A Favor in Kind | Critical Role | Campaign 2, Episode 16

MATT: Welcome guys, glad you could join us tonight. Before we get started on the game tonight, I’ve got some quick announcements to get through, so bear with us here. First and foremost, we have returning tonight our fantastic sponsor and friend, D&D Beyond! Sam. SAM: As we’ve previously announced, D&D Beyond is contributing $100 to 826LA for every natural one we roll, and that’s a lot! Also, as part of the 826LA charity initiative, now that we’re way past our $10,000 tier, D&D Beyond has offered up the discount code “826LA” for 25% off the legendary bundle.

The legendary bundle includes all the digital materials available on the D&D Beyond site, so check it out now. A quick history lesson: I did some research. D&D Beyond actually, even though it’s a popular modern website, it started in the 80s when D&D started to get popular. It didn’t catch on because there was no internet, but they still had the website. They did an ad push for it and I found a script from their earliest ad that they put out. It’s a little dated. It’s a 1980s ad for D&D Beyond, and me and my friends here are going to act it out for you.

TALIESIN: Help. SAM: We fade in on a teenager’s room. Knock, knock, knock. TALIESIN: Son! Turn down that Whitney Houston tape for a second! SAM: Grody to the max, Dad! It’s Pet Shop Boys. TALIESIN: Whatever. Did you do your homework? SAM: No duh, and now I’m going to watch 21 Jump Street on that brand new TV network, Fox! Richard Grieco is bodacious! LAURA: Well, your friend, Gail, is here to play that game you love. SAM: Punchout? Contra? Operation Wolf? LAURA: No, the one your Aunt Pam says was invented by Satanists. ASHLEY: Dungeons & Dragons! SAM: Hey, Gail! Where’s the beef? ASHLEY: Eat my shorts, dude! TALIESIN: Gail, are you sure D&D is safe? It scares me like rap music by Public Enemy and LL Cool J.

SAM: Take a chill pill, Dad! D&D is radical. It’s as trustworthy as current Democratic presidential nominee Gary Hart. TALIESIN: He is trustworthy. (laughter) ASHLEY: Now it’s even better with D&D Beyond, with high speed internet, WiFi or a smartphone you can access your stats and more on your iPad or laptop. LAURA: Have any of those things been invented yet? ASHLEY: Gag me with a spoon, Mrs. Henderson. SAM: Righteous! Now I don’t even want to go see that brand new movie, The Lost Boys, I just want to play D&D! Cut to Travis. TRAVIS: D&D Beyond, available now exclusively at Sharper Image, Sam Goody, Circuit City, Tower Records, Comp USA and Crazy Eddie. (laughter) MATT: Thank you, Sam. TALIESIN: That was amazing. LIAM: How on earth did you not put a Growing Pains reference in that? SAM: This is all heavily researched 1987 facts. MATT: Thank you, Sam, and thank you, D&D Beyond. We have another sponsor tonight.

We’ve talked about them a little bit in the past and we’re super excited to bring Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire as an awesome sponsor of the show tonight. Once again, from the great Pillars of Eternity series, I was in the first one and all of us are in this one. It comes out very soon, May 8th. It’s in the same world, Eora. It’s a really fantastic isometric RPG in the classic style of Baldur’s Gate. The graphics are beautiful, and the music’s incredible. You’d have heard the first game’s music all through most of the Critical Role’s run so far. It’s a great story. For those that have finished the first game, it deals with the god Eothas who is now terrorizing this area called Deadfire. It’s very pirate ships and oceanic island travel and it’s pretty badass. You get to hear all of us in it and you also get to customize Vox Machina in it. SAM: What?! LAURA: You didn’t know! SAM: No! MATT: If you played the first game, you also get to carry over your save over into the second one and actually have your character and your choices in the first game connect to the new story, which is pretty rad.

Check out the new companion voices, play the incredible story, and customize some characters who look like Vox Machina and also sound like them if you so feel like it. You can check it out and buy it at versusevil.com/criticalrole. LIAM: They’ve just revealed the very dashing portrait of Scanlan Shorthalt today. TRAVIS: Sex personified. MATT: Indeed. It’s awesome. The combat’s super tactical. It’s going to be for consoles later this year, the PC release is right around the corner. Get super excited, guys, it’s going to be awesome. Thank you, Pillars II and our friends at Obsidian. It’s one of those days. My brain is melting.

Yeah, check it out. Vox Machina: Origins number six comic has been out for a week. If you haven’t had the chance, check it out. SAM: I’ve read it. It’s good! MARISHA: I love it when you’re surprised by your own content. It’s my favorite. MATT: That’s out. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. It finishes that first story arc. We’ll have some more announcements soon, hopefully. We hit our goal with 826, the charity we’ve been doing. We’ve hit 40K, which means I have to do another fireside chat. SAM: You get to do a fireside chat. LAURA: It’s a joy, Matt. MATT: It’s true. It is a joy, actually. TRAVIS: Sans robe this time? MATT: No. Don’t give them ideas. LIAM: You want sherry or schnapps? Or what do you want? MATT: Oh, we’re going port again. That was a good night.

We’ve got that coming up. We’re getting a new stretch goal. If we hit 50K in the two next weeks, Marisha will be GMing another Honey Heist game. Super excited for that because that was a lot of fun. MARISHA: (singing) The bears are back in town! LAURA: Maybe we can play this time. MATT: Yes, because you guys were out of town last time. That’d be perfect. Remember, if you guys help donate to 826, who are a fantastic organization, our gracious critter, Mark, has matched the donations and has offered to match up to 50K now.

SAM: What?! No! That’s too much! MATT: If we can get 50K, that’s 100K that we as a community have raised for this fantastic organization. You guys are amazing! Keep being amazing. Be sure to check with your employer to see if they offer a charity matching program as well, because that’s another cool way you can get double bang for your buck to help out with charity organizations, too. Thank you so much, guys, for being awesome. Critical Recap just came out for last week’s episode. If you haven’t checked that out yet, you should’ve before this episode started! If you missed that and didn’t watch last week’s episode, you’ll be very confused.

If you have a friend who’s behind and wants to catch up with the live stream, Critical Recap is a great way to get them caught up really quickly so they’re not spoiled. Then they can go back and trudge through the previous episodes in a lengthy format. Talks Machina is every Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific time, where our fantastic host, Brian W. Foster, talks about the previous episode. Next week will be this episode of Critical Role with a few guests from the show to come there and talk about what randomness happened in our brain tonight. Check that out. Podcast of last week’s episode is available where all fine podcasts are available for download.

To remind you, because it’s been a few weeks, I’ll be at Otafest at Calgary May 18th to 20th. Not that far from now, just a few weeks. Be seeing some of you Canadian folks. I’ll be at A-Kon in Texas June 7th to 10th, so look forward to seeing you guys there. I think, unless there’s anything else I missed, that’s all the announcements we have in log. LIAM: My gosh, you’ve got a lot going on these days. MATT: I know. It’s all sorts of crazy, let me tell you. It’s a lot. On that note, folks, let’s go ahead and dive into tonight’s episode of Critical Role. [click, TV static] [groovy Critical Role theme] MATT: Welcome back, everyone. Last we left off: The Mighty Nein, after being in proximity to some sort of an assault from Xhorhasian operatives in the city of Zadash here in the center of the Empire, they found themselves also caught up in a murder of the High-Richter in the city.

They pulled away and realized there was a manhunt for individuals that were seemingly seen in connection to this murder. As this was transpiring, they had to smuggle out some allies they had found and had been working with, Dolan and Horris. Dolan, part of this whole deal was to get him involved in the local politics. Horris needed to be smuggled out for safety in case they got caught. You made your way to the Evening Nip, met up with Yasha. Down there, you had a conversation with this individual called The Gentleman.

You made a deal. You’ve decided to trust each other on this endeavor and basically do a quid pro quo. A little favor to one, favor for the other and see if this is a business relationship you would want to develop. In doing so, Horris was smuggled out of the city. Safely, seemingly. LAURA: He keeps saying seemingly! He keeps saying that! MATT: I keep saying that because you weren’t there to confirm! I don’t want to say that it happened because the mystery’s fun. You were brought down through the tunnels to the Underworks, towards an underground dock, where the river that exited to the northeast towards Berleben was. You loaded up on boats to make your way towards a recently uncovered but barely explored underground research facility, long buried. The Gentleman asked you to enter it, see what you found, clear it out if possible, and return.

As you made your way down there, assailed by a few of the creatures that existed in that tunnel, you found the exterior of this research facility, broke your way in, began to meander around and discover strange mysteries afoot in its construction. The urns throughout the vicinity, the strange wisps of spiritual energy came to assault you in the process. Bypassing traps, mostly, kind of. TRAVIS: Or not at all. MATT: Completing the mystery of the strange arcane runes in the ceiling and the schools of magic that they seemed connected to, found your way into some sort of a secret study or den, where there were research tables set up, and a mostly empty bookshelf, braziers filled with ash to the side between pillars, two small chambers where these cages with tight knit bars remained, containing urns and empty nooses hanging above. These urns filled with ash. You began to look throughout the room. You found a sword across the upper ceiling, an ornamental blade of some kind. You recovered a book of notes and began to read through to get a feel for the person, the entity that seemed to have written what remained of these pages.

Around this time, the wind began to pick up in the center of the chamber, as this darkened figure began to rise out of the stonework. This large, tattered cloak of a figure, spreading, whipping around like this sudden wind is tossing aside sails of a dark ship. This semi-skeletal ghostly face of material began to emerge from it. Its voice slowly hissing out, “My secrets are yours.” You saw small glows begin to emerge from the ash and to the urns nearest the two of you. That, my friends, is where we last left off. LAURA: That’s right. We marked our places on the map, where we left last time. SAM: We did? I was very intoxicated. MATT: As this thing emerges here, it doesn’t seem to, at the moment, make any sort of aggressive maneuver.

What do you do? LIAM: Does it have any legs? MATT: Imagine a figure that is wrapped in four or five layers of robes, and the robes have been shredded out, all these moving tendrils of cloth and black shadow energy that are spinning around in places. Its center chin and body are stationary. The bottom half of its body seems to taper into nothingness, disappearing into cloth and ever-shifting and whipping material at the base. LAURA: Are you Siff? MATT: The head turns over and locks onto Jester.

Doesn’t answer. MARISHA: He said he wants to tell us secrets or something. I like secrets. LAURA: Secrets are fun. MARISHA: Yeah. Secrets make friends. MATT: (moaning) Glides slowly in your direction. SAM: Give him something. Information, news, something. LAURA: I have a secret for you! Did you know that in Nicodranas the pastries are made with cinnamon and here they’re not? (laughter) MATT: There’s a brief moment where the entity’s head, much like a young puppy confused by a rattling sound in the distance, (snapping) in Jester’s direction, “A secret for trade.” MARISHA: For trade, what does that mean? MATT: You know what? I’m going to pull the battle map.

LAURA: Oh no! SAM: Cinnamon was his most hated spice! LAURA: I gave him a secret! SAM: He fucking hates cinnamon! LAURA: Oh no! I thought I was helping. ASHLEY: You were. You did great. MATT: He’s drifted up to that point there. LAURA: He’s in the teleportation circle. SAM: Ashley, even you don’t believe that. MATT: As you guys are preparing here, the whispers begin to slowly spill out of its face, voices spreading out. I need Jester, Yasha, and Beau to all make a wisdom saving throw, please. TALIESIN: My clay pot is glowing? MATT: Yes. MARISHA: Nine. LAURA: 15. ASHLEY: 14. MATT: Both of you succeed actually.

MARISHA: Tell me something cool! MATT: The secrets begin to penetrate your ears. You close off your consciousness and put your hands up to close the space. They don’t seem to penetrate your mind. Beau, however, these words start shooting into your brain. You feel for a moment your grasp on reality begin to slip. Suddenly, the world begins to spin. You feel yourself assaulted from all angles. You see flashes of ancient warfare, of giant columns of fire crashing from the cosmos. You spin your staff around retroactively. I need you to make an attack against Yasha, please. MARISHA: I’m sorry, boo! It’s not good, an 11. MATT: What’s your armor class? MARISHA: No sorry, ten. MATT: I’m pretty sure that doesn’t hit you. ASHLEY: 14. MATT: You see Beau, suddenly her eyes go wide, swing the staff wide in your direction.

You deflect it with your blade. MARISHA: Fuck you, Genghis Khan! MATT: Now I need you all to roll initiative. LAURA: I wanted to talk! MATT: The first conversation wasn’t quite what he was looking for. LAURA: Shit balls. ASHLEY: Dang it, maybe we can still talk. LAURA: Hey, I just made us $100, you guys. (cheering) MATT: Conflicted feelings! LIAM: The 11 herbs and spices are– MATT: 25 to 20? SAM: 22. MATT: Nott at the top. 20 to 15? ASHLEY: 19. MATT: Ooh, Yasha! SAM: That’s the best thing you’ve ever rolled on initiative.

MATT: 15 to ten? Oh boy. TRAVIS: Oh fuck. LAURA: Run away! MATT: Ten to five. MARISHA: Eight. LIAM: Sechs. TALIESIN: Five. MATT: Eight for Beau. Six for Caleb. Five both of you, Jester and Molly. TRAVIS: Natural one. LAURA: That was the weirdest, cutest hiccup I’ve ever heard! TALIESIN: Thank you! MATT: At this moment, Nott, you see this entity as it suddenly begins to emanate these whispers into the air.

Your friends start all of a sudden grasping their faces. You see Beau try and swing at Yasha. Chaos is breaking loose. What are you doing? SAM: I run. I run as fast as I can. (screaming) MATT: Where are you going? SAM: I make a beeline for the opposite corner. Bonus action dash! Keep going! MATT: Over here? SAM: Yeah. Behind that cage. LAURA: There’s going to be a thing that comes out there, I think. SAM: Oh, well, I’ll be first to kill it then. Then action, I will hand crossbow up and hold until I see it make an aggressive action towards one of my acquaintances; we’re not quite friends yet. MATT: Good to know. Yasha, your turn. ASHLEY: Are we attacking him? TRAVIS: What do you want to do? MATT: What does Yasha want to do? What is Yasha’s instinct? ASHLEY: I feel like we got off on the wrong foot.

I don’t know if he has feet. (laughter) MATT: You do not see a foot on his body, no. ASHLEY: Shit! Already off to a bad start. You said, “My secrets are yours.” Did you want to give us a secret? MATT: “I’ve already given you a piece. More?” LAURA: That’s what he did to Beau. MATT: What are you doing? ASHLEY: Okay, I’m going to take out my sword, and I’m going to attack. LAURA: You got it Yasha! Take him down! It’s one hit! ASHLEY: What’s going on at the bottom of his– TRAVIS: What’s all this action down here? MATT: That’s a dormant runic circle that has been lying there. Doesn’t seem to be reacting to his presence at all. LAURA: Maybe we can activate it. ASHLEY: Shit, I don’t like going first! Okay, I’m going to attack with my sword. MATT: Okay. You’re holding off on rage? ASHLEY: No. MATT: You’re raging? ASHLEY: I’m raging. I would like to rage.

MATT: You bonus action rage. You angrily grit your teeth and rush up, swinging your sword in the air. Make your attack. ASHLEY: 18. MATT: 18 hits. Roll damage. LAURA: Kill that floating dude. Maybe he just flies. Maybe he’s got feet and his robes cover them up. TALIESIN: He’s tucking. LAURA: Yeah! TALIESIN: He could tuck. ASHLEY: Eight plus– MATT: Plus rage damage, ten right? Ten total? You rolled five, plus three for your strength, plus two for your rage. That would be a total of ten. ASHLEY: Yeah, ten. MATT: With which weapon is this? ASHLEY: My Moon-touched sword. MATT: Which is technically baseline magical so– okay. SAM: Baseline magical? MATT: Meaning it’s a very minor magical effect. As you strike, your blade carves through part of its body. Some of the cloth tears apart and he tries to grasp around the blade as you pull it free from nearby. Its face, its eyes click back towards you. When I say eyes, you now get a look, and it’s these vacant holes and this tightly pulled skin against this skeletal face. Black energy is billowing out of it like smoke is slowly pouring out of the sockets.

That’s your turn? ASHLEY: Yes, that’s my turn. MATT: Now, out of the side cages, these glows all begin to emerge as four more of these wisp entities you had previously encountered in the chamber begin to shift through the cages towards the nearest source of life. This one’s going to go towards Nott. This one’s going to stay right there with Molly. This one’s going to go after Fjord as well as this one there. On that note, against Nott the attack is a seven. That is a low roll; I do not think that hits you. As you see it emerge, you freak out as it swings by and ducks into the wall briefly before re-emerging, shifting through the actual stone.

Against Molly– another seven. TALIESIN: Ha ha! MATT: Two threes in a row. Two against you Fjord. That’s better. That’s a 20. TRAVIS: That hits. MATT: The two of them begin to hit you from both sides. You’re not quite sure how to defend. One of them seems like it’s about to sweep at you. You go to deflect it as the other one slaps into the back of your head as you feel this shock energy hit you in the base of the skull. Your eyes go white for a second. You take 11– oh no sorry, I rolled the wrong dice for that one.

You take five points of lightning damage. TRAVIS: Excellent. He takes ten points of ice damage, or frozen damage or whatever. LAURA and TRAVIS: Fro-yo damage! MATT: You see the ice crystals coalesce around the outside, not doing quite as much damage as you would have expected. TRAVIS: Oh, from hitting my frozen porcupine armor? That’s not great. MATT: The other one’s going to try and use that moment to swing at you and rob you of a little more life force. That is going to be a 12. What is your armor class? TRAVIS: Oh that misses, 15. MATT: Miss then. Just swings past you. The orbs now are glowing and sparking, preparing for the next round of assault.

MARISHA: This is all the notes from what we learned about Siff Duthar. MATT: The next is going to be the entity in the center. MARISHA: I think he is a being of fire and ice, so I bet he’s immune to fire and ice. MATT: The entity is going to use its Howling Babble ability. Every creature within 30 feet of it that can hear it has to make a wisdom saving throw, so that’s all of you guys. SAM: Me too? LAURA: Can you hear it? MATT: (counting) You’re just 30 feet outside of it.

SAM: When it does this, do I release my arrow? MATT: You would, yes. SAM: Okay, I will release my arrow bolt. That’s not good, 14? MATT: 14 hits. Roll damage. TALIESIN: Natural 20. SAM: What do I get, 3d6 right? One for the hit and then– that’s 18 points of damage, but it is not a magical weapon. MATT: It is not, so it is less affected by the wound as it strikes through its body. You see it tear through some of the material and part of the matter.

The energy disperses the moment of impact. It damaged it, but something about it being between the planes and its essence is making it not as effectively damageable with regular weaponry. SAM: Hoo boy. What save were we making? MATT: That would be the wisdom save. TRAVIS: 17. MARISHA: Natural one? LIAM: 14. SAM: Natural one. (cheering) TRAVIS: Really? LAURA: 12. TALIESIN: 25. ASHLEY: Eight! TRAVIS and LAURA: We’re in so much trouble! ASHLEY: Guys, we’re doing fine. MATT: Beau, Jester, Yasha, and Nott.

As this faint energy begins to disperse throughout the chamber, you hear thousands of voices trying to whisper into your ears simultaneously. They’re not making sense, and as they weave, your whole body begins to go catatonic. Your muscles tense and you fall to your knees. You’re all paralyzed until the end of your next turn. TRAVIS: Oh no! We’re in big trouble, you guys. MATT: It’s going to fly up and back. LAURA: Wait, I have a question. When we’re paralyzed, does that mean every attack against us is a critical? MATT: Every melee is, if it hits. That ends its turn. That brings us to Beau. You’re paralyzed, so at the end of your turn it fades. Sorry, not paralyzed, stunned. It’s not paralyzed. It’s stunned. MARISHA: Stunned. MATT: Correct. It is not– I had to read– MARISHA: What can I do? MATT: Stunned means you can’t really do anything this turn, but half make a sentence. You’re aware of your surroundings but you can’t take actions or move. At the end of your turn, it wears off. MARISHA: I’m going to be like: The fire and ice from the book and the lost sword and all that shit, remember? MATT: That ends Beau’s turn? MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Caleb, you’re up. LIAM: Seeing how terrible everything is around me I stick a quivering hand into my pocket and pull out a little copper wire. I learned how to do this from Nott. I cup it in my hands, and I cast Message to the thing. I’m going to text you what I’m– only it can hear me and I’m sending it to you. SAM: Digital whispers! LIAM: While backing against the wall behind me. MATT: You back up against the wall there. That ends your turn, Caleb? LIAM: I will send Frumpkin skittering down by Yasha’s feet. MATT: Jester and Molly. Jester, you are no longer stunned. That is your turn. LAURA: Okay, I’m done. MATT: Molly. TALIESIN: I’m going to try and break the pot in through the cage.

I’m going to take a swipe at the pot through the cage with my sword. MATT: Okay. The cage, because the slits are very small, you cannot get your full hand in there, so with the blade there you might be able to get it, so make an attack roll with disadvantage. TALIESIN: Nine? MATT: Just misses. You strike the outside of it, but the blow– you watch as the urn (rocking in place). TALIESIN: I’m going to swing around and try to get another shot. MATT: You pull it out and jab once more towards it. TALIESIN: Stop doing that! You’ll get everyone drunk. Even worse. That’s actually a natural one. LAURA: They’re making so much money tonight! MATT: Apparently. ASHLEY: That’s already $500.

MATT: As your blades are getting caught in the cage and try to pull it out, the large wisp is slowly pushing towards your body. TALIESIN: I’m going to run towards– I’m in combat with it. It gets an attack of opportunity if I run, doesn’t it? I’m going to steady myself and prepare for another attack. MATT: Fjord. TALIESIN: Nott, deal with this! TRAVIS: I’m going to cast Eldritch Blast into the pot in the bottom of the cage. MATT: Okay, with disadvantage because you’re aiming through the smaller space.

It actually has cover. It’s largely just a small space you’re shooting through. TRAVIS: That’s not going to hit, that’s a three plus– 11. MATT: 11 does hit. TRAVIS: Oh does it? Wait I added that wrong; hold on. (stuttering) I’m pretty sure I added that wrong. LIAM: (Porky Pig stuttering) MATT: Your spell attack modifier. TRAVIS: Yeah no, that’s only a nine. MATT: Yeah that doesn’t hit, unfortunately. You’re trying to shoot the remainder and manage to hit the bar, and the bar bends back a little bit from the impact of the blast.

However, it’s not actually hitting the urn on the inside. TRAVIS: Great, cool, awesome. Can I run? Can I use my speed– are they both in melee range? MATT: Yes, they are. TRAVIS: (high pitched laugh) Okay. I’ll stay right where I am, then. MATT: All right, Fjord. Top of the round again. Nott, you manage to (grunt) shrug off the stun, but that’s the end of your turn. SAM: Oh, great. I’m sorry I couldn’t help. MATT: Yasha, you shrug off the stun. That’s the end of your turn. All right. ASHLEY: Okay. Ah fuck. MATT: With that, all the wisps begin to close in once more on their targets. Molly, that’s a 23. TALIESIN: That’s a number.

