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Pre-Show[]

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

(cheering)

MATT: We thankfully, and happily, have Laura back this week going on.

LAURA: No more of you doing my voice, Matt?

MATT: That wasn't going to happen ever again. The internet has spoken, nobody wants that.

MARISHA: I love the shade she threw you in her spare time.

MATT: Oh yeah, plenty of shade!

LIAM: That's not the Laura I know.

LAURA: What? No!

LIAM: We have the whole gang here.

MATT: We do. I love it. Before we jump into the actual story of tonight's game, we have some quick announcements to get through. First and foremost, we have two fantastic sponsors tonight. First up, we have for this evening, Archer: Danger Island. As a long-time fan of Archer, I'm excited that today's episode is brought to you by Archer: Danger Island. That is the new season that premiers on FX Wednesday, April 25th at 10:00pm, so next week, check it out. It'll start there. Season nine centers on the semi-functioning alcohol seaplane pilot, Sterling Archer, as we know, a lush on a lush South Pacific island of Mitimotu in 1939. While the rest of the world is concerned about the impending Second World War, Archer is only concerned with who is buying his next drink. Along with his trusty copilot, Pam, one of my favorite characters, Sterling must navigate quicksand, cannibals, super-intelligent monkeys, poison darts, and pirates. That's right, folks. Somehow they jumped the shark into even better shark-infested waters.

TRAVIS: We can get H. Jon Benjamin on this show, right?

MATT: I'm all about it. I would love that. I love him so much. He's so great.

TALIESIN: Sometimes when you jump the shark, there's just more sharks there.

MATT: That's great. There's just a bunch of sharks. Stay turnt for the break. Catch a special video that Nerdist created in partnership with FX, creating our dream Archer: Danger Island board game at LDN to celebrate the new season. So check that out at the break. Our second sponsor and returning sponsor, our fantastic friends, eternally with this campaign, D&D Beyond.

ALL: D&D Beyond!

SAM: Yes! (stuttering)

TRAVIS: False start!

SAM: D&D Beyond is raising money for our greatest, favorite charity, 826LA. They're doing a big push now to raise money for this great organization that promotes literacy for young people everywhere and as part of the 826LA charity initiative, now that we're way past our $10,000 tier, D&D Beyond has offered up the discount code "826LA" to get 25% off the Legendary Bundle. The Legendary Bundle includes all the digital materials available at D&D Beyond, so check it out now and as part of what they announced last week, D&D Beyond is contributing $100 to 826LA for every natural one we roll and to honor that--

TRAVIS: Oh god. Oh no.

MARISHA: What is that?!

SAM: I've written a folk song.

MARISHA: I didn't know you played.

LIAM: Three episodes from now, he's going to bring in a gospel band.

MATT: This Cold War escalation is going to kill us all.

SAM: I need participation for this one, guys.

ASHLEY: You got it.

SAM: When I call for it, you have to say the number one. This is all in honor of us rolling ones, right? (singing) We are rolling ones, rolling them every night. We're rolling ones, rolling them every fight. How many times has Ashley been back?

ALL: One!

SAM: How many times has Caleb had a bath?

ALL: One!

SAM: How many testicles does Sam have?

ALL: One!

SAM: How many chords are there in this song?

ALL: One!

SAM: Two. What's the past tense of win?

ALL: Won!

SAM: What's Obi Kenobi's middle name?

ALL: Wan!

SAM: What's a synonym for pasty and pale?

LIAM: Wan!

SAM: Thank you, Liam. What will the Washington football team do when they face the Cowboys?

TRAVIS: (yelling) Lose!

SAM: Ones, rolling them every night. That's it.

(cheering and laughing)

TRAVIS: Delete that shit!

MATT: Thank you, Sam! Thank you, D&D Beyond. Thank you, our friends at FX and Archer. Running off that, too, to go off to 826 initiative that we're doing right now for this very special fundraising campaign. Many thanks to one of our fantastic Critters, Mark K., who's offered to match every single dollar that you donate, up to $40,000. Many other companies are offering to match donations as well, so as much as you can do, it's going to expand progressively, so thank you for everything there. If you want to check it out, we've unlocked a bunch of tiers and we have a few more to unlock as well. Go to 826la.org/criticalrole, you see where we are and how you can help with their fantastic organization. Once again, reminder, Twitch Prime! If you have Amazon Prime, you can connect your Twitch account and get, once a month, free. Go ahead and give your patronage to a Twitch channel of your choice. That's the word I was looking for.

TRAVIS: It's every month, right? You can't toggle it, so it's something that keeps happening?

MARISHA: No, you have to do it every month, It's really obnoxious.

LAURA: But it's free!

MARISHA: It's free! Everyone asks if it supports us, we get a lesser cut or more cut, it supports us the exact same way.

MATT: Yeah. Off that note, we have new Twitch emotes available for those who are subscribed to the channel. Based on the various tiers, there are plenty of new emotes with the Mighty Nein related, as well as the nine itself on the dice. Look for that in the subscription tiers. Critical Recap, of course, is up if you need a refresher for campaign two, our fantastic Dani Carr does refreshers every episode. They come out the Thursdays before the episode. I'm sure if you were here earlier, you saw this week's refresher of last week's episode. If you need to get caught up or get your friends caught up quickly to watch live, that's how you do so, so look for it on YouTube under Critical Recap. Not right now. Talks Machina, of course, every Tuesday evening, our fantastic Brian W. Foster will be hosting. Next Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific regarding tonight's episode, so check that out. We will have a few cast members there to discuss the events that shall unfold before you later this evening. He also smells like cabbage. The podcast of episode 14 from last week is available for download for all fine podcast users out there. If you're listening to the audio versions of it and you haven't seen the last episode and you're waiting for the podcast, well, you can listen to both and watch tonight. It would be really confusing, but you can. That's an option now, so congratulations. I think that's-- Oh, the comic book that just came out. Issue six, which is fantastic. The final issue of our six episode arc of Vox Machina: Origins is available. Check it out if you haven't yet, especially if you were waiting for them all to come out, now you can do that, and we'll have news soon about an actual hard release you can hold in your hands. That's exciting.

LIAM: The glory of Grog in that issue.

TRAVIS: Yes.

LAURA: Glory be to Grog.

MATT: Don't forget Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire comes out very soon, in just a few weeks. For those who haven't played the first Pillars of Eternity, you don't have to. The sequel gets you pretty up to speed if you haven't played, but if you have, you can carry over your save from the previous one. I recommend you play it if you have the time. This one is amazing-looking. They partnered with us, all of us get to voice cast members of the new game and there's free DLC where you get to download portraits and voice sets of Vox Machina from Critical Role to use in the game.

LIAM: They have just teased the first Critical Role Vox Machina portrait of Pickle.

MATT: That's right. Pike's portrait was unveiled.

SAM: The full portrait? Not the pixelated one?

LIAM: Everyone else is pixelated, but Pickle has been revealed.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

ASHLEY: I didn't know that.

MATT: If you want to preorder it, you can preorder it at versusevil.com/criticalrole, and that's also where you can see the portrait. Super excited for that. I think with that, folks, our announcements are done.

LAURA: Wait, I'm coughing tonight a lot, so if I do, everybody just stop and stare at me. So if I get up and leave, that's what happened. I don't want to have a coughing fit on screen.

TRAVIS: Or you pooped your pants.

LAURA: Or I pooped my pants.

LIAM: You're allowed to do any of those things.

MATT: Awesome. Thank you for the update, Laura.

LAURA: Yeah, sorry, I just wanted to put that out there.

MATT: No, it's good. With that, guys, let's go ahead and get started with tonight's episode of Critical Role.

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

Part I[]

MATT: And welcome back, everyone. That was pretty weak.

TRAVIS: I know. I'm sorry.

MATT: Last time we left off, The Mighty Nein had gone towards The Evening Nip, where they had finally crawled into the subterranean, hidden, basement/tavern where The Gentleman does his business. You had encountered Yasha who joined back up with the party. You had a brief discussion with this Gentleman, which led to a bit of card-sharkery from Fjord's end, a fair played game, made quite a bit of money and earned his favor. There you discussed what was to be done with this new arrangement. He took some blood as it was required of him to make sure that he ensure--

LAURA: Wait, what? !

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Just kidding, I was watching.

MATT: You were watching. You guys said that you were possibly looking for furthering some sort of relationship for business purposes, but for now you had an individual who needed to be smuggled out. He said it would be fine, but one favor requires one in return and to prove yourself both capable and he had heard some tales of which you had done within Zadash. He requested that you go and inspect this newly discovered buried ruin, this series of chambers that exists on the outskirts of their underground river escape towards Berleben and the Ounterloch. You went ahead and retrieved Horris, brought him back. He was then, supposedly it seems to be so, sent off and escorted out of the city, safely--

LAURA: (quietly) They killed him.

MATT: They totally killed him. They probably killed him.

SAM: But these criminals promised us!

MATT: (laughs) You found yourself down towards the subterranean docks to this river. By the way, through all of this Molly was having a mild panic attack about his story, encountering Cree and apparently being called the name Lucien and Nonagon.

LAURA: Nonagon.

MATT: Upon making your way to the docks, you were given two boats and utilizing them to move further downstream towards where the exterior of this ruin was discovered. You all gathered your supplies and by the glowing orbs of Caleb's Dancing Lights ahead of you, we left off with you traversing deeper and deeper down the dark tunnel and river.

SAM: Do we remember which boat we were on?

LAURA: I remember that Fjord asked me to be in his boat.

TRAVIS: Don't read into it.

ASHLEY: I was with Caleb and Nott.

MATT: Usually I do this just before the game and I totally forgot to.

SAM: That's okay! We can just do it now while people are watching you.

MATT: That's what I'm here for. That's okay.

LIAM: It's like a real game!

TRAVIS: Yeah, the boats were--

LIAM: Yasha, Caleb, Nott?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: And Beau, Jester, Fjord.

SAM: Great! Done.

LAURA: Nonagon! (singing) Na na na-na.

TALIESIN: It's going to be in there, isn't it?

MATT: So Yasha, Caleb, Nott, and the other ship was Fjord, Jester, Beau, and Molly?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Everybody have their stuff together?

TRAVIS: Oh, gosh. Our ship is way better than you guys'.

LAURA: Our ship is so colorful.

LIAM: Dinghy battle!

MARISHA: (laughs) Whack!

MATT: Heading down the tunnel, the two boats, the width of it is just enough to fit both of you and occasionally you have to pick one or the other as it begins to pinch a bit and then expand. I will say due to weight, unless somebody want to actively paddle, the boat with Caleb, Yasha, and Nott will probably be taking the lead in those moments.

SAM: Yeah!

LAURA: Although, I think probably, Fjord, I should be the one paddling the boat because I'm a bit stronger than you.

TRAVIS: Well, that's why you're on the boat.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Yeah, did you think it was for another reason?

LAURA: No, I just-- no!

LIAM: Yeah, Yasha, are you paddling?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah, so we would be at the front of the boat going--

TALIESIN: The back of the boat would actually be up a bit.

TRAVIS: Bow up!

MATT: Each couple of splashing sounds that hit as the oars hit the water and the occasional crack of the water against the brook or a rock in the center, you being to maneuver your way through this dark tunnel with just the low light that you've been applying. It gets colder and colder the further down the tunnel you go and while it is moist, you begin to see your breath just in general this low in the ground.

LIAM: Terrible.

SAM: Jesus, Laura.

TRAVIS: Literally 12.

LAURA: I'm glad I'm back.

MATT: We are too, Laura. We are, too. It would take about a mile journey to get to where they said this would be, so you have a few minutes. Is there anything you guys wish to do, prepare?

LAURA: Oh gosh!

SAM: Prepare? Oh.

TALIESIN: You've got your holy oil, right?

SAM: Me?

LAURA: Are we going to fight undead things? What is going on?

MATT: You have time, you're traveling!

SAM: I forgot. Did you give me holy oil?

TALIESIN: I believe or was it--

MARISHA: You gave me holy oil and you holy oil.

MATT: Holy water, not holy oil.

SAM: I have it, apparently. Well, what am I supposed to do with it?

TALIESIN: You throw it at something that looks evil. It's pretty simple.

SAM: Should I dip my bolts into it?

TALIESIN: It doesn't work that way, sadly. It's not--

MARISHA: It's a like a splash grenade.

TALIESIN: Water balloon with glass.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: How's the light in here, by the way?

MATT: The only light you have is the light from Caleb's Dancing Lights which he's re-upping as soon as it completes its one minute cycle each time.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LAURA: This is just like that scene in Tusk Love.

SAM: Which scene?

LAURA: The scene where the ship is sinking and Oskar and Genevieve have to paddle to shore!

MARISHA: It was Guinevere.

LAURA: Guinevere! That's was it was. I remember Oskar a little more. Only Oskar was paddling in that one.

LIAM: It is sad when ships sink.

LAURA: It is.

MARISHA: Where do you-- why?

LIAM: I don't know.

(laughter)

MATT: So you guys continue--

LIAM: (Pigeon cooing)

MATT: --continue down the river for a short time. The river splits up for a bit and actually divides into two tunnels.

SAM: Where are we going?

LAURA: Should one of us go in one and one of us go in the other?

LIAM: That seems not like a good idea.

SAM: I know something about sailing! The right one is the bow and the left one is the stern.

LAURA: Should we go in the bow or the stern?

TRAVIS: Is there water running to the left or the right? Does it look like it picks up current on either side?

MATT: Make a perception check with disadvantage because of the low light.

TRAVIS: Oh, that's a fucking two. That's four. Yeah.

MATT: Hard to tell at this distance and it's coming up quickly.

LAURA: Can we feel more wind coming from either side?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM and LAURA: Wind.

TRAVIS: Water!

MARISHA: Heart!

LAURA: 21!

MATT: 21? It does not appear that the wind is picking up one way or the other, but it's approaching very quickly.

TALIESIN: Is the general feeling of supernatural unease coming from either of the-- or any signs of--? I know that we're going to be facing probably some will-o'-wisps or something like that.

LAURA: You should row backwards too, Yasha.

MATT: I mean, the general sense of ominous dark, future tunnel, but there's nothing supernatural about the darkness ahead of you.

TRAVIS: Anyone have a preference?

TALIESIN: Any sound coming from either of them?

MARISHA: Do I notice any textures on any walls? They talked about the north side of the wall being more textured and having a pattern.

MATT: That being what gave them the idea that that's where this is. That's where the entrance to this--

TRAVIS: We're heading east right?

MATT: You guys are heading east, yeah, a northeast path.

SAM: Well, we're in the lead boat and Yasha's paddling, so Yasha, it's up to you!

ASHLEY: I'm rowing back.

LAURA: I think left.

MARISHA: Try the north side.

ASHLEY: I go right. No, I'm just kidding! I'll go to the left.

MATT: So as you're paddling backwards, Yasha adjusts the oar and changes the trajectory of the boat and heads it toward the left path. Do you follow suit?

LAURA: Should I follow them?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I think that's a good idea.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Good oar work!

TRAVIS: It's like a steering wheel!

LIAM: Nice, Carrot Top, nice.

MARISHA: We're on a jet ski; this is great!

MATT: Most spastic rowing partner ever. Heading down the water path does pick up a little speed and seems to dip suddenly before picking up with a mild splash but you catch yourself.

MARISHA: (whispers) We're on Pirates of the Caribbean!

MATT: It slows down a little bit and you start seeing a few rocks that break the surface and you have to maneuver around them. One you push off with the oar to make sure that your boat doesn't strike it. You're not going fast enough to where it would damage the actual boat, but it could list and get stuck on it if you were to not be careful. You push off, thankfully because you both have light sources here.

LIAM: Yasha, can you use your oar to see how deep we are? Does it touch bottom?

MATT: Okay, it gets just to the very edge of the oar before it touches bottom.

SAM: How long are the oars?

MATT: The oars are about five feet long.

LAURA: So you'd be fucked.

SAM: (Thanks.

TRAVIS: Can you swim? Can you swim, Nott?

SAM: No! What?!

ASHLEY: Well, you could get on my shoulders if you--

SAM: I'm not going to get in the water, don't worry!

MARISHA: Have you been practicing any of the techniques that we tried out?

SAM: Yeah, I've been practicing one technique! It's called wearing this ring of water walking!

(laughter)

MARISHA: Sure, that's good!

SAM: Tried and true!

LIAM: Unfucked!

TALIESIN: You could literally be walking along side of the boat.

SAM: Oh, that's a good idea! Can I ghost ride the whip?

LIAM: Excuse me, you could be stealthing ahead at this moment.

SAM: Oh! I'm going to gingerly--

TRAVIS: Oh my god, please.

SAM: Just ghost ride.

TRAVIS: Barefoot ski.

SAM: Barefoot it onto the water and see what happens.

MATT: On the water? Okay. As you reach over the edge of the boat and slowly lower your tiny goblin feet across the surface, breaking the water (water splashing).

(cheering)

MATT: Go ahead and make a general dexterity check for me, please.

SAM: Ooh, not good, but it's dexterity, so six?

MATT: Okay.

SAM: This is fun! Hand me a rope, I'll water ski!

MATT: As you're so entranced by this, you glance down just in time to see one of those stones that's protruding from the river seems to have come out of nowhere. Before you have a minute to punch off, it hits you across the knee and bruises the heck out of it. Your whole leg starts throbbing and you like, "Ah!" So your skiing is now (crashing splashes) underneath.

SAM: All right, I'll try to pull myself back up?

MATT: All right, it takes you a moment and Caleb, you go and help get Nott up onto the boat, but as you do, a little water logged, the water splashed over your face a bit.

SAM: Jesus, that's an intense water ski.

MATT: Because at that moment the lights go out. As soon as you pull Nott up into the ship, there's a brief moment where Nott breathes and looks back up with a smile about to say thank you before you see, out of the corner of your eye, one of the stalagmites at the top of the ceiling detach, float down and open up, almost like an umbrella before it lands and collapses on top of Nott.

LAURA: (gasps) It's just like the rug!

SAM: Ah! What happened? What's going on?

MATT: With advantage because it was with a surprise attack on that one, so that would be a 19 to hit. What's your armor class?

SAM: Of course that hits. Yes.

MATT: All right, Nott. That is five points of bludgeoning damage and it is attached to you. You now see a pitch black and gray spined octopus-type creature, that looks from the exterior like any other part of the cavern wall, but has these deep sunk red eyes at the top of its base and it's completely wrapped around the top of Nott, and is currently crushing down on top of her. I need you all to roll initiative.

LIAM: In the boat?

LAURA: Oh my god!

LIAM: I had these miniatures. I forget what they're called.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's terrible!

LIAM: I dropped my Colville meteorite!

SAM: We're already in it? We just started!

TRAVIS: That's the best!

MARISHA: Oh, that's cool!

LIAM: Oh! I got a 20!

MATT: It doesn't count if it's on the floor, dude.

TRAVIS: There are limits!

MATT: There are!

LIAM: Oh, I got a one!

SAM: Wait, we're rolling ones! That's $100!

(cheering)

LAURA: I rolled a one, too!

(cheering)

ASHLEY: That's $300?

SAM: Two.

ASHLEY: Wait, did you roll a one?

SAM: No.

ASHLEY: Oh, okay, sorry. I got excited.

LIAM: The 20 would have been nice though.

ASHLEY and TRAVIS: What is math?

MATT: Molly, roughly where are you on this board?

TALIESIN: I would assume I'm in the middle.

MATT: All right. Fjord and Beau in that order?

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's good.

LIAM: That's so cool!

ASHLEY: This is awesome!

LAURA: Oh, cool. I like the cat just like blah.

MATT: You now see this entity has fallen and latched on to Nott. So in that degree.

SAM: Jesus.

TRAVIS: Uh oh.

MATT: All right, 25 to 20?

TRAVIS: Nobody.

MATT: 20 to 15?

TRAVIS: 15.

SAM: Wow. That's it? We suck.

MARISHA: We did bad.

LAURA: We rolled real bad.

MATT: 15 to ten.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: Hold on, 15 to ten.

SAM: Ten. Whoa. What? You guys are all single digits? Oh boy!

ASHLEY: I always roll shit initiative.

SAM: You do. You really do.

ASHLEY: I don't know what--

MATT: Historically.

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: All right. Ten to five.

MARISHA: Nine.

MATT: Beau at nine.

TALIESIN: Seven.

LAURA: Five.

MATT: Wow! Molly, Jester. That's everybody, right?

ASHLEY: Four. I rolled four.

MATT: And four.

LIAM: *Und Ein.*

LAURA: You don't have any initiative?

LIAM: Oh, do I? Oh sure, two.

LAURA: Okay, so you rolled a three. Good job.

LIAM: No, no. Plus one, so now it's two.

ASHLEY: What's a two in German?

LIAM, TALIESIN, and LAURA: *Zwei.*

SAM, TALIESIN, LAURA: *Eins, zwei, drei.*

SAM: That's it. That's all the numbers in German.

MATT: Caleb, you're holding up the rear?

LIAM: Ja. Of course.

TRAVIS: Oh god, I'm first?

MATT: First and foremost, Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, right, okay.

MATT: It has completely attached itself, and the end of its tendrils coming to these pointed hook protrusions, this thick flesh webbing between each of these tentacles that form the umbrella-type shape, have all engulfed most of Nott, and you hear the muffled (muffled yelling) from within, and the little bit of the feet trying desperately to hold onto the boat and maintain balance.

TRAVIS: Jesus. Do I have a clear line of sight to Nott and octopus fuck?

MATT: You do.

TRAVIS: Okay. I won't hit Caleb, right?

MATT: Probably not. You know what you're doing.

LAURA: It looks like no, I'm seeing your angle.

LIAM: I'm pretty sturdy though, so I wouldn't sweat it.

TRAVIS: As I'm looking, is it Nott and then octopus behind it, or is it enveloping him so I can't--

MATT: No, it's enveloped, and is currently wrapped around.

TRAVIS: All right. I'm going to send an Eldritch Blast towards the octopus.

SAM, ASHLEY, and TALIESIN: (muffled yelling)

SAM: Not again!

LAURA: Oh, my glasses are in my car, shit.

TRAVIS: That's a 21 to hit.

MATT: That hits, go ahead and roll damage.

TRAVIS: That is 1d10. That is eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage, nice. Does that end your turn?

TRAVIS: Yes.

SAM: Do I take any of that?

MATT: No, you do not.

SAM: Oh!

TALIESIN: That's nice.

