Divergent Paths | Critical Role | Campaign 2, Episode 25

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Divergent Paths | Critical Role | Campaign 2, Episode 25

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. And Sam makes noise from his phone over there. Strangely SAM: I can’t turn it off! It won’t stop! MATT: So a couple things. One, you’ll notice that we’re down two players tonight. That’s because apparently some babies can’t wait! So there is currently a new addition to the Critical Role team right now– (cheering) MATT: More information will be made available as the parents see fit. I’m glad that I worked towards a narrative exit for them that they couldn’t be there for. So anyway– ASHLEY: We love you, Travis and Laura! MATT: Super excited. We love you guys so much, seriously MARISHA: We love you! MATT: You’re amazing, and we look forward to meeting the new one very soon MARISHA: I love that you can’t emote SAM: I can’t smile TALIESIN: Just saying, they could’ve held the baby five more hours. I feel like they could’ve done it MATT: I’m just saying, then we could’ve shared a birthday LIAM: It is the best day! So much is going on. My nephew is here, so many things are happening behind the scenes. It is the best day! MARISHA: It’s crazy TALIESIN: We’re so tired and it’s great MATT: So anyway, let’s get through our announcements real fast. First and foremost, a big thank you to our returning fantastic sponsors of this campaign, D&D Beyond! Sam, if you don’t mind SAM: Guys, I didn’t know this. The D&D Beyond discount code, 826LA, is still active for the 25% off the legendary bundle. I did not know that. It will be expiring soon, so please make sure to check out the legendary bundle on the D&D Beyond marketplace. Also, the site will be undergoing some maintenance tomorrow, Friday morning, starting at 7:00am Pacific for a few hours. The site will be in read-only mode at this time. So, I don’t know what that means. Also, the product director Adam Bradford will be hosting a stream at 9:00am Pacific during maintenance with some exciting announcements! Be sure to tune in to twitch.tv/dndbeyond (not and) to check it all out And just for my little extra here tonight, not getting lost in the fact that Travis and Laura are having the most magical day of their lives and Liam is gone, I wanted to pay special tribute to our little Ashley who’s leaving us for a while. I feel like she should get some love too on her way out the door. I composed a song for you in the style of your favorite band, Boyz II Men ASHLEY: Ah, yes! TALIESIN: How did you know? SAM: (singing) How do I say goodbye… shit. To our sweet, innocent harbinger of death fallen angel? On NBC you play a geek, but you’re a real one here with us every week. If we get to visit Xhorhas, I hope Blindspot will let you play. But until then, I hope Patterson dies every day! ASHLEY: Yay! MATT: Thank you, Sam SAM: That’s hard to do in a mustache ASHLEY: I can see the– MARISHA: Are you committing to this all night? SAM: This is what I did the first time through the campaign, so that’s what I gotta do this time! MARISHA: Holy shit. I thought this was for your opening gag ASHLEY: Me too! SAM: This is what I wore this time in the first campaign MARISHA: I remember! LIAM: So on this show where Ashley is about to leave, baby Baileyham has just been born, I’m in the woods, and we’re about to move, you decided to wear that for the entire episode? SAM: I did not decide. This was put upon me by the fates MARISHA: You made that, though! SAM: Yeah. I can’t un-make it MATT: Yep, it is a thing. Congratulations TALIESIN: It’s been a while, is the monkey Smokey or the Bandit? I can never remember SAM: Oh, the monkey’s here, right? Okay, good LIAM: As long as that is on your face, you will get no sugar from me, Sam Riegel MATT: No. Well, thank you very much, D&D Beyond Thank you, Sam. A couple other announcements: because we’re doing this move, there will not a Critical Role or Talks Machina next week. So we’ll be missing you guys that week. We’ll see you on social media and stuff and having chats to keep us all through our withdrawal that we’ll be suffering, and some of you I’m sure will as well

But we’ll be back the week after that, the second week of July we’ll be picking up with the Talks Machina of tonight’s episode, then hosted by our fantastic Brian W. Foster. Then the following Thursday, the following episode, in which we will have a guest, maybe two, joining us SAM: Oh, what? Okay. Will one of them be a baby? MATT: No. I’m not that good at teaching this game I think language is an important barrier in teaching D&D SAM: You’re pretty good, though MATT: Anyway, just so you guys are aware. Also, for those who haven’t seen on social media, welcome, we just launched a Kickstarter with our good friends at Steamforged Games MARISHA: Holy shit, that’s right, that’s also going on! Every day feels like a year MATT: So if you guys don’t know, we launched a Kickstarter, it’s a short-form Kickstarter for our line of Vox Machina and Mighty Nein miniatures For those who aren’t aware or familiar, we have an entire line of highly detailed, super high quality plastic minis of all of Vox Machina including Trinket, and all of Mighty Nein. There are stretch– I was going to say stretch goals There are Kickstarter exclusive rewards that include Pumat Prime for The Mighty Nein, and his three simulacrum! As well as a fantastic Taryon Darrington and Doty for the Vox Machina side. Go ahead and check it out, it’s going to be up there for another week or so, I believe. If you can’t afford it right now, you can even put a dollar in there and we’ll have opportunities down the road hopefully for you to jump in if you missed it the first round. But when it comes down to it, you get eight minis for Vox Machina, you get the Mighty Nein minis as well, another eight minis, with Shakäste involved in there. All the Pumats as well, and the extra bonus features of Tary and Doty, all for $60. Which is a pretty fantastic package for the quality of these and for the collectable aspect of it. If you like it, help make it happen more! It’s already exploded, it’s nuts MARISHA: The boxes are looking so cool MATT: I haven’t seen the boxes yet MARISHA: I probably shouldn’t spoil that, but it’s pretty cool MATT: I should see that. We’re super excited about it. You guys have already blown it out of the water. If you haven’t had the opportunity, now’s the time to jump in and I hope you enjoy them. So I believe that’s all the rest of the announcements we have MARISHA: I’m so emotional MATT: So let’s bring it in to tonight’s episode of Critical Role! [groovy Critical Role theme] MATT: And welcome back TALIESIN: That was a good one MATT: That was great. So last we left off: The Mighty Nein, in making their way northward towards their eventual goal of Shadycreek Run to complete their second mission that they accepted from The Gentleman in Zadash, have been traversing the countryside and made their way to the city of Hupperdook, the largely gnomish cultural city there of industry and currently construction of war machines to send towards the conflict with Xhorhas to the east. There you saw the very hardy work atmosphere of the gnomes, and then the evening very crazy party atmosphere in which many of you dove into a hard drinking contest. You won the title of the Blushing Tankard Tavern, beating out their old champions, and woke up with terrible hangovers, and realizing that most of your gold

had been stolen. Upon doing some sleuthing around the town, you had bullied a couple of bullies that were pushing Rissa around, they had been a problem for a while, sent them peeing their pants and rushing. You spoke with Rissa’s father in his tinkering inventor’s store, in which you discovered a shiny object, a fantastic experimental hand crossbow construct of his that he would be interested in relinquishing without payment if you do him the favor of correcting a mistake he made a while back. Apparently he crafted, on the request of the Starosta of the city, a powerful Gearkeeper, a construct-like entity that was meant to help be a warden within the prison that went crazy, killed a bunch of people and they sealed it off, and it’s been there forgotten ever since. You said you’d take a look at this. Eventually you discovered that the money you had lost had been taken by four children, who currently are without parents, who have been living on the streets here in the city of Hupperdook while their folks had been sent to the prison six months before for being caught worshiping unapproved deities within the Empire You, after having this conversation with them, retrieving your money, and leaving Kiri with them for the time being for safekeeping, decided to see if you had the possibility to prevent them from being sent to an Empire-run orphanage, in the hopes of freeing their parents in some way, shape or form from their binds. That was where we had left off MARISHA: Where are we now? Are we still in the butcher? MATT: You guys have stepped out of the butcher home, leaving the kids behind with Kiri, and you are now out in the open streets of Hupperdook, late morning, midday. What would you like to do? MARISHA: Is Rissa still there? MATT: Rissa is still with you MARISHA: Rissa? Sorry. Okay SAM: You said late morning? Midday? So we could at least go check out this prison and do some scouting before nightfall, yeah? MARISHA: We were talking about planning, and then sleeping, and then going TALIESIN: If we see those teenagers also, we should probably call them off SAM: Oh, the teenagers MARISHA: I really would hate for our problem with them to end up coming and finding the kids. My words aren’t really here right now, you know what I mean SAM: Yeah, you just had a baby, I understand MARISHA: Emotionally LIAM: Do we want to leave it up to chance that we’ll run into those two kids, that they will not succeed, or we’ll find them? TALIESIN: At the very least, we can leave word with their employer and if we run into them, we’ll call them off MARISHA: I say we send Rissa to go talk to them SAM: Rissa knows the town, though, she might be able to help us scout out this prison MARISHA: That’s true. Maybe we go back to their employer? TALIESIN: We’ll have Rissa meet us at the prison maybe later. She can call them off and we can head to the prison SAM: Why don’t we have Fjord and Jester go tell their employers! TALIESIN: (as Fjord) “Yeah, that sounds great!” (as Taliesin) Never mind. (as Fjord) “Yep. Well “Great. Yep” SAM: Which one are you? Are you Jester? TALIESIN: I don’t know anymore. Who wants the node, by the way? SAM: Oh, yes. Well, let’s find out if we need it yet MARISHA: Yeah, let’s hold on to it. Maybe there’s going to be some sort of emergency situation TALIESIN: Fair MARISHA: Use node in case of emergency LIAM: Jester, could we perhaps hold on to your backpack before you go so that we have that in case we need it? MATT: “No! I am going to hold onto this. Why would I give it to you?” LIAM: Well, I feel it is fairly obvious, but okay, as you were MATT: “I’m not going anywhere, why would I give it to you? This is my bag, I paid for it.” LIAM: Ja. Okay, so what are we doing now? SAM: I guess we’re all going MARISHA: This is revenge for any time we haven’t let Matt go on an NPC, just saying TALIESIN: Let’s go take a look at this prison SAM: All right MATT: Rissa goes, “All right, I can go ahead and lead you to it. Can’t say I’ve been too close to “it, personally, so far. Follow me.” Rissa guides you through the rest of the shelf back to the walkway that winds down the front of the mountain to the bottom half of the city of Hupperdook SAM: Lowerdook MATT: Lowerdook, if you will MARISHA: Wait, are Fjord and Jester going to go call off the employers? MATT: They’re with you guys. You can go head that way if you want to call them off, unless you want to send them on their own wild goose chase SAM: Fuck those guys. They’ll be fine MARISHA: I would just hate for them to find the kids and then do something to the kids

SAM: How would they find the kids? TALIESIN: They’re literally on a mission to find the kids right now SAM: Hmm MARISHA: I mean, we put Caleb’s Alarm across it, but still SAM: We did ASHLEY: Still, if they get across MARISHA: Exactly. I don’t know MATT: “I could maybe send them a message?” SAM: Oh, yes. You have that spell, don’t you? MATT: “I do!” MARISHA: Can you do it to the kids? SAM: To Fitz and Ashton MARISHA: Yeah TALIESIN and MARISHA: Let’s do that SAM: To Fitz MATT: “Okay.” MARISHA: Man, that solves that problem MATT: She quietly tugs on the symbol of the Traveler and goes like, “Okay, Fitz? This is the “girl with the people that were making you angry–” SAM: You have, like, eight words left MATT: “We… found it so…” MARISHA: We don’t need help MATT: “Everything is good!” SAM: Go back to work MATT: “I think that’s all of it Go-back-to-work!” TALIESIN: Technically, “go back to work” can be one word if you say it fast enough SAM: That’s true. A lot of that was hyphenated MATT: “The Traveler is very forgiving.” TALIESIN: Grammar MATT: Rissa leads you down this path to the Iron Lot, which is– you’re guided to the basement You’ve seen it as you approached and there was the large platform elevator that rose up to the second layer. It’s currently not being used; it’s locked on the upper floor. As you head into that area, the smokestacks are billowing strongly, business is in the process of being done full-throttle in the understanding that this coming conflict or the now arrived conflict on the eastern side has put everyone into overdrive to prepare whatever sort of equipment or weaponry they can send that direction SAM: And the stuff they’re making is catapults or guns? MATT: Well, from the outside, all you can see, because you haven’t been inside any of the warehouses– There is the Iron Lot and there’s the Assembly Yard. The Assembly Yard is the one that’s the open space where they’re building these large siege engines. You see mobile carts that are either horse-drawn or powered by something you don’t quite understand yet that have other large weapons attached to them MARISHA: We saw bolt-throwers, those giant bolt-throwers. Like, Lord of the Rings-style Siege towers. Also Lord of the Rings-style TALIESIN: Very Lord of the Rings MARISHA: Battering ram, like every fantasy movie-style, but definitely Lord of the Rings and the huge cannons TALIESIN: Not very Lord of the Rings MARISHA: Pirates SAM: Cool MARISHA: That’s what we saw last– or that’s what I think I saw when we did a perception check or something MATT: Mm-hmm TALIESIN: And it looks like a big factory that looks like a evil Willy Wonka factory kind of thing MARISHA: Uh-huh MATT: Yes. So as you are being led down, Rissa’s pointing out some elements of it. She goes, “Okay, “so over that side is the Omnismelter.” She points over to a cluster of a dozen or so warehouses that are scattered in a spider web-like formation that are connected by a series of hallways between each other and then towards a central piece. She goes, “That there is where most of the foundries of the “city lie. Where all the various mined ingots or those imported are melted down and utilized. The “foreman there is a bit of a tool. There’s the Armavault.” She points to the far northern side of the mountain base and you see a 25, 30-foot tall by 60-foot across iron door that is solid and jammed into the side of this mountain. It looks like it’s very well protected from this glance at the distance. From what you can see, there’s maybe two dozen or so crownsguard that are stationed at its base. “That’s where most of the funds that are saved for the uses of the city maintain as well as “a number of the not currently being used devices of war. Means of defending the city should it come “under attack, if you will.” Points over there. You can see what looks to be where most of this smoke and steam is rising from. There is this one large, two-story black tower that has a single column of fast moving smoke pouring out of it. You can see areas where the smoke seems to be pulsing or darkening and widening at certain places. She goes, “That there is the Underbellows. That’s “where they utilize a number of the forges and furnaces for the factories here. They’ve harnessed “some of the volcanic activity beneath the mountain and that maintains a consistent heat for the “forges. Smells downright awful, to be honest. Over there’s the Firemark Facility.” She points over to

a building that looks a little simpler. It’s not super tall and ominous-looking. It’s very plain, made of cheap metals. You notice all the buildings here are mostly metal, probably because there’s a lot of dealing with heat, fire, sparks, and the last thing you need is any of these things to catch fire. She points, though, to the Firemark Facility and she goes, “This is where they’re “developing a majority of certain explosive and black powder-based technologies.” SAM: What’s that place called again? MATT: “It’s called the Firemark Facility.” MARISHA: Firemark SAM: Is it heavily protected? MATT: “(chuckles) Most everything is here. Then right over there,” and she points to the southern side of the mountain base of the Iron Lot to a smaller doorway. Similar in shape and construction as to the Armavault, but it’s a little more localized. Maybe about 15-foot high and about 20-foot wide. “That is the Gearhold Prison. The one you were asking about. The one where my father “done fucked up.” TALIESIN: What do you know about that machine he built, anyway? MATT: “It’s– have you ever seen an automaton where they’re made of stone or made of clay?” TALIESIN: Come across a couple MATT: “Imagine one that’s made of metal and gears and blades. Lots of blades.” MARISHA: What? Blades? MATT: “Blades.” MARISHA: Oh, god TALIESIN: Vampire Hunters. Sorry MATT: “It is covered in Daywalkers, yes.” MARISHA: Do the blades spin? MATT: “They do. The whole thing spins, actually It doesn’t have feet.” SAM: It just rolls and cuts MATT: “Basically.” MARISHA: Oh my god LIAM: It is animated by magical means? MATT: “Partially magical and partially clockwork.” TALIESIN: Is it steam-powered? Or is it– MATT: “The power source is magical, but most of its actual locomotion is done through clockwork “and various internal gears. It’s actually quite a marvel to behold. It’s just–” TALIESIN: It’s a magical power source, then MATT: “As far as I know. It’s not my mastery. It’s my daft father’s.” MARISHA: So where’s the source? SAM: It’s inside of it, I would assume, right? MARISHA: So if we get the source– TALIESIN: Maybe? SAM: What did your father call this “robit”? MATT: “He referred to it as the Gearkeeper.” SAM: The Gearkeeper MATT: “It was designed to be one of the threatening wardens to help quell any sort of “breakouts of the prison. Meant as an intimidation device for those who attempted to rise up against “their captors and possibly be its first initial run to be a defensive sentinel for the city. If “these things worked properly, having five or six of them just rapidly on the outskirts of the city “would probably keep anyone from trying to break in here or make any sort of lawless act in its “boundaries. Unfortunately, they’ve only made one and it went crazy and killed a bunch of people. So “there’s that.” MARISHA: Yeah. Doesn’t sound like a city I’d want to live in MATT: “Yeah, that’s why I’m trying to fix it.” MARISHA: (sighs) TALIESIN: They just let it– they’ve cornered it into a– MATT: “They sealed it off. They’ve been trying to get back to it, but there’s a lot of distraction “and honestly it’s out of sight, out of mind, I think.” TALIESIN: Honestly, we could just show up and say we’ve been hired to try and take care of it and go in SAM: Would anyone believe that? TALIESIN: We technically have been hired to go in and take care of it. We’re just working in trade SAM: Not by the city TALIESIN: No, they know not by the city, so by a private contractor LIAM: I am sorry, I don’t understand. You say they’re too busy to deal with it. Have they got it locked away in a vault while it just stomps around? MATT: “As far as I know, yeah. They’d originally had it placed in the bottom floor in one section “which had more of the very violent criminals and killed a bunch of them. Not too bad. Killed a “bunch of guards. That’s pretty bad. At the time, they didn’t have the manpower to fight it off, so “they sealed the doors and haven’t had a problem since.” ASHLEY: So was anyone else left in there with it? That it maybe didn’t kill or– MATT: “It’s been there for quite some time. A couple years at least, I think. Two or three “years? So if anyone was, they’ve expired, I’m pretty sure. Sorry.” ASHLEY: That’s fine by me SAM: Hmm TALIESIN: I think we’re going to have to do a little more research, but I’m feeling pretty good about our prospects SAM: Well, the main concern is getting in the prison. I don’t know if walking up to the front door and saying, “Hi, we’re here to take care of your spinny death problem,” is going to work TALIESIN: We heard you have a bug problem. We’re here to take care of it? SAM: Do we need outfits or something? TALIESIN: I mean, I suggest we wear shoes and pants, but you know SAM: What, like Orkin man outfits, or do we need to look like we’re official? ASHLEY: Like a uniform of some sort? TALIESIN: We could have a letter from your father, perhaps? MARISHA: Can we go get suits? MATT: “That’s true.” SAM: But they don’t like her father TALIESIN: Yeah, but they’d be perfectly happy if we– We’re going in knowing full well what we’re

getting into. There’s no harm, no foul there MARISHA: Awesome black suits LIAM: Yeah, they certainly have nothing to lose We are a group of people claiming we’re here to deal with their issue. We either die doing it or solve the problem SAM: Heist-type maintenance workers uniforms? TALIESIN: Okay. You really want to break into a prison? SAM: I just want to wear a onesie MARISHA: Yeah, yeah TALIESIN: I feel like we can make that dream come true MARISHA: Something with a big lapel. Maybe double breasted. Sounds great. We would look so handsome, you guys MATT: Jester leans in to Rissa and goes, “Rissa? Do you have any examples of your father’s writing “because I can copy it pretty well.” SAM: Ooh. That sounds like something that’s way too smart for Laura to say MARISHA: Oh TALIESIN: You’re so lucky she’s not watching right now MATT: She’ll be watching ASHLEY: She probably is TALIESIN: She’s probably watching. Hi, Laura. I would love to see if there’s any sort of sketch or blueprint of this thing that we could just take a look at first and maybe have a thought of our plan of attack MATT: “I can guarantee you they’re not going to have any publicly available blueprints of a prison.” TALIESIN: No, I mean of the machine MATT: “Oh!” MARISHA: Would your dad? MATT: “We can certainly ask.” TALIESIN: Just to sort of see what we’re getting into MATT: You see that spark in her eye of a good idea and then thinking about having to go back to her father she’s like (sighs) TALIESIN: We can go on our own, if you like MATT: “No, it’s fine. I’ll go. I’m used to him It’s okay. Come on.” MARISHA: Does your dad like pastries? Does he have a sweet tooth? MATT: “I imagine he does. I’ve seen him eat a few.” MARISHA: Does he like pies? MATT: “Probably.” MARISHA: Let’s pick up your dad a pie on the way home MATT: “Okay.” MARISHA: People like pies, right? SAM: I love a pie TALIESIN: I mean, I like pies but I’m a bad example of so many things ASHLEY: I really like meat pies MARISHA: Meat pies. Would your dad like a meat pie? I just hear people bring pies MATT: Fjord kind of leans in and goes, “That’s good, Jester.” MARISHA: Thank you TALIESIN: (snickers) MARISHA: Beau. But that’s okay. It’s been a long, emotional day MATT: Has been MARISHA: Hasn’t it, Fjord? MATT: I have too much in my head right now, guys It’s been a long day SAM: Why? You playing five characters at the same time? MATT: It’s fine TALIESIN: This brings me back to some home games MATT: Thanks, Baby Willingham MARISHA: Oh man. So much, it’s been the longest day MATT: It’s been the longest day LIAM: (chuckles) MARISHA: We stop and get a meat pie on the way MATT: All right. Easy enough as you’re wandering through the street, following the scents of food that are being cooked in advance of the current lunch hour happening. You hear a few whistles go off in the distance and in that moment, Rissa goes, “We best be hurrying before the rush hits.” And you pick up the pace as you start hearing the different steam whistles go off and you watch a lot of the buildings begin to just swarm out with all their workers on their brief lunch break. You manage to stay ahead of most of the wave making their way up to the top shelf of the city, eventually coming to one of the vendors on the outside who is swarmed by about 12 or 13 different gnomes. You wait patiently for about a good 15, 20 minutes or so as they prepare and get all their meat pies ready, sweet pies ready. Sell a few things, a couple of their regulars cut in line in front of you, not paying much attention or caring that you’re waiting patiently. But there is a large crowd behind you and you manage to get to the front and the two gnomes that are currently in the process of divvying this up look to the rest of you and go, “Oh, you’re a right “interesting team. What brings you here? You looking for pies? We got pies. You want pies?” SAM: We’d like a hospitable meat pie MATT: “Single?” SAM: Oh MATT: “It’s not enough to go around, I can tell you.” ASHLEY: Well, we might need a couple MARISHA: One for us, one for him? Two meat pie– sorry, three meat pies! MATT: “All right!” Turns around and pulls out three gnome-sized meat pies which are about that big ASHLEY: Oh MARISHA: Can we make that a double? MATT: “Six gnomish meat pies!” MARISHA: Thank you MATT: Passes them over SAM: We have money again, don’t we? TALIESIN: Yes, we have our money back MARISHA: I throw down for the pies MATT: Okay. We’ll say for the total of that, it’s maybe a silver SAM: When the whistles blew, Matthew, did we see any guards do a shift change at the prison? MATT: Because you were rushing to get the pies, make a perception check with disadvantage at this distance MARISHA: Mm SAM: Seven MATT: Seven. You have no idea MARISHA: That was super smart though TALIESIN: Yeah, no. That’s a good thought MATT: You have your meat pies. You want to make your way over back to the Tinkertop MARISHA: I pass out meat pies to anyone who wants one, but save one MATT: All right. So you have one ready. You guys snack as you walk along. Interesting point of noticing, as you guys come by, you do see a familiar sight for you and for those who’ve been in the Empire for a bit. You’re familiar with this as well, Nott and Caleb SAM: Oh MATT: You see a crew. It’s two crownsguard that are flanking one figure you see wearing a black

