50. House Party I

After the Council of Bright destroyed the capital, everything is in disarray. Three months later, we’re adjusting to the new way of life. Inara refuses breakfast. Tracey brews some tea. Everyone is on their guard.


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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

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

- Multitude: multitude.productions

About Us

Join the Party is a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast. That means a group of friends create a story together, chapter by chapter, that everyone from seasoned players to true beginners can enjoy. Where else can you get adventure, intrigue, magic, drama, and lots of high fives all in one place? Right here.

After each episode we sit down for the Afterparty, where we break down our game and answer your questions about how to play Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games at home. We also have the Punchbowl, an interview series with people pushing D&D forward creatively, communally and socially. It’s a party, and you’re invited! Find out more at jointhepartypod.com.


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party…

Eric: [snoring, abruptly awakens] Ohh what?! Oh my god, sorry!…dozed off for a bit. What happened? What’s going on? [yawns] Oh! That’s right…

The party reconvenes in the Concentra capitol building to find something that could destroy Alonzo’s medallion for good. They run into Harriet, the archivist, and her paperweight which contains a shard of the spirit of the god of creation D’var.

Harriet leads the party into the archives, where they beat up some mind-control moths and secure a hammer to destroy the medallion. They then burst into the final vote for a last chance at swaying the Representatives. The votes are cast in favor of popping the bubble, consequences be damned!

Eric (as Brink): We're popping this thing and we're going to take him down we're gonna destroy him in this that's going to be the end of that!!

Amanda (as Inara): [excitedly] You heard the lady! You heard the hottest Representative in the room! [short pause] Never mind, sorry, let's do it!!!

Eric: As everyone prepares, Tracey hears the Council of Bright in the back of his head. The Council commands him to tackle Inara and set him free, and Tracey willingly allows himself to be controlled. The plan falls apart and the Council pulls the last star from the sky, unleashing him from an astral prison.

Eric (as Council of Bright): We're celebrating my return. You should be happy.

Amanda (as Inara): [livid] Take the amulet off, you coward!

Eric (as Council of Bright): [smugly] You know what? I'm gonna do something better.

Eric: In his full form, the Council summons an army of warforged to march out of the sky and rends the capitol building and the capital into ruins.

Ah, I remember now. It’s the end of the world. Let’s get the party started.

[theme music] 

[melancholy chime melody fades into pulsating beeping sounds] 

Eric: Tracey. You’re having the dream again. The one with all of the warforged and your friends and they’re in this proto-Infropolis. This utopia where anything can happen and you seem happy. And you look around, and in this one, this time, it’s a little bit different. In this one, Inara comes up to you, holding a sandwich. And she says, 

Eric (as Inara): [calmly] Tracey, here! I-I made this for you.

Brandon (as Tracey): [excitedly] OH MY GOD, WHAT KIND?! 

Eric (as Inara): It’s your favorite. 

Brandon (as Tracey): PEANUT BUTTER, HAM, AND BANANAS!!! Delicious!! 

Eric (as Inara): That’s right. That’s definitely what it is. And that’s-that’s not a weird combination.

Eric: Uh, so she’s holding the sandwich up to you. What do you do? 

Brandon: I take the sandwich. Start munching down. 

Eric: So, you reach your hand out, and you grab the sandwich. 

[wood creaking]

And as soon as you do…the floor starts coming out from under you.

[bellowing thunder]

Like in the tower. When the warforged came back, everything is just crumbling around you. The floor is just cracking and crumbling, and you see everyone is starting to fall. 

[bellowing thunder surges]

The buildings, the people, the animals, the trees, the warforged. They’re all falling, and falling, and falling. And you look down and there’s only a platform below you. 

[wood crackling loudens]

And it cracks. And you feel yourself falling. 

[menacing music plays and quickly stops]

And before you hit the ground…

[triangle clangs loudly]

You hear a very loud triangle...ringing right next to your ears. And you wake up.

[triangle stops]

Brandon (as Tracey): [irked] Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. I’m awake. Please, please stop the ringing. Please stop, STOP, STOP. The ringing…

Eric (as person with triangle): [annoyed, in commanding voice] You need to be up, NOW. You should have been prepping the tea, TWO hours ago! 

Brandon (as Tracey): You’re right. You know. That was irresponsible of me…

Eric (as person with triangle): What am I paying you for?! What, what…Mr. Octavio’s Tea Shop doesn’t get by on unprepared green tea. 

Brandon (as Tracey): You know, that’s very fair, um…I-I-I’m up. I’m awake now. I can’t change the past, I can only move forward so…I’m going to move forward to the storefront and make tea! 

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): [still annoyed] Move forward QUICKER. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay!

Brandon: And Tracey stands up and shuffles to the front of the house. 

Eric: Tracey you are standing in the front of Mr. Octavio’s Tea Shop. A small structure out on the outside of a trading town, pretty far north of Cronopolis. People come through every once and a while. But you know, you kinda see the same seven people every day.

Brandon (as Tracey): There’s Jim, Stacey,...um Mary, and Margaret, they’re sisters.

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): And, um, there’s, I don’t know why I’m saying this in Tracey’s voice, I guess…

Eric: [chuckling] Tracey’s remembering all the customers as he’s preparing the green tea in the morning. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, and then there is, um…just a sentient horse. 

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): And um, the gnome known as Charlie. 

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): And I don’t remember if that’s the right amount of people or not. 

Eric: [laughs] Tracey, you’re just tired. You’re not used to getting up this early. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m not a morning person. 

Eric: No. My Octavio is uh, pointing his head in from the back.

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): Salmon! How’s the tea going? 

[large slurp and gulp]

Brandon (as Tracey): [as if the tea was too hot] Yep! That’s-that’s just right. Yeah. Not burnt. Full-bodied flavor, you know? It’s great tea today, good job. I’m proud-I’m proud of our accomplishments together.

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): [offended] Our accomplishments?

Brandon (as Tracey): [quickly corrects] I’m proud of your accomplishments. 

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): THANK YOU, Salmon. Salmon? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Mhm?

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): You know better. The deal was that you wake up before me, and I’ll give you a place to sleep. If you don’t wake up before me so that I can get my fourteen hours of beauty rest, what is even the point of me putting you up?!

Brandon (as Tracey): No, you know, you’re right. You know…that’s my mistake…um. You know, it’s just been rougher and rougher  to try and, you know, get any sort of rest these days. But that’s not an excuse. You are doing me a huge favor and I must return that favor and I will. I appreciate your kindness.

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): Thank you. I also recognize the fact that everyone is on edge with the Bright battalion running through the town and I understand that. But we NEED to give them the tea. That is our responsibility. We calm them.

Brandon (as Tracey): Right.

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): And the soldiers kind of fuck everything up. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I thought that was kinda a weird slogan for the shop when you first put it on the sign. Kinda long and you know, not really family friendly but…

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): You know, I’ll tell you, it’s been a weird three months. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I get that. 

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): Salmon?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes? 

Eric (as Mr. Octavio): Back to work.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, thank you sir. 

Eric: So, you go about your day, uh…your regular customers come in. Charlie hops up on the table and asks for his black tea.

[door bells clang announcing arrival, relaxed coffee shop music plays]

Brandon (as Tracey): [excitedly] CHARLIE!! Buddy! 

Eric (as Charlie): [energetically] SPLUP-PLOW!! That’s my catchphrase! 

Eric: Uh, the sentient horse walks in, and goes over to the trough.

[Brandon thinks for a second]

Brandon (as Tracey): JEREMY!! Buddy! 

Eric (as Jeremy): [somewhat stiffly] I appreciate you bringing my tea for me, neigh! I only say neigh to keep you, my new friend Salmon, comfortable. 

Brandon (as Tracey): You don’t have to do that to me, just be yourself! 

Eric (as Jeremy): Okay. This is just myself. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Here’s your tea.

Eric (as Jeremy): I’m Jeremy. I also like oats and running.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. That’s great, so do I. So does everyone.

Eric (as Jeremy): That’s true. 

Eric: The Sanderson sisters come in…

[bells on door clang]

And they both hold their hands out and give grabby hands to you.

Brandon (as Tracey): [appeasing] Okay, okay, okay, okay. Here’s your tea! 

Brandon: And I hand them the two most beautiful ceramic mugs that we have in the shop.

Eric: Wonderful. And they sit down, and they sit in the picture window at the front of the store. 

