30. Bachelorette Party X

What do contestants of a reality show do after the show is over? Find themselves, tie up some loose ends and start an Instagram. We do two of those three. Tracey rhymes. Johnny lectures. Inara locks it up.



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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: Alonzo comes back from his mud coma and is quickly on his guard. The adventures try to talk him down but cannot get him off of high alert. So Johnny turns to drastic measures

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: With Representative Brink no longer the star of a reality show, they finally ask her what the hell is going on. And really, she doesn’t know that much.

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-

Eric: Meanwhile, the mansion is falling apart and Johnny’s help signal is finally answered by Noto Oto. She helps them climb on the outside of Tortipolis’ walls and lets them into the Homestead. But the peace doesn’t last for long.

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

Eric: Representative Brink organizes a slapdash press conference and the party fields questions as tv show fan favorite. But a big question looms on the horizon: will Inara take Brink’s love?

Eric: The headlines scream back: “Representative Brink single. Heroes disappear. What happens next?”

Eric: Hey wait, what does happen next? Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

Eric: So we start with Alonzo. Noto led them to their Representative Suite that they have on the homestead, and Alonzo sits down on the bed and Alonzo thinks

Eric (as Alonzo): What was I mad about?

Eric: And like the alarm of the charm goes off and he goes

Eric (as Alonzo): Oh yeah! That asshole, Johnny!

Eric: And then he just passes out and falls asleep. Alonzo wakes up five hours later, and it’s dark outside, and standing over him is a hooded figure. She takes off her hood, and it’s Inara.

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, Alonzo, I didn’t really want to come down to this, but we’re- we’re going back to Fidapolis, and we’re going now.

Eric (as Alonzo): [screams] Ah! Oh, god. Hello… [stammering] g-good morning?

Amanda: Oatcake sits on his chest and starts licking his face.

Eric (as Alonzo): Ah- Oatcake! It’s so- it’s so cute and I appreciate it but- oh no, ah! It’s everywhere! I’m angry, I can’t be licked while I’m angry!

Amanda (as Inara): I’m gonna let you say your piece, but I don’t think I can trust you to be walking around on your own right now, so Noto’s gonna give us a carriage or something, hopefully. We should ask her now. And we’re gonna go and head back. But I can’t leave you on your own, bud.

Eric (as Alonzo): No. No, no, no, no no. That’s not how it works. You don’t get to tell me what to do. I’m gonna go beat up Johnny with my- with my hands. And I’m gonna punch him in the face, because he was a jerk- and he charmed me! That’s what happened! That was crazy!

Amanda: Inara holds up her left arm, and Alonzo feels his right arm raising too, because they are handcuffed together.

Eric (as Alonzo): [sighing] How did you do this to me? Why was I- I was sleeping!

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, uh, sneaky me. That’s my main- my main characteristic right here, but we are going to have to decide what we are doing here together.

Eric: So Alonzo tries to get up and push past you, but he can’t go anywhere.

Amanda: Yeah, Inara is small but strong, and can also do that toddler thing where they become dead weight in your arms and like can’t be lifted, yeah.

[Eric chuckling]

Eric: While you deadweight, he tries to pull you along- he can only go to the door before he’s just worn out. All of this magic has just taken out so much from him, and he says

Eric (as Alonzo): [sighs] There’s no way getting out of this without you helping me, is there?

Amanda (as Inara): This is what you wanted to do- you wanted to go back to Fidapolis. I wanna go too.

Eric (as Alonzo): [sighs] Yeah… Okay… [groans] Fine. Alright, let’s go. Lead the way. Pick yourself up. It’s hurting. You’re too heavy.

Amanda: Inara stands and hoists her pack onto her back. She is so small that her arm is kind of like perpendicular to her shoulder, and that’s where Alonzo’s wrist hangs down, so-

[all laughing]

It’s pretty comfortable for him, but Inara’s constantly kind of like lifting her arm up. And I want to talk to Brinks, so…

Eric: With Alonzo attached to you?

Amanda: I mean… I thought about this before I thought about that so…

[all laughing]


Brandon: D&D: I thought about this before I thought about that!

Michael: If only you could have talked to her before… Oh well.

Amanda: You know, I could have done a lot of things!

Eric: If only you had an opportunity...

Amanda: Could have been a sailor, could have been a cook.

Michael: Don’t worry, let me flash bang us out of this situation.

[all laughing]

Boom! Daylight!

Amanda: Oh good, good, good, yeah!

Eric: Johnny sits up in bed and is like, “There’s an awkward situation happening! I must be there!”

Eric (as Alonzo): Alright, so where are we going? Where do these, uh, deep pink people- kind of like a fuschia- where do these fuschia people keep their horses?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, I was thinking more like rose-pink, but yeah, no, uh, I- I talked to Noto last night, and I just have a quick conversation to have, and you can just, you know, make like, um- make like uh... like think about Tracey and do the opposite of that and just don’t say anything. And be- be just a little bit quiet and discrete and just don’t make any eye con- don’t say anything- sh, sh, sh, sh, sh, for like five minutes, okay? We’re gonna play-

Eric (as Alonzo): But what- I- I don’t have a choice, do I?

Amanda (as Inara): We are going, at some point, to make lots of choices together. Right now, the choice is mine. I am wearing the choice hat. See?

[Eric laughing]

Eric: I like it. I like the hat.

Amanda: And Inara’s going to pull a handkerchief out of her pocket, hold it up, put it on her head for a moment, and be like

Amanda (as Inara): Uh-huh.

Amanda: And then take it back off and put it in her pocket.

Eric (as Alonzo): Can I have the choice hat?

Amanda (as Inara): You can have it in like 15 minutes, bud. If you’re really good. Here’s a snack, Alonzo.

Amanda: And I give him an oatcake.

Eric: Alonzo takes the oatcake and starts nibbling on it and says

Eric (as Alonzo): [gulps down oatcake] 15 minutes.

Amanda: So I am going to knock on the last door on the right.

Eric: Do you have a secret knock?

Amanda: Yeah, I’m gonna do the, uh- the one that I heard Tracey do, which is the “shave-and-a-haircut” knock.

Eric: And from inside you hear Representative Brink say

Eric (as Representative Brink): Two bits... Alright, yeah, come in.

Amanda: Inara’s going to open the door.

Eric: Representative Brink is inside. And you’ve seen her perfect every time that you’ve been with her throughout the competition, whether it’s in her evening gown or her slightly tousled casual wear.

Amanda: Oh, I remember. It was an off the-shoulder sweater.

Eric: Yeah, so she’s wearing the same off-the-shoulder sweater, but it’s like she’s been wearing it for three days and it’s just like- it’s wrinkled, and she’s wearing oversized sweatpants, and her hair is in a top knot, and she has a pore strip on her nose. And she’s barefoot.

Amanda: So, Alonzo is around the doorframe from me, and I’m going to just kind of lean against the doorframe really casually with one arm out of frame.

[Eric cracking up]

And say

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, hi, Hannah.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Inara… um, you know, usually when I get publically broken up with, I usually don’t hear from them for at least 24 hours and then that’s when I start getting all of the heartfelt letters being like, “Oh my god, take me back!” But this is a change showing up only a little while after. It’s bold. 

Amanda (as Inara): I… I just wanted you to know that… I have stuff that I have to take care of, and people I made promises to.

Eric (as Representative Brink): [snort-laughing] It’s not the first time I’ve heard that. What are you, some kind of hero or something? You have challenges and monsters to slay? You just gonna like go hang out with your friends? Like, what is this?

