49. Hunting Party X

Tracey and Inara have only a few hours before the representatives’ revote. Can they find a way to separate Alonzo from the medallion before it’s too late? Inara considers a plant. Tracey takes a suggestion. Harriet answers the call.


Live Show

- Come see us live at Twenty Sided Store this Saturday! Tickets at http://20ss.nyc/JTPLIVE

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- website: jointhepartypod.com

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- facebook: facebook.com/jointhepartypod

- instagram: instagram.com/jointhepartypod

- music: brandongrugle.bandcamp.com

- modules: jointhepartypod.com/modules


Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

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

- Multitude: multitude.productions


Amanda: Last time, on Join the Party...

Eric: Franny knows the only way to deal with Alonzo and his energy double is to head to the capital, Concentra. And the easiest way to get there is through everyone’s favorite pocket dimension: Döove and Böosters.

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 - and a pizza please!

Eric: After cleaning the wing sauce from their hands, the party takes an elevator up to Concentra and is rushed into the Capitol Building. Inside, the party finally sees all the Representatives - Alonzo’s Dad, Greg’s Dad, Representative Shields from Antipolis, Representative Dore from Infropolis, and Inara’s ex, Representative Brink. 

The party explains what’s going on with Alonzo, the bubble, the medallion, kind of like the entire universe, and the Representatives decide to vote on what to do with Alonzo - either pop the bubble or keep him and the Council of Bright locked up. The vote is tied and Representative Brink demands to sleep on the decision, so it ends in a stalemate. That night, Tracey dreams of a utopia where his friends and the warforged live together in harmony. 

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.

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

Eric: AW BIZ ITS ABOUT TO GO DOWN. Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

[tranquil melody]

Eric: The sun rises on a new day, in a city you have never been before. The fate of the world hangs in the balance. What do you do? Who do you save? Who do you care about the most?

[tranquil melody fades out] 

Inara you wake up to the most heinously loud snoring that you've ever heard in your entire life. [chuckles] And it's coming from Franny.

Amanda: Oh no…

[reverberating snores with heavy breathing] 

Brandon (as Tracey): [frustrated] Franny!! 

[snoring continues]

Brandon (as Tracey): [increasingly frustrated] Franny!!!

Amanda (as Inara): Is there a horse?!

[snoring quiets down slightly, but continues]

Brandon: [chuckles] I throw an ax at Franny. 

Eric: [laughs] Okay, make an Attack roll. 

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 10.

Eric: [laughs] It's still like, dark in the room. So you try to throw a hand ax at Franny, but it goes over her head and hits the magic bubble. Alonzo was sleeping with his entire face pressed up against the bubble.

Amanda: Aww…

Eric: And he wakes up, and he’s like,

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled from within bubble, frazzled] Okay, okay! I’m awake! Okay! 

Amanda: Oatcake is arranged around my head like a headband, with her little feets protecting my ears from the snores. But at this point, I roll out of bed, look over at Franny and throw my dagger at her pillow. Not to hit her head but to hit her pillow.

Eric: [chuckles] Okay, make an Attack roll. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 17. 

Eric: Okay with that, you delicately stab Franny’s pillow. 

Amanda: That's me. The delicate stabber.

Eric: So with the whomp of the knife in the pillow Franny wakes up. 

Eric (as Franny): [chuckling to herself] Oh! I was having such a good dream. I don't want to get too explicit, but it did involve... 

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, god.

Eric (as Franny): You know, I'm going to keep it - I'll keep it to myself.

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

Amanda: Oh, yeah. 

Eric (as Franny): I will say, it did involve breakfast food. I'm not gonna say which. But it did involve them.

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey, I never thought I would say this. [down to a whisper] But I - I don't know if I feel like breakfast.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers] Yeah, you certainly ruined the only joy in my life. Still here. 

Eric: Franny puts both of her hands on your face and says quietly,

Eric (as Franny): [whispering] It was cereal.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don't want to play this game anymore.

[Eric and Amanda laugh heartily] 

Eric: Okay, so Franny goes over to all the blinds and she opens them up and it’s bright, a wonderful day, you know, to go save the world or something. 

Amanda: Hopefully.

Eric: Uh, Alonzo yawns and turns around and the Council of Bright is just looking at him. Again, staring at him in the face. 

Eric (as Council of Bright): [muffled] So is today going to be the day where I don't have to have this extremely close roommate?

Brandon (as Tracey): [skeptically] Maybe... 

Amanda: That's the hope. 

Brandon: We'll see. 

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: Yes.

[Eric laughs]

Eric (as Council of Bright): [muffled] I can also say things that don't mean anything as well.

Amanda (as Inara): Unless the Council just kind of wants to cut through all this, and promise that he's going to go back to his astral prison and be a very, very good boy and never come out again.

Eric (as Council of Bright): That sounds exactly like me, please let me out.

Amanda (as Inara): Yep, don't think so. 

Eric (as Council of Bright): [muffled] Okay.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. 

Eric: Franny slaps herself awake. And says, 

Eric (as Franny): Alright, well, I think the first thing we should do is go down to the cafeteria and get some grub. Maybe we'll see someone - we’ll catch someone during the breakfast rush. See, find someone who can actually help us out in this scenario. I don't know anyone who can take off cursed medallions or hop in between planes like that, uh...so maybe we'll get lucky and just sit down next to someone who looks cool. Also, they make really good frittatas here, so... I definitely want to get on that.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, there's not like any waffles or pancakes or anything? 

Eric (as Franny): Oh, there are, I just I personally am into….oh! I also am really into…

Brandon (as Tracey): [interrupting to avoid the conversation] Let’s go, let’s go.

Eric (as Franny): ...I need to go get some syrup.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, no. 

Eric (as Franny): Don't worry, I'm bringing the hooch!

Eric: [laughing] And she pulls out like a bottle, in a paper bag. And it like, sloshes. And like a little bit of Undying Light energy comes out of it.

Everyone starts to rouse themselves and gets ready to go down to the big cafeteria. There's also, like, an old school alarm clock in there. And sometimes while everyone is getting ready, it starts to go off... 

[piercing ring of alarm clock]

….very loudly and annoyingly. And at that point, you see the Council of Bright push Alonzo out of the way and kind of like, puts his hand out towards the alarm clock. And it just dies.
[alarm quiets]

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

Brandon (as Tracey): I thought this was supposed to be an antimagic bubble.

Amanda: Tracey and Inara exchange a significant look. [chuckles] And continue to hustle the bubble out the door.

Eric: [laughing] Wait, you bring the bubble with you? 

Amanda: We're not leaving them out of our sight.

Eric: [short pause] Okay, that’s a good point.

Amanda: Hope you got a freight elevator y'all.

[Brandon chuckles]

Eric: Yes, there's obviously, in my magic world, a freight elevator that's very easily accessible and not hard to use. Freight elevators are hard to use and are never accessible. They're always like broken, in my head. That's my understanding, of freight elevators. 

Brandon: What happens next? 

Eric: Okay! Well oh, you guys go down to the cafeteria. It is on the fifth floor of the building. 

[beeps of elevator changing floors]

You can think about this entire building, like if you really wanted to, you wouldn't have to go outside. Like there are both conference rooms and there's eating spaces and places for you to sleep. And if you're working in the government, sometimes it takes all that time to do all that stuff. So there is a well-stocked cafeteria. There's one on the fifth floor. There's one the fourth floor, but everyone knows you got to go to the one on the fifth floor. The one on the fourth floor is good for lunch, only. Everyone knows that. 

Amanda: Mhm, then optimize it. Tell me - tell me more about what each cafeteria has. 

Eric: Tacos fourth floor, breakfast tacos fifth floor.

Amanda: Mhm, mhm. What about the beverage situation?

Eric: Uh, there are no beverages on the fourth floor. 

Amanda: None? 

Eric: Which is unfortunate. 

Brandon: What kind of dessert are we talking about, on the various floors?

Eric: Just like pudding, as far as the eye can see. 

Brandon: On both floors? On both?

Eric: Yeah. 

Brandon: There's no cookies?

Eric: Well, here's the thing. They hide different desserts in the pudding in the fifth floor.

Amanda: Oh no...

Brandon: It’ll get soggy!

Eric: No, but like, it’s good.

Brandon: This sounded like a dream scenario, but now it sounds like a nightmare scenario.

Eric: [giggling] Shut up.

As people come on, because you decided to bring the antimatter bubble with you, I think that people come on and are incredibly confused. And some are startled to see the son of the Representative and a doppelganger of him, in the elevator. 

First of all, that there's only space for like two more people. And also that there's a warforged in the elevator as well. And I think that as people try to come on, they like, look at the picture of an antimatter bubble with Alonzo and energy doppelganger, a warforged, a teenager, and a hag. And they are going to walk in, they’re like,

Eric (as person trying to get on elevator): [long pause] We’re going to take the next one!

Brandon (as Tracey): Look…

Eric (as person trying to get on elevator): [enthusiastically] Good morning!

Brandon: We both have been through high school, we know how this goes. 

Amanda: Yeah.

Brandon: Let's keep rolling. 

Eric: Each time - this happens a bunch of times, and then everyone starts talking to each other. You see the gossip machine has started. 

Brandon: Great. 

Eric: So down to the fifth floor, it opens onto this very large cafeteria.

[elevator doors open]

[raucous of people in a busy cafeteria]

And then there's this like, buffet, you have a paper plate and they get on.

