43. Hunting Party IV

What has a slamming door, elevator music, a mild-mannered docent and two thumbs? This episode! The party looks for a museum to heist while searching for the Midnight Man. Tracey is a relic. Inara interns. Finale’s crackin’ skulls.


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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Finale: Sarah Hopkins

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

- 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: Who is the mystery woman who saves Tracey, Inara, and Kohl from a massive dog? Why it’s Finale, local bounty hunter, and general kind of a mess. The door in the alley leads to a swanky looking bar, with a Kenku proprietor-

Sarah (as Finale): I mean, I don’t like hang out here...I’m going downstairs.

Eric: But it’s only a front for the bounty hunter dive bar, The Dead Ringer. Finale introduces herself, Mac the Tabaxi bartender, Casey the general pain in the ass who won’t get off of her case, and the mysterious Midnight Man, who’s popping up around Infropolis and just doesn’t move.

Amanda (as Inara): He doesn’t steal even?!

Brandon (as Tracey): He just stands there!?

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah, at midnight.

Amanda (as Inara): That’s the worst crime of all…

Eric: Now, if someone is going to take down this monster it’s going to be at a bounty hunter bar. So Inara challenges the patrons to find the Midnight Man. Finale accepts but is challenged by Casey for the contract. So, they have to play for it, in the high-stakes bar-game of Drink the Drink. After careful examination, and some tomfoolery, Finale chooses Mug 4. And...

Eric: You won – drink the drink!!!

Sarah: I drink the drink!!!

Eric: You drink the drink!!!

[Everyone joins in cheering]

Everyone: She drinks the drink!!!

Sarah: Glug...glug.

Eric: The Kenku proprietor upstairs gives the party some clues to where the Midnight Man could be. A slamming door, light elevator music and a middle-aged woman giving a museum tour. Follow your nose... or follow your ears. Let’s get the party started.

[Theme music]

[Crickets chirping]

Eric: When you walk out of the Dead Ringer, it is now dark outside. It’s been a pretty big day, you guys did go create a terrible dog monster, uhh-

Amanda: Yeah-

Eric: Only a few hours before-

Sarah: I didn’t-

Eric: No, this is a-

Sarah: [giggling] I didn’t defeat it either.

[Eric & Sarah laughing]

Eric: [chuckling] You just, you made a ghost, it’s somewhere roaming the city at the moment.

Sarah: Not my problem.

Eric: So, it’s not like midnight, but it’s definitely evening. The wrestling match is going to happen tomorrow. Uh-you don’t know what’s going on with Kohl, but that’s what I can tell you about the-the timeline.

Sarah: Okay, So, my thinking is...you know, it’s not midnight yet, it’s gonna be midnight soon. We should probably go to where we think the Midnight Man will be.

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: That’s a solid train of logic I think.

Amanda: So, I think we should try to find if there is a museum or something that sounds like where the quote came from...? And-

Sarah: Yeah it sounds like it could be a museum.

Amanda: Yeah, we can probably like break in or lurk.

[Sarah gasps in agreement]

Brandon: Or we can wait until the next day when it’s open- and freely available.

Amanda: Midnight Man, Brandon, midnight!

[Brandon chuckles]

Sarah: [chuckling] Why would we wait until the morning?! What are we going to find there-?

Brandon: I was just thinking we could pay an admission price. We could legally-

Amanda: We can legally buy-

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: Go into a museum.

Eric: That’s the thing about spooky ghouls, it’s that they love paying full price for things.

Brandon:  Yeah...

Sarah: My god, wait!

Brandon: Oh- here’s my $6.50.

Amanda: I’m into it, let’s go steal some stuff.

Brandon: Why are we stealing-

[Sarah laughing]

When we could just legally buy it?!

Amanda: Cause then there’s a paper trail.

Brandon: [laughs in exasperation] We pay with CASH!!! There’s no receipts here, it’s fantasy!! Maybe we make a plan to split up. I can go try to find people who have seen him? Do what Tracey does best: detective work.

[Eric laughs heartily]

Brandon: I could have said that without-with a straight face.

Eric: That’s pretty funny, that’s a good joke.

Amanda: Talk to strangers. I’m going to go to a museum and try to learn some info ourselves. Finale, what do you want to-want to join in on?

Sarah: Hmm, I’ll probably-

Brandon:  No pressure. Make a choice.

Sarah: I’ll probably, I’ll join Tracey in talking to strangers.

Brandon: YESSSSS!!!

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: This could go in any way, shape or form. Okay, so Inara, in your back pocket, you have a MapQuest style direction sheet that you got from Kohl’s tiny robot butler-

Amanda: Yes.

Eric: And you unfold it, and it’s very...unhelpful. But there’s actually, there’s some notable landmarks on the directions-

Amanda: Yep.

Eric: And there is a museum! It is called the New Infropolis Interdisciplinary Space of Before, Now, and After.

Brandon: Now what is that?


Brandon: [chuckling] Oh, I actually thought you were going to have something!

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: No, I knew you were going to say this, and I made sure-


Eric: To remind myself what it was called. It’s actually a couple blocks away.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay guys, I think we’re going to be less, uhh I don’t know, conspicuous, if we split up or something. I’m going to keep hiding Oatcake, and I don’t want to let her out of my sight, so I’ll just take her, take a little gold, go to this museum and see if the curator has heard anything.

Brandon: Sounds great, and I’m going to switch into, uh my street gear?

Amanda: [confused] Ohhh…?

Sarah: [chuckling] What does that look like?

Brandon: Tracey takes off his cape and puts on a... trilby?

Eric: That’s good, that sounds like streetwear to me.

Amanda: Does it have like a playing card in the side?

Brandon: It has-

Sarah: Oh my god

Brandon: It has, yes, 2 of them

Amanda: Ohhh

Eric: They’re 2 Yu-Gi-Oh cards….

[Sarah laughing]

Brandon: One of them is a joker and the other one is a blue-eyes white dragon.

[Everyone laughing]

Eric: Alright, cool. Finale what are you doing?

Sarah: Hmmm. I guess I’ll… stay with our detective friend and sort of uhh, case the passers by the museum with you- is that alright?

Brandon:  Do you need a trilby? I have one.

Sarah: I’m perfectly fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): [disappointed] Oh, okay.

Brandon: Tracey holds out a trilby...for just a little too long.

[Sarah chuckles]

Eric: You have a black one and a brown one.

Sarah: Why do you have two of them!?

Brandon (as Tracey): You have to match your hat to your shoes, it’s just basic fashion.

Sarah (as Finale): Oh- well in that case...

Sarah: [hesitantly] Finale takes the brown trilby and she puts it on.

Eric: Okay, so you head over to NIISBNA.

Amanda: What does it look like?

Eric: The NISSBNA building looks like children’s blocks stacked on top of each other-

Amanda: Oh, very modern.

Eric: And all of the blocks are triangular prisms. And emphasizing and reemphasizing the trinity and the- the Centering. Inara you see uh- the lights are still on inside, so you can just mosey on in there.

Amanda: Sure, so I’ll give a little wave-

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, good luck guys, see you later.

Amanda: And I’ll run up the stairs.

Eric: I guess, Finale, Tracey, you two are wearing your trilbys and are skulking around the outside of the museum. What’s your detective strategy, cause I don’t know-Tracey, because I don’t know that you’ve done this before?

Brandon: I have a full rich history, before you met me Eric.