cloak with gold trim that goes just past the shoulders. It’s almost like a shawl or a um brain escapes the term. But it’s like a short cloak SAM: Okay MATT: These are the tithe collectors SAM: Oh, yes MARISHA: Taxman MATT: They’re referred to colloquially as Reapers behind their back, but you see them exiting one home and moving onto the next door and knocking MARISHA: Are they heading towards the butcher? MATT: A ways away, but they’re present. It seems that the time of year has come, the every-six-month window seems to be coming or has arrived. Nevertheless, you travel with meat pie in hand, eventually making your way back to Tinkertop Inventions, the door still partially ajar. You see the faint light of the two lanterns in the back as you enter, and there in the back you see, in the process of sketching something down, your good friend, Mastermaker Cleff Tinkertop. “Ah, you’ve returned! “Certainly good to see you! What can I help you with?” SAM: We’ve brought gift MATT: “Oh, that’s so kind! Thank you so much!” MARISHA: It was Rissa’s idea MATT: “Rissa, for your old pops, did you?” She’s like, “Well, it was sort of a group decision. Hope “you like it, Dad.” “It’s cold, but tasty. Anyway.” He takes it and starts eating it, stuffing it in chunks through his gnomish maw, getting bits of the gravy dripping off of the chin TALIESIN: We’re going to take a stab at this death machine. We were curious if you could– MARISHA: I love that that’s what we’re calling it TALIESIN: I like the description MARISHA: Spinning death machine TALIESIN: If there’s any information you can give us about the machine, just so that we’re not going in cold, like if you know if it has any vulnerabilities to anything MATT: “Plenty! I built the thing myself. Don’t worry!” TALIESIN: If you can sketch it for us so we can get a sense of– MATT: “Oh, I’ve already got it. Don’t worry there, friend. I’ll be right back!” Turns around and disappears behind a– SAM: We could steal the crossbow. We don’t have to do the mission at all TALIESIN: Please don’t tell me that you’re going to do that SAM: I could, just saying MATT: You hear some rustling and some things falling over. A couple of banging noises, and then you hear a (clattering), “Damn it.” SAM: Is that a cymbal crashing? LIAM: Being as the man’s daughter is standing here with us, perhaps we will pass on that idea MATT: “Yeah, I can hear you, just so you’re aware I’m right next to you, little one.” SAM: She’s clever MARISHA: No, she just has hearing SAM: No. She’s a wily one MATT: A moment later, Cleff returns, clutching an armful of rolled pieces of paper and prints and parchment and goes, “Here’s about everything I’ve got on the thing.” Throws it down in front of you, some of it unrolls. There’s various stages of design, the breakdown of the mechanics and the interior of this. It’s extremely intricate and very impressive clockwork. Roll an intelligence check TALIESIN: Okay, but I’m not going to be able to make heads or tails of any of this shit LIAM: Yes, I have questions about it as well MARISHA: Yeah MATT: Caleb, you are the one who is the most proficient with understanding systems. If you could make an intelligence check for me as well, both you and Molly, since Molly was the first to grab them LIAM: Oh. Natural one MARISHA: Oh no-sies! SAM: He’s eating that extra meat pie TALIESIN: Eight MATT: You both take a moment and look over it One, it’s all written in Gnomish. Do either of you guys understand Gnomish as a language? TALIESIN: Does anybody understand Gnomish? SAM: Gnome MATT: Secondly, a lot of the blueprints are in shorthand, and the design work– while it’s very beautiful to see– the actual sketching of each stage of its construction and the interior mechanisms about it are very beautiful, it is very intricate. Paying attention to it and looking it over, the best you can ascertain is there is a core. There is some sort of a device that powers it. Through the notes around it, it’s supposed to power for about 200 years before it needs replacing SAM: Just wait it out LIAM: It’s a good half-life MARISHA: It’s a Duracell MATT: However, around it is layer after layer of metallic iron rings that are joined at certain hinge points so they can spin and shift in the inside like a gyroscope TALIESIN: It’s very hard to get a spell in there MATT: Yes. It’s not impossible if you pull enough of the armor away, which is the next stage, the layers of armor. There’s three different layers of articulated armor that can shift and move because

on the inside there are about a dozen bladed arms that, at any given point in time, can fold out of the armor and strike like small scythes or sickles and then retract inside SAM: You are fucking crazy, Cleff! MATT: “That’s certainly not the first time I’ve heard that!” LIAM: Yeah, so Herr Tinkertop, once we are to get past these defenses, would dispelling its arcane nature shut the machine down? MATT: “I mean, that’s possible. Oh, curses! I should’ve thought of some way of a fail-safe to “prevent that from happening. Well, next design! Next design, it’ll be dispel-proof. Thank you for “that! You’re a good–” LIAM: The nutshell protecting that core needs to be defeated first? MATT: “I imagine to a certain extent. There is a base level of insulation from impactful or various “magical intrusions that could affect the core, that I did think of. But there’s only really one “I should’ve put three.” TALIESIN: We start pulling plates off– MATT: He starts making notes feverishly TALIESIN: — start cutting our way through one specific spot, we could eventually get to a point where you could get some spells in there SAM: Or maybe Yasha could hit it with her sword TALIESIN: You may have to tank this ASHLEY: I will certainly try, this does seem like a very– TALIESIN: Is there a front and back to this thing, or is it just a whirling dervish? MATT: “The front and back is–” Dervish! That’s a great pirate word, dervish! He looks to you and goes, “There is, kind of.” He goes through one of the papers and pulls it open and there are plates of the armor– certain plates that fold up from the inside. They open and there is a small lens, like a crystal-type lens, that recesses on the inside when it’s moving and then seems to push out from it to see MARISHA: Okay SAM: Question. Can it climb? MATT: “Depending on the terrain, probably. If it’s flat-walled surfaces, it’s not designed for “climbing. It’s designed for intimidation and slaughtering. Perhaps my design was a bit “unfocused for the reason they asked me to build it, but, ah! Next time. Climbing? I don’t know, “probably not.” LIAM: And does it have any capabilities of attacking at range? MATT: “As far as I know, no, but it moves very fast.” MARISHA: These lenses, I’m assuming they’re regular lenses? I don’t know, they can still be blinded, right? MATT: “Maybe. They’re made of a very thick crystalline substance that had to be imported from “up north from the remnants of one of the old elven societies there that specialized in making strong “crystal.” MARISHA: So it’s super cheap and easy to break Imported. Great TALIESIN: It could possibly be blinded by obscuring the lens? MATT: “Maybe.” MARISHA: I was going to say, if we can get something to blind it, it’s still just a lens MATT: Starts writing down more notes. “Make sure lens can’t be obscured in a future design.” SAM: Cleff, when you were building this thing, you were building it off-site I assume, right? MATT: “No, I built it here!” SAM: No, I mean off the prison site, not– MATT: “Oh, right.” SAM: So you don’t know any extra secret entrances or exits to the prison itself? MATT: “No, unfortunately, they keep us away from all of that for security reasons. So I couldn’t “help people break in or out. Like now That would’ve been very helpful. Sorry.” LIAM: Would it be foolish to have you speak on our behalf to usher us in? MATT: “I don’t think they’re going to let me in.” TALIESIN: Not you in per se, but if we show up as representatives here to dismantle the machine? LIAM: Yes, you’re finally ready to make amends, et cetera TALIESIN: And you hired us to go in and do some work MATT: “Maybe.” He looks at Rissa. “Rissa, would you mind bringing your old pops with you?” She’s like, “Only to the door, Dad, then you can come back.” She glares over the two of you. “If that’s “necessary.” TALIESIN: Whatever works MATT: “Fine, come along, then. We’ll close up behind, get your keys.” “Oh, I haven’t been down “for a proper walk with friends in some time, I’m so excited!” TALIESIN: We should get some honey or something. I bet some honey on the lens would be a real pain in the ass MATT: He takes the last bit of meat pie and shoves it in his mouth real fast TALIESIN: Do you have any honey? MATT: (unintelligible shouting) LIAM: I have honey TALIESIN: Of course you do LIAM: Yeah

MARISHA: Why not something darker? Like ash, charcoal, black powder LIAM: I have that as well TALIESIN: What do you have? LIAM: I have molasses MARISHA: That is darker TALIESIN: Why do you have molasses? This is suddenly very exciting LIAM: I will tell you that in a few minutes, actually, if that’s all right MATT: Jester goes, “This entire time you’ve been holding out on delicious molasses?” LIAM: It’s industrial grade, it is not for baking MATT: “Are you sure?” LIAM: I am quite sure. Did I stutter? TALIESIN: Is this why your skin is so smooth? You’ve been giving yourself a facial every night ASHLEY: Wait, what’s the difference between baking and industrial grade? LIAM: That is a good question, Yasha. I don’t cook with it, I use it for arcane things TALIESIN: Magic molasses MARISHA: Actually, this brings up a– how much molasses do you have? MATT: (as Fjord) “Yeah, how much you carrying?” MARISHA: That’s so weird. It’s so abrasive sometimes LIAM: I have about the amount of a plum, wrapped in– SAM: That’s enough to smear a lens TALIESIN: I was thinking if we had a small glass jar of it, we could give it a throw ASHLEY: We could also put a meat pie in the– SAM: I could put a meat pie on the end of one of my bolts and shoot it at it MATT: (as Fjord) “Pie-chucker.” MARISHA: I feel like molasses would gum up something that’s clockwork, right? TALIESIN: It could help, it depends on how strong the clockwork is SAM: Or just tar or something MARISHA: Yeah, something sticky TALIESIN: Bubble gum LIAM: That would be even better, if we could get our hands on– SAM: Maybe on the walk, we can see if we can find a tar restaurant MATT: Rissa goes, “I mean, tar is not uncommonly used in some of the industrial districts down in “the Iron Lot.” TALIESIN: And we do have some friends over there that we just sent their young interns away on a– MATT: “Well, the forge masters, they’re mainly in metalwork. As far as tar use, that’s going to be “down in the Iron Lot, and that’s going to be– you’re on your own there.” MARISHA: I mean, how do we transport it? SAM: In a bucket? TALIESIN: In a very gentle bucket or pot MARISHA: Heated tar? In a bucket? TALIESIN: It doesn’t have to be hot. It just has to be– SAM: It has to be a little hot TALIESIN: Has to be a little hot MARISHA: Yeah, it gets hard. It’s tar MATT: Fjord goes, “If only we knew someone around here who is pretty decent with fire.” SAM: Hey, you could heat up a bucket of tar as we walk into a prison. That wouldn’t be suspicious at all! MARISHA: Once we get down! Once we get down! LIAM: That is a good idea, Fjord. Also, Fjord, congratulations on this, your most auspicious day MATT: “Why thank you. I appreciate you being so forthright and appreciative, Caleb.” LIAM: Yeah. Get your sleep while you can, and don’t use the exercise ball to rock him to sleep because then they get addicted to it, and that’s the end of your sleep life yourself MATT: “I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.” ASHLEY: Did you babysit a lot as a kid, Caleb? Is this how you know so much? LIAM: Oh, no TALIESIN: There’s so many walls being broken There’s like fourth wall, fifth wall, sixth wall It’s too deep MATT: You just broke the Prismatic Wall TALIESIN: We’re in the eleventh dimension now This is getting a little heavy MARISHA: He totally just took a thank you for not his baby being born! SAM: This is the worst night ever! TALIESIN: Can I remove that? ASHLEY: Please take it off! SAM: No! I’m committed! MARISHA: I feel like at break time last time, it came off LIAM: Yeah MARISHA: You made it to break, I think SAM: I’ve got two spares if I need it! MARISHA, ASHLEY, and TALIESIN: No! MARISHA: Don’t do this to yourself MATT: At this point, as you guys are having this awkward conversation, Cleff is rushing around grabbing a coat and grabbing some other things, filling the inside of his apron with various tools and utensils, “Oh, I can probably use that. All right, I think I’m ready to come with you.” SAM: Let’s go MATT: You all step outside, and you get about 30 or so feet before you see Cleff’s pace is slowing He takes another step and keeps looking around MARISHA: When was the last time you left your house, Cleff? MATT: “It’s been a while. It’s starting to get a little warm.” Rissa is like, “He’s kind of a–

“what’s the term?” MARISHA: Agoraphobic MATT: “Agoraphobic, if you will. He’s a bit iffy on the outside. Are you sure you’re all right, Dad? You can still stay.” “No, no, it’s fine. I want to hang out with my friends here. (nervous laugh)” SAM: Do you need a drink to soothe your nerves? MATT: “I don’t– I’ve never had a drink. I don’t need a drink, but thank you.” SAM: But it would really help MATT: “Well I–” and looks over TALIESIN: How about just a huddle up? Huddle up, let’s just– MARISHA: Just us? TALIESIN: No, we can put him in the center MARISHA: Huddle around him, okay. We perform a protective– MATT: You all get really close to him. He’s like, “Oh, this is really warm. This is a lot of attention.” MARISHA: No, not that close. We’re making a safety bubble MATT: “Oh, all right.” TALIESIN: I mean, it could be warm LIAM: This is silly. I take off the cloak that I’ve been wearing for a week or so now, and I just put it over the man’s head MATT: (muffled yelp) LIAM: No, oh, sorry SAM and MATT: In a comforting way (laughter) LIAM: To disguise his appearance SAM: In a smothering way MATT: He takes it and pulls it over his head. “All right,” and he, “Let’s go (nervous chuckle).” And is like, “One step, two step.” He’s basically Bill Murray in What About Bob? at this point. He’s concentrating on each step he makes going forward. It’s slowing you down a little bit, but he’s making it forward. Rissa is like, (exasperated groan). You eventually make your way, further and further SAM: We’re just going to walk up to the guards and say we’re here to dismantle the “robit,” right? TALIESIN: We are professional robot dismantlers SAM: All right, let’s do it. Who’s going to be doing the talking? TALIESIN: Well, we’re going to stop and pick up some tar on the way there and– I nominate the human to talk MARISHA: Ah, I can’t nominate Fjord? SAM: Yeah. Yeah, no, I think Fjord would agree with that MARISHA: Do you believe in me, Fjord? MATT: “You know, if I have learned anything it is that you are full of surprises. So by all means.” MARISHA: All right, tar first SAM: Tar first. Where do we go for tar, the Iron Lot? MATT: Rissa looks. “Iron Lot’s most likely. I’ll keep an eye out, follow me.” She leads you guys down the switchback path, once more down to the Iron Lot, the bottom shelf of the city. There, upon keeping an eye out, Rissa is looking back and forth. On the outskirts of the Firemark Facility she’s like, “No, I don’t think they’re going to do much as far as tar goes. Honestly, a lot of it’s “probably based somewhere in the Assembly Yard That’s where they’re making the bigger constructs “and having to piece together wood exteriors.” MARISHA: Is that far from here? MATT: “No, it’s on the northern side of the bottom shelf.” She leads you guys over to the outskirts, and there is a big fence that wraps around the Assembly Yard, where a lot of these thin standing, skeletal towers of metal are placed against some constructs that are in partial levels of construction. Others are empty and not currently in use. Other ones seem to have been near completion, and they’re in the process of preparing and breaking down the various siege engine for transport to the east. Who’s keeping an eye out to see if there’s anything that could be used like tar? Who’s looking for this? SAM: I’ll look for that MATT: All right, make a perception check, please SAM: 18 MATT: 18, not too bad. You take about five minutes or so to case the vicinity, and looking between the gate, you can see, two towers over, there is one partially constructed, wide bolt-thrower cart that only has one that’s currently bolted to it. You see that they’re taking leather elements and tarring them around the edges to prevent any sort of impacts from splintering the wood that’s carrying it. It looks like from there, they go with a leather case and put metal over that and bolt it down. But in the process they do have what looks to be a couple of small pails that have some thick, black, tar-like substance that they’re putting around the edges SAM: And we’re behind a gate? And there’s workers everywhere? MATT: There’s probably, within current view of the open portion of this side of the Assembly Yard, about 20 or so workers that are in the middle of focusing on their work at hand. But it’s in an open space, with maybe 20 to 30 feet open between each project tower. So, it’s pretty open. You’d have to be creative SAM: This is at the Assembly Yard? MATT: Correct MARISHA: I take my staff out. And I go (vibrating ring) across the gate SAM: Ah, why would you– no MATT: As you do so, (vibrating ring) across it, Rissa goes, “Ah!” And you look at the nearby tower, maybe 25 or 30 feet ahead to the north of you, one of the gnomes at the top of the tower is

currently hammering away at one of the large constructs, siege tower-like structures. Looks over, pulls the goggles up, “Hello?” MARISHA: Good money or trade for some supplies! MATT: “Piss off.” Puts the goggles down (hammering) SAM: We could just walk in and pretend to be a worker and just grab a bucket MARISHA: I thought we’re behind a gate, like locked out SAM: We could just sneak in the gate MARISHA: Just sneak in? LIAM: I have an idea. I could summon Schmidt, and it would be a slow process, but he could carry it a couple of inches, low to the ground, and wait, and then go a couple of feet SAM: What’s his range? LIAM: Oh, let’s see SAM: How far is it, Matt? MATT: The nearest– the one little part of the yard that they’re currently using this material is about 60 feet away from you. 60 to 70 from your immediate guess at a glance LIAM: Oh, it is about that distance MATT: Okay LIAM: So it might be just shy or– let’s give it a whirl. Just give me ten-ish minutes SAM: Ten minutes!? Oh, okay LIAM: That’s not bad. I pull a book out of my holster and flip to the right page and start muttering. Does anyone want to do anything in those nine minutes left? SAM: I’ll walk around and see if there’s a way through the gate that’s hidden MATT: Make an investigation check TALIESIN: I’ll keep an eye on the guard– not on the guard, I’ll keep an eye on the worker SAM: Ten MATT: Ten. You take the ten minutes to look through, but this part of the gate is pretty solidly locked in. It’s about six and a half, seven feet tall, and it’s just metal bars with almost a cross-lattice of even thinner metal strips that are about a quarter-inch thick. The openings are about that big, so you can still see through like portholes, but it’s not quite large enough for most of you to slip through. You might be able to if you’re careful and squeeze, since you’re small enough MARISHA: And they’re mainly gnomes working this– MATT: Gnomes, and you see a handful of dwarves, but the dwarves seem to be mostly doing oversight, supervision MARISHA: Okay. So I like, as a plan B, you disguising yourself as a gnome worker SAM: Okay, let’s see if Schmidt can– MARISHA: Do it first? MATT: So you complete your spell ritual. You summon your Unseen Servant LIAM: Ja. Schmidt, one second. You two, circus people. Mollymauk TALIESIN: Yeah, yeah LIAM: Could– ah, that’s cute. Could the two of you do something fabulous over there? ASHLEY: Make a distraction? LIAM: Ja SAM: Juggle something? ASHLEY: Yeah, I could have you stand on my shoulders TALIESIN: We could do that thing. Do you remember the vaulty thing? Let’s do the vaulting thing. All right, you’re going to do the thing over the– vault up ASHLEY: Okay. Ready? MATT: At which point, Cleff goes, “Oh! We’re going to see a performance.” ASHLEY: Yeah. Get ready– LIAM: I preemptively send Schmidt over to the closest bucket MATT: And the range on that is– It cannot get more than 60 feet than you, right? LIAM: Ja, that is correct MATT: Okay. So, what are the two of you doing? TALIESIN: If you get near the fence, I’m going to try and jump on top of the fence ASHLEY: Great TALIESIN: All right, we’re going to need the (mumbling) SAM: Wait, you’re going to jump the fence? No, this is a distraction. You’re not supposed to jump in the– TALIESIN: I’m going to jump on top of the fence SAM: Oh god ASHLEY: Are you going to go in or are you just going– TALIESIN: No, I’m just going to do the (mumbling) ASHLEY: Razzle dazzle? TALIESIN: Yeah, like the razzle dazzle MATT: All right. So– LIAM: Here’s a question. I’m sorry. How wide apart– is it bars, the fence? What kind of fence do we have? MATT: There are large metal poles incrementally, about every 12 or so feet. In between there it looks like there are cross lattices of an inch wide and a quarter-inch thick metal bars that weave across to form the fence LIAM: So that bucket is not going between any of that MATT: Probably not LIAM: Nott, would you be able to use your invisible hand to lift that up and over? SAM: When Schmidt comes close enough, yes LIAM: Okay MATT: All right. You guys are prepared? TALIESIN: Yep MATT: I would like you to make an acrobatics check with advantage because you’re being aided by Yasha MARISHA: I’ll keep watch TALIESIN: Oof, ten MATT: Ten. As you reach down, grabbing the foot of Mollymauk, with one big (grunt) you lift him, and he tosses in the air, gracefully, arms out, almost like a reverse swan dive into the air. You land

