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List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

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

TRAVIS: (hollering) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Before we get into tonight's session, we do have a few announcements to get through, beginning with the first of our two sponsors, beginning tonight with Skillshare. Sam, if you don't mind.

SAM: Back this week is Skillshare, an online learning community with tens-- nope, with thousands of classes on creative and entrepreneurial skills for the curious mind. Premium membership gives you unlimited access on classes from everything from personal productivity to art, animation, photography. Skillshare is affordable, with annual subscriptions starting as low as 10 bucks a month. And there's a special on for you Critters, two month premium membership free--

MARISHA: (echoing) Free, free, free!

SAM: For the first, for the first 500 people who sign up now at skl.sh/critcalrole2. I don't know why, it just is.

TRAVIS: The word two or the number two?

SAM: The number two, it's on the screen. Now, I checked out their classes and I noticed they don't have any classes on the one skill that I'm best at, being a corporate shill. So tonight, (laughter) tonight, I'd like to offer a class called Online Advertising 101 with Professor Sam Riegel. (laughter) (exaggerated posh accent) Greetings, class. In this seminar-- I don't know how to hold a pipe-- (laughter) in this seminar, you'll learn the fundamentals of satisfying sponsorships of tabletop RPG streaming shows.

TRAVIS: (British accent) Harry Potter.

(laughter)

SAM: There are many ways to do an ad, but to be a shill for your sponsor, you must master the pinnacles of the form: raunchy poems, cheap costumes and fake movie scripts featuring '90s sitcom icon, Gale. Lesson one--

LAURA: Fake?

SAM: When brainstorming, always begin with the MATT system. That's M-A-T-T, it's a mnemonic, a ma-nom-i-conic. (laughter) M stands for music. Buy a cheap rhyming dictionary and compose a masterpiece like this one: ♪ Pull up a deck chair, pluck out your ear hair, ♪ ♪ soil your underwear, Skillshare. ♪

LAURA: Woo!

TRAVIS: Wow!

SAM: That song cost them $700,000. (laughter) A of the MATT system stands for accents. Foreigners love being made fun of. For beginners, try Italian.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

SAM: (terrible Italian accent) Eh, I'm-a from Italy. I own a Vespa and eat-a the gelato. I love-a the Skillshare. Bon giorno.

TRAVIS: Oh.

ASHLEY: No.

LAURA: That was better than a lot of your other accents.

MARISHA: That was actually pretty good.

TRAVIS: Video game on the fly.

SAM: T of the MATT system stands for-- oh shit, uh, shit, I--

LAURA: What?

SAM: Uh, shit.

LIAM: Are you missing a prop?

SAM: I was supposed to have a prop.

LAURA: A prop of what?

SAM: I forgot it.

LIAM: Max, Max!

MARISHA: You're supposed to keep going!

SAM: I'm just going to keep going. I'm just going to fake it, I'm going to fake it.

LAURA: T stands for what?

SAM: T stands for terrible food. When in doubt, just be gross like this, what was supposed to be a cup of beer and ranch dressing.

LAURA: Maybe it is.

ASHLEY: Oh thank god it's not here.

SAM: Skillshare.

MATT: That was so much better, please forget things.

SAM: And the last T of the MATT system is time. People love long advertisements. (laughter) The audience tunes in to find out what will happen after their favorite character tricked a witch with a cupcake, but you, the shill, must stall as long as you can with ad copy that seems to go on forever, like this one. Well, that's lesson one. Future lessons will cover how to piss off the crew with technical requests, how to-- (laughter) how to deal with an irate sponsor who hates your underwear song, and how to make Laura Bailey regret sitting next to you for two years. Until then, Skillshare.

(applause)

MATT: Yes. That was one of the finer--

SAM: I didn't get to drink the beer and the ranch dressing.

MATT: (sarcastically) Oh no. We're so sad.

TRAVIS: What that would have looked like?

LIAM: That was like seeing Little Women again.

(laughter)

MATT: There you go. Thank you, Sam, and thank you, Skillshare. For your patience. (laughs) Our second sponsor tonight are our returning friends for all of campaign two of Critical Role, D&D Beyond.

ALL: ♪ D&D Beyond! ♪

MATT: An amazing online tool for digitally keeping track of your campaigns and/or D&D characters and all sorts of rules and content. They are amazing, if you haven't checked them out, you can go ahead and do so at dndbeyond, that's D-N-D beyond.link/criticalrole.

ASHLEY: ♪ You got your perfect warlock. ♪

MATT: That one. Thank you, Ashley, for your support on that one.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: The spirit moving ya, it's moving ya. Got to let it move through you.

MATT: You got to let it carry.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: It is.

SAM: It's the lyric and I love that tune even more.

MATT: It is. So, next up, we announced today, as part of uploading our new Handbooker Helper for the Monsterhearts 2 game.

MARISHA: Out of the blue.

MATT: Yep, out of the blue. That's what we do. For those not familiar, Monsterhearts is a great game system that deals with the angsty teenage experience but you're also secretly monsters. It's really fun, it's a really unique form of really narrative-heavy role playing game. We put up our new Handbooker Helper about it and we are doing a Valentine's Day one-shot that'll be coming out next Friday for you guys to check out. Super excited about it. At 7:00 p.m. here on our Twitch channel and then it'll be available on our YouTube shortly thereafter, but for those of you who are either staying in for Valentine's Day or want to go ahead and check it out after the weekend or thereafter. Looking forward to it, it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm the Master of Ceremonies for it, the MC, and we have a wonderful cast that includes right here, our wonderful Taliesin Jaffe and Ashley Johnson. Joining us, we have our longtime friend and amazing person Erika Ishii.

MARISHA: Yeah!

MATT: And joining, for the first time, the Critical Role family, our friend Ally Beardsley. They are an amazing role player you may know from Dimension 20 as well as CollegeHumor. They are fantastic and we're so happy to have them aboard, so check that out next week at 7:00 p.m. on our Twitch channel here on Critical Role. Marisha, you have an announcement.

MARISHA: Speaking of content, if you want more of Sam aimlessly talking into microphones, you need to watch All Work No Play. Liam is there, too.

TRAVIS: We need to take that math course.

MARISHA: Yeah, I do need to take that. I'm an independent creator, not a corporate shill, so.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Sorry I don't have a polished language. I produce art. Like All Work No Play!

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: So yes, the first episode is available right now on YouTube. It's Sam and Liam made chainsaw art?

ASHLEY: It's so good!

TRAVIS: Shit is so funny.

LIAM: I had the same reaction watching it that I did with our earliest podcast episodes, where when we did it, I'm like, "This is not that good." And then I watch it and I'm like, "Hey, this is pretty good."

MARISHA: It's good!

(laughter)

MARISHA: Well, Julie Nathanson really steals the show. She kind of makes it.

TALIESIN: Definitely carries it.

LIAM: Her muscles, anyway.

MARISHA: Linda Hamilton arms.

LAURA: Fucking arms, right?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: Her in that purple tank top?

LAURA: Oh my god.

ASHLEY: I immediately started doing push ups while watching the episode.

LIAM: Sarah Connor level--

ASHLEY: Sarah Connor level, yeah.

TRAVIS: And then pull ups.

MARISHA: Before I objectify my good friend Julie Nathanson, yeah, you should catch it right now and the next episode will air Tuesday, February 18th at 4:00 p.m.

LAURA: Ooh.

SAM: That's not this upcoming Tuesday--

MARISHA: Not this Tuesday.

SAM: The next one.

MARISHA: Next Tuesday.

SAM: That's right.

MATT: Gotcha. Cool.

SAM: Thanks, Marish.

LIAM: Was that your Italian accent?

MARISHA: Couldn't you tell?

TRAVIS and MATT: Oh hello.

(laughter)

MATT: Five years later, still fresh off the noggin.

TALIESIN: What's going on over there? I'm a little worried about Italy now. It's like, everybody okay? I don't know, what sounds so weird?

LIAM: A-next-a Tuesday.

MATT: (Mario accent) Let's-a go. All right, moving on.

(laughter)

MATT: Laura! Laura, you've got some announcements, too.

LAURA: Woo, I do.

TALIESIN: Oh man.

LAURA: First of all, we got new stuff in our stores, the US shop and the UK shop. Let's cut to this fabulous--

SAM: Cut to? Oh.

LAURA: Keychain. Yeah, I think they've got it on the table so that you can get a better shot.

TALIESIN: Oh, look at that.

(oohing)

LAURA: I don't know if it's on the, I don't know. But yeah, it's this beautiful, and it spins.

MARISHA: Yeah, do the demonstration.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to take it, I'm going to pull it out.

TALIESIN: Take it, take it.

SAM: Cut to the other camera.

TALIESIN: There you go.

LAURA: I'm going to take it. Look, ooh.

SAM: Okay.

LAURA: It spins.

ALL: Whoa.

LAURA: Oh, this one isn't--

TRAVIS: Spinners, y'all.

LAURA: Hold on, I'm not doing it very well. There.

SAM: You're blocking it with your thumb.

LAURA: Shut up! Anyway, it spins and it's got this fabulous copper finish. Anyway, I like it.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Good sale.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: There you go, there you go.

LAURA: There it is.

SAM: It's copper style.

LAURA: It's copper style, yeah.

ASHLEY: It's copper.

LAURA: ♪ Do-do do do-do do doo! ♪

(cheering)

LAURA: ♪ Do doo! ♪ This is-- wait, where's the logo? There it is. This is called Bailey's Dice Bag of Hoarding.

MARISHA: It's the size of your head.

LAURA: Dee dee.

TRAVIS: It's bigger.

LAURA: Yeah, so this was a bag that was inspired by the bags made for several of us. I don't know if she's made everyone a bag, but only the ones that she really loves. Chrissy Ahrens, I hope I'm saying your last name right. She's on Twitter at @marajade33082 and she's wonderful. She does custom bags and everything, so. Other people do custom bags as well. But ours--

SAM: Now we do custom bags.

LAURA: Well, ours is not custom.

SAM: Well.

LAURA: But it's beautiful and it's got these fabulous lining-- anyway.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, the lining is super cute.

LIAM: With the Wendy doodles.

LAURA: The Wendy doodles.

ASHLEY: With the thing in the middle that you can hold it, too.

LAURA: Yeah, and it's got a wonderful bag, oh hold on, look at this. And it'll hold lots and lots of dice. I know because I put everything from my dice bag in here to make sure--

TRAVIS: That looks super durable. Can I use that for all my hardware needs at home?

SAM: Oh, that's right.

(laughter)

SAM: Fellas, you could keep nails in there.

LAURA: It's got a super sturdy bottom, though, so it won't lose its shape.

SAM: Screws and nails.

LAURA: Anyway, I love it. Check it out. And also, for anybody that's going to C2E2, people have been asking me if our merch is going to be there and we are not going to be selling it personally, but a lot of our stuff will be at the C2E2 merch booth, so you can go there and get some--

SAM: At the C2E2 merch booth?

LAURA: Did I say that right?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

SAM: Is that right?

LAURA: Yeah. It's at the C2E2 merch booth.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Actual convention merch.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You instill Laura with insecurity on camera.

SAM: No, I just never heard of such a thing.

LAURA: Yeah, it's pretty cool.

SAM: There's a merch booth there? Cool.

LAURA: Yeah, they sell the con stuff, but they are also going to sell our stuff.

MARISHA: Have their big booth where you can go--

SAM: I don't go to cons.

LAURA: Shut up.

SAM: I don't know things.

LAURA: I'm debating. I don't know whether to keep it in my custom bag or pour some in-- maybe I'll just put the ones that are in my other bag in this one.

MARISHA: You have plenty.

TALIESIN: You can get smaller dice bags--

TRAVIS: Did you hear that? Someone beside me, speaking truth, slinging it.

LAURA: What'd you say, Marisha?

TRAVIS: You don't have to fill it up.

MARISHA: Nothing, I didn't say anything, it was Travis. Travis said everything. It was Travis.

TRAVIS: Hide quickly, the laser beams.

SAM: Matt, I think it's back to you, brother.

MATT: I think it might be. Thank you, Laura.

LAURA: Thank you, Matt.

MATT: And I believe that marks the end of all of our announcements and as such, let's go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

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

Part IEdit

MATT: You guys were so late on the draw that time.

TALIESIN: (groans)

MATT: Welcome back. So last we left off, The Mighty Nein, in discovering that the curse that still holds Nott in her goblinoid form after her initial transformation years ago remained and apparently was still held by the same magical woman that had originally imposed this curse upon her. You traveled your way through Kamordah, had a tense experience meeting the Lionett family, who also has attachments to this entity, who you came to discover was named as Isharnai the Prism Sage, who lived to the northern forest marshlands amongst the bases around Mount Mentiri. You traversed this dangerous landscape, dealing with various pockets of unleashed acidic moisture and steam bursting forth from the geothermal ground itself. You lost a few horses and let the others wander. You made your way through swamps and got lost, got exhausted, dealt with fighting a few gorefeather harpies, and then eventually found your way to the base of Mount Mentiri, to the exterior of the abode of Isharnai just as the sun set. Upon looking around, you eventually discovered this creature invisible on the roof watching you all as you were just investigating her homestead, after which you had some conversations with her, discovered that she could offer many things, just like she has in the past, in exchange for a touch of your own fortune. Seemed to thrive on misery for those who ask for too much. After some very emotional conversations and thoughts about what some of you are willing to sacrifice to trade for this curse that still remained on Nott, Jester bamboozled her, and me, through a clutch combination of Dust of Deliciousness, a random magical item I made up and gave you back in episode 30--

(laughter)

MATT: -- and used it to modify the memory of her, to convince this crone-type creature that she had such an amazing time and you guys bonded so quickly and in this time, she just was happy to release it for your companionship. And you left, walked outside into the dark night as you were all tired and wondering what happened, to have Jester go, "Go, we have to go, now." As you all were quickly ushered off this somewhat moss-covered darkened hut, the dull interior candlelit glow that pours through the partially ajar doorway. You all spearhead downward, back into the swampy valley that awaits you as night has just begun. And that is where we left off. As Jester is quickly ushering you down into the darkness, what do you do?

SAM: Quick, quickly.

LIAM: Why, why are we--

SAM: Cast Find the Path.

LAURA: Oh. I don't have that prepared.

SAM: Okay, great.

TALIESIN: What's Find the Path?

LAURA: It's a spell so I can find a path. But I thought, you know, she'd be dead and we wouldn't have to be hurrying or anything like that, so. Caleb, Caleb, just teleport us away from here.

LIAM: Oh, I, uh, oh.

MARISHA: What happened, though? What happened?

TRAVIS: What do you mean, "Oh"?

LAURA: You are saying this as we're walking, right, we're going through the brambles now.

MARISHA: Hang on though, because wait, though, what?

LAURA: Wait, what?

SAM: Oh yeah. What happened? Are we okay?

ASHLEY: Kill her or anything?

SAM: What happened?

LAURA: Everything's fine.

SAM: Did you give up something?

LAURA: Something, yeah, like real sprecial.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: A real sprecial?

LAURA: Yeah, it's a real sprecial.

ASHLEY: What's a sprecial?

SAM: Sprinkle's name.

LIAM: It's an Indian dish. Shpretzies are the best.

MARISHA: You made shpretzle out of Sprinkle?

LAURA: No, Sprinkle's fine, look.

MARISHA: Oh.

ASHLEY: What's a sprecial?

(giggling)

MATT: (sighs)

MARISHA: He has no hair, Jester.

LAURA: What? I'm going to get some food out and just feed Sprinkle as we talk.

(laughter)

LAURA: He's eating, it's, he's fine.

LIAM: (gagging)

LAURA: It's like beef jerky, it's fine.

TRAVIS: Peanut allergy.

MARISHA: So dry. It won't go down.

LIAM: This is a show about a weasel.

(laughter)

SAM: Wait, are we in danger? Do we need to run?

TALIESIN: We are moving apace, aren't we? Yeah, we are moving apace.

MATT: You are.

LAURA: I maybe, I'd rather not say this right now. Like, you know, I gave away something really special and shit's fine, it's fine. We should just go because I don't want to, like--

MARISHA: Is Nott good, though?

LIAM: Yeah, are we taken care of here, or--

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, everything's fine. Nott, your curse is broken.

MARISHA: Is my brother good?

LAURA: What do you mean? She said she-- What did--?

MARISHA: I don't know, I had some questions.

LAURA: You didn't make a deal, did you?

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: Then your brother's fine. Right?

TRAVIS: What, what do you mean? What do you mean your brother?

MARISHA: No, just keep going.

TRAVIS: Okay, so we need to go. It's fine, Nott is good.

LAURA: Go, get walking.

TRAVIS: And Caleb, you said "oh" earlier to the teleport request?

LIAM: No, I do not have that ready.

TALIESIN: Wait, oh. Okay, oh.

LAURA: Can you, do you have Find the Path, can you find us a path?

TALIESIN: No, I can definitely--

TRAVIS: I thought you found the path before.

LAURA: I did but, you know, I prepare some spells at the beginning of the day and I didn't prepare that one.

TALIESIN: Keep an eye on things behind us.

SAM: Yeah, I'm going to look behind us.

MATT: Perception check, both of you.

LAURA: Because I thought we would be fighting and so I prepared, like, a heal spell instead. Because, you know, I heal.

TALIESIN: 22.

LIAM: We have a certain way of doing things. Normally we raze things to the ground, so I did not think that we would need to escape in a hurry.

TRAVIS: Yep, no, that's true.

LIAM: So.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: I came prepared to fuck shit up, but I cannot get us out.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you know, act as if, basically, we just walk like, you know, you traded something that she loved--

LAURA: I did.

TRAVIS: And Nott's fine and we're going to make our way out of here like we did before.

LAURA: Yeah, we're walking away confidently and happily and knowing that--

LIAM: The deal is closed. Why do we need to rush, though?

LAURA: Well, um--

MATT: (hooting) You hear the nocturnal creatures are starting to come out. The night has definitely claimed the dense forest as you guys feel the ground beneath you at this point beginning to turn a little softer, then the moisture of the swamp approaching. You do not see anything immediately behind you beyond just the occasional dark shadow of some sort of nocturnal flight bird or predator finding its way out for an early evening bite.

LAURA: The thing that I gave her, you know, I've never actually given before or used, so--

SAM: What did you give her?

LAURA: I gave her--

MARISHA: Did you kiss her?

LAURA: Yeah, I gave her a real big smooch and she loved it. She was like, "Oh my god."

TRAVIS: We don't believe you, Jester. Will you tell us what you gave her, please?

TALIESIN: I hadn't even gotten to that.

LAURA: I gave her a cupcake. My last one, I gave her my last cupcake.

TRAVIS: What did you really give her?

LAURA: I gave her a cupcake.

SAM and ASHLEY: That was enough?

LAURA: Yep, yeah.

TRAVIS: How could a cupcake possibly be enough?

SAM: I don't feel any different. You're telling me that--

TRAVIS: Nott was prepared to give war.

SAM: -- the curse has been lifted on me? Do I look different?

LAURA: I was in the room and the whole room went dark and she waved her hand and she said the curse was broken. The whole room went really, like, magically dark, you know what I mean? And I believed her.

SAM: You believe her?

LAURA: Yeah. Yeah.

SAM: Well, thank you.

LIAM: Well, I suppose if it's not true, we could always double back?

LAURA: What?

TALIESIN: That's fair.

LAURA: Why don't we just make the hut or something--

TRAVIS: Oh, finish the job? Yeah. It doesn't seem like a deal would be concluded with a cupcake. Maybe we should take care of this ourselves.

TALIESIN: Well, let's, let's--

LAURA: You don't trust me?

SAM: I trust you.

TRAVIS: No, I trust you, I just don't believe--

LAURA: You just don't believe me? You don't believe me that I would know the difference if a curse was broken and a deal was made?

TRAVIS: How would she break a curse that's been hanging over Nott for years over a cupcake?

ASHLEY: What flavor was the cupcake?

LAURA: It was blueberry.

TALIESIN: I mean, I'll do a lot for a blueberry cupcake.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: It's been a minute since you've gotten any new cupcakes. How old was that cupcake?

LAURA: It was pretty old.

TRAVIS: What are we missing?

LAURA: The frosting was, like, real stale. I tasted it.

LIAM: To be fair, she probably eats, you know, earthworms and--

LAURA: Exactly.

LIAM: Fungus and stuff.

SAM: This is all very confusing.

LAURA: Plus it had some of that stuff that Pumat gave us.

SAM: We need to get somewhere safe so we can talk this out.

MARISHA: Wait, what was that last part?

LAURA: You know, that stuff?

TALIESIN: No.

LAURA: The dust that, remember, we talked about and makes food taste really good.

TALIESIN: Oh. Oh! Oh that, oh that.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Oh that, oh.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: Oh.

TRAVIS: What about it?

LAURA: It made it taste good.

LIAM: Pretty damn good.

LAURA: Can I look behind us? Is anything following us?

MATT: Make a perception check.

TALIESIN: I'll join you. I'm going to keep doing this.

LAURA: I don't care, I'm going to look anyway again.

TALIESIN: 27.

LAURA: Ooh, you saw way more than me. 17.

MATT: For the time being, no. You don't notice anything behind you. The air is cold and the mist is rising in the swamp as you guys begin to now hit the elements of the mud and water that you're now ankle deep and you can hear the (squelching).

LAURA: You guys, this is probably dangerous to traverse in the night.

SAM: Should we go in the hut and just camouflage ourselves?

TRAVIS: Well, it's soggy.

MARISHA: Maybe.

TRAVIS: I don't really know if there's--

MARISHA: Why don't we find solid ground first?

TALIESIN: Let's find somewhere to put the hut, maybe off the beaten track

MARISHA: We need to do the ritual for Nott.

LIAM: Oh, oh boy. It has been a week, you guys.

MARISHA: Do you have stuff? Do we need to start collecting clay?

LIAM: Yeah.

SAM: Wait, not that ritual.

LAURA: No, no, no. What?

LIAM: She is talking about Nott's ritual, but--

LAURA: No, let's-- that takes, like, an hour.

LIAM: We do that at home, I think. Right?

LAURA: Let's make the hut.

SAM: Not while we're running, no.

MARISHA: What if it's not broken?

LAURA: It's broken, Beau.

MARISHA: How, though?

LAURA: I'll tell you if we get the hut up, okay? I'll talk to you guys in the hut, Beau.

LIAM: Well, let's a bit of dry ground if we're able to.

TRAVIS: Sure, yeah, okay.

LIAM: 10 to 15 feet.

LAURA: Can we search around for solid ground?

MATT: Make a survival check.

SAM: Survival.

TRAVIS: ♪ You're a survivor ♪

LAURA: Just me? Did anybody give me Guidance? Any advantage because people are also, ooh. 20-- what is that, 23 plus a d4.

MATT: Damn, Jester.

LAURA: 26.

MATT: 26, okay.

TALIESIN: That was one hell of a roll.

MATT: All right, you go ahead and it takes you about an hour because you either have to get really far off the beaten path or you have to push forward and you're like, going forward, there's a chance you might find-- it's easier to find things that break the surface when it's not as shallow, but also, you're off the beaten path and you know where you've traveled and the safest, or at least the most immediate, distance between where you are and where you're going.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: It takes about an hour before you find a patch of land that is mostly above water and can probably fit the dome in it. There is one issue is a quarter of it would be filled with part of a fallen, rotted trunk of a tree, which means you'll have to be pretty tight in there when you sleep, but it's doable.

LAURA: We'll squish in.

SAM: The dome would be around the tree trunk?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: That's fine.

MATT: Unless one of you want to sleep in the water.

MARISHA: Nope.

TRAVIS: Hollowed out tree trunk or solid?

LIAM: Is it a fun straw into our home?

LAURA: No, because the dome would go through the hut, right? Go through the trunk, anyway.

MATT: The trunk would be inside the dome as far as getting enough ground that is open and not under water and under the actual marsh water, but it is not hollow and it is rotted. You go to inspect it and you pull it and the jagged parts peel off softly.

LAURA: Can we just move the trunk?

MATT: It's rooted in the ground. You can try and move it up if you want to try and tear the trunk out.

SAM: Just sleep around it. It'll be uncomfortable but safe.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: How long does it take for you to cast it as a ritual?

LIAM: 11 minutes as a ritual.

MARISHA: Should we try and push the trunk for 11 minutes?

LAURA: Yeah, for 11 minutes, we'll try to move it.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make a-- who's helming this?

MARISHA: I help the girls.

MATT: Oh, the girls are doing it?

LAURA: and ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: You two are strength-based.

MATT: Yeah, so both you guys make strength checks for me, please.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: And I am there for emotional support.

LAURA: Guidance.

TALIESIN: I'm watching, I'm watching for anything.

ASHLEY: Natural 20.

LAURA: Oh shit.

ALL: Whoa!

LAURA: And I got a 27.

MATT: Woo!

SAM: Wow.

MATT: Damn.

TALIESIN: 20 on perception, too, just keeping an eye on--

MATT: Fair enough.

SAM: She's the splinter maker.

MATT: As Jester and Yasha reach, both getting their fingers into the ground, and it's easy to get a grip because the soft earth gives way to your fingers as you push and find a heavy handhold on these deeply sunken roots. You both count to three and then lift (grunting) at once and you hear (cracking) as it tears up out of the ground. Some of the roots splinter and break and some pull up right out of the soft earth as you both lift and give it a shove and it (splashing)

TRAVIS: Damn.

MATT: It floats out over the water and sinks halfway before it finds enough soot and muck underneath to come to rest.

TRAVIS: ♪ She's a brick-- ♪

TRAVIS and MARISHA: ♪ --house ♪

MATT: The mist has come in quickly in this space, which, by the way, if you could, Caduceus, roll again because it would be disadvantage with the heavy mist around you.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's fine.

LIAM: Salamanders and aphids go (fluttering).

TALIESIN: That's even higher, so 20 is still the roll.

MATT: The splash hits. You're about maybe-- that took no time, you guys took maybe two minutes to get that thing out of the way. So you're still partially into this. Right as you guys are, you know, getting excited about that, you see something, a shape in the mist.

LAURA: What does it look like? What's the shape look like?

MATT: Looks like a--

TALIESIN: There.

MATT: Kind of like a person.

MARISHA: Is it a ghost?

LAURA: Person, it looks like a person? SAM: A person?

LAURA: It looks just like a person?

MATT: Then there's three more.

MARISHA: Oh, it's a ghost.

ASHLEY: Floating?

LAURA: How far away?

MATT: They're just shapes in the mist that you can barely make out. And you guys can't even see, you're the one who's pointing originally. Jester, you can just make it out a little bit.

SAM: Cast faster, cast faster, cast faster.

LIAM: (squawking) Six minutes, five minutes, I don't know.

MATT: You see a shape come out of the water--

ASHLEY: Oh!

MATT: Not too far from where you are, on the edge of where the trunk of the tree had hit the edge, you see a shape, a person rise up out of it.

LAURA: Can we get their attention?

MARISHA: Move closer and start prepping. Caduceus, tell us what these are.

TALIESIN: Quickly checking, I'm checking, I'm doing the-- are they undead? I'm doing the--

MATT: You're doing which one?

TALIESIN: The Eyes of the Grave.

MATT: Eyes of the Grave. What's the range on that?

TALIESIN: Range on that is 60 feet. I know the location of any undead within 60 feet that isn't behind total cover.