[Eric laughing, Sarah giggling]

Brandon: So, I think Tracey’s mode of operation here is going to be to try and entice people to come to him? So, he gets a bigger pool of people to talk to. So, to do that, he’s going to set up a stand...where you have to beat an alligator in chess.

Eric: 100% on board.

Brandon: Are you with me!?

Eric: So on board!! Okay, cool.

Brandon: So, Tracey is going to lay down the chess board on the ground. He’s going to put Tallahassee in front of it. And then stand by and say,

Brandon (as Tracey): [announcing loudly] Hear yee, hear yee. Can you beat this croc in chess?? This gator won the 1998 grand championship! And also, the next years!

Eric: I’ve-

Brandon (as Tracey): [announcing loudly] Come one, come all!

Eric: I have a question and a request.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: One, does Tallahassee know how to play chess?

Brandon: We’re about to find out-

Amanda: Guess we’ll see!

Eric:  Good to know. And two, I want you to make a performance check with advantage, cause this is a very good idea.

[two dice rolls]

Brandon: Good thing I got advantage because the first one was a 3, and the next one...18 -

Eric: Alright.

Amanda: Wow.

Sarah: Nice.

Brandon: Plus 0 for 18.

Eric: Uh-okay, so I think that people are coming up to play Tallahassee in chess.

Amanda: Does Tally take a really long time to make his moves, and just stroke his chin, and then in the meantime, you talk to the person, like hey, nice weather...heard of the Midnight Man?

Brandon: Every 30 seconds, I’m just like,

Brandon (Tracey): Oh, Tally’s just thinking.

Eric: It’s just a croc on a- wow.

Amanda: You have a small hourglass.

Eric: That’s funny. Finale, do you want to add anything on here?

Sarah: Yeah, well, I guess I’ll lurk around also. And maybe in addition, if there are people waiting on line I will talk to them as well-

Eric:  Cool, cool, cool.

Sarah: About the Midnight Man.

Eric:  Brandon and Sarah, make investigation rolls. And Brandon, I’m going to give you advantage because you rolled so well on your performance check.

Brandon: Lovely.

[dice rolls]

[Sarah gasps]

Sarah: I got a natural 20!! WOW-

Eric: EYYY-

Amanda: What?!

Brandon: Okay. Okay. First one is a 9,

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Second one is a 1, so we’re going to go with the 9.

Amanda: Wow.

Brandon: And that’s plus...6, so...15?

Eric: Alright, sounds good. Tracey, while these people are playing against Tallahassee, you’re just going to hit a bunch of people in a row.

Brandon: Yeah, I’m intentionally making sure- well, I’m not intentionally making sure cause you can’t make an alligator do anything- but like-

[Amanda & Eric chuckling]

It’s an alligator. So, it’s not actually playing. So, the queue has just formed, and people are just standing in line, cause obviously there’s no movement at the top of the line. So, I’m just going through the line entertaining people, to make sure that they’re like,

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh my god, did you see that?

Brandon: Like making sure they’re still engaged-

Eric: Sure.

Brandon: And then I’m like,

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh my god, did you see that gator- Hey have you heard of the midnight man?!

Amanda: [giggling] And how’s that working out?

Eric: So, with a 15, I would say you hit like 5 people in a row, 4 of them give the same line that you heard in the bar. It’s like,

Eric (as Queue Dude #1): [bro-ey voice] Oh man, super weird, right!? Ghosts-

Brandon (as Tracey): SO WEIRD-

Eric (as Queue Dude #1): Ghosts are so weirdddd-

Brandon (as Tracey): Ghosts are just like, like there and you’re scared of them.

[Eric laughs]

Eric (as Queue Dude #2): Yeah, ghosts are so spooky. No, I feel like they just show up in people’s rooms, so strange.

Eric: But the last person you talk to confirms the thing about the government building and the museum. The Midnight Man has been seen going into walls of places that are not residential houses.

Brandon: I’m like,

Brandon (as Tracey): This...this museum right here?

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): [nonchalantly] I don’t know man, it’s just a rumor-

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s spooooky...

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): I-I don’t know

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): It is spooky!

Brandon: You ready to lose in chess to a gator?!?

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): I mean...what?? No. I’m going to win, and then take all your money.

Brandon: [excitedly] Yeahhhhh...

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): Weird, I don’t know why you’re excited about that...

Brandon: [teasing] You can try it...

Eric (as Queue Dude #3): Okay. Man, this line is taking a really long time.

Eric: Uh, so then Sarah, Finale goes near the back of the line, it’s actually gotten pretty big now-

[Sarah & Eric laughing]

Because it’s still on the same person. It’s been like 30 minutes of the same person.

Brandon: [yelling] He’s just thinking, just give him a second!!

[giggling in the background]

Eric: Okay, you talk to someone near the back. This is a uh- Halfling woman who is still wearing gloves? And then wearing modern mom jeans and a flannel.

Sarah: Okay. I cross my arms, and sort of like, awkwardly lean down so I can talk to her. I’m like,

Sarah (as Finale): [nonchalantly] Hey, kind of a long line, huh?

Eric (as Halfling woman): I know, I don’t have that much time, I have to be back at work in like 10 minutes.

Brandon (as Tracey): [in the background] OH MY GOD, DID YOU SEE THAT?!

Eric (as Halfling woman): No, I can’t- I’m sooo short. What’s happening up there? I just kinda, just got on this line because it’s a line.

Sarah (as Finale): Uhh, looks like it’s a crocodile, who’s, uh, playing checkers with a bunch of people?

Eric (as Halfling woman): Cool, I guess, yeahhh...That’s, I mean I guess that’s pretty cool- Okay. I hope I get to see it before-

Sarah (as Finale): Anyway…

Eric (as Halfling woman): -before I go back to work.

Sarah (as Finale): Uhh... have you heard of the Midnight Man?

Eric (as Halfling woman): Oh-have I heard of the Midnight Man?

Sarah (as Finale): I know, Right?!?!

Eric (as Halfling woman): Girl, have I-

Sarah (as Finale): [forced] GIRL, HA HA.

Eric (as Halfling woman): heard of the Midnight Man?

Sarah (as Finale): [forced] HAHA. HA HA.

Eric (as Halfling woman): [uncomfortably] Are you okay? Are you-

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah...no..yeah.

Eric (as Halfling woman): Oh man...yeah, the Midnight Man. Listen, I thought the Midnight Man wasn’t real. I thought everyone was just being weird, but like...the Midnight man was at my job.

Sarah (as Finale): [shocked] What?!

Eric (as Halfling woman): Yeah!

Sarah (as Finale): Where did you work?

Eric (as Halfling woman): I mean, I work at the museum right there.

Sarah (as Finale): What wing of the museum?

Eric (as Halfling woman): Yeah, I’m working on the new exhibit- the new Centering exhibit. We got some really cool stuff, and I think the Midnight Man was there.

Sarah (as Finale): Oh my god, what did he do?

Eric (as Halfling woman): Well- I mean, he was just kinda standing there, like a real perv.

Sarah (as Finale): I KNOW, RIIIGGGHT?!?

[Amanda laughing]

Eric (as Halfling woman): I know, he’s so WEIRD! Like, GO HOME!!!

Sarah (as Finale): Why is he going into people’s bedrooms.... SPECIFICALLY?

Eric (as Halfling woman): I thought it was weird for bedrooms-

Sarah (as Finale): [sighs with exasperation] I know!

Eric (as Halfling woman): But now they’re at my job too!!! Like, please leave me alone! Okay, so here’s what happened. Girl-here’s what happened-

Sarah (as Finale): Okay.

