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Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Hello everybody, and welcome to tonight's episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. Before we hop into tonight's episode, let's get through some announcements very quickly. First and foremost, we have our fantastic returning sponsor, our friends since the beginning of Campaign 2, D&D Beyond. Sam!

SAM: D&D Beyond just released-- this is actually kind of exciting-- just released the new Creatures section. Users now have a place to add any type of monster stat block for easy reference during play! You can add your favorite wild shape or familiar forms, keep up with your ranger's companion, summoned creatures, mounts, ferrets-- or what do we have, a weasel?

LAURA: Yeah!

SAM: Followers and more! You can also track hit points and customize the name and stats for all of your creatures! To celebrate, I've crafted a quick little trivia quiz for Laura! We'll start with Laura and bounce around. I searched through D&D Beyond's list of actual familiars listed on their site. I will name four creatures. One of these is actually a board game. The other three are actual D&D familiars. Which is the board game and not a familiar? A) Boggle, B) Juiblex, C) Pudding King, D) Unstable Unicorns.

LAURA: Boggle!

SAM: Incorrect. I said, "Which is a board game and NOT a familiar?" Boggle is also a familiar! Unstable Unicorns is the correct answer.

LAURA: It’s stupid!

SAM: Taliesin, one of these is a West Hollywood bar--

TALIESIN: Ready!

SAM: Three of these are D&D familiars. Which is the real bar? The Naughty Pig, the Mantrap, the Steel Predator, the Cockatrice.

TALIESIN: Which of these is--

SAM: Is a real bar!

TALIESIN: The Naughty Pig.

SAM: Correct!

TALIESIN: I know my West Hollywood bars, man.

LAURA: Oh my god.

SAM: Marisha, one of these is an Australian candy. The other are beasts on the list. Which is the real Australian candy? (Australian accent) A nalfeshnee? Musk stick?

TRAVIS: All of Australia is turning off.

SAM: Ochre jelly? Vegepygmy?

MARISHA: What was the last one?

SAM: Vegepygmy.

TRAVIS: No, that's not a familiar.

MARISHA: What's B?

SAM: Musk stick. You got it correct! It's actually a candy from Australia!

TRAVIS: Vegepygmy is a familiar?

MATT: Vegepygmy is legit.

SAM: I'm going to skip the next one and go straight to Travis. Sorry, Liam, you lose. No, I'll do Liam's, too! One of these is a Kama Sutra position. The other three are beasts! Which is a Kama Sutra position? The Flying Snake, the Curled Flower--

LIAM: The Cold Flower?

SAM: Curled Flower. The Stench Cow, or the Corpse Flower?

LIAM: Which one is the--

SAM: Kama Sutra's sexy position.

LIAM: Which one *is*?

SAM: Yeah.

LIAM: Run through those really fast.

SAM: Flying Snake! Curled Flower! Stench Cow! Corpse Flower!

LIAM: Oh god, too fast.

TRAVIS: You got it, pick one!

LIAM: Corpse Flower. It's the only thing I can remember. He said it too fast!

SAM: Curled Flower is-- Speed round! I'm still going! Travis, I'm going to say pairs of names. One of each is a World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler, the other is a D&D familiar. Grung or Mojo Rawley? Say the one that's the wrestler. Grung or Mojo Rawley?

TRAVIS: Grung.

SAM: No. Manshoon or Fandango?

TRAVIS: Manshoon!

SAM: No. Leucrotta or Lou Albano?

TRAVIS: Lou Albano.

SAM: Correct. Annis hag or Gran Metalik?

TRAVIS: Gran Metalik.

SAM: Correct, and one more: Giff or Mirt? They're both beasts!

MATT: I don't think Mirt would appreciate being called a beast.

SAM: I don't know what any of these things are!

MATT: But a familiar, perhaps. Thank you, Sam, and thank you, D&D Beyond.

SAM: I did a lot of research on D&D Beyond today. It was fascinating to scroll through the list of beasts and familiars!

TALIESIN: I'm especially impressed you found the list of West Hollywood bars on D&D Beyond. That's an obscure crowd.

MATT: It's amazing the reach the program has now. Thank you, D&D Beyond, for your sponsorship. Gotta catch 'em all. A couple of other updates: the latest episode of Between the Sheets starring our fantastic Liam O'Brien right here is now available on the Critical Role YouTube. That's youtube.com/criticalrole.

MATT: Make sure to check out this coming Monday on our Twitch channel, twitch.tv/criticalrole, at 7:00pm Pacific to see the next episode of Between the Sheets with our fantastic Sam Riegel.

SAM: I'm on this show?

MATT: You're up the next week, yeah, get ready.

SAM: Did they pay me?

MATT: That would be a conversation to have with the Creative Director.

SAM: Brian has to pay me to be anywhere within 500 feet of him. It's the rule.

MATT: I think legally you're not supposed to be? Check that out on Monday, 7:00pm Pacific on our Twitch channel, and the next episode of All Work No Play airs tomorrow, also at twitch.tv/criticalrole, at 7:00pm Pacific time. You get to watch these two awesome gentlemen here, as well as the special guest, Stephanie Sheh.

SAM: We're doing the rage room tomorrow.

ALL: Rage room!

SAM: It's going to be fun.

LIAM: Got almost all of it out.

MATT: (slow motion talking)

TRAVIS: Benadryl.

MATT: So there's that. Anybody else have any other announcements?

LAURA: The pre-orders for the Keyfish t-shirt start shipping tomorrow. Outside of that, just go to the shop. Y’all know the drill.

MARISHA: It's fine, we're gods!

MATT: All right then. Without further ado, I say it's time we go ahead and dial in for tonight's episode of Critical Role.

[TV static, click] [groovy Critical Role theme]

Part IEdit

MATT: And welcome back.

TALIESIN: Never an accident.

MATT: No, never! Last we left off: The Mighty Nein, following their thread of information, in pursuit of the source of the strange sphere that Fjord had come into the possession of-- that seemed to tie in some way, shape or form to the magical powers he had been slowly learning to control and manifest-- led you to southward to the Menagerie Coast where you commandeered a ship named the Mist, which you then renamed the Mistake, hired a crew and made your way south-southeast towards the island of Urukaxl to follow the apparent source of this note that seemed to have some information about where it was from and where it may go. Upon approaching, you were greeted by a much larger ship, which had shot a warning shot across the bow and demanded you to come meet the captain on their deck. You there met Captain Avantika, who had given you the options of either proving yourselves beneath her and her crew by helping them, putting yourself in danger at her behest, or they would weigh your corpses down with rocks within the nearby bay amongst the reefs. You agreed to give into these demands and an evening's stay within the ship known as the Squalleater. A little bit of thievery went into the cargo hold of the ship while Fjord had been called to the captain's quarters, where the two of you discovered that you had something in common. You both appeared to have been, from her words, the chosen of Uk'otoa, an ancient entity referred to as the leviathan that was a historical creation of Zehir, the Cloaked Serpent, before it was banished along with the rest of the gods in the Calamity and following Divergence. Now the captain, seeing herself as the chosen and seeing you in a similar state -- this kismet was grappled onto quite strongly by her-- sent you to bed with the excitement of this travel, of which you would embark upon in the next day.

MATT: Upon waking, you found that Jamedi, a hired adventurer and dungeoneer who was set out to scope the island and find this temple, this supposed structure that was built in honor of Uk'otoa long ago and had since been retaken by followers of the Cloaked Serpent. Jamedi returned, finding the rest of the path too dangerous, but had managed to locate the whereabouts of this temple. Now you've gathered your things, you left the Squalleater onto a couple of skiffs, rowed yourself onto the white beach shores of Urukaxl, and as you all step across the long beach towards the lie of trees that makes the jungle, you make your way into this mysterious wooded area. Mighty Nein, welcome to the jungle.

TRAVIS: (singing) Welcome to the jungle!

MATT: (singing) You're gonna die! (spoken) As Jamedi begins pushing forward into this, I would like to, one, have a marching order.

LAURA: That fast, huh?

MATT: I mean, you guys are going into dangerous territory.

TRAVIS: I'll be up front.

SAM: Yasha's first. We're all 60 feet behind her.

MATT: Fjord's up front.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LAURA: I'll be behind him.

MATT: Avantika's going to ride up with Fjord.

MARISHA: I'll be behind Jester.

MATT: Jamedi's going to be scouting a little bit ahead. Nott, where are you?

SAM: I guess I'll scout with Jamedi.

TRAVIS and LIAM: Yeah!

MARISHA: I'll be behind Jester, yeah, or with Jester.

MATT: Yasha will hold up the rear from a defensive standpoint. Caduceus, Caleb?

TALIESIN: I'll be toward the back, I guess.

LIAM: I will walk behind Beauregard.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Also, question: What is the temperature like here on this island? Are we tropical at this point?

MATT: You are very much in tropical weather. It is warm, it is humid, and, even within maybe ten minutes of walking into the jungle, you can feel the sweat beginning to gather at the edges of your hair and the back of your coat.

LIAM: Caleb would then have taken his coat off and twisted it up and tied it to the back of his coat, so he's just with the holstered books and his shirt sleeves rolled up at this point since it's so hot.

MATT: So you're leaving the coat behind?

LIAM: No, I just tied it onto the back of my pack.

MATT: Ok, gotcha. Cool.

LIAM: Rolled it up like a carpet.

MATT: You begin to step through the soft floor of the island jungle, each footstep coming with a sort of spongy pressure before it hits hard earth, rock, or just compressed compost and soft vegetation. I need you all to roll a stealth check as a group as you press forward.

LAURA: Can I cast Pass Without a Trace so everyone around me gets plus ten?

TALIESIN: Yeah, might be a good idea.

TRAVIS: She's nice in the middle for a good spread.

SAM: May I put up my cloaky thing?

MATT: Of course.

TALIESIN: I'm also going to--

MARISHA: (sneezes)

ALL: Bless you!

TRAVIS: First roll with the new CR die!

LIAM: *Gesundheit.*

TALIESIN: I'm going to politely ask the local greenery and let them know that we're going to be coming through and that we're going to try not to disturb them so long as nothing disturbs us.

SAM: Did you cast Pass Without a Trace?

LAURA: Yes, I did!

TRAVIS: Do you do that out loud?

TALIESIN: Yeah, have to.

TRAVIS: The local greenery?

TALIESIN: Well, I mean, I got to talk to a couple of trees and let them know that we're coming through.

LAURA: I'm going to give the Blessing of the Trickster to Fjord.

TRAVIS: I don't need it, but okY.

TALIESIN: Thank god for that plus ten because that was terrible.

MATT: Avantika and Jamedi. Got it. All right, Caduceus.

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: Good.

LAURA: 32.

SAM: We're all within the--

MATT: 30-foot radius, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Okay, 24.

LIAM: 26.

MARISHA: 29.

TRAVIS: 25.

MATT: I'll roll for Yasha as well. Natural 18, all right. You guys ever so quietly disappear into the jungle brush without issue. The hanging vines and heavy palm fronds around you heavily obscuring your procession deeper into this--

TRAVIS: Caduceus, can I ask you: what do you hear when you converse?

TALIESIN: Shh.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Yeah, I’m sorry.

TALIESIN: If you want to hear it, you have to listen for it. You hear that?

TRAVIS: No.

TALIESIN: What're you hearing, then?

TRAVIS: Nothing.

TALIESIN: Exactly, yeah. It's good. All right.

LIAM: (whispering) They're not saying anything.

TRAVIS: Oh.

MATT: Continuing onward. Who's keeping watch on this?

SAM: Me, and--

TALIESIN: I'm keeping an eye out.

SAM: Who am I out there with? Cosko?

MATT: Jamedi.

TALIESIN: Oh, and Frumpkin.

TRAVIS: Yeah, and Caduceus please.

TALIESIN: I'm keeping an eye around as well.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and roll perception for your vicinity. You guys are rolling perception for the path ahead of you.

SAM: Three.

TRAVIS: What the fuck? Plus?

SAM: Plus zero.

TRAVIS: Why are you rolling perception checks?

SAM: I'm in the front. Makes sense!

MARISHA: Did you get a haircut?

SAM: No, I just styled it a little bit differently.

MARISHA: It looks good!

SAM: Oh, that's nice!

TALIESIN: It might have been the loss of your Samson-like powers.

MATT: So anyway. Bring it in. Pushing forward, you look ahead and it's just endless trees and hanging vines and heavy roots in the ground. You feel nice and confident in the fact that *nothing* is catching your attention. A hand touches your shoulder and turns you to the right. It's Jamedi, who goes, "Shh. Look at this here. This was the first on my--" He pulls a small piece of paper and is taking notes. "I have not looked further within, but this was the first marker to our entry inside." As he points over to show you, about a hundred or so feet off, partially obscured by one of the nearby heavy fronds, a dilapidated driftwood shack, with a frond-thatched roof. He looks back to the rest of you as you begin to approach. "This is the first marker. Do you have a need to stop or do we press on?"

SAM: You've been past here before?

MATT: "I've walked through but did not stop. I do not know if it is safe or not."

SAM: Maybe we should go investigate just in case there's an early warning system or something, and there's someone in there watching us?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Caduceus, Nott, want to check it out?

SAM: Us?!

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Sure.

TRAVIS: Such a good idea.

TALIESIN: That is a really good idea.

SAM: All right. I'll take a big swig and go towards it.

MATT: Okay. Jamedi begins to move, and Avantika puts her hand out and stops Jamedi, and goes, "Terribly sorry, but you are more important on this. You two, you can do this without him?"

SAM: Yes we can, Captain.

MATT: "Very well. We await your return."

SAM: We're supposed to be listening to her, or something. I don't know.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: The two of you tread on. As you approach, you get a good look at it. It looks like this hut has been untouched in a long while. A lot of the overgrowth in the jungle has reclaimed the base of the wood. A lot of it appears to be driftwood, or ramshackle planks that have been carved from trees that have fallen over in the vicinity, or possibly scavenged from shipwrecks that have washed ashore. It is a mismatch of different types of wood and cobbled materials, but it is a shack. It's probably no more than ten-foot by ten-foot, it's not extremely large. You do see a half-rotted sheet of some sort of thick material that blocks the doorway. You see some holes that have been eaten through it.

SAM: Want me to go knock, or you?

TALIESIN: Well, we have a choice here. You're harder to see, I suppose, so there's that.

SAM: All right.

TALIESIN: I'll come up with you, though.

SAM: Okay. I'm going to sneak up and peak through the curtain.

MATT: Okay. You get to the curtain and the material is a thick-- you can see that it probably once belonged to a sail or of a heavy tarp that’s long rotted and mildewed, and as you put your hand to it and tug on it, elements of the threads separate a little bit. Peering inside, you see it's mostly empty. There's a simple cot, there's a chair, a mildewed leather coat that appears to be half folded over and thrown in the corner, and a small box up on the far end of the table in the room that's just open; there's no lid to it. The whole room smells faintly of rot.

MARISHA, TRAVIS, and LAURA: (pigeon cooing)

MATT: Shh.

TALIESIN: I'm going to poke up and put my head in as well. There's no trap doors? Nowhere where anybody could be hiding?

SAM: I can look for traps.

MATT: You can make an investigation check if you want to go check the interior.

TALIESIN: I was just curious immediately if there was anything I notice; I wasn't going to--

SAM: I'll look around for traps on the floor and stuff.

TALIESIN: I was going to look around. Actually, if you're doing that, I'll look around the outside to see if anybody's watching us.

MATT: Okay. Make a perception check.

SAM: Investigation?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: 13.

TALIESIN: 27.

MATT: Glancing around the space, you see half of your party hiding, mostly, not too far off, maybe a hundred feet from the edge. Looking around you, you notice there are a few animals that are up in the top of the trees, leaping. Looks to be some sort of monkey-type creature, small, leaping from branch to branch. You see a few colorful jungle birds that are up in the higher elements of the tree tops. At the moment, no noticeable dangerous figures that could be lurking nearby.

TALIESIN: Nothing’s really watching.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: Looking about, touching the floor, you don't notice any trap doors. You find one plank that feels loose. You pull it up, and it's just dirt. Yeah, it's just the table, the cot, the open box.

SAM: Then I'll use Mage Hand to reach up for that box and grab it off the shelf.

MATT: Okay. You pull the box off the shelf and pull it over. It has a bunch of old, dry-rotted navigation tools. You can see a wooden handled magnifying glass. You can see a piece that held an instrument that was used for charting paths along maps, but the wooden elements of these have warped over time and dried out and there are metallic bits are rusted a bit.

SAM: Does the magnifying glass look like it might still work, maybe?

MATT: It could still work. The glass hasn't been touched; the housing for it has rusted a little.

SAM: I'll grab that. Mr. Clay, should we go in further, or what do you think?

TALIESIN: I don't know. Has the bed been slept in? Does it seem like someone's been here recently or is this abandoned, do you think?

SAM: Why don't you go check it out?

TALIESIN: What? Oh! Well, I'll put my head in.

MATT: Roll an investigation check as you inspect the bed.

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Looking at the cot, it's a simp--

TALIESIN: 12, sorry.

MATT: 12. Okay.

SAM: You don’t see the cot.

MATT: It's a simple cot. It looks like the material bows in the middle where somebody would’ve slept previously. It’s stained from weather over time. Looking up at the thatched roof, it looks like there's probably been a few storms that have battered it enough to the point where it leaks through, and the place itself doesn't really keep any of the rain at bay, what manages to filter down through the treetops nearby, at least. As you push on it, the material tears a bit, and beneath it you see a smaller chest of some kind.

TALIESIN: Huh.

SAM: What?

TALIESIN: Does look dangerous to you?

SAM: The chest?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: I can come see if it's trappied.

TALIESIN: Sure. I'm going to take a step back.

SAM: I'll Mage Hand check for traps.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Wow, so far today, I've rolled two threes and three fours.

MATT: Buddy!

LAURA: Switch that fucking dice out!

SAM: No, it's going to pay off.

TRAVIS: Just think, slot machine!

SAM: 13.

MATT: The chest is locked; it does not appear to be trapped.

SAM: Okay. I'll open it. It's not trapped, for sure.

TALIESIN: Be my guest.

SAM: Well, that's better. 24 total.

MATT: There you go!

TRAVIS: Ding ding ding ding!

TALIESIN: Cherry, cherry, cherry.

MARISHA: Jackpot.

MATT: You go ahead. It opens up; nothing seems to happen. It's relatively small; it's maybe six by four inches in size. You slowly pull it open, moving the cot out of the way. Looking inside, immediately you see a small, golden statue, maybe three inches tall that is a relatively simple carving, it's not extremely detailed. The relief looks like the head of a cobra with the hood open and the jaw open with fangs drawn. Next to that you see three approximately gold piece-sized rubies. They're that big around, but they're fairly thin.

LAURA: Ooh.

SAM: I'll grab them all!

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Ruby buttons!

MATT: You pull them out. As you do, the weight that's been distributed outside of the chest causes it to slide forward. At that point, you notice that there is a cord attached to the base of the chest. The weight was holding it in place. As you remove the objects, the chest slides back against the wall as whatever cable is attached to it goes through a loop through the ceiling and you feel shifting as a large urn of some kind that is currently set up inside a thatch roof tips over, and begins to just release a payload on top of both of you


SAM: Maybe it’s just a silly prank, it’s water.

MATT: It looks to be a cluster of poisonous snakes, dozens of them just stumble down from above. What do you guys do?

SAM: What do we do?

LAURA: Leap out of the way!

SAM: I mean, yeah, I guess I will try to not get hit by the cluster of snakes.

MATT: Go ahead and make a dexterity check.

MARISHA: You got any of that rogue shit?

MATT: Dexterity saving throw.

SAM: Save?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: (hissing) Save friends!

SAM: 23 to save.

MATT: You duck out of the way to the back, get your crossbow ready, and look down. The snakes hit the ground with a sludgy slap. All of these snakes have long been dead, mostly decomposed.

SAM: They didn’t feed the trap snakes?

MATT: Apparently whoever was been handling this hut hasn’t been here for a while.

LAURA: Aw, that’s sad.

TALIESIN: Well, that’s just sad, that’s, yeah.