MATT: Okay, cool. You got about 15 that suddenly show up--

LAURA: And it's undead?

MATT: -- immediately around you as undead.

LAURA: I'm going to Turn Undead. You going to do the same thing?

TALIESIN: You first, or do you want to--?

MATT: Well first, let's go ahead and roll initiative.

(cheering)

TRAVIS: Oh, I should've known. Not going to leave us high and dry.

LAURA: No, we caught a bite.

TRAVIS: My body's happy!

MARISHA: Last week was just a sample fight. It barely counted.

MATT: You charged right into the depths of the swamp right as the night kicks in and make loud noises?

SAM: This combat is powered by Dwarven Forge. dwarvenforge.com--

ASHLEY: We just decided to.

SAM: Dwarven Forge, Dwarven Forge.

LAURA: Yeah, what are we going to do? What're we going to do, camp outside of her hut?

ASHLEY: Yeah, we can't. It must be done.

LIAM: Here comes the mist.

TRAVIS: Not a good initiative, not good at all.

LAURA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Oh no, initiative, I knew I forgot something.

LAURA: Roll well, roll really well.

TRAVIS: Balls.

LAURA: Okay, that was not good.

TRAVIS: Balls and anus.

SAM: Balls, and anus.

ALL Balls, balls, and anus.

LIAM: Love that song.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Parents, if you're watching with your kids, we apologize.

LAURA: Nothing wrong with balls and anus.

SAM: Those are medical terms.

LAURA: Medical terms, exactly.

TRAVIS: ♪ Inbetweenus, Mr. Grinch. ♪

ASHLEY: As far as you know.

SAM: By the way, our new book is going to be in stores soon: Everyone Has an Anus.

(laughter)

LIAM: I mean, it's true.

TRAVIS: With little decals and vinyl stickers.

LAURA: Oh god. Me and Yasha would be standing next to each other because we just did the trunk.

MARISHA: Oh, yay.

MATT: You guys'd be--

MARISHA: 'Bout time.

MATT: All right, and so--

TRAVIS: That's so cool, though, come on.

ASHLEY: That's so cool.

TRAVIS: Look at these trees!

SAM: Oh wow, wow.

TRAVIS: Look at the log and the fucking moss--! All right, I'm going to chill.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Not that this is not being recorded, but this is really cool.

LAURA: For your own--

LIAM: I got to make sure somebody sees this.

(laughter)

LAURA: Matt's like, "Yeah, you fucks. You shoulda seen my map last week."

MATT: Yep.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Not that long ago.

LAURA: Oh god.

LIAM: Yep.

LAURA: Oh god.

SAM: Oh my god, he's got a lot of minis.

LAURA: There's 15 of them. Yeah, there's a lot of minis.

SAM: Maybe they all have--

MARISHA: Caduceus.

SAM: --three hit points.

LIAM: ♪ Meet me in the garden ♪

LIAM, ASHLEY, and LAURA: ♪ Hoegaarden ♪

(grunting) (laughter)

LIAM: Big throwback.

MARISHA: Maybe some glowy, glowy fisties?

SAM: Glowy fisties?

TALIESIN: You say that out loud? Yeah, I got it. Did you just say glowy fisty?

MARISHA: Glowy fisties, Caddy.

ASHLEY: ♪ Glowy fisties. ♪

TALIESIN: I may not have it.

LAURA: Oh wait. If you do--

MARISHA: If you have it.

LIAM: Glowy fisty night at Booty LA.

LAURA: If you do that--

TALIESIN: I may not have it.

LAURA: --we won't be able to do--

TALIESIN: Yeah, I may not actually have glowy fisty right now.

(gentle music)

MATT: And then--

SAM: Wow, Matt is setting up a lot of miniatures.

TALIESIN: I actually don't have glowy fisty right now, so.

LAURA: Oh god.

SAM: (sighing)

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Oh!

SAM: Oh, and lighting change? Come on.

LAURA: Please.

MATT: As you make that point, and you guys begin see these shapes move and shift, you see the one that comes out of the water nearby, right over on that side near Jester and Yasha, the trunk that has floated out in that direction, you see it rise up and go--

LAURA: That's a scary one.

MATT: And you see they're humanoid, though largely their flesh is bloated and sloughing off their body in places, swollen and green, just this horrible toxic zombie-type persona and it looks like it will move really slow. And it goes (whoosh).

LAURA: No!

(groaning)

TRAVIS: Oh, stop.

MATT: Rushes with a speed faster than any sort of zombie you've seen in your time.

LAURA: I hate fast zombies.

MATT: Initiative, please. If everyone hasn't rolled yet.

LIAM: I rolled shit.

ASHLEY: I did, too.

LAURA: I rolled shit.

MARISHA: I rolled average.

MATT: (cackling)

LAURA: He's rolling really well.

MATT: Natural 20.

TRAVIS: Oh! That's the opposite of what I rolled.

MATT: All right, so 25 to 20?

ASHLEY: 20.

LAURA: Oh shit!

MATT: Yasha is going with them.

LAURA: Yasha!

SAM: Ashley Johnson.

ASHLEY: I'm doing slo-mo on the smoke.

(laughter)

MATT: All righty. 20 to 15?

MARISHA: 15.

TALIESIN: 16.

SAM: 18.

MATT: Oh, shit.

LAURA: I've got to write this stuff down.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Nott.

MATT: Nott. You said 16-- oh, Caduceus got 16? Then Beau, all right. 15 to 10?

LIAM: 12.

MATT: Ten to five?

LAURA: Eight.

SAM: Is this all the same day?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Oh, I guess it won't affect us too much, but we're all exhausted, so--

MATT: Yes, you all have a point-- well, most of you have a point of exhaustion.

TRAVIS: I rolled a one.

MATT: All right, Fjord's up there. Okay.

TRAVIS: I basically didn't even notice anything. (laughs)

MATT: So--

TRAVIS: What're you guys getting all excited for?

MATT: Yasha, what's your dexterity?

ASHLEY: My dexterity is 15.

MATT: I'll let you go first, then.

SAM: Oh.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Ooh!

ASHLEY: Um, okay, so, who's nearest?

TRAVIS: Who's nearest?

MATT: You have these two that are almost equidistant. This one is probably closest to you there.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'm going to go over there. I would like to rage.

TRAVIS: (Grog voice) Yes, you would!

MATT: All righty, drawing which blade?

LAURA: Your witch blade!

ASHLEY: My... Skingorger.

MATT: You got it. (whoosh) You charge through, sploosh, sploosh. Now, in this space, your movement is--

LAURA: Halved. Of course.

MATT: --halved because you are in pretty heavy swamp around the space of where you guys are currently located.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: But you get there without an issue. You rush into the first one and it's there in front of you. Now, as opposed to just an undead and a zombie that's falling apart, and you've encountered a number of those in spaces, this reminds you of some of the zombies that you've seen in elements of Xhorhas that are usually curse-based husk zombies or they're created by nergaliids, similar in ways to the ones that showed up at the carnival when you first--

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: --met up with these people. They are faster, their fingers are bladed--

LAURA: (gasps)

MATT: --and they're, all around, a little more volatile than your standard lumbering undead. But nevertheless, in that moment of recognition, your blade is out. What are you doing?

ASHLEY: Okay. I'm going to attack.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Go for the head.

MARISHA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah! That would be a 28 to hit.

MATT: That'll hit.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: Because it's so rusted. That's what you have to be careful about. It's not the blade.

TRAVIS: That shot is a bitch, too. It hurts. It's like two days, you got to rub it.

ASHLEY: I'm going to roll those again because of-- yeah, I'm going to take that hit. 12, 13... 23 for the first hit.

MATT: 23 points of damage?

ASHLEY: Yep.

MATT: Nice. You hack through, carving through, and you see its body open up a bit. As it does, as opposed to the black coagulated blood, almost like moss pours out with the wound as it opens up. The arm splinters a bit but holds in place and then like (groans).

ASHLEY: Oh, that's gross. Okay, second hit. Oh, same, 28.

MATT: That'll do. Roll damage a second time.

ASHLEY: Okay. Going to roll again. Okay, same. (counting) (panting) 12 points of damage.

MATT: 12 points of damage.

SAM: Nice!

MATT: Second strike carves through and jams partway in its torso and gets stuck and the creature (gasps) bows for a second like it's about to collapse and then (low gasp) back up at you with the blade still stuck in its torso. As you pull it back, it lurches forward towards you. Now, they're all going to go.

SAM: Oh.

LIAM: Hey, Matt. Before you go forward, can we add my Resonant Echo to the map?

MATT: Oh, good call, because you do still have him.

LAURA: How long does he last?

MATT: Eight hours.

LAURA: Tight!

MATT: Where would you like him to go?

LIAM: I would've had him be a lookout, so I don't think he would be right with us.

MATT: Right there?

LIAM: Oh, there he is. It's the nega-Caleb.

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: Could I put him standing under this tree?

MATT: Sure.

LAURA: Because he doesn't have to worry about swampies.

MATT: You got it. Okay, cool. So now it's their turn. (whooshing) (squeaking)

LAURA: Oh god, they're so fast.

MATT: They are very fast. Even with their reduced movement, they are much quicker than any zombie you've encountered. Although, you've encountered these once a long time ago.

TALIESIN: A long time ago.

MATT: These are--

MARISHA: It's like when they remove frames in a horror film and they just--

TRAVIS: Oh god.

MARISHA: You know?

LAURA: Yeah. (hissing)

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, I hate that shit. That's like, I have nightmares like that.

ASHLEY: For clarification?

MATT: Yes?

ASHLEY: I rolled savage attack on both of those, Savage Attacker, but the second, that second one that I rolled, I rolled the same both times. I just realized, I was like, "I think I can only use that once per turn."

MATT: That's all good.

ASHLEY: Sorry.

MATT: But thank you for being honest.

ASHLEY: Just so later, people aren't like, "You did it wrong."

SAM: Oh, they'll still do that.

ASHLEY: I know I did.

LAURA: I know, I'm letting you know I know.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I'm letting you know I know. I realized.

LIAM: It's a side rule. It's a Fred Savage attack, it's not the same thing.

TRAVIS and TALIESIN: Fred Savage attack.

ASHLEY: Yep, yep.

MATT: The one that you've jammed the blade in and it's nearly dead, it goes, (gasps) looks at you and you watch as its chest pulses and inflates, (explosion) it bursts into a spray of toxic, visceral liquid--

SAM: Ugh.

MATT: Go ahead and make a constitution saving throw--

LAURA: Oh my god.

ASHLEY: Sheesh.

ASHLEY: Constitution?

MATT: Yeah, constitution saving throw, please.

MARISHA: We've got poppers?

TRAVIS: That changes things.

ASHLEY: Ew.

ASHLEY: Seven, I mean ten.

MATT: Ten, that is still a failure, you take 18 points of poison damage.

ASHLEY: Oh! Goodness!

TRAVIS: One eight?

MATT: Yes. As it explodes, it is destroyed, but you are coated in this horrible poisonous liquid that like scars the flesh a bit and it's all in your eyes and your mouth and it burns and it's awful.

TRAVIS: Doesn't happen to hurt the gentleman next to him, does it?

MATT: He doesn't seem affected by it. He's going to attack you twice.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: Oh, shit.

LAURA: No, don't--

MATT: Two 18s, literally, in a row.

ASHLEY: That hits.

MATT: Yeah, so that'll be a 23 each. All right, you take--

TALIESIN: Turn Undead might be bad, then.

MATT: 17 points of bludgeoning damage. You are raging, so that is halved to eight, I believe, eight points of bludgeoning damage to you.

ASHLEY: 'Kay.

MATT: All right, that's two attacks on you, Jester.

LAURA: Me?

MATT: That's four attacks on you from two of them.

LAURA: Little old me?

MATT: Yep! There are two of them that are currently rushed in towards you.

TALIESIN: -- for you, then.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right, natural one misses, that's cocked. They rolled really bad. The highest one is a 15. What's your armor class?

LAURA: 18.

MATT: Yeah. They just rush in and strike close with their fingers are clawing and you're holding up your shield and you're like one gets close to you and you bash it away and it backs up again. (growling) They double back and go in for the assault a second time. Caduceus, you have one that rushed up to you and it's going to attack you twice. Oh, twice in a row. 13 and a 13s.

TALIESIN: No, and I'm going to use Shield of Retribution.

MATT: Okay, go for it.

TALIESIN: Misses with a melee attack. I can just block them with arcane force. They suffer 4d6 force damage and they also have to move 20 feet away from me.

ASHLEY: Tight.

SAM: Shield of Retri-busch.

LAURA: Whoa. Those dice are beautiful.

TALIESIN: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

MATT: 19 points.

TALIESIN: 19 points of force damage and 20 feet back.

MATT: It runs towards you, leaps in the air, and as it goes to strike with both claws, you hold the shield up, take the blow, and shove it off as a blast of energy (firing). Fires it, throwing it back 20 feet. It (crashing) lands and then, (squelching) jumps up with an unexpected speed and is getting ready to come back next round.

ASHLEY: Whoa!

MATT: These two are going to go after your echo, Caleb.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MATT: It's four strikes against it, the first two--

LIAM: He's a tank, he'll be fine.

(laughter)

MATT: 13 and a 14?

LIAM: No. No!

(laughter)

TRAVIS: They don't hit!

TALIESIN: Hey!

MATT: But it doesn't have Mage Armor on it.

LIAM: I don't have Mage Armor on. I have elven chain and--

MATT: That's true. Yeah, there you go, so both those miss.

LIAM: First time for everything.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Whoosh, whoosh, really?

(laughter)

MATT: And two more strikes against you.

LIAM: I'm just a mime going--

(laughter)

MATT: That's 21 and 21.

LIAM: Oh yeah, those hit. (laughter) He's gone.

SAM: Are those against your shadow or--

LIAM: He's a confetti filled balloon, guys.

(laughter)

MARISHA: He took them all.

MATT: 13 points of bludgeoning damage.

LIAM: Oh. No, he's still up. That's from both of them?

MATT: Yeah, one of them missed two attacks, the other one hit twice but didn't roll super high in the damage.

LIAM: Oh.

LAURA: Are you low on health already?

TRAVIS: No.

MARISHA: No, it's his echo. It's his shadow.

LAURA: Oh!

LIAM: Yeah, it's-- I've never used this spell, sorry.

MATT: It's all good. That's going to be four attacks--

LIAM: It's still up!

MATT: There you go. (laughter) (clapping) Congratulations!

TRAVIS: Take it, man.

MATT: That's four strikes against you, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MARISHA: Oh, shit.

MATT: Ooh.

TRAVIS: That's a good sound. That's what you want to hear.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: A seven, an eleven, a 17, and a 19.

TRAVIS: 17 and 19 hits, the last two don't.

MATT: Okay. That is 14 points of bludgeoning damage to you.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: As both of them go just raking towards you, bashing into you, trying desperately to get through, and then the other tries coming through and they slash into your torso and the side of your head and you like (grunts) go forward. You can feel the warmth as the blood is pouring through the scalp already from where it slashed the back of your head. That is going to finish that one there. There is now one against you, Caleb, with two strikes.

TRAVIS: The 14 points of damage were the last two strikes combined?

MATT: Yes.

TRAVIS: Okay, gotcha. Make sure we're not actually--

MATT: That's two strikes against you, Caleb, from the one that managed to squeeze through to get to you. Ooh. That is a 23 and a natural 20.

LIAM: Those both seem to hit for some reason.

TALIESIN: Cancel the natural 20.

LIAM: Oh.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Did you use your reaction to do your shield?

TALIESIN: Oh, I don't know if that-- I don't know if the shield counts as a reaction, hold on.

MATT: Does it say under the--

TALIESIN: Yeah, it will say it. Yeah, it's my reaction, fuck, sorry.

(groaning)

LIAM: Bring it on.

MATT: All right. That is a--

LAURA: How many times a day do you get that?

TALIESIN: Once.

MATT: Seven points of slashing damage to you, Caleb.

LIAM: Yeah, okay.

MATT: Then the crit.

TALIESIN: I don't think I did, it wasn't marked.

MATT: 10, 13 points of slashing damage on that one.

LIAM: (high-pitched noise)

SAM: That's not bad.

MATT: Not too bad. Two attacks against you, Beauregard.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: This is the last of their run. That is going to be a 13--

MARISHA: Miss.

MATT: And a 20.

MARISHA: 20 hits.

MATT: 20 hits, you take... seven points of slashing damage.

MARISHA: Okay, that's fine.

MATT: That is the rest of their turn. Next up comes Nott. Nott, what're you doing?

SAM: That was a lot of attacks.

MATT: Yeah. You go from just a couple of shadows in the mist to suddenly being swarmed by this horrible-- (groaning)

LAURA: Instant chaos.

MATT: Sound of sucking, terrible undead voices and you're just swarmed. You hear an explosion and a scream off to the side, your friends are being assailed by them, what're you doing?

SAM: I feel like--

LAURA: Can I just-- there's one over here that we didn't move.

SAM: Oh, there is one over there.

MATT: Oh, thank you, thank you for that.

LIAM: (high-pitched voice) Kill, kill, kill.

TRAVIS: That's not an undead, that's just an observer.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: "Hey, what're y'all doing over-- oh."

MARISHA: The Gentleman? What are you doing here?

MATT: And actually, these guys couldn't attack but they can still at least get up in the mix. Which they would anyway with their dash action, so there we go.

LIAM: Jeepers.

MATT: Actually, this one would probably get behind Ashley there, so we'll go with that.

MARISHA: Jinkies.

MATT: Mmkay. So, what're you doing, Nott?

SAM: She's right next to me, huh?

LAURA: I'm sorry, I fucked that up for you.

SAM: No, that's fine, it's fine. I feel like Yasha's okay, I feel like Jester's going to do some magic shit. Fjord I don't really care about. Beau-- Beau's fine.

MARISHA: I'll be fine.

SAM: I got to protect Caleb. I will shoot the one engaged with Caleb.

MATT: Right here?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Go for it. Roll for an attack.

SAM: Four. (laughs) Plus 10! So 14.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: Hey!

MATT: They are very easy to hit. They don't try and dodge, they don't have any armor.

LAURA: Whoa, that was a good roll.

SAM: Yes it was. 20... 32 plus 6, 38, 38 points of damage.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: 38 points of damage. (chuckles) It is done.

SAM: Ooh! Does it explode or is it okay?

MATT: As you strike it in the back of its head, it falls forward onto its knees and then its body (squelching)--

(groaning)

MATT: Bursts. I need Beauregard, Caleb, and Fjord to all make constitution saving throws, please.

MARISHA: No, it's going to happen.

LIAM: ♪ This is how we do it ♪

MARISHA: It's okay.

TRAVIS: 24.

MATT: 24, success, you take 12 points of poison damage.

TRAVIS: Oof.

MARISHA: 20.

MATT: 12 points of poison damage. Caleb?

LIAM: (mumbling)

TALIESIN: I got some distance.

MARISHA: I'm-- does my--

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18. 12 points of poison damage.

MARISHA: Does my immunity to poison change anything?

MATT: Huh?

MARISHA: My immunity to poison change anything or--

MATT: Immune to the condition or is it-- this is your--

LIAM: Monk shit.

MARISHA: My monk shit.

MATT: I'll double check here but I'm pretty sure-- this might do nothing to you. I'm just going to double check real fast here with your--

SAM: Monks have a lot of shit.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, monks are pretty great.

MARISHA: They're awesome.

MATT: Immune to disease and poison. Yeah, nothing. It hits you and you just-- (splashing) (clicks tongue)

LIAM: Glisten.

MATT: Nothing.

TRAVIS: Your friends are dying.

MARISHA: Ooh, look at my guns. They look good now.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Huh, interesting.

LIAM: You are as thin as Gandhi.

MARISHA: Fuck you.

SAM: And then I will-- that one's within melee of me, so I will disengage--

MATT: All righty.

SAM: Oh boy, there's nowhere to run, we're surrounded, but I'll-- I'll-- I'll just run away.

MATT: Okay, your movement is 35?

SAM: Yeah. Yeah, I'll run back that way, yeah.

MATT: 20, 25, 30, that's about as far as you can get.

SAM: That seems good.

MATT: Actually no, you were on the point there, so you can actually get a little further if you want to, over this way, just because you were on the--

SAM: Yeah, it's all good.

MATT: You were on the section that didn't have any swamp and then you moved into the swamp.

SAM: There's a guy over there, I didn't see him.

MATT: Well you do now.

SAM: Oh, shit! (laughter) Okay, that's it.

MATT: All right. Caduceus, you're up, Beau, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I'm going to cast Bless at fourth level.

MATT: Ooh!

TALIESIN: On everyone but Beau.

MATT: Damn, boy.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Everyone gets an extra d4 to attacks and saves.

MARISHA: I'm flattered that everyone--

LIAM: It's confidence.

MARISHA: Has-- yeah, that much confidence in me.

TALIESIN: So yeah, if you have to roll a save or if you roll an attack, you can add a d4 to it.

SAM: #blessed. On me as well, or--

TALIESIN: Yep.

SAM: Oh okay, cool.

TALIESIN: Everyone's got a d--

LAURA: Wait, on me as well?

TALIESIN: On you as well.

SAM and LIAM: "On little ol' me?"

TALIESIN: Even-- yeah, everybody.

MATT: All righty, that's your action.

TALIESIN: That's my action, I'm like-- this is where I am right now, oh boy. Am I not engaged with any of them?

MATT: You were and then you blasted them back with your shield, so you are not currently engaged with anything in combat.

TALIESIN: Okay, I'm going to break off from the group a bit.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Because I have just figured out that this grouping is a disaster.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

TALIESIN: And I'm going to try and get to the other side of this trunk over here, if that's okay.

MATT: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, that's as far as you--

TALIESIN: On the other side of it, if possible.

LAURA: How long does Bless last?

TALIESIN: Until I lose concentration.

MATT: I'd say because you were in there, I'll give you another block, but that's as far as you can get. Oh, the other side?

TALIESIN: Oh, there's no way to get through there, yeah.

MATT: That's also rough terrain because it's a bunch of bunching, so I can get you about there.

TALIESIN: I'm getting in there--

MATT: And you are partially enveloped by a bush.

(laughing)

MATT: There you go. You're good, you're good.

TALIESIN: There we go.

MATT: Or there, too. That works fine, sure, wherever you want to go, Caduceus.

TALIESIN: That's where-- I'm trying to back up against that.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: There we go, if that's real stuff.

MATT: There you go.

TALIESIN: Oh boy. Yeah, that's-- I don't think I have a bonus action so yeah, that's--

MATT: Beauregard, you're up.

MARISHA: All right.

MATT: Caleb, you're on deck.

MARISHA: I have zombie Jesus here. Zombie Jesus?

MATT: (chuckles) Sure.

MARISHA: And then that guy?

MATT: Yes.

MARISHA: I'm going to elbow the guy behind me and then give a nice roundhouse to the guy up front, I don't know.

MATT: Go for it. So one attack to each?

MARISHA: One to each.

MATT: You got it.

MARISHA: Wow, wow, that's real bad.

LIAM: Bad rolls.

MARISHA: Real bad. 13 and a 15.

MATT: Both hit.

MARISHA: Wow! Anyone can hit these guys.

SAM: Yeah.

LAURA: What'd you roll?

MARISHA: Awesome!

MARISHA: I rolled a three and a five and I still hit both of them.

LAURA: Wow.

ASHLEY: What was the total?

MARISHA: Pop pop. 13 and 15.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MARISHA: That's going to be eight to the guy in the back--

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: 10 to the guy in the front.

LIAM: (along with background music) ♪ Bum bum ba dip a dup ah ♪

MARISHA: Still standing?

MATT: What was the second damage? It was--

MARISHA: Ten. Eight and ten.

MATT: Yeah, those still standing, no issue. They both take hits, and they're like-- (growls) It doesn't seem to be that much of an impact on them.

TALIESIN: Oh, no I've got a bunch of--

MATT: (sneezes) Pardon me.

MARISHA: Bless you.

MATT: (sneezes)

LAURA: Bless you!

MATT: (sneezes)

(cheering)

SAM: A triple sneezer?

MATT: They're usually triple sneezes.

MARISHA: So wait, my--

TRAVIS: Got a triple sneeze.

MARISHA: What doesn't seem to-- okay.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Lucky.

(laughter)

LAURA: Why don't you brag about it?

MARISHA: Flurry of Blows.

MATT: Flurry of Blows? All right.

MARISHA: Same thing, one each.

MATT: Pop pop, you got it.

MARISHA: Both hit with a 15 and a 17?

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: Oh, those are better. 18 to the guy in the back.

MATT: Nice.

MARISHA: And-- nope, sorry, sorry, let me rethink that. 14 to the guy in the back.

MATT: 14 to the guy in the back.

MARISHA: That's eight plus six, right?

SAM: Correct.

MARISHA: Yes. And then--

SAM: To zombie Jesus?

MARISHA: To zombie Jesus, and then... 12 to the guy in the front.

MATT: All righty. Crack crack, you hit them both again. They both-- (grunt) bow back and they're looking hurt but they're still standing angrily, growling, on each side of you. You do, however, get your Extract Aspects on them. They are, surprisingly, immune to poison and being poisoned.

SAM: Makes sense.

MARISHA: That's not surprising.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: They're immune to the shit that they throw on us. "They're immune to poison," I say to everybody.

LAURA: Tell me what to do, Sam.

MARISHA: All right, that's my turn.

MATT: You got it, Beau. Caleb, you're up. Jester, you're on deck.

LIAM: So the nega-Widogast pulls his hands apart and a giant fireball opens up in his hands and he chucks it... over to here.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: Over in this direction so that we can hopefully catch himself and these two buddies and this one here.

MATT: Yeah, you can get all three of those.

LIAM: And himself.

MATT: And himself!

LIAM: He will disappear.

SAM: It's a fireball?

LIAM: Ja.

MATT: Go ahead and roll damage on that.

LIAM: Now, where's that thing, where did it go? There it is.

MATT: Okay, that's a fail.

LIAM: I am Werner Herzog and you are listening to Critical Role. That, I got to re-roll it because it was-- these dice, I can't do it. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Here we go. 11, 13, 17, 21, 27, 33, 34. Plus the-- plus the-- plus the-- plus the--

TRAVIS: Just shift your position.

LIAM: Plus the,

ASHLEY: (laughs)

LIAM: 34.

MATT: 34 points of damage?

LIAM: Yeah, high rolls.

MATT: That's actually really good. The two, so yeah. Caleb-- the echo Caleb-- releases it and scatters into shadow and is gone as the flaming blast lights up the space around you in the middle of this dark barely moonlit center of the swamp. As the zombies take the flame and scramble for a minute, caught off guard by the blast, they all get back to their place. This one here looks hurt, the other two are almost destroyed. Whatever flesh that was soggy and green is now black and crispy, they've lost most of their facial features and they're just like (gasping) but they're still standing.

LIAM: And also, Caleb turns into a giant ape.

MATT: Oh, okay, that works, too.

SAM: Oh, okay.

TRAVIS: Turn into what, a giant ape?

LIAM: Ja.

TRAVIS: Woo!

TALIESIN: We're monkeying around.

MATT: All right. So with that, you are now a blessed monkey.

TRAVIS: #Blessed.

MATT: Yes. And you get shunted out to this space since you cannot occupy the space the rest of your group is there. And you're a giant monkey, that's your action. All righty. Is that your turn, are you going to stay there?