Eric (as Halfling woman): So, I was working late, in like-so we have a main museum-

Sarah (as Finale): Mhm.

Eric (as Halfling woman): But then below it, you just take the elevator all the way down which is annoying because there’s no stairs, it’s just an elevator- it’s stupid. So yeah, I was working late, and I had like this artifact that I never- like we were kinda expecting, like just some swords and maybe some like, magic stuff, but there was like this big freaking battery downstairs?

Sarah (as Finale): Uh huh...

Eric (as Halfling woman): It looks like- I know that we talk about batteries, like you know what- you know robots, and all of the mechanics that run here in Infropolis- but this thing was HUGE. And I finally just got the chance to mess with it, and I was trying to like to put a charge in it, and... then the Midnight Man was there. But like- but like in the background. Like I couldn’t-

Sarah (as Finale): Oh my god.

Eric (as Halfling woman): It was so freaky, cause like- they were looking at me- HE, Oh it’s definitely a guy-

Sarah (as Finale): I know right?

Eric (as Halfling woman): Oh god, The Midnight Man was looking at me- behind me, and I was like, Why the hell is he here? I turn around, and he’s gone again. I saw like, a foot, as he walked out through a portal-

Sarah (as Finale): A portal?

Eric (as Halfling woman): The back of his foot on his way out. And I’m like, who do I even tell, [voice pitching] who do you even tell about a specter who’s looking at you like a freakin perv??

Sarah (as Finale): I don’t know...

Eric (as Halfling woman): They just, don’t have the structure for that. I hate it, so like, I’m trying to just try to spend less time there, I thought I’d be cool to see this chess play, but like I just don’t know. I gotta- I have to go back to work. What if he’s there? What if he’s there again?

Sarah (as Finale): Uh-If he’s there, you...punch him.

Eric (as Halfling woman): It was like last night, I‘m still pretty shaken up.

Sarah (as Finale): Yeah, I’m surprised that you came into work today, honestly.

Eric (as Halfling woman): I shouldn’t have-

Sarah (as Finale): I would have been too spooked.

Eric (as Halfling woman): You know I spend a lot of my... personal days, on like music festivals, so like I don’t have a lot left. It’s my- that’s on me really, honestly.

Sarah (as Finale): I know that feeling.

Eric (as Halfling woman): Yeah, it’s true, like look how shaken up- I still have my gloves from inside. It’s- I’m still wearing them.

Sarah (as Finale): What’s your name? I’m Finale by the way.

Eric (as Halfling woman): Oh Finale.

Sarah: I shake her little hand.

Eric: Yeah,

Eric (as Halfling woman): I’m Peel. It’s nice to meet you. Uhh, god- I gotta get back, do you want to take my spot in line?

Sarah (as Finale): [nervously] Yeah, sure. Just out of curiosity, is the big battery still in the basement in the museum over there?

Eric (as Peel): I mean…yeah- it’s like, I shouldn’t be telling you this- I mean, it will come out eventually, in the museum. But we still have to do tests on it and stuff. I really gotta get back to that, but I don’t know- I’m freaked out- should I just not go back to work?

Sarah (as Finale): I mean, uh- maybe take a half day? Maybe go home?

Eric (as Peel): [sighs] Yes.

Sarah (as Finale): Maybe put a bath bomb in?

[Brandon laughing]

Eric (as Peel): That’s true.

Eric: Make persuasion, and I’ll give you advantage cause you started- you got that Nat 20 before.

Sarah: Okay.

Amanda: Because you mentioned bath bombs-

[Brandon chuckles]

Eric: Yeah, because you guys are best friends.

Sarah: I got a 19 for one, and a 6 for two. So that’s 19.

Eric: 19. Yeah, you got it.

Eric (as Peel): Yeah, I’m just going to go home- I’m going to put in a bath bomb, just put some good music on, and chill. They’ll understand. I’m so shaken up- I’ll see ya- I’ll see you later.

Sarah (as Finale): See you around Peel.

Eric (as Peel): See ya…Finn, Finnal.

Sarah (as Finale): Bye. Finale.

Eric (as Peel): Finagle.

Sarah (as Finale): [impatiently] Finale.

Eric (as Peel): Finale, sorry, Finale.

Sarah (as Finale): Like, Like-

Eric (as Peel): It was nice to meet you.

Sarah (as Finale): [annoyed] Okay, goodbye.

Eric (as Peel): I’ll see you around.

Eric: And then Peel walks off...presumably towards home.

Sarah: Alright, I leave the spot in line, and I skip up toward Tracey and I say,


Sarah (as Finale): [whispers confidently] Hey, I got some intel.

Brandon (as Tracey): [announcing loudly] I’M SORRY MA’AM YOU HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE. 

[whispering to himself]

Brandon (as Tracey): Tracey!!

[Amanda laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey):  [quietly] What’d you get? What’d you get?

Eric: Stupid.

Brandon (as Tracey): [still yelling loudly] NO CUTS.

Sarah (as Finale): [quietly] So I talked to this lady who works at the museum and she was touching a big battery in the basement, and then the Midnight Man was there. And then he wasn’t, and he came through a portal.

Brandon (as Tracey): [continues announcing loudly] Yep ‘98 championship grandmaster crocodile. [quietly] Wow that’s super interesting, how do we get in there?

Sarah (as Finale):  [quietly] I think if we’re going to find him we have to go to get in there we have to get into the lower levels. She said there weren’t any stairs, we have to go into an elevator. Which lines up with what Gerald, finger quotes...said earlier.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Ok, ok, ok. [announcing loudly] No, I cannot take your gold pieces, just for this- privilege of seeing this grandmaster chess chess-gator guy- You’ll have to wait in line. [whispering] Alright, we should pack this up.

Sarah (as Finale): How do we end this?

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh-

Sarah: Finale strikes-

[Everyone laughing]

Finale smashes the board with her hand,

Sarah (as FINALE): [screams] CHESS IS A LIE.

[Amanda laughing]

Eric (as disappointed chess contestant): I was going to win, what's happening?!?

Brandon (as Tracey): MADAM

Eric (as disappointed chess contestant): This is all a ruse!

Brandon (as Tracey): MADAM, Madam, let’s take this directly behind this museum.

Brandon: And I pack up the chess set, Tally!

Brandon (as Tracey): Playtime’s over!!

[Amanda, Eric & Brandon laughing]

Eric: Perfect Great, great, Great and good. Let’s go to Inara.

[crickets stop chirping]

[museum crowd talking in the background]

Eric: Okay. Inara, you walk into the lobby, and the first thing you see is a big sign that says, no dogs, no weapons, no teens. Thanks. Museum.

Amanda: Okay, okay, is there an info desk, right when you walk in?

Eric: Yes, there is.

Amanda: So, I’m going to walk up, and [chuckling] I’ll say to the attendant there,

Amanda (as Inara): [slowly escalating in pitch] Uhh, hey. I am, I’m just an innocent student, and I was wondering if I could ask someone here, just a question about museum curation? I just like, I just really want to work in archives- and it’s my first time in the city- and I just, I just- I just love it so much [voice goes up an octave] the work you do is so important- and I just hope that I can just talk to someone really quick?

Amanda: I’m trying to deceive them that I am an innocent teen-

Eric:  I’ll give you deception-

Amanda: And they’ll just be like go ahead- it’s fine-

Eric: I’ll give you deception - that’s fair, that’s fair.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 8 + 9 for a 17.