Yeah, that hits. MATT: You take six points of lightning damage as it shocks you from the side, again. The other one striking against you, Nott. That is going to be a 15 to hit. SAM: 16. MATT: 16 armor class! You manage to duck out of the way of this one as well. This one is beginning to flicker angrily, as it can’t seem to grasp and tear any sort of life force from you with shock. SAM: No, get away! MATT: Two against you Fjord. That is a ten, six plus four. TRAVIS: Misses. MATT: Misses. The other one is a 16. TRAVIS: (stuttering) That hits. MATT: That’s five points of lightning damage. TRAVIS: Ten points of cold damage to that particular wispy bastard. MATT: Which it takes a reduced amount. That ends their turn. Now we’ll see if the Howling Babble– It does not regenerate that ability.

It does not recharge it. Now as the spectral entity begins to fly back towards this side, it’s going to shift over in this direction. We’re going to say that it’s gliding up near this pillar here. It’s about 20 feet up, right by where the ceiling is, and it’s glaring down at everybody. SAM: He doesn’t make an attack or anything? LAURA: He’s about to. SAM: Oh shit, oh man. MATT: It’s going to go ahead and use– Actually, it’s not, because you’re all too far away. Instead, it’s going to coast down towards the one that struck at it last turn. Rush right there. LAURA: Are his robes floating around him all cool like a Nazgûl? MATT: Between that and a Deathly Hallow look, but even more intense. Like an epic Deathly Hallow. It’s going to go ahead and attempt a Maddening Touch against you, Yasha. SAM: She’s already raging. She’s mad. MATT: That is a 16 to hit. ASHLEY: Yeah. MATT: All right. You suffer– that’s actually a really shitty roll for him.

Nine points of psychic damage. TALIESIN: Hmm, that’s a shitty roll. MATT: Plus three. Sorry, 12 points of psychic damage. LAURA: That’s a less shitty roll. MATT: Then it’s going to go ahead and attempt to fly back up into where it was, in the ceiling after it makes its strike. LAURA: All I’m hearing in my head is Careless Whisper now. TALIESIN: Do you get an attack of opportunity? TRAVIS: Doesn’t she have Sentinel? MATT: Oh you would get an attack of opportunity against it. MARISHA: Yes, Sentinel! MATT: That’s right, Sentinel feat! Oh, this might fuck it up. As it comes down and strikes at you, you feel this burst of maddening intent shower into your head. It sparks your brain with this horrible searing pain. You guys watch as Yasha screams out and begins to withdraw. With that, she all of a sudden clicks back into reality and swings wide with the sword.

What did you roll? ASHLEY: 18. MATT: 18 hits, go ahead and roll damage. (cheering) MATT: Which means he can’t move. The Sentinel feat prevents him from moving. TRAVIS: Boom! Speed is zero. ASHLEY: Can I also add Divine Fury on– MATT: Yes, you may. Could have done that last round, too, but forgot. ASHLEY: I know. SAM: Shut up, Matt. (laughter) TRAVIS: Plus five, for your strength and rage. ASHLEY: (counting) Plus what? TRAVIS: Plus five. MATT: Yeah, with your rage, it’s whatever you rolled plus five and then plus half your level. Plus seven, technically. TRAVIS: Oh, wow. ASHLEY: 11. TRAVIS: Is that a divine thing? ASHLEY: Whoa, what’s happening in my brain? 13. Plus seven you said? 20. MATT: 20 points of– oh man that’s nasty. As it tries to pull away, you click back into reality and swing wide with your sword. As you do, you cut right through the center of its body, out the other end. You watch as the robe splinters open. You see this glowing pulse of dark energy in the center.

As it (guttural wail) it has to fight to reform, its semi-corporeal form. It looks like it’s hurt pretty bad. SAM: Oh man. Nice. MATT: Yasha, that ends your turn? ASHLEY: That was my attack of opportunity. MATT: Oh that’s right! It was an attack of opportunity. Sorry, that was the creature’s turn. Beau, you’re up. MARISHA: Okay, I’m going to– I’m good, right? I’m going to run up and pull out that holy water that I didn’t use before. I’m going to parkour off of Yasha’s shoulder and spike it right at his feet.

MATT: All righty, go ahead and roll your ranged attack. d20 plus your proficiency. MARISHA: Okay, I don’t know if that’s good, 16. MATT: That hits. Roll 2d6. ASHLEY: I’ll make my body all strong. MARISHA: Eight. MATT: It takes eight points of radiant damage as it splashes on its form. The flames suddenly begin to ignite across the front of its cloaked exterior. Because holy flames are licking up the side of it and burning and it’s (rasping cry). MARISHA: Okay, I still have my opportunity attack? I mean my– Sorry, my secondary attack.

MATT: It’s a ranged attack roll. I’ll say sure. Usually you get the bonus on a punch. You have to move up to do it though. MARISHA: I did move up. I said I ran up next to Yasha and spiked it. I parkoured off her shoulders, spiked it. MATT: Sure. Good call. MARISHA: I want to do flurry of blows. MATT: Two more punch attacks or unarmed. MARISHA: 19 and 15 to hit. MATT: Both of those hit. MARISHA: That is an additional six– Sorry, 12 damage. MATT: 12 damage. You rush up off the shoulder after slamming it against the ground. You come up with a punch and an uppercut from underneath. As your fists impact, it’s like punching through heavy, cold cloth. You feel like almost you’re punching nothing as you do. While you’re impacting, you’re not sure how much damage it’s doing. (whoosh) MARISHA: Okay, that’s fair. MATT: That ends your turn, Beau. Caleb, you’re up. LIAM: I didn’t see any difference in it when I did what I did, ja? MATT: You didn’t seem to notice anything. LIAM: How close could I get to it, if I wanted to walk straight at it? MATT: You could get right up to it.

LIAM: Right up to it. Could I get right behind– No, I’ll get right up to it, ja. MATT: All right. You can get right there. LIAM: Yeah, okay. I’m going to cast Burning Hands, veered away so that it does not touch Yasha. It has to make a dexterity saving throw. MATT: It’s a 15 foot cone, correct? LIAM: Ja. MATT: You can, from the edge of where you’d be would be there, you can technically– No, it would not quite hit that, but you can hit the creature. LIAM: Ja, the creature is fine. MATT: It makes its save. That is a seven. LIAM: It’s 3d6, halved. MATT: What’s up? LIAM: Did it make it? MATT: It rolled a seven on its DC, so no. LIAM: Oh, no. It did not make it. It takes 11 points. MATT: 11, okay. Half of that. The fire doesn’t seem to have as much impact. Largely because of its ghostly form, most things it seems to be resistant towards, but it’s still taking damage as you’re doing this.

Now it’s being flanked from all of you guys. That ends Caleb’s turn. Jester, Molly, you’re up. TALIESIN: Pots, people, pots? LAURA: I mean, we should take those out too. TALIESIN: I’m useless on the pots. I’m actually going to try and make a book for the cloaked guy. I’m going to yelling at everyone: Hit the pots! Hit the bloody pots! MATT: (counting) You have to get over here to– TALIESIN: That’s fine. TRAVIS: Who has that sword we pulled off? LIAM: Jester.

MATT: First off, the will-o’-wisp makes a strike at you, attack of opportunity. MARISHA: I bet he wants his sword back. MATT: 18. TALIESIN: That hits. MATT: As you rush past, 16 points of lightning damage. TALIESIN: Oh my god, really!? MATT: I rolled double eights on d8s. The will-o’-wisp suddenly, as you try to rush, it actually darts in front of you. You run towards it, and it actually passes through your entire torso. As it does, shocking your lungs and heart, and for a second your heart doesn’t beat. Then kicks back in. Your whole body feels cold, but you keep running. You push past Caleb and get right up next to the creature. TRAVIS: Need a defib. TALIESIN: Yeah.

Pots, people. I’m going to take two strikes with the radiant swords. That’s a 15 to hit. MATT: 15 hits. TALIESIN: An eight to hit. MATT: Eight does not hit, unfortunately. TALIESIN: Okay, that’s all right. MATT: The pain is too strong on one strike and you go wide, but you turn around and all of a sudden there’s a moment of clarity. As the pain clicks in, you clench your jaw and swing back, striking true. TALIESIN: Does it do extra radiant damage? I mean, because I do an extra bonus radiant damage, if it takes it. MATT: You do the extra three anyway, because it’s undead. TALIESIN: Oh, so yeah. That’s (counting) 11 points of radiant damage. MATT: How much is the sword? How much is the radiant? TALIESIN: Six is radiant, and the rest is the sword. MATT: Five, all right, cool. It takes less damage from the swords, but the radiant does go through. It’s looking pretty beat up at this point now. Between the different attacks you’ve done it’s starting to freak out now. It’s trying to figure out how best to deal with its situation.

That ends your turn, Molly; Jester, what are you doing? LAURA: I’m going to pull out my symbol of the Traveler, and I’m going to say: Okay, I hope you’re with me right now, because I really need your help! I’m going to try to Turn Undead. MATT: From where you’re standing? LAURA: No, I’m going to jump up behind Frumpkin. MATT: You dart over this direction. What’s the radius on that, 30 feet? LAURA: 30 feet. MATT: That’ll catch all three of those and the guy. Was it wisdom saves against your spell DC? LAURA: Wisdom save, yes. TRAVIS: I don’t really like my position right now. MATT: No, you’re in a bad place. LAURA: It has to make a wisdom saving throw, yes. MATT: Far end will-o’-wisp right there, that would be a six.

No. That one, nope. That one over there is going to attempt as well. That’s a nine. No, so that one is also turned. The one over there is fleeing. That is going to be a 16. That does succeed? LAURA: 16 succeeds. MATT: The main guy, natural 20. These two wisps now are slightly– you rush up, and you pray for a second and hope. You know this inspiration hits you. As you clasp the symbol, suddenly the strange little archway on the top of the symbol begins to glow. There’s this large burst of deep blue energy that radiates outward. As it strikes, it washes over the main creature with no effect. As it hits the two other side will-o’-wisps, both of them shiver and begin to shift away. Looking like they’re actually running in fear, as fast as they can from Jester, in the center. That’s your action. LAURA: That’s my action, and for my bonus action, I’m going to cast Sanctuary on– who’s the lowest? SAM: (whispering) You.

LAURA: On myself. (laughter) TRAVIS: Aw, that was so considerate. MATT: Not too bad. TRAVIS: Who’s the lowest? Blood coming out of her mouth. SAM: (as Jester) I’m trying to be a good healer, but me. MATT: Fair enough. You have Sanctuary on you right now. Jester, that ends your turn. Fjord, you’re up. TRAVIS: Yeah, well this is a bitch, ain’t it. I’m going to try Eldritch Blast again at the pot, through the cage. At disadvantage, because I got to take one of those out of the picture somehow. Oh, I think that might work, 14. MATT: 14 hits, go ahead and roll damage. TRAVIS: Outstanding. That is a big plus for me. Ten plus four, 14! MATT: With that, that one pot shatters. The ash explodes in a small cloud, pushing on the side of the wall behind the cage.

That one wisp next to you flitters out of existence. TRAVIS: With my bonus action, can I move my Hex onto el shadow figure? MATT: You can. TRAVIS: Disadvantage on wisdom saving throws. MATT: Oh, wisdom ability checks, not saving throws. TRAVIS: Wisdom ability checks, thank you. MATT: Disadvantage on wisdom ability checks. That ends your turn Fjord? TRAVIS: Yeah, sure. MATT: Nott, you’re up. SAM: There’s four pots? Now there’s three. Can I see any of them from where– MATT: You can. Inside the cage you can see one there, and you assume there’s one in there because you saw Molly going towards it. SAM: I will shoot one of the pots with my hand crossbow. MATT: Which you can do without disadvantage, because of your feat. SAM: Yeah, a lot, 22. MATT: Well you still have disadvantage to try and fire at it, because it’s in the cage. Sorry, I just realized. It’s in the cage.

TALIESIN: Doesn’t he have crossbow advantage? MATT: That’s for melee stuff. This is it being covered, and you’re aiming through these tiny holes as you’re firing at it. SAM: It has half-cover or something? MATT: Well essentially. Yeah, I’d say at this close it has three-quarters cover. It’s a plus five to its AC. What did you roll? SAM: The first roll was 22. MATT: Yeah, it hits. We’ll say it hits, because you’re right up against it with a crossbow. You’re not having to aim in with it. You’re (bolt flying). Roll the damage. SAM: Six points of damage. MATT: Six is enough. The pots aren’t very strong; it’s just hard to touch (shattering). That will-o’-wisp manages to discorporate next to you. SAM: Eight is Enough. I’ll skitter around towards the candelabra over there, and as I go I’ll (cocks crossbow) and fire another shot at the other pot. MATT: Okay, that one you do have disadvantage on as you’re farther away from it. SAM: 19. MATT: 19 still hits.

Go ahead and roll damage. TRAVIS: Sharpshooter! SAM: That one’s seven points of damage. MATT: That pot shatters. SAM: No look. (laughter) TALIESIN: You’re going to be all right, Fjord? TRAVIS: It’s cool. There’s actually one wisp actually next to somebody. Thank you. SAM: Oh. Whoops! LAURA: It was also the only wisp that wasn’t affected by the Turn Undead. Where did that confetti come from? MATT: That was left over from your welcome party. LAURA: Oh, I missed your welcome party. MATT: Yasha, it’s your turn. ASHLEY: Okay! I’m going to attack him again. MATT: Go for it. TRAVIS: Carve this turkey. ASHLEY: Yes! 19. MATT: That hits; roll damage. LAURA: Are you going to do your thing? ASHLEY: All the stuffs? LAURA: All the stuff. SAM: Rage! Reckless! Endangerment! Diviney! LAURA: That’s a good name for it. ASHLEY: 14. MATT: 14. As you swing past with the sword and arc upward, you cut through and its cloak cannot hold back together. There’s now this giant opening where this vacuous, cold heartbeat glows, visible from the inside, and its body is flickering, having a hard time keeping itself together on this side of reality. Does this end your turn, Yasha? ASHLEY: Yeah.

The little interior bit, what is it again? MATT: You see this dull, blue glow that’s now visible from where you struck through it. It looks like it’s falling apart. LAURA: (shouting) Steal his heart! Take his heart! MATT: Yasha, that ends your turn? ASHLEY: Can I punch it? MATT: Unfortunately, no. You’ve already used your action. That’s what a monk does. Just a little flick– ASHLEY: All done. MATT: That ends Yasha’s turn. Now the one wisp that’s by you is going to shift through the wall onto this side and is going to make a strike at you, Fjord. That is a 16 to hit. TRAVIS: That hits. MATT: That is 12 points of lightning damage to you.

TRAVIS: Whoa, that was a big one. Shit, okay. MATT: As it shocks through you, and you fall to one knee for a moment. It’s going to shift into that pillar and vanish. You do get an attack of opportunity on it as it leaves your range. TRAVIS: Disadvantage, or regular? MATT: Regular. TRAVIS: 14. MATT: 14 does not hit. You go to strike, and unfortunately it just makes it into the pillar and you hit stone and sparks off of it. It does take one point of force damage from spending its turn inside the wall. Now it is the entity’s turn. It is going to attempt– we’ll see if its Howling Babble returns. It gets its Howling Babble back. TALIESIN: We’re all right here. MATT: Oh, man, I forgot that. I need all of you to roll a wisdom saving throw, please. TRAVIS: Does that affect his wisdom ability checks? The Hex? MATT: Nope. LIAM: Natural 20! MARISHA: Don’t fuck me, Gil. TRAVIS: 18. MARISHA: Ow, five.

SAM: 11. Is his regeneration an ability check? MATT: No, there’s no check for it. Beau, Nott– LAURA: Wait, don’t you have to make a wisdom saving throw against my Sanctuary? Because you did a harmful spell against me, right? MATT: Let me look at the– SAM: “Any creature who targets the warded creature with an attack must first make a wisdom saving throw. MATT: It’s not technically targeting the creature, you’re just in the radius of what’s happening. SAM: “The spell doesn’t protect the warded creature from area effects.” MATT: Unfortunately. What’d you roll? LAURA: I didn’t roll anything yet. MATT: Well, now you get to roll. LAURA: Ten. MATT: No. TALIESIN: 18. ASHLEY: I rolled a four.

MATT: No. ASHLEY: I was trying to see it as a positive thing. MATT: First off, all of you guys who failed your saving throw: Beau, Yasha, Jester, and Nott, you all suffer 14 points of psychic damage and you are stunned until the end of your next turn. TRAVIS: That thing is a bitch. MATT: Jester’s unconscious. TRAVIS: I’ve got one more with your name on it, sweet cheeks. ASHLEY: Three hit points, guys. I’ve got three hit points. MATT: It’s going to attempt to slip into the floor. TALIESIN: I get an attack of opportunity? MATT: You and Caleb both get an attack of opportunity, physically. ASHLEY: Do I? MATT: You’re stunned. ASHLEY: Fuck! MATT: As it begins to shift into the ground. TALIESIN: That hits; that’s 20. That’s five points of normal damage and five points of radiant damage. MATT: How do you want to do this? (cheering) TALIESIN: I want to swing and pin the heart to the ground and leave the blade there.

MATT: As it tries to shift downward, Molly, pulling back from the screams and strange howling babble emanating from its body, you swing wide, spinning the blade in the air, and jam down on top of its form. As you do, it disperses, like an explosion of wind from the center. You watch the cloth of its body suddenly scatter, like someone had blown a heavy wind into a stack of loose cloth that all eventually turns into ash and vanishes.

There, you see a dull blue glow where the sword is grinding against the stone, before that eventually dissipates into nothingness. MARISHA: Yeah, ghostslayer! TALIESIN: Last pot! ASHLEY: Good job, Molly. MATT: Beau, your stun wears off. MARISHA: That guy knew way too much about everything. MATT: Caleb. LIAM: Can I see that last pot from where I am? MATT: Make a perception check. LIAM: Okay, that is a 13. MATT: 13? Glancing about in the area, with torchlight from Yasha, you can see one visible pot that has not been shattered in that cage. LIAM: Okay, I will send a little Firebolt off and try to strike it. It’s at disadvantage, correct? Okay, that’s very bad. Also very bad. That’s a ten. MATT: A ten just barely misses. You attempt to strike through, and it smashes against the wrought iron gate on the outside and disperses against it. LIAM: Ja, I will walk toward it to get closer, as much as I can.

MATT: You can get right up to it if you want to. LIAM: I should have done that first, ja? MATT: That brings us to Jester and Molly. LAURA: I’m unconscious. TALIESIN: I’m going to run over to you and put a healing– LAURA: Don’t waste a healing potion on me! SAM: What else are we going to do? We can’t heal! MATT: You can’t say anything. You’re unconscious. TRAVIS: You hush your mouth. LAURA: I have healing packs in my bag! TALIESIN: I don’t care. I don’t know any of that. That’s a healing potion. LAURA: I have doughnuts. TALIESIN: I’m going to go looking for one in one second. Potion of healing, just a standard 2d4+2. So take six points of heal, you’re stabilized. LAURA: (gasping) Molly! TALIESIN: Back up, come on! LAURA: This is a bad day, you guys. Today is really hard. MATT: Jester’s now conscious. TALIESIN: I also, definitely lost my two swords now, so those are off. MARISHA: Lost them? TALIESIN: The swords are not glowing anymore. MATT: You stopped their effect? TALIESIN: I had to feed a healing potion.

I had two going, so I needed hands. MATT: That brings us to Jester’s turn, as you come to consciousness, since you guys are on the same initiative. TALIESIN: You can do something, if you like. Pot! Pot! LAURA: I guess I’ll walk over and try to take out the pot. MATT: That’s half your movement to get up, and then five, ten, 15, that’s as far as you get. LAURA: Can I try to throw something at it? MATT: What do you have to throw? LAURA: Yeah, I don’t think I have anything that will fit through that little hole– I could try picking up a rock on the ground and throwing it at it.

MATT: You can make an investigation check to try and find a rock on the ground. LAURA: I probably don’t see one. If I did, it would take a whole lot of time! MATT: Well, you took your action searching the ground. LAURA: Three! MATT: You do not find a rock. You spend the better part of six seconds going, “Wait! Ah, no it’s a piece of black cloth, shit!” No actual stone, unfortunately. Sorry, Jester. LAURA: No, it’s fine. MATT: Fjord, you’re up. TRAVIS: I’ll spin around and try and Eldritch Blast that last pot in the other cage. At disadvantage. That’s a 19! MATT: That hits! Go ahead and roll damage. LAURA: I just woke up, you guys! TRAVIS: That’s 11 points of damage! MATT: 11 points of damage, nice! With that, that pot shatters, and you see this flicker in the stone column behind as the energy of the wisp flares out from the side.

TRAVIS: Got him. LAURA: Good job. MATT: Nott, Yasha, you guys doing anything? ASHLEY: I’m still stunned? MATT: No, actually your stun has worn off. Nott, you doing anything? Oh! You’re stunned as well. Your stun now wears off. As you guys finish shaking off the energy, this cold energy begins to emerge from the far wall, through the bookcase. LAURA: Oh no! He’s back? Okay, we run away. MATT: The same entity comes through the bookcase, like it’s emerging from something behind. LAURA: Grab his heart and run. From the ground. TALIESIN: There was no heart on the ground MATT: As you struck it, the energy dispersed.

LAURA: Let’s run away. ASHLEY: What if we have to get it with the sword? LAURA: It’s a two-handed weapon. I can’t do it. MARISHA: Yasha can, though. TRAVIS: Why? You’re strong! You can do it. LAURA: I can’t use two-handed weapons. MATT: As you guys watch it push out of the wall, (gasping sound) making its way there. MARISHA: Wait! Maybe if we show it the sword, he’ll chill out. MATT: Caleb, make an intelligence check. You make a religion check with advantage, because you have undead. LIAM: Just a straight intelligence? MATT: Straight intelligence modifier. LIAM: 15. TALIESIN: 12. MATT: After reading through the notes and going through the book, you recall that a lot of the magic in here entails binding the soul to the remains of the physical form, as you’ve seen with all of the wisps. It is a similar return of the entity you just fought. LAURA: Oh, his body’s somewhere! MARISHA: Where’s that corkscrew thing? MATT: On its turn, it’s going to attempt– first, let’s see if it gets its Howling Babble back.

It does not; it’s a one. So it’s going to try Whispers of Madness again. I need only Yasha and Beau, actually. Everyone else is spread out. Yasha and Beau, I need you both to make a wisdom saving throw as the whispers now begin to emanate from its mouth. TALIESIN: It’s coming from the bookcase. MARISHA: That’s better, 16? MATT: You watched it emerge through the bookcase. 16? Okay, Yasha? ASHLEY: Seven. MATT: Seven, so Beau– MARISHA: Wait, we have the book that we found in the research center. MATT: Beau, you resist the whispers and close your eyes, and as you come up to try to make this point, next thing you see is Yasha looking at you and (swoosh) down with your sword. Make an attack against Beau. ASHLEY: Oh, shit. TALIESIN: Do I see this? MATT: You do. TALIESIN: I’m going to quickly cast before this goes– I don’t know. MATT: Well, no, you got it. TALIESIN: I’m going to cast one level– MATT: Your vision, as this happens, all of a sudden goes black.

You watch as this dark blood pools at the corners of Yasha’s face, as you go blind from his blood maledict. So roll with disadvantage on the attack. ASHLEY: Yeah! Disadvantage would mean it was–? MATT: Lowest one. ASHLEY: The lowest number, okay. I didn’t know if it– okay, three. Oh, sorry, five. Six! MATT: You see it just in time and bat it out of the way. It hits the stone next to you. You do suffer 11 points of psychic damage, however. ASHLEY: Okay, I’m unconscious? MATT: You watch as she swings at you, and the impact, as you parry it, Yasha goes down with the blade swing, onto the ground. SAM: Did you just kill her? TALIESIN: Nope. ASHLEY: I do have, hold on– I thought I had something.

