Transcript:Candela Obscura Live

"The Menagerie Returns!"
"Candela Obscura Live"

TALIESIN: This episode of Candela Obscura is brought to you by our partner, Czepeku. Looking for high quality fantasy maps for your next Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder campaign? Czepeku has you covered. With over 4,000 stunning hand-drawn maps, you'll take your tabletop games to the next level. Czepeku creates unique worlds with outlandish themes you won't find anywhere else. Whether it's a classic dungeon crawl or a Kobold brewery, their maps spark your imagination. Join Czepeku Patreon by going to and get 4,000 plus battle maps for just $5. More information about Czepeku at the break. [cheering and clapping] Good evening. [cheering fades] Did that get your attention? Good. A few announcements before we start. Tonight's performance is in the horror genre and might include themes that may disturb. Due to the nature of this being an improvised performance, we don't necessarily know where the story will go. Therefore, viewer discretion is advised. We ask you to silence your phones and please no photography. Remember, you are the first to see this show, so do your best not to post spoilers. And please, try not to call out to, advise, or distract our performers during the show. On that note, please be courteous to your neighbors and don't make any undue commotion or noise during the program like-- (elderly) Cordelia! Are you here? Really? Cordelia? Sir. Oh, let me see. Hello. [cheering] We'll go down this way. [cheering] Excuse me? [cheering] Oh! Oh, that's very kind of you. Thank you. I'm sorry, young man. I'm looking for my friend. Are you talking to me? Anybody here would be "young man" to you, sir. [laughter] I'm looking for my friend, Cordelia Glask, of the Glass Cat Casino. She arranged a ticket for me. Perhaps she arranged it at the Tower Theater a block down; they're showing cartoons tonight, sir. Oh. Hey, we, it's been a while since we've seen each other. Where was the last time? Where was? The Tottergrass incident, wasn't it? Are you still having visions? Oh, that's excellent. Oh, okay. Well, I don't know where she is. Maybe she--

TALIESIN: Yes, we do not have a show to do. That's fine, take your time. Oh dear. Oh, look at all of you. [cheering] Oh, all the luminaries of Newfaire have come out this evening. All the spirits are here to play. And you. Yes. [laughter] Should make for a magickal night in the theater, don't you think, dear? Yes. All right. Well, sorry. We should find a seat. Yes, yes. I'm a fan of the theater. I don't want to hold things back. Let's go. Thank you, little late for that. [cheering] Uh-oh. Hold on, there's a dark aura about this one. [laughter] Here, a bit of advice here. Take this. Hold on to this tonight. You're going to need it. When the lights go down, hold on to yourself, will you?

GUEST: Oh, I will. The veil is thin tonight. Oh, oh, oh. [cheering] Cordelia! Well, I had several other things on my list of things you shouldn't do, but I feel like that time has now been wasted and you'll all be fine. So I believe it is time to introduce our players. [cheering] May I humbly introduce you to our Game Master for the evening, Spenser Starke. [cheering and clapping] Our first player, Marisha Ray. [cheering and clapping] Our good friend, Khary Payton. [cheering and clapping] The illustrious Laura Bailey. [cheering and clapping] And the inevitable, Matthew Mercer. [cheering and clapping] (clears throat) And now, friends, colleagues, and other interested parties, tonight we gather together in this temple to cinema where stories are captured with alchemical grace, where they are spun through a ritual of gear and lever and summoned by a magick lantern of lens and mirror to dance and cast their shadows for the audience's delight. Forget the play. In our new age, the picture's the thing. But in this new art form, spectacle is what sells and a film must succeed to pay for the next. How far would one go to dazzle an audience and baffle their peers, to make the crowd gasp and wonder, "How did they do that?" How indeed. To investigate such mysteries, we turn to an eclectic group of investigators. Tonight, we humbly present The Circle of the Silver Screen. [cheering] Assignment #29-11-28, Stagecraft. [cheering and clapping] ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ ♪ (tense mysterious music) ♪ We open on a projector. It lights throwing shadow and some dark magick upon the screen. And then, a board comes into frame. It says "The House on Barker Hill," scene 38, take four. As it moves out of frame, darkness again overtakes us, until the crack of lightning outside a two-story window overlooking what appears to be Briar Green two figures are illuminated in silhouette. One, a woman, a fedora on her head, trench coat adorned. She's tied to a pillar in the middle of the room. Across from her is a man, a little bit hunched over, a cleaver glistening in the electric light outside. He moves towards her in silence. There is no sound in pictures yet. We see the glint of determination in his eyes. We see her struggling to break free, bound at the wrists around this pillar. He mouths, "I should have known you never loved me." She shakes her head and we can see now she's gagged, a scarf in her mouth. He moves towards her putting the blade out. We see her hand reach back. As it does, it pushes the coat aside, revealing a gun in a holster at her waist. She's so close. Her fingers pull so close to grabbing it, but the blade moves ever closer. As she grabs one last ditch effort for the gun, he puts the knife into her throat. We see the hand come up, giving up on the gun, grabbing the gag and her mouth, pulling it down, her jaw wide open as he slices across her neck, digging deep. Her head falls back just slightly, her eyes wide, her mouth wider. As we see blood, just dark liquid pouring down her neck and her chest, we can see the tendons in her throat, the arteries in the veins pushing more dark liquid out. Her eyes go dark, her mouth still open, and she slumps out of frame. The man's eyes go from determined to scared. He looks up. We see him mouth something, but it's not perceivable, not with the shadows here. Suddenly, he is snatched up out of frame, slammed against the ceiling, slammed back down to the ground again. The lights flicker electricity. And then, the camera (thudding) knocked over on its side as we see feet running across the ground here and bodies dropping. And that's where the film reel gives out; (reel clicking) just that illuminated darkness from the projector bulb once again. We cut out of that and land on all of you on a stage that looks oddly like this in a theater that looks oddly like this. You're all here at The United Theater in Newfaire where you have just screened your latest picture, a different picture, known as "Mr. Terrible." As the film ends and the audience has enjoyed watching this noir spy thriller silent picture, you out there have all witnessed this as well. You are sitting here watching these people on stage as they prepare to do a talk back about the movie that you just watched. As the four of them come out on stage, the MC for the evening also enters. Thank you all for joining us tonight. I'll be your moderator for this Q&A, Rudy Ginsmith. Thank you again for coming to one in a series of our talks behind film. With us today, we have wartime documentarian turned experimental filmer, Jackie Renoux, beloved character actor, Chey Tanii, and, of course, you all know her from films such as "My Favorite Girl," "One Hand West," and, of course, "Runaway Heart," Evelyn White. [cheering] Thank you so much. I love you, all of you. [cheering] So gracious of you to come promote the film. And, of course, we have a special consultant on the film you've just seen, "Mr. Terrible": Lester Shaw. [cheering]

EVELYN: Go on, Lester. Give a wave. Now, let's see. Let's take a few questions. If anyone has a question for Evelyn White... Oh, second row center, yes, yes.

GUEST: Hi. Yes, Ms. Evelyn, so nice to meet you. You as well, darling.

GUEST: So I have a quick question. Did you really do your own stunts in the film, specifically the moment where you jump out the window and roll down the roof? For the question, Evelyn, "Did you really do your own stunts," was the question, yeah. Thank you so much for your question. Yes, I did. I've actually done extensive stunt training. And every picture that I've ever done, I do my own stunts in them. Unlike some other actresses, I do all of my own stunts. [laughter and cheering] Thank you. [cheering] You try doing it in heels, too! (laughs) And now, let's take a question for Chey. Third row. Third row.

GUEST: Yes, hello. How long was the makeup process for all those scenes? It seems like it took an awful long time. The audience member wants to know "How long is your makeup process for the film?" Make up like the creation of any character.

MARISHA: Yes. It takes more than a moment. [laughter] It takes a lifetime. [laughter] [cheering] Craftsmanship. Craftsmanship. Yes.

KHARY: Thank you. That was a fantastic answer. [laughter] All right, I suppose a question for Jackie, anyone? Oh, the first row, right? Yep.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ms. Renoux! Your movies always have such an avant-garde feel. Where do you find your inspiration? The audience member wants to know about the inspiration for your a avant-garde style. (chuckles) Avant-garde, yes. (chuckles) [laughter] Yes, I think, just like any other artist, life is the greatest inspiration and one must live quite a full life in order to truly be inspired. Thank you very much. [laughter] [cheering] Finally, let's take a question for Lester Shaw. Row five. Row five, yeah.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. Shaw! A recent article in the Civil Tribune accusses you of providing insider information on the Meridian Theater. What is your response to these allegations? [laughter]

MARISHA: Are we going to answer that?

TALIESIN: The Meridian Theater--

KHARY: I, for one, would love to hear this answer. [laughter]

MARISHA: Where's Judy from PR? [laughter] I am sorry, we are sadly out of time! You have been a lovely audience. Thank you so much! I'm Rudy Ginsmith. Let's all give them a round of applause. This has been great! [cheering] (applause) As you all exit, you move to the wings.

LAURA: I take a little longer to exit. [laughter] [cheering] You see, waiting there for you, somebody who's familiar to you. This is Greta DeClaire. She's your lightkeeper.

MARISHA: Who? Greta DeClaire. Oh jeez. Greta. Hi, Greta.

KHARY: Yes. Greta is gray-white hair and in a pantsuit. Probably in her late 50s. I think she looks to you, Lester, and she's like, "Tongue tied, huh?" Look, I'm not made for these sort of social engagements. And do we know who asked that question? [laughter] "Come with me," she says. She shows you into a screening room backstage. You all gather, it's a raked room where chairs have been set up and the projector clicks on, and she says, "Lester, one of your contacts at EONS reached out," and gives you a nod. "They were, well, rather concerned with what they saw." You know immediately that this person is probably Jonathan Sky. This is Jonathan Sky. I don't know if you want to give a little bit of information for us about Johnathan Jonathan Sky, he's overall known as the Vice President of the Meridian Film Studio Productions Company. It's got a very long title. But he's a very important bloke who seems to be very involved in this whole godforsaken industry. Known him for a bit mow. After being a bit untrusting of where this whole scope of business is going, he reached out to me, wanted to ask for my aid in consulting on his firm and some future productions. I wast interested, but he paid quite a bit of money and yeah, we've been king. (chuckling) As you all sit down in the theater here, you see your lightkeeper looks back over her shoulder and gives a motion to the projection operator, and the film begins. You watch the footage that was described at the top of this show.

LAURA: Do we recognize the people in the movie? Absolutely. So the woman on the screen is Idella Montaigne. Do you want to give us a little bit about Idella? Oh, well, Idella is just, you know... [laughter] I mean, she's an actress, I suppose. [laughter] She's done several pictures, and she has maybe taken a few roles that I was interested in, but. (chuckling nervously) [laughter]

MARISHA: She's resting on her laurels, honey. Yeah! She does nothing new, you know? And she doesn't do her own stunts! [laughter]

MARISHA: She's got a name. Doesn't mean you have the talent. That's right. Also in the picture is August Glance, who is a up-and-coming heartthrob actor. As you watch this scene unfold--

LAURA: You know, he's interested in me. [laughter] I don't think it's going to work out with him. As you watch the events unfold before you, the gruesome scene that played out and the strange happenings that occur.

LAURA: These effects seem very real. No, it's annoyingly good. She says, "Yes, actually, they're billing it as the most realistic horror film the world has ever seen." Well! (scoffs) Sorry, there's a gnat. It's just trying to attack me. There is a gnat! (laughs) Yeah! [laughter]

SPENSER: That's not a lie. There is a gnat. Yes, there is a gnat and his name is Jonathan Sky. [laughter] You know, I feel like he directly ripped that off from my previous press conference. "Most realistic film ever put to camera." No originality left these days, I swear. I feel like I've sensed something like this before.

SPENSER: "In what way?" Greta says, stepping closer to you. I feel like it's a little too real. "We have our concerns," she says, turning away from you. "We have been invited by Johnathan to visit the set. Figure out what exactly occurred." Are you suggesting that all of this happened? (gasps) Because I mean, the whole melted chocolate for blood thing, I mean, it's trite, but it works. But that's what I have my money on. That's not blood. What do you mean? I mean, it's something more. "We aren't sure what it is, truthfully. It could all be special effects, but what I will say is that Jonathan is very concerned." Looks to you. "If Jonathan is reaching out to you all to investigate something Meridian related, it must be of some importance." Well, I mean, certainly Idella has been seen since this has been filmed? "That's the troubling part. You see, Idella hasn't. Johnathan showed up on set." (loud laughter) "Johnathan showed up on set, found this reel still in the camera, took it back, had it quickly developed, and this is what came out of it. The development just came back this afternoon." Now, you say he found the reel. Did he find the people involved in the production, or was it just the camera? "He said it was quite a gruesome scene." Oh, so it's a murder investigation. (chuckling)

SPENSER: "That's what it seems." Wonderful. I don't know, the way the body flew up and down feels like wire work. I mean, it was subpar wire work, but... (loud laughter) Oh, there's another one! Ooh!

SPENSER: It's never going to end. Okay, I'm done. That's why she does her own stunts. [laughter] Timing! Sorry. I mean, look at all the leaves in this place. You should really close some windows. [laughter] Ugh!

SPENSER: "This is all we know right now." How much can I sense from here, through that film? How much can I sense through here? Could I possibly sense? So I'll say that the results here will definitely be limited because you're only watching the film. Exactly. So I'll you make a Sense roll for me. First roll, first roll. First roll of the night. [cheering] You're pretty good at sense.

MARISHA: Come on, come on. Yes, I believe one of these dice are gilded, so why don't we burn a drive? [cheering] Let's do it. We have a--

SPENSER: That's a six. That's six! It's not gilded, but it's a six. So you spent the drive, that's six. [cheering] Yeah, that's great. First roll. It's a six. Nothing can go wrong from here, right? [laughter] Here's what you get. [Laughter] Reaching-- Roll it again. (laughs) Yeah, I love that. I love that. We see her look at you and look at your stature, and look back at the projectionist and it starts again. You're watching it almost as if in slow motion here. You feel a true fright. A true fear. Now, maybe she's just a good actress. [laughter] Doubt it. Go ahead. But she drops out of frame. The look on his face, it looks like he breaks character to you. You can sense just from the film itself, there's bleed here. So much so that it is affecting the film itself. You're seeing in the darkness, swirling, misting, moving darkness. Not the film grain that you're used to, but something deeper. That's what you get. Maybe we tell the projectionist to stop the film.