TRAVIS: Actually, with my bonus action, can I cast Hex on umbrella fuck?

MATT: You cannot, unfortunately, because-- Well, no, because Eldritch Blast is a cantrip, so you can.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Yes you can.

TRAVIS: Woo! That's 1d--

MATT: Well, you would have had to have done that first.

TRAVIS: That's right. That's on the next thing, right.

MATT: Correct. But next time it gets hit by you, you can add extra damage.

TRAVIS: Copy that.

MATT: Okay. That finishes your go.

LAURA: Oh, it's like Hunter's Mark.

MATT: Now it's their turn. Being attached to there, the strange darkmantle-like beast--

TRAVIS: Can it have disadvantage on strength checks?

MATT: It can, sure.

TRAVIS: I never said that before. I got to remember.

MATT: Yep. There you go. strength checks it is. All right.

MARISHA: It's okay. It's not that big a deal.

MATT: You watch as it begins to slowly crush around Nott, instead its eyes flash red, and you watch as a familiar-looking orb of blackness emanates from it, completely filling this space with darkness. So at the moment, everyone on that boat is blind.

ASHLEY: Wait, I don't think I can-- since I have danger sense, can I be blinded?

MATT: You can be blinded, but you have advantage on dexterity saving throws against things that you see.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: But do you see it?

MARISHA: So it did like an ink cloud.

MATT: Essentially, but a magical darkness that radiates outside of it. Another one going towards the source of the beam of light that had emitted and damaged its ally sweeps down towards Fjord and attempts to go ahead and wrap around.

TRAVIS: Shit!

MATT: That is going to be 21 to hit.

TRAVIS: That definitely hit.

MATT: You take five points of bludgeoning damage as well--

LAURA: Wait, another one came down on Fjord?

MATT: And attaches itself to Fjord, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, no.

TRAVIS: (muffled yelling)

LAURA: It's going to make us blind too, we got to kill it quick.

MATT: That brings us to Nott, you're up.

SAM: Can I try to get out of the grapple? Is that a thing that I can do?

MATT: You can attempt to. You have to make a strength check to do so.

SAM: All right. I will push with all my little might against the creepy-- Ooh! Just a strength check?

MATT: Yes, a strength check.

SAM: 18!

MATT: Yeah, that'll do it. So you manage to break free from its grasp.

SAM: (yell) That's my action.

MATT: Yep.

SAM: I can't see it.

MATT: Nope, it is just darkness. You push it off of you, and you still have nothing before you. You didn't see the darkness emit from it, you've just thrown it off and you're still blind. It's a little off putting to you at the moment.

SAM: Okay, I'll spend the rest of my turn trying to figure out if that was caused by just touching the water. Because I'm not sure what happened.

MATT: Okay, you throw the creature off, whatever is on you, and it's just darkness around you. You start reaching out for some sort of sign of something in your vicinity.

SAM: Sure.

MATT: Are you holding an action?

SAM: I used my action to--

MATT: No, that's right. That's your turn. That brings us to Beau.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to go (mild screaming) and do a straight whack on it. Sorry Fjord, it's on you! Ooh, that's a natural 19. 25.

MATT: 25 hits, roll damage.

SAM: We'll remember where they are. It's fine, just leave them.

MARISHA: What is it? 1d-- that's not great, six damage.

MATT: Six point of damage to that one, all right. It's glomped onto Fjord's head, the rest of it pulling and wrapping into the insides of his armor. You hit it just above where-- you feel the impact, Fjord, but it's mostly absorbed by the strange, rubbery, flesh exterior of this creature.

TRAVIS: Ow.

MARISHA: Did I hurt you?

TRAVIS: No.

MARISHA: Okay! (whack) I deck him right across the face. Yeah, I'll take that, 16.

MATT: That'll hit, roll damage.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: It's like getting punched with a motorcycle helmet on.

MARISHA: Seven damage.

MATT: Nice. You clock both this creature and Fjord across the chin. No damage to you, Fjord, but you are a bit dizzy from the impact in the darkness around your face.

TRAVIS: (strained) I feel like that was personal.

MARISHA: Ah, one more. I'm going to do flurry of blows.

SAM: Oh boy.

TRAVIS: (impacts)

MATT: Essentially.

MARISHA: That's a natural 17. That's a four, eight damage.

MATT: Eight damage, nice.

TRAVIS: Sick, good turn.

LIAM: We are level four. Eight damage, sick.

MATT: After you deck the darkmantle across the face and Fjord, you backhand with a full back fist blow to the side. You see it almost detach, and it's looking like it's scrambling to hold on. That finishes your turn?

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

TRAVIS: I am definitely woozy.

MARISHA: Sorry.

MATT: That brings us to Molly.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take out my swords, and just I'm going to try and cleave some of these tentacles off. See if I can start to get it to lose its grip. I'm going to take my first shot. I'm going to stop saying that. That's a 23 to hit.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage.

SAM: (gunshot)

TALIESIN: Thank you. Nine points of damage.

MATT: As you take the blade and swing, you cut down pretty close to where Fjord's head is. As you cleave through the body actually splits, revealing Fjord's face. As it limply falls off into the water slinking into the sludge.

LAURA: It looks like he was being born.

TRAVIS: Thanks.

TALIESIN: Welcome! We probably should head towards the other one.

MATT: That ends your turn, Molly?

TALIESIN: That ends my turn.

MATT: All righty, that brings us to Jester.

LAURA: I can't see anything on the other side.

MATT: No, you can just see darkness.

TALIESIN: But we can boat in there.

LAURA: Yeah, I mean I will move the boat closer up.

MATT: Make a strength check.

LAURA: Oh, that was terrible, six.

MATT: Six, okay. You struggle, it doesn't seem to get purchase. You're confused by this.

LAURA: I can't move the boat, y'all.

MATT: Well, it's a lot going on in the moment and you're trying to figure out what to do. You don't quite have the gumption to get it catching up relatively fast. So it goes just five feet.

LAURA: Okay. Does that count as an action or a movement?

MATT: That would be your action on that one.

LAURA: Cool.

SAM: Welcome back, Laura.

LAURA: Thanks. This is fun, guys. All right, then I'm going to save--

LIAM: Mistress of the Hunt.

LAURA: Yeah. That's what I got, I guess. Yeah. Sweet.

MATT: That ends Jester's turn. Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay, well, I guess I wouldn't know this. His went into the water?

MATT: Well no, you have no idea.

LAURA: Did you hear a splash?

MATT: You watched as it slip around Nott and darkness envelope it, and that's all you know.

TRAVIS: You heard a (yelp) (impact).

MATT: You know the general direction of where it is.

ASHLEY: Okay, can I use Light cantrip and see if I can make some light in the darkness? Or wait. Because I'm a Light Bearer.

MATT: You are. You spend your action to create the Light cantrip. You watch as it flickers for a second and the darkness consumes the light. The spell has no effect.

ASHLEY: Okay, I don't know if I can still do this as a bonus action. Can I try to slowly move us a little forward?

MATT: Yeah, if you want to. Well, that's an action to do that, technically, so you couldn't. You used your action to do the Light cantrip, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Okay. Yeah, okay.

MATT: So that's your turn?

ASHLEY: Yeah that's my turn.

MATT: Okay, Caleb you're up.

LIAM: I went from being able to see almost nothing to seeing nothing. I heard Nott get scholpped in and then I heard some cry. So I raise up the glove of blasting and I'm going to fire at where I think this thing is.

LAURA: Oh no.

SAM: I'm dead.

MATT: That's Scorching Ray for that?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Three attacks.

LIAM: Three strikes at disadvantage.

MATT: All at disadvantage because you're blind.

LIAM: That's correct. Okay, good. For the first is 16.

MATT: 16 hits.

LIAM: Yeah, let me do them all. 11.

MATT: 11 just hits.

LIAM: *Und* 15.

MATT: All three hit, actually, even blinded.

LIAM: (frantic noises) Plus that is ten. The total is 13.

MATT: 13 points of damage. All together, right? Nope. It loses concentration on its darkness.

(cheering)

MATT: But is still standing. You watch as the darkness flickers out of the way. There's flames burning around the outside and three giant singe marks on the outside of its rubbery skin. It's floating in the air there for a second before it's going back in for a swoop against the one who recently singed it.

LIAM: Okay, before it hits me, I'll say I sit down on the bench and just go (whimper).

MATT: All right, that ends your turn, top of the round. The boats continue further downstream.

TALIESIN: What are those things on the side?

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: Those are just rocks.

LAURA: That's not a rock.

SAM: It's fine. It's rocks.

MATT: Top of the round, Fjord, it's you.

TRAVIS: I'm going to cast Armor of Agathys on myself.

MATT: You watch as the moisture from the air and some of the water droplets from the river, from the splashing of the boat suddenly stick up and congeal in ice form around the outside of Fjord's body.

TRAVIS: Hex is still maintained on that bastard, right?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: So I can roll 1d6. Or do I, for the-- I cast Hex on the one that was on Nott.

MATT: It only takes the 1d6 damage when you damage it.

TRAVIS: Oh shit, right.

MATT: That ends Fjord's turn. Another one swoops down and is going to attempt to envelope the one that scorched its ally.

LIAM: I am a monk, it's fine.

MATT: That's going to be a 14 to hit.

LIAM: Yeah, of course it hits.

MATT: You take nine points of bludgeoning damage and it is attached to you.

LIAM: Yeah that's *wunderbar*.

MATT: The one that is still existing is going to attempt to attach to you once again, Nott.

SAM: No!

MATT: That's going to be a 12 to hit.

SAM: Does not.

MATT: That is a miss.

LAURA and SAM: Yay.

LAURA: Things are looking up, you guys.

MATT: That ends their go. Nott, you're up.

SAM: I will, seeing the one on Caleb, spin around and fire my hand crossbow at that one.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make an attack with disadvantage, because you are in melee with another creature. The other creature that tried to grapple you is right up against you. So it is still harrying you when you're trying to fire.

SAM: Disadvantage.

LIAM: Does she get sneak attack since I'm adjacent to that?

MATT: Yeah, if she hits.

SAM: It was going to be good, ten.

MATT: Ten does not hit, unfortunately. You attempt to fire and at the last minute it shifts out of the way. You can see Caleb's chest exposed to where you were aiming, and you pull back and fire wide off into the darkness.

SAM: Then I'll turn again and shoot with my bonus action at the one that I'm engaged with.

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Disadvantage, right?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: So 20 to hit.

MATT: 20 does hit. You don't get sneak attack, however, because this guy is not engaged with anyone else. Go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: I will still say: Get off of my boat. I cause two points of damage. Oh wait, no! Six points of damage.

LIAM: One question, is Frumpkin by the thing? Because Frumpkin is an ally.

MATT: I don't know if Frumpkin--

LIAM: I know that I have read that Frumpkin can help me give me advantage.

SAM: But he is not engaged, is he?

LIAM: Whatever you want.

MATT: I'd say for now, given the fact that Frumpkin is in a small boat and the creature is flying up, I would not consider it harrying the entity enough to grant sneak attack. But it doesn't matter. Because that was enough to finish it off. It had already been damaged quite a bit in the previous round. So as you fire your final crossbolt into that one it (impact) (splash) into the river below. You watch as it sink below the water as your boat begins to scoot by (scraping noise) and begins grinding against this center stone here in the middle of the river. It's just barely making its way around. Finishing that, that's the end of Nott's turn, Beau you're up.

MARISHA: Okay, is the one still next to me? That was attacking Fjord.

MATT: No, that one has been slaughtered. There is one on Caleb over there.

MARISHA: Oh, there's one on Caleb. He's still on top of him?

MATT: It is currently attached to him around his head, yeah.

MARISHA: I'm probably not within five feet.

MATT: Nope. There's probably about a ten foot distance between you and the other boat.

LAURA: Leap for it!

MARISHA: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. I'm going to do some cool monk shit! I'm going to--

SAM: Why do I get disadvantage?

LAURA: Because it's a ranged attack.

SAM: Yeah, but I ignore all disadvantage with my Crossbow Expert feat.

MATT: Oh that's right, because you got a feat for it.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: So you would not have disadvantage on that.

TALIESIN: Okay.

SAM: Well, next time.

MATT: Well, we'll let you roll damage for Caleb's because it did work.

SAM: That's going to be a lot of damage.

MATT: I forgot that you had gotten that feat. Go for it.

SAM: Wait, I don't even remember what I rolled.

MATT: The first one was high the second one was low.

SAM: All right. That's a lot. It's 20 points of damage.

LIAM: I would say leave me in that motherfucker.

TALIESIN: That was an intense roll right now.

SAM: It's okay, I don't need it.

MATT: So with that one moment as Beau's preparing, you manage one blast of the crossbow that strikes square into one of the eyes of the creature. You hear this strange guttural pain sound as it's still holding onto Caleb, but seems to have taken a big hit. On your turn, Beau?

MARISHA: (confused battle cry) Continuing on, I'm going to leap across and see if I can do a jump and a slap with the staff on top.

MATT: For the purposes of this, roll an acrobatics check. This is a more parkour off of the boat using the weight.

LIAM: This is your jam.

MARISHA: Parkour.

TRAVIS: The boat goes (bobbing in water).

LIAM: Get it, Altaïr.

TRAVIS: Sail!

MARISHA: 14.

MATT: So you jump, skip off the ground and--

LAURA: Skip off the ground?!

MATT: On the small stone in the center there and use the momentum from that with the staff swinging, go ahead make your strike against the--

MARISHA: I'm going to swing upwards. Yep, that's a natural 16, so 21. I don't know why I rolled that die, that's not necessary. Nine damage.

MATT: Nine damage. With that, you manage to slap that one into two separate pieces that go slapping and sliding against the wall and splatter and begin to slick down the side of the cavern exterior.

MARISHA: I take my staff and I wipe it on Caleb.

MATT: Your hair's slick back from the blood from the impact and the wound that gets taken.

LIAM: In a split second before when I heard a blunt (impact): Oh, that was Beau.

MARISHA: Sorry, are you all right? Your head's okay?

LIAM: I'm feeling pretty good. I feel streamlined.

MARISHA: Yeah, the oil's working for you.

LIAM: Yeah, I clean up well.

MARISHA: Yeah, very dapper.

MATT: Ending Beau's turn, Beau, Caleb, Molly, and Jester you hear this mild rumble, and you watch as from the somewhat rocky outside of the two sides of the wall these large figures begin to burst from the exterior and begin to slowly make their way towards the edge. So their action and movement puts them right up to there, and this one moves up to there.

LAURA: Earth elementals?

MATT: You see them covered in greenish algae and vines. They look like they're made of earth and stone. You're not certain what the nature of what they are. They're bottom heavy and crawling across the ground and pulling their body forward. You're not even sure if they have feet.

LAURA: (screaming)

SAM: Good gravy.

MATT: They're coming up to the edge of the river. That's going to end Beau's turn. Molly, you're up.

LAURA: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Oh.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: You did a--

TALIESIN: Sure, I know. Are they within striking distance?

MATT: They're not yet, no.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hold my action until something's within striking distance.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I will also say I'm at least going to back up to the side of the boat where I'm far enough away from that thing as humanly possible.

MATT: Okay. Well, that's where Jester is.

TALIESIN: Oh, well fine.

MATT: So you're like, “Oh!” Jester still has the oars in place. Does that finish your turn?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All righty, Jester your turn.

LAURA: Oh gosh. Well, I hate to use my action to do anything else, but I should probably try to get away from the thing that's on the shore, huh?

SAM: You're going to action row?

LAURA: I'm going to action row!

MATT: All right, make a strength check please.

LAURA: Strength check!

SAM: Oar Master.

LAURA: That's a good one. That's just Jester's strength. That's a 22.

MATT: Oh shit! Jester is power rowing as it begins to (motor whir) down the river to about there.

LIAM: Half of the skiff.

TRAVIS: Got to go!

MATT: You scoot by. The entity gets to the edge of the water and then watches it pass, its body shifting. It looks powerful, but it looks slow-moving.

LAURA: I'm going to use my bonus action to turn around and go: Eat shit, rock face!

MATT: Perfect. That ends Jester's turn. Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: All right. Yeah, I'm going to try to--

MATT: Maneuver around?

ASHLEY: Maneuver around.

SAM: Smash into their boat?

MATT: Go ahead and make a strength check.

LIAM: Still the only light in here are my four globules, correct?

MATT: Correct, which actually you had to roll a concentration check for.

LAURA: Oh god.

LIAM: Not so good.

ASHLEY: 19.

LIAM: Nine.

MATT: All right, so it is dark in here. Remember the Dancing Lights is concentration.

SAM: Can we see anything?

MATT: No, it is now absolutely pitch dark.

LAURA: It's pitch dark?!

MATT: It's pitch dark, yeah.

TALIESIN: Didn't you cast a Light spell?

ASHLEY: I did.

LAURA: It got eaten by the darkness.

MATT: Yeah, it dispels the Light, unfortunately. It doesn't encapsulate it. It dispels it. So you begin rowing in the direction in the darkness. What'd you roll?

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: 19? Oh yeah. Without issue, you can row past and just begin to get beyond your friends there.

LAURA: We crash into each other and get stuck. Ah, let me go!

MATT: That's going to end Yasha's go. Caleb, you're up.

LIAM: (foomphs)

MATT: Okay, a couple lights go up again. You guys go from darkness to immediate light again and behind you see the two creatures dragging themselves forward by their upper body.

LIAM: I scrabble back and squish in with Nott at the front of the boat.

MATT: Okay. Top of the round now. The water carries the boats further down--

SAM: We might be okay.

MATT: To about there.

LAURA: I think those things are going to get us.

MARISHA: Eventually.

MATT: We'll say here, with the movement of the creatures, actually, they can't catch up, because you guys managed to push ahead.

SAM: Action row!

MARISHA: Full Winklevoss twins!

MATT: For the purposes of cinematic movement on this, you guys continue to row as hard as you can, looking back with the light pushed towards the back to give a view. They are failing to keep up with both Yasha and Jester keeping the ships going at full speed. Eventually, they both stop and begin to back up, heading back towards the vicinity where they had originally emerged, disappearing into the shadows and darkness behind you.

SAM: We'll never know what they were, what they could have done!

LAURA: I know. Actually, I'm feeling a little guilty for calling him-- What if he just wanted to be friends?

SAM: That's true. Maybe they had information for us.

MARISHA: You're feeling guilty for calling him rock-face, but not for telling him to eat shit? I like that. That's great.

LIAM: Bye!

MATT: As the sounds of the underground river begin to fill your senses once more, you settle and listen, and the quiet, aside from the slow rushing of the river, is all you hear. Who's at the front of each boat keeping an eye out?

TRAVIS: I'm at the front of ours.

MATT: Fjord moves to the front of that boat. Who's at the front of the other?

LIAM: I guess I am.

MATT: I would like you both to make a perception check, please.

SAM: Crazy roll there, Travis.

TRAVIS: Forget that. I get to reroll. That's a natural one.

(cheering)

LIAM: 12.

MATT: 12. Okay. As you guys are moving along, Fjord, mildly distracted, partially from the mist that is rising up from the ice and armor--

MARISHA: Drinking a drink with cold ice.

MATT: Caleb, you focus off to the side, and to the north side of the riverbank you see a shift in texture and a mild rock slide. Part of the wall has caved in a bit and is now pushing into part of the river.

LIAM: Halt. Wait. Stop.

SAM: He says to stop!

LAURA: I'm trying!

SAM: Action brakes!

LAURA: (squeals)

LIAM: Can you fight against the current for a moment?

LAURA: Yeah, we're rowing backwards.

LIAM: Okay, it's going to get dark in here for a second, all right? But don't worry. I drop the globules and I cast Detect Magic.

MATT: Okay. So as you focus on-- What's the range on that one?

LIAM: It is only 30 feet.

MATT: 30 feet, okay. As you guys drift lazily down the course of the river--

LAURA: Slowly.

LIAM: I'm focusing, obviously, on the rock slide that you just described.

MATT: As you move in that direction past the rock slide, you get a faint source of magic further beyond that rock slide.

LIAM: Beyond the rock slide?

MATT: You get a better look at it. Actually, you don't get a better look because you don't have light.

LIAM: That's on one side of the passage that we are in?

MATT: That's on the north side of it, yes.

LIAM: If I crane my neck in the other direction, is there anything on that side?

MATT: Nope. Nothing of magical essence on that side of the chamber.

LIAM: All right, well, in the darkness, you hear: There is something of an arcane nature in the middle of those rocks that were ahead of us. What do you want to do? Do you want to go scrabbling in the dirt or do you want to keep going forward? It could be something beneficial or it could be terrible.

SAM: Are there sides of the river?

LIAM: Nobody can see anything right now.

MATT: Those with darkvision get a better view as they get closer. At this point, you've gotten close enough for your magical essence so you get a view of this, Nott. You can see on the northern side of it, the cavern wall that has been slowly shifting through millennia of mineral buildup changes into bits of solid, smooth stone and a portion of it collapsed into what this rock slide is.

MARISHA: We were looking for a collapse. A change in texture.

SAM: We should go investigate.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: This is it.

LAURA: Should we park the boats?

TALIESIN: Let's park the boats.

LAURA: Can we have some light?

LIAM: Does anyone have a torch? I would prefer to keep this up for the time being.

ASHLEY: I pull out a torch.

MATT: Yasha ignites a torch. The fire burns brightly and the interior of this chamber now is very easy to see the details around you. The water is still cruising by as you guys begin to make your way up along the shore a bit, stepping off to the side of the river and pulling the boats up on the rocks. They're not going to continue to be carried down by the stream.

SAM: I'm going to take my old little dry flowers and just stick them in his gross, ichor-y hair.

LIAM: Do I look like The Gentleman right now?

MATT: The Gentleman on hard times, maybe.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: A little less blue.

LIAM: It's not that weird.

MATT: Past about a roughly ten-foot wide portion of this wall that has fallen in, part of the ceiling has come in and above it is just dirt. It's loose rock and pieces of well-carved stone and masonry that have been destroyed, apparently upon exiting whatever was beyond this wall.

LIAM: Can I see what was giving me the arcane signature?

MATT: You feel it on the opposite, the other side of this rock slide.

LAURA: Can we clear out these rocks?

TRAVIS: I think we just need to get closer.

LAURA: But we're right here.

LIAM: Yeah. What about you two beefcakes? Can you move these stones out of the way?

ASHLEY and LAURA: (grunting)

MATT: Both of you make athletics checks to get through the endurance of pulling these stones out of the way.

