Transcript:Fire and Ruin

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Pre-show[edit source]

BRENNAN: Hello, one and all and welcome back to Exandria Unlimited: Calamity. (cheering)

BRENNAN: I'm your humble GM, Brennan Lee Mulligan. You wouldn't believe what just got said right before we showed up on camera. But you know what? We'll save that for maybe some BTS, I don't know. You can all find out later, maybe when I do my little takeover.

MARISHA: It dies with us.

BRENNAN: "It dies with us." The secret dies with us. Folks, if you're tuning in, this is the fourth and final episode of Exandria Unlimited: Calamity.

LOU: AKA the fun one.

BRENNAN: The fun one. (laughter)

BRENNAN: A return to an Age of Arcanum and that age is ending. Here in the world of Exandria, you have been kind enough to follow us for our first three episodes. You know that things are looking grim for the Ring of Brass.

AABRIA: Are they?

BRENNAN: It is a true pleasure, honor, and joy to play at the table with all of these six amazing people. It is a pleasure, joy, and honor to play this game and share it with all of you at home. Thank you for watching. This is a story of tragedy, loss, and betrayal. We hope that you know that within those tales of woe, those grim tidings, we tell this story for a love of stories and for all of y'all at home so thank you very much for watching.

AABRIA: He's buttering you up.

BRENNAN: I'm buttering you up because I'm about to make you quite sad. (laughter)

BRENNAN: With that, we'll throw to Marisha Ray.

AABRIA: Ow!

MARISHA: Oh boy. I'm nauseous, but I've got announcements. (laughter)

MARISHA: Get ready because, next week, we have a very special one-shot, A Familiar Problem: Sprinkle's Incredible Journey. (awwing)

MARISHA: Totally the complete opposite end of the spectrum of what this is going to be--

BRENNAN: What a tone shift.

MARISHA: So if you want-- (laughter)

MARISHA: If you want a palette cleanser after this, it should rest on your palette like a nice, fresh sorbet.

BRENNAN: Ooh!

MARISHA: Our animal adventures will include both Critical Role favorites that you'll recognize, as well as totally new creatures played by our own Laura Bailey, Matt Mercer, Travis Willingham. (cheering)

MARISHA: Alongside our wonderful guests, Isabella Roland, and Heidi N Closet. (cheering)

LOU: Double whoa!

MARISHA: This incredible journey will air Thursday, June 23rd, at 7:00pm Pacific on Twitch and YouTube. The Familiar Problem one-page RPG designed by myself and Grant Howitt will-- (fingers snapping)

MARISHA: Yes, yes, yes, will be available from your friendly local game stores participating in Free RPG Day on June 25th. You can learn more at Darringtonpress.com.

TRAVIS: (whispering) Darringtonpress.com.

LOU: Darringtonpress.com.

MARISHA: (snaps)

SAM: Oh, there's more.

MARISHA: Also, it's DMed by me. Did I say that?

TRAVIS: Whoa! (cheering, screaming)

MARISHA: I'm running the game. (cheering)

MARISHA: This was in this announcements. GMed by me.

AABRIA: Hell yeah.

LOU: Yes!

AABRIA: Let's go.

MARISHA: Damn it!

LOU: Yes! Yes!

AABRIA: (tongue trills)

MARISHA: Beyond that, this is a friendly reminder that Critical Role Campaign 3 will return on June 30th, which is the last Thursday of the month. So we will see you back then.

SAM: Good announcements.

MARISHA: Okay, Brennan. Murder us all.

TRAVIS: Hey, hey, hey!

AABRIA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: Well, listen. I don't plan to murder all of you because I think some of you may murder one another. Hey!

TRAVIS: Oh!

BRENNAN: We're having a fun time.

AABRIA: Is that okay?

BRENNAN: I don't even know.

TRAVIS: Don't act surprised. (laughter)

AABRIA: Don't! I will act surprised.

LOU: What the fuck? (laughter)

TRAVIS: What is--

BRENNAN: Betrayal, murder, ruin, the ending of an age. A tragedy of calamitous proportions.

TRAVIS: Oh man.

MARISHA: Ugh.

BRENNAN: With all of that said, steady yourselves for the ending of the tale to come on tonight's episode of Critical Role.

(ominous music)

(dramatic music)

Part I[edit source]

LOU: Let's go to Calamity! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Hey, gang. (laughter)

AABRIA: Hey, Brennan.

TRAVIS: Don't look at him! Don't look at him! Avert your eyes!

LOU: Don't look at him.

MARISHA: He won't call on us.

LOU: He can't start if--

MARISHA: Exactly!

BRENNAN: Get it out now. We haven't started yet. Get it out now.

AABRIA: Ooh!

SAM: We're all still there!

AABRIA: We're good, we're fine.

TRAVIS: Say we made it.

LUIS: It hurts me to play this today.

BRENNAN: Fire. (exclaiming)

BRENNAN: Everything feels slow. There is movement and there is heat. But the only noise you can hear, despite all this chaos, is breath. It's yours. But it's also a stranger's. Things are expanding once again, Zerxus. Fire moving outward, fast at first, and then slow, as though through glass time. Near you in space is your oldest friend, Nydas, and the oldest friend of your husband Evandrin, Laerryn. All of you are suspended in time. The beginnings of a force more powerful than you have ever felt are starting to pick you up off the stone floor like paper dolls. Before you, the sundered Tree of Names is erupting into fire, and your companions, Patia and Loquatius, standing right next to it. You, in frozen time, will have a front row seat to see what happens to them.

SAM: Frozen in time?

AABRIA: What?

LOU: I'm going to throw up.

TRAVIS: Yep. (laughs) Just make sure you do it right in the middle of the room.

MARISHA: Yeah, that'd be good. We want the PTZ to capture it.

LOU: (retches) (laughter)

BRENNAN: The first thing we are going to resolve is the branches of the Tree of Names that struck out at each of you.

AABRIA: Ooh!

TRAVIS: We could just pretend like that didn't happen.

AABRIA: It didn't happen.

SAM: It's 1d6 plus two damage.

AABRIA: (laughs)

LOU and AABRIA: And he rolled a one.

MARISHA: Yeah. Falling off a phonebook.

BRENNAN: Patia, you take 17 points of damage.

LOU: That's how today's going to be?

BRENNAN: Loquatius, you take nine points of damage.

SAM: (grunts)

TRAVIS: Good reaction.

BRENNAN: The tree's branches, you see, Zerxus, one glances off of Quay's arm, the other one lands a more forceful blow right under Patia's clavicle, going into the very top of her torso.

SAM: And is inside of her?

BRENNAN: In the moment that those branches hit you, the limbs of the tree they are attached to are being rent asunder by fire. So all of this is happening in a fraction of a fraction of a moment.

LOU: A fraction? So you're telling me we've got 0.3 seconds of the actual time?

TRAVIS: You've done the (blip). (laughter)

TRAVIS: That's the sound.

BRENNAN: I'm going to need--

TRAVIS: (blip)

BRENNAN: -- a constitution saving throw from Patia. Unusually, Patia, you want to fail this. I'll let you know that the DC is only an 18, but you want to fail.

LOU: Come on, Patia! Fuck this up.

TRAVIS: Yeah, fuck this up, Patia.

LOU: Fuck this up, Patia!

TRAVIS: Trash roll!

SAM: Eat shit!

LOU: Yes!

MARISHA: I rolled a three.

TRAVIS: Plus?

MARISHA: Five, for an eight.

AABRIA: Woo!

LOU: There it is.

MARISHA: Why do I want to--

LOU: Failure!

MARISHA: -- fail this?

TRAVIS: The devil is a liar. (laughter)

AABRIA: That sent me way back.

LOU: I'm going to explode. We haven't gone one second into the session.

BRENNAN: No. No, no, no. We're resolving everything that happens in response to the Tree of Names being destroyed.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we're in the zero zero point territory.

LUIS: Wow.

TRAVIS: Still looking for that one.

LOU: Still looking for that one. On the hunt for the one.

TRAVIS: On the hunt.

BRENNAN: Patia, incredibly--

LOU: I love you, Patia. Thank you.

BRENNAN: 25, 30. Two. 39 points of damage. I want to ask you, your arm, touching the tree, are you weakest, do you feel, at the elbow or the shoulder?

AABRIA: No! (laughter)

TRAVIS: What a question!

LOU: You got to cut this shit out, man.

TRAVIS: He's all Hannibal. It's all Hannibal time.

MARISHA: At the elbow or the shoulder. I imagine, after decades of fantastic posture, the elbow?

BRENNAN: Thankfully, you failed your constitution save so your arm severs at the elbow joint as the blast throws you away, so you are not pinned to the tree and have some chance of surviving what is to come.

MARISHA: (squeaks)

BRENNAN: You watch, Zerxus, as you are being lifted up, the arm, partially fused to the Tree of Names, pulls and pulls and pulls Patia's slender elven frame. It's too slow. You can only hear your own breath, so you do not hear the (wet popping) pop of the joint coming apart and the ripping of sinew, muscle, and skin as Patia leaves her right arm from below the elbow in the tree as she and Loquatius are being blasted backwards.

LUIS: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: It is at this time that you feel some of the spell effects reaching you and Laerryn and Nydas as well. As they are reaching you, and I say spell effects. It would it be more accurate to say magical effects.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

AABRIA: Okay.

BRENNAN: You still feel a Protection from Good and Evil on you, which may give you some ability to resist certain things.

LOU: Just so we can get it out of the way, are we within 10 feet of him?

BRENNAN: Yes, you are.

AABRIA: Oh, good. (laughter)

AABRIA: Love you!

LUIS: This is going to be a big one.

AABRIA: A king! An icon! A good question.

BRENNAN: So now, we're going to pause here, unfortunately.

TRAVIS: Take a break?

BRENNAN: We're going to take a little break.

LOU: Yeah, that was a lot.

AABRIA: I do have to pee. (laughter)

BRENNAN: We're going to pause here. Where's Patia at currently, hit point-wise?

MARISHA: 49.

AABRIA: (gasps)

BRENNAN: What is going to happen now is we're actually going to do a fair amount of dice rolling.

AABRIA: Oh god!

BRENNAN: For all of you.

LOU: And we're still under one second?

BRENNAN: We're still under one second, correct.

LOU: Perfectly in place.

TRAVIS: Just saying, only one person picked Patia for the best one.

BRENNAN: We are resolving a number of simultaneous magical effects, so this is a longer version of rolling damage for Fireball.

SAM: Okay.

AABRIA: Cool.

LOU: Wow!

AABRIA: Where are you right now?

TRAVIS: Safe! (laughter)

MARISHA: Oh my god! I forgot you're not here.

BRENNAN: Cerrit, not here. Cerrit fully bounced.

TRAVIS: I'm picking up a faint signal and it's real funky. (laughter)

LOU: Is the bond still up?

TRAVIS: Yeah. The bond's up and I hear--

LOU: Did he hear that?

TRAVIS: (screaming)

LOU: Did he hear that? We don't, but he does.

MARISHA: Hears mental screams.

BRENNAN: So real quick, what I need everyone here to do is to go over your magical items. I'm going to need you, for each of your magical items, I'm going to need you to roll a wisdom save using your wisdom saving throw. I'll tell you again right here that for each magical item, you're trying to hit a DC 23.

AABRIA: What?

MARISHA: 23?

BRENNAN: A DC 23.

SAM: Or they go away.

BRENNAN: Wisdom saving throw. Let me know each item that fails. Luis, you do not need to roll for your Holy Avenger.

AABRIA: Motherfucker!

LUIS: Oh, I don't?

LOU: Well, I'm glad.

TRAVIS: Thank you, platinum.

LUIS: Everything else I do.

MARISHA: Okay.

LUIS: Who's within 10 feet of me?

AABRIA: Me!

BRENNAN: Laerryn, Nydas, not Dweomer, not Quay or Patia.

SAM: This is wisdom save?

BRENNAN: These are wisdom saves. Roll them for each magic item you have and let me know which magic items you did not hit that 23 for.

SAM: I will fail for all of these.

LUIS: You two--

AABRIA: What?

SAM: I will. I would have to hit a 20.

BRENNAN: You'd have to hit a 20?

SAM: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Let's roll.

LOU: I also-- Well, what do I get from you?

LUIS: You get a plus five from me and you get to roll with advantage against magical effects.

AABRIA: Do I get a plus five from him?

LUIS: Because of my holy--

BRENNAN: No.

LUIS: You're not within 10 feet.

LOU: So I get a plus eight and I have advantage?

BRENNAN: Uh-huh.

LOU: I love you, you motherfucker!

LUIS: Only if you're an ally.

AABRIA: So important question.

BRENNAN: We covered that. You are all, everyone, yes.

SAM: Oh.

AABRIA: Did it change in a third of a second?

LUIS: No, but you definitely feel something in your direction that's questioning your loyalty and questioning your friendship, and in spite of all of it, you feel this surge of energy emboldening you and you absolutely get those benefits.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: 23, you said?

BRENNAN: DC 23 wisdom saves. You're rolling for every magical item that you have.

LOU: And it's 23?

BRENNAN: DC is 23.

LOU: First one's a 22.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LUIS: Oh my god!

BRENNAN: Are you all done?

MARISHA: I'm all done.

BRENNAN: Okay, let's go through one by one and you tell me any items that failed that saving throw.

MARISHA: Okay, I rolled a 17, plus 10 for my Staff of Power, a 13 plus 10 for my Ring of Protection and a three for my Ring of Mind Shielding. So my Ring of Mind Shielding fails.

BRENNAN: Patia, you immediately take 26 points of force damage as your Ring of Mind Shielding blasts three fingers off your other hand and scatters all of the spells that it has protected you from, scrying spells, spiral into your mind all at once as the force damage begins to shred your ability to remember, your ability to-- You also are still processing the Legend Lore that you just learned. All the secret names of the tree that has been protecting Exandria for 292 years. But you take 26 points of force damage from your Ring of Mind Shielding, which is gone, dis-animated and destroyed in a blast of magic.

MARISHA: I would say, especially with it being the Ring of Mind Shielding and the mental strain that Cerrit would probably absolutely, as well as everybody else, hear this bloodcurdling (screaming) as she experiences an immense amount of trauma in a second.

BRENNAN: With that, the main explosion is pushing you backwards. This twists you off to the side. You are now twisting almost to the limit of your body's capacity to move safely as you are being pushed through the air. I'm going to say the images of the Legend Lore are transmitted across the telepathic bond to everybody. So in this moment, everybody suddenly sees the truth of the Tree of Names as Patia saw it, that knowledge. As the mind shielding goes, the dams of control and restraint you've had up your whole life are rent apart. Who here has their full list of magical items completed?

SAM: I do.

BRENNAN: All right. Quay.

SAM: I lost my Ring of Protection.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: I lost my Shiftweave clothing. (laughs)

AABRIA: God.

SAM: And I lost my tubes that--

AABRIA: Your tubes!

SAM: -- send messages to people and things.

LOU: What are you--

SAM: However, I did roll a natural 20.

BRENNAN: For what? For which one?

SAM: For the thing that she gave me. (gasps)

BRENNAN: Oh my god.

SAM: I don't know what that is.

BRENNAN: It's a piece of Ether. It's a pure spell slot. It's a piece of worked Ether. Unbelievable.

TRAVIS: Oh no. That's too pure.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Your feels.

BRENNAN: We're going to roll these one at a time. Quay, you take 26 damage as the Pneumatic Missives-- Yes?

AABRIA: Is there any moment for me to try to throw my Arcane Ward around him?

BRENNAN: Do you have a reaction available to you?

AABRIA: From last time, I don't remember if it's reset.

BRENNAN: I will say in this case, yes, you can throw your Arcade Ward over Quay.

AABRIA: Cool. Yeah.

TRAVIS: I don't remember.

BRENNAN: You do. Yes.

AABRIA: Sweet.

BRENNAN: So Zerxus, as you're watching you see that it's so fast. Normally, you can't see it because time is not moving this slowly, but Laerryn, what does it look like as you extend your Arcane Ward in the slowest of time to Quay?

AABRIA: What you see is a gold, translucent version of her get up from where she's on the ground and sprint and cover him.

TRAVIS: Sick!

SAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: Sick!

SAM: Cool.

BRENNAN: It (sparking) moves through time flashing forward, and... as the Pneumatic Missives go, you take 26 points of damage, force damage. As your Shiftweave garments go, you take another 23.

TRAVIS: Oh.

BRENNAN: Then on the last one, which is your Ring of Protection, you take 18.

AABRIA: The Arcane Ward will take 33 of those and is gone.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: So I get back 33 points?

BRENNAN: Yes.

AABRIA: Yeah, it absorbed it, it took it for you.

SAM: Wow.

BRENNAN: You all see--

SAM: Thanks to her, I'm at 43.

BRENNAN: Quay, what form are you? Are you wearing your true changeling form right now?

SAM: Yes, I would be in my true changeling form.

BRENNAN: All of you see that far more of Quay's artifacts are destroyed. The Ring of Protection, ironically, is the first to go. The Pneumatic Missives. Your gray fey body is in tatters. As the Shiftweave clothing goes, you are covered in hundreds or thousands of lacerations all over your body, and pure platinum white fey blood is beginning to scatter in time, but in the slowness of time, has not yet touched the floor.

LOU: Hundreds of thousands?

TRAVIS: Hundreds or thousands.

BRENNAN: Of lacerations.

SAM: Tiny, they're tiny.

BRENNAN: Hundreds or thousands of lacerations.

LOU: Okay. Not hundreds of thousands?

BRENNAN: Yes, yes.

SAM: It's like I fell off a motorcycle.

TRAVIS: Fiberglass ball.

AABRIA: Oh god.

LOU: Six digits?

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

BRENNAN: We are going to now get to the back row, Nydas.

LOU: Nydas, that's me. I--

TRAVIS: Don't tell him. Prolong it.

LOU: Defender Scimitar, success.

SAM: Huh!

LOU: The Ring of Protection, success.

TRAVIS: Damn.

AABRIA: Yes!

LOU: Bag of holding, failure.

TRAVIS: Oh.

LOU: And that's truly only because of my best friend.

AABRIA: Oh.

BRENNAN: You take-- 19, you take 26 points of force damage.

TRAVIS: Damn.

BRENNAN: You take 26 points of force damage as the bag of holding, which contains an enormous amount of wealth, explodes, and you feel magma-hot golden coins exploding out into your body. You feel the weight of them burning down through your innards.

TRAVIS: Like a landmine, like (explosion)

BRENNAN: Into your body.

TRAVIS: Like a Bouncing Betty, man.

LOU: Jesus Christ.

BRENNAN: Laerryn.

AABRIA: I only have two magic items. My All-Purpose Tool was a success, but my Ring of Masks for Sending failed.

TRAVIS: Where are you at?

LOU: What?

TRAVIS: How many hit points?

LOU: 112.

SAM: Oh, jesus, you're fine.

LOU: I did okay during the first fight, so--

BRENNAN: Laerryn takes 28 points of damage.

MARISHA: I did okay, too.

AABRIA: Is this spell damage or no?

BRENNAN: No.

AABRIA: Okay.

BRENNAN: This is force damage, though.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You see that your Ring of Masks shatters and you watch the shards of your colleagues' faces flying towards you, having concentrated on that ward, you now see unprotected shards of arcane glass and ceramics making their way towards your eyes, neck, and mouth. (nervous laughter)

LOU: Are we at a second yet?

BRENNAN: Nope. Nope.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: Nope, nope, nope. Hey, episode four, here we are.

LOU: Here we are.

TRAVIS: I mean, honestly I think you're taking it a little easy on them. (laughter)

MARISHA and AABRIA: Shut up. (laughter) TRAVIS ♪ I'm with my kids! ♪ ♪ Mm ♪

LOU: Can we take a break? Do some fun walkie talkie bits?

TRAVIS: ♪ I'm making some waffles ♪

BRENNAN: Okay.

AABRIA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: Zerxus, did any of your items fail their saving throws?

LUIS: So all of my magic items, right? My platemail plus two, my shield plus two, everything, everything, I failed my last roll, my shield.

BRENNAN: Your shield goes. Okay.

SAM: But you succeeded on everything except for--

LUIS: I succeeded on everything.

LOU: Okay. Thank god.

SAM: Except for the last one.

LUIS: I failed on the last one. I succeeded on everything.

LOU: I thought the opposite. Y'all are the opposite.

LUIS: Except my shield.

BRENNAN: Because you were rolling with advantage, correct?

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Cool. Good.

TRAVIS: Woo.

LUIS: I rolled a two and a three on my last roll.

BRENNAN: That's going to be 15, 27, 33 points of force damage to you as your shield (explosion).

LUIS: Mm, it's force, so I don't have resistance to it.

BRENNAN: No resistance to that. So you know, a huge percentage-- Again, when those things go, they don't just do damage to you, they are permanently gone, they are destroyed and disenchanted. You watch your shield buckle, warp, and split, and feel the warping metal stabbing in, pushing through your plate mail and feel it hitting your side. You look down, your eyes seeming to be able to move somewhat faster here, to take more of this in, in this moment. Everything else is being disenchanted and erupting, its magical energy erupting. By the way, the save on your staff of power, Patia, its retributive strike absolutely would've triggered, just probably destroying everybody in the room. So--

MARISHA: Meaning had it not--

BRENNAN: Had it not.

MARISHA: Oh. Okay.

BRENNAN: Had you not made the save on that, that was about to be-- I want you to know that you've just dodged a pretty remarkable bullet.

MARISHA: Yes. Yes.

BRENNAN: You look down--

MARISHA: Holding a nuke.

BRENNAN: -- everything is being hit and exploding. One of your magic items is not. Your Holy Avenger in its scabbard. You look down and as force is erupting from the opening seam of fire in the world, you see it does not erupt, it does not explode, it corrodes. It diminishes and rusts, and you have seen this same thing earlier today with a golden bow of one of the heaven's mightiest angels. Your sword is unmade and ruined in the presence of what now comes.

TRAVIS: I have chills on my back.

AABRIA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: On my back, guys.

BRENNAN: Okay, now we can deal with the fire.

AABRIA: Has it been a second yet?

LOU: Please tell me it's been a second.

MARISHA: Now we deal with the fire.

LOU: It would make me feel better if you just told me it's been one second.

TRAVIS: We just heard the (tick).

LOU: Exactly.

AABRIA: Oh.

BRENNAN: Okay. What is going to happen-- It has not been a second yet. I will say now it gets to almost approaching a second now. That all happens.

AABRIA: (laughs)

LOU: Thanks, man.

SAM: The airbags have deployed.

BRENNAN: I'm going to need everybody here--

AABRIA: I tense my fingers up more.

BRENNAN: I'm going to need everybody here, hold on, to go ahead for me and make dexterity saving throws. Patia and Loquatius will make this with disadvantage.

SAM: Dexterity saving throw.

LOU: Do we still have--

TRAVIS: Oh boy, Patia. Oh boy.

MARISHA: I ain't looking good.

LOU: But do we still have advantage?

LUIS: Is it a spell or magical effect?

BRENNAN: Magical effect, not a spell.

AABRIA: Not a spell?

LUIS: Then you have a-- Oh, wait.

SAM: Another natural 20.

AABRIA: Natural 20.

LUIS: No, we don't because the Holy Avenger's what grants advantage and it just went kaput.

TRAVIS: Two natural 20s in a row.

BRENNAN: Okay. So wait, sorry, sorry.

TRAVIS: Two natural 20s in a row. If we roll two more, we win.

BRENNAN: Yes. If you roll two more nat 20s, we do avert the Calamity.

TRAVIS: Four natural 20s in a row, we win. What did you roll?

SAM: It wasn't, it wasn't.

MARISHA: 10, so 16.

TRAVIS: Marisha!

MARISHA: I'm sorry. This is all my fault.

LOU: Well, now we know who's fault this shit is, okay?

TRAVIS: Way to go, Patia.

AABRIA: (groans)

BRENNAN: Okay. Incredible.

MARISHA: Just like my granddaddy--

LOU: No advantage.

LUIS: No advantage.

MARISHA: -- and my granddaddy before him.

LOU: But plus five.

BRENNAN: No advantage, but plus five, that's correct.

SAM: Disadvantage, I still got a 25.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

AABRIA: Let's go!

BRENNAN: Incredible.

MARISHA: Wow.

LUIS: Do you want to try me?

BRENNAN: Okay, so you were trying to hit a DC 23.

LUIS: Jesus. I'm not going to--

LOU: That's not it.

LUIS: Oh my god, I did.

SAM and AABRIA: (laugh)

LUIS: I did.

AABRIA: Yours is a plus five?

LUIS: It's a plus five because of my cloak.

AABRIA: Cool, I can't remember anything.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: What was the DC?

BRENNAN: The DC was 23.

AABRIA and TRAVIS: (laugh)

LOU: Any chance my dex has become a plus 20? (laughter) Is that part of the effect at all?

BRENNAN: Unfortunately, no, I'm afraid.

LOU: Great, then failure.

TRAVIS: Does the poop retracting within my body?

LOU: Yes. I'm more dexterous right now. Wait, how many dice is that, you fuck?

SAM: That's a lot of dice.

LOU: Hey, how many dice is that?

SAM: They're all d2s.

MARISHA: Oh, no.

LOU: d2s though? Two, two, two.

AABRIA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: 29.

AABRIA: Could just roll--

LOU: Hey, if it's more than 30, I'm going to call you a cheater. If it's more than 30, I'm going to call you a cheater, straight up.

BRENNAN: 30, 40.

LOU: Gary Gygax Jr.? I'd like to report a cheater.

AABRIA: You're snitching to his son?

SAM: This is Gary Gygax the Third.

LOU: Oh, okay, Gary. Hey, what's up?

SAM: Where my daddy?

LOU: Yeah, I know it's past your bed time. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Okay. Everyone here--

LOU: Takes 29.

BRENNAN: If you failed the dexterity save, if you fail the dexterity save, you take 71. (exclaiming)

BRENNAN: You take 71 points of fire damage.

AABRIA: He's going to say hit.

BRENNAN: If you succeed, it's halved to 35.

SAM: I'm still alive.

TRAVIS: Did you fail?

MARISHA: Night, night.

LOU: Why're you shaking it again?

SAM: She's gone.

BRENNAN: Because that's the fire damage.

LOU: I hate you.

SAM: Wait, there's more?!

BRENNAN: There's more.

SAM: Oh, I'm going down.

MARISHA: I am definitely out.

LUIS: How much was that damage?

MARISHA: Patia's body has been sundered.

SAM: Wait, like out, out? No. Just unconscious.

TRAVIS: Unconscious.

MARISHA: Unconscious.

SAM: Okay.

TRAVIS: It didn't knock you on your--

MARISHA: Not completely.

TRAVIS: Okay.

AABRIA: And we don't want to call this a spell?

TRAVIS: He's still going.

AABRIA: He's still going.

SAM: Can I Silvery Barbs this?

BRENNAN: 38, 46.

LOU: Wait. Can I also Silvery Barbs this?

MARISHA: Distract the fire.

LOU: Fire.

AABRIA: A tidal wave.

BRENNAN: 72 halved to 36 bludgeoning, but that's all the same effect.

SAM: What does that mean?

BRENNAN: So that means that the fire and the bludgeoning-- Because you're going to be dealing with death saving throws now. So in other words, if that wouldn't do double your hit points, which I don't believe it does or did you-- How much?

TRAVIS: Yeah, does 143 go over your hit points?

MARISHA: What was I at? I was at--

TRAVIS: You were at 23.

MARISHA: 23.

AABRIA: Yeah.

MARISHA: So what was it?

TRAVIS: 143.

LUIS: Total damage.

BRENNAN: What's your total hit points?

TRAVIS: If you fail.

MARISHA: My total hit points were 86, so I think that does.

AABRIA: Oh. Oh!

SAM: Oh no.

AABRIA: Oh!

TRAVIS: It does.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: In the eruption of fire as you twist, the blast hits Patia, and you can already see, Zerxus, that Patia head twists past the point that she can remain alive, as she is consumed in fire.

TRAVIS: (surprised wheezing)

BRENNAN: Patia is dead.

SAM: What!?

AABRIA: (screams)

LOU: Are we still under one second?

BRENNAN: We might be pushing 0.9.

AABRIA: No!

BRENNAN: 0.9. All of you--

SAM: I'm unconscious by the way. Because that was an additional 36 points?

BRENNAN: An additional 36 points, so you have fallen to zero?

SAM: Yes.

BRENNAN: Yes. But you made your save.

LOU: What's the total again?

BRENNAN: I believe it was--

AABRIA: 35 and 36.

TRAVIS: It's 143--

BRENNAN: If you made the save.

TRAVIS: 143 between both of them if you fail.

AABRIA: Yeah.

LOU: I'm down, but I'm not dead.

BRENNAN: Not dead. You are down. So unconscious, unconscious, dead. (wheezing laughter)

LUIS: It was 76--

BRENNAN: You both made your save, correct?

AABRIA: Yes.

TRAVIS: I'm so hot for you right now.

BRENNAN: So you guys, you both made it. So 76 damage to you both.

TRAVIS: This is great!

BRENNAN: Fire--

AABRIA: 71.

BRENNAN: The first one-- If you have resistances, first one was fire and the second one was bludgeoning.

SAM: Are you unconscious as well?

LUIS: I'm also unconscious.

MARISHA: I'm going to go make some popcorn.

BRENNAN: You're also unconscious? Okay.

AABRIA: Holy shit!

LOU: Wait, you're unconscious?

LUIS: I am.

LOU: Who's alive?

SAM: You two--

BRENNAN: Laerryn.

SAM: Wait, you're out.

LOU: I'm out. Yeah.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

SAM: So just these two are up.

BRENNAN: Now--

LOU: Do you have healing spells?

AABRIA: No!

TRAVIS: She's not going to use them!

AABRIA: I'm a full-ass wizard!

LUIS: We got healing potions on us.

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: I think they all burned up.

BRENNAN: I will say, this is the final save of this.

SAM: Wait, there's more saving?

BRENNAN: Final one.

TRAVIS: It's still one second.

BRENNAN: Both of you-- Actually, all three of our unconscious companions--

TRAVIS: You're going to be rolling.

BRENNAN: -- will automatically fail this saving throw. Laerryn, I'm going to need a strength saving throw.

TRAVIS: So if you fail, is that two death saves?

AABRIA: And I don't get the plus five? Does his corpse give me plus five?

BRENNAN: It will just be a single death save.

TRAVIS: Got it.

BRENNAN: Hmm?

AABRIA: Uh.

TRAVIS: (breathing heavily)

BRENNAN: What is that?

TRAVIS: It's real. It's right there.

BRENNAN: Is that a natural 20?

AABRIA and TRAVIS: It's a natural one.

LUIS and BRENNAN: A natural one.

AABRIA: I got a natural 20 on the last one and a natural one now.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: Wow.

TRAVIS: Well.

LUIS: Travis is feeling real good.

TRAVIS: Good thing I've got my wonder bat in the closet. I'll bring it.

LOU: Is that how it works?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

AABRIA: Hey, Brennan. Look at me.

BRENNAN: Yeah?

AABRIA: I need you to roll low.

LOU: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You have survived the explosion, this is the concussive wave, and you hitting the wall behind.

AABRIA: Is this a spell effect?

BRENNAN: No.

TRAVIS: No, this is physics.

BRENNAN: This is physics.

TRAVIS: (laughs) This is the (explosion).

LOU: You survived the spells only to be killed by science.

MARISHA: (laughs)

AABRIA: The irony.

LOU: The irony.

BRENNAN: this is a much lower damage throw. This is only 10d6.

TRAVIS: You padded the walls of the battery chamber, right?

LOU: Yeah. Is there moss?

TRAVIS: Yeah (laughs).

LOU: Just a shit ton of moss, right?

BRENNAN: 24.

LOU: Half damage for moss.

BRENNAN: 34, 37 points of damage.

AABRIA: I'm still up.

LOU: Oh, thank god.

TRAVIS: Saying that confidently.

LOU: The rest of us fail and take half damage.

BRENNAN: So Quay, Zerxus, Nydas, each fail a death save.

LUIS: Just the one, right?

BRENNAN: Just the one.

AABRIA: 22 HP.

LUIS: Yeah.

AABRIA: The only hit point that matters is the last one.

TRAVIS: That's all you need. That's all you need.

AABRIA: Holy shit.

LOU: That's all you need

SAM: Max Healing Word.

BRENNAN: Laerryn, you are thrown out past all of this. You leave the Calix. You're thrown through the door and feel yourself moving. Your companions intermittently start thudding into the walls behind you.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LOU: I keep forgetting.

BRENNAN: Time slows down. (inhaled whoosh) Zerxus. (low explosion) You feel a ripple. You've used your reaction for your Arcane Ward, Laerryn, but I will ask for an arcana check from you.

LOU: Want one from me?

AABRIA: 21.