So, it’s about 10 AM now. You kinda caught the morning rush. And uh, you’re waiting for Jim to come in and Jim always walks in at 10:01 every single day. And you’re waiting and you look at the clock and it’s 10:01, and he’s not there. And it’s 10:02, 10:03…and then at 10:04 you see there’s ten warforged are patrolling outside of the tea shop. And they walk by…

[metallic marching]

One of the warforged pokes their head in…

[bells on door clang]

And surveys the scene. Sanderson sisters, they stay stalk still. Uh…

Brandon (as Tracey): [expectantly] Jim? Oh…

Eric (as warforged): [demandingly] Shopkeeper! [pause] Is everything okay here? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, everything’s great. Would you…do you want some tea? 

Eric (as warforged): No, I do not require tea. I am a warforged

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t know what that is, but we don’t discriminate here if you want some tea? You know, you’re always welcome, but...you know? 

Eric (as warforged): No thank you. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as warforged): Brightness upon you. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Thank you. Brightness upon you.

Eric: And the door closes as the warforged walk through. 

[clanging of door bells]

And now it’s 10:10 and still, Jim hasn’t showed up. What do you do? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Mary? Margaret? Have y’all seen Jim recently? He’s, uh…he’s usually here. But he’s-he’s pretty late. 

Eric (as Mary and Margaret): [high-pitched] Yeah, I’ve seen him on his morning walk, but not since then. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Hm…that’s-that’s weird. Do you know where his walk usually goes by? Like what the route is? 

Eric (as Mary and Margaret): Usually down by the river. But he’s done by now. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Hm…okay. Does he like stop at his home usually? 

Eric: And the door pushes open…

[door bells clanging]

Brandon (as Tracey): Jim? 

Eric: And you hear a voice that you recognize oh so well. 

Eric (as recognizable voice): [deep robotic voice with a Southern drawl with a hint of confidence] Well! Haven’t seen Jim or anything but sure am happy to see you Tracey. 

Eric: And the door opens, and you see two warforged. And they don’t look like the soldiers that you saw walking by before, they’re very distinct. They have really really bright glowing yellow eyes. And one of them has a, uh, cannon in the center of their chest. And the other one, like, every single one of their-their limbs, seems to be made out of different Lego pieces? And the one with the cannon in the middle says, 

Eric (as cannon warforged): Tracey, Tracey, Tracey. It has been too long! 

Eric: And the one with the Lego pieces doesn’t say anything and takes a quick step forward. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [hesitantly] Uh, I’m sorry gentlemen. I don’t know…I don’t know a Tracey. I’m-I’m a Salmon. This is Mary, and this is Margaret. 

Brandon: And if you were to look at Tracey, you would see that he has cast Disguise Self on himself to look like a, um…you know not massively bulky but like, he like you know? He goes to the gym to work.

Eric: The warforged with the cannon in his chest, says,

Eric (as cannon warforged): Girls! Here’s one hundred gold, why don’t you get on outta here.

Eric: And the warforged made out of the blocks drops a bag with a hard thunk on the table. The girls grab it and run out. 

[door bells clang] 

Eric (as cannon warforged): Tracey? I know you’re in there. The least you can do, is say hello.

Brandon (as Tracey): [uncertain] Um, I…can I offer you some oolong? We have some really nice silver needles on stock right now…

Eric (as cannon warforged): Alright, well I guess we’re doing it like this. That’s fine. Well…let me introduce myself to you...Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.

Brandon (as Tracey): You didn’t ask, but it’s Salmon.

Eric (as cannon warforged): Salmon? Salmon, okay. Well, let me tell you a story.

Brandon (as Tracey): What’s your name? 

Eric (as cannon warforged): I’m Holmes. This is my associate Watson. 

Eric: For kids at home, it’s H01M35 and W4TS0N.

Eric (as Holmes): Now, I might just be a country warforged brought back by the glory that is the Council of Bright, but I-I-I did have this friend. His name was Tracey. And he was a real rapscallion. In fact, he was the one who brought this, brought the big bad all the way back. And we are eternally grateful for him all the way back from where I’m from. 

But uh, you know? I haven’t seen hi or hand from him in a while. He was around, he was powing around with the Council himself. And then just kinda disappeared. It’s odd really. He just kinda disappeared, in a flash.

Eric: And when he says flash, you see that the cannon in Holmes’ chest glows very brightly very fast…

[electronic whirring]

And then shoots out one of the windows.

[loud bang and glass breaking]

Brandon (as Tracey): [agitated] Can-Can you not…do that? Uh…I…this is my shop? 

Eric (as Holmes): Right, right. You. Yeah, you’re obviously the one who runs this. And running it for how long now? 

Brandon (as Tracey): [flustered] Um, no. I’m-I’m an employee, but…you know, it’s been entrusted by Mr. Octavio in my care and that window is going to come out of my paycheck. 

Eric (as Holmes): Well, you know, I’m sure-I’m sure, you’re very concerned about the paycheck. Well, how long have you been working here? [more unnerved] Because my friend Tracey has been disappeared for about three months now and it seems like you have been employed at this establishment for about three months as well! 

[another loud bang and glass breaking]

Eric: And he shoots out another one of the windows. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay…um. Well tea service is off the table, just wanted to make that clear. Uh, you will not be getting any tea from me. Um, I’ve been working here since I’ve turned of legal working age, uh, here in Thistlefield, which um, you know is like, 16? 

Eric (as Holmes): Tracey, c’mon, Tracey. You can drop the act now. I know who you are. I know what’s going on. This story really fits to himself. You can deal with me, and me and my just uh, breaking a few windows here. Or you can deal with my associate. 

Eric: Watson takes another quick step forward, and the bricks all start to rearrange. 

[bricks clanging together]

Like you see that he’s standing as a bipedal human. And it rearranges really quickly. It’s like the bricks start stacking on top of each other. And he is now in the form of a brown bear. And he has claws out, and he just roars right in your face.

[loud, intimidating roar] 

Brandon (as Tracey): Well, I never…

[loud roar continues]

Eric (as Holmes): Well, Tracey. You’ve seen that trick before, you thought it was quite fun there. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, you know. I think I have just the right tea for you both. 

Brandon: And Tracey steps back behind the counter just out of sight, and I’m going to cast Invisibility. 

[futuristic, electronic beat]

Eric: Great.

Brandon: Starting from his toes and leading all the way up to his body to his head, he starts to turn invisible and heads out the back entrance as quietly as possible. 

Eric: I’m going to roll Perception to see if they find you as you walk out. 

[dice rolls, Brandon sighs in response]

Eric: Alright. I got a 15.

Brandon: My spell save is 14. 

Eric: Alright, so you’re walking out. You slowly pad your way back to the backroom. And you hear Holmes call out, 

Eric (as Holmes): Well if you did see my friend Tracey, who’s out there, you could tell him that, uh, the Council is willing to forgive his crimes, running away, deserting and such, if he does just one really small favor for him.

Brandon: Tracey stops...[short pause] He turns around, grabs a random bag of tea off the shelf from the back stock and comes out and says,

Brandon (as Tracey): You know, that this is a really beautiful roasted oolong from…

Eric (as Holmes): [surprised] Oh! Floating bag of tea! Oh my god!

Brandon (as Tracey): But uh, you know. I might be able to get a message to Tracey. I’m not saying I know where he is, but uh, he’s been in my shop before. 

Eric (as Holmes): Well, uh, you do have the longest arm in the wild west here! All you have to do is take this little guy and come with us. 

Eric: You see that Holmes is carrying a sack over his shoulder. And he drops it on the floor. 

[electronic whirring]

And what comes out is this little crab robot. Similar kinda to the turret that Kohl had. It’s just kinda like, just a little sentinel. Like with an eye on it and just a little crab, with kinda a small body. 

Eric (as Holmes): All he would have to do is put this where we tell him to. Now, you can think about it for a little bit, but we’ll be out, out here tonight. At the Thistlefield gates and you should probably join us. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay. I’ll-I’ll a…let him know if I see him. 

Eric (as Holmes): Alright. Well, have a good day then.

Eric: And then Holmes shoots out the remaining…

[bang followed by glass shattering]

Brandon (as Tracey): [ruffled] Oh, come…come on!! 

Eric: The remaining windows and Watson in his bear form flips two tables.

[more glass shatters]

Brandon (as Tracey): [perturbed] That was completely unnecessary!!

Eric (as Holmes): Sometimes unnecessary becomes necessary.

Eric: And he walks out. 

Brandon: And as they leave the shop, Tracey grabs the turret. 

