Fond Farewells | Critical Role | Campaign 2, Episode 141

MATT: Hello everyone and welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. ALL: (discordant yelling)We play Dungeons & Dragons! MATT: Right there. Before we get into tonight’s session, we do have some announcements to get through real fast beginning with our first sponsor of the evening, Hit Point Press. Sam. SAM: And now a poem to celebrate our victory over Lucien, saving Exandria and winning back our dear friend, Molly.(off-camera fart noise) SAM: Oh, the journeys our characters have taken that now seem to be reaching the end ship. The one thing that’s bound us together is our undying, unwavering… friends at Hit Point Press and their brand new fifth edition-ready adventures: Heliana’s Guide To Monster Hunting. A second campaign filled with intrigue with cats, dicks, and battles so dire. With Caleb’s magic, Beau’s fists, Yasha’s flowers and Caduceus’ words which always… Inspired by the beloved Monster Hunter franchise, the 300-page guide contains new and exciting adventures, modules, rules for tracking, harvesting and crafting, and hundreds of game-ready items, monsters, and spells. (clears throat) Back to the poem. We’re so happy you all joined our tale, to have you Critters watching, we are blessed. Also, each monster hunting adventure climaxes with an epic, three-phase boss battle against ordinary monsters. And when you defeat the boss, you can snatch their soul and turn them into an adorable pet, or take levels in the new monster tamer class to become the very best. See, it rhymed.(laughter) The way Matt tells a story is magic, it brings eight friends together, combined in kismet, in alchemy, in love. And together we become the Mighty… Lucky to inject the hunt into our campaigns with Heliana’s Guide to Monster Hunting, which you can support right now at (laughter) Matt, back to you. MATT: Thank you, Sam.LIAM: Sometimes he rises above, but usually he just sinks deeper. MATT: Yeah.(laughter) MATT: Shoveling through, I get it. Thank you, Sam. Thank you, Hit Point Press. Our second sponsor for tonight, our friends at Petersen Games. TRAVIS: Petersen Games. MATT: They have their brand new gigantic 5e fantasy source book called Planet Apocalypse.LAURA: Woo! MATT: This 350 plus page full color hardcover source book contains everything you need to turn any heroic fantasy setting into an apocalyptic horror that puts the player character center stage as their world descends into destruction and chaos. (evil laugh) Yes, it’s awesome. The massive tome contains new subclasses, new feats, new spells, new magic items, three adventures, a complete guide on what it means to bring the apocalypse to your fantasy world. 15 arch lords whose shadows literally manifest hell– that’s fun– and a bestiary boasting more than 70 monster stat blocks for you to incorporate into your campaign. So make sure you check out the video during the break for a bunch more information and a special offer to our audience right now, if you use the code “CRITICAL”, all capital letters,while checking out at, you get $15 off the source book when you order it. So go check it out.And of course a huge thank you to our friends at D&D Beyond. ALL: D&D Beyond! MATT: They’ve been with ussince the beginning of this campaign, they are the official toolset of this campaign. They just added a new feature to their dice roller and game log which allows players to send their dice results to specific players that are linked to the same campaign, which is great for when your dungeon master says “you can certainly try.” You can learn more about D&D Beyond’s official digital dice at Also, just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us here at live on Twitch and on YouTube. To join in our live and officially moderated community chat, please head on over to our Twitch channel to get involved. Laura, you have some announcements. LAURA: I do. We were just playing with the dice rolling function. (laughter) And now she got caught.LAURA: I rolled a 22 stealth. MATT: Nice! LAURA: Hey, guess what? Our first six box sets of premium painted miniatures with our friends at WizKids are available now at local game stores across the world as well as at our own Critical Role shops in the US, the UK, and Canada.SAM: Yay! TRAVIS: Bing, bing. LAURA: In addition to that: okay, I’m excited about this. We have new merch for Pride this year. (cheering)First of all, I’m going to show you this new t-shirt. MATT: That’s so cool.ALL: Whoa. LAURA: That says, “Don’t Forget To Love Each Other” still, “Pride 2021.” And it features– nope, that’s that one. And then the socks, we also have. ASHLEY: Oh man!(laughter) LAURA: They say, “Don’t forget tolove each other” on the bottom. ALL: Aw. LAURA: How cute are these? They feature the same 11 pride flags representing identities from across the LBGTQIA+ community as does our other pride merchandise. And then a portion of all sales on these items will be donated to our friends at OutRight Action International, the same one we’ve been donating to which we love.It’s a nonprofit that works at the international, regional, and national levels to research, document, defend, and advance human rights for the LBGTQIA+ community around the world.SAM: Amazing. TRAVIS: Love it.MATT: Love it. ASHLEY: We can use those as tissues tonight. MATT: Yeah.MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: Thank you, Laura. LAURA: Thank you. MATT: Ashley.ASHLEY: Oh boy. Okay. I’m going to get it right this time.SAM: Nope. (laughter) ASHLEY: Hey, thank you so much for your support of our Critical Role Foundation fundraising campaign with our friends at 826LA! (cheering) Since we’re prerecording the show, the best way to catch real-time fundraising updates is by following us at @CriticalRoleFDN on Facebook and on Twitter and to learn more about our campaign to build a writer’s room for students at Venice High School here in Los Angeles, or to donate– we’re so close– head over to Thank you, we love you.SAM: You got it right. TRAVIS: Fantastic. SAM: That was great.LAURA: That was the best one you’ve done. ASHLEY: Well, you know, might as wellget it right at some point. TRAVIS: Get her done.(laughter) MATT: Awesome, thank you, Ashley. ASHLEY: Thanks. MATT: And Marisha, you havesome announcements to make as well. MARISHA: Yes! Okay, get ready.(laughter) Here we go.TALIESIN: We love you. MARISHA: Our special Vox Machina versus Mighty Nein one-shot that was unlocked as a stretch goal during our Legend of Vox Machina Kickstarter campaign is happening on Friday, June 18th at 7:00pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube, or catch the VOD on Sunday, June 20th. It’s so good, tune in. It’s great. And then we have a very, very big announcement coming to you next week.So join us for a very special broadcast of an updated State of the Role on Thursday, June 10th at 9:00pm– nope, 9:00 am Pacific. (laughter) I’m pulling an Ashley, “Nope.” On our Twitch channel bright and early, probably the earliest stream we’ve ever done. We’ll have our coffee. We’re not quite ready to start talking about our third campaign just yet– but our teams–LAURA: (screams) MARISHA: I know, I know– but our teams have been working so hard on a new super top secret project. And we’re super excited to share all the details with you. So tune in if you don’t want to miss all the hype. And we hope that you’re excited as we are about this because it’s exciting.SAM: I want to know. ASHLEY: What is it? MARISHA: What is it? What’s in the State of the Role? ASHLEY: What’s in the State of the Role? (laughter) MATT: Thank you, Marisha.All righty.ASHLEY: No. MATT: I think that concludes our announcements so let’s go ahead and jump into tonight’s episode of… Critical Role.TRAVIS: (growling) (water bubbling) (thunder rumbling) (explosion) Role Critical Role Critical Role Mighty Nein Roll the dice The adventure begins They were always beside you Your nerdy best friends and the DM to guide you And they rise from the flames for the battles ahead Villains beware ’cause you’re about to be dead They got magic and flair They got falchions and cunning They don’t see over there there’s a monster incoming Inspiration is waiting Rise up, don’t think twice Put your fate in your hands Take a chance, roll the dice Roll the dice Critical Role (roll the dice) Critical Role (roll the dice) Can you answer the call Diggin’ deep in your soul As the legends unfolds Now it’s your turn (your turn, your turn) To roll (flames whooshing) MATT: And welcome back.So before we jump in, we do have some leveling up to do since you all are level 16 as of the end of defeating Lucien and the Cognouza Ward and the Eyes of Nine. So let’s go ahead and run around here and do some hit point rolls real fast starting– I guess we’ll start with this side actually. Marisha, you go first. MARISHA: Oh boy, all right, here we go, d8. Rolled a two. MATT: All right, there you go. Two hit points. Boom, put ’em in. All right, for Caduceus. TALIESIN: Ooh, rolled a five. MATT: Awesome. And I guess for Mollymauk, who’s now level six. (laughter) TALIESIN: Yeah, I didn’t really do any of that but I should do that now. MATT: We’ll figure it out.TALIESIN: I’ll figure it out later. I’ll figure it out, well. MATT: Yeah. All right. It’s a d10, roll a d10. TALIESIN: Okay, that’ll do. MATT: And just write it somewhere. Just so we have it for posterity. TALIESIN: Yeah, it’s an eight. MATT: It’s an eight, there you go, write that down.Ashley. ASHLEY: Okay, here we go. SAM: Whoa. ASHLEY: That was a journey. Four. MATT: Four, there you go. All righty. SAM: What do I roll to take a level in wizard, Matthew? MATT: Oh shit, you’re taking a level in wizard? That’s a d6. SAM: Four. MATT: All right, there you go. Go ahead and add that wizard level. LIAM: Okay, biggest question of the night. Will I crack 100 hit points this campaign? MARISHA: 20 bucks says no. MATT: Roll a two, roll a two. LIAM: I need a three to hit 100.LAURA: Okay. MARISHA: Roll a two.LAURA: Two! LIAM: Oh, it’s in my groin.I don’t know what it is. (laughter) It’s a six! MATT: Ah, you did it!(applause) You did it, I’m so proud of you. TALIESIN: Remember to remove the 17 hit points from– LIAM: Yeah, they’re gone, they’re gone.I’m well aware.TALIESIN: Okay, ’cause I was really hoping to crush your spirit there.LIAM: Keen Mind, Keen Mind. MATT: (laughs) I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you, Liam. Laura.LIAM: So strong. LAURA: Two. MATT: Aw.LAURA: Again. MATT: There you go, all right. Put down your two then. MARISHA: Should’ve been Caleb with the two. MATT: What you got, Travis? TRAVIS: Paladin! Three.MATT: Took a Paladin level? TRAVIS: Yeah.MATT: All righty! Three, there you go. SAM: Done. Well, what a good episode, guys. TRAVIS: All done! MARISHA: My heart’s pounding already. MATT: Last we left off: After an arduous journey, pursuing the mystery of Vess DeRogna’s obsession with the north and the odd goings on with the missing corpse of Mollymauk.You chased Lucien and the Tomb Takers northward across the icy scape down into the ruins of the long lost arcanum city of Aeor. From there, you journeyed into the Astral Sea to the living city of Cognouza where you saw the Eyes of Nine, the Somnovem themselves, long mad powerful entities of dream, will, and imagination, were forced to merge with Lucien himself, becoming something all entirely new. You did battle with Lucien before he sought to increase his strength and knowledge in the depths in the center of the city at the Aether Crux and there in a final climactic struggle, you defeated and destroyed Lucien at somewhat of a cost.But managed to bring your lost friends back from the brink of oblivion. From there, you pulled the body of Lucien from the– skin cradle, I don’t know what to call it. LAURA: Ew.(laughter) LAURA: Never say “skin cradle” again.TRAVIS: Jesus! MATT: There you go. TRAVIS: Skin fold.(laughter) MATT: That was my industrial bandin high school, Skin Cradle. TALIESIN: Classic. MATT: And upon attempting tobeseech the shard of Lucien’s soul that became Mollymauk and blossomed into its own individual spirit to return, the ritual seemed to conclude… sadly. Whether it was impossible to attempt or fate did not allow, he was unable to return. But some individuals prefer to spit in the face of fate. TRAVIS: (laughs) MATT: And Caduceus beseeched the Wild Mother’s love of all things living or that deserve to live. And in that final prayer, you channeled the divinity of which you have followed your entire life and in doing so, willed the spirit of Mollymauk to return in some unique state, familiar to some individuals. Having gathered your friends around you as the paling, lifeless city remains adrift, floating through the astral space without purpose, without mind, you gather yourselves, retrieve the bag of holding, and shifted back to Exandria to the Blooming Grove.And as that rush of energy, that shift as you find yourselves now pushed through an endless black space, you feel yourself rushing as a strange, lattice-like imagery begins to come into view, the Divine Gate that separates the world of Exandria, the plane of the mortal realm, from that of the divinity that created it. You push through and within moments touch down on the soft mossy ground in the center of the familiar courtyard outside of the temple of the Blooming Grove.It is about– Caleb would know. About 1:30, 2:00 in the afternoon. LIAM: Sun’s right there. It’s obvious, obvious. MATT: A welcome sight. A deep breath, a sweet breeze on the air. The smell of flowers and nature. Damp earth, pond water. You all look at each other, still mildly in disbelief that you made it here before a voice goes, “Caduceus?” And over with a hand filled with various weeds in one dirt smeared face, you see Clarabelle glance over and go, “Caduceus!” And just throws the weeds behind her and rushes in and just goes for a huge hug around your waist. TALIESIN: Oh, gently. SAM: Is she like way older than we saw her last time? MATT: She is 300 ye– No, she– TRAVIS: Flight of the Navigator.(laughter) MATT: Right? TALIESIN: (as old man) “Eh, Caduceus.” (groans) MATT: (as old man) “Where have you been?” One by one, the rest of the Clay family begins to emerge from their various chores and or places throughout the house and the landscape.And they rush to greet you all with cheers, shoulder claps, hugs, and just… an odd sense of expectation that you’d make it back in one piece. So what would you like to do? You are exhausted. TRAVIS: I much prefer this to the skin. LAURA: Yeah, I didn’t realize how stinky the city was until we landed here. MARISHA: My thought exactly. TRAVIS: I will miss the, um, “Up!” Anything? MATT: No.TRAVIS: Fuck. SAM: Well, we can still do that in Mr. Caleb’s tower. TRAVIS: Oh, that’s true, yes. LAURA: (gasps) Now that we’re back here, should we all put on our um, necklaces again? I forgot that um–TRAVIS: Oh, yes.LAURA: — the Cerberus Assembly was looking for us. MARISHA: That’s a good idea.TALIESIN: Probably a good idea. MARISHA: Yeah, I’ll put it on, start attuning. MATT: Okay, you want to take a short rest to attune? TRAVIS: Yes.TALIESIN: Yes. TRAVIS: Short rest for your boy. SAM: Oh, I never took mine off, apparently. LAURA: I didn’t either, but. SAM: (sighs) Oh, we have our bag of holding back. LAURA: Yes, I– I’m going to take the ring of fire resistance off. SAM: I’m going to reach in and get my gun. MATT: (laughs) SAM: I’ve missed you, sweet baby. TRAVIS: (chuckles) Did you ever give that gun a name? SAM: Sweet Baby.TRAVIS: Okay, yeah. (laughter) MATT: All right, so are you guys going inside to lunch? Take a short rest? SAM: I think we should probably go inside, it’s rude to stand out in the– MATT: I mean, it’s up to you guys.TALIESIN: We can picnic,it’s not the most unusual thing that– LAURA: A picnic actually sounds kind of wonderful. TALIESIN: I’m enjoying the outdoors. LAURA: I really like the grass and the trees. MATT: Cornelius pipes up and goes, “Well, that shouldn’t be a problem, we’ll go ahead and “put together a meal, don’t worry.” ASHLEY: Thank you. LIAM: After the final boss.TALIESIN: Thanks, I’m not going to help, if that’s okay. MATT: “No, you rest down. “It looks like you’ve certainly done “your share of the chores already.” TALIESIN: Yeah. Oh, I’m tired. LAURA: I’m going to wander over to Molly. Putting on the other hat? TALIESIN: Molly is– TRAVIS: Empty. TALIESIN: Molly is just sitting by the pond, looking in it. LAURA: Okay, I’m going to go sit down next to him. Hi, Molly. Um, I didn’t ask Yasha how long it took you before to get acclimated to your surroundings, but I thought this might help. And I’m going to pull out the tarot cards. Because I noticed you said all the names of these when we were up there.And I’m going to show him the tinkerer and I’m going to show him the magician card and love and joy. All of them. That’s us. And this is you, Molly. Anyway, if you want to, you know, just look at them. Maybe you’ll feel better after a little bit. Do you need anything to eat? TALIESIN: Empty, empty. LAURA: Empty stomach? We’ll get you some food. I’ll be right back, okay? TALIESIN: Goes back to looking in the pond. SAM: Do you think that he’s sort of like Kiri? Maybe you should teach him how to say, “Go fuck yourself.” TRAVIS: (laughs) LAURA: Hey, Molly! Go fuck yourself! LAURA: Yeah, there’s a good–(laughter) SAM: Always works.ASHLEY: Always a good first sentence, you know, to learn. TRAVIS: “Fuck yourself.” MATT: You see Essek and he’s still looking around, a little uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. “So where exactly are we?” SAM: Oh, you weren’t with us, that’s right. MARISHA: We’re not far from the Savalirwood. MATT: “Okay, so we are north of the Empire?” TALIESIN: Oh yes, at my home. MATT: “Which is…?” TALIESIN: North. Have you ever heard of the Blooming Grove before? LIAM: You’re on our side of the mountains now. MATT: “I have not, but that puts my mind at ease “for the moment at least.” TALIESIN: We don’t get a lot of visitors. And when we do, they tend not to be from the Empire mostly. TRAVIS: Are you worried about the eyes of the Empire or of the Dynasty at this moment? MATT: “Honestly, either.” MARISHA: Do you plan to go back up to Aeor? To your post? MATT: “I don’t know, I’m still thinking.”There’s a lot to process and we just– “we just went through all of that, so–” LIAM: There’s no rush for the time being, stay with us. MATT: Maybe a night’s rest, yes. SAM: Are you on the outs with the Dynasty or–? MATT: “I have a sinking feeling it will not be long until “the trail of misdeeds I’ve left behind me catch up to me.” SAM: And will you face the consequences of your actions or run? MATT: “I need a night’s sleep first, “if you don’t mind.” SAM: Sure. And I cast sleep. (laughter) TRAVIS: No. (laughter) LIAM: It’s hard to believe that any of that even happened, looking around this place. MARISHA: Yeah, it’s that strange feeling when you’ve been gone for a while and it feels like so much has changed, but nothing here has. TALIESIN: Oh, I don’t know.LIAM: Just us. TALIESIN: This feels like victory.This feels like bearing fruit. Look at what we did. Another day. LAURA: It’s true. MARISHA: Well… we might be coming back to the Empire as murderers. TALIESIN: Well, you might. I think I’m going to take a little bit of a break. I need some home. You are all welcome to stay. I don’t need a night’s sleep to know that. Any of you are always welcome and if you need anything, I’m forever at your service for…Anything. No matter how shady. LIAM: Sounds like you’re ready to settle down here. TALIESIN: Ah, it’s not settling down, it’s… recuperating. Honestly, I’d recommend you stay as well for a while if you want to… calm down a bit. LIAM: You know, a week here does not sound like a bad idea. MARISHA: I was thinking the exact same thing. ASHLEY: Yeah, me too. LIAM: Gather our thoughts, plan for the future. MATT: You can see Essek is still wincing at the sunlight and glides into the shade for a moment and goes, “Well, I could certainly use some time in the garden. “It’s been a while.” TALIESIN: You’ll like this garden. There’s a lot to learn. LAURA: Maybe in the morning we can just pop up to Zadash and see our family. SAM: A week sounds lovely, but… I’ve made a promise. LIAM: What if we brought them here? SAM: It’s fine with me. We don’t really– Is Nicodranas safe? LAURA: I don’t know yet.There’s a lot of, um, variables. MARISHA: How long have we been gone? LAURA: Feels like years, but I think it’s only been a few days. SAM: You, you boy, is it Christmas Eve? (laughter) Fetch me a goose. (laughter) MARISHA: Calliope, how long have we been gone? MATT: Calliope, who at this point is just taking in the two new strange additions to the already strange mixture of people. You can see the look in her eyes, she goes, “Um, by my mind, a handful of days, “a better part of a week, maybe.” MARISHA: Oh! Oh, that’s not as long as I thought. We made good time, look at us. ASHLEY: We accomplished a lot.MARISHA: Yeah. ASHLEY: In that amount of time. MATT: Caduceus, you immediately feel the (impact) in your shoulder as Calliope comes up, gives you a heavy fist.TALIESIN: Ah, wound’s still closing.Oh god. Ow. MATT: “You listened.” TALIESIN: (groans) Against my better judgment, maybe. MATT: And she looks at you for a minute giving that stern, hard look and you just see the eyes begin to well up before she just goes in and just gives you a big, big hug. TALIESIN: Oh, maybe your turn next. Okay. MATT: Pushes away. TALIESIN: I’ve got some stories for you later. MATT: “I look forward to hearing about ’em. “What are you looking at?” And she goes back inside. SAM: Raw emotion, that’s all. Fascinating. TALIESIN: She’ll kick your butt. LAURA: I’m bringing food over to Molly, making sure he gets something to eat.Here you go. TALIESIN: He goes in full– LAURA: Oh good, oh good. Empty stomach.SAM: He remembers how to eat. LAURA: Yeah, I wasn’t sure.SAM: Yeah. MATT: But does he remember how to poop? SAM: Oh no.(laughter) TALIESIN: (groan of exertion)TRAVIS: (poop noise) MATT: Just like a fly. LAURA: Just holding onto it. MATT: All right. Do you guys take the evening to rest here in the Blooming Grove? MARISHA, TRAVIS, and LAURA: Yeah. MATT: Okay. LIAM: I would, on this night, sneak away by myself, off to the edge where I spoke to Frumpkin, before we left here. And I will summon him, but I will not specify any animal or shape. I will just summon him. MATT: Okay. LIAM: What do I see? MATT: You see the same white cat that you let go. Looks up at you with a face like someone who themself wasn’t ready to leave yet. (questioning meow) LIAM: Okay. Well, a promise is a promise. I have no right over you. And I absolve you of any bindings I have placed in the past. Go where you will. MATT: (purrs) Looks over at Jester, just past the shoulder, at the red weasel on her, and there’s a brief moment of fey-beast connection there.Looks back at you, steps forward and just rubs up against your leg. (purrs) And then walks past you. to some of the nearby fern, and stops and looks back at you. LAURA: (laughs) MATT: And then continues on inside the fern, pushing through the brush and the green, until he’s just out of sight. LIAM: Did I lose sight of him? Danke schoen. LAURA: What just happened? LIAM: Ah. Was just saying goodbye.LAURA: He left? LIAM: His home is somewhere else. And he went through a lot. For me, for us. Got kicked into a puff of gas more times than I’d like to count. LAURA: (laughs) LIAM: So. He earned it. LAURA: Sorry, Sprinkle, you’re stuck with me! (cackles) TRAVIS: (as Sprinkle) Please, no. (laughter) MARISHA: Oh no. We’re supposed to be [inaudible]. ASHLEY: I’m like crying. (laughs) MARISHA: We’re five minutes in. LIAM: You know what? I will miss him. (sniffles) But I needed him when I needed him. That time has passed. LAURA: Do you think you’ll ever get a non-fey creature as a pet? LIAM: I think it’s pretty likely. LAURA: Yeah. Maybe we just, you know, take care of all the Empire stuff. Live a nice quiet life with lots of animals. LIAM: (sighs) Are you going to go home at some point? LAURA: I don’t know. Depending on, you know, how the Empire goes.If we can clear our names, and no one’s going to come after Mama to kill her, I’m sure she’d want to go back to Nicodranas. I don’t know what her and The Gentleman– (laughs) The Gentleman are doing. I don’t know. I guess I need to see what they want. I guess I don’t need to live with her anymore. I don’t know. LIAM: We’ll get things sorted out here. LAURA: Yeah. LIAM: No question. This group. This group is something else. They’re easy to dismiss, but everyone who has done so has paid the consequences for it. LAURA: Yeah. LIAM: A special kind of magic that they don’t teach you in school. LAURA: (laughs) LIAM: Thank you, Jester. LAURA: For what? LIAM: Oh, the last couple years. Thank you for being such a good friend. LAURA: Of course, Caleb. You’re a good person. LIAM: (sighs) I…could be.LAURA: You are. LIAM: There’s just a little more to do. MATT: (as Essek) “She’s not wrong. “Trust me. “I know a few bad people. “You’re not one of them.” MARISHA: Do you say the same for yourself? MATT: “I do not think it is a luxury anyone has, “to call themselves good or bad. “I think that is a label for others to present.” MARISHA: I like that. I think you’re a good person. And that’s a lot, coming from me, because you’re a fucking war criminal. MATT: “I understand entirely, trust me, I–” MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: “There’s a lot to say, but “I could– I think we all could use some rest.” LIAM: You know, how we feel is one thing. What we do, that’s what counts. MATT: “Indeed.” LIAM: Good night, everyone.TRAVIS: (snores) (laughter) TALIESIN: Molly’s going to wander the garden for a while. MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: Just taking things in. MATT: And Clarabelle just stalks him. (laughs) TALIESIN: Doesn’t seem to mind. MATT: About 15, 20 feet back. Whenever he seems to turn, goes and hides poorly. ASHLEY: Should we stay up with him? MARISHA: I’m honestly kind of wired. ASHLEY: Yeah, me, too. MARISHA: Yeah, maybe we should watch, just to make sure he doesn’t fall into the pond, or wander into the woods. ASHLEY: Yeah, because who knows if he knows how to swim? MARISHA: Yeah, can he navigate back? ASHLEY: Yeah.MARISHA: I don’t know.He’s like a puppy. ASHLEY: He’s like a puppy. (sighs) This is going to be a project. MARISHA: Yeah. How long did it take the last time? ASHLEY: He was already– MARISHA: Oh, that’s right. ASHLEY: Yeah, I only heard stories of his before times. But I know they took him in like this, with the circus. So. MARISHA: Do you think it’ll be– Do you think he’ll develop into Mollymauk again? Or will he be a little different? ASHLEY: That’s what I keep wondering.I feel like he’s going to be a little different. MARISHA: Me, too. ASHLEY: I don’t know how you can go through all those things without some of those images floating through your head. MARISHA: And then at what point is it going to be us nurturing him into Mollymauk? Where does our influence begin and end?ASHLEY: I was thinking that, too. I hope we can just let him be what he wants to be. I mean, even when we called him Mollymauk, I’m like, should we just– I don’t know, I want to do this right. MARISHA: Yeah. TALIESIN: He wanders over with flowers for the two of you. MARISHA: Oh. Um. (laughter)ASHLEY: Oh! MARISHA: Thank you.SAM: I’ve seen that movie before. TALIESIN: Wanders away, back to the lake. MARISHA: Okay.LIAM: (laughs) ASHLEY: Okay, thank you.I love these! MARISHA: Nice choice. TALIESIN: Going to curl up by the pond, on one of the stones, and start sleeping. MARISHA: I don’t know, that feels like something. I don’t know. ASHLEY: I think, yeah.MARISHA: Yeah, I guess that’s a start, okay. ASHLEY: I’m going to go cover him. MARISHA: Yeah. ASHLEY: I feel like I should stay out here with him. MARISHA: I’ll stay with you. I like camping outside. ASHLEY: Yeah, me, too. MARISHA: I’ll just curl up next to Yasha, and watch whatever the hell Molly does. MATT: (laughs) All righty. LAURA: I’m going to– I’m assuming Fjord’s already asleep. (laughter) LAURA: Just going to– I’m going to crawl over, and just lift his arm up, and put it over.TRAVIS: (snoring) (laughter) LAURA: Shnuggle up. (laughs) ASHLEY: Aww. TRAVIS: (farts) LAURA: (laughs) TRAVIS: Hi. LAURA: Hi. TRAVIS: I’m sleeping. LAURA: I know.TRAVIS: Okay. LAURA: Go back to sleep. TRAVIS: (snores) Hey, we did it. LAURA: Yeah, we did. Hey, Fjord? TRAVIS: Yeah? LAURA: I love you. SAM: (gasps) LAURA: Don’t say anything! I’m just going to bury my head. TRAVIS: What? LAURA: Don’t say it, just shut up, go to sleep. (laughter) TRAVIS: You sure? LAURA: Yeah, go to sleep, go to sleep! TRAVIS: Okay.LAURA: Okay. (laughter) TRAVIS: (sighs) LAURA: I cast Modify Memory. (laughter) TRAVIS: Just shove a cupcake in his mouth. LAURA: I try, but I don’t have it. I don’t have any spells left, and I’m like: Shit, shit! (laughter) MATT: That’s so good. LIAM: You murdered your whole family! (laughter) MARISHA: Wait, don’t send, don’t send, shit, shit! (laughter) TRAVIS: (smashing) Why doesn’t that stop anything?! (laughter) SAM: Before bed, I’m going to sneak out, and walk down to– there’s a pond? MATT: Yes. SAM: I’m going to go to the pond.MATT: It’s about 30 or so feet across. TALIESIN: Yeah, a spring, yeah. SAM: Spring, whatever. I’m going to just look at myself in the reflection. I guess I got to wear my nightvision goggles to see myself. So I’ll do one, so I make sure the face is the same. MATT: Yeah. It’s not too dark. SAM: Okay, good. And then I will take a deep breath, look out into the night sky, and take off all my clothes and go for a dip. MARISHA: (gasps) SAM: And just float there, like in Immortal Beloved, is that the movie? (laughs) Where I’m just floating on the water, looking up at the stars.LAURA: Aww.MATT: It’s a beautiful night, and there’s a little bit of clouds pushing through, but you still have a view of all the stars in the sky. With so little city-centric light pollution, you can see the bands of purple and blue and gray in space, and it evokes the beautiful aspects of the Astral Sea in some small way. But it’s comforting. And as you look up for a while, (whooshes) a little shooting star goes.SAM: It’s nice. Yeah. Just sit there for awhile, and then, feeling a bit tired, I’ll gather my stuff, and load the girls back in, and– (laughter) MATT: Jesus Christ. TRAVIS: (laughs) SAM: And I’ll make my way back up to the house. TRAVIS: They got their own– TALIESIN: Nothing like a quick, quick dip in the Sacred Spring of the Unknown Champion, where lies the head of the– SAM: Ah! MATT: Yeah.TALIESIN: You’re fine, don’t worry, we do it all the time, just thought I’d– (laughter) TALIESIN: We don’t know what’s in the water. MATT: No better skinny dipping, than divine skinny dipping. TALIESIN: Yeah, divine skinny dipping. MATT: All right. LIAM: So much buoyancy in this water.(laughter) MATT: A hard night’s sleep comes to you all with, for some of you, welcome, comfortable dreams. That tired, heavy sleep that comes with exhaustion and completion. The end of an ordeal. That dark, welcome, heavy sleep. Eventually, the warmth of the morning comes to you, early morning, and the low mists just starting to burn away from the grove itself. The first to awaken will probably be Beauregard and Yasha, due to the colder temperature at that hour, but you do all complete a long rest. A night’s rest. ASHLEY: (sighs) MATT: It doesn’t take too long before you begin to hear an unfamiliar sound at the front. (bell ringing) You recognize this, Caduceus, as this is Constance, who’s like, “Breakfast will be ready in about 10 minutes “to you three. “And anybody else who’s out there?” MARISHA: Oh.Sure? ASHLEY: Yeah, I’m sure everybody’s going to be very excited to eat. MARISHA: Where’s Molly, where’s Molly? TALIESIN: Molly is still passed outexactly where you left him. ASHLEY: Oh, he looks so peaceful while he’s sleeping. Oh my goodness. (laughter) SAM: Just one more for the road. (laughter) TRAVIS: Is– What?ASHLEY: What is it? LIAM: It’s bald Matt, bald– TRAVIS and LAURA: With a giant beard.LIAM: Yeah.(laughter) LAURA: Where did you–? (laughter) TRAVIS: Doing you dirty. See, it sucks when they Photoshop you bald, man. (laughter) ASHLEY: Bought it. TRAVIS: It’s an alarming thing. ASHLEY: Matt doesn’t look that bad. MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)MATT: Sorry, Travis. (laughter)TRAVIS: True, true. MARISHA: Did you just make a note? Did you just make a note? MATT: (unconvincingly) Huh? No. LAURA: Mm-hmm.SAM: Shit. He’s going to kill my character. MARISHA: Yeah, I was going to say– ASHLEY: Did you just roll?!MARISHA: And Veth drowns in the spring.SAM: She forgot how to swim.MARISHA: Yeah. TRAVIS: Just take one of the girls. MATT: Yeah. (laughter) MATT: Everybody gather in for breakfast? ALL: Yes. MATT: With the Clay family gathered around in the inside, the warm hearth flickering with the morning flame, the smell of various cooked vegetables. Not a meat in sight. LAURA: Is there any oatmeal? TALIESIN: There is oatmeal.MATT: Oatmeal is there. LAURA: Yes.MATT: All delicious. For those of you who are the meat-centric eaters, you are surprised at the array of flavors. ASHLEY: There’s not even any bugs?! That’s not meat. MATT: Clarabelle goes, “Oh, do you want a bug?” ASHLEY: I love bugs.MATT: “I’ll be right back,” and she runs off. You don’t know where she went. ASHLEY: Your sister’s a little naughty. TALIESIN: Yes. MARISHA: (laughs) TRAVIS: This looks amazing. I slept so well. No– no one else? SAM: Yeah, yeah, sure, it was great. ASHLEY: I did, too.LIAM: Like the dead. TRAVIS: It’s been a minute. MATT: (as Essek) “It was the “best sleep I’ve had in a while.” MARISHA: Well, now what? TRAVIS: You know that feeling when you work really hard for a long, long time, and then you come upon on a vacation, or time off, and the first day in, you feel like you’re forgetting something, or need to get back to work? MARISHA: Yeah.LIAM: Don’t do it to yourself.TALIESIN: Well, we have chores, if you really need things to do. LIAM: Well.TRAVIS: Probably take some of those. LIAM: One chore is figuring outwhat to do about your families. MATT: Clarabelle returns, and just puts her hand out, and you can see there’s a cluster of five different types of insects that she’s quickly scavenged from her usual places in the house. ASHLEY: Oh, thank you. Caduceus, is it rude if I eat these in front or your family? TALIESIN: No, not at all, yeah, feel free. TRAVIS: What are you eating? ASHLEY: Hmm? (laughter) Just, oh, those are delicious.Just a little snack, a little protein. (laughter) TRAVIS: You were saying? LIAM: Well, what we could do, if we want to just stay here, and take it slow for a little bit, but we’re worried about your families. If you can reach out to one or all, I would be able to, even without Yussa’s tower, bring us there and back. We could just fetch them quickly, if we knew where they were. SAM: We know where they are, I hope. LAURA: Yeah, they’re at my dad– LIAM: Well, you might want to check. SAM: That’s ominous. Do you think they were kidnapped while we were gone or something? Jeez.LAURA: They could be out on errands, he just means errands. SAM: Oh, okay. LAURA: Obviously, he doesn’t meanthat our families are dead. LIAM: No, I wouldn’t be implying that. (laughter) LAURA: Ah! I’m going to cast Sending. TRAVIS: Oh, great.TALIESIN: Oh. LAURA: I’m going to send the message to my mama. MATT: All righty.MARISHA: (laughs) LAURA: Guess what? We’re not dead, the world is not ending, I miss you so much. Where are you? Can we come get you? Do you want to come to this awesome–? (laughter) TALIESIN: I missed that. LIAM: On brand. MARISHA: Been a bit. MATT: There is a very, very small pause before your mother’s voice comes back and goes, “Jester! Oh, I’m so happy to hear your voice. “I can’t wait to hear how it went. “Please, “I would love very much to see you.” That’s it. LAURA: She didn’t say where she was, but I think she’s with my dad.I’m going to send a message to– SAM: You didn’t say anything about my–LAURA: — to Yeza. SAM: Okay.LAURA: I didn’t. But I’ll send a message to Yeza, too. MATT: Mm-hmm. SAM: Do it as me. LAURA: Oh, okay. TRAVIS: (like Veth) Ah! LAURA: (like Veth) Ah! It’s me! (laughter) LAURA: Veth, your wife! (laughter) LAURA: I’m alive! Are you? Yes, of course you are! I mean. (laughter) Where are you? Can I come pick you up? (laughter) MATT: Make a deception check. (laughter) MARISHA: Uncanny. ALL: (shrieking like Veth) LAURA: Oh, off the table. Ah! Almost did it again. 