32. Labor Party II

Something is wrong with Chronopolis. It’s changing. And it’s not supposed to change. Tracey goes back to reading. Johnny’s name is Johnny. Inara chooses you!



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Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Johnny B. Goodlight: Michael Fische

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

- Multitude: multitude.productions


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party...

Eric: And we back, and we back, and we back. The Speaker wants to get the party going again because something big is happening in Chronopolis.

Michael (as Johnny): So, if I am understanding correctly-

Amanda (as Inara): Do we have to punch a god?

Eric: The eternal autumn of Chronopolis is falling apart, and it’s the work of Ze’ol, god of death and time. Unfortunately, they can’t get much information out of the messenger, Bridge because...

Eric (as Bridge): I am here on behalf of Chronopolis, because we are having a problem, and only one of which is that punk-face Alonzo.

Eric: OH RIGHT Alonzo. He’s having some problems of his own. His relationship is… not so great at  the moment.

PJ (as Greg): My hand cannot write anymore. You come get me when you’re done saving the world.

Eric: Okay, I may have been understating it. The party urges his to come, but the Speaker no longer trusts the young prince and sequesters him to his room for this adventure. Are we missing anything? Uhhhhh

Eric (as The Speaker): [deep, inhuman, rumbling voice] You are all coming with me right now.

Eric: Nope alright let’s go! Let’s get the party started.

[theme music]

[birds chirping and squawking, crickets, motorcycles revving]

Eric: The party is riding on the backs of motorcycles and Joe the Camel, driven by Johnny B. Goodlight. And you’re making very good time to Chronopolis. Bridge is doing sick endos the entire time.

Michael: Joe does some wheelies as well.

Eric: What does that even look like?

Michael: Whatever you want it to.

Eric: He just rises up and then walks on back feet while you’re doing that?

Michael: But maintains speed-

Eric: [laughing] Ah!

Michael: In fact goes faster.

Amanda: Oh no.

Michael: The Speaker does not like that.

Eric: No, the Speaker does not like that.

[calm, breathy music begins]

As you approach the edge of the circle, you’re starting to see the rolling hills of Chronopolis. So, as I described it before, Chronopolis is pretty spread out. So, we’re talking like the greater Chronopolis area. As you start to come close to the edge of the circle, you see that the area is as serene as the Speaker described it as.

Reds, and oranges, and yellows that everything looks like it’s on fire it’s so bright. And it’s the trees and the roads that are leading the miles into the main city. These rolling hills are filled with color, and to the right you see these massive piles of leaves that you assume people have raked up off to the right side of the road. All of a sudden, the scene shifts. It’s like there’s a glitch that you’re looking into in this big dome. Suddenly it’s a winter wonderland. There’s snow lightly drifting from the sky. It’s dusting every surface. It almost blinds you in the way that sun reflects off of snow, and it’s just like too bright.

Then the scene shifts again, and it’s spring. So whether or not those piles were covered by leaves or snow before, you see enormous rose bushes. Like these roses are huge. They're like ten feet in diameter, and these petals are unusually large. And everything is verdant green. There's grass and weeds and plants. Everything has all of a sudden just burst out of the ground. And as you’re approaching, it’s like there’s a very definitive cutoff of where this mile marker is happening. So it’s like you guys are just on your regular path and all of a sudden it goes into this- the Chronopolis circle, and the ground is dusted with pollen all over the road that’s leading you into Chronopolis.

Amanda: Do we see an actual dome, or it’s just like you take one step and the road behind you is what it was, and now it’s like whatever season is currently there?

Eric: It’s not a dome, necessarily. I’m just saying that like there's precipitation happening in there. There’s like a liminal space, I guess, dividing the space and the Chronopolis space. So like I said, there’s snow in the Chronopolis area, but there is no sort of precipitation happening on the outside.

Amanda: Cool.

Eric: And Oatcake sneezes, because she’s allergic to pollen.

Amanda: Oh no! Me too!

Eric: I wrote that down. I literally wrote down, “Oatcake sneezes.”

Amanda: My poor babe.

Brandon: Can you do a Constitution roll?

Amanda: It’s not gonna be good, Brandon.

[music ends]

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Does she need tissues?

Amanda: I got a 2.

Eric: Aw, Oatcake sneezes so much!

Michael: Give it Zyrtec.

Amanda: I’ll put it in peanut butter and give it to her.

Michael: Johnny is unsure what to do, because he likes to obviously dress for the situation.

Eric: Yup.

Michael: And he has all the appropriate clothing for all of these seasons, but the fact that he has to change it so often is causing a lot of distress.

Eric: Oh, for sure. You are not alone in that.

[motorcycles revving then stopping]

The motorcycle gang pulls up about ten feet away from the Chronopolis circle. Bridge takes a big stretch and says

Eric (as Bridge): Okay, we finally made it. I think we made really good time, I was proud of that. Johnny, never do that with a camel. It worries me, and it makes me look significantly less cool.

Brandon: When Bridge stretches, do they squawk a little bit maybe?

Eric: [laughing] The ruffling of feathers, instead yeah.

Amanda: Oatcake sneezes again.

Michael: Joe the Camel winks at Bridge.

Amanda: Ooo!

Eric: Ooo!

Brandon: Ooo!

Amanda: Oh my god. A thought so stupid just occurred to me that I’m not gonna share it.

Brandon: [chanting] Share it! Share it! Share it! Share it!

Michael: Share it! You have to share it now.

Amanda: Three humps, one heart.

[everybody groans]

[Brandon laughing]

Brandon: I was not prepared.

Eric: So like I described before, the motorcycle gang are just like these anime characters who are wearing their helmets at all times.

Michael: Yeah.

Eric: Finally they pull up, and Bridge says

Eric (as Bridge): Alright, when we go inside, you just remember it’s gonna get a little weird in there. And, you know, it’s controlled by a god so it might be a little… it’s gonna be super weird, yeah, it’s gonna be super weird.

Brandon (as Tracey): Weird or dangerous?

Eric (as Bridge): Both.

Brandon (as Tracey): Weirdly dangerous?

Eric (as Bridge): Weirdly dangerous.

Brandon (as Tracey): Dangerously weird?

Eric (as Bridge): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): Cool.

Eric (as Bridge): ALlight guys, let’s go- let’s go on in there.

Eric: And the motorcycle gang behind him does not follow. He tries to rev- get back on his motorcycle and he revs the engine, and no one else turns on their motorcycles.

[engine revving]

Brandon: Tracey turns on his motorcycle.

[another engine revving]

Eric: [laughing] He’s like “Vooooooooom!”

Michael: Johnny presses the boss on Joe.

