48. Hunting Party IX

With the body Alonzo encased in the anti-magic bubble, the party has to deliver the prince and his energy doppelgänger to Concentra. It will definitely go well. Tracey suffers for suffrage. Inara makes a move. Alonzo speaks for himself.

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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Editing assistance by Jeff Brice

- 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: The party prepared for an empty arena match, and they’re gonna get one. The Council of Bright showed up fully possessing Alonzo’s body, with a trio of scrap metal titans in tow.

Eric (as Alonzo): Alright. [sighs] I knew when I told myself I was gonna do it this time, I wasn't gonna make nearly as many quips. [getting fired up] This is ON. Titans let's GO!

Eric: The party pulls out all the stops as they throw Rust potions, robotic servants, and a giant badger at their opponent.

Amanda: [yelling in excitement] I REMEMBER!! I REMEMBERED!!!!!

Julia: Oh. My. God.

[Everyone yells in disbelief]

Eric: Oh no!!!

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: Finally, Inara gets a clear shot with the Neutralizer. She encases the Council of Bright in an anti-magic bubble, which forces the Council out of Alonzo’s body. Now, he exists as a clone made fully out of light energy.

Amanda (as Inara): [with determination] This is for Alonzo.

Eric: Who has two bodies and one of them it trying to take over the world? This guy. Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

Eric: Inside the Electroshack, Casey is fiddling with the circuit breaker. All of the lights in the Electroshack have gone off, which has never happened before, because they're supposed to be a generator. And he hears the distinct sound of something extremely heavy being rolled up the ramp in front of the strip mall in which the Electroshack is stationed.

Brandon (as Tracey): [screaming] LEFT!!! LEFT!!! PIVOTTT!!

Amanda (as Inara): Which left Tracey?! We've been over this!!

Brandon (as Tracey): [still screaming] THE ONLY LEFT!!!

Eric: Casey looks up from the circuit breaker which is underneath the front counter and slams his head, as always, and dazed, comes up above and sees Tracey and Inara pushing this oversized hamster ball containing a beautifully coiffed young man and an exact replica of that beautifully coiffed man, but created entirely out of crackling energy.

Alonzo has been frequently banging on the walls of the anti-magic bubble trying to get out, while also trying to keep his feet. As you've been pushing him from Jersey Mike's Arena back to the Electroshack, while the replica of Alonzo created entirely in light, is just like keeping his footing? As you roll, he takes one patient step forward. And even as you jostle him from left to right, he always holds his balance.

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled pleads] GUY - GUYS! GUYS? Please - I don’t like - I’m getting really dizzy right now! Please! Can you help me out, please? I - I’m [laughing to himself] I’m so tired...I can’t keep my footing.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you see a door?! Do you think we know how to get you out of here?

Amanda (as Inara): Do you think -

Eric (as Alonzo): [interrupting, still muffled] YES!!! I don’t know how to get out of here!

Amanda (as Inara): Do you think that our best plan was to roll a giant amber ball of crackling energy with one, nay, two men in it, through the streets? [short pause] That wasn’t our best plan, it was not!! If there were a better way to do this, we would be!! Also if you remembered anything that that silhouette did while possessing you, you would be a lot less cavalier about unshackling - un-bubbling him.

Eric (as Alonzo): Oh no, I’m not talking about that, that’s a great plan. [chuckling] I just don’t want to be in here with an exact replica of myself. You two, great job! So happy you saved me. Honestly, I know that it doesn’t sound like I’m thankful...

Brandon: I don’t think that’s Alonzo…

[Amanda chuckles]

Eric (as Alonzo): I’m very thankful, please!! [sighs] PLEASE! Please let me out. Please! Plea - please!! Please…

Brandon (as Tracey): Look, I…

Eric (as Alonzo): Please...I really don’t - please.

Brandon (as Tracey): Look, we’re going to let you out soon, just relax. Um...Just...

Eric (as Alonzo): [frustrated] Uh, yeah. I’ll just lean - lean into my...

[Tracey shushes]

Amanda (as Inara): I'll show you the scar that your body inflicted in my shoulder later. For now, we're going to go meet our friend and she knows what to do.

Brandon (as Tracey): Is there like a doorbell we ring? Is there a...

Amanda (as Inara): [yells] CASEY!!

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh right, that.

Eric: [chuckles] And, Casey comes out and opens the door and the sound of the door opening still goes off. It goes...

[door chimes]

Amanda: [laughing] Is that just powered by ghosts?!

Eric: Yes.

[Brandon chuckles]

Amanda: Okay. Or I suppose Amanda, a physical bell.

[All chuckling]

Brandon: It is a physical bell, but the robot that touches the bell is mechanical. So...

Amanda: Yes.

Eric: Yeah, it pops down. And goes, “It's a living!”, and pops back up.

[All chuckling]

Amanda: Oh god.

Eric: Casey says,

Eric (as Casey): Hello. Welcome to Electroshack! How may I service...your computer?

Brandon (as Tracey): Casey that’s not what you…[sighs] get out of the way.

Eric: Casey gets out of the way.

Brandon (as Tracey): [annoyed] Thank you.

Amanda: Yeah. And if there are any like floor displays or something that's less than, I don’t know, 8 feet wide, you better give us some clearance room. We’re rolling this through to the back.

Eric (as Casey): [short pause] Yeah, go ahead. I don't really care about any of these things. I'm a very bad employee, as you can tell from everything. I'm just here all the time.

Amanda: Inara stops and puts her hands as far as she can reach on Casey, probably - probably just shy to the shoulders.

Eric: Mhm.

Amanda (as Inara): Casey, you are just good at other things. For now, stand back.

Eric: Yeah. Oh, Casey’s [laughing] Casey’s been backing up immediately. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Casey...has no backbone.

Yeah, Casey’s all the way on the other side. He's - He's like hopped up on the counter and is just like watching you guys push through. And um, vault in the back is wide open.

Amanda: We continue to roll the bubble back toward the door. We may take a chunk out of the cinderblock wall as we do so. But, you know, it’s gotta happen.

Brandon: If there's one place where I know how to get supplies to fix a wall, it's Electroshack. I don't think I know what they sell…

[Eric & Brandon chuckling]

Amanda: Uh...

Eric (as Casey): Uh, neither do we!

[Amanda laughing heartily]

That’s the new ad campaign for Electroshack.

Eric: [singing a jingle] Electroshack! Who knows what we sell?

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: [excitedly] Come find out...Electroshack!

[Brandon still laughing]

Eric: Tell us what you need!

[door chimes]

Eric: Hey! Someone close the door! Close the door! It keeps the - it keeps opening with the wind.

Amanda: [imitates automation] Door...open.

[Eric imitates a door chime]

Brandon: [chuckling] This is an oddly long commercial.

[Amanda & Eric laughing heartily]

There’s just 60 extra B-roll seconds of the door opening.

Amanda: Brandon, and they don't sell editing software! How many times you have to tell you, it was just one shot?!

All right...Is Franny there?

Eric: Yeah. So as soon as you get the anti-magic bubble in through the vault, Franny is sitting in her big chair, knitting furiously, sipping on some Undying Light juice, and she goes,

Eric (as Franny): Oh, great. I was really worried you weren't going to get back to me. I thought you were gonna hit me on the jewelry bag communicator. Uh, and I was definitely wearing clothes. So...you could have done it.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, yep. Thank you for reminding me of that exchange we had. Um, but no, seriously, Franny, I doubted you. But this worked out. Thank you for helping us.

Eric (as Franny): Yeah, listen. That's why we're best friends. Uh, just roll them down here.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers under breath] We’re not best friends.

[Eric laughs]

Brandon: Tracey rolls the ball down the hill...

Eric: No, she just like clomps down the stairs. Like a terrible slinky.

Amanda: We should uh, put it on top of that bed that you did not like it.