BRENNAN: Time Stop. 9th-level spell coming through. You freeze. Now the time is no longer just slowed, because we're in bullet time. Now some thing is messing with time. You are locked out of it. Boom, you have no reaction. Zerxus, you regain three hit points. As you are moving through space, Zerxus, as you come back to-- I just want to go around and ask, as you are falling into states of unconsciousness and being thrown aside, what is the expression that Zerxus sees on the faces of those that fly through mid-air in this moment? We'll start with Nydas. What is happening to you as you sail towards the wall?

LOU: I think you see an expression of sadness. I think, in this moment, Nydas wanted the city to be great, and feels as if he's failed. This is his fault. He holds himself responsible for what is happening and his role in enabling it, and is saddened by the horror that has knocked him unconscious.

BRENNAN: Patia. The fire enveloping you, closest to the source of the blast. The last thing it leaves as you twist in midair is your face. What is the expression we see frozen on the rictus of Patia Por'co?

MARISHA: I think she processes all of the knowledge that she's just been flooded with. And in that instant realizes you can hold all the knowledge in the world. But if it dies with you, it doesn't matter.

LOU: Mm.

AABRIA: Oh.

MARISHA: You just see grim realization as blood trickles from her eyes.

BRENNAN: Quay, you see that expression closest of all as you feel some of Patia's ribs thudding into your own body. What is the expression that Loquatius wears on his face in this moment?

SAM: It's not one expression. His body and face is now liquid. Changing rapidly as he flies through the air. You see his face quickly morph between several different other faces. The face of Sylandrix Stoudethorn, the guy that I exposed many many years ago. The face of the reporter that I fired, Elena Tuvaris. The face of Cerrit briefly whips by. The face of Laerryn. And then finally the face-- it's not a face, it's the mask of the Matron of Ravens is the last one that you see cross over my face. It's a blank white mask and then I just fall unconscious.

BRENNAN: And Laerryn. You behold the ruined Calix. You see hunched at the foot of the broken fiery tree, having crawled through "(monstrous gasp)" Vespin Chloras. Long fiendish arms and a mask of pain and ruin on his face. You see images behind him, (whoosh) K'nauthi in the city. With the artifacts from Orwyn's office, having just completed the ritual to summon Vespin through. You see behind him, stepping into the world, a thing older and more evil than your vast intellect can comprehend. What is the expression Laerryn wears on her face in this moment?

AABRIA: Even though she sees all of that, from the moment he turned and Quay told me that he was afraid of what I was in this moment she never took her eyes off of him. So even with all this she's still staring at him and sobbing. It wasn't supposed to be like this.

BRENNAN: You behold the Calix, the ruined tree. So... So much ambition and greatness and pain and suffering. It shouldn't have been like this. It should not have been like this. And then time (whoosh) stops. Zerxus, you and you alone become aware that truly only you are left moving. You hear your breath (gasps), but your body is still flying. You're still headed for the wall. But something has restored you. Give me a perception check.

TRAVIS: (groans)

LOU: Oh!

AABRIA: (whispers) What the hell? Cool, cool, cool.

SAM: This perception check will decide our fate.

AABRIA: Where were you and your handaxes when we needed you most?

LOU: Nat one, doesn't see a thing.

SAM: Yeah, it's like there's a case of healing potions right there.

AABRIA: (laughs)

SAM: I missed it.

AABRIA: (laughs)

LOU: What's going on with this tree?

LUIS: 14. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Up above the tree is expanding, it's destroyed utterly, but it is expanding and moving. It was already-- The Blight was the finishing stroke on it. It had done-- The Tithe had already been shorted. The energy to it had already been cut off. There was a weakness in it already. The Calix needed so much energy to function, and the Blight was almost just pushing it over the edge and it (whooshes) went. You see branches moving, none of them near you, but they are moving in the direction of you moving fast. You see two things. One spiraling off in the branches, small, translucent, blinking light. (thwips) It blinks to you once every 30 seconds, once a minute. Then you see in the fiery seam before you, a foot has stepped through. If it can be called that, a thing of shadow and flame. A massive cloven hoof of a being that is both the size of a man, but also 20 feet tall, but also as tall as the sky itself and you cannot tell as you look at it because this thing is realer than your reality. You look up and see the thing trying to enter the world. The thing that "(snorts) It is good to be home." You look up into the fire and you see a heart, and within that fiery heart you see a writhing humanoid figure calling out and screaming, horned. But for a moment the face is golden, like the bow of that solar. The horns fade into bright red hair.

LUIS: (whistles)

BRENNAN: And you see, "(pained grunt)," something tortured and in pain past the fiery seam. And you feel that there is something not of the flesh, but of the spirit that would allow you to reach out.

LUIS: I will.

BRENNAN: You turn?

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: In this moment, the tree, the light expanding, Vespin hunched, your friends moving, and the figure beyond the seam shrieking in pain. Where do you move the power of your spirit to?

LUIS: Oh my god. I've seen all of them land where they are. I've seen these shrieking, tormented creatures at the core of what looks like...

BRENNAN: The Lord of Hells, that this thing maybe has more than one form. There is some form within it that you can see that is in agony.

LUIS: Oh my god. I look at each of my companions and I see... Before this moment, the last thing that I had seen milliseconds ago was this figure, golden figure of Laerryn rushing towards Loquatius and trying to protect him. Then that getting shattered and their bodies breaking and snapping and falling. I want to go to them so bad because I know that I can help. I start to head... Oh fuck! All the answers are right in front of me in the fire. I go to the fire.

BRENNAN: You reach into the flame. (whooshes) You see, beginning to manifest, something like a hand, like your hand, but it is deep and ruby red. It reaches out and the fire does not burn it. It moves through, (whooshes) and you feel its connection to you, and you see the figure writhing in pain. That hand, you're still sailing through the air. The hand reaches what feels like an eternity away, miles and miles. Finally, your hand alights and you feel the burning hot skin of the figure in torment. That figure, the same size as you, almost small in the distance that you can see, turn to look, (pained gasps) as the hand touches and sees you. "(shudders) I'm scared."

LUIS: Don't be scared. Don't be scared. I'm here. I'm here. Come on. Come with me. Take my hand. Do you know me?

BRENNAN: Grasps your hand.

LUIS: I hold it as tight as I can.

BRENNAN: "Zerxus?"

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: "I promised you I'd never forget."

LUIS: I promised you I wouldn't either.

BRENNAN: "I'm dying here."

LUIS: No, you're not. I won't let you.

BRENNAN: "You can't come here. You'll die. This place is--"

LUIS: Then you come here!

BRENNAN: He looks at you--

LUIS: I pull him.

AABRIA: Does the Time Stop stop?

BRENNAN: Zerxus, you pull the true heart of the Lord of the Hells into Exandria. As it enters, you see this hand, this ruby red hand, he smiles and he moves through the seam. That massive form vanishes. The seam begins to close behind him. It's still there, the explosion is still happening in this moment, but he comes through and you see him floating. He's joining you, sailing through the air almost as though he hits the same buffet of explosion that you are in as this hand pulls him. You see as he comes through, shadows (gasps) begin to move through the door with him. You see your hand that is pulling him. He moves across the threshold and is in the world. That ruby red hand shines so brightly. You see the hand attached to a wrist, and the wrist to an arm, and the arm move all the way to your body and the wound that Xartaza, the devil, left in you. The hand is your blood, your blood issuing on a tendril from your body across the fiery seam. You see, in the exact same spot, that injury from the Lord of the Hells holding onto your hand of blood. As he moves into this world you see his face changes. He looks a lot like you. He moves and you see shadows moving into the space. You see Xartaza, the armored erinyes, walks though. She's smiling and weeping. You see your blood still on her sword. You see the Lord of the Hells. "(weeping laugh) Yes. Yes! (gasps) Yes!"

LUIS: I lay my hand on his chest.

BRENNAN: He puts a hand on yours. "Let's get ourselves cleaned up."

LUIS: What will become of me?

BRENNAN: "Who can say? You are an oracle. I would think that you would know yourself."

LUIS: Can I do something?

BRENNAN: Yeah. You are still moving through space slowly, but you can do something here in this moment.

LUIS: Holy shit.

BRENNAN: As you think of what to do, I'm going to plug my computer. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Lou is the physical manifestation of all of our emotions right now. He is being oppressed by this game.

LOU: All your dudes have red hair. All erinyes have red hair. I wish I had red hair. I wish I had red hair.

(laughter)

LOU: You'd save me.

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

BRENNAN: Zerxus.

LUIS: Yes.

LOU: Oh my god!

BRENNAN: You recognize this, whatever this is, the blood of the chosen, there's some connection here. You have been able to draw him into this world. He looks at you. He's also going to cure you for 40 points of damage.

AABRIA: Motherfucker.

LOU: What about the homie?

AABRIA: Yeah, can we have some for the homies? Will it resurrect shit? Little Revivify for the homie?

MARISHA: (cracks)

AABRIA and MARISHA: (laugh)

LUIS: Working on it.

TRAVIS: We know who that is.

MARISHA: All right.

LOU: Put his hands on your head. (cracks) There.

BRENNAN: You see, he looks at you and says, "Whatever you wish to happen can happen. What do you..."

LUIS: Has he completely stepped in?

BRENNAN: He's floating through the air being buffeted by the force of the explosion. You're just sailing weightlessly slowly through space right now.

TRAVIS: It's like (slow impact).

BRENNAN: But he's side by side with you. You're both horizontal and he's just gazing at you.

LUIS: Okay. My hand moves from his chest to his face. I just hold his face very gently, looking in his eyes, and I ask him. What do you remember? What do you remember of your existence before you found your way here?

BRENNAN: "Everything. I remember everything."

LUIS: Then tell me. I place my other hand on Evandrin's Name Stone. And touching his face very gently, I use Cleansing Touch, but powered by the stone.

BRENNAN: You use your Cleansing Touch, and you feel the portion of that Ceremony you were casting for-- the uncompleted Ceremony.

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: The Ceremony of Atonement that you were performing. In this moment you feel your Cleansing Touch that gives him the ability, I believe the wording of that ability is, someone's in a corrupted form, that it can release them from it. You can combine it with that Ceremony of Atonement--

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: -- in this moment.

LUIS: I'm doing everything I can to get him to what I believe is the purest him.

BRENNAN: Yeah. You move through and I believe he gets a saving throw. Correct?

LUIS: He does.

BRENNAN: You move a hand to him, and you see he goes, "I think you may be the most exceptional mortal I have ever known."

LOU: He's great.

BRENNAN: You begin to perform the Ceremony of Atonement. You go to cleanse him. He accepts your hand, and leans his face against your shoulder. As you sail through the air side-by-side, Xartaza smiles, Vespin hunched down by the tree, frozen in time as well. The spell should be working--

LUIS: Uh-huh.

BRENNAN: -- and it's not. And he looks at you and he can tell something is wrong. He's looking at you, wondering what's up.

LUIS: I know that it would've succeeded, and it should have succeeded?

BRENNAN: Mm-hm.

LUIS: Is that my understanding?

BRENNAN: Yeah, it should have. Yeah, absolutely.

LUIS: And he's confused?

BRENNAN: He's looking at you kind of confused. He's like, "Is something supposed to happen now?"

LUIS: I don't know.

BRENNAN: "What are you attempting to do?"

LUIS: I want you to remember. Like you said, you remember everything.

BRENNAN: "Yeah."

LUIS: I want you to remember who you were before--

BRENNAN: "Yes."

LUIS: -- before you came here. Before all of this. Do you remember?

BRENNAN: "I think I remember the nature of the Ceremony. This is a Ceremony of Atonement, correct?"

LUIS: Yeah. Uh-huh.

BRENNAN: "I see. I think I know what may be happening."

LUIS: What?

BRENNAN: "The Ritual of Evandrin, the resurrection, it didn't work because you tried to resurrect him, but he wasn't dead."

LUIS: Right.

BRENNAN: "You're trying to atone me and I didn't do anything wrong!"

AABRIA: Yes! (exclaiming)

BRENNAN: He stabs you through the heart. (exclaiming)

BRENNAN: "You want to know what I've always hated about mortals?" You feel his claws dig into the back--

LUIS: You're wrong! I lay a hand on him and I cast Remove Curse.

SAM: Oh god.

BRENNAN: He laughs uproariously.

LUIS: Look at me.

BRENNAN: "(laughs)"

LUIS: This is not who you are. This is not who you are!

BRENNAN: "Who am I?"

LUIS: You're not this!

AABRIA: (laughs)

LUIS: How have you forgotten? You think you know how you came here. You think you stumbled upon this place. Look at me. Look at me. I am the godless. I am a conduit of divinity that is far greater and more ancient than anything you have ever understood. Look at me. You didn't stumble upon this place, you and your kin. You were called here. We have always been here. You were wandering in the Abyss, lost. And we called you here, so that you can have a home. You didn't create anything. We have always been here. You came and you shaped. You took, and you shaped, and you changed, but you didn't create a thing. You're no god, you're a child. You are a child and you are lost. How do you not see that?

BRENNAN: "You have referred to yourself and your fellow mortals as our children. You are not our children. You are... a bad first draft."

AABRIA: Ooh. I like him more.

BRENNAN: "The first plan was to destroy this, to let you all fade into nothingness. That's not going to be how we do it this time. You think that you are a man of true belief, and that it is all these wizards around you that are humble. Who is the most proud man here? These ones who thought they would fly a city, or the man who thought he would teach me a lesson? The only difference between you and the Dawnfather is that the Dawnfather is a little more humble. Now I'll tell you why I spit on your forgiveness. I'll tell you why I loathe your redemption. To reach a hand down to somebody, they need to be beneath you! And I'm beneath nobody. You wanted to understand me. Then you should have accepted that I was right!" And he pulls the back of your head, and rips the skin off of your skull. (exclaiming)

TRAVIS: Oh my!

AABRIA: (screaming laughs)

TRAVIS: (laughs)

AABRIA: This is Dungeons & Dragons.

MARISHA: My skin is sticky.

SAM: You do have three hit points. Maybe you'll survive this.

TRAVIS: I mean, you and Vespin can be besties now.

LOU: Why are you always coming for this side of the table? Kill one of them. (laughter)

BRENNAN: You see--

LOU: There's a lot of wrath coming this way.

SAM: Cerrit's at 7-Eleven. I think I got exact change.

TRAVIS: Did your kids get your--

BRENNAN: Give me an insight check, if you would be so kind.

LUIS: Do I have a moment to do anything?

BRENNAN: You have a moment to do anything.

LUIS: Then I'm going to cast a spell.

BRENNAN: What do you cast?

LUIS: I'm going to cast Resilient Sphere on myself.

BRENNAN: Cool. He Counterspells it with a 9th-level spell slot, and smashes you into the floor and breaks your spine. (laughter) And he heals you again.

LOU: What?

AABRIA: He just keeps killing and bringing back.

MARISHA: He heals you again? He heals you again?

AABRIA: That is the coolest shit.

BRENNAN: He breaks your spine, heals you, raises you back up, casts Time Stop again. I just want to remind everybody--

AABRIA: Okay, really quick.

LOU: One second please.

AABRIA: Hey, really quick?

BRENNAN: Yeah.

AABRIA: When I get in between the Time Stops, buddy, just let a girl know, like, yep!

BRENNAN: No, no, he casts the second Time Stop in the first Time Stop.

AABRIA: Oh, okay.

TRAVIS: Oh, he stops through the Time Stop.

AABRIA: Okay.

TRAVIS: He stops in the Time Stop. He stops in the Time Stop. He double Time Stopped.

AABRIA: Brennan, can a bitch--

LOU: This man is a god.

AABRIA: Brennan, can bitch get a cake? We're getting Incepted right now.

LOU: Time Stop within a Time Stop.

BRENNAN: I fully hear you.

AABRIA: I love it. I love it.

BRENNAN: He brings you back. You see, he said, "In the vision in the Hall of Prophecy, you told me that you would help me confront those who did this to me. Wake up, Zerxus! You did this to me! You and your kin. You think my enemy are the Prime Deities? (spits) Those are my siblings! We were happy once together. We traveled here together. Has it never dawned on you that before the Schism, all was well between us? We came here to make something. And then, one of our puppets, one of our foolish paper dolls mattered so much to them that they threw us into the pit. You think that my quarrel is with them? No. All of you did something to them. You made them turn their back on us. My greatest heartbreak is that when I have collected every last mortal soul and all of my siblings into my pit, that I will only have eternity to punish them."

AABRIA: Oh god.

LUIS: (groans) So, I can die as many times as possible, and Tempus is still out there?

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

LUIS: And my telepathic link to Tempus remains.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: As this is happening, I'm just basically transferring all of this with some instructions to Tempus. Wait.

AABRIA: For sure, recent events--

TRAVIS: Right. (laughter)

LUIS: You're right. You're right. (laughter)

LOU: Right.

AABRIA: Oh yeah, you don't got lips no more.

BRENNAN: You speak to the Lord--

LUIS: Can I? I mean, can I?

BRENNAN: Yeah, absolutely.

LUIS: Because he'll heal me to just rip my face off again.

BRENNAN: I mean, this is his vision. Endless torment without death. This is what he is here to do.

AABRIA: Cool.

TRAVIS: Vespin's like, "Cool, right?" (laughter)

LOU: It's not that bad once you get used to it. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Rawr!

BRENNAN: No one Flintstones dinosaur my devil NPC. "It's a living!"

LOU: I'm laughing, but it's so dark.

AABRIA: I've never been more stressed in my entire actual--

LUIS: It's not even happening to you! It's happening to me right now!

BRENNAN: I know.

LUIS: Imagine how this is.

LOU: I-- I--

LUIS: You're next.

AABRIA: Does anyone want a gummy bear?

BRENNAN: Yes.

TRAVIS: I count the unconscious, dead--

SAM: Those are generic gummy bears.

TRAVIS: -- faceless, dead and alive, unconscious.

LUIS: Eat something.

TRAVIS: 22.

LOU: Yeah, can I have brandless gummy bears?

BRENNAN: So, you're giving that to Tempus, trying to tell him that something is wrong. You feel that leave.

LUIS: Mm-hmm.

BRENNAN: Give me an insight check, if you can.

LUIS: Oh my god.

LOU: This is fine. (laughter)

LUIS: I thought the other sessions were going to give me nightmares. 21.

BRENNAN: You look into his eyes and you see the Father of Lies. You see... It was so easy for him. And what you see is you have fought abominations and undead before. You have fought things that are of an alien need for destruction, cold unfeeling things that are anathema to life itself. And this is not the Lord of Hells. There is an infinite hatred behind his eyes. Purer than anything you can imagine. Perhaps at one point he wore a golden face.

LUIS: That's long gone.

BRENNAN: And behind his eyes, when they were of gold, this hatred lived. And you see in him that unlike the alien aberration or undead hatreds you have faced in the past, this is not beyond. It is something that each human has the gift of, because he doesn't just hate you, he hates everybody, and he doesn't hate them in an alien way. He wants them to know that they deserve it.

LUIS: I process all of that. And you just see... pity.

BRENNAN: He goes mad. As pity crosses your face, he looks at you and goes--

LUIS: You hate everything so purely. Oh, you poor thing. Look at how much you hate yourself.

BRENNAN: "You know what your fault is, Zerxus? Other than just being very trusting, you truly believe that you are above this all: this city that you will not call home, me, the gods. But I'm not the one who left my little son down in that city for all of my devils to find."

LOU: (snaps)

AABRIA: Double hit.

BRENNAN: "So I think you are going to make a very good champion for me."

MARISHA: (gasps)

BRENNAN: He twists your head around, snaps your neck. You've died for the third time in less than that many minutes. And he drops you to the ground and you are now stand-- You feel your spirit being released--

LUIS: (groans)

BRENNAN: -- from your mortal body.

LUIS: Uh-huh.

BRENNAN: And you see the Lord of Hells existing in this liminal space goes, "Sorry about your sword. I tend to have that effect, but the fact that you pity me doesn't spoil anything for me, because I think that you are my greatest champion, Zerxus. So, if you'd like to be back in the world," you see he grabs Xartaza, the erinyes, by the throat. She goes, "Ah, thank you." And he smashes her into the ground and you see a ruby headed, black iron encrusted mace crunch as she explodes in blood and there's armor everywhere. The top of the mace, almost like a black crown. The ruby glows with infernal fire in the head of the mace. And it rests there in this liminal space. "That's there for you to pick up if you want, Zerxus. But you know the cost you pay for it. But I won't force you. The afterlife awaits."

MARISHA: (coughs)

MARISHA: I'm trying to hold it in!

AABRIA: What're you doing?

MARISHA: (gravelly) I inhaled the water out of shock. I was trying to keep it down.

TRAVIS: That mace--

LUIS: I appreciate the expertness of that.

TRAVIS: Does the mace...

BRENNAN: The Mace of the Black Crown.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

SAM: What's that? Is that a thing?

AABRIA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that's a thing.

MARISHA: Oh shit! It's...

LUIS: Yeah. Is it my spirit or my body that has agency right now?

BRENNAN: It is now your spirit that has agency. You see that the Lord of the Hells is exiting. He leaves this infernal mace in front of your spirit. You feel in a liminal-- you feel the pull of the afterlife. Your dead body has let your spirit go. But there is this gleaming infernal artifact before you.

LUIS: Okay. Oh my god. I'd like to try--

MARISHA: I'm sweating so much.

LUIS: -- probably too many things.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: So it's my spirit that has the agency. My body has just crumpled on the floor.

BRENNAN: Yes, correct.

LUIS: I reach out and I try to grab the Name Stone. Can I touch and grab anything?

BRENNAN: The Name Stone, its spirit is with you, too. And it rests on your chest. Yours and Evandrin's.

LUIS: Both of our Name Stones are on my chest?

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: Do you touch Evandrin's Name Stone?

LUIS: Yes!

BRENNAN: You hear in your heart, "Darling, no." And we will move from there. (screaming)

LOU: Wait, real talk, did we do one second of actual time in that space?

AABRIA: I don't think we hit a second.

LOU: It feels like we aged.

TRAVIS: Give me the tick, Brennan!

MARISHA: Flames on the side of my face.

LOU: Did we honestly do one second of actual time?

BRENNAN: Okay, now--

TRAVIS: We're at 0.00.55.

BRENNAN: Now that we come back, tick.

AABRIA: (screams)

TRAVIS: (screams) We're on one second!

LUIS: You asshole!

BRENNAN: Woo, baby!

LOU: You killed two PCs in less than one second.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LOU: That might be a record. Hey. Hey, Gary? Gary Gygax III?

SAM: This is me, yeah, hi!

LOU: Yeah, okay. I want you to know a DM just set the record--

LUIS: Oh my god.

LOU: -- for most PC death in under one minute.

SAM: I'm three years old.

TRAVIS: There's only one. There's only one of you dead. Well, unclear.

SAM: He killed Zerxus three times.

LUIS: I know, does it count as three different PCs?

TRAVIS: Quote, "dead."

BRENNAN: Okay.

LUIS: I need some of that sugar.

TRAVIS: You got marionetted, man.

LOU: Yeah, dude.

AABRIA: God, dude.

LOU: That was butt nasty, dog.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

AABRIA: This is why we don't trust dick.

TRAVIS: I don't...

AABRIA: Yeah, go ahead.

TRAVIS: You know that dream where you fall off the mountain and you're like, "Oh, I'll wake up," and you're like, ba-bam! "Oh, I'll wake up," ba-bam! "I'll wake up!" (bam) (laughter)

LOU: Yeah, this is where you're like--

TRAVIS: Why am I still falling?!

LOU: Wake up!

AABRIA: Yeah, back up.

LOU: This is the nightmare.

BRENNAN: Hey, episode four of Calamity.

LUIS: Hell yeah, baby.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah, baby.

LOU: I really thought you were going to just straight up give us damage and then be like, "He's here," and he's going to wave to us and then he leaves and then we're going to move on.

AABRIA: Yeah, yeah.

BRENNAN: No, no, no, no.

LOU: No, no.

BRENNAN: Yes--

LOU: That man ripped the skin off his face.

BRENNAN: Check out the Mace of the Black Crown.

AABRIA: Yeah, it's a whole-ass--

TRAVIS: It's a famous artifact.

AABRIA: -- actual-ass, badass thing.

BRENNAN: It's one of the Arms of the Betrayers, yes, exactly.

MARISHA: Arms of the Betrayers.

LUIS: So now we go to--

AABRIA: Seems fun.

BRENNAN: You may remove your Holy Avenger and add the Mace of the Black Crown to your inventory.

SAM: If you so choose.

BRENNAN: If you so choose! If you choose to accept, so maybe not yet.

LUIS: I don't know.

SAM: It's been a second.

BRENNAN: It's been a second.

LUIS: I'll wait for the other half a second.

TRAVIS: We've only read the books about it, so just think about it.

BRENNAN: Cool. Amazing. So. Whoo! Boy oh boy.

LOU: Is that her tail?

LUIS: Damn.

BRENNAN: We return. Two of you are making death saves. And Laerryn, you hit the wall. How many hit points do you have right now?

AABRIA: 22.

BRENNAN: 22. Laerryn, you hit the wall and drop. You may act at any time, but you also are aware as you hit the wall, that time has returned. So, boom! (crashes) Nydas, Quay, and Patia all hit the wall. Zerxus does as well. You could roll a medicine check to see who's dead and who's unconscious.

AABRIA: Yeah, I see four cor-- I see four--

BRENNAN: Bodies.

AABRIA: Effective corpses. How far away is Quay? From me.

LUIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: You got blown back through the door, so I think you're probably 40 feet back.

AABRIA: From him?

BRENNAN: From Quay. And then there's another probably 30 feet to the center of the chamber where you see... It's hard to look at him. First of all, there's heat waves all around him, like on a hot day. But he's also just impossible to behold, but you see something that your mind registers as a figure cloaked in red, about 12 feet tall, looking down at Vespin. You see the Lord of the Hells speaking to Vespin Chloras and you can hear what he is saying in this moment, but...

AABRIA: He's 70 feet away.

BRENNAN: 70 feet away, yes.

AABRIA: And I know how far Counterspell works.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

AABRIA: But you're too far, and they're all bodies. I Dimension Door away.

BRENNAN: (snaps) You Dimension Door away.

SAM: I'm still alive.

TRAVIS: Let's go.

AABRIA: You're already dead.

TRAVIS: Let's stretch it out. Let's go!

AABRIA: You're already dead.

SAM: You're leaving me.

AABRIA: You're already dead!

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: Just like always.

AABRIA: (groans)

MARISHA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: You Dimension Door away. As you do, as you Dimension Door to a secret private sanctum that you know about, you see a screen. (static, popping) A light in the room that you are in. From prone on the floor, being kind of (sparking) Glitching and static-ing, is a feed from Dweomer, whose body is on the ground. She might still be partially active but she is just flat and still on the ground, showing you an image of what is happening in that room. You hear them talking. Do you speak Infernal?

AABRIA: No.

BRENNAN: Okay, copy that.

AABRIA: I have Tongues!

BRENNAN: You have Tongues?

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Do you want to cast Tongues? (laughter)

LUIS: Not again!

AABRIA: I do. I'm out of 3rd-level spells. I'm running out of everything.

BRENNAN: You cast Tongues. You see Lord of the Hells looking down at Vespin Chloras and saying, "Hollow, Phren, Lightbreaker, Cormorant. Get them all in position." (Vespin) "(shrieks)" Vespin sort of crouches and squeals and you see that the Lord of the Hells smashes him in the face with a hand and he scatters to the ground and says, "All dead? Well, mortals are as disappointing as ever, I suppose. Have the K'nauthi all activated their runes? Very good." And you see that he is surrounded by motes of fire for a second. You see images of K'nauthi all around the city in hiding with those runes that were ceremonially cut with blood. The Lord of the Hells touches his forehead and all of those runes (energy flare) light. The K'nauthi begin to burn and immolate, and from their burning chests, full devils begin to crawl into the world.

SAM: Oh god.

BRENNAN: All over Avalir.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

AABRIA: The reason I ran, because Rary's Telepathic Bond is still up.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

AABRIA: And I am live-feeding this to the last person that's still up and can do something about this.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

AABRIA: So you know everything we know.

BRENNAN: I'm going to ask for death saves from Loquatius and Nydas.

LOU: How many?

BRENNAN: Well, you have one failed one. So you're just going to give me one for right now. We're going to bend time a little bit here.

AABRIA: I'm so--

TRAVIS: I'm sorry!

SAM: I can't see.

AABRIA: I'm sorry!

SAM: That's a six.

BRENNAN: That's your second failure, Quay.

LOU: You know, I've--

TRAVIS: Come on, big dog.

AABRIA: Natural 20. Back with one.

MARISHA: Yeah, pop back up, pop back up!

TRAVIS: Act as if.

MARISHA: Come on.

AABRIA: Come on, come on.

TRAVIS: Manifest, manifest!

MARISHA: Oh, thank god.

LOU: That is a 16.

AABRIA: Okay.

BRENNAN: Success and failure for Nydas.

TRAVIS: Success and failure?

BRENNAN: One success--

ALL: One failure.

TRAVIS: Right, right.

LOU: (groans)

BRENNAN: You see--

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LOU: This is crazy.

MARISHA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: My head hurts again.

AABRIA: You're not even down there.

TRAVIS: I know.

BRENNAN: You see--

TRAVIS: I don't want to--

BRENNAN: -- that the Lord of Hells, Vespin looks up and snarls something up at the Lord of the Hells. And you see the Lord of the Hells goes, "(laughs) You're telling me that the God of Death is a... mortal? (laughs) (shouts) I hate to say I told you so!" Vespin slinks away from that. He says, "Well, I cannot wait to meet this Matron of Ravens. To think, if they had just listened to us and not given magic to them, my sibling whose name I can no longer remember might still be here."

TRAVIS: Oh man. Oh man.

BRENNAN: You see that-- He then moves forward and says, "Vespin, you know what you must do. Prepare the gateway for the Emperor and Empress. They must join us before sunrise in Vasselheim."

TRAVIS: Oh, the fucking--

LUIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

BRENNAN: Vespin goes (shrieks) and the Lord of the Hells says, "The Primordials can handle Avalir. My business takes me to Vasselheim tonight." He smiles. (whooshing) Opens a door and says, "The Emperor and Empress. Get it done, Vespin." Opens a door, and you see for the first time, the towers of Ghor Dranas. Newly built by the powers of the Betrayers. He walks through and you see (deep snarling) The second form of a hulking Betrayer. The Lord of the Hells steps through this gate and goes, "Brother! (laughs) Great Ruiner. If you're not busy, I was thinking we might go and destroy the Dawn City together. Does that sound like a good time?" And the door begins to close behind him and he says, "I have some interesting help from some old allies of ours." And the door closes.

TRAVIS: Primordials.

BRENNAN: So.

TRAVIS: What are you talking about? (laughter)

BRENNAN: "What are you talking about?"

TRAVIS: I feel like we're in Cloverfield.

AABRIA: Yeah!

TRAVIS: It's just fucked.

MARISHA: And all you can see is just--

TRAVIS: You got a camera, you're like, cool, any day.

BRNENAN: Okay. I will ask for another set of death saves from Loquatius and--

LOU: Do you have two?

BRENNAN: No, he has two failures.

SAM: Yeah. Can I inspire myself?

BRENNAN: Unfortunately, no.

LOU: Can my dead body...

BRENNAN: Unfortunately, no.

TRAVIS: Give him a little look?

AABRIA: Yeah.

LOU: Yeah, just a wink. (groans)

SAM: Don't worry. My wife will be right here to get us. (exclaiming)

TRAVIS: You make your choices!

LOU: Get those last couple of seconds. I saw that telepathic--

SAM: 'Til death do us part.

LOU: Yeah, of course, yeah.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: You got it, buddy, you got it. Look, easy peasy.

SAM: That's another six.

LUIS: Oh my god!

SAM: Six, six, six.

LUIS: Damn.

AABRIA: Shut up! Shut up!

MARISHA: Oh my god! No fucking way!

SAM and LUIS: It's a six.

TRAVIS: Oh, okay.

BRENNAN: Covered in lacerations, the last of your blood leaves your body and you are dead.

LUIS: Fuck.

SAM: Can I just, for flair--

BRENNAN: Yeah.

SAM: His changeling body continues to morph and change and his nakedness, his penis just changes shape into all kinds of different animal shapes.

AABRIA: Okay.

SAM: It becomes a duck penis for a second.

LUIS: Oh no.

SAM: It becomes a cow penis. Just crazy, just crazy.

TRAVIS: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

LOU: That doesn't give me advantage on my saving throw, right?

SAM: I want to sully this. I want to sully this whole image that you've painstakingly--

BRENNAN: For sure, for sure.

SAM: -- painted with a bunch of dicks.

BRENNAN: With a bunch of dicks. What did Nydas get? Oh, we're finding out right now.

TRAVIS: Come on, bud.

MARISHA: Natural 20.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LOU: That's 15.

BRENNAN: Two successes, one failure.

AABRIA: Okay, okay, okay.

TRAVIS: ♪ Staying alive, staying alive ♪

BRENNAN: I know that we have seen a lot of conversation. I just want to say, for our purposes, this is the second round. Even though there's been conversation and lots of stuff happening, time is a little wibbly-wobbly here. This is the second round since everything happened. We are going to...