17!SAM: Hey! Pretty good. MATT: There is a long pause. (laughter) So Yeza’s voice comes back. “Okay… “honey.” TRAVIS: (laughs) He’s so nice. MATT: “I think I know who this is.” (laughter) “But I take it as good news.”So “it would be great to see you. “Her. “Now I’m confused.” And that’s the end of it. (laughter) LAURA: No answers. SAM: No answer?! LAURA: No answer. I think it was it. SAM: He’s dead?!LAURA: He’s gone. He’s gone forever. SAM: You’re the worst.LIAM: The Assembly has found them. LAURA: He didn’t say where he was, but he totally believed it was you. SAM: The voice was– The voiceprint was really spot on, and it was a good voice match. LAURA: Thank you, I’ve been practicing. LIAM: It’s way better than I could do. LAURA: Try!LIAM: For sure. (deep voice) Ah. MATT: (laughs) LIAM: It’s me. Your old friend, Veth.TALIESIN: No. LIAM: Bren-at-to. LAURA: Bren-at-to? (laughter) SAM: You know how to say my name! I don’t understand. LIAM: It’s me, Breath Venado. MARISHA: “Breath Venado.” TRAVIS: Breathnado. (laughter) ASHLEY: You go give it a go, give it a go. TALIESIN: I– (gravelly voice) Hey– nope. (laughter)TALIESIN: Nope.Did not feel good. SAM: You’re a jazz man. TALIESIN: That was gravel.TRAVIS: (like Taliesin) Hey. TALIESIN: That did not feel good. LIAM: Sharknado. TALIESIN: I’m going to get a glass of water. (laughs) LAURA: But wait! I go over to Molly. TALIESIN: Molly is still passed out. LAURA: (gasps) Still? TALIESIN: Yeah, sleeping hard. LAURA: Ooh, should I wake him up? SAM: Babies sleep a lot more. ASHLEY: He’s sweet. We stayed with him, and– MARISHA: Yeah, he paced around in circles for like two hours before he finally just sort of laid down where he was standing.LAURA: Really? LIAM: You have to swaddle them at night. LAURA: I’m just going to go over to him, and brush his hair out of his face, and look and see if he’s still breathing. TALIESIN: Loudly. LAURA: Okay. TRAVIS: I know we’re checking in with families and stuff.Should we check in with someone from the Cobalt Soul? It might be good to start assembling our list of allies as we re-indoctrinate ourselves. MARISHA: Yeah, I was figuring if we were going to go to Zadash, I might tag along with you, and maybe check in. See if, maybe Dairon is there. Help me out, where did I leave Dairon last? Was it Uthodurn? Was Dairon in Uthodurn? MATT: No, the last time you saw was in Rexxentrum. MARISHA: Rexxentrum. MATT: I believe so. When Yudala Fon was notified of– MARISHA: Yudala was there, okay. MATT: The Zeenoth arrest. MARISHA: Right, right. MARISHA: Yeah.MATT: I believe. MARISHA: Yeah, or we can once again maybe send a message directly to Dairon or Yudala. MATT: Do you bring Molly for breakfast or just? LAURA: Well, I’m going to let him sleep. I don’t want to wake him up as long as he seems like he’s alive and everything. But I’m going to kneel down, and give him a kiss on his cheek. And while I do it, I’m going to try– I’m going to try casting Greater Restoration. MATT: Okay.LAURA: To see if, I don’t know, it’ll help. MATT: Okay, go ahead and mark off your spell components for that. ASHLEY: Oh, what a good idea. MATT: Mollymauk, you jolt awake at the sudden sensation of a strong wave of some sort of– it feels like warm water, but it’s air, but it’s not even air, it’s just, it’s like you drank a very, very hot drink. And as you felt it continue down your throat, it went through the rest of your body. TALIESIN: (screaming) LAURA: I’m sorry.TALIESIN: (groans) LAURA: Are you okay? TALIESIN: (groaning) (as Molly) Oh, no.No. That’s not supposed to happen. Oh. Oh no. LAURA: Are you Lucien or are you Molly? Are you Molly? TALIESIN: (sputtering) Wait. Oh. (sighs) I was having the nicest dream. Well, this is awkward on so many levels. LIAM: What were you dreaming about? TALIESIN: There was a– oh. There was a circus. And, ah, and this beautiful woman in a, in a red coat. And she was telling me secrets, showing me how to keep secrets. Show secrets– I– (sighs) And oh, there was a– was that sad angel and– and there were adventures, and I was– We went everywhere and saw, uh– LIAM: What’s your name? TALIESIN: I felt– I felt kingly. I felt very regal. Kingly. What, sorry? SAM: Who are you?LAURA: What’s your name? TALIESIN: I– You know, I don’t even know where I am right now.LIAM: Well, for starters, you are with friends. TALIESIN: I know. MATT: Constance steps forward and says, “You’re in the Blooming Grove with the Clay family. “There’s food, if you’d like, “but you’re among friends.” TALIESIN: Thank you. Much of that was very helpful. Some less so, but much of that, and actually, food would be great.I’d like just whatever you’ve got in portions. MATT: “Anyone, come, come in, come in.” TALIESIN: Just– this is a little awkward still. LAURA: Do you remember how to poop? Because you ate a lot last night. I just want to make sure that– TALIESIN: I remember a lot of things. SAM: But you don’t remember us. TALIESIN: No. LAURA: What? Come on! TALIESIN: I– LAURA: Pull out the cards again. Look, look, look, look, look, look, look! TALIESIN: I look at the cards. Is that supposed to be me? LAURA: Obviously. TALIESIN: And these are supposed to be you? MARISHA: You gave them to us. TALIESIN: Suppose that’s possible.MARISHA: Those titles. TALIESIN: I get feelings from you. All of you, but– MARISHA: Does “The Mighty Nein” ring a bell? Does “the Tomb Takers” ring a bell? TRAVIS: Insight check. MARISHA: (laughs) TRAVIS: 17. LAURA: Ooh.SAM: That’s not bad. ASHLEY: I’m going to make my way out there.TRAVIS: Is he fucking with us? Molly could– TALIESIN: I’m so sorry. I have never seen any of you before in my– I suppose life is a strange word at the moment. All right, you look familiar. SAM: Oh, that’s something.ASHLEY: He’s talking! LAURA: He’s talking. MARISHA: He doesn’t remember a lot.ASHLEY: Hi. SAM: We just taught him Common. ASHLEY: That can’t be– SAM: While you stepped out for a second, we taught him Common. TALIESIN: She’s utterly full of shit.ASHLEY: My goodness. TALIESIN: Well, let’s– SAM: But she looks familiar.ASHLEY: Hey! I look familiar? TALIESIN: A bit. ASHLEY: Can I– Can I give you a hug? TALIESIN: Oh. ASHLEY: No, too soon. TALIESIN: Oh, sure, love, I can’t see any reason why not. I could do with one, sure. This is already as awkward a day as I ever hoped to have, let’s– okay. ASHLEY: I have an idea, I have an idea.I look on the ground for a few rocks. Okay, this is going to sound crazy, you were very good at juggling. Do you know what that is? TALIESIN: Yes. ASHLEY: Here. TALIESIN: I juggle. LAURA: I get another rock and add it into the mix. TALIESIN: That does not go well. (laughs) LAURA: Oops. TALIESIN: I mean, I don’t know why I know that, but yeah, I know that.MARISHA: You still have all your tattoos, right? TALIESIN: What tattoos? Do I have–? MATT: You have all the tattoos, though the red eyes are gone. It’s like there’re these little empty spaces and gaps in the tattoos in the shape of an eye. TALIESIN: Oh, was I a drinker? LIAM: Same’s true for us too, right? Everything’s gone? MATT: Yes, all the eyes have vanished. MARISHA: I mean, you did enjoy a good night out on the town. But it’s not because you’ve been blackout drunk for a long time, if that’s your question.TALIESIN: I feel like I got– Have you ever been on an intense bender and you get woken up just a little too early and everything doesn’t feel quite right? MARISHA: Yes.SAM: Mm-hmm, yeah. TALIESIN: I feel like this was– like I’ve just been put through a meat grinder. Ugh. LIAM: I take a handful–TALIESIN: Who am I? LIAM: I take a handful of jade dust that I achieved through powderizing, pulverizing the jade that I melded around my medallion and I cast Programmed Illusion. You were part of a circus and the big tops go up around him and the dancers and performers that he spent his time with and a big burly bouncer woman, and a tiefling handing out leaflets to people on the road. And then a group of weirdos joins. TALIESIN: Where’s the woman? MARISHA: Just point at Yasha. TALIESIN: No, not her. LAURA: The one in the red coat? TALIESIN: Where’s the woman? SAM: I am the woman.LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: Technically true. SAM: Who was the woman in the red coat? LAURA: Do we know that? SAM: Was she at the fair, at the carnival? MARISHA: Fletchling, hang on, hang on, hang on, I bet I wrote it down. SAM: Page one, page one of the notes. MARISHA: Exactly.TRAVIS: 2018, 2018. LIAM: He got his coat off of someone else. ASHLEY: Are you talking about– LAURA: That’s right, you traded. Didn’t you trade? TALIESIN: So–LIAM: Was it this woman? SAM: There was Ornna, the Fire Fairy. LIAM: And DeRogna appears in the mix. SAM: Mona and Yuli. TALIESIN: These faces aren’t meaning anything. SAM: Kylre? TALIESIN: They’re already fading. MARISHA: He’s not talking about–TALIESIN: Is that me? LIAM: It is. TALIESIN: I don’t know, it isn’t. LAURA: Doesn’t feel right? TALIESIN: It’s not. No, that per– no, that’s not me. SAM: Does the name Lucien ring a bell? TALIESIN: No. SAM: Nor Mollymauk? TALIESIN: No.LAURA: Well, what do you want to be called? TALIESIN: Mollymauk, really? Oof. SAM: It’s a bit extra. LIAM: Tealeaf, Mollymauk Tealeaf. TALIESIN: Ah, Tealeaf’s nice. I don’t know. It’s the last feeling I had was– The very last feeling I felt was a… royal kingliness. Kingsley. TRAVIS: Oh shit, were you royalty or something? MARISHA: He had that town that he convinced that– LAURA: That’s true. He kept saying, “long may I reign” and everything? TALIESIN: Kingsley. LAURA: Maybe he was royalty. MARISHA: He convinced a town that he was a king. SAM: Kingsley is your name? LIAM: Yes, I remember this story.TALIESIN: Kingsley Tealeaf, I like it.SAM: Kingsley Tealeaf? TALIESIN: King Tealeaf, long may he reign. There we are.SAM: King Tealeaf. MARISHA: King Tealeaf. TRAVIS: Plenty of branding opportunities with that. MARISHA: (laughs) LIAM: A little crown starts to rotate over the head of the illusion of our friend. TALIESIN: Oh, you’re cute, magic man. LAURA: (laughs) MARISHA: All right.LAURA: He’s biting his lip at you. MARISHA: It’s still a little bit, that’s good.LAURA: My mom taught me that’s a sure-fire sign. LIAM: Don’t spoil it.ASHLEY: Do you remember… you used to do these things that you would call “choir practice”? Where– TALIESIN: Not to be cruel about the subject, but the first thing I remember was darkness and void and space. MARISHA: Yeah, well that–TALIESIN: And then the garden, and the dream, and here. That’s all. MARISHA: You were sort of lost to the void, to this Astral Sea. TALIESIN: I don’t think that was me. MARISHA: (sighs) LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: Clearly, whoever came first made some very bad decisions.Best to leave them in the past. LIAM: Well, let’s take him at his word. Perhaps this is your first time meeting us. It’s our second time. MARISHA: Third.LIAM: Third time meeting you. TALIESIN: Oh. LIAM: Stick with us. LAURA: If you want to. TALIESIN: I don’t know, I’ve– I recall I’ve got an appointment I’m supposed to– I’m just kidding, I don’t have any. (laughter) TRAVIS: We’ve got a week. Just see if more comes and if it doesn’t, great. LIAM: See if you like us. You don’t want buyer’s remorse.TALIESIN: Well, you do seem like a bunch of assholes, so– SAM: We’re a good group to start over with. TALIESIN: Right. MARISHA: Well–TALIESIN: Voice is weird. TRAVIS: We have weapons, we can give you clothes, we can give you some money. You can literally be anybody you want to. TALIESIN: I do remember I like clothes and money. I think some basic clothes,I don’t know if we have nice clothes. LAURA: Oh, I painted him some real flourishy clothes. TRAVIS: Of course you did. TALIESIN: Give a description, if you wouldn’t mind. LAURA: Well, it was very similar– You’re wearing them, King. Your majesty.TALIESIN: A t-shirt, really. LAURA: I painted those for you. TALIESIN: This is a great t-shirt.That’s what you painted for me? LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: That’s on the right track, a little– LAURA: Do you want something different? TALIESIN: Hmm.LIAM: What is your opinion on this? And a very large approximation of the coat– TALIESIN: That’s a bit garish, isn’t it?LIAM: — swivels. TRAVIS: (laughs) LIAM: I always thought so.TRAVIS: Be a bitch to fabricate. TALIESIN: Perhaps something a bit… bit less, maybe. LAURA: A bit shorter, like a vest. Do you want a vest? MARISHA: A vest, but with the same embroidery. (laughter) TRAVIS: Packed in there. MARISHA: Just look like a substitute teacher. LIAM: Or a little organ grinder monkey outfit.TRAVIS: I loved those teachers. MARISHA: Yeah. TRAVIS: “Learning is fun!” MARISHA: (laughs) LAURA: A short coat. TRAVIS: (laughs) TALIESIN: Maybe for now, just something… simple but elegant. LAURA: Simple but elegant. Do you want it to be a red coat? I mean, you were dreaming of it. LIAM: And the coat turns red. TALIESIN: Mm. Maybe black for now.LIAM: Now it’s black. SAM: Oh.LAURA: Interesting. ASHLEY: Looks good on everyone. TALIESIN: Start simple. LAURA: All right. I’m going to make it not too long. It’s sleeveless because I don’t want to use up all my paints. (laughter) MARISHA: They’re bullshit anyway. ASHLEY: Maybe a collar. LAURA: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,it’s got a cool collar, at least. So you can be extra. LIAM: Anytime anyone calls out any direction on this outfit the image is just shifting, sleeves sucking in, getting longer, getting shorter.TRAVIS: Sleeveless, high collar, black coat? SAM: Mm-hmm, yeah.TRAVIS: Okay. Good, good, good. MATT: I’d wear it. SAM: Super cool.ASHLEY: A double-breasted situation? MARISHA: You look like an extra from The Matrix. SAM: That’s what I was thinking. LAURA: I’ll make it a little more swashbucklery than that. MARISHA: “Not like this.”LAURA: Yeah. TALIESIN: Perfect. MATT: Essek’s just sitting over, still on the stoop outside of the door that leads out of the home temple half chewing on his food, avoiding the sunlight, just looking at you all going– LAURA: Essek, do you want some new clothes? MATT: “I’m good, thank you.” ASHLEY: Maybe we should paint him an umbrella or something. LAURA: Do you want to parasol? MARISHA: Aw. MATT: “Sure.”LAURA: All right. Here’s your coat. I’ll start to work on the parasol.But it’s not going to be really frilly and lacy like the last one I made you. This one will be Esseky. TRAVIS: What’s a parasol? Is that like a poncho? LAURA: It’s like a umbrella. TRAVIS: Oh, right, right, right. MARISHA: A poncho on a stick. MATT: “Poncho on a stick.” (laughter) TRAVIS: Parasol. Call it an umbrella. LAURA: Here you are, good sir. MATT: “Thank you very much.”LAURA: You’re welcome. (laughs) TRAVIS: Fancy names. The blanket’s not a duvet. (laughter) ASHLEY: Were you thinking–LAURA: Let me mark down these paints that I’m using. MATT: Mm-hmm.SAM: Matt won’t count this. TALIESIN: I look like your friend, but I don’t think I’m him. Is that going to be all right in the long run? SAM: We’ll make friends with you.ASHLEY: Yes, of course. TRAVIS: No, you have to be our friend or we’ll kill you. SAM: (laughs) MARISHA: Honestly, we’ve already been through this once, so I think we’re a little bit moreemotionally prepared for it.LIAM: Yeah. We have a habit of taking in strays. MATT: “That is very true.” ASHLEY: The cool thing is now… you can kind of be whoever you want to be. MARISHA: Yeah. TALIESIN: That’s a very fair point. ASHLEY: And we’ll let you do that. TALIESIN: What was this friend of yours’ name again? ASHLEY: Mollymauk Tealeaf. TALIESIN: Terrible name. LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: Oh. I’m like a brother, I’ll call that a brother. Everyone should have a brother. Yeah. ASHLEY: That works. TALIESIN: Two Tealeafs. ASHLEY: King Tealeaf. SAM: King. It’s flashy. MARISHA: Yeah. TALIESIN: Kingsley will do.TRAVIS: Well, as I sit here in the Blooming Grove, there’s tons of space to wander and explore. TALIESIN: Think I’ll just keep an eye on all of you.You’re not exactly trustworthy people. MARISHA: That’s astute, yeah. TALIESIN: And I feel like I have a lot to learn.ASHLEY: What do you mean? MATT: “Do you want to come eat, then?” TALIESIN: Yes. And I’ll run in that direction. MATT: (laughs) You all stay outside? LAURA: I think we–SAM: Give him a second. LIAM: Yeah, we just grilled him pretty hard there. LAURA: Yeah.MARISHA: Yeah. MARISHA: Let’s get some breakfast. LAURA: After breakfast, do you think maybe we can– LIAM: I think so. I know what you’re talking about, Beauregard. That would be a wise path to take, but I like the idea of making sure that loved ones are within eyesight, if possible. LAURA: Yeah. I didn’t hear what you wanted to do. LIAM: Bring them here? MARISHA: Fjord and I were just discussing–SAM: Temporarily, yeah. LIAM: Temporarily. MARISHA: — getting some allies on our side in the… you know, inevitable showdown against the Cerberus Assembly. LAURA: Oh, yeah.TRAVIS: Well, I don’t know about– oh fuck, I don’t know about that.But at least– unless we plan on teleporting right into The Gentleman’s lair, maybe checking in with your dad and seeing if there’s a preferred meet up place just on the off chance someone did see us as we came and went. LAURA: Feel like my mom would have said something. TRAVIS: Really? SAM: Or Yeza. LAURA: If things were dire, they would’ve said something. SAM: Said something. TRAVIS: I know, but are we teleporting right into his place? LAURA: We can. LIAM: I can do that.TRAVIS: Ooh! LIAM: I can also do a couple blocks away. We’ve been there a number of times in the place. TRAVIS: If you teleport into a busy place, like a bar, and you pick a location where someone’s standing, what happens to them? SAM: They disintegrate.MARISHA: That’s a good question. TRAVIS: Is that true? MARISHA: (laughs) MATT: No, they get shunted into the next occupied space.TRAVIS: I don’t like that one.LIAM: There might get a little bit of a head knock and then– MARISHA: (laughs) MATT: And if they can’t move, then the teleport fails. LAURA: Ooh! TRAVIS: Got it. MARISHA: Like when they sendone too many kids down the water slide. (laughter) TRAVIS: Oh boy, I know that shit.TALIESIN: Wow. (laughter) TRAVIS: No, no, no, no! MARISHA: (impact) (groaning) LIAM: We could also– TRAVIS: (underwater humming) (impact)MARISHA: Yeah. TRAVIS: (gasping) (impact) MATT: Mm-hmm. LIAM: We get a little jump, maybe a quarter mile out of town and walk in. It would only take us 15 minutes. SAM: Why would we do that? TRAVIS: No no, closer is better. LIAM: Groupthink it, where would you like to go? Right in the middle of this time?SAM: Yeah. LAURA: Yeah.LIAM: All right. MATT: You guys finishing up breakfast? TRAVIS: Do you want to let him know beforehand? LAURA: Why would I do that?TRAVIS: I don’t know. LIAM: Just be very vocal upon arrival. LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. TRAVIS: (whooshing) (impacts) SAM: Are we taking Molly? Are we all going or just some of us? MARISHA: Or are we going to make itso we can bring the fam back? LIAM: Mm-hmm.LAURA: Yeah.SAM: So we’re so we’re all going to go and come back or we’re just going to bring a couple and come back? LIAM: It really could just be the three of us if we’re going right to your father’s. LAURA: Sure!LIAM: Yeah. LAURA: I’m fine with that.MARISHA: I think that’s a good idea.TRAVIS: No straying, right? Just right back. LIAM: Of course. Just a little shopping. LAURA: Let’s do it. LIAM: Okay. SAM: Is Beau coming? MARISHA: I think my business is in Rexxentrum. You guys go, I’ll stay here with Yasha. LIAM: We’ll be back in just a few. MARISHA: Okay. SAM: It’s just Caleb and me and Jester. Everything’s going to be fine. MATT: (laughs)LAURA: Yeah. LIAM: We’ll see you in 30 minutes or less. LAURA: Yeah, you remember the last time the three of us wandered off?SAM: We’re fine. Nobody died horrible deaths.LAURA: It went great. ASHLEY: And I can always contact you if we need you. SAM: That’s true. Test it out right now? ASHLEY: I walk 10 feet over on the side of the room. SAM: I sneak up closer so I can hear her.ASHLEY: Hello, Veth. This is me. Can you hear me? SAM: I sneak back really fast. Of course I could hear you, every word. (laughter) LIAM: Okay. Let’s get this over with. So I take them by the hands. MATT: Okay. LIAM: Ja, five, four, three, two, one.(whoosh) MATT: With that sudden rush. TRAVIS: (laughs) MATT: That compression on your chest as the air seems to be drawn from you. Not in a painful way, but in a shocking way, but you’ve done this a number of times before emerging at– LIAM: Right in the middle of her father’s dank, secret pub. MATT: All righty. As you arrive at The Evening– beneath The Evening Nip, you immediately land and crash into one of the nearby chairs which falls over the table, scoots across the ground and it has the rest into place.LIAM: It’s fine, it’s fine, don’t mind us. MATT: The large ogre guard is already like– LAURA: Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi, where’s my dad? TRAVIS: (laughs) TALIESIN: Chaos gremlin. MATT: And you can see there’s a few other guards there that look around. They already have the crossbows out and they put them away. LAURA: Is he upstairs? MATT: Ogre just looks up towards the stairway. LAURA: I go running up the stairs. MATT: Okay, you run up.SAM: Have you– oh. Sorry, have you seen a small child around the bar? MATT: He points over to one of the other guys who was like, “Yeah, it’s your child and your boy, right?” SAM: Yeah.MATT: “Yeah, this way.” SAM: Okay. MATT: And leads you to one of the store rooms that was retrofitted to to be their room. So you head up the stairs? LAURA: Yeah. MATT: The door’s closed. SAM: Sock on the door knob? LAURA: (whispering) Hello? Hello? MATT: (as The Gentleman) “Who is it?” LAURA: (quietly) Am I interrupting anything? Are you maybe having some secret– MATT: “I can’t hear you, who is it?” (laughter) LAURA: (squeakily) It’s your daughter! Hello? (knocking) MATT: “Just a second.” And you hear the footsteps.LAURA: Hello-o-o! MATT: Two, three locks undo before it swings open.LAURA: Hello, hello, hello, hello, hi. MATT: There you see The Gentleman, deep, deep blue cerulean robe crossed over in front. “Oh, Jester, hi. “I-I didn’t know you were coming.” LAURA: No, I know, I didn’t tell you. MATT: “Of course.” LAURA: What are you doing? What are you doing? MATT: “It’s the morning, it’s… “just past daybrea–” Make a perception check, sure.(laughter) LAURA: Oh– TRAVIS: (laughs) LAURA: Twenty… what’s– 23. MATT: 23. As The Gentleman is standing there pushed into, you glance over the shoulder and… mostly covered by the covers of the bed you do see the familiar red horns and appearance of a sleeping Marion faced away towards the far back wall. LAURA: (gasps)ASHLEY: Parent Trap worked. LAURA: Holy shit, oh my god! Are you two totally in love?! Oh my gosh.MATT: “Jester, the– we had–” LAURA: I’m so happy for you! I push underneath his arm and run. MATT: “Jes– Jester– (laughs) You rush in just as Marion’s rolling over in bed. LAURA: Mama, Mama! MATT: “Jester!” Immediately, she stands up full– no clothes, just gives you a big embrace. (laughter) LAURA: Here’s some sheets. MATT: (laughs) She runs over and gets her robe and puts it on. Or she doesn’t even have a robe,she has her outfit she wore from before. TALIESIN: (laughs) LAURA: What are you guys up to? MATT: (as The Gentleman) “Well–” and Marion just goes– LAURA: Ha! Okay.Well, the world isn’t ending. Isn’t that so wonderful? MATT: (as Marion) “I told him and that is wonderful news “and I’m so glad that you’re okay.” And The Gentleman’s like, “We’re catching up on lost time, conversations.” LAURA: Mm-hmm. MATT: “You know.”LAURA: Yeah. LAURA: So are you totally good here? Did you want to come stay at a cemetery instead, maybe, for a week? MATT: (as The Gentleman) “What?” (laughter) LAURA: There’s this really beautiful cemetery. There’s lots of flowers and it’s glowy and there’s trees and it’s totally isolated. It’s like a little cottagey sort of getaway if you wanted a little week long vacation or something. MATT: “That does sound quite adorable. “Is it like a private affair for the two of us?” LAURA: No, there will be a whole family of– (laughter) LAURA: And, like, a lot of other– like my friends and stuff.MATT: “I think we’re okay, but thank you, Jester, “I appreciate that.” LAURA: But if you want, you know, I don’t know what to offer. You could camp a little bit aways from everyone, maybe, and have like some– MATT: Go ahead and make a persuasion check. TRAVIS: You been to Coachella, bro? SAM: A camping trip. MARISHA: Wow, glamping with your dad.SAM: For an agoraphobic person. LAURA: Persuasion– 15, that’s honestly not terrible. (laughs) TRAVIS: You’re not selling him on your roll! Get the fuck outta here! MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. TRAVIS: “That’s honestly not terrible.” (laughter) TALIESIN: Honestly not terrible. (laughter) MATT: Marion looks at him and looks at you and he goes, “I do appreciate the offer, but not quite my aesthetic.” LAURA: Right. MATT: And Marion goes, “It’s all right, Jester. “We’ve been good here for the time being and just waiting.”If you say that everything is done are we good to go back?” LAURA: Well, no. We’re still working on– basically what happened was we went to this giant city, made a flesh, and killed some evil, lots of evil there. We basically killed the city. But the thing is that’s gone, but there’s still a lot of people here that hate us. So we’re going to try to make it to where they don’t, you know. I’m not exactly sure how. I’m sure other people are working on that. I just want to make sure that you’re okay here and you don’t need to go back to Nicodranas right away because that’s probably still not safe.But I will let you know as soon as it is. MATT: (as Marion) “Oh, I don’tmind staying here a bit longer.” The Gentleman just goes– grabs the half-drunken glass of wine from the side of his bed for his early morning drink and just goes, “She’ll be safe here for as long as she wishes to stay “and when things are safe, let us know “and we’ll go ahead andbring her back to her home in Nicodranas.” And Marion looks over at him. (as The Gentleman) “You can comeand visit whenever you like.” She looks at him harder and he goes, (as The Gentleman) “And I can come visit, right?” And she gives him a harder look and he goes, “We have a lot to talk about.”This is all complicated for me.” LAURA: (laughs) MATT: “I need another drink.” And he starts pouring the wine back into the glass and he looks back at you andshe gives you a wink and a smile. LAURA: Side note. I’m going to go whisper up into my mom’s ear. I am a registered cleric. If ever you need ceremonies performed or anything like that. Also, I know a really beautiful isla– MATT: She puts her hand over your mouth and goes, “Babenon, we’re going to just “go for a little walk and mother-daughter talk “if you don’t mind.” He goes, “Well, of course, yeah, by all means. “You know where to find me.” And he goes and lifts the glass and sips it a bit and he turns back and through all the fluster of it, you do see him smile looking over at you and Marion side-by-side. She gets up and finishes putting on the rest of her outfit and leads you back down the stairs and finds the corner table in the side and sits down with you and just goes, “I appreciate your…”gusto with this circumstance–” LAURA: Right. MATT: “– my sapphire, “but this will take some time, if anything. “I understand the need for a– “the hope for some sort of… “whirlwind romance. “But the fact of the matter is “your father and I are very different people than we were, “and we have a lot of getting to know each other again. “And even then,” and she glances around, “He works in a complicated business.” LAURA: Yeah, he does some shady shit.MATT: “Me and him have talked a little bit, and… “he cares for you “more than I think he’s willing to admit. “And I think he still has some care for me. “And, in doing so, I think he understands that… “he could bring… “unwanted… “circumstances into our lives. “So whatever this looks like, “whatever it may or may not be “it needs to be done with care and respect.” LAURA: Yeah. MATT: “And if it doesn’t work out, “I need you to–” and she catches your chin and pulls you into lock with her eyes and says, LAURA: Mama–MATT: “I need to know that you’re okay with that.” LAURA: I just want you to be happy.MATT: “Of course, I never wasn’t. “I had you, didn’t I?” LAURA: I’m not always going to be here. MATT: “I know.” LAURA: As long as you’re happy, I’m happy. MATT: “I know.” And then one tear rolls down the cheek. She wipes it. “I’ve gotten through my entire life “not making expectations of the future, “just enjoying the now. “Things I can’t control, things that are beyond my vision “make me uncomfortable. “So, I focus on what’s here. “And I am fulfilled, “so long as I get to have you in my life.”As long as you promise to come by and visit.” And she looks back over her shoulder, up towards the balcony where you can see he’s leaning over a bit with his glass, looking, and then he quickly averts his gaze. She looks back at you. “Even if he just comes to visit every now and then, too, “that would be wonderful. “I have many people that come and visit “and I have many friends, “many people that do care for me.” LAURA: I know, Mama. So many people care for you. MATT: “But as long as the important one is there, “then I’m happy. “I can make no promises. “Life is complicated. “This is complicated, but “it has been nice to remember what things were like, “to imagine what they could have been.”Be glad things happened the way they did, “because it, well, “look who you are. “You’re stronger than I could ever be, “and you’ve only just begun. “I do not think Exandria’s ready “for how you’re going to change it in your life, Jester. “That makes me happy.” LAURA: Okay. I give her a kiss on the cheek. MATT: She just pulls you in for a tight hug. It’s about this time that the door opens to the storeroom and the guy who’s been knocking on it.”Your mom’s home!” (door creaking) The door opens just slightly. “I said your mom’s– Ow, god!” SAM: You should have watched out. MATT: And you just, you just see hitting the ground this little wooden dowel, ting, ting, ting. “Ah, you son of a–!” SAM: Son of a what? MATT: “Of a wonderful woman.” (laughter) Gah! SAM: I’ll flip him a gold piece. MATT: Catches it begrudginglyand walks off as the door opens and Luc pokes around. SAM: Nice shot. MATT: “Yeah, it was pretty cool.” SAM: Yeah.MATT: “Mom!” Just goes in for a big hug. SAM: A big hug, kiss, kiss, kiss. Take him by the hands. How are you? How have you been, how has it been living in a bar? Have you stolen anything? MATT: “I’ve stolen so much!” SAM: Can I see it?MATT: “It’s so cool. “Yeah, come on, let me show you!” He grabs your arm and pulls you into the back storage room. And the room, it reeks of stale wine and ale and probably moldy grain at one point that the smell has not fully disseminated.You can see there’s two beds set up on the side, they’re pushed together. Actually some good linens, probably were recently purchased specifically for this endeavor. And Yeza’s currently in the process of waking up a bit, he’s like, “Ah, wait, what’s going on?” SAM: Oh, hi. You can sleep more, it’s okay. You’ve been single parenting for long enough. MATT: And he just reaches out and grabs you and just pulls you onto the bed to sit next to him. And he just puts his arms around you and holds you cradled with your head underneath his right there. And just, wordlessly just holds you. Meanwhile, you hear Luc rummaging underneath the side of the bed. And Yeza just in that quiet, just feeling your presence, just right up against your ear, just says, “I knew you’d be okay.” SAM: Well. Yeah, we did it, we did it. I knew, too. I knew, too. We haven’t broken a promise to each other yet and we’ll keep it that way. MATT: “Yeah.” SAM: Thank you for letting me go and for being here.And we did it. MATT: “Of course. “There wasn’t any other possibility.” SAM: Well. MATT: (thudding) MATT: A shoe box gets thrust on the bed. The top opens up and you just see just a bunch of copper pieces and buttons that you can see the thread is still on them, freshly cut from a number of different outfits. Probably a number of employees of The Gentlemen wondering why their clothing keeps falling apart over the past week. You can see there’s silverware that’s been put in there. Metal caps from the edge of a keg sides. You can see there’s even honestly a couple of small cut sapphires– SAM: Ooh! MATT: That he got from somebody. Like, your son– Like mother, like son, I guess. SAM: This is a good collection. You did real good. We should catalog it all. Keep it nicely separated. I’ll get you a nice box to keep stuff in.MATT: (as Luc) “Okay, yeah, I don’t know how to do that.” SAM: Oh yeah, no, I’ll go through it all with you. MATT: “Okay.” SAM: I’m sorry, I didn’t get you anything on the trip. There was, it was mostly flesh, so. I’m just joking, I got you something. So earlier, when I took his hand, I tried to sleight of hand, stick my Ring of Water Walking on him. MATT: Roll a sleight of hand check. SAM: 25. LAURA: Oh! MATT: He looks down, and the ring, which itself is a bit large for his finger adapts to the size of his hand, he goes, “Wow!” SAM: Yeah, it’s magic. You can walk on water. So what you can do is with your friends, you can be like, “Oh, let’s havea swimming race,” or something and you jump in and they sink to the fucking bottom. I’m sorry, sorry, I’m used to being around adults. Anyway, and you can walk in and play a great prank on them.You’ll be able to walk on water. MATT: “That’s amazing!”SAM: Yeah. MATT: Looks over to Yeza. “Dad, I won’t sink to the fucking bottom!” SAM: (laughs) Shit. MATT: And Yeza’s like (groaning). (laughter) SAM: Sorry, it’s going to take some time. MATT: (as Yeza) “Yeah, yeah, no, I understand. “(yawns)” SAM: Yeah, go back to sleep. MATT: “No, no, I’m not going to sleep. “You just got here.” SAM: Well, I’m here and well, I mean, this is a bar still, right? Have you enjoyed living here? MATT: He gives you a look, this long, 1,000-yard stare where he’s trying desperately to say something nice about the time that he’s spent here, but he’s just not opening his mouth because he can’t find the words. SAM: No, it’s fine, let’s get out of here. Do you want to get out of here and go somewhere nicer? MATT: “Yes!” SAM: I still don’t know if we can go home yet, but let’s go.Let’s go to a nice safe place. MATT: “Okay, I’ll take that.” SAM: Yeah, I’ll help you pack. MATT: “Okay.”SAM: I’ll pack. No, you rest. I’ll pack for the family. MATT: He gives a once-over and says, “I mean this in the most wonderful way, “you are a wreck. “And I can tell you’ve been doing some amazing things “in very dangerous places. “I’ll pack, you go get Luc ready.” SAM: Okay. MATT: Yeza goes ahead andgets out of bed, puts on his shirt, and starts gathering these small amount of things that they had brought