The Mines of the Many | Critical Role: VOX MACHINA | Episode 98

MATT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons, or are a little late on the draw when shouting the phrase out, Travis Willingham. (laughs) Anyway, before we get into tonight’s episode, let’s go ahead and jump into our announcements. Let’s see here, we’ve got a new game called Injustice 2 that just came out TRAVIS and ASHLEY: Yeah! LAURA: Wait a minute. What is this Injustice 2 you speak of? TRAVIS: Is that the shapes and pie-making game that you play in the kitchen bakery? MARISHA: It’s like Cooking Mama LAURA: I watched a video today of you and you fighting, which was pretty exciting MATT: Yeah, we have all the Flashes covered, I think TALIESIN: All of the Flashes are on this show LAURA: That’s crazy MATT: So who do you guys play? TALIESIN: I play Barry Allen LIAM: I play Reverse-Flash. What’s his name? TALIESIN: Eobard Thawne LIAM: Right LAURA: I play Supergirl! TRAVIS: I play Tim Garrick TALIESIN: Jay Garrick TRAVIS: Jay Garrick. I wear a tin pail for a helmet MATT: It’s pretty slick TRAVIS: The one Flash I don’t know, really MATT: Next Halloween, man. Just saying. I’d love a picture of you wearing that hat TALIESIN: Oh my god! ASHLEY: Yes, please MATT: Please. It’ll be great. And I play Deadshot Yeah, check it out, it looks really good. They had us all do really intense facial motion capture which is even funnier, considering that my character wears a mask the whole time TRAVIS: Did they really make you do that? MATT and TALIESIN: Yeah TRAVIS: With a mask? MATT: Well, not with a mask on my face, but yeah TALIESIN: That would’ve been even better MATT: I assume there’ll be a DLC costume where he doesn’t have a mask, or they just did it to fuck with me, which I respect either way TRAVIS: They’re in the booth, going (whispers) we’re not getting any of this! TALIESIN: Don’t tell him! Let it roll TRAVIS: Just draw a dick-butt on his forehead; it’s fine LAURA: Those bright lights are headache-inducing, yeah MATT: So check it out. It’s out now, it’s fun! What I’ve seen of it looks actually really cool TALIESIN: I’ve played a little; it’s fun MATT: They got their RPG in my fighting game, and that’s right up my alley. All right, also, because it’s coming up real fast, reminder, MomoCon, May 25th to the 28th. MoMocon! Taliesin, Marisha, myself, and Brian W. Foster are going to be there for a Talks Machina panel, as well as other events throughout the weekend, so look forward to seeing you there in Atlanta, Georgia, weekend after this one. Also, I will be at A-Kon once again, June 8th to the 11th in Fort Worth, Texas. Come say hello to me there. And then, remember that Talks Machina is live on Tuesdays at 7PM Pacific Time here on Twitch and Alpha. The submission email has changed, so to submit your gif and/or fanart of the week, use submit@talksmachina.com. So that is submit, submit! One submit, not two, that’s just my psychosis. Submit@talksmachina.com. Yes. Anything else anyone wants to talk about, are we good? Move on to the game for the night LAURA: Oh! Farpoint came out. So if you have PlayStation Virtual Reality System, then you can get Farpoint, and I play Dr. Eva Tyson on it, and it’s actually a really freaking cool game TRAVIS: It’s fun, you shoot things with a gun. Do you have to get the gun for it? LAURA: You shoot things with a gun, and it was a really cool script and stuff I liked the story a lot LIAM: That’s not how guns work TALIESIN and MARISHA: Are we talking about next week? MATT: Oh, yeah, we should say that, too MARISHA: That’s a big one MATT: That wasn’t on the list. So yeah. So we’re missing two cast members next week TRAVIS: Guess who’s not here MATT: What? That’s terrible ASHLEY: Hey! MATT: But given the circumstance, instead, we’re going to have a non-numbered episode next week, instead it looks like we’re going to throw in for a new, higher-level battle royale for those who will be here to see how some of these high-level abilities function MARISHA: You won’t be there to put my face in lava this time! I’ll just have myself to do that ASHLEY: I know, you guys, I won’t be there, so TRAVIS: Will Friedle won the first one, she won the last one LAURA: I’ve never done it SAM: I’ve never done it, either LAURA: Oh no. And you’re doing it as Tary? MATT: It’s up to you; you get to choose MARISHA: Are you going to bring back Scanlan? SAM: All right, Taryon’s going to die in like five seconds (laughter) TALIESIN: So if we loot Tary’s body, do we get all of his stuff? MATT: It’s not in canon TALIESIN: No, even not in canon, in the game MATT: Oh, if you go to his body after he’s dead, you can grab any of his shit to use it TALIESIN: You are a loot drop, oh my god MATT: As long as it’s not attunement, you can use it LAURA: Is the helmet attuned? It is, isn’t it? MATT: I believe it is, yes SAM: Probably, yeah LAURA: Too bad. But we can just steal all of his jewels just for the sake of it MATT: There you go. In the alternate universe version, you are just decked out SAM: Do I get Doty in the fight? MATT: Yeah SAM: Okay. That helps MATT: And you’ll be leveled up to their level SAM: And I’ll be leveled up to their level? MATT: For the battle royale, yeah TALIESIN: Yeah, we level up for that MATT: Anyway, that’ll be next week. That pushes our hundredth episode to June 8th. And it looks

like we’re confirmed for June 1st for our next guest, I believe SAM: Yes. Yes, we are. We are confirmed for that Are we announcing that? MATT: Yeah, sure. Yeah SAM: Oh, well, yeah, on June 1st, our next guest, Jon Heder AKA Napoleon Dynamite, is going to come play with us and roll some dice. Yeah MARISHA: My mother has never been so proud of me LAURA: So, did we already say that because next week is a battle royale, that means our hundredth episode– MATT: Is pushed to the 8th, yes LAURA: Okay, you already said that? Was I busy rolling dice and talking? MATT: You were. But thank you, Laura. Good looking out. I appreciate that. So yeah, I think that’s all the major news, and given that, let’s go ahead and dive in to tonight’s episode of Critical Role [dramatic music] MATT: Hello and welcome back, everybody. So last time where we left off, Vox Machina, upon working on their bakery, the Slayer’s Cake in Whitestone, made a possible new hire who turned out to be a drow bounty hunter named K’rynn, who was sent here to acquire Taryon Darrington and bring him back home to the city of Deastok In Wildmount. You guys all, through a series of high-level magic scrying and transportation, managed to cut off this specific bounty hunter on the outskirts of the city, and in doing so made an agreement to not slay her where she stood, and instead possibly make a transaction down the road. You guys then made your way into the city of Deastok to the Darrington Estate and were led up into the study of Howaardt Darrington, father of Taryon, in which you all discussed the reasons of why he was brought back, the current financial state of the family, and the intent to resolve and remedy long-standing sins of the father, through you standing up and doing your family duty, from his perspective. We left off as you guys had just finished that conversation. You’ve exited his study and were about to go about your business. Coming off the tension of the conversation, you closed behind you with a clack the heavy wooden doors of Howaardt’s study. There you have Bertholt, who’s standing off to the side, the dragonborn servant of the Darrington family, waiting patiently, and you all at this moment are at your own disposal. What do you wish to do? SAM: Just before we move: the names that Dad had told us about to maybe parlay with in the Myriad? LAURA: Korshad SAM: Korshad? MATT: Korshad, yes TRAVIS: And how much was the debt? It was 260,000? SAM: 230,000! MATT: 230,000 gold debt SAM: But wait, wasn’t there some other name, the little– TRAVIS: Lydia! MATT: Lydia was who you are to be betrothed to, and the location was the Grumpy Lily MARISHA: I was questioning myself, I was like there was no way something

was called the Grumpy Lily MATT: Had a stroke while taking notes in D&D Grumpy Lily! LAURA: The Many is who we want to speak to TALIESIN: Just as something that happened, during that whole family conversation I was scanning the room and the bookshelves for anything interesting, anything out of sorts, anything out of place MATT: Make a retroactive perception check SAM: A retroactive perception check! TALIESIN: I didn’t want to– yeah, I didn’t see shit. I just rolled a three; that’s nothing MATT: Rightly so! SAM: Retrograde! You know they always say that retrograde perception is 20/20? MATT: What? TALIESIN: I appreciate what you were going for there SAM: Anyway, I would love to ask Bertholt if he knows the location of my sister MATT: “Well, if you are looking for Maryanne, she’s probably in her chambers.” SAM: All right, well, I mean I guess we can all walk to her room and knock on the door. It’s a little weird, right? LIAM: You want to go talk to her and touch base with her first? You can introduce us to her after SAM: Sure. I’ll lead them back downstairs to that main room that was all awful and terrible, right? MATT: Well, it was just dark and cold and empty SAM: So I’ll lead them down there. This was our playroom, maybe you should just wait here and I’ll go talk to sis. I’ll be right back LAURA: All right TRAVIS: Is there like furniture to sit on, or is it barren? MATT: No, no. There’s furniture, and a lot of the furniture here is really well made, dark woods, fine deep red and maroon fabrics. A lot of it has dust on it TALIESIN: Plastic covers? No plastic covers? MATT: No plastic covers. But some of the furniture here is for use and some of it is here just as part of the decor, and it’s very easy to see which ones are which LAURA: I’m definitely going to sit on the ones that are just for decor MATT: Okay, they’re really uncomfortable LAURA: Cool. Going to rub my butt all over it MATT: You leave a little butt-print in the dust Perfect. At which point, Bertholt acknowledges that you guys will be staying. “Could I get anything for you? Perhaps teas, juice, water?” TRAVIS: What is this bullshit, no ale? LAURA: Do you have fermented juice? MATT: “I’ll fetch the wine.” And he hobbles off to acquire some means of imbibement TRAVIS: Should we pay him? We just found out he’s dead fucking broke LAURA: I’d rather not TRAVIS: Okay (laughter) MATT: Okay. You make your way back to the second floor and off to the far western end of the estate, to what you recall being Maryanne’s chambers. So as you enter her room, which has become her own study, as you recall last time seeing her, her room was becoming more and more of a functional office, and as you knock and push the door open like a familiar brother does, not wishing for any patience on her end, necessarily, you can see the interiors. The bed’s there for function Most if it is, I wouldn’t say a replica, but it very much resembles the decor and mood of your father’s study. You see her currently sitting at a desk in the corner. Her blonde hair is tied back in a tied braid that runs down her back. She wears a coat and pants and seems to be dressed a little formally or businesslike for being casually at home. You haven’t really seen her dress like this before, at least not in a casual circumstance. As you glance over past the doorway she looks up from her papers and goes, “Brother!” SAM: Hello, sister MATT: “Brother, what–” She closes the book. You can see she’s been looking over ledgers and catalogues. Looks like she’s been doing a fair amount of work here at the desk and stands up in a very formal way and begins to step towards you “When have you arrived?” SAM: Just today. Father kidnapped me and brought me home MATT: “Kidnapped?” SAM: Well, I’m not a kid, but still works Abducted. Abducted me and brought me home. Paid someone to do it MATT: “Right.” SAM: Yes. Anyway, it’s good to see you. Your room is coming along quite nicely. It seems like you’re

running the show now, is that true? MATT: “No, not quite, but the responsibilities have definitely been mounting. You look well. How “have the wind-tossed roads of Exandria treated you this past year?” SAM: Well, I have had many adventures and close calls, but I won’t bore you with those details It’s been an interesting year abroad, and I would say I’m glad to be back, but for the abduction part and also the fact that I’ve now learned that we are destitute? Is that true? MATT: “We’re on the path to destitution, yes.” SAM: So it’s true; he wasn’t just trying to guilt me MATT: “Probably both, to be honest. We’re in a relatively dire situation compared to our previous “long-standing lifestyle choices. We’re trying to fix this mess.” SAM: And what would have been your plan had I not arrived today? MATT: “Well, you were part of the plan. We’re trying to figure this out the best we can and “given the circumstances, we feel this is probably one of the most viable and least dangerous or risky “endeavors in which we can right the family’s trajectory.” SAM: By marrying me to some lady I’ve never met? MATT: “Oh, you’re welcome to meet her. I’ve met her. I helped to arrange this.” SAM: What is she like? MATT: “She’s very nice. She’s very pretty, a bit bookish, which once again would befit you rather “well, but let’s be honest. This is a political marriage. You do what you want. I mean, “there isn’t a politician or a lord of this land that hasn’t in some way, shape, or form made their “own life outside of the family.” At that point, you noticed she gets a bit dark and seems to speak with this bit of sarcasm SAM: And father’s businesses, are they being run the same way? With the same attention to detail? MATT: “There’s been no necessary change to the way business has been done. Other than the transition “of some responsibilities, of course.” And she gives a slight nod. She’s getting a little uncomfortable as this conversation continues SAM: Listen, I’m sorry to pop in like this and challenge your judgment, but me marrying this person would solve our problems long-term? Somehow? MATT: “Marrying into this family, the Truscan lot, would enable us the resources and connections to “reacquire the deeds to our land, to reacquire the business elements that we’ve been in this “unnecessary partnership with for some time, and would enable us to once again reclaim complete “rulership of our family-controlled lands.” SAM: Do we not own anything anymore? MATT: “It is a partnership that is quickly sliding into the behest of the Myriad.” SAM: So what is ours now? Anything? Our personal belongings? This home? MATT: “We still own everything, in partnership Own solely on our own? Some of the furniture.” SAM: And again, if I do this, what’s to say we’re not just going to drive up another debt again? Doesn’t seem like father or you have been very good at keeping us in the black MATT: “I have only been recently brought into this unfortunate circumstance, brother. And you can “trust in knowing that in my studies and my time spent here, working with father, being very clear, “and very thorough with the mistakes he’s made in the past, “I will not be doomed to repeat them.” SAM: So you and he are two peas in a pod, yes? MATT: “Well, he’s certainly in need of retiring based on the stress he’s put upon himself. It would

“not be long until I will take over the responsibilities.” SAM: Well, I may poke around and see if there’s another way I could help. But before I do, is this fun for you? Do you like running this business, or almost running it? MATT: “It’s certainly a better challenge than many other daughters of lords “are given in their time.” SAM: Do you have any friends? MATT: “Friends come, when the money and power’s in place. You know this.” SAM: I do MATT: “It’s the way the land works.” SAM: Well, I’ll leave you to your work, and– love the decorations. I’m considering the offer and I’ll have an answer for you by tomorrow morning MATT: “Wonderful.” As you begin to make any sort of exit, she catches you and goes, “Brother, “your arrival here is a great boon to us. You have the power to change the fate of this family “Consider the respect you have for the people who have worked their entire lives to provide for you “what you have been given. Mother and Father sacrificed so much for us. Consider weighing one’s “selfish interest versus the importance of a bloodline. That is all I ask.” SAM: All right. I’ll consider it. With all my intellect MATT: “Well, it’s good to see you.” She steps forward and gives you a half-hug It’s like– SAM: A pat. The back pat. Good day MATT: “Good day.” She straightens her coat and sits back behind her desk and waits for you to leave SAM: All right. I’ll shimmy out. (sighs) All right, I’ll rejoin my friends downstairs. Well– LAURA: How did it go? LIAM: Well, yourself SAM: As expected. Things are about the same between me and Maryanne LAURA: Is she still a raging bitch? SAM: No, she’s not raging ASHLEY: I just think it’s rather rude that she doesn’t want to come down here and meet us SAM: She has her work and her– LIAM: Oh, she’s not coming down? SAM: No LIAM: That’s weird SAM: I mean, I don’t know, she’s busy. I guess LIAM: Okay SAM: They’re not guest people. They’re not dinner party family LIAM: We picked up on that LAURA: Not even for people who could help them with their name? MARISHA: Did you mention us or anything else? SAM: Nope. It didn’t come up LIAM: Did they have any idea what a heavy hitter you are now? The type of people you roll with? SAM: They said, how have I been? But they don’t really give a shit either way MARISHA: So you didn’t even offer up the information? SAM: If they are not interested in me, why should I be interested in them knowing about me? LAURA: That’s a very good point LIAM: Let’s back it up. What are you thinking? Where’s your head at? How can we help you? SAM: I don’t know what to do. There’s this woman; she’s apparently nice and I could go for it and marry her, and then it seems like all my family problems would be okay ASHLEY: Forever? MARISHA: There’s no such thing as family problems being okay for forever TRAVIS: Really? SAM: I don’t know. I’m sort of curious about talking to the people who are in this contract with my father and seeing if there’s any way to wiggle out of it a little bit, but I don’t know how to solve everything right now. I also don’t know– I feel a duty, a responsibility to this family, because they are my family MARISHA: Grog! TRAVIS: You feel a doodie? The privy is over there! Or over there! Or the front yard beckons TALIESIN: He may have opened a bottle of wine TRAVIS: I’m lost for the rest of this conversation LAURA: No, we’re not drunk, we may have just had a little bit of wine, just a small amount

TRAVIS: I carved my name into the floor SAM: Part of me wants to– oh god. Part of me wants to turn around and go back with you to Whitestone and forget that the Darringtons exist, but I don’t think I can’t do that. I am a Darrington and I owe it at least to my name to try and fix what I can LAURA: That’s your plan? SAM: Yes LAURA: Don’t sacrifice your entire life for this, though SAM: Well, I’ll try not to, but it seems like a plan B at this point LIAM: Also, you had no prior knowledge to your family’s connection to the mob? SAM: No? It’s way cooler than I thought my family ever was. I knew my dad did shady business with lots of shady characters but I never knew– I assumed he paid off people. I assumed he had friends in high places and people who you’d have to bribe to turn the other cheek, but I never knew that he was in business with them, owing our whole existence to these terrible people, and I don’t know what to make of that LIAM: T, I think we’re all prepared to help you do anything you want to do, but are you sure you want to help perpetuate the family business? SAM: Definitely not. Listen, I think there’s two steps to this: there’s the short term and the long term. We have to solve this short-term need really quickly. Not this whole 230,000-dollar– I mean -gold debt. It’s a Whitestone term, I mean a Wildmount. Oh my god. My phone rang! I’m confused! Anyway, listen, couple drinks before– no. We have a short-term problem that we can maybe go alleviate a bit if we go talk to these folk at the Laughing Ninny or whatever it’s called The Grumpy Lily LIAM: I like the Laughing Ninny. I kinda want to go there instead TALIESIN: It’s a stand-up comedy club (laughter) SAM: And then there’s a long-term problem which I’ll have to solve on another day. There’s a long- term problem that my family is awful and needs to be stopped at all costs, and that’s something that I’ll have to deal with tomorrow LAURA: Do the Truscans, that’s who you are being married into potentially, do they have a son? TALIESIN: That doesn’t help! That’s almost beside the point! SAM: You’re talking about marrying the sister? Yeah TALIESIN: Oh, that’s still– LAURA: I guess it’s not the same, is it? TALIESIN: No! Actually, it’s unfortunately the opposite SAM: You’re royalty. You know this! LAURA: Of course, I know everything about royalty SAM: Little royal girl MARISHA: What exactly is your duty that you are feeling inclined towards? Damn it, Grog! TALIESIN: Lilah? Is it Lilah? ALL: Lydia TALIESIN: Perhaps we should talk to this Lydia as well, because she is obviously in a position of being told what she is going to do with herself MARISHA: Yeah! Maybe she’s also a badass! LIAM: At the very least, we should meet all the chess pieces on the board, right? SAM: I mean, she lives in another part of the kingdom, right, Matthew Mercer? MARISHA: That’s not a problem SAM: Oh yes, that’s true. But there’s the in-town people we can meet first LAURA: Sure. Let’s talk to the mob! SAM: Yes, of course! You’ll come with me? Because I can’t talk to the mob by myself LAURA: Tary, of course we will! TRAVIS: Wait, when you said we need to stop your family at all costs, are you talking about killing them? SAM: No, I’m not talking about killing them MARISHA: Yeah, but Grog does bring up a point that I was trying to make before he started laughing when I said “duty.” (giggles) But what, are you committed to keeping your family around? You said you were compelled and you felt like you had a duty but then you immediately started talking about– TALIESIN: Stop it, Travis! God, I can’t– MARISHA: Tearing your family apart? And stopping them? SAM: My family is pretty bad, I’ve learned. But I’ve also learned from young Trickfoot that even a

rotten family is worth trying to save. And I admire the path that she took with her family, and I would like to at least try to push mine in the right direction and try to make our name a little less shitty LIAM: That is a pretty big matzo ball, my friend SAM: Well, that’s why that’s long term. In the short term, I just want to get them safe MARISHA: If there’s one thing I understand, it’s giving your life to a cause SAM: I don’t want to die, if that’s what you’re saying MARISHA: No SAM: Dedicating MARISHA: Dedicating SAM: Thank you MARISHA: Time is a gift, I would say SAM: Sure MARISHA: So dedicating that gift is, it’s a big thing, but I hope you believe in it SAM: I don’t believe in them, but I believe in the cause right now, and we’ll see how far that takes us MARISHA: We believe in you SAM: You guys TRAVIS: Can you describe to me this duty? MARISHA: You don’t care! TRAVIS: I think I do now. Is it real hard? SAM: It’s a little more nebulous than that, Grog TALIESIN: We can pass on this for now TRAVIS: Adjectives are not my strong suit, so LAURA: You know what an adjective is! That’s impressive TRAVIS: Yeah. No, I got it one time at this tavern. I had it for two nights It just itched everywhere SAM: Listen. When you see my duty, you’ll know TRAVIS: Copy that LIAM: It’s loose. This duty is loose LAURA: Should we go to the Grumpy Lily, then? TALIESIN: Please LAURA: This is going so well MATT: As you’re exiting the house and Berthold’s opening the door, you hear some heavy creaking from the stair that leads down to the main area, and you watch as an older woman in her early fifties or so with her mid-length, curly brown hair in shades of gray, green eyes behind a small set of reading spectacles, stoic of face, wearing what looks to be some sort of a finely crafted silk robe, clutching a book under her arm, comes down the steps and looks down and goes, “Taryon?” SAM: Mama? MATT: “Taryon, my boy!” And she sets the book down and walks up, puts her hands out as she says, “Oh,” takes you at the sides of the face and pulls you in for (kisses). “Oh, terribly sorry. I “didn’t realize that we had guests.” SAM: Oh, yes, these are my allies and my friends This is the team known as Vox Machina. They are a fearless band of adventurers and they have taken me in as their own MATT: “Look at you, so rugged!” SAM: Well. Yes, I am, a bit! MATT: “So you’ve had some adventures with my boy, have you? ALL: We have MATT: “That’s wonderful. Have you spoken with your father?” SAM: Yes, I’ve spoken to Father, and Sister, and it’s good to know they’re healthy. And it’s lovely to see you, as well. Have you been happy at all, this last year? MATT: “I–” And she reaches back and takes the book off the step and goes, “I’ve been making my “way through your library.” SAM: Oh! Oh, my books, in my room MATT: “Yes! Well, I’ve had a lot of time to myself. Been a bit under the weather for some “time, and these have kept me fine company.” SAM: Oh. That’s lovely. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I did. What’s your favorite one? MATT: “Well, not this piece of trash.” And she sets it down. “There’s one. What was it called? “The River’s Dawn. It was a brilliant–” SAM: Before the River’s Dawn, yes MATT: “Before the River’s Dawn! That one, yes. It was a continuation of the creation myth of