SAM: Do you want them to decompose?

TALIESIN: I mean, that’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

SAM: Maybe?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I’ll see if I can start the muck going in here and maybe get a nice little indoor terrarium, I don’t know what will happen.

MATT: Sure, they’re still mostly decomposed. But the weather, at least the way it was kept up in there, wasn’t conducive to any heavy jungle fungus, it seems. But you harry that along. You, through your cantrip, manage to watch as these dull blue and gray spores begin to apparate in a row across the pile of somewhat sludgy snake remains.

TALIESIN: That’s already better.

SAM: Were they real rubies or was it all a ruse to get me to pull on them?

MATT: They appear to be.

SAM: Do I have them?

MATT: You have them. You have everything that’s in the chest, you have the gold idol, the small snake head idol, and you have these three gold piece-shaped rubies. They’re about that thick, and that big around. Make an investigation check.

SAM: Me?

MATT: Yes. It would be perception, actually.

SAM: 12

MATT: You look at the rubies as you’re inspecting them and they have little scratches at the edges, it’s like slight-- I wouldn’t say imperfections, it’s not like they were originally there. But you can see small grooves or lines along the outer edge where something metal or pointy was used to scrape or picked.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: This is good. This is some Uncharted shit right now.

TALIESIN: There are some maps in with the compass-- just some tools? All right.

MATT: Nothing else. Just a few things left behind, and no sign of who once built or at least lived in this space nearby. But they haven’t been here for a while, whoever they were.

SAM: Let’s go tell the others about everything that we found, except for all the rubies and gold. I’m kidding, we’ll tell them about it.

TALIESIN: All right, I-- you know, okay, sure. We can do that.

SAM: Unless you’re cool with not telling them, because that’s cool with me, too.

TALIESIN: Telling who what?

SAM: All right, you’re confusing.

LAURA: What did you find, what did you find?

SAM: I found those beautiful eyes of yours. I can’t-- I found two rubies.

LAURA: Two whole rubies?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Whoa, what did they look like?

SAM: Like this.

LAURA: Ooh!

TALIESIN: It’d look even better with the golden snake thing. I mean the whole thing comes together nicely.

TRAVIS: What golden snake?

SAM: Oh, there’s a golden snake, I forgot.

LAURA: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Is it just a cobra head by itself, or is there also a body?

MATT: No, it’s just a head, about an inch below where the jaw opens. It’s about three inches tall altogether.

LAURA: Is it like our little mini Yasha bust?

MATT: Kind of, yeah! Only with no torso. It’s just like a snake head that’s curled up, and it’s only from about there to where the mouth is.

LAURA: I try to feed the ruby to the snake head.

LIAM: May I have a look at this one? Not the rubies.

LAURA: Do I see anything cool about the rubies? Do I also see the little (scratching)?

MATT: You do also notice the small scrapes, yes.

LIAM: Are there any runes on this thing, does it seem arcane in nature?

MATT: It does not appear to have any runes inscripted on it. There’s no language carved or pressed into the mold. It looks to be like it was sculpted not by a master artist or sculptor. Some of the details are a little loose and bleed a bit: where the mouth and the teeth are some of them are a little bent or off-kilter. It looks like it was more of a passion project than a fine piece of craftsmanship.

LIAM: Yeah, how does everyone feel about a ten-minute breather here? I sit down and unholster my book and begin to cast Identify as a ritual.

MARISHA: Hey, can you do that on multiple things at a time—

LIAM: No. One at a time.

MARISHA: That seems excessive.

SAM: What do you have that you want to identify?

LIAM: Do you have a quicker way?

MARISHA: Just a thing that was given to me.

LAURA: What thing was given to you?

MARISHA: A feather from Nila forever ago.

LIAM: It’s only ten minutes.

SAM: You don't trust her?

LAURA: Who's Nila?

MARISHA: I don't know, I'm just saying it might be magical.

TALIESIN: Magic feather.

MARISHA: Magic feather. Maybe it makes me fly.

TALIESIN: Maybe it makes you fly, maybe it makes you molt. There's all sorts of things feathers could do.

MARISHA: Oh that's right, you didn't meet Nila.

LAURA: Nuh-uh.

MARISHA: Yeah, she looked like Caduceus.

TALIESIN: She was really nice.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: We didn't look anything alike, but yeah she was very nice.

MARISHA: Oh sorry.

TALIESIN: I'm much taller.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we can take ten minutes, we'll set out a little perimeter just to make sure we deflect any unwanted--

LAURA: I mean if Avantika thinks it's okay. Does Captain Avantika think it's okay for us to take ten minutes?

MATT: Captain Avantika crosses her arms and impatiently goes “Whatever it takes if you think it will give us there safer. I trust you and your specialties.”

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Hey is there any benefit to showing-- I whisper-- is there any benefit to showing the captain Avantika that letter we found that she wrote?

LAURA: Hmm, we should ask Fjord before we do that.

SAM: All right. What's Fjord doing right now?

(laughter)

SAM: (yelling) Hey Fjord!

TRAVIS: Huh?

SAM: (yelling) Fjord! (spoken) I whisper.

(laughter)

SAM: Is there any benefit to showing Captain Avantika the letter that I think she wrote?

TRAVIS: Why would we do that?

SAM: I don't know. That's why I'm asking. I'm a simple goblin. I don't know the world weary ways of a sailor.

TRAVIS: You certainly could. I don't see what harm it could bring.

LAURA: I’m still picturing you in the stripy sailor outfit.

TRAVIS: Sure, go for it.

SAM: No, I'll just hang on to it. If she ever is like, I don't know. If we ever need it, we got it!

MARISHA: I walk over. Hey, are we whispering?

LAURA: Shh. We’re whispering.

MARISHA: Oh sorry. Sorry, we're whispering.

SAM: Never mind, we were just talking about this letter, but don't show Avantika. We can use it to copy her handwriting and write a check.

MARISHA: You never show people their stolen mail.

SAM: Oh, of course, I should have asked you first!

MARISHA: Don’t. Absolutely not. Keep that shit on lock.

TRAVIS: He's rolling dice, you guys. Is the shack large enough to house our entire?

MATT: Not comfortably, but any means.

TRAVIS: We'll kind of--

LAURA: We'll be quiet, we'll just stay still and look around.

MATT: In this ten minutes, the blanketed heat and humidity this jungle tends to hold in is uncomfortable for those of you more used to the northern elements of this content.

LIAM: Yeah, this sucks.

MATT: The sweat is definitely collecting beneath all of your armor and clothing, pooling in areas you hadn't expected. Your hair is matted against your face, the insects are starting to find their way to you as the scent of sweaty humanoid draws them nearby, occasionally being bit here and there. You finish casting Identify. This is not magical, it doesn’t have any magical properties. It seems to be just an idol, it looks like it was attached to something in the past, but it's probably literally worth its weight in gold.

LIAM: Nott, here's your toy back.

SAM: Thank you.

TRAVIS: I have a question for you, Matt. Is it really just us and Avantika and Jamedi?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: And that's it?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: I scan the forest. Are we being followed?

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Fuck, balls, shit, six.

MATT: Looks clear.

MARISHA: So foggy.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s the humidity. I walk over to Avantika and say: Might I ask, you said your men are dedicated to this cause as well. How much do you share with them?

MATT: "I share what is needed. I share with them the elements of the dreams and visions I've been given. For me it is one thing to have a loyal crew; it is another to have a crew that has faith in you beyond being just captain. I do not want a mutiny, and what's more effective than someone that thinks that not only are you a proper captain, but you are the link to their god?"

TRAVIS: Very effective.

MATT: "There are ranging levels of belief, maybe, but I think with the time we spend together and the willingness to understand the possibilities of having a captain with such capabilities at their disposal, that-- well, riches are not that far off on the horizon, eh?"

TRAVIS: Blind belief is quite remarkable. I'm assuming you've shown them things to garner some level of expectation of your abilities?

MATT: "Oh, do not misunderstand, I myself have gutted and cut down dozens of men who have attempted to take my position."

TRAVIS: I don't doubt it for a moment.

MATT: "Speaking of which," and she removes her dagger and rapier and looks about and you can see beautiful weapons, very well made and very well kept. In fact, most of her equipment that she has, you can see her fiddling with occasionally to adjust and clean things as she moves through. There's a very forceful intent to make sure everything is properly placed and well taken care of on her person. She looks about and goes, "And as much as we are keeping an eye on us ahead, I am still keeping and eye on all of you, of course."

TRAVIS: I would expect nothing less.

MATT: "Because, while I would like to believe this new-found kinship could make for some very incredible possibilities in the future, you cross me and this blade will find your heart faster than anything you've seen move."

TRAVIS: Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

MATT: "I hope not either." She reaches out and pokes your nose and turns around.

MARISHA: She booped you. Nope.

TRAVIS: She just gets a finger full of sweat.

LIAM: Was all of that for all to hear or are they off a bit?

MATT: They were off a bit, away from everybody.

TRAVIS: Are we satisfied?

SAM: Let's go, let's keep going. Oh, what?

LIAM: Yeah, I'm good. Break time over.

TRAVIS: All right.

MATT: "All right. Jamedi?" "Of course." They begin falling into the same positions, with both Jamedi and Nott taking point. Everybody make another stealth check, please.

MARISHA: Another stealth check.

LAURA: Pass Without a Trace still going? It goes for how long?

MATT: It lasts for an hour.

LAURA: Okay, yeah.

MATT: So yeah, it's still going for a bit.

LAURA: Oh, Blessing, who needs a Blessing?

MARISHA: (pigeon cooing)

MATT: Technically it's still on Fjord.

TRAVIS: I'll take it. Is that advantage? Better. 21.

MATT: 21? Okay.

MARISHA: 19.

LIAM: 29.

SAM: 29.

LAURA: 22.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: Okay. All doing pretty damn well. Continuing to coast forward for the next hour, hour and a half or so, following Jamedi's path. You can see him pulling out notes here and there and looking for different things, and occasionally he'll come upon a heavy palm tree or jungle tree that he's marked with a blade and he's keeping tabs on his marks to follow his path back to where he originally found his way. Along the way, the insects are getting really obnoxious. The buzzing itself becoming this low, droning, ever-present hum, but the bites are getting extremely obnoxious. Jamedi acknowledging, once he starts seeing it more and more, goes, "I did not find them a problem before. Perhaps they seem to enjoy your flavors more than mine."

MARISHA: Ew.

LAURA: I’m really tasty

TRAVIS: And sweet.

TALIESIN: Are the insects really not bothering him at all?

MATT: They're not bothering him really, it seems.

TALIESIN: Just out of idle curiosity--

SAM: Is he a human?

MATT: He's human.

TALIESIN: I'm going to very quickly cast Eyes of the Grave.

TRAVIS: Of the what?

TALIESIN: Anything undead within 60 feet is going to glow and I'm going to get a little glow off anything that registers as undead.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: What the fuck?

SAM: Beauregard starts glowing.

MATT: You--

MARISHA: Twist!

MATT: You get a very faint undead aura emanating from Jamedi.

(gasping)

TRAVIS: You slick motherfucker.

MARISHA: Still a twist!

TRAVIS: Really? Out of the fucking blue.

LAURA: He's good.

SAM: Do you share this knowledge with anyone?

TALIESIN: At some point when I can get to Fjord quietly, at some point.

MATT: All right. Well, first off, I need everyone to make a constitution saving throw.

MARISHA: Why? Because it's so hot?

MATT and TRAVIS: Just make one.

MARISHA: Jeez, that was so close.

TRAVIS: 20.

MARISHA: Nine.

TRAVIS and LAURA: *Nein!*

LAURA: Is that back?

LIAM: Natural 20.

SAM: Natural 12.

LAURA: 12.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

MATT: All righty! Not bad. Good spread, guys. Continuing to press on.

TRAVIS: Somebody cast something, right? Does that mean somebody cast something?

LAURA: Yeah, it's Jamedi.

MARISHA: Is it just so hot? What’s happening? Is it bugs?

TALIESIN: I'm going to crawl up to Fjord in the line at some point. Been keeping my eye out, getting the lay of the land and Jamedi is not quite alive.

TRAVIS: I'm sorry, did you say not quite--

TALIESIN: It's not quite alive.

MARISHA: Am I close enough to where I can overhear this?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: I don't think it's an appropriate moment to bring something like that up, but it's worth--

TRAVIS: Do you detect anything sinister?

TALIESIN: Yeah, it's not quite alive.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's inherent, sure. Right.

TALIESIN: If anything, I feel like I'm exercising an enormous amount of willpower just not to-- I mean, just doesn't seem like we're in-- there's a good advantage to dealing with this now. But, yeah, there's something weird there.

TRAVIS: Thank you for letting me know. I hope you’ll keep an eye on it for us.

TALIESIN: Oh, I'm keeping an eye on it. Yeah.

TRAVIS: All right.

LIAM: I would also say, as we're tromping through, that I would push forward and try to catch up with Jamedi, momentarily. Oh jeez, what is that?

MARISHA: Sorry.

LIAM: Excuse me, two questions for you.

MATT: Looks over his shoulder at you.

LIAM: What’s that? How much further? A day's travel or more than one day until we reach our destination?

MATT: "With a full group like this, and trying to be as quiet as possible. I give us about maybe one day. There will be a night of camping along the way."

LIAM: And did you encounter any kind of threats?

MATT: "There are dangerous things in this jungle, but it is easy to keep out of sight as one man. This many? Well, not as much."

LIAM: Anything specific that we should be on guard for or prepared for?

MATT: "There are lizardfolk that exist on the outskirts of this island."

LIAM: You mentioned that.

MATT: "They call the rivers, streams and the inlets home. Then there are the people of scale and fang, the snake-folk that exist further in near this temple. Variations of their strange physical--" What are you guys doing over there?

SAM: Trying to open candy.

MATT: How about we hold off? Congratulations.

TALIESIN: That was sort of my fault, I apologize.

MATT: "The people that have built around this temple, their variations in how their worship-- the boons of this long-gone snake god they worship seems to apparate on their person in different ways. I've seen some with heads that are full of serpent features, patches of scales, yellow eyes, as well as some with limbs themselves transformed into snake-like forms. It is stuff of nightmares."

LAURA: Like their arms but their legs are just--

LIAM: You avoided them, you did not tangle with them yourself.

MATT: "No, that is not the work I do. I am not a fighter by any means. My job is to not be seen, to infiltrate, recover, and expedite my exit."

LIAM: Makes sense. I cast Mage Armor right in front of him on myself. Thank you. See you later. I'm going back to my earlier position.

MATT: All right. Continuing forward for the next few hours or so, the heat is getting heavier and heavier as the afternoon sky now greets you. You find yourself stopping to eat and drink water along the way with what supplies you have available to you. The next few hours or so as it begins to get darker and darker--

LAURA: I have a question.

MATT: Yes?

LAURA: With my medicine stuff, would I know anything that would help get rid of bugs and stuff? That would keep bugs away from me?

MATT: It's possible. Make a nature check.

LAURA: Oh no, a natural one.

MATT: You have no clue.

TALIESIN: Bugs! How do they work?

MATT: Not a whole lot of jungle insects in or around Nicodranas, unfortunately. Nothing catches your attention necessarily.

LIAM: You said it’s also darker now? As I chew on some liquorice root.

MATT: Yes, it’s getting steadily darker as you guys move your way through.

SAM: Were there any flowers on our journey?

MATT: Were there any what?

SAM: Flowers. Did we pass any flowers?

MATT: There are a number of jungle flowers that you pass.

SAM: I'm going to pick some as we go.

MATT: Sure, all right. Most of the ones you come across are like a dull pink in color that fade to a green at the base. It's not a vibrant pink, just enough of that whitish red crossover to appear. A lot of them grow along the base of the roots of some of these jungle trees and you collect a few handfuls of them. Okay. Yes?

MARISHA: I go over to Fjord while we're taking a break. Hey, did you find anything out from Avantika? About, you know, shit that you guys have in common?

TRAVIS: No, I asked if she shared with her men her passions and all the details that she knows and all the knowledge. I thought maybe she might covet that, but it seems like she's quite forthcoming. She's trying to build a following, like a zealot almost. You know, build believers out of her crew.

MARISHA: Does she believe it, though?

TRAVIS: Yeah. She's convincing if she's a liar. I think she genuinely wants to summon forth this thing.

MARISHA: But does she believe that she's a zealot, like connected to some god.

TRAVIS: That she's the chosen? Yeah.

MARISHA: How are you feeling from last night? Seemed like you had a rough night.

TRAVIS: No, I'm fine. Fine. Rested. REM sleep is some of the best, so you know. I feel energized. Jazzed. Excited to continue on.

MARISHA: All right. Did you ever read any horror stories as a kid or did you and your friends tell horror stories? Spooky things?

TRAVIS: Ghost stories? Yeah.

MARISHA: You know how there's always a time where the narrator stops, lets your imagination run wild with what happens?

TRAVIS: Yep.

MARISHA: I just wanted to say. People might have ideas and thoughts, and I'm trying to look out for you because we said we'd have each other's backs. Sometimes the less you say, the more people's minds like to fill in the blanks. From what I've learned, generally, what's in people’s heads is worse than the reality of the situation.

TRAVIS: Wow. Do you want to tell me what's in people’s heads?

MARISHA: I mean, look, we've seen you do some weird, fucked up shit, right?

TRAVIS: Admittedly.

MARISHA: So any time you're unsure it's going to make other people even more unsure, with a layer of suspicion. It's like a tiramisu of confusion.

TRAVIS: Well, I admit that I'm not sure about a lot of this. No pressure, right?

MARISHA: No pressure.

TRAVIS: I will try to fill in as many details as I can.

MARISHA: Let's go fight some snake people.

TRAVIS: Totes.

MARISHA and TRAVIS: Yeah!

LIAM: While that is going on, I walk over and stand next to Caduceus and say: Hey. Hello, would you hang out with me for a moment?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: Excellent, let's stand right here. I casually pull out the wire and I cast Message to Nott. Nott, would you please go, I need you to speak to Avantika and Jamedi together for a moment, please?

SAM: You need me to speak to Avantika and Jamedi?

LAURA: What are you saying?

SAM: Sorry, what?

LAURA: Are you talking to yourself?

SAM: Oh. (whispering) I'm on the phone.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: *Ja.*

SAM: Recast. What do you need me to say? You can respond to this message.

LIAM: Just distract them, please.

SAM: Oh!

LAURA: What did he say?

SAM: Got it.

LAURA: What is it? What did he say?

SAM: (whispering) I'm on the phone right now, okay? I'll get to you when I'm done.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: (normal volume) Okay. That was Caleb. He wants me to go distract Avantika and Jumanji for a moment. Do you want to come help me?

LAURA: Okay!

SAM: What should we do?

LAURA: Should we do a dance?

SAM: We've practiced one.

LAURA: I mean, we did a really good one before. So yeah. We could do that for them.

SAM: We could try to teach it to them.

LAURA: Yeah!

SAM: Great. Ahem. Hoy hoy! Hi, Captain Avantika.

LAURA: And Jamedi.

MATT: Jamedi's a few feet ahead. He's currently leading the path. They're about 20 feet from each other.

SAM: Oh, sorry.

LAURA: I'll get Jamedi.

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: Hey, Jamedi!

MATT: Jamedi is like, "What?"

LAURA: Can you come here for a second? I have something I need to show you.

MATT: What is this? This has no bearing on--

LAURA: It's really important, though. It's super important.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LAURA: Ooh! 22.

MATT: He goes, (sigh) "What is it?"

LAURA: Come here, come here!

SAM: Hi!

TRAVIS: You can see the temperature rising.

MATT: (sigh) He begins to walk over in your direction.

LAURA: Okay, now that we have you two together.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Avantika' still ten feet from you, but is like, "What is it you want?"

LAURA: Okay, we'll do this very quietly.

SAM: Something that-- Hi, it's me, Gilligan. Nice to see you again. Something that we used to do on our ship to relieve the tension.

LAURA and SAM: And raise morale.

SAM: Was we had a boat dance.

LAURA: Yes, and it was specific when we were on really important missions and stuff.

SAM: Do you guys have one of those?

MATT: "Not specific to the dance, no. Not to the boat, at the very least."