SPENSER: "Stop!" Greta says. Roll it back. Roll it back. Roll it forward. Look at that. Look at that in the shadow? What is it? You see in the darkness, it looks almost as though a shadow passes over August Glance's leg, and then he's yanked up to the ceiling. But just as quickly as you saw it, it's gone. It could have been somebody passing in front of the lights, but you feel it more than you see it. Something here is amiss.

LAURA: Well, we have to go. I think we do.

MATT: How recent has this happened? We just get this today? "Yes, this was just a day and a half ago." Okay, has the Periphery already been on scene? "No, Johnathan has secured the perimeter of the place and has made sure that nobody except for us know about this for now. There were no surviving members of the crew as far as we know." (chuckling)

KHARY: How far is this place from here? "This would be in Briar Green. We can get you there in a carriage very shortly." We are expected to discuss this situation with Johnathan Sky himself?

SPENSER: "Johnathan will be there waiting for us." Did he request this circle specifically, or just Candela's assistance? Another job already! More afraid of a little bit of the classic brain drain, if you know what I mean. "Reached out knowing your expertise. There are few who have the crossover that you all do." (coy chuckle) [laughter] Greta catches your reaction there. Is going to say something and then doesn't. She knows. Well, let's go! I mean, in my finest dress, but I'm sure it won't catch any attention! We cut from there to all of you leaving a carriage.

KHARY: Before we leave, can I just say goodbye to Greta? Of course. Absolutely. Whenever she comes by, I just want to make sure that I touch her, that I hold her hand. She gives you her hand. My ultimate respect. We'll see you shortly. She looks at you knowingly. "All right, let's get going." We see the four of you stepping out of a carriage here. As you do-- Does anyone notice me? [laughter] [cheering] [laughter] Oh, I can't! I can't stop, I'm sorry! I'm sorry. (laughing) [cheering] I walk up behind her and yell to the throng, "Not now!" (laughing)

LAURA: He's so serious! So there is nobody up here, and the reason why-- [laughter] You expect that there are going to be people, because every time you have to leave the carriage, this is what occurs. Oh, well. (chuckles) But immediately, you do recognize where you are. Rolling back, thinking back to the recording, the film, the slate that came into frame said, "The House on Barker Hill." You now realize what exactly that meant, why that place felt so familiar to you watching it.

KHARY: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Sure. They're shooting on location or they're shooting in a studio? They're shooting on location. The door opens and you see the house on Barker Hill in front of you. Well, it seems a bit in poor taste. Kind of like it. [laughter] I'd love to know what's going on in your head and maybe give us, as the viewers, as the audience here, some understanding of why this impacts you in the way it did.

MARISHA: Chey, are you going to be all right? I don't know. We're walking into a place that that is both joyous and painful. It's where I became who I am, but it was not an experience that I would like to revisit. This is where all those murders took place. Mm-hmm. It's where I ended those murders with a sacrifice of my own. This-- This thing that makes me what I am began here. I was called here. And I ended whatever Mr. Barker started. And I miss it! We get a flash in this moment of you back then. We see you moments before what would have been your death. Where are you? I'm in a meager hotel room. Out my window, you can see bright lights, despite the night sky. It's the first time in this world that anyone has walked through streets lit up like this. They called it the golden city, so bright were the lights at night. People came from all around, and so did I. I took the little bit of money I had, and I paid for this room from a complimentary gentleman. As I started to fall asleep, my senses were stung by this, and I could hear this (hissing) coming through the vents. It started to take some kind of hold on me. It started to hold my limbs in place. Through a-- I thought it was a wall, but I find it's a door. This man who rented me this room walks out slowly. That's where we find ourselves back with you here, the house looming over you.

MARISHA: Chey. Let's go see what it looks like inside.

MARISHA: All right. My dear.

LAURA: Are you going to be okay? With your company, how could I not? Oh.

KHARY: I'll lead the way, if you don't mind. Lester, why don't you follow close behind?

MATT: Sure. Thank you for the order. The four of you make your way forward towards the door. As you do, you see a-- You couldn't see it because of the stairway up, but as you do, as your voices carry, you notice that there's a larger man with a thin mustache and a comb-over clearly hiding a balding pattern on his head. He says, "Is that Lester I hear?"

MATT: Oh my god. "Oh, Lester. So good to see you, my friend." You see Jonathan Sky standing in front of you, waiting at the door, clearly not inside, waiting outside, but keeping watch here. Pleasure, sir. Good to see you. I guess, maybe wish it was under better circumstances.

SPENSER: He looks right by you and sees that you're here.

LAURA: Mr. Sky!

SPENSER: "Oh, Madame." It's a a pleasure to meet you. I've been wanting to meet you for so long.

SPENSER: "The pleasure's all mine." If you ever need anything, I'm here. "Thank you. Well--" What? I'm talking about-- [laughter] We're all here. Obviously, our entire circle is here to help investigate.

SPENSER: Jonathan sees you and goes, "Oh, of course."

MARISHA: Jonathan. "I'll leave you be. But it was wonderful to see you," and then makes eye contact with you. "A big fan of your work." Of course you are. Gives like a, pulls his collar forward, and just looks very uncomfortable to be here, but knows that he needed to be here to personally thank you. This is what you're getting from him, right? There is a reticence to be involved any further than where he is right now, but he is happy to have all of you here. Can I ask him-- Sure. -- what worries him? You seem worried.

SPENSER: "Well, when you see what's inside, perhaps you'll be worried as well."

MATT: Who else knows about this? Is it just you?

SPENSER: "It's just me. There's a couple of other members of the crew that I've talked to, but they've been told that the production is on hiatus for the time being. They don't know why." It it true, what we saw about Miss Montaigne? Jonathan leans in and goes, "It appears it's all true." (gasps) I just lean in to Jonathan after everybody else walks by. Next time you decide to shoot a film based on historical events, I suggest you do better research. And I walk past. He gives you a nod, straightens his pencil mustache out, and then walks down the stairs.

LAURA: That was a real murder we saw? Let's hold all judgment until we get a first-eye glance at everything, shall we? I don't trust him, and neither should you. Oh.

SPENSER: Lester, you opened the door, yeah?

MATT: Mm-hmm.

SPENSER: As you come in, immediately, the smell of death overwhelms your senses. You used to be a Periphery officer, before unfortunate events removed you from the force. What was the first time you smelled death? (sighs) The first time was probably three years into the force. Worked up from doing paperwork in the office after a while, and they finally let me go on the beat. There was a scuffle outside one of the two bars, and a couple of young mugs trying to make their name, ended up getting in a fight. One of them grabbed some glass and cut the other, apparently hid the body for a bit. It was brought in, caught the smell. First time I realized that maybe this line of work was a bit more grizzly than I was anticipating.

SPENSER: It never leaves you, that smell.

KHARY: I personally take a deep breath. (sniffs) You feel yourself filled with life. What could have been. You move forward. As all of you-- Is anyone else around? Sorry. Is there anyone else around? Anyone else around? No. This place has been very well barred off as a filming location. So as the carriage, as you look back behind you, you see there are white, temporary fence. What are they called? Barricades? Barricades set up around the whole area that the carriage driver is now moving one of them to leave and is putting it back, essentially. But there is-- This has been cordoned off for filming already, so nobody is supposed to be here. Now there is, as far as you know, nobody else living that is here.

LAURA: Do we see any blood? As you enter? The smell hits you first. Then you see, at the entranceway there's not directly smears of blood or anything, but what you do see is, do you know when liquid gets in the cracks of hardwood floor and then just follows the path of the lowest point? You know what I'm talking about? Those crevices. You see red, dried or drying blood that has seeped through all of the cracks in the floor. Jacqueline just reaches over to a briefcase that she's had with her and cracks it open and goes: Well, it is a filming location, and takes out a basic travel crank camera.

SPENSER: Yeah. To just get a little bit of photography.

SPENSER: Love it. She's going to look through the viewfinder at times to see if anything jumps out at her through the lens that might not make itself present to us here in the room. Got it. So you're using some sort of special camera, is what you're attempting to do. Yeah, maybe I've had Chey work a little bit of magick on it and I will mark that down as some gear that I've just decided to bring--

SPENSER: Yeah, yeah, definitely do that. Go ahead and make a Control roll. Okay. Here, for me. Control. Not great at this.

SPENSER: That's okay.

KHARY: How's your Control versus mine? You know what, I will spend a-- Is this high stakes? It's-- No. No, not high stakes, so no.

SPENSER: In fact, I would even say this is low stakes here. Okay.

SPENSER: You're just taking a photograph, but I'm trying to figure out what-- Five. That's a five. [cheering] Woo! Woo! You-- You take out the camera and Chey does a little dance because just he likes to-- [laughter] Yeah. I do a nice sweeping pan across Chey. I love a sweeping pan. Get low to really push the angle of his height.

KHARY: Absolutely. Camera left. As you are panning back there, you thought you panned across something, a person or some sort of shadow. There was something that caught your eye here, but going back to it, there doesn't seem to be anything that immediately stands out to you in the lens that's different, but something, some semblance of darkness or movement in the shadow caught your eye here. Did you see anything? Something over here.

LAURA: Yeah. I keep training the lens this way.

SPENSER: Yeah. In the lens, up. In the lens, up.


LAURA: Hello?

KHARY: I would love to take a look over here.

SPENSER: Yeah? Yeah. I'm very interested in this. So what you see before you, to describe as you're all looking through this, you're in the lowest landing, the entranceway of this B&B, right? This bed and breakfast-- Mm-hmm. -- that people would stay in, that was originally a mansion of some sort and was made into a hotel. As you're looking forward, you see the entryway of what would essentially be the main hallway of a house that goes to the living room. But then the living room has been set up as a community space for what would be the B&B. Slightly different from a living room in that all of the chairs and couches seem to be facing each other as opposed to up against a wall facing some other-- Right, right. Yeah, yeah, and so-- So that's the room that we're in right now. So you are in the entryway, but you're looking down the hallway and you see the living room there. There's also a staircase that goes up on the left side. You can see the beginning of the banister around the wall. You would guess just from the way in which the tile comes out from the left side that there's probably a kitchen that direction as well. As you were pointing the camera down that hallway, that's when you saw something. But the thing that stands out to you the most as you're observing this is the blood that is on the stairwell itself, that there appears to be smeared blood on the stairwell.

LAURA: But no bodies?

SPENSER: Not that you can see from here, but you are only in the entryway here, and you can see the beginning of the living room and the beginning of the kitchen. Does it look like the blood was drug a certain direction, or-- Yeah, it looks like there's blood smears down the stairs and then across the pathway here. Does it drag a direction to a hallway?

SPENSER: It drags into the living room, for sure. The walls of the hallway, is there anything that we notice about them? Are they just painted kind of-- Well, this whole place is pretty dilapidated, right? It is not unlike the space that we see around us in that it is pretty well torn, right? This is a place that used to be pretty hospitable and now has become less so, ever since the murders.

KHARY: Again, this is the room where it happened, where we saw from-- No. So, this is the entryway, and then you know that, having been here before, you would know that if you go inside and you go off of the main living room, there's a ballroom, and that was where the scene was probably being shot.

LAURA: But there's blood on the stairwell here.

SPENSER: There's blood on the stairwell. So more happened than what we just saw on the-- Oh. Correct. Let's at least maybe go see where it started, and then we can follow where it may have gone. Yeah. By the way, first investigation of a murder scene, probably, for a lot of you. Word of advice. Put these on. I toss a bunch of gloves to the rest of the crew.

LAURA: Oh, but-- (sighs) Trust me. [laughter] You'd make a beautiful defendant. [laughter] In his own way, I think he's trying to help.

LAURA: Yeah. So, we put on the gloves. I feel the compunction to-- Touching my hand along the hallway as I'm walking, almost trying to see if I feel something familiar. Hmm. Like a presence. I'm thinking about the actor being thrown to the ceiling. I'm wondering if there's something left there or if there's something left at the spot that he was thrown down. Sure, so we get the shot, right, of your hand glancing across the wallpaper. Yeah, perfect. Thank you. Thank you, director. It's good, it's good. Keep doing that, it's good. Uh-huh. [cheering] Are you getting my good eye? Yes, of course. What does bleed feel like for you? It feels seductive. It feels painful. But painful in the way that you're doing something strenuous, that pays off in pain. Make a sense roll for me. What I will say is the stakes here are, if you fully succeed, I'm going to give you some more information. If you don't, you're going to take some bleed here from doing this, as you're opening yourself. Well, if I were to take bleed, this would be the place. Five. Five. [cheering] So it's a mixed success. So here's what happens. Your hand runs across the wallpaper, and you feel it take over your body for just a moment. You're back in this place that cost you so much and gave you so much. You're going to take a point of bleed for me here. Also, you're going to get whatever happened here was not just reserved to the ballroom. It seems to permeate the whole house.

LAURA: I-I-Is the monster still here? (sighs) Hard to know given-- If I take bleed now-- Uh-huh, yeah. -- can I use it? You have Let Them In, right? Hmm? You have Let Them In-- Mm. -- as a move? Will you read Let Them In for me? No, no, no, no, it's not-- Yes, yeah, I mean, yeah, yeah, "Whenever you take one or more bleed marks, you also gain additional information about the phenomenon that harmed you." Yeah. Ooh. Great. What do you want to know? I want to know if it's still here. Hmm. You feel this warmth come over you, and it gets a little bit too hot. Then it gets much too hot, and then it drops cold. It's doing this dance with you. Whatever it is, it feels like the thing that did this isn't still here, but there are other sources of bleed here that it has left behind in some way. Okay. She's not here. Who? My mother. But something's here, (sniffs) and it still wants to play. Oh. Chey, do you think this is still connected to Mr. Daryl Barker himself? Mr. Daryl Barker? It feels different. It feels similar in that it's bleed, but it doesn't feel like-- this feels new. Daryl is a tiny man. [laughter] Inconsequential. [laughter] To be fair, most men are kind of tiny next to you, but come on. [laughter]

KHARY: How well do you think you know me? [laughter] [cheering] That's our show, thank you. [laughter] We're going to get them backstage, yeah. [laughter] Can I look for the bodies? Mm, mm-hmm. Mm.

SPENSER: You're going to look for the bodies? Yes. Great. As you enter the hallway, you move forward, you move past Chey here and into the living space here. What you see is the crew of the movie, some of them sitting on the couches and one of them up against the wall. But they have been completely torn open.

