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List of Transcripts

Pre-ShowEdit

MATT: Welcome and good evening, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us voice actors, who are also huge geeks, sit around and roll dice and have a good time in the wondrous journey of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll go ahead and get things started with some character backstories, have a settle in here, get the cameras ready, and then we’ll start the action as soon as we return. So we’ll see you guys here very soon.

[rock music] [dramatic music] [character backstories]

MATT: Hello, and welcome back! So before we start, a couple of quick announcements and things we want to get out to you guys. One, unfortunately Ashley cannot be here tonight, so we’re missing Pike, sadly. I’ll be controlling her as the terrible AI for the evening. Apologies in advance, guys. She’s only your healer.

(all laugh)

MATT: Also, as a note, we’re still doing the subscriber giveaways tonight. Our next goal is 2700 subscribers. We’ll be giving away another tabletop promo kit that are exclusive only to this now. You cannot find them anywhere else. So we’ll be giving one of those away to somebody in the chat room, once we hit 2700 subscribers. Which is awesome! Also, we have our charity we run every week, 826LA. Marisha, if you want to explain that a little bit.

MARISHA: Yes! 826LA is a non-profit tutoring program for kids K through 12th grade. And they’re really big on creative writing and storytelling, and they also have a storefront, the Time Travel Mart, in–

LAURA AND TALIESIN: Echo Park

MARISHA: Echo Park! Thank-you. And Mar Vista. There’s also one in Mar Vista, and there might be an 826 in your city, I know there’s one in Seattle, and Chicago, and New York. So look them up, they’re awesome, and yes. They do great work. And you can also tutor for them! You should volunteer.

MATT: Which is also great!

ORION: Yeah.

MARISHA: Volunteer to be a tutor for 826.

MATT: Tutor to teach them to write modules for D&D.

ORION: Think you’re smart, huh? Think you’re smart?

LAURA: Do you think you’re smart?

MARISHA: Think you’re smart? Can you teach a 5th grader?

MATT: Exactly. And also, if you donate to 826LA at the end of the show today we’ll read off some of the messages you guys wrote as part of donations, at the end of the show, so we’ll give you personal thanks for that at the end of… of today. So that’s be cool. Also, I’m wearing a shirt. You notice it’s grey-ish colored, this is our second run of the first– And I say first, because there’s hopefully more to come soon– Critical Role shirt. You guys keep asking for it, we finally set up a Teespring. It’ll only be up for the next two weeks, and we’re trying to hit certain goals, so that if we manage to hit a thousand tees sold, we’re going to go ahead and do another full cast Q&A. If we can all find any that we’re available for.

LAURA: Oh, awesome!

MATT: But yeah, so these shirts are available. They’re on Teespring.com/Critical-Role. We’ve already had a few trolls go in there and create their own T-shirts, and say that they’re official when they’re not, so don’t buy those.

MARISHA: Not ours. It’s those! That’s what it looks like.

MATT: So this grey with full cast setup there.

ORION: They didn’t even ask us.

MARISHA: So the first ones we did in navy. These are done in grey.

LIAM: Second edition.

MARISHA: And then we’ll probably retire this design after this.

MATT: After this. This’ll be your one chance to get this design, and we have more stuff coming down the road hopefully. But yeah! So check it out Teespring.com/Critical-Role. If you guys want one, go grab one. Also, quick little things you want to promote that we’ve been working on recently. Marisha and Taliesin? You said you wanted to…

TALIESIN: Yeah! We we just did some voices for the new Marvel: Age of Ultron pinball game.

MARISHA: Yes!

TALIESIN: I did the voice of Ultron, so you can hear me be evil!

MARISHA: (laughs) Yes, and I voice Black Widow. And doing a little… little ScarJo… up in there.

ORION: Yeah. No! Doing a little Marisha Ray up in there.

MATT: Speaking of Black Widow…

MARISHA: And speaking– speaking of Black Widow!

LAURA: Oh, yeah! So now two Black Widows in the house.

MARISHA: (makes high-five sound effect) Black Widow!

LAURA: Yeah, cause we all do Avengers Assemble. On Disney XD.

TRAVIS: Every Sunday morning.

LAURA: What what what!

MARISHA: Avengers assemble!

LAURA: Thor, Black Widow, Red Skull. You bastard.

TRAVIS: Don’t say anything!

SAM: He also plays Black Widow.

MATT: It’s a whole new weird arc.

MARISHA: Black Widows, woo!

LAURA: And then the episode of TableTop that I did just dropped today, as well.

MATT: That’s awesome.

ORION: Nice!

MATT: Go check that out. Watch Laura go and destroy a bunch of folks on another game.

LAURA: Yeah. A very scary horror RPG.

MATT: Ooh, that sounds awesome.

ORION: Is there anything else?

MATT: I have something, but you’re next.

ORION: And my comedy troupe, i8athumbtack on YouTube, we just put out a video called “Helping the Homeless!” You should check it out. There’s this douchebag called fouseyTUBE that we were parodying, and we think it’s funny.

MATT: Awesome.

ORION: But yeah, that just came out a couple days ago.

LIAM: And I should have done this a couple of weeks ago, but Transformers: Robots in Disguise is now on the telly, and I play a Decepticon named Underbite, who eats everything. It’s a really well done show, and Decepticons are better than Autobots, and check it out.

LAURA: You’re villains on everything, are you?

LIAM: Hell yeah.

TRAVIS: Do you have a lisp in that show?

MATT: He gives good villain.

LIAM: Not on this show. What?

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: Yeah.There you go. Also I have the pleasure today to announce that I am the voice of Tim Drake, Robin, in Arkham Knight.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

MATT: So I’m excited about that.

MARISHA: Tim Drake!

LIAM: That game looks boring.

MATT: I know, pfft! Who’s going to touch it? Yeah… that was a huge honor, so I’m really excited about that. So if anyone has anything else? Those are our announcements for this evening. We can hop on in. Also, those that the t-shirts, I think it just got set up in the chat room that if you scroll all the way to the bottom there will be a button for you to find the t-shirts, so even easier way of getting to them. Check it out. Anyway! So, into the game. Let me go ahead and get the music going because I think that’s a required aspect of this as far as I’m concerned.

LIAM: I’m always nervous in the first five minutes.

TALIESIN: You remember how to play?

LIAM: I got dice.

SAM: Here we go.

Part IEdit

MATT: So. As a quick overview as to where we were, the party essentially was given a quest from the capital city of Emon to find the missing folk hero Lady Kima of Vord, a halfling paladin, very well known, who had gone missing while on a pilgrimage vision quest over the past year. She had been missing for a number of weeks, nearly months at this point, and you were sent to the dwarven city of Kraghammer to find and bring her back safely. After going to the city, you discover that she had delved into the mines, seeking some sort of extremely dark evil that was seated somewhere deep beneath Kraghammer proper. In searching for her, you managed to find your way through the mines into the entrance passage into the Underdark. The Underdark which is a very scary place. You’ve encountered a number of subterranean beasts and creatures, some of which are unnaturally mutated or altered by some sort of magic you cannot place.

Upon going through these caverns, a few battles with duergar, the ashen-skinned evil subterranean dwarves– further subterranean dwarves, I guess you’d say, and encountered your first mind flayers, illithids, which seem to have allied, strangely, with the duergar. Normally enemies by nature, they’re working together under what you discovered in sense is a common enemy referred to as K'Varn. Nothing really is known of K'Varn, other than it has a great power and has united these two forces for some nefarious purpose. Apparently these abominations, and these strange mutations you’ve encountered, these experiments, also seem to have been created by K'Varn, though no one knows quite why or how.

As you traversed down, you managed to… befriend an arcanist mind flayer that was cast out from the colony, named Clarota, who has aided you under the intent that you would help him free his people of the slavery of K'Varn and release the mind flayers to their own normal state of mind. And you’ve made your way to the Duergar fortress, Emberhold, found and released Lady Kima, who underwent many, many weeks of torturous experiences to come through still firm of mind and ready to kick some ass. Through a very painful battle in the Emberhold, you managed to pull your party out, only a few of them turned to stone, and with a foot burned off.

(all laugh)

MATT: And Grog being dominated and Grog-napped by the surviving queen, duergar Queen Ulara.

TRAVIS: What? Everybody needs a nap.

MARISHA: We’re going to have to get one of those child leashes for you.

LAURA: Maybe we can get a chip implanted in him so we can track him all the time.

MARISHA: Oh yeah, like a dog chip?

MATT: (laughs) So get on enchanting that, Tiberius.

TRAVIS: I like chips.

LAURA: Yeah. Or like one of those tiles you put on your keys.

MARISHA: Yes. That’s actually not a bad idea. Can we do that?

TALIESIN: There’s an app for that.

SAM: A Grog-jack?

TRAVIS: Percy, you can make that.

MATT: Grog-jack? Whenever he gets taken, it gives a little beeper in your pocket.

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: So, the party then, in trying to locate Grog’s position, found their way delving past the lava fall-based element of the obsidian rock duergar Underdark. Deeper into discovering this… cursed… pit of undeath, bone shards, and glass. Upon traversing it they encountered one of these abominations that you’ve seen traces of left before, this weird, half… partial elven, partial tentacle monstrosity, that slashed through your party, nearly killed Trinket, but was defeated by you.

You managed to make your way across this bone field and discover what appears to be a camp, across a number of pillars in the distance. Vax went ahead and stealthed up, looked over and saw that there was a camp of duergar, and apparently the surviving Queen Ulara giving them orders. Next to Grog, who is currently bolted by iron bands to some sort of a cart that they’ve been dragging him through this tunnel passage with. And that is where we have left off. So.

TALIESIN: I think I’ve got a plan.

SAM: Oh. Because I did, too.

TALIESIN: You have a plan?

SAM: No, I want to hear yours. Let’s do them both without telling, and just see what happens.

TALIESIN: I’ll Roshambo you for it.

ORION: I actually– I actually like this idea, Scanlan.

TALIESIN: Keyleth can meld through rock. So, if we can get the attention of everyone who’s guarding Grog, she could slip through while we’re drawing them out, and get through and let him go in the midst of the fight.

SAM: That works with my plan.

TALIESIN: That works with your plan?

SAM: My plan was to– was to go in there and distract them while you did something!

(all laugh)

LAURA: Perfect plan!

TALIESIN: I like that plan.

SAM: I hadn’t completed the thought because the something hadn’t been worked out.

TALIESIN: You were 80% there.

LIAM: Actually, let me tell you all that Grog is up here, you didn’t know.

TALIESIN: I assumed you’d come back by now.

LIAM: No, I’m still up there.

SAM: That raises the stakes!

(all laugh)

LIAM: Last week I said, “Come up now.” And that’s when he called it.

ORION: And I had already taken off. So I’m already headed there.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: Well, he’s at least said, “Come up now.”

MARISHA: So we’re… we’re there.

MATT: So Tiberius, roll a stealth check.

LAURA: Great… Great, Tiberius, go for it.

TALIESIN: Damn it.

LIAM: “Hold on, let me show you my collection of tin cans tied to my tail.”

ORION: Actually, you know what? No, I’m fine, I’ll just roll.

TRAVIS: Yeah, roll the shit out of that.

ORION: 16.

MATT: 16? Okay. So, as Tiberius coasts up along the back portion of Vax’s arrival point…

LIAM: (whispering) Where is everybody?

LAURA: (whispering) We’re on our way.

ORION: (whispering) I don’t know. I heard you–

MATT: You notice one of the duergar looks over his shoulder in your direction.

SAM: And plan over.

MATT: And begins to make a few steps in that direction.

MARISHA: Wait. Who? You?

SAM: Yeah, he went in anyway.

LAURA: Yeah, and he’s not stealthed enough.

LIAM: All right, I grab Tiberius by the snout and pull him back, around the edge of that rock. I’m just doing it. Pulling my dagger out.

MATT: All right. So the duergar continues to move forward towards the edge of the rock…

LIAM: Oh, come up here please…

LAURA: “Okay!” We stealth. Can I head that way?

LIAM: And I’m throwing a knife into the dwarf’s neck.

SAM: Oh, Jesus! That’s not very stealthy at all!

LIAM: Well, it’s coming over!

MATT: All right, so the rest of you guys go ahead and roll stealth.

LIAM: He’s not waiting!

SAM: We’ve been doing this for 30 seconds. We’re already in a fight! I was going to distract them!

LIAM: I’m not going to stand here and wait for the duergar to walk around the corner.

ORION: I was going to distract them, too.

MATT: And… you got one of them.

TRAVIS: It’s a classic movie moment.

SAM: I’m going in. I’m walking into the camp.

MARISHA: What? Wait, okay, wait. Are we abandoning the plan?

TALIESIN: No, we’re just going for it right now.

MARISHA: All right!

LIAM: Oh my god!

MATT: All right, so the rest of you…

LAURA: I rolled a nine, so it doesn’t even matter.

MATT: It doesn’t matter at this point.

TALIESIN: I rolled a ten, yeah.

MATT: Okay, so the rest of you begin trudging in, down this tunnel, towards the edge.

TALIESIN: Goddamn.

MATT: Clarota and Kima are… (laughs) holding up the back rear end.

LIAM: You know, if you wait five minutes, I can at least take one out.

MATT: As Scanlan approaches, the duergar immediately turns around.

MARISHA: Hi, duergar!

LIAM: Right up behind him– (surprise sound effect) Cut his neck, cut the throat.

MARISHA: I turn into an earth elemental.

MATT: All right,simultaneously, as you approach, the duergar looks behind, gives you a glance, and you can see his eyes, normally pupil-less eyes of the ashy-skinned duergar are now glowing with an odd dull green color that you haven’t seen in duergar previously, and he starts rushing towards you. He’s going to make a simultaneous round rushing up to you for an attack while you release your two attacks against him and you release your dagger.

MARISHA: Go, twinsies!

TRAVIS: Who hits Scanlan?

MATT: This calls for a music change.

SAM: (sighs) Well, the best laid plans….

LAURA: My first one was an ultimate fail.

MATT: Okay. Good to know. All right, the first duergar swings at you with his war hammer. To you Scanlan, that comes down with a 12.

SAM: 12 versus armor class?

MATT: Versus your armor class, yeah.

SAM: I’m okay!

MATT: You pull back and the giant war hammer swings past you and you duck out of the way. Thankfully, though the duergar are relatively small, you’re much smaller, and as a gnome you slip right out of the path of the actual hammer blow. Your first arrow misses, second one you said hits?

LAURA: 25.

MATT: 25 definitively hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

LAURA: Ugh, why? Why? Oh, I’m cursed today! Eight.

MATT: Eight damage.

LAURA: Eight damage.

MATT: All right, so, after he swings past Scanlan, who ducks out of the way, one arrow (whizzing sound effect) just cruises over his head and you hear it scattering and clattering against the rocks in the distance. He looks over in your direction as the second one just grazes his shoulder. You can see a little bit of blood begin to spill, but it doesn’t even turn his head towards the wound, he’s still just glaring at you angrily while you throw your dagger from behind. Him not even aware of your presence, currently.

LIAM: 20. Natural 20!

TALIESIN: First of the night.

LIAM: There is a magnet inside this die. I should be– Just full disclosure. Okay, so natural 20.

MATT: Yeah. We’re buying you new dice next week.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah. Will you buy me new dice as well? Thank you.

MATT: So! As you pull Tiberius back, clutching the front of his snout, keeping him quiet, you pull a dagger out, toss it in the air, catch it and fling it at full speed, striking true. Go ahead and roll damage. With sneak attack bonus. Also multiplied because of the crit.

LIAM: Yes. He’s gone, he’s gone. Okay, … (mumbles numbers) 47.

MATT: All right. So. As he turns and the arrow strikes off his shoulder and he glares at you, Vex. He pulls back his hammer again looking down at Scanlan, coming down for a blow to basically bash his skull in, but he stops suddenly, as you see this blade protrude from the front of his skull. His glowing eyes fade back to a dull, pale whitish color, and his body slumps onto the ground as your dagger magically returns to your hand from below. Duergar down.

LAURA: I nod to you. Good job.

SAM: I step forward and say– is her name Ulara?

MATT: Ulara. Queen Ulara.

SAM: Queen Ulara. Show yourself! Step out and talk to us. Everyone hold.

MATT: And the rest of you, are you all staying where you are? Are you coming forward with Scanlan?

MARISHA: Oh, you’re talking? We’re doing a talking thing?

LAURA: Let’s step up behind him. I want to step up and make him look more imposing with me and Trinket behind him.

MARISHA: I am– I am going– Hang on, wait, what are you do– what?

LAURA: I want to step up behind Scanlan with a bear behind him, and make him look more imposing.

MARISHA: I’m going to… slink back into the shadows and turn into an earth elemental, and sink into the ground.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And hopefully they don’t see that happen.

MATT: Keyleth… is no longer Keyleth.

LAURA: (laughs) Whoa, you’re huge!

MATT: And then– (swoosh sound effects) fades underneath the earth somewhere. Just slips into it, almost like sand through an hourglass, you just vanish beneath the surface of the rock.

TRAVIS: Great way to leave a party.

MATT: Kima steps forward, making a point to step angrily onto the corpse of the duergar. You hear the crunching of bone and metal as she steps over his corpse. Percy, you’re approaching as well?

TALIESIN: I’m… staying a little bit back.

MATT: Okay, so about there?

TALIESIN: Yeah, about there.

MATT: All right. Clarota’s going to move off to the side… here, and Pike is going to come and get the center point she feels the most applicable to heal.

LIAM: DM?

MATT: Yes?