[electronic beat stops, carefree shop music resumes]

[tranquil, dream-like melody]

Eric: Inara. You’re having that dream again. It’s the one with you and Tracey in a dark room. You guys are just sitting on chairs and you’re looking at each other. And this time, it’s a little bit different. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t just say anything. Just hours and hours of looking at him, and then you wake up. But this time, he says something.

Eric (as Tracey): What would I have to do for you to forgive me? 

Amanda (as Inara): Kill him. Kill him with your own two hands.

Eric: And you wake up, and you look up and it’s just dark.

[dream-like melody stops]

But it’s always dark cause there’s no windows in the Döove and Böosters. It was kinda one of their trademarks. Every time is game time! So, you have no idea what time it is. 

Amanda: Yeah, it’s one of their marketing tactics. It’s not just physically an interdimensional space, it is mentally an interdimensional space. 

Eric: [laughs] Oatcake is still asleep. If the sun is not out, Oatcake is sleeping. 

So, you’re laying in your bed. Where have you, uh, kinda made your bed in the Döove and Böosters? 

Amanda: This used to be a breakroom for the staff, but since most of them are kenku, they very generously uh helped me to subdivide a broom closet into half breakroom and half broom closet for them. So, I took over that space and I have a cot up against one wall. I have a few crates that are turned over with a few papers and things lined up on it. 

And for the first time ever I have partially unpacked my pack. I have my clothes kinda stacked in one spot, I have some of my supplies in the other. The essentials are still in the bag in case I have to grab and go. But I am more stable and moved in here than I’ve been anywhere since I’ve left home. 

Eric: Congratulations, you’re a homeowner. 

[Amanda and Eric laugh]

Amanda: Yes, in this linoleum-floored, fluorescent lit Döove and Böosters breakroom. 

Eric: So, I guess, Inara, you gotta go about your day. So, you get up, and you put the glowing marble around your neck. You have the assassin’s marbles that you got all the way back in Fidapolis when you first joined the Assassin’s Guild. It’s the only light thing in this pretty dark room. 

Amanda: Yeah, fluorescent lighting might be worse than the Council, so I don’t use it. 

Eric: Entirely possible. Alright, so what is the first thing you do when you wake up for the day? 

Amanda: Well I give Oatcake scritches and she rolls over onto her other side, so I know that she is safe. I strap my light daggers on, just two daggers. One in the boot, one on the hip. Um…

Eric: [chuckles] The day to night daggers.

Amanda: Exactly, yep. And then I grab my clipboard and pencil and start on my rounds. 

Eric: Alright, so, you’re walking around the Döove and Böosters. In the time that you’ve moved in, in the three months since the “Brightening”, is the nickname people are still trying to figure out.

Amanda: Oh, I hate it. 

Eric: It’s not great, but they haven’t had a lot of time to ideate on that one, the Assassin’s Guild has taken over the Döove and Böosters. 

Amanda: Yes.

Eric: Döove and Böosters is a pocket-dimension, so it’s outside of the Ethereal Plane where all that bad shit is just going down. A lot of the assassins have doubled back and been a part of the Döove and Böosters community now. It’s like half kenku, half assassins. 

Amanda: Yeah, right after the, uh Brightening, [quickly mumbles] I hate it. 

[Eric chuckles]

I reached out to the Assassin’s Guild for the first time. I sent them a message and they responded. And I was able to get in touch with some of their leadership and kinda conscript these people into service. Now they don’t want to be under the Council of Bright anymore than I do. So, they are my boots on the ground as we try to equip the resistance here in Concentra. 

Eric: This is kinda like a post-apocalyptic Beauty and the Beast. Like in the beginning, Belle is kinda walking around and is like,

Amanda: Oh, it sure is! 

Eric: [singing along to the tune of “Belle”] Here comes the baker with his daggers like always! 

Amanda: And here are the kenku with their extensive informant network across all of Cronopolis like always. 

Eric: But everyone is kind of just like, getting down to business.

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: Just all the time, it’s just business.

Amanda: Every morning we check in with our informants in each of the cities. We see if there has been any movement, been any sightings, and crimes committed against the citizens. And collect that intelligence all in one place. 

And then once a week, if safety allows it, I might up with each of our sort of, field captains. All of the members of what we’re calling ourselves, which is the Friends of the Champion. To come and report and strategize and try to form some kind of resistance to the Council of Bright. 

Eric: So, as you’re going about your first rounds, you walk by the snack bar, and you see the imposing helm of the original assassin who gave you the first marbles all the way back in Fidapolis. 

Amanda: Yeah. 

Eric: And then they move their vizor up, and you hear the familiar voice of Bob the Scrawl.

Amanda: I can’t believe it. 

Eric: He says,

Eric (as Bob): [robustly] Inara! Hey! Have you eaten breakfast yet today?

Amanda (as Inara): You know that I don’t like to eat in the morning, c’mon.

Eric (as Bob): It’s the most important meal of the day, everyone knows that. 

Amanda (as Inara): I-I think the most important meal of the day is the last meal of the day that you get because you don’t know where the next one is coming from. 

Eric (as Bob): I know we’re assassins but that is grim, dark, and terrible. Here, I’ve been trying to make a salad, um, there’s not much but here’s lettuce from the tacos and some tomatoes from pizza. And there’s some sprinkled nacho chips and some strawberries pulled from jello. It’s the best I could do but eat it. Just eat it. 

Amanda: And I eat it. 

Eric: [laughs] Okay.

Amanda: I eat exactly one mouthful of only strawberries. 

Eric (as Bob): Fine, I’ll take it. 

Eric: Alright, so you’re going about your rounds. 

Amanda: I start to peak in on each of our very handy interdimensional portholes to each of the Concentric States. So, first, I go next to our beloved claw machine, and to the right of it between that and pinball, is a little almost service hatch? As if there would be breakers behind it. But when I open it up and it creaks open with like a rusty hinge…

[loud squeak] 

I peer on what remains my favorite, I know we’re not supposed to have favorite Concentric States, but it’s mine. Fidapolis.

Eric: You hear a creak and it just continues, but it sounds different, it’s like…

[Eric makes high-pitched squeal]

Eric (as high-pitched voice): Just kidding, we’re assassins! We’re having so much fun! 

Eric: And you see the dragon faces of Tammy and Taylor. So, uh, you look inside, and they’ve used some kind of potion to just evaporate the door. So, no one really knows how to get in. 

[crickets chirping]

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Inara! Arghhhh!! We’re assassins now! 

Amanda (as Inara): Guys, I know. You’ve been assassins for like, two and a half months. 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): It’s still fun, I LOVE IT! 

Amanda (as Inara): I’m uh…so glad to hear. It warms my heart. It really does, but uh. Let’s focus on business. Anything newsworthy happen in the last day? 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): [a little too quickly] I stabbed a guy! 

Amanda (as Inara): [taken aback] Re-Really? 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Okay, no. But I thought it would be a cool thing to say. 

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] What is the first rule of assassins that we talked about? 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Never lie about your kills. 

Amanda (as Inara): Never talk about being assassins. Assassins love to lie! 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): That’s a-That’s a good point. I didn’t. 

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, alright. So, what has happened in the last day? Anything to report? 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Uh, nothing new. Uh, the food, we’re stretching it out as much as possible. Uh, Stoneface has been gathering supplies as much as possible and airdropping it around the city, but, you know, the robo-boys are still just following him around. Haven’t seen Alonzo or anything but, uh you know, we’re looking. 

Amanda (as Inara): And any word from Representative Kiko? 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Haven’t seen him either. Right now, the highest-ranking person we have is James and Stoneface. Which is bad, we’re having trouble. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, are James’ stores of medicine okay?

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Yeah, enough. I mean, we’re not trying to fight them anymore but it’s not great. 

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, well. Doing good work. Keep it up. And don’t stab anyone without me telling you, c’mon! 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Okay, fine. What if we stab each other, is that okay? 

Amanda (as Inara): That’s worse!

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Okay. 

Amanda (as Inara): What is the third rule of assassins?! 

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Don’t stab each other.

Amanda (as Inara): Yes! Never stab other assassins, c’mon! 

Eric: [chuckles] And the door closes. 

[door clicking shut, relaxed department store-like music plays]

Amanda: So next I walk over to a, it’s kind of like a fusion of skee-ball and cornhole but instead of throwing beanbags or rolly-balls, you throw chunks of stone. And underneath that machine, unfortunately I have to lean on the ground and look up underneath it, is a hatch to that game. That, when I open it, looks out over Antipolis. 