LAURA: Oh. Their bodies have been ripped, their limbs have been ripped from their bodies. [laughter] One of the ones that's leaning up against the wall has literally been melded into the wall itself. So you're seeing the face and the arms, but the body is within the wall and the wallpaper is covering. So it's almost like they got shoved interdimensionally or something and are just hanging there, like this, wallpaper covering their abdomen, their legs and their arms, and their head's sticking out. You see about seven of them down here that have been eviscerated. I pick up my camera, look at them. [laughter] It's for science, not at all for research. [laughter] Unless it happens to be useful later. [laughter] I look at them through the camera. Yeah. Do I see anything through the lens? Nothing that seems out of place here, besides the fact that they have been absolutely obliterated.

LAURA: And pulled into the wall? Yeah, I mean, it's very clear to all of you that there is some magick fuckery happening here, right?

MATT: (laughs) The technical term that one. Technical term, yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughs) But it is not immediately something that is impacting you. (sighs) You do see a trail of blood that is leading through, down the stairs, through the living space that you're in, and into the ballroom.

MARISHA: Which is where the scene was. Where they filmed was. Yeah, let's go there. The camera's there.

MATT: Let's go into the ballroom then. Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MARISHA: You said something's still here, right? Something's here-- Something's here. -- but it is not immediately dangerous for us. You can feel, there are sources of bleed here, but the thing that you would fear the most being here, the thing that is the source of it all is not present here in the house right now. Right, right, right, right, right, yeah. Well, would Candela want us to contain the bleed here? I mean, that would be the most optimal thing to do while we're investigating this, as well as-- I think maybe we take your lead there. It's not necessary to stop the bleeding so quickly, it might just start to bleed somewhere else. Let's let it play. We'll take this to the lightkeeper. All right. I have a confession. Before we go into the ballroom. Mm? Yes? (sighs) I read for this part. [laughter] Evelyn, I know. (gasps) (laughter)

KHARY: I'm glad you didn't get it. Me too! [laughter] [cheering] Everyone in this industry talks. [laughter] Ugh.

LAURA: Sorry.

MATT: I'm already walking in. [laughter] Yeah. (laughs) You open the ballroom doors. What you see here is a camera that's toppled over, the film reel has been removed. Then you see laying on the ground, you see August Glance--

LAURA: Aw. -- who has very clearly broken almost all of his bones, right? Thrown up, thrown down, and then cracked in every direction. His hand is pointed the wrong way, his leg is pointed the wrong way, as he's just staring at you as you enter. Across from him, you see-- Sorry, what's her name, Idella? Uh-huh... Idella? You see her. (laughs) [laughter] Adele Dazeem. [laughter] Idella Montaigne. Adele Dazeem. Yes, you see Idella Montaigne-- Aw. -- laying, mouth wide open, the gag is around her neck, it's a red gag, that now just sits around her neck, which is conveniently also covered in blood. Her head is basically cut halfway off and the rest of her body is splayed out. It looks as though her shoulders and her chest have almost caved in. Everything looks a little hunched, like this. But she's laying on her back. So it's a little bit hard to tell unless you get closer-- Huh. -- what has happened to her here. All of these things, now, she had her neck cut, right?

SPENSER: Correct. But this is something else, isn't it, that you just described? You're seeing both her neck cut halfway open and blood everywhere and something else. Does she look dehydrated? Like something sucked it out? I would have you make a Focus roll for me as you approach. A Focus roll? Mm. Oh, okay, mm. [laughter] You know what? I've spent a lot of time in my career pretending to be able to do things. Yeah. Oh yeah, what's your ability? Because nobody else has seen the celebrity sheet. So if you (laughs) want to read out what this is. I have an ability called Fake It 'Til You Make It. (laughter) [laughter] I can spend a Cunning resistance to use a stat other than the one I would normally use for the roll. And I got some Cunning, baby. (laughs) So I'm going to use my Sway instead of Focus. Great, how does sway factor into this, you think, just narratively? What do you think you're doing here that lets your ability to talk with people? Oh. Oh, well, I'm really good at talking to people. The best. I did-- Okay, it was an amateur film. Didn't really make a big deal. But I played a doctor in it. [laughter] I had a lot of medical dialogue, and I spoke to quite a few doctors to find out what it all meant. So I have a good understanding of the body and-- That's all it takes. [laughter] Yeah. That's all it takes. I love it. It was good, it was very off-type for you. Yeah. [laughter] Let's go and roll sway. All right, I've got a gilded dice here, baby. Nice. All right. Deep, dah, doop, doo, doo. (straining) [laughter] Four. That's a four. Mm. That's a four. Apparently I didn't study hard enough. [laughter] There's a reason that film never took off. Mm. You got a mixed success, so I'll tell you-- It was called-- Yeah? [laughter] (laughs) Tell me. Come on. [laughter] It was called "Be Still, My Beating Heart." (laughter) [laughter] [cheering] Incredible. Taliesin, add that to the list. (laughs) [laughter] "Be Still, My Beating Heart." We see you walk over, using this knowledge from "Be Still, My Beating Heart." [laughter] "BSMBH." Mm, mm-hmm. Yeah, uh-huh. (laughs) [laughter] I thought that'd be way easier than it ended up being.

MARISHA: That was the production code. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the production code, yeah, yeah. As you approach the body, specifically, what are you looking for here? What are you trying to discern? Oh. I'm trying to discern-- You were saying, is it-- -- did all of her blood get sucked out? Where did the blood go? [laughter] Was she still alive after her head got cut off? I don't know. [laughter] I don't know a lot about... (laughs) Great, so here's what you learn. First of all, as you approach the body, you see this person that you have been rivals with for some time.

LAURA: That's one of my best friends. [laughter] (claps) (sighs) It's too real. You see them with their neck slit wide open, and also their chest cavity is collapsed right in front of you. I'm going to have you take a point of brain for me-- Oh. -- as you grapple with this scene. I feel bad. (laughter) [laughter] But here's what you-- Thank god for writers' rooms, that's all I know. [laughter] Ugh. They should honestly get paid more, but what do I know? [laughter] [cheering] Here's what you find. The neck is definitely slit wide open, definitely cleaved. In fact, you see the cleave sitting there next to her body-- Oh. -- still has blood on it. But you also see, inspecting the collarbone and the chest area getting closer, it's as if she exhaled breath and then never inhaled again. So it's not like her bones have been collapsed, it's just like-- No, it's like her whole personhood is exhaling as hard as possible and never inhaling again. I'm curious, while you're taking this in, love, I'm going to inspect the scene as I can to ensure if there are signs of other people that might've been present that didn't die. See if this was a solitary thing for just those that died or if there may have been others that brought this presence with them. Especially since it's apparently moved on, it can move, which is great. [laughter] Love that. Go ahead and make a Survey roll for me. Survey roll. It's like, everybody has the same exhale, right? Everything we've seen?

SPENSER: No, no, no, no, this is unique to her. Oh really? ♪ I'm going to spend ♪ ♪ A drive to add a dice ♪ Now, have we ever seen anything like what's happened to your best friend? Idella. Idella. Oh, Idella. (laughs) Your best friend, yes. Or the other crew, has this kind of death, is this anything we've ever seen? Have I ever seen it? So yeah, so I think, for this crew, it's pretty unique. It does have the hallmarks of what happens when something with magick is involved, right? Things are fucked. [laughter] That is clear to you, but this particular flavor is not quite something that you've ever encountered before. Especially the chest collapse and the neck being slit. all of this feels oddly normal in that it isn't that her bones were broken, it's that she exhaled and didn't inhale, but all the other circumstances point out to you that something magick is occurring. You made a Survey roll, right? About to. You're about to, great. With Inspection, "You have experience examining crime scenes. When you make a Survey roll to gather evidence about what might've happened, gild an additional die," and I spent a drive. So I got two gilds from three dice. Huh, that's double-gilded sixes. Hey. [cheering] That's a double-gilded sixes. I'll take that drive right back. Nice. So, here's what you get from that. The room that you're in has a number of other crew members that were present during the shooting, so you see, the first person you see is actually somebody who's facedown, but as you get closer, as you step on a board, their body flips sideways, because the floorboards here are old. It's somebody you notice, this is Smithe Crow. Smithe Crow is the director of this film. They cock their head up, looking at you, this weird grin on their face. It looks almost like a grimace, the more you look at it. Maybe it was in pain more than it was happiness, but hard to tell. He always was kind of a schmuck. What a shame. Smithe and I were best friends. [laughter] Ah, the motion picture industry. (laughter) The other things that you see here with that critical success, you notice that there are blood smears that come through here and into a side, a smaller wall that is sort of-- The room isn't perfectly rectangular, right? There's some weird angles to the walls, and you see there's what looks to be, maybe it used to be a door. It has a little hole in the side and there's a seam. But you're also seeing, from the set, I guess the best way to describe this-- Actually, Matt, I'm going to walk through this with you. So if this is the set and the body is here, and then the door is over there, between Idella's body and the door, there's blood pooling, but there is a smear that starts here and goes to that door as well. So with that double six, I'll give you specifically what this is, which is, it looks like blood was cleaned from this point this way to the set. Ah.

SPENSER: But they just didn't clean from here to there, because it wasn't on camera. Hm. What? Does that make sense? Yeah. The murder, there was blood before they started filming? They were dealing with this before they started filming? That's what it seems. Can I-- Okay. Yeah. This is weird. This is weird. Very strange. I just want you all to see this. This, this is fucking weird. [laughter] Can I test this theory and take my camera? Yeah. And frame it out and see, try to replicate the frame, from what I recall from the shot that we saw? Sure, yeah, so the camera, you go to where the camera is tilted and you right it.

MARISHA: And the camera's still there on the ground?

SPENSER: Camera's here on the ground.

LAURA: But the reel has been removed. You could look through it. The reel's been removed. The reel has been removed. Yeah. Now, what you want to do is, you want to kind of recreate it with our camera? Yeah, I want to-- and see through that. Yeah. Yeah, so you stand where the camera should be, and that blood is perfectly out of frame.

LAURA: Ooh. I unlock the camera that was there off of the sticks.

SPENSER: Great. Plop my camera on it. Yeah. And just roll for a little bit. Evelyn, go stand in for me. Oh, come on! I'm sorry, just do it. There's a body! I don't have a stand-in here for you. You're dragging through some of the blood. Oh god. Scooch her. [laughter] Yeah, that's good. [cheering] That's great. You see? I should've gotten it. You honestly should've. I mean, I would've had some feelings about it, but you would've done a damn good job. Do you see any monsters? I look in the camera. No.


SPENSER: Just the bodies laying on the ground.

MATT: How curious.

SPENSER: The blood pooling around your shoes. Oh! Oh. The camera that she had removed from its stand, standard camera? Yeah, you go over to it. It appears to be the kind of camera that you all would use to shoot pictures all the time. This is a standard film camera. It's pretty big for the time, right? But--

MARISHA: A dual reel kind of situation? Yeah.

MARISHA: I'm actually going to bring Chey over, if I can. Sure. Yeah. I need your gifted eyes on this.

SPENSER: Something else for you too, given that you're framing all of this up, and that you're dealing with cameras, I think you would notice this as well-- Because I was just going to say, all of this blood, does it appear to be real, or is some of it-- Fake? Corn syrup? Oh! You're going to have to go over and make an inspection. Uh-huh? You have to go inspect that. Uh-huh? I think somebody just asked a correct question. (laughter)

LAURA: I don't know. I'm going to walk over here and investigate. Sure. Over here. As you approach, you see the smeared blood in front of you. Does it taste like peppermint?

LAURA: No, don't really taste it! What if it's hers? Taste it. I'm going to see if it tastes like peppermint. No!

MATT: Make sure your gloves are on.

LAURA: Chey! Let the boy work. What vision overcomes you when you feel bleed emanating throughout your entire body? Where does your body take you to escape the pain? [murmuring] I don't escape the pain. I live in it. And I let what happens, happen. [cheering] You feel excruciating pain pass through your entire body. (grunting) Chey. And then it subsides, as quickly as it came on. You're going to take two points of bleed for me. Oh! And I'll use it. Yep. And I'll use it. Mm-hmm. And I will-- I will let the pain fill the right side of my face. It will burn into the right side of my eye and a tear will streak and branch through my body and my arm will elongate until it reaches the floor, and my fingernails will lengthen to two feet. (grunting) Is that fucking Jonathan Sky in the room?

SPENSER: He's gone. You all right, big guy? I take my mother's arm, and hide it in my clothing. You don't have to hide who you are anymore, Chey. Remember? Not here, at least. Yeah. Rest of Newfaire-- We've already seen it. I let it hang, and as I walk, it scrapes along the floor. The sound is menacing. So I throw my hand over my shoulder. It doesn't taste like peppermint. [laughter] [clapping] I check to make sure the camera's still rolling, because that was gold. [laughter] This spot on the floor, this bloodstain on the floor that leads to this door? Yeah. Doesn't it? Yeah. No time like the present. Where I stand, how far away is the door? You're a good five, six feet.

KHARY: Huh, easily reachable now. [laughter] I'm going to contain some of this bleed real fast in my bleed containment vial to bring back to Candela Obscura. You understand, other business. Continue, please. [laughter] Boy Scout. I got a job to do, okay? I take my long arm and grab the knob of the door with my fingernails. So there's no knob, there's actually hole in the wall where there probably used to be a knob. So your fingers have to go-- It's even actually, I think, a cool image, of your fingernails going through the hole and having to-- Widen out just a little bit. Yeah, widen out just a little bit to pull it forward. To pull it. As you do, the door swings open. You all see a hallway in front of you, a small hallway, what appears to be some back corridors through the mansion. It looks like it's been repurposed here. The blood smear continues into darkness, but on the right side, you see a room lit by a single bulb, and there's a projector inside with a woman who has very clearly been joined with a chair. Joined? Correct. Oh. The reel-- There's a reel on the projector in that room. Looks like there are stacks of reels in this room. This is a room off to the side, off to the right, that you can see illuminated, and that hallway continues deeper.