LIAM: (affirmative grunt)

MATT: (chuckles) You got it. Jester, you're up. Fjord, you're on deck.

LAURA: Okay. I am going to--

SAM: This is it.

LAURA: I know. I'm going to reach into my bag and pull out the diamond that Caleb gave me that I used to Incite Greed and I'm going to hold it high in the air and I'm going to cast Incite Greed.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Incite Greed.

LAURA: Any creature that I choose within 30 feet of me, which should be all of them except for that skeleton and this guy over here, has to make a wisdom saving throw.

MATT: Correct. Those two on the outside are exempt. That guy there-- Failure. Two next to Fjord-- 16.

LAURA: Fail.

MATT: Fail. 17.

LAURA: Fail. Ah, 17 he needs, 17.

MATT: This guy does succeed.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: There's nothing. He's fine on that. The one next to Beau-- Fail. The two next to Yasha, fail. Fa-- no, he succeeds. He rolled an 18.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: They have a penalty, though, but they're still rolling pretty high. This guy, this guy, and those two are unaffected. The two that are next to you, Jester. Fail and fail.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: What happens?

LAURA: They have to use their entire turn to do nothing but move towards me. If they are within five feet of me, it can't do anything but stare greedily at the gem that I'm holding up.

SAM: Whoa!

LAURA: They all want this gem very badly.

MATT: And that's concentration?

LAURA: It is.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: And at the end of their turn, they get to make a wisdom save again.

MATT: You got it. Okay, good to know, Jester.

SAM: Wow.

MATT: Thank you. Fjord, you're up.

TRAVIS: That's, that's amazing.

LAURA: If you guys hurt them, it ends the charm effect; it's like a charm, so only attack the ones that aren't charmed right now.

TRAVIS: Got it.

SAM: Wow.

TRAVIS: Can I use my bonus action to put my Hexblade's Curse on this individual over here that has the very large-- that, yes.

MATT: You got it.

TRAVIS: And I will take two swings with the Star Razor at that unaffected--

MATT: Right there?

TRAVIS: -- gentleman, yes.

MATT: Go for it. Two strikes at that one?

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: All righty.

TRAVIS: And I'll use the word to make it glow.

MATT: So the runes light up, the blade gives off this bright, radiant light that emanates from the edge and you swing.

TRAVIS: 27.

MATT: That hits.

TRAVIS: Second one is--

SAM: Woo, c'mon Fjordy.

TRAVIS: Wow. 28 to hit.

MATT: Both hit. Go and roll damage on that one.

TRAVIS: Good, I didn't even roll the fucking plus-- whatever. 10. Been a minute. 11 points of damage and 19. So, 29 points of slashing damage.

MATT: 29 to the one that was unwounded right there.

TRAVIS: Yes, unaffected.

MATT: (slashing) Both strikes carve through. Where the blade carves into its flesh, it opens up and you can see the radiant energy sears through. There's no roughness to it, it just burns straight through, like an incise laser had carved.

SAM: Nice.

MATT: It's still standing, though really, really badly hurt and barely holding on. That's your action and your bonus.

TRAVIS: And my bonus was the Hexblade's Curse.

MATT: You going to move or stay put?

TRAVIS: Yes, I stay put.

MATT: All right. Top of the round. Yasha, you're up next.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: You are currently surrounded, though one of them who's behind you, went from (growling) to-- and just staring over towards Jester, while the one that's immediately in front of you is still thrashing towards you.

ASHLEY: Okay, since he's distracted, I'm going to go for the one in front of me.

LAURA: ♪ Come to me ♪ ♪ Oh zombies, I have a very pretty gem ♪

ASHLEY: 17.

MATT: 17 hits.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MARISHA: Butterflies.

ASHLEY: First hit, I'll take that. (counting) 21.

MATT: 21 points of damage?

ASHLEY: 21 points of damage.

MATT: Ooh, nice.

MARISHA: Oh look, a deer.

MATT: Second strike.

ASHLEY: Second hit. (sighs) It's going to explode on me.

SAM: Zombie deer.

MARISHA: A zombie deer.

TRAVIS: The deer's like (snarling).

ASHLEY: 12.

MATT: Also hits.

ASHLEY: It does?

LAURA: What?! 12 still hits?

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MATT: They don't have a great armor class.

SAM: These guys suck.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Shut up!

ASHLEY: I'm going to try rolling this again since I didn't on the last one.

MATT: Go for it.

ASHLEY: That's same, okay, so five-- 12 points of damage.

MATT: 12 points of damage. All right, you attack twice, as it (slicing) and then (grunts) carve upward and you actually carve through the face and the head splits a bit but one of the eyes looks back to you and it's shambling towards you, like the second T2 reference, like the T-1000 split open coming in your direction.

LAURA: Oh, yes.

MATT: You still have your bonus and your movement if you want to do anything or are you going to stay put?

TRAVIS: (groaning)

ASHLEY: Okay. (inhales) Oh, you know what I'm going to do?

MATT: Whatcha going to do?

ASHLEY: Is--

TRAVIS: Whatcha going to do with all this--

SAM: (laughs)

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: I thought you were going to say, ♪ Whatcha going to do when you get out of jail? ♪ "I'm going to have some fun."

ASHLEY: I'm going to use Zealous Presence.

SAM: Ooh yeah.

ASHLEY: It's a bonus action, this is for everybody. I'll unleash a battle cry and up to 10 other creatures, all of you guys, you gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws.

MARISHA and LAURA: Oh!

MATT: For the next round, right?

ASHLEY: Until the start of your next turn.

MATT: Right. Oh, so the start of your next turn.

ASHLEY: 'Til the start of my next turn.

LAURA: Awesome!

ASHLEY: This round--

MATT: You strike twice, the guy doesn't go down and starts lumbering towards you angrily. You just go (roars) and you give out this piercing fallen angel scream that echoes through the middle of this swamp. You guys hear this, as the echo (echoing), you hear (thunder rumbling).

LAURA: Oh shit.

MATT: A stormless sky, yet you hear thunder rolling and a flash in the distance as the Stormlord's power empowers you and your friends.

ASHLEY: That's so much cooler than I thought it was going to be. It's within 60 feet.

MATT: That's all of them.

ASHLEY: That's everybody? Okay, great.

MATT: Finished your go?

ASHLEY: That'll be my go.

MATT: All right, it's their turn.

TALIESIN: That's real good.

MATT: This guy's just going to run right over to Jester and this guy's going to stay put.

ASHLEY: I forgot about that.

MATT: This guy's going to-- I think, yeah, this guy moves in and tries to push past.

LAURA: Oh my god, this is terrifying.

MATT: That's as far as they can get there.

LAURA: Like the visual.

TALIESIN: That one's unaffected.

LAURA: No, he's not affected but the next, yeah, that guy is.

SAM: Do we get attacks of opportunity?

MATT: Fjord does.

LAURA: That guy was affected.

TRAVIS: But we can hold it if we want to.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: If you hit one--

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: It doesn't break on all, does it?

LAURA: No.

MATT: It just breaks on the one. So you're not giving an attack of opportunity?

TRAVIS: I'm going to listen to--

MATT: One, two, three, four. Yeah, can get right there.

LAURA: What about that little guy over by the tree?

MATT: Right here?

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: (whimpers)

MATT: That's as far as he gets there. All right, so they all move forward. All of a sudden--

SAM: Those two are unaffected?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Those two are unaffected and that, so three of them are unaffected currently. So Jester, you watch them all swarm and you hear this whole chorus of (groans). You look around you and they're all glaring in your direction, some with both eyes, some with the one eye they have, some with no eyes but the very force that holds them together through necrotic, arcane, terrible magic that rocks into this swamp is still looking right in your direction and it's not fun.

LAURA: Help.

MATT: The one that's still upon you that's pulled apart is going to go ahead and strike you twice, Yasha.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Ah, natural one and an 18.

ASHLEY: That hits.

MATT: All right, so you do take five points of slashing damage, reduced to two because you're raging.

ASHLEY: Tight.

MATT: Fjord, two attacks against you.

TRAVIS: All right.

MATT: And this one's going to move in a bit to about there, fill the gap between the three of you and yep, it's going to take two strikes against you.

TRAVIS: All right.

MATT: That's cocked, there. Okay, there we go. An eight and a 21.

TRAVIS: 21 hits.

MATT: Cocked on that one. Ooh, eight points of slashing damage on that one.

TRAVIS: And he will take seven points of radiant damage as the sword bursts with radiant energy each time I'm struck.

MATT: As it hits him, he rushes past. The impact of that radiant energy burns up the back and you see the neck snap from the tendons that are no longer holding it up, its head (creaking) dangles there and the mouth goes (growls).

ASHLEY: Oh my--

MATT: It's hanging on by a thread.

ASHLEY: That's so cool.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Then this one here is going to rush over to you, Nott.

SAM: (screaming)

MATT: Around the corner and make two strikes against you.

SAM: No!

MATT: Oh shit.

LAURA: Shit.

MATT: 20 and a natural 20.

(groaning)

SAM: Both hit.

ASHLEY: Dang.

TALIESIN: I can counter the natural 20 on that one, though, because now I have a reaction.

TRAVIS: New turn.

MATT: You do, now you do, yes.

TALIESIN: Yeah. So no natural, no crit on you.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Gimme a snap. (snapping)

MATT: Technically, you would have got your reaction back because you got your turn--

TRAVIS: It was in the same turn, the last time.

MATT: No, you're right, you're right.

TALIESIN: We cool.

MATT: Yeah yeah, I was making sure. Anyway, it's fine, you can do it.

(laughter)

MATT: So it's just two damage.

TALIESIN: Lemme mark that.

MATT: That is 11 points of slashing damage to you, Nott.

SAM: For both or the first?

MATT: For both.

SAM: Oh, okay.

MATT: Not as much because the crit got canceled by Caduceus there. That finishes their turn. That brings us to Nott, you're up. Caduceus, you're on deck.

SAM: Oh boy. I'm stuck in front of this fellow, I don't like it. Well, I can't do what I wanted to do, so I will say: Fjord, cover your eyes! And I will fire through the one in front of me at the one engaged with Fjord.

MATT: Okay. What'd you roll?

SAM: 15.

MATT: 15, that'll hit, go to roll damage. As it shoots through, not only are you pushing past Fjord but you're also waiting for a moment where the giant gorilla that's slamming towards it brings the fists up and you streak past and still manage to hit the creature.

SAM: Like a million points.

LAURA: Oh my god.

MATT: It had one hit point. You hit it.

LAURA: What a waste of all those amazing rolls.

SAM: I know.

MATT: And he collapses and falls into the swamp, unmoving. Then his body swells.

ALL: Ugh!

MATT: It explodes and poison all around you. I need Beauregard, I need gorilla man, and I need Fjord to go ahead and make--

TALIESIN: Not Beau.

MARISHA: I'm good.

MATT: Oh, not Beau because you're fine.

TALIESIN: With advantage and a d4.

MATT: Yep.

TRAVIS: Oh, with advantage?

TALIESIN: With advantage and a d4.

TRAVIS: Way better. 25.

MATT: 25, nice. You take eight points of poison damage.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: 20.

MATT: You take eight points of poison damage. There you go.

SAM: Climbing is an action? Or is it a movement?

MATT: You can climb a certain amount with half. Your movement is very minimized, but you can attempt it.

SAM: Hm. Ah-hmm, ah-hmm.

(laughter)

SAM: I will disengage with the one in front of me.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: And I will run and slide under, between Capeleb's legs, between his legs just to--

ASHLEY: Capeleb?

SAM and LAURA: Capeleb.

MATT: Just rush through and come to the other side, you mean?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, that's doable. You run and you slide and because it's all slick marshland, it Slip 'N Slides you through the gorilla's legs and out the other side. You catch yourself and look up.

SAM: Ooh, I went over a rock.

MATT: Yep. You almost got, looking up, foreheaded by the monkey wang.

(laughter)

MATT: All righty, that finishes Nott's--

LAURA: Did they all make saving throws at the end of their turn to see if they broke the--

MATT: We should do that now.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so those, him? Fail. Him? Fail. Him? Fail. Him? Fail. Him? That's cocked. Succeed.

SAM: Oh!

MATT: He is free. I'm going to mark that just so I have it. That one?

MARISHA: Very patriarchal society--

MATT: Fail. That one?

MARISHA: Of zombies.

MATT: Fail.

LAURA: Wow.

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: They really like your diamond.

MATT: They really like that diamond. They have a shitty wisdom saving throw.

LIAM: What about this one?

SAM: Yeah, I don't think Matt can see that one.

LIAM: Do you see this one behind the tree?

MATT: Oh shit, yeah, I'm blocking my own self. He would have gone--

TRAVIS: I was blocking myself.

MATT: As well. Just to mark that off there, Caduceus, you do have two attacks on you from the one that you blasted back last round that did catch up, thank you for the reminder. I was blocking with my own terrain.

SAM: Too much terrain.

MATT: That is a-- cocked that one-- 23 and a 20.

TALIESIN: Those hit.

MATT: All right. You take 12 points of slashing damage. As the one that you blasted back now scoots towards you really low to the ground and as it comes up, it rakes you twice upward with these rising claw strikes.

TRAVIS: For Pete's sake.

ASHLEY: Aw, for Pete's sake.

TALIESIN: How am I-- I'm in contact with, oh my god, I've got a lot of them around me, don't I?

MATT: Yeah. A lot of them just rushed past you and are staring at Jester, but one of them did manage to come--

TALIESIN: One of them, I'm engaged with one.

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: All right, so that brings us to the end of Nott's turn, Caduceus, you're up. Beau, you're on deck.

TALIESIN: I'm trying to take a look at what's going on. First thing I'm going to do is I'm going to take my movement. I'm actually, yeah, I'm going to take my movement, I'm going to come as far out this way as I can.

MATT: That's as far as you can get to there, next to the floating stump. You're up to waist-high in water.

TALIESIN: Cool, cool, cool.

MATT: That one that just attacked you does get attack of opportunity against you. And rolls a natural one, so it goes to strike towards you and just slips and then falls into the water and spends the rest of the the next round of actions just trying to get out of the muck. What're you doing?

TALIESIN: Are we doing a thing?

LAURA: We can do the thing, mm hm.

SAM: What's the thing?

TALIESIN: I'm going to hold Turn Undead and I'm going to wait for Jester's signal.

MATT: Okay, you got it. You're holding Turn Undead as an action. That finishes your go. That brings us to Beauregard.

MARISHA: Do I see any of this signaling happening?

MATT: Right now, you are--

MARISHA: Do I have any clue, huh?

MATT: They haven't made a signal towards you, so probably not.

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: We were standing next to each other.

MARISHA: The zombie Jesus and the guy who was next to me, I'm just going to keep whaling on them.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: And I have an advantage on attack rolls?

MATT: You do, yep.

MARISHA: Okay, first one. 21.

MATT: That hits.

MARISHA: Second one, ooh, 13.

MATT: Both hit.

MARISHA: I rolled a natural one and a three.

MATT: Natural one misses automatically.

LAURA: No, but that was--

MARISHA: No, with advantage.

MATT: Oh with advantage, Right, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah. So both hit. Yeah, one to each.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: First one, wait, did you say something about advantage on attack rolls?

MATT: Yep.

ASHLEY: Yep.

MARISHA: So wait, you get to re-roll it if you don't--

MATT: No, attack rolls, not damage.

MARISHA: Oh, okay. Not damage, not damage.

MATT: Correct.

ASHLEY: Attack rolls and saving throws.

MARISHA: And saving throws.

TALIESIN: You don't really need--

MARISHA: Okay, 11 to zombie Jesus.

MATT: Zombie Jesus falls--

SAM: Zombie Jesus!

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: And the other one, how much?

SAM: Can't be killed.

LIAM: Don't worry, he'll rise again.

SAM: Oh okay, you're right.

MARISHA: And the other one is nine.

LAURA: Don't let zombie Jesus fall because he'll knock the--

TRAVIS: We got three days, we got three days.

LAURA: The other ones aren't affected by the poison, so it's fine. They don't take damage.

TALIESIN: They don't take damage.

LAURA: Okay, good.

TALIESIN: Burn themselves.

MATT: Both of those, you punch, and as you hit them, like piñatas filled with toxic juice, they both

(laughter)

MATT: (explosions) Explode, scattering venomous liquid across the field around all of you.

MARISHA: Just for a second, it goes slow motion and Beau just like, Flashdance bathes--

LAURA: In the poison.

MARISHA: In the goop.

TALIESIN: With your friends behind you screaming in pain.

MARISHA: Yeah. Yes.

MATT: That's amazing. Very metal, very metal. To that, I need Jester and you, monkey man, to make a constitution saving throw with advantage, as of Yasha's epic scream--

TALIESIN: I asked her how to make a constitution saving throw because I was attacked and I have a spell up, but I--

LAURA: Oh, yeah.

TALIESIN: Just rolled a 20, everything's fine.

SAM: What should you do, throw this diamond and make them chase it away?

LAURA: 19.

MATT: 19? Okay. Oh, shit, okay. That is 20 points--

LAURA: Oh wait, I would add a d4 to that? No, that's just for--

TALIESIN: Saving throws.

LAURA: Yeah, so I would've added a d4. Oh, so what'd I say, 19? 20.

MATT: So 10 points of damage. Go ahead and make a constitution check or a constitution saving throw to see if you maintain your spell.

TALIESIN: Constitution saving throw also has advantage and a d4.

MATT: Yep. Yes it does.

ASHLEY: Yep.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Ooh. Ooh!

LAURA: Ooh! 17 plus three, 20.

MATT: Okay, so you maintain concentration on your spells. The other blast, I'm going to need Nott-- just Nott to make a constitution throw.

LIAM: I need to roll as well.

MATT: Yeah, oh, sorry.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: 21, so that's another 10 points of poison damage to your monkey.

TALIESIN: And you also have advantage with a d4.

LAURA: Oh yeah, you get advantage--

TALIESIN: And a d4 added.

SAM: Oh, that's slightly better.

LAURA: Still bad.

SAM: Constitu--

MATTL Yep.

TALIESIN: You've got your d4.

SAM: Plus a d4. Not real good. Right now I'm at a nine and now I'm at an 11.

MATT: That's still a fail. You take 16 points of poison damage.

SAM: I'm going to use uncanny something? No, it's an area affect.

MATT: Yes, constitution save is not a dexterity saving throw.

SAM: Evas--?

MATT: Actually, no, it's not. It's for half damage, right?

SAM: Evasion?

MATT: Lemme check, lemme check.

TALIESIN: Dancing between the raindrops.

MATT: Kind of, yeah. Double check the wording on the rogue ability here.

LAURA: Maybe you can duck underwater for a second.

SAM: Sure. No no, I can't--

LAURA: You're little.

SAM: I don't like that.

LAURA: Well, you could.

MATT: Dexterity saving throws. it's constitution, so it is unaffected by evasion, unfortunately.

SAM: 16 points.

MATT: 16 points of poison damage to you. All righty.

TALIESIN: Does your ring make it so that you can run full speed on a--

SAM: I have been running full speed--

TALIESIN: Okay.

SAM: But I don't know if that's because of the ring or just because I'm awesome.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's fair.

MATT: Well, because of the ring, you don't have to worry about the terrain.

SAM: I'm going to go possum.

TALIESIN: I'm drinking chai.

MATT: That is now from Caduceus', now Beau's turn, to Caleb. Caleb, you're up, Jester, you're on deck.

LIAM: This is a whole crowd of them still staring at Jester and this one in red is the one that is active.

MATT: This one in red and this one and the one that's still attacking Yasha over there, those are the three that are currently unaffected.

LIAM: All right. Where the monkey is looking, he can see this one who is red and turns over and sees it snarling at Jester. He is a monkey, he goes forward and pounds it into the ground.

LAURA: Ugh, but then--

MATT: He'll have to move over here to make space for it.

LAURA: Maybe throw him away from me?

MATT: Go for it, make the attacks.

SAM: (whispering) Can I see your spell?

LAURA: I keep having to make concentration--

LIAM: Lemme see.

SAM: Where is it?

LIAM: What's his intelligence? Hold on a second. His intelligence is seven, that is exactly what he does. Okay, so that's 3d10. This is--

TALIESIN: Who's fucked? Okay, just checking, just checking who's fucked.

LIAM: The first is a 24.

MATT: 24 to hit? All right, that hits.

LIAM: And then-- 24.

MATT: Both hit.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Is that the attacks or the damage?

LIAM: That's the damage.

MATT: Both hits?

LIAM: I should probably roll to hit. And it's an advantage for him, yes?

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: With a d4.

LIAM: With a d4, so--

MATT: The first one is?

LIAM: 10, 10, 10 is 19--

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: Plus a four, okay.

MARISHA: Wait. That's a 20.

LIAM: That's a 20. Yeah, one's a, oh no, that's not, an advantage.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's a 20.

LIAM: (sighs) Got distracted.

MARISHA: Yep. No, you're good.

MATT: It's fine. Roll the second attack to see if it hits.

LIAM: Okay. That is only a 11 plus two is 13.

MATT: Both hit, all damage is there. Even without the critical hit, that was enough to kill it.

LIAM: Okay.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: That one explodes once more. This time as it does, it sprays an upward geyser of greenish-brackish liquid and it rains down on the immediate vicinity around where it was. I need Jester and yourself to go ahead, and Yasha, to make constitution saving throws, please.

TALIESIN: With a d4.

MATT: Oh, shit.

LIAM: And this gets a d4 to this as well.

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: Yasha.

ASHLEY: 12.

MATT: 12, you just barely make it, that is, you take 10 points of poison damage.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: 10.

MATT: 20 points of poison damage to you, Jester, and I need you to go ahead and make a constitution saving throw with advantage.

TALIESIN: And a d4.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: 18.

MATT: 18. You take 10 points of poison damage.

LAURA: Yep.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's nice.

LAURA: Yeah, that's good.

TALIESIN: That's nice.

LAURA: I rolled 19 plus three, so 22.

MATT: Yeah, so you still manage to maintain your concentration.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Yeah, you're fine. All righty, that finish your turn, Caleb?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right. Also, I think because you took the damage, you took 10 points of damage?

LIAM: Mm-hmm.

MATT: I'm trying to think. You still have to make concentration checks for the--

LIAM: Oh, for the--

MATT: Polymorph form.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Just make a couple for me, real fast.

TALIESIN: With advantage and a d4.

LIAM: It's already an advantage because I'm--

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: -- War Caster.

SAM: War Caster.

LIAM: 16.

MATT: You're fine.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Roll one more time?

ASHLEY: Warkäste?

SAM: Yeah, he's Shakäste's brother, Warkäste.

LIAM: 13 plus-- 20.

MATT: You're fine. Just making sure that we were keeping track as we go. All right, cool. Finishes with Caleb's go. Jester, you're up, Fjord, you're on deck.

LAURA: Okay, I'm going to, I'm going to Dimension Door.

SAM: (gasps) Oh.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: This is new.

LAURA: I'm going to Dimension Door right here, next to Caduceus.

SAM: Okay.

MATT: Boof, right next to him.

LAURA: And I'm going to say: This is a signal!

TALIESIN: Got it.

(laughter)

MATT: All right, and you release Turn Undead.

TALIESIN: Turn Undead.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: Which-- yeah.

MATT: Just checking--

TALIESIN: Depending on what level they are at--

MATT: That's what I'm saying, depending on the level here. All right.

TALIESIN: Second or lower, I believe. Yep, second or lower.

MATT: Okay. Here we go. That's everybody in that radius.

TALIESIN: Yep, 30 feet.

MATT: Oh, (laughs) 17.

TALIESIN: That one? Oh, uh.

MATT: The DC in this is 17?

LAURA: Is 17?

TALIESIN: I believe it's 17.

MATT: Wow, he succeeds.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: I think, it's my spell, it's my spell DC, right?

MATT: Correct.

TALIESIN: Yeah, 17.

MATT: Pop.

SAM: Ooh!

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Turns to--

SAM: Pop pop.

MATT: The poison splashes, then it turns to dust. That one over there, same.

LAURA: Pop.

MATT: As Caduceus focuses and releases this energy outward, as opposed to a shockwave blast, the energy just all the sudden drifts up off the ground like firelight sparkles lift, and then bursts like a thousand tiny fireworks across the way and as they come (popping) around the undead, it goes around you guys and it's just like this warm wave that passes by. As it explodes near them, you watch it explode, their body scatters outward and then turns to ash. But the poison still splatters.

SAM: Ugh.

MATT: That one there?

LAURA: That's okay, they're all clumped together, they're away from--

MATT: Fail! Psh. That one. Psh.

ASHLEY: Yes.

TALIESIN: Turn down for what?

SAM: Boop ba doop a doo.

MARISHA: Beau three-point lands in the rain pool and like--

TALIESIN: This is how it's done.

MARISHA: Music video moment.

TRAVIS: Tim Robbins in Shawshank.

MARISHA: Yes, yeah.

LAURA: Oh, I was thinking like Tom Holland dancing to Rihanna.

MARISHA: Tom Holland.

TALIESIN: Okay, sorry, you guys get--

MARISHA: On Fallon, yeah.

MATT: Yasha and Caleb, I need you to make another constitution saving throw with advantage.

TALIESIN: Add a d4.

ASHLEY: Or like Step Up, Step Up 2, or Step Up 3D where they did the dance in the rain.

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

LAURA: Step Up, Step Up 2--

MARISHA: Basically, any dance sequence with a rain pool.

TALIESIN: With advantage and a d4.

ASHLEY: Oh, same, okay, so.

TALIESIN: Jesus, you're fine.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah, okay.

TALIESIN: Oh lord, oh lord. Just say the number out loud.

ASHLEY: (humming) 29.

MATT: Eight points of poison damage.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: 15.

MATT: 15. Eight points of poison damage. All righty.

LAURA: So one, one shmeasel skeleton left?

MATT: One skeleton left, or the, the lasting husk zombie. My Syrinscape crashed. That's okay. That's okay, it's easy enough to get back into battle stuff, you know how it goes. All righty, that finishes.

TALIESIN and ASHLEY: Doo da doo ba doo.

MATT: Oh no, yeah, that was your action.

SAM: There's only one left?

MATT: There is one left at the moment.

LAURA: Can I--

TALIESIN: Turn Undead, man.

LAURA: For my bonus action--

MATT: Mm?

LAURA: For my bonus action--

LIAM: That's the cleric thing.

LAURA: Oh wait, no. Nevermind.

TALIESIN: Because you did the spell.

LAURA: I did the spell, so--

TALIESIN: That was a good call, though.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: All right, that finishes your go. Fjord.

TRAVIS: I'll rush over and take the last remaining undead piece of shit, two swings.

MATT: Go up for it.

TRAVIS: That's crap, 15.

MATT: 15 hits.

TRAVIS: All right. Second one is a 21.

MATT: Hits.

ASHLEY: Yes.

TRAVIS: All right, all right. It was high. 19. 21 points of slashing damage in the first one.

MATT: Nice.

TRAVIS: And 11 plus, 13 points of slashing damage on the second one.

MATT: You're adding the d4 to those?

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: For the attack or the damage?

TRAVIS: For the damage.

MATT: They should be in it for the attack, not the damage.

TRAVIS: Right, my fault. So 11 points on the second one and only 18 points on the first one.