LAURA: Well, so you have dances, though? Did you do to raise morale? Do you and Jamedi do one together?

MATT: Jamedi goes, "This is completely inconsequential to me and I need to keep an eye on the path ahead."

LIAM: After a moment passes, I stand behind Caduceus' tall frame and quietly cast Detect Magic.

MATT: Okay. So, you cast Detect Magic. As your visual aura expands beyond, giving you faint bits of essence of magic around you. All of your friends that have various magical accouterments themselves, begin to glow on their persons and around their persons. You can see that Avantika, both blades that are currently sheathed give off a faint aura. That seems to be all that you can notice at the moment.

LIAM: Even for Jamedi?

MATT: Jamedi, you do not see--

LIAM: Oh, I need to walk up and learn more about this dance, then.

TALIESIN: Wait, I'm going to stop you because I see what you're doing. You're probably not going to get anything off him, but he's got an undead vibe that I've been picking up.

LIAM: Oh. *Ja verstehen,* okay.

TALIESIN: I feel you. It's been making me pretty creeped out, to be honest, but I'm trying to hold together and keep chill. Chill. Lot's of chill. It's hot, but--

LIAM: I still want to see what he's carrying.

TALIESIN: You're really going-- Let me know what you see and we'll compare notes later.

LIAM: What are you two doing over here? You're holding up. We need to move.

MATT: Jamedi's already moving, by the way, he's ignored both of you and has continued up with the path.

LIAM: I try to catch up to him!

LAURA: Oh. We're just showing the dance, is all.

SAM: Oh, sorry.

LIAM: I pass them by. Try to catch up.

MATT: Okay. As you catch up, the next thing you see as you turn back is Jamedi, hand up behind in your direction.

TRAVIS: Shh!

SAM: He's a ninja.

MATT: As you all begin to listen, Beauregard, Caleb, and Caduceus, you hear the cracking of branches and twigs and the shifting of jungle floor. Jamedi puts two fingers in the air and then--

LAURA: What does that mean? What does two mean?

TRAVIS: Two people go up.

LIAM: I creep up to just about 30 feet away.

SAM: Don't! Not you.

MARISHA: I agree. And I walk up.

MATT: Okay, so Beauregard and Caleb approach.

MARISHA: No, why are you following me? Why are you doing this?

MATT: "Shh!" you hear coming from Jamedi. As you look just past this clearing, you notice a troop of four figures making their way through to brush. You hear this very low, guttural clicking from one of them. You can notice these shapes, these figures in a little bit of the now somewhat fading dusk light, they're muscular, and burly, and hunched. You see scaled skin, but deeply scaled all over. Not snake-like, but more lizard-like. You see long snouts with rows of sharp teeth and a frill down the back of the neck. You can see makeshift bits of leather strapped together to form patches of armor across the torso. Big heavy shields, carved from some sort of a large shell, that has multiple rows of spines and hooks down the back of it. You see clubs and heavy blades that are made of makeshift, scavenged metal or weapons that have washed up on shore or have been recovered from others that have been unlucky to make their way to this island and never returned.

MARISHA: How many?

MATT: Four of them. Each one of them has a spear.

MARISHA: I duck down, I turn to the rest of the group, and I say: (whispering) Snake. Four of them. Shields. Weapons.

TRAVIS: That's a bad gesture.

LIAM: I quickly turn around and through the wire say: (whispering) There's four lizard people over here. Looking in the distance at them and at Jamedi.

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

LIAM: Before this spell fades.

SAM: (whispering) There's four lizard people up there.

LAURA: (whispering) Oh.

SAM: We should do this quietly.

LIAM: 16.

MARISHA: I direct the group and I say: You flank this way, and then you guys flank that way. We flank around.

SAM: Just for fun, but let's try it!

MATT: Yasha's cupping behind her ear going, "What?"

SAM: Yasha and Fjord to the right. We'll go to the left.

LAURA: Okay!

MATT: At this point, you hear a sudden impact. (growling and impacts) Glancing over, Caleb, you watch as behind them on the bushes in the opposite side of this small path they are walking through, you see three arrows. Two of these lizardfolk tumble to the ground to one knee (growling). They turn around and two people in purple-ish robes with basic jewelry and leather bands rush forward with daggers and a scimitar in the other hand and slash out and start hacking. These lizards are now being assaulted by these people and behind them, one burly man with weathered, dark skin, exposed chest, and these large, billowing, thick arms that look like two very long, five-foot serpents that come protruding out the sides of the shoulders into these two separate snakeheads, full with eyes and teeth, rush forward and slam, biting into the throat of one of the lizardmen. He goes (choking) and gets pulled to the ground.

LAURA: Arm snakes? His arm snakes?!

MATT: His arms are snakes. The two other people that you see: you see one male, one female. Both look human, but in the middle of this chaos you can see their eyes are bright yellow with the serpentine, snake eye slit in the center. Now the lizard men are pulling up their shields. One of them has been carved down on the ground. The one with the big hand has pulled the throat closed to the point where it's slowly dying on the floor. They have completely gone into this combat between the two of them.

LIAM: Roughly how far away is that fray?

MATT: It's about 60 or 70 feet. They haven't noticed any of you here and you are currently completely in shadows. What do you do?

MARISHA: (whispering) I tell them to hold.

LIAM: Also, do I see anything glowing on Jamedi?

MATT: No.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: Do you see anything glowing on any of the snake people, though?

MATT: Too far away.

MARISHA: We duck.

TRAVIS: We're staying put.

MARISHA: And watching. So it's snakes versus lizards, right?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: This is the ultimate Godzilla movie.

TRAVIS: His big arms are five feet? Like, these big-ass--

MATT: Yeah. About a foot wide and they spiral upward and then they snap into giant fangs that protrude and snap on each. His face is intense and grinning. This is a hunting party. One of the lizardmen grabs his spear and jams it into the abdomen of the man with the snake arms. Looks back and hisses at him angrily. Manages to pull the spear free with one of the snake hands, leaps over, pole vaulting off the ground, the other snakehead coming out and snapping into the shoulder and chest area of the snakeman and then throwing him up into the air. You hear (screech) as he goes flying, spinning up into the boughs, lands on the ground. He stands back up, grabs his shield, and you can see him woozy. There's this black color where the impact of the wound was, and you see the veins growing dark. It stumbles and falls onto its knees and then falls to the ground.

LAURA: Some people got venomous bites.

TRAVIS: You ever seen an anaconda mouth? There are lots of teeth in there. It's real bad.

MATT: One by one, you watch as each of the lizardmen are felled from the ambush and--

TRAVIS: Three of the other party.

MATT: Yes. Two of which looked to be comparably smaller creatures, but they just weren't prepared and while the three snakeman hunting party appeared to have sustained a few blows and injuries, they were successful.

TRAVIS: The other two only had eyes that seemed off?

MATT: Correct. As you're inspecting, you can see patches of skin across their shoulders and a part of the chest, you can see scales that appear and then vanish. With the battle done, the quiet hits, and they begin to walk off to a small patch where they had dropped some sort of a satchel. They start pulling out rope and they start tying the legs together of these lizardmen until they have two of them tied on one side and the other two tied ankle-to-ankle on the other. The one with the two snake arms picks up both and begins dragging them behind him in the jungle while the other two flank and look out into the grass below. They begin making their way deeper towards the path where they came, away from you. Their hunt successful, they're bringing their meal back with them.

LIAM: The path that they took away, does it line up or deviate from the general direction that we have been heading in?

MATT: The direction you've been traveling has been a little zig-zaggy, because it's been following Jamedi's path and the marking he's making, so you're not entirely certain. It seems it could be parallel to the path you're going, but since you don't know the final destination, you're not entirely certain if it'll line up with it or not.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: (whispering) Jamedi!

MATT: His hand's still up, he's just watching carefully. (whispering) "Shh! What?"

LAURA: Are we following them or are we going a different way?

MATT: "We are not to get anywhere near these creatures."

LAURA: Good. They eat lizard people.

MATT: "So I have noticed."

LAURA: Did you see his arms?

MATT: "I did. It was quite frightening."

LAURA: Oh my god. Imagine if it was his legs. How would he even walk?

MATT: "It is a very good question. One that will keep me up late at night."

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You're not sure if he's joking. Do you guys do anything else or you just let them pass and continue on?

TRAVIS: We're going to let them go.

LAURA: Did they leave anything on the ground? Did they leave anything? Did they drop anything?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: The canopy of trees above, right? There's no sort of--

MATT: Yeah, it's a thick jungle canopy. It breaks in places.

SAM: That was the greatest plan we've ever had. We flanked. The battle was just over!

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: 11.

MARISHA: We didn't punch our way through shit!

TRAVIS: It's a new day.

MARISHA: Oh my god!

MATT: Amongst the ground where the battle took place, you can see there are mashed plants and streaks of thick lizardmen blood, a few broken teeth that are scattered in the sand there, but nothing beyond that of value.

LAURA: I take some teeth.

MATT: Okay. So you get three lizardmen teeth.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: I turn around and I say: Do we have anything that resists poison or venom?

LAURA: I have a spell that I took this morning that will cure poison, but I don't have anything that protects from poison today.

MARISHA: Caduceus, you raised your hand.

TALIESIN: I've got both, but it's best applied when needed, really. There's only so much to go around.

MARISHA: I feel like maybe with these people we should have a frontline party and a backline party. And maybe a little frontline poison resistance could be good.

SAM: So put our two clerics in front?

MARISHA: No! I don't mind going in front, mainly because I have no fucking range.

LAURA: Do we have to keep whispering? Can we pretend we're still whispering, but let's not actually whisper?

MARISHA: Can we do that?

MATT: It's up to you.

MARISHA: But if we give the, "We're stage whispering!"

TALIESIN: (normal volume) This is my whisper voice.

MARISHA: Just saying, these guys clearly have reach and I don't think we want to have all of us tangle with them.

SAM: Who do you think should be in front?

TRAVIS: Yeah, you make a good point.

LAURA: What if we're in the middle because we're so heal-y?

TALIESIN: That's fair. We'll be in the middle just in case things go wrong.

MARISHA: You're so heal-y, yeah!

TALIESIN: I'm pretty heal-y.

MARISHA: I'm not going to volunteer to speak for anybody, but I know I'm better when I'm up in close.

TRAVIS: I'll join you. Anybody else? Everybody else should stay at least 20, 25 feet back.

MARISHA: Could you give the both of us resistance?

TALIESIN: If we get into an altercation, I'll pop both of you as quickly as possible.

LAURA: We should have somebody keeping an eye behind. Did you notice the snake people came up behind the lizard people?

TRAVIS: Yasha should stay with the healers for sure.

MARISHA: Yasha can look behind. (whispering) Yasha! Behind!

MATT: "I-- I have been."

TRAVIS: The whole time! You, me, Jamedi, and Avantika in the front.

LAURA: Avantika's in the front? With you?

TRAVIS: Is that all right?

LAURA: Whatever.

(laughter)

LIAM: I have been spending this entire debate looking north and remembering everything that I saw on the way here from the boat and just calculating an exit strategy, because I remember the things that I saw on the way here.

MATT: Good to know. Now that enough time has passed and Jamedi feels comfortable he puts his hand down and goes, "All right, we press forward. Follow me, I feel we'll have to make camp soon. There is a ruin in front that might give us some cover." Continuing on?

LAURA: Jamedi, what if it was his dick that was the snake though?

MATT: He keeps his eyes trained forward but goes, "I imagine it would be difficult to relieve oneself."

LAURA: Probably.

LIAM: (shouting) Or masturbate!

MATT: He turns around and goes, "Shh! It is a valid point, but I need you to be quiet, please."

LIAM: Good riddance.

MATT: Continuing on, the sun sets, and the sky goes through its cycle of oranges to pinks to purples to blues. You haven't quite reached this aforementioned ruin before night falls. Now the evening insects begin to grow louder and louder. The nocturnal creatures begin to let out the nocturnal calls. The perpetual din of the various clicks and cricket noises and other various flapping insects' mating calls into the night become this constant droning sound around you. While the insect bites have subsided, this sound itself is uncomfortable. For those of you who are used to more comfortable sleep, you begin to dread the possibility of finding a night's rest in this.

LAURA: Caleb, if you do the bubble thing, can the insects come in the bubble? Can you make it?

TRAVIS: Well, Jester, doesn't it glow?

LIAM: No, I'm able to affect its color and have it match. It still looks like a very smooth bubble that is 8-feet tall-- maybe not that big, but it can match the general color.

TRAVIS: Just be dark and not attract any other attention?

LIAM: Yeah, it does not glow.

LAURA: Okay, then do it please!

TALIESIN: Yeah-- this is great.

LIAM: I spend the next 11 minutes, I pull out the book, unholster it and start doing a ritual cast, *ja*?

MATT: Ritual cast of?

LIAM: Leomund's tiny hut. Is this where we want to do it, Jester?

LAURA: This is where we're camping though, yeah?

MATT: Jamedi says, "Perhaps we wait until we get to the ruin, just so we have some cover beyond the trees."

LIAM: Okay, just a little longer then.

MATT: Who's keeping watch on this first bit of a night travel?

TALIESIN: I'll take one.

MATT: All right. Roll perception, as will Jamedi.

TALIESIN: 21.

MATT: 21? Okay.

TALIESIN: I'll pop in the occasional low-level Light cantrip as far away from us as possible, just popping every now and then, if I think I see something.

MATT: Okay. Following this little chain of lights that pop and glow as it goes, eventually you come upon the first signs of stone rubble. Some sort of structure was built here long ago, and has since fallen over, and elements of its masonry either moved or reclaimed for other structures elsewhere on the island, but you can see the basis of walls and joining positions where elements of this previous building were used to maintain and hold the ceiling that has since fallen in. There is a series of walked paths that carved through the various ferns and heavy bush, but you do find the back of one of these walls where Jamedi says, "This is where I slept previously. Perhaps this is the best place to rest. So--" He begins to set up a small tent arranging against the wall. What do you guys do?

LIAM: Do we want it just to be us and they have the tent?

SAM: Kind of. I mean, is that rude?

TALIESIN: They didn't bring any tents for us.

LAURA: But remember that you can hear through the bubble, remember still, though. Okay. So we can't talk bad about them, though.

TRAVIS: I think maybe we invite them in and one of us keeps out--

LAURA: But do it like, “Do you want to stay with us?” but do it like this.

SAM: Do you want to ask them with that stink face?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: Captain Avantika and Jamedi, did you want to stay with us in the bubble?

SAM: There's no facilities or anything.

LAURA: It's stinky in there, but if you want to.

MATT: Jamedi goes, "I am unfamiliar with what this bubble is you speak of?"

LAURA: It's whatever. It's a little bubble.

SAM: It's like a tent.

LAURA: It's like a tent, basically.

MATT: "I am okay." He heads back to configuring his tent. Avantika tilts her head and goes, "I assume this is some sort of protective measure for your night's rest?"

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: "Then I would be delighted to join you."

SAM: I mean, don't feel like you're obligated--

MATT: "Believe me, it is my honor."

LAURA: Great, cool.

MATT: Sheathes the rapier, but keeps the dagger drawn, turned around in her hand so it's face down and looks over her shoulder both ways out towards the darkness. "So how spacious is this?" As you finish the spell, the strange, colored orb appears there on the side of the ruins.

LIAM: At the surroundings here or what, we're behind a little bit of stone ruins, or--?

MATT: Yeah, there's a couple of small stone elements there.

LIAM: Then it's gray, the same color as the stone. I have control of the color. Also out of curiosity, I am a transmutation wizard, so do I have a sense of how old the stone surrounding us is?

MATT: The stone here-- make an intelligence check.

LIAM: Ugh, bad roll. 12.

MATT: You don't have specific information on it. It's quite old. It might be older than this age, might have existed pre-Calamity, or at least somewhere in that neighborhood. But you're not entirely certain.

TALIESIN: Mr. Caleb, want to take a walk, maybe? Really quickly around this thing, get a gander at it?

LIAM: The thing is, if I exit this bubble now, then it goes away.

TALIESIN: Oh, then I'll report back in a minute.

LIAM: I could do it again--

TALIESIN: No, that's okay, better safe than sorry. I'll let you know when I see.

LAURA: Do you want company? Do you need anyone with you?

TALIESIN: Oh, I'd love company, actually, just in case.

LAURA: Okay. Beau! Nott! (whispering) Keep an eye on them, okay? Let me know what happens.

TRAVIS: On who?

LAURA: Shut up! I mean--

SAM: On who, our friends?

LAURA: Yeah, just-- forget it, let's go.

TALIESIN: We'll take a look around this thing, and I also want to cast another Detect Undead, while we're walking.

MATT: You're going to look around what?

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a walk around this little ruin. I'm going to have the little Light spell up, see if there's any writing on anything, any carvings. I'm going to have Eyes of the Grave up again. I'm going to be looking for any undead.

MATT: Okay. And you're accompanying him?

LAURA: I'm watching his back!

MATT: The rest of you are staying within the sphere, gray color, dimly lit on the interior? It can be whatever light source you want at this point. The two of you wander around the ruin. Make an investigation check, if you don't mind.

LAURA: Can I help? Does that make it easier?

TALIESIN: You roll too, maybe.

LAURA: Okay. Nope.

TALIESIN: 12.

LAURA: One! I'm not very observant today, okay? I've got things on my mind.

MATT: Okay. As you walk through and pore over the ruins, the structure is fairly simple. This wasn't some beautifully-made stone hall. Most of the stones here were probably pulled from rivers or were smoothed over, and they’re varying sizes, and the masonry is very simple.

TALIESIN: Couldn't figure what it's a temple to, or any--?

MATT: Not particularly. You don't know if it's a temple; it could have been an abode. It doesn't appear to be huge. There seem to be one or two adjacent rooms that were set in that space.

TALIESIN: And nothing from the Detect Undead?

MATT: Nothing from the Detect Undead, no.

TALIESIN: Other than what I already expect to see?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: What I expect to see is still giving off a little glow, right?

MATT: Correct. What's the range on that?

TALIESIN: 60 feet, although I will say divination magic would also blind me to that, and if it was full cover, I would possibly not see it as well.

MATT: Right, understood. Caduceus, what's your armor class?

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: As you're looking over the stonework and turning to Jester to mention you didn't see much--

TALIESIN: The funny thing is--

MATT: (impact) There is a shape that moves out of the shadows with incredible speed. The light, the faint color being emanated from Caduceus' cantrip immediately falls away and you see the streak of his hair disappear in the nearby shadow. I need you to make a strength saving throw.

LAURA: Like he's gone? He's just gone in front of me?

MATT: You watched him be pushed off into a nearby bush.

MARISHA: Football tackled, just gone, okay.

TALIESIN: Ten.

MATT: That's a fail. You get pushed off, land on the ground, you tumble, and are held prone on the ground as what little bit of light you can see-- not having darkvision, unfortunately-- what you see is a faint glimmer of two large white fangs, a smattering of whiskers right before you, this growl sound, and a cluster of snake heads that bend around each side of the head.

TRAVIS: I just peed a little.

MATT: The bite attack hits you. That is only five points of piercing damage. Actually, it gets advantage on the second one. Okay, with the advantage it does hit, and the other one, the snakes all snap onto you, multiple snake bites, all biting across your face and your throat. For that, you suffer eight points of piercing damage and you need to make a constitution saving throw, please.

SAM: Mr. Clay.

TALIESIN: I mean, come on.

MATT: Ooh.

LAURA: Oh no, don't make that sound, Matthew.

TALIESIN: And I need to make a constitution saving throw?

SAM: You've got this, Mr. Clay.

TRAVIS: Come on, snitch!

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: That’s a success. You take half damage. You only take 12 points of poison damage.

TRAVIS: Oh my god!

LAURA: But he's not poisoned?

MATT: Correct. Jester, you see the shape and you glance over and you can see with your darkvision this ten-foot-long leopard-like cat that is currently now pressed onto the chest and body of Caduceus. It bites down towards him and all these strange protrusions from around the shoulders and head area all strike down, as a few of them curl back and look at you and in that bit, you can see a few beats of light, faint bits of starlight and moon that are coming down and reflecting in the eyes of these snake heads. And you hear this (growling) up behind you on the ruin where you were just standing. I'll be right back.