Eric: You look across the river at the glittering lights of Antipolis, but before you can get too long of a look, you just see a big eye looking back at you. 

[sounds of water running]

Eric (as eye): [deep, unexpressive voice] Inara. I’ve been very excited to hear from you. 

Amanda (as Inara): Who’s there?! What ho? 

Eric (as eye): It’s me, it’s Zubi. 

Amanda (as Inara): No, Zubi, it was a reference. Hey! How’s it going? Good to see you too. 

Eric (as Zubi): Uh…thanks. Everything’s fine. Everything’s the same. Uh the warforged don’t want to cross into…across the river. So, the trench that I dug a few weeks back is continuing to stay. Uh, who would have thought that they don’t like going across water? But they also don’t like getting kicked in the face either. 

Amanda (as Inara): I know that you’re the right man for the job. How’s everyone doing in terms of medicine, food? 

Eric (as Zubi): Fine, I mean…we’re eating some stone stew, but, no different than usual. 

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, well. Keep up the good work bud.

Eric (as Zubi): Aye aye.

Amanda (as Inara): See you tomorrow. 

Eric (as Zubi): And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. 

Amanda (as Inara): There’s my Zube. Okay, bye.

[running water sounds stop] 

Amanda: Around the corner is like a trash bin, several recycling bins, Döove and Böosters is very into sustainability surprisingly. And then there is a fifth bin at the very end, that doesn’t have anything on it. There’s no hole to it even. And when I flip open the lid, I look down into Tortipolis. 

Eric: You’re looking out into Noto Oto’s compound. Uh, right now you are just seeing that people are bustling around. But everyone is not wearing the same pink anymore. It’s just various citizens of Tortipolis. And you see the familiar face of your ex-girlfriend, who turns around, and with a scowl, and a sigh, walks up to the portal.

Amanda (as Inara): [confidently] Good morning honey. 

Eric (as Brink): [unsure] Hi, sweetie? I don’t know, how am I supposed…I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here.

Amanda (as Inara): [chuckles] It’s okay, I just, wanted to try it out, but it feels kinda weird. Hi Brinksie, how are you? 

Eric (as Brink): Great. I love how the end of the world needs to happen for us to get together, it’s wonderful.

Amanda (as Inara): I mean, do you really expect anything else for two people who met under the circumstances we did? 

Eric (as Brink): I do not, no. You’re totally right. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright. Tell me what’s been happening in the last day.

Eric (as Brink): Uh, everything is alright. Uh, we’re holed up here on the top floor, but you know, the flood that you knocked out, it turns out, well, we finally sent some scouts down to the old stadium. Turns out that entire area was just like, pulsing with old Council of Bright energy. Like, that was the guy! It was the same guy! 

[Amanda scoffs]

Eric (as Brink): So that explains all of the film that you showed me, that’s why everyone was cheering for warforged fights. It was from them. Luckily that big flood you did knocked down a lot of their stuff, but there are a lot of robo-boys scrambling around down there. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright. Do you have any suggestions for containment or capture? 

Eric (as Brink): Nah. Do we just, I guess we gotta wait it out. I mean, you’re still working on your thing, right? 

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah of course, but do you have any kind of scouts that have the capabilities to do an on-the-ground mission if we get it ready in time? 

Eric (as Brink): I mean maybe? We can ask them. But for right now, they’re just trying to survive. 

Amanda (as Inara): Okay. I’ll ask around about some more manpower. 

Eric (Brink): Okay. Bye. [short pause] Honeybunch. I hate it. I hate it so much. 

Amanda: I look down on my clipboard, and on a list at the very very back of the clipboard under the rest of the pages, I cross something out. 

Eric (as Brink): Stupe-Stupid. Get out of here. 

Amanda (as Inara): [laughs lightly] Okay. I’ll-I’ll see you tonight? 

Eric (as Brink): [impatiently] Yeah, okay yeah. I have to go, like, run the country. 

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] Okay, okay. You’re going to do great.

Eric (as Brink): Okay, bye. 

Amanda (as Inara): Bye honey.

Eric (as Brink): Bye. 

Eric: No, you hang up. No, you close the door.

[Amanda and Eric laugh heartily]

Amanda: Alright, I close the hatch begrudgingly. 

[hatch clicking closed]

Another sort of 90 degrees around the room, I walk into a photobooth, which is basically like a lithograph machine, it takes a pretty long time for you to get your photo out of it.

Eric: Stupid! Stupid. 

Amanda: But when I pull the curtain back, it is not a bench and screen that I see, but instead, a door looking out over Infropolis. 

[sounds of traffic and cars honking]

Eric: Yeah, so this is in one of the alleyways of the city, and right now, you just hear intermittent honking of cars and then stomping of metal feet. And you see the familiar visage of Captain Alex with her big hat caulked to the side and she has a human with a bag over their head. 

Amanda (as Inara): [surprised] Oh! Uh, good morning Alex.

Eric (as Captain Alex): [nonchalantly] Uh, good morning to you. One of the same. 

Amanda (as Inara): Who we got here? 

Eric (as Captain Alex): Well, uh, you know I was poking around those places that you told me to. No one was in the Deadringer, uh no one was in, uh, Creative Building. 

Amanda (as Inara): [whispers] Damn! 

Eric (as Captain Alex): So was walking around Jersey Mike’s Stadium and I ran into one of your old friends! So now it’s your problem. 

Eric: And uh, she pushes the human with the bag over their head through the photobooth. Who stumbles through the doorway and pushes by you and falls into Döove and Böosters, and you hear,

Eric (as old friend): [with energetic muster] OH NO!! I got captured again, I hate it! 

Amanda: I sigh. Pull out my dagger, and just kind of have it in my hand in case I need it, then pull off the hood. 

Eric: You’re looking into the face of Gordon Lighthammer. 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): I even forgot my hammer! Back in the stadium! 

Amanda (as Inara): Gordon, if this is a play to get the dog that you think is your dog, and I’m not going to comment on whether or not that might be true, it’s not going to happen buddy. 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): It’s not!! It’s the end of the world and I got captured! I hate it! 

Amanda (as Inara): I’m-I’m glad that we agree on one thing. What were you doing in the stadium? 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): Hiding, obviously. 

Amanda (as Inara): Lighthammer, how am I supposed to know you’re on our side? What’s the, what’s the sign of the Champion? 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): [stumbling] Oh uh, the red-headed one, she told me this one, uh…

Eric: And he mimes pulling an arrow back and letting it fly. 

Amanda (as Inara): And uh, what’s the password? 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): Oh! In Concentra we stand, united as one. 

Amanda (as Inara): Okay! Very well. 

Amanda: And I cut the bindings on his hands. 

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): Aw, thanks. Now I can do my signature poses, herr!

Amanda: I gesture for him to get up and then look back into the photobooth. Is Captain Alex still there? 

Eric: Yeah, she’s picking her teeth with a toothpick. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alex, I’m sending this one back your way. Use him as you will. He is known in town, people trust him. People know his face. Send him forth to get information from places that wouldn’t have you. 

Eric (as Captain Alex): Alright. Sounds good. Aye aye Captain. C’mon, big ol Hammer Bro-Man. Get out of here.

Amanda: And uh, I put my hand on Gordon’s chest to kind of stop him before he walks back through the photobooth,

Amanda (as Inara): I’m going to check in on you tomorrow, and the next day and the next day. And what I hear had better be good. Got it?

Eric (as Gordon Lighthammer): Got it. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright. Go forth. 

Amanda: And uh, he walks through the photobooth, I give Alex another wave, and then close the curtain. 

[traffic sounds stop, music from Döove and Boosters continues]

And then quite fittingly, behind the ticket counting machine, which is itself next to the bar, I open up the front of the machine... 

[clicking of machine opening]

Like where an attendant should go to get the money out. Instead I open it up and see a view of Cronopolis. 

Eric: Well, you’re expecting a view of Cronopolis, but immediately Autumn just kind of pushes through the door and walks in and is kind of like,

Eric (as Autumn): [whining] Ughhh. It sucks there. It sucks. It continues to suck, it always sucks! Can I just hang out with you instead? It would be a lot more fun for me.

Amanda (as Inara): Are you not enjoying the eternal autumn, Autumn?

Eric (as Autumn): No! I’m not! Because everything is messed up and ever since you took the god of death away from all that stuff, now it’s just regular. Now it’s just a city. Can I just like, hang out with you? Are you just like, doing stuff with books? 

