MATT: Hello everyone and welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons. ALL: We play Dungeons & Dragons! MATT: There you have it. Before we jump into tonight’s session, we do have some announcements that’ll begin with some sponsors, but part of the first sponsorship ties in with one of the announcements, so I’ll go and get to that first. For those who haven’t seen on social media, the announcements and such, we’ve partnered with our friends at Dungeons & Dragons and Wizards of the Coast to release an upcoming Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, an actual– (cheering) – full setting, full campaign setting for the entirety of the continent of Wildemount that you guys have watched in this campaign and so much more beyond that. It’s been, like, a year plus of my life on top of everything else to work it out. I’m super proud of it and the wonderful contributors that helped flesh out the world even just beyond what I had worked on. It’s something I’m really proud of and I hope you guys have an opportunity to check it out. It’s up for preorder now where are places you can mostly find RPG book preorders and it’ll be coming out on March 17th, so about two months from now. It’s got not just, like, world lore and, you know, a lot of elements about just the story and setting-centric stuff, there’s a lot of player options including three new sub-classes, dunamancy spells, some new sub-races, some other fun stuff, new creatures, new magical items, new artifacts and Vestiges of Divergence. It’s going to be a lot of fun, so I hope you enjoy it. And for those of you who are looking to buy it or preorder it and can afford it, I highly recommend you go do so at your local game store. You know, online sometimes is the only way people can afford it, but if you can, support those local shops. That’s where the community thrives, so definitely do so. (whooping) And leading into that, our first sponsor tonight is our returning friends at D&D Beyond. ALL: D&D Beyond! MATT: Which, on D&D Beyond, preorders for the content of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount are also now open, so if you use the tool and you want to look forward to incorporating some of these things into your game and your whole D&D Beyond portfolio of content, to be able to preorder now on there. You can grab the digital version right now and receive a bonus, looks like six exclusive character sheet backgrounds in six matching color themes to go with the book’s release, which is awesome, and they also have some other great promos going that you can find on the site at dndbeyond.link/critter. Go ahead and check that out and thank you guys so much for supporting our show for as long as you have. Our second sponsor tonight, (clears throat) as I prepare myself, is NordVPN. Sam. SAM: Hold my calls and greetings, netizens! It’s the master of the dark web, online known as [email protected] I’m cracking code and spinning my webs with ease because my hardware’s protected by NordVPN, a personal virtual private network service provider with 5,000 servers in 60 countries that shields you from hackzors like me, protects you on public wifi, and even blocks annoying ads. Yeah, I know everything about the info super-biway except the identity of that black hat evildoer, Cryptonic Override. But tonight, I’m going to jack in (laughter) to their mainframe and expose them to the world wide world. (keyboard clicking) Here we go. Jamming the matrix, hashing the DDR. What, I’ve been sliced? CRYPTONIC OVERRIDE (V.O.): Aw, so close, Black Willow, but I, Cryptonic Override, am also using NordVPN. They have a promo going on right now which gives you 70% off a three-year plan and one extra month for free. Oh well, have a slice day. (laughs) SAM: Ah, I failed. Or did I? Computer, reload that audio clip but retro-flop the transmish. CRYPTONIC OVERRIDE (V.O.): [Fragmented] Have a slice day. SAM: Okay, now un-route the bus map and quantize the Fraggle Rock. (zapping) Closer. Now backdate the disco dongle and enhance. CRYPTONIC OVERRIDE (V.O.)” Have a slice day, slice, slice, sli-sli-slice. LAURA (V.O.): Have a slice day. (laughs) SAM: Wait, Cryptonic Override is… Laura Bailey?! ASHLEY: What?!
TRAVIS: Whoa! SAM: (screaming) LAURA: You cracked my code, Black Willow. Let’s settle this the way all leet hackzors do, with a head-to-head hack off. SAM: (gasping)
LAURA: Do you accept? SAM: 0111001, which is binary for yes. LAURA: Ready, set, hack! (keyboards clicking) SAM: Oh, you’re putting spyware on my aux interface? Try re-troglodyting the CD-ROM. LAURA: Oh, a triple-ask encounter virus? 1995 called, Sandra Bullock wants her moves back. (keyboards clicking)
(laughter) Oh, you’re trying to scramble my jumbotron? Yeah, good luck. It’s password protected.
It’s swordfish. It’s always swordfish.
Damn it. (laughter) (groans) No, you’re gleaming my cube! That’s right, Black Willow, you’re going down– huh? We, we both got sliced? Simul-sliced.
But by, by who? How?
Oh my god. The ultra codex. It’s, it’s going to infect the whole world. Which means we’re going to have to– Hack the planet. Find out what happens next time, find out what happens next time NordVPN sponsors the show. Until then, learn more at nordvpn.com/criticalrole and be sure to use our coupon code criticalrole at check out. Matt?
Hack to you. (laughter) I think you mean if, if. (talking over each other)
(laughter) Laura Bailey.
Laura Bailey. (cheering) I’m not going to lie, now I’m invested. (laughter) What is the ultra codex, Matt? You don’t know.
I don’t know. Who does, who does?
It’s a new top ten. That was just well done. Do we have any time left to play D&D, though? (laughter) We’ll try and squeeze it in. Okay.
Well. The planet needs to be hacked. Yeah.
We better– Troglodyte got me.
I can’t even. Swordfish hurt.
Thank you, Sam, thank you, Laura, and thank you, NordVPN for sponsoring us. Simul-slice?
Simul-slice. Simul-slice was pretty good.
It’s hardcore. It’s a dangerous world.
Leap. So, those are the announcements. Unless anyone else has anything else they want to mention, I think that’s the end of our list and we can jump into tonight’s session. So, let’s go ahead and jump into tonight’s episode of Critical Role. (growling) (water bubbling) (booming) (exploding) ♪ Roll that critical, critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical, critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ Roll that critical ♪ ♪ The adventure begins, they were always beside you ♪ ♪ Your nerdy best friends and the DM to guide you ♪ ♪ And they rise from the flames for the battles ahead ♪ ♪ Villains beware because you’re ’bout to be dead ♪ (upbeat rock music) ♪ They got magic and flair, they got falchions and cunning ♪ ♪ They don’t see over there, there’s a monster incoming ♪ ♪ Inspiration is waiting ♪ ♪ Rise up, don’t think twice ♪ ♪ Put your fate in your hands ♪ ♪ Take a chance, roll the dice, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role critical, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role critical, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role critical, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Role critical, roll the dice ♪ ♪ Can you answer the call ♪ ♪ Dig in deep in your soul ♪ ♪ As the legend unfolds ♪ ♪ Now it’s your turn, your turn, your turn, to roll ♪ (flames whooshing) And welcome back. So, we’ll have a Laura Bailey here now, there she is. (cheering) Welcome back, welcome back. My l33t gear off.
I understand. Don’t want to lose your focus. So last we left off, The Mighty Nein has been working between the Dwendalian Empire and the Kryn Dynasty to try and arrange some sort of negotiation to bring us to a semblance of peace talks between these two places. You were given the option by King Dwendal to essentially clear the slate of what could be some problematic behavior from their perspective in your dealings with the Dynasty by arranging this. You went ahead and ran some errands, fought some people in a basement of a butchery, ordered some musical instruments, and then eventually made your way back to Rosohna where you checked into your Xhorhaus in Xhorhas, met up with Shadowhand Essek, and made your way to the Bright Queen’s throne room. There, you beseeched her, on behalf of the Dwendalian Empire and the relationship you already forged, to listen to what you had to say, what you’ve discovered, what you’ve accomplished, and what you were sent to do. Through some relatively persuasive arguments and some key notes made in the center of that chamber within the Lucid Bastion, you succeeded in convincing her to allow not only for it to happen but for you guys to be somewhat present during these negotiations. You were sent to return this information onward to the Dwendalian Empire and an arrangement will be made at some point in the future where these will take place, under the absolutely necessary scenario that the ceasefire is maintained on both sides. There is very much a mutually assured reinstated conflict should anything poorly go down. You returned towards the Xhorhaus, you messaged an encroaching series of questions upon Essek, you went into your home, and after setting yourselves up in the early parts of the evening to have a night back in the house that you were gifted based on your deeds here in Rosohna, began to play a cacophony of musical something. Actually, you were doing pretty good along with the tiny piano and the– TALIESIN: There’s only so much you can do with a– There’s only so much you can do with a bone flute. I think Frumpkin rolled the highest. I think so, but Frumpkin usually does. When he’s not killed in one hit. (laughs) So, after your loud performance display, thrashing the ears of the neighborhood, who had thought it calm and silent for oh so long in your absence– (laughs) Yeah. And what would you like to do with the evening? You’re hungry, you’re tired. Essek isn’t with us or anything, right? Mm-mm.
No. Do you want food, do you want to sleep? You’re hungry, you’re tired, whatta you want? (laughter) Fjord’s been drinking. (laughter) Damn that mass of new faces. (laughter) New face, new face! Well, maybe before we go to bed, we should plot out our next moves for the next few (sniffs) days, weeks. We’ve done our duty here, we don’t have to hurry back to Rexxentrum, yeah? Do we?
That’s true. I mean, are we, are we meant to contact the Dwendal’s people and tell them about the arrangement? In time.
We probably should, yeah. That will be the next thing and then probably getting the ship in order, I guess. Yes.
But there’s no pressing, like, we don’t have to do that today, right? Well, the longer we wait, the more of a chance there is for something to slip and the– Oh, right.
War to restart. We have to let them know right away to, like, hey, not fight.
Yes, yes, we do have to let them know right away. Yeah, so we should contact them now, tonight? Did I already do that?
I think we did that. We did, you messaged–
Ludinus. Oh, that’s right, we did, we did. Hey, we’re so, I remember that, of course. I say we have a leisurely evening, a leisurely morning, make our way back tomorrow.
To? To deliver whatever other information we need to. You have armor to pick up here. (gasping) Right?
I do. I forgot about that but I have to– Do you have to finish paying for it? Finish paying for it, which I think, how much do I have left on it? Believe it was about 2,000 gold left on that. Yikes!
We can make that. It is 2,000. I’ve been keeping a little mental to do list. Can I just run it through you guys and you can tell me what’s important on the to do list? Totally.
Yeah, of course. ‘Kay, there’s Traveler Con.
Yeah, that’s coming up soon. How soon?
Weeks. About five weeks, little over five weeks, maybe. I have to make sure Orly’s going to be there when we get there. I wonder how long it’s going to take to get from Nicodranas over there. I’ll have to contact Orly.
Do we need costumes? Do we need anything, like, is there a uniform? I don’t know. Assuming our ship survives this treaty talks. Yeah.
Other things in my mental list to do list that’s written down, Darrow, maybe scry on him.
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, we could do that.
Why? Because he’s got a client that he won’t tell us about!
And he won’t tell us who it is, obviously.
We could scry on him and find out who the client is and get useful intel or at least just fuck with him. That’s true, yeah.
Yeah. All good options.
Vence, scry on him. He’s unscryable.
Mm. With the necklace thingy.
Yeah. Pride Silk at Pride’s Call for Keona? Yeah, that’s kind of like a– She wanted the worms–
Yeah, It’s kind of a bonus one. You have to smuggle out the worms and then we could get paid a decent amount of money.
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But the worms are real big and real sacred and they’re real protective of them, so it’d be like a worm heist. That seems like plenty of areas for us to fuck up–
Yeah. Cool, though.
There are Jagentoths in Shadycreek Run that exist. Jagentoths.
I don’t know. I mean, we kind of of knew that, though. Yeah, but I, did we need to go and look it up or something? Did we want to murder them?
I don’t know. Oh, I don’t know.
Are we murdering people? Maybe?
Are we– Should I send them a message and let them know that we’re going to kill them?
I feel like, (laughter) that, (sputters) okay, hang on, though. Should we, are we above, we’ve risen up in echelon in society, right, to not murder people without cause, right? Which society are you talking about? The Dynasty or the Empire?
The, the human one, the– I’m not human.
You know, where– Speak for yourself.
Well, no, okay, the– Civilization.
Thank you, civilization. We are rather high profile everywhere now. There’s the, who? We are well known–
We are? We are The Mighty Nein of–
We are, we are. (snapping) The youth of the nation.
Couple other, couple other options for us.
That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Caduceus has some unfinished family business, I believe. I figure that’s in the direction of Traveler Con. I figured I would hit you all up for accompanying me to that.
On the way? Either on the way or after, whichever is more convenient. On the way would be wonderful. I also wrote down snea snake for some reason. Don’t know what that means. I don’t know. And we need basilisk oil for Pumat Sol. (gasps) Oh.
Those are the outstanding to do list items.
Did he say where we were supposed to get that?
That’s a good list. That is a really good list.
Shit. Where, you need to stop by somewhere on, and where is it on our, if we’re up in Xhorhas and we’re going down? I’ll probably scry a bit more, but it’s a little past, if I recall, if I–
The place that you’ve been contemplating would be the possible location for this is south of Xhorhas, to the east of Nicodranas. It’s, if you want to pull up a–
Pull up a map A map of the Menagerie Coast, perhaps. Is this the right one?
Uh, no. Menagerie Coast and/or Xhorhas. Want to set them both out? We have so many maps. How far down does the Xhorhas one go? We need the Coast, there it is. This is where, (paper rustling) (feet scuffling)
(chairs knocking) that is where you’re thinking, the Whitedawn Lagoon, and– Whitedawn, there we are. This would link approximately about there, in this vicinity. Can I invent a Thomas guide? I was just laughing at that.
I so felt that. I felt it, I felt it from you. So, the negotiation, the location where you had it agreed upon, which was between the Whitedawn Lagoon and Nicodranas– Okay.
Which is just south of the border between Xhorhas and the Empire. Okay. (paper rustling) So, it’s kind of either, depending on where you start, wherever your ship picks you up, either you go there before, if you’re coming from Xhorhas’ direction, or go there after if you’re coming from Nicodranas, it’d be like your easiest one.
Go to– It’s up to you.
Go to Xhorhas. That, we could do that, I would appreciate that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Not going to pretend I’m not a little nervous, but yeah. (knocking) Hit your place on the way down to– Oh, someone starts knocking on the door. There’s a knock at the door. Who is–
Wait, do we need to hide anything? Is anything out that’s illegal? Like, beside ourselves? I’m going to go to the door. Mmkay. You go ahead and peek through the curtain there in the front and you see behind it the familiar visage of Essek, the Shadowhand. Oh, hey.
We just saw you. Opening the door.
Ting-a-ding-ding-ding. Thank you.
Is this a noise complaint? No, it’s, it is not a noise complaint. I just, ah, (gentle music) if you would have a guest for dinner perhaps? Oh.
Come on in, Essek, we invited you before. Come, come, come.
I thought about it. I hadn’t really, you know, done something like this in awhile and perhaps it is– something I should do. Insight check.
Oh yeah. Make an insight check.
“Do I, do I believe him?” is what she wants to say.
Does he have, do I believe him with an insight check?
I know, make an insight check.
Did he bring the wine? Actually, he did.
Ah. He takes it out from under his cloak and hands it over. This is Solvia Grove’s Diamond Plum Wine. Oh.
He didn’t even notice– I’ll decant it right away. (laughter) Yeah, natural 20.
Natural 20? (chair scraping) Holy.
All right. He has do a little spin on the way over for a natural 20. Wow, wow.
This whisper is brought to you by–
NordVPN. They can protect you on the internet. Nothing can protect us from the dangers that abound in Wildemount, but– If you don’t split-slicers.
That’s hard. I was like, “This isn’t it.” Also, that’s very hard to say. (laughter) Spit-slicers. This is why Laura got the job. (laughter) I really, I mean, it was a bad audition. I was having a bad day. “This is hard to say.” (laughter) (throat clearing) My apologies. And you watch as he like, after stepping into the chamber and handing off the bottle of wine, he (blows) stops hovering and lands on his feet and unfastens the mantle–
Oh, we’re going to see behind the curtain.
His body? Since we’ve never seen his body before. (laughter) It’s like a reverse Krang. (laughter) Don’t Google reverse Krang, by the way. (laughter) I did that once, in college. (laughter) But no, he removes the mantle and sets it on one of the chairs in the foyer area of the Xhorhaus and he’s dressed in a nice, comfortable clothes, well-trimmed–
Juicy Couture. (laughs) (laughter) Yeah, it’s just– (laughter) Just says juicy on the ass. Yup. (laughter) It’s from the Rosohna, it was Victoria’s Secret, comfortable on. No, it’s actually not, not too different from your Xhorhasian outfit as you had it tailored, the design of which you requested is loosely based on similar designs you’ve seen around the city and his is more of a designer version of that, but comfortable and sleek–
Designer, though. It would be.
Fancy, he’s fancy. He’s fancy. Do you float all the time? I’m sorry, I called it float. It just seems you’re always gliding. Not all the time. For me, it’s more of a, (sighs) I don’t know, it’s an expectation, I guess. People expect it of you? When you’re young and impetuous, you tend to do things to try and impress people and then once you’ve set a sort of expectation for a presentation, you have to maintain it. (chuckling) It’s your gimmick!
More or less. So, people just expect you to float everywhere? Yes.
Does it make you tired? Not particularly.
I mean, walking makes you tired, if you think about it.
Can you make, yeah, can you make anyone float? Or it’s just yourself?
I mean, via certain incantations, of course, but this is more of just a developed for myself type trick. Gimmick, if you will.
Bringing out some wine. Here you go.
It still needs more time to air it.
I’m going to go get everything going in the kitchen. I’ll have everything up and running real quick.
In for a treat. Caduceus is going to cook.
I’m very excited. Thank you very much. Come into the dining room. We have a dining room, right?
So are you single? Do you have kids? What’s your last name?
Let’s sit down and do some small talk first.
Okay, come on in. Oh, sit down.
I’ll build a fire. (chuckling) Oh, I’ll start heating up the hot tub just in case later. Okay.
It takes like an hour to– Very presumptuous.
Yes. Where you from?
Here. Are you married?
No. What’s your mother’s name? (laughter) Well, my mother’s name is Deirta Thelyss, she is the Umavi of my den. Umavi.
Oh, wow. (paper rustling) What was your last name again? Thelyss.
Which den? Thelyss Den. Thelyss, Den Thelyss.
Yes. Den Thelyss.
One of the multitude of dens. (chuckles) Shall we sit?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on, have a seat on this couch. (chuckling) Assume we have couches. Yeah, ottomans.
It’s just chaise lounges. Just everywhere. So uncomfortable.
Please, faint on this fainting couch.
I’m not imposing, am I? No, we were just playing a concert for– I was wondering what that sound was. That was us.
It carries quite a distance. Oh, yeah?
It’s how we focus. After a huge meeting, we play and join our thoughts as one. (laughter) An unfamiliar custom, but–
It grows on you. Hey, it is not unlike some things I’ve seen in Asarius.
Mm-hmm. Frumpkin jumps into his lap.