MATT: There’s an ability you get at later levels that does something in this scenario. ASHLEY: It’s not now? MATT: Don’t think you have something for that right now. I could be wrong. ASHLEY: I’m unconscious. MATT: I’ll double check just to be safe. LIAM: The book said the soul is bound to the flesh be it in any form, ice or ash, but the ash in the pots was the will-o’-wisp. MARISHA: It says, “From ashes I shall rise again.” LAURA: Maybe there’s something behind the bookcase? SAM: Let’s go look! MATT: That ends the creature’s turn.

As that happens, it’s going to lift up and vanish into the ceiling. You watch it disappear out of place. It does take force damage for being in the wall. That’s actually a good roll, six force damage to it. You have the divine energy, path zealot, and your soul is marked for battle– the only ability you have now is the warrior of the gods. You don’t have the other one yet. ASHLEY: Right, okay. MATT: That finishes its turn. Beau, you’re up. You watch Yasha slam on the ground, unconscious next to you, the blade clattering to the ground and coming to rest.

The creature lifts up (wheezing) and vanishes into the stone above you. MARISHA: I can’t get a reaction from it, as it goes? MATT: It was not close enough to you, unfortunately. MARISHA: Fuck. I’m going to run over to this bookcase and put my staff behind it to see if I can knock it over. MATT: You get the staff on the fulcrum. Go ahead and make an athletics check to force it. TRAVIS: Come on! (singing) Get it, girl. Get it, get it, girl. MARISHA: Fuck! That keeps happening! Six. MATT: You try and (grunt) and it’s starting to rock, but it’s heavy.

You start pushing. You can’t quite get the bookcase to come over, unfortunately. That ends your turn? MARISHA: I guess so. MATT: That brings us to Caleb. LIAM: I am going to start moving towards the middle, towards Yasha. I don’t have any healer’s kit or anything. I don’t know how to do anything like that. ASHLEY: It’s okay. Get the bookcase. SAM: You’re going to die! LIAM: I’m going to hold my attack, a Fire Bolt. Can I do that? I am a wizard for the first time. Can I hold a Fire Bolt? MATT: You can hold it as an action. You’re casting the spell. Then whenever something triggers it, you release it. LIAM: Yeah, when it appears. LAURA: It’s immune to fire. LIAM: We don’t know that. MATT: It seemed to take damage, though lesser, when you hit it. LIAM: Resistant to fire. There’s nothing else I can do from where I am. LAURA: Can you catch fire to the bookcase? LIAM: I don’t want to burn the room around us.

MATT: Jester, Molly? LAURA: Should I try to heal Yasha, or move the bookcase? I’m the strong one. TALIESIN: Move the bookcase. LIAM: If I set it on fire, someone will still have to pull it anyway. It’s not like it’s going to disintegrate. LAURA: I can use my last spell. I have a 2nd-level spell. I’m going to, bonus action, use Healing Word at 2nd-level on Yasha to bring her back, and then I’m going to run over and try to crash the bookcase down.

MATT: You go ahead and expend your bonus action. Roll for that. 2d4 plus your Wisdom modifier. LAURA: Six plus four. Ten! MATT: You heal ten hit points. Yasha, you come to consciousness on the ground. Your weapon is about two feet from your grasp. The first thing you do, your eyes shoot open and then shoot to your weapon. Natural instinct to defend yourself. It’s easily within your grasp. You just have to get up to grab it. LAURA: Can I get all the way over to the bookcase? MATT: (counting) 30. You get right to the bookcase. LAURA: I try to yank it over. MATT: Make an athletics check. MARISHA: Can I give her some assistance? MATT: That would be your action to do so; you’ve already tried.

The DC is going down as you both are working on it. LAURA: 16. MATT: As you grab and reach around the side with Beau, you pull on the bookcase. (creaking) You step back quickly as it slams onto the ground. LAURA: Is there anything behind it? MATT: Right behind it there’s a small pocket where the stone seems to have crumbled a bit. It looks like a dark space on the inside. SAM: How small? MATT: It’s about that wide on the wall. SAM: What’s in there? LAURA: I bet its remains are in there! Kill it! MATT: All right, does that end your turn, Jester? LAURA: I don’t think I can do anything else. MATT: That’s all you’ve got. Molly? TALIESIN: I’m going to run over to it and start taking slices at it. I’m going to stab it with my sword. MATT: You have darkvision, so as both you and Jester glance inside, you can see there is a small five foot by five foot chamber inside, where there are a number of pots and small cases. It was a small burial chamber of some kind. There in the center, you see this large urn, about a foot and a half wide, squat, a dull gray color.

You have no color depth in this darkness, unfortunately, with your darkvision, but it’s this very squat, well-made vase or urn of some kind. TALIESIN: Mm-hmm. Two shots. MATT: You’re having to put your arm through and swing towards it, so disadvantage on each strike. TALIESIN: All right. First one is 13 to hit. MATT: 13 just barely hits, but it’s a hardy urn. We’ll see how much damage you deal. TALIESIN: That’s eight points of damage. MATT: Eight points of damage. You make impact, and you see a part of it crack from the blow, but it’s not enough to shatter it. TALIESIN: I’m taking another swing. MATT: As you pull it out and jam the other arm in to go for a straight strike with your scimitar. TALIESIN: That’s 17 to hit. MATT: 17 hits. Roll damage. TALIESIN: That’s five points of damage. MATT: As you reach through, you feel the urn break beneath the blow. There’s this moment of silence as you hear this (low gasp) dully filter out. The entity slowly shifts from the ceiling as you watch it disintegrate. Not vanishing like it did before, but slowly dissipating. Its form suddenly goes from extremely menacing to almost sad, as you watch it turn to nothingness.

LIAM: Poofs out into a doughnut as a Fire Bolt goes (fwoosh)! (laughter) MARISHA: Smoke grenade! That’s awesome! LIAM: I got it! MARISHA: Mushroom cloud, that was great. TRAVIS: Like Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters 2. TALIESIN: Is there any way to get in there? MATT: It looks like it’s holed up. The small hole looks like somebody tried to push through, or previously emerged and bricked what they could. You can’t fit through the hole, unfortunately. TALIESIN: I’m going to start trying to open it up. I want to go in there, look for things, and break every damn– LAURA: Wait! We should heal, you guys.

Should we take a short rest and heal up a little bit? TRAVIS: We should take a short rest. A breather, yeah. ASHLEY: Jester, thank you for healing me. I feel like I did not deserve that, but thank you very much. LAURA: Oh! You’re welcome. You deserved it so much! You did so good! SAM: Oh boy, I’ve already used most of my hit dice. That’s crazy. MATT: You guys take a short rest of about an hour or so, as you sit down and recover your breath, take a moment to center yourself, tend to your wounds.

SAM: After we’ve rested for a while, can I walk over to the little hole and peek in? I can’t fit through that little hole, can I? MATT: You’re pretty tiny. Make an acrobatics check. This is one of the benefits of being something so small. SAM: All right. Ten. MATT: Ten? You just manage to pull through. It wasn’t a hard– SAM: I’ll take off my stuff, give it to Caleb for safekeeping, and do you have any butter or anything? LAURA: Let’s see. Let me look in my possessions. I don’t think I have any butter. SAM: I don’t want to get wet. MARISHA: I’ve got a little bit of oil. SAM: Oh yeah! Oil! I’ll take some oil! TALIESIN: I use all my hit dice when I heal, because of Tough, right? There was something I got.

SAM: Matt, I’m asking Beau to slather me in oil. MATT: Grease the goblin action is what you’re taking. SAM: Get it in there! Work it in! Mm-hmm! MATT: No, not for Tough, it gives you additional hit points. There’s another feat that does that. TALIESIN: I feel like I got that, though. MATT: You got Tough for the additional hit points. TALIESIN: Was there something else that does that? MATT: Durable is the one feat that gives you +1 Constitution when you roll hit dice.

TALIESIN: I feel like there was a thing. I’ll have to keep reading. MARISHA: I’ll give you a little bit of a therapeutic temple rub while I’m at it. SAM: I’m going to Slip N’ Slide my way into the hole. MATT: You take a moment back, and run and dive in! The greased goblin squeezes through the small gap. It scrapes your shoulders and hurts a bit. You tumble in, which is great, because you land in the remains of the ash. You are covered in grease, which all sticks to you. (screaming) TRAVIS: The worst! It’s the worst! MATT: You got ashed and feathered? Tarred and– What do you call it? Oiled and ashed! SAM: It’s cool guys. It’s fun. TRAVIS: Suddenly I’m scared of falling on the beach. LIAM: I send in two globules after her to see the antiqued goblin.

MATT: It’s a small chamber. It’s five foot by five foot. Anyone else is going to be pretty down in there, but you fit in fairly comfortably. There’s the shattered urn and a few small pieces of pottery with intricate gold scrolling. They’re probably very nice pieces of art or decor. SAM: I’m going to check for traps. MATT: Go ahead and make an investigation check. SAM: One. TRAVIS: Natural? SAM: Uh-huh! MARISHA: What is that? 600? 700? ASHLEY: Six. MARISHA: Are you counting, Ash? ASHLEY: I am, but I might have lost count.

LIAM: It takes the edge off. ASHLEY: Yeah, it does. MARISHA: I’ve never seen so many people happy for a natural one. MATT: As best you can tell, the room seems safe. SAM: All right. You said there’s a few urns that are fancier than the others? MATT: There are two large ones, nowhere near as big as the central urn that’s been shattered, but there’s two in the corner and a few small boxes off to the side. SAM: What’s in the urns? MATT: You glance over the inside, and they are empty. They look to be pieces of art that may have meant something to the person who previously– SAM: Will they fit through the hole? MATT: You may have to dig the hole open a little bit. ASHLEY: I can dig it open a little bit. TRAVIS: Yeah, you can. ASHLEY and TRAVIS: (slamming) MATT: Given a little time, Yasha begins to peel the stones from the wall around it.

SAM: Those boxes, can I check in those? MATT: Yeah, which one? There’s one on each side. SAM: I’ll take the right one. MATT: Okay, so you take the right one. You lift the lid, and as you do, you pull it open and powder emerges into your face. Make a constitution saving throw. SAM: Constitution save? That would be a four. MATT: Four? Okay! You take nine points of poison damage, and you’re poisoned for the next hour. SAM: Oh god! MATT: This cloud enters your lungs and you begin coughing. It burns the inside of your throat.

LIAM: Hey Nott, how’s it going in there? SAM: Great! It’s fine! I’m going to cast Mage Hand and open the other one. MATT: There we go. (laughter) LIAM: It’s a five feet by five? MATT: It’s five by five. LIAM: You’re in a tiny– Why don’t you bring that thing out of there? SAM: No! I’ve got this! I’m fine! I’ll find the treasure! There’s nothing else in there? MATT: No, there’s nothing else. You look down into the box. There are sets of gold and silver rings and jewelry. It looks like whatever jewelry once may have been dressed upon the individual who was interred in that urn that was scattered. This is where their jewelry was placed. SAM: I’m going to take all of those things. MARISHA: Bring the art out, too. SAM: Sure, as soon as the hole gets bigger. I’ll open the other box with my Mage-y Hand-y! MATT: Okay. That box opens up, and there’s another splash of that same poisonous powder, but you’re off to the side. It only gets anyone who’s immediately in front of the box. SAM: I did it, guys! LIAM: I feel like Nott’s head comes out of the hole, going (rapid gasping) for fresh air.

SAM: What’s in that box? MATT: That box contains a folded raiment of some kind, like a ceremonial mantle made of dark black and gray cloth with red embroidered designs on it. SAM: Do I recognize any symbols or anything? MATT: Make an arcana check. SAM: Natural one. TRAVIS: Yay! That’s seven! MATT: You are knocking it out of the park for charity! MARISHA: They’re like, “We didn’t anticipate this.” SAM: Everyone, I found a piece of clothing, an article of (hacking cough) clothing! Here, I’ll pass it out to you. LAURA: Is it pretty? SAM: It’s very pretty. Some art pieces. Some objets d’art! MARISHA: Rich people love fancy art. LAURA: Can I look at the art? Do I know the artists? MATT: From the giant boxes, you mean? LAURA: I don’t know what’s going on. MATT: The art are two large, well-made vases, that you eventually pull through the space here.

LAURA: Well, that’s not as cool. MATT: You don’t recognize it. These were made a long time ago. LAURA: Ooh, they’re antique. ASHLEY: Could be worth a pretty penny. MARISHA: Yeah. TRAVIS: What about that cloak? LAURA: I put them in the bag. How about that? MATT: Okay. You have the folded mantle. TALIESIN: What does the mantle look like? MATT: The mantle is a dark black, a front chest mantle area, with gray stripes coming along the sides and this red embroidered design that emerges from around the neck, all across the front and back of the mantle. TALIESIN: Does it look familiar? MATT: No. TALIESIN: I was hoping. TRAVIS: Can I come up and see if it has any magic feel to it? MATT: I mean, you can make an arcana check to see if you recognize any elements of it. LIAM: I am stowing away the journal in there. TRAVIS: 17. MATT: You get a closer look, and you can see parts of the edges are burned.

The very bottom parts of it seem to have been committed to some sort of flame. The edges of it are singed a bit. The black collar causes it to be lost at a distant view, but close up, you can see where it’s been damaged. There’s a fold at the front of it, a small pocket right there. TRAVIS: Weird. Looks like it’s been burned a bit. It’s got a little compartment in the front. LIAM: Like a kangaroo pouch? TRAVIS: I don’t know. MATT: Kind of, it’s on the side. Because a mantle would go down to about there for someone wearing it. you put your hand in there, and it’s a heavy material. TRAVIS: You want to try it on? LIAM: I would prefer to inspect it. Are we going to stay here for a little while? MARISHA: While all of this is going on, Beau wants to be going through some of these books that were on the shelf that we knocked over.

MATT: The shelf is mostly empty. TRAVIS: There was that one book on the desk. LIAM: We could sit down on the floor together and have a look. TALIESIN: What else did you get out of there? MATT: You have the urns in the cages. You have the tables over there. You have the two braziers filled with ash on the sides. You have the broken cages back there. Everything that you see there is what’s in the chamber. MARISHA: I’m going to do a tour of the urns and see if there’s anything, jewelry or something, hidden in there. MATT: Make an investigation check. LIAM: Also, what I would recommend, if we feel comfortable sitting down for a moment, is to put all of our findings in the middle of the room, and I can ritually see which of these things are magic. Most of these things, we suspect, but maybe there are some other things. Then I can tell what exactly they are. I need some time. TALIESIN: That is a good idea. LIAM: Also, before Nott even got out, I’m stowing the journal away for a closer read. MATT: Okay. Totally fine. MARISHA: 21. MATT: 21, okay! You go through from cage to cage.

The urns are scattered ash. Nothing catches your eye from those two. The nooses you pull through and tug on, and the rope rots and breaks in your grasp. You go past the brazier on that side with the ashes, and you poke around with your staff, and something catches your staff underneath the ash. You prod in there, and as you push it aside, there’s an object in the ash that is partially burned. As you pull it free and dust it off, it’s another book. A large portion of the back of it is burned off, and most of the pages are destroyed on the back end, but a good half of the book is mostly still intact.

Like when it got thrown in there to be destroyed, the flame wasn’t quite strong enough to consume the entire book. MARISHA: Can I do a little flip through of it? MATT: Yeah. As you go through, it’s filled with strange script and scrolling. Make an arcana check. MARISHA: Can I use a ki point to get advantage? MATT: You can. MARISHA: I’ll mark that down really quick. I’ll take that 11 over that two. 13? MATT: 13. You don’t understand the nature of any of this, but it seems magical in nature. The script and elements of design remind you of the things you saw on the ceiling in the previous room. Though not exact, there are similarities to the way the script is drawn. TRAVIS: This is one of the ones in the cages, right? MATT: It was in the brazier, right there in the center. MARISHA: They tried to burn it. TRAVIS: Hey Yasha, you feel like knocking the shit out of some of those cages, opening them up? ASHLEY: I walk over and just start hitting.

MATT: You start bashing and shaking it. You bend and eventually tear through some of the cage and glance through. You guys, together, begin to inspect the other cages, and honestly, in there, what you find is ash. Most everything in this chamber has been destroyed. Intentionally, it seems. Either by the previous denizen, who lived here, that you destroyed, or somebody else that had been here in here before. The only things that you find are what was in that burial chamber in the back, and that mostly burned tome in your hand. MARISHA: I walk over to Caleb. Hey Caleb. Found this. LIAM: Oh. Would you like to add it to the pile? MARISHA: Sure. I think it’s got stuff for you in it. LIAM: I’m not really into smut. That’s a bit of a ruse. MARISHA: That’s unfortunate, actually. LIAM: I mean, more than normal.

MARISHA: Sure. LIAM: Within reason. TRAVIS: Can I walk to the entrance to the tunnel, just to keep an eye out, while he does his thing? MATT: Sure. Make a perception check. TALIESIN: Everything’s in the pile? Including the stuff in the second chest? TRAVIS: 13. SAM: What stuff in the second chest? Huh? What? Who? Huh? TALIESIN: The stuff in the second chest. LIAM: Well, she was in a dark hole. TALIESIN: I heard two traps go off. SAM: Of course, I was just about to get it out here.

It’s for the whole group. We’re a team now. Right? TRAVIS: That’s very considerate of you, Nott. TALIESIN: Anything you take on your own time is yours. We’re on the clock. SAM: Of course! I would never try to steal from the group. I just– LAURA: What is it? SAM: It’s a bunch of gold and jewels. LIAM: Hey, you know, this is going to take a while, so why don’t we put it all down, and I will get to work, okay? SAM: I’m poisoned.

(laughter) LIAM: How much you care to drink is on you. LAURA: I’ve got an herbalism kit. MATT: There’s like a purple froth at the corner of her mouth. It’s spitting out– LIAM: She’s antiqued too. She’s covered in ash. MARISHA: Covered in oil and ash. LAURA: Can I use my herbalism kit to get rid of the poison? MATT: Go ahead and make a medicine check. LIAM: (spitting) Pah. Pah! TALIESIN: We’re not stealthy, doing this. LAURA: That’s 21. MATT: Okay.

I’ll say yes. You reduce the duration of the poison from an hour to about ten minutes. In the time it takes for guys to finish up, most of the poison eventually begins to wear off. You still look at bit worse for wear. TALIESIN: Greener than normal. SAM: How much money did we get? MATT: No coins. It’s just jewelry. LAURA: Are there any rings? MATT: Yeah. There’s probably a good 12 or so rings in there. LAURA: Caleb! You should see if the rings are magic. LIAM: I am well on my way. I hope I have been doing this for a while. So step one is Detect Magic on the pile to see what’s what. MATT: Detect Magic on the pile.

LAURA: It also includes the sword and the vases. MATT: Correct. The only magical essence you get from that pile is the large sword that was taken off the wall. It’s not a magical aura from the book you just pulled from there, but even your quick glance at the way that it’s bound, and the construct of it, is familiar to you. LIAM: Does it also help that I’m also within the– Oh, no, we took a short rest, which is an hour– Okay. Good. The sword is the one thing? MATT: The sword is the one thing that’s giving off a magical aura. LIAM: Okay. Can I pick up this new book and leaf through it, and try to see– MATT: It is a partially damaged, but in some ways intact, spell book. LAURA: Can I try doing the Mending cantrip on it? Would that help? LIAM: Would you be ever so kind? I would be very grateful. LAURA: (singing) Le le le le le! MATT: Holding your symbol and concentrating on it, and whispering beneath your breath with a big smile, the pages begin to shift out and form into a full book.

The half section that’s burned is restored to its previous. (exclamations of surprise) MATT: However, the script isn’t there. It doesn’t restore any of the writing on the inside of the book, unfortunately. LAURA: That’s still cool. MATT: Where you get to the pages where it was burned, the ink ends at that edge. LIAM: I put my hand on top of yours. Thank you very much. MARISHA: You’ve got like, a section to take notes now. LAURA: Hey, that’s good! TALIESIN: Or fill in the blanks. LIAM: I begin the process of casting Identify on the sword. Oh, and the mantle. What about the mantle? Was that in the pile? MATT: The mantle is not magical. It looks like it was an ornamental– SAM: Burial shroud? MATT: More like a ceremonial shroud. On the inside of the pocket, there is a lot of dried blood on the inside of it. It looks like something was kept in there that, at one point, was very viscous and covered in crimson. MARISHA: Necromancers. LIAM: The original goth. MATT: Of the book that you find; these are the remnants of the interior of it, and this is the sword identified for you.

LIAM: Okay, this sword, because I know you’re all dying to know, is very old. It is a greatsword. Would I know the name of it by casting this? MATT: As part of the Identify spell you would know what it’s called. LIAM: This sword is called The Magician’s Judge. LAURA: Whoa. LIAM: Excuse me. (heavy accent) The Magicians Chudge. SAM: That’s his Zemnian accent. LAURA: What else does it– LIAM: Oh no, I’m absorbing, and I will tell you in a moment. I need to make sense of it first. LAURA: It’s a two-handed then because it’s a great– LIAM: It’s a great sword, and what this– TRAVIS: Not a good sword– MARISHA: But a great sword. LIAM: (as Jester) “It’s pretty great.” When someone like Yasha hits a baddie with this, you can dispel any magical property that is present. Yeah? Or without attacking, you can hold the sword up and do the same. TRAVIS: Oh shit. If they’re casting something, it breaks it? MATT: It’s not a Counterspell. It’s a Dispel Magic. You still have to roll to see if it happens, but essentially you– TRAVIS: If they had, like, a Hold Person up it could dispel it? LAURA: We could use it on not-people as well? Maybe on objects? SAM: Magical traps.

MATT: Anything within the realm of Dispel Magic. The spell itself. LIAM: Big woman. This has your name all over it. I think– ASHLEY: Let me try and see if– LIAM: Yeah, you’ll have to pick it up. I can’t even lift this thing. ASHLEY: Okay. LAURA: (laughter) That’s how you hold a greatsword? ASHLEY: Whoa! MATT: The hilt curves at the tip and comes up at an angle like this. Like a very subtle “V” shape. With the scrolling and runes on the edge. The blade itself is this wide, thick, gradually coming to a point, greatsword, about five feet long from hilt to edge of blade. It’s practically an anime sword. Looking at it, and based on what he discovered of the sword itself, it was used in the Age of Arcanum as an executioner’s blade, to kill mages that were caught by the law and went against the law of the land. It was used, and probably had been used, to execute a number of mages in the past. LAURA: Oh, it’s dark. Is it cursed? Does it feel cursed? ASHLEY: Hello? TRAVIS: (laughter) ASHLEY: I don’t think so.

MATT: Caleb, as you’re recalling the information from the Identify sword, you recall the notes that you picked from the book, when you entered the chamber, that spoke of a bounty hunter that had come for Siff. The trophy that was taken. MARISHA: Took his legs, yeah. SAM: With the sword? MARISHA: That’s why he had no feetsies. LAURA: So Siff didn’t have any feet! MARISHA: He actually didn’t have feet. He lost his legs. TALIESIN: He did have feet.