“Wildmount, but it turned into the spirits of the gods, these two fauns, and they fell in love but “could not be together because the dawn had to rise and the sun would shine “It was very, very beautiful!” SAM: Yes, yes! No it was, but also heartbreaking at the same time MATT: “Very much so. It reminded me of you.” SAM: Yes. That’s one of my favorites, as well MATT: “Well. I didn’t break the binding too much, I hope.” SAM: I’ll fix it if you did. It’s all right MATT: “All right.” SAM: Well, that’s wonderful to hear. I’m glad you’ve been entertaining yourself. I know living with Papa can be very hard, and it’s been very hard on you all these years MATT: “If you would excuse us for just a moment, please. Just a few moments.” And she points towards the door SAM: I told you they were like this TRAVIS: Yeah, no, we’re going out the front door Front yard MARISHA: Bottle of wine! MATT: Berthold is leading you out of the main area, out the front door TRAVIS: Yeah, front door! LAURA: Out the house, like get out? MATT: You guys were on your way out SAM: Just wait on the fucking porch! LIAM: We got it LAURA: Fine MATT: As soon as she has some privacy with you, she goes, “My boy, if you could indulge me in some “strange honesty, I’m rather intrigued at this idea. I don’t wish to undermine anything that “we’ve built as a family. I’ve lived a privileged life for a very long time, far longer than you and “your sister have. I’ve lived within this house, removed from the world. I do as responsibility “asks of me, my wedded duties as both a wife and a mother, and I do so without complaint. I have “always seen you fight these same circumstances bravely, and I find vicarious joy in your escape “from this place this past year. These books are a reminder of that same bravery. I know Howaardt has “said many things, and he may be right. But there’s a little part of me that welcomes a little change “in scenery and lifestyle. Maybe that’s what the family needs. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m foolhardy “I know not.” SAM: No, you’re right to think this way. This year has been eye-opening for me, and I know that you care for Papa, and you are a diligent and faithful wife. But I know how hard it must have been to live this life for so many years and I wonder what it would be like if you hadn’t been with him, what kind of person you would be MATT: “Looking at you, looking at your sister, I wouldn’t change it for the world.” SAM: Well, things are going to have to change at some point, right? MATT: “One way or another. I just– (sighs) I just want you to make choices for yourself. I want you “to do what you think is right, that you could live with. Duty and blood is one thing, but… Anyway, “I’m talking out of turn.” SAM: No. Thank you. Thank you for that MATT: “Could you not tell Howaardt we’ve had this conversation?” SAM: Mum’s the word. All right. I’ll be back, and maybe we’ll have time to talk more books later MATT: “I would like that very much.” SAM: Good evening

MATT: “Good evening.” As you leave, she’s like, “Oh! The other one I was trying to remember was “The Mountain Range of Gold. It was a wonderful three-part series–” SAM: When you think he’s dead, but he’s not, and he comes back? MATT: “Well, the second book, you get halfway through it before he even turns “and reveals himself!” SAM: I know! Well, you never see the body in the first one, so that should have been a tip-off MATT: “And then the white robes and everything! His renewed power, it’s incredible! Anyway, I’m “sorry, you have your friends waiting on you. Good night, Taryon.” SAM: Yes LIAM: I want to adopt her MARISHA: She’s awesome! MATT: So as you step out to greet the rest of your friends? SAM: All right, let’s go to the Jumping Jimmy, or whatever it’s called LAURA: How’s your mother? SAM: She’s better. I mean, she’s had a tough time That was the longest conversation I’ve had with her in many years LAURA: Wow ASHLEY: She said she’s under the weather. What’s wrong? SAM: I think everybody’s super stressed out and heartsick about everything that’s happening, and living under a tyrant of a father is not healthy You should have seen me when I lived here. I was not nearly as dashing or as charming as I am now It took me spreading my wings and flying before I found my sense of humor. My hair looks better, my eyes look better MARISHA: I thought you said that was because of the aloe vera SAM: Well, yes. We didn’t have any at home MARISHA: Right, yeah. Salt air is better for you SAM: I mean, life needs aloe to live. Is something I always say TALIESIN: That’s true LIAM: I’ve heard you say that two or three times SAM: Moisturizing products in general. Life needs moisturizing products to live TALIESIN: Life needs moisture to live ASHLEY: I know my beauty regimen’s changed MARISHA: Life needs moisture to live. It’s way smarter-sounding TALIESIN: All right, gauntlet dropped LAURA: All right, to the Laughing Ninny it is MATT: All right. Who’s leading this charge? Probably you, Taryon SAM: I know the place LIAM: You are in charge while we’re here MATT: You’ve never been to this place. You’ve heard of it, but you’d never be seen dead in a place like this before. You lead your way in. At this point, because when you arrived the sun was still in the sky, but it was deep in the sky, so by now it’s post-dusk. You now see the massive stone and wood structures of Deastok are dark against the ever-dark sky with the windows now aglow, this warm yellows and orange of the candle and lantern-lit interiors. You can see there are hanging lanterns that are put out there, and you can see a number of individuals who seem to work for the city, who go and place these lanterns up in each of these poles, are now finishing their job and are returning to the evening. Following these lamps, along the street, the cobblestones are still really well kept for as old as this town seems to be. For a city that isn’t a major metropolis within a kingdom, and what your experience has been in Tal’Dorei, a fair amount of money still makes it way through this city Eventually, you find your way fairly far north into the city until you come across the exterior of the Grumpy Lily. Asking a few questions to guide you to which building it is, it’s much smaller than you expected. You see what appears to be a single-story pub with one window, one door, no more than maybe 30 feet on any given side. It is lit from the inside, though it’s dimly lit. As you approach and push past the somewhat ajar entryway, you see before you what appears to be three tables. Three singular, stained, brown tables. One lone patron sits at the center table, an elderly man inspecting a small, clay sculpture that he’s enraptured by, and a single barkeep to your right that seems to notice your entry. A healthy, pale woman of brunette hair in her forties, dressed in a simple gray blouse. As soon as you enter and take in the atmosphere, she goes, “Slow day, folks! Happy to have the business!

“What can I get you?” LIAM: Jeez, Grog, I don’t even know if you’re going to fit in here TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s really tiny MATT: Your head does reach the ceiling TRAVIS: Shit LAURA: Just dive in then? SAM: Should we get anything to drink first? Or just dive in? TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s like how you have to buy something to use the restroom MARISHA: Do you have a shiraz? I was just wondering if you had any imports. Do you have a red wine? MATT: “Yes! That I can get for you, dear. Don’t worry. Red wine we can do definitely.” She walks over and slams her hand on the side of the bar and what you thought was once the patron now appears to be the one barman there. “Wait! What! Oh. I missed the conversation.” TRAVIS: Oh the guy with the sculpture? MATT: Yeah. “Red wine, for our guests.” “Oh.” He stands up and begrudgingly walks over You see his back is hunched forward and he’s (pained grunting). Leaves the room for a second “Well, sit down, find a place wherever you like.” SAM: Put two tables together, I guess? LAURA: All three, really MARISHA: Let’s just take them all TRAVIS: Wait, this is the meeting place of a dark group, right? A shady group? Shouldn’t we check this area for anything shady? TALIESIN: Is there shade in this establishment? MATT: It’s dimly lit, so there’s plenty of shadows LIAM: It’s a five-by-five square. Do we see anything amiss? Oh, that’s terrible. 24 MATT: Nothing seems amiss. It seems like a shitty pub. It’s the definition of a poorly attended dive LAURA: Does it look like there’s any seams in the ground that would be a trapdoor or anything? MATT: You can make an investigation check if you want to LAURA: 17 MATT: You begin to look around the floor and keep perspective around the area. No. You see some stains, you see some crumbs, and at one point you look over in the corner and you see what appears to be a piece of stale bread that’s been left under one of the tables and there are three rats currently eating it. As soon as you lean in, they all stop and look at you and scatter LAURA: Oh, you can keep going TALIESIN: Could be worse. They could not be afraid of you LAURA: That’s true MATT: (laughs) They just give you the fuck-you look and keep eating their bread TALIESIN: That’s when you know you’ve really found the right bar. The rats were like: “We reserved “this table two weeks ago. You have to make a phone call.” MATT: The elderly barman walks in now and he’s got two bottles of red wine and he’s shuffling (grunts, clinks) “I’ll get your cups.” Turns around and starts shuffling back LAURA: (laughing) Do you need any help? MARISHA: I mean we have– Oh, it’s fine TALIESIN: Just let it happen SAM: Okay. Who do you think we proposition here? The old man? LIAM: That guy SAM: That guy? Really? What makes you say that? TALIESIN: Shifty eyes LIAM: Shifty yeah, may be an act, even SAM: He’s just old I thought. No? LAURA: Nobody’s just old LIAM: He’s many things MARISHA: That’s true, look at Pike’s grandpa LIAM: Look at Pike ASHLEY: Look at me LIAM: How old are you, again? ASHLEY: 142 LIAM: I said goddamn SAM: Is that true? ASHLEY: No SAM: Oh (laughter) SAM: Oh. Well, because you could be ASHLEY: I forgot my birthday. I don’t know how old I am SAM: Is it in the hundreds? ASHLEY: No. I think it’s in the 30s SAM: Oh, okay ASHLEY: Right? MATT: Whatever you want ASHLEY: Yeah LIAM: You ain’t no baby MATT: The gentleman shuffles back now with a bunch of cups. His hands wrung through all the various handles. (grunts, clicks) LAURA: Impressive MATT: (grunts) “Two gold for both bottles.” LAURA: I give him two gold MATT: “Thank you.” LAURA: You’re welcome SAM: In my earring, I say to Vex: I’m clamming up, you do it LAURA: Sir? MATT: You see him walking and he goes like (sighs) LAURA: On your way to the back, could you tell the Many we’d like to speak to them? MATT: He slowly turns his head over to the bartender, the woman. “What was that?” LAURA: Oh, just a conversation with the Many MATT: “What about them?” LIAM: I dip my thumb into some wine and I use thieves’ cant and write “discuss”

in wine on the bar MATT: (click) She gives a click noise to the old man, who goes (groan, thump) Are you going to take your bottles or what? LAURA: No, yeah, we’ll definitely keep those MATT: “All right, pick them up. Follow me.” TALIESIN: Oh, we’re going to get to see the real bar MATT: He turns around and shuffles out. It’s like following a bad, slow NPC in World of Warcraft You’re like, just go fucking faster! His pace is terrible. Yeah, it’s awful LAURA: Running ahead, turning around MATT: Exactly, just waiting TRAVIS: Over here, adventurer! MATT: Eventually, he takes you out of the small pub, past the unused kitchen, which has another series of stale bread clumps on the side, down to what looks to be a broom closet. He gets there to the edge of the broom closet and pulls out a key ring LAURA: I want to pay attention to what key he’s taking MARISHA: Can I take the bread crumbs from the corner and throw it down so the rats could have it? MATT: Sure. So you walk over to the kitchen and grab some of the bread crumbs and throw them down on the ground and you wait there, because there’s no rats present. And you’re like, bread crumbs They scatter a little further out. You turn around and the minute you turn, in the air you hear (skittering) and look over, and there’s like seven rats that just scurried out of the shadows and are just going at these crumbs immediately TRAVIS: I kill all of them LAURA: Sploosh! LIAM: I nudge my sister and say, all mine LAURA: Yes. That she is MATT: He pulls one key and unlocks the small closet. You paid attention? (creak) Opens this rickety wooden door, and goes (grunt) and walks past, and he’s behind the door, expectantly waiting. You guys glance into the space, and you can see there’s what looks to be a low torchlight about every ten feet down a wooden stairway that descends about 30, 40 feet LIAM: Traps, people hiding, anything that seems out of place or dangerous MATT: Traps, or people hiding? LIAM: Traps LAURA: I’ll look for people hiding MATT: Perception check, investigation check LAURA: 24 LIAM: 24 MARISHA and ASHLEY: Twinsies! MATT: Look at that. That’s disgusting. All right, so you guys make your way down. No traps in the stair descent, but you make your way to the bottom of the stairs without issue. You don’t see anything necessarily fishy. You do see these torches have been burning for a little bit, a couple hours, and are probably needing to be re-upped pretty soon. You guys eventually make your way down, and as soon as the last of you– who’s following up the rear in this, by the way? What’s the marching order? SAM: I’ll go toward the front with the twins? MATT: The hallway here is about big enough for you to go single file LAURA: Okay. You’ll hang behind me, Tary? ASHLEY: I’m in front of Grog MARISHA: Yeah, I’ll hang with Grog and Pike TALIESIN: I’m in the center, as well TRAVIS: I’m in the back MATT: Okay, so Grog’s in the very back. Keyleth, Percy LAURA: Pike is with Grog MATT: Yeah, Pike’s with Grog. So we’ll say, Grog in the back, then Pike, then Keyleth, then Percy, then Taryon? LAURA: Yeah MATT: And Vex and Vax. And you have Trinket in your necklace, I assume? Okay. All right, so you guys descend down the stairway. As soon as, Grog, you make your way in, it’s tiny. You have to (straining) squeeze in and duck low and even just walking through the pathway, your shoulders are rubbing against the sides of the wall, and your head occasionally (bang, bang) LAURA: It’s like you in Japan, baby! TRAVIS: I know. Taking a shower, I broke like two shower heads Just turning around, I was like (crash) LIAM: The beds, was that like lying down on a saltine for you? TRAVIS: Oh yeah. My heels were just over like the– LAURA: We went into McDonald’s and his head hit the ceiling! MATT: You are a kaiju! ASHLEY: A kaiju from the deep! A level seven! MARISHA: Okay, wait, before we go any further MATT: Okay MARISHA: Wait TRAVIS: Oh my god. Holy shit. Before we go any further, wait MARISHA: Do I have to be doing a short rest to do the Inspiring Leader thing? MATT: It’s ten minutes, it takes to do MARISHA: Oh, never mind LAURA: Well, no, we could stand here for ten minutes! TRAVIS: Yeah, no, please. Fucking say some words! MARISHA: I’m new to the being an inspiring leader thing

MATT: Yeah, it’s ten minutes, before you know you’re going to go into something, you stop and do this MARISHA: I should’ve done that at the bar LIAM: Wouldn’t that be cool if you were just pep-talking us all the way down here? SAM: Start it now LAURA: Yeah, start it now! Just do it while we’re walking! MARISHA: Okay, okay. As we walk I’ll be like: You know what, guys? I’ve had a lot of time to think over the year that we’ve been away– MATT: The door closes behind Grog and you hear it lock MARISHA: And I feel like we’ve grown so much as people, and you guys are family. You’re a family to me. And I go on for a while. Do you guys remember that time in Stillben? When we very first met, and we all didn’t really like each other, and Grog, I don’t think you understood me for a while TRAVIS: Still don’t MARISHA: Yeah, that’s fine. That’s fair. Hey Grog, do you remember that one time– MATT: This is great, by the way, because at the bottom of the stairs it only goes for about 15 more feet before there’s a door. There’s a man on a stool who’s just sitting there going– LIAM: She’ll just be another minute TRAVIS: I’m about to find out what the inside of a Bag of Holding feels like, I swear MATT: He’s not stopping you MARISHA: Do you remember that time– I think it was the first time I made you laugh, and I turned into an earth elemental, and then pretended to do an “I’m going down the stairs” thing through the floor? TRAVIS: Oh yeah! MARISHA: Yeah, I just remembered that the other day, and I just love you guys so much, you know? TALIESIN: I don’t feel included in this MARISHA: Yeah, I don’t think you were around yet But I love you so much! TALIESIN: Okay, now I feel better. That’s all SAM: Any change in our bodies or anything? LIAM: She’s going for ten in-game, real-time minutes MATT: As you guys are all in the hallway, Grog at the back, you can’t move forward, because everyone’s stopped, and you’re just like– (groan) All of you who wish to can take 17 temporary hit points. That’s by the inspiring leader feat MARISHA: Oh yeah, you want to mock until you realize you get your hit points! MATT: It is your choice as to whether or not you felt inspired by that and take them MARISHA: And I love you guys. I love you guys so much MATT: Grog’s too uncomfortable to take them TRAVIS: No, I just start weeping silently in the back LIAM: I mean, let’s be honest, he wouldn’t even feel the difference MATT: That’s true, yeah. That’s what Grog needs, is temporary hit points LIAM: Grog would just go (sneezes) MARISHA: Not showing your sensitivity? LAURA: Thanks. Thanks, Keyleth. That felt good That was a nice trip down memory lane ASHLEY: I feel inspired LAURA: Oh, hey! How’s it going there? MATT: You see this guy, he’s tough and surly, looks like a balding man who’s just like made of muscle and anger. He’s sitting there with one eye open, one a little squinted, he’s just– LAURA: Do you feel inspired? No LIAM: Not the warm and fuzzy type, are you? MATT: He doesn’t seem to respond. You do hear like a series of muffled voices and what sounds like a faint beat of some kind from the other side of the wall, just muffled TALIESIN: Is the password, “I am what I am,” not sure? Too strange a reference; never mind MATT: He begins to reach over for what looks to be a small lever that’s hidden on the side LAURA: We’re here to speak to the Many MATT: Stops. (grunts) SAM: We’re in LAURA: We’re going to just go on in, then SAM: That word just gets us in MATT: So. As you guys enter this doorway, as it pushes open, you’re immediately hit with a wall of voices and laughter and conversation, interweaving in multiple languages. This is far more lively than you expected it would be, it’s a large tavern hall. It’s almost two stories tall, but it’s open There’s a central, circular chandelier that hangs over with what looks to be flickering candles in a circle around it. You can see elements of what are almost like a second floor, but it’s more like a slight balcony outcropping. You don’t see any doorways, it’s just a level platform above, and there before you, you see what has to be three or four dozen people scattered across a number of tables, all in various forms of dress and many of them are drinking, some of them are playing games of chance, some of them are in deep conversation You can see, the music– though this is a bad example, but it’s what I have– it’s not a full band, per se. It looks like there’s a set of three

percussionists in the far corner that are all in the process of weaving this rhythmic beat that shifts and changes. Some of them are on more of a hand drum, some of them are more small percussion instruments. It’s interesting. It’s not the usual bar atmosphere you’re used to It has almost a weird– SAM: Would you say more like Blue Man Group or more like a subway bucket drummer? MATT: I’d say it’s in between the two, actually Take a little Blue Man Group and a little bit of subway bucket drummer. It’s right in between there. You guys step into the chamber and take in the atmosphere a bit. Whether that be with smiles, awe, or confusion and care TALIESIN: That’s exactly what I said, the real bar ASHLEY: I like this LIAM: This is like old times MATT: As soon as you begin having this conversation and taking in the atmosphere, one of four bar hands sees you approach. You see a jagged smile of a hairless man with ruddy skin that immediately comes up to you. “Aye, friends! New faces are few and far between here in Deastok “Welcome to our little slice of the family. What can I get you?” SAM: Well, we brought bottles. That’s rude, isn’t it? LAURA: The good stuff is down here MATT: “I don’t know where you got that shit but put that away “We’ll get you right fucked up, eh?” MARISHA: Do you have a shiraz? MATT: “I’ll see what I can muster.” MARISHA: I like these people! MATT: “Slim pickings for room here. It’s a bit early in the evening. That’s when it’s the “busiest. Just find some space, sit down. Folks don’t want you to sit by them? “Don’t fucking sit by them.” LAURA: Thank you. Do we see room for a large group? MATT: You see two tables that have room for half of a large group LAURA: All right. Split up? SAM: Why don’t we ask them nicely if they would like to move? LAURA: No, let’s not do that TRAVIS: Yeah, no. You do that. Go by yourself SAM: No? TALIESIN: No. This is special TRAVIS: How about the talkers go to one table? MARISHA: And then the defenders go to another in case shit goes bad. I like that TRAVIS: The Defenders’ Table. Yeah, so I’m going to the talkers’ table LAURA: Yeah, obviously MARISHA: Vex, Tary, I feel like you guys are good talkers LAURA: Right TALIESIN: I’ll join you LIAM: I’m actually going to wander the room MARISHA: I’ll sit with Grog and Pike TRAVIS: Yeah ASHLEY: Yeah, Shiraz time LAURA: All right SAM: What’s our play here? Do we just keep saying the word “many” as many times as we can and see how far it goes? LAURA: This is about as in as we get with the Many SAM: This is it? So now we ask for her by name? Or him by name? Korshad? LAURA: Yeah. He or she may not reveal themselves too quickly SAM: All right TALIESIN: We could buy Korshad a drink LAURA: That is a beautiful idea TALIESIN: Thank you LAURA: Care of one Taryon Darrington SAM: Of course. I have just enough for a nice drink LAURA: Oh, we’ll cover the drink, darling. Party funds cover the drink. It’s just in your name SAM: Oh. Oh, okay. All right. All right. I’m slow to catch on sometimes LAURA: Can we grab a barmaid? MATT: You split between the two tables. One of the tables appears to be three guys who are in a card game. As soon as you sit down they (grunts) and then keep talking amongst themselves more about taking bets, bluffing each other, giving shit about their home lives, stuff like that. The other table has four quiet individuals that are, look to be elvish lineage. Either half-elf or full elf; it’s hard to tell. They’re wearing these hoods that show the ears from underneath but then seem to block a lot of the features of their face and guard a lot of the forehead. This silk hood that drips down past the nose on the sides LAURA: Do we recognize any semblance of that garb? MATT: Make a history check SAM: History check LAURA: Well, my history is shit, but 19 MATT: 19. You haven’t seen this kind of dress, but you’ve heard of it. It seems to be of Wildmount but the eastern side of Wildmount, not a part of the Dwendalian Empire. This more stems from Zorhaus, which is the other kingdom on the continent. It’s actually in a tense existence