Oh. Hello. So, what is the mood here in the Dynasty here? Right now, it is tension. A little bit of frustration in the halting of what was to be a very successful raid on Rexxentrum. (laughter) Oh. (gentle music) (whispering) Tense. That’s primarily it. This is so far removed from the front lines, it’s mostly just information disseminated via word of mouth and the occasional street speaker, but warfare makes for not entirely pleasant opinions of the opposing side. The tension in the throne room was fairly easy to read. My wonder what the dens, the various dens, think the people here.
That varies from den to den. There are numerous, so, and it depends on which opinion you want.
How about Den Thelyss? Den Thelyss, they would like very much to see our nation established and respected in the broader sense of the world. Unfortunately, our most neighboring nation tends to consider most everything to the east savage landscapes and dangerous cutthroats and drow are killers and everything else, so. And that is foolish. That has not been our experience here. But there are people on our end and many folks who assume that the Empire is nothing but a bunch of money-crazed, murderous villagers ready to kill each other for a scrap of meat.
That is very true. That’s how everyone is there. Lot’s of–
Jester, that’s not, that’s–
Not true. I care little for politics, to be honest. But it seems you did as well, but circumstances thrust us into spaces where we least expect. What do you care for? What are, you know, your hobbies and things that you like to do? Pet peeves?
Allergies? Hopefully none of this. A cheese and vegetable plate comes out. You can see, like, the tension breaks when you set it down and he’s like, “Thank you so much.”
Right. Main course coming, thank you, thank you. Thank you, Caduceus.
This looks delicious. Do you need help in there, Caduceus? I’ll be, I’ll be just a minute, I’m fine. That’s a stay the fuck outta the kitchen.
Yeah, I got that. I’ll cut you. (laughter) This is where Caduceus gets violent. (laughs) You’ve asked me quite a few questions and I’m willing to converse, but I’m curious, I’m curious to get to know you as well. What is it you want to achieve? What are your goals? What are the things you are looking to do? I assume you weren’t intending to bring a Beacon here and throw yourself into the midst of this chaos, so (chuckling) what else it is pushes you forward? Would it surprise you to know that perhaps a year ago, we didn’t even know of a Beacon or of the Dynasty or of any of this? Hm.
We knew of bacon, just not of a Beacon.
Important distinction. We all have individual goals and issues that we’re working on, but– What about you? Oh, me?
Tell him. Maybe he can do it. I’ll take a big sip of wine. I, I’ve just had some, I’m not myself and haven’t been for awhile and was, (sighs) like many of us, we’re all sort of searching for, well, many of us are searching for sort of who we are, but mine is much more odd because I know I’m not, I’m not supposed to be like this and I’m trying to change myself, physically.
Hm. So, this is not your original form? No, and actually, being in the throne room of your Queen, it actually gave me a lot of hope. I mean, seeing that people among you and her and some of the den leaders, I suppose, have changed form and shape many times over and put their spirits into other bodies.
This is true. It’s actually given me a lot of hope. They said that, when we were in there, that you had to be, what was the term again? Consecuted.
Consecuted. That is a process, though I would say it is one that requires a lot of patience. It is a bit convoluted.
Does it take a long time? The ritual itself takes about a day. Is it painful?
The consecution is not. The process of having to die to be consecuted or returned to a new form, ah, depending, can be painful, I’m sure.
How do they do it? Well, they don’t kill them once they’re consecuted, but when life comes to an end and they are within a radial region of a Beacon, then the soul is taken by the Beacon and then implanted within a new life. Have there ever been any instances of outsiders having this done? No one who has not been bound to the Beacons via consecution has fallen into its net. It is a requirement for the process. Are you consecuted?
I am. You’re not excited about it? I mean, prolonging life is divine. But I think religion is a, (clicks tongue) I would say a crutch to some spaces. (fingers drumming) (chuckles) I mean, the Dynasty is so focused on this Luxon, this religion, and the possibility of what it means, but it’s distracting them from what other good things they could do with the time and focus, maybe. And it’s selective, right? Not everyone in the Dynasty is consecuted, so there are some that expire in this life and that’s the end for them. There is a, an expectation of advancement within the faith to be consecuted. I really do not care for the specific theology behind it, but I was lucky enough and privileged enough to be born within a den to where it was not questioned, but–
So, it’s reserved for people within certain families. Well, it’s expended into those that aren’t part of the dens, but they don’t just consecute anyone who steps into the Dynasty and requests it. And you are, forgive me, on your first life? Yes, I’m nearly the youngest of my den. Forgive me if this is presumptuous. How old are you? I would be close to 120 years. Yeah, the same for all of us, just a (trails off). Do you have to be consecuted every single lifetime? No, once you’re consecuted, the process continues, yes. For thousands of years, you’re just there. Well, until you die too far from a Beacon. Ohh. That’s–
That’s, that’s a thing. You see, that is why the Beacons are so important. They allow the expansion of our civilization. Right.
If a city does not exist within some radius of a Beacon, everyone within that city is unable to return. And just to follow our thought experiment with our friend Nott here, if she were to be consecuted, she would need to remain here. Well, you would have to ensure that if you were to pass away, it was within the radius of a beacon, yes. But again, you would, she would be transferred to a new body and a new, young life, not a current one. Correct, and you would–
Like a baby? Yes, and you would grow and age. How old are you before you realize you’re the same person you were before? A little bit into adolescence. You begin to have dreams and visions of memories of your previous life or lives and you begin to seek out members of the Dynasty to then bring you through this anamnesis process in which you are to combine your current life’s memories with the personality’s memories of your previous lives to become one.
Yeah, that’s– Sounds very confusing.
I’m sure. I’ve not done it myself.
But, like, what’s to keep somebody else from coming and say, “Oh, I’m the Queen, I’m the Bright Queen’s soul.” Well, those who would receive her would then ask many questions that only the Bright Queen would know the answer to. I guess that makes sense. Do you remember your previous life fully? I don’t know. I have not undergone this process myself. Has anyone, like, an adult been, have you used an adult body before instead of a infant? I think what he’s saying is that a new life is born and the soul is within it– It is not of our choosing, it is the choosing of the Beacon. That’s some Dalai Lama shit.
Wow. I mean, we’ve had issues in the past where Beacons and our soldiers were killed on foreign soil and then souls were born in elements of the Empire. We had one conflict about 13, 14 years ago on the northern side of the Empire in which many of soldiers on both sides were killed. And recently, some of those spirits began to undergo anamnesis there, around Nogvurot and as such, we helped the children return to the destiny– Holy moly!
As such have now been reintroduced into our society.
So, Empire kids might turn 15 and be like, “Oh, shit, I’m a Kryn. “I have to go back.” Under the rare conditions in which a spirit that has been consecuted were to die near a Beacon, away from the Dynasty. That’s why, do you remember, the cryers were going, “Children are being stolen from Nogvurot”? Mm, that would make sense. A unique spin to the tale. Stolen from Nogvurot? So, they may have just awakened and left. Fuck.
Wow. Whoa, shit. I wonder how old those children were. Adolescents, I bet.
There’s food. Oh!
All right. Oh, wow.
So, to your point, it is possibly a way, though there is no guarantee which body will find you It could very well be another goblin, it could be one of our fine drow, which is not so bad, it could be all manner of creature. If what you are seeking is some sort of a transference to a new body, I don’t think that’s within my purview. Can you just turn this body into a different body? I do not know of such magic myself, unfortunately. There are rumors of extremely powerful polymorph spells and incantations, but even those have limitations that can be temporary or dispelled. (throat clearing) But if I hear anything, I will let you know. If we hear of something, could we ask your aid– If I can.
In deciphering it? If I can. So, you live alone, huh? I do. You mentioned that you felt like the Dynasty could utilize its time for much better purposes. What would you see the Dynasty do? I would not focus so much on pressing these religious beliefs that are based on myth and interpretation. I know gods exist because we have proof and there are those who speak to them, there are visions and miracles that happen. But the Luxons do not speak to anyone. It’s a lot of religion based on assumption, on existing scripture written by individuals hundreds and hundreds of years ago. (package rustling) There is power in the Beacons and dunamancy in itself is something unique. That, I think, is worth pursuing. The rest of this is a distraction. Is that pursuit frowned upon or largely ignored? Like a standard is kept and additional knowledge not sought out? It’s not so much ignored more than not as much of a priority. It’s like not knowing how deep the ocean is. Indeed.
Do you know how deep the ocean is?
It’s pretty fucking deep. And that is what I spend my time toiling away, is to find those depths. And there is so much, so much untapped possibility in the utilization of Dunamis. I, to answer your question of what it is I want to do. And I believe you, you can understand this, and I can see a similar spark in you, Caleb. I want to unlock these mysteries. I want to dive as deep as I can into that ocean of the unknown and see what is possible. Are you saying, are you saying you want to date Fjord? I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. That isn’t what I was saying. I’m sorry, I was distracted by, there’s cookies. Yeah, and also the ocean talk. Yeah, the ocean, dive deep into the ocean. It’s a metaphor.
Rip that open real fast. Rip it, rip it.
Go for it. I believe in you.
Get it. Yeah. (laughter) He turns back to Caleb and says, “To pursue beyond the limits of “what you’re told is capable, to seek the impossible, “to do what every archmage before us has failed to do.” Anything is impossible. You just have to look long enough and hard enough. Indeed.
The things we’ve seen. You don’t strike me as having much of an appetite for war. No, I have an appetite for knowledge. (sighing) Go back to the ocean metaphor because it’s kind of working.
Thank you. You could also get crushed into oblivion by several tons of weight at the bottom of the ocean or, you know, consumed by some other scary being, like– Uk’otoa. Are you not–
That’s still a thing? Remotely humbled or afraid of some of the unknowns you might find? I am as afraid as anybody is facing into the unknown, but that’s what makes it worthwhile, is it not? High risk, high reward.
Indeed. But you can mitigate the risk. That’s actually an interesting trade.
How? How can you mitigate the risk? Investigating your Luxon and the Beacons, has anyone ever, I don’t know, died researching it or perhaps gazed in it too deeply, I don’t know. There have been those who have not understood what they’re capable of and reached beyond their means too soon. Their research was incomplete, they attempted to bend the core elements of existence before they were ready to do so. And that is a lesson we all must learn from. Maybe the lesson is that it’s way too much power for any one person to be fucking with. This is possible. But that’s why you take care and that’s why you work alone. Only because Jester loves the details, what happened to those people that messed around with things sooner than they should have? There are rumors of some that just vanished, that either succeeded in finding some sort of alteration to the planes of existence and never returned. There is two tales I can think of off the top of my head of those that wished to try and use dunamancy to actually step into the annals of history, to step into the time before. Oh.
Whoa, really? And one of them returned– What?
To scatter to dust. It’s possible, but it seems to be extremely dangerous. So, to answer your question, there are things that are possible but if we’re careful and we take our time, who knows? He is fucking with shit at his home by himself. Is he? Do I gleam, has he made this?
He killed his wife with a time machine!
He’s got some H.G. Wells shit kicking. Go ahead and make it, make an insight check. Just going off of his, “That’s why you work alone.”
Can I assist her in that? Because I’m feeling that same way. Okay, assist, me and Fjord decide– (talking over each other) I’d say both you guys, if you guys are both checking, it’s both of your, this isn’t a skill you necessarily help somebody with for this particular instance. (laughs) Eight.
Nine. Come on.
Uh. Oh wait.
16. Insight, though, insight. So, 15.
Mmkay. (chair scraping) Oh, whoa, whispers. (Laura speaking with mouth full) Oh boy, we’re getting a lot of war tonight. Guys, D&D, D&D Beyond.
D&D. How cool is it that Matt has a book coming out with all this shit in it?
So cool. He thinks of this shit and then you get to read this shit. Our canon is canon.
Yeah. (chair scraping) Yeah.
Candidates. Yeah, this, all that shouldn’t? Okay. What do you mean someone came back and then they returned to dust? That they came back and then just poof? This was an assisted ritual and when they returned, they turned to dust.
Poof. I don’t know how else to describe it. How long were they gone? Oh, it was but a few moments. Really?
How long ago was this? 70 years.
Whoa. How long, were you able to talk to them when they arrived–
Oh, I wasn’t present for this, but I heard about it. Hmm.
Poof. And you’ve heard of two instances? Mm-hmm. But you do not know the result of the other. No.
Well, just because we don’t know the end of the story does not mean it didn’t go on. This is true. We met a guy who kind of could control time. I was just thinking about that. Oh yeah, we played in his festival fun house. Yeah, his Happy Fun Ball.
Yes, Happy Fun Ball. But even if that person was gone for just a moment, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t gone for a very long time. True.
What was his name again? Halas.
Halas, yeah. Have you ever heard of him? I have.
You have? Was he the other guy, was he the other story? Did you know he eats people or something? He is so, like, really weird. No, I just know of scattered records from the previous age.
He dropped a demon. It’s still trapped in his Happy Fun Ball. What is this Happy Fun Ball? (laughter) It’s a dimension that he made or at least used to create a space where he could experiment, draw– How did you access this? It’s a weird little puzzle and you shift it around just right. Yeah, it’s two turns left and two turns right– And then all the sudden, you get sucked in and you can’t get out unless–
You have this right now? No.
I mean, come on. We sort of lucked into it, actually. We are not in possession of it anymore. There’s called the, also the Archmage’s– [Trevor, Laura, & Marisha] Bane. It was attracted to terminate magic practitioners that wandered in.
It had a few names. Nah, I don’t feel like, I’m not going to look at my notes. Have you heard of that?
Pretty violent. I have not. Is Halas the other story that you knew? No, no. This was all dunamantic-based, within the Dynasty. But the thing that happened– Didn’t know if his was too, maybe. Was time moved at a different speed on the inside than on the outside and apparently it could change, if I recall. You couldn’t really control it. You could be in there for 80 years or 8 minutes. It was more changing the rate of passage. Mm, that Dunamis-adjacent, though I do not know if that is specifically, or perhaps an, a lack of a realization of what he was dabbling with. Hey Essek?
Yes? How come all the sudden, you want to talk to us like we’re friends? Not that I mind because I’m really happy that you’re here, but did we do something cool or something that you like us all the sudden? (chuckling) And he takes his wine, takes a big sip. Throw me a tea cracker, cookie thing. Oh god, they’re so good. Just Frisbee that bitch. (throat clearing) Would you like a Frisbee cookie? I’m all right, thank you. I’ll Frisbee that cookie.
Do you want to toss one? ‘Kay. Toss my cookies. (snickering) The Dynasty, I’ve lived here my entire life, and while there are benefits and there are other places that are much more challenging to live in, I find it frustrating at times. I find that the obsession with this Luxon entity belies what the truth may be, that these artifacts, I theorize, have nothing to do with a divine being but are just perhaps artifacts designed in the Age of Arcanum that have been misread. In which case, it is being misused or at least only the surface has been scratched of what’s possible. So, my interests leave me not trusting anyone, not feeling like I, in some ways, belong. And as such, I spend a lot of my time in solitude. Why trust us with your interests? (inhaling) Because I’m thankful to have met you. I don’t have much in the way of friends, due to the expectations placed upon me and you are driven, you are adaptable, you’re clever, and not shackled by blind devotion to one flawed society or another. I think you all have what it takes to survive in this cold, cruel world, as it’s something I pride myself on. And, (gentle music) I don’t know, I haven’t felt a kinship with anyone in a long time. Is this friendship safe for you here? Nothing I do is safe.
Fuck. Fuck, I like him. You can go get in the hot tub. Uh. And he goes and takes some of the food off the plate and, “This is very good, Caduceus.” We appreciate the trust, it means a lot. We move around quite a bit ourselves. You’ve been a rock for us and that’s appreciated. Should I tell him secrets? I feel like I should tell him secrets.
Right now, right– We owe him some favors.
Yeah. Hey, what, yeah, let’s do that first. What do you mean by that? What favors? (crunching) I don’t know. Perhaps some of my research at some time might require more hands than those I have at myself. How many do you have? Two.
Oh. We can get hands. We kill a lotta people on occasion. Yeah, or we can use our own hands. (paper rustling) Oh, oh yeah, okay.
Yeah. Still. While we’re asking questions, you’ve asked a few questions of me, I’ll ask a few questions, and you can ask some more. This is how conversation works, right? Yeah.
I’m a little rusty. Oh, wow.
Um. It’s all right.
Do you– Yeah, I can relate. Do you ever get lonely in your solitude? I didn’t think so until recently. Hm. (gentle music) What about you? Um, yes. I think, if I’m answering honestly, I think, but I think I almost became more lonely in my solitude after I became friends with all of them because I realized (gentle music) what having good friends feels like. Hm. (gentle music) Oh, you’re going to be so sad if we leave because you like us so much now. (wheezing laughter) I’m drawing Essek.
What, (throat clearing) what is it that you with to accomplish, Beauregard? I’m doing pretty good. I’m Main Expositor now.
Congratulations. Thank you. So, considering (takes deep breath) I wasn’t sure if I was going to live past 19 or make it outta my hometown or amount to any remote decent person in society, I’m not really, I don’t know if I’d say I’m a decent, I didn’t know if I was going to amount to anything, so. I’m feeling pretty fucking great. It feels nice sometimes to be the youngest while people expect little of you and then to prove them wrong. Yeah, the bar was pretty low. Just hope you can maintain that bar you raise to your own standards, not theirs. (sniffing) Yeah well, you always hold yourself to the highest of standards first, right?
Hm, true. What about you, Fjord? What do I want?
What do you want? He’s very religious. No, I, I’m practicing faith. (chuckling) I’m not actually sure. Whatever it was that I started out thinking was important to me seems, with time, to have faded into something else. I’ve been pulled into adventures and conflicts with this wonderful group of people and I want to see them protected and kept. It seems my personal matters from before just have sort of taken a back seat to sort of the grander things on our stage these days. Hm. And you, Jester. What is it you are seeking? What am I seeking?
Mm-hmm. Well, there’s Traveler Con coming up, so I’m seeking– I’m not familiar with that.
He doesn’t know what that is.
Well– She’s seeking a hotel room and– Here’s the, I mean, yeah, we have to find, there’s so many preparations we have to make. If you make the elevator pitch. Okay.
Kind of. Have you heard of the Traveler? Oh no.
I have heard of it in the context of your arrival. Oh.
(muffled laughter) Well, the Traveler is a god who, obviously, like, normally I wouldn’t mention it around people here because I don’t want to get murdered because of, you know, but that’s okay because sometimes, you know, if you’re super into your god, you’re supposed to maybe get killed for them, I don’t know. I don’t think the Traveler would want me to be killed for him, though, right now. That is not–
Anyway, the Traveler’s really cool, he wears this green cloak, he’s super powerful, he travels around, he’s always with us. He likes, you know, for you to do good things and bad things, he likes for there to be a good balance. If you feel like doing something funny, he’s into it. Bad things?
What? Well, like, little bad things, not like bad things. No, not like bad things, bad things, but it’s like–
Tricky things. Like naughty things?
Well yeah, but like, that’s, you know, everybody shows their devotion to the Traveler differently. I’m sure maybe there’s murderers out there or something that can be, you know, liking the Traveler but at the same time, if they murder people, then maybe they have to go and make a lot of babies. I don’t know, you know, it’s all about balance. That seems–
Maybe I’m presenting this wrong. What I’m saying is we’re having a big convention for everybody that’s super into him and we’re going to get together and that’s happening in a month.