Brandon: Yeah, maybe it's demolishes the bed a little bit?

Amanda: Maybe?

Brandon: Maybe just the whole thing...

Amanda: Maybe it collapses into dust.

Eric: [chuckling] That's weird. That's exactly what happens.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, oh! Oh no. So sorry. [whispers] Oh send me the bill.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers to himself] Sweet, sweet revenge.

Eric (as Franny): That's fine. I don't really...I sleep standing up.

Amanda (as Inara): [uncomfortably] Uh, okay...

Eric: Franny walks up to the anti-magic bubble and puts her hand on the front. And Alonzo immediately puts his hand where Franny’s hand is.

[Amanda chuckles]

Franny’s hand is like twice the size. There's a cinematic pop swell of music behind it.

[Swell of pop music starts]

Eric: And Franny’s like,

[Swell of music stops]

Eric (as Franny): [short pause] Gross.

Eric: And she looks at the energy version. And the energy version turns his head towards Franny and just like, looks at her.

Eric (as Franny): Well, I'm super glad we put this in an anti-magic bubble or we would have some serious problems.

Amanda (as Inara): What...is this? We know they're the Council of Bright but without the body there, what is left?

Brandon (as Tracey): And can we get Alonzo out without getting the Council out?

Amanda (as Inara): We could totally kill the Council, by the way, super open to that possibility. In fact you could say it’s the preferred outcome.

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled] Yes, please get me out. I would love to get out of this!

Eric: And the energy side speaks up as well, like,

Eric (as the Council of Bright): [speaking somewhat robotically, muffled] Yes, yes! Get me out of here, I would love that. A lot. Thank you. Obviously, I'm in a place where I’m going to be let out. And I'm not just going to be trapped in this bubble forever. So, great! Please do! I would love that.

Brandon (as Tracey): [tentatively] We’ll think about it...

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, yeah, no. Your mind magic doesn't work here, buddy. Once you're out of our friend Alonzo, you got no power.

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled] Yeah. Listen. Where are...I'm glad we're still friends. I would, honestly. Please let me out. I - [laughing to himself] I hate it in here. This is weird. This is so weird, please let me out.

Brandon: Tracey pats the bubble a bit.

Eric (as Franny): Alright, well it seems like we have one of two options. Either we leave them in there forever. Or...we let them both out. I...this anti-magic bubble is kind of a one-in, one-out, kind of thing.

Brandon (as Tracey): So we have until Alonzo starves...to make a plan?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah...4 or 5 days, I think?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I think a week is...I think maybe. How long can you last without water? Couple days. Who knows?

Amanda (as Inara): We’ll see.

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled] Listen, I have this thing, where I need to drink water a lot. I love drinking water. It’s - it’s like people know me. It’s like I always have a flask on me and I always have water in it. So not long...

Brandon (as Tracey): That seems like something you're adding to your character...

[Eric & Brandon laughing]

Eric (as Alonzo): [chuckling, muffled] I’m super - I’m super into water!

[Eric & Brandon still chuckling]

Eric: Franny sits back down in her big chair and she opens the drawer to the side table and she rummages around in it for a long time. And she gets like her whole arm in there. Like way deeper than you think it should go.

Amanda: Oh no...

Brandon: Why does she always do this?

Eric: Because she's a hag, Brandon!

Brandon: I just - I just, it's uncomfortable.

Amanda: Do they give you your bag of holding side table when you become a hag? Or is it more like it comes to you?

Eric: You have to carve it…[chuckling] you have to whittle it yourself. Out of a dead tree at dawn.

Amanda: Yeah! Under which you build your home.

[Brandon chuckling]

Eric: Yeah.

Eric (as Franny): Alright. Well, listen. I'm going to do only...err...we're kind of pushed to extreme circumstances here and I am way out of my depth. So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to send a message to the only person who I think can actually take care of this. You might know - I don't know if you know…[stumbling] I got I got some other...you're not my only friends, c’mon. Brandon (as Tracey): Tell her to bring bagels please.

Amanda (as Inara): Like - like more than you think you should. Think about how many you need: double that and then like, round to the next dozen.

Eric (as Franny): [chuckling] Oh, you also know The Speaker?

Brandon (as Tracey): Three dozen bagels, please.

Eric (as Franny): I will put that in my - I will put that in my message.

Amanda (as Inara): At least. She kinda owes us.

Eric (as Franny): Oh, absolutely. So I will...

Brandon (as Tracey):  Multiple cream cheeses. Multiple kinds.

Amanda (as Inara): Maybe even croissants and muffins on the side, you know?

Brandon (as Tracey): And fresh squeezed orange juice.

Amanda (as Inara): Definitely fresh fruit. Kind of a balanced meal. Growing girl.

Brandon (as Tracey): And also waffles.

Eric (as Franny): I will take all that down. In my head. I have this pneumonic device where I remember foods that humans eat.

Brandon (as Tracey): How does that go?

Eric (as Franny): It’s my own...it's archaic. It’s from the Necronomicon. Don’t talk about...don’t worry about it.

[Brandon chuckling]

Uh, it’s the planets.

[Eric laughing, breaking]

Amanda (as Inara): Which are the planets again?

Eric (as Franny): It's the Necronomicon plus the planets.

Amanda (as Inara): But - but which are the planets? Like which solar system.

Eric (as Franny): Oh, there’s like planet 1 through 10.

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda (as Inara): Yep. Planet 3.

Eric (as Franny): There’s Galaxatron.

Brandon (as Tracey): [pretending to understand] Ohh….

[Eric laughing]

Eric (as Franny): So I'm going to send a message to the only person I think you can take care of this. I think The Speaker needs to know and she can escalate from here. I don't want to alarm you, but I think this might go up the chain. This is a, a pretty big deal. I think we're gonna have an emergency meeting.

Eric: So Franny pulls her arm out of her side table, and she has this like lavender sparkly paper. And she also pulls out like a really sharp bone of some sort? In an inkpot, and she dips the bone into the inkpot, and starts scribbling down something on the lavender paper.

Franny folds up the paper into a paper airplane. And she throws it in front of her and about 3 feet forward, it kind of poofs into thin air and disappears.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, that’s pretty cool. I’ll give you that one.

Eric: And she waits a - about 30 seconds. She gets a poof back in the same spot, and it's a different paper airplane. This one is blue now. She opens it, reads it, crumples it up into a little ball and throws it over your shoulder. And it disappears behind her.

Eric (as Franny): Alright. We’re going to Concentra. We're going the only way I know how.

Eric: She moves the throw rug out of the way and there's a secret hatch.

Brandon: [quietly] Oh my god.

Eric: She opens it up. And you can see there's a slide spiraling downwards.

Amanda (as Inara): If this goes to Döove and Böosters, I swear to Adamah...

Eric (as Franny): [long pause] Mayyyybeee?

Brandon (as Tracey): [annoyed] Franny...

Eric (as Franny): I’m a rewards club member.

[Brandon chuckles]

I get twice as many wings.

Brandon (as Tracey): Is that the Böoster Club?

Eric (as Franny): [giggling] It is the Böoster Club.

[Amanda joins in laughing]

Eric: Uh, Inara. I want you to roll a d20.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 15.

Eric: Okay with a 15, as Franny opens the hatch to the slide, Oatcake comes back!

Amanda: [pleasantly surprised] Oh!

Eric: And she goes back and she has the stick in her mouth. But also behind it, she has a robot arm.

Amanda: Uhhhh, I lean forward, grab the robot arm from over her shoulders and say,

Amanda (as Inara): Oh! Was this a scary attack thing or more of a cool findy thing?

Eric: [chuckling] She nuzzles your leg. And as you're holding the robot arm, it like, jumps out of your arms and lands like, on its fingers. And like starts skit around on the floor.

Amanda: Uh, Inara yelps, not going to lie.

Amanda (as Inara): Franny, what is that?!