Amanda: Yeah, we're going to park the bubble. Not like in the center table, but we're going to sort of take a more prominent table closest to the pudding boats. And I'm going to drape a tablecloth over the top of the bubble. Uh, you know how like with a bird you just put it in darkness to hope that it sleeps? 

[Eric laughs]

That's what I'm doing to the Council of Bright hoping that he doesn't interact with anyone else. Eric: He's just like,

Eric (as Council of Bright): [muffled] I feel it. Yeah, I see. I see what you're doing. 

Brandon: In my head. I just see Alonzo, like, as the curtain is draping down, he's like, “Hey, wait!”

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled] Hey, can you hear me? Hey, can I have a bagel? I love bagels.

Eric: Yeah, you guys, so what do you guys get? 

Amanda: Nothing with syrup, my guy

Brandon: Yeah, jesus just never ever ever again. I have to throw away all my syrup. 

Eric: It's fine. 

Brandon: I'm getting breakfast tacos. 

Eric: Nice,

Brandon: Flour tortillas, salsa verde, cheddar.

Eric: Oh yeah. They have that. It’s great. 

Amanda: I’m gonna do some open-faced bagel sandwiches. Inara’s growing up and getting more sophisticated, you know, so you don't always have to enclose your bagel. Um...I don’t know if anyone told you guys that. 

Brandon: If you love your bagel...set it free.

Amanda: That's correct, Brandon. One has peanut butter and berries on top. Another one has bananas and some like chia seeds and chocolate chips because there is a place for chocolate in all breakfasts. One of them has cream cheese and then one of them has egg with a little bit of cheddar on top. 

Eric: You look over at Franny and Franny has two bowls. One is filled with blueberries and the other one is filled with maple. 

Amanda: Oh no...

Eric: And Inara as you look over at her, [chuckles] Franny looks at you and says,

Eric (as Franny): Uh, blueberries are a superfood. So...gotta keep it tight. 

Amanda: Inara nods and sits at the opposite end of the table. 

[Brandon chuckles] 

Eric: Okay, so as you guys are going back to your table, why don't you both make Perception checks?

[both roll dice]

Amanda: Well, that’s a crit 1, my friend. I was so distracted by the bagel.

Brandon: Uh, I got 11 total.

Eric: Okay. With a crit 1, Inara you keep thinking about whether or not blueberries are a superfood? 

[Amanda laughs]

Eric: [chuckles] Cause, they're just...berries. 

So Brandon, with an 11, you hear a distinct clacking…

[hollow soft clanking]

...coming from somewhere in the lunchroom. It's like the clacking of, you know like in old train stations when they have those signs that change from one thing to another?

Brandon: Mhm.

Eric: And clacks like that? I looked it up. It's called a split flap display. So you hear that. And I think it's somewhere in the lunchroom. 

Brandon: Okay, I look around. Do I see anything to be making the sound? 

Eric: So you look around the lunch room, and it is pretty busy for any particular morning.

You know, so there's like groups of people and they all kind of like have their cliques, you know, Mean Girls style. 

Amanda: Yep.

Eric: And kind of off to the right, you see that someone is eating alone. And the clacking is coming from that person, even though they're just looking over a bowl of oatmeal and reading a book.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: With the 11, you also notice that next to their oatmeal is a paperweight.

Brandon: Okay, I'm going to turn to my one friend and other people next to me.

Amanda: Mhm.

Eric: Franny.

Brandon: Franny...

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, I forgot the - the uh pico. I'll be right back.

Brandon: I pick up my plate and I walk over to this individual. 

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: And I make sure to get in their eye-line. So I walk around them weirdly, and I say,

Brandon (as Tracey): [enthusiastically] Hi, I’m Tracey! Is this - is this seat open? 

Eric: The person is sitting in front of you does not respond. They're very engrossed in their book. As you look at the person, you can see that this person is bigger than you are. In fact, they are eight feet tall, one of the only people you've seen who are larger than you and they're just wedged into this lunch table. They have their long gray hair and it’s swept back into a bun. And they also have kind of a pale gray skin where you’ve only seen it once before which is on Zubi, the stone giant. And they are just, like, taking up their entire side of the table.

The suit that they have on that like comes up to their calves as capris, is a deep green kind of like a lush lawn, that is kind of like swaying in the wind. And the glasses on their face, they're using, adjusting, every five seconds as they are reading this book are like carved out of stone? Brandon: That's a good look. A very good look. 

Eric: Very stylish. 

Brandon: I like it. 

Eric: As you say hi, this person doesn’t respond, but you do hear more clacking, that is coming from the paperweight.

Brandon: So I'm gonna go ahead and sit down. Put my plate in front of me, take bite out of my closest taco to me. I have many tacos on my plate…

Amanda: Mhm, mhm.

Brandon: There’s at least seven. They’re all different types.

Eric: That doesn't surprise me. 

Brandon: I’m going to eat some feelings. 

Amanda: Now, are they all holding each other up? Like friends? 

Brandon: Yeah, absolutely. 

Amanda: Excellent. 

Brandon: Yeah, it’s the only way to do it. 

Amanda: Mhm.

Brandon: That's why there's so many. 

Amanda: Yeah. 

Brandon: And that's why you have to eat them all at once. 

Amanda: That's true.

Brandon (as Tracey): [rambling] You know, these tacos would be better if the eggs are slightly less cooked, and the meat was braised for slightly longer. I think that if they use like, uh, maybe Monterey Jack instead of…

Brandon: And I just keep rambling on until they notice me. 

Eric: You hear more clacking coming from the paperweight and originally it was just kind of black. But now you're seeing there's like something swirling in there. Like it's a snow globe and someone just shook it up. The clacking starts to subside, and then you hear a voice from the paperweight.

[hollow soft clanking eases]

Eric (as paperweight): [robotically] I know exactly what you mean. If you would only have walked away with a chorizo one first, you would have understood how delicious all the other ones would be in succession! The chorizo is the not the best one for you to pickkk. 

[Amanda laughs, Brandon scoffs]

Amanda: Oh no!!

Eric: And then the large gray skinned woman says,

Eric (as gray skinned woman): [wearied] Sir, if you just want to eat your breakfast in peace, I understand. I also would like to eat my breakfast in peace, which is why I'm not responding to the paperweight at the moment.

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, Well, I was just kinda - I was kind of curious what book you were reading? And also now I'm curious about everything else happening at this table. 

Eric (as paperweight): I'm so glad you asked! I am the divine spirit of D’var the Creator. The only one who created everything. Those who categorize all knowledge and all together. And I know that the chorizo here is not great.

Eric (as gray skinned woman): Again, you don't have to respond to the paperweight if you don't want to - I don't either. So it's fine. I just kind of...you don't have to - you don't have to deal with this. This is...I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You can see why I eat breakfast alone, ordinarily. 

Eric (as D’var): It's never alone when you have the spirit of D’var with you eating breakfast. I also know exactly what you want to eat. It's yogurt. I don't know why you keep yourself from the pleasures.

Brandon (as Tracey): Me? Yogurt? 

Eric (as D’var): No, her. 

Brandon: Okay.

Eric (as D’var): She deserves adventurous foods like yogurt and the divine berries that you can put in that yogurt there.

Brandon (as Tracey): I heard blueberries are a superfood.

Eric (as D’var): I err - I also heard that blueberries are a superfood. 

Eric (as gray skinned woman): [embarrassed] I don't...please I am so sorry. Do you need,  do you want a new taco? I can I can give you a new...this is...I'm so sorry. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [eagerly] I want a new friend! Hi, I'm Tracey. 

Eric (as D’var): As I said before, I'm the spirit of D’var stuck inside of a paperweight. 

Eric (as gray skinned woman): I he - he does it. Well, he doesn't mean that he doesn't mean that. 

Brandon (as Tracey): What...does he mean?

Eric (as gray skinned woman): Okay, yeah, well, he is probably...I don't know. He is probably, maybe...I'm not, I'm not exactly...I shouldn't be telling you that all this over breakfast. Hello, I'm Harriet. I work in the… 

Brandon: Hi, I’m Tracey!

Eric (as Harriet): Tracey. It's nice to meet you. I work here in the government building. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I sort of work here. I don't wear suits. 

Eric (as Harriet): That's - that's sure. I could tell from your your couture. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Mostly capes. 

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah, it's nice. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. It’s a new look, I think you should try it. 

Eric (as Harriet): I'll try - I'll try...it's been a long time. I'll tell you that much. 

Eric (as D’var): I remember when you used to wear capes, it was beautiful! It was wonderful! It was exciting! You should wear capes again.

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, okay, uh...I met a god once. 

Eric (as Harriet): Oh! 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. 

Eric (as Harriet): Okay. 

Brandon (as Tracey): It was a bit of a jerk. 

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah, they usually are.

Brandon (as Tracey): They were a  little more sentient, but this one was a compass. Sort of similar to a paperweight, so same functionality. Um, you know how - I know how they got there. Is  it a sort of a similar path for you? 

Eric (as Harriet): Uh,  you know, I kind of just I found this paperweight, uh you know down in the archives and when I first started working here a few hundred years ago. 

Eric (as D’var): It was 237 years ago when our two paths crossed. It's nice to see someone else has godly experience. I think that you are going to be perfect here for the adventure we're all going to take together.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, I’m sorry. What adventure are we taking?

Eric (as D’var): [intensely] The adventure to save the universe obviously 

Brandon: Oh... 

Eric (as D’var): I understand that we can bring everyone together here. We all understand what's going on in the sky. It seems like I'm the only one. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you know who I am? Or are you just making guesses? Do you say this to everyone or... 

