Transcript:Ancient Sins

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Pre-show[edit source]

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: (garbled) We play Dungeons & Dragons!

MATT: Beautiful, gorgeous. We do have some announcements to get through before we jump into our episode tonight. We're starting off with an announcement from Darrington Press that we are going to be at Gen Con this summer, August 1st through 4th in Indianapolis.

(cheering)

MATT: We have a bunch of really great games that you can sign up for right now. You can come play For the Queen, Daggerheart, Candela Obscura, Till the Last Gasp, and Queen by Midnight at Gen Con. Sign up, play, bring friends, make friends, play games, and play our games, if you're there. So visit darringtonpress.com or critrole.com/events to learn more. Oh, and Marisha, you have some announcements, I believe?

MARISHA: We have our first ever Bells Hells live show next Saturday.

(cheering)

MARISHA: So, since-- This is important! Since this will be Episode 98 of Campaign 3, there will be no new episode of Critical Role next Thursday. It's really to give everyone some time to catch up for the people who will be attending live. We'll instead have Menagerie, Part 3--

(cheering)

MARISHA: -- live, baby, at 7:00pm Pacific--

TRAVIS: I'm a beetle.

MARISHA: -- so join in. He's a beetle. I'm a Bunnie. Robbie's here.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Hope to see you all there. You can find all of the live show details at critrole.com/events. In the meantime, we have a ton of content for you that we've dropped over the last week. You can now watch the VOD of our Candela Obscura live show, our most recent episode of 4-Sided Dive, as well as our Menagerie, Part 2, one-shot, playing with the most recent open beta playtest materials, so check them all out over at Twitch and YouTube. And, if you'd rather get instant access to our VODs--

TRAVIS: Instant!

MARISHA: (whispers) Instant! Watch on your own time, join us over on Beacon TV, baby.

TRAVIS: Beacon.tv, B-B-Beacon!

MARISHA: Beacon.tv!

MATT: All righty, Laura, I believe you have some announcements as well.

LAURA: Oh, I do. You guys.

MATT: Oh, here we go.

TRAVIS: Grabs box.

LAURA: ♪ (triumphant fanfare) ♪ Zis is beautiful. The Shattered Teeth dice set.

(gasping)

LAURA: I know. It's another collab with Everything Dice. ♪ (excited humming) ♪

MATT: That is awesome.

LAURA: This packaging is by Rebecca Shieh. It's beautiful. It's available now in the US, the UK, and the EU. Do you want me to show you something that you probably won't be able to see up close right now?

LIAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: Yes, please.

LAURA: It comes with a shining... thing.

MARISHA: What did you do--

TRAVIS: Oh, like a polishing cloth?

LAURA: A polishing cloth.

MARISHA: You held it up--

TRAVIS: You didn't even open it--

MATT: The one thing you don't want people to see, you're not able to see it now!

(laughter)

LAURA: I wanted to get to the dice!

MATT: I get it, I get it.

LAURA: The d20.

(gasping)

LAURA: They're so cool. The d20 has the volcano.

MATT: Oh, what!?

ALL: Whoa.

LAURA: Then all the other dice have the other islands, you guys.

LIAM: Oh, that's--

MARISHA: No way!

LAURA: It's so fucking cool!

MATT: That's really cool.

MARISHA: That's awesome.

LAURA: They're beautiful. They're beautiful. Check them out. Go check them out.

ASHLEY: I thought there was going to be teeth in them.

LAURA: No.

ASHLEY: I was real excited.

LAURA: Yeah, you do like teeth.

MATT: That's the next set, Ashley.

ASHLEY: Yes, please.

MATT: We're going to put all your baby teeth in dice.

ASHLEY: Just give me a teeth dice set!

LAURA: Aren't they so cool?

TALIESIN: Collect them all.

MATT: That's the like tiny little--

ASHLEY: Wow, that is so cool!

LAURA: Look at it, do you see the volcano? Okay, okay.

TALIESIN: The volcano, let me see the volcano.

ASHLEY: It's so detailed.

ROBBIE: Can I see it?

TRAVIS: Hand them back, collect yourself.

LAURA: Yes, okay, sorry, sorry. Give them back to me.

MARISHA: Oh my god, that's so fucking cool.

MATT: That's really, really cool.

ASHLEY: Oh my god, the clouds.

MATT: Technically, if you buy how many sets of this, you could build the Shattered Teeth. (laughs)

TRAVIS: Yeah, right.

(laughter)

LAURA: How many islands are in the Shattered Teeth, Matt?

MATT: 43, I think? I'll have to look at my notes.

LAURA: Seven, precisely seven.

MATT: Sure.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: 57.

LAURA: Ooh, lucky 13. Okay, I'm done.

MATT: All righty, I believe that concludes our announcements. So let's go ahead and jump into tonight's episode of Critical Role.

(cheering)


Part I[edit source]

MATT: And welcome back.

(snickering)

ASHLEY: Oh man.

MATT: Last we left off--

TRAVIS: We're going to die.

MATT: Oh yeah.

ROBBIE: (heavy sigh) Don't be mean to me.

ASHLEY: Liam coming in.

ROBBIE: He's trying to kill us.

MATT: Last we left off: Bells Hells, upon hearing that Ludinus Da'leth was indeed not on Ruidus, but was dealing with another important factor in Exandria--

ASHLEY: Shit!

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: Had been--

(chuckles)

ASHLEY: Sorry.

MATT: Had been noted to be towards Eiselcross, specifically in the long buried and frozen ruins of Aeor, to the far north of Wildemount. After gathering yourselves, after gathering Dorian Storm, was returned to the troop--

LAURA: ♪ (triumphant fanfare) ♪

MATT: -- gathering some materials in Zadash after an interrogation, after making some orders and setting yourselves up for a dangerous and chilly journey, and a number of failed teleports, you managed to finally arrive--

(laughter)

MATT: -- on the outskirts of the ruins of Aeor. Your guide, revealed to be Essek Thelyss, a fugitive from the Kryn Dynasty, and had previously had experience wandering through these ruins a number of times, guiding you through, you began to traverse the subterranean ice-covered layers, the strange and oddly magical, and magic altering auras that occasionally flow through this space, you found the shattered, broken, and some cases still locked in time, memory of this ancient mage city. As you began to delve towards the central portion of the Genesis Ward, in which, looking for information on this locale that came up in the interrogation, the Occultus Thalamus, seemed to be tied to what Ludinus and the Vanguard had been doing down here, and where he likely will be. You investigated a Vanguard tent that had been built in one of these city streets that still remained. Investigating, you found the people within had all been slaughtered, Vanguard members, bloodily, and looking into its history and the scene of the crime, it looked like one of their own had done the deed before killing themselves, after carving an odd symbol into their chest with a blade. During this investigation, some heavy thuds were heard nearby, and as you all gathered yourselves, and darted off into the nearby shadows, some strange creature began to lumber around, this massive, elongated, gray and black fleshed entity, these sunken jowls, that seemingly faceless, and this odd, big mouth of teeth in the center of its torso, began to, seemingly stirred by the sounds and conversation you were making, look about the space. One of you, unfortunately, had a rough time hiding, and caught its attention, where a number of these--

(laughter)

MATT: -- translucent, armored, chitinous, insectoid creatures began to emerge from its mouth and crawl across the ground in your direction.

MARISHA: Just smacks into a glass door. Just "Ugh, sorry, guys."

MATT: It comes for us all, eventually.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: The glass door?

MATT: Yep.

(laughter)

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: And to that point, please roll initiative.

(groaning and exclaiming)

TRAVIS: No, don't be so casual about it!

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

MARISHA: You guys, this combat is brought to you by WizKids minis! The Vox Machina box set is available for pre-order!

TRAVIS: (imitates Marisha)

MARISHA: Find these and many more Critical Role miniatures at WizKids.io/crminis, and your local game store! Let's fucking do this.

TALIESIN: I rolled really well.

LIAM: Real low.

TALIESIN: I rolled really high.

MATT: All righty.

MARISHA: Ew, icky.

MATT: So to remind everyone where you scattered off to. We have, over here we have Dorian, Chetney, and Orym over by this dome and amongst the outskirts of these ruins. Essek darted off to this side of the map over here. We have Fearne, Ashton, and Laudna right over here, with Imogen on that corner. Laudna seems to be the one to gain the attention, so all these creatures are now scattering outside of this massive entity, and crawling in her direction with expediency. So, going to the initiative order, we have the top 25 to 20.

TALIESIN: 21.

TRAVIS: Orym, this is where you normally--

LAURA: Did you roll as bad as me?

LIAM: Not this time.

LAURA: You rolled shit, didn't you?

TRAVIS: Ashton's up top.

LIAM: I rolled shit.

MATT: All right, 20 to--

LAURA: What did Ashton roll?

TALIESIN: 21.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: 20 to 15.

ASHLEY: 19.

ROBBIE: Ooh, wow.

TALIESIN: We're fucking dead.

MARISHA: We are so dead.

ASHLEY: Hey!

TALIESIN: Well, this is going to go well.

MATT: 15 to 10.

ASHLEY: You're probably right!

LIAM: 14.

MARISHA: Ooh.

TRAVIS: Wow!

LAURA: Wow, we all rolled really bad!

ROBBIE: Big scares.

LAURA: Fuck, fuck! Fuck.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: Shit.

TRAVIS: Oh no, now we got to demonetized, Laura, good job.

MATT: 10 to five.

ROBBIE: 10 to five? Oh, that would be me.

LAURA: Six.

ROBBIE: Ocho.

TRAVIS: Ocho, okay.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: So Dorian--

LAURA: So wait--

TRAVIS: I wrote "Robbie" in the initiative order, no!

ROBBIE: That's okay, look me in the eyes and do it.

LAURA: Me, I'm after Orym?

TALIESIN: Ashton, Orym, Dorian.

MATT: Hold on, what'd you roll?

LAURA: No, I rolled six!

ROBBIE: I rolled eight.

TRAVIS: Imogen.

LAURA: Oh--

TRAVIS: Wow.

MATT: All right, so Imogen six. Five to one.

MARISHA: Four.

TRAVIS: Four.

ASHLEY and ROBBIE: Whoa!

ASHLEY: Rollies?

TRAVIS: Dex?

MATT: Who has the highest dex?

MARISHA: Oh, dex or Rollies, I got to do Rollies.

TRAVIS: Oh, what's it say?

MARISHA: It's Rollies!

TRAVIS: Eat shit and die.

ROBBIE: (gasps)

TRAVIS: 15.

MARISHA: I rolled a two again.

TRAVIS: (tongue waggling)

(exclaiming)

ROBBIE: Did you roll a two, too?

MARISHA: I rolled two twos.

ROBBIE: Two twos!

MARISHA and MATT: Two twos!

ROBBIE: Three twos!

LAURA: Get them all out.

MATT: Two Tuesday. All right, there we go.

(chuckles)

ROBBIE: Chet.

MARISHA: Wow.

MATT: All righty.

LIAM: It's just matching up with your stealth.

TRAVIS: Ashton, Fearne, Orym, Dorian, Imogen, Chetney, Laudna.

ROBBIE: How many translucent guys are there?

LAURA: What did Essek roll?

MATT: Hm? Oh, you want to know?

LAURA and LIAM: Yeah!

TRAVIS: Shall I?

TALIESIN: That'd be nice.

ASHLEY: Yeah, true.

LIAM: Go, hot boi.

MATT: He rolled-- ASHLEY Hot boi!

MATT: Hold on, his sheet here.

LAURA: Hot boi, hot boi!

MATT: Sheet is--

LIAM: Teleported out of here.

TRAVIS: If he's still here.

MATT: No, he's over there. I, actually, his sheet, I forgot to pull it out, so let me pull that here. In all my preparation here, that was the one thing that I forgot to bring out of my binder.

TALIESIN: It's interesting, even his character sheet--

TRAVIS: ♪ Hot boi ♪

TALIESIN: -- floats about an inch above the table.

TRAVIS: ♪ Doing things ♪ ♪ only hot bois can ♪

MATT: It's true. There it is.

TALIESIN: It's a hovercraft.

MATT: I was like, "Where is his dex? Oh, his sheet's not here." All right, so that puts him at a--

LIAM: Whip it out.

MATT: -- 13.

LAURA: 13, that puts him--

LIAM: Right behind Orym.

LAURA: Okay.

TRAVIS: Oh!

ROBBIE: Okay.

LAURA: Oh, just a Essek sandwich between Orym and Dorian. Okay.

LIAM: Mm.

ASHLEY: Ooh, I want to get in on this!

LIAM: Echoes through the multiverse.

TRAVIS: The sounds of thousands of pens hitting--

MATT: He is taken.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: Ow, my head!

MATT: Ashton. You're up first.

TALIESIN: All right!

MATT: As this entity is dragging this massive piece of elongated metal and ruined stone behind it in the shape of a massive hammer, and it's ready to just swing it or lob it in that direction, what do you do?

TALIESIN: Well, first of all--

LAURA: Hammer versus hammer!

TALIESIN: I'm not saying it, not fucking saying it, but I'm going to rage, first of all.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: I'm going to fucking--

LIAM: Hammer time.

TALIESIN: Yes!

ASHLEY: What are you not going to say?

LAURA: Oh, it's hammer time?

TALIESIN: It's hammer time. I'm not saying it.

MATT: You just did.

TALIESIN: We're not going there. Fuck!

MATT: (laughs)

ROBBIE: I'm going to get you to say it.

TALIESIN: Holy shit.

LIAM: ♪ Ashton hits me so hard. ♪

TALIESIN: So, I start getting this strange little--

LAURA: ♪ Oh my lord. ♪

TALIESIN: -- trails of red and blue coming out my head and streaking across the hammer, and I am going to move-- What's the first thing I can get to? Is there a scorpion in front of that tent?

MATT: There are two of these entities right there, and there's one back here, up here, and then the other ones, you can--

TALIESIN: All right, how far will 40 feet towards that will 40 feet get me?

MATT: 40 feet? Five, 10, you're getting up onto this terrain right here. Five, 10, you can leap here, 15, 20, 25, 30. 35 can get you onto the top of the tent and hope that it holds you.

TRAVIS: Hope it'll hold you.

TALIESIN: Okay, he's too tall up for me to go into the tent and whack him from below, or can I?

MATT: Actually, the one up front here, you can get to, if you want.

TALIESIN: That's 35?

MATT: That would be, five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35.

TALIESIN: Perfect.

MARISHA: Help!

TALIESIN: So, I'm going to take a couple swings at these motherfuckers.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: These motherfuckers!

TALIESIN: Let's see.

LIAM: ♪ Fine hammer ♪

TALIESIN: Yeah, let's take a look. Okay, I'm sorry, just seeing what I got. Perfect. Here we go, first attack. Why am I doing that? That's wrong. I don't have advantage. There we go. 19 plus-- I don't crit on a 19 yet, do I? No.

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Okay, that's later.

MATT: Unless you have an item that lets you do that.

LIAM: What if I felt like critting on a 19?

TALIESIN: I'm trying to remember.

MATT: Pretty much just the champion.

TALIESIN: I'm still thrown by other games we've played recently.

MATT: That's true.

TALIESIN: That's, yeah, 30 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

TALIESIN: All right, let's--

LIAM: Ray!

TALIESIN: -- find all my dice, so that's--

LIAM: Stupid.

LAURA: So dumb.

TALIESIN: I'm going to reroll that one. I don't like it. Six, seven, eight, nine. Is that right? Yeah, god, I'm a beast. That's 21 points of damage.

MATT: 21 points of damage.

ASHLEY: Tight.

MATT: Oof, all right. You smash it with the hammer. Legs go out, and you pull the hammer up. The element that you smashed, parts of its armor crack, and a liquid sprays you.

TALIESIN: Yep.

MATT: You take six points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: Cool, we're doing that, are we? All right.

ASHLEY: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MATT: As you pull up your hammer, it sticks to your hammer.

ROBBIE: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Nasty.

MATT: It is currently restrained, but restrained to you.

(oohing)

ROBBIE: Oh, ew!

MATT: Its body weirdly flexes with the impact, and then sticks to your weapon, and as you lift your hammer up, you can see it trying to skitter down the hammer towards you.

LAURA: Oh no!

MATT: What else you got?

TALIESIN: That's fucking gross.

LIAM: Sticky Xenomorph.

TALIESIN: I don't have anything else to do other than hit it the fuck again and hope I pop the thing like a goddamn grape.

MATT: All right, so you spin the hammer to get it back on the bottom side and try--

TALIESIN: I'm literally grabbing it and tossing it with the hammer down, and trying to get that curve that you do.

MATT: See if you can hit the bell, ping! Go for it.

TALIESIN: Yeah, get that little squish that makes the scorpion pop. Y'all know what I'm talking about. Maybe you don't. 27.

MATT: 27 hits. I used the restrained, I'll use grappled.

TALIESIN: You have to turn your heel on a scorpion, or else it won't die.

LAURA: You can do it, Ashton! Take them all out!

LIAM: Kill it.

ROBBIE: Did you turn into an old prospector? (old timey dude) You got to turn your heel on a scorpion, or it won't die.

TALIESIN: -- on that thing, or it's just going to pop back up and be mad at you.

ASHLEY: He did teach me this. He taught me that.

TALIESIN: 23.

MATT: 23 points of damage. I don't even need to put the grappled condition down, because you destroy it.

TALIESIN: Yah!

MATT: You do take another one point of acid damage.

ASHLEY: Nice, nice!

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: But it immediately splatters in space.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Great.

TALIESIN: I'm going to let everybody know. They're sticky and filled with acid! God fucking damn it! I'm going to try and dive behind the tent.

MATT: How much more movement do you have?

LIAM: He's at 35.

TALIESIN: Five more feet.

MATT: Five more feet? Then yeah, you (grunts) behind the side. All right, cool. That finishes your go. Now it's their turn.

LAURA: Oh great, cool.

ROBBIE: Oh boy.

LAURA: ♪ They rolled better than we did ♪

ROBBIE: They're all coming out of--

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

LIAM: Now they're all going to be on top.

MATT: This one here is going to leap off--

MARISHA: Here we go, baby!

TALIESIN: He has to make a constitution. That one has to make a constitution saving throw.

MATT: Oh, okay. For?

TALIESIN: "When a creature of your choice begins its turn within 15 feet of you, they must succeed on a con saving throw, or speed is halved and they can't use reactions till their next turn."

MATT: Okay, it failed, so its speed is halved. It leaps. That's five, 10. Its speed is 40, so it can go 20 feet, which can still get there with a leap.

TALIESIN: But it has no reaction.

MATT: But it has no reaction, correct.

TALIESIN: So you can walk away from it if you need to.

MATT: This one here is going to skitter down and attack you this way.

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: Of course, it falls into the tent as I drop it. There we go. This one skitters down after it sees you there. This one here is going to, one, two, three--

ASHLEY: (whistles)

MATT: -- 30, 35. This one's going to rush over here to you. This one here is going to go Five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30.

LAURA: Oh my god.

ROBBIE: Oh, guys.

MATT: Five, 10, 15.

ASHLEY: Yikes, yikes, yikes, yikes, yikes!

LIAM: Sorry, Taliesin, we're going to have to AoE you.

MATT: This one is going to dart, is going to dash and come back around to swarm you on this side, and you are entirely surrounded from all of them. So with that--

LIAM: Jeez.

MATT: -- that's going to be three attacks on you, Laudna, from them.

MARISHA: Let's go, baby. Come on, come on!

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: That's going to be--

LIAM: You're a little off-voice.

MATT: -- an 11.

MARISHA: Miss.

MATT: Misses. The next one--

ASHLEY: The shock.

ROBBIE: A miss.

MATT: 10.

MARISHA: Miss.

ASHLEY: Oh my god. Yes!

TRAVIS: Tell us! Tell us the news!

ROBBIE: Yeah!

MATT: Natural one.

TRAVIS: Tell us the news!

MATT: It was descending. It was three, two, one.

ASHLEY: Cool table tonight!

MATT: Goddamn it.

MARISHA: Wow!

ROBBIE: Does he slip and break his claw or something?

MATT: Yeah, one of them goes striking for you. You dodge out of the way, another one comes and bites for you, and instinctively, you put your hand in front of you, and the dark shadow parries it off to the side. The third one that leaps towards you, you duck, and it goes slamming into the rock next to where you are. As it pulls back, one of its mandibles is cracked and it's like (painful chitters) and pulls away. It's awful, because as they move, you can see the muscles underneath--

LIAM: Hate it.

MATT: -- the chitinous armor.

LAURA: It's see-through?

MATT: Yeah, the armor is translucent.

(general moans of disgust)

LAURA: I don't like it.

ASHLEY: I hate it.

MATT: The four against you, two of which get advantage, because they have you pincered.

MARISHA: Wait, is this more coming?

TALIESIN: Those are against Ashton.

LAURA: Ew! Ew!

MARISHA: Oh, they're for Ashton.

MATT: So the two that aren't, that's going to be a 16 to hit.

TALIESIN: Nope.

MATT: You manage to pull out of the way. Next one, that's going to be 25 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: All right, so for that, you take--

ASHLEY: I hate bugs with a bunch of legs.

MATT: All right, that's going to be five points of piercing damage.

ASHLEY: Centipedes, millipedes.

MATT: Reduced to two.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: And five points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: So that's seven points.

MATT: Correct. That was the two that attacked you without advantage. Now the two with advantage. Okay, one of them is going to be a 23 to hit.

TALIESIN: That hits.

ASHLEY: Silverfish? Ugh.

MATT: That, you take eight points of piercing damage reduced to four, and six points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: 10 points.

MATT: The second one-- Same roll. That hits as well.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: That's going to be nine points of piercing damage, reduced to four, and two points of acid damage.

TALIESIN: Sick.

ASHLEY: Have you seen camel spiders?

MATT: So that finishes their round. That brings us to Fearne, with Orym on deck.

TALIESIN: That's right, yeah.

LIAM: Oh boy.

TALIESIN: I didn't fuck that up.

ASHLEY: All right, so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to do something called Flaming Sphere, and I'm going to cast it on the big boy back there.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: Get that big boy!

ROBBIE: You're going to pick a fight with--

ASHLEY: Big boy!

MATT: What's the range you can do on that?

TALIESIN: I have some fire resistance, by the way.

ASHLEY: 60 feet.

TALIESIN: Just letting you know.

ASHLEY: You do?

TALIESIN: If you want to hit those, I do have a Ring of Fire Resistance, so I can lower the damage.

ASHLEY: Well, I had something else I was going to do, but I feel like it's going to mess everybody up.

LAURA: That's the one! That's the one, Liam!

TALIESIN: What are we going to do?

MATT: 60 feet. To put it next to it, you'd have to move five feet this way.

MARISHA: Uh-oh.

LAURA: That's exactly what I was talking about.

ASHLEY: Okay, I'll move up-- That's disgusting, and I've seen those. Yeah, I'll pop out a little bit. Yes.

MATT: All right. Flaming Sphere.

ASHLEY: Okay, so--

MATT: So the rest of you watch as in the middle of the shadow, suddenly, a bright light flickers in and swirls into this burning ball of flame that's about five feet wide from side to side that's now smoldering and slowly rolling on the ground in front of the creature. As it's dragging its hammer and lifting it up, it sees it and (grotesque screeches) pulls back slightly--

ASHLEY: Is there a way to--

MATT: -- as it sees this flash of light.

LIAM: That's its stomach.

TRAVIS: Use your words!

LIAM: That's its stomach making that sound.

MATT: Yep, not the face. It doesn't have a mouth up here.

TRAVIS: What do you mean it doesn't have a mouth?

ASHLEY: So the creature takes 2d6 fire damage on fail-- Okay, it's dexterity of 19.

LAURA: So it backed away from the fire before it even hit him?

MATT: It didn't back away, it's just reacting to its arrival.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay, and then--

LAURA: Maybe it's fire. Maybe it doesn't like fire.

MATT: As a bonus action--

ASHLEY: I have a question, and I'm hesitating to bring this up to you.

MATT: -- you could slam him with it.

ASHLEY: 3rd level or higher, magic gets a little weird.

MATT: Yeah. What level are you casting this at?

ASHLEY: That's what I was trying to figure out.

ROBBIE: Oh my god, I forgot.

TRAVIS: Just say it and then do it.

LAURA: Just do it.

ASHLEY: Okay, so then let's--

LAURA: Just do it!

TALIESIN: Be Fearne.

ROBBIE: Just do it!

ASHLEY: I wasn't going to say it.

LAURA: Chaos!

ASHLEY: Then I was like, maybe he won't remember. All right, I'm going to do it at 4th-level.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: 4th-level? Go for it. All righty.

TALIESIN: Punk.

MATT: Have to get this here.

ROBBIE: Do it! What's that?

MATT: This is the Aeor wild magic table, that might come into play.

ASHLEY: Did I just remind you of it?

MATT: No, no, no. No.

ASHLEY: Okay.

ROBBIE: Pulling something from a tome.

MATT: We had everything shifted for other games.

ASHLEY: I know, I know.

MATT: It didn't all get put back in place.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: All right, so, 4th level, you said?

ASHLEY: 4th level.

MATT: 4th level, okay. So as you summon it into place, I need you to roll a d20 for me.

LAURA: A d20, and then if you roll what, a one or a 20?

MATT: A 17 or higher.

LAURA: Oh fuck.

ASHLEY: 17 or higher means you're fine?

LAURA: Then fuckery reactions.

MATT: No.

ASHLEY: That means you're fucked?

MATT: 17 or higher means you have to roll a d100.

LAURA: So roll low.

ASHLEY: Okay, which one rolls bad? I'm going to go with this one. 14.

MATT: 14. You're fine.

ASHLEY: Okay. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

LAURA: Oh my god.

LIAM: Damn it!

TALIESIN: Free money.

ASHLEY: So it's 4d6.

MATT: You're using your bonus action to slam it with the sphere? When you cast it, it stays there.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: If a creature ends its turn next to it, it takes damage, but you can use your bonus action to slam the sphere into it.

ASHLEY: Yes, I will do that. So I'll slam--

MATT: Okay, so it makes a dexterity save.

ASHLEY: Yes.

MATT: That's going to be a 16.

ASHLEY: Does not succeed, so--

MATT: Does not succeed. Go ahead and roll damage on that sphere. That's 4d6 points of fire damage.

LAURA: Sweet.

ROBBIE: Oof!

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

TALIESIN: Why am I having a heart attack?

LAURA: Is Mister out? Do you get any bonus from Mister being out?

ASHLEY: No, I should've put him out.

ROBBIE: We've won.

TRAVIS: Yeah!

ASHLEY: 11 points of fire damage.

MATT: 11 points of fire damage. Hey, it all helps. All righty. Do you want to stay put or do you want to move?

ASHLEY: The rest of my move, I am going to tuck myself back into that little spot.

MATT: Back over here?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: You got it. All right, that finishes your go. Orym, you are up, with Dorian kind of on deck.

LIAM: Okay, with the Boots of Striding and Springing, I'm going to leap over Chet, five, 10.

MATT: Technically, Essek's on deck after you.

LIAM: Oh, well, let's do it.

MATT: After you.

LIAM: After me?

LAURA: No, yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you have a much higher dexterity. You rolled the same initiative.

LIAM: 15, 20, 25. Am I within 15 feet? Do I go by him or by his stand?

MATT: By his stand.

LIAM: Okay, so I am.

MATT: So yeah, he's 15 feet from you.

LIAM: Okay, so--

ASHLEY: Rock him like a hurricane.