MATT: You got it. As you rush up, (footsteps, slicing) strike once in the midsection (groans) and that holds him in place, like the impact caused its back to seize, the second strike, carves back through its leg and its leg folds and splinters, the bone breaking in two pieces. (squelching) The head (stretching) bends backwards in an unhealthy way and the tongue (growls) lolls open. Still standing and it's real angry.

TRAVIS: I should have rolled those with advantage. MARISHA: He's still standing?

LAURA: You didn't what?

TRAVIS: I didn't roll them with advantage.

LAURA: You should roll to see if you get a natural 20 on either of those.

LIAM: It's true.

TALIESIN: Yeah, just do two more rolls.

LAURA: Two rolls to see if they're 20.

TRAVIS: Nope.

MATT: Okay, good to know. All right, Yasha, you're up.

ASHLEY: Okay, well, I don't think I can get over there. Can I get over there?

MATT: You can certainly try.

ASHLEY: I can try.

MARISHA: You can make it.

MATT: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40. Yeah, you can.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay. All right, so I take a swing. Big ol' swing, that's cocked, that's cocked again. Ooh. Good thing I have advantage. Oh wait.

MATT: You do not have advantage anymore, unless you want--

ASHLEY: That was a natural one.

MATT: Oh. Yeah, you did not call it--

ASHLEY: Unless I what?

MATT: You didn't call Reckless Attacks before--

ASHLEY: Oh yeah, no, no-no-no.

MATT: The first one misses. You go forward and as you go to swing, your foot catches one of the swamp roots and you almost fly into it. You get your blade up in time before you stumble into its flayed body and it manages to block you with its weight. As you catch yourself again, its head, just partially pulled back, is like (chomping) biting over the edge of the blade as you retract and get yourself in the right position. Second attack.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: You have a d4 on that, too.

ASHLEY: I do? Okay, let's see. I mean, if I don't mess up the rolls. Okay. 19.

MATT: 19 damage or 19 to hit?

ASHLEY: 19 to hit.

MATT: 19 does hit, go ahead and roll damage.

ASHLEY: Eight, nine, 16.

MATT: 16 points of damage.

ASHLEY: 16 points of damage.

MATT: You stab it with the second strike and actually bisect it. Its torso falls to the ground and the legs crumple into place and you're waiting for it to explode.

TRAVIS: Wait for it.

MATT: Instead, the legs get back up and the torso climbs up onto its legs.

SAM: What, it's still alive?

MATT: It was the one that made its Undead Fortitude save for this entire fucking fight.

MARISHA: Fucking die.

MATT: It remains at one hit point.

TRAVIS: Don't take it personally.

ASHLEY: (groaning)

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: That finishes your turn, I believe.

ASHLEY: Can I try, yeah. I can't do anything else.

TRAVIS: I healed 14 points because the Hexblade's Curse target died.

MATT: Ooh, it did. Call that. You hear additional moans come rushing--

LAURA: No!

MARISHA: You are lying.

LAURA: We just, what do we do? How do we get out of here?

MATT: From where you guys were over in the space, these guys rush in here--

LAURA: They're just going to keep coming.

SAM: Should we run?

MATT: These two--

LAURA: I feel like that's the only--

LIAM: I'd have to start over.

MATT: This time, as all of them have been falling and fighting, these all rush forward and as they're getting towards you, and they're rushing quickly, as they're getting near your bodies, you watch their bodies swell (sucking) psh, pop pop pop. They're not even going into combat, they're just--

LAURA: Exploding?

MATT: Detonating around you.

TALIESIN: If they were within 30 feet when I would've, when it hit that, would that have been a--

MATT: They were out of the range and just rushed in because you guys moved, you guys moved to the outside that realm. So I need Caduceus--

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: -- and Jester to go make-- this is going to be here. Caduceus, you make two saving throws for me.

TALIESIN: Okay. They don't have advantage anymore.

MATT: No.

ASHLEY: No more advantage.

TALIESIN: Okay, that's all right, I got a d4. Constitution saving throw? 25.

MATT: Okay, eight points of poison damage. That's, and Jester, if you don't mind.

LAURA: 12.

MATT: Eight points of poison damage. Second one against you, Caduceus. Go ahead and roll again.

LAURA: It's going to add up real fast.

ASHLEY: Are we just going to keep going?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: (sighs) 20.

MATT: 20? Eight points of poison damage. Jester.

LAURA: Mm, that's better. I definitely saved.

MATT: Okay, that would be 10 points of poison damage. And Caduceus?

TALIESIN: Oh, I was.

MATT: Oh no, you're on against the third one.

TALIESIN: I was doing a--

MATT: Sorry. Jester, make another roll.

TALIESIN: I was rolling to maintain concentration.

LAURA: Another one?

MATT: You made two, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Sorry, then you're fine.

LAURA: Oh, I'm okay?

MATT: Those are all the ones you guys have to worry about.

TALIESIN: Then I rolled to maintain concentration and rolled a 25.

MATT: Okay. Good, good on you. Nott.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Twice for me, if you don't mind.

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: Oh shit!

SAM: Do we have the advantage?

LAURA and MATT: No.

SAM: Then, one was a--

LAURA: You should just roll again because they hit each other, it was a thing.

TALIESIN: And then, plus a d4.

LAURA: One was a 20, it shouldn't.

SAM: Well, now those are terrible. Thanks, Laura.

LAURA: Oh sorry, well.

SAM: Doesn't matter. It's single digits.

MATT: 14 points of poison damage.

LAURA: Sorry.

SAM: Cool. Can I evade one of them?

MATT: Nope, it is not a dexterity-based. Oh, doing your Uncanny Dodge, you mean?

SAM: Sure.

MATT: Evasion's only against dexterity saving throws, unfortunately, and Evade, I think, has to be in--

SAM: It's fine.

LIAM: They're both duds.

MATT: Well, Evade is against an attack. This technically doesn't count as an attack, so it's not an--

SAM: I'll just take it, it's fine.

MATT: Uncanny Dodge, it hits you with an attack, so it is not a hit or attack, so you take, for the second one, I totally forgot, actually. Oof, 19 points of poison damage.

SAM: Ouchies.

MATT: (explosions) The one that's currently between Yasha and Fjord is going to strike twice, once at each of you.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Against you, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MATT: That's going to be a 14.

TRAVIS: It'll miss.

MATT: Yasha, that is a 16.

ASHLEY: No.

MATT: It strikes out and both you guys just managed to push it away. It's barely holding on, its body, its upper torso runs or its upper torso just climbs up its legs, leaps, and scrambles towards Yasha. The legs just stand there on its own, using its own body as a catapult. You push it off onto Fjord and Fjord, you catch it and like, "Ah!" You throw it back on the ground. That's their turn.

TRAVIS: Have some dignity in death.

MATT: Nott, you're up.

SAM: I mean, are they going to keep coming? Should we run?

MATT: Do you want to take your action to look around?

SAM: No, I'll shoot the one between Yasha and Fjord.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: Just take it off the, 24.

MATT: That hits.

SAM: A million points of damage.

MATT: It, yeah. We'll see if it makes its, it does not make its Undead Fortitude save. I need Yasha and Fjord to make another constitution saving throw. Without advantage.

TRAVIS: With advantage?

MATT: Without advantage.

TRAVIS: Without advantage.

TALIESIN: Let's stop killing--

TRAVIS: Hoo, 21.

LAURA: We need to run away.

TALIESIN: We also have to stop--

ASHLEY: 20 total.

TALIESIN: If they're next to people.

MATT: Seven points of poison damage to each of you.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Okay. What're you guys doing?

TRAVIS: Fucking moving--

LAURA: We, how, where do we go? Keep moving through it or try to get back to the--

TALIESIN: I'm going to do a Detect Undead really quickly again.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: 60 feet.

MATT: 60 feet. In that radius, you sense no other undead in your immediate vicinity.

TALIESIN: So there's nothing in 60 feet.

MATT: Nothing yet.

MARISHA: Do this now?

LIAM: (grunting)

MARISHA: Do you want to build--

TALIESIN: That will last for a little while, so.

LAURA: Oh, that will last for awhile?

TALIESIN: There's nothing around us right now.

MATT: It lasts for how long?

TALIESIN: Let me tell you.

ASHLEY: How many points of damage did we just take?

TRAVIS: Seven.

ASHLEY: Seven, okay.

LAURA: Turn Undead lasts for a minute.

TALIESIN: This is, oh awesome, Turn Undead is also still up.

MATT: Is Turn Undead concentration, though?

TALIESIN: Uh, no.

LAURA: No.

TALIESIN: Hold on, I'm looking. Eyes of the Grave is until the end of my next turn.

MATT: Okay, so it stays up for the next round.

TALIESIN: Then second, if anything comes within the next round, I get an instant warning. Turn Undead is--

LAURA: It doesn't say anything about concentration on here-

MATT: No, I don't think Turn Undead is--

TALIESIN: Concentration.

MATT: No, it is turned for one minute, it doesn't last for a minute, meaning if they're turned, they are. That's what I thought. It's an instant move and it can, the fear that you put in them can last a minute.

LAURA: Okay.

SAM: Does that mean you can't detect things right now?

TALIESIN: There is nothing--

MATT: Immediately around you.

TALIESIN: Immediately around us.

MATT: What are you guys doing? You're all covered in gunk, your body is--

LAURA: We should heal.

MATT: -- burning from the poison that's now seeped into the outside of your exposed flesh and begun to found its way into your armor.

TALIESIN: Be better to save mass heals for when someone goes down so it gets them up and heals everybody, I think.

LAURA: What?

TRAVIS: It's quiet, we're here. Should we just try and put the hut back up? If something comes, we run.

SAM: Capeleb is--

MARISHA: 11 minutes and then the other half of us stand watch. Apeleb, Capeleb?

LAURA: They're not going to stay away for 11 minutes, but--

TALIESIN: I am keeping a very sharp eye out for anything.

SAM: We should just keep going.

TRAVIS: All right. Let's keep going.

MATT: Up to you guys. You guys are still going?

LAURA: Try to get out of the mist. Did the mist cover the whole forest?

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: We don't know.

MATT: Since you began to enter the forest, the mist was slowly hanging around the hut anyway, the house, it's just been getting thicker as the night progresses and the temperature drops.

LAURA: We got to hut it. There's no escaping it.

SAM: Well, we just keep walking through the night, no?

TALIESIN: With exhaustion already? I think we're just going to make more noise.

TRAVIS: We should chance it for the 10 minutes for the hut.

TALIESIN: Let's do 10 minutes.

SAM: Okay. I'll jump up and down and start signaling to Caleb.

LAURA: And I'm going to keep Turn Undead prepped for, if anything comes near us, I'm going to immediately cast Turn Undead.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: If I see a feather move in the forest, I'm going to immediately do Detect.

SAM: Magic.

MATT: Okay, you got it. You guys--

MARISHA: You, smart person.

LIAM: Gorilla goes (shrinking). You know, I can understand everything that you're saying.

MARISHA: Oh, we didn't have to talk to you like idiots?

LIAM: No.

MARISHA: Oh.

MATT: Okay, so--

MARISHA: You should have told us that.

TALIESIN: Shh.

MATT: You go back to that little patch of land you had situated in the middle of this battle and you begin the 10 minute process of preparing this ritual a second time. Who, I would say all of you guys, everyone make a stealth check.

LAURA: Oh, it's that fucking trunk probably attracted--

MATT: The trunk sound is what you think attracted them. They weren't drawn to you until they heard the loud crack and the splash in the water.

LAURA: Oh, I'm getting myself a d4 as well.

MARISHA: 21.

TRAVIS: Eight.

LIAM: 15.

SAM: 29.

LAURA: 19.

TALIESIN: 18.

ASHLEY: Nine.

SAM: Wait, these are--

TRAVIS: Stealth.

SAM: At disadvantage.

TALIESIN: At disadvantage for--

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: Oh, against anyone that's exhausted.

MATT: For anybody who has exhaustion.

TRAVIS: Eight still.

SAM: And mine is a natural one.

MATT: Oh, your first one was a natural one?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. Did you have a point of exhaustion from last game?

ASHLEY: I don't think I do.

LAURA: No, you weren't exhausted.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: But I do have Reliable Talent?

ASHLEY: It does say condition is exhaustion.

MATT: Oh, you do. So yeah, so you roll again. So yeah, that would be a 10 plus whatever bonus you have.

SAM: 23.

MATT: 23.

ASHLEY: It's still nine.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, um. What're these, stealth?

MATT: So what is it?

ASHLEY: Nine still.

MATT: Nine still?

MARISHA: 17.

MATT: 17, okay. You guys begin guarding the space and keeping a look out, you two in particular being ready and watchful. About five or so minutes into this casting, you begin to see a few more shapes emerging from the mist, seemingly still drawn from the nearby sound of battle. They look a little confused, meaning that they're not coming directly, bee-lining at you, but the sounds of combat that recently happened here, they've been moving in that direction and you guys haven't moved away from your position, so they're just now catching up to you. They're about, I'd say at this point, you can clock them at about 50 feet from you.

TRAVIS: I will cast Major Image and put a giant, thrashing young blue dragon 120 feet in that direction.

MATT: Okay. As you guys see this and you're beginning to prep yourself, all of a sudden you hear this (roars), the cracking and breaking of trees. You glance over and you see a fucking young blue dragon just land in the middle of this swamp and begin growling, its mouth crackling with electrical energy. And you watch as these undead, immediately their heads turn (growls) and begin running in that direction.

LAURA: He's back, he's back.

TRAVIS: No--

LAURA: He's back to--

TRAVIS: It's me, it's me, I did, I did it, I did, (rolls tongue) that's me.

MATT: How long can that last?

(laughter)

ASHLEY: That's amazing!

TRAVIS: 10 minutes.

MATT: 10 minutes.

TRAVIS: Ah.

MATT: Okay. You, then, sit there and wait and watch as the loud noise that that Major Image is creating, two more, six more, a dozen more, you eventually, probably, in the period of time it takes for you to finish this ritual, watch somewhere between 40 to 50 more of these undead come out of the mists from different places, the shadows just rushing through, once again at a sprinting speed for a zombie-like creature in the direction of this dragon, as thrashing around as they're just walking in and out of its space, not intelligent enough to really discern that it's an illusion and just confused and frustrated that it's not having any effect. Some of them are popping and exploding in the hopes of taking this down, this thing that doesn't exist. But it's a large, large group of them now. Probably about 30 or so are just there, nestled around this dragon illusion. As you finish creating the dome. (poofing)

LIAM: It is a green and brown mottled color and it is less moist inside than out, except for the ground.

MATT: Okay. You guys all step inside?

LAURA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I will drop it and step inside.

LAURA: Drop it?!

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: They're all going to just come out and, like--

MARISHA: Yeah, they're just going to pound this.

TALIESIN: Well, here's the thing. We're going to give it some time.

LAURA: Well, they're not going to see us, they can't hear us.

TALIESIN: If they come back, we can just Turn Undead and just keep Turning Undead until they all go away.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: I can still do that, you can still do that. We'll be fine. I don't think the group will get through the thing.

LAURA: And they can hear through the--

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Dome? Okay.

TRAVIS: Yeah, so we should just be quiet as possible for awhile.

LIAM: Caleb is picking little insects out of the damaged tree that was pulled up and is just feeding them to Frumpkin.

MATT: There's plenty.

LAURA: Oh, I take after and I start doing that for Sprinkle, too.

MATT: Okay. You stop yourself a couple times before feeding it to Sprinkle because the toxic poison that was thrown all around this area where you guys are planning to sleep--

TRAVIS: No no, she gives it to Sprinkle.

(laughter)

LIAM: Go to sleep, go to sleep.

(laughter)

MATT: Shh, shh.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: (as Sprinkle) I welcome it.

TALIESIN: Just to help everybody heal overnight, I'm going to take a few minutes to do a Prayer of Healing.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: We all are very, very, very quiet until, you know, hopefully the zombies start to, like (popping).

MATT: Yep. As you all get quiet and rest and begin setting up your space here and you're doing what?

TALIESIN: A Prayer of Healing for 25 hit points to everybody.

MATT: How long does it take to cast?

TALIESIN: 10 minutes.

MATT: 10 minutes? Okay.

ASHLEY: 25 points, okay.

MATT: So the illusion drops before you finish casting your prayer.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: (sneezing)

LIAM: Gesundheit.

MATT: As you're quietly muttering the incantation, I would like you to make a--

MARISHA: (sneezing)

MATT: Bless you. Just a general stealth check for me.

TALIESIN: All right.

(chuckling)

LAURA: I don't think I can do that. Can I guide him in this moment? I feel like--

MATT: You can Blessing of the Trickster with him, if you want to.

TALIESIN: What does that give me?

LAURA: Advantage.

TALIESIN: Oh, so it's just a straight roll, I don't have disadvantage. That's cool, that helps. 16.

MATT: 16, okay. You manage to speak the incantation loud enough that it manages to maintain the spell, but not enough to draw the attention. In that little bit of crossover time, you watch the dragon that's just thrashing and growling and making noise in the middle of the swamp here suddenly (pops) vanish. And right as you're getting towards the end of your spell, you begin to see some of the shapes wandering from where that cluster of zombies were. Right as you finish the healing effect, it flashes, and it heals you all for how much?

TALIESIN: Everybody for 25 hit points.

MATT: 25 hit points to all of you.

TRAVIS: Thank you, sir. I say quietly.

MATT: (laughs) But the light does not emerge because the dome manages to remain obfuscating the interior. But you all watch quietly and tensely as, over the next hour or so, they just begin to scatter out a bit. And others that you didn't notice walk through the mist behind you. Night here is a very dangerous thing.

TRAVIS: Wow.

MATT: At least in this particular part of the swamp.

SAM: What did this place used to be? Why are there so many dead people here?

LAURA: We're whispering all of this. Nothing above a teeny, tiny whisper.

MATT: Both of you guys can make history checks if you want to.

MARISHA: Would I know?

MATT: You might, make a history check.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: The two Empire kids might.

MARISHA: Would I know being close, nearby, raised here?

MATT: That's what this roll's for.

MARISHA: Oh wait, I don't have advantage.

SAM: Nope.

MATT: I'll say because you lived here, close to here, sure. Roll advantage.

MARISHA: They were both, but I'm also exhausted, so I'll take the lower of the two, which is 15.

MATT: 15, okay.

LIAM: 18.

MARISHA: Wait, 15 is what I rolled. With a history check, it's--

LIAM: 7,000.

MARISHA: 23.

MATT: 23, okay.

LAURA: Ooh.

MATT: During the time of the Julous Dominion--

LAURA: Beau knows.

MATT: During the time of the Julous Dominion, before the Dwendalian Empire and the Julous Dominion had their fight, there were certain sects of people that lived in what is now the Truscan Vale and around these mountains that had built an entire colony based around this, what they proclaimed to be a god-like creature that existed in this mountain. They referred to it as the Twilight Phoenix and they would burn effigies to it. They have this longstanding belief that this mountain was its home or its what it became when it eventually laid to rest. And that's why they explain all the geothermal activity around here they say is just a remnant of it.

TRAVIS: We did see a purple firebird down in that temple of Uk'otoa.

SAM: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

MATT: But the people that worshiped this-- The people that worshiped this entity around this area also made a lot of enemies and the Julous Dominion, though they were within its terrain, at some point, they were hunted down and killed in their homeland, pretty much just wiped out around the base of Mount Mentiri.

LAURA: I have a question.

TRAVIS: Yes.

LAURA: When you were seeing that vision of Uk'otoa.

ALL: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

LAURA: And he showed you something in the mountains or something, like, a location, are we near that?

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: Would you know?

TRAVIS: Yes.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: No, it's more, it's closer to the Menagerie Coast and east and inland just a little bit, before you get to the gate that leads to the Empire, if I remember correctly.

MATT: You are correct.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: I remembered correctly?

MATT: You did, Mr. Stone!

TALIESIN: What? Right.

LIAM: Ice cold.

TALIESIN: What? Uh.

MATT: You--

MARISHA: What.

TALIESIN: Right.

MATT: Uh.

LIAM: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.

MATT: It's always a good D&D game when Peaches comes up.

MARISHA: -- callin' me. All the time.

TALIESIN: Ignore all that.

MATT: So--

LIAM: Fuck your mountain and your phoenix.

MATT: Yeah, I know. Lore?

TALIESIN: Lore.

MATT: Peaches.

(laughter)

MATT: I'm not complaining.

TRAVIS: It's true, right? We saw tapestries in that temple. One was a purple--

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Does that sound about right?

SAM: A steel trap your memory is!

MARISHA: Is there a roll to see if that sounds relatable? Can I roll for relatability?

MATT: No, your history check was, you don't have anything that directly connects to those two, but there was a mention of phoenix and this was a historical phoenix in this region. If it even existed. Like I said, there were a lot of entities that were worshiped that were just landmarks, that were just, you know, giving a persona and a divine essence to what is essentially a landmass or a natural phenomenon. This is not an uncommon thing. But it could be, who knows?

MARISHA: Especially, then, if the worshipers were hunted down and eradicated.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean, if you really want to get crazy, Uk'otoa had three temples, then I'm sure the other two entities might also have--

MARISHA: Three temples.

TRAVIS: Right. Don't know if there were, you know, forgotten to time temples around here, do you?

MARISHA: Well, I know that this was also a big battleground of the pre-Calamity--

SAM: She's whispering, that's how she whispers.

MARISHA: I'm whispering, yeah, very, yeah. Do I know of any weird temples around, like ruined temples around these parts that would fit that description?

MATT: No, based on the history check you rolled, not really, none that you know of.

MARISHA: Hmm. But I know that Pride's Call is not far from here and that's where they found the other beacon, it's just north of here.

TRAVIS: Right.

MATT: Yeah, on the other side of this mountain range.

TRAVIS: Not that this isn't the most comfortable place we've ever been in, but now that we're in here, Jester, do you mind telling us--

SAM: Oh, yes.

TRAVIS: What actually happened?

SAM: What the fuck happened in there?

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. As I'm talking, I'm just going to be watching from the direction we came and see if anything's coming out of the mist towards us or anything.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: Well, okay, so, do you remember when I told you guys that I could maybe do some, like, spells that would maybe affect people's memories and stuff?

TALIESIN: No.

SAM: Don't remember that, but--

TALIESIN: Wow, you're real good.

LAURA: I, well, (laughs) no.

(laughter)

LAURA: I told you, I don't know, was I around everyone? We were talking about it with Essek, right?

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Huh.

LAURA: Anyway, yes, so I-- I sort of altered her memory, just a little, to where she was like, "Oh my gosh, Jester!" I made her think that she, like, really liked me and that we had a really amazing time hanging out, like, we braided each other's hair and, you know, she just took an immediate liking to me, maybe she saw a little bit of herself in me, I don't know, you know. And so, and then she was like, "Oh my gosh, I just like you so much. What can I do to make you happy?" And I was like, "Oh change, you know, help Nott out and change that." And she did.

SAM: And it just worked?

LAURA: Well--

SAM: Did she realize what you had done?

LAURA: No, but she did seem a little confused at the end. And you know what? I don't know if that's normal because I've never done this before, but just in case, possibly, that it's not normal, I just thought maybe it would be smart to leave.

TRAVIS: Sure.

LAURA: But, you know--

SAM: That's incredible--

LAURA: If it did work and if does stick, then, you know, I have a really cool, powerful good friend who likes cupcakes a lot. I'm going to send her some, for sure.

SAM: Seems only fair.

TRAVIS: That's very resourceful, Jester.

TALIESIN: Wow.

SAM: Amazing.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Wow.

TRAVIS: Were you nervous at all?

LAURA: Oh, well, of course. She's really scary looking, right?

LIAM: You seem a little nervous now.

LAURA: Well yeah, because what if she comes after us?

SAM: I mean, all of us were nervous speaking with her. At least, I was, I don't know about you, that witch.

TRAVIS: If it didn't work, what were you going to do then?

LAURA: Ooh, like, run? Maybe like--

TALIESIN: No.

LAURA: Dimension Door out of there, if I could, or like-- (uncertain sound)

TRAVIS: We would've thrown down.

LAURA: It would've been a throw down probably or maybe, no, she probably would have been real pissed if she'd have figured it out. It would've turned into a fight. Who knows, she might've killed me.

LIAM: Anyway, thank you for getting the job done.

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: Yes, I mean, I don't really feel any different, but I guess I am, now.

LAURA: I believe that she broke it. It really was, like, super creepy magic stuff that she did, so I think she broke it.

SAM: But that's just, I mean, I have so many questions. So if that's true, then I could just change back whenever, I guess.

LAURA: I think so.

LIAM: Yeah, we would go again.

SAM: That's great. But what about Beauregard? What about you?

MARISHA: What about me?

SAM: Well, I mean, didn't she affect your family somehow?

LAURA: I mean, here's the thing: if she realizes that, you know, I did something, then it's possible.

SAM: But I mean, even if she doesn't realize, it still could affect Beauregard, right? Because you have this, your father did something with her?

MARISHA: Don't worry about me or mine.

SAM: Don't worry about you? But--

TALIESIN: I think it's possible that if we killed her, the next day all of your father's grapes would've died.

MARISHA: (snorting)

TALIESIN: Honestly.

TRAVIS: You know, it's true. Or worse.

TALIESIN: That's probably what would have happened.

SAM: But you're not worried about your family or your safety or anything?

TALIESIN: About what?

SAM: She said that there's a price to be paid, right? A price to be paid for what your father got.

TRAVIS: Right. What're you driving at?

TALIESIN: I don't understand what you're--

SAM: Aren't you worried about anything befalling--

MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah. It doesn't matter, don't worry about it.

LAURA: Should we have killed her?

MARISHA: No, not at all.

TALIESIN: I don't think it's a price on the family, I think it's a price on him.

LAURA: It's a price on everyone.

SAM: Maybe?

TALIESIN: Well, I mean, if you're going to "maybe" things, you can maybe anything. Maybe there is no price. Maybe it's a price on everyone who works there, maybe it's no price at all, maybe it's just 10 bottles of wine. Maybes are not useful.

TRAVIS: That deal was made so long ago, I would be afraid it would unroot quite a bit.

TALIESIN: Maybe you're the price, maybe--

MARISHA: I thought I was.

LAURA: I'm glad you're not. Because you're still here.

TALIESIN: Maybe it was his fear and not being able to--

LAURA: Oh. Ooh, that's deep.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

SAM: Wait, what was it? His fear was the price?

LAURA: Yeah. Like what if he made his entire life so miserable because he was seeking this rich goal that he ended up making himself miserable and Beau miserable and all these people around him miserable and that's what she was feeding off of, that's the price that he paid? He didn't get to live a happy life with his wife; he lived a very sad-- sad life.

TALIESIN: And drove his daughter away.

MARISHA: And now he has a son.

LAURA: He'll do the same thing.

MARISHA: Maybe. Or maybe the price has been paid.

LIAM: What's done is done; you can't turn back time.

TRAVIS: True, and it doesn't seem like it's something that gets fulfilled, it just seems to keep going.

MARISHA: Is it?

LAURA: I don't know.

TALIESIN: I like having you here.

TRAVIS: She said, "The more, the better."

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: What do you feel like? Do you feel like your life is being siphoned away? Do you feel happier right now?

SAM: Happier?

LAURA: Yeah. Do you feel like somebody's sucking your life force?

TALIESIN: I feel like there's a--

SAM: I don't feel that someone's sucking my life force.

MARISHA: I think it was a different deal.