Eric: With a 17, the receptionist has a newspaper up, so you never even see who it is,

Eric (as receptionist): [gruffly] Yeah, go ahead, the curator is in the back.

Amanda (as Inara): [still high-pitched] Okay, thanks!

Amanda: As I walk past them, I’m going to duck into the bathroom, and transfer Oatcake into my pack. Uh and I’m gonna give her a treat, and give her a little scritch behind the ears and settle her in- under the pack, and then tie it pretty tight- and then hoist it on my back and from there I guess I’ll kinda just walk toward the back of the museum and either listen for the voice that I recognize from the Kenku’s speech, or try to see someone in charge, wearing a blazer, y’know, holding a clipboard, whatever authority things I might see.

Eric: Sure, so as you walk around, you see that a lot of the docents who are leading the final tour groups around, they’re all mechanical. They’re actually a lot more like- toy soldier. They’re very clear, and they’re very good at giving a tour, but it’s like they just kinda walk around-

Amanda: Terrifying.

Eric: Like, from one event to another. And they have different names on their chest to demonstrate the different types of- tours that they are giving-

Amanda: Sure.

Eric: Like one is like high art, one is low art, and one is like beginner’s, one is old people, and that one is particularly loud-

Amanda: Yep.

Eric: But you do see that there is one alive person who is walking around giving a very small tour. A large half-Orc woman, with graying hair, and who has the same voice as what you heard from Gerald the Kenku. The woman is carrying a clipboard, and she has one pair of glasses on, and four pairs of glasses hanging around her neck.

Amanda: Yes.

Eric: And you hear,

Eric (as curator): [softly] And over here, you’ll see our most recent collection. A survey of our country before the concentric states were formed.

Amanda: And what is she pointing to?

Eric: She’s pointing toward a collection of swords, shields, some broken magic wands, there’s a- like a deconstructed trebuchet, which has like scorch marks all over it. You also see that there are like- bits of rusted metal all over. There’s like a whole rusted metal section.

Amanda: Okay. I’m going to join the back of the tour group, and hope that my small size helps me blend in.

Eric: Okay, so at this point she’s kinda stopped, and this is the part where people can like wander, and they’re reading plaques, It’s a very-It’s actually kinda a small group. There’s only like 5 people.

Amanda: Does the curator have a nametag?

Eric: Yeah, the name tag says uh- Miss Morgan.

Amanda: So, I’m going to walk right up to her then and say,

Amanda (as Inara): [excitedly] Oh my gosh, Miss Morgan, it is such an honor to meet you, I am such a fan of your work. I’ve never been here before, but I’ve read about it. And hi, hi. My name is Autumn.

Eric: Uhh, aha...Miss Morgan takes the blue glasses she was wearing before and puts on black cat eye glasses- uh, and she says,

Eric (as Miss Morgan): [calmly] Oh- I, uh- thank you. It’s very nice to meet an admirer of the museum arts. [mumbles] That’s what I call it. Uh thank ya, yes, I can’t believe you were able to make it on the exclusive last-run-of-the-day-tour. It’s nice to see another curator expert.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Yeah, you know museums during the daylight is just a little bit mainstream for me. I like to see it kinda off-hour, uh- when the real pros are here, and you know, and enjoy your work-

Eric (as Miss Morgan, as Autumn): You are making me blush all over.

Amanda (as Inara): [uncomfortable] Uh hahah, oh gosh.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): How can I, how can, Autumn?

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Yes.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): How can I help you?

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): I was actually wondering…what kind of people are really kinda interested in this exhibit? Like, I don’t know if you talked to anyone like, interesting or of note, or if anyone asked any weird questions. I just wanted to know what it’s like to be in charge of an exhibit like this.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Well, y’know, uhhh, everyone comes through here, NIISBNA is the talk of the town if I do say so myself.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): I find so yes, yes.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Everyone comes through here, we actually you know- we actually had two wrestlers who are competing in the match tomorrow, they came through earlier today. Um...

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Oh really? Just to look, and see the sights?

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Yeah, this is the place you have to go if you come into Infropolis. You know- no one else interesting, I would say. I don’t- Were you- are you thinking about someone in particular?

Amanda (as Miss Morgan, as Autumn): No, you know, I just heard these rumors, about that guy that like, breaks into different places. And obviously a museum is so secure, and I just, you know, it sounds kinda silly, but I just kinda wanted to check and make sure everything was okay, so…

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Oh, you, the, the Mid-evening Man? No, we-

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Ahahaha, what a pun!

Eric (as Miss Morgan): That’s the name- Child, dear, That’s the name, dear of that’s the name of the man- He’s the Mid-evening Man.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [confused] Ohhh, I’d heard the more pedestrian phrase, Midnight... Like who says that?

Eric (as Miss Morgan): I well, he comes in the middle of the evening, so he’s called the Mid-Evening Man.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Oh...

Brandon: Brandon, the player, bashes his head in.

[Eric and Sarah laughing heartily]

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Uh, yeah- he has been spotted around these parts, I’ve...There’s no reports saying I’ve not heard anything- that this… man who skulks about in the evening would come around to a museum like this. I’m not sure, uhh- I haven’t heard anything, I’m sorry.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): No, uh, good. No news is good news when it comes to crime, am I right?

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Absolutely.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Yeah.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): We are extremely secure here. This is just basic protocol, that’s why we keep everything that we have that are not out yet, under very strict lock and key. No one even knows where we keep the artifacts other than the people that work here.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Wow, that really make sense. Cool, well I mean, I don’t know, my- I don’t want to hold you for too long. I know you’re probably really busy. But if you- I don’t know, what’s your favorite fact about the Centering? Or the- the pre-Centering times? What do we not hear in school because like you can’t just stop at your school education, am I right? Gotta be a lifelong learner.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Interesting, interesting. Well...actually, I’m kinda a language buff, if I say so myself. But uh, there are all of these records of the, of the Council of Bright’s.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Oh? Huh.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): You know, the uhh- the collection of people that seem to be part of the- a part of- an instigator, in the outset of the uh, Centering. I don’t know, we’ve looked at some documents, and I think Council usually would suggest, now as we talk about it, would suggest a group of people, but there is new evidence suggesting it’s just one person.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Huh...

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Any person can call them self a Council if they believe themselves to have the power of multiple, uh, intelligent people. Ehhh, it’s a working theory, we still need more evidence, I’m sure- but, it’s actually quite interesting to me, the plural and the singular becoming one because one person believes themselves to have such power.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [tiredly] Wow...history is really a living document isn’t it?

Eric (as Miss Morgan): That’s what I always say. Thank you, Have- have... you applied for our internship program?

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [reserved] No, I’m not, I’m- I don’t know. I didn’t- didn’t want to take up the spot of someone who might really be able to contribute a lot.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): You know, I think that you are in fact that person. Now, we don’t- we are just a museum, we don’t pay, we only have a 10-gold stipend per month, unfortunately. But I think that it’s a lot of good experience- we pay in future, something to put on your resume. And the exposure of being someone related to the powers of Isbah. It would be pretty- It would be good, I hope you apply. I’ll keep an eye out for your name.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Yeah, I’ll, I’ll- ask my mom. That sounds really valuable even though it can’t pay for food you know, it’ll pay, at some point...down the line- maybe.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): That’s what we always say in the curation business. It’ll pay, some point, down the line.