LIAM: I run up behind, and Seedling is out, and I will slash at the air and send attacks through.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: Not get any closer, so-- Doot.

TRAVIS: Why? You think he's got some extended melee or something?

LIAM: I think he's got some extended melee or something. Okay, that's an 18. That's 29 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: Let's make it a goading attack.

TRAVIS: Bring out the goats!

LIAM: So wisdom save. Nine plus--

LAURA: ♪ Trouble, trouble, trouble ♪

LIAM: So that's 17 damage, and--

TRAVIS: (Taylor Swift goat scream)

ASHLEY: (laughs)

MARISHA: (Taylor Swift goat scream)

MATT: 17 points of damage. You got it.

LIAM: Then he has to make a wis save.

LAURA: He just needs to make a whizz.

MATT: That's going to be a nine.

LIAM: Fails, so disadvantage against anyone except for me. Two more attacks.

TRAVIS: (gasps)

MATT: Yeah, you've effectively goaded him.

LIAM: That's a one, so I will reroll it. That's also a one! That's a one. It's a real--

ASHLEY: Does he reroll it again?

MATT: No, I believe you keep the second one.

LIAM: I think you keep the second one.

TALIESIN and LIAM: You keep the second one.

LIAM: That's my first one of the game.

LAURA: Whoa!

ROBBIE and ASHLEY: Wow!

MATT: I'll double check here, as it's been a minute since we've had this scenario.

ASHLEY: Must be nice.

TRAVIS: The first one of the campaign?

LIAM: Of the campaign.

LAURA: Because he always rerolls ones.

TALIESIN: I believe you have to--

LIAM: Halflings reroll ones.

MATT: I believe it is, too, but I'm just going to make sure.

TALIESIN: Worth making sure.

MATT: So I don't mess you up or get yelled at.

TRAVIS: Suddenly, in the corner, you see a cloak of dark raven feathers.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I've come to collect!

LIAM: All your characters are going to--

MATT: There we go.

TRAVIS: There's something familiar about you.

MATT: You must use the new roll.

LIAM: Yeah, that's a one.

ROBBIE: Wow.

LIAM: So that is--

MATT: It happened!

LIAM: Then it's a 20 to hit.

MATT: 20 to hit... does hit.

LIAM: Does hit? Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Let's make it a tripping attack.

MATT: Sure.

ROBBIE: Tripping?

LAURA: That's doable. That's definitely doable.

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: They be tripping.

LIAM: I know the story of David and Goliath. So that is 11 plus--

ASHLEY: Straight tripping.

LIAM: That is cocked. That's 14 points of damage, and now he's got to make a strength save, I believe.

ASHLEY: David and Goliath. Yeah.

LIAM: Strength save.

MATT: 21.

ASHLEY: Where's that slingshot you got me?

LIAM: Saves, doesn't affect.

MATT: So you strike him in the back of the leg, and it cuts through where the Achilles tendon would be, and as its leg splits and almost buckles for a second, its bones snap and it pushes it back together and you watch it seal over slightly, and it pulls itself back up.

TRAVIS: Ooh!

LIAM: So I went five, 10, 15, 20, 25. I'm going to back away.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: That's the end of my turn.

MATT: You got it. You just left its melee range when you did that, so it's going to take--

LIAM: 15 feet is its melee range.

LAURA: Zoinks.

TRAVIS: Called it!

MATT: It's going to take a swing at you, since you goaded it anyway.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: That's going to be a 23 to hit.

LIAM: Yeah, bruv.

TRAVIS: Damn!

LAURA: No!

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Woof.

MATT: So you take--

TALIESIN: Shit, brah.

ROBBIE: Naur!

ALL: Naur!

TRAVIS: Stay away from the hammer.

MATT: Okay. (laughs)

LAURA: Uh-oh.

LIAM: All that math.

TRAVIS: When he pauses--

LAURA: Yeah, this isn't good.

ROBBIE: Carrying the one.

ASHLEY: His math is fast. This is bad.

MATT: 33 points of bludgeoning damage, and I need you to make a strength saving throw for me.

TRAVIS: They're playing croquet with Orym!

ROBBIE: Heavy hitter.

TALIESIN: Okay, I know where I'm going next.

TRAVIS: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LIAM: Hold on one second.

LAURA: Get rid of it.

TALIESIN: I'm going full speed at that fuck.

TRAVIS: ♪ I'm going to be ♪ But if you leave, doesn't that mean--

LIAM: All right, that's a one. I'll reroll it.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: Does this thing have eyes?

LIAM: That's pretty good.

TALIESIN: Don't tell me about the bugs.

LIAM: So this a strength save, you said?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: 24.

MATT: 24, as the hammer slams you, you put your shield up, and you take the impact. It rocks your body, and your bones across your entire skeleton shake from the impact. You skid back about six inches, but you hold your ground. It almost golf clubbed you back.

TRAVIS: Wow.

LIAM: I rolled a 19.

TRAVIS: Wow!

MATT: All righty. That finish your go?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: All right, now it's Essek's go.

ASHLEY: Come on, hot boi.

MATT: Essek, seeing this happen here--

ASHLEY: Hot boi, hot boi.

MATT: -- is going to go ahead and-- Some of his good stuff here.

LIAM: Flashy.

ROBBIE: Look away.

LIAM: Do not go quietly into the night.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: We will not go quietly, without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive!

ASHLEY: We will not weaken or falter.

TRAVIS: Today we celebrate our Independence Day.

MATT: He doesn't want to hurt anyone there. Yeah, you know what? He looks over across this massive cluster and goes, "All right, let's see if I still got it in me. It's been a minute," and he's going to move forward to the edge, to there. He's going to begin to cast a spell. You see the space in front of his hands begin to warp and pull in, like there's either intense heat or intense gravity, and as he pulls his hands together and claps them, he shoots them outward, and you watch this bead of black scatter out in a line. As it does, the ground beneath goes (consecutive cracking).

ASHLEY: Whoa!

MATT: You watch as all the nearby stone and rock gets pulled into the center.

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: Like gravity suddenly folds. This massive Gravity Fissure tears across over there.

ASHLEY: Cool.

LIAM: That's dunamancy.

LAURA: That's dunamancy!

MATT: That's going to be for the damage.

LIAM: First.

MATT: Ooh, that's a great roll. Okay. Okay, now I'm rolling saving throws. It comes through here, which will catch everyone in this area. Unfortunately, on the opposite end, it might catch you, Fearne.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: So I need you to make, let's see--

LIAM: Is it catching Ash, who's in front of that tent?

TRAVIS: ♪ Resist the black hole sun ♪

MATT: I need you to make a constitution saving throw.

ASHLEY: Me?

MATT: Yep.

ASHLEY: Okay, I do have advantage against spells and other magical effects.

MATT: That's true, you do.

ASHLEY: So, not to brag.

LAURA: Is that higher than a 3rd-level spell?

MATT: It is. I'm going to roll for him in a second.

LAURA and ASHLEY: (nervous oohing)

ASHLEY: I'm going to definitely roll that again.

LAURA: Does the DC drop or the number drop--

ASHLEY: Shit. (laughs)

LAURA: -- the higher the level spell? Or is it just--

MATT: No.

LAURA: It's always 17?

MATT: It's just when a 3rd- or higher-level spell is cast.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Six.

MATT: Six, that's a fail.

ASHLEY: That's with advantage.

MATT: All right, so you take 36 points--

LAURA and MARISHA: (gasps)

MATT: -- of force damage.

TRAVIS: Nasty.

(surprised squealing)

ROBBIE: That's nasty.

MARISHA: (valley girl accent) Oh my god.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: Fail.

TRAVIS: Oh.

MATT: Fail.

TRAVIS: Oh, he's going to fucking plow her over.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

MATT: Fail.

LIAM: Oh wow.

LAURA: This is good.

MATT: Fail.

TRAVIS: Oh.

ASHLEY: I knew I shouldn't have rolled that one. You know when you have that feeling and you still do it?

LAURA: Mm-hmm, yep.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

ROBBIE: Whoa.

TRAVIS: Damn!

ROBBIE: Ah, thanks buddy.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: Tears through all of those.

ROBBIE: You planned that, right?

ASHLEY: Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's okay, I'll take the damage if they're all going to fail.

TRAVIS: Changes the game.

ASHLEY: It does, it does.

LIAM: I hate to throw a player under the bus, but do you see Ashton in front of the tent? Because he's right in there with those bugs.

MATT: Oh no, yeah, Ashton would be there too. Ashton, could you roll a constitution saving throw?

TRAVIS: Ah!

MATT: Yeah, as I was standing here, the edge of it was blocking him.

TRAVIS: Big con save, baby.

ASHLEY: Come on, come on.

TRAVIS: Big con save, nipples out.

LIAM: Come on.

TALIESIN: I don't have advantage on this, it's just a straight save?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: Force nipples.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: That's, I can't read that because I'm old. It's 15?

MATT: 15 is a failure.

TRAVIS: Ah.

MATT: It was 36--

ASHLEY: 36.

MATT: -- points of force damage.

TALIESIN: I take all 36, don't I?

MATT: Yeah, because it's force.

TALIESIN: Yes, I do.

MATT: You get pulled (whoosh) right in to where the middle of the line was.

ASHLEY: Ugh.

TALIESIN: Ow.

MATT: Your gravity against that gravity, you watch the two converge and as it hits you, the force damage hits, you watch as you get knocked out of the way.

TALIESIN: Oh, I do not like that.

MATT: Your head sparks and you (whoosh) get pulled in the middle and as you land, the colors of your rage mingle across a rainbow for a second before reforming, the dunamancy meeting dunamancy and having an odd reaction.

(oohing)

TALIESIN: I throw up.

MATT: He goes "Sorry."

LIAM: Fruity Pebbles.

MATT: To that point, I'm going to, actually someone roll for me because that's fun. Roll a d20 for Essek.

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LIAM: That's a cocked 20, so I'll roll it again.

LAURA: It was cocked.

LIAM: That's cocked. Seven plus something.

MATT: Okay. Okay, so yeah, that doesn't matter. He's going to dart back to there and (swoosh) hover back a little bit.

TALIESIN: That's not good.

MATT: Hoping that maybe he didn't catch too much attention. Finishing his go, it's now the larger entity's turn.

LIAM: Oof.

LAURA: Big boy, okay. Big boy's over by Essek.

TALIESIN: I got pulled over there?

MATT: Hmm? You got pulled there.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MATT: Yeah. It's going to, you goading attacked it.

LIAM: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Ooh. So it has disadvantage.

LIAM: I got its Achilles.

MATT: Yeah, it's going to turn around.

ROBBIE: All right, boys.

LIAM: Its Achilles.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

ROBBIE: You ready for a scrap?

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Did you lead him to us?

LAURA: Oh god, it's coming over here.

TRAVIS: Did you come back to the hole?

ROBBIE: It's us.

MATT: It turns the corner and it sees you--

MARISHA: Did you come back to the hole?

MATT: -- and the two others behind.

TRAVIS: How'd it go, Orym?

LIAM: Whoa.

TRAVIS: Oh fuck!

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Oh!

ROBBIE: Did you get him?

LAURA: Oh god.

ASHLEY: That's such a cool mini.

TRAVIS: Big Bear chased me.

MATT: As it lumbers past, dragging this hammer again, (inertial swoosh) it's going to make a massive swing with an overhead.

LAURA: All three of you?

ROBBIE: No!

LIAM: Holy shit.

MATT: The first one is going to be--

LIAM: The first one?

MATT: Actually, no, it brings its hammer up with its hands and as it brings the hammer there, the center mouth (snarls).

LAURA: Ah!

TRAVIS: Center mouth?

MATT: Is going to attempt to--

ROBBIE: It's got a center mouth.

MATT: -- it's going to try and lean in as it swings its hammer at other targets and try and clamp onto you as it does.

ASHLEY: Oh my god.

LIAM: I'm just a little snack. You surely want a bigger meal than me?

MARISHA: You are a little snack.

LAURA: (laughs) That's right.

MATT: That's going to be a 29 to hit.

LIAM: To hit? It hits. Sure, it hits.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Did you say 29?

TALIESIN: Cool.

MATT: 29 to hit, yeah. I rolled really high.

LIAM: Is there any kind of save or anything or am I in this guy's guts?

MATT: No, so here we go.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I will not answer you.

ROBBIE: Well--

(laughter)

ROBBIE: -- back that up.

MATT: 24 points of piercing damage.

LIAM: Ooh.

MATT: And you are grappled.

LIAM: Jeez.

ROBBIE: Oh boy.

MATT: As you are currently in its mouth being chewed.

TRAVIS: (screams) Shit!

ROBBIE: No!

LAURA: Chewed?

MATT: As it bends, it swings down--

MARISHA: Okay, okay. I'm so sorry.

MATT: -- it does this massive hammer swing to try hit Dorian. As it does, it leans forward--

TRAVIS: Oh no.

MATT: And (gurgles) envelops Orym for a second and it's going to swing for you--

LAURA: Does that mean you can hit it?

MATT: With the rest of the hammer swing. That's going to be--

LIAM: I don't know. It depends on the roll.

MATT: 20 to hit.

ROBBIE: (cheerfully) Yeah.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: (mimicking Robbie) Yeah.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Shit.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: That's going to be--

ROBBIE: With the hammer?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Ugh.

ROBBIE: Ha ha.

MATT: All right.

ROBBIE: Cool.

LIAM: He's at disadvantage with everybody. You remember that, right?

MATT: Oh, that's right, yeah, with anybody else but you. That's going to be, that's a higher roll. (laughs)

ROBBIE: Ooh.

MATT: Sorry.

LIAM: That's all right.

MATT: 20 and 23.

TALIESIN: Anybody got some Bane?

LAURA: What's your AC?

ROBBIE: (scoffs)

LAURA: So high?

ROBBIE: I got hit.

MATT: 28 points of bludgeoning damage. I need you to make a strength saving throw for me.

ROBBIE: Okay.

TALIESIN: Shit.

LAURA: Otherwise, you go flying.

TRAVIS: Matt, as this creature walks over--

ROBBIE: I'm strong.

TRAVIS: -- does he look like he's made of organic stuffs from first glance, or does he look like he's made of metal or stone?

MATT: No, looks to be organic.

TRAVIS: Wow.

ROBBIE: I can say fuck.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: As it steps over the giant hanging jowls, (blubbering) the skin just flaps. You can see where its arms are, they're thin almost like there's almost no musculature in the arm and at the joints, it's thick and wiry. The fingers are far too long and almost wrap around the fist a second time when it's clutching onto the hammer.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: It's awful.

TRAVIS: What?

TALIESIN: Did the fire--

MATT: So?

ROBBIE: 10.

TALIESIN: -- extra damage, or no?

MATT: All right, so 10.

LAURA: He didn't say it did.

MATT: As it swings the hammer--

TALIESIN: Shit.

MATT: -- you try and duck out of the way. It's trying to actually bell slam you into the dome next to you.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MATT: As you try and leap out of the way, it catches you and sends you flying back through the ruin (crash).

(oohing)

MARISHA: Oh my god!

MATT: You break through into the opposite side (thud) and hit the wall.

TRAVIS: Thank you.

ROBBIE: Yeah, sure.

MARISHA: Wow.

MATT: You are prone.

ROBBIE: Prone.

MATT: Which it takes half your movement to get up. So you're like (crash) (groan), fallen to the ground on the inside, breaking through the stonework behind you. That's going to finish its turn, leaving it now--

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MATT: -- with Orym being chewed in its stomach, its absence of face (slobbery low growl) looks over towards you.

TRAVIS: Oh, a big scrotum jaw?

ASHLEY: Ugh, the swinging.

MATT: Yep.

TRAVIS: Cool.

MATT: Finishing its go, Dorian, now you're up, with Imogen on deck.

ROBBIE and LAURA: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Amazing.

ROBBIE: So I just got hit through the wall, I'm prone. Okay. Let me see if I'm understanding this correctly, never done it.

TALIESIN: Fuck a duck.

ROBBIE: Okay, good. So I get up and dust myself off and there's no top of that dome, right?

MATT: Of this?

ROBBIE: Where I'm inside of that thing.

MATT: Oh, where you are? There is a staircase that leads to an upper area if you wanted to.

TALIESIN: But there's no roof?

MATT: There's no roof to it.

ROBBIE: There's no roof.

LIAM: You can stand on top and see him.

MATT: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Okay.

TRAVIS: In fact, boy, can you see him.

ROBBIE: And Orym's currently in his mouth?

MATT: Yeah, the stomach-mouth.

ROBBIE: Okay, I am going to engage my winged boots and use my movement to go straight up through to the top of the things and he's bloodied and battered and I want him to hover at eye level with him and I'm going to try, I have to, I'm going to cast Lightning Bolt at--

ASHLEY: Cool.

ROBBIE: Fuck. 5th-level.

LAURA: Can I, wait.

ASHLEY: Ooh.

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: I'm going right after him.

MATT: Yeah?

LAURA: Can we do a joint attack?

MATT: Sure, if you want to.

LAURA: Because this is one after the other, can I step up on this rock?

MATT: If you want to hold the spell, if you see--

ROBBIE: Sure, yeah.

LAURA: I'm going to step up--

ROBBIE: It's an opportunity.

LAURA: -- on this rock in front of me.

LIAM: You shout his name as he flies in the air.

MATT: Okay, so as you fly up, you start casting the spell and you see Imogen, the glow on the energy and you both make eye contact from across the battlefield.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Cool.

LAURA: I'm going to step up on the rock in front of me.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: I imagine I can see his head.

MATT: You can see the shoulders and--

LIAM: That's awesome.

MATT: -- head from above there.

LAURA: Then I'm going to do the exact same thing as Dorian.

MATT: What level?

LAURA: And hit him with a Lightning Bolt, 5th-level on the other side.

MATT: Two 5th-level Lightning Bolts just (crackle).

ASHLEY: Cool!

MARISHA: (claps)

MATT: All right, so both of you describe how these bolts interact with the creature.

ROBBIE: Right as we're casting, I'm going to yell: Aim for the head! Because Orym's in the body.

LAURA: Got it!

ROBBIE: Yep.

MATT: Four and a three, it fails both of your saves.

ALL: Yeah!

(cheering)

MARISHA: Tag team!

ROBBIE: But do we have to do a thing if it's a high level?

MATT: After this you do, but let's roll damage first.

LAURA: Okay, but we roll it?

ROBBIE: Roll damage first?

MATT: Yeah, so 5th-level, that's 10d6 lightning damage from each of you.

LAURA: Okay.

ROBBIE: That's what I got.

LAURA: Okay.

ROBBIE: I got more right here.

LAURA: Two, three, four, five, six.

ROBBIE: Do good.

LAURA: Huh!

ROBBIE: Ooh! Oh, that's pretty good.

MARISHA: Oh, it's down.

ROBBIE: I lost one.

MARISHA: It's down!

ASHLEY: Ooh, that's real good.

ROBBIE: That's real good.

LAURA: Nine.

ASHLEY: Ooh, that's real good!

ROBBIE: Oh, that's real good! Okay.

LAURA: Good, good, good.

ROBBIE: Let's go.

LIAM: Were you ever--

LAURA: Oh, this is really good, too!

ASHLEY: Oh jeez!

LAURA: Holy shit!

ASHLEY: You guys both rolled really good.

LIAM: -- hold someone's hand--

ROBBIE: That's four sixes.

LIAM: -- while they touched a live socket?

LAURA: Oh my god, I got four sixes, too!

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: Okay, great. Six, six, 24.

MATT: I live for this excitement.

ROBBIE: (laughs) Yeah, 32.

LAURA: 34.

ROBBIE: Six.

MARISHA: Shouldn't have gotten eaten.

ROBBIE: 38.

LAURA: Wait, shut up. I can't count.

ROBBIE: 40 on the nose.

MATT: 40 lightning damage, ooh.

MARISHA: Ooh!

TRAVIS: What's that?

LAURA: 42.

MATT: Ooh!

ROBBIE: Is yours purple?

LAURA: Yeah, mine's purple.

ROBBIE: What color does purple and yellow make? I don't know, but it's pretty!

LAURA: I don't know, but it's so cool.

MATT: So your bolt is a bright, yellowish white light?

ROBBIE: Yeah, just a literal lightning bolt.

MATT: Yeah, so you both wait until the exact moment and (electric booming) the entire--

TRAVIS: (resonating electricity)

MATT: -- cavern shakes with the impact of both of these hitting on both sides and as they hit the creature and both strike through its body, they both mingle.

LAURA: His head.

MATT: Yeah, well the head and the torso, it shocks through it and both of them (bolts roar) continue shooting out each side. The power is immense and you both almost (crackle) arc off to the side as you finish it--

ASHLEY: So cool.

MATT: -- like a Ghostbusters beam being pulled off. They both (electric crackle) splinter off before fading.

TRAVIS: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Nice shooting there, Tex.

(laughter)

LAURA: As mine dissipates, there's twinges of little bits of red light that fizzle off of it.

MATT: (static crackles) Cool.

ASHLEY: Ooh!

MATT: It looks a little hurt, it's looking a little hurt.

TRAVIS: Are you going to ask?

ROBBIE: High five.

ASHLEY: Wait, how many points of damage was that?

TRAVIS: I know. (laughs)

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: I need you both to roll d20s for me.

LAURA: It was 42.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah. This is where it gets--

ASHLEY: That was 82 points of damage together?

ROBBIE: -- sketchy though, right?

MATT: It might.

ASHLEY: God, that was good.

ROBBIE: I have not rolled a single good d20, but that all changes now!

LAURA: Roll low, roll low!

MARISHA: You want to roll low. You want to roll low.

ROBBIE: Oh good, I rolled so low!

MARISHA: That's good. You did, you did.

ASHLEY: That's good.

LAURA: Is that cocked? Is mine cocked?

MARISHA: Little. (laughs)

LIAM: That's cocked.

MATT: No. Okay.

LAURA: That's not cocked.

MARISHA: It was him. Teacher. Teacher, him.

MATT: Can you place a dice on it and it stays?

ASHLEY: Oh, that's a good rule.

MATT: Like a d6?

LIAM: Oh, I would've kept so many 20s.

TRAVIS: Ah.

LIAM: Ope! It's gone.

TRAVIS: The first try.

TALIESIN: It was at an angle.

LAURA: A d6, a d6!

TALIESIN: It was at an angle.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Don't do it again.

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MATT: No, no. If it fell off, it's cocked. So go ahead and roll it again.

ROBBIE: Do it.

LAURA: I feel like--

ASHLEY: I feel like that was a little weird.

TALIESIN: I was looking at it.

LAURA: I feel like if I see it--

TALIESIN: It looked cocked from here.

LAURA: -- and I can read it, it's not cocked, but--

MATT: If you see it and you can read it?

LIAM: Holy shit.

LAURA: It looked like a 20.

TRAVIS: Laura Bailey.

ROBBIE: Are you debating with yourself?

MATT: No. Look, here's the thing. I honor the fact if you can tell what number it's supposed to be--

LIAM: She's arguing for wild magic.

LAURA: No, I know. I'm just saying--

ASHLEY: Yeah, I feel like that was cocked.

MATT: If you know what number it should have been, then it's not cocked. If you can't tell because it's midway between, then it's cocked.

LAURA: I feel like it was a 20.

MATT: All right. Then roll a d100 for me please.

ROBBIE: (heavy exhale)

ASHLEY: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

LAURA: I feel like it's cheating. It's not--

LIAM: Did the electricity conduct through its body--

LAURA: -- honoring it if it--

LIAM: -- like it would?

MATT: Like it naturally would, yeah.

LIAM: To me, I'm asking.

LAURA: Four.

MATT: Oh, to you?

LIAM: Yes.

MATT: Both lines were shot at an angle where you were below it.

LIAM: Yeah, I know, but--

TALIESIN: It didn't do a--

MATT: Oh, but you're inside its mouth.

LIAM: I was a kid and grabbed somebody's hand when they touched an outlet and I got shocked.

TRAVIS: There's no saliva in that mouth.

MATT: I'll say no because the density of its body, most of the impact was above in the torso area. You feel the tingling throughout, but--

LAURA: It's like putting in a battery.

MARISHA: A battery, yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Because it would be lowered, anyway.

MATT: Yeah, you feel that throughout the body. Your body goes numb, like you just funny-boned yourself from head-to-toe.

LAURA: I might have just fucked myself.

ROBBIE: You'll be fine.

MATT: But I'm not going to do any damage because you're already in a rougher spot as it is.

MARISHA: -- yeah, or butterflies.

LAURA: It was in the 40s, if I remember.

MATT: From a spell math standpoint, you were outside of the impact of the spell.

LIAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Fair ruling. Fair ruling.

ROBBIE: Is that for Wild Shape?

MARISHA: For wild magic.

LAURA: A four?

MARISHA: Yeah. It's a d100 table and--

MATT: Oh, what?

LAURA: What did I do?

ROBBIE: Fun?

LAURA: Oh no, what did I do?

MATT: You stand up, (intense electric crackling) and those red lights around your fingers that glow begin to brighten and then curl up and then gather right in the middle of your chest and you're like, "What?" (booming explosion) A Fireball explodes where you are.

MARISHA and TRAVIS: Oh!

ROBBIE: (laughs)

LAURA: Oh shit!

ALL: (exclaiming)

MARISHA: Oh my god!

ASHLEY: Whoa!

LAURA: I am fucked! (laughs)

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LAURA: Oh no!

ASHLEY: Oh no!

TRAVIS: (laughs)

ROBBIE: Dorian is across the way wincing, waiting for it to happen to him.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Oh my god! Yeah.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Dorian's like, (bolt roars) "Ooh, that was pretty bad."

TALIESIN: You should get that looked at.

TRAVIS: (massive explosion)

ASHLEY: Ah!

MATT: Make a dexterity saving throw for me.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: Laudna, make a dexterity saving throw for me.

MARISHA: Oh no!

LAURA: Oh no, Laudna!

MATT: (laughs) That creature is going to make one as well.

TRAVIS: New campaign, some things never change.

ROBBIE: Don't kill your girlfriend.

MARISHA: I know, I was going to say is this because we're in a fight?

LAURA: ♪ Don't kill your girlfriend ♪ ♪ Don't kill your girl-- ♪

ASHLEY: Yeah, that's cocked.

LAURA: Is that cocked? (laughs)

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MATT: Natural one for that dude.

LAURA: That one's cocked. That is cocked.

LIAM: (laughs)

MARISHA: 15.

LAURA: I should have taken the cocked!

LIAM: I'm not going to say anything.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MATT: This is really bad.

TALIESIN: How did you get there before she did? That was amazing.

LAURA: I know, I'm under stress.

TALIESIN: Normally you live there.

LAURA: I'm stressed!

MATT: Okay. What'd you roll?

LAURA: 13.

MATT: 13?

LAURA: No, that's a lie. (groans) 11.

MATT: 11. 19 points of fire damage to you.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MARISHA: 15.

MATT: 15, you're fine on that one.

TRAVIS: Hey, Robbie.

MATT: Well no, it's based on your spell save. So that that would beat it, right?

LAURA: Oh, 19 is my spell save.

MATT: Yeah. So you also take--

MARISHA: Okay. Okay, okay.

MATT: -- 19 points of fire damage.

LAURA: Sorry. Sorry.

MATT: That creature over there also takes 19 points of fire damage. It's still standing, but it's hurt.