LAURA: Should we watch the reel that they were watching? What? No! Why-- I'm just saying! Look at what it did to her! Come on! I mean, that was evidence. Maybe we could learn even more. I'm ignoring the detective, and I'm immediately, I'm not going to play it back in the reel, but I am going to open up the film reels. Sure. Not going to play it back in the projector, but I'm going to start-- Open up. -- pulling up the film reels. Great. And looking-- Do we recognize this woman? Mm-mm. No? Oh, on the film? Or the woman who's been melded to the chair? The woman who's been melded to the chair. She is maybe in her late 40s. Long, auburn hair, eyes set wide open, kept wide open. You don't recognize her. You would gather from your work in films that she is probably somebody looking at dailies. Dailies, yeah. Ah, okay. Is there film reel on the ground where she was maybe doing edits in real time? Oh yeah. Okay, okay. Do you see the monster? Yeah, what do you see? Do you see any other death? I'm going to start looking, starting with the most recent daily, and I'm going to hold it up to the light, using the projector bulb-- Yeah. -- as my backlight, go through it really quick, yeah. Go ahead and make probably a Focus roll for me here. I would accept something else, if you feel like there is something else that you'd be better at that would fit the scene, but I think it's probably-- Just to be clear, you're going to get information here. This is for me to figure out how much and what the reel that you're currently looking at gives you. Okay, yeah, focus. Focus. Ugh, icky. Two. That's a two. Low stakes roll, so totally fine. You get one piece of information here. The film itself, the reason why it's a little bit hard to figure out exactly what's on it is that it has been covered in blood. Mm. (laughs) You had to look really closely to figure that out. (laughter) You would know this as you pick it up. Avoiding-- I'll accept that for the "off-type" comment. (laughter) You would know this as you pick it up. You're able to pick it up and grab the spots that don't have blood and hold them up to the light, and what you see is the same scene as what was being shot previously, what you saw in the footage you saw. What you saw in that footage that you've already seen of the film. That scene is being filmed again. You see a cleave in, sorry, Idella's neck. That's the frame you see. Can I discern how many times it looked like they shot the scene, how many takes they did? Well, the reel that you saw said take four. Can I, since I read for this movie-- Sure. Do I remember, was Detective-- Oh, Detective-- Heart.

SPENSER: Sure. Hey, look. She's really trying to steal my shtick. Uh-huh, she really is. All of my movies. Uh-huh. Anyway. Stella Heart is her name. Stella Heart. It had me written all over it! Anyway.

MARISHA: No one's denying that. Do I remember, was she supposed to die at the end? I thought she was supposed to get away. So, they would've only given you the sides that you had to read, so hard to know. But I will say that the story that was being told was about the murders of Daryl Barker, and Daryl Barker died under unknown circumstances. Looking at you. Anybody else would've been killed. Oh.

SPENSER: So this was probably a tragedy in nature. Oh, got it, got it, got it. You said the hallway continues, right? The hallway continues into darkness, correct. Both the blood smears overlap and continue down that hall from the different parts of the room, right, coming in from the stairs and then coming across from the set, they continue down the dark hallway here. Chey? Yes? When this happened before, was it this bloody? Not all at once, no. No, this is different. Okay. This was-- Barker was a monster, but he was neat. This, this is not his doing. This is messy. This is nasty. You okay to keep taking point here? You want to fall back? You know this place better than any of us, obviously, but, you know. At this point, I think I'm best to take the lead. Well, then. Follow the red brick road. Our guest. You follow the red brick road. You move into the darkness.

LAURA: Stand behind Lester as we walk. Is there any way to illuminate our way down? Sure, there are sconces on the wall. You're able to reach up and flick them on. They turn on with gas. Illuminate, and as that happens, you see a stairway down illuminated into what looks like a basement below. Chey. Yeah. I never asked you because I never found it appropriate. Where did you do the deed when you were here? It was in my room. Mmm. But that's not where we're going. No. I take my long arm and tap the walls on the side. Just want to see if anything reacts to the sound or to the movement. I'm sorry if this is-- No, it's not, you're doing great. Good. They hate this. Try to torture them. Yeah. (tapping) Mm-hmm, yeah, that's wonderful. [laughter[

DM: Make a Sway roll for me. Let's see. Sure, why not? I'll take my one die.

MATTHEW: What could possibly go wrong? Five. Hey.

MATTHEW: All right, all right. Excellent. Absolutely. If something were here-- Mmm. You think it would respond to this? Something were free in the basement trying to kill you, it would respond to this. Nothing meets your gaze at the bottom. It feels pretty safe for now. I hear nothing. Okay. Not now. All right. Is the basement lit up?

DM: Basement is dark, but you notice that there is another-- Another sconce. Switch down there as you get to the bottom to light up the rest of the basement. Cool. Then-- My nice, long fingernails are very busy tonight. (laughs) I turn on the sconce. Sure. Yeah, and we lead up. As you flick the light on and you walk into the basement of this house, you see bodies, but they aren't like the bodies you saw upstairs. There are three bodies of Idella Montaigne. What? [laughter] Wait, what? What do you mean? They're all three Idella Montaigne?

DM: All three bodies are Idella Montaigne. Does it look like a dummy or does it look like a body?

DM: As you approach it, it looks like a body whose neck has been split open, mouth gag still in place. If I touch it, does it it does it feel like skin? You're going to touch it? Yeah. I mean-- [laughter] That's perfectly okay. What does bleed feel like for you? Oh, fuck. [laughter] Drive it like a stolen car, I love it. I think bleed for me feels like the first time I ever experienced anything out of the ordinary, so it would feel like that electrical arcing from the film we did that brought it out of you the very first time. It feels almost like a zap that leaves my skin tingling afterwards, just numb at the very tip. As you touch her, you feel this. Take a point of bleed for me. Uh-huh. [chuckling] When this happens-- But I will say, she feels real. When this happens, can I sense that this is happening to her? Do I know that this is happening to her? I come to you and I sit and I look you in the eyes and say, "What did it make you feel?" Oh. It felt like a jolt. What did it make you think? It made me think that maybe Idella's not really dead. [laughter] [clapping] That's good information, hold on to that. [laughter] I do have to say though, this should make you feel a bit better that you are going up against multiple this than just one, so. I mean-- You know, chances are what you've got so far is quite good. Yeah. I don't know. It feels like it further cements the idea that actors are expendable. [laughter] The allegory's not lost on me. [laughter] Okay, the gag is still in her mouth this time.

DM: The gag is still in all three mouths. All three. So the gasp that Idella One had-- Upstairs Idella yeah. Upstairs Idella. Her gag was around her neck. Yeah, her gag was around her neck and she took a last breath. That was the one thing that was-- She exhaled. She ex, she-- Wow. Wait. What? Oh, I wish I was smarter. [laughter] Then, in this world-- Yeah. When a soul leaves a body, it leaves through the mouth, doesn't it? When you do the funeral rights for someone in Newfaire, they hold their hands over their mouth and their nose, and if they're rich, they have a mask that they wear to hold the soul inside so that it doesn't leave, so that it doesn't walk. Breath binding. Yeah, you're absolutely right, Chey. I've been carrying around this other camera. One thing you would know based on that, just to give you background information, is that there are plenty of people who die with their mouths open in Newfaire. It is a practice, certainly, but most people don't immediately have a gag in their mouth when they die, so there is something odd about this, but yes, what you're saying rings true as far as what the rituals and practices are for certain, for ancient rites and there's something related to that. Marisha, sorry to cut you off, please continue. Those film reels. Yes, they were covered in blood, but it doesn't make sense. I pulled them out of their canisters. Chey, please come here. I start popping off the first, the lenses, then the sensors, and then opening up the reels and I start trying to dissect this camera. Take a look at this, please. It feels-- It's too real. It's too real, it feels, it feels ours. This was ours. They used our tech. This is the Renoux method, they're stealing my shit. [laughter] Look at this, is this what you built? Is this what we built together? Look at the camera. Your best friend. When was the last time you saw him? When was this last time you met him? When was the last time she saw him? When was the last time you met him? [laughter] Probably one of those god forsaken fundraiser galas that I have to attend every quarter or so, Jesus Christ. What was the last time I saw Mr.-- Crow. Crow, my best friend. [laughter] It probably would've been about a month and a half ago when you very kindly attended a talk back and very snidely asked a question that he wouldn't appreciate. But other than that, as you're looking through, the camera appears as though it has been modified to incorporate some of the brilliance that you have done. The film itself, you don't feel bleed off of.

CHEY: Huh. They were filming a movie.

LAURA: But how did they have clones? [laughter] How did they have clones? This isn't normal. We don't use clones. [laughter]

DM: As, oh, go ahead. Here's an interesting idea. Obviously, they're using something unnatural to multiply their leading lady for--

LAURA: And they kill her every time? Apparently. Oh! I'm not defending the process, but what I'm saying is, whatever means of doing that is obviously not natural, but they managed to do this number of times, at least, successfully. Whatever the doing apparently got something angry who didn't want it to keep going on. Maybe it was Idella. As you say-- If I got killed that many time. [laughter] As you say that, you hear (fist pound). There's a crate in the corner. (gasps) (fist pound)



LAURA: No! Wait, wait, is it big? How big is the crate? Yes, how big is the crate? What's in the box? [laughter]

CHEY: What's in the box? What's in the box? What's in the box?

CHEY: No, no, you're wearing the Morgan Freeman hat, you have to (indistinct). [laughter] [clapping] Open, open, open, open it, open it, open it, open it, open it. [laughter] Classic noir detective picture setup. Lester, Lester, open it. Do what the lady says. [laughter] Very well, I suppose. Before I do this-- [laughter] Yeah. I'm going to pull out that device that I got from the eons, that bleed detector, the strange-- Yeah. Little thing. Pull out this brass instrument with some strange bulb that glows in it with a filament that spirals and gives off strange color. Will he be happy or sad if Idella pops out of that box? Um, oh, happy. [laughter] Using my bleed detector, does it look safe to touch the box? What's the bleed detector look like when it goes off? [laughter] Sort of like when you win a bunch of tickets at an arcade game in a modern day scenario, just flashes brightly and makes "Woo woo!" sounds, you know. [laughter] It's a fun device. [laughter] [clapping] It doesn't do any of that at the box. Oh. You can see it's sensing there's something happening. You're getting small readings from within, but the box itself feels safe, except for-- (gasping) (fist pound) Hello? (fist pound) Well, open it, Lester. You hear (grunting) from within. I lift the lid. As you lift the lid-- [laughter] You see-- [laughter] [clapping] [cheering] As you lift the lid, you see Idella Montaigne. And that's where we're going to take our break. Oh! Oh! [cheering] It's time. What? I couldn't-- [cheering] Ah, man. Get out. [laughter] That's we're take our break. Yeah, that's it. That wasn't a bit, that's actually real. [laughter] Okay, okay. All right. We will be back with you all very shortly. Take your intermission, get some water, get some snacks.

CHEY: Absolutely, have a drink. [cheering]

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(tavern music)

TALIESIN: Delve into a new tabletop roleplaying game of investigative horror with the "Candela Obscura Core Rulebook" using the Illuminated Worlds System by Darrington Press. Roam the turn-of-the-century- inspired setting of the Fairelands, including the bustling city of Newfaire and the ancient ruins of Oldfaire below. Assemble a circle of investigators within the paranormal secret society of Candela Obscura. You'll analyze strange and horrifying events, fight back against dangerous phenomena, and contain the bleed that spreads from corruptive magick. Choose from 10 custom character sheets to empower your investigations and explorations. Use tactical intuition and brawn with the Soldier specialty, use your charm with finesse and flair as the Magician specialty, or study and practice mystical arts as an Occultist. Explore districts of Newfaire, competing organizations, four full assignments, and dozens of example assignments to inspire you. If you choose to brave the role of Game Master, this guide contains everything needed to pave the way for your Candela Obscura investigators. Offered in both a standard edition as well as an ornate limited edition for collectors, the "Candela Obscura Core Rulebook" contains 204 art-filled pages, including maps, items, immersive notes, mysteries, and plenty more to power your very own story. Keep this tome close for the knowledge obtained may be the key to protecting you, your allies, and the Fairelands.

KIRBY: And now, a message from your Critical Role lore keeper: Dani Carr.

DANI: We here at Critical Role know that life happens. Sometimes your friend becomes a rampaging werewolf that you gotta calm down. Sometimes your other friend needs help dealing with a dead lady in her head. We get it. And when life happens, we are not always able to watch four to five hours of Critical Role a week. That's why our lore department has been working tirelessly to find a way to make it both easier and faster to consume Critical Role's main campaign without losing that rich and vibrant tapestry of story and lore the Critter community has come to love. And after countless hours of hard work, we are happy to announce that we have found that way. Introducing Critical Role Abridged. Each episode of this lore keeper approved series has been carefully crafted by an incredibly devoted team to include everything you need to know to follow the Bells Hells stories all in about one hour. We've even added new pieces of artwork, bringing characters, items, and moments to life thanks to the help of our amazing community of artists from around the world. The time is now to begin your Critical Role catch up with abridged episodes of the Bells Hells campaign. New episodes air every Tuesday at 10:00 AM Pacific on YouTube. Beacon members receive two new episodes dropping every week on Tuesdays and Fridays. (energetic music) (gentle music) (adventurous music) [cheering] And we're back. All right, friends, we just found Idella in a box. Ah! [laughter] So we find all of you huddled over the top of this crate. As you lift the lid, you see the face of Idella Montaigne. She's gagged-- Oh! With a red scarf. Her hands are bound and her legs are bound. She screams through the muffle. Her eyes are wide. What would you all like to do? Well, wait. If we take the gag off, she could evaporate. You know what I mean? [laughter] We could try it. [laughter] But wait, wait. Idella, do you know who I am? [laughter] She continues to look around in fear.

LAURA: Idella. Oh, Stella! She looks at you, like in confusion. She's staring up at you from a box bound by her hands.

LAURA: Oh, geez. What? Like her hands are bound in front of her and she's just staring at you. She has no way to speak to you. Is this the only box of that size in the room? You look around and you see crates. [exclaiming] And crates. You also notice a dress shoe, a men's dress shoe sitting out from behind one of the crates. Idella, do you know what's happening? Just nod if you do. She shakes her head. You don't know. Do you know you're Idella? She like confusingly like nods. Do you know that you're a clone? [laughter] She sort of screams as you say this. You can hear it through the muffle, but that's all you get. Is there any type of labeling on these crates? Shipment information? It looks as though there is information below the body. Like there's some, like--

KHARY: Underneath the body. So we have to go-- Move her. Through the body to get to the-- Well, there's like stuff printed on the crate, on the bottom, but her body is covered. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. [laughter] Is she tied into the body? I mean, is she tied into the box?

SPENSER: She's tied into the box. Okay, okay. And she's freaking out.

SPENSER: She's freaking out.

LAURA: I'm going to try to calm her down. Okay. Calm down. [laughter] Everything's fine.

SPENSER: Make a Sway roll for me. This is something you're particularly good at. You would think, yeah. Oh! Five on a gilded.

SPENSER: Five on the gilded. [cheering] Does that mean I get, what do I get?

MATTHEW: One of your drives back. You get one of your drives back.

LAURA: Shit, I haven't used one. (laughs) There's a moment of peace with her. Peace is too strong of a word. There's a moment of understanding that you are not there to harm her in specific. You have the opportunity here to make a move, you know, with her giving you the benefit of the doubt. Okay, we're going to untie you. All right?

KHARY: Are we going to untie her? [laughter]

LAURA: Well, we can't leave her in a crate.