TALIESIN: There's a maximum level of happiness possible when you're ankle-deep in swamp. I think this is lowering the baseline at the moment.

LAURA: Hey, hey, hey--

SAM: Honestly, I feel guilty right now.

LAURA: Guilty, why?

SAM: Because--

LIAM: Why?

SAM: Because we all went in there, well I don't know, I mean, you said that you had offered to go away from us and live a life of solitude in order to take this curse off of me. I mean, that was very brave of you and--

LAURA: And very not okay.

SAM: I mean, it was amazing.

TRAVIS: No, I don't think it was.

TALIESIN: I disagree with that entirely.

SAM: What are you talking about? It was a sacrifice for her friend.

LAURA: It would have been a sacrifice for her and for everyone else. Beau, you wouldn't just have just been--

SAM: For her mostly, though.

LAURA: --making yourself miserable. We would've been--

TRAVIS: We would've been miserable.

LAURA: We would've been so sad.

SAM: But she would've been even more so.

ASHLEY: I mean, we still would've lost a friend in the end, so.

TRAVIS: I think the hag pushed us to a lot of ultimate decisions. Beau was ready to move away from everything, you were ready to entertain war between nations.

SAM: I know, that's what I'm saying! That-- the thing that I-- I was a coward.

LAURA: Whisper.

SAM: (quieter) I was a coward.

MATT: (groaning)

SAM: Sorry, sorry.

MATT: You all get quiet for a minute and you watch as two of these zombies come lumbering through the swamp, wading.

MARISHA: I open the door to the hut and I just throw one of my ball bearings.

LAURA: There's no door.

LIAM: No, there is no door.

MARISHA: Oh, I just reach through and I go and toss a ball bearing.

TRAVIS: It's the South, there's a screen door.

MARISHA: Yeah, whatever.

MATT: They're both (groaning) and one of them finds the hut and is scraping against the exterior. (splashing) They both-- (gasp) and (splashing footsteps).

MARISHA: Can't deal with any distractions right now.

LAURA: Hey Caleb, can anybody scry on us in the hut?

LIAM: Well, we are packed pretty tightly and no one can scry on me, so probably not at the moment.

LAURA: Okay. Just making sure.

MARISHA: What?

LIAM: Don't go.

MARISHA: Well, I mean, this isn't going to last forever, right? So if--

TALIESIN: That doesn't mean you pull the pin on it.

LIAM: Follow your own advice. Don't go.

TALIESIN: I know you think you're done, I understand. You're not done yet.

MARISHA: How do you know?

TALIESIN: I know things.

MARISHA: Okay. That's not an answer, you know that.

TRAVIS: All right, I'll answer it: you're young, you're full of life, you hook up with anything that moves. You haven't even begun to live your life. I'm this much older than you and you're ready to quit and move on from everything that's good in your world?

TALIESIN: There's a greatness in you that you've maybe known three months. This is just the beginning.

TRAVIS: To think that you've peaked is insane.

MARISHA: Well, what are you going to do? What are your goals?

TRAVIS: To stay with my friends, to see what happens, to watch over you. You've watched over me as I've explored my past. The least I can do is return the favor. I'm invested now, I want to see peace between these nations, I want to see what this green-cloaked figure is that Jester keeps talking to--

LAURA: His name is the Traveler.

TRAVIS: I want to see Nott get back what she wants--

LAURA: His name is the Traveler.

TRAVIS: Yes, the Traveler.

LAURA: His name's the Traveler and he's really awesome.

TRAVIS: All right, it's fine.

TALIESIN: We owe it to each other.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Nott doesn't seem to care about me, but I care about her, it's okay.

SAM: I care about you, Fjord.

TRAVIS: Tell me again.

(laughter)

SAM: I care about you, Fjord. I care about all of you. You all would've sacrificed so much for me. You did, you risked your life in there. She could've seen through your little spell and taken off your cute little head.

LAURA: Well, she would've taken off my cute little hands faster.

SAM: That's bad, too.

MARISHA: We would have come running in at the first yelp.

LAURA: If you could.

TALIESIN: We're not done until we've saved each other.

LAURA: I don't know what's going on in that hut, you guys.

TRAVIS: And why would we have come running in at the first yelp? Your delts are crazy.

MARISHA: Thank you.

TRAVIS: Why would we have come running in?

MARISHA: Because we care about each other.

TRAVIS: Oh, fucking shit, we do? Amazing, does that apply to you as well?

MARISHA: (mumbling) I don't know.

TRAVIS: Oh, I think it does.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Don't do that again. Don't you care what happens to Nott?

LIAM: Don't do that again.

MARISHA: I guess.

TRAVIS: Jester?

MARISHA: I guess.

TRAVIS: Yasha.

MARISHA: Okay.

TRAVIS: This one.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Most of all.

MARISHA: Bleh.

TALIESIN: I love you guys.

TRAVIS: We did really good. That was crazy, you should've seen her up there on the roof. Bitch had four elbows. It's not normal. I saw it, like, literally, I have to do a poop check. I want to do it here but we're all trapped in this bubble.

LAURA: Nott still has poop on her leg from--

SAM: What was that from, again?

(laughter)

LAURA: From seeing the hag.

SAM: Oh.

TRAVIS: Yep. I don't want to look. I don't want to break the seal and we'll all be fucked.

(laughter)

LIAM: Anyway, we just got this one back, we don't need to lose one. Nobody goes.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay.

LAURA: Good.

MARISHA: Do you think my brother's destined for a life of misery, though?

LAURA: Well, maybe you can break him from that.

MARISHA: Maybe there are other ways.

SAM: Like how? Do you want to kidnap him?

LAURA: No, but--

MARISHA: Maybe?

SAM: I was kind of thinking about it.

MARISHA: That's not a bad idea.

TRAVIS: Wait. Did you say kidnap him?

MARISHA: Yeah, what if we just suddenly take him?

SAM: Beauregard said something interesting. She said, "Oh Luc and my brother," what is his name? JT? TJ?

MARISHA: TJ.

SAM: TJ.

MARISHA: Thoreau, Jr. My dad's got an ego.

SAM: Luc and TJ could be friends. What if just went back and kidnapped your brother and took him to live--

LAURA: (gasps) What if we go up there, I Dimension Door in, I snag him up, bamf out--

TALIESIN: Maybe TJ is going to reach an age and he'll reach out and you'll be there to get him out of a bad situation.

LAURA: It's true. Nothing makes siblings connect faster than shitty parents.

MARISHA: That's true. Plus, I have a good way of talking with angsty teens, so.

SAM: Just have to wait 10 years.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.

SAM: Really connect.

ASHLEY: And he's probably safer there than, you know, taking-- we can't take a baby on the road with us, you know?

TRAVIS: We barely took care of Kiri.

LIAM: He's with his mother.

LAURA: Kiri turned out great, okay?

MARISHA: He's behind shatterproof glass.

SAM: Is your mother caring at all?

TRAVIS: She's walking around with a dagger, telling people to go fuck themselves.

MARISHA: She's caring when she-- she's caring, yeah. She cares.

LAURA: I bet when your dad isn't around, your mom's cool.

MARISHA: That's kind of exactly it, yeah.

SAM: What if when your mom's not around, is that okay?

MARISHA: I think it's a little different. If you're talking about yourself, it is 100% different and do not fucking compare yourself to my parents.

SAM: Well, I'm totally absent right now.

MARISHA: But there's a difference between pursuing the things that make you happy and showing that and being an example to your kids and then just totally fucking being so self absorbed in your own damage that you just transfer all of that and neglect them.

TRAVIS: That's very well put, actually.

TALIESIN: That's really well put.

ASHLEY: What were your parents like? What was your mom's name?

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Wow.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Chef's kiss.

SAM: I had lovely parents.

ASHLEY: Yeah?

SAM: Ashley was her name.

(laughter)

MATT: Everyone write that down.

SAM: It was easy to remember.

TRAVIS: And your father?

SAM: Travis.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Wow, they sound, those are the most--

TRAVIS: Canon.

ASHLEY: Those are great names.

LAURA: Those are really good names.

TRAVIS: Strong, strong names. Warriors' names.

SAM: I had three older brothers who I didn't get along with too well, but my parents were loving and kind and--

TALIESIN: My parents would take long trips.

SAM: Wait, yeah? Okay. How did you cope with that?

TALIESIN: Very well. We had a close family and pilgrimages and leaving home to check in on other people was pretty common. They'd be gone months at a time sometimes.

ASHLEY: Your parents?

TALIESIN: And my aunt. Not all at once, obviously, but yes. Eventually, every now and then, some of my siblings would go, too. I would've eventually gone for things longer than two weeks to get supplies, but--

SAM: Was it lonely? Did you miss them?

TALIESIN: Well, I missed them, but it wasn't lonely.

SAM: How did you know that they still loved you while they were gone?

TALIESIN: Absence isn't the opposite of love. Plenty of ways to show someone you don't love them that don't involve not being there. Being off and doing good work was important. That's what we did as a family. They were being their best selves.

LAURA: My dad wasn't around and he was off doing good work and--

SAM and MARISHA: Well...

TALIESIN: Sure.

SAM: He was doing work.

LAURA: But--

MARISHA: He was very successful at the work he did, no doubt.

LAURA: Yeah. And you know what, though? My mom always told me if he could be here, he would, and that if he knew me, he would love the shit out of me. She didn't say it exactly like that, but. You know, your husband is telling your son how much you love him.

SAM: But I--

LAURA: He knows.

SAM: But I could be there. I can, as soon as we want.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: That's true of anything. That's true right now.

LAURA: You could have been there this whole time, though.

TALIESIN: That's true a month ago.

LAURA: It's pretty obvious that Yeza would accept you as you are.

MARISHA: You're also making boatloads of cash, which can totally go towards a great scholarship and a retirement fund, you know?

TRAVIS: Braces are not cheap these days.

MARISHA: Absolutely.

LAURA: Fjord knows. You don't want--

(laughter)

LAURA: You don't want Luc filing down his own teeth. That shit hurts.

SAM: No, I don't.

TRAVIS: True that.

LAURA: They look good, though, they're looking real good.

TRAVIS: Thanks, Jester.

SAM: But what if I-- what if when I change, if I-- when I change back, what if I don't want to stay with you guys?

LAURA: Then you don't have to.

TALIESIN: You don't have to, that's okay, but just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.

TRAVIS: It's important that you know that we want you to, but your decision matters the most.

LAURA: And if you don't stay with us, we'll know you love us.

SAM: Mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: Does thinking about going back home and having a family life, is that an exciting thought to you?

SAM: (sighs) Yes and no. I mean, yes, of course, I want to be with my family. They need me, I need to be with them and it's all I've wanted for so long but just to go back and to be a supporting player in my story doesn't seem-- I don't know how I would feel about that. I mean, we've had so many amazing adventures together. You tried to kill me. And that's crazy, that's exciting.

ASHLEY: Nott, I didn't...

SAM: Well, I mean--

TALIESIN: You've tried to kill me a couple times.

SAM: I almost did kill you.

ASHLEY: No, you've tried to kill, you've actually, you've-- I think you stabbed me a few times.

SAM: Oh, I'm sure, yes.

MARISHA: Beau has shot me in the ass. Sorry, Nott has shot Beau in the ass.

(laughter)

LAURA: You're Beau.

MARISHA: I'm Beau. I'm exhausted, literally.

MATT: Literally.

SAM: (shushes)

MARISHA: Sorry.

MATT: (zombie groaning)

LAURA: Shh shh shh.

MARISHA: I throw another ball bearing.

MATT: (chuckling)

TRAVIS: (groaning)

ALL: (laughter)

MATT: (gulps)

(choking)

TRAVIS: (explosion sound)

ALL: (laughter)

TRAVIS: Shit. We went about that the wrong way before.

(laughter)

SAM: I just don't know how, I don't know how to manage it.

MARISHA: Not knowing the Heimlich, the most deadly thing.

(laughter)

SAM: I do want to be with them, of course I want to be with them, and I'm worried that when I get to be with them again, I won't want to leave. And if I do, I'll feel shitty about it. And when I'm with you, I'll feel great, but I'll also feel a little bit shitty and when I'm with them, I'll feel great but also a little bit shitty. And I'm not brave enough to do either.

TALIESIN: I think-- I've been thinking this for a while, Nott. There is a truth to the idea that you could've gone back at any time.

SAM: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: Have you ever really taken some sober quiet time to think about what it is that you actually want and not what you think you should want?

LAURA: (gasps)

SAM: Sober's not my thing, really.

LAURA: Well--

TALIESIN: If it's possible to just sit and really try and clear your mind and figure out what it is that would bring you the most peace.

SAM: I've never really been religious or anything, but do you think I should sit and--

LAURA: Pray to the Traveler? Definitely.

TALIESIN: I was going to suggest maybe some quiet meditation, but.

SAM: Is that something you can do without believing in some god thing?

LAURA: To just sit and be quiet?

TALIESIN: Only have to believe in quiet.

MARISHA: I could teach you that.

SAM: Oh yeah?

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: I mean, I--

MARISHA: It's like monk 101 shit.

SAM: A Skillshare class?

MARISHA: Yeah. It's 75 gold.

TALIESIN: You only have to believe in yourself.

(laughter)

MARISHA: It's a subscription service.

LIAM: I thought monk 101 was horse ass-slapping.

MARISHA: That's another Skillshare course.

ASHLEY: You learn a lot in 101.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah. That first year's a bitch. Backpack's super heavy.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Fucking Cobalt--

(laughter)

TRAVIS: -class load.

MARISHA: Let's jog a mile first.

(laughter)

SAM: All right, maybe if we have some time. I mean, we're in the swamp of doom here, we can't--

LIAM: We're also pressed like sardines because we don't have, oh no, we cleared it, we cleared it--

MATT: You cleared it; you got space.

MARISHA: We could do this right now.

LAURA: But we're really close because we're whispering, so.

MARISHA: Meditation is about blocking out everything around you and your head and just...

SAM: All right.

LAURA: I can help. I'll just, yeah, I'll just poke. I'll just poke Nott the whole time.

MARISHA: That's high level meditation, that's like--

TALIESIN: She's not ready for that.

MARISHA: --a challenge.

SAM: Should I get drunk first or--

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: No, no.

MARISHA: You really shouldn't--

TALIESIN: That will make it hard.

MARISHA: I appreciate that sentiment and I know where you're going, but no.

LIAM: Maybe you should skip that flask for a few days and think about it.

LAURA: What is it considered? Does it make you wise when you are meditating?

SAM: Do you want to try it with me?

MARISHA: Am I about to lead the group in a group meditation?

TRAVIS: Fuck yes, let's do that.

MARISHA: All right, all right. Who wants to meditate?

SAM: I do.

TRAVIS: I'm ready. I'm always down.

LIAM: It's a yoga class in a zombie field.

TRAVIS: This is a first. (laughter) This is a first.

MATT: Which, mind you, the space in here is very much like a sleepover. You're all are Tetris-ed in this interior space.

TALIESIN: I'll also say that we all are exhausted, so this is going to be really hard.

MARISHA: Yeah, everyone's just going to fall asleep.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ALL: (laughter)

TRAVIS: (mimics falling)

LAURA: But I'm going to-- wait, before we do this.

SAM: Do we need a word?

MARISHA: What? No.

SAM: Like a chanting word? Don't you have a--

MARISHA: That's a monkey chant, that's different.

SAM: A monkey chant?

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: (gorilla grunt)

TALIESIN: Good callback.

TRAVIS: Like a monk apostrophe Y or a monkey chant?

MARISHA: No, like a monkey, but I appreciate that as well, yeah.

SAM: But isn't there-- I've heard or read or whatever, don't you have to say a word over and over to lull yourself--

ASHLEY: I think that's called something else.

TALIESIN: That's something else.

MARISHA: I mean, there's many ways of meditation. There's no real right way. It depends on what works best for you and your inner peace.

SAM: All right, take us through it.

LAURA: I'm going to-- hold on, before we do this, I'm going to cast Enhance Ability at third level on Nott.

TALIESIN: Guidance.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: (laughter)

LAURA: And also myself because the whole time we're doing this, I'm keeping an eye out for anything coming through the mist.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: I'm watching as well.

MATT: Enhance Ability on which ability?

LAURA: Owl's Wisdom.

MATT: Okay, you got it.

MARISHA: Fucking Thaddeus.

MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: Advantage.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Guide me. Ooh hoo! That's good. 25.

MATT: 25, you're keeping watch on them. The heavy cluster of these undead that had found you. It's taken a long time, like the past hour and a half or so that you guys have been waiting and talking and catching up a bit. They've been slowly dissipating. There's maybe a handful that are visible about maybe a hundred feet away or more and even then, just barely through the mist and only because you rolled so high. But you don't see any immediate danger, you haven't drawn any immediate attention, and for the time being, you feel safe. Are you going to guide them through a meditation?

MARISHA: Everyone lay on your back.

LAURA: Oh, we're laying down?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm going this way. I'm going to do, yeah.

LAURA: I'm going to sit. I'm going to sit so I can keep watch.

SAM: Close eyes, open eyes?

MARISHA: Close your eyes. Just being to focus on your breathing.

LAURA: I feel itchy.

MARISHA: No, don't, you push it out--

SAM: You are the worst.

MARISHA: --of your brain. Try not to move, try not to touch anything. Just try to release.

LIAM: I am thinking so many things now--

MARISHA: Stop, shut up, Caleb. God fucking, all right.

TRAVIS: (zombie groan)

MARISHA: (sighing) (loudly) Ignore the fucking undead, okay?

ALL: (shushing)

MARISHA: Sorry, sorry.

LAURA: Ball bearing.

SAM: This is the perfect place to meditate.

TRAVIS: I don't know what it looks like, but even with my eyes closed, this is so great.

LIAM: You see it from 500 feet and there's just-- they're closing in--

(laughter)

LIAM: --on this little glass ball.

MATT: This is the weirdest 28 Days Later reboot I've ever seen.

TRAVIS: Just laying on the ground.

(groaning)

MATT: We'll say--

LIAM: Namaste.

MARISHA: And I lead them through a guided meditation.

MATT: You do. And you know what? Who here doesn't have a point of exhaustion?

MARISHA: Doesn't?

LIAM: Does not, right?

ASHLEY: I do.

LAURA: You do.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: I don't know where it came from, though.

MATT: Caleb and Jester, it is a very nice guided meditation. It is weirdly calming for you, very challenging for you for the continuous amount of information that's going through your head, but you do find a few moments of clarity. You finish the meditation, you both open your eyes, and that was really peaceful. Everyone else is dead asleep.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I'm okay with that.

TALIESIN: I'm all right with that.

MARISHA: (sighs) Did your spirit animal come to you? Did you have a vision, did you--?

TRAVIS: Who you talking to? We're all fucking out.

MARISHA: I was talking to them.

LAURA: Are you awake? Are you awake?

MARISHA: Well, I guided the meditation, so I'm assuming I am. (laughs)

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: It's a marsh, I was out.

MARISHA: Yep.

MATT: Yep. (laughs)

TRAVIS: Tickles.

MATT: Because you know this space well, you weren't-- you weren't taken by the meditation to put you to sleep.

TRAVIS: Sha-ka!

(laughter)

SAM: Nice cover.

(laughter)

SAM: What was that sound supposed to be?

TRAVIS: (laughs) Like how to tickle.

MATT: The meditation, successful, was nice. Eventually, you find yourselves to a comfortable rest for the night within the safety of this dome, hopefully for the length of time that it remains as it is an eight hour dome and you spent the first two hours of it talking and going through this meditation.

LAURA: Oh Jesus.

MATT: But that should be fine. As you find yourselves asleep in the middle of the darkened mist-covered--

LAURA: Wait.

MATT: --swamp...

LAURA: One last thing.

MATT: Yes?

LAURA: As we're going to sleep, I just want to apologize, Caleb. I mean, I just want you to know that I would never use anything to modify a memory on you or Yasha or anyone that... that we know. You know, I know what it means.

LIAM: Well... it's a tricky thing and it's all about what you do with it, really.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: And you did a good thing.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: You made her happier.

LAURA: I think so.

LIAM: And it sounds like you made your new friend happier as well.

LAURA: (laughs) Yeah. Okay. I just wanted to make sure.

LIAM: Good night, Jester.

LAURA: Good night, Caleb.

MATT: Under the dull moonlight against the now relatively still marsh waters that rest around here, the darkened dome visible, you all find a night's rest. We're going to go take a break.

(whooping)

TRAVIS: Long rest, baby, you gimme dat.

MATT: You did, you got yourself a long rest. I, I think, knocked over-- there it is, my information sheet for the giveaway tonight. We have our giveaway tonight from our friends at Wyrmwood Gaming. We're giving away the Valentine's Day Vault, which includes a custom transcription, transcwiption, in Quenya Elvish. So we got, I guess, two of these to give away on that, which is kind of rad. You can order it now until February 8th, so very soon, little window, at wyrmwoodgaming.com to receive it by Valentine's Day if you're looking to give one of these to a present and a special someone. So you got two days to get it in time. The keyword. Remember, you can only enter it once in chat. Entering it more than once will disqualify you guys. Once again, it's for US and Canada only, excluding Quebec because of challenging laws.

TRAVIS: Hey.

MATT: But yeah, the word tonight is cupcake.

(laughter)

MARISHA: There you go.

MATT: C-U-P-C-A-K-E, cupcake. We'll be back here shortly to continue our story. See ya in a bit.

(cheering)

BreakEdit

(upbeat music) ♪ You got the perfect warlock ♪ ♪ Her weapons and supplies ♪ ♪ But you need a place to track your stuff ♪ ♪ 'Cause you're so disorganized ♪ ♪ You click open a webpage ♪ ♪ You heard about on Critical Role ♪ ♪ And now you're ready to kick some butt ♪ ♪ In a mineshaft full of gnolls ♪ ♪ It's D&D! ♪ ♪ D&D, yeah! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ Yeah D&D ♪ ♪ D&D, yeah! ♪ ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ ♪ You got your stats, you got your swords ♪ ♪ And you got your invisible wand ♪ ♪ It's D&D ♪ ♪ D&D ♪ ♪ D&D, D&D ♪ (electronic drumming) ♪ D&D Beyond ♪ (upbeat music) (dramatic rock music) ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo doo-oo ♪ ♪ Doo-oo doo-oo doo-oo ah ♪ (bluesy guitar music) LIAM: Look at me, I'm Leatherface! SAM: (laughs) (chainsaw mis-starting) LIAM: (yelps) (bluesy guitar music) JULIE: All Work No Play. (laughs) (bluesy guitar music) BRIAN (V.O.): Last time on Talks Machina. BRIAN: "We saw your face journeys, but can you talk about "your train of thought as Laura Bailey "once again proved she is the bestest at haggling?" ASHLEY: It took awhile to realize what she was doing, but then when we did, we were like, "There's no way"-- TALIESIN: I didn't-- I genuinely didn't know what she was doing until the-- so I was like, "Is this a bit? "Are you just doing a bit, is this?" Ah yeah, and then, that spell-- BRIAN: Did you think she was going to really give up her hands? I thought she was going to give up her hands-- ASHLEY: For a second, I was like-- BRIAN: I was like, "She must have "some spell where she could grow them back?" ASHLEY: Jester does shit that you're like, "How did you even? "You're so impulsive and you do things..." Like, it wouldn't have surprised me if she did it. TALIESIN: It was so, it was so clutch, too. It was so fucking crazy. ASHLEY: It was so cool. BRIAN: She's playing some long cons this campaign for sure. ASHLEY: Yes. TALIESIN: Every now and then you see somebody in one of these games just do something so off the fucking wall. And it was so off the fucking wall. ASHLEY: And she used Modify Memory in such a positive way, which is what was so cool. It was just so delightful, and then just, like, now the hag is like, "Oh, I got a buddy now and I wonder where she is. "I just want to hang out with her." I mean, who knows? Maybe in the future, it won't-- TALIESIN: That's going to come back to haunt us. ASHLEY: It's going to come back. BRIAN: Yeah, because Matt-- TALIESIN: That's come back to haunt us. BRIAN: Matt even did one of those, you know, things where he says, "Yeah," but, you know, and he's smiling while he does it that makes me think-- ASHLEY: But in the moment. BRIAN: "Oof." But in the moment, yeah, it was incredible to see that's what she chose to do instead of, yeah, it was baffling. Instead of-- ASHLEY: Ugh, it was so good! BRIAN: You do often see Modify Memory used not that way and I thought that, yeah. ASHLEY: Yeah. BRIAN: Yeah, yeah. You're right, yeah. ASHLEY: It was so good and the cupcake, it was just like, ah, it was so good. TALIESIN: It was a-- perfect. It was perfect. BRIAN: As people went in and out of Isharnai's cabin-- how'd I do? DANI: Good, right. BRIAN: I'm awesome. You looked like you had a plan but you didn't get to act on it. TALIESIN: The best I came up with, I came up with the idea of Clay was thinking of offering to never go home again. ASHLEY: Oh. BRIAN: Whoa. TALIESIN: So still save everything. DANI: Yeah, but just never see it. TALIESIN: But just be like, "I agree to never, "that once it's up, it's fine." That's rough. BRIAN: That's rough, buddy. TALIESIN: Didn't have to do it, so. BRIAN: Goddamn. "How did it feel for Yasha to be told "she was already too miserable to make a bargain with? "Does Yasha agree that she is the bottom of the barrel "or has she found some happiness with her friends?" ASHLEY: I think she would agree with that and I think it was almost good for her to hear that, of like, "You're the bottom of the barrel right now." (inhales) I do think she's slowly finding happiness with her friends and sort of getting comfortable with those relationships again. I think the conversation with Caleb was nice to, I mean, to sort of have a companion in misery. BRIAN: "When communing with the Wildmother, "Caduceus received confirmation that "his family indeed is at the menagerie. "However, Matt described this response having less intensity. "How did Caduceus interpret this?" TALIESIN: Not all of them are there. BRIAN: Okay. Just-- TALIESIN: That was his immediate thought is it's just one or two of them, not everybody. Probably one, but. But that was how I interpreted it, anyway. BRIAN: And how did he feel about this news? TALIESIN: Relieved and also embarrassed that he bothered to ask. It was one of those things where you shouldn't ask. This is not the sort of thing you ask. That's a sign of cowardice. BRIAN: "Yasha made up her mind very quickly "to enter the hag's home to make a deal. "What was her thought process while listening to "Beau speak about the deal she wanted to make?" ASHLEY: I didn't necessarily see it as one-upping each other, but I get that, but I think all of us were like, "No, I'm not going to let you do that. "I can give up something, you can't, "but I can because you're more important." But I think it was just sort of-- HENRY: (barking) ASHLEY: Oh! BRIAN: It's Marisha! ASHLEY: Speaking of! BRIAN: He's excited to see Marisha. MARISHA: I was going to-- ASHLEY: It was a slow walk. MARISHA: -- stealthily-- BRIAN: You can't sneak out stealthily from that dog. ASHLEY: You rolled low on that stealth. BRIAN: Yeah, that was a natural one. DANI: A natural one. BRIAN: "What do you make of Jester leaning into "the more serious side of the Trickery domain as this was "a masterful display of subterfuge against a powerful being "rather than just one of her innocent pranks?" TALIESIN: I feel like the innocent pranks are already covering for the masterful subterfuge. I think it's all a grand scheme, personally. ASHLEY: Yeah, I feel like-- I mean, we don't fully know what happened in there yet. TALIESIN: No, we actually, the characters have no-- ASHLEY: The characters don't. TALIESIN: She literally just, she just ran out of there like somebody running out of 7-11 going, "Don't ask questions." ASHLEY: Start the car. TALIESIN: Start the car. Let's go, we're going right now, right now. Don't ask. ASHLEY: No, we're not leaving. TALIESIN: Don't look back. BRIAN: No, we're not leaving him, no. TALIESIN: Oh Henry. ASHLEY: Henry. TALIESIN: Henry? BRIAN: He's, I feel like-- TALIESIN: Don't go over there, that's something special. BRIAN: There's a cop hiding somewhere in here. He's been trying to sniff him out for me. I trained him to sniff out cops. TALIESIN: There's a cop hiding in all of us. ASHLEY: Sit. TALIESIN: Truly, when you think about it. BRIAN: That's true. ASHLEY: Sit, thank you. BRIAN: The Cop Inside Me? I read that book. TALIESIN: Changed my life. (dramatic music) (cheering) (whooping) SAM: Yeah, we did it, yeah! DANI: Sam Riegel, you just won the Super Bowl, what're you going to do now? SAM: I'm subscribing to Critical Role, yeah! DANI: Beautiful, and that's-- SAM: It's about perseverance, like remembering to resubscribe with Twitch Prime every month, yeah, ho ho ho ho. DANI: Yes! Well, could you-- SAM: Have done it without my teammates? Come on, no way! And they couldn't have done it without the Twitch subscriptions that I gave them, right, guys? Yeah! DANI: Okay, Sam, but what about-- SAM: What about what inspires me, you mean? Well, Yee-Haw Game Ranch really does. I mean, watching that dehydrated piece of string cheese Brian Foster every couple weeks really gets me pumped for the big game. (laughs) DANI: Sam, hold on, we have to-- (air horn blowing) SAM: You can't believe it? You can't believe it, is that what you said? Well, it's true because every Yee-Haw VOD is instantly available as soon as you subscribe. It's amazing. DANI: Sam! SAM: We did it, guys. DANI: Sam! SAM: Yeah, yeah! DANI: Sam! SAM: Yeah! What? Sorry. DANI: Just say, "I'm going to Disneyland." You're doing a commercial for Disneyland. SAM: Oh. Uh. (squirting) What's a Disneyland? (explosion) (dramatic music) (whistle blowing) (dramatic music) SAM: I don't know, I got to be honest with you-- DANI: Oh! SAM: I got hit in the head pretty hard out there. DANI: Oh my god. SAM: Woo, uh, I'm not good at sports. (thudding) (crowd groaning) (whooshing) (cheering) (fire whooshing) (dramatic music)

Part IIEdit

MATT: And welcome back. All righty, so we have our two winners for the two pieces in our Wyrmwood giveaway of these Valentine's Day inscripted bits. The winners are thintheveil.