Eric (as Harriet): He does, yes, he does say this most people.

Eric (as D’var): I - it seems like something is interesting to know about the gods - that you also might be involved in something larger.

Amanda: Inara was getting more bagels, obviously she finished the four that she had in front of her, so she's going for another round at the buffet, furiously trying more blueberries this time. Just loading up on those.

[Eric and Brandon chuckle]

Brandon: I think Tracey sees Inara get up from her seat and walk towards the line and just makes intense eye contact with her.

Amanda: Yeah. And on my on my swing back, I'm going to walk past Tracey, plop down that bowl full of blueberries and say, 

Amanda (as Inara): Oh hey Trace! I found out about a superfood, I didn't want to keep it from you…

Eric (as D’var): [interrupting] We all know blueberries are a superfood! You're a citizen, you are a hero for eating those.

Amanda (as Inara): [confused] Uh, forgive me, I’m neary but a kid, I - is this? Hi. 

Eric (as D’var): I'm the spirit of D’var the Creator, the one and the only... 

Eric (as Harriet): He says this to everyone. It's not like...it’s not necessarily...Hi, I’m Harriet. I work here. I'm so - I'm sorry. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m Tracey.

Amanda (as Inara): Um, yep, that I know. Harriet, love the style. We're going to talk about that later. Excuse me, uh D’var, um do you know Ze’ol and do you hate him? If not, I think we're going to have to fight...so just let me know what your stance is just right now, please. 

Eric (as D’var): Oh, Ze’ol. I hate that guy. He was there when the creation of everything. 

Amanda (as Inara): Yep.

Eric (as D’var): I was there creating things and then he took it away from me. It's terrible. 

Amanda (as Inara): Good, good start. Um, unfortunately, maybe more powerful than you thought he was trapped in a compass? Maybe not then anymore. Took a lot of stuff that we cared about...people you know the whole thing. Uh, what's going on with you guys right now? 

Amanda: Inara sits down and leans over close the paperweight. 

Amanda (as Inara): Sorry, I just I didn't expect to like run into a god over breakfast. But the world's ending kind of, maybe soon. So what's the deal? And how do we stop it?

Eric (as Harriet): Wait, wait, wait. Wait are you saying that this is actually probably a part of

like one of the three gods that created everything and rule over everything that we do in our lives? I thought he was just lying to me for over 200 years. So... 

Brandon (as Tracey): We've seen we're honestly.

Eric (as Harriet): Huh, Okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Y eah, if if we hadn't done a lot of annoying stuff for a god in a compass, I would probably think a god in a paperweight was a lot weirder. But at this point... 

Brandon (as Tracey): I wouldn't be surprised if Adamah was in a Rubik's Cube at this point. I don't…

Amanda (as Inara): Maybe a spoon?.

Brandon (as Tracey): Maybe a spoon. A spork? 

Amanda: Who knows? Mmm. Maybe, I think it's a little bit too spicy for them.

[Brandon chuckles]

Eric (as D’var): We are not gods that can only be contained in physical objects. We are a - existed all things in both the ethereal plane, the astral plane, the godly plane and this one. Only we are contained within the magical prisons that grab us on the material plane. I've been trying to empower Harriet to go follow the destiny in which she has.

Eric (as Harriet): And I chose not to and have a government job that I love very much and I I work in the archives and I love it. And…

Brandon (as Tracey): How’s that pension? Good pension, right?  

Eric (as Harriet): It’s - It’s great. They take care of me. I really know what's going on in there and get a real run of the place and nothing is going on. And I love it. I do not need adventuring advice from a paperweight that I use to hold down 504s.

Amanda (as Inara): We honestly really respect that and again, I just want to circle back and say, I want to talk to you deeply and learn a lot at some point. Uh, because this whole adventuring lifestyle it's really something. Um...

Eric (as D’var): Why don't you tell your new friends about the terrible things that are happening in the archive? Then you can get your adventuring spirit back. 

Eric (as Harriet): [circumventing] I don't - they don't need to know about that. I can take care of that. Yeah... how did you... how did you know that?

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] That's what they say, Trace, is that if you see one, you just got to take care of the problem. Oh no.

Eric (as Harriet): Wait, you know - I’ve...you know about the moths?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. 

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah…

Eric (as Harriet): Okay, so then you know about the glowing people that are walking around in there too?

Amanda (as Inara): Not that one. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes?

Eric (as Harriet): Okay…

Amanda: Tracey and Inara look at each other.

[Amanda laughs] 

Eric (as Harriet): Alright, fine, I guess. Okay, fine. Well... 

Amanda (as Inara): We’ve been having some problems with glowing people, particularly how to, you know, trap them. And...what is happening there?

Eric (as Harriet): Well, okay, um, well down in the - I work down in the archives of the gover - of this government building and we have all types of artifacts, and items, and scripts and things. Especially where we keep the majority of our - of the the library we keep a rare, rare magical books. And recently, none of the other archivists, notice the the extra dust that we had seen on the, on the books they thought it was just you know... 

Amanda (as Inara): Ah, books. Yeah, happens.

Eric (as Harriet): From - a, well, eventually we started looking at the dust a little closer and it looked a little more like - like, uh, glitter. It glowed in a low purple and as the dust accumulated it became more and more purple and then we looked around at some of the library assistants who interacted with the books the most, started glowing purple as well. And then they started eating books and that was when the problems really started. 

Brandon (as Tracey): You're not supposed to eat books right? 

Eric (as Harriet): You're not supposed to eat books.

Amanda (as Inara): [excitedly] But you can?! 

Eric (as Harriet): No, you cannot eat boo - if you can, then you start glowing purple and eating books and shooting you know ice from your bodies. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I could probably eat a book.

Amanda (as Inara): Um, Yeah, I feel like that is probably really... well anyway. Do they look similar to that glowing guy in the bubble or not?

Brandon (as Tracey): I’m sorry, ice? What? 

Eric (as Harriet): What bubble? What...

Amanda: Inara points over to where the tablecloth is covering about half of the Alonzo/Council of Bright bubble. 

Eric (as D’var): I really like your bubble. 

Amanda (as Inara): Can you see?

Eric (as D’var): I see all things. I create all things. 

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, yeah. HI really teamed him up for that one. Okay, sorry.

Eric (as Harriet): Uh, Well, I don't exactly know what's in...

Amanda (as Inara): [intervening] Nevermind.

Eric (as Harriet): Wait, are you the - you're the team and the robot and the witch, and the bubble?

Brandon (as Tracey): No we’re not. Not a witch. It is a bubble.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah it is. 

Eric (as Harriet): Those are you - those are you guys? Do you have Prince Alonzo in there with a doppelganger of himself in energy?

Amanda (as Inara): Uh huh…

Brandon: No…

Eric (as D’var): Harriet, tell them about the thing!

Eric (as Harriet): I'm not - I don't have to tell them about the thing.

Eric (as D’var): Harriet! Tell them about the thing.

Amanda (as Inara): D’var, are you an enemy of the Council of Bright or an ally? 

Eric (as D’var): I hate that guy. I hate everyone except for me. I'm the one who can create all the things and knows all the things 

Amanda (as Inara): I see. Uh, Harriet, we're kind of here on an important mission. There's a vote happening later today that could kind of decide the fate of the world. Um, and I can really use a distraction before lunchtime. So if there's something we can help you with umm, I'm here for it. As something we can learn down there, I would love to do a little bit of research before we know whether or not we can deal with this existential threat or if we should just lay down in a sea of blueberries and wait for it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you like blueberries? They’re super.

Eric (as D’var): [pestering] Harriet, you need to tell them about the separator thing. 

Eric (as Harriet): [conceding] Okay, fine. Well...I’d heard some scuttlebutt about your particular predicament.

Brandon: Tracey giggles.

Eric (as Harriet): Uh, well, if the prince is locked into this particular medallion that is around his neck, there could be an item down in the archives to unmoor him from that medallion. 

Amanda (as Inara): Let's do it! Let's go!

Amanda: Inara stands up. 

Eric (as Harriet): Oh, right now? I - are we…? Well, I mean, I don't have to. 

Brandon (as Tracey): We can finish my tacos, but we can do that and walk... 

Amanda (as Inara): You’re right, I'm sorry Tracey. I'm sorry. We talked about this before. [fades into a whisper] I got excited and I stood but I’ll let sit down and let you finish eating your breakfast. 

Brandon: Tracey stands up and shovels all the tacos into his mouth. 

Eric (as D’var): That's a good man! That's what I like to see!

Eric (as Harriet): I have my...this book and I have some papers and all this oatmeal. I'm not really the adventuring...I - I'm not here for doing this. You can just take the paperweight if you want. I just I don't...it’s not...

Brandon: Tracey puts his hands on the table and just shoves everything off of it except for the paperweight.

[crash of everything to the floor]

Brandon (as Tracey): [enthusiastically] Well, you're free now! Let’s go!!!

Eric (as Harriet): [mumbling] That's a good point, that’s a good point. 

Eric (as D’var): Harriet, they need you. You can do something that no one else can. 

Eric (as Harriet): Everyone can read, you just think that I'm the only person who knows how to read. 

[Amanda chuckes]

Eric (as D’var): No, I'm not talking about reading. I'm talking about “the touch”. 

Eric (as Harriet): [mumbling under breath] You're just...you're just telling all my secrets - are you just gonna say all my secrets out loud? 

Eric (as D’var): They need to know about “the touch”.

[short pause] 

Amanda (as Inara): What's “the touch”? 