MARISHA: Yeah, and the scorpions?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: One of them got hit and is like: (intense sizzling) still smoldering as the flames are burning around. You can see its normally translucent torso is now blackened and opaque from the fire damage.

LAURA: ♪ At least I'm not as sheep ♪ ♪ At least I'm not as sheep ♪

MATT: That's true.

ASHLEY: That's true, that's true.

MATT: All right, that finishes your go.

TALIESIN: Baa.

MATT: You can still move, if you'd like.

ROBBIE: Also, can I technically finish my turn?

MATT: Oh yeah!

ROBBIE: Since Imogen jumped in, would that be okay?

MATT: Sure, I'll allow that. Yeah, go for it.

LAURA: Do it.

ROBBIE: If not, that's okay.

LAURA and TALIESIN: No.

ROBBIE: I would want to go, horrified by what just happened, I go: Chet, I think we hurt it! Then do Bardic Inspiration.

TRAVIS: Oh!

ASHLEY: Whoa.

ROBBIE: Oh wait, no, sorry. I need a 10, not a 100.

LAURA: Nice, nice.

MATT: Either works fine.

ROBBIE: Sweet.

TRAVIS: This is great.

ROBBIE: Sweet.

TRAVIS: This is for damage or to hit?

ROBBIE: For Bardic Inspiration?

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: Yeah, it's ability checks--

ROBBIE: Yep.

MATT: -- saving throws--

TALIESIN: Okay.

ROBBIE: Let me just double-check.

TALIESIN: Okay, okay.

MATT: I don't know if--

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ability check, attack roll, or saving throw.

TRAVIS and MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Even after all that damage, it didn't drop you?

MATT: All righty.

ROBBIE: Sweet.

TALIESIN: Okay. That amount of damage didn't make him upchuck a little bit?

LIAM: I'll take the fact that I did not get massively electrocuted.

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Fair, okay.

ROBBIE: (laughs)

TALIESIN: I'm trying to make some tactics.

ROBBIE: We knew it would work.

MATT: No, I get that.

TRAVIS: That's a very good point.

LAURA and ROBBIE: (laugh)

MATT: Yeah, there's a difference between being swallowed and grappled. He's not inside of its body, he can still do everything. He's not restrained, he's just grappled to him. He's just in the mouth holding it off.

LIAM: If anything, it probably went: (jaws clench).

TALIESIN: You're being macerated, not swallowed.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay. There's a lot of maceration.

MATT: It's in the process of chewing him more than it has swallowed him. Most creatures, it would be if it takes enough damage, then it'll vomit something up, but not in this particular instance. All right, so finishing that, Dorian, Imogen, you still have movement, if you want.

LAURA: ♪ I'm going to stay where I am ♪

MATT: You got it. All right, finishing that, Chetney, you're up, with Laudna on deck.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'm still hiding behind the booble.

MATT: Right over here, yeah.

TRAVIS: But this is all horrible. People are getting fucking Topgolfed all over the place.

MARISHA: Topgolfed.

MATT: In the same moment, two bolts of lighting went (crackle) and then (sizzle).

TRAVIS: Dorian's like (sizzle).

MATT: Yep. (laughs)

TRAVIS: Ah!

MATT: It's a little intense here.

TRAVIS: What's the distance between me and the edge of the mini? Am I in his 15-foot melee?

MATT: You are just outside of his 15-foot melee.

TRAVIS: Just outside, then fuck that, I ain't going in there. I'm going to take the scythe and cast Shatter.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: Against him, which is a con--

MARISHA: Nice.

TRAVIS: 15 saving throw.

MATT: Okay. What's the radius on the Shatter spell?

TRAVIS: It is a 10-foot sphere.

MATT: A 10-foot sphere, okay.

TRAVIS: So I'll put it just behind him so it gets him in the back and on the hammer as well.

MATT: Gotcha. Okay, yeah, so you can throw it probably through the legs and hit the edge of the tent.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: To not hit Orym is the question because he's inside its mouth.

TRAVIS: Yes, please.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: On his backside, if I could.

MATT: Yep, you got it. You can do that. A constitution saving throw.

LAURA: ♪ Shatter up the butt ♪

MATT: That's going to be a 15 constitution saving throw.

TRAVIS: That meets it.

MATT: Okay, yeah, so it's half damage.

TRAVIS: Eight, 13, and one more, that's a seven, amazing. 20, so 10. 10 points of thunder damage.

MATT: 10 points of thunder damage. You got it.

TRAVIS: With my bonus action, I'll be like (snarls) and do my hybrid transformation and I will fucking run away through that little crack between the mountain and the fort doing this number. (rapid high-pitched sliding) Between the wall, actually no, no, yeah, towards Taliesin, in through the crack between--

MATT: Oh, I see.

TRAVIS: -- the little pieces.

TALIESIN: Oh.

LAURA: (chuckles)

MATT: In here?

TRAVIS: No, no, no.

MATT: Oh.

TRAVIS: Further back.

MATT: Oh, up here?

TRAVIS: Yeah, through there.

MATT: Oh, towards Taliesin. I'm sorry, I was looking at Ashton. Sorry.

TALIESIN: Other Taliesin, jeez.

TALIESIN: Right there, that's great.

MATT: All right.

TRAVIS: I don't even use all the--

(uncertain noise)

TALIESIN: Cheesy.

TRAVIS: I will use the rest of the speed to climb up on that little ledge.

MATT: All right. There you go.

TRAVIS: Right there, yeah.

MATT: So you (grunt) clamber up the side, get on top and get a better overall survey of the battlefield before you--

TRAVIS: That's my turn.

MATT: Great. Finishing your go, Laudna, you're up.

TALIESIN: Remember, they spit acid--

MATT: Then we're back up to Ashton.

TALIESIN: -- if they're too close.

MARISHA: Okay. I'm going to turn behind Imogen. I'm going to be like: That was a good idea, even though it hurt a little. I'm going to ♪ Do something ♪ I haven't done ♪ ♪ New toys, new toys ♪ I'm going to--

ASHLEY: ♪ I haven't done ♪ ♪ New toys ♪

MARISHA: -- do Void Puppet.

LAURA: (gasps)

MARISHA: So you see--

TRAVIS: You wouldn't!

MARISHA: I would!

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MARISHA: Laudna lets out an eardrum-bursting banshee scream that I am not going to do.

LAURA: (muffled banshee scream)

MARISHA: You see a spirit--

ASHLEY: (brief shout)

MARISHA: Yeah!

(laughter)

ROBBIE: That's it.

LIAM: We just have that on tap at all times.

TALIESIN: And broken.

MARISHA: You see a spirit pulse from her body and go screaming through--

LAURA: Sick.

MARISHA: -- these guys.

ASHLEY: Cool!

MARISHA: It's going to go right there.

ROBBIE: Cool!

ASHLEY: (muted banshee scream)

MARISHA: As a screaming spirit goes (screeches and then--

MATT: Which spirit from Laudna's past does it appear as?

MARISHA: What spirit from Laudna's past?

LAURA: What?!

MATT: Things you know that have passed or things that you've killed that have passed.

ASHLEY: Whoa!

MATT: The spirit always appears as something that you've been connected to its demise.

ASHLEY: Oh, that's really cool. That's really cool.

TALIESIN: Part of the tree house gang?

MARISHA: I think for this one you would see in its ghostly ethereal form, a noose around its neck that is trailing behind it, almost like a tail, and it looks like a blonde, maybe halfling, younger woman that was hung with Laudna on the tree that day.

TRAVIS: Ah.

ASHLEY: (gasps)

MATT: Mm.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: All right. So that's your--

LAURA: You're pointing at yourself.

ASHLEY: Oh, it is me!

MATT: -- bonus action.

(laughter)

ROBBIE: Even I knew that.

(laughter)

MARISHA: I was right.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Cool, cool, cool.

MATT: So that's your bonus action.

MARISHA: So as she screams--

ASHLEY: That's really cool.

MARISHA: Then I'm going to take a few steps back and, not knowing that Imogen didn't mean to do this, go (explosion) and also do a Fireball--

ROBBIE: Yes.

MARISHA: -- right on top of all these guys.

MATT: Okay. As you step back--

MARISHA: Try and just get rid of them.

MATT: -- they do both get attacks of opportunity on you.

MARISHA: Then I'll stay.

TALIESIN: Not both of them. One of them doesn't because--

MATT: Oh, that's right. Yeah, one of them that's hit doesn't have a reaction. The other one does.

MARISHA: Then I'll stay. I can just make it be right on the edge.

MATT: Okay. So you remain--

ASHLEY: ♪ Right on the edge ♪

MARISHA and TRAVIS: ♪ Of glory ♪

TALIESIN: Boy, there's a vibe.

MARISHA and ROBBIE: (laughs)

LAURA: Robbie, you're like: Why am I here?

(laughter)

ROBBIE: No!

MATT: So right about there.

ROBBIE: This is what I want in a game.

MATT: You can hit everything in that area.

LAURA: (laughs)

MARISHA: Great.

LIAM: "High" fantasy.

MATT: All right. Level three?

TALIESIN: High.

ASHLEY: (stoner) High fantasy.

MARISHA: Level three!

MATT: All right, saves on that one. Fail. That one, the one that's closest to you. Natural one!

LAURA: Yeah!

ASHLEY: Yeah!

MARISHA: They all have disadvantage because they're near my spirit.

MATT: Oh yeah, you--

MARISHA: My screaming spirit.

MATT: Yeah, they super fail. The one right there.

TRAVIS: Super fail.

MATT: Also at disadvantage.

ASHLEY: Super fail.

MATT: Yeah, rolled a 16 and a natural two.

MARISHA: Hey, hey, hey!

TALIESIN: Is that the end of those, or--?

MATT: She hasn't rolled damage yet.

TALIESIN: Oh yeah.

MARISHA: Okay.

(vocalizing)

TRAVIS: (air horn)

MARISHA: Let's see. Hang on, hang on, hang on. As sorcerer points, what can I do? What can I? Hang on. I haven't done this in a second.

TRAVIS: (gruffly) What do you mean hang on?

MARISHA: "Empower Spell. When you roll damage for a new spell, you can spend one to reroll up to five of your dice."

(laughter)

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm going to spend a sorcery point because I want these guys--

MATT: To empower it?

MARISHA: -- dead.

MATT: All right, so choose five of those dice to reroll.

MARISHA: Okay, I'm going to get rid of this one, two, three, four. Ah, I'll keep the three.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Four. All right, come on, baby, come on. Yeah. Yeah. Hi-yah, hi-yah.

(laughter)

MARISHA: And I just turn into Butthead.

TALIESIN: That's scarier. What's happening now is the scariest thing.

MARISHA: 10.

ASHLEY: I love when Matt--

MARISHA: 22.

MATT: That's fire damage.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I love it so much.

MARISHA: 25.

ASHLEY: God, I love it.

MATT: It's classic.

MARISHA: 25 plus 12 is 37.

MATT: That's 37.

MARISHA: 38 damage.

LAURA: Woo!

ASHLEY: Yes, baby!

LAURA: Sexy!

ASHLEY: Cool!

LAURA: Yeah!

ROBBIE: Yeah!

MARISHA: Okay, that's good, just want to--

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: Ruin and--

MARISHA: So see--

MATT: The tent is on fire.

(laughter)

ALL: ♪ The tent, the tent, the tent is on fire ♪

(laughter)

MARISHA: I'm going to cower. (laughs) I'm going to slip behind this boulder and just (exhales).

MATT: Right here or back this way?

MARISHA: Yeah, that's fine. Just where I still want to be able to...

MATT: Yeah, you can still see. It's half cover from there.

MARISHA: See what's happening.

MATT: All right then.

MARISHA: I can still see the big guy?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: You know what? I--

MATT: Well, actually from where you are, you would not be able to. The angle's at a point where--

MARISHA: Let me actually then move, five, 10, 15--

TALIESIN: Not great.

LIAM: Not great.

MATT: Yeah. With Ashton there, you have an angle where you can see it.

TALIESIN: A little bit, but eventually I'm going to--

MARISHA: I'm going to move one more, 25, because now can I maybe see my party members? Some of my party members?

MATT: Yeah! You can see Dorian up there.

MARISHA: Just in case-ies?

MATT: You can. The only one you can't see is Orym, and that's because he's facing away.

(laughs)

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: All right, that finishes your go?

MARISHA: Yep, that's my go.

MATT: Ashton, you're up!

TALIESIN: Oh boy.

MATT: With Fearne on deck.

TALIESIN: Okay, yeah.

MATT: Since all the skitterlings are dead.

TALIESIN: How far away is this guy would you say?

MATT: How what?

TALIESIN: I'm trying to see how far away this guy is from me. All the little creepy crawlies are gone?

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: All right. He's kind of far, isn't he?

MATT: He's about 50 feet from you.

TALIESIN: That'll do it. I am going to trigger a Hyper Rage, and I am going to start going out of focus, vibrating at high speed, and then there's going to be--

MATT: Did you get speed earlier?

TALIESIN: I got, it's time, yeah, I got time.

MATT: Or time, yeah. The earlier one was gravity? Or that was?

TALIESIN: No, there was no gravity.

MATT: The one that reduced your time? I know what you're talking about. Yeah.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

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

TALIESIN: Yeah, that's just the standard.

MATT: Yeah, I was trying to remember which one that was. You're good.

TALIESIN: My-- Yeah. So starting to get a little out of phase, and then a long red line of light like a Tron bicycle hops over there and appears out of nowhere. You see a blue phase-y shift version of Ashton who waves very slowly at you while I scoot full fucking speed at that asshole.

ASHLEY: Oh, cool!

ROBBIE: Nice!

LIAM: Oh wow.

MATT: That's cool.

TALIESIN: As if time bends, there's still a little blue trail behind me still waving at you a little bit as I take a 25, I take the straight--

MATT: Roll d20 for me.

TALIESIN: -- attack

TRAVIS: Ray Chase-ing.

MARISHA: Oh, that's right! Ray Chase-ing. (laughs)

TALIESIN: Ray Tracing.

ROBBIE: Oh, you made it magic.

MARISHA: I made it magic.

MATT: I love Ray Chase-ing.

MARISHA: Five.

LAURA: Yay!

MATT: All right, you're fine.

TRAVIS: Nothing bad happens on a five.

TALIESIN: I think I'm going to take... [surprisingly loud thunk]

ASHLEY: No, no, no!

(laughter)

MATT: You thought you were free with Marisha on the other side of the table.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Are you okay?

TRAVIS: 10 pound dice roll?

LIAM: Yes!

TRAVIS: What was it?

ROBBIE: Right, hit a funny bone?

LIAM: My wrist bone!

ASHLEY: Oh, ow!

TALIESIN: I hit him with a die.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Solid. That's the ball bearing dice?

LIAM: That's the big--

ROBBIE: Finally.

MATT: (laughs) That was incredible.

LIAM: This motherfucker. That hit me!

(oohing)

TALIESIN: It's not that bad. Oh, Jesus.

(laughter)

LIAM: No, anywhere except the bone, right?

LAURA: Ow.

MATT: Taking two attacks?

TALIESIN: I am taking my first attack, but I'm using the belt, so I'm going to get an extra d6, but I'm also taking advantage on this.

TRAVIS: ♪ Gonna use a belt ♪

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: So, because I want this to hit really bad. That's--

LIAM: Ooh, it hits?

MATT: So you're going reckless?

TALIESIN: 28. Yeah, I'm going reckless.

MATT: 28 hits.

TALIESIN: 28 to hit. That means they have to do a strength save. They're huge size, right?

MATT: They are huge, yes.

TALIESIN: Okay, so yeah, they need a strength save.

MATT: Strength save will put it at a 16.

TALIESIN: It's a 17.

MATT: That's a fail.

TALIESIN: So I'm going to do my damage first.

ASHLEY: Yes.

TALIESIN: Ooh! One second. It's 12, 24. It's 25 points of damage.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: He's pushed 15 feet away from me.

LAURA: Wow.

ASHLEY: Damn.

TALIESIN: Then how much--

TRAVIS: (like Laura) Wow!

LAURA: (Valley girl) You can push really big things.

TALIESIN: Then--

MATT: You are still technically grappled because you didn't push him out of where you were held by him. Actually, you were right there when you attacked him, so--

LIAM: I would go with his body, yeah?

MATT: Well, if you knock something away from a grapple, you might tear yourself free, but he's so big that you push him still within range.

TALIESIN: He's more than one size larger than me, so I can't do something else weird, can I?

MATT: No.

TALIESIN: Okay, that was--

MATT: More than one size larger.

TALIESIN: I'm going to then, so that's how many feet have I run?

MATT: 50.

TALIESIN: 50? Okay. I got 80 feet, so I might as well play with it.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I'm going to hop up and get one more fucking hit.

TRAVIS: ♪ One more fucking hit ♪

TALIESIN: That's 26, 27.

MATT: 27, that definitely hits as well. Go for it.

TALIESIN: Then that's an extra eight, nine, 10, that's 20 more points of damage.

MATT: Nice!

TALIESIN: Then I'm going to back the fuck up, straight back.

MATT: How far?

TALIESIN: As far as I can go, which is the rest of my 80 feet.

MATT: Well it was, 50, 60, 55, 60, 65.

TALIESIN: 70, 75, 80.

MATT: 75, 80. That takes you just outside of his hammer range.

TALIESIN: That's fine, because I technically can't trigger, while I'm doing this, I don't provoke opportunity attacks.

MATT: Then there you go, you're great.

TRAVIS: Why you so nasty?

TALIESIN: (evil laughs) So that's my vibe.

TRAVIS: You nasty.

MATT: All right, that finishes your go. Now Fearne, you're up, with Orym on deck.

ASHLEY: Okay, so--

TRAVIS: Let them have it, Fearnie!

ASHLEY: All right. Well I would love to move the Flaming Sphere, but I don't know if it'll hit now at 30 feet?

MATT: At 30? Unfortunately, I think he just got pushed out of the range of your Flaming Sphere.

ASHLEY: Okay. No, no, no, that's okay. All right. Scratch that.

MATT: You can still get Ashton with it, though.

ASHLEY: I am going to bamf out Mister then with my bonus action.

MATT: All righty.

ASHLEY: What I'm going to do is--

MATT: How far away can you throw him in? 60 feet was it?

ASHLEY: I can throw him in at... Boy oh boy, I don't know if I know that. Let me see.

MATT: It's in the ability for him. Summon Wildfire Spirit.

TALIESIN: Where does he attack?

ASHLEY: Nope, that's Wild Shape. That's why it's not showing up. I'm really sorry.

TALIESIN: Where is the big guy?

LIAM: Where is the big guy? Oh, in the order? After-- I don't remember.

LAURA: It's probably, it should be...

MATT: He attacks after Essek.

TALIESIN: Oh, thank you. Okay.

LIAM: Between Orym and Essek.

LAURA: 60 feet, it might say up here.

ASHLEY: Sorry.

LAURA: With the intentions, no 30 feet.

ASHLEY: 30 feet, okay.

MATT: 30 feet, okay.

ASHLEY: Yeah, so--

MATT: You can move and then summon him, if you want.

ASHLEY: Yes, so I'm going to move so I can see Big Boy.

MATT: About there next to Laudna is where it'll be.

MARISHA: (screams)

MATT: You can drop him there.

ASHLEY: So I can move 35 feet.

MATT: Okay, yeah. So you can move.

MARISHA: Did I scare you?

ASHLEY: Okay, so I am going to now Scorching Marisha Ray.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I'm going to do that at...

TRAVIS: Recharge whatever you can.

ASHLEY: I'm going to do it at 3rd-level.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: From Mister? You can do that?

MATT: No, this is from her.

ASHLEY: This is from me, but I--

LAURA: Oh, it goes super far!

ASHLEY: It goes super far.

MATT: It's 120 feet, I'm pretty sure.

ASHLEY: 120 feet, yeah. So.

MATT: Now because he got pushed back that far, he has half cover, so just know he has a little bit of an AC bonus. He's still a big target, but just be aware.

TALIESIN: Goddamn it.

ASHLEY: Say that one more time?

TRAVIS: So he's hiding behind--

MATT: You can only see the upper part of his body, because where you're standing the tent is still blocking most of him. So slightly harder to hit, but not too bad. It's just a plus two to his AC.

ASHLEY: Well, wait, because I also have rogue, can I--

MARISHA: Wait.

ASHLEY: I can dash.

MATT: You can dash?

LIAM: As a bonus?

MATT: You used your bonus action to call--

ASHLEY: To bamf out Mister. Okay, never mind. That's right, okay. So what I'll do, Scorching Marisha Ray then.

MATT: All right. At level three, so that's four attacks you roll for, right?

ASHLEY: Yeah. Okay.

MATT: Or is it? Let me see, hold on. Scorching Ray.

ASHLEY: Um. What did I say, 3rd-level?

MATT: Yeah, so it's one additional ray per one, yeah, that's correct.

ASHLEY: Okay. First hit is 28.

MATT: That's a hit.

ASHLEY: Okay. Second hit, probably not. 14?

MATT: 14 misses.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: For sure.

ASHLEY: Second hit again is 28.

LAURA: 28.

MATT: Hits.

ASHLEY: Fourth is--

LAURA: Cocked.

ASHLEY: Cocked.

LIAM: Cocked.

MARISHA: Cocked.

ASHLEY: 22.

MATT: Hits.

ASHLEY: Okay, so three hits.

MATT: So 6d6 fire damage against him.

ASHLEY: Okay. All right, all right, so 12, 13, 14. 17 points of fire damage.

MATT: Fair enough.

ASHLEY: Wait! But I also get, because Mister's out.

LAURA: Yay!

ROBBIE: But wait, there's more!

ASHLEY: I think it's a d8, let me see.

LAURA: That's why you bamfed him out!

ASHLEY: Yeah, that's why I did it. Oh, Enhanced Bond, where you at? Sorry.

LAURA: Like an extra 2d8, because he's leveled up?

ASHLEY: I think it's just 1d8, but I haven't taken him out in a minute. I'm so sorry. Um.

LAURA: Click on it.

ASHLEY: I was just looking at it and it went, I think it's enhance... Hold on, I know what to look at. Features and traits. Sorry.

TALIESIN: When in doubt, Features and Traits.

ASHLEY: Roll a d8 and gain a bonus equal to the... Okay, that's a d8. Let's do this one. Seven, seven additional points.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll take it!

ASHLEY: Okay, that's my turn.

(laughter)

MATT: (impacts) The flames ripple off of him.

LAURA: That was 4th-level?

TALIESIN: They don't seem like it.

MATT: To no effect.

(gasping)

TALIESIN: No fire? No fire. Okay.

ROBBIE: Oh!

ASHLEY: Copy that.

LAURA: Fire doesn't affect him?

MARISHA: The fire didn't work?

ASHLEY: The fire didn't do anything?

MATT: Did nothing. Where the flames emerge.

LAURA: Oh, all that work?

(laughter)

MATT: I know, I'm sorry.

ASHLEY: That's okay.

MATT: I was trying to jump in to say it, but--

ASHLEY: That's okay.

MATT: I was going to let you look it up and roll the dice, too.

ASHLEY: That's okay. Okay.

MATT: Getting a close look now as you're floating above, too, you both struck him with lightning bolts, and they struck him and hit, and they damaged him, but for the severity of that, it should've been more visceral.

LAURA: You said he looked rough for a second.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: I think--

MATT: The damage still crossed a threshold.

LAURA: Oh no!

ROBBIE: Oh.

MARISHA: Damage still crossed a threshold.

LAURA: Oh no.

ASHLEY: So, okay.

TRAVIS: I hate him.

LAURA: Roll a d20.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Are my hits looking okay, or--?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Are they-- Well--

ASHLEY: Five.

MARISHA: No bueno, no bueno.

MATT: Okay, you're fine.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: So--

ASHLEY: (blows raspberry)

MATT: I know, the Flaming Sphere that hit him earlier, like the impact freaked him out for a minute. Kind of moved away. Didn't seem to take much of an effect on it. The flaming Scorching Rays hitting him, fire does not seem to have much of an effect on him at all, and lightning seems to be a little diminished.

ASHLEY: I pass that on. Um, um, fire doesn't really do anything!

LAURA: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Fuck!

MARISHA: First two things you said, Matt?

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Fire doesn't do anything, lightning is diminished. He's resistant to lightning.

MARISHA: Resistant to lightning.

MATT: That's what you gather from this. And immune to fire.

LAURA: Fuck!

MARISHA: But then all of your--

ASHLEY: He takes no damage from fire?

TALIESIN: My stuff seems like it, I seem like I'm giving him a bit of a rock and roll, right? When I'm--

MATT: He's taking hits from physical stuff, yeah.

TALIESIN: Okay, good to know.

ASHLEY: Oh shit. All right.

LAURA: Fuck.

MATT: Does that finish your go, Fearne?

ASHLEY: Okay, that does finish my turn.

MATT: All right, Orym.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Top of your turn, because you were inside its mouth.

ROBBIE: Oh no!

MATT: The teeth chew into you.

LAURA: Mm!

MATT: You take 19 points of piercing damage.

LAURA: No.

MATT: And you're a fighter, you're fine.

ASHLEY: No.

TRAVIS: "You're a fighter, you're fine."

ASHLEY: Okay.

LIAM: Do I do anything?

LAURA: He's going to--

MATT: You feel like it's trying to siphon something from you that isn't present.

LIAM: I don't got it.

LAURA: Oh! Oh!

ROBBIE: Oh!

LAURA: Oh, it's sucking magic!

MARISHA: Magic? It wants to...

LAURA: Because it's Aeor!

MARISHA: Suckle magic?

MATT: What do you want to do?

TALIESIN: It's a magic sucker.

MATT: So Orym is caught in this gigantic toothy maw in its gut, and tries a couple times with his small frame to pry it apart but can't, he's just not strong enough. So suddenly, Dorian, you see a cloud of blue and green and black and Orym appears just above the thing and lands on its arm and starts running "Shadow of the Colossus" style up its arm, slashing as he goes. That was Misty Step. That's a 20, that's a 30 to hit.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: Okay.

ASHLEY: Oh, it can--

LIAM: That is 11 points of damage.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: 20 to hit?

MATT: 20 hits.

LIAM: 20 to hit. Okay. That is just seven points of damage. Now we'll make this a goading attack. That's cocked.

MATT: I'm leaving the original Flaming Sphere damage, by the way, because I should have mentioned something back then.

ASHLEY: Okay. Okay.

LIAM: Okay. So this third attack is a goading attack. It is eight plus-- It is 14 points of damage. He has to make a wisdom save. Slashing up the arm, that third one slashes across its head, its skull.

MATT: 15?

LIAM: No, it's higher now. It's 18 at this point.

MATT: Yeah. So you go carving, as you run up its body, up its arm, carved through its face and now one of the jowls (slurps) leaves hanging there. Where it was, it pulls back, you can see there's a skull beneath it. There's no face, but there is a skull behind it.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: Where you can see a eye socket and teeth.

TALIESIN: A lot of good it's doing.

LIAM: Springs up off of its back, action surge, slash it on the head as I flip to its other shoulder. This is also a goading attack. That is 20 to hit, which hit before. Or no, this is a pushing attack. Excuse me. Four plus is 10. 15 points of damage. Has to make a strength save, beat 18.

MATT: That's going to be a 23.

LIAM: 23. Okay.

TRAVIS: Is there any blood and viscera that comes out when that hits?

MATT: No. It's like cutting through a bloodlet pig for me. Like a post-butcher or a--

TRAVIS: Exsanguinated.

MATT: Yeah. A body without blood.