TRAVIS: We got ambushed!

LAURA: What do we do?!

SAM: Clever girl.

LAURA: Oh no!

TRAVIS: How far away are you guys?

LAURA: I don't know if we're very far. I don't think we're very far away.

LIAM: They went to do a perimeter sweep.

SAM: Find out about these beasts on D&D Beyond!

TRAVIS: Oh shit! That means there's probably more than two?

SAM: Look at these palm trees

LAURA: This is really cool, though.

MATT: Caduceus, you are over here. Jester, you are here.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MATT: Now the rest of you are over-- so Jamedi's over here in his tent. The rest of you are all clustered inside the hut. Caduceus--

LAURA: Oh god, it’s so scary! It's a leopard with snake heads!

MARISHA: It's a leopard with snakes!

TRAVIS: Why would you make that?

SAM: That's someone who was drunk at night and was like, “Let's just do this thing!”

MATT: I need everyone to roll initiative. Technically you guys don't hear anything, so we'll see when it comes around your turn.

MARISHA: Wait, what? What do you mean, we don't hear anything? You said we heard through the bubble!

MATT: You hear sounds, but there's been no sound yet. You guys have been setting yourselves up for the evening there. The only person that would have probably noticed would have been Caduceus.

TRAVIS: And he is getting fucked up right now.

LIAM: The good news is we're totally safe in this bubble and nothing can happen to us.

SAM: And both of our clerics--

TRAVIS: Both our healers are outside! Typical.

MATT: 25 to 20.

MARISHA: Wow. Cool.

TRAVIS: Nobody.

SAM: Oh, someone roll for Yasha.

MATT: If you want to get that?

TRAVIS: Seven, plus-- I got to get her sheet.

MATT: Yes, you do.

TRAVIS: I think it's nine.

LAURA: I need a Turkish delight before I die.

MATT: 25 to 20. Nobody? 20 to 15?

MARISHA: 18.

TALIESIN: 17.

TRAVIS: Beau, Caduceus.

LAURA: No! Stop! Look at all the powder falling off.

SAM: We’re going to eat that whole box.

MATT: 15 to ten.

LAURA: 13.

MATT: All righty. Ten to five.

TRAVIS: Yasha has nine, I have eight.

SAM: Nott's sitting at seven. Oh, I'm at eight, actually. Eight.

MATT: Fjord and Nott got the same. All right, Caleb.

LIAM: *Vier.*

TRAVIS: What?

LIAM: Four.

SAM: *Eins, zwei, drei, vier.*

MATT: Beau, you're up first, but you have not noticed anything, so your turn is spent fluffing your space to sleep for the evening.

MARISHA: You know what, Fjord? I think Jester is a little jealous. Just throwing it out there.

TRAVIS: Jealous? Jealous of what?

MARISHA: Shit, are you fucking serious right now?

LIAM: Six seconds. Done.

MATT: Caduceus.

TALIESIN: I'm going to yell for help and then I'm going to--

MATT: You all immediately hear--

TALIESIN: Help! Then I'm going to tap my staff to wake up my beetles as my bonus action. My beetles are going to make a bite attack on that. I actually have that information now thanks to the update.

SAM: On D&D Beyond?

TALIESIN: On D&D Beyond.

SAM: Wow.

TALIESIN: So that's a swarm attack, they have a bite. That's plus three to hit, I believe. That's a 13.

MATT: 13 does not hit.

TALIESIN: Okay. That's okay. Well, they're in the space right now. I'm panicking, so this is going to be fun. I'm going to start making a weird, awful sound, and I'm going to start getting even paler and a little gaunter, and I'm going to grab it and I'm going to cast-- I'm so panicked-- Vampiric Touch.

TRAVIS: I like it! Get some of that shit back.

TALIESIN: So since I'm in contact with it--

MATT: It's a melee spell attack.

TALIESIN: Melee spell attack.

MATT: Go ahead and roll for an attack.

TALIESIN: What is a melee attack here?

MATT: It's a d20 plus your spell attack modifier.

TALIESIN: Okay, plus eight. 20.

MATT: 20 hits. Go ahead and roll damage for the Vampiric Touch.

TALIESIN: Oh man, this is mean.

MATT: They're next and then Jester, you're up.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: That's 3d6. That's (counting) ten points of necrotic damage and I regain five hit points.

TRAVIS: Atta boy!

MATT: As you reach up, your hand grasps its throat and this strange hissing sound happens as you pull life force energy out of it. It’s strange threads of purplish-black energy that pull into your body, your wounds healing up slightly.

LAURA: So I can see that, huh?

MATT: You can see a faint bit of energy coming out of Caduceus.

TALIESIN: Help!

MATT: Is that your turn?

TALIESIN: That is, unless I can try and move away.

MATT: You're prone, so it's half movement to try and crawl away. Or you can spend half your movement to get up and then you still have half your movement to try and escape if you want.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and half my movement to get up.

MATT: All righty. So you get up from prone.

LAURA: Well, that's good. I thought he was like on top of you.

TALIESIN: I'm going to back up against you.

MATT: To here.

LAURA: Won't he get an attack of opportunity?

TALIESIN: Will he get an attack of opportunity?

MATT: You can go right there and not get an attack of opportunity.

TALIESIN: Okay, perfect. That way if you get poisoned, I can un-poison you.

LAURA: If you get poisoned, I can un-poison you!

TALIESIN: Cool.

MATT: That finishes Caduceus' turn. It's now their turn. The one up top who's hissing down at you, (long exhale). As its jaw opens, this semi-translucent rolling cloud of dust and gas emanates in a 30-foot-cone.

LAURA and MARISHA: (intone “Semi-Charmed Life”)

TALIESIN: Both clerics. Why did both clerics go on a hunting mission?

LAURA: We're the stupidest.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we're so dumb.

MATT: I need you both to make constitution saving throws, please.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

SAM: Picking your dice.

TRAVIS: It's like Avatar in the fucking--

TALIESIN: 20.

MATT: 20. You manage to resist the effect.

LAURA: Nine.

MATT: Jester, you inhale it, suddenly caught off-guard by it and your eyes blink and go dark as you fall unconscious.

LAURA: So sleepy.

MARISHA: She's unconscious?!

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Wait, like unconscious or asleep?

MATT: Like unconscious. Not zero hit points, but asleep unconscious.

LAURA: Like hardcore.

MATT: Yes. All right.

TRAVIS: Shit.

MATT: It is going to move, jump down from here, and begin to move this way to flank you, Caduceus. Now flanking you, is going to attempt to strike at you twice. Good to know, I forgot about that. Bite, this one's claws, so it's going to be with advantage. Okay, that is going to make it an 18 to hit.

TALIESIN: Why is it advantage?

MATT: Because they're flanking you.

TALIESIN: Oh, goddamn it. Yeah, that hits.

MATT: All right, so the bite attack. You take six points of piercing damage and the snakes snap at you. That is going to be a 19.

TALIESIN: That also hits.

MATT: You take another-- ooh, that's ten points of piercing damage. At this point, as you're between the two of them, the one behind you that just put Jester to sleep, all its snakes snap around you, the back of your head and your neck and your shoulders, and you feel the poison through your veins. Roll another constitution saving throw, please.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Two of the clerics went out on a solo mission.

TALIESIN: 12.

MATT: 12? 12 just-- no, 12 succeeds!

LAURA: Yay!

TALIESIN: How do you have that spray and the snakes in the same-- that's just so much.

TRAVIS: How many hit points do you--

TALIESIN: Help! I'm standing.

MATT: Half that is going to be 13 points of poison damage.

TALIESIN: I'm kind of still standing.

LAURA: He's like slumped.

MATT: All righty, they're done. Jester, you are unconscious and sleeping

LAURA: I’m going to dream about the Traveler.

MATT: That brings us to Avantika and Jamedi.

LAURA: I'm dreaming that me and the Traveler are skipping over hills and picking flowers.

MATT: "What the shit is that?" pulls out the rapier and the dagger, and darts, leaping over (counting), just seeing these creatures rushes forward. "Hiyah!" and is leaping forward with her rapier and blade and is going to make three attacks. The gray is going to be with the dagger, one rapier shot misses, then one for the rapier and one for the dagger hits. For the dagger, that is--

MARISHA: Going for a nighttime stroll.

TRAVIS: We in a total danger zone and we're taking strolls.

MARISHA: (singing) Danger zone!

TALIESIN: It was my own fault. I was suspicious.

MATT: And another ten points of damage on that.

TRAVIS: What? On both? Wow.

MATT: It was a seven and a ten. Then Avantika seems to be holding both blades ready, preparing to defend herself. Jamedi, who stumbles out of his tent, is only half movement, glances over and can barely see what's there. He's on the inside of the dome, pulls out his shortbow, and is going to attempt to shoot it with an arrow and misses with a four. A natural four. There is no light source here; it seems to disappear in the distance. That finishes with his turn. That brings us to Yasha.

TRAVIS: Yeah, Yasha will use her full movement to follow Avantika out of the bubble. The Bublé.

LAURA: Can she flank it?

MATT: She can get to about there.

TRAVIS: Is that within melee?

MATT: That is within melee, yes.

TRAVIS: Great. She'll take a swipe. That is a 17.

MATT: 17 will hit!

TRAVIS: So that's 2d6 right?

MATT: 2d6 plus an additional d6.

LAURA: Did she rage?

TRAVIS: No, she didn't. Because I-- yep.

LIAM: He doesn't know barbarians.

MATT: So no, it's just 2d6 because you weren't raging.

TRAVIS: Great, six points of damage.

MATT: All right. You added the three points for strength, right?

TRAVIS: No! Nine points of damage.

MATT: Nine point of damage. You got it. Second attack?

MARISHA: It's real fun playing a character when you don't have their sheet.

TRAVIS: Yeah. That's 16.

MATT: 16? That hits. Go ahead and roll damage. 2d6 plus three. Plus four technically because--

TRAVIS: Oh, plus four? So six, so ten. Ten points of damage.

MATT: Got it.

TRAVIS: And with her bonus action, she would like to rage.

SAM: Hey!

MATT: There you go! That finishes up Yasha's turn. Fjord and Nott, you guys up.

SAM: I heard Mr. Clay. Let's go. I'll scramble out, going into the direction that I heard the sound and seeing all these folks over here.

MATT: Okay, so you leave the thing, you can see everyone right there.

SAM: Do I see the beast?

MATT: You do. You see that one beast right there.

SAM: I will kneel down and pew, shoot it in its hindquarters. That’s a miss. 12.

MATT: 12 does not hit.

SAM: Reload. Fire again. Wait, do I want to do this? Nope. I'll keep moving and hide behind that wall.

MATT: Right here?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Bonus action hide.

MATT: Role a stealth check.

SAM: Okay, that's a 28.

LAURA: Don't you get advantage because of your coat?

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: You could get a 20.

SAM: Still 28.

MATT: You are stealthed there. Okay, so that finishes Nott's go. Fjord, what are you doing?

TRAVIS: Can I use my 30 feet of movement to run that direction around the far side of the ruin? Yep.

MATT: You come around the edge and you turn and see, right there in front of you, another one of these leopard-like creatures, and you're like, “Oh shit!” You didn't even notice there was a second one there.

TRAVIS: Oh shit! I'll just fire both streams of Eldritch Blast from each hand.

MATT: Go for it!

TRAVIS: 13.

MATT: 13 misses, unfortunately.

TRAVIS: Second one. That'll hit. 23.

MATT: That'll work.

TRAVIS: Excellent. Nice. That's 11 points of Eldritch Blast.

MATT: You blast and almost force it off of its feet for a second. It catches itself (growling).

TRAVIS: Nice. Great, that's it.

MATT: (hissing) All the snakes turn to look at you for a second. That finishes Fjord's go. Caleb, you're up.

LIAM: I drop the hut, it's gone.

MATT: It vanishes.

LIAM: Seeing what I see, I've got the transmuter stone, I can see in dim light, so I'm feeling into my satchel and I take out some molasses and smear it on my hands and cast Slow on-- I'll come as far as I can over here, behind Yasha, to see what I can see.

MATT: Over here you mean?

LIAM: I will come this way, not getting closer to them. Yeah, that's fine. That's good. And cast Slow on the two creatures that I see.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: DC 16.

MATT: Yeah, all right, DC 16. That is a wisdom?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right, that is a success. 16 on the first roll. That's that one there. The other one, natural 17 plus two, they both succeed, I'm so sorry.

LIAM: No, no apologies.

TRAVIS: Good rolls.

MATT: Those were good rolls on their part. Does that finish your turn, Caleb?

LIAM: If I have any movement left, I will back away from that shit.

MATT: You have maybe five feet, I'll say right here. So you start backing away. Back at the top of the round. Beau, you're up. The orb has vanished, everyone has rushed out, you look over and you can hear these growls, and snarls, and impacts. Combat is happening. What are you doing?

MARISHA: Oh my pillow-- ah! Then I just run and I say: Nott! Duck! I jump over Nott and I'm going for this one in the back, 45-speed.

MATT: Over this way, you mean?

MARISHA: Yeah, that one in the back.

TRAVIS: Oh, the one that I've been shooting at or the closest--

MARISHA: The one that Fjord's been shooting at.

MATT: All right. First off, roll an acrobatics check to make it over the wall.

MARISHA: Yeah, 25.

MATT: Yeah, you're fine. (counting)

MARISHA: I'm going to come down, big Iron Man three-point landing, punch to its face.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Wow. Cool. Cool story, bro. 12?

MATT: 12 misses, unfortunately.

MARISHA: I crack my knuckles on a rock and I'm like: Ah! And I roundhouse kick it with my second attack.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: That's better. That's a 22.

MATT: 22 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: Wow, that's super great. Five points.

MATT: Five points of damage with your second strike.

MARISHA: Then I'm going to go ahead and-- I hit it, so I can do stunning-- no, I need to hit it twice for stunning strike, right?

MATT: No, you just need to hit it once.

MARISHA: Just once? Can I stun it?

MATT: Yeah, all right, constitution saving throw. That is a natural one. So you miss the first strike, but as you roundhouse kick, you manage to kick right up in its abdomen. You feel ribs break and buckle under the impact of the kick. Some sort of chain reaction spirals across its nervous system as it falls to its side. It is stunned until the end of your next turn.

MARISHA: I'm going to spend another ki point and do flurry of blows for my bonus action.

MATT: Yes, you can do that. Yes.

MARISHA: And do pop pop, two more punches.

MATT: Go for it. You have advantage on these, I believe. Yep.

MARISHA: First attack. I'll take that natural 17, which I'm pretty sure hits for nine damage, and then second attack is a natural 20. Thank you, Gil. Roll two dice. That's double sixes! That's 12 plus four. No, wait. I double my die roll. I only roll once.

MATT: It would have been fine. It’s the same either way. So 16 points of damage.

MARISHA: Sorry, 16 points of damage plus four, so 20 points of damage. Wait. No, 16 points of damage. Math!

MATT: After it's stunned, you get up and wail on him. The second hit managing to plunge right towards where its kidney is, and you don't feel any sort of muscular resistance as your fist sinks about an inch or two into its body. You pull back. It doesn't break the skin, but you can feel you hurt some meaty organs in the inside. Does that finish your turn, Beau?

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: All right. Caduceus.

TALIESIN: So there's a stunned one behind me? A stunned one on one side of me and a not-stunned one on the other.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hit the stunned one with the Vampiric Touch.

MATT: Go for it. You have advantage on it.

SAM: You're at one hit point!

TALIESIN: I'm at four.

LAURA: He’s getting Vampiric Touch. That means he’ll get to heal a little bit.

TALIESIN: It lasts. That's 17?

MATT: Yeah, that hits. Roll damage.

TALIESIN: That was close. Seven points of damage. So I get three back?

MATT: You heal three back.

TALIESIN: So now I am at seven hit points. Now I’m going to vanish. I'm going to disappear.

MATT: Okay. You turn invisible.

TALIESIN: I’m going to turn invisible.

MATT: Until the end of your next turn.

TALIESIN: Yeah. I'm going to circle around and back off. Yeah. Then take a couple steps back. See if anything happens.

MATT: It hears you moving and swipes out. It has disadvantage on the strike. The snakes swing out towards you. That is a 14 to hit.

TALIESIN: That misses.

MATT: You dodge out of the way. The snakes all snap out in the middle of the air.

TALIESIN: I'm going to get a little further out. I'm not going to go off the board or anything. That's fine.

MATT: Okay. That ends your go. It's now their turn.

SAM: You're going to be fine, Jessie.

LAURA: Yeah. Totally.

SAM: You're asleep.

MATT: The other one that currently, seeing all the individuals cluster in the area, begins to back up, and its torso swells and its lower jaw opens and (exhales). The other one now releases a similar burbling cloud right there. Avantika’s going to have to make a constitution saving throw. Fails. Avantika falls asleep.

SAM: Is this a spray or a cloud?

MATT: It's a cloud.

SAM: So it goes around walls.

MATT: Yep. I need you to make a constitution save, Nott.

TRAVIS: Me too, right?

MARISHA: Was I in that? Or no?

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: You're fine. Make it.

MARISHA: 13.

MATT: You succeed.

SAM: 17.

MATT: You succeed.

LAURA: How about Yasha? Did Yasha roll?

MATT: Yasha was just out of the range of it, actually. With that, it's going to attempt to run off this way and dart. Yasha gets one strike on it.

TRAVIS: She'll make it reckless.

MATT: Can’t, reckless is on your turn.

TRAVIS: That's right. Yeah! That's a 24.

MATT: That'll hit.

TRAVIS: She's raging to 3d6. Nice! 14.

MATT: As she strikes wide with the blade, the creature (snarling). It's limping a little bit and it's trying to back away. It’s unable to move from where it is. Its speed is reduced to zero. So it turns to now look at the two unconscious figures on the ground. That one is stunned so it can't do anything. Jester, you're up. You're asleep.

LAURA: I dream--

MATT: Avantika can't do anything. She's asleep. Jamedi is going to move here next to the trees for cover. He's going to reload his shortbow and take a shot at that-- natural 20!

TRAVIS: Oh! Get it, Jamedi!

MATT: All right. That's eight damage with the shortbow.

LIAM: Palms are sweaty.

TRAVIS: Knees weak.

MARISHA: Mom's Jamedi.

(laughter)

MATT: (clapping) Well done. That's fantastic. That's going to end his turn. That brings us to Yasha.

LIAM: You just roll your eyes at us at this point. That made me so happy.

MATT: No, “Mom's Jamedi” is pretty great.

TRAVIS: She'll run up and take her two swipes, reckless.

MATT: She going to move?

TRAVIS: Yes. There you go.

SAM: Reckless, Great Weapon Master.

TRAVIS: Yeah! You know it.

SAM: Is she that? I don't know.

MATT: She's not Great Weapon Master, no.

TRAVIS: That's a natural 20. Dope!

MATT: Roll 3d6 and then double that.

TRAVIS: That's seven, 14.

MATT: 14 plus six, I believe. So 20 points of damage. Yeah. How does Yasha want to do this?

TRAVIS: She'll see it sit there, and she'll reach up high, and she'll try and cleave off the front of the jaguar's head in one downward swing.

MATT: The body attempts to leap and the head stumbles underneath with some of the snake heads. The momentum carries it, but it runs straight into the base of the tree, crossing the before (impact) on the ground. The head, still (growling). Coming to rest on the ground.

TRAVIS: She still has one more attack, can she use the rest of her movement to move towards the jaguar? I think she has ten feet of her movement.

MATT: She could, yeah. If she has the rest of her movement, she can use it to move up.

TRAVIS: Is that melee or just outside of it?

MATT: It's melee.

TRAVIS: Oh great, reckless as well. 21.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: Yeah! 14 points of damage. Plus three, right? Or no?

MATT: The 3d6 only happens on the first attack. So it's only 2d6 for the second one.

TRAVIS: Oh, thank you. Lets back it down to nine.

MATT: Okay, got it. Plus six, so 14. Okay, got it. That finishes Yasha's go. Fjord and Nott, you guys are up.