Eric (as Harriet): It's not...listen, it’s not.. 

Amanda (as Inara): And again, I'm a teenager, so please watch your words.

Eric (as Harriet): [stumbling] It's not uh, listen...I can't...it's not really a thing. 

Eric (as D’var): She can turn people into stone.

Eric (as Harriet): Why?! Why would you…? [mumbling] I don't know why you would do that. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Is that what happened to you? To paperweight?

Eric (as D’var): No, I'm not a paperweight.

Eric: Why don't you both make either Arcana or Nature? Or History? 

Amanda: I’m going to do Nature. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: Uh, it’s a natural 20 my friends.

Eric: Hey!!!

Brandon: Hey! I’ll do Arcana.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 13.

Eric: Okay.

Amanda: Also good, Brandon, especially good for you. 

[Brandon chuckles]
I'm proud of you. You’re keeping the streak alive. I appreciate it. 

Brandon: I don’t appreciate the pity. 

[Eric chuckles]

Eric: Tracey, you notice that this is actually kind of similar to the compass, but it's like a lower version of it. It's like it's contained only on this plane. This is more similar to what Franny is doing, getting her hooch of Undying Light than it is like the compass. Like It Is not - this is not containing the god, this thing might actually be telling the truth that it is a part of itself on the material plane. 

So with a natural 20, Amanda, you remember the conversation that you had with Zubi at the end where he put you in in his hands? And how he explained about “the touch” and stone giants relationship with stone and being underground? And how rare stone giants were at this time. So then you look at Harriet and you see that there are a lot of things about Harriet there are similar to Zubi. Her complexion is very similar to Zubi’s, but she's just like a shrunken like half size version of Zubi. So when the D’var paperweight says “the touch” you immediately know that paperweight is talking about the petrifying touch that Zubi did when he was like cloudy. 

Amanda: Yep. 

Eric: I can tell you that maybe she's like half stone giant? So this is not something that happens when like they go wonky. This is something that like she has some control over. So let's say that she can do this once per day.

Amanda: Gotcha. Oh, that's, uh. That's actually really good to know. I mean, we just have this energy version of our friend that is so destructive, that is breaking out of his prison that possessed our buddy, and we need to make sure he's taken care of and trapped somewhere that he can't influence someone else. 

So, I mean, we have this whole bubble thing to deal with. But if you wouldn't mind, I mean, a statue’s a lot less harm than an energy phantom. 

Eric (as Harriet): I mean, I'd really rather not turn anyone into a statue. 

Eric (as D’var): If you need to do the statue, she will do it. She has the power and the will and the means!

Amanda (as Inara): Okay, buddy. All of your interjections were very helpful up until now, but give - give Harriet a little space. She can decide what she wants to do. But in the meantime, that glitter problem sounds real bad. Can we help?

Brandon: Tracey places a paper napkin on top of the paperweight.

Amanda: Yeah!! 

Eric (as D’var): Why is it dark? I don't like the dark.

Amanda (as Inara): Isn't it calming? Take a little nap.

Eric (as D’var): Oh...I’m - I'm getting sleepy...eh...

[muffled snoring] 

Brandon (as Tracey): [yelling] Franny!! 

Amanda: Done!

Eric (as Franny): [startled] Ugh! I’m awake, I’m awake! 

Eric: Okay, so Harriet says, 

Eric (as Harriet): You know, why don't you meet me over back by the elevator that goes down to the stacks. It seems like there's a lot of people who are looking, who are looking around at us.

[laughing heartily] You can also see, like, a bunch of people are just like eating their breakfast and looking at you. 

Brandon: Tracey waves at them all. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Hi, I’m Tracey!! 

Eric (as cafeteria onlooker): Oh man. He was on my Bachelorette tournament fantasy team!

Amanda: Inara jumps up on the bench. Whirls around and says,

Amanda (as Inara): As you were!

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, and they all turn back around. And Harriet slips the paperweight into her pocket and you hear,

[muffled talking from Harriet’s pocket]

And she walks out the cafeteria. 

Brandon: And we fall behind. Tracey tucks a few tacos into his pockets? 

Amanda: Oh no. 

Brandon: Maybe puts salsa in one pocket and tacos in the other one.

Eric: Fair. 

Amanda: It’s your life buddy.

[Amanda giggles]

I'm going to roll the bubble along with Franny. She'll do most of the pushing and I will kind of guide it on the side. And we'll roll on back to not the main elevator we took down from our quarters, but down the hall there is like a freight elevator that goes into the lower floors. 

Eric: Exactly. 

Brandon: I also just want to point out on the way out, Tracey looks very disgusted with the pudding piles.

Eric: [chuckles] Thank you. Thank you for sharing that color. Okay, y'all reconvene. As you reveal the antimagic bubble, Harriet studies the two of them very closely. 

Eric (as Harriet): Okay. I think...okay, I think I know what to - I know what we can get. I don't know where it is but, we’ll have to get around the book eaters but we should be okay.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, before we get down there, is it the best idea to have a you know...

Amanda: And then she leans over and whispers, 

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] A really powerful like magic entity down in the archive should - should Franny like, watch him in a room?

Eric (as Harriet): [whispers in response] Yeah, no, I was...exactly. That's exactly what I was thinking of. 

Amanda (as Inara): Okay. 

Brandon (as Tracey): If we eat the books, will we blend in and be able to go past them quickly? 

Eric (as Harriet): Yes. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, good. 

Eric (as Harriet): Oh, wow, wait. I've never thought of that. Because I don't eat books.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Have you tried it? 

Eric (as Harriet): If you eat a book, are they hurt? 

Brandon (as Tracey): The books or have my teeth?

Eric (as Harriet): Both.

Brandon (as Tracey): My teeth are fine. 

Eric (as Harriet): Okay. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I don't...do books have feelings? 

Eric (as Harriet): [mumbling] I mean, I think so. But that may be more of an archivist thing.

Amanda: I will just kind of put my hand on Franny’s shoulder and just say in a  very obvious tone, 

Amanda (as Inara): Franny, you know, I think you should take uh, the guys back to the room and have a nice little post breakfast nap. They seem very sedate. They can just hang out. Alonzo can catch up on his reading, just like hold the book up to the side of the bubble or whatever you have to do. 

Amanda: And then I'm just gonna like nod over and over again with like, very wide eyes. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I know Alonzo would love to hear one of your longest and driest stories. 

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah. 

Eric: Alonzo looks at both of you and be like,

Eric (as Alonzo): [muffled with a sarcastic tone] I knew it. Oh yeah...Franny tell me what you know about things

Eric (as Franny): Oh yeah! I love things! Things are my favorite.

[Amanda laughs in response, going along with it] 

Amanda: I give Alonzo a big thumbs up from behind her back. 

[Eric chuckles]

Eric (as Franny): All right, well, I think that one of you should take the neutralizer.

Brandon (as Tracey): Not it. It's still covered goo.

Eric (as Franny): It is not.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as Franny): You know what, Tracey, I think you should have it. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay…

Eric (as Franny): I trust you. As a sign of good faith. You can have the neutralizer. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [mumbling under breath] This is worse than the salsa in my pocket. 

Eric: So now Tracey, you have the neutralizer. 

Brandon: Tracey takes it with two fingers and just sort of like throws it quickly into his bag. 

Eric: Yeah. Tracey, I also want to make a Charisma saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Um, 4? 

Amanda: [sadly] No...

Eric: Sure. Interesting. As you put the neutralizer into your bag, it's like someone opened a backdoor into your head. And you hear the Council of Bright say, 

Eric (as Council of Bright): Good. I'm glad that you have the neutralizer. You will know what to do when it happens. Eric: Franny goes over and takes the bubble away.

Brandon (as Tracey): Bye! Have a good time! 

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks!

Brandon (as Tracey): Don't do anything I wouldn't do!

Eric: The Council of Bright laughs audibly. You guys hop into the freight elevator and the gates in front close.

[doors shut, hum of elevator moving and beeping]

And you find yourself going down for a very long period of time. This place goes a lot deeper than you thought it would - it did. 

Brandon (as Tracey): So Harriet, how’d you get started here? An apprenticeship, or…?

Amanda (as Inara): Do you have suits in other colors?

Eric (as Harriet): I want to do the second one first. No, this is kind of...well, I mean, all the employees in the government kind of have their color assigned to them. Like everyone has a color shade and you gotta do anything within that color shade is the main - it's like our ID number? So I kind of I like the grass. I thought that was - it was a nice. 

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s very soothing.

Amanda (as Inara): It suits you, yeah.

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah. Uh…

Brandon (as Tracey): It suits you.

Eric (as Harriet): [acknowledging the pun] Oh! Oh….

[all Oh! In response]

Eric (as D’var): I had beautiful suits, I made them for myself. I'm the Creator. 

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah. He does that he doesn't like to be ignored. Also, he's still in my pocket.

[mellow harmony]

Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. I don’t know if you heard, but my birthday was last week! *rap airhorn* And my favorite part about birthdays aren’t the presents, or the Happy Birthday text messages, or randos from high school writing on my facebook wall once a year like clockwork. It’s cake. Why is cake so good? One, it has frosting. And two, it has some much potential for so many flavors! And three, this is not a dig at pie - I love pie - I will fuck up a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But a cake is a symbol of celebration. You only get a cake when something good is happening. Or, if you’re trying to prevent something bad from happening. Then you have sympathy cake. So it could be like a Costco sheet cake, a Carvel ice cream cake, funfetti from the box, or a Bon Appetit special creation. Cake is wonderful. And so are you. Welcome to the midroll. I saved you a corner slice. It has a rose on it, it’s just all sugar. 