TRAVIS: Got ya.

LIAM: So, 20 to hit on the fifth, and that is a 10 of damage. Has to make another strength save for a trip attack. Excuse me.

MATT: That's going to be a 21.

LIAM: Saves. The last one, I jam it right directly in now. That's a 21 to hit.

MATT: That hits.

LIAM: Another tripping attack. Four. This is 10. 17 points of damage. One last strength save to beat an 18.

MATT: How do you want to do this?

(oohing)

LIAM: It is full "Shadow of the Colossus" running up its arm. Slashing the arm, slashing the arm, cross the head, flips over, slashing again, gets one last slash and it goes to stab and it sinks through the thick, almost fish-like hide, (thunk), all the way up to the hilt. I pull it out and feel it. Uh-oh, okay. What? I ride it down to the ground and then skip off, down onto the ground.

MARISHA: Let's go!

(applauding)

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: Chetney comes around with his harp. (strum)

(laughter)

LAURA: Prestidigitation applause.

TALIESIN: I cast a tiny bit of Slow on you.

LIAM: A little bit of Slow?

TALIESIN: Just to have that, like--

LIAM: Just for funsies? Just to calm me down?

TALIESIN: Speed is halved, so you have that little like, ooh.

LIAM: Thanks.

TALIESIN: Take a moment.

LIAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: Take it twice.

TRAVIS: After the echo of the giant creature falling over settles--

MATT: Dust. (whoosh)

TRAVIS: Any sound of anything moving, activating the--

MATT: Make a perception check for me using your hearing.

LAURA: Do you have something like Control Flame?

MARISHA: Because that felt too easy. It feels like this can't over.

LAURA: Can you put the fire out on the--

TRAVIS: 18.

MATT: 18. As the silence falls over, as you all take a breath, you can hear movement in the far distance. You did make massive explosions and lightning blasts and screeches, and that echoed quite loudly through this cavern. So, to no surprise, you do hear far away the sound of rocks like, (tiny impacts)

(glurping growl)

TRAVIS: You know what we could do? We could run up in this tower and see what comes so we can see what's around here.

ASHLEY: Yes. So I'm--

MATT: The tent is on fire, too.

ASHLEY: I'm going to Control Flames.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: And put out the fire in the tent.

TALIESIN: I'm going to bust out the-- Do you think that hammer will fit in the hole?

TRAVIS: That thing is fucking-- How big is it? 10 feet? 15?

TALIESIN: 15.

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: But it's also deep.

TRAVIS: I mean, who would wield it?

MATT: I will say, the flames are wider than a five-foot cube.

TALIESIN: It's crazy Aeor tech, man.

TRAVIS: Okay. Ask him.

TALIESIN: Can the hammer fit in the hole, in theory?

MATT: The hammer fit in?

TALIESIN: If I opened up the-- monsters hammer, if I opened up the portable hole.

LIAM: Portable hole.

MATT: No, it's about a good 15 to 20 feet long.

TALIESIN: Okay, fine.

LAURA: If I'm also controlling flames, can I help?

MATT: You can put it in and it's sticking out the edge.

LAURA: If I'm also using Control Flames, could I help put it out?

MATT: I think if you have it at your disposal as well, then yeah. The two of you together would be able-- It's about, sorry, 10 feet, and it's starting to climb quickly. So both of you can take a side and together reduce the fire.

TRAVIS: I meant to do this last time, but can I run into the burning tent and on a spare piece of wood, can I start to carve in the symbol that's on the guy's chest, just in case we need to remember it visually?

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: If anyone wants to help, I'm going to drag this fucking body into that tent as quickly as possible, make it a little harder--

LAURA: That giant thing?

TALIESIN: I'm strong.

ASHLEY: I'll try to help. I'll try to help.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

ASHLEY: I'll try to help because I want some teethies from the tummy.

TALIESIN: Yeah. Just quickly, drag it for a little cover.

MATT: Okay. Go and roll a strength check for me. With advantage because you're helping.

TALIESIN: Okay. I was also going to say, technically, I think I still have a tiny bit of--

MATT: Rage left, yeah.

TALIESIN: That's just a strength check. 21.

MATT: 21. It's not budging.

LAURA: Wow.

TALIESIN: 21? Wow.

MATT: This this thing together weighs probably close to 1200 to 1500 pounds. It would weigh more if it wasn't so thin. So, even the two of you pulling it, dragging it, and moves an inch.

ASHLEY: Can I give him a quick looksy and see if there's anything on him?

LAURA: Yeah, look at his teeth.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: Lift up his skin on his skull.

MATT: Okay. If you want to go ahead and inspect as you hear the sounds of things in the distance coming closer at whatever pace they are.

LIAM: Tower.

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's go to the tower.

ASHLEY: Yeah, I like the tower idea.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: But you check, you can see where the face was cut through and the jowl that's there, there is a humanoid skull in there. Even though the skin is stretched over it, smooth in a way that it doesn't utilize eye sockets or a mouth. In fact, looking at some of the musculature, and it's humanoid, it's just stretched larger. Make an arcana or nature check.

LAURA: You're looking at it, too, or is it just me?

TRAVIS: Augmentation on things.

LAURA: I think you should do it--

TALIESIN: You know who I'm thinking about right now.

LAURA: I don't. I have investigation, which is what I was hoping for, but I shit on the others.

TALIESIN: This is giving me some serious Ira vibes and a little hint of Cyberman.

MATT: All right. You don't know. This isn't your specialty.

LAURA: It's just a-- It's like a skull.

ASHLEY: It's really scary.

LAURA: We should go.

MATT: It's spooky.

TRAVIS: We go up the tower.

ROBBIE: But we've got a minute while we've been investigating all of this?

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: While everybody's investigating this, Dorian's just so stoked from all the action that's just happened. He's recapping it for everybody. It was like: And my favorite part was when you did this. And talking about how good everyone did. While we're doing that, I'll cast a Motivational Speech.

(oohing)

MARISHA: What does that do?

LAURA: What does that do?

ROBBIE: Yeah. What's my dicey level? Three or under or three or over? For when--

MATT: Oh, three or higher.

ROBBIE: Three or-- Oh no! Is it worth-- I said it out loud?

LAURA: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Well, I might as well do it at a four then.

MATT: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Everybody gets 10 health back.

LAURA: Ooh!

ASHLEY: Ooh!

ROBBIE: Everybody that can hear it.

LIAM: Oh, wow.

ROBBIE: Takes about a minute.

ASHLEY: Yes.

ROBBIE: He blathers on in the background for a minute.

MATT: Well, you gain, it's five temporary hit points.

LAURA: Oh.

ROBBIE: Wait.

MATT: One second.

ROBBIE: Oh, I was doing it at 4th-level. Yeah, three, right.

MATT: Oh, I see. Yeah. So fourth level would be 10 temporary hit points.

LAURA: Oh.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

LAURA: Temporary.

MATT: Well, first-- Well, first.

ROBBIE: Wait, did I mess that up?

MATT: No, no, no. No, no.

MARISHA: Uh-oh.

ROBBIE: I could easily have messed it up.

MATT: Yeah, just five creatures that are in range that can hear you.

LAURA: Oh, five creatures.

ROBBIE: Five, I'm sorry.

MATT: Yeah.

ROBBIE: I messed it all up.

MATT: That's all right. No, you didn't mess it all up. Just one little thing there. Okay.

TALIESIN: Who hasn't taken damage?

MATT: All righty.

LAURA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: I'm pretty good.

LAURA: Really?

TALIESIN: I could definitely use it.

MARISHA: Yeah, I'm okay. Because I can get temporary health points.

ROBBIE: A lot of us got dinged, right?

TALIESIN: I got dinged.

LAURA: Yeah, we all did.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MARISHA: Do that side.

ROBBIE: Yeah. Anyone who's hurting, including myself, if I can fit it in. Well, all four of us.

TRAVIS: We're good. We played that smart.

ASHLEY: And that's temp?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: You know?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Unlike y'all.

ASHLEY: 10 temporary.

ROBBIE: For an hour.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TRAVIS: I'm going to go--

MATT: Temporary hit points.

ROBBIE: We're still running from potential danger, right?

LAURA: Yeah, potentially.

ROBBIE: Okay.

LIAM: Does that pull up our hit point count 10 in addition to the ceiling being higher, or is it just a higher ceiling?

LAURA: It's just a temporary. So those would hit those 10 first.

LIAM: The ceiling higher.

MATT: Correct.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You still have the damage you have, but the 10 go first. While you have those temporary hit points, you also have advantage on wisdom saving throws.

LAURA: Great.

ASHLEY: Cool.

MATT: But as soon as those temporary hit points go away, so does that effect.

MARISHA: Because remember, there's probably some sort of demon thingy fucking with people's heads and making them turn on people.

ASHLEY: Then when you did a lightning and then when Imogen did a lightning, it was so cool at the same time.

ROBBIE: Did it together.

MATT: (ominous croak)

LAURA: We got to go. We gotta go.

ASHLEY and LAURA: Go, go, go, go, go, go, go!

LAURA: Up the tower?

LIAM: Yeah, we're making for that tower.

MATT: All right. You all clamber up inside the tower. I'd like you to make a group stealth check.

ASHLEY: Pass Without a Trace!

TALIESIN: Are you doing it? You're doing Pass?

MARISHA: It's great.

ASHLEY: It's up to you.

TALIESIN: I'll take this pass because it doesn't cost me anything.

TRAVIS: As we're going up the tower, any kind of crates--

MATT: Have you already used Pass Without Trace?

TALIESIN: Yes. Yes, I have. Never mind.

LAURA: Okay, so you're doing it.

ASHLEY: I feel like I've used it, too.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, you've used a few spell slots, but he can only use it once per day.

TALIESIN: I only use it once per day.

ASHLEY: Got it. I'm going to do it.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: Also, I need you to roll a d20 for me, please.

ROBBIE: Oh fuck.

TRAVIS: (laughs) Please nuke us.

ROBBIE: 11.

MATT: 11, you're fine.

ROBBIE: Okay.

TRAVIS: As we're going--

MATT: Essek gathers up with the rest of you and goes like, "First off, my apologies, but it seemed like it was the most effective thing to do at the time. Calculations and all of that. Secondly--"

ASHLEY: (perturbed) It's fine.

LIAM: See a lot of those down here?

MATT: "That is only the second time I've seen one of those and the first time I've fought one. Part of the game is to not be discovered. Speaking of which, we should go. Are you all--"

LAURA: Essek, can we hide in one of these towers?

MATT: "We can certainly try," and he glides over in that direction to gather up with the rest of you. What were you were saying?

TRAVIS: Is there any crates or anything to inspect at the bottom of the tower or the stairs as we work our way up to peek over the edge?

MATT: Sure, yeah. As you glance around, make a perception check for me.

TRAVIS: Okay. Werthers! Fuck you! Seven.

MATT: Seven. It looks like most anything of interest has probably already been picked clean from here. Especially with the proximity of the Vanguard, they probably slowly worked throughout this portion of the city. So, anything that would've been interest has already been pulled. You can see areas, the floor, where it's much cleaner than others and where things have been moved out. But you all gather up to the top. The group stealth check with Pass Without a Trace. I'll include Essek in this as well.

TALIESIN: Forgot to do myself.

MATT: It's going to be 16 for Essek.

TALIESIN: With no Pass Without?

MATT: He rolled real bad.

LAURA: No, not Essek.

TALIESIN: No Pass Without Trace, or with Pass?

MATT: With Pass.

TRAVIS: With Pass.

LAURA: With Pass.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah. 38.

MATT: 38.

ASHLEY: Damn.

TALIESIN: Nat 20.

TRAVIS: Boom.

LAURA: 28.

MATT: Nat 20. Tell me if it's nat 20, because that's actually worth two victories.

TALIESIN: Oh, nat 20.

MATT: What'd you get again? Sorry.

LAURA: 28.

MATT: 28.

ASHLEY: 23.

MATT: 23.

ROBBIE: 23.

MATT: Great.

MARISHA: 36.

MATT: Great.

TRAVIS: (belches) 35.

ROBBIE: Ooh.

MARISHA: Nice.

TALIESIN: Wow.

MATT: All right.

ASHLEY: We're real quiet.

MATT: As you all clamor up in the tower and hold down as quiet as you can, obscuring yourself here in the shaded space of this stone tower. As you all get in there, too, there are parts of the floor that shift under your feet and bits of stone floor fall out from the ruin. You worry for a brief moment, this tower is maybe not as sound as you thought it would be, but not to the point where it feels like it's about to collapse yet. You all slowly sit there and as you wait--

LIAM: Perimeter. Orym's going to listen.

TRAVIS: Eyes just above the edge.

MATT: Yeah. Perception check.

LIAM: That is a 28.

MATT: 28. Looking past, the first thing you see--

LIAM: 30, excuse me.

MATT: You see this small pack of three hound-like creatures. They're leaping over rocks and clamoring and circling around. It's hard to make out much detail beyond they are quadrupedal and have these large tails, as they step into the nearby bits of the very, very subtle light-- Actually, you don't have your light source currently lit, right? There's the low inner lantern on the inside of the tent. So you see the shadow as they begin to approach and sniff around the tent. You look at one, and they are much larger than a standard dog, right? Even compared to just a wolf, but there's no fur. It is an odd somewhat turquoise gray coloration, like a blubber or a dolphin-like exterior, but with a wolf-like snout, eyes, ears, just furless. You see on the back of its tail, as it looks in there, the end of this long striated muscular tail, a large eyeball is fixed that is also looking separately within the tent behind it.

LAURA: Didn't we attack this before?

MATT: They like, (snarls). One of them lumbers inside and you hear, (growls) and it drags out one of the murdered bodies, and two of them jump on it and start eating it, while the third one drags off on the other side and pulls another body out. They're just feeding on the remains of the murder scene at the moment.

LAURA: Guess it's good you copied that symbol.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: Matt, do these look or feel related at all to the doggos on the moon? What are those called? I'm trying to-- To the doggo-like creatures.

MATT: Oh, I know what you're talking about. Yeah. No. I mean, other than looking very strange--

MARISHA: Avadons, right?

MATT: Yeah. Other than looking very strange in their quadrupedal form, these have heads. There's very little beyond the fact that they are canine-like, but you don't see much else that really connects the tissue.

MARISHA: Then jumping off of that, this monster baddie that we fought, does it feel related at all to the type of genetic modification that they've been doing on the moon? Has Ludinus been taking some of inspiration from here to help them or it seems like two totally different things?

LAURA: I feel like they were doing different things.

TALIESIN: Can I jump on that one?

MATT: Make an intelligence check for me.

MARISHA: I'm looking at my little alien fetus in the jar.

TRAVIS: Let's go, INT, let's go.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that would be my question, is does it remind us of Ira's experience?

TRAVIS: Plus two, plus two.

MARISHA: 11.

MATT: 11. It's hard to see if there is any connection tissue here. This is also an ancient ruin. You're not sure the source of this creature. It could be. Could not be. It's rough to pinpoint it.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Orym limps over to the other side of the tower as part of the--

ASHLEY: (sneezes)

ROBBIE: Bless you.

LIAM: 30 perception. I know we're close. I don't know how close to the lip of the crater, the hole. Can we, from this height, see over the edge of it, or is it much higher up?

MATT: So, you can, at that height, can just barely see over the lip. It's maybe about a couple hundred feet, a few hundred feet from where you are right now. You're not up against it immediately, but you're not terribly far, either. So from where your height is, everyone else is looking down at this feeding frenzy and the sounds of other calls and other creatures, you do also hear something else (grunting) down the way. The three dog creatures look over, one of them goes back to eating quickly, while the other two tear the body in half that they're currently feeding on, pick it up in their mouths, and start leaping off to escape the ruin. You're looking past the other direction. You can see just past this part of the cavern where it's pitch black, there is the faintest bit of light now that you've really adjusted to the darkness of the interior here. There's a part of this cavern roof that the faintest bit of sunlight is coming through. You look over and it's looking up in that direction. It's not that there's an opening, it's that part of the ceiling here is just solid glacier ice. It's thick enough where most of the light is obscured entirely, but just the faintest bit of light's coming through.

LIAM: All ice, or--

MATT: Most of it's rock, but this one area ahead of you is just the faintest.

LAURA: That could be an exit, potentially?

LIAM: On our sides still occasional little baubles of blue for the people in stasis or whatever.

MATT: Oh, as you look around, the entire city is peppered with them.

LIAM: Right.

MATT: There's the three you see in this battle map and there are hundreds that surround you all around.

LIAM: Do they provide dim light? That's what's happening.

MATT: Very dim light.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: But yeah.

TALIESIN: Tryptophobia for satellites.

MATT: Essek, sitting off in the shadow goes, "Well, we survived that. Where we're going, I am not entirely certain what awaits us. Do we need to take a moment to prepare ourselves? If it gets too hairy down there, I can likely find a quick way to abscond from this. Especially if you have the ability to get us to move through the air rather rapidly. It would be safer than climbing down, regardless, but if we can afford us a bit of rest, that might be good."

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: I hurt, so I'm definitely down for some rest.

LIAM: I hurt, I hurt. I can go, but if we go, I'm going to need a little help.

TALIESIN: Mm.

LIAM: Unless we take a beat.

LAURA: All right.

LAURA: Sure, we can take a rest.

TALIESIN: What the fuck even hit me?

MARISHA: Taking a short rest? Is that what we're doing?

TALIESIN: Oh.

LAURA: A short rest, yeah.

TALIESIN: That's what hit me?

LAURA: Are we good where we are to take a rest right here?

MATT: "Where else would we take it?"

TRAVIS: As long as the tower doesn't collapse.

LAURA: All right.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: (darkly) The tower doesn't collapse.

MATT and ROBBIE: (laugh)

TALIESIN: Damn.

LIAM: Before we rest--

TALIESIN: I'm usually on the other end of that--

ASHLEY: Are we doing a short rest?

TALIESIN: -- weird gravity shift. That felt--

(uncomfortable shudder)

MATT: "Yes, my curiosity about your strange affliction continues to deepen. I would like very much when this is over to perhaps-- Experiment's the wrong word."

TALIESIN: Oh.

MATT: "I would like to look into you."

TALIESIN: I would appreciate that. I'm-- I've got too many I don't knows these days. Trying to get rid of a few.

MATT: "Same."

TALIESIN: (laughs) I like him. He's hot.

TRAVIS: Short rest.

MATT: So as you're taking your short rest as well--

TALIESIN: Oh thank god.

MATT: -- you can see where those creatures rushed off.

ROBBIE: Oh.

MARISHA: Yeah, you're good.

MATT: A number of other lumbering beasts come in. You see two massive gorilla-type creatures that come through. Not straight to this tent room, but around the thing. They're almost hunting or pursuing the sounds that came through. You see flashes that have a greenish tint to them. Also hairless, somewhat weird, almost like a damp blubber-like exterior as they leap--

LAURA: Gross.

MATT: -- from rock face to rock face, both of them hunting in tandem as they go through.

LAURA: Can I ask, the dogs and these gorilla things, what is their reaction, if anything, to the giant tummy teeth beast?

MATT: The dogs sniffed around it.

LAURA: Didn't really have a--

MATT: But didn't really care much. They were more interested in what smelled delicious.

LAURA: Uh-huh.

MATT: Then these gorilla beasts, they don't even pay it any mind.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Also, if we take a short rest, we lose the temporary hit points and the wisdom advantage, right? Because that was an hour.

LAURA: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Mm-hmm.

MATT: You do.

TALIESIN: Damn!

MATT: So, your call.

ROBBIE: Only an hour.

LAURA: But then you could cast it again.

ROBBIE: And you get real hit points.

LAURA: Mm-hmm. Do you get any-- With your class, do you get any spells back when you rest?

ROBBIE: That's a good question.

MATT: I don't think so. Only wizards as part of their--

ROBBIE: Mm-mm.

MATT: -- Arcane Rest ability and then their sorcery points.

LAURA: Right.

MATT: Bards, they get a bunch of other cool shit.

LAURA: Okay.

TALIESIN: Bards.

MATT: All right, so--

TALIESIN: Oh yeah, I still have some good shit.

MATT: Still rolling some hit dice over here.

LAURA: Which is what I'm doing. I'm am gaining back my 5th-level spell that I used and then I'm going to use the vial of Laudna's blood to regain those sorcery points.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Oh, I get my fucking-- I get my chaos burst back.

LIAM: Orym's a little achy still.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Looking a little tired, even after the short rest. We short rested--

ROBBIE: Oh, it does it for me.

LAURA: I didn't-- Fuck off!

LIAM: -- during this day already.

MATT: As you're getting close to the end of your short rest, another one of those dog creatures with the eye tail, looks like a scrawnier one that's on its own seems to follow up over in the area as well, sniffing around and slowly begins to look nervously around and skitters down to where body of the creature is. Sniffs your massive kill, goes back into the tent, pulls another body out by a leg. As it begins to gnaw on its foot, Essek goes, "Watch," and points above you. You see ever so faintly, only because he points it out, this single strand of what looks like a thread of silver or something just descends. It heads straight down.

TRAVIS: That's pretty.

MATT: With your perception, it's not a thread. It's an impossibly long piece of goo. It reaches down and just touches the top of the wolf creature and then (snatch) pulls it up and you hear. (yelps)

ROBBIE: (laughs)

TRAVIS: (gawks)

MATT: Up into the shadow, you don't even see the source of it, you just hear: (slobbery gnashing)

ASHLEY: Oh! Oh. Okay.

LAURA: That was from the ceiling? That was from the ceiling?

TRAVIS: Oh, what--

MATT: Pieces of it begin to fall down.

LIAM: So everyone saw a thread come down, I know that it was snot, and it got yanked.

ASHLEY: A spider of some sort?

MATT: Yeah. The rest--

TRAVIS: The ceiling's more than 60 feet up from the tower, right?

MATT: Yes. Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You get the sense here, and Essek looks to the rest of you. "So yeah, there are many strange, unnatural things that call this place home. Some that were from Aeor, others that have just found it home or been changed by the odd magics here. But we should be focusing on moving quietly--"

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah.

MATT: "-- and unseen."

TALIESIN: We might want to wear a hat.

LAURA: Did any of the creatures seem to be attracted to the lamp light coming from the tents?

MATT: "I'm certain it--" Are you asking me or asking him?

LAURA: I was asking you, Matt.

MATT: Oh, yeah. You were still in the accent so I wasn't sure.

LAURA: Sorry, I was kind of-- Yeah, you're right.

TRAVIS: Imogen's just talking real loud.

MATT: They were following the sound, and when they saw the light they then went to inspect what that is, yeah.

LAURA: Went to the light? Okay, okay.

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Barbara Ann.

TRAVIS: (Texblade) We should get moving.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MARISHA: Oh, Fjord, what's up?

LIAM: What's that, Captain?

TRAVIS: Hmm? What?

MATT: A little Tusktooth squeaking through in here.

TRAVIS: (clears throat)

ROBBIE: Was that Chet's real voice all along?

MATT: I know. (laughs) Big reveal!

TRAVIS: (nervous moan) Fuck, I've been made!

LIAM: You've just been Shapechanged Fjord all this time?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Amazing.

MARISHA: It's almost like we're--

TALIESIN: Yippee ki-yay.

MARISHA: -- three campaigns at once.

TRAVIS: See Invisibility.

LAURA and ROBBIE: (laugh)

MATT: All right. So that being the case, Pass Without a Trace has also, as the short rest, lost its--

LAURA: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: So if you want to spend another.

LAURA: Oh, and we lost our temps.

ROBBIE: Yep.

ASHLEY: All right.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: Unless you want to cast it again, your call.

ASHLEY: I will cast it again.

MATT: All right.

LIAM: So new stealth.

MATT: So everyone gets Pass Without a Trace for the next hour as well, restealth.

LAURA: Restealth.

MATT: Also roll another d10. Or sorry, d20.

ASHLEY: Me? Okay. I didn't for the last time I did Pass Without a Trace.

MATT: That's right, so roll twice.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Didn't you? You rolled a one.

MATT: Because it's fun. I thought you rolled the--

LAURA: It was an 11.

ASHLEY: But didn't I roll that for stealth?

LAURA: Oh, was that for stealth?

ASHLEY: Yeah, that was for stealth.

LAURA: Okay, my bad.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Five.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Okay, so second time.

MATT: And now for this time.

ASHLEY: Three.

MATT: All right.

LAURA: Phew.

ASHLEY: Okay.

TALIESIN: Finally, our normal rolling is paying off.

LAURA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah.

LIAM: I want Dorian to get hit with wild magic and turn blue.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Ha-ha!

TALIESIN: It's the wrong blue! Oh god!

LAURA: I did turn blue for a little bit.

TALIESIN: I'm not navy!

ROBBIE: You did, really? You turned blue?

LAURA: I turned blue and I lost all my hair.

ROBBIE: (laughs) Yay!

TRAVIS: Yep.

LAURA: I did.

MARISHA: You were seafoam.

TALIESIN: I wouldn't laugh.

ROBBIE: The things you miss.

MATT: Hey, more opportunity. Just keep casting your spells, friends.

ROBBIE: Yeah! All of my--

LIAM: She started Blue Man Group in Exandria.

(laughter)

ROBBIE: Dibs on front row.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: So--

ROBBIE: Splash zone.

MATT: Essek goes, "If you have the capability, I would recommend us to try to circumvent climbing within that," and he gestures over to the massive pothole that the rest of you now turn around and notice, but Orym has seen before. This incredible space, you saw it from a distance where the roads arced upward like something had punched through and they're locked in this almost volcanic force that burst through the middle of this city ward leaving this impossibly large sinkhole that you cannot see the other side of it, it's so big from here. What little bit of light comes through the bit of ceiling ice sections that the little bit of filtered light that glows and the element orbs around it, you can see this endless expanse of darkness. "So, I do not want to burn all of my important things."

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "But I can comfortably take four."

LAURA: Wow. Comfortably, you can take four. I would be burning a lot to take four.

MARISHA: So you're saying we're going that way, but we can't touch anything?

MATT: "We can."

LAURA: I can--

MATT: "But climbing is a bit dangerous since I'm not entirely certain what the bottom is."

LAURA: Can you--

ASHLEY: I could--

LAURA: -- turn into something?

ASHLEY: I could turn into something and carry somebody.

LIAM: You've never seen the bottom?

MATT: "No. I prefer to carefully explore, and each time met some sort of a barrier and discovered it was best to leave."

LIAM: How far down would you say you've gone?

MATT: "I mean, the farthest I've been is the ninth basement floor, and where we're heading, I believe, is in the seventh or eighth."

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: Okay.

LAURA: I can comfortably take three, or, if Fearne--

ASHLEY: I could fly. I can also, basically, if I think about it, I can pretend I'm a feather in my head and whoosh down.

ASHLEY: Yeah, then you can't control, necessarily, where you're going.

LIAM: If you fly, you can take me--

ASHLEY: You want a ride?

LIAM: -- and Chet maybe, depending--

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LIAM: -- on how big you want to get.

ROBBIE: I can help someone to fly as well, if you prefer.

LAURA: Oh, because you can fly.

ROBBIE: I can.

LAURA: Oh!

TALIESIN: You can carry somebody.

LAURA: Okay, well--

ROBBIE: I could. Or I could play a little tune--

ASHLEY: You should carry Orym.

ROBBIE: -- and if someone wants to fly under their own power.