They were just somewhere else. MATT: You get the sense the sword that was in the wall was the trophy taken from that bounty hunter. LIAM: Yeah. I assumed that immediately before the thing attacked. Probably Siff’s legs are all over you right now. SAM: Oh. No. Ugh. Gross. LAURA: Do you think taking the sword off the wall was what made Siff be able to come back? LIAM: I don’t know, but it was worth it. LAURA: Hmm. MARISHA: Hmm. I don’t know. LAURA: At least we’re not dead, you guys! MARISHA: Yeah.

Yeah! SAM: We have some rings. LAURA: Oh! We can put them on now! They’re not magic. SAM: Well, I know we share everything, but I feel like the ladies of the group would enjoy them more. Maybe we just take them? The ladies of the group? TRAVIS: I don’t mind. TALIESIN: I’m taking a ring. How many are there? MATT: 12 rings. LIAM: Caleb is chewing on his finger and looking through the book. SAM: We all get one. I should get one for finding them. TALIESIN: That’s fair. SAM: I should get one for sharing them. That was a good deed. TALIESIN: That was not a good deed. That is literally baseline of what’s expected. LAURA: I should get an extra one for healing you for poison, so that’s two for me. SAM: Fjord gave up his. I’ll take his share. That’s four for me.

LAURA: I get Caleb’s because he’s not saying anything. That’s three for me. SAM: Beau, you’re naturally beautiful, so I’ll take yours– MARISHA: Give me a damn ring. SAM: Damn it. LAURA: How many is that? Seven, eight? TALIESIN: I’m taking an extra one for helping you remember that you’re supposed to share. LAURA: Yasha, that’s two rings left for you. TALIESIN: You can put it in your ear. LAURA: Or in your nose! SAM: Oh, I have a nose ring! I’m going to swap one out! Don’t look! LAURA: There has to be a hole in it for you to be able to do that.

SAM: Oh, fuck! I got snot and ash all over it. MATT: Yeah, you are a mess right now. MARISHA: Beau leans over Caleb’s shoulder. What are you reading? LIAM: I’m thinking of all the good things that I can do for our new collective. MARISHA: Yeah, that’s cool. Who’s the publisher? Is that first print? First edition? LIAM: It is the Random Old House. First edition. Let me tell you, this was a good find, everyone! MARISHA: I recognize a few of those symbols. LIAM: Yeah? What do they mean? MARISHA: You know, magic shit. LIAM: You are correct. TRAVIS: He’s redacting his own card! LAURA: What is he writing? SAM: Oh, by the way, sidenote everyone, out of game, Laura has been taking our inventory and keeping it. Lost the page with all of the– LAURA: No! I didn’t lose the page. I lost the whole spiral! SAM: We have no idea what we have as a party anymore.

TRAVIS: The idiot goliath kept it for five years. LAURA: Yes, well, things moved for some reason. LIAM: Terrible roleplay. TRAVIS: Are you sure it’s not on the table? LAURA: Does anybody see a little– SAM: You’re looking for it now? LAURA: Yeah, because I need it! MATT: While she’s looking for that, what are you guys doing? TRAVIS: Anything else in the hallway moving? MATT: You don’t see anything else moving, no. MARISHA: The Gentleman just wanted us to kill shit, right? TRAVIS: Yeah, just to clear it out. MARISHA: He wanted us to– Did you find it? MATT: She found it. MARISHA: Did he want us to bring back something? Or just clear it out? SAM: There was something. MATT: He said clear it out– LAURA: Get evidence of something. SAM: Evidence of magic? MATT: Pretty much find out the nature of the place, clear it out, bring back what you find, and he may let you keep some of the spoils.

LAURA: He may let us keep some of the spoils? MARISHA: I thought he said he wanted us to bring the expensive good shit, but we can keep whatever else. MATT: Essentially. LIAM: You know, we could give him some of those rings. MARISHA: Maybe some of the art? LIAM: Ja, definitely the art. SAM: The art, yeah. The vases. LAURA: I bet they’re worth a lot of money, though. Rich people love old things. MARISHA: They love old things! If we say it belonged to a dead person, they love it even more.

TRAVIS: Plus, if you give them all the rings, they might give us a job with more fancy stuff next time. SAM: Is it just rings, Matt, or were there other things in there? MATT: There were rings, a couple of loose bracelets. It was basically a collection of ornamental jewelry. LIAM: If we skimp, he’s going to think we’re bigger assholes than we actually are. TALIESIN: Let’s keep it all together then, for now. Except for the books. MARISHA: We’ll each take a ring. LAURA: One ring. MARISHA: We’ll each take one ring. LAURA: Mine rules them all, though. TALIESIN: Got to do business. LIAM: You take my ring. SAM: No, you don’t have to– All right. LAURA: I already took his ring, so technically– Here. SAM: You can have Fjord’s ring. Fjord doesn’t want one, right? LIAM: Give her a ring. LAURA: (singing) I have two rings now still. MARISHA: Maybe we can give him that research notebook we found. You keep the spellbook, we give him the research notebook. We already know what was in it. LIAM: I gave it a cursory glance. I skimmed it. SAM: Well, if you read it on the way back, you’ll remember it forever.

LIAM: That’s a good point. LAURA: What about the sword? MARISHA: I say we keep the sword. LIAM: No, we keep that sword. This one with that sword? ASHLEY: I like it. You know, we can– I don’t know. LAURA: I mean, he probably can’t even hold a greatsword. TRAVIS: It’s pretty obvious you’re going to have to hide it if we walk back in there. LIAM: We can put it in the Haversack, can’t we? ASHLEY: Do you see it? LAURA: It’s a little big for the Haversack. LIAM: I thought that thing was Mary Poppins’ satchel. It doesn’t go all funny? LAURA: Not quite so much. It’s only eight cubic feet. LIAM: While we talk to The Gentleman, while we navigate that, I could carry the thingy to make room for it. ASHLEY: Do we all have to go inside to talk to him? TRAVIS: No, I don’t think we do. MARISHA: Do we have to go back out through the river to get out of here? TRAVIS: Yeah.

We didn’t see any other exits, right? MATT: No, the only way out that you know of is the same way you came in. TRAVIS: Which is weird because it was all caved in. MARISHA: Which means we’re going to have to pass right back through The Gentleman’s place. It’s not like we’re going to be able to lie. TRAVIS: Can you mend the transportation circle? LAURA: I don’t think it works quite like that. It has to be a broken thing. LIAM: Yes, and this sort of thing takes a lot of work from very specialized people. MARISHA: I wonder where it goes. SAM: You could mend the big urn that held the ashes of the lich-y thing. Then we can take that urn back and give it to– LAURA: As long as there were no ashes in it.

SAM: They’re all on me. MATT: I will say, unfortunately, the urn that was destroyed that contained Siff’s remains is a bit large for the Mend spell. You can only mend a foot-by-foot space. The urn was a big old thing. LIAM: Clarification: When Caleb did Detect Magic, did the circle in the center of the room glow at all? Or is it– It’s dead. MATT: Nope. You see it’s been scarred intentionally from the inside.

Possibly, whatever flurry of intent that Siff had to burn the book, destroy everything, burn everything from the inside also, was to destroy the circle and allow nothing else to come through. You get the sense that the final moments in this chamber were probably very paranoid. MARISHA: What do we remember about the Crawling King? Do you know anything? MATT: That would be a religion check. LIAM: I will make a religion check. TRAVIS: I will make one too, but I’m not going to count it. TALIESIN: Advantage, or no? MATT: For you? No. LIAM: 15 for Caleb.

TALIESIN: No. That’s a one. LAURA: Oh, it wasn’t an herbalism kit. I’m stupid. It wasn’t an herbalism kit that could heal the poison. It was medicinal herbs. That’s what I had in my inventory that I remembered. MATT: Oh. You rolled pretty well, same difference. We’ll say it would have lasted a little longer, but you still managed to outlast the poison. There was no threat at that moment. What’d you roll? LIAM: 15. MATT: 15 religion? Anybody else? No? TRAVIS: I rolled it, but– MATT: What did you roll? TRAVIS: A 20. MARISHA: Did you say you rolled a one? TALIESIN: A one. MARISHA: You rolled a one, another one! MATT: There you go. The Crawling King is known as– What you can recall with a 20, strangely, and the information comes to you esoterically. You’re not entirely certain where the inspiration for this knowledge comes from, but you have these images of one of the betrayer gods in history. You’ve heard stories or something that inspires you to remember something inhuman and larva-like: a monstrous, terrible worm crawling through the deepest tunnels of the world.

Now locked away, Post-Calamity, with all the rest of the betrayer gods. LIAM: Why do you have such a queer look on your face? TRAVIS: I feel like I remember something about a real larva-looking worm. Huge fucking thing. MATT and TRAVIS: Screaming human face at the front. LIAM: For the Crawling King, you are talking about? LAURA: I definitely start drawing that in my notebook. TRAVIS: Yeah. Locked away after the Calamity, but real nasty. LIAM: Do you have a lot of knowledge for the gods and religions of the world? TRAVIS: Not really, it’s more like I remember from a dream or something. Kind of hard to remember if it happened to me or not. LIAM: The awe-inspiring one with the face is from a dream you had? SAM: Was it the salt-water dream? TRAVIS: No. I don’t think so. Could be. SAM: You need to work on vivid dreams. You can control yourself– Lucid dreaming, yeah.

TRAVIS: How do you do that? SAM: I don’t know. I think it’s crystals or something? LAURA: You can keep a dream journal. That’s a good way to do it. SAM: When you wake up, you just write. LAURA: Write it down immediately what you remember. It really helps. LIAM: I would like to do an insight check on Fjord while he tells us that story. Pretty good, 20. MATT: Best you can tell, he’s telling the truth. TRAVIS: As per usual. LIAM: Whack! MARISHA: Well, I think this information about the teleportation-y circle situation could be useful leverage if he wants to try and take that sword off of your back. ASHLEY: I feel like rich people like candlesticks, so I could take the candlesticks with us. TRAVIS: Yeah, what are they made of? Can we tell what kind of metal those candlesticks are made of? LIAM: Well, Nott and I could tell you.

MATT: They look like they’re made out of nice metal. They’re not made out platinum or anything, but they’re fine candle lamps. Could be a silver-like material. ASHLEY: They’re antique, you know, for decoration? TRAVIS: Fuck yeah, man. Melt that down. ASHLEY: They’ll probably want those instead of the sword. MATT: Make an intelligence check. MARISHA: I say we keep this teleportation a secret, unless he tries to start bargaining for shit. TRAVIS: Natural one. MATT: Another natural one. You have a hard time telling what kind of metal this is. LAURA: Are we going to tell him about the sword? MARISHA: Not unless he asks. TRAVIS: Pretty sure it’s aluminum. LAURA: Only if he notices the sword. LIAM: You know, I think we give him the things of monetary value. We are thinking long-term for this group, working together. This book and that blade are going to ensure a greater success and cohesion in the future.

MARISHA: That’s what we’re saying. LIAM: Then we are as one. LAURA: I can try to fit it in the bag. SAM: What if it rips? I don’t think it’s a good idea. LAURA: If it pierces, it’s bad. LIAM: Can we try to do it but go with the hilt downward? See what happens? SAM: Why don’t we try to camouflage it? We could wrap it in reeds. LAURA: Rub some of the ash on it! ASHLEY: What if I have you on my shoulders? Like a kid? SAM: Sure, yeah, of course. That’s normally how I like to travel.

ASHLEY: We put– behind us. LAURA: Like it can be up your butt! SAM: How would that work? In front of me? ASHLEY: It’s connected to– That’s not going to work. SAM: No, I like this. I could drape myself over it. LIAM: What all is in that haversack that you have? LAURA: I have some crossbow bolts, and this crowbar, and the sledgehammer– LIAM: Can we take out everything except for– LAURA: I have this longsword. I have these old vases that we’re going to give him. I have this old dodecahedron, and I open up the lead box.

This is really taking up a lot of space. LIAM: Caleb starts looking at the do– LAURA: I start shoving it all back in. TRAVIS: I forgot we got that. MARISHA: How did you forget we got that? SAM: Oh wait, where’s our dynamite? Didn’t we have dynamite? I mean, boom sticks? LAURA: We have boom sticks? SAM: Yeah, don’t we have two boom sticks? MATT: You have two you never used from the fight. SAM: Who has them? MARISHA: I have one, I think? SAM: Don’t we have drugs?! MARISHA: We have mushrooms! LIAM: (shouting) Jester! LAURA: I’m listening! What? LIAM: I know you are, but I am cutting through the noise.

Can we not take everything out of that bag except for this new blade and the dodecahedron? Everything else comes out, because the rest is pretty utility, is it not? MARISHA: Well it’s eight cubic square feet. LAURA: It might work, we can try to fit it. LIAM: Yeah, we can tie a rag around the end of the blade to keep it from piercing anything. LAURA: Yeah, does it have a scabbard? MATT: No, it does not. It was ornamentally placed on the wall. LAURA: We should probably get one of those made. SAM: I don’t know about this.

LIAM: I pull off the new cloak that I got a handful of days ago. We can wrap this around the blade so it will not pierce. TALIESIN: Tie it up and bundle it. LIAM: Of course that will work. LAURA: It works. It doesn’t get pierced from the inside. It can only be pierced from the outside, right? MARISHA: Yeah, it’s magical! MATT: Are you trying to place the blade inside? LAURA: Yeah. MATT: You place it into there. It gets to the hilt, and it won’t go all the way in. LAURA: It’s too big! MATT: You have too much stuff in it. LAURA: What if I take the sledgehammer out? I’ll take the sledgehammer out. LIAM: The sledgehammer we leave. It’s a sledgehammer. LAURA: Will it fit once I take the sledgehammer out? LIAM: Everything but the dodecahedron.

MATT: The unfortunate thing is, it’s a very long blade in comparison to other points. The space itself is somewhat amorphous, but you consider it still a central space. LIAM: What if roll the sword up like a Fruit Roll-up? LAURA: I don’t think the sword is going to fucking fit. Here. MARISHA: I still like Yasha’s idea. SAM: Let’s try Yasha’s idea. MARISHA: Just slip it up your back robe. ASHLEY: I can slip it up my back and then you can be on my shoulders like you’re tired or something? LIAM: Wear my cloak if you want to cover it.

ASHLEY: Nott can put her legs out. TRAVIS: We should probably get back. We’ve been here awhile. LAURA: He probably thinks we’re dead, you guys. TRAVIS: Well, we almost were. MARISHA: All right, let’s go. TRAVIS: We head out. LIAM: I hang out at the back of the group for a split second, and hold out that wire that I used to cast that cantrip and look at the room and I look at the wire. Then I follow everybody. MATT: Okay. You guys make your way back up through the chamber where you had the encounter with the gelatinous cube and solved the riddle of the hidden interior of this research facility. You make your way through the no longer trapped chambers, still tenuously held on the various pressure plates. LAURA: Oh man, we should have tried to go through that teleportation circle. LIAM: It was broken. LAURA: Yeah, we should have tried harder. MARISHA: They worship some weird shit. Who knows what dark corners of the world it goes to. TALIESIN: I wonder if you’ll come out in one of the Nine Hells but only a third of you.

LIAM: What we would have done is face-planted on the stone floor. MARISHA: We’re going to start with just trying to give him the rings and the art, right? Rings, art, shit– Keep everything else. LAURA and MARISHA: And the candlesticks. SAM: I think the god of gods wants to say something. MATT: As you guys are having this conversation, you continue up the spiral staircase, coming to where the wall had been blown down and then cleared out for you guys to enter. There, as you hear the familiar sound of rushing water, you climb out back into the much cooler air flow that’s blowing through the subterranean tunnel. There, your two boats are still affixed, pulled up onto the edge of the river. LIAM: Can I say that as soon as I left this chamber I tagged along behind my new monk best friend and sent the globules in the air around us even though she has the goggles, and I’m, while walking, trying to read every page of that journal.

And will continue to do so on the boats. LAURA: Thank you for saving me, Molly. TALIESIN: You’re welcome. LAURA: Thank you for saving me, Fjord. TRAVIS: No problem. MATT: So who’s taking which boat? ASHLEY: I would like to get in a boat with Caleb. MATT: Yasha and Caleb on one side. SAM: And me. ASHLEY: And Nott. MATT: The rest in the other? LAURA: I have to go in the other boat. SAM: You’re the motor. MATT: Are you guys going up back where you came? SAM: Does the river keep going? MATT: The river continues going, yeah.

It forked ahead where you were. TRAVIS: Current goes away from the direction we came from? MATT: Correct, but it’s not a strong current. It’s a lazy-going current, but you could row up. It’s a little harder to do. TRAVIS: We could see what’s down the river a bit. LIAM: If we want to go back, our two muscle sisters could get us up this current for sure.

MATT: You could. It would be tiring. TRAVIS: We’re already out this far. Might as well see where it goes for a little bit. SAM: It could be scary. There could be more rock monsters and things. TALIESIN: There are literally going to be rock monsters if we go back the other way. LIAM: Yeah, if we are doing that, then I suggest camping in this chamber before going forward, because we are all bloodied and battered, you know.

TRAVIS: Sure. We could do that. LAURA: It has been a really long day so far. SAM: What time is it? MATT: Make a survival check, Nott. LIAM: I would know what time of day it is. MATT: You would because of your feat. SAM: And so would I because I rolled an 18! MATT: The two of you know that in the time you spent traveling down here in the subterranean area, resting and going through these battles– and you left midday. It’s when you had arrived to begin your journey here. It’s getting pretty close to dusk. Not quite yet. The sun hasn’t set. SAM: We could go a little ways, and then come back if we don’t find anything. LIAM: I don’t think we should go. We either go back the way we came, or we camp before going forward. MARISHA: We could do a scout boat. LAURA: Or we go check out what’s farther along. MARISHA: Maybe one boat stays behind, the other scouts it out? LIAM: I’m going to stay behind. I am out. LAURA and MARISHA: Separate the party! TALIESIN and TRAVIS: I’ll go forward.

MARISHA: I’ll check it out. LIAM: Terrible idea. MARISHA: It’s our boat? Our boat scouts. LAURA: Just a little bit. TALIESIN: Not far. MARISHA: I use my staff to help navigate, Jester– TALIESIN and SAM: This is a terrible idea. MATT: Yasha, Nott, and Caleb are staying behind. ASHLEY: I’ll watch over these guys. MATT: You keep watch. The four of you guys– SAM: I’ll watch over these guys. ASHLEY: Okay, Nott. MATT: The rest of you get into one of the boats, push off, catch up onto the current, and begin to lazily drift further down the cavern. LAURA: I feel like this is stupid. SAM: Bye, guys. LAURA: See you never. TRAVIS: We’ll be back. We’re just taking a little look. TALIESIN: We’re only going an hour down, tops. MARISHA: I light a torch. MATT: The light picks up and spells out the interior of this chamber. TRAVIS: Keep an eye on the roof, remember? LAURA: If the current starts to pick up, we’re going to fight it and try to go back, yes? LIAM: As they float away out of earshot, I say to my two friends here: you know, if need be, The Mighty Drei also sounds very cool.

TALIESIN: Are we taking a cat? LAURA: Yeah! Oh, I don’t think it works that far away from him. LIAM: No, Frumpkin is scarfing around my neck right now. MATT: You guys travel for about ten or 15 minutes down before another cavern merges with the one you’re in. It looks like another side of the river seems to merge with yours.

LAURA: Oh, that’s where the fork was. It comes back together. MARISHA: We’re back to the fork. MATT: Well, you’re back where the fork seems to re-merge with the path you’ve been taking. As you turn back onto where that happens, what do you do? MARISHA: We’re going down that other path, right? LAURA: Yeah, keep going straight ahead. MATT: Are you guys continuing to go downriver or are you going– LAURA: We’re turning back and going the other way? TRAVIS: We could check out the other cavern and save the deeper part of the river for when we’re together. TALIESIN: That’s fair. Let’s just– TRAVIS: Yeah, we’re fighting up. MATT: Jester turns it around and begins going against the current and pulling you guys up– TRAVIS: I get behind Jester and start massaging her traps. MATT: There you go. Switchback towards the other avenue of the fork, and you guys continue up there. It takes a little while longer, and it’s a little tiring.

For the heck of it, make a constitution check, please. LAURA: Constitution check? That’s pretty good. 16. MATT: No sweat. You’re making it up the river without an issue. Your muscles are holding. It’s fine. You are a beast. SAM: You have some sweat right here. MATT: Eventually, the sound of rushing water gets louder and louder. You glance up in the direction where you’re coming from, and there’s a fine mist in the air, a spray.

LAURA: Oh no, there’s a waterfall. MATT: It looks like there is a waterfall that you guys are at the bottom of. It’s about a 15-foot drop from above to the bottom of where you are. You’d have to climb to get to the top, and you have no idea how to get a boat up there. You get the sense that if you had gone the other way down here, you would’ve suddenly had a waterfall drop. TRAVIS: Is there land off to the sides of the bottom of the waterfall? MATT: Very thin, a half a foot to a foot, but there are a lot of stones and rocks that have tumbled through the river over time and set at the bottom that would’ve destroyed a boat that had fallen off the edge of that waterfall.

TALIESIN: Good to know. LAURA: Does it seem like there are any boats that are broken at the bottom of it? MATT: You can make an investigation check as you’re rowing up to the edge, glancing over the side. LAURA: Is there anywhere to stop the boat? MATT: This would be more of a perception check because you can’t really investigate. You’re not poring through it. TALIESIN: I’ll join this. MATT: There’s no place to pull the boat off to the side. TALIESIN: Is there a place to tie it off? MATT: There are only really the stones here, and they’re pretty slick.

LAURA: I only rolled a ten. MATT: You don’t see any remnants of broken ship or boat. TALIESIN: Perception. That would have been ten, again. MATT: Yeah, it’s hard to tell in this vicinity. You do see the water crashing down a little, so there are a couple of small platforms on the way that it’s hitting and splashing off again. The spray is causing all this– LAURA: Is the waterfall really hardcore? Could we see if there’s anything behind the waterfall? MATT: Well, at the moment, no.

From what you can see in the vicinity, you see the water rushing down. MARISHA: Can I get a little bit closer? I can poke. LIAM: Find Clarota again. LAURA: I try to get closer so that she can poke through the waterfall. MARISHA: I’m going to take my staff and jab it behind there, see if there’s anything. MATT: On one end, it hits rock. Does not. (gasping) MATT: There’s a little space behind the water. LAURA: Should we go? MARISHA: There’s always shit behind waterfalls. I think we should. LAURA: Do you think it’s going to bludgeon us? TALIESIN: I’m already taking off my jacket. I’m taking off everything that I don’t want to get wet, keeping just one sword, and I’m going to go for it. LIAM: Nipple rings in or out? TALIESIN: Weirdly, there are no nipple rings. Those things are dangerous. They catch on shit. LIAM: Insight check. MATT: They’re not there. TALIESIN: 16. MATT: Molly jumps off the boat. LAURA: Oh, you’re going? You’re jumping now? TALIESIN: I’m going in. LAURA: You’re not going to try to get the boat through? TRAVIS: I’m not letting him go by himself.