Hello and welcome to our newest patrons: Jordan, Katie, Colleen, Eve, Isabelle, Melanie, Ilayda, Maddie, Malte, Bridget, Erika, Abigail, Anis, and Noel. We are almost at the half-century mark for episodes and I cannot believe how far this show has come. And you know who did that? That was you, the patrons! You pledged your money because you believe in us, in this show, and wanted us to thrive. If you want to join our wonderful community of artistic supporters and get cool rewards like access to our discord, NPC backstories that I write, bloopers, and MORE. Just head on over to patreon.com/jointhepartypod. That’s patreon.com/jointhepartypod. We also changed the color of our patreon and it’s pretty.

HEY NEW YORK CITY, DON’T TELL ANYONE, BUT WE’RE DOING A SECRET SHOW IN BROOKLYN THIS WEEKEND. If you are around this Saturday, May 18th at 7pm, you can just mosey on over to 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY, and you can see us try to revolutionize the D&D live show. It’s gonna be WILD and I don’t know if anyone has done anything like this before, and I’m very very excited. Go to 20ss.nyc/JTPLIVE to get your tickets! The space is small and it will sell out. And also, we have no idea how many people we can actually fit in that space, so get tickets as soon as possible. And while you’re there, use our discount code, JOINTHEPARTY, for 20% off anything in the store. So one again, for the tickets: 20ss.nyc/JTPLIVE, and use the discount code JOINTHEPARTY for 20% while you’re there. Get to see us in the meet space and also pick up some dice, it’ll be great! 

But, if you’re busy this weekend washing your hair or soldering your robot parts, you can see us in Nashville, somewhere else in New York City, and in Boston. Just head on over to http://multitude.productions/live to see what we’re up to.

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

[mellow harmony]

Eric: So the elevator settles and goes, ding!

[elevator dings, followed by a mechanical whirring and buzzing]

The room that the elevator opens up in looks like the study room in maybe a college library. There are a lot of tables, some lamps, and a lot of chairs for people to pull up around these tables to read set archive books, but everything is covered in what looks like purple glitter. Like there's a fine layer of purple glitter on everything. The stacks, the lamps, the tables, some of the people who are walking around? 

You see that there are only a few people. There's like one librarian who's sitting at the desk who's just like [chuckles] trying to like hold it together. And it's just - she's just like covered in this purple glitter. 

And then you see these people like wandering by in a daze. And some of them have books in their hands. And they're just like stuffing them in their mouths. 

Brandon (as Tracey): And are they making like, mm mm, yummy noises? Are they like [zombie-like] yum-yum books are good. 

Eric: Closer to the second one, I would say. It's more they are just like entranced. And all they want to do is like eat books. And then you see one person walks by and they put what looks like a kind of like a chunky paperback in their mouths and they swallow it whole. 

Amanda: Oh no...

Eric: And then they burn... 

[whir of a flame]

And then just like a plume of flame bursts out of their mouth.

Amanda (as Inara): [quietly] Tracey, I don’t think we’re ever going to get this out of our packs and our clothes and stuff.

Brandon (as Tracey): Nope. Once you’re glittered, you never un-glitter. Is what, the glitter council says. 

Eric (as D’var): Once you go glitter, you never be fitter. That's what I always say. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay. 

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah, so the issue is, some of these are magic…

Brandon (as Tracey): Is there a shower here? Does it not come off in the shower? 

Eric (as Harriet): I can't get them out of any of my... 

Brandon (as Tracey): Can’t you just wash it away...

Eric (as Harriet): [quietly] It stays, it just stays. So here's the problem. So, everyone...okay, just stay still. The problem is some or whatever this dust is, I think that there's some like, I don't know, like some some infestation that is like indoctrinating all these people? And they just kind of run around in the dust. And you can't really tell who it is. 

So, there are these bugs that don't like other people. Then you have the people who are like doing this bug’s bidding? So, like, don't make any sudden moves. We need to make them think that we - I don't know what to do. But we gotta stay stay low profile. 

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s time to eat some books. 

Amanda (as Inara): Where did this begin? The infestation?

Eric (as Harriet): We have a specific magic book section where, uh, you know where we're wizards can read them, to start learning spells. But the problem is, is that we have them organized by like spell and by category. So that's when some people eat them, eat the books, they get the magic spell itself.

Brandon (as Tracey): [fascinated] What?!

Eric (as Harriet): Like I said, ice, fire, it's - it's bad.

Brandon (as Tracey): Is it permanent? 

Eric (as Harriet): No, you can just eat it, and then do the spell. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, and then they don't get to do it again?

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah, I mean, that's pretty bad for someone who is just kind of eating the thing. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. it’s bad it’s terrible. It’s awful

Amanda (as Inara): I would definitely not try that if I was alone with one those books.

Brandon (as Tracey): No. No.

Eric (as Harriet): So we also - we have a lot of books, but we also have rooms that have different

artifacts and the actual items that people can check out to examine. I think - I don't know which one, but it's even one of these rooms. If we can run in, grab it and run out without them noticing us, we don't have to, like punch any people. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah.

Eric (as Harriet): We don't have to fight any moths. We can just get out, get in, get out. And deal with what was actually the problem.

Brandon (as Tracey): What does it look like, the artifact? 

Eric (as Harriet): So the thing that you're looking for is a very small hammer. It's like something that maybe a doctor would have to treat your reflexes, like a small ball pein hammer, but the handle is dark, dark black. But the top of the hammer, the head of it, is red, like a ruby. 

Amanda (as Inara): Good news. Don't ask me a lot of follow up questions, but I can become invisible and fly. So, I can start at one end and you guys try to sneak into the other?

Brandon (as Tracey): Bad news. Not good at sneaking. Am good at eating books. 

Eric (as Harriet): Okay, great.

Brandon (as Tracey): Is that helpful?

Eric (as Harriet): I can stay here. I’ll have D’var in my pocket. But I can't go anywhere. They'll know that I'm not infected.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well, I have a here I have a it's - a it's, it's a rock. But it doesn't talk you talk into it. And I can hear you. So it's slightly different from D’var. But here just - just take it and talk into it. And I'll show you.

Eric (as Harriet): I’ll hold on to it. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. Just talk into it, I can hear you, and then talk back to you.

Eric (as Harriet): Nice. 

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s a walkie talkie. 

Eric (as Harriet): I got...it’s very good. Thank you.

Amanda (as Inara): Very good.

Amanda: Inara’s scribbling something on a piece of paper. And then she bends down to share it with Oatcake. And she's drawn a hammer a notebook and puts it in front of Oatcake’s face and then smiles and says, 

Amanda (as Inara): Girl, go fetch!

Eric: [nervous] Ohhh, ok. 

Amanda: Then I pull my shadow cowl up over my head, turn invisible, and fly off to the room furthest to the left.

Eric: Okay, I need you to roll a d10 for me, because I want to see what room Oatcake poofs into.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 7.

Brandon: Okay. As Oatcake poofs away, Tracey casts Disguise Self on himself, and turns into a Tracey, but glittery. 

Amanda: Nice.

Eric: [laughing] Nice! 

Amanda: Love it! 

Eric: I like that a lot. 

Amanda: She Is the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.

[Eric and Brandon chuckle]

Brandon: And then as Inara goes to Room 1...

Amanda: Yeah. 

Brandon: Tracey's going to start with Room 10. 

Eric: Okay, we're gonna roll just for a loose Initiative. So that I know, who, in what order you guys are checking your stuff out. I’m going to roll for Oatcake. 

[all roll dice]

[intense chords]

Brandon: 3!

Amanda: 15! 

Eric: Okay, so Inara, before you can pull your shadow cowl, you hear Oatcake poof in another room. I want you to make a Perception check for you to be able to hear what Oatcake’s doing.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: [short pause in reaction to roll] 7.

Eric: Okay, with a 7, I don't think you know which room Oatcake is in. You can just like hear that’s she’s somewhere like in the middle of these rooms. 

Amanda: Okay. 

Eric: Okay, so Inara, you go next. You pull the cowl on, you're gonna float over to number 1?

Amanda: Yep. 

Eric: Okay. I want you to roll a Dexterity saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 12.

Eric: Okay, with a 12 you poof into 1. And you see that there's like a very large purple moth that is flying around in Room 1. And it is like spreading glitter everywhere. But with a 12, you don't manage to get any glitter on you. And it does not notice that you are there. Cause moths are dumb. 

Amanda: They’re - they’re focused Eric. 

Brandon: Hot take! 

[Eric laughs heartily]

Brandon: Hot take! 

Amanda: They’re focused on what they need to do. 

Eric: These - these moths are dumb. 

Amanda: My strategy here is to just kind of float up and down each of the shelves. Are there shelves in each room? Like items? What's going on?

Eric: Imagine that there's a wall that just has like 10 cubby holes in them. You would pull out a drawer to check out what's in it. 

Brandon: So like a safety deposit box situation? 

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon: Yes.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So with a 10, I think that since you decided to put your shadow cowl on, you kinda just like float through to see what's in there. I think that as you check them all, yeah, the ball pein hammer is not in there.

Amanda: So, I'm just going to float through the wall into Room 2.

Eric: Alright, nice. We're gonna go to Tracey. 

Brandon: It’s me, Tracey!

Eric: So, Tracey. Are you doing anything more to disguise yourself? Yeah, I'm gonna take out my first warforged book and just sort of like, knaw on it.

