29. Bachelorette Party IX

They’re coming out of their house and they’re doing just fine. But what awaits the party outside of Archspire Hideaway? Johnny is charming. Tracey is self-aware. Inara is in the spotlight.



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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Johnny B. Goodlight: Michael Fische

- Creative Contributors: Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, Heddy Hunt

- Multitude: multitude.productions


Amanda: Last time on Join The Party..

Eric: The party falls into, yep, more mud, with a Zoo Cube growling above them. It’s also not a great day for the Bachelorette producers.

Michael (as Johnny): What do you mean, I destroyed the heart?

Eric (as the producer): What do you think?! You think that this 27-year-old is controlling a millennia-old power? You're crazy! All of you are so stupid, and you're ruining my show!

Eric: The Council of Bright makes threats, but Johnny has a lifeline.

Heddy (as announcer): The Council will judge you all! It will come for you. And you cannot stop it.

Eric (as Noto Oto): Johnny, Johnny, we're here for you, if you just say the code word, and we can get everybody out.

Eric: There’s a muddy cave under the arena with something weird on the ceiling... 

Eric: As you look closer, the stalactites are some of the contestants that have been knocked out of the Bachelorette Tournament.

Eric: And Alonzo’s there too! With Noto Oto’s help, the squad hauls their fellow contestants to safety in Archspire Hideaway. After a dunk into the holy water, Alonzo wakes up pretty confused. And apparently, pretty powerful.

Eric: And then Alonzo says

Eric (as Alonzo): Um… everybody sit.

Eric: And all the mud people sit.

Eric: One mud, two mud, red mud, blue—oh my god this is so suspenseful, let’s get to it already! Let’s get the party started! 

[theme music]

[crickets chirping outside]

[low atonal, organ-like music]

Eric: Alonzo gets cleaned up from the holy water pool, and all of the mud that was surrounding him from the cloying chamber below washes away of his hands and his feet and his entire body. And he cleans off of the medallion as well. And as everyone is standing around waiting for the Champion to wake up, the mud people from inside the mansion start walking in single file line-

[marching footsteps]

-just lock step with each other, and there’s thirty of them- ten in three different rows- and they stop right in front of the- of the group of you. Alonzo gets up and his medallion starts to spin and spin and spin and it has colors. He gets up, shakes the water off of him, and says

Eric (as Alonzo): Um… sit.

Eric: And all of the mud people sit down. Alonzo then looks around at everybody and looks down at his medallion and says

Eric (as Alonzo): What is going on here?! 

[music stops]

Where have I been? What is happening here? Why am I able to command all of these people?! Can someone give me some answers! I don’t know what all of you are! There’s Johnny- I know Johnny. I know Tracey, the robot guy-

Brandon (as Tracey): Hi!

Eric (as Alonzo): Inara’s there. What- I don’t know who any of you are!

Eric: The Representative steps forward and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): Um, excuse me, sir. There’s been a lot happening over the last- the last few days. And I think that it might take a little while to catch you all up, so why don’t you just sit down and take a second and… just… okay I’m out of- I’m out of answers.

Michael: I offer Alonzo one of the drinks I had been making and passing to everyone.

Brandon: I walk over to Alonzo and stand next to him with my axe in hand, because I am [in grand heroic voice] protecting Alonzo!

Eric: First time.

Brandon: First time!

[Eric and Amanda chuckling]

Michael: And when there is no immediate danger! [laughing]

Brandon: Exactly!

Amanda: No time like the fifth arc.

[all laughing]

Eric: As Alonzo is kind of looking wildly around at everybody, Kevin Vacation-

[Michael groaning]

-takes a step forward…

[Brandon laughing]

[Michael groaning louder]

Michael: Yes.

[Amanda and Eric laughing]

Eric: Kevin Vacation takes a step forward, as does Representative Brink, and Autumn also takes a step forward, and you can tell that they all- all kind of looking at each other, and they’re- they’re like trying to walk slowly towards Alonzo. Kevin’s like

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Hey man, just- why don't’ you just- just take a second.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey, take two steps back, please. Stay away from the Champion.

Eric: Autumn’s like

Eric (as Autumn): Um, it’s fine, just like- we can all just take a break, like you know-

Amanda (as Inara): Inara’s gonna step in front of Autumn, with her hand on her dagger at her hip.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: Johnny’s gonna stand in front of Kevin Vacation and start playing with some Eldritch Blast Light and Dark energies in his hands, just like bouncing it around.

[Brandon giggling]

Just bouncing it around in his hands like-

Michael (as Johnny): Uh, Kevin, how'd you like that earlier fall? How about you step back before you fall again?

Eric: Why don’t all three of you make Intimidation checks?

[dice rolling twice]

Amanda: 14.

Michael: 19.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Uh… 11.

Eric: Okay. Autumn and Kevin, they just kind of hang out next to you like, “Okay, listen it’s fine.”

Eric: But Representative Brink keeps taking steps forward and is like

Eric (as Representative Brink): Hey, sir, or- I’m not sure what I’m supposed to refer to you as- just why don’t… Listen, we don’t know what’s going on with your spinning medallion, and we’ve just dealt with a lot over the last few days, and Tracey, I just wanna get a hand on what is happening here.

Michael: Hey, am I passively sensing any kind of magic?

Eric: Why don't you make an Arcana check?

Michael: Okay.

Eric: Because I think I can tell you something intentional.

Michael: I would love to know.

[dice rolling]

That is a… 15.

Eric: Sure. What are you looking for, specifically?

Michael: I’m looking for any kind of charm-related or mind-altering magic that is causing these people to now suddenly approach Alonzo.

Eric: No, I would say that they- this is the person that they haven't seen before, and he now has control over the mud people. I can tell you something else, though-

Michael: Oh!

Eric: -with that 15. 

Michael: Okay, sure.

Eric: When you look at the medallion, as it’s spinning- before it just generates light and like glow, but now this has the same colors of the rocks that you saw before, and also the vial that was from Representative Brinks’ boot. It’s glowing red, and yellow, and blue, and then crosses over into green, and orange, and purple. And those lights are revolving around the medallion at this point.

Michael: So it’s as if the medallion has absorbed whatever power that Inara and Johnny kind of destroyed from that vial.

Eric: Bang.

Michael: Okay.

Eric: Okay. With that, as Johnny, you take your eye off of Kevin Vacation and look at the medallion.

Michael: Sure.

Eric: At this point, P0R0 steps up and opens up their chest piece, and Salmon hops out, [machine hissing] and they’re like-

Eric (as Salmon): Man, this is so wild. I love this. Reality shows are my favorite. You never know what’s gonna happen.

Brandon (as Tracey): [excited] Salmon!!!

Eric (as Salmon): There’s new people, and there’s new people popping up, and people you didn’t expect coming, and then there were mud people, and it’s wild! 

Eric: And everybody around [laughing] just like looks over at Salmon and they're like- and they’re freaking out!

Amanda: Inara’s gonna high five Salmon.

Brandon (as Tracey): Salmon, you killed it down there!

Eric (as Salmon): I know! It was  cra- I didn’t think I could do it, but I feel like I had the power of the robot, like with me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah! You’re an official warforged!

Eric (as Salmon): Wh- I- Salmon-forged!

Amanda (as Inara): You could change the “o” in your name to a zero.

Eric (as Salmon): Oh, I like that. I can definitely do that.