Interesting. They’re sounding more like a cult. It’s never sounded like a cult. It’s a cult.
It’s not a cult, it’s not a cult, it’s not a cult. There’s like, because the thing is, here’s the thing. If it’s a cult, then it’s not, you’re not actually worshiping like a god or something, you know, you’re just worshiping a person that thinks they’re, like, religions or a god or something, but this guy really is a god. So it’s a religion.
You have a point. Well, good luck. (laughter) Do you want to hear more about him? I’m fine.
I can, I have, here, I’m going to get my brochure out. Here, take it. If you just want to read up sometime or if you just, like, want to meditate with me and talk, you know, then maybe we can discuss. If you want to come to Traveler Con– Some good pictures in here. Do you want to tell him what happens at Traveler Con, perhaps? We’re going and it’s going to be at the volcano and it’s going to be super fun. We’ll probably have some big speakers, maybe a band play, I’m not sure. We’ll probably have some, like, a party, a dance party, maybe, like, you know? Maybe a costume contest, I’m not sure. Do you want to come to a volcano? Do you want to go to a volcano? I’m all right.
We have a ship. (chuckling) Jessie?
Hm? Traveler Con I’m a hundred percent down with and I think it’s great, but going to Traveler Con is not what you seek, is it? Well, no but well, I mean, ultimately, you know, I’m just trying to find, you know, like, where I fit in in the world, ultimately.
That is a very, a very noble mortal cause. Also, how many babies makes up for a murder? You know, maybe one. You take one, you give one, I’m not sure. Okay, it’s give a penny, take a penny, got it. I’m not sure, you know? I haven’t actually talked to the Traveler about that because I don’t, you know, murder people on a regular basis, but he did give me healing powers because, you know, maybe because we’re out doing these kind of things, you know? We fight people so maybe that’s why I can heal people. What is the worst thing you’ve ever done? As far as bad things go. Oh, well I stuck an ax in a dude’s head one time. Yeah, I watched you do it. Yeah, that one was pretty fucked up. But that was bad ass and totally justified. I mean, he was going to potentially kill us. Yeah.
Too, so. I was just defending.
More talk tarts. More talk tarts. What about you, Essek? What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? (chuckles) (sighs) I would say (gentle music) angered my father to a point where he went unprepared into the depths of Bazzoxan and didn’t return. Oh, I’m sorry.
All right, that’s– What’d you do to make him so mad? That’s a lot to unpack. And why do you think you’re responsible for that? Like, even before you tell us what you did, why do you think you’re responsible for your dad not returning?
It’s complicated. When I say bad in the sense of what is largely assumed to be considered a bad thing. It doesn’t bother me necessarily. He wasn’t a great man. He had little aspirations. Do you mind if I ask if it was Bazzoxan near a Beacon? Yes, and there is an opportunity that he will return. Just wanted to check. That’s got to be odd, raising your parents. (chuckling) Oh, weird.
Yeah, the more you think about it. Doesn’t everyone– Did you say raising your parents? Well if he comes back as a kid. And you know he’s your dad but he’s also five. Nope, not going there. It has to have happened. Oh, numerous times. Not to me yet and I’m curious to see what that would be like when or if he returns. When somebody dies and they’re in love with somebody else and then that person gets really old and it’s like a 200 year old person, right? And then the other person realizes when they were, like, 15 that, that like, “Oh my God, I loved this person.” Do they marry the person when they’re adolescent or does it not transfer that sort of emotional feeling? Like, when you’re star-crossed lovers for all time or do you, like– Reset.
Yeah. It, (sputters) these are not matters I’ve conjectured too often, but there are individuals that have relationships that span multiple lifetimes. Whoa.
There are those that, over lifetimes, feelings change, as the heart itself, for some, does evolve and wander. For others, it is held straight and narrow. How long–
The 700 year itch. (laughter) I’m still figuring a lot of this out. I understand, it’s a lot to take in. (chuckles) Yeah, it–
Terrible. So, can a person still be dead for a very long time for them to come back into another body, or does it happen (snaps) instantly?
As far as I understand it, it’s fairly quick. Oh.
I mean, as long as it happens in a place where people are being born. I think, theoretically, if a Luxon were to be in the presence of, let’s say, theoretically, thousands of deaths and yet, no children are born, they would just be waiting. But then with each progressive birth within the radius of the Luxon, those souls would then be transferred with each new child. So, if one of the Beacons got stolen with a bunch of souls, or does it–
Yeah. But, it would just let out the souls as it traveled, right? But only to those that have been consecuted. Well, the souls that’ve been captured are the ones that are consecuted.
Oh, right. If you were to travel with the Beacon, in theory, then they would disperse as children were born within that radius. Whoa. Like a fog bomb.
Yeah. Overreaching. Do the other Beacons share a pocket universe, are they all connected? Or are you, you jettison into a specific Beacon and then that– Or is that part of your research? That is part of what I’m curious about, but such Beacons are heavily guarded and are assigned to certain individuals, for the interests of the religion, to keep. Is there any knowledge of the in between, any recollection? None that have been recorded. Whoa.
Just off in the– (sniffing) How often are you able to interact with a Beacon? Like, you, Beacon, study hall. Not often. There is a lot of importance in having them specifically located and kept safe within approved areas of Xhorhas to ensure that the masses of the population are usually within the radius of one. Have you ever stared at one for about a minute? If you’re referring as to whether or not I have attuned with it for a moment, numerous times, yes. Of course. I’ll trade you a secret if it crosses off one of those favors. (paper rustling) It better be one heck of a secret. Done some research on the Luxons. Beacons, the Luxons, are those things– The Luxon Beacons.
The Luxon, I’ve done some research on the Luxon Beaxons.
Beacons. (laughter) Luxon Beaxons, Luxon Beaxons. (laughter) You sound very knowledgeable about them, so this’ll be– We’ve had, like, two bottles of wine, okay? (laughter) With tossing, tossing maple cookies. They’re really good.
They are very good. Sweet. (paper rustling) The Empire found another one. (paper rustling) They uncovered it in the archeological dig site of Pride’s Call, where they found a lot of arcane weapons from the pre-calamity stuff. (snorting)
(laughter) Secret secrets.
Checks out. (paper rustling) No, that’s my notes.
Over 1.5. Mm-hmm.
Yeah, yeah. From the Age of Arcanum, right? That’s what I was looking for. I ask you this: what are your opinions on war, on this conflict? What is it good for?
Nothing, that’s what. Huh.
Say it again. (wheezing laughter) That was so fast.
It was. It was traveled.
Wow. (laughter) I mean, that, basically, that’s our stance, right? (laughs) Yeah. If you truly intend on maintaining this peace, of seeing this negotiation through and find that this conflict gives no benefit to you and your interests, it would do well to not let that information find its way to the Bright Queen. Don’t tell her about that? You don’t want to tell her about that? Why? Why?
I think it might tip the scales.
Because then there would be no reason to stop the conflict if they’re not giving all the Beacons back. It’s largely considered within the Dynasty that these are the religious right of those that follow the Luxon to find and maintain the Beacons. And you care more about stopping this war than serving your Queen? The Dynasty is where I live. The Dynasty has many great things it does and provides. I don’t necessarily believe with this theological focus to the point where it continues the cycle of warfare and bloodshed. War is a cycle and an addiction. Of course. I’ve seen it happen many times and it will continue to happen. Little to do with its people. Well. We’re not being watched, right? We don’t have a little floating ball– Yeah, have we been watched since we’ve been here? Whirr, shum, whirr. (laughter) Make a reception check. Oh.
Son of a bitch. If we’ve been watched, this is bad– Of course we’re being watched. Natural one.
Oh, shoot. Mmkay.
See, we’re fine. You do glance around and you see nothing of the sort in the vicinity. Does the Dynasty have us bugged in this house? It would not surprise me if they, at times, chimed in. You have been under watch, here and there, since you’ve arrived as you were a, a challenging addition to the proximity. Were you one of the ones watching us? Did you ever watch us?
To be specific, we’ve seen ourselves being watched. We were hoping it was you.
At times it was. Hey.
(gasps) Oh my gosh. Did you see us when we were changing clothes? Were you watching us when we were naked? Jester’s naked a lot. (laughter) No, but it was part of my assignment when you first came under my wing to ensure that there wasn’t any chances of undue Empire business finding its way within the proximity of the Bastion. Makes sense.
If you chimed in when we were changing, would you have kept watching or would you have checked out? I am more respectful than that and have no interest in such things. Why?
Is there one of us that you would’ve watched longer than– (snorting) Wow.
Wait, okay. Real question. And which one? You can be open here. So. (laughter) How much has he had to drink? (clapping) This additional Beacon, where is it now? We don’t know.
We’ll tell if you tell us which one of us is the hottest. Zone of truth. (laughs) (laughter) Oh my gosh, you guys. Do you want to play seven minutes in the zone of truth? (laughter) (imitated buffeting noise) Seven minutes in–
Epic fantasy, heroic personalities, fighting against the dangers of the world to rise the ranks of power and glory to– Who do you like?
Find out who wants to make out with somebody else. This is Dungeons & Dragons. (laughter) Don’t kid yourselves, I’d win. I think that’s why we’re, though. (laughter) Yeah, we don’t, we don’t know where it is. We’ve just– Well, we know where it came from. I can tell you it’s the one they plan to give back, which I find deeply problematic and have since they poised that plan because I’m assuming as soon as the Bright Queen takes one look at it– Yeah, it’s not like a dead goldfish where you can just, like, swap out another one and be like, “Here’s your goldfish.” Like, she’ll know that it’s not the same goldfish. Will she? Well, it depends. If they’re handing over this new one they’ve found or if they’re returning the one that was taken and then planned to keep this new one for themselves. I mean, there’s no way to really know which one is which. What you’re saying, though, is any one of them, even this one that has been found, dug up within the Empire’s reaches, would be considered the property of the Dynasty. By their divine right to own these artifacts that extend their ability to maintain the cycle of life, yes. What if these things are all over the world? I believe they are. That is the assumption. And you’re telling us you would prefer to keep this a secret in this room? I am advising, based on your proclivity to not continue this conflict and the lengths at which you’ve gone to prevent this war from spreading further and further, putting yourselves in harm’s way to do so, that if that is what you continually wish to do, to not notify the Bright Queen or any other members of the council around her of this. Would it be advisable for us to urge– The Empire to give back–
The Empire to give back either the correct one or honestly, both? Or steal it back. I don’t think that would accomplish what we’re, that would just be us plundering them, they would have no reason to stop. It’s really shiny, though.
Well, is it in the hands of the Empire–
Cerberus Assembly. Yes.
Of the Assembly? At the top.
That both makes sense and confirms that you should not attempt to take it from them. That’s what I thought. Plus, if we take it from them, they’re just going to blame it on the Kryn. Start the war more. You know about these things. What could they do with it to abuse its powers? Well, they have some powerful minds in the Assembly. (liquid sloshing) Or if they are somewhat dubious, so does anyone of true intelligence and capability. (chuckling) If your necessary choices are moral choices and in my experience, I’d trust they would have similar interests of seeing what it’s capable of. Perhaps they can be reasoned with and perhaps, I will think on this. I don’t know if, I’m not sure if the Empire even knows that they’re giving the wrong one. I don’t think they talk to each other enough. I think there may be secrets within secrets. Oh, there’s definitely secrets within secrets. It’s just a matter of who knows– Just like here.
Too many people not lying, too many people telling the truth, then all the truths conflict. Do you have–
Someone will know. A relationship with the Assembly? (groaning) Some of them.
Somewhat. Our sense is, and I’m sure that you all have guessed this yourselves, but the Assembly has its plans separate from the King. I would assume. Hm. Well, if they have it, at this moment, I cannot see a path to its retrieval nor any true benefit in attempting to blow things up, if you will. Man, I am so glad I talked to you about this first. That woulda been super bad if you’d have just brought that up, woof. Yup.
I’m really proud of you, actually, that was really good. That was another, that was a good move. There has to be something about this new Beacon, right? There has to be a reason why they are even offering it up. It has to be different from the first one. As long as we have been so forthright with you already, we are very skeptical of the intentions of the Assembly in this meeting. We are expecting fuckery. As you should.
As you should? We would like to pull the rug out from under them. Not to topple the Empire but maybe to clear the rot a bit from our nation. And you believe that the individuals that make the laws and employ them across your empire are more capable than these mages? Do you not think there is perhaps a necessary balance between the two that maintains the order? No.
It’s the dance the Cobalt Soul and the Cerberus Assembly have been in for hundreds of years now at this point. Understand, the Assembly, and individuals of which I have no sum of, seem to be dangerous and calculating, but anyone of such extended study and pursuits, I can understand far better and see eye to eye with than I can a power hungry monarch who came into their seat through bloodline. I get the sense that they feel they have found the upper hand somehow.
Well. I want to see the conflict end and I do not get that sense from them. (gentle music) What is the biggest danger to secret research? (gentle music) People finding out what you’re researching or what you’re–
Discovery. Discovery. What better way to avoid discovery than to find a way to stop a conflict that pries into what you’re doing? Mm-hmm. He’s got a point. You are suggesting that they want to keep their extra.
It could be. Or they intend to trap whatever it is they’re delivering and gain an upper hand. Or something else. I’m but one mind, they are many. It’s likely something else. We know they can extract things from the Beacons. Yeah. Like energy or liquid or something. Yeah, they made potions out of it. Really. And where did you see this? When we found the, when we were in the Empire, we saw it. We found a place that they had been doing some of their research and there was, like, potions there.
Hm. Well. (gentle music) If you have any means of discovering more of such experiments that they’re doing in their private chambers, that would be of definite interest to me. What if they’re willing to give it back because it’s not the one that they found that was empty? Because Nott looked at it and she got a signal. What if they drained the other one that they stole? That would be an astronomical feat based on the sheer volume of power within each of these Beacons. That buried one was just sitting there, not absorbing. Maybe it was absorbing. The potential lives in a beacon, thousands, hundreds, millions? It would have to depend on who was consecuted and passed in its presence. I have no idea.
What does the ritual entail? They cut the foreskin off? Mm. You are guided by an Umavi through a soul binding process. It is extensive, it entails a bunch of spoken rites. It is usually observed by many individuals of various dens, especially if you belong to one. And often when you are consecuted, you are given a path to a den. Oh.
The families are expensive. I got a question.
Mm-hmm? In my research, would I have found anything about Pride’s Call that talks about them having some form of reincarnation as part of their culture or city– Pride’s Call?
With the dwarven society. Yeah.
Nothing like that, actually. Nothing that sounds like–
Repackaging– Hypothetically, if we had one of these potions that they had derived from the Beacon, what would you do with it? I would study it, top to bottom. What could it tell you?
I have no idea. That would be the purpose of researching it. Why, do you have one such thing? I mean–
Let’s call this one favor– Whoa.
Taken care of. You fucking drop a thing on the Dynasty every time.
That would be a favor accepted.
Oh, he didn’t accept your secret.
Do you release it? Mm.
Secrets are very valuable. We’re giving them up like candy here. All you got to do is be nice to us. We don’t have enough people being nice to us. I have plenty of people being nice to me.
She’s got a point And the SWAT team bursts in through the windows (chuckling) Fuck! He just sets it aside on the table. (laughter) I can commiserate with that. Honestly, part of the reason I accepted your invitation was after thinking and realizing that perhaps it’s been awhile since somebody’s extended such niceties to myself. There are (sighs) elements to a solitary life that sometimes can be more challenging once you have a basis of comparison. The whole returning a favor thing is kind of a bit in jest. In all honesty, we do deeply appreciate all the things that you’ve done for us over these past several months. Yeah, if you ever feel like ditching out here and traveling with us, just let us know, you know? (chuckling) Yeah, well no, she’s not joking. I mean, you know, you said, you said an important part of what you do is staying alone and I think we all felt that too before we met each other. It’s true.
Literally. Very lonely, all of us. Well, if I can be of help in some way, perhaps with your predicament as you were requesting– Well, I–
Let me know. There was a woman, a mage, who helped them turn me into this. I don’t really know anything about her, though. What was her name?
I don’t know. What’d she look like?
A lady. Like, what color was her hair? I don’t know, I was, like, mostly dead when I saw her. You, Caleb–
Was she ugly? Was she pretty?
I mean, not as pretty as you, but she was pretty. Your specialty in the arcane lies in the realm of transmutation, yes? Primarily. Although, I, similar to you, I’m an avid reader. I’m very curious about everything, everything. He’s been studying something to help me lately. Working on equations.
Yeah. I’ve been noodling about with something. Perhaps I can offer some aid. Then we would be willing to accept that. I think we have a full plate for the next couple of days, but hopefully it will be wrapped up safely. You just show him now, you just show him now. Well, he’s a little drunk. He might not be able to–
Oh, right. Maybe we could get into the hot tub and sorta look through the pages. That makes the drunk worse.
Does it? Yes.
Getting in the hot tub? Then let’s do it! I’m game. Come get in the hot tub.
You seriously have a hot tub?
We really, really do. I mean, do you want to see it? Yeah.
It’s very nice. It is really great, you will like it. Like a bricked-in hole in the ground that we heated with our magic It’s–
Or with fire. I’m certainly curious. (claps) He’s doing it. He’s doing it.
Let’s do it. We’ve worked very hard on that hot tub. You’re right, I’m sorry–
It’s very nice. I’m not trying to minimize it.
Don’t minimize it. It’s spectacular.
I’m not. It’s a great hot tub.
Yeah. And it’s got a good view, you see up into the trees. The tree roots, like, the way that they’ve been expertly carved–
It’s true, beautiful. Do you want to borrow some knickers or something? You want to go naked?
I just wanted to see it. Oh.
You want to get in. (laughter) Make a persuasion check. (laughter) Do it.
Peer pressure. 15. A small dip, maybe.
Ooh. Like, put your feet in.
He’s a feet dangler, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sold him. Pulls the pants up, tucks them right above the knees. So, he takes his boots off and rolls up the legs just beyond the knee and does place his feet into the water. How’s his feet look? Are they, like, super delicate from where he just, like, floats all the time? Like, are they atrophied from not– (talking over each other) (laughter) It’s like easily–
How detailed are your notes? They are very, very well kept, soft feet from a man who takes care of himself in the nobility, sure, there you go. Well manicured. (laughter) You can see a glass slipper just fitting right on. (talking over each other) (laughter) (laughs) Writing it in your notes. Jesus, you guys. Underneath his floating robes, he just has glass slippers. (laughter) Just floating. (laughter) That’s why he does, that’s why he floats, doesn’t want to break them. I need some alcohol in this. (laughter) Hyperbaric fun chamber. Something occurred to me when you were talking about lives and reborn and stuff like that. In your den or when you were growing up, wait, how many people live here in Xhorhas? Like, thousands, right?
In Xhorhas, between the Dynasty’s influence in particular, hm, somewhere between, in the neighborhood of 300,000. Whoa.