Eric: All ten of the motorcycle riders that are with you flip up the visors of their helmets, and all of them look so tired. Like they have these extremely heavy bags under their eyes.

Eric (as Bridge): Ugh, come on, guys. Come on. It’s just a little bit losing sleep, I don’t understand what the problem is.

Eric: And all of them don’t move.

Michael: What does he mean by that?

Eric (as Bridge): Alright, there's another thing that- there’s another thing that happens. No one, because of the shifting weather and all that stuff, no one really gets good sleep in there. I’ve just been drinking Twelve Hour Energy just to keep myself going. Which I’m fine with, I was doing that in the first place so it doesn't really affect me, but the people inside they don't- no one really sleeps well.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, I’ll go. I don't really sleep anyway.

Eric (as Bridge): Alright cool. You want- you got a Twelve Hour Energy?

Eric: And he goes into his pack and pulls it out and it’s a can- it says “Twelve Hour Energy! Get your life boosted!”

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, give me that!

Brandon: Tracey takes it and eats the whole can.

Eric: It tastes nasty. And even as a robot who can’t taste things, it tastes nasty.

[Brandon laughs]

Amanda: Do you just swallow the can?

Brandon: I chew it first, but yes.

Amanda: Oh, okay, I was gonna say… yeah. Inara just says

Amanda (as Inara): I can sleep anywhere, man.

Eric (as Bridge): Yeah… uh, yeah that’s what we thought, but no one can sleep more than a few hours at a time. I don't know, it’s what- probably something to do with the weather.

Michael (as Johnny): I have perhaps more pressing issue.

Eric (as Bridge): Mhm.

Michael (as Johnny): I have something- I don’t know if anyone here knows- they’re called spell slots. They’re a thing. How-how would one perhaps regain spell slots if they cant be sleeping?

Eric: Well here’s the thing- I would say that you probably would not be able to do long rests inside.

Michael: Mmm.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael (as Johnny): Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a great ride, but Joe informed me that he has to catch a train over Antipolis way, so I’m gonna go with Joe… to Antipolis to catch the train.

Brandon (as Tracey): Joe’s gonna take a train?!

Amanda (as Inara): You can’t leave us here!

Michael (as Johnny): Listen, I have no choice in the matter. This is a Joe problem and I have to take care of him.

Brandon (as Tracey): Joe, do you have a train to catch?

Michael (as Johnny): [mumbling] Yes I do! It’s me, Joe! Derrr.

Eric: I want everyone to make-

Michael (as Johnny): I’m Joe the Camel!

Eric: I want everyone to make a Perception check with Disadvantage.

Michael (as Johnny): [singing] I’m Joe the Camel!

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Does Joe have a theme song?!

Michael (as Johnny): [singing] I’m Joe the Camel! It’s me Joe the Camel!

Amanda: 11.

Michael: 12.

Brandon: 15.

Eric and Amanda: Oooh!

Michael: We all did better than fifty percent.

Eric: Inara, you’re too busy making sure Johnny doesn't pull away on the camel, and Johnny’s too busy making impressions of Joe the Camel voice.

Amanda: Yep.

Michael (as Johnny): I’m Joe the Camel!

Amanda: Joe rolls his eyes.

Eric: And Tracey, [pausing to laugh] Tracey, you look over at those rose bushes, and one of the petals move.

Brandon: Are the rose bushes inside the wall, or are they on our plane?

Eric: No, they’re inside the wall.

Brandon: Is it within reach?

Eric: Okay, no, you would have to walk inside of the wall.

Brandon: Gotcha.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey Bridge, are flowers like more than just like decoration here? Do they move and breathe and talk? I realize this is a weird question. The roses are moving is why I ask. I saw something in there.

Eric (as Bridge): Tracey, bruh, Tracey, you shouldn't have eaten the whole can of Twelve Hour Energy. No, flowers are flowers, why?

Brandon (as Tracey): [yelling] Flowers are flowers! Oh my god!

Eric (as Bridge): What- what are you talking about-?

Brandon: This is Tracey on Twelve Hour Energy, I forgot!

Brandon (as Tracey): Ahhh!

Amanda: Inara’s just going to walk over to the rose bush.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: You’re gonna go into the-

Amanda: Oh yeah, and kind of peer under it.

Eric: As you step over the plane of the magic circle, you don’t feel any different. It does feel a little bit warmer. It’s a- now all of a sudden it is a nice spring day.

Amanda: Alright.

Eric: And your feet get all covered in pollen. And you get down on your hands, and knees and I want you to make an Investigation check.

[music begins with two booming bass notes]

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 14.

Eric: Okay, as you look under the rose bush, you see that the roots of it- they're thick and spiny. They are dug into the ground. They don't look like they are stable in the ground. It’s like something literally dug itself in there and is holding itself like a claw.

Amanda: Like bird claws on a branch or something?

Eric: That is exactly what I’m talking about.

[bass notes continue]

Amanda: I’m going to, as dignified as I can, scramble up and run back to the group.

Eric: I want you to make a…

Brandon: How dignified was she? Is there a dignified roll?

Michael: A saving throw, no?

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: However I can make this acrobatic I will, because that is my highest proficiency.

Eric: I want you to make a Dexterity saving throw.

[buzzing electronic music joins bass notes]

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 10.

Eric: Inara, as you scramble up to get away from the rose bush, a thorny vine shoots out of the middle of the bush and grabs you by the ankle, and latches on and starts to pull you in towards the rose bush.

The rose bush starts to move upwards, and the roots on the bottom start to push itself out of the ground. And all five of the roses then start to snake off of the top of the rose bush, and vines shoot out of the middle. There’s no stem in the middle, it’s just like terrible vines. The vines start snapping at all of you. And I want you all to roll Initiative.

[bass ends, fast paced electronic music begins]

Amanda: Well guys, I touched the butt, I’m sorry.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Nice, [singing] touching’ the butt! Touching’ the butt!

Amanda: 6.

Michael: 13.

Brandon: 15.

Eric: Oh, there you go, Tracem.

Brandon: I think I’m just rolling fifteens this game.

Eric: I know, you’re fifteen club. Okay, the rose monster rises out of the ground, and all five of the rose heads lash out vines from inside of the flower petals.

Amanda: Oh good, terrifying. Lovely.

Eric: And each one lashes out and you three, Bridge, and the Speaker. Um, Inara, 21?

Michael: Does that hit?

Eric: Does that hit? [laughing]

Amanda: Uh, yeah, my dude.

[all laughing]

Eric: I’m sorry, I can’t help it.

[dice rolling]

Okay, Inara you take 7 damage, so that’s 7 divided by 2 ,so you take 4 damage, and you remain restrained.

Johnny, you also get hit. You also- is that a 21?