for this trip.You can see just outside of the room now, there’s Luc who’s yelling at the bartender, “I need a lot of water!” And the guy’s like, “How much do you need? “What do you need it for?” He’s like, “A lot of it! “I need to not fucking sink!” And he’s like, “What is even happening?” SAM: Luc, Luc, come on, come on. I’ll just go gather him up. MATT: Okay. (laughter) Eventually, you gather your things. If there’s anything you want to finish talking about with Marion or Babenon. LAURA: No, I’ll just say I’mheading back to that old cemetery. LAURA: No, I’ll just say I’mheading back to that old cemetery. If it sounds appealing. (laughter) MARISHA: Sounds like a country song. TRAVIS: Down the trail. MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: She goes, without breaking eye contact with you, goes (whistles). And somebody comes over and sets down a glass– LAURA: (laughs) MATT: And starts pouring a little bit of sherry into it.She goes, “I appreciate that, but “there’s many more conversationsto be had with your father.” LAURA: Of course. I give her another kiss on the forehead and I go upstairs and I walk very slowly over to my dad. MATT: He’s now dressed. He’s now, you know, robe gone. He’s in his, like, still a billowy black, like a dark blue, black shirt with black trousers, and he’s just fitting the cuffs together. “Ah!” LAURA: Thank you for being such a gracious host. MATT: “I have but few skills and hosting is one of them.” LAURA: I’m just going to come over and give you a hug, okay! I’m going to go hug him.So I’m going to go back to the cemetery, Mom’s going to stay here, if that’s okay? MATT: “I can deal.” LAURA: Sure. And you know, obviously whatever happens, happens, I’m just happy that you’re happy and that she’s happy. Don’t be an asshole. Just keep being great like you are. Pat, pat, pat. Oh, you are very moist! MATT: “I appreciate that, I do. “I do. “Just taking it one day at a time.” LAURA: Hey, man, no pressure here. (laughs) I’m just, you know, fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. MATT: At that, he actually like he reciprocates the hug and pulls you in at that point, partially to quiet you, but also to really give, yeah.LAURA: Shh. Shut up, shut up. MATT: He goes, “It’s interesting. “For so many years, especially in my previous “and current line of work, “I find comfort in control “and having a very good idea of what’s happening, “what could happen.”And then you showed up. “And I don’t know which way is up. “Weirdly, I like it.” LAURA: I just like look up at him from his chest. I have a question. MATT: “Yes?” LAURA: If, you know, someone you were seeing told you they loved you and you didn’t say it back right away, would it be because you didn’t feel the same way or would it be maybe because you felt, like, a little embarrassed or because maybe, like, you just weren’t sure of your feelings, do you think it could be that? Or do you think it could be that you just weren’t into them? MATT: “I think it can be very much both.”I know that I have been the person “to not say I love you when told to me many a time.” LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. MATT: “So that could very well be the case, “but if this is referring to a specific individual, “perhaps an astute half-orc “who seems to have a penchant for conversation, “an interest in gambling, and a unique disposition “when it comes to, well, “everything.” LAURA: (laughs) MATT: “I don’t think you have much to worry about.” LAURA: Okay. Thanks, Dad! Good talk. MATT: “Take care of yourself.” LAURA: Of course. I’ll let you know when, you know, things are better, safer.MATT: “Please do.” LAURA: All right. Bye. SAM: (sneezes) LAURA and MARISHA: Bless you. MATT: All right. LAURA: (sighing) LIAM: I think when Yeza and Luc and Veth enter this room together, Caleb would have been like caught, just by the sight of a mother and a father and a son together. And then just breaks into a big smile and nods to Yeza. Safe and sound.MATT: “You didn’t let me down.” LIAM: She didn’t let us down. MATT: “She never does.” LIAM: Thank you. LAURA: I slide down the banister. SAM: Wow!LIAM: Where’s your mother? Is she coming? LAURA: She’s getting drunk. We’re good to go! MATT: You hear a clink of glassand about two tables behind you, she just– (laughter) LIAM: You are staying here? MATT: “Yes. “I have some business to attend to.” LIAM: Okay, you could have hadchampagne served to you by cats, but I don’t want to yuck your yum, so I guess that’s it. Is there anything else we need to do? SAM: No. LIAM: Thank you for loaning us your daughter. MATT: “Bring her back.” LIAM: That’s up to her. LAURA: I’m coming back. LIAM: You two ready? SAM: Yes, we four.LIAM: Ah, yes. You two, come closer, please. All right, let’s go to the cemetery. Hold hands, please. Widogast out. (sucking) MATT: (laughs) All right. You’ve all been mulling about the property and then eventually gathering back into the main homestead as they return, arriving back within the comfortable living quarters of the Blooming Grove main temple/household. TRAVIS: Hey, hi, how was the–? How was it? LIAM: It was terrible, there was a battle. The Assembly showed up, we lost the Ruby. But we made it out with Luc and Yeza.LAURA: It was really sad.It’s so sad. (fake sobbing) LIAM: You are taking it very well. You’re so stoic.LAURA: Thank you. Thank you. LIAM: Doesn’t anyone want to make an insight check? TRAVIS: Nope.MARISHA: No. TALIESIN: Fine. (laughter) MATT: Wah, wah. TALIESIN: Eh, 19. (laughter) MARISHA: Caduceus! SAM: No, we’re gathered, so. ASHLEY: Where’s your mom? LAURA: She decided to stay there.MARISHA: (gasps) LAURA: I know, I know. Okay, so. MARISHA: Give me the details! LAURA: Okay, so she said she was going to stay, but she was like very adamant that I not get my hopes up because things are complicated, which I understand. MARISHA: Ooh, things are– MARISHA and LAURA: — complicated. ASHLEY: At least a step up, you know. SAM: When we were gone– LAURA: Complicated. SAM: While we were gone, did the Ruby of the Sea, did Jester’s mom ever not sleep in The Gentleman’s chambers at night? MATT: (as Yeza) “No.” SAM: Yeah, and how often did she come out of the chambers every day? MATT: “I don’t know.” SAM: Like a lot? You see her around a lot or was she always in there? MATT: “I don’t know.” SAM: Okay, cool.LIAM: She looked very comfortable when I saw her. ASHLEY: Ooh. LAURA: She was making herself at home. ASHLEY: Oh, great! LAURA: Yeah. TRAVIS: That’s good, right? LAURA: Yeah, I offered to perform a wedding ceremony for them, but. TRAVIS: Jester, you didn’t?TALIESIN: Oh, even I know not to– LAURA: Well, just my mom. I didn’t say it out loud to him, I didn’t say it out loud to him! SAM: How many of those have you done? LAURA: None, but I figure I could figure out how to do it. MARISHA: Yeah. SAM: If you want to practice, we can always renew our vows. LAURA: (gasps) Do you want to? SAM: Oh, we don’t have to do it now, but at some point.MATT: “I mean, “sure, yeah.”TALIESIN: This seems like an odd place to do that. MATT: “Whenever.”SAM: It’s not a big– LAURA: The cemetery?TALIESIN: I mean, that– Am I the only one who sees that?That’s weird.Okay. SAM: But what do we do now? Are we safe? Can I? TRAVIS: Nope.LIAM: I mean indefinitely, no. TRAVIS: Nope.LIAM: I don’t think so. TRAVIS: I think it’s the allies. We figure out a way to parley with the Empire, figure out who’s pissed about Vess DeRogna. Set the record straight. LAURA: Oh god.TRAVIS: And then deal with– SAM: That’s a lot. TRAVIS: It is, but that’s also only one half of the coin, unless we’re just going to leave the Dynasty out there, floating. I’m sure they’re looking for Essek. I’m sure they’re wondering what’s going on at Aeor, and at the bottom of all that, that we just left is still a teleportation device that has a rod in it.MATT: Caleb, as Fjord’s saying this, the words seem to begin to… blur a bit, as another voice begins to peek into your head. MARISHA: Oh. This. Bitch. SAM: (laughs) MATT: (as Trent Ikithon)”Bren, I was once as stubborn as you. “I know you are not be beyond reason. “I know very well the ore you were forged from, “and what we’ve made you into, “and you are very slippery, “quite accomplished in your ability “to avoid conversation. “But simple tricks only last so long.” LIAM: Is that the end? MATT: It’s the end. You have the opportunity to respond. LIAM: Well, don’t worry. My friends and I will come knocking on your door soon. MATT: “Curious choice of words. “Do not throw away the destiny others have sacrificed “to forge for you. “Grand potential wasted is a tragedy innumerable. “I ask you once more.”Will you parley with me?” LIAM: Where and when? MATT: “Now.” LAURA: (gasps) MATT: “Outside.” (gasping) LIAM: We may have a visitor. SAM: I just got my family. TRAVIS: (laughs) MARISHA: You did, you did! TRAVIS: (laughs) MARISHA: I quickly peek out the window. TRAVIS: Great. MARISHA: Noticing a distressed Caleb. MATT: Okay, you go and look.The windows are closed, it seems. Or you go to inspect and the window should be open– SAM: A boombox.MATT: But there is solid stone in the way of the window.MARISHA: Stone? LAURA: I get so lost MARISHA: Motherfucker has blocked us in. SAM: Wait, what?TRAVIS: Solid stone. SAM: Solid stone? MARISHA: We’re trapped. LAURA: Wait, what? TRAVIS: He fucking Matrixed us. MARISHA: Yeah, he did, he did exactly that. They changed the code. ASHLEY: Caduceus, do you board up your windows with stone? TALIESIN: No. ASHLEY: Well, he’s locked us in. SAM: (laughs) ASHLEY: It’s a trap. TRAVIS and SAM: (laughs) ASHLEY: I’m sure. TRAVIS: Thank god for Yasha. ASHLEY: Well, you know, I got to tell it like it is. MATT: The voice comes throughonce more into your mind, Caleb. “Time is of the essence. “It would be a shame for history to repeat itself.” And it’s at that moment that you begin to smell smoke. SAM: Oh jesus. MARISHA: Motherfucker! LIAM: So now the windows are shut, but the door? MATT: The door is closed. LIAM: It’s closed?ASHLEY: Do we all smell smoke? MATT: You all begin to smell smoke. LAURA: We’re going to get burned alive. We should leave. LIAM: I try the door. MATT: The door opens. LIAM: Yeah. And is he waiting outside? MATT: There is stone blocking the exit.So as the door pulls open, (stone thudding). MARISHA: This bastard. What– Hang on. Ask him why he’s so obsessed with you! SAM: Ask him? We’re burning alive in here. There’s no asking, we got to get out of here! MATT: At this point, you cansee the flames are now beginning to cut through some of the thatch. LAURA: I’m going to cast Stone Shape on the stone door. MATT: The stone door?LIAM: Like we discussed. LAURA: And try to open up a opening–SAM: What did we discuss? MARISHA: Okay.MATT: Easy enough to do, the doorway shifts open and there is a space that leads outside. You can see at this point, the Clays are starting to panic and look around and grab things, and Constance’s like, “Caduceus, what’s happening?” MARISHA: Keep his attention. SAM: Keep whose attention?TALIESIN: Bad person. Long story, keep everybody safe. LAURA: I opened the doorway. SAM: Let’s go outside! TRAVIS: So we can see through it? LAURA: Yeah. MARISHA: Can someone open a back way? Is there a chimney in this situation? MATT: “Yeah, it’s right there.” And you can see in the beyond the current room, straddling with this area and the kitchen area, there’s a stone chimney. MARISHA: I look up the flue. MATT: It’s open. MARISHA: Keep him distracted. I go up the flue. TRAVIS: Through the hole thatshe’s made through the doorway, how far can we see? MATT: You can see all across the Grove. It’s now like pre-noon, almost midday. And it is light, and you can see there’s the little pond over to the right.There’s a few small trees, you can see the grass. TRAVIS: Hundreds of yards? MATT: I’d say probably 100 yards or so before it starts thick brush. TRAVIS: Just in case you don’t want to go up the chimney, and I’ll summon the Arcane Gate right next to us and put the other one, 450 yards straight ahead. TALIESIN: Get the family out that way. MATT: 450 yards? You don’t have visual on that, unfortunately. The brush closes over there.LAURA: Or feet, 450 feet. TRAVIS: Feet, sorry, yeah. Well, whatever I can see.MATT: I meant 100 feet. Sorry, not 100 yards. Yards got me a little. But a little over 100 feet, like 120 or so feet. TRAVIS: Then I’ll take it 120 feet. MATT: Okay. TRAVIS: Just on the other side. MARISHA: I’m going to let the family go first and see if anyone notices the family going out the gate. MATT: Okay, the family? LAURA: The Clays, you mean? You’re sending the Clays out the gate like the first ones out? MATT: Okay.LAURA: I’ll go before them.LIAM: No, I will, I will go before you. LAURA: Okay.SAM: Wait, aren’t you going out the front door?MARISHA: Well, I thought you were going out the front door where he is?LIAM: Oh, you guys are going that way? There’s a front entrance.LIAM: I’m going out the front door to initiate, sorry, discussion. Sorry, I was looking at spells. MATT: No worries. All right, so you’re heading out the front gate, you guys are pushing the family through the– like, we’re talking Yeza, Luc and the Clays through the gate?SAM: I thought you went up a chimney? MARISHA: I’m about to decide that based on if they notice the family go out the gate. MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: I’m going to pop a Death Wardon you just to have it. SAM: I’ll go out the gate with my family.MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: Is Calliope going to hang around, or is Calliope going to keep the family safe? MATT: Calliope is currently workingto protect the family, yeah. TALIESIN: Okay.MATT: She’s like, “Caduceus, what do you need?” TALIESIN: Oh, keep them safe, where’s Tealeaf? MATT: “I don’t know.” TALIESIN: Okay, that’s fine. ASHLEY: Oops. TALIESIN: We’ll figure that out. MARISHA: I need you to keep hisattention forward and on Caleb. ASHLEY: Okay. MARISHA: All right.ASHLEY: Okay. LIAM: And, sorry, DM, in all this fracas, Essek is in the living quarters with us? MATT: Yes.LIAM: For all this? MATT: Essek doesn’t really know what’s happening now, he just noticed the fire, he’s like, “Is this what I–” LIAM: Yeah, so on the way out, I’ll say: Be ready, we eliminate one problem today.And I head out. MATT: He swallows very heavily and (exhales). MATT: He swallows very heavily and (exhales). All right. So as you head out, Essek’s going to come from behind at that point to follow shortly thereafter. The family is beginning to push through the Arcane Gate and emerge facing away into the brush. Okay. MARISHA: I grab Jester really quickbefore she goes, and I go: I could really use a goodBlessing of the Trickster right now. LAURA: You got it. MARISHA: Thanks, cutie. MATT: As she taps the side of your face, for a second you see a flash of a green cloak over her arm, and just over her shoulder, you see Artagan peek behind and go, “We’ve both got you.”MARISHA: You don’t touch, not you. MATT: “Too bad.” MARISHA: (unhappy noises) TRAVIS: “Too bad.” MATT: All right, and you are? MARISHA: Do I see the familyget out safe from, like, my visual? MATT: Make a perception check.MARISHA: Yeah. 19. MATT: 19? You see them begin to emerge and head into the brush and you can see across the way that Calliope’s in the process of getting them onto the far end of the Blooming Grove. MARISHA: Does Ickythong notice or–? MATT: You don’t see Ikithon. MARISHA: I don’t see Ikithon. MATT: From inside the building, there is no visual on Trent Ikithon. MARISHA: Okay. All right, I’m going to hang tight for a hot second. I’m just going to listen to Caleb. MATT: Okay. LIAM: Do I see Ikithon? MATT: As you step out, the land that the house is built upon, it slowly curves downward into this little courtyard area. There’s a few small trees around it and there’s the pond over to the front right, and the tree line across the way.The fences are beyond that and there’s the familiar clustering of the shaded Savalirwood around that. But there, about 30 feet in the air, in the center of it all, looking down at you, just standing in the middle of the sky is Trent Ikithon, calm. You see him in his long, red robes with gold trim. You know these to be more of his casual, getting-business-done attire. His familiar hands with rings, his boots themselves having tiny little black wings on them, (flapping) on their own. Hanging around his neck, what is new to you, what looks to be some sort of a chained medallion. In the middle of it, a blackened, polished, almost egg-like sphere, that as the light hits it, sparkles with an odd purplish hue. As you emerge: “Ah! “I see that you are a man interested “in actually facing your fate today.” LIAM: Well, we had issues larger than your ambitions. Those being taken care of, we can finally deal with you. Why don’t we stop dancing around those ambitions? What is it you want, teacher? MATT: “I thought for maybe a while here, “it was just a bit of discipline “that was missing from your life.”It is rare that a master such as myself admits failure, “but at this point, I’m willing to admit “that I failed recently. “But “I think it’s best that we erase these failures “so I don’t have to look at it, “and neither does anybody else.” LIAM: I think I can accommodate you today. MATT: He reaches up and taps the egg. It shatters. There’s a burst of black-purple-gray energy. And for an instant, you see a flash of a shape. Something that resembles in but an instance, dodecahedron adjacent, and you recognize this is condensed, manufactured dunamis energy. And for an instant, you sense it expand out from him into everything around.And to your keen, arcane eye, time almost seems to come to a complete standstill. As he casts Time Stop.LIAM: Time Stop. MATT: Within an instant, suddenly, what is a blink of an eye, he still stays there floating. But now there’s a strange shimmer to him. You can see above his head, seven of these burning, small, star-like points swirl around him. And you can see this odd, burning, shield-like exterior that encircles him. I need everybody to roll initiative. (groaning) TRAVIS: You got a funny way of talking. LAURA: What is that? LIAM: Well, one thing is just going to start firing. TRAVIS: This! SAM: Oh! LAURA: Is this straight up, like, a–? SAM: Is this actual combat sponsored by Dwarven Forge?! LAURA: Oh my god.SAM: Maybe it is. LIAM: Look at their house!SAM: Oh my god! This actual combat– MARISHA: Whoa!SAM: — is sponsored by Dwarven Forge. Build the ideal death trap for your players using the best terrain around. Get started at Do they know about this?! LAURA: Why did I use all my spells on Sending? That’s okay. (laughs) SAM: So where’s that gate? Oh my god. This is exciting. MATT: So the gate would be way off to this side, right before the treeline hits. Beauregard. MARISHA: Huh? MATT: You said you are somewhere– MARISHA: I’m technically–SAM: The house is on fire! Look at that! MARISHA: — still in the house. MATT: Indeed, so we’ll just say you’re somewhere in the neighborhood of around– SAM: And are you the only one still in the house? MARISHA: Yeah, I was waiting in the house.SAM: Did everybody else– MARISHA: I think everyone’s out. TALIESIN: Everyone’s out, except for whoever– SAM: And did you guys all go out the front door or did you go through the gate?TALIESIN: Or wherever the hell Kingsley is. ASHLEY: I was just following. LAURA: I went out the gate. MATT: I’m going to pull this a bit– SAM: You went out the gate?MATT: — back for me. LAURA: I went out the gate. SAM: You went out with Caleb?LAURA: Yeah. SAM: Front door? LAURA: Yeah. MATT: I’m going to give myself a little more room there. Through. Gate-wise, that puts the rest of you essentially back in this space.SAM: I went out the gate, yeah. MATT: As you’ve all–LAURA: Did you go out the gate too, Fjord? TRAVIS: Mm-hmm. MATT: As well as you, Veth? SAM: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.MATT: Correct. All right. And there is– Oh no, where did my Fjord mini go? SAM: Oh no.Well, sorry, Travis. MATT: Sorry, Fjord, you’re not in the battle. SAM: Guess you can go home early tonight.TRAVIS: Figure. MATT: Real tough call there. Oh, there it is. I found it. SAM: Whew. TRAVIS: “Tough call”? (sarcastic laughter) MATT: There it is.SAM: Look at that. MATT: All right, so– SAM: He just put you just next to a body of water, because Uk’otoa’s in it.TRAVIS: Shut up!(laughter) MATT: 25 to 20, anybody? SAM: Oh! MARISHA: 21.TALIESIN: 22. SAM: 24. MARISHA: Whoa! MATT: 24, so we got Veth up first. MARISHA: So, Veth, Cad. 21 for me. MATT: Caduceus, what’d you get? MARISHA: 22, he said.MATT: 22. Beauregard? 21?MARISHA: 21. TRAVIS: Is Molly in this initiative? TALIESIN: Molly got–MATT: Molly is not. TRAVIS: Okay.LAURA: Mm, King. MATT: Molly has fucked off somewhere. You don’t know where. All right. TRAVIS: Eating shrooms. MARISHA: (laughs) TALIESIN: With a little luck? TRAVIS: With a little luck, yeah. TALIESIN: He’ll wander into this battle going, wow! MATT: All right, 20 to 15. LIAM: 18. ASHLEY: 18 for me as well. MATT: Nice. TRAVIS: Who has the higher dex?Do I need to guess? LIAM: Mine is 12. ASHLEY: I’ll go first. I go before you. TRAVIS: Okay.LIAM: Lovely. MATT: All right. 15 to 10. LAURA: 13. TRAVIS: I’m last, seven. Where’s Essek? MATT: Essek is right after Caduceus. TRAVIS: Okay. MATT: All right, and then– LIAM: DM, would you allow– in Caleb’s 20 minutes or however long it was, sitting in The Gentleman’s place to use Arcane Recovery? MATT: That was about 30 minutes or so.LIAM: So that’s a no?MATT: I’d say no, yeah. Unfortunately.LIAM: That’s no worries. MATT: So top of the round. As the Clay house begins to burn and smolder, there’s black smoke spilling up into the sky in the middle here at the Blooming Grove. Trent Ikithon sits there awaiting you, floating in the air above. Veth, you’re up first. Caduceus, you’re on deck. SAM: Should we save the house? Well, I guess that’s neither here nor there. I will turn to my family and– Yeza, I cannot believe I’m saying this right now– TRAVIS: (laughs) SAM: — but you need to run into the forest while I go take care of this just like– just like before.MARISHA: Oh!MATT: There’s a brief moment where his eyes go wide with memory recall. TRAVIS: You’re gettin’ divorced, dude. (laughter) TRAVIS: He is leaving your ass. SAM: I don’t even–(laughter) This one, I don’t even know. I mean, I’m sorry. MATT: “No, I trust you. I understand.” And he picks up Luc and just– and then just goes running deeper into the Blooming Grove–TRAVIS: (laughs) MATT: — as Calliope leads the rest of the Clays back. And there’s that moment where Calliope gets most of the Clays pushed back and turns around towards you, Caduceus. And she’s going for her sword. TALIESIN: Keep them safe. We’ll figure out the house. MATT: “All right.” She charges back after them. SAM: I use my movement to go up behind one of those two trees, whichever one I can get to. MATT: You can get to this one, probably.SAM: Okay. Actually, let me just check my spells. And he is 20 feet up? MATT: He’s about 30 feet off the ground. SAM: I can’t get any closer than that. Well, actually, do I still have my bonus? My bonus was talking. MATT: No, I’ll say you were doing that as you were arriving. This is the first round of combat, so. SAM: Can I get any closer than that? MATT: You can. SAM: I will then bonus action dashto the closer tree, I guess. MATT: Over here? Okay, you can definitely do that. SAM: Or if I can get within 30 feet of him, that would be amazing.MATT: You’d be– To get within 30 feet, you have to get directly below him. Unfortunately.SAM: That doesn’t sound fun. Then I’ll stay there. And then as my action– (yells) Fluffernutter! I’m going to pull out my bomb, and with Mage Hand, carry it up towards Trent.MATT: Okay. SAM: As high and close as I can get. MATT: It gets right up to where he is. SAM: Okay. That’s it. MATT: Okay. Doesn’t seem to be paying attention to it at the moment. All right, finishing your turn, Veth. Caduceus, you’re up. MARISHA: Oh my god!TALIESIN: Oh wow! MATT: The rest of the Clay family is now looking back over their shoulders, but they’re all rushing deeper into the Blooming Grove knowing this area very well, looking for places to hide. TALIESIN: I– who’s around me? MATT: Right now, it is Jester, Fjord, and Yasha.TALIESIN: Anyone else was in 30 feet or no? MATT: No. Actually, Veth would be within 30 feet. Just barely. TALIESIN: Jester, Fjord, Yasha. So I will… cast Bless at 3rd-level, which should be Bless for everybody who’s within 30 feet of me. MATT: Okay. TRAVIS: Bless for everybody within 30 feet of you? TALIESIN: Yeah. MARISHA: So the cluster by the gate?SAM: What does that do again, we get plus four on everything? TALIESIN: Plus four on attacks and saves.ASHLEY: And this is for– MARISHA: 141 episodes. ASHLEY: Who all’s that for again?TRAVIS: For how long, one turn? TALIESIN: For– ’till I drop it. LAURA: If you were within 30 feet of him, which I don’t know if you are.MATT: Including yourself? TALIESIN: Including myself. Yep, d4 on attacks, d4 on saves until I drop. SAM: Put this here to remind myself. TALIESIN: And then– MATT: All right. TALIESIN: And then I’m going to– disappear. Can I do that as a bonus action? Oh, I believe so, hold on. MATT: You’re turning invisible?TALIESIN: Bonus action, yeah. I’m turning invisible and I’m going to move into the trees to my right. MATT: Over here? TALIESIN: Yeah, as far as I can go in that direction.MATT: That’s about as far as you can get right there. TALIESIN: Okay. MATT: Any further than that,you’re going to be out of tree area. TALIESIN: I’ll be okay being out of tree, I’m invisible. MATT: Okay. That’s true.TALIESIN: I’m heading in that way. MATT: So you can be up on here. TALIESIN: Yeah. MATT: Okay. That finishes your go, Caduceus. It is now Essek’s go. Essek, who’s currently stepping in and nervously looking at Trent in the face, with a look of recognition. “It has been some time. “It seems our dealings and allegiances have shifted.” Looks over to you nervously. And is going to go ahead and cast… a full-on Gravity Sinkhole at a high level at him. TRAVIS: Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, let’s kick it off. Let’s go. MATT: Trent saves. LAURA: (groans) MATT: As the sphere of black energy opens around and seems to be wanting to pull, it slowly dissipates.Trent is unharmed. No physical representation of any damage taken. TRAVIS: Oh, he cast that at a high level and it did nada? LIAM: Nothing.TRAVIS: Yay! LIAM: Because of–LAURA: Because of what? LIAM: Well, it said that he was surrounded by some sort of shimmering, fiery– MARISHA: Like an anti-magic– MATT: There’s a some sort of shimmer to him, and there is a fire field around him. And Essek just– (frustrated groan) And is going to glide over this way and try and get behind this tree.TRAVIS: Cool. Cool, cool, cool. LAURA: Oh no.MARISHA: Bitch. TRAVIS: (laughs) MATT: All right, finishing his turn, Beauregard, you’re up. You’re inside the house right where the chimney is. MARISHA: How bad is this guy on fire? MATT: This house? It’s catching. MARISHA: Is there literally anything I can do? This is when I wish I was a druid. MATT: As a monk? Not much.MARISHA: All right. MATT: You can punch the fire if you want. I don’t know if it’s going to have the effect you want. MARISHA: Huh?MATT: Nothing, I’m kidding, go ahead. TRAVIS: Punch the fire.MARISHA: I’m not going to punch the fire. MARISHA: Although– I don’t know. Although it’s tempting. You know what? I’m going to go aheadand bust through this gate. LAURA: Why are you yelling? LAURA and ASHLEY: I don’t know.MATT: Bust through the gate, which one? MARISHA: The arcane gate that Fjord set up in the house. And then I’m going to… immediately look for Veth.MATT: You can get there. MARISHA: Immediately look for Veth. MATT: Veth, did you make a– SAM: I did not hide.MATT: You did not hide. So you just see Veth behind that tree there. MARISHA: I am going to as stealthily as possible head to Veth and crouch down next to her. MATT: Okay, so it’s half movementto move stealthily in combat. So your full moving speed is– MARISHA: 55.MATT: 55. So you can move 25 stealthily. And if you use 10 feet of movement, we’ll say half that. So we’ll say you move 20 feet stealthily. MARISHA: Five, 10, 15, 20. Can I get to her? MATT: You cannot get to Veth. But you can get to that first tree and hide, if you’d like. MARISHA: I’ll get to the first tree and crouch. SAM: Pretty good.MATT: Okay, roll a stealth check. TALIESIN: I was not expecting this. MATT: That was what Trent was hoping for.MARISHA: Do I roll Blessing on the Trickster, any– when, when I need it? LAURA: You just get it.No, you can get it immediately. MATT: Advantage whenever you make a dexterity–LAURA: Advantage on stealth check. MATT: — ability check. MARISHA: When I need it, though, I can hold onto it? MATT: Well, it’s advantage. So you choose which of the two are better. LAURA: Yeah, you have to take it now. MARISHA: I have to take it now.LAURA: I think. LAURA: Lemme, lemme, lemme–MATT: As far as I recall, it’s advantage on dexterity ability checks, correct? LAURA: Yeah.MARISHA: For a bit? Yeah, for an hour, I think.MARISHA: Great, great, great, great.LAURA: Yeah. MARISHA: Cool. That is 28. MATT: 28. All right. Fair enough. You hope you’re hidden.MARISHA: I hope I’m hidden. MATT: So that’s moving stealthily. Is that all you’re doing this turn? If you’re using your action to dash stealthily, you could get to where Veth is if you wanted to. MARISHA: Yeah.MATT: Okay, got it. But that is your turn. MARISHA: Yep, and in the process, I’m going to just reach into one of my pouches where I’ve been holding onto the collar and pull it up. MATT: Gotcha. Okay, you have the collar. MARISHA: And just scooch up next to Veth.SAM: Hi, hey.MARISHA: Hey. Let’s do this.SAM: Yeah. MATT: Finishing your turn. It is now Trent Ikithon’s turn. MATT: Looking up towards you, Caleb, he goes– “It is a great shame “to throw them away like this.” LAURA: Oh no! MATT: He turns back and casts Horrid Wilting. SAM: Horrid Wilting. LAURA: On all of us? Cool. MATT: A 30-foot cube.LIAM: Counterspell. MATT: Okay, what level? LIAM: At 5th-level. MATT: At 5th-level? It fizzles. And you hear a rustle to your left and you look over and at the edge of the building, just around the corner, you see standing there, Eadwulf. Hand out. LIAM: My Counterspell fizzled or– MATT: He countered your– LIAM: He countered my Counterspell. TRAVIS: Oh shit! MARISHA: That old bag of tricks. TRAVIS: We ain’t– LAURA: Oh god, this is a wizard fight. This is wizard’s chess. (laughter) TRAVIS: Fucking fuck. MATT: All right. So with a 30-foot cube can get Jester– Jester, Yasha, and Fjord all in the space. I need you all to make a constitution saving throw, please. TALIESIN: With a d4.MATT: With a d4. ASHLEY: Where’s it at? Because I’m actually over by Caleb. MATT: Oh, that’s right. So then instead it would just be– sorry, because you went with Caleb, my bad. So you wouldn’t be blessed, because you weren’t in the area for that.TALIESIN: Oh, then I use a different–MATT: That’s my bad. TALIESIN: — spell level.MATT: Yeah. Go ahead and mark that. TALIESIN: Or actually, Essek gets a d4. MATT: Essek was over with them, too.TALIESIN: Oh, never mind. ASHLEY: I don’t think I said that out loud, anyway. I just, after Beau said that, I was like, “Yes, I’m with Caleb,” and I didn’t– MATT: That’s okay.ASHLEY: I said it in my head. MATT: We fixed it, we fixed it.TRAVIS: 19. MATT: 19 fails. LAURA: 28!MATT: 28 succeeds. LAURA: It’s just me and you in the cube? TRAVIS: No, there’s two others, but– SAM: No, I think that’s it. TALIESIN: Just the two of you. TRAVIS: Oh, I didn’t think–SAM: Is Caduceus in there, too? Or is that–TALIESIN: No, I’m– LAURA: He had already bamfed. SAM: This is it TRAVIS: Please let me go MATT: You take half. Fjord, you take 53 points of necrotic damage. You take 26 points necrotic damage. And you watch as all of the grass and the shrubs and the ferns and all plant life in the vicinity around you turns black and curls into ash and dust around you, as you both feel the life force pulled out from under you. SAM: Not Henry Crabgrass. MARISHA: (laughs) LAURA: You didn’t ask first.Ah! MATT: (laughs) TRAVIS: Jesus. MATT: And as soon as that finishes, he reaches up and plucks one of those stars and throws that at you, Jester. LAURA: Hi. MATT: It’s a natural 19. Yeah, that’s going to hit you. So you take, as this burning star flings towards you and explodes on your chest with this searing hot, radiant detonation, point blank around your upper torso and face. You take– LAURA: Oh no. We all thought we were safe. TRAVIS: I didn’t. MARISHA: Oh, it’s so sticky. LAURA: Gross.ASHLEY: Sticky, icky. LIAM: 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-level slots. MATT: 20 points of radiant damage to you, Jester. LAURA: How dare you use radiant energy against a cleric? SAM: Are you immune to that? LAURA: No.SAM: Oh. LAURA: (laughs) MATT: And he just stays there. Staring at you pretty much the entire time. Occasionally throwing spells, but locked in. LIAM: I meet his gaze and I don’t look away. MATT: All right. He stays put in the air, confident. Finishes his go. Yasha, you’re up. Caleb, you’re on deck. ASHLEY: That’s me. Okay. I would like to rage. MATT: All righty.LAURA and TRAVIS: Yes! ASHLEY: And– LIAM: That fucking miniature.I’m going to smash it with a hammer. MATT: (laughs) ASHLEY: I am also going to– LIAM: Wulf over on the side, goddamn it! MATT: Yeah. LAURA: Maybe Astrid will come to our aid and– ASHLEY: I am going to bamf out my wings. MATT: Ooh! MARISHA: Astrid’s got to be here, right? LAURA: She’s definitely here. MATT: Your wings are out. Full, white-feathered and glorious. ASHLEY: And for movement, I’m going to fly up to– MATT: Your movement on them is 60? ASHLEY: 30 feet. MATT: 30 feet, okay. So you can move forward. MARISHA: I’m hidden next to Veth behind this tree over here. We’re crouched and hidden. Right here is where we are. TRAVIS: Okay. MARISHA: Behind this tree. MATT: So you can fly pretty much– not quite to his level, but you’re in within melee, if you like. So that’s your action, bonus, and your movement. That’s your turn.ASHLEY: Yep.MATT: Okay. Finishing your go, Caleb. You’re up. LIAM: So I’m just this, out the side of my mouth to Eadwulf, I’m going to quickly say: There is more than one way for this to end; change the narrative. And I move over closer to Essek and slam Allura’s staff down on the ground and cast Globe of Invulnerability, so that it encompasses myself and Essek. It’s a 10-foot radius.MATT: Okay. Yes, indeed. Got it.LIAM: But that’s it. That’s the turn. SAM: We don’t get the globe. LIAM: If she’s within 10 feet, she is. LAURA: Nah, she don’t get no globe. ASHLEY: No.LIAM: Are you flying? ASHLEY: Yeah. I got a glow already. MATT: There you go. Globe of Invulnerability over the both of you. LAURA: Cool.ASHLEY: Am I in the way? What did I do? LIAM: You do great.ASHLEY: Okay.MATT: All right. ASHLEY: You fucked up. MATT: Actually– What level spell is the Globe of Invulnerability? LIAM: Well, I was going to ask. It’s six charges, but I don’t know if the staff allows you to use more charges to cast higher. MATT: I don’t think it would, no. LIAM: Okay, so six.MATT: So 6th-level. LIAM: Yeah. MATT: It does not work. LIAM: Which– What does not work? TRAVIS: The Globe of Invulnerability.MATT: As you go to cast the globe, the spell seems to begin to form and then is raked from the air. LIAM: Do I have any sense why? TRAVIS: Oh boy. MATT: Astrid around this corner– MARISHA: (gasps)LAURA: Oh my god! MATT: — has her hand out after dispelling it. LIAM: Wow.MATT: And she’s just looking at you intently as you glance over into her gaze, and she just– SAM: I turn to Beau. It’s a meet-cute! MARISHA: (laughs) SAM: They’re