LAURA: Well, that's totally cocked, that was terrible. Athletics?

MATT: Yes.

ASHLEY: 16.

LAURA: 13.

MATT: Between the two of you, about ten minutes pass as you watch your two beefy companions, one after another, moving large stones and rocks, scooping them out of the way, some spilling and rolling into the water, other ones being pushed off to the side.

LIAM: Question, because the spell that I cast only lasts ten minutes, somewhere around the eight or nine minute mark, do I see-- You said it was on the other side of the rock slide, so are they uncovering anything before the spell is gone?

MATT: I'd say about the time it begins to fade, you guys begin to see a faint purple glow through a breach of this slide leading into the next chamber. It's a very faint pinkish purple light source.

SAM: Like coming from another room?

MARISHA: Be careful.

MATT: Coming from that room. It looks like there's a room or a chamber beyond.

LIAM: So not a door, but just a passageway?

MATT: You're just starting to expose it a bit. All you're seeing is the light and stone on the opposite end. But there is a gap. There's about a ten-foot space between where you're starting to see this and where you see the light reflecting on whatever this other surface is within. About then, your spell fades.

LIAM: The torch is still up.

MATT: The torch is still up, yeah. You guys manage to pull the stones from it, the final bits leaving just enough of a space where you can crawl through independently. You are now looking into the center of a spiral staircase.

TRAVIS: I remember they said they threw an explosive behind them and dropped even more, so this won't be the first rock slide.

MARISHA: They said that the glowing orbs that made the men collapse were purple.

SAM: This all checks out. We are in the right place.

TALIESIN: Does that sound like a will-o'-wisp?

MATT: Will-o'-wisps generally fade like a dull yellow-green color.

TALIESIN: Does this ring any bells, then?

MATT: Not particularly. As you begin to move beyond, you can look up inside this spiral staircase. Above you and about two feet up the corner, there is a wrought iron cage that is built into the wall, containing a small crystal-like stone that is purple in color that is giving off this light source.

LAURA: Ooh. Hey, Caleb, look! Don't you want to steal that? It's probably magic.

LIAM: It's possible that I will want to steal it, but can I make anything out? Does it look like anything that I have read about or encountered before?

MATT: There have been different artifacts that have been enchanted with equivalents of either Continuous Flame or a magic that themselves can emanate light. The way it's affixed to here, it looks like it's designed to be a general light source.

LIAM: So it's a glow stick.

MATT: Essentially, yeah. It's a purple glow stick.

TRAVIS: Well, let's get in there.

LIAM: But it's in an iron cage?

MATT: Like a small iron cage that is bolted into the stone.

MARISHA: That's a nice sconce.

LIAM: Let's continue on.

MATT: Okay, you have two directions. Up or down?

LAURA: Would you want to go up?

TRAVIS: Wait, we're in the spiral staircase and it goes--

MATT: It goes up or down. You pull through and begin to find your way into the spiral staircase. It's about, roughly, eight or ten feet wide as it continues downward. It also continues upward. You're entering partway through the staircase.

SAM: Oh.

TRAVIS: We can't see around the bend to how far down it goes, right? Is it an open spiral staircase or just a wall?

MATT: No, no. It's closed. There's an actual column in the center of it so you have to traverse up or down to get more of a view of where it leads.

LIAM: Before we leave this little cage, does it look bolted into place?

LAURA: It's a couple flights up, though, you said?

MATT: Well, no. It's just right around the corner on the edge, locked into the central pillar.

TRAVIS: We can only see as far up as the curves go in either direction.

MATT: Yeah. It looks like the edges of the cage where the metal has been bent--

LIAM: It's small?

MATT: It's small. It's about that big and it's pressed into the stone, like the stone was probably ground into various holes and then the iron was put in there and then sealed in. You don't know how easy or hard it would be to remove.

TRAVIS: Unless it lets people know when something crosses in front of it.

LIAM: Maybe later. Let's continue on. Which way do we want to go?

LAURA: Let's go down. Usually scarier things are down.

MARISHA: I'm always a fan of going down.

TALIESIN: More expensive things tend to be up, but I'm happy to start with down.

SAM: Gross. Just gross.

MARISHA: What?

SAM: You're super gross.

TALIESIN: I didn't even catch that!

LIAM: You have one setting. Naughty.

SAM: Offensive!

TRAVIS: We're going to head downwards.

MATT: All right. What is the marching order heading downward?

SAM: We're going down? Do you need me to check for traps?

TRAVIS: Yeah, please.

LAURA: Yeah, so Nott in front.

MATT: Nott in front. Who's after Nott?

ASHLEY: I'll go behind Nott.

SAM: I'll take a big swig of shitty alcohol.

MATT: Okay. Who's after Yasha?

LAURA: I guess I can be after Yasha.

MATT: All right. Jester after Yasha.

TRAVIS: I'm right in the middle.

TALIESIN: I'm after Jester or after Fjord.

TRAVIS: Where do you want to be?

MARISHA: I'll take up the rears.

SAM: (deep voice) I always take up the rears.

ASHLEY: I'm always a fan of the rears.

LIAM: Yeah, I was going to say not the back, but I will let the bruiser walk behind me.

MATT: So Beau's at the back keeping an eye open. As you guys slowly step down the stone stairs, deeper and deeper still--

SAM: Check for traps!

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: That's cocked as hell.

SAM: Is that cocked? As hell?

MATT: Is there a number up top?

SAM: There is, but now it just moved.

MATT: Roll it again.

SAM: Well, that's a natural 20.

(laughter)

SAM: That's an embarrassing 20.

MATT: You guys continue down for about 40 feet or so, very slowly, very carefully, as Nott inspects each individual step, eyes lurking around looking for any signs of uneven stone, of gaps between the mason work. Nothing catches your attention. You hit the very base of the stairway before it evens out. There is a small intermediate chamber that's about 15 feet wide and only about five feet-- sorry. 15 feet long and about five feet wide, and then a thin hallway about four or five feet wide that goes on for about 25 feet. You don't see anything beyond that. There is no light other than the torch light that you have currently.

SAM: It's 15 feet long?

MATT: So as you exit the stairs--

LIAM: The shaft is.

MATT: It's essentially five feet to each way on the ends.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: (laughing) No!

SAM: Yeah?

TRAVIS: Why are you cupping the balls under your mouth?

SAM: Because this is where we are.

MATT: It's a rusty trombone, man. You never seen that?

SAM: This is the shaft in front of me, and then there's another? A longer shaft? So we can go down that shaft if we wanted to?

MATT: Yes. Yes, Nott. That is correct. It looks to be five feet to each side of you once you exit the stairs, like a resting space.

SAM: Okay, these are the balls.

MATT: And then there is a four to five-foot wide shaft that continues forward.

MARISHA: *I* have no chill? You talk to me two minutes later.

MATT: I know. I'm proud of you.

LIAM: Has it been that long?

MARISHA: I don't think so.

SAM: I have no idea of the layout of this room. I was just going for a gag.

MATT: Congratulations! Nott's been drinking enough where she's not entirely certain where things are or where you are.

LAURA: Are we free of traps in this little--

SAM: There are no traps here.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Should we continue on straight ahead?

LAURA: Should we send Frumpkin down there and see if it's clear?

SAM: Or Schmidt.

LIAM: Well, Schmidt can't see shit, but Frumpkin-- can my cat see in the dark? I would know that. I don't know.

MATT: Cats, generally nocturnal? I would say it would have, unless it says in the actual-- I will look in the Monster Manual. I'm fairly certain, having grown up with cats, that being nocturnal creatures they'd have it.

LIAM: It makes sense for anyone who had gone into their basement and seen the cat go (humming).

LAURA: Oh, yeah. Cats can see.

TALIESIN: Cats can see your soul.

MATT: They do not have darkvision, according to the rules.

LIAM: Okay, well, let's go by the rules, then.

LAURA: The rules need to be changed.

MATT: But they do have perception on vision.

LAURA: Why don't you send your little dancing lights down there with him?

LIAM: Well, I have a range on that. I don't like that idea, actually.

LAURA: What if I just send something that's on fire and I throw it down the tunnel?

LIAM: How about I send Frumpkin with you and between Frumpkin and you, we'll be in good shape?

SAM: Me and Frumpkin?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Am I protecting--

LIAM: You're just peeking.

SAM: Okay. All right.

LIAM: Who am I behind? Mollymauk. I place hands on his shoulders and send Frumpkin down ten feet ahead of Nott and I'm seeing--

MATT: Ten feet ahead of Nott?

LIAM: Yeah, or listening, and trying to listen and see through Frumpkin.

MATT: Frumpkin darts ahead down that long, 25-foot, very thin hallway to the opposite side and in the next chamber, what little bit of light's making it in there-- because it's pretty low light, based on what little bit of torch is coming through, and it's like a lantern light at this point, because only what's coming through that hallway is then spreading out before you. You see a raised platform, about a foot high. It looks triangular in shape in the center of this room, and that's all you can make out with the little bit of light that's there, but the room continues on about another 20 or so feet beyond that entrance before it goes to darkness.

LIAM: So it gets too dark and hazy past that altar.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Yasha, can you hand the torch down and get it to Nott so that she can go a little bit further?

MATT: Nott, are you traveling down the hallway as well?

SAM: I'm ten feet behind the cat.

MATT: All right. As you approach the first bit of that hallway that continues downward, you step in, and at that moment, you hear this (click) and glance over to the right of you, as you checked for traps in the stairs, but not the hallway. You glance off to the side and can see a scattering of holes on each side of the wall, about nine or ten of them at different angles, and one of them goes (click). You glance over before something comes firing out at extremely fast, lightning speed towards you.

MARISHA: Rogue shit!

MATT: That's going to be a 26 to hit.

SAM: That hits.

MATT: You take five points of piercing damage as a long, metal bolt fires out of the hole and sticks you right in the front of the thigh.

SAM: Ah! Fuck!

(laughter)

SAM: I found a trap!

LAURA: Really?

LIAM: Is it spent now?

SAM: Let me check. I'll see if there's any other triggers for this trap.

MATT: On this trap, at this floor point? You jump up and down. Make an investigation check if you want to, in the area.

SAM: 22.

MATT: It looks like, whatever this trap is, the actual entire stone floor around you is a pressure plate that Frumpkin did not set off. It has not gone off since you've stepped on it, but as you're investigating and listening closely to the stone, you hear a very slow (clicking).

LAURA: Oh, it's resetting.

SAM: I'm going to go forward a bit, onto the next pressure plate.

MATT: Okay, that is 14 to hit?

SAM: Does not hit.

MATT: Does not hit? This time, hearing the (arrow firing) out of the side, and being ready for it, you duck out of the way and it splinters off and sparks against the stone.

SAM: Oh god. There's many of them.

LIAM: Are you going to tell everybody about the pressure plates?

SAM: Oh god, there's lots of traps! I'm dying out here!

(laughter)

LAURA: We're just seeing you. You're really close to us, aren't you?

SAM: Boy, oh boy, rogues suck. How much further until the end of this hall?

MATT: About ten feet from where you are.

LAURA: Can you disarm the traps so you don't keep just setting them off?

LIAM: Do we have anything heavy to put on them to hold them down?

SAM: They reset, though, right? I don't know!

LIAM: We don't know.

SAM: I'm on this one, and I'm going to listen to see if this one's resetting also.

MATT: (ticking sound)

SAM: Okay, I'll see if there's a way to disarm it, or plug the hole, or something.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a thieves' tools check, which is your proficiency bonus plus dexterity modifier. Should be plus six, I think?

SAM: 18.

MATT: 18, okay. Looking at this central platform here, as you inspect it, listening to where it's clicking, you listen for the holes that are clicking. Most of these holes are not actually functional, they're just there to confuse whoever might notice that there's an issue. Only one of them is active, and you listen very closely and listen for the one that's making the clicking noise, and you quickly take one of your thieves' tools-- or, not your thieves' tools, something on you that can plug that hole. A piece of stone, something that you might have in your vicinity that might function to that degree.

LAURA: A button!

MARISHA: Ball bearings you stole from me.

SAM: I do have ball bearings. Hold on, I have so many things.

MATT: (ticking sound)

SAM: Oh god. I don't want to get rid of that, that's cute. A vase!

MATT: The holes are about that big.

SAM: Ah, shit.

MATT: (ticking sound)

SAM: I take my brass doorknob and shove it in there.

MATT: Okay, there is a section of the doorknob that will fit within that hole. You jam it in there, and you push and grind it in there until it feels wedged in the stone, and eventually you hear (ticking) (swoosh) and the door knob cracks for a second, and there's no more clicking. Apparently you have managed to break that device.

SAM: I am going to take the doorknob back.

MATT: As you pull the doorknob out--

SAM: Shit.

MATT: With disadvantage-- Oh, no that's a 12 to hit.

SAM: It shoots out anyway?

MATT: It shoots out anyway, but haphazardly, and then it breaks.

SAM: Great.

MATT: You hear a (clanking) on the inside of the wall there, and that trap is busted.

LAURA: Are there any more?

SAM: I don't know! I check for more traps. Two for investigation.

MATT: Two for investigation?

LIAM: Has the party held up at this point?

MATT: You guys are all just in the back watching this happen.

SAM: I don't know how to be a rogue!

LIAM: While that happened, I would like to investigate the part of the room that I can see. Is there anything dangerous or hinky?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Yes, thank you.

SAM: I rolled a seven. That was not a two, it was a seven.

MATT: Okay, hard to tell at this point.

SAM: Great. We're all clear!

LIAM: 21.

MATT: The chamber you're in right now? Looking around, you can see a heavy layer of dust across the floor and the edges of the wall.

LIAM: This is where Frumpkin is, correct?

MATT: Oh! Sorry, I thought you were checking for yourself.

LIAM: Through Frumpkin's eyes. The half of the room, or the portion of the room that Frumpkin can see.

MATT: The portion that Frumpkin can see is just the center platform. The center platform, looking on top, has a series of symbols on it. Looking close, Frumpkin can see they aren't symbols that are drawn on it, they are carved in. Actually, the triangular shape resembles that. The center hole is the deepest. It goes out of sight. The other ones are just mild carvings in the stone.

LAURA: Oh no, is this going to be a puzzle?

SAM: I hope so.

LAURA: Oh, fuck me.

MARISHA: Definitely a puzzle.

ASHLEY: So that's what's up ahead?

MATT: Yeah, you guys are still back waiting for Nott to finish walking through.

ASHLEY: I'm just going to run across.

MATT: You're just going to run across?

ASHLEY: I'm just going to run across and pick up Nott on the way.

MATT: As you're like, "Coast is clear!" Yasha comes rushing past. In the time that it's taken, the first trap has reset. That is going to be an 18 to hit?

ASHLEY: Uh-huh.

MATT: Ooh, that is 11 points of piercing damage, as it strikes you in the back of the calf, actually piercing through the muscle, and you stumble for a second. You rush past the floor where Nott is. No effect. The third one: it goes off. Another trap. That is going to be a 14 to hit?

ASHLEY: Yeah, that just hits.

MATT: That's going to be seven piercing damage to that one. This one catches you in the back, in the side your rib cage, under your shoulder blade, and you manage to emerge into the next chamber with the torch now. Wounded--

ASHLEY: Fuck!

MATT: But you made it through. They're both sticking out of you as you turn around and look in the chamber.

ASHLEY: Maybe nobody else do that.

LAURA: No, I'm going to run.

MARISHA: I feel like this is going well.

SAM: I'm running.

MATT: All right. As you guys run through, it's still resetting. Who's going through?

TALIESIN: I'm going for it.

LIAM: Are we all going?

TRAVIS: Ah! I'm running!

LIAM: I'm holding onto Mollymauk and just following.

MATT: Who's holding up the back?

MARISHA: I'll hold up the back. I want to look around and see if I see anything that looks of value.

MATT: Make a perception check with disadvantage, because you're now outside of the main light. The rest of you rush through, making it through, the traps have reset.

MARISHA: I'll take that natural one and give another $100 to 826LA.

MATT: Beau takes a moment there. Looking around the corners, it looks like this portion of the chamber is more of an antechamber or something that leads into the next bit. There's nothing of worth or interest.

TRAVIS: Yeah, just things to shoot you in the fucking legs.

MARISHA: Wait up for me!

MATT: Okay. You run to the first chamber. It shoots out towards you. That's cocked. That's going to be a 16 to hit?

MARISHA: Miss.

MATT: Misses. Just past you. The second platform, Nott's already disarmed. No effect. Third platform. Does come shooting out at you. That is going to be a natural 20.

ALL: Ooh!

MARISHA: I want to catch it.

MATT: Okay! Let's see if it works.

MARISHA: Knowing it's coming.

LIAM: It's down low, though.

MATT: 13 points of piercing damage for that one.

MARISHA: 1d10 plus eight.

LAURA: You can do it.

LIAM: Get it.

MARISHA: (groan) Wait, how many?

MATT: 13.

MARISHA: 11.

MATT: 11. You catch it and it embeds itself about an inch into your chest before you pull it out.

MARISHA: I caught it! Argh!

MATT: You throw the bolt to the ground and continue on to the chamber. You only suffer two points of damage.

MARISHA: Those are from earlier.

SAM: I am so sorry. I did not handle that very well. I was told to check for traps and I missed many of them and I will strive to do better in the future and I'm sorry and this one, this one's on me.

LAURA: It's okay, Nott.

SAM: I'm sorry.

LAURA: I pat your head. You know, it's a lot of stress. You're learning still.

SAM: It is! All these traps are different. I wish they would just stick with the rope across the hallway trap.

LAURA: Then the log coming down!

SAM: Yeah. That's the one I know. It's a tried and true classic.

TALIESIN: It's classic, really.

MATT: As you guys now have a moment here to take in the chamber around you, Yasha holding the torch aloft, lighting up the vicinity. You're now standing inside a tall, octagonal chamber that rises up about 25, 30 feet above you. A domed ceiling with abstract designs and symbols written in each pie-slots of this octagon around.

LAURA: We're at Burning Man, aren't we? We're at Burning Man.

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: This is a great installation.

MATT: You see in the center where all of these triangular pieces of the dome meet in the center, there is a blue, thick ten foot wide pillar that descends about ten feet from the ceiling, about 15 feet above you. It's square and ominously held aloft.

LAURA: That thing's going to try to kill us.

MATT: Below that, you see there is that triangular piece of stone and there is no visible exit to the chamber.

TRAVIS: Is that triangular piece of stone raised off the floor?

MATT: It's raised off the floor about a foot or so.

TRAVIS: How big is it?

MATT: For each side, it's about two and a half feet.

MARISHA: It's this thing?

MATT: It's that thing.

SAM: How wide is the whole chamber again?

MATT: The whole chamber would probably be about 50 to 60 feet wide.

LAURA: Oh wow. It's big.

TRAVIS: If we're just coming into the area, which edge is pointing towards us? The flat or the point?

MATT: From your perspective entering, this would be the front end and there's these two sides there. You have the dome with all these symbols and strange designs upon each of these eight pieces of the octagon dome.

TALIESIN: Do I recognize any of these symbols? Does anything look familiar?

TRAVIS: From your brief life.

MATT: What skills are you trained in?

TALIESIN: Skills?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: What skills you got?

TALIESIN: I got acrobatics, insight, deception, sleight of hand.

MATT: Okay. What do you have? Proficient in?

TRAVIS: (whistling) Going to have to get back to you. Perception, intimidation, investigation.

SAM: Yeah, there's a little dot next to it.

TALIESIN: Investigation and survival also.

LIAM: Arcana, insight, investigation.

MATT: Well, as you look up. First off, as Yasha holds the torch up so you can see the symbols.

MARISHA: Oh shit.

LAURA: What?! This is intricate.

MARISHA: Look how cool!

SAM: What are they? They're all over the ceiling?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: I have that kids' toy that makes these. You spin it and the little pen goes around and around.

LAURA: Are all those facing towards Fjord?

MATT: All of these are from Fjord's perspective.

SAM: Those are on the ceiling?

MATT: Those are on the ceiling, yes.

SAM: Let me just check for traps.

LIAM: Yes, please. I'm going to walk around the immediate area checking for traps. 22.

MATT: 22. As you slowly crawl your way around the exterior, checking the stone, checking the placement. You do see that each of these symbols are about maybe half an inch thick into there except for the centerpiece, which you cannot tell how deep it is. The hole in the center goes down for a while, from what you can tell.

MARISHA: You said this was pretty big.

MATT: It's about two to two and a half to each side.

LAURA: On the ground? Just on the ground?

MATT: Yeah, flat on the ground.

SAM: No traps?

MATT: You do not see any traps around the interior of the chamber.

LIAM: Something was giving off an arcane aura before we came in here, but I cannot see it now, so if you indulge me and give me ten minutes, I will--

SAM: Ten minutes?

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, take your time.

MARISHA: Can I do a check to see if I recognize any of these things?

MATT: Are you trained in arcana?

MARISHA: I can use my mystical erudition to spend a ki point.

MATT: I will say because of your monk background, I will allow you to go ahead and attempt it as well. If the two guys trained in arcana as well are looking up at the symbols and studying them, you are welcome to do so.

MARISHA: I get advantage on this.

MATT: If you spend a ki point, yes you do.

LAURA: Are the symbols just painted on the ground, or are they carved into the ground?

MATT: Those symbols are carved in the ground. Those symbols on the ceiling of each space--

LAURA: They're on the ceiling?

MATT: They're on the ceiling in each octagonal piece of the dome; they're painted above in a circle around.

TRAVIS: 21.

LIAM: 16.

MARISHA: 18.

MATT: Okay. In the focus of intending to cast the Detect Magic spell, you're not as focused on the symbols. However, the two of you, keenly, together, staring up at the ceiling, begin to make out something similar in these patterns. You don't fully understand it, as it comes from whatever knowledge was imparted upon you from this entity you've made a pact with. You, however, in studying various forms of the arcane and coming into knowledge that isn't your specialty, but knowing it is definitely a specialty, you look at each of these symbols, and these are not classically used, they're improvised interpretations, or specific re-toolings of the symbols that mean each of the eight schools of magic. Between Fjord and Beau, you guys get to make out what each of these symbols means.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit.

MARISHA: Cool.

TRAVIS: So I don't know why I know this.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's like magic people code.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: The people I learned from were super into this shit.

LAURA: Does that mean we have to cast some spells or something?