Amanda (as Inara): No! No Autumn. I am coordinating a international campaign here to take down the conquering authority that would, you know, change our entire world for the worse? 

Eric (as Autumn): No, the other thing. The thing with the books. You know, like I brought all the nursery rhymes and riddles and stuff about the Council of Bright. I mean, the least I can do is just look through them, it’s much more…it’s much better than doing rounds in a city that’s nothing. 

Amanda (as Inara): [flabbergasted] You’re telling me three months into this occupation that you have cultural artifacts about the Council of Bright!?! 

Eric (as Autumn): Yeah! I…yeah. 

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] Okay…[growls] Autumn, we will talk about this another time. Go into the coat closet, that is our research center. Look through the books, write down what you know, and tell me if anything, ANYTHING, new comes up. Got it? 

Eric (as Autumn): Aye aye Captain.

Amanda (as Inara): Also, there’s a weird salad on the bar if you’re hungry.

Eric (as Autumn): I’m not. Thank you. 

Eric: You hear a slurping behind you. 


Amanda (as Inara): [in disgust] Ugh…

Eric: And it’s like someone is trying to force jello through a strainer. 

Amanda: Well I, turn around. 

Eric: And next to the pop-a-shot, but before the pinball machine, there’s no door there. It’s just a wall. And then you see that there’s just green goo pushing itself through the wall. And slowly it fills up a large cube and you hear your favorite voice in the whole wide world.

Eric (as Chad): [robotic, enthusiastic voice] I AM CHAD THE HUMAN! I found a new way to get in here!

Amanda (as Inara): Chad! I run up and sort of put my arms right next to him as if I were to hug him but I’m not going to do that. 

Eric: Yeah, he just kind of wiggles around and he’s like,

Eric (as Chad): This hug is great!!

Amanda (as Inara): Chad, I am so glad to see you! But how did you get in here, that’s really worrisome.

Eric (as Chad): There’s a door! A new door is coming. 

[mellow electro-beats] 

Amanda (as Inara): From where? 

Eric (as Chad): From them! They’re coming. They found you. 

[electro-beats stop, midroll begins] 

Amanda: Hey, it’s Amanda. I remember on the last day of my last year of high school, all of the kids in my grade got to school at like 5:45 in the morning: sunrise. We made a giant circle with our cars in the parking lot and all sat together in the middle, sharing donuts and coffee and taking pictures and playing frisbee. I felt like I was inside a memory even as I was living it. It was pretty sweet, a little sad, and everywhere I looked there were donuts. Welcome to the midroll. The donuts are all up for grabs.

We are back and we are so stoked to be with y’all again!! We are so excited to bring you the final arc of the season, House Party, and we are already dreaming of what will happen next. We are back to our schedule of a new episode every two weeks, and one super-sized Afterparty published when this arc is over. And oh, my goodness, I can’t wait to see what happens!

A lot has gone on this summer, including Multitude’s brand-new membership program, the MultiCrew! This is a way for our community to power new work from Multitude: to grow our studio, create new things, and continue to thrive together. You are our hit points and we are the hero running into a dragon’s mouth for your enjoyment. Do you like exclusive live show audio and a brand-new weekly debate podcast called Head Heart Gut? How about live streams and voting rights on things we do next? How about your name enshrined forever on our actual physical founder’s wall?! All of that can be yours and more by joining the MultiCrew! Head on over to multicrew.club to join us!

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We’re also sponsored by Danger World, a reading roleplaying game where your choices decide your adventurer’s fate. Available on Apple and Android, it now has a feature where you can play with your friends as well as solo. It's not just storytelling, it's collaborative storytelling! And there are even some nuggets in there for JTP fans. Keep an eye out for some familiar items as you advance through the story. And you can check that out at danger.world. That’s danger.world to meet your favorite new reading roleplaying game.

And finally, our thanks to Twenty Sided Store for supporting this episode. Our favorite indie game store right here in Brooklyn, NY is your home base for everything game-related. Pick up a new game for your classroom, your classmates, your friends, your family, your fantasy football league. Anything and everything you could ever need is waiting for you at twentysidedstore.com. Use discount code JOINTHEPARTY for 20% off, in store or online!

And now, let’s get back to the show.

[mellow electro-beats, fades into crickets chirping]

Eric: It is midnight outside of Thistlefield. Uh, where is Tracey right now?

Brandon: Tracey is at the gates of the town with my crab friend in tow. 

Eric: Alright, you’re standing outside the gates of the town watching as groups of warforged walk from town to town in the distance, and you hear a rustle behind you. 

[brush rustles]

And Watson and Holmes walk out of the brush.

Eric (as Holmes): Oh well, Tracey…

Brandon (as Tracey): [interrupting] Why were you in the brush?

Eric (as Holmes): Obviously for dramatic effect. Lez go!

Eric: And they start walking ahead of you. 

Brandon: Tracey follows. 

Eric: So, you’re kinda just walking, seamlessly, aimlessly, on the dead road for like an hour, two hours, three hours. Finally, they come upon a shack. It’s just like this abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. Holmes turns to his companion and says,

Eric (as Holmes): Get the knob.

Eric: And Watson is holding in his bricked hand, is what looks like a doorknob. And he says,

Eric (as Holmes): Alright, so Tracey, here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to take your arm, and when this, when the thing happens, and it’s going to happen, I need ya to stick your arm through the hole, throw the crab boy as far as you can, and then come back and you’re done. How does that sound?

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, it sounds okay.

Eric (as Holmes): Yep.

Brandon (as Tracey): A couple questions.

Eric (as Holmes): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): Mostly why and what? 

Eric (as Holmes): Why? Well that’s not for you to know at this point.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as Holmes): And what is well, you’re going to see what happens in a second and it’s all going to be very clear. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, okay. And once again, uh I, you know, I know we don’t normally operate in written contract form, but I need some kind of guarantee from you both that what you’re saying is true? 

Eric (as Holmes): Ope, alright. Uh, didn’t think I’d have to use this but alright. 

Eric: Holmes reaches into his bag and he pulls out a jar. And it’s glowing with the same energy that kind of all the batteries that power all the warforged have been doing. And he opens up the jar, and the energy starts to float out. And you hear the Council of Bright’s voice. He says, 

Eric (as Council of Bright): [echoing] Huh?! What?! Tracey! I hate that guy! Well I guess if he does the thing, I’ll let him go. That’s fine. He’s kind of a dick though, doing all that stuff to me. Eh whatever, fine. He can go after he does the thing. 

Eric: And then the light just like disperses into the air.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, um…

Eric (as Holmes): Listen, you cannot get any sort of bluster and not care for all the people like you do our leader, I’ll tell you that much.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I mean. Preach, right? 

Eric (as Holmes): Yeah. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys a real jerk. 

Eric: [chuckling] And at that point you feel Watson’s two pointy hands on your shoulders. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Don’t I…I’m good. 

Brandon: And Tracey steps away. 

Eric (as Holmes): We’re going to do the thing in a moment, a’ight? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Is my Danger Sensor going off? 

Eric: Why don’t you roll for Investigation? 

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 12?

Eric: Alright with 12, you’re going to do some bad stuff here. And it probably has to do with the crab. But it seems like they’re telling the truth, I mean that was good proof, so…

Brandon: Man, Tracey is back to his old investigation ways. 

Eric: Good.

Brandon: Covering all the clues and the crimes and solving the mysteries!

Eric: Yeah. But that’s the uh…

Brandon: Definitely not stuff you could figure out with context clues!

Eric: No. Tracey, I want you to roll Initiative. 

Brandon: [sighs] Ugh, okay.

[dice rolls]

[surprised] 12. 

Eric: Alright. We’re going to pop over to Inara, thank you for your rolls.

So Inara, here’s what Chad told you. The Council of Bright didn’t really know what to do with the sentient ooze, and he’s kinda been bopping around. And he noticed that a bunch of warforged were clustered around this wall. 

[mildly intense electronic music]

And they were like poking at it and were like drilling into it in the middle of the city. Chad went over to it and pushed himself against it, and he just kind of like slorped his way through it and all of the sudden he’s in Döove and Böosters. 

Autumn puts her hand on your shoulder and says,

Eric (as Autumn): We have an entire group of assassins ready to fight these guys, like, if we need to, we’re going to take them out. 

Amanda: Inara stands very still with her eyes closed for a moment. Two moments. Three moments. And then turns around. 

