAM: Okay. All right, 25 to 20-- just Nott? All right, 20 to 15.


LIAM: 19.

MARISHA: Na na na na 19.

LAURA: 18 for me.

LIAM: Oh shit, half-elves again.

MATT: Beau, and Caleb is next.

LIAM: 19. For my drawing.

MARISHA: Your drar-ing.

MATT: All right, and Jester?

LAURA: Was 18.

SAM: ♪ And I like to do drawings ♪

LIAM: (English accent) My name is Caleb and I like to do drawings.

SAM: (exaggerated German accent) Vell hello, my name is Caleb.

MATT: 15 to 10.


MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: I know, I am not okay.

LIAM: All the things I could do, but I'm drawing.

MATT: 10 to five?

SAM: We're not taking another break.

TRAVIS: What is it? A three, Caduceus rolled a three.

MATT: Fjord, what'd you roll?

TRAVIS: I rolled a 13.

MATT: 13.

LAURA: You rolled a three?

TALIESIN: No, I rolled a two and then I add one.

LAURA: Oh god.

TALIESIN: And that makes three. I mean to be fair, a cleric with a low initiative is great.

MATT: Nott, you're up first.

SAM: I will move closer and use my action. Maybe...

MATT: Where do you want to go?

MARISHA: Come on, come on.

SAM: Maybe-- yeah, I guess that's fine, I'm invisible, that's fine. I'm invisible, it's fine.

TRAVIS: We're not going to let them know that we're here, though, right?


MATT: Because you guys are in a misted forest--

TALIESIN: Bless you, yes.

MATT: And I have--

TALIESIN: I'm so happy that these get used.

TRAVIS: Teleportation circle is not ready.

MARISHA: No, I know but time is of the essence. We got to get this fucking skull.

SAM: I'll move up.

LIAM: Seven more rounds.

SAM: And I will use my--

LAURA: Seven more rounds.

SAM: I will use my action to perceive to see if I can perceive the bag in Obann's--

MATT: Okay, roll a perception check.

SAM: 19.

MATT: 19. It is still attached to the side of his belt. It's not loosely attached, it's affixed pretty well because it's an important thing.

SAM: Double locked or anything or just like--?

MATT: No, it's just not tied to it loosely jumping around there. It's strapped with leather straps.

SAM: And he's 30 feet above me, 20 feet above me, 80 feet above?

MATT: He's right now about 50 feet above you.

LIAM: Sleight of hand that motherfucker.

SAM: I can't do it yet.

TALIESIN: Wait 'til he's on the ground.

TRAVIS: You fail, he knows.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

LIAM: That's right, that's right.



LIAM: But he is fighting a tree.

MATT: All right, so Nott, is that your turn?

SAM: That is my turn.

MATT: Beau, Caleb, you're up next.

MARISHA: What are you doing?

LIAM: I'm drawing.

MATT: Third round.

LIAM: I'm drawing.

MATT: Beauregard?

MARISHA: I am going to--

TALIESIN: 18 seconds of drawing. Or fourth round?

MARISHA: I'm going to hold my action.

LIAM: It's the third.

TALIESIN: Fuck me.

MARISHA: Can I hold my turn?

LIAM: This is so boring for combat.

MATT: You can hold your action.

MARISHA: I can hold my action but I can't hold my move.

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: Can people feel when you put a Hex on them?

MATT: Yeah. Yeah, I'd say so.

TALIESIN: Like most spells, there's not a lot of spells that happen and they don't even know it.

MARISHA: I want to move just around a little bit, just here, here. Crouch, hide. Hold my action.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Waiting for Nott.

MATT: So you're still stealthed.

MARISHA: I'm still stealthed.

MATT: Hiding low, okay. Holding your action 'til what?

MARISHA: Until either shit hits the fan or shit hits the fan.

MATT: Okay, you got it. That brings us to Jester and Yasha. Yasha is going to go ahead and rush up, Skingorger out. She is going to spend her action to (swooshing), her wings emerge, the giant necrotic, fleshless, fallen aasimar wings emerge. She roars angrily and goes into a rage and that's her turn.

LIAM: Yes!

MATT: Jester, what are you doing?

LIAM: I mean, she must be stopped. (laughter)

LAURA: I'm hanging out.

MATT: Okay, you're just waiting?

LAURA: Yeah, I'm waiting until--

MATT: All right.