along the border of the Dwendalian Empire LAURA: You said it was to the east? MATT: Zorhaus, I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s called LAURA: It is now MATT: It is! It’s whatever it’s called in the campaign guide LAURA: Oh! Oh man, that’s right. Now you have to stick to what you wrote. That’s crazy MATT: I know, I’ll just have to look it up again But anyway. As soon as you sit down at the table the four individuals look at each other and then get up from the table and then walk off to find another place LAURA: Maybe some of us don’t smell very good in this group. I’m not one of them, though I smell amazing LIAM: I smell fucking fantastic, and I’m over there. I am going to laze about the musicians and listen to the musicians and wait for them to finish a set MATT: Okay LAURA: I guess all of us can sit at the table because of the people– MATT: All of you guys can sit at the table now that you’ve forced them off their own space. The guys playing the card game seemed to pay no mind As you sit around the table, the barhand that met you here approaches and once more goes, “All right, looks like you’ve found a place to sit, “what can I get you? Got you that shiraz you were asking for, eh.” He goes ahead and he pulls up what looks to be a dark green bottle, already uncorked and he brings over a hefty metallic goblet or tankard and then pours it in there. It appears to be something akin to a shiraz, I suppose. Fills it to the top, slides it forward. “All right. Drinks for anyone else, eh?” TRAVIS: Yeah, you got any pies or meat or both? TALIESIN: To drink TRAVIS: Do they not have food? LAURA: No, probably MATT: “I can get you a meat pie, if that’s what you’re asking. I don’t recommend you drink it, “though you could probably squeeze water from a stone, so wouldn’t surprise me if you could.” TRAVIS: Yeah, meat pie and an ale, please MATT: “All right, coming on up. Anyone else?” LAURA: Whiskey? TALIESIN: Same MATT: “It can be done. So whiskey. And you, little one?” ASHLEY: Well, you said you have things that will fuck you up right, so what would that be considered? MATT: “Oh, I mean no offense, lady, but you’re a bit small-sized–” ALL: Whoa! MATT: “I mean that respectfully! Look, I’m just looking out for my patrons here. I don’t want to “go ahead and send someone to the local temple.” LAURA: She can drink most people under the table ASHLEY: Bring it! MATT: “All right. I’ll take your word for it, then.” SAM: I’ll have another shiraz MATT: “Another shiraz.” LIAM: Over the earring: Pickle, will you get me one of those, as well, and don’t drink it before I come back? ASHLEY: As a matter of fact, I want two of whatever that is MATT: “All right, coming up.” And he leaves the table TALIESIN: Did you order the drink for when he comes back? SAM: Oh the other drink? Oh fuck. Wait, before he goes, pardon me. I have one more order to make. I would like to buy a drink for Korshad, courtesy of Taryon Darrington And I’ll slip him a gold piece TRAVIS: I thought you were about to shake his hand with two fingers SAM: There is a coin between the two fingers MATT: “Korshad, you say?” SAM: Yes MATT: “All right.” LAURA: I nudge him under the table MATT: “You want what he likes, it’s going to cost you more than that.” LAURA: What does he like? SAM: Whatever it is, here is another four and keep another one for yourself MATT: “Thank you very much. That’ll put you up to yours, though. We will go ahead and settle your “bills at the end of the drinks. But all right, Korshad it is.” TALIESIN: What table did the bartender look at when he said that? MATT: Make a perception check LAURA: Oh, I was planning on totally watching that, too TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s a safe 13 LAURA: Should I roll, too? MATT: Well, you said you were looking, too, so roll a perception, yeah LAURA: Well yeah, okay. 30 MATT: 30, okay. You gather the direction that he glanced. It was a cursory look, more to see if the individual in question was still in the room or not. But you got the direction of it, and you know exactly where he was looking– three tables and that way there. He leaves for a bit, and the

laughter is still rising and falling throughout the room. The musicians in the corner, which are two younger human boys and what appears to be a female goliath, who has the heavier drum in the center, who is like the mid-piece, the big (heavy drum noises). The two guys, one of them has a small set of lap drums, (light drum noises) the faster beats. And the guy to the left of her– they could be brothers; you’re not too sure, their features are similar but different enough, the ages seem off. The guy on the left has a series of small wooden blocks and what looks to be some sort of contraption that has three or four different small percussion instruments that are all fixed to it and so he is leaping between them all. For being just percussion, that variety is still making a cool melody. You’re still able to find certain notes and certain blends where it still is a very different and unique atmosphere. They manage to bring to this crescendo the piece that you entered on, and it finishes. There is no real– there is occasionally a couple of claps here and most everyone is busy about their own shit LIAM: All right, I clap. Excuse me, players? MATT: As they’re both looking over to grab a drink to stop and the younger guy with a scruffy chin and this mop of hair that’s a little wild glances over to you: “Yeah?” LIAM: That was a really unique piece you guys just did there. Thank you MATT: “You’re welcome.” LIAM: You know, I have only ever heard music like that one time, and it wasn’t here. It wasn’t in this city, it was actually in Emon. What was his name? Dranzel. It was a musician named Dranzel– this is a long shot, but you haven’t come across a Dr. Dranzel in your travels? I’ve always wanted to hear him play again MATT: “Can’t say I have, sir. My apologies.” LIAM: Oh, shit MATT: “Sorry. You guys ever heard of Dr. Dranzel?” And the other guy goes, “Nope.” LIAM: Orcish. Stylish hats MATT: The goliath woman is sitting there and she is just staring off across the room and goes, “No.” (laughter) MATT: “Sorry, friend.” LAURA: I’m keeping an eye on the side of the room that he glanced in, looking for anybody going and delivering drinks to the people MATT: Okay. You watch the gentleman who has been getting you guys drinks, and he is in the process of getting all of your various drink orders and pouring what you have requested, and he does come to a point where he gets this one fine jewel goblet that he has specifically set off to the side and he takes it and washes it and takes care to clean it entirely and dry it off, and once it’s set there he reaches underneath, counting a few bottles and pulls one drink, uncorks it and there is this thick dark brown glass jug and as he uncorks it he pours it into there, glances over, grabs another thing, seems to be mixing it with something else. He is being very careful with the actual amounts he is pouring. He finishes that, takes a piece of what looks like an orange, crushes it in the inside and leaves the rind and takes it and swishes it for a second. (sighs) And walks over to a table across the entire hall, where you saw him glance before SAM: One sex on the beach! (laughter) MATT: He walks over to a table where you see what appear to be about five different patrons at the table. Most of them wealthily dressed. Two of them appear to be older mercantile or business owners, they wear the jewelry on their hands very extravagantly and displaying both wealth and prestige to an ostentatious way that you know most high-end guild workers or owners tend to display You are very familiar with caste systems that have emerged in a lot of these central metropolitan areas, and so you can very easily pick up some of those themes. Two of them appear as a contrast very simply dressed. No jewelry. You can’t make out any details in this distance and there is one man who he hands the drink to, he sets it down in front of him and slides it forward. The man you see there, he has deep brown skin, marked, there appear to be a number of tattoos that curl up his arms and up the side of his neck and touch his ears on each side. He’s wearing light, billowing clothes of silver and maroon silks that end about the elbow and are just hanging beneath, leaving the rest of his arm completely visible where you can see the tattoo continues up the forearm and

grasps the back of the hand, almost like he has a gauntlet on that is just his skin. You see around him a series of gold and silver bracelets and rings that adorn his fingers. His face is framed by a lion’s mane of black and gray dreadlocked hair. Because of your perception check, at this distance and your ranger-like eyes, you can see what you perceive to be a visible scar on his throat from ear to ear. He’s currently mid-conversation with the patrons at the table, leaned back in his chair in a comfortable setting and as soon as the drink– huh? LAURA: Can I read his lips? MATT: Sure. Well, the drink arrives and gets pushed forward and you read the barkeep’s lips as he says, “This drink is a gift to you from patrons on the other side of the place.” And this individual, who you assume at this point is probably Korshad, gives a look and goes, (grunts) And he points over, right over to your table across the room. You watch as Korshad sits up, glances over your direction, sees you looking at him directly. Takes the drink, scoots it over next to his side, and folds his fingers and goes back into listening to the conversation of the other patrons. And the barkeep who is standing there is, “Right.” And then goes back to the bar, gathers the rest of your drinks and brings them slowly over to your table and passes them out. “All right, got a second shiraz, for you there, sir. We’ve got a whiskey, and a whiskey. We “got an ale and a meat pie for you. And you, well–” (laughs) He brings up these two mugs They’re simple ceramic mugs that are dark and handcrafted, and he sloshes them up to you and as you see inside, most ale has a good liquidy content. This has a very syrupy thick texture to it. He slides both forward and goes, “I don’t expect you to drink both those back to back.” ASHLEY: Well, that’s not up for you to decide, my friend. I get on my earring. Hey, String Bean, your drink is here LIAM: Yeah, and Sarenrae will know if you drink it before I get back, so just hold onto it for me ASHLEY: Well, I can’t make any promises MATT: And he leans forward and goes, “This here is the Change-Bringer’s Nectar “You sip this, slowly.” LAURA: The Change-Bringer’s Nectar? MARISHA: Write that shit down. Can Keyleth get up and walk past the diplomats’ table and run my hands– MATT: Well, you guys are all at the same table now MARISHA: Oh, we’re at the same table now? MATT: Yeah, one table got up as soon as you sat down MARISHA: Oh, so we scootched together? Okay, then I’m just going to lean into Vex and give her an Enhance Ability on her charisma LAURA: Ooh! I’ll take that MATT: Okay MARISHA: You get advantage– LAURA: On charisma checks? MARISHA: Yeah. On checks LAURA: I like it MARISHA: Her cleavage gets a little nicer LAURA: It can’t get any nicer than it already is TALIESIN: Very fair LIAM: All said out loud TALIESIN: Pike, which one of those two is Vax’s? Which one of those two belongs to Vax? ASHLEY: This one TALIESIN: Oh that one? I’m taking a sip of it ASHLEY: Take a sip. It’s very thick MATT: It’s very thick, and it’s sweeter than you expected, but it has a definite burn that grows and grows after drinking it. It’s syrupy, but because of its syrupy texture, as it goes down it also coats and numbs everything as it touches LIAM: Percy, I saw that. You have to buy me a whole other drink TALIESIN: That’s fine. I put my whiskey in its place and take the whole cup LIAM: No motherfucker, that’s not what I said! I want to drink that one and the one after it! Oh, you don’t want to start with me, Fredrickstein TRAVIS: Are you sipping it? ASHLEY: I’m sipping it. I’m doing as the locals do. Enjoying it how he told me MATT: And you get the sense it’s probably a good thing ASHLEY: It burns! MATT: It’s almost like maple syrup Everclear ASHLEY: Ugh! LAURA: Gross! TRAVIS: How’s my meat pie? MATT: Meat pie’s pretty good!

TRAVIS: This is pretty good! LAURA: That makes me want an empanada right now LIAM: Role-playing, guys MATT: Sadly, no empanadas in Deastok SAM: Why isn’t he coming over here? Should we send another drink? Maybe two this time LAURA: He’s in the middle of a conversation right now TALIESIN: He has to sit and enjoy his drink LAURA: Let him take some time ASHLEY: (slurring words) Should we sent him a Change-Bringer’s Nectar? Oh no! LAURA: Oh no, Pike! ASHLEY: (still slurring) I only had like three drinks. Three sips TRAVIS: Keep going LAURA: Just tiny sips ASHLEY: They were so small LAURA: Drink some, maybe some water, too, in between each sip ASHLEY: Okay. Maybe some meat pie TALIESIN: That’s whiskey. That’s supposed to be– never mind. Go ahead MARISHA: Hey, who’s the Change-Bringer? Does anyone know? I feel like this drink is inspired Can I do a check to see? MATT: Make a religion check MARISHA: Aw, I’m not good at this. Pike, you know gods! ASHLEY: Let me see if I know. Will I know the Change-Bringer? MARISHA: Oh, please. I have no idea. I definitely have zero idea ASHLEY: I’m going to see if I can think of it 14 MATT: It’s really not that hard. The Change-Bringer is Avandra. Avandra, one of the gods of the pantheon MARISHA: Oh. Yeah, of course we knew that MATT: The Change-Bringer is the deity that looks over luck, looks over adventure, travel, the open road. That’s as much as you can glean from your passing knowledge of the deity. Since you are not a woman of faith, obviously, you don’t know much beyond that MARISHA: It just sounded fancy ASHLEY: It sounded so fancy MATT: She’s also known as “she who makes the path.” LAURA: Hey, Tary SAM: Yes? Is it time? Should I go over there? LAURA: Just calm down. This is mainly what I’m trying to tell you right now Stop being so weird ASHLEY: Do you want a sip of Change-Bringer’s Nectar? LAURA: It might actually help you just a little bit TALIESIN: Do what we do any time there’s trouble Sit down, pay attention, and do everything she says LAURA: And don’t look sneaky TALIESIN: Have a sip of this. It’ll help LAURA: Yeah, seriously. Just have a little sip. A little sip, it’s always good to relax your nerves SAM: All right ASHLEY: Loosey-goosey SAM: I’ll take my helm and cock it to the side LAURA: Yeah, jauntily. That’s good, yeah TALIESIN: Okay, now I feel like I’m on a listing ship TRAVIS: What’s your confident face look like? More tongue. Little further. Yep. Little higher eyebrow on the right side LAURA: Okay, maybe stop. I’m just afraid he’s going to look over here at any moment. I’m keeping an eye on good old Korshad, and seeing if he looks over here. I also want to see if I can catch his lips and see what he’s talking about over on the side there LIAM: And I would like to look around the room and make sure that other people aren’t watching us, or if so, where in the bar they are MATT: Make a perception check TRAVIS: And I would like to make my way over to the goliath woman MATT: Okay. So as you begin walking in that direction, Vex. Couple things. One, you notice that Korshad, while he seems to be mostly being talked at or at least just listening to a conversation, when he does speak, he leans in and does this LAURA: Of course he fucking does MATT: You get the sense he’s a very guarded man and this is not his first rodeo. He speaks through his fingers LAURA: I do, too! MATT: But he doesn’t appear to look over at your table again. He seems to have acknowledged the drink, is enjoying it slowly, and is back enthralled by the conversation at his table. What did you roll? LIAM: 25 MATT: 25. And what did you say you were going to do? MARISHA: Mimic Vex MATT: Okay. You both cover your mouths LAURA: What are you doing? MARISHA: I’m following your lead LAURA: You don’t have to do that TALIESIN: Does this one still work? We can do this one LAURA: Yeah, that one’s good. Just this ASHLEY: Is this good? LAURA: That’s it, Pike. Pike’s got it. He’s definitely going to come over and talk to us now, I can feel it. We’re so cool TALIESIN: This is a lot of drink that I seem to have taken on MATT: Vax. Glancing about the chamber, remember I said there was a secondary platform, that didn’t have any doorways to rooms, but there was just the upper walkway across the room both ways? There are

about six figures on each one LIAM: Six on each one? MATT: They’re all sitting there, wearing leather armor, mostly covered by a cloak. You glance up and you can see underneath at least two of the cloaks what appear to be the shape or outline of a crossbow at the ready TALIESIN: 12 of them? 12 men? LIAM: I relay to the group quietly, yes. Packing 12 or so above us all, so no sudden movements MATT: The music picks up again, Grog, as you’re walking over. The next piece is occurring and you can see now that while the previous one had a frenetic tribal beat, this one has more of a scattered, if I could say percussion jazz sense It tends to have multiple changes. Yeah, if you could. If you haven’t heard the jazz timpani before, it’s fantastic. It’s more of an improvisational piece. You can see where they’re each building off of each other, and then one will make a change and the others will shift with it You don’t notice this, because you really don’t care, but anybody who had musical interests would be able to pick up on this. But you walk up and you see the goliath woman. Most of the goliath women you’ve come across, their lifestyle leads to either very short-kept or very tightly bound hair, as the coarse hair of the goliaths tends to mat up very thickly when living in the wild as your tribe did. This goliath female’s hair is really well kept, actually. It’s almost shining, which catches you off guard entirely. She’s not tattooed and appears to be in a trance as she’s in the process of drumming away, not even looking at the two of her compatriots or any patron. She’s spacing out and is currently enraptured by the music she’s creating TRAVIS: Are there any weapons around her feet or where she’s sitting or playing? MATT: Make a perception check TRAVIS: Three MATT: She has very nice boots. And as a man who has made boots in the past, you can acknowledge, those are very well-made boots TRAVIS: Me Grog! LIAM: I just love the alacrity that Travis goes to two, three. It’s so good TRAVIS: You play good! MATT: The head slowly turns and the eyes focus for a second in the dim, snow-blind looking pupils, and gives you a nod TRAVIS: Nice hair MATT: Head turns a little to the side TRAVIS: I’ll be– if you– ASHLEY: Tell her she has nice boots, Grog TRAVIS: What? ASHLEY: Tell her she has nice boots TRAVIS: Nice boobs! MATT: (bang) Big drum hit, and her part of the song comes to a halt. The two other bits of music alter but continue the beats, and she just– TRAVIS: Boots. Nice boots. Bidet. And I go back to the group MATT: As you walk back to the group, a little dejected, Vax, since you’re the one who’s paying attention the most at this point, you notice as the goliath gets this small grin on the side of her face and continues to go back to the drums LAURA: You charmed her! MARISHA: Look at you! LIAM: Nice work, de Bergerac! MATT: But Grog doesn’t see it ASHLEY: I’ll be your Cyrano! MATT: All right. So what’s the next order of business, guys? TALIESIN: Is that conversation breaking up? LAURA: That’s what I planned on doing, is waiting out that conversation. I in no way want to interrupt it MATT: About 20 additional minutes go by. Another round is bought at the table, with Korshad still slowly, very carefully sipping the drink that you guys bought for him. Doesn’t appear to be slowing, doesn’t appear to be breaking. You can keep waiting if you want LAURA: I want to get one of those fancy drinks for myself and see what it is SAM: You mean the Korshad drink? LAURA: I want one of the Korshad drinks MATT: One of the Korshad drinks, okay TALIESIN: I would assume you’ve already had this stuff at this point. We’ve been sharing a cup around. This is too much for a human being to handle MATT: Do you go to the bar? LAURA: I’ll go up to the bar. We don’t know his name, do we? The bartender’s name? MATT: You haven’t asked him yet, no. There are a few barhands that walk around, but the one you’ve been going with, you can go ahead and catch his eye as you go through the area

“Hey, do you need something?” LAURA: Of course, darling. I didn’t catch your name MATT: “Oh! Wence.” LAURA: Wence, thank you so much. Could I grab another of those fabulous five-gold drinks there, that you brought to our friend? MATT: “Oh, you want Schlond’s Embrace. Okay. If you’re sure about that.” LAURA: I don’t know, what is it? MATT: “It’s an acquired taste. It’s made from a very long-distilled, 40-year processing of a heavy “mint leaf, and that, when it’s been very thickly fermented, is mixed in with this very sour port “base that’s been repeatedly funneled and sifted until it’s become almost thick in its own right “That’s mixed together with a few other sugars and a bit of a special fruit. Honestly, I think it “tastes pretty shitty, but it’s what he likes.” LAURA: I’m going to give it a go MATT: “All right then! Five gold.” He goes and makes the drink for you again LAURA: Slowly but surely marking little amounts off this party fund, y’all MARISHA: Need to make some more money MATT: However, he does not bring it in the same glass. He brings it in a regular glass. You get the sense that the glass that was filled was his own. But it’s delivered and it’s different. It almost has a weird, mushroomy flavor to it. The fermentations involved in the processing of this is not the type of alcohol you’d expect. It’s a little musty. But it’s functional, and it has an aftertaste that comes to a very strong mint, like a wintergreen afterwards It’s a very strange mixture LAURA: It’s like brushing your teeth, only you get drunk MATT: Yeah, kind of. In fact, elements of it taste like having orange juice after brushing your teeth LAURA: Foul MATT: Yeah. It’s a little rough at times MARISHA: What are you learning about the man by what he drinks? LAURA: I’m learning that he probably has minty fresh breath MARISHA: Oh, really? ASHLEY: Maybe you should cheers him from afar so he can see you’re drinking it LAURA: Yeah, but mine’s in an ugly cup MARISHA: They didn’t give you the same cup? TRAVIS: I have nice cups. Do you want a jewel-encrusted chalice? LAURA: Do you have one? TRAVIS: Yeah! LAURA: Pull it out TRAVIS: I’m like fucking Bed, Bath, and Beyond in this bitch. Jewel-encrusted chalice LAURA: Do you really have a jewel-encrusted– you do, in your fucking Bag of Holding? TRAVIS: Not anymore, it’s getting marked off now LAURA: Sweet. I’m going to clean that shit out, pour it in TALIESIN: The interior of that bag looks like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride It’s a little weird in there MATT: It is a silver and pewter chalice that contains a number of multi-colored gems embedded along the sides, going to the base LAURA: This is gorgeous MATT: Lil’ Jon would be proud. It’s beautiful LAURA: Taryon. You drink out of this one SAM: That drink? LAURA: Yeah, you’re the one that bought him the drink. Look like you’re drinking it, too SAM: All right. Pinky out LAURA: How is it? Do you like it? SAM: I love it. (whispers) It’s terrible LAURA: I know SAM: I’ll just laugh, way too loud. (laughs) And then she said to me, that’s not armor! MATT: Another 20 or so minutes pass in the tavern MATT: Some folks have entered since then, some have left. The patrons that are here don’t seem to be– there isn’t a lot of switching in and out Seems like most of the folks here come here fairly often at the end of the day, whether to go about their business or to unwind. But no one seems to be approaching you, no one’s crossing your path MARISHA: I’m so bored LAURA: Can I go over and talk to Wence one more time? MATT: Sure. You catch his attention. He comes back to the table as you step up and start in his direction, he goes, “Hey. Another round, eh?” LAURA: Actually, no. I give him five gold MATT: “All right. You want another one?” LAURA: No, I’d rather not. No, I was just wondering, do you know how long Korshad usually hangs out here every night? MATT: “Varies. Easily probably another hour or so.” LAURA: Always with the same company, or different people? MATT: “Varies. They’ve been here most of the afternoon.” LAURA: Oh, wow. Would you mind going over to him and just letting him know that the gentleman who bought him the drink would love a moment of his time