LIAM: Would Dorian be able to hold halfling frame without too much--

MATT: Yeah, slowly. It wouldn't be good for a chase, but for this circumstance you could probably--

LAURA: In that case--

LIAM: I'll piggyback.

MATT: It'd be half speed carrying you, so everyone, you'd be a little behind everybody.

LAURA: Then you don't need to-- Don't your druid, your Wild Shape because that's wasting it.

ASHLEY: I won't use it. Great.

LAURA: I'll do Fly on us three.

ASHLEY: Awesome.

LAURA: Then you can do you three. Save a little bit.

LIAM: I'm going to piggyback on Dorian.

LAURA: They can do it, unless you want to use that higher--

MATT: "No, I will happily save that slot."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Instead only burn a fifth."

LAURA: All right. I'll burn a fifth as well.

MATT: "Very well."

ROBBIE: You're going to burn a fifth for it to do what? Make someone fly?

LAURA: To fly three people.

MATT: "Now--"

LAURA: Why?

ROBBIE: I could do it for pretty cheap.

LAURA: You can?

ROBBIE: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: Oh.

ROBBIE: If you prefer.

LAURA: I mean, fuck.

TRAVIS: Cheaper's better.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Cheaper's better.

ASHLEY: Cheaper's better.

ROBBIE: Let me try this.

LAURA: All right.

ROBBIE: I'll play a little tune, and I've got my mandolin, and I can cast Fly. It's still at 3rd-level, but I got a ton of slots for it, unused.

LAURA: Oh wow.

ASHLEY: Okay.

LAURA: Okay.

ROBBIE: Sure, Give it a try? Who needs to fly?

LAURA: Wait, but it's concentration.

ROBBIE: Oh, I can only do one, yeah. Oh yeah, oh yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, so you have to do it at a higher level in order to get multiple targets.

ROBBIE: Yeah, you're right.

LAURA: So, I'll still do the fifth. Or I can do fourth and you can do fourth.

TRAVIS: Then you have to double roll for wild magic or just one fifth and one of you do wild magic?

LAURA: I'll just do--

ROBBIE: Would you rather double roll or want me to bear the burden? You feel lucky?

LAURA: Wait, you'll still have to do fourth to do--

ROBBIE: Yeah, I'm going to carry one.

LAURA: Oh, you can carry.

ROBBIE: Then cast--

LAURA: I'll just do fifth then and just do one roll.

ROBBIE and LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Very well. So you're carrying this one."

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: "Then I'm bringing myself, you, you, and you."

LAURA: I'm doing Fearne, me, and--

ASHLEY: Thank you.

LAURA: -- Ashton.

TRAVIS: I have a name.

LAURA: So you're doing a--

TALIESIN: Cheers.

MATT: "All right, so 5th-level."

TALIESIN: You do?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "All right."

ROBBIE and LAURA: (laugh)

TRAVIS: Pretty ass mother fucker.

LAURA: All right.

ROBBIE: Chet's salty tonight.

(laughter)

LIAM: Tonight?

TRAVIS: Did you see the size of that guy?

MATT: So with that--

TALIESIN: Pock O'Pie.

MATT: 12.

LAURA: 11.

MATT: All right, you're fine. All of you feel the gravity dissipate and the weight of your body begin to vanish. With a bit of mental push, most of you are able to fly. You are being carried. As you all begin to take off, it's a rapid flying speed of 60 feet, but only 30 for you while you're carrying Orym.

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: So everyone stays at a slower 30-foot pace.

LIAM: Thanks, guys.

TALIESIN: I'm spotting, so.

ROBBIE: Shoulders or piggyback? Sometimes I've-- (laughs)

(laughter)

LIAM: I think probably my feet are poking out under your armpits and my arms around your neck, yeah.

ROBBIE: (fluttering)

MATT: Perfect. (whooshes)

MARISHA: Yoda.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: You all--

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MATT: -- coast up in the air, meeting the midway between the ceiling gap to the floor. Right as you approach the edge at the lip of this massive, empty space, you begin to see the faint layers where bits of light flicker in and out throughout. There are many, many subterranean floors beneath this city ward that are carved through like a layered cake that had the center of it pushed through. You could see parts of it are blasted open. It's not an even, perfect cylinder. It looks like it was done violently, and there's bits of tangled, shredded metal and bits of stone that has cracked and collapsed. Some look like they've fallen in on there and it's an inaccessible mess. There are others that have what looks like floors, partial rooms that are exposed and accessible. Many of the aqueducts that run through the city here that drain and fall, creating dozens of small waterfalls that all vanish into this pit below, some of them also partially flood some of these outcroppings you can see as the water drips in and fills up what's exposed. Here, as you look over the space, Essek glances around. "All right, stay close. I'll see if I can recall the proper floors," and begins to descend into the open chasm as the rest of you follow suit, making--

LIAM: Orym is looking for spiders and whatever the fuck.

MATT: Mm-hmm. Perception check--

ASHLEY: Same.

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

TALIESIN: All the ruined places.

LAURA: (laughs)

LIAM: Natural one. I will reroll it. Attaboy, that's a 32.

TALIESIN: Oof, yeah.

MATT: Now, you have disadvantage in here because of the lack of light.

LIAM: Okay, so it should be a straight roll?

MATT: Yeah. You're looking at a distance in very, very, very low light.

LIAM: Well, that's not as good. That's a 16.

MATT: 16, okay. It's challenging to make out much at this distance. As you slowly descend, you can see some of these openings. Flashes of metal hallways. You can see the occasional flicker of some sort of magic lantern or torch that shouldn't be burning under these circumstances that still alights far down a hallway, like there's just blackness and then one little flickering bead of light and then darkness beyond it that sends a shiver through your spine as you descend past it. That's the first basement floor. Moving down, you begin to see the aesthetic continuing with these metallic walls, but dangling heavy cables that pour out of areas. They could be flexible shafts or some sort of distant containment cable that brought objects from one to the other or possibly part of an expanded aqueduct system, as some of them appear to be dangling open and there is liquid dripping from them slowly. Past the second level. The third floor you see is deeply damaged. Much of the area is blackened. The machinery around it is twisted and broken. This place looks like the beginning of the real heavy damage is starting to come to bear. With each little pass, Essek goes through going, "(sighs) They've certainly picked a lot of this clean." You can see, as some of you pass by, some of the shapes right as you go by and the lights that you see on some of these levels passing from below and up, you see the outer shadow of a skeleton leaning against a piece of rock before it vanishes from sight. You recall that the number of ancient bodies that reside in these ruins go beyond the city streets, and they are sandwiched all throughout the unknown depths of this Genesis Ward.

LAURA: Are we seeing any more lanterns lit or fires lit?

TRAVIS: Light, sources of light?

MATT: You see lights sources you pass by. Some of them look like they're magically set in lanterns that still remain glowing forever as the enchantment requires. But there are other darkened bits where it looks like the enchantments have been snuffed or areas where some have been removed and individuals that may have been wandering through here and took them for their own use and wandered elsewhere.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: But every now and then you see faint little bits of glows here and there. You go past to the fourth floor basement, fourth floor. This area is almost completely collapsed. There is one darkened area that looks open still, but there's no light. As you pass by, it's hard not to see a half dozen pairs of eyes, yellowish, glowing that shift through the shadow. One seems to look in your direction before you move past it.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: Floors five--

TRAVIS: Can I use my nose?

MATT: Go for it.

ROBBIE: Smell it.

TRAVIS: Smell that ass.

(disgusted laughter)

MARISHA: Wow.

TRAVIS: 18.

MATT: 18?

TRAVIS: I'm a wolf, all right? Ass is my specialty.

(laughter)

MATT: You do definitely smell--

LAURA: Ass. (laughs)

(laughter)

MATT: Just so much of it. This is a massive asshole, actually, the entire--

ASHLEY: So much of it.

MATT: No. (laughs)

ROBBIE: Let's get in!

MARISHA: Oh my god. (laughs)

TRAVIS: Oh my god, we're in it.

TALIESIN: It's balmy.

ROBBIE: He said it, he said it.

MATT: Aeor's a person. (laughs)

LIAM: Wash your ass.

ROBBIE: It was a butthole all along.

TRAVIS: Suddenly, a gush of wind. (booms)

(laughter)

MATT: We destroyed it.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: (booms)

(laughter)

MATT: You smell sweat, but it's nothing you recognize. It is alien to your life experience. You also smell rust, you smell hard water, you smell rot, you smell a faintest bit of almost the sweet rotting of fruit. It's a mishmash of different scents that shift as you head down, and the occasional bit of air pours through, almost there's sources of gentle wind within these stacks of these ruins. You can't understand what would be bringing wind through here. But as it blows through, fresh scents wash it away. As you go past that gust, you pick up those scents once more. It is throwing you off. Every now and then, those of you who are attuned to the weave of magic and crafting it, you feel these tingles that move through you, like an odd little shimmer that goes through your body and makes you uncomfortable the concept of setting loose a powerful incantation in that presence.

ASHLEY: This place tickles.

TALIESIN: (laughs)

MATT: Most of these floors down here are not traversable. They are entirely collapsed and shut off. There is no visual perspective. Even Essek looks over to one area, "That is a fresh collapse there. I deign to think what had occurred there as of late. It's been a few years since I've been here, so, (grunts) since the Empire took the place under its wing officially."

TALIESIN: What was that?

MATT: "Oh, series of various research floors. Many of it's still locked. Me and my partner were trying to map out as much as we could, but we weren't the only ones here. There are many minds looking to this space. There were those coming in here to take what was worth, what they could find. There was Dynasty interests that were setting up outposts, one of which was there," and points to the seventh floor that is this ruined mass of stone and tangled metal, "But it seems that operations have been shut down."

TALIESIN: Fuck.

MATT: "I think," and you see as one floor comes up, there's a bit of a shelf outcropping, "This is the eighth floor. This is as far down between this and elements of the ninth that I've been. But you had mentioned the Occultus, what is it you called it?"

LAURA: The Ruby Vanguard?

MATT: "No, no, the word we got from Astrid."

LAURA: Oh, Dominox?

TRAVIS: Occultus Thalamus?

LAURA: No.

MARISHA: Occultus--

LAURA: Thalamus.

MARISHA: -- Thalamus.

MATT: I just wanted to make sure you guys had your notes still.

TRAVIS: Yep.

MATT: "I've come across some references to a Thalamus on these two floors. We'll start with the eighth, and if this does not guide us anywhere of particular interest, we'll try and go for the ninth. Though that is a bit more precarious. This eighth basement floor was, as far as I can tell, a lot of arcane experimentation. But many of these places were sealed off. By the time we had gotten here, we had expended much of our capabilities. At the first sign of any sort of danger, we had to leave for self-preservation reasons. So shall we begin?"

LIAM: Just out of curiosity, looking down past the eighth and the ninth, it's just ongoing wreckage, wreckage, wreckage, until visibility dies?

MATT: Just floors are collapsed in, and you can see an area where the floors are blown out further, like it opens up into even further darkness.

LAURA: Do you know how deep it goes?

MATT: "I have not been to the bottom, but," and he takes a coin from the inside of his robe and throws it.

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: And it goes.

(whooshes)

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: And just disappears. You have a very high perception.

LAURA: Oh yeah.

MATT: Roll a perception for me.

LAURA: Come on, come on, come on, let's go.

LIAM and LAURA: Cocked.

LIAM: 27.

MATT: 27. It takes about 25, 30 seconds before you hear the faint--

(plopping)

LAURA: 25, 30?

MATT: -- breaking the surface of water.

LIAM: It's very far.

TRAVIS: Water.

LIAM: Water?

TRAVIS: Water, all the way--

LAURA: Don't y'all just want to dive on down?

ASHLEY: Yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: Ooh, sounds fun.

TRAVIS: I mean--

MATT: "What could possibly be down there?"

TRAVIS: This a safe point, 100%.

LAURA: No, I mean, yeah, no, no, it would be terrible, but--

TALIESIN: Probably the bodies of a bunch of other people who thought that this was a good idea.

LAURA: I mean, just Lara Croft it off, one second.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.

ASHLEY: Just dive it off, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: "Be my guest."

TRAVIS: With a handstand first.

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MATT: "I'm going to go on the eighth floor," and he (whooshes) glides over on the edge of that--

LIAM: It must run off somewhere because it's been pouring here for who knows how long. What better-- hold on!

MARISHA: It's strange, though--

TALIESIN: Magic water is magic water, as we definitely learned recently, it can come from anywhere and go to anywhere.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: You know what that just reminded me of?

TRAVIS: What?

MARISHA: When we lost FCG's coin in the tunnels of Jrusar.

LIAM: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Oh yeah.

MARISHA: It's strange being here without them.

LAURA: I wonder if they would've, I don't know, remembered anything?

ASHLEY: Felt something?

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: You know, when we finish this, and we have infinite free time, we should go back and find that coin.

LAURA: We should.

LIAM: It feels needlessly cruel that they're not here right now.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Like most cruelty is needless?

LAURA: Hmm.

MATT: "That what makes it cruelty, isn't it?"

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah. Well fucking put.

LIAM: Sorry, Letters.

MATT: "Well, let us begin," and he flies down, not quite touching ground. Here this outcropping, it's about maybe 15 feet at its full extent and it's only about 25, 30 feet at the edge before it pulls back into at a lip and another broken wall ends on one side and the other plummets off into darkness into the side. But here, as you all step down, the first thing you notice, there is a massive fallen stone ceiling that has crumbled in, part of the upper floor that had fallen in and filled in that space. There are bits of metal weaving through the wreckage in its own right. You see a tangled web of hanging cables that hangs from the ceiling. As you approach, they're lying there still, like these impossibly thick hairs of some sleeping creature that makes you feel the ominous sense of the shadows within. But in the center of the wreckage, part of it has been cleared out, and you can see there is a braced archway, like a door to a hallway beyond that has been cleared and revealed. At its base in your direction, looks like there are two tables, modernized tables, and some small bags of supplies, and not unlike the tent that you had seen before, the remains of a Vanguard encampment, but no sign of any person there. As you take in the sight for a second, this dull, distant vibrating hum seems to (spooky exhale) from further in the darkness.

TALIESIN: What the fuck is up with that?

MARISHA: Is it continuous or does it sound like breathing?

MATT: No, just that one.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MARISHA: Just that one?

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Is it a breath, a tone?

TRAVIS: Super-low heart rate.

TALIESIN: The sound of something big vibrating?

MARISHA: Yeah, (laughs) yeah.

TALIESIN: I don't know. Fuck.

LIAM: In the setup that they've left behind before they were murdered, are there any little magical lanterns of any kind that could travel?

MATT: You want to step up to the table, and you see there is a set of oil lanterns, two of which look like they're broken, one that looks like it's functional, but is empty. In some of the supply crates nearby, there are some small oil vials. You do also see, looks like heavy leather, cured leather rolled up, for probably travel notes, for someone who's trying to map things out, but map something that can weather the elements better than parchment or vellum can.

MARISHA: Mm-hmm.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: You look at it?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, they're empty. These are blanks for use. It looks like this encampment was set up to be a waypoint for further progression.

MARISHA: Is there a--

ROBBIE: Go ahead.

MARISHA: I was just going to say, a thick layer of dust or anything? How--

ROBBIE: Yes, that was my question, does it look older than the other one?

MARISHA: Yeah, how unused?

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MATT: One of you can make an investigation check with advantage if you'd like.

MARISHA: I will--

TALIESIN: Yeah, because you're doing it together.

MARISHA: -- or you're probably better.

ROBBIE: Mm, I'm not great.

MARISHA: You're better than me.

LAURA: Are there any drops of blood around?

MARISHA: I'll assist you.

ROBBIE: Okay.

MARISHA: So you have to roll twice--

ROBBIE: Okay.

MARISHA: -- take the highest, you get advantage.

ROBBIE: Not great. Even worse.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

ROBBIE: Sorry, 10.

MATT: 10. I mean--

MARISHA: It's low, but it's not awful. You know?

ROBBIE: We're pretty, though.

(laughs)

MATT: -- they don't look as wrecked as the surroundings. There's not a lot of dust here beyond what was created probably in its destruction and anything that wanders by. You don't see any heavy layer. That's the best you can make out.

ROBBIE: Did we all hear (laughs) that breath?

MATT: Oh, you felt that?

ROBBIE: We felt it?

LAURA: Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. Is there blood on anything? Drops o' blood?

MATT: Do you want to create a little bit of light to try and take out more than just the shape of things around you?

LAURA: Is our flying done?

MATT: I mean, you're now on the platform and there's a hallway before it.

LIAM: Save it, we can light up when--

LAURA: Yeah, I mean, it's only 10 minutes long.

LIAM: I'll go about lighting one of these--

LAURA: Oh, okay.

LIAM: -- oil lanterns.

MATT: Okay, so you refill the oil, (sparks) spark it, (whooshes) the lantern wick lights, and you turn it up as it does, and it alights. You can see the shape of the rubble around you. You do see one sign of a darker liquid. It's not a splatter, it's a streak that leads into the dark tunnel ahead.

LAURA: Chet, does that smell like people?

TRAVIS: (sniffs)

MARISHA: (laughs)

TALIESIN: Are you going to smell it or you just?

LAURA: Mm.

TALIESIN: Okay, there we go.

TRAVIS: (whooshes) (screams)

(laughter)

TRAVIS: Can I make a sniff above the streak, not touching it?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Sniff check.

TALIESIN: I dare you.

TRAVIS: Eight.

MARISHA: (laughs) Oh no.

(laughter)

MATT: I mean, you have advantage on this because you're a wolf--

TRAVIS: Oh.

MATT: -- this is the thing you're good at.

TRAVIS: There we go, 19.

MATT: That's better.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: Definitely humanoid blood. It's not fresh, meaning it's not within the past few hours or so.

TRAVIS: It's a streak, it's not a smear?

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: I mean, no, it's a smear.

ASHLEY: A drag?

TRAVIS: Got it.

LAURA: Smear.

MATT: It's a faint bit that you see smearing and then dragged across some of the ruin and into the hallway beyond.

TRAVIS: Are there also any footprints or tracks of any kind accompanying either side of that smear, like something was pulling it backwards?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: They float and bleed down here.

MATT: (laughs) Well, you don't see any bloody footprints at least.

TRAVIS: No bloody footprints.

MATT: If you want to make an investigation or survival check to look for any sort of tracks around it, you can.

TRAVIS: I will do that. 26.

MATT: 26.

TALIESIN: Mm.

MATT: Indeed, there are many, many footprints.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MATT: There's been a lot of foot traffic through this hallway, both ways, and all about, and all around the encampment here. This area has been a busy point in the Vanguard's advancement through these ruins.

MARISHA: And we're for sure going that way?

TRAVIS: This way. Yeah.

MARISHA: I take out--

LIAM: Yeah, what are we hearing, Essek? Sorry.

MARISHA: I take out Pâté.

MATT: "Hey, what's the plan? Hey."

LAURA: Shh.

MARISHA: Shut up.

ASHLEY: Why do you have--

MARISHA: Why do you have to say things--

ASHLEY: -- to be so loud?

MARISHA: -- when immediately summoned?

MATT: "I didn't think I was being loud about it."

LAURA: Baby.

TRAVIS: That was a little harsh. He's a good personality.

MARISHA: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

LAURA: Maybe he's just so lonely when he's--

TRAVIS: We just need to be stealthy.

MARISHA: All right.

TALIESIN: I think she's just--

MATT: "I think I'm pretty good staying quiet most of the time."

ASHLEY: Shh, shh, shh.

MARISHA: You are, you are.

MATT: "Thank you."

MARISHA: I'm sorry, I'm under so much pressure. I didn't mean to snap at you.

TALIESIN: Has Dorian met Pâté?

MATT: "Forgiven."

MARISHA: He has.

ROBBIE: We have.

MARISHA: Yes, yes, I think, yes.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

ROBBIE: Best of friends.

MARISHA: Yes.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: "Hey."

ROBBIE: Hi.

MATT: The jaw (cracks).

(laughter)

MARISHA: Oh, sweetie. I adjust it back for him.

MATT: (cracks)

MARISHA: (sighs) There you go.

TRAVIS: Could've used that to our advantage.

MARISHA: (laughs) I need you to go invisible.

MATT: "Okay," (poofs) vanishes.

LAURA: Shush. Why's he got to yell it?

ROBBIE: He goes invisible?

MARISHA: I can't, he's his own mouse.

LAURA: Pâté, really just try, inside voice, whisper.

LIAM: Yeah, quietly.

MATT: "Okay."

TRAVIS: No.

LAURA: Like this.

TRAVIS: Take it out.

MATT: "I mean, I'm pretty loud inside, too."

(laughter)

MATT: "But I'll try to keep it low."

MARISHA: It's all right.

MATT: "You have to understand, I don't really have vocal chords."

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: "It's just wind and bone making this--"

TRAVIS: All lungs. (laughs)

MATT: "-- so I got to push real hard to make anything work."

LAURA: Oh, buddy.

TALIESIN: I can't believe that this sound is just making me sad, let him talk.

MARISHA: I know, now I feel bad.

TALIESIN: Just making me sad.

ASHLEY: You don't have to push as hard.

TALIESIN: Now--

MARISHA: Remember, me and you can communicate telepathically.

MATT: You hear in your head, "Yeah, I know, do you want to do that instead?"

MARISHA: Starting now, yes.

MATT: "Okay."

MARISHA: All right, I'm going to need you to go into this tunnel.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: "Yeah."

MARISHA: Do a little lookie-loo. It's real dark, but you can see, you can see with the darkness.

MATT: "I got you, no worries."

MARISHA: Let me know what you see.

MATT: "Cool!"

MARISHA: (whooshes)

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MATT: Glides into the shadow.

TRAVIS: (chomps)

MARISHA: Yeah. (laughs)

MATT: In that stillness and darkness, you concentrate to experience what he sees beyond. And we're going to go to break--


Part II[edit source]

MATT: And welcome back.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: So. First off, what is your marching order--

LAURA: Uh-oh.

MATT: -- as you progress? We're going to go to Pâté in a second, but I want to know. The hallway here entrance is about 15 feet wide at the area where you are. So you can go in waves of three if you want to fill the space.

TRAVIS: I'll take it because I got darkvision.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: I'll take it because my eardrums are alive.

TRAVIS: Super keen.

LAURA: Are you turning off that light source--

LIAM: I think so. I think so.

LAURA: -- as you walk?

TALIESIN: Let's put somebody in back--

ASHLEY: I'm going to go behind Orym.

TALIESIN: -- who's got darkvision, too.

LAURA: Who else has darkvision?

TRAVIS: I think Orym and I will be up--

ASHLEY: Oh, wait. Yeah, I can't see shit.

TRAVIS: -- 50 feet up--

LAURA: I don't know who has darkvision.

TRAVIS: -- in front of everybody.

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: Are we in the dark?

MARISHA: I'll be up front too because I also have darkvision.

MATT: I mean--

TALIESIN: Well, we need someone in back with darkvision too.

MATT: Here's the thing, yeah.

MARISHA: That's fair, I'll be in back with darkvision.

MATT: It is very lightless within. So most of you would be blind if there is no light source.

LAURA: Mm.

TRAVIS: Elephant walk.

MATT: As long as you're cool with that.

LAURA: Can I turn on-- Can I turn on? Can I bring up my lights?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: But keep them dim?

MATT: Yeah.

LAURA: Can I control?

MATT: They're dim by nature. I'll say you can control them to--

TALIESIN: Keep them in the center.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: -- a night light.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: ♪ Night light ♪

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: ♪ Night light ♪

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: I'll hang back in the back group. I'm haunted by it, so I'm going to assume Dorian's haunted by that breath that we heard.

LAURA: Mm!

ROBBIE: It just felt otherworldly and nothing's there, so I think I'm going to cast See Invisibility.

LIAM: Mm.

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: That's a 2nd-level spell, so I should be safe.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Yeah.

ROBBIE: That does also allow me to see into the ethereal plane.

MATT: Correct.

ROBBIE: So ethereal creatures and objects.

MATT: Indeed.

LAURA: Sweet.

ASHLEY: Cool.

ROBBIE: Just in case.

MATT: It's not concentration, so it lasts for an hour.

ROBBIE: Yeah. Right, just one hour.

LAURA: I'll walk in front of Dorian.

MATT: You got it.

ROBBIE: It gave me the spookies.

MATT: (laughs)

MARISHA: Spoopies.

MATT: Ashton, where are you? Are you with Fearne?

TALIESIN: Yeah, right behind. Yeah, right there. Just so I want to be able to move fast if something goes wrong to either side.

LAURA: Or I'll walk next to--

MARISHA: Oh, that's great!

LAURA: I'll walk next to Dorian.

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MARISHA: Amazing.

LAURA: Laudna said she was going to be up front.

MATT: Okay, so Laudna, you're up front with--

MARISHA: I'll be in the middle.

MATT: All right, Essek's going to stay next to Ashton.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: After seeing what you did, he's like, "I would prefer to have somebody get in the way if something comes at me quickly."

TALIESIN: I'm very good at that.

LIAM: Let's go, Pop.

MATT: As the globules of crackling energy gently drift along with you as you step, alighting the footfalls ahead of you. Slowly, you see the unveiling of the smooth bits of marbled stone floors and the scattering of broken stone that is occasionally cast from the nearby partially ruined fallen in walls. The crumbled piles and the occasional gap you can see above that leads up to the seventh floor above you, up into shadow as well. Pressing forward, there is a slick layer that reflects the light. Everything here is ever so faintly moist. The temperature is warmer than the central city and there is no frost gathering in this area either. There are a number of places in the city where magically the temperature fluctuates drastically, and there's places that are ice coated in frost and some places that are temperate and warm. This is like a warmth interior. That smell, that sweet rotting fruit smell is stronger here, but it has an acrid bile sort of smell that mixes with it. It's this sweet and sick that makes you uncomfortable. You continue on for about 80, 100 feet or so. It's just straight hallway, only parts of it fallen in and continuing to separate. You come upon the first open door.

TRAVIS: Is that trail still 80, 100 feet still going, that blood line?

MATT: The trail's still going.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MATT: It's not super thick, it's--

TRAVIS: If it stops for some reason, I'd like to stop--

MATT: I'll let you know.

TRAVIS: Okay.

MARISHA: I'm still looking through Pâté, linked arms with Fearne as I look through.

ASHLEY: I'm holding onto her.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: You also said there was stone scatter. Did we see any rock pushed out of the way, like something had been pulled through, through that stone scatter?

MATT: In the areas where you are--

LIAM: Or did the goo just trail over it in a straight line?

MATT: No. Where you see it, it's a dragged smear and the stones are pulled with it.

LIAM: Along the way. Okay.

MATT: It's just a faint smear. It's not a heavy amount of blood, but it's enough to still leave in some places a dotted line, faint trail that's being dragged through.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: Make a perception check for Pâté for me, if you don't mind.

MARISHA: Okay.

LIAM: Spooky.

ASHLEY: Guidance?

MARISHA: Mm.

LIAM: Guidance on Pâté?

MATT: I'll allow it.

MARISHA: I'll take it.

LIAM: Ooh!

MARISHA: Okay, okay, okay, okay. 12.

MATT: Okay. He glances about and he sees that same doorway to the left. It has a somewhat angular archway that comes to, not a full smoothed archway or a flat surface, like a refracted gem peak to it, and a smooth metal frame to it and an interior from there that is--

MARISHA: It's open?

MARISHA: It's open, yeah. There's no door there. It's just an arch.

MARISHA: I tell Pâté to peek in.