SAM: Can you buff anybody?

LAURA: I can't really, no because I have my Duplicity up.

MATT: The Wraithroot Tree.

LIAM: Oh boy.

MATT: Now its roots kind of-- it's weird. The roots almost go slack like they're weird wooden tentacles and drifts through Yasha.

SAM: What?

MATT: It becomes incorporeal for a moment.

TRAVIS: Oh boy.

MATT: Not knocking that over.

TRAVIS: Respect your fellow tree.

MATT: Drifts around--

TRAVIS: We have to back the fuck off.

MATT: --this direction and is going to go ahead and make attacks on Yasha, who is raging. Yeah, that definitely hits. Both hit. Yasha takes...

MARISHA: Oh, the Hades tree.

MATT: 30 points of bludgeoning damage reduced to 15 because she is raging. So she...

SAM: That's a big mother fucking tree.

MATT: Yep, I'm keeping track of her hit points. All right, that finishes the Wraithroot Tree. That brings it to Fjord.

TRAVIS: I do nothing.

MATT: You do nothing, you wait. Obann's turn. Obann is going to drift, take that, whatever that was that fell. I'll deal with you later.

SAM: Hey, isn't your--

TALIESIN: Just some lollipops.

SAM: Isn't your demon ogre still alive?

TRAVIS: He's way the fuck back there.

LAURA: Way far away.

SAM: Oh, he didn't follow us?

MATT: Obann's going to drift down and attempt to place its arm into the maw once more.

LIAM: He's still trying to get it.

MARISHA: He's trying to get the heart.

LIAM: He's still trying to get at its nads.

MATT: He puts the arm in a second time and it's now going to be--

LIAM: He's copping a feel.

MATT: He has to make a Constitution saving throw. He succeeds.

TRAVIS: Take your time, Matt, take your time. Get it right. Kill that fucking demon. With that pissed off ghost tree.

MATT: He winces in pain once more and he's going to attempt to contest its strength. I'm sorry, it's a DC...

LIAM: Come on, tree.

MATT: Nevermind. It's a DC check.

TRAVIS: Come on, Groot.

LIAM: Come on, Giving Tree.

MARISHA: You fucker.

MATT: His hand emerges clutching some sort of a dull, glowing--

LAURA: Seriously, that fucking fast?

MATT: Stone.

SAM: That was easy.

LAURA: Good for him.

MATT: The tree's still standing.

SAM: Okay, good.

MATT: But that's his action is to pull it from the mouth. You can see outside of the mouth, all this mist (hissing).

MARISHA: You held your action, right?

SAM: No, I didn't hold my action.

MATT: And he's going to go-- he has enough movement to get 20 more feet up, so that'll put him at 30 feet off the ground.

SAM: When are we going to do it, then?

LAURA: He's only 30 feet off the ground.

MARISHA: Piece of shit.

LAURA: What's your range?

MATT: All right. He's now holding-- this hand's backing away and he goes (cackling) and he's looking down at Yasha. "We did it. We did it!" Looks up to the sky, "We did it." That ends his turn.

SAM: ♪ Looks like we made it ♪

TRAVIS: That was far faster--

TALIESIN: The tree doesn't get to reaction attack against him, or--?

LIAM: Immediately.

MARISHA: So that was-- you have six rounds left, six rounds?

LIAM: Six rounds, seven, six? I've done three, seven.

TALIESIN: How many feet away is all this happening at?

MATT: Looking at this, probably about 70 to 90 feet from you.

TALIESIN: Fuck, I'm still seeing him drawing and I'm holding.

MATT: Okay.

MATT: Actually just for fun, I was going to do-- I tried to do this earlier, I'm just going to do-- try and Detect Undead just to see if-- I was going to do an Eyes of the Grave.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Actually, yeah.

MATT: A very, very strong undead presence from that tree.


MATT: And from the object-- what's the range on that?

TALIESIN: 60 feet.

MATT: You probably have to get closer actually to do that.

TALIESIN: But nothing, nothing other than the tree?


TALIESIN: I can tell the tree's undead. I'm just seeing if there's anything else around.

MATT: That's fine. Nott, you're up.

LAURA: Just like try to untie it. Just try to untie the bag from the back.

SAM: I'm going to move right under him.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yes, come on.

SAM: I mean I got to do this, right? They're going to bamf outta here.

MARISHA: This is it, this is it.