SAM: I'll climb up over the wall and take a shot at the one remaining leopard. A pew pew. 21!

MATT: 21 hits! You have advantage on that shot because it is stunned.

SAM: Advantage! Well, that's a weird roll. I'm going to do that again. It's still like 21.

MATT: Yeah, so sneak attack on them.

SAM: Yeah. Ugh, terrible.

LAURA: Oh, I spit on you with that.

SAM: That's okay. 15.

MATT: 15 points of damage to it, struck. The blow hits and sinks in. The creature's looking hurt, but it's still standing, though it is stunned.

SAM: Damn. All right, I'll reload and shoot again, this thing is--

MATT: With advantage because it’s still stunned.

SAM: Great. 26.

MATT: 26 will do, yeah.

SAM: And then this is not a sneaky attacky, right?

MATT: Correct. You only get once per round.

SAM: Much better. 11, and I'll use Fury of the Small to make it 16.

MATT: All righty, it's looking really hurt. It's real hurt.

LAURA: Fjord gets it.

MARISHA: Get it, Fjord.

MATT: Well, Fjord, what are you doing?

SAM: Oh, you know, maybe don't kill it. We can interrogate it.

MATT: Because you guys are going at the same time, you can figure out, these are simultaneous.

TRAVIS: I'll take just enough of a step back to use Eldritch Blast again and I'll fire both of them at it.

MATT: Two strikes on it.

TRAVIS: Eldritch Blast, 14?

MATT: 14 just hits. These are with advantage because it's stunned, don't forget.

TRAVIS: Oh shit. The first one was better. 14 as well on the second one.

MATT: Yeah, both hit.

TRAVIS: Okay, great. (counting) 19 points.

MATT: 19 points of damage, how do you and Nott want to do this?

SAM: What did you use to attack?

TRAVIS: What did you do?

SAM: I shot it with the thing.

TRAVIS: I'll light it up with this crackling green Eldritch Blast energy coming from both of my palms, causing its fur to smoke and burn off and its snake heads to repel!

SAM: Oh my god, that's so visceral and amazing. I'll shoot it in the nose.

MATT: Its torso erupts in green flame and energy, just (explosion). The body slinks to the ground in a smoldering cinder and as it's head (moaning), (arrow impact).

TRAVIS: I'll look over at Nott.

MATT: You guys all take a moment. Make a perception check of the jungle around you.

MARISHA: Wait, who? All of us?

TRAVIS: All of us. Six.

LIAM: 12.

SAM: Oh. Jester's asleep.

MARISHA: Three.

SAM: Quick! Hey, hey, hey!

TALIESIN: 13.

MATT: 13, okay.

MARISHA: Ten.

LAURA: Keep hitting me.

SAM: Hey! Fjord! She needs some mouth-to-mouth.

MATT: You can use an action to wake her.

SAM and LAURA: Oh.

MATT: Jester, you come to consciousness and you're half-curled on Avantika, who's half-curled on you since you guys passed out right next to each other.

LIAM: Caleb is going to quick-walk over to Avantika, kneel down and say, "Are you all right?!" with his back to Spaghetti and cast Identify on one of the swords.

MATT: Okay. Make a deception check.

LIAM: Okay. My back is to him.

MATT: I know. There's still motions involved.

TRAVIS: "Are you okay?"

LIAM: It was almost a one, but it wasn't. That's pretty good. It's 19.

MATT: As you bend down and focus on the blade-- which one, the dagger or the rapier?

LIAM: The rapier.

MATT: The rapier is a plus one rapier. Nothing too crazy or special--

LAURA: Aw, should have focused on the dagger.

LIAM: Pat the cheeks.

MATT: Okay. She comes to and pushes you away for a second and pulls the blade and puts her back up to the wall and has both blades out and is coming to consciousness, but instinctually is defensive.

LIAM: We're good.

TALIESIN: I'm going to gather in and keep an eye out before I come back into visual-- I'm about to become visible again.

LAURA: Did we win?

SAM: We won.

TRAVIS: I don't know that we did; there were only two of them, and because Caleb left the bubble, it disappeared, right?

LIAM: It's gone, but it only takes me 11 minutes. I don't know, are we safe where we are?

LAURA: We can do the bubble here and have this wall take up some of the bubble space, or we can be right next to this wall.

TRAVIS: We made a bit of a ruckus, that's the last thing you want to do in a jungle.

TALIESIN: Are we what?

SAM: Are you okay?

TALIESIN: Uh.

SAM: You don't look very good, Mr. Clay.

TALIESIN: Thank you. I'm going to Cure Wounds.

SAM: On yourself?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LIAM: Did they seem like intelligent beasts?

LAURA: I'm going to do it to you, too.

MATT: From what brief encounter you had, it's hard to say. Make a nature check-- actually, no, this would not be a nature. This is not a natural creature. Make a general intelligence check.

LIAM: That's better. That's a 20.

MATT: 20? They don't appear to be. They're more intelligent than some creatures in nature, but there isn't any sort of--

LIAM: Still animalistic.

MATT: Yeah, still animalistic. They are natural to this island at the very least.

LIAM: Knowing that, I would recommend that if I make the bubble again, even if some more of them come, as long as we stay safe for the next ten minutes, if they come, we will be still and sleeping and all they would see is a round stone. They're animals, they will leave.

TRAVIS: Agreed. We should rally up back-to-back while Caleb casts it.

SAM: Are we going to leave the two dead animal bodies right here, next to where we're camping? Because that could stink.

LAURA: We'll move over to where our bubble was before, how about that?

SAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'll start them going too, so that wont be a thing for very long.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: Start them going.

LIAM: I will begin my ritual spell in the same spot.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: What were you guys doing out here?

LAURA: I was sleeping. Did you notice?

SAM: No, but before that. Why did you come out here?

TALIESIN: What?

SAM: I will whisper to you: Why did you come out here in the first place? Why were you walking around in the dark, alone?

TALIESIN: No need to yell, that's all right.

SAM: I'm whispering!

TALIESIN: We were just looking at the temple, trying to get an idea of what it was.

LAURA: Yeah, he was holding his light up really bright and seeing if he could find any words and stuff. I think they might notice some light.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that may have been a poor call.

LAURA: It's okay! We're learning things.

TALIESIN: I definitely feel like I've learned-- I think I need to pass out.

LAURA: A good night of sleep will do you very well.

MARISHA: Does everything in this jungle have snake heads?

TRAVIS: I think that's a fair assumption.

LAURA: Or snake legs or snake arms or snake dicks.

LIAM: Mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho.

MATT: You complete your ritual spell and the Tiny Hut is completed.

LAURA: Into the bubble.

MATT: At this point, Jamedi goes, "Actually, I will be, if possible, interested in staying within this this time."

SAM: Oh, all right.

MATT: He grabs a few things from the tent-- and it's a very tight space. Nine creatures is the max, right? You've hit the maximum. You all manage to fit in there in a not terribly comfortable space.

LIAM: Ten-foot radius, so 20 from one side to the other.

TRAVIS: I still think one of us should stay up in shifts inside this bubble. Just in case.

LIAM: *Ja*, I'll take the first shift. I'm good. I'm very jittery tonight.

SAM: I'll stay up with you.

LIAM: Frumpkin, by the way, is flitting about a little bit from person to person while we talk. Even lands on Avantika's shoulder a little bit and does a little--

LAURA: I bring Sprinkle out from inside my hood and make sure he was okay during that whole fight.

MATT: Sprinkle, who is not necessarily used to the type of weather, appears to be very uncomfortable in the heat and being tucked into the cloth and is like, (chittering).

LAURA: I give him some water and some little food.

TRAVIS: What are you doing to that poor dog?

LAURA: I'm sorry, buddy. (kissing)

MATT: This is the crimson weasel. The dog is with the Ruby of the Sea.

TRAVIS: Eh, whatever.

LIAM: *Entschuldigung*, I'm sorry. Now the owl is pitter-patting on Avantika's hat.

MATT: Just walking along the hat?

LIAM: Not constantly, but in a cute way.

LAURA: Caleb-- I whisper in his ear: Make it poop. Make it poop on her hat.

LIAM: Are you putting the umlaut over the o's in the poop? Pyoop?

LAURA: What are you talking about?

SAM: You said “pyoop.”

MATT: Avantika puts the finger up towards Frumpkin.

MARISHA: Don't do it.

LIAM: He flitters up to the finger.

LAURA: Make it poop on her finger.

MARISHA: Unrealistic.

LIAM: He does whatever I say. He bats his little one-ounce owl eyes at Avantika.

MATT: "Interesting."

MARISHA: Have you never seen an owl before?

MATT: "Not one so small and adorable and is docile."

MARISHA: Mm-hmm. It's pretty cute.

LIAM: Frumpkin poops.

MARISHA: Really? Hey, Avantika. How many dudes you think you killed?

MATT: "What, in all of my years?"

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: "I don't know. I stopped counting at around 50."

MARISHA: Oh. That's awesome.

TRAVIS: That's a high number.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's a big number.

MATT: "But in my line of work, it's important to not hesitate when some drunk asshole tries to, I don't know, take your ship."

MARISHA: We can't relate at all, nope.

MATT: "Well, anyway. I will be taking a nap with one eye open. Good night, everyone." She settles into her camping garb. Who's keeping watch? All right. Make perception checks for the first watch, guys.

SAM: We're inside the bubble, right?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: But you can hear things.

SAM: 12.

LIAM: One. Also, we're being very quiet because we don't want to be heard, but while we're in here, Frumpkin, over a period of ten or 15 minutes, you see this, goes (pitter-patting) along the ground and hops onto Avantika's boot.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: (pitter-pattering) Eventually stands on top of her dagger, and I cast Identify through touch of my familiar. And he weighs one ounce.

MATT: Yeah, that's true.

TRAVIS: One ounce is good.

TALIESIN: One ounce owl. It's the best band.

MARISHA: The One Ounce Owl?

MATT: Avantika, who, as mentioned before, was sleeping with one eye open, essentially, is rested there and then right as you begin to go through the actions of casting, there is a flash of motion.

LAURA: (gasps) Oh, no.

MATT: What is Frumpkin's armor class?

LIAM: Oh, I'm sure it's terrible. Hold on a second.

SAM: Go to the creature tab on D&D Beyond.

LIAM: I am. It is 11.

MATT: Frumpkin suffers five points of piercing damage as Avantika instinctually (slashing, panting).

LIAM: Why did you do that?

MATT: "Why did you do that?"

LIAM: You know why I did that.

MATT: "And you know why I did that."

LIAM: Ey.

MATT: "Be glad it was just your owl. Please do not go peering where it is not wanted, eh?"

LIAM: Okay. Don't mind me while I make another owl. I begin casting Find Familiar to bring back Frumpkin as a one-ounce owl.

(laughter)

MATT: Recycling Frumpkin.

LIAM: I promised Beauregard an owl for a week, so I can't have my cat back. Ten minutes later, there's an owl. Watch is over.

MATT: You finish your watch, seemingly uneventful. Towards the tail end of it, you do see a shape of another one of those leopard-like creatures that stalks on the outskirts of the strange, opaque orb you've created and approaches it. (sniffing) Circles around it for a bit, prods at it every now and then. Spends about 40 minutes or so keeping a watch and then eventually loses interest and wanders off into the jungle.

TRAVIS: Cool.

LIAM: (whispering) I like cats.

SAM: Not that kind.

MATT: All right, next watch? Who's taking next watch? We only need one more watch; I think. Jester?

LAURA: On the way-- because I got a pretty good amount of sleep during that fight-- can I ask Caleb, before he goes to sleep: Hey, Caleb!

LIAM: Yeah?

LAURA: Could we stick things through the bubble?

LIAM: *Ja*, you can go out and in, and you can-- sorry. You can put your weapons through it, but no magic will go in or out. But you can leave and come back anytime you want.

LAURA: Okay, just checking.

LIAM: But please don't go on any walkabouts while we are sleeping.

LAURA: I'm not going to, Caleb.

LIAM: But you already did.

LAURA: Well, that was for Caduceus. Don't worry about it, okay?

LIAM: Do you promise?

LAURA: Of course I promise. I'm going to stay in here.

LIAM: That is good enough for me. Good night.

LAURA: Good night.

LIAM: (snoring)

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM and TRAVIS: Jesus.

LAURA: 20.

MATT: Jamedi stays up to also take watch with you. Oh, nice. He sits across the opposite way, and you're watching this way over his shoulder, and he's looking over yours and doesn't engage in conversation, unless you wish to.

LAURA: Have you ever seen those cat things before?

MATT: "I have seen them my first time passing through here, yes, but I was quieter."

LAURA: Yeah, we're pretty loud sometimes.

MATT: "You are correct. This has been a bit more challenging than I originally anticipated."

LAURA: Have you thought at all about the Traveler?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: Do you want a pamphlet?

MATT: "I am confused as to what you are speaking of."

LAURA: (whispering) The Traveler.

MATT: "You are strange."

LAURA: He's everywhere.

MATT: "And creepy."

LAURA: He's really great. I'll give you a pamphlet. I get it out, and I walk it over to him. Here.

MATT: It takes a solid ten seconds of him inspecting it and looking up at you before he--

LAURA: Just read it over. There's a lot of information in there. It's really important.

MATT: "Much appreciated."

LAURA: He's here right now.

MATT: Tucks it away into the inside of his vest.

LAURA: Traveler! If you're here, you should show him you're here so that he will like you even more than he already does! Just give it a minute.

MATT: (farting noise) You're not quite sure who it was on that side that let one loose in their sleep, but the inside of the dome suddenly has a very fragrant air.

SAM: Dutch oven.

LIAM: To be fair, we all had Indian for dinner tonight, so it could be any one of us.

LAURA: He has cast his blessing upon us.

MATT: "Really, the most impressive of miracles."

LAURA: How long have you been working for Captain Avantika?

MATT: "Only for this journey and once before."

LAURA: Do you like her a lot?

MATT: "She pays well. Does not judge."

LAURA: What were you doing before you were working for her?

MATT: "Working for other people."

LAURA: What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

MATT: His eyes narrow at you. "I was the only survivor to the escaping singular mines to the north area of the continent. How far have you traveled outside of the Empire?"

LAURA: I'm from the Menagerie Coast, actually.

MATT: "All right."

LAURA: So that far.

MATT: "I have delved into a few ruins. I have been lucky enough to survive by working alone. I have seen many friends fall and disappear, but I have made my way. What’s the craziest thing you have seen?"

LAURA: Ever? In my life?

MATT: "Sure."

LAURA: Oh shit, I've seen some crazy shit. This one time I saw a bug carrying a piece of bread that was like five times its size and he was carrying it up stairs. Like up and then he would turn and then it would go up and then he would turn.

MATT: "Will wonders ever cease?"

(laughter)

MATT: "I'm going to concentrate on our surroundings for the remainder of our shift if you do not mind."

LAURA: Me too.

MATT: He looks out. Now towards the tail end of your shift as the sunlight begins to slowly peak--

LIAM: It's a slow roll laughter. It took a minute and then it caught like fire.

(laughter)

MATT: There is some more shifting in the nearby bushes and you see two figures beginning to approach the sphere.

LAURA: (whispering) Oh shit!

MATT: "Shh." He gets his short bow ready and nocks an arrow.

LAURA: (whispering) If they stab through--

MATT: "Maybe. Just shh." As you guys wait you can see, similar to what you had previously seen in your travels on this island, two lizard men armored. One carrying a net that's slung over his shoulder, the other with a long spear both with shields off to the side. Not ready for aggression, but they both approach slowly towards the strange sphere and begin inspecting it.

LAURA:(whispering) I put my hand on Fjord's leg.

SAM: Upper thigh?

LAURA: Shh.

MATT: (lizard men talking) He pokes it with the spear. The other one steps forward and licks it. They both begin to walk around and inspect it, prod and poke it. Jamedi-- you can see he's just looking out very intensely, bow notched.

LAURA: (whispering) I poke Beau.

MATT: They both circle around the back end of it, poke the dome a few more times. One of them picks up a rock and throws it at it. It skips off of the exterior of it and rests in a nearby bush. They both step forward one more time and smell it closely. They both turn around and begin to make their way in the opposite direction of where the dome is set, making their way further into the jungle clearing. One of them stops and looks back behind one more time at the dome and turns backs and both of them vanish into the nearby brush.

LAURA: Is it getting light yet?

MATT: It is. There's no sign of the sun but it's that early morning soft blue that starting to overtake the evening's night.

LAURA: We should wake up. Everybody should wake up. We should get out of here before they come back with more people.

SAM: Who?

LAURA: There were I think-- I couldn't tell. They were shadowy, but I think they were like lizard men or snake men.

SAM: Oh gosh.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: Could you tell?

MATT: "I would say that they are probably very close to the ones we saw before."

LAURA: Which ones? The lizard men or the snake men?

MATT: "They appear to be of the lizard men heritage."

LAURA: We should get out of here even though the lizard men are obviously the weaker of the two. Caleb.

LIAM: Hm?

LAURA: We should get up and get out of here.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MARISHA: They know where we are. They can ambush us.

SAM: Did we get a long rest?

MATT: You did get a long rest.

SAM: Oh good.

LIAM: Okay well, say the word and I'll pull it down.

TRAVIS: Let's get everything together first.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Jamedi? Following you.

MATT: "All right, collect your belongings." He goes over and starts disassembling his tent quickly, rolling it up and putting it into his pack over his shoulder. You guys gather your things.

LAURA: Should we make the brush look like we weren't sleeping on it and stuff?

SAM: Why?

LAURA: You know, so that they won't be able to like--

MATT: Make a survival check, Beau.

MARISHA: Okay. Following Jester's lead--

LIAM: Do the running man in the mud, Beau.

MARISHA: It's not great. Nine.

MATT: There are a series of foot grooves in the dirt--

MARISHA: Good enough.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: It doesn't look like anybody slept here. It looks like a bunch of people kicked here.

LAURA: Okay, good great.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: River dancers.

MATT: Yeah. You gather your things. Jamedi leads you back towards the jungle. "All right a few more hours and I think we'll be in the outskirts of the village."

LAURA: I cast Pass Without a Trace on all of us again.

MATT: All right. So...yes?

SAM: Mr. Jamedi? What are we going to find when we get there? Are there any baddies?

MATT: "Oh there are plenty of these snake people where they live. We'll have to be very quiet. We'll have to gauge our passage through their town and try to not be seen. And if we are seen, eliminate whoever catches us before it can notify the rest of them of our presence. Make our way towards the central structure. Trust me. You'll know it when you see it." He looks back to Avantika and says "And I believe that is the quarry in which you paid for, beneath that. Correct?" Avantika goes "That is correct. In we go and see where it takes us. So shall we? Jamedi, lead the way." "All right come forward." You all begin to slowly make your way into the jungle as you cast Pass Without a Trace and we'll come back at the end of the break.

LAURA: Whoa!

LIAM: Owl on your head.

MATT: There you go.

MARISHA: Oh no god!

MATT: Stealth owl. All right, we're going to take a quick break and come back to that with that stealth check and this next leg of the journey into the island of Urukaxl. Um...what's up?

SAM: The giveaway just happens now. We don't have to say anything.

MATT: Yeah, well...

SAM: Oh we do?

MATT: No, we do. It's still here.

SAM: Awesome.

MATT: So we have our fantastic Wyrmwood giveaway tonight. We have-- here we are. So moving forward you'll have to move into the chat-- that's how it's been-- move into the Critical Role chat on Twitch. That's twitch.tv/criticalrole. To win tonight's awesome Wenge Turquoise Inlay Halloween Dice Vault.

ALL: (Oohs)

LAURA: What does it say?

MATT: It's available now through Halloween on Kickstarter for it.

MARISHA: Halloween!

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: It needs to be all the time.

MATT: It's a dice vault that keeps all your dice magnetically held together and it has this cool, glowing runic sigils on it as well as this glowing Wyrmwood symbol. You can find these at Wyrmwood on the Kickstarter currently. The keyword tonight is jungle. So go ahead and put jungle in once. More than once you'll be disqualified. Once again, only available for those in the U.S. and Canada, excluding Quebec. We're working on it. Anyway we'll be back here in a few minutes. We'll see you guys shortly.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

BreakEdit

[break]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Welcome back everyone. So, before we back into the story we have our winner for the dice vault giveaway. Our winner is wolfstarumbra.