falling in love. MARISHA: Ah… SAM: No?MATT: That finish your turn? LIAM: Yeah.MATT: Okay. TRAVIS: Oh man! (laughs) MATT: It is now Astrid’s turn. Astrid, at this point, is going to go ahead and use a bonus action to activate her Glyph Chant. LIAM: Jesus. MATT: Now, you’ve heard of this, but you’ve not quite seen it in action, since this was advanced beyond the time that you were being tutored. But you, as looking at Astrid, she puts her hand down.TRAVIS: Yeah, it’s cool, man. MATT: And then her arms flex outward and the maze-like tattoos on her hand begin to glow with blue energy. And you watch as her movement begins to move quicker. She seems to be enhanced by some sort of arcane element. And there’s this strange, almost a rhythmic-like pulse to the tattoos on her arm and the glowing of energy. So that’s her bonus action. MARISHA: Damn it! That’s cool. SAM: She’s juicing.MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah. MATT: She, from where she’s standing, is going to go ahead and move 50 feet. SAM: 50 feet! MARISHA: What’s she doing? What’s she doing? LIAM: Could have–MATT: Back there. LIAM: — that Expeditions Retreat on her. TRAVIS: Oh boy! MATT: And then she is going to cast Disintegrate on Yasha. LIAM: So reaction, action. TRAVIS: (laughs) ASHLEY: Hello.TRAVIS: Shit’s getting personal. MATT: I need you to make a dexterity saving throw, Yasha.LAURA: (gasps) MARISHA: Oh no. SAM: You got– no, you don’t have Bless. Shit. You’re going to roll a natural 20. ASHLEY: I have advantage. That was the one.MATT: Because you do see it. ASHLEY: Come on you fuck, yes. 22. MATT: Jesus! LIAM: Thank fuck.TALIESIN: (groans) LIAM: Wasted.MATT: That’s a success. That’s a success. As she puts her hand out, and there’s this weird gathering of motes of dull, greenish energy gathering and then a singular beam shoots out, and right as you’re going towards Trent and getting in the air, you see the beam out of the corner of your eye, turn, and flap your wings out of the way, and it just barely misses you by inches.A feather that’s cast off your wing gets hit and is turned to immediate dust and is no longer visible as it just streaks off into the sky, harming nothing. SAM: Damn! TRAVIS: Those are reactions from them, on these Counterspells, right? MATT: Correct.TRAVIS: Okay. ASHLEY: Astrid’s after Caleb? TRAVIS: Astrid is.ASHLEY: Okay. TRAVIS: We haven’t seen Wulf take– MATT: That’s going to finish Astrid’s go. Jester, you’re up. TRAVIS: When did Trent go? He went after– LAURA: Oh god. MATT: Fjord, you’re at thebottom of the initiative right now. TRAVIS: I think so. LAURA: Can I get over to the well right there? MATT: It’s about, from where you are, about 50 feet.So you can get closer to it. LAURA: Okay, I’m going to just go behind the tree that Beau was hiding behind. MATT: Okay. Over here? LAURA: Yeah. And then I’m going to cast– well, I’m definitely not within 60 feet of Astrid and Eadwulf, huh? MATT: No. LAURA: Then I’m going to cast– I’m going to Invoke Duplicity. MATT: Astrid might be within 60 feet, but not Eadwulf. LAURA: I can’t know for sure. Astrid is where? MATT: This is 60 feet. LIAM: She’s far off on the left there. MATT: Yeah, Eadwulf would not be in the range, and Astrid would just barely be within 60 feet. LAURA: (laughs)MATT: Your call. LAURA: Fuck it. I’m going to cast Dominate Person on Astrid. MATT: On Astrid? Okay. No effect as Trent uses his reaction to Counterspell. LIAM: I’ll Counterspell if I see him.MATT: You can see him. Yeah. LIAM: Yeah, I’ll Counterspell it. MATT: What level? LIAM: I’ll do it at– What do I have? I’ll do it at– 4th-level.MATT: 4th-level? Go ahead and roll a d20, he cast it at 5th. LIAM: And it’s– What can I say this is again? It’s been a while.SAM: Been MATT: Roll a d20 and add your spell modifier. LIAM: Spell modifier? SAM: Been LIAM: 19. MATT: 19 succeeds. It goes through. So you counter Trent’s Counterspell. LAURA: Okay. MARISHA: C-C-Counterspell! Wizard Counterspell!SAM: But Fjord counters Caleb’s Counterspell! (laughter) MATT: Astrid fails her save! ASHLEY: Ooh! LAURA: That’s a beautiful thing.MATT: And is dominated. MARISHA: Yes. Queen. MATT: By Jester. MARISHA: Yes!LAURA: And I’m going to just say in my mind: You want to fight on our side. You want to defend us. Take them out. MATT: Her eyes look over towards you. There’s no change in her demeanor. All right, does that finish your turn, Jester? LAURA: Yes. Maybe she was already on our side. MARISHA: I– yeah. (laughs) MATT: It’s Eadwulf’s turn.Bonus action starts his Glyph Chant as well. He starts moving quicker and you see the flashes of energy throughout the tattoos on his body beginning to pulse with that same rhythmic energy. TRAVIS: Where’s his position on the map? MATT: He is right over here. TRAVIS: Okay. And the front door is where on the building? MATT: Front door is right up here. TRAVIS: Got it. Okay. MATT: He’s going to move five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. Right up to you, Caleb. Darts up in your face with his longsword out and underneath his arm this way. He goes, “You know it’s just business.” LIAM: Keep telling yourself that. MATT: He is going to go and attack you twice. One with a Trip Attack. So that is going to be a 19 to hit? LIAM: Dude’s got battle maneuvers?! MARISHA: What, is he, like, a fighter guy?LAURA: He’s a battle wizard! LIAM: I thought he was a cleric! MATT: No.You can believe in gods and not have to be a cleric. LIAM: No, I know. I know. I know. There’s feats for that. Oh, that hits. MATT: That hits? Okay. So you take– LAURA: There’s feats for believing in god. MARISHA: Yeah! (laughs) MATT: 17 points of slashing damage. LIAM: For battle maneuvers. LAURA: (chuckling) MATT: Plus an additional six points of slashing damage. From the battle maneuver, and I need you to make a strength saving throw. LIAM: I’m real good at those. Oh, terrible. 10. MATT: Trip Attack, you are knocked flat on your ass as he sweeps underneath and catches you in the side of the thigh and you fall like a sack of potatoes in the middle of the mossy ground here.He’s going to follow-up with a secondary attack over top, with advantage because you’re prone. MATT: Natural one. That’s going to be a 17 to hit? LIAM: It just hits. MATT: Okay. You take 14 points of slashing damage. LIAM: As he shoves the blade in,I’m going to grab it a little. I’m going to look at him and say: Wulf, this is your chance. MATT: As you’re holding it there, the blood in your hand, he’s like, (sighs) (growls) and just growls back at you. LIAM: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. MATT: All right, that finishes his go. Fjord, you’re up with Veth on deck.TRAVIS: This is all fun. I’m going to summon the sword. LIAM: Is it hot in here? MATT: (laughs) TRAVIS: I’m going to step back through the gate. MATT: All right. Five feet back into the burning house. TRAVIS: I come out the front door. MATT: That’ll be an additional 15 feet. So you come out the front door using 20 feet of your movement, just so you know. TRAVIS: Great, I use the rest of my 20 feet of movement because I took the Mobile feat. MATT: Oh shit!TRAVIS: And I will go to Eadwulf and match swords. MARISHA: Ooh! SAM: Cross swords! TRAVIS: I really, really am glad this is happening.I don’t like you. (laughter) MARISHA: Get it, Fjord! TRAVIS: That is– (sings gibberish) MARISHA: I know, it does feel like there’s– TRAVIS: 23 to hit. MARISHA: — a lot of sexual tension, though.MATT: 23 does hit! MARISHA: This is all kind of hot. (laughter) TALIESIN: Let them fight. MARISHA: Yeah!TRAVIS: 25. LIAM: That’s how I wrote it! MATT: Both hit. TRAVIS: Great. LAURA: Are we all going to have sex after this? (laughter) LIAM: Well, there’s one version where that does happen. (laughter) LIAM: There’s another version where we all die.TRAVIS: Plus 12, so 31 total. MATT: 31 total. Nice.LAURA: How long does that mote last, by the way? MATT: So he spins around right as you rush up towards him and tries to strike the blade back, but it’s too strong and the impact glides off the sword and catches him in the side of the arm, he’s like, (grunts) The second one, he brings up the blade to meet it and it catches it and you just push forward even further and sink it into his shoulder and he goes, (grunts) “Well done!” And shoves it off and flicks it as a little blood begins to pour out of the wound, and he’s like, (panting grunts) TRAVIS: You excited? Hexblade’s Curse.MATT: Ah. There you go. (laughter) TRAVIS: Bonus action. LAURA: Yeah, it’s hot. MARISHA: Ah! Ooh! LAURA: Oh my.TRAVIS: What? (laughter) SAM: You’re having hex with each other. (laughter) TRAVIS: We’re in hex, bitch! MATT: That finish your turn, Fjord? TRAVIS: Yes.LIAM: I wanna hex you up MATT: Veth, it’s your turn. Caduceus, you’re on deck. MARISHA: Holy shit. (laughs) SAM: I should probably shoot him with a crossbow bolt, but I want to use my bomb. (laughs) TRAVIS: You want to use your mom? SAM: I want to use my bomb. MATT: You got it.SAM: So my Fluffernutter is floating up there? MATT: Yeah. SAM: I had two fluffs. I used the one that you had me put an asterisk next to because it was more well-made. And I will, trying to remember the motions and movements that Caleb does when he cast this spell, I will lift up my hand and it catches on fire and I will then shoot a beam of fire right at my Fluffernutter bomb and try to explode it.MATT: Oh shit! You casting Fireball? SAM: I’m casting Caleb’s Produce Flame.(laughter) My wizard spell that I have. ASHLEY: Yeah!TRAVIS: Oh yeah! Your first level in wizard. MATT: Oh, the cantrip, Produce Flame! SAM: Can I throw it? Is it a throw? LIAM: It is. You can throw it.SAM: Okay. MATT: All right, yeah, within 30 feet of you. So you’d have to get a little closer. If you’re just hitting Fluffernutter– SAM: I’m just hitting Fluffernutter. MATT: Then yeah, you can totally do that. All right. So go ahead and make a ranged spell attack. Against Fluffernutter. SAM: Oh, and before I cast,I’ll step forward five or 10 feet just so I can get Fluffernutter right up to what’s his butt. MATT: You got it. All right. So you’re stepping up from behind the tree. SAM: Okay. Do I have to make a ranged spell attack now? MATT: You do.SAM: Okay. Okay. 18 plus something. MATT: That hits.SAM: Okay. LAURA: Yeah!MATT: The flame (whoosh, sizzling) (explosion) It explodes in a massive 20-foot wide blast, which does catch Yasha.SAM: Sorry, Yasha! (laughter) MATT: Need you to make a dexterity saving throw, Yasha. ASHLEY: 18? MATT: 18?SAM: I don’t know. MATT: What’s your spell DC? SAM: Well, this is the bomb. MATT: Oh, no, for the bomb. All right. Yeah, that’s succeeds. Yeah.ASHLEY: Great. MATT: So go ahead and roll 4d12 for me. LAURA: Whoa! SAM: I don’t know what that is. Okay.MATT: You take half the damage. SAM: Great rolls. Seven, eight, and nine. What is that? 24. MATT: 24, so you take 12 points of fire damage, Yasha.LAURA: Did you do 4d12? SAM: Oh, he said 4d12?MATT: 4d12, yeah. Sorry. SAM: Okay. 27. MATT: 27, so you take 13 points of fire damage, Yasha. The blast burns around and then vanishes. Smoke disappears, you can see Yasha’s a little singed. Trent unfazed. SAM: (groans) How dare you.LAURA: How do we get him! TALIESIN: I’m not even convinced it’s him. LAURA: That’s not Antimagic. Does he have the invulnerability? MARISHA: Is he a hologram? SAM: Might be. MATT: All right.SAM: Seems to be immune to bombs!MARISHA: Is he here? Or is he pulling some Raishan shit? MATT: You still have some movement.MARISHA: Yeah! Yeah. SAM: I’ll go back behind the tree. MARISHA: Right? I don’t know. LAURA: He could be. SAM: Do I have a bonus action still? Was an action to cast, little movement. MATT: Correct. Yeah. You said you used Mage Hand– Well, no. That was before that. So yeah. SAM: I will just use whatever I’ve got left to bring Mage Hand back towards me. MATT: Okay. You can do that. It comes back to you. All right, finishing your turn. That brings us to Caduceus with Essek on deck. TALIESIN: Well. No, it’s no problem. I’m going to– Am I within 30 feet of– You’re hiding, aren’t you? MARISHA: I’m hiding behind this tree, but I imagine– I don’t know, you might be able to see me.I came through the portal. TALIESIN: I probably haven’t noticed if you’re actually hiding-hiding. MARISHA: Yeah, I am hiding. TALIESIN: I’m going to move furtherinto the tree line on the right. Is it possible to get within 30 feet of our little floating wizard? MATT: You can go straight and get within 30 feet. You only have to be a straight line. He’s 30 feet in the air. TALIESIN: That’s fair. MATT: Either the trees or to him, your call. TALIESIN: I’ll go to him. We’re at that point. MATT: You are right beneath him. 30 feet, you are no longer invisible. TALIESIN: Can I see Caleb? Is Caleb within 60 feet of me? MATT: Caleb looks to be somewhere in the neighborhood of close to 60 feet, yeah. TALIESIN: I’m going to cast a thing. I’m going to cast– Where’d it go? Where are my 1st-level spells? Healing Word at 3rd-level. MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: So that’s just– That’s not great. 11 points of healing. LIAM: Thank you. TALIESIN: And I’m going to hold my action. Going to hold my action for– Actually, who’s after me? MARISHA: Essek.And then me. TALIESIN: I’m going to hold my action for Yasha. MATT: Okay. Got it. You’re preparing your–TALIESIN: Yeah. MATT: Okay. You got it. All right, that finishes your go. Essek’s up. Essek is going to go ahead and staring down at your confrontation, seeing, you probably have Eadwulf, in his mindset. He’s going to glance over to him, the biggest threat, which is Trent. And he’s going to go ahead and he’s going to a cast Tether Essence on him and– he’s going to a cast Tether Essence on him and– SAM: I love the album by– MATT: Him and Eadwulf.SAM: Wake me up inside! LAURA: Ooh, that’s smart. MARISHA: And Eadwulf, is that what you said? MATT: Yep.LAURA: Yeah. MATT: Eadwulf does– LIAM: In theory, if he’s really here.MATT: Eadwulf fails. MARISHA: Hell yeah, he does. MATT: Surprisingly, even with advantage on the save, Trent fails. And now Trent and Eadwulf are both tethered. MARISHA: Oh, he– Oh! LAURA: Nice.TALIESIN: Remember that? MARISHA: No, no, I thought Essekwas tethering himself to Eadwulf, but that makes sense. Okay! LIAM: The damage to Eadwulf does damage to Trent now. MATT: He’s going to glide off this way. Actually, he’s going to go ahead and move half speed and drag Caleb back 15 feet. MARISHA: Damn! MATT: To try and pull him out of melee. All right, that finishes his turn. Beau, you’re up. MARISHA: Glue! Do you have the glue? SAM: I do! (pop) MARISHA: All right, glue me! SAM: I cannot move, it is not my turn! MATT: She just ran back behind the tree, so this is happening simultaneously.As you go and bring it out, she’s just finishing blowing up a Fluffernutter and is just rushing back. MARISHA: Come here! Fucking glue it! And I hold my action until– MATT: What action are you holding? MARISHA: Movement. MATT: Okay, so a dash action?MARISHA: A dash. MATT: You’ve got it. Okay. That finishes your go. Holding that, Beau’s turn is done. That brings us to Ikithon’s go. All right. He– Is going to go ahead and cast Chain Lightning. SAM: Mm-hmm.MARISHA: Oh! MATT: At Caleb. (sighs) SAM: Wait, all of it? MATT: Well, it’s going to splinter off and also hit Essek and hit Fjord.So I need you, Caleb, to go ahead and make a dexterity saving throw, please. LIAM: That’s a 23. MATT: That’s a success. Okay. So you take half damage. Where’s that last d8? Come on. There you are. You take 28 points lightning damage. That’s already halved. LIAM: Yeah. MATT: And Essek and Fjord, I need you both to make dexterity saving throws. MATT: Essek fails with a natural one. He’s going to go ahead– No, he didn’t cast himself. TRAVIS: I failed. MATT: All right, so you both take– TALIESIN: With the d4? MATT: You both take, I think it was 52 points of lightning damage.TRAVIS: 52. TALIESIN: You still standing? TRAVIS: Yep.TALIESIN: Okay. Looking rough? TRAVIS: Nope. MATT: Essek’s not looking great. As this bolt of energy crackles down and impacts the ground next to Caleb, he just rolls out of the way, there’s a blast. It splinters off and blasts both full brunt and bore into Fjord and Essek, you both get pushed back almost. Grasping, smoke from the chest as they both lean forward a bit, taking the hit. You shrug it off. TRAVIS: Sure. Everybody needs to get tased once in their life. (laughter) Not as bad as you think. MATT: And with that, Trent’s going to go ahead and shift around this way.Kind of keeping an eye on you as he moves past. And is going to go ahead and attempt to move away from you. So you do get an attack of opportunity against him, if you’d like to take it. ASHLEY: Yeah! Yeah. TRAVIS: Sentinel bitch!LAURA: Sentinel! ASHLEY: Okay.TALIESIN: With a d4. No, never mind. Not you. ASHLEY: What do I add to it? I’m sorry. TALIESIN: No, you don’t. MATT: You don’t add anything to it.It’s just whatever your attack roll is. ASHLEY: Oh, my attack roll. My attack roll is– Wait, why am I forgetting everything right now? TRAVIS: Because this was unexpected. ASHLEY: Yeah, wait. TRAVIS: Take your time. ASHLEY: What’s the modifier that I add? MATT: Your attack roll. Just your normal attack roll with your sword. ASHLEY: Jeez Louise. MATT: I know.ASHLEY: Okay. Sorry. Such a brain fart. That is 29. TRAVIS: Jesus. MATT: Yeah, that’ll hit. ASHLEY: Okay. MATT: Go ahead and roll damage. This isn’t with Divine Fury, right? MATT: That’s only on your turn, I believe, right? ASHLEY: Yeah, okay. TRAVIS: The Bless is an automatic +4 to attack or you roll a d4? MATT and TALIESIN: Roll a d4. TALIESIN: Attacks and saves. ASHLEY: That would be– MATT: Yasha, don’t worry about it. Your blade hits. Like hitting the side of a mountain. Doesn’t leave a cut, doesn’t carve anything. LAURA: Does it stop cold? MATT: The blade just stops. You feel like you impacted something, but no damage is sustained.The attack is essentially repelled. TRAVIS: Got to dispel that motherfucker. MATT: And he is just gliding around you. He still stops moving. It doesn’t mean that– He’s not going to move away from you because you did attack him and you hook the blade around and hold him in place for a second, but he takes no damage. But he’s physically there. ASHLEY: Okay. LAURA: What was it, the– MATT: Bonus action, pluck another one of those stars from around him, and chuck it down at Caleb. Actually, you know what? No. Because you’re on the ground and you’re harder to hit when you’re prone. He’s going to chuck it at you, Fjord.TRAVIS: Yeah. MATT: That is going to be a 19 to hit. TRAVIS: Hits. MATT: All righty. You take– 35 points of radiant damage. As the star blasts you in the shoulder and burns the side of your body. And he just still has five more of these floating around his head. And he just has his hands at the ready and he’s glancing at you to the side, but he’s still focused entirely on Caleb.And he continues to just say at the end of his turn, “It didn’t have to be this way, Bren. “But you’re not the first student I’ve had to put down “for knowing too much.” TRAVIS: (nervous chuckling) MATT: All right, that finishes his turn. Yasha, you’re up. Caleb, you’re on deck. LIAM: Okay. ASHLEY: I can’t touch him. I can’t touch him because he’s got the thing. MATT: Oh, you also from the attack, take– Sorry, 12 points of fire damage from the Fire Shield that surrounds him. MARISHA: Fire Shield. LAURA: Attack Eadwulf!ASHLEY: Yeah. Yeah. SAM: How do we get the Fire Shield down? TRAVIS: I mean, sometimes there’s a thing where if you try and make an attack, it’ll block it, but if you try and just touch him– MARISHA: Yeah.Reach through? TRAVIS: But there’s no evidence of that. MARISHA: Yeah, I know.SAM: That’s true. That’s true. You said he had seven things? MATT: There’s five of them now. LIAM: Yeah, he can pluck them out of the air. SAM: They’re like some sort of chromatic wall? MATT: Like little burning stars–MARISHA: Dunamancy? MATT: — that just float around. SAM: They’re not different colors, though? They’re not chromatic?MATT: No. No. LIAM: It’s a traditional– MARISHA: Oh, is it?LIAM: It’s high level. MARISHA: Okay. Okay. MATT: What are you doing, Yasha?SAM: I think we have to get through all five of those to hit him? LIAM: No, I think it’s separate.ASHLEY: I don’t even think I’ll be able to! That was such a high roll to attack! LIAM: I think that he– He cast Time Stop, which means that we were all frozen like this and he did a bunch of things, got them going. LAURA: Oh, that’s awesome.ASHLEY: Okay. MARISHA: That is really cool.LAURA: You need to learn that, Caleb. LIAM: Sorry, too busy dying. TRAVIS: Yeah. ASHLEY: I don’t think it’s going to do anything! Can I make it to Eadwulf from where I am? MATT: Likely, yeah.TRAVIS: They are linked, so maybe if you hit Eadwulf. ASHLEY: That’s what I was thinking, at least if we can see if he’s there. MARISHA: So Yasha went “ping” against a– ASHLEY: I’m going to fly down to Eadwulf and take a swing. MATT: All right. You float down. Coasting downward in his direction. Blade ready. As you come into strike, he’s going go ahead and use his reaction to cast Shield. So go ahead and make your attacks. ASHLEY: First attack, 25? MATT: 25 hits.ASHLEY: Okay. TRAVIS: Eadwulf used his reaction. He just did.ASHLEY: Second attack. LAURA: Who does he go after? Do we know? ASHLEY: That’s higher.TRAVIS: Just before me. MATT: Yeah, both hit. Shield didn’t help him. ASHLEY: Okay. I’m going to roll again. That’s better, okay. 48 points of damage for the first hit. MATT: 48 points of damage.LIAM: 24 concentration check,if it travels through to boss man. LIAM: 24 concentration check,if it travels through to boss man. ASHLEY: Second attack is– 29 points of damage. TRAVIS: Wow.TALIESIN: So much. LIAM: That’s a lot of damage.TRAVIS: That’s 67 points of damage? LAURA: That’s hot. ASHLEY: What happens to Trent? MATT: Nothing. You see sparks where such things would perhaps have struck through, but he ignores it. ASHLEY: Okay.TRAVIS: Trent? MATT: Trent. LIAM: Fuck. SAM: Well, because they’re tethered. So damage would have gone through, right? MATT: It seems like it should’ve.LAURA: Not if he’s invulnerable.ASHLEY: But maybe it didn’t reach him? ASHLEY: I don’t know. Or he’s not here. TALIESIN: Did I feel my spell take, by the way? That I released on Trent? Did it seem like it took? TRAVIS: Fire Shield? MATT: Which one? TALIESIN: Path to the Grave. MATT: Path to the Grave? It did take. TALIESIN: Okay. MATT: But her attack did no damage. TALIESIN: Well, she didn’t attack him. LIAM: It’s 9th-level. MATT: It’s the next attack that he takes, correct? LAURA: She did attack him on a reaction. TALIESIN: I didn’t throw for the reaction. LAURA: Oh!MATT: Right. Because you’re still holding it until Yasha’s turn. TALIESIN: Yeah.MATT: So you threw it up.So it’s still be on him. Correct. Yeah. Because you did not attack Trent after he used it. TALIESIN: Cool, cool. Cool. MATT: So there you go. The next attack on Trent will bedouble damage, technically. ASHLEY: Oh.LAURA: Okay. MATT: Eadwulf is looking real bad. TRAVIS: Oh yeah? MATT: After those two strikesfrom Yasha, he’s like, (grimaces) and he’s just looking at both of you. Looks back at Astrid. (panting) TRAVIS: Care to switch sides? (laughter) MATT: He looks really hurt. All right, that finishes Yasha’s go. Caleb, you’re up. LIAM: I pull myself to my feet, and to Eadwulf say: We’ve already given evidence to the Cobalt Soul, but it’s not too late. Now! And I will cast Dispel Magic on Trent. MATT: Okay. At what level? LIAM: 3rd, because if it’s as high as I think it is, it doesn’t matter what level. I just have to roll for it regardless, so 3rd. MATT: Go ahead and roll. TRAVIS: Oh god. LIAM: And this is spell modifier. MATT: You just add +5.LIAM: Yeah. It’s 20. MATT: It’s 20?LIAM: Yeah. MATT: Okay, damn. You go and cast the dispel ability. You send out these tethers of arcane energy that’ll shift around, and they seem to impact that weird shimmering shield around Trent. Let me check one thing on this real fast. MARISHA: If this doesn’t work, I don’t know. LIAM: I don’t know. MATT: You see the shimmer (fizzling) dissipate off of him. TRAVIS: Ooh! MATT: He just looks down and goes, (scoffs) “First trick that worked.” LIAM: Try and try again. And I find Beau and Veth and just stare daggers into them, and that is the– Do I want to move anywhere? I’ll step– No, I’ll stay where I am.I’ll stay where I am. I’ll stand my ground. MARISHA: Pick yourself up and try again TRAVIS: (shrill chuckle) LIAM: That’s a good use of a 3rd-level spell slot. TALIESIN: That was a very good use of a 3rd-level spell slot!LAURA: I’m glad you did that because I was going to try that at 8th-level because I thought it would make a difference. (chuckles) You understand shit better than me! (laughs) LIAM: No, it doesn’t at all.If you don’t think you’re matching– SAM: Uh-oh.MARISHA: What is that? ASHLEY: What, what, what?SAM: Uh-oh. MARISHA: No. Come on, man.SAM: Uh-oh. No, it’s– MATT: He attempted to Counterspell it,but rolled really shitty. (relieved sighs) TRAVIS: Oh god, I thought that guacamole was turning brown! MATT: I was looking at it and I was like, “No, technically, he could have a reaction.” LIAM: Well, if he goes, I will go. If we’re furthering that line. LAURA: Also, Astrid would, because she’son our side right now. MATT: So. That finish your turn, Caleb? LIAM: Yes. Yes it does. MATT: All right. Now it’s Astrid’s turn. Astrid, who is currently now eyeing the battlefield. ASHLEY: (banging table to the music) LIAM: Matthew Mercer, you motherfucker. TRAVIS: (imitates background music horn wail) MATT: She’s going to go ahead and cast a 5th-level lightning bolt at Trent Ikithon.TRAVIS: Whoa! Let’s go! LIAM: Jester Lavorre! SAM, ASHLEY, and LAURA: (imitate background music horn wail) TRAVIS: She’s on our side! MARISHA: Come on! MATT: I rolled a 19 and a 20on advantage for his saving throws. So, yeah, he saved against it,but she still does damage. TALIESIN: Isn’t he automatically vulnerable to all the damage– MATT: Attacks!TALIESIN: Oh, it’s attacks. Okay, this isn’t an attack.MATT: Not just spells. LAURA: Oh.TALIESIN: I was hoping he was taking it. LIAM: Oh man, I’ve been trying to hold it, but I cannot. TRAVIS: Yep, get the poop out. ASHLEY: Yeah, I was like– I’m wiggling a lot.TALIESIN: I was not expecting this.You would think I was, but nope. You think I would’ve loaded any decent spells for a fight like this, but no. MATT: 19 points of damage to Trent Ikithon. TRAVIS: 19 points. MATT: Which as the energy blast through, it hits him, but there’s a secondary shield that seems to absorb the blast. He doesn’t even get impacted. This weird blue shimmy in the air that has runes across it, just eats the lightning. TRAVIS: This dude’s double packing.SAM: Nothing? MATT: Nothing.MARISHA: With Trent? TRAVIS: Yeah, he’s double bagging it. LAURA: He’s got another shield up. TALIESIN: Ah! LAURA: So many shields.MATT: Is it the same shield or it’s not the same fire-y shield or a different shield? MATT: It’s a different effect. MARISHA: A different effect.SAM: It might just absorb magic or something, who knows? MATT: Astrid will go, “Shit!” And is going to go ahead and run over this way to try and get closer to Caleb. LAURA: She gets to make a saving throw. MATT: She does. What is it, wisdom? LAURA: Yeah. MATT: That’s a 21. LAURA: She succeeds. MATT: She is no longer charmed. Her eyes blink a bit. Looks back at, you looks at Caleb, looks at Trent and is just like, (grunting) All right.That finishes her go. Jester, you’re up. LAURA: Having seen what Caleb did and seeing that it’s still absorbing shit I’m going to try to cast Dispel Magic on the globe-y thing! MARISHA: Come on, Jes! MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll a d20. Actually. SAM: Work it. TRAVIS: I hate it when the three seconds pass and then he remembers something. (laughs) MATT: You don’t have to roll. You go and release the spell and you watch as that series of intertwined glyphs that had absorbed the lightning bolt shatters.LAURA: Yeah! TRAVIS: He had a second shield up,and it was just dispelled! LIAM: I love my friends! (laughter) SAM: And now he’s got a third. MATT: So that’s your action?TRAVIS: Is there a third? Is there a third? (laughs) MATT: You’ll find out. TRAVIS: Oh! God! Fuck! (laughs) LIAM: Triple-decker. (laughter) LIAM: Trent just just drops loaf on Caduceus’ head. (laughter) LAURA: Where am I? I’m back there.MATT: You’re way back there. LAURA: Oh, actually let me make sure it’s Dispel Magic. Oh good, it’s 120 feet.MATT: Yeah. LAURA: I’m going to run over and try to hide behind a closer tree. MATT: Over here, with them, or– SAM: (yelling)LAURA: No, like a– SAM: Get away from us! MATT: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30. LAURA: Yeah, yeah, that’s where I’ll hide. MATT: Okay, there’s some moss bushes. You’re like (uncertain sound). You’re not really hidden, but it’s fun to think about it. Okay, finishing Jester’s turn, it’s now Eadwulf’s go. He– He’s not doing well. He’s going to go ahead and look at you. LIAM: Join us. MATT: “Self-preservation,” and he’s going to cast Dimension Door on himself and vanishes from sight.LIAM: Woo, dispel! Or Counterspell, yeah! Counterspell.SAM: Can you do that? LIAM: I didn’t use my reaction.MARISHA: Counterspell! No, you have not. MATT: Go ahead, at what level? LIAM: I’m going to use… fourth again. MATT: Okay, there’s no roll needed, it doesn’t work. And he goes, “Come on!” LIAM: Join me. It’s not too late for you. MATT: (scoffs) Make a persuasion check with a disadvantage, because you just countered his spell. LIAM: That is a 20. MARISHA: Whoa!MATT: 20. Okay. With that, he’s going to go ahead– he can’t move, you both have got him cornered right there. He’s going to stay put. That fucked up his round.All right, brings us to Fjord. LIAM: He’s got to join us or he’s got to die. TRAVIS: We’re trying to get him on our side? LIAM: I would like to, but you do what you got to do. TRAVIS: Yeah man, we could just stack him. LIAM: Do what you got to do. TRAVIS: I want to see if Trent’s wearing anything else, I’m going to– Mobile, when you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn whether you hit or not, so I’d have to hit him and then move, if I move away from Eadwulf.MATT: Correct, yeah. TRAVIS: Yeah, I’m sending threeEldritch Blasts toward Trent. MATT: Go for it.TRAVIS: Let’s find out.I’ll at least send one, let’s send the first one. Send it! That is 16 plus 10 for 26. MATT: 26 hits. TRAVIS: Okay. Let’s see what this does. That’s nine points of force damage. MATT: Okay. TRAVIS: Does it look like it impacts him? MATT: It hits, it doesn’t look like it does as much damage as you’re used to it doing, but it does seem to damage him a bit. This is the first time you’ve seen him go like– TALIESIN: It technically would be doubled. MATT: That’s true, so it doesas much damage as you would expect it to do.So what did you roll, nine? TRAVIS: Nine. MATT: Nine points of force damage as he– (impact) (scoffs) TRAVIS: Okay, we’ll send the other two. Eight. That’s 18 to hit. MATT: 18 does not hit. MATT: Okay, and the last one– TALIESIN: You have a d– yeah. TRAVIS: Yep, 26 to hit. MATT: That hits, go ahead and roll damage. TRAVIS: Nine plus– 14 points of force damage. MATT: Okay, this one does not as much damage on impact as you thought it would. He takes the secondary hit off the shoulder. Doesn’t even look at you, still focused on Caleb. TRAVIS: Okay. Great, that’s my turn, not a great turn. MATT: Okay. That brings us to the top of the round. Veth, you’re up. SAM: Marisha has a question for you about an object. MARISHA: Does the cloak take attunement? The Cloak of Mountebank? MATT: Does it say on the item?LAURA: It think you guys said it didn’t. MARISHA: I never really got a sheet because we’re in a pandemic.MATT: No, it’s not– it’s on D&D Beyond. LIAM: Cape of the Mountebank, it’s not attunement. MATT: Yeah, I don’t think it is. MARISHA: Okay, all right, I don’t think it is, either. SAM: Okay. MARISHA: And I still held my action. I don’t know. SAM: You can’t use the action for that. MARISHA: No, but I can still move. SAM: So stick with what we were planning? Bonus action, I’m going to smear sovereign glue on the inside of– MATT: Oh jesus.SAM: — the collar. MATT: (laughs) Okay. MARISHA: (mumbled) I don’t know what’s best. SAM: What?MARISHA: (mumbled) I don’t know what’s best. SAM: I can’t understand– MARISHA: (full volume) I don’t know what’s best! Sorry! (laughter) LIAM: Be best, be best!TRAVIS: “I can’t understand what you’re saying!” ASHLEY: I knew exactly what you were saying.MARISHA: You know what? SAM: I’m going to stick with the plan.MARISHA: Stick with the plan. Let’s stick with the plan, yeah. SAM: She was holding her action, I don’t know what she’ll do now, but I’m going to hold my action too, until I see her dash up and do some crazy monk shit. I’m going to hold my action. I’m going to whip out– MATT: Yes, you were holding your action for– MARISHA: I’m going to dash, move. MATT: Right, at the end of Veth’s move? MARISHA: At the end of Veth’s turn. SAM: The end of my turn, but it’s about to end because I’m holding my action to… use the fan, the wind gust fan.MATT: Okay. SAM: Until I see Beauregard do some crazy monk shit. MARISHA: I see Veth pull out the fan, and I’m like: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah. MATT: Okay.MARISHA: Just watch. MATT: Okay, that finish your turn, Veth? SAM: That’s my turn.MATT: All right, Caduceus, you’re up. MARISHA: Wait, I, so–MATT: At the end of– MARISHA: Veth’s turn.MATT: Yeah. MARISHA: I just dash, I’m going to use my unarmored freedom of movement, unarmored move to just vertical wall climb and perch on the edge of this branchy branch over here. MATT: That is easy enough to do. You don’t even have to worry about rolling anything as a monk.MARISHA: Sure, sure. Just know that I’m at this one that’s the closest to Trent, but whatever makes– LIAM: The long branch?MARISHA: The long branch. MATT: This one here, you mean? MARISHA: The long– Is that–?MATT: Over here, you want to go through the tree? MARISHA: That’s what I was thinking, but whatever seems it like– MATT: No, that works out great.MARISHA: Closest to him.MATT: There you go. MARISHA: Okay.MATT: All right, that finish your turn? LIAM: It’s going to be like a Crouching Tiger moment. MARISHA: If this fucking fails– (laughs) I’m going to be so mad. It’s going to fail. LIAM: No, no, no. SAM: You’re up a tree, I might as well shoot her. (laughter) MARISHA: For old times’ sake. MATT: All right. ASHLEY: I heard that! MATT: Caduceus, you’re up. TALIESIN: I’m going to head directly towards the house. And if Caleb is within 60 feet, I’m going to heal again. MATT: Yes, he is. TALIESIN: All right, that’s another Healing Word at 2nd-level. Well, let’s just do third. SAM: Is Kingsley just burning alive inside the building, is that what’s happening here? MARISHA: He just wandered off into the woods.TALIESIN: You don’t know where Kingsley is. SAM: Okay. I don’t know where he is. Is he burning alive? LIAM: He’s walking down a roadwith a stick over his shoulder. TALIESIN: It’s like the ending of the Incredible Hulk show. (hums “The Lonely Man”) LIAM: (laughs)TALIESIN: So that’s– come on.Hey, not bad. 13 points, healing points. LIAM: Bless you, holy man. TALIESIN: And as my bonus action, my run, I’m going to use the rest of my movement to get against the house. MATT: Go up towards the house?TALIESIN: Yeah. MATT: You only get that much further right there. That’s where you are. TALIESIN: For another 30 feet of movement? MATT: Wait, you dashed as well? TALIESIN: This is a dash because I didn’t use my action. MATT: You can totally can getup in front of the house over here. TALIESIN: Who am I next to there? That’s the whole fight? MATT: That’s the fight right there with Fjord. TALIESIN: I’ll be just five more feet or 10 more feet away. Just on the other side of that rock, maybe. MATT: You got it. Okay.TALIESIN: There we go. MATT: That finishes your go. Essek’s turn. TALIESIN: Should’ve held that heal, but oh well.MATT: Essek’s used all of those, used his Gravity Fissure. He’s going to cast Confusion. No, people are starting to actually show some damage on Trent. He’s going to go in for another high-level Lighting Bolt. Trent does make his save. 34 reduced by half. 17 points of lighting damage to Master Trent Ikithon. As Essek, now behind Caleb, gets back a bit and is keeping an eye on Astrid as well, but as he floats down over the mossy ground, gathers his hands and then releases this torrent of black electrical energy that blasts into Trent and it hits, it seems it does a burn on impact, and he winces a little bit, but it doesn’t do as much damage as you would hope.LIAM: So many tricks! LAURA: What was the spell that he did? MATT: That was a 5th-level Lightning Bolt. LIAM: Oh boy. LIAM: Where does he get such wonderful toys? MATT: “Caleb. “I’m scared!” All right, that’s going to finish Essek’s turn. Beauregard, you’re up. MARISHA: Okay. I’m going to rear up a little bit. Step of the Wind. MATT: Okay. MARISHA: I’m going to Naruto-run across this branch.TRAVIS: Naruto.MARISHA: And as I– (laughs) LIAM: Fucking love it. MARISHA: As I fly off of the edge of the branch, I’m going to say: Veth, now! SAM: I watch her do monk shit, but is it dope? Because I said I was holding for dope monk shit. MATT: Are you doing a running jump? SAM: Is this dope?MARISHA: I’m doing a running jump. MATT: Go ahead and roll an athletics check for me. SAM: If it’s dope–MATT: It’s pretty dope. SAM: I’m going to blow my gust of wind and propel her an extra 15 feet. MATT: Okay. MARISHA: Straight athletics, right? MATT: Yep.MARISHA: Doubled, because Step of the Wind. MATT: Correct. MARISHA: Mm-hmm. LIAM: Ladies, this is– MARISHA: As in, what do you mean? Do I double my athletics score? Or my distance is doubled, right? MATT: Your distance is doubled.