LIAM: Where on the map is the queen right now?

MATT: You don’t see right now.

LIAM: Don’t see her.

SAM: She’s in the tent. She’s in the tent, right?

MATT: Grog, which is right over here.

ORION: I see what’s going on and I rub my ring and I go invisible.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: Greater Invisibility.

MATT: All right, so. Tiberius also vanishes from view. You glance over your shoulder, Vax, and notice that Tiberius is just gone. Just (whoosh) vanished. All right. So. As you shouted this out, the secondary duergar now turns and… First off, make a persuasion check. Well, no, in this case intimidation, I think, is what this is going to be.

SAM: Do I roll again?

MATT: I’ll say okay, because it is a different skill, so yeah.

ORION: Matt, I’d like to move to the other side.

MATT: You’ll get about there with this round.

SAM: 22.

MATT: 22?

LIAM: Fucking love this game.

MATT: All right. As you shout this, the duergar grabs this warpick from his side, looks at you angrily, and begins to step forward, as a giant grizzly bear and the rest of the party filters up behind you in full flying V formation. He puts his pick to his side and yells off his shoulder, “My Queen. We’ve got company!” As he does, the flaps of the far end of the tent, here, open up. There’s a dwarf there, not a duergar, but a dwarf that is standing there to the side, that steps out of the way, and Queen Ulara steps out, as well. You see her angrily look off to the side. “(sighs angrily) Well, then. It appears that we have some business to discuss.” And she begins to step past the front of the fire way. Stopping right next to the fire pit, keeping a good 15-foot distance, with her arms crossed. The dwarf comes and flanks her on this side, and you now see– while I cannot seem to find the figure for the life of me right now to represent it. We’ll use this, for the time being. There is an elf also flanking her. Normal looking elf, dressed in what looks like a fine chainmail attire. Longsword at the side. So there’s an elf and a dwarf, both flanking.

LIAM: And they’re clearly with her.

MATT: They are at her side, like they’re ready to defend her.

LIAM: They could be charmed.

SAM: Queen Ulara, if I may have a word. Let us spare each other lots of bloodshed and just have a chat before we fight. Is that all right?

MATT: “Talk, small annoying creature, and perhaps it’ll delay the inevitable.”

SAM: My friends and I have come–

LAURA: Hello!

SAM: Hi, yes… We’ve come from the above world. The normal world, let’s say, to your fine kingdom down here below. And we were on a mission. We’re a bit of– I don’t want to brag, but we’re a bit of an elite task force, sent in by kingdoms and kings that you probably haven’t heard of way down below, but anyway. I’ll spare you.

MATT: Hold that thought just for a second. Percy, go ahead and roll a perception check.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit…. When it’s out of the blue like that it’s always bad.

TALIESIN: Ten.

MATT: Okay. Continue.

LIAM: Wait. DM. Vax is creeping along the back of that tent and curving around.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Thank you.

ORION: I’m going to do the earring and go to Scanlan and be like, “Keep it simple, will you? I mean, really, calm down.”

SAM: (laughs) Copy that.

TRAVIS: Yeah, how could you?

SAM: My lady, we have come on a mission. To save someone that you were holding captive. We have completed our mission, and in the melee, in that hovel you called a palace back there, we lost one of our own, and we would like him back. Now, I’ll make it very simple because my fellows are begging me to keep things simple. It’s a simple binary choice. You can all die right now, or you can turn over our friend and we will probably, probably leave you in peace. I would promise, but I don’t make promises to dogs.

TRAVIS: (high-pitched) Ooh! Oh snap!

MARISHA: Oh shit! I move in behind where the pillar is, but in the ground.

MATT: Behind where this pillar is, in the ground?

MARISHA: No, I’m– yeah, I’m there-ish.

MATT: All right. So, at that response, and you’re noticing now as you’re getting a better glance at the queen, too, the normally white, pale duergar eyes have a strange green glow-ish hue to them. As do the two individuals to the right and left of her. And she just looks you square in the face. “You took my king from me. Came and slayed him in his own throne room. You took something I love, I take something you love. He’s mine now. And I’m bringing him to his greater destiny.” At which point, a loud, horrendous streaking sound pierces the ears of everyone in this vicinity. As appearing out of a ripple of energy, a once-invisible mind flayer goes cascading out a mind blast in a cone that just tears through the entire group here. Scanlan, Vex, Pike, as well. Trinket, Percy, go ahead and roll an intelligence saving throw.

TRAVIS: I’ll die once I finally come back.

SAM: Saving throw?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: What is that?

MATT: Roll your saving throw for intelligence.

SAM: Okay.

LIAM: Small square near the top upper left hand.

TRAVIS: At least I don’t have to roll for intelligence.

SAM: 21.

MATT: All right. Percy.

LAURA: Do I roll for Trinket, too?

TALIESIN: 16.

MATT: Yes, you do. Okay. Vex.

LAURA: 14.

MATT: Okay. And?

LAURA: And Trinket is eight.

MATT: So, you double over, clutching your skull, as the pain is too much to bear, and you find yourself unable to actually draw commands to your muscles for them to function. You are currently stunned.

LAURA: Great.

MATT: Roll for Trinket.

LAURA: Oh, he rolled an eight.

MATT: Trinket falls to the ground with this horrible (bear groan) sound, digging his nose into the actual dirt to try and find a way to escape this piercing mental agony, this psychic damage…

LAURA: It’s pretty shitty, you guys. It sucks.

MATT: Both of you guys take 22 points of psychic damage, by the way.

LAURA: Oh, good. Trinket’s about to die again.

MARISHA: Who’s all stunned?

TALIESIN: Laura, twice.

ORION: Bear and Vex.

MATT: Pike also.

TALIESIN: And Pike.

LIAM: DM, I’m throwing a dagger at the queen.

MATT: Okay. Now we roll initiative, folks, because stuff has begun.

ORION: (fumbling) Can I do something right before that?

MATT: No, essentially this triggers the combat now. This was an immediate occurrence. Now we’re going into initiative order.

ORION: Okay.

LIAM: Now, by my saying that, do I get into the initiative order, or does my action come out, my decision come out before?

MATT: I would say for the two that didn’t act this turn, you guys can have advantage on the initiative roll because you guys have been holding your actions. So Tiberius, you can also have advantage on your initiative roll, since you guys were holding off.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: 21?

MARISHA: Nice, that’s better!

ORION: That’s way better than a two.

LAURA: I don’t roll anything because I’m stunned?

MATT: You are stunned currently. You still roll initiative so we have the order that you go in.

ORION: 21.

TALIESIN: 22.

MATT: All right.

MARISHA: Oh are we doing this?

MATT: We are.

LIAM: It’s on like Tron.

LAURA: I’ve got a 13.

MATT: Guys, hang on. So 20 to 15?

TALIESIN: 22.

SAM: 18.

MATT: 18, all right, wow. We got some good initiative rolls, guys, good job!

MARISHA: 16 here.

MATT: Okay. 15 to ten?

LAURA: Oh, me. 13.

MATT: There we go.

LIAM: You play stunned well.

LAURA: I’m not a victim. I’m going to kick butt as soon as I wake up.

MATT: Oh, yeah. Kima also fell stunned to that, unfortunately. All right, that brings us to…. I think that’s everyone’s initiative, right?

LIAM: 21 over here.

MATT: Yeah, yeah everyone’s in. All right, cool. So, top of the round. Percy, you’re up first.

TALIESIN: We need earth elemental stats if you know where they are, by the way.

MATT: Oh, did you not print them out? Monster Manual.

TALIESIN: Monster Manual.

MATT: Here we go. (funny accent) See, this comes in handy more often than you’d think.

TALIESIN: Yeah. But while we’re looking that up, I’m basically going to pull my gun, I’m going to fire four times into the face of that awful, awful screaming bastard.

MATT: Of the, the mind flayer over here?

TALIESIN: Yeah, the mind flayer.

MATT: Okay, so you whip around, he’s there in your face, go ahead and make– You’re using your action surge to fire two additional times, you said?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, wow, four rounds. Go for an attack.

TALIESIN: First attack with Pepperbox is 13?

MATT: 13? Unfortunately misses. Form shifts (whooshing sounds), and you can feel the psychic energy of its oppressive mental force, causing your hand to miss its aim with each pull of the trigger.

TALIESIN: All right fire shot for 19.

MATT: 19 does hit.

TALIESIN: That’s my fire shot… so that’s…

TRAVIS: Put it on him, Percy, let’s go.

TALIESIN: Oh my god, this sucks! Eight points of damage. What is this about?

MATT: Okay. Third attack?

TALIESIN: Third attack.

MATT: Spin the barrel again on the Pepperbox (gunshot).

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

TRAVIS: Get on it!

LAURA: Murder him!

TALIESIN: That’s 11 points of damage.

MARISHA: Is it doubled?

MATT: All righty. That’s doubled with the critical?

TALIESIN: That’s 2d10. I double the dice, right?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Or roll and double the dice number, but that’s fine. Okay.

TALIESIN: So that’s that. And now I’m going to take a sharpshooter bonus, so… Oh, that sucks. That’s 11, that doesn’t hit.

MATT: Unfortunately. So the first one hits, the second one actually clips part of its chest and you can see, as it tries to use its psychic abilities to resist the bullet, it still pierces its chest in the side. Missing everything vital, still causing it to (makes painful hissing sound), sucks in the air for a moment.

TALIESIN: That was a terrible roll. I’m going to use some movement to dodge left to get out of the way of that guy.

MATT: Okay. So going this way?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I’m going to go… Yeah, about there.

MATT: Okay, cool. Probably should get out the laser pointers.

TRAVIS: I’ll bring him one.

SAM: Hey, is Grog stone?

LIAM: Grog’s tied. Grog is held by iron bands. He’s down.

TRAVIS: Grog’s been hitting the peace pipe.

SAM: He’s unconscious.

MATT: You guys don’t know; you haven’t seen him yet.

LIAM: I saw him, you described it to me last week. He’s in iron bands held on a cart.

LAURA: But he’s awake, right?

MATT: Yeah, on a cart. You haven’t checked.

MARISHA: Iron bands?

LIAM: Yeah, he’s tied down.

MARISHA: He’s on the whole cart though, right?

MATT: Tiberius. You’re up next.

ORION: Great. I peek over the little thing, and I go, “Ooh!” and I throw a fireball from my ring.

MATT: (laughs) Okay, where are you throwing it?

ORION: Oh, right in the juicy spot of those three.

MATT: Right here?

ORION: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. So. As they’re all sitting there, looking ready to pounce for this series of battle, all of a sudden there’s a slight streak of reddish energy in the distance as you all are watching. It looks almost like the fire pit behind them just explodes in this giant fiery ball of red, angry magical fury. So go ahead and roll your 8d6 damage.

ORION: (mumbling numbers) I’m missing d6s.

TALIESIN: There’s two more.

ORION: Wonderful. (mumbles) That’s… 31 damage.

MATT: 31 points of damage, okay. Queen Ulara you notice, as the duergar are generally considered– as this blasts in this area as well– both her and the duergar make their saving throw; they have magic resistance innately against it.

TRAVIS: Against magic?

MATT: Yeah, they’re hardy creatures, man. However! The elf on this side ends up being thrown to the side and its entire body gets thrown about 20-30 feet across from the force of the explosion, landing on the ground lifeless, next to you. (skidding noise) On the ground, a burnt cinder. The dwarf takes the brunt of it as well. Appears to still be alive, but looks very horribly burned and is looking at its hands now like (pained grunting sound). Barely standing.

ORION: And then I spend two sorcerer points to (crackling sound effect) form an ice knife.

MATT: Before we get to that point, Grog, you also take that damage.

TRAVIS: Oh. How many points?

LIAM: He’s a freaking sponge. He’ll be fine.

ORION: Why?

MATT: Because you said you threw it in the fire, there? Grog’s right there. On a cart.

ORION: I said the juicy spot of those three! I knew Grog was there. Of course I wouldn’t throw it there.

TRAVIS: I can take it.

ORION: Okay, fine.

(all laugh)

MATT: I pointed here.

ORION: Yeah, but… I thought– I don’t know.

MATT: Be specific next time! But yeah, that’s okay. He can take it.

MARISHA: We’re down all of our laser pointers.

ORION: And I throw that, right in the back of Queeny’s head.

MATT: Okay. All right, go for it. So as you coalesce this arcane energy into this blue, cold, freezing plume of… moisture in your hand, it forms into this giant jagged blade of ice, and you chuck it in a straight line. Go ahead and roll a d20 plus your spell attack modifier.

MARISHA: Get it. Get some.

ORION: 19.

MATT: 19 does hit, even with her mage armor.

ORION: Sweet. And then that’s 1d10. So that’s a ten. And then… it (exploding sound effect) shatters, and then does– where the fuck is it– 2d6 damage as well.

MATT: Okay, to her and everyone– Go for it.

ORION: In a five-foot radius. So yeah…

MATT: Right.

ORION: And that guy’s like right next to her, right?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Hey, Matt. How much damage did I take?

MATT: What was the damage on the fireball?

ORION: 31.

MATT: 31? 31 points of fire damage.

TRAVIS: Cool.

ORION: Cool, and that’s four points of damage to both of them.

LAURA: Are you dead?

MATT: To both of them? All right. Well, for one, four damage is enough, as the shards of ice from the back of Ulara’s torso explode into this spray of jagged ice chunks. It pierces continuously the right side of this dwarf, who then falls to the ground, grasping at his wounds and trying to stand to his feet before falling over unconscious right there.

ORION: And I have Greater Invisibility, so I’m still invisible and I just peek back behind the rock.

MATT: (singing) Mysterious fireball, ice dagger source. Okay. You come to consciousness, in extreme pain as your entire body is immersed briefly in flame.

TRAVIS: (painful roaring)

MATT: We’ll get to that in a second. Vex. Vax, sorry.

LIAM: Okay, I’m going to use my feat, Cunning Action, for one extra action per turn of combat, use for either dash, disengage, or hide. So I’m going to double distance and go one… two… three, four, five– I still can’t see her– six, maybe… seven, eight, nine, ten. Stop right here by Clarota. (over enunciating) Clarota– Clarota! And dagger, dagger at this jerkface over here.

MATT: Right here?

LIAM: Yep.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: That was stealthed, by the way.

MATT: Right, roll a stealth check.

LIAM: All right. Okay, and I’m going to use Luck. Okay, so stealth is 23?

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: And he hasn’t gone yet, so for the assassinate feat for rogues, if he hasn’t gone yet, this is a critical hit.

MATT: In theory, combat already began when he attacked the rest of your party.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Combat’s begun. Sorry.

LIAM: The feat says if you have the jump, if you go before the person’s gone, but we can talk about that later…

MATT: Correct, but they’ve already attacked half your party with the mind blast, so in theory the battle’s already begun.

LIAM: All right. Okay, so keen dagger flying through the air…

MATT: All right.

LIAM: Oh, I didn’t hit to– Okay, so that hits. 16 plus– 27.

MATT: That definitively hits, yes.

LIAM: Okay, so three… plus (mumbles)

LAURA: Kill him.

LIAM: (muttering numbers) 36 total.

MATT: 36 points of damage. All right. So, the mind flayer, which is… After it finishes a mind blast, you can see it beginning to eye what its next target would be. As Percy goes running off to the side, it looks over at its three freshly-stunned prey and begins to lumber towards what looks to be either Pike or Vex. But before it gets a chance to advance though, (whistling sound) out of nowhere your dagger (impact sound) pierces it in its shoulder. It looks at it and it grasps for it. As its hand tries to pull the dagger out, the dagger disappears in a plume of black shadow energy back into your hand as you throw the other dagger.

LIAM: Oh, sorry, asswipe! Okay, that is a 19.

MATT: 19 does also hit.

LIAM: And that is eight damage.

MATT: All right. The other dagger, the creature actually puts up a little bit of a psychic field for a second and it stops its momentum. It does still manage to strike it, but with nowhere near the damage you were hoping it would. Cool, that ends your turn. That brings us to Scanlan.

SAM: Okay, so all that’s remaining on the battlefield is the queen and the mind flayer?

MATT: The mind flayer, the queen, and this duergar here that has not acted yet.

SAM: All right. (sighs) I’m going to just bum rush the queen.

TRAVIS: Yes! I mean…

SAM: And just dive at her. Just dive full, head-on, straight for her and bear hug her with Banishment.

ORION: Oh yeah, baby!

MATT: (laughing) Okay!

ORION: You know you can cast that from a distance?

SAM: No, you have to– it’s touch.

ORION: Is it? Oh!

MATT: Yeah, it’s a touch spell.

SAM: It’s touch.

MATT: All right. So. What’s your spell DC? I assume you’re using your hand cone?

SAM: I do most things through that.

MATT: As you charge forward, you pull out your enchanted hand cone and shout the incantation towards her with an angry glare.

SAM: Ooh, get lost, motherfucker!

(all laugh)

MATT: It had a DC of 19 for that?

SAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay, even with her spell resistance, she does not resist it.

SAM: It’s not you it’s me.

(all laugh)

MATT: Is it an intelligence or wisdom save?

SAM: Oh. I don’t know things. Target, plane of existence, banishment… I don’t know. Where does it say?

MATT: It should say what saving throw it is.

SAM: Find it.

(all laugh)

MATT: I will do this for you. On a charisma saving throw or be banished. So, if it was on anything but a charisma saving throw, she would have shrugged it. Charisma, she does not have in spades. As you reach out, she pulls back and you see her beginning to form this crackling bolt of energy you’ve seen once before in the throne room that shot out and hit multiple members of your party once for a severe amount of damage. This would have been a very dangerous round if you hadn’t connected with her right in front of her clavicle. She looks at you with this look of confusion and completely caught-off-guard frustration before her entire form (sucking sound) blinks out of existence and is no longer visible on the board.