Michael: How do you know? You don’t know how much thing I got.

Eric: That’s true I don’t. You take 6 damage, and you get pulled ten feet towards the massive rose bush.

Michael: I’m on Joe the Camel.

Eric: Sure, why don't you make a Strength save to see if you get pulled off of Joe?

Michael: Okay.

Brandon: I didn't think you were on Joe the Camel while you were singing his theme song.

Michael: I’m absolutely on Joe the Camel while I’m singing his theme song.

Amanda: And that’s a lie.

Michael: While Joe was singing his theme song!

Eric: I’m gonna say if you fail you get pulled off of Joe.

Michael: 6.

Eric: I rolled 21. So you also get pulled-

Michael: Alright, so I’m going to ask you-

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: Do you have a dice over there that has one extra side, slash all the sides say 21?

Eric: I don’t actually.

Michael: You keep rolling 21s.

Eric: So Johnny, you get pulled off of Joe the Camel and now you are prone and you still take those 6 damage.

Joe the Camel tries as much as he can to pull you back, but the vine is too strong and you’re face down on the ground.

Tracey, what's your AC?

Brandon: 16.

Eric: Okay, I rolled higher than that.

Brandon: Prove it!

Eric: I rolled- I have an 18 right here. This is my 18.

[dice rolling]

And Tracey takes 10 points of piercing damage.

Brandon: Thank you, kind sir, I enjoy this damage very much.

Eric: And you are also being held- you also get pulled ten feet by the rose monster into its bushy claws. And then it’s gonna attack…

[dice rolling]

Another vine shoots out at Bridge and it catches him right on the beak.

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: He gets pulled off of his motorcycle, and a vine shoots out at the Speaker, and the Speaker kind of swats it away and she says

Eric (as The Speaker): I wasn’t ready to- I wasn't ready to fight at this moment, but I guess that’s what I have to do.

Eric: The last thing that the rose monster is gonna do- it lifts up its bushy mid section and a mob of seedling monsters with terrible jack-o-lantern faces-

Amanda: Oh good.

Eric: Rush out of the bush and tackle all of the motorcycle riders.

Amanda: Oh no!

Eric: There’s like two on each one of them, and they all fall off their motorcycles. And the Speaker turns to all three of you and says

Eric (as The Speaker): Looks like I’ve got some weeding to do. Good thing I brought my good gloves.

[Amanda laughs]

You deal with the big weed. This may be Ze’ol beginning to challenge us.

Eric: Her eyes glow purple and two wings sprout out of her back. She reaches behind her into her knapsack and she slides on two amethyst-studded gauntlets. And she hops off of Joe the Camel, grabs a sprout by the head, and bounces it onto the ground like it’s a basketball.

Amanda: Inara is dumbfounded.

Eric: She waves a hand over all three of you, and al of you glow purple for a momentary amount of time, and you are all Blessed. So whenever you want, you can add 1d4 to any roll that you make.

Michael: Once.

Eric: Once, yeah, but you can do it before or after your roll.

Alright, it is Tracey’s turn.

Brandon: Tracey’s ready to go.

Eric: Hot damn.

Brandon: The first thing Tracey’s going to do is try to protect Inara while she’s being restrained. So this is the first time he’s doing this, but he’s going to cast a spell.

Eric: Oh, bits!

Amanda: Whoa!

Brandon: So he thinks in his head

Brandon (as Tracey): Sanctuary.

Brandon: And the sigils all over his body start to glow orange brightly, and then you see all their light sort of flow into his cannon arm, and he shoots over a blast of orange energy over to Inara. And she is warded against attack.

So anyone that attacks Inara will have to make a Wisdom saving throw, and on a failed save, they must choose a new target or lose the attack or spell.

Amanda (as Inara): Trace, that was tight as fuck!

Eric: That was cool. I like that a lot.

Brandon: And that’s a bonus action, so-

Eric: Oh alright!

Amanda: Hey!

Eric: Hey now!

Brandon: I got two more actions. Tracey grabs his axe from behind his back. He’s had a Twelve Hour Energy, so he’s going to recklessly attack. He turns to the Speaker and he says

Brandon (as Tracey): You stole my line!

[all chuckling]

Brandon: And he’s going to start swinging away at these vine creatures.

Eric: Cool.

Brandon: So for reckless attack, I get Advantage on my attack rolls for the first turn. And the subsequent turn, you get Advantage against me.

Eric: Cool.

Brandon: But I am going to take a swing with my greataxe two times.

Eric: Are you using the Sawbone?

Brandon: Hell yeah, I’m using the Sawbone.

Eric: There you go.

Brandon: Nice and bloody, let’s do some medicine. This is how medicine works.

[dice rolling]

First attack is an 18.

Eric: Yeah, that hits.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s five damage on that one.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: And I take a second swing-

Amanda: A d12 for damage, wow.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s a 26, does that hit?

Eric: [laughing] Yes, yes, that hits.

Amanda: Are you in Rage or just caffeinated?

Brandon: Just caffeinated right now.

Amanda: Nice.

Brandon: That’s another 5 damage.

Eric: Alright. Jonathan, it’s your turn.

Michael: Indeed it is. Johnny’s going to hop up- as if he meant to fall off of Joe the Camel and this is how he dismounts.

Amanda: It was just a death drop, it’s fine.

Michael: And I will Eldritch Blast the creature. That’s two Eldritch Blasts I’m gonna throw at the dude.

Eric: Mhm.

[dice rolling]

Michael: [sighs] Do a 9 hit?

Eric: No.

Michael: Yeah, I didn't figure.

Do a 12 hit?

Eric: No it does not.

Michael: Yeah, that’s also exactly also what I figured. Johnny is going to point his finger guns at the monster and fire Eldritch Blast into the air as a warning shot.

Eric: [laughing] Yeah.

Brandon: He says that out loud afterward- after he misses.

Michael: Yeah, after I miss I’m like

Michael (as Johnny): Those were warning shots!

Eric: Okay, Inara, it’s your turn.

Amanda: So Inara is going to scramble back from the vine that had held her and pull from her belt a little grey bag. Out of the bag, I have a weird kind of ball of yarn in my hand that I’m gonna go ahead and throw up into the air.

Eric: Alright, roll 1d8 to activate your Bag of Tricks.

Brandon: [chanting] Nessie! Nessie! Nessie!

[dice rolling]

Amanda: 3.

Brandon: Nessie! Nessie! Nessie!

[Eric laughing]

Michael: It’s not a Nessie-

Eric: Oh, okay.

Michael: Ferocious attack on site, anything that moves. Wolves. Pack of wolves. That just eats anything on site.

Amanda: Shark, shark, shark, shark.

