With the Doove and Boosters compromised, Inara and Tracy have to bring the fight to the Council. But they can’t do it alone or empty-handed. Inara recommits. Tracey points the way. Amanda & Brandon draft their party.
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Cast & Crew
- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver
- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle
- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin
- Multitude: multitude.productions
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: Three months in the future, our characters reckon with the events of the Council of Bright coming back. After being the lynchpin in the Council’s plan, Tracey bolts, disguises himself and hides out in a remote town, working at a tea shop. But that doesn’t mean the Council’s two lieutenants Holmes and Watson can’t find him.
Eric (as Holmes): Tracey, c’mon, Tracey. You can drop the act now. I know who you are. I know what’s going on.
Eric: Inara has started a counter-revolution out of the Doove and Boosters, with spies and assassins all over the Concentric States. As she checks in with the troops, Chad squeezes into the pocket dimension through a crack in the wall, threatening the safety of the stronghold.
Eric (as Chad): There’s a door! A new door is coming.
Eric: Holmes and Watson strong-arm Tracey to go to an abandoned building, where they conjure an opening into the Doove and Boosters. They have one request:
Eric (as Holmes): “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.”
Eric: Tracey tosses the crab thing inside and runs away. But hurries back when he realizes that object is a bomb, throws himself on top of it, and somehow doesn’t explode into a billion pieces. When the dust settles, the party realizes there’s a bigger problem on their hands.
Eric (as Bob): Inara what just happened?
Amanda (as Inara): We’ve been compromised.
Eric: And everyone’s friends again! That’s how relationships work, right? Let’s get the party started.
[crackling of fire, followed by crashing of metal]
Eric: Inara, since you gave the emergency code Purple, all of the kenku and assassins are running around, dismantling as many doors as possible. They’re just throwing games aside and ripping them apart to get to the doors below.
You see an entire, like, racehorse game just get pushed over by six kenku, and then like the boards of these doors that are magically imbued into the floors, are just being just like ripped one by one by one. The doorknobs especially are being pulled off immediately, and they’re being thrown into like a collective fire, that is now in the middle of…
[flame catching and lighting]
Amanda: The pizza oven, indeed.
Eric: [chuckling] The pizza oven is now full of magical doorknobs and they’re all slowly cooking in there. And it doesn’t sound great.
Amanda: It’s tomorrow’s lunch special.
Eric: [chuckles] Coal fire doorknobs. Uh, I think that the captains of each city who you talked to earlier have returned and are now pulling their own doors apart and are now standing in front of you waiting for what to do next.
Amanda: I think for logistical purposes we’re going to leave Zubi in Antipolis. We’re also going to leave Lighthammer in Infropolis, because, I just don’t want him around.
Amanda: But…Captain Alex, Brinks, Tammy and Taylor, are all with us in Döove and Böosters.
Eric: Okay, cool. Then you’re ripping the doors off?
Amanda: Yeah, we’re going to leave him there, rip the doors off behind him. But first, I tell him that if we need anything, we’re going to send bombilates to send the message.
Eric: And then he says,
Eric (as Zubi): [deeply] Exit. Pursued by…robots.
Eric: And then he walks out.
Alright, cool. So, I think you need to get like, an all-hands meeting, especially because, you know, Tracey is standing right there. I think eh..? People are eyeing him pretty sideways. Especially Autumn and Captain Alex have their hands on their respective weapons.
Brandon: Are they awe of my courage and grandeur? Or…
Eric: No, they think you’re a giant dick!
Brandon: Gotcha, but like-like a really brave giant dick?
Eric: Yeah sure, you’re brave, but also, you’re a two-timing butthole.
Amanda: Seeing this happening, I’m going to kind of wave the others off to finish with the dismantling and burning of the magical plywood and I’m going to gesture for Tracey to come with me to the breakroom where my pack and all of my things are.
Brandon: I follow Inara.
Amanda (as Inara): So, uh…glad you’re not dead.
[door clicks shut]
But, what’s happening here?
Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, well there was like, a crab. And I’m pretty sure it was a bomb. I did…I will take full responsibility for this, I did throw the crab…through the door. DID NOT know you were on the other side of the door, didn’t even really know it was a door. Um…but I did jump on top of it. And it is now disabled, so…you’re welcome.
Amanda (as Inara): Less interested in the last 30 minutes, more about the last 3 months?
Brandon (as Tracey): [hesitantly] Oh, uh…well…I thought I…was meeting my family. I…was not.
[relaxing chime melody]
Amanda (as Inara): Where...Where did you go?
Brandon (as Tracey): Kinda all over, I mean…we went to every city on the map, some I’ve never seen before as well. Interestingly, people are kind of the same across Concentra.
Amanda (as Inara): Terrified, you know, of being…taken over?
Brandon (as Tracey): Definitely, that was one part of the emotion that was happening. Uh…I mostly meant that, you know, they were helpful and they seemed to be good people, and you know. Everyone sorta you know, loves, everyone here.
Not me specifically, in that they hated me, for sure. Um, but yeah, kinda-kinda all over. My step-counter went off the charts.
Amanda (as Inara): [emotionally] I-I’m sorry to ask Tracey, I need to know. I’ve been thinking of nothing except this for the last three months.
You-you were taken over, right? Like the Council of Bright forced his way into your head, right? Because, I-I’ve played this back a thousand times and there is no way that you would have done that willingly. No way you would have sabotaged our plan. Right?
Brandon (as Tracey): Look, here’s, here’s the thing. If I’m honest, it’s a little bit of both. Um, he was definitely in my head, can’t deny that. Um, but if I’m honest with myself I don’t really know where he stopped, and I began.
I-I left the family like, uh, a month in, so it’s been these last two months, uh, that I was...I’ve just been too, I’ve honestly been too ashamed to come find you. Because I don’t know what to do with what I did.
Amanda (as Inara): Well, what do you want to see happen now? Do you want them to be defeated or something else?
Brandon (as Tracey): Absolutely. If you’ve seen even a quarter of the things I saw in that one month, you’d feel even more steadfastly. Let’s kill em.
Amanda: Uh, Inara kinda looks down, looks to the side, wipes her face on her bottom of her shirt for no particular reason I’m sure, and uh, then steps forward to hug Tracey.
[chimes melody stops]
Brandon: Tracey starts slowly, and then fully embraces Inara and without realizing that she is now three feet off the ground.
Amanda: Fine with it. I think it’s pretty fun. All the games have been disabled so…
Eric: Inara, Tracey. I both want you to make Perception checks with disadvantage.
Eric: Cause you guys are having a real cute hug.
[dice rolls, followed by Eric snorting in reaction to Amanda’s roll]
Amanda: Well, it’s a crit fail.
Eric: Oh no!!
Brandon: Are you shitting me?
Brandon: I got a 3 and a crit fail.
[everyone yells in reaction to bad rolls]
Amanda: Oh Brandon! Back together!
Brandon: This hug is very distracting! I hug very well.
Eric: [laughing] You guys are in this hug so hard, then you guys eventually put Inara down. And then Tracey, um, I want you to take…
12 points of damage because, uh, Autumn is on your back with a knife jabbed into your neck.