I do the same thing. LAURA: I try to get the boat through. MATT: You row the boat. You pull through the waterfall and the boat (cracks). The opening is not wide enough for the boat, and it jams up into the space and gets lodged, and the waterfall is on you guys and in the boat. It’s filling up the boat. LAURA: I save the boat! Okay, I try to push off and not sink the boat. MATT: Make a strength check. MARISHA: Can I help her push off? MATT: Yeah, so you have advantage because she’s aiding you with this. LAURA: Jeez. Oh, much better. MATT: What did you roll? LAURA: 21. MATT: 21. Yeah, that’ll do it. You push away from the waterfall. Actually, I’m going to pull up some audio for this because I have it. LAURA: I really want to go see what’s behind the waterfall, but I don’t want to lose the boat. TALIESIN: I’m crawling up into it, man. LAURA: We’ll lose the boat if I jump out of the boat. MARISHA: Will it go anywhere, though? This is the end of it.

It’s stuck in the chamber? TALIESIN: No, because it’s going to have a flow, because the water is coming down. We have to tie it off on something. LAURA: Is there anything to tie the boat on? MATT: There is nothing here, unfortunately. It’s slick rocks. LAURA: Do you see anything on the other side? TALIESIN: I’ll let you know when I get there. MATT: He’s swimming, making his way through at the moment. TALIESIN: Yeah. Where is it? I’m so excited. I want to hear your white noise. SAM: In cold water? LAURA: It’ll be like a cold peppermint drink. It’ll be good. SAM: I don’t think it works like that.

LAURA: It does because I’ve been doing it at home. MATT: You make your way through– ASHLEY: Much better. MATT: There you go. Keep it thematic. You come up from underneath and you can see, as soon as you come up and reach out your feet and your hands, both of you guys begin to catch soft river floor, and eventually it comes up to a plateau, and this is a small, enclosed chamber in the inside. TALIESIN: (laughter) I’ve always wanted to do this. TRAVIS: Darkvision. Do I see anything? MATT: It only goes back about ten or so feet. SAM: (Clarota voice) Welcome to my home. MATT: (Clarota voice) It’s been a while. LIAM: (Clarota voice) Time is a circle. MATT: He’s folding beer cans into little shapes. What’s an alhoon to do? Anyway, you guys come out of the water and quickly glance, as your hair’s drenched on the sides of your face– except for you. It’s short enough hair. On the inside, it’s fairly empty, except for a skeleton. A humanoid skeleton against a back wall that is laying there.

It has manacles or chains attached to its wrists, neck, and feet, and they’re all connected by a singular chain in the center, and it’s resting there, and it’s probably been here for a while. TRAVIS: That’s bad luck. TALIESIN: We seem to keep finding these. I am going to examine this thing. MATT: Make an investigation check. TALIESIN: Seven. MATT: I mean, the body’s pretty rotted. It looks like whatever clothing they’re wearing is very basic material that is– It would be more disintegrated if there wasn’t so much moisture in the area, and it looks like bits of it have been eaten away with fungus and mold over time. The manacles are very well made, and looking at the edges where they connect, there’s a small rune at that point. TRAVIS: No scratches in the walls or any pouches or compartments on the floor around this little space? MATT: Make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: Natural 19. MATT: Glancing around the interior of the chamber, unfortunately, there are no secret compartments or any alcoves. It looks like whoever was in here may have been an individual who escaped from a boat that was unprepared for the fall, and whoever was rowing them down this chamber either didn’t survive or didn’t know about this hidden alcove, and this individual was in here until they passed away. TRAVIS: What do those manacles look like? TALIESIN: Magic. TRAVIS: Oh, we could use those. I’ll walk over and I step on the elbow joint and snap it. MATT: As you do, the whole skeleton implodes entirely, and the manacles slip off as the different joints pull apart and alleviate the manacles. Now you’re holding the center chain, so you have the neck ring, the wrist and the ankle rings all dangling from this cluster of chain you’re holding. TALIESIN: I will pick up the skull and take a look at it. It is human? MATT: It appears to be human. Make a medicine check. TALIESIN: All these checks. Where’s my medicine? There. 12. MATT: Looking at the features of the skull, they’re a little bit more delicate than an average human’s skull.

You get the sense they may be of partial elven blood. Not full elf, but partial elf. SAM: Never go full elf. TALIESIN: Very true. Well, on your way, Yorick. I set it adrift. TRAVIS: Yep, put the manacles over and I’ll jump back in. TALIESIN: I’m going to also keep my eyes open. I’m going to try to get a little bit down into this to see if there’s any bits and pieces underwater. TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. MATT: Make an investigation check when you came back in the water. TALIESIN: Do a little pat down. TRAVIS: Can I aid him or help him do something? MATT: Sure. You guys both go down there. You roll twice, with advantage, then. The help action allows you to– TALIESIN: 18. MATT: Looking down below there, you do see at the bottom, mostly covered in masses of soft dirt and silt, pieces of broken ship, and amongst the jagged rocks, it looks like more than one. A few ships have met their end at the base of this waterfall, definitely. Beyond that, you don’t notice anything of use.

You do find a rusted shortsword and a couple of broken pieces of boxes, but anything that was left at the bottom of the waterfall seems like would have been recovered. Anything of worth someone must have come back for and sifted through because everything down there is rotted wood and things that weren’t useful. TALIESIN: All right. I’m going to kick my way back up to the boat. MATT: Okay. You guys break the surface and climb back into the boat. MARISHA: Ugh. Gross, Molly. LAURA: Did you find anything? TALIESIN: A lot of bad decisions. Several boats. MATT: As Fjord (impact) over the side and you see the chains on the inside. TALIESIN: Someone who didn’t quite get away. TRAVIS: Jester, give me a hand? LAURA: (Breathy) Okay. SAM: (Singing) Oskar! TALIESIN: I think I should find that gross, but I’m kind of into it? MARISHA: You know, people are going to start– LAURA: I lift him up by his armpits. (laughter) SAM: Spin him around once? LIAM: (Jester voice) You are like my little doll. TALIESIN: We did find one interesting thing: a place to stash things if we don’t want them to be found.

LAURA: Oh that’s– ooh. MARISHA: How easy is it to get back down here, though? LIAM: Real difficult. TALIESIN: Well. If we come out the other way, then we know how to get back down here. SAM: (as pigeon) Coo! We’re never coming back here, coo! (laughter) LAURA: It’s a good place to hide though, too. TALIESIN: Good to know. LAURA: Fjord, even wet you’re, like, 150? (laughter) TRAVIS: I am 185 easy, okay? TALIESIN: Wet. LAURA: Right. MARISHA: He is very wet. LAURA: Fjord. 150? No? SAM: It was good. TALIESIN: Somewhere in the world right now, someone’s laughing. SAM: I think if you beg for it, it makes it even better. LAURA: It’s even better, right? MARISHA: Explain that joke. Explain it. MATT: What’re you guys doing? TRAVIS: I think we’re good to go back and join the others, yeah. TALIESIN: That was fun. MATT: You guys make your way back, fighting the current.

Go ahead and make another constitution check. LAURA: Oh shit. I’m getting real tired, you guys– Oh, I’m not. I’m not getting tired at all, actually. 17. MATT: Jester’s powering through, no issue. You guys make it back. You join the rest of the crew. You see a mildly damp Mollymauk. Actually the whole crew is damp at this point from being under the waterfall. LIAM: How long were they gone for? MATT: At this point in time with the searching it would probably be close to an hour or so. LIAM: I could probably read an average novel in over an hour, so has this journal been read? MATT: For what you can, yeah. You’ve read everything in the journal you can make sense of. SAM: While they were gone– MATT: Well do you have another spell slot for Tongues? Well, for Comprehend Languages.

Not Tongues. LIAM: Oh because it’s in a different language. Oh, yeah. MARISHA: The research journal? The research one? LIAM: No, because I used my magic thingy to get a slot back earlier in the day, so no. SAM: (as Jester) Technically can’t you remember everything? You just don’t understand it? LIAM: No, I remember what I skimmed, but I don’t– MARISHA: What was it written in? MATT: Draconic. SAM: You have a photographic memory, don’t you? LIAM: Of what I skimmed. I have to actually read it to remember it, and I did not read this entire book. MATT: Yeah, you can’t cast a spell and then remember the language. He has to actually– LIAM: I don’t touch the book to my head and then I have it.

I have to eat the book. MATT: Yeah. Just piece by piece. All right. Now that you’ve re-joined with your compatriots– LAURA: Do we want to long rest or go back? LIAM and TALIESIN: Long rest. LAURA: Let’s camp. MATT: All right. You guys take the boats back onto the side. Where are you resting, here on the side of the river? LIAM: Oh! What I would have done if they left and I’m tapped, Caleb would have used a ritual to cast Comprehend Languages. MATT: It’s a ritual spell? LIAM: Yeah. MATT: All righty, you’re fine.

LIAM: I am up to speed. MATT: Then you’re good. All righty. TRAVIS: We should actually go back inside and use the entrance as a good funnel. Don’t leave ourselves in the open. MARISHA: Caleb, if you’re done with that book do you think I could hold on to it? LIAM: Do you want to read it? MARISHA: Yeah, I’d love to. Thank you. MATT: You guys pull the boats up on the side, head back inside. Where are you going to set up camp on the inside of the chamber? SAM: How about in the place where we disarmed all the traps? We know that that’s safe. TALIESIN: That’s a bit deep in there. TRAVIS: Yeah, it is. SAM: Well we can’t camp in the staircase. LAURA: Just inside of the rock collapse? SAM: That is a staircase. LAURA: It is? Immediately? SAM: Yes, immediately. LIAM: You are a reader? LAURA: Then yeah, at the bottom. TRAVIS: Yeah, the top– or the bottom. The bottom? TALIESIN: I think at the top, personally. TRAVIS: Yeah, because the bottom one with the things, the traps blockers– LAURA: Right before the staircase, right inside.

MATT: You can do that. You guys set up a small camp area, take whatever bedrolls and materials that you have to do the best you can to set up a space to sleep. You find enough of a division in the floor to at least get to a resting point and you guys begin your evening’s long rest. Could I have everybody at the table except for Fjord please leave and go take your break a little early? MARISHA: (singing) More bad dreams! LAURA: (singing) Because he was in the water before! SAM: (singing) Every time he touches the water he has backstory! TRAVIS: You don’t know that! LIAM: Fuck that kraken! TALIESIN: Oh, that’s a whole different show. LIAM: It’s the same show! MARISHA: Crack into a Kraken. TRAVIS: Take your time! It’s all good. LAURA: Sorry, I want to bring this with me that’s all.

TRAVIS: Oh no. Oh god. MATT: The sleep takes you and the darkness of your dream state alleviates you of the stress of the day. Your aching muscles turning numb, your physical form and consciousness now removed and aimless in this dark space. You look down at your hands, and there you see clasped in your grip the hooked and curved blade that you had recently bound with. In your grasp, you swing it and slowly inspect as you do. As you swirl the blade around in your hand, it almost has a trail around it. As you hold it coldly in you grasp, this yellow light suddenly emerges in front of you, as a familiar, large, yellow eye now looks upon you. A voice fills you, directionless, “Consume.” You glance at the blade and back at the eye and the voice again says, “Consume.” What do you do? TRAVIS: Consume.

Oh god, am I going to try to swallow the sword? MATT: What do you do, Fjord? TRAVIS: It’s a large blade, right? MATT: It’s about this wide in places. It comes out and it arcs and curves and has jagged edges on it. TRAVIS: I don’t know what you mean, consume? Fuck it, I’ll turn the blade over and keeping my eyes on the big eye, I’ll bring it up to my mouth and open it. MATT: It’s cold to the touch of your tongue, the blade completely absent of any temperature.

TRAVIS: I’ll– MATT: As you begin to force it down your gullet, you feel the edge of the blade hit the back of your throat and a moment of pain hits you as it begins to cut through your flesh. At that point, this ravenous hunger begins to build on the inside of your stomach. Though the pain tells you to pull away, you continue to force the blade down. As you pull it down from the hilt, you feel the blood burble up in the back of your throat and spill out of your chin but you continue to push it until the entirety of the blade is consumed within your throat.

You close your eyes for a moment and look up at the eye once more. The voice returns to fill, reverberating around you. The pain subsides and it says, “Good.” The eye closes. The lid completely cutting of the source, the cold, the liquid, the water around you the sense of being under the ocean again begins to whisk you away. A heavy current begins to pull from behind and you reach out trying to grasp for any hand or foot hold. Yet you have nothing to hold on to. As you feel yourself being dragged into this endless abyss, the dream comes to an end. You wake up. (panting) Everyone else is asleep in the area. No one seems to have woken up from your presence. TRAVIS: Anything in my hands? MATT: Nothing in your hands, no. TRAVIS: I wipe my mouth. MATT: Wipe your mouth. There’s a little bit of blood right there across your hand.

TRAVIS: Can I try and summon the sword? MATT: You do and as you summon it, there before you is not the Wastehunter Blade, but the falchion now returned to grasp with a strange, more hooked and jagged appearance to it. It seems the essence of this pact has consumed the weapon you had bound with and made it one with the falchion you made this pact with oh so long ago.

TRAVIS: I try and keep my– (clears throat) Fu– Make it disappear again. Has anybody woken up? Are any eyes open at all? MATT: At the moment, no. TRAVIS: I’ll lay back down and go to sleep. MATT: That’s where we’ll take our break. TRAVIS: Holy shit! MATT: We’ll be right back, guys. As a reminder, we do have our giveaway tonight. We have the wenge hero vault, which is the awesome dark wood color from our friends at Wyrmwood. You can contain your dice or your character model. This will go to whoever wins tonight’s giveaway. Once again, if you are in the U.S or in Canada, you are capable of winning this tonight, unless you are in Quebec, unfortunately. Come on into the Twitch chat right now. The keyword for tonight’s “harvest.” You can only enter once. If you enter more than once, you will be unfortunately disqualified from this. We’ll come back at the end of the break to give this to the winner, so we’ll see you guys here in a few minutes.

Thanks so much. TRAVIS: Oh, you crazy motherfucker! MATT: (evil laughter) (break) MATT: Welcome back everybody! First off we have– TRAVIS: Wow, good call back. TALIESIN: You did great. MATT: Wow, that’s my wife, ladies and gentlemen. Our winner for this evening, for the wonderful wenge hero vault is Darkone_Nightshade. ALL: Woo! MATT: Congratulations, Danoba will get your contact info and get that sent out to you, congrats. All righty, so as you guys all come to consciousness, in the cold, desolate dark space within this long abandoned research facility from the Age of Arcanum, you stiffly get off the ground, collect your stuff. What do you want to do? MARISHA: I do a few push ups to get warmed up. MATT: Gotcha. Beau’s doing her morning routine. MARISHA: Yeah, some squats. SAM: Oh, we did a long rest-y? LAURA: Yes, we did a long-y rest-y. ASHLEY: I would like to sit and attune to the sword. MATT: You attuned to the blade, perfect. SAM: Caleb, you were not, I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but I don’t think that you were hit in any of the fights yesterday, were you? LIAM: That is not correct.

I was not hit in the final fight. SAM: But you remained pretty much unscathed. LIAM: I made out better than usual, yes. SAM: And that was the only day that you let me put flowers in your hair, right? LIAM: Okay. I see where you are going. SAM: I’m saying, maybe, sometimes old wives’ tales are true! LIAM: Well I am not much of a believer in old wives’ tales, but I do like trial and error, so if you would like to do it again today– SAM: As an experiment.

LIAM: As an experiment, yes. SAM: This is a focus group test thing. I don’t know. MARISHA: It’s true. You need more than one example. SAM: True. Sample size. LIAM: Do we have any more flowers? SAM: I have a lot. MARISHA: Got to find that average. TRAVIS: Standard deviation. SAM: May I? LIAM: You may. SAM: I’m going to take some time to put a little braid in his hair, and stick a little flower stem or two in there, and try to make a little flower mohawk. LIAM: How do I look? MARISHA: Like a satyr. Like in those ancient Greek paintings. SAM: Current Greek. LAURA and LIAM: What is Greek? TRAVIS: (robot voice) What is Greek? (laughter) LAURA: Are you all wet again? MATT: You go and inspect. No, there is no– LAURA: No dampness? MATT: No sea-foam froth, though there is a bit of dried blood at the corner of Fjord’s mouth. SAM: Dried blood? LAURA: Fjord, you have a little something right here. SAM: Did you shave? LAURA: Did you bite your lip? TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, I fucking grind my teeth. SAM: You should wear a bite guard.

LAURA: Is that why–? Is it a sleep thing? TRAVIS: No, no, nope. Just bit myself in my sleep, that’s all. ASHLEY: Wait, is that why what? LAURA: Is that why, well you know. SAM: What? LAURA: (whispering) Well I don’t want to say anything. I’m afraid it will offend him. SAM: You can say it to me then. LAURA: (whispering) Well, most of the half-orcs I’ve seen have bigger tusks. (loudly) It’s okay, Fjord, if you don’t have a big tusk! It’s not a big deal! MARISHA: Oh, big tusks. LAURA: It’s totally fine! TRAVIS: Thank you, Jester. I appreciate– SAM: Is that an indication of other body parts? Do you have anything there? Do you have nubs? What are those? LIAM: Why don’t you pull down your lower lip and show us what’s going on in there, Fjord? TRAVIS: Yup, I pull down my lower lip. SAM: What do we see? MARISHA: Does he have a cool lip tattoo? TRAVIS: You see very short, nubby teeth, with scratches and divots and chips on the top.

SAM: On all of the teeth? TRAVIS: Just on the– LAURA: (sympathetic) Just on the tusks! SAM: You had said that you did your own dental work at one point. Did you do that? On purpose? TRAVIS: Yeah. I did. SAM: Why? MARISHA: Couldn’t afford a root canal? TRAVIS: That would have been a better excuse. When I was younger, they used to make fun of my teeth.

LAURA: Who? TRAVIS: Kids can be cruel so I decided to take away the target that was most easily available for them. LIAM: Did you grow up with people who did not have tusks like you? So you were different? TRAVIS: Yeah, at the time there weren’t any others like me. I feel like I was especially picked on for my teeth. LIAM: Insight check. (laughter) SAM: Jesus. MARISHA: My childhood damage– Insight check! LIAM: Just a ten, not great. MATT: As a note, generally you can say “do I believe him?” and I’ll tell you to make an insight check. It’s not “I’m going to use an Insight Check action!” SAM: But insight check is so much dickisher. LAURA: It really is. Do you still feel the same way about your teeth? TRAVIS: Not necessarily. It became a habit. LAURA: You have to continue to do it? TRAVIS: I’m sure I don’t have to. It’s like people who chew their nails, I guess. ASHLEY: They will always grow back, even if you–? TRAVIS: They are persistent. LIAM: How quickly do they come back? TRAVIS: Not super fast.

LAURA: Is that why you have blood on your mouth? Were you filing your teeth last night? TRAVIS: No. I think I bit my lip. MARISHA: I hate it when that happens. TRAVIS: Yeah, right, and then you bite it again the next day. TALIESIN: Do I believe him? MATT: You can make an insight check. TALIESIN: One. MARISHA: 800? LAURA: Is that nine? MARISHA: It’s nine? It’s 1,000? LAURA: No way! TALIESIN: I’m rolling so well. SAM: Did you do any other bod mod to yourself growing up? TRAVIS: Bod mod? No, I did not. ASHLEY: Did you kill any of the children that made fun of you? MARISHA: Children are assholes. TRAVIS: No. I didn’t have that sort of a streak in me then.

SAM: Yasha, did you kill any of your fellow children growing up? ASHLEY: If you have to go to battle, if you have a challenge, you kill somebody. TALIESIN: If you kill them, then they’re not really your friends, are they? SAM: No. TALIESIN: Exactly. TRAVIS: I was a bit tougher than most of the other kids. I felt like I could take the physical poking, but the jeering, I– LAURA: The emotional poking was too much! LIAM: This is many years later, though.

I can’t imagine that any of us would even blink at tusks. TRAVIS: You know, it’s not even really that intentional. I’ll find myself picking at them every once in a while. ASHLEY: Do you ever want them to stay there? TRAVIS: Like to grow back? LIAM and ASHLEY: Yeah. TRAVIS: Yeah, there are times. I’ve seen them: other half orcs with the teeth. LAURA: The guy in Tusk Love had them. TRAVIS: He did, yeah. I feel like it’s a trait that exemplifies the rougher side of my race, so sometimes I wish I had them, and sometimes I’m glad I don’t.

LIAM: Yeah, well you know for many of us, our early days are always with us. I understand. SAM: This is how you see yourself, right? TRAVIS: I think it’s how I’d like to see myself. MARISHA: I mean, it’s how we see you. LAURA: I think you would look fine either way, Fjord. MARISHA: Yeah, I mean we’re too distracted with our own personal damage. TRAVIS: You saying I should let them grow out? LAURA: I’m saying if you want to, you would look good that way as well. You look good this way, you would look good that way. LIAM: Co-signed. TRAVIS: All right, fair. How about, you see me picking at them, or chipping at them or any of that shit, you just say the word and I’ll stop. LAURA and TRAVIS: Okay. MATT: The wind blows through the distant tunnels above, and for a minute you all shiver as the cold wind finds its way down below.

Except for you, you’re fine. LAURA: I’m good. Warm blooded. SAM: Should we go back to The Gentleman? TALIESIN: It’s probably time. LIAM: So cloak on your back. Sword on the cloak. LAURA: Nott on the sword. SAM: Yeah, but we don’t have to do that now! We have a whole boat trip to go. LAURA: (singing) Sword up the butt! SAM: No! LAURA: (singing) Yep, straight up. SAM: Absolutely not. LAURA: (singing) Just like a puppet! SAM: No. ASHLEY: Is this a bad– should I stay outside or something? LIAM: There is no.

We are going on. We are going right through their territory. LAURA: If he notices it, then he notices it, if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t. MARISHA: Then we bribe him with the information on the teleportation circle. ASHLEY: Or he can challenge me, and I can, you know. LIAM: We are a very convincing group, I think we can talk our way through that. LAURA: I’m really good at lying.

LIAM: You have your ways. Well, the morning is getting on, shall we? LAURA: Let’s get in the boats. LIAM: Hans and Franz, will you please muscle us up this stream? MATT: Are you guys taking the same boat arrangements? MARISHA: Sure. ASHLEY: Hans and Franz? MATT: The two of you are helming it. You know the time of day, even though you are below the surface, keeping tracking of this because of your feat. It’s roughly six in the morning. It’s very early because you guys went to bed fairly early. You guys begin to make your way up the river now, going against the current, muscling your way up and up further and further still. You come across the area where you had the initial confrontation with the darkmantles and begin to push and push. LAURA: Harder because there’re things there.

MATT: Make a strength check, both of you guys. TRAVIS: Yeah. Eyes on the ceiling as well because that’s where danger came from. LAURA: Yeah. Eyes on the side where the rock guys were. MARISHA: Yeah. LAURA: Oh no. MARISHA: Oh shit. ASHLEY: I got 20. Not a natural. LAURA: She rolled well. This a strength check? MATT: Yes. LAURA: Five! MATT: All right. As you guys continue to go forward, Yasha pushes on, manages to gain ground. Jester, while doing fine yesterday, trying to do the advanced pushes, you’re still making it up the stream, but you’re still a little sore from the night before. MARISHA: She did rowing yesterday. MATT: Yeah. However, you’re not making any loud noises at the moment. As you glance up, none of the darkmantles– you look up and you can see now there are a few that are adhered to the ceiling, but they don’t seem to have noticed your presence yet.