LIAM: You've got to do it.

SAM: Yeah. Okay, I will cast Mage Hand.

MATT: So your invisibility drops.

SAM: Sure, yeah, that's fine.

MATT: Nott appears.

LAURA: Hopefully Obann is looking up at the sky at this moment. In his joy.

MARISHA: "We did it."

SAM: He's holding something with one hand.

MATT: He is.

SAM: Does he have a weapon?

LAURA: Of course he has a fucking weapon.

MATT: Right now--

SAM: Does he have a weapon?

MATT: No, he does have a...

LIAM: Saints Row dildo bat.

MATT: Yeah. He does have a longsword that he has sheathed.

SAM: Okay, so he's got one hand free.

MATT: Yeah, he wasn't even trying to fight it. He was just going directly for--

SAM: And then bonus action with Mage Hand, I will try to untie that bag.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a--

LIAM: Tickle that bag, goblin.

SAM: I don't know what I'm--

MATT: It's a thieves' tools check. So add your dexterity modifier plus your proficiency bonus.

LIAM: Fuck.

SAM: Terrible.

LIAM: Fuck.

SAM: 12.

MATT: 12. The Mage Hand reaches up.


MATT: And it's not moving the leather straps. You don't have a good angle on it looking from underneath and you're not quite sure how to mess with it from the side and it's not doing anything. Obann is like looking up, kind of-- glances down and looks right towards you.

SAM: Hello.

MATT: This look of absolute surprise hits his face.

LIAM: Oh god, we're blown.

MARISHA: Does it feel like shit's hitting the fan?

SAM: Oh, for sure, yeah.

MATT: Certainly feels that way.

MARISHA: When I was holding my turn for.

MATT: Yes, so, what's your action?

MARISHA: I can't really do much. I'm pretty far.


TRAVIS: A monk all the way over here.

MARISHA: A monk in the BFE.

LIAM: Did you use all your movement speed?

TALIESIN: You can't spend movement on your action roll.

MARISHA: Just action.

MATT: If you wanted to dash to get closer as your held action, that would be your thing.

MARISHA: I'll do that!

SAM: Oh my god.

MATT: If that's-- all right, going forward, you have to declare what your action is as you're holding it, just as a heads up.

MARISHA: I do declare.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Oh my god, man.

MATT: I'll allow it. Five, 10, 15, 20. 25, 30, 35, 40.

LIAM: Tree might be our friend at this moment.

MATT: Your movement's 45?

MARISHA: 50 now.

MATT: Is it?

MARISHA: Oh shit, oh shit.

MATT: You can get all the way up to Yasha if you want to.

MARISHA: I can move all the way up to Yasha?

MATT: If you want to, or you can move--

MARISHA: I move all the way up to Yasha.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And I go, Hi.

MATT: She looks over at Nott, the wings unfurl. The wind, the mist gathered around her.


MATT: Her hair blowing slightly.

MARISHA: Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: So Obann, Yasha, tree.

TRAVIS: (laughing defeatedly)

MARISHA: I'm sorry! It's what Beau would do.

MATT: Well Beau and Caleb, you're up. Caleb, you mark off a fourth round.

LIAM: Fuck, no, was that your held action or what are you doing now?

MARISHA: I was holding my action until the shit hit the fan. It was Nott's turn, the shit hit the fan, and now it's our turn. It's back at the top of the round.

LIAM: You go first.

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay, okay.

LIAM: Come on, Empire twin. Do it.

MARISHA: I am hoping... I am hoping that maybe if I go toe to toe with Yasha and square off against Yasha, maybe Obann will see that as a distraction and Nott can continue her plan and I'm going to square off and pop-pop against Yasha.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: Roll confidently in your actions, go.

LAURA: Do it, go.

MARISHA: Two attacks, I'm rolling both attacks.

TRAVIS: There's no playbook here.

ARISHA: No playbook, no playbook. Okay. First roll sucks. It's a 12.

MATT: Misses.

MARISHA: Second roll is better, 25.

MATT: That hits, the second attack does damage.

MARISHA: I'm going to use my staffy-poo. Okay, 11 damage.

MATT: 11 damage.

TRAVIS: Why can't I get just one more spell?

MATT: Crack, it hits her in the side, her body barely shifts, the rage absorbing the blow. MARISHA: Stunning Strike.

MATT: 20.


MATT: Or 18, sorry, so yeah, she resists the stun.