Amanda (as Inara): I mean, not yet, but that’s the life I want for myself. And I never expected you to- to say my name. And if I did, I… uh… I don’t think I would have let it get that far.


Eric (as Representative Brink): I mean…

Amanda (as Inara): I wish I could be that ending for you. And maybe once I take care of what I have to take care of, you know, who knows what’ll happen then. But you deserve a heck of a lot more than someone with half a mind already committed.

Eric (as Representative Brink): That’s the most beautiful way I’ve heard, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Again, it’s bold. We’ll see if I’m even still Representative by the time you get back from, you know, figuring yourself out. 

Amanda (as Inara): I’m really sorry. And I know that… something really awesome is coming your way.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Well… I’m sorry too. Is that it?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah.

Amanda: So Inara’s going to close the door behind her, and out of the top of her pack, take the Antipolis Sailing School shirt and leave it folded outside Hannah’s door.

I’m going to hurry Alonzo down the hallway, not making eye contact, and we’re going to go to the service wing, utility wing of the house. That, I think is where we’re going to be able to bowwow a  carriage or a horse, or helicopter, who knows, and get the heck outta here.

Eric: Sure. This is like a half-stable, half-garage. There are horses and Joe the Camel is hanging out in there as well. There’s the carriage from when you first showed up at the sinkhole outside of Tortipolis.

Amanda: Oh good! Someone found it!

Eric: Yeah. They recovered everything. And everything from what you had left in the carriage was still in there. There’s also like two vespas- you could call them.

Amanda: [giggling] He-he-he-he-he.

Eric: But they’re like oversized. Like you can stand on them and the wheels are like- have really intense treads on them, and of course they have the same engine that you’ve seen before. Like on the winch that was pulling people up.

Amanda: Does one of these steampunk-motorcycle-sized fantasy vespas have a sidecar?

Eric: You know what, one of them does.

Amanda: Yeah, so we are gonna be taking that one. But Alonzo and I see the sidecar at the same time and with my free hand, I’m going to hold up my fist to do like a rock-paper-scissors.

Eric: And Alonzo says

Eric (as Alonzo): I have the choice hat. Give me the choice hat.

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] Fine.

Amanda: And I pass him my lilac, once lace-edged, but now pretty tatty handkerchief.

Eric: And he puts the handkerchief on his head and he says

Eric (as Alonzo): I’m riding in the sidecar. Ha! Got ’em!

Amanda (as Inara): Cool that’s totally not what I would have decided anyway. Okay, let’s do it.

Amanda: And I’ll throw our packs in there. I give Oatcake obviously a little aviator cap with goggles that came out of nowhere, don’t ask me.

Eric: It was- it was in the sidecar. That’s so weird.

Amanda: Nice, nice, nice, nice. And, um, try to get this thing started.

Eric: Okay. There’s like a big button right in the middle of the front panel that says, “GO!” with an exclamation point.

Amanda: Before pressing it, I do want to just take a note paper and pad from my pack and write, “Noto, thanks. Please bill to Fidapolis castle, Kiko.” and then a little caret like I forgot to write Kiko Castle. “Xx, Oatcake.” and then smaller beneath it, “ - Inara.”

Eric: And you smash the “Go!” button, and it roars to life. The engine, which is in the front, again starts to glow, and you peel out into the night with Alonzo riding beside you.

[musical transition]

Eric: Johnny, the next morning, your room is filled with a pale red light. As the sun comes over the deep chasma nd the rocks outside of Tortipolis, everything is tinged with this like red rock dust. What do you do?

Michael: I’m gonna wait for my good friend Tracey to do our morning Tai Chi and calisthenics, so until he comes in, I’m gonna just rifle through my book, write down some notes from the past adventure, think about the Light, the Shadow, the good times, the bad…

[shave-and-a-haircut knock]

Brandon: Tracey walks in the room without saying a word, just gets into the first pose.

Michael: There’s a silence, but there’s a beat we’re both following as we’re going through the motions.

Eric: I like that.

Brandon: So as Tracey brings his left arm down from his side up to the top of his body and then back in towards his chest, he turns to Johnny and says

Brandon (as Tracey): What’s next?

Michael (as Johnny): We’ll I’m gonna have to stay here a little while, you know that right Tracey?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I figured.

Brandon: And he moves his right arm out to his side.

Michael (as Johnny): Just because I’m staying here doesn’t mean you have to.

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean I already know all about the Light anyway. I've heard all of your sermons at this point. Let’s say… six times each over?

Michael (as Johnny): Oh… there’s some new stuff coming down the block, trust me.

Brandon (as Tracey): What’d’ya got? I’m very excited for it.

Michael (as Johnny): I’m thinking about a new way of thinking about the Light as an interplay with Shadow- it’s a whole new thing, it’s like a Version 2 of the Book of Light, so maybe, you know, I’ll share it with you, but you know, in its own time.

Brandon: Yeah, okay, yeah. Yeah I think you’re right. I think I need to- I think I need to spend some time to myself for a bit. Maybe go read some books. 

Michael: In the middle of a movement of his hands that Johnny normally does that kind of looks like he’s preparing an Eldritch Blast, he instead stops just before that moment where the Eldritch Blast would appear, and stands up straight and walks over and grabs a pack of files from his bag.

Michael (as Johnny): I can’t get heads or tails of this.

Michael: And hands it over to Tracey.

Michael (as Johnny): Maybe it’ll help you out.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can I borrow these? Is that okay?

Michael (as Johnny): Of course.

Brandon: Tracey brings both of his arms back together to the center of his chest, folds his hands in a praying fashion, and takes a deep breath out, and leaves the room.

Michael: I’m going to match my outfit more or less to the style that everyone’s wearing. I’m wearing white socks that have pink flowers on them for my sandals, obvi, regular shorts, nothing too crazy about those, but my robe that I’m wearing over just a generic shirt, is a very light grey interlaced with vines that have pink roses all over them.

Eric: Okay.

Michael: It’s very nice.

Eric: So basically, you’re just here for the next two weeks to like talk about the Undying Light, and kind of open-ended, but you have to stay.

Michael: That’s great, I can do that, I’m going to instead use this opportunity to do more reflection of how John feels about the Undying Light, the Undying Shadow, the interplay of that, his involvement, and then he'll do his lectures, I don’t think anything too crazy.

Eric: Sure.

Michael: I think my first lecture will be on what is the Light, how is it relevant, and the interplay between the Light and the Trinity.

Eric: Okay, so let’s go to your first lecture. I think that someone said, “Let’s have class outside!” and immediately Johnny was like, “Alright!”

[Amanda laughing]

Michael: I’m absolutely like first class we’re outside.

Eric: So you’re sitting at like the edge of the greenhouse.

Michael: Mhm.

Eric: There’s about like fifty people all dressed in deep pink, and Noto Oto, who are all waiting for your lecture. Some of the contestants who have stuck around are there too. Kevin Vacation is in the back.

Michael: [disappointed] Really? 

Eric: Yeah he’s there.

Michael: Aw jeez.

Eric: Crews is there, the one with all of the catchphrases, the dwarf, who is surprisingly not dead.

Michael: Very surprising!

Eric: Yeah, he’s hobbled and he has like two canes-

Michael: Fair.

Eric: But he’s fine. Everyone is sitting cross-legged on the lawn outside the greenhouse, and they are waiting for you to start speaking. And Alice is off to the side and she’s holding a folder that ostensibly has your notes in it.