Eric (as Franny): [nonchalantly] Robot arm. Looks like it.

Amanda (as Inara): Is it sentient?

Eric (as Franny): Uh, probably if it’s skittering around on the floor. I mean, check, there should be controls on the top of it?

Amanda (as Inara): I lean over and look for some kind of stop button or power switch.

Eric: Yeah, so on the, uh like there's a stump, where as it gets close to the elbow, and instead of just like wires and stuff, it's flat, and has a little panel on it. There's a dial with three modes. It's off, attack, and scout. So you can use this if you need to jump on someone or you need it to like skitter around for you.

Amanda: So that means it’s on scout right now?

Eric: [chuckles] Yeah, it’s on scout right now.

Amanda: I will flip the dials off. And stow it in my pack.

Eric: So now you have a robot arm.

Amanda: Oh, okay.

Eric: There you go.

Amanda: Now I have that image in my head.

Eric: There you go.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, so how exactly are we going to get the bubble down there?

Eric (as Franny): Oh, you know that's a really good point.

Eric: Franny leans down to the open hatch and she just like pushes on either side and it just like expands. Like a sliding door.

Amanda: Great.

Eric (as Franny): Last one down there doesn't get to play any games! [yells in excitement while sliding] Weeeee!!!

[Continued yells slowly get quieter, long pause, with a short wee!]

[Brandon & Eric laughing]

Brandon: Tracey goes over to the ball and starts pushing it to the trap door.

Brandon (as Tracey): Inara, do you want to get on my shoulders?

Amanda (as Inara): I think I would.

Amanda: So I'm going to scoop up Oatcake. Put on the pack. And uh, I guess Tracey can sit on the edge and I'll jump up on his shoulders.

Brandon: And then we slide down the slide...excruciating slowly.

Eric: [laughing heartily] Like holding each side so it stops? That sucks.

Brandon: Like a toddler does.

Eric: [still laughing] I hate it.

Amanda: Oatcake licks the side of the slide. And you just see drool very slowly collecting.

[Eric continues laughing while Brandon & Amanda chuckle]

Eric: So extremely slowly, you get to the bottom and you land, once again, in a giant ball pit. As you kick the balls around, you are back in Döove and Böosters, but this Döove and Böosters feels different than the last time you were here?

[arcade sounds and music in background]

Like there's a lot less people in it. I don't know if you've been in like a happy place when it's like abandoned, but it's like extra spooky?

Amanda: [laughs] Uh...only my heart, Eric!

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: Like no one's around but like everything is like fuchsia?

Brandon: Like a spooky ghost carnival.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Amanda: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, right before you get murdered in a spooky happy lit site.

Eric: Yeah, exactly, exactly. Oh, no. All the lights are on all the sounds are going...

Amanda: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The worst.

Eric: Yeah, there's still like a few kenku who are walking around, like, doing small maintenance on the - on the games. And there's still one lone pimply teenager who's their manager. But like, there is like nobody there.

Brandon: And the kenku’s necks turn 180 degrees around to greet us.

Amanda: Yep.

Eric: Yeah, that’s what happens!

Brandon: Oh, okay.

Eric: And they're going about their business, but you can see that Franny is already parked at the bar with the giant ball next to her and she has two pina coladas, one in each hand. And like a really like a really, really large basket of wings.

Brandon: Right.

[Amanda giggles]

Eric: [chuckles] Like a bucket of wings.

Amanda: Inara taps Franny on the shoulder,

Amanda (as Inara): I'm sorry, I hate to get between a girl and her wings. But, um, I especially I love being here in a nice and festive environment, totally not spooky at all now that no one is here. Uh, can we kind of get a move on? I kinda want to get Alonzo out of there, he’s kinda looking a little bit sweaty.

Eric: Yeah, Alonzo is just like [chuckles] trying to step around the energy version of himself like all around and the Council of Bright is just like looking at him no matter where he goes.

Eric (as Franny): Yeah, you know we'll get - we'll take care of it. The elevator that takes us up to Concentra, it takes - it takes a really long time to come all the way down here and then pass through dimensions and comes even farther.

So just like, take a load off, 20 minutes tops, it will be there. I have a - I have one of those like buzzer pager things.

Eric: [laughing] She holds it up. Weird. It says Jersey Mike's on it? And she's like,

Eric (as Franny): Oh, I brought this home. But this is the one that I use. They'll tell me when it when it's ready. But you guys don't like walk around have fun. Also don't tell them that I smuggle - smuggled in some hooch.

Eric: She takes a flask out and she pours [laughing] Undying Light into her pina coladas. And they like close a little bit? And then she's like,

Eric (as Franny): I also brought my own straw.

Eric: And she brought the silly straw from before.

[Amanda chuckling]

And it’s very good.

Amanda (as Inara): Alonzo, hang in there, we’re just going to case the joint a little bit.

Eric (as Alonzo): [hesitantly, muffled] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Good, good, good.

Amanda (as Inara): Oatcake, stay.

Amanda: And Oatcake stays next to the bubble, panting up at Alonzo. She kind of noses it but cannot get in.

Eric: Alonzo puts his hand, he’s like. I want to touch the dog. And you can also see that the Council of Bright is like, gesturing, at all the games. He points at the Pop a Shot. And he like, flicks his wrist at it. And you can see like, the timer goes out for a second and then it comes back really quickly. And then he like points at the skeeball, and like it shuts down for a second and then it comes back up.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, Franny, does this anti-magic bubble like have an expiration date on it?

Eric (as Franny): Listen, it goes up to level 10? I don't know. It goes as high as it goes as it goes. I mean, it's supposed to shut everything down.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay...So no magic except for controlling skeeball that's good to know.

Eric (as Franny): I listen, it was only happening for a half a second and it's fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, okay. Tracey let’s walk away.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah...um best friends share wings.

Eric (as Franny): Oh, you can have some. They’re just like honey.

Brandon (as Tracey): They’re just honey?

Eric (as Franny): Yeah, just Honey.

Brandon (as Tracey): Just honey on chicken wings.

Eric (as Franny): Yeah, super good! I ordered it...yeah, it’s my secret menu.

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m making a pizza.

Eric (as Franny): Alright. You can have as many as you want. I like the drummies though. So you can have all the flaps.

Amanda: Inara just gestures 3 fingers at the bartender, [giggling] meaning 3 buckets of wings.

Eric: [chuckling] 3 buckets of wings…

Brandon (as Tracey): [yells] And a pizza please!

Eric: Uh, there’s a kenku behind the bar. And the kenku makes the sound of um, bacon frying in a pan.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh! That smelled good kind of.

Eric: The Council of Bright pipes up and says,

Eric (as the Council of Bright): [muffled] Smell is the sense of memory.

Brandon (as Tracey): [nervously] Okay, we're going to go play games. That was not good…

[Eric laughs mightily]

Amanda (as Inara): Aw, I want to throw up, okay.

Eric (as the Council of Bright): The olfactory gland…

Brandon (as Tracey): [stopping him] Stop! Stop…

Eric (as the Council of Bright): It will…

Brandon: [interrupting] No!

Eric (as the Council of Bright): Be…

Brandon: [interrupting] Nope!!

[Eric laughing]

Eric: You guys can play whatever games you want like the last time you were here. You can also just kind of poke around and talk to whoever you want. There are as many games as might be in a Dave and Busters. There's also the prize counter.

And then on the far side, I guess what you just didn't notice before. There's like an old timey elevator like with the gate in front of it? And there's nothing there at the moment.

Brandon: Eric, is this Döove and Böosters big enough to have you know, a child sized roller coaster inside of it?

Eric: You know in my head? No. But Dungeons and Dragons? Yes. The answer is yes.

[Brandon laughing]

It costs 10 tickets.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: It's called the Child's...Dream...Palace.

Eric: It just has like a really small loop de loop in it?