Amanda (as Inara): [yelling, surprised] AUTUMN, god damn! Get down from there!!
Eric (as Autumn): [energetically] He had you! He had you in his arms! I had, I gotta take him out!!!
Brandon (as Tracey): Nah, it makes sense. That’s right, it’s cool.
Amanda (as Inara): [irked] Autumn! Who is the general here and who is the lieutenant?
Eric (as Autumn): I’m the badass trying to save my cousim!
Amanda (as Inara): [frazzled] Ugh, Tracey, are you okay? Here, I have a healing potion. I hope it isn’t expired but…
Brandon (as Tracey): That’s fine, uh I got it…
Amanda (as Inara): [about to laugh] No really Tracey, it’s been in my pack for about 2 years. I really need to get rid of it.
Brandon (as Tracey): I-It’s…you know what? Honestly, I deserved it. Autumn, like, maybe not with blades? Like you want some punches, like is that helpful for you? Whatever, whatever will make you feel better.
Amanda (as Inara): Alright, let’s shut this down right now. Come with me.
Eric (as Autumn): [battle cries] SECH-AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
Eric: [laughing] And she jumps at you again.
Amanda: No. I’m going to, I’m going to block her.
[Eric laughs, followed by dice roll]
Amanda: Acrobatics, 13?
Eric: Yeah, she rolled higher than that.
Eric: So, I think that this time she kinda just flying at you again. If you’re taking it willingly, I won’t roll damage against that. She just keeps jumping at you from like, different karate angles.
Just like, one she does a cartwheel and she jumps on your face. And then another one and she jumps off again.
Brandon: That was always the hardest thing in geometry was the karate angles.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. The karate angles.
[door clicks open]
So I’m going to walk both of them back into the main part of Döove and Böosters, everybody…
Brandon: I’m just calmly walking with Autumn just punching…
Eric: And Autumn is just like,
Eric (as Autumn): [incoherently yelling] CHIAA-CHA-CHIAAAAA! I’M GOING TO CARVE MY NAME IN YOUR SIDE SO YOU KNOW IT’S ALWAYS ME!!
Eric: She got super intense after the Rapture. There was a lot happening.
Amanda: She watched a lot of anime.
Amanda (as Inara): Let’s just get this out of the way right now. I trust Tracey. He made a mistake, he saw the error of his ways. He is on our side. If you have a problem with him, you have a problem with me. Bring me your concerns, talk to me if you need to, but we are NOT going to stab our colleagues, Autumn.
Eric (as Autumn): [mumbles under breath] Okay, fine.
Eric: From the back of the room, you hear someone says,
Eric (as nervous voice): Heyo! Didn’t he cause the end of the world?
Brandon (as Tracey): Um…not untrue. Uh, what’s your name?
Eric (as nervous voice): [cautiously] Uh…Bevin?
Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, Bevin. Um, I’ll just say this to both Bevin and everyone, um it seems a little quaint at this point, but I am...sorry for helping to cause the end of the world.
Eric (as Bevin): You’re right. It feels a little too late!
Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I get that, do you want to stab me?
Eric (as Bevin): No, I’m okay. I’m not the stabbing type.
Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, um…
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, no-no stabbing. None.
Brandon (as Tracey): I can offer everyone two things. One, my promise that I will build your trust back over a large amount of time. And two, free cups of tea at the shop in town.
Oh shit, where are we?
Amanda (as Inara): Döove and Böosters. Where were you?
Brandon (as Tracey): I was like, just in Thistlefield. It was…nice. I had a tea shop. [panicked suddenly] Oh my god Talley’s there! We gotta go back!
Amanda: I’m going to look down at another elf standing near me and say,
Amanda (as Inara): Sammy, figure out where Thistlefield is and bring a scout.
Eric (as Sammy): [frog-like] Okay! I’m on my way!!!
Amanda (as Inara): Obviously this will take some getting used to. I’m sure some of you will have concerns, but let’s face it. Our campaign was not going well. The warforged compromised our safe zone. We need an edge in order to beat the Council. And someone who was on the inside, however briefly, that could be our edge.
Brandon (as Tracey): Hi, I-I’m an edge.
Amanda (as Inara): So, this is the plan. We finish dismantling the doors, make sure they all burn. Don’t leave anything left. Put the-the hardware in a cauldron if you have to and melt it down. We can’t stay here. We need to pack up everything that’s valuable in the next hour and meet back here then and figure out where we’re going to go next.
Captains with me. Let’s go to the research room.
Eric: Everyone nods their heads silently and they get to work, and the captains follow behind you.
Brandon: Tracey does stay where he is because he’s not sure what to do.
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey…this way.
Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, okay, okay.
Eric (as Sammy): You can come with me! I’m on my way to Thistlefield!!
Brandon (as Tracey): Um, when you’re there, if you see a briefcase with some feet, just say Tra…, I’m here for Tra…I’m Tracey’s friend and uh, they’ll come with you.
Eric (as Sammy): Okay! Definitely not the weirdest thing I’ve ever found!
Brandon (as Tracey): Well if you find weird things, bring that too! I want to see them!
Eric (as Sammy): Okay, I’ll go get em! See ya later!
Brandon (as Tracey): Thanks!
Amanda: So, we walk behind the bar, past the kitchen, down like an access hallway to what used to be a storage room for supplies.
[door clicking open]
Lots of shelving, a big table in the middle, and chairs we’ve kind of cobbled together. There’s like stools from the different kinds of machines and like a little tiny one from next to the skeeball machine at various heights for various anatomies. And inside, there are papers and books everywhere. It used to be somewhat organized but walking in now it’s clear that there was a fire drill of people trying to pack them.
Eric: Yeah, Chad is currently standing in the corner with like books just floating through him.
Eric (as Chad): [energetic, robot voice] Hello! I am just reading! Don’t mind me! You guys can talk, and I can still read!
Brandon (as Tracey): [quietly] Oh no.
Amanda (as Inara): Oh, Ch- did you, I’m sorry. Did they just kinda, just kinda get in there when you were trying to read them?
Eric (as Chad): Oh no! This is how I read. I pick up multiple books at a time and I read them!
Eric: And there’s just like books [laughing] just like floating through his ooze.
Amanda (as Inara): You-You read them…how quickly?
Eric (as Chad): Pretty quickly! I’m a great reader! I’ve been reading since I was a child.
Amanda (as Inara): A human child.
Eric (as Chad): A human child.
Amanda (as Inara): Just like all of us.
Eric (as Chad): I am a human. Just like most of the people in this room.
Brandon (as Tracey): Not human…
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, nah. Me neither. Uh, Chad? Could you just read every book in this room? Just real quick for us?
Eric (as Chad): Okay!!
Eric: [laughing] How would you…how would you like to facilitate this?
Amanda: [laughs] I think he should just walk around the room in just one slow circuit as the rest of us take our seat.
[Eric laughs wholeheartedly]
Just kinda like a dust buster, you know? Just kind of drawing everything up as he goes.
Eric: It’s like one of those vacuums where you can see the dirt inside of it.
Eric: And he’s just like slorp, slorp, slorp. And he’s just picking up more and more and more books. He’s like,
Eric (as Chad): I’m so great at reading! These are all really interesting! They all seem to be children’s books though!