Michael: Sure.

Eric: And she hands it to you and says

Eric (as Alice): Johnny, I wanna say that I know that the tournament was tough, but I’m really here to hear you speak. I apologize to you, I’m sorry that I help you back. Really.

Michael (as Johnny): Alice, you did not hold me back. You did nothing wrong. I’m very-

Eric (as Alice): You sound different!

[Brandon chuckling]

Eric (as Alice): What is your real voice?

Michael (as Johnny): When I- you know, that’s something I’m still finding out myself, and hopefully through these lectures we will all find our real voice.

Eric: She takes one of the notes out and she scribbles that down on a piece of paper and she’s like

Eric (as Alice): Do you need these?

Michael (as Johnny): I’ll tell you what, maybe in one of the future lectures, but for this one we’ll go a bit off the cuff.

Eric (as Alice): Alright, go get ’em!

Eric: You see Noto clap her hands twice and everyone starts quieting down and says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Alright, we’re here with the lecture series that we bring to you here at the homestead, so everyone give a real warm light welcome to Johnny B. Goodlight!

Eric: And everyone claps and everyone starts murmuring to each other like

Eric (as crowd members): Aw, man, I saw him on TV!

Eric: And Johnny, you have sixty faces looking at you expectantly.

Michael (as Johnny): First I’d like to thank Noto Oto for hosting me and all of us who came from Archspire Hideaway. It’s been quite a trip, and I hope my time here in Tortipolis isn’t- gets a little more calmed down from before. 

So when we think about religion, here in the Concentric States, obviously we know Devar, Adamah and Zeol, but where did they come from? When you look at religion just objectively, it is a way of communicating positive and negative values to a culture, to people, and the Trinity absolutely does that. But, here where we have such magnificent machines and real magic, and there is a reality to these gods, to these deities, but where do they even come from? And that’s where the Light falls in.

You see, there is positivity, let’s call it, in the world, and there’s negativity. You can really split everything into the two. And while we see a lot of negativity in the world these days, and things have been very strange with stars bursting out, with mud people attacking, with all sorts of craziness, it’s always good to remember that there is positivity, there is light. And what I hope to, with this series that we begin today- and what I’ve devoted my entire life to- is the study of the Light and its interplay with the Shadow. The Shadow, I’ve become more and more aware of, is as important as the Light, the problem being right now in this world, there’s more Shallow than there is Light. And we have to fix that. 

It’s not as easy as snapping your fingers and making some Light appear, or finger-gunning some Dancing Lights everywhere, but it can begin with positive actions: gardening, cooking for those in need, taking in people who have been in an unfortunate situation- thanks again to Noto Oto. You begin by making the Light within yourself, and then you spread out for others. 

Over the next few weeks I hope to discuss some more practical things that we can do but also the more theological and philosophical implications of the Light and the Shadow, and I once again, thank you all. Right now I actually want to do a bit of Q&A because this is the first session and I want to know from you what you guys are interested in, and that way it can better inform me how the next few weeks will go.

Eric: A gnome staands up in the front row and says

Eric (as gnome): [in Southern accent] Hi, my name’s Gypsum.

Michael (as Johnny): Hello, Gypsun. May the Light be with you.

Eric (as Gypsum): Uh, Gypsum.

Michael (as Johnny): Gypsum.

Eric (as Gypsum): Gypsum.

[Brandon bursts out laughing]

 Eric (as Gypsum): This is more of a comment, lessof a question.

Michael (as Johnny): Of course.

Eric (as Gypsum): I just wanna say that my father, my uncle, and my second uncle- they’re all priests in Fotopolis and they all told me that the Trinity is the only one true religion and I think that you’re wrong. Also you can buy my screenplay. I wrote it about the trinity. It’s called, ‘Three Times a Lady.’ Thank you.

[Amanda laughing]

Michael (as Johnny): Uh, Gypsum was it?

Eric (as Gypsum): Gypsum.

Michael (as Johnny): [in Southern accent] Gypsum! [in his regular accent] Well, Gypsum- [in accent again] Gypsum. I will say, I am a follower of the Trinity. I think that the Trinity has done some good and is very necessary in this world. I do not believe that you can’t have both. Porque no los dos? As they say, you know?

Amanda: Where?

Michael (as Johnny): Don’t worry about it, random voice from somewhere.

Amanda: [in higher voice] Hi I’m Janet and I have a question too.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, hold on Janet [laughing] Let me- let me finish this answer…

[Eric laughing]

I would hope, Gypsum, that much like how I would love to read your screenplay, that you would at least listen with an open mind and an open heart what I have to say, and if you still walk away unconvinced, that’s totally fine by me, I just want to share.

Janet, you had a question?

Amanda (as Janet): Hi I’m Janet.

Michael (as Johnny): Yes, I can- I can- I know.

Amanda (as Janet): Hi. 

Michael (as Johnny): H-hi. Hi Janet.

Amanda (as Janet): Um, what I wanna know is, am I a bad person if I feel a lot more filled with Shadow than with Light?

Michael (as Johnny): I’d say absolutely not. Take a look at this.

Michael: And I have Eldritch Blast in my hand.

Michael (as Johnny): This is raw energy that, you know, you can use for fighting, but also in this case for demonstration purposes. Right now it’s half dark energy, half light. But you know, some people-

Michael: And as I’m talking, it feels to almost all black.

Michael (as Johnny): They feel more in tune with the Shadow. There’s nothing negative with the Shadow, it’s different comfort level, it’s different preferences. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means that you have to keep yourself in check to make sure you don’t go to too much of an extreme. You want to have a balance in life. And if your balance includes more Shadow than Light, that’s still totally fine as long as you’re the one in control. And you don’t let those inner demons [starts laughing] talk to you weirdly when you’re trying to do stuff.

[everyone snickering]

Amanda (as Janet): That sounds really specific, okay.

Michael (as Johnny): Over there.

Brandon (as audience member): Uh hi! I’m Pete! Um, what happens- what happens if I do all the good and then I die? What happens then? And what happens if I do all the bad?

Michael (as Johnny): You want to know about what happens after death. The Undying Light and the Undying Shadow, they’re more constructs, less deities. I think you would want to go towards the study of the Trinity for what happens after death. It’s more how you live your life. 

Think more your actions while you’re here than when you move on when it comes to the Light and Shadow. It doesn't matter if you’re 60% one of the other, it’s about your satisfaction, your fulfillment, and that you’ve found a good balance in life with how you’ve lived.

Brandon (as Pete): Thank you, that was insightful!

Eric: In the back, Kevin Vacation raises his hand.

Michael (as Johnny): Mr. Vacation. Hello.

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Uh, yeah, hi Johnny. Um… 

Michael (as Johnny): How ya holdin up?

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Just so you know, everybody, hi. I’m Kevin Vacation. You might know me.

Brandon (as Pete): Hi Kevin!

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Uh, hi. You might know me from my wings and my cool party attitude.

Amanda (as Janet): Hi Kevin, I’m Janet.

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Hi Janet.

Michael (as Johnny): Okay, Janet, you’ve had your turn.

Amanda (as Janet): Thanks.

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): I guess I’m gonna- I’ll meet all of you later. Uh, because we’re gonna party! Ahhh! But um, is the Undying Light real? I don’t- I see that you have power but- if I don’t see a god, I don’mt think they’re real.

Michael (as Johnny): Well…

Eric (as Kevin Vacation): Seeing is believing.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, Kevin. You should know that through me is representation of both the Undying Light and Shadow, however…

Michael: And then I point to the lantern.