Brandon: That will be my best friend.

Eric: Alright, you throw the ball into the air- do you say anything cool when you do it?

Michael: This has to be Pokemon, so you gotta Pokemon this.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Obviously.

Michael: She turned her hat- in real life turned her hat around Ash Ketchum style.

Amanda: I did! I did!

Michael: By the way!

Amanda (as Inara): I choose you!

Eric: And you throw the yarn in the air, and it twists and turns. It’s like someone’s crocheting in the air, and it turns into a badger.

[Michael sighs]

Amanda: Okay.

Eric: Just a badger.

Amanda: The badger will fall on its feet two feet ahead of me. I’m gonna look at it and say

Amanda (as Inara): Okay buddy, um… go be vicious. And I’m gonna point at the monster.

Eric: Okay, I’m gonna do an attack roll for the badger.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: And those are standing orders so it should do that until told otherwise.

Eric: Alright, [laughing] the badger goes “Heeeee!” and runs into the rose bush, and it starts clawing at it, and you know, surprisingly the badger hits.

Amanda: Whoa!

Eric: It does damage. It goes, “reeee!”

Brandon: Good badger!

Amanda: Yeah.

Eric: It scrapes at the- it scrapes at the roots, and it does one point of damage.

Amanda: Adorable. It tried. To be clear, though, I use my movement to back as far away from the monster as I can.

Eric: Okay, make another Dexterity saving throw to get out of the- get out of its clutches.

[dice rolling]

Amanda: Ooh, 26!

Eric: Yeah, you- the vine tries to regrab you, but you’re able to scoot away. It is now the rose monster’s turn!

Michael: Great.

Amanda: Oh good.

Eric: And um-

Brandon: Just try and attack Inara, I dare you.

Eric: All five of the rose heads look at each one of you, and they go, “Blaalalalalalala.”

Michael: And that’s their turn, great.

Eric: Nope.

Michael: That’s their turn! What a wonderful turn!

Eric: It does two attacks against Tracey because he’s the only one who really hit, one against the badger, one against Johnny, and one against Inara. So we’re gonna go in order. So I want to attack Tracey.

[dice rolling]

I have Advantage.

[dice rolling]

18, does that hit?

Brandon: Yes, it does.

Eric: Okay.

[dice rolling]

And I got 13, does that hit?

Brandon: No, it does not.

Eric: Okay, Tracey takes 14 points of damage, and you get pulled ten more feet towards the rose monster. If you get pulled one more time, that would be bad for you.

Brandon: So I’m like ten feet away then?

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon: Cool.

Eric: Now it attacks Johnny.

[dice rolling]

Michael: Eh eh eh! Eh eh eh! Eh!

Eric: Oh.

Michael: Two things! One, Johnny straightens up as he sees the creature move towards him and raises his quarterstaff with the lantern, wags his finger like, “Uh-uh-uh. No, no, no.” And does Warding Flare. It imposes Disadvantage on the attack rolls against me from that creature.

Eric: Ah, beans. Does a 12 hit you?

Michael: Nope.

Eric: Ah, so the vines-

Michael: Ah damnit! That’s actually bad because I cant hit you with this!

Eric: Whoops! Whoops! The vine flies over your head as you cleric it to miss, and you can see that each defined thorn passes through and just how prickly it is.

Michael: It is very prickly, and very unfortunately it says only if it just damaged me.

Eric: Oops. Alright, Inara, I rolled a crit 1, at the badger actually. And the rose monster feels so bad to hit the badger it just kind of pats it on the head. And the badger goes, “Reeh!”

Amanda: And-

Brandon: And?

Eric: And-

Amanda: Does a couple points of damage?

Michael: Heals the badger, makes the badger stronger?

Brandon: Maybe the badger becomes a twelve foot badger?

Amanda: Maybe the badger grows?

Michael: Maybe the badger bites the thing?

Eric: I don't know what you want!

Michael: When you roll a 1, things have to happen!

Eric: Oh my god. Okay. Here’s what happens.

Amanda: I think two heads should get tangled in each other.

Eric: Here’s what happens. The rose monster tries to attack the badger, and the badger digs underground and it’s confused and it doesn't know where the badger went. And we’ll come back to that.

Amanda: Okay.

Brandon: I’ll give you that one.

Amanda: I’ll take it, I’ll take it.

Eric: Now I’m going to attack Inara. What do I have to do because of Sanctuary?

Brandon: Because of Sanctuary, you have to make a Wisdom saving throw.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Against me.

Eric: Alright.

[dice rolling]

I rolled a 14.

Brandon: My spell save DC is a 13, so you are successful.

Eric: Alright, now I’m gonna attack Inara.

Amanda: Alright.

[dice rolling]

Eric: I got a 13.

Amanda: My Armor Class is a 14.

Eric: Alright, so another vine goes over your left shoulder, and you can see every single prickle of the vine and it is very spiny, and it nicks your shoulder a little bit.

Michael: Non-lethally.

Eric: Non-lethally, but it rips your cool T-shirt.

Amanda (as Inara): Hey!

Michael (as Johnny): [at the same time] Don’t worry, I can fix that!

Amanda (as Inara): Okay.

Eric: Everyone looks over to see how the Speaker’s doing and now she’s holding two seedlings and smashing them together, and flies over to help another one of the motorcycle riders who have like- three of them is just like inside of their helmet and they don’t know what to do.

Amanda: Oh no.

Eric: And now it’s Tracey’s turn again.

Brandon: Tracey’s gonna yell over to Bridge

Brandon (as Tracey): Bridge, why is this happening?!

Eric (as Bridge): I don’t know, dog! I haven't looked at the- I think bad stuff is happening!

Brandon (as Tracey): Is this normal?!

Eric (as Bridge): Nooooooo! Ca-caw!

Brandon: So Tracey’s going to use his fast movement to back up as far as he can. He can do forty feet in one turn, and he’s going to shoot twice with his thunder cannon, and use his new Thunder Monger special ability.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Which gives me an extra d6 thunder damage. And while he’s loading tup the cannon, he’s going to switch on his Rage. Alright, here’s the first shot.

[dice rolling]

He loads the cannon and shoots a 15.

Eric: Yeah, that hits.

Brandon: Great, so I’m rolling 3d6.

[dice rolling] 15 damage.

Eric: Hot damn, okay.

Brandon: And then he’s going to reload his cannon and fire again.

Eric: There you go.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s a 20.

Eric: Yeah that hits.

Brandon: Great.

[dice rolling]

And that’s 14 damage, and because Tracey’s so hopped up on the Twelve Hour Energy, he’s just screaming while he’s firing his cannon.

[all laughing]

Brandon (as Tracey): Ahhhhhhhh!