MARISHA: I think it's a puzzle. I feel like this thing rotates and we have to match the symbols on the bottom to the symbols that match the school of magic. It feels like the divination is a full symbol of the star.

TRAVIS: It feels like the triangle is down here.

MARISHA: Evocation, right? Then the diamond--

LIAM: You can tell if you were to rotate it, it would line up. Triangle to triangle, that would bring the star to that one there.

MARISHA: What would the diamond be?

LIAM: There's a diamond right there.

SAM: Does it look like it goes inside?

MATT: You can give it a shot if you want to.

SAM: I'll go gingerly touch the base and see if it moves a little bit.

MATT: It does not shift at all.

TRAVIS: Is anyone on the platform?

MATT: Currently, no.

LAURA: I wonder if you have to stick something in the hole and twist it.

MARISHA: I bet there's a key.

LIAM: Caleb is still going through the ritual.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Fuck it, I'll stand up on the platform.

MATT: Okay, you step onto the platform. A moment passes. Two. No effect.

TRAVIS: Can I look down into that black hole in the center of it?

MATT: You can, although in the light source Yasha's currently holding, it just looks like shadow.

ASHLEY: Do you want it?

TRAVIS: I have darkvision. Oh, yeah, I'll take the torch.

MATT: Okay, you take the torch and hold it over to give you a better glance over it. The hole descends about a foot and a half and stops.

LAURA: Stick your wang in it.

TRAVIS: I will put my finger in the hole, actually. I don't know how big the hole is, but I want to feel if there are any grooves on the inside or any sort of indentations.

MATT: Right. It's roughly a half inch wide, so about that wide.

TRAVIS: I put my little pinkie in it.

MATT: Fits inside.

TRAVIS: Solid walls?

MATT: Solid walls on the inside.

TRAVIS: Well, it's short. There anything around here that looks like a staff or a pole or rod?

MARISHA: I'm going to start looking around, digging, seeing if I see anything that looks like it would fit the shape. I'm also going to shout out: Be careful, the shifty three were talking about an octagonal room where they got attacked.

TRAVIS: The floor around this triangle shape, it's flush in the ground, right? There's no circle around the triangle platform?

MATT: Correct. It is just flush and set in the ground.

TRAVIS: So the ground's not going to move. Maybe the ceiling has to move.

LAURA: Oh, because of the thing in the middle.

TRAVIS: Right. We're not going to be able to turn the floor.

SAM: How do we turn a ceiling?

MARISHA: Maybe we've got to go all the way back up to the top.

TALIESIN: That's my thought.

SAM: The top of what?

MARISHA: The spiral staircase.

ASHLEY: To see from the top?

MARISHA: We need a down here team and an up here team and maybe a Frumpkin to communicate through.

LIAM: Well, I will remember this. I have a perfect memory, I will remember this exactly.

LAURA: Does the pillar coming out of the ceiling have a hole in it as well?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: She's good at finding holes.

LAURA: I am really good at finding holes.

LIAM: She talks about them a lot.

LAURA: Yeah. 20.

MATT: Glancing up at it, the pillar itself comes down in a square-shape, and the very base of it has a slight curvature or dome to it, but it is solid. You don't see any seams in it, you don't see any marking. It is just a solid pillar. It's about ten feet wide or so.

LIAM: Has ten minutes gone by yet?

MATT: At this point, yeah, as they began to look around. You said you're searching for anything else in the chamber.

MARISHA: That looks like it would fit in the rod.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: As you begin to slowly make your way around the room, looking for any markings.

ASHLEY: I feel like that goes in the hole.

LAURA: But the hole is--

SAM: This wide.

LAURA: Yeah, the hole is--

MATT: The hole is like a half-inch wide.

MARISHA: Okay. 16.

MATT: You spend a little while looking for any signs of grooves or where anything's hidden. The chamber is solid, and there is nothing in the room that looks like it would-- there's nothing to grab on to. There are no other objects in here. It's fairly empty, aside from this dome, that octagonal shape, and this small engraving on the ground, and that pillar at the top.

TRAVIS: Caleb, do you have anything to draw these symbols?

SAM: Wait, Jester draws great. Jester can draw.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah! Jester, please, both of you, yeah. Just to get a rendition of the ceiling in relation to the ground.

LAURA: I open up my sketchbook and I start drawing the symbols. Here, look, I made this beautiful picture.

MARISHA: You work so fast.

LAURA: Well, I'm really talented.

TALIESIN: You don't have a heal cantrip, do you?

LAURA: Cantrip? No.

ASHLEY: I have some potions.

LIAM: Did Detect Magic reveal what was glowing in here before?

MATT: No, this chamber is far further below. It's 40 feet below where you guys initially came through, so whatever you sensed earlier would have been near where you entered.

LIAM: Oh, it was just the glow stick.

MATT: It was probably the glow stick, yeah.

TRAVIS: I think maybe we need to see where those stairs go up.

MARISHA: The stairs are back through the hall and up, right? They're not in these chambers? It's one big chamber?

MATT: Nope. One big chamber with no other exit beyond the hallway you entered from.

MARISHA: All right, I'll jog up the stairs.

TRAVIS: Wait. You're going to wait until she disarms the--

SAM: This is my chance for redemption.

MARISHA: Oh, sorry.

SAM: Let me break the traps first.

MARISHA: Get it, girl.

TRAVIS, MARISHA, and ASHLEY: (singing) Get it girl, get it, get it girl.

MARISHA: (singing) To the front, to the side, to the back. Disarm that trap.

SAM: Can I have a handful of ball bearings?

TALIESIN: I hand Nott a handful of ball bearings.

SAM: Thank you. I'll start working on it. I'm going to disarm trap three.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: 19, plus stuff.

MATT: Oh, yeah. The next trap you come up to, you leap up onto the side, using your fingers to dig into some of the holes there, and jam about three ball bearings into the one hole that you see is the one where the bolt is actually embedded within, and as soon as you step back down, you hear this grinding noise, and the trap is pretty shattered from the inside.

SAM: Okay, I'm going to go to trap one. Ooh, not as good. Six plus six, right? 12?

MATT: 12. The middle one is still broken. There's only three platforms you've seen that actually lead to this trap. You've broken two of them. The third and final one, you go to attempt to put the ball bearing in there.

SAM: Oh boy.

MATT: However, it does shoot forth, through your thumb. That's going to be a 21 to hit.

SAM: Oh, yeah, that hits.

MATT: You take eight points of piercing damage.

TRAVIS: Redemption is fucking painful.

MATT: Actually, it goes through your thumb and into your hand and into your wrist, and so you're bolted through there and it's sticking out right there, and you're like (shocked sounds). The shock hits you-- you don't feel the pain yet, you're looking at it jutting through your hand.

SAM: (heavy breathing)

LIAM and ASHLEY: *Nein*.

TALIESIN: We can fix that.

SAM: While it's reloading, I'm going to jam some ball bearings in with my other hand and try to break it.

MATT: Okay, go for it. Roll one more time.

SAM: Nine.

TALIESIN: Is that including the bonus?

SAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: You're having a hard time breaking it. You hear the clicking going and you're putting the ball bearings, and they keep slipping back out, and you can't find the right way to keep it in. You have too much pain from your hand.

LIAM: She's too drunk.

SAM: What else I got?

MATT: (ping) Another one fires out towards you. That's going to be a 13 to hit.

SAM: Misses.

MATT: So you duck out of the way. You attempt to jam it back in.

SAM: (frustrated growl) I'm going to try one more time. Natural 20!

(cheering)

MATT: Angrily, with your one good hand, you take a handful of bearings and jam them inside, holding your wrist there as you can feel the (impact) inside, and then a spring breaks somewhere beneath the stone. All three traps have been disabled.

LIAM: Sorry, 826.

SAM: (relieved panting) All clear!

TALIESIN: Oh, well done with-- oh my god, your hand!

SAM: It's fine, it's nothing. It's fine, it's just a little blood.

TALIESIN: That's-- ugh.

LIAM: You want to deal with that right away.

SAM: (pained groaning)

MARISHA: Hey, can I keep that? I think I can throw it later.

LIAM: Yeah, here you go.

MARISHA: Thank you. Thanks, Nott.

TALIESIN: Did you just pocket a thumb?

SAM: No, that's the bolt.

MARISHA: Oh, sorry, here's your thumb back. I just want the bolt.

LIAM: Big Lebowski.

TRAVIS: You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

MATT: As you're bleeding profusely from your wounded hand, you guys head up the stairway?

MARISHA: Yeah, who's going up?

LIAM: Well, here's what I think: I can send these little globules of light quite a ways, and I can also send Frumpkin quite a ways, so why don't we send Frumpkin have a look and we just hang back?

TALIESIN: I think let's all head up in that direction, but put Frumpkin first. I think Frumpkin ahead, but let's--

TRAVIS: Ten feet ahead is fine.

MARISHA: I have a feeling there's going to be a lever-y or a move-y situation.

TALIESIN: We're also going to have to keep checking for traps and then we'll send people down when we need it.

MARISHA: Yeah, you might need opposable thumbs.

SAM: Hey! It's too soon!

MARISHA: Sorry!

TRAVIS: Yeah, we start heading up with Frumpkin ten feet in front.

LIAM: Let's say 30 feet in front of the group with one of my Dancing Lights about ten feet behind her-- him? Him.

MATT: Him. It's your pet.

SAM: Wait, so who's going up?

TRAVIS: Everybody.

SAM: But who's going to be downstairs to--?

TALIESIN: Well, we've got to figure out what we--

LIAM: It's all right. Jester drew it, I remember it, we're good.

MATT: Marching order heading upstairs?

MARISHA: I'll take the front.

LIAM: I'll take second position.

TALIESIN: I'll take third.

ASHLEY: I'll take back.

MATT: Yasha's got back with Frumpkin up ahead. Perfect. As you guys progress, spiraling up the staircase, you come by the glowing purple orb that's embedded in the wall, and you're helping Caleb come up the stairs, vision currently focused through Frumpkin. Frumpkin heads above, curling upward another 60 or so feet above where you entered-- so 100 feet above, spiraling, where this base floor you had already inspected was. Eventually, it emerges into a fairly wide square-looking chamber.

LIAM: Looking for dangerous shit.

MATT: All right. Frumpkin emerges and looks inside. It's a Baroque-style grand chamber, with intricate designs and a beautiful interior. The floor itself is solid marble squares that are off-color to each other and give almost a checkered pattern to it. Against each wall, the walls are carved to be beautifully intricate with half-pillars carved out of them, and parts that are inset with art pieces once were set, but are gone. There are shelves in places in here, where things of worth were once set but have already been taken. The opposite side of the room, by the way, has completely fallen in. This chamber should be about 80 feet across, but it looks like something has happened and caused it to collapse inward, and the chamber is slightly tilted to one side. There's a slight tilt, a decline towards the left-hand side of the chamber. There are two load-bearing pillars that mark the center of the chamber that lead up to the ceiling, and the ceiling itself is about 30 feet up, similar height to the previous chamber you were in. Make a perception check for Frumpkin.

LIAM: For me through Frumpkin is terrible. Seven.

MATT: With the low light in the chamber, it's hard to make out any of specific details beyond that, but this is what you can see. The collapsed opposite side of the chamber that has fallen in, and there is rubble and stone and earth that has filled the opposite side of the chamber. There is the nice marble floor and the designs and carvings in the sides of it.

TRAVIS: Is there any sort of door at the top of the stairs that leads into this chamber, or is it just open?

MATT: It just opens up. The spiral staircase just emerges into that chamber.

LIAM: Knowing distance, space, the direction of north at all times, with Frumpkin in there, am I able to tell how far back we are from this chamber? We're 20 feet back?

MATT: You guys are about 15, 20 feet behind Frumpkin, yeah.

LIAM: Would you say that Detect Magic is still cooking at this point? Are we still under the ten minutes from when I cast in the other room?

MATT: You're getting close to the tip of it-- to the end of it.

LIAM: Am I sensing anything?

LAURA: (snickers)

ASHLEY: Just the tip of it.

LIAM: Find one thing you're good at in life and do it for the rest of your life.

(laughter)

LAURA: I'm sorry.

MATT: So what are you doing?

LIAM: I'm going to scooch-- well, no, I'm with Beau, so I'm asking if I sense anything of arcane nature.

MATT: Nothing in the vicinity of the spiral staircase, no.

LIAM: A retroactive question-- no, never mind.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: I'm going to pop a healing potion.

LAURA: Oh, I can help you. You want me to heal you?

SAM: I mean, I don't want to impose, but I'm bleeding profusely.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Cure Wounds.

MATT: Level one?

LAURA: Yes.

ASHLEY: She cast it on me, too?

LAURA: I did it on you, too. So that's seven points of healing for you.

ASHLEY: Tight.

MATT: Seven points for Nott? Okay, cool.

LAURA: Does that help?

SAM: It helps.

TALIESIN: Still 11 down.

MATT: Are you guys staying in the staircase or are you emerging into the chamber?

TRAVIS: I'm walking in.

MATT: So you all begin to make your way inside this chamber.

LIAM: Anything arcane before it dips out?

MATT: Nothing arcane in nature that catches your attention immediately in a 30 foot distance. Are you heading into the chamber?

LIAM: No. I'm behind Beau.

MATT: Okay. Behind Beau, at the entrance way, you don't feel any arcane presence. The rest of you begin to push past, and make your way into the chamber. And once again you see--

MARISHA: Any ghosty globbies?

LAURA: Yeah, I'll looking for will-o'-wisps.

MATT: That'd be perception checks from both you guys. With Yasha's torch and the globes you have there, you don't have disadvantage.

LIAM: I'm dropping Frumpkin vision.

MARISHA: Natural 20.

LAURA: Yes! That's real good.

MATT: Natural 20.You?

LAURA: Seven.

LIAM: You're also good.

MATT: Okay, you notice a couple things.

MARISHA: Okay!

MATT: One, there is a relief in the center of the chamber, right before the wall collapse covers the floor built into the marble. It resembles two faces and one body in the center. Like one torso leads into two faces that look upward. Their eyes are gone, there's circular empty sockets where the faces are and their emotionless expressions looking upward. Very thinly carved into the ground.

MARISHA: On the ground?

MATT: Yeah. Looking from above you can see it, but looking from the side it looks very strange because it's a very flat carving. You see that in the center, ahead in the chamber.

MARISHA: Okay. Are they like profiles, or are they front?

MATT: No, they're looking straight up. There's two sockets to each, and they're empty.

MARISHA: Looking up, deadless? Okay. Copy.

LAURA: Deadless?

MARISHA and TRAVIS: Lifeless

MATT: Yes. Deadless. Deadlifts, yes, they're looking up from the deadlifts, it's--

MARISHA: Sorry. Absorbing a lot at once. Keep going.

MATT: You do look to the right and left hand sides of the chamber, you can see all the shelves and inset areas where artwork would have been placed. You do see two upside down acorn-style alcoves that are mirroring each other on each side of the chamber.

LAURA: Does that look like that shape?

MATT: From this distance, you can't see. They're open. They're maybe about a foot tall and empty in the inside. With the light source you have at the moment you can't see anything inside of them. Looking above you, you do see a set of chains that are hanging from the ceiling that appear to be affixed to some sort of red clay urn or vase that is dangling above.

MARISHA: I relay all of that, of course.

MATT: Looking across the way in the rubble, because you rolled a natural 20, you see a faint glimmer of something metallic that catches the light of the torch occasionally as Yasha moves back and forth.

LIAM: You point that out as well?

MARISHA: I do.

LIAM: Off of her first comment I would send one of the globules floating up to the ceiling to better illuminate what she's pointed out.

MATT: Okay. It looks to be some sort of vase or urn that is dangling from chains about 30 feet up.

LAURA: How big?

MATT: It's about that tall. The full container. It's like a reddish clay color to it. It looks fairly well made, but nothing ornamental, per se. It's dangling from a chain on each side. The light lifts around it to inspect and reveal its coloration.

LIAM: Was that 30 feet above us? Is there any space between the ceiling and the container?

MATT: About a foot, foot and a half. There's not much distance. It's affixed to the ceiling right there.

MARISHA: And we can see it-- sorry.

LIAM: No, you're good.

MARISHA: We can see a closer of the dome with the symbols on them?

MATT: There's no dome in here.

MARISHA: Oh, we're not there yet. Sorry. We're just up the spiral staircase.

MATT: You're starting to enter the chamber, and there is no ceiling shapes or anything that resemble the previous chamber you were in. It comes to a-- there is a slight curve to where the--

MARISHA: I'm assuming it's through the collapsed tunnel. Right. Okay. Got it.

LIAM: Something metallic in the rubble. Vase above.

MATT: Correct, and the two alcoves in the sides, the two pillars that are load bearing in the center of the chamber.

LAURA: Do you want me to throw something up at the vase and try to knock it over?

TRAVIS: No. Let's see what's on the other side of the room first.

LIAM: Just to clarify your description. The container is being held from above?

MATT: Correct. It is dangling from the ceiling?

LIAM: Chains coming down? Or no, two chains from the ceiling.

MATT: Just two chains from the ceiling that are holding it in place.

MARISHA: That feels like that might be a trap.

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: Cool. I start walking towards the other side of the room.

MATT: Okay. Fjord, you walk through, the relief on the ground ahead of you. And there is that weird source of weird metallic reflection that Beau had seen from across the way.

LIAM: I'm going to scoot up behind Fjord and see if I can detect any arcane anything before the spell sniffs out.

MATT: Okay. In the final throes of the spell, the source of that metallic shine does give a faint, arcane, magical aura before the spell fades.

LIAM: What kind was it?

MATT: For that one? It would be abjuration.

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: I'm going to scoot around the side and see if I can peek into those holes. Those reliefs in the walls.

MATT: The alcoves?

SAM: Alcoves.

MATT: Okay. You head over to the side alcove. Make an investigation check.

SAM: 16.

MATT: 16. You glance up inside, it's about three and a half feet off the ground, and you have to climb and scurry up with your small goblin body. Looking inside, there is another clay urn of the same red color, that's set about a foot and a half inside.

LAURA: I'm going to get down on the ground.

SAM: I will inform the others.

TALIESIN: I'm going to go check out the other alcove.

MATT: The other alcove also contains a similar clay--

TALIESIN: Three red urns?

LIAM: I catch Fjord by the arm. Be careful. Whatever is under there is something of protection. Something to keep us out, or to protect something.

TRAVIS: The little metallic glimmer that we saw. Can we see?

MATT: As you approach, you can see, buried in some of the rubble, a long brass or bronze rod of some kind. You only see about a foot of it sticking out from under the rubble.

LAURA: Ayyyy. There's a rod.

TRAVIS: About a half inch in diameter, would you call it?

MATT: You get a little closer and look down at it. It looks like it would be about a half inch in diameter, yeah.

ASHLEY: What was underneath the urn in the ceiling? On the ground?

MATT: On the ground? There's nothing directly below it.

LAURA: Where are the faces on the ground?

MATT: You walk up to the faces?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You go over and sit over it, and you can see a well carved, robed figure. Male on one side and female on the other, but the same features. Like two sides of the same coin. Similar hairstyle. No coloration to it, but a white marble relief on the ground. The torsos merge and extend on the two sides, and they both sort of look up with the emotionless face. And where the eyes are they are vacant, circular holes about that big.

MARISHA: Ooh. All of them?

MATT: As you get closer and look, where the holes are vacant, its only about maybe a quarter inch deep.

LAURA: Whoa!

MATT: So they don't go fully below, they're like a quarter of an inch deep.

LAURA: Should I stick something in these eyes?

SAM: Maybe.

ASHLEY: Is there any way to see what is in the urns? Like just have a peeksies.

MATT: You come towards the urn. You have to pull it out slightly to look into it because the interior is too hard to see from this point.

SAM: I'm going to get my crossbow ready to fire.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Can I just, with my sword, just a little.

MATT: Sure. You take your sword and wedge it out. It shifts forward a little bit and you look inside. It looks like there is ash in the urn. It's only about halfway full. Make a perception check.

ASHLEY: Uh-oh. Seven.

MATT: All you see is ash inside the urn.

ASHLEY: I think it's trash.

TRAVIS: These are trash urns?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

SAM: Why would they put trash urns in these weird--

ASHLEY: It's garbage.

TRAVIS: Can I try and move some of the rubble off of the bronze rod?

MATT: Sure, start shifting some of the rock. Make a strength check. This would be athletics to do this. Athletics, sorry.

TRAVIS: Okay. I think that's a 15.

MATT: Okay. You start shifting and pull the rocks off. The rod begins to coil. You start moving it and you pull and manage to pull it free from the stone. Some of the rocks falling down and stumbling to the side. You pull out a four and a half foot long rod that is straight towards the bottom for about a foot and then is in a tight coil to the very top where there is a small metallic knob at the very top. You pull it forth and it vibrates a little from the impact of pulling it out from under the stone, and then it comes to still in your hand.

TRAVIS: Does it wobble?

MATT: A little bit, very faintly.

TRAVIS: Does it make any noise?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: If I swing it harder, does it?

LAURA: Don't break it.

MATT: You start swinging it. It makes a (air whipping) sound as you swing it around.

LIAM: I think I would have noticed that the circus bouncer looking in the urn did not get blown up, but also looked a little puzzled. So I'm going to go over and take a look at the same thing.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a look at the other one.

MATT: Okay. As you go to look in the other urn, you glance over at the urn that Yasha was turned away from, and you see this glowing fire emerge from the urn in her direction. Just this small, glowing orb begin to shift out of the urn right towards her back.

SAM: Am I ready to fire?

MATT: You are. You get to make an attack.

TALIESIN: I'm going to start with one of my blades.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: Okay. I'm going to shoot a crossbow bolt at that fire.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: Natural 20.

MATT: Oh shit. And that is a 19 against you Yasha.

ASHLEY: Okay. Wait. Yeah, okay.

MATT: Okay, do your damage.

SAM: Okay. Is this sneak attack or no? I don't even know what this creature is.

LIAM: Yasha is right next to it.

ASHLEY: Do I get a saving throw?

MATT: No saving throw, but you do take 13 points of lightning damage.

ASHLEY: I'm going to die.

SAM: I deal 16 points of damage.

LAURA: Wait, do you double it because it's a critical?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: I don't know.

LIAM: The dice are doubled. Not your modifiers, but the dice.

SAM: Wow. Okay. That's 28 points of damage.

ASHLEY: That's better.

MATT: 28 points of damage. All right.

SAM: All the dice are doubled?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Good god.