MATT: “Oh, all right.” LAURA: Taryon Darrington. He needs to know the name MATT: “Okay. I will.” He looks at the gold and goes, “All right. I will.” LAURA: No rush. But make sure it happens MATT: You see he noticeably gets a little nervous Walks over. Do you go back to your table to join your compatriots? Okay. As you’re watching, he actually has to psych himself up. He approaches and then turns around and stops for a second, and goes up to the table again and stops himself and gets the gumption up this time and goes to the table. And you see him talking to Korshad, who at this point has his hand on the tip of the drink, glances up at him. Looks over at the table again LAURA: I walk over and put my hand on Taryon’s shoulder and keep eye-contact with Korshad MATT: You see a smile creep slowly across Korshad’s face. Puts his hand up and immediately you can watch as Wence, who’s in the middle of talking and expressing this goes, “Yes.” And quickly darts away. Korshad gives a point to the rest of the guys and you watch his lips say, “Excuse me a moment.” He stands up SAM: Make some room. Grog, leave! MARISHA: I scoot with Grog TRAVIS: We get up. I get up MARISHA: I get up with Grog, too. Oh, I have to pee. Do you want to go pee? MATT: As Korshad’s walking across the room, Vax, you do watch as all the individuals that are on the upper platform all watch him go through the room and are now seeing the table and where they are standing. The attention is very strongly on what is about to transpire LIAM: So far just eyes, though? MARISHA: Yeah, I start paying attention to the room as well, with Grog LIAM: Grand Poobah, here LAURA: You said that over the earring? LIAM: That was Liam LAURA: Okay MATT: Korshad walks his way over to the table and you can see, as he walks through, occasionally somebody at a nearby table will stop and watch him him. Very quickly to you, you get the sense that he’s definitely one of the more powerful figures that seems to come in and out of this establishment. He approaches the edge of the table, still holding the cup from the upper lip There’s like a lip at the very edge that he keeps clasped with his fingers as it drifts there in front of him, and he occasionally sips from it that way as he walks towards you. Comes up to the edge of the table. “Do you mind if I sit here?” LAURA: Oh please, join us MATT: He sits down and places the cup on the table. (muffled) “So.” (laughter) MATT: “My man Wence tells me that you are requesting my presence.” LAURA: Yes. For the sake of this. I’m going to move my hands but just know my hands are here the whole time. Okay? MATT: Okay (laughter) LAURA: I’m sure you’re familiar with Taryon here SAM: Taryon Darrington, of the Darrington family MATT: I have not had the pleasure, but I know of you LAURA: And you are familiar with his father as well? MATT: “Quite.” LAURA: We’ve heard tell of recent situations with his family and you MATT: “And?” LAURA: And we were hoping we could come to an agreement MATT: “What agreement do you have proposed?” LAURA: Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Vox Machina? MATT: “We trade in a great many things. Information being one. And I am well aware of who you are.” LAURA: And I’m well aware that someone like you could find a good use for someone like us MATT: “Are you offering your services?” LAURA: Potentially. If it could help clear the Darrington name MATT: (sighs) “You are not wrong. I, myself, am the keeper of the deeds. I consider the Darrington “estate a long-growing loan that is now ripening You see, our community here thrives on a principle “that other syndicates in Exandria lack. Patience I have been letting this stew for a very, very

“long time, so if you wish to make any sort of dent in this debt, “your task will have to be equally monumental.” SAM: Well, I can make magical items, if there’s something that you need made or enchanted. We have other members of the group that do different things. We have a fine tinkerer, if you need something made for you. Vex here is an excellent shot. She could put on an archery show or something, if that would be something worthwhile to you. You know, if that will help ease the debt I know my family owes you quite a bit of money LAURA: 230,000 gold. If we’re hearing correctly MATT: “You are correct. For the time being.” SAM: And might I inquire, as it is my family’s debt: what is the timetable on that? Will you be coming to collect anytime soon? MATT: “I have given your father a date of six months to pay this debt. If it is not paid, then “the deeds, as agreed upon many years ago, transition to my name entirely. I am not going to “kick your family to the street; I am not a terrible man “But I will be possessing all of your belongings.” SAM: Will they be in any physical danger? MATT: “No. Not unless they put up a fight.” SAM: Well, I don’t know much about you, but I assume you would much rather have the cash than have to own property and manage it MATT: “Both have their uses.” SAM: All right LAURA: So would the Darringtons simply work for you? MATT: “The family, I will happily give them time to find whatever place they can afford to live or “leave the city entirely. It is not my business However, I will be taking over the farms, I will “be taking over the business, I will be taking over the estate. Most of the assets within, they will “become property of the Myriad.” TALIESIN: Well, there. That’s where I think we could come to an arrangement. We’re not particularly invested in the power structure here. We’re here for sentimental reasons. The estate and just enough property to maintain a modest comfortability. We don’t really care what happens to the fortune so long as your family’s taken care of SAM: Yes, I guess TALIESIN: You keep your house, you keep your things, you keep a little bit of property to manage SAM: Sure TALIESIN: What do you think? I mean, they did make this bed. I’m suggesting to you that maybe it is not your job to save your family’s power and allow them to keep going as the way they have. But just to give them enough that even if they– that they can continue with reasonable means. Maybe not necessarily living the life that they were living before but living far more comfortably SAM: Even that would be a step up, but it seems like we would have to do something in order just to earn that much TALIESIN: Oh, I imagine so. It’s just, there’s a difference between saving everything and saving enough to keep them comfortable MATT: “If I am to understand you correctly, you are willing to offer your service to us?” TALIESIN: Possibly MATT: “And in exchange, we would still be taking the land-based assets from the Darrington name, “other than the estate and enough means to live comfortably.” TALIESIN: And enough income property for them to be relatively comfortable. Reasonably comfortable I’m sure we can take a look at the assets and come to a very, very reasonable arrangement. And you, in turn– well, we could have a discussion about what that would be worth to you. I have no interest in making an arrangement that doesn’t please you. We’re only here, again, for sentimental reasons. We are not invested beyond that MATT: Make a persuasion check TALIESIN: Please, god. You’ve been terrible today 15

MATT: He goes, “Comfortable living is a relative thing. To maintain my comfort of living, well, “your estate is but a drop in the bucket. But, and I mean no offense–” as he looks about the rest of you– “Comfortable living for some of you, well, that could be as much as my drink would cost.” SAM: My family would require their main property and all residential rental property MATT: “That is not a deal. The residential and the farm territory is to become mine. I would leave “for them your estate and enough gold to live a comparably comfortable lifestyle than living on “the street for years to come. They could then strike out on their own, start a new fortune if “they wish. Perhaps land barony was not their strong suit. You seem to have found other “pursuits, maybe you could lead them in a new path.” LAURA: And past that point, they would be in no debt to you? MATT: “Past that point, and a task done in our favor by the famed Vox Machina. Maybe.” SAM: Would they get to maintain possession of their personal property? Artwork, statues? MATT: “Everything that remains within the estate home itself would be yours to keep “The rest is mine.” SAM: And what is this task? MATT: “Roughly 120 miles east of here lies a sinkhole. It has swallowed the core of the “platinum mines of Herethis a few months back. Now, those mines are a very lucrative point of business “for my employers. And every time we’ve sent scouts to inspect the source of this erosion, none have “returned. Many very capable and proven men, unheard again. One of our greatest diviners has “since spoken of a powerful force within this mine Ancient. Birthed improperly. But now seems to grow “more and more mad. We’re at a loss, so we’ve put out a contract or two, but nothing has taken a “bite yet. If you were to go to this mine, find this entity that has ruined our mining operation “there, return with proof of its demise, and we confirm its destruction, “I will consider our task complete.” TALIESIN: We’ll also need some operating capital for this. It sounds dangerous, so we will take the job, but we will need to also charge a very reasonable fee, I think, on top of this MATT: “That is entirely understood. And we will keep track of each fee, and we will deduct it from “the materials in the Darrington estate.” LAURA: If we take care of this for you, it does seem like a monumental task MATT: “It may not be. But it would seem to be something of your skill set.” LAURA: From what we’ve learned, ancient beings tend to be quite powerful. We would ask that you don’t slander the Darrington name. That when they stay in their estate, everyone believes they are still the Darringtons as they have always been MATT: “I would agree to that. I have no interests in your family’s public image. I believe that “damage has been done well enough on your own.” SAM: Yes. Are you sure you don’t have a cloak I could just enchant and then we could call it square? MATT: (chuckling) He takes another sip from his drink. “When all this is said and done, Taryon, “we’ll be in contact. I think there is much business we could do in the future.” SAM: All right. I suppose we have no choice

TALIESIN: We do LAURA: There’s always a choice, dear MARISHA: You could marry the girl or we could go kill an ancient being TALIESIN: I’m feeling pretty good about this one MARISHA: Yeah! SAM: All right LAURA: Do we need to decide at this moment? SAM: Seems like we do TALIESIN: We will also need all of the information you have on this creature in the mines, and if you have anybody who has access to that– LAURA: The diviner would be wonderful to speak to MATT: “The information I have given you is what the diviner has found.” SAM: I’m not going to ask you all to risk your lives for my shitty family, so I will pursue this matter on my own if I have to LAURA: Good. Yeah. You’re going to go by yourself SAM: Well, I would hire a couple of people to come with me, but if you’d like to accompany me, I’d be okay with that too TRAVIS: We could watch you do it. That’d be pretty funny SAM: Well, I mean, you’ve taught me a lot, so maybe I could do it LAURA: I think you’re good ASHLEY: You won’t find anybody as good as us SAM: Of course not MARISHA: You are very skilled in hiring talented mercenaries. That might be your strongest suit SAM: I am one for two on that count TALIESIN: And we do have another mercenary at our beck, if we need. That’s actually very fair You’re already one up SAM: Should we vote on it then? Grog, do you want to go kill something big and scary? TRAVIS: Yes SAM: Pike, are you drunk? ASHLEY: I think you should marry whoever you want So that’s what I think we should do. Yes. Yea. I vote yea SAM: Twinsies? LAURA: Always have your back, dear SAM: Oh, Vax isn’t here. Hey Vax. You want to go help me save my family by risking our lives in almost certain death? LIAM: What does that entail? SAM: I’ll take that as a yes. Keyleth? MARISHA: Vax says yes, and so do I! Aye! SAM: Science bro? TALIESIN: Vex says yes, and I am so in the mood to kill something (laughter) MARISHA: I think we’ve all risked our lives for each other at one point and another, so it’s your turn, Tary. Welcome to the family TALIESIN: Cheers. This stuff burns MATT: And this whole conversation he’s had his mouth covered, he takes his fingers away from his mouth and he takes the drink. “Do we have an accord?” Picks his drink up and clinks it. “Return “when the deed is done.” Slaps the table and stands up and walks back. And at this point, that you notice, the tables nearby, everyone’s been just quietly watching in on this. As soon as he leaves they go back to their business and drinking TALIESIN: Everyone, on the count of three, we’re going to stand up very quickly MARISHA: Okay SAM: Why? Okay LIAM: Wait! No, I’m just fucking with you LAURA: Three! Let’s go! MATT: As you do that, about half the folks get startled by it. The music’s still going LAURA: On the way out, can I grab Wence again, one last time? MATT: “Hey.” LAURA: Most of the people here, are they local patrons or do they come from all over? MATT: “Most of them are local and come from all over.” LAURA: Great. Thank you MATT: “Sorry.” LAURA: It’s all I needed MATT: “I just serve the drinks, miss.” TRAVIS: Can I make my way back over to the players? MATT: Okay. She’s sitting there. (drumming) TRAVIS: Can I have your name? MATT: (drumming) TRAVIS: (louder) Can I have your name? MATT: As she’s still drumming her head slowly turns around and she goes, “Camilla.” (drumming) TRAVIS: Thank you, and I leave MATT: (laughs) All right. With that, we’re going to take a break. Try and get back here in a minute guys, see this next bit of interesting fun MARISHA: To Camilla! MATT: All right guys, so we have tonight’s Wyrmwood giveaway: this awesome butternut wood and leather dice tray. Giveaway from our friends at Wyrmwood Come on over, jump into the Twitch chat to enter for the possibility to win this, the word for the night is Myriad. That is M-Y-R-I-A-D. If

you don’t know, look it up on Google MARISHA: You’ll win it if you spell it right MATT: Exactly. Butternut up or shut up with your Myriad spelling. All right guys, be back here in a few minutes. See you in a second [break]

MATT: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Critical Role. Which, timing works out interesting

sometimes. Yeah, welcome back to the game. We had our break. Going to go ahead and jump in here

LIAM: I feel cheated. I didn’t hear any of that SAM: (belches) LAURA: Nice SAM: Thanks MATT: As you guys have found your way out of what seems to be this strange subterranean bar beneath the Grumpy Lily, you’ve agreed to, at least for the time being, to make your way east to this mine, which currently seems to be under the– what’s it called? The Platinum Mines of Herethis. Herethis. Which you, Taryon, you understand. Herethis is a region, a regional forest area over there. The Herethis Wood. About 120 miles east. You guys decide: What’s your best means of travel? How do you intend to get there? SAM: We have to misty there, right? Because you don’t know any trees in the area? MARISHA: I could scry on the area if I knew enough about it TALIESIN: If we misty there we could also camp for the night LAURA: Yeah, we need to camp because we need to rest and get our shit back MARISHA: That’s fine. It’s 120 miles MATT: It’s not terribly far, as the mist flies MARISHA: Yep. I’m pretty fresh TALIESIN: We can misty there, camp for the night TRAVIS: (repeatedly, getting deeper) Yeah (laughter) TRAVIS: Character voice MATT: Well, I’ll go ahead and by the way, because I totally forgot. We do have a winner in the chatroom. Besolis8926, you won the giveaway LIAM: You got the Nutter Butter box! MATT: Yeah, Denova will contact you for your information to get it shipped to you, so congratulations. All right, so. What are you thinking about for travel? You’re just doing the Wind Walk? MARISHA: All right, before we leave, is there any type of research we should potentially do? TRAVIS: Nope. Headlong (laughter) SAM: I don’t know what we’d be researching. The guy who sent us on the mission doesn’t even know what it is LIAM: It’s not even nearby, so it’s not like we could ask people what the mine is like. It’s 120 miles away TRAVIS: Yep LIAM: The mines of “hear this.” LAURA: Herethis TRAVIS: This is right up our alley. Like this is literally what we’ve been training for our whole lives MARISHA: I mean, just in case there’s maybe some ancient deity that rules over the forest of Herethis and some sort of goddess? Fuck it, let’s go LAURA: I mean, do we know anything? Have we ever heard about the woods of Herethis or the Platinum Mines of Herethis? MATT: You guys haven’t. You have. They’re woods that lead into this small rocky– it’s almost too

small to be a mountain range and more just large, rocky hills. But there’s no historical significance to the location that you know of. Go ahead and make a history check TRAVIS: Roll high TALIESIN: That’ll do SAM: Oh yeah! 21 MATT: 21. You do know a number of the large-scale battles that took place towards the end of the Age of Arcanum took place on Wildmount. In fact, Zorhaus, the other kingdom that we were discussing before is largely a badlands, barren landscape because that was where the final battle between the Betrayer Gods and the Prime Deities took place. And the sheer volume of, the sheer intensity of that battle laid waste to the landscape there, so you have the Dwendalian Empire and the whole western side of Wildmount, which is fairly lush and functional, then towards the Zorhaus Kingdom is, and that whole eastern side of the continent, a lot of it is just barren, cracked, destroyed. But you do know that Herethis, the name, at least, stems from a hero that fell in a battle long ago. You can’t recall the specific details of it, but there is some significance to the title or at least the location there to something ancient and old. May have to deal with this time period of entities battling gods. That’s the best you can make out. The mines are well known. The Platinum Mines are well known. They’re not well attended. They’re not a public space, and they’re definitely under the control of a number of companies that are shadow corporations under the control of the Myriad. You can see where the connection and the necessity for it to be reopened again is important. Platinum is not a very common metal TRAVIS: Anything we should be worried about? SAM: Gods attacking us TRAVIS: Nope MARISHA: Trial run LAURA: Oh man. No, but really, that’s where the battles took place, huh? So this ancient being could be from, potentially– SAM: Or it could not TALIESIN: Whatever it is, it’s not leaving the mine LIAM: We’re running off on a lark, but we’ve raked ourselves in the faces before LAURA: Yeah! If we die, we die SAM: Oh god, I don’t want to die TALIESIN: Well, no one wants to die MARISHA: Well, once again– LAURA: Don’t say it, Keyleth. Do not fucking say it TRAVIS: Don’t incant that shit again LAURA: Don’t say it about all of us and doom us to your fate TRAVIS: Goldfish MARISHA: Duty (laughter) TRAVIS: Better SAM: Before we go, was there something you wanted to tell the drow woman? LAURA: Oh shit LIAM: If we’re talking about what we were talking about before, I don’t think it’s a good idea TRAVIS: Why? LIAM: If you want to go and find him, us, and say hi, that’s a different story LAURA: I would like to point out that this same person you are so adamantly protecting from our scrying or our spying or our finding is the same person who shit in the middle of a temple so that he could watch Pike LIAM: Well, A) he did that, not us, and B) we were all very much friends and happy with each other when he did that, and he is not happy with us It’s not exactly the same thing, dear. But if you want to go with me and find him and check in and say hello, I’d be very happy to do that with you. But to send the woman who threw our friend, drugged, over the back of a horse, and took him off to his family? I don’t really want to send her after Scanlan, to look in on him or follow him or watch him or anything him. It didn’t sound like his father wanted him dragged back on the back of a horse, and it happened anyway. She doesn’t seem very trustworthy to me. Yeah, she’s cool. So what? LAURA: I just realized I have the other half of the stone. The traveling stone MARISHA: That we gave Scanlan LAURA: I could pop in on him anytime I want TALIESIN: Or he could pop in on you anytime MARISHA: But he hasn’t TRAVIS: If he has it, still

MARISHA: Yeah, maybe he threw it into the ocean for all we know TRAVIS: Ooh, that would suck because then we’d be in the ocean LAURA: That would be really, really shit if he did that MARISHA: It would be a massively dickish move LIAM: That was very smart, Grog TRAVIS: Hey TALIESIN: Wow, that happened TRAVIS: In your face LIAM: Oh. Anyway, my point still stands. Once we wrap up here if you want to go find him I will go with you MARISHA: And do what? Convince him to come back? LIAM: No MARISHA: See if he’s okay? Ask him how his year’s been? LIAM: Yeah TRAVIS: What about just a location and she has to stay unseen? You know, I know Keyleth can scry and stuff but– TALIESIN: We could make her walk first into the mines MARISHA: Yeah, you didn’t want me to even scry on him and now we’re talking about just popping in on him? I feel like there’s a weird crossing of the lines TRAVIS: Yeah, but that was a year ago. I’m over that sentiment MARISHA: Oh man, Grog TRAVIS: Yeah. Yep MARISHA: You guilted me very hard on that. You made me feel kind of shitty TRAVIS: This is Grog evolved MARISHA: No, you kind of got it right. Just go with it TALIESIN and LAURA: Exalted? TRAVIS: Absorbed. Yep LIAM: You done been woked TRAVIS: Woked LIAM: So woked LAURA: No, but seriously. What are we doing? I don’t think we use that mercenary to walk into a mine. I’m not sending her to her death TALIESIN: I am perfectly content to hold onto that chit for as long as we need LIAM: Save that for a rainy day. We don’t need to punch that ticket now SAM: Should we at least ask her to stay in town? For a to-be-determined mission later? TRAVIS: Well, I think she needs to keep up her employment, right? SAM: We can give her a little money to keep around, a retainer LAURA: No SAM: I can give her a little money. I might need her TALIESIN: She was employed. She’s reachable through employment. We can just find out how to reach her TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, that one! SAM: She might be gone TALIESIN: You have to be able to hire her. I’m sure there’s a system SAM: We have no idea how she was hired in the first place LAURA: We go ask her how to hire her SAM: All right, well then let’s do that MARISHA: And no one has heard from him at all over the course of the year? TRAVIS: Who? LAURA: Oh. Well, he writes me all the time, but outside of that TRAVIS: What? Really?! Scanlan does?! MARISHA: She’s messing with you TRAVIS: That was very mean TALIESIN: You promised you’d keep that secret LIAM: She has a mean streak LAURA: (laughs) I have so many secrets to keep, dear. So many TRAVIS: I’m mad for an (stutters) a long time LIAM: I know one of them. When she farts it sounds like a duck LAURA: It really does MARISHA: That’s kind of cute LAURA: We go find– (laughs) TALIESIN: You’re going to fart awkwardly and we’re going to yell “imposter!” MATT: All right, so you find K’rynn. She let you know that she was just around the corner from where the estate was and let you know where to find her, and it’s like an open tent/lounge area. She’s just currently drinking water and eating a little bit of dried meat, and as you approach, she stands up She still has her illusion on. She still has her pale skin. You get the sense that drow in general are not– they don’t have the easiest time walking through large societal establishments “You returned. So what did you need?” SAM: We have no mission at this moment, but we may call on you shortly after we return MATT: “Very well.” SAM: Can we find you here or will you be gone? MATT: “I have no interest in staying in this city in particular “I generally prefer to stay around Vashlow.” SAM: Where’s that? MATT: “Vashlow? It’s to the west of here. About 25 miles southeast of Port Demali.” TRAVIS: Port Demali MATT: “If you wish to contact me, you can send a missive to Vashlow, or if you have access to a “practitioner of the arcane arts, perhaps a Sending would be sufficient.” SAM: Sending, okay LAURA: Definitely SAM: All right. Well, stand by. We’ll call you Thank you for your time, and we’ll be in touch MATT: “Very well. It was just business.” SAM: Sorry about your horse MATT: “Eh. Fair trade.” She gets up and gathers her little satchel over the side of her shoulder “Until we meet again.” She nods and then walks out into the darkness of the night

LAURA: Never to be heard from again because we’ll forget that we have that connection (laughter) MATT: All right, so what are you guys doing? SAM: Let’s Misty Step. Let’s Wind Walk LAURA: Misty Step tonight and then that way we can recover everything? TALIESIN: In the morning MARISHA: Yeah, what time is it? MATT: You’re in the evening now LAURA: Let’s Misty Step there– MATT: Misty Step is a very different spell LAURA: Oh, sorry LIAM: We go 30 feet (laughter) SAM: We’re going to be windtalkers MATT: Yes. All right, so you guys go ahead and transform into your misty forms via the Wind Walk spell and begin making your way to the east, towards the Herethis Wood. Travel is pretty rapid It’s a clear sky. The moon’s still pretty– it’s only been a few days since the last full moon when you guys had the ritual up at the top of the mountains with the Trickfoots, so it’s very easy to see the details, especially those of keen vision. Rather rapidly, you find yourselves to the outskirts of the Herethis Forest, and after doing a couple passes overhead, you can see there is a portion of the forest that is open, and there you can see there are a couple of stone towers set up There appear to be large ropes and cables fastened at the edges of what looks to be a large circular ravine, some sort of an entry port, a very large hole in the ground. And as you approach and get close you can see that, while there are two standing towers, there appear to be remnants of two other towers that have fallen in, and looking at some of the cables and the way that some of the equipment is set up, it appears that this sinkhole that he spoke of that consumed a portion of this entryway, whether it be a quake or something, a lot of the structure that was placed around the outside of the mine has fallen in, and is precariously being held either dangling over the inside by cable work or has crumpled somewhere at the bottom of this abyssal hole you see before you MARISHA: What do you mean by– MATT: When I say abyssal hole, that’s just a descriptive way of saying it is pitch black from this distance. You cannot see anything past the top SAM: And it’s connected to the Abyssal Plane MATT: It is actually a doorway to the Abyss. Hey guys! Orcus tonight! MARISHA: Finale! TRAVIS: Do we have any glow sticks that we could throw in and watch fall? TALIESIN: Yes, we actually do MATT: Have you guys transitioned back to your physical forms to have this conversation? MARISHA: Yeah. Well, we can float down TALIESIN: If we’re doing our little circle, I would say that a little bit of a distance LAURA: Yeah, I don’t want to camp right next to the– TALIESIN: About half a mile away LIAM: I’m looking for cooties around the outside MATT: Okay, make a perception check LIAM: Cooties LAURA: Did you get it? ASHLEY: No, it’s right here LIAM: Dang it. 24 MATT: 24. Okay, you start coasting over the edge, and you can see there are broken carts and crates. You can see the remains of what seem to be a couple of humanoid bodies, mostly picked away to the point where there’s just slightly pinkish bone from whatever dried bits of muscle or blood that remain, the rest of the flesh and organs pulled from or dissolved. You’re not sure LAURA: I think a Cure Wounds, a light Cure Wounds would probably help SAM: Dead talk? TALIESIN: They don’t talk back, but yeah SAM: Let’s do that TRAVIS: Oh yeah, you can do that! ASHLEY: We can talk to the dead. I have it LAURA: We’ll land a little bit away TRAVIS: We didn’t land yet, right? LAURA: Let’s land a little bit away LIAM: Getting some Baldur’s Gate vibes here, man MATT: So you land about half a mile out, and you guys transition back to your physical forms. Vax shares the information and what he spotted LAURA: Were the bodies on top or were the bodies down below? LIAM: On the edges, right? MATT: They were on the edges MARISHA: And when you mean seared, like acid? Or like heat? MATT: Like white and pink bone. Like just whatever flesh was on there has been picked off ASHLEY: Like something was eating them? TALIESIN: Can we speak to dead?