Michael: I am going to ignore this and go try to talk to Alonzo, and try to maybe get him to a different part of the room away from curious onlookers if possible.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, can we let Tracey and Salmon kind of capture the attention of the crowd as Johnny and I talk to Alonzo?

Eric: Yes. As Salmon hops out and everyone is looking at the gnome who hopped out of the mech, Alonzo points at the crowd and says-

Michael: [muttering under his breath] don’t point at the crowd, Alonzo, don’t do that, don’t-

Amanda: Alonzo… Alonzo just walk away…

[Michael and Amanda continue muttering]

Brandon: Alonzo…

Amanda: It’s okay…

Michael: Hey Alonzo, come here. Alonzo, don’t do that-

Brandon: Don’t do it.

Amanda: Don’t do it honey-

Michael: Eh- eh, Alonzo

Eric: And he shouts

Eric (as Alonzo): Stand guard.

Eric: And one of two or three mud people stand next to every single one of the contestants.

Amanda: That’s a great way to de escalate tension.

Michael: Yeah.

Brandon: Including us?

Eric: No, everybody else.

Michael: Gosh golly, Alonzo, you sure know how to diplomacize everything so well.

Eric: Yeah there's uh- four standing around Chad.

Eric (as Chad): I have my rights! I am a hu-man! Tracey. Tracey, you said everything was gonna be okay. What do I do?

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, Chad, just stay calm, okay?

Eric (as Chad): This is as calm as I can do- my hands are up, can you all tell?

Eric: And Chad-

All: Aww!

Eric: You can’t see because Chad doesn’t have hands.

Michael (as Johnny): Alonzo, what are you doing?

Eric (as Alonzo): I… the last thing that I remember is I fell like a hundred fee,t and then I woke up again covered in water-

Michael: Right, do you know-

Eric (as Alonzo): And I am definitely not going to take the- I need to know what’s happening. I need to preserve myself. Safety- everyone’s safety is the number one concern here.

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, okay. We’re trying to get there. Remember, you employed us to keep you really safe, and that is what we do most of the time.

Eric (as Alonzo): I can- listen, I can take care of myself- I have mud people.

Michael (as Johnny): You really can’t, though, you really can’t, also where are these mud people coming from? How do you know that they’re yours, and how can you command them?

Eric (as Alonzo): I don’t know- I’m the champion! I can do whatever I want!

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, Alonzo, we’ve been here for like a week, and they have been nothing but manipulative and harmful to us. Now, at some point in the last couple of days, you shot and arrow up through the ceiling. Do you remember that?

Eric: Alonzo’s eyes get really big and he says

Eric (as Alonzo): No I don’t. I don't’ remember that. I mean, I could have done it.

Eric: Alonzo has a bow and arrows in a quiver on his back.

Eric (as Alonzo): I thought that was a dream- that I shot the arrow out, so maybe I did do it?

Michael: Alonzo, could- could perhaps for right now, you get your guard detail that you think can protect you away from these contestants who just, like you, had a really bad time with mud. So maybe we try to de-escalate the situation and you, and I, and Inara, and the Representative, and Tracey can go into a different room and talk this out. Like good old times. Remember, Alonzo? Way back when, like a week ago? Let’s just be pals.

Eric (as Alonzo): I don't’ know anyone else here, and I can control the mud people, so I’m gonna keep doing that. I’m gonna let them there. Also, uhhhh... This woman right here, taking steps towards me-

Eric: And he points towards Representative Brink.

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah, I recognize her. I know her. Two years ago, there was a bunch of protestors outside of the meeting of the Capitol during the Representative Summit, and she was leading them! There was like a - there were bongos and drums and a drum beat and there were chants and they were mean. And she called me a neauvo aristocratic dweeb. And I don’t appreciate that. And she’s barefoot, and I do not trust any of this.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, I don’t know about-

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Johnny. Johnny.

[dice rolling]

That was a good insult. It was a good burn.

Amanda: Yeah, Inara failed her Deception check. She’s gonna giggle.

[all laughing]

Michael (as Johnny): Alonzo-

Eric (as Alonzo): Don’t laugh!

Michael (as Johnny): Alonzo, I don't know whether you’re a dweeb of the nouveau aristocratic type. You may be, you may not be, that’s not my business. But how about- she's currently in charge here, supposedly, so let’s just go into the other room, and you calm down with the mud people because that’s not cool-

Eric (as Alonzo): She’s in charge?!

Michael (as Johnny): And if you’re supposed to represent the people of this land, you know better than to threaten them with mud guards.

Eric (as Alonzo): She’s in charge?! Who put her in charge?

Michael (as Johnny): Do you want to have a discussion, or do you wanna just get mad about stuff?

Eric (as Alonzo): Both. Can I do both?

Brandon (as Tracey): No!

Michael (as Johnny): You really can’t because we don’t have time.

Eric (as Alonzo): Alright, I’m keeping-

Michael (as Johnny): You’ve got to-

Eric (as Alonzo): Fine, I’m keeping the mud people there.

Michael (as Johnny): No you’re not, because then we’re not having a conversation, that’s just threatening. And you’re not in a position to be doing threatening things. You’re in a position to work with us as we’re working together to try… you apparently came here to help this city, so how about you do that instead of threaten people?

Amanda (as Inara): Also, everyone here almost died, and the colosseum was melting into mud around us, so who knows if this house is gonna be safe- if it’s not, it feels like we’re suspended in mud. I don’t even know where this place is. And we really have to figure out what’s going to happen here before it happens to us.

Michael (as Johnny): And right now the road block is you. Could you just call your people off and we go into the other room and talk like adults.

Eric: Do Persuasion, because I don’t think he’s- he’s definitely trying to dig his heels in here.

[dice rolling]

Michael: Well, that’s a crit 1, so I’m going to have to do a Charm Person now.

Eric: Okay, with a crit 1, I think for the first time you see like he’s not just indignant, he thinks that he is absolutely right and he is not going to call off the mud people.

Michael: Great.

Eric: He says

Eric (as Alonzo): I am the Champion here and I think that I know what’s best-

Michael: I cut him off because I’m not interested in what he has to say. While he’s talking, I give him the two fingers and I cast Charm Person.

Eric: Okay. 

Michael: You have to do a Wisdom saving throw.

[dice rolling]

Eric: What do I have to beat?

Michael: 15.

Eric: Yeah, he rolled a 5.

Michael: Okay.

Eric: Alonzo, as he gets up in your face and he’s really starting to growl at you, all of a sudden his expression just drops to placid, and he takes a big sigh and says

Eric (as Alonzo): [sighs] Okay, but I’m having the mud people carry me.

[Brandon laughing]

Michael (as Johnny): Alonzo, I wouldn’t want anything else. And also I know you’re gonna get mad at me later, but this is for the best.

Eric (as Alonzo): Johnny, I would never be mad at you. You’re like my father figure, and I-

Michael: Can I record all this somehow?

Eric: No.

[Amanda laughing]

Eric (as Alonzo): You’re my father figure and I appreciate what you’re trying to do for me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can I have an escort? A mud person escort too?

Eric (as Alonzo): Sure. Tracey, Tracey’ll get carried by some mud people.

Brandon (as Tracey): Weeeeeee!

Michael: Okay, so let’s move all the mud people and our entire party including Alonzo and the Representative into the dining room while everyone is outside just like freaking out.

Eric: With the Representative?

Michael: Bringing the Representative.