MATT: So you actually take no damage, because he was holding his reaction and as soon as it emerges, he fires. You watch as the orb dissipates. The faint, little motes of energy shift and vanish on the outside of the urn.

TALIESIN: I'm looking at the other urn. Is anything happening?

MATT: You watch as another one begins to slowly emerge and another begins to emerge from the ceiling. I need you all roll initiative.

MARISHA: Here we go.

SAM: (shouting) No time to thank me.

ASHLEY: Thank you.

SAM: (shouting) No! No time!

TALIESIN: Oh my god, really?

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

LIAM: I got another one for 826LA.

TALIESIN: This is the worst initiative ever.

MATT: You got Yasha off to this side, going this way. Nott, you're not too far from there. Molly, you were off to the opposite side to look to the other edge. Caleb, where were you?

LIAM: I was where Yasha was. I went over to look at her urn.

MATT: That's right. So you were over by Yasha. Fjord, you were over by where you found the object. Frumpkin was-- ?

LIAM: Frumpkin would have been just 15 feet into the chamber.

MATT: Okay. And then Beau and Jester, where are you placed?

MARISHA: I would be probably be in between Fjord and Caleb.

LAURA: I was wherever those bodies where, because I was kneeling down and looking at them.

MATT: Right. So that would be this relief right here, by Fjord's. All righty. And you watch as Molly-- actually Molly was making his way over there as this happened. And that one emerged.

LAURA: It look like lightening corn on the cob.

MATT: Another one shifts out of the urn that you just had one emerge from.

SAM: It's my own urn.

MATT: That Nott has destroyed. It dissipated, then the small motes back into the urn.

LAURA: Oh no! It's like never ending.

ASHLEY: Now that I know it's there.

LAURA: It's not a surprise, at least.

ASHLEY: Not a surprise.

MATT: So, going for initiative here folks. 25 to 20?

MARISHA: 22.

SAM: 22.

MATT: Oh wow, all right. So we have Nott and Beau. All right, 20 to fifteen?

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. We got Fjord. All righty. 15 to ten?

LAURA: 12.

ASHLEY: 10.

MATT: Jester and Yasha. All righty. Ten to five?

TALIESIN: Seven.

LIAM: Rolled one, which makes me a two.

MATT: Oh, Caleb.

LIAM: I love it.

MATT: All right, the wisp rolled a 26 for initiative.

LAURA: These are the will-o'-wisps?

ASHLEY: This is where we walked in from?

MATT: Yes. That is the entrance where you walked in from.

MARISHA: Little shits.

MATT: So for their turn they vanish temporarily.

MARISHA: They what?

LIAM: They vanish. They're gone. They're fucking ghosts.

TALIESIN: I'm trapped in that-- well, never mind. Damn it.

LAURA: Aren't will-o'-wisps like kids? Aren't they the spirits of children?

MARISHA: Is that true?

SAM: Is that true? Oh god, that is awful.

LAURA: That's what I learned in Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness.

MATT: You would know this, but it's different from story to story. It's not necessarily the case here. So the three will-o'-wisps come back into visual range, and one's going to be attacking Molly, one against Nott, and one against Beau.

MARISHA: Copy.

MATT: The one against Beau is going to be-- that's a nine.

MARISHA: *Nien*. Miss.

MATT: That's a miss on you. It goes wide. There's going to be one attacking you, Molly. That is going to be an 18 to hit.

TALIESIN: Oh, that hits.

MATT: That is eight points of lightning damage against you. Against you, Nott-- that is a 22 to hit. You take 12 points of lightning damage. As these will-o'-wisps reach out and strike you, there's a burst of energy as electricity, strangely, like undead, life-sucking energy, electricity begins to shoot through your body. You feel your muscles tense, your teeth and your jaw clench. And you break away and regain composure for a moment, but they seriously hurt you with a brief gliding by your essence. For the rest of their movement, this one is going to shift around this way. This one is going to go ahead and shift this way. This one is going to go ahead and move right there, to melee move Fjord. All right, first up we have Nott and Beau.

MARISHA: Okay. You want to go first, girl?

SAM: Sure! I will shoot towards (cocking sound). Is the one near Molly engaged with Molly?

MATT: It is, yes.

SAM: Okay. I will shoot at the one next to Molly. Not good, 12.

MATT: 12? Does not hit, unfortunately. You fire towards and it (swooshing sound) just dodges out of the way, completely avoids the bolt, as it ricochets of the stonework in the distance.

SAM: (cocking sound) Fire again, bonus action! Not much better. 15.

MATT: 15. It manages to arc out of the way of the other one. Both bolts go wide from where its position is, striking the stone. No effect.

LAURA: 15 didn't hit them.

MARISHA: 15 didn't? Did you try to shoot it?

SAM: Twice.

MATT: Nott, are you going to move or stay there for your turn?

SAM: No, I'm engaged, right?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: I'm going to say, (shouting) help me! I'm going to die, I'm going to die!

MATT: Beau, while this is happening, what are you doing?

MARISHA: Okay, seeing Nott have a hard time, I'm going to pull out that holy water and I'm going to, like a confetti popper, I want to, right over its face, just break it.

MATT: The one right in front of you?

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: All righty, go ahead and roll an attack with that.

MARISHA: Just straight attack?

MATT: It should be with your dexterity.

MARISHA: With my dex, to throw it even though I'm not throwing it?

SAM: What are you throwing?

MARISHA: I'm not throwing--the holy water. I'm trying to break it with my hand and palm in its face.

MATT: You're not proficient with it, but it's still your dex to hit with it.

MARISHA: 12.

MATT: A 12? Okay, that-- pulling out a book here, thank you for your patience, (singing) holy water.

MARISHA: Is it a dex saving throw?

MATT: That's a ranged attack against the target creature. Yeah, no. You try to smash it, but it ducks out of the way. Because you're smashing it, it doesn't hit the ground and shatter, so you still have it your hand. But you swing with it to try to break it over this entity, and it dodges out of the way. They are very quick.

MARISHA: Okay. Do I still my bonus attack?

MATT: Because it was a ranged attack, sure. It's stretching it a little bit, but I will let it happen.

MARISHA: Natural 19. 25.

MATT: 25 does hit. Go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: Eight damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage for that one. Nice.

MARISHA: Do I punch a ghost?

MATT: You do hit it, but it doesn't take as much damage as you would expect. As you swing toward it, it gives resistance to your fist, and numbs it as you punch through it. It does react to the impact, but it's not quite as impactful as you hoped a swing that strong should have been.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: You punched cotton candy.

MATT: You did, kind of-- stinging cotton candy.

MARISHA: A little cold.

MATT: Does that finish your turn?

MARISHA: Yep.

MATT: All righty. Finishing Beau and Nott's go-- Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: I got a question. You said ten minutes on the boat as we were moving forward, ten minutes for him to cast detect magic, and another ten minutes for detect magic to run out, so it's been about a half an hour?

MATT: I'd say with searching around everything, it's been closer to 45 minutes.

TRAVIS: Okay, great. So my Armor of Agathys is still up?

MATT: Your armor is still up.

TRAVIS: So can I bonus-action hex the glob-- the wispy thing right next to me?

MATT: Sure. There we go.

TRAVIS: Nice.

MATT: You've hexed it.

TRAVIS: Great. Can I take swipe at it with Wastehunter Blade?

SAM: Wastehunter!

TRAVIS: Wastehunter. That is 15 to hit.

MATT: 15 to hit. You hex it and as you swing your blade, (swooshing sound) it shimmies out of the way. Its light moves with sudden, rapid haste as soon as you try to strike towards it and dodges the blow entirely.

TRAVIS: Wow! Can I use all of my 30 foot walking speed to run towards the door there where we came out of.

MATT: All right. Ten, 15, 20, 25, 30. The one that was near you is going to go ahead and make an opportunity strike against you.

MARISHA: Does that mean I get to make an opportunity strike against it?

MATT: It made an attack that doesn't include you, so yeah, technically.

SAM: Wow!

TRAVIS: That is the plan here.

MATT: All right, so that is an 18 to hit you.

TRAVIS: It hits.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: And it take ten points of cold damage.

MATT: And you take ten points of lightning damage.

TRAVIS: Beautiful.

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

MATT: Cold damage, all right. So it takes-- the cold does not seem to impact it as heavily as you would assume. It does hurt it, but it seems to be resistant from a lot of the forms of attacks that you are throwing in its direction.

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage.

MARISHA: Another eight points.

MATT: Another fist punch towards the will-o'-wisp impacts, but doesn't seem to strike as strong as you hoped, but it's still taking damage as it runs past. It shocks out at Fjord as Fjord runs by. Using your Sentinel feat to get your reaction hit off.

TRAVIS: I've got that gold rod, by the way. I'm getting the fuck out of here.

MARISHA: Yeah, go.

MATT: That ends Fjord's turn. Jester, you're up.

LAURA: Okay. As a bonus action, I'm going to cast Sanctuary on Nott.

SAM: Oh, I feel so safe.

MATT: That's concentration or not?

LAURA: It doesn't say concentration.

MATT: Okay, I'll pull it up.

LAURA: It doesn't have that on the--

MATT: Sanctuary is not concentration.

LAURA: They have to make a wisdom save if they attack her. Then as an action, I'm going to use my cantrip of Sacred Flame.

MATT: Against which one?

LAURA: The one next to Molly.

MATT: Next to Molly. That's a wisdom save?

LAURA: No, it's a dex save.

MATT: That is a 23.

LAURA: It definitely saves.

MATT: It ducks out of the way before the Sacred Flame bursts into the air, hitting nothing. You get the sense through all these attacks that these things are very quick. That end your turn, Jester? That brings us to Yasha.

SAM: Come on, Yasha! Hurt them with your strength!

ASHLEY: I'm going to get a little closer to the one that's near Nott.

MATT: With your greatsword--

ASHLEY: Pulled out, so I would like to rage. You can use reckless while you're raging?

MATT: Reckless attacks? Yeah.

TRAVIS: Which means you roll with advantage, but they get advantage on you.

ASHLEY: Okay, that's fine.

LIAM: (singing) Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!

ASHLEY: I want to get this all figured out so we won't always have question time. Can I also use Divine Fury?

MATT: Divine Fury? Yeah, that's part of your thing, so all that happens at the same time. Your first attack every round.

ASHLEY: So I roll twice?

MATT: You roll twice, take the higher of the two.

TALIESIN: Wow!

LIAM: Go for that natural 20!

ASHLEY: 25?

MATT: 25 definitely hits. You do the damage from your sword.

ASHLEY: Ah! What do I--

MATT: The greatsword is 2d6 plus your strength modifier, which is three? Plus your rage modifier, which is two? That's plus five to whatever you roll, plus your Divine Fury damage.

LIAM: Fucking muscle wizards.

ASHLEY: Plus what? Say again?

MATT: Whatever you roll, plus five. Ten, plus your Divine Fury.

ASHLEY: Which is another d6, plus half--

SAM: Just pull out another d6.

ASHLEY: I don't want to. 18.

MATT: Well, how much radiant damage is that?

TRAVIS: Plus half your barbarian level?

LAURA: She rolled six.

ASHLEY: The damage that I chose was necrotic. Six plus half my barbarian level, which would be two, so 18 damage.

MATT: You rush forward, rage, giant swing down with your blade. You watch this burst of dark necrotic energy come crackling out of the blow. It hits, and you watch as it flickers for a second, and pulls itself back together. It's wounded, but it seems to be shrugging off some of the impact barely. You want to stay where you are?

ASHLEY: Bonus attack? Not bonus, but do I have a bonus? Can I do Healing Hands on Nott?

MATT: You bonus raged, unfortunately.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's your bonus. Copy that. Got it.

MATT: That's your turn, Yasha?

ASHLEY: Yep, that's my turn. Wait-- yes, I'm going to stay there.

TALIESIN: I know what these things are.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: Do I understand what's happening, with why they're going back to the pots, to whatever's in the pots?

MATT: You're not entirely certain, but you do notice, glancing about, that they seem to be emerging from them.

TALIESIN: I'm actively tracking these at this point, I would imagine, so I can't be surprised anymore.

MATT: Right.

TALIESIN: All right. Can I scoot around the-- I assume the clay pot is on the other side of that will-o'-wisp right now?

MATT: It is.

TALIESIN: I'm going to scoot around to that side.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take my first shot at the will-o'-wisp as I'm dancing around it.

MATT: All righty. You swing wide with your first.

TALIESIN: Yeah, let's see if this hits. 17?

MATT: 17 does not hit.

TALIESIN: My god, really?!

MATT: You swing your blade and it ducks out of the way. These are quick little fuckers!

TALIESIN: I'm going to take my bonus action, and I'm going to break the pot.

MATT: Okay. Swing.

SAM: Taliesin hates pot!

TALIESIN: Yes, I do. 11 points.

MATT: 11 is enough. It's a stationary object. So roll damage on it.

TALIESIN: All right, that's eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage. You bring the blade in and strike into the alcove, and as you yank it out with the blade, you cut it halfway through the air. The actual urn bisects, sending ash clouding into the air around you, and you watch as the will-o'-wisp (pfft).

SAM: Oh! Why don't we do that with all of them?

MARISHA: Nice! That's what we do!

TRAVIS: Nice, dude, nice.

MATT: The urn clatters to the ground. The top of it breaks, the second half hits with a heavy thud sound that's different from the sound of the clay that shatters on the ground. That finishes your turn?

TALIESIN: Other than that I'm going to take a look at it down below, to see if there's anything in there that's weird.

MATT: I'll say you have wait until next round. You reach around and finish that whirling dervish action.

LAURA: I should have thrown something at the vase!

SAM: Yeah!

MATT: Caleb, you're up.

LIAM: Caleb does what that bearded dude in the GIF does, going-- seeing that happen, and I cast Scorching Ray myself, and I will send one ball of fire at the next pot.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: The one on the roof?

LIAM: No, the other one besides that.

MATT: The one in this alcove there that's right across the way?

LIAM: Yeah. That is-- oh, jeez. Everything changed for me. So that is perception plus-- not perception. Intelligence modifier, which is five plus seven. So that is an 18 to hit.

MATT: 18 hits, yeah. Roll damage on that one.

LIAM: Okay, that's 2d6 for a damage of seven.

MATT: Seven. That urn explodes on the inside of the alcove as the streaking, hot Scorching Ray slams into the clay, causing the top half of it to detonate. The bottom half of the clay cracks, and the bottom still remains in place, the ash clouding out of it. The one--

LIAM: So that did not get destroyed, then, it got damaged?

MATT: This will-o'-wisp flickers out. It had been heavily damaged already, and that amount of scattering of the ash caused it to flicker and disintegrate. The bottom of the urn is still holding itself in place, the top half scattered and broken.

LIAM: That was just one, so I continue to wrap my hand around, and a second one shoots out at the one in the ceiling. That is a natural 18.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage on that one.

LIAM: Yeah. That is an eight.

MATT: Eight? It shatters and breaks. The ash comes clouding down like the slight drizzle of soft dust and ash. This will-o'-wisp vanishes into the space.

TRAVIS: Ugh, it's in my eyebrows!

LIAM: The other one shoots up in the air and lands two feet behind me, just goes (explosion).

SAM: Whoa, so cool!

MATT: As you're three-point landing there, Caleb--

LIAM: No, I'm standing!

MATT: Standing, but hurling a-- (laughter) As you stand there, the explosion behind from the Scorching Ray, as the bottom half of the urn from the ceiling-- (tinging, rolling)

LIAM: Oh shit, that's hot!

SAM: That was amazing!

TALIESIN: I'm going to pick up the bottom half of that, and I'm going to examine, immediately, what I've got.

MATT: All right. And we'll come back to that after our break because it's just after nine o'clock. So we'll take a quick break here and be back here in just a moment, guys. Hold tight. In the meantime, we do have another Wyrmwood giveaway. We have a black poisonwood hero vault that we're giving out this time. Nice dark wood one. You can keep your minis, you can keep your dice, you can keep all sorts of things inside the small space here. If all of you want to come over into Twitch chat to enter this, you can only enter the word once. More than once and you will be disqualified. Once again, this is only for US residents and Canadian residents, outside of Quebec. The code word for tonight is “river.” So come on over, enter that into the chat, and we'll come back with a winner at the break! We'll see you guys in a minute.

Break[]

[break]

Part II[]

MATT: Hello, and welcome back everybody! Glad we can join... us. Before we get back into the story, we have a winner. The winner for tonight's giveaway is TheMostJost!

TRAVIS: TheMostJost!

MATT: You are the most jostiest Jost, and as such, being the most jostest, TheMostJost, you win. Congratulations, we're going to get that black poisonwood hero's vault to you, so congrats. The brief burst of adrenaline has begun to fade from your bodies, your muscles tense, slowly beginning to relax. The urn shattered, the chamber now still and quiet. No seeming flickering flame of undead energy or source in the vicinity. What do you want to do?

LAURA: Those guys were so stupid. They could have broken the vases. How dumb are they?

MARISHA: I know. I don't feel so bad for making fun of them now. I feel like maybe we were hard on them, but now I don't think we were.

TRAVIS: No, I don't think so either. They're fucking ceramic pottery pieces.

SAM: I'm *desperately* injured.

LAURA: You want me to try to heal you?

SAM: No. Again, I don't want to impose.

LAURA: I'll try to heal you.

SAM: If you're offering, I'll take it, but I am *definitely* bleeding from my eyes.

LAURA: I'm going to cast, at a 2nd-level, Cure Wounds, because Nott seems like she's dying.

LIAM: Don't strain a hammy.

LAURA: Goddamn it! Really?

MATT: Is that a one?

LAURA: One and a two.

MATT and SAM: Aw.

LAURA: I could've cast it at 1st-level! Damn it! You still only got fucking seven points of fucking healing!

SAM: I feel guilty for having needs! Oh wait! I could've rested. I could've used hit dice.

LAURA: Goddamn it!

TRAVIS: We should rest right now.

ASHLEY: Can I dig through one of the ashes? The urn?

LAURA: I wasted one of my 2nd-levels y'all!

MARISHA: Okay, we can keep going.

ASHLEY: Still garbage?

MATT: You and Molly are doing this, if I recall, before we entered the break. The base of each urn, the lower half of it, is actually a metal-lined bottom. Looking on the inside, as you scoop out the ash, (blowing) get it to empty the space, you can see, very faintly on the inside of the metal, very faint carvings matching the symbols you have seen in the previous room.

SAM: Oh, shit!

LAURA: Which room? Let's take the piece of metal down! Wait, does each of the urns have a different one?

MATT: Each of the urns has all eight symbols in it.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: At this point, we should be able to see the things that the very perceptive people saw, which was two faces, eyes with holes in them in the middle--

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: In this room?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Should we do it in this room?

TRAVIS: Are the eye holes about the size of gold coins?

MATT: Roughly.

TRAVIS: I'll take two gold coins and put them in both of the eyes on one of the faces.

MATT: On the faces? Okay. You take two gold coins out, and you place them roughly, and they both fit into the eyes of one face.

TRAVIS: I'll do that to the other two eyes in the other face.

MATT: Okay. As you place them, as soon as they incur in there, the relief opens in half and you fall. Make a dexterity saving throw.

ASHLEY: Whoopsies.

TRAVIS: Was not anticipating that.

MARISHA: For the boatman.

TRAVIS: He always gets his due.

LIAM: Mama, put the coins in my eyes because I sure do not believe what I am seeing.

TRAVIS: That's an eight.

MATT: That's an eight!

SAM: As he falls, I throw a piece of feather and I cast Feather Fall on him.

MARISHA: Holy shit, that's awesome!

MATT: That's a reaction. What's the range on that?

SAM: 60 feet.

MATT: Yeah, you're fine. Fjord suddenly begins to disappear, the floor going out underneath. This looks of fear comes over his eyes as Nott barely releases the spell in time, and Fjord goes from plummeting to gently falling. You glide down, and you look down below you into the darkness. You descend ten, 15, 20--

MARISHA: Beau hollers out: Hey, I think you figured out that puzzle!

TALIESIN: We should probably put a light in there.

LIAM: Caleb doesn't say anything or move at all, but he's thoroughly impressed with Nott, by the way.

TRAVIS: Yep. Me too.

MATT: About 30 feet down, you see something rapidly coming up below you. Looks like a floor or a surface, though it is somewhat amorphous and jumbled that it looks hard to see any sort of shape to it.

TRAVIS: Are things moving?

LIAM: I will send two of my globules down after him.

MATT: Okay. With your low light vision, looking down below, eventually your feet land. It's soft and crunchy as your feet land. You glance down and the smell gets you immediately. It's a heavy smell of decay, of dust, and ash. You look down below and your are sunken into a pile of long-rotting clothing. Occasionally, your foot hits something that cracks, and you can see some charred bones that remain within.

LAURA: Charred?

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: This is how they clean the room.

LIAM: How far down is that? Does everybody see?

MATT: It's about 30-35 feet down.

ASHLEY: I'm going to take a rope out of my bag and wrap it around a pillar.

MATT: Okay. You take it and tie it off to the side.

LAURA: Fjord, do you see anything cool down there?

TRAVIS: Yeah. There's a bunch of old clothes. It smells awful down here.

LAURA: Does anybody have weapons or coins on them?

TRAVIS: I haven't really looked. I still got this damn bronze rod with me, too, so I got to find my way out of here.

LAURA: We'll get you out. Just look for something cool, though.

ASHLEY: Can I throw the torch down there?

MATT: Yeah. As you--

ASHLEY: Fjord.

MATT: You hear your name and you look up just as the torch--

TRAVIS: Okay!

MATT: You reach up and try and grab it. Catch it, (fumbling).

TRAVIS: Falls in the clothes, I start burning alive.

SAM: A rope?

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: We already have a rope down.

ASHLEY: I put a rope down.

TRAVIS: Can I look around, see if there are any weapons or objects?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Caleb is travelling down the rope that Yasha dropped.

TRAVIS: Oh. That's great. Natural 19. That's a 21.