ALL: Ooh.

MATT: Congratulations, thintheveil. And gamerjasmania.

SAM: Ooh!

MATT: Congratulations to the both of you. We'll get those pieces sent out to you ASAP. (paper rustling) All righty. So, Mighty Nein, after a long rest is acquired, the points of exhaustion of which those of you who still maintain them, if you had just one, goes away. I believe you all just have one point each. But you awaken just as the dome vanishes. You're awakened because as soon as it does, the warm, comfortable interior and the not-as-terrible smell suddenly vanishes and you find yourself immediately exposed to the elements of the swamp and (gasps) you all wake up as the cold air and the mist, still burning off in the early morning around you, greets you to the day.

LIAM: Early to bed, early to rise.

TALIESIN: Detect Undead.

MATT: Okay. None.

LAURA: Oh.

TALIESIN: We're good.

MATT: For the time being, at least.

TALIESIN: Pa-pa-pa-pow.

(laughter)

LAURA: We should get out of here.

TALIESIN: We should get out of here.

LAURA: Caleb?

LIAM: Ja?

LAURA: I'm picking my spells. Can you teleport us out or do I need to Find the Path?

LIAM: I think so, but I don't know that I can draw upon the ground here.

TRAVIS: Oh, right.

TALIESIN: Maybe finding the path.

LIAM: So we may need to walk a little bit.

LAURA: Hold on. Lemme see, hold on.

SAM: Wait, you could--

LAURA: Don't I have a shape--

SAM: You could paint a ground.

LAURA: I could paint a ground on the shitty ground?

SAM: You could paint a--

LAURA: Hold on, hold on, hold on.

SAM: -- breakdancing cardboard piece? You know what I mean?

TALIESIN: I do.

LAURA: How much space do you need to make the circle?

LIAM: A 10-foot-diameter circle.

SAM: Big breakdance.

LAURA: Well, I could Stone Shape a couple times.

TALIESIN: Or we could just walk.

LAURA: Or we just walk out.

TALIESIN: We walked in.

LAURA: Maybe we walk until we get to ground that you can draw on.

LIAM: Where do we want to go, again?

LAURA: I don't know.

MARISHA: I guess back the way we came?

LIAM: Well.

MARISHA: Do you think our horses are still alive?

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: How do you think WCG there is doing?

LAURA: No, we sent them home, remember?

MARISHA: I know, but do you think they made it?

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: No, me neither.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Not a fucking chance. "Oh, I'll just stay under this tree at night." (growls)

MARISHA: (laughs)

LIAM: Well, they were disguised as moorbounders dancing around like horses.

TRAVIS: Oh yes, that's true.

MATT: Yep.

MARISHA: For how long?

SAM: An hour or something.

LIAM: No, it was eight hours. Seeming.

MATT: Eight hours.

MARISHA: Eight hours?

MATT: Yep. Seeming lasts a while. No, not concentration.

TALIESIN: We could head that way and see if there's anything left. (laughs)

MARISHA: Summons a scrap.

LAURA: They were--

ASHLEY: Or they got killed when they got into town because they were like, "Ahh!"

(laughter)

TRAVIS: They made it all the way back.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Hey!

LAURA: Oh no!

(laughter)

LAURA: That is so true.

SAM: Slay the beasts!

TRAVIS: Also, fair.

(laughter)

LIAM: Buttercup?!

LAURA: Oh no.

ASHLEY: It's okay.

TRAVIS: All right, let's move, take advantage of the light.

ASHLEY: They're beasts of the wild; they'll be fine.

SAM: Do we have to move quietly? Or just go as fast as we fucking can?

MARISHA: Kind of want that to be the reality.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Just because it's so funny.

TRAVIS: Are we casting your path-locating spell or just taking it?

LAURA: I mean, I guess I can prepare it. Give me a second.

MATT: If you continue to traverse here, we will begin doing a skill challenge.

SAM and TALIESIN: Oh, that's right.

MATT: If you're walking the rest of this path--

LAURA: That's why I was saying we should teleport.

TRAVIS: Can't draw it.

MATT: It's up to you. Find the Path will help reduce the number of successes required to make your way out.

LIAM: We are done with your family? You don't need-- that's it for now?

MARISHA: Yep.

SAM: You don't need to go back?

MARISHA: For? I have no answers.

SAM: To kidnap your brother?

MARISHA: Not, I can't, not yet, I don't think. I have nothing else to report, I don't think.

SAM: Okay, it's done.

MARISHA: Nothing I can't send in a message through Jes.

LAURA: I can send a message.

TRAVIS: She was gesturing to you, so yeah.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: By the way--

LAURA: Then yeah, I could send a message.

SAM: That meditation stuff, I mean, it felt a lot like sleep.

MARISHA: Yeah, you fell asleep.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I didn't, I stayed awake.

MARISHA: We'll try again when we're--

LAURA: No, you fell asleep.

MARISHA: -- not so tapped.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Maybe for the time being, you just practice being sober.

SAM: Okay.

MARISHA: How has that been? Because I know you were doing all right and then-- but I don't know if that's how--

SAM: I've been sneaking a lot of booze.

MARISHA: We've noticed.

SAM: Okay, okay. I mean--

MARISHA: No, we know.

SAM: Cool, I mean--

MARISHA: Yeah.

SAM: It's been going great, then.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: We can often tell because you get a little aggro.

SAM: What the fuck did you just say?! I'm just kidding.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Is it something you want us to help remind you with or no?

SAM: No, I like to drink.

TRAVIS: Right.

MARISHA: Do you want us to help you with that?

SAM: But if I'm aiming for this meditation thing, then I will do my best, so yes, if you catch me taking a little nip, why don't-- Yasha, why don't you knock it out of my hand?

ASHLEY: Are you sure?

SAM: Yep.

MARISHA: Yasha's the only one with permission?

SAM: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: What if she doesn't notice and the rest of us do? Are we allowed to tell her?

SAM: You can tell Yasha.

LAURA: Oh.

ASHLEY: Are you stopping entirely or are you doing a taper thing?

TRAVIS: No, don't ask for clarification. Wider is better. Broad, broad.

ASHLEY: Any time you take a nip, I knock it out of your hand?

SAM: Go ahead, I give you permission.

ASHLEY: What about if we go to a tavern or something and you want something to drink?

LAURA: Nope, nope. Knock it out.

SAM: Wait, taverns, too?

LAURA: Anywhere.

SAM: Oh shit.

LAURA: Booze is booze is booze.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: But a lot of taverns have decent milk.

SAM: I've seen the lumpy shit that you drink. It's like stew, it's like dairy stew.

LAURA: I have a lot of--

ASHLEY: You could have some tea.

LAURA: I also have some dust of deliciousness left.

SAM: Okay, so you can make the curdled milk taste like a cupcake?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Like butter.

SAM: All right. (laughs)

LIAM: New England clam chowder.

(groaning, gagging)

TRAVIS: All right.

(laughter)

SAM: A nice of shot of New England clam chowder.

TRAVIS: (gagging)

SAM: With tequila. Beer and ranch dressing.

LIAM: That sounds good.

(laughter)

MATT: You saved yourself and you saved us all. So what's the plan? Are you guys traversing the way back?

LAURA: No, I am going to use Stone Shape.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to look for a patch of ground that is, you know, good and I'm going to make it nice and flat and drawable for Caleb.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, you can definitely do that with that spell. You take a little bit of time, keeping an eye out as well, setting up this stone flatland platform large enough to contain this circle of teleportation. Easily enough, it's available to you. You can begin the inscribing on the ground.

LIAM: Destination? Anywhere, East or West?

LAURA: Where do you want to go?

LIAM: I don't care.

TRAVIS: The Menagerie. Close to the Menagerie.

LAURA: Well, we can go to Yussa's.

LIAM: Mm hm. Do you want to give him a heads up this time? We could actually be responsible, for once.

SAM: Is that, weren't we going to--

LAURA: Caduceus.

SAM: To Caduceus'?

TALIESIN: That would be on the way, that would be the way to do it.

SAM: On the way, well, I mean, we're over here.

MARISHA: But I don't know if--

SAM: Menagerie is here and Yussa's over here, so--

MARISHA: But what he's saying I don't know if Caleb knows any other closer teleportation circles past that.

SAM: But we can go to Rosohna and ask Essek to take us there

TALIESIN: Or we can get the ship.

LAURA: And go to your place and then go do the meetup.

TALIESIN: Go to my place and then to yours.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: That's a lot of seafaring.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

SAM: That's three weeks of seafaring.

MARISHA: That sounds fucking awesome.

TALIESIN: That sounds great.

LAURA: We haven't been on a boat in a long time, you guys.

SAM: We're just going to go on a sail for three weeks? Don't we have shit to do? Don't you want to--

ASHLEY: Wait, but isn't the con coming up?

LAURA: I'm going to send a message to Orly and see where they are.

SAM: You're right, but we'd be going down there.

ASHLEY: We'd be going down there anyway.

MARISHA: We did tell Orly to stay, right?

TALIESIN: We did.

MATT: You told Orly to hang around, I believe.

MARISHA: We were like: Hey Orly, don't go.

LIAM: Stay.

LAURA: We did?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: I think so.

LAURA: Okay nevermind, I'm not going to send him a message, then.

MARISHA: Well, I mean, you could.

TRAVIS: We're right here, right?

SAM: Just to clarify--

MATT: Actually, north of Kamordah, you're more up there, yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay, and the Menagerie's here?

LAURA: Yeah, but Nicodranas is down further, yeah.

SAM: And just so I'm clear, we, who right now are near another destination that we had--

LAURA: Which is what?

SAM: Pride's Call. There was another item on the to-do list.

MARISHA: No no no--

SAM: We are going to, sure, sure, sure, but we're going to choose not to do that and instead--

MARISHA: Well, we don't--

SAM: -- decide to go on a three week-long boat trip to a place that we can get to in one day?

MARISHA: Well, we decided we weren't going to do Pride's Call because we decided we didn't need to--

SAM: That's fine, but even going to Caduceus' family, we could get there in a day and a half versus three weeks of boat trip.

TRAVIS: You mean, if we traverse all these mountains and come down this way?

SAM: No, if we teleport back to Xhorhas and ask Essek to just take us there.

MARISHA: Yeah, that's assuming a lot from Essek, though, right?

TALIESIN: I don't know if I want to keep burning favors. I'm happy to just take the journey, I'm a believer in the journey.

SAM: He's our best bud.

LAURA: I can send him a message and ask him if he can do it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's ask him. I mean, we did help him make an incredibly powerful spell. Seems to be--

TALIESIN: I'm okay. I'm personally happy getting on a boat. I think that sounds like a lot of fun.

LAURA: Either way, Orly's going to have to meet us. That boat is going to take three weeks.

TRAVIS: Yeah, the boat's pretty slow.

LAURA: To get to the other place.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay, why don't we ask Essek first? That's always the first step, right, asking?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah? All right.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Something to put into practice every time.

LAURA: I'm going to send a message to Essek. Question: if we needed to teleport somewhere, would you be able to do it because you love us now? Or is still, like, not cool? Ish.

TRAVIS: It's hard to count words. My ADD goes crazy.

MATT: "Well, that depends on where are you going."

LAURA: Fuck.

MATT: "If it is a place I don't know, there is significant risk. But possible."

TRAVIS: We did this before, when we were chasing Obann.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: We just fell through a bunch of fucking trees.

LAURA: That's risky.

MARISHA: But I'm into it. Right? We're into it?

TALIESIN: I mean--

MARISHA: What do we want to do?

TRAVIS: It's a great idea. I think it's actually the fastest way to do it.

LAURA: And then we do the stuff for Caduceus.

TALIESIN: And then--

LAURA: We can teleport to Nicodranas.

TALIESIN: And then we take a boat ride for three weeks.

LAURA: And then we take a boat.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LAURA: Well, not for three weeks, just for a couple weeks. We go deal with the negotiation and then we go to Traveler Con.

MARISHA: Are you wanting to take a boat because--

TALIESIN: I was excited on a boat.

MARISHA: Are you excited about the boat because it was going to stall for another three weeks?

TALIESIN: I don't know.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Caduceus, you're very honest, normally.

MARISHA: I think he honestly doesn't know.

TALIESIN: I don't know.

LAURA: We could go to Nicodranas, get on the boat, go do the negotiation, go to Traveler Con, and then go do the stuff for your family if you want to delay.

TALIESIN: There is the negotiation. No.

LAURA: We have to be on the boat.

TALIESIN: No, let's do this, all right.

TRAVIS: Fuck yes, let's do this.

LAURA: Really?

TALIESIN: Sure.

LAURA: Okay. How much time until Traveler Con?

MATT: It's about, I think, four weeks, four to five weeks at this point, somewhere in that neighborhood. The negotiation--

MARISHA: It hasn't changed or it's--

LAURA: I mean, it's only been a couple days. Every time I ask, it's like a day.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: It's always a day.

MATT: Yeah, it's between four and five weeks, I think.

TRAVIS: People come and go so quickly.

TALIESIN: I have everything I need for-- I don't necessarily know what I need to do, but I've got everything I need for--

MATT: You have completed the visions that brought you to Kravaraad and you have the materials that you recall in the visions that you required for the next stage, but that's all you know.

TALIESIN: Okay, yeah.

LAURA: You want to try it?

TALIESIN: Sure.

LAURA: All right, let's go to Xhorhas.

LIAM: (chalk scratching) Ready?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: (whooshing)

LAURA: Oh, we didn't tell them.

SAM: Ah, shit.

(laughter)

MARISHA: We told the one person without the other.

TALIESIN: We talked about it.

LAURA: We talked about it.

LIAM: That's a step in the right direction.

TALIESIN: Ugh.

MATT: Baby steps, guys, baby steps.

TALIESIN: We're the worst.

MARISHA: We're incapable of changing our actions.

LIAM: We wanted to care.

MATT: Eh, really?

LAURA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: We are the worst house guests.

MATT: All right. You all immediately return, there we go, to the Lucid Bastion basement. (rapid whooshing) All arriving in the familiar basement, the posted Aurora Watch spin around just to check, that brief moment of (grunts) (sighing) and they go back to their post. You walk the familiar crystal-walled halls, head nods of recognition, though it is bustling, you can tell that there is an energy here, probably due to the current holding of any sort of conflict. A lot of people are figuring out what to do, what to watch for, and what to be careful of in that time period as well as preparations for this seafront negotiation of which, while the leaders will not be physically present, there will be a lot at stake and on the table for this discussion. You make your way into the open Gallimaufry, heading your way towards the neighborhood where the Xhorhaus resides. The tree greets you, still glowing in the eternal night that is the city. You approach the door, (bell ringing), it opens, and your home is as you left it.

LAURA: I'm going to go wash all this poison-y swamp nastiness off of me.

SAM: It just occurred to me, we have a lot of money. Should we hire someone to take care of the house while we're not here?

LAURA: Well we did, but they up and left. I don't even know where she went.

SAM: She wasn't really hired.

MARISHA: Dairon? She's an Expositor of the Cobalt Reserve.

LAURA: I don't know what you're talking about, I'm going to go take a bath.

SAM: Should we hire--

TRAVIS: No, I don't really care. I think it's quite nice now.

SAM: But there's never any food here when we get back, we have to go shopping.

TRAVIS: That's what Caduceus is for.

SAM: I guess so, but--

MARISHA: Caduceus, can we heat up the hot tub?

TALIESIN: Yeah, oh, I can--

LAURA: We emptied the hot tub. We have to fill up the hot tub.

SAM: Our servant could do that for us.

TRAVIS: Caduceus, could I have a mushroom and moss sandwich, please?

SAM: (laughs)

TALIESIN: I can do all of these things.

MATT: (chuckles)

LIAM: It's still relatively early in the day, right? We woke up--

SAM: 7 a.m.

LIAM: Put some stone on the ground--

MATT: You did, but you traveled a bit, so you lost a bit of time.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: By the time you guys had come to and set yourself up and so, I'd say you would have left around probably nine.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: To have gotten your full rest from the time you did actually sleep. Getting here, I'd say it's close to midday. Though, once again, middle of the night.

LIAM: Right.

MATT: Here in Rosohna most of the time. You're looking around noon.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You begin to prepare--

TALIESIN: Go prepare the hot tub and I'm going to make some sandwiches for everybody.

MATT: Okay, there you go. A proper moment of downtime. (laughs)

TALIESIN: Crusts cut off, I assume.

TRAVIS: What?

SAM: Crust cut off?

TRAVIS: No, that's where all the nutrients are, right? You said it's all in the crust.

TALIESIN: I was just assuming you were going to be picky.

TRAVIS: No!

TALIESIN: Oh, all right.

ASHLEY: Wait, what kind of sandwich is this?

TRAVIS: Mushroom and moss.

ASHLEY: Mushroom and moss?

TALIESIN: It's an M&M.

TRAVIS: Caduceus special.

TALIESIN: Yeah, I'm working on it. Tiny triangles, tiny triangles.

TRAVIS: That's very sweet.

TALIESIN: Like tea sandwiches.

TRAVIS: Oh, (laughs) yeah.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I thought it was multi-tiered.

MARISHA: So cute.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: More cucumber!

MATT: While you're making sandwiches, you guys have the afternoon here in Rosohna. Is there anything you want to accomplish while you're in the city, anything you're looking for, or--?

LIAM: Yeah, I want to go shopping.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: I have an errand to run.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That is, I want to ask around town and find a magical shop. Scrolls.

MATT: Oh, scrolls in particular.

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: You do know, there are a couple of small magical shops, if there is a place to go to get that sort of knowledge. You can try, first, the Marble Tomes Conservatory or you can try and look for a place that's more off the beaten path. Your call.

LIAM: I will go to the Marble Tome Conservatory.

MATT: Okay, you do know that place. It is a little more controlled, you know, it's definitely more of an established location. So who knows?

LIAM: I can't remember, Caleb does but I can't, is that a shop or more of a library?

MATT: It is a library in a place of learning, that is where Professor Waccoh is, but it's also where you have the Enchanter Yun that made her bracers was.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You have a rapport there.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: But it is more of a place of learning. It's up to you, if you think the rapport that you have--

LIAM: I'll look for the shop, I'll look for the shop. I'm going to go bargain--

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LIAM: Bargain bin.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

LIAM: Diving.

MATT: Make an investigation check with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Come on baby, let's go.

MARISHA: $5 DVDs.

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: I will say that--

MATT: Actually--

LIAM: I was about to drop a Fortune's Favor on myself before heading out the door.

MATT: You can do that. We're going to make it, just situationally here--

TRAVIS: We're property owners.

MATT: Persuasion with disadvantage.

LIAM: Persuasion with disadvantage.

MATT: Because it's less about discovering the information. The DC's lower. But because you are a lone human in the middle of Rosohna, it is a little more challenging to get information out of people that don't have a rapport with you. Go ahead and roll.

LIAM: I took out my lil (package crinkling) dingle dangle.

MATT: You do. And in some places--

LIAM: So with Fortune's Favor, it's a straight roll.

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: Persuasion, you said?

MATT: Correct.

MARISHA and LIAM: (laughs) I'm sorry.

LIAM: Bink.

SAM: Aww.

MATT: You spend the better part of the next two hours of people sending you, like, "Oh yeah, go down this road and find this." And you get there and there's nothing there and this one goes like, "Oh, gave you wrong directions. You want to go down this corner around there." And it takes you awhile, in your earnestness, to realize you've been fucked with. And you've just lost a couple hours and you've been even further lost and you found spaces you've never been to. You do come across a very large hedge maze-like garden on the edge of the Gallimaufry, it's the only thing of interest you come across, but it is beautiful. You see an elderly lizardfolk who's out there tending to the garden. That's it, that's the only thing of interest you run into.

LIAM: Job well done, Caleb Widogast. I Keen Mind follow the trail I took to get to this spot back home.

MATT: Okay, you got it.

LIAM: Good times.

MATT: Sorry, buddy. (laughs) Anybody else, anything you want to accomplish while they're in the city?

TALIESIN: I'm making a really nice tub. It's going to be--

MATT: There you go, some herbs--

ASHLEY: Flowers in it.

MATT: Get in a good soak. There you go.

TALIESIN: Candles, the whole deal.

SAM: I'm going to wander to the Corona District.

MATT: Ah, yes.

SAM: And see if I can find a servant for hire.

MATT: Okay. You have a much better time than Caleb did. Yeah, there is work to be had. You go into there and you can see there are a lot of individuals that are hanging out in front of taverns. Some of them look relaxing but some of them when you get close with that looking eye, like, "Hey, you looking to hire? You got any building work, you building anything?"

SAM: Maybe.

MATT: "Imagine I can help ya."

SAM: Maybe, what's your skill set?

MATT: Somebody else is like, "Ah, don't listen to him, he's full of shit. Me and Joey over here, we can totally get you covered, don't worry."

SAM: You and Joey, eh?

MATT: "Yeah."

SAM: What's your skillset? I'm looking for--

MATT: "Joedek, but we call him Joey."

SAM: In home care, home care.

MATT: "Yeah, no. We care about many homes, they're great, is that right? And he's like, "Yep."

SAM: Oh boy.

TRAVIS: Yep.

SAM: More of like a butler sort of a thing, I think not.

MATT: He changes his posture. "Of course, we can help you in whatever you require, isn't that right?" The guy's, "Yep."

SAM: Hm.

TRAVIS: Perfect.

SAM: Ah, no thank you. I'll just keep perusing.

MATT: "Ah, you son of a bitch!" And he's just screaming at you from behind. (laughs) There isn't a housekeeping service necessarily, but I'll say, in asking around, you do come across this really, really sweet, young, bright-eyed drow girl who has her... her platinum-white hair goes to a purple tint at the tips and she keeps it very well kept in the back and tied in two places, she's dressed in nice, standard clothing and you catch her brooming on the exterior of a small livery. And immediately you catch the attention of somebody that looks, you know, non-threatening, non-aggressive, and, apparently, is clean.

SAM: Hello there, young miss. Do you work here?

MATT: "I do."

SAM: Oh, and your job is to keep things clean and orderly?

MATT: "That is one of my jobs, yes."

SAM: Oh, I'm looking for me-- for my friends and I are looking for someone to help us with our home when we travel. Would you be available to moonlight in that sort of a job or are you, you know, on salary here or something?

MATT: "No, I am-- well now, what are you paying, perhaps?"

SAM: Oh boy. What do you make here per day?

MATT: "Well, my standard rate comes to about... one gold five silver."

SAM: That sounds fine to me.

MATT: "Per day?"

SAM: Sure.

LAURA: (laughs)

SAM: Sure.

LIAM: (coughing)

SAM: Sounds good to me.

TRAVIS: Should be better being that close to Laura.

SAM: Is there a monthly rate or is just every day--

MATT: "This is for an extended engagement--?"

SAM: Yes, we sometimes travel for long periods of time. And we need to be able to trust you, can we trust you?

MATT: "Can you trust me?"

SAM: Insight check.

MATT: Go for it. She gives you these very waifish doe-like eyes and this soft smile.

SAM: 21.

MATT: 21.

SAM: I get a whisper?

TALIESIN: That's right, get up.

SAM: I get a whisper out of this.

TRAVIS: You notice the hilts of two daggers poking out of her--

MARISHA: Yeah, no shit. (laughter)

LIAM: It's the Inevitable End.

TALIESIN: Braces, bracers?

TRAVIS: This whisper is brought to you by Skillshare.

ASHLEY: Or did I get those?

MARISHA: I've got those bracers.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Wait, you have them?

ASHLEY: Do you use them?

LIAM: Nope, because you have to have no armor on.

ASHLEY: Oh, right.

TALIESIN: And you're wearing?

LIAM: My Frodo armor.

SAM: I like you, I like the cut of your jib. What's your name, child?

MATT: "Vidalla."

SAM: Vidalla is beautiful.

LAURA: I don't trust her at all.

SAM: Unquestionably beautiful.

MARISHA: She's going to fucking rob us blind.

TRAVIS: What do we have in there?

ASHLEY: As soon as we leave.

TRAVIS: A hot tub and a tree.

SAM: How about this, because I know that my friends would not appreciate me hiring someone without at least a negotiation. Would you do it for one gold, four silver per day?

MATT: "If that's what would you prefer, of course. You were talking about a monthly rate, right?"

SAM: Yes.

MATT: "We could go for the daily rate, if it is something you're more preferring. For a monthly rate, we could do it for, let's say 40 gold for the month?"

LAURA: Oh--

SAM: I think that works. Sure, yeah, that sounds great, let's do it. But you know what? I can't hire you without introducing you to my friends, so could you walk across town with me? I'm a stranger and I'm a goblin.