Eric: Okay-

Brandon (as Tracey): Ahhhhhhhhh! Braveheart!

Eric: Okay, so as you back away and you’re firing your canon, all five of these flower heads shoot out towards you, trying to grab you in its thorny moss. You take- you get five opportunity attacks against you.

Brandon: Five?!

Eric: One for each flower head.

[Eric rolling dice as he speaks]

Eric: That doesn’t hit. That’s one hit. That doesn’t hit. Three. That hits. Three opportunity attacks hit. You get 34 piercing damage against you, but that’s halved from your Rage.

Brandon: Yup.

Eric: So you get 17 points of damage.

Brandon: Great.

Eric: As the flower heads are shooting towards you and trying to grab you, three of them do, but you’re able to fire the cannon directly in the face of one of the flowers, and you blast it right off.

Amanda: Hey!

Brandon: Hell yeah.

Eric: So now there are only four of them remaining. And it is now Johnny’s turn.

Amanda: Good job, Trace.

Michael: I’m gonna do two Eldritch Blasts, aim them towards the heads of the creatures.

[dice rolling]

Michael: It’s 11 + 7 and 13 + 7.

Eric: Both of those hit.

Brandon: Killin’ it.

Amanda: Bah-bah-bah!

Michael: One does 14 damage, one does 11 damage.

Amanda: Nice!

Eric: Okay, the rose head, they try to twist away to get away from your Eldritch Blasts, and one hits one of the rose heads. That rose head is so confused that it moves in front of the other Eldritch Blast, and you just fire it right off. That head is dead as well.

Amanda: Whoa!

Eric: So now there is only three left.

Brandon (as Tracey): Get him, Johnny!

Eric: Inara, it is your turn.

Amanda: Inara, looking at the little tear in her cloak on her shoulder is mad. So I am going to pull the cloak closed across me and look down at the patches that are sewn over my left hand side.

Eric: Yeah!

Amanda: And I’m going to go ahead and tear off that dagger patch.

Eric: Okay, Inara, as you pull the patch off of that cloak, you head a poof, and you see a cloud of knives.

Amanda: [shouting] Cloud of knives! Cloud of knives! Cloud of knives!

Eric: -start spinning towards the rose monster.

Amanda (as Inara): Time to get pruned!

Amanda: And Inara’s going to point forward as the knives are directed towards the middle of the remaining heads.

Eric: Okay, I want you to roll 6d4.

Brandon: Tracey’s jumping up and down pumping his fists in the air going

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah! Inara! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Inara! Kill it!

Eric: Rage and caffeinated Tracey.

Amanda: 16.

Eric: Okay, you do 16 points of damage to the rose monster.

Amanda: Bah bah bah!

Eric: Bah-bah-bah-bah-bah!

The rose monster- the two vines that were holding up the rose heads before, they start to wiggle and turn and twist, and on each one of the vines, two rose heads grow out of the beheaded vines.

It looks healthier than it did before when it regrows these two heads. And now it has seven heads. As these two heads grow back, you see the one all the way on the left- that rose head starts to twist ,and it goes back and forth, and back and forth. If you could see fear on the face of a flower, you would see it. And then the head just falls off and you see your badger-

Amanda: Heeeeeeeeey!

Eric: Is pointing out of the vine. It just chews and goes, “Eh! Weeeee!” and then goes back inside of the vine.

Amanda (as Inara): Good boy!

Brandon: I’m gonna say, this is my favorite badger. This is my favorite badger of all time.

Eric: So now there are six heads, and I’m going to do two attacks to each of you. I’m gonna start with Tracey.

[dice rolling]

9 + 8 is 17, does that beat it?

Brandon: Yes.

Eric: Okay, so you get hit once, and you take 12 points of damage, but you’re raging, so you only take 6. I have Disadvantage against Johnny.

[dice rolling]

Does 20 hit you?

Michael: Yes.

Eric: Oh, okay. I got a nat-20, but I don’t get to use it.

[dice rolling]

I rolled two nat-20s in a row!

Brandon: You’re cheating.

Amanda: Something is suspect.

Eric: Oh beans.

Brandon: Give me that dice.

Eric: Johnny takes 24 points of damage. Okay, I’m going to try to attack Inara, but I can’t because of Sanctuary, so I make a Wisdom saving throw.

Brandon: Yes you do.

[dice rolling]

Eric: Alright, I rolled a 5. What does that do?

Brandon: So you did not, so you have to choose a new target or get rid of the attack completely.

Eric: I’m gonna try the badger.

Michael: The badger is technically inside the rose right now.

Eric: I’m gonna do Disadvantage against myself.

Amanda: It can hit itself, that’s fine.

Michael: So it’s gonna hit- it’s gonna hit itself?

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s what we’re hoping for.

Eric: Okay, I rolled a 23, and the vine that was supposed to go at Inara, it gets two inches away from your face, and then you glow orange like the Sanctuary bolt that Tracey sent out.

Amanda: Hell yeah!

Eric: And then it flies back to itself in the head that it missed when the badger popped out of, and it does 6 points of damage to itself. And also, the badger only has three points of health, so as it slaps itself with its own vine, it does 6 damage to itself, but also does 6 damage to the badger.

Amanda (as Inara): Goodbye, friend!

Eric: It like pulls the badger out of itself and throws it away, and as the badger's flying through the air it turns back into a ball of yarn.

Amanda: Floats off on the wind, reunited with nature.

Eric: At this point you see the Speaker and Bridge- they both have four seedlings in their hands, and they fly very high in the air and just drop them on the ground. And all the seedlings go splat as they hit the ground.

Amanda: Ooo! Like a seagull opening a mussel.

Eric: Gross. Tracey, it’s your turn.

Brandon: That sounds delicious.

Michael: That’s awful.

[Eric and Amanda laughing]

Brandon: What are you talking about?

Eric: The creature puls its roots out fo the ground and takes two big rooty claws forward, and moves 20 feet outside of the Chronopolis circle.

Brandon: Tracey’s going to keep backing up. He has a range of 500 feet on those gnus, so he’s gonna keep backing up, keep screaming.

[Eric laughing]

He hasn’t actually stopped screaming since the battle began, and he doesn't have to breathe, so he just- it's just one long continuous scream. And he’s gonna fire two big thunderbolts at this monster.

Eric: Alright, do that damage.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: Well, that was a crit-1 on the first one.

Eric: Okay.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: And that one’s a 15 + 4 for 19.

Eric: Okay.

[dice rolling]

Brandon: That’s 10 damage total.

Eric: Okay, you fire a massive thunderbolt and it hits the rose monster right in the middle of its bushy torso.

Brandon: Yeah! I was aiming for the torso!