SPENSER: Just a moment. Can we just leave her in a crate for a minute? Can, you know, can you with your Sway say, let her know that we are going to be right back? [laughter] How many crates are in this room? There's like six piled up to your left, and there's another probably 10 throughout the rest of the room. I'm going to open the crate that the dress shoe is by. The dress shoe, so as you move towards that crate, you see another body of a man dressed in a suit with like a big bushy mustache and long chops. It looks as though his neck was slit as well. In fact, looking at it, you can tell now, knowing that his foot is there, you can tell that the pathway of the body that was dragged down probably makes sense that it curves around to there. Are you lifting the other crate? Yeah.

SPENSER: That same man that you see lying on the ground, he's laying in the crate, eyes closed. Is he still alive? Is he tied up?

LAURA: That's the long version?

SPENSER: He's tied up.

KHARY: He's tied up. Yeah. His eyes shoot open and he like braces himself. Does he have a scarf around his mouth too?

SPENSER: He does have a scarf around his mouth.

MARISHA: I'm assuming this is August. This is actually not August. Not August. This is somebody else. This is a different man.

KHARY: Does it look like one of the crew members upstairs? It looks like the person who's laying next to the crate that also has their neck slit. Do we recognize him? But we don't recognize him? No, but dressed in a suit that would tell you this was of a period 30, maybe 30's too far, maybe like 10 years prior.

LAURA: He's an actor. I don't recognize him? Don't appear to. You know, he's probably another piece of fodder. He's an extra. He's only second voucher. Oh. [laughter] Poor sod. Okay. They've always said it's a cutthroat business. [laughter] [clapping] (Laura laughs) We all tip. Don't applaud that. Right? (laughter) I can't take any more bleed. (laughter) That's quitter talk. Come on. (laughter) But no, but Idella. Yeah. She's awake. She is? And that man's awake. Yeah. So, Spenser, are some of these bodies in these boxes dead with their throat cut and some are fresh? The one that you lifted up, still alive, not freaking out as much. Eyes are just darting back and forth. So they were preparing for multiple takes, it seems. I understand that. Right. But that's what I'm wondering is what went wrong. I mean, this is wrong, but like, what changed it to the point where they needed us to come here?

KHARY: Yeah. Where all of a sudden it was too much death and they didn't have replacements. The question is, how aware is Jonathan Skye of all this? What can I sense down here? Yeah? You want to make a Sense roll? Absolutely. Okay. Motherfucker. [laughter] I have a three and a one.

MARISHA: Well, take the gilded, though. You get to get a drive back. Yeah, the gild. Well, yes, I'll take the gilded back and-- Get a drive. I'll take the three. But I have failed, well, not miserably, but-- Yeah. I have failed nonetheless. You are bombarded with bleed here. It's coming from all around you down here. It's hard to tell what is what. You feel almost like your head is cloudy, your vision blurring. There's a lot going on for you in particular. These are, though they are facsimiles of victims, they are in fact victims. There's a moment where you are staring at Idella dead and you see what you could have been. Hmm. It's not as bloody. It's way more overblown here for dramatic purposes, right? He was not this messy, Daryl Barker. But you see death, you see what could have been your future in your present, and it takes you back. I want us to explore the moment that you broke out of your pathway towards death. What did that look like? We previously saw the scene where Daryl opened the door. What's the next thing you remember? I see Daryl Barker standing over me. I am trying desperately to move, but I can't. He is calm, unaffected, at least as far as I can see. I want to plead with him to help me, but I can tell that's the furthest thing from his mind. As I try to reason with him, he's standing over me, I'm looking at him. Behind him, above him in the ceiling, something starts to swirl. There's something happening in the ceiling that I'm not aware of. I've never seen it before.

MARISHA: What? Before he can touch me, it touches me. It gives me life. My heart almost beats out of its chest. It's almost, it's so painful, it's so good. And the right side of my body comes alive. And there's a woman in this circle that's swirling, a woman of authority. And my body starts to do as she asks and her fingernails play along his chin and play along his chest and play along his stomach. And she receives him and holds him like a child. I stand out of my bed, taller than I've ever been, and I walk with him through his secret door and watch him breathe his last breaths before I lay him to rest. We pull out of that moment, your eyes matching the ones of Idella on the ground, also constrained, also held in place, not able to move. And you stand over her, a vortex of spirit.

LAURA: Can we untie her? Chey? Absolutely. Oh, do you have a dagger? I don't need a dagger. [laughter] Snip. Snip. Not backing up. All at once, she leaps up from the crate and moves at you with inhuman strength. Oh. Uh-oh. I said calm down. [laughter] You see her hand grasp around your neck. Oh. She stares at you and you see the eyes. I punch her. [laughter]

SPENSER: Make a roll for me. Strike roll. Oh, okay. I'm going to add a drive. Love it. Go for it. (Khary laughs)

MATTHEW: Actually, as part of this, I'm going to use Saw This Coming.

SPENSER: Love it. Whereas as soon as the tension here built up, I could see that look in her eyes, that fear and her fists begin to clench. So I try and get in the other side of her and as soon as it lunges at him, I'm like, "Shoot." Point towards it to try and give you another die. Oh, amazing. Decker. Come on. Double fives. I don't think that matters. A five. [cheering] You connect with her. Her head turns. It turns too far. You punch hard and it clearly hurts her. She lets out a cry that's muffled by the scarf, the like handkerchief-- Red. That's in her, yeah, the red that's in her mouth. Her head turns all the way back to you. [gasping] She grabs you by the face and pulls you close to her, her fingers digging into your lower jaw. (Laura whimpers) She's pulling you towards her. You, she has by the throat. You, she has by the face. She's pulling both of you together here. I reach around, very similar to the movie reel that we saw. Behind my back, I pull out a fancy dagger.

SPENSER: Great. That's one of my things that I had on my hand. As we see the fancy dagger come out into your hand, what do we see you doing here? Wait. (muffled squeals) Wait.

MATTHEW: You see the pistol that's now exposed on the side of his hip. What do you mean fucking wait?

LAURA: Is she clawing my face off? No, she's holding you by the jaw, pulling you closer. You can feel her grip tightening around your throat. Her fingernails are also starting to grow.

MATTHEW: You hear the hammer of the gun pull back. Yes. No, no, no. I grab whatever hand she's holding her in. I take her hand and I look at Idella and I tell her to look at me. Look at me. Make a Sway roll for me. Fuck. (Matthew and audience laugh) Can I spend a drive to give him? He's already rolled. Yeah. It's a three. [exclaiming] That's okay. Here's what happens. She does. (Khary growls) [laughter] She takes her hand out of your mouth, (Laura retches) throwing you to the ground. Ow, Evelyn! [laughter] She brings her other hand around your neck and she squeezes harder than you've ever felt before. Take two body and one bleed. Oh, my. [gasping] She's going to strangle the life out of you. Can I use my dagger? I'm going to slice out her damn ankles. Make a Control roll for me. There's too much crowding. (Spenser laughs) Can't get a good shot. I'm going to use a drive again. No, I'm going to Fake It 'Til I Make It. Okay. Because I did a movie. Yeah. [laughter] I need the name of the movie so badly. Oh, god. "Daggerheart." (Spenser laughs) [laughter and cheering] Sounds like a pretty cool movie to me. [cheering] Bye, Matt. [laughter] So many hearts. All these movies about hearts. Really, "Mr. Terrible" was the first of its kind for me. Yeah, I'm going to use a Sway on this. Okay. All right. Okay. Nope, that's just one gilded. Okay. Five gilded. [cheering] Sounds good. You swipe at her ankles. Another pained cry. She lets one of her hands go, looks back to you, reaches down like she's going to take care of her ankle, realizes her Achilles tendon has been severed.

LAURA: I'm going to roll away. You do that. Okay. (chuckles) She watches you as that happens. She's eyeing you. You see that her eyes, her pupils are completely dilated. Her fingernails have grown three or four inches. She does this towards you. I want to read this. I want to read this body language. Can I read it? Yeah. Sounds good. Let's see. I've got-- I've got three-- I've got three dice to roll. Here we go. A six. Hell yeah. Incredible. [cheering] This is not the body language of somebody that is human. You can feel-- With that read, it's bleeding over a little bit into Sense. You can tell there is something else inside of her. I don't care if it's human or if it's from the other world, I want to know its intentions. What are its intentions?

LAURA: I think it wants to kill us, Chey! [laughter] Everything from the other side doesn't want to kill! It could be afraid, it could be wanting some kind of balance. I want to know. I want to know, does it want what I want?

SPENSER: It wants to be free. Spenser, while all of this is happening, I'm stepping back, I still have my camera rolling, and I'm looking up at the ceiling. Do I see anything supernatural? Any more moving shadows? Anything separate from this scuffle that's happening in front of us? Nothing that stands out. It appears as though whatever it is that is causing this is contained within her. Hmm. I-- You would also know that because of the way in which Breath Binding works, it would be upon death that something would be emitted if it were to, well--

LAURA: So we take that gag off of her? No, we don't take the gag out. We take that head off of her. I'm on it. So I've been waiting for a moment for the crowding to break apart, as soon as this conversation happens and she's focused on her, I'm going to step to the side, try and get the best shot I can and try and go right between the eyes. Love it. Make a Control roll for me. [cheering] What I will tell you, Matt. Yes. Is that given the circumstances, there is a chance that she moves for you instead if you miss.

MATT: Would you consider this high stakes? It's high stakes, yes. I will use my Back Against the Wall ability, where I can take a brain mark. When you're making a high stakes roll, take a brain to make any nerve that I spend worth two dice instead of one. Amazing. I'm going to spend a Nerve and get two additional dice on this Control, which already has two dice and a gilded. So that's four dice. (sighs) Not a great roll, but a four at the very least. Four So I step on the side, (imitates loud shot). You turn the gun towards her, her eyes turn towards you. She sees the gun in your hand. As you go to pull the trigger, everything happens very quickly and all at once. She moves towards you, she puts the gun against her forehead. She presses her hand into your chest, and she rips. (gasping) Going for your heart. You pull the trigger and she collapses. But you have left in your chest a gash, a wound.

MARISHA: She still has the gag around her mouth?

SPENSER: She does.

MARISHA: Is she still alive? She falls to the ground. You're going to take two body.

MATT: Yeah, that makes sense. (grunts) I reach down and I rip the gag off of her. Of her? Uh-oh. Yeah.

LAURA: Uh-oh. As you do, you see her chest start to collapse as she exhales one final breath. A black form emerges. Swirling. It looks vaguely human as it comes out of her, and then it moves through you. You're going to take five body for me. [gasping] As you immediately collapse to the ground.

LAURA: Five body? Taking a scar. I take a scar.

KHARY: Shit. (chuckling) This thing is in this room with you, it looks around. It's going to continue unless you do something about it. Hey, base boy, this is your thing, isn't it?

KHARY: Keep your mouth closed! You see as it goes towards the sconces on the wall, these ones down here are powered by electricity and the electricity starts (imitates electrical buzzing), and it starts to avoid the sconces, circling around. Your director friend here is dropped. The rest of you three see this occurring. What would you like to do? Are there any other electrical outlets in the room? Make a survey roll for me. Oh god.

SPENSER: Because this is under pressure. Normally you wouldn't have to roll to know if there are outlets. Okay. Oh. Okay. While she's doing that, can I grab the camera? Sure. Yeah. You have the camera. Five! A five? I've got camera in my hand? I start filming the filming the camera. I start to try to take whatever soul, whatever energy I can, and I crank this motherfucker. Yeah. [laughter] Correct. And try and pull whatever energy out of it I can. Yeah. I'm going to say, "Fucking Hollywood! What are you doing?"

KHARY: Shut up! [laughter] What you see here as this is occurring, the camera is cranking is not nearly enough power to be able to affect this thing. You see an outlet next to your ankle on the left hand side. There is an outlet there. What would you like to do? (exhales sharply) I'm going to take my dagger. Yeah? I'm going to jam it in the electrical outlet. [shocked exclaiming] [scattered laughter] [laughter] Are you doing this, you're holding the dagger as it jams? Well, it's got a handle, so it's not all metal!

SPENSER: Okay. But yes. Okay. I'm going to jam it and let go, if I can. Great.

MATT: Hey, Ronin, if you're watching, don't do this! [laughter] Don't do it at home! You jam it in the electrical outlet. There is an eruption of electricity out of that socket and then out of the lights, and it takes that as a warning and goes through the wall. [laughter] Disappears. Jackie, are you okay? Your eyes flip open. You know, there's this-- There's this old saying. [laughter] That the camera can capture your soul. Chey and I were working incredibly hard for a very long time on the realest of real camera technology. That took that to a literal sense. It got confiscated by the OUP. Sure as fuck wish we had that camera now.

LAURA: Well, let's go get it. Are you strong enough to walk? Yes. I feel-- I feel like I understand all the things that you've been saying all these years. I feel it, Chey. I, with the scar, moved one from Read, because I misread that one! [laughter] To Sense. Like my boy. What is the scar? How does the scar show itself? Similar to the black veins on Chey's right hand. If I pull open my blouse just a little, you can see those similar veins almost resembling the wound that Idella thrust into you on a very physical level. There's no open wound, but there's something else. Let's go capture ourselves a soul. As you say that, you see standing above the crate where Idella was in bold letters, it says a name. Professor Douglas Schultz, Briarbank College. I open it up. You open up the crate further and you find that it has the date that it was shipped, just a couple of days ago. It looks as though this is his material. Oh, we got to go see him. Yes. Is there anything in the crate? That was the crate that had her body. Her body lies dead on the ground in front of you. All right, so here's my question: How important is this place to you? Sorry, I'll put that away. [laughter]

KHARY: You can burn it to the ground as far as I care. Good. That's what I was thinking of doing. These can't live. These can't stay. And none of this can stay. We going? You're not going to burn it down before we capture this thing, right?

MATT: Why? Clearly something is anchoring this entity to this house, whether it be the cycle of violence, whether it be whatever Daryl was feeding off of or whatever was feeding off of it! You know what's weird, though? Is I feel like whatever this entity was came from Idella. I mean, I could be wrong, but-- [scattered laughter] Hey, don't laugh at that! [louder laughter] (laughs)

MATT: It hurts to laugh. But look, in that reel we saw, right? She was killed and her gag came off. What if when she died, that entity came out and that's what got let loose on all of the rest of the crew? In all of these previous takes, the gag stayed in place, so-- So it didn't happen. I bet if we took those gags off them, it would happen again. Yeah, and you said you felt that whatever was here before is gone now, right?