(laughter)

MATT: "Certainly." Goes out and sets the broom back inside and goes, "Detta! I'm taking my lunch!"

TRAVIS: Totally different.

MATT: "Whenever."

TRAVIS: (laughing)

SAM: What was that? Okay. Follow me.

MATT: "Of course."

SAM: All right, I'll walk her back to our place.

TRAVIS: Promotion!

LAURA: I'm going to go--

LIAM: This is the beginning of the movie Parasite.

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh my god.

MARISHA: Did you watch it?

TRAVIS: Oh yes--

MARISHA: It's so good.

MATT: Best movie of last year.

ASHLEY: It's so good.

MATT: Anyway, continue.

LAURA: I'm going to go upstairs to the tree.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: To where we have all of our--

TALIESIN: Shrines.

LAURA: Shrines, yes, thank you. And I'm going to cast Word of Recall.

TRAVIS: Where are all these fucking spells coming from?

TALIESIN: Oh.

LIAM: The massive Cleric list.

TRAVIS: Shit.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Word of Recall on the little shrine I've made to the Traveler.

MATT: Okay.

MATT: Hold on, I'm pulling it up.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, well I have--

MATT: Ah, you designate the sanctuary.

LAURA: Yes.

MATT: Gotcha, okay. You have now-- as you complete the spell, you can see the tree itself suddenly begins to drop some of its leaves. These green leaves slowly drift down and as they hit the ground, a green little light (poofing) under each one. Eventually they all scatter (whoosh) from a breeze that seems to come from nowhere and you sense the familiar presence of the Traveler smiling upon this particular land.

LAURA: Awesome.

TRAVIS: Shit.

MATT: Awesome. Anybody else doing anything? You don't have to, you can just wait if you're not particularly going to do something.

TALIESIN: Oh, you have the +2 Bracers of Defense, you took them?

MARISHA: Those were +2?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: The ones you have are +2 already.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, mine are the exact same.

TALIESIN: Okay.

ASHLEY: Yeah, maybe I can sell these or something. I'll figure it out.

TALIESIN: That thing where you order something online and immediately see something just slightly better after that.

ASHLEY: Like at a better price.

LAURA and TALIESIN: Yeah.

TALIESIN: It's like $8 cheaper and it comes with another option.

LAURA: But you can only wear them if you're not wearing armor.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, medium armor.

MATT: Yeah, you got armor on.

TALIESIN: Yeah, you can't be wearing armor.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah, because it ups your armor class.

TALIESIN: No shield, no armor.

TRAVIS: Got it.

TALIESIN: Can you, Nott?

MATT: Nott has armor.

TALIESIN: Nott has armor, nevermind.

LAURA: Everybody's got armor now.

ASHLEY: Jester, can I play with Sprinkle for a little bit?

LAURA: I'm sure Sprinkle would love that! Don't bite her, okay?

ASHLEY: Thank you.

LAURA: He's a little, um, skittish.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll be very careful.

MATT: (weasel chittering)

ASHLEY: I'm going to take him and try to give him a little bath and fluff him up in the hot tub.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, he's going to hate it.

MATT: Now, to be specific here, based on recent adventures and the return from where you were, it very much looks like one of those viral videos when they're cleaning animals after an oil spill. (laughter) Sprinkle is just like (hacking weasel).

TRAVIS: The Dawn commercial.

MARISHA: That's the same thought I had.

TALIESIN: I'm sitting in the corner of the hot tub with my plate of sandwiches, just--

LAURA: Look, I haven't been giving, I didn't give him a bath because he almost drowned and he's like Nott and I thought maybe he didn't want to be in the water, is all.

ASHLEY: No no no, we all were so messy and I just, I thought he could just, you know, get him all fluffy--

LAURA: He seems like he likes it, so you're doing a good thing.

ASHLEY: Yeah yeah yeah, okay okay.

SAM: Also, a bunch of zombies exploded acid all over him.

(laughter)

LAURA: He was protected, he was in my hood, it's fine.

LIAM: Bold move bathing a dead animal.

(laughter)

MATT: You have to prepare them--

ASHLEY: For five cents a day.

(laughter)

MATT: But nevertheless, you do eventually clean Sprinkle off and it's a good thing you're a barbarian. Your hands are pretty tough and the shear amount of bites that would've definitely hamburgered someone with a softer grip's hands--

MARISHA: For the price of a coffee.

MATT: Your thick skin in your mitts, fairly resistant, especially when it starts pissing you off and you start rage washing it.

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: You take half the bite damage from the little-- (laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh no.

MATT: The little weasel.

ASHLEY: I'm going to towel him off and make him all fluffy. Make him look all cute.

MATT: (snarling)(poofing)

(laughter)

LAURA: Whoa, whoa, what weasel smells so bad?

ASHLEY: That's stinky. (laughter) I want to put a little flower on him, see if it stays.

MATT: Through the process, roll an animal handling for me.

SAM: Yes.

MATT: I'm curious.

ASHLEY: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Please be one.

TALIESIN: Well!

ASHLEY: Three.

(laughter)

LIAM: (breaking) Oh!

MATT: So when--

(laughter)

LAURA and ASHLEY: No, no, no.

MATT: No, no. No, but--

TRAVIS: Mending, Mending.

(laughter)

MATT: As Yasha brings you back your sweet weasel, it's less of a presentation and more of a, "Take it from me." It's going (angry weasel chittering) and it's actually in the process of gnawing--

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay, okay.

LAURA: Oh, that was so sweet of you, Yasha.

ASHLEY: He just, he was a little bit of-- we all were a mess and--

LAURA: Oh, he looks so cute now.

ASHLEY: He's going to look so much better, you know, on your--

LAURA: He's got a flower on him. Here. Ah!

ASHLEY: He's-- (laughter) It's weird because he's not very friendly.

(laughter)

LIAM: He's really worked up.

LAURA: Caduceus?

TALIESIN: Yeah?

LAURA: Do you have any, like, little bugs or pieces of meat or anything you can give him?

ASHLEY: He might be hungry.

TALIESIN: I'm going to: Would you like a sandwich?

LAURA: Would you like a sandwich?

MATT: He calms a bit.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, he wants a sandwich.

TALIESIN: Ah, come here.

MATT: (curious weasel chittering) (nibbling)

TALIESIN: There you go. You want another sandwich?

MATT: (weasel chitter)

LAURA: Yes and also, also for me, thank you. (chuckling)

MATT: Eventually, you calm Sprinkle. Sprinkle is definitely already reticent around Yasha.

LAURA: Aw!

MATT: You could work towards it, but it's a step back in that relationship.

ASHLEY: I don't need to, I think, he just was looking a little weird.

MATT: But right now, it does look like a very nice boa right now with the fluffed up red hair.

LAURA: Thank you, Yasha.

ASHLEY: You're welcome.

TALIESIN: You look good, Sprinkle.

ASHLEY: It looks really good now. It's like a really nice--

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Ding ga-ling-ling.

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: Company, family meeting, house meeting.

MATT: "Wow."

SAM: I've got to introduce you to your potential employers. They might have some questions about your CV and your past work experience.

MATT: "Of course, of course."

MARISHA: Nott, what the fuck?

SAM: No no, this is fine. I've brought a young lady here, her name is Vendetta, if I remember--

MARISHA: (yelling) Vendetta?!

SAM: I don't really remember, was it--

LAURA: What's your name?

MARISHA: Your name is Vendetta?

MATT: "That's not my--"

LAURA: Be nice.

MARISHA: What?

MATT: She introduces herself. Do you guys have any particular questions, like, I don't know how much time you want to spend on this.

LIAM: All of it.

MATT: Okay. Yeah, totally.

LAURA: I just don't want her to steal things from us.

MATT: Of course.

SAM: This could be our person who takes care of the home when we are away.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

SAM: Because she, I know her qualifications are she can use a broom and she speaks our language.

LAURA: Oh, that's wonderful. Do you steal things?

MATT: "No. Why would I steal something?"

TRAVIS: Well, that's excellent. We have the ability to monitor every room in this house, so--

MARISHA: Why wouldn't you steal things?

SAM: Beau, what, what are you--

MARISHA: No, I mean, you only should trust someone who knows that they could steal things, but then also has the restraint and the loyalty to know that they shouldn't.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Zone of Truth.

MATT: All right, you cast Zone of Truth.

LAURA: On, like, all of us, as many people that I can--

MATT: Everyone make wisdom saving throws.

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

SAM: 10.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

LAURA: Aw.

LIAM: Oh.

MARISHA: 21.

LIAM: 13.

TRAVIS: Seven.

TALIESIN: I'm just going to lie about everything because I can.

ASHLEY: Five.

LAURA: So Yasha, Fjord, and Caleb--

SAM: And me.

LAURA: And Nott fail.

MATT: And so does she.

LAURA: Okay, good. All right. Are you trustworthy?

MATT: "I like to think so. This would be a better job than the one I currently have and--"

MARISHA: How much do you currently make?

MATT: "Currently, I make about, heh, four silver pieces a day."

SAM: Wait! That, oh, interesting.

MARISHA: No, what?

SAM: No.

MARISHA: No, keep going.

LAURA: How much--

SAM: I was going to say--

MATT: "Cleaning--"

SAM: "Wait, that seems low."

MATT: "-- horse and moorbounder manure."

LAURA and SAM: Oh.

ASHLEY: Do you clean houses?

MATT: "I have before, but it's been some time."

TRAVIS: You guys got this?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Okay, good.

SAM: Don't you want to ask something?

TRAVIS: No, I'm good.

SAM: What do you mean you're good?

TRAVIS: Do we all need to be here as we interview the housekeeper?

SAM: Yes! This is a house meeting. I said house meeting, that means the whole house.

LAURA: What's your biggest fear?

TALIESIN: Do you have any experience taking care of houseplants?

MATT: "(thoughtful humming) No."

TALIESIN: Do you feel prepared to learn how to take care of plants?

MATT: "I think so."

TALIESIN: Okay.

LAURA: Do you like me?

MATT: "You seem... aggressively likable."

SAM: I like you.

ASHLEY: Are you afraid of weasels?

MATT: "Why?"

MARISHA: She's afraid of weasels. What's your favorite color?

MATT: "Blue?"

LAURA: What's your favorite color?

MARISHA: Green.

TRAVIS: Who are you asking?

LAURA: You.

TRAVIS: Oh, blue.

MARISHA: Green.

LAURA: What's your favorite color?

LIAM: Oh, I don't have one.

SAM: Oh, that's weird.

MARISHA: Wait, you don't have one?

SAM: That is weird. I mean, I've known you for so long and that is the weirdest thing--

LAURA: Nott, favorite color.

SAM: Yellow.

LAURA: Oh, well.

TALIESIN: I don't pick favorites.

MARISHA: But how do you see the world?

ASHLEY: Silver.

TRAVIS: Silver?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: That's a good color.

TRAVIS: What about yours, Jester?

LAURA: Pink.

LIAM: How do I see color, is that what you're asking?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: We might have some important thing we need to get to if, you know--

SAM: Yeah, yeah, you're totally right.

LAURA: Does anybody have a crush on me?

SAM: Oh.

MARISHA: Jester, you know everyone does.

LAURA: What? No.

MARISHA: Okay, back to you, though. What's the most expensive silverware you've ever stolen?

MATT: "I've never stolen sil--"

MARISHA: Lies. She's lying.

LAURA: No she's not, she's telling the truth.

MARISHA: You're right, she's telling the truth. What did you tell, (laughter) what did you tell her?

LAURA: What are you talking about? Beau, are you drunk?

TRAVIS: (sighing)

MARISHA: I don't trust her.

MATT: "If you don't trust me, I can go."

LAURA: No, no, no, no--

SAM: Let's put it to a vote.

TRAVIS: Yes, let's vote.

SAM: All in favor--

LAURA: Do you have good intentions here? Do you want to keep a job here? Are you going to try to do anything shady?

TRAVIS: Those are different--

LAURA: Yeah, but--

MATT: "I would like, I have good intentions, I would like to, you know, live above the current means that I do. If you are people that are very difficult to work with and keep, then I wouldn't stay in this job."

TRAVIS: We're not, we're never here. Let's vote, all in favor.

SAM: Yeah, of course.

TRAVIS: Hey, you're hired. Congratulations, when can you start?

TALIESIN: How much do you make?

MATT: "We had discussed 40 gold each month for the housekeeping--"

TRAVIS: Holy fucking shit--

MARISHA: Nott, that's what I'm talking about, that's what--

SAM: What's wrong with that?

TRAVIS: Maybe she drove a hard bargain.

MARISHA: It's insane.

SAM: Is that insane? We have lots of money.

MARISHA: She currently makes four silver.

LAURA: Is that high, did you quote something very high for us?

MATT: "It would be better than what I'm making now at the--"

MARISHA: Yeah, by, like, 5,000%!

MATT: "-- stables."

TRAVIS: We'll pay it, you're hired, you start today.

MATT: "Thank you very much. I'll get my stuff."

MARISHA: She's a grifter, I can smell it on her. One recognizes one of their own, all right?

SAM: You say that about literally everyone we meet.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you're projecting super hard right now.

MARISHA: Yeah, you're probably right.

TRAVIS: All right. Take care of the house. We don't have any keys, guard the door with your life.

(laughter)

MATT: "Am I starting now or tomorrow?"

SAM: Immediately.

LAURA: Yeah, you can start right away.

SAM: You sleep in the hot tub at night.

LAURA: No, no. She's lying.

TRAVIS: You can't speak to your previous employers. If you do, they'll be killed.

SAM: That was a joke, it wasn't a lie. (laughs)

TRAVIS: That's not true, I can't say that. (laughs)

MATT: "Okay."

TRAVIS: Sort of true.

MATT: "This is very strange house."

TALIESIN: We're aware.

TRAVIS: We're glad you're here. Can we go now?

SAM: Yeah. We're going to--

TRAVIS: Essek.

SAM: Oh, to Essek.

MATT: Are you leaving now? Just asking, it's up to you guys.

LIAM: I mean, what else are we going to do?

SAM: Yeah, let's go.

LAURA: Yeah, we should just go.

LIAM: Thank you, watch the place.

TALIESIN: There's instructions on how to take care of the plants in the kitchen.

LIAM: We have no belongings, so.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I have a question.

MATT: Yes.

LAURA: If I cast something from a wand, do I need the spell components for it or does it cancel it because I have a wand?

MATT: It'll usually say for most wand-based magical items, "Without material components."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: I think the wand handles it, I don't think you need the components for the wand--

LAURA: Got it, okay.

TRAVIS: What wand do you have?

MATT: Pretty sure.

LAURA: I have the Wand of the Solitary Scout and I have the Wand of Smiles.

MATT: You don't the guano if you're using a Wand of Fireballs or anything, it's part of the enchantment that the wand handles it, I'm pretty sure.

TALIESIN: Wands a--

LIAM: It's rolled in the phosphorus like a churro.

MATT: "I will get my things and begin immediately."

TALIESIN: We have quarters for that, right?

MATT: "Pleasure to meet you."

LAURA: Yeah, there's an extra room.

TALIESIN: That makes life easier.

ASHLEY: What was her name again?

SAM: You know what?

LAURA: No, really, what was your name?

SAM: I don't remember-- And I'm not sure that Matt does either.

MATT: I literally said it on the spot and forgot to write it down, not so much help on that.

TRAVIS: Vendetta, it's Vendetta.

SAM: You know what, we'll ask her when she gets back. I can't ask her--

ASHLEY: We'll ask again later.

MATT: I think it's Vidalla or something, I should've-- I'm usually good about writing it down and I'll find it out tomorrow.

SAM: I can't ask her because she'll know I didn't remember, so one of you ask her, all right?

LAURA: Vidalla.

MATT: Vidalla. All right, so I wasn't too far off.

MARISHA: No one self-names themselves Vendetta without issues.

LAURA: Yay, we have somebody working for us. That's pretty cool.

SAM: You're welcome.

TRAVIS: Nicely done.

LAURA: That was a really high price, though, because, you know, we have people that clean up my mom's quarters and stuff and they cost way less than that.

SAM: Well--

LAURA: I think.

SAM: I mean, doesn't matter to me. Because we're all splitting it, so.

TALIESIN: No, no we're not, that's okay.

LAURA: Yeah, we can split it if you want.

TRAVIS: Oh yes, Essek? Oh, we'll be right there. It's quite urgent that we get to his place.

SAM: He's messaging you? All right, let's go.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: All right. (laughter) You head your way over toward Essek's home after finishing up here. You head to his familiar towers where you had previously enjoyed the cheese and crackers provided to you. You're greeted by Essek, who leads you back into the interior. "Well, I was not expecting you to return to Rosohna so soon. I take it your journey was successful?"

LAURA: Yeah.

SAM: We believe so, yes.

LAURA: Should we try the spell again before we go?

SAM: I mean, I haven't even really meditated about it yet.

LAURA: Oh, you're right, okay.

MATT: "Well, you said you needed to travel somewhere, so."

LAURA: Yes, is it okay?

MATT: "Yes, it's okay. I, (chuckles) you know, it prevents me from some of my capabilities throughout the day each time I do this, so while I'm here in my home and things are not requiring me to be elsewhere rapidly, thankfully this is a moment in time in which I am more useful here in the city."

TRAVIS: It's greatly appreciated.

MATT: "I'm sure we'll find a way to balance the scales some time."

LIAM: Is there any news on your end?

MATT: "What I know is many of the (sighs) many of the elements of the military on both sides are holding hard lines at the exterior of previous battlefields. There has been some small scale negotiation and discussion as far as preparation for this gathering. Ships have already set out with the prisoner from one of our outposts. It is quite a long trek from our side of Wynandir. I believe the same has begun traveling from the Dwendalian Empire to eventually find its way toward the Menagerie Coast."

LAURA: Are we going to miss the negotiation?

SAM: It takes weeks.

MATT: "The negotiation is about three, three and a half weeks from now, I believe."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "As long as you can ensure your return by then. Otherwise, it'll just have to continue without you."

LAURA: Wow, okay.

MARISHA: It's that and then Traveler Con is days later?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: It's pretty rapidly after.

SAM: We'll be close.

MATT: That's less than a week after where the negotiation is set is when Traveler Con's probably going to happen, so.

TRAVIS: The volcano's out in the water, too.

MATT: "So where would you like me to take you?"

TRAVIS: Caduceus?

TALIESIN: Oh, we're going to--

TRAVIS: The menagerie. It's a vast space, yes? So somewhere more specific?

LAURA: Can you describe exactly where we're going?

TALIESIN: No, I've never been there.

LAURA: Oh.

SAM: Didn't you say it was near the forest that we have been to?

TALIESIN: No.

MATT: "Do you not know where I'm supposed to be taking you? That is-- That is impossible."

LAURA: No, we know, we know where we're going.

TALIESIN: I know the name of it.

SAM: It was the high, it was the forest down, that's the wrong map.

TALIESIN: Wrong map.

TRAVIS: Is it this one?

LAURA: Nope. We need Xhorhas. It's right there, it's right there.

SAM: ♪ Get out the map. ♪

ASHLEY: Are you sure it was this one?

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LAURA: Yeah, it's, yeah, it's over here.

SAM and TALIESIN: Down here.

TALIESIN: Whitedawn Lagoon, if I recall. Is that where we're--

MATT: "Whitedawn Lagoon, right. Okay, I've not been there, but I know of its existence, that puts us in a possible chance of arriving."

LIAM: Are we gambling with fate by going--

LAURA: Should I scry on the Whitedawn Lagoon? Can I scry-- I can't scry on a location. I always forget this. I don't have it prepared anyway.

MATT: "I don't have it prepared either, so I could not, it would be helpful to me to do so. Which means we can either go now and chance it or we can try tomorrow."

SAM: Let's chance it.

TRAVIS and MARISHA: Chance it!

TRAVIS: What's life without a little risk?

TALIESIN: So much can go wrong with this.

MATT: "Of course, but so much can go wrong with all sorts of--"

TALIESIN: That's so true.

MATT: "-- elements of magic. Exciting, though, as we've experienced together once before, sometimes painful."

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: "But if you insist. Let us all take hands, if you are ready."

TALIESIN: Oh boy. Just for fun, I'm going to make a prayer for everything to go well.

LAURA: Oh!

TALIESIN: Nope.

(laughter)

MATT: The Wildmother is silent.

LAURA: I'm going to--

TALIESIN: It was a long shot.

LAURA: Put my hands on Essek's shoulder and I'm going to say: The Traveler is with you, my child.

MATT: "Thank you, Jester."

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "Come, come," and he glides over into the center of his main chamber. As he moves that way, the furniture (scraping) scoots on its own to the sides and leaves the open space. Puts his hands out. You all clasp hands and he goes, "Whitedawn Lagoon. Fingers crossed." (whispers) And as he begins to finish incantations, you can hear the voice echoes growing louder and louder. You can see on the ground between your feet these little light gray lines begin to (whooshing) connect you all in the center. As it grows brighter and brighter and then you feel that familiar sound of you all being pulled into nothingness. I need somebody to roll a D100 for me.

MARISHA: Taliesin--

TRAVIS: Tal do it, yeah.

LAURA: Ho.

TALIESIN: That's 99.

SAM: Whoa.

TRAVIS: It is?

MARISHA: Is that good or bad?

LAURA: Yeah, it's 99.

TALIESIN: I don't know.

MATT: Hold on.

TALIESIN: I'm trying to cast Divine Inspiration, that would have been amazing.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: If I rolled that last time, that would have been crazy.

(chuckling)

TRAVIS: Mercer's early page turning is interesting.

MATT: ♪ Think that's-- ♪

TALIESIN: I have to roll, like, 11?

TRAVIS: Super bad.

MATT: ♪ Not good. ♪

LAURA: Not good, that's not good?

MATT: No, actually, it's really good.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

MARISHA: It's really good?

MATT: That is on target.

ASHLEY: Oh wow.

LAURA: That's super duper on target, right?

TRAVIS: It's one way or the other.

MATT: You had a 25% of this succeeding. (laughs) (surprised murmuring) Because this is only based on a description, he's not even viewed it before.

LAURA: Oh jeez louise.

MATT: There's a 43% chance for a mishap on that one, but you rolled a 99.

TALIESIN: I rolled a, look at that, that's really pretty. Those are the dice you got me, by the way--

LAURA: Yeah!

TALIESIN: They've been good dice.

LAURA: Good.

TALIESIN: They've been really good.

MATT: You all suddenly go from the cold night to the bright midday sun of a bluer sky above. You can see most of the clouds that you're used to seeing in the Dwendalian Empire not there, aside from a few small plumes of white across the horizon. You are partially looking out to a green grassy stretch of hill that then vanishes before you see ocean to the south, the glittering waters of the Lucidian Ocean. You look to your right and behind you and you can see the elements of a mountain range that vanish to the north, broken gray rocks and it looks like a deep ravine that begins to carve its way northward from where you stand. It's a number of miles away, it's barely visible on the horizon. But immediately before you, you can see this vast jungle, this dense tropical forest that seems to wrap around and encompass a large portion of this shore-side cliff expanse. You assume that you're probably pretty close to or right at the area known as the Whitedawn Lagoon. Essek immediately goes, "Ahh. Ah, I think this was a success."

TALIESIN: This looks about right.

LAURA: When was the last time you saw the sun?

MATT: "It's been a number of, I think probably since the last time I took you somewhere this bright."

SAM: Does it hurt you?

MATT: "It's not comfortable, but it is tolerable. Is this what you were seeking?"

TALIESIN: Does this mountain range look familiar from my vision?

MATT: The mountain range isn't familiar to you, but the visions you've had definitely, your visions specifically are of an oasis in the middle of a jungle.

TALIESIN: Sure.

MATT: You don't know which one or where. And so, none of this is familiar to you, but you seem to have been brought to where you requested.

LAURA: I get down on the ground and paint a parasol and pop it out and go, (opening).

(laughter)

MATT: "Thank you, Jester."

LAURA: You're welcome.

MARISHA: He's so cute with his parasol.

TRAVIS: There's dicks on each of the panels.

LAURA: He's floating with his parasol? He's Mary Poppins, y'all!

(laughter)

TALIESIN: I'm going to sit down, send out a little, I'm going to face the mountains. There's a jungle, I assume, in front of us.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: And I'm going to cast Commune.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: I'll sit down off and to his right, behind him.

MATT: Okay, lend your presence to the Commune as well?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MATT: You got it.

TALIESIN: Does my destination lie before me?

MATT: As you focus, all of you feel the still air become a warm seaside breeze, a welcome shift from the colder climates which you've traversed as of late, and familiar to those who grew up in the Menagerie Coast. This further south on Xhorhas definitely resembles the places where you two grew up. As the warm wind blows through, (blows) you get a sweet smell, a familiar smell, this sweet, honeysuckle-like flower aroma that reminds you of times in your youth when you were on the right path and the wind blows in the direction of the jungle in front of you, the trees the swaying inward. (blows)

TALIESIN: Is it under a day's walk?

MATT: The breeze comes to a still. Still blowing, but gentler. You get the sense that the answer is inconclusive.

TALIESIN: Is it dangerous?

MATT: The breeze picks up once more, but is rapidly cold, not in a way that it denies it, but definitely confirms that there is danger ahead.

TALIESIN: About a day's journey, it is dangerous, but we head this way.

LIAM: Lead the way.

LAURA: Okie dokie.

SAM: Do you know what we're looking for? A house, a hill, a grove?

TALIESIN: An oasis.

SAM: An oasis.

MARISHA: Are we walking along the beach or--

TALIESIN: No, we're walking into the jungle.

LAURA: Great.

MATT: You can hear the various jungle birds and wildlife giving off loud caws and crows and distant insects chirping. It's a wild, tangled space. Essek goes, "Well, that is not for me. Thank you, Jester, and good luck." And glides over and lands down into a patch of sand and begins to take his finger and carve out a teleportation circle.

LIAM: Thank you, friend.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

MATT: "Of course." Continues his work.

TRAVIS: Spit spot!

(laughter) (gagging) (laughter)

MATT: The jungle awaits you.

SAM: Okay, shall we?

TALIESIN: Thank you for this. You don't teleport to a place like this, you have to make it there.

MARISHA: Are we cheating in some way?

TALIESIN: This is as close as I was comfortable getting.

LAURA: Now we make it.

TALIESIN: Now we walk.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: All right. You guys--

LAURA: Oh man.

MATT: Begin to trek your initial steps into this jungle, stepping over heavy thick base roots, pushing past all manner of flora and fauna, heavy ferns that rise up to maybe five, six feet, some even taller the further in you get. The path that you trek is not a path, there is no walked path in this area, you're having to climb over and carve probably the first steps from this point of entry that have made their way from any journeyman.

TALIESIN: I'm going to try and let as much flora, fauna, and animal life know why we're here and what we're looking for and that we're just passing through, heading to the oasis.

MATT: All right. The air is very warm, which is comforting, especially given the last night that you spent in the chilly mountains on the northern side of the Cyrios Mountain range. Numerous heavy vines wrap around the thick, thick tree trunks, a number of which begin to wrap and cluster in front of you, forming small barriers that you have to hack through and push your way around. You find small nests of insects and other small woodland creatures built along bases and upward. Some of these trees, banyan tree-type, these thick, squat trees with these heavy, heavy just dozens and dozens of thick branches that build up into the large canopy, each one knotting and tangling with the next, forming this network with occasional breaks where you can see the dust and pollen and other sorts of various nature-based clouding material that drift through and elements of light peek in beams that begin to greet you as you push from one barrier to the next. The smell and the scent is profoundly comforting, though odd. It is nature in a way that is full of life. It's sweet, similar to the smell that came with the breeze of your Commune, but more varied and diverse in the way that it affects the memories that come to mind that are connected to some of these smells. Who's keeping watch as you progress into this? What is the marching order?