Brandon: Yeah, cause kids love that.

Eric: They do they love thrills!

Brandon: Okay, okay.

Amanda: I'm going to head over to the elevator. Is there an elevator attendant by any chance?

Eric: Yeah. Why don’t you roll a d10?

Amanda: This is my first time rolling a d10.

Eric: What?! Wow.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: I got a 9.

Eric: Okay, yeah. You walk over to the elevator and it doesn't look like it’s being manned by anybody. But as you get closer you like your vision of it gets like a little wobbly. And as you step closer, closer to it, you're like 5 feet out and then you feel something cold.

Amanda: I look down.

Eric: It doesn't look like anything’s there. Why don’t you make a Perception check?

[dice rolls]

Amanda: Um, I guess I'm really icked out. I got a 5.

Eric: You, uh pull your foot back. And you don't know what you just touched.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, hey. Anyone out there? I just have a question about this cool elevator.

Eric: You see that the air in front like wiggles a little bit? And you hear,

Eric (as Elevator Attendant): [enthusiastic and robotic] Hello! I am elevator attendant! It is so nice to meet you. My name is Joshua. Welcome to Elevator to Concentra!

Amanda (as Inara): [confused] Oh - oh hey, Joshua good to meet you! I’m Inara, this is my second time here but my first time meeting you. Uh, I'm so sorry if this is an insensitive question but I - I can’t actually see you. May I ask that I can just say hi, to a face?

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] Hello I'm right here! You can just grab something from the bar!

[long pause]

Amanda (as Inara): Sure!

Amanda: I’m going to walk over, open up the garnish container and grab a huge, hunkin fistful of cherries, eat only half and, then bring the rest over. I have like 8 stems sticking out of my mouth all at once.

Eric: That’s good.

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] Now! Toss it forward.

Amanda: And I do.

Eric: You throw it, and you hear like the soft throomp. And the cherries are now like floating in this like gelatinous...something.

Amanda: And as they orbit the jello, is there a shape to it, a border? Or is it just like a plane in front of me?

Eric: There, it’s like, um…you know in that Windows screensaver, when like the ball would like bounce all over your screen?

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: It's like that is like you can see that the cherries are floating all throughout this like invisible ooze. And it like hits borders and like bounces all over the place. After looking at it, mesmerized for a little while, you can see that this thing is 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet.

Amanda (as Inara): Thank you that that's really kind of you, and I hope it doesn't hurt at all. Or give you like, the cherry burps.

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] What are you talking about? I am human. I am so good at eating cherry.

Amanda: Oh, of course Joshua, I’m so silly. Anyway, Joshua, I was coming over because I’ve never been to Concentra before and I’m a little bit nervous. I’m wondering if you could tell me anything about the other people who've made the trip up there? Or something that you might know about the city? I just - I don’t want to get there and then be like, “Oh hi. Oh my god. Like I was when I got here.

Eric (as Joshua): No problem! I can tell you everything you need to know! Concentra is a wonderful place where everyone comes together. And we all work on getting the Concentric states to be good and things. The people who come who use this elevator the most are the representatives. You know them. They're the heads of the representatives.

Amanda (as Inara): Where is it? I - I…

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] It is up there.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh…

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] Where the elevator goes.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, I mean in - in...I guess in relation to the other cities?
Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] What, you’ve never seen a map before? That is so wild! Ha-ha.

Amanda (as Inara): [short pause] No...

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] Well, Concentra is right underneath the mountain in the middle of the...everything.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh...I guess they didn’t really teach us that.

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] That is okay. I'm happy to be informational.

Amanda (as Inara): And is the elevator the only way in and out?

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] As far as I know.

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, uh, thanks. Do you have a favorite game? I'd love to play it if you...don't mind.

Eric (as Joshua): [robotically] I'm no good at games. I'm clumsy! From my hands.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh. Joshua, your hands look super...average to me.

Eric: Uh, why don't you make an Insight check?

[rolls dice]

Brandon: You look over to see Tracey joyously riding the child's coaster over and over again.

[Eric laughs while making amusement park ride sounds]

Amanda: [monotone] This is fine.

Eric: I'm getting no joy from this. Tracey feels fine!

[Brandon laughing]

Amanda: Oh, no!

I got 24.

Eric: You know that Joshua does know another way he’s lying.

Amanda: Alright, so I am just going to kind of walk around then and give Tracey a wave. And going to make sure there's no wings on the bar yet. And did - Is there any claw machine, out here?

Eric: Yes, there is a claw machine over next to the prize station.

Amanda: If I rummaged through the sides of my pack do, I have any tickets left?

Eric: You don't have any tickets. But if anyone wanted to - wanted to make a Perception check, maybe you might be able to see some tickets.

Amanda: Let’s do it.

Brandon: I want to win my tickets.

Eric: Well, you're on a child’s roller coaster which has no skill.

Brandon: I want to get off the roller coaster and there's a game with like, like a pool of water and there's like rings and like floating ducks?

Amanda: Oh, yeah!

Brandon: What’s the point of that?

Eric: You have to like, hit the mallet.

Amanda: What’s the point of any of them Brandon, it’s commerce.

[Eric and Brandon laugh]

Brandon: I meant how do I win this game?

Eric: Listen Amanda is going to Amanda.

Amanda: You can’t!

[Brandon laughs heartily]

Eric: So while Amanda is looking around for tickets, you get off of the child roller coaster and one of the kenku just like, shakes its head at you. And you go over to the little ducks. So the way that you do it  is you hit a mallet and like a ring flies in the air and you're supposed to land on a duck.

Brandon: Okay, so you’re supposed to ring a duck.

Eric: Yes.

Brandon: Yes. So Tracey reels back with the mightiest might that he can muster and rolls…

[dice rolls and then laughs in response]

Eric: Alright, Inara, I want you to roll as well. Tracey, if you're going to hit it as hard as you can do Athletics.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 13

Eric: Okay,13.

Brandon: 8...8.

[Amanda sighs]

Eric: Wonderful. Inara as you are looking around for tickets on the floor. [laughing] You hear - you hear a mallet slamming down. And then a plastic ring hitting the ceiling and it bounces back and hits Tracey in the face.

[Brandon chuckling]

Amanda: Oh...

Eric: And as you hear that, you go under the water pistols and you find a gold ticket stuck underneath one of the legs.

Amanda: Oh! I'm going to grab it and head on over to the claw machine.

Eric: Nice. Tracey, you do not ring the duck. This might surprise you.

Brandon: Oh, oh! I didn't - I didn't get it? No, you didn't get it.

Amanda: But he’s so much bigger than a duck…

[Eric and Brandon laugh]

Eric: You also look down and there's just like a gold ticket on the ground.

Brandon: Oh, well, that seemed pointless. Alright.

Eric: [chuckling] Two kenku, are standing over, like fixing one of those coin-pushing games, and they both shake their head at you.

[Brandon and Amanda chuckle]

Brandon: I pick up the golden ticket and head over to the claw machine.

Eric: So...I need you both to roll a d20.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 13.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Lucky number 8.

Eric: Alright, so Tracey, you use the claw machine, and you try to navigate it as best that you can. But of course it's a little wonky.

Brandon: Yeah. And I dig in there real good though.

Eric: Oh yeah, you do. You plunge the claw all the way down as far as it can go. It doesn't look like you grabbed onto anything. And it gets pulled all the way up. And what you see is there's this little little little golden capsule, in its claws. And it comes out and it drops into the slot and you pop it open. And inside is a very small figurine of a goat.

[Amanda gasps]

Brandon: [satisfied] That's very good.

Eric: And this, my dear friend, is the scapegoat. So, you can only use this once.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: But you can put the scapegoat down on the ground. As soon as it touches the ground, it turns into a regular size goat. And it does goat things.

Amanda: Yesss.