LAURA: Pike can do that TALIESIN: Why don’t you two misty there, somebody start setting up camp for tonight LAURA: I’ll go with Pike and we can stealth in MARISHA: I’ll start setting up camp TALIESIN: You can still misty. We’re still misty-able. You can fly in, talk to them, and fly back out LAURA: She can’t talk to them as mist TALIESIN: I mean, land and then– LAURA: Oh, okay. I’ll cast Pass Without a Trace, anyways, so we’ll be stealthy going in So I do that MATT: All right, so. Is it just you, Pike? Who’s going with you? LAURA: And me LIAM: I’m already standing by the bodies, yeah MATT: All right, so you go back to the bodies with them? LAURA: Okay, you’re still out there? LIAM: No, I– MATT: All right, so the three of you are turning back to mist and making your way back toward the entrance TALIESIN: I’m going to set up the tents MATT: Okay. You guys land near the edge of this crumpled rock and you see where the ground itself has curled in and collapsed inward, and there are a number of cables or ropes that go across and various large structures, the stone towers that sit at the edge of this opening. You can see there’s tension on these ropes and either the rope’s going to snap at some point as the weather gets harsher over here, or the rock is going to crumble in if the ground keeps eroding. You’re not sure if it’s done, or if it’s a slow crawling thing. There before you, you see a body. You can see elements of clothing, torn and dried, crusted with old blood. You see a boot that’s left off to the side. The foot’s been removed, but it looks like the edge of it’s been torn and ripped a bit The skeleton’s been picked clean ASHLEY: Okay. We only see the one body? MATT: There are three bodies around the whole exterior, but you’ve landed next to one LIAM: When you said picked clean, do they look like they’ve been chewed upon? MATT: Make an investigation check LIAM: It’s fine. 18 MATT: Looking at the bones, you can see signs of what appear to be scratches or grooves across the bones… It’s interesting. A lot of the bones have a very smooth texture to them. You’re used to seeing very porous, but it looks like elements of the bones have melted slightly LAURA: Oh, gods LIAM: Slimes, jellies. All right LAURA: I’m going to get my broom ready. And while Pike is doing her ritual I’m just going to keep a hand on her, that if anything happens then I can just take off with her in tow MATT: Okay. Pike, you’re casting Speak with Dead? ASHLEY: Yes MATT: All right. It’s easy enough for you to cast it. It’s quick. Ritual complete, you go ahead and you burn some incense ASHLEY: Okay, I get three questions MATT: And at which point, the skeleton, which is face down on the ground by the way, the skull (bone creaking) creaks up and looks over. Like, turns around and faces you as it reaches. It curls upward, almost in like an upward dog– LAURA: Like downward dog? Oh. What’s that called? MATT: Cobra position, but the head’s turned completely around and curled up LIAM: Oh, I get down close to it and go (groans) and I flip it over MATT: (rattling thud) It flips over on its back and the head (bone creaking) turns back around to its right LIAM: Sorry MATT: You get five questions ASHLEY: Five questions MARISHA: Five? ASHLEY: Good day, sir. It’s not a good day for you. Sorry TRAVIS: Wow LAURA: It’s okay. Good start ASHLEY: What happened to you? MATT: (raspy, strained) “Something in the mines we found. It hatched. Or woke. And its anger shook “the halls. I tried to run, but the skittering beasts got me first.” LAURA: Skittering beasts? TRAVIS: Godzilla LIAM: That’s more than one LAURA: (whispering) What did the skitterers look like? ASHLEY: What did the skittering beasts look like? LAURA: Oh, in my drink? LIAM: It flew away MARISHA: Yeah, it’s a dick MATT: (raspy, strained) “Large. Hard carapaces Pincers. Many legs.” ASHLEY: (whispering) It’s like spiders TRAVIS: Umber hulk?

LIAM: Umber hulk with many legs MARISHA: That could be a glabrezu, which fucking killed you the first time. They have pincers LAURA: Yeah, but that’s really big MARISHA: I don’t know. Skittering beasts? ASHLEY: Is there anyone else alive? LIAM: Did anything work against it? ASHLEY: Oh, yeah that’s a good question. (louder) Was there anything that you guys could tell of your knowledge– did anything seem to damage it or work against it? MATT: (grunts) He seems confused about what you’re referring to. The skittering creature or the– ASHLEY: Oh. The skittering creature or the big thing? LAURA: The skittering creatures? ASHLEY: Both, because we still have– LIAM: Against them ASHLEY: Against them! Against the skittering creatures MATT: “The skittering creatures, we just ran. I didn’t look to see.” LAURA: That’s already three questions ASHLEY: Okay. Oh god, this is not– (whispering) ASHLEY: How big were the creatures? MATT: “They were rather large, maybe eight foot end to end. They burrow, they spit. But they were “awoken by the smaller one.” ASHLEY: Wait, he said they spit? LAURA: I didn’t hear, something about his spit What did he say? MATT: You gather, what he said was– (laughing) MATT: No, the skitterers bite, they spit. But they were awakened by the smaller one MARISHA: The smaller one? LAURA: What’s the smaller one?! LIAM: What can you tell us of the smaller one? SAM: They spit. Maybe acid, probably LIAM: Yeah, they’re smooth, that means they were just like (slurping noises) ASHLEY: Is there anything that you can tell us about the smaller one? MATT: “It was like a baby, and it cried out and everything fell around us. I barely made it out, “but the skitterers found me.” (deep exhale) The enchantment leaves that embodied the skull, falls to rest, the bones now motionless SAM: So it can emit a cry that shakes everything ASHLEY: A baby, like a baby? LIAM: Mandrake? MATT: I would say, Marisha– MARISHA: Does it sound like anything we have encountered? A nature check? MATT: We’ll say a nature check for both you and Vex MARISHA: Would I have an advantage with my little book? MATT: Not for this in particular LIAM: It will be like the creature back in Stillben? LAURA: Yeah, I don’t think that’s what it is LIAM: And we have heard tales of mandrakes, and they scream LAURA: Yeah, did the pincers sound like something we have fought though, before? MATT: No, it’s not something you’ve encountered before, necessarily MARISHA: 19? MATT: 19, okay. And Vex? LAURA: Nature check? MATT: Yeah LAURA: Do I get advantage because I’m standing in the woods? Six! TALIESIN: You know you’re standing in the woods MATT: You have heard of a creature that does exist in subterranean and sometimes forested areas, referred to as an ankheg MARISHA: An ankheg? MATT: An ankheg. They generally tend to snatch cattle and beasts of burden in the night. They are large and insect-like. They spit an acidic fluid Some of the things this corpse has described makes

you think of that LIAM: Isn’t that what our bug juice is made out of? MATT: You bug juice is made of sandkheg, which is a desert-based variant of that creature LAURA: Oh. I wonder if we could sprinkle it around us and they won’t bother us because we’ll smell like their brethren TRAVIS: I ain’t wasting that shit! LAURA: Hey, man, it’s an idea MARISHA: So they snatch cattle– SAM: So we should all be cows MARISHA: Oh my god, you guys. Perfect opportunity! LIAM and MARISHA: Throwback Thursday! MATT: If only the person who could cast the spell was in your party anymore. He’s elsewhere in the world right now LIAM: That asshole SAM: We just talked to him. He was the dead body (groaning) MATT: All right, so what are you guys doing? SAM: Well, we’re going to rest for the night, and then go in at first light LAURA: Yes, we definitely should have a Heroes’ Feast MARISHA: Yeah, let’s have a Heroes’ Feast, which– okay, hang on, let me check here TRAVIS: We don’t need it MARISHA: I can do a Heroes’ Feast TALIESIN: Protection from acid would probably be very– MARISHA: Okay, but my Wind Walk– I already Wind Walked, so I can do a Heroes’ Feast at a higher level. I also want to do a 5th-level Commune with Nature MATT: Okay. 5th-level Commune with Nature MARISHA: What should I ask? What should I ask that we don’t already know? SAM: I mean, is there any nature down there? It’s a mine. It’s all rocks MARISHA: Well, I can see in a two-, three-mile radius TRAVIS: How deep does the hole go? MARISHA: I was thinking that MATT: Instantly gain knowledge of up to three facts of your choice about any of the following subjects as they relate to the area: terrain; bodies of water; prevalent plants, minerals, animals, or peoples; powerful celestials, fey, fiends, elementals, or undead; influence from other planes of existence; or buildings MARISHA: Okay MATT: Choose three of those MARISHA: First and foremost, influences from other planes of existence MATT: Okay, so as you focus and Commune with Nature, the plants speak to you in this series of images and thoughts that essentially get the idea across to you that there is something planar involved here, but it’s very old and long-dormant, recently awoken MARISHA: Okay. Planar, long dormant TALIESIN: Recently awoken TRAVIS: If it’s a fucking baby ancient dragon I’m going to be stoked MARISHA: Okay, so something planar LIAM: Didn’t Drez Vina send us to a fetal thing? MARISHA: Yeah, that was our first fight SAM: Oh, we can’t do how deep is the mine? No? MARISHA: No, I can, it’s a terrain question, so terrain. Yeah. How deep does this mine go? LAURA: Maybe you can ask where the thing is in the mine MARISHA: Is. I think I can, right? Can I sense the location of where–? MATT: You can ask whereabouts this thing is MARISHA: Yeah MATT: Nature tells you this sinkhole goes down for about a quarter-mile, and it lies at the very bottom LAURA: It’s just straight down at the bottom of it? TRAVIS: That’s 400 meters, y’all ASHLEY: So it’s like this and then the little baby thing at the bottom? MATT: Apparently, yeah. The whole ground just collapsed inward MARISHA: 400 meters and the entity lies at the bottom SAM: We can just jump. We’re like gods MARISHA: Yeah, we’re gods! TALIESIN: We’re golden gods MARISHA: It’s only a little bit more than 1000 feet LAURA: Yeah, then you might survive that one? Only if you turn into a goldfish and fall onto the ground. It’s fine MARISHA: Now I know Looney Tune physics doesn’t work in this world LIAM: Always go earth elemental LAURA and MARISHA: Always Keyteor SAM: So what’s our last question? TRAVIS: Something from another plane. We know it’s 400 meters down MARISHA: It lies at the bottom TALIESIN: How many of these creatures are there? TRAVIS: Of the crawly ones? MARISHA: Ankhegs. Can I get a sense of how many and whereabouts the ankhegs are? MATT: One of the two LAURA: What are ankhegs? Are they fiends? LIAM: They’re beasts, probably. They’re big bugs LAURA: Aberrations?

MARISHA: How many? TRAVIS: Yeah, because if there’s hundreds, then– MARISHA: That’s a problem TALIESIN: Then this is a stealth mission MATT: They are monstrosities, and that’s what they look like right there ALL: Oh! TALIESIN: I love Starship Troopers. I’m excited LAURA: We’re about to fight some big, armored vaginas MARISHA: About how many? Do I know about how many there are? Sensing their skittering movements under the surface MATT: Using the nature’s essence to let you know: somewhere in the neighborhood of about close to a hundred. Throughout the network of caves– MARISHA: Because this is a three-mile radius, right? MATT: Yeah, so this is spread out amongst what would essentially be a subterranean anthill of these ankhegs MARISHA: There’s a lot TRAVIS: We’re going to need a fast exit. He wants us to take care of what the problem was SAM: We’ve just got to kill the big boss. One little baby big boss. The boss baby LAURA: Did we understand correctly that it’s the baby that cried out is the big monster? The big boss? MATT: It seems to be the source of where all this started LAURA: Okay. And that’s the thing that woke up the skitterers? MATT: Or at least brought them to start attacking the surface LAURA: Okay. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t like, there’s a big boss and then there’s skitterers and then there’s also little babies that cry out MATT: You don’t know. This is all the information you have ASHLEY: But do we know why the baby woke up? What woke the baby? LAURA: No, we don’t know what woke up the baby ASHLEY: We didn’t ask that? Okay LAURA: Maybe we should talk to another dead person TRAVIS: Nah SAM and TALIESIN: I don’t think they’ll know LAURA: They’re not miners ASHLEY: They did something in the mine that awoke it. And we can redo it TALIESIN: I think anybody who was there who saw it probably died at the center of it LIAM: Sorry, we’re trying to remember the very first game of D&D we ever played and Keyleth, twins, Grog were there MATT: Yeah, that’s right. That was what was essentially a dead or stillborn deity. A demigod, essentially, in its own pocket plane MARISHA: So does it have anything to do with this? MATT: Roll a religion check MARISHA: No. I’m bad at this! (groans) LIAM: I’m religious! MATT: Yeah, if you want to, whoever’s having this conversation you can make a religion check LIAM: Luck of the day. Yes! LAURA: Natural 20 MARISHA: Are you serious? LAURA: No, I haven’t rolled. I’m trying to make myself roll it LIAM: I got a 19 LAURA: (gasps) Oh my god I rolled a natural 20! MARISHA: Shut up! TRAVIS: She really did LAURA: It’s like Run Lola, Run where she’s doing the roulette thing and she’s like– MATT: Okay. You recall a while back that you battled with that entity, you– what was it called? Crysa-Thul LAURA: How? MATT: (sighs) This is all I do with my free time, guys. Make up shit for fun. But that was not tiny That was a very large entity. Like, to the point where you remember there was a 20-foot-wide well and a giant fleshy baby arm that slapped out and crawled it out Akira-style. Everyone kept saying small on this one, so you don’t know if– maybe related in some way? But you’re not entirely certain. It doesn’t appear to be the same kind of thing, necessarily Not by the descriptor you’ve heard LIAM: Corpse called it a small one, right? MATT: It called it a small one TRAVIS: We’re good. We’ve still got to camp for the night, right? LAURA: Yeah. We’re camping. But we should camp in the trees, y’all. Not in the ground, in case the things come up out MATT: Yeah, the thick forest of Herethis surrounds the mine LAURA: Oh man MARISHA: Can I Druidcraft some web hammocks? TALIESIN: I mean you can, I mean we’ve gone to all this trouble, but if we want to add to it. I mean, this is just what we’ve been doing MARISHA: Look, I really like elaborate tree houses TALIESIN: No, I understand. I respect the art form MARISHA: I can have a rope bridge here LIAM: Hammock bed MATT: We’ll say Druidcraft, which is a very localized and cantrip-based magic, you could, over the next couple hours craft a single web hammock (groaning) MATT: It’s a cantrip, yo! MARISHA: I’ll pass. We’ll just sleep with the ones we have or whatever

LIAM: A third-grade diorama MATT: Yeah. This is what it would look like if you were to build to scale. Okay. So you guys find a place in the trees? Who’s helming finding that spot? All right. Go ahead and roll an investigation check LAURA: 15? MATT: Okay LAURA: Oh wait! I honestly don’t know anymore what my favored terrain does for me MATT: No, this is exactly where to use it because forest is your favored terrain. This is exactly the kind of thing it would help with LAURA: I always feel like I’m bullshitting it now What am I rolling? Investigation? MATT: Yes LAURA: 24 MATT: 24. You find one massive tree. The trees here can get pretty big, and there’s one thick tree that the branches are pretty easy to climb, and up top it branches out and all the various branches that make up the canopy. It’s almost like this little bowl at the very top, just underneath where the heavy foliage descends, and it’s a perfect place for you guys to make a camp higher up off the ground LAURA: Hey, this is a place! Let’s do it here! TALIESIN: I’ll unload everything MATT: All right, you guys make camp. Who’s making first watch? TRAVIS: Me! LAURA: All right LIAM: Me, too ASHLEY: Oh! Heroes’ Feast LAURA and MARISHA: Heroes’ Feast MATT: All right. We’ll say as a note, this the last of the chalices you have prepared. If you want to do any more Heroes’ Feasts, you’ll have to specifically go and purchase the chalices or go look for it in town LIAM: Let’s do it! MARISHA: Is this including or not including the chalice that Grog gave to Vex earlier to drink out of? MATT: That chalice, while it looks quite delightful, is not worth a thousand gold pieces TALIESIN: It’s from Medieval Times MATT: (laughs) It’s a little gaudy MARISHA: It’s got Michael’s. Michael’s crafts MATT: Yeah, every time you drink from it you get glitter on your hands and you’re like, shit MARISHA: How do you turn it off? Cover it in blankets LAURA: Yay, Heroes’ Feast SAM: We’re immune to fear? MATT: You’re immune to fear, immune to poison, and– LAURA: Advantage on wisdom MATT: Marisha, you want to go ahead and roll the additional hit points for Heroes’ Feast? MARISHA: Yeah 2d10, yeah? MATT: 2d10, I believe LAURA: We’re losing our 17? LIAM: Lose our 17 from the speech? MATT: You do TRAVIS: That’s why I didn’t take them MARISHA: (gasps) Ooh! Wait, yeah! Ooh, that’s amazing! It’s a nine and a ten! MATT: So 19 additional hit points to all of you guys LAURA: If you give us a speech, how long does that last? MATT: Temporary hit points last until they go down or you take a long rest, I believe Let me double check MARISHA: But this is going to be a long rest? LAURA: Oh wait, but does that mean we lose our temporary hit points on the Heroes’ Feast? MATT: Well, no. They’re different. The Heroes’ Feast is in addition to your maximum hit points Temporary hit points are different. Technically, those two stack. You’re about to lose the temporary hit points MARISHA: But then at the top of the morning, I can give us another speech MATT: Should you be so inclined, yeah LAURA: Tight MARISHA: Do I have to do it? TRAVIS: No, you don’t. You don’t MARISHA: Fuck you, Travis. Fuck you MATT: You can give the essence of a speech MARISHA: Right, I can do an interpretive dance TRAVIS: That’s better TALIESIN: Only if you actually do the interpretive dance ASHLEY: Wait, 19 extra? LAURA: He’s giving you a look MARISHA: A laser light show. With fireflies. It’s like in a Disney Imagineer show MATT: It’s a speech MARISHA: All right, well, it’s a speech MATT: You can give the essence of it, but the idea here is just you honing your public speaking skills LAURA: You’re going to get better at it, Keyleth LIAM: It’s like public debate in high school SAM: Toastmasters TALIESIN: I love Toastmasters MATT: Temporary hit points. They last until they’re depleted or you finish a long rest. Yes, I was correct. Cool MARISHA: So in the top of the morning LAURA and MARISHA: Top o’ the mornin’! MATT: All right. We’ll say for the purpose of brevity, because even at your guys’ level if you did encounter anything in this forest that was indigenous, you’d splatter it in a round. But you don’t have any issues. Nothing really sees you up in the branches. You occasionally get caught off guard by the sound of a nearby (hooting). It’s an owl in the trees. But nothing seems to bother you during your evening slumber. You complete your long rest. You still maintain your benefits from the Heroes’ Feast, and as morning comes, Keyleth gives a rousing speech SAM: Just give us a topic MATT: You can just describe the topics you talk about. You don’t have to give the actual speech MARISHA: That’s great, because one can only bullshit so much in a four-hour fucking game. I

talk about the smell of our breakfast. It’s bacon in the morning. And taste and smell the fleshy essence of the pork TALIESIN: Is bacon what we’re fighting for? MARISHA: No, bacon is definitely worth fighting for. Bacon is worth fighting for, and when we kill that celestial baby we will have the godliest bacon one could ever imagine SAM: I do like bacon TALIESIN: This is the most Burning Man thing that’s ever happened on this show I’m flashing back MATT: Keyleth, Voice of the Tempest TALIESIN: Bacon. Speech MATT: All right, guys. There you go. Take your 17 temporary hit points MARISHA: She’s not a great talker and has never been one. Just want to point that out. You guys all know this MATT: No, it’s just her level LAURA: Just add that to the 19 then? MATT: No, because the 17, once the 17 goes it’s gone LAURA: But the 19 we can heal to? MATT: It’s still your maximum. You can heal to it, yeah. That is the difference TALIESIN: I always imagine occasionally Keyleth gives a speech that’s like what’s-his-name from Animal House SAM: Matthew, I’m going to prepare some spells that I’m going to inject into various coins MATT: Yes, what are you doing? SAM: I’m going to drop another 300 gold and give Vex another Revivify MATT: Okay SAM: Grog, you’re already a good jumper, right? TRAVIS: Yeah SAM: How far can you jump? TRAVIS: You gave me a Fly coin SAM: No, that’s gone forever. That’s gone. It doesn’t last forever. It lasts a couple hours TRAVIS: Well, that’s bullshit. Yeah, I can jump 15 feet vertically or 20 feet horizontally. So not great. Like three squares SAM: I’ll give you a Jump coin, so that will triple your jump TRAVIS: Will you sing “Jump” from Van Halen? SAM: Sure. When you do it. Let’s see here. Who needs things? ASHLEY: (singing) Jump! For my love SAM: Oh no, you guys all cast things now, right? TALIESIN: Not really, why? LIAM: T., give me something! Show me some magic Give me a doodad SAM: Can you turn invisible? LIAM: I used to be able to, but I– SAM: You gave away your ring LAURA: Kerr bear. Oh no, it wasn’t Kerr bear. It was Tova SAM: I’ll give you a Blur coin LAURA: Don’t you already have that with your– LIAM: That cloak that I gave away? LAURA: Oh yeah, that one MARISHA: That’s the one that Kerr bear took LIAM and LAURA: That’s right MATT: Yeah. (laughs) The inventory of the items you’ve lost to guests LIAM: Lost? Gave away MATT: Lost and gave away SAM: I’ll give good old Percival a Cure Wounds coin MATT: What level? SAM: Just one MATT: Level one. You got it TALIESIN: Yeah. It will hopefully not come in handy SAM: And also I’m going to change my Robe of Many Things to my new Robe of Many Things MATT: Okay SAM: And that’s it TALIESIN: A Vest of Several Items now MATT: (laughs) The Kigurumi of Useful Trinkets LAURA: Oh, hey. Well, no. Maybe would this be a bad idea? To shoot an Oracle Arrow down into the bottom? TALIESIN: I think that’s been working out very well for us. It is pitch black down there, though, isn’t it? LAURA: Well. We have this method that we used to do. Light the arrow on fire, and then send it down. So I can see by the light of the fire on it LIAM: Would that make your actual eyeballs burn? LAURA: I don’t think so SAM: Oh! And I’m going to do one more thing. I’m going to pull out a healing draught bottle, and give it to– no, you can heal things MARISHA: Yeah, I’m all right SAM: You don’t need to heal TRAVIS: Other people, I normally do SAM: I give it to Vax TRAVIS: I turn into Nurse Betty almost in every fight. What are you talking about? TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s actually true LAURA: That’s true, he does. He does heal people a lot TRAVIS: But that’s cool, you give it to somebody that, you know– LIAM: Well, he can give it to me. I’ve got 50 things I can do a turn It was what kind of potion? SAM: A healing draught. It’s not a potion; it’s a bottle of healing shit LIAM: Oh shit SAM: It’s 8d8 ASHLEY and LIAM: 8d8?!