LAURA: Oh jeez. I'm assuming you're in front--

TALIESIN: I'm in front, I guess.

LIAM: Caduceus is the leader, yeah.

TRAVIS: I'll be behind Caduceus.

LAURA: I'll pull up the rear, maybe.

ASHLEY: I'll go behind Fjord.

LIAM: I'll take the center of the line if--

SAM: I'll go behind Yasha.

MARISHA: I'll protect Caleb and Nott.

MATT: Fjord, you're behind Caduceus?

TRAVIS: Fjord and Yasha with swords, slicing through.

ASHLEY: Yep.

MATT: All right, so you're, so Fjord and Yasha up there, right there.

LIAM: How hot is it, by the way?

MATT: Down here, I'd say it's probably, it's not terribly hot, it's mid-80s.

LAURA: Oof, I definitely take off my overcoat--

LIAM: Coats off, for sure.

LAURA: Holy moly.

MATT: Yeah, so it's not terribly hot, but given the amount of things you have on and the sense of the clothing you've been wearing for different climates, you're immediately starting to sweat. So Beauregard, you're in the middle with Caleb, you said?

MARISHA: Yeah, I'll be directly behind Caleb and Nott, I think, next to Jester.

MATT: Okay, there you go.

LIAM: Caleb's hair is getting really long, so he puts it up.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: Topknot or a little ponytail?

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or the little half, the little halfer?

LAURA: No, full ponytail.

MARISHA: Full pony? Mm, that's good.

LIAM: Rolled up sleeves.

MATT: All right, so.

TRAVIS: You just tie it in a knot?

MARISHA: Yeah, just have this ribbon, you just-- and then do a little loopy-loop. Yours is getting there, actually, yeah.

TRAVIS: Got to put a little itty bitty--

MARISHA: Ah, like more two more weeks.

LIAM: Are you on your way to karate class, little boy?

TRAVIS: Do a ribbon on that bitch.

MARISHA: I pick like a piece of grass and tie it around. There you go, nailed it.

TRAVIS: Fuck yeah.

(laughter)

MATT: It's getting mid-afternoon at this point. With your time in Rosohna, you probably are a few hours away from dusk. You push for the first hour in. This is going to be another traversing a dangerous element of nature skill challenge. Who wants to helm the first leg of this?

TALIESIN: I'll do it with a perception and my sense of where I was being led.

MATT: You got it.

LIAM: Before we head out, Caleb reaches a pearl way up high to Caduceus' forehead and casts for a few moments and casts Fortune's Favor on you.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: So it's--

LIAM: One luck for the day whenever, it could be now, it could be later.

TALIESIN: All right. Nice, so perception, I'm going to give myself a little boost as well.

LIAM: I'll just do a small--

TALIESIN: That's 21, 24.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: 24, okay.

TRAVIS: Damn.

MATT: In helping lead the group forward, you find the clearest path that doesn't immediately cause you to slow in your travel through. The earlier parts of this jungle are dense, but it's getting denser, and at least this first part doesn't seem to be as dangerous as you surmised the interior may have been alluded to by your conversation with the Wildmother Melora. It's beautiful, it's calming, and for those of you who have never spent much time in tropical settings, in particular you, Yasha, who, of everyone here, has probably been the most removed from a lot of these spaces, it is, it's gorgeous. And some of the flowers, bright and vibrant, you can't help but wanting to pick and keep.

ASHLEY: Caduceus, can I pick a flower from here?

TALIESIN: Let me know and I'll ask permission. Some of these things also do bite, you got to be careful.

MATT: Make a nature check for me.

TALIESIN: All right. (birds tweeting) I want to re-roll that, I'm using my-- pff, even worse.

MARISHA: So soon?

LAURA: Already?

TALIESIN: That was sad, a four.

MARISHA: What? Wait, what was the other?

TALIESIN: Eight.

MATT: Does he get to-- look at the writing on the spell.

LIAM: It's like a luck point, so you can roll twice and then take the higher.

TALIESIN: Oh, then eight.

LAURA: Oh.

LIAM: Ooh, hot dog.

MATT: Choose which to use.

TALIESIN: Eight.

MATT: Eight.

TALIESIN: I don't know which ones are--

MATT: You point out one flower, you think, "Oh, that's brightly colored, that's probably dangerous. That one's muted, that one you can probably pick."

ASHLEY: Pick.

TALIESIN: I asked permission, of course, before we.

MATT: You did, it's important to ask consent.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

(birds tweeting)

MATT: You really don't know what you're talking about in this particular instance, but luckily, there wasn't a huge issue with this one, so you pluck the flower without a problem.

TALIESIN: (aggressive hissing)

MATT: Yeah, you were very lucky.

TALIESIN: (scrabbling)

SAM: What is it--

TRAVIS: Oh god, oh god!

ASHLEY: What is it?

MATT: It's a kind of--

TALIESIN: It was a cricket.

MATT: A teal color that towards the edges of the petals, and it's a wide flower, it's that big, the edges of the petals, it tends to go to a deep sea blue.

TALIESIN: It's a frog that looks like a flower.

MATT: It's very pretty.

LIAM: (coughing)

MATT: It does that, too. But you manage to find the best path forward that does not slow your progression into the jungle. Who wants to helm the next leg of this?

TRAVIS: I will try.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right.

MATT: What're you doing to help here?

SAM: Beep.

LIAM: Wa-wa-wa-wa-wa-wa. (smacking)

TRAVIS: Ah.

MARISHA: Mosquito.

LIAM: No, that was just Liam.

MARISHA: Oh.

TRAVIS: I'll step forward and I'll say: Listen, you fucking jungle, I'm a paladin of the Wildmother. You're going to move or we're going to bust you wide open. We'll wreck this place. Don't make me fucking tell you twice. Can I intimidate it?

(laughter)

MATT: Go ahead and roll intimidation.

LAURA: I love that you tried to deceive and intimidate.

TALIESIN: This is not going to go well.

MARISHA: Yes, intimidate the woods, yes!

TRAVIS: 21.

MARISHA: Yes!

MATT: Okay. You shout out loudly into the jungle, out in front of your, just yelling. You can see all these birds like (fluttering) scatter from above the canopy, things start rushing and running out of the space. It looks pretty quiet.

(laughter)

MATT: Not bad.

LAURA: I feel intimidated, for sure.

TRAVIS: It's the hairdo.

MATT: Yep. You take a confident step forward. (slamming)

TRAVIS: (yells)

(laughter)

MATT: A massive plant that was just beyond the root you were standing on just devours Fjord, just completely vanishes inside of a large flytrap-like pod.

LIAM: Use your luck point!

(laughter)

SAM: Oh no.

MATT: You hear (muffled).

ASHLEY: I try to pull it open.

MATT: Roll a strength check.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Oh my gosh.

TALIESIN: I'm giving you a d4--

MATT: Take eight points of acid damage, Fjord.

(groaning)

TALIESIN: I'm giving you a d4 on that, too..

ASHLEY: d4? Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh, good. 18?

MATT: 18. (groans) You start pulling the pod open. You're in there, it's not enough to quite get him out, like you don't pull him out, but the pod is open. You can go ahead and attempt to escape if you'd like.

TRAVIS: I would like to please, yes, I summon the sword and just try and--

MATT: I'll say it's easy enough. This plant looks more dangerous than it really is and between the two of you, you manage to get him out and it slowly like (ripping) pulls open.

TRAVIS: (screaming and panting)

LAURA: Good job, Fjord, now we know to watch out for those.

TRAVIS: Yeah, maybe we should be quiet, just a thought. (whispered) Sorry. Ah, it stings. (laughter)

MATT: The pod is a purplish color on the outside, which is very glaring, but when it's open, the interior is almost perfectly camouflaged with the extremely green--

LAURA: We need to definitely--

TALIESIN: So now we know what to look for.

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: We look for ground that looks like ground.

TRAVIS: It looks like a big-ass mouth. (coughing)

TALIESIN: Be careful.

LAURA: Smart.

MATT: All right, who would like to take this next leg?

LAURA: Um.

MARISHA: Oh boy.

ASHLEY: I'll take it.

MATT: Okay, well, what skill, what are you attempting to aid this journey with and how--

ASHLEY: Oh, I was just going to do a survival.

MATT: You could do the survival, that's a way to do it.

ASHLEY: No, let me think if there's something better here--

MATT: Just explain how it pertains to--

TRAVIS: It's better than intimidation.

(laughter)

MATT: If you rolled high enough, I was like, "I'll figure out something."

ASHLEY: Can I try to look at the path and investigate to see if there's a nice, easy way through?

MATT: Investigation could possibly, yeah, you could give it a shot.

LIAM: Slow down, Orphan Maker. Puts the pearl up to her head.

LAURA: Beep beep beep beep beep.

TRAVIS: It lasts for a whole day?

MATT: Lasts for an hour.

TRAVIS: Hour, okay.

ASHLEY: 'Kay. That means I can reroll?

TRAVIS: Yeah, right now.

ASHLEY: Okay. Oh, it's cocked. It's cocked again, I'm sorry.

LIAM: Throw that die in the--

ASHLEY: No, I love it, though, when it rolls well.

TRAVIS: When it rolls well.

TALIESIN: It certainly wasn't the last time you rolled, that was really bad.

ASHLEY: 19.

MATT: 19, okay. You do slow the travel of the group slightly because you're taking the time to be very careful. This is your, while you're not used to jungle, you're definitely used to dangerous marshland and tangled paths through heavy vegetation, though a very different kind, but there's some elements that are consistent through and, you know, Beau backs you up a little bit too, being very keen in the eyes, but peering through, you find the areas that immediately look like they've been walked a little more by the wildlife, which means they're the ones that are probably the most successfully traversed by those that live here often. And following those paths, those trails, and the signs of edges of trees where you can see darkening coloration from animals that have brushed against it to mark their territory and such, you see the familiar signs of these things and go, "This is probably where we should go." And you do manage to get on for another hour or so without any serious issue.

LAURA: Hey!

MATT: It is starting to get dark.

LAURA: What's the ground look like here?

MATT: I mean, it's rough. You could take a while to search for a place to set up a dome comfortably, that'll probably take the rest of the time before the daylight closes, or you can--

LIAM: Caleb lights up his hand as they're walking.

MATT: Mmkay. You'll have to probably clear an area, too, to make--

LAURA: Find a dome spot or we travel through the night?

LIAM: There are also trees here. I mean, I've heard of camping in the trees.

MARISHA: Actually--

LAURA: Yeah, there's probably large cats and evil animals, maybe, that live up there.

TRAVIS: What're you basing that off of?

LAURA: I don't know, the books I read?

TALIESIN: We're near the menagerie, which means there could be all sorts of strange animal life, it could be very varied.

MARISHA: Is there a tree nearby?

MATT: There are trees everywhere nearby.

LAURA: Surrounded by trees.

MARISHA: Tall ones?

MATT: They're all, I mean, from what you can tell, I mean, the canopies are low for the thickness of them, they're very squat jungle trees. You're not quite sure how tall, you know, from where you currently are, they are, but some of them are probably a good 20 or so feet up.

MARISHA: I'm going to, if I'm nearby, judge the tallest one that I have and climb it.

MATT: Okay, this one looks to probably close to 30 or so feet.

MARISHA: All right, climb it for vantage.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I'm going to smack her butt on the way up and say: Traveler loves you.

MARISHA: Thanks.

LAURA: You're guided.

MATT: You can take the athletics or acrobatics, your choice.

MARISHA: I will take acrobatics. And do I have a, my wall run type of situation, my Unarmored Movement?

MATT: Yes, you do. That's right, because you can--

MARISHA: Run up vertical surfaces.

MATT: So you actually probably don't even have to roll for this.

LIAM: Monk shit.

MATT: Fricking monks. Yeah, this is part of the, ch-ch-ch, there it is. (birds tweeting)

TALIESIN: What's up with that? That's an interesting looking die you have there.

MARISHA: This is the goldfish.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's right.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's awesome.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: As part of the Slow Fall element?

MARISHA: No, Unarmored Movement.

MATT: Oh, there it is, gotcha. So yeah, with your current movement, you could probably just, don't even have to roll, you can just run up that tree.

MARISHA: Cool. Thanks, Traveler! And I run up.

MATT: You see Beau just gets a running start and (quick footsteps) and vanishes.

MARISHA: She thinks it's the Traveler, it's just because Jester smacked her on the ass, though.

MATT: There you go.

MARISHA: Yeah. I'm just very invigorated by that.

MATT: I respect it. Okay, you head up to the top and glance over and immediately, your eyes are taken by the bright sunlight.

MARISHA: Oh, it's still daylight.

MATT: Well, it's, you're getting close, you have about an hour or so before you lose all daylight, it's starting to get that dusk color, but it's still setting in that direction and the bright orange-yellow color of it that way catches you from the dark canopy that you ran up.

LIAM: Dark under the trees.

MATT: It's beautiful, though. The view here, you can see the ocean into the distance, just past the canopy, and it's thick and it goes on endlessly. In fact, all you can pretty much see is just green and a little bit of blue on the horizon to the south. And that's what catches you in the moment.

MARISHA: I try to, I blink my eyes to focus. Any clearings nearby, any patches?

MATT: Make a perception check.

ASHLEY: Bilbo Baggins.

TALIESIN: You still have that d4.

MARISHA: Okay, okay-- I still have a d4?

LIAM: Baggins moment.

TRAVIS: Butterflies.

MATT: From--?

MARISHA: From the bless?

TALIESIN: She didn't burn it, the bless just holds until you use it.

MATT: Oh, you used Bless?

LAURA: No.

TALIESIN: No, not Bless, it's--

LAURA: Guidance.

TALIESIN: Guidance just holds until you use it.

MATT: Guidance lasts for a round, I'll allow it because you ran it pretty quick in one round, sure.

MARISHA: Okay, then.

MATT: I'll allow it.

MARISHA: That is 25.

TALIESIN: Up to a minute.

MATT: 25, okay.

MARISHA: Yeah, total.

TALIESIN: Guidance is up to a minute.

MATT: Oh, until used? Got it. That's right, a minute. All right, so yeah, you focus your eyes for a second, glance out and you--

MARISHA: Doing it for Jester. (groans)

MATT: You think you see, probably about a quarter mile off in a southwestern direction, an area where the canopy folds in a bit, what would be a small pocket that isn't completely flush with the rest of the treeline within your immediate vicinity.

MARISHA: That is, wait, what?

LAURA: Isn't.

MARISHA: Isn't.

LAURA: Probably a clearing.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: The closest you can think of is--

MARISHA: A quarter mile west, is that what you just said?

MATT: Southwest of where you--

MARISHA: Southwest, okay. I climb back down. Quarter mile, southwest, follow me. Yeah, not far, like 10 minutes. All right.

LAURA: Quarter mile, yeah.

MARISHA: Quarter mile, yeah.

MATT: Mmkay.

TALIESIN: 20 minutes, 30 minutes.

MATT: Following Beau's lead--

MARISHA: 15 minutes.

MATT: And you guys continue to carve through the jungle path. You eventually come upon a small element of the clearing where you can see a tree has fallen. It was, you know, either it was really old or really sick. It collapsed under its own weight to one side, the roots tearing up on the one end and you can see the inside of where the exposed roots of it are, it's been hollowed out and it's probably home to a number of creatures that aren't currently present. But it is a clearing where you could place the dome relatively comfortably there. You'd have clear the floor from some of the nearby ferns and other--

TALIESIN: Is it my imagination that something probably lives here? I want to just take a look to see if it seems like something big lives inside this tree.

MATT: Okay, make a nature check.

TALIESIN: Oof. My nature is terrible, which is part of the fun of this. 14.

MATT: 14's not too bad. From what you can tell, elements of this have been carved and hollowed out by probably some sort of a rodent-type creature, based on the tooth marks and the scratches, probably no larger than that size and probably a dozen or so have made homes within the base of the tree.

TALIESIN: How big would I imagine these creatures to be, like this big?

MATT: Like about as big as I just showed you, yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay. There's a bunch of little animals that live in this. I don't know if we should camp inside, I think maybe off to the side--

LAURA: Sprinkle, you can make some friends!

TALIESIN: We don't disturb them. Oh.

LAURA: I don't think he wants to make--

SAM: Maybe he'll want to stay here forever.

LAURA: No, Nott.

SAM: Where he can live, can live a life of an animal.

TALIESIN: For, like, a day.

LAURA: Sprinkle, do you want to stay with me or do you want to live the life of a wild creature? Should we make a hut?

LIAM: Let's make a hut.

MARISHA: She doesn't wait for an answer. (laughs) Just make a hut.

(laughter)

MATT: Yeah, you can set up.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: After clearing the space a bit and by the time you get ready for it, you are losing the last bit of daylight, so the timing's pretty perfect, actually.

SAM: As Caleb is preparing, I'll take a little sip of whiskey.

LAURA: No, no.

ASHLEY: I knock it out.

SAM: With what?

ASHLEY: I backhand your flask.

SAM: I dodge it.

MATT: Roll an attack roll.

TRAVIS: Reckless.

MATT: You can be reckless if you want to.

ASHLEY: Oh, yeah, yeah yeah yeah, of course. Oh wait, what was that? Oh yeah. 22.

SAM: I mean, that hits, yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Gah!

MATT: (whooshing) (pinging) It lands a little ways off.

ASHLEY: I pick it up. You told me to do it.

SAM: I was just sort of kidding.

LAURA: You weren't.

ASHLEY: No, you weren't kidding.

TALIESIN: Not at all.

ASHLEY: We're keeping you accountable.

SAM: All right, good.

ASHLEY: We're a tribe now.

SAM: That was a test and you passed.

ASHLEY: Okay, well do you want a sip for being good?

SAM: Yes.

ASHLEY: That was a test, and you failed. I put it in my bag.

MATT: Beautiful.

TALIESIN: I love all of this.

MATT: All righty. You set up the dome without issue. The nocturnal beasts of the night begin to go about their evening hunt and you can hear the distant sounds of creatures you aren't familiar with (birds tweeting) growling, purring, making calls to each other in the distance. It's unsettling but you feel comfortable here--

LAURA: Making calls to each other in the distance. Hello?!

MATT: I'm just real curious how your night's been over there because it's real heavy over where I live.

LAURA: Do you hear all these bugs?

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Mom?

(laughter)

MATT: But who's taking first watch? If you're taking any watches or if you guys just all going to sleep. You feel pretty comfortable, but it's up to you.

LAURA: I'm going to stay up for just a little bit and I'm going to draw, I'm going to take out Molly's tarot deck.

MATT: Mmkay.

LAURA: And I'm going to draw on one of the cards. I've thought of one of the cards that I want to make.

SAM: Ooh.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: What is it?

LAURA: On one, so you know that optical illusion where one side looks like a old lady and you flip it and it's like a pretty woman?

SAM: Uh-huh.

LAURA: You know what I'm talking about?

SAM: Yeah, yeah.

LAURA: I'm going to make a dual card and one side's going to be the hag and then when you flip it over, it's the maiden.

TALIESIN: Ooh. Hot.

SAM: And so that card's called The Hag and Maiden?

LAURA: The Hag and the Maiden.

TALIESIN: They each have two names.

MARISHA: Does the maid look like you?

ASHLEY: That's very cool.

LAURA: Maybe. (laughter) She may be like a little blue color in the folds.

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

MATT: All right.

LIAM: I have a quick thing I want to do before bed as well. I'm not taking a watch, or maybe I will, but I get out the ingredients I need to cast Find Familiar and I place my raven cat down in the center and mutter a few words and spend the time on it. Oh, it takes an hour--

MATT: It takes an hour.

LIAM: And 10 minutes. And suddenly I have a small capuchin monkey.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Little speckled spots all over him.

MATT: All righty.

TRAVIS: Slick, slick slick slick. You see Sprinkle try to escape the dome. (as Sprinkle) I volunteer as tribute.

MARISHA: (scrabbling)

LIAM: It does not have the passcode to come back in, so. (laughter)

LAURA: Sprinkle is curled up, comfortable, in my hood, a little unnerved by all of the crazy noises.

SAM: A little unnerved.

MARISHA: Yeah.

(laughter)

MARISHA: New development.

MATT: So, you finish summoning your monkey and go to bed. You're finishing the card--

LIAM: Summoning the monkey all night long.

MATT: Yep.

(laughter) (laughter)

TRAVIS: Wizard shit.

MATT: Every wizard's early days at school, (laughter) spend a little too much time summoning the monkey. (laughter) All right. But Jester, you're taking the first watch?

LAURA: Mm, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: (whistling)

MATT: Everyone else is asleep--

TRAVIS: (whistling)

MATT: -- for the early portion of the night. In that time that you're finishing your card drawing and getting excited, you can't help but catch something in the corner of your eye and outside of the dome, beyond the edge of the glade, you see a familiar green robe.

LAURA: I get up and go.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: This is bad, right? No?

SAM: I think it's fine. No, it's fine. They're just going to go fuck in the woods.

MATT: You step out of the dome and quietly make your way beyond the clearing where--

LAURA: What're you doing?

MATT: The Traveler waits as he-- "Come with me. You've always been so quick to learn, so very clever. I grow so proud. I think it's time."

LAURA: Time for what?

MATT: "Do you trust me?"

LAURA: With everything in my being.

MATT: "Come." He turns and walks further into the darkness of the jungle, a faint green glow lighting up the space around him as he walks.

LAURA: I glance back at the dome, (sighs) and take off after the Traveler.

MATT: Okay. As he walks, you can see out of the corner of the green light, the vines expanding and growing more vibrant around him, flowers (poofing). As he steps to an area and puts his hand to one side, you can see one of the trees very quietly bends and moves aside where a little corner of the jungle is serene and removed from the dense expanse around you.

LAURA: Wow. Is this the oasis? No, this is your oasis.

MATT: "It's a place to talk." He stands and turns facing you. And he pulls his hood back--

LAURA: (gasping)

MATT: -- revealing his almost elf-like features, but more exaggerated and fey, his long ears curling behind the head, beyond any elf's that you've seen, his almond-shaped eyes of emerald green and brilliant beneath these thin feather-like brows. A voluminous orange-red hair curls down the back of the head like a lion's mane and he smiles. "Jester, you are my first disciple, the first one to truly carve the world with your cunning, your joy, and your mischief. I trust you. And are you ready for the absolute truth?"

LAURA: Yes?

MATT: "I am the Traveler, but it was not always this way, for when I traveled here, it was a world before me where I was without burdens, without responsibilities, and without limitations. I drank deep of the muted colors of Exandria, straining to exit. I plucked at and knotted the lives of many fools from the shadows, amusing myself by leaping into every whim with glee and purpose. And one day, I met a little girl who sought that same spark, a little girl who found joy in exposing life's most subtle hypocrisies, a little blue girl who lived a life so small but felt in her heart there was so much more to see. This little girl and I found a kinship and in her child-like wonder, her view so untempered by the sanctimonious morality of man, and she saw me as a god. So for her-- for you-- I donned the mask of one. I found that with such pure, absolute faith granted towards me, I was exhilarated. I began to seek others who might be waiting for such guidance, to bring a bit of, well, necessary chaos into the world. One by one, I traveled and found more souls who needed direction, who found themselves in our shenanigans. It was beautiful. Eons of living for only myself, I found a new joy in helping others find themselves in a world cruel and painted in dull, divided pigments. With each new faith, I could find myself, I could feel myself becoming what you believed. Then more came. Playful pranks turned into demands, prayers fighting for my attention. Freshly freed from previously imposed boundaries, I had managed to really construct my own. While such faith granted me power beyond what I thought possible to achieve, I was being spread too thin across those who I'd taken under my wing. I thought to bring them all together, to unify their causes and perhaps forge a community under this banner, my banner, our banner. We are weeks away from the gathering of my lost children who have wound their lives around my boons and counsel. The truth, Jester, is that I have no idea what I'm doing--"

LAURA: (gasping)

MATT: "-- and I need your help." That's where we'll ends tonight's episode.

(yelling) (clapping)

LAURA: Holy shit. (laughs)

TALIESIN: Just sitting here going, "Fuck off, David Bowie! Fuck off, no one wants you here, David Bowie."

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: Go back to your home, David Bowie.

LAURA: It's a cult!

MARISHA: It is a cult. This was Jester's fault the whole time.

SAM: Maybe not a cult--

MARISHA: Yes.

TALIESIN: It's a cult!

LAURA: No, now he's going to be a god, he is a god.

TALIESIN: There's paper pants, it's a cult.

TRAVIS: Elven futures--

LAURA: It's Artagan! It's Artagan.

MARISHA: Totally Artagan.

ASHLEY: Come on. You're saying yes?

LAURA and ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

LAURA: Holy shit--

SAM: Maybe it's not a cult.

TALIESIN: David Bowie, just David Bowie.

TRAVIS: "I have no idea what I'm doing"?!

ASHLEY: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Honestly, if I were ever to meet a god and they said that to me, I'd be like, "Okay, and now I believe that you are."

(laughter) (clapping)

TALIESIN: This got way out of hand.

LIAM: Traveler Con is just Artagan strangling 500 people.

MATT: (laughs) I mean--

TRAVIS: Wait, Garmelie, Artágan, Ártagan? Ártagan or Artágan?

MATT: Artágan.

MARISHA: Garmelie, and then it was like, "My name is actually Artagan."

TRAVIS: Garmelie was, like, the faun?

LAURA: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

TALIESIN: Oh my god, oh.

ASHLEY: Holy.

TALIESIN: So much--

MATT: For so long, just--

SAM: Garmelie was the faun. Was that an illusion for us?

LAURA: Yeah yeah yeah, it was like his changed shape.

MATT: Yep.

TRAVIS: Little trickster faun.

SAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh fuck.

LAURA: You did this, I'm so excited.

MARISHA: You did this.

TALIESIN: You did this!

MARISHA: (laughs) It's so funny.

SAM: It doesn't necessarily need to be a bad thing.

LAURA: No, it's not, it's super awesome.

TALIESIN: It's a clusterfuck.

MATT: It's a complicated thing, is what it is.

SAM: It's a club that you've started. You started a club.

ASHLEY: You did. You started a club, maybe you become, maybe--

TRAVIS: Married to somebody and then found the secret door to their basement.

LAURA: Oh my gosh. No. It's so much more.

TRAVIS: No, this is fine.

TALIESIN: It's so amazing.

LAURA: It's totally okay. It's going to be great.

MATT: It was the trigger of your trickery last session that he was like, "Okay, maybe she can help me."

(laughter)

LAURA: Oh my god.

MARISHA: Holy fuck.

LIAM: I love it.

LAURA: I love it so much.

TALIESIN: Oh my god.

MATT: It's gon' be interesting. But we'll pick that up next week on Thursday. Thank you for joining us. Look forward to seeing you guys next Thursday and hopefully those stick around on Friday, Valentine's Day, to check out our Monsterhearts 2 one-shot. But until then, have a wonderful night, we love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

(dramatic orchestral music)

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