Eric: But if you blame anything on the goat, everyone needs to make a Persuasion check of over 14...

Amanda: Yesss.

Eric: And they will believe that the goat did the thing.

Brandon: That is the best item I've ever heard of in my entire life.

Eric: Thank you!

Amanda: So. Good.

Eric: Inara you rolled a 13 so you get to roll it again, I want you to roll a d6.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 1.

[Eric cackles]

Brandon: Another dog!

[Amanda gasps]

Amanda: Two dogs!

[Brandon chuckles]

Eric: Okay, so you use the claw machine and you kind of wiggle it around. Wiggle it to the left, wiggle it to the right. And again it dives deep deep deep into the prizes. And again you don't think that you grabbed anything, but it pulls out a purple square capsule. Which is weird because this is the only one that has edges, and it drops it into the slot.

Amanda: I take it out and look at it for a second rotate it and then try to open it up.

Eric: Inside you get the very distinct smell of freshly cooked bacon.

Amanda: Wow.

Eric: And inside there's a little package. And on the package is a picture of Oatcake. Like a cartoonish Oatcake, like with human looking eyes and smiling. And it’s eating like this piece of bacon. And it's branded with the name, Speakin Strips! Dogs...they can talk!

So this one seems to be a little bit old. So there's usually about four uses in this one, but I don't know this thing has been sitting in this machine for too long. So this is just one use of Speakin Strips. Here's how Speakin Strips work. Any animal eats it, can speak and understand common for one minute. This is not in game time, me as the DM, I'm keeping the timer.

Amanda: Alright, I will pocket it and head back to the bar where hopefully my baskets -buckets, nay, of wings are waiting for me.

Eric: Yes.

Brandon: Tracey goes to put the goat back in his pack and drops it and almost hits the ground and then catches it.

Eric: I hate you.

Amanda: Flirting with disaster.

[Everyone makes sounds reacting to Tracey almost dropping the goat]

Brandon: Tracey's just one stool away from Franny and just staring directly down into this pizza as he eats it.

Eric: Great. You'll notice again that as a Council of Bright flicks his wrist at things, he like momentarily shuts something down and then it comes back immediately and ever so slightly, you see like, frustration, cross over this energy Alonzo’s face. And Alonzo’s just like, at this point, he's like leaning up against the ball, the hamster ball to like, try to get comfortable but also getting as far away from the Council of Bright as possible.

Brandon: Tracey stands up to watch the Council do this, but inadvertently stands in front of Alonzo while he [chuckles] eats the pizza standing.

Eric: [laughing] As you do this, the Council of Bright makes eye contact with you. And Tracey I want you to make a Wisdom saving throw.

[rolls dice]

Brandon: 14. 15 -1.

Eric: Okay, with a 14, you stare at the Council of Bright for a second and he flicks his wrist at you, then like everything goes dark for a second. It's like someone turned off the power in you. For a moment in your head, you like give this like a beautiful image of this unknown place. Unknown time. You know what it looks like? It looks like Tortipolis. But like it looks totally different, but something inside you makes you know that it’s Tortipolis.

And you remember how there were just cars and people and other than all this crowd going everywhere? Now it's warforged. Like warforged in like trilby hats that are going off to work and warforged manning shops, and warforged driving other cars, which is totally bananas in your mind. And then everything comes back on. And the Council of Bright is just kind of standing there.

Brandon: Tracey takes a large bite of his slice.

Brandon (as Tracey): [makes biting sounds and pauses] Mmm. Mmm.

Eric: Spicy!

Brandon: And goes back and sits on the stool.

Eric: Yep. Uh...

Brandon: Does a couple of spins.

Eric: Inara, you have returned. You’ve chow down on some chicken. You guys get your fill. And Franny has finished both pina coladas and takes out a second flask and puts more Undying Light in the other one.

Amanda: Oatcake is gnawing happily on some bar pretzels.

Brandon: [whispers] That’s good.

Eric: That's good. And as you guys are chowing down, Inara, you here the distinct voice of Joshua who says,

Eric (as Joshua): [yelling] All aboard, elevator go up!

Eric: And you see like the shimmer moves over to the left. And you can still see the cherries bobbing inside of Joshua. And, the old timey looking elevator descends from nowhere. The cage opens up, and Franny says,

Eric (as Franny): Alright, ride’s here, Let's goooo.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can we get to-go boxes or…?

Amanda (as Inara): I'll just - I'll just take the bucket, and you can put it on Franny’s tab. Thank you!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, thanks!

Brandon: And Tracey takes the whole metal tray of pizza with him.

Eric: [chuckles] The kenku opens its mouth and makes the sound of a cash register...

[cha-ching of a cash register closing]

Slamming shut. Alright, you guys step into the elevator. The cage closes, the door closes and you go up. And this is an extremely long elevator.

[ding of elevator going up a floor]

Like one minute, two minutes…

Brandon: Like how many slices of pizza?

Amanda: How many wings?

Eric: Two slices of pizza. Five wings.

Brandon: Crusts and all.

Amanda: Okay. okay.

Eric: And the elevator reaches your destination, and it opens up.

[squeak of doors opening]

And I gotta say, it's just looks weird here. Like Concentra...you guys remember the NISSBNA that was made, in a strange sort of way? Like slats on top of each other? And it was all like, glass and stuff.

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: How could we forget Eric?

Eric: Every single building looks like that. It’s like, everything is glass and in different like panes and colors of glass. Like nothing is just like a straight up rectangle building. It's all like on a slant or like there's a hole in the middle.

[Amanda laughs]

It's just like super weird.

Brandon: Does it seem intentional? Like it seemed like artistic or is it just like...

Eric: It's definitely intentional. It's like someone did it. The first building was made and it was like a little bit to the left, and then it just kind of like spiraled out from there.

And you see, like everyone is walking around in suits, every single person that you see, it is not nearly as busy as it was in Tortipolis. But like there's definitely like a clip that everyone is moving at. And they have the suits and everyone is wearing a suit, no matter what their race or perceived gender is.

Like they're totally different colors. And they're they're like, not shades that you think they should be. Like someone has like bright, bright neon orange, like someone turned on a neon sign in their suit. And another person has the color of the sky at twilight. The stars like fade in and out of the sky on their suit.

One person it looks - it looks like you're looking at those sunglasses with like a blue filter on it. The light goes from like blue to green and just like keeps shimmering, depending on whether or not they’re in the sun and just like all of these people. And you see that people are just like walking from one building to another. Eventually, after a few minutes of it. There's no one on the street.

Brandon: Tracey stands there with his mouth agape with a little bit of pizza still on there just like,

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh...where do I get one of those suits?

Amanda: I’m clutching Oatcake in my left hand and my bucket of wings in the other. Almost like terrified to poke my head out of the elevator, like my nose is still inside that invisible barrier.

Eric: Yeah. And Franny says,

Eric (as Franny): Ah, man. I guess we just missed the lunchtime rush. It's a good time to go.

Brandon (as Tracey): Go? Where do we go? Where are we going? What are we doing?

Eric (as Franny): Going to the capital.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alright.

Eric (as Franny): There’s a big meeting...were you not paying attention when I said there'd be a big meeting before?  

Brandon (as Tracey): I have a hard time listening.

Eric (as Franny): Entirely….yeah. But you know, I still love you. We’re still very close.

Brandon (as Tracey): What...what? [changing topic] Let’s go!!!

Eric (as Franny): I see whatcha did there.

[ethereal chords play]

Amanda: Hey, it’s Amanda. I know I’m not the only one among us who likes to organize. And I’m not the first person to be like, wow, the world’s getting green again! Time to clean every surface in my home! But there is something in particular about cleaning out before a big change that feels like a +5 to your whole life. Getting rid of excess stuff before a move or finding new homes for clothes that no longer serves you, is so freeing. You’re making room for all of the great new stuff that’s coming, both physical and metaphorical. So, welcome to the midroll. I opened the windows, and there is a very strong cross-breeze.