Eric: And you try to fire another one, and your cannon jams. That’s your crit-1.

Brandon: Oh no.

Eric: So you cannot fire another one of those big thunderbolts for the rest of the fight.

It is Johnny’s turn!

Michael: I’m going to Burning Hands the creature.

Eric: Do it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, light him on fire, Johnny!

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, Johnny, give it to him!

Michael: Johnny spreads his hands out ands summons fire in a 15 foot cone. It needs to make a Dexterity saving throw.

Amanda: Hey.

Eric: Okay.

[dice rolling]

What’s the AC? Or what do I need to beat?

Michael: What’d you roll?

[all laughing]

Eric: I rolled-

Michael: Generally when I ask for- yeah.

Eric: I rolled an 11.

Michael: So that would be a fail.

Eric: Oh no.

Michael: You needed to roll a different number.

Eric: Oh damn.

Brandon: That was our DM trying to cheat.

Eric: What was it?!

Michael: So here’s what’s gonna happen. First off, flammable objects are now on fire.

Eric: Oh damn. Okay.

Amanda: Like I don’t know, a plant?

Brandon: I think plants are flammable?

Michael: I’m not sure- are plants flammable?

Amanda: Certainly, I dont know, it’s wooden roots.

Brandon: Yeah, we might need to look this up in a book or something, but I think.

Amanda: Hmm, do we know any biologists?

Brandon: I don’t know.

[dice rolling]

Michael: And that’s going to be a 16 damage, however I will also use the blessing. 17 damage. It is now on fire.

Eric: Oh, beans. Okay.

Brandon: And the fun thing is the heads we’ve already chopped off is just kindling now.

Eric: True. Alright, well here’s what happens, you do 17?

Michael: 17 is the base damage I do.

Eric: This does 34 points of damage.

Michael: As generally a thing that’s bad to fire times would, yes.

Brandon: Tracey’s doing backflips now.

Amanda: Yeah, Inara is like fist pumping over and over and over again.

Michael: Oh, actually that’s a lie. I forgot to add four.

Eric: Oh my god.

Michael: That’s- it was 21 points of damage. I forgot I have to add my Charisma. So that’s 21 points of damage.

Eric: Alright, okay.

Brandon: Tracey’s floating.

Amanda: Tracey, I think you caffeine overdosed.

Eric: So 21 times 2 is 42 points of damage.

Michael: Yes thank you.

Eric: Alright, yeah, so this thing lights up like you would think if you lit a rose bush on fire what would happen to it. The fire is travelling up from the roots that are no longer in the ground, so it wouldn't even be able to stamp it out if it wanted to.

And it is just going up like a Christmas tree in February. This thing looks very bad, and one of the heads just like crumbles in ash. Inara, this thing is still up, but it is currently on fire and it is unhappy.

Amanda: Good.

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: Yeah, so Inara, it is your turn.

Amanda: I’m gonna take a like warrior pose and crook my finger towards the cloud of knives to summon it towards the monster. The monster moved forward, but the cloud of knives was stationary, so I’m gonna bring it to hit the monster right in the gut. I want it to just like get at that HP.

Eric: You know what, ordinarily you wouldn't be able to do that, but this thing’s doing very badly and this was a magic cloud of daggers.

Amanda: I heard it was on fire, so hopefully it’s distracted in some way.

Brandon: I heard the daggers now are on fire too, and it’s very cool looking.

Michael: So the daggers now deal flaming damage. If the daggers have parts of it that could be flammable, they are now on fire.

Amanda: Yeah, wooden handles.

Brandon: The handles are wood, yeah!

Michael: Thus causing fire damage to whatever they would hit. Just sayin’.

Amanda: Just sayin’.

Michael: Just sayin’.

Amanda: Those are the rules.

Eric: Sure, that totally makes sense to me. Alright, the daggers are still spinning and now they’re on fire, and the daggers start moving towards the rose monster.

Amanda: Good, good, good, yes.

Eric: And the rose monster is looking around at all three of you, and the saplings are still on top of all the motorcycle riders, and it’s ready to make its next attack, and then it goes, “Huh.”

[music stops]

And falls over dead.

Amanda: Yay!!!

Brandon: Tracey is running around in circles.

Michael: We need to put the fire out.

Brandon (as Tracey): We did it! We did it! We did it! We did it!

Michael: Yeah, and we now have a fire to put-

Amanda: Inara’s going to pull out  Mr. Sippy and say

Amanda (as Inara): Geyser.

Amanda: And very responsibly put out the fire.

Eric: As it falls backwards in the Chronopolis circle and the lush spring grass starts to light on fire, Inara puts on her fireman hat and puts it all out. Goddamn, you jumped my trap!

Brandon: And now the soil is fertilized-

Amanda: Oh yeah, yeah.

Brandon: And prepared for future non-harmful plants.

Amanda: That beautiful disintegrating leaves as the snow makes the leaves rot-

Brandon: Exactly. Right.

Amanda: It becomes, just, you know, just fertile ground for future generations.

Brandon: We did a good thing for the environment.

Amanda: We did.

Michael: What happened to the seedlings?

Eric: You look over at the crowd of people dealing with the seedlings, and the Speaker’s kind of mopping them up. She has one in one hand and she’s just kind of throwing it back and forth to herself, just kind of messing around with it. And Bridge-

Michael: I’m glad that’s what the Speaker’s doing.

Amanda: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: And Bridge punches it out of her hand- Bridge punches it out of her hands.

Brandon: Tracey’s running around in circles and saying

Brandon (as Tracey): Johnny. Johnny. Johnny.

[all laughing]

Johnny. Can you. Do the switch. Please?

Michael: Oh, right, so I’m going to flip Tracey’s switch off.

Brandon (as Tracey): Thank you.

Eric: You defeated the terrible rose monster!

Brandon: Yay!

Eric: You did it!

Brandon: Where are you guys at health-wise now, by the way?

Michael: I’m at a 40 out of 70.

Amanda: 52 out of 56.

Brandon: Dang, I’m at 34.

Amanda: Where’d the cloud of knives go? I just want to make sure that I-

Eric: [laughing] There’s still a cloud of spinning, flaming daggers.

Amanda: I’m going to make sure that it  kind of cuts up the carcass of that rose bush, because I want no possibility of that thing reincarnating, kind of till up that soil  a little bit, and then I’m gonna look at Johnny and say

Amanda (as Inara): Hey Johnny, could this be useful to you?

Michael (as Johnny): Could you send it over to my ranch? You know, Rancho Ideallo.

Amanda: And like an owl in Harry Potter, I will just say to the knives

Amanda (as Inara): Rancho Ideallo! Fly! Fly my children!