AABRIA: Hey Brennan, do I know? Do I feel it? That he's gone?

BRENNAN: You do.

LUIS: Oh my.

AABRIA: Okay.

SAM: Hey, did that stone that you gave me happen to have any sort of spell in it?

AABRIA: It was spell energy. Could it have given him advantage or something?

BRENNAN: No.

SAM: (laughs)

AABRIA: Okay.

LOU: I don't think I've ever heard you be mean.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

SAM: As he fades away--

LUIS: This is the true betrayal.

LOU: Yeah, right?

LUIS: The true betrayal that we're experiencing.

SAM: The last phallic shape that you see looks exactly like Brennan. (laughter)

BRENNAN: People think I'm nice, but really I just conform to the genre.

LUIS: I love it.

BRENNAN: Here we go.

AABRIA: Laerryn's screams fill whatever secret hallway she's in.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: We move towards--

TRAVIS: Don't come over here.

BRENNAN: No, we move to you flying over the city. It is now about 4:00am. Even the sounds of revelry have largely diminished, such that the noises of explosions and screams that begin going through the city, you fly and begin to see fire starting in various neighborhoods. People are beginning to scream. You fly over Excelsior Plaza and see people rushing to a porter's dais, a teleportation dais. As people start screaming, seeing devils charging around a corner, you see a porter in uniform saying, "Everyone, everyone, do not crowd the platform! Do not crowd the platform!" You see--

TRAVIS: Acting like shit.

MARISHA: Yes, that's correct.

BRENNAN: -- a terrified wizard. You see a terrified spellcaster cast Command on the porter and say, "Get us out of here!" And you see all of them (slash) vivisected as the teleportation has too many people. Blood all over the dais. (whoosh)

TRAVIS: ♪ On the dais, on the dais ♪

AABRIA: ♪ Blood on the dais ♪

TRAVIS: Oh, man.

BRENNAN: Devils attacking, burning K'nauthi corpses with open doorways in their chests as devils crawl out. You are headed towards a neighborhood that seemed to have less of this going-- Your home off in a different neighborhood. You see sky ships off in the harbors. But for right now, the chaos you see is mostly in Excelsior Plaza, where the most awake people were. But for the vast bulk of the city, just some fires are breaking out and you know that it will be a long time, that people have no way of knowing what is happening. You are moving as fast as you can.

TRAVIS: Towards the Cloudstone?

BRENNAN: Towards Cloudstone, yes.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Yeah, off towards your home. Exactly. You see the sky. Normally, you're one of a few eisfuura who are flying. You see multiple flying mages escaping from one thing or another begin to fly by. There's one mage that's levitating in midair, his face covered in blood, just looking stunned, unsure of what has happened. You move through this place and alight on the balcony moving into your home. For the first time we see them, Maya and Kir, standing in front of you. Both of your children are home.

TRAVIS: They're home.

BRENNAN: You see Maya looks up at you, your daughter who is a young teenager, got a little bit of awkward plumage molt, teenager molt around her neck. Shout out to Sunny. You see that she looks, and she goes, "Dad, Dad, I wasn't drinking! Another kid saw it at the party! I didn't know that there was anything--"

TRAVIS: I know, honey, it's all right, it's all right. It's okay. I didn't see... I didn't see any of this coming. Are you okay? Are you hurt?

BRENNAN: "Well, we were doing--"

TRAVIS: Where's your brother?

BRENNAN: Up in the rafters, hiding, you see your son holding his little thing, says, "Copy, I'm here."

TRAVIS: Kir, please come down here.

BRENNAN: Alights down. "Hey, Dad."

TRAVIS: Okay. I look out the windows behind them. I just do a quick 180 sweep as fast as I can. Is there anything perched, any danger, anything following them? Is this room clear for the next 30 seconds?

BRENNAN: Give me a perception check.

TRAVIS: Goddamn it, why couldn't you just say yes? 23.

BRENNAN: You do not detect any invisible presences. To your knowledge, it is safe. Hearing distant noises, you're rattled, you're not working at a baseline.

TRAVIS: No.

BRENNAN: You see, it has not gotten to the point yet where Kir and Maya-- The screams they're hearing could just be 4:00am, Night of the Replenishment. It's hard. It's like, is that someone being crazy and drunk outside or is that something else? So both of your children look at you and Maya says, "Dad, what's wrong?"

TRAVIS: I'm going to tell you all about this at some point. I promise. It'll be an incredible story. But right now, I have a surprise for the both of you.

BRENNAN: As you say that, you see that Kir looks down, as does Maya. Maya points to your hand and says, "Dad, why is your ring glowing?"

AABRIA: Oh! Why are you like this?

LOU: Oh god.

TRAVIS: It glows when danger is near.

BRENNAN: "Okay."

TRAVIS: Which means that you need to get out of here. I have a special gift. And I take out the two Rune stones.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: This is for the each of you. It's going to take you to your mother. She's very excited to see you. But I need you to listen to me. Whatever you do, don't come back until I find you. Stay away from the city.

BRENNAN: (Maya) "Dad, why are you talking like this? Is everything okay?"

TRAVIS: Maya, it's very important that you listen to me. Yes, it's okay, but I need you to listen very carefully. It's up to you to take care of you and your brother. Do you understand?

BRENNAN: You see Kir says, "But if the city's not safe, what about my friends at school? And wait, we got to--" and you see--

TRAVIS: Kir, Kir.

BRENNAN: Maya says, "Dad, why are you talking like this? We're going to come back to--"

TRAVIS: I understand. I take her hand. I open it. Kir, come here. I open his hand as well. I love the both of you so much. So much.

BRENNAN: "Dad!"

TRAVIS: I take the stones, I close their hands, and I clasp them shut.

BRENNAN: You see they look with those stones in their hand. All that they need to do is break those stones in their hand and the spell will take effect. You see that Maya looks up and says, "Dad!" You see Kir starts crying and goes, "Dad, did I do something wrong?"

TRAVIS: No, baby. I'll always have my eye on you. And I squeeze their hands.

AABRIA: Oh!

BRENNAN: Both of them vanish as you see Maya goes, "Wait!" And they're gone.

AABRIA: Oh, you said that because you're the Sightwarden and you can see things.

BRENNAN: The ring slowly stops glowing. They are out of the city, and you stand in the home you built with Wrayne. It's so quiet, and it hasn't been quiet in years. You look at your ring and the emblem of the Eyes of Avalir. Looking at this home and all the noise that would be here with young kids growing up, I think it occurs to you how much time this ring took from being in this home, because there may never be the sounds of home and hearth, life and laughter, in this place again. Give me an insight check, if you would be so kind.

TRAVIS: Yeah. 26.

AABRIA: (laughs) Can I have a tissue?

BRENNAN: Cerrit looks at the symbol of the Eyes of Avalir on his ring. The eye is sculpted to look down, ever watchful, the eyes of a city in the clouds. On a 26 insight, you found many threats to the city of Avalir, long years of being exceptional, perceptive, intelligent, clever, your eyes ever peering down, cultists and criminals, even some magisters, some corrupt officials, but on a 26 insight, often ones without friends or connections. The Eyes of Avalir never looked up. And the price you paid was that here at the end of things, you still don't get to hear the laughter of your children in this home, as was the case so many long nights of devotion and service. Where does Cerrit go in his mind in this moment, and what does he do?

TRAVIS: Cerrit slowly takes the ring off of his finger and almost absentmindedly starts to walk to his home office just down the hallway, pushes the door open, and as you'd probably imagine, it's a wreck. Papers, pictures, drawings, cups, dishes, the remnants of all of his work, of his obsession, of his craft, of his eye, and he's furious. He goes over and snatches a candle, looks around and holds it to a nearby wall. And watches it just dance up.

BRENNAN: The flames move up. You step back out into the hallway. You are perhaps unparalleled in all the world at discerning fact from fiction, from spotting lies, and the last lie you told was to get your children out of here. Outside your office, you see a small little indentation in the wall, a little discolored patch where young kids would come and get their little food stained hands up on the wall and press their head against the door to see if they could hear what you were working on.

TRAVIS: I see that. Even as I start to hear the familiar sounds of flame, I head over to their rooms.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

TRAVIS: I open the threshold and just stand, and I take in how long it's been since I just looked, really looked here, not outside of this dwelling, but here.

BRENNAN: Your brilliant detective's mind looks at a room and begins to piece together stories, tiny fractions of a detail. From the turn of a corner of a notebook on Maya's desk, you see that she has an incredible talent for history. Otherwise, why would she have gotten so far ahead in that chapter book? You look and see under Kir's bed the telltale carpet throw of a child hiding some kind of toy weapon or something that he shouldn't have, and see from the shape of it that they are small handaxes.

AABRIA: Oh!

BRENNAN: Here in this moment, you put all of your vast intellect to work so that as the flames begin to lick the wall behind you, you solve the mystery of who your children were.

TRAVIS: Well, that's just not cool. (laughter)

AABRIA: That was really, really sad.

LOU: Right?

TRAVIS: But true. As it burns behind me, I think of where I've come from a family devoted to this city. I think of where my family has gone, and I let all of it die for now, because there has to be focus for what comes next.

BRENNAN: Cerrit, what comes next?

TRAVIS: I think back to that one second blur where every letter of the alphabet was thrown together and just a torrent of sound and horribleness. Laerryn communicated and relayed everything that she saw?

BRENNAN: In this moment, you hear that here.

TRAVIS: Do I know where she is because of that?

BRENNAN: Yes.

TRAVIS: Where is she?

BRENNAN: In the Meridian Labyrinth, in a secret compartment, a viewing station that you would know your direct way to. There is a path for you to get there safely.

TRAVIS: I steel myself, and, as supersonic as I can, make for the Meridian Laboratory.

BRENNAN: (whooshes) Like a bolt, you leave your burning home behind. We... I'm going to ask for a death save here. You have two successes and one failure.

AABRIA: (whispers) Natural 20. Natural 20.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LOU: It was almost a natural 20, but it is a 12.

SAM: Good!

AABRIA: Okay.

BRENNAN: That's a third success. You are stable. Nydas is stable on the ground.

TRAVIS: Does that mean one hit point?

BRENNAN: No, he's still at zero.

LOU: Still unconscious.

BRENNAN: Still at zero.

LUIS: Unconscious, just not dying.

TRAVIS: I should know that by now. I just can't think.

LOU: Hey, there's a lot going on, man.

BRENNAN: There is a lot going on.

MARISHA: Fuck.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: (whispers) You've been dead this whole time.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

MARISHA: (gags)

TRAVIS: (laughs)

LOU: What?

BRENNAN: We are going to...

MARISHA: And there's only been like 30 seconds.

LOU: I mean, exactly. It's been three rounds, so what is that, 36 seconds?

MARISHA: Yeah.

AABRIA: (clicks tongue) Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: We return to the Astral Realm. We come back here. You are in a sea of silvery mist, and beyond them, stars, and you see Tempus approaching for a moment, but then you see it's not. It's not Tempus. It is a body composed of starlight, amethyst, liquid glass, and stepping through the mist, you see Evandrin. "(gasps)" He reaches--

LUIS: Don't touch me.

BRENNAN: "I have waited so long to do only that."

LUIS: I can't bear it if you were to touch me right now.

BRENNAN: "Zerxus."

LUIS: What have I done?

BRENNAN: "You... You believed, and that is not a fault. That is not a fault. I... I love you more than the stars and the moon and life itself. Are you in this place because Laerryn has sent you here?"

LUIS: No, I don't know how I... No, Laerryn didn't. Or maybe she did. She sundered the tree. Do you know what happened?

BRENNAN: "The tree, yes. Yes."

LUIS: Do you know what came through the tree?

BRENNAN: "Yes, I do. (tearfully) I've missed you!" And he leaps at you to embrace you.

LUIS: Ah!

BRENNAN: He embraces you and holds you close.

LUIS: I hold him back!

BRENNAN: He goes, "I... I did not... It is too much to bear that I have waited here, in between these places, for seven years to see you for but a moment before I lose you. I don't want to lose you!"

LUIS: (tearfully) You will never lose me. Never. I take off my Name Stone and I give it to him.

BRENNAN: He holds it, puts it around his neck. He looks and says, "I know that time is of the essence, but also time here is strange. This place is in between. Years ago, when I was First Knight, my darling, I would have told you, but it was the very beginning, and we did not understand it yet. I told Laerryn it should be me. She did not pressure me. She was my dearest friend, and I love her with all my heart. It was the role of a First Knight to journey into danger. Laerryn explained her vision to me, the Astral Leywright. Aeor opposed the gods and the Matron of Ravens and her ascension, and Laerryn's vision was, from whence do the gods come? By what token do they award themselves that title, and what realms beyond could we explore? It was a beautiful dream, and I knew that there was danger and I wanted her dream to come true. She sent me here, and I was protected, or so I thought, and I was protected here, but when I returned, we didn't understand the tree. We didn't understand the Calix, and intentionally so. The druids did not trust us with that knowledge. And truth be told, the tree didn't kill me. When I was moved out here, I became anchored to this other realm. You can see that I don't look like I did."

LUIS: You don't.

BRENNAN: "The tree did not kill me. Exandria was killing me. I was a foreign thing. I was not of that world. The tree was pushing me back out into the Astral. That's why I started to vanish. The tree was trying to return something that it was protecting the world from."

LUIS: Oh.

BRENNAN: "And if I had the ability to communicate past this, I would have, and... Her vision was not the simple magic of the threshold crests, not a quick move, not a one-way trip, not a single destination, but truly to take a leyline off of the face of Exandria and chart it to the stars, that we could go wherever we wished and be whatever we wished, and... We didn't know the spell that the tree was writing. We just didn't know."

LUIS: It's safe here?

BRENNAN: "Well, safe, I suppose. I'm not quite alive or... I mean, I'm alive. I'm just from somewhere else than where I'm actually from. And--"

LUIS: Evandrin, our son is still there.

BRENNAN: "How do I... Elias is still--"

LUIS: He's still there. He's still in Cathmoíra. Get him here.

BRENNAN: "How?"

LUIS: I don't know.

BRENNAN: "I don't... Why are you here if Laerryn didn't send you--"

LUIS: I don't know. I'm here.

BRENNAN: "Zerxus, tell me the truth. Why are you here right now?"

LUIS: I look around me. I look down. I try to see any remnants of what just happened in that room.

BRENNAN: Behind you, you see the mace. You're a spirit. You may tarry here for some time, but you are moving on.

LUIS: I failed. And I fell. And now I'm here.

BRENNAN: "No. No. No. (tearfully) No! No. No. No. No. No."

LUIS: I don't know for how much longer, but I feel a pull to another place.

BRENNAN: "Well, wait--"

LUIS: Evandrin.

BRENNAN: "There's a way around this. We can just be clever. Let's just figure something out. I haven't been able to find a way back, but now there's two of us here and we'll find a way. We'll find a way!"

LUIS: You know I can't stay here. I look at the mace.

BRENNAN: "All right. All right. If you move on to the... If you move on to the afterlife, we'll find a way to resurrect you. I need to find a clever way--"

LUIS: Evandrin, stop.

BRENNAN: "-- to get back to save Elias. And if I save Elias--"

LUIS: Yes, save Elias. Save him.

BRENNAN: "I-I-I don't know how to get back to the world. I haven't been able to find a way for years, but I'll..."

LUIS: Do I still have a connection to Tempus?

BRENNAN: You do in your... I think post-death. No.

LUIS: No. And I'm not in the same plane. I don't think that works.

BRENNAN: You see the mace behind you on the ground.

LUIS: I can't help to turn back and look at it. Evandrin, I had no idea that the life of the First Knight in that tower would be so lonely.

BRENNAN: "I failed you. And I made it lonely. I should have been a cleverer spellsword than I am because I know how special you are. You tapped into something deep and profound. When I saw you for that moment, there have been times where I could see through Tempus' eyes and I saw you wield that power earlier this night. There is a place beyond the stars that your heart alone can reach, and I have known it of you since the first day we met."

LUIS: Is that where you want me to go? Is that where you think my place is?

BRENNAN: "Yes. You--" You see here, Evandrin looks at the mace and narrows his eyes. He doesn't like what he sees there. You see he says, "Yes, you can go. I-I-If you have been struck down, if you have been killed then we will find a way. "We'll find a way. There are--"

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: "There are resurrections. We will find a way."

LUIS: Evandrin, listen to me.

BRENNAN: "Okay."

LUIS: I believe in my heart that you will find a way. I know you will. But you know me, and I know what I believe is true. And I will never give up. The Age of Arcanum is dead. What comes next?

BRENNAN: "We don't have to accept it."

LUIS: I don't accept it. I start to reach for the mace. Find a way, Evandrin. And if that place up there amongst the stars is where I belong, then I will end up there.

BRENNAN: You see, he looks to you as you reach for the mace. You look in his eyes. You know that if you move into the space beyond, that your beautiful husband will not find a way to save your son. He has been trapped here for many long years. If Elias is to be saved, then you know what must be done.

LUIS: If any of them are to be saved, then I know what must be done.

BRENNAN: Your hand grasps the mace.

LUIS: I say to him: What follows the Age of Arcanum eventually must be the age of salvation. And I grab it with all of my strength.

BRENNAN: He looks at you. (flames whooshing) Fire. Your gleaming armor is charred with flame beyond recognition. Your skull begins to split as two curling ram's horns move from your skull. You see, Evandrin looks and goes, "Zerxus, no. Zerxus!" You feel yourself being pulled. You know the bargain you have struck by accepting this power. He looks out after you. Moving through fire, you are not burned. At first, you wonder if it is due to some image of your new form, but you know that that's not why you're not being burned, because the devil wants his followers to hurt, and you're not hurting because from the stars themselves, a love as profound as any that Exandria has ever known surrounds you, and you hear Evandrin's voice in your mind. "I don't know how deeply you have sacrificed to do what must be done, but I know this: "There is no god that strides this world that I worship more than I worship your heart. There is a power beyond the stars that you alone could find. And though you may be his, by working of foul magic, I vow this, I bear your name. I bear it on this stone. And one day, I will bring you home." (whooshing) You arrive back in the chamber. And, Nydas is stable on the ground. Patia and Loquatius are both dead. It is the fourth round since they have died.

LUIS: What is my state? Do I have hit points? Do I have--

BRENNAN: You have 40 hit points. You have the spell slots you had while you were alive.

LUIS: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: You just look different.

AABRIA: Is he part of the telepathic bond.

SAM: You also got a mace.

LUIS: I've got a mace.

SAM: That can do things.

LUIS: Is my telepathic bond still on or is that severed?

BRENNAN: Do you think Zerxus would keep it or do you think he would sever it?

TRAVIS: Who's Zerxus?

AABRIA: Stop.

LUIS: I think it's gone.

BRENNAN: Cool. It's gone.

LUIS: I think it's gone.

BRENNAN: You come back--

LUIS: I don't think he would've known better. I think it would've just left him.

BRENNAN: You come back, and as you arrive, you see your friends, you get here... Laerryn, immediately on the screen you see Zerxus, curling ram's horns, charred armor, wielding a mace, no shield. But as you are holding the mace, you've arrived, there is writing in Infernal growing around the mace. It's like the contract for your soul is writing itself upon the mace.

LUIS: It's not finished being written?

BRENNAN: It's not finished being written.

LUIS: Can I assess the situation around me? I'd like to know if I can tell that he's still alive, if they're dead?

BRENNAN: You can tell that your old friend is still alive. Patia and Loquatius are both dead, but quite recently.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: Vespin Chloras is in this chamber who wheels around to see you and goes (screeches). But sees a fellow fiend and regards you--

LUIS: Appropriately.

BRENNAN: Appropriately. Does not seem to advance on you.

LUIS: Leave this place. This is now under my control.

BRENNAN: Give me a persuasion check.

LUIS: Can I use a bonus action?

BRENNAN: Yes, you can.

LUIS: I'm going to use my Channel Divinity.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LUIS: It gives me a plus five. So emanating from me.

TRAVIS: Divinity for who, friend?

LUIS: Emanating--

MARISHA: Godless no more.

LUIS: Yeah. Emanating from me is just like the... Ripples, and it just enters everyone around me. and they all sense a calm. They all settle in themselves as I use my Channel Divinity.

AABRIA: When he does that.

LUIS: Yes.

AABRIA: Dweomer, my homie.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

AABRIA: Maybe works a little different. Can I use her like a bit of an air comm?

BRENNAN: Sure.

AABRIA: I think I've yelled through her at people.

BRENNAN: Sure. Yeah, absolutely.

AABRIA: Then you hear the moment you say that: What have you become? If you are him, bring them back!

LUIS: And this is through Dweomer.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: You just feel this peaceful presence just emanate and it floods into Dweomer because Dweomer's a subject of as well.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: So--

BRENNAN: I will say, actually, because of that roll this with advantage.

LUIS: Okay.

BRENNAN: Go for it.

LUIS: Okay. Ah, ha ha. Oh. 34.

BRENNAN: 34!

AABRIA: Cool.

BRENNAN: Vespin looks out at the now shrieking Dweomer and goes (screeches) and screeches out and blasts her with a Fireball, destroying her. But you see that he goes and stalks, and begins to stalk down the hallway.

LUIS: Wait.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

LUIS: The master has told me that, you're to bestow upon me some magic, if you can. In order to serve--

BRENNAN: I will say this. As you say this, you are rapidly losing time.

LUIS: Time. Okay.

BRENNAN: You can continue this interaction with Vespin, but certain clocks will be begin to tick.

LUIS: Fuck. Okay. And I need to know this.

BRENNAN: Cool.

LUIS: Fuck. The tree.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: Pieces of it dead... Anything--

BRENNAN: Completely sundered around.

LUIS: I let Vespin leave.

BRENNAN: Yeah, you can give me an insight check on Vespin, if you want.

LUIS: Okay.

AABRIA: If you let them die, I'm killing you.

TRAVIS: Why can't he say words?

LUIS: We'll see.

AABRIA: You let him die?

LUIS: Insight?

BRENNAN: Insight.

LUIS: 22.

BRENNAN: What I'll say is this, as Vespin begins to leave, you look at Vespin and you see in his face, the thing you did not see in the Lord of the Hells: A look of pain and recognition of something that was once a mortal man. But you see, he nods to you and--

LUIS: I run up to him and I touch him and I touch my--

BRENNAN: I'm going to say this will bring us into the fifth round.

LUIS: That's okay.

AABRIA: Come on!

LUIS: I need help.

BRENNAN: Cool. Go for it.

LUIS: So I touch Evandrin's Name Stone... Cleansing Touch through that Name Stone onto Vespin. I need him.

BRENNAN: Okay. Fifth round.

LUIS: Uh-huh.

MARISHA: Paladin's got big ideas.

BRENNAN: Hold on one second. So. The DC is 18.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: You cast your ability.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: The wording of which is you fail all saving throws automatically for a minute.

LUIS: I do.

BRENNAN: But you allow a corrupted being a potential to make a saving throw, an attempt to come back or restore some portion of itself.

AABRIA: Well, is he your ally now? So he gets a plus five. You little bitch.

LUIS: Maybe.

SAM: Just save it 'til after he resurrects me. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Okay.

AABRIA: Lou has fully left.

BRENNAN: So what you see, I rolled a save. You go to Vespin. Zerxus, you do what you attempted to do on the devil, on the Lord of the Hells. You attempt to give an opportunity for redemption You attempt to give an opportunity for redemption, for understanding: the very act that doomed your soul. An understanding and a belief in the power of redemption that Evandrin thought was beautiful. You stick to your beliefs even though your beliefs may have doomed not only yourself, but the world. The Lord of the Hells is older than the world. Vespin Chloris was a man. The power of stars flows through you for what may be one of the last times, as you are changing into what you will become. Vespin-- Is this naivete? Is this foolishness, to open yourself up and give the chance for redemption? In this instance, (screams, whooshing) the skin regrows. You see the face of a man still in a fiendish body. He goes, "I don't know who you are." Grabs the mace. "We don't have much time." Cast Time Stop. He reaches his hand into the haft of the mace and says, "Bad contract." (slashing) You see infernal runes move all throughout the room as he has stopped time. Looks around and goes, (screams). "I don't know what power this is you hold. "But thank you. (energy buzzing, pulses) I can't do anything about the soul, but they usually put the clause about when it goes into effect at the end." (energy sparking) He inscribes a series of runes at the end of the haft. The deal for your soul goes into effect at sunrise. And the redeemed, for the moment, Vespin Chloras gives you one night. He stands there, just his face peering from a fiendish body. (heavy breathing) (heavy breathing)

LUIS: Is he back to what he was before?

BRENNAN: You see he is no longer the shrieking devil puppet that he was. You see tears stream down a face from gaunt eyes, but it is the face of a man. You see he goes, (yells), dispels something in himself. (yells) And it comes back. His spine grows. (yells)

LUIS: (groans) I don't have enough power to help you!

BRENNAN: "It's all right. It's all right. Listen, we don't have very much time, when we come out. I don't know much of what's happening. I am Vespin Chloras."

LUIS: I know.

BRENNAN: "Then you know what I have done?"

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: "All right. I am going to turn back. I don't have the power to stop this. Whatever gift you had bought a moment, but it's a moment only. That mace, you know what it will do to you come sunrise?"

LUIS: I do.

BRENNAN: "All right. In life I was a Malconvoker, an Infernalist. I thought-- I thought I could do it. I thought I could do it. And the world will remember me as its greatest villain."

LUIS: That history hasn't been written yet and you are not out of time. But we are running out of time. I rush to this guy and I Revivify him.

SAM: Do you have that?

LUIS: I have it, baby.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Yeah, Yeah?

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: It's my last 3rd-level slot.

BRENNAN: Within the Time Stop, it's your last 3rd-level spell.

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You're still in Time Stop. So the magic is leaving your hand and you see it seeping into Loquatius' chest, his body. You see that Vespin looks at you. He says, "All right."

LUIS: I don't have enough. I don't have enough.

SAM: Am I awake?

BRENNAN: You are awake in this moment.

SAM: (gasps) What's happening?

LUIS: Oh, I don't have Telepathic Bond, fuck.

BRENNAN: However.

TRAVIS: You got horns.

LUIS: I have horns.

BRENNAN: I will say this, Loquatius, you hear him say, I don't have the spell. I don't have the energy for the spell.

LUIS: Loquatius, it's me, it's Zerxus. It's Zerxus, there's not enough time to explain, but we have friends--

SAM: Spell for what?

LUIS: -- that are down. I rush to Nydas, who I know is only unconscious. I Lay Hands and give him five hit points.

BRENNAN: I will say this. You are about to rapidly come out of the Time Stop.

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Both of you give me perception checks.

SAM: I'm not even perceiving. I'm reaching down to the stone that she gave me.

BRENNAN: As you say you don't have the energy for it--

LUIS: I don't have the energy.

BRENNAN: Loquatius holds raw ether in his hands.

LUIS: Do I know what it is?

TRAVIS: That's the one thing that saves this spell?

LUIS: I take it and I rush to Patia and I cast Revivify on her.

BRENNAN: Boom!

TRAVIS and AABRIA: (yell excitedly) Quay and Patia, you are both at one hit point.

TRAVIS: That was so dumb. That should never have happened.

AABRIA: I am happy!

MARISHA: It's the power of love!

BRENNAN: It's the power of love.

LUIS: He's going to kill us all three times?

SAM: What happened to you? What's on your face?!

LUIS: Instead of answering, if I have time in this time warp, I'm gonna go to him.

BRENNAN: It's coming out. You see Vespin looks and says, "You do not have much, (screams) time left, but listen. You know of what the Lord of the Hells spoke. The one of you, (screams) you have precious little time. If there's anything you must ask me, ask me it now, before I go. I will try to fling myself somewhere else in the city far from here. But I will come back. I cannot stay like this."

LUIS: How do we save the city? How do we stop them? What have you left behind? You had to have left something behind.

BRENNAN: He says, "There is no-- they are here."

LUIS: They're here.

BRENNAN: "The Tree is destroyed. They are here, go. The woman, the first one, the one who warned you first, the Hall of Prophecy."

LUIS: We'll go there. I rush to Nydas and I Lay On Hands.

BRENNAN: He Dimension Doors and says--

SAM: Oh shit.

BRENNAN: "Do not bother with my name. In the darkness, I saw my name would be destroyed, and I asked beyond all things not to be forgotten. And I know the Lord of the Hells will see that wish granted. I thought-- I'm a fool. And I brought ruin to the world. Hope that you are forgotten." He moves through the door and disappears.

LUIS: In that moment, I Lay On Hands on Nydas and I give him five hit points.

BRENNAN: Ooh, you are here. Cerrit and Laerryn.

TRAVIS: Huh?

LOU: Ta huh?

BRENNAN: "Huh?"

AABRIA: Okay, if I had to wait for him to show up--

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm?

AABRIA: -- would I have teleported somewhere where I have...

TRAVIS: I wait that long. I'll pass.

AABRIA: Yeah, but I was by myself for a very long time.

LOU: It'd be a pretty crazy show to watch.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

AABRIA: Yeah...

LOU: Pretty solid show.

BRENNAN: I'm just going to fully, so, you're back and (laughs) that's--

LUIS: Sorry.

BRENNAN: That's all you-- So you have no more Revivifys, correct?

LUIS: I have no more Revivifys.

BRENNAN: That's all she wrote.

LUIS: That's it. It's gone.

TRAVIS: Well used.

LUIS: Probably, I had it next.

BRENNAN and TRAVIS: Well used.

LUIS: Well, yes.

AABRIA: Looking out through the viewing window, I know he said, I heard the Lord of Hells say that Vespin needed to go to a gate.

BRENNAN: He needed to prepare a gate.

AABRIA: Yeah, would I have any idea where that would be?

BRENNAN: No, but there's a limited number of places that you can start ruling out. In other words, there are multiple places it could be. You need to know more, but knowing more is a thing that could happen fast.

AABRIA: Okay, then I wait for Cerrit.

BRENNAN: You wait for Cerrit. Cerrit, you arrive.

TRAVIS: (zooms)

BRENNAN: I will bring all of us here. I'm just going to say you arrive here in this chamber. Vespin-- you hear a shriek from deep within the Meridian Labyrinth. He Dimension Doored somewhere, but it has stopped. He did not have someone to give him until sunrise. He's gone. He belongs to the Lord of the Hells. You gave him a moment and a moment only.

LUIS: Are we all here?

BRENNAN: You are all here.

LUIS: We have to go to the Oracles.

SAM: I guess.

AABRIA: (whispers) I'm sorry. And then just wrap him in a hug. I'm so sorry.

SAM: I hug her back. No, no, no.

AABRIA: What have I done?

SAM: You had no idea. I don't-- I don't know what happened. I don't...

SAM: Where...

AABRIA: Where were you?

SAM: What happened to you?

LUIS: I made a deal. I only have a day before I lose myself. Most of myself.

LOU: I'm going to hit him.

BRENNAN and TRAVIS: (laugh)

LOU: I'm going to punch him real hard.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

LUIS: (impacts)

TRAVIS: Bar punch.

SAM: Oh, bar punch.

LOU: You made a deal? For what?

LUIS: For you. That's what allowed me to come back to save you.

AABRIA: I saw you in that moment when everyone else was down. You stood beside him. What did you do? Don't look away from me. The city is burning.

LUIS: The city is burning, and he's here. I played a part in him coming.

AABRIA: We both did.

MARISHA: We all did.

TRAVIS: Well, not all of us.

AABRIA: We have to fix it.

LUIS: No, not all of us. You're right.

SAM: But we've all made deals in the past. Maybe not all, but we've all made deals. Maybe not as horrifying as the one you just did.

AABRIA: We don't have time for self-flagellation.

LUIS: No, we don't.

AABRIA: There's a gate. He's making a gate to bring back the emperor. We have to find the gate and stop it. We can still save the city.

LUIS: Vespin--

LOU: How?

AABRIA: We can fix this.

LUIS: Clearheaded, Vespin said that we need to go to the Oracle.

AABRIA: Then why are waiting here?

LUIS: Then let's go.

LOU: Ah, are we sure? We don't have much time.

LUIS: We don't, but we have nowhere else to go.

AABRIA: There is nothing else, but this.

TRAVIS: What's her name?

BRENNAN: Karwen.

TRAVIS: Yes, Karwen.

AABRIA: I don't know how to read anymore.

LUIS: I'm going to-- We need, look at us. We're not in any shape.

LOU: No.

LUIS: Whatever any of us can do to help we need to do it now. We need-- we need it now.

AABRIA: We need to go.

LUIS: We can go and do that at the same time. I start to move and I put Lay on Hands on myself.

BRENNAN: Okay--

LOU: I'm going to throw a 3rd-level Healing Word on Loquatius. I'm going to throw a 3rd-level Healing Word on Patia. It's 3d4 plus five for each of you.

SAM: I'll throw a Healing Word right back at you, pal.

LOU: Hey, thanks, man.

SAM: 3rd-level.