KHARY: Yeah, that's true. So what we're really after-- It's something new. So we destroy everything here, we go find this professor, and I don't know, we kill him too! (chuckles) Or we bring him in for questioning! We'll do that first, yes. Yeah. Yeah. No, no, no. We definitely do not leave whatever is locked in these souls to be free to roam. All right. I'm going to take, I don't know, I'm sure it doesn't matter, but I'm going to take that gag off of that Idella body so we have it for evidence.

SPENSER: Great. You grab it. Oh, does it have bleed on it?

SPENSER: I mean, negligible. Okay, great. (chuckling) To Briarbank College. Yes, yes. To the university. Are we doing anything with the house? Doesn't matter to, I don't want to put my hand on the scale, just wondering. You all were talking about doing something with the house, I don't want to make you leave without doing something if that's what you intend to do. Should we destroy it or should we let Greta know? Greta? Is that right? Yeah, that's right.

KHARY: Greta will know how to dispose of this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Even if you burn these, it's going to eventually burn the gags that are on the body, still releasing whatever trapped souls are in there. Fine, take away all my fun. (chuckling) Hey. Greta will know how to clean up this space. Do whatever you want. No, it's fine. Keep them crated. Cup of coffee and a minute to sit and I'll be fine. You're bleeding everywhere. Oh no, it's not the first time. So, to Briarbank then. What don't we do about Jonathan?

LAURA: Oh, we should take him with us.

MARISHA: Is he still here? No. Jonathan left. Yeah, yeah, Jonathan. We should just let him go. [laughter] I say we go to Briarbank College first, and then we find out if Jonathan Sky knows anything about it. What do we know about Briarbank College, and would it have any connection to Meridian and anything with him? Yeah, so Briarbank is a major hub of Eons.

MARISHA: EONS. And EONS and Meridian have close ties. Right. Chey, do you think they figured out a way to almost reverse engineer what we were working with? I think it wouldn't be a bad idea. Instead of capturing a bit of the soul from the human condition, if you inject it into a dummy, a body, a clone. They took our work! They stole it! I'm mean this with all due respect. Your work is the least bit of importance right now. Look at your chest. Look at mine. You're not listening.

KHARY: No, we're having a private conversation. Save it, save it. Finish what you were going to say. [laughter] It's a bastardization. They reversed it! Everything that you were doing! Your mission, our mission to maintain the balance! Do you understand what I'm saying? Does that make sense? I don't know how-- So how can we get it back? You want me to make a camera that can take it away?

MARISHA: I don't know-- If the moment's over, I'd like to put up the fact that I've actually had some dealings-- I feel so bad for you! It's okay. I appreciate that. [laughter] I've had some dealings with Eons, right? If we're going into Briarbank, I could try and talk to some of the individuals I've been about with. At the very least, maybe get us in without too much of a ruckus. But please, finish your conversation. No, let's go. I might be able to help you with some of that. Good. We'll finish it later. Wait a minute, since you worked with them, did you know about this stuff? No! I was merely just-- I was more about looking at-- They had me looking into what sort of advancements you were capable of on your end. But then suddenly my paycheck dried up because it seems like they got what they needed without my help. Now I'm on your side of things, so-- And let's be honest, it's been a little rough go. Any other pertinent information you'd like to share, mister? In terms of what exactly they were trying to research with our findings? I'd like to read him, if I may.

SPENSER: Sure. Are you trying to hide anything?

KHARY: Six. Oh. Does it matter? [laughter] Yeah. [laughter]

DM: Tell him what he sees. You see on my face a knowing look, a glance that tells you that this strange lack of familiarity he's kept up to this point in a brief glimpse is abandoned. The conversation you two are both having, he seemed to have a particularly curious ear to it than before.

MARISHA: Are you a spy, Lester? I was, and I told you that. But, we're kind of in the middle of it right now. Are we? I take my long fingers, and from across the room, I put them just underneath his chain. How much more bleed can you bleed? Would you like to find out? For a brief second, for a briefest second, you see a grin of acceptance, that face of a man who has nothing left to lose, and then he remembers something, and that sadness and fear floats back into his eye. Like I said, I can talk to some people and figure this out. Because you work for somebody at one point, doesn't mean you're still on their payroll. I'll read the fucker again. [laughter]

LAURA: Chey. I believe him. Do I? Five. Yeah. You see an acknowledgement that he might have been, might have been involved in something that led to the loss of what you built, but then you see a slight hint of guilt. Do you know what a blood oath is?

MATTHEW: No. [laughter] Because you just took one.

MATTHEW: What? I take the gag that I ripped off of Idella number three, four, five. Oh, I took it. Tucked in my belt, but if you want it, do you want it?

MARISHA: Oh, I was going to staunch his wounds, but. Oh, I felt weird about that. I don't know, It felt like a staunch and blade with blade. You know what? I had my fingers on his chin. I take my fingernails and slowly untie his tie and step over to him and find a place to wrap his wound. Let's finish this. [laughter] Laura Bailey. You got it, you can do it. [laughter]

MARISHA: Let's go to college. We cut to Briarbank College. It's a large sprawling campus in the middle of Briar Green. Fancy, well-funded.

LAURA: Does anyone recognize me? [laughter] [cheering]

KHARY: Oh. I was going to ask where all of you would be. If you're outdoors, then absolutely. But where do you think all of you are? Are you trying to keep getting--

KHARY: What time of day is it? It's definitely now in the early morning hours. Oh, then it's early morning. I mean, we could probably just head on over. I step out of the carriage that brought us there. Not trying to be covert in the slightest. You're on a mission. Well, I do hide my hand-- Sure. In my clothes and I think we're all walking with a bit of a limp, but so am I. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. We see all of you walk forward onto campus. Lester, you said you were going to make some headway first. What are you doing? Well, understanding the structure of EONS loosely-- Sure. Is there an individual I had contact with in the organization that I knew was at least affiliated with the university? For sure, I mean, the dean of the school is somebody that is very prominent in EONS. Also, you would guess that the Professor Douglas Schultz, or Schultz, sorry, is... You haven't had personal interactions with him, but would guess that he is related in some way. If there's anybody in particular, I mean, the higher ranking members of the university all would have some tie to EONS in some way. If not them, they would know who to go to. Is there anybody in particular that you're looking for? I'll say... Actually, this is interesting. I'm probably going to go outside of EONS at the moment. Okay, yeah. Instead, I'm going to go with the brother of a gentleman I used to work with in the force. Okay. His name is Darryl Schmeit. Okay. He's a nice gentleman. Haven't talked to him in a long time, but I know he's probably not affiliated with him, which would be the most direct way to not cause any immediate suspicion. Sure, totally. What does Darryl do? What do you aware of?

MATTHEW: So Darryl was probably an archivist in the university library. Okay. He was very much bookish, but very quick to chat, and especially in spaces where most people just left alone. Sure. So he was nice. Yeah. A lot of people approach me and talk, so I tend to remember those that do. Yeah. We move to Darryl Schmeit who has thin hair parted in the middle, has a round boyish face, although he's probably pushing 40 and has some books on a trolley, is slowly starting to place them back on the shelf. This is Darryl in his like, out of the archivist actually getting out into the library doing some work time, which, you know from that, that is something that they value is actually going to the library and sorting things themselves, maybe even putting back books that he pulled out. He's in a long aisleway of the library here on campus. He's humming himself as he does this. I close the coat to cover the bloodstains.

DM: Sure. Hey, Darryl.

DM: "Huh? Oh!" Officer Shaw, it's been a bit. "Shaw, yeah. Your face looks familiar." Yeah, we met through your brother, Bradley, years ago. It was Gina's party. We had a long conversation. "That's right." Yeah, yeah, I know. "How could I forget?" Yeah, of course, of course. "You talked about the force and all of your dealings with them. I'm sorry to hear about all the things that happened." Oh, you heard. "Obviously, big--" I meant officer as a joke. (laughs) (heavy exhale) [laughter] "Hey, look, they're corrupt as fuck. I'm not something that--" Thank you. I know, so anyway, I'm working on a case to actually weed out some of this Periphery corruption and there is a witness that I'm afraid may be in a bit of danger. "He's still putting books back as he's talking to you." [laughter] Are we all sitting? Come. I think we're just with him in this moment. I hear someone whispered. Uh-huh, you could be around the corner for sure, right? Around the corner of the aisle, yeah. I see you pop in. Can I whisper? Be like: How many fucking Darryls do I have to meet in this fucking town? There's so many Darryls. Why are they all shitheads? [laughter] No offense, any Darryls. [laughter] Just him. I'm sure you spell it differently. Yeah, yeah, different Darryl, yeah. So, because I know there's others looking out for him and I don't want to put him in a position where he gets in a dangerous circumstance--

DM: "Of course." Do you know where we can find Professor Douglas Schultz at this hour? "Professor Schultz, that's who you want to find?" Yeah, please, there's loose lips and open ears all about the place. "We'll call him... Darryl." [laughter] "You can definitely find Darryl. He's in the biology wing of the university. I can give you his classroom, if you want. I have to go look it up, but I'm happy to do that." No, please do, that'd be fantastic, and don't mean to pressure you with time, but I'm not the only one looking for him, so the sooner we can, the sooner we-- "Sure, yeah." Get him to a safe place. "Of course." He goes over to a book that's in the corner, a directory, flips through it and goes 402. "He's 402B."

MATTHEW: 402. "That's his classroom. He's got a class coming up here shortly." Fantastic, thank you so much. Of course, I hope you have to understand this. We didn't talk. I want to keep you safe as well. "That's so nice of you." [laughter] "Hey, thank you so much." Sometimes the real heroes are those that operate outside of the law. "Yeah." [laughter] Nailed it. Sort of rights his coat. Keeps putting books back, humming to himself. All right, so 402B is his classroom. He has a class coming up soon, so now's our opportunity to get to him before anybody else does and we cause a stir. Let's try and get him possibly out of his classroom in a place we can talk in private. Yeah. Let's go.

DM: You hear, "Evelyn White, is that you?" Oh. Shit. [laughter]

DM: Just a passerby here in the college. Oh no, that's-- "Oh my goodness, Evelyn." It's a young woman. Looks like she has cherry brown hair. She's walking with a couple of her friends. She looks like she's afraid to approach you, like she doesn't quite know whether she should or not. She goes, "I just loved you in your latest picture." Oh, thank you, which one did you see? "Mr. Terrible." Oh. Yeah, that was a really good one, wasn't it? "They did a screening for us here with a newfangled projector that they got." A newfangled projector?

DM: "Oh, just, it's the first projector the school has." Oh, really? "Yeah." Oh, wow, the school got a projector. "It was quite wonderful." Yeah, well, I've only ever had movies screened at actual theaters, but at a college, wow. "We're doing new things here." Oh, amazing. "I don't want to take up too much of your time. I was just wondering, would you sign," she looks around, "my textbook?" [laughter] Of course I would. She would love to sign your textbook if you could tell us where they have this projector. "Oh, it's just in the theater. It's not a fancy projector. In fact, it's--" It's Mr. Terrible. "(gasping)" [laughter]

DM: She's patting her friend. "Get out your textbook." [laughter] What? I sign it really big across the cover. Have Chey sign it, too. "Would you?" I take the book. Oh, mmm. [laughter] I open the book. Yeah, it's got a full page of a signature. I pull out my hand. [laughter] Is this? Yeah, he's-- I'm very committed to the role. [laughter] I slice an X into the book, clap it shut and give it back to them. [laughter] (clapping) [cheering] She looks astonished and scared. She puts it in her bag and all of them leave. [laughter]

KHARY: Look out for the sequel. [laughter] A sequel, really? Yeah. I'm working on it. It's got to get studio approval. It's a nightmare, we'll talk about it later, let's go. Great. You have the 402B. You figure out the wing, the biology wing here. You're outside of the classroom. You see some students that are filing out of a previous class. They are walking down the hall, all of them, you notice, catch your eye and then try to look down. They recognize you, but they're also trying not to be, you know, you know how that is. I shove in between them and grab Evelyn by the arm and escort her a bit.

DM: Great. You'll have your moment later. We're here-- I'm taking my hair down and shove a cookie in my face. [laughter] We're sitting outside the classroom here with all of you. I want to give you a moment to approach this the way that you'd like. What are we doing here? What are we doing? So we are going to go in and shove him up against the wall. [laughter]

MARISHA: Love it. Threaten him with that gun you have. No, we're going to shove him up against the wall-- Uh-huh. -- and kiss him. Oh. [laughter] All right.

LAURA: He's going to fall so madly in love that he'll have no choice but to tell us all of his secrets. I'm here for it. Let's go along with it. Let's workshop it. New take though, what else? We can go back to the gun thing. I don't hate the gun thing, honestly. [laughter] This is why you hired me as a consultant on your films. We go inside, we introduce ourselves. We close and lock the door behind us and quickly cover his mouth, hold him against the wall then so he can't scream for help, and then get him to a place where he understands if he makes any noise, he will die. He tells us everything he knows, and if he doesn't tell us anything, it's your turn. That's a good plan. That's a good plan. It's a great plan, let's do it. Great, all right. I pull out my bleed gag. [laughter] Uh-huh. Yes.

DM: Great. Who's leading? You're leading. I-- Ms. Sway. I'm leading. You enter the classroom as the last couple of students are starting to pack up their bags. He looks up, you see the face of Professor, who you assume is Professor Douglas Schultz. That wasn't ominous, that was just, this is the person in the classroom. He looks up and gives you a smile and goes, "Evelyn White in my classroom. What an honor." Oh, a fan. "My dear." Hi. "It's so nice to meet you." A pleasure to be here, really. "Sorry." He motions to the students that are there. "I don't know if you know, Ms. Evelyn White is a movie star." Oh. Thank you. Could we have some privacy, please? I would love to talk to you in private. "Sure, of course, no problem. I will see you next week, okay, goodbye." Says his goodbyes to the students as they go. "I've been working with one of your counterparts and it seems like, I don't know, maybe you and I can have a talk." You've been working with one of my counterparts? At this point, we all slowly enter and lock the door. Which counterpart would that be, Idella? "Why, of course. Who else? She's a doll, I'll tell ya, she's quite doll." One of my best friends. [laughter] Are you also working with Jonathan Sky, or just the actors? "Oh, no, just her. Jonathan--" Just her? "Jonathan is not necessary. We don't have to get anybody else involved. I assume you're here because you've heard of the work that I've been doing." Of course, big fan. "Thank you." I'd like to Read him. Sure. Fours. He spots you. "Is that Mr. Terrible I see?" Mmm. He is... Sees a business opportunity. That's what you read.