Eric: Okay. Alonzo and Tracey get lifted up by like two really big armchairs, and they’re riding the armchairs inside into the mansion. There’s like the main meeting room where like everyone would sit around and, in theory, if the game had kept going, they would like have deep conversations with each other. And there are a lot of couches everywhere. 

Alonzo gets dropped off onto the couch. Inara, while you’re going inside to deal with the situation, Autumn runs up to you and whispers in your ear

Eric (as Autumn): [whispering] Hey, uh like, just let me know what’s happening. I- I think this Guild would really wanna know the political intrigue here. It’ll give us a leg up in the future.

Amanda (as Inara): Keep everybody else calm outside, and we’ll see what I can do for you afterward. Not making any promises. 

Amanda: I’m walking away.

Eric: Okay. So Alonzo sits in like the corner of the- I assume that there’s like- because there’s always an L-shaped couch.

Michael: Always.

Eric: In these mansions-

Michael: Sure.

Eric: So he’s like sitting in the corner of all of them and has his feet up on a mud ottoman.

Michael: Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): What brought you to Tortipolis? [pause] What moved you to leave Fidapolis without telling your husband, without telling the Representative, without telling any of us, and get us sent here at the end of the day, riding through the middle of the night, only to fall into a gigantic hole, get taken prisoner in this house, and then wait, and wait, and wait until you decide to show up in the middle of a mud avalanche?

Eric (as Alonzo): I guess we’re just gonna cut right to the feeling in the beginning here. Ya know… No, I’m not gonna pretend like this wasn’t totally my idea in the first place. Well I didn’t- I just wanna say that it was not my idea to get captured by mud people. It was also not my idea to have a giant Bachelorette Tournament. That was pretty much a bummer.

Brandon (as Tracey): What was your idea, Alonzo?

Eric (as Alonzo): Um, my idea was to get more magic arrows. That’s it.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, yeah, this would be the city to go to- I just don't know why, if we are assigned and have a proven track record of working well with you, and protecting you, that you would-

Amanda (as Inara): I don’t know, saving your life a lot.

Michael (as Johnny): I don’t know why you wouldn’t talk to us and we can go together as a group. I certainly- you know I’m interested in the magic stuff. You know I appreciate that and I would have hoped that you would have started to trust us a little more, and hoped that things wouldn’t get so bad that perhaps someone would have to even charm you. What’s going on with you that you are just acting all rebellious-young-teen when you're supposed to be a married adult with responsibilities?

Eric (as Alonzo): This is my responsibility. I’m trying to better myself. You’re the one who told me these arrows were cursed. And they’re not cursed, they’re just magic, and they give me powers. I can send- I can send these arrows wherever I want. I banished that ooze. I got this arrow- I guess when I was half awake and I thought this was a dream- that I just kind of fired it off and it found you.

Michael (as Johnny): But you see why we have to lie to you or we have to charm you, because you refuse to act to be the person who you are. Regardless of the problems with that, not only is your responsibility to be the Champion, but your responsibility is also to stay alive and avoid being caught. And obviously you can’t prepare for that, but you can be better set up to fight against it if you tell the people who are hired as your group, as your gang, as your protectors-

Brandon (as Tracey): As your friends?

Michael (as Johnny): People who after the Bone Whale, learned that they could depend on you as much as hopefully you understand that you can depend on them. So it’s just really disappointing that you would make this so difficult that we can’t even have a conversation without having to use magic to talk to each other. I am very, very disappointed.

Amanda (as Inara): Think about it for two seconds, man. We don’t wanna have some kind of guard duty sitting around in Fidapolis all day long. We know what that’s like. We want to go on adventures. We like traveling. The fact that we had to chase after you instead of setting out together on an adventure to see a new city is just harder than it has to be. I didn’t even get to pack!

Michael (as Johnny): And you’re only making it worse for yourself too.

Eric: He looks like very quizzical and he’s like

Eric (as Alonzo): Whoa, hold on, we’re gonna talk about trust? And friends? And liking each other? You guys are jerks to me all of the time! What about leaving me in places? What about not trusting me to do anything? What about, um, not training with me when I’m obviously trying to figure something out? And lying to me about magic!

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, Alonzo, you’re mentioning things like the Bone Whale, where you- you have to prove to us as much as we have to prove to you. You’re talking about stuff in the past when things had changed, and you're not recognizing that i you hold onto grudges forever, obviously we’re going to lie to you about magic, obviously we’re going to not trust you when you just go into meetings and just talk to people with- without a thought of like how to act, when you go get drunk with teenagers at a bar an hang out at a bridge. Sure, we forgot about you-

Eric (as Alonzo): [interrupting] I am a teenager!

Michael (as Johnny): But you have responsibilities and you know-

Eric (as Alonzo): What else do you need me to do?!

Michael (as Johnny): - that you do, because you have magic that none of us understand, including yourself, and you can’t just go out on your own and just do whatever you want. This isn’t how life works. It sucks and I understand that. You aren’t the first person to just have responsibilities hoisted upon them and have to deal with things out of their control. So don’t act like none of us- 

Michael: And I point to the three of us.

Michael (as Johnny): -have walked in your shoes. Just because it isn’t the same path. We know what you’re going through, so how about we try again, let’s start over. And you try to act like the man that I know Greg loves, the man that your father and the Speaker believe in as the Champion, and the man that we decided to work with in defense of this realm. Let’s start over, Alonzo.

Amanda (as Inara): We need to be a team.

Michael (as Johnny): And I never want to have to charm you again just to talk to you, because it shouldn't’ be that way.

Eric (as Alonzo): [slowly, measured] These all seem like your problems. You don't know what I am going through. And don’t you ever, ever talk about Greg. Ever. 

Eric: And Alonzo sits back and stares at the ceiling. There’s like a long silence where there’s just like tension in the air.

Michael: Johnny opens his book, sits down on a chair as far away from Alonzo, and just starts writing in his book of Undying Light.

Eric: Everyone sits in the tension for a minute or so, and Representative Brink pipes up and says


Eric (as Representative Brink): This is awkward, right? This is- this is super awkward.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh my god, yes, thank you for- oh jeez.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Good, I just need to acknowledge the awkwardness. He like- he- Alonzo, you don’t look the same as when I was-

Michael (as Johnny): [interrupting] Don’t speak to him. Instead, answer this question: why were you protesting the Representatives in Concentra?

Brandon (as Tracey): And who are you?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Uh, well I can introduce myself formally. Hi, I’m Hannah. Hello. I’m Hannah. Hannah Brink. I am the Representative. I promise. There was an election and I won! Really handily-

Brandon (as Tracey): Like a real election, or like-

Eric (as Representative Brink): All elections are real.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, cool, guys I don’t think she’s-

Amanda (as Inara): So there were no other opponents I guess?

Eric (as Representative Brink): No I- okay, that did sound- with the context it sounded pretty bad, didn’t it?

[all laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): A little bit.

Eric (as Representative Brink): No, I did win. It was- there were actually ten other people in the election, and I won.

Michael (as Johnny): That seems busy.

Eric (as Representative Brink): It was a busy election! Everyone had their own parties. There was one- there was the Red Throat Gang also ran one. And they’re a terrorist group! That’s wild. Um-

Brandon (as Tracey): Did you have the best party?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Yeah it was- I had the best political party.

Eric: And she stares into the camera.

[all laughing]

Amanda (as Inara): Were there party favors?

Amanda: And then Inra stares into the camera.

Michael (as Johnny): Did you have a pool party while you were-

Eric (as Representative Brink): No Johnny, there-

Brandon (as Tracey): At what point did you join the party?