Michael (as Johnny): Housed in here is actually a piece, a gift from the Undying Light.

Michael: And I have it go out over the crowd.

Eric: When that happens, everyone gasps.

Michael (as Johnny): Just because this is a piece of the Undying Light doesn’t mean that we all don’t have a piece of the Undying Light and the undying Shadow within us all. It is the positive and the negative within all of us. So yes, this is a manifestation of one of those things, but that is because we are in need of more Light in this world right now, more positivity.

Eric: The crowd is starstruck. And I think you’ve lost their attention. At this point everyone is just trying to climb over each other to get a better look at the lantern. And everyone is just trying to talk to each other like, “Oh have you seen this?” And, “What is that? Is it dangerous?” And I think everyone is just shouting questions at you all at the same time.

Michael (as Johnny): Like I said, I’ll be here for the next few weeks and we can discuss more about the Light and the Shadow and its relevance to our lives and how we can make the Concentric States and the entire world a better place. I have office hours. Please feel free to come on by and I can’t wait to speak to you all again next lesson. Noto Oto and the keepers here have the schedule. I’ll see you all again.

Eric: Everyone is like climbing over each other to try to talk to you, but I think Noto steps up and is like

Eric (as Noto Oto): Alright, well we have volleyball next The volleyball tournament is about to start. And everyone else who has jobs today, you gotta go and- go and start!

Eric: And Johnny, she takes you by the hand and pulls you away from the crowd.

Michael: Great.

Eric: With Alice running behind you.

[musical transition]

Amanda: Hi, Amanda here. Now, I’m not a huge sports fan, but there is something about international tournaments in the summertime that makes me kind of get it. Walking into a bar or a cafe where every patron and employee are looking up at the TV together, breath bated, united for a moment in suspense and excitement with the millions of others watching in bars and beds and buses all over the world. This is the collective breath we all take in the moment before a penalty kick. Don’t worry, it’s gonna go exactly as you hope it will. Welcome to the midroll.


Welcome to our newest patrons! Brendan, Cali, Margaret, David, Rita, Katie, sally, Mimi, Olivia, Dani, Jo, scaredy wolf, Vince. And So-rhea, whose name we mispronounced last episode. Sorry! And welcome! We love round numbers, and we are nearly at 200 patrons, which would be so lovely. There have been so many new folks recently, and it’s honestly so motivating for us. Making this show is a true labor of love, 


We are sponsored this week by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York, whose co-owner Lauren Bilanko is our resident Master, Dungeon Master. Each month we bring her one of our listeners’ questions about games and GMing. Today our question is: “I’m running a game for a few friends who’ve never played D&D before and I’m worried that they’ll have some trouble getting their characters to interact to each other. How do I get my party to introduce themselves (either in game or out of game) to get it going?”


Lauren says: “Set up a scene in game where the player's characters are all meeting eachother for the first time. Ask the players to describe what their characters are wearing, what they look like, and so forth. Ask the players to discuss, in character, why they are here - does it relate to their ideals, were they paid, had they heard a rumor? Not only will this help your players get to know eachother, it will help them decide what their common goal is and allow you to set up the opening scene of your campaign in a way that will be memorable for sessions to come.”


Thanks, Master Dungeon Master! WHether your campaign is old or brand new, you can head over to 20 sided store dot com or visit them in person in Brooklyn, NY and use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY, for 20% off. So head over to twenty (full word) sided store.com and use our discount code JOINTHEPARTY.


We are also sponsored this week by NerdyKeppie, an Etsy creator out of Philadelphia creating Quality Queerwear. They have some incredible nerdy stuff for sale, including “Social Justice Bard” mugs and patches, rainbow clothing, pride yarmulkas, and an “Only a Sith deals in binaries” patch, which is frankly amazing. I could spend all day browsing through their store, so I know you’ll want to as well! Head over to bit.ly/jtpisnerdy to check them out, and be sure to use the code JOINTHEPARTY at checkout for 10% off. 


Finally, here’s a little programming note. Next week we’ll publish our live show audio—woohoo! And then a recap of the last two arcs, which means it is a great time to get new friends into the show. Just send them to jointhepartypod.com/recap, where all of our plot summaries and beginner episodes live. Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming with a brand-spankin’-new arc. We’re stoked, y’all. It’s a good one. 


And now, back to the show!


[musical transition]


Eric: Hey, Tracey!

Brandon: Yessssss?

Eric: Sooooo, we’re gonna cut forward three days. You have had a chance to look over the plans that Johnny gave to you. And just a refresher: basically the three that he took, there were files about malfunctioning warforged, and they’re all branded by the Council of Bright. One of them exploded, one of them ran away, and one of them tried to fight back against whoever their handlers were. And these are like formal state documents, so they’re redacted and they're not that detailed, but they give you a sense that there are like these three outliers and there are way more than what you just saw below Archspire Hideaway.

Brandon: Do I have any sense of time from these documents?

Eric: I would say these are not ancient, but I think if you set up the projector in your room, this is like a real gritty noir scene where its just you alone with a projector and some files.

Brandon: With a nice hot pot of tea.

Eric: With a nice pot of green tea!

Brandon: It’s hibiscus.

Eric: Hibiscus tea and cigarettes. My favorite noir film. It had Humphrey Bogart in it.

Brandon: Designation Humphrey Bogart?

Eric: Yeah [laughing]

Amanda: [laughing] Oh my god!

Eric: B6RT, I like that. So you’re starting to put a lot of it together, and with the film from the projector, I think you can clock it anywhere from a thousand or so years ago to more recently, like a few hundred, anywhere in that range. Like we said the fashion that Inara was looking at, it’s out-moded.

Brandon: So that means that there is at least one, maybe two warforged unless they have been killed in the meantime, which is really hard to do, somewhere extant in the world, that are legit warforged?

Eric: Possibly, yes.

Brandon: Interesting. I want to find these warforged. So knowing that and knowing that this mysterious Council of Bright might have some more information, I want to go find out more about both of those things. Is there like a library in town or someone that’s really old who lives in town?

Eric: Yeah, there is a library in Tortipolis. Now you can take the actual stairs in between the levels of Tortipollis, and I like to imagine Tracey on an escalator. 

Brandon: Yeah, he just sings to himself as he does it.

Eric: [singing] Ba-baba-ba-bop-

Brandon: That’s elevator music. Escalator music is like- it’s just trap.

Eric: [laughing] It’s just trap music?

[Amanda laughing]

Eric: I like it. You get directions, and you have to go down. So you go down four flights of stairs, past where you were with Archspire Hideaway, nearly to the bottom of Tortipolis. And this is- it looks like a University town. It’s very quaint down there, but it’s all devoted to learning and education. And you walk into the Tortipolis library, and the light is very warm, and sitting with her feet up on the desk is a gnome. And she’s holding an extremely large and heavy book above her head, but she is just like up there reading it like it’s no problem.

Brandon (as Tracey): [shouting] Hello!... oh sorry, [whisper-yelling] Hello!

Eric: She’s still holding the book above her head, and she says

Eric (as gnome): Uh, ID please?

Brandon (as Tracey): I am Tracey.

Eric (as gnome): Great, ID- ID please?

Eric: And she flips the page.

Brandon (as Tracey): I am… Tracey!

Brandon: And I bow a little bit.

Eric: Okay. [chuckles] Alright, she puts the book down and lokos you over and says

Eric (as gnome): That’s great. Hi. Nice to meet you. I’m Bella.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m Tracey!