(chuckles) Why, what did you roll? MARISHA: 12. MATT: A 12? It wasn’t– here’s the thing. It wasn’t a hard DC, necessarily.MARISHA: Okay. MATT: Because you’re just running and jumping. MARISHA: Yeah.TRAVIS: You just rolled shit. MATT: You would miss him, if it was a standard run and jump at this distance, from that lower branch, the height he’s at. So the jump does not reach him. MARISHA: But? MATT: Except for the wind pushing behind.SAM: Yeah! MATT: As you leap, the branch gives a bit and even though you get some lift, you don’t get the spring board you’re hoping for, and as you’re part way in the arc, your brain, your investigator mind immediately does the math and you’re like, “I’m going to miss.” And then right as you’re about to hit the apex– (whooshing) the burst of wind hits you from behind from the fan and you’re lifted up another five, 10 feet, finishing the arc and as you’re up in the air, arms slowly spinning in the air, you can see Trent still looking downward and away glance up in your direction, what do you do?MARISHA: As I arc down, I have the collar in hand.I’m going to attempt to whip it around his neck. MATT: Okay.MARISHA: As I come down. MATT: I’m going to consider this a grapple check. LIAM: Does he say, “Diplomatic immunity” as she approaches? (laughter)ASHLEY: Diplomatic immunity. MATT: So this is going to be an opposed strength check. MARISHA: Fuck, I was hoping it was dex. MATT: No. MARISHA: I was hoping because it was going to be like a sleight of hand situation. TRAVIS: Come on, think of all the Rocky montages, you got this. MARISHA: Just a straight strength, what am I doing? MATT: Let me go ahead and just–MARISHA: What am I doing? MATT: It’s been a while since we’ve done a strength– ALL: It’s been a while MATT: There it is. Wow! I feel like I took damage from that. (laughter) MATT: Damn!ASHLEY: Chris probably did. MATT: Yeah, you’re not wrong. TRAVIS: Yeah, he probably did.MARISHA: (laughs) God. MATT: Sorry, give me just a second. MARISHA: I dropped a die, I dropped a die. MATT: Go pick it up. TALIESIN: It’s going to be fine. MATT: Sorry, strength (athletics).MARISHA: Athletics? MATT: I believe so. Grappling– yeah.MARISHA: Okay. LIAM: Which you’re better in, right? MARISHA: 100%.ASHLEY: Come on, baby! TRAVIS: You’re a 100% better at athletics than you are in strength? MARISHA: Yes, I actually am, yes!LIAM: Positive thinking, Beauregard, positive thinking! Come on, you bad bitch, get it! MARISHA: I’m actually, yeah, okay. Uh-huh, 21. MATT: 21? He’s going to use his athletics to try and escape because his strength is shit. LIAM: He does Pilates. MATT: Sorry, not athletics, acrobatics. He’s going to go ahead and use his Fortune’s Favor to re-roll that. LIAM: He’s been dabbling. MATT: Mm-hmm. That is, I’m not joking, 16 plus his dex modifier which is three, 19.TRAVIS: You beat him.LIAM: You beat him. MARISHA: (collar snapping) MATT: With a rapid (click) the collar slaps around his neck. It’s not activated. MARISHA: No. MATT: But it’s on his neck.TRAVIS: And it’s got that– MATT: And Trent is like, “What is this?” And he grabs it for a second and he’s like– MARISHA: And I just grab his hands, I grab his hands. MATT: So you’re grappled on him, you’re holding him there, since you succeed in the grapple, so now he’s flying in the air right now, Beauregard has him held and the collar is around his neck.MARISHA: And I wrap my legs around him and I lock my feet in a full MMA grapple. I’m trying to lock everything in. MATT: Okay, you got it. TRAVIS: In my old accent go: Eight seconds, eight seconds! (laughter) MATT: All right, that finish your turn? MARISHA: Yeah, yeah. MATT: It is now Trent’s turn. SAM: Oh.LAURA: Ah! TALIESIN: Huh?MATT: Trent– Trent is going to attempt to Dimension Door out of the grasp. LAURA: (gasps) LIAM: Counterspell. Can I Counterspell?SAM: No, you just did. LIAM: Yeah, I did.MATT: You do not have the ability, you do not have the reaction. TRAVIS: I do. SAM: Ooh! Are you in range? TRAVIS: Yeah.TALIESIN: Yeah. MATT: You are. TRAVIS: 5th-level Counterspell. SAM: What did you just say? TRAVIS: 5th-level.SAM: Yeah! MATT: He used a 5th-level slot, you don’t have to roll. LIAM: I’m your Huckleberry. SAM: Eadwulf can’t counter the counter, right, are we good? MATT: Eadwulf does not.SAM: Yes! LAURA: They see it, they see the end, they know.MARISHA: I’m so parched, I got cotton mouth. MATT: So, Fjord, describe how you counter this? TRAVIS: Well, I see Beau get up there (Southern accent) and just start riding, a solid eight seconds, one hand up. (laughter) And I see Trent starting to conjure. Nah, she rides bareback real solid. (laughter) MARISHA: Texblade is back! MATT: And right as he gathers the energy in the center and puts his arms out to create the doorway that folds on him, the doorway just fizzles. LAURA: (Southern accent)Like a turtle trying to fuck. (laughter) MATT: (high-pitched noises) TRAVIS: Didn’t you say something about facing your fate? LIAM and SAM: (high-pitched noises) MATT: All right. He is going to go ahead and fly 15 feet this way with Beauregard currently grappled on. MARISHA: Wee! MATT: So I’m just going to attach herthere for the time being. TALIESIN: Oh, this is going to be ugly. MATT: And he’s going to use a bonus action to go ahead and throw another one of these stars at you, Caleb. LIAM: Yeah, for me. MATT: That’s a natural 20, buddy.TALIESIN: Canceled!SAM: Canceled. MATT: What’s the range on your thing? TALIESIN: 30 feet. MATT: You are not in range. TALIESIN: Oh, do I have to hit himor do I have to hit Caleb? MATT: Double check that. TALIESIN: I’m going to double check that. TRAVIS: Double check that. TALIESIN: That’s not the right one. MATT: And even so, you are notwithin 30 feet of Caleb, either. TALIESIN: “Any creature that you can seewithin 30 feet suffers a crit–” Am I not 30 feet within– MATT: You’re not within 30 feet of Caleb, unfortunately. TRAVIS: You’re just outside of it. TALIESIN: Oh, fuck. I thought I was– MATT: You said you moved 10 feet away from the battle. TALIESIN: I did, I just, okay. I thought he was in that little cluster. MATT: No, he’s far away, unfortunately. TALIESIN: Fuck it.LIAM: Bring the pain. MATT: Okay, buddy. TALIESIN: I was so excited. MATT: This is Trent’s final alley-oop to try and really– I’ll just roll. TRAVIS: That’s always where you’dlike to see the nasolabial folds.MATT: Oh my god! It’s 4d12, and he rolled a seven, nine, nine and a 10. TRAVIS: Wow!LIAM: So– TRAVIS: 26, 36.MARISHA: You’re out. MATT: Times two. So yeah. LIAM: I’m down. MATT: You’re down, Caleb.TRAVIS: 72. SAM: But it’s not a spellinsta-deaths or anything, right? LIAM: What did you put on me?You put Death Ward. TALIESIN: No, never mind.You drop to one. MATT: Because of Death Ward.LAURA: Death Ward. TRAVIS: Oh!(laughter) TALIESIN: (blows raspberry) MARISHA: Oh my god. TRAVIS: Wow! TALIESIN: Don’t piss off a grave cleric. It’s not nice. MARISHA: Woo, not today! LIAM: (relieved laugh) TALIESIN: (pleased cackling)LIAM: (relieved laugh) MATT: That’s going to finish Ikithon’s turn. Yasha, you’re up. ASHLEY: Okay. TRAVIS: Wow, okay. ASHLEY: He moved. All right. I will fly up to Ikithon. MATT: What’s your move speed again? ASHLEY: It’s 30.So I’ll take the rest of the– MATT: 30 would be, can’t quite get to him. Unfortunately, you can get close.You can get almost to him. You need five more feet to get to him. ASHLEY: Okay. MATT: Unless you dash, but you’ll use your action to do that. ASHLEY: I’ll dash.MATT: Okay. Then yeah, indeed, you get right up to him in melee, but that’s your action. ASHLEY: And for a bonus action–MATT: Mm-hmm. ASHLEY: I am going to get right up in his face and scream a battle cry so everybody has advantage on attack rolls and saving throws– TRAVIS: Yo!ASHLEY: — for the next turn. MATT: Nice. ASHLEY: And that’s my turn. MATT: All right.ASHLEY: That’s all I can do. MATT: Finishing Yasha’s go. Caleb, you’re up. LIAM: I am going to dispelthe Fly off this bitch. MATT: Okay. LIAM: I’ll cast it at, why would he cast it higher? I’m going to cast it 5th-level. MATT: So, you target the Fly ability on him that the boots are currently manifesting.The wings that flap at his heels turn into rigid parts of leather, a portion of the boot no longer enchanted for the time being as he and Beauregard plummet from the air 30 feet. TRAVIS: Yes! Might as well ride him down like Dr. Strangelove! (laughter)MATT: Which you kind of do. MARISHA: I’m fine. I can take it. LIAM: Once he smashes into the earth, I project out to him: It’s time you’re knocked off your high horse, old man. TRAVIS: Yes, keep the cowboy theme going. MATT: He does take 13 points of bludgeoning damage. Yeah, takes 13 points bludgeoning damage. LIAM: Except I say it through a lot of pain.TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. MATT: So as you do that, he just falls out of the air and whack, hits the ground. (whooshing) Wile E. Coyote, dust gathers around him, as Beauregard’s there, standing on top of him. Still holding the collar present. MARISHA: Yes. Still, yeah holding the collar, that’s cool. MATT: All righty. Staying put, Caleb? ASHLEY: So hot. LIAM: No, I’m going to walk up and stand. MARISHA: This is a sexy fight, I’m just saying. ASHLEY: This is a sexy fight.LIAM: I mean, I know it’s dangerous.Mm. No, but I’m at one hit point. Fuck a duck. MATT: Yeah, you’re hurt. What are you doing? SAM: (whispering) Take him down. LIAM: I used my action. He’s going to clock me if I get close. I’m going to have faith in my friends. I’m going to– I’ve got to activate that collar. I’m going to walk up–MARISHA: Yes, you do. LIAM: — and get just behind Beauregard, looking over her shoulder down at him. MATT: Right there?LIAM: Yeah. MATT: All right, that’s your movement. LIAM: Yeah. MATT: All right, that finishes Caleb’s go. It’s Astrid’s turn. Astrid’s going to approach. And just look down at him next to you. Look at you, and go, “What is this?” LIAM: The end of his mouth.MATT: The chant’s still pulsing through her tattoos. She stands there and just begins to cast a spell and holds it in place. Just staring at him. Looks back to you, “Show me.” Jester, your turn.TRAVIS: Oh man. LAURA: I’m going to come out from my hiding place, behind the low shrubs. So I’m going to step forward. (laughs) Can I get to Caleb? MATT: 30, that’s as far as you can move there.So you’re still about 30 feet from Caleb. LAURA: Okay. TRAVIS: Or if you failed. LAURA: Do you want him alive? LIAM: Yeah. No. Yeah. Take him alive. LAURA: Okay. Then in that case, I’m going to, I’m going to cast Heal on you Caleb, at 6th-level. And you’re going to get 70 hit points back. LIAM: Whoa! MATT: (impressed) Woof. LIAM: (heavy exhale) (choked up) No more cleric jokes about healing.LAURA: (laughs) MATT: All right, does that finish your turn, Jester? LAURA: Yes. MATT: It’s Eadwulf’s turn. Eadwulf is right up against you Fjord, like (grunts). TRAVIS: (sing-song) Choose wisely. MATT: (swooshing noises)Sheathes the sword. TRAVIS: Good move. MATT: He’s going to carefully take a step away from you. Step and move towards the group over this way, to about that distance. Actually, because he is tethered. MARISHA: Oh. LIAM: Eadwulf took–MATT: Because he’s tethered. I forgot about that. The–LIAM: Impact. MATT: Not a whole– A little bit of damage has gone through, but the impact of the ground.So here’s what happens instead. He starts to walk away from you, watching him fall to the ground, as you have this moment. And he goes and takes a few steps and right as Trent impacts, Eadwulf just goes (thudding). LIAM: Oh, it’s like Kill Bill.MATT: On the ground. MARISHA and TRAVIS: The Five-Point-PalmExploding-Heart-Technique. MARISHA: (laughs) TRAVIS: Sorry, I learned it from Jester. MATT: And is unconscious and dying. TRAVIS: Well, I get 17 hit points back, but I don’t want them. MATT: That’s his turn. Fjord, you’re up. TRAVIS: Yep. I’ll start to walk towards Trent as well, making my happy way down the steps. making my happy way down the steps. MATT: You got it. TRAVIS: And I’ll just sort ofround out towards this direction. So we’re making a good, nice circle. MATT: Around here?TRAVIS: Yeah, wherever. MATT: You can get there with your own new mobility feet, you can get there no problem. TRAVIS: Scan, and I will hold– Am I in melee with him? MATT: You are there, yeah.TRAVIS: If this motherfucker so much as twitches, I’m holding two swipes with Star Razor. MATT: You’ve got it, okay. Finishing Fjord’s go, Veth, you’re up. SAM: Bonus action, will cast Brenatto’s Voltaic Bolt at 3rd-level and charge up the bolt. Not going to use it yet, though. Instead, I don’t know what they look like, but I imagine a silhouette I can figure out. So with the burning house behind Caleb, I’m going to have the silhouettes of what I imagine his mother and fatherto sort of look like, appear flanking him and just sort of pointing, pointing at Trent Ikithon. TRAVIS: Wow. SAM: With Silent Image. MATT: Okay. Okay. LIAM: Got me.MATT: Finish your turn, Veth? SAM: Mm-hmm. LIAM: Fucking got me.MATT: Caduceus, you’re up. TALIESIN: I’m going to–LIAM: Sniper. TRAVIS: Yeah.MARISHA: (groaning) TALIESIN: I’m going to slowly walk towards some of this. I’m going to cast Heal on Fjord. And who’s unconscious?LIAM: Eadwulf.TRAVIS: And Spare the Dying. I’m going to get close enough within 30 feet of– MATT: He’s within 30 feet, yeah. TALIESIN: And Spare the Dying. No more death saves. MATT: You got it. TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s it for now.MATT: Okay. LAURA: I don’t think you can do both. TALIESIN: Bonus action– MATT: As a grave cleric, he cancast Spare the Dying as a bonus action. TALIESIN: Spare the Dying at range, bonus action as a cantrip.LAURA: Badass! MATT: Grave clerics need more,they’re a little under-powered.TALIESIN: It’s the bumper bowling.(laughter) MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: All right. Essek is going to glide over on the other side of Caleb, staying behind Beauregard. And– He’s going to attempt to cast Hold Person at 5th-level on Trent. Trent has advantage. That’s insane.TRAVIS: Say it. MATT: So, Essek’s DC is 19. Trent has an advantage on the saving throws.Rolled a three and a five, but he has a plus 10 wisdom saves. So he still fails.SAM: Nice! TRAVIS: 15, with a three to five, that’s crazy. MATT: So as Essek glides over, “Stay down.” Puts his hand out and as he closes his fingers, Trent’s body just tenses and pulses, like it’s all the muscles just slightly taught and folding inward. And he’s paralyzed for the time being. Beauregard, it’s your turn. MARISHA: I am just fully perched on Trent Ikithon’s chest. Still pinning him down, a knee dug into his shoulder, still holding onto the collar just– (blowing)(laughter) Trying to dry the glue. And– LAURA: He’s like, “Why are you blowing on me?” MARISHA: Yeah.(laughter) SAM: Your breath stinks like wine!MARISHA: Your morning breath, ugh. And I– I– Huh? TALIESIN: Do we have to click the buttons? LAURA: How do you activate it? MARISHA: That’s a Caleb situation. SAM: We don’t know how to activate it. MATT: Somebody has to attempt an arcana check to activate it properly.MARISHA: And I’m just going to rear up my fist and just same thing. If he does anything, I’m ready to punch his lights out. MATT: Okay, Ikithon’s turn. He can’t do anything because he’s paralyzed now. He’s going to attempt to save at the end of his turn from the paralysis. Yeah, he saves. (grunts) His body laxes for a second. That’s the end of his turn. LIAM: Yeah. MATT: But you can see his fingers twitching, like he’s currently glancing up from the ground at all of you and he’s doing calculations in his mind and he’s currently going through backup plan, by backup plan, by backup plan, by backup plan and he’s got perhaps a few things up his sleeve.Finishing, then it goes to Yasha. ASHLEY: Okay. MATT: You’re still– (whooshing)ASHLEY: I will float down. I’m going to stand over him and put my boot on his junk. I’m going to stand over him and put my boot on his junk. MATT: (pained grunt) ASHLEY: Because I do not like howhe talked to me the first time we met. I’m going to put the tip of the sword in his chest.Just so a little blood trickles out. MATT: Okay. ASHLEY: I’m not going to do anything, Caleb, but if you try to do anything, I will kill you.” MATT: Okay, is that your turn? ASHLEY: That’s my turn.MATT: Caleb, you’re up. LIAM: I step on his chest, kneel down, bend over and activate it. MARISHA: Come on. MATT: Roll an arcana check for me. MARISHA: Come on, Caleb. LAURA: Oh, I wish I was there! LIAM: Fuck, low roll. 15. SAM: You have a mote? LIAM: I don’t.I don’t.SAM: Damn! MATT: With all this planning and preparation for the device, in this moment, there’s something about this not activating. Your confidence begins to falter in your face as you begin to fumble with the device and you see that look of fearin Trent’s face begin to shift. That finish your turn, Caleb? LIAM: I will also say: Veth, if you have any more of that glue, get his hands. MATT: All right, that finish your turn? LIAM: I will stay with my foot pressed on his chest. MATT: Okay. MARISHA: So we’re all holding actions as soon as he tries to do anything, right? LIAM: Yeah.MARISHA: A few of us.MATT: As you have your hands on the device a second set of hands comes and pushes yours aside, as Astrid begins to bend down.MARISHA: (gasping) MATT: Natural 16 plus eight.(gasping) The side that you’re holding, she glances over and finds one trigger that had come loose. She presses it back into place. Squeezes your hand and at once, you hit both sides of the red gem that you had embedded as the power source(buzzing) flickers on with a buzz.MARISHA: Watch your fingers.MATT: And Trent suddenly goes like, (choking) LIAM: You were always better atsolving problems than I was. MATT: And we’re going to take a break. (cheering) MARISHA: Oh shit! SAM: Matthew Mercer!TRAVIS: Dude! Dude, the fam! Conjuring the parents in front of the house! MARISHA: Oh! That was awesome! TRAVIS: Are you nuts, are you nuts? TALIESIN: I did not see that coming.LIAM: I did not! ASHLEY: I did not see it coming like that.MATT: We’ll be back here in a few minutes to pick up from that moment and see what transpires thereafter. See you in a minute. Narrator: Dark Lords always seem to threaten the world. This time, that threat becomes real. Your fantasy world actually gets destroyed, as it becomes another Planet Apocalypse! A unique new product for 5th edition D&D. The Planet Apocalypse book provides rules and guides to turn any fantasy world into a post-apocalyptic landscape where the heroes fight alongside surviving remnants to merely stymie the fiendish hordes. This 350+ page tome includes new subclasses, new feats, new spells, new magic items, three adventures, a complete guide on what it means to bring the apocalypse to your fantasy world. 15 Arch Lords whose Shadows literally manifest their own hells and a bestiary boasting more than 70 monster stat blocks! I’m Sandy Peterson.And many years ago, I did a series of video games about hell rising up into a science fiction universe. Just last year, I did a board game called Planet Apocalypse about hell rising up to threaten the modern Earth. I have always been interested in fantasy role-playing and obviously apocalyptic themes. I did a game called Cthulhu Wars in which Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones rose up to destroy the world. So, it was a natural fit to take my Planet Apocalypse theme of hell on Earth and apply it to fantasy role-playing. Now, we’ve all played plenty of campaigns where there’s a big bad guy who’s threatening the world. Some of us may even have played in after the apocalypse campaigns. But what if we had a campaign that wasn’t after the apocalypse in which the big bad guy wasn’t threatening to destroy the world, but in which he was actually destroying the world. That’s what Planet Apocalypse for fantasy role-playing is about. There’s a lot of different ways you can use it.You could, for example, use it to destroy your campaign world. Maybe you’re planning to go to a new campaign, this is a great way to give a wonderful sendoff to your own world. Maybe you just want to menace your world with the threat of it being destroyed and maybe let them be destroyed if the players screw up. This is a good way to do that. Or maybe you just want to add the new features in Planet Apocalypse for fantasy role-playing to your campaign, because it has a lot of features. It’s nearly 400 pages, full-color, hardcover book of top quality, with new character classes, new spells, new magic, more than 70 new creatures and new cosmic way things work. And all of this is set up so you could, if you want, destroy your world.There’s even showing you how to do a campaign. There’s even 3 scenarios set up to let you set up the world and let it be destroyed in the most interesting and exciting ways for your players. You can use these however you want to bring the apocalypse to your players. I think this is one of the most exciting and different approaches to role-playing ever done. And it’s here for you now! (eerie music) Narrator: This is everything you need to know about our terrain in 60 seconds.We hand sculpt our pieces for maximum detail and artistry, infusing passion into every millimeter of our work. Everything is available, beautifully hand painted so you can start playing right away. Or you can choose unpainted to paint everything yourself. Our pieces are completely modular so you can use the same sets to create a new adventure every time. We create everything out of Dwarvenite, our top secret PVC formula, that’s nearly indestructible. We pack our pieces with as many features as possible, such as swappable LEDs to quickly change the look of your scene.We offer magnetic accessories to add flavor, or increase the danger. A one inch tactical grid is sculpted into our floors. We offer a range of environments including: Dungeons, caverns cities, castles, sewers forest mountains, streets, burrows, ice and hell scape. And that’s just the beginning. That’s everything you need to know about Dwarven Forge in 60 seconds. (epic orchestral music begins) (intense rock music) Hey critters, Laura Bailey here.Let’s see what’s up in the Critical Role shop. The cuteness, it’s overpowering! I mean, seriously, look at this thing. You’re only like five clicks away from owning this. Maybe more, If you have a lot of windows open on your browser, I don’t know your life. This is, this is a lot of stuff, you guys, we have like so many cool things right now. So click on over to the Critical Role shop. Don’t worry, there’s a few more minutes in the break. You’ve still still got time. MATT: Hey, I’m jumping in here to also bring in a big, special thanks to a handful of people who helped me put together the final aspects of these encounters, and the epic climax of Campaign Two. Big thank you to Russ Charles andMat Hart of Steamforged Games for working with me to sculpt andpaint the Lucien boss minis you saw over these past two episodes.I could not have sculpted them anywhere near as good or customized them, and Mat was so nice to paint them for me, because I couldn’t rightfully, in the middle of a pandemic, when we’re always home with my wife, paint these things without her seeing it at some point, and spoiling shit, so big thank you. Check out their wonderful work at Big thank you to Mats by Mars, who does a lot of our maps, most of them you see out here, the mats that I unroll and use for the base of a lot of battlefields. They custom made this mat for me for this battle, and so a big thank you to Mats by Mars. You can go to matsbymars.comto check out their work. And a huge thank you for Colm McGuinness, fantastic music composer, who customized not one, but two battle tracks specifically for this fight, along with, you know, swell cues for victory, the intro piece, we went back and forth with music, and he’s just incredible, and I love it so much.So thank you so much to all those wonderful people. Please check them out, and yeah, thank you for joining us for this crazy night! Subscribe or don’t subscribe. That’s not a question. Well, that is nobler in the mind to ponder the pros and more pros of Twitch or Twitch prime. Or to take hands and gift new subs to critters who find they can’t afford them. To play, to sleep. No more. And by asleep to say the cast and crew of Critical Role might find their naps around the hectic schedule of a live broadcast, that we have brought for your consumption, both critter and fan alike.To play or sleep, no sleep, but just to stream. Aye there’s the rub. For with your subscription what streams may come. Oh man, oh man, oh man. That is a fucking tagline. Did we got that? Oh, that is Twitch poetry. (grunts) Oh, anyway. Subscribe to Critical Role. Use Twitch Prime to subscribe, gift some subscriptions. You, you got it. Wrong soliloquy for the the skull, but that’s fucking good. (joyful classical music) MATT: And welcome back. So, the device activated, the collar triggered, and permanently adhered to the neck of Trent Ikithon. He lies there on the ground, arms and legs slightly bent, breathing, (choking) LIAM: Veth, squirt a little more on his palms. SAM: I’m happy to, although, Jester, you’re a– TRAVIS: Sovereign glue, the sovereign glue on it. SAM: — you’re a better painter than I am.Could you do the honor? Maybe little dicks? LAURA: Oh, that’s lovely. SAM: And then smush them together. LAURA: I’m going to hold his hand and look at him in the eye while I draw a really just not good dick straight in the palm of his hand with little spurts on each finger. (laughter) MATT: He can’t speak, but his eyes roll heavily in his head. LIAM: Yasha, I need you to hold his wrists together until it sets. MATT: Oh, it sets instantly. SAM: It sets in 60 seconds. MATT: Or, yeah, sorry, seconds, my bad. ASHLEY: I grab them and hold them together. Just look him in the eyes. LIAM: And while we wait, I get down close. You know, for the longest time, I thought this would be impossible.But I still dreamed about it, of taking your life. But death is too good for you. You are to be exposed, humbled, and brought low. Settle into that idea. MATT: You feel his voice peer into your mind. Which is not an unfamiliar thing for you, whether it be through a sending spell or what you would probably be aware of from your time training with him. But one of his objects allows him short range telepathy. LIAM: Mm-hmm. So wordlessly looks into your eyes and says, “See? “You aren’t a failure. “Now… “finish the job “and fulfill your destiny.” LIAM: Am I able to– if I know about that item on him from our past, can I dispel that? MATT: You can. It’s a ring on his right hand.LIAM: I do so. MATT: Okay. LIAM: 3rd-level.LAURA: What did you just dispel? LIAM: Still whispering in my ear like an adder. I’m tired of the narrative. MATT: Astrid has been spinning the blade in her hand and walks up, or is actually now still standing aside the two of you, and just goes, “Can I, Caleb? “Can I? “Please.” LIAM: This is just the beginning of this very hard road. Hold that thought. Could somebody get Eadwulf? TRAVIS: Oh, yes. LAURA: Oh, yeah, I’ll go over to Eadwulf, and I will cast, yep, Cure Wounds at 3rd-level. MATT: Okay. LAURA: Do you see how much this is happening? SAM: Yeah, it’s crazy.LAURA: Oh, never mind, I don’t have any 3rd-levels left. I’m going to cast it at 4th. MATT: All righty. LIAM: Neither of us are going to kill him. He wants us to eat each other like animals. Astrid, we are going to dismantle it all. I look at Beau. MARISHA: If you kill him, you only make him a martyr. MATT: “You don’t know what he’s put us through.” MARISHA: You’re right. I don’t. But I want to. MATT: “Then I’ll tell you in time.” MARISHA: Let me– let me write down your story. I can help you. LIAM: Wulf. LAURA: He’s got 20 hit points back. MATT: Okay, gotcha. LIAM: We can finally do what we thought we were doing in the first place. MATT: He gets up. (grunts) LIAM: We can make this Empirethe place we believed it to be.MATT: You’re saying this to Eadwulf? LIAM: Mm-hmm. MATT: He gives a turn of his head, shakes his wrists out. “You’re welcome to. “I don’t know if politics is my interest anymore. “But please.” MARISHA: If that is your choice, Eadwulf, I would suggest that you run far, far away. MATT: “Yeah, fair enough.” MARISHA: Find a spot on the other side of the globe and don’t ever fucking return. MATT: Roll an an intimidation check. With advantage. MARISHA: 11. MATT: With advantage?MARISHA: Yep. MATT: Okay. He goes, “Very well.” TALIESIN: (loudly) Before you go–a booming voice comes out.And Clay who has been casting a spell for the last minute turns around with deep black pit eyes. The Matron has special destinationsfor people who burn temples. So why don’t you put your back into this? And I go back to having conjured a couatl to putting out the fucking fire. MATT: Mm! TALIESIN: So. MATT: Fair enough. He goes, “Mm, right.” And he begins to– what can he do? TRAVIS: What can you do, Eadwulf? I Control Water from the pond. Look what I’m doing. (laughter) MATT: He looks at that, looks over at you. “Do you have a bucket?” TALIESIN: If they’re still working, yes. MATT: He shields himself and darts into the house which is now maybe about a third of its exterior covers in flames.LAURA: Oh no. MATT: Thatch catches quickly. LIAM: I turn to Fjord: Don’t let her kill him. And I start using Control Flame to put out swatches of fire on the home. MARISHA: I’ll stay behind with Fjordand watch Astrid as well. MATT: Her blade’s still in her hand, and she’s just looking down at him. Her jaw’s clenching. She spins the blade in her palm, looks at Fjord. MARISHA: Astrid, these institutions of power that go without being checked, they reside in secrecy. They are breeding grounds for corruption. If you kill him, it’ll just look like another senseless act of violence without any recourse. If we expose him, he is raked across the coals of the court of the public. The only way to keep from these cycles of abuse from continuing to happen is to tell the story. TRAVIS: Just so you know, I think you should kill him. But, I don’t think you care what I think. I think you care what he thinks. LAURA: Plus, I’m at a distance readying Polymorph just in case she tries anything.MATT: I would like you both to make persuasion checks. MARISHA: Me and Fjord?MATT: Yeah. MARISHA: All right. MATT: As she grips the blade tight in her hand. SAM: Double switch. MARISHA: Dirty 20.SAM: Dirty. TRAVIS: Dirty 18. MARISHA: Do not make him the hero of your story. MARISHA: Do not make him the hero of your story. MATT: She lifts the blade and throws it to the ground with all of her strength and– (screams) just screams and storms off and falls to her knees and just crumbles. LAURA: I was real close tomaking her a turtle just then now. SAM: Still can. TRAVIS: Why a turtle? Why a turtle? LIAM: (high-pitched noise) SAM: (whooshing) LAURA: I just go instead and I’llkneel down in front of her. And I won’t say anything, but I’m just going to put my hand on her shoulder and be there with her in silence. MATT: She’s shaking. Her teeth are gritted. You can see the tears and the mucus and the spit all just mixing, and she is just punching her fists into the ground one after the other.Her eyes wide and tense with fury. And you can just see the seething years of pain and anger all coming to a head at once. LIAM: I come out of the building once it’s extinguished with Eadwulf by the hand and pull him down and kneel in front of her as well. And holding his hand and tapping my forehead to hers. I am so sorry for what you’ve both been through. I loved you both so much, but what we believed in… was a lie. And it still is. And now we must be strong. Now.MATT: She pulls back, wipes her face off, grabs Eadwulf’s arm and pulls him away from you. And they just start walking away. LIAM: Find me when you need to. MATT: You see Eadwulf look over his shoulder a bit. And the two of them just disappear into the opposite side of the grove. Just passing by the Clay family who has begun to approach back from where they were keeping safe, and you can see Corrin pokes out. “Is it safe now?” TALIESIN: Yeah, we have a lot of work to do. MATT: “Oh, dear, yes, we do.” And immediately they one by one start rushing up and helping take water from the pond and begin, with your various skills at your disposal, helping to eventually prevent the flames from entirely consuming the structure. It does sustain a fair bit of damage, but to a level that can be repaired over time. TALIESIN: About an hour down the road, half an hour, just the two wizards get side-eyed by a purple tiefling who’s walking down the road the other way back to the Grove. Both just eyeing each other. Keep walking.MATT: They quicken their step. As this is happening, Trent is still just sitting on the ground, hands bound. ASHLEY: I still have my blade in his chest, just standing there. MATT: He’s just smiling. ASHLEY: Oh! MATT: Like a weird, sick calm on his face now. ASHLEY: Hey, you lost. Oh, what’s that? Mm? Oh, I can’t hear you. How sad for you. MARISHA: I resist the urge to make out with Yasha and look at Caleb. I’m sorry for the road we’re about to walk down. I hope you know there will be a certain point where if Astrid and Eadwulf are not with us, then I don’t know how much protection we can offer them. LIAM: I know. And if we peel all the layers away from this onion, I… I end up on the chopping block as well. But it’s still what we are going to do.MARISHA: I don’t want that to happen. LIAM: Either way. MARISHA: Once we start pulling on this thread, you know what that means, right? LIAM: I’m with you, Beauregard. MARISHA: I just pull out one of the blank journals that Caleb grabbed me from Aeor. Let me know when you’re ready. LIAM: Day or two. Let’s get him back to your halls. MARISHA: You know, we’ll start with Ikithon. Ludinus terrifies me. LIAM: This was the appetizer. TRAVIS: The Cobalt Soul is going to hold Trent Ikithon? MARISHA: I don’t know. I’m sort of making this up as I go along. TRAVIS: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.LAURA: I’m just going to put earmuffs over Trent’s ears. I just don’t want him to know everything. MARISHA: Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. ASHLEY: I just lean on the sword. LAURA: Oh, ow, that would hurt really bad. ASHLEY: Yeah, I think it would just a little bit. TRAVIS: How long– Sovereign glue is like– LAURA: Forever. TRAVIS: Uh-huh.MARISHA: We go straight to the top, we go to Yudala. We don’t fuck around with anybody else. And we have to keep the fact that we are breaking this story secret. If anyone catches word, there’s going to be a lot of people who want to keep their interests safe. LIAM: Well, you will have my story, and I have some hope given a little bit of time that the other two will come around.MARISHA: I hope so, too. LIAM: Mighty Nein, you are truly amazing. Thank you. And he just sits on the ground and deflates. TRAVIS: I’ll turn and at 5th-level, I’m going to cast Create Water in a 30-foot cube above Caduceus’ house, that just creates a 50 gallon torrential rain above it. And I’m going to say: Jester, will you come over here? LAURA: Oh, yeah– Oh, his hair was so gross, Fjord. (gags) Yeah, what can I do? TRAVIS: Standing in the rain, I turn to her and I say: I love you too. Then I kiss her. LAURA: I make sure my hands are not touching him, but I kiss him back. (laughter) TRAVIS: We’ll help with your house. TALIESIN: Thank you. Just one second, I’m curious. Mind if I talk to your friend? LIAM: If he’s able to respond. Seems a little tight-lipped at the moment. TALIESIN: Do spells still work? LIAM: Dispel?TALIESIN: Do spells still work? TRAVIS: Du Hast.LIAM: Sure. TALIESIN: I’m going to cast Bane. MATT: Okay.TALIESIN: Does it work? MATT: Yeah, he is baned.TRAVIS: Oh, wait, are we treating him like a test dummy? Is that what we’re doing?TALIESIN: No, no, no. TRAVIS: We’re not? Are you sure? MARISHA: Got some new spells. TRAVIS: There’s some shit in here I’ve never, ever done. TALIESIN: I have decided to take this thing that you have done to me and my family as a opportunity to teach a lesson. I don’t know if you can truly understand what I’m feeling right now, if you have the imagination for how much hurt this is. But I would like you to empathize with me, and I cast Command. Empathize. (laughter) TRAVIS: One word.LIAM: Wow. LAURA: Feel it all. MATT: He just smiles back.TALIESIN: Empathize. Command again. MARISHA: Wow, I’ve never seen Caduceus this pissed. TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: Just keeps grinning back at you. TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: How many spell slots do you have left? TALIESIN: Let’s see.That’s a good question. SAM: Day 13. (laughter) MATT: That’s four 1st-level spells at least you cast. Succeeds on that one, too.TALIESIN: One, two, three, four. Empathize. MATT: Okay, he succeeds.TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: Succeeds, natural 20.TALIESIN: I’ll keep going. TRAVIS: I put my hand on Caduceus’ shoulder, and at 5th-level, I cast Command and say, “empathize.” MATT: So what’s the 5th-level one do now? TRAVIS: The 5th-level save’s 18.LAURA: Just again, another one.LAURA: Just a higher level. MATT: Yeah. Natural 20, saves again. (exclaiming) MARISHA: He is a sick fuck. TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: Saves. SAM: (laughs)LIAM: What a war of– TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: Huh?TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: No, he succeeds. TRAVIS: You got to respect it, it’s pretty good. SAM: He’s a dick.LIAM: Yeah, he’s a piece of shit. MATT: He succeeds.MARISHA: He’s a piece of shit. Wow!TALIESIN: Empathize. MATT: He’s got a high–TRAVIS: Energize. LIAM: Wow. SAM: While this is going on–TRAVIS: Master thighs. SAM: — I’m going to go into the woods and find my family. MATT: Succeeds. (laughter) MATT: How many more spell slots do you have? TALIESIN: This is the last one. MATT: Yeah, he succeeds. Just keeps grinning the whole time. LIAM: Caleb comes over and puts the– oh, no, go ahead. TALIESIN: No, go ahead. LIAM: Caleb watches Caduceus focusingand focusing and focusing, and I’m looking at his smug fucking face.And I come and I put the Manacles of Stasis on his wrists and use it at 5th-level to see if I can put this fucker to sleep for 24 hours. MATT: Okay, so what’s the save he has to make? LIAM: It’s not, you roll 5d8. I have to go over his current hit points. There is no save. MATT: But you don’t know what his current hit points are, so go for it. LIAM: Okay, but I’m casting it at 5th-level, so there’s going to be a bunch of dice, hold on. MARISHA: You want Yasha to do afew more little pokey pokes before–? ASHLEY: I’m still just here, just hanging out. LIAM: Somebody remember 35 for me. And then two, four, six, eight. Okay, eight, 16, 24. 