and (impact) (groaning) MATT: Land legs open, you manage to miss the vital areas, but it definitely wracks the inside of the thigh a little bit, a painful landing TALIESIN: Can I try and push up into a handstand? MATT: You manage to do so, but it lacks the presentational and grace element of it. Make a performance check, but with disadvantage from the impact LIAM: So when he crashes, right at that moment, I ask Schmidt to move the bucket three feet closer to us. Low to the ground TALIESIN: All right ASHLEY: Can I aid him– okay TALIESIN: Yeah, natural 20. Oh, no, disadvantage 15 MATT: 15, okay. Still pretty good. So in spite of the (strained) impact, you slowly stagger back up to the top, balance yourself TALIESIN: Up and flipping back up, and I’m going get the swords out. I’m going to start slowly working on moving down the fence, with both swords doing a spin and trying to actually get a little flip going. A little acrobatic– LIAM: Oh boy, another ten feet towards me TALIESIN: I’ll need you spotting, ’cause I’m not great at this MATT: All right, you’re turning it around. It’s starting to work into your advantage. As this is happening, Schmidt is slowly dragging, on its own, the Unseen Servant is dragging this bucket three feet at a time (scraping) MARISHA: I’m keeping watch for any workers who might be noticing the bucket MATT: None seem to be noticing the bucket at the moment, but you do see about three or four that are looking over at this very colorful, flashy, performing, nearly wracked tiefling who is in the process of juggling swords in the air and doing a series of completely spontaneous performance art for no reason MARISHA: Bravo. Bravo! MATT: You see two of the nearby workers start looking over confused, start talking to each other. You can hear the muttering. One of them runs off to one of the supervisor dwarves who’s about 80 to 100 feet off to go tell him what’s happening. He looks over and eventually you hear, as Schmidt is getting closer and closer, the bucket of tar is maybe 20 feet from the fence-line, and you hear a voice go, “Hey! Hey! What are you doing!? Get down from there! Get– go “on, get, get, get!” TALIESIN: I’m going to jump onto your shoulders now. So, I take a jump and try and land on the shoulders. Straight acrobatics? MATT: Straight acrobatics for this TALIESIN: All right. You go away; I’m trying you That’s a natural 20 ASHLEY: Ooh MATT: (flipping) (impact) Landing right onto Yasha’s shoulders. She catches you there, and you’re still, from their perspective you jumped off of the fence and landed behind the fence, and are– ASHLEY: I’m going to do a little side by side walking to make it look like he’s– TALIESIN: Sorry, you had a great fence, and we’re working on an act! MATT: Make a deception check TALIESIN: It’s true MARISHA: Nott, how close does Mage Hand have to be? SAM: It could go now, but we can’t go fast, they’ll see a moving bucket LIAM: Yeah, we don’t want it off the ground TALIESIN: That’s nine MATT: Nine, okay. It’s not that they don’t buy it, they’re just more caught off-guard by your presence, and not listening to the words you’re saying. The one supervisor who keeps rushing forward goes, “You “know, lad, you don’t have permission. Show me your–” At which point you see Cleff, looking nervously, steps forward and goes, “Hello there Cleff Tinkertop, we’re all right. They’re with “me.” The dwarf comes to a slow jog, to a stop, and goes, “Cleff, what the fuck are you doing down “here?” Schmidt drags the bucket about 15 feet off to the side, and it is near the base of the fence SAM: Okay, I’ll cast Mage Hand MATT: Okay SAM: Are people looking right now? MATT: Yes, they are looking SAM: Okay MATT: It’s about 15-20 feet to the left, but they’re currently focused on your group, which is gathered at the edge of the yard where they assemble all of their very powerful military weapons TALIESIN: We should be at separate ends of the fence right now, because I made my way down the fence with Yasha MATT: Right, so it was about 30 feet, we’ll say So are you attempting to– SAM: I’m just going to wait until they finish their conversation MATT: All right LIAM: I’ll try to edge it a little closer still I’d like to get it near the fence, if I can MATT: It’s actually right now, with that final scoot from Schmidt, it’s right up against the fence on the opposite side LIAM: Okay, then I’m just going to wait for the right moment. Then I’ll have Schmidt lift it over his head, but not yet MATT: Okay. At this point, the dwarf rushes up to the edge and peers through and goes, “So, strange “arrivals you got here, Cleff, and a couple of loonies diving off the outside of our very “well-protected fence, but sure. Cleff, what’s your business with these assholes?” He’s like, “We’re “making our way to try and make right some mistakes I’ve made, certainly, hopefully.” He glances through with a bit of a tightened gaze and goes, “All right. Well, just keep them off my fence.” TALIESIN: A lovely fence it is

MATT: Turns around and starts walking back to his post SAM: As he starts walking, I’ll nod to Caleb and try to do the lift over the fence LIAM: Oh, jeez, I go– MATT: Make a sleight of hand check to see if you can make the right timing and do so swift enough to where nobody seems to notice SAM: Sleight of hand? 22 MATT: With that, as soon as the dwarf turns around and all the rest of the workers go right back simultaneously, seeing that this encounter is over, turn back to their work. (whooshing) Without a sound, rises over the fence and is now at your disposal on the opposite end SAM: Yeah! ASHLEY: Hopefully that will do something SAM: We have a bucket of tar! Part one of our plan is complete LIAM: That’s how you do it. You set them up, and knock them down SAM: Look at that teamwork MARISHA: It was pretty good SAM: Yeah, everybody contributed a little. Except for Jester and Fjord, everyone was really good TALISIN: When do they ever contribute, really? MATT: (laughter) Rissa goes, “All right, that’s the first part of it. What’s next?” ASHLEY: I guess we head to the prison MARISHA: To the prison! SAM: Let’s put the tar bucket in the haversack of holding, if that’s possible. If it will fit MARISHA: Will it tip over in the bag? MATT: She takes it and slowly puts it inside. It will fit in the larger one, so it slips inside the bag. She closes it. “Okay. Are you sure it won’t turn over?” MARISHA and TALIESIN: No SAM: I don’t know MATT: “I don’t want to ruin my bag.” TALIESIN: Then we don’t have to put it in. We’ll just carry it MATT: “I paid good money for it, and it’s so pretty.” TALIESIN: We’ll carry it SAM: Then we’re carrying a bucket of tar. Is that weird? TALIESIN: We’re going in to kill a robot. It’s fine SAM: All right. We’ll just carry it TALIESIN: What else do you bring into a — What do they think we’re going to do with a bucket of tar? ASHLEY: I’ll take it MATT: Carefully hands it to Yasha TALIESIN: Let’s lean into it ASHLEY: Yeah MATT: Rissa continues pushing you now away from the Assembly Yard, back into the Iron Lot, and towards the exterior of the Gearhold Prison There, on the outside of this doorway, there’s about a dozen crownsguard, mostly gnomish, two human. It looks like they’re both currently decorated with a bit more detail, probably sent from the capital, or at least are given a little more of import to the outside of this guarding post. As you approach, you can see these large metal doors. There are two of them, and they open in the center, and there are a set of smaller doors built in the base of each of the sides. As you approach, some of the crownsguard look over curiously at this interesting, wayward group making their way towards the outside. Three of them begin to approach, and one of the humans in the more intricate crownsguard uniform approaches, throwing the cloak over his shoulder, and you can see his hand resting on the handle of his now-sheathed sword. “Hey, who goes there? What is your business?” MARISHA: We are a contracted group of workers, working for this man right here, Cleff. We’re here to take care of the problem that we heard you guys had with the clockwork warden MATT: Cleff pulls the hood back a bit and goes, “Hello.” Guy takes a moment and looks. Make a persuasion check with advantage, because Cleff is helping you SAM: Yeah. Persuasive Beau MARISHA: I stole this die that I got you from forever ago. It’s got the little d20 inside of it I’ll take the 12, for 13 MATT: The guard steps back a bit, looks you over “All right. Hold tight a second, I’m going to “summon the warden. Just a moment.” He steps to one of the small doors that opens, and he disappears inside SAM: How many doors are there? MATT: There’s the two large main doors, about 15 feet tall, about 20 foot wide, and then there’s smaller doors, normal person-sized, almost gnomish-sized, doors built into it from that point. You actually watch as the human crownsguard has to duck a little bit to go through the smaller door frame. He’s gone for about five minutes or so, and then returns and says, “The Wardenhelm “would wish to speak to you, if you wouldn’t mind stepping inside. Don’t mind the escort; it’s “common business.” MARISHA: What did you say the warden’s name was? MATT: It’s Wardenhelm Poppin Drokrusher MARISHA: Wardenhelm Poppin– MATT: Poppin Drokrusher MARISHA: Drokrusher TALIESIN: Poppin Drok– I won’t. I won’t speak I’m not going to speak MATT: He’s like, “Gnomish names.” TALIESIN: I feel that MATT: At that point, you guys are led inside the dark interior. As soon as you step into the shadow

of the entryway of this prison, you go from the industrial and somewhat colorless Iron Lot that you’ve been traveling through to this very low-lit, reddish, almost oxidized iron interior that is just shadow and torches. You can see these large support beams of metal put against the rock and stone that has been carved out of the interior of the mountain. It’s just one long hallway that splinters off into a number of hallways to the right and left before it reaches the outside of your current visual range to make any more detail out of it. At this point, as you enter, about five more of the crownsguard follow behind you and keep you all as a small pack traveling. At this point, he begins to move forward and gestures for you all to follow, saying, “This way.” Leads you down the hall, scooting to the right and heads to the right at the very first branching hallway of the interior of the prison. Heading further down, there’s a few doors that are open, and on the inside they appear to be empty, or there’s a few other guards. On the interior, you don’t see much in the way of crownsguard, you see a different type of guard. Similar garb, but more drab, and you get the sense that they’re– this is an internal prison guard, this isn’t part of the paid, trained, citywide guard. These are the interior Hupperdook prison guards. No more than maybe another 40 or so feet down, there’s a doorway that’s open that leads into an office. On the inside of this office, which itself is also super darkly lit, you see two ember torches that give this very dull red glow on the inside of the room, so it has this somewhat ominous and dreary interior presence to it as you step into this chamber. The desk is facing away from you, and there you see an older and grizzled gnome, who is in the process of wearing these series of robes and cloak over him with these gold-colored tassels and epaulets that shoot off the sides, seems to be giving out an air of station and importance, even though it’s just in the process of filing what looks to be either prison transfers or people that have been arrested and figuring out who’s to be put in here and why, or whose business is going to come to an end soon. He’s in the process of shuffling through papers before turning around to you and goes, “All right, so, you have come to my “prison.” Stands up and turns around to you, clicking his feet together as he does so at attention, arms crossed. “Hello. I’m the Wardenhelm Poppin. You have bothered me from my “work, and I would like to know why.” As you look at him, you can see his hair has receded almost entirely to the back, and what bits of clustered gray hair on the sides he’s currently attempted to slick and comb back, and one large part of it is trying to cover the massive bald spot, but as he spins around and talks to you, with any sort of movement it wobbles and has to settle itself back into place TALIESIN: Beau– MARISHA: First off– TALIESIN: I tap Beau on the back and make her bow a little bit MARISHA: You don’t have to– okay MATT: “Respectful. I appreciate that.” TALIESIN: Pull her back up MATT: Rissa has backed away to the doorway and is like– and doesn’t want any part in this MARISHA: Yeah. Same, Rissa, same. We will not take up much of your time if you just let us in to go kill this clockwork warden that this guy made. We heard he was quite a problem. Just let us in; we’ll be out of your hair, and you can get back to your work MATT: “Wait, what are you–” And he looks over towards the cloaked gnomish figure to the side “What?” MARISHA: Remember this guy? MATT: He leans forward, and as the cloak is pulled back, Cleff reveals his face a bit. He goes, “Hello there. It’s been a while. How are you doing, Poppin?” He’s like, “Interesting riffraff “you’re bringing to my home this day.” MARISHA: Why do people keep calling us that? TALIESIN: To be fair, we are MATT: “I was referring to Cleff! Cleff, why do you come and bother me with my day’s work? What do you “want? You’re saying something about your little mistake, your problem?” MARISHA: Look, this guy is funding to take care of the spinning death machine that’s in your guys’ basement. This should be a city-funded issue, but this guy is being a good, noble citizen and funding it himself so we can come and make a quick buck and kill your death robot. Can we please just go kill your damn death robot? MATT: He looks at Cleff. “Is this true?” Cleff nods. “Actually, yes. I know it’s been a problem

“for a while and I figured, about time I cleaned up that mess myself, if you don’t mind.” The Wardenhelm stops for a second and looks amongst the rest of you. “Right, okay. You have what “appears to be an interesting crew of exterminators you’ve brought to me. What do you want from me? I “assume you have come here for trade or for looking for some sort of recompense. I would like to know “what that is before we move further into this. No one steps inside here wishing to do us, how you “say? Charity work.” TALIESIN: Oh, of course. That makes perfect sense, and of course a man of your stature would be smart enough to know that such a thing is true. We, honestly– we will admit we may have a favor, a very minor favor, to ask if everything goes well and we do, in fact, survive this encounter. In return, also, we will be gathering very valuable data on how to defeat these sort of automatons, which will be put into your possession and would definitely help you deliver something that could help with the war effort. This sort of data could get back to the people in charge and help them defeat machines in the future. We’re trying new techniques, new ways to defeat these sort of automatons MARISHA: You look like a man who’s willing to climb a ladder TALIESIN: I think you could go far. We’d be happy to help MARISHA: War is a great time for opportunity, my friend TALIESIN: We may discuss, perhaps, if we can help– we have two friends who are currently in your system, and we would be more than happy to discuss a means of maybe resolving their issue with you. Not innocence, but just coming to a conclusion that is mutually agreeable MATT: Make a persuasion check with advantage, with aiding from Beau and a very persuasive argument, actually TALIESIN: Man, I love bullshitting MARISHA: (laughs) High-fivesies from across the table TALIESIN: Persuasion? God, please, for once in your miserable life. Oh man, eight MATT: Oh, buddy LIAM: Not life, just this campaign, Taliesin TALIESIN: I know MATT: “Well, perhaps we can discuss, but I would like to see possibly this deed you wish to do done “first. I do not wish to talk contracts with those who are about to die, if you know what I’m saying.” TALIESIN: Hardly waste your time MARISHA: Who would? MATT: “Very well.” He looks past you to the escort of guards that have followed you in. “Lead them to “the subterranean sealed chamber. Allow them to encounter our issue, and should they survive, “return them to me with proof of the deed. Should they not survive, we will not speak of this ever “again. Good luck. I will be here waiting to hear of your successful endeavor. Now, leave me to my “work.” He goes and sits back down in his chair SAM: We’re doing this now? TALIESIN: Of course we are. Anyone want the node? SAM: If I’m going to be throwing tar at this thing, maybe I should have it TALIESIN: Or Caleb. Well, who’s going to be throwing — MARISHA: Who’s going to be throwing the tar? You with your Mage Hand, maybe? SAM: I could TALIESIN: We’ll heat it up. Caleb will heat it up, you’ll throw it in, and then I’ll be using some ice to try and cool the thing down once it’s in there MARISHA: Yasha and I can try and pin it down, maybe corner it TALIESIN: Once it starts opening up the armor, we’ll just go to that one particular plate and start ripping a hole in it MARISHA: Start ripping the plates off TALIESIN: Chopping the plates off ASHLEY: Okay LIAM: Let’s heat that tar up before entering MARISHA: Let’s get to the door, heat it up– TALIESIN: We’ll get through doors, set the node, set everything we need into action MATT: Cleff and Rissa balk there as you guys are having this conversation. Rissa goes, “If it’s not “a problem, I’ll stay here with my dad and we’ll just wait to hear what happens. We’re not much in “the way of charging into the fray.” LIAM: Of course. You have tasked experts with this job MATT: Of course. Cleff pushes past and goes, “But before you go, I just want once more to express my “extreme gratitude for your putting yourself out there for my well-being. A Tinkertop never forgets “these deeds, and should you return safely, I will be in your debt.” He bows and the cloak (thumps) onto the ground,and he goes, “Oh.” He picks it back up and bows a little less this time MARISHA: Any last tips, Cleff? MATT: “Be careful?” MARISHA: That’s a good one TALIESIN: What kind of feet does it have again? MATT: “Oh, it doesn’t have feet. It rolls.” TALIESIN: Ball bearings? MARISHA: Hamster ball TALIESIN: We’ll see. Slow it down. I don’t know, we’ll find out MARISHA: I don’t know SAM: All right. So the guards will take us down? MATT: You guys currently have a group of six crownsguard from the outside and a couple of prison guards that will lead you there TALIESIN: Tank this, and you’ll be all right. It’s just swords ASHLEY: I want to get a good look at it, but this sounds like a fun challenge TALIESIN: Fjord, you got a plan? Jester? MATT: Jester goes, “Well, don’t die, and if you fall over, I’ll try to get you not on the ground anymore.”

SAM: She can’t. She’s out of spells MATT: How is she out of spells? You guys took a long rest SAM: Didn’t we use a bunch? TALIESIN: No, we took a long rest MATT: She used two Locate Objects, I know that SAM: Those are high-level spells MATT: They’re 2nd-level, I think. Isn’t it? SAM: Okay. Does it say how many spells she has left? TALIESIN: It should MATT: Yeah, Locate Object is 2nd-level MARISHA: To be fair, I think we were going to rest, and we decided against it. We decided to go SAM: Oh, it reset, but she definitely had used some MARISHA: We know she used two– MATT: She’s used two 2nd-level spells ASHLEY: She has used two 2nd-level spells? MATT: So we’ll mark those in there. If she had another, it’s fine. She’s not here to keep track TALIESIN: Do we want her to have anything pre-cast? I don’t think Duplicity will matter, but maybe a Spiritual Weapon already called up? LIAM: Spiritual Weapon is a good idea TALIESIN: Just have it already. Let’s– MATT: Well, it only lasts for a minute TALIESIN: Oh, then let’s wait then. All right SAM: In case this all goes tits-up, do we want to try to talk to these guards and maybe figure out what cell the Schusters are in? TALIESIN: You’re welcome to try SAM: I’m not talking to them. But someone with more charisma than me? TALIESIN: Certainly not me MARISHA: Fjord’s literally the only one that can charm a guard. Unless we bribe a guard LIAM: That is incorrect SAM: Oh. Charming Caleb LIAM: (clears throat) I can speak when I have to MARISHA: Do some Suggestion stuff? SAM: I mean, is that worth doing now? LIAM: No I can just talk TALIESIN: I mean, if we die, does it matter? SAM: No, but I mean if the warden doesn’t give us what we want TALIESIN: We can talk to the guards on the way out SAM: Okay. But we’re in the prison TALIESIN: Yeah, but we’re going to be in the prison when we’re done SAM: All right TALIESIN: That’s fair SAM: Okay TALIESIN: (laughs) Assuming we live MATT: The guards have led you away from that end of the chamber, down the hall, back to the main hallway that enters deeper into the Gearhold Prison. Following that down for another 80 or so feet, that main open hallway comes to an end, and there are a number of other small hallways that protrude. The guards lead you down the one on the left. You can see two immediately that branch off on the far end of that main open way. That left-side pathway leads to a set of stairs that spirals down to a second floor. Then a third floor. Then a fourth floor. The fourth floor is the bottom of these stairs, and you’re now probably guessing, from the time it’s taken you to descend the spiral staircase, maybe an additional 100 to 120 feet below the entrance and the actual level base of the mountain. At this point, you continue down a hallway and there are cells to your right and left. As you enter the space, the cells are very well-fortified, and behind the bars, in the dark, dark red ember-like torchlight that faintly glows and lights elements of this hallway, as you continue down, you can see shapes, humanoid shapes locked behind bars, of all shapes and sizes. As you begin to pass one on the right, you watch as a figure lurches up to the bars, pushes up to the edge, and what faint bit of red light you can see illuminating a face that looks scarred by a large, heavy clawmark down one side, the eye glued shut from the healing process. You see this toothy, rotten grin underneath as a nasty smell of breath emanates from its heavy breathing, and as you pass by, it says, “Hey. Are you going to come back, are you? Where are you going? Where “are you going? Come back!” And you walk past. One of the guards takes their shortsword and clangs it across the metal and goes, “Keep back, keep back.” TALIESIN: Mr. Schuster, you look terrible! I yell very loud to see if anybody responds to the name MATT: To what name? TALIESIN: Mr. Schuster MATT: Schuster? Okay. You listen. Make a perception check SAM: Yeah, sure TALIESIN: Oh, that’s a 15 MATT: Okay. You listen out, and you hear a few voices chuckle and some shifting of people that are now making their way to the front of the cell to see what this arriving group of strangers is, but nothing out of the expected ordinary reacting to that name TALIESIN: Worth a shot MATT: A few other figures push their way to the face, and you can see men and women, you can see decrepit half-elves that look poorly nourished You can see humans that look like they’ve smeared themselves with their own foul excrement. You can see a whole nature of people that are in the process of dealing with being locked down here in the subterranean basement level of this prison And then, at the end, you come to what looks to be an iron door that is currently sealed shut, with

what looks to be rung after rung after rung of chains pulled through, across bars, locked with three padlocks MARISHA: Is this the door? MATT: The main guard sitting there goes, “Aye, it is.” He pulls out a ring of keys TALIESIN: When’s the last time you opened it? MATT: “When we sealed it.” ASHLEY: Which was–? MATT: “About a little over two years ago.” MARISHA: How big is this chamber in here? MATT: “It leads down, splits in the middle, and has two more sets of cells in the back side.” MARISHA: Splits in the middle, two more sets of cells on the back side. So it looks like a big fork. Does it have a common way? Or is this thing patrolling halls? MATT: “I don’t know.” LIAM: And what will happen when we go inside here? Are you locking us in? MATT: “Damn right.” TALIESIN: Until we knock on the door, I imagine LIAM: Until which MATT: With that, one latch, and one lock comes free, pulls it off, and hands it to the guard SAM: I’m going to look at the– MATT: Second lock, comes free SAM: –the dodecahedron while we’re at it MATT: You take a moment to concentrate on it MARISHA: Should we heat up the tar? TALIESIN: Let’s heat up the tar LIAM: Okay Nott, can you lift that thing up for me? SAM: Lift? TALIESIN: I’ll hold it since you’re doing the thing SAM: Oh, sure LIAM: Well, it’s going to scald the bejeezus out of your hands if I– SAM: Okay, I’ll use Mage Hand to hold it up TALIESIN: I also have immunity to flame, so, or not quite immunity, but I don’t really mind flame LIAM: Well, I could semi-burn your hands, or not burn Nott’s make-believe one SAM: Yeah, I’ll hold it with my Mage Hand MATT: All right. So with that, the bucket of tar is now being held aloft from the floating, spectral Mage Hand that Nott is controlling TALIESIN: We’ll probably need some light in here, too MARISHA: So, he can cast two spells; they have to be at third level MATT: Correct MARISHA: And his cantrips are– So if he casts Armor of Agathys, it’s going to take up one of his levels MATT: Correct MARISHA: And Hex would be another one? MATT: Correct LIAM: Everybody back away from this bucket. And I crackle my hands and send a Fire Bolt at the bottom of it MATT: All right. So being careful not to destroy the bucket itself, which, while it is made of metal, you’re uncertain of its structural integrity, but you do focus on a little, slow burn of this flame, controlling the Fire Bolt to be a gradual burn. As you do, you watch as the metal iron of the bottom of this bucket begin to heat to a dull orange, into a brighter orange. And after a few moments of concentrating, you can see a faint (bubbling). The tar seems to be heating and to a fairly more liquidy consistency than its rather cold and more solid form that you found it in TALIESIN: Excellent LIAM: That is the most relaxed that spell has ever gone MATT: (laughs) At which point the third lock comes off. The guards begin pulling the chains through the various loops until eventually the door is exposed, (creaking) opens. And on the inside, there’s a few steps that descend into what looks to be a double door beyond that. One of the doors is partially opened and it is darkness with a faint red glow beyond that MARISHA: This place is creepy as shit TALIESIN: I turn to one of the guards. Is there any light in there, or are we going to need to bring our own? MATT: “There’s probably some light, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own, especially for “that one.” And points to Caleb LIAM: Yasha, could I borrow a torch from you? ASHLEY: Yes, of course LIAM: So your hands are free to work ASHLEY: Yes. Good idea. Here LIAM: Danke MARISHA: Fjord’s going to cast Armor of Agathys on himself MATT: So as Fjord touches the front of his chest armor, you watch as the cold air solidifies, getting this mist and bits of ice crystal protruding from his leather armor MARISHA: Hope that is a good call. What would Fjord do? And Beau puts on her goggles MATT: You got it MARISHA: (like Fjord) Eldritch Blast MATT: As all of you are ushered past the metal door, the guards all gather on the opposite side, and the lead guard of the unit goes, “Very well May the Platinum Dragon guide you.” Closes the door and you hear the chains on the opposite side being locked, as you all turn back, looking down the six or seven feet of descending stairs before it levels into the double doors, partially opened and the darkness beyond. And that’s where we’re going to take a quick break SAM: Ah! Oh, but we were about to fight MATT: Well, we’re going to dive into that, just because if we go into a battle, it might take a little while. We’ll take the break now, before that, and then we can dive into it immediately as we return LIAM: Let’s try diplomacy MATT: Perfect. Shiny blade balls are easy to talk to