BRENNAN: I will say, you guys do-- I mean, but you guys do all have the ability as you're moving, if you want to take full actions to do Cure Wounds or anything like that, you're also welcome to do that.

LOU: I don't have Cure Wounds.

BRENNAN: Oof.

AABRIA: I'm going to do my Mage Armor. At-will Mage Armor spams try to get my Arcane Ward back up.

BRENNAN: Cool, all of you move. You rush to, you rush to the Hall of Prophecy.

LUIS: On the way there, do we see people fighting people?

SAM: Oh, sorry.

TRAVIS: Oh, it sucks.

SAM: 5th-level Cure Wounds.

BRENNAN: Yes.

AABRIA: Oh.

LOU: Oh, Cure Wounds?

SAM: Yes, so it's still just 15 points.

BRENNAN: You move from here. You see the crumpled body of Dweomer on the ground. You exit as fast as you can casting spells. Patia, give me an arcana check.

MARISHA: Not great. 16.

BRENNAN: Can't name it. Can't put a thought to it. But you feel something holding ether in your body. Something that you took from the Tree of Names. It's hard to talk about. But as you came back, you got something from that Legend Lore, something big and powerful. It's hard for your mind to access. You-- There's something magical inside you that you don't know if you would survive releasing it.

AABRIA: Cool.

BRENNAN: It is not Infernal. It's something from the tree, but there is something within you and you're just-- On a 16. It's not you. You were dead. You've come back. Everything has gone to hell. Your city is slowly erupting in flames, but you feel that unmistakably.

MARISHA: When I hear Laerryn and Zerxus talk about the Emperor and Empress, do I (snaps) get a ping? Do I know what they're talking about?

BRENNAN: Yes, Emperor Rau'shan of Fire and the Empress Ka'Mort of the Earth. You arrive quickly at the Hall of Prophecy. The guards are gone. There are screams from a nearby neighborhood.

LUIS: Wow.

SAM: Is everyone-- is it just chaos? People running around?

LUIS: Yeah.

SAM: Madness? Like the sinking of the Titanic, or--?

BRENNAN: You see, as you begin walking, you see open crowds of people fleeing from devils.

SAM: Okay.

BRENNAN: You are welcome to join them in battle and stop them. It is 4:15 in the morning.

LUIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: The sun will rise before six o'clock.

LUIS: Oh my god.

AABRIA: Would I have had enough time to get-- ritually get the telepathic bond back up?

BRENNAN: Would you want to take 10 minutes and make it 4:25?

AABRIA: As we're-- No, as we were running?

BRENNAN: As we're running. Yeah, I'll allow it.

AABRIA: Thanks.

LUIS: Thank you.

AABRIA: Thanks, Brennan.

BRENNAN: I'll allow it.

AABRIA: Then the first thing I ask

BRENNAN: A true kindness.

LUIS: I-- I have--

AABRIA: A special message to Cerrit. Are your children safe?

TRAVIS: They are. I hope it was worth the risk.

LUIS: Wow.

LOU: (pained) Ooh!

LUIS: I have two questions, I think.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: Where is Tempus right now?

BRENNAN: Tempus is still here. Your griffon can fly.

LUIS: Great. He flies down. I call him forth. I climb onto him, and I move up so I can get as much visual on everyone.

BRENNAN: It is chaos and no one knows what to do. People are screaming, running. There are devils everywhere. Fires are starting up. Excelsior Plaza is a vision of hell on earth. You see, flying up, chaos and ruin.

LUIS: I will like to do one thing.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm?

LUIS: As I'm absorbing all of this, taking it all in and seeing my part in it all, Zerxus closes his eyes and he tries to hold onto that cosmic connection one last time. I'm going to use the banner.

BRENNAN: You hold the banner aloft as you fly, the banner of Avalir. Absolutely.

LUIS: Normally, he would shout an incredible passionate battle cry, but this time it's just silent. That energy flows out into anyone within sight.

BRENNAN: All of those within sight gain temporary hit points as they look and see the banner flying. You begin to hear people shouting and saying "Defenses! Get defenses out! To the edge of the street! Move, move quickly." You hear spells firing out. You see colossi and carrowhulks moving into position and you look down and see figures begin to flock under the banner. As you fly overhead, the city begins. You hear horns and things shouting. It still looks like chaos, but the people are alerted that something is wrong. Anyone asleep awakes.

LUIS: Everybody gets 19 temporary hit points.

AABRIA: 19!

TRAVIS: Ooh! Come on, man!

MARISHA: What is it like your level plus?

LUIS: It's, yeah.

MARISHA: It's proficiency or something?

LUIS: In charisma.

LOU: I gave you 3d4 plus five.

LUIS: Yeah, I think it's level, plus 14.

BRENNAN: Let me ask this--

LOU: I can roll it for you, if you'd like.

BRENNAN: Do you have that? Not to be mean.

LUIS: Yes.

LOU: You regain 12.

BRENNAN: Has it been a long rest? Have you refreshed your ability from--

LUIS: I haven't used this yet.

BRENNAN: You used it at The Ivy Table when you use your Inspiring Leader feat, I believe.

LUIS: Oh, the Inspiring Leader!

BRENNAN: Feat.

LUIS: Yes, so this still requires that access to that?

BRENNAN: Yes, I'm going to allow the banner to be used for the populace.

LUIS: For population.

BRENNAN: But not as a game mechanic.

LUIS: For us.

BRENNAN: Cool?

LUIS: Perfect.

BRENNAN: You guys don't get 19 temp HP.

LUIS: My griffon does. (laughter) Thank you for that.

BRENNAN: You got it. You rush to the Hall of Prophecy. It is unguarded. The guards have clearly moved off because they've heard screaming and cries for help and went to investigate. The door is open. You rush inside. As you do, you move into the chamber where Zerxus was before and you see Karwen, this beautiful oracle, asleep in bed, with the magic circle around her, "Break it. Break it."

LUIS: Break the circle?

BRENNAN: "I'm not mad. None of us are mad."

AABRIA: Do something.

LOU: Yeah, she's not. I'll break it.

BRENNAN: Nydas, you Dispel the circle. It breaks. And she goes (gasps), and sits up healthy, powerful looking. She actually is going to upcast an immediate Mass Healing Word. (cheering) Everybody here gains 10 HP.

AABRIA: Yes!

LOU: Yeah!

MARISHA: An extra 10.

LOU: Vespin Chloras coming through. (laughter)

BRENNAN: And says, (gasps). Her eyes roll back in her head. And she rises from her bed into the air. "When crowned fire and a throned earth stride forth to join ancient war anew, then Mother and Father shall fall to the hands of their imprisoned kin. And all the stars will weep until the death of light for lost Exandria, whose every ashen breath will wish for death, and never knowing peace, shall stumble ever more to seek in vain the end of horror without name."

AABRIA: We can't let it land. We can't let it land.

LUIS: What do we do?

AABRIA: We have to stop it from landing. If it lands, they're freed.

MARISHA: They're freed.

TRAVIS: The gate has to be at Cathmoíra.

LOU: The giants, whatever it's called.

AABRIA: Get me to the helm.

LUIS: To the helm?

BRENNAN: Give me an arcana check, Laerryn, if you'd be so kind.

AABRIA: Fuck. So bad. 13.

BRENNAN: If anyone wants to give the help action.

SAM: Can I Inspire her?

BRENNAN: Yes, you can Inspire.

AABRIA: Just help. Help me think good.

LOU: Yes, I'll give you the help.

AABRIA: Thank you!

TRAVIS: I'll give the inspire action. A 13. A 13?

AABRIA: Thanks.

LUIS: Yeah.

AABRIA: Oh, it was worse. You had to be nice. (laughter)

LUIS: "You had to be nice." It's the lesson.

AABRIA: Sorry, it's a d10?

SAM: d10.

BRENNAN: d10.

AABRIA: Oh god, it's so bad. 16.

BRENNAN: 16!

AABRIA: Brennan, I understand how all this works. I'm in the Heart of Avalir. Please. (laughter) Please. It's not the engines, it's me. I know this.

LUIS: What do I do?

BRENNAN: As you begin to say, get me to the helm, that stone is shattered. The one that Cerrit saw. On a 16, there is a world where you fix the helm in the next hour and a half.

TRAVIS: Oh boy!

LUIS: Oh my god!

BRENNAN: There is a world where you fix the helm in the next hour and a half. It would require you to get there and know everything that the dead Akami Rowe, knew about how the helm worked. I will also say--

SAM: There's another one.

AABRIA: Because we got a bunch, we got 11 batteries and a rudder.

BRENNAN: Laerryn, you have paid very dearly for your Astral Leywright.

SAM: Does it still work?

BRENNAN: With the Calix destroyed, and the Drashari Tithe now irrelevant, there exists a possibility to work some great magic with the Leywright itself. On a 16, you can't think of it right here in this Hall of Prophecy, but the limiter, the etheric limiter is gone. The Tree is gone. We know what ruin that has brought to Exandria, but that ruin is already here. And now you have a device that has never before been seen in this world and will, in fact, never be seen again. But, you, on a 16, you know one thing. Leylines are attached to the world of Exandria itself. And the world is in and of the same thing as these Primordials. And if you could take a leyline and move it off the world, what might you be able to do to a Primordial?

TRAVIS: Oh!

AABRIA: I'm getting to have a very bad idea. And I step back to think and figure this out.

LOU: What is your bad idea?

AABRIA: All of the energy, everything, everything I built still works somehow. So we move the city, or we move the Emperor and Empress themselves. I have 11 working batteries, and a rudder that can do something that's never been done before.

TRAVIS: They're under the mountain, though, the Emperor and the Empress.

AABRIA: So are the leylines that we've been traveling across.

LOU: So there may be a way for you to use the engine--

AABRIA: Yeah.

LOU: -- to transport them to another plane.

AABRIA: That's the best I've got.

SAM: Wouldn't you have to know where they are, or would it be when they emerge?

MARISHA: I think I know where they are.

AABRIA: There we go.

SAM: You do?

MARISHA: I saw it. Yeah, I saw it when I touched the tree.

SAM: Wouldn't we have to go there to touch them to activate it, or can you just point it at them?

AABRIA: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.

MARISHA: I think this could work.

AABRIA: It's got to. We can still fix this.

MARISHA: We have 11 batteries. There's six of us.

AABRIA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Just to double check. Our two options are to try to fix the helm, barely make it in time, prevent the city from connecting with Cathmoíra, stopping all of this. Or locate a Primordial Emperor and Empress under a mountain and try to move them off this plane.

MARISHA: Even if we fix the helm there's no guarantee that the city isn't still going to connect to Exandria.

TRAVIS: Is that true?

AABRIA: Yes.

SAM: Not only that, even if we stop the descent, all of these demons and devils are still here, right? They'll try to get control again, won't they?

AABRIA: So we just have to move the goalpost.

BRENNAN: Karwen looks at all of you, having descended back down. "I... I know what I have seen. If the Emperor and Empress join battle with the Betrayers, all hope is lost. If the war is rejoined, like it was in days of old with Primordials and Betrayer Gods side by side, there will be no new dawn for Exandria in all the ages of the world."

AABRIA: Then it was for this. It was for this.

SAM: I'll say something to you that I've never said before. Please ignore me and go get to work.

AABRIA and BRENNAN: (laugh)

LOU: Where do we need to go?

AABRIA: The Astral Leywright. Follow me.

LOU: There's something-- I'm going to get us more automatons, or constructs. I will meet you there.

LUIS: I will as well.

AABRIA: Okay.

SAM: While you go, I think I have to-- I think I have a duty to report what's happening. If I can get word down to Cathmoíra, maybe we could save a lot of lives.

LOU: Yes.

SAM: So, I'll--

AABRIA: I kiss him. I just cut you off and kiss you.

SAM: Oh. In the kiss, I'll cast Cure Wounds on you.

AABRIA: Oh!

MARISHA: Aw! (laughs)

BRENNAN: Incredible. Incredible.

MARISHA: Fuck you both. (laughter) It's too much.

SAM: Eight points.

AABRIA: Oh, thank you.

LOU: Oh, 1st-level.

SAM: Oh. Oh, I can do it at higher levels. Yes, thank you!

LOU: I was about to be like, damn.

TRAVIS: No, no. It's just his first.

AABRIA: Just a little sip.

LOU: It's not the best kiss.

SAM: You get another point.

AABRIA: Another one!

SAM: Another one point.

TRAVIS: Ah!

LOU: There it is.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: You get tongue in there.

LUIS: I'm going to patiently wait for their smooching to end.

AABRIA: It's longer than you want it to be.

SAM: By the way, I'm only wearing leather armor and no other clothes.

LUIS: Nice.

TRAVIS: Just on top. You're just Donald Ducking it?

AABRIA: Ooh!

LUIS: Is it still a duck penis?

BRENNAN: Cool.

TRAVIS: Still Brennan hanging there.

BRENNAN: So I'm going to say--

SAM: Yes ,except I think it's more of a thumbs up.

BRENNAN: -- you kiss, Laerryn, you know that you have a miracle. You have an engine that works and it is an Apogee Solstice. Everything is in your hands to try something that has never been done before. And again, I think the questions remain, even if you prevented the city from touching down, which is what the Lord of the Hells wants to happen, you're still living in a world with the Betrayer Gods. How long can you keep the city in the sky for if they want to come back and push it down? Laerryn, you take off. Nydas, you're headed to--

LOU: 7th level.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LOU: Summoning of the Dragon, again.

AABRIA: Ooh!

BRENNAN: (snarling) "Who--"

LOU: We don't have time to-- Shut the fuck up! (laughter) I am last Dragon of Avalir, and you will do as I command!

AABRIA: Let's go!

LUIS: Nice.

BRENNAN: "As you say. As you say."

LOU: That's right, that's the fuck I say!

AABRIA: Yes. Love. Yes.

LOU: So we'll do that.

TRAVIS: Woo!

MARISHA: We don't have time.

BRENNAN: Incredible. You take up on your dragon. Zerxus, where you headed?

LUIS: Listen, I mean, I say to Loquatius-- Does this guy know the gods aren't here? The Betrayer Gods that I saw aren't here anymore. They're going to Vasselheim.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: We need to-- They're heading to Vasselheim. If you can send some kind of communication to them, they need to be warned.

SAM: I'll go to the Herald. If I go to the Herald's Tome, I can access all sorts of things.

BRENNAN: You're going? It's across the plaza.

SAM: Oh! Oh shit!

LOU: Get up.

SAM: I hop on.

LOU: Hop astride!

SAM: Okay, what do I hold on to?

LOU: Me! (laughter)

LUIS: Yes!

BRENNAN: Incredible.

LUIS: I'm going to take a-- How much time do I have left?

BRENNAN: It is 4:15, 4:20am.

TRAVIS: You got until sunrise.

LUIS: I have until sunrise. Right.

BRENNAN: And sunrise is 5:45, so you have a little over an hour.

LUIS: Before I lose myself.

BRENNAN: Before you lose yourself.

LUIS: Laerryn is here.

AABRIA: Laerryn is going back to where she needs to go to do the work that she needs to do.

LUIS: Okay. Hmm. I stop you, and all you see is me just hold your face, and then just kiss you on your forehead. I forgive you for anything that you think you've done. I forgive you. And so does Evandrin. And I leave.

AABRIA: I push the locket into his hands.

BRENNAN: You take it.

AABRIA: The last thing I have of him.

BRENNAN: The last thing.

AABRIA: And run away.

BRENNAN: You run away. Cerrit, Patia, Zerxus, where are you heading?

MARISHA: Cerrit, where did you send your children?

TRAVIS: To be with their mother.

MARISHA: Where is that?

TRAVIS: I don't know.

AABRIA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: I don't know.

MARISHA: How old is young Maya now?

TRAVIS: 14.

MARISHA: What a lovely age. I walk to my great grandfather's statue.

BRENNAN: Amazing.

MARISHA: That's where I'm heading.

BRENNAN: You are going to the Archsept. You're going to the top of the city.

MARISHA: I'm going to the Archsept.

BRENNAN: You head there.

TRAVIS: Where is Zerxus going?

SAM: Oh, we're going--

BRENNAN: Well, you two are going to Excelsior Plaza.

SAM: Oh, Zerxus.

BRENNAN: Where is Zerxus going?

LUIS: I'm going to see my son.

BRENNAN: You're going to go find Elias. You see Zerxus is heading over the edge of the city down to Cathmoíra.

TRAVIS: He looks different.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

TRAVIS: I follow Zerxus.

BRENNAN: You got it.

MARISHA: I told Laerryn I will meet her there.

AABRIA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Quick stop for me.

LOU: We'll join you as soon as possible.

BRENNAN: All of you vanish. Doom has come. The Betrayers walk the world. Karwen of the Hall of Prophecy, who predicted this, has told you the fate that will befall this world should the Primordials rejoin their ancient allies. Fire spreads. The Ring of Brass has precious little time. Let us all hope that they may do as they have so often done for their city. And we'll find out if they succeed after the break.

TRAVIS: Oh man!

AABRIA: No.

Part II[edit source]

LOU: Scablamity!

BRENNAN: Now that one was on camera, for sure.

LOU: So no one heard what I said before. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Scablamity and earlier, at the top of the episode, Santa orgy. (laughter)

AABRIA: That's a snitch. That's snitch behavior.

BRENNAN: Ho-ho-ho. So Avalir, fire spreads. We return in this moment to the City of Crowns. As we do, I think we will actually begin at the Archsept with Patia Por'co, the closest place to the Hall of Prophecy. Patia, you arrive and see the Archsept untouched. There are active magical wards here repelling extraplanar beings that are not extended throughout the entirety of the city. You enter and see the lights dimmed by the coming of the middle of the night. You see the soft red lights around in the dome. The grandfather, your grandfather, the statue of Imyr the Bold above you. As you enter the Archsept, what do you do?

MARISHA: Just walk up to the base of his statue and I say: Hello, Grandfather. Happy Replenishment. I saw the choice that you made and, henceforth, an entire civilization of people have been implicated in your decision. The Gau Drashari could have been more forthcoming. They should have shared their knowledge. But it seems these selfish choices have been reverberating through all of us. Grandfather, I have dedicated my entire life to Avalir. I bore no children. I took no spouse. Only the umbilical connection that I have to this city and the legacy of the Por'cos. The cycle of selfishness. I do not know if we will ever be rid of it. But I hope I can do my part in ending it here for now, for Avalir. I'm going to Levitate up. The city, the replica he's holding of Avalir, how big is it?

BRENNAN: 20 feet wide.

MARISHA: Are there any little pieces that I could break off of it?

BRENNAN: The very top is the Archsept and beneath that in the neighborhood of Gallamor, there is the Palazzo Por'co and the Librarium Incantatum, all of which you could...

MARISHA: I take the library and I take my sphere of power that I have inscripted, every scroll, every text, every memory of mine, every conversation, every backhand deal, every happy memory that I have possessed in my power. I take both of them in my hand and I cast Teleport to Maya, Cerrit's children.

BRENNAN: An orb, and the library vanish. (whoosh) You look. You've spent a life collecting and collecting and collecting scrolls into a library and memories into an orb. Here in this moment, having scarred the perfect replica of Avalir, and look up at your grandfather. I have a question for you. We have heard Patia speak often of her grandfather. We have never heard her speak of her parents. A silence deep and profound, so I want to ask you, do you think your memories of them are in that orb or were they taken away? If they were taken away, do you think they were taken away by you yourself or by your grandfather when he was alive?

MARISHA: It's strange. A little bit of above-the-table Marisha here. There wasn't even a second when considering Patia's backstory that I thought or considered her parents. I figured, if anything, they dedicated their life to Avalir just as she did and that connection was stronger.

BRENNAN: As the orb leaves, teleporting away from you, a young girl, looking at the face of an old and bitter Imyr the Bold. "Granddaughter, where your mother and father failed, you will succeed. I know it in my heart to be true. It will be easier, I think, for us both to forget, don't you?" Here you see a twinge in his eye, the dream of Avalir needs to be perfect.

MARISHA: I, before the teleport sphere or spell completes, I reach out almost wanting to get it back, but I think there's nothing else I need to know. I think I know it all already.

BRENNAN: How much have you changed? How many memories have you erased? How perfect have you made this dream? The orb and library are gone and you feel the spell complete, and somewhere in the world, someone is holding the work of your life.

MARISHA: It's all on you, smart girl.

BRENNAN: Door opens, and Loras of the Weaver's Mask steps through. "Archmage Por'co," begins to descend the staircase.

MARISHA: What the hell are you doing here?

BRENNAN: "I? You speak quite boldly. What happens in the city? There's word of chaos and ruin!"

MARISHA: Go fuck yourself, Loras. And I walk past him.

BRENNAN: Where do you walk to?

MARISHA: Meet up with Laerryn.

BRENNAN: He looks at you and says, "Do you deny me my right? Do you deny me the ability to speak to you and make commands? I am a member of the Ring of Gold! I serve Eldamir the Wise, Archmage of the Septarion!"

MARISHA: Look around, Loras. Do you really think a title holds any weight in this moment right now?

BRENNAN: Outside (explosions) (screaming, more explosions). He looks at you and says, "(laughs) You've lost your mind. Something is happening. You've lost your mind." You see that he rushes from this place. He flies out the window and you see him ascending, lights in the Sept light up, of alarm, of concern, of worry. You see, as you are walking out, appearing at the top of the staircase, looking confused and frightened, is Eldamir the Wise who appears again. "Is everything all right?"

MARISHA: Eldamir, my liege, I am afraid I have failed you this day. As has Loras, as has many a mage here in Avalir.

BRENNAN: "(gasps) Oh dear, oh no. The city-- It's all right, my sweet young girl, it's all right. We must have the Herald inform the citizenry."

MARISHA: He's already on it.

BRENNAN: "He's going to tell them to divert their spell energy into the Etheric Net to preserve the city?"

MARISHA: Does that sound like viable fucking plan?

BRENNAN: It sounds like something you would say if you wanted to preserve Avalir at the expense of all the people living in it. (laughter)

MARISHA: Uh-huh. Right.

AABRIA: I mean, maybe when we do it--

LOU: Yeah, pretty chill, I don't know, I'm kind of down.

TRAVIS: "I'm just old-ass Eldamir the Wise."

MARISHA: I say: Eldamir, the Herald has always had Avalir's best intentions at heart. He'll know exactly what to say.

BRENNAN: "Very good. We must hurry. I will tell the Golden Scythe we need as many of their ships as possible to transport the effects of the Septarion from the city at once for safe keeping. We must protect the Septarion."

MARISHA: I know we have like 90 minutes and so I--

BRENNAN: He mutters to himself.

MARISHA: Barely, barely nod out of more of a force of habit than an actual bow of respect, and get to Laerryn.

BRENNAN: You are gone. You get to Laerryn as fast as you can. As I pass Loras, I just... One more dagger as I pass by.

BRENNAN: He stares at you as well.

MARISHA: I say: You will die tonight a traitor, and not just to Avalir, but yourself.

BRENNAN: He gazes at you, one eye, the other covered in the darkness of his half mask. "I will live to see tomorrow, and I cannot say the same for you." He vanishes from this place. As he does so, we're going to cut--

MARISHA: Motherfucker!

TRAVIS: Counterspell it! Fight him to the death!

MARISHA: (growling) I would do it.

TRAVIS: I know.

MARISHA: I would do it if I wasn't busy!

TRAVIS: Yeah, we got shit to do.

TRAVIS and BRENNAN: Got shit to do.

LOU: Exactly. There's a city to save.

AABRIA: Just kill him real quick.

TRAVIS: But petty shit.

MARISHA: Petty shit.

BRENNAN: He takes off from here. We go now, it is-- yes? It is hell on earth at Excelsior Plaza.

LOU: As we're flying, can I make perception checks with regard to the Harvest Moon ships that we have at that are available to us in parts of the city that are not completely under siege?

BRENNAN: You can see what ships you have available to you. You see what parts of the city are not under siege. I will allow you to get that as you're riding, you just have that.

LOU: Cool.

BRENNAN: You have five full galleons in harbor right now. The rest, you have a massive fleet of skyships, but they are traveling around the world making money.

LOU: Great.

BRENNAN: There are five docked here. I'm going to say you arrive with Loquatius. You can drop Loquatius off on the ceiling or the roof.

LOU: Tell people to head to the galleons, there are five. Those who cannot teleport can travel out of the city that way. And mention, I'm sure if you mention it, the people who can man the ships will head there as well.

SAM: I'll try my best.

LOU: Yes, and I'll meet you back up here or?

SAM: We'll all find our way to where we're going next.

LOU: We shall.

SAM: Thank you, brother.

LOU: Of course.

SAM: It's a really cool ride, by the way.

LOU: It's not bad. Hyah! (laughter)

BRENNAN: (Shak) "I didn't get to say my thing." (laughter)

SAM: Don't mock his name! Don't have his name mocked or whatever!

LOU: No, his memory shall be mocked. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Cool. You are dropped off at the top of the Herald's Tome. Seeing chaos down below, the dragon takes off, through thick smoke. You're coughing as you arrive at the top of the Guildhall of the Golden Scythe. As you wend your way down with the dragon, do you leave the dragon on the roof or do you bring him down through these?

LOU: I'll bring the fucking dragon with me.

BRENNAN: You bring the dragon with you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, baby. Hell yeah.

LOU: I'm headed to wherever I was earlier with Alessander, the home of all the constructs in the city.

BRENNAN: All the constructs, yes, absolutely. You get down there and you see there's a central hall. You go through the central hall to get to that bank of construct engines, remote construct engines. You get to the Guildhall. The doors are barricaded. You can hear things smashing on the outside. There's Sailor-Marines of the Harvest Moon here. Alessander and Daenyria and Captain Badran are all inside. They see you appearing from upstairs. Badran says, "Guildmaster, there's chaos outside!"

LOU: Yes, and we must meet it.

BRENNAN: You see, he looks and says, "We've just received word from the Ring of Gold. They require our ships at the top of the city!"

LOU: Damn the Ring of Gold! The people of Avalir must survive!

AABRIA: Woo!

LOU: I'm going to push past them. I'm headed to the wherever we keep the Taxmen.

BRENNAN: Incredible. Are you heading to where the Taxmen are kept physically, or are you going to their engines?

LOU: The engine where we would control them from.

BRENNAN: The engine where you would control them from.

LOU: I say: Badran, Alessander, with me!

BRENNAN: They start coming with you. You see Badran and Alessander are running behind you and they say, "Sire, the Ring of Gold, what of the treasure in the vault? Our ships for the--"

LOU: Damn the treasure, all right? This city, the evil we face is beyond anything we know. The material goods mean nothing anymore, only life. That is what we will save. That is how this beacon, this city will survive. (laughs) Our hoard means nothing. Alessander, power up the Taxmen. They must defend the people! Badran, you must-- you and the Harvest Moon will fight your way to the galleon. You will take the people you can with them. As many as you can, get on the ship safely and you will leave. You will leave and you will go far from this place, far from Vasselheim. It will be done! I'm going to go about setting all this stuff up.

BRENNAN: You...

TRAVIS: Feelin' it, man.

AABRIA: Let's fucking go. Okay!

TRAVIS: You sure you're not a paladin? (laughter)

BRENNAN: You turn to walk. You hear Badran, as you are facing him say, "As you will, Guildmaster." So that he can wait for you to turn your back.

LUIS: (gasps)

BRENNAN: And a sword (gasping) plunges through your stomach (gasping) from behind, as Badran, a pirate, pushes his sword through your torso. "You've lost your mind. At the beginning of time, the gods made all the gold there ever will be. There will always be more people."

AABRIA and MARISHA: Ooh.

BRENNAN: He pulls the sword out, dealing 24 points of damage to you.

AABRIA: How hot was he when he said that?

TRAVIS: That line is fucked.

MARISHA: (hyperventilates)

AABRIA: Yeah, that was pretty hot.

TRAVIS: That is some cursed shit.

SAM: I can't take anymore. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Oh man. What is wrong with Brennan, you guys?

LOU: I hold the concentration on--

BRENNAN: You hold. And 24 doesn't drop you?

LOU: 24 doesn't drop me, and I hold concentration on Sha'korzhan.

BRENNAN: Ooh! Okay, it is your turn.

LOU: Okay.

MARISHA: (laughs)

LOU: (laughs) I think I'm going to leave the sword inside. No, I have to step off.

TRAVIS: You're holding out like an asshole.

LOU: I will step off of that. (laughs)

BRENNAN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Good looking, bro.

LOU: Step off of the sword. I'm going to get off the sword.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

AABRIA: I don't like this one, shit!

AAABRIA and TRAVIS: (laugh)

MARISHA: Holy shit!

LOU: Cool. I wheel around holding the space where I've been stabbed, looking at the blood as it pools in my hand. Gold. Gold means nothing if you do not use it to lift people up. Gold is a resource by which mortaldom climbs! And if you cannot see that, then you have lost your way, Badran. I'm going to Quicken, I'm going to attack him--

MARISHA: (gasps)

LOU: -- with my sword.

AABRIA: Yeah! Let's go. I need a fan.

LUIS: Let's do this.

MARISHA: I know, right?

LOU: Okay.

AABRIA: Thank you. It's more for sass.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

MARISHA: I know, we need a shade fan.

AABRIA: Yeah.

MARISHA: Yeah, the old church lady fan. Uh-huh.

LOU: Let's fight him like a pirate. I'm going to cast--

LUIS: Like a pirate.

LOU: I'm going to cast Quicken Spell Hold Person on him.

TRAVIS: ♪ Fight him like a pirate ♪ (laughter)

LOU: I'm going to fight him like a pirate. I'm going to cast Hold Person on him, Quicken Spell, wisdom saving throw 18. (laughter)

BRENNAN: That is a natural four on the die. (cheering)

TRAVIS: Yeah, let's go!

LOU: I will now attack him. He is paralyzed. If I hit, they're automatically--

BRENNAN: Crits.

LOU: Crits.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: Oh, please.

LOU: And I also have advantage?

BRENNAN: That is correct.

LOU: Great. First one's going to be a dirty-- It's going to be a 24 to hit.

BRENNAN: That's going to do it.

LOU: Great. Second one is going to be a 25 to hit. So one of these is 2d6, the other one is 2d6 plus 2d10.

BRENNAN: (exhales)

LOU: All right. That's all of them? Yeah, that's everything. Okay, great.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

LOU: Seven, 15, which is 22, plus five, 27 plus 18, 27 plus 18 is--

BRENNAN: Is 45?

LOU: 45, great. Those are my hits. Now, Shak's going to swing on him.

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: (laughs) Shak has three attacks, only one of them needs the advantage. Great, that's two.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LOU: Oh, Badran, why'd you have to do me like this, dog?

MARISHA: (laughs)

LOU: That is... What is that? Your spell attack modifier, So that's plus 10. So, does a 22 hit?

BRENNAN: Yes, it does.

LOU: Great, okay, so that's three more auto crits. Great. Nine, 10, 13, 15, 16 plus... 16 plus 33--

LUIS: Damn.

BRENNAN: 16 plus 33 is another 49.

LOU: So, 45, 49, and then he'll also make a--

MARISHA: Kill this motherfucker outright.

LOU: -- a breath weapon attack that's psychic. (laughter)

AABRIA: Let's go.

LOU: He fails the dexterity saving throw for another nine points of damage.

BRENNAN: So, 45 plus 49?

LOU: Yes.

BRENNAN: Is 94.

LOU: Okay.

BRENNAN: Plus nine?

LOU: Plus nine.

BRENNAN: Badran's sitting pretty at 101 hit points. (gasps) Lou Wilson, how do you want to do this? (exclaiming)

LOU: I'll say that I hit him with the evil eye, a move I used to use (laughs) back in my pirate days, of just like a squinting eye.

BRENNAN: (groans)

LOU: Then I'm just going to ever so slowly place the blade exactly at his heart, and then just walk forward. Badran, you are a pirate and I respect you, but Avalir comes before any oath I made in a past life. (gasping)

BRENNAN: (groans) And he falls dead. Above you--

AABRIA: Love it.

BRENNAN: -- Sha'korzhan, his head in gold above you, roars, and the--

LOU: Oh, can we say that at the end of that--

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LOU: -- Shak just--

BRENNAN: Bites his head off?

LOU: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You twist. A man stabbed you in the back, and you had the decency to stab him from the front, right through the fucking heart.

MARISHA: Oh!

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: You stand there bleeding, a full sword wound in your side. Not the first time you've been stabbed in the back, hopefully not the last, but who knows what the night holds.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

BRENNAN: Alessander says, "The ships will be readied, that's it!"

LOU: They will.

BRENNAN: "The ships will be readied. Yes, Guildmaster."

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Alessander's like, oh fine.

BRENNAN: You see he looks and says, "Oh, we will keep them ready. None shall be sent to the Ring of Gold."

LOU: None!

BRENNAN: He says, "We have five ships. We will make as many ready as we can. One of the ships is a smaller--" He says, "We have a smaller frigate off to the side." He looks and says, "The university. Do you want us to send a ship there?"

LOU: Yes, please.