33, 39, 41, 43. 43 and 35, 78.LAURA: Plus 35, 78. MATT: 78?LIAM: Yeah. TRAVIS: Du. ASHLEY and MARISHA: Du hast. TRAVIS: Du hast mich. MATT: That’ll do it. TALIESIN: As he slowly falls asleep, I just want him to hear: Well, don’t worry,we can try again tomorrow. (laughter) MARISHA: Amazing. MATT: That’s baller. I love it. TRAVIS: Whoa! MATT: I love it.TRAVIS: Don’t burn Caduceus’ house.MARISHA: No shit. TALIESIN: Not to dual wield, but also from about 40 feet away now: (as Kingsley) What the hell happened?! MARISHA: (laughs) TALIESIN: I left for like an hour and a half! LAURA: You missed everything! TALIESIN: Who were those people?! MARISHA: Oh, we had a coming home partyfor you, but you missed it. We party hard here. TALIESIN: Who were those– who’s that person? Who are you people? I don’t even know your bloody names. What is wrong with you? LIAM: You used to do this kind of thing with us. LAURA: That’s right, we never really introduced ourse- I’m Jester. TALIESIN: I need a drink. And I’m going to walk right by and find alcohol in whatever is left of that burning– I’m going to start digging for alcohol in the burning. MATT: How much alcohol is in the Clay family house? LIAM: Really strong Kombucha. MARISHA: You beat me to it, yeah. TALIESIN: Ah, none. MARISHA: None? TALIESIN: I didn’t need to roll, but I thought I would.No. He’s just going to grumble looking for booze for a minute. MATT: Okay. LIAM: Okay. TALIESIN: He brought the food, but okay, yeah. MATT: The fire has been put out. The smoke turns from black to white and slowly begins to dissipate as the majority of the Clay temple home has been salvaged. MARISHA: Wow. MATT: Trent Ikithon subdued entirely. What would you like to do? LAURA: Yikes. LIAM: So much.SAM: What a day. TRAVIS: Keep our guard up. LAURA: Yeah. TRAVIS: Work down the checklist. MARISHA: I guess first things first is patching the hole in the roof here. Don’t want it to rain on your heads. TALIESIN: Well, it’s not the rainy season. LAURA: Casting Mending as muchas possible, like on the ship. TALIESIN: There’s only so much Mending will do. LIAM: Tomorrow, I can fix it if I need to rest. LAURA: I am a carpenter, after all. TALIESIN: Well–MATT: Yeza steps forward and is like, “I can help wherever I can be helpful.” TALIESIN: Oh, that’d be amazing. Mostly it’ll be getting the earth healthy again, and we tend not to use magic for that, except in– during ceremonial purposes.LIAM: I can only help with the roof and the burning. TALIESIN: Roof and the building will be fine. And if anyone wants to garden, that’d be, uh– that’s extracurricular. LAURA: Do you have extra gardening hats for all of us if we want? MATT: Essek oddly raises his hand as well. “Why not?” TALIESIN: Welcome in. MARISHA: Beau just looks at Essek like– MATT: “I’ve never tried gardening.” MARISHA: You should wear those little rose printed gloves. MATT: “Do you have a pair?”MARISHA: Little visor.Maybe the Clay family has some. LAURA: I am painting him a little pairof rose petal gardening gloves. (laughter) MATT: “Thank you,” and he Mage Hands them over. “Thank you, Jester.” LAURA: You’re welcome. TALIESIN: And for your curiosity, almost every plant that grows within this place is unique and only grows here, so if there’s anything you feel the urge to poke or prod at, just ask. Probably a little bit of it is more than happy to stay in your possession.I know you like to tinker. MATT: “Thank you, I appreciate that.” TALIESIN: I’ll start tilling. ASHLEY: I’ll help, yeah. TRAVIS: It’s occurred to me that– I’m not saying that no one’s looking for us, but that was rather opportune. You could go home. SAM: We have the amulets. TRAVIS: It was Trent and the Volstruckers that were on our tail before.MARISHA: Yeah. LAURA: I think it was the entire Assembly, though, because Vess is still missing, and they know that she was with us. They think we killed her. LIAM: There could also be Volstrucker in play who are already working under orders. MATT: “Then maybe it’s best you clear your names.” LIAM: Yeah, we’ll help the Clays clean up their home. Bring our friend here in. And then the hard work begins. MARISHA: Yep. MATT: “Very well.” And with a deep breath, you all gather tools, materials, whatever’s at your disposal. And the repair project for the Brooming Glove, Blooming Grove. LIAM: Bloomin’ onion. MATT: Yeah, I know, it’ll happen. And the Clay residence begins. TALIESIN: (as Kingsley) That was rude before.Jester, right? I’m sorry, I was a little– LAURA: No, there’s a lot going on.TALIESIN: I apologize. Do you know where there’s booze? LAURA: Oh, yes. Veth always has a lot on her. TALIESIN: Which one’s Veth? SAM: Hi, over here. LAURA: The little one with the giant tots. SAM: You know what? MARISHA: (laughs) Tots. SAM: Thank you. TRAVIS: Tots. SAM: My name’s Veth, hi. MARISHA: Gimme your tots. SAM: This flask has some nice ros. It’s like a crisp, dry ros. And I think you should just have it. I don’t need it, so– I don’t– y-you take it. It’s little, but it will forever provide. TALIESIN: What do you mean “forever provide”? SAM: Just keep drinking and it will be there for you. TALIESIN: You know, I understood the notion of booze, but I’d never actually had any before till just now. You are now the best friend I’ve ever had. And I walk away. MATT: (laughs) MATT: Bit by bit over the following days, the Grove begins to return slowly to a semblance of its former self.The roof is patched, though not perfect. Over time it will find its way there. But over the better part of a week, some fine rest is had. Some continual bonding is found. And eventually you feel like you’ve– you’ve certainly done your deed in making up for the danger that you’ve brought to this space. And it’s about the end of the fifth day or so. As you’re all finishing up your meal in the house created by, honestly, a number of the Clay family helping him. (knocking) MARISHA: Are we expecting company? TRAVIS: We weren’t last time.TALIESIN: No. SAM: Mage Hand.MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah, I pull out my staff– LIAM: Check the windows.MARISHA: Oh, they’re brick. MATT: (creaking) The door opens and from the still relatively well moonlit night, you can see the shape of two figures standing in the door. MARISHA: Are they back? MATT: A larger male figure and a comparably smaller female figure. They’re both imposing in their own right. And it takes you only about a minute to recognize them to likely be Astrid and Eadwulf. MARISHA: Wow. LAURA: Hi. LIAM: It’s good to see you again. MATT: (as Eadwulf) “May we come in?” LAURA: Are you going to attack us? MATT: “Maybe.” LAURA: Okay. TALIESIN: Come on in, you missed all the hard work, anyway. I’ll put on a kettle. MATT: They step in and Eadwulf just stays by the door, still holding an awkward energy. A weird like, hey, what’s up? But just keeping his distance. Astrid comes in, pulls her hood back a bit. It was raining a little earlier and their outfits are still a little slick. And she just looks over towards you, Beauregard, and then Caleb, and goes– “I’ll help. “I’ll tell my story, too.” LIAM: Well, this just got a little bit easier, Beauregard.MATT: And so with that, you’ve acquired the assistance of two Volstrucker directly under Trent Ikithon. MARISHA: I just, at the ready, pull out my notebook. MATT: (laughs) Okay. So in the days finishing this, you can begin to put together your report. You can begin to take note, or multiple notes, if you will, of the accounts of those closest to Trent Ikithon.MARISHA: Beau organizes, it’s like a court dissertation. It’s like a full timeline. MATT: To what extent are you writing information? MARISHA: I’m writing down everything they say and top to bottom, if it fills a notebook over a period of days. And I interview them, and we take breaks, and then I interview them again. I get it all down.MATT: Okay. MARISHA: From the beginning. LIAM: Certainly the element of us being asked to murder innocent citizens of the Empire. MARISHA: It’s all important. MATT: You do note that both Astrid and Eadwulf make no mention in their– I don’t know what you would call it. Deposition? MARISHA: Yeah, more or less.SAM: Account? MATT: Their account, of any other members of the Cerberus Assembly. It is relegated directly to Trent, and only Trent. LIAM: So they have no information or no knowledge? MATT: Or if they do, they’re not– MARISHA: They’re not saying. They’re not willing to go that far.TALIESIN: Or they’re not saying the whole truth.MARISHA: Exactly. TRAVIS: I come in from outside. Exterior’s clear, just to let you know. Everything’s on the up and up. As you were. MARISHA: Patrol go good? Good.TRAVIS: Yeah. MARISHA: Right.TRAVIS: Camp David in this bitch. MARISHA: (laughs) MATT: Eadwulf goes, “Hey. “You’re doing a good job.” TRAVIS: Oh, thank you. As you were. LIAM: Caleb notes in that moment, despite Fjord being green, how similar they are in some ways. With our talking with them for the past few days, have we been able to– Is it obvious that they’re obfuscating or dancing around? MATT: Make an insight check.MARISHA: Can I assist him?MATT: Sure. You have to roll it yourself or he rolls twice. MARISHA: Assist. LIAM: It’s pretty good. It is a 26. MATT: 26 is very good. You can ascertain, and with your experience in some aspects of that political space, they are carefully pruning to exclude the names of other in-power members of the Assembly. LIAM: Mm-hmm. MATT: And you gather that taking down Trent seems viable because Trent is subdued and at your mercy. LIAM: Right. MATT: Why should they draw the ire of those who are nothing but a threat, should they call the eye upon them? LIAM: So we’re going to have to push for that on our own. MARISHA: Yeah, and aside, talking to Caleb: Does it matter? They don’t have to tell us– LIAM: What we already know.MARISHA: — what we already know.LIAM: The Martinet intimated quite a bit. MARISHA: 100%. This– This will save lives. I hope you know that. It’s hard to calculate how far this action could ripple into the future, but if we learned anything from the Somnovem, if these people in power aren’t kept in check, they’re hidden behind veils, it will happen again and again. LIAM: You know, all my mother and father wanted me to do when I was a child was serve the Empire. MARISHA: I think they’d be really proud of you. LIAM: We will serve the Empire. Okay. Maybe that’s enough for today. MARISHA: Yeah. We’ll take a break. TALIESIN: And if you’re on break, we have some tools back here and you can go out and help with the garden. MATT: They both look at each other. (as Eadwulf) “Of course, yes.” TALIESIN: You burned a temple. MATT: “Yes, yes.” TALIESIN: You’re going to have to start learning how to pay for the things you’ve done.No magic, get the tools, start working. MATT: Make an intimidation check with advantage. LIAM: Yeah, get out there, beefcake. SAM: Gardening intimidation.MATT: Yeah. MARISHA: Intimidation in spades. ASHLEY: I’ll come up.MATT: What’s that? TALIESIN: Nine.MATT: Nine. ASHLEY: I’ll come up behind Caduceus. MATT: They listen, but they don’t look shaken. TALIESIN: I’m not looking for shaken, I’m looking for– LAURA: As they head out the door, I’m going to hand them both giant sunhats. Protect your skin! It’s sunny! (laughter) MATT: They put them on.TALIESIN: She’s right. It can get real bright.LIAM: Oh man, A&E in sunhats, love it. MATT: It’s great, too, because it’s nighttime. SAM: I have these human skin-colored glove things that I made long ago, so here, take those to protect your hands. MATT: They have black leather gloves. “We’re fine.” SAM: Oh, okay, okay.Okay. LAURA: Where is Trent through all this? LIAM: Oh, we’ve been feeding him quinoa and mushy peas. MARISHA: Yeah, spoonfeeding him to keep him alive, yeah. ASHLEY: Yeah, I’m on Trent duty. LIAM: Yeah, and then we give him his manacles and his baba every night. MATT: He, for the most part, maintains his shitty grin and steely disposition, except around feeding time. He gets a little bitchy around feeding time. (laughter) LIAM: Oh, it’s lentils tonight.ASHLEY: Here you go! MATT: (groans) LAURA: I’m going to just give it a try. I’m going to walk up while he’s eating, while he’s got a mouthful of mushy peas. Empathize! TALIESIN: Oh yeah, I’ve been hitting him, randomly hitting him for days for fun, and that Bane, yeah. MATT: It’s odd. Even when you feel the spell cuts through, you can command somebody to take the action of empathizing, which means the attempt is there. TALIESIN: Yeah. MATT: But you require the capability to empathize to even be magically compelled to do so. LAURA: Wow.TRAVIS: Ooh. MARISHA: Shit bird.TALIESIN: Yeah. LIAM: Here comes the dragon attack! MATT: (mumbling unhappily) TRAVIS: Jeez.TALIESIN: Kingsley will hang with you when Beau is busy. ASHLEY: Sure. TALIESIN: On guard duty.ASHLEY: Okay. MATT: Okay. What’s next? LAURA: Do you go present this stuff? MARISHA: Yeah. Yeah, once we have it. LIAM: Yeah, we go back to Zadash and Rexxentrum and try to make the case, and see how wide we can take it. LAURA: How are we going to let them know everything that happened with Vess? How do we clear our names with that? MARISHA: As fucked up as it sounds, I think Caduceus has rubbed off on me a little bit, and maybe we just tell the truth.LAURA: Yeah, I think that’s a really good idea. We didn’t kill her, so. MARISHA: We didn’t kill her. Hopefully they listen, I guess. We won’t know more until we talk to Yudala. On top of that, I need to go and testify against Zeenoth. LAURA: Mm, oh gosh, right.MARISHA: I think that date is coming? Would I know, with the help of Caleb’s Keen Mind, roughly how far away?MATT: It’s a handful of weeks off, so it’s coming.MARISHA: Okay. TRAVIS: What happened to the book? TALIESIN: Which book?LIAM: The spooky book.TRAVIS: Spooky book.LIAM: That gave us eyes. LAURA: Maybe it’s in the Bag of Holding! TRAVIS: I reach in the Bag of Holding trying to find the spooky book. MARISHA: Yeah!MATT: You pull it out. (yelling) MARISHA: Oh shit! Oh shit!LAURA: Don’t look at it, don’t look at it! MARISHA: Exactly!TRAVIS: We’re fine. Come on, Grog! (laughter) TALIESIN: Skip to the end, skip to the end! LAURA: Maybe it wouldn’t be powerful anymore, now that the Somnovem are dead. TRAVIS: I mean, I ain’t fucking with it, I’m just saying maybe there’s a record of the Tomb Takers in Vess DeRogna’s handwriting and maybe something that could corroborate. ASHLEY: Do you want me to check, since I’m so mentally strong?SAM: Oh boy. Oh boy. ASHLEY: You know? MARISHA: You did get more wise, yeah, over that– uh-huh. TRAVIS: You could do the deadhead thing you did before, and then you could–LAURA: Oh, that’s true! TRAVIS: I’m talking to you, Caleb.LIAM: Say that again, because I wasthinking about the next thing. TRAVIS: You can close your mind off or whatever, yeah. LAURA: Mind bullets palace.TRAVIS: If you need to look for it, otherwise it’s just evidence. TALIESIN: What else is in that bag? LIAM: That’s a fascinating idea.LAURA: I don’t know. TRAVIS: I guess I could turn it inside out.LAURA: Put your hand in there and thing of something. TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, that’s more fun.MATT: You could. TALIESIN: I wouldn’t even– I’m going to put my hand in and think of something. MATT: What do you think of? TALIESIN: Something. No. MATT: It’s not a bag of everything. TALIESIN: Weapon. Sword. MATT: It gives you a dinged-up longsword. LAURA: Ooh, ooh, ooh! Booze. TALIESIN: Booze! MATT: Is there any booze thatyou placed in the Bag of Holding? LAURA: I don’t know, I was thinking maybe Lucien’s crew put booze in here. MARISHA: Probably a bottle of Lionett wine in there. TRAVIS: Yeah, there’s wine.LAURA: Oh yeah. MATT: A bottle of Lionett wine pops out.TALIESIN: I feel like I’ve already got this. MARISHA: Huh, hey. Cool. LIAM: Is your property in there, Fjord? TRAVIS: Oh yes. MARISHA: Yeah, we found that. TRAVIS: It is in there!MARISHA: Yeah. TALIESIN: Property? ASHLEY: Do you want a–? Do you want a sword? A weapon? TALIESIN: I mean, I’ll admit, I got a little worried walking up to the house that one time. It was a bit worrisome.ASHLEY: Here. TRAVIS: You want a sledgehammer? ASHLEY: I give him–TALIESIN: Look at me! ASHLEY: I give him Skingorger. TALIESIN: It might be bigger than me. LAURA: Oh, I’ve got– well, somebody’s got it. ASHLEY: That doesn’t make sense. LAURA: Inescapable Lash.TRAVIS: Yeah, the whip. LAURA: The whip.MARISHA: Ooh! LAURA: You kind of look like a whip– LIAM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.TALIESIN: Let’s find out. LAURA: — kind of guy.TRAVIS: Whip it good! MATT: (whip cracking) Yeah, it’s the whip. LAURA: It’s the most subtle little wrist flick. MATT: It’s a cool little whip. TALIESIN: I’m going to play. What’s it called? LAURA: The Inescapable Lash. TALIESIN: Inescapable Lash, thank you. MARISHA: King?TRAVIS: Requires attunement. LAURA: Yes, it does. MARISHA: What are you going to do from here, Kingsley? TALIESIN: I don’t know. You all seem like you’re sort of wrecks, that sounds like fun. Feel like I’m game for anything, as long as we don’t stick around here for too long. I mean, it’s nice, but it’s all I’ve seen so far. LAURA: You should totally see the city that I’m from, Nicodranas, it’s beautiful.MARISHA: It is very pretty. TRAVIS: Do you like the ocean? TALIESIN: I’ve heard of it.TRAVIS: You’ll probably love it.LAURA: You have to come with us to Rumblecusp! We could take him on a boat, right, to Rumblecusp? TRAVIS: Are we going back to Rumblecusp? LAURA: I mean, why wouldn’t we? It’s beautiful! We have the BeaureBar! MARISHA: I do have to check on the BeaureBar.LAURA: We need to go on vacation. SAM: The what? MARISHA: The BeaureBar.SAM: Oh, that’s right. MARISHA: I think you named it.LAURA: Our summer home! SAM: It’s such a stupid name.MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter) LAURA: Sorry, The Fucking BeaureBar.MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.SAM: Thank you. LAURA: Let’s go? We got to go clear our names so we can keep living, right? LIAM: I guess that is the first step. MARISHA: To Rexxentrum? TRAVIS: Yeah, we would be security detail around the Volstrucker.SAM: I’m out, guys, I’m sorry. It’s been a lovely few days, but my road’s done, my road’s at an end. We’re going to go off and just be together. TALIESIN: You’re welcome to stay here for a little while longer if you like, as well. SAM: Thanks, but I mean, I think, Yeza, you liked Nicodranas, right? MATT: “I mean, I grew up in Felderwin. “It’s a nice town that I have a fondness for, “but I think Luc really enjoys Nicodranas. “He enjoys the beach and being close to the water “and the colorful streets there, “made a few friends. “I kind of like the freshness of the atmosphere.”Who knows, maybe I can apprentice “at some sort of an apothecary or something.” SAM: Apprentice? No, we’ve got seed money; we’ll open up your own store. MATT: “Really?”SAM: Yes! MATT: “Okay, well, “I could use an apprentice, or a partner.” SAM: Well, I’ll work my way up to partner. First, I’ll learn the trade. LIAM: Don’t be so modest. SAM: And then eventually, when I’m ready. MATT: “I think the grace period “may be shorter than you expect, but sure.” SAM: Yeah, plus if you ever come home, we’ll see you. LAURA: And we have a detective agency we have to open. SAM: Yes. LAURA: It can be a dual sort of thing. We can use the apocethary– apothecary? SAM: As a front? LAURA: Yeah! ASHLEY: A pocket?LAURA: A pocket fairy. ASHLEY: A pocket fairy!LIAM: A pocket fairy, yeah.LAURA: (laughs) A puppy!ASHLEY: That’s so cute. SAM: Yeah. I’d love to– yeah. I’d just love to be together and do whatever. LIAM: This is not the end, though. Go home and build a home. If we don’t all end up in prison or in a hangman’s noose. LAURA: If we do, come bust us out though, okay? LIAM: That’s true. But that’s not going to happen. LAURA: I’ll send you a message.SAM: You’ll send me a message. If I get a strange, halting, cut off message, I’ll know something’s wrong. TALIESIN: I think I’m out, too. And the same goes. Send a message and I’ll be right there, and you’re always welcome. But yeah, I think it’s time. SAM: Yeah, why would you want to leave this place? It’s beautiful. TALIESIN: Not for a while, yeah. MATT: Some of the Clay family stands around Caduceus, Cornelius putting his hand on his left shoulder and Calliope placing her arm on his right.And it’s just a beautiful moment, seeing that family rejoined, rallied around him. But it doesn’t feel separate from the family that he’s made. LAURA: I go give Caduceus a hug. TALIESIN: Oh, I’m going to miss that. LAURA: Thanks for, you know, showing me how cool it is to actually heal people. TALIESIN: It’s not as cool as a giant lollipop. TRAVIS: Actually, I’ll join in that as well. I give you an enormous hug. Thank you for… everything. I wouldn’t be here like this without you. TALIESIN: You have nothing you didn’t earn. And yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. All right. ASHLEY: I go up and I give him a hug, too. Hey, do you– do you have any seeds? TALIESIN: Tons. ASHLEY: May I take some? TALIESIN: Of course, yeah. We have a little– I guess you’d call it a library? Just come in back, we’ve got a whole thing.ASHLEY: Okay. LIAM: Thank you for softening a skeptic’s eye. TALIESIN: Thank you for bearing fruit that saved everybody. SAM: Thank you for saving my son. And– TALIESIN: Thank you for the near-death experience. (laughter) SAM: Well, I’m good at that. I was supposed to give you this a long time ago, but the nice lady on Rumblecusp gave me a pink flower to give to you. TALIESIN: Aww. SAM: She said it represented your connection with the earth. TALIESIN: Oh, nice. SAM: Seems like you have plenty of flowers around here. TALIESIN: I appreciate that. This is– It’s a nice compliment, coming from the second best mother I know. SAM: So your mother’s the best? MARISHA: Don’t overthink it, Veth. TALIESIN: She’s also within earshot, so you know, don’t push it with the compliments. SAM: Thank you for everything, for taking care of us. TALIESIN: I can’t wait to see your son in a few years.SAM: Well, if he’s anything like his mom, you won’t see him till it’s too late. TALIESIN: You’re going to have a lot of problems. MARISHA: I just give Caduceus the tough guy fist to the shoulder. TALIESIN: I never got the, yeah. MARISHA: Don’t.TALIESIN: Okay. MARISHA: You’re not cool enough for it. TALIESIN: I know. MARISHA: Give him a little hug. All right. LAURA: Do you want this breastplate back? (laughter) TALIESIN: I mean, up to you, do you need it? LAURA: I mean, no. TALIESIN: Actually, do you need anything? LAURA: I need a lot of things, Caduceus. What can you give me? TALIESIN: I don’t know. Hold on one second. How would you like a new shield? LAURA: Ooh! Let me look at my shield that I have. TRAVIS: Careful, you might give it to her and she’ll just wear it and not use it.MATT: (laughs) LAURA: I’ve got a plus one shield, that’s all I have. LIAM: Gear redistribution. TALIESIN: Do you want something a little fancier that does– LAURA: Are you sure, Caduceus? You use your shield a lot. TALIESIN: I do, but it’s going to be a while. I’ll grab it back from you if I need. LAURA: Okay. TALIESIN: So I remove the green plates from it, and it’s a Shield of Retribution. LAURA: Thanks, Caduceus. I’ll trade you. TALIESIN: Good luck out there. LAURA: Thanks. Good luck here. MARISHA: We’ll make sure you’re not a traitor to the Empire. TALIESIN: I mean, honestly,I don’t really care, but thank you. MARISHA: I know. TALIESIN: They don’t know who I am. MATT: In the quiet, shaded corner of the room, you see a pensive Essek, arms crossed, just listening. MARISHA: You coming, hot boi? MATT: “Where? To the Empire?” MARISHA: Yeah, I see your point.LIAM: Is it any more dangerous than home? MATT: “It’s not any less, probably.” MARISHA: We’re heading to Rexxentrum. MATT: “Maybe it’s time I just found my way. “Really began my penance. “I’ve procrastinated long enough “in dealing with my sins.” LIAM: Maybe we can speak for you. We all know what you’ve done and sacrificed. If you’re on your own, then it’s just your word, but we are friends to the Dynasty. MATT: “You are welcome to speak on my behalf, “but I do not feel comfortable returning “to Rosohna.”At least not in– “Not the way things are. “Maybe I should return to Eiselcross again, “just keep to my station up there. “There are people that rely on me, “and if they do eventually come for me, “who would I be to deny them? “I– “I am so, so greatly thankful “that you’ve all “shown compassion for me “for what I’ve done, “and for all the things you don’t know I’ve done. “I’m scared to think of “what more I could have wrought had we not crossed paths. “I convinced myself I’d be alone for so much of my life. “It’s hard to say goodbye whenI don’t feel alone anymore, but… “I understand. “I understand and accept– “accept what– “what I’ve done. “Maybe I just need some time to think. “And I do hope we cross paths again. “Sincerely, it will be hard to keep you far from my mind.” LAURA: Oh, you won’t be able to.I’m going to send you a message every day. MATT: “I would–” LAURA: Don’t worry, Essek. MATT: “No. “I would honestly probably welcome it, “even when I’m pooping.” LAURA: (laughs) LIAM: We might be busy for a while, but if we don’t end up dead, you’ll hear from us again soon. MATT: “I’ve literally seen you survive worse. “What have you done? “This world was so much easier when it was black and white.” MARISHA: But it’s so much more beautiful in all the shades of colors.MATT: (breathes deeply) “Thank you, Mighty Nein. “I could never return the favor “for what you’ve done for me. “Well. “Good luck.” LAURA: Hugs! MATT: (sighs) LAURA: Yep! MARISHA: Oh, come here.TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. MARISHA: Aww, big group hug! MATT: Comes in for a group hug.LAURA: The old cinnamon roll. MARISHA: Yeah, yeah. MATT: The Clay family joins in, and he’s like, “Oh, gods.” TRAVIS: It’s weird though, because he’s hovering in the middle of the–MARISHA: Of the cinnamon roll. TRAVIS: We’re hugging his thighs. MATT: Yeah. LIAM: How are you traveling? MATT: “Probably the same way that “I’ve traveled with you before. “Maybe not to Eiselcross immediately, but– “Probably by ship.It’s safer. “Maybe spend some time in Uthodurn. “I hear the cupcakes are quite good there.” LAURA: Black moss cupcakes. MATT: “You had a friend there, right?” MARISHA: Reani. MATT: “Reani.” MARISHA: She’s a handful, but I think she’d do you good. MATT: “I think I learned how to handle handfuls.” MARISHA: Yeah. LAURA: Oh my gosh, you’re going to look so good with a flower crown. MATT: “What?”MARISHA: She makes great flower crowns.LAURA: Just wait.MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: “Maybe there are other places–“MARISHA: Don’t question it, just go. Shh. Shh. ASHLEY: Well, hey, as someone who’s been on a penance journey, don’t take too long, because connection is what saves us. MATT: “Too long for what?” ASHLEY: Beating yourself up over your sins. MATT: “I’ve a long life ahead of me if I’m “clever enough. “I hope the time comes.” ASHLEY: Me too. LIAM: Before he can go, I catch him by the arm. MATT: Mm-hmm. LIAM: And draw him in and give him a kiss on the cheek and then pull him into the most empathetic hug I can make him feel. Don’t be a stranger. Somewhat hypocritical coming from me, but try to be kind to yourself.MATT: “You, more than anyone, showed me “that trauma doesn’t define you.” LIAM: Stay safe. MATT: “You too, Caleb Widogast.” And he lets go and drifts out to the front of the grove, and is gone. TRAVIS: Well. SAM: Will you take me home? TRAVIS: Tonight LIAM: I’ll take you anywhere you want to go, Veth Brenatto. Where is home for you now? SAM: I think we’re going to go back to Nicodranas. LIAM: Can we visit you when we like? SAM: Always, yes. LIAM: Because it’s pretty easy for me now. SAM: I know, you’re very powerful, very smart. LIAM: Wouldn’t have been if it weren’t for you. SAM: Well. That’s not true. LIAM: We’ll have to get that kid into some books soon, you and me, okay? SAM: Mm-hmm, yeah, he’s got a lot of training to do. I’ll try to teach him as much as I can, but he’ll need magic lessons, too, so please come and teach.LIAM: I hope that’s not a joke. SAM: No, it’s not at all. LIAM: I would like that very much. MARISHA: You’d make a good teacher. SAM: A what? MARISHA: Caleb would make a good teacher. SAM: Well, yes. As his godfather, yes? LIAM: Let’s just see if the Empire doesn’t implode on us first, then we can see about that. Anyone want to go to Nicodranas? MARISHA: One night in Nicodranas? LAURA: And then off to the Empire. TRAVIS: One night with Trent Ikithon in Nicodranas? MARISHA: Ooh, do we haul his ass along? I guess we got to.LAURA: We have to. We have to take him wherever we go. MARISHA: Ooh, can we take a bunch of pictures with him on the beach, you know? LIAM: Weekend at Bernie’s him.MARISHA: Weekend at Bernie’s him, yeah! (laughter) SAM: We don’t have anything to put him in, right? We can’t put him in the– LIAM: I dangle the manacles. LAURA: Yeah. TRAVIS: We could wrap him up in some blankets and burlap and put him in a cart or a chair or something. TALIESIN: I have a basket. It’s big enough. LIAM: We can leave him in the tower, chained to a pipe, while we go enjoy the evening. SAM: Could you Polymorph him into a beetle for a while or something? ASHLEY: Can’t you put him in your–? LAURA: I think he would die in there.LIAM: He would die.ASHLEY: Well. LIAM: Yeah. (laughter) ASHLEY: Bag of Holding? Bag of Holding? LIAM: Hmm. SAM: It’s like an extra carry-on bag. MARISHA: Yeah, exactly, we’ll just–TALIESIN: I do have a basket. LIAM: We can absolutely do it. MARISHA: To Fjord’s point, we’ll wrap him in a rug or something. LIAM: Mm-hmm. LAURA: This is so fucked. (laughter) SAM: Poor guy.LAURA: He’s a really bad guy! LIAM: The cats can feed him his oatmeal in the tower. He’ll be fine. MARISHA: All right. SAM: Nicodranas, then? LIAM: Nicodranas. MARISHA: Bye, Caduceus. TALIESIN: See you soon. MATT: Astrid and Eadwulf just say, “Are we to meet you in Zadash “or are we to meet you in Rexxentrum?” LIAM: Come. Come, come.MATT: “No.” MARISHA: Rexxentrum, then. 24 hours. MATT: “Very well. “Thank you.”LIAM: Of course. SAM: And Kingsley, coming? TALIESIN: Oh, I’m coming.SAM: Okay, okay. LAURA: You got to see the ocean. TALIESIN: I’ve got to see a lot of things. I need a haircut. (laughter) LIAM: All right, hold hands, everyone. Here we go. TRAVIS: Do we want to throw some shit over Trent first? Where are we teleporting to? LIAM: In Nicodranas? How about the beach? LAURA: Or we could go straight to Veth’s home, it’s indoors.TRAVIS: Yeah.LIAM: It’s true. LAURA: Safer probably. LIAM: I mean, the beach is probablypretty safe as well, but. LAURA: But we’ll be carting around a basket of Trent.MARISHA: A body, yeah. MATT: Astrid goes into the side pack– SAM: That’s true, he can walk.LIAM: He can walk. MATT: Astrid goes into the side pouch of Trent Ikithon and pulls out a small fist-sized orb that has like a swirling silver mist on the inside and just takes it. LAURA: What is that? MATT: “This is how we’re getting home.” LAURA: Oh. Start digging in his pockets. MARISHA: Yeah, yeah.