Brandon: [chuckling] I love this game.

Michael: I now have tilling equipment.

Eric: I guess! Yeah, whatever! It was on the patch, you can do whatever you want.

Amanda: See, when you wear your DM out enough in body and soul they’ll just say yes to your ideas.

[Brandon laughing]

Eric: It’s true. As you’re dealing with the tilling equipment, I guess, the Speaker walks over to the three of you, holds out her hands, and all of you glow purple, and you gain back 18 hit points.

Amanda: Hey!

Brandon: Hey, that’s great!

Amanda: That’s the most useful thing she’s done for us.

Eric: She’s a high level of healing ward.

Eric (as the Speaker):  I’m concerned about my ability to heal you in the future, but I’m willing to do whatever I can to make sure we get out of this okay. Thank you for dealing with that monster. I believed in you the entire time.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, that’s nice I guess, but we almost died again.

Eric (as the Speaker):  Me- those men would have died if I hadn't cleared that up. You see, you think this guy-

Amanda (as Inara): Oh yeah those roots looked really dangerous.

Eric: She points over to Bridge, and Bridge is still trying to bounce one like a basketball.

Eric (as the Speaker):  I think that they needed my help more than you did.

Amanda (as Inara): Well, we’re not even inside Chronopolis yet, and this is the kind of stuff that’s waiting for us? We’re gonna need some help.

[echoing tone]

Amanda: This one’s gonna be specific, guys. It’s summer in America, and that means baseball. The actual game is okay fine whatever. But the stuff around it! Popcorn, soft serve, hot dogs, peanuts. Kids running, sun setting, wind whistling through the thick plastic seats. And that field. This is the greenest grass you’ve ever seen. Welcome to the midroll.


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Alright, that’s all the housekeeping for today, so now, let’s get back to the show.

[echoing note]

[birds chirping, crickets, motorcycles revving up]

Eric: With the motorcycle gang arranged around you, you start to head down the road to Chronopolis proper. I want everyone to make a History check, and Tracey, I want you to get Advantage on it.

[breathy, atonal music begins]

[three dice rolling]

Amanda: 13.

Michael: 15.

Brandon: 15.

Eric: Johnny and Tracey, as you are riding through the Chronopolis towns, you see the villagers who live in the greater Chronopolis area. They’re just like people going about their day. You’re driving through towns and houses. A man rides off on a horse and someone else comes out of their house and says

Man: Why is he riding Sunflower! That’s my horse!

Eric: You ride by another place where a man and a woman are embracing and the man says

Man: You’re a really good friend, Hal. Thank you.

Eric: And you ride by another one and someone is doing a proposal, and someone shouts out

Woman: Of course I’ll marry you, Jamie!

Eric: And you go by another town that’s having an election. They are reading the results out. Everyone is surrounded around this grandstand, and someone comes up to the microphone and says

Announcer: And by a slim number of votes, your new mayor is…

Eric: And you drive by without being able to hear the result. Johnny and Tracey, you realize that you’ve heard these pieces of dialogue before.

Brandon: Tracey grips the handlebars of his bike a little tighter.

Michael: Johnny is not a believer that fate is written out in stone. Things are fluid.

Eric: Tracey, in your side bag where you keep all of your stuff, you feel a rattling.

Brandon: I reach in there to grab it.

Eric: And it’s the Book of Things to Come. And its pages are wildly paging forward very quickly and paging backwards very quickly.

Brandon: Tracey’s going to pull his bike off to the side, turn the engine off, and open the book.

[motorcycle stops]

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: Why don’t we have the convoy stop and people can take pee breaks or whatever, and Johnny comes over.

Michael: I’m gonna call Inara over.

Amanda (as Inara): What’s up, guys?

Eric: The book flips all the way to the back and then all the way to the front, and then opens back up to the lines where you originally saw them. And you see that these first four lines that you heard on your journey so far, they get crossed out in this thick black line of ink.

Amanda: What’s next below that?

Eric: The one below that is, “Someone help her! No one said that Inara couldn't swim.” below that, “I’m sorry, Johnny, I can’t afford to leave you alive.” and the last one says, “The bounty said TR8c, dead or alive.”

Amanda: My throat is gonna go very dry and I’m just gonna look between Tracey and Johnny.

Brandon: Tracey slams the book shut.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well, um, so back the other way then guys? Or…

Michael (as Johnny): Hey I was team not coming here in the first place.

Brandon (as Tracey): The Hydra seems like a fun excursion now.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah I could do that again over and over.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, let’s just keep doing that until we die of old age.

Eric: The book forces against Tracey’s hands and opens up, and it flips to the middle of the book. It’s a blank page. Someone is writing into it, “Defeat the rose hydra.” and then it gets crossed out with a black line.

Amanda (as Inara): That was a lot less impressive. We just did that!

[all laughing]

Eric: And below that first line, there are six more bullets that appear like someone is writing on the page.

Brandon: Is there any writing happening next to the bullets?

Eric: Nope.

Amanda (as Inara): Uh, so that’s creepy.

Brandon (as Tracey): A little bit… um…

Brandon: Because the riders are taking so long, there's like a line behind a single bush?

Michael: For one tree?

[all laughing]

Eric: Yeah, the one tree.

Amanda: The one piece of cover. I’m glad we all wanted to use the exact same one.

Brandon: Tracey hasn't actually done this before, but he has been able to do rituals for a while. And one of his rituals is called Identify.

Eric: Okay.

Brandon: It takes him ten minutes, but he takes a look at the book, every corner of it, every facet of it, and every few seconds, and individual sigil will light up on his body until at the end of the ten minutes he’s fully glowing in orange.

Eric: Okay, let’s start with Identify. What does this tell you?

Brandon: Identify lets me learn a magic-imbued item’s properties, how to use them, whether it requires attunement to use, and how many charges it has. I learn whether any spells are affecting the item and what they are. If the item was created by a spell, I learn which spell created it.

Eric: Identify is used on like artifacts to identify how you can use them. However, like you cant use the Book of Things to Come. It’s not like, “I’m gonna hang out with the Book of Things to Come and then I’m gonna see the future.”

Amanda: It uses you.

Eric: Yeah. This is a- this is very very high level of both evocation and divination. What I can   really tell you is you cant attune to it. It’s not a grimoire, where’s its like you can say a magic word and it’s gonna do it's thing. I would treat this like it was a creature, to be honest. It is its own- it has its own providence. It can’t be used. You know what I’m saying?

Brandon: Yeah, totally.

Eric: That’s really the best I tell you. I would also say that if you want to get really into it, this is some Chronomancy shit. This is the controlling of time, and a singular being cannot do it by itself.

Brandon: Okay.