LIAM: I will never give this up. Ever. Thank you Thank you, Taryon SAM: Sure TALIESIN: I think that that’s a really good idea, shooting an arrow down there LIAM: I’m going to set the Deathwalker’s Ward to necrotic MARISHA: I’ll light my hands on fire so that Vex can light her arrows on fire TALIESIN: So when we’re ready we’ve got something to light the– LAURA: Wait, should I cast Pass Without a Trace on us? No, I’m going to do the Oracle Arrow first Oh. What if we wake it up when I shoot it down and things come out? LIAM: Well, that is a very real possibility TALIESIN: Well, then they’ll be easier to kill up here than they will be down there MARISHA: They’ll be 400 meters down. I could theoretically drop some awesome Fireballs on their face, potentially LAURA: I like this idea. I’m going to cast Pass Without a Trace on all of us, just to be safe. So we can stealth and be quiet. Yeah, but they’ll just keep falling, won’t they? MARISHA: I don’t know LAURA: How does that work? MARISHA: That’s a weird magic question TALIESIN: This is why magic freaks me out MATT: What’s the question? MARISHA: If I drop a Fireball, how long it’ll go– LIAM: Does gravity continue to carry it down? MATT: Drop a what? A Fireball? TALIESIN: Fire a Fireball into the abyss. Will it just eventually stop? MARISHA: Will it keep going? MATT: Well, a Fireball is a small bead of magic energy that has a range. So if it reaches the end of the range, it has no effect TALIESIN: This is why magic’s weird MARISHA: But I could Keyteor to the bottom MATT: You could TRAVIS: We’re just spoiled for choice MATT: You take half bludgeoning damage when you impact MARISHA: Yep, advantages to both LIAM: Dropping a great height did not go well for you TRAVIS: Keyleth, did you roll 17 or 19 on your– MARISHA: I rolled 19, but then you get an additional 17 because my weird speech about bacon MATT: Bacon points. 17 bacon points LAURA: It will make the most glorious bacon! MATT: To be fair, I’ve eaten some bacon in my time that’s given me some temporary hit points Just saying MARISHA: Look, it was inspired, okay? MATT: Oh, completely MARISHA: I’m not wrong LIAM: We will not go bacon-less into the night MARISHA: Bacon has saved many a people LAURA: All right. I’m setting my arrow on fire, and I’m shooting it down into the pit MATT: Okay. Oracle Arrow. You fire it. It’s a big pit. The radius of a small flame on an arrow doesn’t seem to light up the walls. It’s not bright enough, so it just descends and descends, and the wood is catching and burning, and eventually it hits the stony, earthy floor at the bottom (arrow impact) and it clatters and breaks a little bit. It’s burning pretty heavily, and you glance around the space inside and you can see what looks like some broken mining equipment on the ground, jutting out in places. You see what appears to be some sort of stony platform that is carved, but mildly forgotten or eroded steps, and the rest of the arrow burns up and you lose your vision LAURA: That was helpful. Super helpful TALIESIN: Worth it. It was worth it. It didn’t cost us anything LAURA: That’s true. I didn’t see the great baby beast down at the bottom TALIESIN: And that’s information we didn’t have And now we know Great baby beast is not at the bottom– LAURA: Potentially. In that small circle TALIESIN: It’s not at the bottom of the topless pit LAURA: Okay, so we could take the flying carpet down. A couple of people could fly. We can take the flying carpet down TALIESIN: Two flyers, plus the carpet TRAVIS: The circumference of this thing is massive. The diameter MATT: Well, the diameter of the actual hole is maybe about– TRAVIS: Football field? MATT: Not quite that big. I’d say it’s about 150, 200 feet across? TRAVIS: Stay away from the walls LAURA: You think? The skitterers are going to come out of the walls? TRAVIS: Yeah, do not come anywhere near the walls SAM: When we descend, do we want light to be able to see? Or we don’t want things to see us? LIAM: Good chance they can see in the dark TALIESIN: Let’s have the flashlights ready, but not activated MARISHA: I mean, I have a few Daylight spells LAURA: It may be good to blind them if they dwell under the surface TRAVIS: You know, if we’re not in a rush– (deeper) if we’re not in a rush, it might just be nice to send a little mini nuke down into the hole and see what comes out

TALIESIN: Did your voice just crack? TRAVIS: Yeah, no, it’s like reverse puberty TALIESIN: Becoming a man? Okay MARISHA: I’m down with that mini nuke. It extends a lot of our magical ranges, unless I want to Keyteor down TALIESIN: I think it’s better, especially– have we seen a tree that we can port to in case of an emergency? Or some sort of object that we can port to? MARISHA: There are definitely a lot of trees, yeah TALIESIN: But there will not be a tree down there LAURA and MATT: No TALIESIN: Do we have an escape route if we need it? LAURA: We have a flying carpet, two brooms, a set of wings. Up and out TALIESIN: Well, all right TRAVIS: Just a reminder that I can’t ride the carpet LAURA: Yes, you can LIAM: It’s a big one TRAVIS: Is it? Is it bigger than the first one? TALIESIN: Yeah, it’s bigger than the first one TRAVIS: So I can get on there with everybody else? LAURA: The only people we need to get on it are Percy and Pike. Everybody else can fly. Unless Keyleth is out of– MARISHA: Well, I can Polymorph him TALIESIN: How much weight can the carpet take? ASHLEY: I mean, you could technically just go on it alone and I could– LAURA: Hop on the broom LIAM: We are versatile as shit ASHLEY: Hop on Vax’s back MATT: Okay, the flying carpet, the one that you have? 800 pound capacity TRAVIS: Okay SAM: It’s you, right? TALIESIN: You’re 300 pounds, right? TRAVIS: No, I’m… it’s arguable. I’m definitely over 300 TALIESIN: Okay, so three of us on that carpet: one big one, one little one, and a medium MATT: You can fit Grog and one other person TRAVIS: He’s a big bastard SAM: We can take someone on a broom LAURA: Yeah TALIESIN: I’ll join you on the broom LAURA: All right MATT: I think you could probably fit Grog, Percy, and Pike TALIESIN: Yeah, okay then. That solves it SAM: Well, then let’s descend slowly and quietly? Is that what we’re doing? MARISHA: Hang on. Before we go, there’s a few things I want to do. Let me double-check– I don’t want to be a dumbass TALIESIN: No, this is very clever. I see what you’re going for MARISHA: Hang on. Wait. I might need the book Okay, one of the things I want to do is I want to use my staff to create an air elemental? So I want to take a minute to use my Spire to conjure an air elemental MATT: Conjure an air elemental SAM: By the way, can I just remind everyone, this whole year I’ve had one half of a communications bracelet and someone’s been watching us the whole time TRAVIS: What? SAM: Remember that thing I found? LAURA: Because you got that down in the fucking Nine Hells, right? SAM: Yeah. Someone’s watching us. For a year TALIESIN: Oh my god, they’re right there LAURA: That is so crazy MARISHA: What? TRAVIS: Yeah, watching you make fucking blondies All right, this channel’s boring TALIESIN: The blondie channel TRAVIS: He’s making armor. Ugh LIAM: (guttural, growly) I want a blondie so bad! MARISHA: I’m going to conjure an air elemental, and then I’m going to go over to Grog and I’m going to give him a big hug and say, for the next hour, no one can keep a hold of you. And I’m going to give him Freedom of Movement TRAVIS: What is that? TALIESIN: Target should now spend five feet of movement to automatically escape from non-magical restraints such as manacles or creatures that have grapple MARISHA: You can’t be grappled TRAVIS: So I just spend five feet of my movement? MARISHA: You’re also unaffected by difficult terrain. And spells and other magical effects can neither reduce the target’s speed nor cause the target to be paralyzed or restrained TALIESIN: You are parkour MARISHA: You’re parkour TRAVIS: I’m Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation MARISHA: Because I feel like you’ve been restrained a lot MATT: As you finish the conjuration with the staff and slam it into the ground at the edge of the entranceway, you watch as a nearby cloud starts to swirl and descend, and you hear this cracking sound as the planar shift between your plane and the Elemental Plane of Air briefly hiccups open and then summons forth an air elemental that (whoosh) rushes down under your control. It is concentration. Keep that in mind MARISHA: Yes MATT: All righty TALIESIN: Let’s go TRAVIS: Do it MATT: So. Two brooms of flying, magic carpet, wings LAURA and TALIESIN: (singing) And a partridge in a pear tree MATT: And you are MARISHA: I know. I’m wondering if I should ahead and go elemental, but I can’t cast. Can I get on the carpet? Is there room? MATT: The carpet’s full TALIESIN: I’ll hop on the broom. You hop on the carpet MATT: Okay, we can do that. All right, so you guys slowly begin to descend down this heavy, open tunnel

LAURA: This is just the stupidest. We’re sticking to the middle MARISHA: Did you cast Pass Without a Trace? MATT: Yes. So I would like all you guys to make a stealth check, please TRAVIS: Natural 20 LAURA: Oh shit! Flying carpet! Ooh, shit, and add ten, y’all TALIESIN: 27 SAM: 21 LIAM: I rolled a two, but it’s a 37 ASHLEY: That’s ridiculous LAURA: 39 LIAM: Built into the rules, man! MATT: Yep, reliable rogues, man. That’s what rogues are good at MARISHA: 37 ASHLEY: 28! TRAVIS: 30 MATT: 30, okay! As you guys all descend, you get about halfway down the tunnel, and you can hear this occasional echo (clicking). And for those of you that have Darkvision, you look off to the side and you see there are these small openings, these tunnels in the sides, and occasionally you see a large insect-like creature skitter out (clicking) and then into another hole. None seem to see or notice your presence. You continue delving deeper and deeper and deeper. Looking up above, you can see the slowly vanishing circle of daylight above you, and as you continue further and further down, those of you with Darkvision, you begin to see a floor begin to approach SAM: Don’t land? LAURA: Don’t land SAM: Do we need light? TRAVIS: No, not yet. I halt the carpet 20 feet off the ground MATT: Okay. You halt the carpet LAURA: And we’re whispering. We’re whispering, but we’re not whispering so that people can hear We’re definitely whispering over– ASHLEY: Can we see any little creature in the middle of anything? MATT: Make a perception check LAURA: Can I look, too? SAM: I have some sort of a cloak over my helm, since it emits light always MATT: Okay. It doesn’t block all the light because it’s the Helm of Brilliance. As you guys are being somewhat stealthy going down here, Taryon is still a slight beacon of fire. His helmet just emits a glow at all times TRAVIS: Cool. Because insects don’t love lights in the dark MARISHA: I know ASHLEY: 25 for perception LAURA: 22 MATT: Okay. You glance about and you can see this opening at the bottom. There’s some warping to the earth here. It’s one large chamber that’s almost peanut-shaped, it pinches in the center and closes around, and there’s a small tunnel that leads off and then closes at the end. It appears to be what may have been some sort of mine shaft that has then collapsed on the opposite side, but the center here looks like there’s some fallen barrels and chest pieces, and there are pieces of rods and rope and cords strewn about. And there’s this ancient stone platform that rises up in the center, and what appears to be some sort of a small recess in the stonework there. It looks like it’s the size of a football carved downward SAM: I was wrong. It only emits light when there’s undead around MATT: Oh LAURA: Is it emitting light? Is it like an orc? MATT: It is currently not emitting light LAURA: Should we just nuke it? Should we just nuke that thing? TRAVIS: The ancient platform? No, don’t do that LAURA: Oh, it was like a coffin. Does it look like a coffin? MATT: You could probably get closer TALIESIN: Let’s get a little closer LAURA: A teeny bit MATT: Okay. Because you’re a ways from it and you have no light down here. Even with your Darkvision, you can make out some details. The closer you get, you see a number of small carvings in what looks like some sort of language that I don’t believe you understand TALIESIN: Celestial? MATT: You don’t see it. It’s pitch-black for you, Mr. Human LAURA: Abyssal? Draconic? MATT: Nope MARISHA: Primordial? MATT: Nope TRAVIS: Common MATT: Nope! TALIESIN: That would be amazing ASHLEY: Dwarvish. Gnomish MATT: Nope TRAVIS: Giant? LAURA: Yeah, they’re human. They can’t see shit MATT: The humans are sitting there in pitch black, seeing this tiny little bead of light above and just hoping that someone’s going to give them some indicator LAURA: Should we cast some light down here? SAM: Sure. We said that we had prepared our flashlights before, didn’t we? TALIESIN: Oh, we have that low-light version! We have the red-light version of it SAM: Yes, we do. I’m going to mark off two of these

LIAM: I can get around very fast. Why don’t I go look? SAM: You want to borrow a flashlight? LIAM: I have a flashlight TALIESIN: You don’t speak Celestial MARISHA: I can also just cast Daylight, by the by SAM: Well, that’s what we have going in our flashlights, are Daylight spells TALIESIN: Except they’re lensed and contained MATT: It’s contained, but it’s still a single beam TALIESIN: A beam of red light MATT: So you go ahead and get close on the broom TALIESIN: And just start to see if I can make out what it is MATT: Right. You open up the hood of the light, and it immediately beams this stark red beam down on this portion, and you look at it. It is Celestial TALIESIN: What does it say? MATT: It appears to be runes of gestation and protection. It speaks of a seed, a guardian for ages to come: Symphior ALL: Symphior TALIESIN: It’s an incubator. This isn’t a coffin It hatched ASHLEY: So this is the opening of– this is where it was LIAM: Is it a guard cherub? MATT: You notice as this pale white light begins to slowly appear a little ways ahead of you in the other side of the chamber. This light is emanating from some– TALIESIN: I snuff. The second LAURA: And we back away from the thing MATT: You guys begin to drift back on the carpet, and you see this beacon of light hovering maybe ten feet up off the ground, about the same height that you guys were to the platform. And you see there what appears to be a cherub. It’s a baby, or an infant, but it appears to be withered and gray, and its arms and legs hang limply, and it has these small, white angel-like wings, but the feathers are tattered and broken in places, and the head’s lolled back, and as the glow grows from it, it goes (wheezes, screams) and gives out this heinous scream that echoes throughout the whole hall. You can’t help but instinctually grab your ears. I would like you all to make a wisdom saving throw, please LAURA: Advantage on! MATT: Which, actually, you are immune to fear, so it does not affect you. However, it shakes the interior and you watch as small stones (thud) hitting the ground around you. You guys, looking up above, you can see that this scream is affecting the structure a little bit. I need you all to roll initiative MARISHA: Oh, that’s good! SAM: Oh, that sucks LAURA: Oh shit MATT: So we have, up here by the platform LIAM: I rolled a 20 on the wisdom save we didn’t need to make, and threw it away, and thought, “well, I wanted to keep it,” and then I rolled again and I got another natural 20 MARISHA: Oh shit SAM: Whoa, look at that! There’s a map LAURA: Wow, it’s cool-looking! Oh shit, we’re right by the baby LIAM: Where’s the baby? MATT: There it is LAURA: Oh, that’s the baby? MATT: It’s very tiny LAURA: Oh, it’s a mean baby. I feel like it could be saved, because it’s– LIAM: When you say saved, do you mean killed? LAURA: I feel bad because it’s a baby MATT: All right. Initiatives. 25 to 20, anybody? LIAM: 25 MARISHA: Holy shit MATT: Who rolled what? TALIESIN: 30 MATT: Jesus Christ, Percy LIAM: So what did you roll? TALIESIN: I rolled a 19, and my initiative is 11 ASHLEY: Jeez LIAM: Wow TALIESIN: I am going to debate hard how dumb I’m about to be LIAM: The dumbest MATT: All right. So 20 to 15 ASHLEY: 20 MARISHA: 19 ASHLEY: What did you get? LIAM: 25 ASHLEY: You got a 25, okay MATT: All right. 15 to 10? LAURA: 12 MATT: Ten to five SAM: Oh yeah TRAVIS: Eight SAM: Six MATT: All righty. All right, guys, we’re going to keep this coming at everyone fast, because we’re going to make this happen. All right, first and foremost, as this creature emerges and you guys are in your respective places, Percival, you’re up first TALIESIN: Where am I? MATT: You’re up here near the top of the platform, where you saw the recess TALIESIN: Goddamn it! Okay, so I’m far away from that little bugger, aren’t I? MATT: Yeah, it appeared on the opposite side of this double chamber. It’s all up from there TALIESIN: Okay. I’m going to hop off the broom

MATT: Okay. So you hop off of there TALIESIN: Actually, no. You’re going to move towards it, I assume? LAURA: I’m so far below you in the initiative, though TALIESIN: Okay, that’s fair SAM: It’s glowing, right, so we can see it even if we don’t turn on flashlights and things? MATT: You can see it, yes, but you cannot see the terrain around you TRAVIS: I’m sure we’re going to try and talk to it, right? SAM: Yeah. Maybe it knows my family’s name MATT: So Percival, what are you doing? TALIESIN: I’m going to hop off the broom, activate my boots and activate my gloves, and start running through that little choke point, and I’m going to get as close to and possibly on the wall of that choke point as humanly possible. The other side of the choke point MATT: Oh, this side? You can get about there. You don’t quite get to the wall TALIESIN: Okay. I can get about there? MATT: You can get further, but currently the creature is out of your view TALIESIN: That’s fine. That’s as far as I can get right now. That will be just fine. The gloves are charged, the boots are on, and I’m heading towards the wall MATT: Okay. That’s your turn? TALIESIN: Yep MATT: All right. Vax? LIAM: Okay. Boots on, I’m going to arc over to ten feet away from the baby MATT: All right. About there? LIAM: Yeah. Where I am, is it straight up, or am I covered over here? MATT: It’s straight up. Where you see the walls are right now, even this is collapsed about here In fact, I’d say, to keep it easier, I’ll say that’s a collapsed entrance there. But this is all a straight-up hole in the ground. It slowly funnels as it gets to the bottom LAURA: Whoa LIAM: All right. So action, action, bonus action I’m going to cast Vow of Enmity on it MATT: All righty LIAM: Then I’m going to throw Whisper at it MATT: All righty LIAM: That is a 33 to hit MATT: That hits LIAM: I’m going to cast Divine Smite on it LAURA: Good job! Kill that celestial baby! LIAM: There’s a lot of dice here LAURA: Get all the bacon! LIAM: This is ten, plus psychic damage is 11 That’s not very good. 11 plus Divine Smite is 12, 19, plus sneak attack damage. 19, 21, 26, 28, 29, 34, 36, 38. And there’s nothing extra because it’s celestial, not a fiend MATT: Correct LIAM: All right. So that was bonus action, action, I’m going to use my action to then just fly away from the fucking thing, a hundred feet away diagonally up into the tunnel where I can still see it, hopefully. I’m hasted MATT: Right LIAM: Movement was to get there. Bonus action for Vow of Enmity. Action to attack, and then my hasted action I can use for dash, hide, disengage MATT: Correct. Dash is your full movement, which is– LIAM: 60 normally, 120 feet hasted. I didn’t make these rules or these items. (whoosh) MATT: Cool LIAM: Diagonally up. I’ll fly by my sister, how’s that? MATT: You fly by your sister? Okay. No worries That ends your turn. All right. Pike, you’re up ASHLEY: Okay. I’m going to cast Beacon of Hope MATT: Actually, sorry. Before the end of your turn, it’s going to go ahead and use a legendary action to use a terrain shift TRAVIS: But it’s just a baby! LAURA: Oh no! We’re in its lair! MATT: Yep. As you stab the creature, it (gasps) There’s a horrible sucking sound as you dart back It looks over in your direction. The wings flutter once and it brings its arms up, and as it does and you land next to your sister, you feel the air around you begin to freeze in cold. This energy’s just (crackling). You feel ice crystals condense around, and both of you feel the air in your lungs suddenly begin to freeze up. I need both of you guys to make constitution saving throws LAURA: Thanks for coming right next to me on that one. Goddamn it LIAM: Natural 20 MATT: Nice! LAURA: What am I doing, a constitution? MATT: Constitution saving throw LAURA: Nine MATT: All righty. 19 points of cold damage to you, Vex, and that is nine points of cold damage to you, Vax. And while you manage to pull out of this space of condensed cold, Vax, your sister,