MARISHA: Dear spinning death machine TALIESIN: Fantasmagoria. I’m definitely having some, yeah MATT: All righty, guys. So, we’ll be back here in a few minutes, we’re going to take a five or ten minute break to get ourselves comfy, (like Rissa) “food, water, and other releases of functions.” MARISHA: Thanks, Rissa MATT: And we’ll see you guys here in just a moment, so hang tight in the chat if you want to We’ll have a couple of fun videos to watch, and once again, if you haven’t seen the Kickstarter of these awesome minis, you can go to critrole.com for all that information. They have the links there to the Kickstarter. The guys at Steamforged have done an amazing job and we hope you like them. All right, we’ll see you here in a few minutes MATT: And welcome back. Wow (laughter) LIAM: Wow indeed MATT: Indeed. So welcome back. Coming back into the game. You have all descended down and reached the double doors, partially open, and stepped quietly into the interior chamber of this sealed portion of the Gearhold Prison. There is what looks like a faint flicker of those same ember-light torches that give off faint bits of red glow, but a number the walls seem to have been damaged. Actually, as you step inside, you get a quick look. The doors that are behind you and the walls around you are scraped and gashed from hundreds and hundreds of blade marks. It looks like whatever in here has spent a lot of time grinding around and looking of a means of escape or patrolling with its blades out over and over again. Parts of the walls have fallen in a bit and there is rubble in areas where it’s starting to erode away the interior of this sealed chamber But everywhere you look: to the right, left, and along the ground all you see are hundreds and hundreds of blade-like grooves in the stone SAM: That’s not good ASHLEY: This is as, you know, I’ve heard the kids say these days: Creepy AF TALIESIN: Actually, it’s got eyes and not ears, I don’t think. When we saw the blueprints was there any way for it to detect sound or was it all visual? MATT: Without your massive intelligence roll, you weren’t able to discern that information, unfortunately TALIESIN: All right MARISHA: (whispering) I’m going to assume yes. Hey Jester! (cooing) TALIESIN: Let’s pretend we’re whispering MARISHA: (cooing) Okay. Maybe Pass Without a Trace, Jester? (cooing) TALIESIN: We can do that. Let’s cast Pass Without a Trace. I’m going to light up my sword MATT: That is a 2nd-level spell, if I recall TALIESIN: That would be our last 2nd-level spell Wait, let’s– MARISHA: Maybe not TALIESIN: Maybe not Pass Without a Trace, because once it sees us it doesn’t matter anymore So let’s not do that yet MARISHA: Okay. Nevermind. Keep going TALIESIN: I’m going to light up my swords MATT: Both of them? TALIESIN: Yeah, with ice MATT: Okay TALIESIN: That brings me down to 49 hit points, so that’s fun. Wow, that’ll be a lot of fun. That’s thrilling. There’s a door over there. Do you want to sneak over and see? SAM: Sure. I’ll sneak over to the door and try to unlock it MATT: Over here? SAM: Or see if it’s locked MATT: All right. It is a set of prison bars. There is a gate that is currently locked. The bars themselves, once again, you can see rows and rows of gashes and scrapes across the metal. They’re bowed in a bit from impacts repeatedly. It’s slightly bent inward. You can attempt to pick a lock, if you’d like SAM: I’ll pick a lock MATT: Go ahead and roll. That’s proficiency bonus plus dexterity SAM: That’s is a 14 MATT: A 14. (clicking) It’s not triggering the lock. These are not easy locks to get through They’re designed to hold prisoners, unfortunately, so they’re fairly hardy locks. You spend a while with it and are unable to hit those tumblers. It looks like it’s not going to open. Make a perception check as you’re looking through the bars SAM: Four LIAM: I sneak up behind Nott MATT: All right LIAM: (whispering) I can open this if you need me to. I just like to save my shit SAM: I don’t know what’s in it. I can’t see anything through it, can I? MATT: Not with that perception roll, no. You see bits of rock. You see some cloth on the ground, that’s it MARISHA: Caleb, maybe save your shit for afterwards LIAM: Also if I were to unlock it, it would be loud, so that’s not good TALIESIN: Can we put some light in there and maybe take a look at what’s in there? SAM: What’s in that room? TALIESIN: Yeah. Since we have an orb up, don’t we? No, we have a torch MATT: Yasha, you have the torch right? No, Caleb has the torch TALIESIN: Caleb, you want to use the torch to take a look in there, maybe? I’m keeping an eye through

this hallway and I think I’m going to slowly start scooting MATT: Start scooting this way? TALIESIN: But against the wall SAM: What an amazing mini TALIESIN: Thank you MATT: Yeah. These are the painted prototypes to give you a little bit of a glance of what these will look like. There are a few changes for the final designs, of course, but these will give you an idea. All righty. There’s Molly on that side Caleb, as you hold the torch up at the bars and look through, make a perception check with advantage. As you’re following off Nott’s lead and it’s small chamber, you can make out quite a bit of detail LIAM: Oh, that’s good. 19 MATT: Good. Glancing inside, you see that whatever scrape marks that mar the interior of this main chamber, there are none within this cell. Whatever this creature, this Gearkeeper construct is, it did not manage to breach these gates. However, on the opposite side you see three different bed set-ups for prisoners. Some that seem, either they were trying to claw their way out, or the impact of slamming on the other walls caused bits of it to fall in and collapse. There are piles of stone and fallen earth on the other side. You see three skeletons. They look like they’ve been decomposing for quite some time. Probably prisoners that couldn’t escape, and had no other way out ASHLEY: That’s sucks SAM: That’s rough LIAM: Okay, we can check this off our list, probably. There are some dead inmates in here SAM: If the thing comes out here we’re all dead so we should probably figure out a way to stop it TALIESIN: We can all get in that room if we have to SAM: All right, but I can’t open it MARISHA: Normally you don’t want to get trapped in a room with something bigger and spinning with 12 blades. I think we’d be better off holding this choke point TALIESIN: That’s the hope, but we have these other options over here. Is there anything I can see from my perspective, from where I’m standing right now? MATT: Make a perception check TALIESIN: I knew you’d say that. That’s a 16 MATT: Your dark vision is 60 feet correct? You can just make out the details of another interior chamber. Looking within, portions of the walls inside are also equally scraped apart. Edges of the fine, well-set stonework have been marred with repeated gashes all over. It looks like beyond that there was another prison cell, but those bars have been breached, as they are currently bent, gnarled, and twisted and pulled out of place. The cell beyond it appears to be open MARISHA: I’m going to move up and go to the opposite side of where Molly is and peek down the opposite way, just like he did MATT: Anybody else moving anywhere? LIAM: While people are moving around the room I whisper: Just for our options here. If we want to kick this off and don’t mind getting its attention, I can magically unlock this door here, which will make a sound, and then instantly lock it. If we wanted to, we could all hustle inside here, and maybe attack at range? Just as an option SAM: Does the door have holes? MATT: The door is open but there are bars on this SAM: That’s not a door, it’s just a cage MATT: Yes, and it’s partially bent inward from the impact. It looks like it sustained quite a bit of brunt force to it over time LAIM: That would put Beau and Yasha at a disadvantage, but the rest of us could take pot shots at it from in here MARISHA: You know, I like that idea. Maybe Yasha and I can stand and hide and crouch in the corners while you guys get its attention and shoot it from range. What I would be afraid of is if we were all in there, and it eventually did what it did to those bars over there, and busted in. And we were all sitting ducks on the inside LIAM: Well I could be wrong, but with what I know how to do, I don’t think it can do that to this door, for a short amount of time MARISHA: It looks like it– TALIESIN: Do you have a plan? LIAM: Well, I’m talking about magic. I can magically seal this door. Unless it has a way to deal with that, it will not be able to get through SAM: That’s pretty good. Let’s move quickly, though MATT: Make an intelligence check, Caleb, if you don’t mind LIAM: That is 15 MATT: 15. Okay. You were referring. I believe, to the spell Arcane Lock, right? LIAM: “Impassable until it is broken, or the spell is dispelled or suppressed.” MATT: Yep. It can still be forced open; it’s just a higher DC to do so. It’s possible, but it makes

it a much harder door to break through LIAM: Okay MATT: You have a valid point to what you’re saying, yes MARISHA: Can I still complete my perception check and see if I see down here? MATT: Go for it. Make a perception check MARISHA: Not great. Seven MATT: Seven? Unfortunately, even with your darkvision, it’s hard to look past that way. You can see another chamber. At your current vantage point, it’s a little bit out of the way. It looks like there’s not enough information. You’d have to get a little closer to make out the details MARISHA: Is there anything that would warrant a couple people hiding while some people got in the thing? Is there something that looks like Yasha and I could maybe hide? I’m a little disadvantage looking at this angle MATT: There are some piles of rubble and portions of the walls that have collapsed inwards TALIESIN: So you can get up and get a little height if you want and we can also– SAM: If we went inside that room, though– TALIESIN: Those with range SAM: The creature would probably give up and go back into hiding until we came out, I would assume TALIESIN: Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it would keep pounding until you died MARISHA: You could still Mage Hand the tar between the bars, right? SAM: Sure MARISHA: Let’s try it! TALIESIN: We don’t even have to put the tar inside, it could be outside MARISHA: That’s what I’m saying. Caleb, can you lift that gate spell if we need to get back out? LIAM: Yeah, instantly TALIESIN: All right, Yasha, we’re going to be on the outside, then? ASHLEY: Yep SAM: That’s scary and dangerous TALIESIN: This is scary and dangerous work MARISHA: Wait, are you and Yasha going to be on the outside? TALIESIN: Well, we don’t have any range MARISHA: Neither do I TALIESIN: You’re going to be on the outside too. I thought we’d put all the ranged people in there and draw its attention to attack them, and then while it’s there we can all gang up on it ASHLEY: Three Amigos? SAM: It’s a terrible idea, but go for it MATT: So, what are you guys doing? MARISHA: Yeah, let’s do it LIAM: So you bruisers, you’re staying out here? MARISHA: But we’re going to hide amongst this rubble on the opposite side and you guys are going to start MATT: Yasha, where are you moving to? ASHLEY: We’re going to hide behind the rubble MATT: Right here? ASHLEY: And Beau as well MATT: Beau, you’re moving over here as well? MARISHA: Yeah. Can I get up on top of the rubble and crouch down? TALIESIN: I’m going to attempt to hide in the corner MATT: It’s going to be hard to hide and climb it as well. We can do about there, as good as we can get, there TALIESIN: Oh, Yasha, before I forget, I got you something ASHLEY: You did? TALIESIN: I hand her one of the silk flowers from the festival. It doesn’t press well, but, you know ASHLEY: It is going to be very special. Thank you, Molly TALIESIN: Got for you if we live MATT: Molly, are you staying there? TALIESIN: Yeah. I’m going to stay super crouched SAM: Does Jester have her Spiritual Weapon out? MATT: She doesn’t yet SAM: Okay. Maybe we should get it ready LIAM: Wait SAM: Wait, what? LIAM: I do not have the components I need for Arcane Lock. Damn it MARISHA: What do you need? LIAM: A lot of gold dust MARISHA: A lot of gold dust? SAM: We can make some, right now! MARISHA: I know! Can we grind some gold really fast? File some? SAM: Quietly! MARISHA: Quietly file down gold coins? SAM: All right, well, plan B ASHLEY: Plan B. That’s fine SAM: Do you want me to scout ahead to the area that you’ve seen? TALIESIN: Or the cat SAM: Or the cat, yes. How about the cat goes to the area where Molly has seen. Which, Liam, for you, is the bottom left of the picture I sent you MATT: So where are you sending Frumpkin? LIAM: Into the last unexplored room SAM: No, this is the one that– TALIESIN: The first unexplored room SAM: The first explored room, that Molly has seen a little bit of LIAM, Sorry. I was looking at my spellbook and not paying attention to you lot. What were you hoping me to do? SAM: Send the cat TALIESIN: Sending the cat to take a look– MARISHA: Scout with the cat. Kitty scout TALIESIN: This may be the end of the cat LIAM: Yeah, okay. I’m going to back as far away from that door as I can, and I will send Frumpkin in MATT: Moving back in the corner with Beau and Yasha. Right about there, we’ll say LIAM: Ladies MATT: You begin to focus and Frumpkin heads to the right side of the fork into the chamber you’ve already looked into, towards the open cell doors that are currently pried off that archway. As Frumpkin glances past, make a stealth check for Frumpkin LIAM: Yep. Oh. I don’t have the cat paper with me in this state that I’m in, because I didn’t know

I’d be playing MATT: That’s okay LIAM: So I rolled a 15 MATT: Rolled a 15? Okay LIAM. Yeah. Let’s go with that TALIESIN: 15 plus cat MATT: All right. Frumpkin glances inside this busted cell and sees– what I’m using as an interpretation of– a large spherical metal object that’s about eight feet diameter on any side. It looks like a series of overlapping metal plates that look clustered together at odd angles Elements of it look scraped and dented. It looks like it’s been doing some serious damage to it over time. As it sits there, resting, and Frumpkin approaches, you watch one of the tiny little metal plates (squeak) open, a lens pokes out towards Frumpkin, withdraws back in. The plate closes and about six of these long blade-like spider legs stick out of it as it pulls back and begins to roll forward at a very extreme pace LIAM: I snap Frumpkin out of there MATT: It rolls forward. Frumpkin just manages to bamf out of this dimension as the object slams into the opposite wall. You guys feel the entire chamber suddenly (crash) from the impact and you hear this scraping of metal in the distance SAM: I’m going to re-cast Mage Hand and pick up the bucket of tar MATT: It rolls across the way and disappears into the other chamber MARISHA: I’m going to stealthily move forward, back where I was across from Molly MATT: Go ahead and make a stealth check, please MARISHA: Jesus Christ. This just got really– TALIESIN: I have an interesting idea MATT: Nott, where do you want to go? SAM: Towards the narrower hallway MATT: Here? SAM: Yeah, just on the edge of it. Do I hear any movement or anything? MATT: You do hear the same object shifting on the other side MARISHA: 15 MATT: 15? Okay MARISHA: Oh no MATT: Nott, as you’re there at the edge, and Beau’s there. You glance in, now that you guys are close enough you can see shifting in there. You pay attention and you can see this other chamber is open with another cell off to the side. It slams into that door, spins around, and one of the lenses peeks around the corner right at where Beau had just moved into the far corner TALIESIN: Jester is going to cast her Spiritual Weapon and put it right in the center of– SAM: The room? TALIESIN: Yeah. A big nice shiny object to distract MATT: Where’s Fjord going? Because we’re about to go into combat TALIESIN: Are we all pulling against the walls? MARISHA: Where is Fjord going? Make Fjord go by the gate, maybe. Back a bit. Then Beau is going to take out those ball bearings ASHLEY: Can we put Jester in the corner? MATT: Jester can back up there MARISHA: Let’s not kill our friends’ D&D characters MATT: I need all of you to roll initiative MARISHA: If we still have a bit of an action, I’m going to toss my bag of ball bearings and try and throw a bunch of ball bearings right here LIAM: Sam, can you take a new picture and send it to me? MATT: You throw the ball bearings out clattering As that happens, the legs, which are still out, rear backward and they retract as it runs itself rolling forward in your direction, ricocheting off that wall. The ball bearings, as it grinds across the bottom, get fired off like small impact bullets from the grinding of the metal plates and the force of it hitting. I need both Nott and Beau to make dexterity saving throws SAM: Oh god! Save? 21 MATT: 21 MARISHA: Oh wait, not with advantage, or no? MATT: Not with advantage. Just a single roll MARISHA: Okay, 18 then MATT: You guys both manage to just duck out of the way, they don’t seem to hit you. It’s only a handful of them that upon the impact of it hitting stone and being pressured beneath, they shoot off in your direction MARISHA: Molly, ball bearings didn’t work! Rolling for initiative? MATT: Initiative rolls, guys. Roll for yourself, Beau, and then roll for Jester and Fjord as well TALIESIN: I’ll roll for Jester MARISHA: I’m rolling for Fjord MATT: 25 to 20? MARISHA: Hang on TALIESIN: So fucked MARISHA: Sorry. Another person’s character MATT: 25 to 20 anybody? 20 to 15?

ASHLEY: 19 SAM: Whoa! Who are you? ASHLEY: I don’t know! But I don’t know what to do this early on TALIESIN: It’s going to be a lot of dodging MATT: 15 to ten? MARISHA: Fjord is 14. Beau is ten MATT: All right. Ten to five? SAM: Seven LIAM: Six TALIESIN: Seven for me as well. And Jester is six MATT: Caleb and Jester are in the same– SAM: Caleb and Jester are six, Molly and Nott are both seven MATT: Seven, got it! Top of the round, as you see it come riding and curve around the corner and slam into that wall, the stone bends inward even further and bits of the masonry flake and fall off to the ground, clattering and small bits of stone It turns, and you can see now the six spider-like blade legs sticking out of it. Six more shoot out of the top of it, and all begin whirling around and begin spinning. There, amongst this chaos, you see the lens sitting right there, just barely peeking through its armored shell. Yasha, you’re up first ASHLEY: Okay, I would like to rage MATT: All righty ASHLEY: It’s the time. Do I just go in? SAM: This is it ASHLEY: Can I get to it? MATT: (counting) You just barely get into its range with your barbarian speed. You rush in, anger on your face. You draw your Magician’s Judge blade in the air ASHLEY: Oh no TALIESIN: Do you have advantage? ASHLEY: I didn’t reckless. 11 MATT: 11, unfortunately, does not hit. Your blade scrapes across its armored exterior, not finding purchase in any of its innards ASHLEY: Divine Fury, can you do it on the first or only if the first– MATT: The first attack that hits ASHLEY: That first attack that hits MATT: Correct ASHLEY: Can I use my extra attack? MATT: Yeah, you get that every round ASHLEY: That’s better. That’s 21 MATT: 21 hits! Roll damage SAM: This is it TALIESIN: We’re so fucked SAM: Kick it in the ball! ASHLEY: Okay! 12 MATT: You roll 2d6 for the weapon, 3d6 for the Divine Fury. Oh no, it’s additional half your level ASHLEY: Yeah. Plus three. It’s 2d6 plus three MATT: 2d6 plus three, right? ASHLEY: Yeah. So 12 MATT: 12, and then your rage damage, which is two ASHLEY: Oh right! Yeah, 14 TALIESIN: Is it Divine Fury still? ASHLEY: No, because that’s only the first MATT: Well no, it’s the first attack that hit That’s what I’m saying. You get Divine Fury for this hit because your first one hit, this one does get it ASHLEY: Okay! So an extra d6. Oops. Okay, an extra two. So 16 total MATT: Okay. With that– SAM: Clang! MATT: The first strikes off. The second one you bring down. The blade carves down and one of its metal arms bends off to the side. The blade digs into the gears. Yasha’s blade finds its way in Sparks go streaking off and the blade gets jettisoned off. You have to hold it before it gets shot off the side of it, the clockwork pushing it out of its innards. The armor plate clicks over and guards its space ASHLEY: Okay. I’ll stay TALIESIN: Did it lose a blade just now? MATT: It looks like it’s bent back a bit. That ends Yasha’s turn. Fjord is up next SAM: Yeah, Fjord! MARISHA: Fjord’s going to cast Hex! TALIESIN: Hex, ma’am! MARISHA: I’m going to Hex that “robit.” TALIESIN: Hex the “robit.” MATT: The “robit” is a-hexed MARISHA: Hang on, wait. That doesn’t– no. It doesn’t mess with Armor of Agathys, just checking MATT: You have a concentration on Fjord for this MARISHA: This is Hex. Then he’s going to take his falchion, he’s going to flip it, and from the hilt, he’s going to go (firing). He’s going to cast Eldritch Blast because I saw him do that once before MATT: Like a from-the-hip-shotgun. I like it MARISHA: He did it before. I’m ripping it off from Travis MATT: That’s two shots. Fire twice MARISHA: Pew pew! 15? Seven plus eight MATT: Seven plus eight, 15? You fire, the blast hits and disperses against the armor. It does not hit