[all cracking up]

Brandon: And Brandon looks into the camera.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Yeah, it was really crowded. This was the- let’s see [counting to self] 1, 2, 3- fifth election in… a year or so? Um, two of them were invalidated, one of them the Representative “died.”

Eric: And she makes quotation marks.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh!

Eric (as Representative Brink): And the other one, the Representative did die, because that dude was like 205 and then he lost the medallion to keep his, like, bones together.

Amanda (as Inara): So how do you go from protesting the idea of a Representative to running for a seat yourself?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well, I wasn't protesting the Representative institution, per se. It’s more the build-up of political corruption that goes unchallenged. This is like a rigid caste system instituted by the Speaker, and continues to be unchanged by the populus until I step in and become the catalyst for real democratic change. 

Michael (as Johnny): But you don’t think that with these kind of paradigm shifts-

Amanda: I’m sorry, Fish, I just have to make note that Inara’s eyes are wiiiiiide and her cheeks are reeeeeeed.

Eric: Inara’s super into buzzwords.

Amanda: -and she is just lookin’ down at her feet very conspicuously.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Hey, Johnny, are these words?

Michael (as Johnny): [whispering back] Barely. Barely, Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, will you add them to my dictionary?

Michael (as Johnny): It’s honestly not even worth it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, okay.

Michael (as Johnny): You should honestly just forget these words.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, thank you.

Eric (as Representative Brink): So I took the opportunity of political unrest to put myself forward as a-

Amanda (as Inara): Gotta play the system and change the system. Wait, so what- so, uh-

Eric (as Representative Brink): Exactly.

Amanda (as Inara): Why do this in the first place?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well, like you just said, the only way to dismantle the system is to play the system. And that’s how I got in. I ran-

Michael: Johnny Eldritch Blasts himself in the face.

[all laughing]

Eric (as Representative Brink): I knew that the people would appreciate me as someone who has a strong record of standing up against, um, institutions and political corruption, and they voted me in. And the fact that it seemed like I had came in control of a bunch of mud monsters... might have helped as well.

Michael (as Johnny): Whoa, whoa, whoa, what do you mean you came in control of a bunch of mud monsters?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Uh, well, I was looking around in the co-op that I was living in in the bottom of Tortipolis-

[Michael groans]

Amanda: Inara gulps.

Eric (as Representative Brink): And-

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] Was it a vegan co-op?

[Brandon laughing]

Eric (as Representative Brink): Yeah. Yeah, I’m-

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Did you compost?

Eric (as Representative Brink): We composted a lot- there’s a lot about Tortipolis that you don't know. It was just like seven of my closest friends and I were together in our co-op, and someone had actually donated a whole trunk of old clothes, and I was looking around-

Michael: Is there like a time-speed spell that Johnny can cast?

[all laughing]

Eric: I’m almost done. I promise I’m almost done.

Eric (as Representative Brink): And um I found these boots! And they were all covered in mud, and they fit me perfectly, and then all of a sudden I could- thought I could control mud people.

Michael (as Johnny): So apparently you couldn’t. I talked to one of the mud people before the voice of- hey who was that voice, by the way, that announcer speaker person?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Oh yeah I don’t know. 

Brandon (as Tracey): What?!

Michael (as Johnny): Okay, so it seems- do you know the Council of Bright?

Eric (as Representative Brink): No, what's that?

Michael (as Johnny): So I don’t know what or who they are, but it turns out they just wanted to mess with you. And you were an unwilling party to this.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, they also make like warforged I think.

Amanda (as Inara): Who told you to do the show?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Um, well I thought it was- I thought it was a good idea. 

Amanda (as Inara): Was it your idea, or did someone come to you with an idea?

Eric (as Representative Brink): … Well it’s my intellectual property I guess, because-

Michael (as Johnny): No one-

Brandon (as Tracey): So you didn’t, okay, cool, cool, cool.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, cool. Who came in to pitch you on the show? Because like Johnny’s saying, there's a lot happening behind the scenes that I don’t think you were aware of. You’re being used just like us.

Michael (as Johnny): Also, how do you reconcile the philosophical differences of someone who’s-

Amanda: Inara’s standing on Johnny’s foot.

Brandon: I push over Johnny.

[Eric laughs]

Eric (as Representative Brink): Wha- I- I felt really compelled to go- to like go… Tortipolis is a vertical city. Like you can go up and you can go down, and I was just kind of- I felt compelled to go as high- 

Amanda (as Inara): Hannah…

Eric (as Representative Brink): -to climb as high as possible, and I kind of like rooted around in the second and third levels over here, and I kicked- there was this like old rotten over door? And I just like kicked it open and I stepped forward and there was this entire colosseum. And I was like, “Oh we could totally use this as like a campaign- speech…”

Michael (as Johnny): This compulsion to come up here. Where did that come from?

Eric (as Representative Brink): Um… I, well- I was wearing the boots… so… I always get good ideas when I wear the boots.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, sure, boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do.

Eric (as Representative Brink): [at the same time as Johnny] And that’s just what they’ll do.

Michael (as Johnny): That’s just what you did, really-

Eric (as Representative Brink): Yeah, and-

Michael (as Johnny): You walked all the way over-

Eric (as Representative Brink): I was just gonna walk all over you...

Amanda (as Inara): Until mud walks all over all of us and takes over the city, yeah, yeah, I love that song.

[all burst out laughing]

Eric (as Representative Brink): And I thought… and then- well the mud people then started showing up. Before, it was just like “Oh I can walk over puddles,” and “Oh they can- my garden looks nicer than it did before.” And then like the mud people started showing up, and the one with the black hat then showed up, and I guess they told me that I should do a reality show and really just like get everyone together for- to like be on my side, and-

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, they were doing something nefarious there.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well, I mean, well then- and then I ran for Representative and the mud people were like on stage with me when I was making the speeches, and everyone voted for me, and I did- and I promised I was gonna do this show to have a partner, and I did it, and everyone saw it. I mean, everyone in the Concentric States has access to these TV channels. I mean, it’s pretty popular. I’m not the first one to do this kind of dating show.

Brandon (as Tracey): You weren’t the first?

Eric (as Representative Brink): I mean, not on this scale, like who wants to marry a Representative? And it worked! I mean, everyone loved it. You saw everyone was loving it. And I assume in other parts of the Concentric States they love it as well.

Brandon (as Tracey): Now you’re calling this which happened here a success? Everything’s-

Eric (as Representative Brink): Everyone was cheering and I think everyone’s safe, so-

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, people were dying and the house is crumbling around us, and-

Amanda (as Inara): And the colosseum totally collapsed and-

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well, I didn’t see anyone die. I didn’t see anyone died.

Amanda (as Inara): Almost!

Brandon (as Tracey): There’s still time. There’s still time.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Uh, okay, well-

Michael (as Johnny): Almost, yeah, almost happened.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well I don’t know, I haven’t been outside. They keep me- they kept me sequestered in here-

Michael (as Johnny): Okay, but-

Eric (as Representative Brink): We can’t get out! I mean, if everything is crumbling around here, we’re still stuck inside of this mud bubble. I mean Tracey, I know you tried to break out. How many hits did you do with the axe? Like 20? I saw that tape. And you’re a big strong warforged man.

Brandon (as Tracey): Thank you.

Eric (as Representative Brink): So I don’t even know how to get out of here.