Eric (as Bella): Great, I know, you said a few times. Uh, what… yeah, if you don’t have your library card, you can’t come in! So, can I see your library card?

Brandon (as Tracey): I… don’t have one of those, not know what they arrre. I have books!

Eric (as Bella): Okay, um, well you have to fill out these forms.

Eric: And she goes into the desk, and she pulls out a clipboard that has like twenty pieces of paper on it. And she gives it to you with a pen. She’s like

Eric (as Bella): Okay, why don’t you just fill this out and we can let you in as soon as we can.

Brandon: Tracey just writes in big bold letters, “I am Tracey” on the front page, and hands it back.

Eric (as Bella): Sir, you have to do all of the- you have to do all of the things. If you don’t fill all of this out, we can’t properly get you in the register and…

Eric: Her sentence breaks off, and she’s looking at something behind you over your shoulder, and her eyes get really wide.

Eric (as Bella): I mean, you know what, you can- you can go right in. That’s-

Brandon (as Tracey): Really?

Eric (as Bella): That’s fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, thank you!

Eric (as Bella): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s really so kind of you.

Eric (as Bella): And- d- guests get in for free, I guess… Okay…

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t know library rules, but that sounds like a good rule.

Eric (as Bella): Just don’t touch the... please don’t touch the books.

Brandon (as Tracey): Wait, guest of whom?

Eric: She’s looking over your shoulder, and you hear a wet slop on your shoulder, and you look down, and Chad is standing right behind you.

Brandon (as Tracey): [gasps] CHAAAAD!

Michael: Chad!

Eric (as Chad): Tracey!

Brandon (as Tracey): How you been livin’ man?!

Eric (as Chad): Tracey! You left the- you left the homestead! I didn’t know where you went. I thought we were doing’ this together! Tracey, I love to read. Let’s go read!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, let’s go read!

Eric: And Chad follows you into the library.

Brandon: So I go into the library and I look for the Cs, for Council, and then I look in the Bs for Bright, and then I realize I don’t know how a library works.

[Michael laughing]

Eric: As you walk in, Chad is trailing behind you, leaving a trail of ooze on the ground. As Chad like shuffles over to a bookshelf and is about to reach out and touch one, Bella runs over and she’s like

Eric (as Bella): I can show you! I’m- I’m a librarian here, and-

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh great! I’m looking for- have you ever heard of the Council of Bright? Looking for any reference materials on the Council of Bright.

Eric (as Bella): The Council of Bright? Like the nursery rhyme?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yyyeeeeesssss…?

Eric (as Bella): Alright, I guess, yeah.

Eric: And she leads you over to the children’s books, and in there there are-

Brandon: Just 9,000 copies of ‘My First Warforged’ and one-

Eric: Yeah, there’s a lot of them- there’s like basic mechanics, and there’s one that's like nursery rhymes. And she pulls one down, and she flips a bunch of pages, and she opens it up. At the top it says, “The Rhyme of the Council of Bright,”:

The Council of Bright is quite alright,

And here to make it all go right.

With a metal might they bring the Light,

And makes it all work day and night.

Brandon: Is there any, like, pictures?

Eric: Yeah, the rhyme is in the middle and then around it is a tableau of a town and all of the windows are lit up in all of the buildings in the town. And you can see that there are little drawings of warforged there with smiling faces, walking around amongst the townsfolk.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey Bella, do you know what this town is?

Eric (as Bella): No, it’s just a drawing in a kids’ book.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as Bella): I’m surprised that you’re interested in this, I mean this is for children.

Brandon (as Tracey): Bella, is this like a common nursery rhyme that you heard as like a kid, or is this just something that’s like sort of abstract and weird?

Eric (as Bella): Yeah, I mean I’ve heard this. This is pretty recognizable. It’s kind of spread throughout all of the Concentric States.

Brandon (as Tracey): What do parents say when they say this out, like is there any contextual… accompanying story?

Eric (as Bella): No, I think that this kind of… this is always like a kids thing. They say it as they play a game, it’s like tag but at the end there’s like one- the person who’s tagged, if they’re tagged for too long, they lose because they’re the monster. And like the Council of Bright comes in and- I mean they're kids but they kind of kills them and they die. It’s kind of gr- yeah, it’s kind of grim now that I think about it. I’ve never thought about it before.

Brandon (as Tracey): A lot of kids stories are… from that time. It makes sense.

Eric (as Bella): I mean, you look lie a lot of the- I mean I guess I’ve never really looked at it.

Eric: And she takes the book. She looks at you and she looks at the book and she looks at you and looks at the book.

Brandon: Tracey poses a little bit. 

Eric (as Bella): You look- you know I-... I didn’t- I didn’t know that there were like any more… you-

Brandon (as Tracey): Tadaaaaaa! Jazz hands!

Eric (as Bella): I thought warforged were just a story too.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m in the livin’ flesh, baby.

Eric (as Bella): Eh… I’m surprised. I- I- you know what let me show you something.

Eric: She leads you down the stairs into the basement, and the basement is really dark and they have another projector down there. This is microfiche. Along the wall, it’s just covered in drawers that’s sorted by year. As you get farther into the room, everything just gets older, and older, and older. 

And she walks all the way down the room, and she pulls open a drawer, she takes out a roll of film, and she puts it into this device, and it projects and image down. And she starts flipping through it. There’s a joystick on the machine. She holds it to the right and it goes, “voovoovoo” [making whirring noise] and you just see like the front pages of newspaper just like flip through. And it’s like you’re going back in time. You see like there’s a date up at the top and it’s just going like by weekly and then monthly and yearly and it just goes back, and back, and back. 

And then the date at the top starts to change. It no longer is going to zero. It’s like this totally different configuration with like this number of days and weeks and months and years that you don’t understand. The year is like year 3427. And on the front page, there’s a story about an explosion in the colosseum. It matches up directly with what you read in the file about the exploding warforged. This warforged was fighting like six monsters- they’re not really clear, they just kind of call it the monsters- and right before the match was about to start, the warforged literally just exploded. And it caused a commotion and everyone was evacuated from the colosseum. 

And there’s a quote down at the bottom, and it says, “‘We’re taking the necessary time to figure out what’s happening with this particular designation, and no one should be worried about what is to happen during our next gladiator fight,’ said a Council of Bright spokesperson.” Bella looks down at the age and says

Eric (as Bella): I was rooting around down here just looking at old records, and I couldn’t believe that warforged are still around, I mean this is- this is like pre-Centering stuff, this is crazy.

Brandon (as Tracey): Right? I know! I’m old!

Eric (as Bella): You’re so old!

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] I’m not that old. It was a joke.

Eric (as Bella): No, no, no, no, no. If you are as old-

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m young and spry, it’s great.

Eric (as Bella): You don’t understand. If you are as old as I think you are, you’re from before the Centering. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Hm.

Eric (as Bella): That’s it?! I just told you that you’re over like 1000 years old and you said, “Hmm! I must- I look great for bein 1100 years old!”

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean it’s sort of a backhanded compliment when you say these things, bt yeah it’s cool. It’s great. I kind of had an inkling already, I’m pretty old. I don’t know how long I was… uh… 

Brandon: And Tracey realizes that he’s starting to share a lot with this librarian that he just met. 

Eric (as Bella): When you started to be what?

Brandon (as Tracey): Um… let’s just… uh… I haven’t been around for a while. Um, I have these other files here that talk about two other warforged: one that ran away and one that rebelled against the Council. Is there anything- does this ring any bells for you?