Eric: Yeah, like this is some godly level shit.

Brandon: Okay.

Michael: Speaking of god.

Eric: Yeah?

Michael: I’m going to do a Religious check to figure out where did it come from? Where will it go? And its association with Cotton Eyed Joe.

Eric: There it is.

[Brandon laughs]

[dice rolling]

Michael: 14.

Eric: Sure. With a 14, you put the pieces together, and this is associated with the god Ze’ol from the Trinity. There’s this idea that he controls time and can, in theory, see the future, and can imbue objects with his own power and kind of gets stuck in said objects

Michael: When a divine force puts power into it, they're stuck into it.

Eric: Yeah.

Michael: I get that, but they’re not like literally stuck in there like, “Help me! Help me!”

Eric: Correct.

Brandon: Learning what we’ve just learned and sort of still at a loss here, Tracey turns around and goes

Brandon (as Tracey): Yo, Speak! Come over!

Eric: The Speaker is sitting backwards on Joe and is just kind of like waiting for people to get their stuff together and just goes

Eric (as the Speaker):  Tracey, that’s not my name. You know how I don’t like when people shorten anything about me. Yes, Tracey, how can I be of service to you?

Brandon (as Tracey): Um, sorry about your name.

Eric (as the Speaker):  Thank you.

Brandon (as Tracey): You’re right, I don't like it when people call me other things either.

Eric (as the Speaker):  That’s true, that’s why I call Jonathan Jonathan all the time.

Michael (as Johnny): Not my name. Not my name.

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s so nice and kind of you to be respectful of his full name.

Michael (as Johnny): Not my name.

Brandon (as Tracey): So I got this book a long time ago.

Brandon: And I explain where I got the book, where it came from to the Speaker.

Brandon (as Tracey): Um and these things just happened as we were riding by. Do you know anything about this particular book or like anything about Ze’ol involved in this book?

Amanda (as Inara): There are some item shenanigans going on, and we have to know a little more about it if we’re going to, I don’t know, not die.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah, mostly because it says that me and Johnny are gonna die-

Amanda (as Inara): Definitely dying, and by water-

Brandon (as Tracey): - and I think Inara is gonna drown-

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah.

Eric: The Speaker takes the book and flips through all of the pages, and she’s kneading her eyebrows together and she says

Eric (as the Speaker):  I thought it was bad enough that he got his hands on one object, but now we have another one here.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, no, I have another one, but yes.

Eric (as the Speaker):  No not you.

Brandon (as Tracey): It’s my book.

Eric (as the Speaker):  Not you, Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): Please don’t take my book.

Eric (as the Speaker):  I think you would be the perfect person to hold onto this- and this- Tracey I want to let you know that this was not yours to begin with. You can keep it, but Ze’ol likes to… tinker with things. And he cant help but leave a part of himself in every single on that he tinkers with. I’m surprised that he would go for book binding. I think the best thing for us to do is bring this back to the deity who messed with it in the first place. Let’s get some real answers.

[motorcycles rev up]

[fast, snapping, action music begins]

Eric: The motorcycles and Joe are spurring to go double time. So you are just tearing down this country road.

Brandon: I’m very glad I have goggles and a scarf.

Eric: Yeah. It’s winding through these villages that you were seeing before, and then becomes a sort of highway as it leads to the Capitol proper. And you guys are just speeding down. You’re passing carts and other motorcycles and like little buggies. Anyone else who’s on the road, it’s like you have a police escort and you’re just flying by them.

As you pull in, you’re on the outskirts of Chronopolis proper. There is a domed building that is plated on all sides by this shimmering glass. As you drive up, the seasons start to change pretty rapidly. We are back to fall, and it’s a cloudy winter day, and then it’s high summer and it is so, so hot all of a sudden, and then it switches back to the nice fall day that you expected.

There are guards outside of the domed building, but the Speaker just hops off. Everyone just parts for her. And you walk off briskly into the domed building. It looks like an operating theatre from the early 20th century. There are rows and rows of seats that’s focus do to a middle platform. And on the middle platform there is a glass case that has a compass inside. And the compass isn't much. It’s rather large. It would probably take up your entire pocket if you tried to put it in your pocket. But other than that, it’s pretty regular.

The Speaker just kind of like pushes her way in. She walks down the steps from the amphitheater, opens the glass, and picks the compass up. And she turns it over and on the back an etching of a key is carved into the back of the compass. And as she picks it up she says

Eric (as the Speaker): [sighs] Ze’ol, I know you’re in there, and I think it would be against your manner to leave a lady waiting.

Eric: And the compass is still for a moment. And the needle starts to spin, and spin, and spin, and all of you feel a little different. The air has changed noticeably. And Johnny, you are feeling godly presence up to wazoo. Tracey, in your backpack, you feel the book starts to shake. And it’s shaking wildly this time.

Brandon: I take the book out.

Eric: And the pages are turning wildly, wildly going back and forth, and back and forth. And finally, after just hearing the rattling of the book, you hear

Eric (as Ze’ol): Oh, what is this? I wouldn't let anybody wait here for a while! Come on in! Please, take a seat! There couldn't be anything else you could do than sitting here with old Ze’ol and putting up his feet. Are you cold? Is it cold in here? I think it’s cold in here!

Eric: And the book opens up right to the middle where you saw the writing for the rose hydra before, and something starts to write in the book. The first thing on the page is crossed out. You see, “Defeat the rose hydra.”

Brandon: Run with the cows.

Michael: Groom Mr. Pickles.

Amanda: Attend the opera.

Brandon: Clean the horse stables.

Michael: Retrieve the golden wool.

Amanda: Complete the Labyrinth of Dawnrise.

[music fades]

Brandon (as Tracey): Eh, one out of seven ain’t bad!

[theme music]

Eric: Join the Party is brought to you by Brandon Grugle, Amanda McLoughlin, Michael Fische, and me, Eric Silver. I’m your host and game master; Brandon edits, mixes, and scores the show; Amanda manages our community and our digital life; and Michael archives, manual-checks, and cartograms our world. Special thanks to our creative consultants Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini and Heddy Hunt.

Michael: The party doesn’t stop here! The day after every episode comes out we publish the Afterparty, where we sit down to discuss what just happened and learn what could have happened. Send us your questions anytime.

Brandon: Join our community online by following @jointhepartypod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We’ve also got every episode up on our website, jointhepartypod.com; and you can email us questions or stories anytime at hello@jointhepartypod.com.

Amanda: If you’re enjoying this ride as much as we are, help the show out by subscribing to us in iTunes and leaving a quick rating. For even more Join the Party goodness, check out our Patreon. Just a few dollars will get you access to drawings, character backstories, bloopers, and so much more at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

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