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, so. Those of you who haven’t been in here yet, this is what we’ve been doing for the last few months. We’ve collected every mention of a warforged, a Council, a Bright, or frankly any nursery rhyme we could come across from all the cities and everyone has done great work, thank you.
Tammy and Taylor in the school. Captain Alex on the streets going into book shops. Brinks, of course. Autumn you did your duty before you came in here and started stabbing our allies.
Um….but we got a lot of material and that was just our ideas. Everything valuable we know about the Council of Bright so far, we’ve learned from kids’ stories. And we want to make sure we’re not missing anything, any kind of weapon, a weakness, anything.
Eric (as Chad): OH! You mean, like this?
Eric: He like floats this giant blue leather-bound book that’s like incredibly old and he floats it kind of like to the front of his front-his front cube side?
Brandon: Which one is that Eric?
Amanda: H-His chest Eric. He’s just a human being like anybody else.
Eric: Sorry, his chest. He floats it to the front of his chest.
Eric: And it’s flipped to kind of like near the back.
Eric (as Chad): I really like this book of songs! It’s really interesting! I’ve never seen it before, seems really old!
Eric: It’s opened to this one song. And it’s called, ‘Who Knows 13?’. And it goes like this,
Eric (as Chad): Who knows 13? I know 13! 13 are the languages in our land. 12 of the numbers on the hour hand. 11 are how many fingers Ze’ol has. 10 are the bard’s tricks of pizazz. 9 are the festival Livertine. 8 are the miles of great green. 7 are the prophets actual. 6 are the gleaming capitals. 5 are the items that Bright does fear. 4 are the hair of the mouse’s ear. 3 are the gods we do prey to. 2 are the light and the dark we knew. And 1 is us, 1 is us. 1 is us, Concentric and true.
Is this what you’re looking for?!
Amanda (as Inara): I mean…
Eric: Uh, you see that there’s a pile of books that Chad missed in like the back-left corner. And you see there’s some movement underneath it. And it’s like one book is thrown off…
And another book is thrown off…
[more loud crashing]
And you see that it’s Franny.
Amanda (as Inara): Franny? When’d you get back!?
Eric (as Franny): [in an uncharacteristically dignified calm tone] I’ve been here the whole time, child.
Eric: And Franny’s here…
Brandon: Uh, excuse me!
Eric: Franny’s hair is put up in a very tight bun and her nails are manicured. She’s wearing like, two cardigans and like a very nice sweet skirt. And she’s…
Amanda (as Inara): [interrupting, frantic] FRANNY! WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?! Who got to you!?!
Brandon (as Tracey): [yelling, also frantic] YOU LOOK TERRIBLE.
Eric (as Franny): Child, I know that I do. I haven’t had any of my drinking supply for so long that I revert into this terrible, terrible looking visage you see in front of you.
Amanda (as Inara): Franny, you’re a witch!
[Brandon laughs quietly]
Eric (as Franny): Not anymore, I’m not. Unless I get some of that sweet sweet hooch. I’m just wasting away to nothing.
[Eric also laughs quietly]
Brandon (as Tracey): Did your supply run dry? What happened?
Eric (as Franny): Uh, I haven’t had the same hookup that I’ve had for such a long time, so this is me now until I find some of that Undying Light biz.
But, I do see a way how we can change everything back to normal.
Amanda (as Inara): I mean that would have been really helpful to know, like, 3, maybe 4 months ago but go ahead.
Eric (as Franny): Well, my good friend over there kind of ruined the world and then I was too busy wasting away.
Amanda (as Inara): Okay, alright. Let’s go.
Eric (as Franny): That interesting line in there, the 5 of the items the Bright does fear.
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, yeah. We know this. The boots, the Mouthpiece…
Brandon (as Tracey): Right. The ones that were missing.
Amanda (as Inara): The other ones…
Eric (as Franny): The other ones…now. We did think those were the ones that were originally done but I did not know that we might be able to use them again! In order to reseal the Bright back where it came from.
So! If we are only to find the other three items, maybe we’ll have a chance to have everything to go back to normal and I can stop being this terrible version of myself.
Brandon (as Tracey): Didn’t we cook down some of them?
Eric (as Franny): Well, I still have these.
Eric: And she now has a little grandma purse and she pulls out…
Amanda: Horrifying, horrifying.
Eric: And she pulls out
Brandon: Some Werther’s originals?
Eric: Yeah, she-she…
Amanda: A bunch of tissues?
Eric: Yeah, I was just going to say that. And her knitting needles. She has like twenty knitting needles though, because she’s still freaking weird. And after she gets that out of the way, she pulls out the Boots of Ground and the Liar’s Mouthpiece.
Eric (as Franny): I was just holding onto these for safekeeping for you children.
Brandon (as Tracey): [short pause] Thank you…
Amanda (as Inara): [extremely psyched] AH YES!! Brinks!! I told you I didn’t ruin your boots!!
Eric (as Brinks): [slightly awkward] Weird…weird flex but alright. Yeah, that’s true. Th-Thanks.
Amanda (as Inara): [exhales] Hold on though, this is never going to work. We don’t know where Alonzo is. And he has the medallion.
Eric (as Franny): [deep in thought] Hmm…
Eric: Tracey, I want you to make a History check.
Eric: Okay. How into the Council of Bright’s posse, was Tracey?
Brandon: I imagine that because I am a “awakened warforged” I actually pose more of a threat and like, is a bit of a scary thing for the Council of Bright to have on his hands.
Brandon: So, while I think he probably kept a pretty close eye on me via his other family members, I was pretty on the ground you know like, first level officer kind of thing.
Brandon: Also, that’s what…Tracey didn’t try to change that because that’s sort of where he wanted to be anyway.
Eric: No, I like that a lot. So, I think that with a 6, Tracey you remember the Council of Bright’s stronghold. And uh, in the few months since the Brightening, the Council has gotten back to a place where he can kick it. So, the mansion and the stadium that Tortipolis, that is now Tortipolis, was the former Council of Bright’s stronghold…city…hangout spot.
Amanda: Hence the home movies in the attic.
Brandon: And also, the gaudy furniture.
Eric: And also that, right. And now he’s trying to build a new one, so where the old capital building and tower used to be, he now build like a giant, giant, mansion/stronghold/manor for him to hang out in and have all the stuff. So, you do remember that this building has been happening as the warforged came back.
The other thing that you remember are that there were a bunch of secret entrances into the stronghold. You can kind of get in on the roof, and you can get in through the front door. And you think that there were more, but with a 6, I’m not going to tell you anything else.
Brandon: Is the front door one of the secret ways in?
Eric: The front door is the regular way…
But you get all your…all the robots stomping in as a big display and there’s also kind of like, not like a helipad, but you can get in through the top if you wanted to.
Brandon: Gotcha. So, I relay all of that to Franny and Inara and the rest of the Captains.
Eric: And with the word uh, helipad, [laughs] you also…
Brandon (as Tracey): [dreamlike] Helipad…
Eric: Your right hand on its own, just points forward.
Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, I’m not doing that…
Amanda: Everyone grabs their weapons and I kinda put my hand on the dagger at one hip and reach the other one out kind of hovering above Tracey’s shoulder.