Amanda (as Inara): Well, we’re gonna have to figure that out, but I also wonder who’s controlling the mud and what is this distracting from? If people are watching this, they’re not watching other stuff. And I’m wondering what’s going on behind the scenes.

Eric: While you are all ignoring Alonzo, you hear a splashing noise. Like a foot in a mud puddle. 

[small splash]

And you turn around and Alonzo’s foot has literally entered the mud ottoman. And he pulls it out and goes

Eric (as Alonzo): Oh, no, these are my- well they're my bad shoes, but they’re still- ohh.

Eric: And he like shakes it off, and you see that the ottoman is losing form. Tracey, I would say Tracey in particular. You remember the big mud hands that were going over you like waves? It was like this. It’s like it’s losing viscosity. And then the ottoman tries to reform, and it tries to turn into ten of the mud people, and these look more like splatters than they do actually humanoid figures. And they try to turn into five mud people and they can’t hold that together. And they try to turn into three mud people and they can’t hold that, and they’re in one and it’s all waving all over the place and the mud is freaking’ out.

Michael (as Johnny): Alonzo, are you doing that, or-

Eric (as Alonzo): No! I didn't do anything! I put my foot on the ottoman and I wanted it to be an ottoman, and now it’s not doing the ottoman anymore.

Brandon (as Tracey): Y’all, I think we need to leave.

Michael (as Johnny): Is it possible, Alonzo, that while you still have some control of it, you can try to get the mud to help us- all of us here- escape back to the surface level?

Eric (as Alonzo): I can try? I can definitely try to do that. I-

Amanda (as Inara): You gotta do it like now though.

Eric (as Alonzo): Alright, we’ll do it like now.

Eric: And Alonzo goes out to the main pool area

[outdoor sounds, crickets, pool filter whirring]

-and as all of you walk out there, he’s trying to make like a ladder out of the mud. The ladder like is unstable, and he tries to make just a rope. Just a straight up column to reach the ceiling. And it seems unstable as well, but it’s holding together as best as it can.

Amanda (as Inara): Hey- hey Lonz- how about you focus on making the ceiling relax? Like you know how this is starting to lose form? Can you try to clear a space for us going upward? Because I can fly now. We haven’t talked about that. It’s pretty cool. Johnny can Light Step. We can try to get out of here, we just need to patch the surface. Then we can take others.

Eric (as Alonzo): I guess I- okay, I can try it. I can try it, yeah.

Eric: And he concentrates and does like a- a sweeping motion with his hands upward, and all of the mud tries to congeal into a mass up on the ceiling, and it looks sort of like what you’ve been flying through before to move through spaces.

Michael: Okay.

Eric: But it doesn’t look great. It doesn’t look stable. It looks watery. Alonzo’s having a hard time keeping it up there.

Michael: Using Prestidigitation-Thaumaturgy happy fun times, Johnny’s going to enhance his vocal range and loudness and yell

Michael (as Johnny): I was wondering if there were gonna be any deliveries of any papaya treats any time soon so we can get out of here. I sure am in the mood for some papaya right now.

Brandon (as Tracey): Some sorbet!

Michael (as Johnny): Papaya time would be great any time now!

Amanda (as Inara): Hey Johnny, what kind of smoothie you feel like?

Michael (as Johnny): I feel like a papaya smoothie!

Brandon (as Tracey): Maybe some chewie snacks!

Michael (as Johnny): I love a chewie papaya treat. You know, if I-

Amanda (as Inara): How about some relish on top of a nice served chicken?

Michael (as Johnny): You got it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Maybe like a bellini but with papaya!

Michael (as Johnny): I would love a papaya bellini! You know, if I could make like a stretchy but healthy fruit-roll-up type thing I would use papaya.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh yeah, really good for the road- yeah, love it.

Eric: Okay, Johnny while you’re doing this, I want Inara and Tracey to make Perception checks. 

[dice rolling]

Amanda: Crit fail, sorry to tell ya.

Brandon: 13 + 2 for a 15.

Eric: Okay, Inara, Representative Brink has a [laughing] has a button on her jacket that says “Rock and Roll.” Tracey, you notice that Alonzo’s medallion is starting to slow down, and it’s losing a lot of the color. And first the secondary colors start to fade, and then it's just like the red and the yellow and the blue are trying to like hold on, and the medallion is starting to slow.

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys, I think Alonzo’s losing it. We need to move.

Eric: As you’re watching Alonzo failing to keep the mud up in the air, on the far wall, on the other side of the pool, you start to hear a sizzle like an egg in a hot pan. 


And then you hear a sharp ting

[high-pitched echoing, shimmery sounds]

That echoes through the entire space. And that whole far wall just crumbles. 


And for the first time in days, you feel a rush of cool air waft over you.

[pool sounds and shimmering note fade]

Eric: Hey it’s Eric. Have you ever put together an event, like a party or a concert or a live show, perhaps. And you’re working out the details and renting things and making playlists, and you see the day come closer and closer on your calendar, and it’s just filing you with a phantom dread. It’s not that you can’t do the thing, it’s that you’ll actually have to do it once it shows up. And you know everyhting is prepared, but there’s so much to do that you just don’t know how it can go. And in the blink of an eye, it’s over. You did it. Congrats. Welcome to the midroll. I have a great photo of you dancing.

I don’t know if you heard, but we did our live show last weekend! And it was so good! Thank you to everyone who showed up, especially those who came from out of town. We’ve been making this show for just over a year and we can’t believe the wonderful people who have created a community around us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And if you didn’t make it, don’t fear—we’ll be sharing clean, crisp audio from the show very soon, along with a video recording, if you want to see what it’s like to watch our voices come out of our flesh prisons. Keep an eye on this feed and our Twitter, @jointhepartypod, for the latest on that. 

Welcome to our newest patrons, Nick, Michael, Chris, iriam, Atremus, Mark, Soraya, Zac, Buster, Gavin, and Caleb! We have some exciting stuff in the works for our member community over on Patreon. Be the first to know what we’re plotting and planning by joining us for as little as $1 at patreon.com/jointhepartypod. Your support is what lets us do amazing things like, I dunno, A FRIGGIN’ LIVE SHOW. So if you’re able to pledge even a buck, know that you’re helping the show level up into bigger and better things.

We are sponsored by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York, where you can get any indie RPG your heart desires. This week we’re letting you know about two very cool upcoming games now available for preorder, and a game designer that makes our hearts sing.

  • Kids on Bikes is a new RPG from Renegade coming out in July. It brings big adventure to small towns, letting you “take on the roles of everyday people grappling with strange, terrifying, and very, very powerful forces that they cannot defeat, control, or even fully understand. The only way to face them is to work together, use your strengths, and know when you just have to run as fast as you can.” It reminds us of Monsterhearts in the very best way.
  • Overlight is a fantasy RPG coming out in September. They describe it as “a game of kaleidoscopic journeys: a visceral, dangerous, and brightly-colored setting. Characters will search for personal meaning among a fantastic, sometimes violent, and overwhelming world.” It’s good for 2 players or more, and comes with a very beautiful 330 page hardback book.
  • And finally, Lotus Dimension is our first Game Designer Spotlight! Now on sale at Twenty Sided Store, its creators asked: “What if a game drew on amazing sci-fi and fantasy storytelling while also incorporating principles of nonviolence inspired by peaceful protests, historical leaders and the tenets of peaceful philosophical practices? And what if it offered players a way to visualize and role-play those solutions, replacing violence and weaponry with empathy and ingenuity? Lotus Dimension is that game.” We can’t wait to try it out.