[Everyone laughing]

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [shyly] Uh okay, I mean, thanks. Thanks again. I just, I just, Uhh, I. Just thanks. I appreciate it. I’m- this is a lil bit dorky, but- my mom always told me to send thank you cards. Is there somewhere I should address it if I send it to your office?

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Uh you can just ah, put uh, NISBNA as the address and just do care of Miss Morgan Curator and it’ll get to the way- uh get to the place that it should. Thank you.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): Alright, thanks again.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): That is so kind. Autumn… last name? Autumn…?

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [unsure] Breeze…

[laughing in the background]

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Breeze…

Eric: [sternly] Make a deception check.

[Everyone laughing]

Eric: You had it!!!

Sarah: Oh god, your face when you said it!!

Eric: We role played that whole scene and NOW you lost it!

Amanda: Okay…

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 8 + 9 for a 17. GET AT ME!

Sarah: [laughing] Oh my god!

Amanda: I’m a lying little teen!

Eric (as Miss Morgan): Autumn Breeze, I’ll remember that.

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): [quickly dismisses the conversation] Thanks, byeee.

Eric (as Miss Morgan): You don’t want to stay for the rest of the tour?

Amanda (as Inara, as Autumn): That’s okay, I have to go, I’m just awash with knowledge, I’m going to go write my cover letter.

Eric: Alright, cool.

[Crowd stops talking]

[Crickets begin chirping]

Brandon: So, I think Inara runs into both Tracey and Finale, just trying to like skulk one leg at a time in tandem into the museum.

Sarah: [laughing] Yeah.

Eric: I love that.

Amanda (as Inara): Wow, uh, hi guys.

Sarah (as Finale): [quietly] Mm, hey.

Brandon (as Tracey): [shushing] Shhh, we’re skulking.

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] What, what happened- did you learn anything?

Sarah (as Finale): [whispering] Oh my god, YESS.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Alligators can’t play chess.

Sarah (as Finale): [whispering] Besides that…

Eric: And then a helicopter goes by-

[helicopter whirring louder and louder]

Eric: And goes bub bub bub bub bub. And you share all of the [laughing] information-

[Everyone laughing]

[Helicopter whirring stops]

So y'all are all are caught up. What- What’s your plan?

Brandon: Oh, I have a plan

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: What?

Sarah: What’s your plan?

Eric: Oh no.

Sarah: Oh god.

Brandon: Now, if you’ll remember, our good good Tracey Boy, is from the time of the Centering-

Amanda: Tracem.

Brandon: Ish. Or before...

[Amanda and Sarah Ohhs & Aww]

You have a new exhibit-

[Amanda & Sarah continue agreeing]

To offer the museum.

Amanda: That’s a good point.

Eric: Holy shit, I love this-

[Brandon laughing heartily]

So, what, how do you do this?

Amanda: So, I’m going to poke around the back of the museum, the loading dock is usually open, and see if there’s like a dolly or anything kinda laying around.

Eric: Sure, sure, sure.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 12.

Eric: Alright with a 12, you go to the loading dock in the back. Pretty simple, there’s like a garage- type thing, and there’s a door that leads into the back entrance, and a large ramp that leads you to do things like you’re about to do. Inara you-

Amanda: Crimes.

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: [chuckling] Crimes. There is a dolly right at the bottom of the ramp.

Amanda: Cool, so I will grab it with confidence and walk back around to load Tracey on.

Eric: Inara, as you grab the dolly, you hear coming out of the back entrance,

[door slams]

Eric (as museum worker): Ey, I’m holding a lot of boxes. Can you help me out? Is that- someone there...Uhh- I’m holding a lot of stuff.

Amanda (as Inara): [deepening voice] Oh, I’m finishing a delivery, man!

Eric (as museum worker): I mean, listen, that’s fine. But I’m going to drop something, and this stuff is very valuable. Can you help me out?

Amanda (as Inara): [still speaking deeply] Alright, yeah- yeah, sure.

Eric: Okay. Yeah, there’s a Dwarven man whose carrying 4 boxes stacked on top of each other, and it’s taller than he is.

Amanda: Okay, so I’ll grab one.

Eric: Okay.

Amanda: Are they labelled?

Eric: Uh, yeah. This one says heads.

Amanda: [confused] Heads?

[long pause]

[Sarah giggling]

Amanda: So much is happening to me.

[Sarah laughing]

Eric (as museum worker): I just, I know, we’re moving out the other exhibition. And I’m just trying to get this done. I know, I took too much by myself.

Amanda (as Inara): [still making voice deep] Oh, which one was that? I was off for that.

[dice rolls]

Eric (as museum worker): Oh, yeah, we did a survey of all different makes and models of mechanics that we’ve done in Infropolis. It’s been really good and-

Eric: As he’s walking and talking, he walks to the edge of the ramp, and he slips, and he falls over.

Amanda: No!

Eric (as museum worker): [moaning in pain] OOH AHH, OHH AHHHH, Can you just ahhhhhh, oowwww.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh my god. Alright, we’re going to fix this-

Eric (as museum worker): [moaning] Ohhhhh...ahhhh….

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, okay.

Eric (as museum worker): [still moaning] Ahhh….

Amanda (as Inara): Hey, I’m super sorry, why don’t you sit down? I’ll try to find someone. Can I like grab the card or key or something? I just want to run back and get some help.

Eric (as museum worker): [continuing to moan] AHHH, OHHH- If I yell loud enough someone else will come outside- AHH, OHHH OKAY- Help me! Grab the first aid kit from inside!!!

Amanda (as Inara): [sympathetically] I think a shift changed man, I don’t know if anyone is there.

Eric (as museum worker): [continues screaming] Nah, I’ll just keep yelling, it’s fine! AHHHH HELPPPP.  You know, there’s an ice pack inside, and there’s Advil, please just grab that!!

Brandon: Tracey is going to sneak behind-


Eric: Okay

Brandon: These 2 people. Take his glittering chunk of rock-

Brandon (as Tracey): This isn’t going to work

Brandon: [chuckling] And then hands the glittering chunk of rock to Finale.

[Sarah giggling]

Amanda: Character growth.

Brandon: And then mimes, like Head, rock, hit.

Sarah (as Finale): [whispering] I got you Tracey

Eric: Alright Sarah, make a stealth roll please.

Sarah: Yeah

[dice rolls]

Sarah: 18 + 7-

Amanda: WOWWW.

Sarah: -is good enough I think.

Amanda: She’s a ghost.

Sarah: I bash-

[hand slams table]

His head with the rock

Amanda: Bash is a strong verb.

Brandon: Non-lethally bash.

Sarah: I try to non-lethally bash him with the rock, but I do have a very bad reputation for that.

Eric: Okay, So Inara, [laughing] you are looking at this Dwarven man,

Eric: [yelling] OHH! THIS HURTS SO MUCH!

Eric: And then-

[Eric whoomphs]

You see Finale holding one of the glittering rocks from the cavern.

Brandon: What does Finale’s face look like right now in this moment?

Sarah: She looks triumphant.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, okay. Put that away. The crates are already all over the place, so it looks like he fell. Let’s just get moving inside.

Sarah (as Finale): Alright, uh- Tracey, YIP YIP.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t like that at all, but it is not the time to talk about it.

Brandon: Tracey hops abroad the dolly, and sorta stiffens out as if he were the thing he hates- fears most.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: [whispering] A robot. Every 45 seconds he’s going to go,

Brandon (as Tracey): BEEP BOOP.

Amanda: No…

Eric: You’re going to be ON...???