Brandon (as Tracey): [resigned] Please don’t cut it off unless you have to, but if you have to it’s fine.
Amanda (as Inara): Franny, any ideas?
Brandon (as Tracey): I’m not sure I can regrow it, but I think I might be able to!
Eric (as Franny): Hmm. Hm.
Brandon: Tracey definitely can’t regrow an arm.
Eric: No, he definitely can’t regrow an arm.
Eric (as Franny): Mm. That’s quite interesting.
Eric: Franny comes over to you and says,
Eric (as Franny): Well, Tracey, you know, a spoonful of sugar makes everything go down pretty easily. So, I’m going to say a nice thing as I do something gross. Are you ready?
Brandon (as Tracey): Uhhh, I guess?
Eric (as Franny): You have beautiful eyes.
Brandon (as Tracey): [flattered] Aw, thank you so much…
Eric: And then she licks your arm all the way from the shoulder…all the way to your hand.
Brandon (as Tracey): AHHH can you not!?! Oh my god!! The sugar didn’t help it just tasted like sweet bed!
[Amanda and Eric chuckle]
Eric (as Franny): Hm, interesting. There’s traces of star magic…
Brandon (as Tracey): Like a paper towel or something?
Eric (as Franny): There are three different…I’m tasting three different things though. It’s not just one, one…it has layers. It’s…
Amanda (as Inara): Umami, I think, is the word you’re looking for.
Eric (as Franny): It’s sweet, sour, and umami, that’s what I’m looking for. It’s…Tracey I think your memories are working through you. They know that you’ve done something wrong and they want to help. The energy that makes you you is trying to do something on its own and the different tastes that I am tasting…
Are the three remaining items themselves. I think somewhere inside of you, you know where they are.
Brandon (as Tracey): Okay…
Eric (as Franny): And right now, it seems like there is only one way in and one way out here, and that is going back to the Council of Bright’s manor. Tracey inside of you, you know where the items are. And all we have to do is go where he points.
Brandon (as Tracey): I didn’t think I’d be just useful as a compass, but I guess [chuckles] here we are…
Amanda (as Inara): You know in a way Tracey pointing to true north is kind of the greatest gift you can give.
Eric (as Franny): Pip pip cheerio.
Brandon (as Tracey): Pip pip cheerio.
Eric (as Franny): That’s what I say now, I hate it. Please change me back.
[Eric laughs lightly]
Eric: She gestures for all of you to follow her as she walks in the direction that Tracey is pointing. You guys walk back through the hallways back into the main area of Döove and Böosters. And you walk back to the elevator that, so many months ago, you took back up to the capital.
[bell dings, followed by elevator music]
Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. Have you ever gotten sucked into a project? Maybe writing or painting or model-building or even playing a video game? And you look at the clock after a while and it;’s like 5 hours later and you look outside and it’s fully night time? And you think, wow, I did a whole bunch of stuff. That’s really really cool. Welcome to the midroll. Here’s a glass of water, you seem parched.
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And now, let’s get back to the show.
[relaxing electronic melody plays]
Eric: Hello! It’s your good friendly Dungeon Master!
Amanda: Oh hi, wow.
Eric: So, I…
Eric: Oh hello, I’m Eric.
Amanda: Hi, Amanda.
Eric: I do silly voices. Um, at this point I want to establish some new game mechanics that I’m going to do for the rest of this story.
Amanda: Weird, it’s like we’re in the midroll but I have homework.
[Eric and Brandon laugh]
Eric: By homework you mean fun game times that we’re going to do together.
Amanda: Is that what I said?
Eric: No, that’s not what you said. Oh, when you say homework it is a positive thing, I forgot.
Amanda: Yeah. Duh! [yells] GRADE ME! GRADE ME!!!!!!
[Eric laughs heartily]
Eric: So, for the rest of the, kind of this last adventure we’re doing on this podcast, uh you guys are going to go into the Council of Bright’s stronghold and try to find the items and of course try to kick his ass, obviously. And do your other things that you do along the way.
SO! I think that it was only fair that you two should kind of build your party out a little bit. But you can’t do this alone.
So, I’ve created a JRPG-style selection process for you to build out your party.
Brandon: So, it’s like a dodgeball draft? Let’s go.
Eric: Pretty much. Except no one cries at the end.
Brandon: And Inara and I are captains. Well, we’ll see. We gotta get to the end of the series.
Eric: So, each one of these characters who I am going to give you, they have a combat power, so you guys can call upon them during combat to kind of do their special move. Usually they’ll be scrapping with smaller enemies and minions, but you can like, use them as an action when it’s not your turn as they come up in the initiative, they kind of like drop their power.
They also kind of have a movement power, so when you’re not fighting, or you need to try to navigate some trap or whatever, you can use their movement power which is better than what you two have.
And then they all have their drawbacks, that will translate into mechanics, but also like through roleplaying and just kind of like their general personality. But you guys probably also know this from interacting with them as NPCs.
Brandon: Gotcha. So like, like as me, Brandon, player, my drawback is grumpy.
Eric: But it’s like, I knew that! But of course, if I had to go in there and you were like, I didn’t sleep well last night! And then you die, it’s probably because Brandon was grumpy.
Brandon: [chuckles] Love it, let’s go.
Eric: Okay. So first we have Tammy and Taylor. Dragonborn teens/alchemists. Their combat power are Alchemy Bombs. They have a poison one, a healing one, and then they need to do a check if you want a different quick elemental potion that they can like, throw together.
Their movement power is that they’re separate, and they’re small, so you can kind of like separate them and you can have more pieces out on the field.
And their drawbacks is that they’re cool teens and they’re untrained.
Brandon: [laughs] Sorry, I just like that cool teens is a drawback.
Eric: Listen, cool teens can’t…[laughs]
Brandon: They spend way too much time on Tumblr. They have no time for anything else.
Eric: Exactly. Uh, you also have Stoneface. So Stoneface’s combat power is that he can summon the bombilates, which exist as a swarm creature, which is a lot of small things acting as one large thing together.
Uh, his movement power is he can fly.
His drawbacks are that he’s flippant on serious and currently he is resourcing Fidapolis and you have to like to take him away from there and he’d probably have to meet you. So it might be a treacherous journey, uh, for him to get back.
Brandon: I bet his like, hairpalm is also pretty flammable.
Amanda: Oh yeah, it sounds like uh, sort of a grenade he can throw.
Brandon: I thought we were going to discover that Stoneface was wide awake the whole time.
[Amanda and Eric laugh]
Eric: You can also choose Zubi. So, his combat power is Stone Smash. He is a large stone giant and he is advantaged on destroying structures. And there are ACs for different types of materials like wood, stone, platinum, that he’ll have advantage on destroying things.
His movement power is that he’s huge, so he can move you up and down, he can throw you, he can do a lot of things.
The drawback is that he is also huge, and he is very spacey when he gets into open air. As you’ve seen before.
You have Representative Brink. Uh, her passive power is that she has an Unerring Eye. So her time as representative has made her very adept at figuring out what things are real and what things are fake. So, uh, if you ask her to, she can kind of survey the area and kind of figure out if there is a presence of illusions, shapeshifters, and other magic designed to deceive the senses. And she can do that three times a day.