LIAM: Bard ass!

SAM: Yes!

TRAVIS: Get the hell out of there (laughs)

SAM: Do I get my bonus?

MATT: Yeah!

SAM: I’m going to give inspiration to Grog because he needs it.

MATT: All right. So Grog, as the flames die down, you look over and watch Scanlan rush up and completely, as far as you know, disintegrate the duergar queen who took you and has been torturing you these past few days–

TRAVIS: Wow.

(all laugh)

MATT: With that, he looks over to you and gives you a little wink and a smile. Go ahead and take an inspiration dice, which for him is now a d10.

LAURA: An upgrade!

TRAVIS: Heck yeah.

MATT: So you can add that inspiration die to any ability checks, any skill checks, saving throws.

SAM: For instance, busting through iron bars.

TRAVIS: Thank you, thank you.

MATT: All right, well, it would be Ulara’s turn. She’s going to go ahead and attempt to make her saving throw. Does not make it. Still somewhere in some other plane that you’re unaware of.

SAM: She’s in a better place.

MATT: Keyleth, it’s your turn.

MARISHA: All right, I’m going to phase through the ground because I can. And pop up right there next to Grog.

MATT: All right. (crashing sound) Grog, you, all of sudden, as you look over from Scanlan with this smiling face, this giant mountain of rock and earth just lumbers up out of the ground.

TRAVIS: (gasps) Oh shit!

MARISHA: And in rock speak, I say, “Grog it’s okay. It’s Keyleth”

MATT: You hear (makes deep gargled sounds)

TRAVIS: (screams in terror)

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: I still don’t really grasp that you can’t–

MATT: It’s your first time doing elemental form; you’re still trying to figure it out.

MARISHA: Seeing that he’s still tied up, I’m going to pick up the whole crate and put him over my– no I’m going to football carry him like this.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

SAM: Is he on something?

MATT: He’s strapped to a giant cart.

SAM: She’s carrying the whole thing?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Awesome.

MATT: Because earth elemental.

SAM: Awesome.

MATT: So you’re there, now you still have about– what’s the speed of?

MARISHA: 30.

MATT: 30. So you’ve got about, say, ten more squares, or I’m sorry ten more feet you can go.

MARISHA: I’m going to start football rushing that way.

MATT: This way? All right, one, two, all right there we go.

MARISHA: Get the fuck out!

MATT: You’re now being carried by this giant lumbering earth elemental that is just bringing you under its arm. Great! Vex? Do you make your saving throw? Intelligence.

LAURA: Plus intelligence?

MATT: Intelligence saving throw, that should be at the top.

LAURA: 23!

MATT: 23. Using your mind, you shrug off the remainder of the ability. That does end your turn, but you’re no longer stunned, which is nice.

LAURA: That’s great, that’s the end of my turn?

MATT: That’s the end of your turn.

LAURA: Do I roll it for Trinket too?

MATT: Yes, Trinket as well, thank you.

LAURA: Little Trinket gets the little bitty dice. Oh, I don’t think he got it. No, he still rolled an eight.

MATT: Yeah, so Trinket’s still on the ground, slowly digging his nose into the dirt, trying to find a way to his–

LAURA: Oh! Does that mean he takes more damage?

MATT: No more damage, but currently is unable to function.

LIAM: He’s dreaming of honey.

LAURA: Okay. He’s dreaming of pain.

MATT: Yeah, very bad news. Okay. That brings us to Pike, who’s also going to try and make her saving throw. Fails it, unfortunately. Pike dropped her shield, dropped her mace, and is clutching the side of her head, screaming silently as the pain is wracking her brain from the inside. That brings us to this duergar, who’s going to rush over to the one who just banished his queen and attempt to– his physical form begins to swell with strength and frustration. The duergar swings at you with his war pick. That is…

SAM: “(singing) Oh, don’t hit me!” I cast a little count, cutting– what is it?

MATT: Cutting Words?

SAM: Cutting Words.

MATT: Okay. So it’s a 16. Go ahead and roll your d10 number. It’s a d10 now.

SAM: That’s d10?

MATT: It’s a d10 now. You leveled up, yeah!

SAM: I don’t even– I’ve never rolled a d10 before! (laughs)

MATT: Now you have!

SAM: This is a d10?

MATT: Yep, so it’s a 16.

SAM: It was a four.

MATT: It was a four, so it takes that down from a 16 to a 12, which does miss.

SAM: He misses!

(all laugh)

MATT: So as he rushes towards you–

SAM: (singing) No, don’t hit me!

MATT: He stops for a second, confused. He puts the war pick down for a second like, “Wait– argh! (groans) You gnome!“ Doesn’t know why he listened to you and is equally frustrated with himself now as he is you. (laughs)

TRAVIS: So good.

MATT: All right. That ends the duergar’s turn. That brings us to–

LIAM: Here comes the illithid.

MATT: Not yet. This is going to be, Kima is going to try and make her saving throw. Kima does make it! Does shrug off the effect. Turns around angrily, holding the greatsword that you gave her, staring off at the mind flayer right there. Clarota, however, is going to go ahead and turn this way. Coalesce a giant ball of electrical energy into his hand, and release an arcing blast of lightning energy towards this mind flayer, who does make its saving throw. However, it’s still a nice 8d6 lightning damage.

SAM: Do they know each other? Are they friends?

TALIESIN: Not anymore.

TRAVIS: Soulmates.

LAURA: I think that guy dated Clarota’s ex-girlfriend.

MATT: So, 20 points of lightning damage. As the blue energy arcs off, and you see it grounds itself on the incline of this tunnel you guys, have, heading down, the mind flayer visibly is burned, charred, wounded. It looks really really rough. That ends Clarota’s turn, Kima’s turn. Back to the top of the round. The mind flayer looks at its certain circumstance. Puts its hands together like this, it seems to concentrate…

ORION: I see it, I cast Counterspell! (fwoosh)

MATT: Okay. All right, it’s a reflex. Counterspell in this edition is so good.

LAURA: That’s great.

MATT: All right so… this would be Counterspell.

LIAM: Come on Tibs. Tibber-hoods.

MATT: All right, Counterspell, so make an ability check, so add a d20 plus five to it.

SAM: That’s nothing, that’s no numbers.

MARISHA: Oh, there we go.

SAM: That’s a good number.

ORION: What is that? 22.

MATT: 22? That’ll do it. So as this entity you’ve seen before, they tend to like create this small localized portal into some other plane, and then like step through and vanish. You see it begins to coalesce the same arcane energy, and for a moment you see a spark of some sort of door beginning to open. As Tiberius steps from behind the rock, releases this torrent of sparkling arcane energy that closes the gate entirely and the mind flayer for a second looks confused before it, across the way to wherever it came from and sees nothing.

LIAM: Oh, so sorry.

TRAVIS: Are you still invisible?

TALIESIN: So sad, so sad.

MATT: And is going to turn tail and run.

LAURA: (gasp) Just running?

TRAVIS: With his feet?

LAURA: Can I shoot him?

SAM: He ran?

MATT: Well, yeah essentially levitating away.

TRAVIS: Does he have a goofy run?

MATT: It’s more, its a gliding. it’s a (whoosh) About five or six inches off the ground.

MARISHA: Shoot her!

MATT: Percy, you’re up.

LAURA: Shoot him, Percy!

TALIESIN: Okay, I’m going to take a step towards– who’s buggering Scanlan over there?

MATT: A duergar.

TALIESIN: It’s a duergar? I’m just going to take a shot at him really quick.

SAM: Don’t hit me!

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Not going to hit you.

MATT: Hard to see him right now; there’s a big tent in the way, if you want to take a step forward, continue moving.

TALIESIN: I’ll take a step forward, I’m going to continue moving, this is going to be a running shot.

MATT: Okay. So, as you turn, pull your gun off to the side, (explosion) offhand fire–

TALIESIN: 18?

MATT: 18 does hit.

SAM: I don’t like guns.

TALIESIN: That’s– don’t go anywhere. That’s nine damage.

MATT: Nine damage, all right.

TALIESIN: And I’m going to shoot again.

MATT: All right.

TALIESIN: 18.

MATT: 18. That also hits.

LIAM: Bad News.

TALIESIN: Eight damage. Bad News has not come out yet! This is just my little Pepperbox.

MATT: All right, so, as you turn the corner, you fire once, take another step forward, go (click) click over the next barrel, fire a second time. The duergar which was attacking you– you see part of it’s still burnt from the fireball which was tossed the first round– he’s frustrated and angry that you caused him to somehow lower his guard when he attacked you last.

SAM: Yeah!

(all laugh)

MATT: You see him gearing up for another two-handed strike down at this tiny gnome character in front of him. The first blow hits the war pick, knocking it out of his hands. He looks over, confused, at you as the second blast hits him right in the side of the face, completely destroying this side of his head entirely. This wet gurgle as the duergar slumps to the ground, almost on top of you, but you step out of the way as his body (boof) hits the ground right there.

LAURA: Nice. Nice, Percy!

TALIESIN: Bam.

LIAM: Where does he get such wonderful toys?!

TALIESIN: I make them!

MATT: That’s Percy’s turn. Tiberius?

SAM: You want to chase them?

ORION: I’m going to slink my way all the way behind the other rock.

MATT: Over here?

ORION: Towards everybody, closer. Yeah, back, there you go.

MATT: Okay.

ORION: I’m going to… Yeah, screw it, I’ll do another Fireball at the illithid going away. Where do you think you’re going? (fwoosh)

MATT: So, as you fire this beam over here, it detonates in the distance, safely far enough away from the party. Go ahead and roll damage for that fireball. As the mind flayer that is drifting away glances over its shoulder, you see its greenish glowing eyes go wide for a second, cartoon-style, "Oh, shit!”

TRAVIS: Did you go, “Fireball!” as you do it? Hadouken!

MATT: And, with its advantage against the spell– it’s a dexterity save, correct?

ORION: Yeah, so that’s–

MATT: Doesn’t make it.

ORION: 19.

MATT: 19, all right, 19 damage?

ORION: Yep.

MATT: Okay, as the mind flayer’s drifting away, you guys see this arc of red, beaming energy (whoosh) off in the distance. (explosion) You see rocks cascade off the top of the wall, hitting the ground with a force as the entire tunnel shakes and rocks. As the smoke and the flames dissipate, all you see is this pile of blackened creature on the ground from where the mind flayer once stood.

TRAVIS: Oh, peace out! Mind gobbler.

LAURA: Is that everybody’s?

SAM: Fellows! Gather around. She might come back at any moment and we should be here to surround her when she comes back.

LAURA: Okay, yeah.

SAM: And someone get Grog out of that thing!

ORION: Oh, crap, I forgot about that one.

LAURA: Yeah, how do we get Grog out?

MATT: Grog.

TRAVIS: What?

MATT: While they’re all doing this, what do you want to do?

TRAVIS: Well, am I still chained up to the cart?

MATT: Yeah, these iron bands are across your entire body.

LAURA: Being carried by an earth elemental.

TRAVIS: Excuse me, giant rock thing. Could you perhaps get me out of this shit?

LIAM: I start hiking back towards Grog.

LAURA: Pike and Trinket, are they still stunned, or are they… better?

MATT: They’ve shrugged it off by now.

LAURA: Okay. Then I run over and try to see what I can do.

MATT: Ulara still can’t make her saving throw for the life of her, even with resistance.

LAURA: Can I go try to mess with the things on–

MATT: Oh, yeah. As you guys approach, and begin making your way up to the front here, grab these duergar.

ORION: And I’ll move on the other side of that rock so I can see better and have line of sight.

MATT: Over here?

ORION: No, on that side, yeah.

MATT: Okay. All right, so. As the rest of you all slowly trudge up and gather around this vicinity.

LAURA: Grog! Are you hurt?

TRAVIS: I can’t tell yet.

TALIESIN: I’m keeping my distance.

MATT: There?

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: All right, so.

TRAVIS: I’m still in this wonderful therapeutic chair.

MATT: So you go ahead and you try and pull the bars off? Is that what you’re doing? What are you doing?

TRAVIS: Are they bars?

MATT: They’re iron bands that surround you.

MARISHA: Don’t want to hurt him.

TRAVIS: But it’s a wooden cart? Is it a wooden cart?

LAURA: Maybe bust the wood on the bottom.

TRAVIS: Or just smash the cart.

SAM: Or he can pick a lock.

LIAM: It’s what I do.

MARISHA: Oh, is there a lock on the bars? Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, there’s an intricate lock mechanism.

MARISHA: Try that first before I suplex Grog.

MATT: All right, so, so the earth elemental lumbers forth and presents the cart on the ground in front of you (impact sound). One of the wheels (breaking noise).

TRAVIS: Thank you.

MATT: Cracks a little bit in the process.

LIAM: “Give me a little space. Let me look at this.” Can I detect traps on his bands?

SAM: Checking for traps?! She could come back at any second, hurry up!

LAURA: I keep my arrow notched.

LIAM: That’s a 17.

LAURA: In case she does come back.

MATT: 17?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Okay. They appear to be just general locks.

LIAM: And are there locks contraptions on them?

MATT: There is a lock on them, yes. So go ahead and make your–

LIAM: 19.

MATT: 19. (tink) The band that’s part way across the waist opens freely on the hinge on the one side.

TRAVIS: Was there just one?

MATT: Yeah, that was the one.

TRAVIS: (groans in relief) Oh my god!

MATT: So go ahead and make an athletics check. I mean, there’s multiple bands around you. Across your shoulders, your torso, your legs, your ankles.

LIAM: I’m going to move on to the next one.

TRAVIS: 25.

LIAM: And a 25 on my lock pick.

MATT: Okay, you get a second band. You rolled a 25? And Marisha, do you want to go ahead and make an athletics check as well? Or that would be a strength check for you.

MARISHA: For what?

MATT: For your form, your elemental form, to try and pull the bands off of Grog.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: Unless you want to do something else.

TALIESIN: I’m going to recommend to Pike that she do a bit of healing.

LAURA: Oh, Pike! Can you heal Trinket. He’s really almost dead.

SAM: Is Pike okay?

MATT: Pike comes over and spends a 3rd-level healing spell.

MARISHA: I failed.

LAURA: You failed what?

TALIESIN: Life. Oh wow! Yeah, you did.

MARISHA: Strength check.

MATT: Okay, Trinket heals 21.

LAURA: Oh, good.

LIAM: Vax is moving to the next band. That’s a 24.

TRAVIS: I got a 25, does that not help?

MATT: Yeah, between the two of you, over the next few seconds or so, you pick the next one and with that remaining push, you force the rest of the bands off. Grog, you make your way up to your feet.

TRAVIS: (groans in relief)

MATT: There we go! At that point in time, there’s a slight ripple in the space right before this fire pit, and in that place Ulara, Queen Ulara, reappears again.

SAM: Hold her!

LAURA: I’ve been waiting for it.

MARISHA: Can I grab her?

ORION: Wait, can I do something? Can we react to this?

MATT: Yeah.

ORION: I see it and I cast Hold Person.

MATT: Okay. All right. As you finish the spell, you can see this glow of yellowish holding energy, almost like these mystical shackles, begin to tighten around her and then fade, unaffected.

LAURA: I release an arrow!

SAM: I also cast Hold Person.

MATT: Okay, so you go ahead and loose your arrow. So go ahead and roll for your attack. All right.

LAURA: 29.

MATT: 29? Okay, that does hit. You can see now, the second set of shackles spins around her, she brings her hand up like this and they just scatter around her, resisting a second Hold Person. Now all her saving throws are coming through.

MARISHA: Can I just grab her as an earth elemental. Just like (mumbles with a deep voice).

MATT: If you want to.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: So, damage on the attack?

LAURA: I Hunter’s Mark her, as well.

MATT: Oh there you go. See that, chatroom?

LAURA: What is that? 13?

LIAM: 12.

LAURA: 12! Plus… That’s 16 total.

MATT: 16 damage, all right.

TALIESIN: I’m going to take a headshot with Bad News.

LIAM: Wait!

TALIESIN: Oh, are you doing something?

LAURA: We need to talk to her.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MARISHA: I bear hug her.

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

MARISHA: Athletics, I don’t have that.

MATT: I know, it’s just a strength check, then. Roll a d20 and add your strength modifier.

MARISHA: Ooh, that’s better! 23.

MATT: 23. You bound up behind her and as she looks over her shoulder, the arrow piercing her shoulder. She’s looking pretty rough, you can see the blood beginning to pool underneath her robe there. Her eyes go wide.

LAURA: It would be in your best interest to not struggle.

MATT: At which point, the giant arms go (impact noise) behind her and the earth elemental lifts her off her feet. (groans in pain) You can see her now, her feet dangling angrily in the air. A couple of seconds pass before she, “(pants) All right. So, let’s make a deal, shall we?”

LAURA: (laughs) You’re in no place to negotiate.

SAM: We have everything that we have come here for. What can you possibly offer us that we don’t already have?

MATT: “Valid point. What purpose do I serve? You should let me go.”

SAM: Let you go?! I tried to talk to you and you almost tried to get us killed!

LIAM: Vox Machina, our purposes here are done, but Lady Kima, she has further to go, and I am curious, your Highness, if you know anything about this K'Varn chap or gal or thing? We have heard his or her name. They seem to be famous in these parts. I was wondering if you know anything about K'Varn.