Amanda (as Inara): Autumn, evacuate all the books to Fidapolis, open up that hatch over there, tell Tammy and Taylor, they’ll take them from you. Make sure they’re safe. Bob! Get over here. 

Eric (as Bob): Alright. Hey, hi, hello! Yeah. What’s up? 

Amanda (as Inara): We need to evacuate you and all the other kenku immediately. 

Eric (as Bob): Alright, I’ll lead them out the backway. 

Amanda (as Inara): I think the best spot for you would be Antipolis, now, beware, that little hatch opens up like 30 feet above the ground. So, just call out for Zubi, he’ll take you and deliver you to the castle where you’ll be safe. 

Eric (as Bob): On it. 

Amanda (as Inara): Chad, it’s important that you go back right away. No one can notice that you’re missing.

Eric (as Chad): Okay! Yes, I will do that! As a human, I can run as fast as possible! But I think that you need to cover my back. You need to be on my 6.

Amanda (as Inara): I will certainly by on your 6 Chad, I would never dream of leaving your 6. No, but seriously, thank you so much. This was great. Please just kinda act normal, try to walk around and you know, be your-your wonderful beautiful self and if you see any warforged moving toward this wall, get away quickly

Eric (as Chad): Yes! Yes, ma’am! I, okay! 

Eric: As you start giving instructions to everyone, everyone starts to goes off. This is like an emergency, this is like DEFCON 1. 

Amanda: Yeah, and in order to send off the rest of our protocols, because we’ve obviously thought about a situation like this, I open the door to Tortipolis again, call out for Brinks, but instead I see one of her Lieutenants, someone I’ve seen a few times before in our daily check-ins. And yell at them, 

Amanda (as Inara): [unemotive] The time has come. 

Eric: Alright, everyone starts going. So, Chad starts to force himself back through the crack in the wall. 

Eric (as Chad): You have my 6, right!? 

Amanda (as Inara): Always Chad. 

Eric: And then Chad stops and he says,

Eric (as Chad): Wait! Wow. Where is the other side!?! I don’t, I can’t feel the other side! 

Eric: And he pulls back, and at that point, you see a door is starting to materialize where Chad is pushing himself through. 

Amanda (as Inara): Chad, go to the breakroom right now! Oatcake is there, and my stuff is there. Pack it up as best you can, and if you have to ooze it all into you, do it! 

Eric (as Chad): [flustered] Uh, okay, okay, okay! 

Eric: And he runs, uh, he slimes away. Inara I want you to roll Initiative. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright folks. It’s happening. Let’s make a ring around this door, right now.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 15.

Eric: Alright, let’s go back to Tracey. 

Tracey, you see that Watson goes up to the shack, kicks the door in where it used to be, and he puts the doorknob that he’s holding in the space. And you see that from the doorknob, a door starts to materialize around it. 

[magical-like chimes as door materializes]

It’s like growing out and growing out and growing out. And becomes this big steel door. And Watson kicks open the door, and Tracey you look inside. And you see ready with a dagger in each hand, is Inara. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [sharply] Shit.

[music grows more intense]

Eric: It’s time for Initiative. Holmes goes first.

Inara, you see that there is a robot with an energy cannon just like in his chest. And it starts to power up. 

[mechanical whirring]

He’s going to take three shots at you. 

[shot blast]

26 to hit. 

[another shot blast]

That’s a nat 20.

[another shot blast]

And a 22 to hit. 

Amanda: With my Uncanny Dodge, my little assassin trick, I can get half damage on attacks sort of like reacting in a defensive way, so I’ll do that now. 

Eric: Okay, so you get a reaction against one of the attacks, so I will half your damage for that. Did I hit you all three times?

Amanda: Uh, yeah. They all hit. 

Eric: Okay. 

[dice roll]

Eric: Alright, I’m going to halve the first one, so it’s 6+10 for the nat 20, and then 7, so you’re going to take 23 points of damage. 

Amanda: Ouch. 

Eric: Holmes looks back and he’s like,

Eric (as Holmes): Alright, this is how we do it! We’re just moving on in! 

Eric: Inara it is now your turn.

Amanda: Err, perchance did Chad happen to leave any slime behind as he oozed off?

Eric: I can only imagine that he did. 

Amanda: I’m going to scoop up some of the ooze that Chad left in his wake and throw it right into Tracey’s thunder cannon. And I have advantage through my Assassinate on creatures who haven’t taken their turn. 

Eric: [chuckles] Alright. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: It’s a nat 20.

Eric: Aw, geez! Okay, so you’re going to throw some ooze at Tracey’s thunder cannon. With a nat 20, it definitely clogs it. 

Tracey, there’s no way you can use your thunder cannon. You can still use your Long Arm of the Law, but you can’t use shoot stuff like you usually can. And I’m also, since it’s a nat 20, I’m also going to roll damage for that. I’m going to roll 2 d20.

[dice rolls]

Alright, you’re going to take 12 points of damage. 

Brandon: 12 points.

Eric: Of acid damage. From Chad’s ooze. 

Amanda: And with my bonus action here, I’m going to reach to a pinball machine behind me, and I’m going to press the Start button six times. 

[repeated clicking of button]

Eric: Okay, what does that do?

Amanda: It’s our kind of like mechanical failsafe if I wasn’t able to get a message to the rest of the Captains in each of the states. This sets off the alarm, so I got to Tortipolis, but the other ones I don’t know. 

Eric: Well, it’s good that you hit that button, because as the robot with the cannon in his chest shot at you, you look at all the other doors that you checked on during your rounds, and you see the glowing eyes of warforged trying to push their way in. And all the other assassins and all the kenku are fighting back and pushing against the doors all around you. 

It is now Tracey’s turn.

Brandon: Seeing all of his friends in a doorway is very confusing for Tracey!

[Eric laughs]

So, almost as if it’s instinct, Tracey immediately reacts by casting invisibility on himself. 

[Amanda chuckles]

And becomes invisible. 

Eric: Yep. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [scared] AHHHH!

Brandon: And then he throws the crab thing in the door and bolts in the other direction, without actually trying to hurt anyone and kinda just hot potato tries to get rid of this thing and fulfill the duty that he promised his warforged brethren.

Eric: Okay, great. So, you turn invisible and you run away. And the crab lands on its back, and it like inverts it’s little crab feet so it just picks itself up. And it’s kinda of just standing there and skittering. So now it’s Watson’s turn.

And you see that Watson steps inside of the doorway and then you see that his bricks start to rearrange. And like, he’s getting lower and lower and lower to the ground. And eventually he becomes this Lego version of a giant snake. 

Amanda: [quietly] Great…

Eric: And he’s just like slithering around and he uh, he moves over to Inara. Before he gets a chance to wrap around her, you hear a [gasp] sound. And Autumn has both her hands around the snake’s, like, holding the snake’s mouth open. 

Amanda: [excitedly] Yes Autumn, get em! I regret all the things I said to you earlier today! 

Eric (as Autumn): Ahhh! 

Eric: So they’re currently tussling now. 

It’s the crabs turn. The crab just kinda walks inside, and like takes a few steps and kinda looks around at everything that’s happening. And just stands there. 

And now it’s Holmes’ turn again. 

Eric (as Holmes): [determined] This does not count as part of the deal, I guess we’ll do it ourselves! 

Eric: Holmes is going to ready a different beam. His cannon is going to glow blue and this laser is going to like swish across the ground.

[mechanical whirring and laser hitting ground]

Inara I want you to make a Dexterity saving throw. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 15.

Eric: Alright, as the laser comes over to you, you just kinda like, hop over it. And uh, it also like sloths over to Autumn and the cobra, and they both avoid it as well.  

Brandon: That’s a stealthy cobra.

Eric: Yeah, he just kinda like hops up. He does the worm.

[Amanda chuckles]

It is now Inara’s turn again.

Amanda: I’m going to reach down and stab one dagger through the back of this crab. 

Eric: Alright, make an attack roll.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: Nat 20. This is not a lie.

Eric: [in reaction to nat 20] JESUS CHRIST. 

Amanda: All of my rolls have been pent up for three months!

Eric: They’ve been wonderful. Are you just going to stab it? 

Amanda: Yeah, I’m going to stick a dagger through it’s back to pin it to the floor and twist it to hopefully disengage whatever mechanics are going on inside.

Eric: You 100% do that. 

Amanda: [hopefully] And then all the warforged say, ahh, and then they go home? 