Eric (as Bella): I mean I can- yeah, I can do some research. Um… man… I don’t think anyone has ever seen one in person.

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean, I was on TV. A lot of people have now.

Eric (as Bella): I don’t- I don’t have a TV.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s…

Eric (as Bella): I like books.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s a good choice, honestly.

Eric (as Bella): [hesitating] Probably… okay....

Brandon (as Tracey): Healthy choice. Do you want a hug, or like…

Eric (as Bella): No, I’m just…

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m a really good hugger.

Eric (as Bella): No, I’m- I’m okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): You look like you’re trying to say something, what’s up?

Eric (as Bella): I- I’m just gonna… I’m gonna look these up for you.

Eric: So she takes the files and she goes over to- over on the far wall there’s a desk that has a bunch of reference books, and she starts flipping through to figure out where to look next for the microfiche.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can I help with anything, or- ?

Eric (as Bella): Nope, I’m just gonna- gotta figure it out. You’re- you’re really… you’re so interesting.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alright… thanks, you have a cool job and I applaud your… profession.

Eric (as Bella): Cool.

Brandon (as Tracey): Chad, you wanna play some chess while we wait?

Eric: And Chad says

Eric (as Chad): I… I don’t know how to play this game. I hope that you teach me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Let’s do it!

Eric: You spend some time playing with Chad and Bella’s still over there looking at the reference books.

Brandon: I also bring Tallahassee out for a bit, just give him some playful wrestles, some petting. He’s been in the suitcase for a while [laughs].

Eric: Yeah, it’s true. You look over at Bella again, and she’s on the phone. And she’s trying to cup her mouth off as she’s talking to the phone. She puts the phone down and she smiles over at you and waves. And she says

Eric (as Bella): Hi.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey! Who were you- who was that?

Eric (as Bella): Uh, you know, just getting a bunch of my colleagues to come over. I think they’d be really fascinated to… [hesitantly] know what's going on with you!

Brandon (as Tracey): Um… you invited more people to this place?

Eric (as Bella): I mean, yeah, I think- I needed to get my supervisor-

Brandon (as Tracey): Cool…

Eric (as Bella): And they had some questions and I think more people, there are some researchers.

Brandon (as Tracey): About what? Who? What? I’m not a sideshow here. This is kind of insulting.

Eric (as Bella): I gotta say you kind- a little bit, yeah, you’re over 1,000 years old and they want to ask you some questions.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, I’m gonna take whatever microfiche that you found, and then I’m gonna leave.

Eric (as Bella): I mean it stays- it stays here. You can’t take this.

Brandon (as Tracey): Either you tell them to not come, or I’m leaving.

Eric: And Chad starts to make a move at her.

Brandon (as Tracey): You see this human right here? He’s very threatening.

Eric (as Bella): Uhhhhh… okay. Just hit the print button and you can get a copy of this particular day.

Brandon (as Tracey): Great.

Brandon: I hit the print button. 

Brandon (as Tracey): And Chad’s gonna check out that book, the kids book.

Eric (as Bella): Okay, I guess… that one’s on me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Great. You’ll take care of any fees?

Eric (as Bella): Uh, no fees here. Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, um, just a little tip: when people come and ask you for help, maybe don’t ostracize them next time. That’s not a great- great feeling.

Eric (as Bella): I know that you’re being cool about this, but… you’re a marvel. You shouldn't be here. And I think people would be interested to know that.

Brandon (as Tracey): And yet… here I am!

Brandon: And I spin my cape.

Brandon (as Tracey): Chad, let’s go.

Eric: Chad takes one- like a fake, he fakes out at Bella, and then-

Brandon: He jiggles a little bit.

Eric: Yeah, he jiggles at her.

Brandon: And we leave the library.

Eric: And with Chad running behind you.

[musical transition]

Eric: Inara, you are on the road back to Fidapolis.

Amanda: Mhm.

Eric: You’ve been driving for a little while now, and the engine is getting really, really hot. So you pull over, and you’ve kind of eaten through all the oatcakes that you have. And you stop at like a General Store that’s on the side of the road.

Amanda: Yeah, I’ll park under an awning and give the vespa some time to cool down. Alonzo and I are going to kind of awkwardly walk sort of close to each other with my cloak draped over our joined arms, as Oatcake sort of scampers around. But we’ll I guess go inside and grab some snacks from the General Store and then go to sit in the shaded picnic bench area outside the stores as the vespa cools down.

Eric: And Alonzo is stuffing his face with Snowballs.

[Amanda giggles]

Brandon: Are those actual snowballs?

Eric: They’re actal snowballs, yeah, covered in coconut, and they’re disgusting.

Eric (as Alonzo): [with mouth full] So… [swallows] You gotta… why’d you- why’d you break up with her?

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] Alonzo, we have many more hours on the road. I want you to think very carefully about the questions that you want to ask me.

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah this is- I feel like I had one chip here, and I’m cashing it in. What happened there?

Amanda (as Inara): We weren’t even dating. We didn’t even get a chance to date. She just… [sighs]. I wish I got to know her better, but she didn’t, and then we were standing there in font of all these people, all the lights, and they were gonna write about it and talk about it, and they were filming, we’ve been filing for like- they’ve been filming us the whole time! You were asleep for a long time. Whole time they were filming us. It was scary. And I… [takes a deep breath] it was a lot in one second, and I don’t want to disappoint her. So I made my choice.

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah. I… I think about disappointing people… a lot. I can’t really remember, but- do you remember why Johnny charmed me? The whole point there was fuzzy. I woke up and then I… was mad and now then I just forgot a whole part there and now I’m… what did I do?

Amanda (as Inara): I think we were just worried. You seemed really mad. And all those mud people, they were following you for some reason. And I… I know it was kinda messed up but I think it was for your safety and ours.

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah, I guess that’s what it looked like on your end, huh? I mean, I just woke up from the mud, too. You’re talking about being filmed all the time, I was just like upside down like a bat covered in mud, like a stalagmite, like a stalactite, whichever one is from the ceiling. Whatever. Um, I think I- I sent that arrow, I’m pretty sure I did, but when it’s- you don’t control- I didn’t feel my body, it was the last thing I could do was sending that thing out to give you a signal.

Amanda (as Inara): And we saw it! And we… heh… Alonzo, I know we- I know we get on each other’s nerves, but we were really excited to see that arrow. We were really worried about you. We didn’t want to come to this town. We did because we didn’t know where you went and we were worried. And we were really glad to get you back, I guess… and stuff.

Eric (as Alonzo): I appreciate that you want to take care of me, but I was really- I really thought I had it there. I didn’t recognize those people. Except for Brinks… Brinksy, whatever you’re calling her. I knew her. I woke up and I had this power to control the mud. I don’t… I was just trying to do what I thought was right.

Amanda (as Inara): I think you had the situation too much under control. And you can do a lot more than you think you can. And I guess that’s where we have trouble is I think you’re more powerful than you give yourself credit for. And that’s not something to be taken lightly.

Eric (as Alonzo): That’s fair. I… that’s fair. I, um, I’m gonna get something to drink from inside. Wanna come with me?

Amanda (as Inara): Sure. I mean…

Eric (as Alonzo): I mean you kind of have to.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah. Heh.

Eric: Alonzo goes back inside and while you’re looking at the drinks, he pulls you over to one corner, and in the corner is a claw machine.