MATT: Are you rolling Persuasion for this?

LIAM: Yes, I am. So well. That’s a two.

LAURA: So bad.

MATT: She goes, “I know many things.” And she leans forward a little bit and then spits right in your face.

LAURA: Oh! Wonderful. Clarota, do you want to suck her mind?

MARISHA: I tighten my grip on her a bit.

LIAM: Vex'ahlia, would you come up and talk to this–

LAURA: I’m already here.

MATT: Clarota, at which steps forward and brings his hand up.

MARISHA: Oh, that’s true. We don’t need her, we just need her brain.

MATT: As Clarota steps forward, putting his hand out, this voice echoes through all of your minds communally. “Now… tell us what you know.” And you see his eyes flicker with a strange blue energy.

LIAM: Yeah, Professor X.

TALIESIN: Man’s got to eat.

MATT: And you see Ulara’s eyes glaze over and fill with the same blue arcane energy that Clarota was briefly having drift out of his eyes. Ulara stops struggling and the mouth goes into this weird grin for a second and just calmly says, “Liberation. Liberation is what it brings us. Liberation from physical limitation. Liberation from the pain of the light.” And she looks up as she says that. “We all shall rise. K'Varn, the Guiding Darkness. The sun shall hold no sway and we shall walk the surface once again.”

ORION: What is all this poppycock?!

LAURA: What is K'Varn?

MATT: “K'Varn came to us, showed us how through unification we could be better than we ever were.”

LAURA: I didn’t ask what he did, I asked what he is.

MATT: “K'Varn–” At which point, there’s a shudder in her body and her eyes go from this strange blue color to this strange swimming black that covers the entirety of each eye. At which point, she shakes for a second. Her shoulders shift and you clutch her in your arms. As you do, you see the blackness now has that same green glow that the rest of them had, but it’s framing the pools of shadow that her eyes have become. Her jaw falls slack for a second and this voice comes through. “Ah, there! (chuckles) There we are. I can see you all so clearly.”

ORION: Not me!

MATT: “You’d be surprised, dragonborn.”

(all gasp)

ORION: You’re pretty good.

(all laugh)

MATT: “Word has reached my ears, but to see you, to look upon you, is everything. Come. You are close, yes? Come to me, as my guests. I invite you. The temple doors are open. I’d like to see you in person.”

ORION: (stammers) Can you be more specific? Like, do we go left, or right, or… specific.

MATT: “You’re already on the right path. Come to me. You are my treasured guests.” At which point, the blackness in the eyes begins to intensify and begin to spill like black tears from the face. Her body shudders before the back convulses, and then falls limp, a little bit of smoke rising from the mouth.

LAURA: I check her pulse.

MATT: She has definitely given up the ghost.

SAM: Try to heal her?

LAURA: Does she have anything awesome on that we can take?

TALIESIN: I wasn’t going to say it.

SAM: You’re looting her already?!

TALIESIN: I was waiting for someone else to say it.

LIAM: What a mercenary.

LAURA: Is she dead? Can we take her outfit?

(laughs)

MATT: All right, so as you guys glance around you find– other than the usual assortment of objects you find are the armor the duergar, the Emberhold, make.

LIAM: Vax'ildan is going to go pick at the charred remains of the illithid.

SAM: I’m going into the tent to look.

ORION: I want to check out the queen.

MATT: Okay. You go and check out the charred remains. They are charred. They are remains. There is what looks to be about 86 gold on the body, but most anything of use has been charred or destroyed. There is the remnants of a breastplate that is burned over that most of the mind flayers use as a basic form of protection. As you inspect her body, as the earth elemental drops her (boof) with a thud to the ground–

ORION: I rolled an 18 for arcana, and you know I wanted to check for–

MATT: Okay. You do notice there’s a silver circlet across her forehead that does give off a magical aura. She carries on her one viscous, reddish potion that is familiar to you in the healing accoutrement of various potions you’ve had in the past. It is a potion of greater healing.

LAURA: Yeah, and we haven’t used the yellow potion yet.

TRAVIS: And nobody ever drank that?

ORION AND LAURA: No.

MATT: There is another potion that has almost a blue, frosty color to it as you take the vial from where it sits in the rest. The actual glass that contains the liquid has a layer of frost crystals around it.

TALIESIN: I’m going to remember that you’re the one who suggests drinking random, yellow liquids and I’m going to bring you a vial of yellow liquid. I’m just saying.

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: Me? Yeah, sorry.

LAURA: Can I also check– We already checked the queen? You already checked the queen?

MATT: He’s almost done with checking the queen.

LAURA: Can we check the elf and the dwarf that we knocked out, as well?

MATT: Yes, you can.

TRAVIS: And can I ask Pike to heal me, because I look like a game of tic-tac-toe?

MATT: (laughs) Okay.

LAURA: I know, we should check on Grog.

TRAVIS: Oh, no, don’t think of me, please. I’ve only been fucking missing for two weeks.

LAURA: You’re standing up? I’m so happy you’re back with us.

MATT: What’d you roll on investigation?

LIAM: 13.

MATT: 13? Okay. You can’t seem to find anything out of the remains of the mind flayer, unfortunately.

MARISHA: I drop my earth elemental form.

MATT: Okay. (shoomf) The earth around your form seems to crumble, like a layer of rock. It hits the ground and dissolves into the stone beneath you.

LAURA: See? I told you it was Keyleth.

MARISHA: Were you watching, Grog? Grog, you weren’t watching.

TRAVIS: No, totally was. It was amazing what you did. Could you do it again?

MARISHA: After we take a short rest.

SAM: Anything in the tent?

MATT: You check inside. It looks like there’s some traveling blankets, some furs. You do also find a small case that contains a bunch of empty vials. There is one filled vial. A very large vial.

SAM: Oh. Superior healing. All right. Great.

MATT: And you find–

TRAVIS: (whispers) Can you fucking heal me, please? Can you please heal me?

SAM: What the hell?

ORION: I place the circlet on my head.

LAURA AND SAM: What is it?

LIAM: Probably a cursed item.

MATT: You can’t have it with an Ioun Stone either, by the way. It’s one or the other.

ORION: (stammering) I thought that was a…

MATT: It’s a head slot.

ORION: And for Ioun Stones I can have up to three in the head slot?

MATT: Correct.

ORION: Okay.

MARISHA: Maybe give it to Scanlan. Scanlan, do you have anything in your head slot?

SAM: “Just my cunning wit!” I don’t even know what a head slot is.

LAURA: It’s where a hat goes.

ORION: Then for the time being, I take off the Ioun Stone and I (fzzt) dissipate it and… put it on.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Oh, can you share?

ORION: This essentially allows me to–

MATT: Anyone who wears it.

ORION: (stammering) Anyone who wears it can maintain two concentration spells for two rounds.

LAURA: Oh, that’s great for you.

MATT: It’s great for a lot of people.

TRAVIS: Could you do that cheer where I feel a lot better after you do it?

MATT: Pike comes up and says, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry, Grog,” goes over and places her hands upon you. As she’s about to, Kima pushes her aside, and says, “I’ve got this.” Walks up, and you can see this divine glowing energy. It fills her hands. She reaches out and touches you and this warmth fills– this warmth fills your torso. Using her Lay On Hands ability, Lady Kima of Vord heals you for 38 points of damage.

LAURA: Did I find anything on the other people?

TRAVIS: Thank you, Kima.

MATT: You look through the bodies. It looks like most of their adornments, other than the natural armor and weapons they have, nothing of particular interest. Make an investigation check.

LAURA: Oh, wait, I get to go twice because it’s Underdark. That was great. 16.

MATT: Okay. 16? Yeah, you’re not able to really pull anything from their bodies, unfortunately. However, after Kima finishes healing you, Kima walks over to the dwarf corpse as you’re inspecting it and gives it a look-over and shakes her head.

LAURA: What do you see, Kima?

MATT: (sighs) “This was one of my companions.”

LAURA: (gasps) Oh, no.

MATT: “Well, judging by the scars across his body, he had already been made a thrall of one of the illithid. Most likely the one that we finished back there.”

SAM: Killed her friend?

LAURA: He was already a thrall.

MATT: “There wasn’t much to really bring him back at this point, I fear.”

LAURA: Is that what they would’ve done to Grog?

MATT: And as you guys all look at Grog now, you can see him, he has hundreds upon hundreds of small scars across his body: fresh wounds that have just barely sealed. It looks like they’ve done a number on him with a bunch of small blades, hooks, razors– it’s hard to tell. But he is coated with small cuts.

TRAVIS: It’s been interesting.

LAURA: You look really manly now.

TRAVIS: Now?

MARISHA: (laughs) Have we done some healing? Has healing been done?

MATT: You guys can short rest if you want to heal yourselves with your hit dice.

LIAM: This is the time for an intermission.

LAURA: Oh, it is?

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Is it? What time is it?

ORION: It’s 8:24.

SAM: It’s only just begun.

LIAM: (singing) We’ve only just begun. (speaking) Because we went right into battle.

MARISHA: I wanted to talk to my team. Can we talk now or talk after break? It’s up to you.

SAM: Let’s talk now.

LIAM: Vax is walking off into the distance to urinate on a stalagmite or stalactite, whatever’s the one on the ground.

MARISHA: Well, we’ll wait for Vax to get back.

SAM: We’ll bring him up to speed later.

TRAVIS: Just talk loudly.

MARISHA: Well, I don’t– Where’s Kima?

LAURA: She’s right here.

MATT: Kima’s with you. Kima’s still looking over the body of the dwarf that’s fallen.

TRAVIS: Speak!

LIAM: Oh, that’s a relief! Oh!

LAURA: (whispering) Do you not want to talk in front of Kima?

MARISHA: (whispering) I don’t want to talk in front of Kima. (speaking) Kima? Earmuffs, Kima.

LAURA: No, that’s awkward.

TRAVIS: You want me to distract her?

LIAM: It’s the longest pee ever.

TRAVIS: I’ll distract her! I’ll distract Kima.

LAURA: Grog goes and distracts Kima.

SAM: I might be better at that. Kima, can you take a walk with me? I would like to persuade you to take a walk with me.

MATT: Go ahead and roll persuasion.

SAM: 24.

MATT: Okay. Kima gives you a concerned look and goes–

SAM: There’s this thing on my body. I thought maybe you could take a look at it and you could tell me if it’s good or bad? I don’t know.

MATT: “Oh dear. No, please.”

TRAVIS: Scanlan, do not drop the mack.

MATT: And the two of you begin to walk away for a moment, away from the party. Briefly, while the rest of you are left behind.

MARISHA: Scanlan, do you have an earring?

SAM: I have an earring.

MARISHA: Okay, so Scanlan can hear.

SAM: I use my Minor Illusion to create a purple third nipple on me that I show her and ask her if it’s okay, or if it’s–

MATT: Okay, things are getting a little weird.

SAM: Is this normal?

MATT: “None of this is normal. At all.”

SAM: It’s just, I trust you. I feel like I know you. You know we had that thing back there and then Keyleth was yelling at you. What was that all about?

MATT: “We’re all under duress.”

SAM: Let’s girl talk.

MATT: “We’re under a lot of duress. The more and more things– people have emotions and I understand that. It’s all right.” And she pulls the leather gloves off that are part of the full leather armor set and begins to inspect you. In the meantime, you guys can continue your discussion.

MARISHA: I think we should get out of here.

LAURA: What? Why?

MARISHA: Well, we’ve got Grog. We’ve got Kima. We came here to find Kima. That was our mission. I don’t trust her.

LAURA: We found her, but we can’t leave without her.

LIAM: So I’m walking back from my pee and I’ve overheard this. “We were sent here to bring back Kima.”

LAURA: And now you want to abandon her?

LIAM: She’s not going to come with us until we’ve killed this K'Varn.

LAURA: Keyleth, what’s your problem with Kima?

MARISHA: Well, look. She’s been… She just gave me the wrong vibe, up front.

LAURA: Okay, vibe. What did she do?

MARISHA: She’s been very rude–

LAURA: She’s been very tortured. Tortured, Keyleth.

MARISHA: Right. But look what happened. She’s brought countless people down here, only to meet their end.

ORION: Well, none of those people are us.

MARISHA: Right.

LAURA: They’re dead because they got captured. We’re stronger.

LIAM: Do you know something we don’t, Keyleth?

MARISHA: Look, all I know is that only a fool believes that his path is the most virtuous. See? And he’s got an intelligence of six.

LIAM: I want to use my– I would like to do a check on Keyleth.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: I want to see her intentions.

TRAVIS: (squealing) Ooh, inside-the-group check! I love it!

LIAM: It’s a 14.

MATT: A 14. All right.

LAURA: (laughing) Sneaky, sneaky Keyleth.

TRAVIS: The whisper! The first whisper!

SAM: Get on camera. Get on camera. Over here, over here.

TRAVIS: Whisper on camera. He used to do this all the time. When shit goes down and all of us can’t know, he whispers. And he sticks his tongue in your ear a little bit.

ORION: It’s really nice.

LAURA: I can’t cheat, but I really want to listen.

TRAVIS: What was that shit about now I’m manly?

LAURA: You are manly. I meant more manly.

SAM: Hey everyone, buy a t-shirt! Subscribe to Geek & Sundry. Support Felicia Day.

MATT: As you finish your statement as well, Keyleth, Clarota steps up and says, “I wholeheartedly agree. She is unstable and cannot be trusted in her state.”

LIAM: Hold on a second, that’s unfair.

MARISHA: Why?

LIAM: It has been a long road. Keyleth, I know you have had a hard time. We all have. I know we’re miles below the surface of the world. But we’re together. We are family. And everyone here is here for you as you have been for us. Now, I say we camp for the night inside this schmuck’s tent. We stay here, we rest up, sleep on it, and see how we’re all feeling in the morning. We’re here for you, Keyleth, and we’ll protect you as you have protected us. You’ve got a family with us.

MARISHA: (crying) How do we know we are doing the right thing? We’ve killed a lot of people, you guys. We’ve killed a lot of people.

LIAM: Who in this world is without fault? Who hasn’t made mistakes? We certainly all have.

LAURA: Keyleth, we’re keeping him, K'Varn, from killing even more.

MARISHA: How do we know we’re not just interfering with issues that aren’t our own? We didn’t know any of this until we came down here, and look she wants to take the horn. She wants the horn, and she wants to take it back herself.

LIAM: The bottom line is, all of this insanity is going to bubble up to the surface if someone doesn’t stop it.

LAURA: All those creatures that have been coming up, Keyleth?

LIAM: Remember, think back. It has already begun, and no one is here to stop it except for Vox Machina. Us.

TALIESIN: We promise, we will heed your warning, but we can’t run. We will heed it, though.

LIAM: We’ve got your back.

MATT: “We made a deal.”

TALIESIN: And we made a deal.

LAURA: We did make a deal.

MARISHA: I understand you, Clarota, and I’m on your side. I swear. But a lot of people– there have been a lot of murderers who said they did the things that they did because their gods told them to do it. Right?

TALIESIN: We’ll be cautious, and we’ll have you to protect us.

ORION: I dissipate invisible, and I approach Keyleth. “Your Highness. By the honor of all Stormwinds, I will let nothing happen to you. I swear it. I will fight until my death, and I have ways, of course, to get us all out of here whenever I damn well please. Do not worry.”

MARISHA: I just have a bad feeling. This horn can’t make it back up to the surface. You guys have to promise me that.

LAURA: We’ll keep the horn from leaving.

MARISHA: She wants to take it back. Why? If it’s that bad, why does she want it?

LIAM: That may be so, but the evil that is brewing beneath the surface of the world will stretch up to everything we know. And I know that you have made mistakes. I have certainly made mistakes. That is to live. There is more at stake right now, and we are the front line. We’re the only ones who can stop it. Mistakes are all right.

TALIESIN: The god in darkness will blot out the light.

MARISHA: I just hope we’re not the darkness.

ORION: Oh, do you need light? (fwoosh)

MARISHA: Oh, god.

ORION Oh, is that– I’m sorry

LAURA: Thanks, Tiberius.

MATT: “I’m not sure what this is. I’m sorry.”

SAM: “There’s one more thing I need you to look at, it’s just…” I cast Polymorph on myself, giving myself a gigantic dick, and I slowly pull down my pants…

MATT: Kima immediately turns around and says, “Okay!” And walks back to the group.

TRAVIS: What did I say? You can’t keep it in for two seconds. Not that I blame you! My god!

LIAM: I think we are all a little frayed. I think we need to rest. Let’s set up camp.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let’s camp.

MATT: Kima steps in at this point and says, “I agree. (sigh) We have quite a journey ahead of us.” At which point, Clarota pipes up and says, “Indeed. We’re not too far from Yug'Voril. Let us rest.”

MARISHA: Kima. I… just wanted to apologize.

MATT: “What for?”

MARISHA: I came across too harshly that night.

MATT: She puts her hand up and… in a matronly way. “It’s honestly not a worry. War is stressful, and all of us have been through a lot for this experience. I understand. I’ve been where you’ve been, and it’s not uncommon to question everything around you, and with good reason: that’s what keeps you alive. Were you to believe every person that crossed your path, you would not have made it past your 15th season. I can assure you, as best as I can, that I mean the best for all of us. I just know that if we don’t do what we’re here to do, far more people will suffer than the few I’ve brought down here to protect me and for me to protect. I’m not asking for your trust. I’m just asking for your patience.”

MARISHA: Well, I can grant you that. Only if you promise to grant us respect in return, because I feel you were a little untrusting of what we were doing up front, which I once again understand.

MATT: “You caught me at a rough time.”