BRENNAN: "Yes, it will be done."

LOU: As quickly as possible.

BRENNAN: "It will be done, Guildmaster. We'll see to it right away. Everyone! There has been a change in the organizational structure. I will be commanding the Sailor-Marines of the Harvest Moon."

AABRIA: Let's go.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: You see, he steps up-- (laughs) He's still got a fucking candle on the top of his hat. (laughter)

LOU: I step forward and take that off. You won't be needing this.

BRENNAN: "Oh, very well!" You see he takes off-- Blow the candle out. You stride forward. You stride forward with the dragon still beside you. You walk into the hall of constructs. Looking at the engines, which engines are you looking for?

LOU: I want to power up all the Taxmen and send all but two to deal with the devils in Excelsior Plaza, and move out from there.

BRENNAN: Hell, yes. You head out. Give me an investigation check.

LOU: Oh god. ♪ We ♪ Oh, that's a 13. Alessander, how does this damn thing work? (laughter)

BRENNAN: Shak will give you advantage on that.

LOU: Okay. (laughter) 14.

MARISHA: I'm more of the creative mind.

BRENNAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LOU: Shak, get Alessander to show us how this damn thing works.

BRENNAN: I'm going to say you get the Taxmen. You start looking. As you're going through on that low thing, you don't see a thing in the Taxmen. You look in the wall of hodmedod engines, of which there are vastly the most. They are the cheapest to make. You have the most of them.

LOU: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You look at one of them, one of the engines. There's something wrong. You look down. It's the engine for one of yours, one of your couple hundred that you brought to the Feast of Imyr.

LOU: Mm.

BRENNAN: You see Infernal writing on it: Ghor Dranas. You remember an element of mystery earlier this day, although it feels like a lifetime ago. A hodmedod disanimating in the middle of the Feast of Imyr with the word Ghor Dranas. You hear behind you (raspy call) Kn'authi emerging from the shadows. They've been in here somehow, tampering with these, the hodmedod must have been practice. They begin to encircle. Your wound's still there, Sha'korzhan looks at you.

LOU: Is there any chance of us...?

BRENNAN: There are so many. (monster growl)

LOU: I think, in this moment, Nydas realizes that for the most part what he wanted to be done is done. He's going to grab onto Shak and be like: We must flee! And take off.

BRENNAN: As you say you must flee, you hear-- (snorts) (reverberating roar) The Kn'authi are scattered to the wind. Covered in blood, limping out of the shadows you see a sphinx. (cheering)

TRAVIS: No fucking way!

BRENNAN: "(pants)"

LUIS: It's a--

MARISHA: It's a boon!

LOU: I sprint up to him.

BRENNAN: "(exhales)"

LOU: Oh shit, what is his name? (laughter)

BRENNAN: Feromyne.

SAM: That was a really good roar. (laughter)

LOU: Feromyne!

BRENNAN: "Let us, if we can, if it is all right with you, consider this the boon, and I would like to be paid for my parade appearance." (laughter)

LOU: Alessander has been reassigned to Commander of the Harvest Moon, but we will be sure that your payment is seen to.

BRENNAN: "They came in. I saw them do something."

MARISHA: I just said gold.

BRENNAN: He points and says, "They didn't have time. I killed many of them as they attempted, but they did tamper with some." You look and see, you can send all of the Taxmen to work. You have many of them. You can activate them here. You see that some of the Taxmen's engines have been tampered with. Four.

LOU: The ones at the Leywright? Or does it seem potentially like it could be the four at the Leywright?

BRENNAN: It seems like it'd be the four at the Leywright.

LOU: I'd like to communicate that over to Laerryn, over the telepathic-- Laerryn, the Taxmen, the Kn'authi have been in the construct engine room. They possibly have tampered with the four Taxmen that were in the room. Proceed with caution!

BRENNAN: You look. Feromyne says, "Hurry, hurry. There is no--" You hear (energy buzz) and you see a legion of Taxmen walk out. As you leave the engine room, the K'nauthi here are all dead. Feromyne is bloody, walks with you. Sha'korzhan comes out with you, and you see a group of about 10 Taxmen get to the barricaded door that is being battered on by devils. One of the Taxmen (unsheathing) And a 14-foot sword--

SAM: A what?

BRENNAN: Blasts through the door. The Taxmen walk out just laying into these devils. (swords swinging)

LOU: Rise, Avalir!

LOU and BRENNAN: Rise! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Feromyne hits them with another roar, the Sailors of the Harvest Moon come out and join the Taxmen. You see a group of devils are rounding the corner and a carrowhulk just straight up runs them over just fucking (rampaging carrowhulk) From the roof, you hear, "All right, fellas, let him have it!" A bunch of hodmedods take off and all take their various sandwich boards for local businesses, and just start smacking devils with them. Pah, pah, pah, pah!

AABRIA: Flipping it. Want to buy a sandwich?

LOU: Sure, sure! That as well! (laughter)

AABRIA: Incredible.

BRENNAN: Incredible!

TRAVIS and BRENNAN: (laugh) We are going to move to the Herald's Tome.

SAM: I was dropped off on the roof. I will try to find an entrance, maybe through a balcony or a door on the roof or something?

BRENNAN: Yes, absolutely.

SAM: Okay, I'll try to slide in all awesome-ly.

BRENNAN: Yes. (laughter) You go up to the roof. I'm going to say the door is locked, but you know there's an old side entrance. When you first bought the building all those years ago, it was a place to come up and grab a cigarette on the roof if you didn't want to go all the way down to the front.

TRAVIS: (laughs)

BRENNAN: This is your home, man.

SAM: Sure.

BRENNAN: You bust in through that side entrance. You're in here. It's quiet. It's deserted--

SAM: So nobody's here? Shit, I'm going to call out anyway, Aria? Gwyn? Kaizu, Elwir, anyone here? Anyone?

BRENNAN: You say Aria--

AABIRA: Goddamn it.

BRENNAN: -- and a moment later, Aria's there, full nightgown, got curlers in her hair. Just, you know, truly like-- (gasps)

SAM: I need pen. I need parchment. I need my gold robe. And if--

BRENNAN: "You're 100% naked."

SAM: I know, yes, I am. Just don't look, it's fine. I've got a little leather on. If a woman named Bolo calls, just ignore her, she's--

BRENNAN: "Bolo has been calling me all night."

SAM: Just ignore her. I don't want any of those messages. Throw them in the trash. Give me one. (laughter)

SAM: I need my gold robe. We need to broadcast now. Is anyone here who can run the equipment?

BRENNAN: "I can, I can do it."

SAM: All right.

BRENNAN: "I can do it."

SAM: So I explain to her that we have a series of crystal beacons around Avalir, and then there's projectors on the side of the islet, on the side of the floating island.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

SAM: I'd like to somehow, if it's possible, direct them, so that instead of sending out individual images, they're all focused in one direction below us.

BRENNAN: Yes.

SAM: Trying to shine a gigantic projection down onto Cathmoíra.

BRENNAN: Amazing. I'm going to go ahead and say that you jump in, start getting to work, Aria jumps in with the technical stuff and starts to help. This is stuff that is normally supposed to be for very special occasions only, but you tap in and just override the systems and light and projection. You are about a mile above Cathmoíra right now, you're beneath the weather line, and your image can be protected to Cathmoíra. All the crystal screens all over the city come up online. Aria looks and hears the screams outside and says, "Is everything all right? What's happening?"

SAM: No, nothing is all right, everything's bad. But it's all right, we're about to make it better. That's our job and we're here to do it. So I need--

BRENNAN: "Parchment and pen." She gets you parchment and stuff like that--

SAM: Thank you.

BRENNAN: She starts getting everything online.

SAM: I start scribbling, scribbling, scribbling, crossing things out, scribbling, scribbling.

BRENNAN: As she runs to another room to get that stuff, you start scribbling, you feel something.

SAM: Oh no.

BRENNAN: Golden leaves move in a circle in front of you and a gate opens.

SAM: Uh, what?

TRAVIS: Golden leaves?

BRENNAN: You look forward and see... You look forward and see Feywild.

SAM: Oh.

BRENNAN: Golden trees and golden grass. You see (energy buzz) Beautiful Lady Elmenore, High Warqueen of the Burning Vale, Matriarch of the Seelie Court. "Listen now, all my children scattered across the wide world. I have but one chance to open the door for you. The world of mortals is beyond our reach. Doom comes at the rising of the sun. I wish that I could save all those who now face ruin, but I may leave this door open only for those children of our court." You can see that she is sending this, a broadcaster much like yourself, to every Seelie fairy.

TRAVIS: You're a child of the Seelie Court?

SAM: So I can just step through this, this portal? Or do I have to--

BRENNAN: You see in the Feywild, portals opening all over Exandria. The fairies are leaving. The fairies are leaving the world because what is to come...

SAM: (sighs)

TRAVIS: You are a descendant of the fucking Seelie Court?

SAM: I don't know if she can hear me.

BRENNAN: You sense that she is present in the minds of all she is speaking to. You also see that as she sits, by the side of her throne you see that there is a scroll written on rotting-looking parchment. It looks like a missive from the Hells themself, as though--

SAM: They were warned or something?

BRENNAN: As though they were warned, some ancient pact between the Fey and Fiends, basically that the Lord of the Hells had to be like, "I'm giving you--"

MARISHA: -- which way to dodge.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

MARISHA: Sorry, sorry.

BRENNAN: No, no, exactly. The idea of him saying like, "Hey, this doesn't concern you, what's about to happen."

AABRIA: Damn.

BRENNAN: "Get out."

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Or stay and find out.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

AABRIA: You know you want to save our friends.

SAM: I will reply to her.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

SAM: Oh, sorry.

BRENNAN: Yeah, yeah. You reply to her, she opens her eyes and beholds you. You can see that you have, she's an archfey. She's able to split her attention between as many people as she wants to.

SAM: My lady, I have been gone from you for so long. And a great danger has befallen Exandria. I don't know what to do. I can't be in both places at the same time. But if you call, I must, I must come. I will come. And I step forward, and I cast Gift of Gab. And I take back that last thing, and I stay. And I'll just turn my back on the door and let it close.

AABRIA: No! No, you have to go.

BRENNAN: You...

LUIS: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: You choose ruin and the world. You choose to cast aside the gift of your court and the right of your kin and all those from the realm of your birth, to remain here in the home you have chosen.

SAM: I'm sorry, my lady. I love you, but I love another more.

BRENNAN: "My child, my heart breaks. But I would rather mine break and yours be kept whole." She blows a kiss to you, and your ticket from this place closes. (sighs) You have--

TRAVIS: Ah, ah! Wha-- (laughs)

AABRIA: Where'd the tissues go? I don't need them. I'm fine. I'm fine.

TRAVIS: "Mine break and yours stay whole."

AABRIA: Oh my god!

TRAVIS: That is-- What is wrong with you?

AABRIA: (laughs) Correct.

SAM: I'll hand--

LOU: -- tissues?

SAM: -- a parchment to Aria and just say: Proofread this, quickly! And get me powder. (laughs)

BRENNAN: Yes, she-- (laughs)

AABRIA: You are a changeling!

BRENNAN: Poof! Yeah, she... (laughs) She poof, poof, poof, poof. She powders you. She looks at it, says, "This is great. Do we want to incor-- Oh, we do have some Market of Wonders spots. Do we want to include any sponsorship?

SAM: Sure, sure, sure. Put it in, put it in. (laughter)

BRENNAN: She...

AABRIA: ABCEI, close in.

BRENNAN: Incredible. (laughter)

BRENNAN: She gets everything set up for you.

SAM: They're a primo sponsor. I have to, I have to.

LOU: Just somewhere in a burning tower, someone's like, "You know what? If we make it out of this..."

BRENNAN: You still have your, you also still have that recording that you made about Laerryn. That's still on your person as well.

SAM: Sure, sure.

BRENNAN: Just saying that. You get ready to go up. You walk past, on your way to the dais, getting everything ready, you see, you walk past the desk of Elena Tuvaris, who is not here. But you have just, you have just thrown away the chance to live forever amongst your court. And you are doing it for the woman you love, the world you love, the people you love. You look at the desk of Elena Tuvaris as you walk past. A reporter of yours, that as you look, the reporter that discovered that something had happened to Evandrin Alterra. And once you had confirmed that it was Evandrin's choice to take those risks, it's the first time you killed the truth, to protect the woman who now, in this moment, you protect once more.

SAM: As I pass your desk, I'll just take off my little pin, the symbol of the Herald, and I'll just place it on the desk and just say: I'm sorry. And continue on.

BRENNAN: You walk forward. You arrive at the dais. You're getting ready. Aria is setting up. You have your copy.

LOU: Getting ready? (groans)

BRENNAN: You stand there, and you see that there is a noise beside you as you approach the dais. (booms) And Loras of the Weaver's Mask appears.

SAM: Fuck you. This guy.

AABRIA: Goddamn it.

LUIS: No!

SAM: It's a projection.

MARISHA: I should have fucking killed him. I should've fucking killed him. I regret it.

SAM: Is he in the room?

BRENNAN: He is in the room.

SAM: Fuck you, dude!

MARISHA: Fuck this guy.

BRENNAN: He looks at you and you see, he says, "(pants) Herald, I bring news from the Septarion. You must immediately broadcast to the subjects of Avalir. They must be commanded to divest themselves of all of their spell energy into the Etheric Net. The city must be preserved, T-t-tell them that they, many of them a-a-are fleeing, it seems, f-f-for ships. That cannot be allowed. The ships must be redirected to the top of the city. This is the command of the Septarion itself."

SAM: (exhales) I appreciate that command. Y-y-yes, I will. That's exactly what I had planned. A-a-absolutely.

BRENNAN: Give me a deception. (cheering)

MARISHA: Yes!

LOU: Yes!

MARISHA: I should've fucking killed him.

SAM: Okay, it's a 25.

AABRIA: That's low for you.

SAM: I know. It's as low as I can go.

TRAVIS: You gave me a 33.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

BRENNAN: He looks at you. "Good."

LOU: (excited noise)

BRENNAN: "Good." And you see, he says, "(sighs) See it's done, Herald." And--

SAM: Would you like to watch the broadcast?

LOU: (laughs)

MARISHA: Mm, mm, mm.

BRENNAN: "By all means." You see that Aria gestures him over to his seat. He sits. Yeah, you see that he sits, and you can see that he's beginning to do Sendings in his head with other mages elsewhere in the city.

SAM: Okay.

BRENNAN: You see him say, "My master Eldamir, I'm with the Herald."

SAM: As he's distracted, I'm going to cast Wall of Force around him.

LUIS: Fucking A!

AABRIA: Best man in the world.

TRAVIS: Are you, are you you pulling--?

SAM: What level spell is Wall of Force?

SAM: It is...

MARISHA: Oh, come on. Six or so?

SAM: It is a six, it's my highest.

BRENNAN: It's a six. So the DC 16, he's going to try to hit you with a Counterspell, but he's rolling it straight. He needs a 12 or higher. We'll roll in front of the board.

SAM: Oh, that's a lot. That's easy to get, that's easy to get. It's easy to get.

ALL: Oh!

SAM: No, nuts, nuts!

BRENNAN: How does Silvery Barbs work?

LOU: Disadvantage on the roll, and then you give advantage--

SAM: Can I reaction Silvery Barbs him?

BRENNAN: You can reaction.

SAM: I will do that.

MARISHA: Yes.

AABRIA: Give yourself advantage on your next roll.

SAM: I'll need it, because he's going to roll great.

AABRIA: Roll bad.

MARISHA: Roll bad. (cheering)

BRENNAN: Eight. So you see he goes, as you stand there, you see that he looks at you. He says, "Sorry, I'm with the Herald right now. He's about to cast a spell, (yells)" and you see, voom, he is surrounded in Wall of Force. You smack his Counterspell out of the way, and he screams, "Ha, you are a traitor! A traitor to the Septarion, a trai--" and all you hear (muffled mumbling) (laughter)

MARISHA: Also, don't steal my words, bitch. (laughter)

MARISHA: You're the traitor, you just got that from me.

SAM: Aria, are we ready?

BRENNAN: "Here we--" and she looks in horror. What the fuck, what the fuck? She says, "Um..."

SAM: Count me down!

BRENNAN: "In five, four, three, two."

AABRIA: Let's go!

SAM: Good evening, Avalir and Cathmoíra. No. Good evening, Toramunda. It is I, Loquatius Seelie. I report the news, win, draw, or lose. I am your heartfelt, handsome Herald, addressing you now for the last time.

LOU: I mean, I appreciate it.

SAM: (clears throat) Fire.

AABRIA and BRENNAN: (laugh)

SAM: Mayhem, chaos, but also hope. Fear is in the air, but the spirits of Avalir are strong, and our brothers and sisters in Cathmoíra inspire us with their bravery, sincerity, and pure, forgiving hearts. Ladies and gentlemen, the Replenishment is canceled. (laughter) Our centuries-old bond, severed. The truth is, our wizards have failed you. The Septarion, the Ring of Gold, Loras of the Weaver's Mask: Liars, traitors, scoundrels, and curs. Their hubris run amok. But our two cities are like a married couple. We may have our differences.

LOU: Oh my god.

SAM: We may not have the same goals. We may even separate for a time. (laughter) (gasping)

SAM: But we are connected by love for eternity. We made a promise to each other, and it's one we must fulfill. Tonight, right now, a grave danger approaches your homes. But don't trust me, trust someone else. I will transform my face and body into Eldamir the Wise. (laughter)

SAM: (elderly voice) Oh, hello. (laughter)

SAM: It is I, Eldamir the Wise. Loquatius speaks true as always. There are prehistoric terrors, and man-made mistakes abound. But you can survive if you use your clever minds and passionate hearts to run. Flee now. Take nothing but your loved ones, and get off Cathmoíra immediately. You have until sunrise. Take every available skyship at the galley. There are five. Take any means you need to to escape this place from Avalir. Use your magic to save yourself. I have instructed all the ruling elites and administrators of this city to go down with the ship. If you are hearing my voice, and you are part of the administration, any administration, you must stay aboard this city as it falls. (laughter)

AABRIA: Oh, yes!

SAM: Then my face transforms back into Loquatius. Well, you heard it there, folks. Please. (laughter)

SAM: Remember your Avalir siblings and the sacrifices we made for you. Remember Cerrit, the Eyes of Avalir, and his bravery. Remember Nydas, the Dragon, and his sense. Remember Patia Por'co, Keeper of Scrolls, and all the wisdom she brought. Remember brave Zerxus and Evandrin, the First Knights of Avalir. And remember (tearfully) the Architect Arcane, Laerryn, the most beautiful woman in the world. And also, remember the Market of Wonders-- (laughter)

SAM: -- specializing in Mercer's Discount Spell Ink. We'll beat the price of any other ink maker in town, or your next bottle is free. (laughter)

SAM: I'm Loquatius Seelie-- And I'll drop my golden complexion and just use my true face, my true changeling face-- saying: Seelie you later. (weeping) (clapping)

LOU: I think Nydas, down there, (laughs) is watching, enraptured.

LUIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: In general...

AABRIA: That was incredible.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: In general, rolls tend to be asked for in moments where chance is required. But occasionally people, without needing to roll a die at all, just give you a nat 20. So that deception check, as the administration of the city hears that they are being commanded to stay and see this through, allows the populace of Avalir to rush towards the horizon. With those administrators staying, not only are the five galleys of the Golden Scythe kept, all the skyships, all the private vessels, machines, ornithopters, carpets, all manner of things are made ready. And in that broadcast is a candle of hope held forward into the world, that the people of this city might have a chance, which is more than the great Archmages of the Septarion would ever have given them. Aria looks, sees the Wall of Force, Loras screaming from within it. She looks up at you and just goes, "It's meant the world to me to work for you. I don't know what the shape of the world's going to be. I don't know what's happening out there, but I know that no matter how dark it gets out there, that the truth is going to matter."

SAM: It always does. And you are a big part of it. Thank you.

AABRIA: I don't like her. (laughter)

BRENNAN: She embraces you.

SAM: We only fucked a few times.

AABRIA: Okay. Like less than a dozen?

SAM: Probably, yeah.

AABRIA: Okay, I'll allow it.

BRENNAN: She embraces you. She flees as well. Is there any parting thing you say? Because Loras is fully trapped here.

SAM: Oh!

BRENNAN: Yeah, but--

SAM: Loras, yeah, I forgot about you for a second. You'll be fine in a few minutes. You know, I guess, good luck. It's been real. I quit. (laughter)

SAM: So this is my two weeks' notice! (laughter) Good luck finding a replacement! And I'll just moonwalk out.

BRENNAN: You moonwalk out, perfect. Perfect, perfect. Incredible.

LOU: There's weird disco music playing. (humming disco music)

BRENNAN: Incredible. Ah, ah, ah, ah, okay. We are going to move to Cathmoíra. We move to Cathmoíra from there. Zerxus, you fly down as fast as you can. As you are landing, you see the broadcast. You know, a 100-foot tall, wreathed in light and mist, projected illusion of Loquatius alerts all of Cathmoíra to the coming dread, Avalir and Cathmoíra both. You alight. Go ahead and give me a stealth check and a perception check.

TRAVIS: 25.

BRENNAN: 25.

LUIS: Seven.

BRENNAN: Seven.

BRENNAN: You're a ghost. You're a shadow.

LUIS: Oh, no, two.

SAM: Oh! (laughs)

AABRIA: Incredible.

LUIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: So you hit the ground in Cathmoíra. I assume you go to the home of Nydas' brother.

LUIS: Oh my god. I see this projection, right?

BRENNAN: You see the projection, yes, absolutely.

LUIS: Do I get a sense that the city has been emboldened because of this?

BRENNAN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the command has been given for the people to flee.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: You see that there are a number of sky ships also docked here in Cathmoíra. So there are some vessels here as well, that people are fleeing to as fast as they can.

LUIS: I have eyes on Nydas' brother's house. I know that that's where Elias has been living. What do I see? Do I see them fleeing? Do I see them struggling?

BRENNAN: You see some activity as you land. People have gathered here because the Alcald of Cathmoíra is Eaedalus Okiro, is his brother. So you see he's out commanding a bunch of people, wizards, druids, there are guards, basically coming into command of the city that has come to his home rather than to the Great Hall of the city, because it's the middle of the night. You see, this is Nydas' older brother, a handsome man, big, muscular, big stomach, and a long, bushy beard, looks to you, sees you landing and goes, "Zerxus, w-w-what is happening? What is occurring in this moment?"

LUIS: We're in a siege, there's not enough time. You have to flee. You have to listen to what Loquatius said.

BRENNAN: "All right."

LUIS: Where is Elias?

BRENNAN: "Inside, g-g-go now. Is my brother alive, is he all right?"

LUIS: He is, last-- I check in. Nydas?

LOU: Very much so! (laughter)

LUIS: Very much so.

BRENNAN: He says, "All right..."

LUIS: (choked up) Please see, too, that... Please make sure that Elias is okay.

BRENNAN: You see, he says, "He's inside. See him yourself." You see, he points inside. You see silhouetted in the doorway, golden light inside.

LUIS: I know, (groans) I know there's something that I could do exactly, exactly bouncing off of what Loquatius just did that would help the city. I've always chosen the city, and I'm going to choose my son. I'm going to get off of Tempus, and I'm going to walk in there, and I'm going to look at his face.

BRENNAN: Your beautiful son looks at you in shock and horror, seeing the horns spread from your head.

LOU: Oh, that's right.

SAM: Oh shit.

BRENNAN: As you leave the darkness outside, where the shadows could protect--

LUIS: No, no, it's me, it's me, it's me.

BRENNAN: "Daddy. Dad?"

LUIS: Yes, it's me. Just look at my eyes. Don't look at anything else. Just look at my eyes, please. I have to go. I'm going to pull out my journal. I've kept so many of my thoughts and dreams and wishes for him. I hand it to him. I set it on the ground because I don't expect him to actually take it from my hands. This is for you. Everything you've ever wanted to know about me and your father, it's here.

BRENNAN: He does not look like you remember him.

LUIS: He was a child.

BRENNAN: And now he's 13 years old. You look and see Evandrin on his face. He's gawky and a little awkward now. He'll grow into it, but a young half-elven-- A young half-elven boy looks at you and he goes, (tearfully) "Dad, dad, wait. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

LUIS: You have nothing to be sorry about.

BRENNAN: "I do." You see, you haven't even looked in his hands. He's holding a basket with a spell kite attached.

LOU: (blows raspberry)

MARISHA: (groans)

BRENNAN: "I don't know why I didn't send it."

LUIS: It's okay.

BRENNAN: "I don't know why I didn't--"

LUIS: You don't need to explain yourself. I know why, and it's okay. It's okay. Elias, I love you from the moment I laid eyes on you. Everything that I wished for you to know about me, it's in this book. Take it with you. You'll always be five years old to me no matter how much you grow.

BRENNAN: "Dad."

LUIS: I have to go, and I leave. I jump back on Tempus.

BRENNAN: He takes the journal. You jump back on Tempus. Cerrit, in this moment, you see some of this interaction occurring. He takes the journal, and you see Elias stumble back out with you. As you go to alight on Tempus and you see for a moment as he looks, holding your journal, Tempus nuzzles the side of your face and shakes his starry wings, and a single feather falls into the basket attached to the kite. Elias looks at it, holding it. "Dad, tell me that you're going to be all right. Why do you look like this?"

LUIS: What you see on the outside doesn't matter, my son. Just remember what's here. Then you will always see me for who I really am.

BRENNAN: Tempus alights, (whooshing air) and you see your son holding the feather and the journal. Eaedalus looks up at you and says, "You heard the First Knight. All the children, get them to the skyships now."

MARISHA: (groans)

BRENNAN: You see Elias goes, "Dad, Dad!" You see that Eaedalus grabs him and says, "Listen to your father. Listen to him," and grabs him and just hands him off to a pair of guards who take your young son and drag him towards the skyship.

LUIS: I fly back to Avalir on Tempus.

BRENNAN: (whooshes air)

LOU: He fucked up by putting the kids in this, man. (laughter)

AABRIA: Y'all decided to be dads, like, it's bullshit, what the fuck.

LOU: Why couldn't we all be single? (laughter) Why everybody got to have families and love? (laughter)

MARISHA: (groans) (laughter)

BRENNAN: You return.

LUIS: Am I in the sky?

BRENNAN: You're in the sky.

LUIS: I'm going to call out. How much time do I have left before I know I lose myself?

BRENNAN: (exhales sharply) It's about 5:00 in the morning. You see the eastern horizon is becoming a lighter shade of violet.

LUIS: I'm running out of time. I'm going to take advantage of what my friend did to embolden the people of Avalir. I'm going to, in Infernal, call out to the fiends.

BRENNAN: Yes.

LUIS: (shouts) Lay down your weapons!

BRENNAN: (exhales sharply) Give me--

MARISHA: Holy shit!

BRENNAN: Give me either intimidate or persuasion and please do it with advantage.

LUIS: (groans) (groans) Oh god. Persuasion. It's a 15.

BRENNAN: That's not bad.

SAM: It's not terrible.

BRENNAN: You shout out, "Lay down your weapons." Avalir is still very far above you. You hear in Cathmoíra, the chaos begin to subside, that, as you have shouted down this command of the city here, you hear the fiends and k'nauthi and various things like that begin to subside at this bellowing Infernal command. The moment you do, you see that your voice is stopped from reaching Avalir as you feel (groans) a grip in your chest.

LUIS: No!

BRENNAN: You feel "This wasn't the barg-- (growls)" You see that the last paragraph on the haft of your mace alights. The thing that Vespin wrote.

LUIS: No, no.

BRENNAN: The deal is not struck yet. You have less than an hour. You have minutes left.

MARISHA: Oh god.

BRENNAN: You see-- You hear in your mind. (Lord of the Hells) "Oh, how clever. Well. I can always abide by a deal. Let's see how much you can do with the precious minutes you have left!" You fly. The devils lay down their arms in Cathmoíra. You see, as that happens, blood-soaked druids, now that they don't have to fight these fiends, see how few skyships there are, and you see them start touching trees. Trees open (sputters) to their brethren in Gwessar, in Issylra, in Wildemount, throughout Exandria. They say, "Rush, the First Knight has bought us some time. Come through."

MARISHA: Yes.

BRENNAN: People begin to flee Cathmoíra and rush through these druidic portals to other lands, other continents around the world.

AABRIA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: But only groups of nine because of the (gibberish)-- Oh fuck! (clamoring and laughter)

AABRIA: You don't need all of you, go!

MARISHA: So many armless people. (laughs)

BRENNAN: Incredible. You return, Cerrit, seeing this.

TRAVIS: I was just keeping an eye open for anything untoward and I didn't see it. I'm staying on Zerxus, only because there's not something right. There's something not right there.

BRENNAN: Yeah. You all converge--

LUIS: Oh man.

BRENNAN: -- to the Astral Leywright. We're going to cut to Laerryn. Laerryn, you arrive. As you are returning to the center of the Meridian Labyrinth, you know that all these chambers are a short distance from each other. So the Calix, where theoretically Vespin might be, you're not sure, but the Leywright is in different place. Where are you going? What are you doing?

AABRIA: She's running through the halls. If I have time, I'm going to just check on the batteries and make sure that nothing else is untoward with them, and they haven't been sabotaged.

BRENNAN: The other 11 are fine. There was that one that was sabotaged. The one that was like vandalized with the names of Rau'shan and Ka'Mort.

AABRIA: Yeah, I'm going to go and strike out the names and sever it from the array.

BRENNAN: That Eldritch Battery is in a neighborhood called Okún.

AABRIA: (groans)

BRENNAN: It's far. I mean, the batteries are spread out.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Calum is there. You can tell Calum to try and do something there.

AABRIA: Yeah, then, oh god, how do I send a message? My little thingy's gone. I don't know how to tell him.

BRENNAN: I think that there's no way to tell him. You're going to have to figure out a solution from the heart of the lab.

AABRIA: I just trust him.

BRENNAN: It's just trust him.

AABRIA: To do what he needs to do. As I'm moving through the halls, every broadcast Quay has ever made echoes through it. I've never missed one. At his words, I break into a sprint and cast Mirror Image. With the warning from the Dragon, I'm tossing my little all-purpose tool, this little screwdriver, and I turn it into the biggest, meanest version of a wrench and three Laerryns, scraping a massive wrench on the ground and enter into the Calix to take back what's mine.

BRENNAN: Incredible, incredible. You arrive back at the Calix. There, you see.

AABRIA: Or sorry, I go to the Astral Leywright.

BRENNAN: Sorry.

AABRIA: Not the Calix.

BRENNAN: Okay, gotcha. You go to the Leywright. You do not see anyone in the Leywright right now. This has not been a point that-- Your enemies do not know that you intend to do something with this. Go ahead and give me an arcana check, if you'd be so kind.

AABRIA: Fuck it, I can't.

SAM: Roll better.

AABRIA: I can't roll. I am trying. I'm not trying hard enough. I'm just going to double check a bit. Okay, it's plus 10, 19.

SAM: Oh, that's good.

BRENNAN: Okay.

BRENNAN: You need to start working right away. What you are considering is possible. The Leywright, it's an Apogee Solstice moving a leyline off into other planes of existence. Primordials are deeply attached to the same form of geomancy that creates leylines. The names that are written in the Eldritch Battery are written to wake these things up. But you realize if they're written to wake them up, those names can be used to summon them. If it can be used to summon them, it can be used to banish them.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: It's all of a piece, but it's incredibly dangerous. The amount of energy that will be unleashed-- On a 19, you don't know. You don't know what will happen to the city. You don't know what the cost of this working might be.

MARISHA: They didn't want to give you the names.

BRENNAN: Patia arrives in the Calix.

TRAVIS: (excitedly laughs)

MARISHA: Didn't know what it meant, but I heard when I was touching, the tree did not give her the names. We have their names.

AABRIA: (whispers) You're right.

MARISHA: Rau'shan and Ka'Mort.

SAM: Oh, to target them.

AABRIA: I've seen them written.

MARISHA: You've seen them written.

AABRIA: Okay, okay.

MARISHA: Power in a name.

AABRIA: Yeah, there is. I could do this.

MARISHA: I know you can.

BRENNAN: You have a half hour to redo your life's work.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

AABRIA: That's plenty of time. (laughter)

MARISHA: That's right. That is right.

BRENNAN: Go ahead, give me another arcana check. You have the names so you can go ahead and roll this with advantage as Patia jumps in by your side.

MARISHA: Come on, come on, come on.

AABRIA: Oh, a 19 and an 18 for 29.

MARISHA: (claps)

BRENNAN: Incredible. You jump in. As you start, you get your tool. You go to work. You are fixing. You are literally working in the crystalline center of this massive throbbing crystal at the heart of the Leywright. Patia, you are reciting names from the Legend Lore. You are literally scribing through artifice the names, Patia, that you remember. These Primordials have hundreds of names and you are writing all of them. As simple as changing this from moving a leyline into the Astral Realm to moving these Primordials into the Astral Realm. It's possible that you'll be able to limit the release of energy. The release of energy will be tremendous, but you're working on it. You're trying to get it down. You're trying to do it. The city is looking-- Things start to-- Alarms start to sound. You are approaching docking. You are approaching the city coming down to its final conclusion.