Amanda: I just thought…I thought…[mumbles] I thought you meant that she never hears from me. Huh…okay.
Eric: And her other combat power is that she has a massive crush on Inara.
Amanda: Yeah… baby!
Brandon: Does that like, make her bolder in battle?
Brandon: Cause she has a cause to fight for?
Eric: When they’re working together, it’s just like, super cute and they’re Sailor Moon and it’s wonderful.
Amanda: It’s correct.
Eric: Uh, her movement power is that she got a new set of amazing boots to replace her old boots. So, she can cross treacherous terrain pretty easily if she needs to.
Uh, her drawback is that she is untested because she was a [laughs] community organizer before she was a Representative. And she also had the Council of Bright controlling her, which is kind of bad.
Brandon: You know…it happens. To everyone.
Amanda: Haven’t we all?
Eric: Haven’t we all been controlled by the Council of Bright?
Brandon: Yeah…it’s like, not that big of a deal. Let’s move to the next one.
Eric: [giggles] Uh, you have Captain Alex. Uh, her combat power is that she can turn into a giant octopus and she can grapple two creatures at a time, so she’s a souped up version of that…yeah.
Amanda: Yeah she can!
Brandon: Does she have to be in water though?
Eric: No, she can just turn into the giant octopus anywhere. Which is scary in its own right.
Brandon: Yeah it is!
Eric: It’s like, you’re in a castle and all of the sudden, giant octopus!
Eric: Uh, her movement power is…
Amanda: Yeah, yeah, yeah. What kind of lesbian are you? Octopus lesbian.
Eric: I mean, a giant octopus’ lesbian.
I’m a fem cephalopod.
[everyone laughs again]
Uh, her movement power is that she can drive things but she can also morph into tiny things so she can also turn into a squirrel.
Her drawbacks is that she’s hotblooded and swashbuckling. So, she’ll probably just not listen to you if she doesn’t want to. Which could be dangerous.
Brandon: I get it. I mean, I understand. When you have the pirate power, it’s hard to take the pirate power out of the pirate.
Amanda: It’s true.
Brandon: That was a really hard thing to say.
Eric: Peter Piper took the power out of pirate.
Amanda: I’m just thinking about like, like a stone butch angler fish maybe?
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, I porpoisely cut my hair like this.
Brandon: Oh no, oh no.
Eric: Hey!! Hey, hey, hey, hey!! Oh, ay!
You can also choose Autumn.
Amanda: I’m not choosing Autumn, I’m not choosing Autumn.
Eric: I’m just letting you know that it’s Autumn. Her combat power is that she has Sneak Attack, like Inara.
Her movement power is that she’s very sneaky. Like she did just get the jump on Tracey cause she’s an assassin and probably better at being an assassin than Inara.
And her drawbacks is that she is incredibly hard headed and won’t listen to things that Inara says.
Brandon: Shots fired at our friend Inara!
Amanda: Thank you, thank you. Thank you for that example of what it’s like to work with someone who is hardheaded. Which I certainly would never accuse you of being.
[Eric and Brandon laugh]
Brandon: You’re just embodying the character.
Eric: Nice! I’m just saying that she has more experience as an assassin than you!
Eric: Ah! I wrote this off of the character description!!
It’s like you’re reading a module and being like, wow, called out. It’s like, it’s a piece of paper!!
You can also take Chad. So, Chad has a lot of the same stats as the regular gelatinous cube, his combat power is Engulf. So, if he moves into the same space as a creature, he kind of like engulfs them and then they take a ton of acid damage.
His movement power is that he can turn transparent. As you’ve seen before, you guys have kind of run into gelatinous oozes if you’re not careful.
The only drawback is that he does think that he’s human, so he would rather use a sword than flooze around in his body. Also, his other movement power is that he can fit into very small, squishable places because he’s a gel.
Brandon: He’s ooze. I forgot that humans can do that, it’s very weird.
[Amanda mumbles in agreement]
Eric: Alright, so I’m going to say that you guys can only choose 3 out of the 7. Brandon, I also want you to, uh, close your ears for a second.
[Brandon sings Kiss from a Rose by Seal, loudly]
I would also say…
[Brandon stops singing]
Brandon: Do I need to not talk?
Eric: No, you should keep doing that.
[Brandon continues singing]
I would also say remember, Amanda, you’re concerned about there being a breach inside.
Eric: I think that that is definitely a concern for you. You don’t know if someone has turn coated. It’s been 3 months since you’ve been able to trust some of these people, so their may be a turncoat in this party.
Amanda: Ah, gee. Thanks. That’s not ominous at all.
How long should we let him go like this?
Eric: [singing] BAY-BAY!
[Brandon stops singing]
Amanda: Wait, is that the Pirates of the Caribbean theme or an 80’s song?
Brandon: That was Seal, that was Kiss from a Rose.
Eric: Kiss from a Rose.
Brandon: I was dropping
Amanda: It sound just like,
[Amanda sings tune of Pirates of the Caribbean theme]
Eric: That’s true!
Brandon: It doesn’t not. Yeah, you’re not wrong.
[Amanda laughs heartily]
Eric: Wait. Did the Pirates of the Caribbean steal from Seal?
Brandon: Or did Seal steal from…
Eric: Maybe he’s a pirate!
Amanda: GUYS! Has anyone seen Johnny Depp and Seal in the same room?
Eric: They look exactly the same.
Brandon: Has anyone seen Seal and a pirate in the same room?
Eric: You know, if I had to pick someone who was more of a pirate, it would be Seal.
Amanda: Heidi Klum and Keira Knightly might be the same person.
Eric: That’s also probably true.
Amanda: What do you think Brando?
Brandon: So my initials veto I think…
Brandon: BG. I don’t think we should take Stoneface because he should be resourcing Fidapolis.
Amanda: I agree. It’s too important.
Brandon: I worry that Zubi is too cumbersome in case we need to do anything stealthy or spy-like. And I’m already pretty cumbersome in that regard. What are you thinking?
Amanda: I think Chad could be really useful. Also I love him.
Amanda: I think Brink’s powers sound like they compliment ours in a good way.
Brandon: I agree with that.
Amanda: Though, it is a power and a liability to have someone you care so much about right next to you in battle. We’ll see. I um, think I would choose Chad, Brinks, and Alex.
Brandon: I agree with Chad, I agree with Alex. Honestly, I think we’re on the same page. Yeah, I don’t want to bring Tammy and Taylor because I don’t want to endanger children.
Amanda: No, me neither! They’re our future, they just don’t know it yet.
Brandon: Stoneface – no, Zubi – no, Brink, Autumn’s vetoed. Yeah. I think we’re on the same page.
Brandon: That’s our crew!
Amanda: Lock and load!
[relaxing electronic melody fades]
Eric: Franny is surveying all the people you have collected and says,
Eric (as Franny): General Inara, I think it’s up to you to choose the party that you’re going to run into the breach with, uh and change the world back to the way it was. Who do you choose?
Amanda (as Inara): Really tempting to bring uh Zubi in here for the inspirational quotes but…[sighs] I drop down to one knee. Tammy and Taylor, listen. I love you guys. I trust you guys, I need you on the inside. I need you in Fidapolis. Will you do that for me?
Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Oookay. It’s okay, we didn’t want to die anyway. This sounds pretty dangerous.
Amanda (as Inara): See? Survival in sync for these kids, eh? It’d great.
Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Let’s go blow up other things, YAY!!!
Eric: And they high five.
Amanda (as Inara): Autumn, I’m not leaving Chronopolis undefended. Who knows what the Nectarias are up to? Who knows who we can trust? You have to go back, you have to secure it, you have to wait for my word.
Eric (as Autumn): [annoyed] What are you…I’m the best one here! I…you’re not going to take me into the breach!? Into the teeth of danger?
Amanda (as Inara): I’d rather have you standing on your own than you among five people. You need to hold it up, you’re the temple.
Eric (as Autumn): [sighs] Ugh, that’s true. I am the best. Alright, fine.
Amanda (as Inara): Can you find your way back?
Eric (as Autumn): [scoffs] Can I-Can I find my way back? [continues scoffing repeatedly] C’mon. Yes, I can, yeah I’ll be fine. Yeah.
Amanda (as Inara): Okay, great. So you can chaperone Tammy and Taylor back too? Awesome. Thank you.
Eric (as Autumn): [under breath] Ahhh…noo.
Amanda (as Inara): Love you sis. Good job.
Eric (as Autumn): Ah, we’re cousins…
Brandon: She slides a knife out of Tracey’s throat.
Eric: She slides a knife out of Tracey’s neck and is like, I need this.
Amanda (as Inara): Bring them back to Stoneface okay?
Eric (as Autumn): Aye aye captain.
Amanda (as Inara): Bye kiddos.
Amanda: And I give them a high five.
Eric: They both dab at you, but like emotionally.
[Brandon and Amanda laugh heartily]
Amanda: Alright, so then I turn to face Chad, Brinksy, Alex, Tracey and Franny.
Brandon: Tracey is raising his hand by the way.
Eric: [laughs] He’s been raising his hand the whole time.
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey are you volunteering, or do you have a question? Bathroom is that way.
Brandon (as Tracey): No, it’s the first one. I want to go, can I go? Not to the bathroom, to the death.
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey…
Amanda: And I put my hands as far as I can reach, not quite up to his shoulders but getting there.
Amanda (as Inara): Man, it has been me and you from the beginning. We have lost too much to give up on each other. Okay?
Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah.
Amanda (as Inara): I am mad at you and I might still be for a little while, but whatever world I can’t trust you in is not a world worth saving okay?
Brandon: Yep. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.
Eric (as Chad): Can I come!? I’m a warrior!
Amanda (as Inara): You are a warrior Chad! An intellectual warrior as well as a physical one! I really respect that.
Eric: There are still books flinging around inside of him. And he’s like,
Eric (as Chad): I have this!
Eric: And then you see a sword floats to the front. He’s like,
Eric (as Chad): I also have this one!
Eric: And there’s a double handed ax, which also floats to the front.
Amanda (as Inara): Well, why don’t we keep that book…
Brandon (as Tracey): Chad, stop looking at me like that.
[Amanda and Eric chuckle]
Eric (as Chad): Do you want to joust?!
Brandon: No, I don’t…don’t want to do that.
Amanda (as Inara): Captain Alex, can I count on you from one captain to another?
Eric (as Captain Alex): Aye. I always thought that this would be the day where we’d fight alongside each other. Just you and me. Take him out together, the evil. Being the good, the one light in the world. It’s not enough to be a pirate, sometimes...you need to be a good pirate.
Amanda (as Inara): Kinda…kinda like a pirate of the law, maybe?
Eric: She puts her hand on your shoulder.
Amanda (as Inara): You can count on me. Always.
Eric: And then Brinks pushes her out of the way, and be like,
Eric (as Brink): [defensively] I ALSO AM HERE TO FIGHT. I CAN KICK ASS, I LOVE KICKING ASS.
Amanda (as Inara): Uh, you think I’m going to leave those boots behind?
Eric (as Brink): [coyly] Act-…no…no?
Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] Okay, alright. Well, that’s all of us then. Hopefully we can all fit in the elevator.
Eric (as Chad): My cousin works here! He says this elevator is large!
Brandon (as Tracey): I knew it!
Eric (as Franny): Children, have fun. Uh, I can’t go because I am truly dying from starvation. So you all have fun.
Brandon (as Tracey): There’s food, there’s other food in there, just eat!!
Eric (as Franny): What about you makes you think that I can eat regular food Tracey?
Brandon (as Tracey): My brain says things that are common sense!
Amanda (as Inara): Franny, we need your mind even if you’re feeling a little bit weak at the moment. Will you take the rest of the Friends of the Champion back to Infropolis and keep them safe?
Eric (as Franny): Hm. I do know of a place where no one would bother them. Where not even the worst nefarious criminals would try to break in to disturb our peace.
Amanda: I lean in very close to have her whisper it to me.
Eric (as Franny): [whispering] It’s the Electroshack.
Amanda (as Inara): [whispers back] Nice.
Eric (as Franny): [still whispering] Everyone hates it there. They have such a bad business model.
Brandon (as Tracey): [joins in whispering] The prices are too high. They’re scary high.
Eric (as Franny): [still whispering] I don’t know who would pay 600 gold pieces for a digital camera but like, that’s not me.
Amanda (as Inara): Okay. Can you clear out by nightfall?
Eric (as Franny): Absotively.
Amanda (as Inara): I hate it Franny, I wantcha back.
Eric (as Franny): So do I, I am dying.
Amanda: Okay, well. Look out for our message.
Eric (as Franny): Gocchhu!
Eric: Tracey, Inara, and the rest of the party step into the elevator.
[dings of elevator changing floors, whirring of mechanics]
The large metal doors slam shut. And you feel yourself going up, slowly, up and up and up.
Amanda (as Inara): So, this is the plan, the artifacts must be scattered across the Concentric States. There is no way they’re all in one spot all together. So, we just hit the cities one at a time we rely on the networks we’ve made and each of them we check the museums, the rich peoples’ houses, we ask around. We figure out if anyone has seen it. Check the palace, check anything.
Brandon (as Tracey): That sounds great. Uh, I’m going to do my detective thing. Shake the dust off. Get out the magnifying glass. Find some clues.
Amanda (as Inara): I think they’ll expect us last in Tortipolis? There’s nothing left right? That he things is valuable so lets go back there. Let’s check the attic. Let’s see if anything is left.
Brandon (as Tracey): Love it.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah I think that’s the best idea. I mean, I know where everything is hidden, can think about it real hard, and you know. Get you there.
Eric: Chad turns toward Brink and says,
Eric (as Chad): Hey! I was in love with you.
Amanda: I put one hand on Chad’s shoulder and just pat it gently.
Eric: It wig-It wiggles. And the elevator doors finally open.
[ding of door opening, elevator music quiets]
It’s just rubble. Everywhere. Any building that you saw before these government buildings that were stretched in all of these directions just are destroyed. There’s broken glass everywhere. There’s shards of concrete strewn all over the roads. And you can look up in the sky and its noon and there’s just nobody around. EXCEPT…in the far distance, there is…what looks like, a giant Cheesecake Factory blocking out a large portion of the horizon.