MATT: 21?! You guys hear the sound of shifting and clattering of material and bone-like objects against each other and the stone side of the chamber. You, Fjord, begin to pore through. You're tugging through the clothing that's here has been slowly rotting over time, the material coming apart. As you pull it apart, you see the tunics and the pantaloons, and all the different pieces of clothing that are in here pull apart almost as your fingers go into it. There's no remaining flesh. The decay smell is not fresh decay. It's old, stagnant, long past sealed decay. As you pull through, you do find some pieces of silver and gold jewelry. They're tucked in pockets of some of this clothing. You can see one skeletal wrist that has this really nice-looking bracelet with a chain that goes around the center finger but the bone is snapped off, and the bone itself is still charred black around most sides. Only a little bit of grayish white peeks through in places as you rub your finger over it. There are some pieces of jewelry here that's probably worth a little bit of money. Because you rolled that high, you also pull through, in one of the pockets, you can see a small leather case about that wid, with the lid that's burned. As you pull it, it tears off entirely. Looking inside, there's a very thin, diamond shaped vial. You pull it out and shake it. It has a stopper on it that looks either a rubber or a coated cork that is buttoned on one side that is built into the actual crystal container's cap. You watch it, swish around, holding the torch up to it, it has a brackish dark brown/black tint to it like thick sludge pond water.

LIAM: I would've gotten down the rope at this point, and seeing Fjord examine that, I cast Detect Magic instantly.

MATT: Okay. It is definitely magical.

LIAM: Okay. What kind?

ASHLEY and LAURA: What kind?

LIAM: I'm allowed to know. It's in the book.

LAURA: You can ask nicely.

MATT: I would say abjuration.

LIAM: What's in the fucking potion, Matt?

MATT: You have to identify it to find out.

TRAVIS: Okay. I'll take some of the nice jewelry and stuff like that and the little vial. Are there any other doors or entrances or shoots?

MATT: No. It ends here. There is a pit and you finally reached the bottom after pulling through. You've probably gone through about 40 or so equivalent outfits.

LIAM: Does Detect Magic uncover anything else besides what he's already looking through?

MATT: No. Just the vial that he discovered.

LAURA: Everybody else was resting up top while--

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, short rest.

MARISHA: Ooh, can we do that?

MATT: If you guys want to take a short rest, about an hour or so to take a moment and take a breather. Use your hit dice.

LIAM: Oh, an hour.

LAURA: It's okay because I don't get my spells back with rests, so that's really good that I used it and everything.

SAM: I appreciate it.

LIAM: Fjord, hold that up for me so I can tell you what it is. I will spend the next 10 minutes, with Fjord sitting in front of me and me looking at it and doing the ritual.

MATT: Well, you guys haven't taken a short rest yet. They're taking a short rest. You can go upstairs if you want to.

LIAM: You want to rest first or do you want me to tell you what it is now?

TRAVIS: You can tell me what it is now.

LIAM: Okay, so 10 minutes that takes. Identify.

MATT: All right, that is a potion of necrotic resistance.

LIAM: Well, I don't have it. You have it.

TRAVIS: “When you drink this potion, you gain resistance to necrotic damage for one hour.” Nice. Cool.

MARISHA: Whenever we get done with the short rest, can Beau start peeking through and digging away at the collapsed entrance into that tunnel?

MATT: Okay. Make an athletics check.

SAM: I sewed my thumb back on.

MATT: Okay. Ten minutes pass. You guys climb back up out of the pit?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. You guys head up and join. The rest of them are going to be resting for the next 45 or so minutes. You can join them if you want them to wait for you as well.

TRAVIS: I'd like to, yeah.

MATT: Okay. You guys complete a short rest as well. Go for it.

LIAM: Arcane recovery.

MATT: While you guys are finishing that up, Beau is rummaging through the rubble.

MARISHA: It wasn't good. Six. Slow going.

MATT: You spend about 30 minutes or so, and you maybe get about two feet into the rubble, and you're not sure how far back it goes. A lot of the stones now you're getting to are now too big for you to move.

MARISHA: Was there a little crawl space at the top that we could crawl through?

MATT: No. The ceiling caved in on that side.

MARISHA: Well. It's just me that rolled shitty.

MATT: All right. You guys have all taken your time to short rest--

SAM: We've also discovered that Ashley has more dice than Laura, apparently.

ASHLEY: No, I don't!

SAM: What is this? What is this gigantic box of dice?

ASHLEY: Listen, she has a whole duffel bag.

SAM: Yeah, but she doesn't *use* those. These are all active for tonight!

ASHLEY: Listen! I like to have all my options.

MATT: Exactly.

LAURA: Yeah!

SAM: This is terrible.

ASHLEY: It's not all my fault.

TALIESIN: I believe in you. This is fine.

ASHLEY: Thank you.

LAURA: She needs better organization.

ASHLEY: I need better organization.

LAURA: You got to divide them out.

TRAVIS: Shall we make our way back downstairs to see what this rod does in the little hole?

SAM: I thought we were supposed to turn the ceiling from up here, no?

LAURA: I think the corkscrew's going to stick in the hole and move the whole room or something.

LIAM: Yeah, the eyes were for uncovering all that death underneath our feet.

MARISHA: The ceiling is through here and it's blocked by a bunch of rubble. We can try and dig through it if we think something should be up there.

SAM: No, we should use the stairs.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: So what are you guys doing?

TRAVIS: Yeah, we're going to go back downstairs.

LAURA: We can try to move some of the rubble?

MARISHA: I've been, like small boulders. I've been (struggling).

MATT: So you're taking the rod, and you guys are heading downstairs?

TALIESIN: And the bowls.

MATT: Using the bowls as well. Okay. You have the three urn vases.

TALIESIN: Mm--hmm. Clean them off a bit.

LIAM: Fjord, you can, of course, stick that thing in the hole in that bottom room if you want, but if you like, my man Schmidt could do it, with little risk to the rest of us. If you like.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah. Give him a shot.

LIAM: We should all stand back. Better safe than sorry.

LAURA: Do we know which way we're turning everything now?

TRAVIS, TALIESIN, and LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh, everybody knows it already.

SAM: I don't know. It seems like they know, they decided without us.

LAURA: But why did you decide the way that you're saying it?

LIAM: Well look here, now that we're back peering through the doorway at this. We have this star on that corner, and if you would rotate-- we don't know what we're rotating is the thing.

TRAVIS: We're hoping that we'll get it to turn.

MARISHA: If the thing goes two clicks-- correct, it goes there.

LIAM: We're saying that's the idea because there's a diamond to a diamond, and a star to a star, and a triangle of dots to that triangle.

LAURA: Yeah I like the way you guys think, that sounds smart.

SAM: So smart.

LIAM: Well I bumped up to 20.

LAURA: So that's evocation you guys, and divination, and necromancy.

LIAM: Edubation. It's critical.

MARISHA: So wait, divination, evocation, necromancy.

SAM: That's dead things, good things, and in-between things?

MARISHA: And elemental things, right? Isn't evocation--

LIAM: Evocation is destruction.

MARISHA: Fire, lightning, elemental things.

MATT: You guys descend the staircase, find your way to the base floor. You head to the hallway where you had previously disabled the traps and carefully step across each threshold without issue, they still remain disabled.

SAM: I did that.

MATT: You make your way into the central octagonal chamber. What would you like to do?

LIAM: I'm casting, in an instant, Unseen Servant. Schmidt is here with us.

MATT: Schmidt appears, unseen.

LIAM: Fjord, hold out your magic whatsit there. I command Fjord to give that to Schmidt, Schmidt takes it.

TRAVIS: I refuse your command and I give it to Schmidt willingly.

LIAM: The spell runs out--

(laughter)

LIAM: I ask Schmidt to insert the spirally staff into the Laura Bailey hole in the center of the dais.

MATT: You watch as the rod gingerly drifts over to the center place, slips in, locks into place.

MARISHA: Something bad might happen once we turn this, so be on guard.

LIAM: It is true, that's why we're hanging back behind the door. Do we think we should go clockwise or counter-clockwise?

TRAVIS: Counter-clockwise.

LIAM: Schmidt, please revolve that staff counter-clockwise please.

MATT: Nothing moves.

LIAM: Well, try it clockwise then, Schmidt.

MATT: Nothing moves.

LIAM: Well, that's a lot of bollocks then.

LAURA: Maybe it's got to be a real person. Maybe you have to cast a spell that has to do with the class of magic!

TALIESIN: I've got an idea. I'm going to start rocking upstairs.

TRAVIS: Rocking upstairs?

TALIESIN: I'm walking upstairs.

MARISHA: I'm going to join Molly, I think someone needs to be upstairs. You guys stay.

MATT: Molly, you have the bowls right?

TALIESIN: I have the bowls.

MATT: Beau and Molly head back up the stairs.

TALIESIN: I'm going to take a look at that purple-- is there only one of those little purple glowing rocks that seems to be creating light?

MATT: As you look going through, you see there are a few other stone cages that have been opened and left empty. That is one that has not been removed.

TALIESIN: I'm going to open it and I will-- I'm going to poke at it to see if it seems trapped or anything.

MATT: Okay, make an investigation check.

TALIESIN: All right. 16.

MATT: Does not appear to be trapped.

TALIESIN: I'm going to open it and grab the stone out.

MATT: Make a strength check to try and wedge it from the stone it's attached to.

TALIESIN: That's a six.

MATT: (grunting) It's not budging. Your lithe tiefling form is not quite sturdy enough to pull it from the stone.

LIAM: Dance it out of there.

TALIESIN: Beau!

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Can you punch this?

MARISHA: I got you one better. I'll shove in my staff and push against the pillar and use it as leverage, see if I can pry it open.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, I'll give you that. Make a dexterity check. Finding the proper point of leverage to push on.

MARISHA: Ooh, natural 18. 22.

MATT: The metal actually unhinges and the stone plummets out, you catch it.

MARISHA: You see this is like a simple-- sorry, it's like a simple tool. Sorry, I drooled a little.

TALIESIN: Is that your new nickname?

MARISHA: What?

TALIESIN: Simple tool.

MARISHA: You know what? That's fair, I'll take that. That was a good one.

TALIESIN: Well, you did do this. I won't tell anyone, come on.

MARISHA: It was a good jab.

TALIESIN: We walk back down with it. Beau retrieved this, maybe? We've got a glowing rock. I'm going to put it in the room, see if anything happens.

MATT: No reaction.

TALIESIN: We've got these bowls, I'm going to put the bowls, gingerly, I'm going to put one of the bowls on one of the symbols to see what happens.

MATT: Okay, which symbol?

TALIESIN: Put it-- middle of the star.

MATT: Okay. Place it in the middle of the star. The metal bowl sits there, the fine engravings of all the symbols on the inside of each bowl don't seem to react.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and move the bowl to match the engravings in the ceiling.

MATT: Okay, you have three bowls, and each bowl contains all eight symbols in the inside, so it's hard to match them per se.

LAURA: Cast a spell on one of the bowls!

SAM: Why don't we try a person to use the rod first before we start wasting spells?

TRAVIS: Yeah okay, I'll walk up and I'll grab the rod.

SAM: You're weak, shouldn't we use a strong person?

MATT: The rod doesn't shift.

TRAVIS: It doesn't move.

MATT: You move it the other way and it comes out, you have to put it back in and lock it into place, but it doesn't seem to shift or move.

TALIESIN: What's at the top of the rod again? At the top of that little spiral.

MATT: It's a small little metallic knob at the end.

TALIESIN: I'm going to examine it, anything interesting about it? Just a small metallic knob?

MATT: Best you can look at it, it doesn't have any markings on it or anything unique, it's just a solid round knob end.

TALIESIN: Like a lightning rod?

MATT: Something like that.

SAM: Yasha, you're strong. Why don't you go try and twist the thing?

ASHLEY: All right, I'll give it a try.

MATT: You spend a good two minutes shifting on the rod the opposite direction where it locks. No movement.

TRAVIS: Do we think we need to cast unique spells into those bowls for each of the three schools of magic? Which is what Jester said.

MARISHA: We heard you.

LAURA: (angrily) No it's fine!

TRAVIS: I'm trying to figure out, how do you cast necrotic damage on a bowl?

LAURA: I don't know, I could Inflict Wounds on it or something, or Toll the Dead on the bowl.

TRAVIS: You want to Inflict Wounds on one of them?

LAURA: Well no, I'm going to use a cantrip because it's better. So I'm going to Toll the Dead on--

SAM: What is it? Evocation?

LAURA: Necrotic, divination, and evocation. So I'll try to Toll the Dead on one of the bowls, the one that is sitting on the diamond.

MATT: You cast Toll the Dead. The dark arcane energy from Toll the Dead begins to gather around the hand of Jester, and as you release the spell you watch this burst of necrotic energy siphon back and immediately attach itself to the very top of this metallic rod.

(cheering)

MATT: It's absorbed and there's a moment of pause before you feel (banging sound).

TALIESIN: Let's do the other two.

LAURA: Wait, is it turning?

MATT: You hear a shifting of stone-- this faint slithering sound begins to fill the chamber.

TRAVIS: Other two! Or maybe not.

MATT: The slithering stops. (booming) You watch as your eyes catch something shift above you. That large square pillar that was locked in the ceiling, that dome underneath it opened up and a strange, translucent, cube-like creature comes descending from the center. I need you guys all to roll initiative.

TRAVIS: Did we pick the form of our killer?

LIAM: A gelatinous cube!

MARISHA: Wait, but you did necromantic, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Oh shit!

SAM: Wait, if we had picked a different magic would a different monster--

TRAVIS: I think so.

MARISHA: Maybe it's a trial, maybe we have to fight all of them!

LIAM: We might need to do all three at the same time?

MATT: (impact)

(screaming)

LIAM: Guys, fucking focus!

MARISHA: I'm going to use my boots at this point.

LAURA: See, this is why I shouldn't have used my spell!

LIAM: No more dick jokes! Focus on the cube.

LAURA: That wasn't a dick joke!

SAM: Everything's a dick joke with you, Laura.

MATT: All right, guys. So let me pull out the gelatinous cube stat block here.

LIAM: This is *dangerous*!

MATT: That is a super low initiative. That is a zero initiative for the gelatinous cube. Four minus four. Initiative, 25 to 20.

LAURA: 20.

LIAM: 21!

MATT: Nice! Caleb coming around, finally. Then Jester. 20 to 15.

TALIESIN: Crickets.

MARISHA: 20 to 15?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: Negative, no.

MATT: 15 to ten?

MARISHA and ASHLEY: 12.

MARISHA: Sentinel bitches!

MATT: Beau and Yasha. Ten to five?

TRAVIS: Seven.

TALIESIN: Eight.

SAM: Seven.

LAURA: I don't know, how do you fight a gelatinous cube?

LIAM: You die.

ASHLEY: I don't want to!

MARISHA: They suck you up.

LAURA: I know!

MARISHA: It's bad.

LAURA: But I don't know how to defeat them!

MARISHA: I don't know!

MATT: As it slid into the ground, it completely consumed the rod and immediately begins to move its way forward ever so slowly in your direction of the cluster group. That being the case, top of the round we have Caleb, you're first. By the way, where do you want your kitty?

LIAM: Frumpkin, or--?

MATT: Frumpkin.

LIAM: Frumpkin can be, oh jeez, right behind me is fine.

MATT: There you go. What are you doing?

LIAM: I'm going to use all my movement to move back towards the doorway as best I can.

MATT: Over here?

LIAM: *Ja*. As I am doing so, I am pulling a small clay cat paw out of my hand. I mutter a few arcane words and I cast Maximilian's Earthen Grasp. A wad of soil forms out the ground and a cat's paw rises up and reaches out and swats at the gelatinous cube.

MATT: All right, so it makes a strength saving throw.

LIAM: *Ja*, that's correct, against my DC of 15.

MATT: Natural one.

(cheering)

TRAVIS: Number five tonight?

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: On a failed save the target takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage, so that is a seven and it's restrained for the spell's duration. So it attacks at disadvantage and you attack at advantage.

TRAVIS: Great.

MARISHA: We attack at advantage? For how long?

LIAM: There is a giant, earthen cat's paw holding it on the corner.

SAM: It can be restrained, that thing?

LAURA: Can it? By magic, maybe.

MATT: Yeah, magic holds it in place.

TRAVIS: So it's zero speed, it doesn't go anywhere?

LIAM: Restrained, it's the restrained condition.

MATT: Correct, yep, for the spell's duration.

LAURA: How long does the spell last?

MATT: One minute.

(cheering)

MARISHA: Is it concentration?

LIAM: Yes, it is.

MARISHA: Don't break that concentration!

MATT: This giant cat paw has grasped around and is holding the cube in place, its claws dug into it, made of earth and dirt and stone.

LIAM: I have a question, is there any light in here at all?

MATT: Aside from the torch that Yasha has, no.

LIAM: Okay so there's dim light then, from the torch.

MATT: There is, yeah.

LIAM: Because my globules are gone.

MATT: Yes, they are very gone. Well, the torch has been your main light source since you--

LIAM: That's correct, thank you. Okay. And then I sit.

SAM: You're going to sit on the floor?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You want Frumpkin to move anywhere?

LIAM: Say again?

MATT: Frumpkin's still back here.

LIAM: Frumpkin can do whatever. Frumpkin will run towards Jester and get between-- where's Nott?

MATT: Nott is over there.

LIAM: Frumpkin will stand between Jester and the cube.

MATT: All righty, that ends Caleb's turn. Jester, you're up.

TRAVIS: Is this considered a monstrosity?

MATT: No, it is not. It is considered an ooze.

TRAVIS: An ooze?

MARISHA: Jell-o!

LAURA: I'm going to back up away from it.

ASHLEY: Kill the box, Jester.

LAURA: I'm going to use the Sacred Flame cantrip because I figure it's not very dextrous.

LIAM: Everybody has advantage on attack rolls.

MATT: That is going to be a three. What's the damage on that?

LAURA: It's a 1d8 radiant damage.

MATT: Go for it.

LAURA: Six!

MATT: Six points of radiant damage. As this flames bursts at the side of it, part of it jello-wiggles for a second.

LAURA: Did it look like it did anything to it?

MATT: It looked like it hurt it maybe, but it just looks like it's a big gelatinous cube.

TALIESIN: The radiant didn't seem to have an extra effect then?

MATT: No, it did not.

TALIESIN and LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Does that finish your turn?

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: All right, end of Jester's turn. Beau and Yasha, you guys are up.

LIAM: Beauyasha. Do it up.

ASHLEY: Lady.

MARISHA: Did we just slap jello?

ASHLEY: I think.

MARISHA: I'm going to do a full-on--

LIAM: Jello shots!

MARISHA: Yeah, doing a full-on jello shot.

MATT: Moving into it to assault it? Go for it.

MARISHA: That's good, that's an 18! Plus six, so 24?

MATT: That definitely hits.

MARISHA: Seven plus four, 11.

MATT: 11 points of damage?

LIAM: You did it at advantage?

MARISHA: No.

LIAM: Go for the 20!

MARISHA: Okay, I'll go for the 20, in case I roll a natural 20. I did not roll a natural 20.

MATT: So 11 points of damage with your hit as you slam it with the side of your staff. It shivers and shakes at the impact and your staff slides through and barely emerges through the opposite side of it, seemingly closing around and reforming where the gap was carved through.

MARISHA: Does it feel like I did some damage?

MATT: Maybe.

MARISHA: Okay, I'll take my bonus and whack. Or you know what? Yeah, I'm going to whack it.

MATT: All right, so you're going to punch it.

SAM, LAURA, and MARISHA: Slap that jello.

TRAVIS and ASHLEY: Slap-a the bass!

MARISHA: That's good! That's 21.

LAURA: Is there something in it?

LIAM: Yeah, bones.

MARISHA: Six damage.

TRAVIS: There is something in it!

MATT: Six damage, all right. As you sock it with your fist, it quakes. As you pull your hand back, your whole hand goes numb.

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: All feeling is lost from almost partway down your arm, and you're like, oh, that's--

MARISHA: It's like that pins and needles thing?

ASHLEY: It's a weird feeling?

MARISHA: Yeah, like, dead arm. It's a little dead.

TALIESIN: Are you staying next to it or you--

LAURA: Back away from it. What if a tentacle comes out of it or something?

MARISHA: Where's Yasha?

ASHLEY: Your right.

MARISHA: Can I go around near Frumpkin and flank it?

MATT: You can move around--

MARISHA: That's good. That's fine.

LIAM: Don't step on my cat.

MATT: All righty. Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay. I'm going to rage? I would like to rage. Well wait, maybe I don't really need to do that because we have advantage anyway.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you don't need to.

LAURA: There's no harm in raging.

ASHLEY: Divine Fury.

MATT: Are you moving in to assault it?

ASHLEY: Yep.

LAURA: Assault it!

ASHLEY: I'm going to do that again.

LAURA: Advantage. She has advantage because--

MATT: Oh, right. Because the--

ASHLEY: Eight!

MATT: Still hits.

ASHLEY: It still hits?!

LAURA: It's a cube!

MATT: It's not hard to hit. It's a giant, quivering cube. Roll damage. 2d6 plus five plus your 1d6 plus two, I think?

LAURA: Did she get-- oh, nevermind.

MATT: 3d6 plus seven.

ASHLEY: 17.

SAM: Because it's her strength?

LAURA: No, it's more than that!

ASHLEY: It is?

LAURA: Here's ten, plus five, 15.

MATT: 15 plus two for rage, three for strength, and plus two for your--

ASHLEY: 17.

TRAVIS: 22, 24.

ASHLEY: Yeah. Wait. 21.

MATT: 21 points of damage. As you carve through, you actually watch a corner of it slide off and turn to sludge and water on the ground. Your blade cuts through a section of it and (wet wobbling sound).

ASHLEY: Nothing.

MATT: No, it hurt it.

LAURA: 22.

ASHLEY: It did?

SAM: You did great!

ASHLEY: Okay.

SAM: Way to go, Yasha!

ASHLEY: But what-- I don't see anything happening!

TRAVIS: It's a big cube of sludge.

ASHLEY: Did it change shape at all?

MATT: No, it's still cubic. You carved through a portion of it. All right, does that finish your turn?

ASHLEY: I'm going to back up a little bit.

MATT: All right, so you want to back up a little bit? As you pull back a little bit, it gets one swing at you with a pseudopod. Part of it--

LIAM: At disadvantage!

MATT: --(sploosh) swings out at you-- yes, it does.

MARISHA: And I hit it with Sentinel!

MATT: You do.

LIAM and MARISHA: At advantage!

MATT: It rolled pretty well for having disadvantage. That would be a total of 16 to hit.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Yasha!

LAURA: Stupid cube!

MATT: You take 13 points of acid damage, as it slams into you and begins to burn the skin.

TALIESIN: Does that get halved because of raging?

MATT: Acid damage is not halved, unfortunately. And you strike it?