however, becomes stunned for one round as your body is frozen and locked in place SAM: Do we see any of this happen? MATT: You watch the air coalesce into this frozen area, and while the broom is still holding you aloft, thankfully, you are standing there in place and the ice falls, clatters, and slams into the ground below you, sounding like the shattering of a hundred pieces of crystal across the stonework Pike, now it’s your turn ASHLEY: Okay. I’m going to cast Beacon of Hope And for my bonus action, I’m going to pull out a spiritual weapon of a giant big greatsword TRAVIS: Yeah! LAURA: A giant baby rattle that’s directly in front of it TRAVIS: Don’t fight, play with this MATT: It’s a level two spiritual weapon. Where are you putting the spiritual weapon? ASHLEY: Right in front of the baby! MATT: All right. I believe you get to make an attack with it, then, if you do ASHLEY: Yeah MATT: All right. So ASHLEY: Oh, but I don’t know if I want to hurt the baby. Did you do any damage? LIAM: Yeah MATT: Once again, roll for attack on that ASHLEY: Oh, that’s not very good MATT: So you roll a d20 and add your spell attack modifier ASHLEY: 13 MATT: 13. (whoosh) It swings, and the creature flaps out of the way and avoids the blow ASHLEY: Stupid piece of dice crap MATT: Are you going to move or stay where you are? LAURA: Oh yeah! I’m resistant to cold, Travis just reminded me! I have cold resistance because of my Vorugal armor MATT: You do LAURA: Does that mean I roll again for– MATT: No, you take half the damage, but you’re still stunned LAURA: Oh, okay. So that was 17? MATT: You would take nine damage instead of the 19 LIAM: Nine instead of 18 is what you would’ve taken for it LAURA: Okay, so add nine back MATT: So do you want to move with your turn? ASHLEY: No, I’m going to stay MATT: Okay ASHLEY: I’m going to stay. Because we’re on the carpet, right? Grog, Percy, and I on the carpet? TALIESIN: I’m not on the carpet ASHLEY: You’re not on the carpet anymore? Oh, the three of us. I’m going to stay on the carpet TALIESIN: You can move the carpet forward, though LAURA: Did Beacon of Hope get everybody? MATT: Beacon of Hope. The range on that is 30 feet. 30-foot range gets everybody except for the elemental MARISHA: That’s cool TALIESIN: What do we get? MATT: Beacon of Hope, you have advantage on Wisdom saving throws, death saving throws, and you regain the max number of hit points possible from any healing MARISHA: Sick MATT: All righty. That end your turn? ASHLEY: Yes LAURA: Death saving throw is huge. And healing is huge MATT: At the end of your turn, the creature goes (raspy breathing) and you watch as the ground right beneath the carpet explodes. It peels back as molten lava suddenly begins to spill up in a column beneath you, splattering up and to the back and over the top of the carpet. I need everybody in this cluster, this ten-foot-by-ten-foot section, to make a dexterity saving throw SAM: Not good, but maybe I’m lucky. Oh, am I not in that? Where am I? TALIESIN: You’re over on the corner SAM: I have no idea where I am LAURA: You’re next to the big white thing SAM: I am? MATT: So Grog, Pike, and Keyleth SAM: Oh, well then, never mind TRAVIS: Danger sense 18 MATT: Danger sense 18 MARISHA: 17 ASHLEY: Natural 20 MATT: Natural 20 plus, what’s your– ASHLEY: One! 21! MATT: Pike’s the only one who made it ASHLEY: What? MATT: Pike, you suffer 21 points of fire damage, halved because of your armor, so you only take ten. Ten points of fire damage ASHLEY: Okay MATT: I need you to go ahead and make a concentration check on Beacon of Hope LAURA: You got this. You got this, Pike MATT: Just roll a constitution saving throw TRAVIS: Fucking molten lava! MATT: Keyleth and Grog, you guys both take 42 points of fire damage TRAVIS: Oh, it was nice being over 250 for a little while ASHLEY: Fucking fuck MATT: The ground below you right now is currently in flames, and you guys have to stick around that space there. The open ground is billowing flame and lava now, and the area around that platform is searing hot. So what did you roll?

ASHLEY: Five MATT: A five with your– ASHLEY: Yes MATT: Yeah. You lose Beacon of Hope. Sorry LAURA: What is it? You have to get above half of the damage you took, is that what it is? MATT: You have to get above half the damage you took or ten, whichever is higher LAURA: Oh TRAVIS: Do we stay on the carpet or are we knocked off? MATT: You guys can choose to stay on the carpet You pull out of the way, and now the area is just billowing with lava and flame. Keyleth, it’s your turn MARISHA: Okay. I’m going to take and control my air elemental and send him over MATT: All right. You took how much damage? 42? MARISHA: 42 MATT: Make a concentration check. Constitution saving throw MARISHA: So I have to get over– I have advantage on these MATT: Yes. You have to get over a 21 SAM: Over a 21! MATT: A 21 or over MARISHA: What’s 17 plus four? SAM: 21 MATT: 21. You just maintain concentration LAURA: Good roll! MARISHA: Thank you, Gil! All right. So (boom) I send him over with my staff It has 90-feet fly speed MATT: 90-feet flying speed? Yeah, he gets over there easy. Plops on over MARISHA: And he’s going to go ahead and do a Whirlwind. The creatures in his space have to make a DC 13 strength saving throw MATT: Okay. Nope. This is not a very strong creature MARISHA: That’s what I hoped. They take 3d8 plus two bludgeoning damage MATT: Go ahead and roll the damage on that, yeah MARISHA: Oh, that’s nasty. 12 plus seven is 19 plus two, so 21. And they are flung up to 20 feet away from the elemental in a random direction and knocked prone MATT: Random direction, I’ll roll for that. Okay That’s going to fling him 20 feet into the five, ten, 15, 20 into the wall right there, and prone MARISHA: And are knocked prone LIAM: Stupid baby MARISHA: Do I still have line of sight? MATT: To it right now, no. You would have to get off the carpet to go MARISHA: Yeah, I’m going to get off the carpet and walk over just to where I have line of sight MATT: Okay. At the top of your turn, by the way, you suffer eight points of fire damage by the proximity to the flaming platform there MARISHA: Even though my mantle allows me to ignore the penalties of dangerous weather effects? MATT: It’s not so much a weather effect. It’s more that there’s a heaping column of molten rock TRAVIS: Your old friend, molten lava MATT: Eight points of fire damage. And I need you to make another concentration check SAM: Oh no, another concentration check! MARISHA: I’m a warcaster, though, man! Because that’s eight, so I just have to get over a ten, right? MATT: Yeah LAURA: What is this considered, Underdark, or a dungeon? MARISHA: Rolled a 13 MATT: This is considered subterranean, not Underdark. Cavern. All right, so you’ve done that What do you want to do, Keyleth? You’re over here MARISHA: Okay. Can I move over to where I have line of sight? MATT: Yeah, so you leap over and you get line of sight on him right there MARISHA: Okay, can I do Blight? MATT: Sure. What’s the DC on that? MARISHA: I think my spell level, so 20 MATT: And it’s a constitution saving throw, I believe? MARISHA: 8d8 MATT: Six plus ten, so it’s a 16 MARISHA: No, fail MATT: Yeah. So roll your 8d8 necrotic damage LAURA: Get it! MATT: Yeah, no. Even with advantage on the save, it rolled a six and a four MARISHA: One, two, three, four. Give me two more One more, and another TALIESIN: I don’t know if I have another MARISHA: Give me a d8. Okay TALIESIN: And you reroll ones, right? MARISHA: No, on elementals. Four, five, nine, 14, plus eight is 22, plus four is 26, plus two is 28 28 Blight damage MATT: Nice. As you reach, it’s on the ground. It’s trying to get back up, and its wings are flapping,

and all of a sudden you watch as its gray, withered skin turns dark black on one half of its body and it (screech) shrieks out and gives another scream (hoarse scream) from the ground, and the area quakes again, and you feel the ground shimmy a bit. The ground beneath you, as its last legendary action, begins to give way. Keyleth, I need you to make a dexterity saving throw MARISHA: Fucking lava! TALIESIN: Didn’t you move? Wait, no, you moved, didn’t you? MATT: Yeah, this is a different area MARISHA: That’s not bad. 19. No, 18? MATT: Nope. So as you finish casting this and you hear it scream, you cover your ears, and suddenly the ground moves out beneath you. You watch as the actual floor (whoosh) MARISHA: I turn to everyone behind me and I go, aw, fuck! MATT: As you watch Keyleth plummet into a pit below. You take eight points of bludgeoning damage and the ground (whoosh) covers over her MARISHA: It’s fine MATT: Keyleth vanishes. The ground seems to swallow her up. Keyleth, the entire pit collapses in on you, and you’re currently restrained underground, and you cannot breathe MARISHA: All right TALIESIN: That’s fixable SAM: But can you cast things while you can’t move? MATT: I need you to make another concentration check MARISHA: On my elemental? MATT: Yes MARISHA: Yeah, 13 plus my constitution, right? MATT: Yeah MARISHA: Yeah, I’m good MATT: Okay. That ends your turn, Keyleth? TRAVIS: Matt, can you point to where the cherub is? MATT: I am, because it’s his turn. The cherub creature, this Symphior, begins to fly up off the ground and make its way back in this direction, out into the open once more LIAM: Keeps everyone from getting a good night’s sleep LAURA: He needs a nap ASHLEY: He has a dirty diaper. He’s mad LIAM: It’s been a thousand years! MATT: As it floats upward, it looks over towards where– let’s see, because all it sees is you two You both are still in the flames right there. It’s not worried about the fire at the moment. It sees you, Taryon, and goes (hoarse wheezing) and lifts its hands up. I need you to go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw SAM: I’m feeling lucky. Natural 20! Plus one MATT: That’s great. So you only suffer 11 points of piercing damage SAM: Hey, that’s not bad MATT: As you leap out of the way, you watch as the ground suddenly turns into a series of earthlike spikes underneath, and some pierce you and scratch you and you roll out of the way. You barely move off to the side, where now you see this giant, jutting series of spike-like pillars forcing up from the ground. All right, that’s going to end that attack, and it’s going to use the rest of its movement to move back (whoosh) over to there in the corner. That brings us back to Vex It’s your turn now LAURA: Yeah, I’m frozen MATT: Yeah, so you’re stunned, and that’s your turn LAURA: Yay MATT: You eventually break the ice off at the end of your turn, and you’re breathing heavily and trying to get the feeling back in your skin That’s your go. Grog, you’re up TRAVIS: What does it take to activate the coin? SAM: You have to slap it on yourself MATT: It’s an action TRAVIS: Yeah? Just an action? MATT: Which spell do you have? TRAVIS: It’s the Jump coin, three times my– MATT: What’s the casting time of Jump? SAM: It’s touch MATT: What’s the casting time of Jump? SAM: It lasts a minute. It’s instantaneous. You just touch, right? TALIESIN: No, is it a bonus action? MATT: So that would be your action to use it on yourself TRAVIS: Oh, damn. It’s that whole shit, yo. All right. (grunts) I’m going to jump! And I would like to rage as my bonus action. And with my new Jump coin, I would like to jump with my Boots of Feral Leaping. It’s three times my horizontal jump speed, which is 20 feet, so 60 feet MATT: Okay. You also take seven points of fire damage at the start of your turn, because you’re by this flame TRAVIS: Oh, got it. Nice, that’s fine. And can I jump towards the baby? Actually just to the right of the– just over here

MATT: Over to this side there? TRAVIS: Yeah, right there MATT: Okay, yeah. You run (whoosh, thud) land next to it TRAVIS: Nice. Do I have any movement left? MATT: With the run and the jump, you have maybe ten feet TRAVIS: Okay. I want to get right up on him MATT: Yeah, you’re right up on him TRAVIS: Never mind. I’m good. Rage, jump, no more action. Titanstone Knuckles? Next round. Okay MATT: You have an action, still TRAVIS: Oh, I do? MATT: Well, no, because you said it’s a bonus action to do the leap? What’s it say on that? Just to do the leap, right? It was the run. You still have an action TRAVIS: I want to hit him MATT: Go for it TRAVIS: Great weapon master, reckless attack MATT: Okay! TRAVIS: That’s a 26 MATT: 26 with the minus five? Yeah, that hits TRAVIS: Nice. 12. Where are you? I should have gotten this beforehand. Nice! Plus ten. 37 MATT: All righty. That’s your first strike TRAVIS: Oh, I get another one! MATT: You have extra attack, man! TRAVIS: 11, 24 MATT: 24 does not hit. It’s a tiny size. It’s hard to swing at, and as your axe almost catches it, it (whoosh) out of the way TRAVIS: Okay. Good to know. I whiff. That’s it. I just have the two MATT: Yep, that’s your turn. At the end of your turn, because it’s reset back to its ground, it’s going to go ahead and look to you in front of it and go (hoarse breathing) Make a dexterity check TRAVIS: Okay. Saving throw or just dexterity? MATT: Dexterity saving throw, sorry TRAVIS: I get two of those. That’s better. 19 MATT: The ground crumbles beneath you and you suddenly (whoosh) fall below. You are raging. It would’ve been 12 points of bludgeoning damage, but it becomes six. But you are suddenly buried and restrained underground LIAM: Got that slick stuff on you? Crisco oil? TRAVIS: But that’s my next turn. That happens on my turn TALIESIN: Yeah, you burn five feet of movement to get out of it TRAVIS: Can I get out of it if I’m buried in soil, though? MATT: Freedom of Movement. I’ll say it doesn’t have– MARISHA: That’s why I cast it on him, man TALIESIN: You parkour around the rocks as they try and– MATT: Well, he’s buried in the ground, regardless That’s the effect. He didn’t avoid the burying. So I guess you’d just, if you want to use your action to try to escape, you do so LAURA: You could enlarge, maybe. You can enlarge and come up out of it MATT: All right. That ends that go. Taryon, you’re up SAM: Me? Oh god. All right. I don’t have anything I can do. I will click my Boots of Speed, making me faster, and then I will move. Full movement of 60 feet towards him– or her We don’t know, do we? LAURA: Is it wearing a diaper, or is its dangly bits hanging out? LIAM: Is a peeper hanging out? SAM: Is it naked? MATT: You’ve got a pretty close look, if you wanted to take a moment to inspect LIAM: It’s a boy! SAM: We’re trying to kill this thing, yeah? TRAVIS: Yeah! SAM: I guess I’ll punch a baby. It’s going to miss, though. That’s a slippery baby, right? MATT: At 60 feet of movement, you’re not quite within melee range of it SAM: No, I was going to use my Ring of the Ram MATT: Oh, that’ll do SAM: But I’m probably not going to hit, because it’s got an amazing AC LIAM: Got any Luck left? SAM: Yeah, I do TALIESIN: See what happens LIAM: Got to do something SAM: Is this going to be a long fight? I’ll do all three charges of the Ring of the Ram, and punch a baby MATT: Okay, go ahead and roll for an attack SAM: Eight. Not good enough, I’ll use Luck. 13 plus nine? 22 ASHLEY: Wait! Can I War God’s Blessing? MATT: What’s the range on War God’s Blessing? ASHLEY: Let’s see. 30 feet? MATT: No, he’s out of range for that, unfortunately. Sorry! LIAM: I wanted that baby to be punched so bad MATT: As you (ring firing), it (whoosh) out of the way and the fist goes by. Slamming into the wall

(crash) TALIESIN: One day, it’s going to be epic SAM: It worked once MATT: It got you a kill. The marid LIAM: That little baby just Zatoichi-ed out of the way MATT: Yeah, so you’re just like, (ring firing). No effect. It dodges out of the way. And now you can see its weird, lifeless white eyes turn towards you once more SAM: Oh, great MATT: That end your turn? SAM: Yep MATT: All righty. Let’s see here. It’s going to go ahead and use another ability now. As it sees that you’re closed in, it glances over, and you watch as suddenly, a bunch of stonework just (rushing noise) up in the center of the area, as now– MARISHA: Oh, fuck. One of these guys. What? A wall? MATT: A giant stone wall suddenly shoots up above to about 40 feet SAM: We got this, guys. Don’t worry. Me and Grog got it. Me and buried-Grog and buried-Keyleth, we got this MARISHA: Wait, you’re buried, too? SAM: No, you are and Grog is MARISHA: I’m under the wall, right? MATT: You’re underneath right over here. You’re on the outskirts of the wall SAM: It’s just me and the baby right now? MATT: Yeah, you and the baby, and an air elemental, and a giant sword that’s swinging MARISHA: Yeah, my air elemental is there SAM: Oh, great. I’m fine, then MATT: But you lose vision entirely, Pike. Just (rushing noise) wall’s in front of you. Percy, you’re up TALIESIN: So is the wall hitting the roof? MATT: No, the wall would have to go way high. It’s about 40 feet up TALIESIN: I’m going to run up to the top of that wall MATT: Your movement will not get you to the top Because you only move 30 feet TALIESIN: How far will my movement get me? MATT: It’ll get you about there ASHLEY: Parkour! TRAVIS: Like some unmotivated Spider-Man TALIESIN: In that case– oh fuck, I’ve got nothing I can do MATT: I’ll put you right there to remind us, but you’re almost at the top of the wall at your full movement TALIESIN: Well, then I will burn my action to dash up MATT: Okay. You get to the top of the wall, there, and you can now see it TALIESIN: And I assume I can get part of the way down the wall as well with my action? MATT: You can get partway down the wall, yeah TALIESIN: Yeah, so I just want to start making my way, I’m going Spider-man MATT: So you get about, I’ll say, there on the opposite side TALIESIN: That was definitely irritating MATT: That’s your turn, Percy? TALIESIN: That, and I’m going to cast Hex on that little baby. And he has disadvantage on, let’s make it his wisdom checks MATT: Okay. All right. At the end of your turn, Percy. Let’s see, it’s going to go ahead and use– TALIESIN: That’s a lot of actions, this creature MATT: It’s legendary actions. It manipulates the area around it. Because you are currently standing on the side there. No, you know what, it’s going to hold off. It’s not going to do anything Vax, you’re up TALIESIN: I haven’t actually technically attacked it LIAM: I know what I want to do. You tell me what I can do. First thing I want to do is cast Bless on– I grab Vex, cast Bless on us and Pike, I have a range of 30 feet on it MATT: Okay LIAM: Is that bonus? No, I don’t want to do that I don’t want to do that. I fly straight at Pike and I’m going to lift her up MATT: Okay, you immediately take eight points of fire damage by getting close to the flames to grab her. It’s like (fire noises) LIAM: Sure. And then is it an action to grab and an action to lift and carry over? MATT: I’d say it would be an action to grab her enough, and you’re going to move at half speed with her LIAM: Which is still a ton at this point MATT: Yeah LIAM: And that’s all I need is the action to grab her and movement to go over? MATT: Action, and your movement there was about there, I’d say you’ll get your action and your movement will get you to up above the wall LIAM: Okay. Action and movement will. All right, then I will leave her on top of the wall, and I will use my bonus action to fly within range of baby, and I should have one action left, yeah? Action, action, bonus action, hasted MATT: Right. Hold on, no. You used an action to pick up Pike. You brought her up there, you moved, you have another action and a bonus action. You have an action and a bonus action. But the extra

action that you have is from your haste, which means it can be used for either a melee attack or ranged LIAM: Great. So the bonus action I will use to dash towards baby. And my final, hasted attack action, I will stay 30 feet away from the baby, though, in the air, and I will throw Whisper with my last, hasted action MATT: Okay. There you go. Put you down there LIAM: And that’s a 25, which hits, yeah? MATT: That hits. That just hits, yeah LIAM: One, and can I dump Smite into this? MATT: If you’d like to, yeah LIAM: I would like to. There’s nine plus psychic damage is 16 plus– 20, 26, and here comes the sneak attack damage, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33, 37, 43, 47 MATT: 47? Nice. As you swipe down to (whoosh) fling Whisper out, it slams right into the chest of the creature and it impales it off the back side and there’s the burst of divine energy inside, but you see the divine energy matches its own, and what looks like a blow that would’ve killed the creature, it’s like, (raspy inhale) Turns back towards you, and gives another scream as the dagger returns to you. End of your turn? LIAM: That’s the end of my turn MATT: All right, at the end of your turn, it’s going to use its last legendary action. It’s going to use another cold snap. You feel the air around you, familiar, (whoosh) condense, and the ice cling to you. The air in your lungs freezes solid, it seems. Go ahead and roll a constitution saving throw LIAM: Going to use another Luck. 25 MATT: 25 will succeed, all right. So you shrug off the stunned effect, but you do still suffer the halved damage. 13 points of cold damage. All righty. Pike, you’re up. Top of your turn, you suffer no damage, because you got out of the fire You’re at the top of the wall now ASHLEY: All right. If I climb down there, it’s an athletics thing? MATT: Yes ASHLEY: Oh, okay. I’ll climb down MATT: Roll an athletics check. It’s 40 feet down So that’s going to be a long climb ASHLEY: Okay LAURA: Oh no TRAVIS: Oh, is it really? Is it fucking really? MATT: It’s a natural one? ASHLEY: Yeah TRAVIS: Who put her on the top of a 40 foot wall? LAURA: Just picked her up and dropped her there ASHLEY: Wait! LIAM: She can see and cast spells! ASHLEY: I have Feather Fall with my shield MATT: You do. So you use your reaction to cast Feather Fall on yourself as you stumble off the side, and as you plummet about 20 or so of the 40 feet (whoosh, soft impact) and you land unscathed on the ground ASHLEY: Okay. Is that just my action? MATT: That’s your reaction to do that. With the shield ASHLEY: Okay. How close am I to the baby? Can I get to the baby? MATT: Not physically. It’s over here and you’re at the base of the wall LIAM: It’s like 50 feet ASHLEY: All right MATT: You can get within range to it ASHLEY: So you know what? I’m going to (sings) Guiding Bolt the baby! MATT: Okay, what level? ASHLEY: Let’s do five. 5th-level MATT: Oh, shit, okay. Go ahead and roll for an attack on that. Wait, is Guiding Bolt an attack? No, is it a saving throw? I think it’s a saving throw, isn’t it? I always forget that. No, it’s a ranged spell attack, so you have to roll to hit it. Go ahead and roll a d20 and add your spell attack modifier ASHLEY: It’s not enough I don’t think. 19? I will use Guided Strike MATT: Because you can do that! Guided Strike, you get to add that to your own attack? ASHLEY: Yep TRAVIS: Channel Divinity MATT: (laughs) Still checking it. Guided Strike Yeah, plus ten to the roll. That’ll do it. 29, boom. Go ahead and roll damage on that ASHLEY: How many sixes? Let’s see MATT: Well it’s four levels above that, so it’s 8d6 radiant damage ASHLEY: I’ll get five, six, seven, eight. Okay, so we’ve got six, 12. Help me out here, guys