TRAVIS: Ooh.

MATT: Now if that doesn't sound like someone's D&D character, I don't know what does.

TRAVIS: Yeah, right?

MATT: Wolfstar, congratulations. We'll get your information and the dice vault sent out to you.

MARISHA: It’s like a synth wave album.

MATT: It is true. We are... wolfstarumbra (synth noises).

TALIESIN: Wolfstar is a total space cowboy.

MATT: That's true. Sorry, wolfstar.

TALIESIN: Thank you, wolfstar!

ALL: (laughter)

MATT: All right. So now in the early morning daylight--

LAURA: I'll be right back.

TRAVIS: Okay.

SAM: Oh no.

LAURA: Keep going.

MATT: In the early morning daylight on Urukaxl Island, you trudge deeper and deeper into the jungles, as the low mist in the jungle begins to burn away as the day itself grows warmer. All of you getting a bit more adjusted to the temperature and general atmosphere. Beau, you're feeling a little rough.

MARISHA: Ah?

SAM: What?

MATT: You get this sweating a little bit and this soreness in your body and this general body pain, kind of a dull pain throughout.

LIAM: You've got mono.

MARISHA: Nope. I'm great.

MATT: Just kind of (sighs)... you're not quite sure why it's come over you. Pressing on, Jamedi leads you for about another hour and a half, two hours through the jungle before putting his hand up once more to stop you all. Oh we didn't make the stealth check actually. Because I said when come back, yes.

TRAVIS: Pass Without a Trace.

MATT: Pass Without a Trace everybody.

TRAVIS: And do I still have-- no I don't. Not anymore.

LIAM: Yeah! Natural 20 plus 10!

TRAVIS: Do I have the thing?

SAM: I think that was my--

TALIESIN: Please tell me you've got Pass Without a Trace up?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: That was my seventh four of the night.

TRAVIS: I don't happen to have the blessing on me? Laura!

LAURA: You rolled with advantage right?

TRAVIS: Do I have a blessing anymore?

MATT: No you've slept.

LAURA: I didn't.

LIAM: The blessing.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: 14.

MARISHA: 33.

LIAM: Whoo!

TALIESIN: Are you even here?

LIAM: 30. Maxed out. Jeez.

SAM: Laura reminds me that I roll with advantage so I'm at a 30.

MATT: There you go. Caleb?

LIAM: 30.

LAURA: 34.

TALIESIN: 15.

MATT: Okay and then Yasha. Natural 18, not bad.

SAM: Wow. Stealthy mofos.

MATT: You guys are cruising your way through the jungle and using that score as you approach, Jamedi with his hand out behind him stopping you. Glancing just past his shoulder, you can see the jungle trees begin to clear and the first thing that catches your eye beyond this treeline, you can see a few dozen scattered stone buildings, most of them in relatively good shape immediately coming into view. You can see the stone coloration is more of a sandstone, yellowish to a dull gray and white with different materials used to accent elements of the constructions. This doesn't match the ruins you previously slept in the night before. These appear to be fresher. You can see the verdant green jungle vines and roots begin to entwine and tangle near the base of some of them and where it's built looks like parts of the jungle have grown up around and helped camouflage elements of this small village. You can see elements of the exposed stone carry snake-head obelisks that appear to be softly carved from bits of a marble material or recovered stone in a similar way that most of the construction has been done.

SAM: Does it look like the figurine that I recovered earlier?

MATT: Similar sculpt and design though larger and of more detail. You see these obelisks about 10 feet tall and they tend to be markers at different intersections of travel. You can see probably a dozen or so folk immediately at this position that you're at that are wandering through this city. Some are gathering materials. You can see-- actually up the way across one of these walls, you see four figures that are strung up by their feet. You can see the remnants of the lizard men that are in the process of having the flesh filleted from their bodies.

ALL: (moans of disgust)

MATT: You see one of the more humanoid ones, probably one of the hunters that you saw alongside the snake-armed man, is there with the blade, stripping it off the bones and sloughing it into a pile next to it where you hear (squelching) over on top of each other.

LAURA: Oh that's fucked up. What do the obelisk eyes look like?

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Eight.

MATT: Hard to tell at this distance. You'd have to get a lot closer.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Who's got the mote this morning? Who moted? Who dodeca-ed?

LAURA: Oh dang we were going to pass it around.

MARISHA: We were yeah.

LIAM: It's somewhere in the building. We'll find it.

MARISHA: Okay.

SAM: Give it to Fjord again. This is his day.

LAURA: Okay, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Well I was going to--

LAURA: Stare at it. Look into its eyes.

TRAVIS: You don't want to give it to Caduceus?

TALIESIN: I will not say no to it.

LAURA: Look into its eyes.

TRAVIS: Give it to him.

TALIESIN: I don't know-- oh.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, you take your mote of possibility.

LIAM: And we are hanging back at this point but not in the thick of it. We're seeing this all from a distance? I was thinking about spells. Yeah.

MARISHA: Remember if anything goes down, Fjord and I will take point. Caduceus, I noticed before it seemed like you guys were poisoned immediately, but not lingering?

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, I’m feeling fine.

MARISHA: Are you? I’m not, like, saying anything.

TALIESIN: Why?

MARISHA: What?

TALIESIN: You seem a little--

MARISHA: Nope!

TALIESIN: You sure?

MARISHA: Yep!

TALIESIN: I can do a--

MARISHA: Nope. Great.

SAM: Do you feel okay?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Does she look okay?

MATT: Make a medicine check.

TALIESIN: 22.

MATT: Looking at her; while all of you are fairly warm and sweaty, her complexion is paler than you recall. There is quite a bit of sweat, more so than expected, that is streaming down her body. Her vision appears to be not as focused and she's not making eye contact with you as she speaks to you. Lids are a bit droopy. She doesn't look healthy.

TALIESIN: You don't look okay. Are you sure-- you really don't look okay.

MARISHA: Fuck you.

TRAVIS: Okay.

TALIESIN: Well.

TRAVIS: There might be some leeches in this jungle. Maybe some ticks?

TALIESIN: I'm just offering something medicinal.

LIAM: I'm ritual casting through this discussion.

MATT: What are you casting?

LIAM: Comprehend Languages.

MARISHA: Do you see red stripes?

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: I feel stripey, I don't know why.

TALIESIN: You're clammy and--

LAURA: Should we try to--

SAM and LAURA: Heal you or something?

MARISHA: I'm great. I'm awesome. Are you itchy?

LAURA: Okay, you haven't been around her as much, when she tells you don't do something-- well, usually don't do it-- but okay, that's weird.

SAM: Maybe it's a human thing.

LAURA: She's hiding that she's actually not okay.

TALIESIN: Hold on.

MARISHA: No.

TALIESIN: You should take this.

MARISHA: No.

SAM: Is it tea, what is that?

TRAVIS: Yeah, what is it? Give her mushrooms.

TALIESIN: Take a look at this, just want to take a look. Smell it, does it smell bad?

MARISHA: Yeah, you smell bad.

TALIESIN: It's a clever distraction. I'm touching her and casting Lesser Restoration. Don’t think I've never done this before.

TRAVIS: Smell this. Bip.

MATT: Okay. You finish casting the spell, the energy subsides, you pull back and there's no change in her demeanor.

LAURA: Oh no.

MARISHA: Don't touch me.

TALIESIN: I apologize. That's weird, though.

LAURA: Oh I'm sorry, I was wrong: she's just a bitch.

MARISHA: I get that a lot.

TALIESIN: You really don't look okay. Just for fun, really quickly--

MATT: Based on your medicine check, it looks to be not a toxin. This is more of a disease taking hold.

TALIESIN: Just out of curiosity, one check for undead really quickly.

MARISHA: I’m diseased!

LAURA: Oh no, Beau.

MATT: For the time being, just as a note, as this is coming to be noticed, all of your constitution saving throws are at disadvantage.

MARISHA: Oh great!

TRAVIS: Did you get hit in the fight?

TALIESIN: No.

MARISHA: No. I just--

LAURA: You must have caught something from weird bugs.

TALIESIN: Does Eyes of the Grave show anything here?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, you got malaria!

TALIESIN: All right. I did what I can. Does it seem contagious?

MATT: Not from what you can tell. You're not entirely certain what the disease is.

LAURA: Oh no, Beau! I'm just not going to stand near you, okay?

MARISHA: That's okay.

MATT: It's some sort of an insect-distributed jungle ailment.

MARISHA: It's the con plague. We just got back from New York.

TALIESIN: You joke, but like a third of our people are down. It's very empty out there.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: It's just Ed.

TRAVIS: And nanny fell, too.

MATT: But at least she got to watch our driver almost beat up that guy.

TRAVIS: That's true!

TALIESIN: Too much for me.

TRAVIS: Didn't know the Incredible Hulk was in this motherfucker, did you?

MATT: That was amazing. Anyway, back to task.

TALIESIN: Yeah, just be careful what you touch for a little while, we need--

MARISHA: I'm always careful with what I touch. I’ve... Let's just keep moving.

MATT: As you guys slightly press forward, Jamedi showing you a bit of a path off to the side. He glances towards the path where he was going and one thing that catches your attention is you've seen the men with the snake arms, you've seen the folk with the scaled skin patches, what you see now, towards this one stairway portion that now leads to what you previously didn't see below the tree line, but a massive stone structure beset by these stairs on each of its five sides. Envision like a semblance of an Aztec pyramid, but a five-side shape that levels off at the top and there are stairs on each of these five sides. At the base of the nearest one, you see less of a man and more of a giant snake, maybe twelve to fifteen feet long, coiled and muscular. But to a humanoid torso with two heavy log-like arms that rest at its sides. One resting on this large sheathed scimitar-like blade, its head curled up into this heavy, straight serpent snake-like mouth as its jaw kind of hangs open and its tongue (hissing noise). It's just keeping an eye and it slithers across the road, bowing from side to side as it looks across the tree line.

TRAVIS: At the base of the structure it's doing that?

MATT: The base of the structure. You're seeing a variety of these snake people going about their lives. This one is just keeping a watch in that one element and Jamedi you can hear curse under his breath "It was the path I took to the inside last time. We're going to have to improvise. Which way do you want to go?"

SAM: We're trying to get into the center of this, all of this?

MATT: Avantika's like, "Of course, inside that big thing right there."

TRAVIS: Okay, so if-- I'll go over to Jamedi. If we can clear him, is the path you've taken before clear as far as you can see. I don't know which way you went?

MATT: "As far as I can remember it was fairly clear but it is also-- I had to ensure that there was not many watching. They have these-- like right there." He points over the side and you can see along the stairs what looks to be almost like a withered person. You see them, like a smaller human, hunched forward, their body a light green tint to itself, kind of this wrinkled, scaled body, its neck protruding and curved outward. It looks what a-- like the lizard folk you had seen earlier but with a longer neck and almost geriatric in the way they carry themselves forward, lumbering. Carrying a large spear and appears to be watching like a sentinel across the upper portion of this large stone structure.

LAURA: So it’s got a lizard face? Not like a human face with a really long neck?

MATT: From what you can tell from this distance, it's hard to see but it looks to be more serpent and more snake-like.

LAURA: Like the Beetlejuice part where his head goes--

TRAVIS: Can anyone create a distraction that doesn't put their own person at risk?

SAM: Sure.

MARISHA: Jester.

LAURA: I mean...

MATT: And you can see there's about four or so buildings between where you are and the base of the structure. There's a small village that surrounds the base of this temple. And so you guys have to find your way through this city.

LAURA: This city without being seen? There's a big group of us.

TRAVIS: It's not us, clearing, and then the building. There's stuff.

LAURA: Can we make ourselves look like the snake people?

SAM: Sure! Some us can.

MARISHA: I can't.

TRAVIS: Although it could throw you in a net and act like you were dinner.

SAM: Yes, yes.

MARISHA: Okay.

LAURA: What's wrong with that?

TRAVIS: Who's got a net?

LAURA: Hey you two, can you make yourself look like snake people?

MATT: Avantika goes, "Uh, that is not really a specialty of mine. However, I'm very good at not being seen." And Jamedi goes, "It's also my specialty. Perhaps we can come from a different direction, smaller group. The two of us can meet on the way."

MARISHA: You know what, maybe I could go with them.

LIAM: I did not prepare the spell to disguise myself. I thought we would be fighting monster people, so...

MARISHA: Such a bitch. Sucks.

LIAM: What?

MARISHA: Saying that as a person. I'm just commiserating. Moving on.

LIAM: Are you Marisha or--

MARISHA: I was, yeah. How about I go with these guys, with Jamedi and Avantika?

MATT: They both look at you and say, "The whole point of this was to make it a small group. The more we add to this group, the harder it is for us to do this."

MARISHA: Three is a small group.

LAURA: Can you be invisible?

TRAVIS: How many of us can change? One, two, three, four.

SAM: But not these two.

TRAVIS: Awesome, great. Two of us, one each take, tie them up in rope--

SAM: As prisoners. They're humans, they're disgusting, filthy pink skins.

LAURA: But still we move really stealthily.

SAM: Oh wait, Yasha.

MATT: Yasha's just sitting there with her arms crossed just listening to the whole conversation going--

SAM: Can you change your appearance?

MATT: "I mean, kind of."

TRAVIS: Kind of?

LAURA: I don't think she can do it like we think.

MATT: "Like, the wings?"

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's less of what we're looking for.

SAM: We could make a distraction. Some of us can snakey.

LAURA: Maybe we do separate into smaller groups and try to stealth it.

SAM: The ones who can't change can go first and we'll make a distraction and then the ones who can can just walk in after.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh my god, okay.

LIAM: Comforting.

SAM: You'll have Yasha with you. And Beau to protect you.

TALIESIN: But without you, they're not going to be as sneaky. We have to stay together if we're going to want to be super stealthy.

LAURA: That's a really good point.

TALIESIN: Together probably is better.

SAM: They won't have to be sneaky if we make enough of a distraction, right?

LAURA: What if we don't make a distraction. We make them look like prisoners, we still try to be sneaky, but then if we're caught, then we have an excuse.

SAM: All right. All in favor of that plan?

TRAVIS: Sure.

SAM: That's one vote.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LIAM: What do we think that these beings’ reaction will be to not lizard-people being on this island all of a sudden.

TALIESIN: Or for that matter, if we can't speak to them.

LAURA: I think they will probably try to--

LIAM: You think it's an every day or every week or month occurrence? I think we're probably pretty special here.

LAURA: I think they might try to kill us and then eat us like that guy over there.

TRAVIS: I think we should try and be as sneaky as possible. If for some reason shit hits the fan, I can make a pretty, I think, spectacular distraction that doesn't put me or us at risk. But I think we should try stealth first.

TALIESIN: Stealth with a couple emergency back-up snake looking people.

TRAVIS: Stealth, distraction, fuck shit up. Cool?

MARISHA: Okay, so--

SAM: Can you make a distraction far away from us?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: If Caleb and I move together, you have your Message spell that you can send back and forth to Nott.

TALIESIN: We all have to move together.

MARISHA: Oh, that's what we're doing?

LAURA: Well you guys aren't as stealthy without being within 30 feet of me

SAM: Oh boy.

MARISHA: Maybe we do the live bait thing, I don't know.

TRAVIS: What, act like you're tied up?

MARISHA: Maybe.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we'll do it anyway.

TALIESIN: That's if they see us.

TRAVIS: We'll tie your hands in the front.

TALIESIN: If they don't see us, it doesn't matter what they look like.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

LIAM: I think that if anyone that looks like me or you shows up on this island, anyone who sees it going to come asking questions immediately.

TRAVIS: I agree.

LAURA: What if-- do any of the people we see walking around, do any of them wear cloaks?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: That's not a bad thought.

LAURA: 14.

MATT: Looking around, you don't see many cloaks. The weather here is warm enough to the point where there isn't the need to bundle. There's no need for hoods because the society here wants to make sure they can very quickly identify who's a part of their faction and who isn't. So yeah, there's no cloaks. You see what are like open robes, simple bits of cloth just to cover aspects of the body for protection from the sun or otherwise, but beyond that it's mostly just skin and scales.

LAURA: But there are some people that look just like people?

MATT: There are people that look mostly like people from a distance, but upon closer look, their skin in places that gets a greener hue in patches, their eyes are yellow. Very snake-like eyes. Sharper teeth.

LAURA: I will use my disguise kit and try to make it look like they've got scales on them. They will probably know the people in their own fucking village, though. Let's be honest.

TRAVIS: Are there several dozen people, or is it--

MATT: Now that you've watched, the first view you had was only the first few building in front of you. Now that you've stepped forward and glanced, you can see there's maybe about 30 to 40 buildings that sit around the base of this entire temple. You've seen a few dozen in the streets, so the society here, you can assume somewhere in the neighborhood of like one to three hundred people live in the city total.

TRAVIS: Let's do that, yeah.

MARISHA: That's a lot of people.

TRAVIS: I'll use Mask of Many Faces to look like one of those fucks and let's try to paint some scales on the non-changeling folks.

LAURA: (makes blipping noises)

MATT: Okay, so you're applying them to Yasha and Beau and Caleb?

LIAM: And the clothes we've seen on these people are like what? They're purple robes you've mentioned.

MATT: Purple robes, simple cloth skirts. Most of the whole thing that’s worn there is for general protection and adornment. You can see jewelry adorning some of them, but it's very simple and it's more for purpose than anything extravagant or presentational.

LIAM: (groaning) I begin to put-- ugh-- my spell books into Fjord's bag.

TRAVIS: Of Holding?

LIAM: Yeah, I can't have ornate book holsters and-- ugh. Trying to make myself look as simple as possible.

LAURA: Disguise Self!

MATT: Avantika goes, "I'll be watching. *Au revoir.*" And she kind of--

TRAVIS: Where are you going? Where are we meeting? At the temple? At the top?

MATT: "I figure the top of that would be a very effective place to meet. Is that not correct? That is where you entered last time, *non*?" She turns to Jamedi, who's keeping low to the ground and goes, "That is indeed where I was. There is a room inside there I could not walk into. I could not find a way through. That is when I returned. So we'll meet there." Avantika goes "*Au revoir.*" Waves her hand through the air, and marks a few symbols and you watch as she disappears.

LIAM: I had that spell once.

SAM: Are these guys painted green? Is that what we're doing?

MATT: That's what we're going to find out right now! You're proficient with your disguise kit, so it's proficiency bonus plus I'll say dexterity check to see how well you can apply these details to their bodies. Roll for each one of them.

LIAM: I'll look like a 1980s Halloween costume. Come on.

MATT: For Caleb?

MARISHA: State fair, all the way.

LIAM: Make me look like Spiderman.

LAURA: Eight.

MATT: Caleb has these green circles on his face in splotches. And you're like, "Great!" For Beau?

LAURA: Okay, that's way better. 17.

MATT: Beau, actually, pretty good job; the linework and shading you had done in these various patches on the inside of the brow line helps make her look a little more snakelike. You've sunken the jowls, you've done the scattered patches with the patchmarks.

LIAM: You look pretty convincing. How do I look?

MARISHA: Polio?

LAURA: Now that I'm seeing how good I did on Beau, I'm realizing how shitty Caleb is, but I'm not going to tell him.

LIAM: What do you mean-- what did you say?

MATT: Yasha seems strangely excited. "Me next, me next."

LAURA: Okay, okay. Oh.

TRAVIS: Is that a one? Shit. God-- why did you roll out that big fucker?

SAM: It was good before!

LAURA: This one's from Sam!

MATT: You guys look amongst yourselves while she's working on Yasha, and finally she finishes, and voila! Pulls back, and it's just Grinch. Just green, head to toe. Bright green. It's pretty bad. But you feel pretty confident about it.

LAURA: You look amazing. It's a really good color on you.

MATT: Yasha goes, "Okay. Let's do this."

SAM: I'm going to grab Caleb and be like: You're going to be fine out there. It's going to be fine. Just think like a lizard, right?