MATT: Peeks in. Better look than what he can tell, there is a door on the opposite end that is open. So it looks like it's a push inward type of door. There is a bar handle on it. It's no wider than maybe 30 by 25 feet. 25 feet wide and about 30 feet from where the door is. At a first glance, it looks like it was once a storage chamber of some kind. There's large sections of piping, sections of pipes that are set to the side of various widths and thickness. There are massive containers that are stacked up, some that are tipped to one side and are empty. A number of other stacked bits up to almost the corner of the room. You see odd bits of loose cabling that are wound up and placed in a pile.

MARISHA: You said there's another door across the way that also looks--

MATT: No, that's the entirety of this chamber.

MARISHA: All right. I flag to the others. Looks like this is a storage unit up ahead. On the left, you said that was?

MATT: On the left side, yeah.

MARISHA: Okay. I tell Pâté to come out and keep scouting ahead for us so--

LAURA: No movement on the inside of that thing?

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Not that he could see, but, you know, he's not the brightest in the bunch.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: How far away, how far ahead is he and us?

MATT: Well, how far ahead of you do you want him to be?

MARISHA: I mean, I'd say at least 100, 120 feet. Let's say 120 feet at least.

MATT: 120 feet? Okay, this changes things.

ASHLEY: Wow.

MARISHA: Yeah, he can be pretty far ahead.

MATT: Okay. So you guys, you just start stepping into the hallway and seeing these things when Pâté picks up the side of this door.

MARISHA: Okay, so I flag them that there's a turn storage thing.

MATT: Okay. You all continue to walk along carefully in this dark, ominous hall. About 40 feet beyond that, there is another door that is partially closed, slightly ajar on the right hand side opposite end.

MARISHA: He peeks in.

MATT: Okay. He scoots in. Make a perception check for him.

MARISHA: Okay.

ASHLEY: Guidance.

MARISHA: Guid-da-dance. That's still a d4, right?

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: It hasn't changed? All right, it's a little better. 17.

MATT: 17. He crawls in to the side of the wall on the inside, glances about. This, a little bit wider than the previous chamber. This has a number of stools arranged and cluttered into one corner. There are six large glass cylindrical containers that are stacked on the far wall. One of them looks fallen and shattered all over the ground and there's broken glass that fills the entirety of the space within. There are shelves that have movable pieces that he can't really see from where he's standing. Flies up and looks, and most of them look empty. That's pretty much the best that he can make out from the cursory glance.

TRAVIS: You have See Invisibility up?

ROBBIE: I do, I can see him.

TRAVIS: Can you do a check and make sure there are no things watching us?

ROBBIE: Yeah, I think Dorian's been scanning for it since he's walked into this room.

TRAVIS: Okay.

ROBBIE: Just seeing if there's any wisps in the shadow while simultaneously watching Pâté and hoping he's not triggering a trap or doing something that a horny rat would do.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

MATT: So you're following him into the chamber?

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MATT: No, I'm serious, because Pâté's 100 feet ahead of you guys.

LIAM: He's really far ahead of us.

ROBBIE: Yeah, he's like 120 feet up, right?

MATT: Yeah, so he's giving you the quick heads up of what's coming, and then you eventually approach and gather as he's moving ahead.

MARISHA: He can just see him and everything?

ROBBIE: Yeah, I think I've been absentmindedly following him while I've been watching him, but.

MATT: Yeah.

ROBBIE: I'm maybe 30 feet away, something like that.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: So you scouted way ahead of us then.

LAURA: You went way ahead.

ROBBIE: I just was dialed in, watching him move--

LIAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: Love it.

MATT: Okay.

ROBBIE: -- while looking around.

MATT: Okay, and you do not have darkvision, correct?

ROBBIE: I do not.

LAURA: I'm going to say in Dorian's brain: What, Dorian?

ROBBIE: (sputters)

LAURA: You know you're getting pretty far ahead of us.

ROBBIE: Sorry, sorry. I know.

LAURA: No, I mean, if that's what you want.

ROBBIE: No, it's not what I want. It sounds like it shouldn't be what I want. But I'll stop.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LIAM: Can you see anything?

ROBBIE: Not really anymore.

LIAM: I whisper up the hall.

LAURA and ROBBIE: (laugh)

ROBBIE: The further we get away, I think that's why I got away from the group is the further I get away from your light, I'm--

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

ROBBIE: -- I'm losing, even though I can see invisibility, I can't see anything.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MATT: Yeah, you can see him. In a weird way, it's darkness, but there's a little bit of a faint halo that is Pâté, and so you're following this little light as it flutters down the hallway. Then it vanishes into the room, and that's when you lose focus on him and realize how far you've wandered from the group. You draw back and reconvene. So you pass the room on the left.

MARISHA: I tell everybody else: Looks like this room past us on right is maybe some kind of laboratory, maybe. I'm seeing rows of glass.

LAURA: Great.

MARISHA: Glass cylinders.

ASHLEY: Are they all still closed? Are any of them broken open?

MARISHA: The doors? Can I have Pâté investigate further and see if-- You said one of the cylinders has crashed open?

MATT: One of them has fallen over and shattered.

ASHLEY: Okay, okay.

MATT: There's just glass all over the ground, yeah.

LIAM: This is the lab room on the right?

ASHLEY: Sorry.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: It's on the right. So it's storage first on the left, lab on the right.

MATT: You can roll an investigation check for Pâté, if you'd like.

MARISHA: Yeah. Guidance?

LAURA: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: Guidance.

TALIESIN: Guidance.

ROBBIE: Do good.

MARISHA: 13.

MATT: 13? Pâté gives a--

MARISHA: No, that was a natural 19. I'm sorry.

LAURA: Oh!

MARISHA: It was hard to see in the light.

LAURA: It's very dark in here.

MATT: You just add his intelligence modifier.

MARISHA: Yes, cor--

LAURA: He's so smart.

MARISHA: Oh, I've been adding his wisdom modifier, but they're one separate, so he adds nothing. So 21.

MATT: 21. Glancing about the inside of this room, and most of these containers are opaque or empty, either they're being stored there or he's just looking around the space. He goes and looks up at some of the shelves up there. Some look like they have some objects in them. Look like they could be tools. It's kind of hard to pull that, yanking it out, he's like, "Should I go ahead and pull it out? What do you think?"

MARISHA: Wait, what? What? Say it--

MATT: "Do you want me to rummage through things for you?"

MARISHA: No! No.

MATT: "Okay, okay." He backs out and flies out of the room as you get within 15 feet of him. You and you see him fly out and emerge in the middle of the hall. "It's all yours."

MARISHA: So he said he didn't-- What did you say again? I zoned out.

MATT: He didn't see anything, but he saw on some of the upper shelves there was tools or materials in there and he was asking if he could rummage through it for you.

MARISHA: Tools and materials, okay.

TRAVIS: Glass tubes are empty, right?

LIAM: That we know of.

LAURA: That's what he thought.

MATT: That's what he said, yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LIAM: Yeah.

LAURA: And he rolled a 21.

LIAM: There could be more, there could be nothing.

MARISHA: Yeah, he rolled pretty high, you guys.

LIAM: Is that humming sound that unsettled Dorian and all of us getting louder as we progress?

LAURA: Or have we even heard it at all?

MATT: No. You just heard it the one time.

TRAVIS: Essek.

LIAM: Oh, it was a single thing? It wasn't an ongoing--

LAURA: Yes. No.

LIAM: Cool!

TRAVIS: Essek have you been--

LAURA: I know, that makes it worse.

TRAVIS: -- this far before?

LIAM: Yes!

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

ROBBIE: Yeah, it's worse.

LAURA: Yeah. Right?

LIAM: Yes, because it's not--

ASHLEY: It's not a constant--

LIAM: -- a furnace or something.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just the pipes.

MATT: (laughs)

TALIESIN: What's that pinging noise is way better, yeah.

MATT: "So, I've been a bit further down this hall, but the hall has been sealed at the end. Last time we were here, this was about as far as we got. There should be one more chamber up here where we found a notebook at the time that made mention of the Thalamus, which is why I thought this chamber is what might at least allude to or give us information pointing to what the Vanguard is doing. The fact that we saw a abandoned, if recently used, Vanguard waypoint at the entrance of here says that we're probably on the right trail for now."

LIAM: This one right here on the right?

TRAVIS: No, no.

LIAM: No, the one, the third?

TRAVIS: So we can skip these rooms and move down towards the end of the hallway.

LAURA: Yeah because Essek's been here before.

MARISHA: Probably picked clean. Yeah, I send Pâté ahead. Essek, that notebook you found, was it a new notebook or an old one, mentioning the cult?

MATT: "This was remnants of old papers that were recovered from elements of these research chambers. Some of them had been already ransacked, so we only had shreds to go off of, and translating was its own challenge outside of magic to aid our eyesight. But this region here beneath the Genesis Ward, it seems to be central to a lot of the magical research and technology that was being developed within the city. Which also makes sense as to why it's been such a focus of the Assembly's excavation and flag planting, if you will."

ROBBIE: So these notes about Thalamus, they're ancient notes?

MATT: "Yes."

ROBBIE: So you're saying this potential cult he was with could be as old as the prime of this city?

MATT: "I don't know what the Thalamus means."

LAURA: Occultus Thalamus. It doesn't necessarily mean cult.

ROBBIE: Of, not a cult of.

LAURA: Occultus.

ROBBIE: It's so old.

MATT: "It could very well be. The Thalamus was referred to as being part of this subterranean region. But once again, we were also careful to not touch everything we found."

LAURA: Did your notes say anything about Dominox?

MATT: "No."

LAURA: Have you heard of anything like that?

MATT: "I have not."

LAURA: That's what they said took up residence here. That's why Ludinus came here in the first place. There was a creature or something that got unleashed, had taken up residence, and it was killing off the Vanguard.

TALIESIN: Huh.

LIAM: How far in here have you gotten before?

MATT: "I'll show you the sealed door, or at least where it might have been."

LIAM: This is the deepest you've ever gone in?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Is up ahead of us?

LAURA: Well, level nine is the deepest here.

MATT: "There are floors beneath this, but--"

LIAM: But on this floor, this is just a little bit further?

LAURA: Yeah, that's what he said.

TRAVIS: Just past the doorway at the end of the hallway.

MATT: "I'll let you know when we've reached the point I have not transgressed."

LIAM: You came in here with just one other person?

TALIESIN: Must have been one hell of another person.

LIAM: Dangerous.

MATT: "You're not wrong. But even we have our limitations, and everything here is dangerous in its own right. To even get to this point, we expended so many resources that we had to decide to return another time. When we were ready to delve further, by then, the empire had already taken the entirety of the space. It wasn't safe to get across."

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: "The Assembly has a tangled history with my partner and I, and um--"

LIAM: Oh, by, who is this guy? Or woman, or?

MATT: "(chuckles) He's a man. A very powerful practitioner of the magical arts. He is also-- Hmm. Well, he teaches on occasion."

ASHLEY: Insight check.

MATT: Make an insight check.

(laughter)

LAURA: Is he lying? (laughs)

ASHLEY: 28.

MATT: 28?

LAURA: Oh!

MARISHA: (gasps)

ROBBIE: Wow.

MARISHA: Whisper!

LIAM: He's plotting to kill you all.

ROBBIE: Now I can crunch as loud as I want.

MARISHA: Yeah!

ROBBIE: Crunch, crunch.

MARISHA: This whisper brought to you by.

ROBBIE: Mm.

TALIESIN and LAURA: Popcorn.

ROBBIE: Nice.

MARISHA: Flaming hot puffs.

TALIESIN: What's that in my teeth? It's popcorn. Every time.

MATT: "His name is Bren, and he is very intelligent. I think he might have been the one to bring you here if he wasn't otherwise occupied. But nevertheless. (sighs) I'm sorry if my anxiety shows. There's something about-- I dislike not knowing what's coming, especially given the stakes and what we do not know. There are few things I hate more than not knowing."

LAURA: Don't worry, Seth, we got your back.

MATT: "So far, so good."

MARISHA: Send Pâté.

MATT: Okay. Pâté continues on, and the left hand door, the last door that was set before the sealed portion of this hallway that Essek had mentioned, is collapsed inward. That part of the hall has fallen in and is a blockade of rubble. Where the other side of the wall is, similar damage. It looks like this part of the wall, either it collapsed, or it fell in due to an intentional detonation. But there is now a braced arch that looks like some sort of magically crafted band has been placed in that's now supporting most of this collapsed part. Where there previously was some sort of a sealed entry point, and you see signs of it along the metal walls around you, now missing. Essek--

ASHLEY: The archways have been braced later, people who have explored it and gone through--

MATT: Yeah, this is a fresher metal. Either this was set here to keep it up, or the place was damaged to allow progress, and then was braced as part of that to continue to leave it open.

TALIESIN: Was this here last time you were here?

MATT: "This was not. This in particular was a very strong magical ward that had kept us at bay with what we had left, so--"

ASHLEY: Who's adding these? Who puts these here?

MATT: "This would be the Assembly, I'm sure."

LAURA: Oh.

MATT: "Or at least the Vanguard, whoever these allies are."

TALIESIN: Chet, you want to check for traps? This is making me itch.

TRAVIS: Sure. I'll look around the big braced doorway for traps?

MATT: Make an investigation check.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: 17.

MATT: 17. Doesn't appear to be formally trapped. It's actually pretty sturdily built, and there's a faint-- You can sense a faint enchantment on it, so it is magically empowered in its bracing capabilities. This is a fairly sturdy pathway.

TALIESIN: I was just curious if there's anything to trigger it turning off.

MATT: Of course, yeah.

TRAVIS: Looks clean.

LAURA: Let's keep going.

MATT: Pâté continues to flutter ahead.

TALIESIN: All right.

MATT: There is now, it looks like, a small intersection. There are two doors to each side, both that appear closed, and the hallway begins to curve a little bit to the right, just past them.

LAURA: Where's that blood go?

TALIESIN: In your body, I hope.

MATT: Blood is continuing down this hall.

MARISHA: In both of the--

ROBBIE: A lot of blood.

TALIESIN: It's like a hospital line.

MATT: This very, very thin trail, and it is fading as it goes. It's getting lighter and lighter.

MARISHA: So two doors on either side that look shut.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Do they look sealed, or just, someone pulled the door closed?

MATT: Roll a perception check for Pâté.

MARISHA: (as Pâté) Okay.

ASHLEY: Guidance.

MARISHA: (as Pâté) Guidance.

LIAM: Still a hundred plus--

ROBBIE: Oh wow, you're crushing it.

MARISHA: 19.

MATT: 19. You glance at the doors. They are closed, and they have the same iron handles on them. You can see that in one of the doors, there is a stone-- A square stone, about that big, that is placed right next to the iron handle. The other door itself is closed, does not have this, but they're both just shut.

TRAVIS: There's a square stone in the door? Inlaid?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Does it have writing on it or anything like that?

MATT: No writing.

MARISHA: A mark? All right. I convey this to the others. Two doors, just shut. Maybe now is the time to check for traps.

TRAVIS: I can do another check.

MARISHA: If we want to go in. Or we just keep going straight.

ASHLEY: Wait, Essek, have you been in these ones?

LAURA: He hasn't gone past that--

MATT: "We've reached my point of--"

ASHLEY: Your point, okay.

MATT: "-- mystery."

TALIESIN: Right here?

MATT: "Well." He points at the brace.

TALIESIN: Wow, we are-- Not a lot of people who've been this far down in the last hundred-so years. Feels good.

ROBBIE: It's exciting.

MATT: He points down to the--

TALIESIN: Mages.

MATT: -- numerous steps that push through the--

TRAVIS: Footprints?

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Not a ton.

MATT: "Correct, we are probably among the 50 or so."

TALIESIN: That's very fucking impressive.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: "You're not wrong."

TALIESIN: I'm not kidding.

MARISHA: No, we know.

TALIESIN: And the fucking moon.

LAURA: Let's go.

ROBBIE: Top 50.

LAURA: I think we should--

MARISHA: Are we popping in these doors, or just keep going?

LAURA: I feel like we should just--

LIAM: I'm not going to touch anything, but are we catching up to this point?

MARISHA: He's still a little ahead.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: Yeah, at least 60 feet.

LIAM: But he's moving forward?

MARISHA: Yeah, he's moving forward.

LIAM: I'm curious if that stone, it's a stone square in the middle of the door?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

LIAM: I'm not touching it. Does it look movable? Is it inlaid--

MATT: Make an investigation check.

LIAM: That's not going to go well.

MARISHA: Look at Pâté.

ROBBIE: I'm still following.

MARISHA: He's like a little sky dancer.

LIAM: 10.

MATT: I mean, it's made of a different stone than the rest of the door. The door, it has elements of stone in it, but a lot of it is a metal, almost a brass or even tin color. You're not quite sure what the material is. This stone square doesn't match the rest of it.

LIAM: No writing of any kind that we can't read, or decoration? Okay, plain.

TRAVIS: Is the stone colored at all?

MATT: It's an off-white, where the rest of the metal there has almost a richer orange, brass coloration to it.

LIAM: It is at scary as a wooden chair?

MARISHA: I know.

MATT: Could be.

LIAM: Mm.

LAURA: Did you check it for traps?

TRAVIS: The door?

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: What if we push on it?

LIAM: Well, let's check it for traps first.

ASHLEY: No, no, no.

TRAVIS: Yeah, sure, I'll give it a trap check.

MARISHA: Chickity-check.

TRAVIS: 11.

MATT: 11. No traps.

TRAVIS: Not trapped. Give it a push.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: You push on the stone?

LAURA: I'm going to step away.

ASHLEY: Well, I don't know, because the way you said that.

TRAVIS: Just push it!

ROBBIE: (laughs)

ASHLEY: I'll push it.

LIAM: I step away too.

MATT: Okay. You push the stone. (creaks) The door opens slightly. Nothing.

TRAVIS: Fucker.

(laughter)

LIAM: It is like a chair.

TALIESIN: Honestly, I want to--

LAURA: Can we peek our head in and look?

ASHLEY: Does it feel like if I touch the stone, that there could be anything that once was carved into it?

TRAVIS: The door is open.

ASHLEY: Yeah, but maybe there used to be writing, but it broke? I don't know. It just feels like flat stone?

MATT: Feels like flat stone, yeah.

ASHLEY: What does it mean? Why is there a square--

LAURA: It's magic. It's all magic.

ASHLEY: Why is there dumb square right here? It's got to mean something.

TALIESIN: I'm starting to peek the head in.

LAURA: Maybe it's just--

TALIESIN: There's no light.

MATT: You want to pass the room?

ASHLEY: Is this the square room?

LIAM: I'm just looking in.

TALIESIN: Peeking in.

MATT: You're looking in the room.

LIAM: Yes, in the room.

MATT: Okay. You glance in. On the opposite side of the door is a matching piece of stone that has a faintly glowing glyph on it.

MARISHA: Oh!

MATT: It looks like the stone is enchanted in some way. You glance in the rest of the room. It's a fairly wide room. It's about twice as large as the other ones you've seen. This has a number of tables that are smashed to one side, like they've all been shifted together into one space, and there are a half dozen ancient corpses in here, not unlike the ones you saw in the city above, nearly mummified in the lack of moisture that's been within this chamber. The skin is still paper-thin, stretched against the skeletons, as they're all on the ground, jaws open, aghast.

LIAM: Are there any velociraptors hiding in here?

MATT: What are you looking for? Velociraptors?

LIAM: Threats. Threats.

MATT: Okay.

LIAM: Threats. 27 perception.

MATT: 27 in this room. You don't see any creatures, but you hear something.

TALIESIN: That's--

MATT: You look across where these tables are smashed together. There is broken glass. There are long coils of tubing. You can see what look to be other implements and tools, long, thin pieces of metal with hooks on the end. Things you don't recognize. There is one of those similar glass containers you saw in the previous chamber that's aloft and in the far back corner, and as you hear the sound, it's coming from it. It looks opaque, like something is stained or smeared the glass from the inside.

MARISHA: Cool.

MATT: You hear--

(glooping bubbling)

LIAM: Does it seem like it has air on the inside of it, or fluid, or can't tell?

MATT: You glance in a little closer, and each time those little (burbles) happens, that dark shape, that opaqueness of the glass, shifts. It looks like boiling tar.

LAURA: Oh, it's-- Great. That's great.

LIAM: I don't think we need to fuck with that.

LAURA: You know, here's the thing. I feel like any of these rooms have been picked clean by the Assembly, and maybe these squares are warning signs. Like, "Hey, don't go in these rooms."

TALIESIN: Gently close the door? Gently, let's just let it sleep. They clearly want their sleep. Let's just--

LIAM: Yeah, I'm going to back-- Well, I'll take a second to look at the ancient corpses on the floor.

ASHLEY: Maybe this is where they go to get boba.

TRAVIS: Can Essek make anything of the glyph on the stone?

MATT: Essek comes into the chamber and looks at it. "Yes, this is for locking it from the inside. If you were to place your hand upon this glyph, it would put an arcane lock on the door that would only be able to be opened by the individual that had set it from the opposite side. So this was for locking the interior, and glancing around within here, this was an experimentation room of some kind." He dips down and starts looking at the implements around here. "This was an enchantment room. A lot of these here are used for holy magical essences, sometimes within various schools of arcana. Here," and he puts into part of the rubble here and pulls up carefully, brushing off, what looks to be a sword blank, a shortsword blank. He goes, "You can see there, the beginnings of runic carvings in here. It looks like this might have been an extension of an experimental armory, or it might have even been a production house for the Aeorian military, I'm not certain."

LAURA: All right.

LIAM: That's a shortsword blade? Without hilt?

MATT: Correct, it's a blank, and it looks like it's partially carved.

LIAM: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MATT: Takes it and looks it over. "It's not magical. It looks like they began the process of preparing it for enchantment, and it was discarded." He sets it on the ground.

TALIESIN: Clearly, they got busy.

TRAVIS: We should keep moving.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Pâté is still ahead.

MATT: Okay. You back out and close the door? All right. Close the door behind. There's the door to the right. Do you continue on forward?

MARISHA: Yeah, Pâté didn't check those out. He kept moving.

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: At least, I don't.

MATT: You push on, and Pâté enters a space where the hallway begins to open up into a larger chamber.

MARISHA: Okay.

MATT: He has darkvision, right?

MARISHA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: He has Demon's Sight, too, so he can also see through magical darkness.

MATT: Right, right. He peers in here, and you're looking through his eyes.

MARISHA: Devil's Sight is what it's called. Sorry, keep going.

MATT: Peering through his eyes, this chamber, it's almost like the end of this hall, but there's, and some of you pick it up, too, there's that smell that you found earlier. It's getting stronger and stronger the further you push into it. Now it's carrying a metallic taste on your tongue. This is less of a solid room, but it looks like a waypoint. There are tunnels to the right and left and across the way, a larger square, somewhat rounded square chamber, and this is where multiple, four different halls conjoin. The floor is completely littered with more of these ancient corpses, all in similar states of ancient decay. That isn't what catches your attention through Pâté, though. What catches your eyes through his eyes immediately are the many chains that hang from the ceiling in here, dangling from the ruined stone above. Black, jagged chains, many ending in wicked-looking hooks, and atop many of these hooks are hanging bodies--

LAURA: Ugh!

ASHLEY: Whoa.

MATT: -- still and aloft, feet inches, sometimes feet above the ground, different heights.

LIAM: Ancient bodies?

MATT: Have Pâté make an investigation check. Or perception, your choice.

LIAM: Because we're not here yet. It's just Pâté.

MARISHA: It's just Pâté.

ASHLEY: Guidance.

LIAM: Come on, Patty.

MARISHA: I mean, it's still an intelligence roll, right?

LIAM: (Irish) Come on, Patty!

ASHLEY: Guidance, Guidance. Guidance!

MATT: Intelligence or wisdom. Perception is wisdom, intelligence is investigation.

MARISHA: Okay, so I was doing it right, then.

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: When you said perception earlier, okay.

LIAM: (Irish) Let's fucking go, Patty.

MARISHA: Mm, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yeah, we'll use wisdom, plus he's a little bit smarter. So that's 22. I rolled a 19 for him.

MATT: 22. The withered bodies on the ground are skeletal, beyond the element of mummified remains and paper-thin flesh across, those that still have it, mummified in these moments of chaos and horror. The bodies on these chains are meaty.

MARISHA: Ah!

LIAM: Oh, for fuck's sake.

MATT: They are recent.

MARISHA: Oh my god. Okay.

MATT: They are full, and many of them have on them familiar attire.

MARISHA: Vanguard attire?

MATT: Vanguard robes, armor wearing emblems and symbols, some hanging on it through the back, some hanging on the front, carved under the sternum, hanging on the inside of their ribcage, between.

MARISHA: (laughs) Go ahead, yeah.

TRAVIS: Is that your reaction? You laugh?

MARISHA: (maniacal laugh)

LIAM: Blind, in this hallway.

MARISHA: That was just Marisha. Because this is dope!

MATT: There's over a dozen bodies that hang in this room.

MARISHA: A dozen?

LAURA: Can Pâté look up?

MARISHA: Yeah. He looks up.

MATT: They're all emerging from the stone. They're not affixed to anything, it looks like.

LIAM: There's nothing hanging out on the ceiling?

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Not that Pâté sees.

MATT: Make another perception check, if you'd like.

MARISHA: Real quick, while he's--

MATT: We'll go with the one he spent already. He looks up. He doesn't see anything on the ceiling beyond, there are elements of stone that are cracked through, and there's maybe, here and there, a bit of ceiling that has fallen, and you can see a dark gap maybe a few inches wide that maybe proceeds into the 7th floor above. But most of the chains are just emerging from the stone.

LAURA: I don't like it. I don't like it.

MARISHA: Just emerging? Like they were mounted in there?

TRAVIS: Let's get in there.

MARISHA: While he's investigating the bodies, does any of it look familiar from the encampment we saw earlier with the euphoric, manic smile on any of their faces? Like the murder-suicide that we saw?

MATT: I'd say a little over half of them carry a strange, final grin across their face.

LAURA: Eee! Dominox!

MARISHA: Dominox. It's in his name.

LIAM: (sword unsheathing)

MARISHA: Yes, I tell everybody this. About a dozen bodies. They're fleshy, they're plump, and a few have that maniacal, euphoric grin on their faces, so whatever this Dominox is, I'm starting to understand why Ludinus had to come out here and make it his problem.

LAURA: You didn't happen to see Ludinus on one of those chains, did you?

MARISHA: Did I happen to see--

(mumbling)

TALIESIN: What a way to go.

MATT: None of them looked quite Ludinus-like.

MARISHA: Campaign over.

MATT: Yeah, look at that!

(cheering)

LIAM: Thanks, Dominox.

LAURA: Thanks, Dominox!

MATT: Big bad: Offscreen. Sorry, guys.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Time for margaritas.

LIAM: Hi, Dominox. You're my favorite customer.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Just in case things go really bad, I'm immune to poison. I think I should just mention that now.

LAURA: All right.

TALIESIN: Just in case.

MARISHA: Go ahead.

ROBBIE: No, go ahead.

MARISHA: I was going to have him, so there's a big open chamber, four open tunnels, it looks like, that look very open.

MATT: Well, three other ones beyond the one that you're going through.

LIAM: Okay.

ROBBIE: Is there any kind of-- Well, it's dark as shit, isn't it?

LIAM: Pitch dark?

ROBBIE: It's still pitch dark.

MATT: It is pitch black in there.