Hello and welcome to our newest patrons: Sanne, Sebastian, Sasha, Ariqua, Stephanie, and Emily. Your pledges help make this show possible. And you can even get rewards, like NPC backstories and very, very good bloopers, for every dang episode. That’s patreon.com/jointhepartypod

Last episode we told you all about our upcoming D&D live show at PodX in Nashville this June. Now we have another addition to our 2019 events: a Multitude Live mini-tour! Catch us at the Bell House—that’s right, the friggin Bell House— that’s right, I’ll just fainting over here in the corner— in New York on June 21st, and CitySpace Boston on October 10th. We’ll be bringing you live segments of your favorite Multitude shows, plus live-show-only exclusives. Tickets go on sale Friday May 5, with a special patron-only presale on Wednesday May 3. If you’re a patron of any Multitude show, check your email for a presale link on Wednesday. Everyone else, head to http://multitude.productions/live on Friday to get your tickets!

We’re sponsored this week by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY, whose co-owner Lauren Bilanko is our Master Dungeon Master. Once a month we bring her your questions on games and GMing. This week’s question comes from Ryokaia, who asks: “I know to DM all you need is just the support to do it. But are there personality traits that can help, like attention to detail?”

Lauren says, “One of the best traits for a DM to utilize is listening. More often than not players will give you all the information you need to run a great game. A small detail can make a situation more personal. An expressed concern may turn into a solution you never thought of. Sometimes the most memorable moments are when players are allowed some time for their characters to trail off into a conversation with one another. Just listen”

Thank you, Master Dungeon Master! Soak up all of the knowledge she has to offer at Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY. And either In store or online, use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY, for 20% off. That’s discount code JOINTHEPARTY for 20% off at Twenty Sided Store.

All right! Now, let’s get back to the show.

[ethereal chords play]

Eric: Franny walks you confidently through the streets. And honestly, it's like deserted. Everyone is at their job. As you get farther and farther and you see that the buildings get smaller and smaller and smaller, the only rectangular building you see has miles in all directions. This building stretches all the way into the clouds and it's like deep purple. The same purple that you see in The Speaker's eyes when she gets very very mad at you.

Brandon: I don’t think we’ve ever seen that though, right?

[Eric and Amanda chuckle]

Amanda: My guy!

Eric: And Franny just steps through the front door. She goes to the front desk where a - two extremely large centaurs look at Franny. She pulls out the blue piece of paper that she returned and you thought had disappeared. The centaurs look at it, look at each other, hit a large red button on the desk…

[Amanda awws]

And a very very large elevator opens up.

[ding and squealing of door opening]

Amanda: Inara will shoot them a single finger gun.

[ding of the elevator]

Eric: They both store it. The Mötley Crüe that you are, steps inside. And again this elevator takes a long, long time like four pieces of pizza, 12 wings.

Brandon: Wow.

Eric: It goes up and up...

Amanda: Our wing consumption increases dramatically.

[all chuckle]

Eric: Inara's getting nervous. She eats when she's nervous. And finally, the - the elevator stops and opens up into a stark conference room. And there are these high-back chairs set around a large circular table. There are people sitting in these chairs and everyone turns towards you. And inside you see some faces you recognize. There is Representative Shields of Antipolis. There is Alonzo’s dad who you recognize from the wedding. His hair is no longer in the pompadour that Alonzo has, but falls delicately to his shoulders. Goddamn if doesn't look like Alonzo put into a time machine. To Inara’s chagrin, there is Representative Brink whose in like, a very bright green power suit. Like forest green. And she's wearing like sneakers, to offset the power suit.

[Amanda chuckles]

And she sees you and her eyes go wide and The Speaker as well.

Amanda: I’m going to give Brinksy a shy wave.

Eric: Uh, you also see someone you don't recognize. There is a gnome in a mech suit. Now this is kind of like Salmon was, but that there was nothing like warforged-y like about it. It’s like just a traditional mech suit with just like long legs and long arms. And there are two more people you recognize. There is an older gentleman with dirty blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun with tired looking eyes who still towers over the entire group. And standing behind him is Greg.

[melancholy music plays]

So this man must be Greg’s dad, who, I don't know if you even saw the wedding…

Amanda: No…

Eric: But as soon as Greg sees the door open, he pushes everyone else aside and sprints towards the bubble. And just throws himself at it. Just bangs on it as hard as he can, repeatedly. Brandon (as Tracey): [trying to calmly help] Greg! Greg, Greg, Greg, Greg.

Amanda (as Inara): He’s safe! He’s good. He's fine.

Eric: He hears you and he just keeps banging on it.

Amanda: I’m just going to rub his back a little bit.

Eric: The man with the dirty blonde hair coughs loudly and says,

Eric (as Greg's dad): Gregory. This isn’t why I brought you here.

Eric: Greg looks at everybody and pulls himself together a little bit. And puts his hand on the ball. And Alonzo puts his hand up on the ball as well.

Eric: And Greg walks back behind his dad. For a moment it's...no one says anything. The Speaker pipes up and The Speaker clears her throat and says,

Eric (as The Speaker): [solemnly] Well, Franny….it's a good thing you reached me.

Eric (as Franny): I know right? Totally unexpected. Is there anywhere to sit down? I'm so tired. So...

Amanda: Are there bagels!?

Eric: Yes. After a few minutes, it seems like the meeting is about to start. The speaker ushers in a few servants who put out a wonderful brunch spread.

Amanda: Yesss!

Eric: Everything you could desire and in triplicate. Well, I knew the two of you're coming so, I got extra bagels. As you like it.

Amanda (as Inara): Maria...you’re - you, you got it.

Eric (as The Speaker): If there’s any other time you need to call me The Speaker it’s probably now.

[Brandon and Eric chuckle]

I appreciate the relation we have, but this seems...

Amanda (as Inara): Little moment of levity before we get into this you know, universe changing dialogue. So...

Brandon (as Tracey): I need to let you know about a big life change. I've moved from bagels to pizza. So if you could, you know…

Eric (as The Speaker): No…

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Next time, next time.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers under breath] Pizza bagels.

Eric (as The Speaker): Next time the entire world is possibly crumbling, I'll bring - I'll bring, I’ll get pizza.

Brandon (as Tracey): I would appreciate that. And thank you.

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] You know, Tracey if you use sun dried tomato cream cheese on a bagel and then put some of the cheese from the omelette bar on top, you can get kind of close.

Brandon: There’s an omelette bar?

Eric: [laughs] Yeah! I said anything. As you're over at the omelette bar, Representative Brink walks up behind you Inara.

Eric (as Representative Brink): [nervous pause] So, uh. What are you - what are you getting?

Amanda: I set down my plate on the buffet bar, turn around and say,

Amanda (as Inara): I'm really sorry I never got to kiss you. Could I try that?

Eric (as Representative Brink): No. What? No! Again. I feel like you just had an inappropriate conversation with The Speaker as well. This is the wor - this would be the worst time to do that.

Amanda (as Inara): [stumbling] No not not now I didn't mean... I meant at some point in the event...I said a lot

of kind of stuff...I had to do and now I'm I'm here! I realize that there’s a whole lot of stuff going on but like, the whole end of the world might be happening.

Eric (as Representative Brink): I have to be like, super professional here. I don't like...do you see my very good power suit?

Amanda (as Inara): I wasn’t trying to dwell on it because I think it's really pretty. Okay, you're right. Wrong context read the room wrong. Uh...yeah, nice to see you. What was the question you…? Bagels.

Eric (as Representative Brink): Um, this is omelets. Also, I was joking. Sure. Let's save the world first.

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, that’s pretty good motivation.

Amanda: Inara’s face is a different color than normal. [chuckles] And she turns back to load her plate higher and higher and higher until the fifth omelet just kind of slides off the top and down to where Oatcake is sitting thumping her tail.