Within the Dynasty. That involves multiple cities, probably more than that. There are many of those who exist outside of the Dynasty’s purview. I just thought maybe you might have heard of a friend of ours, maybe. Have you ever heard of someone named Lucien or Nonagon? I cannot say I have. Hm.
My apologies. All right. Worth a shot. Yeah, there was this story he told me. What? It was right before he died. There was this story he told me about how he convinced some town he was a god. Mollytown.
Somewhere. Yeah, somewhere out there.
Molly has a cult. Huh?
Molly has a cult. Molly has a cult. Somewhere out there, there is a town that thinks Molly is the shit. Why did they think that about him? Do you know more about this story? I vaguely remember it and I feel like it always made me laugh. Yeah, it was actually a good story. We’re all in the hot tub by now, right? Yeah.
Yeah. You’ve all lined in front of the hot tub and he just has his feet over the edge. Yeah, I think that, uh– (chuckling) Nott’s in a hoodie on the bench. I’m just making notes on improvement for the hot tub. I’ve got plans for this thing. It’s going to be great.
Wonder if we strung up lights from the roots– That’s what I was thinking. (talking over each other) Plus I’m going to try and get some (talking over each other) that smells really good, so you’ll have always have– Caleb sends the globules of light to sort of hover around in the roots Can you make them change colors? Can you make them rotate through the color spectrum? Oh Jesus Christ.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Do it. (clunking) (laughter) Did you just go (stomps)?
Yeah. Yeah. (laughs) (laughter) Send forth the disco. Does it work?
They’re amber. Do they work?
Yeah, they do. (cheering) Moody.
It’s simple enough to do with a cantrip. Hey, Caduceus?
Yeah? While we’re getting real and shit, why have you never wanted to scry on any of your siblings? (tankard clanking) You’ve been separated from them. They went off looking for these things. Why not check in? As the token sober person in this group. I’m also sober.
Are you also sober? Yeah.
Have I not noticed that you haven’t been drinking? I don’t drink.
She just drinks milk. It’s that low perception, yeah. Token sober person who’s just really not been paying attention to what you’ve been drinking. It’s okay, I always seem slightly drunk anyway, I think. It’s part of your charm. I don’t know, it’s either, if you had asked me that a month ago, I would’ve said, “Because I don’t need to.” Why? Because I’m on this path, it’s the right path, and– But we’re asking you now. I think I’m on this path and I do think it’s the right path. Maybe I’m afraid. Afraid something happened to them? Afraid that if something did happen to them, what would it mean? I, I don’t want to open the envelope, so to say, before it’s time and be hurt before I’m there. I’d rather trust and try to process the fear. Fear is kind of new. For the record, I’m, my home is dying, slowly, up north.
Sorry to hear that. I have been on a quest, sent by my goddess to fix my home, to bring it back to life, to replenish it. My family, all my family, already begun this quest without me and I do not know if they are alive or dead, but this is the quest and I was given these people and I have done my best to support them as they have blossomed into heroes. And I thought I was going to save my home and regain my family and that would be my reward and now I’m, (sighs) this world has changed me, I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what is going to happen, not because I think that I’ve been lied to or been given the, I don’t necessarily believe that I understand what it is I’ve been asked to do yet and I don’t understand what it is I want anymore. And that has shaken me, but this is a very big world. (chuckles) Ah, it’s been a lot. It’s been nice to be useful. (throat clearing) It’s good to be useful. These are good people, despite themselves. (chuckling) Faith is a strange thing.
It is. That’s why I find no use for it. I understand.
But I hope you find what it is you’re looking for. Thank you, I’ll find something, at the very least, and whatever it is will be, in the end, what I was looking for. If there is any way I can be helpful, you know how to contact me. He looks knowingly at Jester. (chuckling) (laughs) Have you ever been doing something that you were really embarrassed about when I was talking to you? (giggling) Not particularly. (chuckling) (laughs) Insight check. (laughter) (clapping) Make an insight check. (laughter) Ya pooping?
Ya pooping? (talking over each other) Ah.
Okay, okay, okay, okay.
Uh huh, uh huh. Insight?
18. (laughter) (clapping) This whisper is going to be, “He was pooping.” Oh, guys. (talking over each other)
(laughter) You guys, D&D Beyond will feature a lot of the stuff that’s coming up in the Wildemount Explorer’s Guide. Did you, okay.
Anyway. The evening draws late. I should probably return to my home. Thank you–
You could spend the night here. I live not far from here. How come we never seen your house? Well, perhaps–
Next time? Perhaps if you wanted to discuss this equation you’re working on– Yes, what’s your address? I’ll show it to you. Easier to show than to describe, really. Sure.
Let me know when and I’ll come show you to my place. Okay.
But. He pulls his legs outta the water. (clears throat) Are they shriveled?
Hee hee hee hee. In the natural way a foot would be after spending, you know, 30 minutes in a hot tub, sure. A natural feet. (laughter) I accidentally, like, brush up against one to see if it’s an illusion. (chuckling) No, it’s a foot. (laughter) Oh, sorry, sorry. (laughter) Brush up against it. (laughter) You guys are so weird.
Sorry. (laughter) I thought that was a piece of soap, I was picking it up and didn’t want ya to slip on it. I feel like you’re over apologizing. (laughter) It’s fine. Anyway, he goes and goes ahead and replaces his mantle and returns to the front door and says, “This was nice. “Thank you.”
Thank you! That was really fun.
Could you, could we walk, could you show me where you live so we know where to go? Sure, come with.
Yeah. I’m coming, too.
All right. I’m going to stay here.
Yeah, let them go. Watch from the window.
It’s too weird. He leads you outside and as he steps off of the threshold of the front door, you watch him lift back up into his general hovering persona, shoulders held aloft. He guides you through the neighborhood,, the path you would take to the Bastion that curves into the neighborhood to where your house is, it’s past that circle and then it leads deeper into an area that would be the equivalent of a Rosohna gated community, I guess. There are guards there, there are folks that are, you know, guarding an estate and there is, it’s, as opposed to a singular, you’re used to like the candles, this large, elaborate, you know, wizard towers. His estate is three towers that are shorter, but they’re all connected by walkways and they’re different heights.
Ooh. And atop the–
He’s got a fun house. Atop of the tallest one, you can see there what looks at first like a weather vane. Instead, you can see is a contraption that seems to have a series of metallic rings inside that all are smaller and smaller and smaller within that slowly, like, rotate on its own in a way that you’re not understand its purpose or really what it does but it’s unique and it’s engineered to be strangely pretty. You can see the brick exterior of it falls, it looks gray, but what little bit of light there is as you walk past, you can see now the, there’s a slight iridescent almost quality to the exterior of the bricks that are laid at the base of the towers. He just points to it and goes, “This is where you can find me most of the time– This is–
Ever. Fascinating, is this to do with the turning of the heavens or– This has to do more with the adjusting of the, how do I put it, there are almost ley lines of energy that themselves span like a net across all of Exandria and these ley lines sometimes shift and swell and expand and reduce based on the seasons, based on the time of year, based on celestial gatherings and alignments. This is part of a device that just keeps track of it.
Mirrors it. (inhales) Well, now we know where you live. I would like to take you up on your offer to examine that thing that Nott and I are working on. I have a number of things, including some souvenirs from inside the Happy Fun Ball we told you about. I’m very curious about that. So am I and I think you and I share interests. I understand the pressure being young and the expectation. I am not 120 years old but I feel like I understand a little bit. I have seen those far older than you that have experienced maybe half the pain I see in your eyes. Age isn’t everything. Experience is what hardens you, prepares you for the worst. I think you’re prepared for more than you give yourself credit for, Caleb. Well, we’ll come back later and compare notes. I’ll be here. Perhaps I can provide breakfast as a thank you. (clanking) Dope. (clanking) I’m just thinking about mimosas from your house, right? (laughter) Oh.
Have that green jam. Uh huh, it’s really good. Well, good night.
Glad you got home safe. Thank you for the escort.
Yep. (whooshing) (laughter) And he just drifts off to, the gate opens on its own (creaking) and he heads up to the interior. How weird that that’s the thing you just get stuck with, like, floating. Like people who put on an accent for half of a year and then, and then how are you going to get yourself out of it? Or a name or–
Yeah. Burning things.
Mm-hmm. Basically, like, half of our crew probably has something like that, but his is floating and he’s just committed to floating. (laughter) Commit to the bit, Beauregard. But like, why? Does he feel, like, is he, he’s going to have shame? Does he feel ashamed if he doesn’t float? It’s just so fascinating. It’s one of many things that are fascinating about him, yeah.
Yeah. But at least we know there are feet under there and a full, full adult-sized body, not a tiny baby. (laughter) So stupid. (laughter) Let’s go back.
All right. You guys return to the Xhorhaus, it is late in the evening. Many of you are enjoying the tale end of a wine buzz after dinner and spending time in the hot tub.
Yeah. Unless you have any other business to attend to this night– No, but seriously, what am I doing wrong, you guys? What do you mean? About what? Well, like, I feel like I do a really bad job of, you know, recruiting other people to– It’s a tough sell!
Why, though? Why is it a tough sell? Well, I mean, (sighs) what does he, so, what does he do for you? He gives me really cool powers and he’s a good companion and he loves me.
So, you didn’t mention that. You didn’t mention that to Essek. You didn’t say that he gives you cool powers. You just said that he appears and he’s always around and he makes you do good stuff and bad stuff. Oh.
Basically like a mom. You listed some pros and cons and in the con column, you mentioned people might get murdered and that was okay. And the pro column was maybe they have to make babies. But some people like making babies Sure, sure, who doesn’t like making babies? But still, I mean, maybe next time lead with, “I have sight beyond sight now because of him.” Do you?
Oh, that’s good. Well, I mean, yeah, I can see, scry on people. Yeah, maybe pick, like, three bullet points– I should’ve, like, done the thaumaturgy thing and made something look really cool. Wait, what’s in your, I don’t think I’ve ever read your pamphlet. What do you have in your pam, what, read us the bullet points.
Oh no. (talking over each other) It’s not great.
You don’t want it. Yeah, we know that–
Does it talk about murdering things in the pamphlet?
No, she ad-libbed that. Most of it says stuff about how cool he is. He’s really cool.
He is cool! No, I know, but that’s not a very– Is there pictures of him or anything? Yeah, drawings, I made drawings. She did the drawings–
Oh wait, you made this, you made this brochure?
There’s three drawings of his cloak.
I understand, okay. I mean, she’s really proud of the cloak. It’s a really cool cloak!
I know. I mean, I haven’t seen what he looks like outside the cloak– It’s like all I see is a cloak. New candidate for the Traveler, it’s me. Sell me three things about the Trav– I tried to sell you on the Traveler and you went wild– I’m not Fjord, I’m not Fjord, I’m Jeff. Tell Jeff what it is about the Traveler in three points. And Jeff just had a traumatic experience. He’s open, he’s available.
Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.
I’m seeking change and direction. Is your real name Jeff?
Yes, it’s Jeff. Okay.
J, J. Yeah, Jeff with a J.
Yes, I understand, you’re feeling lost right now. You know what could really help you? The Traveler.
Who’s the Traveler and what does he do?
Guidance. Well, he’s a really cool guy. Okay, I like cool guys. What else, what else should I know about the Traveler? He saved my life.
He saved my life. A pearl lowers in front of Jester’s forehead and little geometric shapes come out. (wheezing) More guidance.
He, he gave, he, at one time I was alone and lost in the world and the Traveler came to me and he made me feel better and he gave me some really cool powers and he made me feel special like he can make you feel special. He gave you cool powers?
Yeah, like, like I, well, spirit guardians. (snaps) And there’s good fat little unicorns flying around now. Are they friendly?
Yeah, they love everyone except, unless you’re, you know, going to harm me and then they’ll kill you. I don’t want to harm you.
I know. That’s, and the Traveler doesn’t want you harming you, he keeps you safe. I’ve heard two–
Keeps you safe. Two great things about the Traveler. If only I had one more. (wheezing)
(laughter) Um. Speak from your heart, Jester. He– What were you lacking before that he filled? Well, I was really lonely and, you know, he’s a really good friend and he just accepts you for who you are and he likes all the things that are good about you and he makes them stronger. Jeff is sold.
Really? That’s great. Jeff needs a friend, Jeff needs someone who takes him as he is, Jeff is down. Jeff, do you want to go to Traveler Con? We’re have a con in a volcano coming up soon. What? No. (laughter) (clapping)
(laughter) Jester, that was great. Maybe leave out the volcano. But it’s an important part. Tropical location.
Yeah. (laughter) Some people might be–
But that’s lying– No it’s not. It’s a tropical location.
It is? Yeah, we don’t know if it’s an active or dormant volcano but when you say volcano, people go, “Active volcano.” Well, some people might think that’s cool because they’ve never seen a volcano. Right? I’ve never, well I have seen a volcano because we went to a volcano.
We did. Also, traveling is expensive. Maybe they’re just price gated out of the experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jeff has never left home and has trouble traveling over open water, so, you know. Jeff has a very imaginative back story. Jeff, where are you from? (chuckling) We don’t need to know. (laughter) Pride’s Call, I’m an archeology student. (laughter) Oh shit, he’s responsible for the Beacon. Kill him, kill him, flay his flesh! (laughter) Jester, I think that’s great. Yeah.
Okay. If Jeff were really, you’d be getting somewhere. Focus on the positive, you can’t lose. Okay, okay, okay.
Maybe leave out the murdering people.
Okay. Is this what he looks like, though, and that you have in the picture? Well, yeah. Yeah, he is, like, sometimes he’s big, sometimes he’s little, sometimes he’s, you know, just, like, the perfect size. Very, so he looks very handsome. Well, you can’t really, that’s how I imagine he looks because I haven’t actually seen like his face’s face. You just see, like–
But sometimes when he turns and, like, his cloak moves, I see, like, this, like silhouette and I can see that it’s, like, really good looking.
Ooh. He’s very handsome.
He’s handsome. (gentle music) Caduceus, I was moved by what you said earlier about your family and your quest. I want to help you with that.
Yeah, same. I don’t know if I quite understood the urgency before about your home and it dying and you need to reinstate, the needing to reinstate that– How do you grow your home again? Well–
What does that mean? I don’t know entirely but I think this has something to do with it.
Whoa. And I pull out the–
The purple crystal. Crystal.
You see the, and you guys, mostly they were present for when you placed the residuum shards into the forge in the volcano. The purple crystals that grew from them and they’re not solid, smooth, chiseled crystals, they’re naturally grown, almost rock candy-looking purple crystals that have expanded off of the residuum glass into these larger shards that are about that long each. And he has a handful of them in his hand. Have you tried licking them? Surprisingly not, no.
Maybe you should lick it. Are you supposed to plant it? Do you want to lick it?
We could ask, okay. What do you think? It’s salty.
What does it taste like? Like a rock?
Like a mineral. Like, is it salty?
Like a salty mineral. It’s salty.
And what is that and what is its purpose exactly? I’m sure you’ve told us again, I just never listen to anything. (laughter) I don’t entirely know. It came out of the forge. I think that I have to go to this, this garden, the Menagerie, and find some way of taking something from it to bring back to my garden. So is it like a seed? Hopefully. Interesting.
Do that. Yeah, let’s do that on the way. Why didn’t you tell us sooner? I mean–
You kind of did. I did.
You did, but you didn’t, every time we brought it up, you were like, “Yeah, it can wait.” Can I see? Selfless to a fault, maybe? Maybe.
Perhaps fear. Perhaps I am afraid of what I’ll find. I don’t know but I knew I was heading that way and I knew that I would get there, so I was letting the urgency of what had to be done be important that take precedent, I guess, and I’m glad I did. We needed to do what was done and I would’ve hated to have gotten in the way of that, but the next step is to go and to the next sacred site and hopefully find my family, hopefully find some or at least some sign that they have been there and find the next thing I’m supposed to do. Fuck yes. I’ve been in this hot tub too long and my core body temperature is rising. I’m in, let’s do this. I feel real fucking dizzy.
Oh. Sit, oh no.
No, give me another drink. No, no, no.
Listen. Listen, listen, listen. Tomorrow we go, we get your armor, and then we go f– There he goes.
Oh no. Oh no. (talking over each other) (laughter)
(talking over each other) Yasha, help me get him out of the water now. So heavy even though he’s so little. (laughter) He’s not, he’s gotten bigger. He’s heavier than he used to be. Family, the Family of Stone. You shall take the limbs of this hero and walk the plains until you find an oasis, the mouth of a red and gold veined cave. There upon my altar, you shall feed these limbs to the beasts that walk there so that they may hold my mark and to this site, you shall build a menagerie whose beasts shall be my gift to the change bringer to remind her that nature is infinite. Do you get all that?
No, I, I got that. The Family of Stone?
Family of Stone. Dust, Clay, and Stone, three families. What, do you know something, what? Ah, yeah, I mean, yes, no, (scoffs) I find it ironic. What? When you’re at an orphanage, they give you a, they give you a shit last name. Mine was Stone. (laughter) I never used it because it’s not, it’s not my name, it was just given to me– Insight check.
Make an insight check. That was terrible, 15.
It’s the truth. Wow.
They gave you the name Stone?
Yes, but orphans can have any kind of bland, ordinary last name. But you got Stone.
Yes. It’s very strange, I think it’s totally– Family of the Wildmother.
That you now follow. What a tough name.
Wow. Fjord Stone, wow. (incoherent muttering) (groaning) I’m not a believer in coincidences. (groaning) Even when they happen– (laughter) Wee-oo wee-oo wee-oo. (grunting)
(laughter) It wouldn’t be the first one in this group. No. Family of Stone, though. That’s one of the three families. Wow. I’ve never met any of them. Now you have, you have.
Either way, either way, I’m very interested to go. I’m somehow even more interested than I was a minute ago. Maybe there’ll be something else for you here and you certainly found something at the last– Oh wow.
This is exciting. I always wondered what my, who my parents were and what my real name might be. I never cared for that name, so– Well.
I just find it– I will say as part of what I do and part of what we do at the garden, names have a funny way of sneaking up on you and we definitely, the people that we put into our garden, their names are, their names have quite the effect, so. Yeah, look at that, all the way back around. (chuckling) I need ice water, I’m going to burn. Yeah, you look a little green. Like a really pale green.
That’s like a minty green. It’s just my pigment, thank you. No, no, no.
No, this is– Definitely lighter than–
It is a different color. (chuckling) Uh, work out in the morning, so. What?
Yep. That should’ve been disclosed– I’ll knock on your door.
Pre-hot– (laughter) We’ll go to sleep.
All right, you guys all scatter to your respective rooms in the Xhorhaus and post-dinner, post-hot tub– Oh yeah, pass out so hard. Enjoy an evening of rest in a home that you can call, ah, except for? Just a quick thing, she’s wandering the halls. Hey, Jester.
Me? I thought you were looking for Nott. Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. No–
No, it’s okay, I was just thinking.
I’ll leave. Good night, but, you look like you’re knocking yourself a little bit and I don’t think you should. Do you know what I think about the Traveler?