You can pick up Lotus Dimension and preorder Kids on Bikes and Overlight at twenty sided store dot com, or visit them in person in Brooklyn, NY. Either way, you can use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY, for 20% off. So head over to twenty (full word) sided store.com and use our discount code JOINTHEPARTY, all one word. 

Now, let’s get back to the show.

[musical transition note]

[cricket sounds]

Eric: Outside, it’s nighttime with a half moon hanging in the sky. And for as far as you can see, it’s rock and valley. You are looking out at the largest canyon you have ever seen. It stretches as far as your eyes an see. And hanging down from the top of the hole is a person in a deep pink robe. Think about like a late summer rose. And that person has a bottle with a flame shooting out of it and is wearing a welder's mask. And they’re hanging upside down. And then you hear another person jump from above the hole up into the hole, and that person is also wearing deep pink. They’re wearing a jumpsuit. And then there's another one who’s wearing long robes in theis deep pink. And then you hear

Eric (as Noto Oto): Wooo!

Eric: And jumping down, holding onto ten thick cords of rope, and a sack over one satin pink shoulder, is Noto Oto. And she says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Does anybody want a lift? I worked at that joke for a long time.

Brandon (as Tracey): I do! I do! I do! I do!

Amanda (as Inara): Let’s go, people!

Eric: Everyone hears a “clump-cla-clump-cla-clump-cla-clump,” 

[galloping sound]

And jumping down from the top, held up by six ropes, is Joe the Camel.

All: Yaaaaay!

Michael: Our camel friend!

Eric: So, more about this contraption- this is- it’s a massive pulley system that’s connected to this thrumming, glowing, machine. As you look at the engine itself that is pulling the pulley system, it is glowing. There's enough ropes for everybody-

Amanda: We grab our packs, we secure our dogs-

Michael: Make sure everything you-

Amanda: We stuff our pockets full of granola.

Eric: Yeah, everyone secures themselves on these ropes and they're double knotted, and Noto Oto says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Okay, on three, everyone just jump into the air. 1, 2-

Brandon: [quickly] Tracey jumps.

Eric (as Noto Oto): 3!

Eric: And everyone- first it’s Tracey, and then everybody else, and you jump out like you’re rock climbing, and everyone tries to secure their feet like against the- literally the side of the wall. And there is this massive pulley system that is pulling everybody up through these ropes. 

For the first time, even in the middle of the night as you guys are walking up the side of this canyon, you see Tortipolis for the first time. 

[fast-paced, low music with thumping drum and bassline]

Tortipolis, like Representative Brink said, is a vertical city. It is built into the side of this canyon. So you’ve only seen one place. Archspire Hideaway is in like the smack dab of the entire city, but everything else has just like this wide open- it’s like these massive windows that are looking out on what looks like the Grand Canyon. It is literally that big. And Tortipolis is built into the side of that wall. 

So, there are like floors down, and when I say floors I mean literal like 20 feet were like buildings are, and there's floors down and there's floors up, so as you walk up, you get like one story. And this story is the market area, and you see that there are like stalls and stores that are shut down for the night. And you start to walk up, and then you see like more apartment-style, but of course it doesn't go up and down, it’s more side-to side. It’s like when you walk on the street and you see apartments on garden level, and you can like see into their apartments. It’s pretty late at this point, so people are cooking dinner, or they’re just like sitting with their families. 

And you walk up another layer, and this is the nightlife area. These are like bars and restaurants and this is like a real Broadway. And you can see people who are just like sitting on the street and having dinner out. You can even hear a loud bar argument from this pub that is the closest to the window. And they're arguing about how far they can spit off the side of the canyon.

[Amanda giggling]

And you can see people who are walking towards the far end of the street, who are like taking photos and selfies with the night sky behind them.

Amanda: I grew up in a town that had part of it landlocked, but part of it was on the water, and as kids you would always go to the ends of the streets which were all dead ends that were reigned by docks, and we would all just sit there and dangle your feet and fish sometimes, or throw pennies into the water. And that’s what I’m picturing is that every level, the street ends almost like where a highway ends with like a little railing you can hang over and look out and feel like you’re alive for a moment, and that’s what I’m picturing.

Eric: Yeah, it’s exactly like that. Tracey, when was the last time you saw an expanse like this?

Brandon: It’s been a while. I think the last time was when Tracey was brought back to life by Johnny, and he opened his eyes and he saw just sort of a infinitive vast of desert. Which isn’t a great memory, but I think the last great memory he had was he used to go up- when he needed a break from everything- go up on top of the governor’s mansion and just sort of look out at the expanse. And it reminded him that, you know, there's other places to go, other things to see, other people to meet. And that his current situation wasn’t his always situation.

Eric: Johnny, what are you thinking?

Michael: You know, the contrast of the darkness of the sky above, and the pretty lights from each level, and how that light reflects on the gigantic amazing view of this canyon, is completely overshadowed by how Johnny is so frustrated and done with Alonzo. Johnny has lived a much, much, much too long life to be dealing with this shit, you know?

Eric: You walk up one more story, and this one is like extra insulated with rock around it, and you can see it’s just one large penthouse apartment. Like someone spent a whole bunch of money to like get this beautiful view, and you see that there’s just like sitting chairs just right here, and Noto Oto, she’s above all of you and she says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Oh. This is my place. I don’t want you to track your muddy feet in here, which is, uh, more for you than it is for me, I promise. We’re just going one more floor up. Almost there.

Eric: And the crank is like starting to slow down as you get to the top, and Noto climbs to the top of her rope, hits this big button on the side of the pulley system, and it starts to like shut down. 

Eric (as Noto Oto): Last stop on the rope express!

Eric: Noto Oto bangs twice on this- it looks like an emergency exit panel, and from the inside it gets pushed open, and she scrambles inside and motions for everyone to follow you. And you can’t see inside because it's frosted glass. And one at a time, everyone moves in. Chad squiddles himself through and is like

Eric (as Chad): Ah, I really need to lose some weight or I won’t be able to fit into these tiny areas! A ha ha ha ha!

Amanda: [giggling to herself] Aw, Chad.

Eric: And as all four of you shimmy inside of this emergency exit, it is just green everywhere, and it’s hot. And this is the most lush greenhouse you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Inara, as you enter the greenhouse, this is the most green you’ve seen in a long, long time. 

[many birds chirping]

Amanda: Yeah, it is humid and warm and green and cavernous, and stepping into that environment from the cool dark wide outside is kind of the opposite of what it felt like to leave the Great Green on the road to Fidapolis for the first time. Stepping out of the treeline really onto the centrally maintained highway where Fidapolis starts and the wild outside ends, and it reminds me actually of why I left in the first place, and what made me leave home and leave everything that I knew. And I’m realizing that following Alonzo around as he makes bad choices is not why I left. It’s not why I gave it all up.

[music ends]

[bird and animal sounds continue]

Eric: As soon as all of you tumble into the greenhouse, you realize it’s not just green. There is a whole lot of this dark pink.You realize that people are busying themselves with like small tasks all throughout the greenhouse and everyone is wearing pink. There are people pulling weeds, and they’re wearing like pink gloves and a pink jumpsuit. There are people watering plants and wearing all pink. 

And you realize that this is just like the front of an extremely big compound. Like, you are in an enclosed park. Far, far, far away there are uniform pink buildings. There is a community here that’s active and seem to just be not even giving you guys the time of day, like they’re just living their lives. 