18. Oh, wow LAURA: You rolled a lot of sixes! ASHLEY: Whoa! TRAVIS: She rolled six sixes MATT: Six sixes? MARISHA: What do you mean? LIAM: She rolled a ton of sixes ASHLEY: 42 MATT: 42 points? TRAVIS: I’m looking at them LAURA: They’re all sixes ASHLEY: We choose to kill this celestial baby not because it is easy, but because it is hard! MATT: So as you land gently on the ground after plummeting head over heels. (thuds, fire blast) Holding your holy symbol before you, you watch as this beam of condensed divine energy rockets across, and this tiny, floating, withered planar baby (fire blast) gets blasted. You watch as the wings get pushed back. It’s holding itself in place, but you see the dark shadow outline as the energy is blasting through it. As it hits, its wings recoil, and it’s still floating there, but you can see this sparkly outline of divine energy, because the next attack on it has advantage ASHLEY: Do I still have a bonus action? MATT: You do. Your sword’s still up ASHLEY: I’ll use the spiritual weapon MATT: Spiritual weapon, you can move 20 feet as a bonus action. It moves up and takes a swipe. Go ahead and roll an attack ASHLEY: Oh crap, my boots are stuck together. How is this happening? Okay Yeah, the hook on the top there LAURA: That’s how she fell off the wall ASHLEY: Ooh. That’s a 29 MATT: 29 hits! Yeah, so go ahead and roll the damage for the spiritual weapon, which is 1d8 plus five, I think, for you. Whatever your wisdom modifier is ASHLEY: Sorry, guys. I don’t know what I’m doing Oh, that’s not a lot. Seven MATT: Seven points of damage. It all helps. All righty. Keyleth, you’re up MARISHA: I’m underground, right? MATT: You’re underground, you are restrained, you are blind. You cannot see anything MARISHA: (growls) I’m going to go earth elemental MATT: Okay! TALIESIN: I’m amazed he didn’t already have it out of the bag MATT: And with that ability, you get an earthglide, and this is a non-issue for you. All righty, Keyleth. So you are an earth elemental TRAVIS: Damn! MARISHA: Do I have enough movement to earthglide to them? MATT: What’s your speed? MARISHA: I think 60, earthglide? MATT: 60, earthglide? Yeah, totally. You’re moving into melee with the baby? MARISHA: Okay, can I come up from underground, grab them, and then beat them into the ground? MATT: Sure. Go ahead and roll a slam attack TALIESIN: Puny god! MATT: Make two slam attacks, so roll twice. It’s plus eight to attack each time MARISHA: That’s cocked. Natural 20 on that one, and a four on a second one, which is 12 MATT: Yeah, that misses MARISHA; Okay, but that one is a natural 20 MATT: As you reach up out of the ground from underneath, (impact noise) your fingers clasp around the celestial baby and (whack) slam it into the ground as hard as you can. Go ahead and roll damage on that. 2d8 plus five, so roll the 2d8 MARISHA: And then you double the 2d8 MATT: You double whatever you rol for the 2d8 and then add plus five. Crit that baby. It’s our next t-shirt: Crit that baby! MARISHA: Six doubled, which is 12, plus five doubled, which is ten, so that’s 22 MATT: The bonus isn’t doubled. Just the dice MARISHA: I know. Just the dice is 22, plus five So 27 MATT: That’s great. 27 points of damage. (wham) Slamming onto the ground. As your hand retracts up, you can see the wings are– as it starts to fly up, it (gasps) MARISHA: And I just want to hold onto it and be like, yo! Yo, air elemental! And then let my air elemental come over and do its thing. Double slam attack MATT: Go for it MARISHA: Slam attack. No, I’m going to do a multi attack. Two slam attacks. So 2d8 plus eight, once again. That’s an 18 and a 17. Plus eight MATT: 18 and 17 plus eight? MARISHA: Yeah, so 26 and 25 MATT: Both hit. Go ahead and roll damage

MARISHA: Which is 3d8 plus two. So the first one, oh! Six, seven, eight, plus seven, which is 15 For the first one, 15 plus two. 17. And then the second one is eight, plus two fives, which is 18 plus two, so 20 MATT: Nice TALIESIN: And he gets flung in a random direction? MATT: No, this was just hitting it. (impacts) All righty. That’s the end of your turn? All right. As it comes back to the entity’s turn, it’s looking really, really rough. And as part of that, it’s going to reach into itself. Its hands push into its torso, and as it screams, (raspy scream) it gives out this horrible scream as it tears some of its chest open, and from the inside, where you imagine it would be a ribcage, it’s this impossibly bright light that echoes out in a shockwave, affecting everybody except for Vex, actually. I need everybody else to make a constitution saving throw TALIESIN: All of us? MATT: Yes SAM: Oh boy. That don’t look good TALIESIN: We don’t have advantage on this, do we? MATT: Nope! TALIESIN: I’m going to burn a Resolve MARISHA: Constitution: that’s part of my physical stats as being an elemental, correct? It’s con, strength, and dex. Never mind. Yeah MATT: So? SAM: 22 MATT: 22. That succeeds TALIESIN: 17 MARISHA: 15 LIAM: 24 MATT: That succeeds. Pike? ASHLEY: 11 MATT: Okay TRAVIS: 25 MATT: Succeeds. Everyone who succeeds, you suffer 48 points of radiant damage SAM: Radiant damage? MATT: Yes LIAM: 48 on a success. Whoa MATT: If you failed, you took 96 points of radiant damage TALIESIN: Wait, that’s magical. I have advantage The cloak wouldn’t– MATT: The cloak doesn’t say a spell effect? TALIESIN: Against spells and other magical effects MATT: Technically, because it’s not a leveled spell, it’s just a radiant blast, it would not affect it TALIESIN: It wouldn’t have given me advantage on that save? MATT: No, it wouldn’t ASHLEY: 96, you said? MATT: 96 points of radiant damage. So Keyleth, I need you– your elemental has gone berserk MARISHA: There’s no way MATT: Aside of rolling a 20. Go for it. Just try MARISHA: Unless I roll a nat 20? They just do their own thing if you fail TRAVIS: What do you got to roll, a 20? Percy, bless that shit MATT: Even so, I’m letting you have this opportunity MARISHA: I rolled a 19 MATT: Nope. So as the Conjure Elemental spell fails, the control of your elemental shifts, and now it’s aggressively turning its attention towards you and the rest of your party MARISHA: Can I not fade it after this? Oh, I can drop concentration on it and then it will go away, right? MATT: No. That’s not how this works TRAVIS: Did you just put– LIAM: A new enemy on the map SAM: A new opponent enters MARISHA: To be fair, didn’t it also get affected by the blast? MATT: Yeah, actually. Roll a constitution saving throw for the air elemental. It’s a plus two MARISHA: I rolled a 13, plus two, so 15 MATT: The air elemental is actually destroyed. To your advantage, strangely MARISHA: It only has 90 hit points, so it’s fine, guys! It’s fine MATT: All right, so the entity looks like it’s barely hanging on, and you see parts of its internal body falling out from where it tore its chest open. It’s going to use a bonus action to Misty Step out of this vicinity over to here. It’s going to use its movement to fly high up, almost trying to escape the cavern now. It’s up in that region right there. We’ll say, here. On top of this. Turn that away LAURA: Oh, look how teeny! I can finally see it ASHLEY: Above a fountain LIAM: It’s a faerie dragon

LAURA: It’s so teeny MATT: All righty. Vex, you’re up LAURA: I guess I’ll fly up so I can see over the wall. I have no idea what’s going on MATT: You fly up and you see everyone below is wrecked, the ground is charred with some sort of a radiant blast. You watched it flash over the wall itself, like a small, rapid recreation of the intro of Akira. (boom) This big, arcing ball of white energy LAURA: Wow. Can I Hunter’s Mark the baby? MATT: Sure LAURA: And then I’m going to try to shoot the baby with my Blazing Bowstring. That would be a 30. And I’m going to make it a bramble shot MATT: Okay LIAM: Ball of vines in the air LAURA: DC of 17 MATT: Strength? LAURA: Yeah MATT: I actually rolled a natural 17 LAURA: Motherfucker. Okay, well MATT: But it still takes the damage LAURA: Still 4d8 extra. Well. 17, plus five is 22, plus eight is 30, plus two is 32, plus 1d6 lightning damage… 35, plus 1d6 for Hunter’s Mark is 40 MATT: 40, nice! So as it hits, you watch as the brambles try and wrap around it, but it actually flies free LAURA: Oh wait! Plus the blazing bowstring, another two fire damage MATT: 42 total. You can see more of it’s just falling out of its small, decomposing torso, and it’s trying to fly upward now, towards the light It’s on the edge LAURA: I want to try to do the same thing again MATT: Okay, go for it LAURA: With a Blazing Bowstring again. 28 MATT: 28 hits. Roll damage LAURA: Okay, bramble shot again, because I get two, motherfucker! That’s ten for my Blazing Bowstring. Oh, Jesus H. Macy. 19, plus five is 24, plus eight is 32, 36. Oh my god, 34. 38, plus ten is 48 MATT: How do you want to do this? (cheering) TRAVIS: Frozen no more! Freeze me at your peril! LAURA: Be free, little angel baby. We shall feast tonight! That’s so gross And I just shoot the baby MATT: All right. As you pull back as it’s fluttering up, you take aim and release, and as the arrow strikes it, you can see, the same way the dagger hit the baby, it hits it, and throws it, the sheer force of the arrow against the wall, and pins it there like it’s stapled to the rock As it reaches over to try and pull the arrow out, and it begins to, suddenly the arrow (whoosh) breaks into a bunch of bramble vines that begin to wrap around it, and you watch as the tiny baby arm and wing try and reach out (choking) as it constricts and twists and slowly constrains it until you see it (crack) pop and go limp on the inside of the vines. And as the vines unfurl, what was physically there is slowly dissipating into a glitter-like powder. The body dissipating and falling apart LAURA: I mean, it was an evil baby, right? TRAVIS: Yeah, nobody likes glitter MARISHA: Yeah, glitter gets everywhere LAURA: Should we get out of here? TRAVIS: (muffled) I don’t mean to be rude! MARISHA: I run over to Grog. I’m still an elemental, yeah? I am still an elemental Where is he? MATT: You don’t know, actually SAM: I saw it. I’ll point down MARISHA: You point. I earthglide and I find him MATT: Okay MARISHA: And I can do double damage to structures Can I beat him out? MATT: I’d say you could probably, over time, yeah You have enough constitution to be fine MARISHA: I don’t want to kill him by suffocating MATT: No, he’s fine. He can hold his breath for six minutes. He’s got a really high constitution, so you’re fine. You slowly pummel the rock out from his way and pull Grog out from the interior

of the stone floor TALIESIN: Yeah, we should head out and bug bomb the place TRAVIS: Don’t we need proof? TALIESIN: Grab the body. Let’s go SAM: There’s no body! MARISHA: I go over to the glitter and I get some of my potion bottles from my alchemy to– Oh, I’m actually good at this. I try and harvest some, sweep some glitter MATT: Okay. So you gather some glitter in TALIESIN: Really quick, just look around, is there anything of value to grab before we run? MATT: Make an investigation check SAM: I’ll look, too LAURA: While she’s doing that, can I just look over the ground and see if there’s any platinum deposits? SAM: We could do a quick mining MATT: I mean, there are a number of visible edges of veins LIAM: Is there 230,000 gold worth? SAM: Probably. We could stay here for a couple months MATT: In this whole mine, there’s a lot of platinum, but you have to mine it. And as you guys are having this moment, you begin to hear the loud sound of hundreds of large insect-like creatures climbing their way down the walls LAURA: Oh god. Get to the middle and get in the air MARISHA: Okay, so I get everybody in the middle Is everyone ready? TRAVIS: I need help TALIESIN: We pulled you out MARISHA: What do you mean, you need help? TRAVIS: I’m on the other side of the 40-foot wall from the carpet MARISHA: I go (boom) and I pull Grog through LAURA: No, the carpet. We just got to get the carpet. I can go down and grab the carpet MARISHA: Oh, the carpet. I take a few minutes as my earth elemental self to beast through LAURA: We don’t have a few minutes MARISHA: I can do double damage to structures LAURA: You don’t have to do that. I can go get the carpet. I’m right there MARISHA: Oh, okay. Go get the carpet MATT: Okay. So you rush over and grab the carpet And you guys begin to make your way back up through LAURA: Are we bamfing out or are we flying up? TALIESIN: I think we’re flying up and if we see anything we’ll just take shots at anything that’s rolling around, if anything is visible. Let’s just do damage on our way out MARISHA: Oh, we’re doing damage as we fly out LIAM: Or we could Tree Stride out? TALIESIN: We can’t Tree Stride. There’s no trees LAURA: Or we can Plane Shift MATT: There is a small tree growing out of the side of the wall from where you killed the creature, but it’s not large enough for that spell LAURA: But still really cool! MATT: Yeah, it grows and twists out, like a bonsai curves upward LAURA: I hope that it slowly becomes a forest underground TRAVIS: They’re going to chop it down as they mine the platinum MATT: All right, so you guys are coasting up through the shaft? MARISHA: Oh, are we just riding up? TRAVIS: Straight up MARISHA: Broom and carpet? Broom and carpet MATT: Okay. You guys begin heading up through the center column of this opening. As you’re moving up, are you staying in the darkness? LAURA: Can you Daylight or something, like up and out? MARISHA: I can. Do we need to? TALIESIN: You know, at this point, it might be MARISHA: On the top of my spire I cast Daylight MATT: Okay. So (boom) this light now emerges from this area, and as you can see now through this cavern around you, there’s about a dozen or so of these large ankheg creatures, about every 30 feet or so, 40 feet up. You’re in the center of– you look up and you can see easily the hundred that you saw earlier have all been drawn to the surface by the screams of this creature. And as you begin rocketing up with this Daylight spell, you watch as some of them start hanging upward in your direction. You start hearing this sound, (hiss) MARISHA: Are they attracted to the Daylight? MATT: They’re apparently attracted to your presence. It is a line shot. I’m going to go ahead and have, let’s see here. Percy and Vex, I need you guys to both make a constitution saving throw TRAVIS: Oh shit. Oh god, we did not– pretty sure you said that last time, before you turned into Chef Boyardee MATT: Sorry, sorry, not constitution. Dexterity, my apologies LAURA: Dexterity saving throw? That is so much better TALIESIN: Should I reroll? Yeah, I’ll reroll LAURA: Should you reroll? MATT: Yeah, roll again; it’s fine LAURA: 27 TALIESIN: 18 MATT: Yeah, you both make it. So you both suffer eight points of acid damage TALIESIN: I want to start taking shots as high up as I can see,

I want to start taking shots at these things LAURA: Yeah, I’ll do the same thing MATT: There are over a hundred. And they take more than a few shots to go. We’ll say you start picking them off, a few as you go, but you watch them fall past you. There’s just such a mass number of them. As you guys get up another 40 or so feet, (spray sound) again. From three different ones. All right, I need Taryon, Percival, and Vex again to make dexterity saving throws SAM: Natural 20! MATT and TRAVIS: Nice! TALIESIN: I’ll live with that. 17 MATT: Okay LAURA: 23 MATT: Okay, six points of acid damage to the three of you SAM: Halved to three for me MATT: You make your way up even further. You’re about halfway up this tunnel at this point and now you’re getting to the heavy cluster of these creatures. At this point, a large cluster of them begin to spray all across. I need all of you guys to make two dexterity saving throws. Anybody get lower than a 13? TALIESIN: Nope ASHLEY and TRAVIS: I did MATT: For one? TRAVIS: For the second one MARISHA: Lower than a 13? MATT: Yeah. That would be all of you except for Pike and Grog take a total of 14 points of acid damage. Both of you guys, for the purposes of this, take 21 points of acid damage SAM: You okay there, Pikey-pants? ASHLEY: Yeah, I’m fine! TRAVIS: I’m okay MATT: As you’re shooting and you hear the gunfire (gunshots) going off, you fire the arrows. More and more of these ankhegs are falling and crumbling off. You hear the (screeching) as they streak past you, plummeting into the darkness below. Even more so, throwing streams out However, their numbers are starting to thin because you’ve gone past the thick part of it Vax, Pike, and Grog. The three of you guys roll dexterity saving throws, please TRAVIS: 12 LIAM: 19 ASHLEY: 18 TRAVIS: 12 MATT: All right. Six points of acid damage, six points of acid damage, 12 points of acid damage LAURA: How much further do we have to go up?! MATT: You guys, with the brooms and the carpet, it’s not super fast. Putting up there again. You get about three-quarters of the way up SAM: What is Pike riding on? MATT: She’s on the carpet ASHLEY: I’m on the carpet. I’m okay LAURA: You should heal yourself! ASHLEY: I know MARISHA: Can I do a Wind Wall to protect us from around us? MATT: Wind Wall is stationary. It might help with one round of the spray MARISHA: Are we doing one more round? MATT: You’ll find out. You don’t know MARISHA: If we are, I will prep my Wind Wall spell to encompass us for one more round MATT: Okay. As you guys are heading upward, now you’re about three-quarters of the way out. The numbers are thinning a little bit. They start spraying once more. You go ahead and create a Wind Wall that you’ve been preparing. As you watch, these jets of extremely acidic burning liquid shoot toward you, suddenly a column of wind gets conjured upward from the darkness and deflects the spray into a mist that is thrown back against the wall harmlessly. You’re almost to the exit, and you see a handful more towards the very top of this cavern. Keyleth, Percy, and Pike. Make a dexterity saving throw, if you can SAM: Pikey MARISHA: I’m good. 21 TALIESIN: I’m going to burn a reroll. It’s the end of my resolves! ASHLEY: Oh! Natural 20 TALIESIN: Ten MATT: Okay, so eight points of acid damage. 16 Keyleth? MARISHA: 21 MATT: All right. That’s eight points of acid damage. You took the– ASHLEY: Eight MATT: The eight, yeah. As you guys just crest out of the top of the dark column below, you can watch as the creatures are starting to skitter out from the edges, but you are far above and a few of them are spraying, but you’re above the range and it’s coasting over and disappearing below. You’ve now emerged into the night sky, the moonlight above you. You’re all fairly beaten TALIESIN: Is there anything we can throw down there to really piss them off? SAM: I’ll drop a bead of Firewall

MARISHA: Yeah, and I can drop a Fireball on there SAM: I’m sorry, a Wall of Fire MATT: You’re going to throw a Wall of Fire on the edge of it? SAM: Yeah MARISHA: Yeah, and I’ll throw a Fireball. Burn the place down. Extermination TALIESIN: Bug bomb TRAVIS: I spit in the hole ASHLEY: I was going to see if I could put a Blade Barrier on top of the hole, so once the fire’s in there, they can’t get out MATT: What’s the radius on Blade Barrier? ASHLEY: 90 feet MATT: Okay, we’ll say as you come out the top, you throw down the Blade Barrier– what’s the radius of it, though? ASHLEY: I don’t think it says MATT: I’ll pull it up real fast ASHLEY: Oh, it does say LAURA: 60 feet in diameter. No! You can make a straight wall of 100 feet or 60 feet in diameter ASHLEY: Yeah, ringed wall up to 60 feet MATT: Okay, so you can make a wall around the one side of it. Not the whole thing SAM: Wall of Fire around the other? MATT: You don’t get to get the whole radius, but between the Wall of Fire and the bladed wall, you blast the opening there. You coast away, watching and hearing as dozens of ankhegs that are climbing up to the top begin to (screeching). Eventually, they all begin to burrow back into the rock and stone and vanish. The ones on the surface begin to burrow below. And a calm stillness comes over the exterior of the mines. As you all coast up, hundreds of feet in the air over the forest, licking your wounds. So you removed the glitter and you removed– LAURA: The little coffin MATT: The little stone placard. You had to wedge it out, but you got it up there LAURA: Okay MATT: And that’s where we’ll call it for the night TRAVIS: Nice! MARISHA: That was awesome! TALIESIN: I’m at 57 hit points. Yay TRAVIS: Add 100 to that and that’s somewhere Grog TALIESIN: Where were you at? I feared for you, man ASHLEY: 11 LAURA: Oh my god! TRAVIS: That cherub was a bitch MATT: Aw man. That was also created by the chat TRAVIS: Was it?! LAURA: The baby was created by the chat?! TRAVIS: Why you do this to us, chat? TALIESIN: Why you make us kill a baby? That was great LAURA: That was a really cool villain MATT: That was a tiny celestial LIAM: Like beating up a Kewpie doll MATT: Was the prospect of doing something that attacks via the terrain instead of– ASHLEY: Was he an evil baby? LAURA: Yeah, was it evil? Or could we have saved it? MATT: The actual title for it is Symphior the Withered Planetar. It was essentially a celestial seed that was placed to eventually emerge as a guardian in a future time, almost a Ragnarok-type circumstance. But the land around it became corrupted as it gestated or was held in stasis, and then was awoken prematurely. And as such, became this horrible monstrous version of what it was supposed to be. It was neutral, but it was dangerous. It seemed pretty far gone. Thank you guys so much. We’ll be back next week with the battle royale. That’ll be fun TRAVIS: Everybody kill Keyleth LAURA: Yeah. Go for Keyleth to begin with. Try to kill her MARISHA: I am going to be looking at all of my spells TALIESIN: These two have to be the first to go down MARISHA: What? Why? TALIESIN: Because loot drop TRAVIS: Yeah, we’ve got to get Hunger Games with this shit. Defend the cornucopia of loot! MARISHA: I’m going for the machete! SAM: But Vex, you’re my best friend! LAURA: No, you’re my best friend. I won’t kill you SAM: Okay! Like, within five minutes LIAM: This one shoved my face into lava at the end of the last battle royale MARISHA: I love you! (sizzling) MATT: It was pretty good MARISHA: Then Pike did it to me immediately the next round. I love you! (sizzling) MATT: Yeah, it was pretty slick. Exactly MARISHA: Yes, it was LAURA: Tight MATT: Awesome. Thank you so much for watching. We’ll be back next week, Thursday, with our battle royale. Hope you have a wonderful night and weekend. And is it Thursday yet? Good night! [music]