LAURA: What do you mean she looks bad? I think she looks really good, Caleb.

SAM: I'm going to take some flowers and just stick one in his hair for good luck.

LIAM: Is that better?

SAM: I don't know. It's good luck, though!

LIAM: I lean in, way in, to Nott's ear, and say: (whispering) Oh, by the way, Caduceus says that Jamedi is actually a dead thing.

SAM: What?! *What?!* No, but what? Shit! Why are we following him, then?!

MARISHA: I lean in and say, "Are we whispering now? We whispering again?"

SAM: No, they're gone!

LIAM: (whispering) I was telling Nott that Jamedi is a dead thing. Caduceus says Jamedi’s dead.

MARISHA: What?

LIAM: (whispering) Keep it on the DL.

MARISHA: The dead-low?

SAM: Why are we following him?

LAURA: Just because he's dead doesn't mean he's a bad guy.

LIAM: (whispering) Are you whispering too?

LAURA: Yes, of course I am!

LIAM: (whispering) We don't have a choice!

SAM: What if he came here, was killed, and was sent to come get us to bring us back as feeding for whatever's down there?

LIAM: (whispering) What if we let the pirate queen tie rocks to our feet and we're dead?! We have to do this! We can kill them later!

TRAVIS: Agreed.

MATT: "Agreed."

SAM: Ah! You're still here?! Shit!

MATT: "Well, I hadn't left yet. I was curious to see your--"

SAM: Did you know? Where are you?

MATT: You don't see, the voice is coming from nowhere.

SAM: Is Jamedi here?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: 18.

MATT: Looking around, you do not see Jamedi immediately in the vicinity.

MARISHA: Is he on speakerphone?

MATT: No, this is Avantika.

SAM: Avantika! Did you know he was dead?

TALIESIN: Specifically he was not telling you, because I knew you were going to panic.

SAM: Did you know he was a dead guy?

MATT: "I was not aware, but now I am very curious as to where you found this information and what you think this means."

TALIESIN: I just know things. I don't know what it means. I was trying to find a moment to figure out if you knew, or if we should tell you, or if this was part of some sort of plan. I hadn't figured it out, and for some reason, I had not realized that I was walking around with a bunch of gossips. Well, it's what I get, I suppose, for trying to be sneaky about things.

TRAVIS: Nice job. He's going to fucking leave again. Good job.

MARISHA: Whose side are you on?

TALIESIN: I've been doing my best not to be thrown by it. It seems like he's been standing up all right.

MATT: "He's done work for me before, and was successful."

LAURA: He's pretty cool.

SAM: Has he always been dead? Is this a recent thing? Where are you?

MATT: "Don't worry about it. But nevertheless, he has done his job so far. I assume we just keep a close eye. If ever he decides to give any sign of turning on any of us, well, it's eight against one."

TRAVIS: Indeed. I'll take out several feet of rope from the bag of holding and say: We should do this before he achieves the destination. Forward."

MATT: "See you on the other side." And you watch as the dust-- (puffing) the footprints.

TALIESIN: This is why I was trying to keep it on the down-low.

SAM: Why?

TALIESIN: I knew that certain members of the party may get a little excited. I, myself, had a moment of panic. Had a moment of panic myself. I've been keeping it contained.

LAURA: You feel okay now?

TALIESIN: No, there's a dead guy walking around with us. That's unsettling. That's unsettling to my very core, I've got to admit, but you know.

LAURA: Well, now we just have to go walk around snake people and not be seen, so that's fine.

TALIESIN: It's an improvement, at the very least.

MARISHA: Hey, Fjord. Avantika can go invisible or peek into what we're saying. Can you do that?

TRAVIS: No. Well, kind of. Not really. No.

MARISHA: How much have you heard?

TRAVIS: I mean, I can pop in and out, but--

LIAM: We've seen you flit about.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that one.

LAURA: But you can't hear what's on the other side when you're popping in and out, can you? Oh, yes you can! That's right, you can.

TALIESIN: How many fingers am I holding up?

TRAVIS: None.

TALIESIN: Oh. I forgot to-- I'm really distracted right now. I don't know why I bother.

LAURA: We should probably get pretty snaking on here.

TRAVIS: We'll put two in the front, two in the back, and put these three in the--

LAURA: In the middle.

MATT: Your Pass Without a Trace has probably faded at this point, with the travel you've made so you have to recast it to get the spell bonus.

LAURA: You guys, we should probably do it again?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: (singing) Pass pass pass pa-pass. I give Yasha the Blessing of the Trickster.

TRAVIS: Good call.

MATT: Everyone make a stealth check, please.

MARISHA: Hang on, hang on, real quick: (clearing throat) Real talk, for just a second. If Yasha comes with us, and we puppet her, and she dies, Ashley's going to be real mad. Just pointing this out last time, because we did this with Pike. Not saying one way or the other! Just saying, we're going to continue on with Yasha? Okay. Done. Done. That's all I'm going to say.

SAM: She's going to be in a defensive stance for most of the fight.

TRAVIS: She'll be fine. I'll pilot her.

LAURA: I would say let's text her, but she's in another country, so she probably wouldn't get it.

MATT: Stealth checks, guys.

TRAVIS: 21.

MARISHA: Fuck!

TRAVIS: Pass Without a Trace.

MARISHA: 20.

LIAM: 25.

SAM: Oh, I get advantage. 30. No! 38.

LIAM: Rogues, man, rogues!

TRAVIS: What? Natural one?

TALIESIN: 26.

SAM: She's a lizard person, she'll be fine.

MATT: And for Yasha, if you want to roll twice?

TRAVIS: 25. Natural 15.

LAURA: At least I look like a snake person.

SAM: You're going to be a loud snake person. That's fine.

MATT: You all begin to make your way towards the first set of buildings. There's that one individual that's flaying the bodies of the lizardmen. Has made their way through two of them. There are two more that are in the process of being stripped. There is one street that breaks through two of the ones closest to you. Do you wish to take that path? What do you wish to do to stealth in? Because part of the pathway here is out in the open, so you'd have to gauge your timing.

TRAVIS: Describe the two again?

MATT: Where you are now, towards the main stairway that leads at the top, you have about two streets or three sets of buildings to get through. The ones closest to you, there are two large buildings that are immediately towards your side. One side has nobody around it. The other one has one individual that is currently flaying the hanging corpses of the four lizardmen.

TRAVIS: I vote for the one guy flaying the lizardmen.

MARISHA: Agreed.

LAURA: Because he's distracted?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm. And it's one guy.

LAURA: The other one has no guys.

TRAVIS: That never is no guys.

LAURA: Okay. I follow your lead, captain.

TRAVIS: Let's go that way. We'll go towards the flaying.

MATT: Okay. You make your way, exiting the jungle way, and are you going quickly and quietly so nobody notices or are you strolling through, using your stealth as a means of trying to keep any sort of--

TRAVIS: Trying to blend in.

MATT: Got you. Okay. All of you move forward. Are you dragging them behind by ropes?

MARISHA: No, we're in the middle. We're Assassin's Creeding it.

MATT: Got you.

TRAVIS: If there is a building to walk beside, I would prefer to have our shittily drawn and one very nice one closest to the building with us on the outside.

MARISHA: Uh-huh. Yeah, I'll be the barrier.

TRAVIS: Mama elephants and then baby elephants.

MARISHA: Aww, yeah!

MATT: You guys cluster and begin to shift as this herd of snakefolk making your way towards that direction.

TRAVIS: Oh god, oh god, oh god.

MATT: As the light hits you as you leave the branches of the jungle and begin shifting, fully open now in the middle of the midday sun, immediately you feel the heat on the back of your neck and shoulders begin to grow hotter and hotter as the nerves build up inside. You cruise through the open area, and to the left you hear a (whip cracking). You glance over and you can see another one of those massive, mostly-snake, serpentine hulking individuals is currently wielding a whip. There is a cluster of lizardmen that are currently chained and are currently pushing on a heavy bar that is dragging a large piece of stone out of the jungle and towards the center of the city. They're bent into slave labor for these people. They are now pushing it forward. That catches you off guard for a minute, but you continue to focus and move forward. As you get closer, you can hear the slick sound of the flesh being pulled from the back of the lizardman's body-- (wet ripping)

TRAVIS: Aww, yeah!

MATT: Onto the side-- (coughing) Had me a little bit of spittle on that one. (coughing) Pardon me. Moving around the side, the figure finishes and throws it, and glances over and looks at your group. Starts looking somewhat curiously as you pass.

SAM and LAURA: (hissing)

MATT: Make a deception check, Jester.

LAURA: Why?

TRAVIS: Why?

LAURA: Because I rolled a shitty stealth, that's why. Oh no.

MATT: Yasha's going to make a deception check as well.

LAURA: (gasp) Natural 20!

MATT: All right. Yasha rolled pretty high on that, actually. The figure goes back to its work and begins carving it. You move past that into the first street walkway. It moves on for about fifteen or so feet and then it has a crosspath. It goes to the right and the left, and ahead it goes to another set of buildings behind, and there is an alley that turns to the right and it seems to end at that point. So you have a T intersection before you, and then it ends and curves to the right. Where do you go?

LIAM: So an intersection to go through to get to the right turn past it?

MARISHA: I see. So it's like a cross-T intersection?

MATT: Right. You keep moving and then there's a right and left, or you keep moving and then it turns to the right.

TRAVIS: Are there any windows, doors, anything on these buildings?

MATT: You see open squares. There's no glass panes, but there are carved rectangles removed.

TRAVIS: Can we move up to the side of one and glance in as we slow down just a little bit to peek through?

MARISHA: On this T intersection?

TRAVIS: No, before we get to the intersection.

LAURA: Just to be clear: I always thought that a T intersection was an intersection like this.

MATT, TRAVIS and MARISHA: Four-way stop.

MATT: That's my fault. It's a lower-case t! Lower-case t.

LAURA: No, no, no, I get it. I just wanted to make sure.

MATT: Sorry, I meant a cross intersection.

LIAM: Don't you listen to her.

MATT: No, it's fine. It's an important clarification. That's my brain fart, man. I appreciate the backup. But yeah, you're right on that.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Okay, guru Liam. Yeah. Liam from Ojai.

MATT: Namaste.

LIAM: I'm going to go listen to your tapes, your level seven tapes.

TALIESIN: A most expeditious movement towards the temple, I suppose, would be the--

TRAVIS: Do we look in the window?

MATT: As he's saying this, you glance to the window to your left, and as you look in, make a perception check.

LAURA: Ooh!

TRAVIS: Ugh, seven.

MATT: You glance inside, and it's a simple interior. There's a little bit of sunlight coming through from the opposite side of it from the direction of the light in the sky. It frames ambiently the outside of a figure that appears to be humanoid that is sitting over a table, and you can hear some grinding or carving sound, but its faced away from you. Looks to be some sort of workshop.

TRAVIS: Keep going?

SAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: All right, we'll push through.

MATT: You push towards the first intersection.

MARISHA: Can I see the tower-- the temple at all, above the buildings?

MATT: Yeah, you can see the top of the temple from here.

MARISHA: Okay, does this curve look like we're still heading the right way?

MATT: It'll start making towards the nearest stairway that leads towards the top.

LIAM: It's just the bottom of the structure that curves around.

MATT: As you approach the T-intersection, you hear this murmuring of conversation coming from the left-hand side of it. (whispering)

LIAM: I cast Comprehend Languages.

MATT: You do, and you pick it up. It is Abyssal.

LIAM: Abyssal?

LAURA: Oh! No, Yasha can't--

SAM: Yasha can speak that, no?

MATT: I don't know, if you had her character sheet, you would have the benefits of knowing that. But, not my responsibility. So you pick you on it and the muttering is akin to, "Come, we have to pick up the hunts. The food stores are running dry this season." As that comes to you, you glance up to the side and you guys watch as two figures round the corner. They're both mostly human in body, though their bodies are scaled and a dull green-gray color. Their heads, fully serpentine, snake jaws-- the hood's not open, but retracted-- and they both have, strapped across their shoulders and torsos, longbows that are at rest, and they have quivers filled with arrows. They walk past and glance over at the rest of your crew. Make a deception check, Jester.

SAM and LAURA: (hissing)

LAURA: Big money. Okay, okay. 22.

MATT: Yasha as well. The disguise didn't quite go well, and Yasha and Caleb-- even in the clustered section-- catches some attention. The first one keeps walking. The second one glances over and looks to the rest of you and, "Hey!" You hear in Abyssal, "Hey, what've you got?" You guys hear (Abyssal).

TRAVIS: As that one turns, I'll turn to Yasha and I'll go (hisses) and punch her in the face and say, "Go down!"

MATT: She goes (grunting). She's not used to rolling with the punch.

LIAM: You're going to take a dive.

MATT: She goes down and the figure looks up, its eyes narrowing and the tongue (slurping).

TRAVIS: Stand over Yasha, take the rope, and start tying her hands together.

MATT: "Wait," to the other one, who stops, looks back and goes-- begins to walk towards you, keeping a hand on the bow.

LAURA: I cast Hold Person.

TRAVIS: Oh no!

LAURA: Sorry, I already said it. At 3rd-level.

MATT: On both of them?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: That's a failure; that's a 12. Oh, that's cocked. And a natural four. They both fail. They both freeze in place.

LAURA: We should tie them up and then go.

TRAVIS: We're in the middle of the street. We can't tie them up. We've got to go.

LAURA: We're in the middle of the street?

MATT: You're in the middle of the street.

LAURA: Let's go. Let's walk quickly.

MARISHA: Run.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we're picking up and moving expeditiously away.

LAURA: I really should've charmed them instead of held them, but let's go.

TRAVIS: Yeah, or distraction.

SAM: Want to do a distraction now?

TRAVIS: Not now. We've got to go.

LIAM: Distraction is them.

MATT: They are currently paralyzed in the middle of the street for the next minute. Once they're released, they're going to do whatever they do.

TRAVIS: Do we seen anyone else around besides those two?

MATT: Right now? Make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Oh, 20.

MATT: Glancing about at this moment, the only other figure you can see near this intersection is one of the patrolling, hunched creatures you saw up on the temple itself on the second tier, and it's currently walking away from you and doesn't seem to be paying attention.

LAURA: Grab them.

LIAM: Yeah, actually, we should chase them and kill them because they could actually snap out of it at any second.

SAM: We should kill them?

TRAVIS and LIAM: Kill them.

LAURA: Grab them, slit their throats.

TRAVIS: They're large beings, right?

SAM, LAURA, and MARISHA: Pull them off the street.

SAM: Okay, Yasha.

MATT: Hold on. While you guys are deciding on this, every turn they get to make a save.

LIAM: Yeah, that's right.

MATT: Natural two and 11 plus two, 13. Yeah, they're still held.

TRAVIS, LAURA, and MARISHA: Pull them off the street.

SAM: You and Yasha should pull them off the street.

MATT: You guys lift their arms and pull them off.

MARISHA: Weekend at Bernie's.

SAM: Are there any doors around here?

MATT: The building to the left of you was the one that you saw the craftsman in. The one to the right, you can see there is an open doorway.

LAURA: Is there anybody in there?

SAM: Let's just go in?

MATT: All right, you drag them over.

TALIESIN: I'm going to walk forwards first to peek in because I look like a snake.

MATT: Okay, make a perception check.

TALIESIN: All right. That's terrible, 11.

MATT: You glance inside. You can see what looks to be a pile of rags on a small table in the corner, but nobody else appears to be in there.

LAURA: Inside.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: All right. You guys pull them inside.

LAURA: Wrap them up.

MATT: Another 11 plus two, 13, failure. An eight plus two; they're still--

LAURA: Okay, tie them up as much as we can and then gag their mouths. Toss them in a corner.

TRAVIS: We're working the rope.

MARISHA: Should we kill them?

LIAM: *Ja*. They would kill us; we watched them skinning the inhabitants of this--

MATT: That's a five.

SAM: Will they wake up if we hurt them now?

MATT: 15.

TRAVIS: Fuck it, I summon the sword, I run over and I shove it into his chest.

MATT: What's your DC?

LAURA: 15.

MATT: One of them succeeds.

LAURA: We're already tying him.

MATT: You're in the process of it.

MARISHA: He kills one guy. I snap the other guy's neck.

MATT: The guys that's paralyzed, going ahead and attack.

TRAVIS: I plunged the sword into his chest.

MATT: Attack twice, each time with advantage.

TRAVIS: Okay, with advantage.

MATT: Both hits are crits because he is paralyzed.

TRAVIS: Amazing. That is a 16?

MATT: 16 hits.

TRAVIS: Are they automatic crits?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh, the damage is a crit. The second one is a 23. Yeah, 23 is the highest one.

MATT: Yep, both hit, both crit.

TRAVIS: Both hit, both crit, okay.

MARISHA: You said one saved?

MATT: One saved.

LAURA: But we were putting things into their mouths.

MATT: You were tying them up and (gasping) begins to-- but we'll get to that in just a minute.

TRAVIS: 29.

MATT: You carve through him. These are more ranged hunters; they're not as hardy as some of the other ones out there, and this one, you manage to in just two quick swings, carve through the chest and take down most of the throat-- just tears open. It crumples to the ground, dead. The other, who is currently being bound, (snarling), begins to start making noise and getting ready to--

LIAM: Are we in a stone room?

MATT: You're inside a stone room.

LIAM: Is there wood?

MATT: There's not much in the way of wood. It's mostly stone in here.

LIAM: Fire Bolt.

TRAVIS and LAURA: No!

MATT: Fire Bolt or Fireball?

LIAM: Bolt.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Wouldn't that still make noise?

MATT: It'll make a little bit.

MARISHA: Great, so let's just fucking kill really stealthily really fast!

MATT: Go ahead and roll an attack, everyone who's doing this.

SAM: I'm shooting with a crossbow.

MATT: Okay, it is definitely flanked, so you get a sneak attack, but you don't have advantage on it because it is not fully bound.

SAM: 22 to hit?

MATT: That hits.

MARISHA: 24.

MATT: Hits.

LIAM: 17.

MATT: Hits.

MARISHA: Six damage; I'm going to stun him.

MATT: Natural nine, fails.

SAM: 17 damage.

MATT: What's the Fire Bolt do?

LIAM: It's 2d10, which is 19.

MATT: Okay. You watch as he (grunting) freezes up from the stun and then (gasping) takes a bolt to the throat. The eyes begin to roll back as a Fire Bolt blasts in its chest, and you watch as it burns the edges of its face up in cinders. It goes quiet before limping to the ground, the smoke coming up from its smoldering corpse.

TRAVIS: Out.

LAURA: Cover him up!

MATT: At this point, the rags in the corner begin to shift as you watch what appears to be an individual sleeping in the corner begins to come to and it (raspy breathing)--

MARISHA: God, go.

MATT: Look up, and you can see what looks to be a more humanoid-- one of the most humanoid of the ones ones you've seen there, but with the scales-- what you managed to make yourself look like-- begins to come to consciousness and goes (snarling).

LAURA: Oh, shit.

MARISHA: Does he see us?

MATT: Yeah, you woke him the middle of his sleep.

LAURA: Charm Person!

SAM: Jesus.

MATT: That is 15. it succeeds.

MARISHA: You're supposed to be better at this.

LAURA: Somebody do fucking something, because he shook it off.

MATT: (snarling)

MARISHA: Throat punch!

MATT: Go for it. The words you hear are, "Who are you? Help!" as the shout is beginning to come out, but you go ahead and--

MARISHA: Uh-huh, 15.

MATT: Yeah, 15, that hits.

MARISHA: Stun.

MATT: That's a failure, yeah.

MARISHA: Uh-huh, he's stunned.

MATT: Stuns in the bed.

TALIESIN: (sigh) Sacred Flame.

MATT: All right. This individual doesn't have a lot of hit points, so let's say for the sake of brevity here, being stunned, you guys quickly--. Yep. However, it did have the opportunity to shout out one phrase. We'll see if the guard heard it.

SAM: Oh boy.

TRAVIS: You know what'd be great right now? A distraction. Maybe fire?

MATT: It's a natural 15.

SAM: Set fire to the house?

LIAM: It's all stone.

TRAVIS: It is all stone. There's no wood. There's no nothing.