Eric: Yeah, that’s exactly what happens.

Amanda: Council of Bright is like, I repent! 

Eric: [laughs] Oh, beans! 

So yeah, you stab through the crab over through the side. You kind of like catch two of its legs. So, it’s now very much pinned to the ground, and now the crab is just looking up at you, looking like…

[Eric makes sad whimpering noises]

Amanda: Don’t guilt me like that!

So when I twist my dagger, does the life go out of it, or is it still on?

Eric: It’s still on. But with a nat 20, you 100% pin it and it’s absolutely not moving ever again. 

Amanda: Okay. With my bonus action, I pull my shadow cowl up over my head and disappear and use a range of motion afforded to me to float up and start circling the room looking for the escape hatch that I’m pretty sure at some point someone mentioned.

Eric: Alright. Holmes’ looking around like,

Eric (as Holmes): Why does every single person I’m interacting with disinappear!??! This is ridiculous! 

Eric: It is now Tracey’s turn. Where are you at dawg? 

Brandon: Tracey is heading the hell home. He is going to go back to the tea shop, pack his bags…

Eric: You’re just peacing the fuck out? 

Brandon: Absolutely I am.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: I have fulfilled my duty, I have realized that my…

Eric: [laughs heartily] That may, that may be up for debate. 

Brandon: My identity is compromised in this town, so Tracey has to start over in a new place. He’s going to go grab Tally, get on his vespa, and head to the nearest small town who likes tea.

Eric: I’d like you to make a Wisdom saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Um, how does a natural 20 sound to you my friend? 

Eric: [quietly] God damnit. 

Amanda: [yells] HEYYYYY!!!!!!!!

Eric: Alright, so you hear the familiar…

Amanda: New arc, new me!!

Eric: You hear the familiar knocking on the back of your brain.

[loud, clanging metallic knock]

The one that you haven’t felt in months. The one that made you do the stuff that made everything happen today.

Brandon: And I say,

Brandon (as Tracey): Um we’re done. Screw you.

Eric: But now you feel uh, there’s a different voice at the door. 

Eric (as Ze’ol): [thick accent] You’re not going to open the door for your good friend? Is that not what’s happening?

Brandon (as Tracey): Is this just an open call for everyone I hate to come into my head?!

Eric (as Ze’ol): Oh, well apparently, you’re not going to open the door for me?

Brandon (as Tracey): [very agitated] No, I’m not going to open the door for you, of course I’m not going to open the door for you!!!

Eric (as Ze’ol): Alright, well I’m going to tell you the very important information about the bomb! 

Brandon (as Tracey): [hesitantly] What? 

Eric (as Ze’ol): Oh, you think that little crab guy was just a crab? Maybe you are that stupid. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t appreciate the Ad hominem at this juncture. 

Eric (as Ze’ol): Well that’s because we hate each other! 

Brandon (as Tracey): Just, where are you first of all? Are you in another freakin compass or are you in a rock or are you in some twig in a tree somewhere?! 

Eric (as Ze’ol): Well now that I’m out and about I’m kinda an everywhere and anywhere omnipresence but you know how it is. I’m here to give you a little bit of a head’s up. The crab…

Brandon (as Tracey): Is that a pun?

Eric (as Ze’ol):  Yes.

Brandon (as Tracey): I hate you. 

Eric (as Ze’ol): The crab is not just a crab. It goes a-boom.

Brandon (as Tracey): God damnit. Don’t ever touch me again.

Eric (as Ze’ol):  Can’t promise it, goodbye!

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m going to chop your head off, goodbye!! 

Brandon: Tracey turns tail and dashes back to the door. 

Eric: I would say you used all your movement to get the fuck out of there, so you are kind of like, still standing in the middle of the road, and you’re just like [yells] GOD DAMNIT! 

It is now…

Brandon: Quietly, because I am invisible. 

Eric: Yeah, quietly. 

Uh, it is now Watson’s turn. And Watson and Autumn are still scrapping it up. I’m going to do a grapple check for both of them. 

[dice rolls]

Eric: [laughs] Well I rolled a nat 1 for the giant constrictor snake, which is Watson. And Autumn is just like…it’s like a tall tale, from like the west. It’s like she’s riding it like it’s a rodeo bull. It’s pretty wild. Autumn’s like,

Eric (as Autumn): I’m going to wear this like it’s a neck tie! 

[Amanda laughs]

Eric: Then the snake looks like it’s choking, comically. And then the bricks start to rearrange. 

[bricks scraping against each other]

And you can see that it’s folding in on itself and it’s getting smaller and smaller. And she looks down and there is a little squirrel that is looking back at her. And Autumn is kind of just looking down at the squirrel as it looks up at her. 

Brandon: Is it just like, big-doe eyes? 

Eric: Yeah. 

Brandon: Cool, cute.

Eric: [singing softly] How can I live without you?

Alright, it is now the crab’s turn. And the crab kind of just looks at Inara like what did you do to me!?! And it just kind of goes about its business.

It is now Holmes’ turn again. 

[dice rolls]

Holmes steps into the Döove and Böosters, and says,

Eric (as Holmes): Well, this sounds a little bit more like a fair fight now. It’s just you and me. And boy I do have something on my side, I have this big ol’ cannon. 

Eric: And he’s going now blindly shoot and try to hit you. So I’m going to give disadvantage on all of my shots. 

Amanda: Okay. 

[dice rolls]

Eric: I definitely failed one. I got a 16 on one. 

Amanda: Well, my AC is only 14, so I guess he does. 

Eric: And you have that?

Amanda: Yep.

[dice rolls]

Eric: Okay, well he only does 3 damage to you. So, he is just like shooting blindly from…

[shot blasts]

His cannon, and he kinda just wings you in the shoulder. 

Amanda (as Inara): Gotta do a little better than that man.

Eric (as Holmes): [yells incoherently] A darn tootin! 

Eric: [chuckles] Inara, it is now your turn. 

Amanda: I’d love to investigate the ceiling to see if there are any hatches.

Eric: Okay. Do an Investigation check. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 19.

Eric: Okay, so I think directly, in the center of the ceiling is like, you know, a submarine hatch? That’s the escape hatch.

Amanda: I am going to open it as my action. 

[squealing of hatch opening]

Eric: Okay. 

Amanda: And as I do that kind of checking over my shoulder to see what the others are doing and I’m going to throw a dagger with the intention of clogging Holmes’ cannon.

Eric: Okay. I’m going to come up with a DC for that. Okay, go ahead.

[whirring of blade flying]

Amanda: I got a 16.

Eric: Alright with a 16, you’re making a tough shot, you’re flying around. You also have one hand on the escape hatch. It goes a little bit to the left. You don’t hit him. 

Tracey it is now your turn. 

Brandon: How far away am I from the, from my crab friend?

Eric: Uh, I think that you are…

Brandon: My crab enemy.

Eric: Your crab enemy. I think that if you use all your momentum you’re back at the door.

Brandon: Tracey, as he’s running toward the door, and he gets as close as he can, he’s going to take out his shield, and is going to try to ultimate frisbee, chuck it on top of the crab. 

Eric: Alright, I’m going to make up an AC for that. Uh, why don’t you do…

Amanda: Reminder that you did say I completely and utterly pinned it to the floor, “It will never move again”. 

Eric: It’s not moving. 

Brandon: Reminder that you already said I got it. I think, do you remember that Eric? 

[Amanda laughs]

Eric: No, I do not remember saying that. 

Amanda: I think that all rolls are actually nat 20s in this world, so…

Eric: [chuckles] I’m going to come up with an AC and go ahead and do a ranged attack roll.

Amanda: Steve Tracey Rogers!

Brandon: Steve Tracey Rogers!!

[dice rolls]

[happily gasps in response to roll] Ohhh! Steve Tracey Rogers coming through, 23!

Eric: Alright.

Amanda: Ey, ey!!

Eric: So, with a 23, you throw your shield and it lands like a beautiful cornhole shot, just lands on top of the crab. 

Amanda: Yeah!

Brandon: Uh, I’m invisible so you can’t tell, but I am beaming. 

Eric: Nice.

[Amanda laughs]

It is Watson and Autumn’s turn, and Watson’s going to try to run away as a little squirrel. And Autumn is going to try to attack him.

Brandon: Adorable.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: I never wanted Autumn to succeed. Period. And now I do. 

Brandon: Well who is the monster here, the squirrel or Autumn at this point? 

Amanda: Mhm.

Eric: I don’t know. 