As you’re rowing through, you’re falling behind. You manage to get through unnoticed and actually way above the one boat. I need all the rest of you to make stealth checks. She’s not on your boat, which would be Jester, Beau, Molly. LAURA: Oh, Blessing of the Trickster, sure. On you. LIAM: It feels so weird, still, with stealth checks, to only be able to add a one when I used to add 9,000. MATT: I know. LIAM: Still feels weird. LAURA: You get advantage. TRAVIS: Hey, that’s way better! Thank you. A 17. MARISHA: 24. LAURA: 12. TALIESIN: 21. LAURA: To be fair, I am rowing. MATT: As you begin to row past to continue, quiet as you can, and with sound of the oars, it matches the slow– it’s a little bit of volume based on the river flow, but it doesn’t seem to cause enough of a ruckus to draw the attention of the darkmantles above and the two earthen-based stone and vine creatures that you had originally seen emerge don’t seem to notice your presence as you slowly make your way past this part of the tunnel, eventually, catching up or at least a little bit behind Yasha and their group.

As you continue forward, I need both of the boat rowers to make a constitution check, please. TRAVIS: Boat rowers! LIAM: Are we past those statues? LAURA: (exaggerated Southern accent) I’m rowing a boat! LIAM: Slowly by. LAURA: (exaggerated Southern accent) That’s a 13. MATT: Yasha, constitution check please. ASHLEY: Uh oh. LIAM: Don’t you have the heart of an ox? ASHLEY: A seven. MATT: A seven. You gain a point of exhaustion. Going against the stream in itself and pushing up and with the extended push of your muscles to get through that last bit, it’s beginning to take its toll on you and your muscles being to seize up.

LAURA: It’s because you went so fast through the other area. You have to pace yourself. MATT: You gain a point of exhaustion. With that last bit, you guys manage to make your way up the rest of this underground river. It takes a little while, but eventually you see ahead the dull green glow of the various small lanterns that were affixed to the interior of the river cavern entrance and there you can see the docks on the side. As you approach, waiting for you, sitting in the same position up there, that older, crusty-looking fella named Rodel, who you had met on the way out, and Kara, leaning against the back wall. MARISHA: Oh shit. MATT: Looks like she’s asleep in the corner, sitting in a small chair and not– TRAVIS: (whistles) MATT: “Oh! Oh, you’ve returned.

Rodel!” He wakes up. (grunts) They eventually get over there and help you get the boats over there. They tie off the ropes and you guys make your way up out of the water, out of the boats, and onto the dockside. She goes, “You’ve returned! I see that you aren’t any worse for wear. How did it go?” LAURA: We killed stuff! We are really badass! TRAVIS: Yeah, it was not really much of a test for us. TALIESIN: There was a lot in there, though. TRAVIS: That’s true. MARISHA: So many undead blobs. Lot of undead blobs. MATT: “Fair enough. Well, let’s get you back there and talk to the boss, if he’s awake. He should be.” She pulls out the blindfolds again, passes them out. TRAVIS: Can we just, forego those? I feel like this is going to be the beginning of a very fruitful relationship, surely. MATT: “I understand that, but this is the boss’s orders. I’m sorry.” MARISHA: The boss is still asleep, you said. LAURA: No, she said he was probably awake.

MATT: “I don’t think you understand. It’s the boss’s orders. I can’t just go against them.” MARISHA: All right. Let’s go be blindfolded. LIAM: We don’t want to rock the boat here, by all means. MATT: “Thank you. Please.” She passes out blindfolds to you guys. You figure out an order of making your way down and as you made your way to this portion of the cavern, you walk back, being lead by Kara through the Underworks.

LIAM: Do I see anything of note through Frumpkin’s eyes as we walk? MATT: Same path as you went last time, not as busy. Nobody else is walking through the halls. It’s early enough where there isn’t much. You do come past that chamber before where you saw the cages in there and there’s two more cages set inside, even larger. One of them is a heavy meshed series of metal.

You don’t hear anything in there. LIAM: Can I tell what’s inside there? MATT: Make a perception check for Frumpkin. LIAM: Come on, Frumpkin. MATT: With disadvantage. LIAM: Doesn’t matter. MARISHA: That’s pretty bad. LIAM: Pretty bad. Yeah, both bad. Real low. Five. MATT: You do not, unfortunately. It’s too dark in the distance at this point. It’s too late. Eventually making your way up through a series of steps to a ladder and then you all can take your blindfolds off. You recall being led down to this chamber. At this point, Kara says, “We’re almost there.” She climbs up the ladder and opens a trap door that leads into a small chamber. You guys follow her up inside a storage room where there are sacks of food and barrels of all sorts of alcohol, ale, water, and whatever else materials are being kept down here.

Going through a door not but two feet from that open hatch into the familiar interior of the true Evening Nip tavern. SAM: Before we go in, I’m going to try to tug on Yasha’s leg. Don’t you want to carry me? My legs are a little achy. ASHLEY: Oh, yes. MARISHA: By the scruff. TRAVIS: Right up the butt. SAM: Ah! I try to find a position. ASHLEY: Try to settle the cloak to– MATT: Did you leave your moon sword behind? Or do you still have it with you? ASHLEY: I still have it with me. Was I supposed to leave it behind? MATT: No, it’s up to you. Meaning, if you have the sword that you had in the sheath that the moon sword was in right now, or at least tucked in there briefly because it’s a little wider than the sword you had previously had so it’s going to carve through.

It’ll hold, it but the scabbard’s probably– ASHLEY: I want to keep it so maybe we can sell the Moon-Touched Sword. Could we have put it in the– TALIESIN: We could have strapped them both to your back. LAURA: Well the Moon-touched Sword, is it small enough to fit in the bag or is it–? MATT: Barely. Just barely. I’d say you can probably get that in there. ASHLEY: Sorry. I totally forgot about that. MATT: Just making sure we knew about that. As you enter the chamber, the light is lower. It looks like only three of the interior torches are currently glowing. There is no barkeep at the bar and there are no patrons in there.

The ogre guard is there in the corner. Looks a little groggy and recently come to consciousness and is feasting on a whole side of pig that has been cured and salted. It hasn’t been butchered, literally tearing off the bone of the half of the pig and sees you enter and (grunts) and continues eating. On the balcony across the way, as soon as you enter, you can see at the top, there is the female goliath, Sorah, who is standing there and looking down at you as you enter and gives a head nod of acknowledgement. Kara goes, “Sorry, Sorah.

Is The Gentleman awake? They’ve returned. Like to talk to him, please.” Sorah turns around and pulls open– You can look behind now, what little bit of light there is a drawn, heavy curtain that blocks the interior behind and goes, “Boss, the Nein have returned.” Some voices on the inside and a voice goes, “Ah. Just a moment. I’m sorry. Got some business.” Then coming out from behind the curtain, you see The Gentleman in this long deep purple silk robe that is tied around the waist and goes, “(laughter) Well, you’ve returned.” LAURA: (fake wolf whistles) MATT: “Indeed. Well, have a seat, please. (claps loudly) Some food, please.” SAM: We’ll stand. ASHLEY: Just lean up against the wall while. MARISHA: Bacon. I want bacon. MATT: “Bacon, please. Get these friends some bacon! My god. I’ll be right down.” He goes back into the chamber. You hear some other voices and a slight giggle and then Sorah enters the chamber after him. A few moments pass and then one of the doors on the bottom area opens up and Sorah steps out, holds the door aside and The Gentleman, who’s still in his robe but now has pants and boots on, enters the chamber and goes, “(laughter) Well, early risers.

I’m not going to lie, we were sad to see you not return sooner and had assumed that perhaps you had not survived so this is a great, gracious celebration of your return.” He goes and sits down behind his usual chair. TRAVIS: Apologies for our poor timing. Hopefully we weren’t interrupting? LAURA: Early in the morning. MATT: “What? Was having breakfast. Anyway. You’re alive, a little worse for wear. I see some scuffs around the edges. Tell me all about it. What did you do?” TRAVIS: Really not that big of a deal. There were some will-o’-wisps, some floating spirits. TALIESIN: Quite a few will-o’-wisps. LAURA: Yeah, so many will-o’-wisps. Did you know you just have to break a vase and you kill a will-o’-wisp? MATT: “I did not but good to know.” MARISHA: There’s like ash all over the place now. Sorry about that. TALIESIN: Quite a few traps. MATT: “Right.” TALIESIN: Was there a gelatinous cube at one point? TRAVIS: There was, actually, yes. LAURA: Yeah, this big cube came down from the ceiling and it tried to eat us. MATT: “That’s terrifying.” TRAVIS: Indeed. LAURA: It’s pretty scary.

TRAVIS: Good thing you sent the pros. Amateurs probably would have had a worse time. MARISHA: Found lots of skeletons along the way. TRAVIS and MARISHA: Yeah. SAM: And exactly six rings for you. MATT: Make a deception check. (laughter) TRAVIS: You are not Scanlan anymore! (laughter) SAM: Nine. MATT: “(chuckles) Really?” TALIESIN: I smack her on the back of the head. SAM: You can’t reach. TALIESIN: That’s right! You’re up. I swat. TRAVIS: There was a fair amount of jewelry. There was. MARISHA: We also found a decent amount of fine art for you. LAURA: Oh yes! I pull out the vases. Look at these antiques! MATT: He pulls one out. Inspects it. LAURA: Careful, they’re very old. MATT: “Of course.

I’m a collector myself. It’s fine. This is beautiful make. This is pre-Divergence as well. (chuckles).” LAURA: I bet they’re worth a whole of money then, huh? MATT: “Oh, most certainly! To the right people, they can be worth quite a bit.” LAURA: We found some candlesticks too. ASHLEY: Also some candlesticks. MATT: “All right.” You produce the candelabra. “These six rings, you say.” LAURA: It was seven. I give one of the extra rings. MATT: Make a deception check.

MARISHA: Come on, Jester. ASHLEY: I didn’t keep mine. LAURA: Yeah, I know. TRAVIS: Look, we know who has them. We know. LAURA: 16? MATT: He goes, “Well, thank you for your honesty. Anything else?” He gives a very intense look across each of your faces. “You would like to inform me that you found, encountered, any warnings? We’re going back in after there to clear out whatever remains behind so we want to make sure we’re prepared.” LAURA: I think we killed everything. LIAM: No, you don’t want to get pantsed. We did not kill everything entirely. There are some critters on the roof of the river passage. Nothing major, you just want to have your eyes on the ceiling as you go through. MATT: “Of course. We know of that.” LAURA: We see two rock creatures that were really big but they’re really slow so bolt on past them and they won’t be able to catch you.

MATT: “Right, but within this facility itself?” TRAVIS: There was a destroyed– looks like a transportation circle inside. LIAM: Yes. To be honest, it looks like it was possibly looted some time long ago. MARISHA: There wasn’t a lot left. LIAM: Whatever has inhabited the place in recent years or in recent centuries has been removed. LAURA: There were a lot of burned books. TRAVIS: Bodies. Lots of bodies. SAM: Traps, which I deftly dismantled. LAURA: Mostly be careful walking on them. You’ll see them. SAM: Pressure plates in the lower floor. LAURA: They’re pretty obvious now. MATT: At this point, food begins to be brought from the far kitchen. You can see the person who had just woken up has been rushing to make whatever meats are available and has been cooking.

The smell begins to permeate and it’s coming out piecemeal, as they’re ready. TALIESIN: Once we’ve figured out that the will-o’-wisps were coming from pots we just broke anything that looked like it might contain one. MATT: “All right. Is that all? I would like to specify that I despise falsehood, and our relationship is based on honesty and trust.” LAURA: Well, there were two paths in the river, and the second path lead to a waterfall. I don’t know what was at the top of the waterfall. There could be a chamber up there. I don’t know. The other side lead to the thing. TALIESIN: A lot of images on the wall. Weird magic stuff. MARISHA: Oh! There was this floor with this relief in it of these two faces, and Fjord put some coins in it. It opened up and he collapsed and fell in a pit. It was super fun. MATT: “What was in the pit?” TRAVIS: A lot of bodies. MATT: “Anything else?” ASHLEY: Probably the two leftover coins that he put in the eyeballs are still there. TRAVIS: Four, because there were two pairs. LAURA: Is there anything else? SAM: Nope.

LAURA: We’re the worst. TALIESIN: Possibly a probing question would remind some things. I’m trying to remember. It was a bit daunting. TRAVIS: Yeah. So tired. MATT: “So there was nothing else?” MARISHA: No, we stayed up all night trying to get back here. LAURA: We almost died. MATT: “Is that all you found and recovered?” LAURA: (mumbling) I could look in my bag. MATT: He’s done business before and is looking very intently across all of your faces. TRAVIS: I start eating. MATT: “You’re dodging my question. That doesn’t make me comfortable. That doesn’t make me trust you.” MARISHA: There’s just no answer further. MATT: “You’re telling me that’s all you found?” ASHLEY: What were you looking for, anyway? MATT: “Nothing.

I wish to be informed that that is the end of your recovery.” MARISHA: You knew going in here it was heavily looted and raided. We brought you several pieces– MATT: “I’m going to go out on a limb here and inform you that, as much as you try to doublespeak me, that I’ve been a master far longer than you have.” LIAM: Give him the book. MARISHA: (sigh) Caleb, we talked about this. LIAM: Yeah, and we said that we’d give him the book, so I’m a little confused. ASHLEY: No! MARISHA: All right, man. Been in the business longer than we have. I toss him the research notebook. MATT: He catches it. MARISHA: Here’s the precious research you were looking for. MATT: “All right. Thank you.” MARISHA: You’re welcome. MATT: “Is that all of it?” MARISHA: Yes. MATT: Make a deception check. MARISHA: Fuck! Who, just me? Can he help me? LIAM: I said no at the same time.

Can she aid me? MATT: I’ll say sure. I’ll give you advantage on this. Because you both– LIAM: I have very good charisma. MATT: She’s rolling. MARISHA: Natural 20. Thank you! Yeah! Motherfucking liars! SAM: Unfortunately, we have to take $100 away from 826LA. (laughter) SAM: I’m sorry kids. It’s really a shame. MATT: We didn’t think this through. At that point, he sits back comfortably. “Very well. Thank you so much. I’m impressed. I am happy. Keep the rings. I said you can take something back with you, and you’ve done your job. You’ve proven yourselves very trustworthy. Please, at your leisure. Take solace in knowing that your friend, Horris, is safely on his way to Berleben.” SAM: Seemingly? MATT: “Safely.” LAURA: Do I believe him? MATT: Make an insight check. MARISHA: Come on. There’s been one too many “seemingly”s. LAURA: Is that an 11 or a 17? SAM: 17. LAURA: 17? 21? Yeah, that’s a 17. 21! MATT: He’s being completely honest. LAURA: He’s being honest! TRAVIS: That’s great! I appreciate you seeing him to safety. MATT: “Of course.” He snaps his fingers, and over by the curved stairway that leads down in here, two gentlemen that were sitting there in the shadows, unseen before, sit up.

He goes, “Go on!”, and they both get up and leave up the stairs. He goes, “I’ve now initiated my means of getting you folks and most likely, Dolan, off the hook for the murder of the High-Richter. It may take some time, a day or two, maybe more, but have some faith in my abilities. Just lay low for a few days, if you don’t mind.” LAURA: We’re really good at that. TALIESIN: We’ll do our humble best. MARISHA: Will we get confirmation, word from you, that the deed has been done? MATT: “If all goes well, you won’t need it from me.

With that, I call that a bargain met on all sides. Wouldn’t you?” He takes a little piece of burnt pork off the table. “Congratulations. You have my favor, Mighty Nein.” He turns to Fjord. “If you ever need me, come find me. If I should need you, I’ll find you. Now, off! I have to finish my breakfast, and my breakfast.” TRAVIS: Baller. MARISHA: I take the leftover bacon strips, and I shove them in my pocket. LIAM: I’m disappointed that we don’t have real bacon right now! MARISHA: I give half of my bacon to Caleb. Here you go. LIAM: But less, you need the protein. ASHLEY: Do you still keep the blood vials that you– MATT: “Oh yes, of course. We keep those for anyone we do business with. Sure. Standard procedure, I’m sorry.” ASHLEY: Yeah. Okay. SAM: It’s fine, Yasha. After all, I have an empty vial with his saliva in it, so we have that too.

MATT: He just stares. TRAVIS: Thank you for your consideration and time. We’ll be in touch, shall we? MATT: “Of course. Be safe.” Finishes his meal, glaring at Nott on your way out. As you guys exit the bottom of The Evening Nip up into the proper top of the tavern, you step out. Looking out, you can see the morning sun has risen. It’s still early morning at this point in time. It’s probably eight o’clock in the morning at this point. SAM and LAURA: What a day. MARISHA: That was awesome. LAURA: We have stuff to sell! TALIESIN: Let’s go pawn some things. LAURA: Should we go do that now or should we lay low for a little bit and make sure that he doesn’t have anyone following us? TRAVIS: He can follow us. That’s fine. LAURA: Let’s go back to The Leaky Tap. LIAM: Help me remember, DM, did we have a way to get in contact with Dolan? MATT: Dolan was left at his home.

That’s the last you saw, just him at his home. TRAVIS: That’s right. You sure you don’t want to sell off any of your extra wares? TALIESIN: Let’s clear some things out. LAURA: We do have some rings to sell, I guess, if we wanted to. MARISHA: We have those chains. We could– LAURA: Did you ever look at those chains? Did you look at the mantacles? LIAM: What mantacles? LAURA: The mantacles. To see if they were magical. LIAM: This is the first I am hearing of the manacles. TALIESIN: We didn’t actually tell him about the manacles. MARISHA: We found a dead guy. In chains. TALIESIN: A very dead guy. MARISHA: Do you think that people are going to start being suspicious of us if we keep selling magical manacles? LAURA: We should probably stop going to– MARISHA: The same blacksmith? LAURA: Maybe not to Pumat Sol for a little bit.

LIAM: Maybe Pumat has a competitor in a town this big. LAURA: I’m sure. LIAM: Why don’t we wait until we’re back at The Leaky Tap before I look at these manacles you have? I would, if possible, like to swing past Dolan’s house, if that’s okay. TRAVIS: Sure. TALIESIN: I don’t see why not. TRAVIS: Put him at ease? MARISHA: Let him know that Horris is out of town. LIAM: Yeah, and before he died, he gave me something that I think Dolan would want to have. Ulog, before Ulog died. TRAVIS: Oh. Yeah, of course. Head back that way. SAM: As we get clear of the bar, (popping) I’m going to get down off of Yasha. (laughter) TALIESIN: You’ve been waiting for that for too long. ASHLEY: It’s very strange how you’re very dense. SAM: It’s all muscle. ASHLEY: I feel it’s a lot heavier than you look. SAM: I’m a cool 45 pounds, yo! LAURA: You should probably take a bath.

SAM: Yes, I guess so. LAURA: Nott, I know you don’t like water, but this is an extreme version. SAM: Maybe I could wipe myself clean with a dry towel. LAURA: I think probably at least a damp towel? LIAM: This is surprising coming from me, but I agree with that sentiment. You are covered in dead person. TALIESIN: Several. MARISHA: Several dead people. TALIESIN: Specifically their feet. SAM: Okay, I’ll think about it. MATT: As you guys begin to walk along the streets of Zadash here in the morning air, the cloud cover in the sky still gray, sunless, cool. You can see the mist of the town is now finally burning off, but the gray day is still cool and welcoming. You’re going to Dolan’s house? You make your way towards Dolan’s, trying to still dodge too much attention from the crownsguard, which thankfully– MARISHA: Especially Molly and I. MATT: Not too strong at this point. They still are trying to prevent people from entering and exiting, but there are still patrols that go through. You make your way carefully through, this point in the morning, towards the exterior of Dolan’s hut.

MARISHA: As we’re walking, I lean over to Fjord, and I go: Something’s been bothering me. The Gentleman said that it was Ulog that arranged and leaked the information to the Xhorhasian assassins. What would be his motive for doing that, if he only really cared about getting his wife free? Or at least revenge for his wife. TRAVIS: I think he was trying to upset the government, right? Create fractures, hope pressure would make things snap in the end? MARISHA: I hope so. Feels like a big task for one person. How would he have those connections? TRAVIS: Maybe he’s been hedging his bets for a while.

Good to keep in mind. MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: You guys come up to the exterior of Dolan’s home. It’s dark on the inside. TRAVIS: I’d normally, but I feel like he knows you. LIAM: You come with me because you’ve spoken to him more than I have. TRAVIS: Walk up. Double tap, followed by a single. MATT: A moment passes, and the door (lock clicks, creak). Dolan’s head peeks out. “Gentlemen, it’s good to see you. What news have you?” LIAM: Only a moment of your time. I’m a little embarrassed that I did not remember this the other day, but it was quite an evening that night. MATT: “Of course.” LIAM: When Ulog was in that house, he found something that I think you should have. Shortly before he expired, he shoved it into my hand. I pull out those papers that he found about the wife. It’s a little frayed, he shoved it into my hand. We are lucky that it did not burn up, but take this, please. MATT: “Of course. I’ll see what I can do. Things are a bit tense right now, of course.” LIAM: When it makes sense.

MATT: “Of course. How is Horris?” TRAVIS: Safe. LIAM: On his way. MATT: “Oh, thank god.” TRAVIS: To Berleben. MATT: “To Berleben? That’s far enough away, I think, from any influence here. Thank you. Thank you so much.” TRAVIS: Of course. It was the least we can do. We trust with this information and the right things occurring in the next few days, you can find your way to some prosperous moves for this city. MATT: “I hope so.” LAIM: A lot of bad things are happening now. It would be nice if one good thing could come of it all. MATT: “That would be. I’d like to see a turn for the right in this city, or another, at least. There is right in this city. There are good people. As terrible as the death of the High-Richter may be, in essence I think much good may come out of it, in the long run.” LIAM: It’s entirely up to you now, isn’t it? MATT: “We shall see. Anyway, you musn’t be seen dilly dallying along at this home, just in case. Thank you for the update, thank you for Horris, and good luck, friends.

I do hope we meet again soon, in better times.” LIAM: Tschüß. MATT: Closes the door, locks it behind. TRAVIS: Nice. LIAM: Broken clock twice a day. Come on. MATT: Are you guys heading back to The Leaky Tap? LIAM: Yeah. MATT: Okay. As you head back to The Leaky Tap, people are starting to come to consciousness and exit the building. The street becomes a little more bustling. One of the barkers, one of the town criers that you had seen before when you arrived begins coming down the street, and begins doing his shouts. “Harvest Close comes on the third of Fessuran! Harvest Close comes on the third of Fessuran!” and continues walking past. MARISHA: We could enter in a contest and fight for the Harvest Festival, right? LAURA: Oh yeah, there was something about that. TRAVIS: Really? Just for sport? MARISHA: Yeah. Maybe there’s prize money or something. TRAVIS: That could be a nice change of pace. MARISHA: I like fighting people for fun. MATT: You get closer to The Leaky Tap and see another female– LAURA: Yeah, in the Victory Pit! MARISHA: Yeah, that’s it.

MATT: Another town crier comes by, younger female, with the big tabard and the scroll as she walks by says, “Conflict at the Xhorhasian border grows violent! Watch your children at night!” MARISHA: (singing) Hide your kids! Hide your wife! MATT: “Conflict at the Xhorhasian border grows violent! Watch your children at night!” She continues walking. LAURA: What happened to the children? MATT: She looks back at you, “I’m just reading the paper.” ASHLEY: May I have one of those? MATT: “It’s for me to read from. I have one. No–” ASHLEY: I’m going to look at it, and then I’m going to give it back to you. Does it say any more? MATT: On this, it has the Xhorhasian note, and it has the Harvest Close coming the third of Fessuran.