MARISHA: Right, that magic shit. He’s going to try it one more time. That bounced. Okay, that’s better. 13 plus seven MATT: 20? 20 does hit. Roll a d10 plus four plus another d6 for Hex. Not a d4, plus four damage to whatever you roll on the d10 MARISHA: I’m sorry. Me don’t know how. Six, sorry Five plus four is nine damage SAM: Plus three from? MARISHA: No, that’s it. I rolled a three and a two plus a four. It’s not a lot of damage. I rolled crappy MATT: The second one does manage to pierce some of its armor. Within the interior of it, there’s a flash of green on the inside. You see it curl around from the interior, looking like cracks in the armor are suddenly glowing and then no more That finishes Fjord’s action and bonus action MARISHA: What did you roll to hit? ASHLEY: Say again? MARISHA: What did you roll to hit? ASHLEY: Rolled a 21 MARISHA: 21. So we know 20 hits TALIESIN: Thank you MARISHA: Now, Beauregard– MATT: Is Fjord going to stay where he is? MARISHA: Yes, because I’m scared. Beau is going to– MATT: Beau doesn’t go yet because it’s now the Gearkeeper’s turn MARISHA: I’m sorry MATT: That’s okay MARISHA: I didn’t know MATT: That’s all right SAM: The Gearkeeper MATT: Beginning of its turn, it’s going to attempt to roll over Yasha to go into the chamber. Yasha, you need to make an athletics or acrobatics check ASHLEY: Okay, okay, okay MATT: You’re raging, so you have advantage on your acrobatics check TALIESIN: That athletics is already sweet, though ASHLEY: Oof. Oh. Nine MATT: No. First off, you suffer– ASHLEY: I rolled the wrong ones MATT: Seven points of piercing damage as it rolls over and the blades kick into you ASHLEY: Is that halved because I’m raging? MATT: It is halved. An additional three points of bludgeoning damage as you are crushed beneath its weight, and you are knocked prone ASHLEY: That’s a total of– you said three and– I’m sorry MATT: It was seven before three. So it’ll be ten halved, so you take five points of damage ASHLEY: Five points of damage, okay MATT: It does roll past here, stopping at this point. It’d be about here, I think. As it spins in this direction, the things that drew its attention originally, which is Beau and Nott in that corner Nott, you do get an attack of opportunity with a melee weapon, if you have one, but you have your crossbow out? SAM: I probably have my crossbow out MATT: So yeah, you don’t do much of an attack there SAM: I’ll hit it with my crossbow MATT: Roll an attack. Improvised weapon for a melee SAM: Yeah. 18 MATT: 18 just hits MARISHA: 18 is what hits, y’all! SAM: Do I get a point of damage? MATT: You get a point of damage on it SAM: Yeah! Eat it! MATT: Your hand crossbow, as you slam into it, you look back and it looks like some of the wood is splintered somewhat. You’re like, “Oh.” It’s not enough to the point where it looks like it’s not going to function, maybe, but it’s going to need some repairs SAM: I need a new crossbow, is what I need MATT: Well, there you go. As it turns around, the front of it, where the lens is, the lens retracts in. The plates in front suddenly open, leaving this open, black, vacuous space, like a mouth or a gate, opens in front. You hear this very high, whirring, winding sound. You see sparks inside, and a blast of heated shrapnel shoots outward in a 30 foot spray SAM: It can do that?! MATT: Against both of you, right there SAM: Cleff, you madman MATT: I need you both to make a dexterity saving throw, please SAM: Oh, rough. 12 MARISHA: That’s not too bad. 22 MATT: Success, so you take half damage MARISHA: Okay MATT: That is 25 points of piercing damage to you Nott SAM: Because I hit it with my thing, do I no longer have a reaction? MATT: Correct SAM: Oh, shit MATT: Now you know about the reactions ASHLEY: 25 points of damage? MATT: Of piercing damage, and halved for you, so you take 12 MARISHA: 12 MATT: Its shrapnel blast is done. That’s the end of its turn. That brings us to Beau. You’re up MARISHA: Okay. Being hit with hot shrapnel, I’m going to do a cool pole vault over Nott MATT: Over this way?

MARISHA: I guess. Wait, where’s Yasha? Yasha’s here? MATT: Yasha’s prone on the ground MARISHA: I’ll get on the other side of where Yasha will eventually be MATT: Oh, so around here? MARISHA: Uh-huh. On this side of it MATT: You’re moving into melee? MARISHA: Yep MATT: Got it MARISHA: Then attack! MATT: Go for it MARISHA: Whack it with my stick. I’m going to try and jam it up in between one of those gears TALIESIN: You also have the mouth you can throw the tar up in there MARISHA: That’s terrible. That doesn’t hit, that’s like, ten MATT: Ten misses. The first strike with your staff just scrapes off of its armor, no impact MARISHA: I’m going to readjust and try and go for it again. That’s the exact same roll. Those are two twos in a row MATT: The second one, you strike again. This time, one of the blades swings outward, and thankfully, the blade doesn’t hit the staff to cut the wood, however, it does, the backhand, impact it and prevent the blow from actually striking its body MARISHA: Two twos MATT: That’s not fun MARISHA: I guess I will do an unarmed attack MATT: You go and punch the armored sphere MARISHA: So frustrated that I can’t get my staff up there, I’m just going to go and try and whack it with my fist MATT: Go for it MARISHA: 17, which just misses MATT: It just misses. Well, not so much a miss You hit it, but you go (metallic clang), “Oh!” You can feel that from the knuckles right to the funny bone MARISHA: Do I have any more movement? MATT: From there, you have ten feet MARISHA: Can I back up towards, or even get this– I’m just going to stay where I am MATT: Okay. Finishing Beau’s turn, that brings us to Nott and Molly– MARISHA: Oh wait, hang on, as a bonus act– no. I used my bonus action. Fuck. Okay, keep going SAM: Is its lens out? MATT: Its lens appears to be out currently, just surveying the scenario, yes SAM: So go for the lens? TALIESIN: Go for it SAM: Bonus action, I will use the Mage Hand to deliver the tar right on that lens MATT: I’ll say, for the purposes of aiming on this, with your intention, go ahead and make a d20 attack roll adding your perception bonus SAM: There is no bonus to that. Well that’s– how do you feel about that? Well, it fell so we’ll never know what it was. 17! MATT: 17! I’ll say, for the purposes of that, because it’s not armor you’re trying to strike through, it’s just trying to aim for a position, that will be enough. The tar, with a toss, (splashing) all across the lens. You see the sticky, still warm, thick tar spray onto it, and get inside the interior of its armor for the moment. The lens starts (swift movements), and you hear what previously was, now that it’s close to you, you can hear there’s hundreds and hundreds of small clicks and winding sounds on the inside There’s now a rapid (zipping movements) as the lens is trying to find some sort of direction. It is currently blinded (cheering) SAM: Our plan worked perfectly. How far am I from the thing? MATT: Technically, you are ten feet from it SAM: Do you think I’m in melee range? TALIESIN: Probably MATT: The blades have a bit of reach, so you are technically in melee TALIESIN: That’s a ten-foot blade reach SAM: Can I use my action to disengage? MATT: You can use your action to disengage, yeah Disengage generally is an action SAM: Okay. I will disengage and run MATT: Which direction? SAM: Straight to the place I just came from MATT: All right. You can get there. You can go one more, if you want to SAM: Sure MATT: All right, there you go. You can still keep it in your visual range, but that’s 30 feet back Now you spin around with your crossbow, not suffering any attack of opportunity. All right, Molly TALIESIN: Can I see anywhere where there seems to be a crack in the armor and make a– MATT: You may, yes. Well, you can try and inspect TALIESIN: I want to see if there’s anything that looks like a good target to start doing some damage to MATT: At the moment, it hasn’t taken a lot of damage, and it’s hard to see if any– TALIESIN: Is there a plate open or anything at the moment near me? MATT: The only plate that’s open is the one that has the lens visible, but it’s really close to the body and right now there’s blades spinning in its space TALIESIN: I’m going to try and get to the side without the blade. I’m going to try and chop open one of the plates on the back. I’m going to start hacking away at it. Actually, even with the blades, there’s an open place right now? Is there a place for me to start poking the tender insides? MATT: At the moment, not really. It’s still fresh in battle, and its armor plates are pretty much protecting all of it TALIESIN: I’m going to try and find one armor plate and start going to town MATT: Where are you going to attack its construction? TALIESIN: I want to get to its left hind quarters I’m going to run over to the opposite side, flank it with the lollipop MATT: Oh, with the lollipop? All righty. You’re going to be right there, on top of the door?

TALIESIN: Mm-hmm MATT: All righty, take your attacks TALIESIN: First attack is a natural 20! MATT: Nice! Make your damage on that and roll the second attack. That’s– TALIESIN: 2d6 with ice damage. That’s (counting) 17 points of damage MATT: 17 points of damage. Nice! TALIESIN: Next attack with the same sword Actually, I’m so sorry, that’s the wrong sword That’s 18 points of damage because of the Summer’s Dance MATT: Correct TALIESIN: Then the next one, Summer’s Dance again, is not quite as good, 12. That does not hit MATT: 12 does not, but first strike carves through and some of the armor bends inward. As you cut through, plates bend inward, and have to try and retract to protect, but they’re locked in place You’ve actually bent them to the point where they cannot reform this armored mesh. It’s trying to correct itself, but busted in place. The second strike, as you come down, one of the blades catches and parries it off to the side. No impact on the second blow TALIESIN: Okay. Going for a third strike MATT: Go for it TALIESIN: 14 MATT: 14 does not hit. This is a tough mother. You go to strike a third time. You do hit, but it just doesn’t cut through. The blade shakes a bit. You pull back, cursing yourself TALIESIN: Is it worth seeing if it’s going to– well, it’s blinded, so it’s got disadvantage if it tries to even hit me with an attack, so I’m going to try and back off and climb up that little hill MATT: For those questioning, even though it is blinded, it lowers its attack, because some people are like, “Attacking things with blindness have advantage!”. Because it is nothing but a spinning, whirring of blades, and technically it has multiple forms of sight, it is not granting advantage on the attacks against it TALIESIN: I’m going to try and hop up that hill really quickly MATT: All righty. You try and move this way? TALIESIN: Yep MATT: All right, you’re hopping up this edge TALIESIN: As high as I can get to get out of its range MATT: Okay, so that will be probably over here, best you can for this TALIESIN: Yeah. Right over there is good MATT: You manage to scoot yourself up to that side and climb away. It does swing out towards you. It does have disadvantage on the attack because of the blindness. That will bring it to a 13 to hit TALIESIN: That does not hit MATT: You manage to duck out of the way TALIESIN: And now it doesn’t have a reaction anymore SAM: Ooh, nice MATT: That ends your turn there. That brings us to Caleb and Jester LIAM: [no audio] SAM and TALIESIN: We can’t hear you SAM: Why can’t we hear you? MARISHA: Yeah, we can hear you now. Oh wait, do it again LIAM: Can you hear me right now? ALL: Yes! LIAM: Yeah! Okay. I’ll go, but I can’t see. The map is a pixelated mess of shit from my point of view After Mollymauk cleared the way, is the thing on its own? Is it in a 40-foot cube of empty space, or are any of my allies in it? MATT: No, it is surrounded. There’s Beau to one part of it, it’s about ten feet from Yasha, and about 15 feet from Molly MARISHA: It’s a pretty tight box we’re in TALIESIN: We’re in a tight box LIAM: Slow is out the window. I pull out my clay cat’s paw and mutter a few words, and I will cast Maximilian’s Earthen Grasp. A soil cat’s paw comes up out of the ground and swipes. It needs to make a strength save. 16 MATT: Strength save. That is a 15. What is your DC? LIAM: 16. It’s held in place, and it takes 2d6 damage. Hold on. It takes five points of bludgeoning damage MATT: Five points of damage, got it. It is held in place LIAM: It has to use an action to break out MATT: That it does. That ends your turn, Caleb Are you going to stay back in the corner where you are? LIAM: If I can squish even one square further away from it, I would MATT: You are backed up into the current corner, as far away as you can get. That ends Caleb’s turn. Jester’s up. What are you guys doing with Jester? TALIESIN: First off, we’re going to have the Spiritual Weapon take a swipe right at where the plates are already broken, and hit it again. Which is a bonus action, and a plus seven to hit. Oh, that’s not it. It’s around here somewhere. There it is. That’s a 15 MATT: That was 15 to hit? TALIESIN: Wait, wait. (counting) Yeah, 15 MATT: That does not hit. The lollipop swings down, and then bounces down off the armor. The Spiritual

Weapon is not able to penetrate its armored hide That’s your bonus action. Jester still has an action TALIESIN: I don’t think this is going to do anything MARISHA: (singing) Playing with your friends’ D&D characters! TALIESIN: I was thinking of trying maybe a– SAM: Simple Sacred Flame? TALIESIN: We could do Sacred Flame, or if you were nearer I’d say Cure Wounds. Or we could do a Guiding Bolt ASHLEY: Hey, that’s a classic TALIESIN: (like Jester) “We’re going to do Guiding Bolt.” You roll this one SAM: (imitating Taliesin) We’re going to do Guiding Bolt ASHLEY: That’s a 26 MATT: 26 definitely hits! Roll damage on that TALIESIN: That’s 4d6 radiant damage MATT: Yes, and the next attack on it has advantage ASHLEY: Okay. Come on, Jester. Any pluses? TALIESIN: No, just 4d6 ASHLEY: 14 MATT: 14 points of damage. Nice. As the released Guiding Bolt slams into the side of it, the blast of divine energy explodes. Some of the plates dent inward and now you see this glittering energy that’s entwining its body, giving you a glimmer of some of the weak points to help you hit where it’ll hurt the most. Does that finish Jester’s turn? She going to stay where she is, or is she going to move? TALIESIN: I feel like we should open up a little bit. I think she’s going to see if she can crawl over to the door, so she can hide behind it in case something bad happens MATT: Okay, so she tries to move into the doorway SAM: That door actually opens and closes, Matt? TALIESIN: In fact, she might be smart– she has to keep the Spiritual Weapon in visual range, right? MATT: Yeah TALIESIN: Okay. She’s going to just use that as some cover MATT: Sounds good. So that finishes Jester’s turn Top of the round, Yasha ASHLEY: Okay. So I’m going to (stuttering) pick myself up MATT: That’s half your movement, so you still have 20 feet of movement ASHLEY: Can I flank? Get around so Beau and I are– yeah MATT: Right there. You are now flanking with Beau Your first attack has advantage anyway, because of the Guiding Bolt ASHLEY: Right. That’s right SAM: Up the butt. Does it have a butt, Matt? MATT: You cannot discern any sort of rear end or exhaust port SAM: Does it poop? MATT: You’ll find out, I’m sure ASHLEY: 22 MATT: 22 hits. Roll damage on that first strike TALIESIN: That’s a lot SAM: Everyone poops MARISHA: We can’t see the sphincter! TALIESIN: Oh wait, no! Everybody poops unless they’re an android, because then they must be destroyed MARISHA: Oh yeah, sure. That’s right TALIESIN: Poop, poop ASHLEY: 16 MATT: 16 points of damage. Cutting through bits and pieces of it. Nice. That’s your first strike on it. As you jam down, grinding off, some of the metal plates pull away from it, and once again lock, unable to push back into place. There’s small places where you’re starting to buckle parts of its exterior armor, so its AC actually does go down by one SAM: Ooh! ASHLEY: Oh, okay. So I get another attack? MATT: That’s your first strike. You get a second attack TALIESIN: So we now know at least a 17 will hit ASHLEY: That does not have advantage, right? MATT: You do, because you’re currently flanking with Beau MARISHA: (singing) Because we’re flanking, bitch! ASHLEY: That’s a 25 MATT: 25 does hit. Roll damage ASHLEY: Not an extra, because not Divine Fury? MATT: Correct. Just 2d6 plus five ASHLEY: Okay. That’s 11 MATT: 11 points of damage. Nice! Yasha, busting it out. All right, that finish your turn? LIAM: Just a reminder that everyone is rolling at advantage while the Cat’s Paw holds it ALL: Ooh MATT: Oh, because it’s restrained? Right! TALIESIN: Blinded and restrained right now MATT: Good to know. That finishes Yasha’s turn It’s now Fjord’s go MARISHA: (exaggerated Texan drawl) I do a cowboy saunter up behind the– I go under the lollipop and I use the magical field of the lollipop to make it like me walking through a glitter fog machine. I walk up to him, thank you. I walk up, and I’m going to attack with my falchion MATT: Go for it. Make two strikes with the falchion. First attack with advantage MARISHA: I’m sorry, Travis SAM: That’s exactly how he talks MARISHA: I’ll take that 18, plus that seven MATT: All right, that hits. The first attack, that’s a d8 plus– MARISHA: Plus Hex

MATT: A d8, plus four, plus Hex MARISHA: And then I’m going do Booming Blade with my action. Is that not how this works? MATT: No MARISHA: Okay, no. I’m going to do damage MATT: Booming Blade is a cantrip that only gives you one attack as part of the action MARISHA: Never mind, then I’m just going to hit it real hard MATT: That’s okay MARISHA: Six plus two plus five, so eight plus five MATT: All right, that’s 13 damage MARISHA: See my math? I can only do half. I’m so tired MATT: It’s been a long day. I know. Fjord comes up holding the falchion, hand swings down, carving through, the shadows of the Hex helping the blade dig in that much more. You have a second attack MARISHA: Okay, it’s still advantage, right? MATT: Yep MARISHA: Yeah, hyuck hyuck hyuck. I’ll take that 16 LIAM: Meanwhile, Travis is somewhere singing “Dear Theodosia.” MARISHA: Yeah, somewhere he’s getting a nosebleed while this happens. Four plus four plus five, so 13? MATT: 13 points of damage? That hits again. With that, with Fjord carving into it twice with the blade, each time the falchion is carving through each section, more and more armored pieces are pushing inward. It’s not enough to lower its AC, but it is taking more and more damage. Slowly you’re piercing its heavily protected exterior MARISHA: Do I have any more movement? MATT: Fjord would have, yeah MARISHA: Like ten more? MATT: Ten more feet MARISHA: He’s going to back up to that gate a little bit MATT: One or two steps? MARISHA: Two, if he can MATT: All right. Still in melee MARISHA: He’s still in melee? Okay MATT: It’s a ten foot range. That ends your turn? MARISHA: Yep. That’s Fjord’s turn MATT: All right. That brings us to the Gatekeeper construct. The lens has retracted back into its armor, and you hear this sound (whirring) the lens comes out, and it has cleared the tar from its lens MARISHA: Cleff, you sick bastard! ASHLEY: Damn it! So he did think of that! He put that in his notes! MARISHA: He did! Yeah, he said he didn’t have a failsafe. That lying old bastard ASHLEY: Lying sack of shit MATT: The lens retracts and pops out the back side, immediately scanning the source of what’s currently clutching it, and its dirt-driven arcane paw. The blade arms on the top retract in, and instead these two heavy iron spears lock into place, and both go firing outward towards Caleb SAM: Oh no! Not my sweet boy! MATT: They have disadvantage, because it is restrained. With disadvantage, it’s going to be an 18 to hit for the first one LIAM: Shield MATT: All right LIAM: So it misses MATT: All righty. Second one, 16 and 18. 16 plus eight; it’s going to be 24 LIAM: Oh, that will hit. Those will hit MATT: The first one, the shield (clang). It ricochets off and floats off in the background spinning. The second one, however, pierces through the shield and hits you in the chest LIAM: That’s not going to be good MATT: That’s going to be 17 points of piercing damage LIAM: Good, good, good MATT: And you are pinned to the wall. It actually pierced through your chest and is now holding you into the stone. Your movement is zero, and you are considered restrained against the wall LIAM: I also have to make a concentration check MATT: You do. So go ahead and make a constitution check. With the damage taken, it has to be at least a ten or higher LIAM: Hold on. I rolled a three MATT: No, and with that, the paw is broken SAM: (cat yowl) MARISHA: Shit LIAM: Well, it’s still there. It’s just not holding it. Wait, no, it’s gone MATT: No, it’s gone. You’ve lost concentration on the spell. And it did recharge its shrapnel blast MARISHA: I was really wanting advantage on all my attacks. Oh, but I have Yasha flanking. Okay MATT: That being the case, that’s going to finish its turn. It’s going to stay put. Because the blades now grind out again and begin whirring and spinning around its orb-like body. That brings us to Beau. Beau, at the top of your turn, because you are within five feet of it, you automatically take whirling blade damage by being in proximity LIAM: Matt, was that 17 points of damage? MATT: That was, yes ASHLEY: I’m also in proximity MATT: Yes. So at the top of your turn, you’ll take it as well. That’s six points of slashing damage to you, Beau. Now take your turn MARISHA: Six. Apply changes. (singing) D&D Beyond! SAM: My mustache is falling off, so I better hold it on with another mustache