EVELYN: Professor Schultz. "Yeah." How long have you been working with Idella? "Oh, well, the work that I've been doing is not (huffs) that new. It's rather new, but she just decided to be a part of it." Willingly? She volunteered? "Couple of months ago. Oh my goodness." (huffs) "Sorry, I was so starstruck, I didn't even see." No, it's understandable. Her beauty is radiant. "I'm glad to be engaging both studios then, I guess." Mm. Yes-- "Sorry, what was your question? I was taken so aback." You know, I just thought perhaps we could have a little demonstration of the tech that you have been working on, as you have (laughs) so noticeably very astute of you to notice that we are interested, you know, rival studio and whatnot, and what you've been working on, you know, we are quite the fans of advances in technology in the film industry.

CHEY: As they keep him talking, can I Sense the room? Sure. Four is gilded. Four is gilded. So, you take the gilded, you'll get a drive back. Mm-hmm. There isn't anything in this room that seems to be full of bleed in any way. Nothing. Nothing. He's just a little schmoozy. Just a little schmoozy. He says, "Imagine the stunts that you could do." Wow. "We could make--" (laughs) [laughter] "We could make so much money together." Absolutely. But you know, (laughs) people just love to, (babbles) in this industry, and you know, I'm someone who just (huffs) would love to see it firsthand before any type of investment. He smiles at you and says, "Um, I-- The setup is quite rigorous, so it's not something I can quite frankly show you here, but I'm happy to, if you," and looks around, and goes, "If we could step into the side annex, I would be happy to share with you some additional details about the process, if that's something that might be of interest." Yeah. Does it seem like, I don't know, that there's anything, does this feel like a trap? (laughter) [laughter] Make a Survey roll for me. Is this high stakes? (laughs)

GM: No, I would say it's standard stakes. Three. So, here's what you get it. Similar to the Read roll, it doesn't feel like it's a trap. It feels like he wants to make some money.

EVELYN: Okay. And sees dollar signs in you. Okay. Right?

EVELYN: Hmm. "That's what I can offer currently."

JACKIE: Well, you know-- "Assets are tied up elsewhere, so, as you know, it's--" (laughs) Always.

PROFESSOR: "Precious tech." Y-y-you said you've been working with Idella. "Of course." Where is she now? "Idella? She should be shooting her movie." Yeah, but your tech that you've been using, isn't the tech shooting the movie? "Well, the tech does not have to be on the site of the movie for it to be used." What? What's your tech? [laughter] You know, Mr. Schultz, I would like to use Insider Access here. Yeah, okay. Of course, I know, you know, everything, (laughs) and our business is cone of NDA, (laughs) but you know, I do know many influential people in this industry, and I think you could trust me if we could just do a hop and a skip away from the logistics, the business talks, the contracts, so we can really get a firsthand glance at this tech. And Insider Access. "My line of work offers me special privileges," (laughs) "and once per assignment, I can automatically gain access to an important person or place using my press credentials gear." Here's what he does. He says, "I'll make you a deal."

JACKIE: Love a deal. "I-I-I can't promise that it will be perfect, but I'm happy to show you the prototypes that we worked on. I don't have access to the current model, um, but I am happy to show you what we've worked on." Is the current model what you are shooting the film with Idella? "T-t-the current model is in Idella's home. Come with me. Everything will become clear when I show you. Come with me," he says, and opens the door to this annex room that's an area where the teachers or professors can go to, you know, to move through the different classrooms that are here. It's a common room, but then there's other rooms off of that. Motions you in. "Come. Come on."

EVELYN: Okay. Yes, we'll follow. Okay. As you follow, he takes you through a winding hallway back into these, past these, like, labs and things, and takes you down a short flight of stairs into a large room that looks like a bathroom. Wow. [laughter] It has tile on the floor and it has most prominently a metal or maybe porcelain tub. It looks like a, it's squared off. It's not like a tub you'd have in your bathroom. It's like a tub that they would use for science, right? Like a bathtub sized thing they use for science. And-- [laughter]

CHEY: It's one of them science tubs. Science tubs. [laughter] We all know what we're talking about. Science tubs. It's a vat, right? Not a question. It's a vat is essentially what it is. It looks like a vat, but this place is approximated to look bathroom-esque, and there's a unit that is sitting next to the vat, an electric unit, and then there is a contraption that sits where the head would go of the tub, and it looks as though it's something you would place around your head. In the corner, there's a circle that has been taped off on the ground. Says, "I know it's not much, but this is it. Um, I have to warn you, it's not an easy procedure if you're willing, but, essentially--" What does the procedure do? "Sure, sure, sure," he says. "Of course." He walks over to the tub, the vat, and he-- [laughter] He levers up. It's hinged with looks like bars that would go around your head, and then there's a piece that looks like it would go inside of your mouth. He says, "Well, simply you lay in the tub and we fill it up with water, and well, this is where things get a little difficult, but we fill the tub, and there's a lever next to it. It is all cobbled together for the moment being. Things are held together, you know, with bolts that aren't the right size and such, but it's a perfectly serviceable model," and he says, "We lay you down," and he walks over to the lever and he pushes it, and as he does, the contraption lever does this, and puts the face, the head, under the line of the tub. Oh, it kills you. [laughter] "How else do we get other things inside?" You're creating empty vessels. "You know what you're talking about. Now, you'll show up. There's a well in Groundswell, where we don't know why, but if you drown here, your body is empty, a new body shows up there. One with your soul in it, your mind. But in order to do this, you have to die. That's how it works. I don't make the rules," he says.

EVELYN: So, Idella's done that. "Oh, so many times. Also, we release the force, the entity," and you see now on the walls, you see these imitations of Tesla coils. "They don't work currently because prototype and all, but the idea is that those use electricity to trap the entity and pull it into your body." D-d-do you come up with this technology? "Well, I tried to do it originally without the dying, um, but it seems you need a water conduit and you need an emptied body, so." And where did you get the inspiration for such a contraption? I'm going to immediately start scanning upwards. Does any of it look recognizable to Chey or I? This is all fancy tech. This is all, as far as what's on the ceiling, there are Tesla coils, or the imitation of Tesla coils. There's a circle on the ground over in the corner, but it's taped off. It's not quite clear what that would be. But besides that, this is a pretty barren room. It's functional and plain. It's really sterile. "Now, of course this stays between us, yes?" How do you pull the entities in? H-h-how do they come in? "The coils themselves. Oh, you would know about that, wouldn't you? I remember seeing a picture where you used these." (gasps) "Incredible technology. We found many uses for them, and I want to thank you for popularizing them with people, because it seems a lot less scary now that they've seen them in the movies." It was fiction.

PROFESSOR: "Isn't everything fiction first?"

EVELYN: I don't think you should do this. [laughter] "In what way?" Well, number one, you're killing people. Not good.

PROFESSOR: "O-o-of their own choice, and to be fair, they're not dying." Number two-- "They are--" You're setting entities loose and they're killing people. "Not if used properly." Well, they're not being used properly, Professor. "That seems like somebody else is doing the wrong there. Are you interested in this or not? I'm feeling some hostility." Oh, right. [laughter] "And I'm concerned that I've just shown you this work." No, I'm very interested. Make a Sway roll for me. [laughter] I'm going to add a couple drives to that. Sounds good to me. Why not?

LESTER: Yeah, do it. And leedle leedle lee. Okay. Five dice. [oohing] When I add the drives, are those gilded as well?

GM: They're not. Five dice. (laughs) Five. (laughs) Five. Jeez. Yeah. All the others were ones, twos, and threes, I think, if I see them correctly. (laughs) Glad you used five. Yeah. He laughs and says, "Okay. Just ensuring. I know it can be quite overwhelming at first. She was overwhelmed as well at first, too, but you know, she had to keep up with you, Miss Stuntwoman." (laughs) [laughter] Oh, really? "That's what she said." (laughs) Yeah, she did. [laughter] Idella could never do her own stunts, that's for damn sure. Okay. So, uh, (laughs) can we have a minute,

PROFESSOR: "You and I? Yes, of course." You? No. No. No. "Sorry, I just misunderstood what the ask was. The ask was can you and I have a minute, or can we have a minute, and I thought you meant you--" Um-- "I'm happy to get rid of the riff-raff and we can discuss details if that's." [oohing] Oh, no, you know, we all work as a team. (clears throat) "I love that." [laughter] Chey has started to breathe deeply, and exhale deeply. Do we have any more information? Nope. That we need from this professor? Well, he seems to be very business-minded in this entire venture. "That's right. Hey, if we can't make money, what are we doing, right?" Who is building the tech, Douglas, because it can't be your dumb ass. [laughter] "I've built the tech." You and only you?

GM: Motions. Can I get a Read on him? Sure. I'm good at telling when people are acting.

GM: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I'm not. (laughs)

JACKIE: Can I spend a drive to help her out?

GM: Sure. I'm going to spend a drive, too, to help me out. (laughs)

GM: You both are having this conversation, so that's perfectly-- Okay, great. Five! Yeah, with a five. With a five, he says, "I'm careful about who I bring in to my partnerships. They take a cut. I've built it. She hasn't." So, this is all Idella? She has the tech? What about all the other bodies? "S-s-she was helping to fund the picture. You know that." Uh-huh. I do. [laughter] "Did you not?" No, I did. She funds a lot of her projects. Mm. [laughter]

CHEY: Where does the Idella live?

EVELYN: I know that. Do I know that? I feel like I'd know that. Yeah, you would definitely know that. She lives in the Eaves. (sighs) She lives in the Eaves. Of course she does. Up in the Eaves. Yeah, she lives in a private penthouse.

EVELYN: Penthouse. Probably more of a mansion-y kind of setup.

JACKIE: Oh, it's just getting bigger. Oh, well. All right. She's got a mansion and she also has a penthouse. Ah, I see. Yes, yes, yes, yes. "I'm not sure she's there right now. She should be shooting her movie, but you could--"

EVELYN: Yeah. No. She should be. She should be. As that happens, you hear a ringing coming from the office. You have a phone call. I answer it. Are you racing him there? It's over in the studio-- Yes, I am. Yeah. Make a Move roll for me. Okay, okay. To get there before he does. Okay. I'm going to try and hold him back. Actually, yes, I'm going to pull out my big long fingers. Uh-huh. Is this high stakes? No, I would say this is, you're not going to get incredibly hurt because of this, so I'd say it's normal stakes, but the stakes are, if you fail the roll, he answers the call first, right? If either of you or any of you want to spend drive to help, you absolutely can. Okay. Sure, sure. I'm going to spend a drive. Great. So it'd be nerve, I suspect. Yeah. Okay. I'm going to spend two drive. Yeah, do it. I'm going to give you one. Oh, you're giving me one? Absolutely. Okay, okay, okay, okay. Okay, and that's three. Are you good? I want to spend one as well. Four. For me? Yeah. Okay. You can do it, Jackie! Run! Run like the wind! This blazer is tight! Six! There you go! What we're talking about! Mr. Schultz's office. You hear static, and then, "Doug, please help!" (static) Uh-oh. "Something's-- Doug, please!" (static) And the line goes dead. "I'm sorry, are you in the business of answering my phone calls? Are you looking for a job as a secretary?"

KHARY: Do you recognize who that sounded like, who was on the other line? Sounded like Idella. You couldn't afford me as your secretary, even if you fucking wanted to. "You don't have to be hostile about it. I thought you were looking for a new job." I believe that before he said that Idella was supposed to be at her shoot, he said that Idella was at home, did you not? If I did, that was not what he was intending to say. Okay. Goddamn. He was saying that the machine is in her home. Oh. Machine is in her home. So the real Idella is floating in a-- Or she's home. She's home. So if we're going to her home, and that was her one the phone, what'd she say? Help, Douglas. "Sorry, what did she-- What?" So we're taking him with us. I'm sorry, I didn't think you were paying me to be your secretary. "Look, if a duck quacks. You answer my phone, you take my messages." I grab him by the neck. Yeah. And say: Where's your car? "Your breath smells just as bad as I imagined it would. It's out back." Do we need him? She said she needed help. She needed help, and he might know. Although everything he's done has pretty much been stolen. Maybe we don't need-- "It hasn't been stolen. I sold it." I'm sorry? "It hasn't been stolen. She's bought it."

MARISHA: Considering you were watching one of my films that inspired you. I would say it's stolen. How would you like to try a little bit of roleplay?

SPENSER: "Always down. What are you thinking?" You know what, I'm going to hold him by my left hand and then show him my right and tell him that you're coming with us to go see what you did with Idella, and we're going to take a trip to her house. Let's go. Did she sound distraught? Oh, yes. We should hurry, then! I don't want her to really die. Because this thing that went through the wall-- It went to her! -- went to her. Oh, we've got to go! It didn't come here. It went back to wherever home would be, I would imagine. I believe that is absolutely correct.

LAURA: Let's go, let's go! Yeah, so let's drag this fucker with us, and if we can feed him to it, we will. Let's go. We cut to all of you in a carriage with Professor Douglas Schultz. He's in a suit. He's like, "I have classes to teach. I can't just be ditching--" Your classes can wait. "Oh dear, this is such an inconvenience."

KHARY: This motherfucker's a psychopath. This guy, he is, ugh, what a narcissist. [laughter] Not that I would know. You would know! (laughter) Inflated self sense of worth. We pull up to the mansion.

LAURA: Oh, it's really big. Looks like it's three-story. Oh. [laughter] In the Eaves-- Ooh, and it has a basement. Where did you put the contraption? Inside the carriage, you all see this mansion. It looks pristine from here. "Second floor restroom, connected to a master bedroom."

LAURA: Does he seem scared? He seems scared of this one. Oh, okay. Maybe rightfully so. But he's trying to play it cool, right?

KHARY: Right. So many rooms in this mansion, and she has him put it in the master bathroom? Poor judgment call. All right, let's go. "There's three master bedrooms." This one's leading the way. Are we--

LAURA: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. As you all approach, you knock on the door, and the door swings open. "Idella? Oh god."

MARISHA: What do we see? You all, following him, see that the inside of the house is torn asunder. The wallpaper's been torn down. The walls look like they have been smashed. Chairs are toppled.

KHARY: Can I Sense anything?

SPENSER: Yeah, make a Sense roll for me. Four. Four. Gilded. Great, so take your drive back. There's a lot of bleed coming from upstairs, and as you listen carefully, sensing, you hear-- [whispery sounds]

KHARY: Is this the same sound that we heard when--

LAURA: When you first came alive.

SPENSER: When this thing came out of-- Thing came out of Idella. All of that. All of them. It's here. I take off, up the stairs. Evelyn! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

MATT: I go after her. As you're going up the stairs, the sound gets louder and louder until you're in the first landing and you hear it screeching in your ears. The doors are all open. They're off their hinges.