MARISHA: So do I get my bonus?

MATT: You still have your bonus action, yeah.

MARISHA: Flurry of Blows. Pop pop.

MATT: Flurry of Blows. Go for it.

MARISHA: Attack one, attack two... okay, okay, okay. I rolled a natural 19 on the first one, so 29.

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: That is a six on the dice, so 12 total. Stunning Strike. Come on.

MATT: 16.


MATT: She's got a high constitution saving throw. She's a barbarian.

MARISHA: I thought it was a wis-- no, Stunning Strike. She is a barbarian. Second one. Second one is 19 to hit.

MATT: 19 does hit.

MARISHA: Seven damage.

MATT: Seven damage, all right. These hits are (thudding). She's shrugging them off.

MARISHA: And Stunning Strike again, one more time. This was a bad idea. I'm burning through all my points.

MATT: 20.


MATT: Sorry, she rolled a 13.

SAM: Oh boy.

MARISHA: That's my turn.

MATT: All right, that finishes Beau's go. Caleb, you doing anything? You marking off a fourth turn?

LIAM: No. I don't see this as feasible. I shove the chalk back--

MATT: You don't see this, by the way. Just so you know, you're hidden back here. The tree line is blocking everything, but it's up to you. If you hear the sound of this fighting and you do what you want to do, go for it.

LIAM: That is what I'm going to do. I'm going to shove the chalk away. I'm going to abandon the Teleportation Circle. I'm going to move at a diagonal this way to see what the fuck is going on. I know how long I have to draw this circle and I don't believe it's going to happen.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: So I'm going this way. Do I see the fight happening?

MATT: You do.

LIAM: I cast-- I pull out molasses on my hand and drag it and cast Slow on Obann and Yasha only.

MATT: Obann and Yasha only. Okay. That is a what save?

LIAM: 17.

MATT: Dexterity, right?

LIAM: No, I don't think that's correct. I think it is--

MATT: For Slow, or is it wisdom?

LIAM: Where is it? Where is it? Wisdom.

MATT: It is wisdom, okay, gotcha.

LIAM: 17.

MATT: Obann is a 20, he succeeds.

SAM: Damn it.

MATT: Yasha... 21, they rolled really high, sorry.

LIAM: It's fine, I'm out. I've given up on the Teleportation Circle. I don't think it's going to happen.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Six rounds wasn't that long.

LIAM: It doesn't matter. The cat is with Jester still.

MATT: It's too late now. Your exit's out.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Oh boy, all right, Jester, you and Yasha.

MARISHA: "Oh boy." Oh boy.

SAM: When your DM says "Oh boy."

LAURA: I'm going to have my duplicate move out from behind the tree.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Holding the 50-gold diamond in my hand, I'm going to have my duplicate pull out what looks like another heart. She's going to walk forward and cast Incite Greed.

SAM: What does that mean?

LAURA: She's going to make it look like she's holding the heart. She's going to say "I have it" or she's not going to say shit. She's just going to hold it up and walk forward. So Incite Greed is a wisdom save of 17 of any creatures that I choose within 30 feet of the spellcaster, who is duplicate Jester. She moves as far forward as she can, to get them within range. I don't know if Obann will be within range.

MATT: Obann will not be in range unfortunately.

LAURA: But the tree and Yasha, potentially.

MATT: You can move her 30 feet, right?

LAURA: Yeah, I can move her, yeah, 30 feet away from me, up to 120 feet. So they have to make a wisdom saving throw. If they fail, then all they can do is try to come towards the heart.

MATT: Okay, you will miss Obann in this, just so you're aware. So Yasha makes her save, wisdom. Ooh, that's a fail. So Yasha, who has blade in hand, about to turn on Beauregard, looks back towards you suddenly and one hand goes out reaching towards the heart in illusory Jester's hand.

LAURA: What about the tree?

MATT: You're going for the tree as well. That's right. The tree... 15, I believe that's a fail as well. The tree also looks down towards you. The creaking sound of its wood twisting as it glances downward and it looks like it's also looking towards the illusion.

SAM: Great. Yes, yes, great.

MATT: All right, Yasha, for her turn is going to move up.

MARISHA: Does she leave my combat range?

MATT: She does.

MARISHA: Sentinel.

MATT: All right, go for it.


MATT: 27, that hits.

LIAM: You're coming back.