MARISHA: But you can ask me, and I can ask Pâté.

MATT: You guys are still way behind Pâté.

MARISHA: We're still around the corner, right? We haven't entered. What do you want me to ask him?

ROBBIE: If there's any sort of technology or anything that you can see. Does this feel like another laboratory?

MARISHA: Does it look like a laboratory?

LIAM: What's technology.

ROBBIE: Technology?

MARISHA: Or is it just--

ROBBIE: Technology?

TALIESIN: We have technology, we do.

MATT: If you're looking through his eyes--

TALIESIN: Whitestone is nothing but tech!

MATT: -- then you are seeing what you can see.

TRAVIS: Let's just get in there.

LIAM: What do you know about Whitestone?

TALIESIN: We were just there!

LIAM: I just saw the sitting room.

TALIESIN: Percy gave me a tour. He thought you were all lame.

(laughter)

MATT: It's like roleplay masturbation.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LIAM: Oh, it's all love seats and oil paintings.

MATT: My character gave my character everything cool.

LIAM: What technology.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: We hung for a second, I thought we bonded. Anyway.

MATT: No, you did, you did. No, I'm not disagreeing, I just find it amusing, in a meta-textual sense.

TALIESIN: We made out off-screen. Anyway, sorry.

MATT: (laughs) He needed it.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: He begins to flutter from body to body, and glancing around the space within. You can see among the chains, the ground itself also has this tangled weave of long chains that pull through and knot and yank the other side. Between the bits of fallen stone, you can see shattered furniture and some that still partially stands. He begins to flutter past the centerpiece, and he's like, "I don't know if it's a laboratory, but there's different rooms. It's this way, one this way, and this one, and this way."

MARISHA: So you said there's a lot of chains littering the ground as well. What if it's some sort of nightmarish, possessed, Aeorian tech that's using chains to reach out and grab people?

LAURA: Maybe that's what it is.

TALIESIN: I like that.

LAURA: Did he say? I zoned out because I was looking at my spell list.

MARISHA: It's all right, I did it earlier.

LIAM: Happens all the time.

LAURA: Did he say that the chains were leading through a certain set of doors? There was chains leading anywhere?

TALIESIN: No, it was just a--

MARISHA: I think it's just everywhere, but the chains are just appearing. I don't know, watch the ground. I feel like everyone should watch where we step.

LAURA: The body that got dragged, whatever got dragged was a blood trail, right? Does it end in that room? Did it get yanked up?

MARISHA: I think we're going to have to go in.

MATT: Your connection to Pâté is lost.

MARISHA: No!

(groaning)

ROBBIE: Oh.

LIAM: Shit, he just got eaten up.

ASHLEY: Why?

LAURA: Oh d'oh.

TRAVIS: Thank god.

LIAM: He just got eaten up, it's on us now.

MARISHA: No.

LAURA: Okay, okay, okay.

TRAVIS: Can we go in now?

MARISHA: Wha--

ASHLEY: Chet, what if you geometry or something?

TRAVIS: I take off running for the room.

LAURA and LIAM: Aw fuck.

MARISHA: Watch your feet, Chet!

ROBBIE: Do it!

TRAVIS: Christ.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: If we stand out in this goddamn hallway any longer I'm going to die of old age.

(laughter)

MARISHA: I'm sorry for protecting your ass.

ROBBIE: If any character was going to die of old age.

MATT: (laughs) Yeah, it makes sense for Chetney.

TALIESIN: Not if he can help it.

MARISHA: All right, watch your feet. I think this is bad; he got eaten or something.

LAURA: Okay, we take off after Chet who's--

MARISHA: I'm going to--

LIAM: I think we should tippy-toe around--

ASHLEY: I don't know, ah.

LIAM: -- or if you want to run all balls to the walls. Let's go.

TRAVIS: "Meh, meh, meh, meh," get in the fucking room.

TALIESIN: I'm going walk briskly.

(laughter)

MARISHA: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: I'm going walk briskly--

LIAM: No, I want to sneak up to the room.

TALIESIN: -- because I want him to set off a bunch of shit before we get there.

LIAM: We got to roleplay it.

ASHLEY: We want Chet going first.

MATT: You guys all charge in behind Chet.

LIAM: Aw.

MARISHA: We're not charging.

TALIESIN: Charge is a harsh word.

MARISHA: Form of Dread.

TRAVIS: Just me, just me--

ASHLEY: No!

TALIESIN: I'll take it, just me.

MATT: Okay, okay.

LIAM: No, I'm fucking following, you motherfucker.

TALIESIN: Yeah, we're walking.

MARISHA: We all go in--

MATT: You careful approach at a distance.

MARISHA: -- but I'm going to Form of Dread, please.

MATT: You Form of Dread (whooshes).

MARISHA: Yes.

MATT: Shifting. Your Form of Dread resembles at this moment--?

MARISHA: It's toned down from what Imogen saw the other day, but a little mourning veil comes overtop of me, I look a little banshee-esque.

MATT: You got it. As you all drift in, you go in, and as the light falls in, you can see, indeed, the floor here is slick. The chains around here are blood-coated. There are pools beneath many of these bodies, and two of them look like they're even still dripping.

ROBBIE: (sighs)

MARISHA: So fresh.

LAURA: Ew.

LIAM: Orym is on Chetney's six.

MATT: Fresh enough to where it's faint, every now and then, just a drop. (plops) You glance around rapidly where you lost contact and you see Pâté on the ground. Skull, body, just no longer active.

LAURA: And he had been invisible.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Can I (sniffs) do a double sniff and also activate my training from Hunter's Bane for fey, fiends, or undead just to rule that out?

MATT: Sure, go ahead and--

MARISHA: Wait, no longer active, like--

LAURA: I'm going to--

MARISHA: -- the magical force got sucked out of him?

MATT: It's no longer present.

TRAVIS: 15.

LAURA: Oh fuck.

MATT: 15, I mean--

ASHLEY: What if we float through or fly through so we don't have to touch the ground.

LAURA: I know.

MATT: Something about the smell in this place, the scent distinctly feels fiendish.

TRAVIS: I was wondering.

MATT: It just permeates the air here, subtly and sourcelessly--

TRAVIS: Oh, chains.

MATT: Everywhere.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: Being a Pact of the Chain warlock, anything fucking is tingling?

MATT: I mean, it looks pretty terrifying and fiendish in nature.

TRAVIS: I'll go in.

MATT: If you want to make a religion check or an arcana check to see if you can pick up any sort of possible information from what you see before you.

LIAM: Are we saying we've all run up to the outside of this door at this point?

MARISHA: Yeah, I think we've all crept up.

LIAM: Okay, so we've got light source then, to a degree, as well, from you.

MATT: From Imogen kind of leading with you.

LIAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: Sure.

TALIESIN: I'm trying to keep eyes on the back.

MATT: Unless you prefer otherwise.

MARISHA: Not big.

LAURA: We need light.

LIAM: I can't see.

MATT: You can keep stumbling through the dark if you want.

LAURA: The only other thing you could do is turn the lantern on.

ROBBIE: Oh.

MARISHA: That's is good.

LIAM: If you prefer.

LAURA: Because my lights are a concentration spell, so.

LIAM: That's a good call. I think you die yours down, I'll turn the lantern on.

LAURA: (lights diminish)

LIAM: I'm stepping in behind Chetney and I am scanning every corner of the room for movement threats.

LAURA: I'm going to cast Fly on myself--

MATT: Perception check.

MARISHA: 16.

LAURA: -- just to get off the ground.

TALIESIN: Keeping eyes on the back of us.

MARISHA: 16 on arcana.

MATT: 16 on arcana.

LAURA: I rolled a three--

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: -- on the magic.

MATT: What you do notice is the chains, not even affixed to anything, they look like they were conjured through the stone.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

ROBBIE: Hmm.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LIAM: Growing out of the stone?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: (shuddering) Oh.

TRAVIS: I'm having the quietest Hybrid Transformation ever, just-- (tiny wolf squeak)

MATT: (laughs)

TRAVIS: (slo-mo transformation)

TALIESIN: You sound like a haircut--

LIAM: Just quietly peeling.

TALIESIN: -- in reverse.

LAURA: (laughs) Skin.

LIAM: Peeling the gnome skin off.

MATT: What'd you roll?

LIAM: 27.

LAURA: Oh god.

MATT: 27, okay.

MARISHA: I'm taking a cue off of Imogen. I'm going to also cast Spider Climb on myself so I can skitter--

MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: -- along the walls, and I just tell everybody: These chains were not built here, it's like they were conjured. Watch them.

MATT: You look through here and you see where some of the bodies are. Some of them are holding on the chains, like they were trying to either pull themselves off of it or pull themselves on.

TRAVIS: Cool.

MATT: You also see a number of the bodies in the ground that the chains have fallen over, the ancient corpses that litter this ground. You see two of them that are much more armored than others. The skeleton lies, barely hanging inside a breastplate with ornate scrolling across it, and a tattered cloak that's mostly buried over these dark chains that knot over it. Essek's kind of gloating in the middle of the chamber, taking this all in, and going, "This is extremely upsetting, and I only wish, maybe, perchance we hadn't come here."

MARISHA: Does Pâté look like, you said he's on the ground dormant now?

MATT: Yeah.

MARISHA: Does he look like he got got by a chain?

MATT: There's no signs of any puncture, no chain. It's like whatever enchantment held him in place was ended.

LAURA: I want to get out of this room.

TRAVIS: Inside the room--

ASHLEY: I don't like this room.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: -- how many different doorways or, yeah, how many different rooms are there?

LIAM: Three passages out, if I remember, right?

TRAVIS: Three out?

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, there's three ways out of here.

TALIESIN: Left, right, and center.

MATT: Essek reaches into a bag and pulls out a brass bracelet with a finger bone laid in the center of it. He holds it for a second. "If we're looking for information, this might be of help to us. Is there any particular corpse here that we think might be useful?"

TRAVIS: (laughs softly)

LAURA: Maybe one of the more armored ones.

TRAVIS: Or the freshest one.

LAURA: Could be higher ups.

TALIESIN: You want one still in the can or do you want one that still hasn't lost its expiration date?

TRAVIS: I guess older would be better than fresher, right?

LAURA: Yeah, right?

MATT: "Either is useful really, it depends on what information we're looking for."

LAURA: I think whatever is the most decorated-looking one probably has the most information.

LIAM: Or that has Cerberus affiliation by dress.

MATT: Looking around, there are the ancient bodies that are well dressed and seem to hold station within likely the time of Aeor, or there are the more fresh Vanguard figures.

LAURA: I think fresh. Fresh.

ASHLEY: I think we need fresh.

ASHLEY: Because that would be a different--

TALIESIN: Fresh won't know what this is, they'll just know what happened and some stuff about our current situation. The older ones will know what this is, but nothing about--

LAURA: No, the older ones, this has taken up residence after this went down.

LIAM: Yes, it's a more recent--

MARISHA: That's what they said, yeah.

TALIESIN: All right.

LAURA: Yeah, newer.

MARISHA: Newer for sure.

TALIESIN: Then go.

MATT: "Pick one."

LAURA: Did you say there were ones with armor on them?

LIAM: Well, there was one with a breastplate.

MATT: Well, the bodies that you--

LAURA: Were those ancient--

MATT: Those are the ancient ones.

LIAM: Those are the ancient ones?

LAURA: Oh, okay, okay, okay.

MATT: Correct, yeah, that was the skeletal ones--

LIAM: No, then we're looking freshies.

MATT: -- inside the armor.

TALIESIN: What's the easiest? Do we want a grinner or do we not want a grinner?

LAURA: I don't think we want--

MARISHA: Non-grinner.

TALIESIN: Okay.

MARISHA: Because maybe their brain wasn't taken over.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Mm.

TALIESIN: How close is the closest one hanging from the ceiling?

MATT: Maybe about five feet from you.

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: It's just hanging, the hook is up under it's back--

LAURA: I don't think we need to, don't pull him down.

MATT: -- its shoulder's up.

LAURA: I don't want anything aware.

MATT: It just sits there, its head down.

TRAVIS: Are we seeing that rune--

LAURA: Talk to them.

TRAVIS: -- symbol anywhere, by the way?

MATT: The which symbol?

TRAVIS: The rune symbol that was carved into that guy's chest?

LIAM: In the tent.

ASHLEY: The two circles on the--

MATT: You don't see it in the surroundings, necessarily.

TALIESIN: Or carved in the bodies?

MATT: If you want to start-- They're all clothed.

TALIESIN: No, okay. I was just seeing if something was cut open or otherwise, but.

MATT: Nothing at an immediate glance, but you can inspect any of them if you'd like to.

TALIESIN: I'm not going in yet, no.

MARISHA: Essek, just take this non-smiley guy closest to us.

MATT: "Does anybody else want to do this? (laughs nervously)"

LAURA: What is it? Is it Speak With the Dead?

MATT: "It is a charm that allows, twice per day, the ability to--"

ASHLEY: Oh, cool.

MATT: "-- speak with those who have passed. It was given to me by a friend. To be perfectly honest, it kind of creeps me out, especially in these circumstances."

LAURA: Here.

MARISHA: You can fly to it, yeah.

LAURA: Yeah, I'll float up in front of it.

MATT: As you get close, you can see in more detail the body. This appears to be a woman with mousey brown hair that's long and wrapped, covering part of her face. The one eye still open that you can see, and the grin curving up on the side.

LAURA: Oh, she has a grin.

MATT: She does, yeah.

LAURA: Where's one that doesn't got a grin?

MATT: You go past that to one of the nearest bodies that you see is clutching the hook. As you approach this, this is an older man, looks like he has some orcish lineage, but mostly human. The teeth are poking through, but he has multiple puncture wounds across his shoulders. He's not wearing the heavy robes, he's wearing some breastplate with an insignia over the shoulder. You look and see, he was clutching the chains, and where his hands would go limp, his hands have gotten hooked on the jagged edges of the chains and are now part of the presentation.

LAURA: Oh, great. Cool.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LIAM: Orym is for sure listening to Imogen for whatever she's about to do, but I'm going to step towards the three passages and train my hearing and sight in those directions--

LAURA: What happened here?

LIAM: -- so that nothing charges in on us.

MATT: You got it.

LAURA: Any clues how to defeat it? Which way is Ludinus?

MARISHA: Yeah, where's Ludinus? What were they looking for?

TALIESIN: What happened? What were they looking for?

LAURA: Yeah, all right.

ASHLEY: Yeah. Do you want to ask about Dominox at all?

LAURA: Mm. (I don't know) All right.

MATT: So you invoke the charm and you watch as the finger bone that sits in the middle of the bracelet turns a quarter within the bracelet, like a-- (sharp crack)

LAURA: Ugh, I don't like it.

MATT: As it does, you feel this wave of cold energy pass through your hands, and the corpse before you, the hanging head goes, "(dry rasp)" You can now see the somewhat tangled, short, blondish hair of this older man balding in the front. The eyes peek up towards you and through you, bloodshot beneath. You can see the blood trickling from the nose and the mouth as it looks up, the tongue lolling, and its slack jaw as it glares at you. "(dry rasp)" Essek glides back about a foot, (laughs) and starts looking at all sides of the room, following in your scent and has his hands up, ready to cast whatever's needed. "(dry rasp)"

LAURA: What is the creature that did this to you?

MATT: "He just called himself Dominox."

LAURA: Shit, that was a dumb question.

MARISHA: (laughs)

MATT: "(dry rasp)"

LAURA: I wanted more details.

MATT: "The whispers in--"

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: The whisper what?

MATT: "The whispers in our head."

MARISHA: "Whispers in our head."

LAURA: That didn't count as another question.

ASHLEY: The whispers in our head?

TRAVIS: You didn't ask one, he just told you.

MATT: No, he just gave information.

LAURA: Okay.

ASHLEY: "The whispers in our head."

LIAM: Haggle with the dead.

LAURA: (laughs) I know.

MARISHA: Five.

ROBBIE: Five?

LAURA: Yeah. Do you have any clues how to avoid or defeat him?

MATT: "No. We were told to hold the chamber, and then Raah Cosen lifted me on this hook, and I bled out. (grunts)"

LAURA: Which way did Ludinus go?

MATT: "Ludinus? I did not see Ludinus."

LAURA: Where are the chambers that you were searching in?

MATT: "All through these halls."

LAURA: Fuck.

ROBBIE: Is this the last one?

LAURA: Yeah. You guys got anything else?

TRAVIS: What does Dominox do? What does he do to you?

TALIESIN: What was the whispers?

LIAM: What is it? What is Dominox?

LAURA: I don't know if he knows. He just said, "The whispers in our head."

MARISHA: We know it's a fiend, we know it whispers in our head, we know it probably has some sort of anti-magic situation.

TALIESIN: Did you touch the chains? I don't know, I'm curious if the chains are a problem or which passage--

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: -- would be the best to take?

LAURA: Did you do anything to cause the chains to find you?

MATT: "I think this started with the engine room."

LAURA: The engine room.

MATT: "(rasps)"

MARISHA: All right.

LAURA: My questions sucked, y'all.

MARISHA: Well--

ASHLEY: No, no, no, no.

MARISHA: -- we already knew a lot.

TALIESIN: The questions were great, it was the answers that sucked.

LIAM: Does that viscera trail go through one of these specific passages of the three?

MATT: The viscera trail ends in this chamber.

LIAM: Ends.

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The chains must have come out and sucked it, or one of the smiley people. I could ask a smiley person, they might have more information about what Dominox is.

TRAVIS: Hey, Fearne, your guy with the little mark on your hand, was he a devil or a demon?

LIAM: He was a devil guy, right?

ASHLEY: That was a--

LIAM: He was fancy.

MATT: Devil.

ASHLEY: De-vil.

(laughter)

LIAM: Both of us at the same time, go.

MATT: Dev-ahn.

LAURA: Sermon Terts.

ASHLEY: Teven? I mean, I could try to reach out.

TRAVIS: Just saying.

ASHLEY: I can try to reach out. I'm going to cast Mage Hand.

MATT: Mm-hmm.

ASHLEY: One of the bodies that's up close, I'm going to try to open up their clothing to see if there's any rune on their chest.

MATT: The one that's closest to all of you as you enter is the one that you first looked at, the female that's dangling forward. Do you want to go to that one or one that's off to the side?

LAURA: Probably the smiling one.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Yeah, a smiley one.

MATT: Okay. So as the hook has put in through

ASHLEY: Hope it doesn't just wake something up.

MATT: -- the shoulder blade and underneath, you pull open the Vanguard robes a little bit and you can see where the hook is piercing through the front. As you pull back the cloth and there's the red-stained skin around it and that bit of decay that's starting to slightly come in, the signs of early bloat. The decay here is slow for a number of reasons. These bodies, these all look like they're fresher than they should be if this has been happening for even more than a week. But you do see the signs of carving, skin drawn in a familiar looking top of a symbol.

MARISHA: Imogen.

LAURA: Hmm?

ASHLEY: Button it back up.

ROBBIE: Yeah, right.

MARISHA: I know you took it off.

LAURA: No, that shit's back on.

MARISHA: Did you put it back on? All right.

LAURA: Yeah. I put that back on when we got here.

MARISHA: Someone needs to make sure that it doesn't get in your head.

LAURA: I did that on our first short break. (laughs)

MARISHA: Yeah, good, good.

ASHLEY: Should I reach out to--?

TALIESIN: I don't trust that kid.

LAURA: Well, no, but I mean--

TALIESIN: We are in a very precarious place, I don't know.

MARISHA: I'm actually here for it.

LAURA: Maybe wait for it to get a little, well, yeah, that's up to you.

ASHLEY: Maybe give a little, because the thing is, if we wait--

MARISHA: It might be too late.

ASHLEY: -- it might take them a little bit too long.

LAURA: That's true.

MARISHA: I know.

LAURA: She's got a devil prince guy that has the hots for her.

MARISHA: She's got a boyfriend.

ROBBIE: Of course.

ASHLEY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay.

TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: I don't know how to--

LIAM: Ships passing in the night.

TALIESIN: He's a vibe.

ASHLEY: I'm going to try something, okay?

LAURA: Sure.

ASHLEY: I go to where the kiss was on the hand.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Hello? Then I'll kiss the kiss.

LAURA: (laughs)

MATT: You kiss the kiss?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MATT: As you kiss the kiss, (flame roars) the finger alights in flame and the symbol burns its way into the top of your finger.

LAURA: Oh shit!

MATT: It doesn't hurt you, but the rest of you see this glowing lamp light from outside of her hand.

ASHLEY: I try to just hide it because it's really bright.

MATT: She hides it and it's just getting brighter and brighter.

ASHLEY: Shit.

ROBBIE: (laughs)

LAURA: Oh.

ASHLEY: Sorry.

LAURA: Well?

ROBBIE: Well, what is that?

ASHLEY: Hello? Hello?

MATT: As you pull it up you watch as a spark, a small flame spark (flame leaps) arcs out from the finger. As it the hits middle of the air, (flames crackle and roar) it tears open into this three-foot oval of burning flame. You watch as a heavy foot--

LAURA: Yes!

MATT: -- steps out. You see this terrifying looking humanoid with deep red skin, a massive mane of dark gray long hair and a bushy beard, yellow eyes, massive horns, armored shoulders, clutching on the back a two-handed sword that is sheathed. As it clomps through, the tail following behind.

ASHLEY: Oh my god, hi!

MATT: "You called me."

ASHLEY: You got here so fast.

MARISHA: (laughs)

ASHLEY: I thought it was going to take--

MATT: "I told you--"

ASHLEY: -- way longer than that.

MATT: "-- I'd come when you called."

LAURA: Wow.

ASHLEY: Oh.

MATT: "The pact begins."

LAURA: Oh, that's right, it came with a thing.

MATT: "What do you require?"

LAURA: Do you remember what the pact was?

MATT: Essek goes, "Will someone--"

TRAVIS: Who cares?

(laughter)

MATT: "Would someone like to explain what the hell is going on, literally?"

LAURA: She has a pact.

ASHLEY: It's a pact.

MATT: "Great."

ASHLEY: It's just, I don't really understand it, but we'll figure it out. He can help us out.

MATT: "This is a friend of yours."

ASHLEY: Teven, this is Essek. Essek, Teven.

LIAM: Fearne collects a lot of pets and boyfriends.

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

MATT: "Teven--"

ASHLEY: Dorian, Teven.

MATT: The literal devil creature looks to each of you and gives a nod to Essek, looks back to you.

LAURA: Do you know anything about Dominox?

MATT: (Teven) "Dominox. Not a name that's been uttered in a long time."

ROBBIE: Oh, he knows! He know!

TALIESIN: We just heard it about two minutes ago.

MARISHA: He said uttered in a long time?

TRAVIS: It's that old shit. That's that old guard! Let's go, old beastie!

ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay.

TRAVIS: Fucking crack it open, Mercer!

TALIESIN: So that name--

ROBBIE: With a name like Dominox it's got to be good!

TALIESIN: -- got heard about two minutes ago.

ASHLEY: Yeah. (laughs)

TRAVIS: You know it's fresh.

TALIESIN: Good timing.

(laughter)

MATT: "There have been a number of grand demons through history."

LIAM: Demons.

TRAVIS: Grand demons?

LAURA: Devils.

LIAM: Grand demons.

MATT: "One of our great enemies in the ancient times."

LAURA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah.

MARISHA: Great enemies!

LIAM: Devils vs. demons!

MATT: "We wanted to feel his ruin upon our blades, but he was not seen through the Calamity."

LAURA: Wow.

MATT: "We fear he was lost."

ASHLEY: Wait, not seen through the what?

TRAVIS: Calamity.

ASHLEY: Calamity?

LAURA: Guess who's here?

ASHLEY: That's what I thought he said.

MARISHA: Look around, look around. Look behind you.

ASHLEY: I think he's been taking up residence here.

TRAVIS: Yeah, smell that shit.

TALIESIN: Weird-ass chains. Symbols on people's chest, big grins, whispers.

ASHLEY: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! Look at the--

MATT: "There is ruin in this air tonight."

LAURA: Yeah!

MATT: "Great."

TALIESIN: He's a bit turned on--

MATT: "Great."

TALIESIN: -- it makes me like him.

MARISHA: You said you devils have a long standing grudge? Do you have any bros you can call up? It might be now! Now is a great time.

MATT: "There is a bit going on."

(laughter)

ROBBIE: No, no! We're grateful for you. For you!

LAURA: Yeah, yeah.

ASHLEY: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

ROBBIE: Yeah, we're not undervaluing your presence here.

LAURA: Mm-mm.

MATT: "Many are preparing for the coming attacks on the red moon of destruction. Our great prince does not want such things to befall our Hells."

ASHLEY: The Great Prince.

MATT: "So, I will be with you for a time until I'm called away. But to bring back the head of a grand demon is quite the task." You see for a second that hunter's joy--

LAURA: Yeah.

MATT: -- shift into reality and that confidence becomes calculation. "There are a few types of demons beneath the lords. The grands are dangerous. The Grand Demon of Loathing has quite a mythology. Why would it be here now?"

ASHLEY: I don't, I don't know.

LAURA: Somebody said as soon as they disturbed the ancient rooms, they're digging up old tech.

MARISHA: If you haven't heard of him since the Calamity, maybe the Aeorians had actually sealed him away and when they started busting into the rooms?

LAURA: That is quite possible.

LIAM: Right, magic is hinky the world over, so maybe extra hinky here.

MARISHA: Yes, that's right.

ASHLEY: I'm going to Mage Hand again to the rune on the chest, just so he can get a look at it.

MATT: "Ah. That is his sigil. That is the carving of gifting. Those who offer in their final moments what he desires, their oblivion." He holds the blade strong under his grip. "I do not know where we are."

TRAVIS: Essek, fill him in.

(laughter)

MATT: (Essek) "Hello. Essek, strange companion to these strangers. Yes, ancient city of Aeor, mageocracy destroyed during the Calamity. You've see many of the ancient bodies here from those individuals, and these on the hooks are fresher. Where do I go from there?" He floats back a little bit, a little overwhelmed and looking over towards, still looking at you like: What the fuck did you just do?

LAURA: You have a pact to Asmodeus now.

ASHLEY: I have a pact to Asmodeus now, because now I have--

MATT: "This is a frying pan into frying pan circumstance, perhaps?"

TALIESIN: Eh, don't really know.

TRAVIS: There's a chance he could be working with a member of the Cerberus Assembly. There's a chance that Ludinus could have unlocked an ancient prison. Maybe he was up on the moon and released and brought him down as a diversion or a distraction.

TALIESIN: Ludinus is a big deal.

TRAVIS: There's any number of things. But if we can find this Dominox, we can find Ludinus. If we find Ludinus, we can try to stop what's happening on that moon of destruction.

MARISHA: Well remember, Ludinus came here to deal with Dominox.

LAURA: Yeah.

MARISHA: He's killing all the Vanguard. Not to throw a little wrenchy wrench into this plan, because I love this plan, but right now Dominox is distracting Ludinus.

TRAVIS: We think.

MARISHA: We think.

LAURA: Yeah. And weakening Ludinus potentially.

MARISHA: Right.

TRAVIS: We think.

MARISHA: Our goal here was to try and thwart Ludinus in some way. So how can we maybe use Dominox to our advantage?

TRAVIS: The grand demon that hasn't been around since the Calamity? We're going to use him?

MARISHA: I'm not saying we're going to use, I'm just saying that we--

ASHLEY: That's be tight.

ROBBIE: I'm pretty good at making friends.