What? I think that he is lucky to have you. I’m the transmutation wizard, but you’re the one who changes people. See it every day. Really? Yeah. You’re a good friend and you move people. I don’t know if you see that, but you do, every day. Thank you.
No, thank you. Can I tell you something?
Yeah. (clears throat) Earlier, we were in the park and I was trying to talk to the Traveler, I even bought him some ice cream, and he didn’t come. And, to be honest, it’s one of the first times that I didn’t feel him near me and I wonder maybe I’m not doing a very good job of, you know, being a cleric to him or whatever. You’re trying to bring more people into the fold. Well, see, that’s the thing. When I set out, when I left Mama, I didn’t, I didn’t leave with the goal of recruiting a bunch of people to, to this religion, you know? I just, I had this good friend that saw me through my life and (sighs) I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. (gentle music) Well, maybe Traveler Con will– Yeah.
Help with that. Yeah, maybe it will. I don’t know anything about faith. I am learning from you and the others in the group. But it seems inexplicable. Yeah. Otherwise it wouldn’t be faith. Well if you ever want to worship the Traveler, you know, you can just, he’s really cool. (giggling) Well, everybody kind of made sport in there, but we are all low key acolytes of the Traveler, you realize that, don’t you? Yeah?
I mean, we’re with you. You see his power every day.
Every day. I believe, I have no choice. Sometimes I wonder if maybe he doesn’t come around as much because he sees, you know, that I have some friends now and he doesn’t need to be here as much. That seems like a good theory. Also, Traveler Con is coming, so maybe preparations are underway on a cosmic level of some sort. Yeah, yeah, that’s true. You know, I think we should go to bed, but I want to show you something that I’ve been working on. I don’t know what you have planned for Traveler Con, but if I can help in any way with something like this. And little lollipops and hamster unicorns that are amber-colored start floating around us as I cast Major Image?
Mm-hmm. In an approximation but it’s a more Widogast amber flavor. I just figured this out a couple of weeks ago, so I don’t know if you need effects or– Oh my gosh.
Decorations. That’s a step and repeat.
I mean, it’s beautiful. Lollipops are just rotating.
If I, if I did, like a performance or something, you know, like maybe if we play our musical instruments and, like, you can have this, you know, like, around us, it’ll be, like, this amazing thing. Yes. I don’t know, I’m not a performer. This is wonderful, Caleb.
But you have done so much for all of us that of course we should do this for you. You deserve it.
Thank you. I give him a big hug. Yeah, okay, good night.
Okay. Thank you.
I got a, I got a quick one, too. We get to that in just a second please? Yeah, go.
You guys scatter to your rooms and you go back to feeling better. You close the door and you sigh and start preparing yourself for the evenings rest and then you hear a familiar voice creep in over you shoulders: “He’s not wrong, Jester.” Wait, he’s not wrong about, he’s not wrong about you are doing big preparations? Well, there’s a big event coming up, of course. But not wrong coming about you changing those around you. Even if I’m not there in person, I’m always there. And you see the face come over your shoulder and a familiar hood lean forward, the smile across the lips and the arm touch your shoulder. “I know faith can be challenging, but “you were my first and you’ll always be my favorite. LAURA: (laughs) Do you want me to do a big performance? Do you want me to do something special at Traveler Con? I realize I haven’t asked you any questions, I mean, you ask questions about what you want me to do. Should I get cloaks together? MATT: “Sure.”
LAURA: Oh, okay, okay. MATT: “I trust your ideas. “I trust your inspirations. LAURA: We’re going to make it so special. MATT: “That we shall.”
LAURA: (giggles) I can’t wait. MATT: Caduceus. (laughter) TALIESIN: Taking a second, thank you. I’m going to quickly just crawl over
to Yasha’s room as she’s– MATT: Okay.
TALIEISN: — passing out. So–
Hello. Hi, I just wanted to put this in your head before we go any further. Nobody’s really talked about what happened during the fight and I’m, some of the others, and I think you’ll agree, are, well, this is a group of loners and I’m very used to other people’s grief and sadness. I’ve been around it my whole life and I’ve seen every way someone can react to the worst things in their life. Yeah.
And– I understand that that was maybe not the best way to deal with it, but– Oh, I’m not here to, to speak down to your process. I’m not here to tell you how to feel what you’re going to feel. Just make sure that for whatever grief and rage and anger that you’re going to process, that you just put 10, 20% of it on someone else and not just yourself. You don’t have to do too much but you have to do a little bit with other people. You can’t do it alone. Thank you. I don’t quite know how to do that yet, but maybe I will learn.
Storm Lord’s good for that and you have a good group of friends and they made a promise to save you from the thing that took you and I’m sure that they’re still looking forward to fulfilling that promise. Yeah. I, (inhales) this is going to sound very strange, but ugh, I’m, (exhaling) can I sleep in your room? I, not in a weird way, I just seem to– I shared a single room with a lot of family, yes. I may snore, they claim I snore, I don’t think it’s true. I don’t care, I’ve heard crazy things– Come on.
When I sleep, but I, I think I’m just scared to sleep alone. Sure, any time.
Okay. (gentle music) I’m very excited to help you. I’m excited to help you, too. Okay.
I really don’t snore. I don’t know why they say it. (laughter) Well, I do. (laughter) All right, as you all–
Can I read a little before? I have four hours left.
It’s about, I’d say at this point, because you guys didn’t, I’d say about 11. It’s not too terribly late. You could read until three and finish it if you want. Yeah, let’s do it.
Staying up late. Do-do-do-doo.
Yes, Snore-phan Maker. (laughter) Snore-phan Maker. (laughs) (snoring) Caduceus does snore.
100%. But you were engrossed, whether by the dynamic of the writing of this book, the unrecognized enchantment that draws you in and takes hold and has progressively been imprinting upon you, the magic it holds, and the occasionally delightful extremely graphic short stories that are interspersed throughout some of the back pages, you complete your reading of the book and as you close the final–
The butter churner. (laughter) As you close the final bit– Well, that was a first choice. (laughter) Yep.
So good. As you close the back of the book, an overwhelming exhaustion hits you and immediately, your eyes dip, dip, and you fall asleep holding the book to your chest, back still against the wall. And that’s where we’re going to take our break. (cheering) All righty, we’ll be back here in a few minutes after a very role play heavy first half. Yeah.
Good pool, though, there. It was awesome.
Stone? We have our world giveaway tonight is Bolivian rosewood dice vault from our friends at Wyrmwood to one of you lucky winners there in the chatroom. Tonight’s keyword is home, H-O-M-E. Enter it once and only once, more than once will be disqualified, and once again, only for folks in the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. We’ll come back shortly with a winner and then the rest of tonight’s session. (clicks tongue) There’s got to be, right?
Yes. In the world of Critical Role’s Exandria, a fresh conflict threatens to tear the continent of Wildemount apart as the Dwendalian Empire and Kryn Dynasty prepare for war. Hidden in this vast landscape are secrets that could end the conflict and usher in a new age of peace or burn the world to a cinder. In the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, players and dungeon masters will find a whole new continent to set their Dungeons & Dragons stories, with new adventures and monsters unique to the setting of Critical Role. Players can use the new Heroic Chronicle to create backstories that link their characters to Wildemount and grow in power with new sub-classes, spells, and magic items, including the reality-bending magic of dunamancy and the Vestiges of Divergence, which grow in power with their wielder. Preorder now on dndbeyond.com and receive exclusive bonus content with everything you need to start your own adventure. Delve into the world of Critical Role in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. Last time, on Talks Machina. Have you been on since you’ve been back? Yeah, once, right?
I have. Once, with Matt, so.
Oh, really? No way.
Yeah. It was with Matt.
Is this just our routine? I think so.
All right. Not a baseball card variant, but– That’s awesome.
So good. That works out.
It works, it works. Don’t touch him again.
I can’t make any promises. No, literally it’s like an insurance thing. Trav is still– (laughter) Matt anymore.
It’s going to happen. Oh. (dramatic music) It’s very close.
Ooh. (makes alarm noise) Going to put just a little boop. I got a knee boop. In the fight with Kal, was it Yasha’s intention to prove to herself that she could be in control of the situation and herself, to do penance, or something else? Did you/Yasha know she was going to throw the fight when she agreed to come to the fight club? It wasn’t until we met with the person in the, behind the, the, the butcher’s– Right, right, the person who’s running the actual event. Yeah, what was their name?
Jacquel, I think. Jacquel.
Yeah. Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Jacquel. When she was sort of talking about fighting one of the champions and I think that just that word specifically triggered something for Yasha because of, you know, being a champion for– Yup.
So I, at that point, was like, “Oh, you know what? “I think I’m going to throw the fight. “I think I’m going to go in, and I think for Yasha, this is a, “this felt like something that she would need “and I feel like she’s still beating herself up and is, “thinks she deserves that punishment for what she did.” I, and I think I’ve even talked about this before where I think it’s so important to give your characters obstacles because it’s more interesting to give them something that they can overcome.
Right. And so, I’m, I’m very excited to see where she, how she can pull herself out of this. Yasha has been powering through that tome for several days in a row. Does she enjoy reading? If so, what kinds of books does she like? Fitness-related ones like the tome or smut like the tome? (laughter) Yeah, I think she, she really likes activities where she gets to be alone. I think sort of reading a fitness book isn’t necessarily the first thing that she would go to. Mm-hmm.
But I think because Fjord gave it to her, it’s another, it was another gift and she takes that very seriously. We knew with this being the first game back from break, there would be a little finding the groove for the players. How do you balance letting them get their wiggles out with pushing the story forward? (laughs) Apparently by hiding behind my palms. (laughter) Plenty of times, right? If you can sense the players are having fun, you let them have fun and it’s funny in the right moments to throw some, some wrenches in that or throw a nod to a direction that somethings happening. So, it’s just something you feel with your group. You learn it over time and, like, since I’ve known these guys for so long, I know when they’re having fun and they’re on a roll and they’re really enjoying the moment and then I don’t want to be like, “All right guys, back to the narrative,” if everyone’s on the same page and it’s not going too long. It would be really funny, though, if Matt out of nowhere was like, “Hey, stop.”
Stop it. (claps) Eyes forward! I did not, I was not up til 2 a.m. typing these four pages–
Yeah. For this farmer to tell you, you know. I demand respect at this table! God!
I would die, I would die. Oh, I’m scared. We would all start laughing. Yeah, you would.
I would die. We’d be like–
I’d be like. Ha ha ha ha. (laughs) Then I just got up and left for, like, 20 minutes. Yeah, and we’d be like, “Oh shit, “we really did–”
Oh yeah, the pouty, like– Yeah.
The pouty leave of the table.
And then it gets really awkward, then I come back and just, I, (dramatic music) I’m really sorry about that, guys. (laughter) Just Joaquin Phoenix it. Yeah.
Yeah, straight up, straight up. Did Yasha know Molly’s cards were incomplete? What would she think of Jester continuing the cards? I don’t think Yasha would be upset that Jester would sort of complete– Continue the cards, yeah.
The deck because I think Jester is one of those characters that you, she wears her heart on her sleeve and you, you, you know her heart. She’s sentimental.
Yeah, so I think, I think if–
It’s that way. If that deck went to anybody who would use them, it couldn’t have, it just couldn’t have gone to, in better hands.
Yeah, there couldn’t have been a more chaotic person– Yeah.
For Molly to have been happy to see them go to.
Yes, yeah. I think, I think Yasha knows that Molly would be so happy.
Yeah. I also am convinced that Jester is the evil big bad so she’s going to use– I hope so.
Use the cards in some sort of magical way to kill all of you. No comment.
I just can’t, I can’t wait to see how Laura uses them because I know it’s going to be amazing. Yeah, she doesn’t, she doesn’t forget about stuff. No.
Jester has been such a, an unknown, like, pressure valve for Laura’s id that I don’t think any of us could’ve expected. What a great way to put it.
Like, it’s a whole, it’s a whole aspect of her that, she didn’t create Jester outta thin air. Jester was a part of her that’s been, like, dying to be released–
Yeah. For so long and we’re all just, like, learning so much about Laura through this campaign. I’m like, “Oh man, we got to hang out more.” Yeah, definitely, yeah. And that’s the first question he’s answered without touching the, uh, is that the eyes on the octopus there? Oh, I’m touching it.
Yeah. (laughs) Oh. (laughter) And that question just got a lot deeper. Make no mistake, my friend, I am touching it. Subscribe or don’t subscribe. That’s not a question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to ponder the pros and more pros of Twitch or Twitch Prime or to take hands and gift new subs to Critters who find they can’t afford them. To play, to sleep no more. And by, a sleep to say the cast and crew of Crit’cal Role might find their naps around the hectic schedule of a live broadcast that we have brought for your consumption, both Critter and fan alike. To play or sleep. No sleep, but just to stream. Aye, there’s the rub. For with your subscription, what streams may come. Oh man, oh man, oh man, that is a fucking tag line. Do we got that? Oh. That is Twitch poetry. (groans) Oh, anyway, subscribe to Critical Role. Use Twitch Prime to subscribe, gift some subscriptions, you, you got it. (inhaling) Well, wrong slogan for the skull but, uh, that’s fucking good. (classical music) (dramatic music) Hello everyone, welcome back. So–
Got an ends. You did. Before we get back, we have the winner of our Wyrmwood giveaway. The winner tonight is Nick Styles X. Yeah.
Like Mega Man X. Nick Styles X, congratulations. We will get that sent out to you ASAP. All righty, so.
Pursue Dr. Wildy? (laughter) Find that medio.
Find that medio. (laughter) After an evenings rest in the Xhorhaus, you all come back to a mornings wake, sun not out because Rosohna. (knocking) Five miles, let’s go.
Oh Jesus. No, no.
Come on. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. You said you wanted to get buff, man, you got pissed at me last time.
I can smell myself. You’ll sweat it out.
All right, all right. (clears throat) I’m up, I’m up, by Jorenn. Yasha, as you wake up in the morning, your whole body is sore like you’d come out of an extended battle for a period of time. And it’s strange and you’re like, “Ah. Spider Man.
Yeah, in a very, very minor Spider Man-like transformation, like, you’re slightly more swole than you previously were. So your strength goes up by two. Two!
Oh ho ho ho shit.
Two? What does that take you to? (imitated crashing noises) Uh huh.
Does that take you to 20? Delts.
No. Traps. Triceps, biceps.
Go to– Lats, quads–
Where you at in strength? Where’s that strength at?
Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see.
Glutes. In the 19.
Hamstrings. It’s 19, yeah. Rhomboids.
Coccyx. (laughter) Sphincter. (laughs) Go to your ability scores is where you would find all of that. Yeah, it’s not letting us in, though. You know what? Maybe if I go to, hid my DM.
Okay. Yo, my sphincter’s swole. (laughs) (chair creaking) Sorry. So. (laughter) Shit, over the break, we should’ve talked about what we were going to do. Yeah, what are you guys going to do? Shit.
Hey Sam, whatcha going to do? Uh, we made a to do list. Yasha’s going to get that armor. Yeah, let’s go there first. Well, is it going to fit her anymore? Yeah, of course, it was bracers. Oh.
They can expand. But have you seen her wrists now? I don’t know, have you?
Do you arrive back at the house, like–
Popeye. Do you arrive back at the house, like, 20 minutes before I do? Five miles is no fucking joke. No, it’s not.
Can you not hear the music, Sam?
But I’m also pretty dope. Okay, there you go. So, 30 minutes before I do? Yasha, if you’re awake, let’s go get your bracies. Wow.
Okay. (laughter) What the? ASHLEY: (drawn out) What? (laughter) SAM: You talk that way now?! Oh my god! (laughter) TALIESIN: Wow, yeah–
ASHLEY: Cool. TALIESIN: Okay.
SAM: Good night’s sleep. TALIESIN: Okay.
ASHLEY: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Okay, whoa, whoa, whoa, wow. That changes so many things. This is so cool. LAURA: Whoa, your attacks are going
to be better and everything. ASHLEY: (exhaling) Yeah, so I need to go get those bracers, but I wonder if maybe they’ll give us a deal. (laughs) SAM: Do you not have enough money? Didn’t we already pay? ASHLEY: Well, I paid half. SAM: How much do you owe? ASHLEY: About 2,000 bones. SAM: How much do you have? ASHLEY: I currently have about just under that. LAURA: Okay– SAM: Jester can maybe chip in. LAURA: Yeah, I can–
ASHLEY: No, no, no, no, it’s, no, I don’t want you guys chipping in anymore. I can figure this out.
LIAM: So are we going to– *heilige**. I don’t know, I read that book, I finished it. But I feel, like, very different. I got that book from Caleb, you know. I think we may have a spider problem in the house. (laughter) We should pass that book around. That extra layer that I had, it’s now just like (sucks). Yeah, where is that book now, anyway? You have the book.
It is, it’s here. Oh.
Do you want to read it, Fjord, since you gave it to me? I mean, it’s clearly got some sort of a regiment you’re benefiting from. Well it, you know what’s weird about it is, like– Can I borrow your P90X discs? It’s got, like, words in it but it seems just, like, lame now. Yeah, like not magical anymore. It seems like when I was looking through it again this morning that the only thing that stuck is the sexy bits.
It still has smut in it. You can read it, Fjord, there’s some good stuff in there. I thought I found a recipe for something in there, too. Yeah.
Yeah, some stuff in there I’ve never tried. Yeah, yeah.
I love a hot shower after a really long work out, you know, where you just, like, sit in the shower for– Shower.
Hey, Yasha. Shower.
Yeah, I think I must must’ve had a good– Are we commenting on this? Are we talking about this?
She’s shredded. We’re talking about it, yeah. I’m blaming spiders.
I just wasn’t sure if I should, like, be coy or not. How did this happen overnight? I don’t know. I didn’t work out in my sleep or anything, I just, I think, I think maybe it was something that I ate. Like, you know when you’re prepping for something and then, like, I’ve heard sometimes– Carbo loading?
Yeah. There was a lotta carbs in that meal. It was a very, I did use, I used a lotta yams, there’s a lotta–
Maybe you ate poorly with Obann and now, with Caduceus, you know, after a couple–
Yeah. We should switch to gluten free wines. It was like a beet yam–
I have been working out since 6 a.m. and fucking she wakes up like that? You look great, Beau.
I’ll make some more brussel sprouts, whatever is necessary. You’re so cut.
Thank you. I mean, I learned a lot of– It suits your body, you know? Like, you’re perfect, just the way you are. You’re like diamonds, you’re just– You know what? Maybe aasimars have, like, a second puberty, you know? Like, you just hit it, you just hit it last night. How old are you? I actually don’t really know. There you go, you just hit it. Yeah, it’s possible. I don’t know much about–
Do you smell worse? Like, did your BO just (whistles) through the roof? (sniffing) How do you smell?
I smell like a crayon. (laughter) That’s a good smell. (laughter) You know. (laughter) That’s a good smell.
And we all went there. (laughter) (chair scraping) There’s a reason for that and a story I will tell you all later. All right.