[Amanda and Eric giggle]

Amanda: Aw, Is it like rubber for kids?

Brandon: Yes, exactly. 

Amanda: Nice. Love it. Waterproof. Got to be at that age. 

Brandon: Well, I don't think I have any saliva. This is a weird question that I never thought would come up. 

[Amanda laughs] 

Eric: I don't think you do, no.
Brandon: So, it's fine. 

Eric: Yeah. 

Brandon: Every once in a while I’ll just like do some flashes of orange to make it look like I'm like shooting off magic, you know.

Eric: Alright, so Tracey, I think your disguise is a Deception roll. So I want you to make a Deception roll, but I'll give you advantage because of your disguise.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Good, because the first one was a 1.

[Eric cackles]

Amanda: Oh no…

[dice rolls]

Brandon: And the second one was an 18. 

Eric: There you go. 

Amanda: Ayyy!

Eric: Okay, with an 18, you walk by one of the moth zombies, and you kinda just  go, “Working hard or hardly working,” with a book in your mouth. And you can walk over to room 10. 

Brandon (as Tracey): [hard to understand with mouth full] Hffard woorthking! 

Eric: So why don't you make a Dexterity roll to see how many of them you can check, how many of the drawers you can pull out.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: [pleasantly surprised] 19!

Eric: Hey! With a 19, you can check all of them. It is not in room 10. 

Brandon: Great. I make sure that they're all put back exactly in the way that they were. Exactly flush with the wall. And I head to the next room. 

Eric: Okay, so now I'm going to come back... 

Brandon: And wave bye to my friends, that I saw along the way.

[Amanda and Eric chuckle]

Eric: Alright, so now I'm going to go with Oatcake, and I'm going to do a roll for her to see what room she poofs into next.

[dice rolls]

Eric: Alright. I want to make another perception check, Amanda.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 18.

Eric: Okay, within an 18 you hear that Oatcake has poofed into Room 8. So now, I'm gonna roll to see how many of the drawers she can check.

[dice rolls]

Okay. Great. Alright. Inara, it is now your turn. You're gonna float to Room 2? 

Amanda: Different room, same routine. 

Eric: Okay. Inara I want you to make a Constitution saving throw. 

Amanda: How dare you.

[dice rolls]

18 again. 

Eric: Okay! Soin there, you see that there, like a dwarf has wandered in there, who might just be like a, like an intern for somewhere in the building who got sent down to the archives. And like, there’s a moth that is just like directly on his face. And it is very gross. And like, I don't know if he's being infected, or he’s just nasty. But you can see that this guy is getting like glitter all over himself. And zombified as well. And you were able to like fight it off in your gospel.

As much as they want to punch this moth in it's dumb thorax, sorry moths, um I am going to instead just quietly check all the drawers. 

Eric: Okay, I want you to make a Dexterity check to see how many you can check out.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 15. 

Eric: Alright, with 15 you can check all of them. It is not in Room 2. And this guy is looking pretty nasty. Sorry guy. 

Amanda: I'm gonna make a little apologetic face like, sorry, and then go into Room 3.

[Eric giggles]

Eric: Okay, Tracey it is now your turn. So you walk out of Room 10, and you're making your way to Room 9? 

Brandon: Yeah.

Eric: OK, so now an elven woman is in the middle of just shoving a dictionary sized book into her mouth. 

Brandon: Delicious. 

Eric: Yeah. So what do you do when you see other people you're just kind of like trying to ignore them? 

Brandon: Yeah, it's like, you know, when you go into the library, and you actually don't want to

see or hear or talk to or interact with any other human in your area? 

[Eric laughs] 

Amanda: I sure do.

Brandon: Because you're in a library and why would you?

Amanda: Yep. 

Brandon: It's just that. You're just like, okay. 

Eric: I will say this elven woman, like, she cannot physically eat this dictionary. Like it is way too big and she's really trying to shove it in her mouth. 

Brandon: Well you know what like in the real life, when you go to a library and you see someone trying to eat a book? 

[Eric cackles]

Eric: Alright, I want you to make a Wisdom saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Well that’s a 9.

Eric: Oh no. Tracey in your head, you hear,

Eric (as Council of Bright): Help with the book! 

Eric: So this is the spell Suggestion. So you feel compelled to help this woman in some way deal with the book in her mouth.

Brandon: So Tracey is going to walk over to the elven woman, look at her in the eye. slowly take the book away. Take out both of his axes and like a hibachi chef…

[Eric and Amanda laughing]

Chop it up, adding some of the salsa from his pocket.

Amanda: Pocket salsa! Pocket salsa! 

Brandon: And then taking out the filling from the tortilla that was previously there from one of the tacos and put it in the tortilla shell. 

Eric: Nice.

Brandon: And hand it back to her. Let me roll for...

[dice rolls]

Aw, it’s a 20. 

Eric: YOU ROLLED A 20!!!!!!!

Amanda: AHHHH!!

[Amanda and Eric yell in excitement]

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: Brandon made unbroken eye contact with Eric as he tossed the dice away from him. 

[Eric continues laughing]

Brandon: It was just a joke roll! I got a 20!! I am a dice god. 

Eric: Alright, so since you fulfilled the action with aplomb, the cloud of Suggestion is no longer affecting you. And I'll let you, because you did it so well, I'll make you a role a Dexterity roll to see if you can get into the room and check anything out.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: Uh, 7.

Eric: Okay, with a 7, you cannot check out anything more but you - you are now safely in Room 9 so you don't have to interact with anyone else but you have not been able to check anything else out.

Okay, it is now Oatcake’s turn. I'm going to see what else she can check out. 

[dice rolls]

Okay. Inara, I want you to make another Perception check to see where Oatcake is. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: [disappointed] 4...

Eric: Okay, you kind of lost track of Oatcake. [toward Amanda] It is now your turn.

Amanda: So I will float through the wall to Room 3. 

Eric: Okay. 

Amanda: What do I find?

Eric: In Room 3, there's nothing. 

Amanda: Just drawers? 

Eric: It’s just drawers.

Amanda: Look at all the drawers then.

Eric: Okay. make a Dexterity roll to see how many drawers you can check out.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 14.

Eric: Okay. In drawer 3, you take it out and there is a tiny venus flytrap.

Amanda: I'm going to do - I'm going to do small wave at it. Turn - turn visible and do a small wave.

Eric: Oh, it waves back with its face.

Amanda: Uh, I’m going to lean close and whisper,

Amanda (as Inara): [whispering] Uh, I'm sorry I really want to adopt you, but I'm not really in a place right now to commit to to raising a house plant. Um, it was nice to meet you.

Amanda: And then I close the drawer

Eric: Okay, as you float through all the drawers, it is not in the Room 3. 

Amanda: Alright. 

Eric: And Tracey, you are now in Room 9. You can make a Dexterity roll to check everything out in there. 

Brandon: I would love to. Hear is my roll.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: [chuckles] It is a 9...

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey we talked about this, Brandon! Make eye contact! Predict the roll! 

Brandon: This doesn’t count, but I do want to try this. 

Eric: Okay. 

Brandon: Look at me. [calling it] 18.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: [laughing heartily] Such a power move! 

Eric: You just rolled a 19!

Brandon: I rolled 19.

Eric: Yep. Alright, you check out all the drawers in Room 9, it is not in there. You have to do something drastic in order to go to the next room. 

Brandon: Okay, I'm going to use the sending stone to talk to Harriet and the paperweight.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: I'm going to say, 

Brandon (as Tracey): D’var, what was the most challenging thing you ever had to create? 

Eric (as D’var): [statically, over a radio] Wow, uh... 

Eric: And while he's talking, and hopefully loudly, I’m going to try to sneak into the other room.

Amanda: Nice!

Eric (as D’var): Well I would say that creating sentient life forms was the hardest things to create. There are a lot of nuts and bolts there. There's a lot of complicated wiring that happens in between. 

Eric: So I like this direction, make a Stealth roll. 

Brandon: Can I have advantage? 

Eric: I will make it easier for you.

Brandon: Okay.

[dice rolls, calling 19 hopefully] 

Uhhh, 8.

Eric: Uh, with 8, even with that distraction, you... 

Brandon: I forgot to turn the volume down on my sending stone. 

Eric: Yeah, exactly. 

Brandon: Yeah. 

Eric: I think there is a librarian in your path who is fully zombified and sees you and then she takes a little book out of her pocket. She eats it. And then she opens her mouth and just like 10 moths come out of her mouth and fly at you. And I want you to make a Constitution saving throw.

Amanda: Well that’s scary. 

Brandon: I'm very constitute so…

[dice rolls, calls 19 hopefully again] 

Brandon: Ah, I got a 15. 

Eric: With a 15, you're able to fight off all the moths and they don't get like in your wiring and stuff which would be very nasty. 

Brandon: It would be bad. 

Eric: It would be bad. So you're currently out in the open, outside of Room 8. 

Brandon: Okay, I'm going to gnaw unsuspiciously on my book.

Eric: There are moths flapping around you, and you're still just like gnawing on your book? 

Brandon: Yeah. 

Eric: Alright. It is Oatcake’s turn. Amanda, I want you to make an Animal Handling check.

[dice rolls]

Amanda: Do I have an advantage because it’s my Oatcake? 

Eric: Sure, you have advantage because it’s Oatcake. 

[dice rolls]

Amanda: 16.

Eric: Okay, with a 16, you're floating in 3, you're checking everything out. You are leaving the venus flytrap away. And suddenly, you hear a, thrump...