(laughter) MATT: No one went and checked what Trent had. LAURA: Ooh, I’m going to check his pockets like, whoa! LIAM: I’ll take whatever that ring was, mine.MARISHA: Yeah, the ring was dope. LAURA: Was it a spell ring that is stuck on his hands forever?MATT: Ring of Telepathy. TRAVIS: Ring of Telepathy. MATT: Ring of Telepathy.LIAM: I’ll just cut his finger off. MATT: Yep, so you have 120 feet range of Telepathy. SAM: You’re going to cut his finger off? LIAM: No.SAM: (laughs) ASHLEY: I will.MATT: He does have a Rod of Absorption, which he never had a reaction to use, but has 27 levels left on that, we can go into that some other time.MARISHA: 27 levels? MATT: Of spell levels that it could absorb.LAURA: Wow.LIAM: Cool, cool, cool. MATT: He was focusing more on counters. MARISHA: What the fuck? MATT: He also has a Ring of Warding. That’s how he created his little bubble shield. You can write these down and we can go back to them at some point. They’re not pertinent to this. As well as a Potion of Superior Healing that he never got a chance to use and his Boots of Flying, or Winged Boots, I think they’re called, one of the two.LIAM: Winged Boots. SAM: And they work even after being dispelled? MATT: He also has a Mantle of Spell Resistance. Write that down as well. MARISHA: Bye Caduceus, as we strip boots off of Ikithon. MATT: Yeah, the dispel isn’t permanent. SAM: Cool.TALIESIN: I’m going to miss this process. MATT: We can work with that after the game. All right, so you all travel back to Nicodranas for a night of partying and weirdness. We’re going to go ahead and start transitioning into the denouement period of this campaign.LIAM: Kay, kay, kay, kay, kay.TRAVIS: Gesundheit. MATT: So, as this narrative epilogue begins to kick off, we’re going to be going around and asking you or you telling me what it is that you still want to attempt to accomplish. It may become quick little role-play vignettes. It could become a narrative moment with challenges involved or no challenges. You can do it alone, you could ask people to join you. You could ask people if you want to join them, it’s your prerogative. But this is a period where we get to begin to visit the little things or big things that have been on the horizon amongst all this chaos that you have the time and the leisure to do. So, is there anything in particular you guys are hoping to accomplish while you’re partying in Nicodranas? TALIESIN: I’m going to buy somebetter shit and get a haircut because this is terrible.MATT: Easy enough to do. Yeah, yeah, you go ahead and get yourself pampered and taken care of by some of the finest sculptors of hair.TALIESIN: Get some nice boots, new things. Get the Justin Bieber that’s been going on. MATT: Old Edith catches up to you all and is excited to see that you’re back. She misses keeping watch on Luc here and there and is, “Are you all going out tonight?” SAM: Yeah, maybe, yeah, why? Yeah. MATT: Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out and dancing and I can still throw a rug and cut it. (laughter) SAM: Yeah? MATT: “Woo hoo!” Old Edith is going to party with you guys as well. (laughter) TRAVIS: Sure is.TALIESIN: I’m excited for that, actually.LAURA: Oh, oh, I immediately start walking around the house going Nugget, Nugget? (claps and whistles) Nugget? (claps) Come here, boy. (claps) MATT: (whoosh) LAURA: (gasps)MATT: You see appearing before you a nearly full grown blink dog at this point. Who is large, from ground to shoulder probably about three and a half, four feet and has all this slobber that’s dripping from the mouth and he has a really expensive cushion mostly chewed through in his mouth, going– LAURA: You’re so big! MATT: And just licks up your face as the cushion falls out of it.Immediately you hear two of the housekeepers of the Lavish Chateau come rushing down and be like, “Dog–! There he is.” LAURA: Scritch scritch scritch scritch. He’s like– (thumping, grunting)(laughter) You find one good area and he’s like– (thumping and grunting, poof) And then vanishes.(laughter) LAURA: I’m so glad he’s okay. MATT: Awesome. LIAM: I will probably, either alone or with company, stroll past the tower to make sure that Yussa has survived his return. MARISHA: Oh shit! Yussa! MATT: Towards the night? LIAM: Sure.MATT: Okay. So, after a bit of drinks and laughter and music and just blowing off this incredible amount of steam that you’ve all been building up over the period of this final aspect of your evening, you all recall: Yussa! You rush over to Tidepeak Tower. As you approach, you do see up towards the top, there is a balcony that has an open window, a domed window and you can see a warm light from within. So, it would seem at least somebody’s home and the lights are on.Eventually you knock on the door and there you see Wensforth, who is eager. “Of course, of course. “I imagine you here to see the master?” TRAVIS: (laughs)MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: “Come, come, he’ll be eager to say hello.” Leads you upstairs into the what was once the workshop, it seems to have been rearranged in the recent week or so to be a little more comfortable. There’s been some new furniture added, some new colors have changed and you see Yussa is currently sitting in this large comfortable chair with a small chalice to the side and is reading through a book. And as soon as the footsteps begin making their way up these steps– LAURA, ASHLEY, and MARISHA: Makin’ my way! MATT: I was waiting for it.Closes the book and stands up and turns. “Friends, I was hoping you were going to make your way here. “(sighs) “So, you did it.” LIAM: We are here. We did it. MATT: There is a– for the first time since you’ve really gotten to see Yussa, an expression of absolute elation come over him. It’s like an expanding of the chest and at the same time, a release to the body. “Well then, ’tis a celebration.” Goes and takes his chalice and holds it in a cheers and drinks from it and as he begins to drink, he makes a motion with his finger and you watch as bottles begin to just, off the shelf. TRAVIS: Sweet.(laughter) MATT: Drifting their way one by one as they’re Mage Handed down to a display in which you all have drinks poured and a cheers is made. After some time catching up Yussa, he goes, “I– it’s not that I didn’t believe you “with what you told me you were up against.”I just needed to see it for myself. “It’s one of the… “one of the great weaknesses “of the powerful and curious. “I’m… “I’m sorry that I put you in any additional danger, “but I am so very thankful that you found me.” LAURA: It all turned out in the end, right? TRAVIS: You’ve been an incredible ally to us. Saved our skins more than a few times. MARISHA: Yeah, sorry for bringing all this trouble to your door and stealing your teleportation forks and taking your scrolls and you know– SAM: Oh, I took this Blast Scepter as well, I think.MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: “I’ll take it back, thank you very much. “So, the Mighty Nein. “A group of heroic “knuckleheads, “who traveled beyond the realms “and destroyed an apocalyptic living city in the Astral Sea. “And no one is the wiser.” LIAM: The happiest of accidents. LAURA: Yeah.MATT: That’s a might shame. MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: “Interesting topic of conversationbetween colleagues, though.” MARISHA: Which colleagues? MATT: “Well, you’ve met some of my friends already. “In fact, I believe you owe a few items–” LAURA: (laughs) LAURA: Yeah.MATT: “– that you were lent.” LIAM: I have intended to return it in person. Are you suggesting that you could do that for us? MATT: “I could, but you can do it in person as well. “What I’m saying is, maybe there won’t be “celebration in the streets, not anytime soon.”But don’t think your deeds will go unnoticed “by those who matter. TRAVIS: It’s a small consolation, I suppose. LAURA: Yeah. MATT: “You may be surprised the friends “and fans you might make across Exandria “when word gets around of what you’ve accomplished.” LAURA: Ooh! MARISHA: I mean, we’re just a humble group of adventurers. It’s not why we’re doing this, you know.MATT: “Who’s this one by the way, I don’t think we’ve met.” MARISHA: Oh.TALIESIN: I’m just visiting. It’s really just, pretend I’m not here. MARISHA: It’s complicated.LIAM: Newest member of the band. MATT: “Welcome, and my name is Yussa Errenis. “This is my tower. And you are?” TALIESIN: I’m Kingsley and you are very rich. (laughs) This has been a bit intimidating. MATT: “Oh, smoke and mirrors.” TALIESIN: This is very nice.MATT: “Well–“TALIESIN: Could get used to it. MATT: “Stay as long as you like, the drinks are on me. “Come, there as much to celebrate.” As Yussa offers and guides you through a night of celebration within his tower, or if you would like to try and convince him to join you for a continued night on the town outside of it. LAURA: (laughs) MATT: That is your call, but– LIAM: I attempt to ask for the sphere back.MARISHA: (gasps) TRAVIS: Not a surprise at this point. MARISHA: That’s true.(laughter) LIAM: To do much of the same homework that you have done. And I don’t need to keep it forever. I just want to learn more. I don’t even want to go in it. MATT: “How about this?”LIAM: Yes. MATT: “We can study it in tandem.” LIAM: Pass it back and forth? MATT: “You can come here to study. “After all, to properly do so “you’d require a facility.” LIAM: That is true. I merely want to access it, I don’t want to take it away from you. We can look at it together, compare notes. MATT: “Very well.”LIAM: All right. TRAVIS: Plus, there’s an excellentfish market across the street. SAM: Mm-hm, mm-hm. ASHLEY: It’s true. MATT: “I’ve been there, it’s quite good.” LIAM: Yeah, strong smell.MARISHA: Great tacos.MATT: “Indeed. “Well, then we have an accord. “Good.”LIAM: Excellent, well. MATT: As the night carries on– SAM: As we leave there, I’m just going to thank Wensforth for all of his help–MARISHA: Aw. SAM: — and give him a nice kiss on the cheek. MATT: “Oh, well, I–” SAM: We barged in on you manytimes and it was very rude, so. MATT: “That’s all right.” SAM: Here, take a celebone. (laughter) TALIESIN: (Strongbad’s techno song) (laughter)MATT: “Thank you, “that’s very, very nice.” SAM: You’re a good goblin. MATT: “You’re a good halfling.” MARISHA: Veth, are you trying to sneak out? SAM: No, I’m just saying goodbye to Dobby. LAURA: On that note, I am going to try to sneak out. Ask Fjord if he wants to sneak out.TRAVIS: Yeah. LAURA: Come on, I want to show you something. TRAVIS: Okay. LAURA: I’m going to take him across town. It’s down the street from the Lavish Chateau. It’s where I used to sneak out to when I lived here. I’m going to climb up to the top of a water tower. MATT: Mm-hmm. LAURA: Come on, come on, come on.TRAVIS: Okay. We’re not going to get in trouble, are we? LAURA: No!TRAVIS: I don’t– I don’t know. MATT: I’d like you both to rollstealth checks for me, please. LAURA: I’m going to give him Blessing of the Trickster. TRAVIS: Thank you! What does that mean? MATT: You have advantage on it.TRAVIS: Good, better. TRAVIS: 17.LAURA: 15. MATT: What is it? LAURA: 15.MATT: 15? You feel pretty confident you weren’t followed necessarily. LAURA: Okay.MATT: Or at least noticed. LAURA: Look, you have to see the moon from up here. And I take him to the top of the water tower. This is where I used to come when I lived here and I didn’t really have any friends and I would dream about leaving the city. I would look out on the ocean and think about all the places I could go. TRAVIS: Did you ever scratch your name or doodle anything up here? LAURA: Oh yeah! And all on the other side, there’s a whole bunch of dick drawings. TRAVIS: Oh shit, you can see the evolution of the dick. LAURA: Yeah yeah yeah! TRAVIS: It becomes more refined with time. LAURA: Thanks. I wonder if I was ever sitting up here and saw your ship go by without even knowing? TRAVIS: I bet.Speaking of– I think I want to check in on Vandran. LAURA: Okay.TRAVIS: Yeah, I mean, I knew we were going to be successful and victorious and totally coming back, but I know that he’s happy and well, but… I– I have to close that chapter. Would you come with me? LAURA: Of course. TRAVIS: I don’t know if being onthe sea is of any interest to you or if you want to stay in Nicodranas because you can now and I would totally understand. That is my favorite place to be.I love it out there. And I feel like there’s so much that we could see and share and besides, fucking Darktow is out there and we spent less than one day on it. LAURA: (laughs) TRAVIS: That can’t stand.LAURA: That’s true. That’s true. I would love to go out there with you. I would love to meet Vandran. TRAVIS: We could make this our port. LAURA: Old Nicodranas?TRAVIS: Yeah. I mean, Damali was– I have some stuff I want to tie up there at some point, but this city really is beautiful. LAURA: I agree. There’s always a home for us here. TRAVIS: With your mom? LAURA: I mean, it’s free room and board, you know, somewhere to stay. SAM: (laughs) TRAVIS: I mean, I don’t know, maybe we… we could get our, you know, our own place. TALIESIN: (laughs) TRAVIS: I mean, only because sharing the financial burden would be a smart move in these post-Aeorian times. Just think about it, you don’t have to answer now. LAURA: (sputtering) I mean– TRAVIS: You know what, don’t say anything, don’t say anything, don’t say anything.No, no, no, don’t say anything. I cast Modify Memory. (laughter) Maybe just– LAURA: Yes. Yes. That sounds like a really wonderful idea. TRAVIS: Cool, cool, cool, cool. LAURA: (laughs) I’m really glad that everything happened the way it did. TRAVIS: Yeah, me, too. LAURA: I snuggle in. TRAVIS: There’s a lot of bird shit up here now, though. LAURA: Oh, well, come on, just– TRAVIS: It’s fine. No, it’s fine, I was just saying. LAURA: Don’t worry about the bird shit. MATT: (laughs) TRAVIS: We watch the moon. MATT: All right, you can justbarely see off on the distance, the outline on the night sea, the edge of the port, the outline of The Nein Heroez boat in dock. So– Unless anybody else has something they want to do here in Nicodranas for the night to finish it out. Who would like to be the first to begin to take the next step? SAM: As the night draws to a close, I’ll just say my goodbyes to everyone. Because I suppose you’ll leave in the morning. Yeah?MARISHA: Yeah.LIAM: Yeah. MARISHA: I don’t trust Astrid and Eadwulf. SAM: Well, good luck, I’m sure you’ll all do great and clear our names and everything. It’s been wonderful spending time with all of you. I know I’ll see you again. I hope I’ll see you guys. If you’ll come visit. Fjord, you know, either way. (laughter) I love you, buddy. TRAVIS: You, too. SAM: Yeah, Jester, when you come back, can you tattoo me at some point? One tattoo of Luc? Not the picture, not a picture. I think that’s too hard for you, no offense. LAURA: How– SAM: Well, I mean, maybe, I’m worried that it’ll be a little– LAURA: I’ll practice tattooing, okay, yeah.A portrait of a tattoo can turn out real bad. SAM: It could just be a word, too. That’s fine. LAURA: Just of Luc. LIAM: Not a full back of Luc’s face. SAM: Yeah, I just don’t want it to be like all– LAURA: But I can draw him really well. SAM: I know, I know–LAURA: Veth, here, no actually, I had something I wanted to give to you. SAM: Oh, okay. LAURA: I’m going to pull out a paintingthat I’ve been working on at Caduceus’ cemetery. It’s a painting of your family that you can hang above your fireplace, you know. I just–SAM: Oh, that’s so nice. LAURA: It’s really good. Is it really good? It’s really good, right? MATT: Make a d20 check and add your dexterity and– dexterity or performance. Your call. Hold on– (mumbling) It’s dexterity. Oh no! What if it sucks?! I swear she’s a good artist, I think.We’ll find out. MARISHA: It’s abstract if it sucks. TALIESIN: Such an interesting approach. LAURA: That’s a 15. MATT: 15? It’s pretty good. SAM: Hey, this is pretty good! (laughter) SAM: Wow! It’s really good. LAURA: I’ve been practicing. SAM: Yes, the shadows are nice, the proportions are right. LAURA: You know, I didn’t used to paint people, mostly. I would paint objects, you know. SAM: Ooh, and I’ll have fun hunting for any hidden features that might be–LAURA: There are definitely some. SAM: It’s not like magic paint. It’s not going to come alive and terrify us at night? Okay, cool, cool, cool.LAURA: Just regular paint. SAM: Well, thank you.LAURA: You’re welcome. But it is like one of those magic paintings where if you stare at it long enough and cross your eyes, you’ll see something else.SAM: You’ll see the space shuttle.(laughter) SAM: Well, we’ll see each other again. And I’ll just sort of excuse myself and just pull Caleb aside and just– You know, we’ve traveled a long road together, you and me and I don’t know what to say. I’m so proud of you, you know. When we met, we were in jail and– LIAM: At our lowest. SAM: Yeah. And also sort of trapped in our own funks of me and my body and you and your– your guilt. But you helped me and I’ll always be grateful. And I’d like to think that we helped you. I tried, we all tried our best to help you out of– LIAM: He just scoops her up and stands lifting her and gives her the biggest strongest hug that he’s able to with his measly strength and says: You are my best friend in this world.You found me at my lowest, and now we are here. You did that, Veth The Brave. SAM: We did it together and because this is the end of a chapter, if I may, I’d like to make a wish. I’d like you to– to finally step out of the cell that you’re in. You’ve been trapped by your past for so long. And… you know, we all– we all try to help you out of it, but there’s some locks that even I can’t pick. But you can, if you take the step and walk away from everything that you regret and all your sins, and realize how good a person you are, and how much you matter to everyone around you. You can have an amazing life. The past made you who you are, but it doesn’t control you. Because of it, you brought us together and because of it, we had this amazing journey together. So… yes, you’ve convinced me I’m brave, but you are mighty and you should go forth and be happy. LIAM: Well, you and the Nein got me to the door.Now I have to walk through it. I will, soon.SAM: I’ll watch. LIAM: Soon. SAM: Good luck. LIAM: I will take your halfling luck. SAM: I don’t need it. LIAM: It’s true. SAM: I’ll give him a kiss on his arm and a kiss on his chin. Well, get going. LIAM: I’ll see you again.SAM: I know. LIAM: Very soon. Okay, he shakes as he walks away. MARISHA: Chaos Crew! LAURA: Chaos Crew! TRAVIS: You three are doing different things. (laughter) LIAM: ‘Cause it’s the Chaos Crew. TRAVIS: Sync up on that. LAURA: Whatever way you want it to be. (laughter) MARISHA: All right. MATT: Okay. As the night brings to draw to a close and you all begin to find yourselves preparing for an evening’s rest. You, Kingsley, enjoying this new experience that is drunkenness that you swear you’ve heard so much about. TALIESIN: Captain? Captain, sir, sir, captain? TRAVIS: Aye, ahoy. TALIESIN: I heard you talking toJoy Buzzer, what’s her name? TRAVIS: Jester?TALIESIN: Jester. TRAVIS: Oh, yes.Joy Buzzer? I got to remember that one. MARISHA: I like it. TALIESIN: Shocking and comical. LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: You have a ship? TRAVIS: We do have a ship. TALIESIN: So, quick confession. For most of my life, I’ve wanted to be a pirate. (laughter) TRAVIS: Most of your life–? TALIESIN: Since I heard you had a ship. (laughter) TRAVIS: Right. TALIESIN: So, I don’t know if you need crew or something like that, or otherwise. I could learn, obviously. I think I can learn, probably learn. But Captain Kingsley, I mean not right away. TRAVIS: We’ll work on the positions. TALIESIN: Oh, I’m willing to work, but– TRAVIS: Have you any experience? TALIESIN: Yes. TRAVIS: Have you courage? TALIESIN: Probably. Don’t hit me.TRAVIS: Be on me crew. TALIESIN: Oh, that will do. TRAVIS: Of course, we’d love to have you. LAURA: I’ll give you a tattoo.You can be a real member. TRAVIS: Yeah, you have to bleed to get on the ship. TALIESIN: Oh, it shouldn’t be a problem. Clearly I have no problem with that. TRAVIS: Clearly. TALIESIN: Thank you, I– I’m looking forward to the future, and I hope I deserve to woken up surrounded by such people. TRAVIS: I’m excited for you. A lot of stuff can happen out there. LAURA: Ooh, I think you’re going to really like Darktow. TRAVIS: Yeah, you might actually need a pirate name. TALIESIN: I mean, Kingsley Tealeafhas a great ring to it, but sure.LAURA: Kingsley the Cutthroat. TALIESIN: Oh, that’s pretty good. LAURA: I’ll work on it.ASHLEY: Pirate King? LAURA: The Pirate King? TALIESIN: Ooh!(laughter) TRAVIS: The immediate disappointment!(laughter) (laughter) ASHLEY: I’m not the name person around here, you know.But I really like this idea for you. TRAVIS: Tealeaf Kingsley. MATT: It’s at this moment, Kingsley that you get rocked hard on the shoulder by a group of other somewhat drunken individuals that are just pushing through the streets of Nicodranas. After the impact he turns around, he’s like, “Who the fuck–?! “Zenny, Zenny are these–?” And they go– LIAM: Is it the bandits? MATT: “We are so sorry.” MARISHA: The bandits.TRAVIS: Are you serious? MATT: “We had no–” and they just go running. TALIESIN: You’ve a lot of nerve coming back here after what you’ve done! Is that right? ASHLEY: Yeah!MARISHA: Yes! TRAVIS: You’re going to make a great pirate. Are you kidding me? That was excellent. We need to get you a cutlass. TALIESIN: I don’t know, I’ve got some ideas. LAURA: Pirate with a whip.MATT: (laughs) TALIESIN: I don’t know, I’ve got something in my head. MARISHA: How imminent is this plan? Are you guys still planning on coming to Nico– Rexxentrum with us? We’re in Nicodranas, I’ve had a lot to drink. TRAVIS: Yes, I mean, that’s the security threat of all security threats. But once you’ve made your deposit, you two are the brains and the books and that might be it.LAURA: Yeah. Once that’s taken care of and I can let my mom know she can go home. MARISHA: Yeah.LAURA: That’s pretty major. MARISHA: I don’t mind tanking this legal battle. I think it’s going to be a little bit long and drawn out for a little bit. LAURA: All right. MARISHA: Courtrooms are boring. LIAM: Yeah, maybe just escort us back, spend a few days and then we’ll take it from there. MARISHA: Yeah. MATT: Okay.LAURA: All right.TALIESIN: I can stay and get the ship ready if you need. TRAVIS: Oh god, do we have crew here with the boat? MARISHA: Oh, Orly should still be with it. TRAVIS: Yeah?LAURA: Yeah. MARISHA: And I think– TRAVIS: Yeah, I’ll write them upa letter to take to the port to send to Orly with an introduction. LAURA: I’ll Send a message to Orly. Orly! It’s me! There’s a purple guy coming to join the crew, his name is Kingsley the Cutthroat. TALIESIN: (laughs) LAURA: Make him feel at home. And! We’re also going to join you. (laughter) MATT: “Mmm. “I was sleeping.” (laughter) MARISHA: Oh yeah, it’s like 3:00am, shit. MATT: “But I can’t deny the joy “of hearing your voice, Jester. “I’ll be keeping an eye out.” LAURA: I love Orly.MARISHA: Oh, he’s the best.MATT: Okay. MARISHA: So wait, you’re staying here? TALIESIN: I mean, I think so. I’ve got to get started on whatever this is, and, I mean, I thank you all, really, for my life, but I figure I better get to using it, and, uh, Angel– Yasha.ASHLEY: Yeah? TALIESIN: Not now, but in the future, I’d like to hear about your friend, later, once I– Once I know me better. ASHLEY: I would love that. TALIESIN: Thank you. ASHLEY: It’s nice to have you back. TALIESIN: It’s nice to be here. ASHLEY: You know what I mean. TALIESIN: I do. ASHLEY: I’ll see you around. TALIESIN: I’ll see you around.MARISHA: Kingsley? TALIESIN: Yeah, Scribbles? TRAVIS: (laughs) MARISHA: Scribbles, that’s great. You know, I’m the captain’s first mate, so it’s going to take you a while before you can get to, you know, my status, but I think in my stead, you know, just treat him with respect, okay? He’s earned every single bit of it. Do what the captain tells you, okay? TALIESIN: Oh, of course. Of course, of course. MARISHA: And here, on that note, I reach in and I grab my first diary that’s the full transcript to all my reflections of when I was with Molly, when we were with Molly. When you’re ready, don’t look at it now, but, this might inform you a little bit on who he was. TALIESIN: It’ll be a while, but I’ll take it.MARISHA: And I apologize for any insults or terrible things that I might’ve written in there, a little snarky, especially back then. We butted heads a lot. TALIESIN: Happy to keep reminding you, it wasn’t– I don’t remember any of that. MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, no, it’s good. TALIESIN: All right, thank you. MARISHA: I just hand him the book.MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: Well?LAURA: See you soon. TALIESIN: See you soon. I’ll start getting things ready. LIAM: So long, circus man. TALIESIN: Magic man. Looking good. Give him a little slap on the shoulder and a quick one on the butt and make my way out.(laughter) LIAM: Caleb enjoys it.TALIESIN: Perfect. MATT: Okay. As you begin to gather you things in the ensuing day, eventually you make your way to Rexxentrum.SAM and MARISHA: Makin’ my way! MATT: Arriving at Rexxentrum, carrying Master Trent Ikithon, one of the top members of the Cerberus Assembly in shackles and dick drawings. LAURA: He can’t see the dick drawings. They’re hidden.LIAM: He just– he knows. LAURA: Between his hands.MATT: Oh, just, he knows? It’s just his little secret? LAURA: His little secret! MATT: It’s his di-jazzle?MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughter) MATT: All right. And you bring him and your information to– MARISHA: (knocking ‘Shave and a Haircut’) Honey, I’m home.MATT: The Rexxentrum Archive? MARISHA: Yeah.MATT: All right.Quickly enough, the various archivists assemble and call forth the High Arch– the– High Curator, that’s what it was, Yudala Fon. As they go ahead and meet you in the familiar chamber where you’ve had previous conversations, says, “Right, welcome, Expositor Beauregard. “You requested my presence.” MARISHA: I’ve learned magic on my trip. Do you want to see?MATT: “Of course.” MARISHA: And I just open the basketthat we got from Caduceus that we put Trent in. Abracadabra, ta da! LAURA: Jazz hands.MARISHA: Jazz hands! MATT: “What have you done?” MARISHA: Let’s talk. MATT: And you do, and you inform Yudala Fon extensively of the corruption that you’ve uncovered, both within the Cerberus Assembly and within your experiences specifically with Trent Ikithon, detailing your story, and along with it, the written tales of Astrid and Eadwulf.Yudala Fon spends the majority of this time stunned, and stunned turns into tension, which then turns into focus, and you can see the look of an individual who is very, very keen on rooting out such terrible people. The initial shock and surprise of Trent Ikithon’s reveal turns into an extremely cold connection turns into an extremely cold connection as Yudala Fon looks to Trent. “Master Ikithon, “I, the High Curator, “find you in severe contempt of Imperial law, “but I cannot judge you independently. “The full weight of the Library of the Cobalt Soul “will stand to see you tried “for all the terrible things you have wrought. “Your tale will be marred and burned, “and the rest of your days will be spent in a hole, “I can guarantee it.” Their intensity fades back to the controlled emotions.”Beauregard, you’ve done well.” MARISHA: It was all of us. MATT: “Indeed, “but would you all also say “that this mind before you, “this Expositor, “was responsible for putting these threads together?” LAURA: Yeah, it was all her. TRAVIS: I don’t think it could’ve happened without her. LAURA: Yeah.ASHLEY: Scribbles. MARISHA: (laughs) LAURA: She’s kind of a genius. MATT: “So we are learning. “And thank you–“LIAM: She’s been connecting the dots ever since we met her. MATT: “And thank you. “Do you prefer Bren or Caleb?” LIAM: What you will. MATT: “Thank you, Caleb, “for lending your experience “to what will be a very damning account.” “to what will be a very damning account.” LIAM: If the cycle can be broken, then it will have been worth it.MATT: “With luck, this is just the beginning.” MARISHA: And with a little bit of misfortune, I think it is. I’m ready for it, though. MATT: “Then there is much work to be done, Expositor. “It’ll be hard, “it’ll be dangerous, “it will be grueling and disappointing at times, “but if you prevail, if we prevail, “then perhaps we can give hope to those “who cannot protect themselves from such tyranny.” MARISHA: I’m ready.MATT: “Very well.” In the following days, clandestine meetings are beginning to be held within the Library of the Cobalt Soul with other Expositors and Archivists trusted beneath Yudala Fon to begin the slow process, the careful process, of developing a new crew of investigators specifically to eventually undermine and dismantle specifically to eventually undermine and dismantle the Cerberus Assembly. MARISHA: If we need any subcontractors, I know a good detective agency. MATT: “Very good. “Perhaps we will be in touch in the future.” LIAM: I think with time, Caleb would also push– this is probably already wrapped up in what she said, but for the dismantling of the Volstrucker and the hopes of advising and establishing something new, something better.Wardens instead of judge, jury, and executioner. MATT: “That might be something “you need to take up with the Martinet.” LIAM: That’s a bit of a sticky wicket. MATT: “Well, he’s going to be made aware of this very soon. “Would you prefer us to be the ones to break the news?” LIAM: Come what may.MATT: “Very well.” MARISHA: Yudala, can you offer us protection in this time? Specifically those members who are not here, who might suddenly have a target painted on their backs? Anyone who is unknown. MATT: “You mean within this account, specifically?” MARISHA: Yes. MATT: “I’ll ask around. It should be able to be done.” MARISHA: Thank you. MATT: And with that, the task force is begun. MARISHA: (whispering) We’re buildinga task force! Task force! MATT: Trent Ikithon is then presented by the full force of the Library of the Cobalt Soul before the Crown and King Dwendal.He is shown for all the terrible things that he has done. No word publicly comes of what his punishment was, but privately, you know that he sits in the deepest and darkest dungeon in Rexxentrum, unable to talk or move his hands, force fed and left to think, and think, and think. Shortly thereafter–LAURA: Arkham Asylum. MARISHA: Yeah.LAURA: Oh no! TRAVIS: Take that.MATT: Shortly thereafter, you are met by the Martinet Ludinus Da’leth, who approaches you specifically, Caleb. “Caleb Widogast, it has been spoken of “in Imperial circles that you were largely responsible “for uprooting and deposing “Master Trent Ikithon.Is this true?” LIAM: I cannot claim the credit on my own. MATT: “You were once a protg of his, “and was to be trained as a Volstrucker, “then, of your own accord, “after a brief stay in a sanitarium–” LIAM: Brief. MATT: “– managed to get involved in quite a few things, “and, well, to be quite frank, “proved to be a sufficient if not exceptional “crafter of the arcane arts. “Is this true?” LIAM: To a degree. MATT: “Are you not partially responsiblefor the current peace “we now see between the Empire and the Kryn Dynasty?” LIAM: That is true. Myself and the Mighty Nein, the other eight and I, yes. MATT: “There is a vacancy now within the Assembly. “We have need of a proven, capable wizard “to take up the master’s mantle. “Join our ranks, an individual of prominence “who’s making a name for themselves, “who has proven to be useful to the Empire “and loyal to the ideals of the crown. “I’m extending to you the opportunity to become one of us.” LIAM: Oh my, what a flattering proposition.I do, unfortunately, have several other things on my plate and must regretfully pass on your offer. Good luck filling the vacancy, Martinet. MATT: “Hmm. “A shame.” And he leaves. LIAM: See you soon. MATT: He stops. Continues walking. It’s not but a few weeks before you hear word of the newly inducted member of the Cerberus Assembly, a familiar name, Master Astrid Beck.LAURA: Yep. MATT: Following in the footsteps of her previous mentor. The first Volstrucker to rise above her ranks and bring a different kind of capability to the eight. Beauregard, within a few weeks you are called to Zadash to preside within the King’s Hall under the judgment of Lawmaster Orentha Stonegrasp, overseen by the High-Richter Dolan Thrym. ASHLEY: I go where you go, baby.MARISHA: Thank you. I love you.ASHLEY: I love you. MATT: The High-Richter Dolan Thrymrecognizes you upon arrival and greets you. You recognize Dolan as the individual who you, him and his husband Horris– MARISHA: Yeah, we helped him escape the city. MATT: The event is also attended by the High Curator Loman Turray of the Zadash Archive of the Cobalt Soul, as well as the High Curator Yudala Fon. Expositor Dairon is the primary prosecutor on the behalf of the Library of the Cobalt Soul. Horris is also present. It takes naught but a couple of days. The arguments are damning, and when it eventually comes to your time to speak, there isn’t an unclenched angry fist in the house. Your father is brought to speak on the stand, and try as he might to defend his actions and the morality that he wishes to uphold and the reasoning, the good for his daughter, you can’t help but notice the shift in the power dynamic between the wealthy and respected Lionett family owner and the extremely respected Expositor Beauregard Lionett.Your father sees a brief stint of jail time, as well as some fines. MARISHA: As he walks out of the courtroom after being tried, and he’s being escorted out, I pop off my Expositor badge. MATT: Mm-hmm. MARISHA: And just palm it in his hand as he’s walking out. Give this to TJ for me. MATT: “Beauregard, I–“MARISHA: And then I just turn away. MATT: Just clutches it, and is taken away, until eventually, at the end of the trial, the words that reach your ears with trepidation and elation. “Adon Zeenoth is found guilty of bribery and corruption, “kidnapping and conspiracy under the laws “of the Crown and the Library of the Cobalt Soul. “His granted estate is forfeited to the library.”He is to be jailed within the Umber Dungeon of Zadash “for a minimum of 35 years, and he is barred from holding “any office or position of management within Imperial lands “for the remainder of his days.” ASHLEY: How do you feel? MARISHA: It’s so strange to hear it spoken, like it’s suddenly real. ASHLEY: It’s very real. I’m so proud of you. You’re so strong, and you’re so brave. MARISHA: Is this what it feels like to be broken free of your mind being controlled? ASHLEY: Yeah. MARISHA: I just give her a big kiss and just pull her in. MATT: Jester. In the time that you are getting ready in the morning to leave on your ship, and making your path. SAM and ASHLEY: Makin’ your path MATT: Damn it, I was hoping to avoid it! LIAM: Pathin’ my way! (laughter) MATT: I hate you all.Through the streets as you