Deep backstory cut. You did. (laughter) It’s a deep story–
Also would’ve called it. I kind of want to know, can you just tell us right now? On our way. We’ll go get the bracers. We’re walking and talking, walking and talking. Okay.
Um, yeah. So, as a group, you leave the house and make the way towards the Marble Tomes Conservatory. Caleb, go, don’t talk to me, but Caleb’s going to do research at home with the spell stuff. Okay, gotcha.
‘Kay. Okay. So, you go ahead and make your way towards the Marble Tomes Conservatory, referring to a different clerk, but within a short period of time, you are brought to the door of the familiar face of Enchanter Yun, who steps out after being summoned. “Oh, hello. “There is quite a few people here, it appears. “But you returned.”
Yes, I have returned. I have returned and I came to pick up the bracers if they are ready, but–
They are ready. How much did I owe again? Was it?
Let me check. Okay. And he goes and slips back and you look through the crack in the door. There’s a bunch of shelves containing all sorts of jars and various, you know, collected materials that are probably used in the enchantment process or the creation of various enchanted items. Eventually he comes back, about a minute later, and goes, “Here on the register, “we have you still owing 2,000 gold pieces.” Okay, that is what I thought. Okay so, I might not be ready to pick them up just yet–
She’s ready, she’s ready. She’s absolutely ready.
No, no, no, no. I’m not, I’m going to give you what I have, which is, um, I have, um, here’s 1,710 gold pieces. Here’s 300, well, here’s 200 more gold. And here’s the other 110? Nope, nope.
No we don’t– 130.
Yeah, this is all– 290 is left.
Yup. I promise I’ll–
No, we paid it all. That’s everything, that’s everything. He just accepts all the gold and goes, “Very well. “I will retrieve them for you now.” Leaves them, comes back. The bracers that you had originally commissioned provided as part of it– Oh wait, so I can use that. Oh, it was counted in there, it was, it just, yeah. I understand.
So, it returns with the bracers–
I don’t understand money. It’s okay. As they were originally commissioned, now you see they’ve been intricately designed upon. There is all sorts of incredible scrolling and shapes, it looks almost like swirling flames across the sides of the metal. Sick.
They look beautiful. Polished, fresh, new, unworn. And presents them to you and goes, “Just to make sure you are aware, “that equipment you are wearing with the horns, “they’re not compatible together. “You will have to, if you are intending “to use these yourself or you can give them to “somebody else as a gift maybe, but just so you are aware.” Okay.
Of course. Yes.
I’ll, good day. What’s it going to, what does, what does your armor do? It is, I know it’s like that armor that you were made to wear before, but is it like special armor or something? Mm-hmm.
Yeah. That was, they sold what now? Enchanter Yun, it doesn’t sell things necessarily as it is a, partially, from what you would know, and from Caleb’s interaction there, it’s partially a conservatory for teaching the enchantment and creation of magical items, but they do commissions as well. (gentle music) What does it do, the bracers? I think they just, protection, I don’t, you know. Mm.
Do we have a– Paper?
Card, card, paper. Are they just bracers plus– No, Bracers of Defense is what they are in D&D Beyond. So, that would be–
That’s what I have. Correct?
Yeah. That is what you have?
Yeah, it gives a– Plus two to your armor class. Plus two.
Tight. As long as you’re not wearing armor. As long as you’re not wearing– So, what’s your unarmored– Gosh, I wonder if somebody else should take these? Oh, easy, easy way to see, actually, is just go to your, it’s just remove that. That’s all right. Oh, I took my–
Remove. Oh, just–
So, it’s the same. It’s the same.
No armor– But now you don’t have to wear that awful armor that Obann made you wear. Is that why you smell like a crayon? Is it the armor?
I don’t think so, I think– Why do you smell like a crayon? Gosh, I don’t know what to do. Does she have that funky thing where if she wears no armor, her AC’s higher, unarmored–
Depends. She gets to add her dexterity and her constitution modifier without armor. Mm.
Oh. Is how it works. So, it’s way better without armor. Well, it depends on how high your dexterity and constitution is. I need to think about this. Well, the other–
Well, plus the bracers you’ll go back up to 17. Yeah, they’re both the same. This one, this is, this is–
Just other stuff, though? Yeah.
That’s true. I need to think about this for a second. Yeah, I need to think about this for a little bit. Caduceus, is there anything we need to pick up on our, as we prepare to voyage? I mean, we obviously have to go back and get Caleb and stuff, but I mean, do you have a– Matter with diamond, but other than that– That’s right, we could use some diamonds. How many? As many as we can find.
As many as we can get. Could probably steal some.
Because, you know, we, they have to be good diamonds, not, they can’t just be little dinky diamonds. Give me two hours. We need a 300 and a 500 worth. I’ll go buy them. (laughs)
Aww. I guess. Do you want to go on a shopping trip on your lonesome? Do you want some company?
Sure. I’ll go with her.
All righty. Looking for diamonds. Easy enough to find. You return to an individual known as Besh Turmin, who we had previously had an encounter with. If you’d like to go to the Turmin’s Tinctures and Tonics. You return to this, this, this unique shop run by a duergar figure. So, stocky, you know, red crew cut figure with this giant, like, (wheezes) of a red beard, you know, dark duergar skin. As you walk in, he goes like, “Hey, can I help ye?” Oh hi, um, you’re a jeweler, correct? No, but I can get ye jewels? That’s all we need.
We’re returning patrons. Yes, we’ve been here–
Right, right. I recognize you, okay.
What’s your name again? I’m sorry.
Besh. Besh, that’s right, Besh, Besh. But you can just call me Turmin. That’s what most folks say.
Is that your last name? Aye.
Oh, Besh Turmin. Yes, we’re interested in some fine jewels. So, whatcha looking for?
Two diamonds. How big?
Like, a this and a that. You point out the specific sizes that previous spells have used, which, that, you know, they’re not too big, they’re not like giant, handheld things. “Okay, I’ll have to ask around. “Might take a few hours, but I can look into it.” Oh, you don’t have them on site. No, I’m not a jeweler, but I know people who are jewelers that I can get those for ya, lickety split. So, you’re a middleman.
Aye, for certain things. We could just go straight to the jeweler, then, maybe get– Do you know where the jewelers are? (laughter) I don’t, but if you told me where they were. But then I’d be screwing myself outta some coin, wouldn’t I? This gentleman’s connections are worth the coin. Ah, that’s a smart little half-orc, eh? Not little, all right? I ran five miles this morning, it’s a process. Congratulations.
Thank you. I think we should pay this gentleman. Do we have to pay now or upon delivery? You can pay now if you want to, but– How ’bout later?
On pick up, all right. I’ll see what I can find. Thank you.
No worries. And if they’re not to your interest, we’ve got all sorts of delightful tonics and balms and salves and things to help with indigestion, we’ve got things to hide, got all sorts of’ things. And he starts just pointing across the room and there’s just these little labels on them and– Is it a he, she?
It’s a he. Did you–
From what you can tell. Those are potions that you have, right Fjord? All of these?
Yeah, those are ours. Do you own those?
No, I believe they belong to the group. But I mean have you passed them out? I don’t think so.
I don’t think so or have you guys, we could consolidate it right now–
We don’t need any more is what I’m saying. Oh my, nope, we’re good. Any magical potions or magical oils? Ee, I, most of it’s topical. I, you know, folks here don’t get a lotta sunlight, so for those that wants it, I got a few things to help just get some good vitamins in the top surface. Let’s see, yeah, things magical. Some vitamin D rub.
Yeah. (laughs) We got some willowshade oil. What’s that do? What’s that?
It’s a very rare fruit. It come from the willowshade plant. It’s harvested far to the west. It’s sort of, I think, a filling on the Menagerie Coast, I had it sent over. This, when you put it on, you want to put it on in advance if you want to, a little bit, I’m sure it feel a bit tingly, but there are things and dangers out there that make your skin get all cracky and turn to stone. Supposedly it helps with that. Oh.
It helps against things that turn your skin to stone. (gasping) I think so. We were looking for basilisk oil, remember? You should get it. (coos)
Is it basilisk oil? No, it’s from a fruit.
Yeah. It’s in like an acai berry, it’s all the craze right now. How much does that cost? Ah, I’ve got two and it’s 40 gold a piece. Oh, that seems reasonable. Fjord, pay the gentleman.
You got it. Boop.
80 gold, thank you very much. Willow wisp, what is it?
Willowshade oil. Willowshade oil.
You got two of those you can mark. Great.
Willowshade oil. Look at that, that’s cool. Thank you, we’ll see you in a few hours. Aye, aye. While they’re off doing that, I’m going to search out somewhere to look for something like beard oil, something that can make beards grow. Magic beard oil? Go ahead and make–
D&D everyone now. Make an investigation check, I’ll say. Eight.
Eight. Yeah. About 20 minutes after they leave Turmin’s Tinctures and Tonics.
Figured as much. (laughs) You end up in the same place. “Hi, can I help you?”
Hi, yes. I am looking for some, like, oil or something you put on your face to make a beard grow better.
Aye? That we’ve got.
Oh, really? Aye, ‘pends how many applications you’re looking for, but we’ve got some in big vials, small vials, all sorts. Sorry, it’s my assistant. She’s delivering snacks for the time being. Oh, wonderful. What kind of snacks?
Well, they’re not for you. I don’t feel like I should’ve brought these donuts right here. But aye, how much you looking for? Would you like a big vial? I don’t know, it’s just for one person’s beard. But I don’t know how much work it’s going to take to really get it to grow, you know. Are they perhaps a duergar? No.
Oh, it’s going to be a tough push for a beard then, no matter who they are. I’d recommend getting a larger vial. How much is that?
That would be, it’s somewhere around 100 to 150 applications and it takes about, standard, non-duergar lineage individuals, about half that amount to grow a full beard in a short parody of time, so I’d say that puts you about, ah, 55 gold. And then, like, what do they do? Like, put it on, like three times a day or like? In the morning when they wake up and at night before they go to sleep. (wheezing laughter) Okay. And then, so how long will it take to grow a beard then? Depends on who it is, but it’ll be thrice as fast as it would be normally. Most likely. Or it could just be like a normal beard growth because isn’t that how long it normally takes? I don’t know, I don’t have a beard. Trust me.
Okay! All right. (laughter) (clapping) 50 gold, you said?
55. 55. This could definitely end well. And for this, I get a giant vial of oil. Of beard oil. God, the juxtaposition to Vex is just stellar. So great, isn’t it? (laughter) Okay, I–
Okay. (laughter) (imitated chicken noise) This is fine.
Beard oil. Thank you so much.
Of course, any time. If you need more of that, if you’ve got more friends who’s trying to grow out something fancy like this, (laughs) you let me know.
Okay. While this is happening, you’re doing your research, Caleb. Go ahead and roll an–
Ah yeah, this is on, oh, I’ve already cast Fortune’s Favor on myself. All righty. So, this is for Nott’s problem. (dice clattering) A burning wind of peace?
Yes. And here goes Fortune’s Favor, see if I can do better. Both 13, so that is a 23. That’s the worst, when–
A 23? (gentle music) You get to a point in this equation where you begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel in its design. Elements of it are still escaping you a bit and the materials that are going to be needed to experiment with the development of this is going to start getting a little, start costing you some money. While they’re in this, you could rush out and pick up supplies. I’d say to continue this thread, it would cost you about 250 gold pieces to get everything you need to experiment with this next portion of the equation. I will do that, I will go running out helter skelter, papers– Easy enough to find based on the materials you’ve already tried to gather in this city. You come back, slam the door shut. You’re in that obsessive beautiful mind mode. What’s wrong, big guy? Focusing on it.
Magic stuff! (laughter) Continuing to push towards its development, it’s getting close. And there’s that element of, like, a breakthrough around the corner that’s bothering you because it’s eluding you. But you can sense it now. You know you’re not terribly far off from a design completion. As to whether or not it will succeed, who knows, and what path’ll get you, it’ll take for you to get there. But that’s about as far as you can reach with your morning attempt. Got it, great, good. Two more sessions and I’m back. (laughter) I’m calling it right now.
Oh my god. All right, so–
Okay, cool. The rest of you–
Are you going to call it, like, Nott’s Proof? Name it after Nott’s equation? Nott’s Berry Farm. (laughter) So, you guys, have gathered your things. If there’s anything else you want to try and accomplish in Rosohna, otherwise you can return to the Xhorhaus. It’s good to return. I’ve got something with Caduceus because I went home. You want me to help you pack? Now, I’m just upstairs–
Do you need anything? Taking care of the trees, making sure the plants are all right, picking anything I want to bring with me.
I can help you. I am so fucking bored. Let me do something, please, for the love of gods. You’re bored?
Yeah. Well, it’s good, it builds character. Yeah, come on in.
Okay. Just going to garden for a little while. Garden.
So, you guys garden a bit. Go back in a few hours, see if the diamonds are ready. There is one diamond worth 300 gold and there is one worth 50 gold, smaller one. That doesn’t help us. 300.
I’ll take the 300. Ooh, all right. And the smaller one, it’s perfect for tiny jewels and gifts. It is really nice.
It is, ch-ch-ch-ch. 50 gold, it’s just like a, it’s just like a, like a little one? Ah, do you want to, look at it. It’s a little, like, it’s a little one, little grain of diamond.
Wonder if I have, if only Jester were here, she could tell me if that’s useful. I’ll take that one, too.
There you go. 350? All right.
Mmkay. Done. Bye, thank you Beth, Besh, Besh Turmin.
Turmin, just go Turmin. Yeah, bish.
Let’s go, Besh. Let’s go, Besh.
Cash me outside. While you guys are returning, a voice comes to your mind, Jester. “This is Ludinus.” Oh shit. “To notify that Vence “has been found and incarcerated. (gasping) “Interrogations will progress. “The negotiation is accepted.” A follow up message continues this thread: “The perceived transgressions of “The Mighty Nein have been absolved. “The negotiation is outlined to occur in four weeks. Oh.
Whoa. Cutting it close to Traveler Con. Third message comes through: “Prolonging the ceasefire as the naval forces “on both sides are gathered and outfitted for travel.” Additional message: “To the agreed upon neutral location “in the Lucidian Ocean.” That’s the completion of the update. Wow.
I tell everyone all of it. Get in loser, we’re torturing people. Four weeks.
Four weeks. When was Traveler Con, five? Five weeks-ish. Okay.
It’s close by. ‘Kay, we go, we do that, and then (snaps) our reward, our vacation, is Traveler Con. Yeah, it’s perfect.
Okay. It’s dope.
But we should start heading down that way now–
Get the boat. In case we get waylaid. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, by the way, here’s a diamond. Oh, sweet.
What can that do? Can that, can that do, can that– Well, the 300 gold, that’s, that can bring somebody back to life is what that can do. So, good, the debt is repaid. Thank you for saving my life before. Well, you don’t, it’s not a debt. Well, it is, and I know it’s not because I just paid it back. (laughter) Do you have a diamond already? I have a 350, so if you have a– I only have a 500. So, you need a three, take another 350, then. I’ll take the 300 one. It’s a 350 diamond, right? Or a 300–
300 gold diamond and then a 50 gold diamond. Oh, you don’t need the other 50 gold diamond. We don’t know what that does yet. I’m keeping the 50.
Yeah, okay. Oh come on, where is it? Unless you need it?
No. Yeah, that’s fine.
Nott smiles real big and just. (laughter) It’s just shoved in between two teeth. (laughter) Like it?
It looks infected. I don’t know. Oh no.
Tattooed, grill on. As you return, Caleb has been shut into his research facility and you can hear the clattering around. You are, like, in that mad place of, like, close but there’s a blockage and you’re, like, trying desperately to find a way around that, that inspiration block. Come here.
Ah! I pull her in and I start dancing around. Look at this, look at this, look here. I spent a couple of hours and then I ran out and I had to bring some components back. And I bypassed the hold that was keeping it from, you know, from locking in place and I can’t do it yet but I think I know a way that I could know, but not yet. Does that make sense?
Doc, doc, doc. (laughter) Caleb, Caleb, were you eating those? Because that was a baking experiment gone horribly wrong. I used way too much sugar.
Those cookies are fantastic. More.
More of them. This is just.
Great Nott! (laughter) (clapping) That was good one. Yup, yup, go for it. Donut reward.
1.21 giga-Notts. (laughter) The Libyans? (laughter) All right.
This is amazing. Thank you, Caleb. But the end result is that I don’t know how it works. Oh.
But I– All right.
You know how these things go.
No, but that’s, this is progress. We’re so close, you’re so close. You are so close. Great.
That’s what she said, ha. Ha ha ha.
I don’t get it. This is pretty important–
Is it? Walk out here with me.
Ugh. Cup her by the face. A little bit longer, a little bit longer, maybe Essek, he’ll help me, we will have it. All right, all right.
Do you believe me? Of course I believe you, yes. Good.
Thank you. (whooshing) Oh.
Shuts himself in. Wait.
We have, oh. Ah, we were going to go.
Oh yeah, but we’re leaving. I need an hour!
Okay. Ooh, ooh, in an hour. I’m just going to run out to the store and see if I can find somewhere where I can buy, like, a bunch of green cloaks. (laughs) (laughter) Sure. How many green cloaks do you want to buy? Like, as many as they have. Every green cloak in the kingdom. (talking over each other)
(laughter) Army, navy surplus. I don’t know if it’s like a store where it’s a bunch of like, you know when you go to the ren faire and there’s, like, all a bunch of– The green cloak store? Yeah, the green cloak section. Yeah, okay. I’ll say– (laughter) Or just a bunch of green fabric, I can do that too. Green fabric is easier. Cloaks, you can find a dozen, 12 green cloaks of slightly varying shades, but all green. Some that–
In plastic bags that are, like, very iffy.
Yeah, like, “Satin?” They have an ad on them. For the 12 of them, it’ll cost you, we’ll say 5 gold pieces all together. Oh, awesome.
And for additional material. They’re not super fancy cloaks, but they’re decent enough to still cost, you know, a fair sum. Lord of the Rings cloak.
Yeah, pretty much. Yup, it’s from Party City. (laughter) Material, you could purchase enough material for 20 cloaks if you’d like and that’ll run you, just material-wise, about an additional 6 gold. You could make them.
Okay. And that all fabric will fit in my haversack? It will but it would push the limits of one of the pouches. There’s some stuff in there. You don’t need 20 acolytes, you only need 12. Well.
It’s very biblical. Of varying sizes.
In fact, for the haversack, it might be a little tough because the bolts are pretty, pretty long and the haversack has limitations on the pocket size. Might be something that you have to consider with the bag of holding. Okay, I can just carry them. Okay well, I’m just going to get the additional 6 gold worth of fabric, just in case. So, we’ll say, like, four bolts of green fabric is what you can put down.
Oh my god. I hate going to the fabric district, it’s too much. You love going to the fabric district. I like going to the clothing, well, yeah. (laughter) Raw bolts, though. Raw bolts.
Raw bolts, it’s just like– I like going to the fabric district. Do you have enough gold?
No, no, I do. Wait, okay, but platinum is equals 10 gold.
Correct. I thought if I just subtracted the gold, it would automatically make my platinum go down. You can–
Got to be careful, though.