AABRIA: Patia, you feel this, right?

MARISHA: Yes.

AABRIA: When it becomes too much, I need you to leave. I need you to take Quay and get out. Okay? I will finish this.

LUIS: I can't be here to stop you. How much time do I have left?

BRENNAN: Zerxus, you are here. I'm going to say that in this moment, all of you converge on this space. We're going to go ahead and put the board out. (clamoring)

MARISHA: (shouts)

AABRIA: Yeah!

SAM: We have to fight something? What?

MARISHA: (growls)

AABRIA: Cool, cool, cool.

TRAVIS: You guys, I have something to (deeply) confess.

SAM: (yells) (laughter)

AABRIA: I knew it. You never trust a bird person. (laughter)

AABRIA: I have to piss so badly.

SAM: Should we just call the episode here and make a fifth episode?

BRENNAN: (laughs) I know. We're going to get through it.

SAM: Kyle just poked his head in and gave you a thumbs up.

BRENNAN: Okay, cool, great.

SAM: I don't know what that means. (laughs)

LOU: It means we're doing it, baby!

AABRIA: We're doing it!

BRENNAN: Yes, we're here. We're here at the end.

AABRIA: Yeah.

LOU: Of all ends.

BRENNAN: But we're just going to push...

SAM: Oh my god, there's a big thing coming out.

BRENNAN: Yes.

AABRIA: Oh my god!

SAM: What is that?

LOU: The Astral Leywright?

AABRIA: Is this my baby?

LOU: Oh, sorry.

SAM: Do you need Lou to move?

BRENNAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SAM: We'll cut all this out--

AABRIA: Do you need hands--

SAM: -- in post, right?

AABRIA: -- on the other side? Fuck.

SAM: Do you got it? Oh god.

AABRIA: Do you guys remember the sheer terror of having to bring out your project at the science fair?

TRAVIS: Oh yeah. Oh, there it is.

SAM: Ace of Cakes. (laughter)

LOU: Who the fuck is that?

AABRIA: (gasps)

SAM: Whoa.

AABRIA: Oh, okay, okay.

BRENNAN: Don't even worry about that guy.

AABRIA: Didn't even see it.

SAM: It's all okay.

BRENNAN: Real quick.

AABRIA: Why is my room dirty?

BRENNAN: Why is my room so dirty? It's all good.

TRAVIS: Look at the stained glass.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

SAM: Lighting effects. Oh, lighting effects.

AABRIA: It's right there.

SAM: It's over there.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

SAM: Yes, there we go.

LUIS: Oh my god.

SAM: What on earth?

TRAVIS: I think you just flip it over.

AABRIA: Just flip it around?

SAM: Around.

BRENNAN: Flip it around? Gotcha. Okay, gotcha.

MARISHA: Perfect.

BRENNAN: Okay, great.

MARISHA: Absolutely perfect.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

SAM: Wow.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

LOU: What a place to end it all.

MARISHA: Hey, girl. Oh. (laughs)

SAM: Oh, jesus. I thought it was a bad guy.

LUIS: No, no. (laughter)

MARISHA: (screams and groans)

TRAVIS: Tempus, fuck!

LUIS: We don't know.

MARISHA: Told you about this, Tempus.

LUIS: He can be a good guy for just a little while longer.

MARISHA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: Okay. We are not entering initiative right now, but this is it. This is the Leywright. This is where--

LOU: Don't forget Shak.

BRENNAN: And don't forget Shak. Shak, where'd you go?

LOU: On the left side.

AABRIA: Shak, foo!

BRENNAN: Yes, thank you.

AABRIA: (gasps)

TRAVIS: Damn!

AABRIA: A baby.

MARISHA: Look at him.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah, okay.

TRAVIS: Tempus and Shak always like--

AABRIA: A child.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Rivalry.

LOU: Yes. Who's the cooler?

TRAVIS: Thought I told you.

BRENNAN: Amazing, okay. As you all descend in here, you are working as fast as you can to conserve this energy. For anyone else, here, as you arrive in this space.

AABRIA: Oh yeah, I want a picture.

LOU: Do I show up shirtless now?

BRENNAN: Hell yeah.

LOU: Taking off my top.

TRAVIS: Fuck it, right, why not?

LOU: Fuck it.

AABRIA: Why is every boy naked?

LOU: To cover the wound, you see that I am absolutely fucking tatted. (laughing and clamoring)

LOU: Big, nasty, pirate tattoos like on my back, it's just a mermaid with just like too big of breasts.

MARISHA: I was going to say, real big--

LOU: Then on the front, it's just a full spiral sea monster.

AABRIA: Let's go!

MARISHA and TRAVIS: (whispering) Uk'otoa.

AABRIA: (whispers) Uk'otoa.

BRENNAN: Incredible. (laughter)

LOU: Anyway, that's what you were asking if anyone had shown up shirtless--

AABRIA: Just back into your old--

TRAVIS: Trauma!

LUIS: Hell yeah.

BRENNAN: Amazing, okay.

LUIS: I'm going to text our group.

AABRIA: Oh god.

BRENNAN: So the city is descending. Your question, the sun rises at 5:45. It is now five-- Sunrise is at 5:45. It is 5:33.

LUIS: No!

SAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: (puff of air)

BRENNAN: As you all hear, it's 5:33, it is the last minutes. You look and see, "Two minutes until Replenishment." You are two minutes from the city docking. You think of everything. You're working as fast as you can. You have two minutes left to do this. The rest of you. Yes, what do you do?

TRAVIS: As she's working, can I go over to Zerxus, having seen all this, landed a little bit later, walk up to him, and I'll just, into his ear quietly say: Your weapon was glowing when you called out. Is there anything we need to know?

LUIS: Yes. You need to know that by the time we land, by the time the sun comes up-- and I say this to everybody-- the deal that I made to buy us some time will take effect, and I will no longer be me.

AABRIA: Will it happen in the next two minutes?

LUIS: I have more than that.

AABRIA: Then you can stay.

LUIS: I am going to stay.

AABRIA: Get out of my way.

LUIS: I'm not in your way!

SAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: With a bonus action.

LUIS: I'm on your side.

AABRIA: I'm just running past.

BRENNAN: Yeah, what's that?

TRAVIS: With a bonus action, can I use Insightful Fighting on Zerxus?

BRENNAN: Yes, you can.

TRAVIS: Just check him out.

BRENNAN: Yes, you can.

LOU: Can I also use a bonus action to cast a 4th-level--

LUIS: I may have said that in Infernal.

LOU: -- Healing Word on myself?

BRENNAN: Yes, you can.

LOU: Great. I'd also like to walk up to Zerxus. I don't think I can make eye contact with him.

MARISHA: Oh, that's the worst. That's the worst.

LOU: I put my hand on your shoulder.

LUIS: His breathing eases.

LOU: Did you see the boy?

LUIS: I did. I think they're safe.

LOU: They will be.

LUIS: You know me, Nydas. Don't let me become something I'm not.

LOU: Brother, you will always be you. And whatever you... I'll make sure.

LUIS: Thank you. I draw the mace and I get ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that this works.

BRENNAN: You're making the last changes you need to make. The city's about to dock. When it does, the Leywright will go off. I want all of you to pick your positions where you are in this room. This is the Leywright, right here.

AABRIA: Right there.

MARISHA: I'll be next to Laerryn.

SAM: I will also be next to Laerryn.

MARISHA: No. (whines)

SAM: I'm just going to put a hand on her shoulder as I do, and give her just some inspiration. My last inspiration.

AABRIA: Oh.

TRAVIS: I'm going to...

LOU: (laughs)

TRAVIS: I'm going to say that I'm definitely back here.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah.

TRAVIS: Where is--

BRENNAN: That's the door, right there. So that's the door to the chamber.

LUIS: I think I would guard the door, unless there's--

BRENNAN: Cool.

LUIS: -- enemies in here.

TRAVIS: I move away from your bitch ass.

LUIS: Yeah. Yeah. Let me do that..

TRAVIS: Put me over in that corner, yeah.

LOU: I'm going to stand beside my brother.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

TRAVIS: I see that mace. I mean, it's nothing personal, but fuck that thing.

AABRIA: Yeah, thank you.

LUIS: I'm not riding Tempus. Is there a window big enough for him to fit through?

BRENNAN: You're deep in the labyrinth.

LUIS: Oh, we're deep in the labyrinth.

BRENNAN: If Tempus would be out doing something, that's totally fine.

LUIS: Oh man. I'm going to keep them in here for now.

BRENNAN: Keep them in here for now? Got it.

LOU: I'd like to be on Shak.

BRENNAN: Hell yes.

LOU: I know it's a nightmare for you, placement wise, but.

SAM: That's why.

LOU: Yes, exactly. (laughter) Because you are about to do something nasty.

MARISHA: Exactly.

LOU: I'm also going to--

MARISHA: A challenge for us, a challenge for you.

AABRIA: Yeah.

LUIS: So I have 12 minutes-ish and we have two minutes to accomplish this.

AABRIA: That's like 400 rounds of combat. We're Gucci, baby.

TRAVIS: Can you roll deception?

BRENNAN: Are you mounted on Tempus or no?

AABRIA: Yeah.

LUIS: I am going to be on Tempus. Yeah, I am going to be on Tempus.

TRAVIS: Luis, can you roll a deception check for me, homie?

LUIS: Me roll deception?

TRAVIS: Yeah.

LUIS: Oh, fuck!

TRAVIS: You can't beat a 31, it's cool.

LUIS: Oh yeah, really? Jesus.

AABRIA: (laughs)

MARISHA: I want to wrap myself--

LOU: -- on me and the dragon?

MARISHA: -- in pain and horror.

BRENNAN: A million percent.

LUIS: 23.

TRAVIS: Gotcha.

MARISHA: Yoga stretch?

AABRIA: Oh yeah, ooh. My shoulder did something good.

TRAVIS: I'll keep you yourself.

BRENNAN: Yeah, squared up in front of the door, the Guildmaster of the Golden Scythe and the First Knight of Avalir, astride a dragon and a griffon, stare down the door. Cerrit, you are hidden off to the side in the shadows.

TRAVIS: Triangle Defense.

BRENNAN: Triangle Defense.

MARISHA: Flying ducks.

BRENNAN: Our two wizards and our Herald are up by the Leywright itself. 18 seconds.

MARISHA: 18 seconds.

BRENNAN: Three rounds.

MARISHA: All right, all right. Three rounds. Three rounds.

BRENNAN: The door explodes.

SAM: What?

BRENNAN: And I need you all to roll initiative. (exclaiming)

TRAVIS: When he does it so calmly, that's even worse.

MARISHA: What does it mean though, what does it mean?

TRAVIS: ♪ What does it mean ♪

MARISHA: Fuck, which one do I want to use?

LOU: Right?

MARISHA: Lucky jade, lucky jade.

LOU: This is maybe the most important--

MARISHA: Yeah, this is the most important roll.

LOU: -- initiative I've ever rolled.

AABRIA: Certainly the last one.

LOU: I mean, there it is.

MARISHA: Oh my god.

LOU: How's it going?

MARISHA: You guys, it's been an honor and a pleasure.

LOU: While Brennan's not here, I just want to take a second to say that I loved everyone at this table, right now.

MARISHA: Dude, this has been-- It feels, maybe not.

TRAVIS: While he's not here.

LOU: Exactly.

MARISHA: We got a bond. We got bond after this one. That's not bad. That's not bad.

SAM: It's Exandria Unlimited: Calamity chapter one, maybe.

LOU: Chapter one!

SAM: Maybe it's just chapter one.

LOU: Hey, what's up? We'll see how these 18 seconds go. (laughter)

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: Or maybe it's episode six, and we'll do episodes one through five later.

MARISHA: It will be following a new group of people.

SAM: Yeah.

MARISHA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: Okay.

LUIS: Am I shaking? Don't look at my hands.

SAM: What the hell are those things?

BRENNAN: Taxmen.

LUIS: Yeah, the ones that turned.

MARISHA: Fuck, those fuckers.

SAM: The four Taxmen of the apocalypse. (laughter)

LUIS: Oh boy.

BRENNAN: Amazing. What did everyone get for initiative?

TRAVIS: 26.

BRENNAN: 26 for Cerrit.

LOU: Going out on a big 24.

TRAVIS: Yeah.

BRENNAN: 24. Patia.

MARISHA: 15.

BRENNAN: 15. Laerryn. Oh.

TRAVIS: Oh, she got a 15.

BRENNAN: 15 as well.

MARISHA: Okay, so Patia, Laerryn, and the Tax.

BRENNAN: Loquatius.

LOU: That feels right.

SAM: 12.

BRENNAN: And Zerxus.

LUIS: 14.

SAM: So I'm last.

TRAVIS: Oh, Loquatius is last.

SAM: Yes.

TRAVIS: Got it. Zerxus is second to last.

MARISHA: Patia, Laerryn, Zerxus.

BRENNAN: I've done something--

TRAVIS: Cerrit, Nydas--

BRENNAN: -- wrong.

TRAVIS: -- Patia.

LOU: Can you call it out one more time?

TRAVIS: Yeah. Cerrit, Nydas, Patia.

MARISHA: Laerryn, together.

TRAVIS: Laerryn, Zerxus, Loquatius.

SAM: Zerxus, Loquatius.

LOU: So Cerrit, Nydas, Patia and Laerryn.

MARISHA: Zerxus, Quay.

TRAVIS: I got your initiative, Cerrit--

AABRIA: Oh, tight.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Nydas.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Patia, Laerryn.

AABRIA: Cool.

SAM: I got nothing left.

TRAVIS: Loquatius.

SAM: I know.

TRAVIS: Oh, I'm sorry, Zerxus.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Then Loquatius.

AABRIA: Thank you.

MARISHA: Spell-wise or emotionally?

SAM: Yes.

BRENNAN: So you are seconds away from the city landing. You are seconds away. Outside, the horizon grows brighter by the moment. You see the city coming, chaos, ruin, but ships are leaving. They have been leaving. They streak towards the sky as fast as they can. Avalir descending. As it comes down towards its ancient home Toramunda, Mount Ygora where Rau'shan and Ka'Mort were sealed by the Dawnfather and the Wildmother in the Schism in ages long past. The door to the Leywright bursts open. Taxmen come surging into the room, and Misty Stepping in--

TRAVIS: Oh.

BRENNAN: -- Vespin Chloras.

TRAVIS: No, that's him?!

MARISHA: What?!

SAM: He's such a nice guy!

MARISHA: What?

TRAVIS: Oh shit! Why did he rob the fashion district? That is--

MARISHA: Oh my god. Yes, he did.

LOU: Is he hot?

MARISHA: Look at that halo.

AABRIA: Is he hot?

SAM: Is he hot?

MARISHA: Holy shit, Vespin!

LOU: That fucking wreath is hot.

AABRIA: Why we keep making our big bads weirdly hot?

TRAVIS: He got all turnt up. Maybe we should've gone after him.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

SAM: I think we just have to keep these guys off of--

TRAVIS: Okay.

LOU: Yeah.

SAM: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: Off of Laerryn. We're not going to win.

MARISHA: That's exactly correct.

BRENNAN: Cerrit, you are first to act.

TRAVIS: Sure am, aren't I? Sure am, yeah, yeah.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: He brought in homies with him, too. Cool. I'm going to take--

AABRIA: (laughs) I use 10 to 15 feet of my movement to move back into the corner.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Away from the targets. I am going to pull out, believe it or not, my crossbow.

SAM: Oh!

TRAVIS: I'm going to use my bonus action to take my attention off of Zerxus, and I'm going to make an insight check against Vespin Chloras.

MARISHA: Mm.

BRENNAN: Make an insight check against Vespin Chloras. You got it. He's going to make a deception.

TRAVIS: 28. No. Yes, 28.

BRENNAN: You succeed.

TRAVIS: Okay, great. I'm going to fire one crossbow bolt at Vespin Chloras with sneak attack damage.

BRENNAN: Amazing.

TRAVIS: That is amazing. That is 25 to hit.

BRENNAN: 25 to hit. Hold on one second.

TRAVIS: Please fucking hit.

AABRIA: Yeah, oh god.

LOU: Please fucking hit.

AABRIA: Please kill--

LOU: Can you imagine this is--

AABRIA: That's a bad wizard.

LOU: -- the last fight, you just go, (whiffs).

BRENNAN: You want a one through five.

SAM: That's it?

LOU: Five!

BRENNAN: Five.

LUIS: What?

BRENNAN: You bypass every Mirror Image, and hit Vespin Chloras himself. (cheering)

TRAVIS: Oh my god. Was that a d20 you rolled?

BRENNAN: d20. He bleeds.

LOU: He bleeds! He bleeds.

TRAVIS: Okay.

AABRIA: If he bleeds, he could die.

TRAVIS: A little homage to Nott the Brave.

SAM: Oh, nice!

MARISHA: Aww!

SAM: That's nice.

TRAVIS: Then this one, too? Okay. (breathing heavily) I'm nervous.

MARISHA: These constructs.

TRAVIS: 16, 17, is 23. Plus six. 34 points of damage.

SAM: Damáge!

BRENNAN: 34 points of damáge to Vespin Chloras. Your crossbow, is it magical?

SAM: Oh boy.

LOU: I mean, he's 14th level.

MARISHA: Yeah, he's got to be magical.

SAM: He's the Eyes of Avalir!

TRAVIS: It is not.

BRENNAN: I do not believe it is.

AABRIA: Bro.

TRAVIS: I work up close, okay? I got an auxiliary weapon.

AABRIA: You're not, bro.

BRENNAN: Hey, hey, 17's a lot of damage. Even for that crossbow. (impacts, shrieks)

TRAVIS: I really should have invested in some silver arrow tips or something.

AABRIA: Oh yeah.

TRAVIS: Or something.

AABRIA: We have that in the budget, right?

TRAVIS: Mistakes were made.

BRENNAN: Incredible. Hold on one second.

AABRIA: We're going to fucking die.

MARISHA: So much can change in half a second. That's the hard part about this shit.

LOU: Right, exactly.

MARISHA: Great.

LOU: I feel crazy.

TRAVIS: I would use my area of effect spells, but I don't have any! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Cerrit.

TRAVIS: Oh no.

SAM: He's got some sort of retribution strike.

BRENNAN: As you do that, he goes (screams) 21 points of damage to you with a Fire Bolt as a legendary action.

TRAVIS: Wow!

SAM: Oh god. Oh god, I don't have very many hit points.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LOU: Yeah, right?

MARISHA: I don't either.

SAM: We didn't really heal up, did we?

MARISHA: We had not a moment.

AABRIA: We did not.

MARISHA: We were drinking champagne six hours ago.

BRENNAN: End of your turn, hits you with a Fire Bolt.

TRAVIS: I'm going to use my reaction to halve that, Uncanny Dodge.

BRENNAN: Done.

AABRIA: Ooh, we love a rogue!

TRAVIS: I-I-I used it!

AABRIA: Yay!

LOU: What're you at?

TRAVIS: I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay.

AABRIA: That's that good rogue shit.

LOU: That's right. You didn't get fucked up.

SAM: He wasn't there.

LOU: You didn't die.

BRENNAN: Nydas, it's going to be your turn.

LOU: Great. I look back to Laerryn, and I say: You were meant to pilot us to the future, but now you will pilot us to salvation! For Avalir! (yelling)

TRAVIS: Let's go! Multiclass level up!

LOU: I'm going to fly. Can I ask you--

BRENNAN: Yes.

LOU: What do I know about the Taxmen and what they can do?

TRAVIS: Basically, anything.

BRENNAN: We're off keto. (laughter)

MARISHA: We're off keto!

BRENNAN: We're doing it.

LOU: In that moment.

BRENNAN: You would know everything about the Taxmen. There's no reason for me not to tell you.

LOU: Not AC or anything, but resistances, that kind of stuff.

BRENNAN: Yeah. When subjected to fire damage, they take no damage and regain hit points.

LOU: Okay.

BRENNAN: So fire damage heals them. Immune to--

LOU: I'm going to communicate all of this over the telepathic bond in these six seconds.

BRENNAN: Immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form. They are resistant against spells and other magical effects. You made these for a war, a possible war with Aeor.

LOU: Mm-hmm.

BRENNAN: The swords, their blades deal damage proportional to the highest level spell slot a person is holding onto. So the more spell energy you've got in you--

TRAVIS: Whoa.

BRENNAN: -- the harder they hit you.

TRAVIS: That's a fucked up build, Nydas.

MARISHA: Brilliant, Nydas, but fucked up, bro.

TRAVIS: I have questions.

BRENNAN: They also have a thing called a Reaving Dispel, which is basically, they'll hit a cone of dispelling, and any spells that they can pull off of you will damage you as they come off.

LOU: Great.

SAM: Fuck.

AABRIA: Why are you like this?

TRAVIS: Wow.

AABRIA: Hey, these are bad.

LOU: Well, if we weren't fighting them, they'd be fucking great. (laughter)

AABRIA: Not wrong.

LOU: I'd like to communicate, and special emphasis on losing your higher spell slots. And with that, I am going to, Shak is going to try and grapple the one closest to us. As Shak moves toward them-- (sighs) I'm going to 6th-level Cone of Cold that entire group.

TRAVIS: Yes, thank you. Thank you!

BRENNAN: Okay, you're going to 6th-level Cone of Cold the entire group?

LOU: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You know, your boy Vespin is going to Counterspell this.

LOU: Of course.

AABRIA: Maybe not. How far away are we?

LOU: What's he got to get?

SAM: He got 60 feet?

BRENNAN: He has got to get an 11 or higher. We roll it in front of the board.

AABRIA: Think he can roll that? Oh! Silvery Barbs.

MARISHA: Oh! (shouting)

BRENNAN: Five! He throws up the Counterspell. It does not work.

AABRIA: Nope.

TRAVIS: Just kidding. (rewinding noises)

AABRIA: (rewinding noises)

BRENNAN: Go ahead and roll your Cone of Cold.

LOU: Wow. I really didn't expect to do this. One, two, three, four, five, six--

TRAVIS: I'd like to thank the Academy, I really didn't expect this.

LOU: -- seven. This is crazy! (laughter)

AABRIA: Get it!

LOU: One, two, three, four, five, seven.

MARISHA: This is crazy.

LOU: Can I have-- I need--

AABRIA: What do you need?

LOU: I need 9d8--

MARISHA: I got you.

LOU: -- and I have seven, so I just need two more.

TRAVIS: Nine!

MARISHA: I got you!

LOU: Thank you, beautiful.

MARISHA: Yeah, it feels better when you roll them all.

LOU: Great. Okay. That's eight, 16.

MARISHA: Yes.

LOU: 20, 26.

AABRIA: Yes.

LOU: 28, 36...

AABRIA: Woo!

LOU: 37, 39 points of cold damage.

MARISHA: (snaps) Beautiful.

SAM: Any other effects?

LOU: Creature. Yeah, they make a con save against 18, but no, it's just the 39 points to everyone in that 60-foot cone.

SAM: We're not at a disadvantage now or anything?

TRAVIS: They turn and run, and stop trying to take over the world.

LOU: Yeah, they give up.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: They're like, "Oh, it's cold."

BRENNAN: 39 damage.

LOU: Yep.

BRENNAN: Okay.

MARISHA: "I need a jacket."

TRAVIS: Fucking Vespin came out.

AABRIA: You're catching V-Diddy in that, too, right?

LOU: I am catching everyone in that sweet 60-foot cone.

TRAVIS: Vespin pokes through again, and he's like, "I was always about that wardrobe." (booms) (laughter)

LOU: "I stay drippy!" (laughter)

AABRIA: Drown, motherfucker. (laughter)

LUIS: Oh man.

BRENNAN: Incredible. You, way up... (wham) (shouts) Just raw, you just feel like blizzards on the high seas from deep in your soul. Just reach into a place of magic. (shouts) Ha! Woo! And cold rips across all of them. That is your action. Or that is a bonus action.

LOU: Bonus action on a quickened spell.

BRENNAN: 6th-level Cone of Cold as a bonus action.

AABRIA: Woo!

LOU: Shak-- I am going to, fuck it, I'm going to run at Vespin Chloras. I'm going to use-- I'm going to shift the three points--

TRAVIS: Shirtless.

LOU: Shirtless as hell.

BRENNAN: So I will say this. Shak doesn't have the space to get in between the Taxmen. You could dismount to get up in Vespin's space if you want.

LOU: I'm immediately going to die. Oh. Fuck it, yeah. It's just how it goes. I'm going to dismount Shak. (shouts) Shak, stop him! I'm going to go for Vespin Chloras.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah. You leap off of your dragon, rush in between these two Taxmen and--

LOU: There's a slide.

BRENNAN: There's a slide. Wee! (laughs) Go ahead and make your attacks.

LOU: Great. Oh. So shifting the plus three to my AC, which is now 21. Not that he's going to use anything that uses my AC. So this is made with a plus nine. First one's a dirty 20.

MARISHA: Mm.

BRENNAN: He has used his reaction, his Counterspell, but we're going to roll for Mirror Image.

LOU: Great.

MARISHA: Fucking Mirror Image.

BRENNAN: He redirects it. You get one of his mirrors.

LOU: Great. Second one.

MARISHA: I know.

LOU: It's going to be a 19.

MARISHA: How many are there? Three?

BRENNAN: 19.

AABRIA: Three.

BRENNAN: Okay, 19 is going to hit him, but we're going to roll Mirror Image again.

LOU: Great.

BRENNAN: This is going to be eight or higher and he redirects it. He redirects. You get the second mirror.

LOU: Great.

AABRIA: Okay. Okay.

SAM: Those mirrors are gone?

MARISHA: How many is that--

LOU: Do I do damage?

BRENNAN: No, but he had three, and now he's down to one.

LOU: Okay.

MARISHA: He's down to one.

SAM: Okay.

LOU: So no damage dealt. That's action, bonus action, movement.

AABRIA: Action surge. (laughs) Please.

LOU: If only I'd taken one level of fighter. Then Shak's just going to try and grapple the closest Taxman.

BRENNAN: Okay, great. Go ahead and have him roll athletics.

LOU: Great. Would he be proficient in athletics?

BRENNAN: Yes, he would.

LOU: Great.

BRENNAN: You are trying to beat a 13. Low roll from the Taxman.

LUIS: Ooh.

LOU: First one is going to be a 14. Just to see if he crit-- I don't have advantage. It's a 14.

BRENNAN: He grabs it. What do you want Shak to do with this one? Hold him down. Well, if he does it with just one of his attacks, he'll use the rest to attack them.

BRENNAN: Go for it. Do you want him to hold him in the doorway or do you want him to--

LOU: It's to reduce his speed to zero. I don't want him getting up.

BRENNAN: Yeah. You see it by grappling him, there are two more Taxmen waiting outside the door and as Shak pushes this one back, (grunting) you see he's helping to jam up the doorway. Those other two Taxmen might not be able to push into the room--

LOU: Great.

BRENNAN: -- if you can choke up that doorway.

LOU: Great. I communicate that to Zerxus over the telepathic bonds.

LUIS: On it.

LOU: Then, can Shak make two attacks against this guy?

BRENNAN: Yes.

LOU: Great. That's an 18, natural 18 and then a 18 flat to hit.

BRENNAN: 18 flat doesn't hit, but the first one hits.

LOU: Great. Then he'll use his breath weapon on all three of them in that 30-foot.

TRAVIS: Yes.

AABRIA: Let's go.

LOU: So, DC 18 dexterity saving throw.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

LOU: The Taxman he hit takes 16 points of damage.

BRENNAN: Woof.

LOU: Piercing. Then the breath weapon is psychic and does seven damage to anyone who failed, half to anyone who succeeded.

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Seven to anyone who failed?

LOU: Who failed. Of psychic damage.

BRENNAN: Okay. Incredible. End of your turn.

LOU: That's it.

BRENNAN: You (shouts) leap into the breach, fighting in your own way, on the deck of your ship, once again. He is going to throw a cantrip your way.

LOU: Just a cantrip, guys, it'll be fine.

MARISHA: Yeah, it's fine.

BRENNAN: He hits. What's your armor class right now?

LOU: My armor class right now is 21.

AABRIA: (whistles)

SAM: Damn.

BRENNAN: Okay. An attack is coming your way.

LOU: I will Shield to make it 26.

BRENNAN: You watch the Guildmaster of the Golden Scythe leap forward. (impacts) 4d10 fire damage ricochets off your shield harmlessly.

LOU: (laughs)

BRENNAN: (deflecting)

LOU: Not today! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Hell yes. Incredible, Nydas. Okay. Taxman number one, coming for Shak.

LOU: AC is 21.

BRENNAN: 21? That's only one hit on that Taxman.

LOU: Great.

BRENNAN: Sha'korzhan has no spell slots, does he?

LOU: He has no spell slots and 70 hit points.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: That's a lot, okay.

AABRIA: Upcast!

LOU: 7th-level Shak is tight.

AABRIA: Yeah.

LUIS: Did you summon him before I called the Inspiring Leader or after?

LOU: After, this is the second summoning.

BRENNAN: 23 damage to Shak, from this Taxman that is being grappled. The Taxman next to him is going to take two swings on you. Your armor class is now?

LOU: 26.

AABRIA: Beautiful.

LOU: ♪ Pray for me ♪

TRAVIS: (laughs)

AABRIA: You got this, baby.

MARISHA: Praying.

LOU: We praying.

BRENNAN: Boom! You are holding up a 400-pound sword with your Defender Scimitar--

AABRIA: Let's go!

LOU: Yes, yes, yes.

BRENNAN: -- over your head.

MARISHA: Flex that sea monster!

LOU: Zerxus, the bar has been set! Come meet me, brother! (laughter)

MARISHA: Woo!

AABRIA: I do believe the man has said, come get some.

MARISHA: Yes.

LUIS: He sure did.

BRENNAN: Incredible. This one is going to-- It takes its swings. It's going to move to try to clear a way here for another Taxman to enter. Actually, no, it's not going to do that. It's going to stay right where the fuck it is. That's going to go from there. Laerryn, that's you.

AABRIA: Cool.

SAM: Do the stuff, do the--

AABRIA: Yeah, hold on.

SAM: Do your engineering shit.

AABRIA: First thing. Bonus action. I pull out-- I chipped off a tiny piece of the bow before I used it.

BRENNAN: Yes.

AABRIA: On the Leywright. I just have this little bit of material from the outer planes. I can't decide between upper or lower. I look over at Vespin and just with my fingernail, I want to carve in a symbol from the lower planes. We've been going through names and I'm going to cast Tasha's Otherworldly Guise.

LUIS: (gasps)

SAM: What is that?

AABRIA: To burn my 6th-level spell. I have wings now and I'm immune to fire damage.

BRENNAN: Oh my god.

TRAVIS: Yo.

AABRIA: I will not be disrupted.

TRAVIS: Yo.

AABRIA: I will finish this.

TRAVIS: Immune to fire damage?

AABRIA: Immune. And immune to the poisoned condition.

BRENNAN: My dude has done literally the same thing on every player's turn, which is hit them with a Fire Bolt.

TRAVIS: Fire.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: It would be the cheesiest shit in the world for me not to do that right now. So, you (magical energy) hit yourself with the Guise and a Fire Bolt (whooshing) hits your abjurative wards. Barely even--

AABRIA: Weak.

BRENNAN: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Oh!

AABRIA: I continue to work with my action.

BRENNAN: You use your action to work. Give me another arcana check.

TRAVIS: What's that smoke?

AABRIA: 22, unless it needs to be higher, in that case, Bardic Inspiration.

BRENNAN: I'm going to say 22, you complete this round's actions.

AABRIA: Cool.

BRENNAN: You are ready. You contain the energy. I'm going to say this. On a 22, you remove the possibility of an apocalyptic burst of energy.

AABRIA: Okay.

SAM: Okay.

BRENNAN: Whatever this release of energy is, it will not be as bad as whatever happens if these guys come. You have it contained. It will not be apocalyptic. It will potentially be bad, but you have two more rounds to get it done.

AABRIA: Okay.

BRENNAN: Patia--

AABRIA: Worst case scenario is off the board.

MARISHA: All right.

AABRIA: Let's go.

LOU: Let's go.

BRENNAN: Patia, that's you.

MARISHA: Patia is doing a deep amount of math in her head and she's evaluating every instance. She's going to take a gamble, and she glides her finger along the leyline stone. With a little bit of dust, she throws it over her shoulder and casts Disintegrate at Vespin.

AABRIA: Yeah.

SAM: Whoa.

AABRIA: Hell yes.

MARISHA: 6th-level.

LOU: Mm-hmm.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

LOU: Mm-hmm.

BRENNAN: He is going to--

MARISHA: Fuck your Mirror Image. Fuck your shit.

BRENNAN: Fuck your Mirror Image. Is that a spell attack on Disintegrate or no?

MARISHA: It's a dex saving throw 18.