TALIESIN: No, stop MATT: Fuck you, Sam! MARISHA: Okay. I’m having internet problems. View Okay, I get advantage on this attack, right? MATT: You do, because you’re flanking MARISHA: Okay, I’m going to try and once again get up in those plates SAM: Get up under them plates! MARISHA: That one’s cocked underneath. Okay! MATT: A four and a six MARISHA: No, it was cocked underneath. It was tilted MATT: Okay. That dice is weird for that because then you rolled the d20 twice MARISHA: Then I won’t use it MATT: All right. So roll the second one MARISHA: Okay, 17 plus seven MATT: For the second strike? MARISHA: I rolled both at the same– No, first to strike MATT: The first roll you had was a four on the top, so roll for your second die MARISHA: Okay MATT: Just keeping it kosher MARISHA: Okay. It’s still an 18 MATT: 18 hits, yeah. Go ahead and make your strike with your staff MARISHA: Okay. Four MATT: Four points of damage? MARISHA: Plus another four MATT: So that’s eight. As your staff strikes across it, the wood of it, while damaging, doesn’t seem to be having as strong an impact as you’d hope against its armored form MARISHA: Because it’s not magical? MATT: It seems to be resistant to something that is not magical SAM: Oh no MARISHA: Even though I still hit, can I try to stun it with a Stunning Strike? MATT: Sure. Let’s go ahead and– I’m pretty sure– MARISHA: I haven’t hit anything in so long and I just want to stun something. I’ve had such bad luck the past two fights MATT: I’m so sorry MARISHA: I haven’t been such a good monk LIAM: Yeah. (coughing) That’s rough, buddy SAM: So far we’ve learned today that Fjord sounds like this: (goofy chuckling) MATT: By the rules as written, because it mentions the ki of the inside of the body– there is no ki, but there is a magical core. I’ll say that when you strike the body intending to stun it, while you’re not affecting the ki of a soul, the ki that you’re expending might interfere with its central energy core. So it has to make a constitution saving throw MARISHA: Okay MATT: That’s going to be a 17. What’s the DC? MARISHA: Yeah MATT: It’s a 12 plus five, I’m sorry MARISHA: Yeah, it saves MATT: You have another attack MARISHA: I’m going to do that. Still have advantage, right? MATT: You do MARISHA: Man, it will be really awesome when that monk ability, that’s core of my class, actually works. 17 plus seven MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage for that. Second strike with your staff MARISHA: Six MATT: All right, six MARISHA: Plus another four, so ten total. Sorry MATT: It takes five points of damage as the second strike is still somewhat deflected by the armor of its body MARISHA: Since I have two hits, can I do Extract Aspects? Spend a ki point? MATT: You can. You spend a ki point. Since we’ve changed or errata-ed it, it does not make a saving throw. You just get to learn– MARISHA: I get to learn two things now? MATT: At level six you get to learn two things MARISHA: Can I learn its lowest saving throw ability? MATT: The lowest saving throw ability it has would be charisma (laughter) SAM: Useless! MATT: Not against some spells MARISHA: Hey Molly, you want to mock this asshole to death? TALIESIN: I think it would still go poorly, but let’s see if it comes to it MARISHA: Okay. I’m going to take my last attack MATT: Okay, go for it MARISHA: Still at advantage, right? MATT: Yep MARISHA: Okay, I hit with a 15 plus seven, so a 22 MATT: That hits MARISHA: I have a d6 now. Five damage MATT: Five damage reduced to two. This time, you hit with your fists. Again, it scrapes through the armor, and you’re bleeding at the knuckles from the impact. It’s hard to break through its shell MARISHA: I’m feeling so useful, you guys MATT: This is a rough fight for a monk at level five, unfortunately TALIESIN: I got a crazy idea MATT: That finish your turn, Beau? MARISHA: Yeah, I’m going to stay exactly where I am MATT: Okay, that finishes Beau’s turn. Nott and Molly, you’re up TALIESIN: You first, please SAM: I’m going to scoot around and fire a crossbow at it MATT: Go for it SAM: That’s a 15 plus seven to hit MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage SAM: Is it within melee and stuff? MATT: It is SAM: Well, that wasn’t good at all! TALIESIN: Hey, Beau SAM: That’s eight MATT: Eight points of damage, reduce that in half because it’s a non-magical source. That’s four points of piercing to it SAM: I’ll use my Fury Of The Small. That’s another five points MARISHA: Are you using my friend’s success to try and make me feel better? TALIESIN: No, he actually only did four points of damage. Sam only did four MARISHA: Oh, you’re trying to use my friend’s failure to make me feel better MATT: It gets stuck in some of the gears. You see some sparks from the inside, but it doesn’t fully

pierce its shell SAM: Terrible. I can’t really do anything. You know what, I’ll take out my last burning bolt, that should be magical, load it up and fire that MATT: Go for it. That is a magical bolt SAM: But that doesn’t hit. I just wasted it. It’s 14 MATT: The bolt doesn’t impact. It just glides off the armor. It lands somewhere in the distance. You don’t know if it’s retrievable or not yet SAM: Damn it! MARISHA: It’s impossible to take you seriously SAM: What are you talking about? TALIESIN: I can’t even– I’m rooting for Nott, then I look at you and I feel weird MATT: Molly, you’re up SAM: I’m going to duck back a little bit TALIESIN: I’m going to run in and try to do a little bit more damage in here. I’m coming in and taking three more shots. I caught it. It’s all good. That one misses MATT: All right, you move in. Go for it TALIESIN: That one hits. That’s a 19 MATT: First strike it dodges; it moves out of the way. The second strike actually makes an impact, so roll for that TALIESIN: That’s okay. (counting) That’s 12 points of damage MATT: 12 points of damage, all righty. Carves through with the second strike TALIESIN: For a third, slightly less exciting attack. Natural 20! MATT: This is your off-hand, so it’s not a magical weapon TALIESIN: But its magicked up MATT: Correct, so the extra rite damage is magical, but the actual blade will be halved TALIESIN: Okay, that’s fine MATT: So roll the d6 for your blade TALIESIN: That’s two to three, so that’s five MATT: Five reduced to two. So two damage plus this, doubled. Well no, sorry, the two is doubled because it was a crit. So it would have been four plus three, which is seven TALIESIN: So it was a five MATT: Sure, it’s five damage TALIESIN: And then six because this is doubled MATT: So 11 points of damage. Now the armor is reduced to 16 as you’re carving away at its armored shell. It’s starting to look pretty hurt You see it shifting rapidly trying to figure out its situation and tactically maneuver best it can TALIESIN: I’m going to see if I can hop back up out of– am I ever getting out of melee, or am I not getting out of melee? MATT: If you back all the way up to here, you can Or all the way up to the top TALIESIN: It will still get an attack of opportunity on me, though. Without disadvantage now MATT: At the moment, no TALIESIN: You know, I’m going to stick around for now MATT: Okay TALIESIN: I’m going to keep a flanking point. I’m going to move a little bit, so that we’re spread out around it. So it has to make some decisions SAM: Can he use the rest of his movement to work on his Jester accent? MATT: Sure TALIESIN: That’s going to be a lot of movement MATT: Caleb and Jester, you’re up next. Caleb, you’re currently pinned to the wall. You’re muted also, I can’t hear you LIAM: What comes after Jester and I in the initiative order? MATT: Yasha does LIAM: Yasha does, and then the thing? MATT: Yes, Yasha, Fjord, and then the thing MARISHA: And Jester is with you LIAM: Yeah, I know. I’m having trouble thinking straight because there is a blade through my gut and my rib cage. So I grasp the cat’s paw again, I don’t try to pull myself loose, and I cast Maximilian’s Earthen Paw again. Strength save MATT: As the paw reaches out once more to grab it– that is a 19. 14 plus five. Sorry, man You’re still maintaining concentration, but it did not seem to grasp it at this moment. All right, that ends Caleb’s turn. Jester’s up MARISHA: No, don’t do that! Go back. Sorry, keep going TALIESIN: Should I try something offensive or healing-based, do you think? How are you doing, Caleb? LIAM: Bad TALIESIN: Okay, so we’re going to do this. We’re going to run out and cast Healing Word on Caleb MATT: Okay, so step back through the door a little bit there. What level? TALIESIN: Level one MATT: So a d4 plus four to Caleb TALIESIN: Yes, 1d4 plus four. So that’s seven points MATT: Caleb, you heal seven points. That’s a bonus action from Jester. What’s next? You can only use a cantrip since you’ve cast a bonus action spell ASHLEY: So the Spiritual Weapon? MATT: Spiritual Weapon is a bonus action spell You’ve already used the Healing Word, unfortunately TALIESIN: But I can use my action for the bonus action

MATT: It doesn’t work that way TALIESIN: You can’t up a bonus action to an action? MATT: No TALIESIN: Man! So I can’t cast anything higher than level one either, can I? MATT: Or a cantrip TALIESIN: I can only cast cantrip at this point. I would have done that in the reverse order if I had been thinking about things. Well, what do I got? I got a– oh! MATT: But Caleb’s healed a little bit TALIESIN: Caleb’s healed and that’s good. Do we want to try? ASHLEY: Yeah, I say give it a go TALIESIN: Let’s try Toll the Dead MATT: Constitution saving throw? TALIESIN: It’s a wisdom saving throw MATT: Wisdom to Toll the Dead? TALIESIN: You point at one creature you can see within range, and the sound of a– you succeed at a wisdom saving throw or take 1d8 of necrotic MATT: It is wisdom, you are right. So that would put it at a 14. Because it has no wisdom modifier ASHLEY: 15 MATT: 15, so it takes the damage! Go ahead and roll TALIESIN: If the target is missing any of its hit points, it instead takes 1d12 necrotic damage MATT: You’re level five, so it technically– SAM: (Jester voice) Technically! MATT: It’s a 5th-level character, so it’s– MATT and TALIESIN: 2d12 TALIESIN: All right. That’s 17 points of necrotic damage MATT: Not bad for a cantrip! TALIESIN: Boom! MATT: “It’s not too bad.” All right, that’s going to finish Jester’s turn. Does she want to move? TALIESIN: I think she’s going to back up again MATT: Back into the door? You got it. Jester is just on the side there. All right, finishes Jester’s go, Yasha you’re up ASHLEY: Okay, I am going to attack with my– MATT: At the top of your turn, you take blade damage because you’re in proximity to it. That’s ten. You take ten points of piercing damage. So, reduced to five TALIESIN: You’re a beast. You’re great ASHLEY: All right, so, question? I would like to try to use the Dispel Magic portion of my Magician’s Judge SAM: Now? ASHLEY: I don’t know; is that bad? SAM: I don’t know, can you get in there? Is the guts exposed? TALIESIN: Is there enough gut to hit? MATT: There are a couple of pockets where you can see inside of it, but you don’t see the power source. It’s risky ASHLEY: Okay, I’m going to wait MATT: So you’re just taking a strike with it? You have advantage because you’re flanked with Beau MARISHA: I think that’s the best thing I’ve done this whole fight, is flanking MATT: Some fights aren’t great for every class, I’m sorry ASHLEY: 19 MATT: 19 hits! Roll damage TALIESIN: 16 to hit, so that’s not bad MATT: Yep, 16 AC ASHLEY: Okay. 17 points MATT: 17 points! Carving past with the blade. You have a second strike, if you’d like ASHLEY: I would like– Does that also have advantage, or no? MATT: Yeah it is, because you’re flanking ASHLEY: Okay, ooh! 22 MATT: Yeah, that hits. Roll damage again ASHLEY: 16 MATT: 33 points of damage in one round. Yasha doesn’t mess around. That finishes your turn? ASHLEY: Yes MATT: Fjord’s up MARISHA: Okay, Fjord is going to walk up. “I’m a warlock.” First, he’s going to do– I don’t think this is a concentration thing, it’s a bonus action. He’s going to do Hexblade’s Curse MATT: Correct, you can do that SAM: It’s pronounced– SAM, MARISHA, and TALIESIN: (exaggerated Texas drawl) Hexblade’s Curse TALIESIN: So much fun to make fun of him when he’s not here. I think, at some point, you may need another mustache MARISHA: I gain a bonus to damage rolls that equals my proficiency modifier MATT: So an additional three damage per strike MARISHA: An additional three damage! I should have done this forever ago MATT: Yeah, but now you know MARISHA: I’m not a warlock! First attack, still with advantage, right? MATT: No! You’re not flanking with anybody MARISHA: Oh, he’s not. It’s just Yasha and I MATT: So first attack with the falchion MARISHA: Plus seven MATT: That’s two attacks there MARISHA: Oh wait, sorry. But I’ll take it. Those first two attacks, 17 and 14 MATT: Yeah, both will hit, so roll damage on each So a d8 plus– MARISHA: d8 plus six MATT: d8 plus seven on each attack, plus a d6 on each. So roll that MARISHA: Six plus seven, so 13 on the first one Same, 13 on the second one MATT: Nice! Starting to look pretty rough now, as parts of it are breaking down a bit. It’s shaking and you see little sparks on the inside as gears are starting to connect where they’re not supposed

to and grind against each other. That finish Fjord’s turn? MARISHA: Yeah, can he back up again? MATT: Five feet or ten? MARISHA: Ten? MATT: One more and it’ll take an attack of opportunity. Up to you MARISHA: If he does an attack of opportunity, if I move Fjord back, than we get a Sentinel strike, right? MATT: Technically, if he takes it MARISHA: Yeah, let’s do it! Sorry, Fjord. He hasn’t taken any damage, step back. He still has Armor of Agathys, too TALIESIN: Step all the way back. Might as well, because you can always run back there MARISHA: I think that’s as far as he can go, movement speed-wise MATT: No, he can move farther than that MARISHA: Sure MATT: Okay, it’s not going to take an attack of opportunity. It’s currently focused on everything else around it MARISHA: What?! Okay MATT: That finishes Fjord’s turn? MARISHA: Yes, it does MATT: This entity is going to attempt to shift back this way. Which means Beau and Molly both get attacks of opportunity against it ASHLEY: I get one? MATT: You do not, because it’s still in melee with you TALIESIN: Do you get to try and make it not move? MARISHA: I do. Do I still get advantage because flank? MATT: No, because it’s moved out of that range MARISHA: Okay. Yeah, that’s a 17 plus seven, so 24 MATT: 24 hits, so roll damage. It does not move MARISHA: That’s an eight on an eight. Plus four, so 12 damage MATT: 12 reduced to six, got it MARISHA: And he does not move MATT: Nope, he gets stuck there. The bane of all GMs everywhere TALIESIN: I don’t still get to take my attack of opportunity, even though that happened? MATT: No, he did not technically move out of– it’s sticky. It’s one of those weird things where he doesn’t technically move beyond the range, but he tries to TALIESIN: He tried to and I try to make a jab MATT: I’ll let you have it, sure TALIESIN: I’ll take no advantage MATT: You have no advantage TALIESIN: I thought I might be flanked MATT: Currently, no. You would need something right there in that corner to flank TALIESIN: That’s a (counting) 24 to hit MATT: That hits. Roll damage TALIESIN: That’s (counting) nine points of damage Yeah, nine MATT: It angrily is going to open to do its shrapnel blast SAM: Yeah. Where? Oh no, Caleb, you’re in that cone MARISHA: Ah, Caleb! SAM: Oh no, he’s dead already! MARISHA: Oh god! How long has he been like that? MATT: It was that powerful! I need Molly, Beau, Fjord, and Caleb, and technically Jester, as well ASHLEY: Isn’t she behind the door? MATT: She didn’t close the door there. She stepped into the space to maintain eye contact SAM: (singing) Open the door on your mystery date Caleb, you have to make a dex save TALIESIN: Dex save? MATT: Dex save, please LIAM: 20 MATT: That’s a success MARISHA: 14 MATT: That is a failure SAM: How? You’re pinned to a wall! TALIESIN: Dex save? 22 for me MATT: Success. Oh, you’re not there. Nott? LIAM: I spun myself like a pinwheel MATT: Fjord and Jester, if you could SAM: Marisha, do one for Fjord MARISHA: Don’t fuck Fjord, Gil! Oh, good. 17 for Fjord TALIESIN: Ten for Jester MATT: Okay, so everyone saves except for Fjord Sorry, Jester. 27 points of piercing damage, halved to be 13 points of piercing damage to everybody MARISHA: Do I save? MATT: You rolled a–? MARISHA: 14 MATT: No, you do not, so you take the full 27 points of piercing damage TALIESIN: Okay, so 14 points of piercing damage MARISHA: I had 27 hit points left MATT: No shit? ASHLEY: You’re unconscious? MARISHA: Beau’s unconscious again SAM: How about you, Cay? Cay-Cay? LIAM: Low SAM: Low, okay MATT: And still pinned. Jester took a full 27 SAM: How’s she? ASHLEY: Jester took a full 27? MATT: She rolled low for her dexterity check. 27 points of damage TALIESIN: Is that the whole, or did you not do the whole thing? I’m up. I’m fine MATT: That’s its action. It is locked in place and it can’t move. Its speed is zero, frustratingly Caleb, I need you to make another concentration check, please, from the damage you took LIAM: On what? Nothing’s up MATT: I thought your other cat hand? LIAM: That failed last time, didn’t it? MATT: It failed, but can you still try it for every turn after, or is it a one-time cast thing? LIAM: It can use a strength save to break out of it and it exists, but if I fail my concentration

check, it goes, right? MATT: But you’ve recast it LIAM: The second time it succeeded immediately MATT: Right, but when you create it in space, it stays there LIAM: It stays there? MATT: Yeah, and then as an action you can cause it to try and do things– LIAM: Great! Then that means it’s staying there MATT: Make a concentration check to see if you maintain the spell LIAM: Yes, sir MATT: Higher than a ten LIAM: 12 MATT: All right, you succeed. You maintain concentration. That finishes your turn. Beau, you’re up first SAM: Do that thing you do, Beau MARISHA: Roll a death saving throw? That is the thing I do MATT: You don’t have to roll. You take damage from proximity to it, so you automatically fail a death saving throw from the blades carving into your now-unconscious body nearby MARISHA: Do I roll again? Can I take the roll I just used? MATT: Yeah, whatever you rolled on your death saving throw MARISHA: 14 MATT: Yeah, so that’s a failure and a success That brings us to Nott and Molly TALIESIN: You want to go first? SAM: Sure? TALIESIN: Got any thoughts? SAM: I mean, I don’t have much. I’ll walk up there, poke around the corner, shoot a crossbow bolt, do my thing. That’s a big hit. 25 MATT: That’ll do. Roll damage with sneak attack MARISHA: Should have brought more tar SAM: Ten, halved MATT: Five points of piercing damage on the first strike. Do you want to bonus action attack as well? SAM: I guess? These attacks are so weak. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t have anything else to do. Yeah, I guess I’ll shoot another one. Why not? That hits, 23 MATT: 23? Go ahead. That’s 1d6 plus– SAM: That’s another six points, halved MATT: Halved to three, all righty. Sparks are flying. It’s starting to shake. Molly, top of your turn, the swirling blades spin around and you take eight points of slashing damage. It’s your turn TALIESIN: (counting) Eight points of slashing damage. Oof, that’s rough. I’m going to take two swipes at– I’m going to try and move. I’m going to try and move somewhere where I’m flanking. Is there any flanking available at the moment? MATT: At the moment, for you, if you move over Beau’s body. It’s a tough call. I mean, I’ll let you do it, if you want to. You’ll have to be standing over her unconscious body TALIESIN: I was about to say, is it in any way that going to give her a little cover, at the very least? MATT: Probably not TALIESIN: I’ll move in and then move around– well, no, goddamn it MATT: It’s up to you TALIESIN: I’m going to take a couple shots and see how this goes MATT: Go for it. Take those shots, Molly TALIESIN: Because I can use some hits that are all right SAM: Take those shots, Mollymauk TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s what we’re doing. First hit LIAM: Don’t throw away your shot TALIESIN: I’m not throwing away my shot. That’s a 22 to hit MATT: That hits TALIESIN: Let’s get that first thing. That’s 12 points of damage? MATT: 12 points of damage, all righty. Next strike? TALIESIN: Next strike. That definitely hit. That’s 24 MATT: Yep, roll damage on this one TALIESIN: (counting) That’s ten points of damage MATT: Ten points of damage. How do you want to do this? The blades are spinning, grinding around TALIESIN: I’ve got that one really soft blade and I’m rolling it, and I want to see that one little opening and I want it to bend. The sword bends and does that Chinese martial art thing where it goes and pops all the way into the center of it, and I go wrist deep into the thing MATT: The edges of the armor scrape against your flesh, pushing and cutting past skin, causing blood to drip down your arm, but this is a natural state for you. As the arm pushes into the center, there’s a flash of blue light, and the interior of its armored shell (electricity crackling). It’s like a glow on the inside of a cracked, dark orb, as all the individual sections where the plate armors meet suddenly glow with a bright, vibrant blue-white light, and then go dark, and the whole metal object hits the ground. All the legs go limp, and it rolls a little bit to one side, now inert and no longer functioning as a construct LIAM: That was a Chow Yun-Fat moment TALIESIN: I got a new die, baby. Does it look familiar, motherfucker? SAM: Is it the Snitch? TALIESIN: It’s the nega-Snitch MATT: The nega-Snitch SAM: Where did you get that? TALIESIN: I found the place where the Snitch came from. I had the woman make me one out of iron

MATT: I love it TALIESIN: Boom, motherfucker MATT: We’ll see how it fares TALIESIN: It’s been middly, but it’s done okay today SAM: Ecks versus Sever TALIESIN: Gil has been a help today MATT: All righty. You all take a moment. Beau is bleeding out TALIESIN: Oh, no, we’re immediately going to help MATT: Jester runs up ASHLEY: Jester runs up and casts Cure Wounds SAM: Does she have a Cure Wounds? TALIESIN: Yeah, we got 1st-level Lay on Hands to get her up ASHLEY: At 1st-level, because I feel like that’s what she would do MARISHA: You really get tired of this dying thing I guess unconscious thing TALIESIN: You did so well. No, really. You did some good stuff in there. You kept it sitting LIAM: Yasha ASHLEY: Yeah? LIAM: Could you please come cast Pull This Lamppost Out of My Stomach? ASHLEY: Oh, yes, yes. I go over and I– here MATT: Yasha puts her foot up on the wall, and with one big yank, pulls it out of your torso, Caleb It was about two inches from the side of your body and thrust through your abdomen. You begin to bleed, but Jester comes over and helps close up that wound before you bleed out too much further SAM: I’m going to run back and see what was back over there TALIESIN: Yeah, I want to take a look in the other room too, and give them a proper look MATT: Glancing into the chamber, that is another closed gate that is bent inward from the repeated slamming of this centurion trying to make its way in. Looking past the inside, you see four decomposed bodies SAM: Can I open the thing? MATT: Make an attempt to do so TALIESIN: Liam, you get ten hit points, and you get 12 MARISHA: Dope LIAM: Who gets what now? TALIESIN: You get ten MARISHA: I get 12 SAM: 13 LIAM: From Jester? TALIESIN: From Jester MATT: These prison locks are a pain in the butt You haven’t encountered something quite so heavily fortified as these cells SAM: Caleb, I need you to come open this door TALIESIN: I’m going to walk over to the door and start beating it with a sword MATT: Okay, make a strength check TALIESIN: You can’t dex cut this thing? You can’t pop it in? MATT: No, you have to force it SAM: Yasha, I need you to come kick in this door ASHLEY: If this big thing couldn’t kick it in, how could I? LIAM: I’m coming SAM: You’re bigger TALIESIN: Eight MATT: It is not budging SAM: You’re bigger in spirit and heart ASHLEY: Okay, I’ll come and try to open the door MATT: You go over, see where Molly has failed, and you go and try to fill that void. Make a strength check SAM: I believe in you. Oh, wait! ASHLEY: What? TALIESIN: No, go ahead ASHLEY: It’s not going to budge SAM: I’m going to use this, Matt. I’m going to try to bend fate and try to repick the lock MATT: Okay. It’s a little late, but I’ll allow it, sure SAM: I know MATT: Why not? Go for it SAM: It’s a lot (laughter) SAM: It’s 26 MATT: 26, okay. As Yasha comes forward and slams her foot into it, it jostles the lock just enough for you to slip past the tumblers, and with a (creaks) it opens a few inches on the inside. The bottom of it is scraping against the stonework, the way it’s been bashed and bent has actually forced it out of the frame of the door, and it’s going to take a bit more force to push it open enough to move inside, but you manage to do so TALIESIN: The three of us will get that door open LIAM: Caleb stops mid-somatic gesture and says, “Ah, fuck this,” and goes back to the first door and has a short rest MATT: Okay MARISHA: Yeah, Beau is going to deliriously– still really messed up, like a drunk person doing a pointless task– is going to try and scoop up some ball bearings that she threw, and then after maybe she picks up like ten– MATT: Make an investigation check MARISHA: Okay LIAM: Eins, zwei, drei, vier MARISHA: 12? MATT: How many ball bearings did you throw out? MARISHA: I tossed my baggie– MATT: Your entire bag? MARISHA: My pouch. And did one of these things. So I’m going to get my pouch back, and then– MATT: Okay. You get your pouch back and you manage to scoop up– you have, we’ll say, 814 ball bearings MARISHA: Okay MATT: (laughs) Most of which because it’s such a ridiculous item MARISHA: Then after I, deliriously tired of scooping up ball bearings, I’m going to stumble back and collapse next to Caleb and also take a short rest MATT: Okay ASHLEY: May I go over and see the room where this thing was staying in, on the other side? MATT: Sure, so you make your way to the opposite end SAM: Anything near the bodies? MATT: Make an investigation check SAM: This I’m good at. One (laughter) MATT: You find– at first you think it’s dried compost, but you eventually realize, no, it’s just very old human excrement