MARISHA: Same here.

MATT: “Well, thank you.”

LIAM: I’m sorry, Scanlan, what is that?

SAM: Oh, this bulge down here?

MATT: “That’s bedtime is what that is. All right, everyone, let’s go ahead and find ourselves a rest.” All right. So as everyone goes to camp for the evening we are going to go ahead and take a break. Potty break for folks. We’ll be back here in about ten or so minutes.

TRAVIS: Could you un-Polymorph your tripod, for god’s sake?

ORION: Before we go to sleep, I cast a bunch of spells in stuff.

MATT: All right, guys. Awesome See you in a little bit.

BreakEdit

[character intros] [dramatic music] [dramatic music]

Part IIEdit

MATT: Welcome back, everyone. We’ve been sufficiently rested. First, we’re going to say thank you and welcome to all our new viewers. Welcome to Critical Role and all of its chaos: A bunch of voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons. I also want to congratulate the first winner of our TableTop promo kit this evening, Zargross won. Well done. We’ll be giving out another one at 2,750. So 2,750 subscribers and someone else in the chat room will win another promo kit. So that’s cool.

LIAM: We will be here every week, so subscribe.

MATT: Also, t-shirts on sale, as of today. They are a limited run for two weeks. We are trying to get to our goal of 1,000 before that’s done, hopefully. So you can just scroll down to the bottom of the Twitch page; you’ll find a button there that will get you to that shop. So go for it!

MARISHA: Wait! Also, the PayPal is working again, for donations.

MATT: All right, so the 826 donation’s working again. Yay! Let us begin. So after an evening’s rest, taking your respective turns keeping watch, all of you come to consciousness once more. Clarota anxiously sits at the edge of the camping facility, looking deeper into the tunnel ahead, keeping his eyes peeled in the darkness.

SAM: I check under my belt because the spell has worn off. And I’m back down to my normal one and a half inches. Which on a gnome is pretty big.

LAURA: Thank you.

SAM: Length! And girth.

LAURA: Oh god, what?

SAM: It’s like a square. Like a cube.

MATT: Anyway, you guys eventually come to consciousness and finish cooking whatever bits of food you’ve managed to muster at this point in time in the Underdark.

LAURA: It’s doughnuts.

MATT: Yeah, it is doughnuts. Under-doughnuts.

MARISHA: And Indian food, apparently.

TALIESIN: Under-Indian.

MATT: By the way, all of those who contributed to getting us food tonight, thank you so much.

ALL: Thank you!

MATT: Clarota seems slightly impatient as everyone is waking up and goes, “Come! Ahead, we shall find it’s Yug'Voril.”

LAURA: That’s your city?

MATT: “Beautiful city of secrets.”

LAURA: I thought your people had thrown you out. Why so eager to get back?

MATT: “Without the colony, I serve no purpose. I am wandering, aimless. I wish to return to the Elder Brain.”

LIAM: And to be fair, he was only thrown out once K'Varn took over the Elder Brain. Correct?

MATT: “No. They threw me out long before, for my gift.” And you see a little spark of arcane blue filter out of his fingers in the air and then (poof). Small spark. “It is an abomination to my people. I am considered anathema. But to save them! To save my city, then they shall have me back a hero.”

LAURA: And if they don’t?

MATT: “They will. I can sense it.”

ORION: Well, yes, it makes perfect sense, Clarota. I would think they would grant you a hero’s welcome, as well.

LAURA: If not, you have a home with us.

MATT: “Thank you. Forward, we will find shrouded in the forest of fungus our destination. Come.” It begins to drift down into the dark tunnel further below.

TALIESIN: We follow.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we follow.

ORION: I follow behind them and call out to him, “Are you using Levitation, or what? How are you– is this how you–”

MATT: “It’s how we get around, dragonborn.”

ORION: Oh, okay.

MATT: His tentacles flicker at his face for a second. As you guys continue forward in silence, K'Varn seems to be more chatty than usual, almost like the proximity is– this is excitement to him, instinctually.

MARISHA: Did you mean Clarota? You said K'Varn.

MATT: I meant Clarota.

LIAM: Slip of the tongue!

TRAVIS: I was like, “oh shit.”

LAURA: See, he slipped-of-the-tongue before and he screwed us over with a sneaky-sneaky!

MATT: It’s been a long week. I know. Sorry. As Clarota drifts, “Our people, we are a structured society. Together we provide for each other. Broken into creeds, we function rather pleasantly.” And he drifts forward again at full pace.

LAURA: Clarota seems pretty excited to get home. I’m worried for him.

LIAM: Worried for him?

LAURA: Yes.

LIAM: What, for his effect on the group?

LAURA: I’m worried that they won’t take him back, what that will do to his state.

LIAM: Well, the bottom line is, (sighs) we have a pretty clear goal at hand. Everything else will have to be figured out afterward.

ORION: I still follow Clarota. I’m like, “So is it– do you do it with your mind, or is it just like– were you all taught as a child to be able to levitate, because it seems–”

MATT: “It’s inherent, much like your gifts. It’s just how we get around.”

ORION: Good to know. Understood.

TALIESIN: K'Varn, the god in darkness. I want to wrack my brain to think if I’ve ever had any lessons or if that name has ever come up in any of my reading.

MATT: All right. It’d be a history check. Like a super-super history check.

TALIESIN: History check?

LIAM: A super history check.

TALIESIN: No whammies. That’s a 13.

MATT: 13? The name is as fresh to you as it was the day you heard it.

TALIESIN: Oh, fiddlesticks.

TRAVIS: I walk over to Lady Kima and I say, “How’s that that greatsword been treating you?”

MATT: She walks and she’s using it almost like a stick in the dirt as she takes a step. “You know, it’s served its purpose so far, I just (sighs) I wish… I wish that vault wasn’t lost. Leather isn’t my idea of defensive.”

LAURA: Would you fancy a trade, Kima? I have elven chainmail, if that would help you.

MATT: “Perhaps?”

LAURA: I could take that leather armor off your hands?

SAM: But you’ll be vulnerable, won’t you?

LAURA: No, actually. The chainmail isn’t right for me.

MATT: “Certainly.” (laughs) She looks to you, specifically. (laughs)

LAURA: (laughs) Stick figure… (laughs)

ORION: Stick figure!

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Got it! Got it. We’re good.

MATT: “Perhaps we’ll find a more modest place to swap, but yes, I agree.”

LAURA: Dang it, I should’ve done that before we–

SAM: I can make you a modest spot to change?

LIAM: Grog, are you skinning a boar over there? What are you doing?

TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s what they call it in some countries.

(all laugh)

MATT: Some of you summon the stapler straw.

MARISHA: Summon the staples!

MATT: (laughs) All right, so. As you continue to press forward deeper into this tunnel network, the air begins to grow steadily colder and colder. The temperature, it’s– you begin to see your breath a little bit in the air.

ORION: Am I mistaken? You’re really damaged still?

LIAM: We slept!

MATT: Yeah, you guys all slept overnight.

TRAVIS: I’m up to full, yeah.

ORION: So, the scars are…?

LAURA: The scars are cool!

MATT: I mean, the visual scars are still there but he’s at full hit points. They’re healing slowly.

TRAVIS: Yeah, don’t you fix these.

ORION: As I notice, I go, “Anybody with (mumbling) knowledge of medicine should give a whack at cleaning some of those.”

SAM: Oh, you know what, though? Before we go any further, I remind Pike that Vax’s foot damage needs daily repair, doesn’t it?

MATT: “Oh! Yes, of course!” She comes over and you guys take a slight break as Pike comes and sets you down.

LIAM: It’s not pretty to look at.

LAURA: She’s seen it already, brother.

MATT: “Oh, I’ve seen worse.”

TRAVIS: Wait, what happened to your foot?

LAURA: It got melted off. Aw, come on, not again!

TRAVIS: Oh my god! (laughs) That looks awful. Really awful.

LIAM: It’s fine, except the pinkie toe.

LAURA: He’s got a little pinkie nubbin!

LIAM: Pinky toe’s a nubbin now, yeah

TRAVIS: You know, we could just take care of the whole thing right now, if you want.

ORION: No, Grog, that defeats the purpose.

TRAVIS: No? Rash? …all right.

LIAM: I need Percy to make me a replacement first.

TALIESIN: Make a little metal toe?

LIAM: Pike, could you hook a brother up?

MATT: “Certainly.” She sets the foot down, she begins to gather up her runes, and she’s casting a 4th-level spell.

LAURA: She should’ve done it before we went to sleep.

MATT: Aye, but alas, she’s not here. Sorry, Ashley. So that would be the equivalent of about 32 hit points. She’s also going to attempt a medicine roll, as well. Okay. You notice there is some progress that is slow, but some of the burn scarring from the dip in the magma is beginning to slowly subside. Fresh skin is beginning to show, but it’s still pretty rough.

LAURA: It still smells amazing, so if you could just–

TRAVIS: It does smell amazing, actually.

SAM: It’s like a weasel on your leg.

LAURA: Clarota, are we planning on going to your village before we go see K'Varn, or are we going after K'Varn first? I’m confused.

MATT: “K'Varn resides within the city, the temple.”

LAURA: Oh, is he a mind flayer, then? I mean, is he like you?

MATT: “I have not seen him myself, since I was cast out before he took the star, took my people under his spell.”

TALIESIN: Just to be clear, the temple of what?

MATT: He leans forward for a second. “The temple. We don’t know its original purpose. The city we acquired, we found, we took root. Yug'Voril existed long before our colony did.”

TALIESIN: Okay. That’s good to know. That’s very good to know. Thank you.

MATT: “Very well…” He continues floating forward. The air, still chilly, with steadily more and more moisture. The rock walls become less and less jagged, growing smoother from endless years of condensation, mineral drip, and slow erosion. Begin to give that smooth inner cave look to the outsides of this tunnel.

LIAM: As we walk, Vax falls in next to Keyleth. “Keyleth?”

MARISHA: Yes? What?

LIAM: We’re walking. Are you all right?

MARISHA: I’m doing okay.

LIAM: You are?

MARISHA: Yeah. Why?

LIAM: Everything we said last night was true. We’re here for you.

MARISHA: I’m here for you, too.

TALIESIN: We’re having a discussion of how best to go about this.

LAURA: While that happens, can I use my Primeval Awareness to sense if I sense any dragons in the city coming up in front of us?

MATT: Certainly. As you’re walking, the group slows with you, as you have to really maintain concentration on this. You close your eyes and you consider. You sense no sources of dragon within the radial of your ability to sense in this cavern structure.

TRAVIS: Are our feet leaving footprints?

MATT: Subtle ones, but yeah.

TRAVIS: Son of a bitch! Dust of Tracelessness everywhere!

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Good!

TALIESIN: Missed our little flower girl.

MARISHA: I know! So glad we have him back.

TALIESIN: I want to just put something out on the headsets really quickly. “When we get into the city, I need everyone to promise that we’re not going to enter the temple. No one rush in, no one be brash. No one make a poor decision. We’re going to wait. No matter what happens, don’t enter the temple until we’ve all had a moment to figure out what’s happening.”

LIAM: No one be a yahoo.

ORION: Agreed.

MARISHA: I think it’s a trap.

TALIESIN: If there’s going to be a trap, it’s going to be getting us into the temple.

MARISHA: He wants us. He wants us there.

TALIESIN: He literally invited us into the temple.

LAURA: So don’t go to the temple.

TALIESIN: We walk to the temple, we don’t enter the temple.

LAURA: So enter the temple. Understood.

TALIESIN: Understood. Excellent.

MATT: At this point, beginning to notice the tunnel itself, the cavern, is swaying back and forth a little bit with this. As opposed to a straight path, the tunnel is beginning to arc left and right. There’s little pockets and crevices beginning to show at certain points, and you start seeing small bits of bluish crystal jutting in small pockets out of cracks in the rock.

MARISHA: Did you say that there was mushrooms? A mushroom forest, a fungus?

MATT: Clarota yesterday mentioned a fungal forest.

MARISHA: But we haven’t seen it yet. But we’re starting to go into the crystal caverns.

MATT: Starting to find bluish crystals, which Pike makes a motion. “Yes, I saw this in my vision, too!”

LAURA: Can I touch some of the crystals? Are they removable?

MATT: You reach out and touch the crystal. As you do, go ahead and– no.

(all laugh)

TALIESIN: Dick move!

TRAVIS: I love it.

LAURA: The greed! The greed gets me.

MATT: (laughs) You reach out and touch the crystal, and it’s cold to the touch, as is most of the stone wall, and you can see there’s condensation on it that gets on your fingers a bit. It’s smooth, except for the jagged points where the natural formation juts out. You tug on the crystal a little bit, find if there’s any place there that’s moveable, and it’s pretty solid in that rock wall.

MARISHA: Does it appear to be producing cold?

MATT: No, the temperature doesn’t seem different at all to the air. There doesn’t seem to be a source at all; it’s the same temperature as the rest of the tunnel.

MARISHA: Can I do a nature check to figure out what kind of crystal this may be?

MATT: Yeah, sure.

LAURA: Tiberius, these look like the crystals on your staff.

ORION: “Hm? Oh, ooh, yes! They’re pretty.” I take out one of my daggers– yes, I do have daggers– and (clicking noise) I’m going to chip away a couple of chunks.

TALIESIN: Actually, let’s grab a few chunks. I may have an idea for later.

MARISHA: 13 for my nature check? Not that great, it’s all right.

TALIESIN: Throw a few into the Bag of Holding.

MATT: All right. I will say, go ahead and make an Arcana check as well?

ORION: Oh, yeah, okay. (mumbling) 14.

MATT: 14? Okay. It’s hard-pressed to find out where these crystals came from, what their source is, or if they naturally are here or if they’re put there through some other means, but the crystals do have a very, very faint magical residual energy to them. Useless, almost. It’s the equivalent of finding crumbs at the bottom of a cereal box. It’s there. You can see at one point there was something magical about their presence or their creation, but it is long faded.

ORION: Cool. Sweet.

TRAVIS: Do you still want more of them?

TALIESIN: I’ll take a few.

TRAVIS: I go Hong Kong Phooey on the wall of crystals with my axe and I just (snarling).

TALIESIN: Thank you!

MATT: When the noise dies down, you gather shards and pieces. Probably enough to fill a small bucket. You can indeed fill your small bucket, should you have one. That is your prerogative, Grog.

TRAVIS: I don’t, but I have a fancy robe. And I put it in there and I bundle it up.

MATT: Okay! If you had a stick, you could be a crystal hobo.

TALIESIN: A fancy bundle of crystals.

MARISHA: We also have a fancy Bag of Holding.

LAURA: It’s in the bag. It’s all in the bag.

MATT: About a half an hour further down this tunnel, both Vax and Vex simultaneously notice a part of the wall to the left that is actually visibly cracked and what appears to be almost a narrow passage that juts off to the left. However, there is a large boulder, solid stone, that is wedged into this. Apparently blocking the passage.

LIAM: Grog, we need you over here.

TRAVIS: What?

LAURA: Could you possibly move this very large, very heavy boulder for us?

LIAM: Scanlan, you as well.

SAM: Of course.

TRAVIS: I need your help.

LAURA: Pike!

TRAVIS: I would like to move the boulder.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Can I perception around it before we do anything?

MATT: Certainly! Go ahead and roll perception.

TRAVIS: It’s in the path?

LAURA: It’s a side path that’s been blocked.

LIAM: 15 for Vax.

LAURA: Oh, did you see it?! It was there and it went like that! It was a 20 and then it went (squeaky noise) because it was on the side. But that’s okay. 20 is what it ended up as.

MATT: 20? Okay. Both of you guys take a look. There’s nothing immediately dangerous at all. It just looks like this rock was not naturally formed here, of course. It looks like it was wedged in. Like it was actually placed there intentionally.

TRAVIS: 26? On the strength check?

MATT: On the strength check? So as you guys are explaining, “This seems to be a fairly–” You don’t even get to finish your sentence before Grog goes– grabs the boulder, gets underneath and, lifting with the knees, Atlas-style. Puts the weight on the back and (groans)–

SAM: I’m singing to help him, to inspire him. “(singing) Push it, push it real good! Push it, push it real good!”

TRAVIS: (singing) Push it, push it real good.

MATT: With a resounding (scraping sound) scraping sound and a large crack, some of the rocks that it’s wedged in break off and tumble to the sides, and you get the boulder free and you’re now clutching it on top of you. And it’s very, very heavy.

ORION: Oh! I use my Mage Hand and I push it, too.

MATT: You lose your balance over the boulder as it’s now shoved off of its axis.

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: It falls behind you, slamming into the wall, blocking half the passage, the passage you guys were going down immediately. You can still pass it, you just have to walk around it. And you may have tweaked something in your back a little in the process.

LAURA: Oh, Grog, how’s your back?

TRAVIS: I roll over on my stomach and I ask Trinket to step on my back.

LAURA: Oh, Trinket, give him a massage. He’s really good at it!

TRAVIS: I roll over and have Trinket step on my back.

MATT: Trinket gets up, pushes on you with the bear claws.

MARISHA: Make biscuits, Trinket. Make biscuits on Grog’s back.

TRAVIS: (groans in relief)

MATT: You can hear the cracks.

LAURA: Can I look down the passageway that was opened up?

TRAVIS: Thank god.

MATT: You can. The passage is very, very thin. It can maybe fit you individually. It can barely fit Grog when you actually go through the passage proper.

SAM: It’s pretty spacious in here, I think.