Those are the two notes of the day. ASHLEY: You literally just– that’s all that’s on there. MATT: “That’s my job.” MARISHA: Hey! MATT: “Ah!” MARISHA: Where do we sign up for the Victory Pit? MATT: “I don’t know.” MARISHA: Tell me. You know! TRAVIS: You want to tell her. MATT: Make an intimidation check. Sure. MARISHA: We had a long-ass night. MATT: With advantage. MARISHA: With advantage? LIAM: Marisha, your theme with children continues. MARISHA and TRAVIS: She is not a child! MARISHA: What am I doing, intimidation? 14. She is not a child. MATT: (Stammering) MARISHA: There’s a rec center, community service– MATT: No, at the Victory Pit. It’s in the Pentamarket, probably. I don’t know. MARISHA: Thanks, it’s all you had to tell me. MARISHA: She takes the paper from Yasha and darts off down the street. TALIESIN: She’s not a verbal learner. MARISHA: I liked her. TALIESIN: I could tell. LAURA: I start yelling out: The third of the Fessuran is the end of the harvest! SAM: Do we know what day it is today? LAURA: Hide your kids! Hide your wife! MATT: The third of Fessuran is about five days away.

LAURA: There’s a Victory Pit! LIAM: Passion Pit on the third of Fessuran! MATT: You guys return to The Leaky Tap and we’ll say for the time being, we’re going to have a few days of downtime. If there’s anything specifically you want to do, that’s not story-centric. LIAM: I need money! He said out of character. MARISHA: Sell shit. Sign up for the Victory Pit. MATT: All right. What are you selling? LAURA: I have a lot of rings. I should see if I can get any good money for some of them. MARISHA: Pawn the rings that we have. TALIESIN: Unless there’s an opal in there, I’m getting rid of the ring. MATT: None of the rings have gems. They’re all base metals, like gold and silver. LAURA: I have some fancier rings, though, from before. MATT: If you want to try and hock some, sure. LAURA: That were stolen from your boss? TALIESIN: Oh, that’s fine. They’re probably fake, then. MATT: They are. TALIESIN: Anything you took from the circus was not real. ASHLEY: Wasn’t The Gentleman supposed to reward us? TALIESIN: It was trade. MARISHA: Us not getting charged for murder was the reward. TRAVIS: While they’re figuring it out, on one of the days can I make my way by Ren Sutan’s physician’s office? MATT: You can do that.

What do you want to do at Ren’s? TRAVIS: I want to casually look on the outside, see if it’s still in business, see if it’s still bustling, or if anything has come their way. MATT: Okay. You spend a little bit of time watching. It’s still a functional physician’s practice. People still need a physician. You can’t tell from a distance if it’s darkened by the arrest of Lord Sutan, but you can’t imagine it’s gone well within the family house. It’s still a functional facility. It’s still one of the finer places to go for medical purposes. TRAVIS: Can I use my Mask of Many Faces, and I’ll adopt an older face with a gray beard and a dark hood, and can I walk into the physician’s office? MATT: Yeah, easily enough. You walk into the main area, and one of the clerks there with the same white robes approaches. “Can I help you, sir?” TRAVIS: (as Sean Connery) Yes, hello. (laughter) TALIESIN: Commit to it! TRAVIS: (as Sean Connery) Is Ren Sutan there? (laughter) MATT: “What do you require of the Doctor?” TRAVIS: (as Sean Connery) Just get him. MATT: Make a deception check.

TRAVIS: Nine. MATT: He goes, “I’m sorry to bother you there, sir, but he’s not in at the moment, but we have a few of the clerks that could help you.” TRAVIS: (Sean Connery voice peters out) You don’t want his trouble with the Myriad to spill over to you, do you? MATT: His eyes go wide. “We have no business–” TRAVIS: Fetch him. Now. LAURA: What happened to Sean Connery? TRAVIS: I fucking lost it. SAM: (as Sean Connery) Fetch him now. I’m a Russian sub commander. MATT: “Very well. I’ll go fetch him.” He walks past you out of the– TRAVIS: (as Sean Connery) Do your best. Losers always whine about their best. MATT: He walks around you and exits the front of the facility and begins walking down the road, out of sight. TRAVIS: I’ll turn and follow him. MATT: Make a perception check. LIAM: (as Sean Connery) I cast Hexblade.

TRAVIS: 17. MATT: Okay. Bee-lining straight to the nearest crownsguard. TRAVIS: I will turn on my heel and use my Mask of Many Faces to turn into a lovely woman. MATT: A moment later, two crownsguard come rushing, blades drawn, behind the clerk, who’s pointing towards the front of the building, and they rush past you in the interior and begin to look around. They both split on the inside and begin going through the different rooms. It seems not only did he not believe you, but dropping the name of the Myriad in a public space like that, that’s immediate call to the guard for these guys. TRAVIS: I make my way back to The Leaky Tap. MARISHA: Wow, that’s good to know! LAURA: I want to scout out the Hearth of the Allhammer, the Raven’s Den in the graveyard, and the Platinum House, and see if there’s a lot of guards, or if there’s any of those that don’t have a lot of guards. MATT: For the most part, the places of worship, they’re not very prominent. They’re not huge temples. They’re kept here out of law that was decided upon, but they’re nice. They usually have a handful of crownsguard stationed to each, but it’s not like they’re under intense watch.

There aren’t a lot of worshipers during certain times of the day. LAURA: Is there any one that seems emptier than other ones? MATT: Of all of them, I would say it would be the Raven’s Den, which is at the Ossuary Gates, which is the large, vast graveyard of most of the higher-ranked families of this city. The Matron of Ravens’ temple is the one that’s least attended, largely because, dealing with death, it’s not as bright and welcoming to the common folk.

LAURA: Could I try to get in there when nobody’s in there? MATT: Okay. You wait for a while, and see a moment where it is relatively calm. The outside of the shrine is this iron obsidian archway that stretches up about 20 feet to frame a small shrine, topped with a statue of the Matron, and her ravens about her, this circle of ravens that curves around.

You see the female figure standing in stone, the sculpture of the porcelain face– the only material that’s not the same as the darkened stone around her– it’s a white porcelain mask that is affixed to the front of the statue. At the base of it, you can see a number of bowls and offerings that have been left around from people that have come and passed through. Beyond that, there is a door to the small shrine behind it, it’s this small structure. Maybe 20 feet by ten feet. It’s not a very large shrine. You’ve seen groups of people that function as morticians, in long dark robes and dark clothing, that have entered and exited this facility.

You wait for a while, as there is one body that’s being interred at a family plot, and then as they all begin to scatter, you see a few other leave, and at that moment, the interior, from what you can tell, is empty, or at least you’ve watched three individuals leave. LAURA: Can I get in my disguise kit and affix a mustache onto her porcelain mask, and put a wig on her, and then write across the bottom of it “The Traveler was here,” and leave a pamphlet? MATT: You can certainly try. LAURA: I want to see as much as I can do in that amount of time before anybody comes back.

MATT: Sleight of hand for the mustache. LAURA: Oh no. Off to a good start. Nine. MATT: As you leap up onto the statue, and go to affix the mustache to it, a voice over by the shrine says, “Excuse me? Excuse me!” LAURA: Oh hello, yes? MATT: You see a pale young man, short blonde hair, emerge with a similar dark robe that you didn’t see in the inside of the shrine. He goes “Could you please– you’re not allowed to climb the statue. LAURA: There was a smudge on her face, and I know that the people get really pissed when there’s stuff on their statues.

I was trying to clean it off for you. MATT: “I appreciate that– Well, thank you. It’s just– considered– LAURA: I rub my arm across it to try and clean it off. MATT: “Thank you so much.” LAURA: I think I got it though! Don’t worry. MATT: “I appreciate that.” LAURA: I’m going to sit here and worship her now. That’s all. MATT: “Please do. Please I can pray with you if you’d like.” LAURA: Oh, that’d be great. MATT: He sits down next to you and you both silently sit there, on your knees, and begin to pray quietly up to the Queen. You watch as one raven looks down over you both.

Soon as he looks up and finishes his prayer, he extends his hand for a moment and it takes off. LAURA: Does that always happen when you pray to this lady? MATT: “Not often, but perhaps she smiles upon you.” LAURA: She does. I know she does because she likes me so much because I worship her real good. MATT: “All right. Well, have a good day.” He gets up. LAURA: You too. MATT: At this point, the rest of the funeral procession is now returning to the shrine. LAURA: Shit. Damn it! Is there anything to tuck a pamphlet into? MATT: Oh yeah, you can tuck it under any of the various offering bowls.

LAURA: Yeah, I’ll do that at least. TALIESIN: There’s literally a cadaver that just went into the building. Not to give you ideas. MATT: Now you know, perhaps another time you can come by and try it again. LAURA: Yes, I’m going to try some other time. MATT: Anything else you wish to do over the next few days? TALIESIN: I would like to try some chemical altered states. SAM: Oh god. TALIESIN: It’s time to have a good night. MARISHA: Wait is this with the shrooms? TALIESIN: Yeah! SAM: Just you alone? MARISHA: Wait, what night are you doing this? TALIESIN: Probably the celebratory first night. TRAVIS: What time are you starting? TALIESIN: Oh, just before dusk. MARISHA: I’ll join you. LIAM: What is the nature of the goods that you have? TALIESIN: I have no idea. MATT, SAM, and LAURA: Skein. MARISHA: No, we bought those magic mushrooms. MATT: No, it’s a fungal powder. TRAVIS: Hey Caleb, you want to take a look at the pouch? MATT: Skein, I’ve heard many arguments over the pronunciation.

SAM: It’s a real thing? You didn’t make it up? MATT: No, the word is a real thing. It’s a weaving term. LIAM: If I take a look at this skein, can I take a guess at what kind of illicit material I’m looking at? MATT: It’s a fungus. Make a medicine check. LIAM: Yeah, I have bad experience with fungus. LAURA: I can do a medicine check. Do you want me to look at it? LIAM: Medicine you say? That is a 13. MATT: It looks to be a fungus of some sort with a property to it. LIAM: Yeah, I don’t have good association with that. You take that back. TALIESIN: There’s only enough for two other people to take it. MARISHA: Well, I have mine. Then you bought some too, right? TRAVIS: I’m holding it in my fucking hand.

Don’t you see it? MARISHA: Wait, how much is that? ASHLEY: No, you guys go. TRAVIS: I’m not going to take it. I was letting you know I’m bought it. ASHLEY: Oh well here. I always partake what– LAURA: I mean we could poison somebody later. That would be fun. TALIESIN: Well, it’s a little late, because I already took mine. I’m waiting to see what’s happening. MARISHA: Wait. When Beau hears that she goes– MATT: Two of them have taken it. TALIESIN: Whoever’s sober, keep us out of trouble. MARISHA: Yasha! ASHLEY: Well, there’s something I need to go do. You guys get started and I’ll– MARISHA: (shouting) Oh no, Yasha you always do this, no! (laughter) TALIESIN: Somehow she knows you, you always do this. MARISHA: Bullshit! ASHLEY: I know, but you know I always take it and I never feel anything. (laughter) MARISHA: (shouting) Where do you go, Yasha? TALIESIN: I’m excited. MATT: The two of you that have ingested the skein– Ten minutes pass, and the edges of your vision begin to cloud, and as you sit for a moment your body begins to feel a bit weird.

Nausea creeps in a bit. Then, a very faint snow of dust in your vicinity begins to coat. You know the Upside Down? Where there’s that weird material floating around. LAURA: Like Legend? MATT: A little bit. Only for about ten feet out to you. It’s a ten foot area around you, and the coloration of your vision in this area becomes a gray, colorless, black, white, and gray tone. I need you both to make a wisdom saving throw. TALIESIN: Oh yeah. MARISHA: (shouting) This sucks. LAURA: Can I look at the stuff? TRAVIS: Yeah, here. TALIESIN: A wisdom saving throw? 15.

MATT: 15? Okay. MARISHA: I’m going to say: Don’t fuck me Gil! Oh, okay. Just a wisdom saving throw? 17. MATT: The effects of it: you resist the hour long stun it would have held you in, as it is not a healthy thing to ingest under any circumstances. It is a very dangerous substance. For the duration, the two of you can see into the Ethereal Plane out to ten feet. TALIESIN: I’m going walking. LAURA: Wait, what? TALIESIN: Who wants to go to a cemetery right now? SAM: Wait it takes them to the Ethereal Plane? MATT: They can see into the Ethereal Plane out to a range of ten feet. TALIESIN: I’m going to put on my least interesting cloak, and I’m going to go find myself a cemetery.

MARISHA: I flip my blue cloak inside out to the brown side. TRAVIS: I don’t know where they’re going, but I think we got to babysit them. LIAM: (distorted) How do you guys feel? ASHLEY: How do you feel? Do you see anything? Is it interesting? MARISHA: I think it sucks. TALIESIN: We’re going to work on it though. TRAVIS: Are you guys going on a walk? MATT: It’s not quite like that. MARISHA: You can see really cool things. MATT: As this happens, this translucent piranha-faced serpent scoots by, this ghastly looking angler fish creature like– (gasping breathing). LIAM: “Hey Steve.” TALIESIN: I’m going for a walk. MARISHA: Molly, how long does this last? TALIESIN: I have no idea.

MARISHA: Fuck. This is it. This is the rest of our lives. LIAM: Are we saying this is night one, of a couple of days of piddling around? MARISHA: I thought that this was the first night, and this was our celebratory night. MATT: Yeah, this is more of a downtime period, so I’m trying to get through events. TALISEN: I’m grabbing a little drink downstairs, and then I’m going to go walk in whatever direction seems the most interesting shit outside is in. MARISHA: I join Molly. TRAVIS: I’m babysitting them. LAURA: I’m going to follow behind and throw pebbles at them from behind. MATT: In the best interest of keeping a low profile for the next few days, you both wander out into the city streets, altered on– MARISHA: In our hoods and our boring cloaks! MATT: As you guys begin to wander through the Interstead Sprawl, once again, the strange shapes pass through your peripheral. You occasionally hear this chattering and distant chuckling, this weird alien laughter. There seems like drifting spiritual energy that freezes your blood as you pass by. It’s a really uncomfortable sensation.

For about an hour or so you wander in this space. At the end of the hour I need both of you to make a constitution saving throw. LAURA: Oh no. TRAVIS: Glad I got another pouch of this stuff, could come in handy. TALIESIN: This could come in handy. MARISHA: Just a saving throw? TALIESIN: 18. LIAM: Yeah! MARISHA: 20. MATT: You feel your body begin to grow woozy, and for a second you feel like you’re about to black out and pass out but you catch yourself, and the sensation passes, your vision returns to normal, and it has run its course.

You didn’t discern or learn much, and you feel exhausted. Your body is pretty strained by the process. TALIESIN: Drink and a bathhouse? MARISHA: I’ve got such cottonmouth. TALIESIN: You know what just occurred to me? I didn’t have a childhood. I’ve never said that out loud to someone before. MARISHA: Mmm. What happens if you have a childhood, but it’s barely a childhood because it was supposed to be someone else’s childhood, but it was you instead? Is that a childhood? TALIESIN: What happened to you? LAURA: We’re following behind you guys right here. TRAVIS: Let’s get you to a bathhouse. You were eating dirt about ten minutes ago. Said it was snow. MARISHA: Is that why I have cotton mouth? Ah goddamn it! TRAVIS: Yeah, you got a big mud goatee.

TALIESIN: I’m so proud of you. You did so well. MARISHA: Well, I saw this goatman and he told me just don’t eat the yellow snow and you’d be okay. MATT: You get the essence, being one who’s in tune with your body, and you as well, that this is definitely not a safe substance. MARISHA: This is definitely not a safe substance. MATT: It may have, with the right scenario, some situationally beneficial properties. MARISHA: I still have half a dose. I think it would be real funny to plant it on somebody and get them busted later. TRAVIS: Was it a powder, or was it like crumbles? MATT: It’s like a crumbled, dry, almost a spongy– LAURA: You guys looked like idiots, just so you know. TRAVIS: Shall we get you cleaned up? LAURA: We need to get Nott cleaned up, too.

TRAVIS: Nott cleaned up? LAURA: Yeah Nott’s covered in ash. TALIESIN: Oh yeah, everybody, let’s take a bath. ASHLEY: Can I have tried to find any information on the conflict on the Xhorhas border? MATT: Make an investigation check. SAM: Why you so interested, huh? LIAM: Yeah, I have shit to do as well, party animals. MARISHA: Don’t judge me. LIAM: I judge you heavily. ASHLEY: Six.

MATT. You’re not the best at gathering Information. Maybe it’s the– ASHLEY: It’s how I talk to people. MATT: (shouting) “Tell me what you know!” ASHLEY: (deep voice) Hey! Conflict! Xhorhas?! Tell me. MATT: You don’t glean a lot of details. Most folks tend to steer clear and walk to the other side of the road when they see you coming. What you do get to hear is that– Amongst the Ashkeeper Peaks, the mountains that largely border the south and eastern side of The Empire, to the north, there is that break.

That’s where the Ashguard Garrison is and the Rockguard Garrison. That’s where most of the battle takes place. That’s the protection border that The Empire holds to keep the Xhorhasian hordes and creatures from the waste to wander in. Although many still filter through the mountains and such. Apparently there’s been rising conflict out there. ASHLEY: To the north? MATT: Assaults on the garrisons, yeah. Northeast of where you are. Further east more, east, little bit north. You have a map. You can look. You guys bought a map.

LAURA: Hey, you want to see this map? You’re not with me. LIAM: This is an entire three day weekend. MATT: Yeah, this is throughout a week so if you wanted to pull the map out– LIAM: Pull it out! MATT: I don’t know where you guys put the map. You have a physical map. TRAVIS: Yeah, whip it out and shove it in his hand. LAURA: It’s over there somewhere. MATT: Go get it. Or somebody other than the pregnant woman go get it. LIAM: No. Not as fun. MARISHA: Blood flow, she’s fine. LIAM: Yeah, she’s got to walk. MARISHA: She’s pregnant. She’s not dead! MATT: Correct. The conflict has been more common. There’s been assaults on the garrison. It seems similar to what you heard wandering through the street before, there have been more whispers of children being stolen in the night from homesteads close to the border. LAURA: (whispering) Hide yo kids. MARISHA: (whispering) Hide yo wives. LAURA: I found the map, you guys! I had it somewhere safe. MATT: To the east, you can see the garrisons, and the gap that leads to the Xhorhasian side. LAURA: This is the Xhorhas side.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, look at that. I don’t think I’ve ever been there before. ASHLEY: There’s the Ashkeep. LAURA: Ooh, the Brokenveil Bluffs look scary. MATT: Anything else you guys want to do? LIAM: Ja, I have just enough ink and paper to learn one spell, in the big pile of spells that I have right now, so I’m adding a low level one. I am penniless. SAM: I will gladly give you money, but first– I’m going to cast Disguise Self, and turn myself into looking just like a normal halfling little girl and spend an hour at a cafe just having lunch and being a normal person.

LAURA and LIAM: Aww. SAM: Then after that, I’m going to go, and is there any place if I investigate for a while, is there any place, or service, or person, or anything that can send a package long distance safely? Money being no object. MATT: There are a few facilities in which there is a parcel system that travels between the larger cities and can go to outskirt cities, but those are a little more expensive. Yeah, that does exist.

SAM: How much to get a package to Felderwin? MATT: To Felderwin? How big a package? For a week’s worth of travel, it’ll cost you about five gold, not too much. SAM: Five gold? MATT: It’s a fairly upper end system to send a package. SAM: Pretty good, actually. That’s cheap. MATT: For you guys, yeah, for the average person, it’s not cheap. LIAM: Ten games ago, though. SAM: I’ll pay for rush delivery. MATT: There is no rush delivery. They can only go by the speed of horse. SAM: I’ll get insurance! TRAVIS and SAM: Certified. MATT: Tracking number included. SAM: Yes, thank you. I’ll write a note, and I’ll put in various items. TRAVIS: Like what? SAM: A bunch of buttons, all the rings, door knob, brass baby bottle, all the ball bearings, and the two bracelets. MATT: All righty. I think I know where you’re sending it, so. All righty. SAM: And some money. MATT: How much? SAM: 50. MATT: 50 gold. You assemble this package, wrap it up, I imagine disguise yourself once more. Paying five gold for delivery, the parcel is sent and on its way to Felderwin.

All righty, anybody else? LIAM: Well, a couple of things, so I need more ink and paper, the kind to transcribe spells. Before I get to that, and before they go off on their drug party. Yes, before Jester goes. MATT: Not a party. MARISHA and MATT: Bad idea. LIAM: It has only been a short amount of time that I am thinking, and I will be very careful, with the bag. LAURA: Are you coming onto me? LIAM: I was going to ask if I could hold the Haversack and its contents for a day, so that I could better inspect and understand the thing that– LAURA: Why do you have to do that? It’s pink! It’s mine! I paid for it! LIAM: I understand that.

I don’t want to keep the bag. I want to have it before you go off to do, I don’t know, maybe you’re going on a tour or something? LAURA: I’m not going to do anything. Do you want to hang out with me, and then you can look in the bag with me? LIAM: Aren’t you about to go out with them? You told me you were leaving. LAURA: I don’t know what you’re talking about. LIAM: Well, all right, I would love to inspect our special package and try to understand it better, if you want to be present for that– LAURA: There’s a lot of people that inspect their special packages. You get to know yourself real good, Caleb. LIAM: I know you are going to drag me over the coals for this request, and that is fine. I would like the dungeon master to fast forward to the part where you tell me if you will allow me to inspect the contents of this Haversack.

LAURA: Yeah. You want to look at it? LIAM: Do you want to do this together? LAURA: Yeah, I’ll hang out with you. I really want to see it, too. LIAM: On a different night, maybe tomorrow night, because you just told me you were about to go out with Molly. LAURA: Then maybe I’ll keep it now, and then I’ll come back tomorrow night and we’ll do this again. LIAM: Just inspect what’s in the bag. LAURA: Special packages and everything like that. I leave to go on to watch them. (laughter) LIAM: When she leaves, I look to the mirror in my room and I’m like red-faced, and I stare at myself, like dead expression, for a good 30 seconds. (laughter) LIAM: Then I find Nott. LAURA: I’ll go see you again tomorrow. I come back. Hey, okay, do you want to check this out now? LIAM: What, are you back already? No, wait a second! I’m talking to Nott, in this part of the day.

MATT: Yeah, we’ll come back. You find Nott. LIAM: I’m really blushing. How much disposable income do you have at the moment? SAM: Disposable? I have 285 gold, and therefore, disposable: 280. LIAM: Would you possibly loan me 200 gold? SAM: Here’s 280 gold. LAURA: (whispering) You need 50 still to send in your package. SAM: Already done. LAURA: Oh! How much money did you have? LIAM: I don’t think I need that much. SAM: Give me the change when you’re done spending.