MARISHA: Ooh TALIESIN: At some point we’ll cast Detect Magic– MATT: You found prison poop SAM: Old prison poop MATT: Yes. Yasha, you head off to the other side where the gate is open, and as you go inside, you can see the interior of this chamber is as scraped up as the rest of them from where this sentry was attempting to scan and break out. On the inside– make an investigation check? First time for you? ASHLEY: I think it is. 11 MATT: 11, okay. Looking around on the inside, you take a glance– and there are these little pieces of things everywhere, some hard, some soft, and you start pulling it up, and you notice that a lot of these are tiny torn slivers of blanket or sheet or pillow, and the other hard pieces are tiny shards of bone. Whatever prisoners who were in here who could not keep this at bay, their remains have been, time and time again, ground, battered, and destroyed by this creature as it ran through It has torn apart their bedding and their bodies, but beyond that, nothing else of interest LIAM: Back at the front gate, leaning against Beauregard: Eh, what is that? Is that your blood– or is that mine? MARISHA: (slurring) I don’t know, it might be yours. It’s hard to tell LIAM: (snoring) MATT: Fjord pats you on the shoulder next to you and goes, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know, I “appreciate what you did, taking the brunt of it, because it didn’t even hurt me.” MARISHA: (slurring) That’s very true. I’m going to remember that next time MATT: “And that’s because of you.” MARISHA: (slurring) You’re the best, Fjord MATT: “I know.” All righty, so what else are you guys doing? SAM: Should we retrieve the magic core or anything as proof of what we did here? TALIESIN: I mean, the fact that we’re going to leave the door open and it’s not coming up, but yeah, we’ll go get the core and I figure we’re going to do a thorough investigation of the whole thing once Caleb can do a Detect Magic MATT: Okay. While Caleb’s taking a moment to finish his short rest, you begin to peer inside and pull back some of the loosened armor plates Now that the machine is open, there’s not tension holding it together, and you see that each of these armored plates, on the inside, are attached to its own arm-like pole. Once it collapsed, all the armor plates went limp and fell open. It’s a tension-held bit of armor, that it could expand and push out different areas to leave openings and then retract again. It’s a pretty ingenious design, and you can see why Tinkertop is a talented man, though flawed sometimes in his designs. This is pretty revolutionary TALIESIN: It’s like a weaponized version of one of those balls that you throw up in the air and it turns inside out MATT: Similar to that, I guess you could say Looking inside, it’s hundreds of these little poles, and gears, and little servos, and a lot of them are ground, bent, and damaged from the impact that you left inside. There in the center, you see a cracked open, and partially destroyed, bluish crystal sphere. That was where your final blow impacted to destroy it TALIESIN: I’m going to keep cutting off the arms so we can get to it MATT: It’s yanking and bending pieces, pulling them out and (pinging). On the inside, with the damage you’ve done, it’s not too hard to pry a few off, but you manage to get to it, and there is the cracked and shattered crystal core ASHLEY: Couple questions. I really like some of the armor pieces that he has on his shoulders, like with the skulls and things. Is that just part of his– MATT: That’s just part of the miniature. That was my representation for it. I did not have a mini of a spherical ball made of armor. I’m sorry, that’s the best I could do for size and intimidation I’ve been very busy, didn’t have time to make an entire mini of a tiny spherical metal ball covered in blades TALIESIN: What could you have possibly have been doing, Matt? Sorry! MATT: Sorry, no. It’s fine MARISHA: Your mustache is traveling SAM: Wherever it stays. Well, let’s take this stuff back up to the warden? TALIESIN: We’ve had a short rest, and we’ll do a quick search. Can you do a Detect Magic spell, Caleb? LIAM: Yeah, I have a little bit left in me, Mollymauk. Will you help me up, please? TALIESIN: Oh, yeah come on, that’s all right MARISHA: No, he’s my pillow! Fuck you, Molly TALIESIN: Go fuck yourself, Beau. Come on LIAM: (grunting) Okay. Point me at the thing MATT: You do a scan of Detect Magic through the room over the next 15 minutes or so. You do a

thorough pass around. Nothing magical catches your attention. Most of the interior here is– Actually, no, that’s not true. Very faint magical auras from two ember light torches that are on the wall. That faint red light that you’ve seen is essentially a very low light Everburning torch LIAM: I turn to Mollymauk and say: Yeah, the only thing magical here is you, friend. Pat pat on the cheek. I wander back over to Beauregard, and I go to sleep again TALIESIN: All right, come on, we’re going to get you guys out of here. (strained) We’re going to go MARISHA: (groaning) Okay MATT: You pick yourselves up, and make your way back to the heavy metal door. On this side, you can see the heavy scraping across it as this ball has also been pushing repeatedly into this one exit point. As you approach, it is still closed and presumably locked SAM: (knocking) We’re done. Let us out. Guards! MATT: You hear some shifting behind it, and eventually hear the familiar grinding of chains against metal. (creaking) It opens slightly and the guards peer out. “You alive?” TALIESIN: I hold up the glowing crystal. You should see the other one. (laughs) MATT: “Go check it out.” A few of the gnomish guards push past and head down. Another one of the gnomish guards goes, “Well, fucking A. Is it done?” The other gnomes rush past him and say, “Sure enough. They killed the thing!” He’s like, “Oh, all right. I’ll lead you back to our boss “Come on, follow me.” MARISHA: Beauregard goes: I just– it took a lot out of us. I pass out in Yasha’s arms ASHLEY: Okay MARISHA: Yasha? TALIESIN: Do I buy this? MARISHA: You have to carry me ASHLEY: I got you MATT: Fireman carries you TALIESIN: I want to have an insight versus deception check on you MATT: Make an insight check TALIESIN: All right. I ain’t going to mess with you, I just want to know. Nope, that’s an eight Unless you roll really poorly ASHLEY: As I’m holding her– MARISHA: I rolled way better ASHLEY: –I will cast Healing Hands MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll for that ASHLEY: Regain number of hit points equal to your level. So you gain an extra five hit points MARISHA: You make me feel so warm inside TALIESIN: Come on, Nott MARISHA: How many hit points? MATT: Five ASHLEY: A whole five SAM: On our way out, do I see my bolt anywhere? MATT: Make an investigation check as you glance around the space SAM: 12 MATT: Because it’s a small space, you do manage to recover it, so you get one bolt back. It did not trigger SAM: It only triggers if it hits? MATT: If it hits an intended target, possibly, or something hard enough. You rolled low enough where it didn’t seem to truly impact LIAM: Make a Fu-Manchu check MATT: You guys slowly make your way, guided back by the various guards of the Gearhold Prison, to the office of the Wardenhelm, where both Rissa and her father are waiting. As they walk in, you glance over and can see Cleff. He’s like, “So how’d it go? Any luck with the thing? Oh, you “broke it!” TALIESIN: We did. We may need that later, sadly MATT: “I’m simultaneously impressed and kind of sad, but impressed mostly.” TALIESIN: It did work us over quite well SAM: It was an incredible device ASHLEY: It really was SAM: You could have told us the eye had a protective windshield wiper device MATT: “It’s more for when it’s raining. I didn’t think it would be for tar, but good to know.” He takes out the note in his little pad TALIESIN: I’m going to take the crystal back. I’m so sorry, we may need this MATT: At this point, you see turning in the office vicinity, Wardenhelm Poppin turns and goes, “It “appears my guards say you are successful in this That is very good. I am impressed. What is your “names, if I might be of curious?” MARISHA: We’re The Mighty Nein MATT: “The Mighty Nein. All right. Good to know that The Mighty Nein can be relied upon in such “situations. Are you staying in town for quite a while?” MARISHA: I don’t know how long we might be staying in town, so maybe we should go ahead and talk about that deal while we’re here? MATT: “Right. While you were down there, I got approval for about 200 gold from the Starosta for “payment. I hope that is enough?” MARISHA: To get out the Schusters?

TALIESIN: He doesn’t know about the Schusters MARISHA: Oh. But you talked about getting people out TALIESIN: No, we mentioned vaguely that we might want something MATT: “I am curious as to what you are referring to.” TALIESIN: We have some friends that are currently interred here for financial troubles? Nothing dangerous, nothing violent. We were wondering if we could make a deal for maybe some leniency. If that’s possible MARISHA: Take that 200 gold, consider it their bail and time served TALIESIN: Also, we do have a bit of the mechanism, and if everybody here is all right, I am of the opinion that if anybody asks us, it was your brilliant idea to let us into that cell in the first place to take care of this problem. If anybody asks, we know who is absolutely responsible for this LIAM: You picked us specifically SAM: Poppin Drokrusher TALIESIN: You saw something in us. You took a chance, and we’re grateful for it MARISHA: And this guy will agree to that. Right, Cleff? I elbow Cleff MATT: “Oh! Of course, great deal. Ooh, sternum, it’s a bit pain–” Go ahead and make a persuasion check with advantage TALIESIN: All right, come on, man. For fuck’s sake. That’s a six MARISHA: Total? MATT: A six TALIESIN: I don’t have any persuasion. I don’t know why– MATT: Why you keep leading these social encounters? TALIESIN: Somebody should pick up, but we don’t have our talker here right now MATT: Well, you got a talker, but that’s okay. He takes a keen look at you, goes over, and starts thumbing through papers. Goes through his books, picks one, and goes, “Schuster, Schuster, “Schuster. All right, I found the report here.” He turns the page, “That looks like they were “arrested for false idol worship. That is not a minor offense.” LIAM: Look at it this way: one path we could take is that you are the mastermind who hired the right people for the job and everything is perfect. The other path, we talk about how we came in and fixed things you could not MATT: “The Schusters are still to serve a two-year sentence, both of them. To pay the amount to bail “them out would be, at this point, about 350 gold With the 200 that were offered, that would put you “at a 150 bail amount should you wish to indeed pay for these very important friends of yours.” MARISHA: Well, considering you have a hunk of metal down in your basement that is worth at least 100 gold worth of scrap that I’m sure the Assembly Yard would love to have– MATT: “And they will, because it’s still technically commissioned originally by the prison, “so we own the rights to its carcass. However, the moment of negotiation is over. This is my price as “it stands. Either you receive the 200 and walk away, or you can continue to pay the bail and they “will be released. That is up to you–” LIAM: Ja, I think that’s a fair deal. Jester, would you mind settling this debt for us? TALIESIN: Yeah, that’s no problem. Jester will be happy to pay (laughter) TALIESIN: 150 gold? MATT: 150 gold TALIESIN: Laura, you can text right now ASHLEY: Oh no! TALIESIN: That’s okay. Laura will text if she has a problem with that MARISHA: Fjord can foot half, since he’s sympathetic TALIESIN: Fjord will pay half! So 75 gold each MATT: That’s true MARISHA; Fjord says, “You know what? To keep them out of that orphanage?” LIAM: Your gold, Laura, or your maternal bond. You choose! TALIESIN: Seven. Okay. So that’s all right. Bump bump. Oh, and look at that! It’s all done! Look at that, it’s all done. That all happened! MATT: Look at that. It’s beautiful MARISHA: He’s like, “No money was spent!” TALIESIN: It’s as if it never was! ASHLEY: What a bunch of assholes TALIESIN: That’s what you get for getting knocked up, man. Right there. Sorry (laughter) MATT: At this point, he– MARISHA: Kids are expensive! TALIESIN: Kids are a deep financial drain, man! MATT: It’s true! LIAM: Man, don’t I know it MATT: He accepts the coin, shouts out to– he says, “Micahl!” And this female halfling comes rushing in. He says, “I would like for you to write a writ for me of success in clearing the “lower regions of the prison under the watchful eye of the Wardenhelm Poppin Drokrusher. I thank you “And also, could we please have sent up immediately a,” he leans forward, “Gilda and Wallace Schuster

“They are on the second level in cell 12B. They have had their bail paid.” The halfling rushes off, some of the guards leave with her, and about 20 or so minutes later you hear the footsteps return and there you see this couple. They pull forward, dirty, sallow, not very well-fed, but alive, and they both look bewildered. The man, who’s got a thick graying brown scruff and the hair a bit shaken from his form, he glances up at the rest of you. “I don’t understand what’s happening.” SAM: It’s all right TALIESIN: We never understand what’s happening, either MARISHA: Gilda? Wallace? MATT: The woman looks over. She has this long, curled, and tangled brownish-red hair. She goes, “Is this true? We’re free?” MARISHA: Why don’t we get outside and then we’ll talk? SAM: Let’s have a meat pie (laughter) MATT: With that, you guide the now no-longer-prisoners outside of the Gearhold Prison, and as the small door opens to lead them out into the late afternoon air, the sunlight hits them. And you see them blink and wince, and then look up and smile, as this is probably the first sunlight they’ve seen in six months. You can see a bit of glimmer as tears begin to form at the edge of their eyes and the two, the couple, look at each other and smile, and hold each other, and look back at the group of you and say, “Thank you, but why?” MARISHA: Let’s just say your kids made an impression on us MATT: “Are they all right? Where are they?” SAM: They’re at your house, the butcher place? Don’t worry, we’ll take you there. They’re being kept safe by a tiny bird with a dagger MATT: They look at you, and look both frightened by the words you say, and then equally frightened by the creature they now realize that is saying it, and go, “Right, right.” TALIESIN: Best not to think about it SAM: Sometimes the people that help you are the least expected MARISHA: I was going to say eclectic, but sure MATT: “Thank you.” LIAM: Thank heavens for little blessings MATT: “Thank you very much. Can we go to our children, please?” ALL: Yes MATT: With that, you guys all make your way back up the switchback path to the Idleworks Shelf, just as the sun begins to hit the mountains, the skies turning to the oranges and reds of the coming sunset. At this point, the people of the city begin to rise in energy once more as the whistles of a day’s work come to a close. The city beings to liven up once more into an air of celebration, music blasting around you on all sides MARISHA: It’s like being in Vegas for more than 24 hours. You’re like, “No! Not again! I can’t do “this for a third night in a row! Ugh!” TALIESIN: Roll for dubstep MATT: As you guys push through the streets now, the celebration expanding and exploding throughout the vicinity, your still-lingering hangovers from the night before, mixed with your physically damaged selves, make you less jovial in this space. Eventually you make your way to the back to the location of the previously boarded-up butcher shop. It appears to be left alone, closed, locked, and as you left it (whistling) (knocking) MARISHA: Oh, your way was way more cool (whistling) (knocking) TALIESIN: It’s us. Open it up! MATT: You hear some shuffling and the door opens Austin and Gail look past and open the door. As soon as Gail can say, “You’re back–” they look, and you can see their parents, right there, smile back at them. With that, they rush out, Gail and Austin, and wrap their arms around their mother

and father. Behind them, skittering, Layla and Jude look past, and they run up as well and hold them. Now this family unit of six all brought together again, as filthy as they may be in their current garb and lifestyle, hold themselves amongst the glowing of distant fireworks going off, an unknowing celebration that the city holds for this family. Behind, you see Kiri shuffle out, see what’s happening, then also come forward and put her arms around the family and looks back at you with a smile. (like Jester) “Yes, I am a good girl.” ASHLEY: Oh my goodness MARISHA: This is making me really emotional LIAM: This could be our chance to find a good home for her SAM: Yes! MATT: Kiri steps away from the group, looks at the rest of you, takes the dagger out, steps forward and goes, (like Nott) “The Mighty Nein!” MARISHA: Kiri. (exhales) LIAM: You like these kids, Kiri? MATT: (like Jester) “Okay.” LIAM: Ja? MATT: (like Caleb) “Ja.” LIAM: You know, you spend enough time with us– Beauregard and I here almost died tonight. You’re just a little girl. You should be playing with these kids, not playing with us. What about you, Mom and Dad? MATT: At this point, they’re barely paying attention. They look back and say, “I’m sorry, what?” TALIESIN: We have a request MARISHA: A favor. In return– LIAM: In exchange– Beauregard MARISHA: No, you were nailing it. We did a jinxies thing, yeah MATT: Fjord steps in next to you as well, and goes, “Look, no children should be without their “parents, and we’re happy to have brought you back together. Be more careful. Make sure that if you “do anything that could put your kids at risk, don’t.” He looks over and defers back to you, Caleb LIAM: We get into trouble quite a bit. I feel guilty bringing this young girl with us. We’ve gone to great lengths to get you out and all– I can’t speak for the group, but all I ask is that you give this girl some parents MARISHA: Fjord’s right. No child should be separated from their parents. Unfortunately, this little one was MATT: The parents look at each other, and down at the kids. The little girl, Layla, with her curled red hair, goes, “Does this mean she can stay?” and looks over at Kiri. Kiri looks between them and you, and looks temporarily conflicted and confused, but you can see a bit of understanding wash over. Kiri reaches over and takes from her pocket the dagger, steps forward, and turns it around, handle forward. Holds it out MARISHA: You’ve learned MATT: (like Jester) “Yes, I am very sweet.” She reaches down, and pulls out the music box. Slowly opens it after winding it [music box plays] TALIESIN: Oh, that’s just mean MATT: (like Caleb) “She’s a pretty good egg.” Looks up at Caleb and rushes forward, and gives a

big, warm hug MARISHA: Shit. I turn to Gilda and Wallace and say: Look, I know another mouth to feed is a lot It would mean a lot if you take her, but we’ll help you out. I reach in and I give them 50 gold from my stash. Should be enough to help for a little bit. Hopefully make up the difference MATT: She accepts it, wide-eyed. “I don’t know what to say.” MARISHA: Well, I stole 75 gold from my friend without him being here to speak for it, so I feel like it’s fair MATT: She steps back, and they look like they’re in shock still from these strangers that have come to their aid so heavily. Kiri pulls back and looks to you. (like Jester) “Don’t eat humans, okay?” MARISHA: Go give Jester a hug. I know she wished she’d be here for it MATT: Jester, you see her arms twisted up and the eyes filled with water and she goes, “Oh! We’re “going to come back, right?” SAM: Yes, we’ll come back and check on Kiri. Be a good girl, Kiri MATT: She gives a big hug and goes, “Kiri, you’re going to be so beautiful as you grow up, and this “family is going to take care of you and is going to be your new mother and father and you’ll have “this whole family here for you. Remember that no matter what’s happening and what you are doing, “the Traveler is always looking over you, and we are always– always thinking of you with love.” Jester turns around, and you can see the tears welling up in her eyes MARISHA: I give Jester a hug MATT: She takes you in there. Fjord steps forward and ruffles the feathers on the head and says, “You’re always a member. Maybe one day, you’ll be able to come back and use that dagger for something that’s alive.” Kiri turns back and looks to you. (like Nott) “Yeza was his name.” SAM: I guess everyone knows at this point, so it’s okay now MATT: She gives you a hug SAM: Thank you for listening to us MATT: Looks to Molly and gives this distant stare TALIESIN: I’m so glad we understand each other Take care of them MATT: (like Molly) “Take care of them.” Looks to you, and comes up and cuddles up against your chest where she had slept the night before and (chirping) ASHLEY: Scratch those feathers MATT: The feathers fluff up a bit ASHLEY: Goodbye, Kiri. We will send you treasures from all of our travels MATT: (like Jester) “Okay.” ASHLEY: We will miss you very much MATT: Kiri turns back and steps beside the kids The family looks out and goes, “If there’s ever “the opportunity to pay this back or forward, we will. Thank you.” MARISHA: You already are. Look at this handsome lot. You look like you need to be a vinyl decal on the back of a minivan LIAM: A what? TALIESIN: I’m not even going to go there MATT: More fireworks go off and the whole family looks up again, and there’s a moment where the family, as one single unit, pulling Kiri into it, Gilda looks at them all and says, “It’s been a “long time since I felt the need to celebrate. How about we all wash up and go out and take you for “flowers?” The kids brighten up, excited, and Kiri looks up happily and curiously looks back. They

all shuffle into the house. The last look as Kiri looks back over her shoulder (like Jester) “I am Kiri.” The door closes SAM: That felt really good, guys! ASHLEY: It sure did SAM: It’s nice being good people MARISHA: That might be the first nice thing I’ve ever done TALIESIN: Explains why your face is doing that, I suppose MARISHA: I don’t know what this emotion thing is It’s weird TALIESIN: It’s not a good look on you MARISHA: It probably isn’t TALIESIN: Come on, let’s go find a quiet place to sleep. I’m exhausted MATT: Fjord, as you’re walking along back to your inn, goes, “Now, I know y’all did this because I “asked you to, and you weren’t sure if you wanted to. I want you to know that’s appreciated. You “went out on a limb for me and these kids. I’ll remember that. Anyway, come on.” As you guys make your way back to a more solemn evening, the celebration is wild. The Blushing Tankard Tavern is in the same crazy energy and music you possibly can expect, but you are too exhausted emotionally and physically. You get a drink, find your way back to your room, and crash out hard TALIESIN: Long rest MATT: Long rest to you all. The next morning you come to consciousness, your first morning not hungover for a lot of you, here in the city of Hupperdook. Now the city is yours to make your final business with SAM: We can do more things in this city? MATT: Well, you haven’t gotten back to Tinkertop for your half of the deal SAM: Yes, that’s right. I guess we should go visit Cleff TALIESIN: Get your tinker toy SAM: Who says it’s mine? It could be any of ours I mean, mine’s a little busted, though, so it would be nice MATT: As you hold it up, it goes (snapping) SAM: I can fix that. Probably TALIESIN: Going to take it away MARISHA: On the way, I look for someone who wasn’t the guy who hated us before selling more of those poppers, because I want to stock up before we get out of this godforsaken town LIAM: I tag along with Beauregard MATT: All right. You get another set of ten MARISHA: Another set of ten. Yeah! MATT: I think it was two copper TALIESIN: I will only stop if there’s something interesting in a window. Otherwise, I figure we’re heading back to pick up the crossbow LIAM: Hey, Beauregard MARISHA: Yeah, Caleb? LIAM: That felt pretty good last night. Helping somebody MARISHA: Oh, yeah LIAM: Do something good MARISHA: Yeah, it wasn’t too bad LIAM: I get the sense that you have bigger plans than that, even. Cobalt. Monk. I get a sense MARISHA: Honestly, I don’t really have a lot of plans. My entire life has been plans being made for me. So it’s nice not having plans. I ran away from the Cobalt Soul. I have ideas. I don’t know if ideas would count as plans LIAM: Well, that’s just semantics. I have a feel about you. You and change. I don’t think that you and I have the same plans, but I think they might overlap. I would be willing to help you MARISHA: I’d be willing to help you, under one condition. Can we agree to keep each other straight? LIAM: How do you mean? MARISHA: If either one of us tries to turn and do something stupid, or lean a little bit more evil LIAM: Evil? MARISHA: Chaotic, whatever you want to call it LIAM: Surely neither of us are evil, Beauregard MARISHA: Anarchists? Let’s just make a pact if either one of us do anything stupid that maybe