LIAM: I understand. I'm with you.

MARISHA: You get what I'm trying to lay down?

LIAM: Can we throw Ludinus--

LAURA: You are very charming.

ROBBIE: Yeah, I think so.

LIAM: -- under the demonic bus before getting the fuck out?

MARISHA: I just don't know if killing Dominox is maybe the way right now.

LAURA: Well, you know, let's just, let's get into these ruins and see what the fuck's happening.

LIAM: One step at a time.

TALIESIN: I love making friends.

MATT: (Essek) "Do we know which room to go into? What--"

TALIESIN: Sentient summon out of an engine room.

LIAM: Orym looks around this room and its like, sci-fi, ancient future city, dunamancy wizard, devil prince, Bells Hells, and is just under his breath like: Metal.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I'll go over to the first door on the right, look for any sort of lettering and also check it for traps.

ASHLEY: (scampering)

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Engines create heat--

MATT: Roll an investigation check.

TALIESIN: -- make sound. They said they turned it on.

LAURA: He's a hybrid. He's a wolf right now.

TRAVIS: 21.

ROBBIE: Should we befriend him?

LAURA: He's a wolf.

MATT: 21. The door is not locked, it is closed, and is not trapped. Could you make a wisdom saving throw for me, please?

TRAVIS: Yes.

LAURA: Which, yeah, because which door was Pâté in front of when he dropped?

MATT: I think he was in the center of the chamber.

TRAVIS: 17.

LAURA: Oh, fuck.

MATT: 17.

ASHLEY: So maybe--

MATT: Chetney, you turn to look at the group--

ASHLEY: Maybe we go around all of this.

MATT: -- and you don't see them in the room.

LAURA: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Oh fuck.

MATT: You see--

ASHLEY: What did he roll?

MATT: -- dozens of children. Children that step towards you and reveal the bloody claw marks across their body, their throats, their eyes. One steps up. (child) "What have you done? Have you forgotten the terrible things you've done, Chetney?" Another child comes from the other corner. "You don't even remember. You're the bad wolf, you're the big bad wolf." Another one, "You made us toys, you filled us with joy, and we filled your belly, and you told no one." A little girl comes up and grabs your hand. "You think you are not a monster now? How many did you kill? How many more will join us still?"

TRAVIS: What? What the fuck?

MATT: They all slowly step towards you.

ASHLEY: Chet?

TRAVIS: I start backing up, put my back against the wall, and moving. Where-- You guys?

TALIESIN: Yeah?

ASHLEY: It's okay.

TRAVIS: (frantic) You guys!

LIAM: Do we hear this?

ROBBIE: Yeah, is he doing this?

MATT: You hear him saying this.

TALIESIN: Okay.

LIAM: That's what I mean. That's what I mean, he's freaking out by a door?

MATT: Yeah.

ASHLEY: What's wrong? What's wrong?

TALIESIN: Going senile? What's up?

LIAM: Chet, can you hear me? Can you hear us?

TALIESIN: Chet?

MATT: They're nowhere to be found.

ROBBIE: No, no. We lost all the rest.

ASHLEY: Oh no, he's--

LAURA: He's out?

TALIESIN: Wood's stupid and it breaks.

LAURA: I don't know if this works.

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

ASHLEY: I have an above-- I have a question.

MATT: Yes.

ASHLEY: So in that open chamber, it's doors, not hallways?

MATT: There are different exits to this room, hallways that come together, but the entryways are closed.

ASHLEY: Got it, got it, got it, got it. Okay.

TRAVIS: Okay. Okay, I'm dreaming. I'm dreaming. (panicked groans) Can I turn around to the door that I was just checking for traps? (grunts) I'll push the door open.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: He can't see us at all, he only sees kids?

LIAM: Just slashed children.

MATT: You go to turn towards the door to push it open and there's this little four year old girl--

LAURA: (gags)

MATT: -- with two pigtails that are tied in the center. You see this horrible claw across her face with the eyes missing. She holds this tiny broken wooden toy of immaculate craftsmanship and she goes, "Why?" (static buzzes) You see flashes of mid forest, hunger, bloodlust, a scream and a swipe. And you're back.

MATT: Did you do that?

LAURA: (gasps) He didn't do that.

MARISHA: He didn't do that.

LAURA: He didn't do that.

ASHLEY: He did that.

LAURA: No, he didn't.

MATT: I mean, there were periods of time that you lost when you were first infected, you were feral. You don't remember much about that time. You look at her and stop before that door and step back and you feel one of the other kids and you turn and look and you see this young little elf boy looking at you with this, this pity, his throat missing, just this mess. You see, leaping over a fence post in a dense forest, you grab a sheep and tear into it. You see a little kid holding out a lantern go, "Mom, I heard something." You lunge back there in front. You recognize him. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

LAURA: How do we break this?

MATT: No.

TRAVIS: (bewildered mumbling) I don't know, fuck. How many kids are in this fucking room?

MATT: Right now, you see about 13 of them.

TRAVIS: (panting) Guys! Guys, there's, there's, there's kids!

LAURA: I'm going to try to, I don't know if it'll work, cast Calm Emotions on him.

MATT: Okay.

LAURA: It can suppress any effect causing a target to be charmed or frightened. I don't know if that'll work.

MATT: Okay.

ASHLEY: Can we hear him screaming?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Okay.

MATT: You can you hear him screaming.

TRAVIS: I am a werewolf, so it be like: (growling scream)

MATT: Yeah. (laughs) Make a wisdom check with disadvantage for me, please.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LIAM: I'm getting closer to Chet, too.

TALIESIN: Oh, we lost our temp hit points.

TRAVIS: Four.

MATT: Four. Okay.

MARISHA: Can I send a message to Chetney?

MATT: Sure.

MARISHA: Try with the intent of maybe getting in his head and pushing out whatever's in there. I say: Chetney, this isn't real. You have to wake up.

MATT: You don't hear anything.

MARISHA: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Shit.

MATT: You calm a minute, your breath calms, and you look down at the kids, and they're coming up to you. They're not aggressive, they're just sorrowful. They look at you sad, they look at you confused. You look down at another young dwarven child that goes, "Why?"

TRAVIS: I didn't, I didn't do this. This, this wasn't me. This isn't real, this isn't real. I didn't, I don't remember any of this!

MATT: (flashes) You glance past the faces and see moments of each of them being pulled down, pulled apart, grabbed, crushed.

TRAVIS: No.

MATT: These moments, and you were there. You look up at your hands and around you and the chains are gone, just dark trees. A deep, dense forest that surrounds you and the children. You see the blood on your claws.

LIAM: I'm resting my hand on his shoulder in the room. Chet--

TALIESIN: You've walked that far?

LIAM: Yeah, Chet--

MATT: You feel this blade begin to dig into your shoulder.

LIAM: Chet.

MATT: What do you do?

TRAVIS: A blade?

MATT: Yeah.

TRAVIS: I swipe at it.

LIAM: You're okay.

MATT: Make an attack roll for me.

LAURA: He would only be at his hip.

LIAM: Yeah, I'm reaching up to his Popeye werewolf chest.

TRAVIS: 28.

LIAM: 28?

TRAVIS: Yeah, natural 18 plus 10. Unarmed strike, right?

LIAM: Yeah.

MATT: You swipe back and (swipes). Roll claw damage as Chetney rakes you across the the neck with the armor, catches some of it, but some of it also goes across the meat of your shoulder.

TRAVIS: Eight points of damage.

LIAM: Eight points, okay. I'm going to shove him up against the stone wall and try to press up against him and yell: Chetney!

MATT: The kids begin to swarm you and push you up against one of the trees, they're leaping onto you.

LIAM: Come on, old man.

MATT: They go, "Why, why, why, why?" They're climbing up your chest and looking in your face with their vacant eyes, their vacant sockets.

TRAVIS: No, it's okay, I can make it right! I-I-I can make it right! I didn't do any of this!

MATT: You open your eyes and it's Orym holding you against the wall. You're in the shadowed space of the room.

LIAM: Ease down. Ease down, Pock O'Pea, come on.

TRAVIS: Did you see, did you see the kids? Did you see the kids and the--?

LIAM: It's just, it's just us, Chet.

TRAVIS: Spinning around, spinning around.

LIAM: Take a second, take a second, breathe.

MATT: No children, just the dangling bodies.

TRAVIS: Oh god, there were, there were children. Opened up, torn apart. They-they were talking to me like I had done it, but I don't remember. But I saw it like I had.

LIAM: Take a minute, think about it. Think about where we are, think about what we're dealing with. Chet, think about it.

TRAVIS: Oh god.

TRAVIS: Whatever you say, it was in my head. It was so real. It was so real.

MARISHA: Why don't we take a minute to get out of here and regroup for a second? Maybe you need inspirational words.

ROBBIE: Yes, I can take a hint.

MARISHA: Yes, yes. (laughs)

ROBBIE: Okay, everyone, that was scary, it was very scary.

LAURA: It happened when you touched the doors?

TRAVIS: I think so.

ASHLEY: Or just gone in the vicinity of him?

LIAM: I look into his wolven eyes. Does he look, he's lucid now?

LAURA: Do you have anything that--

MATT: He looks more, he's engaging you--

LAURA: -- gives advantage on wisdom saves?

MATT: -- and not attacking and seems to be looking around.

ROBBIE: It takes a minute.

MATT: Seems to be a little more lucid.

ROBBIE: So I'm doing it.

LAURA: Oh, okay. Yeah. We got to do it.

MARISHA: We got to do it.

ROBBIE: We're doing it. Yeah, we're doing it.

MARISHA: You're blocked by people getting in your head more or less?

LAURA: Let me double check on this inventory.

TALIESIN: I'm a big problem.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: Me too.

TALIESIN: Barbarians and fighters are big problems.

LAURA: Yeah.

ASHLEY: Yup.

LAURA: Immune to--

ASHLEY: Been there.

LAURA: -- magic that allows other creatures to read your thoughts or determine that I'm lying. (uncertain) Mm.

TRAVIS: Can I look at my shoulder, where I felt the blade was?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: Anything?

MATT: No blade.

LAURA: I don't know if--

TRAVIS: No wound?

MATT: No wound.

LAURA: -- I'm blocked against it. They can't perceive me and they can't lie to me or tell that I'm lying, but I think he might still be able to get in there.

MARISHA: He can still sway you. Okay.

LIAM: I can jump really high, so I think I'm going to be fine.

MARISHA: (laughs)

ROBBIE: And hey, maybe we haven't had the best of luck up until this time. And the droning continues.

(laughter)

TRAVIS: I look over at the devil in the room. What was that? You have to know what that was. I saw things that weren't there. I wasn't even here!

MATT: "(scoffs) Maybe you are not prepared for what you're fighting."

LAURA: No, no, we're definitely not.

TALIESIN: That's why you're here. Literally.

ASHLEY: Do you have anything you can tell us, what was that? What do we, what do we-- what do we do?

MATT: Points to the bodies in the chains. "Do better than they did."

ASHLEY: (sarcastically) Oh, thank you so much.

TRAVIS: I don't like that.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's so hot.

LAURA: Does getting damage break it?

MARISHA: I don't know. I was honestly afraid to do anything to hit Chetney because I didn't want him to--

LAURA: Attack.

MARISHA: -- attack.

TRAVIS: How does his magic presence, loathing, work? Does that mean he's nearby?

MATT: "He was before my time, I do not know."

TRAVIS: Before your time!

MARISHA: Whoa!

MATT: "I am centuries old, but Dominox is a myth in the lands of Hell I come from."

LAURA: We could ask one of these ancient guys then. We could ask one of the bodies from the Calamity.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

MARISHA: That's true.

TALIESIN: Aren't we out of--

MATT: Are you all slowly pulling back into the hallway?

ROBBIE: And we have the power of friendship, which is why we'll win! And that should be about a minute.

(laughter)

ROBBIE: That's a Motivational Speech. Yeah, yeah, so I'm going to cast at a lower level, 3rd-level. So you get five temp hit points.

LAURA: How many, there are more than five us, though?

ROBBIE: I can only do five people.

LAURA: If you do it at a higher level do you get more people?

ROBBIE: No.

TALIESIN: It's the wisdom save though, so.

LIAM: It's a wisdom save?

ROBBIE: It is.

LIAM: Give it to the fighter and the barbarian.

TALIESIN: Yep, give it to the fighter and the barbarian.

ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, Chet already got dinged, sorry.

TRAVIS: No problem.

LAURA: I got bad wisdom.

ROBBIE: One, two, three, four, and not for myself.

ASHLEY: My wisdom's okay, so if anybody else needs to take it.

MARISHA: Her wisdom is okay, how is your wisdom?

ROBBIE: Uh, pfft!

MARISHA: Maybe you should do--

TALIESIN: Yeah, just take it yourself.

ROBBIE: Okay, I'll take it myself.

LIAM: What's your mod? Are you a plus what? Dor?

ROBBIE: Oh, you mean for saves or just the mod?

LIAM: For saves.

ROBBIE: Negative one.

LIAM: Negative one?

LAURA: Take that shit!

ROBBIE: What?

LIAM: Take it.

ASHLEY: Take it.

ROBBIE: Fine.

TALIESIN: That's one, two, three, four, five, we're good.

ROBBIE: Five and you guys are good?

ASHLEY: Well, I'm okay, you don't need to put it on me. So am I taking the--

MARISHA: Pick someone other than--

TALIESIN: Us three.

ROBBIE: Three, four, five.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Wisdom?

MARISHA: Yeah, but maybe do him.

ASHLEY: Those temporary hit points are gone?

TALIESIN: He's already been hit, though.

TRAVIS: I get it?

ROBBIE: Yeah.

MARISHA: He's already been hit, you think he'll not maybe get--

LIAM: I retract, I think I'm better than I thought the rest of the group. I thought I was worse than the group, but I think I'm a little better than the group.

TRAVIS: It's advantage on wisdom saves, right?

ROBBIE: Yeah, and some other stuff.

TRAVIS: I'll take it.

LAURA: You're looking at our numbers like, "oh shit, you guys suck."

ROBBIE: So you get five temp hit points and then if you take a hit on your next turn you get advantage on your attack roll.

LAURA: Okay, great.

TALIESIN: Oh, that's--

MARISHA: So you're going to sit out too because you're good?

LIAM: I'm going to sit it out.

MARISHA: Then Fearne is going to sit out. So, one, two, three, four--

TALIESIN: I get advantage on my attack roll--

MARISHA: -- five.

TALIESIN: -- if I get hit?

LIAM: I'm sure I'll catch the whammy, but.

LAURA: You're wise.

TALIESIN: That's a bad idea. Shit.

ASHLEY: So, I'm not even taking temporary hit points as well.

MATT: (Essek) "Am I not getting--"

LAURA: Are you wise, though, I don't know.

TALIESIN: I was going to say advantage on my attack roll is-- I'm going to side.

MATT: "I consider myself quite experienced, yes."

TRAVIS: Maybe Essek, instead.

TALIESIN: Essek instead of.

ROBBIE: Essek?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Does he have high wisdom or?

TRAVIS: I don't know.

MATT: You don't know.

TALIESIN: We're not getting--

LAURA: But if he gets taken over--

ROBBIE: So, who's feeling inspired?

LAURA: If he gets taken over, he could Fuck. Us. Up.

LIAM and TALIESIN: Yeah.

ROBBIE: Hey.

MARISHA: So maybe, okay. Well, and this thing is also attracted to magic, it seems like, so maybe it is better.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MARISHA: One, two, three, four. Who else? Oh, and Chetney.

LAURA: Okay.

MARISHA: Right?

TALIESIN: You two, you two and--

MARISHA: There's one, two, three, four, five. Okay, okay.

LIAM: Honestly, you witches could do a lot more damage than I could if I were.

LAURA: I mean, who knows, who knows.

TALIESIN: You hold me in one place and I'm not, you know, that's the--

MATT: So... On Essek?

ROBBIE: Who is it? I can track the boons if I know who we landed on. Raise your hand. If you got motivated by my killer speech.

MARISHA: Chetney, too.

TRAVIS: Can I place my hand on the floor and try for a Grim Psychometry roll?

TALIESIN: I wasn't listening.

ROBBIE: I'm work shopping it!

TALIESIN: I kind of phased it out.

MATT: Yeah, make a history check for me.

TRAVIS: Yeah? Okay.

LAURA: Can I talk to--

TALIESIN: This stuff is kind of derivative, man.

LAURA: -- another dead body?

MATT: Sure, which one you want to try and go for?

LAURA: Should I do it?

ASHLEY: Yeah.

TALIESIN: Let's talk to Ancient McAncientson.

LIAM: We did a newbie, so--

ASHLEY: Oldie oldie.

LIAM: Golden oldie, yeah.

LAURA: What?

TRAVIS: Natural 19.

LAURA: Oh.

ASHLEY: Oh!

LAURA: Is this Grim Psychometry?

TRAVIS: Plus three, 22.

MATT: 22, okay.

ASHLEY: History check, I think.

TRAVIS: It's just the room. I put my hand on the floor of the room.

LAURA: Okay, okay.

MATT: This space is filled with a lot of negative energy and the fiendish presence here almost becomes too much to sift through. It's like the dark memory is a mist so thick that you just see shapes through it. You see shapes of people screaming, being carried, and being thrown on hooks by other people.

LAURA: Oh!

MATT: People touching their face and then finding another. Before eventually pulling the hook down and putting themselves on it.

LAURA and ASHLEY: Oh!

ROBBIE: Nah. Come on.

LAURA: So the hooks aren't grabbing people, it's other--

MARISHA: They do it willingly.

TRAVIS: I mean, the hooks have to be summoned from somewhere.

ROBBIE: Does it look like the chains are going anywhere? Like a pipeline? Like they're feeding into anything?

MATT: They look flush with the stone. There's no--

ROBBIE: So even the ones on the ground aren't leading anywhere particularly?

MATT: You can follow it if you'd like to start. You can make an investigation check.

TRAVIS: I know there's no pushing through these visions in a certain way, but is there any presence that's not a person that is ending up on a hook? Any other entity that's moving through?

MATT: Unfortunately, there is so much--

LAURA: It's gone.

TRAVIS: Stank in here? (laughs)

MATT: -- abyssal energy in this space, and so much negativity, here in the core of the city of Aeor. Here in the core of this recent thing, it's flooding you with so much dark history that it's just oppressive and blurred. You see and hear screams, hundreds of screams. You hear explosions. You hear people yelling in a language you don't understand. In the middle of people being hoisted upon chains. Everything's kind of blurring together. It's too much and you can't make out a lot.

TRAVIS: I got it.

MATT: In this instance you would have needed a natural 20 to pick up more than what you got.

LAURA: Wow!

TRAVIS: Yeah, I got it.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

MATT: This is a mish-mash of history.

TRAVIS: A grand demon? Yeah, I--

ROBBIE: I hit a 16 on my investigation. I want to look for what fucked Chet up. Like, as my instincts. Like what triggered this? So I'm going to see if I can kind of--

TRAVIS: Did I get a hand on the door or was it before I got to it?

MATT: Before you got to the door.

TRAVIS: Before I got to the door, okay.

MATT: You begin to follow the chains along the ground and you can see a lot of them are connected to nothing. They're just laying there in long 50-, 100 plus-foot spindles. Like sleeping serpents. Either they were just left there or carried or apparated. It's odd. They don't seem to snake out into other walls. They're just kind of present. While you're checking there, you said, who's doing what?

LAURA: Oh, I was going to talk to one of the dead Aeorians.

ASHLEY: Yeah.

LAURA: Okay, I'll do that. I'll go over to one of the bodies.

MATT: Okay, this is the last use of that charm.

LAURA: Yes. For the day.

MATT: Yeah. Underneath the numerous chains that are wrapped over the armored torso of the nearest one that you've noticed, the skeletal body, the faint wisps of white hair that cling to the barely skin covered skull, the sunken sockets. It's reminiscent of the face of that woman from the "Scary Stories to Tell in Dark" image.

ASHLEY: Oh yes!

MATT: Just on the side and with a chain resting over the head. You trigger the charm a second time. The finger bone spins once more and it locks into place. As it does, the same cold energy sifts through and you hear the chain begin to (light clicks) As the body shifts slightly towards you and the head kind of, "(gasps)" Looks up in your way. The sucking sound of air into no lungs, magically held for some sort of speech. What do you want to ask?

LAURA: Dominox has been released. How was he captured?

MATT: "The-- Pinion of Service."

LAURA: Pinion of Service?

LIAM: Pinion of Service.

LAURA: Is he still talking?

MATT: He's still just waiting.

LAURA: What is the Pinion of Service?

MATT: "An Abyssal soul anchor."

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: "Developed to contain shadow magics. It keeps him shackled to the engine."

LAURA: The engine.

MATT: "And he returns to it when slain by the engine's extraction process."

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

LAURA: Oh!

TRAVIS: They were using him to power the fucking engine.

LAURA: Wow.

LIAM: A mega demon. As an engine?

LAURA: Where is this engine?

MATT: "(deep exhale)" One of the skeletal hand reaches up from the chains. It's having a hard time at first, from the weight of them, before the arm points to the door opposite that you almost pushed through.

TALIESIN: How do we find him?

LAURA: How do you turn the engine on?

MATT: "The-- Engine should be on. The seals should be-- Kept. If the seals remain, he should be harmless."

LAURA: So we need to reinstate those seals.

MARISHA: The seals got turned off when the magic got wonky.

TRAVIS: That's a hell of a gerbil to stick in your--

LIAM: Yeah.

TRAVIS: -- Pre-Calamity flying city.

LIAM: Just a rod of plutonium in my microwave.

MARISHA: Uh-huh.

ROBBIE: (laughs)

MARISHA: Wowsers.

TRAVIS: Fuck, that's--

MATT: Age of Arcanum, man.

LAURA: What are Dominox's-- Do you know of any weaknesses he has?

MATT: "Demons, when slain, return to the Abyss. When killed in the Abyss, they are killed forever. But the Pinion is of the Abyss. And to it he'll return to forever run the engine."

LAURA: Got it. Was that my last question?

TALIESIN: Ah fuck.

LIAM: I think it was four.

MARISHA: It was.

LAURA: Do we got any more for him?

TALIESIN: Why is, I want to know how this, I don't even know what to say. How this room works. But what is it about this room that triggers the effect? Like, I don't know.

LAURA: I think he's just gotten released, the seal's broken, he's out.

LIAM: Maybe Dominox is fucking with us.

LAURA: What is Dominox attracted to?

MATT: "Dominox-- Feeds on insecurity."

MARISHA: Oh god.

TALIESIN: We're fucked.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: I will go talk to him, it's fine.

(laughter)

LAURA: Fearne has this covered.

ASHLEY: I got this covered.

TALIESIN: I, for one, welcome our new demonic master.

(laughter)

ASHLEY: Yes.

TALIESIN: We're fucked.

MATT: "It introduces the suffering of self loathing."

TALIESIN: Oh shit.

MATT: "Until you present yourself to oblivion. And he feeds."

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LAURA: Cool, cool, cool.

MATT: "(gasping)"

MARISHA: So.

TRAVIS: Good questions.

MARISHA: My crazy out of Laudna, out of left field, there's a demon possessing the machine, is right? That's insane! That was a joke!

MATT: Dorian, roll a wisdom saving throw for me.

ALL: No!

ROBBIE: Why?!

TRAVIS: Here we go, here we go! Here we go, here we go now! Hey, batter!

ROBBIE: Save with a negative one. Hey, that's a-- Hmm-mm! That's a two!

MARISHA: Come on, come on, bigger.

ROBBIE: Please do good!

ASHLEY: Come on.

ROBBIE: Okay.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh!

ROBBIE: Okay. 16.

MATT: 16.

TRAVIS: Grand demon.

LAURA: Nope, nope.

TRAVIS: Grand demon.

MATT: As they're having this conversation and you're sitting at the edge of the hallway, after following the chains and looking around and throwing in information as you can. You go towards the center left side of the chamber. Where no one has really gone to yet. You look up at one of the bodies on the hook and you see beyond the soiled pants, the dangling arm of blue skin.

LAURA: (gasps)

TALIESIN: Mm!

TRAVIS: Oh no.

TALIESIN: Yeah.

MATT: You see the open travel robe and the hook that pierces the sternum of a familiar, strong torso. You see there dangling from it, eyes lifeless and still, the body of your brother Cyrus.

MARISHA: Oh!

MATT: As the eyes shift to meet yours. "You never let me fix my own mistakes, instead, pulling me into yours. Into your chaos. Look where it put me. Look what you did to me, brother." And that's where we're going to end tonight's episode.

(groaning)

TALIESIN: No!

ASHLEY: No!

ROBBIE: Oh, come on!

ASHLEY: No!

TRAVIS: Shit, Matt!

MARISHA: Oh my god.

ASHLEY: Oh shit!

TALIESIN: It's going to be easy!

TRAVIS: Grand demon!

TALIESIN: Chet was going to get him. I was going to get to beat a werewolf.

LAURA: Cruelty is always needless.

TALIESIN: But no, we're going here.

TRAVIS: Grand demon! Oh no!

TALIESIN: Fuck.

ASHLEY: Wow.

ROBBIE: Okay.

ASHLEY: Wow.

TALIESIN: Insecurity, but okay, no, I'm stopping.

ROBBIE: Cool.

LAURA: Cry until we play again.

(laughter)

ROBBIE: Oh my god.

MATT: I figured that would be a good place to pick up our live show at the Greek, right?

(exclaiming)

LIAM: Jeez! Jeez!

TALIESIN: What?

ROBBIE: Oh, come on!

ASHLEY: Wait!

MARISHA: We're going to be dealing with demon shit at the Greek.

ROBBIE: Oh yeah.

ASHLEY: We're playing, oh.

LAURA: Oh! (gasps)

ROBBIE: Oh yeah.

LAURA: Oh my gosh!

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Wow.

TRAVIS: Oh fudge!

TALIESIN: No!

LAURA: Next episode is at the Greek.

MARISHA: Next session is the Greek.

TRAVIS: Grand demon!

MATT: So we'll pick up on that beat and where you are and what's around you and what all this might mean, and what's the Ludinus of it all here--

TRAVIS: Oh no.

MATT: -- at the Greek Theater.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

TALIESIN: We die at the palace.

LIAM: Get your tickets--

ASHLEY: Oh my god!

LIAM: -- right now, ladies and gentlemen.

MATT: For those of you who we'll see there in person, excited to explore this next step, and for those of you who can't be there, you'll be able to enjoy that shortly thereafter. But yeah, this will be fun.

(laughter)

TALIESIN: Oh no.

LAURA: Are we all going to die at the Greek?

ROBBIE: It's live--

MARISHA: TPK!

ROBBIE: -- what could go wrong?

TRAVIS: Guys, guys, think about it. If we could just use the harness funnel and put it up against Dominox, we'll be fine!

MARISHA: (excited groan)

TRAVIS: We just got to hold it there for like--

MATT: See, now that's thinking with portals.

LAURA: Think about all the things we could suck up here in Aeor!

LIAM: GPK? Greek Party Kill?

TRAVIS: I'm going to suck down a grand demon, it'll be great.

MATT: Kill the party at the Greek.

LAURA: Oh my god.

(cheering)

MATT: All right, well, that being the case, we'll pick it up then. Thank you all so much for joining us. We love you very much, and is it Thursday yet? Good night.

Previous
"Shadows New and Old"
Transcripts
"Ancient Sins"
(esitfrpt)
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"The Nox Engine"