[Eric & Sarah laughing heartily]

Your plan is to be...ON???

Brandon: I don’t know, I can’t decide.

Eric: [laughing] That’s- that’s very funny. Okay.

Sarah: You good look Trace.

Eric: Yeah, I think-

Brandon (as Tracey): BEEP BOOP.

Eric: I think you push him up the ramp, the door from where the Dwarven man walked out of was open because kinda pushed it open while holding the boxes.

Sarah: Mhm.

Eric: Finale wheels Tracey down the hallway, there is a freight elevator at the end of the hallway. You two, [giggling] while wheeling Tracey, hop in, a heavy door slams shut-

[Door slams]

And as you descend, floors and floors down, you hear the light and effervescent sound-

[Mellow elevator music begins]

Of elevator music.

[Mellow elevator music slowly fades out]

Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. Listen, February is not a great month. It’s right in the teeth of winter, Valentine’s Day is fraught, regardless of your relationship status. It’s short, and sometimes it has a leap year, which only reminds you are bad at keeping track of time. So, I say, in this February, just lean into what you love about winter. Wear all of your layers, buy an extra fuzzy blanket, make hot chocolate, or mochas, or hot toddies like every day. This is the winter of your content. Welcome to the midroll. Ohhh look at all the marshmallows!

Hello, hello to our newest patrons! Davin, Maria, Melissa, Jacey Blake, LeedaMaria, Desmond, Noah, Pip, and Blair. You are the torch in the light cave. The support that we need to brave the podcast wilderness and keep making this wonderful podcast. If you want to be the more things in our pack, like an enchanted dagger, or compass, or all of that dang rope, you can join up at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

We are sponsored this week by Shaker and Spoon. Shaker and Spoon is the best cocktail box that only requires that you get alcohol, and they bring everything else. So, this is a time where I update you on all of Brandon’s fancy bar stuff. He now has a sideboard which is kind of like a bar-cart, and it is extremely fancy. It even has a tiny pedestal where he keeps all of his tiny bitters and stuff. And I don’t have any of that so whenever I go and see it, I always go, Ahhh biz, look at your cool tinctures and then Brandon shakes his head, and goes, no that’s incorrect. I need some support to class up my drinking situation, so I turn to Shaker & Spoon. They give you all of the unique supplies to make amazing drinks, and it’s enough to make 4 cups of 3 separate cocktails. All you need is the alcohol, and a reason to make some drinks, which you could probably just make up, just say you made it through the day, and that is enough. Go to shakerandspoon.com/jointheparty and get $20 off your 1st box. That is so much off! Seriously, the boxes are like 50-40-50 dollars, so, that’s like almost 50%, I mean, I don’t know any math, but sounds pretty good. Once again, at shakerandspoon.com/jointheparty for $20 off your 1st box.

Well, I have some breaking news here. We are sponsored this week by Twenty-Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York. I have three words for you. Golden. Girls. Clue. Now, we all love Clue because it gives us a reason to accuse our friends of MURDER, and some of us dearly love the Golden Girls. A sitcom all about older women who crack wise and learn to live together. What would happen if you combine the two? Now this isn’t just some novelty retread, the game actually leans into the silliness of the Golden Girls. We’re looking for a misplaced cheesecake. And you can be distracted by men and shiny things as you play the game. It’s a literal mechanic. In Clue! B. Arthur is there! I don’t know what else you need. Whether you are a Blanche, a Dorothy, a Sophia, or a Rose, you can get your games and puzzles and many many more things at Twenty Sided Store. You can visit them online at twentysidedstore.com or in person in Brooklyn, New York. Just use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY for 20% off. That is twentysidedstore.com, and use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY.

And if you made it this far in the midroll, we would really appreciate it if you recommended us to a friend this week. The best way to grow the podcast is to getting a heartfelt recommendation, so we need our listeners to go out spread the good word. You can do it in person, via text, on an awkward facetime with your parents where they’re holding it sideways but you’re holding it up and it really doesn’t sync up. You can spray-paint it on an unused billboard. Or you can use it on an opening line on a dating app. It’s really happened before, it really works. Just tell someone about Inara, Tracey, Oatcake, and everyone else. We’d really appreciate the help-

[Mellow elevator music begins]

Eric: Alright, let’s get back to the show-

[Mellow elevator music stops]

The elevator door opens up with a satisfied squeak-


and ding-

[sharp ding sound]

And you are in the basement warehouse level. The building doesn’t look like the hallways in the back of the museum anymore. It’s really opened up into a warehouse. About 100 yards in front of you is a freestanding vault, that- it crackles with green energy. In between-

[low humming starts in background]

Amanda: Whaa-What?!

Eric: In between you and the vault is a lot of stuff. There is a very large pillar that is hanging from about 10 feet up. In front of them, is- are some holes in the ground, and there are also, like some mounted crossbows that are all pointing at the ground. Everything is very still as well.

Brandon: Hey, Eric?

Eric: Yeah?

Brandon: Is my danger sense going off?

Eric: N- Actually, that’s actually a good question. No, it’s not.

Sarah: Mm.

[Everyone Oh’s]

Brandon (as Tracey): [questionably] Beep boooop?

[Everyone laughing]

Amanda: I’m going take one of my assassin marbles out of my pack and roll it forward, hoping that it goes as far as possible. It’s not going to get a whole 100 yards but-

Eric: Listen, exactly what this thing is for if you’re talking about assassin marbles. So, you roll the marble across the entire shadow of the column, and nothing happens.

Amanda: I mean- I guess, let’s just go.

Sarah: Hm, Look’s good.

Amanda (as Inara): Trace what do you think?

Brandon (as Tracey): Uhm, You guys are carrying me so…

Sarah (Finale): Nah, Get up big boy.

Brandon (as Tracey): Damn it!

[Eric laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): I was this close!

Eric: Okay, uh, you 3 just speed walk through the entire path-

[Sarah giggling]

[forcefield buzzing sound slowly increases in volume]

You walk into another column, and nothing happens, you walk through the holes, and I want to say that holes are arranged in a 5x5 grid. You just walk through them, and nothing happens you just tip toe around them, And, you’re cool. And then, as you walk past the crossbows, they stay pointed to the ground, and you’re through! And you’re in front of the crackling green energy vault.

Amanda: I’m going to pick my marble up and try to roll it across the forcefield.

Eric: Right. You roll the marble at the forcefield and it goes buzzzzz-

[buzzing sound in distance]

And the marble shoots off 10 feet to the left.

Sarah: Mm.

Amanda: Okay, okay, okay.

Sarah (Finale): You know what I bet is inside that vault? The big battery.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, definitely.

Amanda (Inara): Yeah.

Brandon: I’m going to cast detect magic or do a ritual to detect magic.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Specifically, I want to try to learn, what kind of magic this-

Eric: The forcefield is?

Brandon: -the forcefield is.

Eric: Okay, the force field is similar magic to what you feel was powering Alabaster.

Brandon: If I walk around it, is there any obvious break in the field? Or…?

Eric: Make an investigation check. Does anyone else want to make a check while Brando is doing this?

Amanda: I want to do an investigation check, to see if there are any like, mechanical fail safes, openings, or obvious like on/off switches.

Eric: Dope.

[2 dice rolls]

Amanda: I got a 21.

Brandon: 24.

Eric: Alright.

Amanda: WOWWW.

Sarah: You guys are so good.