LAURA: Idella? I grab the professor. Yeah, Professor Douglas. Tell him, where's the bathroom you put this thing in? "It's up this way, to the right!"

KHARY: I grab him and I push him forward. He stumbles forward and goes, "Oh god, Idella! Idella! Idella?" He walks forward into one of the master bedrooms, into the master bathroom, and you watch as he is plucked off of his feet. His body doesn't respond as quickly as it should. His legs are left behind, pulled at the waist, ripped to shreds. Something is here. Intestines lay on the ground, the body still, the top half still missing. You don't know where it went, but the legs have fallen, and the intestines have fallen with them.

LAURA: I back up. Chey, you've called this thing your mother, as long as I've known you. Can you commune with it? I don't know. I bust past Douglas and throw open the bathroom door. So to be clear, the bathroom door is already open. He's already standing in the bathroom door. His legs were ripped from his-- His torso and head were ripped from his legs, and the rest of the lower half of his body is laying on the floor in the bedroom, and you're basically looking at the door of the bathroom, sideways, seeing the remnants of him, and clearly there's something else inside. So are you rushing to the threshold of the door to see what's there? The threshold sounds perfect.

SPENSER: Okay. While this is happening-- Yes, go ahead. While this is all happening, the master bedroom, I imagine it's pretty well-outfitted, right?

SPENSER: Yeah, torn to shreds, but-- Is there an electric lamp or light of some kind nearby? Sure. There's a chandelier above the bed. Something I can grab? Yeah. Something grabbable. The chandelier. The chandelier above the bed. There's also a lamp on the nightstand. It's plugged in? Yeah. I'm going to say: Can I borrow your knife? Oh, yeah. I definitely grabbed it from the other outlet. Definitely. Totally fine. There you go. I'm going to cut the cord at the base of the lamp. Yeah. And plug it in the nearest outlet, hold a free electric charge, just in case. We see you holding-- (electricity crackling) I'm closer now. Can I see if I can Sense this thing again? Yeah, roll Sense for me. I'm going to give you what you see, because you decided to stand at the threshold. Yeah. The threshold is where, to be clear, Douglas Schultz was ripped from his waist.

MARISHA: Uh-huh. So just making sure we're clear--

LAURA: Maybe back up a little bit. --about what situation you're putting yourself into. It's okay. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. Okay. Evelyn? Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. Yeah, drive it like you stole it. So what you see here as you hit the threshold of the door is a beautiful, ornate bathtub that has been built with-- She has a clawfoot. Clawfoot, sure. I love it. Then a masterfully crafted face plate piece that would go into the jaw, and then you see the vanity, and there seems to be blood on the ground. The thing that stands out to you most prominently is there is what looks like a metal-laced capsule that sits at the back of the room. It is what that circle was on the ground. It's in that same place. It is what we would know in our world as a Faraday cage. Okay. What is that? It has been electrified. It's essentially a cage that keeps electricity from hitting you. Outside electric in, yeah. You see in there, she is holding her abdomen. You see Idella holding her abdomen, trying to keep herself safe. She's put herself inside of the Faraday cage, and something writhes on the ceiling. You can hear it chomping on bone and muscle. That's what you find here. You rolled Sense, is that correct?

KHARY: It was just a three. With a three, you understand that whatever is here came back for her. Yeah. For a home, a free home. But beyond that, no way to know anything else about it. Can we talk to Idella?

SPENSER: You can scream at her, but I will say you will draw attention your direction if you do. Those are the stakes. This is what I think. I think that she is hiding in this thing from this thing because electricity is the only thing that can destroy it.

LAURA: Yeah.

KHARY: How big is this chandelier, in this bedroom? It's rather large, but you also know that electricity is a thing that can-- It will repel it, but only temporarily.

KHARY: But only temporarily. What you do see, what I'll tell you, is that the bathtub sits there. The headpiece is up. You know from what Professor Douglas Schultz told you, you can trap free entities in a willing vessel. They have to be dead. That's what you know, just as a reminder of the information. So we could go and free up a vessel, basically. You hear her crying from within the cage. She's gasping for breath. "(gasping)" She looks up and sees you. Her eyes go wide, and then she looks up, not making a sound. What would you all like to do? If I walk forward very quietly-- Okay. -- does it seem to notice?

SPENSER: Are you walking into the bathroom? Is it still munchy-munching? As you walk in, you see a swirling mass. At some points, it almost is like a humanoid that is up on the ceiling like that-- I don't know, you know what I'm talking about? Yeah. In the corner? Okay. Won't demonstrate it any further. It's awesome. But it's taking different-- Good start, though. -- shapes, different forms, but that's what it seems to be solidifying on, and you see it ripping, shredding muscle and bone. The head of Professor Douglas Schultz hits the ground and rolls next to you as you enter. But it's preoccupied. For the moment.

KHARY: Is this our fault? If it is, I feel like this is our chance to make it right. I pull out the camera. I start to get in the tub. Absolutely not! Abso-fucking-lutely not! Abso-fucking-lutely note. Uh-uh-uh-uh, uh-uh.

LAURA: Laying in the (indistinct) tub! No, no, no, no! No, no!

SPENSER: It's a vat. It's a vat, okay? ♪ You should do something fast ♪ ♪ Because I'm pulling the thing down ♪ Okay, all right, all right. This is about to be your greatest moment. You've always said you wanted to learn how to work behind the camera. I start reeling up the camera, and I take it, and I shove it your hands. In the tub? Yes. Keep looking up! I'm filming up? Uh-huh. (squeaks) Keep working it! I don't think this is going to do it.

MARISHA: Lester, we're going to need a lot of electricity. Where? You're holding it! You see the lever next to the tub, as he described. My arm's getting tired. Keep going! Okay. It's been 10 seconds. This thing, starting to hear you speak, it throws the body aside and is creeping along the--

KHARY: Is it corporeal at all? Or is it just-- It's skittering, that's the best description I can give you of how corporeal it is. Fuck! All right. Wrong hand. You ready? You ready for a little-- You ready? Give me some sort of context here. I've got electricity, and she's in a tub. My mum told me that was very bad. He's holding onto it. I'm going to ground this circuit. So I grab Lester's hand, and then I reach out, and I'm grabbing the camera to ground the circuit. Am I going to fucking die? I don't know! Because I was going to do it in a way that I'd be brought back, but now you're just killing me.

SPENSER: So I do want to remind you before you--

MARISHA: Do you see where I'm going with this? No, no! I thought you were trying to save her! I didn't know you were going to kill her! No, it's the camera. It's the camera. It's what we've been working on! Well, yes! Yes. So, so you think we can reverse this thing and suck this thing in? That's what we've been working on! [laughter] So what I will tell you is that the tub, the phrase that he said to you is he tried to do it without the death.

MARISHA: Uh huh. But the only way he could do it was with water as a conduit. Ah. Ah! There had to be a body to fill. Uh huh. That's what you know. I just want to, because you could kill her here and she wouldn't come back. I just want to make sure I'm setting the stakes appropriately. Mm hmm. [laughter] What do you want-- I'm just going to film my own death, huh? [laughter] You want to fill the tub with water, see what happens?

LAURA: I thought the tub had water in it!

SPENSER: The tub does not have water in it.

LAURA: Oh, well, fuck! [laughter] Oh, well that's-- The faucet turns on and cold water starts to fill the tub here. It couldn't have been warm? Maybe we should put the professor's dead-ass body in here instead. Yeah. Professor's body. [laughter] I thought about it, but he's-- Torn apart. Yeah. I thought about it.

MATTHEW: -- put him together. This thing looks more and more interested in you by the second. It's starting to creep towards you.

LAURA: I'm filming it. I'm not taking this anymore. I pick up you and the camera.

LAURA: I'm filming you. No, no, no. I toss you back onto the bed, into the bedroom. Ow! [laughter] And I'm going to jump into the tub. Okay. Chey? I'm going to jump into the tub and I'm going to Strike at this thing,

SPENSER: Okay. With my long arm and see if I can hold it as I let this water-- Yeah. Fill and come over me. Go ahead and make a Strike roll for me. You get extra because of your arm, right? Yes. Yes. I get one extra because of my... Let's see. Let me make sure I got (indistinct) [laughter] I will add one die to all my Strike rolls. And if my Nerve resistance is plus two, then that die is gilded. So I actually already have three die and one is gilded, so I add another gilded. So I have two gilded, four in total. Amazing! Let's do it!

MARISHA: Oh boy! (sighs) Oh, it's a six. That's a six! [cheering] [clapping] You reach up--

KHARY: Sucker! [laughter] Your fingernails grow just a little bit longer as they approach this thing. Reach up. It looks down at you and a hand grabs around your nails, and then it starts pulling itself slowly down your arm. It's coming towards you, inch by inch. Its eyes, out of the darkness, stare at you. They feel familiar. They feel like home. They feel like mother. It's moving towards you. It wants to devour you. You all see this here, happening. Are you putting the mask over your face to keep your mouth open? No. Okay. I shift again and I rip at my face.

SPENSER: Mm. At the corners of my mouth and dig into my face until the blood starts to curdle. I tear at my jaw until it starts to unhinge. We see it drop down to your chest, opening wider than you've ever known, still attached to you, but unhinged and open. Do you take a breath? And I smile when I do it. You inhale water. It fills your lungs. This spirit you watch, as it dives towards you, your mouth, your unhinged mouth open, it (whooshes) disappears inside of you (gasps) and you are gone. You find yourself sat in a dark room in a bed. Daryl Barker sits next to you. Your arm is normal, your face is normal. He smiles at you. "They're making a laughing stock of what I did, huh? (sighs) It's a shame. But you're finally here, aren't you? I waited for you. (chuckles) Did it make you feel better? Because I'll tell you what, it never made me feel better. It made me hungrier. I think it made you hungrier, too. Come on. What do you have to say for yourself?" [laughter] (sighs) Shut up, Daryl. And (whooshes) you're whipped back (screams) to Groundswell. There's a well in Groundswell, and you find yourself staring up from it. It takes you a minute, but you realize you're alive, some version of you. That thing that you faced down all those years ago, you looked death in the eye and you said, "No." This time, this time you looked death in the eye and you said, "I will overcome you." You have, and you're here, and you're alone. You look down at your arm and it still is changed, and you feel your jaw and it still hangs open. Ah. But you are alive. We cut back to the three of you. There is thrashing happening in the tub. This thing is screaming. You see the form of Chey before it's letting out this (shrieks) cry as it writhes and pulls itself up. What would you to do? How long is this cord? Yeah. Yeah. [laughter] There is a plug in the bathroom. While this has been going on. Yep. Running over and jamming the plug in and then (grunts) tossing it into the water as it's thrashing.

SPENSER: Make a Control roll for me. I will do this, and-- Can I help? Yeah, totally! Both of you can help, if you'd like. Yeah, I want to try to pull him back as soon as we can so that he doesn't get held onto anything. Yeah. Great. I love that. So you can spend Drive if you'd like. He's back against the wall and I'm going to use my last Drive for extra dice. Sounds great. Plus two. For four. You're adding one to add one as well? Yes. All right. I'll add one as well. Great. Yeah! Give me all the dice!

SPENSER: High stakes! High stakes! What did you say this was? Control. It would be Nerve. Nerve, yeah. Nerve? All right. Oh yes. Six dice, one gilded. Two gilded. Let's go!

MARISHA: Come on! That's double sixes. Yeah! [cheering] [clapping] Not today, Santa! [laughter] So Matthew Mercer, my good friend. [laughter] how do you want to do this? [cheering] Ay! Let's go! [laughter] [cheering]

CROWD MEMBER 1: Yeah! Woo! (whistles) In the moments, like as if he plugs it in and turns and sees this happening, there's the brief moment where he goes and looks at his pocket watch one more time. Yeah. It's about every hour on the hour, something terrible happens. [laughter] He goes and takes the cord. As he's about to run and plunge it in, he sees himself about to slip on the floor before he feels both elbows get caught by two unlikely companions that have endured him for the majority of this journey. Right as he releases the cord, as it hits the water, they all go slipping back against the wall. A brief bit of concern hits his mind as he's uncertain how much of this gentleman is still there. You watch as the body goes rigid. You know there's one more thing you must do, and that is cover the nose and mouth so that whatever's inside does not escape. I take the tie-- Uh huh. That was previously tied to close my wound earlier, and rushing forward, just wrap and gag. We see you rip it off of your wound. It started to scab, but it pulls, it hurts as this thing's unhinged mouth opens, a facsimile of what you once were. The tie goes in, the screaming muffled, the eyes wide, like Idella's eyes on film when she had her neck slit. You watch as this facade of your friend begins to burn at their gums. The gums go black, the eyes go red and then the pop. (groans) And suddenly, they're gone. (coughs) Y'all sit in quiet for a moment, seeing your friend Chey dead before you. This can't be real. I go over to the camera that I handed Evelyn that's been rolling this whole time, tossed on the floor, and I play back the footage.

LAURA: Wait, it rolled even when you weren't cranking it? [laughter] You wind it up and then it goes for a little bit. [laughter] That's true. [laughter] You look at the negatives. You watch the negatives. You see your friend Chey electrocuted. You watch the body be filled with darkness, and then he is released. (inhales)

MARISHA: It's not real. Suddenly, a call in the bedroom. The phone rings.

LAURA: I go and answer it. You hear Greta's voice. Are you there? We're here, Greta.

MARISHA: How did you know we were here? Cut to the top of the well, the three of you staring down as an elongated body with a dropping jaw, long arm with massive nails is lifted up. You see your friend Chey, the one who dances with the devil, born again. And that's where we're going to end the session tonight. Oh my god! [cheering] [clapping] [cheering] Friends, colleagues, precious audience, they say that art is as close to immortality as most could ever hope to achieve. Therefore, it is always coveted by the powerful and it is precious beyond measure to the creators who would see their visions realized. Tonight, our Circle of the Silver Screen have reminded us of a vicious truth. Art demands sacrifice, and all that raw material has to come from somewhere. And now, may I reintroduce to you as Lester Shaw, Matthew Mercer. [cheering] [laughter] As Evelyn White, Laura Bailey. Oh! [cheering] Really, a true pleasure! As Chey Tanii, Khary Payton. [cheering] As Jackie Renoux, Marisha Ray. Woo! [cheering] And much love for our Game Master, Spenser Starke. [cheering] [clapping] Take a bow. Take a bow, everyone. [cheering] That was fun. All right. Oh! Good night! [cheering]

"The Menagerie Returns!"
"Candela Obscura Live"