MARISHA: She's distracted. She's super on Jester. 12 damage.

MATT: Yasha is also no longer charmed by the spell.

MARISHA: Wait, what?

MATT: It breaks the charm.

MARISHA: It breaks the charm?

MATT: Yep.

LAURA: It doesn't say anything about attacking.

MATT: It says "while charmed in this way, a creature is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it." So Yasha, as Yasha goes to run towards it, turns back and looks right at you, even more furious. Charm spells, man. It's a bitch.

LAURA: It doesn't say that on this description.

MATT: D&D Beyond?

LAURA: Yeah, I would've said it. It says when you cast a spell, present the gem. Choose any number of creatures within range. Succeed on a wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you.

SAM: It does say that.

LAURA: Anything harmful to it, got it.

MATT: Sorry.

MARISHA: Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

MATT: But she stays there.

TALIESIN: And she ate a turn.


MATT: It's okay.

LAURA: Now we've just taken the tree out of the play.

MATT: Yasha dropped the charm before she had taken all of her actions. So she's going to turn on you.

TRAVIS: You said we took the tree out of the play?

MATT: Reckless.

LAURA: Took the tree out of the play which was the one thing--

SAM: Which was fighting them.

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Is now fighting us?

LAURA: Well, not fighting us. Just not fighting them.

LIAM: It's fighting everything. It's opened up.

MATT: 23 to hit?


MATT: 18 to hit?


MATT: Okay, 18 misses. You suffer 13 points of slashing damage from the Skingorger attacking Yasha and because of her Necrotic Shroud, you take an additional 10 points of necrotic damage.

MARISHA: So 23 total?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA: I was at 61, right?

MATT: All righty. It is now the wraith's turn. The wraith is going to spend its turn moving towards and trying to grab the gem from the illusory Jester.

LAURA: It does nothing.

MATT: And it does nothing, which frustrates the fuck out of it.

LAURA: It makes another wisdom saving throw.

MATT: Yeah and it's just like looking at it now and it's trying to reach for it and not doing anything. It just stays there. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I will move 30 feet out from behind the tree and advance towards Obann and Yasha. I will-- what is the distance from me to that group?

MATT: That group? You're looking about 80 or so feet to Obann and 70 or so feet to Yasha.

TRAVIS: That does not do much.

LAURA: Who's got the whip?

TRAVIS: I do. I will-- (babbling) With my bonus action, I will speak the command word to the Star-Razor and say "Galasvar" and cause it to emit this blue glow.

MATT: The runes along his sword bringing the light up with this blue radiant glow that now begins to project off of the sword out to a range as now this glowing beacon of blue, radiant energy.

TRAVIS: And I will fire two blasts of Eldritch Blast at Obann.

MATT: At Obann, all righty.

TRAVIS: That is a 16 and a 23.

MATT: 16 misses, but the 23 hits.

TRAVIS: That is 11 points of Eldritch Blast damage.

MATT: 11 points to Obann, you got it. That finish your turn, Fjord?

TRAVIS: Yes, it does.

SAM: Does he drop the heart and the skull?

MATT: No. It is now Obann's turn. Obann, having this, sees the fiddling with it, "Oh shit." Looks around, You see him glancing around for any sign of the Laughing Hand. He goes, "Ah, we'll find him later." He's going to swoop down towards Yasha and he's going to reach out and say, "Come, my love. We have work to do." And he's going to attempt to--

MARISHA: Can she go? Can she leave?

MATT: --Plane Shift.

TRAVIS: There's only two of us that can stop this and I still only have two spell slots.

LIAM: Doing Plane Shift?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Counterspell.

SAM: You have one?!

MATT: What's the range on Counterspell?

LIAM: Let's find out. 60 feet. I'm too far away?

MATT: (counting) 60, 70 feet away. He's out of range.

LIAM: All right.

MATT: He reaches out and grabs Yasha and the two--

MARISHA: Because she's stationary from Sentinel, that doesn't matter?

MATT: It doesn't change at all.

LAURA: You know what? It's for the best. We would have died if they would've stayed. So fuck it.

LIAM: (groans)

MATT: Some bad rolls.

TRAVIS: No, that's okay, that's actually okay for us.

LAURA: This is the best it could be, honestly. We would have died.

TRAVIS: 100%. We need to get the fuck outta here.

TALIESIN: That would've been just a fucking murder.

TRAVIS: But we still have the pissed off tree.