You can get change, right? That’s what I thought. I mean, with the seller.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s the platinum to gold exchange rate in Exandria– 10 gold per platinum.
Changes approved per day, fluctuates.
10.01– You have to keep tabs on that. So, if I subtract one platinum, I can add 100 gold. 10 gold.
10 gold for one platinum. 10 gold, right. Okay, so, okay, so that’s– So, one platinum and one gold will pay for both the cloaks and the bolt.
Okay. (yawning) Sugar.
That is with nine gold. Okay, got it. All right.
All right, hour’s up, Cay. We’re leaving.
Okay. I, real quick. I want to go up to my room just alone. Okay. I’m going to close the door, make sure that it’s locked–
Mm-hmm. And am I able to take off the breastplate? Ooh.
Uh, yeah, you are. It takes a little bit to do it yourself, but like, five minutes to pull off. Okay. (sighing) I’m going to put it back on.
Okay. Then I go downstairs.
Okay. Did it say Crayola underneath? No?
No. All right, so whatta you guys want to do? (sighing) We are preparing to go for a quest. Yeah.
Caduceus, where do we go? Where’s the map? There’s no reason to check back into the Empire, right? We’re good for a bit.
Yeah, four weeks. All right.
Did you respond to them? Oh, I should respond. I’m going to send a message back. Oh, but I could have responded to his messages. So, yes I would’ve done that and said, “Cool, good to know. “Everything’s good here. “We are doing what you said and we’ll let them know “about the meet up and it’s all good to go.” Mmkay. Make an intelligence check, Caleb. Oh shit.
Whitedawn Lagoon? I roll terrible in this campaign, 13 total. Okay.
Rolled a three. Um. Oh ho ho boy.
Hm. Oh, you might have the map. Which map, I’m trying to find the right map. The Whitedawn Lagoon is at the very, very bottom of that map. Yeah, Whitedawn Lagoon.
Right here– It is a challenge to get to from where you are. But?
So you have to figure out what your, if that’s where you’re heading next, then consider your course of travel. Essek! (laughs) We could–
This is in, in the Dynasty? Yeah, so it’s south of where we are right now. So, would it be best to leave from the Menagerie Coast and take the boat, perhaps? I mean, maybe. Oh wow.
It’s not a so good idea. Instead of going across land? Does that connect?
Yeah. If you go from Nicodranas, you’d head south past Rumblecusp, Urukayxl, and then you go, continue to go west, and you’ll eventually get there.
We could do a fly by of where the con’s going to be.
But it’ll take– West?
It’ll take awhile via ship. Specifically–
Longer? If you’re going a fast pace, oh actually no, it’s just a regular pace on ship there, (paper rustling) about four miles an hour, well if you’re a longship, about three miles an hour, actually, because you’re not a galley, you’re a longship. So, three miles an hour is what you’re looking to be traveling at and the distance around is, I’ll have to check what the– I think so.
Think thought. It’s going to be a few hundred miles. How, huh?
Yeah. A few hundred miles.
Maybe we should travel magically.
But we still have to get out boat there. Yeah, but we can do that in a– No, we have to tell Orly to get our boat to meet us if we’re going to and it’ll still take him– Well, we should send him now. We should at least let Orly know where he needs to be when. So where should I tell him to meet us? Well, probably, probably board at the Menagerie Coast to head to where the meetings going to be, so however long with a little time extra. So tell him to meet us at the Menagerie Coast in three weeks? And then we just bamf to Menagerie Coast? I mean, ideally, it’d be Essek to where we need to go, Caleb to the Menagerie Coast. Where are we right now? Then the boat to wherever we need to go. But then, I mean, he said the boat is going to take, to the meetup point, the boat will take a few hundred miles? To the Lucidian Ocean, which is a hundred, a hundred miles away? The Menagerie Coast should have a– Is, it’s really not going to be quicker to go by boat than to walk? Or ride.
We got to get horses? Can you go ahead and get my map out? Going to double check.
Horses would be better. No, but so where we’re going right now is not where the Traveler Con is. No, we’re going to Caduceus’ place first. Yes, so we don’t need the boat there at all. No, but we just need to tell the boat where to meet us because it’s going to take a while from wherever we go to get to the meet up, right?
Yeah. Unless we, because where’s, but we don’t know where the meet up point is yet, right? That’s part of the problem. But I thought we did, I thought he just told me where the meet up point was. Well, it was off of, we’re meeting in the Menagerie, in Nicodranas and then setting port from Nicodranas, is that’s what happening? Do we, Matt, DM, oh, you’re already calculating something. What is that?
What is your question? I can’t remember, did we name a specific place or just a region at this point? You named a center point between Nicodranas and the Whitedawn Lagoon.
To be determined? It is to be determined by, and they’re going to notify you as soon as they find out the specifics there. There is no landfall, it is to be at sea on a ship. Okay.
It’s going to be just south of the southern-most portion of the Ashkeeper Peaks is generally where it’s going to be. This is also where–
Which is about, by ship, it’s about 300 miles ride from Nicodranas via red standard ship, which is why it’s taking four weeks to arrange this based on the location you guys chose. All the naval forces of both sides are going to be present here, are all preparing, getting things ready, and then doing an extended travel there, hence why it’s taking four weeks before this arrangement happens. Okay.
So. That is where it stands.
Is it best– To the Whitedawn Lagoon from Nicodranas, it’s going to be roughly 450 miles travel. What’s our closest point of comfortable teleportation with what we have now from the Whitedawn Lagoon? You’re looking at either Nicodranas or Asarius. Where is Asarius?
It’s north of Nicodranas. Right? Where is it? (laughter) I love that we all have this map. That’s the Empire over there. Yeah, the Empire map, it’s not on there. But, yeah. (laughs)
Is it on Xhorhas? Asarius?
Asarius is on the Xhorhas map, yes. It is in the center, center north area. So, we want to travel south and we want our boat to start traveling now to pick us up just off the, on the coast underneath where we’re going for Cad’s shizznit.
Because we need to be where for you, here? No, for you. Oh, it is the lagoon.
Yeah, it’s the Whitedawn Lagoon is where we’re going. Well, shit.
So, we’ll send Orly to the southern tip– Of the Whitedawn Lagoon.
Yeah. Okay, I’m going to–
You have, you have, that’s for your teleportation as well. You guys have been to the Lotusden Greenwood, that is where you battled– Oh yeah, we could bamf there. We don’t have, we can go there? But Essek could take us.
You do not have the thing. Essek took you there last time. Yeah. Say that, what was that?
Essek took you guys there last time.
Took us there last time. He likes us now, he could take us. There’s a, there’s a pass. The Lagoon is where we chased Yasha and Obann, right? Yeah, okay, okay. Yeah, we chased you.
Yeah, that’s right. Asarius is right here.
That’s really far. I mean– Yeah, let’s get Essek and go by magic. This is crazy. Let’s go to his house, let’s go to his house. Show us where his house is. Okay, we can do that.
Oh boy. Are we ready to go? Let’s go.
Yup, let’s go. Bye.
All right. So, you’re gathering all your materials and getting ready to move? We’re splitting.
Okay. Is that cool, everybody?
Yeah. Okay, Beauregard and Caleb will lead the group over to Essek’s towers. Bamfing straight to the lagoon. All right.
If we can. Okay. You pack up your materials and make your way across the neighborhood to the outside of Essek’s property. For most of you, aside from the two of you, this is your first time seeing it and it’s, in its unique splendor, presented before you. You come to the front gate, the gate is closed. Should we–
I’ll send him a message. Yeah, I’ll send him a message. “Hey Essek, we’re out front of your house. “We’re just wondering if you would have breakfast “with us in your house and also take us somewhere.” I just start waving towards the house. That doesn’t go through in the message. He might, what if he peeks out? He comes back, “I was wondering whether or not “you were going to stop by today.” There’s a brief pause and you see, on one of the walkways from one of the towers, you see a figure step out and look over. Ha, see, see? Hey!
Yeah, of course. Gives a nod and continues to the next tower and then eventually emerges from below. Essek approaches, waves a hand, and the gate (makes creaking noise) opens and lets you guys in. Yay. Come, come, allow me to–
Sorry we are late. Oh, it is all right. I do have some food prepared as a return favor for the delicious dinner. Thank you, Caduceus. This way, please.
Yay. Leads you into this what appears to be a foyer-ish type chamber with, you know, nice furniture curved on the edges of it. The smell, when you come inside, is very (snaps) strangely herbal, like it has a very earthy, herbal smell to the air there with a bit of, only thing I describe is like a hint of electrical fire, something like that sort of smell. But there are these beautiful almost glass-like stairs that emerge from the wall that don’t have a hard-set connecting pivot, they’re just free-floating, it seems, outside of the stone wall and they’re just translucent steps that lead up the spiral of the tower you’re in. Ultra modernist, got to say. Yeah. (laughs) And he, “Allow me to take care of this for you.” And he waves his hand for a second and you watch as the chairs, the furniture (scraping) scoots from the edges into the center, forming a little seating area, table scoots in. Caleb, you should learn to do that. That’s really impressive. I can do an approximation of it but it’s a little more herky jerky than that. Big cat paw pushes it over. Oh, that’s true, yeah. Eventually, he brings some food and sits you all down. “So, “how do I do this? “How was your day?”
Really great so far. We did some shopping, some errands, we’re going on a trip. We’ve arranged, we’ve received word of some of the details of this meeting. Yeah, they found Vence.
Ah, that is good news. It appears now both sides have a cultist of some esteem in our midst. That bodes well for the negotiations. Should I just tell you? They said the negotiation’s good to go. Everyone’s getting ready. Four weeks.
Four weeks. They’ve probably notified at least someone in the council but I will pass this on as well. Four weeks, very well. Did you bring that project you were working on? I have it with me all the time, yeah. Do you want to eat first and then– Yes, let’s, let’s eat. Or you could eat and we can take a look at it. How was your day? (laughter) Fine, I’ve been here.
Yeah. Do you go out, like, during the day? Do you go shopping and stuff?
When necessary. Do you float in your house or do you walk in your house? Does he float in his house? He’s currently floating and as soon as you say that, he goes (clicks tongue). (laughter) You don’t have to float around us, man. It’s cool.
It’s a habit. You should walk with, what is it, a swagger. You could show, you could show him how to walk with swagger. I could totally teach you swagger. Like your ring walk, you know, like how you prep– Want me to teach you swagger? I don’t know what that is. Sure, sure.
You know sass? Fucking crack it out, let’s go. You know?
What are you, miming? What is this, what is– I just, I walk with swagger. Oh, oh. (laughter) A strut.
Yeah, do what she does. It’s, you know.
Vogue. I’m good, thank you.
Aw, come on. I follow Beau around the room. Wow.
Very well. Can I have look at your notes? You know, this trick, right? You know this one? You push up.
Essek, Essek! His cloak is, like, completely obscuring his torso and he’s– Essek, yeah?
You are making him uncomfortable. You’re making him uncomfortable. Ka-pow, Storm Lord, thunder and lightning. Swagger.
There are cheeses. Ooh, I like cheese.
I am so excited for cheese. This is good.
What kind of pastries? Are we talking good pastries? They’re, like, some small wafer cookies, nothing too super sweet. You’re a little disappointed. They’re okay. (laughter) Dry up the mouth a little bit. (laughter) I’m going to put a couple in my pocket. That’s pretty good, disappointment. They’re functional. It’s like–
Show him! The grandma gives you vanilla wafers and you’re like, “Mm.” Right here or–
Yeah, show him the book. All right, so Caleb starts to move food and drink out of the way because he doesn’t want to harm any of the books–
Here, come to my laboratory. It would be easier.
Oh. Should we all go?
No, no. Just them.
Just me and Caleb. Feed your ferret your crackers or whatever. All right, for a second. Nott, come.
Of course. He leads you up the stairs, gliding for the first few steps and then stops and starts actually taking steps. And you can see there’s a bit of a disjointed aspect to it, you see him trying to change his instinctual behavior around you. I bet Essek gets, like, really tired when he’s walking up stairs now because he’s not used to doing it, so when he’s forced to do it, it’s like. (laughter) He doesn’t want to act winded but he’s, like, probably really outta breath by the time he’s at the top. You head up to a secondary floor. This one has a window that overlooks that part of the neighborhood. There are a number of shelves of books, there are some small glass cases that contain what looks to be keepsakes or objects that are just out of view. He leads you to one of two doors that opens up into one of those pathways that connects towers and leads you to the tallest tower and from there, you go into a mid-chamber of this next structure. Within here, the smell itself is almost saccharin sweet but has a very chemical smell to it. You recognize it, as an alchemist. There are a lot of elements here that remind you of very sweet but caustic chemicals that are used in the creation of potions, that are used in the creation of compounds that can break down metals and other such things. It’s a mixture of some alchemy or elements close to it are done in here. But then he leads you up another set of stairs to a tall chamber beneath where you imagine that strange moving spherical series of rings were on the top. As you head into this final room, the entire chamber itself has these deep grooves dug into stone across and edge to edge. And you immediately recognize it. It is, I mean, it’s hundreds and hundreds of lines. It looks like someone has just dug every possible line path connecting element here and for certain magicians or sorcerers, practitioners of magic, this is essentially a bunch of pre-set grooves that most basic and advanced runic circles can be drawn within here with whatever materials very quickly. (hands rubbing together) (exhaling) This is beautiful. All the candles immediately light as you all step inside. Are we all there or is just– Just the two of them.
Oh. I can’t help it, I will always love the architecture of a tower. We stick with them for a reason, it seems, as haggling as it may be. Come, come, set it down. And he like–
Closer to the heavens. I start laying stuff out. So, um, this is what we acquired. This is very old, these are unfinished but, but much to be gleaned and I’ve done my best with them. I lay out of Halas’ stuff.
Mmkay. And then here is–
He takes his mantle off and sets it aside and comes over to join you as you guys start laying it out. And you see, and he’s listening to you with one ear and the rest of his mind is in the process of taking in the extent of what you’ve already drawn and connected. And Caleb recognizes that and says, “Okay, so while you’re taking that in, “Nott help me roll this out. “And here is what Nott and I have been working on. “This is my approximation, I’ve tried to “fill in some of the blanks and this “particular knot was hard to unravel, but we did. “And I know that I’m close, “but I am sure I am missing something.” Yeah, but he’s got that look in his eye, he’s close. I can see that look. (sighs) All right, I have some ideas. And he walks over to his shelf and starts thumbing through different compounds and pulling out elements and taking out some additional books under his arm and basically gets down on the floor with the two of you and begins attempting to continue this. You guys are having your cheeses and your snacks. We’re practicing our swaggers. About 40 minutes rolls by they’ve been gone and you guys have just been sitting there and waiting and talking and they have just not returned. Looking around his place.
Yeah. There’s a red button to push somewhere. I don’t want to touch anything, but doing the like looky-looks. Speak for yourself.
Okay. I just don’t want to, like, he’ll know, right? Boop.
Ugh. What’d we find?
Well, roll an investigation, or maybe perception check if you’re just looking around. You, like, looking in his bookshelf or are you going to the bathroom and, like, looking in the medicine cabinet to see what weird medicine he takes? Like the medicine cabinet type of stuff. Ooh, what’s this cream? (laughs) Is that a difference, between medicine cabinet versus just looking? Well, but whatta ya mean? You find his bedroom and locate his bathroom. Yeah, there’s a difference between being like, “What room is this? Oh, master bath,” and being like, “I’m going to go pee,” and being like, “Ooh,” behind the medicine cabinet. That’s some shady shit.
That is some shady shit. Okay.
I do that to every house I go to.
You, we know that. If you invite me over, I’m going to look at all your shit. (laughter) So disappointed by the medicated shampoo– That’s why I always put a note in the medicine cabinet whenever you come over that says, “Hi Sam.” Okay, all right. You head upstairs, or in the chamber you’re in right here, you can see plainly most of it’s just furniture, it’s a hosting chamber, it seems, so a lot of it’s dusty. It’s generally just furniture and decor. Do you go in the staircase above? Just, which way are you going? Look for yourself, what are you doing? Well, I just, I figured we could divide and conquer. I’ll go upstairs.
Okay. You head up into (laughs). (roaring) Oh, that’s the end of Beau right there. This is the next chamber, this is where you see there are bookshelves aligned in this area, there are the two doorways, they’re closed, that lead out of the tower to those walkways you thought you had seen. There are a couple of small, looks like glass cases that are off to the side. What’s with those glass cases? You go ahead and look within. One of them contains, it looks to be a rod, maybe about a foot and a half long. The other one, glancing inside, you can see there’s two books that are locked with a actual physical lock holding them closed. Can I see, like, do they have a name, title? Do you know Undercommon? Yes, I do now.
You do. Glancing at one of them, it goes into, the title at least, and only one of them has a title, the other one is, like, just a plain leather binding, like a deep, deep leather, but there’s no actual top. The first one you look over and it says in Undercommon the equivalent of the connecting nether between the elements. You’re not quite sure what that refers to or what the contents might be toying with, but it seems to be something referring to the elements.
Okay. Dark matter shit, all right, cool. Anything else I can check out? Do I have time?
There are double doors. There’s the two doors.
And then what else? Bookshelves?
Bookshelves. Uh, I just peek out the two doors, do like a crack and a crack? Neither of the doors open.
Fuck. They are closed and they are locked. (pen clicking) Right, back to the bookshelves, do a quick scan. Okay, it’s all manner of collection, all in Undercommon for the most part, a couple of spattering of Common books. Some of them are history, some of them deal with studies of alchemical compounds, some of them deal with historical recollections of the Age of Arcanum and what elements have been collected from what ruins have been found and it covered writings of prominent figures during that time period. You see one that deals with the various societies and races of Xhorhas and the social dynamics pre- and post-Dynasty involvement. These are just the things you, it’s a wide variety of books.
Okay, okay, okay. I just head back downstairs and I relay what I found to Fjord. Glass cases, books.
Man. That’s so tempting, but I mean, we just established a friendship.
We really, I don’t want to, I don’t want to be a dick. All right, fair, yeah.
I’m just trying, I’m just being nosy. What’d you find?
Nothing. He has no guests, ever. There’s, like, nothing in here. It’s just kind of bland.
I like it. I think it’s really nice in here. Simple.
It’s got nice staircases. It’s a very nice staircase. I’m going to take out my harp and play a little. Okay.
To pass the time. I’m going to dance while she’s playing the harp. Okay, the acoustics–
I’m going to take out my flute–
Swaggerly dances. There’s got to be something about this guy. So, she swagger dances and then starts playing the harp with a beautiful sound fills the chamber and then the bone flute starts playing. Oh no, I’m not going to actually, I’m just– Okay. (laughter) I know. In the interim, go ahead and make an arcana check with an advantage. Uh, is it all right if I, oh, with advantage, great. No need, no need.
Come on. Come on.
Roll that shit. ‘Kay, cool, cool. Are we doing doctor–
Cool, cool, cool. Intelligence or arcana, did you say? Arcana.