MARISHA: I rolled a 15.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage.

MARISHA: Six damage.

MATT: Six damage? All righty.

MARISHA: Yeah. These are all my unarmed strikes, yeah?

MATT: Yes. You punch with your other hand and now both of your hands are numb and you're like, "Huh!"

MARISHA: I hate that feeling!

TRAVIS: Novocaine hands?

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: Your whole torso, Yasha, is burning, and underneath the burning pain you feel numbness under your chin and your tongue's going a little (lolling).

LAURA: Oh no! Is she poisoned?

MATT: Molly, you're up.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try, just for shits and giggles, I'm going to activate the ice damage on my sword. I'm going to run up-- where am I? Over there? I'm going to run up, take a swing at that corner--

MATT: Okay, you dash up to its side there.

TALIESIN: So that's 14 to hit.

MATT: 14 hits!

TALIESIN: I know, it's like, just in case, I will be the one to miss. And that's six plus one ice, so that's seven damage.

MATT: Seven damage, nice. You strike through and the ice crystallizes inside. As you cut through, the liquid and the moisture (shattering) leaves this--

TRAVIS: Like ballistic gel?

MATT: Yeah. Stuck in the inside. So that's one carved through.

TALIESIN: It's my bonus to activate it.

MATT: Right, so it's your one strike.

TALIESIN: I'm going to back off into the corner there.

MATT: It already used its reaction.

TALIESIN: Yeah, so I'm using that.

MATT: You strike and then dart back, jump to the back of the room getting ready for you next round. That finishes Molly's round. Nott and Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: Ladies first.

SAM: Yes, I feel so conflicted trying to hurt a cube. But I will. I will bash that cube until it explodes all over the place. Wait.

TALIESIN: Whoa!

SAM: I rolled a natural 20 to attack with my hand crossbow.

MATT: Roll damage on that.

SAM: With sneak attack?

MATT: Technically, yes, you have Beau.

SAM: And it's crit so double?

MATT: Double dice and then add your dexterity modifier.

SAM: 28.

MATT: Shit!

SAM: Oh, and I'll use Fury of the Small to make it 30!

LIAM: I want to roll a rogue *right now*!

LAURA: I know, right?

MATT: Is it half your level, or is it your level?

SAM: Fury of the Small. Let me look.

MATT: It's damage equal to your level, right?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: That's an additional four so that's 32 damage.

SAM: Oh, shit!

LIAM: That builds, goblin?

SAM: Class features.

MATT: I'm pretty sure it's equal to your level.

SAM: I'm looking.

TALIESIN: Is it racial features or class features?

SAM: I don't know. I'll look it up later!

TALIESIN: It would be racial features.

SAM: For which archetype? Spellcasting, Mage Hand? Oh shit, I should've used Mage Hand before!

MATT: (laughs) Remember, that's actually your archetype.

SAM: I don't know what I should be doing!

TALIESIN: Class features.

MATT: Regardless, you did a lot of damage to it, so 32 with your level added to it, as you strike it with your crossbow.

SAM: Okay. Then I will move around that way, yes, as far as possible.

MATT: 30.

SAM: And I'll shoot again. Why not? With advantage still?

LIAM: It's restrained.

SAM: 18 plus a lot.

MATT: That hits. Roll damage.

SAM: Seven more points of damage.

MATT: 39 points of damage in one round of combat. Not too bad!

ASHLEY: Nicely done!

LIAM: Low-level rogue! High-level rogue, eh, but low-level rogue is sick.

LAURA: High-level rogue was still pretty cool.

MARISHA: What was it, like 79 points of damage you did in one round?

LIAM: One time.

MARISHA: Yeah, that was great.

MATT: That ends Nott's turn. Fjord, what are you doing?

TRAVIS: I'm going to use my speed to run on this side of the cube closer to you, as far back against that wall as possible.

MATT: 25. Right there. 30 will be all the way back.

TRAVIS: 30's perfect. Eldritch Blast.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: At advantage. That's cocked. That natural 19's not bad, though.

MATT: That'll hit. Roll damage.

TRAVIS: Great. Ten plus four, that's 14 points of damage.

MATT: 14 points of damage. This thing is just getting hit with crossbow bolts and the blasts on the sides of it. It's taking damage, but it's a hardy mass of slime and gelatin.

TRAVIS: It's a hardy mallow.

MATT: Indeed. That finish your turn?

TRAVIS: Yes, it does.

MATT: All righty, it's now the gelatinous cube's turn. It's going to attempt to break free of the large Earthen Paw.

TALIESIN: At disadvantage.

MATT: Well, it's not disadvantage.

LIAM: Just for attacks.

MATT: That is going to be-- what save?

LIAM: 15 for me.

MATT: It's a strength check. So that would be plus two, that's a 15.

LIAM: *Gott verdammt!* It's out.

LAURA: Oh no, it breaks free?!

TRAVIS: No, I thought it was going to stay there!

LAURA: Beau's right next to it. It's going to slurp you.

LIAM: Does that mean it's not restrained?

MATT: No, it can still move as part of its action.

TRAVIS: Shit!

LAURA: Half of its movement.

MATT: It's going to (squelching).

LAURA: Oh no. Who's it going for?!

LIAM: Who's it getting? My cat?! You motherfucker!

(screaming and laughter)

LAURA: No!

LIAM: I mean, I'm assuming it takes like four points of damage immediately, my cat.

TRAVIS: How many hit points does it have?

LIAM: Three? It's gone instantly!

MARISHA: Did any of that trigger my sentinel?

MATT: Your cat moved aside. I did that to fuck with you. Its engulf is an action, and it already used an action to break free. But it did move over and you guys basically moved out of the way. It's now right next to both Beau and Jester.

MARISHA: It didn't move out of my range at all?

MATT: It did not. You've already used your reaction anyway.

SAM: Can I say that it looks like that artisanal ice that you get at really classy bars, and now I'm really thirsty for like a scotch.

MATT: That's going to end its turn. That brings us to the top of the round. That is Caleb.

LIAM: I believe my Cat's Paw is still in existence and would like to try to do the same shit.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: So. (swiping) (meow) 15. It can move as well.

SAM: It's like Bigby's Paw?

LIAM: It is.

MATT: You can move it?

LIAM: Yeah, I can.

TRAVIS: Bigby's Dirty, Dirty Cat Paw?

LIAM: Looking it up.

MATT: Reaches for one creature it can see within five feet of it.

LIAM: Did it get five feet? It was five feet in front of it and it moved that way. It would've been right in front of it.

MATT: Sure, we'll go for it.

LIAM: All right, so DC 15.

MATT: DC 15 on what? What's the save on it?

LIAM: It's strength.

MATT: Right, strength again. That's a 14 plus two, 16.

LIAM: Aw, it doesn't do it. Great. I will use the rest of my movement to move another ten feet back in the hallway I'm in.

MATT: Okay. Slowly backing away. As you step on that platform back there, you feel it buzz for a second, and nearby you hear this whining of metal against metal as the trap is still broken but waiting. That ends Caleb's go. Jester, you're up.

LAURA: Oh man, and it's right next to me now? Oh god! Okay.

TRAVIS: (sings) It's right next to me now!

LAURA: Ooh, I'm going to cast Toll the Dead on it.

MATT: All right. Save on that is constitution?

LAURA: It's a wisdom save!

MATT: Wisdom save! That is strangely a 14.

LAURA: Also 14.

MATT: Oh shit, yeah. 16 minus two. So no effect.

LAURA: Balls. Okay.

ASHLEY: Wait, don't you get an advant-- no.

TALIESIN: Advantage is over.

LAURA: Okay, then I guess I'm going to (singing) try to back away from it.

MATT: Which way?

LAURA: Towards Fjord.

MATT: Towards Fjord? So you're going to back away here?

LAURA: A little further if I can, please.

MATT: You can.

LAURA: Because it probably can't move very far.

MATT: It's going to swing at you with its pseudopod as you move out of its range. That's a natural 20.

LAURA: Bitch of a fucking marshmallow!

MATT: That's some good rolls in the past couple of rounds. That's going to be-- ooh! 32 points of acid damage.

ALL: Oh!

SAM: That's *all* the points!

LIAM: She's out!

LAURA: I'm out. I'm unconscious.

LIAM: Was she absorbed?

MATT: I rolled-- it's 3d6. Six, four, six, doubled.

LIAM: Is she absorbed?

LAURA and MATT: No.

MARISHA: It got a natural 20.

MATT: Not at the moment. So you are unconscious right next to--

ASHLEY: Wait, but she wasn't that close to him!

LAURA: I was.

MATT: She tried to move away.

ASHLEY: Shit.

MATT: So it hits you from behind, and the last thing you feel is numbness overtake your body as darkness clouds around your eyes and you are out.

SAM: Jester, like all beautiful women, succumbed to the cube.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: What?!

LAURA: If I die tonight, when I decided to come and play even though I'm coughing--

MATT: I'm sorry. That ends Jester's turn. That brings us to Beau and Yasha.

MARISHA: And that, I wouldn't have-- Okay. I already got my one reaction?

MATT: Well, it's your turn.

MARISHA: I feel like that was before, though, the one reaction.

TRAVIS: I'm coming for her.

MARISHA: The first one. With it being one more round, do I have a reaction?

MATT: No, because that was happening during-- That's since your last turn. So your reaction has come back now. You don't get an attack, but now you do after this. It's your turn.

MARISHA: It's me and Yasha.

SAM: Yasha's a healer, right?

ASHLEY: Wait, didn't you get Sentinel on it?

MARISHA: I did on the round before. I feel like I have one more round but I don't think I did. Did you, though? Because it moved out of your range!

MATT: It did, but you guys have the same initiative round. So you used your reaction on your turn last round to hit it, as she was running away, and now it's reset to this round.

MARISHA: But did Yasha?

MATT: Yasha hasn't, no. Yasha ran out of range and hasn't been able to use her reaction to hit since then.

MARISHA: Oh, she ran out of range. Okay.

MATT: That's how you got the attack on it. She ran away and it hit her, and then you got a shot.

MARISHA: I was thinking there was another round in between that. I'm going to lay into it.

MATT: All right. So you're staying where you are and start--

MARISHA: Wait. Wait.

ALL: Wait. Wait. Wait.

LAURA: I'm going to die, you guys.

SAM: You'll be fine!

LIAM: No, probably you'll die.

MARISHA: Caleb, you already went. You're going to give it to her? Okay. Then I'll lay into it.

MATT: All right, go for it.

MARISHA: Sorry, I wanted to make sure someone was going to get Jester out.

TRAVIS: I'm leaving her behind.

MARISHA: 21.

MATT: 21 hits!

LAURA: When does the cube go?

TRAVIS: Last.

MARISHA: That's nine points of damage.

MATT: Nine points of damage, nice. As you slap it with the side of the bo again, you watch and it buckles in places.

MARISHA: I'm going to go ahead and do Flurry of Blows for these next two. That's a natural 18.

MATT: That hits, definitely.

MARISHA: So five points of damage. The second one. That's not great. That's 11.

MATT: Still hits.

MARISHA: Great, and that's seven points of damage.

MATT: You're punching this thing, and you're watching it quiver and part of it is shifting and it's looking pretty damaged in spite of its size at this point in time, so well done. Yasha, what are you doing?

ASHLEY: All right, I'm going to go up to it. Get it sliced. Raging, reckless. Divine-- no, I can't do divine.

MATT: Yes, every turn you can do it.

ASHLEY: Every turn I can do it.

LIAM: Yasha!

SAM: First roll to hit.

ASHLEY: Oh! First roll to hit.

MATT: With advantage, because you went reckless.

ASHLEY: With advantage. Yeah, 20.

MATT: Roll again, just in case. Reckless is good because you have a double chance to critical.

ASHLEY: Don't ever not do it, okay. 22.

MATT: Yeah, that's it. 22 damage. How do you want to do this?

(cheering)

TRAVIS: Is that your first one?

ASHLEY: Yes!

MATT: You see it being hit by Beau and it's slowly shifting its weight towards the unconscious body of Jester on the ground. You watch it expanding to start pulling her leg inward.

ASHLEY: I take the tip of the sword, and I slowly start pushing into the middle and then (sword slicing across).

MATT: As you push it all the way into the center of it, it begins to shake and quiver and begins to slowly encapsulate your arm and forearm as it rises up, and your arm is numb. You shake your head and cut out to the side, and as you do, you watch the side of it splash out, almost like popping a water balloon. The interior of it turns to liquid water and begin to spill out as it slowly deflates and liquefies across the ground, like a jellyfish beached.

TRAVIS: Oh, I'm stepping in it.

LIAM: Ashley, you just destroyed a classic Dungeons & Dragons foe.

(clapping)

MATT: I'll tell you one thing, that restraint saved your fucking ass at the start! It never got to engulf. Never got a chance to engulf.

TRAVIS: I'll run over, and I'll kneel down next to Jester, and pick up her head and pour a health potion there.

LIAM: (Imitating Jester) Put your tusk in there, Fjord!

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh, Oskar.

TRAVIS: Fjord.

LAURA: Thank you for saving me.

TRAVIS: It's Fjord.

LAURA: Sorry, I mean Fjord.

TRAVIS: Yeah. You all right?

LAURA: Yes.

TRAVIS: Okay. Get up, come on, on your feet.

LAURA: Oh. Did we kill it?

TRAVIS: Yup.

LAURA: Sorry, I think that was my fault, you guys.

TALIESIN: No, these things happen.

TRAVIS: Anything come out of the middle of that thing?

MATT: From the middle of it? No, it turns to liquid gel.

LIAM: Get my cat out of there.

MATT: One of these days I'll get to put one of you guys in.

MARISHA: Aw, Frumpkin! Hey buddy.

LIAM: From down the hallway you hear: Now the question is, if we do the same thing again, will another one come out? Or do we need to try to hit all three at the same time? Let me come in there.

MATT: Actually, I guess I'll leave this here.

LIAM: Leave it nearby.

MATT: I'll set it aside.

MARISHA: Well, if you hit all with everything at once, then the worse that can happen is that we have to fight two more things at the same time.

LIAM: Well, Jester did necrotic, and I can obviously handle, well, I can handle evocation or--

LAURA: Who has divination, though?

MATT: What you didn't notice during this process was the pillar above, the base re-closed.

MARISHA: So we have to do it all at once.

LIAM: I can do both divination and evocation.

SAM: At the same time?

LIAM: Can you do one of those things?

SAM: I don't know. You taught me magic. What are mine? What are my spells?

LIAM: Well, tell me what you are able to do.

SAM: Here, I'll show you on D&D Beyond.

TRAVIS: What are the last two? Divination and--

LIAM: Divination and evocation.

LAURA: Does anybody have one of those?

SAM: Most of mine are illusion and something else.

LIAM: Yeah, you can do evocation with this one--

SAM: Okay, I can do evocation!

LIAM: But you have to get up there, though. You have to touch it with that one.

LAURA: Can your mage hand lift you up?

SAM: No. But I can do climb!

TALIESIN: Well, we have to do it in the bowl.

SAM: Or we do it to the rod.

TRAVIS: To the bowl.

LIAM: So you handle evocation. I can handle the divination. You handle necrotic.

MATT: Where are the bowls placed right now? On the symbols in the center?

SAM: In the hole.

MATT: What are you doing?

SAM: I can do Shocking Grasp as a evocation spell.

LAURA: Wait. I have an idea. Maybe we should take the bowls outside of the room and cast something on the bowls and see if one of the symbols on the bowls light up. That way, the staff doesn't absorb the spell immediately. Because when I cast Toll the Dead, I was trying to cast it on the bowl, right? But instead, my spell went up into the middle of the staff. Maybe if we try casting it on the bowls outside of the room, that won't happen.

SAM: Can't we cast it on the staff?

TALIESIN: There is a room outside this room where it seems like there was a room for maybe preparing the bowls?

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's do that. Jester, lead the way.

LIAM: It is worth a try. Of course it is.

LAURA: Just so we don't have to fight another cube, just in case.

LIAM: I'm pretty good. I have not let go all of my preparation for the day.

LAURA: How many points of healing did you give me? When you poured the spell in my mouth?

MATT: Was it a regular healing potion?

TRAVIS: Yeah, just regular.

MATT: 2d4 plus two.

LIAM: Is everyone all right?

TRAVIS: Six.

LIAM: Jester, how are you feeling?

LAURA: I'm feeling like I'm a little sick right now, but you know.

LIAM: No, not Laura but you: Jester. How are you feeling?

LAURA: I'm feel like I've got very little health. Like I'm bleeding a little bit from my ears.

LIAM: I reach into the satchel on the side.

SAM: No. You keep it. I'll do it.

LIAM: I give her my potion of healing. Regular healing.

LAURA: Caleb, I have healing spells still. It's okay.

LIAM: Well, what are you complaining about then?

LAURA: I wasn't bitching at all! You asked.

LIAM: That is not the verbiage that I chose at all.

SAM and ASHLEY: The "werbage".

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Wubba lubba "werbage"!

LAURA: Let's fucking go out into this hallway, okay?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Beau and I take the bowls. We head out into the hallway.

MATT: You guys head out past the traps, carefully stepping across the currently-held traps and you have the bowls in the far hallway.

LAURA: Should we try casting a spell on one of the bowls and see what happens?

TRAVIS: Yeah. We lay all three of them, one, two, three, out in a row.

LIAM: Necro, evo, and divination all together.

TRAVIS: Evo, you first. Pick a bowl.

SAM: Wait, no. We have to do it instantaneously.

LAURA: No, we don't. I don't think so because we're not in the room anymore so we can try to see if the bowls do anything.

LIAM: Do you think it would hurt if we did it at the same time?

SAM: Yeah, what's the problem with that?

TRAVIS: Sure, try it. We'll see what happens.

LIAM: Let's do it at the same time.

SAM: At the count of *zwei*.

MARISHA: Beau takes off her belt.

LAURA: I'm going to cast my Spare the Dying cantrip.

MATT: Which is?

LAURA: Necromancy.

MATT: Necromancy. You're casting?

SAM: Shocking Grasp.

MATT: Okay. Which is evocation.

LIAM: Identify, which is divination.

MARISHA: I take off my belt, and I hold it up like a rally car racer girl.

(silence)

TRAVIS: We're waiting.

MARISHA: Three, two, one. (swishing)

SAM: (gibberish)

MATT: You guys all cast your spells. No effect on the bowls.

SAM: We have to be in the room!

MATT: It's hard to see because there's still the ash caked on the inside of it.

LAURA: Wait. I blow on the bowl. Does it look like any of the symbols got any brighter?

TALIESIN: I would say the one that I had I probably polished up.

MATT: It's very hard to see with very little light in here.

LIAM: Okay. That was good. We checked that box, so let's go back into the room.

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MARISHA: Come on.

LIAM: Yeah, that's good. It's 20.

MATT: 20? Very good. There is something bugging you in the back of your head. Something that says the fact that these were urns that carried ash speaks to the purpose of these. You can't make the connection here, but the fact that each of these were filled with ash is bugging you. There's something there.

LIAM: The urns, currently, are totally empty?

MATT: They're totally empty, yes.

SAM: Why don't we cast it on the rod?

LIAM: I know. I--

LAURA: Do we need to set these on fire?

LIAM: We maybe need to go upstairs and scoop some of the dustbuster bullshit into these and bring them down.

TRAVIS: Nott, you want to go cast it on the rod? Let's go. You and me, we'll do it.

LAURA: You need three spells.

LIAM: No, I'm saying we need to go collect some of the ashes of the dead from upstairs.

TRAVIS: Or maybe we need to set them on fire.

LIAM: Something is missing here.

LAURA: We need to set it on fire?

ASHLEY: Wait, are they already filled with ash? Right now?

MATT: The ash has been mostly cleaned out.

MARISHA: I still have this holy water, too.

MATT: Yeah, you have your torch, and you have your spells.

LIAM: It's possible that we need to burn something afresh.

LAURA: Hold the torch under one of the bowls.

LIAM: Yeah, I can set things on fire as well. Do you want to do one?

LAURA: Just hold it under and see what happens.

LIAM: Yeah, it's easier. I cast Firebolt into one of them.

MATT: You cast Firebolt into one of them. The flame bursts in there as you guys take the torch over to the side. As the fire subsides, you see each of the symbols, portions of them are left glowing and slowly fade.

MARISHA: Which ones? Which portions?

MATT: All of them. All the symbols have certain parts of them that just glow for a second in the presence of fire and then fade.

LAURA: Hold the torch under one of them for a long time and see what happens.

MATT: Who's going to hold the bowl?

TALIESIN: I'll hold the bowl. I'm resistant to fire.

MATT: You take the bowl, and you hold it out there. It hurts a little but as you hold the torch underneath, it begins to light up. You watch as the symbols begin to glow on the inside of these metal inscribed bits.

TALIESIN: Look at this.

LAURA: Whoa! Here we go.

SAM: So creepy.

TALIESIN: There we are.

MARISHA: Yes!

SAM: What? Parts of the symbols are glowing more.

LAURA: We were wrong about what we needed to cast.

LIAM: Just to note, Schmidt is still here with us. If we need anyone to hold anything that's dangerous--

LAURA: That's that one.

TALIESIN: We need-- transmutation--

LAURA: What is this?

TALIESIN: That's--

LAURA: Illusion! We need an illusion.

SAM: I know those!

TALIESIN: And we need enchantment.

LAURA: Transmutation--

TALIESIN: Illusion and enchantment.

MARISHA: And enchantment.

LAURA: I have an enchantment.

LIAM: I have transmutation.

TRAVIS: There's fine writing around the square. That's not just a shape. See this writing in here?

SAM: I know an enchantment spell and an illusion spell.

LIAM: I know enchantment and transmutation.

SAM: Why don't you do trans? I'll do enchant.

LAURA: I can transmute or something.

SAM: Oh, you can?

LAURA: I think so.

LIAM: All right. We'll figure out--

TALIESIN: I don't think it turns.

SAM: I'm so glad you taught me magic, Caleb.

TALIESIN: I've got an idea. I think I know how it works now.

SAM: I don't know how it works, and I'm not paying any attention. I'm very drunk.

TALIESIN: This is great. I think that this is a guide. We know what we need to know because of these bowls. I think we need all three of these versions of the spells placed in each of these points.

MARISHA: We put bowls-- no.

LAURA: We don't even need the bowls.

SAM: One, two three, right there! That's where we need to spin it over there!

TALIESIN: Everybody stand at their point.