MATT: Inside this chamber, it's all stone. There're stone tablets that have been carved and then placed up against each other. There's occasional scenes you can see through, and the ceiling above appears to be slats of stone that have been placed in a lattice formation.

MARISHA: I pull out all of the cherry bombs that I have and I go-- fucking fireworks!

LAURA: But wait, maybe nobody heard.

TRAVIS: Let's just get out.

SAM: Is there any hole in the ceiling or anything? Is there a roof?

TRAVIS: Ceiling stone too?

MATT: The ceiling, looking up-- there is no second floor or anything, and it looks like it's just a continuation of stone. It looks like a series of thin slats have been placed one next to the other in a layering to create a ceiling.

TALIESIN: Back door?

MATT: No, this entrance is the only way in and out. There's a window--

TRAVIS: Out.

TALIESIN: I'm going to quickly grab two arrows from one of the dead lizards and stick them in his chest, and I'm going to walk out. I want to go-- yeah.

SAM: It was a suicide.

LAURA: Maybe they all fought each other.

MATT: You guys turn the corner, and as you exit, you can see that large, looming, slithering snake figure with the huge scimitar that's probably 15 foot from tip of tail to nose. Thick, burly body, slithering its way towards you.

SAM: Like, can see us?

MARISHA: Yeah, what do you mean towards us?

MATT: Meaning whatever noise, this figure managed-- I rolled high on its perception-- to pick up the sound of its call, and it's making its way in your direction.

TRAVIS: Okay. I will point down the street away from us and go (hissing) and cast Major Image, and I will summon the image of a manticore, a large manticore roaring and thrashing in the streets.

LAURA: Oh, that's tight.

MATT: All right, full sound and everything? Because Major Image you can do the full spread--

TRAVIS: The whole shebang-- make sound, it smells, the whole thing.

MATT: So now, suddenly, in the middle of this room, all of you turn and look and see as a full-grown manticore, akin to the one that you battled not that long ago beneath the mines near Alfield, you see wings unfurl (roaring). All of a sudden, all eyes in the city shift to this creature. In a matter of moments, you can see arrows being loosed in its direction, hitting the ground near it. The snake that was approaching you spins around, begins to draw its scimitar (snarl) and it begins to approach.

TRAVIS: (shouting) Go!

SAM: On us, or on the--?

TRAVIS and MATT: Manticore.

SAM: Great, let's run.

LAURA: We run away.

MATT: You put that behind where the serpent was?

TRAVIS: Yes, so he has to turn and move away from us.

MATT: Okay. You guys arc in the completely opposite direction heading towards where the base of this temple is. There is another one of those that is currently at the bottom of the stairway that is making its way in your direction.

LAURA: I point at the manticore.

MATT: You point at the manticore?

TRAVIS: I can't. I point at the manticore. No, you did it.

MATT: She's the one who did it.

LAURA: Hey man, I look like a snake person!

MATT: Make a deception check.

SAM: This is going to be great.

MATT: The DC's low on these because you're disguised.

TALIESIN: Hey!

LAURA: Nine.

MARISHA: Oh shit.

SAM: Just had to beat a ten.

MATT: You had to beat a ten. You push, and it turns around and sees the manticore and looks at you curiously. It has to take a moment to decide which is more dangerous, the manticore or this curious serpent. Goes ahead and grabs you by the chest and begins dragging you with it.

TALIESIN: It makes a grab for her?

MATT: Yeah. It can't choose, so it just grabs you.

TALIESIN: Blindness. I'm going to blind him before he grabs her.

MATT: Okay. Well first, it has to try and grapple you, so go ahead if you want to fight it.

LAURA: Okay, yeah, I'll try to back away.

MATT: All right, so acrobatics check. Natural two, so make an acrobatics or athletics check to try and break it.

LAURA: Cool. One.

MATT: Yeah, it grabs you. However, what's the DC on the spell?

TALIESIN: Constitution 16.

MATT: Natural two again! It was like 20-- two. All of a sudden, it loses sight and you see its eyes starting to blink out where once the piercing yellow snake eyes fade to a snowblind white (snarling and hissing). Pulls its blade out and looks around, looking freaked out at the process. You have to break that grapple; it's still holding you.

LAURA: Oh, I--

MATT: Make another athletics or acrobatics check. What're you making?

SAM: Jesus. Oh, nope. Do another.

LAURA: That was a very aggressive roll. Athletics or acrobatics?

MATT: Yep, your choice.

LAURA: Acrobatics.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Ah, god!

LAURA: My dear lord! Fucking seven, but he still rolled a natural two, right, no?

MATT: Well, no, that was the last time. He rolled a natural eight, so he's still holding onto you. He's blind, but he's holding on to you. The scimitar's out and he's swinging it wildly at whatever's in the area now that it can't see and is (gnashing).

TRAVIS: Can I take the sword and take a shot right at his wrist that's holding her? With the hand that's holding onto Jester?

MATT: Sure. It's going to be at a major penalty.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: So go ahead and roll.

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17? Okay. Go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: Okay.

SAM: Oh boy, this is going terribly.

TRAVIS: It's going great, we're doing good. Oh, that's good! That's a 14.

MATT: Okay. I'll say that'll give you advantage on your next check.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: It doesn't break the hold.

SAM: I will step forward and say to the beast: How does the Lucidian Ocean say goodbye? It just waves. And I'll cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter on it.

MATT: Okay. Natural four.

(cheering)

MATT: Falls to the ground and begins chuckling, though in the middle of this chaos it is now blinded and laughing. It releases you.

LAURA: Okay, good.

MATT: The manticore is still roaring. Creatures are now flooding out of the city to combat this and you can see some of them are swinging and are beginning to notice something strange...

LAURA: Ooh, run away!

MARISHA: Run, run, run!

MATT: All right, so you guys are charging towards the temple. You bypass that one. Now you're heading up the stairs. Up across the way, there's one of those crotchety snake people that you saw patrolling the upper area who has its longbow out and is currently firing one after another arrow toward the manticore. It's moved off to the side. It doesn't seem to immediately notice your presence as you approach. If you guys are trying to stealth by without getting its attention, I need you all to make another stealth check now that you've engaged in combat.

LAURA: Add ten!

SAM: You'll need it.

MATT: Well, hold on. Pass Without a Trace, is it concentration?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Because you cast Hold Person since then.

LAURA: Oh, Hold Person is a-- you're right.

SAM: Spell management!

LAURA: Sorry, I didn't realize Hold Person was a concentration.

MATT: It's okay. It is. So straight stealth checks, guys.

TRAVIS: Yep. 13.

MARISHA: 22.

LIAM: Seven.

SAM: Roll for Yasha. 20!

LAURA: 12.

TALIESIN: 17.

TRAVIS: I have Yasha's character sheet and she rolled a ten.

MATT: Okay. Hold on.

TALIESIN: I mean.

MARISHA: It was super down the middle.

LIAM: Every week we're like, this is the episode where we start thinking. This is the one.

MATT: There we go.

TALIESIN: (singing and whistling) Something's out there.

MATT: Natural 20 on his end.

ALL: Aww!

MARISHA: What do you mean?

MATT: I rolled a natural 20 on my d20.

MARISHA: No, I know what you mean.

MATT: (arrows whizzing) (gnashing)

TRAVIS: How far is this person?

MATT: About 15 feet above you, above the stairs, just in the middle of the open. Glancing off to the side, the manticore still drawing most of the attention, but people are starting to figure out the weirdness about it.

TRAVIS: Can I use my bonus action to Misty Step up behind them and I will kick them down the stairs towards the rest of us?

SAM: Ooh.

MARISHA and TALIESIN: Yes!

MATT: Yes, you can.

MARISHA: Oh my god, yes!

MATT: In a whisp of dark shadow energy you see Fjord just vanishes from sight and teleports right behind. Go ahead and make an athletics check.

TRAVIS: Oh god, those used to be really great for me. 17!

MATT: Natural four. You Sparta this fucker right off the side of the temple. You watch him tumbling down the entire length of the side of this temple before landing on the ground and skidding and looking unconscious and bleeding out of the side of his mouth at the base of the temple.

LIAM: Fire Bolt.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: On the dead guy?

LIAM: Yeah. Is he dead or is he unconscious?

MATT: He's unconscious.

LIAM: Oh, yeah. That's a 22.

MATT: Technically, he's prone because he's on the ground, so it would be at disadvantage. Roll one more time.

LIAM: It's a 23.

MATT: That hits, roll damage. So with the damage he took from the fall there. Oh, yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's not me, jesus. I was looking at Yasha's and it was like, "When did I get Necrotic Shroud?"

LIAM: It's five.

SAM: (exaggerated Arnold Schwarzenegger accent) Five points of damage.

LIAM: That's the sound it makes. Phoomph.

MATT: So he's burning and not moving. You assume.

LAURA: He's even more unconscious now.

TRAVIS: Let's get the fuck out of here.

LAURA: Keep going.

SAM: Is there an entrance to this tower?

MATT: Oh, you're going stairs up the side. It levels off towards the top of it, but you don't know what's at the top there.

MARISHA: Is there anyone following us?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Many people.

TALIESIN: Everybody.

MARISHA: Okay. 15.

MATT: Glancing around, I mean, the manticore's causing a huge ruckus in the middle of the city and those that have begun to realize that it's an illusion are looking around confusedly and at the moment do not see you, but that time is going to be very short because you're out in the middle of the sunlight. The trees aren't above you now. This is an open clearing in the middle of the jungle and you're just running up the side of these temple stairs with the light down upon you from the sky.

LIAM: How tall is this person who's just died?

MATT: Maybe-- from foot to shoulder?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: About four foot.

LIAM: He's only four feet?

MATT: Yeah. It's like a tiny, hunched--

LIAM: Okay, I take out some iron and I go (whooshing) and he shrinks to an eighth of that and I pick him up.

MATT: Wait, the one you just shot?

LIAM: Yeah, I don't want to leave him here.

MATT: He's at the bottom of the temple.

LIAM: Oh, he went down there? I thought he was at our feet.

MATT: No, you guys have been climbing the temple and he kicked him down off the side of it. It's all good.

LIAM: I would only do it if he was right where we were.

MATT: Right. No worries.

LAURA: Let's just keep running.

TRAVIS: Yeah. In! Out of light. Out of the way.

MATT: Okay. So as that idea flashes through your mind, that would be cool, but it's not going to work, so you keep rushing and we come back to the moment as you guys dart up the side of the temple. Everyone make one more stealth check now that you've had that brief encounter and teleported behind to make sure that nobody catches you before you reach the top portion.

MARISHA: Stealth you said?

MATT: Stealth, yes.

MARISHA: Oh god.

TRAVIS: 12 for me. Natural 18 for Yasha.

MARISHA: 12.

LIAM: 11.

SAM: 20.

LAURA: 19.

TALIESIN: 17.

MATT: That's still a pretty high average and it's more of an average thing. So a couple of stumbles coming up the stairs from some of you, but largely you make it, cresting to the top of the platform. You get there for a second, take a few breaths and realize glancing over to the side that people are still emerging, looking over the side and you can see dozens of these snake people are emerging from the buildings and heading towards the sound of this raging manticore. There are those that are now scattering from the manticore, trying to engage them to tell them it's not what they think it is. There are eyes glancing around and you can see the sentinels are starting to-- But you guys are keeping low and out of sight. No one at the moment seems to notice where you are and the few that have noticed you you've either taken out or have lost sight of where you were traveling. So for the moment, you feel safe. At the top of the temple, you can see some sort of a worship terrace. There's torch-bearing statues of snakes sitting near the corners of each of these five sides of the temple, similar in shape to the one that you found, the idol. In fact, at the top of each of these torches, there's a similar golden idol, but while the one you have is smooth, each of these has a carved divot on the inside where the torch itself is actually burned in. Or where materials are placed in to burn as a torch when the night comes or for any ceremonial use it requires.

TRAVIS: The top is open air?

MATT: Right now, it's just an open platform. You do see in the center of it a heavy stone tablet about 12-foot by six-foot the rests directly in the center. You can see metal rings that are bolted in with metal rivets that hold it on the sides of the tablet. The stone itself appears to be stained with a variety of various shades of stain.

SAM: Like blood?

TALIESIN: Oak, mahogany, rosewood.

TALIESIN and MATT: So much stain.

LAURA: Where are we supposed to go?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we head towards the tablet.

MARISHA: So wait, you said that there are tablets with rings on the corners of the tablet and splatter--

MATT: There was one stone table about 12-foot by six-foot and on the sides of it there are rings that are bolted in and there are stains across the surface.

TRAVIS: Of the crimson variety?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Yeah, super sacrifice-y.

LIAM: Obviously for killing. With all the reading I have done, can I ascertain or have a good guess of what this is used for besides?

MATT: Yeah, you have a good idea.

LIAM: Yeah, I know it's for killing people, but does it *do* something? To do something. Summon things, make a god happy...

TALIESIN: Does it look like a trap door to me?

LIAM: I have read many books.

MATT: Well, make an arcana check and make a religion check.

TALIESIN: All right.

LIAM: I got a one.

MATT: Okay. You're not entirely certain.

TALIESIN: I got a 12.

LIAM: Not my neighborhood.

MATT: You get the sense that this is for sacrifices, but you're not entirely certain to what ends and to what purpose, whether it's just ceremonial or for a specific purpose.

TALIESIN: Okay. And it doesn't look like it moves?

SAM: We're still out in the open?

MATT: You're out in the open on the top of this temple, but you do see, as you're inspecting the table and looking around, there is a trap door made of the same color stone that has a handle built on it that you can pull back.

SAM: Should I check for traps?

LIAM: Yeah. Is it safe?

SAM: For sure. I'll check for traps. 18. Investigation.

MATT: All right. It looks to not be trapped. Though it is locked.

SAM: All right, I'll unlock it. That's 28!

MATT: 28. Getting down to this device, you can see it's an intricate, thick, long key, what would have probably been that long and have a whole series of intricately designed cliffs to it to hit all of the various--

SAM: Tumblers?

MATT: Tumblers, thank you. To get this to open. However, you manage to get multiple angles and press and hold, and press and hold with all of your tools. It takes everything in your bag to get through it, but you manage to just hit each one properly and lift, and it pulls open with a grinding sound.

LAURA: Shut up, Nott! That was very good.

SAM: That was not supposed to work!

LAURA: That was really good.

SAM: That was luck. That was dumb luck.

TALIESIN: Let's get in. We're all going to get in. Come on.

MATT: You do hear a smattering of hissing and growling sounds that are getting louder and louder.

LAURA: Get inside of it. (mumbling) Can you re-lock the door or something?

SAM: Probably not, but I can try.

LAURA: Okay, we'll just shut it and hope they don't notice that we came up here. Let's go.

MATT: Okay. You all dart inside. At this point, as you are stepping inside, you see on the opposite end, rushing up the edge, you see Jamedi go, "(huffing) Very good," and he jumps inside with the rest of you.

MARISHA: Where's Avantika?

MATT: "I have not seen her."

MARISHA: Bullshit.

MATT: "I haven't!"

MARISHA: Are you lying?

MATT: Make an insight check.

TALIESIN: I'll join this one, as well.

MARISHA: God fucking bull fucking shit.

TALIESIN: 25.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: Hard to read.

TRAVIS: Doesn't matter.

LAURA: “Hard to read.” Whispers!

SAM: Hey, how great was New York Comic Con?

TRAVIS: Boy, sure was fun, Sam.

SAM: We met a lot of great Critters--

TRAVIS: We did!

SAM: And thanks for everyone for coming out to the live show, and we'll be back again next year? I don't know.

TALIESIN: So I keel over mysteriously dead. Just kidding! Sorry. No, all right, cool.

MATT: All right. He darts inside, the rest of you guys are inside. You close it?

LAURA: Yes!

TRAVIS: Yes, we close it, yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm closing, slowly.

MATT: All right. As you are just closing it gently, you can see shapes coming up over one, and now a second, side of the temple. There are a few charging up. All right. It locks from the inside. The latch locks behind itself.

SAM: I locked it!

TRAVIS: We may not have much time. Darkvision, what do we see?

MARISHA: Goggles.

MATT: You're now standing in a small, five-foot by eight-foot chamber. You are all cramped in there, but there is a spiral staircase that leads down.

TRAVIS: Time to go.

SAM: One at a time.

TRAVIS: You first.

SAM: Why me?

TRAVIS: Check. For. Traps.

LAURA: Whoever I'm standing next to, I grab their butt.

TALIESIN: Who's rubbing my elbow? It’s weird.

SAM: I'll take a big swig of liquor and start going down, scanning for traps.

MATT: Okay. Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Avantika! Avantika, are you here?

SAM: Oh, that's shit. I only rolled an 11.

MATT: All right. There is a faint noise you hear that goes, "Do not worry. I was waiting for you up top this entire time."

LIAM: I'm casting Mage Armor.

MATT: All right. Mage Armor is on. What’d you roll?

SAM: 11 for investigation.

MATT: Seems safe.

SAM: Coast is clear! Let's go! (running)

MATT: Okay. Nott's charging down the stairs, the rest of you follow suit. The chamber beneath has some sort of faint, fiery light source, and it opens up below you. As you begin to move downward, you can see a pentagram-like chamber. Not a perfect pentagram, but there are five sides to it; one that's shorter than the rest that gives this diamond-shape to the interior of the chamber. There are two walls on the sides, and there are bits of green growth in the corners. In the center, there's a raised platform with some sort of fountain that rests in the middle, and there are four figures standing around this fountain. Which is precisely what you notice as Nott, your foot hits one of these steps that (clicks) gives out from underneath and the stairs suddenly shift into a sliding platform.

SAM: Weee!

LIAM: How steep?

MATT: It's about a 45-degree angle.

LIAM: So how fast does the fall feel?

MATT: It's only about ten feet, 15 feet down, and what would have stopped you to catch a moment, you all of a sudden (slipping).

LIAM: So it's not that far down?

MATT: It's not going to be a hard fall, but any sense of stealth you would’ve had, or any sort of surprise, is gone, as all of you manage to barely glide your way to the bottom or stumble on your ass, sliding to the bottom of this chamber. There in the darkened, lit interior chamber, three of these figures standing around this fountain, holding bowls, glance over their shoulders towards you and hiss with sharpened snake teeth.

LAURA: Oh, good, this is the bowl drinking party! We were looking for it, oof.

MATT: Behind the fountain, you see one jet black-gray humanoid body. It's a little larger than the others with a giant, extended snake head. The cobra hood, long and wide on each side. Its eyes glowing red from the back.

LIAM: I begin casting Slow.

MATT: And we'll get to that next week.

(shrieks of disappointment)

MARISHA: Oh my god!

TRAVIS: Oh, shit! The big black cobra hood, arms or just the serpentine body?

MATT: It's a slender humanoid body that's tall and thin, but its body is gray scaled and armor plates and then, from its shoulders, it extends up into the hooded cobra head.

TRAVIS: Taller than the other three that were in the chamber?

MATT: Yeah, it's probably about seven-foot tall, and the others are about five-and-a-half, six-foot tall.

LIAM: Let's skip and go to the next episode!

MATT: We got a week.

TRAVIS: Don't we have that little box that appears that's just counting down from ten, nine, eight, and it's going to automatically skip to the fight right now, right? We can just hit it.

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: We all got shit to do in the morning.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah, that's so true.

TRAVIS: Yeah, but cobra fight!

MATT: I know. We'll pick it up there next week.

TALIESIN: Tomorrow's a long day.

MATT: I know.

TRAVIS: Good shit, Matt!

MATT: Now, you guys are in the temple. We'll see where it goes from here. I'm excited.

MARISHA: It's so Indiana Jones! This is so Nathan Drake!

LAURA: I was like, where are we going to stick the rubies! Where do we stick their-- I don't know where to stick the rubies.

MARISHA: The rubies have a purpose, I know it!

LAURA: Look at all these dice that *fucked* me tonight!

MATT: (laughing) That's a t-shirt. Well, thank you guys. We'll pick this up next week. I'm excited. Thank you, guys, for sticking around with us tonight. Have a good week, we love you, and is it Thursday yet? Good night!

[music]

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