LIAM: I will give you the change. Thank you, friend. I will pay you back. SAM: Fine. Or not. LIAM: Thank you for teaching me how to– and I pull out the wire and back up 20 feet across the room. Whisper: teaching me this spell. You can reply to this message. SAM: Oh! You’re welcome, young padawan. LIAM: You know the thing about it for us is, we can go– SAM: You have to cast it again! LIAM: No, we can go back and forth over and over again, just you and me. It’s endless. SAM: Oh, you’re right! It’s forever. It’s a little muffled. LIAM: For the other Dummkopfs it’s only, they can say one thing back, but you and I, we can keep going. SAM: This is really good. I can also hear you across the room though. LIAM: I know. I understand, but for demonstration purposes.

SAM: Sure. LIAM: Well, thank you. SAM: Good job. Over and out. LIAM: I will go to Mr. Sol’s establishment. (phone trilling) LIAM: That’s the sound the door makes when you enter Pumat’s store! MATT: Yeah. Where are you going? LIAM: To Pumat’s to buy ink and paper. MATT: Easy enough to do. “You go ahead and purchase enough materials as you need to get your spells there transcribed. Good on you.” LIAM: Thank you. I buy 200 gold worth and I bring Nott the 85 gold change. MATT: Sure enough. ASHLEY: May I sell my other sword? MATT: “You may. It’s not going to fetch you too much because it’s seen a lot of use. ” ASHLEY: I sharpen it.

It’s so sharp. I sharpen it every night. MATT: “That’s wonderful. I think in the long run, that’ll be a very useful feature, but it’s also not that uncommon of an object– ” ASHLEY: It’s touched by the moon. MATT: “Yeah. I’m touched by the sun every morning.” (laughter) MATT: “I’ll happily give you 30 gold pieces for that there sword, if you don’t mind?” ASHLEY: I paid all of my money for this, and it was so much more than that.

MATT: “Well, that’s the nature of business. I’m afraid.” Make a persuasion check, if you want. Your persuasion pity roll. ASHLEY: 11. MATT: “All of your money?” ASHLEY: Yeah. It actually was. MATT: “I’ll take it off your hands for 40.” ASHLEY: Yeah, okay. MATT: “All right. We’ll find a good home for it. I trust you on that.” ASHLEY: Okay. Thank you, Pumat. MATT: “No problem.” TRAVIS: (whispers) Always remember your first one. ASHLEY: (whispers) It wasn’t my first sword. TRAVIS: (whispers) Well, shit. SAM: Is my flask done? MATT: Your flask is done. SAM: Yes! MATT: A Flask of Endless Alcohol. SAM: Wow. That’s not an item on DnD Beyond. MATT: No, but it’ll be an item on your person tomorrow. When I get in there to customize it. It’ll be waiting for you. MARISHA: I’ll wake up in the morning, early after my drug hangover, and make my way, quietly.

MATT: Quite a headache. MARISHA: Quite a headache! Coffee, the bacon that I had in my pocket from yesterday. MATT: Pocket bacon! It’s the best kind! MARISHA: I head to the Cobalt Reserve. MATT: Cobalt Soul. Cobalt Reserve is on Tal’Dorei. MARISHA: Sorry, the Cobalt Soul branch in Zadash. MATT: All righty. You head to the Archive. What would you like to do? MARISHA: I’ll see if I can find Dairon. MATT: All right. You ask around for a bit. Some of the various monks recognize you on entry, and they greet you with an acknowledging nod. You didn’t make a lot of friends while you were here, of course. MARISHA: Sup? MATT: However, you do come across Archivist Xenoth who, as you’re asking the question, one of the monks sends you over to Xenoth.

He goes, “Oh, Beauregard. It’s good to see you.” MARISHA: Hey! MATT: “How may we help you?” MARISHA: Is Dairon in? MATT: “I can go and inquire. Are you here for more training?” MARISHA: Just find Dairon. Thank you. MATT: He looks genuinely spooked by the smile and is like, “That’s something. Manners! That’s new. I’m proud of– ” MARISHA: Just go find Dairon. MATT: “Right, all right.” He turns around and ascends up one of the slowly curving staircases that is carved through one of the bookshelves. You see a bookshelf that ends and then a further depth in and there’s a staircase that rides up to the top. There’s a second level above. He’s gone for about 15 or so minutes and then eventually descends the stairs. From behind, you can see Dairon.

Her dark skin over the shoulders draped in this long cloak-vest, similar to the arraignments you wear, but with a deep gray. Her at-home wear. As she steps down, her elvish features smiling, her eyes taking acknowledgement of your presence, approaches you. “You have called for me.” MARISHA: Talk in private? MATT: “Of course. This way,” and Dairon walks past. Xenoth goes, “It was good to see you, Beauregard!” MARISHA: Bye, Xenoth! MATT: Dairon leads you to one of the meeting chambers, which is usually used for research and individuals that want to quietly read through books or take notes.

Dairon closes the door behind, and it’s just the two of you. “So what are the honors?” MARISHA: Just want to let you know I’m in town and busy. MATT: “Good. I’ve heard. You are making a small name for yourself with your friends.” MARISHA: Is that good or bad? MATT: “I don’t know, is it?” MARISHA: I don’t know. It’s hard to read you. MATT: “Good. I’ve worked hard to not be easy to read. I’ll tell you one thing: being invisible can get you in some doors that otherwise you could not, but notoriety can get you in doors that you couldn’t otherwise as well. Either path has its benefits; the choice is yours which to take.” MARISHA: You don’t think the two could be mutually exclusive? Or best of both worlds? MATT: (chuckles) “With enough training and discipline, maybe. Two things, unfortunately, you lack.” MARISHA: Hey! MATT: “In time, perhaps. So why are you here? Just to tell me you’re in town?” MARISHA: No, that I’m back and I’m dedicated.

I figured showing up would be good, you know? MATT: “That is good. I’m proud of you. Do you wish to train?” MARISHA: Do you have time? MATT: “I always have time.” MARISHA: My kind of woman. Let’s go. MATT: “All right.” Dairon leads you out of the chamber and down below the archive where, as you recall, is the subterranean training boxes for the monks in which you have sand pits, you have all sorts of assembled– essentially– the word escapes me– A series of things you have to climb– MARISHA: Obstacle course? MATT: Thank you! An obstacle course– my brain is not working right now, at the moment. Obstacle courses, and places that are designed to help you gain more skill in advancing through urban and exterior vicinities. It looks like a parkour park a little bit, but not– there in that space, you and Dairon spend the better part of the afternoon– her essentially beating the shit out of you via these courses, showing you some better placement of your applications of Extract Aspects, hearing tales about the things you’ve encountered, and teaching you the importance of the specific bits of information that is most useful in the heat of battle– advancing this training and giving you a little more focused idea of the path that you have been taking, and the path that you are going.

MARISHA: I tell her about the Xhorhasian spies and the terrorist that we encountered. Does she seem like she knew that knowledge or not? MATT: She knew that they had come through; she is caught off guard that you had actually encountered them directly. Dairon says, “Interesting. I will take this into my studies.” MARISHA: They said they were looking for an artifact. Something that the wizards here had stolen? Something that they said furthered their bloodline and made sure that they furthered their population. I don’t know. Do you know anything about it? MATT: Dairon goes from this very cold exterior. For the first moment, you see a brief crack of emotion, and she leans in.

“Whatever those things told you, do not trust it. Do not take it as anything but desire to conquer and kill.” MARISHA: Why else would they attack the tower if they weren’t looking for something specific? MATT: “Oh, I’m sure they were looking for something. Do not show pity for these things.” MARISHA: I never said I show pity. I wanted to know what the hell this artifact was that they were after. Figured you here at the Cobalt Soul would know. MATT: “Unfortunately, the detailed business of the Cerberus Assembly is very carefully guarded and outside of our jurisdiction, but we’re doing our best to keep an eye in case anything slips through the cracks. They do a lot of good, but I don’t trust a mage that powerful.” MARISHA: We wouldn’t have any records on some Xhorhasian artifact that apparently keeps them alive? MATT: “None that I’ve come across.” MARISHA: All right.

MATT: “Keep your ear out. If you encounter another one of these things– these objects– or at worse, another one of these Cricks, bring what it has, bring it to us.” MARISHA: All right. Thank you, Dairon. MATT: “Of course. I may not be here in a month or so–” MARISHA: What? MATT: “I’m going to travel to Bladegarden. See what I can gather on the front lines. With these conflicts escalating, I wish to be informed as to who’s in charge there and perhaps what dangers might be creeping further into the empire.” MARISHA: This Bloodgarden in the northeast side? MATT: “Bladegarden is outside of where the garrisons are, yes. It’s where most of the main military is held.” MARISHA: Well, I still have a lot of training, so come back alive, I guess.

MATT: (chuckles) “I’ve survived long enough. Anyway, one more round of sparring?” MARISHA: Sure! MATT: With that, you and Dairon continue to trade blows and continue the lessons throughout the day. TRAVIS: That’s awesome. I want to do that obstacle course. MARISHA: I go back and join the rest. MATT: Anything else anyone wants to do? TRAVIS: (whispering) Dodecahedron, next night! LAURA: Yeah, I go knocking on his door the next night. LIAM: I buy all that ink and paper and I spend the rest of that day learning a small handful of new spells, which are in the Rolodex now, and then the next night– LAURA: (rapidly knocking) LIAM: Ja, hallo.

LAURA: (still knocking) Hello! LIAM: Are you coming in? Come in, it’s open. SAM: This is night time? MATT: At this point, sure. SAM: I am definitely in the room. LAURA: (seductively) Hello Caleb. Hello Nott. SAM: (suspiciously) Hi. (laughter) LAURA: Caleb and I have a date to talk about his special package. SAM: Do you need some privacy? LAURA: No, we’re good. I open up the haversack and pull out the box. LIAM: We are going to attempt to examine the football, as it were. You can remain if you like. Are you curious yourself? SAM: Sure, you might need me to heal you. LIAM: To the best– ooh, that’s a good idea. You know, to the best of my knowledge, this is– and it’s limited– this is a very powerful thing, and we are taking a risk– LAURA: Okay. LIAM: –but one that I think is worthwhile. LAURA: Okay. LIAM: Are you still game? LAURA: (clenching) Yes! LIAM: All right. We put the lead box on the floor. Let’s leave it in the lead box, but we’ll lift the lid.

LAURA: That’s probably good, because people are still looking for it probably, so it’s probably stupid that we’re fucking with it right now. LIAM: It is a calculated risk and we are going to do this. We are not going to take a lot of time. SAM: It’s nice that you guys are talking about your limitations and setting your expectations before you go into this together. There’s some word that you need, like a safe-thing? LIAM: Yes, the safe word is Fjord, so if shit goes pear-shaped, and one of us says Fjord, get Fjord. SAM: Sure. LAURA: Yes. Are you going to go all like (tonal sound) while you look at it, or are you going to be normal? LIAM: Truthfully, I have no idea. LAURA: Okay, cool. LIAM: You game? LAURA: Totally game. LIAM: Okay, I am not coming on to you, but will you hold my hand while we do this, that way if we– (laughter) I cannot even look at you– I cannot believe I am doing this experiment with you. Let’s not cover the camera, and let’s examine it together, and if we go to the Nine Hells or something, at least we’ll be there together in theory.

LAURA: Okay. LIAM: We are going to look at this thing. MATT: Both of you, or just you? LIAM: I don’t know. I am looking at it. LAURA: I’m looking at Caleb. (laughter) MATT: All right. As you focus on the strange artifact, concentrating on it, you feel your vision drawn towards it. Part of you feels like your body’s leaning forward, like you’re about to hit your forehead, but Caleb hasn’t moved at all. LAURA: Oh, okay. MATT: Caleb hasn’t moved, but from your perspective, you feel like– and then suddenly, you feel like you’re within the dodecahedron, and like previously, suddenly there’s this loss of light, and stars begin to peek out around you. MATT: You see shapes and forms of purples and blues, these amorphous clouds that drift by on a scale that you cannot comprehend. You see darkened spheres and objects passing you as you drift into nothing, into this void with distant dots of light and sparkle.

You get to that point you were before, where you feel like there’s a threshold, and your heart begins to race. Do you continue? LIAM: (whispers) Yeah. LAURA: I’ve got his hand. MATT: As you continue past that threshold, the speed begins to increase. LAURA: (excitedly) Oh no! MATT: You feel the back of your neck begin to grow warm and the hair begin to stand up. While you cannot see, you can still sense your body’s presence– unmoving, but moving so quickly, this duel sensation is conflicting and causing your heart rate to jump. Your breathing begins to speed up. You guys watch as his breathing begins to increase. There, you see this faint gray glow approach and stop. Your speed comes to a slow crawl and then halts. There before you, you see this tiny, little mote of gray, pulsing light; a similar undulating pulse as the dodecahedron itself (heartbeat) before you. What do you do? LAURA: (growling) What do you do? SAM: (grumbling noises) LIAM: (long pause) Do you know if it’s achievable? MATT: No response.

It looks like it’s right there, but a foot in front of you. LIAM: There’s nothing about it that is sensible or familiar; it’s totally alien to me? MATT: It is immediacy and forever; it is an ancient concept of possibility. As you ask these questions and begin to contemplate, the loop of your thought process begins to cycle on itself, and you have to shake your head not to be lost in this infinity that threatens to suddenly disperse you. Still, it is this tiny, gray thing before you, and it seems to want your contact.

LAURA: (whispering) Lick it! MATT: You look down and you can see your hand in front of you. LIAM: Father and mother– I hope I do not let you down. MATT: As you reach out and touch, you guys watch as this– LAURA: Did we hear him talking? MATT: You hear him talking. You see a faint mote of gray begin to drift out of the dodecahedron, and then it floats and enters and vanishes into the chest of Caleb.

TRAVIS and LAURA: Oh shit! MATT: Caleb, you feel this tiny mote come into your hand, and then you pull it to your chest, and you feel this warmth, and for a second probability becomes slightly malleable. This object is still so much more than what you understand; its power is indecipherable on the scale of your puny, mortal knowledge, but you do know that somehow, by reaching out to this device, you’ve managed to pull within yourself a Fragment of Possibility. SAM: What does that mean? Fragment of Possibility? LAURA: It means he’s lucky again.

MARISHA: Yeah, it’s the Luck feat all over again! MATT: Just so you guys know– well, he’ll tell you when he gets around to it. SAM: No he won’t! He will never tell us! TRAVIS: Come on! Dish. MATT: That’s up to him to tell in the story. LIAM: It’s a big paper. Let me read it. LAURA: Did we get it too because we were holding his hand? MATT: No. The moment that that enters his chest, Caleb pulls his hand from you. Caleb, your eyes adjust, and you’re back in the room with your friends.

LAURA: (whispering) Damn it. SAM: Caleb, are you okay? You went skinky-doodle for a second. Are you all right? Hello? Hello, Wildemount to Caleb? LIAM: I’m wide-eyed and not responding. SAM: He can’t speak anymore, he’s forgotten– LAURA: Caleb, we heard you talking, though. Are you okay? Caleb? SAM: Eins! Zwei! Drei! He’s forgotten all language. LAURA: Uno, dos, tres. Quatro. LIAM: I’m literally trying to read this and failing because of my friends. SAM: Quick. Make out with him. True love’s kiss is the only thing that will bring him back.

LAURA: I think he seems like he’s pretty okay, though. SAM: Just make out with him! ASHLEY: (laughter) True love’s kiss. LAURA: I don’t know. MARISHA: Focus past the distractions. TRAVIS: Or you could just tell us. LAURA: You could read it out loud you know. TALIESIN: What’s it say? MARISHA: Never. He’s never going to tell us. MATT: Player privilege, unfortunately. He’s the one who that looked into it. If he doesn’t tell you soon, I’ll tell you, but– LIAM: That’s your right– I literally still don’t know what it does because everyone is talking constantly. LAURA: If you read it out loud then we’ll shut up. TRAVIS: Yeah, we’ll share in this adventure with you. LAURA: That’s right! Then we can all be a team.

LIAM: The dodecahedron of gray faintly glowing crystal is heavier than it appears. This is peer pressure. A set of handles are affixed to the sides and it undulates to the touch. That’s all you get. If a hand is placed on the artifact and is concentrated on for one minute, the bearer is granted a Fragment of Possibility. A Fragment lasts for eight hours or until used. A Fragment cannot be granted again until the next dawn. After a creature with a Fragment of Possibility makes an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw they can expend their Fragment to roll an additional d20 and choose which of the rolls is used for the attack roll.

MATT: Once per day it can grant one person a luck point. LAURA: We can pass it around! LIAM: Ultimately, after an attack roll is made against a creature they can expend their Fragment of Possibility to roll and additional d20 to see if the attacker hits. MARISHA: You’re like chipping away at it? Like an ice sculpture? LIAM: It is like one luck. That lasts for eight hours. MATT: It grants you this mote of energy. LAURA: We could literally– we could each of us every day pass it to a different person and then we could concentrate on it and we could have the Fragment. LIAM: Am I able to tell if that is correct? MATT: It gives you– the Fragment only lasts for eight hours.

You can only give out one Fragment per day, so– LIAM: Any one of us, one time. It can only grant this gift once a day to one of us. MATT: Correct, yes. It could be the same person every day or it could be a different person. It gives you the chance that this could be used by anybody in your group. LIAM: I absentmindedly babble about what I think this thing can do. It’s very incoherent. LAURA: Why were you talking about your mom and your dad, though? (silence) LAURA: Was that a weird question? Should I have not asked that? SAM: I mean, it was on my mind, but I wasn’t going to bring it up. (laughter) LIAM: What did I say? What do you mean? LAURA: You said, “Mom and Dad I hope that I make you proud–” SAM: Or don’t disappoint you.

LAURA: “–and I don’t disappoint you and stuff,” and also, “gee whiz, I should probably take baths more often.” SAM: That’s not– not that part. LAURA: Well you were going to say that and then the gray thing went into you. LIAM: Okay. SAM: You said, “Oh I wish I could share my problems with my friends.” LAURA: Yeah, that’s what you’re saying. I remember hearing that part.

(laughter) LIAM: What? That is a very common sentiment. Isn’t it? SAM: It is. LAURA: If you ever want to talk about it you can just come to us! LIAM: Good to know. LAURA: We’re super good at talking, both of us! LIAM: That is true. For both of you. LAURA: Tomorrow I want the thingy okay? LIAM: Well you are in possession of it for the most part. I said I wanted to have a look at it. LAURA: You’re right. I am. LIAM: We can take turns with it. We will decide. SAM: We don’t have to tell the others about this, do we? I mean we’re supposed to be a team. LIAM: By the way, I shut the lead cover on the box. Let’s put it back in. LAURA: (gasping) Oh my gods! What if, now that the gray thing is in you, the wizards in town will be able to sense you? SAM: What? Why would that– no! LAURA: Maybe you should be in the lead case now.

LIAM: That’s not how that works. LAURA: Are you sure, though? LIAM: I am sure, yeah. Also, with the knowledge that I have and everything that just happened, am I aware– the gray more that went inside me. Would I know, does that limit this thing’s ability to me? Or no? MATT: What do you mean? LIAM: Well in the description, DM, you said this gray mote went into Caleb, not into them. Can anyone use this thing? MATT: Anyone can use it. LIAM: Good. All right. Just checking. LAURA: The next day the gray thing will go in someone else.

LIAM: Right. It’s like the little, you know, when you’re learning lyrics for karaoke and the little thing bounces along. SAM: We all know what that experience is like. LIAM: Yeah, I think this is a very potent thing, and we can use it to do a lot of good. You know, not in the heat of the moment to try to hit a gnoll in the face with something, but when we are really trying to figure something out or do the unachievable. LAURA: Or if like you really want to put a mustache on a fucking statue. SAM: You need extra luck for that. LIAM: That’s a good hypothetical. LAURA: Yeah, just in case you ever wanted to do that. SAM: Can I just say, real quick, before we adjourn, there was something that you were reluctant to do because of your own personal fears, and you entrusted Jester to inspire you to do something that was possibly uncomfortable for you, and it worked out great! I think that moving forward if you want to just go for it! As long as you have trusted friends with you, then that would be a good option to do.

LIAM: That was a lot of advice. I mean, it is no secret that I like these people, so we are in good company. This is working out. You are, you know, you are capable– oh dear. I’m going to go to bed now. LAURA: Your son is just the cutest. SAM: He’s not my son! LIAM: Definitely heard that. Awkward and weird and makes no sense but I will– oh, this is my room! You have to go to your room! LAURA: (sing-song) Okay, well goodnight then! LIAM: Goodnight. LAURA: Goodnight, Caleb– If you need anything I’ll just be in another room– SAM: Get out! Just go! Just leave! MATT: The following day, through your various lowkey journeys, you catch another town crier wandering through the town, shouting, “Murderers of the High-Richter brought to justice. By the crown’s protective eye, Zadash is free from these treacherous cut-throats!” LAURA: Who was it? SAM: Who was it who killed her? MATT: (shouting) “I don’t know! I’m just told to tell this!” SAM: (shouting) What does it say? ASHLEY: It’s all it says again! MATT: (fearful shout) LIAM: This is the next morning? MATT: This is the next morning.

ASHLEY: How do they give you more information? Just a headline; there’s nothing else! MATT: Over the next few days, the Crownsguard and the Righteous Brand, which is the name of the military of the Empire– the presence at the gates of Zadash has dwindled to normal. The backed up caravans and travellers begin to wash into the city once more in preparation for the Harvest Close festival, now only but a few days away. You watch as strands of linen all of the colors of autumn are affixed between street arches and lantern poles; a celebratory display, far less fancy, but more widespread than the Harvest Close Gala not but a week before in the Tri-Spires. That’s where we’re going to pick up next week! (cheering) LAURA: (singing) Victory Pit! MATT: We’re going to pick up at the Harvest Close festival! TRAVIS: Yeah! Skydive, baby. Oh shit! What is it called? It’s a–? LAURA: A Mote of Possibility? MATT: A Fragment. Fragment of Possibility. SAM: (singing) Mote of Possibility! MATT: Well done, guys. TRAVIS: Nice job, Matt! LIAM: I’m going to– no, you should hold onto this because you’ve got the Haversack.

MATT: All righty, so I’ll go ahead and get those custom items over to your guys’ inventory on D&D Beyond tomorrow. SAM: Custom items? MATT: We’ll come back next week for a Harvest Close Festival. We get to have a festival. ALL: Yay! TRAVIS: Those always go well. MATT: Those always go well. It’s going to be great! SAM: Do we need to dress up, Matt? ASHLEY: Like we did for the winter festival at our home game? MATT: That’s up to you guys.

You’re more than welcome to! SAM: What kind of festival? This is a winter festival? MATT: Harvest Close. It’s the end of autumn. All the colors are like reds, golds, browns, tans, yellows. MARISHA: Oktoberfest! It’s Oktoberfest, you guys. Wait, do we come in the Ren Faire gear that we own? LAURA: We’ll figure it out. TALIESIN: We’ll start a brand new text thread. MATT: All righty. LIAM: Lederhosen. MATT: Indeed. TALIESIN: I own some really nice Lederhosen. MARISHA: You do. I was with you when you bought them. TALIESIN: No– were you? Oh, that’s the other pair. MARISHA: (laughter) That’s the other pair? LIAM: Wow! TRAVIS: Only him. LAURA: That was fun, you guys. MATT: All righty! Well, we’ll pick up next week. We missed everybody who’re out watching Avengers: Infinity War, but we’re also jealous because we didn’t see it tonight. But! Seeing it tomorrow! Excited about that! Thank you for joining us. Hope you had a good time. We love you guys, we’ll see you next week, and is it Thursday yet? Good night!.

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