TALIESIN: We still have a giant tree and then we have to hide so that the Laughing Hand doesn't find us.

LAURA: No, Caleb can do the spell, right? You have enough time now. You can do a Teleportation?

MARISHA: What if we kill the Laughing Hand while we're here? Can we kill the Laughing Hand while we're here? He keeps talking about his pact and his chain.

TRAVIS: I think he went to the Laughing Hand.

MARISHA: No, he Plane Shifted. If he Plane Shifted, he's on another plane.

TALIESIN: I don't think we can take the Laughing Hand. We are tapped.

LAURA: We have nothing.

TRAVIS: Saves and damage.

TALIESIN: We will all be working for the Laughing Hand before the end of that fight.

TRAVIS: We got to safety try and get out of here.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that is not--

SAM: Can we teleport the Laughing Hand back to Xhorhas? With our teleportation.

LIAM: What's our next step of the combat action? What's going on? What's the tree doing?

MATT: The tree's just staring at Jester's spell. But we'll come around to that, so Nott, you're up. You watched Obann vanish with Yasha.

TRAVIS: It's okay.

SAM: Damn it. Are we trying to kill this tree?

TRAVIS: No, no, no.

LAURA: No. We just need to get away.

SAM: I will disengage and run as far back towards Caleb as possible.

TRAVIS: Unless Obann grabbed the gallbladder and didn't actually get the heart.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: I mean the Laughing Hand's our friend still.

LAURA: No, he's not.

TALIESIN: No, not anymore. One hour.

TRAVIS: One hour.

SAM: It's been an hour?

TRAVIS: He's about an hour and a half away.

MATT: You got about three minutes.

TALIESIN: And then he's going to realize he got messed with by us.

TRAVIS: But he's also on the outside perimeter. We just need to not waste time.

LAURA: Go back to the Teleportation Circle and finish it and go.

MATT: All right, Beau, Caleb?

LIAM: I'll start making my way over to the Circle. I think I used all my movement to get there. So one thing of movement and I will start to draw.

MATT: All right, so another minute beginning in the Circle.

LIAM: Oh, we start over fresh? I mean I've drawn on the ground, right? Do we pick up where we left off or do we start over?

MATT: Realistically, no.

LIAM: Do I have enough chalk to do it?

MATT: As you walk away, the sigil vanishes for a second.

LIAM: Do I have enough chalk to do it?

MATT: We'll say yes, you do.

LIAM: Okay, all right.

MATT: But you don't get to just continue the spell you were in the process of doing before.

LIAM: Understood.

MATT: You have to do it over again.

LIAM: You got it.

SAM: Oh boy, guys.

MARISHA: Is the tree pissed off at me? Do I get a sense that he's mad?

MATT: The tree is currently focused on Jester's Duplicate.

LAURA: Then run away, just get away from it.

TRAVIS: How does it feel about our relationship right now?

MARISHA: I'm going to disengage and wait for the-- do I need to disengage? Am I in his melee range?


MARISHA: Then no, I'm not going to spend a ki point. I'm just going to run. Then I'm going to gouge my eyes out with my staff.

MATT: Careful with that pencil!

TALIESIN: I know, that's how every accident has ever happened.

MATT: Yeah, don't do that.

MARISHA: I am very conscious.

ALL: Don't do it!


MATT: (weakly) As your husband...

MARISHA: It's not even a sharp pencil.

MATT: It doesn't have to be.

LAURA: It's still could do some damage.

MATT: It's all good. SAM: No sharp objects here.

MARISHA: Give me back my shit! Don't patronize me! Goddamn it, go.

LIAM: Took away my journal.

MARISHA: Fucking A.

MATT: It's all good, all right, so.


MATT: This thing is distracted for up to the minute that you concentrated on the spell, which should give you just enough time to prepare the circle. You guys go and gather near Caleb. The tree is still focused on the illusion that you stay within the range to maintain.


MATT: Right as that begins to fade and the tree turns, on the very edge you can see running, lumbering out of the side of the darkness (stomping), the Laughing Hand.

LAURA: (announcer voice) Round three!

MATT: You finish the Circle.

TRAVIS: (high voice) You can stay on the perimeter.

MATT: You guys all rush in.

LIAM: Rosohna.

MATT: All right. (swooshing) You all vanish back to the core of the Dynasty.

LIAM: Unsatisfied.