BRENNAN: Cool, so bypasses the Mirror Image.

SAM: Oh great.

MARISHA: Oh, golden. Great. I knew that.

BRENNAN: Here we go.

MARISHA: How'd he do?

BRENNAN: Okay. He succeeds on the saving throw, but I believe you still do--

AABRIA: Silvery Barbs.

BRENNAN: (gasps)

MARISHA: (cheers)

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: Okay.

AABRIA: Weak.

LOU: Okay.

BRENNAN: Incredible.

MARISHA: Murderer! Yes! I love her.

BRENNAN: So, he rolls with advantage because he has advantage against it, but this is going to give him disadvantage. So, I'm going to do a straight roll.

AABRIA: Cool.

TRAVIS: Very impressed. Very impressed. (caws)

BRENNAN: What's the save on this?

MARISHA: 18 dex.

BRENNAN: 18 dex.

MARISHA: What is it, what is it? What do I do?

BRENNAN: My boy fails. Sorry, he fails, and then he succeeds.

LOU: Oh no.

BRENNAN: Burning through one of his Legendary Resistances, of which, you know he only has a limited amount.

AABRIA: Cool.

MARISHA: Okay. So instead of 10d6, he takes, he takes, goddamn it.

AABRIA: I give advantage to Zerxus.

BRENNAN: Yes.

MARISHA: On a failed save-- Oh no, sorry.

LUIS: Yeah.

AABRIA: A little mote of infernal energy shoots from me to you.

LOU: What is he jogging for?

SAM: More caffeine?

BRENNAN: You know, we got to power through. It's the last one.

TRAVIS: It's hydration.

LUIS: You pounded that one.

LOU: It's just water.

TRAVIS: It's hydration.

BRENNAN: We need the get up and go water.

TRAVIS: I'm pretty sure if you have one, you're off keto, but you have two, you're back on. That's--

AABRIA: Yeah, there you go.

LUIS: Exactly, two negatives make a positive.

BRENNAN: Okay.

MARISHA: So yeah, I think that's it. I think that's it.

AABRIA: Yeah.

MARISHA: I don't know if there's half save damage.

BRENNAN: There's no half save for Disintegrate?

MARISHA: Nope, not that I see.

BRENNAN: You deprive him of a critical resource, which is his Legendary Resistance.

MARISHA: Good.

BRENNAN: (exploding) Spell (screaming) screams at you.

LOU: Legend right there.

MARISHA: Something, something.

BRENNAN: Any bonus action?

MARISHA: Mm.

BRENNAN: All good?

MARISHA: No.

BRENNAN: Zerxus, that's you.

LUIS: All right. I am charging in as my brother requested. You just see him lean back on one of his legs, just to get some momentum. He charges forward to the other Taxman. I'm going to grapple him.

BRENNAN: Yeah, go for it.

LUIS: I'm going to grapple him and try to help block that doorway And I have advantage?

BRENNAN: Mm-hmm.

LUIS: And it's athletics.

BRENNAN: Yep.

LUIS: Okay.

BRENNAN: He's going to roll athletics as well. You're trying to beat a 17.

LUIS: Oh. Come on. 30. (laughter) 31.

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

BRENNAN: Is this you or is this Tempus? This is just you, right?

LUIS: This is just me.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah. Amazing. A Taxman in front of you, you grapple him. What are you doing as you grapple him?

LUIS: So, I'm charging forward and you just hear him, (roaring) I just shove him right next to the other ones blocking the doorway. What is it that you told me? Come meet me.

LOU: Yes, the bar has been set.

LUIS: The bar has been set. The bar has been broken! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Boom. And for a second, you're two young guys back in Cathmoíra.

MARISHA: Oh. Oh. Oh god, why? Why'd you do this now?

BRENNAN: I'm bad, I'm bad.

MARISHA: Goddamn. (laughter)

BRENNAN: I'm bad. I came here to hurt people.

LUIS: I just hold them.

BRENNAN: Great. Boom! Just holding. So far, you guys are doing an incredible job, just holding the fucking door.

LUIS: Ooh, ooh, ooh.

BRENNAN: Amazing.

LUIS: Bonus action.

BRENNAN: Yeah, go for it.

LUIS: I am going to cast a spell. 60... I'm casting Shield of Faith on you, my friend.

LOU: Oh.

LUIS: Extra two to your AC.

LOU: Aw.

SAM: All right, all right.

LUIS: You see a version of Zerxus, but how he used to look, just appear right in front of you. What is left is a glimmering shield. (whooshing)

BRENNAN: Beautiful.

LOU: I make eye contact with you now.

BRENNAN: Yeah.

MARISHA and AABRIA: Aw.

BRENNAN: There it is. Loquatius, that's your turn.

SAM: Oh, I have a turn. I guess.

LOU: I have a turn. (laughs)

SAM: (sighs) Well, he's got those Legendary Resistances. But maybe I'll get him to burn another. Does he still have Mirror Images up?

BRENNAN: He does, one left.

SAM: Won't matter. I will just close my eyes and just say his name, Vespin Chloras. And cast the Psychic Lance at him--

AABRIA: Yes.

SAM: -- which doesn't need visual.

BRENNAN: Hell yes.

SAM: 18 to save. Intelligence 18.

BRENNAN: Okay.

AABRIA: Love it. Oh, he's a wizard, though. Fuck.

SAM: Yeah, I know.

AABRIA: I hate wizards.

SAM: Maybe he'll roll bad.

BRENNAN: He succeeds on the save.

SAM: Fuck you.

AABRIA: Does anyone have Silvery Barbs?

SAM: I do. Can I Silvery Barbs him?

BRENNAN: You can Silvery Barbs. We'll make it a straight roll.

TRAVIS: I have tacks in my pocket.

BRENNAN: (laughs) 18. I'll roll in front of the board for fairsies.

SAM: I'm sure he's going to--

TRAVIS: Fail it!

BRENNAN: On a one through five, he fails.

SAM: That's it?

LOU: (groans)

BRENNAN: 11 succeeds.

LOU: It's two ones.

BRENNAN: Two ones.

LOU: That's got to be worse.

BRENNAN: That's got to be even worse. Any half damage from that?

SAM: He gets half damage, yes.

BRENNAN: Go ahead and roll.

SAM: I'm going to borrow some sixes from you.

LUIS: Oh yes, please.

AABRIA: Ooh.

SAM: Okay, that is seven, eight. 13. Oh, great. 23. 29 halved, so 14.

BRENNAN: 14 damage.

SAM: Psychic damage.

BRENNAN: Awesome.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: I'll give you my Silvery Barb. Wait, what does it do?

AABRIA: Advantage.

LUIS: Advantage.

SAM: Advantage on what? A check?

AABRIA: On the next-- Wait, hold on. Is it attack? No, it's just their next roll.

SAM: Their next roll.

LOU: There's three conditions, I think.

AABRIA: Attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.

SAM: You've already got Inspiration. Maybe I should give it to Cerrit, since he's going next, right?

AABRIA: Yeah, go for it. That makes sense, yeah.

SAM: I'll give it to Cerrit. Oh, maybe I should get away from you. in case he does a big cone. For my bonus action, I'll just real quick, six seconds, get down on my knee and say: Will you marry me? (laughter) And--

TRAVIS: You propose with a bonus action?

LOU: What the fuck? (laughter)

MARISHA: That's what you get for a bonus action?

SAM: I don't have a ring. I have a raven's feather. Then I'll use my movement to back away.

AABRIA: Yeah. I push my hand through my hair to get rid of that weird demonic Guise and be like: Yes! Oh god, we have to live through this. Ah! I eat the feather.

SAM: I move as far as I can, just that way.

BRENNAN: Amazing. You move as far as you can this way.

SAM: Just in case there's some sort of area attack.

LOU: Why'd you have to do something so sweet right before his turn probably.

MARISHA: You know.

AABRIA: He knows what he's doing.

MARISHA: You know what you're doing.

AABRIA: You're a monster.

MARISHA: Yes, yes.

AABRIA: A monster. A beautiful monster.

LOU: Fuck this. Fuck this. What's this?

LUIS: Uh-oh.

MARISHA: Goddamn it. Goddamn it.

BRENNAN: Damn.

MARISHA: I knew it.

BRENNAN: My dude cannot end it all this round.

SAM: Oh.

AABRIA: Cool.

LOU: Sick, that works for--

AABRIA: Yeah, that's good for me. Thank you.

MARISHA: My thoughts and feelings.

AABRIA: End it this round.

TRAVIS: What was he trying to aim for?

AABRIA: Don't know.

LUIS: He said "end it all."

MARISHA: Fuck.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Use your words, Vespin. (laughs)

LOU: Vespin, what are you trying to do?

LUIS: What do you mean, end it all?

TRAVIS: (angry noises) Oh, that's it?

LOU: Oh, that's all? Okay.

AABRIA: Just, I need my--

TRAVIS: I understand your frustration, then. Maybe we come to some kind of a compromise.

AABRIA: It's always for you.

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: (angry Vespin noises)

AABRIA: Oh no, that's good.

BRENNAN: Vespin is going to Misty Step into the center.

SAM: Someone Counterspell.

AABRIA: Shit.

MARISHA: Hmm.

BRENNAN: Vespin is going to Misty Step into the center of the room.

MARISHA: Actually, I can.

AABRIA: (gasps)

MARISHA: Counterspell.

BRENNAN: You're going to Counterspell it?

MARISHA: I would know Misty Step is a--

BRENNAN: Second--

SAM: It's real low.

BRENNAN: It's real low. It's a first or second.

MARISHA: Counterspell, I love them.

BRENNAN: You're going to just come at him and Counterspell?

MARISHA: Yeah. I don't want him closer.

BRENNAN: Does he want to Counterspell this? How much does he care?

LOU: Does he care about it? He just is like, wait.

BRENNAN: I'm going to say you see it's important to him to get closer to Laerryn.

MARISHA: Okay.

BRENNAN: So he is going to Counterspell your Counterspell.

MARISHA: You dick.

BRENNAN: He is going to drop a 5th-level on it, just to smash it out of the air.

MARISHA: Yep, that does it.

BRENNAN: (exploding)

LUIS: Wow.

SAM: But that uses his up for the entire--

AABRIA: Yes, yes, it does. Until his turn.

LUIS: No more reaction.

BRENNAN: He is going to, Patia, hit you.

LOU: No.

MARISHA: I just used my reaction there, so I can't Shield.

AABRIA: Fuck.

SAM: He would've hit you anyways.

MARISHA: It's not good.

BRENNAN: Seven. Nine. 19 points of fire damage to you.

LUIS: Wow.

MARISHA: I'm all right.

SAM: You're okay?

BRENNAN: Wow.

MARISHA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Did that just burn through the temp HP? Or no, no, not the temp HP.

LUIS: No, there was no temp HP.

BRENNAN: No, okay.

MARISHA: Just healing.

BRENNAN: What are you at right now, Patia?

TRAVIS: Don't tell him.

BRENNAN: You don't have to tell me.

TRAVIS: Don't tell.

AABRIA: You don't have to say it.

TRAVIS: That's not going to change anything.

AABRIA: Yeah, if you don't say it, it's not real.

BRENNAN: Thanks to the kind folks at D&D Beyond, I don't need you to say it.

TRAVIS: Oh! Tell him, tell us. Let's all share it.

AABRIA: Two?

TRAVIS: Wow.

MARISHA: Deuces.

LOU: Dos.

BRENNAN: Dos, baby.

TRAVIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: So you see, (screeching) thwoom. The screaming fiend hits you with that Fire Bolt.

MARISHA: Shit, shit.

BRENNAN: Looks at you--

MARISHA: Should've fucking stuck with my gut.

BRENNAN: -- and has gotten close. We move round two.

MARISHA: Cerrit.

BRENNAN: You just need to get to the end of the round after this one.

SAM: So he just got closer. That's it.

MARISHA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Cerrit, that's you. He Misty Stepped and threw a Fire Bolt.

MARISHA: He's down a reaction.

TRAVIS: ♪ (high-pitched humming) ♪ ♪ 50 feet fly ♪ ♪ Fly, Vespin Chloras ♪

BRENNAN: Hell yeah.

MARISHA: Come on.

TRAVIS: ♪ Got to get him in melee! ♪

SAM: Get that guy.

TRAVIS: Yeah. (laughs) Bonus action. Insightful Fighting.

BRENNAN: I think you already got it on him, right?

TRAVIS: Oh, I do. It stays up for a minute.

BRENNAN: It stays up for a minute.

AABRIA: Let's go.

TRAVIS: Kick ass. Okay, so it's instant sneak attack. I'll take a swipe with my magical hawks.

BRENNAN: Go for it.

SAM: Oh, nice.

AABRIA: Ooh.

TRAVIS: Oh, I got to roll to hit, that's right. All right, all right. Ah, I'm sweating, ah. 20, ooh, 22 to hit.

BRENNAN: 22 hits.

AABRIA: Woo.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LOU: Chop, chop!

MARISHA: (laughs)

SAM: I think you have advantage on that roll.

TRAVIS: Oh, I did.

LOU: Oh, that's good.

SAM: I know you already hit.

TRAVIS: That's okay.

BRENNAN: Do you have advantage on it?

AABRIA: Yeah.

TRAVIS: He gave it to me for the next turn.

BRENNAN: Silvery Barbs, yes, yes, that's right.

TRAVIS: Okay, so.

MARISHA: (laughs)

TRAVIS: Seven. 24. 26. Oh.

MARISHA: We got this, we got this.

LOU: We got it.

TRAVIS: 33 points of sneak attack damage.

SAM: How do you want to do this?

TRAVIS: No. (laughter)

LOU: How do you want to do this?

MARISHA: You guys win--

TRAVIS: 34 points sneak attack.

MARISHA: -- you stop the Calamity.

BRENNAN: You-- Vespin, (screeching). You've been training your whole life to kill bad mages. (shouting) Feathers. (shouting) Wings. You kick his hand. He drops his arcane focus. As he goes down, you bring an axe into the back of his neck. (screeching) And--

TRAVIS: I hooked the back of his neck. I sink it in and then I use it to turn him around.

AABRIA: Ooh! Nasty!

BRENNAN: You are in the moment where your skills have never mattered more. The skills you spent a lifetime building have never mattered more than in this moment.

TRAVIS: How you doing, gorgeous? (laughter)

MARISHA: There he is.

AABRIA: There he is. (laughter)

BRENNAN: The man you've been tracking down, and you always get your man. Here we go. Cerrit, that is your turn.

TRAVIS: It is. You're going to stay in melee.

TRAVIS: Right there.

BRENNAN: Right there, hell yeah. Nydas, that's you.

LOU: Oh.

LUIS: Come on, baby.

LOU: I mean, no. Shak's got the Taxman down.

BRENNAN: Sorry. End of your turn.

LOU: Okay.

SAM: Fire Bolt.

BRENNAN: End of your turn, he's actually not going to Fire Bolt. He's done with that plan.

AABRIA: Why? It's a fine plan.

LOU: It was working great.

AABRIA: I lean in and say: It'll hit this time.

LOU: What you doing, bro? Stop.

AABRIA: Oh, it's hot.

LOU: Bro, stop.

AABRIA: Oh, it was hot.

LOU: Bro, come on, don't--

SAM: What is that?!

LOU: Bro, what is that?

MARISHA: Boom.

BRENNAN: 20, This is 20-foot radius, right? That looks about right to me.

SAM: Sure.

LOU: Yeah, let's say it. Don't get a bigger one out.

BRENNAN: Okay, I'm going to need Tempus, Shak, and Cerrit to give me dexterity saving throws.

TRAVIS: I have something for this.

LOU: I do love-- I'm sorry I renamed him. What's his name? Sha'kow?

BRENNAN: Sha'korzhan.

LOU: Sha'korzhan.

SAM: Shak's more fun.

AABRIA: Shak-foo!

MARISHA: Shak is great.

LOU: Shak's just better.

MARISHA: Yeah.

LOU: Hey, man, Shak's just better. (laughter)

AABRIA: 7th-level Shak is pretty cute.

MARISHA: Pretty good, yeah.

AABRIA: Pretty good. Pretty good guy.

BRENNAN: Let me know if you didn't beat a 21. Anything lower than a 21.

LUIS: Oh. Yeah, this is lower.

TRAVIS: I have advantage against spells cast by creatures within five feet of me.

SAM: Oh, yeah.

BRENNAN: This is not a spell.

TRAVIS: It's not a spell?

BRENNAN: Nope.

TRAVIS: Okay.

LUIS: Is he within 10 feet of me?

BRENNAN: No, he's not.

LOU: He wouldn't have proficiency in dexterity saving throws, right?

BRENNAN: No.

LOU: 17.

BRENNAN: Okay. Sha'korzhan takes 21 points of fire damage. Tempus takes 21 points of fire damage.

TRAVIS: 28, and I'll use Evasion if that was successful.

BRENNAN: You take no damage. He erupts in flame and you twist into the explosion. Your wings (whoosh). You are left unharmed by the fire. That's Vespin's Legendary Action. Nydas, that's going to be you.

LOU: Based on what I know about the Taxmen and the timing, Taxmen don't have ranged weaponry, correct?

BRENNAN: They have a short, 15-foot dispelling cone, but no, they don't have range.

LOU: Got it, so my best guess is that they couldn't get to Laerryn. Well, if they moved this turn then we got to get to the other. So Shak's going to stay on that guy.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah.

LOU: Vespin! We have unfinished business! I'm going to climb up his back. (laughter)

AABRIA: Let's go!

TRAVIS: Shirtless climbing pirate!

MARISHA: Dude!

LOU: (stabbing)

MARISHA: Tapped into your pirate side.

BRENNAN: You're going to get two opportunity attacks from these Taxmen.

MARISHA: So good.

TRAVIS: Cerrit's just like, "Yes, king."

SAM: But you invented them!

MARISHA: Come on, come on!

TRAVIS: I brought you into this world--

AABRIA and TRAVIS: I can take you out!

SAM: Isn't there a fail safe or something?

LOU: I have to take two--

BRENNAN: Opportunity strikes.

AABRIA: Klaatu barada nikto.

BRENNAN: What do you think?

LOU: Oh god.

LUIS: But are they grappled? Both of those are--

BRENNAN: They are grappled, their speed is zero, but that doesn't affect their ability to get an attack of opportunity, no.

LUIS: Oh, really?

AABRIA: Yeah.

LUIS: They're not restrained.

BRENNAN: Speed's zero, that's it.

LUIS: That's it, okay.

LOU: I mean, if one of these dudes clocks me, it's--

AABRIA: They won't. They won't.

LUIS: You got +2 to AC.

LOU: I have 20 AC. I can burn a higher level spell to cash Shield, right?

BRENNAN: Yeah, for sure.

LOU: (laughs) Yeah, let's go! I'm taking off.

BRENNAN: You're taking off? You're going to run. Yeah. Okay. So your AC is 20 right now?

LOU: My AC is 20 right now, and then based on looks you may give me, I'm going to cast Shield at a 4th-level.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: I'm going to cash Shield at a 4th-level.

TRAVIS: We get the look.

LOU: I'm going to burn my last spell slot to cast Shield at a 4th-level.

BRENNAN: Honestly, probably good to get rid of the spell slot.

LOU: Yup.

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LOU: I'm 25 at this point.

TRAVIS: Oh!

BRENNAN: One of them still manages to hit.

LOU: Okay.

BRENNAN: And is going to deal you... That is 13 plus seven. 20 points of damage. How's Nydas looking?

LOU: I am at tres. (laughter)

TRAVIS: Dos and tres.

BRENNAN: Dos and tres, baby!

MARISHA: We're in the one-hand club!

BRENNAN: You literally, if you had not burned your last spell slot, you'd be dead. You get the last bit of ether out of your body as this sword prepares to disrupt your innate magical ability and finds that you are spent.

LOU: Yes.

TRAVIS: Wow.

LOU: So how much damage was that total?

BRENNAN: That was 20 damage total.

LOU: Great. Concentration on Shak remains.

BRENNAN: Hell yes.

AABRIA: Amazing.

BRENNAN: Okay!

LOU: Then I'm going to make multiple attacks on--

BRENNAN: Vespin.

LOU: On Vespin Chloras. Again, switching three over to my AC so we're now at 28.

BRENNAN: Hell yeah.

TRAVIS: In the face!

LOU: First attack is a 27 to hit.

BRENNAN: That hits.

LOU: Second attack is a 19 to hit.

BRENNAN: 19. 19 does not hit.

LOU: 19 does not hit. Great. So on the one attack that does hit, we'll use my last Bardic Inspiration.

BRENNAN: Oh, and I am going to roll for that Mirror Image there. Hold on one second.

TRAVIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LOU: There's one?

BRENNAN: 11 or higher. Two. You get the real guy.

AABRIA: Woo!

LOU: I get the real guy. What did I say my AC was?

TRAVIS: 20.

LOU: 20. It's 20 plus five, 25. Plus three, 28. We'll tack another two on there.

BRENNAN: Are you up to 30 armor class?

LOU: AC is 30. (laughter)

TRAVIS: I don't understand!

MARISHA: Yes, I'm with you! How, what?

LOU: But I only do nine damage total.

BRENNAN: Nine damage total. You got it.

TRAVIS: Increasingly attracted to Nydas.

BRENNAN: Okay, you deal nine damage total to him.

LOU: (rapid stabbing)

MARISHA: (giggles)

BRENNAN: You and Cerrit on either side of this fiendish horror. After you--

LOU: Do you mind if Shak takes his two--

BRENNAN: Yeah, go for it.

LOU: On the Taxmen.

BRENNAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah, go for it.

LOU: Sorry.

LUIS: Oh boy.

AABRIA: Mm.

LOU: That's going to be... Sorry.

BRENNAN: All good.

LOU: It's a 19 and a 25.

BRENNAN: 25 hits.

LOU: Great. Oh, and one more. And a nat 20. (cheering)

MARISHA: Fire!

LOU: In total, that's 1d6, so it's only 3d6. So 11. 11 plus three is 14, plus 22.

BRENNAN: 14 plus 22 is 36.

LOU: Then he'll also use his breath weapon attack on the two Taxmen in the space. They are doing six damage if they fail, and three if they succeed.

LUIS: Am I in that?

LOU: I mean, I'd love it if you didn't have to be.

BRENNAN: No, he can angle it. You're good.

AABRIA: Did you double your crit damage?

LOU: What?

AABRIA: Did you--

LOU: I doubled the dice. He only does 1d6 plus 11.

AABRIA: Copy. Okay.

BRENNAN: Shak's armor class-- Sha'korzhan's armor, one more time?

LOU: 21!

BRENNAN: Okay. Sha'korzhan is going to take 25 points of damage.

LOU: What type?

BRENNAN: Slashing.

LOU: Okay.

BRENNAN: Then... 20 points of damage.

LOU: The First Dragon of Toramunda is no more. (gasping)

BRENNAN: (impacts)

TRAVIS: No!

AABRIA: Wait, how far away is he?

LUIS: He's still too far.

AABRIA: Oh, the dragon.

LUIS: The dragon.

AABRIA: Okay, that's fine. That's fine.

BRENNAN: Sha'korzhan is released. This Taxman, having taken both his attacks, is going to step forward here and create space for the companions to enter.

SAM: It's getting rough in here.

BRENNAN: One, two...

TRAVIS: We're just getting warmed up.

AABRIA: It's fine, it's fine, it's fine, it's fine.

MARISHA: Three rounds! That's all you need.

AABRIA: Look, we're two away.

SAM: We're halfway through round two, right?

MARISHA: Ding, ding, ding!

LOU: Halfway through round two. We're all still up!

MARISHA: We're all still up,

LOU: We're all still up!

MARISHA: We're the one-hand club over here! Two! We got two out of the three!

LOU: Two out of three, come on now! Take a swing!

MARISHA: Bob Barker with his really long--

LOU and MARISHA: "Come on down!"

LOU: "Take a swing!"

MARISHA: "The $1 bets. Bring it on."

BRENNAN: Zerxus, without your shield, what's your armor class?

LUIS: 21.

BRENNAN: 21? Okay. You are going to get hit by one of the attacks from these Taxmen. You take 20 points of slashing damage.

LUIS: Oof.

BRENNAN: What's the highest level spell slot you've got?

LUIS: One. Hold on. Get back down. 2nd-level. That's the only spell slot I have left.

BRENNAN: You take another eight points of damage.

LUIS: Got it.

LOU: What are you at?

LUIS: I'm okay. I healed myself on the way down here.

LUIS: So what was the total?

BRENNAN: You see this dull gray, adamantine, Age of Arcanum, this spell-stealing metal. Boom! (groans) You feel your own latent magical ability turned against you as this blade--

LUIS: Does that burn my spell?

BRENNAN: No, it doesn't burn your spell. It just deals extra damage to you.

LUIS: That was how much again? 29 total, is it?

BRENNAN: I believe yes, it was 20 plus nine, I think. Right? Yeah. Incredible. Okay.

LUIS: All right.

BRENNAN: That is going to be... Then this one actually will, yeah, that guy's going to move in there. Yeah, he has the reach to hit you. Other one's going to take some swings, too. That next one's a miss. Oh, jesus. 29-- no, sorry. 36 points of slashing damage.

LUIS: Oof.

BRENNAN: Plus another six psychic damage.

TRAVIS: No problem for the Knight of Avalir!

LOU: Yeah, you got this, man!

LUIS: He's still up.

MARISHA: You got this!

TRAVIS: 42 points.

MARISHA: Knight of Avalir!

LUIS: He is bleeding, but he's up.

BRENNAN: Laerryn, it's your turn.

AABRIA: Cool, I'm going to ask for the last time. In the half hour while other people were doing stuff and I was moving here, would I have had time to spam Mage Armor for a minute and 42 seconds to get my full Arcane Ward back up?

BRENNAN: Yes.

AABRIA: Cool. All right. So with that back up, I'm interacting with this but I am also going to cast Mirror Image.

BRENNAN: Amazing. Amazing.

AABRIA: All three of us turn to you and say: Run!

SAM and TRAVIS: Run, run!

LUIS: Oh wow.

AABRIA: Then I spend the rest of the time interacting.

BRENNAN: Give me another arcana check.

AABRIA: Oof-a. A two. That's bad.

LUIS: Damn.

AABRIA: 12. I'm going to use Bardic Inspiration. 16.

BRENNAN: 16. This is your second to last round. The energy comes in. You have to decide in this moment whether you want to limit the energy output of the effect, or ensure that Rau'shan and Ka'Mort will be removed from Exandria.

MARISHA: Say that one more time.

BRENNAN: On a 16, you must make a tough decision. Do you want to further limit the release of energy and make the release of energy safer for the physical environs of Avalir and Cathmoíra, or do you want to ensure that Rau'shan and Ka'Mort will be permanently banished from Exandria?

TRAVIS: Impossible.

AABRIA: Laerryn's little joke to herself was always that the Heart of Avalir was the thing she inherited, but it was too small. She made it bigger, she improved it. She improved the Etheric Net and built this and that she was the Heart of Avalir, and she gave everything to this city. But I know what people are fighting to protect and I remember what Quay said about going down with the ship. So we will ensure it. This will work. Avalir be damned.

BRENNAN: Avalir be damned. No more mistakes. The names are locked into place. You inscribe the final syllables of the list of all the hundreds of the names that Patia learned. They're fixed into the crystal. This cannot miss. Patia, that's your turn.

MARISHA: Down with the ship. Do I... keep them away or add to the power?

AABRIA: I've got this. I've got this. I just need a couple more seconds.

MARISHA: You tell me when. But in the meantime, with me saying that, I'm going to look at the stained glass of Avalir floating behind us, secretly questioning how Laerryn had the time to build all this stained glass underground, but it's incredible and I love it.

AABRIA: You gave me so few resources and I built this!

MARISHA: You know what?

AABRIA: But there's 380 magisters!

MARISHA: Phenomenal. Not only is it functional, it's decorative. I look at the rest.

TRAVIS: Ladies! (laughter)

SAM: I'm over there, I'm looking. If you look closely, it's not very good. (laughter)

MARISHA: I look at the ring around the stained glass and I reflect on the Brass Ring. This amazing group of six people. I look at all of us and I say telepathically in our bond: I love you, my family. You start seeing runes coming out of the ring behind the stained glass, and it pops out almost like a 3D effect and smashes down over top of us. I cast a Wall of Force--

SAM: Ooh! Ooh, ooh!

MARISHA: -- around essentially Laerryn and I.

AABRIA: Yes!

BRENNAN: Incredible.

MARISHA: Everyone else is kind of left out, but this is the most important thing right now.

SAM: Yes.

LUIS: Yes.

BRENNAN: Images, stained glass, force surround you. You've given your whole life to a place. The hope when we give all of ourselves to something is that that something will, in times of need, stand for those that have given to it. You have served Avalir. Avalir now serves the world through its Architect Arcane. Let Avalir serve you both. You are protected by force surrounding you. You have one last round. We're making our way through this second round.

MARISHA: And Brennan?

BRENNAN: Yes?

MARISHA: I might be overstepping a little bit, but--

BRENNAN: Go for it.

MARISHA: I essentially would like to hold my next action for the moment that the Architect Arcane says, "It's time."

BRENNAN: Yes. You may absolutely hold your action. Yes. Zerxus, that's you.

LUIS: Oh my god!

MARISHA: (laughs)

LUIS: There's all of these things that are coming in, and they're... I can't hold them all! I can't even hurt them.

MARISHA: Do it all. Do it. Yes, you can. Yes, you can.

LUIS: I can't. No, because I do fire damage now.

MARISHA: Oh. Yeah.

LOU: That gives them health. Yeah, we fucked up when I built these, man.

(laughter)

LOU: Hey, I apologize.

LUIS: They've busted through, I'm holding onto one. Oh fuck. (laughter)

SAM: The Wall of Force is going to hold.

LUIS: Yeah.

SAM: You're going to be okay.

LUIS: Yeah. That bastard.

SAM: Right?

LUIS: I'm going to... I'm going to let go of the guy that I'm holding.

BRENNAN: Okay.

LUIS: I'm going to rush to Vespin.

BRENNAN: Okay. You're going to get two swings on you.

LUIS: I know.

MARISHA: Dude.

BRENNAN: Only one hit. That's going to be 12, 19, 26 slashing damage.

LUIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: Then 10 psychic damage.

LUIS: I go down.

BRENNAN: You turn to rush Vespin, and a sword (impacts).

LUIS: 36 total, right?

BRENNAN: Thuds into your back. 36 total.

LUIS: The last thought I have is to Tempus. To get out.

BRENNAN: You tell Tempus to get out? On your turn, Tempus-- Give me an athletics roll with advantage for Tempus. Proficiency bonus to it?

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: He's not trained in it, so I think it's going to be a 19 or a 21.

BRENNAN: Okay. You see Tempus looks at you as you fall and says, you say, "Get out." Tempus looks at the Taxman that just dropped you and you see he goes-- You hear, (Evandrin) I'm with you." Tempus (shrieks) leaps, grabs the Taxman, and you see for the first time grabs him and grapples and teleports out, removing one of the Taxmen from the battlefield.

MARISHA: Tempus!

BRENNAN: You see through the portal Tempus in open sky with this giant Taxman and just drops it to let him fall a mile to the ground.

AABRIA: Amazing.

LUIS: (muffled) Oh my god!

BRENNAN: And Tempus is gone. Zerxus, that is your turn. Loquatius, that's you.

SAM: Fuck.

AABRIA: Run.

TRAVIS: Coming to you live.

AABRIA: Run.

SAM: I can-- I could get him back up, but this is the last round. We're going into the last round.

BRENNAN: We're, yeah, this is-- you're bringing up the rear of the second round.

SAM: The next round is the important round.

BRENNAN: The next round is the important round. You don't even need to get to the end of that round. You just need to get to Laerryn's turn on that round.

SAM: So in that case, I will hold my action. I will just hold a simple Healing Word.

AABRIA: Mm!

MARISHA: Mm!

BRENNAN: Incredible.

SAM: And that's it.

BRENNAN: You go for your Healing Word. It is Vespin Chloras' turn. (quiet groaning)

AABRIA: (whispers) That's good.

BRENNAN: (sighs)

MARISHA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Vespin goes to cast a spell. I'm going to real quick look up the wording of Wall of Force, because I believe this will bypass it.

MARISHA: Come on. You bitch, come on.

BRENNAN: "Nothing can pass the wall. It is immune to all damage and can't be dispelled by Dispel Magic."

LOU: You say nothing can pass through the wall?

BRENNAN: Nothing can physically pass through the wall, but this is not passing through the wall. Vespin Chloras needed to get close, within 60 feet. A 9th-level Power Word Kill is coming for you right now.

LUIS: No!

TRAVIS: I'll use my Mage Slayer feat, that I don't know if that will do anything.

BRENNAN: You get a reaction, and you have-- It is a sneak attack. I don't know if you have any way to make it advantage, but you do get a reaction to hit him.

TRAVIS: That's good.

SAM: Does he have to roll on this?

BRENNAN: What's that?