Brandon (as Tracey): I think that might be it…
Amanda (as Inara): So, let’s go in the opposite direction?
Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah I think so.
Amanda (as Inara): Concentra is just a crossroads right? So we just have to pick a direction and start. And Tortipolis is to the south, so…let’s go.
Brandon (as Tracey): After you.
Eric: The whole party starts to move to the south. And uh Tracey your right hand swings up and points towards the massive Cheesecake Factory manor.
Brandon (as Tracey): Alright, I hate this. This is bad. Um, if anyone knows how to make your hand not do things that you don’t want to do please let me know! Otherwise, please chop it off.
Amanda (as Inara): What’s…it’s Fidapolis toward the north, right? Do they want us to start there instead?
Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t know…this arm has a mind of its own. Yeah, I guess?
[mellow electronic rhythm]
Amanda: So we go across the plaza again and start back up towards the north. There are sort of like five main roads leading out of town and the mansion is sandwiched between two of them. So we start on the road that leads directly north which is to the mansion’s right and just start walking, kind of trying to stay to the side and not be too conspicuous.
Eric: Sure. As you walk with this wide berth around the mansion the entire time Tracey’s right arm is pointing back towards the Cheesecake Factory manor.
Brandon (as Tracey): I think that this thing is either broken or I’m hungry? I don’t know which of the two it is.
Amanda (as Inara): Hang-hang on. Let’s, come here.
Amanda: And I pull the group behind some trees growing up the side of the road, sort of into the underbrush, so we can regroup.
Brandon: On the way over to the trees, Tracey swaps the way he’s walking.
Brandon: What happens to my arm?
Eric: Uh, I think it shifts to your left arm and your left arm is now pointing towards the Cheesecake Factory.
Brandon (as Tracey): [surprised] Oh, IT’S BOTH ARMS?! Oh, great okay. Um, I hate this. Um, but that’s-that’s good data I think.
Brandon: And Tracey does some more twirls. He just like starts spinning in a circle.
Amanda: It’s like a pirouette.
Brandon: A pirouette.
Eric: Yeah, I think whatever-whatever appendage you have free is just like pointing towards the mansion.
Brandon: Sometimes it’s my feet?
Eric: Yeah, sometimes it’s your feet.
Brandon: Cool, great.
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey, I’m not asking this to hurt your feelings, but I have to know. Do you think it’s the Council drawing you back? Or does this really feel like a deeper part of you?
Brandon (as Tracey): Every time the Council has tried to like, talk to me it’s been in my brain space before, and this, this is in my limb space.
Amanda (as Inara): It’s true.
Eric: Why don’t you roll an Insight check?
Brandon: Uh, critical 1.
[Eric cackles in response to roll]
Amanda: Ohhh nooo.
Eric: Yeah with a crit 1, you’re trying to like explain that you’re not being taken over and there’s no voices in your head, and then once again you hear a knock at the back of your brain.
Brandon (as Tracey): Oh! Wait, hang…hold on. [short pause] Chad? Stop oozing for a second please.
Eric (as Chad): What are you…I am not doing anything! What are you talking about?
[Brandon makes shushing sounds]
Eric (as Council of Bright): [mischievously] Hello?! Is anybody in there?!
Brandon (as Tracey): Goddamn it.
Eric (as Council of Bright): I just, I know you’re moving into the neighborhood and I want to welcome you in.
Brandon (as Tracey): Did you bring like, a fruit basket or something?
Eric (as Council of Bright): No, I have this Edible Arrangement. I arranged it myself. It’s not edible.
Brandon (as Tracey): That seems counter to the name of the thing? Um, I will…delightfully pass.
Eric (as Council of Bright): Where are you going, what are you up to?
Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, just having a picnic in a field you know?
Eric (as Council of Bright): Alright, well if you want to come and see me, you know where to find me.
Brandon (as Tracey): I literally don’t. You always come into my…
Eric (as Council of Bright): [interrupting] See ya later!
Brandon (as Tracey): Great. [echoing] I’m going to chop off your head!!
Eric: Uh, Inara, everything you said was out loud to himself.
Amanda: Yeah, I was giving him his space. You know? I was holding everybody back. Captain Alex was about to cast off her hat and coat and grapple you to the ground as an octopus. But I held them back to give you a second.
Eric: Yeah, I think Captain Alex does not like what’s going on at all.
Eric (as Captain Alex): I AM IN A PARTY WITH TWO PEOPLE who can be controlled by spirits whenever they want. And I don’t like that.
Brandon (as Tracey): It’s not that we want it, it’s like [stutters] do you want to steal doubloons everywhere you go? What do you mean?!
Eric (as Captain Alex): Yes! It’s a compulsion I have!
Brandon (as Tracey): Right, right.
Eric (as Captain Alex): And your compulsion is…
Brandon (as Tracey): That was a bad example.
Eric (as Captain Alex): letting terrible people into your brain so who exactly is controlling what is going on in your arms?
Brandon (as Tracey): I have no idea…um, I know that’s not a good answer but it’s the answer.
Eric (as Captain Alex): Alright, well okay. Why don’t you…why don’t you ask it a question? He? They? It? I don’t even know what it is.
Brandon (as Tracey): It’s just, it’s a god. Just hang on one second.
Hey compass? Compass come back.
Eric: Your hand lifts back up and points towards the mansion.
Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, okay! Well, uh, not at home anymore but apparently this works. [uncertainly] Um…compass show me the way?
Eric: And it continues to point towards the mansion.
Brandon: And Tracey turns like 90 degrees.
Eric: Yeah. And your other arm then points up and towards the mansion.
Amanda (as Inara): Let’s try to think of a different artifact. Tracey, think really hard about the medallion, let’s see where the medallion is.
Brandon (as Tracey): Okay…thinking, I’m thinking, I’m thinking…
Eric: And both of your arms are now pointing towards the mansion.
Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, well that was exuberant. Um…
Amanda (as Inara): You better-You better sit for safety, where’s the third artifact?
Brandon (as Tracey): Alright, sword, sword, blade, fire, cool. Super cool.
Eric: The arm that has the Long Arm of the Law on it, like starts to extend. [chuckles] And it’s pointing towards the mansion.
Brandon (as Tracey): That’s not me. I think, uh, we sort of might have gone where they, where they might be?
Amanda (as Inara): So he found three of them, ugh, this is not a moment too soon.
Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I mean he sounds like he is probably going to defend it with ever-, well not his life, everyone else’s lives!
Eric: Captain Alex is still very annoyed at everything that is happening. She’s still like,
Eric (as Captain Alex): [frustrated] Wait, are you telling me that the guy who’s just taken over the world and just, you know, destroyed everything, and dismantled the Concentric States that have been held together for over a millennium, he’s keeping like all of these magical items that can harm him, in his like jewelry box?
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, you know, it’s like it’s like keep your enemies close and keep your secret artifacts that maybe when they are combined with their four brethren from the Centering could maybe for once put you back in an astral prison, closer?
Eric (as Captain Alex): That doesn’t make any sense to me.
Brandon (as Tracey): Look, it helps us anyway. Let’s just…let’s figure out a way to get in here I guess.