Amanda: Now, are there any extra uniforms lying around? Because Johnny, I think this would be a great addition to your wardrobe.

Michael: If I don’t see any, I will just make one.

[Brandon and Eric laughing]

Amanda: Very good.

Eric: Yeah, Noto puts her hand on your shoulder and says

Eric (as Noto Oto): We’ll get you in a pink kimono in due time.

Eric: Noto gets the people in pink’s attention and waves, and there’s like ten of them run up to her, and she kind of like points at all of you and is explaining the situation, and while that’s happening, Inara, Autumn shows up at your side.

Amanda: I roll my eyes.

Eric (as Autumn): Wow, um, this kind of reminds me of home.

Amanda (as Inara): Where are you even from, Autumn?

Eric (as Autumn): I’m from the Great Green just like you. You remind me of me. 

Amanda (as Inara): I’m definitely older than you.

Eric (as Autumn): Yeah, that’s a good point. I just thought that was poignant. I want to work together. You can hold your own. You're very good. I just need you… listen, we’re tied together by blood in more than one way, as family, and as… the Guild. We can work together. 

Amanda (as Inara): Isn’t our whole thing to work separately though? Like I don’t know, I haven’t been to any like initiation ceremonies or quarterly meetings or whatever, but the fact that we’re talking to each other out here, isn’t that dangerous?

Eric (as Autumn): Sometimes, like, currently dangerous turns out to be not dangerous later. I don’t know. You’re the first person I really can trust. I trust you and I want you to trust the Guild. The people- I guess not people. Listen, if you got marbles, I trust them. And that’s something. So if you need anything, you can trust me.

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, Autumn, I’m gonna level with you. I have a lot of stuff that I need to do. My mission isn’t as simple as I think you think it is. And the best thing you can do for me right now is give me space to do that.

Eric (as Autumn): Okay. Like if you, um, like wanna work alone, that’s [sighs] that’s fine. I’m just gonna be better than you this entire time.

Eric: And she smiles.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh-huh. Okay. Um, yup.

Amanda: And Inara and Oatcake are going to turn away.

Eric: So, the people in pink who were talking to Noto go off and start to prepare food for everybody, and you can see that they’re going off to those far buildings and those are like extra bunk areas. So they’re trying to prepare quarters for I guess all the contestants, because you know, like you have nowhere to go. So Noto says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Okay, everyone can stay here, the Artists’ Retreat, the Homestead as we call it, and I know that you have nowhere to go, so we are more than welcome to open up our doors to all of you for a little while. Johnny, you’ll give your first lecture in the morning, and we’ll all be together and ready to accept the Undying Light into our lives.

Michael (as Johnny): We’ll work on the schedule of my first lecture.

Brandon (as Tracey): Lecture? Wait what?

Michael (as Johnny): Worry not. We will work on this. Just give me some time to finish up a few details before I start.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’ve heard him talk, it’s not interesting.

Amanda (as Inara): He’ll lecture anytime, you’ve just gotta look at the guy.

Eric (as Noto Oto): We have a very specific thing that Johnny should talk to us about, and we’re excited about this.

Michael (as Johnny): Let me talk to the rest of my group first.

Eric (as Noto Oto): Uh, Tracey-

Amanda (as Inara): Where’s dinner? Where’s dinner though?

Eric (as Noto Oto): We… we do need to do one thing first. I can’t- it’s small and I do, um- we can’t get around it, unfortunately. It’s not me, it’s… uh, well Hannah.

Eric: And Representative Brink has been standing behind Noto for this time, just kind of like looking at the ground, seeing if anyone will notice her, but um-

Eric (as Noto Oto): Hannah, there are 50 reporters here at my gates. I think we need to talk to them.

Eric: Noto continues and says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Yeah, the reporters they want to talk to you and they also want to talk to- they called them “Fan favorites Tracey, Johnny, and Inara.”

Amanda (as Inara): Hey- hey we got fans, Trace!

Brandon (as Tracey): I know those guys! That’s us!

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, hey!

Brandon: And I high-five Inara.

Amanda: I jump up to high-five.

Michael (as Johnny): Unless they’re going to talk about children's literacy, I am uninterested.

Eric (as Noto Oto): You know what, one of them did wanna talk about children's literacy.

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, Johnny I’ll talk to the press-

Michael: Johnny literally lights up.

Eric (as Noto Oto): So, um, I- we can be finished finally with this whole Bachelorette business, but they wanna talk to all of you.

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, we have no problem doing that. Can we just- can I just have a word with you real quick?

Eric (as Noto Oto): Uh, sure, okay, yeah. Press won’t wait long, but we can talk for a second.

Amanda: So I’m gonna step a few paces off to the side with Noto and say

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, so our friend Alonzo, he’s the one over there looking kind of- kind of mollified and-

Eric (as Noto Oto): Oh, I know young Kiko. His reputation precedes him.

Amanda (as Inara): Alonzo needs a friend right now. We want what’s best for him. But I don’t think he can see that, and something tells me that you know the kind of world that he’s from. Maybe you can talk to him, give him dinner, give him a nice place to sleep. He’s been kinda like cocooned like a caterpillar or some such, hanging upside down, mud, not ideal, not like a castle, not what he’s used to. So I think that that would help us a lot. We’re happy to talk to the press for you, super appreciate the exit, but this is something we really need, or else we might have a escapen prince on our hands.

Eric: Noto thinks for a second and smiles sweetly at you and she says

Eric (as Noto Oto): You know, for a teenage elf runaway from the middle of the forest, you sure do have good ideas about palace intrigue. I’ll show him exactly what he needs: a big bed, lots of rooms, and extra pie. I’ll take care of him, you talk to the press, and make sure Brink doesn’t go off script, okay?

Amanda (as Inara): I’ll- I’ll try to work my whiles.

Eric: She, uh-

Amanda: I shake some mud out of my hair.

Eric: [laughing] Noto claps her hands together and says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Alright, I’m off. Come on, Alonzo, I’m gonna give you the best room we have. There’s even a room just for you to throw all of your things about if you so choose.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, wow, that sounds fantastic!

Eric (as Noto Oto): Tracey, not for you! Only those of great stature are allowed to throw their things around.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, you’re so right. A peasant like me could never stay in one of those rooms It’s only for Alonzo.

Eric (as Noto Oto): We don’t say peasant, we say hard working.

[Michael and Amanda groan]

Michael: Jeez.

Eric (as Noto Oto): Come on, Alonzo.

Michael (as Johnny): It’ll be awhile if I ever speak to you again, Alonzo. I just want you to know that we really were trying to help you, and I’m- it’s too bad that you never really got that. I wish you luck and I only hope for the best. May the Undying Light be with you.

Eric: Alonzo’s face is just confused. He’s like hitting the hard- the ceiling of all of his feelings, so he just goes

Eric (as Alonzo): Okay.

Eric: And he follows Noto off to a separate building all the way over there. Brink is standing in front of all three of you and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): I think you have all been on TV enough to have some training, so I don’t even have to give you any suggestions, but just answer questions.

Brandon (as Tracey): You threw us in the deep there, didn’t you? That’s one way to learn.

Eric (as Representative Brink): This isn’t me-

Brandon (as Tracey): [sarcastically] Okaaaay.

Eric (as Representative Brink): I didn’t call them.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alriiiiight.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah, just like how you didn’t force us to participate in a show without our consent or just get us to drop down a hole-

Amanda (as Inara): Ne’er a release form, huh?