Eric: Eventually the meeting starts to come together. Everyone is sitting in like their designated seats, and their big chairs. The Speaker’s standing at the front of the table.

Brandon: Do we have designated seats?

Eric: Yeah, there's like on the other...

Brandon: Does it say Designation TR8C?

Eric: No, you don’t have…

[Amanda interrupts with a gasp]


[Brandon laughs]


[Brandon and Eric chuckling]

Eric: You know, yes. The Speaker knew y'all were coming. And she put out a little place cards for everyone.

Brandon: Do they all say Designation Kohl...

Eric: Yeah, they say Designation Inara, Designation Franny, Designation Alonzo? And then Designation TR8C.

Brandon: It says Designation Kohl, [chuckling] Designation TR8C?

Eric: [joins in laughing] Yes, that’s very good. Yes that’s exactly what it says.

Amanda: Is there one that says Designation Oatcake on the floor?

Eric: [laughs] Yes. Yes there is. The Speaker has been very thoughtful. So this is a very large circular table. It functions as both a half circle, where everyone can face each other. But also if you have guests, you can have one large circle. Uh, The Speaker continues to stand at the front of the room. So on either side of The Speaker, are Representative Kiko and Representative Nectaria and then to the left of Representative Kiko is Representative Brink. To the right of Representative Nectaria is Representative Shields and then to the left of Representative Brink is Representative Dore, who is the gnome in the mech suit.

So The Speaker, uh clears her throat and says,

Eric (as The Speaker): I know it isn't the first of the month, but it seems that we have extenuating circumstances here. So I called all the Representatives together. We have a problem. I don’t think it is any secret about what we’re talking about. Luckily our trusted security - more than a security team now, are trusted advisors, adventurers of the Concentric States. Have secured Alonzo Kiko and whatever has afflicted him. I've not seen anything like this in some time.

[short pause]

I, for once, at am a loss for words, uh. Tracey, Inara, would you like to explain what's going on here for the Representatives so we can, make a decision on what to do next.

Amanda (as Inara): Well we got back to the castle after a trip and Alonzo was acting very out of character when we went to find him, he was possessed. And he had this look in his - it wasn't him. It wasn't him in there. He hurt me, and then he left.

And we jumped after him and went all around trying to find him and at the end of it there was Ze’ol, hoo! That's not a fun guy. Uh, and...

Brandon (as Tracey): Every time we went to a new city, a new star would go out in the sky. And um, there's only one left. And we followed them all the way back to Tortipolis where we fought them, it’s not important, in a wrestling match. It was very impressive, lots of tickets sold, um...

Eric: All the Representative look at each other, like “Oh, wrestling…”

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, kind of the match of the Millennium, you know.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah.

Amanda (as Inara): And, uh Franny here was super helpful. Gave us this tool to to capture whatever came out when we were able to exorcize Alonzo. And this is him. He loves to brag about how he ruined the world and won’t do so again. By ruin, I mean save in his mind, but that's clearly not what's happening. Alonzo seem okay, we'd love to get him out, but so far this is the only tool we have to keep the Council of Bright imprisoned.

Eric: Uh, when you say the Council of Bright, all the representatives start like, murmuring, like talking to each other.

[Eric mumbles between representatives]

Eric (as The Speaker): There will be time for questions at the end, please let them continue.

Brandon (as Tracey): There's a lot of talk about my kind, the warforged. Um, don't know exactly what the story is there. But I think we got to find a way to kill him. And not Alonzo.

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled] Oh good. I was worried that you were going to say me well.

[short pause]

Dad...sup. Hi. Hello. Hi. Hello.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alonzo and Greg have both been extremely brave and uh, you know your trusted fighters, advisors, best warriors, smartest…

Amanda (as Inara): Mhm.

Brandon (as Tracey): Military minds.

Amanda (as Inara): Most regal.

Brandon (as Tracey): Most regal in the Concentric States, us. We are allowed to bestow that honor upon them. They are good.

Amanda (as Inara): Any of the things that people have blamed Alonzo for, I mean, some of them are true, but most of the ones in the far past. But he has not been in control of his actions.

Eric: Representative Kiko speaks up,

Eric (as Representative Kiko): I appreciate you bringing my son back into safety. What caused this possession, I mean it's not the medallion is it? Not the Kiko medallion?

Amanda (as Inara): We don't know. We know that the medallion is tied somehow to the stars going out and clearly loosening whatever bind you all put on the Council back in the day. There’s only one star left, and he seems to really want that last one to go out, so... I think we need to keep that from happening as mission number one.

Eric: Representative Dore, the gnome in the mech suit, shifts in her seat,

Eric (as Representative Dore): [high-pitched] Uhhh, hold on a second! Who says that the medallion and all this, is tied to the stars going out? Who said that?

Amanda (as Inara): Us.

Brandon: Us...we did. We’ve seen it, 4 times.

Eric (as Representative Dore): Well, see, I'm a woman of science, of reason, of examples. It’s not that I don't believe you. We didn't see any of this go out, no one tracked this. What happened?

Amanda (as Inara): I wouldn’t believe it either, but we are making observations. So four times we have seen Alonzo channel a lot of, and no offense Alonzo, too much power - a lot of power. Time stopped in some instances. And then right afterward, a star would go out.

Eric: Alonzo says,

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah, I'm so bad! I can’t do magic, I can’t do magic. I - I can’t... I didn't do this.

Eric: You see Representative Dore cross her mech arms. Representative Shields pipes up and says,

Eric (as Representative Shields): [friendly tone with a slight accent] Oh, hi! Uh, It's nice to see you again. Great, so wonderful. Thank you. Uh, so we have our lovely gentleman here...Mr. Kiko. Ohhhh… [Ohh continues to inaudibly high pitch] Who is this glowing gentlemen here? Who...[Who continues to inaudibly high pitch] I have never seen anything like this in my life before? So who is this glowing gentleman?

Brandon (as Tracey): The Council of Bright? Didn’t we just go over this?

Eric (as Representative Shields): Tracey....who...I think that the Council of Bright does not exist. It is a children’s…[stumbling] it’s a children’s story.

Brandon: Tracey knocks on the bubble.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey! what's your name?

Eric: The Council stares at Tracey, and then stares at everyone else. Looks at each Representative one by one. And locks eyes with The Speaker and says,

Eric (as the Council of Bright): [muffled] Maria. You look great.

Eric (as The Speaker): It seems that you haven't changed a bit.

Eric (as the Council of Bright): Why would I? I'm pretty amazing. I just happy you remember me. It's not...I love it. It’s so nice to be back in the old stomping grounds. Really. Um. Here's the thing. You can't save Wonder Boy here without letting all this out. So I think that we can...if you let us out, both of us can be fine, we’ll all be fine.

We just talked about this. We talked about it. I'm rational guy. I've been on the Coun- I've been a Representative before. I know how this works. Maria knew your brother. He was great. You also, eh, kind of great. We can work it out. This is brass tacks, this is politics. I got it. You gotta let us out.

Eric: And Alonzo says,

Eric (as Alonzo): I don't want to be the guy who agrees with the glowing man, but…

Brandon (as Tracey): Then don’t! Alonzo don’t!!

Amanda (as Inara): No, no, no!

Brandon (as Tracey): Alonzo!

Amanda (as Inara): Not gonna happen, Alonzo. We are keeping you alive. We are getting you out of there. But just to dispel this rumor right now, Mr. Council, never going to happen.

Eric (as Alonzo): I mean, it's not up to you. Maria. I know what’s coming next. It always comes next.

Eric (as The Speaker): Yes, it’s a vote. It is a decision for the Representatives to make, uh I think that we understand the way you’ve presented. And I think we need to vote on what to do.

Amanda (as Inara): [hesitantly] It's seems like you're missing a Representative though.