(all laugh)

MATT: For a gnome, yes. But yeah, it’s pitch black going forward. Which means you guys can see. It’s equivalent of low light for you in pitch darkness. About 30 feet ahead of you, you can see the path continues for a little bit and then widens up into what looks like a small chamber. But you’d have to get closer.

LAURA: Is it dangerous at all?

MATT: Make a perception check.

ORION: Everywhere is dangerous.

SAM: How far is the chamber?

MATT: About 30, 35 feet back. So?

LIAM: 21.

LAURA: 18.

MATT: Best you can tell, it just looks like a chamber and it looks like a hallway.

TALIESIN: We should investigate.

MARISHA: It just looks like a death trap.

TRAVIS: If this is a tomb, I’m going to be so pissed at the two of you.

LAURA: Tiberius, can you send a little light down that passageway?

ORION: Yeah, sure. You want to shoot an arrow for me, love?

LAURA: Let’s do it.

LIAM: Vax chases the arrow.

SAM: You’re just going to go down the hall?

LIAM: Yeah, stealth.

MATT: All right, so, as the light– the arrow shaft vibrantly bursts into bright, Tiberius-created light. It arcs slightly down the hallway. Only a 35-foot distance. It goes pretty quickly and then (sound of arrow embedding itself) into what looks like a piece of rock, actually wedging itself into a piece of rock before falling to the ground, chipping a chunk upon impact. As it hits, you can see it’s a small, roundish, oval chamber. You can see what looks like small piles on the ground at the far end. Still hard to make out from this distance, but you are welcome to enter.

LIAM: I followed it.

MATT: You followed it in?

LIAM: Yeah, I rolled a 26 on stealth.

MATT: Right. You rush in.

LIAM: Follow up the arrow.

SAM: Bear trap!

(all laugh)

MATT: First thing you understand: the air smells faintly of ancient untouched dust and mildew.

LAURA: Oh no, what did we just let loose?

MATT: You glance at the floor and notice what appear to be six long-dead bodies strewn across the ground.

MARISHA: How long-dead?

MATT: Skeletal and covered in webs.

SAM: Who’s in there? Just Vax right now?

MATT: Just now Vax.

LIAM: I’m going to check out the very first, the closest body to the exit.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Nah, it’s fine. They’re dead.

LIAM: 19.

MATT: 19, okay. As you look across the body, I mean there’s nothing formal about this area, there’s no fine, chiseled structure. It looks like a natural formation. It just appears to have been the final destination for whoever these individuals were. And you do notice, the way they’re adorned, they were an adventuring party. They were people who came down here long ago for whatever reason and the last destination was this small cavernous space.

LIAM: You said they’re covered in webs?

MATT: There are webs on them, but the webs themselves are small, natural spider.

LIAM: Small, natural. So not Bilbo Baggins.

MATT: But you do notice that each one of their skulls has a giant hole bored into the bone itself. Different places in the skull.

LIAM: I’m just going to start searching all of them.

MATT: Anyone else want to do anything?

TALIESIN: I’m going to make my way, as well.

ORION: I thought we were all following.

MATT: The rest of you make your way in one by one. It’s a small room.

LAURA: I’m staying outside with Trinket and Grog.

MATT: Okay, you guys hang out there.

SAM: I feel like Pike wouldn’t want us to do too much damage to these bodies. I just feel like she wouldn’t want us to disturb them.

LIAM: I don’t give a shit about these bodies. I care about what they are carrying.

MATT: Okay, looking at it, you notice that they have been here for at least 200 years. Two of the bodies are male humans. There are two dwarven bodies: one male, one’s female.

LAURA: Armor. Look for armor!

MATT: One female gnome and one half-orc.

MARISHA: Wait, wait. What?

(all laugh)

ORION: Half-orc.

MARISHA: Half-orc? Okay. Hang on. You listed all that off.

SAM: I’m going to inspect the gnome.

LIAM: You’re not even in the room.

MATT: Okay, so you enter the room. Roll an investigation check.

SAM: 19.

MATT: Okay. Looking at her, you find that most of these bodies have already been for the most part turned over and looted. Some of them have no armor. They’re either in plain clothes or it looks like their bodies have been tossed and taken whatever was on them, off. You do find, buried in the dirt under the gnomish female what looks to be a pristine ruby. Worth probably quite a bit.

ORION: I’m going to do an arcana check of 22. Just on the pile of bodies.

MATT: Okay, I’ll get to you in just a second. You, as you’re inspecting the bodies on the other side, you come across the dwarven male is still fully armored.

LAURA: Ooh!

ORION: Nice.

MATT: Actually has a golden chainmail on and is clutching what looks like a metal maul. The rest of them have no armor and no weapons. But this one is still fully adorned. And you also notice that the female dwarven corpse, while devoid of any accoutrements, any coin purses, belts or anything, does have, hidden within the bony clavicle, what little bit of stretched dried skin is pulled against it, a pendant that is gleaming blue.

LIAM: I grab the pendant, and then I start– this looks good for Pike, so I start taking the chainmail off.

MATT: You pull the pendant and you look at it. It has a very beautiful sapphire emblem and you rub the dust off of it and you look at it. And you recognize this emblem. This is the emblem that adorns House Thunderbrand of Kraghammer. You turn it over and on the back, there’s an engraving on the back that says: “For Lorna, my love.”

LAURA: Oh! Didn’t he say to bring back some stuff from the Underdark?

ORION: Yes. This is what we need.

SAM: Who’s he?

TRAVIS: That name sounds familiar, though.

LAURA: Oh wait, your magic guy said to bring back some magic stuff from the Underdark.

SAM: From the Value of Valor. Tremaine? Was that his name?

ORION: And that’s what this is. Let me take it and do– I’ll use that arcana check on that.

MATT: Yeah, the actual amulet itself does have a magical essence to it.

ORION: I think this will do for our friend back up on the surface. Or under surface.

SAM: Oh, it’s something.

LAURA: What is it?

SAM: Amulet of the Shield.

ORION: (mumbling) This protective amulet of the shield … adding plus five to your AC against that attack.

LAURA: What does it do?

SAM: It protects you.

MATT: It effectively acts as a Shield spell once per day. Once per short rest.

SAM: Once per day?

MATT: Once per rest.

ORION: Nice. It’s like a magic shield.

MATT: Yeah, it’s a reaction.

TRAVIS: Do you have to be able to use magic to use it?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: Oh!

LAURA: I don’t think so. Who has low AC that could use it?

ORION: Well, I’m the only glass cannon.

MATT: So you’re going over to the armor. You’re getting the armor for Pike? All right, as you reach out and grab the golden chain mail on it, the cold air around the chainmail is noticeably piercingly cold to the touch. Make a constitution save.

LAURA: Oh that’s why it’s still– Oh no!

TRAVIS: What was it?

LAURA: One.

TRAVIS: One!

MATT: Natural one.

TRAVIS: We have a natural one

MATT: All right. As you guys are all doing this, you hear the sudden (groans) this clenching of breath, and you glance over real fast and find Vax has fallen onto his back, and his fingers are curled back, and you can see this dark energy that seeps into his body for a second. You can see his veins pulsing a little bit. You feel your form– there’s no physical damage taken to you whatsoever, but you sense this sapping of your strength, and your breath is shallow. You imagine this is what an elderly person would feel like. You have this lack of energy. As you’re saying this, Pike comes over to you, Kima runs over to you and they both take a look at you. Pike starts inspecting you, using her medicine. And Kima, they both look at each other, pass a few notes back and forth, and they both agree. “Well, it appears this dwarven individual, when he came to his end, was not very happy and in doing so left a very strong curse behind on his body.” Look about to each other.

LAURA: Everything okay in there?

LIAM: (wheezing) No.

SAM: Is he dead?

MATT: No. You are considered cursed, which means you have disadvantage on all your ability checks and attacks.

LAURA: You’re cursed?

MARISHA: How do we get rid of this?

MATT: There are spells like Remove Curse.

LAURA: I bet Pike has that spell.

TRAVIS: Remove Curse?

LAURA: I don’t know?

MATT: Pike’s not here. I don’t have her spell list.

TRAVIS: I could try it, hold on. Nope.

LAURA: Nothing?

MARISHA: What did you touch? What did you grab?

LIAM: Armor. It was the armor, wasn’t it?

LAURA: It was that golden armor, yeah.

TRAVIS: Let’s leave the golden armor alone.

LIAM: (strained) I got this for you, Pike.

MATT: Wait a second. Ha!

LAURA: Oh no.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: Oh no. Don’t make him laugh.

MATT: So. At which point, Kima steps forward and pushes everyone away for a second and concentrates. And she reaches up and grabs the holy symbol of Bahamut from underneath the front of the leather armor, because she still hasn’t exchanged it with you. And it glows with this vibrant silver light and the light travels down her arm, to her hands, to her fingers, and she places it out and reaches towards the armor and as she touches it, she winces slightly, but you see this glowing dark furious anger, this face arise out of the armor, giving off this slight whispering howl sound (whispering howl) and then (poof) dissipate. As you see the divine energy begin to dissipate and glide off her hand, she reaches over and touches you with her hand, and the curse is lifted.

SAM: Oh, that was easy.

MATT: I looked over and realized that oh, she actually has that spell.

LIAM: So I grasp Kima by the hand and say, “That is one I owe you. That’s one I owe you.”

MATT: She gives you a wink and says, “To be honest, I just really wanted the armor.” And she pats you on the shoulder.

LIAM: It’s yours.

MATT: She takes the golden chain off of the body, she (chuckles) she tells– no, you’re out of the room.

TRAVIS: Do you need me to create a curtain for you to change behind?

LAURA: You’re not in the room.

MATT: She finds a cranny in the room. She puts on the chain mail, replacing the leather armor she gives back.

LAURA: (whispers) Damn it. I was trying to get it.

MATT: She does give you the greatsword and then takes the maul from the corpse of this dwarf. But as she takes it from the body, she sits down and says a silent prayer. Clutches her symbol and as she does, she takes from one of her pouches a small bit of blessed water and tosses it across the body of the dwarf. Puts it back away and stands up. “All right. Shall we continue?”

TALIESIN: Right.

LIAM: As we leave the cavern, I give one of these to the dwarven bodies.

MATT: You swear you hear a slight shift in bone.

LAURA: Ooh!

MATT: In silence left behind in darkness.

SAM: I’m going to take the ruby, too.

LAURA: Hey, did you get that armor back?

LIAM: Yeah, I got that armor back.

LAURA: Hey, can I have that armor? Can I have it?

LIAM: Sorry, sis.

LAURA: Please?

LIAM: Kima has it.

LAURA: No, she gave it back.

LIAM: No, she wore it.

LAURA: No, she gave it back.

MATT: She put the chain mail on, she gave you the leather armor back.

LAURA: Give it, give it.

LIAM: Oh, that’s between you and her. I’m not taking armor off of her.

LAURA: Please, can I have that armor?

MATT: She’s holding it in her hands. “Certainly.”

LAURA: “Thanks.” I go put it on. I don’t know what it is. It’s magic though.

MATT: It’s whatever armor you gave her.

LIAM: Wait, my armor?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: That’s my armor.

MATT: The armor that you gave for her to put on in the Emberhold when she had nothing on.

LIAM: I gave it to him, he gave it to her. And you’re taking it? Hey, hey, hold on a second!

LAURA: Too late. Let’s just keep moving, all right? Let’s just keep moving.

LIAM: I think we need to roll a brother sister contest die.

LAURA: No, we should just–

LIAM: I grab her by the ear and say, “That’s mine. That’s mine.”

LAURA: Ow ow! Come on. I need it.

LIAM: Squeezing her earlobe really hard.

LAURA: Roll.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you two roll. Go for it.

LAURA: Shit. (yelling) Aha! It’s mine, it’s mine!

TRAVIS: (laughing) Sibling justice.

MATT: Persuasion versus persuasion? Is this what this was?

LIAM: Yeah, sure, sure.

LAURA: Sure it was.

TALIESIN: They played arm punch until one caved.

TRAVIS: (laughing) It’s mine, it’s mine.

LIAM: It’s not fair.

LAURA: Yeah, what does it do?

LIAM: I’m not fucking– Figure it out.

LAURA: All right, I’ll just add a bunch of stuff to my stuff.

MATT: You keep talking over each other.

MARISHA: Are you just having party arguments right now?

MATT: Apparently. As you guys head back into the cavern, you move around the boulder that Grog had moved from the side crevice. And as you continue for about another 20 or 30 minutes, some of you begin to pick up what sounds like the distant lapping of waves against a shore.

MARISHA: What.

TALIESIN: That’s never good.

MATT: (wave noises) As the tunnel begins to curve larger and larger, eventually you come around a bend and the tunnel opens up into a humongous cavern housing an underground lake circling a large island. From what you can see on the edges of the walls that are closest to you as the island disappears into darkness about a hundred feet ahead of you, there are these blue crystals that you’ve seen throughout this tunnel completely covering the walls of this entire cavern. There is only maybe bits of and places around the wall, about five, ten feet across where there will be no crystal. Otherwise it’s just grey stone and blue crystal jutting from the sides.

MARISHA: I go over to one of the crystal walls and I put my hand on the crystal and I cast Daylight, trying to see if I can emanate it up through the dome.

MATT: Okay. You cast Daylight and on the actual crystal source that you cast it on, daylight emanates from it and gives a bright beacon of light.

MARISHA: I want it to light up the crystal. Trying to see how far I can get it to reach up to the top.

MATT: Right. You notice that from the whatever crystal vein structure some of these are connected by, some of them tend to glow in spots, but you see it’s localized. All this crystal isn’t interconnected, is what this tells you.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: There are pockets here and there that are interconnected, but there are multiple veins of it going through the entire.

TALIESIN: What kind of liquid is this lake made of?

MATT: So, as you approach, the hard stone surface you guys have been walking on in the tunnel begins to give way to like a coarse sand, almost like a gravelly shore. And it appears to be fresh water. It’s clear. The smell is a little musty, but not too bad. And you approach, and you can see there’s just these very gentle, very soft waves that occasionally lap up on the shore, but only a few inches. There’s not a whole lot of motion to the water within this cavern.

TALIESIN: Can we see to the bottom? Is it that clear?

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I’ve got an idea. I’m going to find a small rock– Oh, go ahead.

MATT: I’ll finish my description. (chuckles) So there’s this lake circling this large island across the way. You also see on this side of the shore, central, there is a large stone bridge that arches over the lake and makes landfall about roughly 200 feet on the other side, at the very, very tip closest to you of this island. It’s about 15 feet wide this bridge, maybe 20 feet, and is an immediate walkway onto this island across. You can see just faintly on the edge of this island a glowing bioluminescent fungal forest that covers a large portion of this island’s top side. The edges of it, you can see, rise up into cliffs that have eroded over time and are rather stark in places.

MARISHA: Plants! Look, living things!

TALIESIN: Clarota? Is this in any way dangerous?

MATT: Clarota, as you look over, is gliding into the cavern. It’s the closest thing you can imagine seeing a mind flayer to smiling. He’s looking about and in response to you, a few moments later, he says, “We’re near home.”

TALIESIN: Let’s all remember his feet don’t actually touch the ground.

TRAVIS: Right. Do you know if there’s anything in the water?

MATT: He glances over to you. “There are many things in the water. Fish. Crustaceans.” He points over, and you can see there is this small, very pale, colorless, whitish-gray crab that’s over to the side, that looks weird, malformed. One claw is twisted on itself and dragging behind it. And it skitters off into the water. Everyone make a perception check.

TALIESIN: Yay.

SAM: No!

LAURA: Oh, natural 20!

MATT: Oh snap.

ORION: 14.

MARISHA: 20.

TALIESIN: Eight.

TRAVIS: Six.

LIAM: One.

MATT: Oh, you two. As you all walk up to the edge of the shore line and you’re inspecting the water, feeling for it. You look over and on the far left side of the shore, you can see just below the waterline what looks like… a sunken boat. Or two.

LIAM: I can’t see shit.

LAURA: What? There’s a sunken boat in the lake.

TRAVIS: Really, should I go get it?

LAURA: Down here? Clarota, why? Why boats?

MATT: Clarota gives you a look. “I do not know. Many things wander these tunnels beyond my kin. We are but one of its denizens.”

LAURA: Who’s a good swimmer?

TRAVIS: Me! I’m actually a really good swimmer.

MARISHA: Me.

LIAM: Lady Keyleth.

TALIESIN: She’s a very good swimmer.

LAURA: You guys want to take a look?

MARISHA: I run over to the edge of the water and I do a swan dive and as I swan dive, I turn into a shark in the water.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: I run to the water, as well, and I fucking cannonball.

(all laugh)

MATT: So Keyleth’s form jumps into the air, this thin, lithe half elven figure that then turns into this giant shark beast that (splash sound) into the water underneath. A few moments later, Grog jumps in. Big splashing sound.

ORION: I’m going to follow and I’ll stay behind enough to where I can cast? Do I have to get in the water also?

MATT: You can. You still can’t quite see what everyone’s going for, other than what she said.

ORION: Okay, I’ll get a little– I won’t jump in quite yet, but I’ll get to the edge.

MATT: All right. The water is freezing cold. You could swear this should’ve turned to ice by now. Because your veins certainly feel like they have upon impact. You immediately get over that as you transform into a natural creature that’s used to cold water. Grog, it’s fucking cold.

TRAVIS: One and a half inches? Me, too.

(all laugh)

ORION: That’s a medical condition for a goliath.