LAURA: Wait. I got to find my spell that actually does the thing that I said I could do.

SAM: Oh! Right there! See? That symbol matches with this one.

TALIESIN: (sarcastically) Are you sure?

SAM: I figured this out, guys!

(laughter)

LAURA: Wait, I have enchantment.

SAM: So what do you have?

LAURA: Enchantment.

TALIESIN: We need transmutation and illusion.

LIAM: I have transmutation and enchantment.

SAM: I have illusion and transmutation.

LIAM: And what do you have, Jester?

LAURA: I have enchantment.

LIAM: So you're enchantment. That means I have transmutation.

SAM: I'm illusion.

LIAM: You have illusion.

MARISHA: All right, yes!

TALIESIN: If anything starts to happen, I want you to run for the door.

LAURA: Okay. I'll go stand by the enchantment-- under the symbol for enchantment, just in case.

TALIESIN: That would be the three dots.

SAM: What about you Fjord? Don't you have some spells on you? Why aren't you helping out?

TRAVIS: What do you want?

LAURA: Can you do enchantment?

TRAVIS: Nope. I got evocation. I got necrotic.

LIAM: If another cube or something comes out--

TALIESIN: We need fighters.

MARISHA: Me and Fjord will stand by in case anything else drops out of the ceiling.

LIAM: That's right. We've got these two bruisers here. That's good. I concur.

TALIESIN: Just in case, I'm going to light my other sword too.

MATT: (flames) Mark your damage on that.

SAM: Where are we casting it upon?

LAURA: I think we're casting it at the staff.

MARISHA: Yasha, you want to take another point? Fighters and casters?

ASHLEY: Yep.

TRAVIS: Oh my god. I'm going to cast Armor of Agathys on myself again.

LAURA: Do we need to be standing in front of the symbol that it lines up with?

TALIESIN: I would stand in front of the symbols on the triangle, personally.

LAURA: I'll go stand in front of the three dots.

MARISHA: This was a research facility for mages. They're super uppity about this shit, yeah.

SAM: I go over next to the illusion one.

LIAM: I, of course, in front of transmutation.

MATT: As you guys are triangulated around those specific coordinates you've set yourselves, what do you do?

LAURA: We count to three and we go?

LIAM: You're doing what? I'm doing Maximilian's Earthen Grasp again with my cat's paw.

LAURA: I'm doing Hold Person.

SAM: I'm taking a bit of fleece and doing some hand symbols and casting Silent Image.

MATT: All right. You're casting--?

LAURA: Hold Person.

MARISHA: I pull off the belt again.

ASHLEY: Sword at the ready.

MARISHA: One, two, three!

MATT: As the three of you complete your incantations, the energy unleashed from the arcane and divine schools of magic, you watch as the energy disperses from the spell, and all three go (sucking sound) right into the center rod. It sits there shimmering from the impact. You guys back away, and it slowly goes cold again. On the opposite side of the chamber, you hear (grinding), and you watch as a false wall on the opposite end rotates open, leading you to a hallway on the opposite side that was previously closed.

(cheering)

MATT: Well done, guys!

LAURA: Oh man!

TRAVIS: I cast Armor of Agathys for nothing.

MATT: You still got it for an hour.

LAURA: That's good, because who knows what else we'll run into while we're down here.

MARISHA: On the other side.

TRAVIS: Well, I'm wearing it. I'll run over to the door.

TALIESIN: Check for traps.

LIAM: Wait! I sit down, and I start doing the ritual for Detect Magic again. Ten minutes.

MATT: While he's doing that, anybody else doing anything?

TRAVIS: I'm running over to the door. I'm not crossing the threshold. I just want to see. I got darkvision.

MATT: Looking inside, with what low light is coming through from the edges of Yasha's torchlight, the first thing that hits you is the smell. It's a strange combination of old decay, strong rust, and burnt hair. It's hard to describe, but it's a very unpleasant mingling of smells as it hits you. Looking inside, you see a chamber ahead divided into three smaller sections and a center main chamber area. The center main chamber area is what you can most make out the details of. It looks like some sort of inert arcane circle in the center. There's a symbol drawn there with runes around, but it's currently cold and dark. You can't see much further beyond that because you're staying at the doorway, and to the right and left it looks there's two smaller chambers immediately, and then it goes further in.

TRAVIS: We got more magic stuff inside. I know Caleb's meditating, but it's going to get hairy, I bet. Smells a little burnt hair-y.

ASHLEY: I walk up behind Fjord.

MATT: The torchlight extends into the chamber, and you can see a little more now. The two side chambers are almost pill-shaped. They're rounded at each side, and they're enclosed, but open into the center chamber. At each of these rounded edges, as you step inside and glance to the right and left, you can see cage-like contraptions: iron domes that are very tight-knit, dark iron rusted metal. They're on the edges of each side. You see load-bearing pillars in the center of the chamber to the right and left, and cold braziers behind those against the walls: little domed pieces of stone that once contained flame for light. Across the way you can see two tables with chairs, a bookcase. That's all you can see at this distance.

TRAVIS: The dome cages are solid steel, or are they bars?

MATT: They're bars, but the bars are an inch, inch and a half between each. It's very little space in between.

TALIESIN: I'm going to start heading in this direction, too. Does one of them look like it was possibly holding a gelatinous cube at some point?

MATT: Are you entering the chamber to look?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll go with you.

LAURA: You should detect traps.

SAM: All right, I'll look for traps. I know it's my job.

MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check.

LIAM: Five more minutes!

SAM: 13.

MATT: Best you can tell, there's no traps in this first portion of the chamber.

SAM: All clear. I take another swig from my flask.

MATT: Okay. How drunk are you right now?

SAM: Pretty drunk.

MATT: We'll put you in the drunk status, then.

SAM: It's been a long night.

TRAVIS: Yasha, Molly, want to come in?

SAM: By the way, Yasha, can I say, you weren't even with us yesterday, and now you're down here doing this! Is this crazy? What were you doing yesterday?

ASHLEY: I was sitting in the tavern and then you guys came into the tavern.

SAM: But did you know that you'd be down here with us tonight?

ASHLEY: Yes, Nott, I did.

SAM: How did you know that?

ASHLEY: I happen to-- no, Nott, I did not know.

SAM: How and when will I die?

ASHLEY: I can't tell you that, Nott.

SAM: But you know!

ASHLEY: Yes, of course.

TRAVIS: She's powerful.

TALIESIN: Don't spoil it for her. We'll find out in an hour or so anyway.

ASHLEY: Okay. Good call, Molly.

MATT: Yasha, you enter with the torch as well? All right, the three of them enter. You guys following behind or are you staying back with Caleb?

LIAM: Caleb is super intense on his shit right now, going: I am helping the group. Everyone's going to be safe.

MARISHA: Beau's left behind going: Come on! Pick it up, Caleb!

LAURA: Beau, should I use my last spell to heal myself?

SAM: I have a healing potion.

MARISHA: Jester, you should always look out for yourself first, all right?

TRAVIS: I have a healing potion if you want one, too.

LAURA: So I should cast the spell on myself?

TRAVIS: I take a healing potion, and I hand it to Jester.

LAURA: This seems like a waste of money. I'm trying to be smarter with my money.

SAM: No, you're the worst with money.

MATT: Regular healing potion? 2d4 plus two.

TRAVIS: Seven.

TALIESIN: Yay, double digits.

MATT: It's better than half. As you guys begin to enter the chamber, you are now stepping into the center of this inert magical circle, with the two cold braziers and the pillars. You see the four cages on the two opposite ends of the rounded, pill-shaped side rooms, and across the way there is the bookcase and the two tables. As you get closer and see, there's two non-lit candelabra. What faint bits of candle remnants are there are mostly melted, and the wax dripping off and causing small pools in the ground, but they've been cold for some time.

TRAVIS: I go over to one of the cages.

LIAM: Did we wait the short amount of time for Detect Magic?

MARISHA: I am in-between you and them, and I'm going: come on, come on.

TRAVIS: One of the cages, the nearest left one.

MATT: Perception check.

TRAVIS: 14.

MATT: You glance through with the light that's flickering through the various gaps in this iron cage, and inside you can see a similar clay urn, deep red, sitting in the center. You see burnt and tattered clothing at the sides of it.

TRAVIS: Oh jeez. Got another urn here full of ash.

LAURA: Be careful!

SAM: Kill it! Break it!

TRAVIS: Anyone want to check the other cages? Make sure it's not the same thing in each?

TALIESIN: I'll go take a look at the other cage.

ASHLEY: I'll go look at another one.

MATT: You glance-- make a perception check.

LAURA: I'm hanging out with Caleb and Beau.

MATT: You finish your ability. Your Detect Magic is now in effect.

TALIESIN: 19.

MATT: Glancing into one of the far end cages-- What did you get, Yasha?

ASHLEY: I got 17.

MATT: You guys hit two other cages on the right side, both the far end close edge of that platform. You're looking in the small cages. You see another urn, and you glance up and see at the very top, there's a chain of some kind that was wrapped in a noose. You see the urn that contains the ash down within, there are remnants of ash around the outside in a circle, and bits of cloth and material, and this chain noose hanging above where this urn was.

TALIESIN: Would I be insane for thinking this is how they make them?

SAM: Make what?

LAURA: The will-o'-wisps.

LIAM: The will-o'-wisps are the dead. They are left from the dead.

TALIESIN: This was a factory, maybe?

TRAVIS: Heading over to Molly, I stop in the middle of the room at that inert circle. Does it look like anything?

MATT: Make an arcana check.

ASHLEY: Are we near the table at all?

TRAVIS: 21.

MATT: You guys can move to the opposite end if you want to get closer to the table. Looking at the inert circle, it looks like-- You have an instinctual arcane knowledge that's been imparted upon you by whatever this gift has been given to you, so the knowledge comes to you. It's alien but familiar at the same time, and your brain's trying to work through this disconnect. This circle looks like it was once developed to be a teleportation circle, but has since, it seems, been scarred and closed.

TRAVIS: I feel like this was used to move or deliver people or things. This was a center for transportation.

SAM: What the fuck are you talking about?

(laughter)

LAURA: Are we in the other room still, or did we come in?

MATT: Caleb has now finished and you guys can enter the chamber.

TRAVIS: Real bright.

(laughter)

SAM: Sounds good, Fjord.

ASHLEY: How close to the table can we get?

MATT: How close do you want to get? There's two tables, both kitty-corner into the further chamber.

TALIESIN: I want to wait for Caleb at this point.

LAURA: Can I look around the room?

SAM: Do you need my help?

TRAVIS: Is he done yet?

LIAM: Give me a second to blacklight the room.

MARISHA: Caleb, I love you, but we are missing out on other shit. I'm having extreme FOMO right now. *Come on.*

LAURA: We're in the room. Let's go.

LIAM: Yeah, I'm waiting for the narrator to--

MATT: Yeah, I told you, a couple times. You finished your spell.

LIAM: Yes, good, right. So I'm walking. Is there anyone between the bookshelf and me, where I am? Is Fjord?

MATT: Yes, currently it looks like Jester and Yasha are in between that space.

LIAM: Who's the closest?

MATT: They're both equidistant.

LIAM: I walk up between the two of them, and I have a 30 foot radius on the spell, so I'm basically doing this, but I'm very interested in the bookshelf obviously. I'm looking around.

MATT: There's a *very* faint magical aura from the symbol in the center, but it seems largely clouded and marked off. It's like somebody had taped over a blacklit drawing. It's been marred and prevented from use, from what it seems at the moment.

LIAM: Is there a type? I will ask that every time.

MATT: Yes, there is. And just to be consistent, here.

LIAM: Friendship magic.

MATT: It is conjuration. There is a very faint magical essence, straight ahead. As you focus and lean forward, it becomes a little stronger. Above the bookshelf, there is a shape, embedded in the wall, that is emitting a slight magical aura.

LIAM: In the wall, above the bookshelf?

MATT: Above the bookshelf, you don't have quite enough light, and Yasha's holding the torch that's being cut off from the roof.

TALIESIN: I've got a light stone in my pocket if anyone wants to go for it. Here, hold on--

SAM: A *light* stone?

LAURA: Ooh, I'll climb up on the bookshelf.

TALIESIN: Careful!

MATT: As you approach, the bookshelf is mostly empty. Similar to the first chamber you went to, it looks like either everything in here was taken or destroyed. Most of the bookshelf is plain empty with broken pieces, and tattered bits of paper, and no books present on the shelf at the moment.

LIAM: Zero books.

MATT: That you see on the shelf as you close in to look at it. As you climb the shelf and look up, above the bookshelf there is, placed ornamentally on the wall, a very wide blade, longsword of some kind is bolted onto the wall as an ornamental display.

LAURA: Does it look trapped? Is this trapped on the wall?

SAM: You want me to check it?

LAURA: Climb up on the bookshelf with me!

TRAVIS: Please pull it out.

TALIESIN: This can't go wrong.

SAM: I go up and check. I got a-- oh wait, disadvantage, I'm drunk. That's a 19.

MATT: 19. Best you can tell, there's no trap.

LAURA: Should I try to pull it out?

TRAVIS: Yeah, pull it off. I'll give you all my health potions in one day.

LAURA: I lift, I pull, and I try to pull it off the wall.

MATT: Okay. It takes you a moment, because it's bolted in. The blade comes free, and you pull back on it you begin to, "Whoa!" off the side. You guys catch Jester. She plummets off of the bookshelf. You manage to trust fall her, if you will, as she falls from the top.

LAURA: Good job not getting stabbed, you guys, because this is sharp-looking.

MATT: It is a heavy-looking blade. The hilt of it is gold and curls up to the side. It is all these tiny runes inscribed along the edge. The central edge is *thick*. It's about that wide at the side and slowly tapers to the edge. None of you come from a specific blacksmith background, so you wouldn't know the purpose of the blade, but it looks dangerous.

LAURA: This is a sacrificial blade for sure.

TRAVIS: Is it long?

MATT: Yeah, it's about six feet long.

LIAM: Jester's holding it?

LAURA: I'm holding it.

LIAM: How's the girth?

LAURA: It's pretty girthy. Can you identify it?

LIAM: I obviously can do that, and I have a little bit of reserve left, but we are still not topside yet, so we can either sit for ten minutes and I can tell you exactly what it does, or we wait until later. But I'm not willing to do this--

MARISHA: No more ten minutes.

LIAM: It is ten minutes.

LAURA: I'll strap it to my back.

LIAM: We can wait until later.

TALIESIN: Put it in the bag.

LAURA: It's very sharp and the bag is easily punctured and I don't want to risk it. I'll strap it to my back.

TRAVIS: Shouldn't we, for good measure, be breaking up these other ceramic--?

TALIESIN: Are those ceramic pots giving anything off?

MATT: The tables, by the way, that are right next to the bookshelf, have writing utensils, quills on the side, one has an inkwell that has been long dried over that has a spider web attached to it. Hmm?

LIAM: Does it have any paper?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: A natural 20.

LAURA: Ooh!

MATT: You don't notice any paper, but as you glance underneath one of the tables, on the bottom it looks like one book has been not taken, or at least had fallen beneath and was left behind.

SAM: Liam just got an erection.

MATT: I heard it! It was like (deep thud) on the table.

TRAVIS: Oh come on, it's like (light thud).

LIAM: No, the first one was right.

MATT: The book, as you pull it out, a corner of it is burned pretty heavily.

LIAM: Detect Magic's still going, by the way.

MATT: Correct. There's no magical source from it. Where you found it, there's a bit of an ash trail that leads back towards the far wall, towards where one of the braziers is. You get the sense that maybe whatever was in here may have been thrown in the braziers to burn and this book got discarded or thrown. You open and start looking through the pages. What languages do you know?

LIAM: I know Common! Oh god. I don't know where to look on D&D Beyond.

SAM: Proficiencies.

MATT: It would be under proficiencies, probably.

SAM: No, it's not there.

MATT: Oh, it's not? Okay.

SAM: Come on, D&D Beyond!

TALIESIN: Character details, under description.

LIAM: Description, character details? I know Sylvan, Common, and Celestial.

MATT: You do not recognize this script.

LIAM: Then I will cast Comprehend Languages.

SAM: I hope that doesn't get rid of all your other spells.

LIAM: It doesn't. Just one. I cast Comprehend Languages.

MATT: As you finish casting the spell, Caleb's hand incantation completes, the eyes light up with a strange yellowish energy. All the words on the page that previously made no sense suddenly shift, go out of focus, and come back into focus in a languages that you can understand. It is Draconic. Reading through briefly, and it is scribblings, disjointed and broken in place. Taking a moment to look through, you get the sense this is the journal of somebody named Siff Duthar.

LIAM: Don't write that down!

LAURA: Why?

LIAM: Because only *I* know it!

MARISHA: I'm definitely going to write it down.

SAM: Siff Duthar!

MATT: Siff. S-I-F-F. Duthar.

LAURA: The thing is, he probably won't ever tell us.

SAM: He'll tell me!

MATT: The pages, the ramblings speak of a coming war. They talk about foolish pawns who follow their gods to annihilation. They speak of the armies of Ghor Dranas washing over the land and pauper and kings alike being saved not at all and being placed on a pike and held like a banner into battle regardless of who they are. They speak of the weakness of flesh and the need to endure beyond the paltry life shell that we're given. It talks about experiments with refugees, finding if the soul is bound to the flesh in any form, be it ice or ash. It speaks of an obsession with avoiding the eternal hunger of The Crawling King, he who tunnels beneath the world and will find him.

SAM: Oh boy. This seems like beyond our level stuff.

TALIESIN: Is there an audiobook version of this?

MATT: It speaks of a bounty hunter, who had infiltrated this sanctum after Siff. And while it cost Siff his legs, the hunter was burned into the brazier, flames of erasure. A trophy shall be taken and displayed as a warning.

MARISHA: It's the sword! It's the f***ing sword!

MATT: From there, it grows more and more manic. The scrawlings taking you a moment, even with the spell, to focus and make it out. Speaking on quaking within the earth around that shakes the surrounding hills and darken the sky. The betrayer gods come. The power of man must remain. The arcane gifts must bypass their punishment, show them that they are not above their creations. The final notes grow even more paranoid, worried that the secrets that Siff seeks will fall into the hands of Ghor Dranas and that all must be destroyed. All must come to ash and from the ashes, shall rise again. That's the final page before the rest of the book is charred beyond recognition.

LIAM: Right. I tell nobody this.

SAM: Just say that all again one more time, Matt.

MATT: I can.

LAURA: Say it all out loud.

LIAM: I do read it out loud.

SAM: That is hard core.

TALIESIN: What's in the urn?

MARISHA: Yeah, “from ashes shall rise again?” Are we going to fight some guy who's going to chop off our legs?

LAURA: What?

MARISHA: It talked about chopping off our legs!

LAURA: But then this sword belongs to the guy who came to save Siff? The bounty hunter?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, the trophy was a warning. He lost his legs.

TALIESIN: I want to take a look at some of these cages with the urns.

LAURA: What was the thing about “fire or ice,” though? It was like, “fire or ice?”

LIAM: Jester, while Molly is looking around, hold that for me. Hold it still.

LAURA: Hold what still?

LIAM: The sword, and I will tell you what it is, but you have to hold it for a while, Muscles.

LAURA: I'm good.

MATT: As you guys are having this conversation, you begin to notice, as you're yelling and talking, your breath is now visible in the air, the temperature growing colder and colder still. You, looking past the chamber towards one of these urns, you see a very faint light, a flicker within where the ashes are. As this happens, the center circle of the chamber begins to glow darker and darker as a shadow begins to emerge from the center of the chamber. Shifting out of the ground, some sort of whipping cloak around a humanoid figure rises out made of pure shadow and darkness. The cloth is tattered and shifting around causing this horrible whipping sound like a wind is blowing extremely intensely, but only localized around this figure. As the face is visible, you see this ghastly flesh-stretched against the skull that's still made of dark gray matter that begins to shift and move with the shadows around it. The voice, “My secrets are yours.” We'll pick up there next week.

(yelling)

SAM: Wait, what?!

LIAM: Oh man.

TRAVIS: Something wicked this way comes.

SAM: I'm so confused!

LAURA: I don't have hardly any hit points!

SAM: He's going to talk to us.

MARISHA: I tried to write as much as I could.

LIAM: It's okay, I have one spell slot left, it's fine.

LAURA: I've got a 2nd-level and a 1st-level.

MARISHA: Maybe we should run.

LAURA: We should probably run.

MATT: We have a week to think about it.

LAURA: Was he coming up out of the teleportation circle?

MATT: You guys were all towards the bookshelf and the tables. It emerges from the center area near the circle, not from the center of the circle, but in that vicinity. He wasn't emerging, he wasn't teleporting in. He was rising out the ground while Molly's off by one of the cages on the side.

TALIESIN: I saw something happen in that cage.

MATT: You did.

TRAVIS: I'm at that other corner.

MATT: Yeah. You and Molly are both at the other corners.

ASHLEY: I don't want to wait a week!

SAM: May I ask: What were we sent here to get again?

MARISHA: I was going to say, I don't think we've achieved anything.

TRAVIS: No, we were supposed to get rid of the orb.

MATT: You guys were sent here to--

MARISHA: He wanted us to bring back any type of ancient research that we could find.

SAM: Just research?

MARISHA: But we could keep any of the spoils.

LAURA: We could run away, bring the book and run away.

LIAM: All we have to say is we cleared it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, if we want to be a little punk ass bitch about it! We got to take this guy down!

LAURA: This guy is way beyond our level.

LIAM: Yeah, we need to do some discussion.

MATT: This is a game of choices, guys. Figure out what your choices are for next week. On that note, well done, guys!

ASHLEY: I don't want to wait a week, I want to do it right now!

MATT: If it wasn't already 10:38, we could continue.

LIAM: That's nothing. I could go for another two hours, at least.

MATT: I know. But depending on what you do, could TPK real fast. No. Thank you guys so much. Thank you for watching and tuning in. Don't forget the awesomeness with 826LA.

SAM: Archer season seven?

TRAVIS: Nine.

MATT: Archer season nine, D&D Beyond, all our fantastic sponsors. Pillars of Eternity II, we're super excited about that and the new comic. Check all that stuff out. Things to hold you over until next week, at the very least.

LIAM: Only cool things here. Only cool things.

MATT: Thank you so much for watching. Have a wonderful night and a wonderful week and is it Thursday yet? Good night!

LIAM: No, it's not!

[music]

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