[Amanda gasps]

It’s one of those roadside games.

Amanda: Yes!

Eric: And it’s branded with Döove & Böoster's.

Amanda: Oh, good.

Eric: It’s like in big bold letters and there's like a little cartoon Kenku at the bottom that’s going like, “Rah!”

Amanda: Inara kind of stoops down to like look at the corner- the bottom corner of the machine to see if there's a beak peeking out.

Eric: [laughing] No, there’s not. And there’s like blinking lights, and there are the containers that you saw before. And it says like, “Try your chance! Get a prize! Be an adventurer!”

Eric (as Alonzo): You know what, I think I have a gold- and this one just takes gold pieces right?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, I think so. Here let me. I got one.

Eric: And you pop a gold piece into the machine. Please roll a d20.

Amanda: Heyyyy.

[dice rolling]

A… 6.

Eric: Okay. You move it around as much as possible and you hit the button. And the claw machine comes down and pulls out a green container and drops it down into the slot. This is about the size of a basketball.

Amanda: Whoa.

Eric: And you pick it up and you open it, and inside is an ordinary bag made from grey cloth. And branded on the side of it is the name, “Bag of Tricks.” You got the Grey Bag of Tricks. When you put your hand inside, you can pull out a small fuzzy object- looks like a ball of yarn- and you throw it as a bonus action, and you get a random animal.

Amanda: Amazing.

Eric: It feels like there are three balls of yarn inside the bag.

Amanda: Amazing. I’m gonna offer Alonzo a gold piece too.

Eric: Alonzo puts it in there and does the claw machine.

[dice rolling]

There is a small orange capsule that drops down, and he opens it up and inside it looks like a plastic bag, and then there’s another plastic bag around that, and there’s another plastic bag around that, and another one around that. It comes with instructions inside of the container, and he’s like- and he reads it out loud and he says

Eric (as Alonzo): “The plural bag of bags.” That sounds… weird. Okay. “You can conjure a swarm of some group of creature The creature swarm must be below 100 pounds, and must have at least four of them. To activate it, you must say a plural of that creature. You can make up what the plural is if you don’t know it, but it must sound correct.” Huh, I guess I can control a lot of animals now?

Amanda (as Inara): Can you- can you imagine if- with the Representative like if you’re in a big meeting hall where all the bagels were, and someone’s like arguing, and it’s really boring, and you wanna sleep and they don’t have enough pastries, and then you’re just like, “Bats!” and then it’s like bats appear. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Eric (as Alonzo): What’s the plural of bats?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh… a bunch of bats?

Eric (as Alonzo): No… that’s… how about: a vampire of bats!

Eric: And then the bags open up, and like ten bats come flying out of the bag. And the store owner is like, “Oh my god! Bats!” and the bats like start flying into the stuff in all the store.

Amanda: Uh, yeah we’re gonna run out, Inara’s gonna yell sorry, and just throw a handful of gold behind them.

Eric: [laughing] As it scatters to the ground, you two hop into your vespa and sidecar, and you peel away.

[musical transition]

Eric: Johnny, how do you think your lecture series is going?

Michael: I think it’s been going quite well. I've been taking a lot of questions, answers, I think it’s important when you’re doing any kind of lecture series, or if you’re an educator, that you’re learning as much as you’re teaching.

Eric: Mhm. Yeah I think so too. I think Alice is like even more awestruck than she was before, but like in a very tangible way. She can’t believe that you know so much about the Undying Light and she saw it, and she’ just kind of like- she’s around you. She’s like orbiting you like a satellite around a planet.

Michael: Definitely isn’t annoying.

Eric: Definitely not. Definitely not super annoying. And she keeps asking you about your Southern accent.

Michael: After being ushered out, I step back into my room and I take the lantern off of the staff, and I set it in front of me, and I sit and meditate for a while, and attempt to communicate to both the Undying Light and Undying Shadow.

Michael (as Johnny): I’ve considered the warnings from both of you about having to choose a path or choose a side or whatever. I think ultimately I’ve decided that there has to be balance, and while I do see a place for Shadow, currently there is more Shadow than Light in this world. And so while I believe in balance, I still believe in propagating Light. 

I hope to share the word of both the Light and Shadow with these people and more. While I know this isn't strictly a religion like the Trinity, I think the best way for the masses to understand and to contemplate, we have to treat this more of a deity type thing. I- I guess an issue you guys have to figure out is who gets top billing, but I simply don’t care. 

I’m going to be the one making the rules for this because I’m tired of you guys deciding what my fate has to be. I’ve been in this world for much too long, and I am just- I’m tired of not having a good path. Hope to speak to you all later. Xoxo. Gossip Johnny.

[Brandon laughs]

Eric: The lantern that was glowing as you contacted the other realms, it goes back to its normal state, and you wait for a response for five seconds, ten seconds, thirty seconds.

Michael: I’m enjoying a meditation during this time, it ain’t no biggie.

Eric: A full minute.

Michael: Sure.

Eric: Five minutes.

Michael: Great.

Eric: Ten.

Michael: I’m having a wonderful time.

Eric: Thirty. 

Michael: The thing about meditation is you want to do it a lot, so it takes some time.

Eric: An hour.

Michael: And you know when you-

Eric: Two.

Michael: -when you meditate, it's very healthy.

Eric: Three.

Michael: At some point, I do go to the bathroom.

Eric: And three hours- three and a half hours go by and you’re like, “I’m so hungry,” when you finally pull yourself out of your meditative state, you hear

[shave-and-a-haircut knock]

Michael (as Johnny): Tr- Tr- Tracey?

Eric: The door opens, and it’s Noto Oto.

Michael: Oh dear.

Eric: And she’s in a kimono a lot like yours, and it’s pink and white polka dots, and in her hands she’s holding a chest about the size of a bread box. And she says

Eric (as Noto Oto): Oh, Johnny, I figured you might be hungry after all of your lecturing, and I wanted to tell you that dinner’s ready. We’re having… um, tacos. I really like tacos.

Michael (as Johnny): Tacos are truly the food of the gods. I will join shortly. What do you have there?

Eric (as Noto Oto): Oh this! You know, I wanted to give you a welcoming present, but I… this, yeah, this is your welcoming present, and definitely not something I just had laying around.

Michael (as Johnny): Okay…

Eric (as Noto Oto): Let me, okay, let me try that again. I don’t usually know how to be humble to other people. Um… you are exceptional, and I think that this…

[Michael laughs]

Eric (as Noto Oto): I think that whatever is in here would be better suited to you. Also it’s stuck and I can’t get it open.

Michael (as Johnny): Oh, okay this makes sense.

Eric (as Noto Oto): Okay, here you go. Tacos. See you there.

Michael (as Johnny): I will be there shortly. Save some pollo guisado for me.

Eric (as Noto Oto): I don’t know what that is, I just eat the tacos.

[Brandon laughs]

Eric: And she walks away.

Michael: I have a chest in front of me.

Eric: Yeah, and it’s old. It’s like rusted over.

Michael: Any defining marks on it that could be interesting?

Eric: Yeah, on the left side, there is actually a button that says, “Press me.”

Michael: I’m not…

Brandon: [chanting] Press the but-ton! Press the but-ton!

Amanda: [joining in] Press the but-ton! Press the but-ton!...

Michael: So I’m not detecting anything weird about this?

Eric: No.

Michael: Okay, I press the button.

Eric: And it opens!

Michael: Okay, so she’s just dumb?

Eric: She doesn’t know how chests work. That really was it.