MATT: There aren’t usually this many penis jokes in a session, folks. It just happens to be one of those days. So, glancing down below, you see it too. There are approximately two and a half boats that are made of some sort of a combination of wood and metal, like a heavily rusted iron. One of them looks mildly serviceable, the other one is broken with a large hole in the bottom of it.

MARISHA: I do a lap.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Go check it out.

MATT: You look around. There doesn’t appear to be much else around, but you do catch what looks like a semblance of a half-eaten corpse, a bone that is left partially buried in the ground. You don’t know how long that’s been there, either. It’s bleached bone at this point. Whatever fishes live in this landscape have picked it clean.

MARISHA: So there’s nothing in the boats at all?

MATT: Nope.

LAURA: Good times.

MARISHA: Weird.

SAM: Awesome.

ORION: We could just keep going.

LAURA: Maybe you come back.

TRAVIS: Ask him if the bridge is booby-trapped.

MATT: Make a perception check.

MARISHA: Make a perception check, (mumbles) yep, yep.

LAURA: Are you still in the water?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m shivering.

MARISHA: 12. As a shark, right?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Plus three for shark.

MATT: Okay. You do a couple laps. Nothing really catches your eye.

TRAVIS: (gulps) I take a big breath and swim down to where the giant shark is. Can I also perception check?

MATT: You can also attempt a perception.

TRAVIS: This is like one out of every five games that I get to. 12. Plus zero.

MATT: You found some boats, yo!

LAURA: Yay.

TRAVIS: Boats!

MATT: They are broken.

MARISHA: I go and I see that Grog’s underwater and I Flipper him and go up under him and, “Hold on! Here we go.”

MATT: Giant shark comes up under you and nudges you aggressively and lifts you towards the surface.

LIAM: Dolphin hump him a little bit?

MARISHA: Well… You’ve heard of those– never mind. I’m just going to keep going.

MATT: You guys all watch as Grog is now riding a shark.

LAURA: Awesome. Awesome.

TRAVIS: Should we ask Clarota if the bridge is safe to travel?

LAURA: Clarota, is that mushroom forest, I mean, is that your home?

SAM: Should we go there? Should we skip it, Clarota?

MATT: “The forest certainly surrounds the city.”

MARISHA: I carry Grog over to the island on the other side.

MATT: “There are many places of entry within this cavern.” And you see Clarota concentrate for a second, and within all of your minds, you suddenly have a very clear image of this entire cavern: its layout, what strange shape it is, where the general overlook is, and as clear as day, you have an entire visual of the inside of this cavern. You guys reside down here, right by the bridge on this edge of the beach. This green represents the fungus and this, you imagine, represents the city. The temple being central there.

LAURA: We should not take the bridge.

SAM: Yeah, that’s a lot of fungus to get through before the city. Are they still down there in the water?

MATT: Yes, they are.

SAM: Let’s wait until they get back before we decide.

MATT: I’ll put this down here in case you want people to see that.

ORION: Where are we on that map?

MATT: You guys are right here.

LIAM: Grog, can you pull up any of those boats?

TRAVIS: Pull?

LIAM: Pull them up, Grog. Pull them up.

LAURA: I like it.

MARISHA: I go over and I swim Grog over. And can I, as a shark, give some shark push from the bottom?

MATT: Sure.

TRAVIS: Oh, fuck, yes, we have an underwater breathing kit, that we bought at the store. There’s two of them.

MARISHA: Sick!

MATT: Potion?

SAM: I don’t know, we bought one (laughs).

TRAVIS: I wrote, “two underwater breathing,” and didn’t write what it was.

MATT: Two underwater breathing biscuits. Two underwater breathing waffles.

TALIESIN: It was totally potions.

MARISHA: Potions.

MATT: I’m pretty sure it was potions. I’m pretty sure they were potions.

ORION: What type of boat is this?

MATT: You haven’t had a good look at it yet.

MARISHA: I tried to look, but I’m a shark, so I don’t know shit, really. It’s a boat.

TRAVIS: Okay, so we swim up to the top and we come back to the shore and you’re just in the water still. “Yes?”

SAM: What’s down there? Do you need help?

TRAVIS: It looks like some kind of boat.

SAM: That’s all you got?

TRAVIS: My perception is shit.

SAM: Well, should we try again with someone who has better perception?

LAURA: You want me to go down there?

TRAVIS: Absolutely.

LAURA: All right. Let’s do it.

LIAM: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to pull up one of those boats.

LAURA: Maybe we should check out the boats first.

MARISHA: You want to jump on my back?

LAURA: Yeah.

ORION: “Is that all we need to do? Okay, fine.” And I walk over to the thing and I jaunt off into the water.

MATT: Tiberius slowly disappears beneath the surface. It is cold!

ORION: “Oh, it’s so cold.” I take out one of my bottles right before I go under. My bottle of air.

SAM: What?

LAURA: His air bottle.

MATT: You see the bubbles break on the surface and then eventually the bubbles stop. Tiberius may have drowned; you don’t know.

MARISHA: I can see him.

ORION: I swim over there. I use my tail. I think I’m a good swimmer. And I want to swim up to where I can see the boat.

MATT: Okay, this doesn’t take you too far. It’s maybe 60 feet from the edge of the coastline.

ORION: Oh, okay. Is it darkened? Can I see the boat now?

MATT: You can see, as long as you’re traveling with a Light spell going on, which I assume you do at most points.

ORION: Yes. I still have my staff.

MATT: But yeah, you see there are two and a half boats, essentially. They’re large, looks like they were meant specifically for travel. You’re not quite sure where it may have come from.

ORION: How large is it?

MATT: I’d say it’s maybe about 15, almost 20 feet from end to end.

ORION: Okay, so I notice it. You’re nudging the one that you want, right? Is that’s what’s going on? So I notice that.

LIAM: Pull it up.

MARISHA: I try and push it.

ORION: I (ping) my Ioun Stone, direct Telekinesis to lift up the boat out.

MATT: So you’re putting your Ioun Stone on?

SAM: He gave the other one to me.

MATT: Oh, got you. Okay, so you put on the Ioun Stone.

ORION: And I cast Telekinesis on the boat to lift it up.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: And I try to swim underneath it.

MATT: Okay. There’s a rustle in the waves on the surface of the water, as you see all of a sudden this (impact sound) this bowing and splashing begins to occur. The ship begins to rise out of the sediment on the bottom of the lake.

ORION: I try to get it just right on the lip.

MATT: It gets up. It’s filled with water, you tip it on its side and spill the rest of the water out. There’s still a large hole on the bottom of the boat, on the inside. And you carry it over back to the surface of the shore and rest it gently onto the rock.

LAURA: Can you fit that boat in your Wheel of Mending?

ORION: I’m underwater. I’m going to jaunt back up, up to the surface.

LAURA: Tiberius, welcome to the surface. Can you use your Wheel of Mending on that boat that you just pulled up?

ORION: I put my bottle away. “I don’t know. It’s a good question. I mean, I don’t see why not.”

SAM: Percy could assist. He’s got some engineering.

TALIESIN: Well, I can’t help with the wheel, but I could repair the boat, in theory.

ORION: Percy, why don’t you give it a whack before we put a boat on the Mending Wheel.

TALIESIN: I’m going to make a list of things that I’m going to need. I may have to send them down for more parts of boats from the other boats.

LAURA: Try the wheel first.

MATT: Telekinesis is still in effect currently, so if you wanted to do that, now would be the time.

TALIESIN: Bring up the broken boat.

ORION: Oh, yes, here you are.

MATT: Okay, so Tiberius comes back with the half boat, essentially, that’s cracked in half and part of it is ruined and broken. But there’s still a sizeable amount of oxidized iron, metal, and wood here that you think would be serviceable for repairs.

TALIESIN: Please don’t roll a one. Okay, so I’m going to do a little tinkering to see if I can get this fixed.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Unless you want to try the wheel first?

MATT: It’s up to you guys. So you’re going to go ahead and make a tinkering check?

TALIESIN: I’ll do a tinkering check first and then try the wheel.

ORION: Why don’t you tinker it first.

MATT: Anyone want to help?

TALIESIN: What do I use as my modifier?

MATT: I would say this is a key point in time for a Scanlan song.

SAM: Oh! Yes, of course.

MATT: You use this bardic inspiration specifically for stuff like this.

SAM: Oh, I do. Yes, I will inspire you. I don’t know what to sing. What’s a boat song?

MARISHA: (singing) The love boat…

SAM: How does it start?

TALIESIN: I’m not feeling very inspired.

SAM: (singing hesitantly) Something exciting’s waiting for you?

(all laugh)

SAM: (singing) I’m on a boat, motherfucker! I’m on a motherfucking boat. (speaking) That’s all I got.

TALIESIN: I feel inspired.

MATT: I’ll give you a d6 for that.

(all laugh)

LIAM: (singing) Sailing…

SAM: (singing) Takes me away to where I’ve always heard it go.

TALIESIN: That’s worth a d10.

MATT: If it wasn’t Vax singing.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: All right. What do I add to the modifier, by the way?

MATT: You add whatever your tinkering bonus is, which should be your dex.

TALIESIN: My dex modifier, thanks. Thank god. 13.

MATT: 13 total?

TALIESIN: Yeah, 13 total.

MATT: Okay. You take a while with it. It takes a little bit longer than you anticipated, but you have your general tools with you. You hammer away. About an hour and a half to two hours later, you’re sweating, your muscles are sore, but you feel like you’ve managed to get the hole for the most part patched. Now it’s just to test its buoyancy.

SAM: You want to try the Mending Wheel?

ORION: My spell doesn’t last that long.

TALIESIN: Let’s put it in the water and see what happens.

TRAVIS: I start pushing the boat back in the water and I jump in and I start jumping up and down.

MATT: You push it in. You leap in the boat. It (impact sound) gives to the 600 pounds that are Grog. It splashes a bit, it lifts, it seems to be holding. It’s leaving ripples in the water.

LAURA: Will it fit all of us, you think?

MARISHA: I’m going to stay a shark and follow in the water.

SAM: Let’s pile in the boat.

MARISHA: Can I tow them?

TALIESIN: I was about to say, we can make a harness out of rope.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: We’ll be less conspicuous.

MARISHA: Yeah. Not as much rowing.

TALIESIN: Shark power is far less conspicuous.

ORION: I saunter on the boat up next to Grog and go, “Excuse me.” As I open the bag of holding and take out the magic carpet (sound of carpet unfurling), and I hop on that.

LAURA: I get on the magic carpet.

ORION: I’d rather be a free agent on this one. I’m not here to fight on water.

TALIESIN: I’m setting up a gun mount on the boat, just in case.

MARISHA: Do you guys want to get out the rope and put it around me?

TALIESIN: We’ll get out the rope and throw a loop for you to grab.

MARISHA: I swim through the loop.

LAURA: Trinket, get in the boat.

SAM: I just want to know which way we’re sailing. Are we going left?

LIAM: Clarota put the image all in our heads.

TALIESIN: See, there’s an island over on that side.

SAM: This way, or do we want to go this way?

LIAM: Vox Machina, there is an island, there are also two small caves and–

LAURA: There’s three small caves.

LIAM: Where?

LAURA: Well, two small caves and then a path.

LIAM: Two and then rivers and paths out, yes.

MARISHA: Do we want to check them all out? Clear out the fog of war.

LIAM: We could go straight for the big prize.

ORION: Are we all agreeing that, have we all decided to come here or here?

LAURA: Toward the island, I think.

MARISHA: I think if we can go here to this little island, I might be able to do some think-y, spy-y scrying stuff before we storm the city.

LIAM: What do you mean, Keyleth?

TRAVIS: Loot the cave first, and then the island.

LAURA: Cave first?

MARISHA: Cave first.

TRAVIS: Right, cave first.

LAURA: And then island. Let’s go there.

LIAM: When we eventually want to take the temple and kill this son of a bitch, we probably want the shortest amount of distance on land as possible, which means coming in from the north end where Tiberius is pointing.

ORION: Coming in through here, which is the least resistance.

LIAM: Yes. I agree.

ORION: Directly to the temple.

LIAM: But I think we’re all a little slap happy and curious.

LAURA: That might be cliffs on the back end, though, you guys. We won’t be able to scale those.

MATT: Best you can tell, from the image that was given to you, any of those sections along the edge that have the jagged lines are cliffs.

LIAM: But the north-western edge has a beach?

MATT: Correct.

LIAM: But, we’re curious about the island?

SAM: Let’s just set sail.

LAURA: Set sail. Towards the island!

LIAM: So, Vox Machina, are we going to head around the southern, south-eastern edge?

TALIESIN: Yes.

LAURA: We’re going, we’re sailing.

LIAM: Does anyone know how to steer this thing?

MARISHA: I’m towing us.

TALIESIN: We’re shark-powered.

LIAM: Oh, towing.

LAURA: I’m on the carpet with you.

ORION: Yes!

LIAM: That is impressive.

MATT: All right. So, you guys continue down the right side of the path. You push off into the water, being towed by Keyleth in shark form.

TALIESIN: Aw, yeah.

LAURA: Should we put Pass Without a Trace on us?

SAM: She’s a shark.

TALIESIN: We’re pretty stealthy.

MARISHA: I’ll hug the far wall, though. I’ll hug the wall.

MATT: You hug the far edge of the water. Pushing across, you find a way around and as you begin to look up the wall, you can see once again how these crystalline structures are spread out across this entire wall, going up. You can’t even see the ceiling of the cavern, it’s so high up from your current perspective. It just disappears into darkness. You continue following the path until eventually you come to this choke point here, where the land mass begins to– you can see where the beach begins to crest down and touch the water. As you slowly and quietly make your way around the bend, you look over and you can see the forest. Indeed, they appear to be trees, but now that you have a better view of it, you know, maybe about 400, 500 feet off from you right now, that bioluminescent glow, this very faint glow is given off by all the plant life, all these giant fungal trees. The roots have these strange, organic, almost like they’re gripping the ground. The canopies of them blossom in these strange, almost mushroom-like appendages, these fungal bursts that stick off the top and form the tree-like canopy. And you can see vines hanging from each of these. It’s a very strange, alien forest. Fauna that even you’re not familiar with in your travels. But it does give off this dull color, this faint light source that does tend to give a general visual view of the landscape on this island. You do see, just barely beyond this point, looking across, the tops of a few buildings in the very, very distance. The color of the stone, from what you can make out, has almost a jade mixed with a grey marble. And you can just faintly make off in the distance one large pyramid-like structure that comes to a flattened precipice on top.

LIAM: This is on the island?

MATT: On the island, to your left. And there is a very, very faint greenish glow at the very top that matches the coloration of that same glow you saw in the eyes of Queen Ulara earlier and the rest of the denizens that were in her party. As you quietly begin to push along, you come to the point where there’s the beach to your right and there’s the island to the left. The island, which comes to this incline and then drops off on a cliff on the far side. It has its own encapsulated fungal forest. You can see what looks like a very, very faint bit of ruins on the eachfront that has mostly crumbled and fallen. But for the most part it appears to be fairly empty, other than the fungal growth itself. To the right there is another pebble beach, same consistency as the beach you first arrived on.

LIAM: What’s the scale. Are we talking Manhattan and Brooklyn? Or smaller than that?

MATT: To put to scale, your boat that you found is about that big.

LAURA: Oh, okay. So it’s pretty big, then.

MATT: It’s pretty big.

LAURA: Okay. Should we land on the beach and then check out that little cave?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yes, I think that’s an excellent idea.

LIAM: We’re all very curious.

LAURA: All right.

SAM: I’m not curious.

LAURA: As we’re flying overhead, can I get a better look at if there’s anything on the beach?

MATT: Yeah, as you guys come gliding down, you look at the beach. You see the ruins, you see, even though there is no real breeze or wind in this cold air, there is like a slight swaying.

LIAM: On the beach?

MATT: To the trees that reside on this.

LAURA: What about the little island– the little cave.

MATT: On here?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Best you can see, looking down, it’s just a plain, pebble beach, an inlet there that goes into the cavern interior of the wall.

TRAVIS: Let’s get all up in that bad boy.

SAM: Go in the cave?

TRAVIS: There’s treasure.

LAURA: Treasure! Pirates! Arr!

SAM: I already have a ruby. I’m fine.

MARISHA: I’ll stay with the boat. As a shark.

LAURA: Do we fly in, Tiberius? And just go…

ORION: Absolutely.

LAURA: All right. Stealth and fly in. Can we do that? Is that possible? To stealth and fly at the same time?

MATT: You can certainly try to keep quiet while doing so. The cave that actually opens up in the side of the wall within this cavern is about 20 feet up and about 25 feet across. So you’re flying as low as you can, but you’re still only about maybe 15 feet off the ground. Ten to 15 feet. Are the rest of you going in?

LIAM: Well, we’re in the boat. But Grog and I want to go. Right?

TRAVIS: Nope.

LIAM: No?

SAM: I’ll come.

TRAVIS: I’m thinking it’ll be a quick trip.

LIAM: Is the boat coming up to the beach?

TRAVIS: Yep.

LIAM: Yes. All right. I scoop up Scanlan and go piggyback style, like he’s my son, and jump on the beach.

TALIESIN: I’ll wait here.

MATT: All right. Everyone who’s entering the cavern, go ahead and make a stealth check.

MARISHA: Ooh! Pretty flashy.

SAM: Natural 20.

TRAVIS: Oh, Jesus.

ORION: 13.

TALIESIN: I’m in the boat.

MATT: In the boat?

LAURA: 13.

TRAVIS: Six.

LIAM: 27.

MATT: All right.

ORION: Oh, we are on the carpet.