[thrump reverberates] 

And you see Oatcake is in your room, holding the ball pein hammer in her mouth.

Amanda: Great. I am going to choose to be visible and I’ll float down to her and wave and then tangible, so that I can pick her up and float with her back to wherever Harriet is standing. 

Eric: Okay.

Amanda: And I'll drop back down next to Harriet, take the cowl off, and wave slowly at Tracey. Just like hold my hand up and do a very gentle turn of my wrist. 

Eric: Okay,

Brandon: Tracey turns his head as he's gnawing on his first warforged book and tries to wink but does blink.

Amanda: Mhm.

Eric: There also still moths like floating around your head that you've resisted for the moment.

Brandon: Right. I am going…

Eric: They are attracted to that light in your eyes.

Brandon: Are they actually attracted to the light?

Eric: I mean, they’re moths.

Brandon: Okay, then what I think I'm going to do is shoot some thunder cannon lightning. 

Eric: [laughing] Oh shit. 

Brandon: I'm gonna shoot a little ball of energy, a ball of light energy, off in the distance and then use my fast movement to sprint over to my party. 

Eric: Hell yeah. Alright, make an Attack roll. 

Brandon: Yeah, I’m just gonna shoot the far wall, away from the books. 

Eric: Okay/ 

Brandon: I don't want to damage the books.

Eric: As best as you can for sure. Okay, make and Attack roll. 

[dice rolls]

Brandon: 14.

Eric: Yeah, I think you do it with a 14. I think that's a good, that's a good plan. 

[thunder cannon echoes]

You shoot your thunder cannon off to the far side of the wall. All of the moths that are in the room, and all the zombified people then just start like walking as fast as they can towards the light. 

You also see like a lot of the glitter like shift to the left, like towards the ball, which is... 

Brandon: Beautiful.

Eric: ...Gross and terrible. And I hate it. And then yeah, you can sprint to the elevator.

Brandon: I sprint to the elevator and I'm screaming,

Brandon (as Tracey): [screaming] LET’S GO!!!!!!!

Eric: Harriet pulls the elevator doors closed and you're heading back up into the building.

[humming and beeping of elevator, with creaking as doors open]

Amanda: We take the elevator all the way up to the boardroom where the vote was held yesterday. I use my little coin purse to open it up and not looking, say,

Amanda (as Inara): Hey Franny, meet us meet us in the room we were at yesterday, alright?

Eric (as Franny): [muffled from the purse] So my favorite thing is really macaroni. Really...

Amanda (as Inara): [yelling with urgency’ Thanks Franny! I mean right now! Okay? Right now! 

Eric (as Franny): [muffled] Oh…

Amanda: And then close the coin purse. 

[mechanical whirring and humming]

First, we are going straight up to the boardroom. I think they're supposed to meet around midday so we should be running into them soonish? But we are ready. Tracey and I are going to tell them what we think we need to do. We also catch Harriet up on the situation up to now. 

Eric (as Harriet): [reserved] Alright, well I'll help the best way that I can.You know if it helps, I can kind of like...I can kind of read someone's thoughts? So, D’var does give me the power to read someone's thoughts if you want me to do that. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I can't believe you're just telling us this now.

Amanda (as Inara): We've had one meal together and many adventures, and you're just telling us this now!? 

Brandon (as Tracey): We could have died a second ago! That makes us brothers!

[Eric chuckles]

Eric (as Harriet): That's true. That's that's definitely true. I'm just here...what do you want me to do? I've ever been in a vote or anything. 

Amanda (as Inara): Any other extremely helpful skills or abilities that you want to just clue us into now?

Eric (as Harriet): Uh, you know, mostly that and um...

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you just the government and just forgot to tell us or...

Eric (as Harriet): I can speak like six languages. Pretty cool.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool, that’s great.

Brandon (as Tracey): That's great. Do you speak kenku? 

Eric (as Harriet): Yeah, I do. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, that actually might be helpful.

Eric (as Harriet): Okay, cool.

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as Harriet): Oh, that and I can turn people in the stone. I guess well, what do you what do you want me to do?

Amanda (as Inara): Listen, I don't know if they're going to let us do the plan we want to do or not. But if we end up bursting that bubble, if we end up trying to sever this connection between Alonzo and the Council, the Council is either going to disappear and be super powerful and the world's going to end or I don't know, get a body or appear right in front of us? And we are going to need to make that body into a statue so that he cannot ruin the world.

Eric (as Harriet): [overwhelmed] Uh, okay. Well, I guess adventure. 

Eric (as D’var): I know that adventure has come for you today, Harriet. You are bringing in the spirit of D’var. I love it. This is great.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh D’var, great point. How do we defeat the Council of Bright? Just like any tips? 

Eric (as D’var): I did not - I was not involved with that time the first time. I was coming up with bone whales. Are they cool?

Amanda (as Inara): Have you ever just like imprisoned someone in an astral prison and the astral prison fails? And then you have to be like, Whoa, like how do we...How do we capture them?

Eric (as D’var): I am the Creator. I do not meddle in the realm of mortals. I gave them free will. And it's fun to watch them mess up a lot of the time. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Honestly, the paperweight is more useful. 

Eric (as D’var): I also make and do magic, it’s very fun.

[Eric chuckles]

Brandon: What?!

Amanda (as Inara): D’var, have you ever heard of the mortal invention The Silent Game? 

Eric (as D’var): I have not. 

Amanda (as Inara): It's a game where we take a bet and see who can stay silent the longest. So maybe you and Harriet...

Amanda: And then look at Harriet make a very obvious winking, 

Amanda (as Inara): Can see who can stay quiet longer. 

Eric (as D’var): I know this is a lie. But since I did not create this game, I created silence. I will win.

Amanda (as Inara): Thank you

Eric (as D’var): Go!

Brandon: So we sit down at the big table.

[Eric laughing]

Amanda: I'm going to sit down in Representative Kiko’s chair because I don't really care. And we will meet Franny up there, put the bubble right in the middle of that table, and wait. I'm not gonna touch the food because I was raised with some manners. 

Brandon: Right. I'm going to sit in The Speaker's chair, backwards. I'm going to sit in The Speaker's chair, backwards.

[Eric chuckles]

Amanda: I love it. I'm picturing like a giant leather winged armchair.

Brandon: Right, with a big back? So I can like peek my head around the corner of it.

Amanda: Great, I love it. 

[Eric laughs]

Amanda: I love it. 

Eric: Okay, I think you set it up, I really like that. And then as the clock strikes 1 PM, the door opens and all of the Representatives file in. And they already see all of you in there. And they're like,

Brandon (as Tracey): WELCOME TO THE VOTE!!!

Eric (as Representative Brink): I should have - I should have seen this coming. I don't know why I'm surprised every time.

Brandon (as Tracey): You should the conference room doors, honestly. Like it’s, it’s really a hazard. 

Eric: The Speaker pushes through, and is like, 

Eric (as The Speaker): [frustrated] Tracey? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah? 

Eric (as The Speaker): Tracey? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh huh?

Eric (as The Speaker): Tracey, that's my chair highly calibrated for my…

Brandon (as Tracey): [teasing] It’s my chair now!!

Eric (as The Speaker): You're ruining it. You’re not supposed to…

Amanda (as Inara): He adjusted the lumbar part. It’s the hardest one to recover!  

Eric (as The Speaker): You’ve wasted so much time! After everything we’ve gone through.

Brandon (as Tracey): You want a hug? 

Eric (as The Speaker): No. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Okay.

Eric (as The Speaker): I want you to fix my chair.  

Brandon: Okay, I’ll try. 

Eric (as The Speaker): Okay, great. While you do that, we have a vote - we have a vote to vote on.

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispers] Inara! I’m not going to try. 

Amanda: Inara’s going to jump on the table. 

Amanda (as Inara): Alright. It is time to bring this thing, order open! We have new information, and we need to present it to you now, before you do your vote. [stumbles] Madam Speaker, did I do that okay?

Eric (as The Speaker): I mean, that's usually one of the few joys that I have running this government. But I guess you can it. You also said open, open twice, so…

[Amanda laughs]

Alright, Inara go ahead. I should know by now that you usually have something to say when you say you have something to say. Go ahead.

Amanda (as Inara): Well, Tracey and I had a very busy and productive morning while y'all were deliberating, and I'm sure very important and active work. Um, we have found a couple artifacts. So one of them is this hammer. 

Amanda: And then I gesture and Oatcake is holding it in her mouth still.

Amanda (as Inara): We are told by this very lovely expert in a great suit, Hi, Harriet! What's up? 

Eric: Harry waves sheepishly.

Amanda (as Inara): That this hammer can break, we think, the amulet.

[muttering of Representatives]

Amanda (as Inara): Thank you, Tracey. I'm going to be less less you know self defeating there, we're pretty sure it's gonna break the amulet. And also, Harriet here is the other tool that we have not, not a  weapon, not  an artifact as you're living person and I really respect that. But anyway, Harriet is able to turn people to stone. 

So, if we decide to open the bubble, like we should, if we’re able to break the amulet and stop this terrible link and possession of the Council of Bright into Alonzo. And if the Council of Bright should, I don't know, become flesh in front of us. We have a backup plan.

Eric (as Greg): So if you break the medallion, Alonzo will be safe? 

Eric: You look up and Greg is standing behind his father as he was at the last meeting. 

Amanda (as Inara): That’s what we think.

Eric (as Greg): Okay, I mean, let's do it! Let's do it. I don't even know why we're voting. 

Brandon (as Tracey): I like your enthusiasm! 