we’re each other’s failsafes LIAM: Yeah, I like that MARISHA: I don’t think I want to hurt any more people and I don’t think you do either, so maybe if we keep each other from hurting other people That’s not true. I do want to hurt people, just not people I like. Let’s hurt bad guys LIAM: I think I can help you. I think you can help me. I think we can do some good here MARISHA and LIAM: Deal SAM and MARISHA: Skype high-five! MATT and TALIESIN: Skype-five TALIESIN: Skype force five MARISHA: Can you do the– give me a– LIAM: I will do my best, Beauregard MATT: That’s amazing. Awesome. As that’s happening, you guys have reached the exterior of the Tinkertop Inventions shop TALIESIN: If there was possible to buy some food, I want to have some camping food for the rest, like good stuff MATT: High-quality provisions for the rest of the trip? TALIESIN: Oh yeah, just really good food ASHLEY: Stews TALIESIN: Some meat, veggies. Just (grunts) MATT: If you drop a solid two gold– TALIESIN: Done! MATT: You have good road meals that’ll last– TALIESIN: We’re eating good! MATT: Oh, for the whole group? For the whole group, put five gold down and I’d say you guys have some of the finest fucking food you could have on the road going north. That is good eating TALIESIN: Yep. We’re going to be eating really good MATT: On the outskirts of the Tinkertop Inventions shack, you make your way on the inside and you see, in the process of feverishly sketching out designs, Cleff Tinkertop barely look up from his page. “Oh! Hello, good to see you all again. Thank you. Thank you for helping with that. I think, “based on some of these new designs I’m coming forward, they might be interested in a new “version! Perhaps a new design! Perhaps an update, if you will, based on the notes you gave me, so “here’s to hoping!” SAM: Okay. Worth a shot MARISHA: Don’t know if a lesson was learned here, but all right, let’s continue on TALIESIN: Maybe the lesson was for us. I’m not sure MATT: “Can I help you with anything?” SAM: Well, we just came to say goodbye; we’re probably rolling out of town soon. And, you know, I mean, if you had an extra crossbow lying around MATT: “Ha ha! Right, sorry, I forgot entirely! I’ll be right back.” He goes back and rummages and pulls out the fantastic, previously displayed Tinkertop Boltblaster 1000 and goes, “Thank you “for your help. I hope it serves you well. By the way, if there’s any problems, if you wouldn’t mind “making notes, and feel free to mail them off to me so I can perhaps improve on the next iteration.” SAM: A beta testing sort of a thing? MATT: “If you don’t mind. That’d be fantastic.” TALIESIN: I’m so excited SAM: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm TALIESIN: Ooh, nice SAM: Sure TALIESIN: Woo! SAM: Okay. Yes. Ugh TALIESIN: That can happen. That’s okay SAM: I love it. It’s great TALIESIN: That’s very you. It’s very you SAM: Thank you. Thank you, Cleff MATT: “Of course, and thank you as well. Wherever you’re off to, safe travels!” MARISHA: Cleff, maybe if in the future we come back and need a repair or something spiffy, you’ll cut us a deal? MATT: “I think something can be arranged. I’ll be here!” MARISHA: And hey, I don’t know if you know the Schusters at all, but if you see a family walking around, little bird child, maybe watch over them for us MATT: “That’s a very curious series of words you’ve strung together, but I’ll keep an eye out for you.” MARISHA: I acknowledge that, and thank you MATT: “Course.” TALIESIN: Look at you, becoming a people person Or at least a bird person MARISHA: Fuck you, Molly TALIESIN: Fuck you, too MATT: “Well, if you’re leaving, you should say bye, Rissa!” Behind him, Rissa sits up with her goggles on. She was in the back currently working on something. Goes, “Oh, right, you’re off “already? You’re leaving?” TALIESIN: We got to get on the road MATT: “Oh, well, it’s been fun.” TALIESIN: We can’t thank you enough. We’ll definitely come back in contact next time we’re

rolling through town MATT: “Do. Thank you for showing me a good time and for getting this old coot back to some sort of “interesting means of constructive work.” SAM: I’m sure he’s going to invent many new, excellent devices TALIESIN: We leave her the drinking tokens MATT: She goes, “Well, I mean, drinking by proxy, I’ll certainly take that!” TALIESIN: They need use. I think it’s fair MATT: “Well. Next time, I’ll owe you a round.” TALIESIN: Very much taking you up on that MATT: “Well, be safe. Take care. And ’til the next time.” As you guys exit, you hear her say, “I “don’t think this design’s going to work, Dad.” He says, “No, trust me!” And the door closes behind you TALIESIN: That’s going to end well SAM: I think they’re on the road to recovery TALIESIN: Something very positive’s going to come out of that relationship SAM: Yes LIAM: Yasha! ASHLEY: Yeah? LIAM: What is on your mind? You’re very quiet You’re not thinking about leaving us again, are you? ASHLEY: Why would you think that? LIAM: Well, you tend to go mum for a while, and then you’re gone. You’re very useful for us! We could do great things together, the not-nine of us. I hope you’re not thinking of leaving ASHLEY: Well, I’m not at this moment. I think– and if I did, I would find my way back to you Sometimes things need to be done LIAM: Well, no one’s going to bully you into a decision, but we’re all happy to have you here You know, my muscles are big. They can accomplish a lot, but we do better with you around ASHLEY: Thank you, Caleb. I think you can manage just fine, but I will– I’m here for now SAM: She’s not going anywhere! What are you, crazy, Caleb? She’s fine! Come on! LIAM: It was just a feeling I had SAM: You’re crazy! LIAM: I understand SAM: It’s fine! ASHLEY: What a strange feeling MARISHA: What time is it? MATT: At this point– well, no, you slept through the night and you’ve woken up the next morning, so it’s pushing close to midday TALIESIN: Let’s get on our way soon MARISHA: Yeah. To Shitty Creek? TALIESIN: Let’s make our way SAM: Is that where we’re going next? MATT: Fjord musters the cart, the horses, retrieves them from where they were stored during your stay here SAM: Are we making our way out of town? MATT: Looks like it, unless you guys have anything else planned SAM: On the way out of town– you said when we came into town there were some guards with pistols, with guns? MATT: Yes SAM: Do we see any on the way out? MATT: Make a perception check, as you make your way through the bottom end of the city SAM: 14 MATT: 14? Glancing through, there are two crownsguard that walk by, both gnomish. One of them appears to be carrying a heavy sword on the back. The other one does have some sort of strange contraption, like a firearm pistol at its side SAM: I’m going to try to steal it MATT: Make a sleight of hand check MARISHA: Yes! SAM: With either Mage Hand, or my own hand, whatever’s– MATT: Up to you SAM: Mage Hand MATT: All right SAM: What am I doing? Sleight of hand? MATT: Sleight of hand, so your proficiency modifier plus your dex SAM: Oh. 19, then. So not sleight of hand, this is a dexterity check MATT: Well no, sleight of hand is– I’m sorry, no, it’s a sleight of hand check SAM: Oh, well then it’s 22 MATT: 22, yeah. My brain. I was thinking of unlocking. It glides past over you. The guard’s none the wiser SAM: Okay MATT: It is loaded with a single shot SAM: Great MATT: So you have a single-shot pistol with no ammunition SAM: It’s loaded with a bullet, though, right? MATT: Yes SAM: Okay, cool. Great. That’s all I care about MATT: All right. With that– MARISHA: If you’re deserted on an island, to kill yourself with? MATT: In those final dark moments! This campaign goes really dark suddenly! With that, you guys head out past the fences, the artillery construction ranges, the plumes of smoke and steam, the dual-shelved levels of the gnomish city of Hupperdook, with the people, adventures that

you met and left behind, and forge your way on further up the Crispvale Roadway heading towards the Glory Run Road, that heads north, towards Nogvurot and the Shadycreek Run. Heading on for the next better half of the day, you make a fair amount of travel, before the sun eventually sets before you can reach the crossroads. Eventually having to pull off to the side of the road to make camp for the first night there. You head off your general curious range there, you set up a small camp. Who’s taking first watch? LIAM: Nott and I MATT: Okay. Nott and Caleb, if you wouldn’t mind rolling a perception check with advantage, or both of you roll it individually SAM: You go LIAM: With advantage? MATT: No, he rolled, and now you SAM: I got a nine LIAM: You got– okay. Here comes. Oh, big eight MATT: All right. You guys take your first watch Nothing. Though you’re not paying much attention, nothing seems to transpire during that first watch period. You finish it without issue. The second watch come up. Fjord goes ahead and says, “I’ll take it.” ASHLEY: I’ll join you MATT: “You’ll join as well, Yasha?” ASHLEY: Yeah MATT: All right. You guys take your second watch Fjord and Yasha are currently situated there. Two of you are up. It’s now pushing past maybe one or two in the morning. The fire is burned low to embers at this point, and you’re both staying close for heat. Fjord’s sitting there looking, and goes, “I’m kind of proud of all this, you know?” ASHLEY: I am, too. I’m actually very surprised at the choices we’ve made. Especially the choices that I’ve made MATT: “Yeah. A lot of these folks have surprised me.” A little voice goes like, (as Jester) “Some “people are trying to sleep.” ASHLEY: Sorry, Jester MATT: “But I’m awake now.” Fjord goes like, “Let’s take a walk.” Fjord stands up, Jester stands up, and the three of you step away for a minute. Fjord looks up at the stars and goes, “Dreams’ve been “weird. For all the visions, the darkness out there, it’s good to know that, somehow maybe we’re “all putting a little bit of light in there too.” ASHLEY: That’s a very nice way to put it MATT: “Who knows? Maybe we’ll find ourselves a path somewhere along the coast in the long run “Could show you some of my hometown. Maybe some of yours, but maybe not quite as well put together.” Jester interjects at this point and goes, “Well, if we do go back, I could show you– if it is safe “depending on what my mom says– the places where I grew up, the beautiful shorelines. Have you been “to the Menagerie Coast before?” ASHLEY: “I’ve never been to the Coast.” MATT: “Oh, it is so beautiful. It would be incredible.” ASHLEY: I’ve seen– MATT: Her mouth isn’t making noise. You go to talk. No sound comes out of it either. There’s a look of confusion amongst the three of you. I need you to make a wisdom saving throw, Yasha What did you roll? ASHLEY: I rolled 11 MATT: In that moment of panic, you go to reach for your weapon, and suddenly your muscles seize up and your body is unable to move. Your eyes glance back at Fjord, who seems to be in the same position. The falchion apparates in his hand, but he is unable to move. Jester is the only one who

is like– As she turns to run for the group, and impacts the chest of a dark humanoid figure who’s standing there who grabs and holds her in place Four other dark figures emerge from the shadows around and grab and immediately put their arms around you. You try and resist from the spell. In fact, make another wisdom saving throw SAM: Oh god ASHLEY: Natural 20 SAM: Whoa! MATT: Fjord maintains it, but all this in absolute silence. There is no sound, just shadows and starlight. As you’re now being grappled by two men, the spell breaks from you. However, they’re still holding you. As you feel a gag pulled over your mouth from one of them, the other one begins to throw rope around you. You’re looking over the side and you can see another gag showed into Fjord’s mouth. Manacles are being shoved onto his arms and legs. He’s unable to move. Jester tries to break free off the opposite– not with a natural seven. She’s kicking and screaming, but there is no sound coming out and as she’s pushed down, another figure comes up and throws shackles onto her arms behind her and her legs. She’s yelling and yelling and a gag is pulled over her mouth. What are you doing? ASHLEY: Am I–? MATT: There’s two people that are now coming to grapple you ASHLEY: I take out my weapon and I’m ready to go MATT: All right. You pull your weapon. Make an attack, if you want ASHLEY: Yes. Okay. 25 MATT: 25 hits. Roll damage on that TALIESIN: Where was this? SAM: She’s a bad motherfucker ASHLEY: 18? MATT: 18 damage. Oof! You have a second attack, if you like ASHLEY: Oh, that’s a nine MATT: Your first one impacts one guy and there’s a splash of blood, silent. Once again, no sound here. The second one swings wide and the other guy captures it. He grabs your arm and pulls you in He’s going to make an athletics check against you Make an athletics or acrobatics check to try and not be grappled ASHLEY: 13? MATT: That’s not going to make it. He grapples and holds you in place. The other one takes and slams manacles onto your wrists and pulls it back, wrenching the blade from your grasp. Your arms are now locked behind you into these metal manacles ASHLEY: Can I try to scream out in some way to the Stormlord? MATT: You go ahead and scream. Make a straight wisdom check ASHLEY: Three MATT: In that moment, as you try and scream out, your vocal cords strained by the sheer force of your voice, no sound comes out. Looking up in the sky, there isn’t a single cloud in sight. Probably for the first time in weeks, since you’ve been in this side of Wildemount, it is a clear night. No sign of clouds. No sign of storm. In that moment, as you’re screaming out, the gag gets put into your mouth and tied behind your head. You glance over and you can see Jester being dragged. Now the manacles affixed to the back of her ankles and she’s being pulled through the grass, Fjord a few feet behind her. Still unable to really make out the shapes of these hooded figures that are pulling them through and you are shoved to the ground ASHLEY: Are my legs still free? MATT: Your ankles are about to be manacled ASHLEY: Can I kick? MATT: Make another athletics check ASHLEY: 25 MATT: 25, all righty. With that, you manage to kick free and they can’t quite get ahold on it and one figure steps forward, shorter than the others, stout looking, and goes, “Oh for the–” and his voice dissipates as he gets closer. I need you to make another wisdom saving throw ASHLEY: 17 MATT: You’re still kicking and breaking free They’re going to try to restrain you once more Roll one more athletics check ASHLEY: Eight MATT: No, that’s not going to do it. As much as you struggle right now, you’re by yourself. Now it looks like two figures holding you down, and the third one that is frustrated that you have resisted a spell a second time. They get the manacles on the back of your legs. Your arms are held behind, your ankles are now pulled up towards where your hands are, and you are face down in the wet grass in the middle of the night, as you feel your body now being dragged by the chains Dragged, dragged. Your mouth is filled with the taste of the sweat that’s poured down, that’s soaked into the gag that’s now forced in your mouth. Grass and grime and mud are grinding against your face. All you can see is the dark shadow there and the bits of star and sky ahead, until eventually you’re lifted upright, right back once more. Immediately, you can see a series of

wide carts, large travel caravan carts that are low set, covered with piles of goods. Looks like sacks and a couple of crates, fairly sparse-looking for travel caravan crates, but what you see travel up and down the roads all the time There are three of them with horses to the front of them. You can see about eight other figures around these carts. As you’re up held there, with your mouth gagged and your arms and legs bound, you look off to the side and you can see Fjord and Jester also struggling and unable to find their way about. Jester begins to flex against it and you can see her strong physique pushing against it, and she gets smacked upside the cheek by one of the men that pulls her and holds her in place You hear a voice speak up and say, “Hey, look what “we found, eh?” You see a dark figure step closer to you. Glancing up, through the minimal light, a human man, tall and brutish. His head is completely bald on top, revealing a scarred and tattooed design across one side that curls down into his lightly leathered armored chest. His thick brow hangs over two cold, uncaring eyes. He nods in approval to these three acquisitions that you are, revealing a number of golden teeth between his cracked lips. His muscular body is mostly obscured by a cloak and hood beyond that armor. The thug goes, “Lorenzo, your instincts are “sharp. Looks like we found ourselves a sudden bounty.” The heavy figure, who hasn’t spoken at this point, kneels down and grabs the chins of each of you. Grabs Jester, who is now shaking, with anger and fear in her eyes, looks both sides of her face, goes to Fjord and lifts the chin, comes to you and grabs– ASHLEY: I spit in his face MATT: The gag is right there, so you– (coughing) “Looks like this one’s got some spirit too “(chuckles) Our prospects are good with this find Two divine-blood and one half-beast. I’m pleased “Toss them in with the others. We’ll head back. Our cages are at capacity now.” He stands back up and turns around and heads back to the carts, as you’re all being thrown to your sides again and being dragged through the wet grass and dirt, over rocks. You can feel gashes being pulled across your face and shoulders as you’re being pulled through the dirt. You’re righted once more and two more goons lift you up towards the back of this mostly empty cart. It seems just small piles and boxes, and then suddenly your vision shifts, as if you’re being pulled through a curtain and these carts are piled high with cages. And the opened one that the three of you are showed into clangs behind you, this five feet by five feet box. As the three of you are jammed into each other uncomfortably, you look about inside, under what looks to be a darkened tarp that covers the cages Glancing out the side of your eye, you can see in the one next to you, that there are other dark humanoid figures quietly whimpering and not moving. You hear “Heyup!” and the horses begin to pick up speed, as the creaking of wheels turning get faster and the feel of the cart beginning to move. And that’s where we’re going to finish tonight’s session (groaning) SAM: Was she taken and Fjord and Jester? TALIESIN: The three of them, yep SAM: All in the same cart TALIESIN: Yep ASHLEY: Fuck MARISHA: My heart SAM: We heard it with our passive perception MARISHA: They were in a Silence spell SAM: Oh, I forgot to tell you that I never went to sleep and I was watching the whole time! MARISHA: Better be some dope investigating at the top when we come back TALIESIN: Maybe you hit him enough so that you left a clue MATT: It’s possible SAM: Well yeah, blood MATT: There were some struggle MARISHA: Blood! Splatter! Some CSI shit! Up in here! SAM: Yeah, we’ll get a black light (laughter) SAM: We’re going to name it Caruso MARISHA: Yeah, we’ll have dope one-liners ASHLEY: Yup MARISHA: The Who. It’s going to be great LIAM: Oh man, what a foursome. Holy shit

MATT: It’s going to be interesting ASHLEY: This was too much! Kiri and then this? LIAM: We did the right thing with Kiri ASHLEY: My heart TALIESIN: Yes MATT: Love you guys MARISHA: We didn’t kill Fjord and Jester, though! By puppeting them. We took some money, but that’s a good cost for not killing them LIAM: We did drain Laura’s coffers, though ASHLEY: Just a little LIAM: There was that TALIESIN: To be fair, it’s not like the money would do her any good right now MARISHA: That 75 gold? TALIESIN: They’re going to take all of that, so if anything– MATT: Well, she didn’t take her haversack with her when she parted with you guys MARISHA: So we have the haversack. And if they get disarmed– TALIESIN: Really, it’s our money now SAM: Mm-hmm MATT: You can take that up with Laura TALIESIN: I’m going to have access to this haversack for a while, I’m just saying. Sorry MATT: Oh boy TALIESIN: Oh boy. I’m going to get in trouble MATT: Love you, Ashley ASHLEY: Love you TALIESIN: Oh god! No! MATT: She goes back to New York. You’ll hop in when you can ASHLEY: I’ll hop in when I can LIAM: No, she doesn’t! Is that true? ASHLEY: What? LIAM: You’re leaving? ASHLEY: Yep MATT: He knows that LIAM: Don’t go MATT: I know LIAM: Stay here! And play D&D for weeks and years at the old folks’ home MATT and ASHLEY: I know MARISHA: We’re just selfish LIAM: Yeah, we are ASHLEY: But Skyping isn’t the same, yeah? LIAM: No, I feel like I’m in a bunker underneath the ocean MATT: I know MARISHA: You sound like it LIAM: There’s just a half a second of delay and that’s all it takes to make feel like I’m 80 feet away TALIESIN: No, it’s like playing D&D with General Zod. I mean I’m happy to do it, but it is a little weird (laughter) TALIESIN: It’s a little much LIAM: Can I be Terence Stamp? MATT: It’s true TALIESIN: Bless you MATT: Thank you, Liam, for making it MARISHA and ASHLEY: Thank you, Liam! SAM: Thank you, Matt for making this game work with half of a crew LIAM: –Baryshnikov of Dungeons & Dragons MARISHA: Congrats to Laura and Travis! SAM: I’m sure they’re sound asleep right now. Just getting a good night’s sleep (laughter) MATT: Oh yeah, the dads get to laugh now TALIESIN: Never again SAM: The first night is rough! LIAM: Just you wait, Travis Willingham! The chickens are all coming home to roost! TALIESIN: This is the most complicated revenge plan I’ve ever heard MARISHA; I know! These fucking assholes are like, “One of us! When are you going to join our “misery?!” And I’m like, “No!” MATT: We’re good! LIAM: Not misery TALIESIN: Sleep is all gone MARISHA: No, it’s not misery. It’s beautiful and amazing and incredible MATT: All right, we’re going to go so I can go to sleep because it’s been a very long day TALIESIN; It’s been a very long day! MARISHA: The day’s not over! ASHLEY: No! MARISHA: For me, at least! MATT: I know. That’s okay MARISHA: Let’s move MATT: Okay. Well guys, we’re off next week. We’ll miss you then. We’ll leave you on this fantastic cliffhanger for the next two weeks and we’ll pick up from there with a guest or two which we’ll announce as we finalize the schedule. Yeah! It means we have two guests and one guest may have on-camera work that is waiting to hear if they can make that first session, so we’ll find out (singing) The life of the actor! But yes, we’ll have announcements soon on that. In the meantime, guys, thank you so much for coming with us. We love you, and is it Thursday yet? Good night! [music]