head to the dock, and you can see the flags and sails of the Nein Heroez blasting in the wind, the bright daylight and the somewhat cloudless horizon before you, the ocean waves crashing on the rocks below, you can’t help but smile, and you feel a tug at your arm from the nearby alley. You glance over, and you see there, also billowing in the wind, a green cloak with the hood half pulled back and the large orange mane of Artagan the Traveler holds your arm and goes, “Certainly been a very interesting journey, hasn’t it?” LAURA: It has. We saw a lot of shit. MATT: “No joke. “It’s so strange. “Classically, mortal life is so “brief and dull and spoken of from the perspective “of my folk for ages as… “toys. “(sighs) “Why are you so different? “It makes no sense, really.It’s frustrating. “I just wanted to say, I’m– “I’m sorry I couldn’t be the god you wanted me to be.” LAURA: I never wanted you to be a god. MATT: “You wanted me to be a savior.” LAURA: I wanted you to be my friend, and you were. MATT: “Yes, yes I was.” LAURA: I also wanted you to teach mehow to do really cool shit, and do cool shit, and give me cool shit, and I gave you cool shit.MATT: “Yes. Did I?” LAURA: You really did. You really do!MATT: “Right, you know, I did all right.” LAURA: Wait, why are we– wait a minute, stop, stop. Why are you talking about it like it’s in past tense? We’re getting ready to get on this boat. MATT: “Yes.” LAURA: What are you doing?MATT: “Nothing. “I consider you a close friend, “and we haven’t spoken in a bit. “Things have been crazy. I– “I’m feeling that wanderlust again.” LAURA: Yeah? MATT: “It’s hard to explain, butit’s not boredom, it’s just– “You know when you eat the same meal over and over again?” LAURA: Yeah.MATT: “And eventually you’re just like, “I just want anything but this.” LAURA: Yeah, it’s so good but at the same time you’re like, ugh, I’m so sick of this flavor! MATT: “It’s a delicious meal, “but eventually you just want to change it up a bit.” LAURA: Am I the meal?MATT: “No! “That analogy was extremely offensive, I apologize.”I don’t know, I just– “I don’t know. “Our experience on Rumblecusp kind of shook something in me, “and I’m just considering “what other unique ventures “out there could use the attention of someone like me. “That doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere.” LAURA: Okay. MATT: “I mean,” and he lifts his finger a bit and you hear the (squeaks) on your shoulder. “Sprinkle isn’t going anywhere. “Trust me, you can certainly try. “He’ll be there the next day.” LAURA: (laughs) SAM: (as Sprinkle) You forgot me. MATT: “I’ll always be around when I’m needed “for an adventure or two with you “or the chance to “deface sacred places together.” LAURA: You still haven’t shown me the Fey realm. MATT: “That’s true.” LAURA: I want to go there so bad.MATT: “Well, I will say, “it’s very hard to come back after that, “so at least come to me when you’re supremely bored “of this place and then I’ll show it to you, “because then you come back and go oh, look, yes, “it’s as a remember.”LAURA: Okay, okay. MATT: “But I also want you to know, “it feels good to be looked up to from you.”I’ve selfishly enjoyed you calling my name sometimes, “of challenge or sadness. “The dependency was, well, “filling, to a degree. “But… “It’s also unfair to you. “You don’t need me. You never did.” LAURA: I kind of did. MATT: “No, you’ve proven that, how strong you are. “I better give you a push here and there, “lend you some of my power, but all the rest is you. “Your friends are your strength. “Your captain is your strength. “I’m just here to kick along and support “when I can on occasion, “but I just might not be around as much.” LAURA: (sighs) You know, it’s so weird, Arty. It makes me really sad to think about. But it also feels kind of good. Does that make sense?MATT: “No, but few things do. “And I like it that way.”LAURA: Yeah. MATT: “What do you want, Jester Lavorre?” LAURA: I still want adventure. I want to see everything. MATT: “Good.”Start with that boat. “I know this has been a unique closure “to a few crazy recent endeavors, but I don’t know, “it’s also kind of a beginning.” LAURA: I want to give you a hug. MATT: Goes in and takes the hug. LAURA: I go to give him a kiss, and I bite him on the nose.MATT: There you go. “I’ll be keeping an eye.”LAURA: Okay. MATT: “For our next venture– “Oh, who knows.”There is still so much of Exandria to fuck with. “Go, go.”LAURA: Okay. MATT: “He’s probably waiting for you.” LAURA: I take off running.MATT: Okay. And on the ship, where do you go? TRAVIS: Well, with Kingsley andJester and Orly and our crew, we’ll make our way for the– SAM: Makin’ our way! (laughter) TRAVIS: Make our way to the isle of Bisaft. MATT: All righty.TRAVIS: That we saw in the scry. MATT: You sail a bit on the ocean, and for you it’s even more than peace now, because you don’t just belong, you feel connected with it in a way you never did before, and you stand at the bow of that ship and overlook the waters, you feel the waters and you feel her with you, the Wild Mother’s grace guiding you, looking over you. It’s a comfort and a strength that still is in some ways new, but an exciting foundation to continue to build upon, and there are nights when you look up in the stars and you can swear you can see her face looking down upon you on your journeys.Every storm that comes by, it seems the worst never meets your ship. It’s an odd comfort. And then eventually, you come upon Bisaft Isle, specifically one of the smaller ones where you recall Vandran had taken root. Some travel in the jungle, a day and a half later, eventually you find the familiar shack that you had seen, where on the porch a single driftwood chair sits, and upon that chair, a thin, gray-haired older man with a small cup of some awful coffee, probably, with a small cup of some awful coffee, probably, and a book. LAURA: I grab Fjord’s hand. Do you want me to stay back here? Okay, I’ll be just over here if you need me. TRAVIS: Okay.LAURA: Okay. TRAVIS: Love you.LAURA: I love you. TRAVIS: (clears throat) I– Do you remember me? MATT: “I do, boy. “What brings you here?” TRAVIS: I came to find you.MATT: “Why?” TRAVIS: I don’t know, a sense of duty? To thank you. Maybe a little bit of guilt. I found my way to shore after that night and it never occurred to me for so long that you might’ve survived or made it here. And… I have so many questions. MATT: Puts his book down, stands up. You remember this big, broad man, this imposing figure at the docks. This man’s a little thinner, weathered. But softer in the face, though it is more sun-weathered and wrinkled than it was.And he smiles. “Well, I think I got some questions myself. “Let’s pray we both got answers, huh?” TRAVIS: How are you? MATT: “Best I’ve been in a while. “I mean, ain’t nothing to bother you here “but the birds and the shitty monkeys.” TRAVIS: And you’re content here, on this island? You survive– I’d say thrive, but– MATT: “I’m healthy! What?” TRAVIS: No, no judgment, none. MATT: (spits) TRAVIS: You should know our lessons, the sword has, well, it served me well. And I’ll summon the Star Razor. I have fought many with this blade. I’ve fought alongside those who’ve wielded theirs better than mine. I’ve never forgotten what you taught me. Make it disappear. MATT: “I’m glad you found a better blade than I did.” TRAVIS: I have to know, how did you come across this? And I’ll use Minor Image to summon the Cloven Crystal and have it hover above my hand. MATT: You see him take a step back and go, “So I take it my curse didn’t die with me?” TRAVIS: No.MATT: He begins to tell you about his past. Originally from a town called Stilben, to the west of here in Tal’Dorei, he eventually became a smuggler and then joined the Revelry. And was a known captain there for a bit. He eventually began to build a romance with his boatswain, another up-and-coming smuggler by the name of Avantika. They ended up having a quarrel with another member of the Revelry who had acquired this crystal, and had… an accident. Vandran took the crystal, and began to become beset with dreams, dark offerings, which he eagerly accepted. These abilities allowed him to better build his rank on the island of Darktow, and the waters that the Revelry laid claim to. And he began to share these secrets with his partner and boatswain, Avantika. But eventually he began, as they traveled together, plotting to release this patron, found himself disbelieving in these promises. Beginning to find the fallacies and feeling more like a puppet than an entrusted herald.And he just began to grow tired. When he began to show a wavering resolve, his partner, Avantika, attempted to sacrifice him. That’s the first time you hear the name Uk’otoa. ALL: (whispering) Uk’otoa. MATT: He managed to escape and laid low in Port Damali, rebuilt a new life. He sold off the Cloven Crystal he had at auction, and used that money to purchase the Tide’s Breath. He didn’t care at that point; he just wanted to be done with it. But try as he might, he could not rid himself of that cursed sword and the visions. He still borrowed from that dark power time to time to keep himself safe, to fight off those would still hunt him and seek him down, and to keep his affairs in order. He took you and Sabian in. With you in particular, he felt a kinship that he wasn’t expecting. A paternal urge to protect, guide you away from his path.And he thought he had failed at the ship’s destruction. He thought you had died and he had failed yet again. Maybe at least in that, the cycle of violence would end. TRAVIS: Would it shock you to know that Sabian lives? MATT: “Not really. “He was a coward and a survivor. “Those folk seem to be harder to crush than a cockroach.” TRAVIS: You had high standing on Darktow? MATT: “It was a long time ago. “And not, like, extremely high, but I had my own ship.” TRAVIS: We may have some unfinished business there. We’ve had our own Darktow experience. It lasted less than 24 hours and involved exploding a ship and nearly being executed by the Plank King, but you know, normal shit. MATT: “Okay?” TRAVIS: I, too, still have these powers. And it seems despite your best efforts, your curse is now mine.And I’ll make myself look like Avantika and then Sabian. And then back to myself. You should know that I have thought about you every day since that night. The life I had before working with you was one I don’t care to recall. And you showed me kindness and love and honor, and it meant the world to me. It fills my heart with joy to see you here, pleased, at peace. I suppose my last question is, is it your desire to stay here? We do, and I’ll point towards Jester, we have a ship. LAURA: I sent you a message. It was my voice. You probably heard my voice before. MATT: “It all makes sense now.”LAURA: It was me! MATT: “Pleasure to meet you in person.” LAURA: You too! TRAVIS: She’s wonderful. MATT: “She’s a handful.” TRAVIS: Yes. MATT: “She’s perfect for you.” TRAVIS: Would you want to come with us? I can’t guarantee that we won’t go to Darktow, and I can’t guarantee you that we won’t try and kill Sabian, and I can’t guarantee that we won’t try and unseat the Plank King, but if your adventuring days aren’t done, there’s a spot for you.And if they are, that’s fine as well. You can also change your mind at any time. But I just want you to know that, as my captain, you will always have a seat on my ship. MATT: Make a persuasion check. TRAVIS: 15. MATT: 15? TRAVIS: 17. MATT: 17?TRAVIS: 17. 12 plus five. MATT: That makes a difference. “My sailing days are over, Fjord. “I ain’t a captain of any ship anymore, “don’t want to be. “Life here is nice and slow. “I take it in my own pace. “I don’t want to swab a deck.”I don’t want to hoist a sail. “But maybe I could go on a trip or two. “In case you need repairs or some fine cooking.” TRAVIS: We do have a pretty lax stowaway policy. MATT: “Fjord, “I’m not a man for long lengths at sea anymore, but “it wouldn’t hurt to catch up proper.” TRAVIS: I would really like that. MATT: “Just give me a moment to pack my things.” TRAVIS: Take all the time you need. MATT: And he begins to gather the elements of his shed and the things that he needs to keep himself going. As he walks with you back to the Nein Heroez ship, when Jester is out of earshot, he walks shoulder to shoulder to you and leans in and goes, “You know that power, it’ll eat you in time.”Uk’otoa’s a hungry beast.” SAM: (whispering) Uk’otoa. TRAVIS: I believe you. We’ll have to do something about that. MATT: “Maybe. “But for now, you got some sailing to do.” TRAVIS: Indeed, the Nein Heroez awaits. MATT: “That’s a big ship.” TRAVIS: Yes, it is. MATT: “It’s a sparse crew.” (exhales) “What have I gotten myself into?” (laughs) And he steps on board.TRAVIS: You have no idea. LAURA: So what’s your favorite part of the book? TRAVIS: Oh no. (laughter) MATT: Okay. Yasha, what would you like to do? ASHLEY: Beau? MARISHA: Yes, my love? LAURA: (laughs) ASHLEY: Where would you like to go from here? MARISHA: You mean after wrapping up all of this business with the Empire or right now? ASHLEY: Like after all this is over with the Empire.I mean, I’m a bit tired. MARISHA: Yeah, I feel that. ASHLEY: I feel– I don’t know, sometimes I think of just getting a place with you somewhere and gardening and making you food for when you come home from work. My Expositor. (sighs) MARISHA: Are you wanting to be my housewife, Yasha? ASHLEY: I mean, I think I would look pretty good in an apron. MARISHA: I think you would look fantastic in an apron, especially if you weren’t wearing anything under it. ASHLEY: Well, that’s the only way you wear an apron. MARISHA: I mean, I couldn’t agree more. ASHLEY: I never want to hold you back from anything. I want to be here to support you in everything that you do. I basically want to be your Yeza, you know? MARISHA and ASHLEY: (laugh) ASHLEY: There are some things that I would like to do. Maybe before that happens. MARISHA: I’m here to support you like you support me. ASHLEY: (sighs) I’m a little curious about my past and things. Sometimes I wonder if I just want to leave that in the past, but I kind of want to drop this book off.MARISHA: I think that would be lovely. It’s strange. Because I feel like I’ve never known anyone deeper than I know you. And at the same time, I feel like there’s still so much more to learn. A lifetime to learn. And I am so excited to explore every bit of you in multiple layers. ASHLEY: (laughs) Same. MARISHA: Your past doesn’t scare me. ASHLEY: Are you sure? MARISHA: It only makes you beautiful. I support this. You figuring out where you came from. Getting closure, saying your goodbyes. And if you need time on your own, know that I’m not going anywhere. But if you’ll have me, I mean, there’s still a lot of Xhorhas that I’d like to see. ASHLEY: I will have you and then some. MARISHA: Hot. ASHLEY: Cool. Maybe we should take a little journey to Xhorhas, then. MARISHA: Okay. Well, they’ve got like two weeks of paperwork that they’ve got to file at the Cobalt Reserve at this point.They don’t really need me right now, so. ASHLEY: Okay. (sighs) MARISHA: A lot of bureaucracy in the meantime, and they know that that’s not my strong suit. ASHLEY: All right, we’ll make it quick. I’ll have you back in time. I don’t know why my nose is running. You know, it’s not like this is emotional at all. (laughter) MATT: All right. You two trek together eastward, beyond the Ashkeeper Peaks, back into the broken wastelands of Xhorhas, until eventually the familiar Iothia Moorlands. Eventually, you leading, to one of the numerous favored spots of the Dolorav tribe’s intended locations to set up in an encampment for a period.You find a group of temporary structures of hides and timber, evoking an almost Scandinavian aesthetic in the construct. As you begin to get close, one of the sentinels on horseback, spear at the ready, shield at the side rides up and shouts, “Who goes there?” ASHLEY: Yes, um– MATT: And with a look of recognition turns around and rides back, shouting, “Orphan Maker! “The Orphan Maker!” ASHLEY: I don’t know if this is a good thing that they’d recognize me, but– MARISHA: I just grip my staff just a little bit, just in case.MATT: Okay. You begin to hear the sound of numerous horse hooves and soldiers on foot as all manner of warriors of the Dolorav tribe begin to rise to greet you, with weapons at the ready intention. They draw a defensive line, before eventually they part. And you see one soldier standing there, adorned, in incredible hides and spiked armor. A figure you knew as Jadek. One of the marked warriors that was older than you, but seems to be wearing the attire of The Skyspear. “The Orphan Maker returns. “Let our vengeance be swift.” And you hear all at once (shouting) The war cries as they begin rushing forward. (hooves beating) MARISHA: Is this about to get real fun? ASHLEY: I think so. MATT: What do you do, Yasha? ASHLEY: Boy, oh boy, I wasn’t quite expecting this. MARISHA: (laughs) ASHLEY: Okay.Go with me on this, all right? MARISHA: Okay. ASHLEY: I’m going to kneel and I’m going to bamf out my wings. MATT: Okay. MARISHA: I kneel, follow her lead. MATT: You kneel down into the still slick mud, rain falling around you, your wings outward, folded slightly. And you hear the sound of the thumping. The beating of feet and hoof getting louder and louder as your gaze meets the mud. The cold rain air, another smell begins to creep in. Smells like an odd fire. Not smoke, but electric. And right as the first wave of horses are about to reach you, (lightning crash) a bolt of lightning strikes from the sky, like a hammer, sending dirt and mud flying upward in all directions, horses immediately rear up, and the charge of 30 warriors begins to stop, canter, and turn.There’s now this groove marked in the ground. The assault has stopped. The energy continues (crackling) through you. ASHLEY: I was holding Beau’s hand, I let go. (laughter) MATT: At this point, the spears go up. The Skyspear comes forward once more, stepping off her horse. “What is this devilry, Orphan Maker?” ASHLEY: I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I am not here to hurt any of you.I just want to know where you buried her, and I will leave you alone. MATT: They all look around at each other. Make a persuasion check. I’ll say with advantage, because that lighting bolt was fucking intimidating. ASHLEY: Yeah. TRAVIS: Just a bit. ASHLEY: Persuasion, oh, that’s actually not that bad. Okay, 17, rolled a 19. MATT: The new Skyspear raises a hand, lowers it, and steps forward and approaches, still keeping a distance beyond the now heavy gap in the ground where the bolt struck. Jadek looks to you and goes, “She was buried along the southern banks “of the Seepfeed River to the north. “Nothing was left to mark it.” ASHLEY: Thank you for giving her a proper burial. MATT: You can see that conflict internally of the importance of strength and station and a morose acknowledgement.Like, “I wish things weren’t the way they were.” “Then you will let this Skyspear live, at least?” ASHLEY: Yes. MATT: “Then go, and don’t come back.” She turns and slowly, one by one, the other soldiers begin to turn their horses and cautiously return to their encampment. MARISHA: Holy shit, did you murder the leader of your tribe? ASHLEY: I probably did. MARISHA: Oh, fuck, that’s awesome! ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, that’s kind of how it goes. MARISHA: Oh, fuck, why aren’t you the new Skyspear? ASHLEY: That wasn’t for me.MARISHA: Oh, yeah. ASHLEY: I think I– MARISHA: She seems a bit stodgy. ASHLEY: Yeah, it’s pretty strict, which, I was super into it back then, but things are quite different now. MARISHA: Yeah. ASHLEY: Shall we go see if we can find an unmarked grave? MARISHA: Yeah. Are you okay? ASHLEY: Yeah, I’m okay. That was crazy. Thank you for keeping us safe. MARISHA: I think you have more influence than you know. ASHLEY: Yeah. Okay. MARISHA: Right behind you. ASHLEY: Let’s go. MATT: A few days trek northward, you find yourself alongside the Seepfeed River. I would like you to make an investigation check, I would like you to make a religion check. MARISHA: All right.Investigation, don’t fail me now. That’s not so bad. ASHLEY: 15. MARISHA: 25. MATT: Okay. You keeping a keen eye out, you just begin to think quietly to yourself for some sort of guidance. And you begin to have this vision hit you. A tree, a fire-scarred tree, singular, alone along these banks. As you convey this vision to Beauregard, keeping an eye out, eventually trying to find out where the patterns of growth are between the two of you.Although perception check would have probably been the more viable roll, but we’ll just go with that number. What would have been? MARISHA: It was 25. MATT: Yeah, you’re fine. You eventually find that tree. And while there’s no markings, you know this is it. You know this is the grave of Zuala. MARISHA: Would you like a moment? ASHLEY: I think so. MARISHA: I’ll be right here. ASHLEY: Okay. I kneel down. (sighs) I thought I would have more to say. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I wish more than anything that I wouldn’t have been such a coward, but I’m so grateful for you, and (sighs) I brought you some things. I know that flowers are your favorite things. So I’ve been on some trips. I pull out the book of the flowers from Berleben, and the silk flower from Mollymaukfrom the Hupperdook Festival. A blade of grass from the Barbed Fields, flowers from the Whitedawn Lagoon. Many, many more. I wish you could’ve been there with me, and I wish you could’ve just been able to live your life. I would like you to meet someone.This is Beauregard Lionett. MARISHA: Oh. ASHLEY: I’m talking to her like she’s here, but– MARISHA: Yeah. Hi. Nice to meet you. (tearfully) I think you’d be real proud of Yasha, and… I mean, whatever sacrifice you made in order to make me the luckiest woman alive, I’ll never know. And yet I’m still eternally grateful. ASHLEY: Um. I’m going to leave this here. But all I wanted to say was I’m sorry, (sniffles) and I love you very much. MARISHA: Just squeeze Yasha’s hand. ASHLEY: I think it’s time to go. MARISHA: Sure. ASHLEY: Yeah. (sniffles) MARISHA: You still have some of thoseseeds that Caduceus gave you? ASHLEY: (gasps) Yes! Oh, what a great idea.MARISHA: (laughs) ASHLEY: I take out one of the seeds, and I plant it there. Cover it up. See, this is why it’s great tohave you around, you have good ideas. MARISHA: (laughs) ASHLEY: (sniffles) She’ll love this. MARISHA: No better grave marker. ASHLEY: Okay, let’s go. MARISHA: Shall we take the scenic route? ASHLEY: Yeah. Yeah, it’s– Yeah,MARISHA: Let’s go. ASHLEY: It’s a lot of the same, but you know.MARISHA: Yeah. (laughter) MATT: Okay. MARISHA: We walk off into the Xhorhasian sunset. MATT: There you go. LAURA: As you walk off, you just get a message in your head: I just saw a sea turtle the size of a horse.Oh my gosh. MARISHA: Jester, just saw a sea turtle the size of a horse. ASHLEY: Oh wow!LAURA: I miss you guys so much. MARISHA: She misses us.ASHLEY: Oh, tell her, wait, can we talk back to her? MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, you might– if you get close to my face maybe she can hear you. ASHLEY: Hey, I miss you, love you.MARISHA: Hey, miss you, Jester. Give Fjord a big kiss, okay? ASHLEY: Come back soon, we’ll hang out, and go do stuff. MARISHA: Yeah, we’re looking at this petrified forest in the middle of Xhorhasian fields.(laughter) MATT: Veth?SAM: Huh? MATT: Is there anything else furtheryou would like to pursue, or are you happy to leave it on the family– SAM: Oh no, I’m happy that I’m with family. We’re just going to do our thing. MATT: Okay. Caleb, is there anything else you would like to–? LIAM: Well, the first thing. Dealing with the Assembly, and working with Beauregard I see as a lifelong pursuit. I’m not really content to leave it at Ikithon. We’ll see where that goes. Probably, in the first six months to a year, I would stay in touch with Essek to see how his path is shaking out. That would be first. MATT: He eventually began to feel the possible prying eyes of Dynasty discomfort, the possible prying eyes of Dynasty discomfort, and absconded from the Aeorian trade post. and absconded from the Aeorian trade post. LIAM: So he went there. MATT: He went there to continuehis business for the time being, because at least it was far away, and there were people there that relied on him, but even that he eventually left. LIAM: Well, hopefully I could meet him there.MATT: Okay. LIAM: And invite him with me to return to Aeor, and spend time learning as much as we can, and spend time learning as much as we can, retracing many of our steps. It’s knowledge that is thousands of years old and has been hidden from history, and I would want to learn about it, and share it with the Cobalt Soul. Um. And I think if he would deign to go with me and do that, eventually I would also wind our way back to that chamber, the T-dock chamber.MATT: Upon the invitation, he just goes, “I could think of nothing else I’d rather do.” And the journey is in itself fraught with interesting encounters. There are still many dangers in there. Other hunters and tomb robbers, and all manner of strange traps, and it is its own series of smaller adventures of just you and just Essek trying to survive the trials of retracing your steps through the ruins of Aeor. A bonding experience, a trying experience, but that friendship and connection is forged even stronger with that process until eventually you both return to the Genesis Ward, and eventually the T-dock experimentation chamber.LIAM: Is this still something that you consider? MATT: He studies it, after you ask this question, wordlessly for five, six minutes. Not in a way that he’s ignored the question, but he’s still pondering as he traces the various Dunamantic glyphs, admiring, questioning, curiously taking in, now that there’s time to do so. He looks at it. “I have spent my life in the pursuit of the ability to “control one’s future, “and that path has led me to making many mistakes. “And my shift begin to wander “the possibility of fixing one’s past, “and since we found this, “I’ve thought of it often.” He runs his finger along the side of the raised platform. “A possibility of retracing one’s lifeline. “Adjusting things.”But such pursuits are selfish. “For the more you understand time, “understand you cannot see the ramifications “of changing such things. “Were I have found this before I found you, “perhaps I may have done some incredible, “terrible things with it. “But I accept my regrets, “my thoughts now, “and I’m here today with this knowledge, “in this moment with you, “because of those mistakes. “And as much as they hurt me, “I don’t want to change a thing.” LIAM: I take the whole place in. It is a lot. MATT: “How about you, Caleb Widogast?” LIAM: My lifespan is a little shorter than yours, but for many years I have thought of this very thing, and he just stops talking for a few moments, just looking at the room, while Essek listens to the quiet. And I think about the plan I have gone over And I think about the plan I have gone over in my mind every night for years, knowing it would work.Of course, it will work. I will go back. I will walk up in the guise of a young Bren Aldric Ermendrud. Not long after I left them. I will reenter my home and explain it to them. I will dump two bodies out of the amber on my neck, and leave them on the floor. I will set illusion behind us as we leave, and wait from afar, and watch invisibly as we leave, and wait from afar, and watch invisibly as three children walk up to the house, and set it ablaze, and hear the screams of my parents who were no longer in that building, and everything will stay as it was. And I will take them to Tal’Dorei, and I will tell them, “Take these gems. Start a life here.”Wait for me. “And in a little less than two decades, “start coming to this square once a week, “every week, “and eventually you will find me there.” Of course, it would work. MATT: “Will you do it? “Will you do it? “I will help you.” LIAM: (long soft sigh) I drag some dust up my arm, and disintegrate everything in the room, and burn what’s left. MATT: Essek just nods. “Good. “Good.” MATT: I think that Caleb and Essek, if Essek were of a mood to, would be together for a while. But knowing that eventually, not too far off, Caleb will be an old man and Essek will be Essek. I need to go home, I need to fix my home, and that is still my priority. So if he’s open to it, I would stay lifelong– my life long friends with him, and be grateful for that time. MATT: Essek is very open to it. It’s not long after this Aeorian experience that Essek finds a way to build a new life away from the Dynasty, using illusion, numerous personas, but he remains in close contact with all of you, and vanishing at other times to whatever his business may be.But he appreciates the time he has with you, and the friendship beyond that. LIAM: Shortly after returning home from Eiselcross, I go to Blumenthal for the first time, and I know where the town cemetery is. And I find Una and Leofric, and sit down on the ground before them. And I unsnap the book harness on the left, And I unsnap the book harness on the left, and take out the book of letters that I have been (tearfully) writing to them since I woke up with the intention of putting it in their hands. I have so much more work to do, trying to be the man you wanted me to be. I still hope to. And if I’m very lucky, I will see you on the other side.And I hold the book, and I cast Teleport, and send it into the earth between them. (sobs) Okay. And I think for the rest of Caleb’s life, he will teach. I think he will teach Luc, if his parents will have me. SAM: Well, I had thought about possibly opening some sort of a little summer camp to teach young adventurers how to stealth, and sneak, and fire crossbows, and maybe learn a little magic, so if you’d like to come and be a counselor. (laughs) LIAM: I will do that in my off months. But if the Empire continues on, and the Academy is still there, I will teach at it. Not run it. I will teach transmutation, and try to instill a sense of stewardship, and the responsibility that comes with power to my students, and do my damnedest to be sure that there is none of what happened to my friends and I in school happening now, and probably push the envelope on treason in this country, let’s be honest, but.MATT: (chuckles) Fair enough. Fjord, what do you do with that Cloven Crystal you have? TRAVIS: Oh god. (clears throat) MATT: If anything. Or at least what’s your intent with it? TRAVIS: I’m not going to let it out of my sight just yet. LAURA: Eventually, though, Fjord,we have to take care of this. TRAVIS: I know, I know. I mean, I’m probably going to drop it off with someone like the Cobalt Soul or something, but I just thought, you know, we should at least be able to give a detailed report of where the third key hole is to give a detailed report of where the third key hole is you know, just so that more powerful parties than us ever you know, like the whole picture, just to remove all the mystery of it. LAURA: Yeah. TRAVIS: And then, you know, put it to rest, get rid of the thing. LAURA: Are you saying we should go to the third temple? TRAVIS: I think we should try to find it. I mean, that’s what responsible, you know, chosen of demigod should do. MATT: (laughs) TRAVIS: Right? Just from afar, with a (clicks).LAURA: Check it out.TRAVIS: Yeah. LAURA: Don’t accidentally let out Uk’otoa.TRAVIS: No. Mm-mm. ALL: (echoing) Uk’otoa. LIAM: Uk’otoa. (laughter) LAURA: Because I’m getting real sick ofthese people attacking our ship. (laughter) TRAVIS: Oh right, right, right, right, right, right, right. Well, then maybe we’ll accelerate those plans. But I don’t know.MATT: Okay, okay. Well. Kingsley Tealeaf. As time goes on, your life continues to unfold. New memories forged with a new life born out of love, and family, and odd piratey ways, and strange mingling with different lives, tangled, and giving birth to a new color. Every now and then, your mind occasionally begins to recall memories through an occasional nightmare, flashes of blurred memory, and time spent locked with another familiar, yet revolving, revolting place.The shell of loathing inescapable interior, looking out from within your prison, pushing against your invisible binds. When your heart found the strength, giving all that you are to help those who gave your purpose in return. It was worth it. It was worth it. Yet on a rare occasion, that odd memory continues to return. The moment you gave yourself and broke your prison. The lights, so many around you free to move on. The warm catharsis of letting go. And the strange black chains that invisibly wove through that city now broken. The sound of them shattering between worlds, shaking you in that liminal space. The angry, unknowable, primal, ancient cry The angry, unknowable, primal, ancient cry that you can never forget. Caduceus, is there anything you want to do? TALIESIN: Caduceus… Kingsley’s got a bit, but Caduceus spends the next several decades doing his work, maintaining family, maintaining home.Every couple of years, will walk for a month, six, a couple of times for a full year, somewhere new, somewhere different, sometimes visiting, and sometimes just seeing what the world brings to him. There’s nothing but contentment. Eventually, he brings Calliope along a few times, Eventually, he brings Calliope along a few times, start seeing what kind of trouble they can get into. But… in the end, his garden is his life’s work in the end, his garden is his life’s work and is content.Although, I’m sure you idiots will muck that up a bit on occasion. As for Kingsley, Kingsley spends a years learning from you, Fjord. Becomes the sailor he’d like to be. After a few years finally reads that book, and goes to visit and learn. And then one day, we’re attacked on the open sea, and suddenly you have two ships. LAURA: (laughs) TALIESIN: As the crew, the pirate crew that attack you, the Nein Heroez, is quickly dispatched. And I suppose I would ask for my own ship to serve your crew. (laughter) And I rechristen that ship the Mollymauk. And one month later, we vanish in the middle of the night and head straight to Darktow. LAURA: (gasps) (laughter) TRAVIS: Yes.TALIESIN: I leave a note that expresses how grateful I am for everything you’ve done, and for everything you’ve taught me, and that I will gladly and always be your humble servant.Except, of course, for the fact that I’ve never giving back the ship, (laughter) and I make my way to join the Revelry. SAM and MARISHA: Makin’ my way! TALIESIN: And perhaps those– Perhaps those chains will find some quiet in piracy. Perhaps those chains will find some quiet in piracy. A pirate, but not the worst. Who knows how well it’ll go? MATT: A tale of seven friends, who became eight, then nine.Wild swells of adventure, and love, and guilt, and redemption. Family. Truth. This story comes to a close tonight, but the tale of the Mighty Nein lives on, and who knows, maybe we’ll have the chanceto see some of them again in some shape or form. (sniffling) MATT: (tearfully) I love you guys so much. LIAM: Thanks for a good story, Matt. SAM: It was pretty good. ASHLEY: (laughs) Yeah, it was.MARISHA: Yeah. TRAVIS: Let’s do it again. (laughter) SAM: Yeah. MARISHA: From the top.MATT: Yeah. LIAM: Reset like Mollymauk. (laughter) MATT: (sighs) Well. Thank you for hanging in with us for the second campaign. (sniffles) For the highs and lows and confusion and clusterfucks. Thank you so much for joining us. (inhales and exhales) We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night..

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