Eric: Brink takes a step forward in front of the whole party and says,
[dramatic monologue music]
Eric (as Brink): I know why. I remember I remember that feeling, like when I thought I knew what I was doing. But I was doing it because that, that place has an influence on you. It makes you think that it’s the safest, fortress in the entire world. That no one can come in, or out, unless you tell them to. This guy, I mean, he thinks no one can touch him. He can guy in your mind, he can control a whole family of robot destroyers, no offense, but true.
Brandon (as Tracey): I mean, you know, if the label fits.
Eric (as Brink): So, I think the only thing left to do is to make him pay for controlling all of us. For thinking there’s nothing bad that’s going to come to him. There are consequences. WE are the consequences.
Amanda (as Inara): Oh! I like that! That’s a good group name. Nice.
Brandon (as Tracey): The consequences…
Amanda (as Inara): Oh, anyway! Back to planning, sorry, uh…
Brandon (as Tracey): We can use, here’s what we can do. I don’t know how yet, but idea. We can use his own…his own arrogance against him. That’s all I got, what do you got?
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey! It’s just like the museum! We just walk in through the front door. Wait, uh, Brinksy? How did you get into the mansion? Back in the, in the Bachelorette game? How did they bring you in? Was there a secret entrance? Did you come through the screening room? What happened?
Eric (as Brink): Oh, I mean, I don’t really…I can’t really remember. I mean I was just kinda poking around in this, this area and everything just kind of spun out of control. Um, I think I walked into the stadium and all the sudden I looked around and the tournament was on.
Brandon (as Tracey): well we know from what I can remember that there is the front door, the roof. I can make myself look like one of the family again, pretty easily. So…I can walk into the front door. Um…
Amanda (as Inara): And he’s hoarding resources so there must be a-a loading bay, right? A freight entrance, a service entrance? Clearly he doesn’t want to see servants all around him.
Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, it’s not untrue. Should we just like scout the perimeter for false entrances or…?
Amanda (as Inara): Let’s do it. Let’s complete a perimeter now at a safe distance. Find somewhere to wait until nightfall and then just try.
Brandon (as Tracey): But what do we do when we get in?
Amanda (as Inara): I think we have to follow the leader.
Brandon (as Tracey): [chuckles] Great…
Amanda (as Inara): And get pointed in the right direction.
Brandon (as Tracey): Good. Okay…
Amanda (as Inara): When we have all five I don’t know what we’ll do, I don’t know how to activate them and I don’t know how the consequences will be but we’ll figure it out when we get there. Five of us, five of them. Only one Council. I like our odds.
[pulsing electronic beat, followed by owl hooting]
Amanda: Maybe we’ll leave Chad with the packs in the clearing.
Eric: Good idea I was just going to ask.
Amanda: And then me and Alex and Brinks and Tracey can go in different directions and meet in the clearing when we’re done.
Eric: Okay, great. So I’m going to start with Inara. Inara, what exactly, what are two specific details you are going to look for? And then you’re going to roll on one and then Captain Alex is going to roll on one.
Amanda: I want to look for guards that seems clustered around something that isn’t a door or a window.
Amanda: And I think Alex Is going to look for, like if she was going to break into a building, where would she break in? Like is there a vulnerable…
Eric: Under Defended?
Amanda: Right, like an under defended part of the building.
Eric: Alright, cool. So why don’t you do a Investigation? I’m going to give Alex, Alex has a +2 right?
Eric: [inhales] Oh…Captain Alex got a 2.
Amanda: Ah no.
Eric: Okay. So, I would say that she did not see any vulnerabilities. She’s kind of a bit out of her element. She hasn’t dealt with fortresses before she’s only dealt with more of skirmish kind of gal.
So, Inara, as you circle over to the right side, the eastern part of the mansion, you see like is a moat that surrounds the whole thing because he’s medieval like that. And as you get closer it’s just like this is…this is a lot going on here. There’s like gold leaf everywhere, even on the outside.
There’s like two porches. There’s a full porch on one side and a full porch on the other. And I think on the right porch you can see that there is always a cluster of warforged that come in on different intervals. You can see that there’s always three that are underneath this one window, that’s like all the way, like a spire, that goes up on the top right corner.
A warforged walks up to them, taps them on the shoulder, and the other one like, walks over. And it’s just like underneath, it doesn’t look like they’re guarding anything. But they’re standing underneath this window and the spire on the top right.
Eric: So Tracey, I’m going to ask the same thing as you go over to the left side. What exactly are you looking for and you have Brink with you.
Brandon (as Tracey): I think Brink and I are going to do sort of a similar thing, but try to cover as much of the castle as we can. So we’re going to split up and I’m going to take the west side and she can take the east side. I’m going to cast Detect Magic as a ritual and she’s going to use her Illusion breaking action.
Eric: Got it.
Brandon: And we’re both going to try to as much as we can, hopefully encompassing the entire building, but as much as we can on either side of it, try to find any illusory magic that’s hiding an entrance.
Eric: Cool. Interesting, interesting okay. You kinda camp out in like some scrub, uh while you’re doing your detect magic. You’re just like glowing and waving your arms around.
Brandon: I got really dramatic in the last three months, so there’s like some cape movements, there’s some like dance, some interpretative dance involved in the rituals now.
Brandon: It’s quite the sight to see if you would ever let anyone see him do it.
Eric: Sure. So, you start at the bottom left corner and you kinda work your way up. And I think they’re going to meet with Brink in the middle of the lefty side. She’s poking around, you can see her on the other side. She’s like hiding behind trees and trying to look at things with a big evil eye on it. And she’s looking around, looking around. And you don’t necessarily see anything that’s necessarily highlighted as you’re like in your area. And you guys kinda like get slowly close to each other.
Brandon (as Tracey): Brink, did you find anything? I got nothing.
Eric (as Brink): Yeah, you know. I didn’t see anything. I was really looking at it really hard and I just couldn’t, I just didn’t see it. I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Brandon (as Tracey): Alright. They must all be physical entryways then.
Eric: Why don’t you make an Investigation check?
Brandon: 13 + 5 for 18.
Amanda: [excitedly] Oh!!
Eric: So with an 18, I think you have the idea, you know like, let’s switch sides. I just want to make sure. I sweep yours and you sweep mine. We probably missed something. And I think at this point you see that there’s a um, across one part of the moat, you see that there’s like someone drew a highlighter over an invisible bridge. And then there’s an invisible big door that Brinks must have just missed.
Brandon (as Tracey): [whispered] Got it.
Eric: There is a draw bridge over the moat. You camped there long enough you see that there are some warforged that walk up to it. And they like, look around. And they have these big sacs over their shoulder. And then they just start walking on the air. Power Walking over the invisible bridge. And then they just kind of just run into the wall and then they are gone.
Brandon: Gotcha. I take a mental image of where that is and we go back to the group.
[electronic pulsing music increases in intensity]
Amanda (as Inara): Listen, I’m exhausted. I know Tracey you took a lot of damage back there from my cousin. Um, let’s camp out let’s nap, get some shut eye. We’ll take it in turns to stand watch and we storm a castle at dawn.
[electronic music fades, theme music plays]