Brandon (as Tracey): Let’s go talk to other people other than you.

Eric (as Representative Brink): That wasn't-

Michael: I’m gonna do finger guns in the air to clean the three of us with Prestidigitation and kind of spruce up our outfits, you know highlight the highlights-

Brandon: Lowlight the lowlights.

Amanda: Conceal the concealed things.

Michael: It’s like I did a Photoshop effects on us so that-

Amanda: We all enhance-

Michael: -we all look good.

Eric: You turn the contrast up. 

Michael: A little bit, yeah.

Brandon: One of my limbs is like slightly askew now.

[all laughing]

Eric: So uh you follow the sound of like a lot of people talking to each other, and I guess on the far side of the pink bunk rooms that you saw all of the contestants being brought over to, there's like an amphitheater, like a small outdoor amphitheater, and there's a deus, and there are four chairs, and what Noto said was true. There are 50 reporters just talking to each other and making small talk as the four of you start to walk over. And as soon as you cross the threshold for the narrow lane in between these two buildings, they see all of you and they go

Eric (as reporters): Oh! Representative Brink! Representative Brink! Here here here! Representative Brink!

Eric: And there's like snapping pictures

[paparazzi sounds, cameras flashing, crowd talking]

- and people are like whipping out their pads and pens and they’re about to write everything down. Representative Brink takes a deep breath and steadies herself, and in the beginning, she has her totally blank face on, and then she puts on her beautiful smile and walks up with you guys. And she waves to everybody and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): Oh, hold on! One question at a time. One question at a time. We have plenty to talk about. But first, I wanna bring up the three people that I know the fans love from the Bachelorette Tournament. Come on up, Tracey, Inara, and Johnny.

Eric: And the whole crowd starts to clap.

[applause and cheers]

Brandon: Tracey walks up to the stage stiffly waving his arm. He’s got like a princess wave going and he has a big plastered smile and he’s not really sure what to do with his hands.

Amanda: I’m going to ride across the stage on the Grind Machine with Oatcake standing in front of me on the skateboard like we have practiced- and just kind of put one foot down to stop myself and bored-ly wait for questions. 

Michael: God, that is so on brand.

Amanda: I try.

Michael: Johnny tosses some Eldritch Blast in the air and have it explode in bright colorful light in the air as he gets onto the deus.

Brandon: Tracey ducks.

[Eric laughing]

Eric: The rest of the contestants are just standing off to the side watching the press briefing, and Representative Brink points to one of the reporters, and the reporter says

Eric (as reporter): Tommy Tutone, Tortipolis Times. Representative Brink, how do you think the entire Bachelorette Tournament went?

Eric: And Representative Brink says

Eric (as Representative Brink): You know, I think we all fought our hearts out, there were really trying to love me and be here for me, but sometimes-

Brandon (as Tracey): [muffled yelling] No!

Eric (as Representative Brink): -things get out of hand. And-

Brandon (as Tracey): Nooooo!

Eric (as Representative Brink): We did the best that we could. Alright, let’s get another question.

Eric: She points to another reporter.

Eric (as reporter): Alabaster James, Tortipolis.net. 

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: Tortipolis Patch.

Brandon: Couldn’t get the .com could they?

Eric: No, they couldn’t get it. He’s like

Eric (as reporter): Uh, let’s talk to our contestants. Contestants, what was your favorite part of the Torticolis Bachelorette Tournament Season 1?

Amanda (as Inara): Season 1? What happens in season 2?

Eric (as reporter):  We can only hope. Please, answer the question. 

Brandon (as Tracey): My favourite part was when we destroyed the house and broke out of the bubble and didn't have to play anymore.

Eric: And the whole press corps laughs and one of them is like

Eric (as reporter): Ha-ha! Tracey!

Brandon (as Tracey): No, I’m serious- we were being held against our will!

Eric (as reporter): Got ‘em!

Amanda (as Inara): [sassily] My favorite part was when I thought there was gonna be food and then there wasn’t. Green juice isn’t FOOD.

[Eric laughing]

Michael (as Johnny): I enjoyed shooting that guy.

[Brandon laughs]

Eric: Representative Brink essays

Eric (as Representative Brink): Uh, yeah, you in the back.

Michael (as reporter): [in Southern accent] Um, Edward Scullenten of the Edward Scullenten News Report- dot-com-dot-UK. Now, Johnny, I’ve heard you do some voices that wasn’t your own. How do you explain your making’ fun of me and my people’s accent?

Michael (as Johnny): I do not know what you refer to. There certainly isn't a split personality of me and Southern Johnny that I don’t even understand what even this question means. Move on, next question. 

Eric: And Alice speaks from the back and says

Eric (as Alice Sunbeam): No matter what Johnny says, he is saying’ exactly what the Undyin’ Light means!

Michael (as Johnny): Praise to the Undying Light.

Amanda (as reporter): Uh, hey, Izzy Hart of the Teen life blog patch dot live dot biz. Inara, what was your favorite signature cocktail, and also are you old enough to drink?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, I don't drink, I wait. And none of your business. No I- I like blue drinks. Blue.

Brandon (as reporter): Uh yes, this is Steven. Uh… this is Steven. Tracey, if you could take one of the Zoo Cube animals home and have them be your pet, which would you choose?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes. Yes I would.

[all laughing]

Michael: Johnny Light Steps off of the podium and from the back of the room raises his hand without being called on.

Michael  (as reporter): Concerned Citizen for Concerned Citizens daily. What is the Representative’s opinion on literacy and children’s literacy? Mmm… from concerned citizens.

Brandon (as Tracey): Sounds legit!

Michael: And then Light Steps back and is like

Michael (as Johnny): That is a great question, Concerned Citizens. I love your work. What do you think, Representative?

Eric: Representative Brink puts her face in her hands and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): [sounding canned] I think that all children should have the opportunity to learn and read and grow. That’s it. I’m proliteracy. 

Brandon: That was the best non-answer of all time.

Eric (as Representative Brink): I love- I love a good question, concerned citizen. Alright, we only have time for one more. I know that you have all been here for awhile and I guess we’ll just take one more. Uh…

Eric: And there is a- a dragonborn with a trilby that has “press” in the hat and the dragonborn stands up and says

Eric (as reporter): Flame Serrato from Entertainment Fortnightly. Representative, we know that this wasn’t a traditional game, but you still have to choose someone. Who are you going to choose to be your partner forever?

Eric: And the Representative flashes her sweetest smile and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): You know what, Flames, that is a great question. I really think that I did find true love here. And I can’t keep it inside any longer. This is the exclusive announcement at everyone here at the Noto Homestead. I am giving my rock to… 

[suspenseful shimmery note]

Inara Harthorn.

Eric: And everyone claps and screams and goes “Ahhh! Ahh! Inara!” 


And Brink holds out her hand to Inara and says

Eric (as Representative Brink): Inara, do you wanna be Mrs. or Ms. or whatever you so choose- Representative Brink?

Amanda: I am going to look over at Johnny.

Michael: And I cast Daylight like a smoke bomb, 

[explosion sound as fast beat begins, similar to theme tune]

and as everyone is blinded, all of us run off [laughing].

[music continues then fades]

[sound of birds chirping]

Eric: The next morning, everyone has awoken to the paper hitting their door. And as they reach down and pick it up, a headline screams back at them, “Representative Brink single. Heroes disappear. What happens next?”

[theme music]