Eric: Tracey, you walk around the room to the right, and you’re like following the pattern of energy as it quakes along this green forcefield. And you realize that all the energy is moving toward something. There’s an- there’s an energy source. And you’re going to follow it around. Inara, you also see this- that like, this forcefield is propped up by individual modules. As you walk around the room to the left, you both look up and you’re looking at each other on the back of the vault, there is- what kinda looks like a circuit breaker? There is a panel that is covered in metal, where everything just kinda converges.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do we-

Amanda (as Inara): Uhh-

Brandon (as Tracey): Just try to break the thing, or…?

Amanda (Inara): I feel like maybe try to open it and push a button first?

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh right...this is why we work well together.

Amanda (as Inara): We’re a good team Tracem.

Brandon: Trace uses his ax as a lever just to force open the door.

Eric: You pop it open, inside there is like these two metal bonds that are holding in what looks like an oversized battery. It’s glowing on the inside of this little capsule, and it fills up pretty much the whole right side of the circuit breaker.

Amanda (Inara): Well Trace, you know what they say...sometimes when you see a circuit, you gotta break it.

Brandon (as Tracey): They do say that.

Sarah: Finale wanders over and she says,

Sarah (Finale): [giggling] Hey guys.

[Eric laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh hey. What up Finale? We’re just trying to-

Sarah (Finale): No, yeah. I kinda, context clues.

Amanda (Inara): Uh, do you think if you tried to like put your gloves on, and take this battery out, that you like would die… or just mild shock?

Sarah (Finale): I mean, I don’t think I would die if I had the leather gloves...right?

Sarah: [nervously] Finale puts her leather gloves on…and she touches it…

Eric: [casually] Yeah, it’s cool.

Sarah: [relieved] Okay, cool! I take it out of the thing.

Eric: Alright. Finale, you pop the battery out, and it’s warm in your hand.

Sarah: Wowow.

Eric: And then the forcefield shuts down.

[buzzing sound stops]

Sarah: Alright, I put it in my bag.

[Sarah chuckles].

Eric: Cool. You have one, let’s say large battery.

Amanda: Alright, well Inara is going to kinda jog around the corner to the cage to the front of the vault. And Inara pulls her shadow cowl up over her head and incorporeal floats through the door of the vault.

Eric: Cool, alright. You float through the door of the vault, and you are bathed in fluorescent light. This looks like-

Amanda: Ouch.

Eric: -You know in the bottom of our college library? It just like one of those all closed, no windows-

Amanda: No windows, nothing.

Eric: There are a bunch of batteries strewn about. There’s a white board on one wall. In the middle of the room there’s this large workman’s table. And sitting in the middle of the table, amongst notebooks, and pens, and pencils, and fast food trash is this very, very large version of the battery that you saw. The battery looks like a large bullseye lantern. It’s very large on the top and the bottom, but here’s an energy core right in the center, that is right now, not glowing. But, this is like the great-great-great-grandfather version of the battery you looked at in the circuit breaker. It also has a lot of carvings, and etchings, and like bruises? You know the way that things just get chipped away on an object. This thing’s old.

Amanda: Does... the inside of the door have a handle?

Eric: Yeah…

Amanda: And, am I getting any vibes of like an alarm about to go off.? Do I see any tripwires, or anything like that?

Eric: Nope.

Amanda: Alright, so I will pull my shadow cowl back down and open the door.

Amanda (Inara): Come on in Trace.

Sarah: K. We walk in.

Eric: Okay

Brandon: I walk in behind Finale…

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: Everything’s chill. You’re less worried about something bad happening, and more worried about all the fast food trash [chuckling] that is in this lab.

Amanda: We’re like, what ‘s been happening in here?

Eric: Yeah. How many meals have you eaten in this place?

Brandon (as Tracey): This is not...good…food-

[Eric laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): To be putting into your body…

Amanda (Inara): Okay guys, what do you think we should do?  Uh, Maybe, I don’t know, do we think that the Midnight Man is going to come back and take this? Do we stay and guard it? Do we know what time it is?

Eric: Well, you started the heist thing let’s say...

Amanda: It was 9.

Eric: It was 9ish.

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: So, let’s say it’s 10.

Brandon (as Tracey): We have a good hour and 59 minutes to watch a movie.

[Eric laughing, Amanda chuckles]

-Any flicks that you want to see?

Amanda (Inara): You know what Tracey? I think I do want to see a movie. How about we check out that Weird Council?

Brandon (as Tracey): [excited] That sounds delightful, do we have any popcorn?

Amanda: Uh, I definitely have Oatcake’s- Oh, speaking of which. And I’m going to let Oatcake roam around.

Brandon: I give her a little noogie on her head.

Amanda: Aww...

Eric: Okay So, you’re watching this for…

Brandon: Precisely 1 hour and 59 minutes.

Eric: So, you guys are watching- this thing is pretty long, so you watch it a few times and… Finale, you hear a crackling behind you.

[electricity crackling]

Sarah: I turn to look...

Eric: A portal has just opened

[Sarah gasping]

- in the wall.

[Ominous mood music begins]

Sarah (Finale): GUYSSS

Sarah: I touch them on their shoulders, and go,

Sarah (Finale): [Gasping] THE MIDNIGHT MAN.

Brandon: Tracey scoops up the projector as fast as he can, and-

Eric: And the projector is like flaying on your face.

[garbled noises]

Brandon: ...Turns it off.

[Eric continues laughing]

Amanda: I’m going to scoop Oatcake up and put her in my harness and duck down behind the table.

Eric: At first, it is just a shadowy form that puts one leg out and then another. And you see their dark pants and dark shoes and their dark pompadour. And Tracey and Inara...yeah this is Alonzo-

Amanda: Knew it!

Eric: And he is once again glowing with that weird white aura in which you say him last. And he also has the same pissed face that he had the last time you saw him.

Eric (as Alonzo): [stern] How is it that every single time I wanna to do anything now, you two are along with me? We’re not doing this anymore.

Amanda: I’m going to stand up and put my hand on top of the battery,

Amanda (Inara): Hi, Uhh, what do you need this for?

Brandon: I try to hug Alonzo.

Brandon (as Tracey): [yells] It’s been soooo long!!!

[Sarah laughing]

Eric: He pulls his bows and arrows out and fires one

[whirring sound in background]

At your face, and it flies a few inches to your right.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay. Okay. Let’s calm it down.

Sarah: Finale gets up and she pulls out her long bow and she shoots an arrow at the [laughing] Midnight Man.


Eric: Alright.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, well this is happening…

Sarah (as Finale): He attacked us!

[dice rolls]

Sarah: [laughing] I got a 2 + 4 for a 6.

Eric: The arrow flies, what looks like right towards the Midnight Man’s face, and he grabs it out of the air.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay, okay everyone, let’s calm it down for just 2 seconds, we’re just-we’re all friends here.

Eric (as Alonzo): [more angrily and distorted] GET. OF. THE. WAY.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well, I’m not going to do that. And Inara is not going to do. And we do have a new friend is capable of killing you. Why don’t you stop, listen, and let’s talk through this?

Amanda (Inara): Alon, you can open with an apology for shooting me in the arm? Uhm, that would be fine.

Eric (as Alonzo): Or… I could just take the battery and go.

Amanda (Inara): Or you could tell us what kind of mission you think you’re on that you can handle by yourself?

Eric: Alonzo opens his mouth to give like a witty retort back, and it’s like he forgot for a second, like he forgot what he was going to say,

Eric (as Alonzo): [confused] I JUST…NEED THE BATTERY. I NEED IT.