Whoa! (whooping) Showing off in front of Essek. Big wizard energy. (sighing) The three of you begin to sync and, like, one person’ll pause at a question where they’re at a point in the equation and the next finishes it, they make eye contact and smile, grab something, finish that line, grab this piece of paper, toss it to you, this equation finishes, and rapidly you become, the three of you become fervored researchers, on the cusp of a breakthrough. By the close of the hour, the moment hits where the equation connects (gasping) and the spell is complete. (gasping) Oh, oh! Oh! Essek stands up and he’s like, (brushes hands together) “I don’t, I don’t know what to say. “This is very impressive.”
You are amazing. This does not happen very often. This is history, pulled from history. (paper rustling) Thank you. Well, you had done most of the legwork yourselves. Thank you both for this. Can we do it? What are the features of this? Time–
You– Needed, requirements of components. The component for this requires a, about 50 pounds of raw clay, which the spell consumes, as well as about (paper rustling) a hundred gold worth of ground gem dust, doesn’t matter the gem, and it takes about an hour to cast the spell. (pencil scratching on paper) What does it do? I’ll give you the specifics, but the overall essence of the spell, as you look over the final equation, is, if done properly, it is a permanent alteration of the target’s body from one known humanoid race to another.
Oh. (gentle music) Well. (exhales) We need clay, I don’t have any. I don’t have any.
No. You don’t have that much clay, do you? I have a yard. I’ve got a shovel.
You’re not there. Oh shit, nevermind. (laughter) I was so into it. A yard, he said? That’s, clay’s just–
Dirt. A special kind of dirt.
Do you? Caleb just pulls the goblin and the elf in for just a huge hug and then pulls us all out again. Do you want to do this now or do you want to think about it? Uh. Maybe I’ll just give it a day or an hour or a day. Whatever you need.
This is amazing. Thank you so much. Maybe I’ll just give it a day, though. Just to figure out, yeah, just a day. (gentle music) Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Yes. We can do this tomorrow.
Just deliberate on it for a bit.
Yeah. (gentle music) You know, the others are probably wondering– Yes, it has been some time, my apologies. They’re probably having, like, a threesome. What do you mean?
Pssh, I got the books! No, I’m just kidding. (laughter) Run!
But, um– You think Essek and Nott and Caleb? For what?
I mean, they could just be, you know, having a real good time up there. I assume they are having a really good time up there. So you probably think they’re having a threesome? I don’t–
Maybe they’re churning butter.
That’d be good because I’d really like to make another round of these crackers. I feel like we can improve on this. Yeah, they need more sugar. A little bit more sugar, not what I did, let’s all forget what I did yesterday, but we could, we could, oh, I got to take a look at the kitchen, see what we got. We work well together. We should explore other things. Other things. I have some ideas. There are favors owed still. Anyway, let’s get back to the rest of your friends.
Yes, yes. They’re probably fucking down there or something. (laughter) Probably having a fivesome. (laughter) Gather up the notes, the finalization of the spell, hands it to you, and you guys return. You hear the door upstairs. You go towards where you think the kitchen might be and the door is locked. Well, this is half the problem right here. (laughter) Fucking doors. (throat clearing) You hear the familiar footsteps of Caleb and Nott. Caleb has Nott backpack-style with a real spring in his step coming down the stairs. Hey!
Hey, sorry to keep you– Did you guys have so much fun? We did, it’s a lovely, it’s a lovely lab. Do you feel relaxed and carefree? Energized.
Oh shit, you were right. He is intelligent.
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. He knows his way around?
And he can float! Mm-hmm.
Just saying. He’s right over there.
Oh, hi. He’s heading down after the two of them. You seem like you’re in a very good mood. Knowledge, knowledge can do that to you, right? Everything go okay? Everything work out? Where are we at?
We, I’ve learned things that I did not know even an hour ago. Yeah. You’ll be happy to know we didn’t explore too far. We did go upstairs and look at your sort of lair of bookshelves and your glass cases and we tried to wander further but it’s locked. They did, we stayed here. We’re very polite.
Hey, we own that shit. Tried to find the kitchen.
I’m curious. I don’t care what you keep in your home, so. Well, I appreciate all of that, mostly. (sighs) But quite a discovery made by these two. Well–
Mm-hmm. What discovery? We may, we may have a way to, uh, to fix me. (gasping) Yeah, yeah.
Really? How do you feel about that? You know, excited.
Yeah? The permanent fix you’ve been looking for this whole time? So it seems, yeah. Back to your original form?
Uh huh. Essek, that’s incredible.
Wow. Don’t look at me, I was merely a final catalyst. This is work they had already continued from– Well, it’s mostly Caleb.
You are, you are both downplaying your contribution. Well, if we’re going to be honest, the biggest contribution here is a mage long before our time. Oh, Halas.
True. True, standing on the shoulders of giants. Indeed. Very hard, they’re very aggressive. Are we? If we were successful, yes, are you– Yeah, why aren’t you, why aren’t you already changed? I just, I just need to maybe let it sit for a second, just think about what this would, you know. I’m going to do it. Of course, I’ll do it, I’ll do it, I just, you know, where there’s risks involved. We’ve never done it before.
Yeah, what is the risk? What happens if it’s not successful? Who knows?
Do you accidentally turn into a wooly mammoth or something? I don’t think so, there’s not enough clay for that. Gathering looking at the equation, if done correctly, there’s no drawback beyond just the cost of materials lost. Wow. Yeah, but, I mean, we don’t know that, right? We don’t know, so.
Oh, do any of you have crushed gem dust left? We did have some.
I’ll have to take a look. We did, we used a lot of it for, you know, our tattoos. Don’t need much, about a hundred gold pieces worth. Can’t be that hard to find.
No. I have a diamond worth 50 gold. We don’t have any dust left but we can find some.
That shouldn’t be too hard. Certainly. And it seems like you want to, you know, just prepare yourself because it’s been so long– Well also, we don’t have any, we don’t have the materials so we can’t do it now anyway. What are the materials needed? We need clay, which Essek is saying he could provide for us.
A lot of clay, yeah. Okay. Which he could provide to us. And then we would need to get some gemstone dust, which either we have some or, um, this is a very large, beautiful city, I’m sure that we could acquire some. Do you need to be here in order to perform this spell or is it something you want to– I don’t think so. Travel with and– That’s a lot of, I don’t know. Well–
So you can get clay. I would recommend doing it– Controlled.
Doing it here or somewhere, yes, a controlled environment. How long do you need?
An hour? Wow.
I know, right? No but you could do it right now. We just go out, probably, just go out and get some gem dust while people start digging. Yeah. Do you want to go source another 50 gold of gems and I could assist Essek and certainly Caduceus could help us gather how much, how much clay in particular? Lots of clay?
50 pounds. 50 pounds, right?
Oh, that’s not too bad. Nott, I feel like you’re hesitant. Well yeah, I mean, of course. It’s just been a long time coming. I didn’t think, like, this morning would be the time. I sort of assumed that it would be an ordeal and I’d have to die or something to do it again. And so, it’s, it’s just odd that it’s so– Doable?
Easy. Well, after months of traveling together and–
Wow. I mean, you already died once. No, I don’t want to die again, trust me. I just, uh. Are you kind of used to being in this body now? No, I hate this body, it’s awful. It’s just, what do I, you know, what do I do after? You stay with us for a little bit. You help us keep doing what we are doing, you just look different. Why would I do that?
Because you love us. Are you afraid that if you get your old body back that it means– You got to go leave us and go back to Yeza and your son? Because that’s, like, totally a manifested condition that you’re putting on the situation. Not really.
But also, I understand. It is important, you know, you have a son. No, I know.
He misses you. I know. That is a–
It’s hard for a– Conundrum.
Hard for a son to be away from a mother. I want to be there.
What about this? You’ve done so much with us and it feels like we’re close to achieving a historic peace treaty between two nations. Maybe that’s the punctuation mark you’re looking for? Yeah, like one last run.
Yeah. Traveler Con?
The last chapter in– Really important.
This book of adventures for you.
Getting your body back just doesn’t have to be a final pin in the story, is all I’m trying to say.
We certainly need you. We’d be shortsighted. But we, you, (sighs) you know, we wouldn’t, (sighs) judge you if you wanted to stay with us for awhile. Or if you wanted to go home. Yeah, but if you wanted to stay with us for awhile. Yeah, I, I do. Of course I do. I just don’t, I want, what I want is just contrary to what, what we’ve been doing, and so it’s just a bit of a change, you know? Um. I mean, yeah, you’re right, I suppose I could just change, you know, just change my body, right, and then continue on with you guys just for a little bit, until we come to a, a spot where, where that’s it. Well, you know we would, um, be ensuring peace for your family, for your son, for the Empire, if we pull this off. That is commendable. Yeah. Uh, yeah. Let’s do it, then. Um, Nott, could you show us what you looked like? Yeah, of course. Uh. Yeah, I’ll transform into Veth. And you’ve seen Veth in the illusion of Veth before many times. A very clear vision of the beautiful half-elf girl, sorry, halfling girl. Mm-hmm. (sighs) Hi.
Hi. Caleb, a little shaky, but walks around and just gets every detail and angle. Do you have to do this? You have to do this. The spellcaster has to choose the form, is that how this works? I would think so. It’s kind of a combination of the two. If the spellcaster wants, it can be entirely of their making, but it could be a mutual agreed upon scenario. It’s the idea between, the spell, in theory, could be put upon somebody without their consent. It might be what happened to her before? It was a different type of experience. So, in theory, the spell can be used to transform somebody against their will, but that would be, that would involve a saving throw. If it is a, it is something that you are consenting with the caster on, then the form can be agreed upon in essentially a shared vision and no saving throw required. We’ll do what we always do, we’ll do it together. Mm-hmm, yeah.
Caleb and Nott. All right. I guess, do you own a shovel? I have, I have a shovel.
You just carry it around? Where does it–
It’s on my belt, it’s just a little folding thing. Living in a cemetery.
Yeah. That’s true.
Nott, we can, Caduceus and I can go to town. I can go find some gem dust for you. That would be nice.
I’ll help team clay. Yeah. Think you can find some gem dust with me, Fjord? Sure, yeah.
Yeah, he can’t dig, so, yeah.
What? I mean, come on.
Oh. (laughter) (clapping) (laughter) I will go with Jester, find some gems. I will find nothing but cubic zirconia for your bitch ass. (laughter) She comes out like a Picasso. (laughter) I don’t know why it didn’t work! (laughter) It’s an easy enough shopping trip since the gems themselves are not specific, it’s just a certain worth of it. Once again, requesting them crushed up by another jeweler is a unique reaction, but you acquire the gem dust easy enough. Through the rapid conjuring of water and the group aid, you are able to both help facilitate and excise enough clay to facilitate the spell. Within less than an hour, the materials have been gathered. What time of day is it? At this point, early afternoon. Yeah, about early afternoon, two o’clock, three o’clock, maybe. You want to do this right now or you still want to sleep on it? (gentle music) I mean, it’s the best place to do it, in a powerful mage’s tower, right? We don’t have to leave town immediately if you wanted to stay here and sleep on it. There’s no judgment, you don’t need to make this decision right away.
Yeah. You should do it when it feels right, too. Yasha, you all right? I don’t know why, this is making me weirdly sad. I mean, yeah. This has been, uh, we’ve had adventures together and loss and success and I don’t know how I’ll be after this, you know? I guess, in a weird way, you are, a version of you is dying in order to complete this. I don’t know if I’ll, I mean, I won’t look the same, obviously, but I don’t know if I’ll think the same about you all. Why wouldn’t you? You’re the same you.
I don’t know that. Just your body’s going to be different. I don’t know that. (gentle music) I’ve had all sorts of different feelings and things happen to me since becoming this form and I don’t know what’s what anymore. It all feels, I don’t know, normal now. You treat me normal, everyone around here treats me normal. That’s because you are. It’s just which normal you want. Yeah. But what if I’m not as agile, nimble? What if I can’t aim as quickly or hide as easily? Your aim’s kind of iffy anyway, I– Wish I’d have got another one of those explosive ones. (chuckling) Kind of glad you don’t.
If you trade out a few traits, you’re not going to be left without. Are you sure about that? You will be a member of The Mighty Nein. You will be our friend. Not if I can’t shoot or I can’t pick locks or– I think I know what you’re saying. I had to make a choice and it changed everything, no certainty of what was on the other side. You’ve been trying so hard to get to this point and you have the ability now. There’s no reason for you to do it immediately. Unless you absolutely are sure you want to and the time is right, then you shouldn’t. Otherwise, that uncertainty could lead to regret or anything else that you couldn’t predict. Wait if you’re not ready. We’re here for you. (gentle music) I guess the thing I’m most scared of is if, right after I change, I won’t want to stay. (gentle music) (sighing) Well, that would be okay, too. Nott, I don’t think any of us can give you that answer and you know that, but whatever you want to do, we’re here. (gentle music) I love you all. Let’s do it. (gentle music) Do you want bigger tits this time around? Yep.
They’re really big, I mean. Every man likes even a little bigger. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Well, yes it does–
He likes big– Make them how you want them, don’t do it for anybody else. You know what, you’re right. It’ll hurt my back. I’ll just make them a little smaller. You might be more agile if they’re–
Make them however you want it to be.
Yeah. I mean, titties are just great, regardless. Yeah.
For sure. All shapes and sizes are good. Yeah.
Yeah. Small ones, big ones, dangly ones. I’ll mold your titties, if you want me to be in charge of that. You’ll mold my titties? Well, I’m assuming we have to make, like, a clay version of the view you want to turn into. I’m totally just making this shit up. That’s not all how it works. (laughter) If that is the case, then I absolutely want Beau to mold my titties and no one else because she has the most experience with them. (laughter) And she’s got deft, deft fingers and hands–
That might not entirely be true. (laughter)
Do tell. (laughter)
(clapping) That’s a story for another time. We’ll swap titty tales. Her name was Crayola. Her name was Cerulean. (laughter) (chuckling) I suppose I will go prepare the chamber, and um. (clears throat) And he goes ahead and lifts a hand towards the hunk of clay. “If I could have some help?”
Hmm, yeah, right. You lift it and it’s half the weight it was before you grabbed it. “Come.”
Is that right? Heading upstairs.
All right. Is that right? (laughs)
It feels light, but. You all follow?
Yeah. Yeah, of course. Heading back into the research chamber where you had completed this equation, you begin setting up exactly the ritual that you had partially uncovered, partially designed. Arranging all manner of materials, taking the clay itself and molding it into essentially a small trough, if you will, to contain Nott as part of the ritual. Eventually, you set up the right incense to burn, the light in the chamber is closed with a curtain, and as you finish preparations, it is set for the hour ritual. I crouch down before her. “Nott the Brave, “Veth Brenatto, “you are here.” And he taps just above her heart. “And you are here.” He touches just between her eyes. “You are you and you will continue to be you. “And we are here. “You ready?” (sighing) I’ll just, I lean forward and sweetly kiss him on the lips and say, “Thank you, Caleb, for getting me this far “and for devoting yourself to, to me. “You’re a good man “and I, I hope you find to where you’re going, too.” (sighing) All right, do the thing. Cups the side of her cheek. “This will be our best trick yet.” We have to name it. Preparing, as you pull the sleeves back, you take the scattered elements of the crushed gems and place them across Nott’s body as you lay down into the clay.
That’s wet. The ritual begins as the lines begin to draw around, the incantations begin. All of you sit back and watch as the wind begins to pick up. The temperature shifts and alters, the cold of the clay heats around your body, and you feel it begin to actually move. You watch as the clay begins to slowly almost melt in reverse, upward, and then eventually encasing elements of Nott’s body. As the magic begins to swirl and gather, minutes seem to stretch longer than you expected. It’s a place where time momentarily seems to not really have an impact. Words you try and speak draw out slowly. As part of this ritual, it’s an encapsulation within itself and all of you are just bystanders watching a new magic be birthed. As you progress, you reach out and extend your thoughts towards Nott, and Nott, you concentrate and focus on the image of who you truly are, in the heart of hearts. As you feel the clay begin to cool and turn cold around you, you engage the second element of the spell. Now, the woven threads of arcane power pierce the clay and pierce Nott’s body to begin the process of rearrangement. Excitement begins to flow through you at the knowledge that you have the ability at your fingertips to do this, after so many times of discussing and contemplating and daydreaming. This is the moment where you are the surgeon at work. And you go in for that first incision and you’re blocked. And you pull and it should be working and you push again and you’re blocked. There’s something dark, something in the way, and you don’t know what it is and it’s frustrating. You shake your head and tense your eyes and as you push a third time, it pushes back. All of you watch as the clay suddenly cracks, shatters across the room, sending shards everywhere, you’re having to block your eyes. The window blasts open a little bit. The spell itself, the ritual, the containment field of energy suddenly drops. All you hear, between the two of you, as the shadow that encases Nott, is this terrible laugh. (cackling) All that you recall is the last time you heard that laugh.
That motherfucker. When you were placed beneath that water. You’ve sensed this before, things like this, but lying deep in the heart of Nott’s form lies a curse that still holds her, something that still grips her essence from whatever creature laid this fate upon her. And that’s where we’ll pick up next time. (groaning) Holy shit!
Oh. You’ve grazed her. The orbs of magic. (laughter) Holy moly. (exhaling) Okay, okay, okay.
Who was dis bitch? (laughter) I don’t know.
I’m going to have to fuck some shit up. We got to go this find this, this here witch. Yup, yup. Am I alive?
Are you okay? Where am I?
Are you there? You’re encased in black what? To give you some–
We’re back in, everybody. For the final moment to return to Nott. Yeah, no no, for the moment, when all of you look at this and realize the sound, that Nott, you are safe, you are fine, you are where you were sitting– Am I alive?
You’re alive, but you’re still in your goblin body, unchanged.
Who could hear the laugh? Just Caleb?
Just Caleb and Nott. The two that were directly connected as part of this ritual. Alive, spell thwarted.
Correct. And the components consumed but the spell thwarted by whatever, whatever strange curse still holds her. Ooh, he made you do the exercise and then ripped it from ya! (laughter) I wasn’t ready to say bye to Nott. Whoa.
Oh, man. Your eyes got all red and teary and it went, “Fuck you.” (laughter) (whooping) Remove five or ten, how much? 50 gold from your thing.
Interesting, interesting. So, we’ll see here this goes next week. Gosh. (groaning) Take you down to Goblin Town. (chuckling) Oh, I was so curious to meet the halfling. Hoo.
I know. You may still yet. We’d best kill her, we’ll just kill her next episode. She at all.
That’s right. You don’t know.
You don’t know. I lied about my story a hundred times before. If you’d been faking, he has a, a dude’s collective checks.
That’s right. (laughter) Completes the ritual and Nott emerges as a, like, goliath. (laughter) (talking over each other) (laughter) Yeza was an actor. And Luc was, like, a really small actor. (laughter) “Hey, when do I get my 50 bucks?” (talking over each other) Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. Anyway. It’ll be like Andy.
Yeah, new. We’ll pick that up next week. Thank you guys for joining us. Please don’t forget, we love you very much and there’s a Thursday ep. Good night. (groaning) (dramatic music)