MATT: As you guys not-so-stealthily begin to march into the tunnel here, you follow it as it bends around a little bit and it eventually opens up into this larger space. And as you enter the room, partway through this tunnel, the scent changes dramatically. That cold, still water smell begins to give way to this terrible, sulfurous, rotting smell. Very– it’s near septic. And as you enter this room, the smell is dreadful, and you can tell, using your light source over here, there appears to have been some sort of a struggle. There are bedrolls and sheets strewn about and soiled and burned and torn across the floor. There’s about what looks like three or four different bedspreads that have been tossed and ruined. You can see a semblance of what was a fire pit, but all the soot and ash has been smeared across the ground to the outside of it. There appears to be a half buried chest or container off in the far corner. And you can see what looks to be four dead bodies, in a not too long state of decay. You can still see flesh and skin, but there’s some bone peeking through, and they’re all slumped against the ground, against the corners.

SAM: Vax, why don’t you go mess with them?

LIAM: I’m going to use perception on the chest and the bodies.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That is not that good. That is 13.

ORION: I’m going to use my earring of whisper right now. “There’s some fun things in here. Grog, you’re not wearing it. Someone tell Grog he might need to kill something.”

LAURA: This looks a little dangerous.

TALIESIN: All right.

TRAVIS: We’re killing something?

LAURA: Be ready to run.

TRAVIS: I come running in.

LIAM: I’m back from the chest. I take out one dagger and throw it at the chest to sink it into the lid. From a ways back.

MATT: You take the dagger and (sound of dagger embedding into wood) into the wood. Doesn’t seem to have any immediate effect.

LIAM: Okay, so I did a 13 perception check, I guess on the chest, so I’ll go to try and open it.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Oh god.

TRAVIS: Has anybody run to the back of the cave yet?

SAM: Are we all in the cave?

LAURA: We’re on the carpet.

LIAM: You’re on my back, Scanlan.

MATT: Grog and Percy are still in the boat, at this point.

TALIESIN: But we’re listening in.

MARISHA: Grog’s running in.

TRAVIS: I come running in.

MATT: Well, you’re in the process of stepping out of the boat at this point. As you begin to approach the chest, you notice one of the bodies shift. (moans) Its head rolls around and it looks at you.

LIAM: Pike?

MATT: Pike is still back in the boat with Percy. “What?” She doesn’t have one of the earpieces.

LIAM: Someone call Pike?

LAURA: Percy, undead!

TALIESIN: All right, we’re on our way. Pike, come on.

MATT: All right. As you guys get out of the boat and begin rushing in that direction, you notice the one body looking over at you with this weird grin. You’ve had a few encounters with zombies or undead creatures that unnaturally move. This one has an intelligence to it that disturbs you. You glance over at the other bodies, who are already getting to their feet.

ORION: Where are the bodies located?

MATT: We will get to that at the top of our next session.

(all groan)

LAURA: Oh no!

LIAM: Oh, nuts!

TRAVIS: No killing.

LAURA: We’re pirates! (growls)

MARISHA: I’m a shark, still.

MATT: Yep.

LIAM: Come back, Ashley!

LAURA: Help us, Ashley!

TALIESIN: Grog, you could throw a shark at something.

MARISHA: Can you?

TALIESIN: You can toss a shark at a zombie.

LIAM: You could use the shark like a baseball bat.

TALIESIN: You could battering-ram a zombie with the shark and just go.

ORION: Sharks don’t die as soon as they get out of the water. You can last a couple minutes out of the water if you’re a fish.

TALIESIN: They have sandpaper skin.

MATT: So! (laughs) So we will pick up next week with the next episode of Critical Role, in which the party will deal with this sudden surrounding of some strange, partially-decomposed corpses.

LIAM: It’s the undead!

MATT: Indeed, the overlord has come!

ZAC: Hey, guys!

(all yay, cheer)

ORION: What’s up, Zac?

ZAC: Good job tonight, everybody. So, I just want to do one more shout-out to those t-shirts. Scroll down, buy some shirts. We have two weeks to sell 1,000 of them. This, to be totally honest, is to prove to the powers that be that Twitch is a viable resource for income (laughing weakly), woo!

ORION: And good entertainment, good entertainment.

ZAC: Great entertainment.

LIAM: We all know this is going to grow, so we’re just getting ahead of the game.

ORION: Much like Scanlan’s penis.

LAURA: Enough with the dick jokes.

MATT: About that.

ZAC: So, do you guys want to read all these messages?

MATT: Yes, I’d love to!

ZAC: So, we had quite a few donations tonight.

LIAM: Yes!

LAURA: We did?

ZAC: We did.

MARISHA: Yes and, we broke PayPal.

MATT: I can charge through these real fast.

ZAC: I might let you, yeah. Phew!

MATT: I can do that. All right, starting here with Vorath. “Another donation this week to this amazing cause. You guys are hours of entertainment every time. Also Orion, Tiberius ordering donuts is not poppycock.” (laughs) Thank you so much. All right, we have Nadoprime. “I just discovered this show a week ago I’m now a subscriber?” Aw. “And I’m pledging to give five dollars every week that I watch.” Well, thank you so much, Nadoprime! It’s great. We’ve got Lipoolflinger. “This is awesome. High fives all around. Please keep going.” We shall! This isn’t ending any time soon. Unwriteable, gave us a $70 donation. Thank you, Unwriteable. That’s amazing. Panobo! “Hi from Mexico, gran juego, viva el D&D.” There we go. I’ve been talking all night, sorry. Thank you so much. G1BigDaddyHef. “My weekly donation for a fantastic charity. Always look forward to Critical Role stream Thursdays. T-shirt reserved. Can’t wait.” You guys are awesome. Huric. “Hi, there. Not sure if anyone will get in trouble if you read this out loud, but this is what the shirt I put on redbubble made so far. I made a promise that what I make from the shirt goes to the charity. Love what y'all do.” Oh, it’s Matt Abernathy! Thank you so much! Great designs, too. Keep them coming. We’re hoping to do some stuff with fan designs in the near future, so we’ll let you guys know. EasyShadow. “Hey guys, started watching two weeks ago, and I’m hooked! Got my paycheck, so I went ahead and subbed, bought the shirt, and am now donating. Keep it up, guys. Thanks. Oh, and #SaveGrog.“ Thank you, EasyShadow. That’s awesome

MARISHA: Save Grog!

MATT: Oh, MauhiduL, who I met on the Minecraft server the other day, which was amazing! If you guys haven’t been on the Geek & Sundry Minecraft server. They’ve actually recreated physically, sequences from our campaign, like battlegrounds, and it’s like walking through–

MARISHA: It’s like a walkthrough! Yeah, actually, if you want a good, creative summary thus far, you can walk through this.

MATT: I got emotional walking through it

MARISHA: I know. I got all teary-eyed!

TALIESIN: The pictures you were sending were amazing.

LAURA: Yeah. They were texting all of us the pictures.

ZAC: The sculpture of myself makes me pretty emotional, too.

(all laugh)

MATT: Yeah, that’s awesome! It says, "Love the show, love you guys, love Geek & Sundry, proud to be a part of something so amazing.” Thank you, MalheadL.

LIAM: Have fun with the new Manhattan-sized island. Minecraft.

MATT: Maxine196404. “I love to read and I can’t imagine my life without it, so I want to help you out.” Aw. You guys are great. Thank you, Maxine! Claybmpt. “My vote last week nearly contributed to Trinket’s demise, and I feel a little donation was only proper to make amends.”

(all laugh)

TRAVIS: Smart.

MATT: Good on you. Kitten112. “Never experienced D&D until now and I love it more than I ever imagined I would. Thank you for sharing your fun with us.” Oh, thank you for watching! WeeklyFactoids. “Travis, what are the dimensions on your weapons and armor? I was wondering if I could cosplay as Grog for my local con in September.”

(excited cheers)

LAURA: Grog!

TRAVIS: Yes.

MATT: Find Travis on Twitter, @WillingBlam, and ask him those questions that we haven’t answered.

TRAVIS: Yeah, do that.

LIAM: Get those clippers out, though. (bzzz)

LAURA: Yeah, you’re going to be Grog, you’ve got to be bald.

MATT: Critical Role cosplay?! That’s so meta, I can’t even–

TRAVIS: That would be amazing.

MATT: Ah, and we’ll have such a photoshoot with you guys. All right. AlmostHuman. “Such love for Critical Role. #826LA #saveGrog #geekandsundry #RIPScanlanbeard.”

(all laugh)

MATT: New hashtag. #RIPScanlanbeard.

LIAM: I know it’s off-putting, but Scanlan’s beard is right over here.

(all laugh)

MATT: Malaytw. “Thanks for Critical Role. Less than three.” Aw. Thank you. Anttank01. “Critical Role’s amazing. Love what you guys are all doing. It has renewed my inspiration for role-playing character development, and it’s for a great cause, so I’m more than happy to help. Keep up the great work.” Aw, thank you anttank01. ElmoServant. Oh, no. “Just found out about the show last Thursday and marathoned every episode on Friday. Critical Role is the best show on Geek & Sundry by far, though TableTop’s pretty great, too.” Thank you, ElmoServant!

TALIESIN: We agree.

MATT: Alwiergen. I’m sorry if I butchered that.

SAM: No, that’s the right pronunciation.

LIAM: Scandinavian.

MATT: I’ll take it. “Love Critical Role and ordered my shirt. Sam and Liam, when’s the next All Work No Play (nudge nudge, wink wink).”

LIAM: Sam, that’s on you.

SAM: It’s happening soon, and we’re just going to be talking about Critical Role.

(all laugh)

MATT: LastCall2113. “Love the show, and an awesome campaign. Way better than most shows on TV right now.” Aw. Thank you. All right, next page.

(laughs)

SAM: There’s only 20 more pages.

MATT: Lobster024. “Thanks to the entire group for sharing your adventure with us. I hope to be as good a DM as Matt in a thousand years.” Oh, you’ll (pfft)– at least 400.

(all laugh)

LIAM: Second place is good.

MATT: It’s– no. Just keep working on it. Just learn your material and improv. It’s so much fun.

LAURA: And then get a cyborg brain, because that’s what he has.

MATT: (laughs) ElectricIdolon. “I had the honor of hitting the 2,700 sub mark tonight.” That’s awesome! “So why not go all the way tonight with a donation, as well? Also, holy mess, Mercer. You’re a beast.” Thank you.

LAURA: He’s a beast.

MATT: TheWroth. “Family favorites: Kid, Grog. Dad, Tiberius. Mom, Vax– no, wait, Scanlan. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.” Aw, thank you.

TRAVIS: The kid is very smart.

MATT: LifeIsRosie.

ZAC: RealLifeRosie.

MATT: There we go. I read for a living. “I cannot express how watching the shenanigans of you lot of lovable miscreants brightens my worst days. I’m so happy to contribute to both the further adventures of Vox Machina and 826LA, for future lovable miscreants and their own adventures. Less than three.” Thank you. They’re so sweet. CheeseBug88. “Ale! And whiskey. Smiley face.” Gayaka. “Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful adventure with us and re-inspiring my love of RPG storytelling.” Aw. Thank you. Striker67. Yeah, Striker. Police brutality, coming up. “So I just want to say thank you for everything you’re doing. For gamers everywhere. Loving my first edition Critical Role t-shirt and will be getting the new one, too.” Aw. “Keep sharing your adventures with all of us. Thank you, Vox Machina.” Thank you, Striker.

MARISHA: Just wanted to say we have more. We’ve had new ones come in. New ones.

MATT: WeeklyFactoids. “Also, hopefully I can make Travis a great axe and Sam a sword after I finish Liam and Laura’s gifts, if you would like.”

TRAVIS: Wait, what?

SAM: Say that again?

ZAC: By the way, there’s something really, really cool on its way here for you. Like, really cool.

MATT: What did you do? What did you guys do? They want to make your axe and your sword now.

SAM: They want to make my Singing Dawnblade?

LAURA: Travis has been looking online. He wants his own axe.

TRAVIS: I found one.

TALIESIN: He was handling a couple at Renfaire. It was kind of scary.

TRAVIS: Handling or courting?

(all laugh)

MATT: There is a definitive difference. Ah. Murkro2, thank you so much. Kargoth912, “Thanks for satisfying my D&D addiction while my DM is on vacation. You all rock.” We aim to please. Jean2343, “Thanks for the great show. It takes me back to my old gaming group.” Aw. Thank you so much, Jean. We have 82517. “Watching you guys play D&D is amazing and has inspired me to get back into playing Warhammer 40k with my friends.” Awesome. “Thank you for that, because I’d forgotten how much fun I had doing that.”

ORION: You should check out Warmachine.

MARISHA: Agreed.

MATT: Their Iron Kingdoms RPG is really good, too. All good stuff. Norrisseria. There we go. Noraseria. “I love Critical Role. It’s my favorite thing I look forward to all week. You guys are all amazing, thanks for all you do.” Aw, thank you. TheCrazyNixie. “Love the CritRole team, oh and pets Keyleth the shark.” Genevels, “Great job Critical Role tonight, thanks for bringing back the t-shirts for round two. You guys have encouraged me to start my own D&D group.” Awesome! “I now #encourageboatriding”

LIAM: We want all of you guys to go find these books, find other people in your town or online, and play.

MATT: And send pictures of your group to us. We’d love to see you guys play; it’s great.

ORION: Tag us, tag Wizards of the Coast, say what’s up.

MARISHA: Yes, tell Wizards of the Coast. Tell them we sent you.

ZAC: Yes, tag Wizards of the Coast, please.

MATT: If anyone from Wizards is watching, you guys are awesome. All right. Macowcut. Micoughcut, “Was supposed to work out, randomly found you tonight. First-timer and newly subbed.” Awesome! Well, welcome to the fun. Meganandgrits. I have to say it that way because I grew up in the South. “Wanted to donate more for such stellarific people, but taxes murdered me. Sorry, y'all, but I look forward to being part of your voiceover endeavors, hopefully in the future.” Awesome, much love. Keep at it, indeed. PsychoticFrogger, “Bow to the overlord, your friendly neighborhood overlord. #1.5squareinches.“ Greeneyedtrobotonist. "Are you guys aware 300 shirts are already sold today?” Wow, awesome.

MARISHA: Wait, how many?

MATT: 300. “Keep staying awesome, people.” That’s great! That’s such good news.

ZAC: I want 500 by tomorrow morning. That’s all I’m saying.

MARISHA: I think we can do it.

SAM: The night is young.

MATT: We can do it.

ZAC: The night is young. We’re going to do a rebroadcast.

LIAM: What was our goal for subscribers for the night, too?

ZAC: Lucas, what was the final number on subs?

LUCAS: 2,730.

ORION: Nice!

ZAC: We’re 20 away from another TableTop giveaway, which we’ll probably hit tomorrow.

LIAM: And they’re staying around for our questions.

LAURA: No, we’re not doing that tonight.

ZAC: It’s next week. If we get 1,000 by next week, we’ll do a Q&A.

LAURA: Okay, 1000 shirts sold.

ZAC: Are you saying you want to dance, is that what you’re–

LIAM: No. No.

ZAC: Just kidding.

MATT: We can do a pretty late Q&A too. We’ll figure it out. Make it worth everyone’s while, too.

ZAC: Thank you guys for watching tonight for our Thursday programming. We’re going to run a rebroadcast.

LAURA: Matt will do a sexy dance if we sell 1,000 shirts.

ZAC: Lucas, just for Travis, do you mind playing that Overlord song to usher us out of the night? This is for you, Travis.

LUCAS: I can’t find it. One second.

ZAC: Oh, he’s got to find it.

MARISHA: I can’t find our Overlord song.

TRAVIS: What is this?

MATT: Oh, and also, for all you guys in the Philadelphia area.

MARISHA: Oh, yes.

MATT: Me and Marisha, our fair Keyleth, are going to be at Wizard World Philly this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

SAM: Not just this weekend. In six hours.

MATT: Our flight leaves in like two and a half hours.

LAURA: Oh man, you’ve got to hurry to get to the airport.

MATT: Yeah, well it leaves at 1:15, we’ll be fine.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: But yeah. But yeah, so if you guys are over in that area, you can come see us at Wizard World this weekend, we’ll have panels and signings and general stuff.

TALIESIN: Or if you’re at LAX at 1:15, you can meet them.

MATT: Also possible! But guys, seriously, thank you all so very very much. You’re all amazing. Hope you enjoyed it. Next time we’ll kick off with a pretty intense goal, looks like.

ORION: I would like to say, everybody who tweets at us and all that stuff, we love it and appreciate it. It makes me smile everyday too, so thank you guys.

LAURA: Thank you for all your support.

MARISHA: It’s good. I love you guys.

MATT: Do we have the song?

(Overlord song plays.)

SAM: What is that?

LIAM: Song for Grog.

ZAC: No, it’s a song for me.

MARISHA: They made this for you?

LAURA: Did you erase the Overlord drawing?

MATT: Someone made a song?

TRAVIS: This is metal.

MARISHA: They made you a song.

LIAM: We would like to rage.

MATT: Oh, look at the chatroom, overlord spam. That’s so great.

TRAVIS: Amazing.

LIAM: It’s like the Hulk is attacking the chat.

TRAVIS: Overlord overlord.

MATT: That’s great. It’s on infinite repeat.

LAURA: That’s amazing.

MATT: Whoever made that, well done.

ZAC: That’s Alex. He’s our sound dude.

MATT: That’s great.

ZAC: He did all the sound effects on your intro video.

MATT: Oh, eagle cries. Absolutely necessary, well done. Guys, thanks again, we’ll see you again next week, most definitely. All the love.

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