TRAVIS: I don't know, I'm okay.

MARISHA: It feels bad, man.

SAM: You're okay?!

TALIESIN: This is as close to a win as we were going to get, which is no one's dead.

MARISHA: No! No, we could've got fucking--

MATT: You could have gotten it.

SAM: We were one roll away from getting that thing.

MATT: I know. He rolled really high on trying to pull it out of the tree. I didn't know how long it'd take him. I'm sorry.

TRAVIS: He got it pretty quick.

SAM: He got it in one round!

TALIESIN: All things considered this is as good as it could've went.

LAURA: Sweet, I'm out.

MARISHA: I fucking beg to differ. It's not as good as it could've fucking went.

LIAM: Good as it could've went would've been us with the skull!

MARISHA: Fucking winning!

LIAM: And winning!

MARISHA: I agree with what he's saying!

TALIESIN: This is the best losing we could've had.

LAURA: Yeah, well.

MATT: It's true.

TRAVIS: That is correct.

TALIESIN: I'm okay with a good loss.

TRAVIS: It is the best loss.


SAM: It was definitely a loss.

MARISHA: It was definitely a fucking loss.

LIAM: The humans are pissed off.


LAURA: But you know what, we're not dead.

MARISHA: We have a short amount of time to make an impact and we lost.

LIAM: We've got 80 years to make our mark on this world and it's gone!

SAM: (tearfully) I only have 30!


MATT: Well then.

TALIESIN: Shit. That was so stressful.

MARISHA: Goddamn it.

LIAM: You're a halfling and we will work on that.

TALIESIN: I did still have Turn Undead and Blight.

LAURA: Oh, nice.

LIAM: I had a lot of spell slots left. We could have fought.

TALIESIN: I had my auto Turn Undeads.

LIAM: Caleb wanted to fight.

LAURA: Yeah, we know. That's why he fucking abandoned the Teleportation Circle and doomed us all to die.

MARISHA: It's true.

LIAM: For all those rounds that never fucking happened.

MATT: It's all good, guys.

TALIESIN: We're alive.

SAM: Everyone made mistakes, except for me.


MARISHA: I feel pretty confident about my choices.

LAURA: Your mistake was rolling really low.

MARISHA: Now I'm just breaking a pencil into tiny shards over here.

TRAVIS: Those are small pieces.


MATT: Well guys, I mean...

TRAVIS: We're alive!

TALIESIN: We're alive!

MATT: You're alive and we'll continue this in a couple weeks.

LIAM: Fuck!

TRAVIS: Now it's timeout.

LIAM: Goddamn it!

MATT: I know it's frustrating, I'm sorry.

TALIESIN: You got to fire your sword finally. And make it glow.

LAURA: You used your cool sword.

TRAVIS: (humming)

TALIESIN: Lightsaber up, lightsaber down.

MARISHA: Mighty Nein hasn't had a victory in some time.

LAURA: Yeah, Mighty Nein is like--

MARISHA: It fucking sucks.

LAURA: The big no.

MARISHA: The big no.

LAURA: Just a big fucking no.

MARISHA: I'm going to keep fucking shattering pieces over here.

TALIESIN: Everyone loves a loser. We're good.

TRAVIS: There were many TPK moments in that, though. We really scraped by.

MATT: You guys made some, some clever fucking things that avoided some serious challenges here.

TRAVIS: Remember, the idea was to get there before they did and get out undetected. We were in their shit the whole time and we lived. That's okay.

TALIESIN: If we had gotten here before them, I deeply believe we could've pulled this off.

TRAVIS: Yeah, if we got here before, but that just didn't happen.

MARISHA: I still feel like we should've pulled it off when we had the chance, man. We should've swiped his shit before we even got here.

TALIESIN: I think the Laughing Hand and three hounds would've shown up and we would've died in one round.

SAM: You know when we can always guarantee a victory? When we dine on Wendy's food.


LIAM: Tune in next week for whatever the fuck that is going to be.

SAM: You always win with Wendy's.

MARISHA: They don't even know.

TALIESIN: It's so insane.

LIAM: Let the humbling begin.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: The humbling is here.

MATT: The humbling is here, but we'll continue the next leg of this venture in a couple weeks. Until then, we love you guys, we love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Goodnight.

LIAM: It's Wendy's Thursday.

TRAVIS: ♪ Goodbye ♪

(dramatic music)

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