Amanda (as Inara): Who is making you do this? This is not you.

Eric (as Alonzo): ME. This is just-just obviously it’s just me.

Eric: And you see the bright white aura around him gets brighter.

Amanda (Inara): Is this Automa? Who is making you do this?

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you need-do you need our help? Are you in control right now?

Eric (as Alonzo): I- uhhhhhh-

Amanda (Inara): Whatever’s happening, is not too big for the 3 of us, but it is too big for you.

Eric (as Alonzo): [disoriented] I- don’t- I mean- I no... Uhhhhh. I just-I got-I NEED the battery.

Eric: And Alonzo tries to run past the 3 of you to get the battery. Everyone make a dexterity roll.

[3 dice rolls]

Sarah: [giggling] I got a 5.

Brandon: I got a 4!

Sarah: 5 + 4 is 9.

Amanda: 13.

Eric: Alright. Alonzo lunges for the battery, and he’s too fast for Tracey and Finale, but you already have a hand on that thing. So, you snatch it away. And uh-

Amanda: I’m going to like drop and roll with it-

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Under the table to be on the other side of the table as him.

Eric: Okay,

Eric (as Alonzo): I NEED IT. AND I’ll take it, I’ll take it from you if I have to!

Brandon (as Tracey): Finale, if you can distract him, I can tackle him down. You can still have all the money, it’s fine.

Sarah: Distract him how?

Brandon (as Tracey): I don’t know, don’t you have like-

Sarah (Finale): Do you want me to attack him? You seem like you know him,

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I mean, he’s being a jerk, just don’t hurt him.

Sarah (Finale): [nervously laughing] So, we’ll see how this goes.

Brandon (as Tracey): Just don’t hurt him.

Sarah: I put myself between Inara and Alonzo, and I twirl my short swords in my hands, and I say,

Sarah (as Finale): [confidently] Let’s dance buddy!

Eric: Alright, do an attack roll.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: While she is getting prepped for this, I’m going to prep my long arms, I’m going to try and grab his ankle, and just like sweep his feet out, and see if I can reel him in.

Amanda (Inara): This doesn’t just affect you anymore. This is about all of us. My life is getting messed up because of things that are happening to you. [short pause] Please let us help.

Eric (as Alonzo): Everything’s changing, it’s not just my life. It’s all going to change for the better. YOU’LL SEE.

Eric: Alonzo tries to push past Finale.

[dice rolls]

Sarah: 18 + 4 is like 22, right?

Eric: Yeah, you got him-

Sarah: I don’t know how to math.

Eric: No, you got him. Alright, do your short sword attack.

Sarah: Yeah, so that’s one D6 and one D8.

[dice rolls]

Sarah: That’s 4 & 3 for 7.

Eric: Nice. Alright, roll again to attack him.

[dice rolls]

Sarah: That’s an 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

Eric: Okay, you hit with the first one, and that’s-that’s the electricity one.

Sarah: Mm, I try to sweep it around his legs to incapacitate him.

Eric: Okay, I think that you end up, because you’re not good at this, you end up slicing at his leg a little bit, but then like a crackle of electricity bursts off of your sword. Oh, I gave Finale electric swords.

Sarah: ...I have electric swords.

[Sarah laughing]

Amanda: That is very cool.

Eric: I will say Inara, since you are holding the battery, you feel like it got warm for a second when the electricity went off. And Tracey, you see that those batteries that are scattered around on the table, you also see that.

Brandon: I don’t feel any different, do I?

Eric: Tracey, you feel very, very drawn to the battery. I want you to make an intelligence saving throw.

Brandon: [confidently] 18 + 3 for 21.

[Everyone whoop-whoops]

Very smart.

Eric: Alright. You feel drawn from your metal bones to touch the battery, and you shake it off, but as you do so, you have like this moment of clarity. And you have this moment of being 25 feet tall. And you are stomping through a city. And you see buildings under-foot, and people are running away from you. And there is just destruction in every direction.

Brandon: Within this vision, if I look down, do I recognize my own arms? Or is it someone else’s arms?

Eric: Not, it’s someone else’s arms. It’s like these big, oversized hands. And then you’re all the sudden, you’re back in the room.

Brandon (as Tracey): [spooked] Ooookay.

Brandon: Tracey recomposes himself, takes aim at Alonzo’s legs with his long arm of the law. And fires.

Eric: Okay, we’re going to do a strength contest.

[3 dice rolls]

[long pause]

Eric: What do you got?

[nervous laughter]

Amanda: They’re staring at each other.

Brandon: 15 + 3 for 18.

Eric: Well I got much lower than that. So, you’re able- you shoot the long arm of the law at Alonzo’s right foot, and you pull his feet from under him and he falls to the ground.

Brandon: Great.

Amanda: Inara is going to put the battery down behind her and run forward to try to tie Alonzo’s wrists together.

Eric: I’m going to make a dexterity contest for that.

[2 dice rolls]

Eric: What’d you get?

Amanda: [disappointed] I got a 1…

[Sarah chuckling]

Eric: I got a 20.

Amanda: Well, I’m going to attempt to make a loop out of my rope so I kinda can toss it over one of his arms, But, when I try to throw it forward, I undershoot, and it falls next to him instead of on top of his wrists.

Eric: Okay. When you drop the rope. This is the perfect opportunity for Alonzo to make his move. So, Alonzo pulls 3 arrows out of his quiver. And he fires each of them in succession at all 3 of you, and all 3 of them hit.

[dice rolls]

[Eric chuckles]

As each arrow hits you in the chest, you feel like you’re being pushed over by an unstoppable force. And, each of you are blown back 10 feet. You topple over chairs. You kick over the- all the trash that is strewn around this room. All of you take 14 points of damage.

Amanda: I can do a dex saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Sarah: My body hurts.

Eric: As the 3 of you pick yourselves up, you’ve been tossed aside by these arrow blasts, you see Alonzo scoop the battery up and start running out the vault door. As he steps out, the battery in his hand glows a bright green, the cross bows come alive, and train their sights on Alonzo.

[Ominous music fades out]

[theme music]

Eric: Join the Party is co-produced by Brandon Grugle, Amanda McLoughlin and me, Eric Silver. Special thanks to our creative consultants, Heddy Hunt, Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, and Mischa Stanton. Our visual design is by Alyson Wakeman, the art mom, and our transcripts are by Nicolle - with two Ls - Siegart.

Amanda: The party doesn't stop here. The day after each episode comes out, we publish the Afterparty, where we sit down to discuss what just happened, learn what could have happened, and answer your questions.

Brandon: You can keep the party going by following @jointhepartypod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ve also got merch, music from the show, and transcripts for every episode on our website jointhepartypod.com. And you can email us at hello@jointhepartypod.com.

Eric: For even more Join the Party goodness, check out our Patreon. By becoming a patron, you get access to a wonderful community in our Discord, exclusive merch, character backstories, bloopers and so much more. That’s at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

Brandon: Another great way to help the show is to recommend Join the Party to a friend. Get them caught up fast by sending them the link to our start page, which contains the beginner episodes for those new to D&D and our plot recaps, at jointhepartypod.com/start.

Amanda: Join the Party is a founding member of Multitude, an audio collective and consultancy. Type “Multitude” into your podcast app to subscribe to the fantastic other shows in our collective, HORSE, Potterless, Spirits, and Waystation. Or find out more about us and access our resources for podcasters at multitude.productions.

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