Eric (as The Speaker): Uh, what do you? I see five Representatives in front of me.

Amanda (as Inara): Who represents, I don't know, regular people? I get that that's the whole idea. And I get that you're here to talk about your city and all, but it seems that respectfully, a lot is happening that none of you here notice. And I don't know the last time many of you was outside of your city, but we've been to all of them now. And we have a pretty good idea of the problems that are happening. So, which one of us would you like to vote for the people of the Concentric States?

Brandon (as Tracey): Or you know just doing it based on you know, just sheer numbers? 3 votes? Oatcake?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, I think the plurality? Exactly yeah. Oatcake, yeah, is a great voter.

Eric (as The Speaker): Okay, um. You know, this is unprecedented. But um, you know what, I'll give you two each, you'll get a one shared vote as the people. You have an experience here, you know what's happening, and this is highly unprecedented . This has never happened before. I think extenuating circumstances demand extenuating measures. Vote to six.

Amanda (as Inara): That seems like there could be a tie potentially, which would be embarrassing for all of us.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah...

Amanda (as Inara): Almost would wilt you know, how they do. Um.

Brandon (as Tracey): [short pause] My people are involved…

Amanda (as Inara): That’s true.

Brandon (as Tracey): Maybe I get my own vote? Maybe we get our own vote? Maybe we get a chance to make up for whatever crimes we’ve committed here.

Eric: Okay, if you really want to get two votes, I mean, you're gonna have to roll on it. And if you don't get it, you don't get it. Either you're voting 5 or you're voting 7. Okay?

Amanda: So double or nothing?

Eric: Double or nothing.

[2 dice rolls]

Amanda (as Inara): I - I got a crit 1. Can’t lie to you. Can’t lie to you.

[Eric chuckles]

My modifier is a 9...

Brandon: I got 12

Eric: Representative Dore, Representative Nectaria, and Representative Kiko, all get to their feet and all yell at the same time,

Eric (as Representatives): [yelling in frustration] This is unprecedented! We've never had the - only the Representatives get to vote!

Eric (as The Speaker): Oh, alright. We're not forsaking this. I'm sorry. There's procedure. We cannot extend a vote to you.

Brandon (as Tracey): That’s fine. When you make the wrong decision, Inara and I will clean it up, like we always do. Go ahead and take a vote.

Amanda (as Inara): Solving problems the way you usually do is what got us here today. And the solution that you thought worked last time clearly was not permanent...so, you better think really hard about a better way to solve this problem. And if you can't, we’ll be downstairs.

Brandon (as Tracey): Alonzo, Greg. We got you.

Amanda (as Inara): We believe in you.

[intense thrumming music]

Eric (as The Speaker): According to Concentric State’s procedure, we are going to vote on the matter of Alonzo Kiko and the Council of Bright.

Vote Hay for dismantling the anti-magic bubble or vote nay for maintaining the bubble as maintained by Driftwood Franny Sunflower, and we keep the two sequestered.

Representative Kiko...

Eric: Representative Kiko stands up, looks at the rest of his colleagues and says

Eric (as Representative Kiko): I want to let my son out. I hope you understand. I vote hay.

Eric: Representative Nectaria stands up after him. And says,

Eric (as Representative Nectaria): I understand what you're going through. But we can't take this chance. I vote nay.

Eric: Representative Dore stands up,

Eric (as Representative Dore): As I've said before, I'm a woman of science. The least we can do is see what happens next. I vote hay.

Eric: Representative Shield stands up and says,

Eric (as Representative Shields): We cannot take the chance of endangering our world. He deserves to be locked up, for as long as we can keep him. I will and always will vote nay.

Eric: Representative Brink stands up and looks at the rest of the Representatives. She holds her hand up as she feels the tension of the moment.

Eric (as Representative Brink): [sounding torn] This is too big. I know, I know. We have to vote. I know we vote all the time. But I can't we can't do it. They just they just showed up. I can't - I can't - I can't. Speaker, I'm calling for recess. We re vote tomorrow. I can’t. This is too big.

Eric: The Speaker takes in a short breath says,

Eric (as The Speaker): Representative Brink has called for recess. As procedure goes, we will have recess for 24 hours. I will see you all at the next vote.

[intense thrumming music stops]

[dreamy, contemplative music plays]

Eric: The room returns to normal life. People stretching, getting out of their seats, gathering their supplies. Representative Nectaria tries to reach out to Greg. Greg moves away from his grasp and hurries over to the anti-magic ball.

And the Representatives all shuffle out. Although, it's very difficult to roll the ball out of this conference room, they managed to do it and you go down a few floors in the massive elevator and like in Kiko castle, there's a spare room with a few beds all pushed to the far edges of the room, where you two, Franny, and Oatcake and the massive anti-magic ball can rest. And Franny says,

Eric (as Franny): Oh man, I need to sit down. I can’t. These old bones. You don’t even know.

Brandon: Is Franny in our room?

Eric: Yeah. Franny is in your room.

Brandon: Cool.

Amanda: Franny can have her own room?

[Amanda chuckles]

Eric (as Franny): No, I want to be a part of this. I think that we've all gone through this thing together.

Eric: Finally, you get a chance to rest. So all of you take your long rest.

Brandon: Great, thank you.

Amanda: Woo!

Eric: Inara, what do you dream about?

Amanda: Oh. Good question. I dream that I am sitting in the dog park in Fidopolis at twilight, with the stars beginning to emerge, but there's still some beautiful color fading in the sky. And I'm playing with Oatcake, throwing just a normal ball. She's doing normal fetch other dogs around us hanging out. I hear the chatter of the market. I feel a warm breeze against my face. The temperature is perfect, like a little bit chill, so you cuddle up in your coat or sweater.

And when I look up, I notice that all five stars are there in the sky. I feel myself check it almost like a muscle memory like reflexively. And it suits me, like checking that your door is locked at night. And then I, with this feeling of just relief in my chest, look over and take Brinksy’s hand as she sits next to me, wearing like a forest green sweater, the same color as her suit, and jeans and regular boots. And together we watch Oatcake play.

Eric: Tracey, do warforged dream?

Brandon: Um, that’s a good question. I don't know...if you would call it, dreaming? He doesn't sleep, but he does sort of like enter a state of like meditation in a sense.

Eric: Sure.

Brandon: And I think over time, over the possible decades, hundred centuries, whatever. It became more and more clear dreams have become more and more tangible. I think right now, he as if a tape machine sort of replaying the scenes that he was shown of warforged sort of demolishing cities, marching, it’s sort of automatic. It's hyperreal.

It's not scary, but he sort of feels a pang of guilt, as he watches it.

Eric: That tape like winds down, like, like in a projector, and then he like starts going.

[Eric imitates sound of reel running out]

And there's just like white for a second. And then the scene that you saw, for a moment, when the Council looked at you, it comes back. You're in Tortipolis, warforged are walking everywhere, they’re waving at you. They're going about their day.

Everyone knows your name, someone's like, “Hey, Tracey! Aw Tracey, you’re lookin great! Cards next Saturday?” Everyone says something nice to you and says hi. I think at the end of the dream as Tracey sort of meeting with acquaintances and buying groceries. He hears the little pitter patter on the street, and he sees Oatcake, running up the street, up to him. And then there's Inara, and Franny, and the faces of all the other people he's met on his journeys. And they all sort of commingle, and they're all playing cards together, they're all playing chess in the park. And that feeling of guilt sort of washes away.

Eric: It all comes together, you feel so happy just to be with everyone, warforged and your friends alike. And then you hear a voice. Loud, clear, cutting through the all the city noise. And it’s The Council. And he says,

Eric (as the Council of Bright): [muffled] This could happen. It’s not just a dream. Just let me out.

Brandon: Tracey jolts awake.

[dreamy, contemplative music stops]

[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.