Amanda (as Inara): Totally agree! 

Eric: His dad, like, tries to reach back and just like, get him to calm down. 

Eric (as Greg's dad): There's procedure we have to we still need to vote on this. 

Eric: Both Alonzo and the Council of Bright have their their faces like pressed up against the front of the antimagic bubble because they're both very invested in what's going to happen next.

Amanda (as Inara): [sighs] That is my statement.

[long pause]

Eric (as The Speaker): Alright. Thank you Inara, this is wonderful information, illuminating information. Okay, well, the as a procedure dictates we're going to have a re-vote. I'm going to ask those who have put a vote forward before if there are going to change their vote or not. And then we will return to the undecided party.

Uh, Representatives Dore, Kiko, Shields, Nectaria. Would you like to change your vote?

Brandon: Tracey gives everyone a stern look.

Amanda: Inara crosses her arms and rises up to her entire four and a half feet.

Eric: None of the four of them stand. And The Speaker continues on, 

Eric (as The Speaker): Alright, it seems like no one wants to change their votes. Representative Brink, it is up to you. We can no longer take an undecided choice you must vote, yay or nay. Either we open the bubble, and we'll make a plan for that. Or...we keep a bubble as it is and send the two to a secure location.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh, the bubble also isn’t working by the way. I've seen him do magic. He can - he can do magic outside of the bubble. It's just going to fail soon. So, sorry. 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, he stopped our alarm clock this morning. Um, I've also been hearing his voice in my head a little bit. Didn’t mention that one.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh...that’s concerning.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh, uh huh.

Amanda (as Inara): Anyway, sorry... 

Eric (as The Speaker): Hold on. Hold on. Uh huh. Tracey? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah? 

Eric (as The Speaker): As the only warforged that we know of working in this time and place. And as we we know that the Council of Bright...

Brandon (as Tracey): Manipulated my people and made them do things. 

Eric (as The Speaker): Thank you. Yes. Do you feel safe here? In this room? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes.

Eric (as The Speaker): Do we all feel safe here with Tracey in this room? 

Brandon (as Tracey): That's not a question you should ask in front of me. 

Amanda (as Inara): [angrily] How dare you ask that? Does he feel safe in front of the Council of Bright which has so far been our responsibility to...

Eric (as The Speaker): [trying to de-escalate] No, no, no, no. We understand - we understand. We understand. I'm asking...we are talking - we are not caring for what’s inside of the bubble. 

There is reason why he's there and you're on the outside here. Is that for the care of our friend? For those who someone has fought so hard on behalf of the realm and of the Concentric States. [short pause] We’re just checking concern. Are you okay?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah! I'm better now that I have your chair.

Eric (as The Speaker): Again, hurtful. Okay. I understand. I meant, I meant no offense, I think we all understand. Representative Brink, you have the floor.

Brandon: I'm gonna lean over to Harriet. 

Eric: Yeah. 

Brandon: And blink at her.

[Amanda giggles]

Eric (as Harriet): [whispering] What does that what does that mean?

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering] Do - do the thing! I’m winking at you, do the thing! 

Eric (as Harriet): [whispering]  Well, which one do you want me to do? 

Brandon (as Tracey): [whispering]  Just read what she’s thinking! So we can know if we need to convince her more.

Eric (as Harriet): Okay.

Brandon: And then I blink more.

Eric: Harriet grabs the paperweight with D’var inside and slips it into her pocket and she closes her eyes. And I'm going to make a Wisdom saving throw for Representative Brink.

[dice rolls]

[long pause]

Brandon: Did she do good?

[another pause to look at the dice]

It’s a 2, if you look at it this way...

[Eric laughs]

Eric: I proved to Brandon that I rolled a natural 20. So, Representative Brink about to open her mouth. She stops and says,

Eric (as Representative Brink): Did someone just try to read my thoughts? 

Brandon (as Tracey): Me! It was me! I tried really hard. Uh, I don't know how to. I did try... 

Eric (as Representative Brink): I don't...you can't do that. I know you can't do that. 

Brandon (as Tracey): You don't know me. 

Eric (as Representative Brink): I think so - Trace...listen. I think maybe Tracey's has been overcome with the Council of Bright more than we thought. Because of that, the only person in this room who I think could read my thoughts would be that guy over there. And she points at the Council of Bright. You know what, I was really going to weigh whether or not we - I think that it was more of a risk for the realm to let this thing let this monster out. And I least I know what it's like to be controlled by one of this entity. 

There was an entire coliseum that told me what to do, that tried to further the Council of Bright’s ideas and motivations and all I...I can't have that anymore. That can't happen! You know, let's pop it! We're popping this thing and we're going to take him down we're gonna destroy him in this that's going to be the end of that!!

Amanda (as Inara): [excitedly] You heard the lady! You heard the hottest Representative in the room! [short pause] Nevermind, sorry, let's do it!!!

[Eric cackles]

Eric (as The Speaker): Representative Brink, I hear you. Let’s...okay. So, Inara, Tracey. What do we do? How do we do this? 

Amanda (as Inara): [enthusiastically] Let's do it right here, right now! Neutralizer, ready! Franny? Everybody? Anyone have like fun weapons they want to get out just to see? I just we need to get this over with we don't have time to let him plot and plan, we are ready!

Eric (as The Speaker): Okay. Uh, everyone, get in position. Again, I've never - I've never done anything like this before. Uh...

Amanda (as Inara): [with gusto] Cover the doors, cover the windows! Make sure nobody can get out. Let's put the bubble in the middle, Franny get the neutralizer. Everyone, let's go!

Eric (as The Speaker): Alright. 

Brandon: Tracey is going to hand the neutralizer over to Franny. 

Eric: Okay. 

Brandon: And he's going to prepare an action obviously.

Amanda (as Inara): So once the bubble bursts, Tracey is going to grapple Alonzo and keep him still, while Harriet and I smash the amulet. Then assuming that the Council of Bright whether has an energy form, or a person shows up again. Harriet is going to put her hand on their shoulder turn it into stone.

Eric (as The Speaker): [delegating] Alright, well, everyone get into position. On my mark, take down the bubble. Tracey, hold down Alonzo. Inara, knock out the medallion. Harriet, petrify if needed. Alright? We all have it?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah. 

Amanda (as Inara): Right. 

Eric (as The Speaker): Alright, on my mark.

[counting down]


[ominous bass beats]

Eric: Tracey, you feel something in the back your head.

Eric (as The Speaker): Two…

[bass beats]

Eric: The door in the back of your mind gets thrown wide open. 

[bass beats]

And you see what the Council of Bright wants you to see. The kind of person that he was before. He was encased in the astral prison. He's a relatively tall man, with gray hair. An impossibly slicked back man, wearing a styled military dress uniform with just hundreds of metals, in places you would not expect metals to be. Large epaulette, like a commander or general would wear. He says, as clear as you can hear,

[ominous beats turn into rhythm]

Eric (as Council of Bright): Tracey, It could be like in your dream. I promise. I just need you to do something for me. [demanding] NOW! 

Eric: Tracey, I need you to make a Wisdom saving throw.

[dice rolls]

Brandon: I think I’m just going to fail it.

Eric: Okay.

[Grating psychedelic beat]

Eric: Tracey bouncing off all the walls in your mind, you only can think of one thing... 

Eric (as Council of Bright): [commanding] Tackle Inara, now! NOW! 

Eric: As The Speaker says now, Franny immediately steps forward and hits a button on the neutralizer. Magic cascades down the sphere. And for the first time, you can see Alonzo and this energy Alonzo, without any sort of barrier between you. You could reach out and touch him if you really wanted to.

All the Representatives look towards Tracey to enact the next step of the plan.

Brandon: Tracey looks from Alonzo to Alonzo and at the last second turns towards Inara, and tackles her.

Amanda: [shocked] WHAT?!

Eric: Inara the, hammer skitters out of your hand and then under the table. 

Amanda (as Inara): Brinks!!

Eric: Brinks dives underneath and comes back up holding the hammer with both hands.

Amanda (as Inara): Harriet!! Touch him!!

Eric: Harriet springs forward towards the energy Alonzo but her hand just passes right through his chest. 

Amanda (as Inara): [completely confused] Tracey, what are you doing?! 

Amanda: I'm gonna wriggle and struggle and try to get out from under him. 

Eric: The energy Alonzo smiles and saunters over to Alonzo and puts his hand on his shoulder and just slips back into Alonzo's body.

Once again, Alonzo looks like the angry devilish version that you fought all throughout the cities. The one that levelled arrows at Inara and swore in Tracey's face when he tried to help him. Even though it is the middle of the afternoon, you see out of the big windows, the sky turns back to night.

And through the ground, you feel rumbling. Louder and louder and louder, and suddenly stone pillars are erupting through the floor. They start to catch some of the Representatives on top of them, just destroying everything around you. Only leaving tiny webs of floor for you to keep your balance and watch the destruction around you. Alonzo and the Council of Bright together once more, turn towards the window. And that final star, winks out. Alonzo smiles, or the Council of Bright smiles, on behalf of you and says,

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

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

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

Eric: And he gestures towards the sky where the constellation used to hang, and suddenly amber orange energy that, Inara, you remember from when the astral prison was put into place, returns. And it slowly fades out.

And a staircase of hard light spools down from that spot, reaching all the way to the ground in the middle of the Capital city.

[Stomping from a distance]

And that's when you hear…

[Stomping getting closer and louder]

The stomping, in rows of two. Warforged start stomping out of the sky.

[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.