Amanda: It takes the worthy!

Brandon: She has a chest person that does this for her.

Amanda: Yeah, she has a button pusher and he has been on vacation for the last three weeks, she’s like “Oh my god.”

Eric: This is like you give someone a blender and it’s like, “how do I- what do I do with this? How do I… I don’t know.”

Michael: That is not a difficult gift.

Eric: I know. It’s not. Okay, roll a d20!

Brandon: You make soup!

Michael: Roll a d20 you said.

Eric: Roll a d20.

Amanda: Or smoothies!

Brandon: Or peanut butter!

Amanda: Or hummus!

Michael: Nah, I’m not gonna…

Brandon: Or smoothies!

[dice rolling]

Michael: 12.

Eric: Alright, with a 12, inside is a patch, and it’s sticky. On the patch, there’s the shape of a man standing there, and then next to him is another man that’s just like the outline of the man.

Michael: Do I recognize this iconography for specific spell type purposes as either Invisible or Duplicate Self or anything?

Eric: Well it’s funny that you asked that, because this looks like the symbology for Teleportation.

Michael: Ah!

Eric: This is the Teleport Patch. For the next hour, each time the weapon or object the patch is attached to strikes a creature or object hard enough to inflict damage, the target of the strike teleports to a random location 100 feet away.

[Amanda laughing]

Michael: A random location?

Eric: A random- you have to roll a d10.

Michael: Ohhhh no!

Amanda: Oh boy.

Eric: You have to roll a d10 to determine direction, and it’s gonna be clockwise from- north is 1, and you know, around in a compass rose.

Michael: Sure.

Eric: 9 is straight up, and 10 you burrow underground.

Amanda: Oh boy!

Michael: Oh, wow. 

Eric: You tunnel. You like tunnel underground.

Michael: No, I got you.

Eric: You can only use this patch once per day.

Michael: Once per day?

Eric: Yeah. And Johnny, you do the only thing you know in your life to be your exact purpose. You run out to go eat some tacos.

[musical transition]

Eric: Tracey!

Brandon: Huh?!

Eric: Tracey, name a place you think that you and Chad would be able to hide out.

Brandon (as Tracey): A park.

Eric: Park?

Brandon (as Tracey): Hiding in plain sight.

Eric: Okay. You two are sitting on a bench.

Brandon (as Tracey): I think we’re talking back and forth about our experiences in the mansion. Kind of hearing firsthand what Chad’s thoughts were, where we went wrong, and our strategy, why we didn’t get Chad to win.

Eric: Chad says

Eric (as Chad): Well, you know I really think that I had a shot there, but I think that when everything started falling apart and there was political turmoil, then I… I was really out there!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, that was really the nail in the coffin, huh?

Eric (as Chad): I think Representative Brink liked me!

Brandon (as Tracey): I do too!

Eric (as Chad): Do you like me?

Brandon (as Tracey): I love you!

Eric (as Chad): I… that was… Tracey, I love you, too.

Brandon: And we hug.

Eric: What does that even look like?!

Brandon: It’s just like if you were to hug a giant pile of silly putty. Just like it gives, and you get a little icky.

Eric: Ugh.. and you like go inside?

Brandon: I mean, see I’m used to having Jonny around to just prestidige my body clean.

Amanda: That’s true.

Brandon: I’m not used to it yet.

Eric: I think as you hug him, your hands do go inside, and I think once you do get out of his hug, you can like see your hands inside of Chad, and you for the first time can tell that there’s like stuff floating inside Chad. There’s like parts of his bed from before, and there's like a chair, and a plant was in there as well, and some of that stuff is starting to break down. And there’s a bag with a knot in there as well.

Brandon: So as my face is smooshed up against Chad, I see the bag and I look up at Chad and I say

Brandon (as Tracey): [muffled] Chad, there’s something inside of you!

Eric (as Chad): Tracey, I don’t know what you’re talking about! Humans can’t hold things inside them, that’s crazy!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah they can, there’s like food and organs and things!

Eric (as Chad): Well it must be a splinter or something. Tracey, would you go in there and take it out?

Brandon (as Tracey): Chad, is that what friends do? For their friends?

Eric (as Chad): Yeah, if a human had a splinter, he would definitely need help to pull it out.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay…

Brandon: And Tracey… I want to be extra clear about this: the most reluctant he’s ever been to do anything in his entire life, grabs the bag.

Eric: Okay. Yeah you get your hand on it and you just try to pull it out, and there’s like a little bit of a sucking noise as you pull it out.

Brandon: Ughhhhh that is literally the worst noise on the entire planet.

Eric: And you pull it out with a pop, and now you have this bag in your hand.

[Brandon cringing]

Roll a d20!

[Brandon cringing more]

[dice rolling]

Brandon: 7!

Eric: Okay, inside this bag- this is a lot bigger than you thought it would be. And you see a handle inside that looks a lot like your axe’s handle. And you put two hands on the handle and you pull it out, and this is a two-sided axe and there are snakes that curl around the handle-

Brandon: Neat!

Eric: And go up above the axe.

Brandon: Neat! They’re named Macaroni and Cheese.

[Amanda gasps]

Eric: Oh, that’s good! I like that! And both sides of the axe have little red crosses on them. And this is called the Sawbone.

[Amanda and Brandon laugh]

The Sawbone is a two-handed axe and you can wield it as a regular axe, but this has a very special quality, it actually can heal people. You need to convince your patient to stay still, and then this does 1d10 damage, so you roll a d10, and then you’re going to heal them for 1d20 damage.

Brandon: Neat.

Eric: And you can also wield this as a regular axe.

Brandon: Love it. That’s cool.

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, Chad, this was a little more than a splinter I think!

Eric (as Chad): Ah, Tracey, thanks for pulling that out of me!

Brandon (as Tracey): You’re welcome!

Eric: Chad shivers for a second and then the part where the gelatin in him closes up. And he says

Eric (as Chad): Tracey, I have something to tell you. Um… after what happened in the library, I… I also know what it’s like to be looked at strangely. People look at me weird all the time. And, uh, I think I know why. This might surprise you, but um, Tracey, I’m not a human.

[everyone gasps]

Brandon (as Tracey): Chad, it doesn’t matter what people do or call you. You can be whatever you wanna be.

Brandon: And I hug him.

Eric (as Chad): Thanks Tracey. I really needed to hear all that.

Brandon (as Tracey): You wanna play catch?

[everyone bursts out laughing]

Eric (as Chad): Yes.

[theme music]

Eric: Join the Party is brought to you by Brandon Grugle, Amanda McLoughlin, Michael Fische, and me, Eric Silver. I’m your host and game master; Brandon edits, mixes, and scores the show; Amanda manages our community and our digital life; and Michael archives, manual-checks, and cartographs our world. Special thanks to our creative consultants Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini and Heddy Hunt.

Michael: The party doesn’t stop here! The day after every episode comes out we publish the Afterparty, where we sit down to discuss what just happened and learn what could have happened. Send us your questions anytime.

Brandon: Join our community online by following @jointhepartypod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ve also got every episode up on our website, jointhepartypod.com; and you can email us questions or stories anytime at hello@jointhepartypod.com.

Amanda: If you’re enjoying this ride as much as we are, help the show out by subscribing to us in iTunes and leaving a quick rating. For even more Join the Party goodness, check out our Patreon. Just a few dollars will get you access to drawings, character backstories, bloopers, and so much more at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

Eric: We’ll see you in two weeks. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.