SAM: Does he have to roll on this spell?

BRENNAN: No save. It's about the hit point total. If you're under a hundred.

AABRIA: But he has a target.

BRENNAN: Yes. He has to--

AABRIA: Mirror Image.

BRENNAN: Mirror Image only applies to attack rolls.

SAM: Oh, this isn't an attack?

BRENNAN: This isn't an attack.

LOU: We're just all desperately looking at our options. This can't be!

BRENNAN: First of all, I don't-- No one has any Counterspells or anything like that, right?

MARISHA: I do.

SAM: I have a Silvery Barb. Oh!

MARISHA: 4th-level Counterspell.

AABRIA: There's no attack roll.

BRENNAN: Okay, 4th-level Counterspell.

MARISHA: That's all I got left, is a 4th-level Counterspell.

BRENNAN: So it's you.

MARISHA: But after, is this after Cerrit's? Cerrit's turn?

BRENNAN: You can do these in any order that you want.

SAM: Wait, what did Cerrit do?

TRAVIS: I have Mage Slayer, so he casts a spell. I get to hit him with sneak attack, but that's it.

SAM: Do that.

MARISHA: Can we do something sort of weird?

SAM: Do that.

MARISHA: Okay. Okay.

BRENNAN: But you guys--

AABRIA: I don't think that stops the spell from happening.

SAM: Do that.

BRENNAN: You can do both. Is there an order that you want to resolve these in? Do you want to do the Counterspell first and then this one?

SAM: Him first.

TRAVIS: Okay.

BRENNAN: Him first, okay.

SAM: I'm going to Silvery Barbs him.

TRAVIS: It was 25.

MARISHA: Okay, okay.

BRENNAN: 25 to hit?

SAM: I'm going to Silvery Barbs him.

MARISHA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TRAVIS: What does that do?

SAM: You have to roll with disadvantage to hit.

BRENNAN: Oh, wait. Also, I don't think we didn't get the-- he has the last Mirror Image on him, right?

AABRIA: Then we could give her advantage.

SAM: Yes.

AABRIA: On her Counterspell.

BRENNAN: It's a last Mirror Image.

AABRIA: Brilliant!

BRENNAN: Okay.

TRAVIS: Oh!

BRENNAN: There's a last--

AABRIA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: There's a last Mirror Image here.

MARISHA: I love it.

AABRIA: Brilliant.

TRAVIS: So I have to roll with disadvantage.

AABRIA: Want to kiss you. (chuckles)

MARISHA: Yeah.

AABRIA: So smart.

MARISHA: Yeah!

BRENNAN: Oh, we're going to roll for Mirror Image here. You want a one through a 10 on this. That's six!

LUIS: Wow.

AABRIA: Woo!

BRENNAN: You hit the man himself.

SAM: Except you have to roll with disadvantage.

TRAVIS: I rolled with disadvantage, and I'm going to miss him.

BRENNAN: What did you get on your second attack?

TRAVIS: A 17.

BRENNAN: Okay, 17? Counterspell coming in twice.

SAM: You have advantage.

LUIS: Yeah.

LOU: (claps)

MARISHA: Well.

SAM: Sorry.

TRAVIS: No, no.

SAM: I don't think it would've killed him.

TRAVIS: No.

SAM: Whatever you did.

TRAVIS: I don't think so.

LUIS: It matters either.

SAM: It was 2d6s right?

TRAVIS: All sixes.

LOU: Oh, man!

MARISHA: Your DC 10 plus. Okay, okay, okay.

LOU: This is a 9th-level spell?

BRENNAN: 9th-level spell.

LOU: Mm.

MARISHA: Oh my god!

SAM: You're going to have to roll so fucking high.

LOU: Is it a Nat 20?

BRENNAN: No, it's not a Nat 20. I believe you had plus five at the roll, so there's got to be a 14 or higher.

MARISHA: I have to roll?

BRENNAN: You have to roll.

AABRIA: Yeah! You rolled the Counterspell.

SAM: Roll twice.

MARISHA: I have to roll.

BRENNAN: You have to roll the Counterspell.

AABRIA: You roll 20 or higher.

BRENNAN: Oh, sorry!

MARISHA: 4th-level. 4th-level.

BRENNAN: 4th-level.

LOU: I mean, if we only need a 14, we can get a 14.

BRENNAN: I'm going to home rule in this instance, because you're casting it up one level, you can get it on a 13 or higher.

MARISHA: I have advantage or just?

SAM and BRENNAN: You have advantage.

LUIS: At advantage.

TRAVIS: Come on.

MARISHA: 13 or-- oh my god.

AABRIA: You got this!

LOU: Come on!

MARISHA: Oh my god! Oh my god! Okay, okay, okay.

SAM: Por'co!

LOU: Por'co!

AABRIA and MARISHA: Por'co!

LOU and LUIS: Por'co!

AABRIA: This is your city.

LUIS: (chants) Por'co.

MARISHA: For the Palazzo Por'co. What is that? Wait, are those double tens?

SAM: What is that?

MARISHA: Those are two tens.

LOU: (sighs)

AABRIA: (chuckles)

BRENNAN: Copy that.

TRAVIS: Does Vespin Chloras have more than 38 hit points?

BRENNAN: I am going to make a ruling here. The Counterspell is--

MARISHA: Gone.

SAM: Dispelled.

BRENNAN: -- is gone. It does not succeed. No other Counterspells active anywhere here. Your disadvantage attack roll here.

TRAVIS: Missed.

MARISHA: (sighs)

BRENNAN: Vespin--

MARISHA: (sighs)

BRENNAN: Here's the thing. Vespin's AC has been unnaturally high this whole time, because he's been casting Shield whenever he can. If in reaction to your, you rolled a 17 on your attack, right?

TRAVIS: I did.

BRENNAN: 17 is his armor class without Shield.

LUIS: Oh.

BRENNAN: So, he would have to cast Shield to avoid it, but doing so would trigger your reaction that you are using. It's a complicated scenario.

TRAVIS: Reaction to reaction. Yeah.

BRENNA: So. Travis, the way we're going to resolve this is this. Because he's going to throw his Shield up so he doesn't get hit.

TRAVIS: But I only have one reaction, so I couldn't do it twice.

BRENNAN: But it's, yes. It's an interesting thing. I'm going to leave this to one last roll of the dice. He's got an armor class of 22 with that Shield going up, but I'm going to allow you because you're reacting to him casting a spell, to react anew to that casting of Shield. No advantage, no disadvantage. You've got one chance to hit an armor class of 22.

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

SAM: Oh god.

AABRIA: Okay.

SAM: Hawks out.

TRAVIS: Natural 20! (cheering) (laughter)

LOU: Oh god, yes! Yes! Oh god, yes! Yes, god! Whoa god, yes!

TRAVIS: What the fuck?!

LOU: God, yes, yes!

TRAVIS: What?! (laughter)

BRENNAN: Roll--

MARISHA: No fucking way!

BRENNAN: Roll double damage, if you'd be so kind.

SAM: Sneak attack, too?

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

AABRIA: It's good, it's good.

LOU: I'm going to throw up. (laughter)

LUIS: I have--

AABRIA: I feel--

LUIS: Negative two.

AABRIA: I think I'm dead.

MARISHA: You're hanging on?

LUIS: Barely. I'm just like what? (laughter)

LUIS: Yeah.

TRAVIS: Okay. That's 67 points of damage.

SAM: Ooh!

AABRIA: Oh my god!

BRENNAN: I just wrote down on this piece of paper how many hit points Vespin Chloras had. How much damage did you just roll?

TRAVIS: 67.

BRENNAN: With 35 hit points, how do you want to do this? (screaming)

MARISHA: No fucking way.

AABRIA: No!

BRENNAN: Travis, how do you want to do this? (cheering) (screaming)

LUIS: Come on, Mage Slayer.

TRAVIS: Oh my god. That is so nasty. Oh, so, oh wow. Wow. I see Vespin aiming for Laerryn, and the hawk that he usually keeps in a concealed manner, the blade rests in the palm of your hand. You can fold your fingers over and that's it. He reaches back and lets it slide all the way down to the bottom of the handle, so you get the maximum momentum, and he sinks it eye to eye, straight into his temple, and pulls it down.

BRENNAN: "(grunts)" With the yank on the hawk, you watch the light go out of his eyes and (impacts) (whooshes) a silhouette of him in flame is all that is left as his body is wrenched back to the bottom of the Nine Hells.

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

BRENNAN: "(screams)" (whooshes)

TRAVIS: (chuckles)

AABRIA: Oh my god. You're perfect!

LUIS: Nice.

TRAVIS: (laughs) What the fuck?

BRENNAN: What the fuck?

SAM: The early bird.

BRENNAN: The early bird gets the worm.

TRAVIS: There are all sorts of sayings.

AABRIA: Holy shit. Your little hawks?

BRENNAN: Unbelievably, it is your turn.

AABRIA: Oh my god!

SAM: It's your turn?

TRAVIS: Uh-huh.

SAM: What?

TRAVIS: Oh, it's my turn.

SAM: There's nothing else to do.

TRAVIS: (sighs)

AABRIA: Just a little bit longer.

TRAVIS: Yep, yep. I'm just going to move to the nearest, I'll move to the nearest Taxman and stand between them and the ladies.

BRENNAN: Incredible. Do you want to make an attack, or do you want to ready an action, or anything like that, or no?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I'll make a--

BRENNAN: Go for it.

TRAVIS: I'll make an attack.

BRENNAN: Yeah, go for it.

TRAVIS: Why not?

BRENNAN: Then Nydas, you're on deck.

TRAVIS: That's a 20, 25 to hit?

BRENNAN: 25 hits. You can roll Sneak Attack on this.

TRAVIS: Oh, I can? Okay. I would--

BRENNAN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: -- have to do the deception there. I'm pretty sure. Seven. Jesus, 17. 25. 30. Five, 40. (shouts) What? 42 points of--

BRENNAN: Wow!

TRAVIS: Damn, that's the biggest one.

AABRIA: Holy shit!

TRAVIS: 42 points of sneak attack damage.

BRENNAN: Bam, bam! Just hitting this massive construct with your axes. Raining down blows upon it. Nydas, that's going to be you.

LOU: This is a crazy-- I guess I can make an arcana.

BRENNAN: I cannot believe that you just saved Laerryn's life by killing Vespin Chloras on a Nat 20! (laughter)

MARISHA: Oh!

BRENNAN: Unbelievable.

MARISHA: Natural 20.

LOU: Put that dice in a case. (laughter)

MARISHA: Right?

BRENNAN: Unbelievable.

MARISHA: Cased in resin!

LOU: Exactly, never. Never use that dice again, or use that dice forever.

TRAVIS: We should retire the dice?

SAM: It's just another, it's just another night on Avalir.

TRAVIS: Just another day. (laughter)

TRAVIS: A natural 20.

LOU: Okay, do I get the-- this is-- the promise-- the last promise I made to Zerxus is that I wouldn't let him turn. Do I get the sense that if I killed him, like if he straight up died-died, he would not come back?

BRENNAN: You can make a religion check.

LOU: Oh. (groans) Well, he was always the one who was better at those sorts of things. Only a nine.

BRENNAN: Ironically, it would be a leap of faith on your part.

LOU: (laughs)

BRENNAN: If you believe or not, that that might save your friend, it's unclear.

LOU: I look to Loquatius. No, I don't. Never mind. I don't look back at Loquatius. (laughs) Hi, Loqua-- No.

MARISHA: Confirmation.

LOU: (laughs)

SAM: I'm just picking things out of my teeth.

MARISHA and AABRIA: (laugh)

LUIS: (laughs)

MARISHA: (laughs)

LOU: I... oh my god, what am I going to do? Do I kill my best friend? Is that cool? I don't.

SAM: Yeah, that's cool.

LOU: Is that sick? Is that sick to murder your friend?

AABRIA: ♪ It's the Calamity ♪

SAM: Put him out of his misery.

AABRIA: Oof-ah.

TRAVIS: I mean.

LOU: You tell me if you'll allow this.

LUIS: Can--

LOU: Oh, go ahead.

LUIS: Can he roll like an insight? Like, recollecting something?

BRENNAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

LUIS: I mean.

BRENNAN: Give me an insight. We'll say call it a DC 15 insight.

LOU: Okay. All right, I just got to get-- don't get two. That's a 10. So 22.

AABRIA: Okay.

LUIS: Is that enough?

BRENNAN: Yeah.

LUIS: You know me. I would never have let my guard down like that. I took those blows.

LOU: If you'll allow me, I'd like to make one attack on the Taxman standing over him, and then I'd like to ready an action, so that should I fall, I drive my blade into my best friend's heart.

TRAVIS: Oh my god.

AABRIA: Oh!

BRENNAN: Make your attack on the Taxman.

LOU: Cool. That's a... That is a nine plus 12, equals 21 to hit?

BRENNAN: That hits.

AABRIA: Great.

LOU: (laughs) I will look back. I will look over Cerrit, and say: Vespin Chloras, not a bad name to have on your list. I'm going to give you a Bardic Inspiration.

AABRIA: Amazing.

LOU: I'll do eight damage. Er, no, yeah, eight damage with an attack on the Taxman.

BRENNAN: (grunts) You swing around. (grunts) Hit them here. You ready your action. It's going to be the Taxmen. Vespin gone. They advance. One, two, three, four, five.

AABRIA: Wall of Force.

BRENNAN: Wall of Force there, yes. Cerrit, you get an attack of opportunity.

TRAVIS: Yep.

AABRIA: (gasps) Get him! (chants) Body count, body count.

TRAVIS: (chants) Body count, body count. That's a 26 to hit.

AABRIA: Oh god.

BRENNAN: 26 to hit. 26 hits.

TRAVIS: But I can't use sneak attack again on this, right?

BRENNAN: No.

TRAVIS: Just a single hit, yeah. So, a whopping eight points of slashing damage.

SAM: Nice.

TRAVIS: Magical!

BRENNAN: (metallic clangs) Swings past. This Taxman's going to take a swing on Nydas. 23 points of damage to Nydas.

LOU: As I go down--

AABRIA: No! (gasps)

LOU: -- I make sure I don't miss.

AABRIA and MARISHA: Oh!

TRAVIS: Oh fuck.

AABRIA: Fuck.

MARISHA: Readying your action. Oh, shit.

AABRIA: (whispers) Oh my god.

BRENNAN: You fall. You look, the sword, the constructs you made. (impacts) (swirling air) Scimitar. (grunts) That is two failed death saves for Zerxus minutes before sunrise.

TRAVIS: Oh, man.

BRENNAN: Nydas, you fall. The... This Taxman is going to move here and take another swing at Cerrit. Hits. Oof, deals you 30 points of damage.

TRAVIS: I'll eat it.

LOU: Yes, he would.

BRENNAN: Dispelling Blast from one of the Taxmen that approaches the wall.

SAM: Dispel Magic? These are fucking amazing.

BRENNAN: I'm going to need a constitution. I'm going to need a constitution saving throw from Patia for the Wall of Force.

MARISHA: War Caster.

AABRIA: Let's go.

LOU: Nice. Big money, big money. No whammies.

MARISHA: 15.

BRENNAN: Okay.

SAM: Oh lord.

BRENNAN: Patia, you take... (counting) 23... 28, 35... You take 39 points of psychic damage.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: Patia goes down.

SAM: Oh!

MARISHA: But, Patia was also readying her action.

BRENNAN: Yes.

MARISHA: As Patia goes down, if you will allow me.

BRENNAN: Yes.

MARISHA: Whatever ancient magic, deep down inside that I gathered of Rau'shan and Ka'Mort that I got from the Arboreal Cortex. I just look at Laerryn, and more or less accept my fate and unleash whatever essence that Patia has left. and unleash whatever essence that Patia has left, committing to this.

AABRIA: I want to say--

BRENNAN: The... Sorry, what is it you want to say, Laerryn?

AABRIA: Even though I know it wouldn't work, I would've thrown my Arcane Ward to try to take all of it. So, 33 goes away, but I just don't think that's enough.

MARISHA: How much was it total?

AABRIA: 39.

BRENNAN: 39, I think. Yeah.

MARISHA: Still not enough.

AABRIA: Damn. I tried.

BRENNAN: Patia, within your body, Patia, you release what you were holding on to. As you release it into the Leywright, moments before Laerryn's final act, a 9th-level spell leaves your body. A Wish or a miracle, spells that rework the fabric of the world itself, leaves, hits the Leywright, and the energy levels of the city rise to a hundred. (boof) (sighs) You fall, seeing your friend.

AABRIA: You're my best friend.

MARISHA: No response.

BRENNAN: Half of the party has fallen. I'm going to need constitution saves, if you have any active spell effects.

AABRIA: Yeah, two are up.

BRENNAN: Two are up, give me two constitution saves, concentration checks, essentially.

SAM: Oh.

AABRIA: Fuck.

SAM: Oh god.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

LUIS: Wow.

LOU: What happened over there?

AABRIA: Natural two, and a 14.

SAM: It was--

AABRIA: It was a two and a two.

SAM: Two and a one, and then a one.

AABRIA: And then a one and a 14.

LUIS: Oh my god.

LOU: Shikes!

BRENNAN: Four, 11, 17, 31, 40 damage from the first one.

SAM: Oh no!

AABRIA: That is the Arcane Ward. This wouldn't have been a bad thing, if I had one hit point left.

LUIS: Oh no.

BRENNAN: You failed both saves, correct?

AABRIA: What was the DC on the second one?

BRENNAN: DC was 19.

AABRIA: Oh, are these technically spell-- Is this spell damage?

BRENNAN: No, this is not spell damage.

AABRIA: Goddamn it, Brennan! I did one important thing, and you're just not letting me out of it.

BRENNAN and LUIS: (laugh)

TRAVIS: So we had tres.

AABRIA: So the second one would be an 18.

TRAVIS: That we know of.

BRENNAN: Second one would be an 18?

AABRIA: Yeah, it was a 14 on the die, plus four.

LOU: Does that make it?

BRENNAN: DC is 19.

LUIS: Damn.

LOU: No.

BRENNAN: Which is why it's really, really good that a readied--

SAM: Do not leave me.

MARISHA: Oh my god. Oh my god, your Healing Word. Oh my god!

SAM: You cannot leave me now.

BRENNAN: Go ahead and roll that for me for me, Sam.

MARISHA: Fuck.

AABRIA: I am dying!

TRAVIS: What are you talking about?

LOU: He's just been in the corner picking his teeth, waiting for this beautiful moment.

MARISHA: Just waiting.

AABRIA: I'm losing my mind.

SAM: I mean, I'm just rolling a-- She's back up, right?

BRENNAN: Back up.

SAM: Yeah.

BRENNAN: Laerryn, you don't even drop because the spell was readied. It's as a reaction, it's on--

LUIS: Wow.

BRENNAN: It's on the turn where you take the damage, so you don't even lose consciousness, you just take the damage and are back.

TRAVIS: Sam fucking Riegel.

AABRIA: Oh my god.

SAM: 10 points.

BRENNAN: 10 points. Laerryn, with the word of healing from your fey husband you have 10 hit points, and it's your turn.

AABRIA: Okay, it was all for this, and it has to have been worth it. I try to finish. I just have to finish.

SAM: Come on.

BRENNAN: Give me--

AABRIA: Fuck that die. It's so bad!

SAM: What are you trying to roll?

AABRIA: They've been arcana checks the whole time, right?

BRENNAN: Yeah, and you can roll with advantage, but yes, absolutely.

AABRIA: Cool. That's 22, 28. (sighs)

BRENNAN: Just with that last Healing Word, give me one more of Loquatius' Bardic Inspirations on top of it.

AABRIA: Oh, okay. Plus another four.

BRENNAN: 32?

AABRIA: 32.

AABRIA: I'm physically falling apart right now.

MARISHA: Hundred percent.

BRENNAN: Laerryn, almost falling, you see Loquatius, Patia, your best friend to your side. You see, lying beside each other Zerxus and Nydas. Standing in the center of the room, still fighting with every breath, is Cerrit. You reach, all of you feel (heavy impact) as the city settles, its energy restored from what you saved from the Tree of Names. You touch your hands, this thing you made, this dream. Are you the woman who doomed the world or are you the woman who saved it? Are all of you the heroes that you strove to be, or the villains that from time to time you might've been afraid you were becoming? In a world with this much power, what can be said to be the difference? You reach. Far away, the Eldritch Battery, with the names of the Emperor and Empress, alights (electric pulses) lime green energy, (explosion) rushing through the city. As the city docks atop Cathmoíra, the sun threatening to rise above the horizon, the energy rushes into the ground, their names inscribed, to break the ancient wards, to release the Primordials. A Colossus of Fire, a Titan of Earth, to join the Betrayers and bring eternal torment to Exandria. That is what was foretold. If the Primordials joined, all would be lost. Dying from his injuries, but smiling because he completed his last instructions, Calum Staffwright connected the broken battery back to the Etheric Net and put it online for you. It is nice, perhaps, to know that a woman of your singular genius was not completely alone. The energy rushes into the earth, connected to the Leywright, and swirls, preparing to summon them back into Exandria. And instead, the Leywright crafts a path away from this world. You made your choice. Safety for Avalir and Cathmoíra, and the lands of Domunas, or certainty that Exandria in some form would survive the coming Calamity. As the magic flows, the Taxmen suddenly stop, and you hear voice coming through them from the Lord of Hells. "What? What have you done?"

AABRIA: My best. Finally.

BRENNAN: Energy erupts, the ground shakes and the leyline (whooshes) angles up into the heavens. You hear the ground trembling. "No, no, no! Well. If Domunas is the smile of Exandria, then let's shatter her teeth!" You feel the ground begin to rumble underneath you. The Taxmen power down. Far away from here, ships are flying, as many people as can have been saved are moving. In these final moments, there are many things that you do not see, but it would be right for you to know.

LOU: (laughs)

MARISHA: Oh no.

BRENNAN: A ship of sorcerous children.

AABRIA: Oh.

MARISHA: Oh.

BRENNAN: A young triton girl, a little dragon sorcerer boy, and a man whose hat has been freshly de-candled--

AABRIA: (laughs)

BRENNAN: -- fly from the city of Avalir. I don't know how to describe what Exandria would have lost. Instead, all of those children with all of the magic within them are taken away. For Nydas and Zerxus, as you lay dying. Zerxus, you feel release. Let me ask you, your friend Nydas has given you this way out. The words of the Lord of the Hells were sweet and cloying. Does Zerxus take this chance to walk away?

LUIS: In whatever remains of his consciousness, it's as if he has a knife to his own throat. But in the back of his mind he knows in his heart that salvation and redemption is there for everyone. And it pulls him right back.

BRENNAN: (whooshes) You remain within this form. The last thing you see as your body begins to immolate and burn, going to the place where Vespin went, is a griffon made of stars called back to its feather, bearing on its back a young boy holding a journal.

LUIS: Oh.

BRENNAN: The griffon climbs and climbs, racing against the dawn. The griffon opens a door into a sea of stars. Elias leaps into the arms of Evandrin, reunited, You see the face of your husband and your son, and across endless realms you hear Evandrin's voice. "I know what you gave. You found a path beyond the stars. I do not know whence the gods came from, but I know that you found it in your heart. I promise you, Zerxus, I will find that place. I will find the secret of how these worlds were made, and I will come and find you and bring you home."

LUIS: Whatever little strength I have, all I can do is close my eyes and feel myself fall as I touch his Name Stone with whatever little strength I have left.

BRENNAN: You fall into the flame to become something terrible. But your son, your husband, they know freedom and life out there among the stars. Nydas, in your last moments you hear a Sending from your brother, "Nydas, this is Eaedalus, we're on the flagship. Where are you? Have you made your way? Have you made your way to safety?"

LOU: (laughs) Yes, brother. All will be well.

BRENNAN: You feel a different Sending in this moment, your brother with his latent magic, connecting to your heart. You see two young boys on the deck of a ship looking up under a clear blue sky to a city in the clouds. "You think we'll ever get there one day?"

LOU: Of course we will. We're the Okiros. Nothing's going to stop us.

BRENNAN: "Some things might. I don't know why I say you should get there, your head's already in the clouds."

LOU: (laughs) Brother!

BRENNAN: (laughs)

LOU: It's important to dream!

BRENNAN: "It's important to dream." As the life leaves from the wounds put on you by your own creations, you got those kids out. You got the ships to those people. When you think of the future and what people will say of this time, do you think anyone will talk about how beautiful your dream was?

LOU: No. But that's all right, because it was real for us. For those who survived, they will remember, and it will inspire them to dream of things far greater.

BRENNAN: Patia, the images of Avalir from your wall surround you. Your friend, in your last moments, you can see she did it. She had the energy she needed. The words come back. You, scanning through your orb, selfish, selfish, selfish. And you are here at the end of this city that has defined you. In this moment, what can you let go of and what must you hold onto, if anything? Do you reach deeper into yourself? You remember an image of your grandfather, "Remember, Patia, if a time should come when you must choose between the Por'cos, our family, and Avalir, we built Avalir. We could build it again. What matters more, the dream or the dreamer?"

AABRIA: Oh goddamn.

BRENNAN: In this moment as the life leaves you, what are Patia's final thoughts?

MARISHA: Just that there are many more dreams to come.

BRENNAN: You hold that and hear on Cerrit's body as the Taxmen power down, many more dreams to come, the voice of a young girl. In your final moments, you hear, "Dad? Dad, it's Maya. I've got some kind of orb. I've got--" And knowing, knowing that it doesn't have to be forgotten and that new dreams don't have to tread the paths of the old.

MARISHA: No.

BRENNAN: You let go. Cerrit, you hear in your stone, "Wingspan? This is Clear Eye."

TRAVIS: I hear you, Clear Eye.

BRENNAN: "What's happening?"

TRAVIS: You sound so afraid. Don't be. Are you with your mother?

BRENNAN: You speak now to-- You see that the stone gets grabbed by your son who says, "Dad, Dad, this is Talon. We're back at--" You hear the voice of your wife, Wrayne, go, "Darling, we are in Gwessar. All as well. Let me speak to your father." (Kir) "Okay, remember code names." You see she says, "Wingspan, I'm here. They're both here. They're both here. Tell me, tell me you're coming."

TRAVIS: I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I was never there. I'm sorry I never saw you or them. If I can, I promise I will make it up to you.

BRENNAN: (Kir) "That's a promise, Dad. That's a promise." (Wrayne) "Darlings, I want you to go inside. Everything's going to be all right." You hear the noise of your children. "Darling, is this goodbye?"

TRAVIS: No. No. Those children are the best thing we ever did, and it's going to take a lot more than this to stop me from getting back to them and you.

BRENNAN: You begin to hear the rumbling. (low cracking) (Wrayne) "Darling, I want you to know. Don't, in your heart, have this-- Don't feel regret. Moments seem like they're going to last forever all the time. You look for problems, darling. I know you see the moments that you weren't there. Our children loved you, and I do, too. You're a great father, you're a great man, and I don't know why--" (static) The eruption of energy, stone goes dark. You hear a noise of collapse in the Labyrinth outside. Loquatius and Laerryn.

SAM: What?

AABRIA: I run to you immediately.

SAM: Yeah. I grab your hands and just stare into your eyes. Are you okay?

AABRIA: Yeah.

SAM: You did it.

AABRIA: I couldn't have done any of it without you.

SAM: Without all of us.

AABRIA: Yeah, yeah.

SAM: This isn't the most romantic place in the world, but it sort of looks like a church.

AABRIA: Yeah. I think we have a little time.

SAM: I've been able to become anyone I want my whole life, but I just want to be with you.

AABRIA: I can't believe that the thing I almost broke beyond fixing was us. You're the best thing that ever happened to me, and I have lived my life in defiance of the gods, but meeting you and being loved by you is a miracle, so I know they're real. And for whatever time we have left, I love you. I have always loved you, and I will always love you.

SAM: I love you, too. I'll just kiss her.

BRENNAN: You embrace. Noise (low rumbles), energy (fizzling). Cerrit, in this final moment, knowing there's chaos outside, the halls are crumbling, energy is being released. Do you attempt to keep your promise to try and make your way out, or do you accept what is to come?

TRAVIS: I'll move to the door and look. My children deserve that. My eyes go wide, feathers up.

AABRIA: Can I send him across the bond, the Labyrinth that I know so well, directions to the closest viewing window that he could potentially make his way out of?

BRENNAN: The directions to the-- Yes, absolutely. This will be our final roll of this campaign.

LOU: You have Bardic Inspiration.

TRAVIS: I do. A d10?

LOU: A d10.

BRENNAN: Mechanically, that's giving advantage, correct?

TRAVIS: I do.

BRENNAN: You have a die of Bardic Inspiration. You have advantage. This is the Calamity. The DC we are setting is 30.

SAM: Is he all the way across the room?

BRENNAN: He is most of the way across the room, I believe, yes, why?

SAM: I'll try to just throw him my talisman. I have a Pact Boon Talisman.

BRENNAN: And that adds a--

SAM: A d4 if he fails.

BRENNAN: A d4 if he fails. You're going to roll this with advantage, and you have a die of inspiration. Let's roll the inspiration first.

TRAVIS: All right, inspiration first.

BRENNAN: See what you're adding.

TRAVIS: Come on. That's cocked. Eight.

BRENNAN: Okay. You're rolling with advantage, and if you fail, you get a d4.

TRAVIS: What am I rolling?

BRENNAN: Investigation, which is plus, now, with that inspiration, plus 21.

MARISHA: Come on, you got this. You got this.

TRAVIS: It's a plus what?

BRENNAN: Plus 21.

TRAVIS: That's a 31. (yelling) It's a 10.

LUIS: No way.

BRENNAN: (explosions) Laerryn and Loquatius embrace. Your movement is the only thing that saves you, that you can move 150 feet a round. Underneath you, Rau'shan and Ka'Mort are released. You made sure it would work. Fire and earth together. Magma, lava, veins of red opening in the earth. As Avalir crumbles and the magic spreads, sprinting through collapsing tunnels, soaring as fast as you can through tight turns.

TRAVIS: Do we still have some remnant of a telepathic bond?

BRENNAN: Yes.

TRAVIS: Can I reach out to Laerryn--

BRENNAN: Yeah.

TRAVIS: -- and say: The Brass Ring endures. I want you to know you gave us a chance.

AABRIA: I don't think you hear anything back. Just, you feel relief.

BRENNAN: The continent of Domunas will have been unfamiliar to most people prior to the beginning of our story, because in the modern age of Exandria, the chain of islands known as the Shattered Teeth is all that remains.

AABRIA: Okay, okay.

BRENNAN: The most it could be contained to to ensure that it would work was the land of Domunas. The earth opens, and fire and stone (explosion) shatters a continent. The Calamity will last for centuries, and at the end of it, two thirds of those living beings of Exandria will be no more. Some large amount of that greater number died not only in the first year, but in the first moments of Calamity. As Rau'shan and Ka'Mort, believing that they will rejoin the Betrayer Gods, are instead unmade, disenchanted, bound to a surging leyline and fired, diffused through as many realms as the Leywright could send them through. Two great Titans are destroyed. Say what you will about the Age of Arcanum, but great workings were indeed possible. Gone from Exandria, those Primordials do not join the Betrayers. And as they do not join the Betrayers, though it will see centuries of strife and ruin, one day, the people of Exandria will triumph and the Calamity will end. Many will be lost, divinity will be forever sequestered behind the Divine Gate, but at the end of it all, hope will return as many times as it needs to. The eruption of ash and fire, molten stone sends a cloud of ash and shadow that will cover Exandria for a hundred years, marking the beginning of this age of ruin. The fire embraces Patia and Nydas. A different fire awaits the First Knight. The fire, as brightly as it may burn, does not burn so brightly as your love, which shines the brightest in your last moment, having given this world a chance. Ash, heat, rising faster than you can imagine from the earth. And on a 31, at the very top of that cloud, the last member of the Brass Ring gets to keep his promise to his family.

MARISHA: (shaky sigh)

AABRIA: Oh boy.

BRENNAN: You fly for weeks over oceans choked by ash and soot. You don't get to give your kids the world that they deserve, but you get to give them the world that they can fight for with you. In that reunion is a memory of this place and time, preserved. I don't know that I can promise the future of Cerrit, his wife and their children, nor the future of those children aboard the ships of the Golden Scythe, nor Evandrin and Elias out amongst the stars. We've told a story of the coming of a time of darkness, the coming of Calamity, of shadow and fire and ruin. Why do we tell stories? To try to make sense of a world that can be terrifying and enormous. In Exandria, I don't know that your story will long be known. I don't know who will remain to tell it. But it did happen and it did matter. And though Calamity is here, because of you, it will not be here forever. Thanks so much for watching. For all of you at home, we're sending lots of love, and it has been an honor beyond words to be at this table and tell this story with you all. Tons of love from all of us to all of you, and we hope that you have seen the story here and share in all of the feelings that we have. I guess at the end, all I have left to say: Is it Thursday yet? (laughter)

TRAVIS: That was masterful!

BRENNAN: (laughs)


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