Amanda: Who can say? 

Eric: Um, let’s see. Watson tries to run away with his full action and hide, and Autumn takes out a net out of her pocket and like throws it at the squirrel. So there’s just like a big mess.

Brandon: Yeah.

[Eric sings tune]

Eric: It is now the crab’s turn. Uh the crab is now under the shield so you can’t see what it’s doing. 

Brandon: [chuckles] That’s fair, okay. 

Eric: There you go. It is now Holmes’ turn. And Holmes is going to continue firing at you because you’re still invisible right? 

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: Holmes is like, 

Eric (as Holmes): I cannot see you, so I’m just going to keep firing anyway! 

Eric: So, I’m going to give him disadvantage on all his attacks.

[dice rolls]

Yeah, I got a 2. 

[dice rolls]

I got a 5. 

[dice rolls]

And he got another 2. So, he’s just like,

Amanda: For once, no damage! 

Eric: He’s firing wildly in all directions and just cannot hit you. You hear the cannon just like,

[blast shot]

Eric (as Holmes): Damn!

[blast shot]


[blast shot]

Damn! You rapscallion! 

Eric: Inara, it is now your turn. 

Amanda: I am still invisible, so knowing that the hatch is there, I don’t want to open it and alert everyone to its presence. So instead, I’m going to float above Holmes, pull my third dagger out of the small of my back. 

Brandon: If you remember she was holding two in each hand? 

Eric: I remember.

Amanda: [chuckles] Which I did pack this morning but forgot to mention because I sleep with it, so I just forget about it. 

Eric: You have your day night daggers, but this is your personal dagger?

Amanda: Mhm. 

Brandon: It’s the one in your ankle holster.

Amanda: [laughs] Mhm, yeah. No, that one I already used. But the back of the belt one is still there. I’m going to drop down on top of Holmes and try to plunge my dagger into his energy core/heart area.

Eric: Okay. So, I think you’re going to have to drop and become visible as you do it, as you take the shadow cowl off.

Amanda: Sure.

Eric: Make a Acrobatics roll to see if you nail landing on top of him.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 15. 

Eric: Alright, yeah. You can do that with a 15. So you’re just going to drop out of the sky and be like, [squeals] SCREEEE! And get him?

Amanda: Yeah without the terrible noise.

Brandon: Yeah, I’d recommend not making that noise, it’s not very stealthy. 

[Eric SCREEEs again]

And also bad. 

Eric: Alright Inara, I’m going to give you your attack, your sneak attack on him. 

Amanda: Alright, let me borrow 6 d6 please. 

Eric: Oh, Jesus Christ. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: Big money!! 

[dice rolls]

4, 5, 10, 20.

Eric: Okay, with 20 points, yeah, just plunge a dagger into his energy core on his back and he falls to his knees. He’s not down, but like, he’s been knocked prone from your sick moves. 

Amanda: But with my bonus action, I’m going to pull out of my back pocket something I carry with me at all times, the Stick of Fetching, and throw it toward the breakroom. So that Oatcake will disappear into some different dimension.

Eric: Oh, you’re so good at economy of actions. Uh, yeah, you hear like a quick scamper, scamper, scamper. And then [imitates dog ruffing] And then Oatcake is now safe.

Amanda: That’s my girl.

Eric: There you go. Tracey it is now your turn. 

Brandon: Okay, I’m going to run over as fast as I can to my shield crab. I’m using my fast movement. And I’m just going to hop on top of it and wince. 

Amanda: Aw.

Eric: You’re going to hop on top of it? 

Brandon: Yeah, and I’m also going to flip on my Raid Switch so I’m resistant to all damage except for psychic.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: So I’m just going to try to cover this crab with the shield and hope for the best.

Eric: I’m going to do a reaction for Watson. Do a Dexterity saving throw.

Brandon: How is reacting when I’m invisible? How does he know I’m even there? 

Eric: He’s a squirrel. 

Brandon: Oh sorry. He’s a squirrel. I’ll give that to you anyway cause it’s fun.

Eric: Do a, do a Dexterity roll.

Amanda: And squirrels as we know, all have a sixth sense.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 8.

Eric: Okay. So with an 8, you see the robotic squirrel look at you and like sniff the air. And it just takes a running jump and jumps and hits you in the face. And you take 1 point of damage. 

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: And you lose your concentration. 

Brandon: Right, and I take half a point of damage. 

Eric: Deh. Fine. 

Brandon: I am to 100.5.

Eric: Alright so you still want to hop on top of the thing? 

Brandon: So, I’ll give that to you Mr. DM if that is your real name? 

Amanda: [laughs] Mr. Authority.

Brandon: But like a bug hitting a windshield, I just let it slide off and continue running towards the shield and land on top of it. 

Eric: So, what is your intent here?

Brandon: So I heard it’s a bomb. So if it explodes, I want to contain the blast so it doesn’t hurt my friends. 

Eric: I’m going to make you do an attack roll against it’s AC. It’s going to be low because it’s pinned down, but I want you to do just a straight up attack roll. And I’ll give you with your strength modifier and your proficiency bonus.

Brandon: Great. And I have advantage when I’m raging on Strength checks.

Eric: Sounds good. 

Amanda: Eric’s eyes just did that extremely scary thing where they lit up in excitement.

[dice rolls] 

Brandon: 17.

Eric: Alright, hold on. I gotta. How much damage does a bomb do? So, Brandon, I’ve consulted my handy dandy DM’s screen that has some of this stuff.

Brandon: Right. 

Eric: And you are level 12. 

Brandon: Right.

Eric: And to come up with damage by level and severity…

Brandon: Okay. 

Eric: This is deadly I would say, the highest level. 

Brandon: I will concede that point. 

Eric: I would say that this arcane bomb does 18 d10 if you were directly on top of it.

Brandon: That’s a lot.

Amanda: Good lord!

Brandon: I will not acknowledge the fact that it’s not a lot. 

Eric: So here you go, are you ready? 

Brandon: Yeah.

[dice rolls]

Eric: Holy shit. Alright. You lucked out pretty well. You take 73 points of damage. 

Brandon: Okay, well it’s halved. 

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: So, I’ll give you 36? 

[short pause]

Eric: I can’t believe a bomb went off below you and you take 36 points of damage. 

Amanda: Boom boom, our warforged boy! 

Brandon: So I’m down to, oh boy, I’m down to 64.5 points of damage. Tracey, is a little itchy where the bomb went off, but otherwise.

Amanda: Kind of like a tag in your undershirt?

Brandon: Yeah. 

Amanda: You know? 

Brandon: Exactly.

Amanda: You can get through it.

Brandon: But otherwise he’s good. 

Amanda: Are there little leg fragments under the shield? 

Eric: Yeah, I’d say so.

Amanda: My dagger okay? 

Eric: The dagger is obliterated, let’s say that. The bomb just straight up explodes.

[loud boom]

So you take the majority, you definitely suck the majority of the damage up but it blows you up against a pop-a-shot. 

Brandon: Do I go in the hoop?

Eric: Yeah you’re in the hoop. Everyone hits the deck immediately. Holmes looks at you and be like, 

Eric (as Holmes): Oh. I did not have a Plan B on this.

Brandon (as Tracey): [interrupting] Just, we’re done. I fulfilled my end of the bargain. You fulfilled your end of the bargain. Get, the hell…out of my favorite game shop. 

Eric (as Holmes): I would not say that you fulfilled your end of your bargain when you dropped the bomb and then jumped on it. The Council is still going to come for you. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Let them try.

Eric (as Holmes): Watson, let’s go! 

Eric: The squirrel skitters from in between one of those coin operated games, hops up onto his shoulder, takes a small jump, and all of the bricks reconstitute back into a body. And the two warforged look at Tracey one last time and just walk out the door.

Brandon: I stick my tongue out at them. 

[Amanda chuckles]
Eric: And you see that this big steel door the doorknob goes away and then it slowly disappears. After that, you hear the stomping of metal feet going farther and farther away. 

[metal clanking starts and gets quieter and quieter]

The kenku and the assassins come back in through the door. And they look like they’ve been roughed up quite a bit and a few of them are bloodied. Definitely need medical attention. Bob the Scrawl lifts his visor back up and says,

[metallic chiming music starts]

Eric (as Bob): [catching breath, distraught] They came from all directions! Everyone, from every single one of the doors! And all the sudden they retreated. Inara what just happened? 

Amanda (as Inara): We’ve been compromised.

[chime music fades out into theme music]